Angela Griffin
RYT 200

Three words that describe me: Happy, Loving, Outdoorsy
One thing I can’t live without: My family
My perspective: You do not have to be flexible to do yoga, just willing.
What I know for sure: God loves me for eternity!

Angela is a management analyst and a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher. She has been a life long fitness and health advocate as early as childhood and through adulthood. She was a track star in high school earning a state record and scholarship to North Carolina State University where she earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Outside of “living” yoga, Angela loves to cook, garden, run, cycle, and swim.

Angela started yoga in 2013 gravitating towards hot yoga and the hot 2- hatha postures and their many benefits. Her passion is for Gentle and Yin yoga. Angela finds that the practice of yoga brings clarity, calmness and an overall sense of peace to her life. Her passion is to share this with everyone she comes in contact.  A message that Angela tries to spread is that you do not have to be flexible to do yoga, just willing. She believes we have so much power in our breath.

You are invited to join Angela at one of the yoga sessions that can be tailored to help you stretch your mind and body, thus helping to alleviate stress, and encourage whole body wellness.

Angela Hawkins

Favorite quote: “Be kinder to yourself, and then let your kindness flood the world” – Pema Chodron
What I know for sure: All those years when I was searching for something, but wasn’t quite sure what it was? It was yoga.
Fun fact: I love trees! Just being around them grounds me and feeds my soul. A friend once joked that I may have been a tree in a previous life. If so, I hope I was Coastal Redwood. There are really no words to describe how phenomenal these ancient trees are.

Angela’s first yoga class was in 1997. She continued to practice sporadically for the next several years until 2005, when she began prenatal yoga classes while expecting her first child. It was then that she realized that yoga had to become an important part of her life.

Angela completed her 200-hour teacher training in 2010 at blue lotus. It was an amazing experience that deepened her personal practice and her love of yoga. She continued advanced training at blue lotus and completed the 500-hour training in 2017.

Angela teaches in the Vinyasa style of yoga as well as restorative yoga, meditation and kids yoga. She strives to bring peaceful, yet uplifting energy to her classes and encourages her students to look inside themselves to connect with their inner beauty, peace and strength during their practice on the mat and off the mat. Bhakti yoga is an important part of Angela’s personal yoga practice. She loves kirtan and sometimes plays the harmonium at the end of class during savasana.

Angela is blessed with two wonderful kids and a supportive and loving husband. When she is not teaching yoga, she can be found enjoying nature- walking in the woods or gardening, playing the piano or reading.

Carrie Brinton
RYT 200

Favorite quote: “As you breathe in, cherish yourself. As you breathe out, cherish all Beings.” – The Dalai Lama
The book on your nightstand: Light on Life by B.K.S. Iyengar
Yoga is …: all encompassing.
Yoga is connection / exploration of breath into, through and beyond our being.
Yoga is dynamic stillness, where the senses come alive so presence and discernment can thrive.
Yoga is graciousness and humility in nurturing deep roots and expansive wings.
Yoga is cultivating and living our compassion.

As a lifelong dancer and longtime yoga asana practitioner, Carrie craved the internal joy experienced in these moments for life outside the studio. She slowly realized she could tap into this goodness with a deeper study of yoga and self, and began this journey when she stepped through the door at blue lotus.

Carrie completed her 200-hour teacher training at blue lotus in 2018 and continues to broaden her path forward in the 300-hour advanced training program. She looks forward to sharing mat space with you.

Carrington Jackson
E-RYT 500

Favorite quote: “My heart can take on any form: A meadow for gazelles, A cloister for monks, For the idols, sacred ground, Ka’ba for the circling pilgrim, The tables of the Torah, The scrolls of the Quran. My creed is Love; Wherever its caravan turns along the way, That is my belief, My faith.” – Ibn Arabi
If I could have any superpower: It would be teleportation
Yoga is … the pathway of remembering our interconnectedness. Our bones, our breath, our blood. The I, the You, the We.

Over the last 20+ years, Carrington’s study and practice of yoga has been a diverse journey through Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa and everything in between. Carrington began teaching in 2004 and is E-RYT 500 certified.

