Tag: Jacksonville

Finding Balance As A Military Spouse

If you’re a military spouse, you already know how challenging life can be.  And if you’re a mother, your primary focus is usually your children’s well-being:  are they doing well in school, are they participating in the right activities… are they getting enough social interaction? The check list for your children is endless, however, have you stopped to check in on yourself?

How are you doing? Are you feeling frazzled, frenetic or just plain frustrated? Much has been made about making sure women have fun time away from home, a girl’s night out for example, and those are entertaining and have their purpose… but how about  time to look inward? How are you doing mentally, emotionally and spiritually?  There are activities you can participate in that will help keep you calm, grounded and balanced.


Have you tried taking a Yoga class? Most people assume yoga is about wearing skin-tight pants, stretching and saying namaste to your pals. It is not. Yoga is actually an ancient practice with roots in ancient Egypt and India.  It was a daily practice participated in by everyone from parents and children, to royalty and everyday citizens. Yoga was and still is a life philosophy, not just another trendy exercise class to take like Pilates or Zumba (though those are fun ways to stay fit).

In some cases, Yoga can be a complementary therapy for a diverse list of health concerns. If you find Yoga classes that offer the discipline in its true spirit, one that helps the student reach spiritual and meditative goals, not just physical fitness goals, you will receive both emotional, mental and spiritual benefits.

Are There Yoga Classes In Jacksonville?

If you’re living a fast-paced lifestyle with all of your energies focused outward, taking a few weekly yoga classes will help you to stay calm, inner-focused and positive, something from which your husband, your children and yourself can all benefit.  Let’s face it, as the mother and wife of the family, many times you are what grounds the family unit, you are the center – and if you’re off-kilter, so is the entire household. You owe it to yourself and your family that you love so much, to make sure that you are living a balanced life.


Meditation is another way to assist in your goals to be a calm, positive beacon of light for your family. The word meditation brings to mind both silly and serious images, however, meditation is a serious tool that the military, corporate America and schools are now using to achieve goals, whether it be overcoming PTSD, de-stressing overworked executives or improving hyperactive children’s abilities focus and study.  Meditation is a practice you can also use to better yourself.

Meditation Makes You Happier and Smarter

So what, exactly is meditation? Meditation is the practice of turning your attention to a single point of reference. It can involve focusing on the breath, on bodily sensations, or on a word or phrase known as a mantra. In other words, meditation means turning your attention away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present moment. Meditating is deceptively simple, and is a means to erase all of the negative images and thoughts your mind is programmed with on a daily basis.

7 Ways Meditation Can Change The Brain

There are many different ways to learn how to meditate. You can read books on the subject, you can watch YouTube videos or you can purchase audiobooks or  subscriptions to mindful-themed websites like Head Space and Oprah and Deepak’s Master Meditation Trilogy .  Learning how to meditate,however should not be cost-prohibitive.

Meditation can be as easy as sitting in a dark, quiet room, closing your eyes and counting your breaths.  However, if your mind will not stop racing and you can’t quiet your thoughts, you can also try listening to a brainwave entrainment track.  Just sit in a quiet, dark space, plug in your headphones and listen.

Make sure to focus on deep breathing, try to blank out your mind and think of nothing. That sounds super-easy, thinking of nothing but when you actually try it, if you’re not in the practice of doing so, forcing yourself to think about nothing can be challenging.  And yet, this is what the human mind needs daily for optimal efficiency.

Mediation on Camp Lejeune

When your eyes are closed and a thought floats into your awareness, simply acknowledge the thought and allow it to float away like a cloud.  Do not get upset, this is your place of happiness and positivity.

Tai Chi

Lastly, there is Tai Chi and Qigong.  As a parent, you’ve probably enrolled your child into dance class or recreational sports.  Have you considered doing the same for yourself?  Unless you are already familiar with the martial arts, taking a new class as an adult can seem daunting.  However,  taking Tai Chi or Qijong, which are both ancient Chinese martial arts with therapeutic value could be advantageous.  Tai Chi is often referred to as moving meditation. While there is a martial art studio in the area teaching Tai Chi, there is no place currently to take Qijong. Fortunately, you can find many great videos on YouTube to help you out.

