ASHRAM center celebrates grand reopening

Margaretville — The Academy Street Healing Recreation Art and Movement Center (ASHRAM) first opened its doors on Memorial Day weekend 2010, offering yoga and palates classes.
Owner Laura Battelani, a licensed massage therapist practicing in the Margaretville area since 2000, moved her massage business here in 2010 from Arkville and soon was able to realize her dream of developing the studio as a space where the community could come for classes and fun. After the center opened, Laura dedicated the coming months to creating that dream. While Yoga and Pilates classes grew a dedicated following, Laura continued to search for more activities and more instructors who could use her studio to offer other kinds of educational or entertaining activities.

One idea was movie nights, where all could come for an inexpensive evening of entertainment and discussion with neighbors and friends. Other events such as nutrition and salsa dance classes were being scheduled as Laura was abruptly awoken from her dream of a community space when, on August 28, 2010, Hurricane Irene came through with two feet of water and deposited mud and debris. The building sustained heavy damage. The water destroyed beautiful floors, defaced brightly painted walls, warped doors and wooden furniture, soaked computers and telephones and nearly everything in her residence which she had maintained in the back of the building.

It has taken nine months of pain staking work to bring the center not just back to its original condition, but even better and brighter. As Laura’s way of saying thank you to the community that was there for her through this difficult time, the grand re-opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday, May 5 from 1-4 p.m. and will include an afternoon of events focused on health and recreation.

The morning will begin with the center’s yoga class at 10:30 and the official celebration will kick off at 1 p.m. with live music, food and door prizes provided by local businesses. The doors will be open for a tour of the facility, there will be Yoga demonstration at 1:15 and Pilates at 2:15 p.m. A Salsa dance class is planned for the summer with a date to be decided.

People coming to the open house will have a chance to sign up and cast their vote for either a Friday evening or a Saturday afternoon class. Also, a belly-dancing workshop is in the work and being tested for level of interest, and so is a class in the Alexander Technique.

Attend the open house and tell them your interest in person or let them know by other means what appeals to you and what works for your schedule! Pilates mat classes will be starting again on Sunday, May 6 at 11 a.m. and then on Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m.