Academy of Living Arts
About the Guides:
Christy Lynn Hicks
Artist, Mentor & Guide
Hi, I’m Christy Lynn!
I am the overarching guide for the Academy of Natural Arts as well as one of the daily learning guides.
The Academy is run out of my wellness integration center, Elevation Central, which was my childhood home that my father, Jerry Hicks built in the 70s.
I have been teaching adults and children holistic health & wellness for the past 28 years and have owned my own holistic business for the past 19. Before that, I spent 10 years working in the corporate world.
I was born and raised in Nashville and spent 20 years in Los Angeles, 15 of which, I owned and operated a Yoga School where I had the honor of teaching thousands of students, certifying hundreds of teachers and hiring countless friends, teachers, mentors and colleagues to share their gifts with our community. It was a dream come true.
When 2020 hit and I was forced to shut down, I chose to let it all go and create a new dream right back where I started, in the home my father built in Mt Juliet, TN. Hence Elevation Central was born.
I have been homeschooling my son with the support of private schools, tutorials, homeschool groups, tutors, camps and alternative programs for 13 years.
With the past few years of his learning being held more indoors and more online, I have been seeking a more well-rounded, holistic environment with lots of outdoor time that supports him in his education, health, wellness and overall happiness.
When his most recent homeschool program dissolved into another school even further away from home, I decided to take my nearly 30 years of teaching experience and utilize my wellness retreat integration center to create the Academy of Natural Arts.
I am excited and honored to guide my son and other children as well as adults with what I have discovered over the years to help them foster a love of learning, take good care of themselves in mind, body & spirit, find their unique gifts and strengths, share their authentic voice with confidence and feel a sense of meaning and purpose while enjoying the journey, resulting in a life of happiness and health as they pursue their passion and make a difference in the world.
As an eternal student and long time entrepreneur, here’s some of what I have studied & taught over the years.
Journey of Intrinsic Health with Dr. Zach Bush, MD
Yoga Styles: Iyengar, Ashtanga, ViniYoga, Vinyasa, Yin, Yoga Nidra, Restorative, Kripalu, Anusara, Acro, Yoga for Children & Teens
Integrative Yoga Therapy
The Yoga Sutras
Yoga Teacher Training & Integration
Meditation & Mindfulness
Breath Work & Pranayama
Mantra & Sound
Music & Dance
Writing & Art
Nutrition & Ayurveda
Personal Training, Fitness, Gymnastics
Psychology (Traditional & Positive)
Entrepreneurship & Business Skills
Authentic Relating & Effective Communication
Anatomy, Physiology & the Endocrine System
The Chakra System
Massage & Body Work
Thai Yoga Massage
Reiki & Energy Work
Ritual & Earth Based Practices
Herbs & Plant Medicine
Astrology & Moon Cycles
Aromatherapy & Essential Oils
Artist, Mentor & Guide
I have always been a teacher, but my favorite thing about teaching is the art of learning. Of doing. Of figuring out how things work, often looking at an object or problem and coming up with creative solutions. From a young age, my Spanish and Mexican heritage were brought into every meal, where I learned to cook and later became a chef. I was (and still am) also wildly passionate about art, drawing, and building, as well as moving my body in ways that make sense.
Now, as a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, I have used all of my past work experience in cooking, design, sports, and building and turned it back to the breath. The breath is where we begin. The breath is where we thrive. As a certified breathwork facilitator, I now help others transform their lives, let go of subconscious fears and traumas, and tune into exactly who they are… all by using the breath.
As a homeschool dad for the last five years, there’s nothing I won’t tackle, or a challenge I won’t meet. With a B.A. in Art History and a Masters in Computer Graphics and Animation, I have learned that the best education doesn’t come from a typical classroom. Instead, it’s places like EC Academy of Natural Arts that will teach kids what they need to know: how to be embodied, how to love themselves, how to advocate, how to take care of themselves and those around them. How to show up in the world as their whole selves.
I am so excited to meet your children right where they are and help them feel more confident and energized in all areas of life.
Artist, Mentor & Guide
I am a multi-passionate being who loves to teach and share what I have learned on my journey to wholeness and well-being. With my younger years being defined by depression, overwhelm, and anxiety, I am so passionate about bringing more awareness of the true needs of children to parents and their little ones in order for them to thrive.
