Cultivating community is a big part of why we founded Samudra,  so when we recently learned that good friends Nicole Dube and Bethany Kurlanska, who are both members, actually met doing yoga at Samudra, it warmed our hearts! We asked Nicole, who has practiced at Samudra since 2017, and Bethany, who has practiced at Samudra since 2018, about their friendship.

Bethany shared, “Nicole and I met at Samudra through a mutual friend. We are the bendy friends-as we called ourselves and created a ritual of going to Monday night SPA. We even had our favorite spots and Nicole was the one who would always save us a spot. She’s always thoughtful like that! 😊  As schedules changed- this was still our little meeting place. Kind of like a neighborhood coffee shop or bar and our friendship grew from the ‘before and after class chats’ to scheduling drinks out and hikes in the woods.”

Nicole added, “In the beginning we’d just casual chat and eventually became the giggling girls in the corner before and sometimes during class.  We started checking in with each to see if the other was going to class.  We realized we had interest in common and we started to become friends outside of the studio.   Beth always checked in with me during the pandemic, she was my wellness check in.   When our schedules allow, we meet to walk local trails, kayak, hike, and practice yoga.

Here they are pictured at Arethusa Falls in New Hampshire.

Why yoga? Why Samudra?

Nicole: “This is the place that I can just be. Each day you show up to the mat to practice yoga is different.  Some days you can quiet the chatter in your head and others you can’t.  Some days your balance is strong and others your tree is blowing in the wind.  Some days you can challenge your body to try a new pose or lean into one deeper. Each practice is an opportunity for both our body and soul to grow.  I’ve learned to listen, lean in and embrace it. I practice yoga at Samudra because I love the energy and the community. My favorite part of the studio is the energy.  Even when we were practicing remotely you could feel it.”

Bethany: “This is the place where I am 100% accepted for who I am at that moment.  My favorite thing about yoga is that for 1 hour – it’s all mine.  The mat is my boundary and nothing is allowed in. I have permission to push the world away and just be who I need to be at that moment. and just be. The ability to walk out of the studio  sweaty and stronger but with peace and calm. 

I had tried yoga before without much interest or success. In a gym with mirrors all around (distracting) and bright lights (not soothing). A friend suggested I attend a class at Samudra – SPA class – I was enticed to try it  by the description and then got hooked. There was the friendly greeting every time I showed up (such kindness and warmth), darkness of the studio for relaxing  (no one could see if I was not doing the pose correctly), gentleness (the kind words of you could do this pose or stay just as you are) and well, the chocolate at the end. 

I found the hardest part was quieting my mind during Savasana. It became a goal for me.  I started to crave SPA  for all these reasons- the darkness, the words’ just as you are’ and striving for calm that comes after a class. The words just as you are was permission to just be in the moment.  As I became comfortable with the poses and the flow of class I branched out to other classes- but it always comes back to being just as I am in that moment. Yoga has brought me so much more than I ever imagined- I am a better parent, friend, and employee.”





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