200-RYT, Y2 Yoga, Charlotte, NC
Owner/Founder VIDA Hot Yoga
Teacher Trainer, VIDA Hot Yoga School
Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice, Texas Wesleyan
Master of Science, Nursing Anesthesia (2007), Women’s Health (1999)
Personal Yoga Goals: “I would like to advance my yoga practice and teaching skills with more exposure to ashtanga yoga. Since completing yoga teacher training, I have become more and more interested in taking ashtanga yoga classes with teacher Johnna Smith. I also would like to study meditation in-depth.”
Yoga Career Goals: “Ongoing exposure to varied yoga trainings. Increasing my knowledge about the integration of yoga with business and intricately weaving the two together in a way that is authentic, safe and valued.”
Best Decision Ever Made: “Saying, ‘yes’ to my soulmate and life partner, the true love of my life.”
What Can You Do To Become A Better Version Of Yourself? “Obtaining self-acceptance of my limitations and flaws. Using yoga and meditation to become less reactive. Learning to say no more often.”
How Has Yoga Changed You? “Physically it has helped me identify strength deficits associated with muscular imbalances. It has also helped to lessen the deficits by increasing my strength, balance flexibility. Although I have been an exercise devotee my entire life, yoga has helped me achieve the best state of emotional and physical health yet. It has helped me to live a more present life.”
Best Advice: “Do not ever stop learning and growing as a person. Get outside your comfort zone and be open to learning and trying new things in an effort to challenge yourself and make life exciting.”
Best Decision: “Choosing to attend the UT anesthesia program and meeting my wife Ashley in this program. We have always shared so many common interests and goals since we first met. Our support for each other is the reason we continue to have fun with new and interesting life experiences.”
Career Goals Related To Yoga: “My yoga career goals are to continue to gain experience as a yoga instructor and expand my knowledge through more yoga trainings and workshops in order to continually improve what we offer the members of Vida. I also want to reach more people through Vida by opening more Vida Hot Yoga studios in other markets.”
What would we be surprised to know about you?
“I grew up on an Angus cattle farm in rural NC with my identical twin brother.”
Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years? “I see myself continuing to own and manage our anesthesia company as well as multiple Vida Hot Yoga studios in more cities.”
How has your perception of yoga changed since becoming a yoga teacher? “My perception of yoga has shifted from being an intense workout totally focused on what I wanted as a student to what can do for my students that will challenge them and help them enjoy yoga regardless of their skill level.”
What can you do to become a better version of yourself? “Be more patient.”
Favorite yoga pose: “Handstand: because I suck at it and it challenges me to work on strength, balance, and body awareness.”
Least Favorite Yoga Pose: “Warrior 2: I mean come on… boring. Don’t ever leave me in Warrior 2 for more than a breath.”
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
200-RYT, VIDA Hot Yoga
Mobility and Myofascial Release, RADroller Certified
Certified Barre Instructor
Lead Teacher, Barre Programs
Master’s in education, Milligan College
Although relatively new to yoga, Aubryn has quickly become one of VIDA’s greatest assets both as a yoga instructor and as VIDA’s Director of Operations. Aubryn was instrumental in the creation of VIDA Kids Yoga, utilizing her education and experience as an elementary school educator to bring yoga to children in the region. She teaches all formats of yoga at VIDA and is the lead teacher of the barre program.
What Might Others Be Surprised To Know About You? “I ran a full marathon at Disney World in 2012.”
Favorite Book/Move: “Wonder”
What are 3 good things and 3 not-so-good things the person who knows you best might say about you? “Good-organized, kind and fun to be around. Not-so-good-OCD, confrontational, always working-never taking time to rest.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? “Hopefully doing everything I do now…Maybe with another VIDA or 2 in the picture.”
What Motivates You? “A good playlist.”
What Are Your Career Goals In Regard To Yoga? “Operating multiple VIDA locations, teaching barre and yoga, and becoming a Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCYT).”
Any Additional Fun, Quirky, or Surprising Information You Can Tell Us:
“When I was young, Ashley was my swimming lessons teacher.”
Alyson is an avid health and fitness devotee. With education and experience in exercise science, it was very natural for her to make the transition from VIDA yogi to yoga teacher.
Best Advice You’ve Ever Gotten: “Don’t let someone in the cheap seats have an expensive opinion on your life!” – Brene Brown
Three Things You Cannot Live Without: “Chapstick, Diet Coke, and Yoga!”
