SHARING THE BENEFITS OF YOGA WITH THE COMMUNITY
With our unique backgrounds and specializations, we share our experiences to help guide you through your journey within yoga -- on and off the mat. We are here to grow with you and help you shed light along the way. It is also our effort to support instructors as well! We are humbled by our amazing team... and by your support and participation! We look forward to seeing you in class!
RYT200, RRCA Certified Running Coach
Searching for a new form of exercise and expression, I first discovered yoga through a community education Iyengar class around 15 years ago. I found so much more than a work-out, however. Through yoga, I've recognized a deeper understanding of the mind/body connection, as well as a truer appreciation for my own body and its capabilities. Yoga can be a wonderful lifelong companion, available when you need it and willing to meet you where you are at every time you step onto your mat.
An avid runner and former running coach for Running Fit 501 in Ann Arbor, I hope to bring athletes of all types into the yoga studio for body-friendly cross-training and strengthening. I've learned the hard way that all running and no cross training is a recipe for disaster in distance training. Yoga is an effective way to strengthen all those neglected support muscles that keep you going through the long miles on the road or trail. I am currently enrolled in yoga teacher training at Yoga Integrated Science in Louisville, KY, which emphasizes joint structure and force application within yoga postures in order to strengthen and find balance within the body.
I truly believe yoga is for everyone. It is a practice for everybody and every body, and encompasses so much more than the asanas. At Breathe, I want to make sure everyone who enters feels welcomed, capable and excited to be on their own yoga journey.
I like twists in general, always feeling like they "reset" my body after a practice or a work out and Triangle is an absolute must for me after a run. I kept up with that posture during all my hard-core run training days, even when I was less consistent with yoga in general. My body likes it!
After initially trying yoga, as many people do, as a new form of exercise about 7 years ago, I found I kept returning to my mat as a refuge; a place of safety, peace and serenity. It offered me so much more than a purely physical practice, bringing me a sense of balance and calm that I can honestly say I had never felt in all my adult life. Soon, my practice began to teach me to be kind to, and accept myself, and all of my ‘perfect imperfections’, so, when the idea of training to teach became a whisper in my subconscience, what drove me to listen was the need I felt to assist others in their journey toward inner peace; by holding a safe space for them in which to feel what they need to feel, and develop a positive, compassionate relationship with themselves.
I graduated from Johnny Kest’s Center for Yoga, Ann Arbor, in 2013, and have since taught classes in a number of studios and gyms in the Chelsea/Ann Arbor area, inlcuding Chelsea and Dexter Wellness Centers, Move Wellness, Ballet Chelsea, Country Spirit Crossfit and through Chelsea Community Education, where I teach Young Yogis for children K-8. My classes are primarily centered upon integrating mind and body through the power of the breath, through love and through kindness, drawing upon all facets of what yoga has to offer us both on and off the mat. It is my deepest, deepest pleasure to welcome you to Breathe.
Half Moon Balance
"I love all balances, but this one in particular feels like such an expression of joy, as I lift my heart skyward!"
The first time I ever experienced yoga was when I was a young child. When I would get upset and identify with an emotion that was passing through me, my dad would suggest that I take a deep breath and relax. I didn't know it then, but I was beginning to practice an important part of yoga.
While I was at a healing retreat in the Amazon jungle in Peru, I fell in love with yoga. I realized that beneath the pain and suffering I so desperately clung to, there was a natural state of bliss and love. Through conscious breathing I was able to release deep emotional pain that had manifested as physical pain. This experience was my first taste of the miraculous healing of yoga.
Yearning for a deep spiritual connection, I tried out many styles of yoga. I appreciated the experiences, but I felt that I was only scraping the surface of these deep profound waters. Focusing the majority of my attention on healing and delving deeper into yoga helped make it clear to the universe what I was searching for. Eventually I attracted the opportunity to learn the ancient yogic lifestyle and how to teach Hatha Yoga at the Sivananda Vedanta Ashram in the Bahamas. After successfully completing the intense month long training, I am certified to share yoga and am also a Peace Ambassador in the world. With deep gratitude and love, I am continuing my own sadhana (spiritual practice) in order to be a pure channel of light for the profoundly simple teachings of yoga.
