Caitlin began her yoga practice in 2010 while pursuing her masters degree in family therapy. Yoga helped her feel balanced and grounded her for academic focus. In her early 20’s Caitlin suffered from depression and anxiety as she began to navigate the world of academics, employment and independence in the world. She made her way through this transition and built a solid foundation of confidence and self reliance through a steady, consistent yoga practice.
In the spring of 2014 Caitlin received her 200 RYT in Las Vegas, NV and immersed herself in a sweet and supportive yoga community where she found friendship and deepened her practice. She enjoys power flow and yin and loves that everyday on your yoga mat is a completely new experience.
Although Mary dabbled in different styles of yoga for decades, she didn’t really connect with the practice until her mid-thirties. She found power yoga in 2011 and felt like it complemented her weight training quite well. Through yoga, she found strength that she had never before accessed from decades of being a “gym rat”. She also found that developing a daily practice has not only helped quiet the nagging symptoms of old injuries, but calmed the fluctuating mind. As her personal practice grew, she realized that the true gifts of yoga are only revealed over time.
Mary loves to explore movement through many disciplines but her personal practice is rooted in a progressive Ashtanga style called Rocket Yoga. In February of 2016, she traveled to Cincinnati to study the Rocket Yoga system with Amber Espelage, of Yoga Ah Studio. Through teaching, she hopes to share her enthusiasm for the practice and help each yogi tap into his Inner Guru. When she is not practicing her handstands, she can found at the grocery store, buying more food for her hungry teenage sons (and geeking out on yoga anatomy books, podcasts, videos, etc).
Shannon, a former Spanish teacher, was drawn to yoga after the birth of her third daughter. She quickly realized that her practice made her shine brighter in all areas of her life. The mind, body connection had a profound effect on managing daily stress while creating a beautiful awareness of life on and off the mat. Shannon knew she could not live without her practice and was inspired to share the gift of yoga with others. With the encouragement of her family, she immersed herself in teacher training at the Wilmington Yoga Center.
Shannon is currently a certified 220 hour yoga teacher and also teaches children's yoga.
As a teacher her intention is to offer a fun class that will inspire personal empowerment and guide students to grow in their practice. Shannon has so much gratitude for her teachers and students whom she continuously learns from on this lifelong journey.
Ashley first came to yoga seeking gentle, strength-based exercise, having no idea that yoga would change her life. After personally experiencing yoga’s positive effects on depression and anxiety, Ashley knew she wanted to share this practice with others as a yoga instructor.
A graduate of Wilmington Yoga Center’s Yoga Teacher Training program, Ashley’s classes focus on breath, strength, balance, and mindful movement. She also received intensive training in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga from David Emerson, who developed this important modality. Ashley received her master’s degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from UNC Chapel Hill and is combining this degree with her yogic knowledge to make a difference in the community.
Ashley is passionate about making yoga accessible to all people and does this by combining her love for serving and empowering others with the movement of yoga. She believes that the most important facet of yoga is that there is always something to learn, to work on, and to improve - regardless of whether it is your first class or your 100th. When Ashley is not teaching yoga, you can usually find her enjoying the sunshine, cooking, or cuddling with her cat, Geppetto.
Tia Banayote fell in love with yoga six years ago when she was living in Chicago, IL. For Tia, yoga was the perfect counterbalance to living in a fast-paced city and juggling a demanding professional career. Two years later Tia completed her RYT-200 hour certification through CorePower Yoga in Chicago, IL.
When life brought Tia to North Carolina, she wanted to share her passion and love for yoga with others. One of her favorite quotes is "Live each day as if it were your last." Tia believes in enjoying the journey of life to the fullest. She thrives to empower students to embrace the present moment. Tia focuses her class around the physical and mental benefits that yoga can bring on and off of the mat.
Shawna began practicing yoga nearly 20 years ago while living in California, and started teaching while volunteering at the YMCA in Chicago with a group of senior citizens doing chair yoga. She found herself naturally drawn to teaching, and completed her 200-hour Yoga Alliance Certification in addition to becoming a certified Spinning Instructor. Her study and personal practice is more vinyasa, ashtanga, and hatha-based. However, she has experience teaching restorative and beginner's yoga in addition to hatha and vinyasa. Shawna was a regular instructor at Ahimsa Yoga Studio and completed her 200-hour certification at Zen Yoga Garage, both of which are regularly ranked among the 10 best yoga studios in Chicago. Additionally, Shawna has been a yoga and spinning instructor at LA Fitness, Fitness Formula Clubs, and the YMCA. She has a passion for helping others achieve their goals, knowing it helps her grow as well. Shawna is new to the Triangle, having recently relocated with her husband and two boys, and is excited to become a part of the local yoga community. She looks forward to helping individuals of all different fitness levels and sharing her unique perspective and uplifting spirit with others.
