Charm City Yoga Membership
A regular, uninterrupted practice is the best way to fully maximize the benefits of yoga. Charm City Yoga Membership is the most efficient and economical way to maintain your commitment to your practice.
The Benefits of a Yoga Membership
Our membership provides daily classes and a variety of Member-only benefits at all 4 of our studios. Our experienced staff provides ongoing support to help you sustain a whole and balanced practice.
Become Part of our Community
As a member of Charm City Yoga, you’ll enjoy the friendship of like-minded practitioners, while extending and enhancing your own personal practice.
Take Advantage of Terrific Savings
Monthly Membership offers substantial economic benefits with free members-only clinics and many amenities discounts. Even if you only attend classes twice a week, you’ll save money compared with our Ten Class Card. So your ongoing dedication to better health and vitality also enables you to save money.
Charm City Yoga Member Benefits:
- Daily practice @ our 4 locations around Baltimore
- 2 FREE guest passes each quarter
- FREE members Members-only yoga clinics with our RYT 500s
- 10% off all clothes and yoga mats
- Easy monthly auto-pay and key-tag for quicker sign-in
- FREE towel and mat rentals when you forget yours
- Discounts on workshops
- Discounts at our Baltimore partners including Earth Treks Climbing Gyms in Timonium and Columbia
Join Kim this Friday at Johns Hopkins University for an All-levels Vinyasa Yoga Class. Your donation will raise funds for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital, which delivers world class healthcare to children from around the country. So grab your mat, some friends, and head to JHU this weekend to unwind after the work week and put the fruits of your practice toward a great cause!! Check out the Facebook page for this event here.
Yoga on the Quad — All-levels Vinyasa
Friday, October 1st
4 – 5:30 pm
Johns Hopkins University Gilman Quad
Led by Kim Manfredi
Special thanks to our students for voting us Baltimore’s Best Yoga Studio in City Paper’s 2010 Best of Baltimore that hit the shelves this morning! This marks the 7th year in a row that we’ve had this honor, and we couldn’t be more grateful to our community. A very special thanks to our teachers and staff for their commitment to excellence in providing the very best yogic environment for Bmore yogis and yoginis to breath, stretch and sweat. Peace and love to you all!
Check out what City Paper had to say…
“Charm City Yoga provides a wide variety of choices in styles and intensity, all the way from gentle beginner and Hatha style through vigorous Astanga and mind-blowing sweaty-hot Vinyasa workouts, led by committed and caring instructors who don’t want you to hurt yourself if you’re a newbie. If you’re looking for a simple way to improve your posture, find relief from the office chair, or get a complete reboot of your physique and psyche, you’re going to find the style and teacher you need at one of Charm City’s locations in Federal Hill, Fells Point, Midtown, or Towson. Begin with the breath.” Read the full issue here.
So, we’re on day 7 of the Gauri Ganesh festival, and while the locals may be enjoying the celebrations immensely, those of us waking at 3:30 in the morning are a little less impressed with the impromptu drum circles, music concerts, and pyrotechnic displays that are taking place each evening. Watching the clock tick past 9, 10 and 11 p.m. when you know you’ve got to get up for practice in the morning can be slightly frustrating. Although, I suppose that’s why they invented earplugs.
Each morning, I’m now waking before my alarm, worried that I’ll be late for practice, and not wanting to miss my 4:45 (shala time – which is 4:30 for the rest of Gokulam) start. I get up, throw on some clothes, brush my teeth, down a glass of water and what I’ve deemed my Bhujapidasana banana and head to class. While most of the students here refuse to eat before practicing, I find that my body doesn’t tend to react well to the fiery Ashtanga practice without enough nutrients, and with a bedtime around 8 p.m. and regular lunchtimes around 1:30 or 2, my dinner is light and consists mainly of cucumber-tomato salad and a veg bread or samosa. The first week I attempted practice on an empty stomach and then made the decision that it isn’t for me. I’m now receiving questions that accompany the “you’re crazy” face about my daily baby banana which I eat about 30 minutes before practice begins. I call it the Bhujapidasana banana because I feel that though my body can make it to Bhujapidasana (a challenging arm balance just over halfway through the series) on it’s own, I need the extra fuel to finish strongly. Those 4 or 5 bites of vitamin and potassium packed sweetness are enough to pull me through until I can walk out of the shala and thankfully accept my freshly decapitated coconut.
