In 2000, Natalie attended her first Bikram yoga class. As a former ballet dancer, she was surprised and humbled by the intensity of the heat and postures. Despite her initial struggle, she persisted with the practice and gained a true appreciation for the series and those who practiced around her. In 2004, Natalie graduated from Bikram's teacher training in Los Angeles and has been teaching in Manhattan for the past ten years.
Adding to her background in yoga, dance and athletics, Natalie became a Registered Dietitian and earned a Masters degree in nutrition from Columbia University. As a nutrition therapist in private practice, Natalie's approach is similar to teaching yoga. She focuses on mindfulness and trust - two qualities she believes help nurture one's relationship to their body and food.
She is thrilled to be back in her hometown of Louisville and part of the Bend and Zen community.
Elizabeth was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She was involved with sports from a young age. She played field hockey and ran track in high school and then continued in college to play Varsity field hockey for Rhodes College all 4 years, a captain for 2. Upon living in Memphis years after graduation, she began her yoga journey with her 1st Bikram class in February of 2005 and was hooked! Elizabeth loved the heat and the fact that it was an intense cardio workout, all while practicing yoga.
After moving back to Louisville in 2007, Elizabeth continued her Bikram practice. She attributes her love and knowledge of yoga to all the incredible teachers and dedicated practitioners she has encountered over the years.
Her most memorable and humbling yoga experience thus far has been competing in the USA Yoga regional and national competition, AKA the Bishnu Ghosh cup. Elizabeth placed 1st in Kentucky in 2014 and went on to represent her state at Nationals later that year placing 30th in the nation. An incredible experience!
Above all, her biggest claims to fame are her 2 children, Cooper(5) and George(3) and her husband Big George. Elizabeth loves being a mom and watching her children grow each day.
In 2005 Monica received special recognition for her project 'Teaching Yoga to the Paraplegic and the Subtle Body'. Monica says she was blessed to work closely with Matthew Sanford, a paraplegic Iyengar teacher, to gain more insights into teaching a student with paralysis. After witnessing the amazing power of mind over matter she knew she wanted to learn even more about the body and the disease process to better inform her teaching. She plunged into nursing school to get anatomy, physiology and the disease process knowledge. She is now an R.N. and works part time in home health.
Monica's training and experience have enabled her to lead workshops for 'bad backs', along with teaching at a variety of studios and health care facilities across Louisville. She teaches to all body types including triathletes, paraplegics, stroke patients, post operative spinal surgeries, pregnant women and students with MS. Monica firmly believes yoga can and does benefit everyone regardless of physical limitations. She also practices Thai and yoga inspired assisted stretching to alleviate chronic pain and physical issues.
Monica is certified in Reiki as well and practicing this healing energy work in private sessions. Monica has volunteered at The Safe Place to teach children and teenagers and witnessed first hand just how calming Vipariti Karani (legs up the wall) can be to rambunctious and challenged teens!
Monica has had the privilege to study alongside Ramanand Patel, Doug Swenson, David Swenson, Bryan Kest, Darren Rhodes, Francois Raoult, Bea Raydo, Michael Mukti Buck and Laura Spalding.
In 2013 she left the studio environment to focus on her small private yoga community to truly experience Kula and Sangha. She's been leading a small group of donation-based yoga out of her home for 8 years. Monica says she's excited to dip her toes back into a studio environment that imbibes the yogic path.
Monica’s love of yoga is evident and she prides herself on being a student, working to constantly learn and evolve. She, like you, is simply a student but decided to share that love of yoga with others. She currently practices Bikram, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yoga Nidra and Yin.
Monica currently teaches our Bikram classes.