YogiVeda founder Carrie Wandall, who studied yoga and Ayurvedic therapy as a child, creates a community where students can plumb Eastern and Western traditions to treat the mind and body. During sessions in the signature yoga style Carrie created, Nataraja Vinyasa, instructors incorporate moments of meditation into a dynamic sequence of physically challenging postures. Outside of the practice room, the studio’s staff also promotes holistic health by proffering alternative treatment options, such as reiki energy therapy and soothing aromatherapy with essential oils harvested from beloved teddy bears.
At Dancing Dogs Yoga, community springs from vibrant routines of bends and balances. Here, owner Shelley Lowther and a team of seasoned instructors cultivate a nurturing environment with warm greetings and personal attention. As a trainee of Baron Baptiste—a trailblazer in the world of power Vinyasa yoga—Shelley has built the studio around athletic, breath-fueled poses that bolster strength, flexibility, and focus. The signature Baptiste power Vinyasa routines unfold in an 85- to 90-degree room designed to deepen stretches and evict toxins. To help beginners build a sturdy yogic foundation, Basics classes place an extra emphasis on pose alignment. Yin sessions explore yoga’s softer side with lengthy, floor-based poses, and massage therapy melts lingering tension with strokes as soothing as a bathrobe made of chamomile flowers. When she’s not teaching classes in Beaufort or Bluffton, Shelley records yoga-themed podcasts, helms community-outreach initiatives, and serves as an ambassador for the Africa Yoga Project.
John Juarez had already developed a passion for the martial arts when he joined the Marine Corps at age 18. He spent 11 years in the military, honing his skills and participating in various combat sports. It wasn't until after he left the service, though, that he began participating in MMA. His background and training proved a good fit, and he quickly rose from amateur fighter to professional, training with legendary heavy-weight champion Randy Couture.
But, John wasn't content just training himself. So, in 2009, he opened RipTide MMA where he passes on his knowledge to others and fosters an understanding and respect for MMA in South Carolina. He and his team of trainers teach a blend of boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and muay thai to give students a broad striking and grappling game. While many people practice for fitness and fun, John also runs a team for those who wish to compete. He even sponsors two amateur MMA fights a year for his students to participate in.
When starting a new work out, finding the motivation to get going can often be the biggest challenge. Luckily, the coaches at Fit of Bluffton make their group sessions engaging and enjoyable, and rather than locking individuals into the weight-room alone, the communal setting lets clients motivate each other as they go. Offerings include FiTbarre classes?which use ballet-inspired movements to sculpt and lengthen the physique?FiTwheel cycling classes, and FiTcamp, which utilizes functional movements, TRX straps and free-weights to get participants in shape fast.
CombatFitnessHH has reimagined traditional circuit training so it's more applicable to the everyman—and much more fun. During boot-camp-style workouts, a skilled instructor pairs dynamic movements and agility exercises with sledgehammers, tractor tires, and heavy chains, improving clients' strength in every plane of motion. Over time, the body adapts to these workouts, and better performs everyday tasks such as carrying groceries or performing celebratory dances after spiking another log in the fireplace.
CrossFit Blythewood, CrossFit Vista and CrossFit 1732 have joined forces to create Warrior Fitness. Warrior?s trainers guide athletes through traditional CrossFit classes, which tackle a new Workout of the Day (WOD) every day. Exercises vary, though they often include moves such as weight lifting, running, rowing, and unconventional moves such as tire flipping. Warrior Fitness also conducts outdoor boot camps and special fitness classes for kids.