Our Yoga + Studio

Instructors

The Axis Yoga Approach

Our Wilmington NC Yoga Instructors

Macy Cole

Macy Cole

Senior Instructor

Macy's Bio

Where did you do your training/With who?
Through the Wilmington Yoga Center’s 200hr and 500hr Kunga Yoga Lifestyle and Teacher Training with Kristin Cooper-Gulak, Noelle Whittington, Jessica Bichler, Jamie Annette, and Heather Metzler, the apprenticeship program with Kunga Yoga, and a 100hr teacher training with Yahweh Yoga

Who inspires you/who are your mentors?
My Faith, My Family, My Friends ❤

What led you to your first yoga class?
I was recovering from a chronic injury acquired while playing collegiate level soccer. Yoga seemed to be my only option while healing from surgery in both my legs. Little did I know it would change the course of my entire life!

What kept you coming back to the mat?
The deep spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical connection I felt each and every time I showed up on my mat. And the rippling effects that connection had on the rest of my life!

How do you unwind after a stressful day?
Prayer and quality time with friends and family!

What inspires you?
The ability to tap into our limitless potential and led with Love through all situations

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Blessed

What is a charity or non-profit that you admire?
A non-profit organization created in my hometown of Boone, NC called Wine to Water. Their mission is to offer clean drinking water to everyone in the world! What began as an inspired bartender desiring to help an impoverished community turned into a large scale non-profit dedicated to saving the world one clean sip of water at a time!

If you were a television show, what would be your theme song?
Sparrows By: Jason Gray

Before coming to your class, students should know:
That it will be a heartfelt class full of love and community!

What is your purpose for teaching yoga?
To spread joy, to build community, to empower others to find their own inner voice, and to help create a world inspired by Love

Troy Cole

Troy Cole

Owner

Troy's Bio

Where did you do your training/With who?
My goal is to be the first certified Yoga Instructor from Axis Yoga + Studio

Who inspires you/who are your mentors?
My parents were my first mentors on how to love unconditionally. Other lives that have an overwhelming inspiration on me include: Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, Sir Alex Ferguson, and the countless elite professional athletes that achieved their dreams through belief and hard work!

What led you to your first yoga class?
Soccer dominated my thought process for the first 30 years of life. As soon as I realized that all of the top professionals were using Yoga as a means of improving their career, I knew I had to give it a whirl.

What kept you coming back to the mat?
There is no greater feeling than being removed from thought, in tune with your body, and one step further in your Yoga journey

How do you unwind after a stressful day?
By keeping a journal of gratitude!

What inspires you?
I am inspired by inspiring others! You might have to think on that for a second, however there is not greater feeling than being able to connect with someone and help them get closer to their inner purpose. As coaches and trainers we are able to help others navigate their life by taking control of their physical bodies first!

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Enthusiastic!!!

What is a charity or non-profit that you admire?
Any charity or non-profit that encourages our youth through activity, sport, and movement. My recent introduction to Yoga Village seems promising as they offer up special programs to children in our community!

If you were a television show, what would be your theme song?
Sportscenter, “Eye of the Tiger” or any song from the Rocky Soundtrack

Before coming to your class, students should know:
As a student, I definitely want the teacher to know that I will almost always need extra towels and constant water breaks, as I tend to sweat way too much!

What is your purpose for teaching yoga?
To help people love themselves, so they can love others, and so they can spread that love to the world!

Gina Baker

Gina Baker

Gina's Bio

Where did you do your training/With who?
Wilmington Yoga Center with Jamie Annette and Heather Metzler

Who inspires you/who are your mentors?
Macy Cole has been an inspiration of mine for a long time and now a mentor is a dream come true. I am always in awe of her ability to create such a warm and welcoming energy, she truly lives her yoga.

What led you to your first yoga class?
Yoga was offered at my dance studio I attended at the time. My best friend and I were looking for something new and fun to try so we found ourselves signing up for yoga classes on Friday nights!

What kept you coming back to the mat?
In the beginning I kept coming back to move and re-charge through the physical practice. The more classes I took the more I loved how deeply relaxed I felt after savasana and meditation. I love the balance of connecting my breath to movement and stillness. This tool has helped me a lot in my everyday life. Before yoga I was never aware of my breathing or how beneficial it could be so learning to strengthen that awareness is a gift.

How do you unwind after a stressful day?
I love to either curl up with my kitties and a good book or light a candle and roll out my yoga mat for any kind of practice I am in the mood for whether it’s a strong flow or just sitting in meditation.

What inspires you?
To only name a few I would say nature, walking along the ocean with my boyfriend is one of my favorite things to do and where I find a lot of clarity. I am also deeply inspired by plant based living and how much power whole plant foods have over healing the body.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Compassionate

What is a charity or non-profit that you admire?
NutritionFacts.org is a 501c3 nonprofit charity dedicated to providing the public with free evidence based nutrition research via short videos. The provider, Michael Greger, MD calls it a labor of love dedicating his life sharing with the world how powerful nutrition is for our health and longevity.

