Called to Service: In 2011, at the age of 43, I discovered the power of yoga while attending my first class – a hot powerful vinyasa flow class. I first went to yoga for the workout; I wanted to get fit and lose a few pounds. But I kept coming back to the practice because I quickly learned that yoga is not just a work out, it’s a “work in.” Slowly, the negative soundtracks in my head were silenced and those thoughts of unworthiness were replaced with feelings of self-love. As I discovered this new pathway to peace, I recognized it as a means of healing and I wanted to share it with others. I received my 200 yoga teacher training certification from Inner Bliss Yoga in May of 2014. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to be of service to others while doing the things I love most. I am very proud of the two studios we launched (Westlake in 2016 and Catawba in 2018) as well as the budding yoga community we have built.
What's at the Core: As a breast cancer survivor and the wife of a recovering alcoholic, I am grateful for everything God has given to me, taken from me, and left me with. I believe how you do one thing is how you do everything, so give everything 110%.
Personal Mantra: Do What You Love
Favorite Fellow Warriors: my husband, Mother Teresa, Oprah Winfrey.
Balancing Act off the Mat: running two small businesses while still finding time to walk the dogs and make dinner!
Good for the Soul: When I’m not teaching yoga at one of our studios, I live for quiet walks in the woods, summers spent at the lake, trips to Maui, travels through Italy, a good book by the fire, an entire Sunday spent cooking, afternoon coffee with my husband and lots of warm, fuzzy moments with my two mutts.
Called to Service: I received my 200-hr certification from Bhumi's Yoga and Wellness in 2003.
What's at the Core: Tools for being my best self. I have struggled with the perfectionism, anxiety, and self-doubt that come from early childhood sexual assault, being stalked, chronic illness (Lyme, mold, parasites, PTSD) and loss from suicide. The breath, the meditation, the physical postures, the chanting and the community are all tools for bringing my awareness back to center and back to love. Yoga helps me more skillfully navigate the uncomfortable parts of life. It's not that I don't fall into a hole anymore; its that I fall in less often and get out more quickly. I intend for my teaching to bring inspiration, inclusivity, strength, humor, creativity and self-awareness to each participant.
Personal Mantra: Ok, I have two: 1. Choose Love 2. Seek Clarity
Balancing Act Off the Mat: Active treatment for Lyme and the copious self-care required to heal. A Thai Massage practice. A long-distance relationship with the love of my life, Kurt. Writing a book, working as a musician, and recording my first singer-songwriter album.
Good for the Soul: Family, friends, making mandalas, developing delicious recipes for people with food sensitivities, Gung Fu and Tai Chi, walks in nature with my boyfriend, watching hilarious animal videos, playing with my cat, drumming, dancing, writing poetry and music
Gurus: Brene Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Pema Chodron
Beth is a kirtan singer who believes that our voices are powerful gifts of transformation. By speaking or singing our truth we claim our innate power; power that helps us grow and uplift ourselves and others. Beth has been exploring mantra since 2003 and has sung harmony at multiple Bhaktifests and kirtan concerts with devoted kirtan artists such as Brenda McMorrow, Luna Ray, Durga Das, Girish, Jai Uttal and Narada Wise. She has a local kirtan band called Vandanam which means “an offering of prayer.” She and her bandmate, George Shumway, enjoy sharing the sacred mantras woven into their original melodies to inspire, transform, liberate and connect.
Called to Service: RYT200 Open Way Yoga – Huron, Ohio, 2016
What's at the Core: In 2007, just looking to get in shape, I began doing yoga videos thinking, very incorrectly, that I needed to be perfect before ever daring to step foot into a yoga studio. Yoga helped me to realize that my ego was once again controlling my life and that the little voice in my head that said I’m not good enough was very wrong. Yoga taught me to recognize that the thoughts in my head are not who I am and I would like to help others learn that as well.
Personal Mantra: What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am – Eckhart Tolle
Balancing Act Off the Mat: Mom to three amazing daughters and trying to instill in them what took me over 30 years to realize – see Personal Mantra above! Supporting my wonderful hubby and snuggling my dog, Lou.
