Julie Rutherford E RYT 200 RYT 500
With a background in personal training, soccer, group fitness, spinning, coaching and marathon running, Julie began her journey with yoga in 2008 in Lansing MI while working as a group exercise instructor and Personal Trainer. She tried her first class on the campus of Michigan State University while attending a continuing education class for her personal trainer certificate. From there, Julie gradually worked toward earning her 200 hour Registered Yoga Trainer Certification while continuing to gain experience teaching yoga, group exercise and personal training in Lansing.

Julie is a current member of the National Yoga Alliance and holds her first 200-hour RYT certification with YogaFit Training Systems. Yogafit is the largest yoga fitness training system in the world. YogaFit is a user friendly, demystified style of yoga designed for every body. It is an eclectic blend of traditional hatha yoga poses drawn from Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Viniyoga. The mission of YogaFit is to bring healing yoga to the masses. Confident in this exercise science-supported style, Julie works to incorporate this philosophy into the classes she teaches. Throughout her trainings, she has had the opportunity to study under a variety of highly qualified trainers from various backgrounds such as physical therapists, chiropractors, brain surgeons and yoga therapists. She has taken specialty training hours through YogaFit in anatomy and alignment, props, hands on adjustments, yoga for kids, seniors, and yoga for back pain. 

In 2015, Julie continued her training with Katie Silcox, a nationally recognized yoga teacher, ayurvedic practitioner and author.  Julie earned an additional 200 hour certification that allowed her to deepen her understanding of Tantra, Yoga and Ayurveda.  Julie then continued her advanced studies of Tantra, Yoga and Ayurveda by earning her 300 hour RYT with Kelly Golden's school, Vira Bhava Yoga, in January of 2017. 

Since 2008 Julie has experience teaching yoga in health clubs, at the YMCA and local recreation centers. Julie practices Karma yoga and has donated her time to teaching for many special groups such as grade school classrooms, middle school fitness fairs, the Girl Scouts, mothers groups, the local farmers market, church groups, the American Heart Association and running and cycling teams. Julie worked as lead yoga instructor and personal trainer for Turning Point, a Susan G. Koman grant program for breast cancer survivors at the YMCA in Lansing MI. Most recently, Julie has trained and taught yoga at Iron Mountain CrossFit in Abingdon. Julie believes in the benefits yoga brings and incorporates yoga with the personal training clients she works with as well.

Since she began practicing yoga, Julie has grown in her personal practice and attributes her personal time on the mat to her passion for the ancient science of yoga. A naturally active person, Julie has found yoga to be an essential and effective practice that allows her to find peace, connection and balance in her life.

Julie is dedicated to delivering a safe and meaningful experience to anyone who is interested in deepening their existing practice or trying yoga for the first time. She is very grateful for the opportunity to share her love of yoga with Abingdon Virginia.

Julie lives in Abingdon with her husband Mike and her two sons Tommy, 13 and Jack, 9. Upon moving to the area in 2010, Julie and Mike fell in love with the mountains in Southwest Virginia. They have chosen the name Whitetop Yoga in honor of the natural beauty that surrounds their home.

Megan Pintus RYT 200
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.

Victoria Chisholm RYT 200
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, 4 and Henry, 2, 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.

Nicole Dyer, RYT 200
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 over three 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 completed her 230 hour Yoga Teacher Training fall 2014.  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.

Amesha Whitt RYT 200
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.

Tamara McNaughton RYT 200
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 now spends most of her time at TNT Farm N Greenhouse in Meadowview where she grows organic transplants and vegetables and grass fed beef with Tony. She sees her asana practice as one of tender power, flowing and holding poses, mindful of alignment, and gently infused with intention and philosophy so we might glimpse the limitless potential that resides in all things. Some days we’re totally on and strong. Some days we are raw and vulnerable. Having recently returned to teaching yoga, Tamara hopes to meet class participants where they are on any given day, so we can get where we want to go.

Camille Kingsolver RYT 200
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.

