Studio Love: My Favorite CLT Yoga Studios

Years ago, I’d occasionally go to a yoga class here & there, but never really connected with the practice, a studio or teacher. I’d sporadically take a yoga class at the YMCA or perhaps a studio but I didn’t really take it seriously and that ujjayi breathing, just wasn’t working out for me. It wasn’t until about 6+ years ago, while visiting family over the Christmas holiday in Palm Beach, Florida that I found the most adorable yoga studio, bought a Vacation Package and went 4 days in a row — It was hot & sweaty, the music was amazing, I connected with instructors and I was HOOKED. I came back home to CLT, bought a mat, yogi toes and started to explore different studios around town. 

Yoga is such a personal practice that makes you.. feel. Finding a studio and/or instructors that we can connect with only enhances this beautiful, deep & meaningful practice that much more. We are so lucky to have such an awesome yoga community here in Charlotte — full of amazing teachers & studios! There really is something for everyone. If your new to yoga I encourage you to seek out different studio’s & teachers until you find ones that really strike a chord with you. AND even if your not new to yoga, I still recommend getting out of your comfort zone and giving other studios & teachers an opportunity to teach you something new. 

I love spreading the yoga love, visiting my favorites studios & practicing with my favorite instructors throughout the week. Yoga is just one of those beautiful things in life that gives you that happy-good feeling inside that just can’t quite be put into words. We all come to our mat for different reasons & every practice gives you an opportunity to play, explore & connect with yourself — body, mind & heart on a deeper level. Always a student, every class I take gives me a little something different… learn a new way of getting into a pose, a new song to be obsessed with, a chance to play around with an arm balance I thought I couldn’t get into, a new inspirational quote, a new/better/different stretch, the list goes on…and I always, always leave feeling amazing, happy & calm. 🙂

A teacher cannot give you the truth
The truth is already in you
You only need to open yourself –
body, mind and heart-
so that his or her teachings
will penetrate your own seeds
of understanding and enlightenment
If you let the words enter you,
the soil and the seeds
will do the rest of the work

— Thích Nhất Hạnh

In no particular order, I love them all for different reasons, here’s a list of my favorite studios around town…

♡ Enlighten Yoga. 
Location: Blakeney Village, 2nd level, Ballantyne/South CLT  
Fave Instructors:
Amani, Shari, Marilyn
Super cozy studio, not too hot with plenty of mixed level classes on the schedule. Amani is my Yoga Love. If I ever happen to be having a bad day, an Amani class is a guaranteed spirit lifter — I always tell her she is good for my soul. 🙂 and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. She is a special soul & we are lucky to have her in our CLT Yoga Community. 

♡ OM Yoga. 
Location: Baxter Village, 2nd level, just over the line in Fort Mill, SC.

Fave Instructors: Maria, Johnna Smith, Jenn D, Chandler 
This cozy, warm & inviting studio gives you a feeling of hOMe. 🙂 Owned by my good friend, Maria Lages, her studio is just so sweet, minimal and zen-like. Om has a wonderful schedule full of hot (and not so hot) classes for the beginner to advanced yogi. Take advantage of Om’s $7 Happy Hour classes + new student special — $55 for One Month of Unlimited Yoga. 🙂

♡ Laughing Buddha. 
Location: Morrison Village, South Park 
Fave Instructors:
Dawn Hinshaw (owner), Dawn “little Dawn” Ireland, Rian, Kacy, Edith, Beth Campbell, Ann Hardison 
Buddha is actually one of the first studios I really started to practice consistently at and always love walking into & practicing here. My all time fave class, Yoga Fusion, on Saturday mornings at 1030 am — 1.5 hours of amazing, hot & sweaty yoga + strength training. LOVE! Little Dawn teachers this class and she rocks it every damn week! 

♡ Y2. 
Location: Cotswold Shopping Center, Sharon Amity Rd.
Fave Instructors:
Tanner (owner), Ashley Masters, Rian Harris, Blake, Dorie, Johnna Smith, Kacy, Lisa McCrossan
Y2 will always be my home home studio. This is where I fell head over heels in love with this beautiful practice. I went thru teacher training with Tanner & Johnna, attaining my 200 hr RYT Certification and somewhere along the way, throughout 200 hours of training + who knows how many yoga classes a life transformation took place. 
– Ashley Masters is a LSD (Long, Slow, Deep) wizard. lol I also took my Deep Stretch training with her, which gave me the opportunity to get to know her better. Ashley is one of the sweetest, most beautiful people on Earth and her LSD classes will leave you yoga drunk. I highly recommend one of her deep stretch classes if your a runner, CrossFitter or do any of those other forms of exercises that we all love & beat our bodies up with! 

♡ Yoga One. 
2 Locations: Central Ave. & University City Blvd. (I practice at the Central Studio)
Fave Instructors: Rian Harris, Fauna, Wendi, Liz Klinger

Baron Baptiste Studio. No Music. No Mirrors. 
Coming to my mat at Yoga One often turns out to be my best practice of the week. A front-row-yogi, there’s just something about practicing without a mirror in front of you. You have no choice but to go a little deeper – connect to your body, your breath and explore your practice in a different way. 
In my yogi opinion, Yoga One is home to some of the most inspiring instructors. Without music to create/elevate the energy of the room, it is up to the instructor to build that energy, inspire & empower a room full of yogis all on their own — with their words, energy & intention for that practice. 

♡ Charlotte Yoga.  
Location: ParkTowne Village, Woodlawn Rd.
Fave Instructors:
Kyle Conti (owner), Jenn D
My good friend Kyle recently purchased Charlotte Yoga and is up to good things over here! Lots of wonderful changes & improvements around the studio + adding new teachers & classes to the schedule. Another awesome hot yoga studio with challenging, all levels classes available. 

This list of studios & instructors is definitely not all encompassing and by all means not meant to leave anyone out. I’m just sharing what/who I know & love when it comes to my practice. I know there are other studios & amazing instructors out there that I just haven’t had the opportunity to practice with, yet. Hope this helps anyone who is looking to explore our wonderful yoga community. xx


1 Comment

  1. February 28, 2015 / 9:31 pm

    Hey Lauren! Thanks for the shout out and for the CY and Om love! So honored to teach at both of those studios. We are so spoiled here in Charlotte with our amazing yoga!

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