Staff List

(Showing 1 - 25 of 35)
Nicole Dyer

Nicole settled into Abingdon, VA about 2 years ago. Born and raised in New Hampshire, she spent her childhood in a small town in the Granite State. She received her B.A. in Anthropology & Sociology from Saint Michael’s College in the Green Mountain State of Vermont, where she got a taste of Yoga & Pilates in her first class at the College. Her longing for more spirituality, culture and human connection only deepened from then on. She studied in Spain for a semester, where she was able to get a taste of other people & places throughout Europe, giving her the appreciation for a variety of other philosophies & beliefs beyond her own. With a passion for the Spanish language, she intended to further develop her knowledge & understanding by working in Peru, helping sustain an organization through providing education, assistance with mobile health care units, sustainable tourism efforts and preservation of the Peruvian heritage. The common theme of helping herself and others find a healthful, peaceful way of living guided her to her next journey, which has begun unfolding in Abingdon, VA.

After completing a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Feeding America Southwest Virginia in Abingdon, her passion for health & wellness, especially through nutrition, led her to become the Manager of the Abingdon Farmers Market. She is fortunate enough to work with local growers, farmers & businesses in the community, all with focuses on healthy livelihoods for the region. She also works as a Nutritional Consultant at the Whole Health Center in town, where she continually offers her health-based advice and learns an abundance of alternative healing methods from an incredible wealth of knowledge in the store.

How has yoga intertwined itself into her & her into yoga, in this picture? She began practicing about two years ago, which developed into the most rewarded outlet, both internally and externally in her life. She has found peace from within during her continual voyage with yoga, and yearns to spread & share this never-ending experience with others, as inexplicable as this personal journey can be at times. She will be completing her 230 hour Yoga Teacher Training fall 2014. Her training program will take her into yogic philosophy, asanas, and meditation while providing her with the tools to teach.She intends to offer teacher-in-training classes, team-teach & co-teach at the studio, while working towards the training completion. She is overjoyed and grateful to be welcomed to share this yearning to teach others at Whitetop Yoga, and looks forward to the experience with each and every individual that steps foot into the classroom.

Kelsey Burke
Kelsey Burke is a yoga instructor and organic farmer from Milwaukee, WI, brought to Southwest Virginia in 2009 by way of Emory & Henry College. She got her first taste of yoga as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin in 2007, before transferring to a place that, she had no idea at the time, would eventually become her home. In college, she studied Public Policy and Community Service, which allowed her to delve deeper into her desire to uplift and inspire others by building strong, meaningful relationships in small communities.

There has been no better example of a loving, thriving community than that which Kelsey has experienced through Whitetop Yoga. Her journey with Whitetop Yoga began with the studio’s opening in 2014, when Kelsey really (really) needed yoga to be a more permanent fixture in her life. Since then, she has found insurmountable peace and joy both on and off of the mat. In her classes, Kelsey playfully guides her students through mindful asanas so that they, too, may find joy. When she’s not studying, teaching, or practicing yoga, you might find her in her garden, gallivanting through the mountains of Southwest Virginia, cooking, dancing, or administering belly rubs to her dog, Amigo

Victoria Blevins
Victoria was born in Southwest Virginia and returned to the area in 2014 to be closer to family. Victoria studied Literature and Linguistics at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA. She was first introduced and fell in love with yoga while studying for her Masters degree in Linguistics in Sydney, Australia. After moving to Rhode Island in 2007, Victoria became intricately involved in a yoga community and developed a deep connection with the practice and its benefits. This connection to the loving spirit of the practice led Victoria to complete her RYT-200 in Integrative Yoga Therapy at One Yoga Studio in RI in 2008.
Victoria studied Speech Language Pathology at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA and has studied Integrative Movement Therapy at the Samarya Center in Seattle, Washington. She regularly draws from yoga in her treatment of speech, language and feeding/swallowing disorders. Victoria completed her Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training in May of 2015 at the Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville, NC.
Victoria has two boys, Alistair and Henry, who keep her busy and motivated. She loves spending time with her boys, being outside, cooking and interacting with her new community. Victoria is a founding member of Wolf Hills Heritage School, a cooperative early education school opening in the fall of 2016.
Megan Hamilton

