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Come practice with Melissa as she brings her high energy to the mat in an upbeat vinyasa with music to inspire.

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Carla Jean Whitley believes perfection is a myth, and she finds freedom in that conviction. It’s a lesson she aims to share in every yoga pose.

That may be a surprising mission for a Type-A perfectionist, especially one whose day job as a writer and editor finds her regularly correcting her own and others’ mistakes. But yoga serves as a counterbalance, a reminder that a variety of internal and external factors affect who we are. A pose that feels rock solid one day may be unbearable the next—because your focus has shifted, because you didn’t fuel your body properly or because of something as simple as a change in the weather.

With emphasis on the breath and remaining in the moment, Carla Jean’s classes will help you slow down, ease tension and allow anything you need to deal with to bubble to the surface. Powerful, core-focused poses become a physical manifestation of mental strength, as you breathe into difficult postures and endure discomfort because it will lead to a greater good.

Carla Jean has practiced yoga regularly since 2011 and in 2014 graduated from Sacred Glow Yoga’s 200-hour teacher training program. She is registered with Yoga Alliance, studies regularly with Sacred Glow’s Melissa Scott and Here Now Yoga’s Kim Drye, and has completed master classes with Sadie Nardini and Bryan Kest.

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Kerry studied under Akasha Ellis, who trained him in the styles of Ashtanga and Kundalini Yoga. He received his RYT-200 hour certification (Yoga Alliance) in May 2015. Kerry has pursued additional intensive training and certification in teaching yoga to trauma sensitive populations.

Kerry is also a musician which discipline also informs his yoga practice. Kerry studied classical concert guitar performance and obtained his bachelors’ degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Kerry continues to incorporate eastern musical forms into his practice and regularly studies and performs Aquarian, Kundalini and Kirtan chants.

Kerry’s teaching emphasizes the basic principle that yoga is an art and science dedicated to creating union between body, mind and spirit. Kerry’s intent is to assist the practitioner in learning to use the breath and body to foster an awareness of themselves as individualized beings intimately connected to the unified whole of creation.

A lawyer by profession, Kerry has found that a dedicated practice of yoga has allowed great abundance in his life even in the face of many great struggles, pains and losses. Kerry strives to help the practitioner find their own path towards balance and equanimity so as to live in peace and good health, and find harmony with the greater whole.

Kerry is dedicated to his own daily practice of Ashtanga yoga. This is the form Kerry emphasizes as a teacher. Also known as the eight-limbed path, Ashtanga yoga is expressed from the core of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, written approximately 500 BCE to 200 CE, that forms the structural framework for yoga practice. Ashtanga is a beautiful but disciplined type of yoga based on eight principles and consisting of a series of poses (asanas) executed in swift succession, combined with deep, controlled breathing.

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Natalie’s purpose is two-fold. The first is to help you believe that you are enough, just as you are.  The second is to flip your perspective upside-down…literally and figuratively. If you are ready to be challenged both physically and mentally, Natalie’s class is right where you need to be.  Her classes are meant help you tune into your body through the physical practice as well as listen to your body, be compassionate and nurturing towards yourself and have fun.  
Natalie came to yoga during a season of depression and hardship in search for a new workout.  She discovered not only a great way to sweat and be in her body but found solace, strength, and healing.  Her desire is for you to go on a journey of self-discovery with her through an active practice that will rejuvenate your body and still your mind.  She strongly believes that yoga is for everyone, in every season of life.  As an elementary teacher and yoga instructor, Natalie knows the importance of believing in yourself and using your inner strength.

With a background in dance, gymnastics, and collegiate sports, Natalie strives to give you a class balanced in strength, stretching, and fun to help you find your center, creativity, and inspired-self whether on or off the mat.  She believes so passionately in the power of yoga that she wanted to share this gift with others.  She received her 200 hour Core Strength Vinyasa training with Melissa Scott in Birmingham, AL and immediately began teaching.  She believes that each of her students has great potential and can achieve whatever they set their minds to.  When not teaching yoga (or children), Natalie can be found painting, attending Crossfit, or playing with her nieces and nephews!

