Tag Archives: Yoga

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

Working on my Fitness

 

It’s no secret that since January I got my act together and starting working on my fitness.  Along with multiple other things.  Since then, I feel like a completely different person.  Someone who actually likes working out.  Who makes it a priority.  Who eats well and tries to truly live well, rather than running around like a chicken with my head cut off, just trying to please each person who put a request in front of me for my time/energy/creativity/productivity.  Whew.  Thank goodness that’s over.

So now I walk a lot, and I even run a good bit!  I do yoga almost every day, and I use a medicine ball to do some strength work.  Nothing revolutionary.  In fact, nothing even remotely hardcore.  But it’s fun and it fits into my still-busy schedule, and most importantly, it works. So I thought I’d write a quick post about the things that have been working for me.

Hazards of Working Out at Home | Oysters and Pearls

That hazards of at-home workouts: cats and dogs vying for attention.  The Honorable Judge Wallace Cat-O is especially demanding.

So my newest craze is medicine ball workouts.  I first got hooked thanks to Kelly Ripa and her ABC workout.  This is an older version than the one she did recently with Michael Strahan, but the workout is still great, even back in 2007!

Another one my husband, Wheat, recommended to me is the Carolina Tar Heels 400 Workout.  I highly recommend it now, too!  And this workout series by Popsugar is one I discovered earlier this week, but have already incorporated some of the moves into my routine (some of them are the same as the ones in the Tar Heels 400).

On days I’m crunched for time, I do a quick 20 minute medicine ball workout.  High intensity, short time, certainly better than nothing! :)  I follow it up with usually at least 10 to 15 minutes of yoga.  On days I have more time to spare, like days I work from home, I go for a half run/half walk with Juin and listen to my audio books.  She enjoys it just as much as I do!

And finally, on days I’m working in Thomasville, I get my butt into a yoga class at ma gurl Lindsey’s yoga studio.  Lotus Yoga & Holistic Wellness just opened up in its permanent location on Monroe Street (behind the post office and across from the Big Oak).  It’s adorable and beautiful and fabulous and I’m so excited my office is so close by!  Congratulations, Lindsey!!

Lotus Yoga & Holistic Wellness, Thomasville, Georgia | Oysters & Pearls

I’ve found that mentally challenging myself by rotating through quick, high intensity workouts,  longer walks/runs with audiobooks, and mental/spiritual/physical yoga keeps me engaged, never bored, and actually excited about exercise.  What are your favorite workouts?  Any youtube videos or links? Share them in the comments, por favor!

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  -Psalm 139:14

Until Next Time

From Cold Mountain to St. Joe Beach

Welp, I’ve been MIA, but it’s because so many wonderful things have been going on!  And for the first time in a couple years, I’m not going to let blogging stop me from living. ;) But I’m happy to be able to finally share some pictures from the wedding of a very special set of friends!

At the end of February, Wheat and I headed to Cold Mountain, just outside of Asheville, NC, for our friends Zach and Michelle’s wedding.  (Or if you follow me on Instagram, you may know them better as #bigdaddyandtrudywed.)  It was a super small, gorgeous winter affair.  Michelle wanted us to wait to share pictures until they had their big party/reception back at home, so that’s what I did, despite the temptation.  This past week Wheat and I headed to the beach to celebrate 1) our 3 year wedding anniversary on Wednesday (TIME FLIES!) and then celebrate Zach and Michelle all weekend!

Wheat and I laid low Wednesday, went for a long walk on old 98, then went for drinks at the Thirsty Goat and my favorite dinner at Provisions: Angel Hair Ahi Tuna.  It’s maybe one of my top 10 favorite dishes.

Third Anniversary Celebration at the Thirsty Goat, Port St. Joe, Florida  | Oysters & Pearls Provisions Angel Hair Ahi Tuna in Port St. Joe, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

Then Thursday we beached it some, and Michelle and I did some beach deck yoga, and waited for friends to arrive for the weekend of celebrating!  Harold is my fave beach bum. :)

PS That’s Wheat out there on our paddle board.

St. Joe Beach, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

Michelle doing some Beach Rural Yoga | Oysters & Pearls Some Beach Rural Yoga | Oysters & Pearls

Friday we headed back to Provisions for bruschetta (my favorite appetizer and favorite bruschetta ever) and drinks (at lunch, I know!) to wait for another couple/friend to arrive.  We ended up staying for lunch.

Bruschetta at Provisions in Port St. Joe, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

After lunch we beached it some more and then had everyone over for supper.  Saturday we beached it yet again (all day long this time) until everyone had to get ready for Zach and Michelle’s wedding party.  It was phenomenal!  They had Paul Gant doing BBQ, which is always amazing, along with a low country boil, boiled fresh shrimp, and freshly shucked oysters (raw and baked).  It was ridiculous and fabulous and so much fun celebrating our beach besties.

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

The next picture deserves a story: the Friend Ship was at our wedding, too!  In 7th grade, my dad helped a friend and me re-finish it, and we dubbed it the Friend Ship.  Since then, it’s made more appearances as a boat-load-of-beer than it has as a sailing vessel.  We were glad it could be a friend-ship-full-of-beer for our dear friends!

The Friend Ship Boat-load of Beer, Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Low Country Boil Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

So without much further ado, here are some pictures I took back in February of the wonderful wedding before the party!  It was on this beautiful terrace on the mountain side.  Oh, and I made my debut as florist at this wedding, thanks to Trader Joe’s, climbing a eucalyptus tree in a friend in Bainbridge’s yard (Thanks, Lauren!), and mutilating my succulent.  It was such a drop dead gorgeous, sweet and simple wedding.  I’m so glad I got to be a part of their big day!

Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach & Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach’s sister, April, baked the delicious cheesecake (Michelle’s favorite), which they cut the next morning for breakfast wedding cake. :)

Wedding Cheesecake by April Wisdom, Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Cutting the Cake: Zach & Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Congrats Zach and Michelle (and Big Daddy and Trudy)! We love y’all!

Until Next Time