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© 2017 BY HIGHLAND YOGA

OUR TEACHERS

ELSPETH BROTHERTON

Searching for ways to cope with stress and anxiety, Elspeth discovered yoga and was quickly hooked during her final year of law school. She explored a wide array of asana practices before finding her home in Vinyasa.

A classically trained pianist, Elspeth is known for her carefully curated playlists, powerful sequences and intuitive breath cues, all of which intend to compel her students ever deeper into their minds, bodies and breathing.

Elsie completed her 200-hour teacher training in Dallas, Texas at Uptown Yoga and has since taught over 2000 hours of yoga classes accruing her E-RYT designation. Elspeth is the founder and owner of Highland Yoga, and the director of its Teacher Training Program. She received her J.D. from Emory and practiced as a litigator in Dallas and Atlanta before taking to the mat full time. She is most blessed to be dog-mom and social media manager to Mops, whom you can find on insta at @yoga_with_mops. 

TRACY SHARP

Tracy's exposure to yoga began as a child. Her mother was a student and eventually a teacher of Iyengar. Committed to forging her own path, Tracy tried various forms of yoga before finding Ashtanga. This discovery was the beginning of a significant transformation which extended far beyond the familiar asanas.

 

Over many years, Tracy expanded her practice to include creative based Vinyasa and Aerial Yoga. During this process of learning, the desire to share her experience was born. Tracy completed her 200 hour training with John Meredith in 2010 and has been teaching since.

 

Tracy is incredibly grateful for all that yoga has given her, and it is one of her greatest blessings to have the opportunity to share it.

LINDSAY DOVER WHEELER

Lindsay's classes are all about encouraging you to let go and fully exist in the present moment. She hopes, together as a community, one yoga class at a time, we can cultivate a world where our ego no longer takes control of us; constantly living in the past and the future, but never in the now.

 

Her instruction is fluid and playful. She will physically challenge you in a number of ways, but always offers modifications so that everyone can participate. She welcomes everyone with a smile (usually a hug, too) and has a kindness to her that makes you feel right at home.
 

Lindsay is a lot like you, and it is yoga that has taught her to live a more balanced and authentic life. She is reverent and irreverent. Focused and distracted. Enlightened and confused. Inspired and discouraged. Spontaneous and complacent. Observant and oblivious. Benevolent and malevolent. She believes that music is the greatest catalyst for being present in the moment. Yoga keeps her centered, traveling colors her life, and paying it forward feeds her soul. Lindsay is excited to meet you, and hopefully, over time, truly know you.

LEIGH MALLIS

Leigh sought out yoga in the late 90s to relieve stress and find deeper meaning in life. Her very first Kundalini Yoga class is where her love for the practice became clear. Yoga is Leigh's true path. For 18 years she has studied and trained in Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Kundalini Yoga with teachers from around the world. She offers intuitive flow classes that thread all of her yoga knowledge together that challenges the body and mind on the mat.

 

Students have referred to her classes as "yoga therapy". Her belief is that the practice is challenging, so we can get out of our heads and into our physical and energetic body. Leigh likes to help her students elevate their consciousness by teaching them the tools of yoga and meditation.  

 

Leigh holds workshops and speaks to groups, both personal and in corporate environments. She teaches the value of maintaining a daily sadhana of gratitude and meditation. You can find weekly yoga, meditation, health and wellness inspiration through her blog Atlanta On the Path.

TJ MANGRUM

TJ is a 200 hour RYT and 200 hour YogaHour trained yoga instructor. TJ's love for yoga began with love for physical health and developed into a deeper love when her mind and body began working together to create a moving meditation.

 

Having grown up an athlete, TJ brings heat and intensity into her classes while maintaining space for her students to explore their spirituality. TJ believes in the power of proper alignment and patience with the body. TJ infuses a fiery practice with a spiritual connection the the heart.
 

CARON CHRISTISON

Caron began practicing yoga shortly after she moved to Macon in early 2013 in hopes of meeting new people and finding motivation to stay in shape. At the time, she had done a few Jillian Michaels DVDs and loved what yoga did for her physically, but she had no concept of what yoga really was and how it would change her life. After her first class, she immediately fell in love with the practice and felt inspired to share that passion with others.

 

She completed her 200-hour teacher training at Red Hot Yoga and has been teaching regularly ever since. She helps her students connect with the lessons, emotions and struggles on their mats and how they can translate so literally into their lives.