Megan Hamilton is Barter Theatre’s Director of Education and Founder/Director of Barter’s Project REAL, Project REAL serves over thousands of students in the VA, TN and WV area. The program provides qualified theatre artists who assist schools, non-profits, and government services by utilizing theatre techniques to help teach the core curriculum as well as social skills through the lens of each student's life experiences. REAL also introduces kinesthetic social interaction tools, promoting rather than restricting physical activity. Megan earned her BFA in Theatre Performance and is received her M.A. in Liberal Studies with her focus on connecting the craft of theatre with educational psychology and embodied cognition. Megan is also a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, which allowed her to learn the mechanics of the human body. She completed her RYT 200 at Whitetop Yoga with Vira Bhava Yoga. Megan is extremely excited to share the tools of mediation and yoga as a way to find stillness and connect the breathe with the mind and body. Through this practice, one can learn to deal with stress, treat his or her own health, and find his or her true voice. Heal. Megan invites you to come find your breath and find the health benefits of yoga and meditation.

Camille Kingsolver
Camille has been a yoga teacher since 2004. She completed her teacher training in Santa Fe, New Mexico with Tias Little, who has a background in Iyengar yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, and massage therapy. Since her original training Camille has had the good fortune to study with many other talented teachers including Lillah Schwartz and Cindy Dollar of Asheville, North Carolina.

Camille recently returned home to Southwestern Virginia after spending the last nine years in North Carolina, where she earned her BA in Anatomy and Biological Anthropology from Duke University and her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Western Carolina University. Camille encourages her students to be their most authentic selves by helping them find a balance between self-improvement and self-acceptance. She strives to create classes that are equal parts inspiring, challenging, and nurturing. In her sequences, Camille weaves together her passion for movement and fluidity with her knowledge of alignment and anatomy. Camille welcomes people of all ages, body types, and backgrounds to her classes.

Shana Smith
Shana Smith has been an authentic and avid yogi for two decades, while enjoying a career as a professional children's and folk musician. Along the path, she discovered kirtan and spent several years in the immersion of yoga study and philosophy as well as Zen meditation, replete with music for meditation and heart opening (aka Kirtan). She has since developed a deep and devoted kirtan practice utilizing many of the chants from the Temple of the Universe, plus influences from Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Paramahansa Yogananda, Seminole Indian, Hawaiian, sanskrit, and English spirituals, as well as original chants of her own. As chanting leader, her singular goal is to unite kindred voices in Spirit and bliss. Shana and her husband own the Gainesville Retreat Center --a meditation, spiritual music, and yoga haven on a 107-acre wildlife refuge in north central Florida.
Megan Pintus
Megan Pintus has spent the last 8 years living in various places, but has found her home in Abingdon, VA — in a large part thanks to Whitetop Yoga. She began her yoga journey in college when she practiced Bikram yoga in Washington. However, her hunger for deeper spiritual knowledge led her to explore various types of yoga and philosophy with little satisfaction. Megan, a naturally curious, competitive, and impatient person, had her first taste of peace at Whitetop yoga 2 1/2 years ago and has since been studying the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga with the WTY community. Megan found that yoga has been a safe place to ask big questions, explore the ability of her body, and continue her journey of falling in love with the world, her community, and herself.

Megan recently completed her RYT 200 hour with Katie Silcox and Julie Rutherford in Tantric Yoga — Tantra meaning ‘a method of expansion’, moving from your limitations to your full potential. Tantra believes in growth from all experiences and that demonizing any part of life is to reject the divine. This lineage utilizes asana, pranayama, and visualization in guided meditation to connect to the divine through the 5 senses. Tantric yoga focuses on harnessing Shakti, the force of creativity and change, in order to move through the world with more confidence and contentment, transforming day-to-day experiences into a cause for blissful celebration.

Amesha Whitt
Growing up in Big Stone Gap and later moving to the tricities area, Amesha calls Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee home. Her first yoga class was in August of 2014 and she knew immediately she would want to teach. She received her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training certification through Bristol Yoga and InnerSea Yoga in August of 2015 and has loved teaching ever since. Amesha believes that yoga is so much more than a physical exercise. It is a sharpening of the mind and a discovery of the spirit. It is a light shining on the Self and on All Things; a light she loves to shine on others through her classes.

