Joe began a hatha yoga practice in 2006, and just ten weeks into it noticed such significant changes—diminished shoulder pain, decreased blood pressure, weight loss, and a new stillness in his mind—that he was a believer. Two years later, he was trading in a successful corporate career to become a yoga instructor.
You’ve probably seen or heard about Mallory around town, as she is the creative force behind the public art organization, St. Louis Improv (and many other artistic initiatives). In this role and as a yoga teacher, her goal is to “support people in a way that makes them feel comfortable and courageous enough to explore themselves fully, to be with themselves and to listen to and move with what they learn.”
Stacy started practicing yoga at just 12 years old, after leaving the gymnastics team due to wear on her body. She found yoga to be the perfect replacement- challenging, but gentle and encouraging respect for the body, which was a welcome message after many years of pressure from coaches to “push through pain” and “be the best”.
Laurie discovered yoga in 1998 and fell in love with the practice after her first deep savasana. Drawn to the mental clarity and body awareness and acceptance she found in the practice, Laurie began practicing asana regularly and exploring yoga philosophy, and yoga soon became an integral part of her lifestyle.
Nathan began practicing yoga as a curious corporate engineer searching for a way to cope with the stress of modern everyday life. Through yoga he started to reap many benefits and his practice grew stronger until he decided to leave his engineering job to study yoga and health full-time.
Carrie joined Urban Breath Yoga in 2012, after spending eleven years in New Yoga and Los Angeles. Shortly after moving to New York City to pursue an MFA at New York University, she began a regular yoga practice at a tiny studio she stumbled upon in Brooklyn and immediately fell in love with the grounding and calm the practice provided her in the midst of a major life transition.
Hannah started practicing yoga in 2005 to balance the physical effects of her long distance running, and it soon became as integral in her life as food, water and sleep. When her job as a social worker left her exhausted, she actively sought out work that would be more physical, calming, and personally therapeutic and completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2010 with Bill Raup at Power Yoga Works (a Baptiste-affiliated studio) in Philadelphia.
Maggie keeps her classes simple so students can focus on the postures and transitions without getting lost in complicated sequencing. She includes a good balance of breath, movement, and stillness, encouraging students toward greater self-awareness, strength, and flexibility.
Madeleine’s mother, a dancer, took her to her first Ashtanga yoga class. She greatly admired her first teacher, Adele Gale, who Madeleine describes as “the essence of natural, wild beauty, strong and commanding, but also soft and loving”.
Chien’s classes are so fun and playful, mindful and relaxing that you may not even realize the hard core workout you’re getting. In fact, one of his favorite parts of teaching is seeing the relaxed smiles on students’ sweaty faces at the end of a class.
You’ll leave Jessica’s class with a heightened sense of calm, and maybe a few sore muscles. She focuses on balancing effort and ease in her teaching and encourages students to apply the lessons they learn on the mat to their everyday lives.
Although Steve started yoga in 1993, he sees beginning a 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2005 as the start of his true yoga practice. He completed that course in 2007, as well as a 500-hour training in 2014, both with Pam Schulte of Just Practice Yoga.
Winning a yoga mat at a health fair in 2006 changed Beth's life. She was studying with the American Ballet Theatre in New York City at the time, but shortly after getting that free mat and starting to practice yoga, she decided to end her professional ballet career in St. Louis to delve deeper into yoga and attend college full time (She was the first person in her family to graduate from college, receiving a Bachelor's degree in English, with a minor in women's and gender studies in 2009).
Sarah started practicing yoga in 2005 to supplement her cross country work. Little did she know at that time that yoga would help her overcome some significant personal struggles. "I practice now because it is my medicine and my connection to the beauty around me and in myself," Sarah says.
From starting up Yoga Buzz St. Louis, which pairs yoga with beer/wine/coffee tastings, to traveling to Bulgaria to film online classes, Elle is always looking for ways to keep yoga (and life) interesting.
SiriAtma's yoga journey began in the summer of 2010 when she started practicing to relieve stress. Just two years later, she completed her first yoga teacher training in hatha yoga with East-West Natural Healing and in 2013, she finished a 200-hour Kundalini yoga training with SatInder Kaur Khalsa and KartaPurkh Singh Khalsa at the Sat Tirath Ashram in Kansas City.
In 2003, when Andrew started his yoga practice, he thought it would be just a part of his overall workout plan, a way to stretch out. Yoga ended up being more significant in his life than he intended, and in 2012, he completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training with Tina Harrison in O'Fallon, Missouri.