BELMAR, NJ — Situated along Main Street in downtown Belmar, The Phoenix is much like most wellness centers, offering yoga, meditation and other holistic programs for the mind, body and spirit.
What distinguishes it from the rest is a unique purpose: to offer a free, sober active community for individuals in recovery from substance abuse and those who choose a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle.
“Yoga and meditation saved my life. They became a catalyst for change for me,” said Amy Budinich Emley, chapter director and senior yoga instructor for The Phoenix New Jersey.
Several years ago, Emley opened the Belmar facility for the recovery community under the name Root to Rise. “I founded Root to Rise to offer yoga and meditation to those who share the same struggles that I had faced — to help integrate mind, body and spirit,” said Emley.
Earlier this year, she partnered with The Phoenix — a nonprofit organization based in Denver that has served more than 26,000 people across the United States in their journey to recovery.
On Saturday, December 7, the Belmar Business Partnership officially welcomed The Phoenix to 911 Main Street with a ribbon-cutting led by Mayor Mark Walsifer, who was joined by Councilmen Thomas Brennan and Thomas Carvelli.
The Phoenix offers a variety of wellness-related program, including yoga, meditation, strength training, Dharma talks, game nights, and seasonal community events, among other activities. Phoenix events are free to anyone with at least 48 hours of continuous sobriety and instructors are in recovery themselves.
In ribbon-cutting photo, Belmar Mayor Mark Walsifer, center, and Amy Budinich Emley of The Phoenix are joined by, from left, Belmar Councilman Thomas Brennan, Jennifer Scamorza of The Phoenix, Belmar Business Partnership vice president Thomas Burke, Peter Barnas, Christopher Spallina, Stephen Lundy and Ryan Abrams, all of The Phoenix, BBP trustee Joseph Rizzuto and Belmar Councilman Thomas Carvelli. Not pictured but in attendance, BBP trustee Christine Cardellino.
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