This week, our very own Charry Morris was featured in an instructor spotlight in D Magazine. As you may know, Charry is a former pro soccer player who grew into a yogi over time. In her own words, “Every aspect of my ‘growing up’ has led me to build Plum Yoga.”
It may seem a little peculiar- maybe even self-serving to write a class review for a studio I own. I’m not a blogger. But after today’s vinyasa class I feel compelled to document this experience- even if no one ever reads this blog post. Can I be objective, you ask? Well, maybe not. But, not for the reasons you think.
It is true; I do own the studio. But, first and foremost I am a student. I have tight hips, hamstrings and shoulders. I was put together with good glue- and probably will never see the “full expression of the pose” in my body.
But, as a student- I truly appreciate a good teacher. You know what I mean: a teacher who completely shows up for his or her students- body, mind and spirit. When you are in a yoga room- you are sharing an experience and you really can tell when someone is “phoning it in” or even worse- making a grocery list in her head.
When the teacher is truly present for a class- no matter how big or small- everyone feels it. Everyone connects. And after all- aren’t we all looking for a connection? Hoping to be seen, to belong, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves?
In this case, the teacher I’m talking about is Charry Morris and she is the real deal. Charry is a yoga teacher so generous with her energy that you can’t help but feel that warmth.
Charry’s background was fitness first, then yoga. You can read her bio and find out all about her collegiate and professional soccer career and her depth of yoga training. She knows the physical practice, the alignment and has the attention to detail to give you a good workout in her class. She’s sneaky that way. Charry has this way about her that takes you right to your edge and you are happy to go there.
But Charry makes the class so much more than the physical practice. She connects. She is plugged in and present. You feel inspired by the pure joy she brings to each class, to each pose, to each student. There is something so genuine about Charry that you just know she truly loves yoga, she believes in it and she lives it. And somehow in her class, you want to be your best self- for yourself. You feel safe to try something. You are receptive.
So in the end, after Charry’s one-hour vinyasa class- you really have gotten more than just the workout you expected. 1) You are connected. 2) You are open to possibility. And 3) You are tired, but fully awake!
To say that I was nervous before my first SoulCycle class is a total understatement – walking into the studio made me feel like a fish out of water. When I first heard about the SoulCycle craze, I wanted to run the other way. The idea of being clipped into a bike in a dark room absolutely terrified me. I thought I’d never be able to keep up!
Now, I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that Plum is the exclusive yoga partner of the brand new SoulCyle Preston Hollow studio.
If you aren’t familiar with SoulCycle, imagine a dance party on a bike. I took my first class last week and I’m totally hooked! Despite my initial fears, the front desk staff made me feel welcome immediately, adjusted my bike, and helped me get my cycling shoes clipped into the pedals (though I have to admit that it did take a few minutes to adjust to being attached to my bike!)
Once the lights went off and the music came up, we started to ride in sync and I was surprised to discover that all of the strength I’ve built through practicing at Plum has really paid off. The core stability that we focus on in yoga helped me maintain great posture while riding and made it easy to get a hang of the “dancing on a bike” choreography moves. By the end of class, I had shed all my fears and felt confident and accomplished. I couldn’t wait for my next visit!
SoulCycle’s cardio workout is a great complement to your yoga practice and PlumFIT routine, so I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and give it a try. Be sure to tell us about your own first experience, and keep an eye out for your favorite SoulCycle instructors in class at Plum!
Plum and our fearless leader, Rose, were recently featured on the ClassPass blog. Check out the interview below, or click here to view the original post.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND. HOW DID YOU COME TO OWN AND OPERATE A STUDIO?
I’m a bit of a competitive, Type A personality, so yoga never used to be part of my life. When my workouts and a lack of stretching led to hamstrings so tight that I couldn’t touch my toes, a trainer recommended that I give yoga a try. To say that I was reluctant would be an understatement – I was flat out defiant! A sweet (and patient) friend finally convinced me to try my first yoga class, and I soon came to realize that I could find time every day to make my way to the mat, put down my to-do list, and live in the moment. It is still very much a journey for me, but yoga has taught me that balance is finding the right proportions in life – finding strength where there is weakness, flexibility where there is tightness, and softness in the intensity.
As my husband and I moved closer to becoming empty-nesters, I started asking myself some big questions: What is my purpose? Where am I going? What is my true passion? How do I make a meaningful difference? Plum Yoga has been the answer to all of those questions for me. I took the plunge last year and have worked to balance my love of yoga with my practical business experience as a former real estate finance executive, active community volunteer, and philanthropist. Plum is an opportunity for me to take a risk, to seek fulfillment, to assemble an incredible team and build something bigger than the sum of its parts.