She fully believes that yoga can improve any ailments – physical, emotional, or spiritual- for any person. Other than yoga, Amesha enjoys art, literature, traveling, and her clowder of cats.
Maggie Fuller
Maggie Fuller is an enthusiastic newcomer at Whitetop Yoga, and an avid student of life. After years of searching for something- something for herself- Maggie finally committed to her yogic path at the beginning of 2015. Later that same year, she completed her 230 hour teacher training through InnerSea and Bristol Yoga; it completely transformed her from the inside out.
Maggie's personal yoga journey opened her eyes to all yoga really had to offer: allowing her to keep discovering her true, authentic self, as well as building the foundation from which she has learned to love and accept herself. This deeper connection and newly found love is what brought about her desire to teach and share her practice.
As she and her journey continue to blossom, Maggie has also realized yoga isn't just about what you do on your mat... It's more about taking the tools of yoga OFF the mat, into everyday life: learning to take your time, breathe, stay present, and cultivate a mindful awareness in all that you do. The literal definition of the word yoga is to yoke, to join, to connect. Yoga builds the connect to the body, breath, mind, and ultimately the connection we have to ourselves and others.
As a yoga teacher and Reiki (energy healing) practioner, Maggie's ultimate hope is to create a compassionate, supportive space for others to know the comfort of self love, and to help others find themselves, their own unique path, and recognize their natural, radiant light. Her goal is to see students go from human beings doing yoga, to humans BEING yoga.

As stated in the Bhagavad Gita, "yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self."

Maggie firmly believes that yoga is for everyBODY, and provides variations, modifications, and gentle hands-on adjustments to assist students in their own individual practice. Just as every person and their path is different and distinct, so is their yoga practice... and that is something beautiful!

Tamara McNaughton
Although she didn’t know it at the time, Tamara stepped on the path of yoga in 1992 when she took a Buddhism class in college. The winding journey of the next twenty years took her through experiences like living without electricity for a couple years; road tripping the country; voraciously reading eastern, shamanic, and quantum philosophies; studying Brain Gym and Touch for Health; experiencing Rebirthing; working with youth; and farming. She apprenticed on her first farm in 1996 where the demands of farming’s physical labor yoked her to a practice of stretching and connecting with the earth and seasonal rhythms. In 2012 Tamara graduated from Neighborhood Yoga Teacher Training taught by Valerie Midgett and Kelly Golden to whom she is ever grateful.
Tamara grew up in the country outside Washington DC and left for college in 1991. She began studying Buddhism and sporadically practicing meditation in 1992. Her world was forever altered and enhanced from her solid Christian upbringing. In college she studied Anthropology which gave her the opportunity to learn and celebrate spiritual and worldly belief systems of the civilized and primitive. She lived without electricity and pursued advanced studies in Touch for Health and Brain Gym, learning about the meridian system, the wisdom of the body’s rhythms and more. She apprenticed on her first farm in 1996 where the physical labor of farming required a practice of stretching her body and connecting with earth’s natural rhythms. The combination of all these things would later come together in her practice of yoga. In 2012 Tamara graduated from Neighborhood Yoga 200 hr teacher training in Boone, NC taught by Valerie Midgett and Kelly Golden to whom she is ever grateful. Kelly reappeared in her world in Abingdon in 2017 with Vira Bhava 300 hr training. The path was ripe for Tamara to take her practice deeper still. Tamara spends most of her time at TNT Farm N Greenhouse in Meadowview where she grows organic transplants and vegetables and grass fed beef. Her asana practice is one of tender power, flowing and holding poses, mindful of alignment, and gently infused with intention and philosophy. Let’s practice, walk the path, and grow together.
 
Zacchaeus Kimbrell
Zacchaeus Kimbrell has been a member of the Resident Acting Company at Barter Theatre since 2013, and also serves as the resident vocal coach and dialect coach. He moved to beautiful Abingdon from Alabama and immediately fell in love with the area, the people, and Whitetop Yoga!

He is an Usui Reiki practitioner, and has completed Reiki I and Reiki II. He continues to study under Usui and Tibetan Reiki Master, Marita Aicher-Swartz. After his first Reiki session with Marita, he knew that the daily practice of Reiki was something that would forever change his life, and he wanted to share that with others. The light and healing Reiki can bring to one’s life is transcendent.

Seeking to live by the five precepts of Usui Reiki, Zacchaeus asks you to also try it: Just for today, do not be angry. Do not worry. Be filled with gratitude. Be committed to your work. Be kind to others.

