Instructor / Owner
Lauren came to yoga as a teenager working to be a more competitive runner. As she has moved through the decades, yoga is less about the physical and more about grounding in the present moment and cultivating a spirit of gratitude. Lauren completed her 500 hour training through the Asheville Yoga Center and is an E-RYT 200. While she’s still a runner and is inspired by vigorous Astanga practices, she gets great satisfaction from teaching elders in retirement and nursing homes. She integrates meditation and restorative practices into her classes, as well as strong flows. Her newest and biggest teachers are her two young sons, Asa and Elias, with whom she loves playing in the garden and in the woods.
Gretchen has been practicing, studying, and teaching yoga for over a decade. She became a 200 hour certified yoga instructor through Kripalu Institute in 2008, and enjoys teaching a variety of styles from gentle to mindful power flow. Regardless of the style, she always introduces a level of meditation and stillness to allow each student time to integrate their practice and build self-awareness. She recently launched Outdoor Movement, a resource to connect yoga practitioners and guides in outdoor spaces. She is honored to live and raise her two boys in Brevard.
Debi received her 200 hour RYT certification in vinyasa yoga in 2008 with Rolf Gates. She has since done some training in yoga therapy and has done workshops with multiple teachers including Christina Sell, Faith Hunter, Annie Carpenter, Heather Tiddens, Manouso Manos, and others. She co-owned Foive Points Yoga in Athens, Georgia for nine years and recently sold the business to her business partner to move to Brevard, where she lives in Big Hill with her husband and three dogs. She loves to hike, bike, and of course, practice yoga and is looking forward to becoming part of the community here.
Alana found yoga ten years ago in an Astanga class while teaching and living in La Paz, Bolivia. As a runner, she was drawn to the physical aspects of yoga, but began to find it to be a place of self-discovdry, healing, and growth. Over the years, Alana has practiced Astanga, Jivamukti, Vinyasa Flow, and yin. She completed her RYT 200 at the Asheville Yoga Center, where she uncovered a passion not only for energetic flow, but also for slow, meditative yoga. Alana teaches English as a Second Language and, when not working or on her yoga mat, enjoys trail running, traveling, and hiking local peaks with her husband.
Emily originally found yoga in a gym setting. While very involved in the fitness world, Emily wasn’t so sure about yoga, but she was still curious. Emily enjoyed the challenge of power yoga and found it felt good as a part of her life. Emily’s RYT 200 is from Asheville Community Yoga, where she studied when pregnant with her son. Emily loves to teach and practice flow, and also taps into other styles of practice when she can. She loves to play in the forest on foot, bike, and canoe, and loves to climb rocks and share the joy of the outdoors whenever possible. Emily, her husband, and son are more than grateful to call these mountains home.
Lauren became drawn to yoga for the spiritual practice. Her search began over a decade ago, when she began practicing yoga in studios and in nature and studying under wonderful teachers. She has her 200 hour certification from Wilmington Yoga Center with an additional one hundred or so hours with Wilmington’s work/study program. Lauren founded Mountain Valley Yoga to provide a space for the families of our area to come together to practice yoga in nature. You can read more about Mountain Valley Yoga here. Lauren’s classes usually infuse elements of music drawn from Appalachia, indigineous cultures and instrumentals, with a rhythmic vinyasa flow, pranyama, and meditation.
InstructorKristine is a 200-RYT and is currently working towards her 200 E-RYT. Her yoga journey has lead her through many different types of practices, though her favorites are Kundalini and Buti. Kristine‘s classes are creative, upbeat and challenging. When not working or in the studio, she enjoys spending time with her family, playing in the great outdoors, and cooking.
Pilates InstructorElaine has been teaching Pilates since 2004, and recently moved to this beautiful place with her husband, Adam, and her baby, Manny. She is very passionate about teaching and has yet to find a more effective method for improving core strength and posture than Pilates. Elaine is certified through both Core Dynamics and NYC-based Power Pilates, and she finds the combination of these methods — including modifying as needed — is the best approach for achieving results that carry on long after leaving class. She is excited to bring a spine-safe version of Classical Pilates to Brevard Yoga Center.
