About Us

It Takes a Village

 

Located in the heart of Mobile in Spring Hill,   Village Yoga is the purest example of the resilience and commitment of a community determined not just to stay together, but to continue growing and sharing the conviction that yoga works. Our founders were inspired by the dedication of teachers and members to keep a tribe together and recreate a home that fosters growth, individuality, and empowerment and respects the safety and health of all. We strive to embrace and remind each other that we all have gifts to share. We are all students practicing yoga to get better at life.

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Meet Our Team

Our Instructors

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Carlye Waters

Co-Owner, 500 hrs RYT

Favorite quote/mantra? Sometimes you have to stand in the rain to see the rainbow.... or something like that!

 

What started your yoga journey? I was curious about the practice, and I am always wanting to try different forms of exercise.

 

How long have you practiced yoga? 15 years

 

First yogi memory? Doing yoga video tapes in my den

Favorite yoga pose? Pigeon and wheel

 

Why yoga? I love the flow, connecting to the breath, the challenging poses, and the way I feel afterwards- not just immediately, but every day, all day. It's made me more calm and present in my life.

 

What change have you seen in your life bc of your yoga journey? My overall happiness in life and a career change

 

What made you want to teach? I wanted to teach others that were too nervous to go to classes, like my mom.

 

How long have you been teaching?  5 years

 

What do you love about teaching? Knowing my students are happy leaving class and that they'd carry that happiness with them all day...hopefully!

 

Something we may not know about you?  I'm good at crunching numbers. I LOVE traveling-like, I HAVE to travel to stay truly happy.

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Suzette Hanson

 500 hrs RYT

Favorite quote/mantra? Gratitude is a choice

What started your yoga journey? I started yoga because of an injury.  After teaching 15 years of boot camps, step classes, and whatever the trend was at the time, I started yoga for recovery.  I resisted giving up an hour for something that didn't seem like my traditional workouts.  I was wrong, the more I did yoga the more I wanted to do it.

 

How long have you practiced yoga? My first yoga class was 20 years ago.  I practiced intermittently and really committed 10 years ago.

 

First yogi memory? The first memory I have was in my first class.  Angie, the instructor, was so loving and calming, and I trusted her guidance. Then I did my first pigeon pose, and the heat and energy it created was like having a contraction before giving birth :)

 

Funniest yogi memory? In an intense sequence I asked the class to shake it out, and someone started flossing, and then everyone did!

 

Favorite yoga pose? All of the poses are my favorite, I'm even learning to love Camel.

 

Why yoga? Everything I practice on the mat makes me better at life.

 

What change have you seen in your life bc of your yoga journey? The changes I have seen are huge: overall acceptance, detachment from outcomes, embracing everything as a lesson, commitment to a community, open mind open heart, cultivate self-love without ego, understand we all have gifts to share, and do everything for something greater than myself.  

 

What made you want to teach? I have always been a teacher in one way or another, so it was a natural expression to want to share a passion that enhanced my life experience so much.

How long have you been teaching? I've been teaching over ten years. 

 

What do you love about teaching? The best thing about teaching is seeing someone respond to my words and find success and empowerment within themselves.  The feeling to watch someone accomplish a pose they haven't before is contagious in the room.

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Julie Irby

 

Favorite quote/mantra? Let it go.

 

What started your yoga journey? One of my best friends told me how much she loved yoga so I tried it in my early 20’s and I’ve practiced ever since. 

 

How long have you practiced yoga? since 2013. 

 

First yogi memory? My first actual class at the Y in Foley & how I felt like my body was sinking through the floor in savasana. 

 

Funniest yogi memory? Always falling. Either into the door frame at Glow cracking it or falling into my bestie trying to practice acro yoga. haha

 

Favorite yoga pose? half pigeon

 

Why yoga? Nothing else teaches how failure equals growth the same as finally landing a pose. I also haven’t found anything else that tests my patience like long holds, & I love that mental challenge. 

 

What change have you seen in your life bc of your yoga journey? The importance of showing up and trying again. I’ve never been held accountable like I have from this community. Not to mention, I always said I’d never teach yoga, but here I am. 

