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524 South Cooper-Main Studio
Memphis, TN 38104
816 South Cooper-MTY Too
Memphis, TN 38104

Staff List

(Showing 1 - 25 of 57)

Grace Harwood

A classically trained dancer for more than 20 years, Grace found that yoga filled the void that dance left in her heart and spirit. A wife, mother of three and present owner and director of Midtown Yoga, she values all aspects of yoga both on and off the mat. She is a certified E-RYT 200, and her desire for more playfulness and beauty of flow drove her to train in aerial yoga as well as to receive certification in AcroYoga. Her study of Ayurveda, through the Himalayan Institute, has opened her eyes to the world of self love, care and healing. Lifelong Memphian, Grace is committed to the continued growth of Midtown Yoga as well as to the entire Memphis Yoga community!

Steve Black

Steve, in his personal practice and as a teacher, takes a playful, exploratory, sometimes raucous, approach to yoga, focusing on gracefully and dynamically linking poses to the breath. A graduate of the Savannah (GA) Yoga Center’s 200 hour program and the Asheville Yoga Center’s 500 hour program, he has had the privilege of studying with a number of gifted teachers, including Stephanie Keach, Kelley Boyd, Desiree Rumbaugh, Cora Wen, Doug Keller, Max Strom, David Keil, and Scott Blossom. Steve approaches yoga as a movement meditation that deepens our awareness of our bodies, minds, and spirits.

Steve is an RYT 500/ERYT 200 certified teacher.

Geoff Bleech

Geoff began practicing yoga in 2005. He quickly realized the positive impact, both physically and emotionally, that a regular yoga practice can have in one’s life. “Yoga continually clears my mind and helps to add balance in my life. It’s made me a better friend, husband, employee, and citizen. I’m a stronger person because of it.”

A Graduate of Midtown Yoga’s Teacher Training program in 2007, his flowing alignment-based vinyasa classes contain something for all levels of students.

Yolandrea Clark
From her first yoga class, Yolandrea felt an instant shift in her total awareness and considers yoga to be perfect for simultaneous nourishment of the mind, body, and spirit. She enjoys sharing her passion for yoga with others, and with her welcoming and jovial personality, she employs a holistic approach to teaching by incorporating breath awareness, physical alignment, and yogic philosophy into each class. She has attended workshops with Rodney Yee, Cyndi Lee, Jennifer Brilliant, Richard Freeman, Chris Coniaris, Hart Lazer, Shiva Rea, Tias Little, and Jim Bennitt. She has studied with Sarla Nichols since 2002, is an E-RYT 500 credentialed teacher, and has been teaching since 2004. Yolandrea has a "bionic" knee, and as a Certified Yoga Therapist, she enjoys working with others who have had injuries and knee or other joint replacements and helping them to fully benefit from their yoga practice. Private yoga therapy sessions may be scheduled at Midtown Yoga Too. 
"Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured." -B.K.S. Iyengar
Debbie Denny

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded! -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Debbie walked away from a 10 year career in gaming hospitality to teach yoga. The quote from Emerson summarizes her approach to teaching, “As we practice yoga, we learn about ourselves through the breath.” Debbie’s personal practice includes traditional asana, meditation, and breath awareness. This enriches her classes and gives her students the opportunity to deepen their own individual practices. Debbie’s classes are challenging and humorous, a true reflection of life off the mat.

Leigh Ann Johnson

Leigh Ann came to her first yoga class to get back in shape after giving birth to her third child, and along the way discovered the beauty and benefits of yoga practice on and off the mat.

Though her family does not practice, she accredits the stress reducing aspects of yoga with saving their lives. (Because without yoga, she may have killed them.)

Since that first class, her practice has evolved into a life altering journey that has lead her to complete the Teacher Training Program with Sarla Nichols at Midtown Yoga.

Leigh Ann is a lighthearted, down to earth teacher excited about sharing the transformative power of yoga. Join her for a fun and challenging class that will inspire you to connect with your body and spirit. You will leave class better able to handle the stresses of everyday life.

