Newsworthy: Aerial Yoga Takes Off in the Boardwalk

aerial Star News

Photo by Jason A. Frizzelle

The Dog is making headlines this week! Check out this article by Mike Voorheis that ran in today’s Star News (then sign up for an aerial yoga workshop, and take your practice to new heights!)

star news article



Fascia-nating: Why a Deep Stretch is More Important Than Ever


We here at The Dog have been geeking out over fascia for some time. Just show up at one of Patti’s Deep Stretch classes and you’re sure to meet a growing number of yogis who have learned from experience how caring for your connective tissue can make a big difference in your day-to-day life. While yoga in general tends to ease issues with fascia (many of which you may not even realize you have until they’re alleviated), the Yin style of yoga practiced in our Deep Stretch class really zeroes in on the fascia and uses gravity and deep breathing to stretch and smooth out these tissues.

To learn more, check out this fantastic article that really dives into the newest facts about fascia – and why you should consider taking extra steps to show yours some love 🙂

The Sound of Music : Tracks and Playlists for Every Practice

yoga music

Ah, the power of music. It can elicit vivid memories, lift your spirits, make you want to dance, cause you to pause and reflect, or move you to tears.

We here at The Dog are intensely aware of the impact of music (and silence) on your yoga practice. During mediation, a soft, ambient track can aid in clearing the mind and guide you into your journey. A song with driving rhythm and strong drums can ignite your inner fire, while a sitar and watery chimes can tie your practice to its ancient Eastern roots.

But putting together playlists and discovering new music can be pretty time consuming. The good news? We find it a labor of love  and are happy to do some of the work for you! For those of you who use Spotify, you can find our playlists there under the username saltydogyoga (feel free to follow us!). For the rest of you, we’ll be posting the occasional practice playlist here on the blog, along with recommendations for how you might use it.

To get the ball rolling, we’d like to share our latest Vinyasa playlist, designed for a grounding, energetic mid-winter flow – or, you know, dancing around your living room, or cooking dinner 😉 You’ll find this in our Spotify playlist, or you can go check out the tracks in iTunes.

January Vinyasa 75 Min.

~Nectar Drop by DJ Drez

~Infraflow by Buddha Sounds

~Finally Moving by Pretty Lights

~Japanese Garden by Eriq Johnson

~Khalghi Stomp by Transglobal Underground

~Lemon Tree by Herb Alpert (from the album Versions)

~Lebanese Blonde by Thievery Corporation

~Rock on Hanuman by MC Yogi

~Hummingbird by Alex Clare

~The District Sleeps Alone Tonight by Birdy (cover)

~Stay by Rihanna

~Love Her When You Let Her Go by Gavin Mikhail (cover)

~The Reluctant Ballerina by Greg Maroney

~Pu Ert Solin by Olafur Arnalds

What are your favorite yoga tracks? Feel free to share in the comment section!

Just Dance: Kim Henry Brings Nia to Salty Dog!

Pleasure Islanders, get ready to kick off your shoes and shake your tail feather to world music in 2014!

Join us in giving a warm, Salty Dog welcome to Kim Henry, our newest instructor, who will be guiding us weekly in Nia classes. Since this movement/dance class may be new to many of you, we’ve put together a short Q&A with Kim to cover some basics, because if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to know at least a bit about what you’re getting into!

After hearing what Kim had to say, we’re excited to try some Nia, and we think you will, too.

**Kim will be offering a donation-based introductory course as part of our One-Year Anniversary Bash on Saturday the 11th at 1:15 PM.


 Q&A with Kim Henry:

 Since many of us are new to Nia, can you first share with us what students can expect from your classes?

Expect to leave expectations outside the class – especially of yourself! There is no ‘getting it right’ – there is only movement, release, expression and potentially – a lot of joy!

Nia is for anyone of any age or fitness level as it is a deeply personal practice, while being a shared experience.

I have been in a class with an 84 year old woman who took it at her level, and with people who are dripping in sweat at the end of a class – the foundation of Nia is ‘your body, your way.’

But you can be sure that you will hear some amazing music and move your body!

Can you tell us with us a little about yourself, including your background with dance and fitness?

