A Body of Ecosystems

The inland waters surrounding Charleston SC hosts a variety of wildlife, from tiny microbes to modern day megafauna. A wealth of microscopic organisms help break down contaminants that are harmful to  other parts of the ecosystem. In addition a large, healthy Eastern Oyster population is essential, as during the course of their feeding, they filter through 30-50 gallons of water helping to purify it even more. This process of filtration that the marsh is so involved in is important for the sake of itself and its inhabitants but also for the survival and maintenance of those adjoining ecosystems.

The salt marsh serves as a buffer between the mainland and the islands of the outer coast, swelling as fresh water from rain fall makes its way toward the ocean, bringing along with it all kinds of pollution from pesticides and fertilizers as well as sources of contamination naturally found in the sediment in the surrounding areas. This swelling helps absorb excess water and mitigate flooding but the time that the runoff spends in the marsh also allows for those dangerous chemicals to be broken down my microbes and oysters so that the waters on the outer coast are fairly protected from inland pollutants. Similarly, if contaminants come from the outer coast they will be filtered by the marsh and a degree of safety will be shed upon those creatures that take refuge within it and along its coasts. 

The buffer that is the tidal salt marsh has the amazing effect of bringing so many different strange creatures together. At high tide ocean faring creatures are able to take advantage of deeper inland waters to prey on unsuspecting foe and thus all kinds of predators move into these more narrow water ways as they are over taken by a generous high tide that can average six feet. Then, as the water recedes, in succession all such beasts of all sizes must make their way back into bigger seas. 

However some of its inhabitants are more careful and stick to what they know. For example, there are two ecotypes of bottlenose dolphins in the charleston area. Transient dolphins live mostly offshore and are more difficult to track because they move over a larger area of more open ocean. Resident dolphins however have developed unique behaviors that they have adapted for life within the salt marsh estuaries. These local dolphins live in pods of about 20-30 individuals and are identified by photographs of their dorsal fins. Resident pods have seemingly overlapping territories with an average range of only about 40 miles but they are rarely, if ever, spotted offshore. It has been postulated that the marsh has protected them from contaminants that killed and beached many offshore, transient dolphins. It is for this reason that some speculate that they physically isolate themselves by not taking the risk of going offshore. This allows for the development of notably different behavioral sets and sets the dolphins along the coast of SC apart. There is no better way to get a good look at one of our local resident dolphins than to hop in a kayak or a small power boat and float around in the inland waters. 

Folly Beach Farmers Market Free Yoga Class

Folly Beach Island Yoga Parks Frog Statue Folly River Park

Don’t miss out on a free yoga class with Lesley Leake under the pavilion at Folly River Park on Oct 8th at 4 pm! Bring or borrow a mat and come enjoy a free class before checking out the weekly Folly Beach Farmers Market where you’ll find handmade pottery, jewelry, one of a kind paintings, yummy treats to eat and so much more. Hope to see you there!

No Saturday or Sunday Beach Yoga on Folly for June 2018

folly beach island yoga saturday classes public june 2018

We just wanted to post a quick reminder that there will be no more public beach yoga classes on Folly for the remainder of June 2018. We will still host Wednesday morning yoga with Maggie Costello at 9:30 a.m. as well as a class on Thursday evenings with Lesley Leake.  These classes are perfect for the beginner or seasoned yogi and are presented in a way that meets all experience levels.

Remember to bring a large towel to practice on the sand, plenty of water, and arrive already sunscreened if desired. The classes will both be just $12 per person – online or at the class. Class passes will be accepted. We offer a military, veteran, and first responders discount by request on the beach.

World Autism Awareness Day 2018

World Autism Awareness Day 2018Tonight the Empire State Building, Niagra Falls, Rockefeller Center, the Suez Canal, Sydney Opera House, Edinburgh Castle, and many many more landmarks and homes across the world will be lit up with blue lights to spread awareness and acceptance of those on the autism spectrum for World Autism Awareness Day. Additionally, the month of April is National Autism Awareness month.

If you’ve followed us for any length of time you probably know we (Matt & Jenny S) are the proud parents of a sweet little boy on the autism spectrum. It is our hope that our followers and friends will take at least a few moments out of your day to promote awareness and acceptance of those on the autism spectrum. For our part, we have chosen to share a bit more of our personal experience with autism.

Our youngest child was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in March of 2016, following a devastating regression in early December 2015 that silenced his speech, made his eyes go dull, and caused him to withdrawal from our world, even though he remained physically present. Not all children with autism regress—many children are detected by missed milestones. However, our son was an early talker and the regression was sudden and very obvious.

Despite the obvious and dramatic loss of skills, we faced a long wait to even be seen for diagnosis because of the limited availability of specialists. Thankfully we were blessed with a “short” 3 month wait which was filled with anxiety, fear, and lots and lots of self-education. By the time we were seen for diagnosis we already knew in our hearts what we were facing. After hours of testing and interviews, the diagnosis was confirmed, and new appointments were booked to screen for other conditions that are often found in tandem with autism.

The next few months were a blur of tests with moments ranging from hearing booths, to holding our son as probes were literally glued to his scalp as he was tested for seizure activity and then again as the probes were removed using acetone, to holding his hand at the hospital as an anesthesiologist prepared him to be put to sleep so they could look at his brain activity to determine if he was still able to hear.

As time passed more and more “autistic behaviors” emerged, including flapping, spinning in circles, humming, pica, toe-walking, and sadly some self-harming that has left him with noticeable scars on one of his hands. Sleep was quickly reduced to short spans that didn’t allow for the rest of the family to function without sleeping in shifts. He is drawn to water and heights and is unaware of the dangers that they can present to him, making his tendency to wander and bolt particularly dangerous. He also struggles with becoming overloaded by some lights, sounds, and textures, as well as with some crowded social situations.

