Meet Charlie! You’ve seen him around the studio on his mat and probably seen some of his work around the city and in books (more on that later). He began his practice about 10 years ago after his wife (ya’ll know our former babysitter Tracy) encouraged him to join her. He tells us his favorite classes are a bit slower and stretchy – he’s a huge fan of Rashad’s classes. He loves that yoga is a simple practice – no need for special equipment – and that yoga gives him a complete body and mind awakening. Charlie recently turned the big 6 – 0, has 4 (soon to be 5) rambunctious grandkids, and loves hiking and biking (and longboarding!) so keeping his body physically in shape is extremely important to him. He says yoga provides the balance of physical and mental challenge that he needs. He tells us “I love that yoga gives me a complete body workout. It keeps my joints, my muscles and my mind happy. I get a wonderful sense of accomplishment that I can feel from head to toe.”
Being a transplant to Sugar Land (they moved here in 2016 to be closer to children), Charlie and Tracy are active in our Awakened Yoga community – he says that he appreciates the different ages, cultures, shapes, and sizes of our yogis and loves meeting people and sharing yoga/life stories.
Outside of the studio, Charlie is a busy man! He is a freelance illustrator, author and educator. Yoga has helped him in all these areas in his life. You may have seen some of his work at the Imperial Park Recreation Center – there is a mural of “Sugar Land Fun” – or on the famous city mugs from myfortbend.com to name a few. Since moving to Texas, Charlie has focused on writing and illustrating children’s books! His newest book is Little Lunch Truck – a sweet book about acceptance and community with Little Lunch Truck bringing Chef Nina’s food around town. Check out his work at www.charlesbeyl.com.
Charlie tells us that yoga helps him as an artist and author by stimulating creativity, giving his brain a mental break from stress or pressure so that he can focus and be innovative in his illustrations and ideas. Yoga has been shown to increase frontal cortex activity which is linked to focus, calm and concentration. Doing yoga can help stimulate more ideas and help the brain process information more easily and quickly. Plus yoga eases tension in the body and unwinds the physical stresses from being stationary for long periods of time (like when you’re drawing or writing) – we love backbends and shoulder openers for all that.
We asked Charlie to tell us what he would suggest to someone who wanted to start yoga: “I would advise them to take as many classes as they can, to see what fits them best. The cool thing about yoga is that there are many types of classes to explore and teachers to guide you through it. The awesome thing about Awakened is that it is a studio that can let you do just that.”