(My favorite yoga pose is Sirsasana:Headstand. I love that practicing this asana not only strengthens the heart, will, and concentration, but also helps you gain perspective from the other side.)
Staci first tried yoga back in 2002 while in Washington DC as a way to complement her rigorous exercise regime which consisted of running, weights, and lots of cycling. She loved her weekly Iyengar class and realized that yoga helped find spaces in her body she never knew existed. Then in 2004, after climbing (and running atop!) Kilimanjaro, Staci was diagnosed with Chronic Epstein Barr Virus (CEBV) and had to slow down – way down. Still, she tried in vain to get back to her old self and it was not until 2010 that she came back to her mat. Her plan was to find a way to exercise safely as she started a family with her new husband. Her reality led her down a path she never contemplated – infertility. During the struggles that lie ahead, she found on her mat exactly what she needed: a place of acceptance and love.
Staci’s transformative experience with yoga led her to obtain her 200-level yoga certification in April 2014 from her former (spectacular!) DC-based studio, Tranquil Space. Staci offers a safe and vigorous asana practice but also encourages students to contemplate other aspects of yoga and explore how working through poses and perceptions on the mat can translate to working through life’s struggles off the mat.
Staci is forever thankful to her teachers and fellow-yogis at Tranquil Space Yoga. She is also very excited to be part of Breathe Yoga and so thankful that now, when people ask her how she likes her move to Chelsea, she doesn’t have to say, “It is wonderful, … but there is no yoga studio!!”
I was introduced to yoga by a friend about ten years ago when I was looking to decrease my daily stress and anxiety. I walked into class with no expectations and walked out knowing I would never be the same. Yoga to me is my safe haven and I want it to be the same for my students. I am passionate about making each class accessible to anyone regardless of whether they are an experienced yogi or a first time student. I believe that yoga is so much more than the postures and how they “look” but more about how they “feel”. I want each of my students to know that every time they walk into one of my classes they will be treated with compassion, respect and gratitude.
I look forward to practicing with you in this new space and sharing our positive energy. See you on the mat!
My favorite posture is Pigeon Pose. I practice this posture every night before I go to sleep. I love this posture because it requires complete humility and surrender, two things that I aspire to integrate into my life on a daily basis.
Emily Seitz graduated from Eastern Michigan University with two Bachelor of Science degrees in Dietetics and in Elementary Education. Emily is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and works at Allegiance Hospital in Jackson, MI. In practicing her vision of health as a balance of the body and the mind, Emily is also a personal trainer certified by the American College of Sports Medicine and a yoga instructor who studied teaching at the Center for Yoga in Ann Arbor, MI. For the past 4 years, she has taught weekly classes at the Chelsea Wellness Center. Emily enjoys bringing the experience of yoga to new people and has also taught classes at the Dexter Yoga in the Park and Chelsea Yoga on the Lawn. Emily’s favorite pose is King Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) because even though this pose can create discomfort, especially in the hips, she craves the release that comes from working her edge.
When she is not pursuing her passions of nutrition and yoga, Emily is enjoying the moments of life with her husband at their peaceful lakeside home in Chelsea, Michigan.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
"Every journey can be a pilgrimage. On a recent visit to Italy, I came across a covered pathway along the Arno river at Ponte Vecchio. The light and depth of the archways drew me in, echoing the layers I experience when opening to a yoga posture. I came back the next day at dawn, before the walkway could fill with pedestrians and vendors to unfold into my favorite yogi arch: Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose)."
Janine began the study of yoga in 1996 at Inward Bound in Ann Arbor, Michigan and completed her Yoga Teaching Certification in 2006 with Ganga White and Tracey Rich at the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, California. Her teaching experience includes:
With the breath as your guide, Janine's yoga classes are designed to cultivate body awareness, develop strength and flexibility, and bring body and mind into balance. She encourages students to find the joy in their practice.
