Teachers

Our yoga teachers are all beautiful beings who are devoted to their yoga practice, both on and off the mat. They have all completed a 100 hour or 200 hour teacher training; many have done multiple trainings. What is most inspiring however, is their commitment to growth. At Leap we believe that as we evolve, everyone around us evolves. So, join us on this amazing adventure.

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Butch

Starting his career by serving his country in the Navy and then as a business owner, followed by over 20 years in the radio business and almost 10 years in the fitness industry as an aerobics and step instructor it goes without saying that Butch has a breadth of life experiences that give him a tremendous appreciation for life’s challenges . Butch is passionate about helping people to reach down deep and be their best. Yoga has been life changing for Butch, helping him to overcome incredible pain caused by scoliosis that he has had since birth. He looks forward to guiding others through their journey of discovery to find out how yoga can make a difference in their lives as well.

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Stacy

Stacy’s love of yoga continues to grow as she observes the transformational effects a regular yoga practice has on students, community, and within her own life. “Strengthening the body is wonderful, but strengthening the body, mind, spirit, and our community brings healing and wholeness. In this place, anything is possible.”

Stacy has received a good deal of her training through Rusty Wells of Urban Flow Yoga in San Francisco. Focusing on the Bhakti tradition, one of the four paths of yoga, music and devotion play a supporting role in all of Stacy’s classes. Bhakti is often described as the yogic path of devotion, emotion, love, compassion, and service to God and others.

Stacy has also studied with Michael Watson of Bermuda, Karen Miscall-Bannon of Embodyoga, Stephanie Snyder, and is influenced by the teachings of Sri Dharma Mittra, NYC, and Richard Rosen of Berkeley, California. Another great teacher who Stacy admires and has studied under is Mahendra Briksha of San Francisco. Mahandra Briksha specializes in breathwork and wellness cuisine.

In addition to vinyasa and yin yoga Stacy is also offers educational workshops focusing on “Practicing Kitchen Yoga” and the preparation of whole and living foods. She specializes in guided cleanses and offers private yoga sessions, nutritional consultations, and guided group cleanses. See StacyW.com for Stacy’s schedule and additional information.

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Michéal

Michéal has always been passionate about fitness starting back in High School and College as a cross country runner, track & field athlete and powder puff football running back.  That followed by over 20 years in the fitness industry teaching aerobics side by side with husband, Butch, for ten of those years which evolved into her love of the health benefits of yoga starting with Bikram, Power Vinyasa and now Kaiut yoga.

Michéal believes strongly in the power of Kaiut yoga helping students navigate and lessen the impact of stresses put on our bodies over time due to over use , lack of use, sports injuries or sometimes just plain age.  Miche’al has attended over 700 hours of training with Kaiut Yoga founder, Francisco Kaiut, and has witnessed the amazing effects Kaiut yoga can have increasing overall mobility and joint health for virtually EVERY BODY type.

Michéal feels Kaiut yoga is like a “BIG DRINK OF WATER”…nourishing and providing the PERFECT balance for your body as it works in tandem with your other fitness routines.  Michéal believes life is a journey and the best way to lengthen and improve that journey is to take care of that vessel we call our “BODY”! Our joint health plays a HUGE roll in the quality of that journey…which is what Kaiut yoga is all about and why Michéal is so passionate about you experiencing the benefit you can gain from this style of yoga.  Michéal looks forward to guiding you through this amazing practice so you can maximize the benefits  it can provide YOUR BODY…recognizing that each of us has taken a different path to arrive to where we are today so each person will benefit in varying ways.

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Cindi

Cindi, a familiar face within the Leap family, has been committed to sport her entire life, competing in swim teams, with a love for both water and snow skiing as well as aerobics, spin and body pump.

After attending multiple workshops and 600 hours of  teacher training in Canada, Colorado & California with Kaiut founder, Francisco Kaiut, her passion for Kaiut was cemented!  She now dedicates herself to Yoga and its many benefits to health, flexibility and general wellness.

