Instructors

Instructors

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor and Owner Rey Cardenas

Rey Cardenas

My yoga practice began as a means of relieving stress associated with playing poker professionally online. Long hours of psychological and economic warfare along with a poor diet and negative sense of self led me to seek refuge on my mat. I began to practice yoga on the wii fit, then at gym, then at a local studio. My mat became a sacred space that allowed me to experience the present moment manifesting itself as physical sensation. My love of yoga surpassed my diminishing love for poker. I enrolled in teacher training at my home studio determined to get hired once the program was finished. Coincidentally, on the day of our graduation, online poker became illegal in the United States. I ended up getting hired at the studio and taught there for 2 years.

As things evolved, the opportunity arose to open Practice Yoga in my favorite neighborhood in downtown Austin! PYA is the result of pure grace. I’m grateful to be on this path, doing work that I believe in, and serving my community. The classes that I offer are alignment based and are meant to help people find embodied meaning.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Adriene Mishler

Adriene Mishler

Adriene Mishler is an actress, writer, international yoga teacher and entrepreneur from Austin, Texas. On a mission to get the tools of yoga into schools and homes, Adriene hosts the YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene, an online community of over 5 million subscribers. Yoga With Adriene provides high quality practices on yoga and mindfulness at no cost to inspire people of all ages, shapes and sizes across the globe. YWA was recognized by Google as the most searched workout of 2015, has been recognized by The Wall Street Journal and was awarded a Streamy in Health and Wellness in 2016. Adriene also co-founded the subscription network Find What Feels Good, dubbed the first “Netflix For Yoga” providing creative Yoga and Yoga Lifestyle content across all devices. Adriene combines studies of traditional yoga with developmental movement, storytelling and mindfulness. Her approach to regular self care embodies a playfulness, wisdom and humor that encourages all personalities to the mat. With a professional theatre background Adriene works in television, voiceover, film and dance and is a regular contributor for magazines and blogs. She has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in Health and Fitness two years in a row and travels to host classes and workshops in yoga, meditation and self care all across the globe.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Laura Joy DeBolt

Laura Joy DeBolt

I fell in love with practicing Yoga when I moved to Austin in 2007 and began teaching after I completed my first 200 hour teacher training in 2010. I went through another 200 hour training in 2013; it was a beautiful revisitation of the foundations of Yoga. I then completed Practice Yoga Austin’s 300 Hour Advanced Teacher Training in 2016, which precipitated an incredible transformation in my teaching. I have enjoyed being a student in PYA’s robust Continuing Education Program since then.

I began teaching Yoga Teacher Trainings in 2018. Over the years of offering these 200 hour trainings, my curriculum and lectures have continuously been informed by the practical, real life experience of being in the classroom, and I eagerly look forward to each meeting with my students.

I have over 5,000 hours of teaching experience and a passion for Yoga that just won’t quit. My Yoga classes are challenging in a lighthearted way, with an emphasis on grounding and careful alignment. I try to design every class I teach to be a “full-body, feel-good” class.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Nikita Ahuja

Nikita Ahuja

Hi! I’m Nikita, and I’m a Yoga Teacher & Artist. Having grown up in a traditional Indian household, yoga was introduced to me in the form of Sanskrit mantra, philosophy, pranayama, and food years before I learned the practice of asana. My parents shared practices of repeating different mantras and eating (or fasting from) specific foods to reach a state of balance, depending on the situation or imbalance I was experiencing. There were specific practices denoted for sleep, anxiousness, lethargy, loss, celebration, etc.

I learned about asana in 2010, and I adopted it as a supplement to the physical activities I took part in – namely figure skating, running, and rock climbing. In 2018, I took my first 200-hr training with PYA and finally understood the bond between the different aspects of yoga practice – asana, pranayama, mantra, philosophy, yogic diet — and experienced how each of these plays a deeply spiritual role in the holistic practice.

