Above: Martha Russo, owner of Zenergize.
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Two woman-owned, health-oriented local businesses
Martha Russo has been practicing yoga since her high school days – she’s a member of the EGHS Class of 1995, which makes her a little ahead of the curve yoga-wise! In those days, she had to travel to Narragansett for her yoga class. It was worth it for the calm it helped induce.
Russo kept at it and, this past year, with her daughter now in school at Frenchtown, she decided it was time to get certified as a yoga instructor. During her certification process, she took a kids yoga class and “it was like the skies opened up,” Russo recalls. “It was a wonderful moment.”
That led to her opening Zenergize last spring at 6198 Post Road, just over the EG line in North Kingstown, where she offers yoga classes for children, a little dance (think Zumba) and free-play times. That’s in recognition that children – like adults – come with different orientations. Some even as young as 2 years old are ready to sit and try a yoga pose or two but others just need to blow off some energy.
The kids yoga classes are generally 50 minutes long but are not structured like a typical adult yoga class. They start with some breathing exercises, then warm up with songs like the hokey pokey. The yoga poses they do depends on what the foam dice decide! And it ends with a mindfulness activity that is not just lying on the floor for five minutes a la typical yoga classes.
The studio has just started a teen yoga class on Mondays at 4:30 and it is available for birthday parties and specialty classes as well.
Zenergize also has a boutique. A few years ago, Russo and her sister had a gift store in Wickford – P Funk Designs – and she still loves retail, so she decided to include gifts for sale from local artists.
“It’s a place where locals can share their wares,” she said.
Montana DePasquale is passionate about running and has brought that passion to East Greenwich, where she and her husband and two young children recently moved. DePasquale owns an online coaching business for runners and she said she’s eager to get to know the local running community.
“We love the family atmosphere here,” she said, “and as a runner I appreciate how many beautiful training venues there are here – a great high school track, Middle Road, Main Street, Goddard Park, and more. The running scene in Rhode Island is just top notch in general – but I know there’s a great, dedicated group in East Greenwich specifically. I’m excited to get connected with them and to meet EG-area runners.”
DePasquale ran Division 1 cross country and track for Bucknell University. In subsequent years, she interned at the Olympic Training Center and a professional running team as well as volunteered as an assistant coach for the cross country and track teams at Michigan State.
“I love everything about this sport and have seen it from all sides – but have ultimately found my calling working with adult runners in the online space,” she said. “I offer 1:1 run coaching, group run coaching, downloadable training plans, and strength programs for runners. My ‘niche’ is anyone who is passionate about running – or passionate about becoming a runner – and wants to learn how to do things the right way.”
DePasquale said she doesn’t subscribe to “gimmicky” training methods. Instead, she looks to make sure there is a solid “why” behind everything she does.
She said she works with everyone from beginner runners and run-walkers all the way up to multi-time “BQers” – that’s “Boston [Marathon] qualifiers” for those of us not up to speed with the running world.
“For me, speed is the least interesting part of who you are as a runner. I’m more interested in your motivation, drive, and anchors to your own goals,” she said.
DePasquale said she only just heard about the EG Hill & Harbour Turkey Trot – Saturday, Nov. 26 – and is hoping to be there. No doubt about it, that’s one place to meet a lot of local runners!
You can find out more about Montana DePasquale HERE.