Friday, November 9, 2012

Why Charleston, SC is one of the BEST Cities for Yoga

A couple of years ago, I made a big move from the yoga rich San Francisco Bay Area to Charleston, SC. Charleston is one of the most beautiful cities I'd ever visited. It has old buildings, cobblestone roads, romantic gardens, and some of the most amazing beaches. Charleston also has some of the best restaurants and a thriving art culture. When Charleston was named the Top Destination in the WORLD by Conde Nast Traveler 2012 Readers' Choice Awards, I wasn't even a little bit surprised. This is a great place to live! But how does the Charleston yoga scene stack up? I've done a lot of yoga in a lot of different places, and Charleston is one of the best places to get your Om on. Here are just a few of the reasons.

1. Studios Galore and Amazing Local Teachers. I've heard a rumor that the Charleston area has more yoga students per capita than anywhere else outside of New York City. I have no way to confirm this rumor, but there are TONS of studios offering nearly any style of yoga you could want. I'm a notorious yoga studio hopper so I've tried most of them--and they are fantastic! I'll share my favorites in another post soon!

2. Traveling Teachers. Since I moved to Charleston, I've been able to take workshops with Kathryn Budig, Cora Wen, and Jason Crandell (three of my most favorite yoga teachers of all time). I've recently missed workshops by Briohny Smyth, Dice Iiada-Klein, Doug Swenson, and Chrissy and Kenny Graham. Because this town is SUCH a celebrated destination--and because we have such a thriving community (offering the best in Southern Hospitality, ya'll)--top-notch teachers want to come here. And Charleston residents get to benefit. Lucky us!

3. Community Events.There are plenty of yoga friendly events in Charleston. From the annual yoga marathon to benefit Louie's Kids in Marion Square to the new Green Fest there are plenty of opportunities for yoga students to come together to celebrate the practice and the lifestyle. Back in June, the new Lululemon store on King Street organized one of the coolest yoga events I've seen called King Street Yoga. One Big Ass Yoga Mat .. They closed down the street so yoga students could line their mats up to practice. Check out the pictures here. More than 500 yogis showed up.

4. Yoga Adventures. Want to try something new and exciting? Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga? Check. Aerial Yoga? We've got that, too. Beach Yoga? Oh yeah!

5. Healthy Lifestyle. It's true. Charleston, SC is steeped in Southern culture. And that means sweet tea and deep fried foods! But Charleston is a pretty progressive city with a lot of healthy options for local, organic foods as well as active pursuits--both of which are pretty important for a thriving yoga lifestyle.

Have I convinced you? Or do you think your city has Charleston beat as the best yoga city? I'd love to hear why!