If you were a television show, what would be your theme song? 
Midnight City by M83

Before coming to your class, students should know:
I love a long savasana with gentle assists!

What is your purpose for teaching yoga?
I want to share the gifts that yoga has given me so others can relate and use yoga to help bring more peace into their lives. Holding a space where people feel free to be who they really are so together we can grow this community based on love and connection. Everyone wants to feel good inside and out, I hope to inspire a positive path on someone’s journey toward a happy and healthy life through the teachings of yoga.

Melissa Middlebrook

Melissa Middlebrook

Melissa's Bio

Where did you do your training/With who?
I completed by 200 hour training with Lexi Hawks and Mary Glackmeyer at Longwave Yoga here in Wilmington in November 2015. I also completed the Mindful Resilience for Trauma Recovery Level 1 training through Veterans Yoga Project in February 2016.

Who inspires you/who are your mentors?
First and foremost, always and forever, my mother. My teaching mentors are Shannon Ball (who changed the way I experienced this practice) at 5 Points Yoga in Athens, GA, and of course, Lexi and Mary at Longwave Yoga. In addition, I find inspiration in almost every single person in my life in some way, even when it’s difficult. I am surrounded by so many incredible humans, and I’m always meeting more!

What led you to your first yoga class?
My very first yoga class was when I was about 16 and it was actually a Bikram class (I had no idea what I was getting myself into)! My original intent was to give it a try as an alternative to the sports I was involved in and to work on my flexibility, which has always been a struggle. As the story goes, and often does, it was much more than just stretching that kept me coming back, which me leads me to….

What kept you coming back to the mat?
Everything. The way I felt after a class, the self-awareness that began to develop, how clear everything began to feel, the (positive) shift I began to experience within.

How do you unwind after a stressful day?
Lavender bubble baths are my JAM. Throw in some gorgeous smelling candles and a good book and you may never get me out!

What inspires you?
Nature, more specifically, sunrises, the human connection, kindness, resilience…

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
I’m having a hard time with this one, so can I say “indecisive”? My mom’s answer was “Conscientious”, so I’ll take that!

What is a charity or non-profit that you admire?
Fun fact, I’ve only ever worked for non-profits! There’s a lot of great work out there that has built some incredible non-profits and charitable organizations. Most recently, my family has donated to IRC (International Refugee Committee) in response to the crisis in Syria. They do a lot of commendable work with refugees both in and out of the United States. Yoga Village is an incredible local non-profit that helps provide yoga in schools and where there is a need in the community.

If you were a television show, what would be your theme song?
I’m just going to go with “Freedom” by George Michael. It holds this incredible embodiment of what this physical form of relieving freedom feels like in song form. I just want to dance!

Before coming to your class, students should know:
I’m a huge fan of a gentle savasana assist with essential oils. Of course, this is optional, but if you like a nice head, neck, and shoulder rub, plan on it in my classes!

What is your purpose for teaching yoga?
I think my purpose, as with most things, is always naturally evolving. I have always said, “changing the world starts within”, and I truly believe it does. My yoga practice has helped my life for the better. I don’t expect it to be what it is to me to everyone since we are all unique individuals, but I do know that it can be an incredible tool for the mind, body, and spirit. My original draw to teaching was to incorporate yoga into my work in the mental health field, w​hich I currently do, but my hope in teaching is that each student leaves class feeling a little bit better than when they came in, however that translates to them.

Natalie Elfner

Natalie Elfner

Natalie's Bio

Where did you do your training/With who? 
I completed my 300-hour teacher training at Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica in the Fall of 2011. This training consisted of 200 hours in teacher training and 100 hours of training in experiential anatomy. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I was completely immersed in an incredibly positive and warm environment! I love traveling and doing yoga!

Who inspires you/who are your mentors?
Don and Amba, my teachers at Nosara Yoga institute, were such inspirations. The art of their education was to draw out the uniqueness in each individual, and to encourage us to explore what interests each of us personally, and to then instill this fascination in our teaching. My mother is also a huge inspiration to me; she has been teaching yoga for over 20 years.

What led you to your first yoga class?
I grew up playing sports and dancing, but I was looking for something physical that challenged me during and after college in order to fulfill my desire to stay athletic and active. Yoga offered me not only the physical challenge, but the mental challenge as well.

What kept you coming back to the mat? 
I kept coming back to the mat because of the way yoga made me feel. Yoga helps me on so many levels, whether it’s to relax, unwind after a stressful day, or kicking my butt back in shape.

How do you unwind after a stressful day?
Sitting on the beach or listening to music is my all-time favorite way to unwind!

What inspires you?
Surrounding myself with positive individuals keeps me inspired. My friends inspire me everyday. Having strong friendships has always been important to me; sharing love, compassion, and support for them – and getting it in return – is truly inspiring!

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Hmmm. Warm. I think it’s important to live your life without judgement and with honesty and sincerity towards everyone.

What is a charity or non-profit that you admire?
National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation!! I have a huge love for sea turtles and for respecting and protecting their natural habitat.