 

Her teaching style is a balance of fast-paced, high-energy power and a calming reassurance. She reminds students to be patient, be in the present moment, work with where they are each day, be kind and nonjudgmental towards themselves, and let things happen in their own time while also finding their edge and moving past it.

EMILY CHILDS

Emily spent much of her time dancing when growing up where she was drawn to the beauty and grace of ballet. While feeling stressed in college, she took a yoga class believing the movements to be familiar. She was surprised to realize how much strength was needed for yoga and it was not merely stretching. This fueled her curiosity about yoga for the next 6 years learning from various studios, teachers, and workshops. 

 

Emily was invited to Highland Yoga by a friend in 2017 where she became immediately hooked on the breath connection and sense of community. Finally, she had found a yoga home! Desiring to deepen her practice and share the positive influence of yoga on her life, Emily completed her 200 hour training with Highland in April 2018. 

 

Yoga continues to teach Emily peace of mind, empowerment, acceptance, and the value of community. Emily's classes invite you to find connection and play in your yoga practice as well as your life!

TINA REALE

Tina Reale discovered the practice of yoga when recovering from an eating disorder and unhealthy relationship with her body

​ in 2008​. The wholeness she felt following those first yoga sessions sparked a fire inside, eventually leading her to pursue the opportunity to share that same power of yoga with others.  


In Tina’s classes you will enjoy creative sequencing,​ along with​ accessible approaches to each posture and personal application of your practice to your ​

life. Tina’s mission is for each student to leave with renewed energy, an empowered spirit, and, most importantly, a smile.


Tina achieved 200 hour accreditation with Red Hot Yoga Studios in Atlanta, GA. She has furthered developed ​her teaching through completing training intensives, workshops, and apprenticeships. 

SARAH ELIZABETH CARLSON

Sarah received her yoga instructor certification from a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Hot Yoga program at Sweaty Ganesh Yoga (soon to be called Wild Light Yoga Center) in Eugene, OR. Her yoga journey began in 2007 in an effort to heal her body after dealing with some health issues while she was in graduate school studying the psychology of human learning and cognition. She absolutely fell in love with yoga.

 

Not long after she began practicing yoga, she realized that not only did she want to heal her physical body, but what she was really craving was the sense to connect the body, mind, and spirit. She learned that focusing on the breath and body is what can ultimately connect us with our Divine selves both on and off the mat. Her continued practice and teaching of yoga is to find the balance of every day stresses that life presents us with as we come back to the connection with the body, mind, and spirit. 

 

Her teaching style also promotes a positive learning environment, where she holds a safe space to be present to where the body is on any particular day. Her classes focus on moving through postures with proper alignment and deepening the them with breath. As an educational psychologist, she also studies how to use mindful practices to help improve learning and cognition skills for children and adults of all ages.

SHELLEY DUBOIS

Shelley believes yoga is accessible to anyone, no matter the circumstance. She first began her practice in 2011 and has been joyfully spreading her love of yoga ever since.

 

She completed her 200-hour training at Active Sol in Atlanta, Georgia. Inspired by the peace her practice brought about during her mother’s battle with cancer, she found a deep appreciation for restorative and yin yoga and the benefits they could bestow upon others.

 

Her classes are relaxing, grounding, and peaceful. With each class she aims to clear the mind and body of stress so that her students may live more enjoyable lives. She frequently utilizes meditation and yogic principals to create an enriching experience for all levels. 

MORGANNA BRIDGERS

Morganna was first introduced to yoga in the summer of 2003 at a summer theatre intensive in North Carolina. She considered it to be challenging and rewarding on a physical level, and always kept it on her radar, dropping into classes from time to time. In 2016, she said farewell to 20 years of acting onstage and moved to Atlanta to pursue film. In need of a way to stay in shape and build endurance, she found her way back to her yoga mat. After two months of a consistent heated power vinyasa practice at Highland Yoga, she experienced a previously unknown feeling of power and capability on her mat during a warrior II, followed by a particularly weepy savasana.

 

As a person who had struggled with self-worth since her teens, this moment was a much needed catharsis. It also launched for her a truly intentional practice. She delighted in the opportunity to “set an intention” before class, and the yoga mat transformed into a place to summon needs from within that she could carry into her daily life. For Morganna, Self-Forgiveness, Capability, Power, Rest, Kindness, Presence, Openness, and Play have all been practices which began on the mat, and which could all be transferred into her day to day as the need arose.

