Yogi Spotlights

Read more about our favorite yogis and yoginis - their stories and how their yoga practice has impacted their lives.

Angie Perry | September 2016

I joined Breathe Yoga last summer following a vacation at the beach, where I was trying to maintain my self-taught yoga practice, and during a time when I was working through a treatment process for TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder). I was having jaw and neck pain along with headaches due to my poor spinal alignment. It had been recommended that I find some type of practice where I could maintain UB strength and improve my posture. Since I’m an Occupational Therapist and have a pretty good understanding of exercise physiology, I figured I would be able to rehab myself. Unfortunately, even though I can help others work through their impairments; I didn’t seem to have the discipline or the body awareness to work through my own.


Luckily at Breathe Yoga, Lauren and all the other instructors at the studio, have an incredible knowledge of the human body and an amazing ability to facilitate proper muscle engagement with intension and proper alignment while mindfully flowing through yoga poses. I have been so impressed with not only their knowledge regarding the benefits of yoga but how they encourage full body wellness, through strength building, nutrition, and community connectedness.  It almost feels like I have had a personal life coach for the past year.


So, this summer when I was back at the beach, practicing yoga on my own again, I had this acute realization of how much my yoga practice has improved, how much better I am able to move my body and to hold poses while maintaining proper muscle engagement. I would never have gained this new body awareness without the dedicated instructors at Breathe Yoga. I have now almost fully recovered from my TMD, with no pain in my jaw, improved cervical stability, and have better knowledge of how to move my body both on and off the mat. I am happier and healthier then I have been in years.

Thank you Breathe Yoga!




Nancy Chirchirillo | June 2016

About 2 years ago, a teacher class was offered at Breathe twice a week so I decided to give it a try.  To my amazement I actually ENJOYED exercise for the first time in my life! Our instructors Lauren and Rose create such a fun and energetic class that I believe now the connection of mind AND body were what I was missing in my quest to get healthy in the past. Lauren's  laughs when I say "I think yoga is my thing!".


Now that school is out for the summer, I am once again taking as many classes as possible to thoroughly enjoy everything Breathe has to offer.  ALL of the instructors have been extremely knowledgable and supportive.  What has made it even more enjoyable is being able to share the yoga experience with my friends in the many classes that are offered. We just have the best time!


I want to sincerely thank Lauren and Peggy for creating such a wonderful, positive environment to practice yoga. Yoga will definitely be my "thing" long into my golden years!




Shari Gayda | March 2016


I have been practicing yoga for many years.  The truth is yoga taught me how to BREATHE.  How very meaningful that the yoga home I found a couple of years ago should have that very name...Breathe Yoga.  Breathe Yoga is a beautiful place filled with positive, loving, healing energy.  Azin (my wonderful yoga instructor of many years) introduced me to Breathe Yoga and I am so very happy she did.  I love continuing my practice with Azin each week and what a gift to begin the practice of sunrise yoga with Lauren!  Lauren has challenged me to take my practice to a level that I truly never thought I would find - her "yes you can" encouragement is a blessing to all of the sunrisers.  I love everything about the world of yoga, from the challenge of sunrise yoga or hot power yoga to the peaceful, calm, beautiful poses of restorative/gentle yoga.  One of my favorite practices is Shane's Tai Chi, Qi Gong class where I have learned about the energy field around my physical body and how to use this energy to heal my mind, body & spirit.  


I began with stating that yoga taught me how to breathe.  There is so much truth in this statement.  I was on a daily inhaler for asthma when I started yoga years ago.  I honestly cannot remember the last time I had to use an inhaler to find my breath...my mat takes care of that.  I had chronic neck, shoulder & back pain when I began my practice...yoga has helped manage that pain as well (truly miraculous!)


I am so very grateful to my yoga family (my incredible teachers as well as my yoga "brothers & sisters" who practice beside me every day).  A special thank you to Peggy & Lauren for opening such a lovely studio for all of us!  Namaste.



Darryl Bagwell | February 2016



February is American Heart Health Month.


It is only fitting that we share with you a very special story of triumph about a VERY special Breathe Yogi, Darryl Bagwell. Darryl is 55 years old & a lifelong resident of Forsyth County. He is married, has  2 sons and daughters in law, a grandson, granddaughter, and a new grandchild due in August. Darryl and his wife Laura currently live in Eastern Forsyth county with two very spoiled Dachshunds. For the last 6 years he has been an avid cyclist, and also enjoys running. He has been practicing at Breathe Yoga for almost 3 months, and have found that he loves the practice more than he ever imagined possible.


You can view Darryl's full story by watching this video http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/73621174-video.


We are happy to share that Darryl is back practicing Yoga at Breathe now!



Julie Reeves | October 2015



Julie Reeves has been practicing with us since we opened in 2013. Her commitment to her practice is incredibly admirable. She is a dedicated sunrise yogi and her energy and presence in class is a gift to those who practice with her! 

