Kristin Behrends on Teacher Training

Kristin Behrends on Teacher Training

What is teacher training like? Am I ready? These are two of the many questions we receive often as students are debating whether or not to take the leap into teacher training. To give you a little insight, we asked to interview one of our recent graduates and the gorgeous, Kristin Behrends, stepped up to the plate...here's what she had to say...

Q: Describe your teacher training experience in 5 words or less.

Kristin: A deepening of my practice.

Q: Why did you decide to take teacher training? Tell us about the moment you decided.

Kristin: I decided to take teacher training because I was interested in deepening my practice and teaching eventually. The moment I decided was when I realized someone as great as Cindy Lunsford would be leading a training at my home studio for hot vinyasa. Not to mention, Nora has always been such a big cheerleader for me and everyone there made me feel so supported.

Q: What were your fears before training?

Kristin: My fears were that I hadn't been practicing yoga long enough to teach. So instead of letting those fears keep me from committing to the training, I went into it with an open mind and said either I will teach because of this, or I will have an amazing experience that deepens my practice. Either way, I felt it was necessary to follow my intuition. I decided to squash my fears and shift perspective. During training, those fears still arose and sometimes still do but I choose to see them for what they are and realize they're fears and nothing more. I love yoga!

Q: Who did you train with? How do you feel about their knowledge of the subjects they taught?

Kristin: I was extremely honored to train under such a knowledgeable teacher. Cindy has tons of experience in more than one lineage.

Q: Did you take hot 26 or flow training and why?

Kristin: I chose hot vinyasa because it seems to be what I enjoy practicing the most.

Q: Do you feel like teacher training has impacted your personal practice?

Kristin: I certainly notice a huge difference in my personal practice after this training. I'm so much more mindful of my alignment and I pay attention much more to what they are teaching and why when I take class. I get much more inspired now!

Q: Are you teaching now and is it everything you had envisioned it would be?

Kristin: I am not teaching yet, but hopefully very, very soon. It truly is everything I envisioned it to be. I would love to be a part of helping with a retreat in the future! It would be such a dream to get this group together again for one.

Q: If you were to give one piece of advice to anyone considering teacher training, what would it be?

Kristin: Practice teaching as much as you can and often so you can get comfortable and find your voice!


Kristin Behrends is a former hairstylist that enjoys getting outside as much as possible. She wishes she lived on the equator but for now, she's saving for as much international travel as possible. Kristin is passionate about human connection and self-realization and hopes to bring that to others through yoga as well as other avenues down the road.

Meet Kate Cortner, Our New Social Events Coordinator!

Meet Kate Cortner, Our New Social Events Coordinator!

Q: Hi Kate! So nice to meet you...tell us a little bit about yourself...

Kate: I am a local real estate agent.  Born into the business, as my mom is my broker and she used to drag me to open houses on Sunday after church as a kid :) I blog about it, too Real Estate With Kate . Nashville's fast-paced market helped me make the decision to start yoga a few years back.  I needed a way to slow down, even if it was just for an hour every few days.  I am a mom of 3 small kiddos, as well.  So, yoga helped feed my need for peace and quiet, serenity, and physical fitness.  I have found that it has helped me stay calmer with clients and my family.  My husband tells me on the days that I NEED yoga!  haha!

Q: Love that! Don't we ALL need yoga! Whew! So...I'm excited....you're helping us plan events for our Fahrenheit community! We've had a few already...Olga's going away party, our skate night....tell us what are we trying to accomplish by creating Fahrenheit events?

Kate: We all have one thing in common....we love Fahrenheit, and we love yoga.  That's easy!  Now, we want to help FYS yogis get together and make friends.  What other factors do we have in common?  How can we help each other through life?  What differences do we have that can help strengthen each other?  I think the community aspect of yoga is vital to sticking to it, and getting in touch with your spiritual practice.  That connection is so important.  With instructors, seasoned folks, and newbies alike.

Q: Who are these events geared towards?

Kate: These events are for everyone!  Some events, like the skate night, will be structured for friends and family to come along.  Others will be more specific to yogis and their needs.  We want students to learn more about one another in a casual, fun environment.  We will strive to create diverse events that will fit many different personalities.  That way, if you miss one, or you aren't super interested in an event, you'll be sure to want to make the next one!  

Q: How FUN! What's the scoop on our next one?

Kate: Look for more info on our Fahrenheit Fall event at Arrington Vineyard, it will be Oct 21. We are thinking wine tasting, potluck appetizers, and there is also jazz or bluegrass playing live that evening, it will take place from 4-8pm

Q: I'm in! What do I need to bring?

Kate: Chairs or a picnic blanket. Bring an appetizer to share. No other alcoholic beverages are allowed.  However, you can bring a cooler with water, food, etc. If you have plastic wine glasses, now is the time to break them out!

Q: How will I be able to find the group?

Kate: We will have a sign at our location (hopefully a picnic table in the lawn). Also, please read our event details on FB for RSVP info and other location updates. At Arrington, I'm thinking about glow bands for everyone to wear, but they won't be real noticeable until later in the evening.(we are working on creative ways to notice one another)

Q: Beyond this fun date at Arrington, what's on the horizon? How often will we be having these awesome get-togethers?

Kate: Ideally, we want to try to host an event each month. The holidays may get a little tricky, but we are aiming for once a month, in addition to our awesome workshops at the studio.

Q: Yay! It was so great to talk to you today, Kate! Thank you for taking the time to share a little bit more with us! If people have ideas for events, how can they get ahold of you?   

Kate: Please feel free to email me! We welcome creative ideas. My email address is kate@parmenterandcompany.com.

 

Mama Says Namaste

Mama Says Namaste

I recently had the opportunity to chat on the phone with the incredible, Ashley Logsdon, of Mama Says Namaste. As an entrepreneur, coach and blogger, she's passionate about relationships and the amazing personalities that allow us to communicate, connect, and create the families we want to come home to. She's an incredible resource on a powerful mission, we absolutely love her and we know you will too...