Sarah started her yoga journey in a basic college class in 2003. She fell in love with yoga when she realized days and weeks with a solid yoga practice in her life where better than times without yoga.
Sarah completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training in the fall of 2016. She loves connecting with students & sharing her passion of asanas, strength and music with others.
Sarah graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2007 and works full time as a nurse locally in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Sarah also has a small photography business as a traveling newborn photographer.
Sarah loves eating healthy, traveling, cooking, doing anything active or outdoors and spending time with her husband & dog!
One of Jennifer’s favorite aspects of yoga is the way in which it meets you where you are – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Jennifer first began yoga in 2005 to help cope with stress and anxiety; however, her reactive approach grew into a lifelong passion as Jennifer experienced the self-discovery, transformation, acceptance, and healing that can be found through the many facets of yoga.
In 2013, Jennifer completed her yoga teacher training at Blue Lotus. Since this time, she’s undergone specialized training in Yin Yoga, empowering self-acceptance, from Heather Tiddens. She’s also trained with David Emerson, who developed Trauma-Sensitive Yoga with guidance from Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a physician and leading expert in treating trauma. In addition to teaching, Jennifer sees herself as a lifelong student of yoga, continuing to study under the guidance and support of her teacher, Jill Sockman.
During class, Jennifer creates a space of safety and trust through various yoga shapes to enhance students’ awareness of the physical body. Through these shapes, Jennifer will invite students to experience freedom and choice through movement.
Understanding yoga as a modality to help fix the body is Kimmy's main focus. She wants all of her students to both practice smiling and leave class smiling. She started doing yoga when she was a freshman in high school, at the request of her percussion band instructor to help their bodies during the marching band season. In college, her practice became more developed and progressed to new levels. However, during college, Kimmy severely injured her arm and shoulder and doctors told her she may never do yoga again. She worked hard to regain her strength and flexibilty, both physically and emotionally. She knows what it is like to start from the bare minimum in yoga and progress toward goals. As a result, Kimmy always welcomes questions about form, how to modify due to injury, or questions about overall alignment. She is currently in graduate school at NC State for GIS and has a BS in Geology and a BA in biology. She earned her 200 hour RYT certification in Santa Rosa, California and is currently completing her NASM personal training certification as well.
Katelin received her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification from the Wilmington Yoga Center in Wilmington, NC in 2016. She is a native of New York where she first began her practice after being drawn to it for its way of connecting the body and the mind; in just a short amount of time she started to see the way that yoga can truly heal the spirit and her eagerness to share that gift with the world is what lead her to teach.
Katelin is passionate about the healing power of yoga and its ability to connect us deeper to ourselves, our bodies, and our world. She sees yoga as a dance with all of the senses and loves being able to see her students be in the moment as they move. With roots in Kunga Yoga, an open mind/body style with an emphasis on service, Katelin’s classes hold true to yogic tradition and philosophy while providing strong practices that build strength and suppleness inside of the body and the mind. She welcomes all levels of ability into the classroom by offering modifications, strong alignment cues, and attention to breath. She thrives on sharing her knowledge of yoga to bring her students health, happiness, strength, and focus. Katelin understands that there is no feeling quite like comfort in one’s own skin and feels confident that yoga can bring that to all of her students.
Erica has been a competitive athlete since she was very young, having trained in gymnastics, dance, endurance running, and obstacle racing throughout her life. While training for her first marathon and competing with her international hip hop team in 2014, Erica noticed her workout regime was missing something. Since Erica loves music and dynamic movement, vinyasa yoga seemed like the perfect choice. “Unlike running and dancing, yoga is not about getting faster or performing better than the person next to you. It’s about listening to your body and honoring how it feels today. The more you try to force it, the further it gets away from you.” The practice of yoga has given her more than just physical strength; she has experienced mental and emotional stability and renewed perspective through her practice as well. She believes the self awareness, patience, and respect she has learned through her yoga practice has actually made her a better athlete and a better person. She brings creative challenges and love for music to each class, and she is so excited to continue her yoga journey at Element Hot Yoga!
Jill found her way to the mat in 2007 seeking balance in the midst of raising a family and a busy real estate career. As the yoga began, there was a gradual reorganizing of heart, mind and body as the desire to understand the science of yoga grew. After completing her yoga teacher training with Blue Lotus in 2009, the seed had been planted to consider a lifestyle that included balance, both literally and figuratively. “Creating space” and “yoga” were slowly beginning to merge into “creating a yoga space”. After years of faithful commuting to area studios and jokes with fellow yogis about the long and stressful drive to yoga, it was clearly time to build a yoga community closer to home.