Teachers

Leah Hansen

Founder Hot Spot Power Yoga, RYT-500, Certified Baptiste Teacher

leah@hotspotpoweryoga.com

Leah Hansen has been a regular practitioner of Baptiste Yoga since 2005. She finds that the physicality of the practice gives her access to her emotional and mental wellbeing. She lives her practice on and off the mat knowing that the tools of the practice creates integrity not only in her physical body but in her relationships. Leah is invested in Baptiste Yoga as she loves the rigor, the intensity, the fun, and the compassion that the practice packs into one class. It is the most transformative style of yoga that she has ever studied and it is a proven practice that works. She and Jon opened Hot Spot Power Yoga together as a place to share Baptiste Yoga with as many people that would listen. Leah is up to inspiring powerful transformation in the Jacksonville Community. She is up to holding space for the best and most highly trained Baptiste Yoga Instructors to teach. She is up to holding space for people to destress, release, and have breakthroughs physically, emotionally and mentally. She is up to creating the studio as a platform to give back to the community through donation based events which raise thousands of dollars for charity each year. She is up to being her biggest best self in this life and inspiring others to do the same.

Jon Hansen

Founder Hot Spot Power Yoga, ERYT-200, Certified Baptiste Teacher

jon@hotspotpoweryoga.com

Jon Hansen has been practicing Baptiste Yoga since 2010. He is passionate about owing a business that gives back to the community in a powerful way. He is inspired by Baptiste Yoga specifically as he knows that this practice gives real physical results while also being an outlet to destress mentally and tap in emotionally. As a man he knows the importance of emotional intelligence and he is at cause to continue to expand himself through this practice while inspiring others to do the same. Jon is up to creating a space for transformation in the Jacksonville community. While studio ownership can be stressful, Jon is reminded over and over again the importance of providing a space for people to practice Baptiste Yoga. Jon is passionate about supporting the Jacksonville Community while investing in teachers to share their teaching as well as further their teaching experience. Jon is up to creating Hot Spot Power Yoga as an organization that has a powerful impact across the board whether it is reaching new students and teachers, or expanding current students and  teachers. He knows that Baptiste Methodology works and he knows that Hot Spot Power Yoga is a platform to inspire others through Baptiste Yoga and the Baptiste Methodology. 

Whitney Heflin

Founding Partner Hot Spot Power Yoga - Baymeadows, ERYT-200, Certified Baptiste Teacher

whitney@hotspotpoweryoga.com

Whitney discovered yoga in 2010 when she asked a friend to recommend a local yoga studio.   She had heard yoga was a great workout and had the added benefit of quieting the mind. In search of a little peace of mind, Whitney attended a class and was immediately hooked. Having benefited so greatly from the sense of centeredness, peace and good health this style of yoga provided for her, Whitney embarked on becoming a certified yoga teacher the spring of 2012 so she could share this wonderful practice with others. Her intention as an instructor and studio owner is to inspire and empower individuals and communities to live their biggest, boldest and healthiest lives through the practice of Baptiste inspired yoga and programs.

Outside the studio, Whitney works in the finance, accounting and risk management field for a Wellness company. She holds a Masters of Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, both from the University of North Florida. Outside of work and the yoga room, Whitney enjoys spending time with her friends and family, attempting to train her 80lb perfectly unruly Golden Retriever, outdoors and traveling.

Karina Hahn

Studio Manager, ERYT-200, Certified Baptiste Teacher

karina@hotspotpoweryoga.com

Karina discovered Baptiste power yoga when she moved to Jacksonville, FL in 2006 and instantly fell in love with the strength, love and joy that she felt. Through the practice she discovered that she could do things she never thought possible, like crow, and through that she knows that anything is POSSIBLE when you get fear out of the way. She left her corporate job at Merrill Lynch and became a full-time yoga instructor which lead to managing the studios. In addition to teaching and managing Karina also creates and leads workshops and facilitates teacher training programs.  Through her teaching Karina hopes to inspire others to discover what IS possible when you let go of the fear.

Outside of the yoga studio Karina loves to spend time with her family, going on riding bikes to the beach and is passionate about gardening and cooking!

Lori Drake

Studio Manager, RYT-500, Certified Baptiste Teacher

lori@hotspotpoweryoga.com

Lori began her yoga practice in 2003 at a Bikram studio while living in Orlando, Florida. Upon moving to Jacksonville in 2005 she found a practice in the Baptiste Journey into Power series. Looking to deepen her practice she then enrolled in the Hot Spot Power Yoga’s 200 hour Life Transformation Program 2014. By June of 2014 she was on schedule at HSPY teaching the MS Yoga and Power classes and has been teaching consistently since.