Q: Hi Ashley! Excited to learn more about you today! We'll start with the easy stuff...where are you from?

Ashley: I call myself a "Nashville Native" because I've lived here since I was 8 years old.  Before that, I lived in Bowling Green, KY, but Nashville is my home!

Q: What is your favorite weekend pastime?

Ashley: Right now, it's fixing up our "second home" - we are embarking on a full-time adventure of RVing the States with our girls in October, and we are currently working on making our trailer a little bohemian haven - vinyl wallpaper is fabulous! When I'm not doing that, it's getting outdoors with my family - hiking and water play are our favorite pastimes!

Q: Family road-trip! What a blast! Tell us a little more about your family about your family…pets…

Ashley: We’re an unschooling family of life learners. We believe that education is to be found in ALL of life and not just behind institutional doors. I've been married to my amazing husband for 12 years now, and we have three wild girls, ages 9, 6 and 3 1/2. We’re Nathan (aka PapaGray) and Ashley (aka MamaRose), parents of three wonderful little girls who have shown us from day one that we don’t know much but it’s one helluva fun ride! In addition to our little humans, we have six chickens (hens), a guinea pig named Starburst and an awesome Catahoula mix named Harley McQuinn. LOADS of female energy in our home!

 

We look at everyday interactions and realize that we have so much to learn, from each other, from our peers, family, mentors, and the rest of the world, and especially, from our children.  So instead of sending them off to a traditional school, we’re eager to enjoy the process of life alongside them.  Last year we spent a month in Costa Rica exploring the land, and this fall we leave on a full-time journey to RV the States!  

This is life, and this is how we learn: we jump in headfirst, we engage fully, and we see what we can get out of it. I would love to share our journey with you – parenthood, education, relationships, etc –  in hopes that together we can find namaste in all we meet!  You can read more about my little entrepreneurs and their endeavors on my "Meet the Family" page. 

Q: Wow! That sounds fascinating! You guys must have so much fun together! Tell us a little about what you do...when and how did you get into your line of work?    

Ashley: For the past twelve years, I’ve worked with my father’s company, 48 Days, and we work with people to find - or create - work that truly lights them up. First and foremost, it’s a paradigm shift - we are all in charge of our own lives, and we all choose our reactions to others. We all are 100% responsible for our perspective on the world. 

Through this company, my primary focus is on coaches - I refer clients to career/life coaches, and I also head up a Coaching Mastery Program where we take coaches through the process to become professional Certified 48 Days Coaches. After coaching others on their coaching business for years, I decided to branch out in my own marriage/family focused coaching business apart from 48 Days last year. In my own company, Mama Says Namaste, I work with mothers to make the switch from living in reaction to all that is thrown their way, and be proactive to create the family (and home) they are excited to be a part of.  

Both in building a happy home life and in finding work that is a true fit, the core component that must be addressed first is to know yourself - and that’s where I rely on DISC personality profiles as the foundation - not to pigeon-hole clients into a certain role, but to open the door to conversation - a “sneak peak” into how they may process things. These profiles give insight into what your strengths are, and help you live in your strengths and identify them in others.  

Q That sounds like a really exciting profession! What fascinates you most about what you do?

Ashley: I love the process of self-discovery, awareness, and love. I love working with mothers to see their families in different ways and understand how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.  

Q: Love it! What’s the hardest thing about what you do? Most rewarding?

Ashley: The hardest thing is juggling two businesses and giving the time needed to each while still being a present mother and wife.  It's in balancing and ensuring I take the time to rest when I have so many awesome ideas and opportunities around me! The most rewarding is when a family thanks me for the positive shift in their family, and I'm able to show them how it was all them - I simply open the door to a new perspective and give them the tools and push to act.  

Q: You're a regular at Fahrenheit, in fact, you're one of our incredible assists at a few classes every week. Tell us about your yoga practice...

Ashley: The past two years have been pretty intense for us - me building another business on top of the current one, having children old enough I need to report schooling for, my husband being in real estate during an extremely busy time and some family upheavals in our extended family all made for some very stressful times. Having my yoga practice at FYS has been so, so powerful. It allows me a chance to step out of the chaos and find my focus - my drishti - again. Yoga has always been something I loved, but my focus has shifted from being that of working on my body/flexibility in my younger years to now really focusing inward on my meditative/restorative practice. It has gotten me through some rough patches and definitely makes me stronger and more centered, both physically and emotionally.

Q: You've got a workshop coming up here at Fahrenheit, we're so excited to learn and grow with you! What can people expect to leave your workshop with?

Ashley: More self-awareness - understanding what their strengths are and what triggers bring out their worst selves (and how to avoid them) - also how to recognize these things in others. Not only will they have some quick tips to identify styles and how to connect/relate to each one, but we will play with some yoga poses to get them "in the zone" of each style to really drive it home. 

Q: Who would you say your workshop is for?

Ashley: Anyone who is interested in learning more about themselves and the people they care to connect with!  

Q: What would you say to someone who's on the fence about attending?

Ashley: If you had the opportunity to take just two hours and dramatically shift your perspective on how to connect with others, why would you miss it? If you are having trouble communicating, motivating, leading, collaborating, etc., understanding the personality styles - and seeking the good both in yourself and others - can literally change the direction of your life. Create the reality and life that you thrive in - not one you simply survive.  

Q: Where can we find you on the interweb/social media and where can people sign up for your workshop?

Ashley: You can sign up for my workshop taking place here at Fahrenheit Yoga Studio on Saturday, August 13th, at 3pm by following this link. To find me on the web and social media:

Website: www.mamasaysnamaste.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MamaSaysNamaste/

Instagram: @NamasteMamaRose

Twitter: @MamaSaysNamaste


I work with families to take them from surviving to thriving, from reaction to proactively creating the home (and life) they truly enjoy. Using personality styles, tips and resources, we can clear the clutter from your home, your head, and your heart. Mamas are my starting point, and we work out from there – marriage and then the children, so all are heard and understood.
 

