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DeStress at Atlanta's Balance Yoga

By Elisha Neubauer

At Balance Yoga, they have a saying: "99% practice, 1% theory." It is for this reason that each of the teachers employed at this Atlanta-based studio is fully immersed in the yoga lifestyle: they teach yoga, they practice yoga, and they're always striving to learn more. Marsha McNeight, owner of Balance Yoga, took some time from her day to give us a little insight into her world.

"I got into yoga because I was searching for a practice that would teach me how to quiet my mind," McNeight explains. After trying a few different styles of yoga, she discovered the Ashtanga Yoga method. It was immediately clear to her that this was what she wanted to do. "I realized that this was a lifelong practice and I knew if I made it a career I could stay immersed in it." McNeight says that she still feels the strength, grace, acceptance, and presence that engrossed her in that first class over fifteen years later. "I feel so fortunate that I am able to share this practice with other seekers," she says.

One of the concepts that McNeight believes is particularly important for her studio is acceptance. "I strive to make Balance a place that everyone feels welcome no matter their age, race, shape, religion, or experience level," McNeight tells us. "I want to cultivate an environment where students can effectively learn about yoga, discipline, mindfulness, and kindness."

A large contributing factor to McNeight's ideal environment is staffing. "I have a fantastic team of seasoned teachers that are extremely knowledgeable, she says. "But they're still students themselves." This constant learning process is what helps make Balance Yoga so unique. "Our community of practitioners are inspiring and quick to encourage each other along the path," she explains. "I feel blessed to be part of such a warm and constantly evolving community."

What the general public may not know about this activity is that yoga is merely a blanket term. There are many different types of yoga, but at Balance, they focus on two forms: Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga. "Ashtanga yoga is a very physical and mental practice that, if practiced regularly, will help students lose weight, sleep better, de-stress and feel better overall," says McNeight. Every year, Balance Yoga brings in four or five world-renowned Ashtanga teachers for workshops- which are so popular that students come from across the country to participate.

McNeight loves what she does - and loves being able to run her business in Atlanta: "I moved here in 1994 and can't imagine living anywhere else," she says. "This city is diverse and there's something for everyone-" something that is true of her studio, too.

Balance Yoga is located at 1213 Dalon Rd. in Atlanta, GA.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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