Our Teachers

Laris Compton Mitchell, Founder/CYT200

A certified yoga instructor since 2009, Laris has studied, practiced and taught for over 35 years.  She started her yoga journey in 1980 when she joined classes at the YMCA in Metairie, Louisiana, and in 1984 accepted the offer to teach the classes herself.  During those years, Laris studied Iyengar-based  yoga, attending numerous workshops presented by outstanding  teachers including Patricia Walden, Mary Dunn, George Purvis, Sam Dworkis, Bobbi Goldin and others.  It was during that time that Laris gained an appreciation for the beauty and balance that can be brought about by thoughtful alignment, not only of the physical body but also of the body with mind and breath. Laris's on-going mission is to use this concept of balancing body, mind and breath to help others discover more ease and comfort within their individual bodies in daily living .   The pose is not the point.  What we as individuals can get from the study of a pose, what that pose can bring into our bodies and minds to make our lives more enjoyable as well as easier:  that is the point.  Laris believes in freely using tools like  blankets, blocks, chairs, straps and laughter to enhance this process.

Having moved to Amite County, Mississippi in 1998, Laris continued teaching, building a new community of friends and students through classes at Southwest Community College for the Institute for Learning in Retirement as well as at Camellia Estates and other venues.   Retreats and workshops as well as online courses in yoga anatomy, back care and restorative yoga, among others,  have  allowed Laris to continue to expand her understanding and excitement for sharing yoga with others.

 In 2004, her husband Bill built the Blue Heron Yoga studio,   a lovely and serene country setting for Laris's  continuing yoga journey.

Eileen Rivers


Eileen has been practicing yoga for over 30 years, having begun by working in a Bikram tradition emphasizing alignment, purposeful sequencing and repetition. Over time she has explored and studied a variety of traditions and now centers her practice around the yoga principle of uniting body, breath and mind. She aims to meet each student where they are and assist them on their unique journey of self-awareness and growth. Her classes combine classic postures, breathing inquiries and movement. Her goal is to provide students the opportunity to experience first-hand the meaning of yoga described in the "Yoga Sutras' by Pantanjali as meeting and experiencing postures,  and thus life, with ease, comfort, awareness and relaxed strength.

Eileen began studying at Blue Heron Yoga Studio in 2016. She has been apprenticing with Laris since spring 2017 and began offering classes at the studio with her 2017 Summer Series. She is continuing her instructor studies  and offers classes and a philosophy study group. She also coordinates the Meditation Gatherings at Blue Heron as part of her wider service to the yoga community.