YogaFaith Director, YF-D

Our Directors have excelled in leadership skills, teaching abilities, and shown great enthusiasm for God and people through their Ambassadorship.

YF Director, Jody Thomae | Ashland, OH
R-YFT, TSYF, R-YFMT, Relax & Renew®, C-IAYT

Congratulations Ambassador of the Year 2018-2019!

Director and Ambassador Jody Thomae is an author, worship leader, and teacher of embodied prayer and creative worship. She has been involved in worship arts ministries since 1997 and is the author of “God’s Creative Gift” and “The Creator’s Healing Power.”

Her passion is for the revelation of God to be made real through the prophetic and creative portrayal of the message of Christ’s unfailing love, in order to help sustain the hearts of the broken and weary. She is particularly interested in how God uses creativity and embodied movement (including yoga) in the formative and healing process. She is a graduate of Ashland Theological Seminary and a team member with Healing Care Ministries.

She has taught yoga for close to two decades and leads gently challenging Vinyasa flow (or slow, energizing flow) yoga classes that are ROOTED (grounded in form, alignment, intention) and REACHING (stretching towards personal goals, dreams, destiny). She is a YogaFaith Director, a Registered YogaFaith Master Trainer (R-YFMT), a Christian Yoga Association Master Trainer and Continuing Education Provider. She is also a Relax & Renew RYT. Jody is currently pursuing her certification as a Spiritual Director through Healing Care Ministries. See www.jodythomae.com for more information on her ministry activities. See Rooted and Reaching here.

YF Director, Monette Benjamin-George | London, Ontario Canada
200 R-YFT, YF-A

YogaFaith Ambassador, YF-A

A YogaFaith Ambassador is one who wants to move from being a spectator to being a participator. One who captures the vision and wants to take God’s light into a dark world. We value and honor our Ambassadors being the hands and feet of God, reaching all four corners of this Earth. Going and making disciples in His name.

MaryAnn Sander | Milwaukee, WI CONGRATULATIONS AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR 2022-2023
Appointed Lead Master Trainer, YF-LMT, R-YFMT, TSYF, R-YFMN, R-YFSS

YF Yoga Therapy Administrator

I am a “cheesehead” and have lived in the Milwaukee area my entire life. I am a home church pastor and mentor through Brew City Church. I greet God every morning by thanking Him for another day to be alive, saved by His grace, healthy, safe and free. I also hold forever gratitude for my two amazing grown sons and their beautiful gals, my incredible family and my sweet intimate best friendships.

God – Teaching – Serving

I have had a heart and passion for God, for teaching and for serving my entire life. In addition to being a current YogaFaith trainer, I have also taught and served in the fields of public education, hairdressing and theatre/dance. I believe it is our spirit, prompted by the Holy Spirit, which comes at some point in our lives, to recognize the giftings we have been given…then it is up to us to do something about it!!
1 Peter 4:10 – As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.

Hills and Valleys

I have been blessed to live on many spiritual hilltops throughout my life. Like most of us, my life did not always have that mountain top view. After going through a very long life season down in the valley ( almost 20 years), I began taking yoga classes 7 years ago as part of my movement back into health and wholeness. I remember going through a flow one evening – at some point, I tuned out the instructor and began breathing, moving, praising, and meditating on Jesus. I just knew I was being led by the Holy Spirit! On my drive home I kept thinking – wow, that felt like such a natural extension of my connection to You God….it seems like something David would do!!

YogaFaith

Of course, it was by the continued leading of the Spirit that my journey intersected with YogaFaith. I completed my first YogaFaith 200hr training in 2017 and have not looked back since! I currently hold certifications as a YogaFaith yoga Instructor, Master Trainer, Lead Trainer, Meditation/Nidra Instructor, Trauma Sensitive Instructor and Sozo/Somatics Instructor. I am on staff with YogaFaith working in the area of student support services. I am also a curriculum writer currently writing for YogaFaith’s new Yoga Therapy program! My heart and spirit completely align with YogaFaith philosophy “to train, equip, resource and empower the body of Christ to fulfill their unique God given purpose; and to live successful Christian lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

MaryAnn recently became the first and only YogaFaith Master Lead Trainer, YF-MLT, she is so incredible that we created this position for her, or she created the position for us, whichever it is…we can’t wait for you to learn from her!

Robin Bourdeau | Arlington, VA
R-YFYT, R-CYAMT 500, YF-CWR, NASM-CPT

CONGRATULATIONS AMBASSADOR HONOREE 2022-2023

YF Yoga Therapy Student

Robin currently resides in Arlington, VA, just outside DC. She grew up in gymnastics, competing as a youngster and coaching for roughly 20 years. After the birth of her beautiful daughter, she turned her attention to a more conventional profession. During this time, Robin went through a significant weight gain – weight loss journey, at the end if which she became a Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT) and then an avid runner.

