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Who are Community Makers

That’s you!

We believe that Community Yoga wouldn't be the amazing, energy-filled and happy place that it is without each one of you.

Each month we are choosing someone from our CY tribe to celebrate, shine light on and create space so that yogi can share a piece of their story with us. So if you see one of our Community Makers in the studio, say hey, share a laugh and perhaps your story, too. After all, we are truly all in this together.

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Katie Horner

July 2019

 

Community Yoga is... a place that holds space for me to be me. For me to feel what organically comes up while I'm on my mat and move through it.

The pose I love the most is… because... I have been loving bound side angle pose lately. It's taken me a while to drop into this pose with the bind and now I can't imagine the pose without it! This pose is a reminder to have patience with my body.

My yoga practice is... a gift and a practice I want to continue for the rest of my life. This practice has taught me so much about myself. It makes me a better person and I am so grateful for that.

The breath is... vital. On and off the mat. Conscious breathing helps me connect with myself on a deeper level. Breath allows me to calm my mind and lean into what's uncomfortable.

The pose I love to hate is… frog pose because it's so uncomfortable for me! It's not only physically challenging, but also a mental challenge to stay in the pose and keep breathing.

Love is... a choice. Choose to love by giving it, unconditionally, to yourself.

Community means... A sense of belonging and essential for resiliency.

My favorite mantra is... I am enough. Who I am is enough. What I do is enough. What I have is enough.

What makes me come alive is... becoming blissfully unaware and losing myself by tapping into my inner child. Buti yoga is a really fun, dynamic way of tapping into my inner child and even through stillness in meditation.

Free Kopsak

June 2019

 

Community Yoga is...
a special space where I can let everything go, take time to focus on my mental and physical self, and just breathe. 

The pose I love the most is…
half moon and malasana because half moon was a goal pose for me when I first started my practice and I was so proud once I got it /malasana because it’s such a great hip opener. 

My yoga practice...
has taught me so much self-love, sincerity, and how important mindfulness is! 

The breath is...
magical little ins and outs of clarity. 

The pose I love to hate is…
chair because I always lose my focus while trying to check all my alignments and get the pose right! 

Love is...
complete acceptance while being present with patience and understanding. 

Community means...
coming together with a shared intention and working towards the same goals as one group without judgment.  

My favorite mantra is...
all good things in all good time-Jerry Garcia. 

What makes me come alive...
lacing up my rollerskates and shredding!

Anita & Rebecca

May 2019

 
Anita
Rebecca

ANITA GAITHER

Community Yoga is... The place I love to go, where I have been able to grow my yoga practice in so many ways, I’ve made some new friends, had the opportunity to grow existing relationships and have learned so much about yoga and its benefits both on and off my mat.

The pose I love most is... Handstand at the present time, because I have worked for quite a while to get it and have learned so many little things along the way. 

The pose I love to hate is... Lizard or double eagle! My hips are tight and these poses, although are very helpful, are also very challenging!

Friendship means... Having someone you love spending time with, doing a variety of different things, laughing at yourself, sharing deep conversations that you feel safe sharing, and encouraging one another through the various things life throws at us.

The qualities I love most about Rebecca are... Her deep faith, how she loves to do yoga with me, loves being outdoors, king street shopping, and how we can sit for hours and talk about anything.

A favorite memory is... Rebecca and I have had the opportunity to do lots of fun things together over the last several years, but one I enjoyed was spending a couple of days at Folly beach, hanging out, paddle boarding, and just talking about stuff!

A song that could describe our friendship is... Lean On Me.


REBECCA GRADLER

The pose I love the most is... Stargazer because it opens and stretches my back and I think it is graceful. 

The pose I love to hate is... Bow pose because it sucks to open up your back on your stomach.

Friendship means... Feeling safe enough with someone to allow oneself to be vulnerable.

The qualities I love most about Anita are... Anita is one of the easiest friends to be with and we actually have a lot of fun together. She has my back.

A favorite memory is... Celebrating with her and her husband, family, and friends, their 30th wedding anniversary on a catamaran in the British Virgin Islands.