As a committed Kaiut advocate, she enjoys discussing, teaching and promoting it’s incredible effects to added mobility, recovery and healing to the community.

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Gena

Gena Foreman’s, (E-RYT) passion for yoga began nearly 20 years ago when she took her first class at the local gym. An avid runner and mountain biker she came to yoga to stretch and find balance as a full time mom. The feeling of peace, quiet and strength she experienced after class started to weave itself into every facet of her life. In 2004, she faced her fears and found her voice completing her first teacher training with Shannon Wells. Her teaching style focuses on the awareness of conscience breathing, emphasizing core strength building endurance while finding the balance between effort and surrender. Gena encourages her students to listen to their body and honor where they are in that moment. She will challenge you to go to your edge, to find that inner place which allows you to grow. She has taught wheelchair bound seniors, professional athletes, the raw beginner to the seasoned yogi. Gena teaches from the heart. She is authentic, compassionate, and playful; students are nurtured and individual needs are met. Her fundamental teaching is in Forrest Yoga yet she is inspired by many different teachers and styles. It is all yoga and we are all one. Om shant.

 

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Sarah

Sarah K. Grace is a powerful and dynamic individual who spent over a decade merging her career as a paramedic in some of California’s busiest 911 systems with her innate gifts as a clairvoyant medium, medical intuitive, and energy healer. Combining Western and Energy Medicine, Sarah has spent years studying both physical and energy anatomy while applying her skills in critical settings to thousands of patients as they dealt with life and death emergencies.

Sarah now has a vibrant private practice working with clients worldwide as they embrace their own power, make sense of their energetic abilities, and heal past traumas. She is an author, mentor, intuitive energy healer, clairvoyant medium, medical intuitive, and licensed paramedic. She is a vibrant person with quick wit and dry humor who’s intention is to lead by example, displaying that one can fully engage their psychic abilities while still thriving in joyful, powerful, and abundant lives.

 

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Karen

Karen Miscall-Bannon began her yoga studies in 1985 with Eddie Modestini, and studied with Patty Townsend at the Yoga Center Amherst from 2001-2012, where she became certified at the 200-and 500-hour levels in Embodyoga®, and is certified at the E-RYT 500-hour level by Yoga Alliance. She taught in the YCA’s teacher trainings starting in 2004, and led 200-hour teacher trainings starting in 2009 in Newington, CT. She recently relocated to CA and is thrilled to bring her work to the Leap community! She has studied Iyengar, Ashtanga Vinyasa, and Maya Yoga, as well as Embodyoga®. Karen has extensive knowledge of anatomy, with a focus on yoga therapeutics, stemming from her bodywork practice of over 12 years. Karen brings a deep love of yoga and yoga philosophy to her teaching, and is known for being able to make abstract concepts accessible to her students. She gratefully brings what she has learned from her teachers and her own practice to her students, to assist them in deepening their awareness of body and mind through the practice of yoga.

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Morgan

Morgan is an artistic and unique teacher who embodies creativity and flow in everything she does. She has been devoted to her yoga practice for over a decade and is most passionate about teaching others to tap into their creative energy through the primal movements of Tribal Dance. She loves integrating her musical gifts and playtime into her classes and believes yoga is a way of life.

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Blake

Yoga found Blake in 2009 while in rehab, he was desperate and open. Caught up in substance addiction he saw no way out and was tired of doing the same things over and over expecting a different outcome (insanity). The student was ready and the teacher appeard. Beat up and out of shape he struggled to get into the postures, he slowly learned how to breathe. Blake began to uncover what was hidden, he continues to discover what’s in the way, so that he can discard it let go of what blocks him from the truth.

Blake teaches yoga full time at different studios and drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers.  Aaron Pappas is Blakes inspiration and lifelong teacher.

Blake teaches a fun and powerful breath-focused practice that emphasizes holding challenging postures as well as fluid movements, calming and focusing the mind, strengthening the body and soothing the soul.

