Are you getting the maximum benefit out of yoga? You may not be if you do not perform the poses properly. Keep these tips in mind the next time you unroll your yoga mat.View Article
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We have carefully select teachers that are passionate about yoga and embody the practice on and off the mat. Our skillful teachers are experienced and have at least a 200-hour level yoga teacher training in accordance with Yoga Alliance. Many have gone beyond the initial training and have done advanced or specialized training in Yin, Restorative, Viniyoga, Ashtanga, Power, Meditation, Seniors, Pre/Postnatal, Core Strength Vinyasa, Hot, PTSD/Trauma, Yoga for Athletes, and many more. We are trained to teach all levels of students in class. We are active in class and walk around to make sure everyone is safe and provide variations. We encourage all yogis to move towards a mindful practice that balances the physicality of asanas with breath work and meditation. Whether you are new to yoga or have made it a part of your lifestyle for many years, we invite you to enter the studio with a beginner’s mind and be open to the possibilities of your practice.
I have always been interested in healing. I came to yoga while working a rewarding but highly stressful job. I was also seeking an option for low impact fitness, since a serious lower body military injury chronically limited me in some activities. Through yoga, I found improved physical strength, flexibility, and balance. What surprised me was also finding an immense sense of calm, and healing in body, mind and spirit, whether through vigorous flow, gentle restorative yoga, or breath work. I felt benefits both on and off the mat. I love how yoga meets us wherever we are each time we step on the mat, and only asks that we do what’s best for us with whatever we bring to our practice that day. I pursued Yoga Teacher Training through Embrace Yoga Studio in 2015. Whether brand new or experienced, we all practice yoga in a way unique to each one of us. I hope to offer an opportunity to practice safely in a way that encourages self-awareness – physically, mentally, emotionally - and allows students to explore their own practice and perhaps create some of their own tools for wellness, on and off the mat.
My introduction to yoga was as a student in high school. Initially, I saw yoga as an opportunity to avoid my exercise nemesis, running; but I quickly realized how comfortable I felt doing yoga and how much better I felt afterwards. Even after graduating, I found myself practicing and enjoying the same sun salutation and poses taught to me in school. I, eventually, began exploring yoga videos and studios whenever the opportunity arose. With each new video and each class, I learned something new about yoga and about myself.
In 2014, I began Embrace’s yoga teacher training as a way to further explore yoga and to deepen my practice. I received much more than I could have ever anticipated. Throughout training, I found myself becoming happier, more accepting of others and myself, and less anxious. I love teaching mixed levels and allowing each student the opportunity to find the pose that suits their individual body, by giving modifications and variations. I strive to teach others to find “their yoga” by listening to and honoring their body and to enjoy every step of their yoga journey. I hope to teach others the only perfect yoga practice is the practice that is perfect for your body, mind, and spirit.
Ashley first began her yoga practice in 2002 by coincidence; because it was the only fitness class her college offered that fit her schedule. It only took a few classes before she was hooked on her teacher’s vinyasa flow style. She continued her practice throughout college and as she completed her doctorate in physical therapy. As she moved toward graduation she found herself bringing in yoga poses for rehab clients and decided to pursue her teaching certificate. Ashley has now been teaching for 5 years with a love of a powerful vinyasa flow style exploring different pose combinations, a sprinkling of arm balances and lots of alignment cues.
Bethany is a wife to a wonderful husband, mother of two brilliant and talented teenagers, retired Air Traffic Controller, graduate of Tusculum College, and Navy veteran. She began her yoga journey in 2010 while recovering from reconstructive surgery related to breast cancer. Initially seeking to regain strength and flexibility, she soon realized the mental benefits of mindfulness, inner peace and self-acceptance. Bethany also discovered that yoga relieved anxiety from her job and medical issues through meditation and breathing techniques. With a desire to deepen and share her yoga practice, she completed her 200 hour teacher training in 2014 at Embrace Yoga Studio. She has taught beginning yoga, intermediate yoga, kids’ yoga and currently teaches the Gentle Morning yoga class at EYS. To Bethany, the most enjoyable thing about teaching is watching someone else begin to realize and enjoy the mental and physical benefits that yoga brings. Currently she is working on her “Bakasana” or “Crane Pose”. When off the mat, Bethany enjoys traveling, occasional kayaking and hiking in the NC mountains, hanging out with her human and furry family, crafting, eating chocolate, and learning to play her guitar.