The benefits of Tai Chi are similar to those associated with low-impact, weight-bearing, aerobic exercise:

  • Improves physical condition, muscle strength, coordination and flexibility
  • Improves balance and decrease the risk of falls, especially in elderly people
  • Eases pain and stiffness in joints
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves overall wellness

Medical studies has proven that Tai Chi has positive effects on:

  • Bone loss in postmenopausal women
  • Cancer survivors
  • Depression in elderly patients
  • Fibromyalgia symptoms, such as muscle pain, fatigue and insomnia
  • Osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Patients with chronic heart failure
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.

More Health Benefits of Tai Chi

In addition to the mind, body and soul benefits, this martial art is a great way for those new to exercising, new moms easing back into exercise or those recovering from injury to get fit.

It’s about time you focused on your well-being. Whether you practice yoga, meditation, Tai Chi or all three, make the balance of your mind, body and soul a priority. We don’t often think about how we can benefit from breathing exercises and just stilling our mind, but the benefits can be dramatic. You will be better for it and your husband and children will appreciate it.

Finding Fresh: Local Farmer’s Markets in Wilmington and Beyond

There’s nothing better than biting into a fresh, juicy apple that was grown on a local farm in your city, is there?  Shopping at farmer’s markets is fun.  It’s almost sensory overload, all of the gorgeous colors, fresh produce, artisanal food products… and you’re getting fruits and vegetables at the peak of the growing season. This means produce is at its freshest and tastes the best. The food is typically grown near where you live, not thousands of miles away or another country. And shopping at farmers markets also supports your local farmers and keeps the money you spend on food closer to your neighborhood.

In the past, shopping at these local markets was problematic – they didn’t always take debit or credit cards, but now, for the most part most farmer market’s do. So there is no inconvenience involved with shopping at farmer’s markets. Just make sure you bring your own reusable grocery bags.

Farmers markets are also super kid-friendly.  A family visit to a market is a great way to get your child involved with family nutrition, especially those picky eaters who think they dislike all veggies.  Once they see the variety of colors and shapes produce comes in, and they are allowed to pick out whatever catches their eye… they’re one step closer to becoming a fruit and veggie lover.

We’re happy to say, there is a nice selection of farmer’s markets in the area. Check out the list below, and discover which market is closet to your home.



Farmer’s Markets Can Be Less Expensive Than Your Grocery Store


Carolina Beach

farmers market veggies


  • Onslow County Farmer’s Market (has three locations)
  • 4024 Richlands Highway, Jacksonville, NC 28540
  • April 11 – November 17
  • Every  Saturday
  • 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM


Onslow County Farmer’s Market at Camp Lejeune

  • Main Exchange Parking Lot
  • 1401 W Rd #1231, Camp Lejeune, NC 28547
  • April 11 – November 17
  • Every Tuesday
  • 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM


Onslow County Farmer’s Market in Jacksonville Center

  • Big Lots Parking Lot
  • 1110 Western Blvd, Jacksonville, NC 28546
  • April 11 – November 17
  • Every Thursday
  • 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Morehead City      

  • Morehead City Curb Market
  • 1300 Evans St, Morehead City, NC 28557
  • May through September
  • Every Saturday
  • 7:30 AM – 11:30 PM


New Bern

  • New Bern Farmer’s Market
  • 421 S. Front Street
  • Historic Downtown, New Bern, NC  28560
  • April 21 – December
  • Every Tuesday
  • 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM





  • Farmer’s Market at Poplar Grove
  • Poplar Grove Historic Plantation (on the front lawn)
  • 10200 US Highway 17 N., Wilmington, NC 28411
  • April 9 – December 17
  • Every Wednesday
  • 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Which Fruit and Vegetables Are In Season Right Now?


