Madia swicord, director + lead trainer

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Madia is always exploring  and encouraging the adventure of "the edge" of what awakens you.  Dancing with the mind/body interface can be felt in all her classes.  Come play the edge and see what stirs you.

Madia created, owned, and operated one of the first yoga & massage studio's in Chattanooga from 2000-2010.   

She is a Graduate in the Professional Training of Hakomi Mindfulness Experiential Therapy in Asheville, NC. Hakomi is a body-centered psychotherapy that can be experienced as "assisted self-study".

Learn more about Madia at Madia's Healing Arts.

janka livoncova, trainer

eryt-500, lmt


Janka has been practicing meditation and yoga since 1994 and teaching since 2004. Janka completed her 200 hour teacher training with Stephanie Keach in 2005 in Asheville, NC, and in 2009 completed her 500 hour level with Mary Paffard in CA. Her style is also influenced by the teachings and practice of Angela Farmer, Vanda Scaravelli and her studies in Somatics. Janka is a student in the Body-Mind Centering® Somatic Movement Education program at Kinetic Learning Center in Durham, NC.

Since 2007, Janka has been studying the dharma under her guiding teacher Daeja Napier and with Thanissara and Kittisaro since 2010. Janka maintains a daily meditation practice and regularly attends meditation retreats with her dharma teachers. She has also completed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine, professional training program under the direction of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Dr. Saki Santorelli and leads the 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction courses at the Center for Mindful Living. Visit Breathing Body Yoga for more about Janka.



jess ewart, guest faculty

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Outside the usual credentials, Jess Ewart is an inspirational and radical visionary. She challenges her clients and students to let go of societal conventions/expectations so they can reclaim their time (our most precious commodity) and expand their spirit. Jess encourages all conscious beings to look beyond "belief" into the deep-seated “knowing” that can unlock unlimited freedom and infinite potential.

Jess is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Yoga Teacher, and Co-Founder of both the Aspen Yoga School (200RYS) and Chattanooga Yoga School (200RYS). She is a member of the Aspen Yoga Society and serves as Executive Director of the Aspen City of Wellbeing which is advised by Dr. Deepak Chopra. Jess was honored to be named one of the first Ahimsa Girls. 

When she's not traveling, writing, or teaching, you will find Jess playing her most honored role in life as a hands-on mom and wife in the beautiful Roaring Fork Valley which is located high in the Rocky Mountains.

Sue Reynolds, guest faculty



I found yoga in 1972 and since then have enjoyed the benefits and support that it has brought to my life. First teacher certification was in 1975 with Swami Vishnudevananda/ Sivananda school, Nassau Bahamas. In 2001, after exposure to a number of master teachers, I completed certification through Southeastern Institute for Yoga Instructors in Nashville. My practice has been through many stages, from emphasis on the precision and therapeutics of Iyengar and the physicality of flow styles, to the deeper,subtle internal energy to be found in long practice of all hatha yoga and meditation. As founder and former co-owner of Chattanooga's first yoga studio, I am now finding more time to continue the practice of being a student, a grandmother, and being mindful of the joys and challenges that life brings. I count among my most influential teachers Erich Schiffman, Rodney Yee, Doug Keller, and the students that have been in my classes  I salute and feel grateful for the ones who have gone on to become yoga teachers.

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John Gwin, MD, guest faculty


John is a native Chattanoogan and is a graduate of the McCallie School.  He received his undergraduate education at Vanderbilt University and earned his M.D. at the Yale University School of Medicine.  He completed residency training in general surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and fellowship training in surgical oncology at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.  He has held faculty positions at Temple University School of Medicine and the University of Tennessee and currently practices general surgery and surgical oncology in Chattanooga.  He also serves as the Medical Director of the Wound Healing Center at Memorial Hospital.
He began his yoga practice two years ago with Madia Swicord and has experienced its transformative effects from a physical, mental and spiritual standpoint. He has served as faculty at the Chattanooga Yoga School and has taught sessions on the Science of Yoga and Yoga as Medicine to yoga teacher trainees.  Long interested in the combination of therapies to treat disease, he seeks to explore the scientific basis of yoga practice and the holistic integration of yoga with traditional medicine to enhance wellness.

sara mingus, eryt


Yoga allows us to connect through breath, music, sweat, and touch.  The connection yoga gives us to ourselves and those around us is what has kept me on my mat for the past 20 years. For the past 15 years I've led yogis through challenging, grounding, sweaty flows, allowing and encouraging the opportunity to get out of our heads and into our hearts. I've practiced and trained with teachers such as Baron Baptiste and Jonny Kest, who have inspired me along my journey, which has included building a yoga studio and community. Now I enjoy time on and off my mat always teaching and inspiring my three-year-old son.

Many great Instructors & speakers join the CYS community,  check back here to see who may be dropping in!