I began teaching in 2019, alongside beginning a traditional ‘Mysore Style’ Ashtanga Yoga practice. Taking to the sublime practice of Ashtanga Yoga & Yoga Cikitsa (Therapeutic Yoga), in August 2019, I traveled to Mysore, India to study & practice Ashtanga Yoga and Sanskrit at the Sharath Yoga Centre.

My classes integrate knowledge from the variety of yogic lineages and healing practices I’ve had the privilege to learn from, as well as principles outlined in the ancient texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads. Similar to how I was taught by my parents, I love sharing pragmatic and grounding practices that can be practiced anywhere you go. I work to ensure my classes provide an open environment so students of all experiences and backgrounds feel welcome and leave with a stronger sense of self-awareness and a state of calm they can share with others.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Cali Assaf

Cali Assaf

Cali Assaf is a born and raised Austintie, and received her 200-YTT in 2018 right here with Practice Yoga’s very best. She is constantly inspired by the therapeutic effects of movement, breath, connection, stillness, and music. While rooted in a vinyasa-style approach, she is known for creating moments of playfulness and always encourages personalized movement. Her classes are powerful, goofy, relaxing, and authentic.

Apart from her yoga practice, Cali is an Anti-Diet Registered Dietitian working at the intersection of sustainable urban farming, food justice, weight inclusivity, and equitable education. Her work revolves around the power of connection and collective healing. Ideally, over genuinely delicious food.

Teaching and practicing yoga is a consistent joy for Cali. As her past teacher, Kiely Wolters, once said, “Yoga isn’t something you always want, but it’s something you always need.”

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Sarah Beames

Sarah Beames

Sarah Beames is a certified yoga teacher and musician. She draws inspiration from life’s simple joys, often finding herself tuning into nature, sounds, friendships, and books. Since completing her training with PYA she has taught in various community settings such as The Austin School of Film and Yoga Peace School where she developed yoga programs for both kids and adults. Her teaching style, which draws influences from Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, uses asana & pranayama as tools to surface energy deep in our body and as means to ground deep into our nervous system. Yoga has helped Sarah maintain a healthy relationship to the present moment; she believes wholeheartedly in the universality of yoga and its applications beyond fitness or agility. Her work aims to reject mainstream conceptions of yoga and promotes the idea “You can be you AND You can do yoga.”

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Marnie Castor

Marnie Castor

I first came to the practice of yoga in 1995 in Los Angeles, California. In 2005, I completed my first 200 hour Teacher Training with Jenny Aurthur at YogaWorks in New York City. For nearly four years, I managed the YogaWorks Main Street Studio in Santa Monica, California where I had the privilege of practicing with the some of the finest senior teachers in the country. In 2009, I studied another 200 Teacher Training with James Brown at Yoga Poser and in 2010, I apprenticed with Chad Hamrin in the YogaWorks 300 hour Teacher Training. After having sustained a back injury, I found my way to Therapeutic Yoga and later apprenticed with Jasmine Lieb. In 2011, I completed the Level One Certification in Urban Zen.

My teaching style is an alignment-based, slow-flow with an emphasis on mindfulness and breath. I currently teach the inmate population at Dell Valle Correctional Facility.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Hannah Charles

Hannah Charles

Hannah’s yoga practice started out as a form of exercise and stress relief that slowly evolved into a lifestyle as she began to recognize the benefits that yoga offers on and off the mat. Yoga has helped Hannah to become more present, enjoy the little things, and see the beauty in everything. It has also helped her to feel empowered and confident by listening to and trusting her body, knowing that everyone’s body is different. After several years of practicing yoga and acknowledging a shift in her perspective as well as her overall well-being, she felt called to become a teacher to share these feelings with others in the community. Hannah completed her 200 hour teacher training with Practice Yoga Austin in 2021 and is certified through Yoga Alliance.

She has found that slowing down on your mat can translate to slowing down in life which everyone can benefit from. Her teaching style is a slow, intentional flow with an emphasis on breath work. She leads her classes at a steady pace that allows you to fully connect breath with movement so you can feel the benefits of each pose by being present in your body.

