By Lanier Laney
Carol Morrissey was born in the Garden State but has been thriving as a non-native Southern transplant since she happily moved to Beaufort in 1987. She’s a Registered Nurse, has a masters degree in Holistic Nutrition (MHN) and is a registered yoga teacher at the E-RYT500 level.
Says Carol, “I’ve been teaching yoga full time for 11 years and started whole food-based nutritional counseling, raw food workshops and seasonal group cleanses a few years ago after completing my Masters Degree in Holistic Nutrition.” (By the way, Carol’s raw food spring cleanse is what many of Beaufort’s loveliest ladies swear by to get their figures back in shape after the excesses of the holidays.)
Carol met her husband, Dean, right after he moved to Beaufort in 1989. They dated for five years before marrying in 1994. She and Dean have two daughters that they are justifiably proud of: Morgan, 15, who is a freshman at Beaufort High, and Hannah, almost 14, in eighth grade at Beaufort Middle. Both play tennis for Beaufort High and Morgan recently received the MVP award for the Junior Varsity Tennis team.
Carol teaches classes and workshops at the Yoga Chandra Center for the Healing Arts in the Lady’s Island Marina building and says she is also fortunate to be part of the team of professionals put together by Carolina Sportscare for the Dataw Island community. Carol has been mourning the loss of her good friend, and beloved Yoga Chandra Center founder, Kim Cech.
Carol said, “Kim was my first yoga mentor and I think Kim’s loss will be felt for some time. I know that I am still in the grieving process. I was fortunate to be with her many hours during her illness. Near the end of her illness, I asked people who had been Kim’s friends/students to send me notes, memories they had of Kim for me to read to her. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I got to read all these tender love stories of Kim, to Kim, from folks near and far, current students and those from her past. I wanted her to know how much she was loved by so many. Her legacy is vast and lasting.”
Carol’s journey to become a yoga teacher was unexpected. Says Carol, “I have always been a fitness enthusiast but never dreamed that yoga would become such a passion. I was spinning instructor/cardio junkie/gym rat (not that there is anything wrong with that!) with terrible back pain and the world’s tightest hamstrings. I knew I needed to ‘stretch’ more and signed up for a fitness-based yoga workshop in Hilton Head. I went … I stunk; I mean I was terrible at ‘yoga’ and hence the gauntlet was thrown. I was so accustomed to being such a good athlete that it got under my skin to be so inept with yoga.
“I began to practice more and started taking classes with Kim Cech. Kim was so gracious and skilled. She never made me feel inadequate even though I could only bend enough to touch my knees! I began to see yoga as more than just exercise and view it as an expression of art and mindfulness. I developed a deep appreciation for the philosophy and science that comprises a complete yoga practice and the science/anatomy geek in me reveled in the anatomy and therapeutic applications of yoga. Soon I had the tools and skill to completely alleviate my back pain. I was hooked and have not stopped continuing my studies or practicing since.”
Carol has studied yoga continuously over the years, acquiring more than 1,200 classroom hours of hands-on training in yoga studies with a large emphasis on the therapeutic modalities of yoga.
“One of the aspects of my teaching that I most enjoy and am proud of is the range of my teaching,” she said. “I’m known for offering some of the most creative, challenging asana classes around and yet also have a great skill set and expertise with therapeutics and myofascial release using a variety of techniques. I’ll be offering many workshops throughout the year, some appealing to the yoga junkie, others designed for self-care and gentle healing modalities. I’m honored to be working with a very well-trained and diverse group of teachers at Yoga Chandra and you can look forward to many classes and workshops that combine our talents. We have already begun the planning for Ocean Motion to be held May 31 to June 1. As with last year, the event coincides with World Oceans month. There will be an array of activities, workshops and yoga for all ages. Last year’s event was quite successful and we can’t wait to celebrate and educate about our local seas.”
About the future of the Yoga Chandra Center, Carol has this to say: “All of the teachers at Yoga Chandra are committed to continuing offering what they love in the little studio over the sea. Yoga Chandra has more classes than ever before with several new classes being added to the schedule and a wide array of classes and workshops offered from Yin Yoga with live acoustic music, myofascial release with foam rollers, Nia, asana workshops, introductory yoga series, and an archetype of the goddess series. There is also a cross training class on Saturday mornings called Walkasana — 45 minutes of power walking with interval training followed by 45 minutes of vinyasa yoga. I must say that Kim was thrilled with the studio and all of the offerings. She attracted and welcomed a stellar group of teachers. None of us has the exact same training so we provide great variety and a broad skill set.” For a full schedule go to www.yogachandracenter.com.
What’s Carol’s philosophy towards life and work? “Small acts matter.” Says Carol, “I believe that we are amazing creations, almost beyond comprehension, singular and precious and that we cast a flow of energy that moves well beyond our vision. I believe that meditation, movement and nature are balms for the soul. Service to others is an act of love and it’s why we are here.”
Carol’s events and workshops are at www.inspiredtobloom.com or call her at 843-812-0753.