200 EYT Yoga Alliance, owner of NWA Hot Yoga & founder of NWA Yoga School – registered Yoga Alliance Yoga School

It is not often that a professional biography is actually a story of personal transformation. It is often a tale of promotion and ladder climbing that culminates in extravagant corporate achievement–but that is just the middle of my story. My name is Scott Pitts, and I’d like to welcome you to a different kind of bio.

I am the owner of NWA Hot Yoga, and I teach my own brand of inclusive and accessible classes. Located proudly in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Yoga Instructor Scott Pitts
Scott Pitts

my studio invites people and bodies of all kinds to discover their own potential for transformation. I welcome newcomers with two entry level ‘Yoga 101’ classes per week, as well as seasoned practitioners who could never find a home at their past studios. I create a safe space for the Misfits of Yoga, following the spirit of my advocacy for equality in LGBT communities.

Despite my relaxed entry requirements, I consider this position an honor and I take it quite seriously, as shown by the studio’s ‘Best of the Best’ award granted only two years into our practice. I started with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and I have worked as a Marketing Director at Coca-Cola and Sony Studios. In 2014 I founded Scott Pitts Consulting, which is dedicated to sharing my success with young start-up companies. My experience as a corporate executive and a successful entrepreneur prepared me for the job I have loved most, operating NWA Hot Yoga. It was four years ago that I transitioned from corporate success to personal wellness.

During this time I was guided by many dedicated professionals, and thanks to Hot Vinyasa Flow yoga inspired by Baron Baptiste, I shed 70 pounds and became determined to use my experience to help anyone who still struggled through the practice of Yoga. My studio is a space of transformations, from Misfit to the right fit, from practitioner to teacher, and from community to family.

I have planned 5 Olympic Games, 4 Olympic Torch Relays, 3 FIFA World Cups, a Papal Visit to Australia, World Youth Day for the Vatican, and I have worked in The White House. My travels have seen 69 Countries.

I am happy to represent 4 generations of family from NWA, and to remain rooted in my community. I spend my extra time with my family of origin Brenda, Lisa, Mom, and a very large extended family of cousins. I have served on multiple non-profit boards over the past 20-years and I love producing the signature Yoga For Charity event once per quarter benefiting local charities.

Scott Pitts is both the owner and a teacher at NWA Hot Yoga. Previously a Marketing Director for large companies such as Coca-Cola and Sony Productions, Scott moved on to open Scott Pitts Consulting, a successful firm that assisted start-up companies and empowered small businesses. From his work transition, Scott began a journey of transformation and became invested in personal wellness.

Under the guidance of dedicated professionals, Scott shed 70 pounds and developed a passion for athletic transformation. He is a certified spin/indoor cycle instructor, has completed enumerable marathons, half marathons, and triathlons including high profile events around the world. He has planned Olympic games, Papal visits, Fifa World Cups, and worked with the White House; but his passion remains rooted in his community.

NWA Hot Yoga received the ‘Best of the Best’ community award for their classes after only two years of operation and have for two years – exemplifying the effectiveness of his inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. Scott aims to make Yoga accepting and accessible to all body types and personalities. Scott organizes a quarterly Yoga For Charity event and advocates for equality in the LBGT community.

Scott plans to offer everyone around him the ability to transform for the better, and he has the skill and experience to help that happen.

Yoga Instructor Michael Downs
Michael Downs – 200 RYT

From his first yoga session, Michael became immediately fascinated at the strength and balance required to practice the basic yoga asanas. He was so stiff he couldn’t touch his toes and struggled through the hour practice. After a few classes, he saw results that surpassed all expectations, including relief from chronic low back pain and lightness in his body and mind.

Michael traveled throughout Asia studying various styles: Hatha, Hot, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Power, Yin, Therapeutic, Detox, Core, Restorative, Forrest, Kirtan, and Meditation. In the wide variety of yoga classes, he found two common principles: breath (prana – energy) and mindfulness (presence – awareness).