Hannah believes that movement is medicine and yoga is for everyone. She is passionate about holding space for people from all walks of life to come to their mats to connect with and learn about themselves and others. She strives to create an uplifting environment where all feel welcomed and supported, making each class accessible to all levels by offering modifications and using clear instructional cues. Her goal as a teacher is to inspire others to be present, cultivate kindness, and live authentically by practicing self love.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Ryan DeMarco

Ryan DeMarco

Yoga has been a practice that has helped me better understand how to heal myself physically and emotionally.

After a lifetime of competitive sports that led to several surgeries in my 20’s, I was searching for something to balance my active lifestyle. I turned to yoga out of curiosity and was hooked after one class! What caught me by surprise was when I noticed the weekly class I was taking not only provided me new strength and mobility but also supported my journey in treating the depression that had consumed most of my 20’s. Through yoga I not only found a way to care for my body but also a new depth to my mindfulness meditation practice and connection with myself.

I stepped into the space of teaching when I realized that I can help bring the offerings of yoga and meditation to my local community. After completing my 200 hour training with Practice Yoga Austin under the Alignment lineage, I began to offer private lessons to my friends and family before expanding into local studios.

As a teacher, I aim to offer a space where people can connect with their body and breath to help find new levels of support and growth along their personal journey.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Iva Drtina-Hall

Iva Drtina-Hall

Iva Drtina-Hall E-RYT500, From an early age, she explored all facets of body awareness, from ballet to jazz dance, African dance, gymnastics and yoga.Her interest in health, nutrition and alternative medicine began when she studied Physiology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, It was also at this time that she was introduced to Yoga by her mother in 1985.

Iva’s extensive travels throughout Asia, North America, Europe and Australia had broadened her view of different cultures, philosophies and traditions. She spent many years living and working in Japan, teaching cross cultural awareness, running a café-lounge with her husband in Tokyo and teaching yoga. Her experiences and her studies opened the doors to many new healing modalities such as fasting, cleansing and vipassana meditation, which she incorporates into her yoga and meditation classes, workshops and retreats in India, Japan and the US.

Iva completed her Yoga Arts Teacher Training in 2002 in Byron Bay, Australia and is certified under Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching in San Francisco, Japan and Austin focusing primarily on Vinyasa Flow and Yin Yoga. She continues her own education, participating in Yoga workshops from Seane Corn, Shiva Rae, Donna Farhi, Gary Kraftsow. Her interests recently reside in the complement of a Vinyasa Flow practice with a Yin restorative practice to fully balance and restore harmony to oneself. She has studied under great Yin teachers such as Paul Grilley, Sarah Powers and Bernie Clarke. She has developed her own Yin Intensive training, teaching students and yoga teachers how to practice and teach Yin Yoga. Iva hosts retreats and workshops internationally as well as facilitating on teacher training programs in Austin, Hawaii, India, and Japan.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Raina Gradford

Raina Gradford

Raina has always been connected to the idea of liberation through movement. She attended her first yoga class in 2001 and found it was a great compliment to her background as a dancer. Raina sees yoga as an invitation to explore all the aspects of our humanity. She believes that our body is our vehicle on earth, and that cultivating a practice of embodiment and connection will help us gain full access to our human experience individually and collectively.

Her perspective on yoga comes from years of practice, sitting in the seat of studentship, and working out her everyday struggles on and off her mat. Practicing yoga gave her a sense of joy, empowerment, and helped increase her strength and resilience in challenging situations. When Raina made the connection between doing yoga and accessing her true power source, she knew that this would become a lifelong practice. She felt a calling to share these profoundly transformative tools with others. Raina has a passion for Social Justice and through becoming a yoga teacher, she sought to create healing spaces that are inclusive, equitable, and supportive of all people. She also noticed a lack of diversity in the yoga teacher community and wanted to become certified so that she could make yoga more accessible to marginalized populations that are left out and forgotten.