Cats or Dogs? “Dogs! I have an 8-year-old min-pin mix named Nash.”
What Are You Doing To Become The Best Version of Yourself? “Sharing my love of yoga with others as a yoga teacher. I want to spread the message that healthy and fit is not about being thin. It’s about self-acceptance and finding movement that feels good to you. Exercise shouldn’t be punishment!”
Favorite and Least Favorite Yoga Pose and Why: “Favorite – Revolved-Side-Plank, I love the stretch through my core in this pose and how much space I take up on my mat. It reminds me to unapologetically take up space off my mat. Least Favorite – Eagle, I have a very hard time balancing in this pose and wrapping my legs correctly. I have to breathe deeply and let go of control, which isn’t easy for me.
Leslie has been active her whole life, running track, playing tennis and lifting weights. In high school, Leslie became a personal trainer and then later taught group exercise. In her recent past she started doing yoga after two years of CrossFit.
Awards and Accomplishments: “First District Most Distinguished Student 2016, What kind of accomplishments? I built a 6-foot privacy fence with (husband) Ethan!”
Best Advice You’ve Ever Gotten: “Forgive and move on, life is too short to carry grudges.”
What Might We Be Surprised To Know About You? “I am the second generation born in the United States. My mom’s side of the family is from Colombia, South America.”
Three Things You Can’t Live Without: “Pal’s plain tea, Birkenstocks and gum”
Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years? “Hopefully a mother, teaching yoga in the school system, and having the ability to do a handstand.”
What Are You Doing To Become The Best Version Of Yourself?
“Practicing yoga and developing my personal spiritual journey.”
What Motivates You? “Listening to loud music.”
What Are Your Career Goals In Regard To Yoga? “My goal as a yoga teacher is to be authentic and transparent with each student. I would love to see yoga in the school system and in other corporate sectors.”
Favorite and Least Favorite Yoga Pose and Why? “Revolved side angle because I like twisting and binding. I also love arm balances because they make me feel so strong. I highly dislike revolved triangle and revolved ½ moon.”
Toni took her first yoga class at VIDA in the fall of 2018. Within 10 months of her first class, she was enrolled in VIDA’s 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher Training. Toni’s upbeat and genuine personality is an asset to the yoga classes she teaches.
Favorite Vacation Spot: “Disney. It’s the happiest place on earth!”
Best Advice You’ve Ever Gotten: “Listen First.”
What Are You Doing to Become the Best Version of Yourself? “I am continuing to work on my yoga practice and try to experience my life in the moment.”
Who Has Been the Biggest Influence in Your Life? “My son, Knox. Everything I do is for him.”
Any Additional Fun, Quirky, or Surprising Information About You? ”I love to argue (My husband does not think this is fun about me hehe.) I am an extreme binge-watcher…once I start a series I am in it to win it. I am an extroverted introvert. I mostly like to stay to myself but I relate well to everyone and am easy to talk to.
Certified in group fitness and barre, Hope initially came to VIDA as barre instructor. Hope completed VIDA’s 200-RYT training in February of 2020. She now teaches barre and multiple yoga formats at VIDA.
Favorite Thing To Do: “Spending time with my family and dogs, working out, relaxing by the pool or beach.”
What Might We Be Surprised To Know About You? “I’m a first-generation college graduate.”
Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years? “Practicing and teaching yoga while developing my own spiritual journey. Sharing my love for yoga with others.”
Who Is The Person Who Has Been The Biggest Influence In Your Life? “My Daddy.”
What Are You Doing To Become The Best Version Of Yourself? “Focusing on letting go of issues I can’t control or that don’t serve a purpose in my life. Allowing myself to say “No.”
What Are Your Career Goals In Regard To Yoga? “Advance my yoga practice, to improve my teaching skills, and to grow my classes. I want to incorporate my love for fitness & the mind-body connection into my role as a mental health professional for youth.”
Retail and Membership Sales Manager
Assistant Director Of Operations
Certified Barre Instructor
Mandy graduated in May 2019 with an A.A.S. degree in Business Management and a Technical Certificate in Customer Service and Sales. She lives in Kingsport with her family and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her animals.
Mandy began working at VIDA in 2018 and was quickly drawn in by the appeal of barre and yoga. She recently completed barre instructor training. Mandy works closely with the Work Exchange program at VIDA and enjoys interacting with the clients. She looks forward to being involved in the growth of VIDA in the community.
