Virginia Gallagher

Studio Owner, E-RYT 200 , RYT 500, RCYT

We are all on our own personal journey.  I would like to share a little bit about my yoga journey with you…

I attended my first Hot Yoga Class in this very studio on August 12, 2007 and fell in love with the mental and physical connection I felt.  I began practicing 3 – 6 times a week, shed 40 pounds in 4 months, and was able to discontinue the use of all of my prescription medications.   I began to feel healthier and stronger than ever. Convinced of the benefits of yoga, I continued my daily practice.   With the guidance of my teacher and mentor, Gingy Caguioa, I began to deepen my dedication to and knowledge of yoga.

In October of 2008, I joined Paula Gilligan on a 7 day (80 hour) Level II/III Teacher Training in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with master teacher, Jimmy Barkan and was certified to lead The Barkan Method  Hot Vinyasa Flow. I began leading Hot Vinyasa classes when I returned from Florida and have developed a deep love for sharing yoga with others.  In June 2009, I completed Charlotte Yoga’s RYT-200 Power Alignment Yoga Teacher Training Program, under the direction of Grace and MyLinda Morales, and became a Certified Yoga Instructor.  I am also registered with Yoga Alliance.   In October 2009, I  trained with Deon de Wet to begin my certification in Thai Yoga Bodywork.  I also attended a second 80 hour training with Jimmy Barkan in Hot Vinyasa.  In November 2009, I participated in an Alignment and Flow Intensive training with Rolf Gates, author of Meditations from the Mat.  Additionally in November 2009, I  attended an Anatomy and Breath Work Training with Leslie Kaminoff, author of Yoga Anatomy.  In October 2010, I completed additional training on physical assists and adjustments with Grace Morales.  I completed my 500 hour teacher training with Rolf Gates in June 2011 and an additional  200 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training with Yax Yoga Concepts in September of 2011.  I fundamentally believe that anyone can change their body and their life.   I believe we can in fact, grow younger and stronger.  I would love to show you how Hot Asana can be a part of that change.  It doesn’t matter when or in what condition you start…JUST START.  Your best YOU may very well be yet to come.


Paula Gilligan  RYT 200, CYT 500


Yoga…..I never knew it would have such an impact on my life!  Yoga is the “whole” experience, mind, body and soul.  Yoga helps to clear the mind as you strengthen the body and open the spirit.  At first, I took yoga for the “workout”.  Especially because it was HOT!  But gradually, yoga took a hold of me, and weaved itself into every aspect of my life.  Hot Yoga is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself, inside and out!

My formal teacher training began in 2008.  One training was with Cyndi Lee’s OM Yoga, and another was with Jimmy Barkan , The Barkan Method Hot Vinyasa Level 2/3.  I have since continued my education with Katherine Budig, Sean Corne, Sadi Nardini, and Grace Morales and recently completed my 500 hour teacher training with Yax Yoga Concepts.   Each has inspired me in different ways with their strengths and knowledge.  I enjoy passing on what I have learned from them by incorporating special details into my classes.  Leading yoga classes has become an important part of my life.  I take it very seriously, but I also like to have lots of fun with it… will be amazed at what you can achieve!!

I am excited about leading and taking classes at Hot Asana Studio!  We have a lot to look forward to!  Namaste!








Julie Tampa, CYT 200

Maria Rodale writes, “I don’t talk about yoga that much…maybe because it’s a little too important to me. I don’t actually think I’d be able to do everything I do without it. And I’d certainly be a lot more miserable -physically, mentally, and spiritually. And that’s the thing about yoga -even if you don’t intend it to, it deeply impacts all three parts of yourself. It’s like exercise for the threads that connect us to ourselves and to everything else.”

Like many people I started practicing yoga for the physical benefits – and that’s reason enough – but I soon saw changes in the rest of my life. One of those changes was the desire to learn more so that I could teach others.  With my only child, Grey leaving for college in the fall of 2010, I felt a strong pull to begin my teaching training.  I completed my 230-hour training in May of 2011, and am thrilled to be taking my 500-hour training with Rolf Gates.  It is an honor to teach the “exercise for the threads that connect us” with the amazing group of instructors we are blessed with in the Sandhills.











Dawn Maser, RYT 200

My journey with yoga began with a hamstring

injury.  I limped into the class with the intention to heal my leg so I could start running as soon as possible.  Yoga not only helped in facilitating the healing of my leg, but I also began to feel the balance of physical strength, a clear mind and an open heart.