Having grown up in a baptist church, Robin was reluctant to try yoga, but after running friends convinced her to attend a free session she was hooked. She quickly signed up for teacher training to understand more about why yoga was changing her in ways beyond the physical. It was after she completed her 200 Hour training that she discovered YogaFaith. Keeping that on her radar, Robin left her profession to focus fully on serving, teaching, and encouraging others to fulfill their God-given potential. In addition to being a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor, Robin added Pilates and nutrition coaching to her skillset.

With the onset of COVID in 2020, Robin found herself with ample time to dive into Yoga Faith training, immersing herself in the YogaFaith Master’s program, YogaFaith Yin, and YogaFaith Meeting of Ancient Pathways with an eye toward yoga therapy. This opportunity has been a life-changing experience for her and one she desires deeply to share with others.

Robin is Founder and Owner of X4mation Fitness, LLC, transforming lives through the power of God and the practice of yoga. She teaches online and in person sessions for individuals, groups, special events, and retreats.

Jessica McCarty | Texarkana, TX | CONGRATULATIONS Ambassador of the Year 2021-2022
R-YFT 200

YF Yoga Therapy Student

Jessica is a 200 hr R-YFR from Texarkana, Texas. She has earned her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Arts and Sciences from Texas A&M University, Texarkana. She has over 15 years of leadership experience and is educated in massage therapy through The Academy of Massage in San Antonio, TX. Jessica is a proud mom to two beautiful little boys, a wife to a very supportive husband, and a Jesus lover. Jessica grew up loving Jesus but at the age of 21 found her life spiraling out of her own control. Jessica lived a life of destruction for many years. She always looked for joy in the wrong places. After a difficult divorce, Jessica decided it was time to go back home, not just physically, but spiritually. Even though Jessica gave her life back over to Christ she still struggled with guilt, anxiety, and depression. Worship became Jessica’s weapon to battle the overwhelming thoughts that came to her mind. About a year later, she finally felt freedom from what plagued her about her past.
As worship became Jessica’s weapon, the enemy fought harder. Jessica knew that she needed a deeper connection with God. She sought out Yoga and fell in love! In search of a Yoga Teacher Training, she stumbled across YogaFaith. She knew immediately that YogaFaith is where she needed to train as her desire is to help men and women overcome trauma and addiction through worship and body movement.
Jessica is the founder of a YogaFaith studio in Texarkana, Texas called Prodigy Yoga. The word Prodigy is the root word for Prodigal, and Jessica is a Prodigal child!
Jessica has had the opportunity to teach over 450 students since opening her studio in August of 2020.
Jessica is certified with YogaFaith 200-RYFT, TSYF, YF Nidra. She is currently in the YogaFaith Therapy program, and working her way through dance & embodiment and sozo & somatics.
Jessica’s website is www.prodigyyoga.com
YogaFaith is honored to have Jessica as part of our leadership and an Ambassador of Christ!

Rosy McCann | Harvey Cedars, NJ
R-YFMT 500, YF Meditation and Nidra Certified

Congratulations Ambassador of the Year Honoree 2021-2022

Rosy McCann is a Holistic Health Coach, Nutrition Educator, and Founding President of Empowering Women Thru Motion, a not-for-profit organization for women. She became a Yoga Faith instructor in 2017 in London Ontario and is the founder of Healthy4Life.

As a former event planner, Rosy’s passion is to bring women together in engaging retreats to learn firsthand how to create balance in mind, body and soul. The core tenets for her retreats are by unplugging and reconnecting with Jesus, eating a clean, healthy diet, and practicing meditation, prayer and yoga. Her goal is to provide women the tools they need to begin their journey back to or optimize their whole-body health and wellness.

I am honored to be a YogaFaith Ambassador and assist in bringing women closer to the Creator through yoga and education.

And we are also honored that God has brought such a gift in Rosy to us! We hope you get the chance to meet her or join one of her beautiful retreats!

Gabriela Anderson | Ogden, UT
R-YFMT 500, R-YF12S

Gabriela Anderson of Living Oak Health & Wellness is a YogaFaith Master Trainer from Ogden, UT. She is a Christian and has been teaching yoga since 2016 . Gabriela graduated from her 200-hour program at 18 years old at Mind Your Body Oasis in Crystal City, Virginia and taught secular classes until 2018. She then discovered YogaFaith and since then has taught YogaFaith classes exclusively.

