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UNLOCK YOUR INNER BLISS: FIND YOUR YOGA PRACTICE.

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Whether you're looking to get into yoga as a beginner or find a new go-to spot to practice, even if you're an experienced Yogi, Wilmington and surrounding areas have plenty of yoga studios. But we want to round up the best Yoga studios in Wilmington and point you in the right direction to get your stretch on with the best instructors and serene vibes. Our top picks offer far more than a place to roll out a mat and get a good workout; instead, they function as community hubs, providing a social and spiritual space that is a refuge from the city's daily grind.


Carolina Beach, NC

Q&A with Marisa Karoutsos, Manager & Instructor


Evoke was borne of the idea that people are multifaceted, complex beings. We also believe that people have what they need inside of them, but circumstances and experiences alter or hide it. Having mental and physical health components under one roof allows us to access everything that makes you. We also believe that sometimes we are nudged into the next right thing and work hard to avail ourselves of whatever the Universe wants. Evoke was "nearly accidental" and is the vehicle through which we serve our community intentionally and positively.


What makes Evoke unique?

Evoke is a special business to walk into and be a part of. The yoga studio, in conjunction with the therapy services offered, makes the studio unique. We love to tie mental health into our yoga classes and want the people who walk through the doors to take away more than just a good workout or a nice stretch. We aim to provide a place for peace and acceptance of self. Our studio strives for inclusivity and to make those who walk through the doors leave knowing they CAN have a yoga practice. We work to break through some people's blocks in terms of starting and keeping a practice. Our students don't have to look a certain way, be flexible, or have an extensive background in yoga to enjoy classes! We welcome you as you are and provide the tools you need.


We also pride ourselves on being a place that feels relatable and comfortable. We want our students to feel comfortable asking questions and to feel the warmth and welcoming energy as they make their way in. We understand yoga can be intimidating, and some studios can feel overwhelming. We love our sweet, intimate space that feels safe and gives us a place to enjoy ourselves and one another.


What styles of yoga are offered?

Our classes are rooted in Vinyasa-style yoga, which promotes creative and dynamic flows to give students a whole experience each time they step on their mat. While the style of yoga is similar throughout, each class we offer is there to give students a different experience. Our classes vary in pacing and difficulty level. We offer gentle yoga, power yoga, vinyasa flow, and are excited to have recently added Yin yoga to our menu! Our instructors will offer modifications to add ease, or further someone's practice based on their readiness.

As we build our program, we intend to add on styles of yoga to ensure that we have a suitable class for every student who walks through our doors. We are incredibly proud of our yoga program at Evoke, and can not wait to see how it grows.

What class would you recommend to someone coming to try the studio for the first time?

Base the class you try with us for the first time on the level of yoga that is under your belt. If you are new to yoga, Thursday night's Slow Flow class gives you the space to find the pose in your own time and the variation that feels right for you. We will also offer a periodic "Beginner Yoga" series to help new yogis enter their practice together in a format that prepares students for classes moving forward. Gentle yoga is an excellent option if you need something low-impact. Yin yoga caters to those who need the meditative aspect of yoga most while adding asana that utilize tools to put you in your most relaxed state. If you have a base practice or are a more physical person, try our Sunday Vinyasa Flow classes or Power Yoga on Wednesdays. Our classes offer different things, so base your first class on what you believe you need. The titles of the classes are a good indication of what they are. We say what we mean around here.

 

Leland, NC

Q&A with Amy Burkhardt, Owner


Amy's background is different from what one might expect. She was an attorney in Ohio for 15 years and then in a litigation department at an insurance company for another 5 years in North Carolina. With a stressful career and raising 3 girls with busy schedules, she enjoyed unwinding with a glass of wine. "I became fascinated with all there was to learn about wine and have since acquired the first level of sommelier certification from The Court of Master Sommeliers. This eventually transitioned to deciding to open a wine bar/wine shop while our oldest daughter was in yoga teacher training, so merging the relaxation concepts led to the creation of Unwined."



What makes Unwined unique?

