Our Teachers

We care about our students

Adi Westerman

When you take class from Adi, you will immediately notice her keen eye for form and alignment. While she pushes people to work hard and focus, the underlying message is about listening to your body and working on the form to help your postures progress. She reminds us to use the form as a means to meditate and let go of stress and emotional baggage. Adi leads Hot 26, Hot 26 PLUS and Hot Power Flow Vinyasa Yoga Classes. She has been featured in Yoga International and on WLOS and WYFF.

“I began my hot yoga practice in 2000 while still in college. I immediately fell in love with the feeling of accomplishment upon completion of class. It was also great to sweat and feel cleansed! The class challenged me both mentally and physically, so I could be found early in my practice hiding behind my dreadlocks in the back of the room. But with regular practice I was able to gain a sense of confidence and determination and in the end was also able to shed 40 lbs! I feel that the Hot 26 classes are the BEST classes for anyone injured or new to yoga. They work to realign and cleanse the body in a very systematic and therapeutic way. It will always be the foundation of health in my life. Hot Power Flow classes are upbeat and fun. I enjoy practicing both styles on a regular basis. I LOVE the way they complement each other! I opened Hot Yoga Asheville in March of 2008 and am thrilled to share my passion for yoga with the community.
Just for fun I competed in the NC Regionals in 2009 and 2015, both times placing 1st.

I have two summer daughters, born 2010 and 2014. I continued practicing Hot Yoga throughout my pregnancy using pregnancy modifications. It was a great way to stay healthy and in shape, and my body bounced back very quickly- even after two unplanned cesareans! If you have questions regarding pregnancy and yoga feel free to email me at the studio.”

Adi Westerman yoga teacher asheville

Amanda Blair

As a native to rural WNC, Amanda’s roots run generations deep in these mountains.  Her childhood consisted of Saturday lunches, gatherings with her close-knit extended family, and many opportunities to run wild exploring the forests near home.  These experiences instilled a profound appreciation for community and the great outdoors. Now, Amanda loves running, biking, camping and simply lounging outside as much as possible.  Having been raised in a large extended family gave Amanda a deep understanding of the importance of being in community.  HYA has become Amanda’s tribe and she could not be more excited to be teaching here.

Initially, yoga was purely physical, a nice way to balance out some of the high impact sports, but eventually something started to shift.  Amanda registered for the  200-hour teacher training in 2021 and found a connection between the practice and her life purpose of being in service to others. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to hold space for others in this way and looks forward to an ever deepening practice and connection with this our community.

Becky Johnson

Becky strives to infuse her classes with self-growth, compassion, humor, and acceptance.  She has a strong, grounded energy that will put you immediately at ease.
Becky did her first 200-hour teacher training in Evergreen, Colo. in 2017. With a huge passion for learning, she continued education specializing in Yin, Restorative, and kids yoga. She moved to Asheville to study Holistic Herbalism at the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine in 2019, when she became a student at HYA.
Becky is also HYA’s front desk manager, and completed HYA’s first 200-hour Vinyasa training in 2021. When not at the studio, she is usually  gardening, tinkering with various instruments, chasing waterfalls, getting to know more plants, attending live music and cooking nourishing food.

Booie Young

Booie has a way of guiding her students through postures with a sense of calm and purpose. She teaches with integrity and a deep understanding of the body. She continues to empower herself with continuing education courses and brings to her classes new “gems” along the way. Her classes will having you feeling relaxed and blissed for the rest of the day!

“Originally from Maine, I have a background in teaching French, traveling and snowboarding. One day in 2000 I fatefully walked into my first Bikram yoga class and never looked back. I loved it instantly. It transformed my life, and very quickly I decided to teach in order to share it with all of you. After years of running and aerobics (with my screw-loose mind and body), I found health, happiness and balance through yoga. I trained intensively in Los Angeles with Bikram later that year, and have been passionately teaching and practicing since. I love seeing people improve their lives through this amazing practice, and I believe strongly that ANYONE can do this yoga.”

Booie Young Yoga Asheville

Heather Parks

Get ready to be set free. Heather Parks, a Vinyasa Flow Instructor, will set your heart on fire. She is an easy-going soul who teaches with infectious passion. Heather has been teaching at Hot Yoga Asheville for 5 years, practicing yoga for 18 and has been certified since 2012. Her flows are creative, playful & will leave you feeling strong and inspired.