A song that could describe our friendship is... Extraordinary by Victory

Judith Herrin

April 2019

 

Community Yoga is... a place full of beautiful people who live their yoga on and off their mat. The instructors are amazing and care about every person in the class. I always leave with a smile on my face.

The pose I love the most is... wheel. I feel powerful holding myself upside down.

My yoga practice... keeps my headspace straight, making the rest of my day easier.

The breath is... what grounds me and helps me stay present without letting the stress seep in.

The pose I love to hate is... side plank. It's very challenging, but produces awesome results!

Love is... wanting the best for those around you.

Community means... being surrounded by people who are supportive and welcoming.

My favorite mantra is... "You are the sky, everything else is just the weather."

What makes me come alive is... laughter!

Paula Murphy

March 2019

 

Community Yoga is... my sanctuary. I love leaving the attachments of life at the door, being greeted by a warm smile, and focusing on my own cognitive, physical, and spiritual health.

The pose I love the most is... side crow. After two years of practicing yoga, this was the first pose that I had the confidence to try “if it is in your practice”. I love it because it combines balance, twisting, focus, and it just feels cozy!

My yoga practice is... my meditation and my energy source.

The breath is... in thankfulness, out peace.

The pose I love to hate is... camel. I feel completely vulnerable.

Love is... when I am feeling anxious or stressed, and my husband tells me I should go to yoga because he knows I will feel restored.

Community means... encouragement from people who have a common purpose.

My favorite mantra is... balance.

What makes me come alive is... spending time in the natural world with my son and husband.

Amirah Kinlaw

September 2018

 

Community Yoga is... a place where I feel free. Free in my thoughts, my breathe, and my movement. 

The pose I love the most is... Warrior II

My yoga practice is... flourishing

The breath is... OH so vital to LIFE!

The pose I love to hate... triangle pose

Love is... a choice

Community means... EVER BEING holds equal value

My favorite mantra... Feel the Fear and do it anyway

What makes me come alive... fighting my fears

The soundtrack to my life... Solange " A seat at the table"

Jennifer Lazauskus

August 2018

 

Community yoga is...  the safest haven for true, raw, emotional people. 

My yoga practice is... an honest expression and extension of my self and my feelings. 

The breath is... my connection to sanity, stability, and balance.

The pose I love to hate is... standing splits, I can’t do a sitting split so standing seems like insanity.

Love is... when a stranger shows another human kindness and compassion. 

Community means... a collection of like minded individuals who thrive with one another around and strive to help other members feel at home. 

My favorite mantra is... a tie between “life goes on” and “enjoy the journey”

What makes me come alive is... a whole body connection with another spirit whether that be nature, animal, or another human being. 

The soundtrack to my life is... not my favorite song of all time (Eagles “Hotel California” or Metallica “Enter Sandman”) but the ever classic Rascal Flats “My Wish”

Jess Dover

July 2018

 

Community Yoga is... walking through the doors of the studio and receiving amazing energy from the instructors - as well as everyone around me- then walking out and giving that energy back.

The pose I love the most... handstand - it always challenges me!

My yoga practice... keeps me grounded, brings me peace and confidence, boosts my self-esteem and makes me feel whole. 

The breath is... my powerhouse. It grounds me. 

The pose I love to hate... crow.

Love is... you. You can feel love from everyone around you but only when you've found love for yourself first. 

Community means... a feeling of being a part of something bigger than myself. I feel this every time I come to the studio- we all feel each other's energy and it brings us together even without exchanging words. 

My favorite mantra... God has a plan for me! 

What makes me come alive... yoga (obviously), Leon Bridges soundtrack, Sushi dates, marvel movies, red wine, and hanging out with my doggo, friends, and family. 

The soundtrack to my life... Leon Bridges, Lord Huron, The Head and the Heart, Khalid.

Nikki Johnson

June 2018

 

Community Yoga is... rewarding, fun, and hard work

The pose I love the most... headstand… minus the time I kicked that lady in the face (sorry Sara)

My yoga practice... centering

The breath is... Mandy’s lion, Patrick’s academy award and Caroline’s giant smile

The pose I love to hate... chair

Love is... laughter and a home cooked meal

Community means... proximity in spirit, regardless of time or space

My favorite mantra... Champions do ordinary things better than everybody else does them.

