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. Meredith took a leave of absence from her corporate job to travel to Brazil for a five-week, 300-hour intensive training in the Moksha Yoga tradition. 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! 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 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. Memphis is where 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 and George, and her husband Big George. Elizabeth loves being a mom and watching her children grow each day.
Carrie found hot yoga when she was seeking relief from chronic low back and sciatic nerve pain. It did the trick! With a regular practice she 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. As her journey continued to vinyasa classes, she was amazed to find that yoga helped with symptoms of other chronic health issues and she soon expanded her practice to other types of hot yoga classes 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 completed her 230 hour teacher training through Asheville Yoga Center in June of 2016 and immediately began seeking opportunities to teach and share her passion for yoga with others. 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.
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!
Brittany was an avid barre class practitioner when she stumbled across her first hot yoga class in 2011 thinking it would be a breeze. She was immediately humbled by the extensive practice and quickly fell in love with the heat and the practice. Brittany soon discovered yoga was so more than just a workout and was actually 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, which kept her coming back! 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. She deeply values the responsibility of being a yoga teacher and carries that respect towards all on and off the mat. Brittany's teaching style matches her approach to life - energetic, playful and fun! She recognizes how important it is to create a sacred space for all practitioners and the same acceptance that she found when she began her yoga journey. 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.
Charlotte Boyd has been teaching yoga for three years. She first ventured onto a yoga mat at the age of fourteen while attending summer camp. Since then, she has continued to explore movement through various modalities including (but not limited to!) theater, distance running, weightlifting, and dancing with her cat. Her classes are thoughtfully fluid with a focus on building strength for longevity and healing. Charlotte teaches hatha, vinyasa and bowspring but continues to be inspired by the evolution of yoga in its many forms. Through her teaching she hopes students reconnect with their strength so that the turns of life can be met with ease and joy. When she isn’t teaching you can find her eating good food in good company, playing outside, or planning her next big adventure.
Upon her return to Louisville, she found Bend and Zen and never looked back! Erin quickly became a studio lizard heat-seeker and was a fast learner because of her dance background before graduating from the Bend and Zen 200-Hour Teacher Training in February of 2017.
Erin sees yoga as an art form to be practiced in everyday life and will always be a student before an instructor. She loves customizing classes so never be shy to request your favorite poses or intentions! In addition to being a proud dance alumna of The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts, she now serves as it’s Program Manager, stewarding over 250 students through their life-changing arts journey every summer. In her free time, Erin hangs with her husband Shane and Corgi mix pup, Jango, and expects a new addition to the Quinlan family in early October!
Nikki is a Louisville native and yoga enthusiast. She believes yoga is accessible for all ages and strives to bring yoga on and off her mat to as many people as possible. She was introduced to yoga at the age of fifteen and has been an avid hot yoga practitioner ever since. Nikki has been part of the Bend and Zen family as a front desk worker since 2016 and was recently promoted to studio Manager. She completed her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training through the Bend and Zen Teacher Training School in March, 2018. Along with teaching at the studio, Nikki also teaches a children's yoga class at Montessori School of Louisville and is a part-time nanny. During her free time she loves being with family, reading and hiking. She lives in Louisville, KY, with her loving boyfriend, her four dogs and her two cats.