What's Her Story?
Hand-picked due to their commitment to the practice and their individual truths, distinct messages, and deep souls, our teachers have a capacity for connecting and a desire to share what has been transformative for them.
“The connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods but in their hearts – meaning heart in its ancient sense, as the place where intellect and emotion and spirit and will converge in the human self.”
Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach
A true educator by profession and at heart, Hollie has been a teacher who studies the art of instruction all of her adult life. Her experience ranges from high school to university classrooms and from the ballet studio to the yoga studio. Regardless of the venue, Hollie’s method is consistent: teaching the student is equally as important as teaching the subject matter. Hollie is adept at meeting students where they are and encouraging them to find their individual potential.
Although she admits that yoga is a challenge both physically and mentally, Hollie guides her students to find the balance of effort and ease. She has the ability to clearly instruct the fundamentals while maintaining a compassionate and accepting environment in her classes. Her calm demeanor invites students to confidently accept challenges while understanding that there is no perfection in yoga. “It Depends” guides her personal practice and her teaching. It is a mantra that she took to heart in her SmartFLOW teacher training with Tiffany Russo and Janet Katz. She will be forever grateful to Janet for her past and continuing mentoring and training.
Laura Harkavy has been practicing yoga for the last decade and earned her 300-hour yoga teacher certification with SmartFLOW in June 2014. In addition, she completed a 30-hour wall training certification in July 2015 and has continued to train in the SmartFlow methodology. Laura’s path to yoga started with her own health journey.
Her yoga practice has enabled her to manage and in some cases heal her body not just from injury, but also from the long-term degenerative disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis. She believes in the healing power of yoga not only for herself, but also for her students.
Teacher training afforded Laura the concentrated time to deepen her personal practice and to focus on the intricacies of each pose, and how that relates to her own body structure. This depth of understanding and body awareness enables her to pass on such knowledge and passion to others. By guiding her students through an active and fun, yet safe yoga practice, Laura hopes each individual leaves her classes feeling more relaxed and comfortable within his/her own skin, and is a gift she hopes to impart as a teacher. Allowing inhibitions to release fosters an understanding and connection within a student’s body. Laura loves that the yoga journey is never static for the student or the teacher, and can challenge both the mind and the body unilaterally bringing a unique sense of equilibrium to one’s daily life.
Yoga Teacher/Myofascial Release Therapist
Kathleen Hall is a yoga teacher, therapeutic body worker and certified body roller with a strong passion for guiding people to physical, mental & emotional freedom. She has been learning and embodying the practice of yoga since 1992 when she first approached Buddhism and started meditation. An eager student, she began with yoga in New York City in 1995 at Integral Yoga, and found that on the mat she could find release in her life from chronic stress, pain and illness.
Her love of yoga was undeniable, after a decade of travels and moving throughout North America, studying an array of yoga styles, Kathleen landed in Memphis, TN. and became certified as a yoga teacher through Midtown Yoga in 2008. She immediately started teaching full time in studio, private and corporate settings. Recognizing and understanding the power of yoga, pranayama and bodywork in herself has helped her find deep empathy and intuition for her students and clients. Kathleen wanted to dive deeper into the subtle physical body and how wounds and hurts of all kinds can be unwound and health restored through touch, movement and breath. In 2010, she fell in love with John Barnes MFR, completed 6 JFB MFR Seminars and became a licensed massage therapist in 2013. She is presently specializing in John F. Barnes Myofascial Release. Kathleen is also a Certified Body Rolling Practitioner through Yoga Tune Up. Body rolling and MFR are an easy, pleasant way to realign and release the body and get you free of pain and restrictions with added flexibility, lightness and ease.
Kathleen is known for her uplifting presence, her creative personal style, and the safe space she holds for her students. She accomplishes this through a unique combination of asana, pranayama, body rolling & MFR which work together to release tightness created by misuse, underuse, overuse, abuse and trauma. Kathleen's passion and specialty is to empower people to take charge of their own health and equips them with knowledge and techniques to shed fear and suffering from a variety of issues from back pain, whiplash, migraines, Fibromyalgia, chronic tension patterns, sports injuries, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, scar release- just to name a few…
Janet E. Katz
Yoga Teacher Trainer/ERYT 500 & 2nd Story Yoga Owner
My yoga story began as a physical quest and became a mental challenge; it was initiated by an unrecognized restlessness and has settled into a quiet, awake stillness that I neither knew existed nor would have cared to seek out.
Like many, my yoga story derived as part of a leftover, ‘80s - inspired obsession to be stronger, fitter, leaner, slimmer, better. Already running 45 miles a week, every week, and lifting weights, I pursued the physical practice of yoga in the same manner I approached the other areas of my life ~ with 100 percent effort and in complete control.