 

It was the transformative nature of these practices that led her to complete her RYT-200 certification with Highland Yoga in the spring of 2019. Her greatest desire is to offer a safe space for individuals to discover and accept who they are right now in this moment. Perfection is a myth and it is uninteresting. Life thrives in the challenges, the risks, and most importantly, the small surprising joyful moments of play.

ASHLEIGH WHELAN

Ashleigh never thought she would end up a yogi, much less a yoga teacher, but she is so glad she did! We can’t always predict how things will turn out, but through yoga we can learn to adjust how we respond. Yoga helps us live more mindfully by connecting the body, mind, and spirit, and it opens our hearts to make more room for love.

 

Ashleigh completed her RYT-200 at Highland Yoga, but her journey has just begun. She is enlivened to be a life-long student of yoga asana and yoga philosophy.

Ashleigh’s classes are alignment-based flows infused with creative sequencing and supportive adjustments. Her goal is to create a safe, encouraging space where you can connect with your breath and explore what yoga means for you. She is excited to be a part of your yoga journey!

GEORGIA DEANE

Georgia found yoga after suffering a knee injury. In search of a new way to work out, she began taking power vinyasa classes. She enjoyed the strength, athleticism, and physical challenges of vinyasa.  Soon, yoga became more than a work out.

 

For Georgia, matching breath to movement allows her to let go of the endless chatter in her mind and connect with the present moment. Yoga has empowered her to face fears, overcome obstacles, and deepen her awareness of her own self.

 

Georgia completed the Highland Yoga Teacher Training in Spring 2017. She is excited to share her love of yoga with students and support them on their own yoga journeys!

KIM STABENOW

With a background in dance, Kim was immediately attracted to the creative and graceful movement of vinyasa yoga. After developing a devoted practice, she found that the stress relief and mental peace gained from yoga was just as valuable as the physical benefits. She loves the way yoga allows her to clear her mind, challenge her body, and accept everything as it comes. 

Kim earned her 200-hour teacher training in Goa, India. Her classes combine creative sequencing, a spirit of playfulness, and breath-focused movements, all while finding peace and relaxation. She loves helping others find self-love and acceptance by providing a fun, challenging, and non-judgemental class.

During the day, Kim is a Marketing Coordinator. She was born and raised in Minnesota and enjoys Atlanta's unique neighborhoods, access to hiking, and the yoga community! 

SAM BERGQUIST

Sam first started practicing yoga over 10 years ago as an opportunity to spend more quality time with her mom, who was a dedicated yogi trained by Baron Baptiste. Since the beginning of her yoga journey, she has discovered a love for the practice that extends far beyond the physical benefits. As an avid gym rat, ex-bodybuilder, and someone who dealt with poor body image for the majority of her life, time on the mat has always felt safe and judgement-free.

 

After relocating to ATL from Florida in 2015, Sam practiced at several studios within the metro area. She will never forger the day she stumbled into Highland Yoga, and told Elise immediately after her first class, "this is home." 

 

Sam completed her RYT-200 at Highland Yoga, with a goal of sharing her love for this beautiful practice with others. Her classes are upbeat, fast-paced, and are aimed at being fun for all levels. She hopes that students can take her class and spend an hour dedicated to self-care, while leaving life's to-do list at the door.
 

MEEKA MAIER

Meeka began practicing yoga when she moved to Atlanta and took her first class at Highland Yoga in 2015. At first, she was looking for a workout and a good sweat. Over time, however, she learned that there was much more to yoga than just building physical strength. Meeka loves that yoga gives her the opportunity to pause, take a break from the business of everyday life, and care for herself physically and mentally.

 

Hundreds of Highland Yoga classes later, Meeka decided to pursue teacher training with HY in Spring 2019 to be able to share her love for and the benefits of vinyasa. Meeka aims to provide a challenging class with deep breathing, fun sequences, and energizing music.
 

JESSICA BISER

Jessie starting yoga in 2013 only for the physical benefits but soon realized that yoga impacted her life in more ways than she could have imagined. She was a self-taught yogi, learning from YouTube videos, until she attended her first studio in Savannah, GA. While in Savannah, her practice grew exponentially.

 

With a curious mind and love for education, she took 100hrs of training at Savannah Power Yoga (2015) to deepen her own meditation and asana practices, followed by a 200hr teacher training at CorePower Yoga in Minneapolis (2016) and another 200hr teacher training at Empower Yoga in Atlanta (2018).

