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

The Bend and Zen Hot Yoga Staff
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In the spring of 2013, with a growing passion for yoga and a desire to teach, Abbey auditioned to teach a class at the University of Louisville alongside several talented yoga instructors and although she hadn’t yet completed her yoga certification, she got the gig! She gained valuable experience teaching this all levels class comprised of students and athletes. Abbey loved sharing her practice with her classmates and fellow students and without hesitation signed up for teacher training in 2014.
 

Abbey graduated in the spring of 2015 from UofL with a Geosciences degree and has pursued her yoga teaching career full-time. Abbey loves to play with fun transitions and creative flows in her classes, but most of all, she wants her students to feel empowered and have fun! You will always see a big smile on her face - on and off the mat.

 

In her most recent endeavor, Abbey has become an essential oils wellness advocate! Like yoga, she sincerely believes in the healing powers they possess and loves sharing the benefits she’s experienced by using essential oils. Abbey is thrilled to continue her yoga career teaching at Bend and Zen Hot Yoga and looks forward to sharing her warm smile and sense of joy in each and every class!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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. This tight-knit yoga community quickly recognized Jacequlyn’s practice and she was approached to begin leading Quiet Bikram classes. 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 is attending a 230 hour teacher training course this summer at the Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville, NC to further her practice and become a certified yoga instructor! She is ecstatic to expand her knowledge and hopes to diversify the classes she teaches at Bend and Zen upon her return.

 


Jacquelyn currently teaches Quiet Bikram classes.

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. She quickly saw the benefits of having a steady yoga practice and her body began to heal and come back into balance after all of the years of pounding the pavement. Now Laurie cannot imagine her life without yoga and is thrilled to be able to share this practice with others.
 

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. She also has a certification in pre-natal yoga. Laurie emphasizes alignment and breath in her classes and hopes to help others develop a lifelong practice.

 

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 the University of Louisville and Bellarmine University. Laurie is an animal enthusiast and enjoys playing and spending time with her ferrets, Maude and Hans, and her parrot, Pete.

 

Laurie currently teaches our All Level Flow Classes.

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; two of her greatest passions. 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.
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.

 

Meredith loves being a student and has a goal to do at least one training every year. Don’t be surprised if you see her on the mat, maybe even next to you! Every class is a chance to see the same poses from a different perspective and to continue to evolve her practice and instruction.

 

Along with being a partner at Bend and Zen, Meredith teaches our Yoga Core, Power Vinyasa, Hot Fusion, Bikram Flow, Not So Hot Vinyasa, Karma Flow and Yang/Yin classes.

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, she sees clients for weight management, sports nutrition and eating disorders. Natalie's approach as a dietitian 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.

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!
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