If you were a television show, what would be your theme song?
I think I would change my answer to this question everyday, haha. I have a problem where I will listen to a new song on repeat every week and make it my theme song. Right now my television theme song would be Jubel by Klingade. Love it!

Before coming to your class, students should know:
I like to incorporate a theme into my teaching, and music is my all-time favorite element of creating/taking a yoga class. I’ve always believed in the power of music!!

What is your purpose for teaching yoga?
Teaching can be difficult! I have developed a newfound respect for all teachers. But I think everyone is drawn to yoga in different ways. I want to help everyone find out what draws them to their own practice.

Maribeth Johnson

Maribeth Johnson

Maribeth's Bio

Where did you do your training/With who?
Wilmington Yoga Center/ Kristen Cooper & Jess Bichler

Who inspires you/who are your mentors? 
My dad for his strong faith, love for his family, his gentle spirit, wisdom, continued encouragement & Will for his sense of adventure & love for connecting with others.
Mentors: Macy Cole

What led you to your first yoga class?
I was searching for a way to unwind/ alleviate stress from work/graduate school as well as alleviate pain (caused from migraines/medication).

What kept you coming back to the mat?
How great I began to feel, a desire to create balance in my life, and the desire to learn more tools that I could apply to improve my heath and wellbeing.

How do you unwind after a stressful day?
Yoga, running, and journaling

What inspires you?
People who are comfortable in their own skin that have a strong desire to unite people by sharing their passions and talents with others. People who live by love.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Patient

What is a charity or non-profit that you admire?
Autism speaks and Yoga Village

If you were a television show, what would be your theme song? 
Happy Face By: Destiny’s Child

Before coming to your class, students should know:
I have the hardest time mirroring postures because I confuse my left and right. I always want to end a class with something that I hope will inspire people to remember just how unique and great they are.

What is your purpose for teaching yoga?
To empower people to love themselves, be themselves, and share their talents with the world. To give back what yoga has provided for me. When you are living by love there is not time to hate and the world needs more love.

Shelley Jackson

Shelley Jackson

Shelley's Bio

Where did you do your training/With who?
Studio Vibe Cary, NC with Patty Geiger

Who inspires you/who are your mentors?
Obviously Joseph Pilates and the “mover and shakers” of the Pilates world!  The ones that take risk and push the boundaries…. they keep me motivated and inspired…. too many to mention.

What led you to your first Pilates class?
I danced most of my life and after years of running and high intensity exercise without much stretching I realized I lost most of my flexibility.  Pilates was always recommended by my dance instructors and it felt like a perfect complement to exercise routine.

What kept you coming back?
I started to stand taller, run faster and felt so stress free after every Pilates class… and an amazing instructor helped motivate me!

How do you unwind after a stressful day?
I love spending time with my Husband, my Son and our dog Lucy.  They can all easily make me smile and laugh after a long day!

What inspires you?
Positive Energy!

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Passionate

What is a charity or non-profit that you admire?
My 15 year-old nephew was recently diagnosed with Leukemia.  There has been an outpour of support from charities, organization, groups, individuals and non-profit organizations.  There are honestly too many to mention.  My family is humbled daily by the outpouring of love and support.

If you were a television show, what would be your theme song?
Flaws and All – Beyoncé (drama/romance series)
Happy – Pharrell Williams (comedy series)
Xanadu – Olivia Newton John (non-fiction series)
LOL!!!

Before coming to your class, students should know:
The hour you spend with me is about a challenge and competition with yourSELF!  I teach in a judgement free zone, welcome ALL levels and my purpose is for you to leave feeling confident and positive about your practice.

What is your purpose for teaching?
I enjoy watching people enjoy themselves.  It may sound cliché but it is so rewarding to witness.  

Casey Newman

Casey Newman

Casey's Bio

Where did you do your training/With who?
I did my training at Wilmington Yoga Center with Heather Metzler and Jamie Annette.

Who inspires you/who are your mentors?
I’m inspired every day by my incredible teachers and friends!

What led you to your first yoga class?
I had just moved back to the US after spending a year in Scotland, and I was feeling completely ungrounded and disconnected from my own life. I was also (shamelessly) reading Eat Pray Love at the time, so that kind of nudged me in the direction of yoga.

What kept you coming back to the mat?
I was a dancer my whole life, so I loved that yoga was a way to use movement as expression as well as a spiritual practice.

How do you unwind after a stressful day?
I unwind with yoga & reading a good book.

What inspires you?
Traveling as much as possible, spending time at the ocean, exploring the world & experiencing new things.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
This is too hard–indecisive!? Adventurous. Traveler. Yogi.

What is a charity or non-profit that you admire?
Sgt Pepper’s Friends (an animal rescue)

If you were a television show, what would be your theme song?
Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root

Before coming to your class, students should know:
I love strong & powerful and slow & juicy vinyasa flows, and my playlists are always on point!

What is your purpose for teaching?
To help others use their practice as a tool to dig deeper than the physical asana & get down to the root of who they really are.