What makes me come alive... cathartic sweat

The soundtrack to my life... has a lot of 90’s R&B

Danielle Giovannone

May 2018

 

Community Yoga is... my secret hideaway from all the “agida” of life. 

The pose I love the most...Dancer: brings a smile to my face instantly because it brings me back to my childhood when I did ballet. and Crow pose: it was the first arm balance I ever learned.

My yoga practice... helps transition my mind back inward to find calm, focus, balance, strength, challenge & love.

The breath is... my balance.

The pose I love to hate... Eagle, a pose of trust, balance, commitment, strength & surrender.

Love is... something unspoken, something you just know, something you feel throughout your body, something words can never describe.

Community means... togetherness.

My favorite mantra... balance & transition.

What makes me come alive... Traveling. It’s an opportunity to experience something new & unknown, to learn about different cultures, to eat amazing foods, to see history with your eyes, to meet amazing people.  “Rester, c’est exister. Mais voyager, c’est vivre,” “To stay in one place is to exist. But to travel is to live.” - Gustave Nadaud, French writer

The soundtrack to my life... 80s hairbands, Depeche Mode, Tool, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Joel, Mozart.

George Panciera

April 2018

 

Community Yoga is... a haven where everyone is accepted and value; a place where you can bask in the energy created by a roomful of yogis moving together.

The pose I love the most... twisting poses, especially side angle.  I love wringing out my body. It’s so good for your spine; it lengthens your bones and creates space between your vertebras

My yoga practice... has completely transformed my life.  It's the focal point of my physical and mental well being

The breath is... a powerful way to direct oxygen into stressed out parts of my body.  Outside of my class, I breathe to drive away anxiety, and to pace myself while I’m cycling up big hills

The pose I love to hate... the whole balancing series - anything on one leg. However, this taught me to wickedly laugh at myself and to be OK with constantly falling out

Love is... being with my family, getting hugs from my granddaughters

Community means... being compassionate, empathetic  and supporting each other.  Looking at life through the eyes of the person you pass by on the street, or on the mat next to you.  

My favorite mantra... ”We’re all bozo’s on this bus”  credit:  The Firesign Theater

What makes me come alive..   spending the day (week or month) pedaling my bike down country roads, anything my wife Halina cooks, making wooden toys for my little ones and furniture for my kids, and fixing broken things.

The soundtrack to my life... Led Zeppelin, The Who, Hendrix, Talking Heads, Bob Marley, DMB, U2

Pete Schnabel

March 2018

 

Community Yoga is... AWESOME, grounding, moving, motivating, stretching, community, and much more

The pose I love the most… binds - I enjoyed getting all twisted up and then unwinding 

My yoga practice... grounds  me, lets me look inside and be a better version of myself while pushing myself mentally and physically

The breath… fills me up, and empties me out so I can start fresh

The pose I love to hate… camel - I enjoy opening my heart, but it's a challenge to get into the pose so it keeps me coming back

Love is… a warm embrace, direction when you're lost, an ear to listen, and a hand to pick you up when you fall

Community means… a group of people with similar goals reaching to be their best

My favorite mantra… never settle and, when a door closes another one opens 

What makes me come alive… pushing myself and seeing how far I can go.

The soundtrack to my life… is something from the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Dave Matthews, or something I haven't found yet...

Melissa Carnecki

February 2018

 

Community Yoga is... Where I can come and escape the stress and everyday life; it is my happy place. 

The pose I love the most... Triangle, Wheel, anything that opens my hips

My yoga practice... is where I drop everyday stress. A space to decompress, strengthen my body, energize, and stretch

The breath is... where I tune out distractions and reset. 

The pose I love to hate... bound triangle. 

Love is... being with family, friends, and practicing yoga. 

Community means... people coming together. 

My favorite mantra... breathe in love, breathe out stress and kill 'em with kindness

What makes me come alive... yoga, music, dancing, and being with friends and family

The soundtrack to my life... too many songs to choose from.

Amanda Baldwin

January 2018

 

Community Yoga is... my happy place.  As I ride my bike to the studio I can feel the stress of the day melting away.  

The pose I love the most... Dancer is one of my favorites.  On days that I can garner my balance it feels empowering.  At the same time I love back bends and stretches.  Dancer is a combination of many things that helps me to get out of my head and be in the moment.  