I was born in the UK, have a degree in Drama and have been lucky enough to see a lot of this incredible planet! I traveled throughout my 20’s, mainly in India and spent the next decade in the mountains of Southern Spain where I had my 2 beautiful children. We moved to Wilmington just over 2 years ago as my husband is American and his family all live here – from the mountains to the ocean!

I have always loved to dance as a form of self expression, release, prayer and fun! I have run creative movement classes in retreat centers across Europe and dance has been an essential aspect of my own healing and personal development journey.

For me dance is a wonderful way to work out the body and soul – coming out of our minds and into our bodies is so important in this fast paced reality.


 What inspired you to learn Nia, and how did that evolve into your teaching it?

It was a lovely sequence of synchronistic events that led me to the Nia training – I didn’t think it was going to come together as a working mother who is deeply committed to spending lots of time with her children, but somehow it did, and I was so grateful for that unexpected and wonderful experience. Then I realized that there were no Nia classes in Wilmington yet and so……be the change you want to see and all that good stuff!

What do you love about Nia? Do you have a favorite part or piece of the dance style?

One of the many things I love about Nia is the balance between freedom and form. As a drama teacher and director, I love a good dance routine and the simple joy of dancing in formation with others. As a spiritual and healing practice, I love the freedom of authentic movement, the inherent release of allowing the body to move its own way.

A Nia class is very much led by the teacher so you don’t have to ‘think’, but it is also about allowing the sensations of your own body and soul to lead the way – this fusion of structure and freedom is right up my street!

I also love to feel in good shape but don’t always want to pump iron! Yoga and dance are much more my style as a path to a healthy body – the inherent spiritual and healing elements of Nia are deeply inspiring to me – its a never ending journey on every level.

What should people know before they come to a class?

Wear loose, comfortable clothes and don’t worry about shoes – it is a barefoot practice. The idea at the heart of Nia is ‘your body’s way’ – it’s not about learning a dance routine and getting it ‘right’ – it’s all about allowing your body to move, responding to incredible music, joy, release, self-healing and lots of fun! It can become a part of your spiritual practice or simply be a joyful way to keep fit – either way – it’s not about being a ‘perfect’ dancer so we can leave any anxiety about getting it right at home!

“Your body, your way.”


What’s Goin’ On : Winter Activities at The Dog


The chill has finally made it’s way down to the beach, sweeping us all off the sand and sidewalks and into the great indoors for the next couple of months.

But who says the indoors can’t be every bit as fun as the outdoors? To help all of you keep the cabin fever at bay this winter, we’re going to keep it lively at the studio, adding extra offerings to our schedule so you’ll never have a shortage of exciting indoor activities.

Even in the blustery evenings, you’ll always have a warm studio waiting, with any number of fun, relaxing, stimulating and invigorating classes in store.

Here’s a sampling of what’s to come this winter – for more information on any of these offerings, visit our website: 


~Friday, Jan. 10th All-Levels Guided “Open Studio” : Looking for an opportunity to hone your practice? We’ll begin with a guided group warm-up, then allow each student to take their own pathway and work on their specific needs. The teacher will be available for hands-on assists, enhancements, and questions, while each student will take on the practice their body needs – whether it’s restorative and gentle, powerful vinyasa, or practice toward a specific peak asana.

~Saturday, Jan. 11th Salty Dog’s First Birthday Bash : That’s right – Salty Dog’s turning 1! And to celebrate, we’ve put together an entire day of festivities, starting with donation-only classes and finishing with a student/teacher appreciation party from 6:30-9:30pm with music, food, drinks, entertainment, and a charity raffle. All proceeds will benefit local cancer patients in need via the Lo Tide Run. Here’s the invite for more details.

~Friday, Jan. 24th Intro to Bollywood Dance : Bollywood Dancing is one of the hottest dances around! It is the foundation of every great Indian Bollywood Film. The dances are a fusion of traditional and classical indian dances with the influence of some jazz, hip-hop and modern dance. This class is designed to introduce students to the basic foundations of this style. We’ll work on a short choreographed number, and by the end of the workshop have everyone grooving to the Bollywood beat! No dance experience required – just the desire to move, laugh and have a great time.

