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Paula DiDonato- The OG of Wellness in NoFo

Written by: Daniella Stromberg

August 7, 2022

The original signage for The Giving Room read “ART YOGA PHILANTHROPHY”; that was back in 2010. I sat down with Paula DiDonato to talk with her about her business, The Giving Room because the warmth, kindness and purity of this place resonates deeply for me. If you haven’t been, I’m about to tell you why The Giving Room should be one of your wellness havens on the North Fork.

Paula DiDonato is the current proprietor of the biz, and she runs it much like a conductor of an orchestra. As we sat together talking, she had her eye on everything that was going on. She seemed to know all of the patrons and maintained keen awareness of her the happenings in her business while we chatted. I suppose you could say Paula appears to be an expert at “zen multi-tasking”. She would have to be, her business has a lot going on!

Yoga classes at The Giving Room are truly ideal for all those interested in yoga practice. Her class schedule is balanced with classes in multiple disciplines including Iyungar, Hatha, Vinyasa, and Yin. Whether you are trying your first class, or trying to accomplish a difficult challenge, the team at The Giving Room is there to facilitate a deeper connection to your practice. And Paula has made sure that classes are accessible to most. Varied locations throughout NoFo as well as ZOOM classes allow for greater class participation from her students.

If you are looking for outdoor yoga classes there are some pretty phenomenal locations available during the “vacation” season. For poolside yoga enjoy classes Monday – Friday @ 9:30am and Saturday – Sunday @ 8:30am at the Soundview– Greenport, for waterfront yoga, checkout The Shoals in Southold…and how about garden yoga…every Saturday through October enjoy yoga in the gardens of Landcraft Gardens Mattituck . Of course, for those of us still needing a purely socially distant option, Paula has kept you in mind too. Zoom classes are not a second thought. Paula has her best instructors on zoom as well. In fact, during the main of the pandemic one of the Giving Room’s most popular teacher’s left NoFo for Florida, but she never left the schedule! Kate Alesio who has been teaching on the North Fork for over 2 decades and and at with The Giving Room for 10 years; has done incredible work with both the functional well and women with breast cancer can still be found teaching to both loyal followers and happy newbies alike. The studio also offers pilates from the renowned Ellie Herman during the “season”. For a look at the full class schedule click here The Giving Room class schedule.

So, all of this and there is open community meditation offered weekly as well. You can drop in any Wednesday morning at 7:30am and share in a free meditation in the yoga space. Paula mentioned that there also may be the return of the free cello yoga class soon as well!

By now I guess you see why “I” would be all about this yoga studio. Seems like all decisions made for this business have to be good for the many, and I love that.

Their juice bar, which is a mainstay of the biz, and just as beautiful a component of The Giving Room as the yoga studio fully developed into what it is now during the early days of COVID. There is no other place to get elixirs like these ANYWHERE on the North Fork. These juices and delicious frozen pops are glorious, gorgeous and scrumptious. Farm fresh and made with love; juices can be purchased of course at The Giving Room but also at The Chequit on shelter Island as well at Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck.

I guess you could say that Paula Di Donato gives her love literally all over the North Fork and aren’t we privileged that she does. She has created a wellness business where customers, clients and guests are seen wherever they are…whether they are simply buying a frozen watermelon pop or breathing through an asana. The Giving Room gives a moment to connect to yourself and to our community. Thank you Paula.