• Yoga Teachers

    okra charlotte yoga teacher training

Okra Yoga has offered a diverse number of classes since its inception in 2012. Our team of instructors are versed in a variety of disciplines. Their practices are each unique and varied. We invite you to get to know them and their classes. From the very roots of yoga that establish foundational principles to spiritual practices as well as intense sessions that can help you push on your own boundaries and limitations. We believe that there is a class for everyone here.

Amelia Alameno

Amelia moved to Charlotte back in 2014 and has loved her time here ever since. She and her fiancè reside in the NoDa area with their dog and love to explore the neighborhoods and breweries. Amelia began teaching in 2016 and fell in love with the biomechanics and physiology aspects of yoga. Currently working on her Master’s in Clinical Exercise Physiology, she loves to blend movement styles and help students gain a deeper understanding of their own bodies through yoga. She loves spending time outside and finding inspiration in unusual ways and different forms of exercise. A good reminder she tells students often is that “it’s only yoga- don’t take it too seriously” and tries to remind them to have fun on their mat.

Mindy Bui

Mindy completed her 200 hour teacher training in 2013.  She relocated to Charlotte that same year from the D.C. Metropolitan Area.  Mindy has been practicing yoga for over a decade.  She has been teaching Vinyasa Flow Classes and considers her students to be her best teachers.  Her classes can be described as gentle and easy flowing with emphasis on the breath.  Her personal approach to yoga is that it’s more than the movement, shapes, and poses, but rather utilizing the breath to cultivate a mindful, efficient, and easeful practice.

Hsin-ya Chow

Hsin-ya Chow is a writer and Kundalini Yoga teacher. She has worked for Harper’s BazaarLuckyMoney, and Time Out New York. After closing her small storefront SAIBUNG in Western New York, Hsin-ya relocated to Charlotte in late 2021. You can find her on Okra’s stellar yoga line-up or in her shiny new apartment, spinning together sparkly Kundalini-infused foot soaks made with anything-in-the-kitchen and the brightness of mantra. Her Kundalini certifications are in Level 1, Level 2, Prenatal, and Advanced Tantric Numerology. She holds a B.A. in Print Journalism from New York University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

Desiree Eatman

Desiree began her yoga journey in 2013 and immediately fell in love, as she felt she had found the missing spiritual piece in her life that she was looking for. She sees yoga as a path of connectivity with the Divine – the innate essence within that connects all living things. Desiree teaches that yoga isn’t something you only do on your yoga mat, but is a lifelong practice of embodying the 8 Limbs of Yoga into everyday life off the mat. She is passionate about teaching others how to heal themselves through yogic and holistic practices and making it accessible to EVERY body.

She received her RYT 200 from I AM YOGA CLT in 2021 and her Reiki Certification in 2020. Desiree is excited to begin teaching Deep Stretch classes at Okra and can be found on social media @sunnysideyogi.

Felicia Hall

Dr. Felicia Hall is an educator, healer, and motivator at heart. She is a Certified Athletic Trainer, Holistic Health Educator, 500 RYT, and Yoga Practitioner. Dr. Felicia Hall prides on educating others on being the best version of SELF. She has dedicated over 20 years to helping others heal and become the best version of themselves through resetting the way they think, redefining the way they move, and renewing the way they feel. Dr. Felicia Hall is passionate about what she does and inspires and empowers others. She developed the Soulful School of Yoga with the aspiration of helping others come back to their soul through the practice of yoga. Dr. Hall is the founder and lead trainer of the 200hr YTT and 300hr YTT Soulful School of Yoga program that will begin in August 2022 at Okra Yoga Studio.

Brook Machin

Brook is an Occupational Therapist, 200 hr RYT and trained in prenatal and postnatal yoga. She has a love for empowering the pregnant person and learning how yoga can benefit them throughout pregnancy and postpartum.  She practiced prenatal yoga throughout both of her pregnancies and postpartum in postnatal yoga and baby and me classes.  When she’s not working or teaching, you can find her spending time with her 2 boys and husband outside playing in the dirt, on the greenway or at local coffee shops.

Lexie Meier

Alexandra “Lexie” Meier was born and raised in Rochester, NY and moved to Charlotte, NC in 2010. After completing her bachelor’s degree at UNCC, she began her career teaching high school psychology. During her five-year teaching career, Lexie became very involved in the local yoga community and fell in love with her practice. She completed her 200-hour teacher training through Okra Charlotte in 2016 and started teaching there part-time.

Her passion for yoga continues to grow to this day, having become certified in Rocket Yoga as well as pursuing further certifications within the Rocket community.

Becoming a yoga teacher has empowered me to follow my heart and open up to my true self. Experiencing teacher training and development has allowed me to follow my true path in life. And I can tell you, this life is blissful.” – Lex

Grace Millsap

Grace Millsap (she/her) is a 500 ERYT and Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, whose passions are rooted in science and equality. Former research scientist, and forever a student; she teaches from a long lineage from the Tantra and Himalayan Traditions (Sri Vidya). Her classes, whether restorative or flow, are infused with my passions, and quest for magic and joy. Grace also leads Yoga retreats and trainings locally, and Internationally. @GraceMillsapYoga

Sarah O’Connor

Sarah grew up just north of Charlotte, in Salisbury, NC.  She attended NC State where she got her BS in Textile Apparel Management. Soon after her career brought her to Charlotte where she worked in retail for several years for Neiman Marcus.  During that time she met her husband, Sean, whom she married in 2012.  Shortly after her first child was born, Sarah found a true passion and calling from the Yoga world and quickly immersed herself in the Charlotte yoga community.  She was certified as a teacher and has been growing her yoga certifications ever since.

