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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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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. 

4:18 pm

Yoga Becomes the Alternative to Traditional Fitness


The Proof Is In The Numbers: Folks in the South Are Turning To Yoga For Wellness, Fitness, And A Break From Modern Day Life.

Today’s fast paced generation thrives on instant gratification, pressure to be productive, and drive for perfection. For years the same mentality applied to fitness: We looked to programs that got us looking good in the same amount of time it takes to drive through the car wash. However, a new approach is spreading through the Fort Mill area as we recognize the need for something more. We are looking for an outlet that offers total mind and body wellness when we put on our workout gear. For this reason many of us are grabbing our yoga mat rather than running shoes when we head out. Yoga has been around for centuries and practiced by many, but according to Google, “The ancient art is experiencing a renaissance, with an estimated 12 million Americans now practicing yoga, double the number of just five years ago." So, why is yoga becoming the answer for so many? Because, when you come to a yoga studio it's like coming home: you kick off your shoes, put on something comfortable, and let the day go. This is a welcome change for those of us who used to drag ourselves to a gym where we would encounter fluorescent lighting, the sound of weights thumping into the floor, and the wait for our favorite machine. Now, we can just roll out our mat and breathe. In addition to the inviting atmosphere, we can find a class and routine that matches exactly what we need. Whether you want to trim and tone up for bikini season with a power class, detox with a hot practice, or just get started in a basic class, you can find exactly what you need any day of the week. Om Yoga, in Baxter Village, offers 8 different styles of practice throughout the week to choose from. Within each class further modifications, and physical adjustments are offered by each teacher to make the practice custom fit for you. It's as though each time you walk in you are getting personalized session. Furthermore, when you practice at OM, you feel like you are out with friends. You end up taking class with the same people and building a camaraderie that is both motivating and fun. Often times, people leave in groups to catch up over coffee after class. On Wednesdays, clients can even bring a friend for free! In addition to the overall wellness gained from yoga, practicing the physical postures conditions the body in a healthy way. Each pose uses only one’s own body weight as resistance without any unnecessary damage to the joints and bones. Unlike many popular exercise fads, yoga, safely tones the body while increasing bone density, blood circulation, and detoxification. Whether individuals are seeking an alternative fitness program, a way to manage stress, or a practice that increases mind and body wellness, yoga is the ancient secret that is resurfacing as the modern approach.

OM Yoga, in Fort Mill, offers a variety of yoga classes led by a highly respected team of teachers who are dedicated to inspire, challenge and help students reach their individual goals and desires through their practice.  The relaxing ambiance and non- competitive environment provide a sanctuary from the daily pressures of a busy life. Whether the individual has been practicing for years or just starting out, he or she will find their niche at OM. If you would like more information on the benefits of yoga, or would like to plan your first visit at OM please visit our website at or call us at (803) 396-0493.

By Anastacia Ike-foreman

12:52 pm

What does your path look like?


"When we acknowledge that all of life is sacred and that each act is an act of choice and therefore sacred, then life is a sacred dance lived consciously each moment. When we live at this level, we participate in the creation of a better world." - Scout Cloud Lee

Ever since I started teaching yoga, I’ve always loved the variety of people who come to my classes. Some of you have been on your yoga journey for quite some time, while some are just beginning. Some are working through injuries or illnesses, while others are extremely athletic and are just coming for a good workout. One of the things I love best is when students let me know where they are with their practice. It makes my day to hear how yoga is helping, as knowing your experiences helps me to provide you with the classes that will serve you best. Take a moment to ask yourself where you are in your practice right now. Where are you on your journey? The wonderful thing about yoga is that it is a JOURNEY, not a DESTINATION. I think that’s why I’ve stuck with it myself for so long…every time I reach one goal, I always have another to work towards. It keeps me coming back to my mat time and time again, and it’s so amazing to be able to look back at my practice over the years and see how I’ve evolved. And it’s also amazing to see how my “on the mat” practice has spilled into my life “off the mat.” Don’t worry if you ask yourself where you are and you don’t know how to answer. Don’t freak out. It’s normal. Many times, we fill our lives with so much STUFF that we sort of function on auto-pilot and just go through the motions of whatever we’re doing. We may show up to class, and do all the things the instructor tells us to do, but we do it with no thought to the journey we’re on because we don’t even know where we want to go. Have you ever come home from a yoga class and your body feels tired and relaxed, but you can’t remember what you did to feel that way? I love the quote by Scout Cloud Lee above, because I’ve rediscovered myself lately that life truly is a sacred dance lived consciously each moment. If we stay on auto-pilot for too long, life just passes us by. Gosh, I’ve been on auto-pilot for so long now, it’s ridiculous! Always thinking about things from my past and wishing I could change them, or worrying about what’s going to happen with my health or my family or my finances. When we focus too much on the past, that’s a recipe for depression to set in. When we focus too much on the future, that’s when anxiety takes over. Both of which are HORRIBLE for our physical and mental health. And really, when it comes down to it, we can’t get the past back, and we can’t control the future, no matter how much we think we can. But we CAN live in the present moment. I saw a great post on Manduka’s Facebook page today about practicing participation, and it’s what inspired this particular blog post. Basically, we can choose to show up, fully. We can choose to be in it, deeply. We can choose not to just follow the path, but to shape it, and take diligent field notes along the way. When we can live consciously in each moment in this way, THEN we have a wonderful story to share with others. One that is meaningful and that will touch everyone around us. And THAT is how we can be part of making the world a better place. Be patient with yourself if it doesn’t happen immediately. But make that choice. Make that choice to fully participate in your life NOW. Not your PAST life. Not your FUTURE life. You won’t regret it.


My name is Melanie and I live in Fort Mill, SC. I’ve been exercising regularly for years and have been a yoga teacher since 2002. Check out my blog- SC Yoga girl