Mar 4 2012

A New Home for Yoga in West Ashley


The Yoga House of Charleston is Opening March 12th!

A spacious, welcoming new yoga studio is opening its doors at the corner of Sam Rittenberg Blvd. and Ashley River Rd. in Charleston. The Yoga House of Charleston will offer an array of styles and has the mission of communicating and providing the benefits of yoga to the broader Charleston community.

The Yoga House provides one roof, under which Charlestonians can improve cardiovascular fitness, strength & flexibility, and balance, while at the same time reducing stress, achieving enhanced mental and emotional health, and enabling relaxation and renewal.

Sound too good to be true? Not according to co-owner Thomas Glenn of West Ashley.  Glenn – an avid yogi, runner, and management strategy consultant – says yoga not only helped offset the stress of his high-pressure career consulting to Fortune 100 companies;  it also became a replacement to his normal gym routine. “One of our more rigorous classes is a comparable workout to a five-mile run and powerful upper and lower body routines – all rolled into one.”

Yoga is not just for those wanting an intense fitness regimen.  Other classes offered at the Yoga House are much slower paced and focused more on deep breathing, stretching, and restoration of major body systems. Some classes also offer a spiritual element.  In a sense, the Yoga House is working hard to offer something for everyone at every level of fitness or yoga experience.

The Yoga House will feature a monthly four-week beginners’ series, perfect for those new to yoga or needing a refresher course. Studio director Ashley Gayle says this class will introduce students to yoga and also point those completing the course to other Yoga House class styles that meet their individual goals. “We are trying to create a yoga family here. Our goal is to help make yoga accessible to everyone. More importantly, though, we want to make yoga relevant to everyone.  We’ll be extremely attentive to our student’s personal goals.”

Class styles offered at the Yoga House include beginners/basic classes, yin, restorative, Anusara-inspired ™, heated and non-heated vinyasa flow, hot yoga, prenatal, baby & mama, and Jivamukti-style. The studio also offers an array of yoga-related retail items for sale, as well as select local art and jewelry.

The Yoga House opens its doors Monday, March 12, and will be hosting a donation only, pay what you will, full day of yoga open to the public on Saturday, March 24. All donation proceeds will go to the MUSC Children’s Hospital™.  The studio will offer a back-to-back-to-back sampling of each of its classes and each of its instructors from 8am-5pm.  Register online for this charity event at

The Yoga House is located in Crossroads Center at 1836 Ashley River Road, next to Total Wine and across from Barnes & Noble.  The studio is open Monday-Sunday and will be offering nearly 40 classes per week. For inquiries, visit the website, email , or call 843-608-0368.

Mar 1 2012

We Say Outdoor, You Say Music


Local Preventative Wellness Non-Profit Event: Outdoor Live Music, Oysters, Auction

On Saturday, March 3, we offer our response to the popular Charlestonian question: why don’t we have more live music outdoors in this beautiful weather? We invite guests to get bOYSTERous on Bowen’s! Listen to live jamgrass band, Green Levels, while enjoying afamily-friendly atmosphere with local oysters, beer, silent auction, and raffle items. Proceeds from this event fund the Charleston-based preventative wellness and character development non-profit, Yoga Benefits Kids (YBK). Register on or

Thisinvitation has appeal for everyone. Want to bring your children? Wehave face painters. Love live music but don’t eat meat? We have vegetarian eating options, locavores. Not sure if you will enjoy the live music? Give it a whirl; we bet this social scene will have yousinging and swaying in no time.

Getaway from the busyness of downtown during the Wine + Food Festival near the beach! The fun happens from 2-5p at Bowen’s Island Restaurant. And no need to wait until Sunday for this event. We have special permission from Robert Barber himself to get bOYSTERous on Saturday, March 3.

Support Charleston County School District’s YBK mind and body wellness programs. Cost is $25.00 for adults. Kids 12 and under are FREE. Older kids cost only $10.00. Advance ticket purchase is preferred but not required. If you cannot attend, please go to and donate to our cause. Just $50.00 affords one child yoga for a school year. $10.00 buys one child a yoga mat.