Certainly, the wine side of the business makes Unwined unique, but we 100 percent recognize and value the yogis that may never do more than practice with us! That said, while we have a well-curated selection of (primarily organic) wine from smaller producers, along with an excellent selection of craft beer, cider, and hard seltzer, we have kombucha and other non-alcoholic options to enjoy while stopping in for some of our other varied events including Tuesday trivia night, a monthly book club, a bi-monthly run club, and weekly live music. Bottom line: we are all about community and connection in whatever form that might look like.


What styles of yoga are offered?

Unwined offers a wide variety of yoga classes weekly. We believe in balance and encourage our community to incorporate the different offerings into their week. You can find anything from Yin to Slow Power Flow. We even offer a mat-based pilates class! Our wonderful yoga instructors bring clients a unique practice each time they step on their mat with us. They will provide options and maximize the use of props to ensure each person has a safe and empowering experience. At Unwined, we live out the belief that yoga is for everybody. If the stress of the week has you ready to stay in savasana for all of class, an injury is forcing you to readjust, you are brand new to the practice and have no clue where to start, or you've been practicing for years - you are welcome in our space.


What class would you recommend to someone coming to try the studio for the first time?

First of all, welcome! We can't wait to have you join us. Quite honestly, you can't go wrong. But if we must narrow your options, Victoria's Evening Flow on Tuesdays at 5:45 pm is a great place to start! This class offers a lighter flow and fluid movement for all practitioners. Donna's Slow Power Flow on Wednesdays at 10:30 am is the perfect challenge if you want to build the heat. This class makes strength and balance at a pace perfect for all bodies. Grab a friend and stick around afterward for a kombucha or another beverage.

 

Wilmington, NC

Q&A with Tamal Dodge, Yoga Instructor


I was born in Hawaii and raised in a yoga ashram. I have been immersed in yoga since I can remember. When I was a child, my father told me that if I didn't share what I had learned in our family's yoga center, I was a thief. This echoed throughout my life as a call to action that I needed to share this profound wisdom with others and pay it forward. So Yoga Salt is an expression of sharing what I have learned. Our studio is not just based on physicality; we infuse the philosophy and meditation behind it all. The more profound aspects of yoga. Our focus is not just on making you physically fit but spiritually balanced as well. This is really the mission statement behind Yoga Salt.


What makes Yoga Salt unique?

Our staff, teachers, and adherence to the wisdom of yoga philosophy and practices.


What styles of yoga are offered?

Vinyasa, power, yin, restorative, and meditation


What class would you recommend to someone coming to try the studio for the first time?

Any class will have its own special magic. If you are looking for something chill, we recommend Just Stretch with Kayla, or if you want a balance of sweat and stretch, try Yin Yang with Sesa.

 

Carolina Beach

Q&A with Mandy Bernard, Owner


Transitioning from a demanding corporate role to overseeing a yoga studio in Wilmington marked the transformative journey Mandy Bernard embarked upon. Although she had dabbled in yoga sporadically throughout her life, it was during her tenure as a manager that her commitment to the practice deepened significantly. This dedication culminated in successfully completing teacher training, leading her to instruct at various Wilmington studios and pioneer a pilot program for Yoga Village's recess yoga initiative. Mandy's unwavering commitment has been evident since her first day at Salty Dog Yoga, where she began teaching every week when they opened in 2013. Over four years, her role evolved from instructor to manager, and eventually, she took the momentous step of purchasing Salty Dog Yoga. Navigating the challenges posed by a pandemic as a business owner has been a rollercoaster ride. Still, Mandy appreciates the insights gleaned from teaching across different local studios, which have undeniably shaped her astute business acumen.


What makes Salty Dog Yoga unique?