Leslie Jones
Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Leslie began practicing yoga in earnest shortly after moving to Memphis in 2004. She has been teaching since completing the Midtown Yoga Teacher Training program in 2007. Her teaching style is compassionate and thoughtful, but can be challenging. In her classes Leslie encourages her students to explore both the physical power and the transformative potential of yoga. She endeavors to develop mindfulness, confidence, and compassion through an emphasis on the breath, heart, and body alignment. A lifelong athlete, Leslie grew up riding horses and ran track at the University of Arizona. She continues growing as a teacher and yogini by attending advanced workshops with such teachers as Rod Stryker, Chris Coniaris, Brenna Geehan, and Jennifer Brilliant.
Cate Plekon

Cate grew up on the Gulf Coast of Alabama and began practicing yoga there in 2003. She started her regular practice while healing from a bout with pneumonia and rediscovered its magic during the shift from college into the work force. She learned quickly that yoga helped her open up to the changes that were taking place in her life, so she stuck with it and completed teacher training here at Midtown Yoga in 2010.

Through her studies of yoga and through personal experience, Cate has learned the value of maintaining a healthy practice both on and off the mat. Her classes range from restorative, slow flow to heated, powerful vinyasa flow. Her intention is to incorporate strength-building techniques as well as nourishment, reflection and relaxation practices into her classes. Cate truly believes that there is some type of practice out there for every body and she has geared herself toward teaching a variety of styles.

Cate has completed additional trainings in Ayurvedic Yoga and Thai Yoga as well as Reiki. She's a self-proclaimed foodie, a Phish fanatic and a generally awesome individual.

Caroline Schmidt
Caroline is a natural vinyasa teacher, and effortlessly imparts her enthusiasm and affection for yoga. She favors creative transitions and deep opening. Her style is reminiscent of Shiva Rea, but her spirit is all her own. She is a bright light and you know it when you meet her. You’ll feel it when you come to her class.
Kirsti Burgener

Kirsti has always had an interest in physical activity and spirituality. She considers yoga to be the perfect marriage of both.

She received her 200 hour teaching certification at Midtown Yoga and went on to complete a 500 hour professional certification at Kripalu, she is E-RTY500. Kripalu Yoga includes standard yoga poses and concepts of inner focus, meditation, pranayama, quieting the mind and relaxation. Her studies have continued with Anodea Judith as she explores yoga and the chakras and their impact on each other. She has now completed her Chakra Yoga Teacher Certification with Sacred Centers.

Through her teaching and her own personal practice, Kirsti sees yoga as a gateway to knowing oneself. The principals learned on the mat are tools to be used in day to day life. Each class has a yogic theme or principal. Through various breathing techniques, asana flow and your own personal free flow movement, you will be given the opportunity to further explore your Self.

Shantih Smythe

Knowledge, experience and commitment distinguish Shantih’s teaching. Her calm, down-to-earth demeanor endears her to Midtown Yoga students. Her classes are grounded in her ongoing study of anatomy and inspired by her love of movement.

“I believe that flexibility of the body brings flexibility of the mind, and that strength of the body builds confidence and creates courage both within the yoga practice and out in the world.”

Shantih’s ability to clearly relay fundamentals of the asana practice and to maintain a compassionate and supportive environment result in students that are among the most loyal at Midtown Yoga.

Christy Washington

Christy’s passions include traveling and new experiences, such as backpacking through Latin America, teaching English in China, embarking on roadfood trips throughout the United States, and navigating the judicial system. She received her 200 Hour RYT Certification from Sarla Nichols at Midtown Yoga, and her style combines vinyasa, restorative, breathwork, and meditation. Her classes encourage you to create a personal practice that fits your needs and lifestyle while also offering opportunities to challenge and nurture yourself.

“I practice yoga to balance my roles of family member, friend, attorney, animal lover, and traveler, to suspend analyzing and problem-solving, and to be in the moment. By reconnecting with my breath, I remember that I am more than the sum of my roles, and I am able to connect with something greater than myself. Through teaching, I strive to guide my students to reconnect with themselves and to find joy in life.”

