MEET OUR YOGA INSTRUCTORS
Our team of teachers, at Uptown Yoga, are dedicated to the practice and study of yoga, both on and off the mat. Though the energy and knowledge they bring varies, they are tied by the deep level of care they give to our students.
I credit my yoga path to the persistence of a friend that i now, and will always, hold dear to my heart. thank you, nelinda. In 2002, Nelinda introduced me to my first yoga class. I considered myself fairly athletic, but was amazed by the challenges I faced in that hour. I struggled to get through the standing series and by the time we hit the floor I felt as if I had been wrung out completely physically, mentally, and emotionally. I was eager to come back the next day, and the next, and the next. By day 4 into my practice I realized that the focus of my workout had morphed from being about how many calories I burned, what muscles I was working, into something much deeper.
The world around me became easier; my child was better behaved, people I met seemed nicer, and small things that used to bother me, didn’t. By getting rid of stress (that I didn’t realize I even had) my life started to change. I quickly dove into a 6 day a week practice, sometimes attending 2 classes a day. In 2003, I became certified to teach by completing a 500 hour teacher training course. Teaching then became my full time job and my life’s passion. After a 6 month life-changing stay in Thailand, I returned to the States in 2007 looking for a new studio to call home. I found Uptown Yoga. There was something special about the space: just walking in the doors made me feel at peace. At the time, the studio was a bit unkempt, the classes were small, and the overall energy was running low, but it had an undeniable pulse waiting to be revived. In the spring of 2008, the studio would get just that: I became owner and poured my heart into bringing it back to life. I brought in teachers that share the same energy and passion for teaching as I do . Together we laid the ground work for what the studio has become today, a beautiful community where everyone can feel comfortable exploring (or beginning) their yoga practice. Yoga has helped me through some tough times and brought me to where I am today; a place of complete love and gratitude. I am thankful to have been brought to Uptown, and to be surrounded by amazing teachers and students.
I first started my yoga journey in University. Yoga was a way for me to decompress from the stressors of nursing school. After a change from my nursing major and my graduation I moved home to be with my family, while my father recovered from back surgery. I began to take yoga around the dallas area and fell in love with the vinyasa practice. I received my 200 hr teaching certification in December 2011.
I try to blend different movements that may not be typical in a traditional yoga class with the breath. I love playing with arm balances, inversion and try to blend in stabilizing movement with flow.
My ultimate goal when your come to my class is to sweat out the stress and leave with a weight lifted off your shoulder.
After a couple years of dragging myself to the gym to lose extra baby weight, I finally decided to try a Vinyasya yoga class. I was going through a difficult time in my life that had left me with little self-esteem and I was intimidated by the fact I am not naturally flexible, but I went to the class anyway. I struggled with doing the postures and understanding the cues but an hour later I laid on my mat amazed by how I felt – not only did I experience a physically rigorous practice (yoga makes you sweat that much?) but it also stirred up emotions in me that I never felt from exercise. I had to come back.
I started taking classes several times a week and had a great teacher who always encouraged the class to at least try a challenging pose. Once I learned to be present and breathe I really started having fun with the practice. I also loved the fact that this was the one hour in my days that situations, lables, worries were non-existent.
I continue to be amazed at the transformation my yoga practice has had not only on my mat but off it as well. This personal transformation inspired me to attend a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Registered Teacher Training at Uptown Yoga in 2013 under Jennifer Chitwood and Maria Carroll. As a teacher I hope to help you to tap into your breath and body to discover a yoga practice that helps you release tension from the body and mind all while having fun.
I started my Yoga practice over 12 years ago. After practicing and studying more and more I found that I was only scratching the surface of what Yoga was and could be for myself. This led me to want to teach and share this amazing experience and journey with others. My vision is to make the practice available for everyone to participate in. When we experience the stretching, bending, twisting and turning in Yoga we achieve a level of understanding of ourselves that contributes to our sense of control and flexibility. My goal for my students is to go beyond the physical aspect and heighten awareness of the body-mind connection. I believe our potential is limitless and within this realm there is a great joy.
I found yoga by last resort over 13 years ago. I was having a lot of knee pain and I was told I needed to have knee surgery on both of my knees at a very young age. Surely, there was another option… and that’s when yoga came into my life. I started to better understand my body and its needs and limitations. I learned how to strengthen muscles around my knees that I never knew existed! That’s when my love of yoga began…and I still have never had that knee surgery!
