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.
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.
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…
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.
Mindy began her yoga practice in January 2010, after her mom informed her that she had ‘let herself go’. Though very hard to hear, Mindy realized that this was 100% true so she called a dear friend/yoga instructor and found herself later that week somewhere she never thought she would be . . .
on a yoga mat. From that first class, she knew that she had fallen in love with yoga as a form of exercise. She also began to realize that practicing yoga was far more than just physical exercise; yoga was having a positive impact on her outlook on life. Specifically, she began seeing the glass half-full instead of half-empty, and to take better care of herself. She was on the road to health!!
This important life lesson was tested when she was diagnosed with breast cancer just 6 months after beginning to practice. Yoga was her road back to full health & wellness after a double mastectomy and reconstruction. During the long months of healing, the positive life lesson she had rediscovered brought much needed joy & appreciation for her new & different body.
She obtained a 225hr certification 2013 under Brooke Boon, founder of Holy Yoga & co-author of the book, Hatha Yoga. She has received additional certifications in Yoga Touch, Pre/Post Natal Yoga, and Yoga for Trauma. She has also become somewhat of an anatomy-geek but hasn’t yet worked up the nerve to actually take an anatomy class and deal with a cadaver.
Bringing people to a yoga mat — whoever, however, wherever they are — is her passion, because yoga is for EVERYbody. Alignment continues to be a priority in her teaching style, but this does not preclude the ability to have fun and laugh in her class. Accessibility, availability, and ‘amendability’ with a good dose of joy are her hallmarks.
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.
Susan began her yoga practice 26 years ago when pregnant with her first daughter. An avid runner, the physical practice of yoga complemented her running. The birth of a second daughter took her in to the full time career of motherhood.
Being reintroduced into vinyasa yoga, several years later, sparked a new interest to find out more about the healing power of yoga. Having suffered from depression, dyslexia, and anxiety, yoga became a life-changing experience that Susan wanted to share with others. Susan teaches from an open and compassionate space, leading a challenging yet playful practice centered around linking breath with movement. Her love of music and meditation guides students on an inner and outer journey. She encourages students to laugh, fall and fly.
It took many years for Susan to develop a breathing practice, a practice that changed her life. Susan loves the quote, “the physical practice is just a bonus in yoga” She believes when you consciously breath you make life a lot easier for yourself and everyone in your life.