All of our trainers are certified in their movement formats, bringing their unique expertise in movement, physiology, and musicality. They understand that no two bodies are alike and love creating classes for all to enjoy.
Cynthia Sims Owner/ Instructor
Hot Buti Yoga
Cynthia is a RYT 200 hour certified Yoga Alliance instructor, a certified Advanced Buti Yoga instructor, and certified Hot Buti Yoga instructor. Along with being a lifelong fitness enthusiast, Cynthia is also a registered nurse with over two decades of experience working in the healthcare field.
Cynthia has been teaching Buti Yoga since 2015 and was the first instructor to bring this movement style to Asheville. In early 2014, Cynthia took her first Buti Yoga class and fell in love with the practice. It incorporated all the movement that she was longing for in one class. Over the years, she consistently taught at two studios before founding Primal Studios in March 2017. Cynthia knew the potential for Buti Yoga to gain popularity and make a huge impact in the community, and decided to dedicate all that she had to making it happen. After opening Primal Studios, Cynthia continued to teach at another dance studio in town, as well as coordinating and teaching yoga events at multiple breweries, yoga studios, restaurants, bars and retail stores.
Cynthia's education includes a Critical Care Registered Nurse Certification, Advanced Cardiac Life Support Certification, Holistic Nursing Certification, a 675-hour Massage Therapy school, Applied Aromatherapy Certification, Reiki level 2, and Healing Touch Level III Practitioner.
Cynthia loves dancing, music, community and making new connections. She also has a deep love for the outdoors, mountain biking, photography, gardening and anything that can get her in touch with the earth element.
Cynthia feels her soul's work is to assist people to heal from the inside out through movement, education, mind/body awareness, connection and community.
Hip Hop Yoga
Jess found yoga as a teenager and has been hooked ever since. With a BA in World Religions and her MA in Health Arts & Sciences, she went on to receive her first 200 hour level training (at 21). She completed her second yoga teaching certification and several 500 hour level trainings through the Asheville Yoga Center. Now, as a mother and bodyworker (with over 10 years of experience), yoga has become a necessary part of life to maintain balance, strength, and peace of mind. She’s studied many different lineages and styles and loves combining them for a well-rounded practice. Jess blends a power flow with alignment awareness, breath-work, elements of Astanga, and Yin combined with a soulful and eclectic playlist. She believes movement is the medicine to help us find our inner stillness. She provides a welcoming, safe, and sacred space for ALL people, body types, and experience levels.
Jess loves mountain biking, stand up paddle boarding, hiking with her dog, playing the ukulele, and traveling the world with her husband and daughter.
A native of Bristol, Tennessee, Ebonie Morris started her yoga practice at home. After suffering a devastating personal loss, Ebonie relied on yoga to get her through the dark nights. Depression, anxiety, and loneliness gave way to a newfound joy, serenity, empowerment and confidence. Buti had inspired incredible life transformations that she had to become an instructor in 2016. She is currently in the process of obtaining her 200 RYT within Buti Yoga's program. This practice has changed her life in ways that she plans to be a master trainer to continue to spread the practice and step into her leadership skills. Ebonie enjoys teaching to a diverse array of music that inspires and uplifts her Buti tribe. Movement is a step towards healing that Ebonie passionately creates in each class for every student. She wants to create a strong sense of community within Asheville.
Hip Hop Dance
Melvin AC Howell is an internationally cultured choreographer and creative director who has been transforming and molding lives, while evolving the art of dance, for over 13 years. His approach is his purpose, “Spread positivity, encouragement, and guidance through dance. The positivity movement.”
With a background in fitness, art, and many different cultural styles of dance, Melvin brings a unique vision to the world that is dance. His visionary style and technique promotes growth physically and mentally, encouraging a strengthened body, foundation, and creative capacity.
As a movement expert and master instructor in Hip Hop, Contemporary, Jazz Funk, and Freestyle; Melvin emits a genuine uplifting abundance of positive energy and inspiration, which fills the atmosphere and effortlessly uplifts your spirits, leaving you motivated and wanting more. With dance serving as the primary purpose in his life,Melvin not only touches at the center of what inspires people to move; the desire to create, to feel, to connect, to speak without words. Moreover, Melvin focuses on the core of the human desire for motivation, support, inspiration, and love. It is his mission, his passion, his life goal: “To Change People’s Lives for the better.”
Buti Yoga Lite
Jenny is a certified RYT 200 yoga instructor, Buti Yoga Instructor, and business owner with her company Heartistree Studios videography.
Jenny’s passion for movement manifested in the form of sports and fitness, as well as capturing motion and emotion as a filmmaker, receiving a Masters Degree in Film from Ohio University in 2013. Musicality was a part of her video editing training, and Jenny was already obsessed with making mixtapes in her early years, which explains why she loves creating playlists for her yoga classes that elicit a mood/theme!