Jessie continues to be inspired by her students to teach challenging yet rewarding Vinyasa classes. She hopes to continue growing in both her practice and teaching so she can share her love and passion for yoga with others!

BRITTANY SANDLIN

Brittany began her yoga journey in December 2015 at Highland Yoga, desperately seeking a way to deal with the impending anxiety her final two semesters of graduate school would bring. She quickly fell in love with Vinyasa and the Highland Yoga tribe.  Soon, she realized her day didn’t feel complete without practicing yoga. Brittany began to develop a strong desire to dive deeper into her practice and bring the transformational power of yoga to others.

 

This desire led her to participate in teacher training at the only studio she felt at home in, Highland Yoga. Upon completion of her RYT-200, her dream of teaching at the place she started her yoga journey at came true. Brittany’s mission as an instructor is to inspire confidence, self-acceptance, and overall contentment through caring and compassionate teaching methods that encourage students to focus on their breath while exploring what it feels like to let go and open up the mind and body. She believes that the yoga studio is a place for students and instructors to learn from one another.

 

With a background in ballet, Brittany loves to incorporate poses that allow for expansion and creative, fluid transitions in her sequences.  She hopes to create a safe, non-judgmental space for you to come and be on your mat and in your body!  
 

VICTORIA SLOCUM

It was supposed to be a way to cross-train for marathons, but from the first class in 2012, Victoria fell in love with all the practice has to offer. So where one chapter ends, another begins; that first class set into motion what would eventually become her life passion. She completed her 200-hour training in the fall of 2012, and is currently enrolled in Asheville Yoga Center’s 300-hour Advanced Training.

 

Combining her love for music, movement, and community, Victoria’s class will take you on a transformative journey, helping students find connections between their practice on the mat and in their everyday lives.

 

Her background in dance and gymnastics compliment vinyasa; her classes are powerful, playful, fluid, and dynamic. She’s grateful to share her passion with the Atlanta yoga community. 

INNA MILKO

​Inna​ started ​her​ yoga journey while ​she​ was living around Europe​,​ from Kiev to Paris ​to Milano. Even though ​she ​had taught yoga in Europe​,​ ​she​ did ​her 500 hours teacher training course in Atlanta with Red Hot Yoga.​ Inna​ truly believe​s​ that Tapas, self discipline, can turn our weakness into our power. This infinite path of self-study and source of vital energy is the best cure for every person at any age. ​

 

Inna​​ teach​es​ ​her​ students to find their own focus on breath, stretch and endurance. ​Expect a class that is beginner friendly but open for you to expand upon personally so that you can take your yoga experience to the next level. 

MAUREEN WALTER

There is never a time to not pursue Yoga. There is never an end to learning, experimenting and applying Yoga to any aspect of our lives. A student and devotee of Yoga since her late teens, Educator and mother of two Maureen has incorporated Yoga in her life and in her life's work.

 

Come play, explore and recharge yourself with her at Highland Yoga! Maureen holds a 230 hr. yoga certificate from Asheville Yoga Center, with additional trainings in Senior, Yin and Restorative Yoga as well as children’s yoga teacher certificate from Karma Kids, in NYC.

BEKKA FLAMENCO

Rebeka began her practice in 2017 at Highland Yoga in the pursuit of conquering a new physical challenge. Growing up an intense competitor playing soccer (and any and all other sports to keep busy) the mindset of “sacrifice your body for the win” was engraved in her mind. This mind set seeped into other aspects of life such as relationships, work, and self - always seeking more or the “win”. Like most things in life she became passionate about yoga, but unlike the other pursuits she found herself being constantly humbled by the challenges faced on the mat both physical and unexpectedly, mental as well.

 

Finding herself craving the time of silence and movement, free of (internal/external) judgement and criticism. This brought her to deepening her practice and completing her RYT-200 at Highland Yoga. Understanding this practice is about what your body and mind need vs what we want or the “win”. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it’s most likely artificial turf. She believes rooting into the present and accepting where you are now can foster growth and freedom. 

Her hope as a teacher is to bring the same freedom she now feels on and off the mat and to connect with your body and breath. Also to have fun, groove and move creatively with yourself for an hour dedicated to YOU.  Slow down and loosen up. Off the mat Beka loves a good coffee, design, dancing, her extra large pup and a good run.  

