Ft. Worth Studio
I have always been drawn to contemplative traditions and originally studied martial arts at a meditation-centric dojo. Unable to find a similarly minded place to train after moving for college, I began taking yoga. Two years later, I entered Michelle Andre's Priya Yoga teacher training program in Dallas and received my Yoga Alliance 200-hour certification. That was over 15 years ago and yoga has remained one of the driving forces of my life. I teach because I sincerely believe in the transformational capacity of a contemplative practice. My style is an amalgam of traditions and heavily influenced by my science background but perhaps best described as alignment centered vinyasana--flow with an influence on safe and effective form. I see the physical practice of yoga as a potent tool, capable of building strength and fluidity in the body and, more importantly, the mind so that we may weather life's storms and chart a painstaking course to our authentic Selves.
I started practicing yoga in 2014 after completing my Master’s program and in preparation for my wedding. I have practiced yoga on and off since high school, but it didn’t really stick until I noticed how it helped with my anxiety, depression, and overall wellness. I work part time as a mental health therapist and quickly saw the connection between yoga and mental health. It was then that I knew I was destined to teach yoga in some capacity. I completed my yoga teacher training in 2016 with Rebecca Butler at The Sanctuary Yoga Room right here in Fort Worth. I love the yoga community in this city and I am so grateful to share this gift that has been so beneficial to me with you all! My classes are welcome to all levels. I love the traditions behind yoga but also love to challenge my body with fun asanas. My goal is to incorporate pranayama, meditation, and physical movement to bring my students greater clarity and an overall sense of bliss.
Istarted practicing yoga in 2013 when when I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter, Rose. I was stricken with anxiety and depression and addictive personality traits. After a few classes I felt a change within me. My spirit had awakened and I understood the meaning of gratitude, self compassion and mindfulness. I wanted to help people in the way that I was helped.
I got my 200hr YTC in Goa, India and my experience in there was INCREDIBLE to say the least. It's hard to describe how much I am changed for the better in a few sentences. The program I graduated from, Himalaya Yoga Valley Center was a complete immersion in the Ashtanga and BKS Iyengar method. We studied yogic philosophy, chanting and meditation, ayurveda, business, ethics, classroom management, asana sequencing, mudras and chakras, kriyas, and anatomy. Many of these hours my classmates and I spent in silence, reflecting and journaling. It was completely humbling and fascinating to learn from such a traditional approach.
The thing I realized the most was that there is no possible way I could learn it ALL in a lifetime! I realized that yoga is a process of self inquiry and for me, it is the way through which I deepen my awareness of my body, mind, and spirit and a way to positively affect my community through teaching. I am reminded daily that I am forever a student of yoga and am so grateful for this path!
I started getting into yoga after I began experiencing a lot of injuries from being a long distance runner. I trained for my first marathon for six months in 2007, only to collapse on a run one morning and discover that I had major damage to my right knee. A doctor suggested surgery. I researched alternative options and learned that home workout programs that incorporate yoga are highly recommended for people with injuries, so I went out and bought an at-home yoga workout and after a few months of practicing, my pain started to go away!
I was never really interested in yoga before because I assumed it was reserved for Gumby-like dancers, and that intimidated me because I was never very flexible. So it was hard for me to step into a live yoga class, but I got the courage to try it out one day and I really enjoyed the atmosphere of practicing in a group. I tried classes at a few different studios and gyms all around Fort Worth, except for Karmany. I didn’t know about it! It is this hidden little gem that is just so different from any other studio I have been to. No mirrors, no merchandise, not even a required membership fee! Just pure yoga for everyone, no matter what their budget is. That really attracted me to this studio, so much so that I decided to sign up for Karmany’s teacher training. Through the training, I broke through looking at yoga as strictly one of my exercise options, and discovered it is so much more than that. Yoga isn’t just a form of exercise--it is a lifestyle that can heal and protect you from much more than just physical pain. So in a way, I’m glad I bit dust and fell flat on my face on that hot run years ago; otherwise, I may never have tried yoga! I’m thrilled to be a teacher at Karmany now, and I can’t wait to share the gift of yoga with my students.
Elyse received her teaching certification in Costa Rica through Frog Lotus Yoga in 2010, and she has been teaching ever since. She teaches a vinyasa flow class and sequences in a way that the poses flow naturally from one to the next. She emphasizes safe alignment, mindful breath, and longer holds in poses to create strength and flexibility. She sprinkles in yogic philosophy and wisdom, but also allows time for quiet reflection. She enjoys teaching because it continually inspires her to grow in her own practice and knowledge. Yoga, both in its physical practice and philosophy, has deeply impacted Elyse’s life, and it is an honor for her to share this practice with others. Her hope is that students feel grounded, strong, and centered when they attend her classes and leave with a deeper connection to themselves and because of that, an ability to live with more awareness in their day-to-day lives.