I often have people tell me, "you're never stressed" or "you never let things bother you," and the truth is, I do. I'm human just like the next person with real feelings and raw emotions--this doesn't come naturally! What's different though, is I have learned through this practice that I have positive outlets to release this energy. I've learned that I simply can't control everything in my life and that's okay. I've learned that not everything is going to go as planned and I will be faced with challenges and difficult situations in my life. The difference is that I now know how to be non-reactive and compassionate and confident rather than short-tempered, stressed and angry. It's a beautiful realization and that's what I try to convey in my classes.
In my class, you may find enlightenment and you may find what blockage exists in your heart chakra, but what's most important to me is that you find a peaceful, loving environment to be real, to be true to yourself and to learn to become a more open, compassionate and balanced individual. Those are the things you'll need in the real world as you go about your daily lives. In my class, you'll be challenged, you'll sweat, and you may even fall once or twice, but through it all- you will have fun and you will leave smiling, ready to take on what life throws your way!
Hey yogis! I have been teaching yoga since 2013. I am a 500 hour certified teacher and also E-RYT 200 (have taught over 1000 classes). I am currently studying with the Kripalu School of Yoga and Health in pursuit of a Yoga Therapist certification, studying under Joseph and Lilian Le Page. I draw inspiration from my classes from studying with Maria Mendola, Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Jennifer Reis and Yoganand. My classes will focus on alignment, mindfulness, breathing, and other elements from my yoga therapist background. I also love putting together fun sequences and finding new ways to link poses together. My hope is that you will leave feeling refreshed and renewed. I look forward to seeing you on the mat!
I am so grateful I ventured onto a yoga mat in 1999. I have found the mind-body connection to be such a powerful and transformative experience, that I have been a seeker on the yogic path ever since. Once I learned to breathe deeply and quiet my mind, my life purpose came into focus, and I began to live life more fully and more in balance.
I began teaching as soon as I stepped out of teacher training in 2005. That seeker spirit has led me into a deeper study of both Ayurveda and Thai Massage. I finished my 500RYT with Ayurvedic Practitioner, Arpita Shaw. I am an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor and a Licensed Massage Therapist continually cultivating my tools to support my students along their journeys. I continue to study yogic philosophy, subtle energy, and the effects of trauma on the body with my other teachers Rod Stryker, Tias Little and Seane Corn.
When you come to my class, (got to get up early!) I’ll ask you to be open and honest with yourself about where you are. I’ll invite you to release your resistance and be courageous. My own injuries have taught me to be an accommodating, compassionate practitioner and teacher, focusing on presence of mind and longevity of body – tools we need for a lifetime!
My spouse and two pups bring me an abundance of ojas for life’s fuel. What feeds my soul when not on my mat is travel, design, fair trade, and practicing seva, yogic service.
I started doing yoga when I was in college in 2010. I loved the physical practice but would sneak out of savasana (so obnoxiously) because I couldn’t be alone with my thoughts. I took an adjunct class to create a foundation for my practice, and I almost failed. I stepped away from yoga for a few years as I fell into the strong grasp of addiction, but eventually the spirit of the universe brought me back to this amazing practice. I started getting serious about yoga in 2015 when I moved to Dallas to get sober. Over the past couple of years, my personal practice—both meditation and asana—has grown immensely, and I have had the pleasure to get 200 hour Teacher Training certified and am finishing up my 300 hour Teacher Training certification in December 2018. I love yoga because it helped me heal my body, mind and soul. I equate a lot of the personal transformation that I have experienced to this practice. I became more disciplined, open, and kind to others and to myself. Teaching yoga was never something that I dreamed of doing even when I took teacher training, but it has become my most fiery passion and brings me great joy to share this gift with others. I love challenging flows with tricky transitions that get your heart rate up and allow you to be fully present on your mat. Yoga has shown me what it means to truly move with grace and non attachment both on and off the mat.
My yoga journey began in 2011 when I was in search of something to keep me grounded while dealing with heavy challenges in my personal life. From the moment I stepped onto my first mat at Uptown's old Lakewood location, I was hooked. And over time, I became stronger and more balanced – physically, emotionally, and mentally. My practice is a daily reminder of the freedom that comes with acceptance of self and appreciation of the beauty of the present moment. My goal is to help my students find that same clarity on their mats.
