Allisson Butler-Kublanov, Studio Owner, Director of the Yoga School, Reiki Master, E-RYT-200, RYT-500
I have been practicing and falling in love with yoga for over 20 years. I am inspired by the evolution that happens as someone experiences yoga. It is different for everyone, but it is heavenly. The journey of this practice is really an examination of life - and that can be a difficult thing. However, with the difficulty, comes the gift - and that's what you see when you are able to guide a practice. You see 'the gift' on the faces of the students each time they leave the mat. The gift of yoga. And it is different for everyone. The gift is personal and it is precious.
My particular fondness for Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga led me to seek training at Saraswati's Yoga Joint in Norwalk, CT with Mitchel Bleier and Kaia Yoga Studio in Westport, CT with Jillian Pransky. I have also had the privilege of studying with Shiva Rea, Judith Lasater, Rodney Yee, Tias Little and Kathryn Budig.
My classes combine an intense vinyasa flow with light humor and a strong focus on the breath and alignment. My restorative classes have been described as 'a yoga massage' allowing you to melt into the mat and fully relax the mind, body and soul.
I absolutely love experiencing yoga through breath, writing, meditation and asana. I love my family, running, soaking up the energy of the sun and devouring a good book.
Danielle Ribaudo, E-RYT-200
My curiosity of holistic studies, both of the physical and energetic realms began at a young age. Inspired by my mother, we often shared books on spirituality and natural healing. Because I felt supported to explore my passions, I took courses that focused on balancing and cleansing the aura using Therapeutic Touch. In 2008, I deepened my yoga practice and completed my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training with Christy Burnette, Rhoda Mirium and Jim Keegan at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Arizona. Since then I have had the opportunity to study with many amazing teachers allowing me to develop a style that pulls from various yogic backgrounds ranging in traditions from Ashtanga, and Vinyasa, to Anusara, and Iyenagar, as well as Yoga Therapy, and Meditation.
In my class you will play with pranayama, and kriya. You’ll dance through a dynamic blend of asana that focuses on alignment with a strong guidance of breath. Be prepared to challenge yourself beyond your perceived limitations. However, most importantly to keep your heart light throughout your practice, and allow space for laughter as you explore within. This practice is a lifetime and forever evolving. My goal as a teacher is to create a space where you too can feel supported as you observe your relationship with yourself, and open up to the endless possibilities as we transform to greatness together.
Melanie Gazaway, E-RYT-200, E-RYT-500, Teacher Trainer
Melanie, a native of NJ, discovered Baptiste Power Vinyasa for the first time in 1999. “I was competing in the Penn Relays. A friend and I walked by a yoga studio that was advertising Power Yoga for Runners. We decided we were going to try it. I was hooked after the first class. It was better than I had hoped. As years went on it was a great alternative to running when injuries occurred. I felt stronger and more “relaxed” from practicing yoga.” The best is that Power Vinyasa Yoga is for everyone. Your race, creed, gender, socioeconomic status or lot in life doesn’t matter. All you have to do is believe the power is in you and there is no limit to what you can discover. You become more confident, more peaceful and more productive”. In the Fall of 2006 Melanie decided to train to teach Power Vinyasa Yoga with Bill Raup at Power Yoga Works in Philadelphia, PA and share the amazing benefits of yoga with other people.
“At first it was about me and now it’s not about me anymore it is about helping others. For me it is like a ministry and an opportunity to serve others. I am grateful to be able to share my experience and encourage others.” Melanie is committed to helping you discover your own transformation through self discovery.
Melanie is a Certified Baptiste Teacher and ERYT-300hr with the Yoga Alliance and has attended several workshops and intensives with Baron Baptiste as well as currently enrolled in the Baptiste Institutes Fit to Lead Program.
While off the mat Melanie homeschools her three boys, (Aiden, Zander and Micah) and enjoys discovering new learning opportunities. Melanie is a certified Group Fitness Instructor, Certified USA Track and Field Level 2 Coach, and a Certified Spinning Instructor. Melanie is grateful for a wonderful and supportive husband Tom Gazaway and the opportunity to bring Baptiste Yoga to NWA.