InstructorNancy Ballinger has been a yoga teacher for fourteen years. She taught at Brevard College for thirty five years instructing ballet, swimming, aerobic dance, Lifeguarding, WSI, Pilates, and yoga. She has completed her RYT 500 hours from Asheville Yoga Center, 300 hours from Shoshoni Ashram, and 300 hours of therapeutic yoga. Brevard has been her home for over forty years and teaching is one of her favourite things to do. She also loves anything that involves being outdoors in our beautiful mountains!
Lauren ‘Kamala’ Beissinger
InstructorKamala is a 500-hr Certified Shambhava Yoga Teacher, a Certified Prenatal Yoga Instructor and a Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist (LMBT# 7344) at Elements Spa. She has practiced yoga since 1997 and has taught since 2003, certiried by the Shambhava School of Yoga from Shoshoni Yoga Retreat in Colorado.. At age 4, Kamala began her exploration of the mind-body connection with ballet and gymnastics until transitioning into yoga as a freshman in college. Her studies led her to the Himalayas of Nepal to study mountain ecology and sustainability and there she fell in love with the eastern spiritual traditions. Kamala’s classes are an experience of classical Hatha, including postures, breathing techniques, concentration, sense withdrawal, meditation, chanting and are interwoven with the words of her teachers. When Kamala is not in the studio or the spa, you can find her hiking, running, or biking the trails of Pisgah National Forest.
InstructorRhae moved to Brevard in 2009, retiring from teaching Special Education, and she feels she has found her niche teaching yoga. She sees yoga as a tool for maintaining and creating balance, strength, and flexibility. Rhae has been a 200 hour certifed teacher for a decade and completed her 300 hour certification in a therpeutic program at Asheville Yoga Center. A self-described yoga nerd, she has over 500 hours in extra workshops and many more hours in self-study. Rhae believes laughter in every class is a part of our learning.
Caitlin began her yoga journey while living in California. “I was living in a new place and looking for a way to connect with people and rediscover myself. I walked into a gym with no idea what to expect and left knowing that I had just experienced something big. I fully fell in love with yoga when a teacher told me, “You are exactly where you need to be.”. There was no pressure to force myself into a shape or emulate someone else. This simple quote helped me realize that everyone’s practice in unique and helped shape my own teaching technique.”
I strive to empower my students and I hope to help people see that yoga is for everybody and every body. More information about my yoga journey can be found at www.empoweredbalanceyoga.com
Micah CouttetMicah’s love of yoga began with his first Ashtanga class in 2001. Immediately feeling both stimulated and at peace in his body, the magic of “making to the mat “each day became a loving discipline. Personal growth? You bet! Just watching the flood of preferences and attachments that began to reveal themselves added significant emphasis to an already engaging 14 year spiritual and meditative practice. Combining years of training as a gymnast, professional dancer, and dedicated massage therapist, the path was paved for a comprehensive approach to sharing yoga. Today, Micah’s personal yoga practice is informed by the wisdom of such teachers as Tim Miller, Ana Forrest, Sarah Powers, and Bikram Choudry – all of whose intensive trainings have added to an ongoing inquiry to the human body, evolving spirit, and healing of the heart and mind. Students of all levels and ages will be sure to enjoy the sweat, stamina and discipline involved in safely discovering their own potential.
Judy NemethJudy was born and raised in Brevard. She came to yoga just a couple of years ago to help heal a hamstring injury. She discovered Buti Yoga and fell in love with the practice. She got certified as a Buti Yoga teacher and has been teaching and participating as a student on a daily basis since. Judy says that a regular Buti Yoga practice allowed her to become stronger and more grounded, with greater mental clarity and emotional control. She credits the practice with making her into “a much stronger personal overall” and would love for you to come try a class with her.