Three years later, my ego, aggression, and misconception landed me in the OR for spinal surgery. Having ignored the lesson that was sent my way, I approached my recovery with the same prideful resolve that originally caused the surgery. I was justly rewarded with a second back surgery 6 months later. Finally and literally brought to my knees by my own willfulness and pride, and unable to walk on my own, I was wheeled into the hospital for surgery #2.
Grateful to my surgeons and their gift of restored mobility, I finally began to awaken to the lessons I was being taught. I returned to my mat significantly changed. Encouraged by a close friend who recognized my potential, I earned my 200-hour yoga teaching certification in 2008 and have taught consistently since.
Serendipitously, the summer of 2011 found me in Los Angeles studying with Annie Carpenter, creator of SmartFLOW yoga, and a brilliant practitioner, teacher, philosopher, and my mentor and friend. Annie’s teaching, support, encouragement, love, wisdom, and disarming clairvoyance, deepened my understanding of compassion and myself (and the relationship between the two), yoga and teaching methodology.
I continue to study with Annie regularly, and have assisted her SmartFLOW teacher trainings and conferences. Last year I taught a SmartFLOW training, and wrote and produced Yoga at the Rope Wall: A Training Manual.
Copious amounts of love and gratitude to my husband, Paul, and daughters, Jamie, Hallie, and Erin.
Jana is a professor and Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at CBU in Memphis, TN where she created and implemented the BFA degree in the Visual Arts. She began her yoga journey more than 20 years ago after an injury as a dancer.
In 2005, she went back to school to earn an MFA in Visual Communication. In the middle of this study she was met with the desire and opportunity to attain her yoga teacher certification through Yoga Alliance. She completed her 200-hour RYT certification and MFA degree in the same year, 2007. She has been studying and teaching ever since.
Jana describes her yoga teacher training experience as "The place I truly learned to be a mindful teacher whether in the Art Studio or the Yoga Studio." For her, the two disciplines go hand-in-hand. "The more I learn about art or yoga the more I realize I can never know it all. That is what calls me daily to the yoga mat and to my studio. The adventure of finding out something new about myself through my practice is never stagnant and sustains me as I change both physically or emotionally." She refers to this as the PUSH/PULL of each discipline. Discovering a place of strength while at the same time "letting go" of all expectations is what she aspires to teach her students.
"The exploration is the journey in which I can leave the past behind, bring the wisdom I have collected forward, and start fresh each day."
Helen Anne DiMeglio
In 2000, Helen Anne accidentally discovered yoga after a kick-boxing class in a gym. She walked in to try something new and walked out with a new understanding of "clarity”. Though Helen Anne had no idea what she was supposed to do or feel in that first yoga class, her body transitioned throughout the practice. Loud music and bright lights faded and a quiet, calm stillness emerged. Ever since that Saturday many years ago, she has continued to explore various yoga traditions in Memphis yoga studios and in workshops.
By 2004 Helen Anne completed her studies with Marsha Wenig, the founder of YogaKids International, Inc. and has taught kids of all ages. Seeking to expand her personal practice and teaching, Helen Anne discovered Annie Carpenter’s SmartFLOW teacher training, which gave her a way to integrate her years of practice and study into a disciplined and systematic method of practicing yoga and teaching adults. Helen Anne is a Yoga Alliance RYT 300-hour SmartFLOW and yoga wall certified teacher and continues her education in the SmartFLOW approach to teaching. She also enjoys the playful side of yoga with the 4 and 5 year olds at St. Louis Preschool.
One of the many lessons she learned from her SmartFLOW training is that no yoga pose is perfected. Rather, each pose, each class, and yoga in general is a journey — tools for self-understanding and transformation. As our bodies grow in balance, strength and flexibility, so can our minds and spirits.
In Helen Anne’s classes, you can expect to be met where you are today, in a light-hearted and welcoming environment. She loves to create class sequences that relieve tightness and stress and teach students how to receive the physical and mental benefits of yoga. She uses the Great Yoga Wall, props, and offers variations to accommodate beginners and regular practitioners.
Carol was first introduced to yoga as a child when she joined her mom in yoga classes in the ‘70’s. After having children of her own, she reconnected with yoga as a form of self care and self awareness.
After a 21 year career in court reporting, Carol was forced to take a temporary leave due to a family emergency. The temporary leave turned into a retirement, and Carol focused more on yoga for stress relief. In 2009, she completed her teaching training and was offered an opportunity to teach. Teaching yoga felt to her like one of the most challenging, scary things she could think to do! Intrigued, she accepted the position.
The word “yoga” literally means union or connection. To Carol, yoga has been a tool of transformation, helping her unite and connect fragmented parts of herself. The benefits have included helping her feel more integrated and whole on all levels – spiritual, mental and physical. Like “therapy!”
Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Carol has studied and practiced yoga for over 15 years. She currently holds certifications in the Vinyasa, Kundalini and Ashtanga traditions of yoga and is a 500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher.