It has been years since I have been in a yoga studio. What better way to ease back into it but with some of my favorite girls. I invited some friends to join me at Y2 Yoga for a girls day out, yoga and lunch. Y2 is one of the top studios in Charlotte with a cult-like following of highly dedicated clients. This is not surprising once you step foot into their gorgeous space. The experience from the moment you arrive is five-star, welcomed by friendly faces at the front desk and an aesthetic so serene it almost makes you forget for a moment you are going to workout. This yoga oasis would have even your biggest skeptic grabbing a mat. I can't wait to go back!

Y2 Yoga

Yoga with Friends at Y2 Yoga (Y2 Straight Shot)

We opted for a non-heated class or "Y2 straight shot" and were guided by lead teacher Jen DeCurtins. Everyone in our group had some level of familiarity with yoga which was of course helpful but not required (I have a fit group of friends!). Since we were familiar with most of the poses, Jen was able to take us through the sequences at a steady pace while walking around the room to assist as need be. I could feel my body quickly awakening after we completed the warm-up, and slightly concerned about the challenge ahead of us with the hour class. Let's just say I was definitely sore the next day!

Y2 Yoga

Y2 Yoga

Y2 Yoga

Y2 Yoga

Y2 Yoga

I really enjoy the challenge of yoga, both mentally and physically speaking. Like most busy moms, I have a hard time letting go. Letting go of the to-do list, thoughts concerning the kids, "mom moment" critiques (aka mom fails), and the overall busyness of the day. I like the escape that the practice provides, even if it takes me awhile to get there during the class. It does not come naturally for me. Hopefully once I settle back into a better routine, attending more classes, it will come with less effort. There is nothing like the moment that comes during the final minutes of the class when you feel strong (for finishing!), empowered (by your ability), and ready to face the rest of the day (refocused!).

Y2 Yoga

Y2 Yoga

Lunch at Namastay Kitchen 

After our class we refueled with lunch at Y2's adjoining cafe, Namastay Kitchen. It offers a variety of smoothies, sushi, sandwiches, and salads. It is vegan and gluten-free friendly. We started lunch with a few of the menu's small bites, including the house-made kale chips, sweet potato falafel cakes, and sweet & spicy avocado eggrolls. All were a hit, with the eggrolls as a clear favorite. The tuna avocado roll was delicious and reviews of the salads and smoothies were all great! I would highly recommend for lunch, girls night, or even a date night (no yoga class required)!

Namastay Kitchen

Jen DeCurtins

A 10-year veteran of the fitness industry, Jen DeCurtins is a registered yoga teacher, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, blogger, and published author. Jen shares daily updates about food, fitness, and yoga on her blog, Peanut Butter Runner. She is also the author of Ultimate Plank Fitness and The Complete Guide to Yoga Inversions. At Y2 Yoga in Charlotte, NC, Jen is a lead teacher and serves in the role of marketing director. Follow Jen @jdecurtins, Y2 @y2yoga, and Namastay Kitchen @namastaykitchen

Images by Candice Lanning, www.thebeautifulmess.com.