My yoga practice... is a continuous journey.  Now that I am pregnant I am physically limited, but I get to be creative and focus on gratuity for the ability to still practice.  

The breath is... imperative.  It doesn't come naturally to me, so the breath is one of the biggest benefits of my practice for my life.  

The pose I love to hate... anything that focuses on core. My favorite thing is for the instructors to trick me into doing core work without knowing it.  

Love is... Easier for me to accept and share once I spend some time cultivating breath and gratitude in a good yoga class. 

Community means... home.  I love having a gathering place of community members that feels so supportive.    

My favorite mantra... I don't remember if it was Mandy or Caroline who taught me this mantra to go with my breath, but it has really stuck.  It is a good one that helps me to keep the lists from running through my head. 

(IN) What time is it?  (OUT) It is now.

(IN) Where am I? (OUT) I am here. 

What makes me come alive... a good sweat from a hot yoga class.  I can't wait to get back to hot yoga after this little boy comes!  

The soundtrack to my life...  would be a very interesting mix of 90's rap, blue grass, a little Sinatra/Buble, Beyonce, Motown, and of course Justin Timberlake.

Vincent Vitali

November 2017

 

The pose I love the most...
Utthita Pasvakonasana (extended side angle pose) because I love the deep stretching sensation I feel from my back to my fingertips and utilizing all the muscles in my body to extend and twist which each breath just feels so damn good! 

My yoga practice...
Constantly reminds me of the power behind the breath; on and off the mat. 

The breath is...
The only way to start and end my practice strong. If my mind is racing then my breath is lacking and it clearly shows in my physical practice. Breath is they key ingredient to staying strong and syncing Mind, Body and Soul. 

The pose I love to hate...
Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel pose). My lower back doesn't jive well in this asana.

Love is...
The only thing that truly matters, everything else is secondary. 

Community means...
Sharing a common goal with strangers, being supportive along the way and becoming friends by the end.

My favorite mantra...
The sweet is never as sweet without the sour. 

What makes me come alive...
Spontaneity - Being impulsive has rewarded me with the best experiences of my life. 

The soundtrack to my life...
Barcelona by George Ezra - Everyone has a happy place and Barcelona is mine. 

Laura Lohnes

 

Community yoga is...my little sanctuary. A home where I actually get shit done (can I say shit?).

The pose I love the most...all the hip openers. And puppy pose! 

My yoga practice...fills me with both pride and humility. A reminder of my strength and of my room for growth. 

The breath is...the hardest part -- harder than the hardest posture! 

The pose I love to hate...eagle. 

Love is...the path of least resistance.

Community means...offering what you have and taking what you need in return. 

My favorite mantra...Here I am. 

What makes me come alive...time. The absence of hurry. The freedom to be unstructured.

The soundtrack to my life...this is impossible to answer! Anything from Louis Prima to Frank Ocean. Music is my other love.

Nicole Garcia

 

Community Yoga is… like a good friend; warm and accepting but not afraid to challenge you.

The pose I love the most… I love humble warrior. It is a good heart opener, but I also love what it demonstrates; a warrior who bows with their hands bound behind them, to me it's a pose that encourages peace.

My yoga practice… has helped me realize my strength.

The breath is… grounding.

The pose I love to hate… standing Splits.

Love is… powerful, beautiful, scary, and everywhere (sometimes you just have to look super hard).

Community means… so much to much to me.After moving across the country a couple times and experiencing some hard months, I am always amazed, inspired by, and so grateful for the people who help lift me up, who are close and far in proximity, when I feel like I can't move forward.

My favorite mantra… she believed she could, so she did.

What makes me come alive… helping people.

The soundtrack to my life… any pop-punk or emo from the early 2000s!

Alex Hellams

 

Community Yoga is... a place where people from all walks of life come together to drop their story and create something powerful for themselves and everyone they are sharing their practice with.

The pose I love most... well there are two. I love grasshopper because it is the first pose that I focused time and practice to achieve and have been able to reach my goal. My other favorite is handstand because that is where my current focus lies, still can't quite nail it (and occasionally crash into walls in class) but I'm getting closer each time I come to my mat.

