Teacher Feature ~ Erin Hulliberger

Favorite pose and why?

Dancer (Natarajasana). I love the combination of balance, strength, flexibility and meditation it takes to get to a full expression… and how amazing I feel when I do.

First introduced to yoga?

I found yoga as a way to build strength and flexibility while marathon training in my early 20s. I never looked back.

10 words or less on why I love yoga?

Yoga is my reset button. It both reenergizes and grounds me.   

How does my practice make me stronger?

Yoga strengthens my mind more than anything. It trains me to be present in the moment – not focused on what has been or what is to be.

How do you remain grounded outside the yoga studio?

I take 15 minutes of quiet time every day to meditate and pray.

Advice to beginner yogi?

Keep trying! Everyone was new once, and even experienced yogis fight for certain poses. The struggle is the journey.

Mantra or intention?

My favorite intention is “Growth and comfort do not coexist.” I have found it to be true both on and off the mat, physically and mentally.

Biggest misconception about being a yoga instructor?

That you are really, really flexible! My hamstrings are like guitar strings!

One healthy food I swear by and why?

Eggs. There are endless ways to eat them, and with lots of protein and good, healthy fats, they always fill me up.

Yogi of the Month ~ Jonathan McArthur

Jonathan McArthur

How long have you been practicing? 6 months.

What’s your favorite pose and why? Purvottanasana… because isn’t it everyone’s favorite pose?

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: The nourishment of not only my body but my mind.

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies? Reducing the times that I am injured only leads to me being more active. I would like to say it increased the time I spend in other hobbies but my practice has really led to me progressing deeper into yoga.

Why did you start practicing yoga? I had been experiencing neck and lower back pain from my career as a farmer that led to multiple chiropractic visits without any real relief. Yoga has not only helped alleviate those discomforts it has made me more mindful, and introduced Laura and I to a healthy positive community.

How does yoga impact your everyday life? I feel a lot more balanced.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?
That yoga is truly for any body.

Yogi of the Month ~ Laura McArthur

Laura McArthur

How long have you been practicing?  Since May, so almost 6 months.

What’s your favorite pose and why?  I love chair.  I feel rooted, active, and powerful.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: It is movement and rest.

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?  It motivates me to do more and try new things. 

Why did you start practicing yoga?  Jonathan and I wanted to have a healthy hobby that we could do together.  I also really needed a better way to deal with anxiety/stress and have more exercise on a regular basis.

How does yoga impact your everyday life?  Using mindfulness.  Eating thoughtfully.  Moving more often.  Having a heart full of love.  I want to live this way always, and yoga helps me keep these as priorities.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?  I was a bit intimidated at first, but I quickly realized I had no need to be.  My practice is my own. The community of people at yoga story is so beautiful and I love being a part of it.


Lee Williams

We all have stories!  Some more interesting, some more colorful, some more sad and some more glad. ☺  In my mind, the stories are the essence of our society, or at least it once was.  Today everyone is running around and being so busy they miss the stories and the people who carry them (this includes me!!).  I once walked around downtown Denver during morning rush hour.  The office workers were running to and fro, trying to make the early rounds of their day.  I walked for 30 minutes and only had 3 people give me eye contact, as if to say, “I see you and greet you this morning.”  We need to stop for a moment meet, greet and talk to people, “You May? Just Like Them!!!”  They could be fun and a story exchange might take place, then you also could carry and remember the story.

So here comes the Lee Williams “Yoga Story” (Short Version)

In 2011 my wife (Marzelle) and I moved to Bella Vista from Oklahoma.  I was an avowed workaholic, in a high stress job and had all the usual health conditions, high cholesterol, stress, minor bouts with high blood pressure and of course there was a minor bout of cancer.  I had a hard time relaxing and letting my mind rest for a while, the act of “Being here Now”, had been lost to me many years ago.  I think my many years of running my behind off had finally taken their toll, but I had not figured it out yet.

