Mint Hill Yoga

Yoga for EveryBody

February 8, 2016
by Bettie Shea

Bettie’s Blog: Why I Am Leaving Yoga Alliance

I recently received the notice I receive each year during January telling me it is time to renew my registration with Yoga Alliance.

For those of you that may not know, Yoga Alliance is the registration service that yoga teachers can join once they have completed a Yoga Alliance certified training of 200 hours or more. That is why we are called RYT’s. Get it? The more numbers you have after your RYT, the more hours you have trained, and if you have an E anywhere in your designation, it means that you have taught at least 1000 hours in the case of an E-RYT 200, or 2000 hours in the case of the E-RYT 500. I am currently around 1400 hours toward my E-RYT 500.

I am leaving this registration service, which is really all it is. Please allow me to explain.

Yoga Alliance provides no supervision of our work as yoga teachers, and no oversight of the Yoga Teacher Trainings popping up everywhere. These Yoga Teacher Trainings send in a pre determined class plan to YA(along with $400), which they agree to adhere to in their training, YA rubber stamps it, and voila! you can call your teacher training YA Certified, which means exactly nothing. Once you get the rubber stamp on your passport, as a school you are free to teach whatever and however you choose, and Yoga Alliance doesn’t check in at all to make certain you are doing what you told them you are doing. They just take your school’s $400 registration fee(and no one seems to know what they do with that money as well as all the money the RYT’s pay to register) and do something mysterious with it. People can go online to the YA website and see my name, picture and a brief biography that I write myself. YA recently announced we were no longer allowed to use any variation of the words therapy or therapeutic either in our YA bios or on our personal websites(unless we put a disclaimer on our websites, which they kindly wrote for us, telling us how to tell the public that our therapeutic credentials and claims had nothing to do with them).

It’s all a bunch of HOOEY. You heard me, Yoga Alliance, HOOEY, and I am done with it and with you. I am dedicated to svadyaya, or self study, and also to satya, or TRUTH. My truth and my svadyaya tell me that you folks are full of HOOEY, I am telling people I think you are full of HOOEY, and I am done with you and your registration service, and your telling me what I can and cannot call what I do. I teach therapeutic yoga. You hear that, Yoga Alliance? I TEACH THERAPEUTIC YOGA, and people find value and comfort in the practice.  I don’t teach power flow, I don’t teach athletic stuff, none of that. I teach people how to breathe, and explore, and find comfort and ease in their bodies. I watch people with insulin pumps have to turn them off because their numbers drop 100 points during pranayama. I watch people with MS stop shaking because of pranayama. I watch the vagus nerve work its magic. I am not the message, I am the guide. I am the conduit. I am not the practice, I am the map for the practice, and the map is therapeutic. To call what I teach anything else is dishonest.

Not to worry, students. I am still going to be disappearing for long weekends or sometimes even weeks, going to trainings with teachers I respect and whose message aligns with my vision. I still want to grow and learn and become a stronger and better yogi and teacher as time passes, but I will be playing in my very own sandbox, and I will no longer have an RYT after my name, since Yoga Alliance holds the copyright on the title and if I don’t pay my money I can’t use it(and what does that tell you about exactly how much the title is worth???).

I hope you understand my decision and will continue to support my work as a teacher, and our studio as a whole. I am still me. 

Bettie Shea, Yoga Teacher with a lot of teaching experience and strong opinions

December 28, 2015
by Bettie Shea

Bettie’s Blog: We Aren’t a Gym

If you ever find yourself in that awkward twilight state known as studio shopping, you owe it to yourself to visit our little jewel box here in Mint Hill.

You will never find such a friendly and caring community of students and teachers. We are well known for our hospitality. If you are new to the area and are in search of like minded people to share satsang with, look no further.