My yoga practice is... evolving. It started as a place to help me become a better, stronger runner and has grown into such a vital part of my daily life.

The breath is... the reason for practice. I truly believe that without it, there is no yoga.

Community means... coming together to support one another through good and bad.  Each human has their own story that brings them to where they are today which is very easy to forget when you are caught up in your own life. Community means putting aside my own "stuff" to help uplift those around me.

My favorite mantra is... be here. Whether in yoga or in life, I am always on the run fitting in one thing in after the next so I am consciously trying to tell myself to be where I am and worry about later, later.

The soundtrack to my life... the short answer is it depends. I really go back and forth between John Mayer radio and Justin Timberlake radio on Pandora. I don't care what anyone says, JT has it going on.

If I could high-five anyone right now... it would be my little brother Ben.  He is stupid smart and getting into and receiving scholarships to all the colleges he has applied to. I am super proud and wish I was there to give him a high five!!🖐

The pose I love to hate... are Mandy's "elevators". Holy burning core!

Jennifer Casselli

 

Community Yoga is...
my jam (as Stacy Peth would say)  love this space and the people in it!

The pose I love the most…
headstand....I love it and can't ever get enough of it...the one pose I do daily, no matter where I am or what I'm doing

My yoga practice...
i
s like breakfast....most important thing I can do for myself each day!

The breath is...
my calm

Love is...
what I do....with everything!  Love love and more love

Community means...
friends, togetherness, comfort, support, laughing, love

Favorite words to hear...
"I lovers you mama!"

What makes me come alive...
laughing with my son until we are both making the ugly laugh face!

My go to midnight snack...
gummi bears!! yummah!!!

Spence Gibbs & Dawn Raczkowski

 

Community yoga is ...
Spence: the BEST yoga studio in Charleston 4 sho! I have tried a lot of them, so this information can be trusted.
Dawn: a place where I can take an hour for myself. Close my eyes, breathe, reset, and recharge.

The pose I love the most …
S: savasana after a hot power flow class…soak it up. Three words: Cool.Lavender.Towel.
D: supine spinal twist. For me, there is no greater release than that feeling of wringing out my body and creating more space.

My yoga practice …
S: is still in the making… the best is yet to come.
D: keeps me grounded. Whether I need to sweat out some tension and stress, or just stretch and breathe, yoga is my go-to. No matter what I am facing in my life, yoga helps me find that next step I need to keep going.

The breath is ...
S: the key ingredient to staying grounded in the present.  At times, I struggle with worry and anxiety about the future.  Breath allows me to slow down, remember where I am, and reminds me of all that I have to be thankful for.
D: how I gauge what I really need on my mat.

Love is …
S: a daily choice. If we choose love, I believe God takes care of the rest.
D: choosing to speak and act in ways that positively impact those around you.

Community means …
S: sharing this awesome life with others.
D: having a group of people who all support each other.

Favorite words to hear ...
S: When Dawn says, “Do you want to go eat Mexican food tonight?”
D: “Take your time.” I love feeling like I don’t have to rush.

What makes me come alive ...
S: I played baseball in college. There is something about being at a ballpark that is good for my soul.
D: watching a sunrise or sunset in a beautiful setting.

My go to midnight snack …
S: No snacks for me after I brush my teeth before bed! Sorry, brainwashed dentist here. For the sake of not being lame, dark chocolate acai berries are the bomb.
D: I don’t really have one. I am rarely awake at midnight. I do love anything chocolate though!

Kelly Hauschild

 

Community Yoga is... my yoga home

The pose I love the most... eight angle pose. not because I love the pose itself, but because I love the lesson it taught me. I remember years ago in class, the teacher would try to guide us into eight angle pose, and I thought to myself "you must be absolutely insane..there is NO way I can do that", but with a little practice and perseverance, I learned that I COULD do that. This is true with so much. Both on and off the mat.

My yoga practice... is a way for me to use my body as a vehicle for exploration and growth. my practice is my own space to re-energize, ground, re-set...whatever it is that I need at that moment.

The breath is... what brings comfort in times of discomfort

Love is... a verb. it's what we do, not what we say.