I received my 200-hour certification in 2015. When I'm not practicing or teaching yoga, I'm living a life I love with my beautiful young daughter, and work from home as a freelance copywriter.
I began toying with yoga in 2012. I remember leaving and thinking “what is this magic?!” Fast forward several years, and like many, through a broken heart, broken life, yoga became my mainstay and quickly turned from a sweaty workout into a daily practice of the mind, body and soul. I have now been teaching yoga since 2015, and can’t believe that I am truly living the dream. My education background stems from a Bachelor’s in Education and Spanish language, and a Master’s degree in Counseling. It’s amazing to me how all of these things have slowly wound together to create this life, and I am eternally grateful.
I have an amazing little girl, who is already turning into the sweetest little yogini. We work our best every day to take things one breath at a time, finding comfort in the discomfort, and treating ourselves and others with love, kindness, compassion and respect. How you do anything, is how you do everything. I hope to see you on the mat soon, and remember, the day you least want to show up, is the day you need it the most.
Lisa has been a practitioner of yoga for over 35 years and has been teaching for almost 20 years. Lisa’s classes are centered around the fundamental idea in yoga that there is a place in each of us that endures and is un-changing. Our lives are full of ups and downs, of pleasure and pain, of joy and despair. Yoga science is the methodology that empowers us to access that unchanging place of wholeness in the midst of all the change in our lives.
In Lisa’s class you will use the postures to challenge the physical body in a way that also trains the nervous system to respond to stress and the challenges of our lives. Lisa uses her training as an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist to share practices that balance and enliven the physical and energetic bodies. Students will find the format very similar to other Flow practices, with more of an emphasis on the strength and stability found through holding poses for longer periods of time.
Lisa teaches with love and respect for the practice and for the lineage of her teacher, Yogarupa Rod Stryker who teaches from an unbroken lineage of Sri Vidya from the Himalayan masters of India. She holds certifications as a Para Yoga Nidra teacher, a Yoga4Cancer teacher, a Holistic Health Coach and Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist.
I fell into yoga almost backwards and blessed in how it happened! I was teaching a variety of group fitness formats at my university campus rec center in college, when my director had put me up to the task of teaching yoga. Terrified and knowing nothing at all about the practice, I sought as many educational opportunities as I could and began practicing at a local studio so that I could be the best for my students. What ended up happening was not only did I find what I was seeking, but I also made some incredible self-discovery. For the first time, I found freedom from the burden of trying to meet external expectations (growing up as a ballet dancer, this was huge). The idea that we participate in yoga practice, not yoga perfect, has been a cornerstone in my own self-growth and is a turnkey in my own teachings.
Upon graduation, I moved to the Dallas area where I pursued both my 200 and 300 hour certifications as well where I taught yoga and other fitness formats. I spent three years as a first grade teacher, learning the art of teaching, while at the same time finding a growing passion for teaching yoga and group exercise. There is something life-giving about seeing others discover their truth and feel at home in their bodies, I couldn’t get enough of it!
I am now running my own business, Lisa Reynolds Fitness, with a mission to empower others to find freedom through movement. I am passionate about sharing the teachings of yoga with others and am so blessed for the community at Uptown Yoga. You will find my classes are light-hearted and playful with the intention to get us out of our heads and into our hearts. Come flow with me at the studio any time J.
I discovered yoga a little later in life than many. I was 32 when I started practicing at home. I later came to Uptown Yoga cold, having never taken a class and without knowing anyone in the class. Between nerves and a natural high-level of energy, I couldn’t sit still. Through the good-humored patience of one of our former Uptown teachers, Maria, I finally settled into that first class and found a level of peace I had never known.
After a significant time of dedicated practice, I joined Uptown Yoga’s teacher training program. After completing it and teaching on my own a while, Jen Chitwood brought me into the ranks of teachers at Uptown Yoga, which quite literally changed my life.
In addition to teaching at Uptown Yoga, I founded Yogis-On-The-Go, which partners with Uptown Yoga to bring yoga outside of the studio and into the space of other companies, office buildings, schools and hospitals. You can find more about Yogis-On-The-Go at this link: www.YogisOnTheGo.com.
