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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

URI Alton Jones Campus creates studio for yoga, meditation retreats

Former meeting room now available for groups seeking relaxed setting

WEST GREENWICH, R.I. –Yoga teachers in Southeastern New England wishing to bring their classes for an overnight yoga and meditation retreat now have the ideal setting: the Whispering Pines Conference Center at the University of Rhode Island’s W. Alton Jones Campus in West Greenwich.

Staff at the conference center renovated a former meeting room into an elegant yoga studio that can accommodate 25 students, and additional meeting rooms can easily be converted into space for another 160 yoga students.

“We’ve created this space specifically for yoga studios seeking to do something extra special for their clients,” said Ann Marie Evans, conference coordinator at Whispering Pines. “The campus is the perfect place for yoga. It’s a peaceful and serene environment that makes it easy for people to get away from their daily lives.”

The new 810-square-foot studio includes new hardwood floors, vibrant blue walls and a large window overlooking a pine forest.

“Our intent was to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible and conducive for meditation and yoga,” Evans said. “Yoga teachers can bring their classes, stay over night, eat our wonderfully healthy food, and enjoy the hiking trails and other campus amenities.”

The idea for the yoga studio came from Maria DiSano, the interim director of the W. Alton Jones Campus, who visited a yoga retreat in Western Massachusetts last year and suggested that the campus would be the perfect home for a similar facility in Rhode Island. The practice of yoga has grown into a nearly $3 billion industry in the United States in recent years, with more than 16 million practitioners.

Evans said the URI yoga studio will not host its own yoga classes or compete with commercial yoga studios in the area. Instead, yoga teachers are encouraged to plan retreats at the facility for students who are looking for more than a typical one-hour yoga class. She has invited yoga teachers from throughout the region to visit the campus studio, and many have already expressed interest in scheduling yoga retreats there later in the year.

“Whispering Pines is a magical place. You feel instantly connected to nature. It is a perfect place for a yoga retreat,” said Joan Dwyer, owner of All That Matters Yoga and Holistic Health Center in Wakefield.

Those interested in learning more about the yoga studio at the Whispering Pines Conference Center or scheduling a yoga retreat should contact Ann Marie Evans at or 401-874-8102.

Pictured above
Instructors from Simplify Yoga in Coventry practice yoga at the new studio at the URI Whispering Pines Conference Center. Marketing & Communications photo by Michael Salerno Photography.