Print

TEACHER BIOS

KRISTIN OLSEN

Bikram Yoga Teacher Certification (500 hours)
Graduated Spring 2001

Recertification, USA Yoga Judges training & Advanced Seminars:

Los Angeles - 2003
Los Angeles - 2004
Hawaii - 2005
Las Vegas - 2006
Acapulco - 2008
Palm Desert - 2009
Barcelona - 2010
Malta - 2011
Croatia - 2012

Inferno Hot Pilates Training - Las Vegas - Summer 2015,  Memphis - Spring 2016

Faculty position - Raja Yoga Academy, therapeutic core 26 hot yoga training, Gold Coast, Australia - Spring 2016

Owner/Director, Kristin Lowenberg Olsen received her Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication from the University of Nebraska.  Prior to the birth of her son in 1989, she worked for Jenny Craig international as senior sales trainer for both the Chicago and Atlanta markets.

Kristin began teaching cardio fitness and dance in Nebraska as a college student.  Once a full time mom, she continued to teach as an AFFA certified cardio instructor, in Atlanta, and Chicago. It was the Bikram method however, that finally gave Kristin a way to share a therapeutic/cardio endeavor, for anyone, at any fitness level. 

Kristin graduated from the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in June 2001.   Kristin was honored to be one of 12 students hand picked, by Bikram Choudhury, from the hundreds of students in her graduating class, to demonstrate at her commencement ceremony.  “It was very important for me to have Bikram’s blessing of presentation and technique. Bikram’s daily tutelage inspired me physically.  The healing body affects the mental and spiritual self.   The gift of positive discipline, and body conditioning has been an honor to share.”

In December 2001 Kristin formed Hot Spot Yoga LLC.   "I've enjoyed taking yoga classes of all kinds, but ultimately get the results I need from the Pure Bikram 90 series, so that is what I decided to share and keep sharing with my community."   For the past 14 years, Kristin has taught the Bikram method of Hatha yoga exclusively.  "Maintaining a personal longterm practice of 4-6 classes weeky has been a very important part of my personal growth as an instructor."  Kristin has had the honor to teach thousands of students in the Louisville area, and guest teach and practice at wonderful Bikram Yoga Studios in the US and Europe.    

The loves of her life…her children, Jon 25, Whitney 23 and Katelyn 20, continue to give her much support and joy along the way.   When they attend class, there is never a happier mom.  

 


 

Sheila BellSHEILA BELL
Bikram Yoga Teacher Certification (500 hours)
Graduated Fall 2006
Recertifed: Spring 2009 & 2012 Los Angeles, CA

Senior teacher Sheila Bell has been practicing for over 12 years. She received her Bikram certification in 2006 and founded Bikram Yoga Lexington in 2007. After several years, and a successful studio up and running, she passed the baton to one of her mentoring teachers. Back on the Bikram Yoga Louisville roster for several years, Sheila now combines quality family time with teaching and practicing the method she loves. Sheila received her second re certification in the Fall of 2012. Sheila takes time through out the year to visit surrounding studios, and attend master classes. Each year, she gets back to "the source" to keep her practice and teaching skills solid. Fun and attention to the details of teaching students "the right way" are important elements in Sheila's classes.

   



 

KRISTY MERCKER
Bikram Yoga Teacher Certification (500 hours)
Graduation date: 2002
Recertification: 2006

Kristy took her first yoga class 18 years ago and has been an avid practitioner ever since. She was instantly drawn into the awesome, therapeutic work-out and the blissful state yoga produces. She then became passionate about sharing this with others. In 2002, Kristy completed the 9 week, 500 hour yoga certification course with Bikram Choudhury in Los Angeles. In 2006, she was recertified by Bikram and has been back to international headquarters on several occasions to study further and take the advanced classes with Emmy Cleave and Rajashree Choudhury. Kristy teaches yoga from the heart. She has worked with a wide array of students, ranging from professional athletes to brand new students. She believes yoga is for everybody; young, old, flexible, inflexible. Yoga is a gift that keeps on giving and it’s never too late to begin! Kristy is also a ballroom dance and country western dance competitor. She currently competes with her partner Spencer Cottrell at various competitions around the USA. Their most recent accomplishment in finishing 3rd place at the 2015 UCWDC World Championships in the Newcomer Division. Prior to ballroom, Kristy was a professional flamenco dancer. She credits her yoga practice with allowing her to enjoy a long, healthy dance career.

 


 

SamSAM YOUNG
Bikram Yoga Teacher Certification (500 hours)
Graduated Fall 2013

Sam began her practice in 2011, by chance while working at a community run bicycle repair shop in Lexington, Kentucky.

The studio where she lived sponsored her shop for the night and ran a class by donation for the non-profit.

She hated it. It was too hot. It was too loud. She was too naked. And what was that big HA-HAAAA sound?

Quickly, she became addicted to its many benefits for both mind and body. After that, she knew this was something she had to do everyday for the rest of her life.

In fall 2013 she attended Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Los Angeles for 9 weeks and completed 500 hours of training.

Her background is in Journalism and Social Work, she continues to keep a travel blog of her international teaching experiences.
Since graduation she has taught all over the Midwest/ Southern United States as well as South East Asia, Honduras and Mexico.