Kara Edmonds RYT 200
Kara is a Virginia native who earned a degree from The School of the Arts at VCU. She lived in Richmond for many years and loved the city and her community there. She first tried yoga in Richmond, and found confidence in asana with the instruction of a teacher focusing on alignment. With a history of sports and running, Kara found that vigorous asana helped to soothe her mind and spirit.  When Kara and her husband moved west from Richmond, she continued a sporadic home practice when she was unable to find a yoga studio to call home. However, Kara found that raising twin boys often got in the way of her practice, and sometimes, her peace of mind.
Kara moved to the Abingdon, Virginia area in 2013, and she and her family found a truly loving and welcoming community. She re-established her yoga practice and found a yoga studio to call home.  Through asana, she has been able to access more peace and gratitude for the blessings of her life. And, as a student of Katie Silcox’s 200 Hour Teacher Training, Kara began to discover the joys and challenges of living a daily life of yoga.  Kara considers herself to be a perpetual student, and feels that yoga has provided her a way to learn more about herself, and how to live joyfully and lovingly in the world. Kara hopes to deepen her practice, and to use it to encourage her continued education, renewal of making art, and practicing gratitude. She is excited and feels challenged to help others access some of the peace, gratitude, and self-knowledge that she has so enjoyed learning. In this way, Kara hopes to contribute to this beautiful mountain community she now calls her own.

Megan Atkinson, Meditation Instructor
Megan Atkinson is the founder and director of Barter Theatre’s Project REAL. Now in its 4th year, Project REAL has served over 3,000 students in 8 schools in VA, TN and WV.The program provides qualified theatre artists who assist classroom teachers by utilizing theatre techniques to help teach the core curriculum through the lens of each student's life experiences. REAL also introduces kinesthetic social interaction tools, promoting rather than restricting physical activity. Working primarily with middle and high school students in both inclusive and disabled classroom. Megan earned her BFA in Theatre Performance and is receiving 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 learn the mechanics of the human body.  Megan is currently enrolled in White Yoga's 200 Hour Teacher Training Program and will graduate October 2017.
Megan is extremely excited to share the tools of mediation 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.
Megan invites you to come find your breath and find the health benefits of meditation.

Maggie Fuller RYT 200, Reiki Practitioner
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) practitioner, 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!

Teenie Key RYT 200
Teenie offers a very sweet, high-energy practice that offers awesome asana to tone and tighten the whole body, with a specific emphasis on the core. Join Teenie to build heat then look inward as you find stability, not only in the physical body, but in the emotional and energetic bodies, as well! Teenie closes each practice with a brief but powerful meditation on gratitude in order to infuse her students’ lives with balance and bliss. 

Teenie obtained her 200 RYT under Katie Silcox, who is the New York Times best-selling author and senior teacher within the Sri-Vidya Para-Yoga lineage under internationally acclaimed Yogarupa Rod Stryker. Teenie wholly embraces the unlimited benefits of fusing the ancient medicinal practice of Ayurveda with her yoga practices, on and off the mat. Her goal as an ever-growing student and as a loving teacher is to become stronger every day. Teenie knows that a regular yoga practice is paramount to making healthy personal choices, from the way we exercise to the way we eat, and even think! Her classes encourage students to become mindful of their nutritional choices and emotional states, leading to an overall increase in well-being. She believes that focusing on making healthy decisions in life enables us to be our happiest and allows us to grow to our fullest potential in Mind, Spirit and Body. Outside of her yoga practice, Teenie enjoys the art of hairstyling as owner of Details Hair Salon in Marion, VA. She also relishes any time spent outdoors in the beauty of nature - hiking, swimming, breathing in warm ocean air, and roaming our own beautiful VA Creeper Trail.

Kate Greenway RYT 200
Kate grew up in Lebanon, VA and distinctly remembers taking her first yoga class when she was in the 6th grade. Since that time, she has never lost her love of yoga. During her time at the University of Virginia, she was a working student at a hot yoga studio. Upon graduating with her degree in Political Philosophy, Policy and Law and a minor in Buddhist studies, Kate joined Teach for America in the Mississippi Delta. She spent two years teaching third grade in an impoverished community and leaned heavily upon yoga to stay healthy and able to serve her students. This time inspired Kate to take a 4-week intensive 200 hour teacher training at Asheville Yoga Center. During her training, Kate fell in love with vinyasa, restorative and yin yoga.Now, Kate works at the Russell County Animal Shelter, managing shelter operations, animal health, volunteers, fosters, adoptions and transfers. If she isn’t practicing yoga, she’s probably doing farm work, kayaking, or hiking with her fabulous dog, Isabelle. She could not be more excited to be a part of the Whitetop Yoga team and hopes that her classes can provide a space for the rest and healing that we all deserve!

Zacchaeus Kimbrell Reiki Practitioner, Certified Crystal Reader
Zacchaeus 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.

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