Salty Dog Yoga and Surf stands out among other yoga studios due to its distinctive fusion of yoga practice and love for the outdoors. From its inception, Salty has done things a little differently. We were pioneers in offering beach yoga and full moon beach yoga classes to the area, providing mindful hikes in the state park, kayak, and yoga outings. We are always looking to combine our passions of movement with the communion of nature. Another component that truly sets us apart is our diverse team of instructors, each hailing from various training backgrounds and experiences. This is no cookie-cutter studio; Salty's teachers have different backgrounds, training, and expertise. This amalgamation of skills allows us to offer a unique blend of yoga styles, catering to practitioners of all levels and preferences. Our studio isn't just about yoga; it's a holistic experience that offers Pilates equipment, retreats, book clubs, teacher training, and so much more. We embrace the spirit of diversity in our instructors and community, creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.


What styles of yoga are offered?

At Salty, we embrace the motto that variety is the spice of life, so we provide various yoga classes to cater to multiple preferences and skill levels. From vinyasa flow to yin yoga, our offerings span different styles and intensities, ensuring there's something for everyone. Whether seeking a vigorous workout, relaxation, or a spiritual experience, Salty Dog Yoga's range of classes allows you to explore and find the practice that resonates with you.


What class would you recommend to someone coming to try the studio for the first time?

Beach yoga is a must. "I wish I stayed in bed," said no one ever. Our beach yoga classes are one of a kind. They offer a unique and refreshing experience, combining yoga's benefits with nature's soothing effects. The sound of waves, the fresh sea breeze, and the sensation of sand beneath you enhance mindfulness and relaxation. Practicing yoga in this serene environment can help reduce stress, improve focus, and promote a deeper connection between mind and body.

 

Q&A with Owners Jessica Bichler and Heather Metzler


The Wilmington Yoga Center started as a co-op of teachers working together to share yoga with the community in 2000. In 2003 Kristin Cooper-Gulak moved WYC into the current space and began offering teacher training. Over the last 20 years, they have continued to grow into one of the largest yoga studios in the southeast. WYC’s current owners since 2020, Heather Metzler and Jess Bichler, bring more than 40 years of combined teaching experience and have each been part of the studio for more than 10 years. They remain committed to their long-standing mission of making yoga accessible and welcoming to all, developing and employing the most well-trained teachers, and contributing to the community through service work and donations. They are proud to have students that have been with them since the beginning (20 years!) in class alongside newer students, cultivating a true sense of community and belonging.


What makes Wilmington Yoga unique?

We have strong roots in contributing to the growing popularity and accessibility of yoga in Wilmington. We partner with organizations like the non-profit Yoga Village and Novant Health to share yoga with people who may not consider yoga as a resource but quickly come to appreciate the many benefits. In our studio, we focus on making our space welcoming and non-intimidating. We encourage our students to trust their bodies, using them as resources for present-moment awareness and joy, and most importantly, to be empowered to make the choices that serve them best, physically and emotionally, during practice.


What styles of yoga are offered?

Wilmington Yoga offers an open style of practice, pulling from many traditions, tailored to meet the needs of individual students. With the most diverse and full schedule in town, we have everything from Restorative and Gentle yoga to Hot Power Vinyasa Flow, including challenging variations of arm balances and inversions. We also offer free meditation classes every Monday afternoon. For students who prefer individualized attention to find the style of yoga that supports their needs and goals, we offer private sessions and specialty workshops to dive deeper into specific topics.


What class would you recommend to someone coming to try the studio for the first time?

We have a variety of classes to honor all fitness levels, ages, and goals. Many students benefit from our free intro to yoga workshop to get oriented with the studio and our offerings. Gentle yoga can be a safe place to begin if someone has concerns about their physical ability. Our all-level vinyasa flows are more suited to students who are accustomed to being more physically active.

 

Oak Island, NC

Q&A with Owner Christy Gillenwater


Christy Gillenwater moved to Oak Island in 2011 and couldn't find classes that intrigued her. "I have always been active and had left an incredible gym family in Virginia. My husband challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and get certified as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor and then create my own classes and training sessions." She got certified, started beach bootcamp classes, began teaching stability ball and core classes, working with personal training clients and her business took off. "I worked with several different facilities before getting my medical fitness training specialty and then opening Premier Fitness Studio in August of 2015. We recently relocated to a larger facility and have incorporated a massage therapist, salt water float spa, infrared sauna, hairdresser, nail tech. We also host the Brunswick County Wellness Center, a non-profit that offers little to no cost group fitness classes for individuals with neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's, MS, Stroke, and neuropathy. It's an amazing place to be for all your wellness wants and needs and our clients make it even more incredible," says Christy.


