11 unique places to exercise along the Grand Strand

Ripley’s Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach offers a yoga class the second Saturday of each month.

Everyone knows exercise is essential to good health, but not everyone knows that the Grand Strand offers a host of unique places to exercise that make that activity fun, enjoyable and worth the effort.

The benefits of yoga are touted at multiple websites, and Linda Phillips, owner of Yoga in Common at Market Common, concurs.

“[Our students] tell us they sleep better, their backs feel better, they do not hurt so much from fibromyalgia, and they can get off their medications for anxiety,” she says.

Here are some of the places along the Grand Strand where you can do yoga in a refreshing environment.

Beach Yoga
Phillips explains that Yoga in Common offers this class Wednesday nights from 7-8 p.m. and on Saturday mornings from 8-9 a.m. at the public beach access off Nash Street, south of Springmaid pier, past Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum. Free parking available. The hour-long class costs $5 per session. “Bring a beach towel or mat to practice on,” Phillips says.
Contact | Yoga in Common, 3062 Deville St., Myrtle Beach, 839-9636, yogaincommon@earthlink.net, www.yogaincommon.com

Yoga at Ripley’s Aquarium
“Find your Zen” is the message at Ripley’s Aquarium, the page where people can register for the yoga classes Ripley’s Aquarium offers.

Bethany Marshall, director of marketing and public relations, explains that the yoga class starts in front of the Rainbow Rock tank at the aquarium and ends with calming meditation in front of Ray Bay, the stingray tank.

The class meets from 7-8 a.m. the second Saturday of each month. Children are invited as long as parents are comfortable with them doing yoga. Cost for all ages is $20 per person plus tax. Register and pay online here. These are required before the class meets. Bring water and mat or towel. No shower facilities are available.
Contact | Ripley’s Aquarium, 1110 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle
Beach, 916-0888, 800-734- 8888, info@ripleysaquarium.com

Community donation-based Yoga in the Park
Nancy Smith of Movement Works in Calabash, N.C. offers summer yoga classes at Sunset Beach Park at the end of Sunset Blvd., Sunset Beach, N.C. The setting along the Intracoastal Waterway is conducive to relaxation.

Joe and Mary Jo Pentz of Westminster, Md., attended a recent class. “We try to do yoga on vacation,” Mary Jo says. “It’s very relaxing, and it takes you away from everything.”

“You’re able to stretch old muscles instead of just feeling the pain of old muscles,” Joe adds.

The Saturday morning class meets from 9-10 a.m. through the
end of September. Cost is a voluntary $7 contribution to Smith’s
nonprofit organization, Community Movement Alliance, which
encourages children and their families to use dance and yoga to
improve their physical and emotional health. A mat or towel is
recommended for the class.
Contact | Movement Works, 9500 Ocean Hwy. W (U.S.17),
Calabash, N.C., 910-579- 4845, mvmtworks@gmail.com,
www.mvmtworks.com, www.communitymoves.org

Donation-based Yoga at North Myrtle Beach Farmers Market
Alaina Edwards, certified yoga instructor, teaches classes at Yoga in the Park as well as at the North Myrtle Beach Farmers Market. She pays a woman with the donations from the class to babysit. “Kids can play while we Namaste,” she says. The class meets from 10-11 a.m. Fridays. She carries mats with her, but it’s recommended people bring their own mat or towel.
Contact | NMB Farmers Market, 925 1 st Ave. S., North Myrtle
Beach, Alaina Edwards, hippybbshop@gmail.com

Standup Paddleboard Yoga
Certified yoga teacher Haley Buono sits at the picnic table at North Myrtle Beach Heritage Shores Nature Preserve ready to discuss Standup Paddleboard Yoga. “It’s a new thing, but it’s up-and-coming,” she says. She admits it’s a challenge. “You have to focus a lot more [while] on the board,” she says. “I’ll keep it basic and give tips on more advanced poses.”

She explains that students paddle out a bit and are given a little anchor to stabilize the board. “You can do pretty much all poses seated.”

She is associated with Kokopelli Surf Camp and will give lessons on request. Cost is $40 for an hour, $20 with your own paddleboard.
Contact | Kokopelli Surf Camp, 340-9565,
kokopellisurpcamp@gmail.com, www.kokopellisurfcamp.com 340-9565 340-9565 340- 9565

Walking/Hiking Trails
Huntington Beach State Park
This park doesn’t offer specific exercise classes, but the bounty of trails and attractions keeps a person’s heart-rate elevated and mind active. The fee is worth a full-day of investigating. It has ample parking, ample trails and ample beach. Nature’s attractions overwhelms.

Adult, $5; 6-15, $3, under 5 free; S.C. senior residents, $3.25. Hours, 6 a.m.-10 p.m. until Nov. 4 then 6 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Contact | 16148 Ocean Hwy. (U.S. 17), Murrells Inlet, 237-4440,
www.huntingtonbeachstatepark.net

Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens
Stroll on hiking trails at this historical tract of 114 acres. It extends over salt marshes and small islands and has a gazebo that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway. The Vereen Family cemetery is on the grounds. Free to the public with free parking. Open daily 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Contact | 2250 SC-179, Little River, 249-4157,
www.facebook.com/HCPR-Vereen- Memorial-Gardens- CB-Berry-
Recreation-Center- 353774794672168

Nature Trail at North Myrtle Beach Sports Complex

Among the playgrounds, ball parks and other activities at the NMB Sports Complex is the 2½ mile Nature Trail. The sign cautions visitors to walk with a buddy, stay on the trail and watch out for wild animals. Parking and visiting is free. The park is open 6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily.
Contact | 150 Citizens Circle, Little River (off Robert Edge Parkway), 281-3800, recreation@nmb.us, www.nmbpark.com

Heritage Shores Nature Preserve
The Preserve is in the Cherry Grove section of North Myrtle Beach and has seven acres of walking paths. Boardwalks, observations decks, signage describing plants, animals, fishes and birds are among the amenities. Open sunup to sundown. Free parking and access.
Contact | 5611 Heritage Drive, North Myrtle Beach, 280-5584, recreation@nmb.us, parks.nmb.us/parks-and- grounds/heritage-shores- nature-preserve

For the Adventurous
Go Ape
The NMB Sports Complex includes Go Ape, which touts itself as the zip line and treetop adventure. Visitors can take the 2-3 hour venture or the one hour junior exploration.

“It’s a different kind of adventure,” says Jeremy Braun, duty manager at the facility. “It’s zip line with a little bit of flair.”

Brave souls face several obstacles and can be 30-feet in the air. “It’s thrilling,” Braun adds. “[People] leave tired and sweating, but they are happy.”

People should read the restrictions and conditions at the website. Minimum age for the standard adventure is 10 and 55-inches tall. Cost for those 10-15 begins at $38, 16+ begins at $58. All ages can take the junior trail with a minimum height of 39-inches and cost begins at $28 for all ages. Reservations are recommended. Opens at 8:30 a.m.
Contact | 150 Citizens Circle, Little River, 800-971- 8271, goape.com/nmb17

Shark Wake Park
Also at the NMB Sports Complex is Shark Wake Park featuring another up-and-coming sport, cable wakeboarding. A cable instead of a motorboat pulls the wakeboarder through the water. “It’s a fun atmosphere and different,” says Trey White, cashier and cable operator. “It’s a unique sport. People love it.”

It opens at 10 a.m. and reservations, made at its website, are recommended. Costs begin at $34.

Contact | 150 Citizens Circle, Little River, 399-9253, info@sharkwakepark.com, www.sharkwakepark.com

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