So, needing to do something with myself in BV, I thought Yoga sounded good.   I went to a senior yoga class in Bella Vista.  The people there were nice, but I thought I needed a little more.  I was still working part time in Tulsa.  So, I went to the Tulsa YMCA and was introduced to Vinyasa flow.  I never went back to the seniors.  About a year later, I stumbled in to the hot Yoga classes at Yoga Story and the rest was history.  I never went back to the YMCA either!!  I was hooked and actually would go to hot yoga classes in Bentonville and Salt Yoga in Tulsa, when I was working in Tulsa.  Yes Yoga Story, I was two timing you!! I should say, I was sorry, but I loved every minute in both Studios and have no regrets or remorse!!  

I love to get on my mat, clear my mind and just going with the flow of the workout.  Hot yoga has helped me to focus more on my inner self.  I want to use Yoga as a path for better physical and mental health and hopefully more meaningful time with my family, friends and mat buddies in the future.  It is a real physical challenge for me to go through the routines.  I sometimes wonder, “What this Old Guy is doing here?”  I walk on my mat and realize, most parts of my body have aches and pains, however, after the workout,  I feel fantastic.  I have lowered my cholesterol, lowered my blood pressure, lost about 5 pounds and firmed up a bunch.  

I really think that the best part of my Yoga Story experience is having had an opportunity to share a story or two that I carry and having the opportunity to speak to a few who give me eye contact, allow me into their space and come to know  a little about me as I learn about them.  Then we can share the essence of our society and be as one in mind, if only for an instant in time.  “Namaste”

This was the short story, the long version may require that we have an hour or two. ☺  See you on your mat.

Yogi of the Month ~ Christine Horwart

How long have you been practicing?   Not long enough.

What’s your favorite pose and why?   Depends on the day.  My body, mind and spirit dictate.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: Yoga makes me a better person.

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?  I am stronger, yet more forgiving.  A powerful combination.

Why did you start practicing yoga?  I truly don’t remember.  Divine intervention?

How does yoga impact your everyday life?  I am stronger, yet more forgiving.  A powerful combination.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?  Yoga is for sissies.  

Yogi of the Month ~ Madalyn Overstreet

How long have you been practicing?
A little less than a year

What’s your favorite pose and why?
Tree pose is my favorite because it's the one pose I can count on where my mind is completely still and   I can just be present.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga:
Yoga helped me reach peace and simplicity in life. 

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?
Yoga has become my hobby. I find myself more curious about the origins and different practices. It has helped me break out of my comfort zone.

Why did you start practicing yoga?
I started practicing yoga because a friend convinced me to try it out. I continued yoga because it became a stable thing I could count on to fulfill my day.

How does yoga impact your everyday life?
Yoga has helped me find the positive in any situation presented. I feel more balanced in all aspects of life, personal, work, and physical. The teachers and other yogis have helped me to feel more confident than ever.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?
The one misconception I had was that you needed to be flexible. I quickly learned it is all about letting your body be where it needs to be that day. Fully into the pose or just child's pose.

Yoga embraces Wabi Sabi, "the wisdom and beauty in imperfections."

Yogi of the Month ~ Gita Chakrabarti

How long have you been practicing?  15 years or more.  The first good classes I went to were in early 2000. 



What’s your favorite pose and why?  I love many poses, but plow is my favorite.  It’s a good shoulder and back stretch for those of that sit hunched over a computer.  I also love that it pulls your whole body out.



In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: It’s relaxing and makes your whole day and relationships better. 



How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?  Yoga helps me balance motherhood – I have a busy 4 year old – and an intense job.



Why did you start practicing yoga?  I started to practice in earnest after a white water rafting injury cause some hip and pelvis mis-alignments



How does yoga impact your everyday life?  It puts things in balance and helps you breathe.  I can do whatever kind of yoga I need on a given day – a hot flow during the week if I need to lose some energy, or a deep restorative if I want to relax and complete chill out and make the weekend an even better detox.



What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?  It’s really great exercise and changes the shape of your body.

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Teacher Feature ~ Beth Day

Beth teaches Lamaze Prenatal Yoga as well as Hot Flow.

Favorite pose and why:

Headstand.  I love inversions in general, but headstand helps me feel so grounded and centered and at the same time childlike and playful.

