April 2015 Yoga Retreat


I organized and led a yoga retreat last weekend at The Blue Heaven Spa in Blowing Rock, NC.  It was an amazing weekend filled with 22 beautifully strong women, different styles of yoga, relaxing, formation of friendships, and lots of laughs.  A yoga retreat is a great environment to really step back and really see your true self.  There is no hurry to get back to work, to go get your kids, or to have the day-to-day rush clutter that keeps us busy physically, mentally, and spiritually.  The Art of Living Institute is a the very top of a mountain and has very limited cell phone reception and wi-fi, so everyone was able to check out.  Checking out of the habits and the busyness of always doing…and able to slow down and check in with their truest selves.


I rode with two other friends Friday morning to make our way to Blowing Rock.  We were able to get there in 2 hours and ate lunch at  Storie Street Grille.  (Go there.  Like, yesterday.  And order the fried green tomatoes and the sweet potato fries with gorgonzola crumbles!)  After lunch, we checked in to the Blue Heaven Spa at 1:00 (YES…early check in!) and waited for everyone to get there.  Our first practice was a vinyasa style class to get everyone pumped.  We walked to dinner…there is an onsite cafeteria where the chef prepares healthy, vegetarian meals daily.  After dinner, my friend Blake did a presentation on living an intentional life.  (She is amazing!)


The first yoga class on Saturday was not scheduled until 11:00am, so some participants chose to sleep in, get massages, set up a Natal Chart reading with Blake, or enjoyed a leisurely breakfast.   Saturday’s first yoga class started with an easy warm-up, and then I “workshopped” it.  We did inversions and arm balances like handstand, headstand, flying splits, crow, and mountain climber…plus more!  This was so fun…everyone tried everything, and everyone got into something!  Ya’ll know how I feel about getting upside down.  Liberated physically and emotionally, we walked to lunch and enjoyed the beautiful weather and ate outside.



The afternoon was free to do as you please.   More massages, magazine reading, maybe a little wine drinking.  I rode into town with a few friends to go to my favorite candle shop to get a few new candles.  We had another yoga class at 5:00pm…it was a deep stretch class.  The perfect wind down class, plus we all needed to stretch out after all the arm balances we did that morning.  I love to give assists.  If your yoga teacher gives you an assist, it doesn’t mean you are doing the posture wrong!  We are encouraging you to move into a different and more powerful place, to get deeper in the posture, and just to show you some love.  <3


We had reservations at The Best Cellar Saturday evening at 8pm.  I hired drivers through the retreat center so no one would have to worry about driving down (and then back up!)the curvy mountain roads.  We had the whole lower level of the wine cellar to ourselves.


Before dessert, we were able to cram in together and get a picture together!


Yoga was at 10am on Sunday, and I taught a  vinyasa style class, but with longer holds, and encouraged slower transitions.

We didn’t have to check out unitl 3pm on Sunday, so we had time to shower, pack up, eat lunch, and I even got a spa sererice.  The spa is great, and they have some non-traditional offerings.  I got the Katti Basti, which is a Lumbo-Sacral rejuvenation treatment.   Katti Basti is performed by filling a dam made out of dough and placed on the lumbo-sacral area with lukewarm medicated oil. By bathing the sacrum in warm oil this localized treatment is ideal for relieving and nourishing the lower back. This  relievies soreness and tension in that area as well as providing a profound sense of relaxation to the entire body. The spa offers so much more than massages.  They have eye bathing (using butter!), nasya, holistic facials, and so much more.

Does this sound amazing or what?  You can join in on this fun!  I am booking right now for September and October retreats.   (plus I have a few spots left for this summer’s Barre/Yoga Fusion retreats at the beach!)

Dana Childs and I are hosting a women’s only weekend where the focus is:  Learn to embrace the power of vulnerability.  Dana is a medium, intuitive and energy healer.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with her.  This weekend includes lodging, yoga, meditation, steam room, group readings discounted spa treatments, all meals (optional Saturday dinner out), hiking and some serious energy healing.  Only 20 16 spots remain.  $250 non-refundable deposit holds your spot. Remaining balance due August 7, 2015

September 25-September 27, 2015
Double Occupancy $950
Single Occupancy $1150

October’s retreat will be a YinYang Weekend!  Ashley Masters and I are hosting a co-ed weekend of energizing vinyasa, balanced with relaxing deep stretch classes. Includes yoga, 3 vegetarian meals daily, coffee/tea bar, hiking, pottery, kirtan, and mediation.  Treat yourself to discounted Thai massages, and Reiki sessions.  We are opening this retreat to 20 17 lucky guests.  (This retreat is open to women and men…you asked for it, you got it!)    $100 non-refundable deposit holds your spot.  Remaining balance due September 15, 2015.

October 16-18, 2015
Double Occupancy $500
Single Occupancy $650

These retreats are already filling up.  Don’t wait! XO



April Photo Challenge- Week 3

Still going strong with my April Project 12, and I love seeing all your photos on Instagram too!

If you missed it, here is a look at week one and week two.

And here we are at week 3!


