I have been on a quest for health and wellness for as long as I can remember. I’ve travelled half way around the globe in search of answers, only to realize I could have found what I was looking for right at home. The problem was, my mind just wasn’t still enough, and I wasn’t listening, or asking the right questions. Sound familiar?
My yoga mat has been a path to the center of truth. It has been my vehicle for self discovery for over 20 years. I love sharing this practice because of the profound benefits I have witnessed students experience. Every since my first class, where I had no idea of the difference between Hatha or Ashtanga yoga. Somehow, I wandered into the “right” class and met Dom, my first teacher, who happened to be one of the original 12 teachers certified by Pattabhi Jois to teach.
I have a Master’s Degree in Experimental Psychology, which opened the door to a career in Drug Development. I dismissed the freedom and flow my soul craved in exchange for a corporate consulting job and the promise of “security”. I had a “good” job and made “good (6 figure)” money, but I was, miserable!
A few years later, I moved to Philadelphia. I had no idea that yoga wasn’t as wide spread or readily available as it was in California. I met a guy named Baron Baptiste, who was teaching at a gym at the time. He wasn’t teaching Ashtanga, but there was something I liked about his classes. I left feeling inspired, positive, relaxed and wrung out.
However, in my mind, I was still an “Ashtangi”. I went on a pursuit to find Ashtanga (no easy task in Philadelphia in the 1990s) and wound up in a teacher training with Beryl Bender Birch. I then kept taking any, and every, workshop I could find. Including, David Swenson, Karen Haberman and Richard Freeman.
The high stress demands of my job left me waking up nauseous and dreading going to work many days.
A random comment by the owner of a small studio sparked the desire to go to India to study with Pattabhi Jois. Somehow the universe conspired and “by chance” Manju Jois, Pattabhi Jois’s son, just happened to be in Philadelphia for a month prior to my departure. My trip to India was my own Eat Pray Love adventure, before it was cool to write a book about it. It was a trip with memories to last a lifetime and further affirm my path with yoga.
After I came home from India, I tried to teach yoga full time, but decided to go back to my corporate job so I could afford my yoga habit. I went to Tim Miller’s teacher training program and continued to study with Tim and the teachers, as much as I could and went to see Pattabhi Jois during his US tours.
After the birth of my daughter, I hung up my corporate suit to pursue a life of balance, focused on the people and things I loved. Finally, a life on my terms! I was teaching yoga again and looking forward to studying, practicing and teaching more. This sounded like pure paradise, until eleven days later, my husband, my rock, my BFF, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. My research skills were put to the test as I scoured the internet for alternative treatments and reviewed traditional protocols. Within weeks of being “cured” he was in the middle of a major relapse. The cancer was back, and with a vengeance.
Two rounds of high dose chemo, back to back stem cell transplants, lots of supplements and alternative healers, later my husband was cancer free. It was a long, crazy, twisty road, with many miracles sprinkled along the route. He remains cancer free to this day. This experience only deepened my desire to learn more about health and wellness, from both the physical and the psychological aspects.
In a quest to deepen my teaching and practice, I went to Baron Baptiste’s Level 1 Training. I had no idea what to expect, but I was hooked! Since then, I have gone on to do over 500 hrs of training with Baron and am a 500hr certified Baptiste Teacher. This practice ignited my soul in ways no other practice had.
Six years ago, I again revisited my dream of opening a Nashville yoga studio, and EPIC was born. I wanted to share hope and inspiration in an attempt to help others find a more peace, health and balance in their lives. I hope you will find that, plus a welcoming community. We are glad you are here!
Jana is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher and psychiatric nurse at Vanderbilt Medical Center. While in nursing school at TCU Fort Worth, she discovered how the practice of yoga could be a powerful supplement to recovery. She often shares her passion regarding the therapeutic effects of yoga with her patients. Jana has completed Epic Yoga’s 200 hr teacher training program and Baptiste Level 1 and 2.
Jana values Sonia Ricotti’s words “Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.” She believes that yoga is a practice that has given her balance, joy and a sense of strength no matter what life seems to throw her way. Jana hopes that her yoga students will receive the same satisfaction and benefit that yoga has brought to her!
Keenan is a certified Baptiste Yoga Instructor, a certified Yoga Body Boot Camp instructor, and a certified Next Generation Children’s Yoga Instructor. She is an ambassador for Africa Yoga Project and has spent time in Kenya doing service work with the organization. She also serves on the Music City Yoga Festival committee. Keenan found yoga in high school while struggling with an eating disorder and it completely changed her outlook on life. She completed her training with Baron Baptiste in 2011 and has loved sharing the transformative power of yoga with Nashville ever since.
In her free time, you can find Keenan on stage at TPAC as a company member of Nashville Ballet and on her yoga mat. She also loves to cook, spend time with her family, and teach others about nutrition and the importance of a healthy body and healthy mind.
Kylie is a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher. She completed the teacher training program at Epic Yoga in 2015 and it changed her life. Between teaching 12th grade, pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter, and traveling, yoga has provided the balance she was missing. Along side sharing her love of yoga at EPIC, she teaches yoga and nutrition as a PE course at the Academy at Opry Mills where she is a 12th grade math teacher.
Kristie is a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher and a certified Next Generation Children’s Yoga Instructor. Her love for teaching began as an elementary school educator. Later in her career, Kristie became a fitness expert and wellness coach specializing in teaching people how to properly nourish and move their bodies. Her passion for physical wellness and her perseverance for personal growth led her to complete her first 70.3 Ironman event.
Kristie believes strongly in what Maya Angelou said; “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” She carries her passion to serve in the community by volunteering with several local organizations. She helps with school and student enhancement projects, community needs projects and is an advocate for inspiring wellness and health through sharing her expertise in fitness and nutrition while teaching yoga.
