Ashley is a former dancer and six years ago found yoga during a stressful semester in college. Though she was initially drawn by the sweaty physical practice, yoga became so much more over time! She began to notice that through regular practice, her awareness of her own body and of her external surroundings became heightened. Just after graduation, she decided to take a leap of faith and enrolled in a 200-hour teacher training at Yandara Yoga Institute in Baja, Mexico. Since that life-changing experience, she has worked at instructor and director at multiple studios in Virginia and North Carolina. Most recently she served as Director of Fitness and Yoga with Koru Resort Village in Avon, North Carolina. Ashley’s teaching areas of focus include strong vinyasa ﬂow, hot yoga series, iyengar, restorative and Yin yoga. Ashley has also received her prenatal yoga teaching certification.
Ashley strives to help yogis hone their abilities to listen to the body, pay attention and respect sensations, and ultimately carry that awareness off the mat, to create stronger relationships with others and with the earth. Ashley wants all students to feel welcome, comfortably challenged, and open to the positive aspects yoga can bring to their own life, as they discover their own paths both on the mat and off. In her spare time Ashley enjoys spending time with her fiancé and fellow yogi, Johnny, going out for runs, and hanging out with Zero an incredibly adorable, four-legged yogi who specializes in Puppy Poses!
When Bethany was very young, her soccer coach told her she was in the wrong sport because she was "always flipping upside down." From an early age, Bethany had a certain fearlessness for inverting her body, and even before entering the first grade, she had taught herself to do back handsprings and handstands. So when Bethany finally found yoga many years later, she found a second home - finally a place with like-minded people who also happen to not look at her funny just because her feet might be pointed straight up in the air...
But so much more transpired within Bethany upon her discovery of yoga. Her heart started to change. She found peace out of the anger from past traumas. Where anxiety used to compel her to run, she learned to stay and breathe. In those with whom she previously created distance, she created more love. What used to be just a story about a random event in her life became an invaluable wisdom to share. She decided to take her practice leaps and bounds forward by enrolling in Charleston Power Yoga's Teacher Training Program. Bethany graduated with the abilities not only to share how yoga transformed her life but also to guide students through asana (yoga postures) and into arm balances and inversions safely and fearlessly.
When asked what yoga means to her, Bethany replies, "Yoga is anything we need it to be in a particular moment - a space for laughter, for tears, for friendship, for breakthroughs. Regardless of what you are going through, there is refuge to be found on your mat. At the end of the day, when all other details are cast aside, the basic truth remains the same. Yoga is a vessel for transformation. No matter how far we have come on our personal journey, we are all works in progress. Yoga is there to help guide us to the next level. It teaches us to have patience with ourselves, to trust the universe, and most importantly, not to rush the process. One segment of one breath at a time." At TYH, Bethany will teach Fire, Wind, and Core classes, TYH's heated and non-heated versions of vinyasa flow. Come practice with Bethany at TYH - just don't be surprised if she's trying out a new version of handstand when you meet her! Namaste.
We ♥ Gail! Gail's students say her classes are nourishing, positive, playful and intelligently paced.
Gail loves the yoga philosophy of seeing the good in everything and in embodying qualities of the heart (such as acceptance, freedom, peace and bliss) on and off the mat. A fellow yoga teacher visiting Gail's MUSC class said, "I teach students how to get their bodies into a pose; you teach us how to get our spirits in the pose." Accordingly, The Yoga House has decided to name Gail's classes "Heart," as this practice has a profound impact on our connection to our hearts.
Yoga has led Gail on amazing journey from her head to her heart. She was drawn to her teacher Jackie Prete for her precise alignment cues that gave her a good workout but soon learned of yoga's teachings in Jackie's classes and her Anusara Immersion. Gail took another Immersion with Jackie and Rudrani Farbman-Brown (who has owned the World Yoga Center for 40 years) and their 200-hour teacher training. She taught yoga in New York and Hong Kong before following her heart and retiring to her husband David's hometown of Charleston after a 25-year career in human resources consulting.
Her Self-inquiry practice has deepened through meditation, yoga philosophy studies, and spiritual programs in Charleston, including The Sophia Institute and The Sacred Soul Center. It also helped her realize that her recovery from alcoholism (she has been sober since 1995) is a gift to share with others. She started and leads RecoverYoga, which helps people in recovery heal through yoga, guided meditation and contemplation.
Come to The Yoga House and connect with your heart in Gail's classes.