I fell in love with yoga about a year ago. It all started as a physical exercise, similar to gymnastics and cheerleading. I loved the community and the energy that the instructors and fellow students brought to classes. After seeing drastic physical changes in my own body, I knew this was just the beginning of my yoga journey. My practice became a moving meditation. Yoga helped me awaken my authentic self on and off my mat.
I did my 200-hour teacher training through core power yoga. We were trained with the principles from Baron Baptiste to incorporate yoga poses with breath, flow (vinyassa), heat, and your drishti.
My class is open to all levels; where I offer modifications and advanced variations of poses as well. My sequences are different each time, and I love to hear student’s feedback and possible suggestions for new peak poses (always fun!). My sequences are set up to warm your body through heat and flow, to eventually reach your peak pose. The class will become more relaxing and restorative towards the second half. I always include a special Savasana, tying into the intention or theme of that practice.
Yoga helped me turn the darkness in my world to light; and being able to help others makes me love my job!
My very first yoga class was at Karmany in Fort Worth, and while I have visited numerous other studios, I came back to this studio for the mental and spiritual teaching. I decided after a few years that I too want to spread the love.
For me yoga is fulfillment, spirituality, mental health, and a purposeful life. Four years ago I began this practice and I still watch life become more authentic each time I step on my mat. Yoga showed me that breath is the bridge to consciousness. It teaches me to let go of things that no longer serve me, to honor my body, and to receive the gifts of the present moment. This practice has given me so much that I devote my life to sharing it with others. Its lessons are endless and its gifts are bountiful.
“When the breath wanders, the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still and the yogi achieves long life.” – Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Ilearned about yoga when searching for an alternative to the Denise Austin VHS yoga video after a tendon tear in my right ankle. I needed more than that VHS could give me. I went into my first studio class experience convinced that this was the “in the mean time” workout while I recovered and later on I would do my “real” workouts. So… how did it go? I couldn’t keep up. How was this “stretching” beating me! I was intrigued!
Yoga became my restorative friend, my kick my butt friend, and my time out I needed when I didn’t know I needed it. Power Yoga created for me the most productive workout by strengthening, cardio, and mind clearing—if I didn’t focus I was going to fall over! I was officially in love! My yoga practice continued to grow and while I touched with a variety of styles, Hatha, Ashtanga, Bikram, Baptise, and synchronized vinyasa flow—power yoga was my first love. The satisfaction I received after every yoga practice was fabulous and the health benefits, both physiological and psychological, were quickly revealed.
With 15 years of healthcare experience, anatomy and physiological understanding, 10 years of yoga practice—becoming a yoga instructor was my next step. Allowing me to experience and teach yoga with focus on breath and body movement.
My mission: Provide a mindfulness experience that creates a zestful and powerful tension and release, balance and twist, and clearing of the rollercoaster-todo-list-mind—preparation to master your passionate lives!
My first memory of yoga is practicing in my living room to a video my mom purchased from Sam’s Club to help me get more flexible for my Ballet training. While attending Stanford University I took my first “live” teacher led class, and fell in love with the euphoric feelings I experienced after a yoga class. Yoga offered a calm, anxiety-free environment that countered my own anxiety and stressful life. Once back in my hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, I was introduced to the Forrest Yoga practice at Karmany Yoga. As a former marathon runner, Bikram Yoga addict, and Ballet dancer — the power and intensity of Forrest Yoga appealed to me. However, what really lured me in and turned me on to Forrest Yoga was the self-empowering and self-healing approach that this style teaches and encourages. I cannot remember a moment in my life that has not been surrounded by stress — what better tool to have than this medicinal Yoga practice?
In the summer of 2012 I made decision to take the Forrest Yoga Foundations teacher training. My training took place in Chicago during the months of October-November. I spent 27 consecutive days with the Creator of Forrest Yoga, Ana Forrest and learned first-hand how to teach and assist from the Yoga master herself. After graduating from training I enrolled in a Forrest Yoga Mentorship Program with two of Forrest Yoga’s senior teachers: Ann Hyde and Catherine Allen. I am now a level 3 certified Forrest Yoga teacher, and have assisted my teacher, Ana Forrest, in her Foundations Teacher Training.
I have been practicing yoga since I was 20 years old, beginning with Ashtanga Yoga. The apartments I lived in offered a free class weekly at the gym and I was curious so I gave it a shot and absolutely loved it. It challenged me, reminded me to breath, and it looked beautiful- like a dance. I grew up dancing ballet, jazz and tap, and the fact that there is a dance-like aspect to yoga really attracted me to the practice.
Since then, I have been hooked. I bought David Swenson's Ashtanga Yoga manual to start off my home practice early on and then bought every yoga DVD I could get my hands on. I also began going to Indigo yoga 2-3 times per day. I was a bit of a "yoga junkie" for a while. Throughout my exploration, I was introduced to teachers like Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Rodney Yee, and Rachel Brathen. I fell in love with Shiva Rea's style, and after receiving my 200-hour RYT certification from Karmany Yoga, I went to study with Shiva in Santorini, Greece. I have completed 160 contact hours with Shiva and am on my way to becoming a fully certified Prana flow instructor.