In 2016 and 2018 Raina completed a 200- and 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training with Practice Yoga Austin. She is certified with The Trauma Conscious Method and continues to be a curious student. In all her classes, Raina aims to connect in a deep and meaningful way. She strives to make yoga accessible to everyone by providing a loving and open space that invites people to arrive just as they are. She adapts all her classes accordingly to support students of all levels. She believes that yoga is for EVERY body, regardless of age, body type, background, and ability. “If you can breathe, you can do yoga,” Raina encouragingly says to her students.

Raina’s vision is to cultivate a diverse community that embraces, encompasses, and uplifts all people, and supports and strengthens the well-being of our world through the practice of yoga.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Courtney Hans

Courtney Hans

Courtney has been teaching yoga since 2013. She earned her 200-hour yoga teaching certificate in 2013 and is currently enrolled in Practice Yoga Austin’s 300-hour advanced yoga teacher training. She is recognized by Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 200 and YACEP.

Her first yoga experience was in 2001 in New Orleans after having finished college where she studied Sanskrit and Hinduism among other subjects. She took very little notice of yoga for the next 10 years but then was hooked. “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

Courtney’s teaching style is alignment-focused and she loves teaching people who are looking to explore movement and learn more about themselves through yoga. As a self-proclaimed athlete (running and hiking – Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker Class of 2015), Courtney encourages safety and observation to create a sustainable practice.

Courtney has taught various styles of yoga and workshops in Washington, DC; Richmond, VA; along the Appalachian Trail; and Austin, TX.

Geannie Friedman

Geannie Friedman

Geannie is RYT 200 hour certified from Practice Yoga and received this certification in 2015. She is passionate about social justice, and has Social Work experience and an MSW. While in the field as a Social Worker for Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse, she became a Wellness Specialist at a nonprofit in Austin, and taught yoga to individuals, couples, and group classes in people’s homes and in recovery centers. She currently has been teaching at studios for 3 years. In her own practice, she found the benefits of yoga very transformative both mentally and physically, lowering stress and anxiety, improving mood and energy, and decreasing back and neck pain. Yoga helps to restore and replenish the nervous system, and she uses yoga as a tool to help others in the community. She is very passionate about teaching yoga, making it welcoming and accessible for everyone, fun, and a practice for growth and restoration.

Jacob Groomer

Jacob Groomer

Late in 2010 I decided to leave my home in the swamp lands of Southeast Louisiana and make my way to the beautiful hill country of Austin Texas. At that time I was desperately seeking refuge from drug and alcohol addiction and I found it. Six months into my recovery I was invited to my first yoga class and I have been practicing and living yoga ever since.

Since beginning yoga I have accumulated over 700 hours of certified yoga teacher training and I am 500 RYT certified and TIYT certified (Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher). All of my advanced yoga teacher training has been directly under the wisdom and guidance these great teachers- Shanti Kelley, Shawn Kent, Jenn Wooten, Gioconda Parker, and Genevieve Yellin. I currently teach yoga and the principles of recovery full-time to special populations in mental health hospitals and drug treatment centers. My studio classes traditionally are alignment-based vinyasa flow with a strong emphasis on breath and alignment. Generally though, I like to keep it simple and aim for my classes to be challenging, insightful and fun.

I consider myself to be a diligent and dedicated student of yoga while still only a beginner in a lifelong practice. Yoga has been a powerful way of healing in my life and I am passionate about sharing what I have learned with others.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Stacie Hawkins

Stacie Hawkins

I didn’t find yoga, yoga found me. I was having trouble coping with a traumatic life changing experience when I stumbled upon my first class. Before I discovered yoga, I was a personal trainer for several years. I was a competitive swimmer, and pretty much did every form of physical activity excluding yoga. One day, I was coaxed into a yoga class by a friend. The class challenged me physically and woke me up emotionally and ever since that first practice, I became a student for life.