Deni Peterson
Deni Peterson started her yoga and mindfulness journey over 30 years ago in college. She has been studying Tai Chi at the Blue Ridge Kung Fu Arnis Academy for the last 5 years. 
 
Deci finds ways to incorporate mindfulness into all aspects of her life, from raising her children, to working on her and her husband's farm, to runner her own flower business, and everything in between! 
Anna Hawkins
Anna was born and raised in Houston, Texas and moved to Abingdon in January of 2016 for a one-year work assignment. She quickly fell in love with the mountains, small town living, and the incredible Whitetop Yoga
community and found herself asking her company if she could stay indefinitely. She enjoys rock climbing
at Hidden Valley, wakeboarding and paddle boarding at the lake, and participates in Toastmasters in
Bristol.

Anna started practicing yoga in Houston in 2014 with hopes to nail her scorpion pose and get the perfect
yoga booty. It wasn’t until she started practicing at Whitetop that she discovered that there is so much
more to yoga than the physical asana practice. She began to find peace throughout her life as a
reflection of her yoga practice and couldn’t wait to learn more. She completed her RTY-200 with Julie
Rutherford and Vira Bhava Yoga in 2017 and is very excited to share her love of yoga with the community.
Anna is known for her contagious smile and energetic, joyful personality all of which you can expect to see shine through her classes. Be warned, these qualities may rub off on you when you attend a yoga class with
Anna.
Jeremiah Brown
Jeremiah Brown is a 500 hr RYT making his home in the High Country. Being a carpenter and musician, he brings these skills together to offer Crystal Singing Bowl accompaniment for his asana classes. The singing bowls offer a deep relaxation element that help you get more intimate with yourself throughout your practice. The emphasis in his classes focuses on deepening the relationship between the intentional breath and the intentional movement of the body.
Lauren Kilbourne
A native of Northern Virginia, Lauren attended Emory & Henry College
and so began her love affair with Southwest Virginia. Unable to resist
the call of the mountains, Lauren and her husband settled in Abingdon
where she took her first yoga class at Whitetop Yoga in 2014. A true
homegrown Whitetop yogi, Lauren recently completed her 200 hour
certification with Vira Bhava under the guidance of Julie Rutherford.

She believes that yoga is a journey inward and homeward. Yoga provides
an opportunity to connect to the divine that resides in all of us,
underneath the layers of "stuff" from our everyday lives. It is a
practice that connects mind, body and soul.

When she's not in the yoga studio, you can find her walking her corgi
and pitbull through town or on the Creeper Trail with her husband,
Tim. Lauren also plays the violin in the Heart of Appalachia Community
Orchestra in Lebanon. An avid reader, she's always looking for book
recommendations.

Laura Grantham
I have been practicing yoga since 2010. Early on, I enjoyed yoga as a nice class that helped with flexibility and introduced me to the awesomeness of savasana. Then, one of my first teachers let me in on a secret: there is more (much more!) to yoga than just asana practice. Since then, especially with the opening of Whitetop Yoga in 2014, and becoming 200 hour RYT certified in 2017, yoga has shown me a way to discover and celebrate the best me I can possibly be.

When not on the mat, I enjoy riding and messing around with my horses, fly fishing, hunting, gardening, hiking, and just being outdoors. I also enjoy art in many mediums, reading and cooking, especially with ingredients I or my husband Jerry have harvested, plant and animal.

My wish in teaching is to help others explore and discover the best in themselves, and how to gracefully let go of the stuff that does not help you in any way. Whether you are just looking for an asana class that makes you feel good, or wondering about what else yoga can do for you, join me! I’m still learning and exploring myself (I’m starting the RYT 300 hour training in 2018!!), and I welcome you along on the journey.

Robyn Raines
Robyn became the owner of Whitetop Yoga in 2017--believing both in the practice and community it creates. First introduced to yoga fifteen years ago, she has used her practice to work toward better life balance and is amazed by its ability to create space and time.

A southwest Virginia native, Robyn moved back to the region ten-ish years ago to work in the arts. Last year she completed her Master's Degree in Natural Resources from Virginia Tech's Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability. Currently she is the Center Director at Southwest Virginia 4-H Educational Center.

Robyn is looking forward to completing her 200 hour yoga teacher training with Vira Bhava at Whitetop Yoga in 2018.

As the owner of Whitetop Yoga, she is excited to support gratitude, mindfulness, and intention with the local community and visitors to the region.


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