Through the practice of Baptiste Yoga, Lori has felt stronger in body and mind on the mat and felt a shift in her connection to loved ones and in the community. She has felt pushed beyond her comfort zone and as a result has purposefully sought out opportunities that she might have shied away from before ranging from leading a fundraising team to simply being alone at a concert.

It is through these shifts in her own life that she teaches to inspire, flow, personal growth and connection in her classes. Not just connection to the community, but connection to oneself.

Chris Massingille

Studio Manager, RYT-200

chris@hotspotpoweryoga.com
Kintu Makanji

RYT-500, Certified Baptiste Teacher

kintu@hotspotpoweryoga.com

Kintu started practicing Baptiste Power Yoga in 2007 and teaching in 2008.   She was surprised at the challenge and intensity of her first power yoga class, but it was through this challenge that the resistance in her body and mind melted.  She practices and teaches Baptiste yoga to gain greater depth, connection and alignment.  Kintu has completed Baptiste levels 1,2 and 3 and is currently pursuing her Fit to Lead training.  Her passion is to practice daily and pursue trainings that lead to greater levels of vitality and freedom.  Kintu’s goal is to deliver an empowering class that inspires practitioners to pursue that which brings them joy and fulfillment.

Beth Jordan

RYT-200

Beth’s world changed after an accident fractured her back, lower lumbar and herniated a disc. Finding herself crippled with pain and stripped of her freedom to move, Beth sought out exercise and nutrition as her path to freedom and a full life. Through small basic movements, stretching, strength training and embracing an anti-inflammatory nutrition plan Beth fully recovered. In this process Beth fell in love with the empowering mind-body benefits of exercise and their impact on others. Beth become certified through the American Council on Exercise teaching classes in everything from kickboxing and cycling to senior fitness and ultimately managing a 17,000-square foot fitness facility. 

 

Following years of unique program design and after receiving additional specialty certifications in Orthopedic Exercise and Fitness Nutrition, Beth was appointed as a Subject-Matter-Expert and Spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. Beth is relied on for expert analysis in the areas of women’s health and children’s fitness in publications such as SHAPE, Men’s Journal & SELF.

 

After Beth attended an immersion weekend with Baron Baptiste, founder of Baptiste Power Yoga, she became inspired to learn more about how yoga can be used to ignite what is unique in everyone. Beth set out to find a Baptiste studio where she could study and become a RYT, but more importantly, find a yoga community of individuals aligned with her mission of helping others realize their full potential not only on their mat but in life. Beth believes in the whole person and recognizes the importance of practicing yoga from a physiological, psychological and communal state. Beth found Hot Spot Yoga and a community of people committed to cultivating a life of possibility, in themselves and others. Beth wants to meet you and is passionate about exploring and uncovering what is possible.  

 

Beth has a B.S. from Radford University and spent her time prior to entering the fitness field working for the FBI. Beth starts her day M-F at 6:15 am leading her women only outdoor group fitness class, Beth’s Boot Camp in Jax Beach.  

   

Brittany Peeler

RYT-200

Danielle Schellhorn

ERYT-200, Certified Baptiste Teacher

Danielle has been lit up by Baptiste Yoga since 2011. This practice has transformed her life in a way that she didn't know she needed. Her relationships are stronger, she has a deeper awareness of her way of being, and most importantly she has learned to love and care for herself in a powerful way.

Danielle loves the yoga community that she has had the opportunity to help cultivate at Hot Spot Power Yoga. She has found that if you implement the Baptiste Methodology and show up at a YES, anything is possible. Through her teaching she hopes to inspire, impact and empower each student to be the biggest version of themselves in every moment. 

Danielle is a Certified Baptiste Teacher and currently working as a mentor with Africa Yoga Project.