WHAT MAKES PLUM UNIQUE?
We’ve designed Plum to be more than just a yoga studio – our goal is to be a community, and a home-away-from-home for our clients. Plum has an artisanal tea lounge, where people can come to work or catch up with friends, and a curated retail boutique full of amazing products from socially-conscious and local vendors. In addition to traditional yoga offerings, we have one studio with gymnastics-style rings for strength and mobility training, and offer classes like Athletic Stretch and Stress Reduction Stretch. There is truly something for everyone, whether you are a seasoned yogi or just trying to balance out your running/cycling/strength routine.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THIS LOCATION FOR YOUR STUDIO?
We are located in Lowest Greenville, a bustling stretch in the center of Dallas, with great pedestrian traffic. I chose this location because we are surrounded by people who value fitness, wellness, and artisanal products. The space had lots of character, with beautiful natural light and ample, convenient parking. Plus, there is a great sense of community among the businesses in the neighborhood.
HOW DO YOU BUILD OR FOSTER COMMUNITY AT YOUR STUDIO?
I make sure that our instructors and staff understand that, at its core, Plum is a service business. In everything we do, we focus on delivering the best possible product and experience. We do sweat the small stuff, because people notice the little things, and the little things add up to something great. In everything we do at the studio, we focus on being welcoming and getting to know our clients and community. We make sure that whenever someone takes an hour out of their busy day to spend time with us, we offer an energizing, empowering, and effective workout – no one likes to feel like they’ve wasted time! Additionally, our tea lounge creates a dedicated space for people to gather, to get to know fellow classmates and teachers, and to immerse themselves in our community.
WHAT MARKETING TECHNIQUES DO YOU FIND MOST USEFUL?
Word-of-mouth is so important within the yoga and fitness space, so building relationships and engaging in the community have been invaluable for us. We always seek new opportunities to collaborate with strategic partners, including other local businesses, clients, bloggers, etc. Taking the time to really get to know your clients and engage with those friend-of-a-friend connections is worthwhile, because you never know who will be a great person to have in your corner.
WHAT HAS CHANGED ABOUT YOUR PRACTICE OVER TIME?
When I started out, I was focused on “doing” yoga – it was a physical practice of movement. Now, my practice also centers on quieting the mind and finding stillness amidst the chaos of daily life.
WHAT QUESTIONS DO YOU ASK YOURSELF WHEN ADDING NEW CLASS TYPES, WORKSHOPS OR RETAIL?
- What is the need in the market? How do we fill the need?
- Who does the class, workshop, product serve?
- Does this class, workshop, product meet our standards?
- How do we exceed expectations? Can we create an experience worth sharing?
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU LOOK FOR IN AN INSTRUCTOR?
Emotional maturity and social intelligence are key. I look for experienced, well-trained instructors who exude authenticity and have an engaging presence. Of course, attention to detail and safety consciousness are critical. At Plum, it is also important that our instructors are firmly rooted in the yoga tradition, because we are providing a service that is so much more than a fitness class disguised as yoga.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
People who live their life with purpose and pursue their passions.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR CLIENTS TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR CLASSES?
A feeling of time well-spent, a fit body, and a relaxed mind. I hope students feel tired, yet fully awake.
WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE DO YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN WHEN YOU WERE FIRST STARTING OUT AS A BUSINESS OWNER?
I was hesitant to join ClassPass when we first opened, but now I would advise other business owners toembrace ClassPass. ClassPass users are a key part of our demographic, so the exposure that ClassPass brings is valuable! Find ways to work with ClassPass to grow your business, rather than resisting it.
Plum is proud to introduce the Kula Collection, a handpicked selection of our favorite bath and beauty products. Kula (koo-la) is a Sanskrit word meaning “A community of the heart, a group coming together of its own free will. An intentional community, a family.” Sanskrit is the language of yoga, a universal language considered one of the oldest languages on Earth. Sanskrit is believed to help create a deeper, more spiritual connection.
Kula is a grouping of organic, bath and body products, as functional as they are beautiful and inspired by the community we are building at Plum.
Stop by the studio this week to check out the new collection! Check out details on the full Kula Collection below. Each product has been given a Sanskrit name to help remind of us of our own spirit connection, rooted deep in tradition.