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Om Yoga Blog
Om Yoga Blog
Experience Om Yoga and be encouraged to deepen the awareness of the body, mind and spirit bringing forth your highest qualities. Be Inspired to live daily in a way that promotes peace, mindfulness, humility and growth.
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11:32 am

Prenatal Yoga Q&A with Kiesha Battles

prenatal yoga

What is Prenatal Yoga?

We provide a supportive environment for women to practice yoga postures and breathwork specifically designed to create space for the baby and to ease and manage discomforts associated with pregnancy. 

How can yoga benefit my pregnancy?
Prenatal yoga offers many benefits for expecting mothers and their new babies. Practicing yoga during pregnancy has been proven to help prepare the body for childbirth. There are also a number of emotional and spiritual benefits. Physically, prenatal yoga strengthens the muscles used in childbirth, enhances flexibility, increases circulation, reduces lower back discomfort and swelling around sensitive joints, alleviates nausea and other common pregnancy discomforts. Spiritually, the intentional breathing, meditation and inward reflection of yoga provides a deeper sense of awareness of oneself during pregnancy and can nourish the mind and soul. It also aids emotionally, while in preparing to welcome a new baby into the world. 

When can should I practice Prenatal Yoga?
Prenatal classes are highly recomended for women in all stages of pregnancy. After birth, with your doctor's consent you should be ready to resume gentle yoga exercises to restore body tone, strength and flexibility. We recommend starting with our Yoga Basics and Slow Flow classes.

Can I still take a non-Prenatal Yoga classes?
Expecting mothers with a regular yoga practice prior to pregnancy can continue practicing. Inform the instructor that you are expecting and share any concerns/information you would like to share. The instructor can provide specific modifications as needed. 

When are classes held?
Prenatal Yoga - Saturdays at 11am-12pm. 

What should I bring to class?
Bring your yoga mat and water. Small blanket and/or pillow optional. We have blocks, straps at the studio and we also rent mats and sell water. 


Om Yoga 

About the instructor:

Kiesha is a Yoga Alliance Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher. She has been teaching yoga in studios, gyms, spas, churches, classrooms, and more in the Charlotte and surrounding area since 2011. She completed her 200 hour training through Kristin Kaoverri's Subtle Yoga and Personal Transformation Program (2012). She also holds certifications in Kids yoga through the Grounded Kids Program (2013) and Prenatal yoga through Enlightened Yoga (2014). Kiesha has a background teaching Power, Vinyasa, Deep Stretch, Restorative, Prenatal, and Kids yoga. Her studio resume includes teaching at Gotta Yoga, Okra, Yes 2 Yoga, Mint Hill Yoga, KadiFit and her classes at the YMCAs are highly popular. She has created yoga programming for senior, kids summer camps, elementary and middle schools, and more. In addition to yoga, Kiesha formerly has over 15 years of corporate experience in business with an expertise in project management, IT audit, and training and development. Kiesha holds a Masters of Asian Studies focused on religion and philosophy. It was during her academic studies where she encountered Iyengar Yoga and has been practicing for over 10 years. Kiesha's style is traditional yet contemporary blending breath connection, alignment, hands-on assists and providing options for all levels. She's currently continuing her Hatha Yoga studies with Maya Breuer, Senior Kripalu teacher and Prenatal studies with Amani Murray, RPYT.

Kiesha Battles

1:03 pm

Funky Yoga is not our style Y'all!


Saucha is one of the five Niyamas, which are the observances or practices of self-training. Saucha is the practice of cleanliness and purification of body and mind. This is done through Asana (Yoga poses) and Meditation. Now let's talk about the cleanliness and purification of your yoga mat, yogitoes (towel), and your yoga clothes. Here are some ways to clean your yoga gear naturally, without chemicals!

