The Men of Yoga Tampa Bay
These four local instructors are highly respected and much-loved by students and fellow teachers alike.
There are so many limbs to this tree of yoga you would be doing yourself a disservice to stick with only one teacher or style. Even your yoga teacher will tell you to experiment. So this week, let me help to expand your list of local yoga resources by starting with the men of Tampa Bay yoga. Next time, we'll add the ladies!
“Yoga first called to me about 25 years ago, but I did not listen,” Olmsted says
In 1999 after moving to Tampa, it called to him again.
“I began with a sore back and a closed mind ... Hundreds of hours later, after much practice, workshops, seminars and classes I find I am teaching yoga and have done so since 2001,” he sayd.
Studying with Rodney Yee, Eric Shiftman, Mark Whitehall, Shiva Rea, Baron Ki McGraw and others, Olmsted is currently pursuing a deeper Ashtanga practice with Gardens of Yoga’s Toni Nenov (see below). Olmsted reminds his students to have fun, follow the breath and tries to stretch them a little farther with each class.
Using a mixture of Ashtanga, Ansuara, and Iyengar, Olmsted calls his stlye of yoga “mutt” or "31 flavors of yoga". He is known for his use of music and knowledge of postures, singing in postures to help the body relax and go deeper into thier practice.
With more than 300 hours of training, Taylor teaches Bikram, Hot Flow and Yoga 101 at Yogani Studios and has been there for nearly 10 years.
I've known Taylor for many years. He and I work and play together at Yogani. The very first line of his bio says it all: “A little off center, out in left field, boisterous, flamboyant, vain and of course sassy …”
All kidding aside, I can tell you that Taylor is very serious about his art and is a very dedicated teacher. His students love him because of his ability to incorporate humor and ease tension within any level of practice.
Taylor's belief is “bliss in stillness; the need to find comfort and regain clarity in silence.”
Antonin (Toni) Nenov
Nenov is a 500 R.T.Y and is part owner of Gardens of Yoga.
Nenov has been a teacher for more than 20 years and is a leader in the Tampa yoga scene, “a teachers teacher” as I've heard my fellow instructors and students say. In fact, local instructor Richard Olmsted (see above) still attends classes with Nenov as part of his own continuous study.
Nenov's own influencors are unique and impressive. His teacher, A.G.Mohan, is a direct disciple of legendary master Sri T. Krishnamacharyathe, who was the most influential teacher of yoga of the Modern Era.
Nenov offers small, intimate classes for all levels. He also has a Yoga Alliance Certified 200-hour teacher training program for those looking to teach or take their practice to the next level.
Dale Morphew has been teaching in the Tampa area for almost 20 years and created his own style, “more 4 you” yoga, which is tender and accessible for all levels.
Morphew is a 500 EYRT Yoga Alliance Certified instructor and is the director of Balance Point Yoga Teacher Training RYS 200. He is also a licensed massage therapist. He has influenced local teachers like myself, my husband Eric Wheeler, Shelly Yoga and many more.
Morphew's philosophy is, “If you want to live forever just keep breathing.”
Alrighty, folks! Your list of teachers is growing, and I hope your curiosity about yoga has grown as well. Remember that finding the right teacher might be a struggle at first, but not searching and not practicing will only leave you full of anxiety and inflexibility.