What made you want to teach? There was rumor at the last studio I practiced at saying they were not going to have Friday night classes anymore because nobody really wanted to teach them. I didn’t want them to end so I did teacher training to take over.  And I was tired of hearing, “Omg I can’t believe you’re not a teacher! You should teach!” lol

How long have you been teaching? Since July 2020

 

What do you love about teaching? Seeing the excitement on someone’s face when they accomplish a pose they’ve been working on

 

Something we may not know about you? I love teeth. I’m also a dental assistant & helping save teeth is my other passion next to yoga. 

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Monica Nash

 

Favorite quote/mantra? I don't have a favorite - I like so many. Here is just one: "Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining." Anne Lamott

 

What started your yoga journey? When I lived in Winston-Salem, my friend Elliott was a yoga teacher. He convinced me to come to his class. I didn't know how much I needed it. I've always been anxious and a worrier. That first class set me on a journey of personal growth and development. I've learned so much about how to deal with stress, anxiety, overwhelm and even sadness from work on my mat and from what teachers have taught me about yoga and about myself. I am so thankful for my friend who knew that my life needed yoga in it and convinced me to take the leap.

How long have you practiced yoga? Since 2012

First yogi memory: Showing up at Elliott's class and anxiously waiting for another friend to join - who was late. I was so confused about the sequence and looking around me at everyone who knew what they were doing. I remember just thinking, what am I doing? I felt out of place and like I just wanted to laugh about not having a clue what was going on.

 

Favorite yoga pose? It changes. Probably Malasana right now.

 

Why yoga? The connection to something bigger than myself, the sweat, the people.

 

What change have you seen in your life bc of your yoga journey?  Better management of anxiety/worry. It doesn't well up in my chest like it used to. I don't get tense and worked up physically. I have the tools to release what I need to.

 

What made you want to teach? Wanting to know more and go deeper. I wasn't sure I wanted to teach, but I wanted to deepen my practice and learn all that I could.

 

How long have you been teaching? Since 2015

 

What do you love about teaching? My message resonating and showing students they are capable of more than they thought possible for them

 

Something we may not know about you? I loveeeeeeee winter and cold weather and SNOW!

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Liz Ferguson

Co-Owner

Favorite quote/mantra? Be the Change; Let it Be; Choose Joy

 

What started your yoga journey?  About a year out of college i taught high school at St. Paul's Episcopal School-where i graduated. One of the student's mothers, who was an incredible yoga teacher, offered it to teachers because she wanted to give back to the teachers that gave so much for her kids. My friend Leigh talked me into doing yoga with her, and so it began. 

 

How long have you practiced yoga? I practiced on and off after that, but i always missed it. I really picked yoga back up when GLOW opened in Mobile in 2015. It was then and there that recognized my real love and learned deeper appreciation for yoga.

First yogi memory? Practicing yoga in grey Target maternity sweatpants (because they were on clearance, and i was broke) on the theatre lobby floor at St. Paul's School with my teacher friends.

 

Favorite yoga pose?  It's hard for me to say just one yoga pose-but I would definitely include Lizard/Twisted Monkey. 

Why yoga? Oooohhhh, let me count the ways!!!

 

What change have you seen in your life bc of your yoga journey? Again-ooooooh let me count the ways! It helps me bring peace into my life. It teaches me to stay present. I have learned that I really do have the power to choose-to choose to accept things as they are and move on, to choose joy over negativity, to choose peace, kindness, and love. It's also a heck of a work out!! 

 

What made you want to teach? Ever since i first met yoga, i was drawn to it. There was just something about it that just clicked with me and made me want to understand it deeper. I was never brave enough to take the plunge until Village was born. Then I had no choice! HA!

 

What do you love about teaching? I find it so magical to be surrounded by people that have the courage to show up on their mat and have such an amazing common goal. To see the hard work and determination in the eyes of everyone around me truly is inspiring. 

Something we may not know about you? I can MacGyver just about anything-it may not look pretty or last forever, but i can generally provide a solid, temporary rigging. 

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Jennifer Myers

Favorite quote/mantra? Everything is gonna be ok!

 

What started your yoga journey? I was in a rut in my exercise routine, my diet, and my social life, and I was looking for something to kickstart my wellness program. Yoga was the cure!

