Our teachers bring a high degree of training and a wide variety of backgrounds and teaching styles to the Pierce Yoga Program. They have all received instruction from T.K.V. Desikachar, are certified through, and continually study with Margaret Pierce.
Margaret Pierce, Director and co-founder of the Pierce Yoga Program, started practicing yoga in college. In 1974-75, she spent nine months in India; the first of many journeys to study with T.K.V. Desikachar. She began to teach yoga in Atlanta in 1975 and founded the Pierce Pregnancy Program. She became a mother herself in 1983 and again in 1988. Margaret also developed a popular strength training program incorporating both yoga and free weights. Margaret continues to study in the tradition of T.K.V. Desikachar and his father, T. Krishnamacharya, still travels to India,and was a founding member of Viniyoga America in 1986. Margaret teaches all levels of Yoga, Yoga with Free Weights, Pregnancy Yoga, and Pregnancy Yoga with Free Weights.
Laura Alexander has practiced yoga with the Pierce Yoga Program since 1994, including pregnancy classes before her daughter's birth in 1996. Laura has taught here since 1997 and is now subbing when needed for the Pregnancy, PostPartum, Labor/Delivery, and Yoga I classes. She traveled to India with the Pierce Yoga Program to study with T.K.V. Desikachar. Laura is also a Doula.
Ayla Harrison has practiced yoga since 1986 and has taught at the Pierce Yoga Program since 1992. In 1998 she traveled to India to study with T.K.V. Desikachar. Ayla teaches Yoga I, Yoga II, Pregnancy Yoga, PostPartum Yoga, and Chanting Workshops here. She also teaches yoga in our Apprenticeship Program and for Emory University's Health and Physical Education Department. Ayla is a trained clinical nutritionist as well as a DONA International Certified Doula. Ayla's website is Yoga Babies Atlanta.
Pat Madden-Hudson has studied and taught a variety of yoga styles for the past 20 years in both Mississippi and Tennessee. Since 1999, she has focused her attention on study exclusively with the Pierce Yoga Program. Pat teaches Yoga I, Yoga II, Yoga with Meditation, Yoga for Musicians, Yoga with Free Weights, and Pregnancy Yoga with Free Weights. Pat is certified through SCW as a Personal Trainer.
Barbara Nardi has practiced yoga since 1969 and has taught for the Pierce Yoga Program since 1983. Barbara teaches both Yoga I and Yoga II here; she also teaches yoga for Emory University's Health and Physical Education Program. Barbara has traveled to India several times to study with T.V.K. Desikachar.
Cindy Stark Reid has practiced yoga since 1978. She is a nationally certified Massage Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor and maintains a private practice in Massage Therapy and Counseling. She has taught Infant Massage since 1984. In addition to Infant Massage, she also teaches the Mother/Baby class at the Pierce Yoga Program.
Heather Wurtzel discovered the joys and benefits of yoga here at the Pierce Program when she was pregnant with her first child in 2002. She continued to develop her practice and after the birth of her second child, she began studying with Margaret. Heather has not only taught Pregnancy Yoga at Pierce, but in 2007 she became a Certified YogaKids Trainer after completing a yearlong intensive study mastering the YogaKids curriculum. Heather teaches our Yoga Tots program.