 


  

Kristin Swan
Mentoring Teacher

BYL is proud to extend our podium to our mentoring teacher Kristin Swan. After 9 years of a regular and strong practice, Kristin has decided to attend the extensive 500 hour certification course. She has been working hard with senior teachers at BYL to share Pure Bikram classes with the Louisville community. Kristin’s interest in running and aerobics influenced her college studies where she received her Bachelor of Science from Valparaiso University in Physical Education and Exercise Physiology. After college she received her ACE (American Council on Exercise) certification and taught a variety of exercise classes including hi/low impact aerobics, step aerobics, and aqua aerobic classes. Working in Corporate Fitness and Wellness programming in Chicago for several years she was able to influence many in the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Then after running the Chicago Marathon in the fall of 1997 she moved to Louisville and ran the Mini-marathon in the spring of 1998. Years later after moving to Crestwood she attended her first Bikram Yoga class in 2006 and instantly fell in love with the challenge of the practice. She has been practicing at BYL regularly ever since and enjoys the numerous positive effects that a regular practice has had in her life. Kristin truly believes that as you age you "use it or lose it" when it comes to both the health of your body and your mind. The Bikram Yoga series, combined with the heat, provides a complete workout both physically and mentally. Working physically on cardiovascular strength, muscle strength, balance, and flexibility, while simultaneously working on mental focus and maintaining calm controlled breathing allows her time to really center on herself. She knows that this time set aside for herself then benefits her family and those around her everyday when she can share her best with them.

 


 

Robyn Paulette
Bikram Yoga Teacher Certification (500 hours)
Graduation 2011

Robyn began practicing Bikram Yoga in January of 2011, finding a much needed respite from the stress of caring for her parents as they faced the end of their lives. Her first class at the studio in Savannah was painful, hot and humbling and she loved it. Robyn’s dedication to the practice has brought out her best qualities and helped rid her of negativity, depression and anxiety. Robyn credits the practice for transforming her life, both physically and emotionally.

Robyn started practicing at Bikram Yoga Marietta in January 2012 and working as the studio assistant just 6 months later. She quickly realized her passion was to help others realize the magic of the yoga and with the help of BYM she attended teacher training in the Fall of 2013. Robyn is a regular at workshops with the intention of improving her own practice as well as the practices of each student who enters the hot room for one of her classes.

After teaching full time for a year and a half, Robyn decided to start traveling and teaching. She has begun exploring other types of physical yoga including Yin and Vinyasa. She attended Evolation’s flow training in September 2015. She has also begun exploring the spiritual side of yoga as well through chanting and meditation. She believes yoga can be apart of every students life in every aspect of their life.

Robyn’s goal is to provide a class that balances the challenge of achieving new strengths while having compassion for where one is today. Robyn’s love for yoga is palatable and as a teacher she hopes to inspire others to dig deep and be the best version of themselves. Robyn’s directness and words of motivation will leave you refreshed, relieved, relaxed and knowing that you have done something wonderful for yourself.

 


 

LauraLAURA MAHAN
Bikram Yoga Teacher Certification (500 hours)
Graduated Fall 2011

Laura began her Bikram practice in May 2011.  She was immediately hooked. "I progressed rapidly at The Hot Spot under the tutelage of its warm and great instructors. They could all sense my love for Bikram Yoga. The staff and my husband John, (a spine surgeon) encouraged me to pursue the instructor course, which I completed in November of 2011. Now teaching Pure Bikram for the last 4 years,  I realize I would not have progressed this rapidly if I had tried Bikram anywhere else. I am proud and honored to be a part of the Bikram Yoga Louisville staff. I thoroughly enjoy sharing my love for this 26 posture series with everyone, and I especially enjoy the opportunity to help new students."

Laura suffers with osteoporosis, which has largely resolved as a result of her Bikram practice.   In her quest for fitness prior to Bikram Yoga, Laura had broken a rib doing another type of strenuous exercise. "I found Bikram to be a safe and very enjoyable alternative. I focused entirely on Bikram yoga, which enabled me to become very fit and healthy. I feel twenty years younger. I strongly encourage anyone to come try the Pure Bikram method at the Hot Spot. Regardless of your age or current level of fitness, it will definitely change your life as it has mine."  Namaste

 


 

STEPHANIE BLEECHER
Bikram Yoga Teacher Certification (500 hours)
Graduation 2013
Inferno Hot Pilates training - Las Vegas 2015

Certified Bikram Yoga Teacher Graduated Spring 2014 Stephanie Bleecher attended her first Bikram Yoga class in 2010 as an Elite Competitive Road Cyclist acclimating to hot, humid racing conditions in the Southeast. She was enamored with the hot yoga practice right away. After retiring from competition the next season Stephanie practiced more frequently, becoming infamous at her home studio – Bikram Yoga Nashville – for doing double and triple 90-minute classes in a day. Additionally, Stephanie has been dedicated to practices of True Pilates, Ashtanga and Anusara Yoga since 1998. She graduated from the Bikram Yoga College of India in Spring 2014, and there was no turning back.

Her professional career has been diverse. After graduating from The University of Michigan in 1980 she moved to New York and became Senior Representative at Crown Point Press, a SoHo fine art gallery. Her career as a fine art dealer took her from San Francisco to LA to Moscow, Russia. In 1995 she got her MBA in Marketing from The Stern School of Business, New York University, and subsequently climbed the ranks in Product Management and Marketing Services at Citigroup.

After relocating to Nashville with her husband in 2008, she re-examined her priorities and now is transforming a life focused on competition into a life centered on balance and making a difference in other peoples’ lives.

She lives in Nashville with her husband, Rich, and four Tibetan Terriers – Chechu, Nyima, Gampo and Kitsi. Nashville is an easy drive to Louisville, and Stephanie is excited to become a part of the studio culture and bring high standards, unique perspective and compassion into the hot room for BYL students.