At a very young age I was unknowingly committed to a life of physical fitness. I have always been fascinated with the human body—its anatomy, its kinesiology, and its movement patterns. I moved to Houston in 1998 was able to begin my practice in the two disciplines by taking classes from others. In 2001, I began working towards my certifications in yoga. My first education with yoga came from Robert Boustany in Hatha yoga in 2008. After years of teaching and finding my own method and style I sought further education with John Friend (Anusara yoga) and as of late, Baron Baptiste (power Vinyasa yoga). I continue to grow in my own personal development every day, and love seeing what the two disciplines (Yoga and Pilates) bring to my students. I opened the studio in February of 2011 to bring my love of both physical movement principles to everyone, young and old. I continue to be inspired every day, and am empowered by the students who come to my studio as I see positive and powerful changes in each of them.
Aaron began his study of Yoga in the Ashtanga Vinyasa Tradition. Aaron has a polished understanding of the Primary series, and is an adept second series practitioner. Aaron continues to expand his understanding of the third and fourth series. Aaron is currently apprenticing with Robert Boustany, and learning the methodology of Pralaya Yoga. His teaching style is also influenced by the Forrest Yoga Method. He believes that by strengthening the body in a balanced way, energy in the body runs most strongly, and openings in muscles and joints occur. Flexibility is achieved safely through strength. Aaron’s classes are fun and lighthearted and you will leave every class stronger than you came in.
Amanda has her BA in communications. She spent the last five years as a private tutor working closely with children and adults. She is also a certified Texas teacher and loves working with pre-kinder children. Amanda comes from a long line of educators–both her mother and grandmother were teachers. Yoga became a part of her life when she was very young and her first teacher was her mother. Amanda’s love of teaching and sharing knowledge is evident in her teaching style and you will gain a good knowledge of alignment and posture in her classes. Amanda is CPR and first aid certified, and offers modifications for any of the postures in her classes. Amanda’s classes are steady and accessible to all levels. She has studied Hatha, Yin, and Vinyasa yoga. Amanda began practicing in yoga in 2008, and believes that yoga has transformed her life. Amanda is currently seeking her certification through The Archetypes of Yoga, Empowerment Program and Asana Study program.
Graeme came to Houston in 1993 to do his MS in Exercise Science and has been teaching at the college level ever since. Since stress is associated with up to 75% of modern diseases, he feels that physical activity in our daily lives has never been more important. With a background in martial arts, Hatha Yoga and Pilates he understands how the mind-body connection is made through breathing. As an instructor, Graeme hopes his students find serenity in challenging themselves both physically and mentally during their yoga practice.
Kim has been practicing yoga since 2001 and became a certified yoga teacher in 2007 after going through Robert Boustany’s 50 week program. Kim as also studied and practiced with Johnny Kest, Shiva Rae, David Swanson, Rodney Yee, Duncan Wong, Jason and Jenny, Saul David Raye, Annie Carpenter and some amazing local teachers too. “As a yoga teacher I enjoy the choreography of creative vinyasa flows, but the foundation of every one of my classes is a technical but playful understanding of the asanas. My passion is first, balanced muscle strength to reduce common injuries and secondly, (and not necessarily in this order) arm balances, inversions and partner yoga.”
Liz Eklund began practicing yoga 10 years ago, and completed her teacher training in 2009 at YogaWorks in Santa Monica, CA. She has taken various classes and workshops from various teachers all over the world. She strives to educate students about the positive impact various yoga poses have on the human body, including the effects on the internal organs. Her first yoga teacher used to say that “stress is the modern day plague.” She truly believes that not finding a way to release this stress, clear your mind, and detox from life’s events, worries and fatigues causes illness and cancers in the mind and body. She guides students compassionately into yoga postures with an emphasis on breath awareness and proper alignment. It is her opinion that yoga can be beneficial to anyone, regardless of age, flexibility, former injuries, or illnesses. After a serious car accident her physical activity was limited; everyday tasks and joys were draining and almost impossible. Through her struggles after the accident it was yoga that brought her back to better health than before the injury.
Stefani became certified to teach group fitness classes and has been sharing high-energy, calorie-burning, and FUN cardio and strength classes since 2002. After all those years of hard-core workouts, Stefani missed her days of being more flexible. She tried various yoga styles, but it was Vinyasa that really stood out. The music and the flowing movements linked with long, deep breaths make Vinyasa a perfect match for Stefani’s goals and interests – both personally and as a teacher. She began teaching yoga in 2011 and absolutely loves it! One of her greatest strengths is connecting with people, and that’s exactly what she does each time a student walks into her classes. She believes that knowing how to modify a class to appeal to the beginner and advanced yogi in the same room is essential to keeping the students engaged and coming back for more. She has found that inspiring others to help them feel healthy, fulfilled, and successful is truly her #1 goal.
Yemike was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and has taught yoga, spinning and a variety of group fitness classes for the past 10 years. In 2007, she traveled to Mysore, India for a month-long study under Sri Pattabhi Jois and his grandson, Sharath, at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute. She has taught and practiced Ashtanga yoga for more than 5 years, and has found a deeper appreciation for her practice and teaching others. She is very grateful for the teachings of her past yoga instructor, Yannis, as well as several other yoga gurus who have taught her dedication and motivation is important to developing a steady practice. Yemike is currently completing a Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Texas Woman’s University in Houston.
Brynn recently finished her 200 level yoga training with the help of Happy Belly Studios. Her first job was as a corps member of the Nevada Festival Ballet Co. at 15 years old. She went on to get a B.A in English and an M.S in Counseling. After having two baby girls and not finding any adult ballet classes in her small town she discovered yoga. With yoga she found a way to connect with her spiritual side while also learning patience and healing for her physical self, post -pregnancy. She had been a regular practitioner of Hatha and Bikram yoga for close to 10 years when she moved to Houston and fell in love with the flow and dance-like rhythm of Vinyasa yoga. She believes the energy exchanged in a yoga studio is magical and can bring people closer to their divine self. She plans on teaching and taking yoga classes until she is a very old lady!
Candice first hopped onto a yoga-mat next to her mother in front of a television, rocking out to a dance-yoga DVD. Then, 10 years and a stack of DVDs later, she wandered into her first yoga studio in Austin. Since then, Candice’s desire to grow, has led her to delve deeper into the wonderful art which continually challenges her. What began as a simple fitness routine, has lent itself to become an inward journey of love for herself and community. She has always been able to connect and relate with those around her both professionally and personally. Candice’s bright and loving spirit is encouraging yet tough on her students, because she believes that “pressure makes diamonds.” Through practice of yoga anyone can realize their inner strength, beauty and improve their life. In addition to her BS in Anthropology, Candice holds a certification in Baptiste Vinyasa from Happy Belly Studios.
Kristen recently completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training, offered at Happy Belly Studios. From a young age, she had a fascination with the human body, nutrition, and fitness and studied nutrition at The University of Texas at Austin. A longtime runner, she found yoga again in 2011 while struggling with a wide range of unknown illnesses, for which Western medicine was not providing any answers and was predicting dire outlooks. A firm believer in the mind-body connection, she stopped seeing her doctors and turned to yoga and nutrition. Within one month she was feeling almost normal and within three, all her symptoms disappeared. She feels yoga decreased her stress and brought her back in tune with her body, allowing her body to heal itself through nutrition. Now a devoted yogi, Kristen enjoys the challenging yet invigorating style of power vinyasa. She hopes to share the gifts and benefits of yoga with others through teaching.