Christy Gaines, MPH and RYT, began studying yoga in the 90′s by watching Rodney Yee yoga tapes. Her serious yoga study began when she moved back to Fayetteville in 2001 and went to Om Yoga Studio. She has also practiced gymnastics and various martial arts. She suffered head, shoulder and jaw injuries while serving in the army and this has led to her interest in helping other students with injuries and chronic medical problems. Christy has been teaching yoga since 2008. When not practicing and teaching yoga Christy teaches 6th grade science, tries to train her dogs to be obedient (ha!), reads, and enjoys the time she spends with her friends and family.
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope each of you finds the right instructor and the right class that fits your needs and inspires you to get on the mat regularly.
A little bit about me: I began practicing yoga in 2004, have been an instructor since 2008, and recently completed a 500-hour teacher training program that included the opportunity to study in India. I enjoy teaching Vinyasa (flow) yoga and believe it can help us all improve our flexibility, strength, balance and coordination. I try to keep classes light-hearted and upbeat, athletically challenging depending how everyone feels, with an emphasis on alignment to ensure safetey. I also like to offer inversions and arm balances for those that are interested in practicing them. Again, thanks for reading this, and I hope to see you on the mat.
Sawasdee ka! This is “Hello” in the Thai language. My first yoga practice started when I was at primary school (yoga was a subject in my school but I wasn’t good student!). My practice wasn’t regular until I started working at a company that added yoga as an employee activity. I received my YogaFit Certificate Level 1 in 2013 and working towards my 200-Hour certification at Embrace Yoga Studio with completion in November 2014. I love sharing my practice, love to learn and listen to new things. Come join me and let’s explore poses together!
I started doing yoga in 2006 after recovering from breast cancer and the many surgeries that accompanied it. I was drawn to the power yoga classes that gave me a great work out but also taught me to breathe, relax, and let go at the end of class. As a military spouse, I’ve practiced yoga around the country in different studios and gyms. I like to say that yoga helps me to be a better person, both physically and mentally. After practicing for about 8 years, I decided I wanted to take the next step on my yoga journey and enrolled in YTT at Embrace. It was a great challenge in that I have not only grown in my yoga practice and knowledge but as a person as well. Where I once only attended power flow classes, I now find myself gravitating more towards the gentle flows and accompanying meditation. I graduated from YTT in November 2015 and have been teaching mixed and gentle level flow classes ever since! I feel excited and blessed to be continuing my journey with Embrace! Namaste'
I knew I wanted to teach yoga when I first began practicing in 2010 as a college student. The benefit I felt in my body was immediate. I was amazed by the physical, emotional and energetic shifts that occur in just one hour of practicing, and I wanted to share the power of yoga with others! After getting my degree in psychology, I began to understand how yoga can be a powerful tool for coping with mental health issues. My goal as a teacher is to help students understand how to incorporate the principles of yoga in their daily lives to aid with physical ailments, stress management, and improve overall well-being. Outside of yoga, I enjoy paddle boarding, rollerblading and travelling, especially to the beach!
Owner and founder of Embrace Yoga Studio, Katherine has been practicing yoga since 2000 and teaching since 2007. She is originally from New Jersey where she worked in the computer software industry. Katherine's teaching style is a blend of Vinyasa Flow, Yin, and Restorative yoga. Her classes vary every week and incorporate details of alignment and breath. Her goal is to help people find balance on the yoga mat and in their daily lives by teaching yoga in an accessible and light-hearted way. In addition to teaching weekly classes and workshops, Katherine directs the 200-hour yoga teacher training program and is registered with Yoga Alliance as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher. When Katherine is not on the mat, she enjoys spending time with her loved ones, circuit training, and running.
Kelli's yogic journey has been evolving magically throughout the past 11 years, finding inspiration in an array of different practices. She embarked with a weekly Hatha and Bikram class, used as a tool for controlling stress of her fast paced corporate job within the Fashion Industry, while living between Chicago and New York City. Truly awakened by its profound effects on her emotional, spiritual and physical well being, she quickly found a new, more conscious and balanced way of living . With a spirit of adventure and a passion for travel, in 2009 she ventured with her husband and two children to Costa Rica to study under Don and Amba Stapleton, completing her 200 hr Instructor Certification at the Nosara Yoga Institute . Through a vinyasa flow practice, Kelli focuses on breath synchronized movement and alignment within each posture. Emphasis is placed on a balance between effort and surrender, working hard and letting go. Kelli hopes to quide people in their own self- inquiry and discovery of Yoga.
