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!


Yogi's of the Month ~ Mark and Lisa Hufford

How long have you been practicing yoga?
Mark ~ I began practicing yoga in January of 2016 with my wife Lisa.
Lisa ~ I've been practicing since Jan. 2016. I started because I was invited by a friend and found out Mark was interested in trying it too.

What's your favorite pose & why?
Mark ~ Not sure I have a favorite pose, but I love moving through the chataranga's (no idea how to spell that) as a foundation element to each practice. In any endeavor you have to love and
embrace the foundational aspects and disciplines - no matter if your a novice or expert.
Lisa ~ My favorite pose is half pigeon. My hips are always tight and it's such a great stretch!

10 words or less describing why I love yoga?
Mark ~It's a fun, sweat inducing, breath relaxing, core
strengthening, flexibility-enhancing, teacher inspired challenge! (Sorry 12 words).
Lisa ~ I love yoga because it encompasses all areas of fitness including breath control and focus.

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?
Mark ~ Yoga benefits my overall goal of maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle which includes doing
things like hiking, tennis and working out.
Lisa ~ I play a lot of tennis and yoga is a great balance to all the pounding on the court.

Why did you start practicing yoga?
Mark ~ I started practicing yoga through encouragement that it might help my chronic low back and hip
pain - and it really has!
Lisa ~ My body feels better when I'm consistent with yoga and I'm more mindful of being in the moment.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?
Mark ~ My misconception about yoga is an embarrassing one. I had no interest in doing yoga because
I was one of those guys who thought yoga was something that only women do............. I stand
corrected and my only regret is not doing yoga years ago!
Lisa ~ The biggest misconception I had about yoga was that it was easy and mostly stretching. Boy, was I wrong! Who knew I could sweat that much!:)


Yogi of the Month ~ George Spear

How long have been practicing?

I have been practicing since approximately December of 2013

What’s your favorite pose and why?

I like “Chair” pose and variations of it like “revolved” when we twist left or twist right while in chair.  o Chair pose makes me feel “grounded” and I can truly feel the impact of stretching to places that are not typically reached in a more cardio based regimen.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga.

I love Yoga because its peaceful, calming, challenging, reduces stress, and provides flexibility and strength.

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions & hobbies?

My Yoga practice benefits my other passions and hobbies because it complements
yet reinforces those passions. My other interests and hobbies include family time & events, running, music, singing, and other types of exercise like biking. I have found that the physical and mental balance that yoga provides helps me with those activities by reducing stress and keeping me strong.

Why did you start practicing yoga?

I started practicing Yoga because after 13-14 years of running (9 marathons, many half marathons, and some back surgery, too), I had to find better balance, core strength, and flexibility. I also needed to find even more life balance.  I found Yoga Story because my two oldest daughters had danced ballet for over a decade and had been to Yoga Story and encouraged me to try it.

How does yoga impact your everyday life?

Yoga impacts my everyday life because 1st I have met great people at YS and that’s affected me in a positive way each day. Then, in addition, my everyday life has been impacted because the Yoga classes and workshops have help shaped a completely new regimen for me to build core strength and flexibility, both mentally and physically.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?

I don’t think the general population, especially people who have recreationally played traditional sports like football, basketball, & baseball, truly understand how physically strenuous Yoga is. I still remember the 1st few months of being in Lynn’s classes and because of my lack of flexibility and core strength, I thought I’d never make it through the 1st 15 minutes of class, let alone be able to pull off the Bow pose.


Teacher Feature ~ Judy Moss

Judy teaches Hot Flow every Friday 6 am.

Favorite pose and why?   Savasana at the end of practice.  It's a chance for my body to absorb the practice I just did and allows my mind to settle and become centered. 

First introduced to yoga?  I went to a Bikram yoga class in San Francisco with a friend because I was looking for a good cross training program. It was only after moving back to AR that I went to a vinyasa class and fell in love with the practice of yoga and all that it is.  

10 words or less on why I love yoga?  It's a constant living, breathing practice of balancing the mind and body.

How does my practice make me stronger?  It makes me stronger by keeping me grounded in my center.

How do you remain grounded outside the yoga studio?  Meditation is a big part of my life along with taking time to care for myself.  My family also keeps my feet on the ground and we spend most of our time together. 

Advice to beginner yogi?  There is absolutely NO such thing as being bad at yoga.  The only thing that yoga requires is that you show up for yourself. Yoga is for EVERYbody. That's it...there is no "type" and you don't have to be flexible to begin yoga. 

Mantra or intention?  Be here in this moment and honor the body

Biggest misconception about being a yoga instructor?  How much goes into bringing a class together.  It's a balance to make the class both accessible and challenging while holding space for the practitioners. 

One healthy food I swear by and why?  Smoothies.  It's easy to throw in fruit/vegetables and protein without having a heavy meal.


2017 Message from Lynn

It's all about intentions, not resolutions.


Yogi of the Month ~ Jimmy Beasley

How long have you been practicing?

Introduced to yoga in 2011 at a Bikram studio in Fort Worth. But I've only been "consistent" since March of 2016.

What’s your favorite pose and why?
Everything other than downward dog. I'm still trying to figure out how downward dog is a "resting" pose.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: 

Balance. strength in weakness, weakness in strength. Desirable humility 

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?

