Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yoga and the Outer Banks

Early Sunday Morning . . . the view never grows old!

This weekend I was able to sneak away to my favorite place, and hopefully, my home when we retire, the Outer Banks.  It is a place that I always feel welcome, peaceful and I love going to.  I decided that I was going to treat myself to a yoga class at Michelle Madden Smith's studio, Outer Banks Yoga and Pilates and I was not disappointed, I never am!  I took a class entitled Tai Yoga Latte, with Julia Daniel and it was a mixture of yoga, tai chi and pilates.  It has been over a year since I had taken that particular class and I forgot just how wonderful it was!  It was the beginning of a wonderful day for me.  I love taking my hot yoga classes at home, but when I come to Michelle's studio, it is like a breath of fresh air for your heart!
Looking upward from my mat . . . happy lanterns everywhere!

I have known Michelle for a long time and met her just by coming into her yoga studio many years ago.   Her yoga studio is a place that you immediately feel an overwhelming sense of peace and love.  We became friends over the years and every time I came into the OBX, I would try to see her or at least take a class in her studio.  She is so beautiful inside and out;  you are a lucky person if you get to have Michelle in your life!  She co-facilitated a yoga retreat in Hatteras many years ago that I was able to attend, and that retreat opened up a whole new yoga world for me.  Last fall I attended Squam by the Sea and Michelle was ever present.  This year she will be organizing the wonderful new Serendiptity Art Retreat, October 19-23, 2011, where there will be art, yoga and the sea! I encourage you to visit her retreat website and see the fabulous line up she has in store for those who are lucky enough to attend, it will be an amazing experience.

After taking a relaxing yoga class, I headed down to Corolla, NC to visit my daughter n law and her mother for some girl time.  Even brought my lace knitting for a little time of fellowship and relaxation. Patti and Rick Dietrich own the most incredible bagel shop in the OBX, called Lighthouse Bagels, if you ever have the chance to visit beautiful Corolla, make sure you stop in there, you will not be disappointed! You have to experience the French toast bagel just once in your life!  Rick and his son Ryan get up in the wee hours of the morning to start the bagels from scratch, by the time the store is open for breakfast, there is a line out the door!  My son also has a side business there creating smoothies from scratch and fabulous gelattos!  Family owned enterprises are the best!

Time away is always a good thing, my husband met me down there on Monday and we spent a day exploring for homes and watching and observing the area.  Of course we had time to relax on the beautiful beach.  The waves weren't there for my hubby to surf the waves but we did enjoy just being at the ocean and taking in all of it's beauty.   I asked myself, is this how it is on a Monday when I should be working?  I will take this anyday.  We had a beautiful dinner at one of my favorite restaurants and then we had to begin our journey home.  For me the Outer Banks is only an hour and a half away, so I can go whenever I get the chance and I do.  How wonderful two days away was for me.  I know I speak of getting away a lot, I think it is important to refresh the mind, body and spirit whenever we get the chance.  Grab renewal whenever you can and in any form that takes place.  Could be in your own hot bathtub with candles and soft music, doing something out of the ordinary for yourself.  When you are healthy and living in balance, those around you will benefit from all you have to offer them, I truly believe that.
Good thing the sign told me which way to go!
My yoga practice has taught me to savor the moment, to live mindfully and still my heart.  Whenever I put my feet onto my mat, I am amazed at how wonderful and invigorated I feel after my practice.  I only wish that I had discovered it when I was in my twenties and thirties.  No regrets they say . . . I have found it now and have been actively practicing the perfect amount of time meant for my life.  I am healthier, happier and in the best shape that I can be.  Whether I am practicing in 100 degree heat or the gentleness of another studio, yoga means the world to me, it has changed my life and my health.  I speak of yoga often and I will continue to do so, it is truly life changing.
My sticker for my Prius . . . and a little self reflection 

See you at the yoga studio!
Donna Lee


  1. i miss you.

    how close are you to edisto? close at all?
    i will be there next week.

  2. beauty and peace and grace DRIPPING from every sentence. How inspiring you are Donna!

  3. this sounds so wonderful! and i love that beach! completely inspiring and exactly what i needed to see :) thank you for the inspiration, donna!

    xoxo, juliette


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