“I’m a Chicago native who transplanted here in 2010 and as a mother of two boys & a chocolate lab…I have to have a lot of energy! Yoga is an endless practice & after all these years, continues to challenge me to grow.

“Having once been told to ‘refrain from being physically active’ from years of herniated discs, I am beyond grateful for where I am today. Needless to say, yoga has changed my body physically, mentally & emotionally in ways that I could have never imagined.

“My greatest hope is that others will learn to move, breathe in ways they never thought possible. Teaching Vinyasa allows me to be creative & crank the tunes! I will always encourage and inspire you to come out of your comfort zones & laugh while being mindful & safe. I want everyone who leaves my class to feel strong, open and alive!”

heather parks

Joe Falco

When you take a class with Joe you can expect to feel like you got a great workout as well as loosened up and blissed out. Joe applies principles of yoga aimed to produce lasting benefits in the nervous, endocrine, and musculoskeletal systems through practices involving movement, breath work, deep relaxation and conscious meditation. His classes are designed bring your awareness into your body, facilitate the development of strength and healing and leave you feeling very deeply relaxed, present, and profoundly connected.

Joe Falco is an experienced Health and fitness instructor certified in CrossFit, Mobility, Yoga, and Ayurveda. He was certified by Yoga Works in their 200hr RYT Program in 2014 and became an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist in 2015 from the Himalayan Institute. He took on yoga as his full time profession in 2014 and has since taught over 4000 hours of Yoga Instruction including co-leading four Teacher Trainings. His passions and studies extend to the realms of music, recovery, artwork, freemasonry, tantra, and eastern philosophy.

Joe Falco Asheville Yoga

Joel Davis

Joel was born and raised in Denver but recently decided to plant roots in Asheville and teaches all the Flow styles at HYA, as well as meditation.

Yoga came into his life at a young age and it quickly became a perfect supplement to his athletic training as a lacrosse player. Although it was the physical practice of yoga that drew Joel in, it was the mental and more subtle aspects of the practice that made Joel fall in love with yoga for life. While Joel is still passionate about the physical movement, he has discovered that the real magic of yoga lies within the mind and most importantly within the heart. He has attended teacher trainings in
Thailand, Peru & Bali and has taught yoga at various places all over the world.

He has a warm inviting smile and personality, and he creates a safe space that allows students to feel comfortable and to truly be themselves. You can expect his classes and teaching style to be challenging, fun, creative, intentional, meditative, and sometimes include a little live music!

Lauren Porter

When you take class with Lauren you will be swept up in her energy and guided through a challenging practice with care and precision. She shares her love of the practice with encouragement and warmth, creating a safe space for students to test their limits.

Lauren grew up in New Jersey and moved to Asheville from sunny south Florida. A 300 RYT and Reiki II practitioner, Lauren is passionate about creating an atmosphere that is fun, spiritually charged, safe, challenging and honors the space of your unique yoga practice.

Lauren found yoga in 2014 after being diagnosed with several health issues that left her desperate and bed ridden.

“I found yoga at a time that now I know was dire, it has saved my life a few times. I know that part of my life’s purpose, my dharma, is to show others not to fear themselves and their emotions, the world and others. To show others as it has been shown to me, that love, your positive attitude and choices are what makes the world go ‘round.”

Lex Keklak

After a friend took her to her first Bikram yoga class when she was 19, Lex says she thought, “I want to do this everyday for the rest of my life.” While she hasn’t taken class every single day since, she does find herself influenced each day by the lessons her practice has taught her. At first, the benefits were purely physical, but as she continued, they infiltrated every aspect of her life.

Lex says that since then, the yoga has been chasing her ever since. It followed her to college, overseas, and across the country to Bikram’s Teacher Training in 2005. She taught all over the Philadelphia area until finding her way to Asheville to study Chinese Medicine in 2009.

Now a practicing acupuncturist and parent, yoga makes her better at life. It has kept her sane, built her self-confidence, given her the tools to overcome every obstacle, and introduced her to some of her greatest friends.

Lynn Zinser

When you take class with Lynn you will experience a welcoming energy and presence. Her classes are fun and informative and you will be guided safely in and out of postures with support and a sense of belonging.