An authentic life - it not so much whispered to Beth, more like ignited like a fire! From an early age, Beth was driven to be the best she could be. According to Beth, "I worked hard, played hard, and kept moving. I was constantly either entering or exiting a new relationship, a bigger job, or a better neighborhood." The stress added up quickly though.The summer of her 29th year, she decided not to return to the law school in which she was enrolled, and she quit a job at which she excelled. She said goodbye to friends and family in her hometown of Memphis and set off to find her "real" self.
Musing over the question, Why Charleston?, Beth ponders, "I had never been to South Carolina, but something really called to me here." Over the next Summer, Beth started to take advantage of her surroundings and learned how to grow and harvest her own food. She realized the meditative and spiritual qualities to tending the Earth and preparing and eating what one has helped to create. It arouses acts of mindful living. "Using my body and hearing my breath while methodically planting, tending, and harvesting, I remembered the words of a past Yoga teacher, who told me, 'Being present is to simply start where you are.'"
This spark compelled Beth to return to a yoga practice she had long abandoned. She immediately felt exposed and refreshed. and some time later enrolled in and completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training. According to Beth, it helped her find her voice, her innate sense of creativity, and her passion. It is Beth’s belief that through a diligent and mindful yoga practice, each student has a profound opportunity to ignite a fire within her or his self as well.
Beth is a certified instructor of vinyasa flow, senior yoga, Yoga as Medicine, prenatal yoga, baby & parent yoga, and yin yoga. She will lead TYH’s Yin and Life (prenatal) classes beginning in February. Beth is the mother of two beauties and is an avid reader, adventure traveler, and sun worshipper. Welcome Beth!
All of her life Jane has had a passion for health and fitness. Growing up as a dancer she learned at an early age how to listen to and challenge her body. Staying active and trying new forms of exercise became a part of life. In college while pursuing her B.S. in exercise science, she began teaching group fitness classes and personal training.
Also while still in college, Jane began dancing professionally as a ballet dancer. Her first exposure to yoga came as a new form of exercise in order to help improve her dance technique. She was initially not a fan of yoga. "Yoga forced me to slow down and breathe. All the while I was making lists of things to do after yoga class." Once she took her first power vinyasa class, though, she was hooked. The flow felt like a new, challenging dance. The heat, sweat, and twisting began to peel away years of self-doubt. Eventually Jane decided to enroll in 200-hour teacher training, and she realized yoga found her and taught her how to be comfortable in her own skin.
Through flowing, twisting, and sweating, Jane hopes to challenge her students physically and grow her own personal yoga practice as well. She brings her knowledge of anatomy to her classes in order to teach proper alignment and increase awareness of the body.
Outside of the yoga studio Jane continues to do personal training, nutrition counseling, and modeling. She enjoys cooking, traveling, shopping, music, and art. She loves spending every moment possible with her husband, David, the best puppy in the world Reese, and her two cats Charley and Maverick. TYH welcomes Jane!
Ji discovered yoga while searching for inspiration, happiness, and peace during a time in her life when it seemed, in her own words, that "the world had crashed on me." Like so many others, Ji was first drawn to the vigorous physical challenges and then quickly realized that there was more than just physicality that makes up yoga’s attraction. As she practiced more regularly, Ji began to notice profound changes in her life. Propelled by the mental, physical, and emotional wholeness achievable through a true dedication to yoga, Ji began to "find stillness in the ever-spinning daily rat race and silence in the middle of chatty crowd."
Yoga not only eased her stress but more importantly revealed a more open-hearted way to experience life. Ji became more acquainted with her true self. Ji ponders, "What I was looking for outside I found inside. Before Yoga I never felt completely comfortable in my body and being. Now, with consistent practice, I get to know myself on a deeper and deeper level each day." Ji’s hope for students who come to her classes is for them to develop a deeper understanding and compassion for themselves and towards others. As an instructor, Ji seeks to help her students remain mindful and always stay attuned and conscious by keeping the flow, the balance, and the spirit alive.
Ji completed her initial 200-hour teacher training with Devama at the Shambhava School of Yoga in Hawaii and has completed the Ashtanga Yoga teacher training with David Swenson. She has been certified as a Silver Age (geriatric) yoga instructor and has also studied with numerous inspiring teachers. Although Ji’s primary personal yoga practice is Ashtanga, she continues to explore and embrace various lineages of other teachings as well. Ji will lead The Yoga House’s Beginner’s Series and will teach multiple flow-oriented classes, including Ashtanga and TYH's "Wind" class.
"Be the change you want to see in the world." Merissa heard this famous quote by Gandhi in her first yoga class at a local gym in California nine years ago, and the inspirational words got her thinking. What changes did Merissa want? What did she need? After a little soul-searching, Merissa realized that she longed for inspiration, creativity, and a means for something more, something magical, a change in perception. Though the path was not yet totally clear, this first experience in yoga helped shape Merissa and propel her towards becoming those changes.
