Leah Bray Nichols

Lleah bray nicholseah is the primary teacher at Evergreen Yoga Center and has been teaching yoga in Memphis since 2001. She teaches Iyengar yoga in a straightforward and knowledgeable manner. Her clear teaching makes the benefits of yoga accessible to everyone.

She has been practicing yoga since 1996, and is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher. To find out what it means to be an Iyengar-certified teacher, click here.

Leah has had the good fortune of learning from many teachers, but is especially grateful to her long-time teacher Lou Hoyt.

In addition to teaching yoga, Leah has performed on the stage as an actor since 1990. In 1997 her theatre work brought her to Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, Tennessee. She still enjoys performing the occasional role -- most recently in August:Osage County and Eleemosynary.


Leah also enjoys her creative work with Voices of the South in Elaine Blanchard's Prison Stories program. As a guest teacher at Shelby County Department of Corrections Women's Jail East, she encourages the incarcerated women in the writing of their stories, poems and memoirs. Along with a small group of veteran Memphis actresses, she performs these stories on stage at the prison for all the inmates and in public performances as well.

She loves cooking, everything that roots or blooms, and spending good times with cool people.

Leah is moved by the words of Pat Summit, head coach for University of Tennessee's Women's Basketball team. Summit's inspired words: "It is what it is, but it will become what you make of it."

Laura Allen


A ballet dancer in her former life, Laura understands the connection between body and spirit that yoga helps to bridge.

Laura is the mother of two boys and has been practicing yoga for over seven years. In 2003, she earned her Yoga Alliance Teacher Certification.

Over the years she has studied with many talented teachers and is grateful to them all for what she has learned. She has been practicing Iyengar yoga for 5 years.

Laura has chosen to focus her continuing training in the area of prenatal yoga and believes that the benefits of yoga can be enjoyed by all. Prenatal yoga is a special respite from the daily routine – allowing you to gain space in body, mind and spirit. It permits you to become more centered and grounded, particularly during the hectic time before your baby arrives. Laura teaches prenatal yoga with these principles in mind.

Courtney Oliver


Courtney has been studying yoga with Leah Bray Nichols since she opened the doors to Evergreen Yoga Center in 2006.

Through the support of the studio and the education that Leah has afforded her, Courtney is fortunate to be allowed to share her insight with beginning students. Courtney's life-long background in theatre, as a performer, a choreographer, a director, and an administrator makes her no stranger to any group.

In 1998, she moved to Memphis to work as an actor in Playhouse on the Square's Intern Company and in 2001 became a Resident Company Member and the Director of Public Relations. She is currently Director of Auditions and Special Events.

A graduate of the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and English, Courtney relishes the new experiences yoga has offered her in her life. She uses her teaching to encourage people to shape their bodies in a strong and healthy way, to relax and renew the mind and to understand that change and peace is possible. In the true spirit of Leah's instruction and of the studio she has created, Courtney encourages all beginners to come in and acknowledge the wisdom within themselves.

Courtney would like to thank Becca for lending a hand and inspiring her teaching!

Jessica Banti


Jessica began practicing yoga in 2007 while studying for the bar exam.

She quickly learned that yoga helped her preserve her sanity in preparation for the test, in addition to improving her overall health and well-being.

After a knee injury in 2008, Jessica was drawn to study Iyengar yoga and appreciates the precision of movement and depth of knowledge about the body and mind that Iyengar yoga provides. She began teacher training with her primary teacher, Lou Hoyt, in January 2010, and shortly thereafter began teaching yoga to any willing friend or acquaintance.

She always accepts any opportunity to share the benefits of yoga! Jessica is thankful for the many wonderful yoga teachers that have inspired her yoga journey. She has been teaching as a substitute teacher at Evergreen Yoga since March 2010.

Jessica did pass the bar exam and is an Assistant District Attorney for Shelby County.

Wendy Trenthem


Wendy attended her first yoga class in 1997, but didn't begin to appreciate the full benefits of yoga until she had children.

She has been a student at Evergreen since the first series of classes were offered in 2006, and has embarked on teacher training in the past year.

Iyengar yoga has brought balance to her personal life and benefits to her physical health and well-being. She loves teaching because it allows her to share the power of asana and impart some of that balance and well-being to others.

When she's not practicing yoga, she is a librarian. She loves connecting people with information they are seeking, as well as instilling a love of reading in young people.

Theresa O'Toole


Prior to pursuing yoga in 2007, Theresa was an avid runner and triathlete. While externally strong, she found it difficult to handle job stress as a School Psychologist, as well as stress of everyday life. Heart issues resulted.

A dear friend introduced Theresa to Leah and Evergreen Yoga shortly after the studio opened. Immediately, yoga became a tool to help Theresa remain much more in the moment, control the fluctuations of the mind, and calm the nervous system. Iyenegar yoga provided Theresa the internal focus that she needed to compliment her strong external body. Heart issues resolved.

As her love for yoga grew, two years ago Theresa began pursuing Iyenegar Teacher Training with Leah and Lou Hoyt. She now teaches a Pay-What-You-Can class at Evergreen on Fridays, 5:00-6:15, which she calls “Yoga Happy Hour.”

Theresa is grateful for the opportunity to share the gift that Iyenegar yoga offers, to build both external and internal strength. When she is not doing yoga, Theresa works with children, to help them find their internal strength, as a School Psychologist with the Memphis City Schools.

Danielle Doria


Danielle began practicing yoga in 2006 while training for triathlons in hopes she would increase her flexibility. She soon discovered the other healing benefits of yoga and continues to practice even after the completion of 6 triathlons.

Danielle is a pediatric occupational therapist and holds a Master's degree in occupational therapy from Washington University in St. Louis. Her specialty is treating children diagnosed with cancer. She has also worked with children diagnosed with ADHD, autism, cerebral palsy and behavioral disorders.

Mindful of its multiple healing benefits, Danielle implements yoga into therapy sessions with her young patients.

The children Danielle treat not only enjoy learning about asanas and pranayama, but they experience increased endurance, strength, and focus/attention among many other things!

Danielle is currently training to become a Registered Yoga Therapist (RYT)/ Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) at the Yoga Center of Jackson. She is an avid runner, enjoys salsa dancing, listening to country music, cooking anything but meat, and traveling to places near and far. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she has lived in Memphis since February 2012.

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