A yoga practice isn’t always found in beautiful space, with giant windows bringing in natural light. Sometimes it is where you least expect it that yoga finds you. And for Maribeth MacKenzie, the owner of Inlet Yoga in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, this was the exact case. 

“The first time I tried yoga was at a community college in New Jersey, in a cold dance studio located next to a loud gym — so far from the beautiful studios portrayed in the magazines and movies,” said MacKenzie. “I remember when I left and was walking back to my car it felt like the sidewalk was moving and I was standing still, but I was hooked.”

MacKenzie later went on to become a middle school teacher, but the constant longing to become a yoga teacher was always present in the back of her mind. She was sharing this desire with a colleague one day who instantly noticed her passion and urged her to pursue the teacher training program.

Fast forward 20 years and MacKenzie runs her own studio that just celebrated seven years in business. She also serves on the teaching staff for Beryl Bender Birch’s teacher training program, the same program she received her certification from. 

“I was inspired to become a yoga teacher because I knew how good I felt and how much it helped me, and I wanted to do the same for others,” said MacKenzie.

As MacKenzie puts a strong focus on her studio day in and day out, she also looks ahead to monitor the future of the yoga industry. With heart rate monitors, streaming services and multiple other technology companies joining the yoga community, Mackenzie feels an adaptation between studios and technology will have to happen.

“I see the yoga business moving into a more tech-based perspective,” said MacKenzie. “I sit with this with mixed thoughts. I think it is wonderful to bring yoga into every home, at any time — through videos, livestream, facetime and chat rooms. And I know firsthand nothing can replace the energy and joy of being live and in person with a class and with your teacher. I hope the tech world never fully replaces the real world, but rather enhances it.”