All of this thought and rambling about food probably seems crazy, but for me it’s a huge factor in determining how my practice progresses and since I’m here for the yoga, I really want to do everything I can to make each morning count. And I think it’s working! This week my practices were much better, stronger, more fluid (though still not as fluid as at home) and I feel like I’m making huge strides. With the pain that’s been plaguing my right hip and glute for the past 8 months magically gone, I’ve been able work much more deeply into all my forward folds, binding my wrists in every pose, which is something I never even contemplated accomplishing. My backbends are also deepening, and I surprised myself this week to look up towards the front of my mat while being assisted in the backbend, and there in front of my face were Sharath’s toes. This, my friends, is a good sign. And along with my increased flexibility and opening, my concentration has drastically improved. My scattered brain is focusing, narrowing my field of vision from those practicing around me to my own mat and precisely what is happening on it. It may have taken two weeks, but I feel like I’m hitting my stride here in Mysore, and I’m incredibly pleased.
***Read more about Anna’s second week in Mysore here!
It’s 3:45 a.m., and all over Gokulam alarms are going off and lights are switching on. It’s the commencement of the new session at K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute and the little yogis and yoginis are crawling out of bed, wiping the sleep from their eyes (assuming, of course, they got sleep) and preparing themselves in anticipation of this morning’s 4:30 Led Primary Series. I too and pulling myself from my bed, gathering my mat and my keys and my coconut funds and heading out the door.
It’s a 5 minute walk from my house to the shala, just enough time for me to realize how stiff my body is from trains and planes and beds that are, for some reason, hard as rocks. It’s enough of a walk for me to gauge how weak my body has become in the past few days from some sort of sun-sickness, a fever, chills, dehydration and an inability to eat. Yet still at quarter to four in the morning I am more than willing to pull myself from beneath the blankets, to walk out into the dark street, nodding and waving to the other crazies who have also paid to be tortured at ungodly hours, and make my way to the shala gates. We remove our shoes, and silently take our spots in the room. Laying out our mats in strategically chosen places, not too close to the stage, avoiding the doors, or the seams in the mats.
I sit on my mat and take in the room around me. From every wall I see that faces of the Jois family, the lineage I’ve come here to follow, looking down on me as I practice. An honoured picture of Pattabhi’s teacher, Krishnamacharya hangs high above the others, commanding attention and respect. Up on the stage, taking his rightful place at the head of the room is a picture of Guruji, himself, in his glory days of Ashtanga, strong and powerful in Samastihi, the intensity shining from behind his eyes. As I sit, waiting for Sharath to emerge and begin today’s practice, I can feel my body start to soften. The stiffness from the days before melts away, absorbed by the mat and the room and the energy of this place starts to take over.
**Read more about Anna’s first week in Mysore here!
Charm City Yoga is thrilled to have Martha McAlpine teaching in our Federal Hill Studio! We caught up with her over the weekend for a brief Q & A…
What drew you to teaching at Charm City Yoga?
Kim. Plain and simple. Over the years I’d been a volunteer at different trainings and invited to teach at different studios but the skills to teach yoga and to manage a studio never seemed to inhabit the same person, and so I never settled in. I preferred to work privately with just one or two personal clients at a time. As a participant of the 500 hour teacher training at CCY I got first-hand experience of Kim’s fabulous personal depth of knowledge and experience of yoga and how she offers it out in her teaching of students and potential teachers. At the same time, she manages people and places in a manner that fosters a community of trust and respect at a professional level. I finally found the two skills in one person and I was ready to join the CCY community as a teacher.
What styles/teachers/philosophies have most influenced your teaching?
Philosophically, I start with the text; Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are the heart of why I practice and the longer I study them, the more they give me. Astanga influenced my sequencing but years of practicing in that style brought on injuries as well as a certain limitation from the rigidity of the primary series as I love to improve and explore where a posture will lead. Shiva Rea showed me a very feminine, creative, dance-oriented style that allowed me to expand what I had understood previously to be the energetic and personal boundaries of the physical practice. And Vanda Scaravelli had likely the longest-lasting effect on my practice that I still explore to this day: she has a triad of gravity, time, and the wave as a means into a posture. These three work together to offer an extraordinary freedom and ease that will hold my practice and teaching for coming decades. At the same time, I think the greatest influence to my teaching is my own practice. As I teach, I call on my own experience of different teachers and my own curiosity about how a posture feels, what it offers me physically and emotionally, how I consider how I can offer it to students.
