South Charlotte

Yoga studio helps you find inner peace, quiet

That's it. Now that school has started, summer is officially over. Back to the hectic schedules of buses, making lunches, getting kids out of bed, into bed, homework done, projects done and all of the other stuff the school year brings.

I get stressed just thinking about it.

Unfortunately, that's what parenting can do to a person, stress you out – so can work, bosses, employees and life in general. There was even a study that indicated watching “Oprah” caused viewers to get stressed out. Glad I don't watch.

It's said that one of the best ways to conquer stress is to work out. I have to admit, as someone who makes an effort to work out regularly, it definitely helps.

One thing anyone can easily add to their regimen is yoga: that old mind-body connection.

There is something to be said for taking time to turn inward and just be.

If you need a place to practice, you don't have to travel far. YogaFlex, in Blakeney, is convenient and serene. It's owned by Dena Graziano. This mother of three (ages 5, 3 and 18 months) knows a thing or two about stress.

Graziano began practicing yoga after her first child and it quickly became more to her than just some “me” time. She says yoga brought her patience and a way to keep life's daily tensions to minimum.

Eventually Graziano's teacher took notice, encouraged her to continue learning about yoga and helped her on her journey to becoming a yoga teacher.

Now she says, “Yoga has made me a better mother; a better wife; a better friend.”

She's also a savvy business owner.

In an effort to make yoga available to everyone, she keeps a close watch on class prices and is proud YogaFlex offers some of the most inexpensive classes in Charlotte.

Graziano also takes pride in listening to her customers. If there is a type of class that clients are clamoring for, she'll give it a seven-week trial on the schedule.

She beams when talking about her instructors. Each brings their own individual style to their discipline. Graziano lets each instructor design their own class, allowing each staff member's personality to come through.

Many people think yoga is some crazy meditation mixed with religion thing. In actuality, it's whatever you want to make of it.

As Graziano explains, “Its all religions and no religion.”

She goes on to inform me that, “Yoga was designed as a way to combat the tightness and stiffness brought on by hours of sitting in a meditation pose.”

When I ask her what is the one thing she'd want people to know about her studio, she tells me, “That we're laid-back. We don't need people to stress out about coming to yoga.”

With that, she assures me that every new student is greeted and shown modifications of poses and how to properly get into them.

So, make those lunches, wake those kids and catch that bus, but know that YogaFlex is there to help you find some inner peace and quiet. And who doesn't need that?

Details: Call YogaFlex at 704-543-8000 or go online to