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I first encountered Baptiste Power Yoga in 2012.  I was sure that my preference for “high intensity” workouts and yoga would not mesh. I left my first class surprised at how physically challenging it was, and the competitor in me went back for more. With every practice I experienced unexpected feelings of strength and ease while gaining a greater appreciation for my body and my life.

I was so profoundly impacted by my yoga practice that I left my career job, moved my family from Nashville, TN (after having lived there 23 years) to Oxford, MS to open Baptiste Power Yoga Oxford. I can honestly say I am doing what I love. To be able to share this life-changing practice with others is a dream come true. My intention for Baptiste Power Yoga Oxford is that it is a safe and nurturing space to build community and empower others to live inspired lives.

I am a certified Baptiste Yoga Leader and an E-RYT 500 through Yoga Alliance. I also co-facilitate 200-hour and 300-hour yoga teacher training programs in Oxford and Nashville.

My classes are rooted in Baptiste methodology, providing simple tools to access a deeply physical experience that will awaken and empower you both on and off your mat.

Mary Morgan Bryan, 500-hr E-RYT; 300-hr certified Baptiste leader

I was born and raised in Oxford, Mississippi and attended undergrad and graduate school at Ole Miss. I am now a Registered Nurse. I never found a fitness “home” until I tried the 30 for 30 at Baptiste Power Yoga Oxford. I realized yoga not only helped me physically, but also mentally. I loved the breathing, meditation and inquiry work that came along with yoga. I then did my first 40 days to personal revolution and knew I wanted to become a teacher. I received my 200-hour RYT certification through Baptiste Power Yoga Oxford in 2020. My favorite part about the studio is the community it brings. My intention is to have every person feel safe, seen and rejuvenated after each class.

Alex Blackburn, 500-hr CYT

Although I was introduced to yoga a handful of times in elementary school, my yoga practice really began in the summer of 2020 when I attended my first class at Baptiste Power Yoga Oxford. Since then, yoga has become an important aspect of my life. I’ve used my practice as a way to clear my head, while adding structure and discipline into my life.

I signed up for yoga teacher training without any consideration of my fear of public speaking, but it pushed me to find a confident voice that I never thought I would.

I completed my 200 hour teacher training in January 2021 and I can’t wait to see the continued impact that teaching will have on me and Baptiste Power Yoga Oxford students. I hope to make my students feel like they are in a comfortable environment that they can use as an escape from stress and worry, while building a self-rewarding practice.

Margo Esarco, 200-hr CYT

I found yoga in 2013 after the loss of my mom. I was desperate for relief from insomnia and hoping to find a way to create more structure in my life. I was working from home, most of my college friends had moved off, and not dealing with the loss of my mom. I could go weeks without seeing another person. Yoga brought connection with others and myself back into my life. I was first attracted to physically demanding, hot classes. Over time, I discovered that yoga was so much more than just exercise. The shift was internal and changed my life. My yoga mat became a place of solace. I knew I had to share my practice and became a 200-hr RYT in 2016.

I have been a part of Baptiste Power Yoga Oxford since the beginning. When I found BPYO, I was dealing with a lot of neck and back pain from past injuries and concussions. With the help of six months of corrective care, Baptiste Yoga, and incorporating weight training into my routine, I finally found relief. It was a long road, but it totally changed my life and yoga practice. What I love most about Baptiste Yoga is how it fits in any body, gives you a challenge to rise to the occasion, and the community.

In January of 2019, I became Buti Yoga certified, making me Oxford’s first and only Buti certified teacher. What I love most about Buti is how it empowers you and gives you a safe space to let your hair down. Buti Yoga is for everyone. You don’t have to be able to hear a beat or be a stellar dancer. We have dads, moms, boyfriends, and college students. You just need an open mind and to be able to laugh at yourself.

I am passionate making yoga accessible for every body and making every mat a safe space. In my classes, I use movement, breath, and intention to be totally present on your mat. I am fond of laughter, getting upside down, and arm balances.

Daniella Howard, 500-hr CYT, 200-hr E-CYT; Buti certified

My journey on the path of yoga began over 15 years ago. I immediately was drawn to the physical yet spiritual aspects of the practice. I was blessed to have many excellent teachers in my early years of practice that inspired and encouraged me and helped guide me to a healthier and happier life. After practicing for several years I had the misfortune of losing my 23 year old son. Without my yoga practice and community I am not sure how I could have gone on. Stepping on to my yoga mat every day at that point gave me a place to grieve, reflect, shed tears, and find strength to move on.

I am drawn to the Baptiste style of yoga for the physically challenging practice but also for the self inquiry work it asks of me. I am trained to teach yoga for recovery from substance use disorder and teach in a local inpatient treatment center as well. I love helping guide newcomers to yoga on how the practice can help bring a sense of peace, strength, and wellbeing to your whole being- mind, body, and soul.

I am thankful to be part of the Baptiste Power Yoga Oxford team since the studio opened. I hope to inspire deeper inner wisdom so that others may have positive transformations in their life as well.

Kent Magee, 200-hr CYT; Y12SR certified

I first began exploring yoga on and off when I was in college, but I found a home and routine practice at Baptiste Power Yoga Oxford in July of 2020. I quickly came to love and appreciate the physical and mental health aspects the practice offered and I was grateful to find a space where I felt challenged, welcomed, and supported. It was an easy decision to take the next step and complete my 200-hour certification in January 2021. I am excited to continue growing in my practice and now share the benefits of holding time and space to nurture the body and mind. I believe every practice is an opportunity to experience growth and self-empowerment and I can’t wait to meet others on their mat!

Brittany Power, 200-hr CYT

I’m a native of Jackson, TN. I moved to Oxford in the fall of 2014 for a job opportunity and have been blessed to live in this beautiful “little big town”.