Sponsors include: Blue Turtle Yoga/ECO Fitness, Cupcake, Earth Fare, Island Fitness Studio, Itz Fitz Jewelry, Matt O’Hara Builds


AboutYoga Benefits Kids

Themission of Yoga Benefits Kids is to improve the strength and flexibility of children’s minds and bodies. We enhance kids’ mental,emotional, and physical health through the use of movement, stress management, and the connection between the brain, body, and breath.By collaborating with like-minded organizations, Yoga Benefits Kids creates a diverse community by providing our youth with tools thatdevelop confidence and courage to create healthier bodies, make better decisions, develop stronger relationships, and become more successful. Find us at: Charleston Development Academy, Memminger Elementary, North Charleston Elementary, and Sanders-Clyde.

Feb 17 2012

Holy Yoga-PMS!


Embrace the Time of the Month, Ladies!

A majority of women can relate to the time of the month right before their menstrual period, where irritability, anxiety, depression, and cravings for sweet and salty foods are extremely heightened.  There is an awareness of water retention in the body, perhaps bloating, acne, and fatigue.  Yes–PMS!

I have been battling old Aunt Betty every month with Flip Chocolate Pretzels and lots of naps and there just comes a point where the mind and body are tired of fighting the natural the rhythms of the feminine cycle.  If you search “PMS,” you will find tons of studies of which foods to eat and not to eat, exercises, traditions, etc., which may absolutely be helpful and life changing, and I encourage you to explore those.  But I want to share with you a discovery as someone who has been experiencing PMS every month for the past 18 years.

During this time, there is a battle going on with my mind and body.  I am sharp with my tongue and become easily irritated, then go through this vicious cycle of feeling guilty because of the feelings I am having…ladies, you know the cycle.  My husband can simply look at me and I immediately jump into defense mode.  What is that?

I decided to ask God to help me understand my body in the way He created it, to give me wisdom and insight to the root of my PMS.  Besides my estrogen and progesterone levels changing during that time, creating a significant flux, deep down there are issues in my tissues.  I researched the Bible about women’s cycles and discovered that in Leviticus 15:19 it says, “Women were set apart for seven days.” I thought to myself, “I want to be set apart from life for seven days to rest, cleanse, replenish, and then enter back into everyday life.” Of course, I shared this with my husband; he was not so keen on the idea, however!  In our culture, we just don’t take the time for ourselves to replenish.

I contemplated being “set apart” and realized “set apart” means to be holy or sacred. I have been teaching Holy Yoga for years, connecting my faith with my practice, but did not connect this aspect of myself with God until now.  WOW–the time of the month is holy?  Yes–it is a time for purification and we need to celebrate and relish in RESTING.

Meditating on the idea of my cycle actually being holy and sacred, I remembered reading this interesting passage from “The Psoas Book” by Liz Koch: “A young girl begins her cycle of bleeding between 9 and 16. Insecurity, shame and embarrassment are often associated with menstruating. The feeling of one’s body being out control can feel scary. Our culture has no ritual for assimilating or celebrating the profound changes in a young girl’s life when her body begins to bleed. Tradition, religious and sexual taboos add what is already an extraordinary experience.”

I started to reflect back to the reactions and feelings of my cycle beginning and sadly, remember the shame and insecurity that so often takes root in heart, mind, and body.  There are certain places in the body that hold this tension.  When our emotional tensions begin to manifest in our physical bodies, it leaves certain places tight and tense, which can cause monthly cramps in the low back or abdomen.  Liz Koch also states that, “fear is always sensed through the psoas muscle and so it is through sensing the psoas that we can release old fears.”

Are you wondering what the relationship between the psoas and fear is? She expands, “rather than the cramps occurring from within the uterus it is often a contracted psoas muscle that presses on the reproductive organs; constricting blood circulation and impeding, possibly irritating the nerves that enervate both the muscle and specific organs.”  When we let go of old fears surrounding our sexuality and embrace this time instead of resisting, our muscles, specifically our psoas which attaches from T12 vertebra and wraps to the front of the femur bone allowing hip flexion, relax and let go. The relationship between mind and body reveals itself during our monthly cycle because we are super sensitive and aware.

