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

Our Staff


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.

Studio Manager
Instructor - Power Vinyasa, Yoga Core, Hot Fusion, Yang/Yin

Abbey, 25 years old and 300 RYT has made sharing yoga her life. Her intention is to create an inclusive environment where students can move freely, feel good, have fun and experience  the infinite possibilities within themselves. She believes that above all, humor is an essential ingredient in yoga and that laughter is the best core exercise there is. Abbey's humble guidance points her students towards the wisdom and strength that they already possess. Abbey's favorite style to practice and teach is vinyasa yoga, she considers yoga to be her creative outlet and loves to play with fun transitions, creative sequences, arm balances and inversions. Her mission is to facilitate growth in her students and to make sure everyone leaves their yoga mat feeling better than when they arrived. 
Instructor - All Level Flow, Yoga Core, Yang/Yin
200 hr RYT

Carrie found yoga a little over three years ago when she was seeking relief from chronic low back and sciatic nerve pain. Carrie began her yoga journey with an exclusive Bikram practice and found amazing relief from her pain and made incredible gains in core strength, along with gaining mental focus and an enhanced ability to concentrate both on and off her mat. She was also was amazed to find that yoga helped with symptoms of other chronic health issues she had spent a lifetime battling. She soon expanded her practice to other types of hot yoga classes including Power Vinyasa and Yoga Core. She fell even more in love with yoga, both the physical challenges and flowing poses together, which allowed her an emotional and spiritual release she has come to cherish.

 

Carrie has always enjoyed athletic pursuits, including playing and teaching tennis, so the challenges of hot yoga were right up her alley. It became readily apparent after adding Vinyasa to her regimen that she wanted to share her love of yoga with others. She completed her 230 hour teacher training through Asheville Yoga Center in June of 2016 and immediately began to seek opportunities to teach and share her passion for yoga with others.

 

Carrie has been in the social services field working with children and families for over 17 years. She is a nurturer by nature and her experiences and natural disposition have readied her to lead, teach and care for her students utilizing the transformational power of yoga.
During her free time she loves spending time with her husband, reading and hiking. Carrie is the proud mother of two adult daughters and an adult stepson. She has been a student at Bend and Zen since its inception and she is very excited to start her journey as a Bend and Zen instructor.
What really sold her on yoga was the moving meditation she experienced on her mat. She gained an incredible ability to breathe through just about anything that life throws her way and she is eager to help others discover this for themselves!

Instructor - All Level Flow
200 hr RYT

 

Charlotte has been practicing yoga for over a decade but started a dedicated practice in college and at Back Bay Yoga Studio in Boston, MA with Lynne Begier. After graduating from Northeastern University, she moved to Louisville to try her hand at a career in creative. With few connections in town and lots of free time, she began a regular post-work practice at Yoga on Baxter. After several years in corporate creative, local news, and college admissions she left the office environment to pursue yoga teaching.

 

Charlotte received her 200 Hour teaching certification at Yogaia with Heidi Bartholomew in the Fall of 2015. You can find her about town teaching different styles of vinyasa to all bodies and experience levels. Mudras and meditations sneak their way into most of her classes so that students leave feeling a bit more mindful and grounded than when they entered. Charlotte's goal is to always make each person in her classes feel empowered in their body every class, be it their first or 500th time on the mat. Charlotte's classes fluid, playful, and accessible - everyone is welcome as they are.
When she's not on her mat you can find her outside (in the sunshine, preferably), cooking breakfast, or spending time with her partner and her cat, Pickle.

Instructor - Yoga Core
200 hr RYT

 

Danielle first discovered yoga while she was living in Southern California pursuing her dance career. She was dancing at Disneyland and receiving more than enough cardiovascular exercise, when a girl in one of her shows invited her to a hot yoga class. Always eager to try something new, Danielle agreed and immediately fell in love with the way it made her feel. Having never been a big fan of the gym, she saw yoga as a workout that would tone her body while also enjoying the mind/body connection and benefits. She continued like this for a few years, practicing frequently and quickly noticed how addicted she had become to the how amazing she felt after each and every practice. She refers to it as her "yoga high", a blissful state she enters after having practiced.

 

Danielle’s focus soon began shifting away from her dance career and she began to play with the idea of becoming a yoga instructor and sharing this “yoga high” with others. The similarities in movement and flow between yoga and dance were what first turned her on to the idea. In 2013 Danielle embarked on a new adventure and moved to Sydney, Australia, where she lived for nearly two years studying photography and earning her 200-hour RYT in Power Vinyasa. After going through her training and now being an accredited yoga instructor, she realized being a yoga instructor was so much more than flow and graceful movement - that the physical aspects of yoga were just the tip of the iceberg.