Devdas (2002 India) Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali

~Friday, Jan. 31st Vino & Vinyasa : Part practice, part social event, Vino & Vinyasa creates the perfect balance to start off your Friday night! Amanda will lead you through an hour of all-levels flow, followed by a complimentary glass of wine and conversation with your fellow yogis.

~Saturday, Feb. 8th Yoga for Trauma – Healing Through Meditation and Asana : This two hour workshop and practice will explore the connection between mind, body and the effects of trauma. We will be moving through a guided mediation with pranayama, followed by a lecture/discussion portion that includes an overview of the physical effects of trauma, triggers, and affirmative coping skills. A gentle flow healing asana practice will follow. Please feel free to bring an item of personal or emotional significance to add to the gratitude alter we’ll create together. Price: $40/student (10% off for members)

~Saturday, March 8th Yoga Philosophy & Asana with Didier Razon : Join Didier Razon of Two Suns Rising Yoga for an afternoon of Kasmir Shaivism (the philosophical world of yoga), asana practice, and wonderful stories about his decade spent with Gurumayi Chidvilasananda in India. This workshop includes time for a question & answer session with Didier about yogic philosophy. $40/student (10% off for members). Sign up by February 12th to reserve your spot!


~Nia with Kim Henry : The organic dance and movement class will become part of our regular schedule starting with it’s donation-only debut during our Birthday Bash. Saturdays from 1:15-2:15pm. Want to see what Nia looks like? Check out this video.

~Aerial Yoga with Jamie Poletti : Move your practice off the earth with Aerial Yoga! With silk “hammocks,” we’ll use gravity to assist and deepen classic asanas, and even work through hammock-assisted inversions. You’ll get plenty of therapeutic stretching and relaxation as well, finishing your practice in a silk cocoon savasana. Workshops vary from week to week, so students can take them as frequently as they like to explore new ways to play with their practice. Space is very limited, so be sure to enroll in advance. Price is $15 in advance, $20 day-of. **Those who tend to experience motion/sea sickness may want to take anti-motion sickness medicine or ginger  half an hour before this class.


~Salty Pups Children’s Yoga (Ages 4-8) : Yoga comes to life in these fun and creative classes designed to stimulate a young child’s growing curiosity. Classes are an equal balance between exploring active & passive yoga poses, breathing exercises, visual imagery while conveying lessons in self-expression, body image, social skills, positive thinking, and environmental awareness.

Salty Pups

Chai: A Balancing Post-Festivities Treat

Guest Post by Kathryn Stewart

The holidays are a perfect excuse to host gatherings. Intimate or bustling, for family or friends, ’tis the season for festivities.

chai ingredients

Of course, fetes often mean indulgence– and rightly so, if you ask us! Celebrating with loved ones is nourishing to the soul, and if a bit of pumpkin pie and ice cream feels just right for you, it probably is.

But there’s something to be said for offering a wholesome treat, too. The kind of night-cap that won’t leave you depleted in the morning, and might even help you sleep!

Call it yogi tea or chai, but we think the home-made version of this digestive, rejuvenating, and detoxifying Ayurvedic drink makes an excellent digestif for winding down and grounding after even the liveliest of holiday soirees.

According to Ayurveda, the combination of spices in chai helps to calm the stomach and stimulate agni (digestive fire), not to mention aid in eliminating any lingering ama (toxins). Food coma be gone!

Feel free to play with this recipe according to your preferences. While this recipe doesn’t call for tea, some like the addition of black or herbal tea (try Tulsi Basil). And while Ayurveda typically encourages full-fat cow’s milk, you can adapt it with your favorite non-dairy substitute.