She has continued to expand her education through YogaFaith’s 12 Step and Recovery Christian Yoga program, enrollment at Weber State University, training in the medical field as a registered EEG tech, becoming a licensed Cosmetologist in Utah, and obtaining certifications in Thai massage body work level one and advanced through Mind Your Body Oasis in Crystal city, Virginia. Gabriela is currently working under her business name Living Oak Health & Wellness.

Living Oak Health & Wellness is a Christian-based organization offering YogaFaith private lessons in person and virtual group classes, as well as salon and spa services. Gabriela is passionate about those around her and loves to aid in the discovery of their potential through Christ.

It is our hope that you will meet Gabriela and discover the incredible and beautiful soul she is! YogaFaith is blessed to have her teach Thai Massage within YogaFaith Yoga Therapy as well as be an incredible Ambassador of Christ!

Sarah Bontrager | Colorado

Sarah Bontrager, MAMFT is a Colorado native and currently resides in Golden, Colorado with her husband of 20 years, Jeff, and their four children. They love spending time together hiking, camping, skiing, and traveling. Sarah is an Adjunct Psychology Professor at Colorado Christian University, Registered YogaFaith 200 hr. instructor, and clinical psychotherapist at TRS Neuro Feedback. She is also an assistant worship leader and director of Women’s Ministries at Arvada Covenant Church. Her specialties include working with depression and anxiety, athletes, life-stage adjustments, and faith. Sarah is passionate about engaging authentically with relevant, pressing mental health issues facing congregations, women, families, couples, and children. She is so excited to add YogaFaith classes to her counseling practice as an option to relieve stress, anxiety, and psychosomatic symptoms.

Tracey Daniel | Simpsonville, SC
R-YFT, R-TSYF, YF-A

Tracey began practicing yoga in 2012 because she was a runner completing 9 half-marathons! She heard that yoga would help improve her running physically and she would learn how to breathe better and more fully.

All of that was true and exactly what she found through the physical yoga practice.

However, what she found in practicing yoga was so much more than just physical benefits!

Her yoga practice became a personal time of prayer, worship, and focusing her mind on Jesus. She found greater calm in her life even with 3 children born within 3 years and at ages 7, 8, and 10 when she started practicing. Tracey didn’t know there was “official” Christian yoga. God just met her on the mat and used it to draw her closer to himself in love.

Finally, one day Tracey heard about YogaFaith. She was shocked to know there are others using yoga the same way she was!

Shortly after Tracey sensed God calling her to “bring it”; to become a certified yoga instructor, which was never anything Tracey expected! She finally obeyed the call with the desire to help others meet God on the mat.

Tracey loves the physical benefits of her yoga practice, but what she really loves most is using it to make time & space with Jesus AND for herself. And she wants to help others do the same and find healing in their hearts, souls, and minds through time on the mat with Jesus.

Amy Kuscsik | Perrysville, OH 2019 | Ambassador of the Year 2019-2020
R-YFMT 500, Yoga Therapist, YF-A

CONGRATULATIONS 2018-2019 AMBASSADOR HONORABLE MENTION!

Amy resides just outside of Perrysville, OH with her husband and three children. Yoga has been in and our of her life for nearly 20 years. In 2010, the Lord had other plans for her and brought yoga to the forefront of Amy’s life and that is when she began to embrace it as a form of personal worship. When she found YogaFaith, Amy knew this ministry was a divine match to her hearts longing to be an ambassador for Christ to people in need of healing. In 2017, she completed her teacher training with YogaFaith (R-YFT) and is also a certified restorative yoga instructor(R-R). These faithful steps are leading her to others to find wholeness and oneness with Christ.

Since 2012 she has taught primarily yoga in communities that are enveloped in the Mohican State Park in Loudonville, Ohio. Her practice has evolved into one that focuses on healing the body and spirit though body work, primarily though a gently flow and restorative practice, and soon trauma informed yoga to compliment talk therapy. These modalities have forever shaped her testimony and personal ministry to help others get on a path of natural healing the way Christ intended.

Amy is also a YogaFaith Ambassador (YF-A), embodying Christ’s vision for this ministry and taking Jesus out into the world so others can find restoration in mind, body, spirit and soul.

She recently completed her R-YFMT 500-hour certification and Yoga Therapy Level 1 with YogaFaith!

You can keep up with Amy at AmyKuscsik.com

Christy Mishler | Elkhart, IN

R-YFMT 500, R-HYI, R-YF12S, ACE-PT, Health and Life Coach

In addition to her specialty certifications, Christy has an Associate Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration on Exercise Science.  She is the owner of a fitness studio, Fitness Training Unlimited, LLC. There she offers personal training and coaching clients, as well as teaches gentle/restorative yoga and power yoga. She also teaches a fitness boot camp class online.

