Opening in one of the most tumultuous economic years in recent history may have turned out to be a stroke of good fortune for Amy Edwards, owner of Lotus Rising Center for Healing and the Arts in Fall River.

Opening in one of the most tumultuous economic years in recent history may have turned out to be a stroke of good fortune for Amy Edwards, owner of Lotus Rising Center for Healing and the Arts in Fall River.

“Sometimes taking care of yourself is the first thing to go when you’re worried about money, but others recognize that it’s the most important part. It’s key to everything else,” she said.

Edwards, a licensed counselor, hypnotist and yoga instructor, has a lot of the essentials of taking care of oneself covered at the center for the mind, body and spirit. Entering into the second-floor space of what was once a run-down, empty furniture store is akin to walking into a peaceful temple: Water trickles over the falls of an indoor fountain in the dimly lighted soft green space. Visitors are free to enjoy a selection of teas arranged adjacent to a comfortable seating area in “the library,” a collection of yoga, self-help, natural health, psychology and spirituality books. A meditation area lies between offices for holistic practitioners offering counseling, massage, reiki, reflexology and a weight loss program.

“It’s worked out well,” she said. “It’s a very peaceful and healing place to come in the midst of chaos.”

Edwards envisioned the Columbia Street site as an oasis in the city when she began the process of gutting and revamping the former furniture store. She was originally looking for a place where she could do yoga with children she counseled in her practice, which at the time was located in a smaller site in the Highlands.

“I’d always dreamed of a holistic center, but I never thought it would happen,” she said. “This space turned out to be a perfect place for it.”

An oversized yoga/workshop space at the back of the second floor is divided into two separate areas to accommodate the wide array of classes offered throughout the year.

Edwards doesn’t teach public yoga classes at the moment, but she has three teachers on site: Karen Mohler, Rebecca Hart Thacker and Patricia Hottel.

Edwards is trained in kundalini yoga, and she recently received professional certification in LifeForce Yoga, which is a program used to treat depression. She’s incorporated that into her counseling practice, and Edwards said she will hold a four-week LifeForce Yoga series in the fall.

She opened the center on June 14, 2008, and in just over a year it has evolved into a center for the holistically minded. In her own counseling practice, she incorporates holistic (meaning looking at the whole person) principles such as art, guided imagery and affirmations.

“There are different ways of healing and connecting with ourselves,” she said. “So much of our culture is coming at us all the time. We try to shift back to a place of eternal peace.”

For the creative side, artist Gabrielle Charbonneau headed up classes in watercolors, painting, drawing, collage, weaving and soapstone carving. In August, she’s planning on teaching watercolor classes and a series on altered books, which she described as an artistic form of journaling or scrapbooking. Some of the books she’s done in the past explore cultural themes in books that she’s altered with collage images, cutting out shapes, creating pop-ups and sewing pages together.

“They’re very beautiful and powerful,” said Edwards.

Throughout the year, the center hosted well-known speakers and holistic practitioners such as Roland Comtois, a medium who channels messages, and Rhys Thomas, who offers sound healing and crystal bowl therapy to unblock the body’s energy chakras. Both men will be back this fall along with spirited dance and drumming with Karen Mohler and angel readings with Jessica Strange.

“The energy flowing through here at night is amazing,” said Edwards.

Rochelle Sokoll, who is affiliated with the Serlingpa Meditation Center, has taught classes on Buddhist meditation at Lotus Rising over the past year, and Edwards said she will return for a series in the next few months.

It seems that there’s no end to Edward’s vision for the center: An eco-friendly wellness store with items such as yoga mats, clothing, books and chakra candles has evolved at one end of the main space, and she just recently introduced a monthly film night.

Edwards, who left a successful career as a trial attorney in Providence to become a counselor, would eventually like to develop the first floor of the former furniture store with more holistic-related ventures.

“I have an abundant life,” she said. “It (the site) was so easily accessible, it seemed like it was meant to be.”

Lotus Rising is located at 73 Columbia St. For more information, see www.lotusrisingcenter.com or call 508-676-0073.

The Herald News