 

Beyond the obvious fact on how physically challenging hot yoga is, it is just as good for your mind and your spirit. Danielle thrives on inspiring her students to live your yoga on and off the mat. She strives for authenticity while teaching, often sharing personal experiences to better relate and connect with the folks in her class as more than just students, but as fellow human beings – to improve not just physically, but mindfully. She likes to come from a place of having a “beginners mind”, not knowing more than her students, but rather being on the same journey of inquiry and figuring things out right along with every person on their mat. She invites her students to be on their personal journey of changing and growing, because the moment we are no longer evolving, we have become stagnant.

 

Danielle has been teaching around Louisville at various studios and gyms for a year now and is very excited to be a part of the Bend & Zen Hot Yoga team.

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.

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.

Instructor - Hot 26 Flow
200 hr RYT

 

It was only just a few years ago that Jacquelyn first found hot yoga. Looking for a way to cross train with running, she tried her first Bikram class. Not realizing how challenging hot yoga could be, she ran 6 miles in the heat of August before her first class! Needless to say it was only a few minutes in that she learned hot yoga was no joke! Like running, she loved the physical and mental challenges of hot yoga, but with the added benefit of feeling amazing after class. It didn’t take long and she was hooked!

 

Fitness and nutrition have always been important to Jacquelyn. As a competitive soccer player early in life, she was introduced to the power of the mind-body connection, preparing her for the physical and mental challenge that is hot yoga. After her soccer career ended, she attended Indiana University, solidifying her understanding of the value of health and nutrition. Watching her grandfather suffer with cancer, she adopted clean eating and became an avid runner.

 

After college Jacquelyn moved to New York City, where she became a Buyer for Donna Karan. After six years in NYC, she decided she wanted to live closer to friends and family. Today, she lives in Louisville and is the second-generation owner of Koerber’s Fine Jewelry in southern Indiana. After living away from home for so many years Jacquelyn loved that yoga enabled her to meet so many new people. Yoga has a community unlike any other she had experienced. Jacequlyn began leading Quiet Bikram classes and humbled by the opportunity, Jacquelyn happily accepted the challenge. With every class Jacquelyn wants to ensure each student has a great workout, but also has fun. You won’t find the ‘typical’ yoga music in her class, as she likes to keep the mood lifted with upbeat tunes.

 

Jacquelyn graduated from a 230 hour teacher training course in 2015 at the Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville, NC. She is ecstatic to share her knowledge with the students at Bend and Zen.

Instructor - All Level Flow
500 hr RYT
200 hr E-RYT

 

Laurie started yoga as cross-training and injury prevention for running. She found that yoga not only allowed her to run faster and longer, but also kept her joints and muscles healthy. After several years of practice in various styles of yoga, Laurie completed her 200 hour training in Ashtanga Vinyasa at Infinite Yoga in San Diego, California. Laurie also completed 300 hours in advanced yoga studies at the Asheville Yoga Center. She also has specialized training in pre- and post-natal yoga, restorative yoga, yoga for seniors, and therapeutic elements of yoga.

 

In addition to her yoga practice, Laurie runs and is an assistant cross country coach. She also has a Master of Arts in German Studies and teaches German at Bellarmine University.

 

Laurie is the owner and founder of Yoga Baum Yoga School and offers workshops and 200-Hour Yoga Alliance approved yoga teacher trainings in Louisville, Kentucky.

Instructor - All Level Flow
500 hr RYT

 

Megh was introduced to yoga at the age of 17, the same time she fell in love with photography. Her pursuit of yoga has taken her all over the world. She has completed a 500-hour certification in Modo Yoga, in Nicaragua and a 200-hour certification in Anusara Yoga.

 

Outside of her yoga life, Megh has degrees in Anthropology and Photography.

 

When she is not teaching yoga, she tutors children, runs a photography business and writes fairy tales. She has a soft spot for animals, art, mythology, and science fiction.

 

Instructor - Power Vinyasa, Hot Fusion, Friday Flow
200 hr RYT

 

Jessie is a Louisville native who first found yoga while living in Spain. She completed her teacher training in 2015 at Corepower Yoga in Chicago. When she is not on her mat you can find her working at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana, spending time with her cats and fiancé and surveying pizzas and beers with dedication and commitment!