Her classes are a canvas of power, prayer, and presence, intertwined with messages of spirit, magic, and social responsibility. On a physical level, her teaching is about piecing together the individual parts of the body into the more powerful whole. On a soulful level, her passion both on and off the mat is creating a catalyzing container for folks to remember their who, what and why. On a collective level, the purpose of her teaching is to correlate yoga on and off the mat, ultimately paving the way from the I to the WE.

She travels with international yoga teacher Seane Corn as one of her assistants and serves as Yoga in Action Coordinator for Off The Mat Into The World. Carrington is a regional leader for CTZNWELL and is a lululemon legacy ambassador. Having gratefully learned from many teachers over the years, a few of the teachers that have influenced her personal and teaching practices are Seane Corn, Marianne Williamson, Rev angel KYODO williams, Ainslie Macleod, Carolyn Myss and of course the greatest teacher of all, life.

Glenda Mackie
E-RYT 200, RYT 500, YACEP

Favorite quote: “Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” – Pema Chodron
Sun sign/enneagram: Scorpio, Enneagram type 2w3
Yoga is … coming home to the heart, where we authentically and fully connect with ourselves, each other and all beings.
What I know for sure: That I do not know much and am forever learning and growing.

Glenda is grateful to share her passion for yoga and its ability to address wellness in a holistic manner. She guides her students to connect with their personal power while releasing unnecessary tension, and cultivating ease in the body, mind and spirit.

Glenda encourages her fellow practitioners to listen to and honor the teacher that lies within, breath by breath, on and off the mat.

A professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer, Glenda has always connected with the world through expressive movement and somatic practices. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. Additionally, she has trained extensively in Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Technique, Tai Chi, Contact Improvisation, Release Technique, and Body Mind Centering. After rupturing a disc in 1997, Glenda was inspired to find a new approach toward injury prevention and healing. Yoga provided this and SO much more!

In 2004, she completed a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in Embodiyoga with Lisa Clark, David Beadle and Patti Townsend. A high school dance teacher, she co-authored a yoga course, Whole Body Wellness, which she joyfully taught at Enloe High School for nine years. Glenda was elated to find blue lotus and its gifted teachers in 2014. She completed both the 200 and 300 hour trainings offered at blue lotus to become RYT500. Glenda is thankful for her teachers and those who share her journey.

Jen Davis
Artist, E-RYT 500

Three words that describe me: Creative, motivated, loving
If I could have any superpower what would it be? Flying, of course!
My perspective: Yoga is for everyone, and I mean everyone!
One thing I can’t live without: My family

Jen has been creating art since childhood and began practicing yoga over a decade ago. She was hooked from her very first Vinyasa class. It was the desire to deepen her practice and understanding of yoga which led her to enroll in the teacher training program at blue lotus in 2008. She completed the 200-hour training in 2009, Therapeutic Yoga Training in 2013 and the 300-hour advanced training in 2015. Since becoming a certified instructor, Jen has been passing on the blessing of Vinyasa, gentle and restorative yoga to adults and children in the Raleigh area.

In 2017, Jen and her business partner Jen Fisher opened Little Guru Kids Yoga Studio. Raleigh’s first and only studio dedicated to offering yoga classes and workshops for children, they also developed the 95-hour Little Guru Kids Yoga Teacher Training program for others who aspire to share the love and benefits of yoga with children.

Jen is on the blue lotus 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and Immersion teaching staff and serves as Lead Trainer for the 300-hour Trainer Program. In her diverse classes and workshops, Jen weaves her yoga knowledge, understanding of art, and her awareness of the meaningful connection between the two into inspiration-filled offerings for kids of all ages.

Danni Jones
RYT 200

Favorite quote: “If I hadn’t stumbled upon my weaknesses, I would have never found my strengths.” – Unknown
Guilty pleasure/favorite vice: Ice cream and reality TV- don’t judge me!
Most important book I’ve read: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Danni Jones is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. In 2014, her great-grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She and her family quickly relocated her great-grandmother from their home town of Brooklyn, NY to Raleigh, NC. She spent the next two years devoted to caring for her until she peacefully passed away. During this time, Danni found solace in yoga.