Sarah actively landed on her mat through both her pregnancies and discovered all the benefits yoga has for a pregnant body.  After getting pregnant with their second daughter in 2015 while she was in her 200hr teacher training she felt drawn to do more with the prenatal and postnatal community.  Sarah received her 85 hour prenatal postnatal training with the Prenatal Yoga Center.  She feel in love with the training so much she hosted the PYC training in Charlotte for several years.

Recently, Sarah has become certified as a Postnatal Core Corrective Specialist and looks forward to expanding her offerings in the postnatal community.  In her spare time (what spare time?) Sarah loves to take her kids to the pool, DIY projects, and visit her family in Salisbury.

Julie Rauschenplat

Julie is passionate about reproductive health & justice and improving maternal mortality & morbidity rates. She is a Certified Professional Midwife, RYT, RPYT (Prenatal Yoga Center Certified), Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, and a Spinning Babies®Certified Parent Educator.

Jenn Shull

Jenn Shull is a professional ontological coach and certified yoga teacher. Off the mat, her business, The Bold Thing, empowers people to realize and actualize their bold vision. On the mat, Jenn is committed to empowering her students to slow down, go within, and let go through breath, restorative shapes, mindfulness, and connection.

Andrea Vasaune

Andrea trained at Charlotte Yoga to receive her 200 hour certification in 2016. She is now working toward her 500 hour designation through the Asheville Yoga Center. In addition to teaching yoga, Andrea teaches French at Central Piedmont Community College. Yoga has been such a healthy addition to Andrea’s life, and she hopes to share its many physical and emotional benefits with her students.

Dani Vayo

Danielle Vayo

Danielle dove into the yoga world looking for relief from chronic sciatica and found that and more. Nothing seemed to help this pain except for the continuous stretching, strengthening, and centering effects of yoga. This was just the very surface of the changes yoga would come to make in her life as she came to make her practice a routine. Her practice grew into something she would take into her day to day motions and actions/reactions, finding not only physical relief but mental as well.

Wanting to expand her knowledge and go further she received her 200 hour training through Okra in 2018. Danielle aspires to help others and always has. She realized that this is an opportunity to really encourage others to take that step to get to know their bodies and breath. To know that there is a way to reconnect with yourself, that what you have been seeking has been inside all along. Her wish is to help you rekindle this flame within.

Natalie Wise

My name is Natalie and I’m here to help guide, flow, fill you with knowledge, and lead you into conversations within yourself on your yoga mat.  I’ve been practicing yoga since 2006 and I’ve been a RYT since 2019.  Life is busy and time is sacred in our daily routine. How can you shift thought pattern and movement into a beautiful rhythmic flow in your everyday life? Yoga has given me the mindfulness I need to gain patience throughout my day. I’ve gained a steadiness for listening, a deeper dive into self-discovery of who I am and what I want to gain in this life. As I pour my story onto my mat in my daily practice, I feel an awakening take place in my heart center. I hear so often in yoga classes to leave the worry at the door or drop what’s playing out in your mind. I find that bringing the challenges, the cycle of our worry, greatness we feel from an achievement, the love we feel from our family and friends should be written into our mats. Work through the journey of each moment that plays as you flow into the next posture. Moving those moments with our breath and body, can give us an insight into something bigger than ourselves. I can help you dive into these crevices and open a part of yourself that is waiting to come alive.

Tai Wren

Tai has lived many lives on her yoga mat.

Each day Tai finds sanctuary in her practice as she has the opportunity to live a full life beginning in childs pose and ending in corpse pose.  Tai gets the opportunity to choose what kind of life she’s going to live, who she’s going to be and what thoughts she choose to aid herself in her journey from birth to death.Tai’s ujjayi breath has been witness to both her defeats and her triumphs.  The more she practices life on the mat the stronger she is to step into and live her life off the mat.

What Tai has discovered through yoga is no matter what kind of practice she has, she always walks away with a better sense of herself, a deeper inner stillness and effervescence of peace.  Tai’s passion is to share this experience and hold the space for others to live a life of choice through each practice.

Tai received her 200 hour certification in 2008 and her 500-hour certification in 2013.  Tai received her 300 hour certification in Jivamukti Yoga in 2011 and continued on to receive her 800 hour Jivamukti certification in 2012.

Tai has an eager appetite for finding new ways to connect to the soul through the marriage of breath, movement and high intention.  She seeks to share a deep, intentional and uplifting class and looks forward to seeing you soon on the mat!

Diana Xecu

Diana started her yoga journey in New York after moving from her native Kazakhstan. After experiencing the pressure and tension of the city, she has discovered the benefits of numerous methods of inward mindfulness including meditation, reiki and various styles of yoga. Yearning for a deeper understanding in 2018 she has completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Usha Veda under the guidance of Margherita Tisato and Christina Mattus. She has also received reiki first degree certificate from Master Brian Brunius, who continues the tradition originated by Mikao Usui. She completed 100- hour meditation training at Okra under guidance of Kimberly Savage, studied trauma informed yoga, yoga nidra and yin/restorative yoga. Yoga asanas, conscious breath, and meditation can help us to discover who we truly are; how we can be more compassionate and kind to our body and mind. My classes are slow and mindful to achieve breath connection. “We are forever students” to quote my mentor.