I am a 500-hour E-RYT Certified Yoga Instructor and am also a certified personal trainer through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and have been teaching yoga in Austin since 2007. I continue to grow in my teachings through experience with my personal practice, studies with my teachers and my students. My teachings have a lineage in Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Anusara, and Iyengar and are heavily influenced by my knowledge of anatomy and sequencing as taught by my long time teacher, Shanti Kelley. I also incorporate the universal principles of alignment as taught by my teachers, KK Ledford, Jason Lobo, and Noah Mazé.

I believe that our yoga practice is a mirror to our everyday lives and can help us change our perspective if we learn to surrender and trust the process. I believe that yoga is for everyone and in my classes I emphasize the importance of self-awareness, alignment, and personal growth. My teachings are lighthearted, playful, and educational with creative sequences that are ever evolving and changing, just as we are. I look forward to growing and learning with my students both on and off the mat.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Shanti Kelley

Shanti Kelley

Shanti began the study of Yoga in 1996 with her first teacher, Vince McCallaugh. With him, she studied the principles of asana, pranayama, yoga nidra, dharma and a gentle and light-hearted approach to practice. In 2000, she was granted her 1st Teacher Certification in the Lineage of Indra Devi and Elemental Yoga. After 7 years with her teacher she went on to study Astanga with Tim Miller, Iyengar with Lisa Walford and Bhakti with Dharma Mitra until finally landing with her current teacher Annie Carpenter in the system of Smartflow, an alignment-based style of vinyasa that she believes transformed not only her practice but her life. Her classes are rhythmic, progressive and steady; always calling to the student to look deep, dive deep and steadily rise. Shanti is a senior-level 500 hr certified teacher within Annie Carpenters Smartflow system and holds 2 different ERYT-500 certifications. She completed a Masters program in Spiritual Psychology in 2003 and is an accredited Yoga Therapist with the IAYT. Shanti is a Level 2 iRest Practitioner, for which she wrote her dissertation on the application of iRest within a Yoga Therapeutic setting; and is currently completing her Integrative Restoration certification with Richard Miller. Shanti has taken her love for alignment, anatomy, metaphor and philosophy and is Facility Instructor for several Teacher Trainings through the country, specializing in anatomy and kinesiology for Yoga Teachers. Her own anatomy manual, the Body as Metaphor, will be published in early 2018. Shanti is a life long student and practitioner of yoga and believes that yoga is for everyone for as long as they want it. She is honored to be a teacher of teachers and a guide to anyone on the courageous journey of life experience. She is quickly becoming an expert in her field and leads retreats, training and anatomy components for many teacher trainings both locally and nationally. She feels blessed to share her wisdom with all those in this developing global community of yoga!

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Shawn Kent

Shawn Kent

Shawn Kent is a licensed practicing counselor, a licensed massage therapist, and a certified Yoga instructor. Shawn specializes in Mindfulness Based Yoga Therapy and teaches yoga as a practical wellness discipline. He has run Mindfulness Based Yoga Therapy groups for adolescents in juvenile detention, for incarcerated adults, and currently for under-served youth in the public school system. He also runs Mindfulness Based a Relapse Prevention groups for youth in recovery. He sees yoga as a healing discipline that has the potential counteract many of the difficulties of modern life, and encourages students to truly practice mentally, physically, and emotionally both on and off of the mat.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Allison Bee Levy