Yoga worked wonders in her life. In 2017, Danni enrolled in the 200-hour yoga teacher training program at blue lotus. After three months of training, something happened. A shift. Danni found herself in a place of unconscious confusion and unhappiness with life. Yoga teacher training forced her to self-reflect in a way that made her uncomfortable. What started out as a means for financial gain had become a life changing moment that she couldn’t ignore or deny. Shortly after this realization, Danni left an 11-year career in banking. With absolute no clue what the universe had in store for her, she began to pour herself into her passion, fitness.

Since earning her RYT-200 Danni has been instructing consistently and seeking out opportunities to learn, grow and share with people. Hoping others will, like her, experience the life changing effects of yoga when you show up. Danni is currently training to receive her 500 hour certification from blue lotus. 

Jennifer Nenadic
RYT 200

Favorite quote: “Be still and know that I am God” – The Bible
Three words to describe me: Driven, compassionate, recovering control freak
Ideal vacation spot: Somewhere that puts me out with nature. My two all-time favorites are Korčula, Croatia, and the Grand Canyon.
Words to describe my classes: Introspective, explorative, full of choice, worshipful

One of Jennifer’s favorite aspects of yoga is the way in which it meets you where you are – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Jennifer first began yoga in 2005 to help cope with stress and anxiety; however, her reactive approach grew into a lifelong passion as she experienced the self-discovery, transformation, acceptance and healing that can be found through the many facets of yoga.

In 2013, Jennifer completed her yoga teacher training at blue lotus. Since then, she’s undergone specialized training in Yin Yoga, empowering self-acceptance, from Heather Tiddens. She’s also trained with David Emerson, who developed Trauma-Sensitive Yoga with guidance from Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a physician and leading expert in treating trauma. In addition to teaching, Jennifer sees herself as a lifelong student of yoga, continuing to study under the guidance and support of her teacher, Jill Sockman.

During class, Jennifer creates a space of safety and trust through various yoga shapes to enhance students’ awareness of the physical body. Through the poses, Jennifer invites students to experience the empowerment of freedom and choice through movement.

Jill Sockman
blue lotus Founder and Studio Director

Favorite quote: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller
Sun sign/Enneagram: Capricorn Sun, Cancer Moon, Enneagram type 1
What I can’t live without: Deep and steady connection to my loved ones and adventuring around this spectacular planet.
What I know for sure: There is a mighty force that carries us — a grace which is present through the darkness and the light.

Movement arts have forever been a part of Jill’s life; perhaps it all began when she was just a wee girl, practicing her own form of acrobatics around the yard. Since then, the style and intention may have changed dramatically, but the innate and unquenchable desire to physically express the life and light within remains the same.

For over 20 years now, Jill’s art of choice is yoga, ranging from the soft and meditative to the sweaty and vigorous. With grace and compassion she holds the space for practitioners from every walk of life to uncover for themselves what they’ve lost along the way: strength of will, flexibility of character, clarity of mind and contentment of heart. The root of her gift is helping students uncover their potential and harness the power of the unique truth that resides within; that they might be a greater force for good in their own lives and in the world.

Jill has been a student of meditation and yoga since the early 1990s, gathering well over 1000 training hours and attaining RYT status in 2000 and E-RYT in 2006. She offers profound gratitude to all of the teachers who have influenced her practice and teaching along the way, the greatest of which have been her own injuries, heartbreaks, failures and disappointments. She has come to understand, as Rumi so eloquently states, “that all evolves us.”

A lifelong quest to create true community led Jill to establish blue lotus in 2007 as a place where people are welcome to arrive just as they are into a space of learning, of healing, of Self-discovery. It is every bit as true today as it was then: this is yoga for real life.