Day 13:  Lock screen.   Love these three.  (I had to cut off part of Toby’s head)


Day 14:  How you Feel Today.  I chose the word “Light”.  This was a Tuesday…my light day…I only teach one class and have no private clients.  I was so excited to get my hair highlighted and then met a friend for lunch!  A day filled with love and light.


Day 15:  Anticipation.  You can watch the video of my sweet Toby waiting for his treat on my You Tube channel.  (Click Here)


Day 16:  Siblings.  It only took 17 shots to get a halfway decent picture of these two goofballs.


Day 17:  Accomplishment.  Here I am packed up and ready to go on my yoga retreat.  I feel a huge sense of accomplishment organizing, promoting, planning, booking, and SELLING OUT this retreat.  It was a huge success–I’ll share more later this week.  I am so grateful to do what I love everyday.


Day 18:  No Filter.  This is on my walk to breakfast Saturday morning in Blowing Rock.  The place we stay has breathtaking views.  Perfect day for the #nofilter assignment.


Day 19:  Favorite Song.  I LOVE music.  I love making fun playlists for my yoga classes, listening to classical when I blog, and my family and I listen to it when we make dinner.  We have a playlist called “Dinner Making Jams.”  I even have a page here on the blog with a selection of my current favorites.  (CLICK HERE)  It is hard to pick one favorite, but this song is so beautiful and I love it.


Day 20:  Food.  This was the absolute best meal I have had in a long time.  On my retreat, Saturday night we went to The Best Cellar.  I got the filet Oscar with asparagus, a stuffed zucchini boat, and homemade mashed potatoes.  This place was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the service was fantastic.  I am so excited to go back here for future retreats!  (Have you signed up yet? I am booking September and October right now.)



Thank you for all the readers that participated in the Carolina Sweat giveaway!  The two winners of a six month membership are:  Erin M and Alexandra.  I’ll send you a message letting you know the details!  Congratulations ladies!

Last summer, I posted a blog letting my readers know what I was watching and reading.  I thought you might need an update!  And I also wanted to let you know about some Charlotte restaurants I have been to lately.  (I was excited to eat out after March Project 12 was over!)

the_followingMy husband and I usually watch comedies.  I love to laugh, so I usually pick TV shows like Modern Family, or Parks and Recreation.  (Still mourning the loss of that one.)  We decided to start watching The Following last season and it does not disappoint. It is very intense.  I find myself holding my breath at certain times.  I find myself holding other things as well.  My gynecologist is going to be very happy because I maintain a record-breaking kegel exercise during the course of a show.


Two books I read recently and loved.  One of my yoga students gave me Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:  A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver.  This is a well-loved book as you can see, and worth the read.  The author takes you through a year of her family’s life where they vowed to make changes in the way they view their food.  Her family made a vow to only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it.  The other book was given to me by a friend.  Well, she started out being a private yoga client.  But when you spend an hour a week one-on-one in deep, intense poses, you become friends.  She and I talk all the time about intuition, energy healing, and meditation.  She happened upon,  The Body Whisperer: Your Symptoms Tell Me Your Truth.  It is one of the most fascinating books I have read in a long time.  The author, Christine Lang, writes a blog, and it is from North Carolina! I love how she breaks each chapter up with case studies and even includes and appendix with cause/effect.


A Basil Thai Restaurant opened up in Ballantyne, and my friends and I went to check it out a few weeks ago.  Most of them got the pad thai, and I was a little jealous because it look amazing.  I was still trying to eat zero carbs, so I got the Thai chicken wings (sauce on the side), and the Yum Neua  salad.  Both of these were awesome, so I assume my friends were a little jealous of mine too.  We all drank Dark Horse Malbec because it is a great red blend and it is fun to sing Katy Perry’s song when you drink it.


Soon after that, I met some other friends at RuRu’s Tacos and Tequila, located off Providence Road in Myers Park.  This was the happening place to be.  We got there at 7:00, but the wait for  a seat on the patio was 90 minutes.  We didn’t want to wait that long to eat, so we  put our name in for inside, but lucked out and scored a seat outside.  They have drink specials, live music,and a really fun menu with crazy names for all the food.  We split the queso blanco for our appetizer and it was really gooey and delicous.  I got a taco and  the small portion of Bend and Snap…grilled chicken and avocado cobb salad, creamy goddess dressing, served in tiny bibb lettuce cups.  I will get this again, but the entrée size.  It was the perfect salad, filled with all the yummies I love.  All of the tacos looked and sounded amazing, but I opted for Fat Guy in a Little Coat.  I ate the inside only which had grilled marinated skirt steak, avocado aioli, queso fresco, cilantro and lettuce.  I would go here again in a heartbeat…most likely on a Sunday when they have mimosas and bleeders half off.

Have an amazing weekend!  I am off to Blowing Rock for my yoga retreat!  Don’t be sad if you missed this one…I have a few spots left in my summer retreats at the beach and my two fall retreats are wide open!  CLICK HERE for more information.

I would love to hear from my readers!  Leave me a comment telling me about a TV show you are into, a book you are reading, or a restaurant you recently visited.




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