 

How long have you practiced yoga?  5 years religiously 

 

First yogi memory? Jennifer Guthrie (of Glow Yoga) telling me my heels didn’t have to touch the ground in down dog. They were a mile from the ground because I have the tightest hamstrings, so that was such a relief!

 

Funniest yogi memory? Working on head stand in a hotel room and and almost destroying an Armoire when I came crashing down. I was so glad no one was there to see that. 

 

Favorite yoga pose? Malasana 

 

Why yoga? It’s a great workout and it makes me a better human.

 

What change have you seen in your life bc of your yoga journey? I am more aware and centered

What made you want to teach? All of the GLOW teachers encouraged me to try it, just to expand and grow in my own practice, and it grew from there.

 

How long have you been teaching?  3 years

 

What do you love about teaching? Seeing people benefit from the practice just like I did and becoming happier and healthier.

 

Something we may not know about you? I eat chocolate everyday and I’m not ever gonna stop. 
 

Any additional comments? For anyone considering yoga-thinking its not physically challenging enough- please give it a shot. I did a full Ironman at age 40, so I really like an intense workout. Yoga meets all the criteria for strength and intensity, but without all the injuries. Come join us!

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Crystal LeBlanc

Favorite quote/mantra? Eat More Plants, Do More Yoga

 

What started your yoga journey? I had a bout with surgeries and hormone health. I knew finding peace & movement could help.

 

How long have you practiced yoga?  Almost 3 years

 

First yogi memory?  I distinctly remember my first feeling of being savasana "drunk". I came out of that class loving everyone & everything! 

 

Funniest yogi memory? Teaching a Gangster Rap class in a bar. Everyone needs yoga, right? 

 

Favorite yoga pose?   That's Tough! Child's Pose (Balasana) or Airplane (Dekasana) 

 

Why yoga?  It's the best form of exercise for me. I get to play while helping my overall health. It's a win, win. 

 

What change have you seen in your life bc of your yoga journey? The pause. In stressful situations, I find myself pausing and responding rather than reacting. And I feel stronger than I've ever felt before.

 

What made you want to teach? I didn't lol. I just wanted to learn more about anatomy and alignment. Then I realized that I could help others by showing people how attainable yoga can be.  

 

How long have you been teaching?  2 years

 

What do you love about teaching? Helping others find their strength & peace. Even if it's just for an hour. 

 

Something we may not know about you?  I love learning! I'm a jack of all trades and wouldn't change that for the world. You name it, I just might have some experience in it! 

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Becca Morgan

Favorite quote? The best thing you can do is master the chaos within. You are not thrown into the fire, you are the fire. - Mama Indigo

What started your yoga journey? I wasn’t looking to change who I was, rather be more aware of when my balance was just too far off. It feels good to feel good. When it doesn’t feel good, does it really make sense to keep doing it? It’s ok to let go sometimes.

How long have you practiced yoga?  4 years

First yogi memory? A full class with a strong breath that carried us through our practice. It was so powerful.

Favorite yoga pose? Flying pigeon

Why yoga? It reminds me to be where I am, not where I think I should be.

What change have you seen in your life because of your yoga journey? PEACE✌🏻✨

What made you want to teach? It wasn’t my intention to teach at first, but realizing I could create the space and breath for people to experience just as I do when I practice changed my outlook on teaching.

How long have you been teaching? 1 year

What do you love about teaching? Witnessing the difference of people when they first step on their mats at the beginning of practice to when they step off their mats at the end.

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Brittany Denton

Favorite quote/mantra? Don't hate meditate 

 

What started your yoga journey? My yoga journey was started by a coworkers wife that was a yoga teacher/studio owner. She invited me to my 1st class and I love it immediately. 

 

How long have you practiced? I’ve practiced 10-11 years. 

 

First yogi memory? I don’t know about my 1st memory, but I do remember thinking down- dog was soooo hard for a long time. 

 

Funniest yogi memory? Not sure, but it was probably in Chad’s class at Glow. 

 

Favorite yoga pose? I can’t pick just one ... I like so many for different reasons! 

 

Why yoga?  Wow.. all the reasons! Yoga makes me happier, friendlier, more grateful, more connected to my inner self & physical body, more connected with others & the universe. Yoga to be humbled & to let go of what I can’t control. Yoga to be stronger, balanced & more flexible physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually. 