In 2015, Jenny moved from Pocomoke, Maryland to Asheville. Instantly inspired by her experience taking classes at Primal Studios, Jenny pursued her yoga teaching journey to connect deeper with herself and others, in a quest for self-discovery and personal growth.
In August 2017, Jenny received a 200RYT certification from Asheville Yoga Center and in September 2017, became Buti Yoga certified in D.C. Jenny began teaching at Primal Studios in November 2017.
These rewarding trainings and opportunities to lead yoga classes have taken her confidence and self-acceptance to new heights, and have given Jenny the tools to create blissful movement experiences combining her passions of music, movement, and self-discovery.
Jenny and her partner Bryan Divisions are the creators of the “Higher Vibes Yoga & Live Hip-Hop Show,” traveling and sharing their bliss-activating yoga and uplifting mystical rap to yoga studios and wellness centers nationwide.
Jenny enjoys cooking plant-based vegan foods and loves being out in nature, especially hiking to waterfalls to breathe in that good Prana : )
Radiant Body Yoga
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Carter is a mindfulness practitioner and yoga teacher who has spent the last decade immersing himself in the science of yoga, meditation, and wellness. Creator of The Mind Abides, Carter inspires others to be curious about the radiating joy inside us all. His passion lies in helping others positively shift their relationship with food, energize their body and spirit, and remove stress from life to help realize their truest path.
Using ancient breathing and meditation techniques, he overcame obesity in his adolescence, healing his body of disconnect, and as an engineer in his twenties, balanced his brain of stress while rediscovering his soul’s deeper purpose.
Instructor Sharon Saltzgiver is a dancer, choreographer, and performer. She debuted as a tapping kangaroo at 4 and later earned a dance minor at Bates College. Selected to perform a solo at an ACDF Gala performance, she was also picked as a member of the African Dance Company while studying at the Amercian Dance Festival at Duke University. Sharon performed at venues around Boston’s North Shore with Exit Dance Company and Greg Cole’s African Dance and Drums.
In her own words:
"I dance because it is the language of my soul and my spirit’s power source. Dance is a wellspring of vitality and health, a primal connector of mind, body and spirit through the fusion of music and movement. It's not about putting someone else’s moves on your body but exploring how your body is asking to express its voice through the choreography.
Through dance you practice authenticity of movement so your physical presence embodies your true spirit. You enter a room truly expressing your essential being and power and divine grace. "
When Andrea began her practice journey 10 years ago, she was overly determined to get each asana ‘right’ and constantly challenged herself, often leading to feelings of frustration. The ‘real’ yoga showed up when she let go of expectations and discovered her own rhythms, breath and prayers.
In her classes, the goal is to remain connected with source energy, provide guidance in skillful flow and to hold space for self-inspired movement. Mostly, she seeks to offer an experience as you move closer to your own authentic truths, discover your own strengths and find your own rhythms, on and off the mat.
Andrea’s training in Vinyasa, Hatha, Prana focused styles, Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Board Yoga and experiences with multiple skill levels in various environments have given her a deep well of tools to support you along your journey, regardless of where you are in your practice today.
Andrea says: “For me, yoga is so much more than asana- it’s allowing each breath to fully inhabit our souls, bringing peace, stillness and pure joy. Each inhale and exhale we weave into our practice and the moment-to-moment journey... all the while whispering YESSSSSS to life!
Sherilynne (Sherry) Fields is a Massage Therapist and small business owner from Wilmington, DE. In 2012, she and her partner, Phil decided to make Asheville home.
In her practice Dragonfly Conscious Health she helps patients and clients from all walks of life become free from pain and greatly improve their overall wellness. She has a love for natural health and yoga that started over 10 years ago with her own quest for better overall health.
Sherry's background in Hot 26(Bikram), Bhakti, and Ashtanga yoga disciplines, as well as her 7+ years as a bodyworker have given her an understanding of the body and it's incredible healing abilities that she brings straight to Buti Yoga. Her pure joy and compassion for others shines in her dynamic, high energy classes here at Primal Studios. No matter where you are, her class will lift you up and raise your vibration!
Buti Yoga Master Trainer
Judy is from Brevard, NC and has been practicing yoga for 3 years and Buti Yoga for almost 3 years. Judy became a certified Buti Yoga instructor in the fall of 2016 and started teaching directly after. In the summer of 2017, she completed Buti Yoga's 200hr RY, receiving a certification in Vinyasa Flow, Hot Buti, and then the DEEP restorative program. Judy has been through Buti Yoga's advanced training twice and was accepted into Buti’s Master Trainee program in June 2018. Buti Yoga has taken me to a place in my life that I would have never imagined, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Come try a class, keeping in mind that this practice is different but the inner healing gained from it is beyond imaginable!
Hanna is a local and native of Western North Carolina. She received a Bachelors degree in Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. After graduation, her passion for yoga began to flourish and became a lifestyle.
