My very first experience with yoga was in 1998. I instantly fell in love just after my first class. I had been lifting weights, jogging, and cycling for ten years before that and started feeling the stress on my joints. When I found hot yoga, I knew I had found the perfect balance of physical intensity and mind stilling meditation that I craved. What began as a physical journey became so much more. When I am on my yoga mat the outside world disappears, it is my time to celebrate and nurture me. Practicing Hot Yoga has improved my life on so many different levels it’s hard to imagine life without it now. Because I believe in hot yoga so passionately, I feel the obligation to share it with the rest of the world. I decided to learn to teach and teach to learn in 2006; it was the best decision I ever made. My classes are designed to keep my students physically and mentally challenged but at the same time designed to allow ourselves the opportunity to let go of the ego and work with our inner strength and our hearts. I have completed courses on teaching yoga for seniors and also gentle yoga for breast cancer survivors. I offer detox classes, classes for weight loss, private one on one and semi-private classes, guided meditation classes for stress and anxiety and love teaching beginners.
Born and raised in Louisville, KY, my first exposure to yoga began at the young age of 3, where I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to practice at my Montessori school. I am a ballet dancer, and as I grew older, yoga consistently appeared as a part of my cross training. When high school rolled around, I chose to major in dance at the Youth Performing Arts School, where we practiced yoga on our non-dance days. It wasn’t until college, however, that my passion for yoga fully emerged. Being a ballet dancer I suffered from a bad case of perfectionism. I began dancing professionally with the De La Dance Company in Cincinnati, OH. During this time I began experiencing injuries. Then I found Modo Yoga. Modo filled my spirit in ways that I had never experienced before. I began to discover self-acceptance and my body began to heal. I practiced consistently with Modo for four years before deciding I wanted to share the joy yoga has given me with others. In 2014 I traveled to Costa Rica and received my CYT 200 hrs at the Marianne Wells School of Yoga. Since then I’ve been teaching classes independently from my home in Hillsborough as well as at a community center is Fairmont, NC. Can’t wait to meet you all and breathe together on our mats!
Brian Thacker is a native of North Carolina who started practicing yoga ten years ago. He turned to yoga as a way to stay fit after he reached the age of 30. What began as a practice of once a week has now become a situation where he teaches several times a day. He teaches to area companies in RTP and local yoga studios. He offers free yoga classes and tutorials on YouTube at “Natural Self Yoga.” His style has developed from many different teachers including Pattabhi Jois, BKS Iyengar, Bikram, as well as many other modern styles derived from these primary teachers. Brian knows that yoga will be a part of his life for the rest of his life. His goal as a teacher is to share his love for yoga by finding a style that his students can love. He lives one breath at a time and looks forward to the journey that yoga will continue to bring.
I’m from Santiago, Chile. I began yoga as a healing practice, as I was stressed out and needed something to help me relax. I quickly became obsessed with it, ended up quitting my job and going to LA to become a teacher. I attended the YogaWorks 200 hr certification with Patti Quinteros; she was a great inspiration for me. Yoga has changed my life completely; it gave me strength in my body, mind, and soul. When I’m not teaching, I’m practicing, and if I’m not practicing, I love to read, go on bike rides, walk, and sing! Music is a very important part of my life and my practice, I find it a useful tool to have fun and bring on the flow! I believe yoga is not the answer; the answer is inside you, but yoga shows you what’s inside.
When I was 19, I blew out my knee playing a pickup game of tackle football. This injury has been impacting my quality of life for the last decade. I heard practicing yoga restores and strengthens, so I took my first hot yoga class about four years ago. I spent over half of it laying on my back trying to catch my breath and not pass out. I practiced mostly Bikram my first couple years, and my yoga teacher training inspired my Iyengar, but I love all types of yoga. Yoga teacher training has taught me that ultimately yoga is intended to prepare the body for meditation. I work hard, and I am always open to suggestions and ways to improve myself. I am always thankful for anyone who shows up on their mat. I believe we are all whole, complete and perfect! Oh, and I am a closet vegan and use Dr. Bronner’s soap.