From Julie: 


"I originally began practicing yoga to restore/strengthen my body, particularly my core.  Now my practice is transitioning more to a  focus on the alignment of body, mind and spirit.  With its variety of knowledgeable and inspiring teachers, Breathe (yoga) has helped me learn everything from  the yoga basics, breathing techniques, meditation and, even,Tai Chi.  Most importantly, many of the teachers and students at Breathe have become friends of mine and that's what really keeps me going!"


Niddhi Mehta | July 2015



Niddhi first came to Breathe last summer. She worked hard and has built a very consistent practice. She is a regular in our sunrise yoga classes as well as yoga for core strength, she is actually the inspiration for that class :)


Since Niddhi first began at Breathe she has gotten so much stronger and in addition lost 15 lbs!! It has been a pleasure to watch your transformation Niddhi!!  

"It was just the first thought, the first call, the first visit and then the first class. ..that's all it took...and here I'm healthier, more toned and determined to do all that it takes to be where I'm today. Immensely grateful to Lauren and Peggy and their phenomenal team of lovely teachers for facilitating amazing classes. I feel great about myself and everything around me. I'm so glad I came here and experienced the change in me. Love yoga!!"


Elise Dunagan | June 2015


Recently I was asked, by Peggy, one of the owners of Breathe Yoga, to share with fellow yogis what the practice of yoga means to me and the part it plays in my life. For me, the practice of yoga means consistent self discipline (which I believe is a key factor with any practice of exercise) and a major sense of personal accomplishment.  Along the way, through my years of yoga practice, I’ve met some amazing people … instructors and fellow class mates who for their various personal reasons, chose yoga as a part of their life.


I’ve been a member at Breathe Yoga since spring June, 2013. Since starting consistent yoga, combined with better eating habits, I can proudly say I’ve lost 24 lbs! Recently after an annual physical, I learned I have great numbers from all of my blood-work and I couldn’t be more pleased with those results!    


For me, my start with yoga was simply a fluke! My best friend of nearly 40 years, Ang, and I decided to try and find “something” that would benefit us both mentally and physically. The ladies bowling league we joined didn’t really pan out for us in the long run … we didn’t have the right “win-win attitude”; although we did win 1st place once, yea!  Unfortunately, through no fault of our own, sadly our team “Ball Busters”,  ended up being banned from the league(LOL) … long story short, our team appealed to the Ladies Bowling Federation (that was a scary meeting). We won our appeal and decided after that fiasco that maybe bowling wasn’t going to be a long term activity for us! Next we decided on Weight Watchers. That worked for us for awhile. We both lost weight; but the eating out after weigh-in each week wasn’t helping with the weight loss! We gave serious thought to belly dancing, but decided not to subject ourselves and fellow class mates to the vision of our exposed bellies in belly chains, scanty tops and harem pants! After much thought, we decided to try yoga. We both started out in the beginners’ class and after much huffing, puffing and sweating, I knew I had found what I had been missing out on … yoga!  Due to health issues, it didn’t work out long term for Ang, but for me, I was happy with my practice and wanted to learn more. I started in yoga over 15 years ago. Due to work place changes and health changes I’ve practiced at several yoga studios trying to find a “home”.


After discovering Breathe Yoga right down the street from me that offers flexible hours, which allows me to practice around my work and social schedules, I was thrilled. I like that Breathe Yoga offers a variety of yoga and self awareness workshops , diffident types of yoga practice and has yoga educated   instructors who care about how you and me can benefit the most from our practice. I also can’t say enough wonderful things about last year’s Breathe Yoga’s outside yoga session … an absolutely wonderful, peaceful experience … let’s do more!


In conclusion, I’d like to share that at 62, I’m no longer a “spring chicken” but, along the way in my life, I’ve learned that the practice of yoga helps me feel  better about myself because I’m doing something for myself …  no one else can do that, but  me.  It takes self determination to get up and exercise. So for all of you, no matter your age, your current weight or gender, I admire you. You’ve chosen a great way to get the mental and physical exercise that yoga offers you. 

Jennifer Johnston | May 2015


High blood pressure runs in my family. My grandmother lost her life to a stroke at 55 years old. My mother and her only sister have been on blood pressure medication for years. I stubbornly refused to accept that I needed to be on medication. I didn't go to the doctor often but when I did and my blood pressure would be elevated. I simply chalked it up to "White Coat Syndrome". About 5 years ago I went to an urgent care doctor because I thought I had broken a rib. My rib was fine but he would not let me leave the office because my blood pressure was so high. This kind doctor convinced me I was being stupid to take this kind of risk. I started on blood pressure medication. It controlled my blood pressure perfectly and with no side affects that I know of. No amount of cardio (even training for a half marathon), eating right or trying to control the stress of owning my own business and being a busy wife and mom helped my blood pressure. I started at Breathe Yoga Atlanta in July of 2014. I loved practicing in their serene studio. The depth of their instructors' knowledge and dedication is apparent. But, the warm, welcoming, casual atmosphere compounded the wonderful experience.

A couple of months ago I started to feel dizzy and light headed. My blood pressure was too low! They cut my medication in half and said to monitor it at home.  They cut it in half again. I'm taking 2.5 milligrams now only as a precaution.

The only thing that changed in my life was beginning to practice yoga. I believe it addresses so many different areas of my overall health.