Logo, CITY YOGA DALLAS - Yoga Studio

(214) 792-9505
4311 Belmont Avenue
Dallas, TX 75204

 City Yoga Welcomes Our Instructors:

Mike Luckock

I began my yoga journey in the summer of 2002. After several years of pounding weights and not stretching out before or after a workout a friend suggested I tried a yoga class to stretch out. I soon realized that yoga was more than just stretching; it is about quieting the mind and body and bringing a balance into life. I left the gym scene to deepen my practice in a yoga studio. In 2008, I became an assistant helping students take their practice a little further during a class. After 2 years of assisting I knew it was time for me to take my practice to the next level, teaching. I completed my 200 hour certification in 2010. Most recently I co-authored Ground to Grow Alignment Cues for Yoga Students and Teachers. 

When not on the mat practicing or teaching; I am helping families with children that have Special Needs. It has always been my passion to teach, and working with these students fills my heart with joy and love.

 

Julie Wright

My yoga journey began in 1999 when I took my first yoga class.  As a personal trainer and group exercise instructor, I was always looking to improve my physical condition - yes, that is why I took my first yoga class.  Little did I know how the practice would change my life completely.  I was very pleased with the physical benefits from yoga but more importantly my heart opened and Spirit deep inside of me began to shine and I wanted to share this amazing love!  After two years of dedicated practice I began teaching yoga.  My personal practice was deepening as I began taking workshops with yoga masters such as Rod Stryker, Seane Corn, Baron Baptiste and Beryl Bender Birch just to name a few.  I have learned so much from these amazing masters and enjoy sharing my experiences as I continue to learn and grow as a student of this ancient, beautiful discipline.  I continue to follow Rod Stryker as my teacher as I love the rich tradition and wisdom of his lineage.

Yoga has opened my heart and filled it with compassion, acceptance and love in a way I never thought possible.  I am truly blessed to share this gift through teaching.  I am filled with gratitude as I continue this journey of Divine love and unity. 

Tara Paulsen

Tara’s yoga journey started in her college days at the local community college. Finding no real interest in the history or concept of yoga, it was merely another way to get in shape. Years later, after working in the service industry and not taking care of her body or mind, Tara found vinyasa style flow yoga.

It didn’t take long for the yoga to kick start something inside Tara-- she knew within a year she was meant to teach yoga to others. The practice allowed her to discover more about not only her body, but about herself. In exploring the poses with breath work, the world opens up a dimension of your life that is missing your not even aware it existed. She completed her 200 hour certification last year and continues her education attending workshops around the country; including Off the Mat- Into the

World ‘s Leadership Training. Her teaching style incorporates a bit of fun and the idea of fearlessness -- a willingness to be open -- and an emphasis on alignment. Having dealt with lower back pain throughout her practice, she believes in slowing the practice down to deeper understand your body and breath.  

 Tara Kristof

A Dallas native, Tara is a long time student and teacher of yoga. She was introduced to Y oga as a life-path and truly loves sharing her passion with others. She is registered with Yoga Alliance as an ERYT-500, RPYT and has led workshops, teacher trainings and retreats. Tara's teaching style is alignment based vinyasa with specialties in Restorative Yoga and Prenatal Yoga. She seeks to ignite intelligence in the body, inner awareness, and help students connect to their true self.

Tara takes her practice off the mat and into her everyday life. She is a happy wife, proud mother and seeks to live an authentic and mindful life.  Tara serves on the Board of Earth Rhythms, bringing spiritual arts to the DFW metroplex.

 

 

Bobby Candelas

I’ve been practicing since 2012—I started practicing yoga after suffering a back strain and began with DVD’s in my living room. When I ventured into my first studio class I was so tight that the instructor had me hold on the window ledge since I was so far away from the floor in my wide-legged forward fold! I eventually fell in love with the practice and saw changes in myself—first physically, then slowly in other aspects of my life. My personal practice focuses heavily on the breath—but is still very physical—I’m a handstand addict :)

 My main motivation to teach is being able to share a practice that has helped me heal. Seeing students be able to discover more about themselves through yoga is my greatest joy. My job is to guide them safely and mindfully through their practice so they can travel along their own journey of self discovery. I believe yoga should make you feel good—and should bring you joy. 

 Compassion and mindfulness are the cornerstones of my teaching style. Whether you are a type A person or the most laid back individual in the world you'll come to your mat differently every single time. I encourage students to be intuitive, explore, honor and love their bodies. Some days that means cranking it up, others it means taking it slow--the ability to discern which you need is sharpened with the practice and the breath will always take the lead. 

 Outside of the studio I spend a lot of time with my 4 nieces and nephews and my favorite job (besides yoga instructor) is Uncle :)

Christina Vargas 

I fell in love with yoga and have been practicing for over 13 years. Like many, I appreciated the physical benefits, but what was more astounding to me was how valuable this practice was to my mental and spiritual journey. It has allowed me to be a better version of myself and for that I am so grateful!