Interested in sharing his practice, Michael completed his 200-hour RYT in Foundations under Patrick Creelman, a founder of PURE Yoga and preeminent trainer of yoga teachers. Michael’s practice utilizes breath and mindfulness to identify the areas that need more attention to feel strong, light, balanced and free. He believes that yoga is for everyone and everyone benefits from yoga.

With an all-inclusive teaching style (all body types, physicality, flexibility and mobility limitations are welcomed), he helps everyone to be their best self. His students learn to use breathing techniques and mindfulness to reduce stress and be open to new opportunities. Students also learn physical and mental techniques to improve strength, flexibility, and balance to be grounded and ready to take advantage of new opportunities.

Yoga Instructor Deb Trusty
Deb Trusty- 200 RYT

I started my yoga journey started with the intent to find a way to decrease my stress and have a healthy lifestyle. Two years after starting yoga, I decided to complete my 200RYT so I could spread the joy of a healthy lifestyle with others. I began teaching yoga classes multiple times a week.

After watching my grandson mimic yoga poses from TV, I began showing him some fun poses that I knew he could do as well. His interest for yoga encouraged me to research yoga for kids. I learned that kids yoga helps build confidence and self-respect for kids at a young age, while also introducing healthy living and self-awareness. Yoga allows kids to build their self-esteem all while having fun. After researching all of the benefits of kids yoga, I embarked on a journey to become certified to teach kids yoga. I have learned a lot on my journey from starting yoga to learning how to engage kids in this life changing activity. I now teach kids yoga classes for kids 3+ each Saturday.

Yoga Instructor Bharathi Teki
Bharathi Teki- 200 RYT

I am Bharathi Teki born and raised in India. I’m married to an amazing and committed person and mom of 6 yrs old beautiful curious daughter. I am a Graduate in Instrumentation Engineering and Aeronautical Engineer by profession.

Yoga is a tool of transformation of life and it is the journey of the self to the self ,through the self as beautifully said in Bhagavad Gita. I feel lucky to be introduced to yoga at the Early age of 7 as it was a part of the curriculum in our school and later took the initiation from my grand father who is ocean of knowledge is 86 yrs – A Yogi for more than 50 + yrs ( Bihar school of yoga ) in this life transforming journey that is yoga . I feel lucky and blessed to be grown up in an atmosphere and around people who followed and believed the philosophy of yoga.

For me teaching yoga means when one teaches two learn and as a kid my parents always taught whenever you are in a position to help someone , just do it and be glad , because God is answering prayers through you.

As a yoga teacher i would say YOUR BODY WILL BE AROUND A LOT LONGER THAN

Yoga Instructor Bharathi Teki
Amy Lancaster – 200 RYT

I started practicing yoga on a whim, about 5 years ago. There was a www.groupon.com deal for a yoga studio in Fayetteville, and I convinced a friend to go with me to try it out. If we loved it, great! If we hated it, we were only out a few bucks.

That first class was a BEAR- we didn’t know what to expect, so we showed up wearing regular “workout” clothes- capris and t-shirts. BUT- we loved it. And we kept going back. We attended the studio in Fayetteville for several months, until too many staff changes and the inconvenience of the studio became too much for us. We bounced around, found a few places to practice, but regular practice for both of us fell off.

In the meantime, I had started kickboxing and one of the other members was a licensed-but-not-teaching instructor, and he offered to hold early-morning classes for free for any of the members. I went to a few of his classes, but I didn’t feel like I was really gaining anything from them. Right about the same time, one of my favorite student teachers from the Fayetteville studio was hired to teach in Bentonville and I started attending her classes regularly. I felt like I was home. Kenslee truly awakened the love of yoga in me, and helped me realize just how much potential there was in me. I grew and changed so much with Kenslee, I will forever be grateful for her. I was devastated when she moved to Colorado, but knew I would eventually find another “home” to practice in.