Christy has been in the fitness arena for over 35 years and has always been passionate about helping others become healthy and staying healthy by making it a lifestyle.

Over the years it has been quite a journey. Growing up in a dysfunctional home with alcoholic parents, not growing up in church, and not having much parental guidance, Christy found ways to feel loved, connected, and deal with anger, through drugs, alcohol, and sometimes food. But God, right? God met her where she was and is continuing to guide her back to her original design. For the past 4 years Christy has felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit that God has something special that He wants her to do for Him. Realizing that the biggest missing link in her training and coaching with clients was Jesus, Christy invited Him into training sessions and classes which has been a game changer.

Now more than ever, since making her studio a faith-based studio, Christy’s mission is to empower women to take charge of their life and get back to God’s original design. She says, “her mess is her mission”. Her vision is to help women break old habits, strongholds, and anything that keeps them stuck from living a healthy and whole life. Christy is excited to see where God will lead her to change lives through yoga especially and is so thankful that God led her to YogaFaith.

Learn more about Christy at www.fitnesstrainingunlimited.com

Shannon Doa Henshaw | Eagle Rock, MO
R-YFMT 500, R-TSYF, YF-A

YF Yoga Therapy Trainer

Shannon Is an advanced certified Equine Facilitated Learning Spiritual Coach and owner of Divine Horse Reflections. I am thrilled to have found YogaFaith as it mirrors my passion to equip and empower people to fulfill their God given purpose & destiny. Shannon’s heart’s desire is to heal, restore, deliver and make whole God’s people while deepening their relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Remembering the Divine “YOU” within.

Shannon currently holds transformational retreats in Eagle Rock, MO. Eagles Nest Sanctuary sits on 150 tranquil acres on Table Rock Lake. At Divine Horse Reflections and the practices of YogaFaith and her equine partners she offers a quiet and supportive environment that allows one to slow down, to focus within, to live in the present moment and to connect to the innate wisdom that horses have to offer each of us through unconditional love the same as our Father. When we can identify and let go of those conditioned voices and remember God’s true voice that lies within each of us; healing can begin. To know and feel God’s unconditional love for you and to help you remember your divine self; discovering along the way your souls deepest desire. Shannon also has a passion to help people with addictions and also works at the Jeremiah House and a Recovery Center in Eureka Springs, AR. YogaFaith allows her to do all that she was doing with her beautiful horses and bring it to the yoga mat.

For the past 30 years Shannon is the founder/CEO of National Bus Sales. A women owned successful business that she and her husband built from the ground up. And where her husband currently handles the day to day with her 2 sons allowing her more time to help those who have lost their way through busy life, stressful jobs, trauma, sickness, addictions or losses. Something she knows and lived first hand. Recreating a life that better suited her soul and where her heart is to empower other to do the same. Shannon offer retreats, custom retreats, one-one-coaching, mentoring and wellness for a total wellbeing package for a better life while deepening one’s relationship with the Trinity.

Awakening the Soul~~Healing Hearts~~Illuminating “YOUR” Divine Self

Other Certifications/Education/Specialties

~~Graduate Rhema Bible College

~~Advanced Equine Facilitator & Spiritual Life Coach

~~Christian Stress Relief Coach

~~Board Certified Essential Oil Practitioner

~~Sacred Self Care & Ayurveda Nutrition

~~Yoga for Back Health

~~Energy Medicine Yoga for Healing

~~2020 Sozo & Somatic therapy training

~~2020 Finishing Yin, 12-Step and Meditation & Nidra in person training

www.Divinehorsereflections.com

[email protected]

Diana La | Acworth, GA
R-YFMT, R-TSYF

Diana La lives in Acworth, Ga with her family. As a teenage ballerina and a former opera singer, yoga concepts were not foreign to her but it wasn’t until her mid 20’s where she really started to seek out the calm serenity of yoga. Her passion for yoga was born with her journey into motherhood. During her first pregnancy she started looking for something that would help her connect to her newly changing body and fell into yoga. By her second pregnancy, she knew that not only did she desire yoga in her life, but she wanted to spread the beautiful gift of yoga to the community around her.

Diana completed her 200-hr YTT through Be Yoga in Marietta, GA under Laurie Searle and Julie Eubanks in 2018. She began teaching immediately throughout the community and local studios but knew that there was so much more she was searching for. With so much gratitude towards her secular training, she knew she needed more of her Christian faith involved in her teachings. In 2019, Diana completed her 300-hr teaching certification through Yoga Faith under Michelle Thielen and Laura Burkhart. During her 300-hr training, Diana felt God’s call for her to dive further into Christian Yoga and has made it her mission to spread Yoga Faith to everyone God sends her way.