As a certified Barre, Zumba, Piloxing and AFAA Group Fitness Instructor, it was only natural that she transition her love for yoga practice into teaching yoga. Michelle teaches yoga and barre at VIDA.
Best Advice You’ve Ever Gotten: “Treat others as you want to be treated. And there is freedom in forgiveness.”
Favorite Thing To Do: “Spending time with my 2 children or teaching classes. Performing, whether singing, or acting. I love being part of a story and sharing that, entertaining people and bringing joy in some form or fashion.”
What Might We Be Surprised To Know About You? “Maybe that I sing or act. Also, I love to cook and am an avid gardener.”
Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years? “Acclimated and enjoying life. Being an empty nester. Taking more adventures and taking more time for myself to grow in other areas. I’m contemplating finishing my masters degree in Public Health since I will have the space to do so. Hopefully walking closer in my spiritual walk and giving back …praying for the right area where I’m needed. Stronger physically, and more accepting of myself.”
What Motivates You? “After losing both of my parents I realized that life is short and so precious. Make the most of every moment…a gift that God has blessed you with. And, make a difference outside of yourself… something that truly lasts.”
B.S., Nursing, East Tennessee State University
Tonya has been an instructor at VIDA since it opened in 2017. She also teaches at JRH Brewery in Johnson City, TN. Tonya’s yoga classes are structured to provide balance and diversity in sequencing. Her love for teaching is evident through her evolving and interesting playlists. The yoga she teaches is not just a class, but an experience.
Favorite Book and/or Favorite Movie: “Lord of the Ring book series, including The Hobbit.”
What Motivates You? “The concept that yoga helps you appreciate the beauty of your life as it is.”
Favorite and Least Favorite Yoga Pose and Why? “Favorite – peaceful warrior. Least favorite – frog.”
What Are You Doing To Become The Best Version Of Yourself? “Daily mindfulness readings.”
LEAD TEACHER TRAINER
Bio coming soon
200-RYT, VIDA Hot Yoga
B.S., Dental Hygiene, East Tennessee State University
Ginny combines her experience in fitness as a group exercise instructor and personal fitness trainer with her love of yoga. Ginny has been an instructor with VIDA since opening in 2017. With her diverse fitness experience and yoga teacher training, Ginny’s yoga and fitness classes are never dull.
Best Advice You’ve Ever Gotten: “My dad always told me, Be sure. Your sins will find you out.”
Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years? “I hope that I will be emotionally stronger in 5 years. Each day is a new day to heal.”
Who Is The Person That Has Been The Biggest Influence In Your Life? “My Father.”
3 Good Things and 3 Not-So-Good Things The Person Who Knows You Best Might Say About You: “My daughter says I am loving, forgiving and funny. But, she also says I am impatient and quick to get mad sometimes.”
Leona started her yoga journey at VIDA as a work exchange participant. Leona enrolled in VIDA’s first teacher training in the fall of 2018 and credits the influence and teachings of Jen Eddins (Lead Teacher Trainer at VIDA) as a great inspiration in her life.
Hometown: Alleghany Highlands of Virginia
Favorite Class To Take: “Hot Slow Power or Hot Power.”
Favorite Vacation Spot: “Holden Beach.”
Best Advice You’ve Ever Gotten: “Today is tomorrows yesterday, make it count!”
Favorite Book: “The Four Agreements”
What Might We Be Surprised To Know About You? “I had my first child at 16 years of age!”
What Are You Currently Doing To Become The Best Version Of Yourself? “Um…yoga, removing toxic people from my life, (trying to) eat better, mediate.”
What Are Your Goals In Regard To Yoga? “I cannot imagine not sharing yoga for the remainder of my life. I would like to eventually achieve a 500 RYT designation.”
And, In Regard To Your Practice? “To improve daily my mindset and strength.”
What motivates you the most? “Love”
Favorite Yoga Pose: “Bound Half Moon”
Least Favorite: “Warrior 2”
CERTIFIED BARRE INSTRUCTOR
Master’s in Education, Tusculum College
7-habits of Highly Effective People Certified Facilitator
Caylor has been a VIDA member since the first year VIDA opened. Her love for yoga, fitness and teaching sparked her interest in becoming a certified barre instructor. Caylor’s desire for others and aptitude for teaching is visible in her contributions to elementary school students. She was named 2017 Kingsport City School Teacher of the Year and developed a program for at-risk elementary school boys, BRAVES club.