I began to crave that yoga feeling and attend classes regularly.  As my practice evolved so did my desire to learn more.  I began 200hr Teacher Training with Grace Morales in January 2011.  I have completed workshops with Grace Morales, Doug Swenson and the Yax brothers.

Our bodies are such incredible machines, yoga teaches you to have compassion and gratitude for your body as a whole.  My lifestyle has always been physical and health conscious.  Yoga taught me to listen, pause, and take my body deeper.  The practice of yoga will challenge your body, humble your ego, quiet your mind and liberate your soul.  Yoga is a gift, a gift that I want to give.

“The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with.  To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes.”

Pema Chondron


Angela Yonkovich, CYT 200, CYT 500

I give credit to my good friend Kelly Fealy for planting the little Yoga seed in my head ten years ago. Kelly consistently raved about how great she felt mentally and physically after starting a Hot Yoga Practice. While in San Francisco together we planned to attend a Hot Yoga class; unfortunately, I came down with a cold and did not go. However, Kelly and I met after the class and she looked incredibly amazing! She was glowing and had the most radiant smile, beaming from the inside out! I remember Kelly going on and on about how peaceful her soul felt. Thankfully, that day stuck with me.

I began my yoga practice almost two years ago at a time when I was trying to find a way to cope with the most stressful and challenging times of my life. I was working out yet, I was still missing something…peace and stillness a mist the chaos. I thought of Kelly and how much yoga has done for her and decided to give it a try. I found the stillness in my mind I was searching for. After moving to the Southern Pines area I was finally able to take my first Hot Yoga class and, it was instructed by Virginia Gallagher. I remember going into class praying I would make it through 90 minutes of Hot Yoga and not once did I look at the clock or think of anything other than my breath and movement of my body. I felt as if I had meditated for 90 minutes! Through Virginia’s soothing voice and instruction my mind, body and spirit made a connection I had never experienced. My mind and body felt so light! The added bonus – I finally had that ‘Kelly glow!’ Yoga has taken me through some amazing changes and continues to humble, comfort, encourage and challenge me. Yoga is now part of my life; for me, it’s like brushing my teeth. I love and believe in Yoga so much that I completed my 200 hr training with Grace Morales in  2011 and my 500 hour teacher training with Yax Yoga Concepts in 2012. To further my practice and teaching skills I have taken workshops with Doug Swenson, The Yax Brothers, and Rolf Gates.












Warren Lewis, RYT 200

Yoghurt, I love yoghurt. I try and eat it every day. I’m a big fan of Greek yoghurt. A bit more acidic and thicker than the “regular” yoghurt. Toss a bit of fresh fruit in it and …oh…wait…yoga….opps, I thought you said….honest mistake…..Yoga, just show up…….




Cameron Harris, CYT 200

The humble origins of my yoga practice stretch back to when I was a teenager. My father was beginning to deepen his practice and wanted to take me along for the ride. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was being challenged with difficulties in his life and found grounding and balance through his yoga and meditation practice. For me, the benefits were two fold: it was a special time for my father and I to share space together, and my practice served as an incredible supplementary element in my athletic training regiment. The benefits of a yoga practice for competitive athletics can not be over emphasized. It provides balance, strength, flexibility, and, perhaps most importantly, clarity of thought. Without a balance between the mind and body, our capabilities will be limited. But, if properly cultivated and refined through a practice, our capabilities are limitless.

Although I was very athletics oriented in my training, I continually found myself coming back to my mat in order to find my breath. Similarly to my father, when the challenges of life came into full force my mat proved to be an invaluable sanctuary for me. This is where the magic happens, when you have to lose yourself to find yourself. Where we have to get off the trail in order to find our path. We are all going to be challenged, and that’s what it’s all about! It’s simply a matter of making a conscious decision on how we intend to walk that path.

For me, I have been so wildly fortunate to have yoga continue to refine my path with light and beauty. Right now I am an elated graduate of the Yax Yoga Concepts 200 Hour Teacher Training and continue to keep my eyes on the horizon, and my heart open, to expand on the knowledge and wisdom that comes through deepening the practice.

I hope our paths cross on the mat. Keep up and tread lightly. Namaste.