This recipe is from Ayurveda Cooking for Westerners by Amadea Morningstar


Chai Tea

Preparation time: 15 


Makes 6 cups

Pour into a large saucepan:

3 cups fresh raw cow’s milk

3 cups pure water

Bring to a boil, uncovered. Add:

1 cinnamon stick

Seeds from 5 cardamom pods

1/8 tsp. whole black peppercorns

1/8 tsp. fennel seeds

1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger root, peeled

Cover and let simmer on low until the flavor is to your liking, 15 minutes to an hour or so. Serve hot, sweetened with:

raw honey

Kathryn Stewart lives for the prosaic: the steaming pitch-dark of a just-poured french press, the dazzle of sea glass in the sand, the post-storm spindrift that scatters along the shore. She loves the storied coastal south, where she has recently made her home. Since studying creative writing at Warren Wilson College in western North Carolina, she has found joy in a wide range of storytelling for print magazines and blogs as well other online media. She also offers marketing and communications services for small businesses. Want to connect? Kathryn.faye.stewart @ gmail dot com

Give Love: The Official Salty Dog Holiday Gift Guide

gift guide

One of our favorite times of year is upon us once again, Salty Dogs! A season of love, peace, and happiness – and unfortunately some of you may be finding yourselves instead feeling frustration, stress, and misery, mostly pertaining to the responsibilities and obligations we foist upon ourselves in the realms of gift-giving and family relations.

More on that whole family thing to come in a later post…. Today we’re here to soften the holiday shopping experience with a gift guide that offers a gift ideas for everyone (and we mean everyone) on your list this year. We hope these suggestions take some of the stress out of shopping and create a little more room for love. Which leads us to item #1:


1) Love. Yep – hokey as that may sound, it’s free and it comes in infinite forms to fit every single person on this earth. Everyone enjoys it (although some may have a harder time expressing it) and it benefits both the giver and receiver. Not only is it a win-win kind of gift, it’s one that will never go out of style (seriously, people – Love has been trending since the dawn of time).

Now, on to some slightly more tangible and/or experiential items categorized by recipient:

For The Super Yogi/Yogini in Your Life:

1) A Salty Dog Class Pack or Membership : Details here (Gift Certificates can be purchased at the studio): ($60-$1,000)

2) A Sweet Mat Upgrade : Our Jade Harmony yoga mats are made from recycled rubber in the USA with extra grip to avoid slipping during holds. ($68)

Jade Harmony Yoga Mats in a Variety of Colors

Jade Harmony Yoga Mats in a Variety of Colors

3) A Unique Hand Crafted Mat Bag : Coccinella Mat Bags are beautifully designed and handmade by a local yoga teacher and her mother. They’re durable, practical, and beautiful – and they take the hassle out of getting your belongings and mat to and from class. ($45)

4) Comfortable, Sweat-Wicking, Sturdy and 100% Not-See-Through Yoga Pants or Tanks by Onzie (Crops back in stock on Dec. 15th!): Onzie, based out of California, makes their line of technical yoga clothing right here in the U.S., and is known best for its line of printed yoga pants. ($52-$54)


Onzie Teal Tech Hoodie – Also Comes in Black


Onzie’s fun variety of printed yoga crops

5) Something Warm and Cozy for Before and After Class : Because nothing is tougher than facing the chill after a warm and cozy class, give them some warm and cozy to wear right out of the studio. We’ve got cover-ups in a variety of weights and colors. ($28-$55)

pea coat

Brick Red Heavy Fleece Pea Coat by Independent Trading Co. $55

For The Non-Yogi

1) A Set of Hand Crafted Ceramic Coaster : Each ceramic coaster is crafted and stained individually and backed with upcycled yoga mat. Give one, or a set of four! ($10-$45)


Handmade coasters by Candle on the Water

2) Upcycled Accessories or Jewelry by Strength & Elegance : Our Aerial Yoga instructor also happens to be quite crafty. Check out her braided headbands, can tab cuffs, zipper necklace or one of her gorgeous original pieces – all lovely, all affordably priced. ($7-$11)

3) Something Warm and Cozy… For Whenever They Would Like to Feel Warm and Cozy

4) A Thai Yoga Body Therapy Session : Perfect for the yogi or non-yogi, these sessions allow the recipient to relax while the practitioner does all the work for them. Click here for more info –!about2/c763 ($75-$100 Special pricing through the end of the year!)

