I have always wanted to like yoga. Usually it bored me or I was uncomfortable with all the soft music and soothing talk. It wasn't until I was in Arizona in 2006 training for an Ironman that I found the kind of yoga that I love. I went to a Sumit's Hot Yoga class after several of my training partners suggested it for strength and flexibility. I loved my very first class, called my sister and said, " you have to come try this yoga---THIS is what we've been looking for!".
I am very thankful I had the opportunity to study under Sumit Banerjee and receive my 200 RYT certification from his school. I continue to evolve and grow in my yoga practice. I learn almost daily something new about myself and my body. Hot yoga started out as a great cardio, strength workout for me, then the flexibility and balance component became more of a focus. I will never do "pretty" yoga---but it keeps getting a little better and I have a little more flexibility. As I deepen my practice, I finally understand the mind, breath and body connection. This is yoga that I love, that I am so excited to introduce to those who have never tried yoga, and those that already have a love.
I have never been an athletic person. I took an occasional step class when my kids were young, but nothing ever stuck with me for long. Then, about 10 years ago, my sister dragged me into running with her, then lifting weights, this time it stuck. However stretching was still not something I took time to do.
Eventually I found yoga, I practiced yoga off and on for a long time, even teaching it for a couple of years. But when Beth brought me to a Hot Yoga class, I became seriously hooked! I loved the warmth of the room and the incredible stretching. I felt completely relaxed after the class. My favorite part of the yoga is the flow sequences, I'm excited every time we get to that part!
I trained under Sumit Banarjee in California and received my 200 ryt, I have continued my yoga training with Kathryn Budig and Taylor Harkness. I love teaching yoga and especially enjoy introducing yoga to new students.
I have been a regular yoga practitioner for about 7 years. Prior to my love of yoga I was a devoted athlete, playing basketball from a young age into college. Early on my brother encouraged me to begin strength training routines. I became addicted to high intensity workouts and found peace and quiet-of-mind during this type of training.
At 6’3”, I went through periods of rapid growth during my high school years which resulted in scoliosis. This condition causes regular pain and discomfort. The scoliosis, coupled with knee pain due to injuries and years of basketball, sent me searching for something that would allow me to feel the release of a high intensity workout but allow my body to heal. I was reluctant to start yoga, because I thought it would be boring in comparison to what I had been used to. I began with caution; only taking a class here and there. Even with the few classes I was taking I was becoming noticeably stronger, and my back and knees were feeling better all the time. It wasn’t long before I noticed I was emerging from my yoga practices feeling refreshed and renewed without any pain. I began daily yoga practice in 2009 and found Lava Yoga in 2013 shortly after the studio opened. This studio offered not only the yoga practice and intensity that I was craving, but also a yoga community that has helped guide me in my yoga journey. I was hooked. Since then I have furthered my practice by becoming certified in Child and family yoga and continue to expand my practice by completing my 200 hour RYT certification with YogaWorks taught by Jessa Voos. In my classes at Lava Yoga I want to share the love I have for yoga and our yoga community, and help inspire others.
I started taking Lava Yoga classes in March 2013. I was looking for a yoga class that would keep my interest, challenge me and increase my flexibility. I was having back pain because of tight back, glute and hamstring muscles and I felt I was heading down the path of hurting myself if I didn't do something to increase my flexibility. I am very active with teaching group fitness classes, training and mountain biking but I lacked action when it came to flexibility. I absolutely fell in love with Lava Yoga, both the yoga classes and the instructors. After a year, I inquired about leading classes and being part of the staff I so admired. In the summer of 2014 I lead my first Lava Yoga class and knew I was starting yet another chapter of my life - a chapter that would be full of rewards and health benefits.
My training includes certifications through American Council on Exercise (ACE) as Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist. I have had pilates mat and reformer training through Polestar Education, Yoga for a New Day training through an ACE continuing education course and Yoga/Fusion training through Safax. I also have a master's degree through Kansas State University in elementary education.
In July of 2015, I completed and was RYT certified.
Whether you are new to yoga or an experienced "yogi", I encourage you to try Lava Yoga. Not only will you discover a yoga practice you'll love but you will also become part of a yoga community who cares about you personally.
I began my yoga journey with my daughter on our Mother-Daughter trips. When we traveled, she always made sure we took time to practice. I practiced, but only to humor my daughter.
