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PEOPLE AND PLACES

Om on the Merrimack Boat shop hosts Yoga By The River Yoga can be calming in a studio, but bring the practice to a waterfront location and you have the potential for next-level relaxation. Yoga By The River will be held at Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury, Mass., on Sunday, Aug. 18, from 9 to 10 a.m. Taught by Emily Chandra, this vinyasa yoga session is for people of all experience levels. “I think it’s a beautiful way to ground yourself and be immersed in nature,” Chandra said. “It’s the most peaceful there.” The idea to have Yoga By The River started in the summer of 2018, when Lowell’s Boat Shop invited Chandra to host the event. “We were looking to collaborate with someone, and she was looking for a new place to do yoga,” said Dorothy Antczak, the education director at Lowell’s Boat Shop. “Early morning is really peaceful [at the shop]. We have a big deck that overlooks the Merrimack River, and the view is picturesque and quite conducive to that meditative state.” Now in its second year, Yoga By The River has two to three events each summer and sees an average of 15 to 20 people. Chandra who grew up in Amesbury, said yoga helped to form her spirituality, and she has been teaching it full-time for five years. “I was introduced to yoga at 17 years old when I took a bikram yoga class,” said Chandra. “I was

originally a dancer and went to school for it, but yoga stuck with me. It was a great way to ground myself and bring together the spiritual, emotional and physical benefits.” For people wanting to get into yoga or who are just starting out, Chandra recommends just showing up and working on it. “Regardless of your limiting beliefs and the stories you tell yourself about not being able to touch your toes or sit and meditate, try it. See what happens,” she said. Plus, the collaboration with Lowell’s Boat Shop has allowed people who enjoy yoga to learn more about the boat shop. “It’s trying to tie different worlds together. Some people didn’t know the history of this place before and now they are being exposed to it,” said Antczak. Established in 1793, it is the oldest continuously operating boat shop in the United States. It is considered a national historic landmark and an important part of both wooden boat building and Amesbury history. “We have a lot of clientele and people who come through for tours [of the museum] who are interested in boats,” said Antczak. “A lot of people who came to yoga came back to go on tours.” “I think it’s important to partner with others locally who do great things in the area,” said Chandra. “It’s local businesses collaborating and

Last year’s Yoga By The River event. Courtesy photo.

helping each other out.” When Chandra isn’t doing Yoga By The River, she works out of the Cure Studio in Salisbury. She teaches multiple yoga classes and also teaches dance. One dance class that’s pretty popular is called Heels. “I have a small business called Seacoast Stilettos, which is all about empowering people through movement,” Chandra said. The Heels class is described on her website as a “fun, sexy, judgment-free dance workout.” Heels are not required, and neither is dance experience, as the class aims to build confidence and comfort. Chandra isn’t quite sure what’s in store for her future as a yogi, but she wants to see her-

self evolve. “I see myself definitely continuing to lead retreats all across the world, and connecting with the community and giving back through yoga,” she said. Currently, she has yoga retreats lined up to Iceland in November and to Mexico in January. Tickets for Yoga By The River are $20 and walk-ins are welcome. Bring a mat and water. Lowell’s Boat Shop is at 459 Main St. in Amesbury and open for business Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you’d like to tour the museum, it is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guided tour tickets are $8 and self-guided tours are $5. Kids under 12 are free. — Danielle Roberts

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