Kathleen Yount
E-RYT 500
blue lotus Director of Education

Ideal vacation spot: Blue Ridge Parkway, mile 424 to 304. With a side order of Maui.
One thing I can’t live without: Side orders.
Sun sign: Scorpio. The cuddly kind.
What I know for sure: There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in our philosophy. And even if we are accidents of the universe, we are beautiful accidents and we must not live as though we were ugly. (Many thanks to Shakespeare and Peter S. Beagle for the perfect phraseology.)

Kathleen Yount, E-RYT 500, began practicing yoga in 1999 — in her apartment, accompanied by a Patricia Walden VHS tape, because she was intimidated by the thought of doing yoga in a class setting. Over time, as her love of the practice grew, so did her willingness to attempt yoga outside her living room. Now she finds yoga most everywhere.

Instead of trying to fit students into a standard mold of what yoga looks or feels like, Kathleen’s goal is to share universal tools that her students can use to navigate life on and off the mat, from triumphs to traffic jams. She loves working with beginning students; people working with anxiety, depression, trauma, or an overactive lifestyle; and anyone who wants to (re)connect to their bodies and their sense of inner well-being. Her group classes offer a safe, calming environment in which students can use their yoga practice to explore and cultivate their innate capacity for strength, healing, compassion, integrity, and authenticity.

Kathleen has been teaching yoga since 2009, and her training and experience include Vinyasa (flow) yoga, restorative yoga, meditation and pranayama (breath work), and yoga anatomy. In addition to her group classes and workshops at the blue, Kathleen serves on the faculty of blue lotus’s 200- and 300-hour yoga immersion and teacher training programs.

An unrepentant, multi-passionate Kathleen also teaches Pilates and carries on various sordid affairs with writing, painting, vegan cooking, forest-bathing, wine tasting, and storytelling/hearing of all varieties. When she’s not teaching, Kathleen can usually be found lollygagging around downtown Raleigh or curled up at home with a cat and a coloring book.

Kristin Richmond
E-RYT 200

Sun sign: Gemini sun, Pisces moon, Cancer rising
The books on my nightstand: Letters to a Young Poet, Bringing Yoga to Life, The Body Keeps the Score
Yoga is…: Connection.
Words that describe my classes: Intuitive. Strong. Heart-centered. Grounded. 

Kristin shares the power of yoga as a tool for embodied transformation. She believes that when we can slow down and stay curious about movement, breath, and stillness, we can tap into an intuitive practice that grows and evolves with us for years to come. 

Following a nudge from a friend, she found yoga early in her 20s while navigating waves of grief from a devastating loss. With the help of books and videos, she began practicing in her living room and immediately fell in love with the flow of vinyasa. Moving with this way felt like a dance that connected her to her body, quieted her thoughts, and reawakened her childhood love of play.

In 2016, Kristin began studying at Blue Lotus under the care and guidance of Jill Sockman and her experienced team. She’s been immersed in teaching and learning ever since, receiving additional certifications such as Cosmic Kids & the playful, shakti-focused Buti Yoga. Often inspired by the seasons, she enjoys weaving in different techniques of pranayama, meditation, and other rituals into her class offerings.

Leilani Walker
E-RYT200, RYT500

Favorite quote: My favorite quote is from my dad. When I’m struggling to navigate difficult periods in my life he always says, “Remember, Leilani, you’re supposed to be having fun.”
Favorite song: A song I can listen to on replay is Buddha by Macy Gray. The first time I heard it I got chill bumps — and it still has that effect on me. It’s my go-to power song when I feel stuck and overwhelmed.

Leilani loves yoga. She believes that yoga has the power to connect us to our inner guide, reveal the truth of who we are, reset our happiness meters, and expand compassion for ourselves and others as we evolve from practicing yoga on the mat to the real beauty of being our practice.

Leilani began teaching group fitness classes in 1983. She has been practicing yoga since 2000, completing a 240 hour certification in 2008 through The NC School of Yoga with Chandra Om from the lineage of yoga master Sri Dharma Mittra of NYC.

In 2010 she completed an advanced yoga teacher training course with her guru Erich Schiffmann in Santa Barbara. Leilani received her 500 hour certification after studying with her mentor and teacher Jill Sockman at blue lotus.