What can students expect in your classes?
We follow a typical vinyasa flow from sun salute variations to standing postures to twists and work seated on the mat. However, I emphasize the cultivation of effortlessness and ease by using props and verbal cues to go halfway to your limit as you start so that you can explore and know yourself in each posture rather than simply hold (or survive!) the posture. I used to laugh when my teacher would say her practice was like diving into a pool, mine felt like so much work – good work, to be sure, but work! Now I am beginning to find what she meant and my effort as a teacher is to share how the work/effort can be rewarding in each breath. I try to offer awareness in the motion that is intrisically a part of our breath, and how that motion exists in each posture. That motion of our breath is how the postures evolve and deepen and when we surrender our effort to the wave of the breath we find ease and strength where before we struggled. That said, it isn’t an easy class but if you learn to back up and listen to your breath it will be transformative and restorative.
**Martha comes to Charm City Yoga with 15 years of personal yoga practice and a deep belief in personal experience as a primary teacher. She holds a master’s degree from Harvard in experiential education, is trained as a life coach, and strives to join her intellect to her physical and spiritual practice. She was a participant in Barbara Benaugh’s 200 hr teacher training, as well as wekshops with Patricia Walden, Shiva Rea, Rodney Yee, Chip Hartranft, and Baron Baptiste. She teaches a fluid vinyasa class drawn from these varied influences with a teaching style that has been described to contain joy, humour, curiosity, determination, and “good suffering”. She is currently in the 500 hr teacher training with Kim Manfredi. **Be sure to check out her classes at our Federal Hill Studio:
- Vinyasa Yoga, Thurs 9:30 – 11 am
- Vinyasa Yoga, Fri 4:30 – 6 pm
- Hot Vinyasa, Sat 9:30 – 11 am (long term sub for Erin C.)
August 30, 2010
Last day in Rishikesh and we’re still recovering from yesterday’s hiking extravaganza! Headed out to yoga this morning to stretch our sore muscles, and because we were both feeling a little tired we opted for a Hatha class. It was certainly more gentle and relaxing, though definitely not easy, and we both really enjoyed the Pranayama (breath control) and Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses) portion that the teacher did at the end of the class. We also got to have a little time to talk with the teacher, who’s name is Kumar, and he was telling us how he’s hoping to open his own yoga retreat in his hometown, much more north of Rishikesh. He said he found the dirtiness and constant stimulation there makes it difficult to concentrate, and therefore his students are not getting the full benefits of the practice. What a shock to us to hear him complain about Rishikesh being dirty! Compared to everywhere else we had visited it seemed immaculate. Anyway, I wish the best for him because he really was a good teacher and has a lot to offer his students, and perhaps if he actually opens his studio Bart and I will come back to India for a vacation that is actually relaxing.
After class we went immediately down to the ghat that is beside the yoga studio and washed ourselves off in the Ganges – our ritual purification that we had avoided in all the other towns, due to the unsanitary water. In Rishikesh however the river runs cold, clear and fairly fast as it travels down from the Himalayan glaciers. Refreshed, but rather chilly we went to our room, showered, changed and headed to a little coffee shop we had read about in the guidebook (danger, danger!) for breakfast. They were reported to serve Yak cheese sandwiches, and we all know that if there is something available that Bart hasn’t eaten in his life, he MUST try it. And he did – TWICE! The Yak cheese was delicious, sort of the flavour and depth of Manchego with a little sharpness of Parmesan, and it was served on a freshly baked whole wheat roll with slices of tomato. Heaven. I was a little disappointed I had opted for the fruit porridge, but since Bart did order a second sandwich, I got to have as many bites as I wanted. What a good husband.
After packing and storing our bags we walked around a bit – doing a little shopping here, bartering there, browsing through the numerous stalls and shops that line the road between Lakshman Jula and Ram Jula, the two pedestrian bridges that connect Rishikesh’s East and West banks of the Ganges. We walked the banks for several hours and then once the heat and humidity had taken it’s toll we decided Chillout was a nice place to while away the remainder of the afternoon. We relaxed, ate and drank and steeled ourselves for the return taxi to Haridwar and then the overnight train ride back to Delhi. We really weren’t ready to leave Rishikesh, and I can see why people would want to go and stay there for a while, it was definitely our favourite place on the trip.