Dawn Avent, CYT 200

I lost 85 pounds eleven years ago. Quickly, I discovered that keeping the weight off is a battle that never ends.  My hot yoga practice began about seven years ago. It was totally by accident and I had no idea what to expect. As it turns out, I was hooked after my first ninety minutes. I jumped head first into a regular (maybe a little beyond regular) practice. Almost two years later the owner at the time approached me about leading “silent” classes for her. That evolved so much that when the studio was sold to a new owner I continued to “lead” and had the privilege of joining her to a continuing education session in FT. Lauderdale with Jimmy Barkan.  Life and owners changed and I walked away from my yoga practice for almost two years. When I found it again, “the path” led me right to the Hot Asana doorstep. I completed the Yax Yoga Concepts 200 hour teacher training. I realize now that the “hole” I have always been trying to fill needed something from inside of me that was always there. Someone had to teach me to “be still” so I could access it. I continue along the path, open to all of the possibilities that my intentions and my yoga practice can bring.











Katy Mills, CYT 200

My path to yoga began gradually with a few pre-natal classes and some really old school DVDs.  Fortunately, that was just the beginning and I was lucky enough to get to experience yoga at Hot Asana.  I came to my first class here hoping to find a way to get back in shape after having my second child, but immediately knew there was more to it than just the workout.  The renewal I experienced through regular classes was exactly what I had been looking for to help me maintain balance in my life as a mom of two young children and as a military wife.  I also knew right away that I wanted to teach.  As a teacher, I hope to share this remarkable path with others so they can experience the same balance and renewal that I get from yoga.  I completed my 200 HR certification with Yax Yoga Concepts.  Chris, John & Elizabeth Yax put their whole hearts and souls into their teacher training program and I consider myself immensely fortunate to have studied with them.  I look forward to sharing what they have taught me with my students and continuing to learn from every class I teach.




Kate Turner, CYT 200

I have been athletic all my life. I played soccer growing up and I have always enjoyed running. Ive also tried every fitness class offered at the gym. I wanted to find something that would change up my workout routine, so I decided to try hot yoga. I was amazed by how it made me feel! I was expecting to relax and get a good stretch. I was so wrong! I worked muscles I didn’t even know I had! I loved everything about the class. I was immediately hooked. I started to take classes whenever I could. I also started noticing how yoga was changing my life. I’ve become more balanced and present in my life. One day during practice, I set an intention to one day teach. I started to take workshops with Grace Morales, Doug Swenson, and then the Yax brothers. During the Yax brothers workshop, they announced that they were doing a teacher training at Hot Asana. This was my chance! I completed my 200 hour teaching training and am loving every minute of  teaching! I look forward to teaching and also gaining more knowledge as I continue on my journey.


Janet Harris, Instructor

I started practicing pilates in 2007, after quite a long break from working out of any kind. Pilates quickly became my favorite class. I found I had great results in such a short time. My core strength improved dramatically which enabled me to perform better in everything I do  and I felt so good. I began teaching pilates in early 2010. It has been fantastic to learn from Gingy and I am honored to be teaching at Hot Asana.  I continue to learn and grow with each class. I also teach spin, total body conditioning & pilates @ a local gym. I also am a Cross Fitter & train with weights. I plan to take my personnel trainers certification before the end of the year. Thank you for allowing me to work with you.

In ten sessions you will feel the difference, in twenty you will see the difference and in thirty you will have a whole new body.

-Joseph H. Pilates.








Jared Fink,  CYT 200

The very first time I practiced yoga, I was sitting in my living room in my college apartment watching Rodney Yee’s DVD, AM/PM Yoga. My body was sore and tired, I ran too much, I lifted weights too much, and I looked great (or so I thought!) but felt horrible. As I sat there watching Rodney on the beach in a bikini bottom doing cat/cow pose, I hoped that my roommate did not wake up to ridicule me…..

Truth is, before I moved to North Carolina my mind was anything but still, before I started at VA’s studio I did not have a regular practice, and before I trained with the Yax brothers I did not know that yoga was more than a physical workout. In time however, I have learned that a regular yoga practice, both on and off the mat, can change your mind and body dramatically. It is amazing how in each moment we can find ourselves for the first time, or, all over again. Under all that chatter and the blankets of ego you will find yourself buried and still, waiting to be aware. Transformation is possible inside all of us.

My story is unique, and hard to describe with pen and pad as it is entwined with emotions and expressions that I do not have a written vocabulary for. So, someday after we sit together, ask me why I practice yoga and what it has done for me and I will happily tell my tale.

I did not seek yoga. Yoga found me. Now let me help it find you!










Shawna Fink,  Children’s Yoga Instructor

Yoga is a beautiful journey….on and off our mats. Through the energy I give on my mat….I have more energy to share. I become grateful and compassionate in the present moment. Let yoga inspire the life you live!


