Teachers – Past and Present
Robin combines a focus on physical alignment with an invitation for lighthearted introspection and self-discovery. Her creative sequences, ability to teach different levels and styles, encouraging voice, and fun spirit make for an accessible and rewarding class. She teaches classes in Vinyasa, Hot Core Power, Bikram, Yin-Vinyasa style “Yin-yasa”, slow all levels Vinyasa-Yin, and jazz-infused Easy Sunday Flow.
Her certifications include 200-hour Anusara-inspired Vinyasa yoga under Joe Palese, Yin yoga under Douglas Johnson, Trauma-informed yoga with Centering Youth Organization, and Grounded Kids® trained under Cheryl Crawford and Amy Haysman. She is currently studying for her 500-hour certification in Therapeutic yoga (a style of teaching that combines methods of yoga practices and therapy with meditation, biomedical and pain science, as well as philosophy) under Holle Black, Marlysa Sullivan, and Tra Kirkpatrick with The Center for Integrative Studies.
Long ago, Sarah fell in love with yoga. She was introduced to yoga and Eastern philosophy as a child by her father, and began developing her practice as a teenager. She began teaching in 2000, earned certification in Anusara yoga in 2003, and taught at Anusara’s first Yoga Journal Conference. Yoga philosophy is a great passion of Sarah’s, and she continues to study actively with Douglas Brooks. Her teaching is infused with yoga wisdom that applies to modern life. Her classes are fun and engaging, flowing and instructive. Through a balance of flow and alignment cues, she hopes to empower each student. Sarah teaches yoga workshops, teacher trainings, intensives, and retreats.
Sarah Faircloth teaches at Be Yoga in Charlotte, NC. She owned Sangati Yoga, a creative yoga studio and healing arts center, for eight years. Sarah is an advocate of practicing yoga in all aspects of life, including her roles as wife and mother. Her vision is that all of us who are willing shall be empowered to build our lives on structures of love and truth.
Website: Sarah Faircloth Yoga
Charlie Baxter Graham
Charlie’s high energy and enthusiastic approach to teaching are fundamental elements of all of her classes. A student of Bikram, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga, her teaching style primarily integrates Anusara’s alignment basics, inspiring movement and progression of poses in the safest manner. As a former fitness, dance, and Pilates instructor, stunt woman, and acrobat, she is most comfortable doing anything physical. With a playful spirit, Charlie loves inviting others to try going beyond their perceived limitations. She firmly believes everyone is capable of personal growth and building self esteem when they see what their breath and bodies can do.
Tra was led to yoga in the spring of 1998 when unexpectedly coming upon an open house at a local yoga studio at a time of Divine Discontent – unhappy, unhealthy, and unsettled. Despite a lack of yoga experience and no language to describe that first experience on the mat, Tra was deeply touched by the practice so kept going back. Life has never been the same!
Inspired by the healing powers of Yoga ~ not just the stuff that is done on the mat, but the deeper, magical qualities that help one unfold ~ Tra eventually let go of a 15-year career to pursue further education and training in yoga and healing arts. In 2005 Tra became certified as a Kripalu Yoga Teacher, studying under Yoganand Michael Carroll, and began sharing the practice of healing and wholeness that comes from one’s willingness to go within. Since then, Tra has continued learning and growing both personally and professionally, becoming certified as a Yoga Therapist and learning the art of Thai Yoga with internationally acclaimed teacher Saul David Raye.
In 2014 Tra joined two friends and colleagues to launch The Center for Integrative Yoga Studies. CIYS offers two Yoga Alliance approved training programs, including a 200-hour therapeutic and meditative yoga teacher training, which focuses on the therapeutic and meditative aspects of yoga and a 300-hour advanced yoga therapy program, both of which are hosted at studios on the east coast. Tra teaches in the 200-hour program, as well as the anatomy, hands-on assisting, and yoga for behavior change modules in the advanced training program. Tra developed and
leads the yoga therapy internship program and mentors yoga therapists.
