The spacious room below Frisco’s Red Drum Pottery has undergone several makeovers over the past few years.
After owners Wes Lassiter and Rhonda Bates bought the property in 2014 and renovated the ground-level garage, it was turned into a theatre and stage where people can pop and listen to the extraordinary music the couple has acclaimed by the bluegrass band Banjo Island. Like other performers in the island’s art scene.
Then, the story of the room takes its worst turn. When a pickup truck spun off NC 12 and hit the theater center, it became the scene of a traffic accident (miraculously uninjured), and when it wasn’t overwhelmed by a single person, it also became an accident. , but there were two hurricanes: Matthew in 2016 and Dorian in 2019.
Today, however, the space has a new aesthetic and new functionality.
New visitors to the long-suffering old garage will notice dim multi-colored lights, candles and a series of sturdy blankets and yoga mats neatly arranged on the floor.
It’s an inviting space, to be sure, but it’s designed in such a way that visitors can fully enjoy Hatteras Island’s newest yoga studio, as well as Community Yoga, a future holistic wellness center.
Rhonda and Wes initially opened their community yoga business in downtown Manteo in 2021, as Rhonda is a long-time recognized yoga teacher, and the couple has been practicing yoga for over eight years. But with the coronavirus pandemic in full swing (plus the long commute from the Frisco residence to Manteo for classes), it makes sense to create businesses closer to home.
However, arguably the driving force behind the move from Manteo to Frisco was the local Hatteras Island community of Wes and Rhonda. Their neighbors and friends helped clean up and renovate after multiple flooding events, and this local camaraderie played a big role in their decision to build a Frisco base for their yoga pursuits.
“Yoga came into my life and it generated so much positivity [change], I want to be able to share with others,” Weiss said. “I want to be able to offer my little gift to the world, especially in our family community. “
Today, Wes is a talented yoga instructor who longs to bring a little joy to the island he calls home, whether it’s guiding new yogis through the essentials of basic poses or connecting with a stop at the couple’s upstairs gallery. of people having long conversations and pottery studios.
But just like their remodeled garage, Wes has suffered some unexpected damage over the past few years that needs to be restored.
He had a stent (a small tube that can help treat a heart attack) implanted in 2014, and five years later, in May 2019, he suffered a heart attack. Do what I can to improve myself,” Weiss said. “I lost 90 pounds, tried a healthy lifestyle, and my life has been pretty good ever since. “
While running the Red Drum Ceramics Gallery, Wes also used this turning point to pursue his yoga goals.
In the fall of 2021, he will be around 65 years oldth On his birthday, Wes took 200 hours of grueling classes to become a certified yoga instructor. Working 8-9 hour days from October to November, Wes was challenged to be the unofficial “squad leader,” but he was also energized by everything he learned, including the mind-body foundations of yoga practice. “Both Rhonda and I trained under Anne Howard, a local OBX yogi who uses OBX yoga at Kitty Hawk. She now lives in France and returns every year to train new yogis,” says Weiss . “We are all very grateful to have her training.”
“I actually plan to take the 300 hour course starting in November ,” he said. “That was the foundation of the 200 hours I did, but it gets you to the point where you can teach other people to be lecturers. “
With Wes becoming a certified yoga instructor with his wife Rhonda, and a spacious Frisco space that has been renovated since Dorian’s last major flood event in 2019, all the pieces fell into place naturally, A cozy yoga studio has been created where islanders can have an outlet where they can really take their breath away.
Currently, Community Yoga has a lot to offer experienced yogis on the island, but it’s also a great place for newcomers.
Familiar Vinyasa Flow classes are offered on Wednesday mornings with lots of exercise to boost blood flow, but the yoga center also offers gentle yin and deep stretch classes on Wednesday nights – perfect for anyone in need of a spiritual vacation – as well as beginners’ Monday night Attend class.
For novices, Monday’s beginner classes are a good place to start, as they lay the groundwork for people who have never tried yoga before, but may have heard rumors of potential health benefits, from better flexibility Sex to a happier day – today’s mood.
“If someone has never taken a yoga class before but is always a little curious, our beginner yoga classes are great,” Weiss said. “We learn one pose a week, but we also discuss the connection between the brain and the body, and we do some vinyasa flows in those poses.”
Wes has a special talent for working with beginners. Since the new Frisco Community Yoga opened in February 2022, he has attracted many local students who have never tried yoga. To be sure, this can be attributed to the availability of classes for beginners, but it also comes down to how challenging Wes’s familiarity with yoga can be for a novice or anyone who isn’t practicing.
“I was in that position until I was supposed to be [be relaxed] But I wonder ‘how long is this downward dog [pose] Will it last? Or ‘Please don’t make me squat for five minutes! ‘”
“But no one told me that yoga is all about facing your fears,” Weiss added. “I’m still struggling [some poses], but I’ve been practicing so I’m not scared. I’m not afraid to fall on my face or embarrass myself so you can gain courage and confidence through yoga and that’s what I want to share with the community. “
For the past two months, Frisco’s new community yoga has been a bit of a test run, with students and friends taking classes on a donation-only basis. Weiss admits that offering yoga classes to Hatteras Islanders and tourists isn’t necessarily the best way to make big bucks. “We don’t want to make a living out of it,” he said.
But the studio, and the business as a whole, has big plans for the coming months and years. Class schedules will be expanded, special yoga and Javanese classes will be scheduled so attendees can meet and connect with neighbors after class, and even health classes and cooking classes are underway – which may include lessons on how to recreate Rhonda Local famous sourdough bread.
Essentially, community yoga is in the early stages of becoming a holistic wellness center where islanders can attend classes and conferences that coincide with a myriad of health concerns. These future products will focus on a variety of health-improving topics, from nutrition and weight loss, to dancing purely for fun, to exploring unique and hard-to-pronounce exercises like pranayama or reiki.
But while a wave of options for Hatteras Island’s newest yoga and wellness center is on the horizon, for now, prospective students can dip their toes into weekly classes in community yoga, Frisco’s former garage now A sanctuary for anyone in need of a reset, rejuvenation, and a well-deserved break from the busy island life.
“I like to be in touch with myself and focus on your breath. Those are the two most important [aspects of yoga],” Weiss said. “If you just focus on exercise, that’s only a small part of it — that’s just the foundation of it. “
“By communicating – learning to train your brain to sense your body and connect with your breath – you get [most benefits.] These are things that many of us, including myself, have lost…and it has been very rewarding for me to be able to help others regain that ability and confidence. “
to know more information:
People can view current classes and register for yoga classes online at https://obxcommunityyoga.com/, or they can visit Community Yoga’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/obxcommunityyoga.