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Ryemarkable Samantha Sidari Tollinchi!

Number of kids and ages:

3 kids: my step-daughter Regina, 28

my son Valentino (Val), 15

my daughter Paloma, 13

Business Name:

Yoga, Food & Mood

How long have you been in business?

7 years in business

Any pets?

2 dogs (siblings), chihuahua mutts from an animal shelter named Max & Sparkle

Why did you start your business?

Prior to my yoga career i spent 17 years working in New York City in the fashion industry specializing in private label merchandising & sales. Randomly I took a yoga class one day and I became immediately hooked. I practiced 5x (or more) a week after work. That led me to taking a yoga teacher training program and I eventually transitioned from my fashion career to yoga, upon moving to Rye several years later.

My business encapsulates my three loves:

Yoga: which features my yoga public classes (currently zoom & outdoor yoga), yoga workshops, privates and corporate classes.

Food: i am a certified health coach and partner with individuals one on one to support them in reaching their personal wellness goals. I have hosted cooking classes and a future goal of mine is to get back to selling my incredible Power Toast; a gluten-free bread I make. It is yummy!

Finally Mood: a big reason yoga has held my interest for so long is the mind benefits. I offer meditation & mindfulness as part of my yoga classes and also teach mindfulness to individuals & small groups.

When I began teaching yoga regularly, I was doing so at a wide variety of locations all over Westchester. Over time I wanted to focus on teaching primarily in our community. I loved meeting new people in Rye that I never would have met, were it not for the yoga bringing us together. I started researching space to rent in Rye and when a spot became available at the Rye Recreation Center (big bright room with lots of windows & parking!), I happily took it.

What do you love most about what you do?

I really love what I do. I sum it up as helping people to learn how to support (and be) themselves. This is accomplished by intentional breathing, learning about their habits, tuning inward to feel (not force) & building awareness. Sometimes i get the credit for helping to facilitate an opening of some kind (be it physical, mental or emotional) but I know the student did it themselves just by ‘showing up’, and sitting with their own discomfort. I’ve especially felt appreciative of yoga during the pandemic. Yoga continues to help me navigate my own difficult times, even when i’m teaching the class!

What is the biggest challenge you've faced?

Fortunately, teaching yoga has been possible during the pandemic via zoom. My students and I have been so lucky to be able to connect to each other and practice, regardless of the social distancing restrictions we have been under. Outdoor yoga has been a new offering of mine, and thankfully the weather has been cooperating for the most part!

What are some alternative careers you would have liked to have?

When i was younger and was contemplating what interested me as a career, the first two ideas that came to mind were fashion & nutrition. Both those boxes have been checked for the most part ! I was also attracted to the idea of a career in music.

Other fun facts about you: I’ve had a lifelong love of reading, however covid has (at least temporarily) turned me into a binge TV watcher, yikes! But seriously, I’ve enjoyed many shows this past year. (A favorite one that comes to mind is Schitts Creek). I also enjoy playing tennis and spending time with my friends & family. I also love the beach, being in Manhattan and cannot wait for Broadway, and live entertainment in general to open back up.

Do you have advice regarding reinventing yourself?

In yoga there is a concept called dharma, which means your ‘life purpose’. At different stages of our lives our life purpose may grow & change, so if you’re thinking of reinventing yourself, my advice would be to explore it and see what doors open up for you.

Instagram: yoga_food_and_mood


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