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Colette

Like many modern yogis, Colette’s first exposure to yoga was a physical attraction to the benefits of asana. While asana helped her to grow stronger, more flexible, and balanced, it was the meditative aspects of the practice that opened her mind to something far more meaningful. In 2013, abrupt life changes inspired her to move more deeply into the teachings.  She pursued yoga teacher training while healing at the renowned Mount Madonna Center founded by Baba Hari Dass. The deeply spiritual setting of the Mount Madonna ashram opened her heart and mind to yoga beyond asana.  At this time she also worked closely with Dr. Ryan Strong learning and applying the profound healing practices of Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, for her personal health journey. 

From this foundation in Babaji’s traditional Hatha lineage and her personal experience with Ayurveda, she gravitated naturally to modalities that emphasize the subtle effects of the yoga postures on the body. She developed a passion for the quiet practices of Kaiut, Yin, and Restorative yoga, studying with Francisco Kaiut, Paul Grilley, Sarah Powers and Judith Lasater. 

The content of Colette’s classes is based on her personal integration of the great teachings she had the privilege to study. Colette primarily teaches Kaiut, Yin, and Restorative yoga. Her class is a safe and sacred container for both the novice and the seasoned yogi to release, let go, and just be. She approaches yoga from her heart, as a way to spread positive energy and practice compassion, knowing that we all have a story and a journey, which includes both joy and suffering.

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Britany

For me… yoga has truly been a transformational life practice. In such a profound way, yoga continues to lead me on a nourishing journey of self-discovery and connectedness. And I wholeheartedly believe that yoga has the potential to complement any walk of life.

On the mat, I encourage students to build a new and profound relationship with the mind, body, and spirit. My classes are intentionally designed to provide a safe space where students of all levels can sink deep into a challenging, dynamic and rejuvenating flow. You’ll find that my teaching style is infused with authenticity and sweetness whereby the teachings of yoga are delicately interwoven into the practice. I hope that each experience on the mat will provide a platform for students to take the practice into their everyday lives with a nourished body, a full heart, and an open mind.

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Winter

Winter is a passionate yoga instructor, songstress and keeper of sacred ways. Inspired by the magic of yoga which she first experienced in the jungle of Costa Rica, she traveled to India where she received her first 200 hours of training studying Ashtanga yoga. Shortly after, Winter received another 200 hours of training in Transformative Yoga in northern California. Most recently, Winter studied in an advanced course on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala and received 300 hours of training in Mystical Yoga and Shamanism, expanding her knowledge in indigenous wisdom and practices.

Winter has spent the last four years in countries and communities around the globe where she received teachings from elders and experienced many ancient forms of healing. From this spiritual exploration, she has found inspiration for holding space and using music as medicine. Inspired by earth-based traditional ways, Winter strives to weave this wisdom into her work, guiding students to become aware of our deep connection with the earth and of the sacred space within where we find our awakening source and an abundance of love and gratitude for this journey.

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Kenzi

Kenzi is an intuitive and tradition rooted teacher and student of the eight limb path of yoga, drawing inspiration for her classes from nature and her own experiences. She began practicing yoga in 2008, her love for the practice calling her to take her first 200hr training with Meghan Currie in 2014. Since then she has explored various trainings in Yin, Ashtanga, Kundalini, and Trauma Recovery Yoga, along with other inspiring studies such as reiki, sound healing, and vipassana meditation. Kenzi loves teaching vibrant anatomy focused classes while guiding students into their own breath-tethered experience within the framework of the body.