David Diehl

RYT-200

Born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, David began practicing yoga during his first year of college while studying to be an opera singer at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland. And he was committed from day one (after 6 months of procrastinating), biking through a snow storm to his first class. At this time he began regularly attending Bikram yoga classes where he fell in love with with yoga's physical and emotional benefits.
In 2016 David found Hot Spot Power Yoga after moving into the San Marco area. Immediately falling in love with the personal growth and empowerment encouraged by the teachers in each class, David enrolled in the studio's Life Transformation Program where he earned his RYT 200 hour certification as a yoga teacher. As a teacher David loves to speak to the practices he cultivates in his own life, such as gratitude. 
David is grateful that he gets to share yoga with his wife, Julz. One of their first dates was going to a yoga class together and they've been attending classes as a unit ever since. And yes, she teaches now too.
Otherwise, David works for a specialty nutrition company, offering health care providers alternative options to pharmaceuticals for the management of conditions like ADHD and early memory impairment. He also sings on the side, and loves being at the yoga studio, at his church, and at home with his amazing wife and their two dogs, August and Blue.

Denise Peterson

ERYT-200, Certified Baptiste Teacher

Elyse Robleto

RYT-500

Hailey Blood

RYT-200

Hailey has been practicing yoga for the last five years. She practices to relieve daily stress, to honor my body in a healthy way, to come back to the present moment, and to be a part of a loving community. Hailey enjoys empowering people through power and restorative practices. Hailey's teaching journey began when a practitioner came up to her after class and said, "yoga has literally changed my life." She then started to think about how much it has changed her life for the better, how much the Baptiste community has supported her. Hailey feels that teaching yoga is a blessing and being able to help others find their truth is an honor. She is up to creating fire, peace, and excitement for the moment in others. Hailey is a new mama to a beautiful little girl and a giant lab.

Ilsa Gehman

RYT-200, Baptiste Certified Teacher

Ilsa Marie Gehman has been teaching Baptiste Yoga for the past 5 years. She discovered this empowering style in Fort Worth, Texas at Indigo Yoga where she decided she wanted to start teaching.  “The fact that Baptiste Yoga allows for practice not perfection gave me the greatest sense of possibility” Coming from a rigorous ballet background since the age of 4, Ilsa fell in love with the Baptiste practice for the healing she found through breath and movement. However, Baptiste Yoga was not her first entry to Yoga. She began Yoga at the age of 8 when her mother enrolled her in a Yoga kids camp in Arizona. Since then she’s practiced various styles, but after experiencing Baptiste she felt sure this is what she wanted to lead. Ilsa stands for creating empowerment, compassion and possibility through her classes. 

Jamey Williamson

RYT-200

Jamey found yoga after a running injury and at first she was pretty skeptical. She was a  self-proclaimed cardio bunny and thought nothing was as good as running… Boy, was she wrong! Jamey fell in love with power yoga because it challenged her physically and mentally, and at the same time rewarded her.

After practicing for a couple years and then finding Hot Spot she knew that she wanted to teach this amazing practice to others. The Baptiste Methodology is not only a yoga practice, but a life practice. It taught Jamey patience and compassion, effort and ease, as well as grace and gratitude. It became much more than just a workout. Through teaching Jamey shares what she has learned during her journey. If one person walks off their mat feeling lighter, empowered and ready for their day, then she knows that she did her job! Jamey loves creating a strong, athletic yoga practice that is challenging yet empowering for ALL levels!

Jayme Hillyer

RYT-200

Jayme Hillyer is a Jacksonville Native and has been teaching yoga since 2013. She is 200 RYT certified, has attended Level 1 in Sedona, Arizona with Baron Baptiste and completed Art of Assisting. Jayme has also completed Trauma informed yoga trainings with James Fox and through the nonprofit organization Yoga4Change. Jayme loves to teach both power yoga and Restorative yoga classes and believes in the importance of both types of practices to balance the body. She believes Baptiste Yoga is a great for empowering the self and having fun while you do it. Jayme loves the connection to the community through Yoga, particularly at Hot Spot where there is a strong sense of community and support. Jayme believes in the power of Yoga to heal and hopes to create connection with students in Yoga studios and in facilities that serve populations that do not have access to Yoga. 

Julie Gilson

RYT-200

Yoga is union. Yoga is healing. As a practitioner, I have experienced the amazing changes that Baptiste yoga has helped me create in my life, and I want to share that with others. I teach to create space for unity, empowerment, and healing. 

I am an RYT-200, with specific training in adaptive yoga for people with disabilities.

Julz Diehl

RYT-200

Julz has her husband David to thank for introducing her to yoga nearly 10 years ago. She fell hard for Bikram yoga and the intensity of the series which pushed her to mental and physical limits. But her practice was missing something - it was all effort and no ease.

