Your Best Yoga!
Bend and Zen Hot Yoga in Louisville, KY

Hot 26


This class is taught by:

Natalie Guarnaschelli

Instructor - Hot 26, Hot 26 Flow
500 hr RYT

 

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.

Meredith Conroy

Partner & Instructor - All Level Flow, Yoga Core, Power Vinyasa, Hot Fusion, Hot 26, Next Level Vinyasa
500 hr RYT
200 hr E-RYT

 

Meredith still remembers her first time in a hot yoga studio and it was love at first sweat! Although she found yoga later in life, her background as a gymnast and University of Florida cheerleader prepared her for the physical challenges of hot yoga. Early into her time in the hot room Meredith knew she had found her passion and was quickly discovering her desire to teach and share with students the amazing benefits of hot yoga.

 

Those thoughts quickly turned to action as she took a leave of absence from her corporate job to travel to Brazil for a five-week intensive training in the Moksha Yoga practice. Upon her return to Kentucky she began teaching part-time developing her skills until she exited the nine-to-five world to do the work she truly loved – teaching yoga!

 

Meredith earned a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from the University of Louisville and this aspect of her background influences her teaching style and how she leads class. She knows that many students begin hot yoga for the physical results and stress relief, but a good class provides the opportunity to go deeper. Her goal is to support students who are ready and willing to shift out of an everyday state of mind and into one that enables internal exploration, learning and growth.

 

Her teaching style is relaxed and joyful and her goal is to tailor each class to the individual and ensure every student leaves her class feeling better than they did when they came! Meredith’s clients have ranged from students with no yoga, or even much exercise experience, to professional athletes. Her philosophy is that yoga should be accessible to all levels of ability, from beginners to advanced practitioners and it is her intention to meet all students’ levels of ability in each and every class.

Elizabeth Spears

Instructor - Hot Fusion, Hot 26, Hot 26 Flow
200 hr RYT

 

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.

Monica Sweeney

Monica began practicing in 1999 with videos at home. Never a physically flexible or strong woman, she found Bikram Yoga in 2001. It was love. She began study under a well-respected Bikram yoga expert in 2002 and quickly learned the Bikram style of teaching. In 2003, she expanded her study to Yoga East to gain knowledge beyond the Bikram series along with yoga history and the eight-fold path. Monica trained in hatha, vinyasa, restorative, yin, ashtanga, meditation, pranayama, bandhas and yoga for injuries.
 

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.

 

Considered the original hot yoga sequence designed with beginners in mind, Hot 26 classes consist of a series 26 postures and two breathing exercises performed in a precise order. The sequence incorporates a standing and floor series that systematically works the entire body, incorporating strength, balance and flexibility. The Hot 26 class will stimulate your mind and reshape your body. Temperatures will exceed 100F with high humidity, so come to class well hydrated and ready to sweat. Appropriate for all levels.

Upcoming classes:

  • Tue Oct 24 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm with Natalie Guarnaschelli
  • Wed Oct 25 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm with Meredith Conroy
  • Sat Oct 28 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Meredith Conroy
  • Sun Oct 29 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm with Elizabeth Spears
  • Tue Oct 31 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm with Natalie Guarnaschelli
  • Wed Nov 01 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm with Meredith Conroy
  • Sat Nov 04 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Monica Sweeney
  • Sun Nov 05 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm with Monica Sweeney
  • Tue Nov 07 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm with Natalie Guarnaschelli
  • Wed Nov 08 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm with Monica Sweeney
  • Sat Nov 11 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Elizabeth Spears
  • Sun Nov 12 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm with Elizabeth Spears
  • Tue Nov 14 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm with Natalie Guarnaschelli
  • Wed Nov 15 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm with Meredith Conroy
  • Sat Nov 18 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Meredith Conroy
  • Sun Nov 19 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm with Elizabeth Spears
  • Tue Nov 21 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm with Natalie Guarnaschelli
  • Wed Nov 22 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm with Meredith Conroy
  • Sat Nov 25 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Meredith Conroy
  • Sun Nov 26 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm with Elizabeth Spears