In my classes, my goal is to offer an experience for my student-friends; focusing on alignment, breath-work, and almost constant, but fluid, movement accompanied by music that will in the end, hopefully leave them feeling refreshed, stretched out, and wanting to come back for more. My class is for practitioners that are looking for something that is a bit different, fairly challenging, and that will help them continue to expand their practice. We will get “yoga-weird” together and it will be lovely!
Yoga began as an outlet for me to inhabit my body after years of escaping and a place where I could physically undo the conditioning of the world and shed myself of accumulated self doubt and feel my power! The release and space that I have made in my mind and body has allowed me to experience the full spectrum of human emotions in a less reactive, more kind, loving and present way. I believe that the most important aspect of yoga is what we crystallise through movement in our practice and then take off of our mat and into the world to create ripples of joy, acceptance and compassion in all eyes that we meet. When we can remember the gift of our life, mobility and breath and cherish that in ourselves we can live to help people remember their gift as well!
I've studied and practiced yoga for the past 7 years, this includes a Kundalini teacher training with Ajai Alai Asia in accordance with Amrit Nam Sarovar of Europe and the Kundalini Research Institute, a training with Baron Baptiste, workshops with Tias Little, Ana Forrest and a meditation course in Tibet.
It was one day about 3.5 years ago in 2013, when I decided to try the yoga class on the schedule at the gym. It felt like something magical came over and embraced me, I fell in love with yoga right there and then. I was always a dancer at heart, and maybe because I couldn't become one in reality, I found yoga movement divinely liberating. When I first came to yoga, I was living with a degenerative condition in my spine, which caused daily pain. My back felt so stiff, I remember, when I first tried the wheel, as stiff as a board; and I practiced yoga with back pain for years, thinking then I was moving towards surgery. I kept coming, kept coming, kept longing to move fluidly like a dancer, kept longing to feel Free from pain, feel Free to move beautifully and gracefully... Today, that back pain is gone, and there is no need in surgery. I wholeheartedly believe, Yoga played a major part in my healing, and I keep growing stronger ~ physically and mentally. And what I mean by mentally, is that I also strongly believe, Yoga detoxified my body AND my mind, haven shaken up some very old, stuck energy that I was carrying around, and that was keeping me physically sick, in turn affecting my mental happiness.
My passion led me to desire to pursue teaching yoga and help others to find the healing and joy Yoga brought to me. It led me to Santa Barbara, California, where I lived and breathed yoga in the breathtakingly beautiful White Lotus Foundation yurt village surrounded by mountains, receiving instruction from loving teachers Ganga White and Tracey Rich, and where I received my 200-hour training and certification. I would describe my teaching style as Vinyasa Flow Yoga focused on fluid movement, slowly and progressively over time liberating the body and the mind, bringing them into a deeper state of health and joy and free movement, no matter your age or ability today!
Lorelei St. James
Lorelei is a certified yoga instructor, focusing on mindful alignment, anatomy, and breath—classical tenants of yoga. Several years ago she sought out yoga to ease lower back pain and found the postures and breathing practices not only helped with back pain, but also lowered her stress level and increased her overall well-being. Lorelei brings the joy of yoga to her students by being able to modify yoga poses to meet the levels and abilities of her students. Her classes are balanced with a gentle warmup and whole body stretching, followed by strength and balance building poses, ending with restorative postures. She has studied various types of yoga such as Hatha, Vajra and Kundalini, and has studied Insight Meditation (used by mental health professionals worldwide) and Kundalini meditation techniques--recently completing a 50 hour Yoga Alliance certification on the facets of the mind and mediation. Lorelei uses sound therapy in her yoga classes based on her certifications in Crystal Bowl healing and Gong Therapy healing. In February 2017, Lorelei will complete a second 200-hour teaching certificate and will continue to work towards a 500 hour Yoga Alliance certification to increase her knowledge of anatomy and advanced teaching techniques. Also, in February, she will receive her certification in Restorative Yoga from Judith Laster, and in April, she will advance her knowledge of yoga anatomy by studying with Leslie Kaminoff, a nationally known expert in yoga anatomy. Lorelei enjoys teaching Vinyasa Flow, Restorative Yoga, and a Gentle flow Yoga. She is also certified to teach yoga to older adults, focusing on safety and alignment. Lorelei enjoys boating, swimming, and walking her rescue dog, Blossum, through her Mistletoe Heights neighborhood.
Kat started with a curiosity for yoga that quickly became a fascination! She has been practicing yoga for five years and finally took the plunge into teaching yoga in 2015. Kat has a firm belief that yoga is for “every body”. She completed 200-hour teacher training with CorePower Yoga in 2015 and is registered with the Yoga Alliance. Forever the student of the practice, she is deeply grateful for the wisdom her fellow yogis have shared.
Her students ‘will get clear instructions on how to safely get into each posture and should expect some playfulness and a dose of inspiration! Helping others to live a healthier life by nurturing mind, body and soul with yoga is a lifelong passion for Kat!