Allison Bee Levy

Alli Bee has been on a mission in this lifetime to figure out how to find her light and let it shine! Now it has become her mission and purpose to help others to find their light as well! She has found in order to do this, one must follow their heart. Alli Bee has followed her heart and been inspired by the impact this practice can bring into one’s life. Yoga is not only about the physical body, but it delves deeper on a much higher frequency. This practice has helped her understand how to cultivate this energetic field of peace while embodying this light and being able to share it with the world. Alli Bee started her practice over ten years ago as an outlet for her frustration, sadness and anxiety. Yoga became a way for her to really get to know and be able to speak with her heart. The world can be a crazy place, but when she got on the mat, it became her safe space. A place where she can devote her heart to move with purpose, to listen to her body, and to find a way to release that toxic energy that no longer served her. Everytime she would arrive to class, she would set an intention to create the reality she wanted to live in. Manifesting your reality is something Alli Bee holds dear to her heart and she provides the space for her students to attain this just as her teachers did for her. She cultivates a sense of playful peace that lightens a room when she teaches. Her sequences are creative, yet flow with ease and purpose to calm the nervous system and realign one’s Chi. She grew up as a gymnast, so she also weaves in challenging, yet mindful moves that helps one really tap into their own body. With her positive messages and intuitive observations, she adapts to her students needs and creates a safe space to practice, while allowing them to move through the pose by following their hearts.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Anea Michelle

Anea Michelle

In the pursuit of a new challenge and a quest for balance, Anea walked into a yoga studio in 2013 and began her Yoga journey. She visited multiple studios searching for the perfect class, she then took all of her experiences and melded them into her own practice- blending a welcoming atmosphere with the offering of modifications for each individual body and level. As she fell in love with the practice, she also saw a need. Anea went on to complete her 200-HR teacher training, equipping her to lead students in a practice that is both challenging and balanced. Her philosophy is centered on making yoga accessible, approachable, and enjoyable to “Everybody with a body”.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Siara Morrow

Siara Morrow

Siara’s classes are exceptionally breath-based, centering on development of stable attention, an enlivened body, and a sense of ease. Connect your whole being through intentional breathing that enables deep āsana experiences. She weaves in subtle practices of introspection, self appreciation, prāṇāyāma and visualization as you press into well rooted patterns with new ways of expanding your practice. Guided by the belief that inspiration is our gift to each other, she intertwines concepts from Raja yoga, Haṭha yoga, Āyurveda, anatomy, psychology and behavioral health to draw your awareness into the richness of your inner experience.

Siara is a student and teacher mainly of Viniyoga, a lineage that intersects Raja and Haṭha yoga. Viniyoga was carefully engineered by T.K.V. Desikachar, son and student of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. In 2021, Siara is completing her 500 hour studies and beginning Yoga Therapy training at the Yoga Well Institute under the guidance of Chase Bossart, student of Mr. Desikachar, and Amanda Green, student of Chase. In 2018, she received her 200 hour certification under Mary Richardson and Kristen Folkens at Yoga Yoga. Siara also draws from her psychology and behavioral health studies at Drexel University.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Tyler McCoy

Tyler McCoy

A Midwest boy at heart, Tyler always felt the call of adventure, first living for a time in Japan, then traveling to India and beyond to study yoga, before heading back to America to share what he had learned. Drawing from a diverse reservoir of master teachers, ranging from Andre Lappa to Daren Rhodes to Sadie Nardini and Leslie Kaminoff, he has developed a decisively strong yet gentle overall focus that will help you to break through to your greatest levels of strength, freedom and peace. A rising star in the yoga world, Tyler is renowned for his cutting-edge anatomy, creative sequencing, and real-world philosophy and expertise. When not traveling the world teaching at major conferences, retreats, and studios solo as well as in tandem with master Rockin Yogini, Sadie Nardini, he is based in beautiful Austin TX.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Brandi Jo Perkins

Brandi Jo Perkins

Brandi Perkins was born and raised in the Austin Area. She began practicing yoga in 2003 and completed her first yoga teacher training in 2013. Over the years she has continued her studies in yoga and developed her practice as a Western Herbalist as well. She teaches alignment based classes that hone in on conditioning the body and mind. The classes will be centered in nourishing stability and mobility, developing strength while finding release, and building subtle body awareness. She also teaches Seasonal Yin Classes that blend meridian theory and herbal nutrition to balance with the natural changes of the year.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Sam Pullen