Good for the Soul: FAMILY! Walks with friends and talks in the dark (sometimes at 3:00am) with my girls.
Follow the Yogi: You can also practice with me at Threads of Wellness in Amherst and Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood
Called to Service: I completed my 200-hr training at Krysia's Energy Yoga in March, 2017 after working with children and yoga for three years.
What's at the Core: On a personal level, yoga has helped me to practice patience and has increased my physical and emotional strength. The combination of classroom teaching and my love of yoga has shown me how wonderful it is to share the practice with others at all ages! As a breast cancer survivor, the power of positive thinking, hope and breath lifted me up.
Good for the Soul: I have learned from my youngest students to never forget how to play. I enjoy any outdoor activities and spending time with family and friends.
Personal Mantra: Although we can't control everything that happens to us, we can control how we respond to those things.
Balancing Act Off the Mat: I am a full-time classroom teacher and train teachers and therapists how to add mindfulness to their programs.
Called to Service: RYT 200 Hr, Prana Vinyasa training with Shiva Rea, 2004.
What's at the Core: In 1985, my deep love for connecting rhythm and physical movement with fluidity and grace began with dance aerobics.
Practice Makes Patient: I practice and teach a wide variety of movement based classes from HIIT, to Zumba, to many types of yoga, to SUP (stand up paddle-boarding)- just to name a few!
Balancing Act Off the Mat: Each year during harvest season I go home to our family orchard in Iowa where I am the "Director of Fun"! It is literally the most FUN job ever- I take care of the farm animals, I life guard at our the corn "pool" which includes acro-yoga sessions in the corn and I make the most delicious apple cider donuts you have ever tasted!
Good for the Soul: "The Blue Mind Experience"- the belief that being in, on, or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected and better at what you do. This is the reason I love teaching SUP!
Called to Service: I have been practicing yoga since 2009 after my family was involved in a car accident. My practice of yoga was a major component to my recovery. I received my 200 hour yoga teacher training certification from Cleveland Yoga in April 2018
What's at the Core: I am a pediatric dentist by trade. I love my profession but I found my job was taking a toll on my back and neck and psyche. My practice of yoga has truly saved my practice of dentistry. Through core poses and meditation, I rarely experience the pains in my body and “burn out” that are often associated with dentistry. My goal is to share my knowledge of medicine and yoga with my students.
Personal Mantra: “She believed she could and so she did” with positive thinking and belief in yourself, anything can be achieved. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Balancing Act Off the Mat: My husband, Dr. John Davenport and I serve as medical missionaries to the Mayan Indians of Guatemala. I love to snow ski and to play tennis, particularly with my son, Alex. I’m crazy about my dogs and my travel goal is to visit all the wonders of the world!
Called to Service: I came to yoga in 2013 as a way to add to my fitness routine. I quickly realized that there is so much more to this practice than just the physical part. I was hooked! I had a yearning to dive deeper into the practice. Before I knew it I was in yoga teacher training. I received my 200 hr from Inner Bliss Yoga Studio's Be the Love Teacher Training in February 2018.
What's at the Core: Before yoga, I was extremely critical of myself, and was constantly getting hooked onto the negative thoughts that would come up. I would set crazy expectations and put pressure on myself to be perfect. I would overthink everything and be unsure of myself instead of trusting myself. Since yoga, I know that I am not my thoughts. Letting go of my insecurities and fears has made life incredibly lighter. I have the ability to be unapologetically me! I return to my mat because it is a reminder that I am able to accomplish some pretty amazing things that I never thought were possible before. It helps me to stay out of my head and in the moment!”
Personal Mantra: Grow through what you go through!
Called to Service: I received my 200 hour yoga teacher training certification from Open Way Yoga, April of 2017. I received my Holistic Health Coach certificate the same year. In 2018 I got certified to lead Yoga 12 step recovery.
What's at the Core: Feeling good! I want to help people love themselves again or maybe even for the first time in their life. There was a time when I didn’t. Self love changes your existence. I love my amazing life and I want others to love theirs too.
Personal Mantra: Live out loud! Live with intention!