Suzie Atkin, RYT-200, Reiki Master
In 2006, due to the nudging of a good friend, I haphazardly stumbled into a 6-week Kundalini Yoga workshop. I had no idea why we were doing weird breathing exercises and making odd noises, but I was fascinated and intrigued. It was such a different experience from my fast-paced, stress-filled life where it was easier to keep moving than to sit, be still and be with what was there. And I clearly wasn’t ready. For years afterward, I took the harder path: climbing ladders, never stopping, burning out.
And then, as it happens, tragedy struck. As Elizabeth Lesser puts it: “Some of us need a cataclysmic event to find our way toward ‘the center of our own existence’”. So when I finally came back to Yoga, it was with a deep need for healing. And through that healing, I have found my Wholeness, which, for me, is finding joy in every bit of this life experience. There is no question that life has difficulty. And yet, through continually cultivating awareness, equanimity, and compassion, we become able to, as Buddha says, “rest like a giant tree in the midst of it all”. I’m grateful for the beautiful, simple technology of Yoga to expand my perspective and chip away at the calcification of life’s conditioning so I can see clearly and respond from a place of centeredness and love. And it is from this place of love that I humbly share this knowledge and experience with others. Because, truly, we are all connected and in this together. - Namaste.
Lauren Burkart, E-RYT-200, RYT-500, LMT
I have been practicing yoga for almost fifteen years, but it took me ten years of practicing at home to actually work up the nerve to attend my first class. While I originally began practicing to benefit my physical health, the benefits I received mentally and emotionally were what kept me coming back to my mat. In 2014, I completed my 200-hour teacher training with YogaGypsy in Springdale, and this past year I completed my 300-hour teacher training with LivFree Power Yoga with Annie Q.in Connecticut.
I am truly passionate about bringing yoga everywhere to everyone and I have given yoga instruction in hospices, women’s shelters, outdoors, gyms, spas, and yoga studios. I believe there is a yoga for every single person, and that is why I love teaching anything from heated power vinyasa to yin and meditation. I approach the classes I teach with a light heart, and I'm always finding ways to apply the lessons we learn on our mats to the rest of our lives. I truly believe that our yoga practice can make the world a better place.
Ginger Wilcox Davidson, E-RYT-200
Yoga is such a blessing in my life. Over fourteen years ago I started practice as an alternative to gym classes and a way to manage stress. It allowed me to be able to know my mind and my body better. The magic of it is that it can truly be for any person of any shape or size. When I commit to a regular practice it has the ability to change my body, mind, and spirit. Cultivating a regular connection with my breath feeds my soul. It is one of the most powerful gifts of the practice. The energies that are released and balanced can help give more courage and truly make one be the change they wish to see in this world.
Off the mat, I like to spend time with my family camping, hiking, and playing music. I also enjoy spending time and making music with friends during an annual pilgrimage to my hometown in Winfield, Kansas for the Walnut Valley Festival every September.
Sharlotte Fedewa, E-RYT-200, RPYT, YACEP
My yoga journey began in 2008 when I found out that my college dorm offered free yoga classes -- after the first class, I was hooked. I loved the way my body felt after doing yoga. Even to this day, nine years later, I still love how I can always come to my mat and melt away the world for an hour or two. Yoga helped me concentrate better in school and manage the stress of my job. On my 22nd birthday, August 29th, 2011, my life took a life transformational turn when I dragged my sister, Katie, with me to Italy for an intensive 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training. After a month of waking up at 6 am for the Ashtanga primary series and learning that yoga was much more than just asana, I became a yoga teacher. My life was absolutely transformed, and I decided I wanted everyone to feel the way I felt when I practiced yoga. Besides yoga, I love hanging out with my family, my daughter, Roslyn, son, Sage and my amazing husband, Joshua. In addition to hiking, hooping, cooking, crafting, and (my very favorite) traveling! I am also learning to play the ukulele.
Laura Draper, Booty Barreless Babe
Over the last six years, I trained with a trainer who has a masters in biomechanics. My experience with him inspired a passion within me for physical training which led me to study with the Cooper's Institute and become certified in personal training so I could inspire other people. Living in South Africa, I was able to further my studies and become certified in Bootybarre. When I returned to the States, I also became certified in BBarreless. I love making people strong in their core and strong in their heart...it is my passion...to make people feel good about themselves, inside and out.