SARAH SMITH

Sarah first started practicing yoga in the fall of 2017. She experienced vinyasa flow for the first time at Highland Yoga, and discovered that vinyasa style flow was one of the only forms of movement that helped bring clarity and calm to her experience with anxiety. Shortly after starting this practice, Sarah began to experience health-related issues that required her to step back from practice all together. Months later, feeling very weak, she was able to return to the mat, and continued to experience all aspects of what yoga has to offer the whole person: spirit, soul and body.

 

Yoga gave Sarah the gift of becoming an embodied individual in a way that she had never experienced before. Instead of ignoring her body out of fear of what was wrong, she started listening to what it was trying to tell her. She allowed herself to start to breathe into the tension of uncomfortable poses, and started to develop trust in herself and her body. She will never forget the first day she felt strong on the mat - that day she decided she wanted to become a yoga instructor.

 

Highland Yoga had become such a place of safe practice for Sarah, that she decided to pursue her 200-hour training with the studio in the spring of 2019. Now, Sarah works to build engaging, alignment-based sequences that safely transition people through poses, allowing space for each individual to connect to their own breath and body so that every person can continue the journey of becoming safe and at home in their own mind, body and practice. 

ERIK BROWNSWORD

As an office worker of substantial lank, Erik has found the power of yoga to undo the
body’s desk-bound tendencies, unwind tight hamstrings and hips, and uncover a deeper mind-body connection. He loves yoga for its endless depth and the sense of progression it provides; the supple, subtle strength it encourages in body, mind, and heart; and the outrageous capacity for love and joy it can cultivate. He is a fan (if that was unclear) and he hopes to share it with everyone he meets, teaches, and learns from.

 

In his deep stretch and restorative classes, Erik offers grounding breathwork and mindfulness, gentle but precise alignment for optimal stretching, and space for self-care. BKS Iyengar said, “The stresses of modern civilisation are a strain on the nerves for which savasana is the best antidote.” Erik aims to provide this energy throughout his classes. There may also be dad jokes. To him, teaching is a service, an act of devotion and love, but he’s going to have some fun with it. He encourages his students to do the same with their practice.

 

Erik completed his first 200-hour training at Tough Love Yoga in 2015 and his second in 2017, at which time he became yogahour® certified. If he is not teaching or practicing, he is likely discussing Game of Thrones with you right now. You can tell him to stop.

SHEREEN ASHTIANI

Shereen grew up dancing competitively which instilled a lifelong love of movement and physical activity. To maintain an active lifestyle she frequented the gym, participated in group fitness classes and ran. After years of a steady exercise routine, she began incorporating yoga one day a week as a “rest day.” Shereen found Highland Yoga and really enjoyed the power flows and the overall ambience of the study. The more she practiced the more she began incorporating yoga on a more regular basis.

 

As a birthday gift, her father gifted her a yoga class package just a week before he unexpectedly passed away. As Shereen began to move forward from this tremendous loss, yoga was the one thing that seemed to help her each day. This started her daily yoga and meditation practice.  While practicing one day, she had the revelation that her yoga practice had been so impactful for her mind and body that she wanted to be able to continue it for a lifetime.  This sparked her interest to take her practice deeper, by learning proper alignment and exploring all 8 limbs of yoga through Highland Yoga’s 200-hour teacher training.

 

Shereen utilizes intelligent sequencing to create challenging classes where the students’ can use their breath to deepen their practice. Her goal as a yoga teacher and practitioner is to create a space where others can connect to their mind, body, and breath. She truly believes that yoga makes the world a kinder place and is passionate about helping others explore their practice.
 

HEATHER EWING

Heather started practicing yoga over ten years ago when she was an undergrad in Toronto looking for an outlet for academic stress. As Heather graduated and moved to work in Latin America, she brought her mat along, grateful that yoga could travel anywhere she went.

 

In 2015, Heather completed teacher training and hasn't looked back. Since becoming a teacher, Heather has taught a variety of classes from yoga for rock climbers to vinyasa flow and restorative classes. 

 

Heather's classes invite you to use your breath as a tool to challenge yourself on the mat, exploring ways to grow your physical practice. 

KATIE NASSIFF

Katie started practicing yoga in 2010 as a complement to running, and weight training. In 2014, she moved to New York City and began a consistent studio practice, finding that Vinyasa inspired her to feel empowered and connected to herself and the community. Shortly after moving to Atlanta in 2018, she started practicing at Highland Yoga, where she then completed her 200-hour teacher training in Spring 2019.

 

Katie wants her students to explore their edge - her mission is to empower students of all levels to find their inner strength. Expect energetic classes with a focus on breath, alignment, and opportunities to deepen your practice.