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Molly

After a 20 plus year career as an Urban Planner, I am fortunate to be able to embrace a second passion. I have practiced yoga for nearly as long as my urban planning career.  About eight years ago, I took my first yin class.  Upon losing my first passion of planning, I took a giant leap (on a bit of a lark and a challenge by my teacher) and went to a yin teacher training in Sweden.  Never intending to teach, just to learn and to feel my transitions, I returned home and got the phone call from a studio owner.  So I started teaching.  And I realized that selfishly, I had a new passion.  I subsequently went to an additional yin training in France and found that I wanted to learn more.  Shortly thereafter, I met Karen Miscall Bannon and started learning about embodiment.  That is to say feeling yoga from the inside.  Not just the poses but deeper, the whys, the more enriched understanding of the body and I felt complete;  it was enough.  I had been trained in yin by one the top four teachers internationally and I am able to experience and study Embody yoga with one of the originators.  How very fortunate I am. At this point I had completed 125 hours of strict yin training, 300+ hours of embodiment, and 65 hours of vinyasa and yin assisting.

But not quite satisfied.  Upon the suggestion of my teacher again, I leapt to study Kaiut yoga.  Knowing absolutely nothing about it, I showed up in Toronto in mid winter for a new adventure.  And then I showed up again and again completing a 300 hour Kaiut Yoga certification.  And Kaiut Yoga has put in all together for me. For me, it combines yin and vinyasa in the true embodiment. This yoga allows and encourages you to feel from the inside, it is challenging, but meditative and fully meets you where you are.  And you can do it your whole life letting the passion live on.  

 I feel incredibly fortunate for the opportunities as I continue to learn from my students, from my teachers, and from my own practice. I feel so lucky to be able to be a guide to others perhaps providing some relief or just some peace in their day.

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Amy

Amy Zilkie attended her first yoga class when she was 17. It was not long before she began incorporating yoga into her everyday life. After graduating from CSUS with a degree in Psychology, she decided to pursue teaching yoga and attended a 2 week immersive training in Hawaii. Upon returning from the first training she continued to study yoga and explore her spirituality. Amy’s classes are a dynamic Vinyasa flow, focusing on alignment, core work and always finding an edge. Along with a physical practice her themes will help you set intentions and take your practice off the mate.

Amy teaches yoga for so many reasons, but it always comes down to one simple concept. She wants you to be the best version of you and love yourself no matter where your journey through life takes you. Something that you can always count on from Amy is an inviting smile and loving heart to help you through your journey.

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Andi

Teaching yoga has been the strong foundation for much of Andi Donovan’s career over the past twenty-plus years. As a competitive athlete, a fitness and sports coach, and an experienced yoga teacher, Andi truly understands exactly how yoga can complement any form of training – And life! Her intention is to create an environment that is simple enough, demanding enough, and can be tailored to suit all students’ needs.

Andi blends a wealth of knowledge, heart and experience to create a unique, energetic-yet-transformational approach to her classes and private sessions. Whether she is teaching Vinyasa Flow, Yin yoga, Yoga for Athletes, Athletic Recovery or Yoga Therapy, Andi creates awareness using movement, breath, passion, and humor.

With over 1500 hours of training from a variety of sources, and over 20 years of experience, Andi is well respected in the industry. She is also internationally recognized, and teaches workshops and retreats around the world.

Andi proudly holds certifications and continuing education credits from a wide variety of teachers and certifying organizations. Her diverse training background allows her to create her own unique style.

Andi understands the human body muscle-by-muscle, movement-by-movement and even bite-by-bite. She is also a Certified Fitness Coach, a Lifestyle and Weight Management coach, an Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist, and a Certified Therapeutic Massage and Zen-Touch Shiatsu Practitioner. Her passion is to help others achieve balance using both ancient yoga precepts as well as the many modern-day discoveries behind fitness, health and anti-aging. She is a perennial student of the yoga arts.

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Timothy

Timothy’s joy and passion for yoga clearly extend far beyond his teachings on the mat and in the studio, through understanding both the art and science of living yoga. A native of Upstate New York, and recent transplant from Aspen, CO, Timothy began his yoga journey over 20 years ago while recovering from both physical and emotional upheaval. His personal practice naturally evolved into teaching, where he seamlessly weaved a symbiotic and influential yoga experience into life. As both a follower and fan of master yogis Richard Freeman, Bryan/Johnny Kest, Baron Baptiste and Ana Forrest, he respects the lineage of those who came before. His creed says it completely…”always a teacher, always a student.” Although formally trained in Ashtanga yoga, he draws from all forms of yoga, resulting in his own creative and inspirational style. Teaching primarily from traditional yoga philosophy, he leads an athletic, light hearted (and often humorous) class open to all levels-he emphatically welcomes new students, always. From breathwork, to developing prana, to inventive flow sequencing, discovering a unique experience becomes inevitable. Timothy also holds a Masters and Doctorate in Physical Therapy and welcomes discussion of utilizing yoga to move from injury to health. He invites you to come practice, play, laugh and enjoy an invigorating and refreshing yoga experience with him.