First introduced to yoga:
When I was in high school, (20 years ago) my mom bought 3 VHS videos - Power Yoga 1, 2, and 3 by Bryan Kest.  I practiced in my living room and learned those videos by heart.  Sometimes I find myself using phrases or cues from the videos when I teach today.

10 words or less on why I love yoga:
Yoga is a powerful way to access my higher self.

How does my practice make me stronger:
The focus on the breath - constant and calm even in the midst of challenge or difficulty has impacted every area of my life.  When I find myself in one of life’s many difficult moments, I always know I can get through it with the breath.

How do you remain grounded outside the yoga studio:
I ground myself when I hold my children and breath deep. 

Advice to beginner yogi:
Just. Show. Up.  Keep coming and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in a week, a month, a year, 5 years.  Just keep coming.

Mantra or intention:
I can do hard things.

Biggest misconception about being a yoga instructor:

Yoga instructors never fall. 

One healthy food I swear by and why:

Dark leafy greens - kale, spinach, Swiss chard.  They make you feel alive!

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Yogi of the Month ~ Romilla Pandita

How long have you been practicing?

I have been doing yoga for 3 years but have been regular only after joining Yoga Story.

What’s your favorite pose and why?

My favorite pose is the Warrior pose. It gives me a sense of balance.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: 

Yoga gives me a sense of peace and calm which normally I don't experience.
 
How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?

Frankly speaking at present my only passion/hobby is Yoga. But even my routines look less daunting the day I practice yoga. My concentration increases and I worry less about the unknowns.
 
Why did you start practicing yoga?
I started yoga as a form of exercise to keep fit but now I treat it as something essential for my mental and physical well being.

How does yoga impact your everyday life?
Yoga helps me keep calm. I am able to be less attached to unnecessary stuff and laugh at silly stuff.
 
What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?

I started practicing yoga as a way of exercise to increase strength and flexibility. Though I get all of that by practicing yoga, I have realized with time what I cherish more is the mental peace and calm I get as a result. As a wise man said, "Yoga is internal engineering."

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Teacher Feature ~ Erin Truitt

Erin teaches Kids Adventure Yoga and Yoga Body Boost.
Join Erin for a special Kids Adventure Yoga Series at Rollie Pollie this summer. Register Here!
Favorite pose and why?

Dragon Flying High pose because it is a deep hip flexor stretch with many variations. We sit in chairs way too much in our culture, and this is the perfect counter movement! It also feels great after a long run or bike ride.

First introduced to yoga?

Our vicar’s wife from a church we attended 11 years ago was a yoga instructor who studied under Baron Baptiste. She led free yoga classes at the church one night a week and convinced me to try it out. I loved the individual attention and adjustments she provided, which provided a great knowledge base for me in proper alignment in many poses.

10 words or less on why I love yoga?

Yoga is about balance: emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual.

How does my practice make me stronger?

I have mild scoliosis, but when I practice yoga regularly, my hips often realign. I love unilateral poses to help balance both sides of my body making them equally strong and less prone to injury. I also don’t do well in extreme heat conditions, so hot yoga helps ease my body (and mind) into tolerating the hot Arkansas summer.

How do you remain grounded outside the yoga studio?

I try to bring balance to every aspect of my life. Outdoor and indoor. Activity and rest. Learning and teaching. Talking and listening. Family and career.

Advice to beginner yogi?

Don’t try to be anyone else. Some people will be more flexible than you. Some people will be stronger than you. Some people will be more knowledgeable than you. Watch more advanced students for direction and inspiration, but endeavor to be the best YOU and encourage other beginners who come after you to do the same!

Mantra or intention?

“Encourage”. Everyone has potential and purpose and deserves to be appreciated for who they are and the uniqueness they bring to the world.

Biggest misconception about being a yoga instructor?

That I must be incredibly flexible. I have short arms and torso and long legs, and my anatomy simply will not allow for depth in some poses. I keep practicing and expanding my practice as I can, but our bodies are all a little different!

One healthy food I swear by and why?

Spinach. I love its versatility! It is easy to sneak into every meal of the day, including sweet baked goods. My kids were shocked the first time they saw pancakes that were NOT brownish-green, ha!




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