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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Publisher Review and Charlotte Area Mindful Movement Special Offers - Act By January 31, 2020

Dec 29, 2019 11:12AM ● By Shannon McKenzie

I took one class from each Mindful Movement participant, and the thing that most impressed me was the credentials, experience, knowledge and individual attention of the instructors. This is truly a group of mindful movement experts. In my review, I start by listing the first two words that popped into my mind (upon reflecting on the class) and follow with a description.

All participants have specials in place for Natural Awakenings readers through January 31. Many are offering a free introductory class as well, so I highly recommend that you act now, save money and incorporate a mindful fitness practice in 2020.


Be Yoga:  Two months unlimited yoga for $108

Publisher ReviewQoya Intentional Movement for Women: freeing, happy. This was my first time in the class. Much of it was choosing the movement that felt right to you in that moment and the entire studio is your dance floor. I didn’t feel self-conscious because I was very comfortable with the other women in the class. We were all following our intuition and celebrating each others quest to do so. It combines a more structured yoga with free dance and can be as gentle or strenuous as you’d like. I left this class feeling reinvigorated.


Dillsboro Inn:  Book a reservation by January 31 and receive a free yoga class (offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays)

Publisher ReviewRoyal Yoga (hatha with longer gravitation pulling holds): accessible, comfortable. It felt so good in the heated yoga room at the top of the Inn on a cold day and it was especially delightful that my 10-year old daughter was welcomed to take the class. Also welcomed were Ivory and Chi Chi, owners T.J. and Terry’s dogs, as well as Barney the cat. Barney declined the invite however. The longer holds and using gravity to maximize postures helped loosen the fascia as well as develop neural pathways. One can use the A-frame roof for balance. It can be as gentle or strenuous as you’d like. My daughter and I left very relaxed and smiling.


IM=X Pilates: Save $100 on first month of unlimited classes; also receive a $35 introductory personal training session.

Publisher Review50-50 (TRX & Xercizer): safe, challenging (physically and mentally). Half the time was on the Xercizer and half TRX straps for a full body workout. In an hour we safely intermingled cardio, stretch and weight bearing exercises. I’ve been in cardio classes before where I’ve felt certain movement could result in injury (my knee gives me a bit of trouble), however the equipment and the knowledgeable instructor (who gave me some extra attention as a new participant) made me feel safe and comfortable. I struggled with some combinations of quick opposite arm/leg movements, and can see how with time one is strengthening the connection between left and right brain. This class can be as strenuous as you’d like. I left this class feeling good and impressed that I got such a good workout in only one hour.


Movement Dialogues: Join either the Tuesday or Friday morning Feldenkrais® monthly-series classes and receive one class free.

Publisher Review - Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement: healing, developing awareness. At a high-level, developed by engineer and physicist, Moshe´ Feldenkrais, and is a system of physical exercise to improve human functioning by increasing self-awareness through movement. We began the class walking and feeling our hip ball and observing how it moves. Next we got on our mat and did some seemingly easy motions slowly with our lower leg (knee to ankle) but keeping our upper leg (thigh) in alignment. I found myself discovering the edge of my range of motion, sticking out my tongue and getting warm after time. I really had to concentrate. We continued on with slow motions for the upper body to the same effect. Then we closed the class by again walking around the room feeling our hip ball. I felt subtle differences, but several in the class reported feeling pronounced differences. I can definitely see that regular attendance of this class results in a greater body awareness and body connection. I went to a chiropractor several years back to correct nerve issues between my brain and knee. It occurred to me that through regular, mindful attendance of this class, you could correct nerve issues yourself as well as discover healing beyond just the physical. This was a gentle class, range of motion and the mental component can be challenging. I left feeling flexible and relaxed.


NoDa Yoga: One year unlimited yoga for $998-starting Dec. 26-Jan 31st (code: ILOVEYOGA); New student special-30 days for $39 (code: NEWSAVES)

Publisher ReviewCandlelight Yin: relaxing, comfortable. This is a relaxing yin class similar to restorative yoga. The studio is comfortable and especially relaxing with candlelight. Plenty of props and instructor assistance is available so you can feel completely comfortable and supported in longer holds. You can relax, meditate or even drift off while getting a deep stretch that targets your fascia or connective tissue. I like this sort of class at night and for me, Sunday night was very nice. This is a gentle class. I left feeling relaxed and ready for a good nights sleep. 


Okra Yoga: One year unlimited yoga for $777

Publisher ReviewDeep Stretch: relaxing, fluid. This is a restorative yoga class and similar to gentle yin. Plenty of props and instructor assistance helps you feel completely supported in poses that are held for 2-6 minutes. The long hold time helps your muscles completely relax so that your fascia or connective tissue can be addressed. Like gentle yin, it is a nice complement to strenuous exercise. I felt very relaxed in this class as well and the comfortable, darkened studio helped. The Sunday late-afternoon class was gentle, and I left feeling very relaxed and ready for the week.


Roper Physical Therapy: 10% off first month and a free 30-minute posture screen

Publisher ReviewSelf-Myofascial Release Workshop: therapeutic, educational. Participant’s mats are set up in advance and include five tools that aid in myofascial release as well as a handout that describes with images a large number of myofascial release exercises, and how one incorporates the tools. At the end of the session, you have the option of buying the tools you wish. I have tried a foam roller before, but in this class I learned that I wasn’t using it in the most productive manner. What also surprised me is I witnessed pain in one area using a tool (where I don’t experience any pain in daily life) and learned it was tied to another area of my body where I do experience pain occasionally in daily life. I left the class more educated, with greater body awareness and a better understanding how myofascial release helps your whole body. This is a gentle class, although you are likely to feel pain in areas where release is needed. I left feeling fluid and reinvigorated.


Child’Space/Movement Dialogues:

Attend free Child’Space introduction on February 6 from 7-8pm (for families and professionals that work with infants from birth to independent walking).

Attend free Child’Space family session on February 8 from 9:30am-4pm (for families and caregivers with infants to make tummy time fun, explore milestone options, promote early language, fine motor skills and social/emotional growth). Must schedule time in advance at 704-650-7252 or [email protected].

Publisher Note: I was unable to attend due to timing in February, but the exciting part is that the highly renowned trainer, Barbara Leverone, is leading both the February 6 Introduction and February 8 Individual Infant/Family sessions. Her bio is in the next paragraph and a link to a short video describing the method developed by Chava Shelhav, Ph.D and senior Feldenkrais instructor, narrated by Barbara is at the end of this review.

Barbara holds a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling with advanced training and supervision in Infant Mental Health.  For eight years, she worked with families with pre-term babies, teen-age parents and other at-risk situations through The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County.  She received their Mission Award for her work with parents of substance-exposed newborns. 

Barbara received her Feldenkrais certification in 1994 and has been in private practice for almost 25 years.  

She has also worked continuously as a Child'Space educator and trainer since her 2009 certification.  She has been a trainer for Child’Space Certification programs in Chicago, New York, Buenos Aires and Matsue, Japan.   

Barbara’s work with Healthy Start Coalition:

“Child'Space has become one of the most sought after services by our Healthy Start parents. Parents develop skills that enhance the parent-child bond in a fun and enjoyable way. They can see their babies change, and feel competent as their babies respond to them during Child'Space activities. We are grateful to have this program for our parents.”  - - Janice Baxter, Contract and Quality Assurance Manager, Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc


Short video narrated by Barbara:




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