Traveling and meeting people from around the world have taught Christy that we have more in common with each other than may initially appear, so set aside any notions about what yoga should or should not be, bring an open mind and heart, and join her on the journey that awaits you – to experience your True Self! Namaste.

Bonnie Keene

Bonnie is a registered yoga teacher (RYT500/Yoga Alliance) and a certified Yoga Therapist registered with the International Association of Yoga Therapist. She continues her path with a personal practice, workshops and studies of Yogic practice and philosophy. Her classes incorporate the many tools she has acquired through continuous training and personal experience. Classes mix asana (individual yoga poses), and pranayama (movement and awareness of the breath). Both Hatha and Iyengar yogic approaches are employed to ensure the correct alignment of bones, muscles and organs. Join Bonnie for a class designed to combine breath with movement to create a body that is flexible and a mind that is calm and connected to the present.

Blayne Burns

“ Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul, create the symphony of life” B.K.S.Iyengar

What started out as an attempt to continue rehabilitation for shoulder surgery has turned into an ongoing passion for the practice of yoga. I feel that yoga literally saved my life and found me at the exact time I needed it the most. Since 1998, when I walked into my first yoga class, I felt at home. I feel incredibly grateful for the balance, calmness and strength that yoga has brought into my life.

With a background in dance and a lifelong commitment to health and fitness, yoga was a natural progression. I love to share yoga with others that need it and those that don’t know they need it yet. One of my favorite quotes is that, “Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.” I believe that the practice of yoga literally changes your attitude and ability to handle the challenges in life.

Arline Jernigan

A graduate of Memphis College of Art and a long-term physical fitness instructor before coming to yoga, Arline brings a unique blend of physicality and artfulness to her teaching. The yoga mat serves as a different kind of canvas for Arline, who continues to paint and exhibit her work in Memphis art galleries. Through her teaching as well as her art, she inspires others to feel more and move beyond preconceived notions of personal limitation.

She has been teaching for about 10 years, and keeps discovering new territory within her own practice.

She draws her teaching inspiration from several teachers, though Shiva Rea had a great impact on Arline’s initial direction. “Shiva opened my eyes to the beauty of flow, the freedom that personal power offers us, and the gateway to it on the yoga mat.”

Arline received her teaching certification through Yoga Alliance. She teaches both public and private classes, and takes students on yoga adventures around the world.

Carrie Muldavin
I have been a yoga practitioner for about 16 years. I began practicing yoga by enrolling in a continuing-ed class through the University of Memphis. It was a good place to start, and many practitioners began their practice in this same way with the same teacher! We know him as Bob.

I attended Yoga Teacher Training at Midtown Yoga with Sarla Nichols. From this training, I acquired my RYT200 in primarily Vinyasa style of yoga in 2010.

In 2012 I continued with my training by attending the Yoga Therapy School of Excellence in Jackson, Tennessee earning my 500RYT. This training enables me to work with people who have specific needs for which I am trained to address with the client.

Patients with autoimmune illnesses, scoliosis, depression, asthma, insomnia, and neck and shoulder issues are just a few of the issues for which I have been trained. I can provide individualized programs for clients and meet with them privately. I can work with clients following the directions of their doctors.

My go-to books to help me on my journey are: Calming Your Anxious Mind by Jeffery Brantley, and A Life Worth Breathing by Max Strom. I highly recommend them both. In addition, my journey is enlightened by attending workshops, retreats, meditation training, and my daily practice.