Sam Pullen

Sam Pullen hails from Louisiana. A yoga teacher, cook, and traveler, she is passionate about sharing asana practice with all walks of life, solo travel, self empowerment, and time spent outdoors. Sam earned her 200 RYT and 300 RYT from Practice Yoga Austin under Kiely Rutledge, Rey Cardenas, Gioconda Parker, G’nell Price, Shanti Kelly, Stacie Hawkins, Shawn Kent, Ive Drtine-Hall, and Jenn Wooten’s tutelage. Through out her training and teaching career so far, it has been her focus to guide practitioners in a way that is both a challenge and release towards peace and clarity of mind and body.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor G'nell Price

G’nell Price

G’Nell Price has been practicing yoga since 1998. Having over 1000 hours of teacher training provides her with a wide knowledge base for different styles and methods of Hatha Yoga. She is a former Anusara-Inspired yoga teacher. Additionally she has completed Baron Baptiste method of Power Vinyasa flow teacher training and assisted Baron on many occasions. She is influenced and inspired by her long time teacher Christina Sell.

G’Nell was given the yoga name, Karuna, “she who is full of compassion”, which appropriately describes her dedicated teaching. Her classes are lighthearted and challenging: you will feel supported, experience blissful alignment, leaving with inspiration in your heart and a smile on your face.

She works full time as a Behavior Specialist for children with multiple disabilities at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. G’Nell has witnessed amazing results for the differently-abled children practicing yoga. The radiant children at TSBVI are her inspiration and continually teach her about her own path.

G’Nell lives on the East side with her husband and Border Collie, Pippi. Come to her class to learn, laugh, sweat and shine!

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Tyler Price

Tyler Price

I remember taking my first yoga class while studying at Texas State University— I was intimidated and completely lost! However, I quickly noticed the effects yoga had on my mental health. I became a student for life. I found Practice Yoga Austin in 2015 and it became my home once I moved to Austin.

Eventually, I received my 200 HR Certification in 2020 under the direction of Laura Joy and Marnie Castor. I love teaching students how to practice in an accessible, sustainable way. A teacher once said, “We don’t come here to be good at yoga.” This is how I structure my classes. It is important to me that all students feel welcome, especially if they are new to yoga.

Off the mat, you can find me biking around Lady Bird Lake, jamming to 80s music, or buying too many houseplants.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Emily Smith

Emily Smith


Emily Smith, M.Ed., CRC, CCM, C-IAYT, E-RYT has been practicing yoga since 1998, and teaching since 2003. As a former studio owner, she is experienced in teaching foundational yoga to advanced yoga practices. Her classes blend somatic experiencing, breath as shape change, intelligent flow sequencing and non-dualistic Tantrika yoga philosophy. She believes yoga guides us to live more courageously and vibrantly. Emily began working as a yoga therapist in 2006 after completing yoga therapy training. She has also been under the tutelage of Doug Keller since 2006 studying the Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga. Currently, she has undergone more than 4000 hours of training in yoga therapy, meditation, and pranayama with such teachers as Rod Stryker, Donna Farhi, Tias Little and Leslie Kaminoff. She maintains a personal practice under the guidance of Mahadevi Sandra Summerfield Kozak. Emily is certified by Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, a certified Y12SR yoga for addiction instructor under Nikki Myers, certified Love Your Brain instructor and has completed iRest levels I & II with Richard Miller. Emily draws upon her real world experience in working as a rehab counselor and yoga therapist in her teachings to make group classes a healing personalized experience.

Emily possesses an M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling, and has 20 plus years of experience as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor & Certified Case Manager. She works as a Director of a Yoga Therapy Training Program in Austin and serves on the Accreditation Committee for IAYT. In addition, she isCertified in Coaching Healthy Behaviors through The Cooper Institute, as a Main Street Vegan Lifestyle Coach, in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University and is a Certified Wellness Program Specialist through the Chapman Institute.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Andrea Taylor

Andrea Taylor


I was born and raised in Austin, TX and was lucky enough to spend my high school years out in Cuernavaca on Lake Austin! I took my first yoga class 11 years ago, and by the end of that class, I had experienced such an immense feeling of pure joy, bliss, and a sort of calm, peacefulness that I had not experienced from any other sport or physical activity I had previously done! I was hooked! I knew I wanted yoga to be a regular part of my life, and I continued to practice for 10 years before earning my 200-hr certification here in Austin!