On a whim, Julz came to Hot Spot, curious about what this vinyasa flow thing was all about. She left totally lit up over the playfulness, possibility, and feeling of soreness in her arms (which had never experienced chaturanga before!). Hot Spot quickly became home and Julz was thrilled to complete the Life Transformation Program in May 2017, earning an RYT-200 certification.

Her teaching is inspired by the BIG LOVE she feels for the Hot Spot community, Baptiste yoga, and the positive impact both have had on her life. She wants to share the awesomeness of the practice by leading students through a fiery, empowering Journey into Power series, and challenging students to be their most badass selves on and off the mat.  

Katie Rossi

RYT-200

Katie discovered yoga after recovering from a running injury. She was so humbled but the strength, love and community in the room she was instantly hooked to Baptiste yoga.  After less than a year of taking classes, she signed up for the next teacher training offered at her studio. She teaches because she wants to share the love and strength she found in that first yoga class, with everyone around her.

Kirsten Benkert

RYT-200

Kirsten took her first yoga class in 2005 at a Bikram studio in Neptune Beach. She instantly fell in love with the physicality of the practice. She practiced off and on for several years playing around with Bikram as well as other styles of yoga. It wasn't until March of 2016 that she found Hot Spot Power Yoga. She happened upon a restorative class during Spring Break. Her step-father had passed away that previous January and she needed an activity to get back into things. The love, kindness, and support she felt from the Hot Spot Community was exactly what she needed. She fell so in love with the sense of possibility and empowerment she felt from taking classes that she took the next step and became a certified yoga instructor in the spring of 2017. She hopes to bring that sense of empowerment and possibility to her students. In addition to being certified as an RYT-200 instructor, Kirsten is level 1 certified in YOD. She hopes to complete level 2 YOD training as well as Baptiste level 1 this year- never stop growing!!!

Laura Nanney

RYT-200

Initially,  Laura began practicing yoga as a way to lose weight, but over the years, her practice has developed into so much more.  Laura has gained love and appreciation for what her body can do instead of basing my self worth off of a number on a scale.  Her mat became a place to unwind her body and mind from the physical tension and mental stress that builds up as life occurs.  The Baptiste practice challenges Laura to allow herself to be imperfect and to let go of control.

 

Laura's life took a drastic shift after becoming a yoga teacher. The process made her look at her life, thoughts, and actions from an observer’s point of view.  After dropping self judgement, she is able to live more mindfully in her thoughts, actions, and words to create my authentic life.  Through teaching, Laura aims to help students become more aware and mindful of their bodies during their practice.  She likes the practice to be challenging not only physically but mentally as well by encouraging students to be the observer of their own thoughts so they can become aware of any thought patterns.  With yoga, we create space in the body and mind for new ways of thinking and growth.  

Leah Wollitz

RYT-200

Liana Redshaw

RYT-200

Maria O'Donnell

ERYT-200

Maria began her yoga practice in high school with her best friend whose father was a yoga teacher. Throughout college and her five years living in Southeast Asia, Maria continued to practice many different styles of yoga and found the introspection and reflection through the movement of body and breath to be incredibly healing. Maria was introduced to Baptiste yoga class shortly after she moved to Jacksonville, Florida, in 2007.  Immediately, she was completely enthralled with the rhythm and flow of the class.  She also found that the heated practice increased her flexibility, as well as physically rinsed her body out. Maria knew she was at home with the sweat, spirit and energy of the Baptiste practice and became a regular practitioner.

Maria completed her 200 hour teacher certification program at a Baptiste affiliated studio in October 2010 and has since been dedicated to her yoga practice, self-growth and development as a teacher and as a healthy balanced individual with a desire to give back to her community. Maria works in the field of early childhood development and social work.  Maria has created a community connection between yoga, bringing the healing qualities of the practice to a diverse variety of individuals; self-empowerment is something yoga offers and all communities need. The Baptiste practice has inspired Maria to be a leader in her community.  Maria recently completed her Masters in Social Work, and has a passion for art, music, food, and international travel.  

Namie Rohack

RYT-200

Namie found Yoga at the college gym her junior year, when she injured herself training for a marathon. Ever since then, she has practiced a variety of yoga styles. In 2017, the studio she practiced at had to temporarily close down. Her passion to find another hot yoga place in the interim, led her to Hot Spot Power Yoga. After four months of practicing there, she signed up for teacher training.

