Tuesday, July 26

Jiva Yoga Center | Hilton Head, SC

My first guest blogger, how fantastic! Not only do I finally get a recommendation to check out, but I can share it with you too. Toni is a fellow yogi at Living Yoga Center who is regular enough that we're finally striking up conversations... which I find to be a wonderful blessing. Thank you for sharing your experience with us Toni! 

LOCATION: You can find Jiva Yoga Center on (Route 278) and Arrow Street Route in Hilton Head, South Carolina. If you are staying on the Island, it is really easy to find. Parking is easily accessible, just steps from the front door. The studio is on the ground floor of an office building. There are rectangular windows, looking out you can see the tops of palm trees. That is pretty cool if you’re from Illinois. 
COST: The drop in fee is $15 for yoga classes.  JYC has online registration through their website. The website is easy to navigate. When I arrived, I just gave them my name, that was it.
STUDIO: When you enter JYC, the front desk is immediately on your left. Then there is the boutique, I found a really nice Lululemon yoga top, they carry blocks, straps and lots of other fun stuff. The best part was the bag for my purchases. It is reusable, and big enough to carry yoga clothes if I am on my way to class. The Jiva Yoga Center logo is on the front.
Opportunities are waiting for you when you visit a new yoga studio. I had never seen a small pump organ in class before. The instructor used it to chant OM while another instructor sang a Sanskrit meditation at the beginning and the end of class; it was beautiful. There are two rooms for yoga. The larger studio has space for about 30 people. The floor is marked to show you where the front edge of mats should be lined up. It eliminates the awkwardness of finding a space in a crowded class.
CLASS DESCRIPTION: The 9-10:30am Vinyasa Flow classes are based on Baron Baptiste’s vision. Our signature class! A dynamic blend of strength, sweat and spirituality that will detoxify, heal and alectrify. This sequence will strengthen and tone the muscles of your body and mind, and is sure to take you to your edge. Modifications are offered. Please bring your own towel and water bottle. Jiva will still provide water at no cost. 
The cues from all of the instructors were excellent. Clear and concise without useless chatter, it was incredibly helpful to a mindful yoga practice. The sequencing of poses was creative and thoughtful. One instructor threw in mountain climbers and Shakti kicks. Jiva Yoga also has a 200 hour and 500 hour Yoga Alliance sanctioned Teacher Training program.
CONTACT INFO: Jiva Yoga Center

There were many devoted and very strong yogis in the classes that I attended. It is fair to say it was an intermediate to very experienced class. The warm-up was challenging in a good way. We did at least four rounds of Sun A and Sun B to warm up. Then a standing sequence of poses, several balances, and floor work. There were lots of opportunities to do Chaturanga. I held poses a little longer, took some familiar poses a little farther and when I got tired did a short child’s pose and got up and tried again.

I visited in July, during my stay on the Island, and it was about 90° every day. I signed up for three power yoga classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The room was warm before class and got really warm once it started since they did not turn on the air conditioning. That really surprised me at first, I wasn’t used to sweating quite that much (hint: buy a yogitoes for your mat). Being hot and sweating is really distracting; but I learned to put that aside and concentrate on my practice. The pace was much faster than my normal practice, but that’s good. Adapting is good.

Toni is a self-described Yoga Junkie who runs, swims and lift-weights all to support her physical practice. Her mental practice comes from trying to consistently bring the lessons learned on the mat to her daily activities. Now that’s a challenge.

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