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Yoga instructor and wheel inventor opens up studio in Sayville

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The woman who invented the Dharma Yoga Wheel — a godsend for athletes with muscle tension in their backs, shoulders and hips — has set up shop in Sayville, opening her own studio on South Main Street.

Raquel Vamos and her business partner Carlyn Burcyzk welcomed the community to Free Spirits during a grand opening event May 18-19, offering free yoga classes all weekend.

The two opened Free Spirits in Patchogue last year.

Six years ago, Vamos, 32, and co-inventor Dov Vargas introduced the world to the Dharma Yoga Wheel, a plastic mechanism shaped to match the contour of the spine and help aide in back bending. Britney Spears and numerous NFL players have taken to social media to extol the benefits of the product.

Sales quickly skyrocketed past $1 million, and Vamos left her job as a pediatric nurse to work full time in promoting the wheel, which is manufactured in the United States. At one point, the Holbrook native’s company was selling close to 100 units a day.

But business cooled when overseas manufacturers put out imitations of Vamos’ wheel.

Vamos said promotion of her yoga prop had her traveling the world teaching yoga that incorporated the wheel.

“It’s such a good tool, not such for people who do yoga. It helps open your shoulders and chest,” said Vamos, a Sachem High School graduate.

Vamos, a yoga instructor for 10 years, incorporates the wheel into her practice at Free Spirits.

What we’re doing here is a little different than what other studios are doing, because traditional yoga is sometimes very rigid,” she said. “It’s exciting to bring the looseness of what yoga is to the studio, and reminding people that the goal is about reaching that freedom within them.

“When you’re free and you’re open, then everything else expands. I’m excited to bring that to Sayville,” she added.

Students in Vamos’ classes are encouraged to release their tension in different ways.

In order to open the energy fields, you have to let go,” she said. “So in letting go, you can scream, you can laugh and you can cry and shake.

“We have to move the system in order for the energy to release. You can’t just expect past emotions that are stuck in your body to just release on their own,” Vamos added.

Free Spirits offers warm flow, teen yoga, belly dancing and aerial yoga. Classes — scheduled every day of the week — start as early as 5:30 a.m. and as late as 8:30 p.m.