The Lovely Isabella Margot

The Lovely Isabella Margot

CONFESSION TIME: WE'VE HAD A GIRL CRUSH ON FAHRENHEIT STUDENT, ISABELLA MARGOT, FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW...HER GORGEOUS INSTA-PICS AND INSPIRING WORDS HAVE HAD US SWOONING OVER HERE. WE'VE FALLEN IN LOVE, AND WE KNOW YOU WILL TOO...

So, let’s talk about yoga. I used to be really scared of it!! I know, I know, it’s an awkward confession, but honestly, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it and I avoided it for years. I started doing Bikram Yoga in February and the coolest thing I’ve learned is how to draw the connection between my practice and life outside that hot, hot, HOT room.
Overcoming obstacles in my practice helps me know I can overcome obstacles in my life. Sometimes the biggest obstacle I face is showing up and trying to do my best. I love that. I love being my own motivation to be a better me. My mat is somehow both a training ground FOR and a reflection OF who I am, who I have been, and who I am determined to become.
— Isabella Margot

We love you, lady! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us! 

To find out more about Isabella Margot, check her out on Instagram at @isabellamargot. 

 

 

Be Like Water with Dr. Nolan Lee

Be Like Water with Dr. Nolan Lee

Sign-up  

Water is a fluid and free-moving, but it can also be strong and powerful force. In this 90 min power vinyasa flow, movements will be based on traditional yoga asana and infused with elements of martial arts to explore both fluidity and power. This challenging class will address all essential anatomy and movement to balance your mind and body. Class is geared toward intermediate practitioners but is suitable for all levels.

Dr. Lee began his practice of yoga while seeking an escape from the stresses of the business world. His yoga practice fatefully lead him to participate in teacher training at a point in his life when he was seeking change. As he gradually explored different styles of yoga, he was drawn tothe natural flow of vinyasa. Being an avid martial artist and an advocate of holistic healthcare, he began to blend his experiences in movement and knowledge of the body into his practice and teaching. The result is an eclectic mix of yoga infused with elements of martial arts and therapeutic techniques. His classes offer a laid-back but focused environment, unique and intuitive flows, and creative adjustments based on Thai massage and partner yoga. Nolan is a doctor of chiropractic medicine and certified acupuncturist. He is also a certified corrective exercise specialist (CES) and performance enhancement specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

When: Saturday, June 18th

Time: 3:00-4:30pm

Where: Fahrenheit Yoga Studio

Sign-up 

Vulnerability

Vulnerability

As I embark on my trip to NYC this weekend for the Gabby Bernstein Spirit Junkie Masterclass my heart is wide open. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share a space with like-minded people, light workers all on our own journey to learn, to teach and to heal the world. 

Let's talk about openness, vulnerability, and the strength it takes to be vulnerable. When we open ourselves up, it gives others permission to open themselves up to us as well. I love this asana because it makes me feel so incredibly vulnerable physically, mentally and emotionally. It allows me to remember that the three are connected, and when I open my body physically I am able to discover where I am with vulnerability in that precise moment. It is intense, I feel out of control in a way, yet it grounds me, so I come back to it over and over again. Open yourselves up WIDE and face the beauty that brings. You are so strong and opening yourself up is not easy, so keep the practice. Know that some days you will find ease quicker than others, some days will be emotional and you'll want to close off, it is a practice, so just keep coming back. 

Follow Nikki Taddei's inspiring story on Instagram: @nikkitaddeiyoga

What's up with SUP?

What's up with SUP?

You’ve all seen them. Those fun photos of people paddling around upright on water on these newfangled contraptions - stand up paddleboards (also known as SUPs.) How are they doing that?! As if standing on water and gliding around with the greatest of ease were not enough, now they’re doing YOGA! Yoga on paddleboards!

When she’s not teaching at Fahrenheit, Kaci Wall loves all manner of outdoor activities and watersports. She is a WPA certified paddle instructor, and a certified SUP and SUP yoga instructor and with Nashville Paddle Company. Here’s what she wants you to know about SUP, and taking your yoga to the board.  


                    Kaci Wall and her SUP

                    Kaci Wall and her SUP

The first thing people typically voice to me when I invite them to come try out SUP or SUP Yoga is ‘I am definitely not coordinated enough to do that - there’s no way I can stand up on a board on water!’ This reaction is completely understandable. The physics seem unreal - the idea that being so close to the water on this board can allow me to stand up and paddle around - it seems impossible! But it is possible! Really!
— Kaci Wall

Kaci: The first thing people typically voice to me when I invite them to come try out SUP or SUP Yoga is ‘I am definitely not coordinated enough to do that - there’s no way I can stand up on a board on water!’  This reaction is completely understandable. The physics seem unreal - the idea that being so close to the water on this board can allow me to stand up and paddle around - it seems impossible! But it is possible! Really! As you can see in my picture with my own board, these things are pretty big. Most of them are close to three feet wide, and over ten feet long. They are incredibly stable. As long as you remain fluid and flow like water, just like in your yoga practice, all you have to do is stand. If you can stand in tadasana on a yoga mat, you can probably stand up on a paddleboard.

Q: But what about the yoga? I mean isn’t that just nearly impossible?

Photo of Fahrenheit teacher Olga Dadalko in Wheel Pose

Photo of Fahrenheit teacher Olga Dadalko in Wheel Pose

Kaci: I always tell people, if you can do a sun salutation, you can do yoga on a paddleboard. We have people come to SUP Yoga classes all the time that have never done yoga before. When we teach SUP yoga, we keep it light and fun. Practicing on the board is just like practicing on your yoga mat, and is a great way to learn where you’re ‘cheating’ in your yoga practice. You will learn very quickly if one side of the body is working more than the other, or if anything is out of balance. Most people have this huge fear of the unknown, and yoga is all about overcoming that fear and trusting yourself that you will be enough, and you will be okay, and you may even have a little fun in the process.