Clean Your Yoga Mat:

In a glass spray bottle fill 3/4 water 1/4 distilled white vinegar, and 35 drops of your favorite antibacterial essential oil. We use tea tree, lemongrass or eucalyptus for a fresh and clean scent at the studio. Try to use a glass spray bottle, some essential oils can start to degrade plastic if left for too long. Spray your mat and let it sit for a few minutes in the sun. The sun is the most natural anti-microbial remedy there is. If it's a rainy day wipe your mat down with a clean wash cloth after you spray this special magic potion on it!

Defunk your sweaty Yoga Clothes and Yogitoes:

Your Yoga gear is Funky, trust me you do not want to be that person! You also don't want to buy new clothes just because your favorite yoga outfit stings the nostrils. First of all, make sure that you hang your sweaty clothes and yogitoe towels to dry before you place them in the dirty laundry basket. This will most likely prevent the build up of funky bacteria. Then every once in a while soak your clothes and yogitoes in a bucket, bathtub or sink with 4/5 water and 1/5 distilled white vinegar for an hour. Vinegar kills bacteria and neutralizes odor. After soaking your clothes you can wring out the excesses water and throw the clothes in the wash for your usual laundry cycle.

For more information about essential oils for cleaning, natural remedies and overall wellbeing contact our dear friend and yoga student Michele Aschenbrenner. She is a local Doterra consultant. Michele will also be at Om Yoga this Friday for our Meditation Workshop to share a few tips and some great information on how to use essential oils for yoga and meditation!


Maria Lages

11:10 am

Breaking down a Vinyasa

Breaking down a Vinyasa

Vinyasa means "breath-synchronized movement." Vinyasa yoga is a series of poses that create a flow and we practice inhaling, exhaling and moving smoothly from one pose into the next. When we flow through Chaturanga, Up Dog and back into a Downward Facing Dog, we often cue it as "Vinyasa". This is an integral part of most our yoga classes and it is used to warm up the body, to reset between sides or before beginning a new sequence. We made a video to give you a better understanding of safe form so that you can enjoy these transitions in your practice without causing any injuries. 

Click here to watch!

11:09 am

A resolve to practice yoga

I just wanted to share my thoughts on how/why oftentimes we make New Year’s Resolutions and “fall off the wagon” not long after.
For me, it’s a simple case of subjective versus objective.  New Year’s Resolutions are objects; things we create that are by nature, inanimate.  So when someone says, “My New Year’s Resolution is (xyz),” they may or may not carry out that resolution.  If for example, I say, “My New Year’s Resolution is to practice yoga three times a week,” its something that I may or may not do.  I have to decide whether or not to do it.
On the other hand, if I say, “I resolve to practice yoga today… I resolve to practice yoga three times a week… I resolve to practice chataranga push-ups this morning before I go to work,” I have spoken an action.  “I resolve to” is an action phrase.  I resolved on New Year’s Day to practice yoga three times a week, with the week beginning last Monday.  That is EXACTLY why I peel my butt off the sheets on Tuesday and Thursday at 5am.  That is exactly why now I committed to getting into bed before midnight on Monday and Wednesday, so that I am not be too tired to go to Sunrise Yoga.  When people makes themselves the subject of an action versus turning an action into an object, they actually DO what it is that they resolved to do.
To me, subjective case will always hold more power than objective case, because subject applies to action and objects, well they're just objects.  
Matt Talford, Author and Om Yoga Student



3:09 pm

Purna is Better Than Perfect

In “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, the main character lives a life of adventure and fearlessness in his daydreams. How often do we do the very same thing, though maybe not on such an exaggerated scale? How often do we consider possibilities, but never act on them? How often do we really employ the Nike slogan, and JUST DO IT? More importantly — what’s holding us back?


Blame it on perfection. Many of us believe that we can, and should, work to achieve perfection. The right job, the right school, the right clothes, the right life. If our teeth aren’t perfect, we get braces. If our bodies aren’t perfect, we diet/workout/get lipo. If our relationships aren’t perfect, we embark on fixing them or looking for other ones. This underlying current of perfection often causes us to live based on what appears to be right — not necessarily what is right for us.


