Melanie MacNeil is a certified Yoga, Mindfulness, and Hoopdance teacher and is currently enrolled in East Tennessee State University earning her master’s degree in Social Work. She specializes in mental health and enjoys working with women, children, and families. She has 20 years of experience teaching Yoga and Hoopdance to humans of all ages and brings a playful and down to earth energy to her classes. She operates a small, wellness-based, business called AshevilleHoops.com and brings her handmade hoops to events all throughout the WNC region. She is a resident of Hendersonville, NC, and lives in a cute little mountain chalet with her husband, George, her 2 energetic boys, as well her dog, Foxy, and cat, Frankie. In her spare time, she loves to attend music festivals, make art, and take nature walks.
Charlotte has been professionally involved in both the ballet and musical theatre industries since she graduated high school, last seen in Broadway's National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera. She holds nationally recognized teaching certifications in both Vinyasa Yoga & Pilates, beginning her teaching career while living in NYC. Throughout her own ongoing healing journey, she has enjoyed helping others learn how to connect with their bodies and express themselves through movement. She is honored and excited to share new experiences with the Laughing Elephant Yoga community!
I live, play, work and dance in Asheville, NC and I come from a family of teachers. My favorite hobbies are doing art, listening to music, making musical Waves, walking in the forest and enjoying small gatherings with friends. I have struggled with my career choices in finding my path. I am grateful to Gabriel Roth, founder of the 5Rhythms, for I have found my path in teaching movement.
Dancing, Sweating, crying, and breathing has been the most transformative experience for me. I have been a committed teacher for over 5 years and I am excited to be a part of a Global Community. I am excited about my growth and expansion of being a teacher of the 5Rhythms Movement Meditation Practice.
While growing up and going to college in Charleston, SC, Evan found his passion working with groups as a peer-facilitator for undergraduate students. After college, he lived and worked in Guatemala as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Maternal and Child Health program. There, he continued leading groups with a focus on health education in a multi-cultural context.
After returning from Guatemala, he completed a 2-year comprehensive training in Hakomi – a method of healing that incorporates mindfulness, body awareness, and psychological understanding. In California, Evan joined and co-facilitated Fire Tenders men’s groups. This experience has inspired him to cultivate a similar space for men here to authentically connect, challenge, and grow with one another. He is currently completing his master’s in counseling at Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Recently, Evan was called to move to the Blue Ridge Mountains after living in Oregon and California for 5 years. He is passionate about cultivating meaningful and authentic community in the mountains he calls home.
Evan sees himself as a guide and healer. He combines his experience from Hakomi, depth psychology, and shamanic healing – tailoring it to respond to each client’s needs. Evan works with individuals, families, and groups offering individual sessions as well as group consultations and intensives. His focus includes inner work, conflict tolerance/transformation, integration of psychology and spirituality, family and group dynamics, and dream-work.
Evan brings his awareness, presence, and capacity to hold sacred space into each session.
He views this work as both an honor and privilege.
Evan acknowledges and draws strength from knowing he did not get here alone. He feels the support of his family, friends, ancestors, and mentors (in this realm and others) and sends gratitude for them and their being.
As an Intuitive Reader, Animal Communicator, and Vibrational Healer, I delight in teaching and empowering people to understand and trust their intuition. With over 30 years’ experience, I blend intuitive insights and telepathic skills with transformative distance energy work to help people, and their pet friends, gain insight, restore clarity, and experience peace.
TARA (BECKY) ESCHENROEDER— A 500 HOUR E-RYT, 200 HOUR E-RYT, RCYT, YACEP, CERTIFIED COACH AND MENTOR, AND SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHOR —IS AN ACCOMPLISHED YOGI WHO WAS VOTED AS ONE OF THE TOP THREE YOGA INSTRUCTORS BY RICHMOND MAGAZINE
With some teachers, the lessons are planned. They are practiced. They are rehearsed. And they are perfected to a tee. But Tara Eschenroeder offers a different experience. Teaching was Tara’s Dharma long before she realized it. She grew up with a bow and arrow in her hands, learning to pull back with just enough aim and control to send her arrow into the abyss, knowing and trusting it would hit its intended mark. And so she enters each class, each workshop, each lesson.. Having prepared her body and mind to become that bow - that vessel - that let’s her lesson…letting that arrow fly... Weaving its way into the provided space and landing wherever it is intended.
Tara felt that call in 2007 when she first felt the spark of a tiny flame. And instead of approaching that flame fearing the heat, she chose to approach it with love, stoking the fire that was burning within for her passion of yoga. By the end of 2009, she received her 200 hour RYT under Arlene Bjork and Grace Yoga Training Systems. She continued to follow what she knew and trusted her path to be, and she obtained her 500 hour RYT through Om On Yoga under the guidance and wisdom of Jennifer Elliott.
When practicing with Tara, no two classes or workshops are ever the same. Students are not told what to do, they are empowered to listen to their own bodies. And while there are general cues throughout of “warrior” and “downward dog” (almost always accompanied by their Sanskrit name), one is also just as likely to hear cues of “listen to the animal within,” “move through honey, “ride the wave of your breath,” or, simply, just an encouragement to “dance.” Her mentoring and life coaching sessions follow a similar pattern. Mentees are not told what to do but instead empowered to listen within with offered guidance- never forced, and always an open-minded invitation to explore. Tara’s Psychology degree from James Madison University, Elementary Education License from Mary Baldwin College, and coaching certification from Yoga2Life give her a studied foundation for helping others, but it’s her natural instincts and open heart that help students see the best in themselves.
Asheville, NC is Tara’s hOMe, and she spends much of her time around the country and outside of holding workshops, retreats, classes, and presenting at festivals. She has also received additional teaching credentials with Project Yoga Richmond and YoKid Stretch Your Limits, as well as serving as a proud Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica. Yet, so much of her teaching is done off of the yoga mat. Tara openly and outwardly lives the teachings has been inspired to share. Just as she would encourage a student falling out of a pose to take themselves lightly, she does the same as she navigates through challenges. And just as she would encourage a student to trust themselves as they spread their wings into something new on the mat, she is a living example of trusting what she knew was her calling as she spread her own wings. She approaches life with that same love that she used to approach that initial flame, and she encourages each person with whom is comes in contact to do the same. And by doing so, she is living out her truth and her drishti of being a vessel of blessing.
Tucker Shelton, M.A., E-RYT 500, YACEP, KYM 475
Tucker Shelton has studied and taught yoga for over a decade. Tucker holds 780 RYT training hours in Hatha, Ashtanga, Yin, Restorative, Bhakti Vinyasa, Vini, Senior, Therapeutic, Children's, Pre/Postnatal, Vinyasa Krama, Anusara, and Kaula Tantra Yoga forms and 475 training hours in the Kaiut Yoga Method.
Tucker has also studied 200 hours of Thai Yoga Massage in Chiang Mai, Thailand and has a Masters with Honors in Contemplative Religious Studies and Sanskrit Language from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. Tucker has taught and studied throughout the United States and around the world, from New Zealand to India to Mexico.
Tucker’s teaching style is lighthearted but deeply transformative. Tucker guides students carefully and gracefully into their bodies, offering many levels of mental, physical, and spiritual practices according to the needs and openness of the individual. Tucker’s specialization is in "Longevity Yoga," or teaching sequences that are safe and powerful for all bodies to practice sustainably for the rest of their lives. Tucker is a sensitive, kind, and playful guide for those on the yoga path. A class with Tucker is imbued with love and insight and leaves practitioners feeling more and thinking less.
Tucker identifies as gender non-binary and gladly uses he, she, and they pronouns interchangeably.