Lynn teaches all the styles of yoga offered at HYA: Power and Slow Flow, Hot 26, Inferno and occasionally, Yin. Lynn loves the creativity of flow, the discipline of Hot 26 and the strength-building of Inferno. She started practicing yoga in 2009 as a way to recover from a back injury and, feeling relief in the very first week, never stopped showing up in the hot room. Despite being an athlete her whole life, the yoga gave her a level of strength and a feeling of power over her own health that nothing else did. Wanting to share that experience with others, Lynn took a leave of absence from her job at the New York Times, attended Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in 2013 and taught at Bikram Yoga NYC for three years before she, her husband Geoff and puppy Brooklyn followed their hearts to Asheville. She stepped away from her 30+ year career as a journalist and helps manage Hot Yoga Asheville in addition to teaching. She participated in HYA’s Hot Vinyasa Teacher Training in 2021 to add Flow teaching to her skills and has participated in trainings in Inferno and Yin.

Mae Weeks

Mae has combined extensive yoga training with her education in exercise science and anatomy to bring HYA students the best of both worlds: a sound, challenging physical practice that also allows students to dive deep and find the power of now.

Mae completed her 200-hour certification through Tamal Dodge, where great emphasis was placed on correct alignment, breath awareness and yoga philosophy.  Her degrees in Exercise Science and Physician Assistant studies have led her to emphasize the importance of alignment.

“My exposure into the world of yoga has given me the opportunity to learn from wise and inspiring individuals,” Mae said. “Not only do I wish to share my experiences with my students, but I hope to inspire self reflection. I hope this will evolve into a new way of thinking or acting.”

Mae’s goal is to provide a challenging Flow rooted in traditional Yoga and the principles behind Bhakti Yoga. Her classes are challenging both physically and mentally. But no worries, she has some pretty awesome playlists which will make the time fly. She can’t wait to see you on your mat!

Mary Rich

Mary’s class is fun and filled with great energy. When you take her classes you are sure to feel her even-keeled nature. She brings joy and focus to the room, which helps you leave the class feeling good about yourself and what you can do!

“I took my first Bikram Yoga class in 1999, while living in the Napa Valley. I wore fleece leggings thinking, ‘How hot can this be… really?'” Mary said. “However overdressed, after that first class I knew I was hooked.” Mary was amazed at how quickly she benefitted from the therapeutic effects of yoga in mind, body and spirit. The structure of the class and the unwavering guidance of her teacher Kamika was what she needed to bring some peace to her ‘out of control’ life.

Mary learned that her practice mirrors life and the lessons are endless. “Although the yoga is always the same, I am different each time I walk into that room and there is more self realization awaiting me if I am open to it,” she said. “As Bikram says, ‘Instead of blaming others for your own weakness, fear and depression, you will learn to take responsibility for your own life. You’ve got to face yourself in the mirror, every part you don’t like, every mistake you make, every excuse your mind creates to limit your potential liberation–there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. No escape from reality….'”

Mary attended Teacher Training in the fall of 2010 and has taught at her  home studio in Asheville as well as other studios around the country. She looks forward to a lifetime of teaching this yoga. See you in the hot room!

Ross Randall

Ross is well known to many at HYA and has spent almost a decade in Asheville teaching and practicing yoga. You will see Ross in lots of different classes! He currently teaches Hot 26, Hot Power Flow and Inferno Core with passion, purpose, and a good helping of humor. He is dedicated to making yoga accessible and understandable to all — and has a special affinity for first-time students, remembering his own rookie experience 20 years ago.

Hot Yoga Asheville prides itself as being welcoming and accessible to everyone. It’s this diversity that makes our classes so dynamic. You won’t meet a nicer or more hard-working group of students – nor a more caring and talented faculty of teachers – anywhere,” says Ross.

Ross’ dislike of vegetables and kombucha makes him unique in the yoga community.

Ross Randall Asheville Yoga

Rachel Kaplan

Rachel is a native New Yorker who thrives on helping people. She’s Bikram Yoga Certified and has been teaching yoga and breath work for more than 15 years. As she helped students transform their health through hot yoga, she knew she could also coach them on fueling their bodies to gain maximum results on their mat. She decided to go back to school and earned a degree in Food and Nutrition Science from the University of Alabama in 2017 and became a Wellness and Healthy Living Coach.