Favorite Fellow Warriors: My son, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, Tony Robbins and Robert Downy Jr. Just to name a few. I love a good underdog story!
Balancing Act Off the Mat: Fun vs adulting! Balancing these 2 has always been a struggle for me. In my 20’s I was completely bad, going off the rails living life hard having a grand old time. Then in My 30’s I was so good it seemed like I had a stick up my ass. I’ve been trying to “adult” without killing my zest for life. I think I might be on to something!
Good for the Soul: Date nights with my husband, girlfriend getaways, hanging out with my son, lifting weights, going for a run, curling up with a good book, laughing my butt off, boating on the river, traveling; I have a wanderlust soul, yoga, pranayama and talks with God.
Called to Service: RYT200 Carrie Treister School of Yoga – Avon, Ohio, 2018
What's at the Core: I have always been a lover of fitness and strength but it wasn’t enough. I needed a way to quiet the constant noise in my head, the ongoing inner chatter. This mind chaos was spilling into my daily life and negatively effecting every aspect of me. I craved a way to be more present in my relationships and in my children’s lives. I desired an outlet to breathe, move and connect! Thank you YOGA! Oh, the mind cleanse a practice can provide! I have found the incredible magnitude of happiness that can be gained from being present. The world honestly seems a little brighter.
Personal Mantra: I choose happy… I don’t like the alternative ☺
Balancing Act Off the Mat: Mom to two active kiddos. Wife to a supportive, yoga practicing husband. Group Fitness Instructor for 15 years. Small business owner.
Good for the Soul: Family dinners, Friday night game nights with the kids, weekends at the lake. Girls night. Finding ways to connect to the ones I love.
Called to Service: I began practicing yoga in 1994 after curiosity about it had me pick up a woman's guide to yoga at a small bookshop. I practiced on my own at home for years before I worked up the courage to go to a yoga studio. Practicing with my teacher Marni Task changed my life. In her classes, I learned that yoga is so much more than just the postures, that I wanted to be a yogi, and that I wanted to learn to teach others this transformative practice. I graduated from Marni's yoga teacher training program in 2009, and I've been teaching ever since.
Personal Mantra: Lokah Samastah Sukinoh Bhavantu, or in English - May all beings everywhere be happy and free; may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.
A CYT-E-RYT, Jen’s registered with Yoga Alliance and is a Thai Yoga Massage practitioner. She has continued learning and studying since graduating from YTT, in addition to extensive reading on topics of yoga philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and recovery. She attended a week-long silent Vipassana (Insight) meditation retreat led by Noah Levine; a weekend-long meditation intensive with David Nichtern; a week-long Jivamukti Yoga Immersion with Sharon Gannon and David Life; attended many other workshops and trainings covering yoga anatomy and yoga assists; has attended kirtan (Bhakti yoga) with Krishna Das 5 times, Jai Uttal 2 times, Deva Premal, and many times with Enchanted Hearts.
In addition to teaching regular weekly classes, Jen has taught dozens of workshops (on various asana, meditation, and yoga philosophy topics); has led 5 weekend-long residential yoga and meditation retreats and a day-long retreat locally and led a week-long yoga and meditation retreat in Costa Rica; developed and taught an 8-Week Mindfulness course which has been offered 5 times; has developed and taught several 4-6 week long book discussion and meditation series workshops focusing on the work of Ram Dass, Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Jen McCarter is a B.ED., RYT, CYT and Yoga Health Coach who also holds a Bachelor's degree in Education focused on Family and Human Services. Jen has been working with families and individuals for over 22 years to address stress in the home, mind, and body caused by addiction, job loss, family system breakdown, anxiety and depression.
After years of working with others as a yoga teacher and caseworker it became clear that true change must come from within and be intrinsically motivated to provide lasting healing. Her personal healing journey lead her to the study of Ayurveda. Ayurveda loosely translated as the “Science of Life” teaches the importance of syncing with nature's rhythm to create a strong immune system and facilitate healing from a whole body perspective.