Lynda first came to the mat, in 2007, in an effort to recover from running injuries. After trying various styles, she was drawn to the strength and creativity of vinyasa. Lynda's yoga journey has been a great transformation- physically mentally & spiritually. Yoga has changed her worldview and the way she walks through life. Lynda believes that yoga is about offering a little more kindness, striving to be less reactive in everything you do & letting your light shine. In 2013, she completed 285 hours of yoga teacher training and during the process she found a way to slow down and connect with her inner guide. Lynda's teaching style reflects her love of yoga and music. She treats her students to music that enhances the practice while asking them to look deep within to uncover their true self.
I began practicing Yoga in 2008 after the birth of my third child. My practice began as a supplemental exercise to my work as an aquatic fitness instructor and my love for running. Along the way, Yoga has transformed into a modality to find calm and balance as a woman, military spouse, and Mother. Yoga became a place to feel strong and flexible….confident and humble….to dance and play, and to exercise self-control through a variety of different styles of practice guided by many amazing Teachers.
I stumbled into a teaching position in 2011 and found a great sense of purpose in the ability to help others feel good while guiding them through the physical aspects of Yoga. Whether making changes for a healthy lifestyle, recovering from an injury, maintaining health and wellness throughout a pregnancy, or just looking to feel good I felt I could connect with my students and help them in some way. I continued to further my knowledge with my own self-study, practice, and studying various Yoga texts. I have also adapted asanas for a water based practice, both in the water and on a stand up paddle board, providing accessibility and challenge to students looking to change their Yoga medium.
In 2015 I became a 200hr Registered Yoga Teacher, and in 2016 became Certified in SUP Yoga. I continue to learn every day from my fellow Teachers and Students, and feel honored to carry on the role. My focus as a Yoga Teacher is to help my students feel good about who they are, to help create a sense of balance and peace, and to facilitate a sustainable practice that is both supportive, challenging, and fun throughout the lifespan.
Rachael is a physical therapy student working towards her doctorate degree at Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC and a former U.S. Army officer. She regularly travels to India to study the traditional Ashtanga yoga method with R. Saraswathi Jois, the daughter of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. While in the United States, Rachael continues to practice under the guidance of Larry G. Hobbs, Authorized Level I Ashtanga yoga teacher in Wilmington, North Carolina. Rachael has also studied with Manju P. Jois, the eldest son of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Lisa Clark, founder and director of EmbodiYoga and Rolf Gates, author of Meditations from the Mat.
I first came to yoga, over 20 years ago, looking for some time for myself. Needless to say, I found so much more. A practice that challenged me (still does) yet closed with relaxation and meditation. I found my passion to share with anyone that would listen as well. I received my 200 hour and Advanced Certifications from Nosara Yoga Institute with Don and Amba Stapleton. Through my trainings and by practicing with some amazing yoga instructors, I blend all that I have experienced and lead Warm Flow yoga classes that incorporate a strong practice in a warm room. Emphasizing awareness of breath and encouraging students to move from within at their own pace, I teach to a multi-level class, offering modifications to allow beginners the opportunity to build strength, confidence, beauty, and grace while practicing alongside experienced students who are encouraged to try more advanced variations in a safe environment. With practice, laughter, and play, I hope to spark a desire for you to continue to explore and make your yoga practice lifelong.
I have always possessed a deep interest in exercise & preventative medicine. I earned my degree in Exercise Physiology from East Carolina University. While I was aware of the benefits of yoga, it wasn't until I sustained a minor back injury that I started to practice a little over 4 years ago. Living most of my life unable to touch my toes, I erroneously believed yoga was better reserved for individuals who were already flexible. Slowly a new world has unfurled before me as I continue to practice yoga. The freedom to move the body as it is designed to and peace of mind are benefits that I wish to further cultivate and to share with my students. I firmly believe that movement is medicine for the body and that through yoga we may temper ourselves to become stronger physically, mentally and spiritually.