It is also hard to imagine a more experienced group of teachers. None of us are under 30, and none of us are that stereotypical yoga bodied person that so many potential students find frightening. Anyone of any age can take our classes and be challenged and learn something new. We are all well trained, and have 2 RYT 500s, an E-RYT, and a 35 year veteran nurse with her MSN and RYT on staff. One of us did advanced therapeutic training at Duke Integrative Medicine, one of us did advanced therapeutic training with Jnani Chapman of YCAT, Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness, and another one of us is currently training for her Occupational Therapist Assistant certification.  If you want to learn from experience and education, this is the place. We are the real deal. You owe it to yourself and your practice to visit Mint Hill Yoga. We aren’t a gym, we’re a GEM.


November 10, 2015
by Bettie Shea

Simplifying Life AND the Schedule


I have been looking at my personal class schedule and the classes I offer, and thinking about the folks that come to class.  I have also been thinking about my personal philosophy as a teacher, and how I approach teaching anyone that comes, no matter how old they are, or how strong they are, or whatever weaknesses or difficult life experiences they have had, and here’s the thing.

I teach whoever shows up however they need teaching, and it really doesn’t seem to matter what I actually CALL the class, I figure out what students need to take away and I try to help them get whatever that is, and I teach that way over and over.

I could call the class “Standing on Your Head and Stacking Greased Bee Bees” and then have ten people show up that seem really stressed and tired, so I teach them a Gentle class.  I could call the class Power Flow(but if I ever call a class of mine that, check for the pod), but if 5 out of 7 attendees have shoulder issues, we won’t be putting any weight on our hands, so the Flow wouldn’t look like what a traditional Vinyasa looks like.

Does any of this make sense to you so far? I created the Everybody class, and what Everybody turned out to need was basically the same Gentle Yoga class I offer so often at other times on other days, and so, after some thought on the matter, I am changing the name of Everybody to Gentle, and I will continue to teach whoever shows up in a way that seems appropriate to the group. The same is true of the Unwind folks on Monday nights at 7:30. I am going to call that Gentle from now on as well. They want to go home relaxed and ready for bed!

The way things are going, don’t be surprised if one day, all my classes are just called “Yoga,”  except for those lovely athletes that come on Saturday morning at 10:30 and want to do all the arm balances and inversions and Sun Salutations. I am still looking for a good name for that one. For now, Asana Level 2 will have to suffice.



September 11, 2015
by Bettie Shea

Every Body Yoga Is Coming to Mint Hill in October!!

Every body on this planet struggles with something some times. We struggle trying to balance home and work, loving to cook(and eat!) and needing to lose those extra pounds, being stressed out and finding time to meditate and take care of ourselves. As Roseanne Rosannadanna used to say, “It’s always something.”

Given that 99.99999 percent of us out there are trying so hard to make our lives work, we all need a place where we can go let our guard down, relax, and know that we will be loved and appreciated just as we are. For that reason, I have decided to add a yoga class to the schedule that I guarantee will make your body and spirit hum, no matter what your size, strength, or emotional/physical situation. And I mean ANYTHING GOES.

You’re curvy? Bring it. A stringbean? Bring it. You have arthritis? Bring it. MS? Come on, I’m ready. Cancer? Let’s go! 90? Iyengar practiced yoga until a few weeks before he died. So can you. Depression or anxiety(or maybe both? And why not? The world can be a rough place!)? I’m right here.

Let’s take the fear and anxiety and social concerns out of the equation right now. Let’s work together and explore all that yoga has to offer as a tradition(we’re talking not just movement, but poetry, meditation techniques and song as well) and run with it. In the words of Sam ‘gaccgadvam from the Rg Veda,  “Let us move together, Let us sing together, Let us come to know our minds together. Let us share, like sages of the past that together, all people may enjoy the universe. Unite our intentions Let our hearts be inseparable, Our mind is as one mind, As we, to truly know one another, become one.”  Experience an authentic sense of community, or what yogis call SATSANG I promise to create an environment where everyone is welcome and comfortable, no matter what. EVERY BODY can do yoga. I promise to send you home feeling strong and whole.

