Lynellen Mallet

Thrive!

Lynellen began her yoga journey as a way to stay healthy, become more fit and age gracefully.  She worked with seniors as a business owner, certified senior advisor and certified compression therapist.  She sees the challenges adults face particularly with movement and flexibility.  

Through her practice Lynellen felt the benefits of yoga and wanted to share her love of the practice with others.  Lynellen completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Lifetime Fitness.  Her goal is to help others experience the same benefits from yoga through breath and movement no matter their age.  

Lynellen has received her certificate to teach yoga to seniors and is beginning training in Restorative Yoga.  Lynellen believes yoga is a journey that can help take you through life’s path of hills and valleys.  It is not the perfection of a pose, but perfection of the process within the pose.

Gloria Buie

Yoga Basics

Gloria dibbled and dabbled in yoga for years but never fully committed because it was too hard. She started attending classes regularly and found that it helped her both mentally and physically. The more Gloria attended class the better she felt, she decided she wanted to learn more. 

Gloria completed Yoga teacher training in 2019 at LifeTimeFitness – the best four months of her life!  What she learned about yoga were the benefits and the experience of practicing yoga, what she learned about herself was phenomenal and life changing. 

Yoga for Gloria is not about perfecting a posture, it’s about the journey into and out of the postures, and linking breath to movement. The practice of Yoga is a beautiful thing and she is excited to help others feel the same sense of fulfillment that she feels on her own mat.

Nikki Cosper

Ashtanga & Kundalini

A California native, Nikki grew up in the horse world, riding, training hunter/jumpers and dressage.  A  middle school science teacher, Nikki found her way to the yoga community in search of a  way to relieve stress.  She fell in love with mental and physical challenge she found in Ashtanga. After developing her own practice, Nikki attended Birmingham Yoga’s Yoga Teacher Training in 2016 focusing on Ashtanga and Kundalini yoga.  Now certified, her mission is to encourage others to develop a personal relationship with yoga, and find their own expression and joy in it as she did.

Caron Bellestri

Vinyasa & Gentle Yoga

Caron began her journey in Michigan where she attended her first yoga class and was immediately drawn the possibilities yoga offered her mentally, spiritually and physically.  Caron is interested in all styles of yoga and has been practicing for over 20 years.  She received her 200hr RYT certification in Raja Yoga in November 2013 under Emily and Jackie Chiodo and has been teaching ever since.  Yoga is Caron’s passion and it gives her great joy to know that she is helping others become more balanced, flexible and focused.  She believes in giving people tools to use on their mat as well as off to bring their yoga into their every day life.  Caron moved to Alabama in 2014 and is happy to call it home.  One of Caron’s favorite quotes is: “To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha

Emily McLeod

Ashtanga

Emily is a Birmingham native who grew up with a book attached to her nose. The travel bug bit her in high school where she continues to be an aspiring world travel today. She is an avid coffee and tea drinker and a foodie.

Emily believes yoga is for everyone and there is a class out there for each person. She wants to help people realize they can do the physical practice (asana) and that there is more than the physical practice. Yoga is a life long journey of mental and physical well-being.

Emily started yoga eight years ago after months of a friend’s insistence. Skeptically, she went to her friend’s ashtanga class, woke up the next day sore everywhere, thought yogis were crazy, and ended up at the same class the next week. As her practice continued, she felt better both physically and mentally. After her grandmother fell and broke her hip, Emily realized how important yoga is for long term health and wellness. She graduated from Sacred Glow teacher training in 2018.

Gayle Watkins

Pilates

Originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, I have called Birmingham my home for the last 30 years.  I met my husband in Birmingham and have two children.

After semi-retirement from the apartment industry, I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and do something that I have always wanted to do. Having the time and with a desire to follow a healthy lifestyle, I practiced yoga and mat Pilates and soon graduated to Reformer Pilates.    I was hooked.  I wanted to share with others the benefits of Pilates and decided to get my teaching certificate.  I am trained in mat Pilates, Exo Chair, Reformer, Cadillac, Spring Board, Spine Corrector, Reflexiv Yoga, Pilates Suspension Method and TRX. 

