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New Healing Center Offers Space for Yoga, Books Clubs and Tea Gatherings

By Nicholas Rizzi | November 14, 2014 4:31pm | Updated on November 17, 2014 8:54am
 Staten Islander Mike O'Connell opened up the Hanuman Lounge in Tompkinsville as a gathering space for the healing arts community.
Hanuman Lounge
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TOMPKINSVILLE — A new healing lounge is offering artists and instructors a place to display their work, teach yoga, and hold group meditations and tea gatherings.

Michael O'Connell, 25, and Christina Ferrara, 28  two yoga instructors based in Staten Island  opened Hanuman Lounge above the Everything Goes Book Store at 208 Bay St. earlier this month, after realizing there weren't enough spaces in the neighborhood for healers to come together.

"I have a lot of friends who are involved in the healing arts, and they just don’t have any place to be creative, to bring people together, to heal, to create and just feel like this freedom of expression," O'Connell said.

"It just seems like there's a lot of changes going on in the North Shore headed towards art and healing and consciousness. I thought it would be a great addition," he continued.

O'Connell plans to rent out the 350-square-foot space for any use that promotes community, including reiki session, gallery shows and group meditations, he said.

"The point is to be all encompassing and give healers and artists the space to do their art and to share their art and skill and talent," O'Connell said. "I just want to keep the space clean and functioning and allow other people to really use it."

There are already two yoga classes operating out of the studio, including one focusing on rejuvenation and another on improving circulation. A book club about mindfulness, philosophy and spirituality is also beginning in January, according to the studio's website.

The space was once home to St. George Healing Art Center, which closed this summer after about five years in business. O'Connell is hoping Hanuman's more modern interior will appeal to a younger crowd.

The lounge will celebrate its grand opening on Nov. 28 with a yoga class, an artist talk and a gallery featuring works by Sebastian Alappat, who paints representations of various yoga poses, O'Connell said.

Over all, O'Connell is hoping Hanuman will provide a communal and holistic approach to healing people's physical and emotional issues, he said.

"It's an alternative way to approach some of the difficult things that we all face in our day to day life," he said. "It's doing it in a place that's really built on community, that family feeling that you might not get at the doctor’s office."