Whether you’re an experienced practitioner or a beginner, there’s a yoga experience for you around Topsail Island.
When most people come to Topsail Island, they want sunny days, long walks on the beach and cool nights enjoying an evening breeze under bright stars.
And yoga. Lots of people want yoga.
There are several yoga studios in and around Topsail Island offering a variety of styles and experiences, from online classes to in-person studios to private yoga instruction on the beach or at your home. Yoga classes also can be found at several local fitness centers and the Surf City Community Center.
Yoga Alliance, the largest nonprofit association of the yoga community with more than 100,000 registered teachers, certifies and registers yogis. For example, an RYT 200 or 500 teacher means they are registered, and the numbers refer to hours of training. The letter E after a yoga teacher’s name stands for experienced, referring to additional post-graduate teaching hours.
If you’re planning a family reunion, wedding party or special friends’ day, try Lea Island or Sanctuary Yoga, both of which bring the yoga practice to you, though several local teachers also offer private yoga sessions.
“Let us whisk you away by boat to an uninhabited island for beach-front, gentle yoga, a meditative walk exploring the island and light organic refreshments. says Fallon Iris Cattano, a 500 HR E-RYT YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider). “We accommodate small and large groups and can also offer private yoga sessions on the beach at your location.” Learn more about this option at leaislandyoga.com.
If you prefer indoor yoga, several studios offer will accommodate you with small, appropriately distanced classes ranging from gentle yoga and restorative, pre- and post-natal yoga, vinyasa, hot and power yoga.
If you like the heat, Tabetha Holyfield, E-RYT 200 founder of Yoga Divine, offers 90-minute Bikram yoga in a room heated to 95 to 108 degrees F with a humidity of 40 percent.
“Yoga is my heart, and I teach so I can help others find theirs,” she says. Holyfield also offers yin and yin-yang flow classes at her studio. Go to yogadivinepurpose.com to learn more.
Seeking a more vigorous session? Power yoga and Buti classes are available from Megan Gallek, RYT-500. “Yoga has changed my life so much and I love sharing that with others,” she says. Learn more at megangallek.com.
While most people know yoga as a physical practice, all of the teachers praised its mental, emotional and spiritual health properties.
“Yoga benefits both mind and body,” says Janet Koehler of Yoga on Topsail, E-RYT 200. “I strongly believe yoga can be very beneficial to those with anxiety and depression. I have experienced it myself and in others. I believe it builds self-confidence and overall healthier self-image.” Learn more at yogaontopsail.com.
“I often see my students finding relief from years of chronic pain, anxiety and stress,” adds Heather Till. “It’s common to hear them say things like, ‘I feel like I’ve had a massage from the inside-out.” Learn more at heathertillyoga.com.
Several instructors offered advice for those who want to create a home practice, including: Be disciplined, start with small goals, commit 10 minutes a day and “discover the harmony that unites your mind and body.”
“Simply practice without concern about the results,” says Trish Blanchard, an RYT 200 Teacher and a Certified Goddess Yoga Instructor from Sanctuary Yoga. Find out more at sanctuaryyoga.us.
Till advises to think about creating a Rest and Rise Ritual. “For instance, spending 5 to 15 minutes first thing in the morning doing a short breathing/meditation practice and a few simple movements that get your body/mind centered and ready for the day.”
In and around Topsail Island, you can find a practice that fits your yoga desires. Here’s a recap of the websites mentioned in the story. Check them out for more information about local yoga.