Jen is a guide to help people become more vibrant and aware by shifting daily routines or dinacharya in Sanskrit. As a native of Montana Jen has a very strong connection to her natural environment, a respect for all of the elements of nature, and the intuition of the planet. The practices she teaches offer a greater level of awareness with Mother Earth and truly will align us for the connection Yoga is all about, Union with the Divine and the understanding of interconnectedness of all living beings.
Called to Service: Yoga found me in 2011, at a time in my life when I was stretched extra thin. I was training for another half marathon, had just started my 14th year of teaching elementary school, had two young children and a husband who traveled every week for work. My dad, who has always been an athlete, mentioned that I should try yoga, as he was practicing then, and he thought I would like it. (He also bought my first yoga mat!) From the moment I walked into the quiet, warm, welcoming and uncluttered space of that yoga studio, my shoulders fell away from my ears, my body softened and I knew I was exactly where I was meant to be. I completed my "Be The Love" YTT with an incredible group of beautiful souls at Inner Bliss Yoga in February 2018.
What’s at the Core: I deeply believe that yoga is for everyone!
Personal Mantras: "Let your first though, upon waking, be thank you!" and "Life doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful."
Favorite Fellow Warriors: Rachel Brathen and Mother Theresa.
Balancing Act off the Mat: The reason that I keep coming back to my mat is BECAUSE life is a balancing act. I am constantly pulled in many directions and pushed up against my edge: family, pets, sports schedules, teaching, my volunteer work for Cleveland Angels supporting those in foster care, friends, my home. I love it all BIG TIME! But it's important to me to fill my own tank, fill myself up, take time to reflect and breath and BE so that I have what I need to give others. That's why my yoga gives me. I leave what does not serve me on my mat and start the real work of my yoga when I walk back out the door. I practice. I fall over. I begin again. I am new every time I practice, and different each time I leave. Through my practice, I have learned to be more gentle with myself and others. I have grieved, and I have celebrated. I have worked through sadness and self-doubt. I have learned that my miles per minute don't define me, and how hard I push doesn't make me better, or tougher. I have become a much less hurried version of myself, and that is a gift I receive over and over. My yoga IS my balance for my life, because it has taught me how to live in the life I have now, and BE in the present moment, even when the moment isn't pretty.
Good for the Soul: Happy hours with my husband and my incredible friends, long walks with my dog Scout, traveling in the sunshine with my family, cooking with my teen and tween kids, fostering animals for the Cleveland APL, running along our beautiful lakefront and listening to the waves roll at Wiggins Pass.
Called to Service: Certified Sivananda Yoga Instructor in 1981, Restorative Yoga Instructor 2016. A Holistic Health Educator / Practioner and BA Natural Health Sciences.
What’s at the Core: Following a Lifetime of Passion.
Lifetime Gurus: Swami Satchidinanda, Swami Vishnudevananda, Yogi Desai and Paramahansa Yogananda
A Path for Life: Yoga has helped me through many Rites of Passages. Practicing Karma yoga for many years, I’ve felt compelled to guide others to understand themselves. Yoga has now brought me to the present moment of delving into my own personal Sadhana. I share that gift with you.
Balancing Act off the Mat: I have studied and worked as a Holistic Educator/ Practitioner most of my adult life. We work seasonally on Lake Erie so I find it important to take time for play and solitude everyday.
Good for the Soul: I describe my life as a living Art. My favorite pastimes are listening to music, snorkeling, gardening, biking and kayaking. I love spending time in nature and walks in the woods or on the beach. Our family loves to travel and I recently became a new “Mimi”, now that tickles my soul.
Called to Service: I completed my 200YTT specializing in Vinyasa flow after a month long intensive training in Costa Rica. I stayed for 3 months volunteering at a retreat center teaching students who were working with plant medicine. In September of 2017 I also received my reiki master certification.
What's at the Core: April of 2016 I started to meditate out of curiosity and after the 3rd day I was hooked as I started to see results mentally and in my nervous system. 6 months later I got on my mat for the first time developing a home practice off of YouTube. 10 months later I stepped into my first yoga studio that was the beginning of my spiritual journey.