The true testament to my yoga journey came in 2004, after I tore my ACL and MCL in my right knee during a skiing trip. I became depressed and frustrated with my inabilities and scheduled surgery with much hesitation. I continued my yoga practice, it was a humbling journey as I was met with new challenges both physically and mentally in each class. However, after several months, and the day before my scheduled surgery, in class, I realized how strong, both mentally and physically, I had become since the injury and I decided not to have the surgery!

Yoga became a catalyst for my desire to help others heal and I wanted more! I moved to California and after 4 years of study, I graduated in 2009 from the California College of Ayurveda, where I studied to become an Ayurvedic Health Practitioner and Herbalist. When I am not at the yoga studio I am helping others in my office live healthier lives through this sister science to yoga.

I bring an aspect of mindfulness to my classes while teaching the benefits of each asana. I love to impart meditation and pranayama into my classes while ensuring that by the end of class, you’ve flowed into the best version of yourself!

Jessica Kennedy

When I completed my first yoga teacher training program in 2006 I understood that yoga had already been a part of me for longer than I realized.  I signed up for that training simply because I was seeking another portable skill - a class I could teach to facilitate my wandering lifestyle.  What I found within myself echoed a truth I could no longer run away from. I have learned that we are all our own teachers and that yoga, like life, is not a contest but a journey.  This odyssey, my life, continues to teach me not to just survive, but to live, to love - compassionately, objectively and with equanimity.  

Since my first training, I have explored countless different forms of yoga, and my current personal practice includes regular engagement with Iyengar, Ashtanga, Flow and Restorative styles. The depth and breath of my training have given me an intimate knowledge of anatomy and energetics and a focus on proper form, alignment and breath work.  

I have spent the past 10 plus years teaching on a variety of platforms and to very diverse clientele, from children to the elderly, from the very fit to the physically disabled and my students truly have been my greatest teachers.  Yoga has taught me more than just showing up on the mat to teach a class.  It is a discipline, a way of living, finding balance through ALL forms - embracing our imperfections everyday so that we can become greater beings.

Melissa Preston

Yoga has done wonders for me over the past several years and I felt the best way to show my gratitude was to become an instructor myself and give back some of that love.  I began taking yoga to help ease the back pain I suffer from scoliosis.  However, it wasn’t long before I realized the mental and spiritual benefits would far out way the physical.  After some time, depression was no longer a part of my life and I came to terms with emotions I had unknowingly buried.  I learned to breathe through challenging yoga poses and difficult life situations; as well as during the moments when I’m filled with joy.  I continue to learn and grow through yoga and would love to have you join me on the mat!  My hope is that you walk away from my classes challenged, fulfilled and inspired.  A few tidbits:

-          I’m a wife to the funniest man I know and a mother to one of the kindest souls I know. 

-          I’m a full time photographer and owner of Mel Marie Photography.

-          I’m creative, sensitive, careful, intelligent and passionate.

-          Pride gets in my way more than I’d like to admit.

-          You’ll rarely find me in anything but jeans and a t-shirt…or yoga gear.

-          Yoga and rocky road ice cream soothe my soul.

-          I’m thankful every single day for the life I’ve been blessed with and for the people I’m surrounded by.


 Brook Cheatham 

 A word I live by. All of us have the ability to overcome things in our lives. Defining moments in our "story" give us a choice, the courage to either become our truth, or live in a lie. Before yoga came into my life, I was a young mother, strapped to a corporate job, with laundry list full of guilt, shame and baggage from a turbulent youth. Fitness goals led me to yoga, and yes, I became physically strong, but slowly I began to notice changes occurring in my actual nature. The baggage from my past started to slowly get stripped away. I began to realize who I was deep down, and deep inside beauty started to unfold where there was once only pain. My past does not define me, but I know the challenges I have been blessed with in this life are so I can empower others with the knowledge that all we have to do is look inside for the answers. That is what yoga does for you. It strips away what is not real, replaces it with Love, and gives you back what you truly are at your core, your spirit. And it's never too late to start. With Love, Brook

Charlie Pena

I started practicing 4 years ago because a friend kept on me to come try out a class. Although I've been to a class here and there, I didn't know what yoga was truly all about and once I began a regular practice I started to feel an immediate connection and calling to continue my practice. I loved the way I felt during and after class. Before yoga, I always found my mind racing with clutter and saw that in practice I was able to clear my mind even if sometimes it is only temporary. I knew that one day I wanted to share that feeling. So I signed up to do my teacher training at Nadi Yogi through Wanderlust studio in Austin TX. Off the mat I have an insatiable thirst for travel, a love of photography, other cultures, nature, and vegan food.

Leo Leavell

Yoga without question has been and continues to be life changing for me. I started out taking class just to stretch my super tight body and create some flexibility with my other workouts. I had heavy, stressful work loads and needed to relax. Now over 10 years later it is still improving my self love and compassion for others in so many ways.  When I step on my mat and start to move I can tap into what's "really going on" within, I "check in". I am very thankful for the practice and also to help others.

