Todd is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma and he took his first yoga class there back in 2001. That first class lit a fire within him that would never burn out and years later his practice eventually rescued him from a life of addiction, anxiety, and depression. Todd says "I was drawn to the physical part of the practice initially, but it was the internal and mental searching and cleansing that kept me coming back to my mat. The fact that I get to be for my students what my teachers do for me in guiding this beautiful practice cannot be put into words. Its therapeutic and I'm humbled by it every time I walk through the studio doors." Todd has been teaching since 2011 and is trained mainly in Hatha and Vinyasa.
Like so many others, yoga was catalyst in getting me through those challenging times. I started practicing yoga in 1999 after the death of my parents. The practice taught me how to accept challenges, put down the struggle and let go of the "victim" role I had created for myself. It was like a light went off...”You get to choose to be happy no matter what happens?!” I knew I wanted to help others.
In 2005 I was certified through American Power Yoga and co-led APY's 200-hour teacher training from 2008-2013. In 2010 I started training in The Lightning Fire Mountain System of Tibetan Kung fu where I’m learning to engage my body and mind to be quicker and move with the energy of others. About this time I took up riding my bike a lot more, lifting light weights and interested in other ways of conditioning to improve my kung fu training. So my yoga practice shifted to being the perfect physical and mental balance for me so I can continue all that I want to do pain free. I don’t teach a purist form of yoga because I’m not a purist yogi. I prefer to flow slowly and mindfully through poses, feeling just the right alignment while creating and accepting the shakiness that comes with the territory. I’m great with beginners because I don’t do overly complicated transitions or poses and don’t use sanskrit. And seasoned practitioners also enjoy my classes because it’s straightforward, creative and challenging with a deep connection to one’s internal energy. I also hear I make them laugh.
Another major influence for me is the Embody Love Movement, which promotes healthy body image. I’ve never struggled with an eating disorder but I’ve certainly struggled with yoyo dieting and depression because I felt I wasn’t skinny enough. Through my work with this amazing organization I’ve discovered so many of my students struggle with serious eating disorders to negative body image which has led to me changing how I teach and mindful of the words I use and the message I bring to class. Because whether we’re doing a basic lunge or twisted up like pretzel we should be rejoicing in our abilities. And for me yoga is about loving and rejoicing in your whole self for the sole purpose to love and rejoice in others.
Yoga found Ashlee in simple form at her neighborhood gym. She dreaded the typical, and sometimes lonely, grind of the normal workout routine. From the beginning, she found comfort being with a group of yogis who were open and willing to explore the boundaries of their minds and bodies together. What began as a once or twice a week gym class grew into an everyday passion that she fell in love with and wanted to share with everyone - all the time. (Seriously, whether it was in the gym or during happy hour). The beauty she finds in yoga is its capability to move you on and off your mat, taking form in breath and giving us the power of awareness, mindfulness, and so much more. Forever a student, she will assist you through a powerful flow, learning how to connect the breath and body with each movement.
Together, one breath at a time, we set aside whatever is no longer necessary and connect the mind, body, and soul.
I found yoga or more likely yoga found me in 1996 when a friend invited me to a Bikram “hot” yoga class in San Francisco. Most of my life I’ve enjoyed exercise, but this experience was so different from the running and cycling I was doing. The practice was a terrific complement to my exercise regimen.
Yoga saved me from falling into a deep depression after my miscarriage. I took a 30-day challenge from the yoga studio down the street. I will never forget the impact of 30 straight days of yoga on my life. I remember being in class with my favorite teacher thinking, “I want to be a yoga instructor.“ For the next decade, life’s journey took me on a path of trying to climb the corporate ladder. I moved from coast to coast finally landing in Dallas. Once in Dallas, I had a successful pregnancy and I credit my yoga practices for the natural birth of my sweet baby girl. After a couple of years I quit my job in corporate America to stay home with my daughter. I began my regular yoga practice again and found a vinyasa/power yoga class. This time the inner voice coaxing me to be a yoga teacher became loud and clear.
I went back to my hot yoga roots and received my 500-hour Yoga Alliance Certification. I started teaching yoga in 2006 and the love affair continues. I am truly blessed to be a part of something so amazing. I am a perpetual student of the vast expanse that is yoga. The fact that I can share with an open heart the peace and love others have shared with me, inspires my every class. My classes are dedicated to honoring my student’s needs, guiding them safely through the physical asana and allowing the yoga to transform their lives as it has transformed mine.
The first time I stepped on a yoga mat was in 2001 for reasons other than getting physically fit. At the time I was working 12-15 hour days teaching high school band. Teaching movement classes, being an avid swimmer and dancing for as long as I can remember, I always considered myself to be in shape, but teaching took its toll on my physical being. I knew something had to change.
My first yoga class (which was not power yoga) was a bit intimidating and left me wondering if yoga was right for me. But after doing a little research and learning about a multitude of yoga styles, I thought I should give it another try—and Power Yoga it was. I was hooked from the beginning and felt indescribable after. All my life music has been my passion, but as I delved deeper into my yoga practice things started to shift, I felt like I was figuring out who I was and coming into my own.
