Charlotte is home to a booming yoga scene with studios ranging in size from small 12-person boutique spaces to behemoth 100+ mat capacity in others. Just look around at the hundreds of mats laid out at the free and cheap community classes around town. We’re overflowing and we can’t seem to hit a saturation point. Every time a new studio opens or an existing studio expands or a non-yoga fitness concept adds yoga to its schedule, more people come forward to soak it up. And that requires more teachers.
Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) trainings are a steady and reliable revenue stream for studios (a 200-hour certification usually costs $2,000-$3,000 per student), and here in Charlotte such programs have been cranking out countless bright-eyed new instructors each year. As Charlotte’s community of yoga teachers and students continues to grow, opportunities abound for those who desire to turn their passion into a profession.
These are 23 yoga teachers in Charlotte who are at the top of their game, representing 19 studios, multiple yoga styles and lineages, and countless interpretations of what yoga really is. The cool thing is, they’re all right.
It was painful for me to narrow this list down to what we have here and impossible to select teachers on uniform criteria because they’re all so different and have contributed to the community in their own ways.
One opened Charlotte’s first yoga studio. One is Charlotte’s only certified jivamukti instructor. One launched a nonprofit that teaches yoga to incarcerated men as a form of healing and rehabilitation. Two teach at the YMCA. Some have been teaching for decades. Others are new to the scene. Some are old school traditionalists. Others break the ancient rules. Several have opened their own studios. All have made Charlotte a premier yoga city.
23 top yoga teachers in Charlotte
Tanner Bazemore – Y2 Yoga – owner and lead instructor
Jennifer Busco – Charlotte Yoga – instructor
Kyle Conti – Charlotte Yoga – owner and instructor
Jennifer Decurtins – Y2 Yoga (marketing director & instructor), Core Desire Yoga (co-owner)
Tai Dorn – Yoga One, Okra Yoga, Tryon St Yoga – instructor
Sally Gambrell – Yoga One – founder and instructor
Rian Harris – Charlotte Yoga, Y2 Yoga – instructor
Mara Healy (Marayogini) – The Peaceful Dragon – senior instructor
Ken Heptig – YMCA Charlotte – instructor and creator of GoalYoga
Dawn Hinshaw – Laughing Buddha – owner and instructor
Maria Lages – Om Yoga – owner and instructor
Lauren McAbee – Move Studio Charlotte – instructor
Laura McCarthy – Swaraj Yoga – founder and instructor
Grace Morales – Yoga with Grace Morales – owner and instructor
Amy Hanner Morris – Charlotte YMCA – instructor
Amani Murray – Enlighten Yoga – instructor
Kacy Pleasants – Charlotte Yoga, Y2 Yoga, Laughing Buddha, Charlotte YMCA – instructor
Quinn Reynolds – Arrichion – owner and instructor
Phyllis Rollins – The Yoga Center at 8th Street Studio – founder and instructor
Jillian Scuderi-Longsworth – NoDa Yoga – owner and instructor
Shanna Small – Y2 Yoga – instructor
Johnna Smith – Y2 Yoga, Om Yoga, Johnna Yoga (owner) – instructor
Hollace Stephenson – Yoga Shala Charlotte (owner), Charlotte Family Yoga Center, Be Yoga – instructor
Karen Williams – Yoga for Life – instructor
This list was compiled from personal industry experience, input from yoga students/teachers/studio owners and research.
Chicks with Cameras: Scuderi-Longsworth
Courtney Linnehan: Morris
Devin Kelley: Dorn, Murray
Lura Photography: McAbee
Wanda Koch Photography: Bazemore, Busco, Decurtins, Harris, Healy, Hinshaw, Morales, Pleasants, Small, Smith, Stephenson
JPK Productions: header photo