  • River Front Farmer’s Market
  • Located Along the Cape Fear River in Historic Downtown Wilmington,
  • In the parking lot on the corner of North Water and Princess Streets
  • April 4 – December 22nd
  • Every Saturday
  • 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM



The Benefits of Buying Local at Your Nearest Farmer’s Market



Wrightsville Beach

  • Wrightsville Beach Farmer’s Market
  • Located at the Town of Wrightsville Beach municipal grounds, Seawater Lane
  • Wrightsville Beach, NC  28480
  • Every Monday
  • 8 AM -1 PM
  • May 18 – September 28

Tai Chi in Jacksonville, NC

Martial Arts have been popular in the US for a very long time.  But did you know, beside the benefits of cardio exercise and learning self-defense and discipline, there are forms of martial arts that are great for reducing stress? One of the best martial arts for your mind, body and soul is Tai Chi.

Whether you already practice yoga and or meditation, or are new to taking care of your mind along with your body, Tai Chi is the next discipline you should try. Originally developed for self-defense, Tai Chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that’s now used for stress reduction and a variety of other health conditions. Often described as meditation in motion, Tai Chi promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements.

What is Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a thoughtful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.


Tai Chi, also called Tai Chi Chuan, is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.

Tai Chi has many different styles. Each style may have its own subtle emphasis on various Tai Chi principles and methods. There are also variations within each style. Some may focus on health maintenance, while others focus on the martial arts aspect of Tai Chi.

Tai Chi Can Also Be Used For Fighting

Tai Chi is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels. In fact, because Tai Chi is low impact, it may be especially suitable if you’re an older adult who otherwise may not exercise.

You may also find Tai Chi appealing because it’s inexpensive, requires no special equipment and can be done indoors or out, either alone or in a group.

Although Tai Chi is generally safe, women who are pregnant or people with joint problems, back pain, fractures, severe osteoporosis or a hernia should consult their health care provider before trying Tai Chi. Modification or avoidance of certain postures may be recommended.

 The Health Benefits of Tai Chi

When learned correctly and performed regularly, Tai Chi can be a positive part of an overall approach to improving your health.

The benefits of Tai Chi include:

  • Decreased stress and anxiety
  • Increased aerobic capacity
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Increased flexibility, balance and agility
  • Increased muscle strength and definition

Some evidence indicates that Tai Chi also may help:

  • Enhance quality of sleep
  • Enhance the immune system
  • Lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure
  • Improve joint pain
  • Improve symptoms of congestive heart failure
  • Improve overall well-being in older adults
  • Reduce risk of falls in older adults

The only place to find Tai Chi classes between Wilmington and Emerald Isle is United Martial Arts, located at 125-A Henderson Dr. Jacksonville, NC 28540.

Now, if we can just find a good Qigong spot…

Is There Yoga in Jacksonville, NC?

Jacksonville is a small town, mostly made up of US Marines and their families.  And you’d probably think you’d have to travel to Wilmington to find a decent yoga studio.  However, your assumption would be incorrect.  While the number of yoga studios in this area is small, you can find several studios and very passionate teachers.

US Marines Learn Meditation & Yoga

Beginning with Jacksonville and then heading a few miles east, there are a few studios worth your while to check out.

Infinite Yoga  & Wellness – 13 E Doris Ave, Ste G, Jacksonville, NC 28540

Drop in class:  15$

  • Monthly Unlimited rate:  85$
  • Get more information on their ratesclass schedule and reviews.
  • Childcare? No.
  • Of note:  In additional to traditional yoga studio class offerings, IYW also provides Aikido training.

Second Wind Eco – 208 W Main St, Swansboro, NC 28584

Drop in class:  10$

MCCS/Camp Lejeune & New River

  • Drop in class:  3$ (These classes are available to active-duty, retired, reservists on active-duty, dependents, MCCS employees, and Department of Defense employees with proper government ID)
  • Monthly Unlimited rate:  35$ (includes all group classes, not just yoga)
  • Get more information on their rates and class schedules.
  • Childcare? No.
  • Of note:  In addition to offering five different types of yoga class, MCCS also teaches several hybrid classes that mix yoga with Pilates or muscle training.