Q: Am I going to fall in? 

Kaci: The short answer is, it really depends on whether or not you want to. If you’re trying out challenging yoga poses, or dancing and playing ukulele (oh yeah-we do that,) or having jousting matches with your SUP friends (we do that too,) there is always the possibility that you’re going in the water - but that’s the most fun! We do have people that come out to paddle that do not want to get in the water - and they just don’t. Sometimes I paddle in my street clothes, knowing that I have no intention of getting in. You don’t have to get in the water, but you are probably going to want to!”

Kaci Wall practicing an arm balance on the water

Kaci Wall practicing an arm balance on the water

Kaci on her SUP Yoga Practice: My favorite thing about SUP and practicing yoga on the board is having the ability to get outside of my yoga asana comfort zone, and get into nature. This is where I feel the most alive and the most at home. The paddleboard is a great place to try out new things and just have fun with it - to go up for a headstand or a forearm stand, and fall into to the water. To drop what you know, and to play with childlike freedom.  I encourage everyone to drop the fear, and try it out!! Why not?

Q: Where Can I Sign Up?

Kaci teaches with Nashville Paddle Company. Nashville Paddle Company is set apart by their emphasis on safety, and their requirement that all instructors are WPA and SUP Yoga certified. Every class includes an introduction to stand-up paddling during which you will learn about the board and all the gear, how to paddle, and a variety of paddle strokes. The SUP season is about to get started in full force within the next couple of weeks, so pick a time that works for you to check it out!

Guess what – there’s more!! Kaci isn’t the only FYS teacher hitting the board. Irene Greer also teaches with Nashville Paddle Company, and Rebecca Campbell teaches for Paddle Up, another paddleboard company in town!!

The SUP season is about to get started in full force within the next couple of weeks, so pick a time and place that works for you and check it out!


To sign up for a class with Kaci, check out http://www.nashvillepaddle.com, and look for FYS group yoga SUP outings in the near future!

Together we rise with Chris and Mandi Byford

Together we rise with Chris and Mandi Byford

Flow with Joined Forces Yoga for a 60 min donation-based karma class led by Baptiste Certified Instructor, Chris Byford, and assisted by Baptiste Trained Assistant, Mandi Byford. Joined Forces Yoga is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit. Our mission is to bring FREE yoga to active duty military and veterans where they are. Join forces with JFY and Fahrenheit to help bring yoga to them.

Fahrenheit at Yoga on the Field

Fahrenheit at Yoga on the Field

Thursday night, Fahrenheit Yoga Studio proudly joined in with hundreds of yogis from all over Middle Tennessee for the second annual Yoga on the Field at Titan's Stadium. The event was held to benef Soles4Souls, Inc., a not for profit on a mission to eradicate world poverty by 2050 through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing, and through job creation. The class, led by our good friends Susannah Herring and Amanda McGown of Hot Yoga Plus, was paired with a custom playlist by DJ Mindub.

Yoga Philosophy with Roland Landers

Yoga Philosophy with Roland Landers

SIGN-UP HERE

Roland Landers was first introduced to yoga when he was 15 teen years old at the local YMCA in his hometown of Nashville,TN. Since then his passion and pursuit for all things yogic have grown exponentially, ultimately leading him to the ashtanga vinyasa system as taught by the late Pattabhi Jois. On Saturday, May 14th, from 3-5pm Roland will give our Fahrenheit community an overview of the philosophical tradition of yoga. The overview will include an introduction to the heart of the yoga tradition through text, story, and experience. No prior experience is necessary, bring yourself, something to write with and paper to take notes. You won't want to miss this opportunity to dive deeper into your practice!

Be Mindful with Kristen Beal

Be Mindful with Kristen Beal

Kristen Beal: Freshman year of college I decided to get off of a bunch of antidepressants and ADHD pills. Soon after, I noticed myself spiraling into a state of serious depression and lethargy. It was as if someone had come over and zapped the life out of me. Soon after a mentor recommended I read the book, "A Guide to Transcendental Meditation." After reading that book, meditation became a way of life and I found an inner strength and peace that I never knew I was capable of having without medication. A year later I discovered yoga and was instantly hooked. The idea of using meditation, breath, and movement together in yoga completely changed my life. Fast-forward six years and now I live with the passion of teaching others how to find their inner peace.
Meditation is not about feeling a certain way. It’s about feeling the way you feel.
— Dan Harris, 10% Happier

Learn how to de-stress from any situation, begin to control your thoughts, and live fully in the moment with Kristen Beal. This workshop will teach you breathing techniques, visualization techniques, and muscle-pointed relaxation techniques that you can practice at home. We will end with a 30-minute meditation. 

WHEN: SATURDAY, JUNE 11th

TIME: 3-4:30PM

WHERE TO SIGN-UP: CLICK HERE

The Explorer: Rebecca Campbell

The Explorer: Rebecca Campbell

Whether it's a new park, a new pose, or a new country, Fahrenheit teacher and studio manager, Rebecca Campbell, loves to explore. Born and raised in central Florida, Rebecca has traveled all over the world, touching down in France, Germany, Mexico, Austria, and Costa Rica...just to name a few. While she admittedly hated Costa Rica on her first visit, she wasn't convinced that she was right about her opinion. She went back a few years ago and true to most CR experiences, she fell in love! Now her love of travel and love of yoga are creating quite the marriage, in June she's hosting 

 

Yoga for Runners

Yoga for Runners

Join Rebecca Campbell for a flow class dedicated to runners. This class will focus on stretching the major muscles in the hips and legs that are often tight from running. Our aim is that you leave this class with a few ideas to incorporate post run and the inspiration to come back to more yoga as a means of cross-training. This will be a donation based class benefiting Girls on the Run Middle Tennessee as part of our community's day of giving, the Big Payback.