Diana is a Yoga Faith Ambassador with a 500-RYT, R-500-YFMT (YOGAFAITH Master Trainer), a Registered Christian Yoga Association Trainer Certification and an Aerial Yoga Certification. She teaches Yoga Faith, Vinyasa, Yin, and Aerial classes throughout her community under her LLC, Twisted Roots Yoga. See her YogaFaith Retreats here.

Judi Murfin | Beaverton, OR
R-YFMT 500, YF-A

YF Yoga Therapy Trainer

A running injury brought me to the practice of yoga. After 10 months of practice I began teacher training. As wonderful as yoga was there was always a piece missing – to take the practice to a deeper spiritual place with my faith in Christ. Having the opportunity to teach at Ladies Retreats and insert Scripture made the practice of yoga powerful. It touched something deep in my heart. Linking mind (centered on Christ), body (physical worship) and breath (his Spirit) is a tremendous way to worship God. It was the missing piece!

I completed 200 hour and Yoga for Scoliosis in 2016. I knew though pursuing my masters through a secular studio would not sit right in my soul. Finding YogaFaith was a blessing as it enabled me to stay true to my heart. In September of 2019 I completed my Registered YogaFaith Master Certification at the 500 level, R-YFMT.

God has given me opportunities to teach many different populations; children, teens, adults, seniors, those who need relief from anxiety and depression, athletes and those that have not exercised for years, private sessions and large groups and yoga for those with scoliosis too. My desire is to give those who want to place Christ at the center of their yoga, a place to belong. Practicing yoga with a focus on worship is a privilege and joy. It makes my heart sing!

Find Judi at Aanaa Yoga

I look forward to meeting you on the mat, at the feet of Jesus.

Claire Williams | Winder, Georgia

R-YFT, YF-LT

Jesus.Yoga.Family.

I am a proud mother of two sweet boys, and I am married to a wonderful firefighter with a sweet mustache. LOL
We live in Winder, Georgia.

I fell in love with yoga at my local YMCA and began taking yoga as a way to combat muscle tightness from my scoliosis. Little did I know it would change my life. I was amazed at the body-mind awareness connection, and how I felt after each class. I would have never thought I would be leading people with yoga. I was scared of everything, and always stuck to my “comfort zone.” A friend of mine encouraged me to become a teacher, and I obtained an on-line certification. I knew eventually I wanted to obtain my 200hr certification. I stumbled upon Yogafaith and couldn’t believe it. Everything fell into place. I attended a 200hr immersion in March of 2019- and added another chapter to my story. I suffered with anxiety and depression after the birth of my second son, and felt so much guilt because of it. I was redeemed on my yoga mat during that immersion. God had plans for me. God has plans for you too!

I am grateful that I can lead others. I always remind myself that God always choses ordinary men and women to do extraordinary things. I feel privileged to share God’s love with others in such an amazing way. A Yogafaith class ignites and unites the spiritual mind, body and soul. Its an honor and privilege to be able to lead my students.

Find Clair at Clarity Yoga.
http://www.clarityyogabarrowga.com

Psalm 91:4
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.”

Your Host Jackie Fontaine

Jaclyn Fontaine | Boston, MA
R-YFT 200, R-YFCT

Starting her fitness and wellness career in college, Jackie has over 15 years experience personal training, managing, and teaching group exercise. Holding numerous academic and fitness related degrees and certifications, she has been a certified yoga instructor since 2007.

Jackie began practicing yoga at a young age to keep her body and mind healthy. Recently, Jackie was looking to deepen her knowledge as a qualified yoga teacher, and went on to complete her 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher with YogaFaith. Having a past in gymnastics, and fitness competitions, Jackie gets most excited about inversions, arm balances, and acro yoga.

It was a defining moment when Jackie realized she could combine her love, education, and purpose for teaching with her love for Jesus and spreading the Good News. It is her ministry to bring yoga and its endless health benefits to others.

Jackie is married to the most amazingly supportive man and has two beautiful daughters who love the Lord. She relaxes by spending time with her kids, taking walks with her husband (and their dog, Siren), reading, and enjoys coaching her daughters youth soccer teams.

Certifications/Education:

-Master of Science in Kinesiology- University of Rhode Island
-Bachelor of Science in Health Education, minor in Nutrition- University of Massachusetts Lowell
-YogaFaith R-YFT, RYT
-American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer
-Les Mills Advanced Body Pump instructor, Les Mills RPM instructor, Les Mills GRIT
-Les Mills Born To Move trained
-SPINNING

Come learn from this beautiful soul at our upcoming Children’s Teacher Training!