Best Advice Ever Given:
“Stay in Your Lane”
Favorite Things to Do:
“Cuddle and watch a movie with my kids, take classes at VIDA, and travel”
What Are You Doing to Become the Best Version Of Yourself?
“Yoga-living the Four Agreements, staying off social media, and learning it’s ok to put yourself first in order to be a better mom and wife.”
200-RYT Johnson City Downtown Yoga
B.S. in Chemistry from Juniata College
Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry from The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Originally from Pennsylvania, Katie lives in Johnson City and works at Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport. Katie was a cheerleader in high school and college became a regular yoga practitioner while in graduate school, yoga became a daily practice for her. Katie now combines her practice and teaching of yoga also strength training, mountain biking and whitewater kayaking.
Awards and Accomplishments: Summa cum laude and distinction in chemistry from Juniata College; National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at UNC Chapel Hill.
Favorite Vacation Spot: “I love living in east TN because my everyday life feels like my favorite vacation spot. We are close to some of the best mountain biking and whitewater the east coast has to offer. When I take vacation time, I usually travel to different locations to learn about different cultures. My favorite trip was also my first solo trip to India, where I did yoga in its birthplace, Rishikesh, located along the Ganges River and trekked through the Markha Valley in the Himalayan Mountains (with a female-led guide service). I also take an annual ski trip out west with my friends. We ski lifts open to close for 6 days straight, and it’s usually one of the most adventurous epic weeks of my year!”
Best Advice You’ve Ever Gotten: “My PhD advisor taught me about her “box of integrity”—taking the time to evaluate the situation and taking actions that feel within that place of integrity. I use this advice regularly. This advice was given primarily for professional situations, but it applies across the board.
What Might We Be Surprised to Know About You? “I’m a total “lark”: I’ll often opt to go to bed at 7 pm and wake up/start my day at 2 am to do everything I didn’t feel like doing in the evening.“
What Motivates You? “I’m most passionate when I feel like I’m pushing the boundaries of my mental or physical capabilities, of what is expected, or the status quo, and when I feel like I’m building up and bringing people or teams together. This stands across the board in my personal life, and especially in my career.
What Are Your Career Goals In Regard To Yoga? “I love the physical challenge of Ashtanga-based yoga, and over the years, the physical practice not only empowered my physical body but also my mind. The physical practice has guided me deeper into living a life of gratitude, openness, and love. The physical practice requires both strength and flexibility – two things we can apply to our mental practice. I want to share this with others. (I have a secret long-term dream of guiding mountain biking/yoga retreats…)”
200-RYT VIDA Hot Yoga
B.S., Public/Allied Health, East Tennessee State University
Hometown: Bristol, TN
Awards and Accomplishments: Tri-cities Business Journal, 40 under 40
Best Advice You’ve Ever Received: “Fight. Grind. Repeat.”
What Might We Be Surprised To Know About You? “I have completed Spartan Tri-fecta.”
What Motivates You? “Making my husband and kids proud.”
What Are Your Career Goals in Regard To Yoga? “To bring more people to yoga as a way of cross-training and show them the benefits they can gain.”
REBECCA (BECKY) MILLS
200-RYT VIDA Hot Yoga
Certified Barre Instructor
Group Exercise Instructor
B.S., Nursing, East Tennessee State University
Becky teaches multiple formats at VIDA. Becky’s classes are characterized by diverse and interesting core focus. Her pilates background is evident through her teaching and cuing of proper alignment and form.
Becky is originally from Knoxville and she credits best accomplishment as raising her daughter and “…watching her become a beautiful, loving and adjusted adult.”
Favorite Vacation Spot: “For a weekend escape, I enjoy the mountains, especially Fontana Village, NC…so remote and peaceful.”
Favorite Book: “The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, The Prophet by Kahil Gabrin and The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Luise”
What Might We Be Surprised To Know About You?
“I love wine…not just the consumption but learning about various grapes, terroir and how it affects the taste, how the grapes are grown and harvested even down to the marketing. I like to have the time to be contemplative about the wine I’m sipping and how something so magnificent can make it to my home in Kingsport from around the world and yet be affordable. Best when shared with loved ones!”