Milo Fish, E-RYT-200, RYT-500
I believe yoga is the ultimate journey to self-love. It is a powerful mindfulness practice and a dynamic moving meditation. In my classes students work on creating a loving, nurturing, internal dynamic as they let go of past conditioning and reprogram their minds and bodies to live a more calm, peaceful, loving life.
I started my teacher training with Baron Baptiste and completed both levels one and two. I have also had the privilege of learning the Yoginos: Yoga for Youth Program and I am currently in the process of completing my 500 hour teacher training with Crystal Beshears/Powered by Heart.
My family is everything to me - I'm married to my best friend and we have two amazing teenage boys that light up our lives, as well as the best dog in the whole world. I love experiencing everything with my family, love being outside, and love nature. While I used to be a runner, I'm now a walker, and I'm into living healthy. A big part of that healthy life is my dedication to yoga - I truly try to live it.
Hank Hecksher, RYT-200
Before 2007, I had my home and gym yoga practice and loved it. It was a basic Sun Salutations and a few variations. In the spring of 2007 I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Looking back, I’m confident my yoga practice influenced my treatment and recovery. In 2013, after the chemo and into the monitor and checkup period, I attended my first “studio” yoga class in downtown Bentonville AR, USA and discovered how much I didn’t know about Yoga. I had no concept of “Restorative”, but I loved the class and the studio setting. I continued with other new classes and discovered more about Yoga and myself. In December 2017 I enrolled in Yoga Teacher Training. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I loved the people and the experience and owe so much to my teacher trainer, Lynn Hancock. This year, 2018, I reached my 10 year - no recurrence milestone. I’m thankful and grateful for every day of my journey. With my 200 RYT in hand, I’m on a new adventure to know more and share more about Yoga than I had ever dreamed.
Hank lives in Rogers, AR with his wife Julie. Their two adult children and three grandchildren also live in the area. His hobbies include volunteering, reading, playing golf and keeping up with technology.
Aimee Lynn, E-RYT-200, RYT-500
My journey to yoga began with a book, and after more than a decade of practicing alone, I finally stepped into a group class. I was immediately hooked and knew I had to pursue this passion so I could share the practice and benefits of yoga with everyone I knew and share it in a safe manner.
Aimee completed her 200RYT vinyasa certification in 2014 and has been teaching ever since. Her styles of class vary in that she teaches various flow, hatha, yin, and meditation as well as providing sound baths and Bhakti yoga through Kirtan. She finished a 300hr advanced teacher training focusing on yoga as therapy though Yoga Deza, led by Alexandria Pulfer, which took Aimee to her 500RYT status in August, 2018. You can expect serious focus on alignment to keep the body safe when practicing with Aimee. Classes will include both strength building and stretching as well as breath work and meditation. Aimee is also a music educator and has been teaching students of all ages music for the past 12 years. When not leading a class, Aimee enjoys getting outside for hikes, making music with friends, crafting, and hanging out with her sweet dog, Luna.
Catalina Carvajal, RYT-200, Reiki Level 2
I took my first yoga class eleven years ago in a Small studio in Jersey City, NJ. Since then my love for Yoga has grown more and more. There were times I was disconnected from participating in classes but every time I needed to comeback Yoga was there for me, the teachers, the community but most important I was there for myself. Prenatal Yoga played a key role in both of my pregnancies - it gave me the tools to connect even more to my babies, to my body and to my soul.
After an empowerment retreat I completed in December 2017, I decided that I wanted to become a yoga teacher, I was inspired by all my teachers that have had in the past years. I completed my training in February 2018 and I am ready to share this love for meditation, chanting, asanas, flows, healthy lifestyle with all of you.
Ben Cary, RYT-200
I have a passion for helping people unlock their full potential through cultivating richer, less restricted, more self-actualized lives. For a long time my life felt empty, so I tried to fill it with anything that I thought would make me happy; material things for the most part. Instead, it made me feel overwhelmed, busy, stressed out, overstimulated and anxious. So I learned how to create space. With space I have the room to grow, expand, open my heart, and open my mind. In that space wonderful things have come into my life. Now when I feel empty, I find space, and in the space, I am full. Outside of yoga, I love to play basketball, hike, backpack, and mountain bike. I also enjoy playing guitar, piano, and Native American Flute.