Katie White,  PHD, CYT 200

Yoga has changed my life since I began practicing it in 2010, and now I can’t imagine my life without it. As an avid runner, cyclist, and group exercise instructor, I was skeptical when I first considered yoga. I wasn’t sure that it would offer the kind of intensity that I sought from my exercise. I laugh now at that thought, because yoga is the most challenging physical activity I have ever attempted, and it demands so much more in that it is spiritiual at the same time. In addition, yoga has complemented another passion in my life: the study and performance of music. I have more of an acute appreciation for the idea that we are always students, even when we teach, and that each moment is richly filled with possibility to learn something new, to create an idea, and to tell a story. Because I want to share my passion for yoga with others, I completed a 200 RYT training program with John and Chris Yax of Yax Yoga Concepts. Every time you ground yourself on the mat, you meet an opportunity to uncover your real self, to face your obstacles and walk through them, to join in the energy of a class as others walk the path with you. As one of my favorite writers and yoga practioners, Rolf Gates, has written “We show up, burn brightly in the moment, live passionately, hold nothing back, and when our work is done, we step back, and let go.” Burn brightly, and see you on the mat!








Sarah Palmer, CYT 200

As a person who seeks out adventure and new experiences, I agreed to go with a friend to Hatha yoga classes in 2000. I found it a little slowand odd at first, however I appreciated learning about an ancient practice and was intrigued and challenged by the power of deep breathing, moving slowly and deliberately and being still. After my introduction to yoga I continued to practice yoga with Cinnamon Young at the Southern Pines fitness center. Later I practiced at Santi and Anjali yoga studios and followed a great teacher to Hot Asana. It was at Hot Asana that I became hooked. I deeply appreciated the environment and style of yoga at Hot Asana and found myself wanting to practice yoga more often. After participating in yoga workshops by the Yax Brothers, Grace Morales and Rolf Gates I found myself wanting to learn more. My quest for knowledge lead me to complete the Yax Brothers 200 hour teacher training. I have found yoga to be greater than the sum of its parts. Yoga is a gift, a wonder and a mystery that gives more energy than it takes. I look forward to exploring and discovering yoga alongside you!












John Tampa,  CYT 200

I was trained in Classical Hatha Yoga at Arhanta Yoga Ashram in Khajuraho, India.

After many years of long-distance running and nagging injuries, I began to look for cross-training alternatives.  In 2005, I took my first yoga class and was immediately attracted to its emphasis on strength, flexibility, and balance.  But beyond that was the obvious body, mind, and spirit connection…a concept with which marathoners are quite familiar.

The ability to “be” in challenging poses, while maintaining one’s composure by focusing on the breath, is a helpful metaphor for how to approach life in general.  In most life situations, there is a great deal that is beyond our control…events that take place, the behaviors and attitudes of others.  It is most helpful, therefore, to focus on what is within our control…how we are functioning.

In my practice of yoga and meditation, I have experienced a deepening of my sense of presence in the moment in my daily life and work.  As an instructor, it is this gift that I seek to share with each practitioner…journeying together into a more centered and peaceful way of being in the world…and in so doing benefitting also the lives of others around us.










Sarah DeLaBarre, 200 CYT, 200 CPYT, RYT

I have been an athlete my entire life. After sustaining a knee injury while competing in a half-marathon, a friend suggested I try yoga. I agreed to try, but told my friend that if I didn’t sweat, I didn’t consider it an actual workout. That first Ashtanga class changed my mind about yoga and my way of life. I got my first certification with Alyson Foreacre at Yoga Den in Hot Power Yoga and Gentle Yoga. After becoming pregnant with my first baby I decided that I wanted to help other pregnant moms.  I discovered that yoga is a great way to stay in shape, ease the aches and pains of pregnancy, and gets you ready for the mental marathon that is motherhood. I became 200-hr certified in Prenatal Yoga at the Seattle Holistic Center under the instruction of Colette Crawford.

Yoga is challenging both physically and mentally. It forces me to focus on what I am doing at that very moment, not what is going on in life. It gives me a chance to let my brain stop, breath, and regain focus. Yoga has helped me not only get back in shape and recover from injury, but it was also the only thing that cured my daily morning sickness during pregnancy and helped me to be a better mom. Yoga has given me time for me within my hectic “mom” life and helps me stay calm when being challenged by my kids and the stress of being a military spouse. I felt so inspired by yoga and my first teacher that I decided to become a teacher too with the hope that I would touch someone else’s life in a positive way too.