After 2 years of practicing, I decided to go through the training program at American Power Yoga. And in 2003, I received my 200-hour certification. Along with training at APY with Kurt Johnsen and Lyissa Trout, I have also had the opportunity to learn from Shiva Rea, Rod Stryker, Ana Forrest, Brian Kest, Beryl Bender Birch, Baron Baptiste, Dharma Mittra, Edward Clark, Tom Worley, Stephanie Young and Jessica Young. In 2010, I started working towards my 500 hr. certification with Shiva Rea and it has been incredible!
Yoga has completely changed my perception of life, myself, and the world around me. It is the one of the few places you can truly be you—there are no egos, and no judgments. I believe it is a very raw and exposed practice where you learn to find, explore, and accept your true self: every strength, and every weakness. I once heard a teacher say that “if you want to get to know yourself, do a little yoga.” I have used that statement in my classes ever since—it cannot be said in simpler terms. In short, I went from conducting at the Meyerson to sweating on a mat. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
Weldon, AKA Woni (WAH-KNEE) to family and friends, is a native Oklahoman born and raised in a southern Baptist family so spirituality has been deeply rooted into him. His family thought he would for sure become a preacher and continue the family tradition, but the universe had other plans for Woni. After taking his first yoga class he saw the spiritual side of yoga and fell deeply in love with the practice. He began his full yoga journey in 2011 when he completed his 500hr hatha yoga training course. After 4 years teaching hatha/ vinyasa he took other training courses to deepen his knowledge for vinyasa based classes. His fun loving spirit mixed with his keen eye for alignment creates a fun yet disciplined class! Woni believes "We will work, we will twerk, and we will learn more about who we are together!"
Yoga without question has been and continues to be life changing for me. I started out taking class just to stretch my super tight body and create some flexibility with my other workouts. I had heavy, stressful work loads and needed to relax. Now over 10 years later it is still improving my self love and compassion for others in so many ways. When I step on my mat and start to move I can tap into what's "really going on" within, I "check in". I am very thankful for the practice and also to help others.
I left Dallas a couple years ago and have been exploring many countries teaching yoga at different resorts and wellness centers. I have learned with my travels that yoga can even transcend language barriers. I once had a woman from China whom barely spoke any English take my class and after she was amazed that she could have control of her own mind and body by using the breath. She advised she had not slept without taking something to sleep in years. She questioned what "magic" I used on her. As a teacher I love when the students realize they have the power. I can't do the work for you but if you just allow yourself to be open and learn to listen to your own needs with awareness you'll find so much this world has to offer that is right there within.
I'm happy to be back in Dallas and teaching at this wonderful studio with my friends. I'll be teaching group classes as well as providing private sessions. There's something special about being able to tailor a class specific for an individual's needs. Along with being 500E-RYT I have done training in yoga therapy, yoga with cancer (oncology), I'm an Ayurveda specialist and can also provide Reiki.
Yoga has done wonders for me over the past several years and I felt the best way to show my gratitude was to become an instructor myself and give back some of that love. I began taking yoga to help ease the back pain I suffer from scoliosis. However, it wasn’t long before I realized the mental and spiritual benefits would far out way the physical. After some time, depression was no longer a part of my life and I came to terms with emotions I had unknowingly buried. I learned to breathe through challenging yoga poses and difficult life situations, as well as during the moments when I’m filled with joy. I continue to learn and grow through yoga and would love to have you join me on the mat! My hope is that you walk away from my classes challenged, fulfilled and inspired. See you on the mat, my friends!
My yoga journey began in 1999 when I took my first yoga class. As a personal trainer and group exercise instructor, I was always looking to improve my physical condition - yes, that is why I took my first yoga class. Little did I know how the practice would change my life completely. I was very pleased with the physical benefits from yoga but more importantly my heart opened and Spirit deep inside of me began to shine and I wanted to share this amazing love! After two years of dedicated practice I began teaching yoga. My personal practice was deepening as I began taking workshops with yoga masters such as Rod Stryker, Seane Corn, Baron Baptiste and Beryl Bender Birch just to name a few. I have learned so much from these amazing masters and enjoy sharing my experiences as I continue to learn and grow as a student of this ancient, beautiful discipline. I continue to follow Rod Stryker as my teacher as I love the rich tradition and wisdom of his lineage.
Yoga has opened my heart and filled it with compassion, acceptance and love in a way I never thought possible. I am truly blessed to share this gift through teaching. I am filled with gratitude as I continue this journey of Divine love and unity. Disciplines I teach: Hatha, Vinyasa, Power, Gentle, Meditation, 12-Step Recovery Yoga
Certifications: 200 hour Yoga Alliance, 200 hour American Power Yoga, Y12SR - Yoga of 12-Step Recovery. I am currently working toward 500 hour with Rod Stryker - Para Yoga.
- Light your candle and enjoy its flame— see the beauty.
- Know the obstacles have been truly cleared— find the sweet things of life.
- Celebrate the little things.
- Be warm— always find comfort in your path.
- Let time be your strength— if necessary, make changes as soon as possible.
- Know that you are loved and I am here for your yoga journey today and always.
- I have been trained by the renowned yoga instructor Baron Baptiste.