Hi! I'm Lisa and I am excited to be joining the team at Breathe Yoga. I consider myself to be a constantly evolving yogi. I took up yoga to help manage the emotional stressors of caring for my ailing parent. I was already a long distance runner, but to my surprise yoga transformed me physically and reignited my joy of movement. I am in awe of the power and resiliency of the human body and spirit, and continue to be inspired everyday by my yoga clients who show this to be true.
I hold a 200 hour ERYT designation from Yoga Alliance and am currently working towards my 500 hour certification (expected completion July 2017). I have specialized yoga experience and training in working with athletes, individuals with chronic disease and cancer, and seniors. My style of teaching is informed by my background in exercise physiology, anatomy, mindfulness, alignment and core awareness.
As a health and wellness coach and yoga instructor, my passion is helping people across the age, ability, and fitness continuum to achieve their health and wellness goals, unleashing their super powers of joyful living. A healthy mix of work and play is one of my daily intentions. Some days it actually happens; many days it’s close! Curiosity, self compassion and humor are my constant companions.
My favorite pose? Vriksasana TREE! I love how tree requires 100% mindfulness, can open the hips and lengthen the spine, and at the same time help us find our rootedness, center and open heart. See you on the mat! Namaste!
I first discovered yoga three years ago when I was diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses. My practice at first offered me a way to improve my physical health and manage emotional stress, but has since expanded to offer me a deeply a spiritual place of refuge which has become my home base.
In August 2015 I completed a 200 hour teacher training program with Noah Mazé, which I know to be just the start of my journey on the yogic path. I look forward to offering my students an environment of peace, growth and acceptance and meeting them as they move forwards on their journeys also.
Ustrasana, Camel Pose
This pose is a deep heart opener and it's only recently I've felt comfortable with backbends - but now I'm hooked! It feels so raw and joyful to be open!
Emily grew up in Stockbridge and first fell in love with yoga, at the tender age of 20, in her first class at Washtenaw Community College. She has been developing and deepening her practice over the years and recently got a 200 hour teaching certification from the Kripalu School of Yoga and Ayurveda in western Massachusetts. When she isn’t on the mat Emily nurtures a small-scale market and CSA veggie farm, learns from her two gorgeous daughters and husband, aspires toward more travel and thrives on connecting with all walks of life. She is excited to be serving the greater community, in collaboration with Breathe Yoga, in this new and exciting way!
Vrkshasana, Tree Pose
I always feel so empowered and rooted in the humanness of my being when in this posture. I don’t always hold it steady and that is Ok; a great reminder that flexibility is crucial to my thoughts and actions and that I can jump right back in to try again. When I choose to close my eyes in this pose I almost always feel my inherent roots shooting out of my foot, connecting me to the Great Earth.
STOTT PILATES® Certified, Level One
TRX Suspension Trainer
Rachel began her yoga practice over 15 years ago, when she was living in San Francisco. She completed her Yoga Teacher certification in 2008 in Ann Arbor, MI.
Her teaching experience has included: Washtenaw Community College, Environmental Protection Agency, Huron Valley Swim Club, Chelsea Library, Chelsea Milling, Running Fit, Yoga Room, Chelsea, Dexter & Manchester Wellness Centers, as well as Community Support & Treatment Services. She has studied with Paul Grilley, Beryl Bender Birch, Jonny Kest, Desiree Rambaugh, Eric Schiffmann, David Swenson, Tias Little and Judtih Lasater. Rachel is also a STOTT Pilates Certified Instructor, Level 1 and a TRX Suspension Trainer.
She enjoys teaching all levels and various class types, from beginners through seniors, and believes that everyone can benefit from a yoga practice. They only need to find what works best for them, and Rachel is willing and able to help students find their way.
Her favorite poses are Plank & Savasana. Plank because it requires shoulder and core stability, and challenges the entire body. And Savasana because you have to totally surrender to the pose and the breath, fulfilling the intention of the asana practice by preparing the body and mind for meditation."