Personal Mantra: “You are your super power”
Good for the Soul: I love diving into astrology (you’ll always know when the new and full moons are in my class, lol) meditating and grounding with Mother Earth. Continuously expanding my awareness on yoga and all things metaphysical to be of better service to others and my mission here on earth. I also love making high vibrational vegan meals to fuel my temple.
Called to Service: Certified Early Childhood Education Teacher at Glenview Learning Center. Completed YTT through Inner Bliss Yoga Studio's Be The Love Teacher Training in 2017-2018.
What's at the Core: I came to yoga running. While training for a marathon I stumbled upon online yoga videos, and before the race training was complete I was craving my mat more than my runs. Curious about the practice I decided to attend a Yoga 101 Beginners Workshop, when the teacher closed the workshop stating "the divine light in me sees and honors the divine light in you" a space in my heart opened and an ease in my body occurred. After that workshop I committed myself to the practice and have seen the practice and myself grow as one. After practicing for little over a year, I found myself in Yoga Teacher Training. Life before yoga consisted of me pushing myself and striving towards finding happiness, but never standing in my truth long enough to experiencing that joy. Life since finding yoga has provided me with a balance between ease and effort. The practice has provided me with a platform to experience a level of belief & trust; where I can say "Why is this happening for me, rather than why is this happening to me".
On the Mat: I return to my mat; to remember, to learn, to forgive. Most importantly I return to my mat to practice; when I practice I am able to see the light and love within me which in turns makes it my visible to clearly see the light and love that surrounds me and surrounds all of us.
Personal Mantra: Be Brave. Stay Noble.
Dana Walters, E-RYT500, is the co-founder of Project Yoga Richmond (PYR), a non-profit organization in Virginia, where she serves as Volunteer, Ambassador, Instructor, Co-Director, Outreach Coordinator, and serves on the board. In 2014 alone, PYR provided over 1400 free, reduced-cost, and donation-based Yoga and meditation classes to individuals in need, including seniors, survivors of domestic violence, those in addiction recovery, and adults and children with developmental challenges. Dana has represented PYR at YSC’s Annual Conference at Omega Institute since 2014.
With family history and a personal journey with addiction and recovery, Dana found herself inspired by instructors with a similar path. She completed her RYT-500 certification with Rolf Gates, and studied under the guidance of Nikki Myers, founder of The Yoga of 12 Step Recovery (Y12SR). She became a Y12SR leader in 2011 and has offered Y12SR meetings ever since. In 2015, she became a Y12SR trainer after completing a mentoring program with Nikki.
Dana’s work has been featured in Origin Magazine, Yoga Journal, and soon The Huffington Post. She was honored in 2012, receiving Style Weekly’s “Top 40 Under 40” Award for as an agent of positive change. Dana holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Religion from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, where she lives with her husband and several rescued dogs.
Denys Morgan (Devta Kaur), LMT, YA-RYT, KRYT has been working professionally with movement since 1986 as part of her lifelong dedication to the holistic self - body, mind and spirit. As a healer, body worker, spiritual teacher and mentor, Denys relies deeply on her intuition and offers total body solutions to approach wellbeing. Her passion for her work is supported by her enthusiasm, creativity, and the inspiration she derives from her many teachers.
Denys wholeheartedly follows the teachings of her beloved gurus: Shirdi Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Baba, Pramahansa Yogananda, Meher Baba, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Amma Sri Karunamayi, Mother Meera and Osho and Yogi Bhajan. By Their grace she is blessed to spread Their message. The essence of Denys’ work is prompted by her guru, Sai Baba: “Love All, Serve All” and “Help Ever, Hurt Never.”
With over 800 hours of yoga training, Denys continues to learn. Each class is unique and is an expression of the devotion and diverse practices she has gathered from nearly 30 years of teaching. Offering traditional yoga, Kundalini yoga as well as non-traditional movement, her classes are inspired by the needs of the student(s) with a focus on holistically approaching the body, mind, and spirit.
In 2015, Denys co-founded Ananda Bhakti YTT and has been training aspiring yoga teachers to teach ever since. Sharing the knowledge that she has been so blessed to receive is her greatest joy.