It’s a Yoga Peace of Mind in Rowan County
When preparing to write my blog this month I started thinking about everything going on in the world. I thought about how stressed some seem to be and I realized that Rowan County has a lot to offer in ways of de-stressing. You can visit a beautiful park, catch a play downtown, eat a nice meal, or perhaps you can dive a little deeper and consider taking one of the many yoga classes that are offered around the county.
Yoga by definition focuses on harmony between the mind and the body. By breathing, meditation, and by poses that bring wellness and relaxation. I decided to check out what options were available for all of us to enjoy.
Soful Yoga and Wellness At Railwalk
I reached out to Matt Marsh, co-owner with Steve Safrit, to chat about Soful and their new location. Matt and Steve also are co-owners of The Forum of Salisbury.
My first question to Matt was “did you think you would ever own a yoga studio”? He laughed and said “no”! He explained, “Steve was very interested in yoga and taught some yoga classes.” He said, “Steve was interested in Soful, and the more we discussed it the more I could see it becoming a reality”.
The Forum acquired Soful in July of 2019 when it was located on South Fulton Street which is where the name “Soful” came from for the studio. Soful was doing great until Covid hit just like for most businesses and in March of 2020 they stopped classes. During that shutdown, a different location was found at 325 North Lee Street in Salisbury next to Lee Street Theatre. Renovations were done to the building and they re-opened their doors in the new location February of 2021.
While the Forum offers yoga classes at their gym location on 2318 South Main Street, Salisbury several times a week for their gym members Matt realized that Soful “could provide the experience for more people to practice yoga in a studio setting”. “We offer a safe location, with Covid safety precautions in place along with great teachers to lead students. I wanted everybody to have an excellent place to practice yoga.”
Matt suggested that I speak to Sandy Raper, a yoga teacher for 20 years and a yoga teacher trainer. Sandy worked along with Matt and Steve to get Soful up and running again. She also teaches classes there. Sandy told me she started doing “yoga in a gym in Concord” and enjoyed it. “Curiosity lead me to training and wanting to help others”. She told me that she is encouraged by those coming and attending classes and added that “Salisbury is a gem”! “Your classes can be in a gym setting or a studio. Just commit to the practice! There is enough yoga in this world to find a space. We, at Soful, are a community trying to just bring us all together.” Sandy also has a podcast called “Beyond Yoga Teacher Training”. Catch it wherever you listen to podcasts.
Soful offers a variety of classes every day of the week and has a variety of practices from Slow Flow classes, Deep Stretch classes, Power Flow classes, and more. There is something for everyone at all levels. They also have merchandise that is for purchase. Your first visit is free and they offer multiple ways for you to join. Visit their website at www.sofulyoga.com for more information or call 704-633-6638. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Heart of Salisbury
Heart of Salisbury is more than just a yoga studio. They offer a smorgasbord of wellness opportunities at their 120 East Innes Street, Salisbury location. Opening in January 2019 as a co-op on the corners of Lee and Innes Streets, owner and operator, Wivianny DeHass, had a bigger vision for Heart of Salisbury and moved their location to where they are now in the newly renovated old Flowers Bakery Building. This new location allowed for Wivianny’s passion for wellness to become a reality.
Wivianny invites anyone interested to call for a tour of Heart of Salisbury to see what they offer. They have yoga classes that are indoors, outdoors, and virtual. They offer belly dancing, Pilates, and Ariel Yoga once a month. The studio offers cooking classes with a chef which can be for the public, a private group, or for corporation team building. She explained to me that “yoga isn’t just the physical self, but a whole person”. “Yoga changed and was westernized. It is a different way of living. Yoga connects people by mind, body, soul, and spirit”.
The teachers at this studio are in health-related fields which helps make yoga accessible to all. Their classes are based on wellness. Wivianny is aware of each teacher’s passions and wants to help them in their areas of interest.
They have a shoppe that sells clothing, oils, crystals, and more, seven suites that are used for massages, and therapy counseling in different areas as well. Heart of Salisbury offers walk-in classes as well as their Bliss Membership which includes 10% off of purchases in their shoppe. People interested can call for appointments at 704-425-8487 or visit their website at www.heartofsalisbury.com for more information including specials for Veterans. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Wivianny also is very passionate about art and plans to host an art show sometime in the Fall. Keep your eyes open for that!
YMCAS and The Forum Offer Yoga Too
Along with the above beautiful studios I reached out to Ester Marsh at the J.F. Hurley YMCA to chat about classes offered at the YMCAs in Rowan County. Ester discussed with me the classes there and also directed me to the website to find out more about classes offered around Rowan County.
J.F. Hurley (Salisbury)
Ester teaches Estelatte which includes yoga, stretches, and Pilates on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is also Restorative Yoga on Mondays and Wednesdays, and a Vinyasas Yoga class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Fred Corriher Jr. (South Rowan)
The South Rowan YMCA offers several yoga classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays which include a Slow Flow and a Vinyasa Flow.
Saleeby-Fisher (East Rowan)
The East Rowan YMCA offers multiple yoga classes including Yoga/Barre, Yoga & Pilates, and a Silver Sneakers Yoga. Classes are on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
The Kannapolis YMCA also offers yoga classes during the week which include a Gentle Yoga and a Basic Yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
For more information on class schedules and memberships for all of our local YMCAs please visit www.rocabymca.org for more details.
The Forum of Salisbury
As mentioned in the beginning The Forum also offers yoga classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information on classes and memberships, you can call 704-633-6638 or visit them online at www.theforumfitness.com.
After speaking with everyone I believe we can all agree there are a lot of ways in Rowan County for anyone wanting to practice yoga to find a place. One can practice for either their mental well-being, their physical well-being, or just to have time to explore poses in yoga. There is something for everyone in Rowan County and something that is accessible.
I invite you to take an opportunity to be mindful and to take a moment to breathe and relax at any of these locations. They all have open arms and hands to heart center waiting to welcome you at any level of practice… Namaste.
I have picked up yet another couple of hats… a chef’s hat and a steward’s hat by being part of this year’s Polar Express currently going on at the North Carolina Transportation Museum. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the many behind the scenes activities as I can without spoiling the “magic” that the show is for us all.
I checked out all the local ethnic restaurants in Rowan County so that you and I can enjoy a wide variety over the remainder of the year and of course the new year!