 

Jessie’s yoga philosophy is that yoga should be fun. It should make you smile and you should always leave feeling empowered. Her personal catch phrase for life is “Shoulda gone to yoga!” -to the tune of “Shoulda had a V8.” She enjoys making her students smile and laugh. Most of her regulars know when she has been watching Instagram again. Jessie is committed to keeping her classes fresh and unique. Expect to experiment and explore funky transitions and interesting variations of poses.

 

Jessie always strives to make sure there is something for everyone, whether today is a ‘child’s pose every other posture’ kind of day, or a ‘handstand in between every posture’ kind of day you will leave feeling strong and powerful!

Instructor - Yoga Core
400 RYT

Paloma is an avid yoga enthusiast, practitioner, and teacher in Louisville, Kentucky. She runs a yoga blog HerBendyLife.com as a way to expand on her passion for all things yoga. Paloma is 400 Hr certified in two different styles of yoga, Hot Vinyasa and Hot 26.

 

Paloma’s teaching emphasizes using the planes of the body to achieve proper alignment, allowing students to achieve the full therapeutic benefits of yoga. She believes in adapting postures to each students ability (whether beginner or advanced) while maintaining physical alignment. Paloma believes yoga should never be dogmatic and that students should only go as far into a posture as what is comfortable for them. She helps students find modifications that help them safely progress.

 

Paloma took her practice to new heights in 2016 when she placed 1st in the Yoga Federation’s Regional Competition in Chicago Illinois. This qualified her to compete in the 2016 National Yoga Championship placing 9th in the nation. In 2017 she again continued on to the National Competition and exceeded her previous score and placing 18th in the nation. She has recently become a certified coach with USA Yoga and offers private coaching.

Paloma lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband George, stepson Will, and her Pug Piper.

Brittany was an avid barre class practitioner when she stumbled across her first hot yoga class in 2011. Thinking that yoga would be easy in comparison to her dance and barre background she was immediately humbled by the extensive practice. She quickly fell in love with not only the heat, but the practice. She found that yoga was more than just a workout, it was a place for peace and acceptance. Brittany admired the “messiness” of yoga and the ability to add your own flare to any flow and to any class. The creativity, spontaneity, and amazing community kept her coming back class after class. The ability to be pushed and comforted within a yoga studio became the driving force for her to dive more into yoga. She saw how the yogic philosophy could be applied to all aspects of life and decided to enroll in the Bend and Zen teacher training in January 2017 and has never looked back. She received her RYT-200 certification in March 2017.

 

One of the key principles that Brittany was taught during her training was how important each yoga experience is to each student. She values the responsibly of being a yoga teacher and carries that respect towards all on and off the mat. Brittany found her teaching style the same way she approaches life. She adds energy, playfulness, and fun to each class. Importance is also placed on creating a sacred place for all practitioners and offering the same acceptance that she found when she began her yoga journey. Her classes are upbeat and light-hearted as well as a challenging workout.

When Brittany is not on her mat, she can be found watching way too much food network, listening to any NPR podcast, and managing a loving home with her husband Landon and their kids Wyatt, Watson, and Luna.

Instructor - Power Vinyasa
200 hr RYT
 
Andy Epstein first discovered yoga in 2011 after being reluctantly dragged to class by a friend. A committed runner, boot-camper, and weightlifter, Andy was skeptical that yoga could ever be a “tough” workout. Lying there panting on his mat in a puddle of sweat at the end of his first hot yoga class, he realized how wrong he was! Andy quickly became a hot yoga addict, and was amazed to see his strength, flexibility, and muscle tone increase. Andy believes all aspects of yoga - the physical, psychological and spiritiual - are all an essential part of yoga for student and teacher.

 

Andy’s classes are taught in the same style in which he likes to practice—fast-moving, powerful, technically demanding, and fun. Having personally suffered a sports-related low back injury and subsequent surgery, Andy is convinced of the positive health benefits of yoga to help build core strength and decrease back pain. 

 

When not on his mat, Andy can be found performing with various local theater groups as an actor; and working at his day job as an attorney in private practice specializing in personal injury, medical malpractice, and employment discrimination cases. Andy received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in theater in 1996; attended the University of Louisville for law school graduating in 2004; served on active duty in the U.S. Army as a field artillery officer (1996-2001).  

 

He completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training with Yogaia in 2015 and a second 200-hour vinyasa-based training with Meredith Conroy at Bend & Zen in 2017.

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