Yoga teaches us that true perfection is only found in being whole. “Purna” is a Sanskrit word meaning “complete” or “whole”, and it describes the state we strive for through our practice. For the character Walter Mitty, being “stuck” and  lacking the self-empowerment to truly live his life kept him locked in his daydreaming world. “Stuck” energy manifests in many different forms, from our patterns of thought to the way we forge ahead on the required quests for perfection — our kids’ achievements, our lawns, our abs, our cars, our hair, our careers.   Yoga teaches us that everything in this world arises from one single energy, or Shakti (meaning power or empowerment).  This energy is always full, complete, perfect, and joyful. Author Sally Kempton notes, “That one energy (shakti) is as much in the dirty dishes in your sink as in the notes of a Mozart violin concerto. When we are in touch with that energy, all dichotomies—light and dark, good and bad, male and female—are resolved, and all apparent imperfections are revealed as part of the whole.”


For this week’s class, I designed a practice meant to help create shakti. With shakti, we can become “unstuck”, we can live more fearlessly, and we can cultivate purna. Because when we’re whole — we’re perfect.



Road – Nick Drake

Stay Alive – Jose Gonzalez

Replay – Zendaya

Jigsaw Falling Into Place – Radiohead

Dangerous – Big Data

Ways to Go – Grouplove

Far Away – Junip

Step Out – Jose Gonzalez

Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men

Sail Away – David Gray

Lake Michigan – Rogue Wave

Adore You – Miley Cyrus

Pink Moon – Nick Drake

This Years Love – David Gray

Waiting for my Real Life to Begin – Colin Hay

Quintessence – Theodore Shapiro


Author : Buffy Kelly
Buffy began studying yoga as a means of cultivating balance and ease in her life. She earned her 200-HR teaching certification in Tantra Yoga, studying under Hollace Stephenson and Johnna Smith. Today, yoga is an integral and deeply meaningful part of her and her family’s lives. Buffy loves sharing the power of yoga , and offers athletic, joyful practices geared toward developing happiness, fun, balance, and grace in stressful lives. Buffy is an award-winning Creative Director, Copywriter, and business owner. Her advertising agency, Tattoo Projects, was named Small Ad Agency of the Year byAdvertising Age Magazine, and #2 Fastest-Growing Privately-Held Company byCharlotte Business Journal. Her work has been recognized by Communications Arts, London's Contagious Magazine, Creativity, and Adweek, and has earned creative awards from international ONE Show, Philly Gold Awards, New England Hatch Awards, National ADDY Awards, New York Festivals, and many more. Buffy has been named one of the Top 25 Advertising Working Mothers in the Nation by Working Mother Magazine and Advertising Women of New York, and a 2011 Woman Extraordinaire by Business Leader. Buffy finds great joy in everything to do with her family, pets, and flower garden. She is a lacrosse mom, dance and gymnastics mom, and a daughter of the original McCoy clan, of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud, from Pike County, Kentucky.

4:30 pm

My Intro To Yoga Story


 Handstand Yoga pose at the beach in Spain, Om Yoga Instructor Maria Lages


When I started practicing yoga 7 years ago, I remember chanting “Om,” saying “Namaste” and resting in Savasana while being in a state of pure bliss. That feeling was comforting, but I didn't know what it meant and honestly, I didn't care. I practiced exclusively for the physical benefits of the Asanas (physical postures). I was more interested in holding a handstand and looking good in a bikini than I was at fulfilling my emotional and spiritual hunger.



Then “stuff” hit the fan and my marriage ended in divorce.  While that was a sad ending to a five-year relationship, I would describe that period as both the best and worse time of my life.  I managed to stay very busy for a while.  I finally felt like I was free with no one to hold me back; I could do anything and live anywhere.  There was an entire world of possibilities. It was a very exciting time… until I realized that I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to live. I had no sense of belonging and when I wasn’t busy, I felt empty and alone. In the process of creating a new beginning, I embraced all aspects of yoga and my imperfect, broken, shallow self. Eventually that emptiness was replaced by love.  I kept teaching and practicing what I love, hoping that it would make a difference. 


