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 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 Jess Cook

Jess Cook

Jess has been practicing and teaching for over a decade, and her love for yoga has only grown over the years. After finding yoga, it quickly became the discipline she needed! She soon became a regular at her local hot yoga studio, even signing up for their 200 hour yoga certification. After teaching all levels; from elementary school kids, to country club goers, to experienced yogis with regular practices, she decided to continue her education and completed a 500 hour advanced vinyasa certification. Jess combines knowledge from these certifications with things she has learned through her own practice to create a fun, dynamic flow that with be a challenging and memorable experience. She strives to help her students explore their internal worlds, and learn something new about themselves by discovering what they are truly capable of.

Practice Yoga Austin Instructor Janice Cotto

Janice Cotto

Born and raised here in the heart of Austin, Texas, Janice took her first yoga class was at age 22 and she was hooked! Intrigued by the challenge and inspired by the grace of her teacher, she returned the next week eager and excited to learn more.

As a child, Janice was always full of energy (some things don’t change) and would follow along to her mother’s jazzercize videos. She even recalls making shapes like crow pose and shoulder stand with no knowledge of the pose itself; so it didn’t come as a shock when a regular yoga practice began to feel familiar, almost like relearning something she already innately knew.

She admired and looked up to her teachers, seeing them as as givers of light and mindful holders of space. It wasn’t long before she could feel a calling inside of her to pursue teaching. In 2013 she completed her first teacher training in Austin with Senior teachers Leah Cullis, Erika Henderson, and Iva Drtina-Hall.

From years of working in the service industry, she struggled with chronic low back pain which made movement painful and very difficult at times. Devoted to sharing alignment techniques with her students, she helps each person adjust and seek modifications that aid in the progress of their own physical and spiritual practice, while offering challenges to find their edge.

Janice’s favorite part of teacher training was learning hands-on adjustments which later led her to pursuing a license in massage therapy. Janice is a licensed massage therapist and certified in TTM (Traditional Thai Massage). She is humbled to be teaching alongside the inspirational teachers she has looked up to since she began as a student. Her goal as a teacher is to inspire other to live authentically and mindfully while also exploring consciousness both on and off the mat.

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 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.

Carrie Felton

Carrie Felton

Carrie is passionate about empowering individuals to connect to their authentic self and live genuinely. Through the practices of yoga: asana, meditation, and mantra, students gain access to the depths of their own truth. She encourages students to explore, to connect to, and to integrate the full experience of yoga. Her classes weave movement and alignment with inquisitive exploration. Yoga came alive for her in 2007 when she began practicing asana with Mandy Eubanks. Inspired, she found a fullness and depth that would be her foundation as she dove into studying yogic philosophy. Carrie continues to explore the depths of asana with Christina Sell, Gioconda Parker and studies meditation and mantra with Sally Kempton and Manorama. Her search for internal harmony keeps Carrie in the constant contemplation: How do I engage in this world, liberated in my voice, and compassionate with others? She’s a personal practice mentor for yoga teachers helping them establish their personal practice, teach authentically, and live in harmony. You can find out more about her work at www.carriefeltonyoga.com

Leigh Fisher

Leigh Fisher

I started practicing yoga in 1998. This was way before yoga was cool, there weren’t special $108 pants or anything and I had to order my mat and my first yoga VHS tape out of a hippie catalog over the phone #truestory. After years of telling everyone who would sit still long enough how amazing yoga is (have you tried it? you gotta try it! it’s SO GREAT!), I decided to pursue teacher training and have accumulated over 1200 hours of advanced studies most recently with my primary teachers Gioconda Parker and Christina Sell.

As a teacher, I strive to empower people of all shapes and sizes to love themselves just as they are by creating a joyful and safe atmosphere, offering options for all levels, and a supportive environment to all students. I love vinyasa flow, a practice that’s light-hearted and challenging, and the steady strength of alignment based yoga, so that’s how I teach. While leading fun, high-energy classes, I strike a balance between flowing movement and strong posture alignment. I teach because I hope to share the peace and balance that I’ve found through my personal practice with as many people as I can. I am also an interdisciplinary theatre artist, Krav Maga practitioner, vocalist, and proud mama to an amazing little lady and at least two cats.

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 Gigi Mao

Gigi Mao

Gigi has practiced and taught yoga for more than 10 years as an extension of her belief that persistent dedication to the practice of yoga enhances everyone’s experience of life. Passionate about living and sharing the wisdom of yoga, Gigi focuses her classes on building inner and outer strength and flexibility through introspection and mindfulness, bringing each student into closer connection with the Truth and Light within themselves.  Although she hails from Shanghai, China, Gigi considers Austin, Texas her true home. When she isn’t downward dogging, you can find her running the Lady Bird Lake trail, belting out 90s Hong Kong pop songs at karaoke, or planning her next international adventure.

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 Jessy Napier

Jessy Napier

Jessy Napier came to love yoga through years of personal practice and as a remedy not only to physical pain from a spinal injury but as a salve to ease emotional/personal suffering. Jessy was drawn to become a teacher reluctantly but realized that her passion for guiding people towards their innate wholeness and her desire to help people learn to alchemize their pain into purpose was stronger than her desire to stay safe and comfortable. Jessy’s experience working with deeply wounded or neglected populations as a Social worker/Recreation Therapist inspired her exploration of trauma and suffering as a path to peace and compassion. She considers it her life mission to help people turn their pain into purpose and brokenness into beauty.

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 Kiely Wolters

Kiely Wolters


Kiely Wolters has been studying and practicing yoga for over 10 years. She teaches from the heart of her passion, and is registered at the highest level with the Yoga Alliance, E-RYT500.

Known for her passionate and joyful approach to yoga, Kiely is first and foremost a devoted student. She draws inspiration from many master teachers of the Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Anusara methods, and her teaching style unites all of these methods to provide a relatable and useful practice for her students. Kiely deeply believes that the ancient teachings of yoga are just as useful to the modern household yogi as a way to connect to our heart of hearts and find liberation through yoga. “I find it very comforting that the ancient sages were dealing with the same questions about life that I am. They fumbled towards enlightenment through their experience just like I do — We connect to our deepest heart in this practice and experience and try again. All of it is useful.”

Kiely sees yoga on a continuum and delights in continued learning and exploration as a way to infuse yoga into every aspect of her life. She found her way to her current teacher Christina Sell, and ultimately to alignment yoga, through her advanced 300 hour training, and has over 1000 hours of training through the Live The Light of Yoga programs created by Christina Sell.

She is a teacher’s teacher and participates in teacher trainings both as lead teacher for the PYA 200 hour teacher training along side owner Rey Cardenas, the PYA 300 Hour advanced Teacher Training and as a sought-after guest teacher.She is the Continuing Education Program Director at Practice and is passionate about offering opportunities for the Austin yoga community to come together and study at Practice. Kiely regularly offers intensives and mentorships as a way to deepen her students’ understanding of how to incorporate the teachings into everyday life. Her greatest joy is to help people step onto the path and come alive with the practice of yoga.

A devoted member of the recovery community, Kiely credits its traditions, teachings and community as the spiritual influence and heart of service to others that pervades her life. She resides in South Austin with her greatest teachers: her husband Ollie, son Sam, daughters Maggie and Kate and sweet dog Maizie.

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.