It is such an honor to bring the practice of yoga to others. Since becoming a teacher, I have watched people become more balanced, develop strength and flexibility, and generally find some of the peace I felt in that first class. These principles of peace, balance, strength and flexibility are the driving factors in my classes, and I welcome the opportunity to share them with seasoned yogis and new students alike.
I started my yoga practice in 2009, hoping to achieve the physical benefits of a lean, toned and flexible body. I quickly realized that an “ideal” body image didn’t solve for life’s miscellaneous curveballs and the emotional roller coasters they take us on. In turn I dove deeper into the eight limb path.
I became fascinated with the yamas and niyamas in how they encourage us to show up as our best selves. I experienced the impact of pranayama (breath), and how it plays a huge role in any physical or mental exercise. Lastly, I’m motivated by the ongoing practice of being able to let go of mental or material distractions and to concentrate the mind, in hopes of reaching a level of peace.
Through asana (physical poses), I believe we’re able to combine these other limbs with the connection of body, breath, and mind while on the mat, especially when flowing through a challenging pose or sequence. Practicing this control on the mat has built my awareness off the mat, providing strategies for how to encounter life’s curveballs.
My goal as an instructor is to create a safe space for students to find this connection during their practice and be able to apply the eight limb principles toward everyday life, ultimately finding a level of peace for themselves.
I began my yoga journey in 2014 after having to quit competing in Crossfit due to some sustained injuries. I was looking for a way to still active and enjoy fitness and along the way, yoga became so much more for me. Showing up to my mat became a daily lesson about self care and taking the time to learn how to fill my own cup, love myself, and show myself compassion and patience so I could, in turn, share all those things with others. I am extremely passionate about mentoring, coaching, and developing others and am so grateful for the ability to do so through such a beautiful practice.
I received my 200 hour certification in 2015 and have been teaching since completion. When I am not teaching, I work as a General Manager for Tory Burch’s activewear line Tory Sport. I am also active in volunteering with the Junior League of Dallas and have the pleasure of teaching restorative yoga to the members of the North Texas Cancer Support Community twice a month.
My yoga journey began while I was searching for healing and therapeutic forms of movement after an injury that ended my career as a ballet dancer. After attending a few Ashtanga and Vinyasa classes, I found that the practice left my body feeling cleansed, energetic, and mobile. As I began to incorporate a daily yoga practice into my life, I discovered that there was much more to yoga than just physical movement and exercise. Yoga taught me to accept and love my body and my self exactly they are. The healing and peace I found through yoga inspired me to explore a deeper spiritual practice, and sparked within me the desire to share that experience with others.
In 2012 I became a 200-hour RYT, and continued my education in 2013 through Uptown Yoga’s Teacher Training. I love to incorporate my background in dance into my yoga classes through carefully choreographed, alignment-centered sequences. I’m also fascinated by anatomy and how the body works, and I emphasize detailed alignment and muscle activation techniques in my practice and teaching. I believe that the true power of yoga happens when we take the inner transformation we discover on the mat, and share it with the world by living ethically and treating others with kindness.
My yoga journey began at 15 years old. Golf was my main focus, my athletic talent and my ticket to a college scholarship. My first yoga class was Hatha style, and I loved it. My grandmother had an interest in yoga and together we went to Hatha and Kundalini yoga classes. Yoga was something that we both shared a passion for and bounded us. Finally, a hot vinyasa studio opened in San Antonio and I fell in love with the vinyasa practice.
It kept me strong and flexible for golf, not to mention the mental benefits of the practice. I believe the yoga practice and my golf talent earned me a golf scholarship to Baylor University. As a student athlete, you have school and golf. Our mandatory workouts did not involve yoga, but I kept begging my trainer to let us try it. Every summer I would return to San Antonio, practice golf and yoga.
I moved to Dallas in 2010, for an internship. Our office was in Uptown. I was in search of a studio home and thankfully I walked in to Uptown Yoga. I went twice a day, noon and 5:30pm class. I was hooked. Three years later, a teacher asked me to consider Uptown Yoga Teacher Training. My first thought was, wow I can be a yoga teacher and second, how can I afford this? I picked up a few extra gigs and I saved up the money, took a few vacations, and finally signed up for teacher training in 2015. Teacher Training was one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences of my life. So much changed in my yoga practice and life. I found inner confidence and more connected to my community. Through teacher training my knowledge for the practice grew exponentially and I am honored to teach and share the practice of yoga.
