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The Seeker: The Downward Facing Dog Days of Winter at Arrichion

Katie Grant looks over her shoulder and smiles
Katie Grant, The Seeker. (Photo by Moving Mountains Studios)

Was your dry January a success? I fell off the wagon during the first week, so I took a comedic stance and committed to drinking dry wine only for an entire month. 

So now here we sit, straddling two seasons resignedly. If I were to describe the month of February in one word, it would be “disorienting,” as though an identity crisis blindfolded it. Does it want to remain wintry? Undecided. Does it want to deviate toward spring? Uncommitted. 

Shitty weather and complaining aside, what is the short month of February perfect for? Personally speaking, hot yoga is my go-to strategy to burn (pardon the pun) through these last few weeks of the marrow of winter.

If you’re keeping up, you’ll remember I attended an essential oil-infused deep-stretch class in January, facilitated by Khali Yoga in the NoDa neighborhood. That kicked me into gear, as afterward, I decided to quit half-assing my yoga practice and fully committed to the annual class pass. 

However, I still like the occasional adventure and decided on some solo South End tourism. I checked into Arrichion’s hour-long 7:15 a.m. core-strengthening hot pilates class, welcomed by their glowing market lights in the early morning darkness. 

Sure, the class description includes the word “hot,” which I am used to, no big deal, but this hot was something else. It was sweltering, but I am not complaining! The upbeat playlist was fun, the workout was challenging, and the environment was welcoming (i.e., the staff and clientele weren’t douchebags). My experience at Arrichion felt like being embraced in a sweaty hug — the best way to start the day if you’re into sweaty hugs.

The studio offers various hot yoga and circuit-training classes, each with a unique name specific to the series. Examples include bloodstone (a challenging vinyasa class) or diamond (a slow flow). Next on my list of things to try is Arrichion’s MMA Yoga class — high-intensity yoga with weights that incorporates techniques from mixed martial arts training. I’m slightly intimidated because I have sub-zero martial arts experience, but I am ready to expand my hot yoga horizon. 

I cannot wait to return to Arrichion for more, but this time with a towel for a post-session shower. The studio only offers towels for purchase. (This is an approach that many studios have adopted, but I find capitalizing on everyday items exhausting.) 

Arrichion is a family-owned business with an inspiring success story that started in a garage. They offer yoga teacher training and even the opportunity to franchise. Since no one has yet heard my plea to open a gym or yoga studio in east Charlotte, this may be my next career move. But until I open a studio of my own, let’s come back down to Earth and check out the agenda for the rest of the month.

I’m the lucky gal who married a man who loathes Valentine’s Day, so I plan to celebrate with my “galentines.” (My husband manages a restaurant, so let’s be honest, he’s working that evening anyway.) We are often like two ships in the night, communicating only through Google Calendar. (Be sure to follow me for more tips on how to keep the romance alive.)

There’s nothing downhearted about this day dedicated to love, however. My gal pals are planning to procure a charcuterie feast to celebrate our adoration of wine and cheese together. After all, don’t wine, cheese, and friendships get better with age? 

I noticed that The Culture Shop in the Belmont neighborhood offers a pre-ordered Valentine’s Day menu for two this year. The menu includes a salad I plan to copycat for our girl’s night in: mixed greens, tomatoes, radishes, cheese, and croutons drizzled with a homemade strawberry champagne vinaigrette. While a cheese spread alone may be satisfying, I plan to compliment it with some roughage for a happy post-holiday belly. If you are in search of some holiday inspiration, you are welcome.

But while my own romantic life can be depicted as peaks, valleys and plateaus, I’m learning to enjoy living vicariously through my single friends; that mostly means listening to their dating horror stories and browsing strangers’ profiles. I never used a dating app in my past life as a single person, but it feels wickedly satisfying to swipe left. 

Even though Valentine’s Day is just one day out of the month, why limit our sense of love and appreciation to a 24-hour window? Something I never thought I would look forward to is the upcoming Carolina Alpaca Celebration in Cabarrus County! I can’t wait for an afternoon of four-legged friend snuggles and browsing vendor merch featuring alpaca and other fiber-related items. 

Do I foresee an alpaca farm developing on my property soon? Well, if the east Charlotte yoga studio doesn’t happen, something’s gotta give. My homeowners’ association is going to love me.


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