This month I decided to experiment by releasing my psoas muscle in pigeon pose during my PMS week, to see if the letting go of this muscle reduced my severe cramping. Ever since I had my children, I have suffered severe cramping, been hospitalized twice, and was prescribed 800mg of ibuprofen every four hours for the first two days of my cycle. I am thrilled to share that this month, I had one day of moderate cramping with one dose of Alieve and was not laid up in bed for two days! I resumed my everyday activities pain-FREE! So, my physical body totally benefited from releasing my psoas. My inner body experienced a release from fears of not feeling worthy or accepted. As my head and upper body melted prostrate before God in pigeon pose, my breath labored through the discomfort of my hips; as my muscles relaxed, my breath softened and my heart surrendered to the Truth in Psalm 139:12-17.


Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
      At night I’m immersed in the light!”

It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!


How do we embrace this time of month ladies?

  1. Accept this time of rest.
  2. Take time to set yourself apart.
  3. Explore and surrender your fears.
  4. Meditate on Truth.
  5. Practice Restorative and Deep Yoga stretching.
  6. Write in a sacred journal.
  7. Connect with other women and God, because when—SHAME AND FEAR ARE DIMINISHED and BROUGHT INTO THE LIGHT, healing happens from in the inside out.
Rachel Glowacki
Instructor at Holy Yoga


Jul 20 2011

Healthy Technology for Your Kids


A team of mothers,writers and artists have put together the very first kid yoga application for the iPad. Based on the original yoga lesson plan written by Rachel Glowacki (M-HYI), children can learn and practice yoga at their own pace. In this fast growing tech world, it’s an engaging tool that helps guide children toward making healthy physical choices as they grow older. If you have children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren or any relationship with a child, download and try out this app.  Various studies around the world have shown us that exercise not only improves our physical health, but our mental health too.  If we can help children form positive exercise habits at a young age, when they become adults it won’t be necessary to fall into harmful damage control diets and fads. Talk with children about the importance of being healthy as they grow, and how yoga can benefit them at all ages. Visit to read more about the creators of this fun pocket yoga app available on Apple’s iPad and iPhone/iPod, the Android, and now Barnes & Noble’s NOOK color Reader’s Tablet.


Jul 19 2011

Yoga at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park!


The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs presents Yoga at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park! Join us for a yoga experience at one of Charleston’s bestviews of the waterfront with instructor Carolyn Gunn Strickler. Suggesteddonation of $5, and yoga mats available upon request. Classes will be held July 7, July 14, July 21, July 28, August 25, and every Thursday in September, from 6:00pm-7:00pm. (Blog intro from

“When I practice yoga I feel whole, I feel nothing is beyond my reach. I feelbeautiful, strong and perfect, and fortunate that I am me. My love for yogabegan during a hard time in my life. Yoga trained me how to navigate throughlife’s obstacles with grace. When yoga entered my life, I finally becamecontent with who I am, and realized that I already have everything I need. Mymind and body felt connected, and I felt more connected to all living things on earth.

Art heals us. Yoga is art. It gives us the opportunity to use creative expression and freedomthrough movement to nourish our body and mind. When we practice yoga on and offthe mat, we are practicing the art of love: self-love, love for all beings, and love for the earth. Yoga enables us to unlock our true creative potential, and live a happy and healthy life. It encourages us to show up to life. Through yoga, we can discover and create the masterpiece of ourselves. Yoga hasgiven me the strength to live the life I dreamed of living, a life full of happiness and love. I want to help you live a life full of compassion, self-acceptance and inner peace. With love and commitment, yoga can helpyou transform, transcend and become yourself. No matter where you are in yourlives, yoga will bring you back toward balance and peace. Let the poses open your heart and the flow uplift your soul.” – Carolyn Gunn Strickler

About the City Gallery at Waterfront Park: The City Gallery at Waterfront Park,owned by the City of Charleston and operated by the City of Charleston Officeof Cultural Affairs, is a venue for contemporary artwork that is new, vital and innovative, with a focus on broadening Charleston’s arts outlook.  The City Gallery provides access to the visual arts foreveryone in Charleston, S.C., visitors and residents alike, by offering exhibits that are all admission-free. The City Gallery is located at 34 Prioleau St. in downtown Charleston, S.C.,and gallery hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.  For more information, please call ore-mail the City Gallery at (843)958-6484 or