Our Thrive Teacher Tribe

Meet  our cohort of amazing teachers 

Comprehensively Certified Pilates Instructor

Lauren Knauth

"With a background in dance and a passion for fitness, I was instantly enthralled by the movement and flow of Pilates. As I studied the history and techniques of Pilates while completing a 600-hour comprehensive training and then teaching for 6 years, I realized how Pilates can transform lives whether you are looking for rehabilitation or simply looking to supplement your fitness regime. Pilates offers a way to strengthen and lengthen your body through movement and resistance training. "

 BFA and MFA in Ballet

Monica Coulter

With over 35 years experience onstage, in the studio and classroom from Texas to Tennessee, Monica added multiple training certifications in PBT in 2017 and 2019. She’s eager to share this new method with studios nationwide offering workshops and private classes.

RYT 200

Elizabeth Ogle

“I will always be a yoga student first.  I love to teach and practice what yoga has taught me on and off the mat.  My teaching philosophy is recognizes that we are all at different levels, so I will meet you where you are.

RYT 200

Evangeline Blair

"I believe that yoga is an act of mindfulness. My education and work experience in the mental health field taught me the positive impact that mindfulness has on both physical and mental health. I want to give everyone the opportunity to experience the joy of slowing down and self care.
I work to create a safe place where every student can practice yoga without judgment. I want my students to leave my classes feeling empowered to practice mindfulness both on and off of their mats.

RYT 200

NIA white belt

Michele Steves

"Although I had dabbled in a few yoga classes a few years before, my true yoga journey started with my decision to join the 200 hour yoga teacher training (YTT 200) in August of 2022. My body had endured setbacks from surgeries and injuries that resulted in loss of strength, range of motion and flexibility. I resolved that I would keep my body as healthy in all possible ways with this training.

Once I started the journey, my teacher’s positive attitude and the warm acceptance of my classmates helped me believe in my power to increase not only my body’s health, but also my mental fortitude. I desire to help anyone achieve their yogic goals and any life goal by building their belief in self. There is no one body type for a yogi and I’m here as one of our studio’s

testaments to this. Yin yoga is an excellent practice for preventing injury and keeping your body balanced. It is highly adaptable to your body type. It is gentle, yet puts a little stress on your fascia and connective tissues to increase your body’s movement. I look forward to helping you on your journey."

RYT 200

Amy Sternard

“The physical practice of yoga is what initially lured me in. I’ve always been drawn to a more playful, but challenging practice, and I enjoy bringing these components into each of my classes.

My goal is to create an encouraging space where anyone, any level, can tune into their bodies through breath and movement, and leave the baggage of their day behind in a puddle of sweat.”

certified personal trainer

health and wellness coach

mat pilates instructor

Alexandra DeRose

"I have been a personal trainer for 4 years and absolutely love it. As a trainer, I began to notice a trend. Most everyone has issues with their core, balance, and/or posture. Wanting to properly solve this issue led me to learn about and eventually join Pilates Teacher Training. Becoming a Pilates instructor has been one of the best decisions I have made. I truly believe Pilates is for everybody and want to share it with whoever will let me. My motto for myself and my clients has always been “You should always leave feeling better than when you walked in the door.” and Pilates does exactly that!" 

RYT 200

Chamar Drane

Chamar is a wife, mother of two active children, and preschool teacher so knows how important yoga can be for a balanced lifestyle. She loves how yoga is truly an activity that can be tailored to every body

YTT-200 Hot Power Yoga 

YA Certified Aerial Yoga 

YA Certified SUP Yoga  

Robecca Balch

"I began my yoga journey in 1995 when pregnant with my daughter. My life changed when I discovered Aerial Yoga and Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga (SUP). In all yoga that I teach, I encourage students to only be limited by their physical limits, not their mental limits"

RYT 200

Jennifer Messer

"It's always amazing where my yoga journey takes me, and in 2018, it brought me to the Thrive Studio where I met Jennifer Dixon. That encounter changed my life as it has for so many people who have become part of the Thrive Tribe.  Instead of just practicing yoga, I accepted the challenge of becoming a yoga instructor that year.

That challenge brought me balance at a very stressful time in my life. Accomplishing that challenge, opened a door to a brighter outlook of what my future could hold. I knew that teaching yoga was something I could do at any age.  

That is the beauty of Yoga; no matter what the age. It is a space where one can find peace and calm from the chaos. A place to move, stretch and challenge the body. A time to connect with one's self.

I'm moving into my 6th year of teaching and have loved every minute.  

I love being a part of yogis becoming the best they can be. To help them overcome challenges and to celebrate their achievements.

