Every year, new fitness studios seem to pop up in the Charleston area, opening in time to capture the enthusiasm of New Yearís resolutions. Among those in 2013 is Mission Yoga, located on whatís becoming a corridor of wellness: Spring Street.
Kelly-Jean Moore, co-owner of Mission along with Shelly Wolfe and Wes Carter, has been on the local yoga scene as it has grown and blossomed over the past decade. Moore left Blue Turtle Yoga, located in Charleston and Mount Pleasant, after a nine-year association to start the studio, where she also will offer rolfing, a therapy system.
Q: There are 13 yoga studios in Charleston, not counting the gyms, spas and other random places offering yoga. Why did you decide to open the 14th studio?
A: There are a lot of yoga studios in Charleston, but they all offer something different. And while they are all amazing in what they represent, I didnít feel like I had a home and I had a specific calling.
Frankly, I donít think there has been much of a presence of meditation in the practice of yoga in Charleston. I wanted a space to bring active movers in and find vital health in their mind. I also want to get people in this community who are meditating already to respect and engage their body.
Q: Is the survival of most of the yoga and other fitness-oriented studios in Charleston a sign of something, that the area is, perhaps, a hub of fitness?
A: I spent two years off and on in Boulder (Colo.) and everyone there goes to a gym, a yoga studio, and they go on hikes on the weekends. And they are very happy. Charleston has long been a drinking city, and thatís fine. We like to have fun, but health and wellness is starting to come to the forefront.
I think this city is leading a wellness movement in the Southeast that hasnít taken hold yet in the region. Charleston is progressive for a Southern city. The culinary scene has caught on, and now the wellness scene is catching up to that.
Q: Tell me about this space and how it fits what you want to do.
A: This was originally a 1950s-era gas station. When we came in, there was already a lot of work done on it by Byers Design Group (an architectural firm that still has an office on the property). There were some cool elements, but it was an office space with a bunch of cubbies and a giant interior stairwell to the ceiling. We had to use our imagination. We have retail in the front that is separate from the studio so that you arenít bombarded with a bunch of stuff if you donít want it, but itís there if you do need it.
The glass blocks, industrial piping, were mixed with warm elements of tiger-striped bamboo floors and light to make it an inviting space. We wanted a place that looks pretty on the surface but that, at its core, holds true to higher intentions.
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