Laurie Hugdahl | Woodland, WA
R-YFT, R-TSYF

Fran Pritchard | San Diego, CA
R-YFT, R-YF Meditation and Nidra Trainer

Yogafaith is the miracle I didn’t know I was praying for! He has been so faithful to guide me through this life changing journey. Hallelujah! I have become a new creation. I am transformed and filled with a purpose that blesses me as I passionately serve others! I can’t overstate how Michelle Thielen has encouraged me into areas of personal and spiritual growth beyond what I could’ve imagined God had planned for me!

I am also a Certified Aromatouch Technician with doTERRA Essential Oils. I love incorporating essential oils as well as other mediums such as art and journaling into my Yogafaith classes. I am available for individual or group sessions as well as retreats. I mainly teach Gentle Yoga while instructing for options of more challenging poses.

Ambassador & Lead Teacher Trainer R-YFT200, R-YFMN, R-TSYF, R-YFSS

Certified DoTerra Specialist

Michelle Waugh Brinkley | Reynoldsburg, OH
R-CYATH, C-Y4A, R-TSYF, YF-A, Yoga Therapist

I aim to teach people how to feel better in their bodies, heal from trauma, and accept God’s overwhelming goodness and grace. I help my students to acknowledge and correct poor alignment; use the breath to calm the nervous system; and stretch and strengthen the body and mind. My goal is for each student to find success in their yoga practice, regardless of their skill level, abilities, or age.

Yoga has strengthened my relationships with God, family, and myself. I began practicing to connect with myself in a positive way and gain balance. I have endured five concussions and traumatic relationships. Although I still occasionally battle with anxiety and depression, I have used yoga to develop good habits to recuperate much faster and have a healthier outlook of life overall.

I am not perfect. Not even close. I am a work in progress. This path Jesus placed me on will take a lifetime to complete, and I choose to approach it one breath at a time.

Suzanne Penn YogaFaith Ambassador Westminster MD

Suzanne Penn | Westminster, MD
R-YFT, YF-A

Suzanne has over 500 hours of Christian Yoga Training. She holds certificates in Yoga with weights, Chair/senior yoga, Yoga Touch, Yogalates, and Yin. She is also a Revelation Wellness Instructor, a facilitator for ‘The Wellness Revelation’ Wellness Program, and Trigger Point trained. Suzanne is a retired Registered Nurse Supervisor, whose specialty was Psychiatric Nursing.

Suzanne is legally blind, and wants her story to inspire and encourage others to never give up, while glorifying God always!

Suzanne has a heart for Outreach/Local Mission work , and ministering to women. Her desire is to encourage, inspire, and uplift adult women; helping them see their true identity and worth in Christ, and their God given purpose. Suzanne sees Christ Focused yoga as a tool to radiate God’s light and expand the Kingdom!

YogaFaith is honored to have such a radiant light as part of our ministry!

Kim Yamasaki | Los Angeles, CA
R-YFT, YF-A

Kim Yamasaki is a Christian wellness coach at Reclaiming Abundance. She supports her clients in cultivating space + stillness in the mind, body, and Spirit through collaborative processes of co-creation.  

Through yoga and mindfulness practices, Kim empowers her clients to break through for their most abundant blessings and find themselves more calm, confident, and complete. She provides services that create space and stillness for deeper connection: spiritual wellness coaching for burnout, home organizing, and yoga. She likes to keep the focus on cultivating internal processes to explore the subtleties between being and doing.  Her methods are affirming, grounding, and nurturing— all interlaced with playful creativity. 

Kim’s  work is grounded in a distinctly spiritual approach because of the fundamental motive that true transformational wellness includes a healthy relationship with the Divine oneness of the body of Christ. This emphasis places her clients towards a focus on purpose and worship and away from one of reward and work.   

Kim is  a native Angeleno with Japanese and Chinese roots. She absolutely  loves Jesus and firmly believes that exercising self care and sustainability is artful resilience. Afterall, Jesus was a model of meditation, discipline, and took His restful Sabbaths seriously. 

Her personal care + wellness  plan includes: quality time with loved ones (puppies included), cooking, meditating, coloring, gardening, farming on Animal Crossing, and of course— yoga. In the spirit of trying new experiences, she is also in the process of learning dance and skateboarding. 