We love and fully support the Girls on the Run mission to inspire girls in our community to be joyful, healthy, and confident. Join us for this special class to turn up the heat for Girls on the Run.

"This is it, I must be pregnant!" Stacy Lontoc talks #tinytoc.

"This is it, I must be pregnant!" Stacy Lontoc talks #tinytoc.

You've probably seen a gorgeous baby bump roaming around the studio lately! Fahrenheit teacher, Stacy Lontoc, and her hubby are expecting their first baby in less than 100 days, a little man they've affectionately hashtagged, #tinytoc.

They tried for a few months before conception, and Stacy said before taking the test (or four) to confirm, that she woke up one morning and just felt different. Her body didn't feel like it was hers anymore, and she remembers thinking, "This is it, I must be pregnant!" When the test lit up all of the emotions rushed through her, "The pure excitement, the sheer nervousness, the tears of joy, the instant worry, the bliss...it was one of the most exciting moments of my life! WE ARE HAVING A BABY!" exclaimed Stacy. 

Originally from a little country town named Pegram about 25 minutes outside of the heart of Nashville, Stacy reflects on a complicated but blessed family life. "I have never met or spoken to my grandmother. She's still alive, but she decided to take a different course for her life many years ago, long before I was born and while my mother was still very young. Although that could create a feeling of something missing, and there have been times where I have felt immense anger towards her, I now can see that I was blessed with family in other ways. Letting go of my anger towards her has been a very freeing feeling for me."

IMG_2982.JPG

Her mother's first husband tragically passed at a young age not long after they had built a home behind his parent's house. "A few years after my Mom's first husband passed, my Mom met my Dad, and although my father was told he couldn't have children...here I am!" Although they didn't have to, that sweet, loving couple that had accepted her mother as their daughter years before also accepted Stacy as their grandchild and showered her with love their entire lives. "Having them for my grandparents is one of the biggest blessings in my life," Stacy says, "They were one of the biggest influences for how I view marriage, parenting, and acceptance. They were a gift from God."

On her Dad's side, Stacy has a huge family of the most supportive and closely knit people. "The bond we share is like no other. My dad comes from a family of nine children, and it has grown into something so massive and beautiful. Makes me want to have a bunch of babies of my own! ((((shhhh...don't freak out my husband! -HA!) The bond that we share is something that I greatly hope to instill in my children so that they can understand the value of having a close family."

When asked how things have changed in her yoga practice now that she's pregnant, Stacy says she's noticed over the years that her practice has always gone through phases, and pregnancy is another one. "When I first started yoga, it was the physical aspect that first drew me in. Then the onslaught of planning a wedding and then the first year of marriage sent me into an anxious downward spiral, and my practice became much more mental and internal, especially during teacher training." Her practice returned to a physical focus over the past year when she was working on building strength in her poses and transitions, but now that her body is changing and the physical part of her practice has to be modified in some ways, "I'm back to that place where I can focus more on my mentality and breath. I might not be able to do a handstand like I was but I'm able to appreciate the basics, and I'm able to build a strong mind that will help me through the intensity of labor when that time comes."

Her practice isn't the only thing that has shifted, Stacy says that she's also able to teach from a different perspective, "I'm much more mindful of my body and the many different bodies in the room. It's been very eye opening."

When Stacy isn't practicing, teaching, or buying the most adorable duds for #tinytoc, she says she loves to stay active, "Fitness and health have become a huge part of my life, so exercising daily is not only a hobby but also a habit." She also loves spending quality time with her husband, working on projects at their house, "We really enjoy putting our own touch on things!" She also makes sure to get time to herself, "I love making time to just be in whatever moment I am currently in."

As for #tinytoc, when he isn't jumping around in his mommy's belly, he craves watermelon and anything cold, "Healthy shakes, yummy salads, frozen grapes," just to name a few. He also enjoys listening to "On the Night You Were Born" a book Stacy and her husband read to him every night, "We're hoping our little one can hear our voices and will be comforted by the night time story once he is here. It's easily my favorite time of the whole day."

We cannot wait to meet your bundle of joy, Stacy! Huge congratulations to you and your sweet hubby! We know #tinytoc will be loved so deeply and make a massive impact on this world. 


Stacy Lontoc is a daughter of God, a wife, a mother-to-be, a fitness and health adventurer, and a positive life enthusiast. She loves people, animals, and being outside. She does my best to have respect for all lives around her, and to let people know that she appreciates them and respects their uniqueness.

One of her favorite simple quotes is," How cool is it that the same God that created mountains and oceans and galaxies and puppies looked at you and thought the world needed one of you too." -anonymous

Follow Stacy on Instagram: @preggofit

 

 

Cindy David

Cindy David

"Every time I get on my mat, I get a chance to press the reset button. It's a good reminder for my life too... Every day I get a chance to press the reset button- do something different, interact with someone kindly, forgive, make a difference, love someone, practice coming from an open heart space. This is what I love to do."

Fahrenheit Presents: Foundations of Flow

Fahrenheit Presents: Foundations of Flow

Build your practice from the FOUNDATION up! This 90 min workshop will cover the basics of Power Vinyasa Yoga to help you strengthen the foundation of your yoga practice. Whether you are new to yoga or just looking to reconnect with the roots of the practice you already LOVE, this workshop will empower you on your mat. Please be sure to bring a pen and paper with you. This workshop will be lead by Baptiste Yoga Certified Instructor Christopher Byford and assisted by Baptiste Certified Assistant Mandi Byford.

There's a Block Party at Fahrenheit

There's a Block Party at Fahrenheit

"I used to think blocks were for wimps, but now I get how they really do help me get the poses." This is something my mom said to me recently and it's so true! Using a block or strap or any other prop does not mean you are doing less than the full pose. In fact, props often help us achieve better alignment.