It took me a while. I went to several local studios, and never found the “click” that I needed. I also became pretty bitter and angry about the whole thing- so many instructors and studios are extremely elitist in NWA. If you don’t fit their mold, they really don’t have time for you. I had discovered a passion for yoga, and I was being made to feel as though it really wasn’t for me anymore. I’m not going to lie- it HURT. The Mean Girls Club from middle school was in full force again. I had pretty much given up practicing when I stumbled on Scott & NWA Hot Yoga, and convinced yet another friend to give it a go with me. We both walked into our first class with much trepidation, but I knew immediately that I had found home again.

In the Fall of 2017, I received my 200 RYT from NWA Yoga School!

I have a dream of giving the gift of yoga to people who, for whatever reason, think they can’t. I spent so much of my life believing that I couldn’t- because of my weight, because of my age, because of my lack off flexibility, because of whatever excuse I came up with at the moment. When I realized I COULD, when I discovered my strength and my power through yoga, I knew this was where I needed to be.

Yoga Instructor Teresa Caves
Teresa Caves – 100 RYT

“Discovering Yoga in middle age was just what I needed. I take my stresses of the day and leave them on the mat” said Teresa Caves owner of Sallisaw Yoga House & teacher at NWA Hot Yoga.

During her yoga teacher training at NWA Yoga School she discovered the 8 limbs of yoga. And enjoys helping others discover connecting the breath to the movement.

Teresa takes the everyday stresses from life and uses the practice of yoga to help keep her grounded and somewhat sane. Yoga has taught Teresa to discover her conscious breathe for the first time in her life! Teresa knows that all people can benefit from a regular yoga practice. She bringing yoga to Sallisaw previously known as “The White House” located directly behind the current library (old train depot) in the middle of town.

With the hustle and bustle of work and life, Yoga is what keeps me grounded and sane. I take my stresses of the day and leave them on the mat. I found that I could get stronger mentally and physically at the same time and I’m here to help others do the same.

An introvert my nature, Teresa has a very unique way of putting her students at ease in a new experience called yoga. Experience her class & studio today. Newcomers welcome!

Teresa is a Sallisaw native- an avid-bicyclist & movement expert, NY Marathon Finisher, a “grandmother”, and executive by day at the Furniture Factory Outlet (FFO) Corporate Headquarters in Ft. Smith.

Yoga Instructor Emilyn Sanders
Emilyn Sanders- 100 RYT

I am here to help others. Yoga allows me to refill my cup so I can continue my work. Yoga is my way of healing my tired mind, body and soul. Instructing will allow me to help others do the same.

Yoga Instructor Hannah Tran
Hannah Tran- 200 RYT

Hello everyone! I’m Hannah and I have been teaching yoga for almost a year now. I’ve always lived an active lifestyle and I enjoy many activities such as lifting weights at the gym, hiking, running, disc golf, mountain biking, and of course yoga.

About 4 years ago I experienced a variety of yoga classes during college and I absolutely loved it! At first, I only thought of yoga as a good “stretch” and never understood all the benefits that were attached. During my junior year my dad passed away from cancer and it was the hardest time of my life.

So much heaviness on my heart and mind that I slipped into depression as I was in a grieving process. I started looking up YouTube videos and practicing yoga more frequently in my college dorm room. Eventually I started to understand that yoga was helping me not only physically but mentally during that hard time. That is when the true spark lit inside me and I realized yoga will forever be a part of my life.

Then one day I walked into the studio for the FIRST time and met with Scott to talk about teacher training. I realize now how random it seemed that this girl who wasn’t even a member of the studio wanted to become a yoga instructor! But I was working 8-5 like most people do and it just hit me…I wanted to be a part of something meaningful and help others discover their passion for yoga like I did. My yoga practice has become stronger and I continue to grow every day.

Yoga is a life long journey where we learn how to LET GO of negative attachments and find balance and peace into our daily lives.

