Charlotte Yoga Retreat

I recently drove all the way up the East coast to visit the best college girlfriends.  We were supposed to meet in Raleigh at our friend (and yoga instructor) Ashley’s new house, but due to a series of unfortunate events, we relocated the retreat to Charlotte.  Since we were missing our favorite yogi, we decided to just roll with the punches and book classes at studios all over the Queen City instead.  I thought I would post a little review of each one, in case any of my readers/yogis live in or are ever visiting Charlotte!

While Sara and Jen were at work, Courtney and I headed to Okra for a 12:30 class.  Okra is the cutest studio + tea bar ever!  We loved our class with Megan, who was really laid back and fun.  The class varied from a nice vinyasa flow to a workshop atmosphere and back to flow again.  We had a great time and learned a lot!  We also loved Gumbo, a yoga/running apparel shop next door owned by the same folks.  I’m sad I didn’t snap any pictures from our class!

Photo via Instagram @okracharlotte

Next up, Courtney, Sara and I did a pre-happy hour first for all of us: aerial yoga!

Aerial Yoga at Air Charlotte | oysters and pearls Aerial Yoga at Air Charlotte | oysters and pearls

It was quite the experience!  I wouldn’t say it was exactly like yoga, because it was a lot different, even though we were attempting versions of the same asanas (poses).  However, it was an entirely new sort of workout for us, and we were sort of surprised that even in a “stretching” class, just how much upper body strength was required.  I had so much fun with my triplets (our house mom in ADPi’s nickname for us) playing on the aerial silks, and we loved our instructor (and even stayed to chat with her for a while!) but I have to say I don’t know that I would be a regular if it were an option down here in South Georgia.  It was a great experience, though!

aerial yoga at AIR Charlotte | oysters and pearls aerial yoga at AIR Charlotte | oysters and pearls aerial yoga at AIR Charlotte | oysters and pearls aerial yoga at AIR Charlotte | oysters and pearls

After our “relaxing deep stretch” aerial class, we met our friends Jen and Parker and Sara’s husband Chris at Napa on Providence for wine time and catching up.  We got some stares in all our workout gear (Jen and Parker had just come from Cross Fit) but we didn’t care.  #yogapantsarepants in our books.

Cheers at Napa on Providence in Charlotte, NC | oysters and pearls

Also, our waiter’s wine rec was en pointe – we loved this vino!

Napa on Providence, Charlotte, NC | oysters and pearls

Saturday morning we set up a private yoga lesson at Yoga Shala with Hollis.

Yoga Shala, Charlotte, NC | oysters and pearls

Hollis was patient, kind, and extremely knowledgable.  We loved our lesson with her!  We gave her a heads up when we scheduled the session that some of us would like some pointers on building up to inversions, that we had a beginner in our midst, and we were a mix of levels of yogis.  She was amazing working with all our differences and we worked on breath work at the same time as strength building, especially in our core.  The first half of the class began with warm ups, including a new Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) for all of us – Sun Salutation S!  Hollis studied under the Rod Stryker school of yoga, so this is his own personal Surya Namaskara.  In case you’re interested, here’s a video of some warmups from Rod Stryker himself.

We ended the class with lots of L-stands to practice for handstands, some headstands, too.  It was much more of a workshop atmosphere for the second half of the class, which was a lot of fun!  I think all four of us really enjoyed it.  It was a great way to end our yoga retreat in Charlotte!

Yoga Shala, Charlotte, NC | oysters and pearls

Not only was it a relaxing, yoga-filled retreat, it was a soul-nourishing weekend with best girlfriends.  I’m so fortunate to have such a tight-knit group of college girlfriends that still talk every single day, even though we are spread from Raleigh to Tampa to Shanghai!

Namaste, y’all!

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

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