I’m Sean and I have been practicing for about 3 years and teaching for 2...I love sharing my knowledge to help grow and Introduce positive change in peoples lives. “This power of yoga aligns our hearts and our minds to be strong in our beliefs and transform ourselves to the best version of us.” Come flow wth us and myself for meaningful transitions and powerful breakthroughs... -Namaste
I previously attended a few yoga classes here and there throughout life, but nothing ever stuck with me until I took my first class at Uptown yoga back in 2015. I was looking for something and I needed change. I was not satisfied or happy with where I was physically, emotionally and mentally at the time. I remember taking my first class. I remember how difficult it was, but I also remember how great I felt after. I ended up buying an unlimited membership to Uptown and pushed myself to go despite the battle it was each day to get on my mat, because it wasn’t easy. Life gets in the way and it was easy to make excuses, but I had made a commitment to myself. I took it one day at a time.
Eventually I found the change and growth I was looking for, recognizing this change didn’t happen overnight. Yoga has taught me more than I could have ever imagined. It has taught me true appreciation of my body and gratitude for all that it does for me. It has taught me how to ground myself when life wants to try to knock you down, it has taught me to breathe through the difficult situations that are always bound to arise, it has taught me to let go of expectations and instead, set intentions, it has taught me that it’s okay to feel fear, but it is continuing beyond and past that fear, that we reach a place of true growth.
Finally arriving at a point where I realized how powerful yoga can impact one’s life from personal experience, I felt compelled to share it despite not really knowing if I wanted to teach or not. Realizing that the thing holding me back was fear and self-doubt. I did my teacher training through Uptown Yoga in 2017 and it has been one of the most pivotal milestones in my life. As someone who has suffered through anxiety and depression in the past, recognizing where I am today and how far I have come it has truly been a blessing. I continue to set the intention of hope that I can teach students to feel empowered to believe in themselves and to be the change they wish to see.
My yoga journey began in January of 2014. I was recovering from an ankle injury which had left me unable to keep up my normal, cardio-based workouts. I knew I liked yoga from the times I tried it, but I had never practiced at a studio. I was skeptical that I could get an intense enough workout from yoga alone to maintain the physical shape I had been in prior to my injury and wow, was I in for a big surprise!
It only took one class to realize that the intensity of the workout would not be an issue, but it took a few more for me to realize that a yoga practice would give me much more than I would ever find on an elliptical machine. I fell in love with the calm relaxed feeling that would come over me as I made my way through even the most energetic flows. I noticed my stress levels and anxiety started to drop and while the weight I had put on in the downtime from my injury didn’t immediately disappear, I could feel myself growing stronger and more flexible with every practice.
About a month after I began practicing, I decided to cancel my gym membership. With a few more months, I knew that not only had I found a new physical regimen, but also that someday I would get certified to teach so I could share my love of yoga with others. In June of 2016 I received my RYT200 certification and have been teaching weekly classes since.
For all of my classes, I aim to challenge and inspire my students to try something new, while creating a fun and encouraging atmosphere. Whether it’s getting into pose for the first time or hearing that they’re sleeping better at night, it’s so rewarding to celebrate with students and witness the growth in their practices.
When I’m not at the studio practicing or teaching, I love to travel, cook, go to concerts, and spend time with my sweet husband, Matt and our crazy dog, Jolie.
Movement has always been a passion and source of healing in my life. It is my love of movement that drives me to mindfully craft fun and engaging classes that welcome all bodies at all fitness levels.
Each class is carefully curated in order to cultivate an experience that is meant for you. Expect to experience a class that gives space for reflection, and opportunities to bring your awareness to the intelligence and emotions that lie within the physical body. Music as well as the pace of class is a balance between moments of strength, play and stillness so that you can connect with every dimension of your humanity. We will safely explore our edges, sweat and laugh while also allowing time to pause and listen. I strive to hold space for each unique individual while providing a supportive environment ideal for personal growth and learning.
I have been coaching and teaching since the age of 16 and am a RYT200, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Barre Instructor and former competitive gymnastics coach.
I am currently completing my second bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene, and I look forward to keeping Dallas’ smiles healthy and bright in between downward dogs and sun salutes.
Grow Strong. Grow Beautiful.