Sam Shouse

Ashtanga & Kundalini

Sam discovered yoga in 2005 as a way to promote physical and spiritual balance but the practice took on a new sense of urgency after a serious skydiving accident. Yoga soon became a way of life and Sam completed his RYT-200 certification (Yoga Alliance) in 2009 under Akasha Ellis.  With over 1,000 hours of teaching experience, Sam is now E-RYT200 certified as a Yoga educator. He incorporates elements of Ashtanga, Kundalini, and Vinyasa Flow Yoga into his teaching through rhythmic breathing and coordination with challenging postures in a flowing style.  Sam strongly feels that consistent practice develops a meditative awareness of the mind/body connection and he hopes to help others explore this intensely physical practice and lead healthier, happier, and holier lives.

La-Shonda Spencer

Vin-Yin

La-Shonda found her way to the mat after her trainer suggested she try yoga due to tight hamstrings. She went to Birmingham Yoga in 2014 and was introduced to Ashtanga yoga. She fell in love with it through modifications until she was able to do the full posture. She became consistent with it and attended Mysore classes to deepen her practice. In July 2019, she completed her 200 hour-training with Vulcan Yoga Teacher Training. She has a certification in Prenatal Yoga.

La-Shonda focuses on Ashtanga, Vin-Yin, and is learning Restorative.  She wants her students to know that yoga isn’t about being perfect but progressing to your body’s potential.  Always remember yoga is an ongoing journey, it doesn’t end. You learn more about yourself and body with each practice.

Kourtney Hallowell

Yin-Vinyasa and Beginner

Kourtney has been a practitioner of yogic philosophy and asana for over a decade. After falling for the discipline at a young age, she received her YogaFit certification; teaching for a few years before taking a break while in university. Continuing a personal practice, she has experienced the evolving journey of yoga as life and body transition.

She believes that everyone has a style of the practice that is perfect for them in the exact place they exist now. Kourtney loves helping others find their yoga as well as modifications that get them excited about their body’s capabilities.

Kourtney’s personal practice and teaching style is a blend of vinyasa, hatha, deep yin, and guided meditation/visualization. We know she would be happy to share knowledge and hold space as you explore what your body and mind can do.

Nancy Rhodes

Owner & Instructor

Nancy is a body positive, fat acceptance activist and the owner and  primary instructor at Abundance Yoga. She struggled with dieting, weight and the size and shape of her body from the age of 6. The message she got early was that her body wasn’t right and it needed to be changed. Many years of dieting and on and off exercising lead to disordered eating. Nancy found yoga as part of a recovery journey. She found the practice allowed her to let go and be in the present.  She became passionate about sharing it with others and started teaching Fat Girl Yoga, a class to reclaim the word fat from being insulting and to reach women that felt like they didn’t fit in yoga. Nancy embraces the word fat and wants everyone to recognize that the size and shape of our body is not good or bad, that foods and what we eat are not good or bad. Nancy is speaking out against diet culture and health myths that have marginalized fat bodies and offering yoga that’s welcoming, affirming and full of permission to be exactly as you are. Nancy is building a community based on love and acceptance.  She knows how it feels to be the largest body in the room and to think everyone can do this but you. 

Nancy is also our massage therapist, LMT #5592, a graduate of Birmingham School of Massage Therapy and is certified in Swedish, Deep Tissue & Neuromuscular Therapy Massage techniques. 

Nancy is passionate about functional movement for connecting to our body and appreciating our quality and longevity of life. She has witnessed changes in her own body through pairing yoga and massage and specializes in creating a safe and accepting space to help others in their search for movement and deep relaxation. She believes that pairing the practice of yoga and regular massage can create the healing we all need for deep peace

Nancy is 200 hr E-RYT certified in Ashtanga yoga, 500 hr RYT certified and YACEP certified yoga educator.  Nancy holds certifications in Chair, Restorative, Yoga for Sensory Disorders, and Curvy Yoga. Nancy is trained in Yoga for Children, Kundalini, Prenatal, Yin Yoga, and Yoga for All. Nancy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in the Science of Health and Wellness and is a National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association certified Wellness Coach.

But if you’re not interested in yoga, Nancy facilitates Fat Babe Book Club to read books by and about fabulous, fat, radical body lovin’ humans.