Tra is a Certified Yoga Therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists and an E-RYT500 through the Yoga Alliance. When not traveling to teach programs and international yoga retreats, Tra teaches weekly classes and sees private yoga therapy and Thai bodywork clients in Atlanta and Decatur.
On Veronica’s 21st birthday, her friend took her to a yoga class. Sixteen years later, she is still an avid student and now teacher. Since taking that first class, Veronica was also a museum education coordinator, middle school Art teacher, and taught English as a second language in Europe. She believes that teaching is not something you do, it’s something you are, and has spent years cultivating her craft. Veronica loves watching people fall in love with yoga, and encourages students to attune and focus on their inner wisdom and power.
Veronica completed yoga teacher training in fall 2009. This led her to become an AFAA Personal Trainer to enrich her knowledge of injury prevention, creation of symmetry in flexibility and strength, and reduction of chronic pain. Veronica loves working with children and moms, and this inspired her to complete Karma Kids Yoga Teacher Training, Get Grounded: Level 1, Yoga Gangsters Outreach & At-risk Certification, Prenatal Yoga for Conscious Birthing Training, and Oh Baby! Fitness Prenatal and Postpartum Certification.
Veronica has participated in workshops and immersions with Seane Corn, Rod Stryker, Heidi Sormaz, Tias Little, Bryan Kest, Kino McGregor, and Tim Feldmann. Her exploration of varying styles informs her views of alignment to work for many different bodies. She has practiced Ashtanga Vinyasa, Iyengar, Power, Forrest, and Viniyoga. Her vinyasa classes will include emphasis on alignment and breath awareness, self-acceptance and fearlessness. Belief in the power of yoga for healing, empowerment, and transformation is at the core of her teaching philosophy, and her hope is that she can provide guidance for her students on their own path to yoga.
Gina’s training in all aspects of hatha yoga and meditation is extensive, beginning in 1999 with her first yoga certification program with Atlanta Yoga Fellowship/Peachtree Yoga Center under the mentorship of Graham Fowler and Elizabeth Nix. Her subsequent training in Anusara yoga, over 1,000 hours, beginning in 2000, greatly advanced her asana practice and knowledge in biomechanics, methodical alignment principles, therapeutics, and Tantric yoga philosophy. In 2006, she became the first certified Anusara Yoga teacher in Georgia, and was a pioneer for the growth of this innovative hatha yoga school in Atlanta and the region. Though she resigned her license with Anusara, Inc. in 2012, she continues to draw deeply from the efficacy and potency of Anusara methodology. Additionally, she began a regular meditation practice in 2000. In 2009, she became a student of renowned scholar and meditation teacher Prof. Paul Muller-Ortega, PhD, founder of Blue Throat Yoga, a school of sadhana in the Shaivite Tantric tradition. She is currently enrolled in his advanced level of study.
With mystical experiences from childhood and with an avid interest in spirituality as an early teenager, she found her home in yoga in her early 20s. Tantric yoga philosophy and practice ultimately resonated most deeply with its life-embracing, life-enhancing, and life-expanding orientation. She delights in the continual discovery of the parallels between the myriad mystical and wisdom traditions, and particularly resonates with the Celtic reverence for the cycles of nature and Jesus’ real-life parallel transformation into the Christ. She also grounds her body and mind in attunement with the consciousness in nature through a growing dedication to Ayurveda, having completed Cate Stillman’s 9-month Living Ayurveda course in 2013. More recently, she is delving into the crossroads between yoga and psychology, both for herself and as a teacher of yoga, under the mentorship of Livia Cohen-Shapiro.
Gina holds a degree in Romance Languages from the University of Georgia, with a minor in philosophy. She is also a Reiki Master and learned Thai Yoga Therapy from Saul David Raye in 2001, arts she no longer practices but whose studies inform her present day offerings. An E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance, she is the director and senior teacher of Yoga Collective in Atlanta, GA, where she leads the BODY of LIGHT Yoga Immersion and Teacher Training along with public classes and private sessions, as well as workshops regionally and nationally. Gina is a two-time Lululemon ambassador, and a leader in the Atlanta yoga community. When not on the yoga mat or in the meditation seat, she enjoys her delightful son, the bliss of nature, nourishing herself with whole foods, and rocking out to 80’s hair metal.
