It’s fall, once again. I am a fall born spirit and resonate more with this season than others, perhaps for that reason. Summer has slipped away and, though our climate is temperate, there are already subtle changes afoot. As I see the first leaves fall from the trees, I realize that there are subtle and not so subtle changes occurring within my own life as well.
On September 3rd, I opened my first yoga studio, Athena Yoga Nest at 8001 Raintree Lane #200 in south Charlotte. It is a small studio where I teach yoga and meditation with an emphasis on the therapeutic benefits of yoga practice. This is the manifestation of a long held dream of mine, and it marks a new chapter in my yoga journey.
Back in the early 90’s, I took a college yoga class for one of my needed PE credits and discovered my love of yoga. However, back then yoga classes were not so easy to find like they are now. So, I began exploring on my own for a few years and seeking any classes available. Usually, they were small group classes so you were given lots of attention. These early classes were an incredible foundation upon which to build a personal practice. Eventually, as yoga’s popularity increased in the area, it became easier and easier to find classes. Eagerly, I took more and more classes and many different styles, including Bikram Yoga until I finally realized that I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could, so I became a certified yoga instructor in 2003.
Life happened and, although I continued my own yoga practice, my full time real estate career took center stage and teaching yoga was not feasible anymore. During this time some of the highlight events of my life were divorce, remarriage, geriatric childbirth which is what they call pregnancy over 35 ( surprise), family addictions and cancer. I suffered but as I surrendered, listened to my body and trusted the divine I began healing through many sources, one of which was yoga and meditation.
In early January 2015, I finally understood that I was meant to teach and coach others using the same spiritual, physical and mental resources that I had found to be paramount in my own recovery. I enrolled in Asheville Yoga Center’s 300-hour Yoga Therapy program and began my training in Advanced Therapeutic Yoga Studies. This training included anatomy, asana, pranayama, meditation, using yoga with certain diseases, and the contraindications of doing so, yoga philosophy, teaching hours and using yoga for the management of stress, anxiety, substance abuse and PTSD. The use of yoga is meant to compliment and not replace other medical treatments.
Once again, I trusted the divine and when the program was completed this year, I was offered the opportunity to open my own studio in the office of Charlotte Counseling Services with Dr. John Kania, Psy.D LMFT. and Athena Yoga Nest was born. At Athena Yoga Nest, I am able by design to offer the small group classes, private or semi-private instruction and coaching that encourages individuals to safely explore the holistic and therapeutic benefits of this ancient practice. If you are interested in beginning or beginning again a spiritual, mental and physical wellness plan using yoga I invite you to join me on the journey.