Kat started practicing yoga nine years ago in Burlington, Vermont. It was love at first breath, and she became a committed student. She was enchanted by the peaceful, calming and nurturing nature of yoga. Encouraged by her first teachers, she has been a teacher and a humble student ever since. Recognizing that yoga makes her a healthier and happier person, she is committed to creating space and time for others to have the same experience. She teaches her classes with a light-hearted, honest and fun approach, with strong attention to alignment, breath, and focus. She hopes to help her students find true happiness in their bodies through the practice of yoga.
RYTT 200, Personal Trainer
Developing a yoga practice has been one of the most nurturing decisions I have ever made. I’ve learned so much about myself, how I interact with others, and how deeply connected the mind, body, and spirit truly are. I have found that yoga is so much more than solely a physical practice, but a way of life. It is not only about how you handle struggles and emotional hardships on your mat but it’s about how you handle those same obstacles off your mat. Life doesn’t have to be tough and we all deserve an opportunity each and every day to focus on self-care. Self-care and emotional management are the deeper layers that I hope my class will help you unfold. As a licensed therapist and mindfulness-based practitioner, I am an advocate for holistic health and wellness. My love for yoga, physical fitness, and the art of counseling has allowed me to develop a unique platform that caters to you mentally, physically, and emotionally. My goal is to create a warm, fun, and supportive environment for each person attending my class. Although I am an instructor I consider myself an everlasting student, there is always a wealth of knowledge to be acquired. Sharing what I’ve learned inspires me to practice intentionality and to live more mindfully. Most importantly you are teaching me about you—your needs, and how we all inspire one another. I aim to create classes that are peaceful, soulful, and empowering. I’ve completed my 200hr RYT Vinyasa training at Franklin Street Yoga and will be registered with Yoga Alliance in the next few months. I have experience teaching power yoga, yoga for athletes, yoga for anxiety and depression, and kids yoga!
Begrudgingly, I accompanied a friend to her beloved yoga class at Down Dog Yoga in Washington D.C., and my life changed. Awed by the simultaneous intensity and serenity of that practice, I returned home seeking heat. I found MyYoga almost immediately and began practicing the Barkan method consistently while continuing to explore various yoga styles. My mind and body ultimatley nestled into Ashtanga vinyasa and Baptiste power vinyasa yoga. I “live out loud” and it’s reflected in my relationships, my personal practice, and my teaching style. I incoporate music, a sense of playfulness, and a bit of daring into my classes because rhythm, fun, and courage foster vitality. (Which is what life is made of!) In class, I’ll continue to draw your attention to your breath–the vitality you take with you everywhere you go. A breath of steadiness, a breath of ease, a breath of fun, a breath of courage…vitality in all its many forms, cultivated and practiced on the mat so that it’s with us off the mat.
I first discovered yoga in a gym in 2004 and was instantly mesmerized watching the group practice, while I did some tedious exercises on a weight machine. I had gone to an acupuncturist for allergies about six years before that and remembered him telling me about “Yoga” and showing me a book. I remembered what the book looked like, and found it– Sri Swami Satchidananda’s Integral Hatha Yoga. For about four years, I practiced with the ladies at the gym, then at local yoga studios, lost 30 pounds, became happier and more peaceful, and then decided to study further. I found the NC School of Yoga and little did I know what a blessing of a lifetime it would be to find my teacher, Chandra Om, and to study Classical Yoga under her guidance. I completed both 200 and 500-hour teacher training at the school, but this was only the beginning. I hope to share what I continue to know about Yoga– a holy and ancient tool for human beings on the long journey toward compassion for oneself and for others— the journey of a lifetime, which begins with a healthy body and mind and ends in connection with each other and everything.
I started practicing yoga in college and at first, it was strictly for the asana. It wasn’t until about a year into my practice that I started paying attention to my breath and being conscience of each movement. It is my goal to practice yoga as I live my life, mindfully and free of judgment and expectation. As a teacher, I hope to guide students to whatever they need from their practice, as yoga is whatever you want it to be.
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