5) An All-Natural Flax & Lavender-Filled Eye Pillow : Made from 100% organic cotton in South Carolina, this eye pillow adds gentle pressure to the eyelids, provides darkness and a relaxing scent to facilitate sweet, sweet rest – and likely sleep – just warning you 🙂 ($10)

eye pillow

Because eye pillows should feel good *and* smell good

For The Eco-Conscious:

1) A Jade Yoga Mat ($68)

2) An Comfy and Eco-Friendly Tank or Sweater by Alternative ($20-$35)

3) A Sturdy Organic Cotton Grocery Tote ($14)

4) Upcycled Accessories by Strength & Elegance ($7-$11)

5) An All-Natural Flax & Lavendar-Filled Eye Pillow ($10)

For Someone Who Has Everything:

1) A Gift Certificate for an Aerial Yoga Class ($15)

2) A Gift Certificate for a series of Hoop Arts Classes ($15-$60)

3) A Thai Yoga Body Therapy Session ($75-$100)

4) A Class Package or Membership ($60-$1000)

5) A Private Yoga Session ($65)

For The Little Ones:

1) A Salty Pups Children’s Yoga Class or Series (Ages 4-8) ($10-$60)

2) A Hoop Arts Class for Ages 12+ ($15)

3) The Children’s Circus Arts Series (Coming to Salty Dog in January) (Pricing TBA!))

Stocking Stuffers:

1) An All-Natural Flax & Lavender-Filled Eye Pillow

2) Upcycled Accessories or Jewelry By Strength & Elegance

3) A Gift Certificate for Classes, Merchandise or Thai Yoga Body Therapy

4) A Soft and Stylish Salty Dog Burnout Tank ($20)

For questions about any of the above items, or about how to purchase them, please e-mail Amanda at

To wrap things up (ha! get it?), we’d like to leave you with the following song, which ran through our head the entire time we were writing these lists. In the immortal words of  Freddy Mercury, “Why can’t we give love, give love, give love, give love…? ” Well, you get the point 🙂 Happy Holidays, everyone!

Hear This: A Playlist for Giving Thanks

Party Ganesh

The holidays have crept up, as they always do, and this Thanksgiving, dearest Pleasure Islanders, we want you to do something for us: take this Spotify playlist we have lovingly crafted for you (to kick off our our new Salty Dog Spotify account in style), and let it be symbol of our gratitude for you.

Under all the inevitable to-ing and fro-ing of the coming season, it can be easy to lose sight of what brings us together in the first place: taking the time to express gratitude for those who are dear to us.

We want you to know that whatever the world carries for you this year, we are eternally thankful for each of you and the light you bring to our little island.

We’ve compiled a playlist of songs to uplift the spirit, brighten your days, and most of all, to celebrate each other in this life. They’re about love, gratitude, and home, and we hope you’ll enjoy listening to them as much as we’ve enjoyed compiling them.

Giving Thanks

This Girl’s Surf+Yoga Experience


I have a confession to make. Make that several confessions…

1) I have a fear of deep ocean water.

2) I have a fear of big fish in said deep water.

3) I have let these two fears keep me from doing something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember…

That is, until last Saturday when I threw caution to the wind (and myself in to the waves) with Salty Dog’s Surf+Yoga Experience.

I didn’t want to continue touting the intense connection between yoga and surf based merely upon things I’d read and what others have told me. I wanted to know it intimately, first-person, salt-water-up-the-nose and all.

And so I found myself at the surf’s edge, with 10 other yogis, lying stomach-down on a board, getting land instruction from Odysea Surf and Kiteboard School’s Kevin Murphy. And I was damn good at swimming through the sand and pushing my body up into a low, ninja surfer stance every time Kevin yelled “now pop up!”


Yogis are good on land. I mean, come on, we look *really* good.

I had it.

Until we headed out toward the ocean. Suddenly my heart rate quickened as I watched my fellow yogis fearlessly plunge into the sea and start paddling out. How are they doing that?? But my instructor didn’t give me much time to get anxious. He helped me carry my board into the water and before I knew it, I, too, was paddling out with very little opportunity to over-think it.

Instead, it was suddenly all about getting beyond the crashing waves, and, much like a tough wave of a power vinyasa sequence, I was far too focused on my body and breath and the physical and mental challenge of it all to be thinking about the water getting deeper. In fact, when I finally made it out past the breakers, I’d never been so happy to find myself in deep water, blissfully releasing to float on my board while I waited for a wave – the child’s pose of surfing. This is where my fear of big fish should have tapped me on the shoulder, but instead, I was feeling one with the sealife – even the bigger, toothier variety. I couldn’t make myself be afraid if I tried. I was good.

