How did yoga come into my life?
I met Bonnie through the hair salon about 7 years ago. She started practicing yoga and she kept inviting me to go with her, I have always had a curiosity about yoga, but was afraid to try it. I finally joined her for a class and loved it! I watched as Bonnie went through her teacher training and thought it very inspiring. After going through a rough few years, I started on a journey of self care and self growth. As always, Bonnie was by my side. On New Years 2017, I told her that I had decided that I wanted to go through yoga teacher training. I felt that there was so much that I was missing within. That spring, Bonnie let me know that everyoneYoga was offering a training program, through Open Studios, and I signed up! That was the scariest and best decision that I have made in a long time. It became the hardest, most inspiring and knowledgable six months ever, and I met some great people along the way. The rest is history!
How do I practice yoga off the mat?
I believe in treating others with compassion and understanding, practicing non-judgement, mindfulness, honesty and self care. Every night, before bed, I meditate and practice gratitude for what my day has brought, what I have and for the people in my life.
Why do I want to teach?
While I originally went through this journey for self growth, I have been asked by many friends and family, when I will begin teaching. Though I never intended to teach, I do love making people feel their best and I do love to share my passion with others. This is an additional step in my journey to self growth and facing my fears outside of my comfort zone.
What is my style of yoga?
Since this is the beginning of my yoga teaching journey, all I can say is that I’ve really enjoyed a gentle practice. Just because it’s gentle, doesn’t mean it isn’t challenging. To me, it is a practice that is suitable for everyone from beginners to advanced. I look forward to being an inspiration to others, as my mentors have been to me.
During her studies, she was led to tai chi, and eventually, to yoga. Under the guidance of her brilliant teachers, Lizzie learned how to intertwine many yogic philosophies into not only her own practice, but her life as well. After a dedicated year of two-yoga-classes-a-day, she decided to pursue her studies as a 200 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher. Two years later, she completed her Apprenticeship with her yoga studio alma mater, before moving to Australia for 7 months and sharing her passion on the other side of the world; she is currently working towards earning an additional 300 Hour Training through the Asheville Yoga Center.
Lizzie believes in the magic of mindfulness, and the life changing affects it has on every yoga practitioner, no matter their age, gender, race, body type, or any other physical factors. She considers it an honor to be aligned with a studio that shares the same passion for wellness!
As a 40-something wife, daughter, mother, and full-time educator, the busyness of my professional and personal life had begun to take its toll on me. My physical health was declining, and the daily stresses of just surviving were draining the life out of me. I decided to try a yoga class, and nothing has been the same. My body is certainly healthier and stronger, but the calm and confidence that I’ve gained from my yoga practice has been even more transformational. Sure, my life is still full of stresses, but yoga has provided me with tools and space to find peace by being more deeply rooted in truth, growing in my faith, and finding gratitude for my many blessings (Colossians 2:7).
Unwrapping the gift of yoga is an on-going journey, but this journey is a blessing that I want to share with others in my community. I completed my RYT 200 level yoga teacher certification through Open Studio Yoga, Barre, and Mindfulness in 2018 so I can do just that! My decision to teach yoga has required risk-taking, courage, and a step of faith, but I am overflowing with thankfulness for the opportunities that it provides me to share with others the truth of our mind, body, and soul connections
My Teaching Style
I am a new instructor and still discovering my personal style, but I tend to plan vinyasa flow classes that build strength and balance rooted in the power of the breath. Modifications are always offered for varying levels and experiences so that all students can fully participate. Classes typically end with deep stretching and a time of final relaxation.
Holley is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, licensed to practice in North Carolina, and nationally registered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. She has a BSPH in nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in nutrition from Appalachian State University.
Marathons, Triathletes, Spartan Trifectas, Body building, Race Walking
How did yoga come into my life?
Yoga first came into my life as a calming moving meditation during a stressful life transition. For most of my life I was active through sports, walking, running, or working out at the gym, but yoga felt different. Yoga grounded me in wholeness and opened a path of self-discovery and transformation. Yoga continues to support a desire to live in my body and nurture it for healthy movement as I age. Incarnation takes courage and yoga is a source of courage as I seek to embody and live my soul’s purpose.
How do I practice Yoga on the mat?
Often when I practice yoga I experience a sense of worship and connection to my body and creation. Practicing yoga is like the experience of being immersed in nature. Both creative flows and standard yoga flows (like sun and moon salutations) interest me. I enjoy standing on my mat in my home practice and letting a flow emerge as my body and mind enter the conversation with my breath. Sometimes I dance and wiggle my practice to drum beat to remember yoga is a living unfolding practice. Healthy alignment in physical poses, interior experience, the unique journey of my body, and spiritual transformation are important to my yoga practice.
How do I practice Yoga off the mat?
Off my mat I practice yoga by bringing attention to breath, or specific breathing exercises as I sit at a stop light or take a break. Standing in checkout lines I do mini balance poses and abdominal engagement for core strength. No mat needed for a Sun Salutation in the drive way, rest stop or airport! There are little a-ha moments when the intentional movements on my mat are alive in my body as I reach down to plant a seed in my garden or stretch out to pull a weed. The more I practice yoga, the more I experience an arising of beauty in my everyday life, yoking my mind, body and spirit to source. There is a blessing I say at the end of most classes. “May the seeds of peace, presence, beauty, truth, loving kindness and steadiness grow in us as we move on our mats and move in the world.” Yoga teaches me to nurture these seeds on my mat and manifest this way of being in my life off the mat. Every moment is ripe with opportunity to nurture these seeds.
Why a yoga teacher?
Like many others, I went to teacher training to deepen my practice and to be with my dear friend Judith. With her encouragement I began teaching. Yoga brings me transformation, peace and grounding amidst the ever changing flow of life. I teach out of a desire to live yoga, and to share yoga with others on their unique physical, emotional, and spiritual journey. Mark Stevens speaks of yoga as a process for awakening the truth of one’s being, to an abiding sense of equanimity amidst the shifting tides of daily experience and the seasons of one’s life. He writes that yoga is not a practice of attainment; it is an unending process of self-discovery and self-transformation. Yoga teaches us a way to consciously participate in the constancy of change. Breath by breath we evolve along our unique path. That speaks to me, as I inhale and exhale, moving with the breath, yoking body, mind and spirit. I teach what I most need to learn and find blessing in beholding beauty shining in each person’s yoga practice. And maybe if I teach I’ll finally learn left from right? That brings me to Rumi - “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense.” Teaching yoga is about that for me.
What is my teaching style?
My teaching style honors all the many reasons students come to yoga – physical healing, emotional healing, relaxation, building strength and flexibility, and spiritual transformation. Inspiration and reflection are invited with poetry and other readings. Ahimsa, doing no harm, guides class design as I honor the muscular, skeletal and nervous systems of our amazing bodies. Connecting breath to movement, exploration of poses, and intentional movement into and out of each asana are important. I seek to create safe welcoming space for everyone through well designed classes, clear instructions, and modifications for different body capabilities. My classes encourage students to honor where they are while exploring their growing edges of self- discovery and transformation.