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Johanna Epps

In 2001, I took my first yoga class at At One Yoga in Phoenix, Arizona and was instantly hooked. I began the 200 hour teacher training program offered at At One Yoga the next year. The training was led by Martin and Jordan Kirk who were at that time Anusara instructors. At One Yoga was the largest yoga studio in the Southwest, with 3 locations. They offered a wide variety of classes and styles such as Anusara, Ashtanga, Power, Flow, Yin, Restorative, and Gentle. They hosted national and international teachers on a monthly basis. I taught and practiced there for 9 years. The exposure to top level teachers and classes has shaped me into the teacher I am today and I am forever grateful to have had that experience, and to be able to share it in small town Arkansas.

 

Over the past 20 years, I've had the opportunity to teach yoga in homes, studios, athletic clubs, spas, colleges and a professional athlete training center. My favorite style of yoga is Vinyasa, which can be considerd a variation of Ashtanga yoga. Vinyasa is very much about linking breath with movement. In this style, the breath is as important as the movement. I believe that this focus on the breath is THE reason why yoga is so meditative. With a mind that is persistently all over the place, it is the combination of breathing and moving together seamlessly that allows my mind to relax and be quiet. I do like a challenging class, but yoga is much more to me than a physical endeavor. I do enjoy working with my body to see what it can do, but as I've dealt with injuries over the years, I've learned that you have to keep the ego in check or else you might hurt yourself and not be able to practice at all. I've always struggled with Depression and Anxiety and my practice is a major tool in keeping those issues in check, so I can't afford to hurt myself by pushing too hard. One of the great things that came out of my being injured was that I developed a mediation practice. In 2016, I went to Dharamsala, India to do a 100 hour mediation teacher training. 

 

My teaching is still heavily influenced by the first teacher I truly resonated with, David Romanelli. David's class had a sincere, practical message, great music, fun flows and a nurturing touch. In 2006, I completed my advanced yoga training at Kripalu with Ana Forrest.  Ana is fierce and believes in transformation through hard work.  It is the mix of these two elements, nurturing but intense, that inspired one student to call me the velvet hammer. I recently completed my 500 hour certification with Jason Crandall. Jason loves a vigorous class, but has studied anatomy and mechanics heavily in order to bring more safety and sustainability to the practice, without losing the fun. That training was the best training I've ever done and I'm super excited to share everything I gained from it. As of 2021, I have taught around 11,000 hours of yoga classes. I am the most experienced Vinyasa yoga teacher in Conway.