As she practiced and sampled various styles of yoga, Merissa began to feel whole. The deep breathing improved anxiety; the music and movement promoted relaxation; the connection to the body and others in the class improved her relationships. Eventually she moved from her home in California to beautiful Charleston and started practicing the Jivamukti Yoga Method. There Merissa made a commitment and completed her 300-hour Jivamukti Yoga Certification at the Omega Institute in New York.
Merissa is a creative, fun, disciplined, and compassionate teacher and offers this advice: "Get into your body. Breathe with it. Explore around in it. Feel the very essence of your being. Your body is the vehicle to empower you to live your very best life." Merissa enjoys a vegan lifestyle and loves to answer yogic questions from her students. In her free time, she enjoys cooking tasty vegan recipes, reading, theater, watching movies, traveling, spending time with loved ones, and. practicing yoga to loud rock music! Come join us at The Yoga House for a weekly "Rock" class with Merissa; it will be fast-paced, lively, and inspirational - just like Merissa herself.
Yoga Mama is in The House! Jennifer is the yoga mama of two beautiful spirited girls - Olivia and Lola - who serve as a daily inspiration for why bringing yoga to children is so wonderful and amazing! She began her yoga study while attending massage school over 15 years ago. In 2001 she was inspired to teach yoga after taking her first classes in Charleston. She traveled to The Satchidananda Ashram in Buckingham, Virginia, where she received her 200-hour yoga teaching certification. In 2002 she received her children’s yoga certification and developed Yeng Yoga, the first mobile kids yoga program for Montessori and pre-school children in Charleston, SC.
Jennifer has participated in volunteer yoga programs with Communities in Schools, Louie's Kids, Charleston County Schools, and The Charleston Youth Development Center. She is also the creator of "Stretch the Body, Focus the Mind, Calm the Breath," a Children's Teacher Training for grown-ups. In 2011 she joined the Yoga Mama Karma Kid family as Program Director. Jennifer is blessed to be a part of a dynamic group of children's yoga instructors in Charleston and looks forward to guiding children, families, and educators through the wonderful benefits of yoga!
At The Yoga House, Jenn will lead our "Love" series of baby & mama classes, offered weekly. Stay tuned for class schedule and rates for this exciting, family-oriented TYH offering. The addition of Jennifer and "Love" help make The House more like a Home. Welcome Yoga Mama!
After Jolee graduated from college, she immediately followed her father's tough love advice to get out into the world and "find a real job and support yourself." She jumped with both feet into the corporate world, trying her hand at a myriad of jobs. In the midst of a burgeoning career, Jolee met her husband, and after a six-year whirlwind, she finally caught her breath upon the birth of her second child. With new priorities, joys, and responsibilities, Jolee became a stay at home mom, and eventually, her husband’s job moved the family back to her hometown of Charleston.
Jolee began practicing yoga three years ago after the birth of her second child. According to Jolee, the calmness and inner strength she has found are what she had been searching for her entire life but never realized it. "Yoga spoke to me almost immediately on so many levels. Not only did that first class kick my butt, it calmed me down." Jolee is a marathon runner and mother in a household with two toddlers, so kicking her butt and calming her down were pretty foreign concepts at the time!
After being at home for two years with her children, Jolee decided to become a certified personal trainer. And after training at a gym and in the corporate sector, she felt a calling to bring her clients that which meant so much to her – yoga. She earned her 200-hour yoga certification with Blue Turtle Yoga in Charleston in 2010. To Jolee, yoga is the perfect package, "every class you discover more about your body and your mind and leave each time with a little more space in the body and between the ears."
It's safe to say that Jolee has adhered to her father's advice from so long ago. "Find a real job and support yourself" has manifested itself as something slightly different than its original intent. Jolee supports her family at home, she supports yoga in the Charleston community, and she supports herself – literally- on the mat! Jolee will teach a variety of classes at TYH, including vinyasa flow, restorative yoga, and TYH's hot yoga series.
Johnny has been actively studying and practicing yoga since 2000. His interest for yoga developed merely to find relief from the nagging aches and pains of living in a body. However, after several years of a physical practice, the agitation within his body had quieted enough to allow him to investigate the spirituality behind yoga. In 2007, he ventured to the Nosara Yoga Institute (NYI) to receive his 200-hour teacher's certificate and tapped into the dormant creative potential of his own organism. Since then, he's completed his 500-hour certification also through NYI and plans on completing his 1000-hour trainings. This practice has given him the ability to understand himself as a multidimensional being which brings him back to the natural state of existence - which is PEACE!