About the Owners
Alicia Roskind is the founder and co-owner of Okra – Yoga * Massage * Tea & Coffee in Plaza-Midwood, and within the first year of operation, Creative Loafing named Okra “Best Yoga Studio in Charlotte”.
Alicia began Okra at the rather young age of 25-years old. In many ways, it seems as if Alicia was groomed for the role of visionary and leader. Alicia was born and raised in North Carolina, and she has lived all over the state from the mountains, to the beach, and now the Piedmont. Beginning at the age of 13 she accompanied her parents on a 5-year journey through Jamaica, where she spoke in front of thousands of Jamaican youth at over 54 free One Love Concerts, on the importance of non-violence and forgiveness. This culminated in their largest concert on Bob Marley’s 60th Birthday on February 6, 2005. Joined by world famous reggae artists and other Jamaican “teachers of love” the concert was opened by Alicia telling her Jamaican audience how the people and the land had changed her life.
In 2009, Alicia graduated from UNC Wilmington magna cum laud, and joined Teach for America directly after college. Her two-year commitment placed her in Jacksonville, FL where she taught 1st grade in an inner-city school. After completing this commitment, she quickly realized that teaching small children was not her passion. Intending on simply taking a restorative trip to Costa Rica, she decided to dive deeper into the practice of yoga and got her 200-hr Yoga Teacher Certification with Seaside Yoga at Costa Rica Yoga Spa in Nosara, Costa Rica, and she then moved directly to Charlotte – her birthplace – and co-founded planBreathe with James Langteaux, which closed in 2011 due to zoning issues. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise for both she, James, and our city as she opened Okra, a much larger facility with two yoga studios, over 19 yoga teachers offering 48 classes a week, two massage therapy rooms serviced by 5 massage therapists and a full-service coffee and tea lounge.
Alicia has a deep passion and affinity for helping others find healing within themselves through connecting to their own joy and passion. She was raised with ideals of One Love from her parents and the messages of Bob Marley; this developed into a “knowing” that she is meant to teach and spread love. Okra is a piece of that vision, and she is excited for you to find healing within the community home she has created alongside a diverse group of incredible people that support Okra every day.
Hal enjoys supporting and helping others to realize their dreams. After leading, serving on the Boards of Directors, and managing and investing in several businesses, public companies and private equity investments such as Bass Pro Shops, Builders Emporium, Home Depot, Pep Boys, etc, Hal decided to dedicate his efforts and investments in entities that help people grow and become healthier in every way.
He leads many diverse workshops and classes and is a certified RYT 200 Yoga Alliance Instructor, certified ChiRunning/Walking Instructor, certified Aroma Yoga Instructor, certified in Triggerpoint Myofascial Release, certified USA Track and Field Coach, certified Thai Yoga Bodyworker, certified Crossfit Trainer, and certified Aromatherapist. Once Hal experienced what Alicia Roskind (Okra’s founder) had created at Okra, he decided to invest in its growth and also became the managing partner of Okra and co-founder of Gumbo.