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Rachel discovered the power of yoga in 2010 at a gym when she was searching for a way to supplement her running. She had taken yoga classes before, but when she took her first class with Peach Friedman she knew she was a part of something special. After that, yoga became more than just an exercise modality; yoga became a way of accessing a world in which the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual all intersect. Rachel used to think of yoga as an escape from the “real world”, but after glimpsing the peace and awareness that accompanies a yoga practice, she doesn’t want to go back.

Rachel completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training in vinyasa yoga in 2013 at Yogafly Studio in Auburn, AL under the guidance of Peach Friedman, Jessica Carry, and Cori Martinez. Since then, Rachel has taught power vinyasa, slow flow, and yin yoga at Yogafly, privately, and for Auburn University’s outreach program, OLLI, for senior citizens. Rachel is currently pursuing a “Yoga For All” certification which nurtures body positivity and inclusivity in yoga instruction.

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Shannon found her way to the yoga mat through a difficult health diagnosis during college. She became a committed yoga practitioner in 2010. After graduating with a B.A. in Political Science from Samford University and working in the non-profit field, she completed her 200-hour Yoga Alliance instructor certification in 2013 at Birmingham Yoga with Akasha Ellis, and then further certification in restorative yoga, therapeutic chair yoga and Reiki Level I & II. She has been fortunate to attend classes and workshops with Rolf Gates, Laura Tyree, Becca Impello, Kerry Meon, and Bliss Wood. She teaches a variety of styles of yoga for any age, shape or size of body.

Whether you need one-on-one reiki or yoga therapy for a illness or injury or want a powerful workout in the Ashtanga or Vinyasa tradition, she can help you find the yoga for you. Personally, she loves to practice kundalini and mysore. She is also an active member of the community. As a board member of Sweet Om Alabama – a non-profit whose mission is to spread yoga to populations who would not have access otherwise – she is honored to be able to volunteer at AIDS Alabama to teach yoga to those with HIV and mental illness or disability as well as having experience working with a range of chronic illnesses and disorders such as, fibromyalgia, depression, bipolar and eating disorders.

From personal experience she knows the transformation and impact that yoga can have on your health and overall well-being. Her mission is to share with others the practical techniques she has learned that have helped her overcome the challenges she has faced. Shannon strives to make each class a fun, informative and a healing learning experience about life, yourself and the world around you. Much gratitude to her teachers and students for sharing this path with her, may yoga bring you much joy and many blessings!

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We take on anything we do. We do yoga but we do many other ‘good’ things too. With some contemplation we discover the value in all of our more daily activities and begin to experience more joy. To play off Einstein’s quote, either everything is a miracle or nothing is, either every duty is worthy of a willing spirit or none of them are. To release the burden of resistance is what catapults the work itself to a higher quality which in turn rewards one even more. Upward spiral activated! With a clean cliche for the antagonist, what goes up must come down, but the idea is that we begin to not fall so far back down. We are propped on the plateaus of our teachings and toils, our relationships and rituals. We reflect our practices and become more than the total sum of their cohesion. We have tapped into the collective, by which I mean the energy of other people’s experience feeds into our own and leaps can be made without the fear of falling. It is interconnectedness or oneness – that which every conversation will arrive back at. It’s all one… and it’s all good.

When it comes to what we label ‘bad’ things, in particular, people dying, we basically arrive at the conclusion that it is good for them to be back to oneness. Death in the form of murder stands indignantly at the top of what we deem ‘bad’, but it is really the circumstances with which we have trouble; the heinous act, the intent to harm, or the sickness that causes suffering. Nobody can endorse abuse, torture, or disease but even these things exist as part of a whole. What would be the point of living if life was exactly the same for all and guaranteed for a certain time period and nothing ever bad happened? We’d all be asking God, “Why the hell did I have to go and do that?” Life would be pointless. The point of life is to live it!

