I started practicing yoga when I was 20, at the time it was something different but little did I know it was exactly what my body needed. At the age of 11 I had a spinal fusion in my L3, 4 and 5. My 4th vertebra had slipped 75% off my 5th. So when I began my practice without any thought of my back it just made sense in my body. As I progressed in life and began experimenting with different sports such as kick boxing, surfing, running, cycling and Krav Maga, the one constant was my yoga practice. It not only supported my other athletic endeavors but also enhanced them.
I enjoyed being a student of yoga for quite some time and it wasn't until 2014 that I decided I was ready to become a teacher. I was ready to share my love and all the benefits I experienced from yoga with others. I have high hopes that I can motivate and guide my students. Being an example to them both on and off the mat to welcome and accept themselves and their practice each and every day.
I came to yoga to seek relief from my rheumatoid arthritis. What began as simply a physical practice quickly evolved into much more as I introduced mediation, yoga nidra, mantra, and Ayurveda into my practice. In 2015 I completed Midtown yoga's 200hr Vinyasa program as well as an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist certification through the Himalayan Institute. I am certified reiki level1, and am currently working towards completing Reema Datta'sYatri: Yoga for Emotional healing training.
I teach a variety of styles including slow flow, gentle yoga, restorative and yoga nidra. I enjoy long holds that allow time to explore the pose and focus on the breath. I play singing bowls, which I incorporate into my classes.
Laurie Jean (LJ)
I moved to Memphis from South Carolina in 2003 to study Philosophy at Rhodes College and fell in love with this beautiful, vibrant city. I completed my 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga certification at Midtown Yoga in 2014 and am primarily interested in the integration of Vedic philosophy into daily practice. I love meeting new yoga friends and building new relationships - so much can be learned from our wonderful students!
After a severe injury from an auto accident left Blake with debilitating back pain, he decided to try an experiment to relieve his discomfort. Every morning for one year he practiced the eight asanas/postures prescribed in Baba Ram Das's book "Be Here Now".
At first, the practice was excruciating but after the year was over, not only was Blake pain free, but he was also more flexible, stronger, energetic, and centered. This is how he came to become a believer in the power of Yoga. Since then, he has studied Hatha Yoga at Shanti Yoga in Kerala, India, and he completed a 900 hour TTC at the world renowned Yoga Institute of Mumbai, India.
Blake's other passion is using the sacred art of Tarot card reading to help himself and others attain self-realization. He has worked as a professional reader in Seattle, Washington and Kona, Hawaii. He now brings his unique styles of teaching Yoga and reading Tarot to his hometown of Memphis.
Alyson first came to yoga in middle school, and more or less as a tag-along, when her marathon-running mother was searching for something that could bring a little relief to her pavement-weary knees. An athlete throughout both middle school and high school, Alyson found similar relief in the balance that yoga brought to her otherwise competitive physical activities.
While in college at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Alyson discovered Power Yoga and felt a pull toward finding a deeper understanding of the practice, both as a student and as a teacher. She credits Philip Clift, her teacher in Knoxville, and his dedication to his students’ development, with bringing her from an occasional yogi to a dedicated practitioner. Alyson appreciates the possibilities available to encourage others’ growth through teaching; she seeks to foster an environment of empowerment, strength, and growth in her classes, and urges students to take the lessons they learn on their mats out into the world with them!