What Namie loves about this practice is it not only challenges her physically, but also mentally. Additionally, she loves the sense of community at the studio. In her classes, she wants to inspire empowerment and possibilities off and on the mat.

Nicole Lee

RYT-500

Nicole has been teaching a variety of yoga styles for 3 years. To Nicole, yoga is more than physical, it is a method of tuning into the self, observing and processing the thoughts, sensations, emotions, and memories that arise as we bring in the light of intentional awareness. 
Always a student, Nicole's hope is to share the physical and emotional healing she has gained from her study and practice. Yoga is a lifelong journey and Nicole's teaching approach emphasizes therapeutic, mindful movement and breath to keep the body and mind healthy and safe for years to come.

Peyton Roehm

RYT-200

Peyton struggled to find a yoga community as great as her last until she found Hot Spot Power Yoga. Peyton became certified through their in-house teacher training program. She is passionate about spreading light through teaching yoga. Peyton fell in love with the practice of Baptiste because of the community, compassion and acceptance it provides. Peyton is a huge animal lover and has a sweet, Aussie rescue. 

Samantha Ross

RYT-200

Samantha Ross began practicing yoga to cope with depression and anxiety. She quickly realized she not only loved yoga, but she NEEDED yoga to stay mentally and physically healthy. She is passionate about sharing yoga with women who are struggling with their body image and self-worth. Samantha works and lives in a community for adults with disabilities. She learns from their generous love and practices adaptive yoga with them regularly. Samantha holds a B.S. in Psychology from John Carroll University. She hopes to continue advocacy for victims of sexual assault and educate the community about healthy sexuality. In 2018 she is moving to New Zealand to work with her organization, L’Arche, and teach yoga. 

Sarah Hanrahan

RYT-200

Susie Rokosch

RYT-200

Susie found yoga in 2015 after struggling with chronic back pain for over 10 years due to a car accident and resulting spinal fusion.   Susie fully credits yoga to her now pain-free life and full recovery.  She began her journey into teaching after practicing regularly for two years because she wanted to share with others the gifts that yoga has given her.  Not only is Susie passionate about yoga because of the physical ways it has changed her body, but she now relies on a regular practice to maintain her mental and spiritual health as well.   

Susie fell in love with Baptiste yoga specifically because of the balance it creates for her, both on and off of her mat.  She loves the strength that the practice has demanded of and created in her body, yet yoga has taught her to be more in tune with and connected to her physicality in a deeper and healthier way.  Similarly, Susie loves the focus and concentration that a Baptiste practice requires, yet she craves the clearing and ‘letting go’ that she is able to take from each class.  As a teacher, Susie is up to inspiring others to allow yoga to strengthen and heal both mind and body.  She is also up to continuing to grow stronger in her own practice and as a new teacher.

Tiffany Howard

RYT-200

Tiffany started yoga in search of all the benefits she heard it had to offer. After her first class, she was sore, frustrated and thought she would never come back. But a few days later she was back at the studio practicing, she wasn’t sure what, but something kept her coming back. After practicing on and off for a while she wanted a steadier practice and decided to sign up for teacher training to learn more. On the recommendation of a friend she signed up for Baptiste training, the yoga was challenging but fun and left her feeling empowered and inspired; not only on her mat but in her life as well.

While it wasn’t love at first sight her passion for yoga and its beautiful community has grown exceptionally over the last few years and she hopes to share this love with everyone around her. She strives to create an environment that is fun, challenging and welcoming for all.

Tiffany is a Jacksonville native and enjoys running, baking and exploring new places. 

Tracey Moore Lukkarila

RYT-200

Tracey came to Baptiste yoga in 2014. She had never taken a hot yoga class before, and that first class was tough! She didn’t think she would ever go back. But over the following week, Tracey felt called to return and has been practicing Baptiste yoga ever since. She fell in love with the practice so much that she signed up for yoga teacher training at Hot Spot and earned her RYT-200 certification in 2015. 
This style of yoga has been magical for Tracey. Her life is full of anxiety and stress, just like many people. This practice is her best coping mechanism. The integration of body, mind, and spirit in this practice has soothed her soul and quieted her mind in a way nothing had before. This has only grown over time as she practices yoga and learns more about the Baptiste methodology. Through the practice and the Hot Spot yoga community, Tracey has become a much better and happier version of herself and she is inspired to constantly grow and be truly authentic. Tracey teaches because she want to share this with others. Her hope is that she is helping others find their own path to peace. 

Valerie Armstrong

RYT-200