Come join me! Let's be a part of each other's yoga journey."

RYT 200

Mina Chong

"I'm Minako Chong. My family and friends always call me Mina. I have been married for 25 years and have 2 grown sons and a dog. I started teaching yoga in 2006 and have been teaching ever since.
I do enjoy teaching gentle senior yoga because I understand what they are going through…constant pain and frustration with their bodies.
I like to provide a safe place to relax and get in tune with our minds & body, no matter how old we are"

Yoga teacher

Joe Schatz

“My first job out of college was a Chicago public school teacher. I traded at the Chicago Board of Trade in the thirty year bond pit. I also traded in the corn pit. I attended White Lotus in Santa Barbara, California for yoga teacher training in August, 2010. I have taught at several yoga studios and health clubs. I was extremely fortunate to teach at Living Well, which has yoga classes for cancer survivors. I used to play handball. I still love to play golf. Handball is why I started attending yoga for myself. My wife, Kathy, and myself moved to Chattanooga in April, 2022. We have two children and four fantastic grandchildren. Mabel, our basset hound, is queen of the castle.”

RYT 200

Emily Dell

"Physically, yoga has served different purposes for me, depending on my stage in life. The practice of yoga has benefited me mentally by giving me a space for calm reflection. 

It is with joy that I choose to teach yoga to all levels so each person may receive a space and guidance to discover their own physical and mental benefits."


Steven Loga

"Hi there!
My name is Steven Jared Loga and I’m excited to lead you in our next practice together. My Yoga journey began right here with the Thrive crew in March of 2022 when a great friend of mine invited me to try this thing called Yoga. I knew it was a really great exercise but I had no idea how much it would benefit my headspace. I had injuries that I was dealing with and some big battles with depression. Snap back to the present and after just a year of practicing I have all but healed the issues with my knee and shoulder and even though I will always battle with depression and anxiety, Yoga has shown me how to level out my highs and lows and become more grounded and present with my loved ones and in day to day activities. I’m 27 years old and I have a wonderful wife, Jessie, and 3yr old son, Jackson. Jessie and I are Wedding Planners here in Chattanooga. When I’m not working you can find me playing with my son, Disc Golfing, or Golfing with friends."

RYT 200

Mindy Gray

“My journey into yoga began as I searched for a form of exercise gentler on my body than running.  I no longer think of yoga as exercise, but mindful movement for my body and calming for my brain.  The connection between breath and movemen leaves me feeling centered and grounded, no matter how hectic my day.  Tha is the feeling I wish to share through teaching.”


Marilyn Chapman

"Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts." Thich Nhat Hanh  "Focusing on the act of breathing clears the mind of all daily distractions and clears our energy enabling us to better connect  with the spirit within." Author unknown  "Throughout my life, I have often and very kindly been told that I am an "encourager."  My prayer is that I continue to carry that practice into every yin class I am blessed to share with others."

RYT 200

Ian R

"I love yoga for the calm and clarity that comes from movement with breath. It’s taught me that strength can be gentle, and surrender can be powerful. Yoga is good for us all, so let’s practice together."

RYT 200

Ariel Martinez

Ariel is a bird of many feathers in the world of movement. She began by playing competitive Soccer, but had to quit due to injury. Bikram yoga began her way to healing and balance in 2008. She continued her practice of yoga as she found a love for the air and began training pole dancing in 2010, which later expanded into a variety of Circus Arts. She suffered a car wreck in 2016 and all movement practices came to a halt. Reiki enabled her to heal and slowly reconnect and rebuild into all the movements she loved. Born and raised in Colorado, now living in and enjoying beautiful Tennessee (as of 2022). She brings a variety of movement philosophies from Argentine Tango, Circus, Adult Gymnastics training, Reiki Energetics, Ayurvedic principles, Marlo Fisken's FloorFlow, Pole dancing and Circus to her teachings. Her classes emphasize alignment and exploration for a deeper connection to oneself. She's serious with a side of silly!

RYT 200

Denise Cooper

"For me, yoga is a surprise that sneaked into my life as I was entering my middle age years. I love the vigor that it has brought to both my mind and body, at a time in life when vigor often is a diminishing factor. Teaching yoga to others has become a passion - it is almost magical to help people relax in a yin class, to share what could be a lifelong practice to children, and to lead others in their yoga practice. From turning upside down in aerial yoga, completely relaxing in a yin class, or being upside down in an aerial sling I look forward to the rigor and joy of each yoga class. Any day and any stage of life is perfect for pursuing a yoga practice! "