Rhode Island Yoga Center was founded in 2014 by Lauren Toracinta. Alyssa Drake led the studio throughout the pandemic.By early spring of 2022, ownership shifted to Caroline Hammett. This led to the decision to rebrand in January of 2023, when RIYC officially became Bend Studio.
At Bend Studio, we hold our community close to heart, hosting a variety of classes that cater to all types of yoga students. We provide a welcoming environment filled with an inspiring, electric energy you’ll feel the second you walk through the door. . Bend Studio holds the mission to create a genuine, authentic space where community members can be themselves, get comfortable and move. Together, we will bend our bodies, bend our minds, and feed our souls.
Bend is more than just a studio, it's a concept in itself, it’s community, it’s growth. Bend is a movement to challenge yourself, to get out of that comfort zone, to try something new, to do the thing that scares you, and to say the thing you've never said out loud. By challenging ourselves, we are challenging society.
Will you Bend?
Hi! My name is Caroline Anna Rose, I am the owner & founder of Bend Studio. I was introduced to yoga at R.I. Yoga Center in 2017 & it changed the course of my life. Before yoga, I was a gym rat, with no spirituality, and a tempered personality. Once I found yoga, I was hooked. At the time, I was engulfed in the “busy” culture of college life & in JUST 60 minutes a day, I had a full blown sweaty workout, time to meditate and honor myself, and a chance to interact with a community of inspiring people. I have always described yoga as “my therapy, my gym,& my church”... Some may call it the “mind, body and spirit”. Just as yoga has changed my life, I hope to hold the space for yoga to change your life too.
Once upon a time…
The story of how I ended up owning this studio is magical, an experience built off of the faith that yoga has brought into my life and one I feel called to share.
After realizing that the pursuit of a PhD of engineering wasn't the right path for me, I left my program; with no new path in sight. A few short months later, my grandma passed andI went home to NJ for a few weeks. My grandma suffered from dementia for a decade of time, and it was a sad relief to see her pass. Although she was by no means wealthy, she insisted on leaving all of her grandchildren an inheritance, a small but immensely meaningful sum of money. I felt the gripping, need to do something impactful with this money to honor my grandma. In NJ there isn't a large yoga presence, so the idea came to me to start a yoga studio in NJ while living in RI. Alyssa, the owner of RIYC at the time, was living in CT while owning the studio, so why couldn’t I run a studio from a distance too? Once back in RI, I immediately went to talk to Alyssa about my idea to hear her input. Coincidently– maybe there are no coincidences in life at all… she was starting to think of her future plans and debating the idea of selling the studio. Magic happened, sparks flew and that was it. Without a doubt or hesitation, we both knew I was going to be the next owner of RIYC.
A few months into owning RIYC, my parents came to visit the studio. They brought with them a quilt that has been tucked away in our attic for years. It was my great grandma's quilt, the mother of my grandma who just passed. It was a YOYO quilt made back in the 1920’s. My grandma and a community of other women worked on this specific quilt throughout the Great Depression. My parents wanted me to have this quilt because it stood for community, and they knew it would fit great in my studio, being filled with such a magical community. In so many ways, my grandma's spirit lives on through the studio, quietly guiding my every move, all I have to do is listen.
With this experience, I learned to listen, to really listen to my intuition. I learned to follow my heart and to take daring chances. I can only hope that you too take that chance, and follow your heart to the depths of your story.