I am so excited to be a part of the Academy of Natural Arts because I see the intention is just that - to teach our younger generation to thrive and discover who they truly are outside of the standard school system. And, to teach them life-skills that are more applicable and useful in the world. I wish I had this when I was a kid!
I have been studying child development and emotional well-being for many years and have come to a deep understanding of our children's need to stay connected to nature as well as their own instinctual nature. It's so important that we nurture and foster their unique interests and gifts early on so they don’t have to figure it out and search for it later in life like so many adults.
I am a yoga and music teacher as well as having many skills in arts and crafts such as macrame, weaving and beading. I believe working with our hands is a beautiful way to incorporate meditation and creativity into our lives.
I have also taught children's guitar lessons for many years and my philosophy is “make it fun!” After having some very boring and stuffy music teachers as a kid (which lead me to quitting and having to pick it back up as an adult), I love making the process enjoyable and engaging.
I look forward to meeting you and your kiddos!
Artist, Mentor, Guide
Hello I’m Billy Allen. I was born in a little town in rural South Dakota. My dad was the son of a farmer/government worker and my mom the daughter of a fur trader/rancher. I grew up around those parts living the country life until my mother got a job in the airlines and we ended up a world away in Miami, FL. There I found that I thrived in the diversity of the melting pot of south Florida! I LOVED the different foods and cultures and traditions of my friend’s families. I took that experience to Florida State University where I was shocked and confronted by racism. I decided to get a minor in African-American studies and I also got very involved in student government working to bridge the gap between students on campus.
After college, I spent 16 years in the lucrative medical supply industry which afforded me the time and resources to continue my passion for politics as well as a new passion for overseas mission work. In 2008 I was asked by our local state senator to run for state representative in my district. I enjoyed running for office. I loved people and I got to knock on doors throughout the district meeting people of all backgrounds face to face. My heart foresaw a new day was dawning and I knew it would take bringing people of all races, faces and places together to, in the words of my first press-release, go “through the mountain pass” towards the rising of the sun. I lost that bid for state representative in a close race. A few years later I’d put down politics in general after seeing behind the curtain and realizing I didn’t know anyone who was building the vision I saw in my heart. Now that all seems like a world away, lifetimes ago in ways, but the burning vision of the dawning of a new day is still ever-present with me!
In 2015, I left my entire world and came to Nashville to pursue the arts. I went to and graduated from SAE Institute, an international audio-engineering school. Without a background in music, I thrived again by bringing different people and their talents together to make music. It was one of the best experiences of my life! I ended up graduating Valedictorian from our class. I had a sincere love for all my classmates and found such delight allowing them to bring their gifts to the table and create without pre-conceived musical rules getting in the way. We experimented in new, fun ways! I felt like the bands in the 60s and 70s must have as many of them experimented with sound. And so, like them, that’s exactly what we did and we made some incredible music along the way! Music school really peeked my interest in the arts in general. After graduating I was inspired by photography; I took online classes and within a year was booking new photography clients.
I did that for a few years until last year when, in a wild course of events, I ended up starting a handyman crew with an older handyman who we called, Professor. We had a small crew and were having so much fun together I started making Instagram reels and calling it “The Handyman Show!” Many days find us laughing together, always hugging one another as we leave jobs, saying “I love you” to whomever on the crew we’re working with. We enjoy sharing that love and bringing good vibes into people’s homes. Some of it gets witnessed in frame and made into reels by our Creative Directors. You can see the fun we have on Instagram at @thehandymanshow or on our website www.thehandymanshow.co.
And now to the incredible opportunity before me, to guide and mentor the children. I didn’t see this coming, but starting a few years ago, I had another vision of the heart and often posted on socials, “The Return of the Children.” I had no idea how it all would unfold though. But what a wonderful way it is! An Academy of Natural Arts at Elevation Central!! Wow! Elevation Central means so much to me already. The land and the house Jerry Hicks built by hand feel very sacred to me. So many who come to a community gathering, workshop or retreat are moved deeply by just being present on the property. And as for Christy Lynn, I believe she has been preparing for this day her entire life! She runs a tight ship and has a pure heart that loves to inspire and equip people to embody their best!
As a new day of consciousness dawns before us, I often think of the words of Jesus that one must turn around and become as a child and step onto the stage to receive the kingdom. The children are strategically poised to lead the way towards the rising of the sun “through the mountain pass.”