Malynda Beeman, Instructor

The essence of who I am doesn’t lie in a label, a title, certifications, or a degree.  Life is my journey and this journey is a collection of my knowledge.  I continue to be shaped and molded into who I am because of life experiences and the people who cross my path.  A running injury and a great friend led me to my mat and I will forever be thankful.  Yoga keeps me grounded through the seasons of change and hard times but also keeps me striving for growth to be, ‘the change I wish to see in the world’. Namaste




Koren Ross, Instructor

I began dancing at the age of 4 in Charleston, S.C. and continued my early training from teachers in Illinois and Florida. In 2004, I joined a professional dance company and danced soloist roles in the Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty.  Since 2000, I have been teaching dance to various age levels.

While dancing is my passion, I love all kinds of fitness to include hiking, running, rock climbing, and the wonderful practice of Yoga. I find that Yoga is the core element that helps me in all the other activities that I do. Come join me on the barre and we can dance our way to find new strength.











Lisa Tiffany RYT200

After years of training in classical ballet and modern dance, I first tried yoga in the hopes of finding a workout which balanced both strength and flexibility. I truly became hooked when I realized I had also found a community which embraced peace, found beauty in imperfection, and encouraged compassion for others and oneself. I completed my 200-hour certification with YogaWorks in NYC in 2010, and I am registered with Yoga Alliance. As a teacher, I strive to ignite power and energy, inspire tranquility through breath and relaxation, and challenge students to find their intelligent edge, with classes that emphasize alignment, joy, and inclusiveness.



I came to hot yoga when I was 15 years old for two main reasons. I love heat, and I wanted to find a workout I could stick to on a regular basis because I noticed my fave pair of jeans didn’t fit anymore. I wanted to be healthier; I didn’t want to live an unhealthy life.

My younger sister took me to my first class –– a 90-minute teen hot vinyasa, and I immediately loved it! It was like a big party! The poses weren’t super taxing, or repetitive like all those magazine workouts. I could do this! I started regularly going two to three times a  week, and within two months, I was down two jean sizes and back into my favorite pair of jeans!

After a good year, I started paying more attention to details in class, more than just the physical part. I started really breathing, and really listening to my body. I had more motivation, positivity, and strength than I did a year earlier. I knew one day, I wanted to be the one teaching the teen classes.

Shortly after, the Yax Brothers came from Virginia Beach to teach a 200-hour training, and over the 20 days they trained, I witnessed happy people, coming together and learning something amazing that changed their and others’ lives. I decided right then that I could teach a class! I could really do this!

After meeting the Yax brothers, I knew I wanted to take my training with them. I signed up for the 200-hour course in 2012. Eight months, 30+ new friends, tons of tears, and oodles of new knowledge later, I was a certified Hot Yoga and Vinyasa teacher at only 18! It’s one of the best feelings, knowing that I now have the power to teach people and change their lives with yoga, as yoga did mine.

I feel very grateful to have found yoga at such a young age. I will practice and teach throughout the rest of my life and use my young age to my advantage to help young people, like myself, to start yoga early, and to teach and help everybody of all ages, as many as I can fit in in this lifetime.

Namaste y’all!!


Since the young age of seven, dance was my passion. My background is in dance, performing in ballet, tap, jazz, and acrobatics for ten years, as well as, performing competitively for six years. I always found a sense of peace and comfort at the barre, in the studio, and on stage. Although, I was active in many other venues ranging from Girl Scouts, Marching Band, Track & Field, Basketball, and Soccer, nothing gave me as much bliss as dancing had. Through dance I could tap into my own creative authenticity and feel totally whole, nothing else mattered in those moments. I didn’t think it’d be possible to feel that way about any other sport or practice … And then I found yoga. To do yoga is to dance with yourself through your life on a daily basis, allowing our inner beauty to express itself outwardly. I was hooked immediately. When I “dance” on my mat there is no mind, so transcendence happens. I became addicted to that feeling of total freedom, letting go of fear of judgment, the need for approval, jealousy, envy, etc. I allowed myself to listen to my body and how it wanted to move and how my body wanted to express itself in that moment; Moments of absolute freedom. After practicing consistently for a little over a year I decided to take the plunge and signed up for the Yax Yoga Concepts 200 Hour Teacher Training, and here I am. Dance through your fears, come dance with me, I look forward to seeing you on the mat!


“The mind should dance with the body, and the whole universe is your stage. Try to feel that whatever you are doing is the most beautiful thing, the prettiest dance, because you are dancing with the whole Universe.” ~ Yogi Bhajan