Website: Gina Minyard Yoga
Becky Nickerson, founder of Infinity Yoga, in Atlanta, has developed her yoga practice throughout her travels, in the United States, as well as abroad in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Mexico. Becky’s Infinity Flow class combines breath awareness with movement, deep meditation, and music, which offers an exciting, fun, and yet challenging way to connect your body, mind, and spirit.
Becky completed her 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Certification at the Himalayan Institute with teachers Rolf Sovik PsyD., Sandra Anderson, Shari Friedrichson, and Pandit Rajmani Tigunait PhD. Since Becky finished her first Power Vinyasa Yoga Certification at Green Monkey, Miami Beach with Paul Toliuszis, Becky has taught over a thousand yoga classes. Becky also continually expands her practice as a student of Ashtanga’s preeminent Yoga teachers, including Tim Miller, Tim Feldmann, and Daylene Christensen.
Website: Infinity Yoga
Joe has been a professional Yoga teacher for 18 years, completing his first training at the World Yoga Center in New York City in 1997. He then continued his studies with John Friend in the Spring of 1998 to the present. Along the way Joe has studied with Tias Little, Erich Schiffman, Judith Lasater, and Amy Ippolliti. He has taught numerous trainings and workshops and national and international retreats. As a professional musician and composer, Joe has found a way to merge both disciplines into his approach as a teacher in the classroom and training facilitator.
Astrid is a reformed wild child who has, through the magic of the yoga practice, found inner peace and joy in a real and lasting way. Which is not to say that life is all kittens and rainbows all day every day, or that she never gets down or grouchy or that she never drinks beer. But ever since she has been committed to this practice, she’s found that the hard times are mostly more meaningful and less overwhelming. And the good times are more meaningful, more awe-inspiring, and more sustaining. She’s had the privilege of studying with some amazing humans, like Yoganand Michael Carrol who has helped her tremendously to overcome her b.s. and live her life in a more authentic way, more connected to spirit than she’d ever thought possible. She spent the summer of this year studying with Gina Minyard and Marlysa Sullivan, whose alignment magic helped her to heal old injuries and know how to prevent new ones, both in her own body and in her students. She has a hot rock star boyfriend and two amazing dogs, and when she’s not teaching or practicing yoga, she’s usually hanging out with them, playing frisbee in her backyard or in a national forest. She loves mountains and rivers and trees, and spends as much time as possible galavanting in the wilderness.
Website: Astrid Santana
Gillian St. Clair
Gillian started her asana practice in 1999. She had come from a life of dancing (ballet & contemporary) and didn’t know how much she relied on the physical to take care of her emotional state until the day she quit dance. She had no knowledge of where she was storing all her feelings (her life) until that moment. So when she took her first Ashtanga yoga class she felt completely clear again, it was magic! She felt whole.
For a long time that is where she stayed, heavy in the physical form and she thought that way worked for everyone until she came back from India. She tried to teach what she had learned and was sorely mistaken on how yoga works for everybody. Lesson learned, re-learned, and continuously defined and refined on how she can be of service to others, herself, and her family through the practice of yoga.
She opened Steadfast and True Yoga in Nashville TN in August 2010. She wanted to create a studio and space that holds tightly to values of right action, less distraction to create healthy reactions. She wanted to create an extended family. She succeeded. Steadfast is constantly growing and evolving, but it has been and will continue to be an amazing journey.
Gillian is very passionate about truth and integrity and asks for that in her yoga classes. She asks the yogi to seek the knowledge of breath and asana before the fluidity and vinyasa. Having said that, she teaches very strong alignment-based Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Hatha classes. It’s important to understand that everything in yoga is attainable although its process that needs to explored.
She asks the students to focus on what their true needs are and let go of wants. That way they (we) can stop being so needy and stop wanting what isn’t ours. “Contentment before bliss, peace is in the middle.”
Website: St. Clair Yoga