Nora Helmy El Wassimy and the Yoga of Owning a Studio

Nora Helmy El Wassimy and the Yoga of Owning a Studio

Nora and Donielle (Photo by Jolie Loren Photography)

Nora and Donielle (Photo by Jolie Loren Photography)

You know when you meet someone you feel like you’ve known for a lot longer than the years you’ve been alive? That’s the only way I can describe my friendship with Nora Helmy El Wassimy. When I met Nora in March of 2012, less than a year after she opened the doors to Fahrenheit Yoga Studio, she had already accomplished much more at a quarter century old than most do in their lifetime. I remember thinking in awe, “How does she do it? She’s two years younger than me!” But now, over four years into our friendship, her success comes as no surprise to me. Everything she does, she does with her heart. I cannot wait to give you a little insight into the life of one my best friends...the beautiful, compassionate, servant-leader, Nora Helmy El Wassimy.
— Donielle Morris Aparo

Q: Yay! Thank you for sitting down to chat today, Nora. I'm sure there are so many of our Fahrenheit fam who are excited to learn more about you! Let's get started. Have you always lived in the Nashville area? Where’d you go to school?

Nora and son, Gavin.

Nora and son, Gavin.

Nora: My parents were born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, but I was born in New Britain, Connecticut and moved to Brentwood, Tennessee when I was one-year-old, and that's where I was raised. I went to Williamson county schools and in 2008, I graduated from Belmont University with a degree in Business.

Q: I remember when I found out you and your family are Egyptian, it was when you began dating your now hubby, Omar. I had one of those palm-meets-forehead moments when I said, "OMG Nora, how awesome is it that Omar is from Egypt!" And your response was, "Um, Donielle...I'm Egyptian too." We got a good laugh out of that one. I can't even remember now where I thought you were from for the first four years of our friendship...maybe Italy?! haha! Whoops! But that's a perfect segway into one of your biggest passions, your family. Tell us a little about them...

Nora: I remember that too! That makes me laugh, but I guess it had just never come up! My family is my rock. My husband’s name is Omar Helmy El Wassimy and yes, he is ALSO Egyptian. He teaches me unconditional love and inspires me to always work to be the best version of myself, I am so grateful for him. My mom, Nazek, is an anesthesiologist and one of the kindest souls you will ever meet. I strive to be like her daily. My sister, Dina, is the backbone Shakti energy of the family and is so, so strong. She's an extremely gifted attorney and along with her partners, owns MMRS Law in downtown Nashville. I have an angel-baby-man-son named Gavin who melts my heart into a puddle on the ground every single day. He's the most beautiful thing I've ever made. But my family truly extends so far beyond blood. My Fahrenheit family, my friends, and loved ones are a constant reminder of how far passion can take us. I have so much love and inspiration around me.

Nora and husband, Omar Helmy El Wassimy.

Nora and husband, Omar Helmy El Wassimy.

Q: Everyone starts somewhere. Let's go back to the beginning of your yoga journey...tell us about your first class...

Nora: I found yoga in 2005. My best friend Laura and I went to a class in Cummins Station. We were laughing the whole time because we were facing the wrong way. We were basically those annoying, awkward girls in the back that couldn't stop giggling. But a year later, I enrolled in a course at Belmont taught by Marie Coz and that's when I fell in love with the practice. The rest is history!

Q: And so Marie's class led to years of practice, practice led to teacher training, teacher training led to the birth of this beautiful yoga space. Obviously, not everyone who teaches ends up opening their own studio, what drove you to open Fahrenheit?

Nora: To put it quite simply, I wanted to spread love. The Hot 26 series had touched me on such a deep level that I knew I wanted to, that I had to make a bigger impact. I knew it couldn't be just me because so many people need this. Ultimately, it was about coming together with a community of teachers, all sharing the same vision, but all carrying their own unique voice and talent. A place where we all share, grow and learn together. I’m so proud of how far we have come.

Q: As a friend observing from the outside, it's been such a cool thing to watch unfold over the years. I'm so proud of you and this community, you really do have something special. You touched on vision in your last answer...what's your vision for Fahrenheit?

Nora: Well, I started with spreading love...and now I guess I just want to spread love further!

Q: I love that answer! It honestly doesn't surprise me as we both share a lot of the same philosophy on living our lives from love and not fear. But, I think for the people who might be reading this, they should definitely know where that idea "love" comes from because we're not talking about the hugs and kisses version of love at all. This is probably a great moment to ask what your favorite go-to read's are...

Nora: You're right, the true meaning is not what we typically think of when we hear the word love. If you're interested in exploring this concept, "A Course in Miracles" is a life-changing read. It's a massive text with a lot of meat, so if you'd like something a little easier to digest, Marianne Williamson's, "A Return to Love" is a great start. Also,  "Embraced by the Light," Betty Eadie and lastly, "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, both amazing books.

Q: Do you find similarities between owning a business and spirituality?

Nora: Absolutely. They go hand-in-hand. I run my business purely on intuition with advice from trusted business geniuses. And the studio itself was born out of a foundation of spirituality, love, and passion.

Q: Beautiful. I'm sure there are so many moving parts owning a business, teaching yoga and trying to have time for self-care. How has owning a space impacted your teaching and your yoga practice? 

Nora: *big sigh* It took me 4 years to realize I must keep my practice first. The times when my practice was on the back-burner, my business lacked clarity and direction. When my practice is strong everything flows with a sense of ease. I think it’s common for all teachers to struggle with the balance between teaching and keeping up their own practice. And so you can imagine, the struggle intensifies when you also own the business. Learning to be "selfish" in the best possible meaning of the word allows me to be the most effective in every role I play a part in. 

Q: What has been the biggest thing you've had to learn as a business owner?

Nora: The biggest thing I’ve had to learn as a business owner is learning my role and trusting the vision that we’ve put in place and trusting the team to execute that vision. 