But don’t forget about the plateaus because we CAN grow and get past all this murderous behavior. The new world would inevitably have it’s own different problems. And that’s the point – they would be DIFFERENT! We wouldn’t be doing the same selfish shallow soulless shit! …like fighting over toys (gold, land, resources) and calling each other names (labeling, prejudice, even naming God). We’d be exploring the universe, refining and developing the methods of maximizing our planet, and nurturing our more benevolent natures, all of which would bring us closer to a heavenly existence. What we have idealized as God is a great role model for aspiration. So in the spirit of the word, let’s breathe and keep up the good work of paying attention to respond.

Peace

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Teresa has been involved in athletics her entire life. A fitness director at the YMCA before becoming a physical education teacher for 14 years, she retired to raise a family in 1991.
Her love of sports led her to a passion for golf, but after paralytic neck injury she was told she might never play golf again. Refusing to accept this news, she began practicing yoga in many different settings. After several years of practicing and becoming able to play golf again, Teresa felt the intense desire to study more deeply the practice and philosophy of yoga.

She began her study and practice with Kelli Precourt in Florida and enrolled in her 10 month 200 hour teacher-training program. Upon completing the program, she has continued her studies attending workshops on a regular basis, including inversions workshop with Meredith Holcomb, Vinyasa workshop at the Dharma Yoga Center, NY, Kundalini workshops and more. Believing the words of B.K.S. Iyengar “I am always a student” she will begin her 500-hour certification with Kelli at Balance Health Studio in Santa Rosa Beach FL.

Teresa is a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Instructor who focuses on the balance of body, mind and spirit through radiant movement with breath. Her classes set an intention of gratitude and dedication; she will challenge you physically, mentally and spiritually with the freedom to explore. All levels welcome!

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Nancy stumbled blindly into yoga in hopes of continuing a weight loss and fitness journey after years of obesity. It was not what she expected; Nancy thought yoga was hard and awful, she hated it! However, she found a calm acceptance that she hadn’t felt in years after just a few classes AND she could almost touch her toes! Nancy has been practicing since 2009 and teaching since 2012. Her passion is helping all people feel welcome in the yoga community and find the practice that supports their life. Nancy is 200 hr RYT certified in Ashtanga yoga, and holds certifications in Chair Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Sensory Disorders, and Curvy Yoga. Nancy is also trained in Yoga for Children, Kundalini Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, and Yin Yoga. Nancy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in the Science of Health and Wellness and is a NESTA (National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association) certified Wellness Coach.

We can’t escape it! It’s everywhere. Day in and day out life is a series of repetitions. So much of ‘what’ you do is already laid out for you. So how you do it becomes all you have.

Let’s play with the concept of pre-destiny – or that your life is predetermined by the intelligence of which it was born. And that free will or choice can only change things within the journey that will always bring you to the same destination. The big picture outcome seems predetermined – we all return home. So this always brings me to, it’s not ‘what’ you do but ‘how’ you do it. It’s a matter of bringing your spirit to your everyday doings. When we do things out of drudgery or obligation to another, we are not in the creative realm. Duty and service to another, yourself, or the world has a whole different feel. Your working for a higher purpose; from yourself but beyond yourself.

Take a look at any action of any day and notice ‘how’ you’re doing it. How does it serve you or how does it uplift another or the world? When it comes to the dishes and the trash and the scrubbing of toilets, see the inherent value of these actions and realize how they serve you, your neighbor, and the world at large. This will change how you relate to these sometimes belabored tasks.

As a daily exercise you will begin to release tasks/actions/karmas that serve nothing except the habitual ego and you will be left in the ritual of spirit work. Realize that many ‘whats’ are inevitable and you will have to discover their worth to make it a spiritual ritual.

It’s not what you do but how you do it.   ….however, it is quite possible that you will unearth many ‘whats’ that you could change as well….

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