While today I consider myself to be successful, that success has not been achieved without multiple failures. I have failed many times in many ways, but in the midst of those failures, I learned how not to lose touch with who I am. I believe that in each of us lies a place deep within the soul that is unchangeable, strong, steady, and is always at peace with the present moment. My yoga practice helps me find that place; The place where I learned how to fully express myself.


Your practice is what you want it to be. It is ever evolving and changes based on what your needs are. I firmly believe that there is nothing outside of you that is more important than what is deep within your soul. If you live from that place, you will succeed at your dharma (or true essence). 


“Tada Drastuh svarupe avasthanam.” As a result of yoga or sustained, focused attention, the Self or seer is firmly established in its own form, and we act from that place... from our own true, authentic self. Yoga Sutra 1.3 


By focusing and refining the mind through yoga, you gain clearer perception and learn to distinguish the mind, body, and emotions from your true essence or Self. You come to know that Self and act from that place of the Self, thus reducing your experience of suffering.



Maria Lages

 Om Yoga Instructor


11:06 am

Dear Yoga, Thank You!

Thank you for giving me strength, flexibility, awareness, mindfulness, health, peace of mind and a wonderful sense of overall well-being everyday!

11:44 am


Yoga Sutra 1.15 Vairagya: Learning to let go of the many attachments, aversions, fears, and false identities that are clouding the true Self.


 I’ve been thinking about letting go of things that take up space in my mind, my physical environment and drain my energy. I crave simplicity. The first thing I want to do is limit the overwhelming amount of information that enters my life on a daily basis. How much information can I really process and how many channels of communication do I need to maintain?  I can’t believe how much time I spend clearing my inbox, going through piles of junk mail, and (guilty!) scrolling down my fb newsfeed even though I only have 5 friends in real life. Do I need to check on a thousand people and see what they’re status is? Letting go of unsolicited information, done!  


The second thing that I wanted to let go of, is the belief that everything has to be done right now.  Believing that I am not good enough yet, but I will be soon… As soon as I get everything done!  Believing that I can’t stop and if I do, the world will come to an end. Believing that I have to solve everything right now. I spend a lot of energy being attached to the results of all my actions and feeling the pressure tha comes from setting unrealistic expectations. There was a time in my life where this drive and ambition served a purpose. It got me here, but it also created a big void on a personal level. Making me not want to do anything that wasn’t productive and I lost interest  in things that weren’t professionally conducive. Going out and having fun? “Ain’t noboby got time for that. “ I have work to do!


“The only pressure I’m under is the pressure I’ve put on myself.” -Mark Messier


I will never stop, because I love what I do every single day. There will always be a project, an interesting opportunity, an adventure, and a pile of junk mail … being challenged really feeds my soul.  I am learning that there is a natural pace for growth and development; it doesn’t need to be rushed and not everything is going to happen right now. There is no need to live searching and striving for more, constantly on survival mode and forgetting what your purpose is within each moment.  


Last thing I need to let go of is the Nutella. Oh lawd. It’s evil!