  • RYFT-200 YogaFaith
  • Plus additional coursework and training in mindfulness, somatics, trauma-informed services

Melissa Pfeiffer-Hermann | Inverness, FL
R-YFT, YF-A

Psalm 37:4… Christ worked on my injured defiant heart for many years before my eyes were open to the fact that I could trust Him to rescue me.

Fast forward twenty years and my successful “saved Christian life” was full of restored success. I got a college degree, was a middle school teacher for at-risk youth and taught social studies and drama arts and became the union president for my teachers’ union. I was a life-long advocate and loved the privilege of leading, serving, and being a voice for others. After having my 2nd daughter, I took a high stress job as a labor contract negotiator for the 10th largest school district in the nation and began to work myself sick. I gained over 50 pounds and felt my physical body spiraling with my loss of life balance. I found an answer in a community of friends who supported women in nutrition and fitness and found a deep love for yoga. Eventually, God granted me a path to leave my high-pressured job and work from home until Covid slowed my roll and brought me back to my quiet space needing Him to settle my confusion. That’s when YogaFaith was presented to me and suddenly I saw the desires of my heart begin to unfold.

Once I began my studies and realized how this ministry aligned with the faith that was already deeply planted in my heart, I wanted more… And I want to share this divine invitation with others. This is an invitation to be held, to be healed, to be freed, and to be empowered to be exactly who the Masterful God of the entire universe has designed you specifically to be.

Phil Vestal | St. Petersburg, FL
R-YFT 200, YF-A, YF-LT

Phil is a Pastor, YogaFaith Instructor, and the Co-founder of Ruah Space, a ministry that helps people connect deeper with God, themselves, and others. He has a BA in Religion from Calvin College and an M.Div from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. He has lived in Israel, Malawi, and now resides in St. Petersburg, FL with his wife Erin and his two boys.

Megan Steele | Salem, OR
R-YFMT 500, YF-A

Megan lives in Salem, Oregon.  She is married with 2 grown daughters and is a survivor of breast cancer.  She loves the beauty of the Northwest and prefers to take her yoga practice outdoors… When the weather allows!

Megan’s wellness journey began in 2008 when she became certified in Family Herbalism (FH) with the Franklin Institute of Wellness. She began integrating her love of God and nature with her desire for health for friends and family.

After spending most of her adult life in fight-or-flight mode, she decided to bravely try attending her first yoga class and was hooked! Wanting to bring the beauty of yoga to everyone she met, but with a Christ-centered approach, she found YogaFaith and immediately started the certification process in 2019… Which is the same year she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Even with breast cancer now on her resume, she was able to receive her R-YFT 200 in October of 2020, and her Masters certification (R-YFMT 500) in July of 2021! She can now bring this magnificent practice to everyone she meets, including this special demographic God allowed her to be a part of.  She calls this experience “Street Cred” and shares her practice and offers at Street Cred LLC. 

Elizabeth Mixon Williams | Wilmington, NC
R-YFT 200, YF-A

Elizabeth has always had a passion for yoga and enjoyed its additional benefits but it wasn’t until she began to incorporated it into her personal quiet time did her passion for yoga really take off. She immediately felt the need to share that passion and help others deepen their relationship with Christ through yoga.

Currently, Elizabeth is the program director for Christian Recovery Houses, a ministry that provides transitional housing for those that are struggling with substance use disorder. She has been able to bring YogaFaith to the residents of that program and has received tremendous response. She is a certified yoga instructor (R-YFT) and is also trained in 12 step recovery (R-YF12S).

Elizabeth lives in Wilmington, North Carolina with her husband and two children.

Yogafaith is extremely honored and proud to have Elizabeth a part of the YogaFaith ministry and family.

Barbra Koehnlein | Perry Hall, MD

R-YFT, R-YFYT, R-YFSS, R-TSYF, R-YFRT, YF-A

I came to YogaFaith after practicing yoga with a secular studio. I can recall feeling uneasy about aspects of the practice. One day I asked God, “Do Christians practice yoga? Surely there must be some Christians who practice and teach yoga.” I got off my mat and went directly to a google search. YogaFaith and another school popped up. I perused both schools and knew in my spirit, immediately, YogaFaith was what I was looking for. It turns out, YogaFaith was the community I was missing all my life. I signed up for the 200-hour teacher training and, in less than a year, I attended Immersion.

I lead, and LOVE, Yin, Nidra, and Restorative yoga. These modalities speak deeply to my body, mind, and spirit. I have experienced the healing power of yoga and breath work. It is my joy and privilege inviting others to a place of release, renewal, and rest.

I volunteer with the Christian Yoga Association in Member Services. I am blessed to meet with members, over the phone, and learn about their yoga journeys as both teachers and practitioners.

