Lake Norman & Mooresville

Community Yoga hosts bazaar benefit

Yoga in Cornelius will host a Holiday Bazaar 1-4 p.m. Dec. 17 with more than 10 vendors offering holiday gifts and services.

The studio will be offering free 15-minute yoga classes of various types.

The event will also support Community Yoga's chosen charity of 2011, Huntersville nonprofit Kids Rein.

When Community Yoga opened late in 2004, its founders knew they wanted to commit their business to supporting local charities. Selected organizations have included Habitat for Humanity, Davidson's Ada Jenkins Center's Health Services - which helps provide medical care for uninsured and underinsured individuals - and Huntersville's Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen. In 2012, the studio selected the Cornelius Animal Shelter as its cause.

Community Yoga also shows its support for the surrounding area by volunteering to clean up litter and debris along a section of N.C. 115 as a part of North Carolina's Adopt-A-Highway Program.

Amy Schneider of Huntersville, 46, one of Community Yoga's founders and now the sole owner of Community Yoga, said she sees selecting a local charity to support each year as a "way that's right underneath our noses to help each other. The whole idea is that yoga is about more than touching your toes. It's about giving back. We need each other, and I think people want community. We are creating community and support."

Throughout 2011, Community Yoga has been donating money, providing volunteers, and raising awareness for Kids Rein, a therapeutic horse-riding organization for children with special needs. It is located at Latta Equestrian Center in Huntersville.

Vendors' table fees from the upcoming Community Yoga Holiday Bazaar will be donated to the nonprofit, as well as proceeds from the sale of baked goods, from mini-facials provided by esthetician Biggie Gough, and from handmade gingermen-doing-yoga ornaments by studio student Marguerite Keller. Other vendors also may choose to donate part of their proceeds.

Vendors will offer jewelry, holiday ornaments and decor, products from hand-bag brand Thirty-One, art, other crafts, scrapbook supplies and advice, baked goods, mini-facials and massages and feng shui consultations.

Schneider said the event supports Kids Rein and also the teachers and students of Community Yoga who have other businesses.

"Community Yoga is not me, it's a village," she said. "It takes all of us. The teachers have a passion for sharing yoga."

During the bazaar, the studio will also host mini-classes for people to try different types of yoga. These classes will include hatha, yin, subtle, restorative, yoga nidra (deep relaxation sleep yoga), meditative exercise qi gong, kirtan (chanting), and meditation. These classes are just a sample of what the studio has to offer.

"Community Yoga is committed to demystifying what yoga is," said Schneider. "My passion is that I feel like yoga is for everyone. It's about finding the right kind and right teacher."