Cats or Dogs?
“The sweetest 2 standard poodles, Nikou & Kiki, and 2 independent yet highly demanding cats, Edgar(22 pounder) and Pippin”
What Motivates You? “Knowing that this life is fleeting and can change in a millisecond so I try to make the most of each day. We may not be here tomorrow so that motivates me to get work completed but take moments for stillness and to tell the people in your life how much you love and appreciate them.”
Attended California State University, Fullerton
Christine was trained in Baptiste methodology (Mark White, Mbody) but enjoys teaching various forms of yoga including power, yin, flow/yin and Bikram-style classes. At VIDA you will find her on the schedule teaching Hot Slow Power Flow, Hot Power and Restore and Deep Stretch. Don’t let her laid-back personality and sweet spirit fool you, she can deliver a powerful vinyasa class then relax you with her soothing voice and soulful play list.
Yoga Career Goals: “300 Hour yoga teacher training.”
Favorite Vacation Spot: “So hard to choose…but I love the ocean and the beach. Many of my vacations include water of some kind-Maui, Costa Rica, Mexico, Greece, California….”
Best Advice You’ve Ever Gotten: “Focus on the things in life that bring you joy, from my mother.”
Favorite Thing To Do (Other Than Teaching Or Taking Classes At VIDA):
“Horseback riding with friends and Jake (my dog) running beside me
painting or making jewelry and reading.”
What Do You Enjoy Most About Teaching Yoga? “Watching a person accomplished a pose that they found challenging.”
Who/What Inspires You Most? “People who are always upbeat and happy even through tough moments.”
200-RYT, VIDA Hot Yoga
Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher
PharmD, Gatton College of Pharmacy
MPS-H, New York School of Interior Design
Lauren is a pharmacist, interior designer, and teaches hot power yoga at VIDA. Lauren recently started a blog, Well By Design, where she shares design inspiration, natural alternatives and yoga, wellbydesign.com. Her yoga classes are intense, and she always has a motivating playlist.
Best Advice You’ve Ever Gotten: “To stop caring what other people think and letting other’s opinions define you.”
Favorite and Least Favorite Yoga Pose: “Favorite – Chin Stand, Least Favorite – Extended Side Angle.”
Three Things You Can’t Live Without: “My phone, the weather forecast and paper towels.”
Cats or Dogs? “Dogs! Aka, Bernie and Wilson.”
What are your personal goals in regard to yoga? “I am currently enrolled in a RPYT (prenatal yoga training). We will see where it takes me!”
What Are Your Personal Goals In Regard To Yoga? “To continue advancing my practice and using it as a tool to manage my OCD. There is always room for more personal growth.”
B.A., East Tennessee State University
Mike was trained in Baptiste Methodology and teaches VIDA Hot Power Yoga and Hot Slow Power Flow. Mike is a sweet spirit but can command attention of yogis in his class with his interesting playlists and motivating teaching style. Mike has an active yoga practice himself. His fellow teachers at VIDA think his Warrior 3 is badass.
What 3 things can you not live without?
“Coffee, my family and yoga.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? “I’m working on being more open and vulnerable and authentic with the people closest to me. Physically, I want to be stronger.”
Who is the person who has had the most influence in your life? “My mother.”
What are you doing to become the best version of yourself? “Being more selfish with my time. Not being afraid to say no to things I don’t want and not being afraid to be a “yes” to things I want.”
What are your goals in regard to yoga? “Short-term: to grow my classes and improve my assists. Long-term: to be the best. To be a guest instructor and travel.”
Personal Yoga Goals?
“Maintain a daily practice. Practice and all will come.”
What might we be surprised to know about you? “I love to cook and put my own twist on recipes and create my own dishes. I’ve been heavily influenced by the food of Colombia (mother and grandmother) and Puerto Rico (my wife’s family and often incorporate these elements in my food).”
REGISTERED YOGA SCHOOL
BECOME A REGISTERED YOGA TEACHER
Whether you are looking to teach or to deepen your knowledge of yoga, VIDA Hot Yoga's 200-Hour Teacher Training program will give you the tools to succeed.
Graduates of VIDA's Teacher Training program will gain a broad knowledge of the foundational principles of yoga philosophy and asana.
An in-depth examination of the art and science of yoga will provide graduates the ability to intelligently share yoga with others while also gaining a deeper understanding of self.