Q: What about as a teacher?

Nora: The biggest thing I’ve had to learn as a teacher is that if I don’t practice, I shouldn't be teaching. Period.

Q: Who are your biggest influences and why?

Nora and her mother, Nazek.

Nora and her mother, Nazek.

Nora: I've got a great list of people who have supported and inspired me throughout my life, a few at the top are my mother, Nazek. She is an angel walking this earth. She is pure love who chooses to radiate that at all times. Cassie Aiken, former owner of Hot Yoga Nashville and current owner of Hot Yoga Jupiter. This woman is one of the most brilliant, eccentric genius business yoga gurus I have ever encountered.  She taught me everything I know about the Bikram series and is the reason I fell so deeply in love with it.  She also inspired me to open my studio. Marianne Williamson, her teachings on ACIM have shaped who I am in every aspect of my life. And Donielle Morris Aparo, you introduced me to the best nutrition in the world and are my health and spiritual coach! 

Q: Aww, Nora, we definitely have a special bond. I'm honored to be on your list, and you're definitely at the top of mine! We're coming to the end of our little interview, tell us what a typical day looks like for you...

Nora: Great question! A typical day includes spending time with my hubby, Omar, and Gavin. I also spend time working at the studio to empower the teachers and students to be their best selves. And then I go home and wake up and do it all over again. Oh yeah...and I practice.

Q: And what would you say to someone brand new to yoga?

Nora: Relax, have fun, and let your mat be a space where you can check out from the world for about an hour.

When Nora Helmy El Wassimy first started practicing hot yoga, she felt she had found her niche, something to call her own. A 4x6 ft. rubber mat became her safe haven and she looked forward to the instantaneous relief she received from the series. Each time she returned to my "happy place" she almost felt as if she were taking herself on a date, "A HOT date, that is...cheesy, I know, but I couldn't resist!" she says laughing. "My practice was all about me and for a whole hour and a half each day, and I felt safe from the rest of my life." As her dedication to her practice grew stronger, the inevitable happened....her heart opened, and her sprit caught fire. "Many of us see our yoga practice as a separate area of our lives. We go to work, we hang out with friends, we pay the bills, and then we get to go to yoga, 'Ahhhhh...'; It is quite the contrary, actually. Yoga is not a separate aspect of our lives. It is the central area of life. Why? Because yoga has to do with where we live within ourselves. Every corner of our lives and every practical life experience is a direct out-picturing of where we live within ourselves. The asana can then become tools we use, daily, to express ourselves and thus reflect where we are within. Eventually, we no longer see our yoga practice as something we do at 4:30 for an hour-and-a-half to 'turn-off'. As we learn what it means to integrate yoga into every relationship, every situation, and every moment, our practice then becomes a gift not only to ourselves but to those around us as well. Sharing the precious gift that yoga has given me is an honor and a huge source of joy and thus, is the biggest reward of all. I am committed to dedicating my life to sharing this transformative practice with the special community of Nashville. It is my intention and my deepest hope that each person who walks through the doors of Fahrenheit will uncover what had been there all along, a masterpiece. May we all experience our highest degree. "May you fall a little bit more in love with your practice and may you use your practice, as often as possible, to fall more in love with your life.' "

Practice in Pairs: Partner Poses for Your Daily Practice with Kaci and Kristen

Practice in Pairs: Partner Poses for Your Daily Practice with Kaci and Kristen

Partner yoga is a great way to incorporate a fun learning and bonding experience for friends that are practitioners of yoga!  Each partner pose incorporates a posture that offers synonymous or opposing benefits to each practitioner in the pose, which provides a great method of balancing flexibility and strength for both parties.  When exploring a partner yoga practice, you get double the fun!  This also means double the body parts and double the energy, which can be overwhelming.  Focus on the alignment and purpose of each pose, while moving with grace and intention into and out of each pose just like you would in your personal yoga practice.  These factors are key in avoiding injury while practicing partner yoga.  Kristen and Kaci have demonstrated several partner yoga poses below that you can explore with friends to share the joy and power of your asana practice!  Kristen offers modifications when available for each pose.

The Incredible Cindy Lunsford

The Incredible Cindy Lunsford

Q: Thank you so much for taking the time to share your yoga journey with all of us today. Let's get started! So, I’ve seen your practice and you are capable of incredible things, how long have you been practicing yoga?

Cindy: I began dabbling in yoga around 2003-2004, but I never lived in a place that had a studio so my practice was very inconsistent and more of a supplement to my running. When we moved to upstate New York in 2005, I gave up practicing yoga altogether because I was a lawyer and there was no studio anywhere around. It wasn't until I went to teacher training in 2008 that I began a serious and consistent practice.

Q: When you decided to become a yoga teacher, was there an “ah-ha” moment?

Cindy: It's funny because I don't remember thinking too much about the yoga after we moved to New York, but clearly it was somewhere lying dormant in the back of my consciousness. When I got to an emotional breaking point with my job as an attorney, I had a moment at the office like a light switch being turned on and decided right then and there I was going to quit my job and go to the Bikram yoga teacher training. I called my husband out of the blue and told him I was giving the office two weeks notice and heading out for nine weeks to take the training. Fortunately, he was extremely supportive and we did not have our children at the time.

Q: Wow! What a big shift! You recently made another big life shift and moved from New York to Nashville. What brought you here?

Cindy: Quite a few things brought us to Nashville or perhaps I should say, away from New York. I owned a few yoga studios in New York and it was consuming my life. We lived in a relatively small town and because of the studios I knew so many people. While that can have its perks, it was also exhausting. In 2013 my youngest son was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and overnight our lives changed. Treatment began the next week and for about four or five months our lives centered around his illness. We didn't have our families nearby and I think it was just an eye-opener for us that we wanted to be closer to our hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. I also cut some ties with the businesses I owned so I could be more present for my family. Thank God he is cancer free today, but it was a very transitional moment for all of us. It doesn't hurt that Nashville winters (despite this one) are much warmer!