What makes Premier Fitness unique? We are a private personal training studio and offer group fitness classes, as well. Our staff are life-long fitness enthusiasts and have a passion for helping individuals reach their specific goals, while keeping in mind the vastly different physical needs of each person that walks through our doors. We have several medical fitness training specialists. These trainers work with clients that have a wide variety of medical issues/diagnosis' like Parkinson's, Stroke, Afib, MS, CDIP, pre and post joint repair or replacement, pre and post mastectomy, lumbar fusions, COPD, and fibromyalgia. Our goal is to meet each client where they are and assist them in reaching whatever goal(s) they set. (Visit our website, www.PremierFitnessStudio.com and view the video of Janie, a stroke client that went from wheelchair bound to walking!)


What styles of yoga are offered? We offer chair yoga, gentle yoga, flow yoga, Pilates-yoga and Aerial Yoga.


What class would you recommend to someone coming to try the studio for the first time?

Depending on physical abilities, I would suggest chair yoga for individuals with physical limitations and/or individuals that have a weak core. For individuals with minimal physical issues, the gentle yoga class would be a good place to start. The Pilates-Yoga class will be slightly more advanced and will definitely work your core. The aerial yoga is AWESOME! Individuals with physical limitations should contact the studio prior to reserving your spot, just to ensure the instructor can accommodate your needs, otherwise, you do not have to have any yoga experience to come try aerial yoga. It's a blast, a great workout and the "nap" at the end is the icing on the cake.

 

Wilmington, NC

Q&A with Owner, Amanda Geelhoed


Longwave Yoga was founded in 2014 by my mentor, Lexi Hawks. The name Longwave Yoga, captures the spirit of strength, love, and connection we share with each other, nature, and universal divinity. I found yoga in 2006 during my high school's Women in Sport Leadership conference. Yoga became part of my healing journey after suffering a debilitating back injury during my collegiate volleyball career. After graduation, I enrolled in my first 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training. I taught all over Grand Rapids for a few years before moving to Wilmington and getting married. I coached the 16 National team at Cape Fear Volleyball and started a yoga program there. I completed a second 200-hour teacher training at Longwave in 2020 which was so much more in-depth than my first and I couldn't get enough. Lexi hired me on staff after I completed my training at Longwave, and a year later, I purchased the studio from her.



What makes Longwave unique?

The practice is more than a workout. We are here to be a kula or community with you and to celebrate, mourn, and learn. Longwave Yoga is unique because the studio mantra of "Live Your Yoga" is upheld by students, teachers, and leadership. The studio celebrates the tradition of passing knowledge from student to teacher, praises the creation around us, and creates a community to go through the vinyasa of life together. Our schedule has something for every kind of yoga daily, including the opportunity to sweat, flow, and refresh. We bring your practice outside the studio's four walls and celebrate Wilmington. We take our vinyasa flow to Airlie Gardens, the Intracoastal waters of Wrightsville Beach, the Blockade Runner Beach Resort beach, and observe the sunset on the sound of Wrightsville Beach. Longwave Yoga is here for all the phases and abilities of your life, including the energetic and powerful days. We have a prenatal specialist and doula on staff, and every teacher is trained in prenatal knowledge. We also have many athletes on staff. We have at least 2 monthly workshops or educational opportunities and offer 3 different yoga teacher training programs. including 200- and 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training, stand-up paddleboard Yoga Teacher Training, and Apprenticeships. We also take a retreat each year, taking the studio on the road.


What styles of yoga are offered?

We offer many styles of yoga. Our vinyasa classes are based on Iyengar alignment principles. We also seasonally provide yin, restorative, prenatal yoga with weights, Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga, and outdoor classes. We also offer a meditation series twice daily, recorded and live all month, with the themes switching monthly.