 

What change have you seen in your life from your yoga journey? Every aspect of my life has changed for the better from my yoga journey. My attitude, my perception, my patience, my relationship, my health, my diet, my confidence & even my finances. 


What made you want to teach? Well... Suzette lovingly encouraged me to sign up for teacher training. I honestly was just interested in deeper learning about yoga & holistic health in general. I didn’t initially have an urge to teach but after the training & more encouragement from Suz I ended up finding the confidence to want to teach! Thanks, Suz! Love you! 

 

How long have you been teaching? 2 & 1/2 years 

 

What do you love about teaching? Hearing the breath. I love it! It’s like music! & just the feeling of honor to witness yogis working on themselves collectively and as individuals. Also being present in a different type of way. 

 

Something we may not know about you? I can do a little bit of trick hula hooping. I have quite a collection of crystals, minerals and fossils. I’m a seamstress. I like to paint. I really like to run outdoors, it’s cathartic for me. I love animals and hope to find a pup in the future! 

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Alivia Weeks

 

Favorite Quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” 

 

What started your yoga journey? I first started yoga in college for a credit course. It was the best class ever and loved how relaxed and good I felt after it. Once I graduated I started teaching and have loved it ever since. 

 

Funniest yogi memory?  It was falling asleep during Savasana and my friend waking me up and everyone seeing my head pop up in the mirrors. 

 

Why yoga? Yoga is just so good for the body and mind. It helps me slow down, enjoy/focus on each stretch, strengthens and empower me. I feel complete control over each move. 

 

Favorite Pose: Revolved Triangle 

 

What do you love about teaching? I love teaching and helping others reach their goals. I love seeing how it helps them in their every day life and when a client tells me how doing yoga made their back or hip or knee stop hurting. Them saying their tennis or golf game is better. I guess I love seeing whenever a client or member sees for themself that yoga truly benefits their everyday life. It’s not something they dread to do, but truly enjoys.  

Ruth O'Donnell

Favorite quote/mantra:   "The more I know, the less I understand" - a serious one from the Eagles' Glen Fry :) 

"Yoga class? I thought you said "pour a glass" - haha

 

What started your yoga journey?  Yoga was the only thing that began the deep and true healing process after I had an ACL reconstruction surgery on my knee.

 

How long have you practiced?  On and off for 15 years

 

First yogi memory:  I was lying in Savasana, and tears involuntarily streaming from my eyes. I felt very vulnerable and surprised and knew there was something important to explore in these classes.

Funniest yogi memory: In one of my first classes, the teacher said "take rest whenever you need it", "this is your class" "don't worry about what the person on the mat next  to you is doing"

I took Savasana for a moment and woke up 45 minutes later with the teacher checking on my to make sure I was okay. Good lord. :) 

 

Favorite yoga pose: Hmmm...Any twist, anything going backwards, anything upside down, Savasana, Child's pose.... I cannot will not choose just one :) 

 

Why yoga?  Yoga combines everything creative, intellectual, physical, mental, emotional and community all into one - if we allow for this.

 

What change have you seen in your life because of your yoga journey?  I am a kinder, more self aware and generous human.

 

What made you want to teach?  All my teachers were inspiring well adjusted humans and  I wanted to emulate that.

 

How long have you been teaching?  10 years.

 

What do you love about teaching?  Besides everything, I love the paradox of the teacher being the student and the students always teaching the teacher.

 

Something we may not know about you?   Something you don't know about me is that I never leave a public bathroom without doing a yoga posture. hahaa haa!

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Manja Podratz

 

Favorite quote/mantra ? When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.

 

What started your yoga journey    My dad gave me an old yoga magazine when I was 5 years old, and I just thought the photos in it were funny and it was even more fun to get my own body to copy the pictured poses.

 

How long have you practiced yoga?    On and off since my childhood, and consistently for about 17 years now.

 

First yogi memory?       My dad trying to teach me hand-warming techniques in savasana and me just being silly.