Our family is devoted to staying healthy and fit. Both my son and my daughter work in the health care industry. We have always spent a lot of time in the gym. I enjoy working out, but become bored with daily gym routines. Also, after two knee surgeries, I was becoming more and more limited in what I could do.
During a visit to the gym, we ran into a fellow devotee. We talked about what we were into at that time, what was working….what wasn’t. She told us that she had been going to the new, “hot yoga” place. She told us about the studio and the practice.
We called and set up “trial memberships” that day. That was in March of 2013. After the first class, we were hooked!! During the next 12 months, I started noticing a difference in how I looked and most important, how I felt. I was down over 20 pounds, my joints didn’t hurt as much and my back pain was gone.
I started teaching for Lava early in 2015. In July I completed my 200 hour RYT Certification with YogaWorks, taught by Jessa Voos.
I have practiced yoga in many studios, but have never found a community quite like the one at Lava Yoga. The environment fostered at Lava is one of kindness, understanding, and acceptance. No matter whether you are a beginning practitioner or a life-long yogi, you will enjoy practicing at Lava Yoga.
I grew up as a competitive gymnast and although I cherish every minute I spent in the gym while growing up, my adult body is definitely feeling the burden of all the stress and strain I have put on it over the years. I maintained an active lifestyle after my gymnastics "career" was over, but I began to notice that my joints and muscles were getting tighter and my body started to hurt -- a lot! Thus, my desire to find a solution became very important to me.
I had never tried yoga before, but had heard about the many benefits of how it could help with flexibility and stress. Since I was struggling with both several years ago, I decided to search out a yoga studio. As fate would have it, I randomly came across a posting about Lava Yoga on the internet. When I read that it offered warm/hot yoga, I knew instantly that this would be the yoga for me! On August 1, 2013, I attended my first class at Lava and fell in love with it immediately. I took Beth's and Leigh's advice and attended classes as many times as I could during my 2-week membership. Little did I know then that Lava would become such an integral part of my life.
I was, and still am, drawn to the beauty of the yoga practice at Lava and the people who attend classes here. I find such great peace practicing in a room full of friends and strangers that are all on a similar, but separate journey of both the physical practice and internal self-reflection. I love, love, love how open and welcoming the studio is to everyone regardless of their ability level, experience, age, size, etc! Lava is a place that I miss when I leave and can't wait to get back to for the next class. Thus, I find myself taking a class about 6 days a week!
My passion for yoga led me to become a RYT 200-hour certified yoga instructor in the Fall of 2015. Since I spent many years as a gymnastics coach and am currently a middle school teacher, helping others learn is something that I feel comes very natural to me. Once I received my yoga certification, I was so thankful that Leigh and Beth gave me an opportunity to help others during their yoga journey. I am currently teaching the Wheel Yoga and Restorative Yoga classes at Lava. Teaching the wheel class allows me to merge my love for gymnastics and yoga together and I enjoy watching the students' confidence grow as they use the wheel and realize they really can do it! Teaching the restorative classes is also a blessing to me because I am surrounded by a room full of people that bring a calm, peaceful energy to the community.
I am so lucky that I found Lava and that it has become a part of my yoga journey--both as a student and as an instructor! It is my hope that my passion for the practice will make a positive impact on the yogis I come in contact with.
In January of 2013, I took the very first yoga class offered at Lava Yoga. Leigh and Beth both provided a positive, warm, environment along with encouraging instruction. I absolutely loved the flow sequences along with the music and the heat of the room. All of the classes were a strong, powerful workout for me, yet I also felt completely relaxed afterwards. I instantly became a yoga enthusiast and one of Lava’s biggest fans!
I completed my 200 hour RYT certification from YogaWorks that was offered at Lava Yoga. In the summer of 2016, I began teaching classes. I truly enjoy instructing the warm and hot classes to the Lava Yoga community!
My yoga journey started in 2006 right after a haircut at my favorite barber shop. I walked into a Bikram studio and signed up for a month of unlimited yoga. I was immediately drawn to the heat and humidity of the room. It helped my body with stretching and needed conditioning. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the yoga that I was practicing daily was helping create a connection to something that I was needing in my life. A connection back to myself.