Valerie is a 200 hr Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher, and is in process of becoming a 500 hr Certified Baptiste Teacher. She discovered yoga in 2014 when a friend suggested to her that she try a hot yoga class. Val’s friend Thelma, was already at Epic Yoga, and mentioned Epic’s Teacher Training program. Valerie took the leap and and it was through that process that she was reminded of her youthful dream of serving others in her work. Valerie’s favorite quote is: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service to others.’ When not on her mat, you can find Valerie somewhere in Nashville listening to a local band, or swing dancing the night away.
Alison is a 200 hour Registered Yoga Instructor. She completed her 200 hr training with Epic Yoga in 2014. Alison teaches an approachable but challenging alignment-based flow encouraging her students to play with their edge while providing a safe, encouraging, and nonjudgmental environment. Alison believes the mind-body connection teaches us how to live a fulfilling, healthy and happy life on AND off the yoga mat.
Yoga inspires her to live each moment more mindfully and she will always be a student of the practice. She is deeply grateful for the wisdom her teachers have shared with her. It is from that place of gratitude, that she aspires to grow and share her light and enthusiasm to anyone who is open. Her hope is that students will leave her class feeling balanced, nurtured & refreshed!
Mary Craven is a certified 200 hour yoga instructor and also a Next Generation Children’s Yoga Teacher. Her true passion lies in teaching beginning yogis how to find their way towards mindfulness on and off the mat. She is also involved with the Joined Forces Yoga Project and and is extremely passionate about bringing yoga to all areas of the armed forces. Outside of teaching, Mary Craven loves photography and spending time with her husband and three little girls.
Kate is a certified vinyasa teacher trained through the Baptiste Institute, and a certified teens and kids yoga teacher through Next Generation Yoga. She is an Ambassador for Africa Yoga Project and has traveled to Kenya twice to teach yoga in the slums, orphanages, and prisons. Kate also is the creator of Music City Yoga Festival which is a local fundraiser for charities at home and abroad. When she’s not at the studio, Kate teaches English at a local high school where she sponsors a free yoga club for all students. Kate has a passion for empowering her students to see what is possible both on and off their mat.
Christi believes that her yoga practice has become an essential part of her success, personally and professionally.
Christi took teacher training to expand her practice, but found a love in teaching and her ability to share her passion of yoga with others. As Christi says, “My goal is to be able to inspire, to contribute something positive in my teaching that a student can take home with them. That truly makes me happy”.
Christi completed her 200 hr yoga teacher training at Epic Yoga. She has also completed Baron Baptiste’s Art of Assisting and All Day Immersion, she’s been studying health and nutrition for the last 20 years, trained in Martial Arts and is an avid outdoors girl which involves hiking, running, horse back riding and more. Yoga has reminded Christi to drop her mask, remain STILL, OPEN, CONNECTED and to be in the present moment enjoying the journey. You may even catch her singing to you in Savasana.
Recently transplanted from DC to Nashville, David has been practicing yoga for 14 years and is an RYT 200 teacher and a certified NuPower Yoga Instructor. He has completed the Baptiste Art of Assisting and Advanced Art of Assisting programs. David is a former psychotherapist and is currently Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of a firm that trains corporate, university, and law enforcement clients to use emotional intelligence to effectively communicate in difficult situations. Having always been drawn to adventure and extreme sports, he has made a couple thousand skydives, is an avid trapeze flyer, surfer, and hot air balloon pilot. He believes that anyone, regardless of age and physical ability, can use yoga as a transformational tool to improve physical, mental and emotional strength to help thrive and manage the myriad challenges that life presents.
Caleb is a 200 HR certified yoga instructor who believes that yoga can be a life-changing means of using physical activity to engage the body, mind, and soul. He has also attended Baptiste Advanced Art of Assisting Program. Caleb started his journey to yoga with a background in Olympic-style weight lifting. He began realizing that the recommended post-workout stretches he utilized were actually yoga poses. While he still engages in this style of lifting and body-weight exercise, he now considers yoga to be a more effective and all-encompassing method of enhancing the functionality of our bodies, increasing self-awareness, and promoting mental clarity. As a genuine people person, Caleb is able to place himself in other’s shoes in order to gain perspective and build personal connections with them. Understanding the benefits of practicing yoga has completely changed his life and has allowed him to become more aware of himself and his passion of helping others discover the benefits of yoga, personal health, and overall wellness.
Kim began practicing yoga as a supplement to her training in Taekwondo. She discovered Epic shortly after it opened and immediately fell in love with the community and the practice. With both kids off to college, she decided to explore the benefits of yoga further. She completed Epic’s 200 Hr Teacher Training Program and is now a 200+ hour certified yoga instructor and certified in Baptiste Art of Assisting and Advanced Art of Assisting.
Kim’s passion is to share with others the powerful practice of yoga – from the invigorating physical asanas (poses) to the healing benefits of mindfulness – which opens the space for more joyful living.
Yoga is the quieting of the fluctuations of the mind…“Yoga chitta vritti nirodha” Yoga Sutra 1.2
Our Community Teachers are recent graduates of our 200 hour teacher training program. We offer these classes at a reduced drop in rate as an opportunity for them to refine their craft, and for you to practice. Rest assured, they are ready to teach!
Kristy ‘s love of yoga began in 2013. She walked into Epic searching for a stress reliever from her busy journalism career. She found much more than that- friendship, fitness and the courage to pursue her dreams. She strives to help others find those same things.
Kristy completed Epic Yoga’s Teacher Training program in 2017. She also completed Baptiste Being of Power in 2017. Off the mat, she loves spending time with her dog Zeus.
Emily- coming soon!
Cheryl- coming soon!