It was more than 10 years ago when I rolled out my mat for the first time. I knew immediately after taking my first class that I was going to be forever changed by the experience. Yoga challenged my mind and body in ways that I never imagined and, with dedicated practice, I have grown strong and confident within the four corners of my mat. The beauty of yoga is that the change taking place during practice carries through to every aspect of our lives. Through breath and movement, stillness and silence, there is awareness, mindfulness and most importantly… acceptance. Yoga is a gift. My passion in life is to share this gift with anyone open to receiving it. In 2015, I completed the 200 hour RYT certification under the direct instruction of Brent and Sheri Rieli, founders of the Plymouth Yoga Room, who share nearly 40 years of experience between them. My training is based on the system of Ashtanga yoga, where rhythmic breath is the foundation of a strong, balanced practice. Yoga has taught me how to experience life joyfully by embracing both the opportunities and challenges, ultimately unlocking the true potential within myself. The best way that I know how to share what I’ve learned is by guiding students through a rewarding class that promotes self-awareness, compassion and growth and it all begins with simply breathing and letting go.
(Reverse Plank Pose or Intense East Stretch)
This is one of my favorite, most challenging postures. It draws on the strength of my entire body and a steady, powerful breath to remain supported. There is a great sense of freedom I experience from allowing my head to fall back and my heart to open up to the sky.
Christine has practiced yoga for over 20 years beginning with videos and cassette tapes when yoga classes were almost nonexistent. She graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Parks and Recreation, emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation. The study of play has always been her passion. She enjoys helping children and families to find to the joy of playing and educating on the benefits that it brings to children and adults alike. She also knows the importance of connecting with nature for well being. She brings these important elements into teaching preschool and will bring it onto the mat in teaching class. She teaches at Triangle Cooperative Preschool and has been able to introduced children to the great outdoors, learning through creative play and centering with yoga fun.
Christine trained at Yandara Yoga institute in Baja Mexico. She has learned from her own personal experience that both yoga and spending time in nature can help with grief and assist us during other times of struggle. She is continuing to explore the ways to share the healing and growth that yoga can bring.
Originally from Chicago, IL, Niki relocated to work with family at All About Nails in Chelsea, MI. She is a single mom of 10 year old Brooklyn, who also practices yoga. She did her yoga certification training at Center for Yoga in Bloomfield Hills, MI.
Co-creator of the Young Yogis program in Chelsea that is offered through community Ed for Chelsea schools, Niki feels that kids need yoga just as much as adults do. It helps lay a foundation to build a lifelong practice that will continue to deepen. Niki loves to bring a playful aspect to yoga and takes that same aspect off the mat and into daily life.
Her favorite yoga pose is Child's Pose or Balasana, because it reminds her that no matter what challenges the outside world can throw at you, you can always curl up, and go inside to find that blissful place that lives inside us all.
I found this beautiful practice in seventh grade, during an Iyengar class at a local YMCA. At the time, I was only using yoga to find physical balance after spending hours of training in ballet and dance, which filled my weeks and weekends growing up. From
cross-training over the years and the drive to become a professional dancer, I experienced many injuries, frequently caused by improper lifting, running, and general overuse.
As a student of yoga, I was in and out of practice as I continued through high school and college.
While receiving my BFA in Acting, it was during preparations for the musical HAIR, that I began to deepen my asana practice seriously. As a cast, we began group meditations in rehearsals, and I found an incredibly transformative community in my castmates and the surrounding yoga studios. I fell madly in love. Yoga became my gym, and almost immediately, it became my spiritual sanctuary too. I started to feel as though something inside of me had been cracked open. The result of this breaking was an energizing joy that seemed to be pulsing through every part of my physical being and spirit. I began to feel genuinely whole, happy, and on a path of healing.
As I started leading cast warm-ups via sun salutations, gathering friends for full moon meditations, and generally being ecstatic about yoga, it seemed that within one month in spring, more people had told me to teach than I had ever heard before. The day after HAIR had closed, I took the leap and submitted my application to People's Yoga with Kelly Stiglich (formerly Shanti
School of Yoga) in Traverse City, where I completed my 200 hour (RYT 200) Yoga Alliance certification in July 2015.
