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Melissa Urias

Where are you from and what do you do?

I was born and raised in Princeton, and currently still living in my hometown. I work for the Municipality of Princeton as the Acting Director of Human Services. Our department is focused on providing services and resources for vulnerable individuals in the Princeton community. I am also a full-time graduate student at Fordham University pursuing a Masters in Social Work.

When did you start practicing yoga? What was it about yoga that first interested you?

I had taken a couple yoga classes here and there through college, but had never truly committed until I started at Empower Yoga. I loved how peaceful and free I felt on my mat and how I was able to see the effects of my practice outside of the studio. The sense of accomplishment was addicting.

How did you discover Empower Yoga? 

After graduating college, I was in a funk - fitness wise. My former boss does Crossfit with Keri and she told me about the studio when it had first opened. I was hesitant to try the studio out, but ended up doing so when she gifted me a 4-week pass for my birthday. So thank you, Elisa.

How has the studio helped to EMPOWER you? 

Empower Yoga has not only helped me to be stronger physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I am constantly motivated and pushed by the amazing instructors to not only be a better yogi, but to be a better version of myself.

Tell us about your favorite classes- What you’ve learned about yourself? How have you surprised yourself? What has been your favorite memory? Anything else you’d like to share about your practice? 

Every class is my favorite class. Each instructor has their own way of connecting with you and making you feel welcome and capable. When I get on my mat, I feel powerful and am constantly impressing myself with what my body is capable of doing. When I first started yoga, I would power through every single pose just to get it done. Since starting at Empower Yoga, I've learned the importance of slowing down and breathing through the discomfort. Even when I walk into class feeling extra tired or anxious, I always walk out feeling calm and centered.

Outside of yoga what are some of your other hobbies/interests?

Aside from yoga, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, traveling, going on hikes and adventures with my boyfriend, watching movies, and reading.

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Eden Roberts

Where are you from and what do you do?

I’m originally from Sussex County in north Jersey but moved to Ewing in central Jersey because of TCNJ!

I just began my teaching journey as a General Music Teacher for grades K-5 and I LOVE sharing the gift of music!

When did you start practicing yoga? What was it about yoga that first interested you?

I started practicing yoga about 6 years ago due to a persuasive close friend who would talk highly of it and the teacher she knew!

Wanting to gain more flexibility and out of sheer curiosity, I started going every week along with my friend Jessica.

How did you discover Empower Yoga? 

Since I’m around Campus Town often, I simply passed by! I loved the name of it since the classes I had first gone to were most always Power Yoga (including HIGH core intensity and an awesomely fun teacher Samantha Sorin). I was also sucked in by the first month deal along with the new lululemon mat that I badly needed!

How has the studio helped to EMPOWER you? 

The studio has helped to emPOWER me in teaching me I can do so much more than I even would tell myself I could do! I NEVER thought I would even want to do hot yoga (I hate sweating and how I look when I’m sweaty and how beet-red my entire body turns)! I’ve learned to stop internally telling myself “I cannot” and to simply be brave. 

Tell us about your favorite classes- What you’ve learned about yourself? How have you surprised yourself? What has been your favorite memory? Anything else you’d like to share about your practice? 

Ugh I basically already answered this above but honestly my favorite memories include some squat-dancing with Andrea and her playlists that get me going! Andrea taught the very first class I took here and her presence, fierceness, intensity, playlists, and depth of character was evident from the very first class. Luhyougrl. 

Also, Keri’s sweet down-to-earth “realness” was just so easy for me to connect with, and I love taking Irene & Sam’s classes with her and Katie nearby! All the teachers have just such good memories attached honestly! 

Outside of yoga what are some of your other hobbies/interests?

Outside of yoga, I love basically anything musical: singing often and making up my own silly songs about nothing or maybe even about something, playing &practicing instruments in and out of school and church at penningtonAG! I love exploring always and talking pictures always with my talented boyfriend Zeke, finding any new café or downtown area possible to share life and new adventures with friends!