With some guidance from my loved ones, I tried yoga in 2015 to find a way to help with grieving the loss of my mother. I tried my first Baptiste Power Yoga class in the 2018, thinking I would probably never do that again because of how hard it was and that could I not keep up with everyone else, and yet something called me back to try again.

In 2019, I became a member at BPYO to help with my weight loss journey and to build strength, both mentally and physically. I enjoy the challenge of the poses and balance of the Baptiste Power Yoga JIP sequence, as it resembles the same sequences of poses I developed from my taekwondo days throughout my childhood.

I have never felt so appreciated and loved by such an amazing community. Our team is super supportive!

I earned my 200-hour RYT certification through Baptiste Power Yoga Oxford in February 2020. I aspire to bring joy to yoga classes in hope that others feel confidant and safe enough to let loose on their mats. I love to laugh and my personality is powerful.

Scarlett Sage, 200-hr CYT

Since 2012, I have had yoga in my life on and off. It wasn’t until September of 2018, I began to practice weekly when I joined Baptiste Power Yoga Oxford. With it being my first year of graduate school at Ole Miss, I found myself coming to yoga as a way to stay connected with myself both mentally and physically. Having a strong yoga community was something that kept me coming back, and I took my practice one step further in the summer of 2019.

I earned my 200-hour RYT certification through Baptiste Power Yoga Nashville and have completed the Baptiste Institute’s Yoga Teacher Course. I feel that teacher training transformed my life and I want to help everyone experience yoga, and hope it will encourage others to go through a transformation of their own which they can take with them on and off of the mat.

One of my favorite phrases is from Baron Baptiste, and it is “Be a Yes!” Baptiste yoga teaches us to face the uncomfortable with comfort and to find ease in the dis-ease. On our mats, we find our inner “Yes” in Tadasana which is our True North. When we have a strong foundation, we can achieve anything, and that is so powerful.

Kirsten Simpson, 200-hr RYT

I began practicing yoga in the fall of 2000 on the Ole Miss campus. I instantly fell in love with the practice. However, with my work schedule at that time, yoga took a back seat. I would find a place that offered yoga and would kind of practice, but again, made excuses to not be on my mat.

I’ve been an athlete and in athletics for over 25 years and all of those years on the softball field took a toll on my body. After a long year of back, neck and knee issues, doctor appointments, MRI’s and injections, it was finally time for me to slow down and take a different approach and stick with it – both mentally and physically.

Pridefully, I stepped away from hardcore exercising and found Baptiste Power Yoga Oxford and got serious about being on my mat, digging deeper into my practice and learning about the methodology as well. Baptiste Power Yoga has taught me to meet myself right where I am, today. I’m a few years older and much wiser when it comes understanding my body’s needs and my personal expectations of what I think I should be able to do.

I graduated from Baptiste Power Yoga Oxford’s 200-hour teacher training program in February, 2019. In addition, I also completed the Baptiste Foundation’s Social Impact Training in November, 2019 being certified as a Baptiste Foundation Social Impact Leader. This program is designed to lead individuals to impact social change into every population with the art and mastery, tools and techniques of Baptiste Yoga.

I’ve been a volunteer with North Mississippi Regional Center / Communicare since 2000. My main goal after teacher training was to do what I needed to do to help bring Small World Yoga to Oxford. SWY is a Nashville based nonprofit that connects yoga instructors and volunteers to those in the community with limited access to yoga. I now serve as the Outreach Coordinator for SWY Oxford.

Chyna Sinervo, 500-hr RYT; certified Baptiste Foundation Social Impact Leader

I have spent many years in strength training, soccer, dancing, and training for a half marathon and initially found myself being drawn to power yoga because of the workout, sweat, and stretch. I found myself constantly going to yoga on my “rest days”, which made me reflect on how I was treating my body and myself. I was overworking myself day after day without believing my body had limitations. I can very much say yoga saved me; the day I realized that I had to listen to my body was the day I began to get stronger both physically and mentally. As a performance major, I have always been intrigued by leading groups but never felt quite passionate about anything enough to lead it. When I found the healing and strengthening that yoga gave me personally through recovering from an eating disorder and panic attacks, I knew I had to share the gift of this practice with others. Surely, I was not the only one suffering from these obstacles.

In March of 2020 I knew it was time to take the next step and become a yoga teacher. I started saving as much money as I could working three jobs while being a full-time student so that I could make becoming a yoga teacher a reality. I completed my 200-hour teacher training with Baptiste Power Yoga Nashville this past July, summer of 2021, and am ecstatic to start sharing my teaching with others!

I hope to create space in my classes that allows students to find empowerment and strength through each pose and self-love through each inhale and exhale in order to help them find their own Journey Into Power.

Erin Stanphill, 200-hr CYT

After many years of Pilates, barre, and interval training classes, I was initially drawn to power yoga for the workout and sweat it provided.  From the moment I began, I was committed to getting on my mat daily and soon learned that the physical was only a small part of the yoga equation.  The powerful practice has been a wake up call to feel, heal, and tap in to a source of strength never experienced before.

In the summer of 2019, I completed Level 1: Journey Into Power through the Baptiste Institute and hold a instructor credential through the Institute. I completed my 200-hour teacher training in April 2015 and have loved evolving as a teacher as much as evolving as a yogi.  Forever a student, I continue to seek out new and different teachers to learn from.

My classes offer attention to breath and mindful movement.  I encourage my students to seek challenge as well as joy in the process of listening to and moving their bodies.  Through Baptiste inspired flows created for both strength and openness, I hope to create space for my students to grow in grace and courage so that they can face whatever next comes their way.

Ginger Whitwell, 500-hr RYT; Baptiste Instructor credential

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