Community is... what brings us together. it's about being a part of something bigger than ourselves....a place to be challenged, encouraged and supported.

Favorite words to hear... I love you mama

What makes me come alive... belly laughs from my kids, sunshine, salty hair and sandy feet

My go to midnight snack... turmeric tea and chocolate...a perfect balance!

Joe Neinstadt

 

Community Yoga is. . . where I attended my first yoga class.  It's now like home base and I love coming back.

The pose I love the most. . . Ardha Sarvangasana (Half Shoulder Stand) The first time I tried it I laughed at myself because I thought I wouldn't be able to do it.  When I actually did it, I felt like a boss!!!

My Yoga practice. . . is like the beginning part of a relationship.  It's very exciting and full of promise.

The breath is. . . the breaks for when you're speeding through life.

Love is. . . the accelerator that makes time fly by.

Community means. . . coming together from all walks of life with a common vision of thriving.

Favorite words to hear. . . YES, now boarding, & barrel aged

What makes me come alive. . . live music & art.  I owe my life to music and it still surrounds my life.  When it comes to art, the only thing better than making it is witnessing art that stops you in your tracks and fills your soul.

My go to midnight snack. . . a few pitted dates and a handful of unsalted peanuts. It tastes like a PB&J when you put them together in your mouth!

Jessica Eisenberg

 

Community Yoga is. . . where I found my practice.  I took my first class at Community over 5 yrs ago.

The pose I love the most. . . is probably the pose that challenges me the most right now, half moon.  The struggle of opening and balancing at the same time is difficult but addicting.

My Yoga practice. . . helps to enhance my calm.  It allows me to reconnect, readjust, and reset things that may have thrown me off balance.  I am able to challenge myself, reflect, and make my life better.  It truly is my therapy.

The breath is. . . what drowns out the nonsense in my head. It allows me to keep pushing forward, whether, in a yoga class or in my daily life.

Love is. . . the most important thing; it brings people together.  If more people would meet others with love and compassion the world would be better for it.

Community means. . . coming together for fellowship, not just because we occupy the same space but because we share a common mindset.

Favorite words to hear. . . Caroline saying "You can do anything for three more breaths!"

What makes me come alive. . . traveling!!!!  Experiencing a new city, spending time outdoors on a trail or relaxing under an oak tree.

My go to midnight snack. . . all I need is a spoon and a pint of Haagen Dazs.  My favorite lately, green tea

Carrie Rittle

 

Community Yoga is. . . my yoga home.

The pose I love the most. . . is wheel pose. I love the physical act of opening my heart and allowing it to shine forward.

My Yoga practice. . . is how I return to my true self. Things can get pretty hectic, stressful, and overstimulating in our crazy amped up world. Work, kids, obligations, and traffic takes a toll on my mind, body and spirit. Yoga is my way to slow down, work through all that ails me, and return to my true self and my true intentions.

The breath is. . . the best, and perhaps the most under-utilized tool for coping with emotions and discomfort. As a school psychologist, I frequently talk about coping skills and how students can use their breath to stay calm in the face of anger, stress, and anxiety. I love teaching kids how to use ujjayi breathing to activate the parasympathetic nervous system as a way to calm down, and enter a state of relaxation. These "teaching experiences" also serve as a great reminder to myself that I always have this tool available. I just need to remember to use it when I am in a sticky situation.

Love is. . . a balance of meeting people exactly where they are and genuinely accepting them, supporting them, and challenging them; the reason for everything i do.

Community means. . . making connections, sharing, and growing with like minded beings.

Favorite words to hear. . . I love to hear Caroline Nash remind me that "My breath is my power". . . she seems to remind me at the very moment I feel like giving up. It always re-energizes and reminds me of the strength within. I love when Mandy Baughman tells me to "breathe for my neighbor" (my neighbor's have no idea how many times they have pulled me through a difficult time with their breath). I also love to hear Stacy Peth say, "It's just yoga" it helps me to lighten up a bit, let go, and laugh a little at myself for being too serious.

What makes me come alive. . . sharing a beautiful sunset with my husband, watching my children learn, listening to laughter, and witnessing people making positive changes in their lives.

My go to midnight snack. . . a giant bowl of Reeses Puffs cereal