August 29, 2010
Returned to my little yoga studio at 7 this morning for another class. The teacher once again did a modified Ashtanga class for me, as I was the only one there to start, though we were joined by two others afterward. Bart, feeling a little under the weather today, opted to sleep in, and hopefully get himself prepared for the day.
After I returned, feeling wonderful of course, we headed out to grab a little breakfast before embarking on our chosen adventure for the day. We had decided that we both wanted to do a little hiking on this trip, and so we planned to do the pilgrimage walk out to Neel Kantha Temple, a temple dedicated to Shiva, and according to our trusty guidebook (I actually read it this time), an approximately seven kilometer walk on a forest path. So, all I have to say, is GUIDEBOOKS LIE! The forested path was indeed about seven kilometers, perhaps a little more, but it didn’t begin until about four or five kilometers south of town! In addition, the book (the Bible as we’ve taken to calling it) neglected to inform that the seven kilometer forested path is straight up the side of a mountain – and no, I’m not exaggerating. Four and a half hours later we had walked until our legs were wobbly, sweat until we looked like we’d been soaked by monsoon rains, had our picture taken by numerous pilgrims, helped some elderly Indian women down the steep parts of the path only to have to turn around and go back up and mowed the only lunch we’d brought – two bananas an apple and a big bottle of water. And if we thought that was difficult, you should have seen the others out there with us! A small group of young men, probably in their very early twenties, were climbing the path prostrate! Using a stick to mark their body length they would lie on the ground, reach an arms length up, drop the stick, climb up to the marker, lie down and do it all over again. When we asked why they were climbing this way one told us that he was a yoga teacher, Shiva is the God of yoga and he had made a promise to approach the temple this way. It put me a little to shame, but I guess I did come all the way to India for yoga, so maybe that can almost begin to compare.
By the time we made it up we were completely exhausted – the extreme heat and humidity taking its toll on us. We opted for the community taxi ride back down – about a half hour plus drive down a snaking road, but it dropped us right at our hotel where we excitedly showered and got ready for dinner. While we were out looking for a place we saw my yoga instructor and he directed us to a little restaurant called Chillout – which was exactly that. We lounged on floor cushions, ate delicious Indian food and let ourselves rest after a taxing day.
August 28, 2010
Arrived in Rishikesh by autorickshaw to a beautiful day. Only about 20 kilometers from Haridwar this little city is almost the complete opposite of what we’ve previously experienced. Chalk full of foreigners from all around the world we are neither out of place or unusual here, and for that reason it seems that Rishikesh has been putting an increased amount of effort into keeping their city enjoyable for travelers. The streets are cleaner, the pressure of vendors nearly non-existent, and I feel as if I could easily spend quite a lot of time here. There are still monkeys and cows everywhere, and adding in horses and donkeys to the mix has given extra interest, but the charm of these things is not overshadowed by negative aspects as it was in many other places.
The city runs on both sides of the Ganges and is connected by two pedestrian bridges. We are staying at the northern-most bridge on the East bank of the river. For our first day we decided to walk south, out past the end of the east side of the city and search out the now abandoned Maharishi Ashram, where the Beatles stayed and composed the majority of the White Album. We did eventually find it, being swallowed by weeds (that rather resemble our front yard for the majority of this summer) and completely quiet. Much less pomp and circumstance then one would expect, but it’s kind of a nice change. It was a great walk – 5 or 6 kilometers return to our room – and got us all warmed up for our afternoon yoga class.
Rishikesh is the yoga capital of basically the entire world, and you can find any style, any time and any teacher to suit your needs around the city. It was only a five minute walk before I spotted a sign for an Ashtanga class and that was all it took. By 4 p.m. Bart and I were vinyasa-ing our way through a great class, enjoying a nice stretch after being cooped up and stiffened up by planes, trains and autorickshaws. The teacher was very considerate and kind, working the class to be valuable and enjoyable for me, but also accessible for Bart and the other girl who was participating. He varied the series as needed, and added in some nice relaxation techniques at the end of class that I’m planning to share with my classes once I get home.
Needless to say after an exercise packed afternoon, we were both exhausted, and went to bed dreaming of the good days to come.
Welcome to Baltimore’s award winning yoga studios! At Charm City Yoga you will find yoga classes to suit all levels, from beginner to advanced, with a variety of styles, from Asthanga to Vinyasa Flow. If you are new to our studios then we invite you to try our Introductory Month of Unlimited Yoga for just $30.
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