 

Funniest yogi memory? One of my favorite yoga memories is from my yoga teacher training. Our teacher decided to take the group to Dauphin Island for a day. We studied under the pavillion at the beach all morning. Some of us had to do practice teachings. For lunch break, we went to the water, and sure enough a large school of dolphins showed up very close to the beach. They were hunting a swarm of smaller fish. We all went into the water and sat on the bottom with our heads under water, and listened to the amazing sounds the dolphins made. Dolphin sounds travel under water and it was as if we were sitting right next to them, listening in to their communication. 

 

Favorite yoga pose?  I love dancer pose and mermaid pose.

 

Why yoga?   Yoga is union. It is the most complete system for healing, understanding the human makeup, and realizing that we all come from the same ground of all being. Yoga is the blueprint for recalibrating oneself in the various phases of life for physical, mental, emotional, energetical, and spiritual well-being.

 

What change have you seen in your life bc of your yoga journey?   Yoga asana helped me recover after cancer, after multiple fractures of my spine, and after giving birth to my children. Yoga pranayama, meditation, and yoga nidra helped me recover from PTSD after physical assault. Today, yoga helps me navigate the daily challenges of juggling work-life-balance, and I am blessed to guide others out of their trauma lock back to living joyfully.

 

What made you want to teach?  I follow an inner calling to show others that healing is possible, that learning and expanding how we experience life is possible, and I love helping others to remember what brings them joy.

How long have you been teaching  Since 2015

 

What do you love about teaching?   Watching my students grow and meeting likeminded others.

 

**In addition to teaching yoga, Manja is also a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Certified Life Coach and Hypnotherapist, IHA, Registered Court & Medical Interpreter, NAJIT. For more information, please visit:  www.drmanjapodratz.com

www.yogawithmanja.com

Eleanor Baker

Favorite quote/mantra: Everyone is on their own journey.

 

What started your yoga journey: I went to my first yoga class at my gym in Auburn, when I was in college. I immediately fell in love with it and have been doing yoga on and off for more than 20 years.

 

First yogi memory: In that first class, I remember loving the meditative quality of yoga. It was physically challenging, but felt so good.

 

Funniest yogi memory: The first yoga class I taught after completing my YTT was an after school enrichment class for SPS 1st graders. It was so much fun. I designed the class around different animal yoga postures: cat, down dog, cobra. They were the cutest, and I learned so much.

 

Favorite yoga pose: At the end of most of my yoga practices, I love to close with shoulder stand and then plough pose. It offers such a change in perspective, not to mention the cardiovascular benefits of having your hips above your heart. It’s also so good for the lymphatic system. After shoulder stand and plough pose, my body feels wrung out and I’m ready to reap the benefits of my practice in Savasana.

 

Why yoga: I love combining a physical workout with the meditative quality of yoga. Learning how to manage an intense exercise by harnessing the power of the breath is so cool.

 

What change have you seen in your life bc of your yoga journey: I’ve become physically stronger and more fit. Yoga has helped heal my back and neck. The breathing practice helps me manage stress.

 

What made you want to teach: I teach Freshman AIP English, Junior AIP English, Middle School and Upper School Creative Writing at St. Paul's Episcopal School. I am big time ADHD, so I thrive when I have lots of different balls in the air. There were a couple of standard Upper School English classes on the horizon, and I knew I did not want to teach the same class five or six times a day. I went to the administration and asked if I was certified to teach yoga, could I maybe pick up a PE class or help with athletics on campus. “Sure!” was the response I got! I love that school!

 

How long have you been teaching: 3 ½ years.

 

What do you love about teaching: It feels like a ministry, spreading love through teaching. I feel this in my academic and writing classes as well. There is so much more to teach than just proper alignment or themes in a work of literature. Teaching gives me the opportunity to acknowledge the light in another person as they also strive on their journey to meet themselves.

 

Something we may not know about you: For friends who know me this is not a secret at all, but I live by the mantra my mother has always held true: “Lipstick always helps.”

Tate Sutton

Favorite quote/mantra: Om Tat Sat - It is what it is. 

 

What started your yoga journey: A back injury

 

How long have you practiced yoga: 12 years inconsistently, over a year consistently

 

First Yogi Memory: My first yoga mat: a yellow lululemon mat that I still use!

More Team Players

Briana Graham
VY Staff

Taylor Hurst
VY Ambassador