In my teaching, I focus on body awareness and perceptiveness. I'm inspired by Kundalini and yin yoga, 5Rhythms dance, building intentional community, poetry and literature, hiking, nature, and finding play in postures. I am honored to be a part of the yoga family that is manifesting in my hometown of Chelsea, and look forward to inviting others to be transformed by what yoga can offer, each moment on the mat.
Blog: Breaking the Yogi
This pose feels like home. It’s been there through the ups and downs, and I consider it to be an ultimate gesture of surrender: to the body, to what’s happening in life, and to letting go of all that seems out of my control. This is the posture I go to every morning when I walk out in the yard, bowing to the Earth and whatever this day may bring!
Katie began her yoga journey over 15 years ago, as a result of her mother's recommendation, or requirement in all honesty. Since then, work and growth has continuously evolved on the mat, and for that she is beyond grateful. Her practice began in her hometown of Grand Ledge, Michigan, and stayed with her while she lived in Marietta, GA during chiropractic school. In 2015, she received her 200 RYT Training from PeaceLab Yoga in Grandville, MI. Training was an alignment focused Hatha based training. The alignment focus deeply resonated with Katie, as she spends her time off the mat practicing chiropractic. Katie celebrates the beauty in trusting the body, while allowing healing and life to express from within. Yoga has been a huge component of cultivating, creating, and nurturing a harmonic environment for life, healing and expression to flow optimally for Katie. As she joins the team at Breathe Yoga, she is filled with gratitude to share yoga with students, and allow the possibilities to present and flourish for students.
Selecting just one is very difficult.... Today, my selection is Camatkarasana, or Wild Thing. Camatkarasana requires a beautiful balance of opening, strength, and expression. It also provides inspiration to work on that which presents as a challenge for me, such as shoulder opening, and back bends as a whole. The effort put into progressing through the opening to allow for this asana dynamically changes what is available in the pose, and is genuinely rewarded. The work and the expression meet beautifully in this asana, and allow joyful expression.
Loves to support people into a deeper awareness of their body through yoga, the breath and meditation meeting clients needs where they are at today.
Favorite pose is DragonFly because I love the way it opens the hips, stretches the legs, amazing rotation in the torso to open up the shoulders. Love the way I feel in the pose - strong and open to receiving possibilities.
I guide students through an alignment-based practice with powerful messaging. My objective is to hold space for students to explore their own practice. We align physically, to align mentally, emotionally and energetically.
Ardha Chandra Chapasana
I have a different and growing relationship with every asana. I like finding balance in every posture by playing the edge (*come to class to hear more about that). One of my favorites, though, is Ardha Chandra Chapasana , or Sugarcane pose, for the sweetness of balance that creates space for the backbend. Creating this balance to open my heart is a challenge. Through right action and the right effort, the sensations in this asana bring me to a place hard to put into words... my ideal self, perhaps. Perfect peace, heart blossoming bright.
Be the light.
The first time I learned of Yoga, I was an adolescent growing up in the small town of Chelsea, MI. I was instantly intrigued by this peaceful, calm, non-judgmental lifestyle. But living in a rural area did not provide the opportunity to become part of a yoga community. As an adult, I took the yoga recreation classes when offered, but putting it into practice consistently, proved to be a slow process. In 2011, I was able to commit to yoga, and am thankful every day that it is part of my life.
As a parent of a twenty-three year old son and a twelve- year old daughter, I experienced the value of exposing children to yoga principles, as early as possible. Recognizing that I wanted to be part of the process, moved me to become a certified Childlight Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher, through Breathe Yoga Studio in Chelsea.
“Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.”
Warrior lll, Virabhadrasana III, is my favorite pose because it is a powerful balancing pose, and for me, it represents the balance I practice in my own life. I also enjoy teaching it, because it can be modified for all ages, beginning with “Fly your Airplane!”
The other important element in Warrior lll is developing a drishti, a focused, yet soft gaze of concentration. With all of the daily distractions that children and youth are exposed to, I believe that gaining the ability to concentrate will benefit them every day of their lives.
I am also a certified Life Coach specializing in life transitions. I am grateful for the opportunity to hold space for clients, listen intuitively as they explore their true desires and assist them in making successful transitions.