Portland, Maine

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Carissa Ciuca

I own a space for our community to connect through yoga.

Job Owner + Director / Breathing Room Yoga

Lives In South Portland

 

I am a yoga teacher and I opened Breathing Room Yoga, in South Portland in December 2010. Since then, the studio has grown into a sacred community connecting spot - a place where masks and pretenses are dropped by the door, where folks can just breathe, be, allow, learn and feel. 

I travel frequently to teach yoga, mostly between Philadelphia and Portland, but also here and there around the US and Mexico. In between, if you're lucky, you might catch me cruising on my antique bike (a deal we picked up at the USM bike swap!), singing loudly in my car, hiking with my husband or hanging in the sun with my kids in my arms.

Why did you choose Portland? Portland chose us! My husband's job transferred us here unexpectedly. But, Portland stole my heart right away. I feel like it's our real home now.

Who are Portlanders you admire and why? I haven't yet met a Portlander I don't admire. Moving from another large city, it was a refreshing surprise to learn of the genuineness of the people here. The authenticity. The old-fashioned community values that make this a supportive and real environment.

What do you like to do with out-of-towners? We like to take them to walk on the seaside path at Two Lights Park. It's an easy walk, appropriate for all ages (and even strollers!) with breathtaking views.

Where's your "happy place" on the peninsula? The Portland Farm Market. There isn't a time I've been there that I haven't been overcome with gratitude to live in Portland.

What's the most surprising thing about this city? It's resilience! From recovering from historic fires to sending the kids to school the day after several feet of snow... there isn't much that holds Portlanders down.

What's your favorite indulgence and where do you find it? Um... bacon cheddar donut at Holy Donut. I don't eat much meat, but when I do... why not have it inside fried dough!? Right!?

Describe your perfect night—and the following morning—in Portland. A bike ride around back cove to picnic with my tots and my husband on East End overlooking the water. Brunch at Artemisia and a late afternoon jaunt at Maine Audubon.

Do you have a serendipity spot? Where do you always bump into good people? In my studio! :)

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