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Sheri

As an experienced instructor and longtime student, Sheri’s classes are welcoming, creative and playful, yet safe.  They are sequenced in a way that makes each pose and its modifications accessible.  Sheri has studied with many teachers and is known to blend elements of Embodyoga, Bhakti, Prana vinyasa and Hatha yoga into her classes. Her classes are often thematic, and aim to integrate subtle alignment cues with breath awareness and body awareness.

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Genevieve

Shortly after the birth of Genevieve’s second child she was invited to take a Bikram Yoga class. This was her first “real” yoga experience. Needless to say, it was love at first drop of sweat and she is eternally grateful to her friends that brought her to yoga that day. Because she simply said YES her life had forever changed! She soon moved on to Power Vinyasa falling more deeply in love with the practice. It was when she walked through the doors of Leap that she found her yoga home.

Though having been an athlete and playing a wide variety of sports throughout life nothing spoke passionately to Genevieve the way yoga does. After finding yoga she felt as if I had just truly learned how to breathe. Yoga offers an outlet for removing stagnant energy, opening the heart and finding balance. It is a time to play, to let go, to be messy, to express and to be free!

Continuing further in the journey she became RYT certified through Yoga Alliance upon completion of a 200-hour teacher training at Leap under the guidance of Cathy Connors and Corey Mitchell. She is also certified to teach Yin under the guidance of James Kapicka. Genevieve is inspired by the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, the rhythms of the universe, mother nature and love. Her goal as a teacher is to empower her students and help them find their freedom through yoga in a safe and nurturing space.

When not teaching she keeps busy as a mother to a beautiful son and daughter and two dogs. She is a devoted yoga student that enjoys exploring the world with her husband and children, having new experiences and saying YES to life. Visit GenevieveBergman.com for more information and her most up to date schedule.

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Tristina

Tristina left the corporate world behind in 2010 to share her love of yoga with others. She teaches a dynamic and creative style of yoga that awakens strength through awareness in energetic alignment. Her soulfully fun classes weave in the spiritual aspect of the practice through chanting, meditation, and insightful offerings on yogic philosophy.

Tristina is deeply committed to her personal practice, which is the foundation to her teaching. She has studied various styles of yoga & meditation around the world with an array of respected teachers. She shares her knowledge through classes, workshops, and teacher trainings. Her deep passion for travel is brought to others through annual retreats in international destinations.

Find out more at: TristinaK.com!

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Michael

Michael has been a teacher and a trainer for over a decade. His passion is to teach people the art and science of breath, movement, and stillness. He strives to create a space where students can experience themselves fully.  Michael believes that yoga can help shift our consciousness to a place of integration and love. He thoroughly enjoys daily meditation, dynamic movement, and connecting with his community.

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Cecilia

Cecilia Escobar began teaching yoga in 2012 in her hometown of Encinitas, CA. She quickly realized that teaching yoga was a courageous and multilayered task. It requires continuous  presence, growth, study and Svadhyaya (self inquiry and self honesty). Cecilia’s experience of the therapeutic aspects of the practice and her thirst for knowledge led her to study at the feet of some of the world’s greatest teachers, including Eddie Modestini, Kristin Bosteels, Karen Miscall- Bannon, Andrew Hillam and Gabriel Halpern.