Rachel’s health and wellness business is dedicated to helping people live their healthiest life, improving their work, relationships and striving for their life purpose. Whether she is teaching yoga or Inferno Core (she was certified in Inferno Hot Pilates in 2018) Rachel teaches with passion. Her classes are strong and structured and you may leave feeling like you are floating on air.

Rachael Kaplan Asheville Yoga

Ruth Ingram

For Ruth, yoga has been a journey toward healing, self-acceptance, surrender and empowerment. Ruth’s mission is to help guide her students toward finding strength in their bodies and peace within their hearts.

Ruth got certified as an RYT 200-hour teacher in 2013 has been teaching regularly ever since.  She received her training at Yoga South in Boca Raton, Florida under James Kigar and Judy Weaver. She also completed a 200-hour training in Sivananda yoga. Ruth completed her 500-hour training at the Asheville Yoga Center in September 2019.

Ruth has the unique ability to reach each student in her class, and her style, like her personality, is warm, nurturing, funny and compassionate. When you take her class you can see her enthusiasm for the practice, attention to sequencing to alignment and her joy in taking her students to their edge.

Ruth is a full-time yoga teacher dedicating her life to the 8 limbed path.  She believes the practice starts between classes, in our relationships and ways of being.  She has a strong commitment to always being a student first.  In the fall of 2020, Ruth joined the teacher training staff at the Asheville Yoga Center and leads the children’s yoga portion of the 200-hour training and leads 300-hour modules.

She also enjoys hiking, Pilates and barre classes. Ruth loves sharing her life in Asheville with her partner and chocolate lab Lulu.

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” Rumi

Follow her on IG at @Rutthless to see pictures of her as a part-time donut model.

Sophia Phillips

Sophia will guide you through an awesome, fluid class that will leave you feeling fantastic! She is dedicated to making her sequences intentional, unique and fun! Sophia first went to a yoga class out of curiosity, and immediately felt the powerful healing effects of practicing. Since then, she has continued to use yoga as a way to regulate the nervous system and find stillness.

Sophia believes that everyone starts practicing yoga for a reason, and there is no wrong reason to start. What keeps us coming back are the other benefits that we perhaps didn’t anticipate: physical and mental strength, less stress, more confidence, becoming part of a community, and more. After years of practicing she knew the next best step was to become a yoga teacher and she has been teaching since 2016. Knowing how much yoga changed her life, she is honored to share this practice with others. In addition to teaching yoga, Sophia is also a certified birth and postpartum doula, nanny, and proud cat mom, with a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Wellness + Women, Gender & Sexuality studies from UNCA.

Tania Laveck

Tania has deep roots in Western North Carolina and has always been inspired by the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.

She was drawn to yoga a few years back while struggling with multiple injuries and she noticed immediate and profound healing not only for her body, but also for her mind and spirit as each class inspired more hope. The challenging yet creative, playful nature of the classes led to a more active practice that transformed into a passion. That led Tania to join the 200-hour RYS vinyasa teacher training through Hot Yoga Asheville (HYA) in 2021.

As a devoted mountain biker, Tania enjoys applying the concepts of yogic science not only to finding flow on the trails, but to all other aspects of life. With a background in engineering, Tania likes to contemplate biomechanics principles and laws of motion when studying the yoga asanas. 

Tania feels as though the amazing people of HYA have become an extended family and feels honored and blessed to be on this exciting journey of sharing and growing with this amazing yogi community. 

Tarah Plavac

When you take class from Tarah you will leave feeling relaxed and alert. Her focus on the breath will help guide you through the series and keep you calm. Tarah is Bikram Yoga certified and has been teaching since 2008.

“Practice is the simple path— there is no big applause for showing up silently on my mat. Practice provides a steadiness— it’s the groundless ground, allowing us to remember impermanence as a way of being in awe of any moment alive. All moments, even the grimy, uncomfortable, grinding moments can be ones we don’t run from, because they too are life.” — Janet Stone

It is an honor to share this practice with others and learn alongside the incredible community at Hot Yoga Asheville.

Will Jones

Class with Will is a joy and delight. You will feel invigorated and inspired for the rest of the day. Will Jones has been leading fitness classes for over 20 years and has a great understanding of body mechanics…perhaps because his other gig is as an Anesthesiologist at Mission Hospital.  Will completed the Inferno Training with Gabi Walters and in 2020 became a certified Hot 26 instructor. You can see him in the hot room almost every day. You will love his classes.

Will Jones Asheville Yoga