I left Dallas a couple years ago and have been exploring many countries teaching yoga at different resorts and wellness centers.  I have learned with my travels that yoga can even transcend language barriers.  I once had a woman from China whom barely spoke any English take my class and after she was amazed that she could have control of her own mind and body by using the breath. She advised she had not slept without taking something to sleep in years. She questioned what "magic" I used on her.  As a teacher I love when the students realize they have the power. I can't do the work for you but if you just allow yourself to be open and learn to listen to your own needs with awareness you'll find so much this world has to offer that is right there within. 

I'm happy to be back in Dallas and teaching at this wonderful studio with my friends.  There's something special about being able to tailor a class specific for an individual's needs. Along with being 500E-RYT I have done training in yoga therapy, yoga with cancer (oncology), I'm an Ayurveda specialist and can also provide Reiki.

Tanya Hardison

The first time I did yoga was about 17 years ago at a local gym while I was in college up at UNT.  Truth be told, I needed to be more flexible because of all the running I was doing and, like many, assumed yoga was all about stretching.  There was “something” about it, but I really didn’t get it and just made it a sporadic part of my routine.  Fast forward a few years later, when I was living in Southern California.  Friends of mine were taking a yoga class because the guy teaching it was “totally hot.” So I gave that a go, but he was more than good looking; he was an amazing yoga teacher. Inspired, I felt challenged and the classes awakened a dormant part of me that was questioning and longing to grow and learn and be better than I was yesterday, in every possible way.  I practiced as much as I could for several years, but work and life kept getting in the way. Honestly, there were many parts of me that needed to heal and I didn’t know how- didn’t realize I was being given the tools if only I picked them up. Eventually, I moved back to Dallas and stopped practicing for a while. 

Stressed out from living the corporate dream life, I got back to yoga and took my 200 hour teacher training in 2011, followed by becoming a Certified Personal Trainer through NASM.  My growth, healing and happiness have developed exponentially since truly dedicating myself to the yogic path.  So much so, that it brings me no greater joy than to share my experiences through teaching.  I bring to my classes not only my life experiences, but an open mind and a deep concern for students. Practicing and teaching vinyasa flow to beginners, advanced practitioners, and anyone in between no matter their place along the path, I offer options to safely challenge and grow from your present place.  I want you to discover and create YOUR path in yoga during each class, whatever the crazy reason (or not so crazy reason) that brought you for the 1st time or the 1000th

Jennifer Boone

I have been teaching yoga for three years and practicing for six years. I began my yoga journey as an anxious and inflexible high schooler; my mother dragged me to a class and I left the class hating yoga and thinking I would never again set foot a mat! Surprisingly, I kept going back to class and started to fall in love with everything about yoga.

 

I received her 200 hour certification in Dallas in September of 2012 in the Anusara tradition. Since then, I have continued to train in many different areas. I have studied Prana Flow yoga in Washington, DC.  I recently completed a certification with Yoga Bridge in Yoga for Cancer.  I have trained with Judith Lasater and am a Level 1 Relax and Renew teacher of restorative yoga. I have also studied Principle Based Partner Yoga with Elysabeth Williamson.

 

I have taught yoga for athletes at several different CrossFit boxes and to a few sports teams, including the Texas A&M Equestrian team and the Jesuit College Preparatory Crew team.  I graduated from Texas A&M Universityin May, 2015 with a degree in Renewable Natural Resources.

 

My teaching is encouraging and empowering and I strive to make every student feel at home in their body. I teach a playful and challenging alignment-based vinyasa class. 

Chelsea Layne Smith

I  have been practicing yoga for over 6 years and my practice is an ever-evolving path to mindfullness. Raised in the world of competitive gymnastics, I was left with lingering injuries, an overly competitive spirit and a fear of failure. Initially, I began yoga to alleviate physical discomfort of chronic back pain and tendonitis. With a steady yoga practice, I went days, weeks, and finally years being pain free.

 

Throughout the years, my practice transitioned into something larger than the physical postures and extended well beyond the mat. My began a journey of self-discovery, traveled extensively and learned how to drum to the beat of her own fiery rhythm. After graduating with a Master’s Degree in Business, I realized I wanted to share my passion for yoga with others, in hopes of propagating the healing elements that yoga provides. When I am not in the studio, I work closely with chronic pain sufferers using breathing techniques and yoga to reduce physical suffering.

 

Jenni Miles

 

I took my first yoga class in 2009 because it was offered for free at my rock climbing gym. Little did I know that my preconception of yoga as being “easy” and “only about stretching” would be proven incorrect after a very challenging practice. As a means to improve my rock climbing, I continued to practice yoga to strengthen my body and increase my mental focus. Soon, I grew to find that yoga was even more than I had ever expected; my yoga became a place of healing, peace, and joy. My low back pain was soothed by the movements, my stress from a demanding career melted away, and my inner light shone brighter. After years of practice I knew that I wanted to deepen my yoga and share it with others. In 2014 I completed my 200 hour certification.