Meet Yoloha Ambassador, Charlie Bauer.
Charlie is a lifelong athlete. He competed in many sports during his high school and college career. In 2007, with the encouragement of close friends, he came to yoga looking for an alternative way to stay healthy and to avoid abusing his body on a daily basis. He immediately noticed how the benefits of yoga affected his other athletic activities on and off the field of competition. Charlie became a dedicated practitioner in 2009 and in 2013 completed his teacher training with Kim Manfredi.
While his training is rooted in the Hatha tradition, his classes are influenced by a variety of different yoga styles. His curiosity with the movement of the human body continues to drive him toward learning and sharing with his students. His classes are energetic, light-hearted, infused with upbeat music, and include lots of twists, inversions, and different balancing poses. Students are encouraged to take the competition out of their practice and focus on their yogic journey. Charlie hopes to share the many benefits he has experienced from practicing yoga and have his students leave his class feeling stronger, more energized, and more balanced.
We sat down with Charlie to talk about movement, life and more. Here’s what he had to say:
- When and where did your yoga journey begin?
My journey to yoga began with my now wife introducing me to the practice. I did not like the first classes I took but once I tried a hot vinyasa class I quickly was able to recognize the challenge and benefits the practice could bring. After having a dedicated practice for a number of years, I had the desire to learn more and ultimately signed up for my first teacher training experience in 2013. It was an amazing program and I have been teaching ever since.
- How did you discover Yoloha and what do you love about it?
I actually discovered Yoloha from doing some SUP races and trying out some boards that had Yoloha deck pads. I was amazed at how much grip they offered on the boards and of course how the cork did not smell and grow bacteria. From there I was able to meet Chris and learn about the yoga mats they made. Once I was able to try them out in a hot yoga class I was hooked!
- What style(s) of yoga do you teach? Practice?
I teach hot vinyasa classes as that is the style of yoga that helped introduce me to yoga and the one I still enjoy practicing the most. As a teacher and student it gives me the flexibility to move in a creative way on my mat and focus on my breath.
- What is your favorite Yoloha product and why?
The Unity mat is easily my favorite, it has withstood a ton of use and sweat. I have had this mat for over 2 years and it still works as good as the day I got it with no smell or bacteria like so many other mats I have used in years past.
- Where do you teach?
I teach in Annapolis, MD at Prana Studio as well as in the summers I teach SUP yoga at Capital SUP.
- Talk about one connection you make between your practice and your life off of your mat.
One thing that yoga has taught me is how controlling your breath can be such a powerful tool. Whether I am trying to slow my heart rate down in the middle of playing a basketball game or need to calm myself from a stressful day of work, being able to use my breath is a game changer. I found it amazing that with all the sports I had played over the years that nobody taught me how to mindfully breathe and how that can be used to improve your performance.
- Other than yoga, what is your favorite way to spend your time?
Outside of yoga my favorite way to spend my time is playing on the water with friends and family. Some of my favorites include surfing, SUP, and sailing.
- What mantra do you live by?
Don’t stop moving! For me both physically and mentally I am at my best when I am regularly doing some type of physical activity. That could be anything from going for a run, surfing, or practicing yoga. It helps give me the clear mind that I need to tackle life and be there for my friends and family.
- What is your favorite yoga pose and why?
My favorite pose is handstand because it forces me to be 100% present in the moment and focus all my attention on the pose. When you are in a handstand you can’t think about any of the other stresses in your life or else you will very likely fall.
- What is your favorite place that you have travelled and why?
I have been lucky enough to travel to many places around the world and my favorite has been the Hawaiian Islands. They offer some of the most amazing hikes, breathtaking waterfalls, and some of the best waves to surf in the world. The daily fresh pineapple and poke bowls may have also contributed to my love of Hawaii!
- Talk about something that challenges you.
Different challenges seem to pop up all the time, but the greatest challenge and gift I have at the moment is our 1 year old son. He has challenged me to learn with him and adapt as he is constantly changing. Even though he is my biggest challenge, he has helped to remind me to soak up each moment and try not to look too far ahead.
Keep up with Charlie for more! @bauercharlie