Why Hello Friend, 

I started the Real Charleston Women Series for a few reasons:
#1- To provide more visibility for our female entrepreneurs in our area.
#2- To allow viewers to learn a little more about the real woman behind her brand.
#3- Let's talk about #2 again.
She is just like us. She is probably trying to juggle work, employees, family life, kids heading back to school, perhaps caring for her own parents. To our eyes, we see the business. But how did she start this? Why is she really doing this? How does she handle the stressors of balancing work and life? I'm excited for you to read her story. She's a breath of fresh air & finding inner comfort is part of her core.
Oh, & #4- We can all learn from one another whether you realize you are or not at the moment. Let's speak up, get real, & share our stories.

Without further a due, I’d like you to meet our next small business owner in the Real Charleston Women spotlight:  Melora Morgan

Melora Morgan, Owner of Serenity Tree Yoga. Real Charleston Women Series

Tell us a little about your profession & why you do what you do:
I have always enjoyed the connection of the body, breath, and mind. I started gymnastics and softball at the age of 5. While I continued those, I began to take an interest in volleyball during middle school and through my teens. My mom was my inspiration for yoga. She was somewhat of a closet yogi as it wasn't nearly as hip back then as it is now. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, I worked as a crisis counselor in West Palm Beach, FL, for five years. During school and in the time I worked as a counselor, my interest in the connection between one’s mind and body grew and led me to focus more on my yoga practice. 

In 2003, I enrolled and completed the teacher training program at Holy Cow Yoga Center. Fun fact -  This was only Holy Cow’s 2nd teacher training. I taught in the Charleston area for the next 10 years, offering classes in private homes, independent studios, and fitness centers- always with the emphasis that everyone was welcome. Teaching for 10 years at Gold’s Gym gave me the incredible opportunity to practice with people of all levels, ages, and body shapes. I was blessed with the opportunity to practice with students that would have never felt comfortable enough to walk into a studio. It was always my hope that my time there created a safe space, and maybe helped some build a love of yoga and of their body and self. 

With more than a decade of experience as an instructor, I felt like I wanted to create a yoga community that was truly accessible for everyone. Owning a brick-and-mortar studio never sounded appealing to me but teaching out in nature sounded absolutely heavenly. And…this would give me the ability to create a ‘pay what you can’ system without having all of the overhead fees. At that time there was not anyone in Charleston offering this type of yoga. It was (and still is) important to me that everyone feels they have a place to go. Practicing yoga and breathwork is a form of physical and mental healing, and when you need it the most isn’t usually when you are rolling in money. Offering these classes would give everyone the opportunity to move their bodies, stretch, heal, listen to the ocean, watch dolphins play, and maybe find some self-love in the mix. So, in the summer of 2013 I started offering donation-based classes on Folly Beach, and the first branch of Serenity Tree Yoga was born. 
Melora Morgan, Owner of Serenity Tree Yoga
Melora Morgan, Owner of Serenity Tree Yoga
This was also a time of transition for me as my youngest was going into Kindergarten. As a contributor to our family, I felt as if I really needed to put all my energy into making this yoga thing work. Or sadly the alternative, get a full time job. I began asking for guidance, and really putting an effort into listening. Questions I had for my guardian angels, my guides -  “Can I make this work? Will I be able to provide for my family? Am I qualified to make this work??” Gradually I started getting signs to move forward. One of my biggest moments was actually during a class at Gold’s Gym. When the students were in Savasana I asked my angels “How am I going to be able to still do what I love, what lights my soul on fire, and also provide for my family?” I sat focused on this question. After class as everyone was leaving, one of my long-time students approached me. Her question…”Had I ever considered offering wedding yoga sessions?” Her wedding was planned for fall and she couldn’t think of a better way to start her day. Her question sparked a fire and created space for more branches, blooms and flowers for this beautiful love child of mine. It was like that one special mixture of water, sunlight and food to create the perfect growth. 

At the heart of my yoga philosophy is you, the student. This is your practice; I am here only to guide you and keep you safe. I encourage my students to be in their own bodies listening carefully and compassionately to what their bodies need every time they step on the mat or beach towel. What I hope to offer is the opportunity to bring together your practice with those you love, to provide a space for community.  Whether in your home, on the beach, with a group of your favorite friends, or just for you, Serenity Tree Yoga is about you and your practice, your breath, your light. Yoga, to me, is a celebration of life. It is a love of what IS —a way to find calm amongst the chaos. And I have to say, I am really proud of the little yoga community that we have built. 
Melora Morgan, Owner of Serenity Tree Yoga

When not at work, where can we mostly find you?
Well, if we are speaking honestly, I am almost always working. But I love it, so I find it hard to part ways sometimes. In my downtime I love to hang with my kids - they are pretty cool people to hang with. Love when my hubs and I can get out and do something fun. I have an incredible tribe of family and friends that are always down to hang out. I love to sit out on my back porch listening to music. And I’m a sucker for a good dress up/dance party. And pretty much if you ever call me and say “wanna go see some live music” I’m in. In the winter I tend to watch a lot of netflix :)

If you could lounge anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’m doing it right now. As I’m writing this I am in a campground with my husband and kids (14 and 17) in an RV in Yellowstone. For the last month I have been traveling across the country with my family. By the end of this trip we will have traveled through 23 states. I have seen some of the most incredible sights and been with my most favorite people. I would not want to be anywhere else. 

What song best describes you?
Well, I just asked my husband, and he started singing Maneater by Daryl Hall and John Oats. But then I asked my kids, and they said Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. I’m gonna go with Bob Marley. 

What might you say to someone who needs a little pick me up?
Let’s play dress up and go dancing :) 

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
That is an excellent question!! I would hang out with my friends more. Throw all the best parties and plan more adventures. 

Melora Morgan, Owner of Serenity Tree Yoga

Melora Morgan, Owner of Serenity Tree Yoga

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
It’s from my favorite quote of all time. It’s not by Willie Nelson but I found it in my favorite book ever by Willie Nelson. Another fun fact - I was in the library with my daughter (who was 4 at the time) looking for inspiration. She is the one that picked this book out - “here mommy- this one looks good” :) If you haven’t read The Tao of Willie: A Guide To Happiness In The Heart you are missing out. Short, sweet, funny and to the point. Anyway, the quote is “In life it’s not how high you jump, or how fast you run, but how well you bounce”. I live by this quote every day. 

What makes you feel most empowered? 

So many things: Live music, being with people I love, dancing, freedom, laughter, being outside-I feel like if you are open to it, empowerment is everywhere. 

What do you need to rant about or get off your chest?
People need to relax. Let go a little. Dance. Remember what it feels like to be alive. 

What’s your secret weapon?
My smile. I feel like a simple smile goes a long way. And on the flip side of that, my bullheadedness. I don’t stop until I get what I set my mind to. I always believe there is a way to get to what you want. 

Favorite recipe/meal we need to know about?
The meal that just shows up. I seriously hate to cook.  

Hope you enjoyed meeting Melora in this lounge sesh and remember pie is better shared and there's enough of it to go around.

Lounge With Us

August 12, 2022 — Erin Yates