I practiced Bikram yoga consistently for 9 years. I even competed in several USA Yoga events. The competitions were designed to bring the yogi into an appreciation and self-realization of their own practice, which it did do for me. I did not try other yoga styles until the summer of 2015 when the Bikram studio that I was attending was shutting down, I decided to attend a Yoga Works 200 hour teacher training at Om Tree Yoga in Lawrence Ks. The teacher training was extensive and thorough with lots of reading, practicing and instruction of yoga and its processes. In one of training sessions we were instructed to go out and try different yoga’s and evaluate the different studios and their practices. This is when I found Lava Yoga. I was excited to find a hot studio again. Even better yet to be introduced to Beth, Leigh and the Lava staff. I have continued practice at Lava and have become very fond the studio, the classes and teachers.
I am fascinated by every bit of yoga. Its postures and practices, its linage and future. Being a bit of a late bloomer into this yoga world I will quote Bikram “Never to old, never too bad, never too late, never too sick to start from scratch once again”. I am excited to see where this process will take me in life. I look forward to meeting, teaching and taking yoga with you at Lava Yoga Topeka and Lawrence very soon!
I have always been a relatively athletic person. During my more than 37 years of military service I have experienced a variety of intense workouts, each of which, in the end, bored me or were just too time consuming to keep up with. A colleague of mine suggested hot and warm flow yoga. So, I decided to check it out. I contacted the team and took my first class from Leigh the same day. Needless to say, I was hooked immediately.
The incredible instructors were all attentive, professional, and nonjudgmental. The enhanced balance, flexibility, core strength, and cardio were amazing. These attributes, combined with the hot and warm environment, make this one of the single most effective conditioning efforts I have ever come into contact with. The results are virtually immediate and most importantly, practical in everyday life.
My practice has developed into a passion. As a former helicopter pilot, I found practicing yoga very similar to learning to fly. I learn something new about Yoga and myself with every practice. The mental effort and focus require the same skill set and once I figured that out, my passion for this wonderful art increased. What I like the most is the community. At Lava Yoga, everybody is welcome and there is no pressure to compete or perform, only to focus on your practice. I enjoy teaching, especially something I am passionate about. I am proud to be a part of the remarkable Lava Yoga team.
I came across Lava Yoga when my son was diagnosed with cancer the summer of 2016. I was searching for a mental release as well as physical activity out of the hospital and that is how I came across yoga. The time I spent in the studio, was an emotional outlet from the everyday stress of being a “cancer mom”. Not only did the alone time benefit me but I fell in love with the heat and the instructors as well. I always thought yoga would be easy but after my first class I found out it was NOT as easy as I imagined, but the true surprise was the sense of peace and joy I found. Since then I have furthered my yoga practice and have received my 300 hr E-RYT in power yoga with Aura Wellness Center. In October of 2017, I lead my first Lava Yoga class and I knew right away this was a new and rewarding journey for me. My favorite place has become the studio where people gather together to sweat, breathe, and share a sense of peace and strength that I never knew existed. This is a practice I love and want to share with others. Yoga brought a lot of release and comfort to me and my hope is to share this peace and joy I found on my mat with others looking for the same benefits.
Natalie Savage is a trauma-informed, yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance, and holds designations of E-200 RYT, 500 RYT, and YACEP. She has found solace, healing, and growth, through a devoted and regular yoga practice for the past eight years. Through continued study, curiosity, and a personal transformational journey, she completed her first yoga teacher training in Wichita, Kansas. She began teaching and completed an advanced yoga therapy teacher training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in 2015. The training had a significant impact on her practice and framed the influence of tension, stress, and un-ease within the body in a new light.
She has also completed trainings in vinyasa and hatha yoga, functional yoga, trauma-informed yoga, and pelvic floor health. She is the co-founder of Trauma Recovery Alliance. In addition to her yoga training, she holds advanced degrees in anthropology and leadership, with over fifteen years of experience teaching within the University system. Natalie is also a certified provider of Tension/Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE®) and a certified facilitator of the Overcoming Anxiety: A Holistic Approach™ program, which incorporates teaching yoga poses, breath practices, and other self-regulation techniques to participants.
Her renewed and intentional purpose is to support others on their path towards balance, health, and wellness. Her classes are designed to provide a sacred space to cultivate resiliency and nurture compassionate self-care. She emphasizes alignment through body awareness and proper muscle engagement, self-empowerment, and the power of the breath in her classes. Her yoga practice and teaching style have been influenced by honored teachers including, but not limited to, Joseph & Lilian LePage, Maria Mendola, Genevieve Yellin, and Leslie Howard.