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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

A Healing Vision Realized

Merrill Black

What inspired you to create The Temperance Center?

It was my dream to provide the community with a nurturing, healing center for mind, body and soul. I envisioned a comforting space with diverse healing modalities from an array of talented and committed professionals. I wanted to create a “home” where people could receive tender loving care—a safe space where they could take the time to do something loving for themselves. It was my vision that we would develop a “community” where people could connect, congregate, heal and expand consciousness, both individually and for the greater whole of society. My dream has been realized by creating The Temperance Center.

What do people experience when they walk in?

It was my goal to create a space with a sense of calm that people could feel vibrationally. I created that by intention, through symbols and the use of color, sound and scent. I wanted it to have a “good vibe,” and I think we succeeded, because almost every person comments on how serene they feel as soon as they walk through our doors. There are five individual offices, each with its own personality, colors and vibration. Our group room, where we hold workshops, support groups and meetings, has a calm yet energetic vibe, with its turquoise walls and touches of teal and ivory, including a large, round, teal table that creates a circular, cyclical effect. Our yoga/meditation room is intimate and sunny, decorated in lavender, sky-blue and teal.

What natural healing modalities do you offer?

We offer an array of services—psychotherapy, Reiki, hypnosis, acupuncture, cupping, massage, reflexology, myofascial release and physical therapy (specific to pelvic floor dysfunction for kids, teens and women). We also offer intuitive healings and readings, holistic nutrition coaching, a free monthly adult support group for body-focused repetitive behaviors, and weekly guided channeling meditation groups.

You also offer yoga. What types do you offer, and how is it different here?

Our yoga classes are intimate and therapeutically based. We offer mindful, yin breath-based, chanting, restorative, gentle, vinyasa and hatha yoga. Our classes are appropriate for beginners as well as more advanced students. The teachers are seasoned and offer modifications and adjustments for students who need them—they are very attentive to their students. Since the classes are small, students really learn proper alignment, breath and postures. I recently became certified in Yoga, Dharma Mittra Lineage, through Michael Baez of Awakened Warrior Teacher Training, and I’m certified in Restorative Yoga as well as a certified Level 1 Lifeforce Yoga practitioner. What I love about Lifeforce Yoga is that it is a compassionate practice that meets your mood. It combines sounds, mudras, asana, breath, visualization, bhavana and self-inquiry.

What’s new or coming up at The Temperance Center?

This year we’re offering new yoga workshops and others as well. We recently hosted an herb-infused oil and organic lotion bar-making workshop, and there’s a crystal workshop on the horizon, as well as more sound baths and other holistic and spiritually based workshops.

On Wednesday evenings starting in May, we’ll have a new beginner workshop, Mindful Breath & Body Yoga for Men. Beginning on Mother’s Day evening, I’ll be offering an occasional Sunday Lifeforce Yoga class, a candlelight gentle healing flow using sounds, mudras, mantras, breathwork, chakra-clearing meditation and restorative yoga. We’ll also offer a weekly Thursday evening support group for men ages 18 to 25.

I’ll continue to offer Reiki trainings for Levels 1, 2 and 3, and I’ve been learning “light body” healings, a beautiful extension of my energy work.

We hope to continue offering yoga teacher trainings by Michael Baez, intimate sessions blending the philosophy, spirituality and asanas of yoga.

During our healing nights, which coincide with the solstices and equinoxes, we do a “taster” of yoga, self-exploration and meditation. Each time we donate half the night’s proceeds to a different foundation. It’s just one way we give back.

I’m excited to see how we continue to grow and evolve in the year to come.

Merrill Black is a licensed clinical social worker, Reiki master, hypnotherapist, registered yoga teacher, and certified level 1 LifeForce Yoga practitioner. The Temperance Center is located at 453 White Plains Rd., Suite 201/203 Eastchester, NY. For more info, call 914.793.2600 or visit