What class would you recommend to someone coming to try the studio for the first time?

If you are joining us for the first time and love being outside yoga, try Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga, Yoga in the Gardens, Seaside Yoga, or a Sunset Yin Class. If you join us in the studio, our vinyasa and hot flow classes will leave you feeling balanced and blissed. If you love a workout, our Yoga Sculpt class or yoga with weights will make you dig deep and show the power within you. If you are expecting, or a new parent, join our weekly Prenatal class, Prenatal Partner workshop, or a Baby and Me class. Our Yin and Restorative classes offer sound healing, including sound bowls, chimes, drums, and more.

 

Wilmington, NC

Q&A with Owner Alexis Abbate


Alexis Abbate moved to Wilmington in 2003 and started working in a corporate environment. It was during that time that she rediscovered yoga and was amazed by the amount of peace, balance, and flexibility it brought to her life. With no intention of teaching, she decided to deepen her practice and signed up for Yoga for the Planet 200-hour yoga teacher training with instructors, Rebecca Niamtu and Jackie DeConti. Once training was complete, she was asked to become part of a new yoga studio on Castle Street and without hesitation she agreed, and Terra Sol was created. Terra Sol Sanctuary opened in August of 2016 and Alexis has been practicing ever since. In 2019, she took her 300-hour advanced yoga teacher training with Leigh Ann Mertens of Emodied Om.



What makes Terra Sol unique?

Terra Sol is truly special. It is in an old historic church in the Castle Street district. From the floors to the ceilings, with the stained-glass windows, you get a warm and inviting feeling when you walk through the door. We meet you where you are. Our teachers and students describe the feeling as a “breath of fresh air,” an over-calmness, a long, slow exhale. As you walk into the environment, you leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life outside to enjoy an hour or so of a relaxing yoga experience.


The staff and teachers are just as special as the environment. They love what they do and create an atmosphere that is welcoming, comfortable, and nurturing.


Terra Sol is a non-judgment zone for those who enjoy yoga and seek a personalized, no-pressure, non-corporate environment with a family feel.


What styles of yoga are offered?

Terra Sol offers all types of classes and workshops. Our weekly schedule consists of beginners, gentle, yin, slow flow, restorative, Live Music Yoga, alignment-based classes, and Tantra. We also offer Mat Pilates and Strength and Balance Pilates. We also provide workshops, pop-up classes, and courses. Our list is comprehensive and constantly changing. Below are some of the workshops we offer: Yin and iRest, Restorative Yoga with Sound Bath, Qoya, Breathwork, and Meditation, to name a few.


What class would you recommend to someone coming to try the studio for the first time?

This all depends on what you are looking for and working with physically, energetically, and emotionally. If it has been a long time since you have been on your mat or are new to the practice, I suggest beginners and gentle meditation classes. Our Pilates classes are great if you want to increase core strength and overall mobility! I recommend checking out our class schedule, descriptions, and teachers and seeing what you are drawn to. When you visit the sanctuary for the first time, let the teacher know so that they can be mindful that they have a new participant and make necessary adjustments to meet the needs of all students.


 

Wrightsville Beach, NC

Q&A with Shannon Agee, Owner


Shannon Agee has had some phenomenal teachers who inspired her greatly and paved the way for what she does now. However, her high school art teacher was instrumental in launching her creativity and love of art. She received a bachelor's degree in Studio Art from UNCW and subsequently returned to college for a second degree in elementary education. Throughout her college years, she practiced yoga regularly.


In early 2016, she attended a children's yoga teacher training in Atlanta. While there, she came across a book called "Art Workshops for Children" by Herve Tullet. She didn't know it yet, but that moment and that book would changed everything. Determined to create her own path -- becoming a business owner by combining the three things she knew best- art, yoga, and working with kids. Sprout Yoga & Art for Kids opened in 2017.

