Mural at St Matthews StudioSt Matthews Studio mural Shiva and Shakti 
Painted by artist and Mysore Ashtanga student, Jean Distler,
and assisted by Linda Erzinger.
Dedicated on December 13, 2014.

The mural at the St Matthews Studio depicts Shiva (the male dancing figure on the left) and Durga (the female figure seated on a tiger on the right). In the yoga tradition, Shiva is the primordial yogi, the first yoga teacher from the beginning of time. Shiva is the source of the yoga tradition. Shiva is also one of the Tridev, the three main deities in Hinduism, who are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva; and represent the divine aspects of Creation, Preservation and Dissolution.

Here, Shiva is shown in his traditional yogic form. Shiva does not wear silks and jewels; he has long dreadlocks, is clothed in a tiger skin, and adorns Himself with living serpents and strands of seeds from the rudraksha tree. The crescent moon is His crest-jewel. Read more....

Our History

Yoga East was founded in 1974 by Maja Trigg (1927-2016) and incorporated as a non-profit educational organization in 1978. Maja retired in 1994 and trained three of her students to teach yoga and assume management of the organization she founded. Donna O'Bryan, Linda Hodge and Laura Spaulding took over in April, 1994 and opened a small studio on Grinstead Drive. Yoga East has expanded over the years to multiple locations and more classes and styles of yoga, but our corporate philosophy and mission has remained the same: To make the benefits of yoga available to all in the Greater Louisville community.

Yoga East is a traditional yoga school. We are not a gym or workout facility. We teach traditional yoga as it has been taught in India. We are committed to teaching the authentic yoga tradition, as it has been taught for centuries. The yoga tradition is over 2500 years old and has uplifted countless millions of people. 

Did you know...?

Yoga East, Inc. is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a public charity. We are a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit educational organization, and contributions to Yoga East are tax-deductible charitable donations. You can help us to extend the benefits of yoga to more people by volunteering your time and expertise, as well as by donations. Call us or ask your teacher how you can help. Phone the office for information at 502-585-9642. Please help support our programs. No amount is too small, and every donation is deeply appreciated.

Our Non-Profit Mission

To make the benefits of yoga available to the Greater Louisville regardless of age, fitness level or ability to pay class fees.

We have fulfilled our non-profit mission by:

Offering Low-Cost Yoga Classes

We offer low cost classes, scholarships and work-study opportunities to many students.

Teaching yoga to people who might otherwise never have access to its benefits

We have offered classes, many at no charge or at greatly reduced charges, to teenagers and children at Ballard High School, St. Bernard School, Detrick Educational Center, Eliahu Academy, Hayfield Montessori School, Kneseth Israel Preschool, St. Francis School, River City Correctional Facility, Seven Counties Mental Health, The Center for Women and Families, and The Healing Place (shelter for women in recovery). Yoga East also led the Louisville Yoga Community's efforts to raise funds for Breast Cancer Research by participating in the national event called "Positive Yoga." Yoga East instructors provide classes to local institutions such as the YMCA and many local fitness centers and churches. The feedback we get from participants in these programs is positive as they begin to experience the uplifting nature of yoga acting in their lives.

2012 MDA Lockup: Yoga East raised over $2000 for the Musculary Dystrophy Association for its 2012 fundraiser.

Tsunami Relief

Yoga East supported relief efforts through donations to Care USA, Prasad Project and Direct Relief International - charitable organizations proving relief to the areas hit by the disaster. From December, 2004 through March, 2005, Yoga East raised and donated $2485.00 to Direct Relief International; Care USA; and The Prasad Project.

Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Birthday Trust: Yoga East has collected donations for this fund 100 percent of which supports charitable projects for disadvantaged children and adults in Mysore, India. Over $24,000 was given by Ashtanga students in the U.S. in honor of Guruji's 90th birthday. Yoga East is the U.S. agent for donations to the Trust.

Hurricane Katrina Victims Relief

Yoga East collected donations for hurricane victims, offered free classes to persons who were displaced by the Gulf Coast disasters and provided financial assistance to yoga studios in the disaster areas.