Q: We're so glad your son is cancer free! What a journey! It must have been hard to leave New York and your businesses...

Cindy: I built a very strong community of yogis in Saratoga Springs and some of the outlying areas. It was and still is a second family for me, and was a very cohesive group of people. We did things to support the community and socially we were very active. But at the same time, it was also a big responsibility for me and sometimes I felt the added pressure of constantly keeping that flame alive, oftentimes at the expense of my family. I still have one of the studios in upstate New York and continue to go back once a month for teacher training, so I am able to maintain that tie but at a healthy distance.

Q: We're honored to have you as a part of our community, you make such a beautiful addition to our Fahrenheit family. Speaking of teacher training, we are so excited you’re leading the 200 Hour Vinyasa Teacher Training coming up at Fahrenheit in April! How long have you been teaching teachers?

Cindy: I am so excited to have this opportunity at Fahrenheit. I happened to stumble upon Fahrenheit because my son started going to school in Brentwood when we moved here. I really feel like it was a serendipitous encounter because Fahrenheit reminds me so much of my studio. I love what Nora has created and I feel honored that she has asked me to lead the training and be a part of the studio. I have completed three training's in New York and I'm currently leading a training in Louisville Kentucky.

Q: What do you love most about teaching teachers-in-training?

Cindy: I really love the idea of helping teachers connect to their Dharma even if that means becoming something other than a yoga teacher. Through the yoga process, and particularly the teacher training process, I am able to watch many teachers find where they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to be doing. It is a profound thing to watch as someone is able to take their yoga practice and use it as a means to inspire themselves and the people around them. Over the course of a training, even intensive ones, so many changes occur for students. It's so fun to watch people find their voice and become more embodied, in other words, begin to understand and utilize their physical practice as a means for expressing themselves.

unnamed-1.jpg

Q: When would you say a student is ready to go through teacher training?

If yoga brings a passion to somebody's life, then I think they are ready for a yoga teacher training. I ask students who are doing the training to not even think about or even declare that they want to be teachers, but rather to use the training as a way to deepen their practice and exploration of yoga. Out of that deeper study, they will know whether or not they want to teach. If people approach teacher training solely as a means to become a yoga teacher I think sometimes the motivation is misplaced and it also creates an undue amount of pressure early in the process. Yoga teacher training's are about finding a deeper connection to the self and hopefully Dharma.

Q: What would you say to a someone who is scared to take the leap from student to teacher-in-training? 

Cindy: I would ask them if yoga brings joy to their life. If the answer is yes, then I would ask them why they would not want to make a deeper commitment to their practice and study of same. Ultimately, they need to be comfortable with their decision but if they can understand that the goal of a teacher training is to grow and commit more fully to a life of Yoga, and not just to become a yoga teacher, then they can usually come to the conclusion on their own that they are ready.

Q: I'm sure people are wondering...what does a typical day look like in a 200-Hour Vinyasa Teacher Training?

Cindy: Typically, we practice twice a day. In between classes, we spend a great deal of time in posture clinics breaking down various poses and their alignment and modifications. We discuss the different aspects of sequencing a class and the students work on sequencing their own classes in the process. There is a great deal of peer teaching and feedback so students get comfortable finding their voice and practicing sequencing. In the evenings, we usually discuss such topics as yoga ethics, history and philosophy. Every training I have ever led, or taken for that matter, fosters a very supportive community, and ultimately family, of students. Training becomes a very safe space to explore the possibilities of who each person is and what they are truly capable of.

Q: I'm sure there are people who are going to read this who will be inspired to make this investment in themselves. Is it too late to sign-up for this upcoming training in April?

Cindy: No! The first evening is Friday, April 1st. There are some required readings but most of them will be referenced throughout the four-month period, so there is time to catch up. At this point, we have an amazing group and I'm so excited to get to know each of them better, but we would love for more people to join us! The more the merrier and the more to learn from everyone.

Q: How exciting! You'll have to keep us updated over the next few months! So, tell us...when you’re not teaching or defying gravity with your beautiful practice, what does your life look like outside of the studio?

Cindy: As spontaneous as I have been in my life in terms of major decisions when it comes to daily life I am quite routine. At this point my typical day includes a walk or two with my dog, getting my boys off to school and home from school, taking a yoga class and teaching one or two yoga classes. I lament the fact that I don't read as much as I would like to but when I get the chance I try to read yoga scripture and stay updated on any new debates circulating in the yoga community. I spend a lot of time working on my yoga materials for teacher training's so that I can continue to evolve as both a teacher and a trainer. I still own a yoga studio in New York so I continue to operate that from a distance and try to find ways to grow it. I don't really watch TV but occasionally I like to sit down and enjoy a good movie.

Q: What are some of your favorite books?

Cindy: Bhagavad Gita As It Is; The Great Work of Your Life; and You are a Badass

Q: And because no interview would be complete without shaking it up a little bit...what's your all time favorite comfort food?

Cindy: I know this sounds hoaky but I could eat kale salad all day every day but if I had to be completely honest, and I was being a bit gluttonous, I would also love a heaping side of salt and vinegar chips to go with it!

Cindy Lunsford is the previous owner of three yoga studios in upstate New York and she currently owns a studio in Queensbury, New York. She is a certified in Bikram, Yin Yoga, Vinyasa, and level II/III Barkan Vinyasa. She also completed the advanced Forrest Yoga teacher training. She completed her 500 hour training with both Jimmy Barkan and Rolf Gates. She currently assists Jimmy Barkan at his level II/III Vinyasa teacher training's. Cindy leads a 200 hour Yoga Alliance certified vinyasa teacher training in Louisville, New York and now Nashville! She is also an Africa Yoga Project Ambassador. Cindy recently moved to Nashville, Tennessee where she teaches at Fahrenheit Yoga Studio several other local studios.