Don’t worry. I’m not afraid. Whatever you’ve got on your plate, come on anyway. I’ve got my big girl pants on, and a lot of specialized training under my belt. I’m ready to help you. Please join me on Tuesday mornings from 9:30-10:45 beginning Tuesday, October 6 for our first 5 week series. Cost will be $45 for this special 5 week therapeutic experience. To register, go to

If this class proves successful, I have plans to add a class at 5:30 on either Tuesdays or Thursdays, or at noon on Saturdays in the not too distant future, so if this time slot doesn’t work for you, but you are interested in the class, please email me at and let me know. I don’t want anyone that is interested to be unable to take this class for scheduling reasons. I will make this work for you.

Bring it.

 Bettie Alston Shea, RYT 500, Owner


August 22, 2015
by Bettie Shea

Free Sunday Afternoon Book Club Begins in October!!

Join Bettie Shea on Sunday, October 4, from 3-4:30pm for a meeting of the brand new Mint Hill Yoga Book Club!!! Membership in the group is absolutely free, though you must obtain your own copy of the book, and members will take turns supplying reasonably healthy refreshments. Bettie will supply tea and cookies for the first meeting.

Our very first book for our very first meeting will be A Search in Secret India by Paul Brunton. The book is available on Amazon as a hard copy, or you can read it for absolutely free here:  Just follow the directions on the website to download the book to your device at absolutely no cost.

PLEASE RSVP TO by September 24!!!!  Again, there is absolutely no cost, and no limit on the number of people that can attend. Please join us!!!

May 18, 2015
by Bettie Shea

Nurse Led PreNatal Classes Come to Mint Hill Yoga!!!



“One of the most powerful and wondrous physical experiences a woman can have is being pregnant. Feeling life growing inside of herself makes her profoundly aware of the complexity of nature and the intelligence of her body. “

Judith Lasater

Author of Relax and Renew Restful Yoga for Stressful Times


Karen Hill Miller, a master’s prepared RN with 35 years of maternity experience will begin the very first prenatal yoga classes at Mint Hill Yoga on Sunday nights at 7pm starting on June 7.

The class will focus on safe poses as well as  breathing  and relaxation.  The poses in prenatal yoga build strength and endurance (great for labor!), increase flexibility, reduce fatigue, and relieve some of the discomforts of pregnancy. (Don’t be surprised if  you sleep much better on Sunday nights after class). The breathing and relaxation are tools that will also serve you well in not only in labor, but also with the challenges of new motherhood! Students are invited to return to class 4-6 weeks after delivery to gently prepare  your body for the next phase of your yoga practice. 

As with other classes at MHY, drop-ins are $12 and a series of 5 is $45.  If you deliver or your doctor puts you on bedrest in the middle of a series, your series purchase will be put on “hold” and can use your remaining sessions after delivery.

If you have any questions, e-mail Karen directly at

March 25, 2015
by Bettie Shea

What Sets Mint Hill Yoga Apart from the Rest?

Certainly the Charlotte area is full of big gyms and enormous impersonal yoga studios where you can go and practice asana in a crowd and sweat, much like the aerobics classes so popular in the 80′s. What makes Mint Hill Yoga stand out from the rest? Why should you pay us a visit?
Mint Hill Yoga is unusual in town because we see asana and meditation as holistic wellness tools that can be applied therapeutically, not as aerobic exercises. We are small, with usually less than 12 people to a class, and can look at each student as an individual, remember your name, remember where you hurt and what your unique challenges are, and that is where we meet you on your mat. Our studio is comfortable, accessible to all, and friendly, and we present the physical practices in a step by step, easy way that is approachable by all people of all ages and in most physical and emotional conditions. Our special community is second to none in terms of our supportive and loving attitude toward one another. We encourage students to move and flow(or not) in a way that is natural and appropriate for the individual, and leave fully aware of the miracle of embodiment.
And one more thing? Our classes are priced so you can afford to come.
Please consider joining us soon for a visit. Drop ins are just $12 each.