Yoga Instructor Sarah Myers
Sarah Myers- 50 RYT

Sarah Myers has been living in NWA since 2016. She completed NWA Yoga School 50-hour yoga teacher training in the spring of 2017. She has a 20-year background in dance but had to stop dancing in 2012 due to injuries and arthritis. Yoga has been a healing activity in her life, and has allowed her to keep going mentally and physically, despite those injuries. Sarah is excited to share her knowledge and love of yoga with the NWA Hot Yoga Community!

Yoga Instructor Erin Calnan
Erin Calnan
200 RYT & Yogi Extraordinair

My yoga journey started when I was at a crossroads. Everything was changing and I was lost. I was looking for answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. I had never done yoga before I started going to a small studio. I don’t know what type of Yoga they taught, but I loved it.

There was a substitute instructor who had just complete her YTT and she was full of energy. So much so that everyone quit her class except me. I loved the challenge, and she taught me about modifications, the breath and hot yoga.
That was 4 years ago and I’ve never looked back. Like a lot of people I had that expectation of the hot yoga body. If that’s all I had gotten I would of sold myself short. Instead I’ve gained peace and lost some anger (no one is perfect). I found the fire and passion of my soul. I’m gaining strength and balance.

I just completed my 200 hour YTT. It took me two years to decide to take teacher training. Next to motherhood it was the hardest, most rewarding thing I had ever done. I feel this is just the beginning of my Yoga path.

Although I was born an Army Brat, NW Arkansas is where I have lived most of my life. I have a beautiful daughter, Lilly. She is a senior in college. She is my artist and my rock and I couldn’t be prouder. I am a cat person. I only have three so I’m not a candidate for hoarders yet. I feel very grateful that twice in my life I’ve been given a second chance. Yoga is one of those chances and I’m excited to see where that takes me. Namaste!

Yoga Instructor Susie Simmons
Susie Simmons

Hey all! I’m Susie Simmons. I’ve been doing yoga and meditation for nearly 20 years. I’ve only recently started practicing in public at NWA Hot Yoga where I instantly felt at home. I mostly practiced at home with youtube or on my own. I read as much as I could and then did what felt good. Following my intuition.

I wish I had not waited until I “was thin enough” to start practicing in public because all bodies are yoga bodies! I thought that I would not be accepted because I was larger bodied. But that could not have been further from the truth. It was within my first three classes that I knew this is where I belonged. Not only were there larger bodied people teaching but there were so many types people taking the classes. Also, no one is thinking about my grubby shirt because they are focused on their breathing and how many times we are going to have to do Utkatasana (chair pose) or how many Chaturangas there are.

With having been at NWA Hot Yoga for nearly a year I’ve continued to lose weight and get a good hold on my anxiety. Between my personal practice of yoga and meditation I have a better understanding of my emotions and thought processes. Thus I can better manage my emotions and my actions.
With all that being said, if you are reading this and debating if you should try yoga and/or meditation- the answer is YES! There is always a practice that you can do!

Yoga Instructor Tony Hatch
Tony Hatch

Tony joins just from the CorssFit world and has had a deep and moving transformation story. He has recently found yoga and is passionate to share with others-shedding over eighty (80) pounds, is now a local Health & Wellness advocate.

He is the owner of Evolve Juicery & Kitchen in Lowell, AR where he is passionate about helping people live better through proper nutrition and diet. Tony is also certified CrossFit Level 1 trainer and a licensed personal trainer.

When Tony is not helping others achieve their goals, you can find him enjoying the Northwest Arkansas outdoor life with his family through yoga, camping, hiking, mountain biking, and many more outdoor activities.

Yoga Instructor Otis Campbell
Otis Campbell
Official Studio Greeter & Adviser + All American Yoga Dog

A frequent helper at the studio (the owner’s only child), this 120 pound black lab is full of friendly smiles and licks.