I am a deep tissue massage therapist, and have practiced massage therapy for 5 years. I am extremely passionate about the human body, and the anatomy and physiology, and the energetics behind it all! Practicing therapeutic massage has given me a deeper insight and understanding into the body, and I like to use this knowledge and focus on alignment and awareness in my classes.

In addition to yoga, I have studied Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong; and the common thread amongst all of these traditions that stood out the most to me was the breath. The breath links our mind, body and spirit, and has an enormous effect on our mental, physical and emotional bodies. We can use the breath to create different states in the body, as well as direct our energy in different ways.

Come breathe, stretch, flow and grow with me! See you on the mat!

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Tova Weinberg

Tova Weinberg

Tova is a life-long yoga practitioner, and has been teaching yoga in Austin, TX since 2014. She has studied under Gioconda Parker and Christina Sell and is a registered E-RYT500 with Yoga Alliance.

Tova specializes in alignment-based vinyasa flow. She embodies her own unique playful style and makes class accessible for all levels of practitioners through her clear instructional cues. Her classes are fun and cultivate both strength & flexibility – and always sequenced to an awesome playlist.

Tova has been in the corporate world for over 15 years, and understands the constant tug of war of juggling a full time career and making time for yourself. Through her teachings, Tova’s intent is to nurture the balance that we all crave. Connect with Tova on Instagram @yogitova.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Jenn Wooten

Jenn Wooten

Jenn’s yoga roots are planted in both the Ashtanga and Iyengar yoga lineages. She draws from these foundations and other yoga styles; Anusara and Yin Yoga to create a Vinyasa yoga style that cultivates strength, grace, fun and freedom of expression.

Jenn loves teaching students how to practice in a way that is accessible and effective. She encourages students to focus on the process of self-understanding over the poses and highlights the importance of discovering one’s inner teacher.

Jenn has an academic background in anatomy and physiology and combines this knowledge with an intuitive approach to healing. She has been teaching for 10 years and practicing for 18. She has taught classes in Thailand, Venezuela, Mexico, Costa Rica and the U.S. Her yoga practice and her family are the glue that hold her life together and she is deeply grateful for both.

Jenn has been teaching yoga for eleven years going. Her gift as a teacher is her ability to connect somatically and emotionally with her students to connect with the wisdom of their own bodies. She loves teaching students how to practice yoga in a way that is accessible and effective to strengthen the body, ground the nervous system and open hearts and minds. Her teaching style is loving, grounded, challenging and as irreverent as it is spiritual. She teaches teacher trainings, retreats and workshops both locally and internationally. She continues to discover herself and the world around by rooting deeply into family and teaching while uncovering the mystery and magic that come from showing up to life as it is.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Jess Zarowitz

Jess Zarowitz

Jess was first drawn to yoga as a way to soothe anxious energy and replace unhealthy coping skills that were no longer serving their purpose. Over the years, her practice has radically transformed into one that invites in more stillness and presence, a lens through which to observe the mind, regulate the nervous system and understand what it means to be embodied. Jess believes yoga is for every body and is passionate about making it accessible to all. In her classes, she aims and encourages us all to keep it real, do our best, be good to ourselves and others. She teaches regularly at the Lockhart Women’s Prison and her company IT IS: All Goods dedicates profits towards free yoga for underserved groups. You can find out more about her work at itisawebsite.com. Jess’ love of travel has provided her with a worldly perspective, open mind and free spirit. She’s a mountain mama at heart who loves to sink her bare feet into the earth and discover new things with her Catahoula Leopard Hound.