In 2017, her passion for yoga, the Spanish language, and travel brought her to the Mystical Yoga Farm on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala where she spent 22 blissful days becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher.
Her time in this magical place brought an indescribable change to her life and her practice. Hanna's training brings a unique style to the studio. A mixture of a vinyasa flow and indigenous shamanic practices, her class focuses on the meaningful union of mind and body, bringing yoga to a personal level.
Hip Hop Dance
Tyler is from Murfreesboro, TN and moved to Asheville just over 5 years ago.
Two years ago he took Hip Hop Fitness for the first time and immediately realized the dance community is one of the most energetic, positive and motivational groups of people he had ever encountered. Since then, Tyler has grown so much and is thrilled to have the opportunity to motivate and inspire others through the art of movement, just like he was inspired two years ago.
Heather Miller is a certified RYT 200 Yoga Instructor, Buti Yoga Instructor, and massage therapist, LMBT. Her journey of bodywork and movement started in 2007, when she completed a 900 hour advanced massage therapy program, including myofasical release techniques, neuromuscular therapy with a well rounded integrative approach to massage.
In 2009 Heather and her now husband went on a journey of self discovery on the Appalachian Trail where an injury forced her off the trail. A new healing adventure awaited and at this time Heather was introduced to the amazing benefits of hot yoga! In 2010 Heather completed the Asheville Yoga Center’s 28 day immersion and after teaching for a year, she gave birth to her son.
Heather says "I fell away from a physical asana practice for many years, turning to the yoga of life and trying to balance motherhood, partnership, being a bodyworker and massage therapist and friend to my community. After giving birth to my daughter in 2014, my body did not want to “bounce back” the way I had envisioned. I was lacking in energy, strength and stability in so many ways. This time Buti Yoga, came into my life, and has brought so many levels of healing and support that I didn’t know possible. I feel this community expanding and my heart is exploding with joy to finally peruse teaching yoga of many realms. I can’t wait to meet you on the mat and expand your hearts with me.”
Mahogany is a trainer with a true love for the the feeling of both inner and outer transformation. Mahogany is a native to Asheville, N.C., who grew up with a strong passion for movement and sports. Through his love and determination for football, he received a football scholarship to Limestone College. During his time playing football he worked alongside collegiate strength coaches. Mahogany took the knowledge he gathered from the coaches developing his own training method and techniques. Currently, he uses these ideas and patterns to train individuals aging 7-64, including elementary school athletes and Division 1 football players. Mahogany also attended Winston Salem State University and during this time the weight room became his safe haven. While there, he developed connections with professional bodybuilders. Soon after this, he began his journey as a bodybuilder. Mahogany has competed for two years and has moved up rankings in each competition. Bodybuilding taught him the art of mind muscle connection. To Mahogany, being a bodybuilder is like being a sculptor, every movement has a purpose. Allowing each muscle to perform how it was intended, our bodies will transform. Adding resistance to muscles force them to break down. What we fuel our bodies with allows our systems to become stronger. With consistent work change is inevitable in all areas of life!
Ami received her 200 RYT from Asheville Yoga Center, specializing in Yin, Flow, and Restorative Yoga. Yoga found her as a teenager and has become a way of balancing stress and anxiety in everyday life. She customizes a complete spiritual and physical experience for the mind, body, and soul that will bring you out of your head and into your body.
Mauni was born in the mountains of Western North Carolina and discovered her passion for yoga at the early age of 12 when she was diagnosed with scoliosis. Mauni had been practicing ballet at Pats School of Dance for 3 years and loved the physical discipline and calming effect that consistent stretching and strengthening exercises had on her mind and body. After her diagnosis her doctor suggested that she explore yoga due to her affinity for ballet. What started as a morning practice to alleviate and reduce the effects of scoliosis, soon blossomed into a journey into spiritual, emotional and physical healing which prompted her exploration of many different styles of yoga, from Ashtanga, Yin, Vinyasa,Bikram, etc.
In 2013, while pursuing her Bachelors degree in Nutrition and Wellness at UNCG, Mauni received her AFAA certification for Group Exercise Instruction and her basic Level 1 YogaFit certification, which allowed her to teach yoga at UNCG’s Recreation Center and share her passion with her peers. It wasn't until 2014 when she stumbled upon Dancing Dogs, a Baptiste studio in Greensboro, NC that she found the style of yoga she knew she wanted to be trained in & share with others. In December 2014, Mauni completed her training and received her 200 RYT Certification in Baptiste Power Flow from Dancing Dogs Yoga.
The next semester in May 2015, she graduated from UNCG with her Bachelors in Nutrition and immediately moved back home to Asheville, North Carolina. She has been teaching Baptiste Power & Gentle Vinyasa Flow and furthering her knowledge in nutrition, health and wellness ever since. Although Mauni is trained in Baptiste, she is always open to learning what all styles of yoga have to offer and is currently seeking a program to pursue her 500 hr certification.