Yoga is not what Rebecca expected for her journey. Growing up Southern Baptist, she never got to meet herself because she was trying to be someone she wasn’t; someone straight, conservative, corporate, shrinking or at least hiding the obese body she lived in. With health problems (sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, ADHD) shrinking didn’t happen and she struggled with the prejudice of sizeism.
After graduating from UAB with a Bachelor of Science in marketing and economics, she was in a dark place of a fruitless job hunt and chronic pain from a gym injury. She deeply craved movement that didn’t hurt and fulfilling, affirming work. Fat Girl Yoga was a light in this darkness on her Facebook news feed, and the first class with Nancy in 2015 was a major pivot point for her life and worldview.
Many years later, Rebecca, who now goes by Bexx, is out, loud, & proud in her 4X bikini and on her mat. Managing and diminishing her chronic fatigue and chronic pain while staying active. Much of her personal practice is in the pool, meditative, and exploratory. More than anything, she wishes someone had introduced her to movement that respects her size and day-to-day ability without shame or expectation. Inspiring confidence to ignore the haters. Finally finding herself in her thirties, Bexx strives to be the adult she needed to see, if not know, as a fat kid. Wearing the clothing style straight size women (and sometimes men) do, shamelessly eating often, and moving her body her way.
Bexx completed 200hr RYT training at Abundance Yoga in 2023 while recovering from a hysterectomy, and as a result, her personal practice and teaching style has a heavy focus on props and modifications and pulls from many yoga styles. Her greatest hope for her students is this approach will empower them to self-accommodate wherever they practice and never miss out on movement because their body is different or in a season of recovery. Come explore what you can do instead of what you can’t.
Andrea has enjoyed practicing yoga classes and workshops from various teachers and locations around the country for many years. In order to deepen her practice, she began her 200hour teacher training program in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her passion for yoga led her to continue the exploration, and in 2020, she completed her 300RYT at the Triad Yoga Institute.
Andrea teaches alignment-based asana and believes that yoga is for everyone. She feels that a dedicated practice of yoga can help build confidence and a mental calmness that allows people to face challenges with greater ease.
Tonya Moran (RYT 200) has been teaching yoga since 2022. She discovered the transformative benefits of a consistent yoga practice after overcoming a severe lung infection in 2008. By emphasizing the mind-body-spirit connection and treating the whole body, Tonya regained her health and embarked on a journey to share these benefits with others. Her passion lies in inspiring people to think beyond conventional methods, empowering them to take an active role in their own health and healing.
When not teaching yoga, Tonya works as a medical marketing contractor. Her favorite client is a holistic physician with whom she collaborates closely to share information with patients on how to proactively manage their healthcare journey.
As a nature lover, she possesses a deep appreciation for plants, animals, landscapes, and ecosystems, dedicating a significant portion of her leisure time to backpacking and biking. Tonya feels that maintaining a harmonious life balance is simpler when disconnecting from the hectic daily routine and immersing in nature.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Jill has enjoyed practicing yoga for many years. She believes yoga allows her to become grounded with deep breathing, meditation, and listening to her body to do movement that feels good for her — with no room for judgement or criticism.
Jill wants to make yoga accessible to all by providing a safe space for others in the community to come as they are and finish class with a restored sense of energy as they return to their daily lives. Jill hopes her students leave her classes feeling like they received a big hug from the universe that says “Thank you for taking time for yourself today!”
Kim is a passionate yoga therapist whose goal is cultivating diverse, welcoming, and inclusive yoga spaces that affirms anyone who walks through the door. She completed her 200-hour YTT in Vinyasa with Sacred Glow in 2018 and completed her 300-hr YTT in 2021 and C-IAYT yoga therapy program in 2023. Kim holds certifications in various styles of yoga from chair to restorative to prenatal to accommodate all bodies and needs.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
Shonda focuses on Vin-Yin, Restorative and anyplace she can add a prop. 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.