It enhances my training & helps to provide perspective to my life and others in my life.

Why did you start practicing yoga?

Natural progression. It made sense.

How does yoga impact your everyday life?

My life is more in focused with a broader view.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?

Mostly a woman's activity. I believe men would benefit just as much, if not more, from a spiritual, soulful, and physical perspective. Our son even practices yoga. The whole family benefits.


Yogi of the Month ~ Katie Dennis

How long have you been practicing? About 4 years

What’s your favorite pose and why? I enjoy dancer because it is so beautiful and graceful (if I can hold it J)

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: Yoga brings me peace, clarity and it cleanses me.

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies? When I practice yoga, it makes me happy. The happiness flows into the next day. When I am happy, I take part in more of my hobbies with more joy and passion.

Why did you start practicing yoga? I initially started to tone, now I practice for a multitude of reasons. I believe God blessed me with a strong and capable body and I should use it and strengthen it every chance I get.

How does yoga impact your everyday life? Yoga helps me to deal with my anxiety- it is better than anything a doctor can prescribe. It is truly one of my most helpful outlets or resources for stress and helps me exercise an intentional focus which I can use outside of the studio.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing? I thought it might just be all about stretching, not so much of a work out. That changed quickly with my first heated class. Not only is every class challenging, but it tests your mind to focus.


Nina White ~ A Story of Encouragement

Watch Nina's inspirational video about her health journey and the difference yoga can make.


Yogi of the Month ~ Rachel Ackerman

Confessions of a Reluctant Yogi
by Rachel Kaye Ackerman

I do not have a magical, love-at-first-asana yoga story.  After an hour of intense, shaky postures and stretches, I panted with exhaustion, horizontal at last.  Everyone else seemed blissed out in the final resting pose, savasana, but I failed to catch that vibe.  I was too busy breaking out in hives.

All over my body, angry welts puffed out in protest.  I resisted the urge to scratch and inspect, loathe to disrupt the serenity of the sculpted yogis around me.  If hell is a quiet and motionless place, I had somehow stumbled upon it.  As soon as possible, I snuck away, vowing never to return.  The hives never returned either, dissipating within a few hours.  Whatever triggered them remains a mystery, but my response was unequivocal fear and avoidance.

Flash forward fifteen years and fifteen-plus pounds.  In a stroke of serendipity, my workplace offered lunchtime yoga.  With equal parts hesitance and desperation, I unfurled my mat again.  A sedentary lifestyle had done me no favors; I was as weak and wobbly as ever.  I abhorred boat pose with a venomous passion, and my trees toppled with all the grace of a drunken toddler.  Sweet savasana could not come soon enough.  It didn't take long, however, before the twice-a-week, thirty minute sessions became a refuge from my stress.  The stretching, the exhaustion, and the soothing voice of my instructor took me to a place of deep calm.  Despite my notorious aversion to physical challenge, I kept dragging myself back to the mat~and yoga kept offering compelling reasons to stay and deepen my practice.

Prior to yoga, I noticed my body for primarily negative reasons: pain, discomfort, disgust.  I hoarded tension in my jaw, my shoulders, and my back.  I became a regular at the chiropractor's office.  At times, my neck was so out of whack, I couldn't turn my head to speak to someone in the back seat of a car.  Shielding my knobby knees and freakish toes from public scrutiny, I refused to wear shorts and sandals for years.

These days, my naked toes make regular appearances at Yoga Story, and I appreciate how their extraordinary length roots me to the earth.  I relish feelings that never registered before:  energy coursing through my form, the exquisite release of relaxing muscles, the cleansing detox of dripping sweat.  My spine has grown supple; my chiropractor has become a stranger.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for a healthy body that still knows how to grow stronger, more flexible, more fluid, and more alive.

Buoyed by yogic meditations on a off the mat, my gratitude even extends to the lesson of those long-ago hives.  As an educator, I know discomfort and challenge serve as powerful learning catalysts~provided one responds with a growth mindset instead of fear.  Before my yoga journey began in earnest, however, I did not apply that understanding to my own flesh.  Now, I live this lesson daily. I am committed to a lifelong yoga practice. Now, at age 43, I am stronger in mind, body, and spirit than ever before.



Teacher Feature ~ Jim Hey

Jim teaches Warm Slow Flow every Saturday at 10:15. 

Favorite pose?

Half pigeon.  It's an amazing pose to let go and relax.  If you hold the pose long enough, your entire body and mind releases.

First introduced to yoga?

On a whim, I dropped into a class at a local gym.  After the first clas, I went up and hugged the teacher.

10 words or less on why you love yoga.

The feeling I have after a practice.

How does your practice make you stronger?

My practice has taught me how to relax my mind and focus, reducing stress and making me stronger.

How do you remain grounded outside the yoga studio?

I work at reducing external stress as much as possible.  The biggest change I've made towards this is to avoid violence in movies and TV.  I seldom watch the news.

Any advice to the beginner yogi?

Listen to your body.  Do what feels right and don't give up.

Favorite mantra or intention?

I am good.  I am peaceful and at ease.  I am happy.

Biggest misconception about being a yoga instructor?

That I am calm and in control.  Both take continuous work.

Name one healthy food that you swear by:

Avocados.  I love the way they taste.



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