Cyndi Sinclair
Cyndi has worked as an intensive care nurse for 12 years and as a body worker using the Rolf method. The physical demands of these types of work and a long term relationship with back pain brought her to yoga. The physical practice of yoga has allowed her to open and find her strength while the mental practice of yoga continually allows the potential for peace and clarity. She relishes sharing the joys and possibilities of yoga with her students in a slow and easy style while encouraging them to start where they are.
Lisa Rowe
My quality of life is synonymous with my yoga practice.  Quality of life begins with gratitude, mindfulness, and practice.   A yoga practice is to practice stillness (meditation), mindful breathing (pranayama), and postures (asanas).  The three components of yoga is a continuous journey of knowing oneself and to becoming more delightful.  To live light,  spread the light, and be the light.  I started my yoga practice in January 2008. I completed the 200 hour Teacher Training with Sarla Nichols in 2009.  I continue to love my yoga practice and find opportunities to be inspired at yoga workshops with Rod Stryker, Jim Bennitt, Brenna Geehan, Cyndi Lee, Chris Connairis, Max Strom,  Reema Data, and my yoga teachers Grace Hardwood, Caroline Schmidt, Arline Jernigan, Shantih,....to name a few of the veteran teachers at Midtown Yoga Memphis. I love practicing with my peers.  I continue on the path of yoga, and so honored to be a yoga teacher.
Rosalyn Ross
Rosalyn is a former marketing professional turned yogini. Her yogic path began in 2004 when she sought out the practice to help relieve the stress of a high pressure work environment. From her very first class she was hooked. After years of trying to find a way to make a teacher training program fit into her hectic schedule, the universe provided the perfect opportunity for Rosalyn to submit herself to her passion’s calling. She was laid off. And within two months of that life event Rosalyn was in New York City embarking on the next step along her path as a participant in Sonic Yoga’s Summer Intensive 200 Hour Certification Program with a Vinyasa concentration. She completed her teacher training and received her formal certification in August of 2011 and registered with Yoga Alliance that same month.
Kathleen Hall
Kathleen is a yoga teacher, therapeutic body worker and certified body roller with a strong passion for guiding people to physical, mental and emotional freedom.  She has been learning and embodying the practice of yoga since 1992 when she first approached Buddhism and started meditation.  An eager student, she began with yoga in New York City in 1995 at Integral Yoga, and found that on the mat she could find release in her life from chronic stress, pain and illness.
After a decade of travel and moving throughout North America and studying an array of yoga styles, Kathleen landed in Memphis and became a certified yoga teacher through Midtown Yoga in 2008.  Recognizing and understanding the power of yoga, pranayama and bodywork in herself has helped her find deep empathy and intuition for her students and clients.  Kathleen wanted to dive deeper into the subtle physical body and how wounds and hurts of all kinds can be unwound and health restored through touch, movement and breath.  In 2010, she fell in love with John Barnes MFR and completed 6 JFB MFR seminars. In 2013, she became a licensed massage therapist  and now specializes in John F. Barnes Myofascial release.  She is also a certified Body Rolling practitioner through Yoga Tune Up.  
Kathleen is known for her uplifting presence, her creative personal style, and the safe space she holds for her students.  She accomplishes this through a unique combination of asana, pranayama, body rolling and MFR which all work together to release tightness created by misuse, underuse, overuse, abuse and trauma.  Kathleen's passion and specialty is to empower people to take charge of their own health and equip them with knowledge  and techniques to shed fear and suffering from a variety of issues.
Susan Waits
Susan Waits began her journey into the heart of yoga eight years ago, but became serious about deepening her practice, and her overall knowledge in 2012. She completed her 200-hour teacher training at Midtown Yoga in 2013, and is registered with Yoga Alliance. In 2015, she became certified as a Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist through Himalayan Institute. In 2016, Susan completed training as a Martha Beck life coach, which brings her healing journey full circle. This fall, she will offer regular workshops at Midtown Yoga that incorporate Mind Body life coaching tools with yoga.
Lauren Carr
Lauren took her first yoga class at Midtown yoga in 2000. Since then, yoga has been an important part of her journey to reconnect with her body, and she deeply believes that yoga can heal on an emotional, spiritual and physical level. Lauren completed her 200-hour teacher training at Midtown Yoga in 2013. Her teaching has been described as “soulful,” and she is passionate about sharing the many gifts yoga has given her with her students.

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