After coming back to my breath (thank you, pranayama!), taking in the view before me, waving “hello” to the others who had also conquered the paddle-out, my instructor called me over. It was time to catch a wave.


Everyone’s happier after making it past the breakers 🙂

I feel fortunate that I wiped out pretty immediately – got that fear right out of the way. Because, as with many unknowns in life, the fear lies in not knowing what would happen. So when I popped up that first time and immediately lost my balance and crashed into the sea, what happened was this: I got rolled over a bit, snorted some saltwater, popped back out of the water, got a good laugh out of it, and then dove into the next oncoming wave, paddling back out. Charged with the power of knowledge and experience, my fears melted and I was ready to try again.


Little blue dot+little red dot = me wiping out on my first wave. With flourish, I like to think 😉

And again, and again, and again.

I won’t lie – I did get pummeled a number of times. But finally – and with about as much grace as a hippopotamus – I rode a wave! My ride was brief, but long enough to feel the power of the churning sea beneath me. I understood then why people do it – why someone would paddle out, wait, and wait, and wait… (and then wipe out several times) for the chance that they might get to connect with the power of the ocean. It’s like the call of the waves was always there, and your first surf allows you to start hearing it. (Interesting side note: my first yoga class left me with a similar fascination.)


And me finally catching a wave. Maybe not so much flourish this time…

The bonus lesson: continually being new to things is so important! Trying something for the first time is an incredibly valuable experience, not only in its power to enrich our lives and to challenge our minds and bodies, but also in its ability to increases our empathy.

Every time I throw myself into something new, I’m reminded vividly of what my brand new yoga students must feel like at their first class. Mine was so long ago that it’s easy to forget the fear, the insecurity, the need for encouragement both from my instructor and from myself, how humbling it is! Experiencing being a new student at anything makes one a better teacher of everything.

The morning was indeed epic. After surfing, we were hungry and parched and extremely grateful for the cooler full of coconut water and snacks and Meg’s yoga cool-down. Much like trying a new arm balance or inversion in class, surfing can leave you feeling wild and scattered, and a few asanas were just the thing for opening muscles that would likely be sore the next day, and refocusing and grounding the mind.

Equal parts strenuous and invigorating, The Surf+Yoga Experience left me feeling intensely alive, with even greater love and respect for the sea, a deeper understanding of the common threads that link surf and yoga, and a hearty desire to do it all over again.


Ready to get your surf/yoga on? Salty Dog offers The Surf+Yoga Experience July 20th, August 3rd, August 17th, and August 31st. Click here to learn more and sign up

Here Comes the Sun


Oh my poor Pleasure Islanders… This low pressure system hanging over our heads does seem to be taking its toll on our springtime moral around here. At this point, the old, “Sometimes, you have to create your own sunshine!” adage isn’t cutting it anymore, and if you’re like us, you look like the children in “The Cat in the Hat,” staring longingly out into the glum, rainy afternoon.

So here’s the gameplan. We’ve put together the sunniest playlist we could find. Grab your iPod (or, you know, burn a CD if you’re rockin’ it old school), roll out your mat, and get your sun sals on. Maybe – just maybe – we can use our collective intention to blast the clouds aside and call the sun back to the beach 🙂

Your Ultimate Surya Playlist:

1) Alexi Murdoch “Toward the Sun”

2) Sun it Rises “Fleet Foxes”

2) The Beatles “Here Comes the Sun”

3) Beck “Sun-Eyed Girl”

4) Noah and the Whale “Five Year’s Time”

5) Len “If You Steal My Sunshine” (Yep – we went there)

6) Bob Marley/Funkstar Deluxe Remix “Sun  is Shining”

7) Milk and Sugar “Let the Sunshine In”

8) Shiny Toy Guns “The Sun”

9) Weezer “Island in the Sun”  (**Bonus: The amount of baby animals squeezed into this three minute video should probably be illegal. Prepare for sute overload.)

10)  Aqualung “Brighter than Sunshine”

11) Ben Harper “She’s Only Happy in the Sun”

…I kid you not, as I wrapped this list up… the sun came out! 🙂