In therapy he has worked on maintaining eye contact, learned how to play with some toys appropriately, and how to sign some basic requests. At home we have installed therapy swings, gymnastic wedges, mats, and crash pads, and use yoga daily as an additional tool in our toolbox to give him the vestibular stimulation that he needs to learn.

Today we have 2 years of a combination of hundreds of hours of speech, occupational, and ABA therapy under our belts. Though he is still nonverbal he can communicate some through a handful of signs, and he has greatly increased his eye contact and interaction with others. He can light up a room with his gorgeous smile and happy squeals, and he is strong, happy, and active, and we are so very proud of how hard he has worked and how far he has come.

Although our sweet boy is only 3 years old, he has taught us so much about acceptance and love. He will absolutely always have autism. It isn’t something he will outgrow and there is no cure, but early intervention has given our amazing, funny, sweet, perfect little boy back to us, just a little bit different than he was before the regression.

While we have always been very open and vocal about our son’s autism, it doesn’t give us complete immunity to the stares and pointing, nor the well-intended but misguided advice from strangers in public. At times a visit grocery store can sometimes feel like a private hell. When we are able to attend church we can often be seen sneaking out early if he gets overwhelmed. Our other children and the children and parents in our play groups are all comfortable with our son, but every outing requires some level of pre-planning and an escape plan. Babysitters and unfortunately even family members have been known to disappear from our lives since his regression, and we accept that it is simply for the better.

Often adults stare for a moment, but then avert their eyes in an effort to be polite upon noticing that we are using sign language with our son. I can honestly say I was guilty of the same before our son because I didn’t want to be rude—but now on the other side of things, I can tell you that it hurts more than helps. I can’t make you aware if you won’t even look in our direction! We would by far rather answer your (or your child’s!) questions rather than you try to pretend that we don’t exist. I can’t tell you the comfort it brings me when someone notices my child is different and welcomes us anyway!

Today is World Autism Awareness Day—but for us, it is every day. We hope that by sharing our story we can bring just a little bit more awareness, acceptance, and compassion to this amazing community of beautiful souls and the family and friends who love them.

Calling all Brides, Bachelorettes, and Maids of Honor

folly beach wedding bridge charleston SC venue

Did you know today is National Proposal Day 2018? It’s a great to remind you that it’s time to get your private beach yoga sessions scheduled!

Beach yoga is such a special activity to add to your schedule whether you’re planning a mini vacation getaway with the girls for your Folly Beach bachelorette party (or guys—a healthy bachelor’s party anyone?), want a relaxing class to kickoff to your Charleston area wedding weekend for the entire wedding party, or even as a special grounding and centering one on one, or couples, session on your wedding day.

We do extend our U.S. military and service veteran discount to all private sessions, including bridal, bachelorette, and bachelor party yoga.

Contact us today to schedule your private sessions!

And yep–that’s two of your Folly Beach Island Yoga certified yoga teachers walking back to the party from their own magical Folly Beach wedding in the pic above!

Free Family Yoga Class at Holy City Salsa – Bring the Kids!

folly beach yoga charleston autism teachers holy city salsa

This fun picture comes from the kid’s yoga teacher training from Kidding Around Yoga with Melody from last Sunday. Jenny and Samantha participated in the training along with the rest of this amazing crew of women who are all donating their time and expertise to build the Lowcountry Autism Foundation’s new program “Autism + Om”‘s instructor team.

Next Sunday, March 18 at 3 p.m. there will be a free family yoga class at Holy City Salsa Dance Studio in West Ashley. This will be the final day of our kid’s yoga teacher training. The class will be open to all kids of all ages and their families, and we so hope you can join us!

After the class, the crew you see above will be awarded with kid’s yoga teacher certificates. We will then prepare to shift our focus to autism-specific kid’s yoga teacher training. As an autism family we cannot express enough how needed this program is autism families in the Charleston, South Carolina area!

We’re Moving — And Getting Super Excited About It!

We find ourselves by the sea

We are so looking forward to getting back out on the sand for some amazing yoga on Folly Beach!  While I’ll admit we’ve still been enjoying the beach quite a bit through the winter months, it hasn’t quite been the same without our open classes. We miss your smiling sweet faces and beautiful souls and we can’t wait to get back to practicing with you!

This year you’ll notice a change or two–starting with our location! We’re moving–but not too far. Our beach yoga classes will be moving to the 4th Street EAST beach access, a block closer to Center Street. There is still parking at a paid city parking lot, as well as some limited street side parking.

We’re excited for the change, and truly looking forward to some exciting announcements in the future!

New Years Eve Yoga?

Folly Beach New Years Eve 2017 2018 Yoga Private Session Gift Certificate_

Yep! It’s a thing! And what a great way to say goodbye to 2017 and welcome in 2018! Staying in the Charleston, South Carolina area this New Year’s Eve? Don’t wait to start your New Year’s resolutions – experience yoga by the sea with us today!

Staying on Folly Beach to ring in the new year with the Flip Flop drop? We’d love to help you prepare for your big night out on the town! We can come to you at most homes and rental houses on the island, as well as offering private seaside sessions on the sand at the 5th Street East beach. Send us a quick message to get your private session planned!


Beach Yoga Classes for Christmas Week

folly beach island yoga low res - beach yoga


We still have a couple of limited spots for beach yoga during Christmas week on Folly! Contact us to schedule your family or small group beach yoga class, or even treat yourself with a private session!

Need a local last minute gift for the yogi in your life? Or maybe a gift idea for a newly engaged bride planning her Folly Beach wedding or bachelorette weekend vacation? Book a private beach yoga class! We’d love to help you plan an extra special seaside event!