Grants for Yoga Programs
Grants have been given to Arsha Vidya Gurukulum to support its traditional yoga educational projects and in gratitude for AVG providing us with technical support for Sanskrit word processing, and to Gray Bear Lodge of Hohenwald, Tennessee to support its mission of providing a serene atmosphere for yoga retreats and workshops.

Scholarships for Teacher Training and Education

Mysore Fund

Authorized Ashtanga teachers are required to travel to Mysore, India every 18 months to spend a minimum of one month studying with Shri K. Pattabhi Jois. Donations give teachers financial assistance for international travel and classes at KPJ AYI and also helps Yoga East pay for substitute teachers while teachers are in India. Mark donations: Mysore Fund.

Rhonda Lawson Memorial Scholarship Fund

Named in honor of our teacher training student Rhonda Lawson. The day before she was to have begun our teacher training program in 2004, Rhonda was seriously injured in an automobile accident and passed away a few days later. This scholarship honors the memory of Rhonda, a dedicated student who wanted to bring the benefits of yoga to as many people as possible. Scholarship recipients: Rebecca Thompson, Patty Stark, Joe Autry and Rider Wathen.

Community Yoga Teacher Training

We get many requests for yoga classes for cancer survivors, teens and children, the elderly and other under-served segments of our community. We offer a unique teacher training program for volunteer teachers who agree to teach one free class a week for one year. Our community teachers currently offer classes at Dosker Manor, Elder Serve Oak and Acorn Center, Hosparus and Gilda's Club.  These opportunities are given to Yoga East students who have been regularly attending our classes for a minimum of five years and have supported Yoga East through volunteer involvement with the studio.

Work-Study Program

Many students and teacher trainees receive work-study opportunities: cleaning the studio, assisting in classes, and teaching. These opportunities are open to Yoga East students with a dedicated yoga practice, a history of attendance at our classes and a commitment to Yoga East's mission.


Yoga East Board of Directors

Laura Spaulding, President and CEO
Susan Reid, Vice President
Victor Davenport, Treasurer
Kim Eisner, Secretary

Erin Cronin
Victor Davenport
Kim Eisner

Anne Kosko
Gail Minotti
Marylee Rothschild
Karen Strobel

Becky Thompson

Saraswathi Jois - Louisville Workshop April-May 2015
KPJAYI is now directed by Pattabhi Jois's daughter and grandson, Saraswathi Jois and R. Sharath Jois. Saraswathi received two certificates from Krishnamacharya and completed Advanced B series. A pioneer in the field of yoga, she was the first woman to graduate from the Sanskrit College of Mysore and the first woman yoga teacher to teach men and women yoga students together.  She has been teaching Ashtanga for many decades. Her son Sharath studied daily with K. Pattabhi Jois for over seventeen years and is now practicing Sixth Series.  Yoga students flock to Mysore from all over the world to study with them.
Believe it or not, we took Saraswathi and her daughter Sharmila to The Oaks.

Paramguru Sharath Jois is Director of the K P Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India. We were privileged to be the first yoga shala in the U.S. to host Sharath for a full workshop, in June, 2003.
Sharath taught classes here at Yoga East for two weeks and showed us the correct form for Sanskrit-counted vinyasa for Primary Series. We presented Sharath with an Apple laptop and took him for a cruise on the Belle of Louisville.

Sharath's Louisville Visit 2003

Personnel Committee
(Teacher Hiring, Grievances, Discipline)
Anne Kosko
Kim Eisner
Susan Reid
Karen Strobel
Becky Thompson

Curriculum & Schedules
Susan Reid

Anne Kosko
Erin Cronin

Teacher Certification Committee

(Teacher Training Certification & Renewal)

Anne Kosko
Becky Thompson
Kim Eisner
Susan Reid
Kara Price
Laura Spaulding

Scholarships and Financial Aid
Marylee Rothschild
Laura Spaulding

Yoga East Volunteer Coordinators
Highlands: Becky Thompson

East End: Laura Spaulding
St. Matthews: Susan Reid

Main Studio at Highlands

Ashtanga Workshop at East End

Sound Journey Workshop at St Matthews