Cecilia’s approach to guiding her students lies in the traditional teachings of the practice. In a world full of yoga, her teachers have encouraged her to preserve the teachings handed down to them directly from BKS Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois and to approach her teaching with the highest reverence and respect. Her class is focused heavily on structural alignment and inclusiveness, using various props to support the different needs of all her students regardless of what age, body type, gender identity or ethnicity. She believes in making yoga accessible to ALL and she does this by tailoring the practice to the student’s unique needs. In every class you will experience, Asana (poses), chanting and pranayama.

She is very grateful for all of the unique individuals she has met along the very special path of yoga, and has many thanks for her earlier teachers that have directly impacted her approach to teaching today. Cecilia looks forward to sharing her passion for teaching traditional yoga and all that she has learned over the years with her students.

Om Namaha Shivaya

Michelle M. Binicewicz

Michelle

Michelle M. Binicewicz, DrPH, Certified Doula, Certified Labor Doula, Certified Postpartum Doula

I Believe Yoga is…
The fluidity of movement connecting mind, body, soul and spirit through breath.
A personal space that allows a disconnect from everything external as an internal awareness is awakened.
To me yoga is freedom from comparison, freedom from expectation, freedom from limitation.

I am here to help people remove all the noise from their outside world and become fully present on their mat, quieting the “chatter” and tuning-in to the sound and feel of their breath.

Because breath is life.

My background in Health Education coupled with 16 years of teaching in the field of healthcare, I provide an opportunity for yogis to find a deeper appreciation of the whole body. I encourage not only physical growth, but emotional and spiritual growth as well.

When you roll up your mat at the end of my class, my hope is that you are re-centered, balanced, and reminded of how valuable this space of reconnection is for your spirit and soul.

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Ezio

Ezio Garritano is a certified yoga teacher, having completed a 300 hour Samapatti Yoga Teacher Training Course in 2006 where the teachings of various hatha and raja yoga schools are integrated. As the Sanskrit word implies, Ezio has seen firsthand the transformative power of yoga, affecting both body and mind, as well as beyond.  A Power Yoga, Ashtanga and Iyengar influenced teacher, Ezio has taught various levels as well as styles of yoga, including Hot Yoga, Yoga IV and the Iyengar Master Series. His personal practice has developed over a course of more than 20 years, and has brought him to a deep appreciation and understanding of yoga’s healing benefits, designed to maintain core strength, range of motion, balance, flexibility and the equanimity of heart and mind.

Yoga is much more than just a series of physical movements and poses, but is a comprehensive study of life, a philosophy and a science, designed to optimize total wellness throughout a lifetime. A sincere and disciplined yoga practice can do no less than carry over and positively affect every area of daily living. It is Ezio’s deepest desire to assist each and every student to come to that place where a direct connection to yoga’s healing properties are realized and embraced whole-heartedly.

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Benett

Benett is an experienced yoga teacher, intuitive bodyworker, avid musician, and adventurous traveler. His personal yoga practice spans over a decade and he loves learning and sharing in the magic of yoga. Benett has worked in many studios over the years as a hands-on assistant and has trained in traditional Thai massage. By joining his knowledge of movement arts with musical style Benett brings depth, awareness, and fun to his students’ practice.

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Melody

Melody has always found exercise to be her healthy retreat, a way to let go of the stress and rejuvenate the mind; however, as an avid practitioner of high impact movement, she was always in some form of physical pain. A dear friend suggested that she try yoga and thus the life-altering journey began.

As Melody began her journey of yoga, she simultaneously found herself unexpectedly unemployed after 19 years with the same company. Brokenhearted, uncertain, and lost, yoga evolved into more than a physical practice, healing her body; with dedication, consistency and sweat, she also healed her heart and spirit. “When you experience such a profound shift within, you want to share it with all that will listen,” as such, Melody has over six years of teaching experience, more than 500 RYT and has a strong belief that yoga is accessible to all…regardless of body type or physical ability.

Melody remains a lifelong student and believes committing to the practice of yoga is ultimately a commitment to your breath, finding your moment of stillness, while simultaneously connecting your body, mind and spirit.