When traveling it can be hard to find a great local yoga studio to practice at. Although, it can be a good time to continue to work on your home practice, finding a new studio and teachers can help you develop your practice by being guided in a new way.
I was blessed this holiday season to spend almost two weeks at the Jiva Yoga Center on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It has been an amazing experience to share yoga with my family and give myself time to connect with my practice outside of where I normally am. In NYC I have a multitude of studios at my fingertips, but Jiva offers an abundance of love and warmth that is hard to find. Jean Rioux, the owner and an amazing teachers welcomed my mom, dad, aunt, and I into her classes. We are all at different levels and her classes offered something for everyone. The classes were packed, with less than 2 inches between us, but you didn’t feel like you would be given the evil eye if you accidentally stepped on your neighbors mat or even tapped them with your foot while in 3 legged dog. The playful atmosphere helps yogis of all levels to enjoy their yoga practice how they need to at that moment.
The sense of community at Jiva makes you feel like a local, and not at all like a stranger. Jean and Ken Rioux have created a beautiful and welcoming space. Classes with Jean were inspiring, as were the classes with Laura Petersen, and Vicki Rickard – each teacher offering their own unique voice. The classes begin and end with 3 spectacular OMs, creating a sacred and spiritual space for all to practice in. The students are so grateful and eager to be in classes that the collective energy creates a powerful class for everyone. Class ends with Namaste and an enthusiastic and heartfelt applause – you can’t help but leave grinning ear to ear.
While practicing at Jiva I also took advantage of the massage therapy they offer. I received a massage from Catherine Cook, and it was so fantastic that I had another massage the very next day. I can’t tell you how much I want to stay here to enjoy more of this community and even try and bring it back to NYC. There were a few cold days in SC, but the studio’s warmth kept me full of joy for those cold days we had here.
If you are ever in the SC and the Hilton Head Island area I highly recommend heading to Jiva Yoga Center for a class and a massage!
Happy New Year!