"Over the last few years, I have had immeasurable support from Megan Calabria, my long-time friend, who helps me keep things running smoothly at the studio," says Shannon. "Megan has over 15 years of experience teaching preschool, which is invaluable with our growing "Lil' Sprouts" classes for ages 3-5. Her vast knowledge and natural rapport with children, combined with my art background, make our partnership work so well. Working together has been a true gift!"



What makes Sprout Yoga & Art for Kids unique?

Most children have packed schedules that include multiple sports, dance, gymnastics, after-school groups, etc. Still, they are rarely offered the chance to create freely without judgment or expectation of a specific outcome. That is what makes us unique. The process art activities we have available allow the children to lead the narrative... to make what they are inspired to make on that particular day. Some children struggle with this type of freedom. It takes some time to figure it out for some because they are so used to being explicitly told what to do and how to do it. When children make something created in their own minds, with their own hands, they feel confident, empowered, and inspired.


The same idea can be said for practicing yoga. Learning to focus, tuning out the noise in the world, and mastering a problematic pose over time all lead to many positive attributes, such as self-esteem, strength, flexibility, and improved emotional regulation. Plus... It's fun! Our yoga classes look quite different than what you might imagine. At Sprout, we practice yoga by telling stories, listening to music, and playing games. Our yoga sessions are often impromptu and might occur in the middle of an art session.


What classes are offered?

Our non-traditional studio offers invigorating, interactive, imaginative journeys into your child's developing mind, body, and spirit. Unlike other art and yoga programs that simply scale adult classes into child-size chunks, Sprout gives children the unique opportunity to be kids while sprinkling in classical asana and meditation with process art. We aim to create a magical space for children to call their own. A place for them to feel comfortable, creative, and accessible while developing flexibility and focus for a happy, healthy, balanced life.


What class would you recommend to parents & kids coming to try the studio for the first time?

Our new fall classes will begin on September 11. We offer after-school groups Monday through Thursday from 3–5 p.m. Each class meets one day per week for 6-7 weeks, but attending multiple days can be arranged. While we offer pick-up from Wrightsville Beach School, students from other schools and homeschoolers are also welcome. Our classes for children ages 3-5 are available Monday- Thursday from 12–2 p.m. with pick up from WUMC and Fridays from 9:30-12. In addition, we offer day camps for days when the kids are out of school and amazing summer camps. Be sure to check the website and social media for more information and sign up.


 

Wilmington, NC

Q&A with Liana Belanich Johns, Owner


Liana Belanich Johns owns Prana Salt Cave and became an RYT 500 yoga instructor with the Kunga Yoga and Lifestyle training at Wilmington Yoga Center in 2014. With a background in hospitality and a bachelor’s in Business from UNC-Wilmington, she always wanted something more out of life to help herself and others achieve and realize their greatest potential. She came across her first salt cave in Asheville, NC, and was intrigued. Her business side became excited to introduce something new to the community, and her creative side thought it would be a great way to help people heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It would be a way to do and share the things that have helped her to feel her best.


What makes the Prana Salt Cave unique?

The cave is unique because it has 5.5 tons of Himalayan salt and a generator that disperses medical-grade salt into the air. So, while resting or practicing yoga in the space, salt therapy benefits you. We use dry salt therapy to help reduce symptoms of respiratory ailments such as asthma, COPD, allergies, colds, cystic fibrosis, and more. It can help reduce inflammation and create clearer air passageways. Along with aiding in respiratory issues, it can help reduce stress and help one feel better.

Grounded. It is a safe space to heal and to connect to one’s self and others.


What styles of yoga are offered?

We have offered different types of yoga, from Breathwork and guided meditation to restorative yoga, yin, basic yoga, kundalini yoga, and private yoga classes designed for specific needs.


What class would you recommend to someone coming to try Prana Salt Cave for the first time?

A restorative class is a great place to start. All levels of students can find comfort and flexibility in these sessions. It’s a great way to open up physically and energetically. You stay close to the ground, and modifications and props are used to help you settle in. You won’t want to leave after a blissful yoga and salt therapy session.


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