1:42 pm

Living from the Heart

gregWhat does love, or living from the heart, really mean? To me it’s about creating present, meaningful connections. Not just connections to spouses and family members but also friends (human and furry) and anyone else that may cross our path.  It also means living from a place that is heart-lead, guiding us to decisions that come from a spirit of kindness, compassion and selflessness. To connect and live from the heart try some of these tips: - Make eye contact and offer a genuine smile when greeting people during the day. - Be a 'present moment' listener. In this time-crunched world we live in, giving someone your undivided time and attention is truly a wonderful gift. - Make connecting with significant others, family and pets a daily priority. After work take at least five-ten minutes to talk, listen, kiss, hug and pet (your dog…or your spouse). - Create time and space for meaningful connections. Avoid time wasters like too much Facebook, twittering, television, texting, etc. - Volunteer every now and then. - Choose a more plant-based diet. - Support local farms that utilize humane practices (if you do eat animal products). - Help a friend with something he/she ‘needs’ to get done, despite what you ‘want’ to get done. - Ask people how they are doing and listen to them first before talking about yourself. - Have a family game night. - Have a date night. There are a multitude of ways to connect. Bring your awareness to ideas and strategies that are meaningful to you, and those around you, and love and live from the heart.   By Greg LaBarbera  

3:17 pm

The Yoga of Parenting

  shutterstock_34045153When I’m asked how yoga has impacted my parenting, I parse it down to one point, which every other type of work on myself has corroborated for the past 13 years. In every moment, I magnetize my own state. Translated: However I am behaving will be reflected in everyone around me, especially my kid. There are many simple examples of this popular topic. If you’re happy, people smile at you. If you don’t trust yourself, nobody trusts you. If you’re paying attention, people around you pay attention. Every day, whatever apocalypse is happening inside of you will be magnified again and again in the people near you, until you handle it. Whatever you’re feeling, see how it’s returned to you. When I’m paying attention, yoga offers spaciousness to my experience of parenting. Most of the day, I can feel it close by, but I can’t touch it. How ridiculous is it that here I am teaching specifically about spaciousness for more than 13 years and I cannot seem to get past my own animal instinct to doubt and rush and be perfect at the expense of my son’s stability and confidence? So this is what I want to share here. Parents, use your yoga to cultivate your own brand of spaciousness. What does it mean to be spacious (hold space in your own body) and how can we do this through yoga?

The other day, I had a discussion with a friend about the Handel process, a life-coaching program wherein we’ve both learned how to design consequences for our angry outbursts around our kids. While the yoga practice has opened so much for me, the Handel Group’s aim-oriented, personalized action plans were the missing piece. Both my friend and I came from families where rage was present, and coaching helps us define the behaviors, own them and evolve them. What we came to in the conversation was super simple. Your kid, at any moment, is just showing you your own face. That statement stings, and it should. Make more space in yourself and your kid will receive it and reflect it back to you. Paradoxically, this spaciousness is cumulative. When you cease doubting yourself and begin to hold that space for yourself, you are generating an indestructible quality of freedom within yourself that nobody can take from you.

“Asanas (postures) catapult us out of our habitual minds and into the vast space within” – Christina Sell, the upcoming “My Body Is a Temple.”

You’re practicing to prepare yourself for the unexpected, so that no matter what happens, you’re still the one who’s able to stand still and quietly, confidently, hold that space for yourself and for anyone nearby. You’ll catch glimpses of what it feels like to hold that space for your child, and those glimpses will become vantage points, places within yourself where you can stand and offer stability in your family, no matter what the context. As Vimala McClure describes in her book, The Tao of Motherhood, “You can manage your children with strength. Mastering your own life requires true power.” Parenting is no exception. As a parent, we magnetize nothing but our own behavior in that of our kids. If I point my finger and yell, at his next play date my 4-year-old son points his finger and screams at another child when he’s frustrated. He would never know how to do that without my example, and he’ll never know how to be masterful without my example either. And when I manage to listen attentively and sit with him so he can comfortably invite me into his mind and his realm, I get attention, kisses, hugs and hilarity returned to me. So in every moment as a parent, we magnetize our own behavior in our kids. You get it. How does yoga help? In the poses, I want to respond to my body’s resistance with patience (the spaciousness I personally need) rather than reacting with self-doubt. This allows me to be more patient with myself, and learn how to hold that patience for my kid rather than worrying about what else I could or should be doing. I then want to teach that process of holding space, which is really just a matter of learning to be expansive and more kind with myself, so the folks I’m teaching will be drawn to do that for themselves and their families. 

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