InstructorSandi Hartz completed her 230-hr Yoga Teacher Training at Asheville Yoga Center and a 100-hr Iyengar Yoga training with Cindy Dollar in 2002. Sandi also holds certificates in Advanced Yoga, Nurturing The Teacher Within, Restorative Yoga and Yoga for MS. Sandi combines a good sense of humor and encouragement, with her love of being active and the belief that, everyone can do yoga…all you need is to be able to breathe. She enjoys mountain bike rides, walks in the forest, and camping.
InstructorKathy Jones’ first yoga experience was – in one word – “transformative”. The class was in a noisy fitness center with TV’s blaring and weights clanging. Kathy says, “By the end of the class, I had completely tuned out the noise. I felt an amazing sense of peace and the rest is history!” Since this first class 10 years ago, yoga has been a way of life for her. “My perception of the world around me and my role in it has definitely shifted. Ahimsa, meaning ‘non-violence’, has become my life’s motto,” Kathy says. Since receiving her Yoga Teacher Certification in 2001, Kathy has taken countless workshops and teacher intensives throughout the US, including certification programs in Ashtanga Yoga and Yin Yoga at the Asheville Yoga Center. She recently returned from southern India, where she received her Intermediate Teacher Certification. During the summers, Kathy teaches yoga to high school students at the Brevard Music Center.
Clare has practiced yoga for 15 years, and the ebb and flow of life’s circumstances have brought along many setbacks and restarts. The most recent restart came after a year and a half of not practicing at all following her son’s brain cancer diagnosis. The toll was demanding, restraining, and depleting, yet also full, appreciative, and beautiful. Thank goodness the flow is continuous. Yoga has helped her cultivate ways to better handle stress, pause, smile more, and just be. Clare is a teacher at heart and has missed being a Brevard High School Spanish teacher while caring for and advocating for her son. During this time, she completed her Registered Yoga Teacher Training certification at Asheville Yoga Center. She has been enjoying teaching enrichment yoga at the high school and Spanish yoga to kids. Clare’s passions include spending time with loved ones, traveling, gardening, and being outside, although recently most of her spare time is spent researching pediatric brain tumors and taking deep breaths.
Bridget Shaeffer Pradella
Bridget is an avid advocate for health and wellness and has been practicing yoga for more than a decade. Her passion is for whole system healing — healing our bodies, our minds, and the earth which sustains us. Bridget completed her teacher training with Sanctuary Yoga in Gainesville, Florida. There, she developed a love for the sensation of properly aligned asanas and embracing the healing stillness of restorative and yin practices. Bridget is a level two Reiki practitioner, an herbal medicine enthusiast, and has been studying and implementing EFT for the last several years. She and her husband moved to Brevard in September 2016. Check out wellwithyoga.com for more on Bridget.
InstructorKerrianne began her yoga journey 17 years ago and recently completed her 200 hour teacher training program at Asheville Yoga Center. She has tried many different styles of yoga, but loves the feel of slow flow power yoga combined with breathwork. Kerrianne has been a first grade teacher for 14 years and always begins her days with her students with ten minutes of yoga and incoroporates breathwork and mindfulness throughout the day. During her free time, Kerrianne loves spending time with her two little boys and her husband, traveling around this beautiful world and spending time with her friends and family now that she’s back in the US after living in Guatemala for five years.
Julie has been practicing yoga for over ten years, but began to deepen her practice about two years ago. Yoga started for her, as it does for many, as a physical practice: a chance to stregthen and stretch the body. Little by little, she discovered it can be so much more. Yoga has had such a positive domino effect on all aspects of her life. Julie completed her 200 hour training at Longwave Yoga in Wilmington last year. Julie looks forward to passing on the feelings of strength, possibility, peace, and gratitude that yoga brings on and off the mat.