Now, this means that when we come together and are side by side, something wonderful will be released. We can expect to be co-encouraged and co-comforted by each other’s faith! Romans 1:12

Britney Wyatt | Aztec, NM
R-YFMT 500 hour, R-TSYF, R-YFCT

YF Yoga Therapy Student

Fitness – certified Personal Trainer, with specialties in youth fitness, fitness nutrition, group personal training and currently in the process of becoming a Nutritional Coach.

I have battled health issues my entire life. When I found YogaFaith, my heart was broken from an unexpected loss.

The first time I watched a YogaFaith video, God said to me “this is what you need.” First you need to slow down and breathe. Second you need to heal your heart—remember it’s a process. Lastly, YogaFaith will fill the void missing in your worship.

It’s time for something new.

YogaFaith brought me out of depression and anxiety. It has been a long journey, not always easy. I desire to give back to the community and share the gifts God has honored me with. I have a deep desire to help bring healing to others through meditating on God’s Word and the power of being still; and the understanding that they are loved even in the darkest moments.

I have a passion to help young people know they are worthy and help their spiritual gifts thrive alongside their parents. I feel empowered by the Holy Spirit to plant and water the seeds that God has amazing plans for their life.

Psalm 40:2 “He pulled me out of the muck and more and set my feet upon the rock.”

Britney will graduate in October 2022 with her 800-hour YogaFaith Yoga Therapy Certification!

Kristi Hardy | Houston, TX
R-YFT, YF-A

Kristi began her yoga journey in 2001 when she checked out a yoga video at her local library when she was looking for something to help her during a personal struggle. A studio opened in her hometown shortly after and the peace and connection to Christ she felt on her mat was deep from that point on.

She began formal teacher training but didn’t finish when she became pregnant with her first son in 2009. In 2019, she felt the call to teach again, began searching for a Christian yoga certification program and found YogaFaith. She enrolled and became a R-YFT 200 certified teacher in March 2021 through YogaFaith. She is also certified in yoga with weights through Xen Strength Yoga.

Aside from teaching yoga, Kristi teaches elementary music full time to over 550 kindergarteners. She lives in Crosby, Texas just outside of Houston with her two sons and husband of 15 years.

See more about Kristi Hardy here.

Andrea Teresa Attivissimo-Karassik | Long Island, NY

R-YFM 500, R-YF12S, YF-CWR, NASM-CPT

Born in Manhattan and raised on Long Island, New York, I consider myself an Island Girl. I learned about my faith from my grandfather. He used to take me to visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NY. It is in those early years where I developed a strong desire and inquisitiveness about God. Throughout my life, my faith was very strong but I must admit, I left it dormant for a time. Fortunately, life circumstances brought me to re-evaluate where I am, who I am and what my WHY is. I learned listening to God was key for my survival.

My fitness career began out of necessity over 25 years ago as my health was being compromised due to being unfit, overweight, and depressed over getting divorced. My first marriage lasted 27 years and ended leaving much trauma on my three children and myself. It took years to work through it all but knowing God and giving my whole trust in His providence helped me, but I had to be willing and opened. I must admit, I did put up a little fight. I am truly blessed in so many ways and thankful for my second husband, Ben who is very supportive in my work.

I am a passionate artist of many mediums. As a fine artist and graphic designer, I create large scale paintings, drawings, and sculptures as well as print and web media designs. As a personal trainer I focus on the individual’s architectural structure through proper body mechanics, alignment and sculpting the body. My practice of yoga is an extension of my art as I see the yoga body as a beautiful form. Body alignment, creating shapes in space through flowing movements and breath work are the essentials of how I teach my students and to allow them to express themselves freely, with the hopes if helping them find their WHY.

I worked in the fitness industry for 25+ years at corporate facilities such as Equinox and LifeTime Athletic. I earned my LifePower 200 yoga certification in 2011 from LifeTime. The Lord had other plans for me during the pandemic. My husband and I are the founders and owners of You and Me Yoga Together and You and Me Fitness Together. We hold in-person and Zoom classes. The Pandemic was the season of opportunity, as I called it. Working with my church I earned the title of Missionary Disciple through the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, a two-year in-depth program as a follower of Christ. Simultaneously, I was searching for a Christian yoga certification and came across YogaFaith! Missionary Disciple and YogaFaith works hand in hand.

YogaFaith has taught me many things about life; humility, trust, serving others with tenderness, compassion, and mercy. Michelle Thielen has worked tirelessly to put these programs together to serve others in helping to create the best versions of self-according to the Divine plan. It is an honor, and I am most grateful to serve alongside all the amazing instructors from YogaFaith in bringing the Light into a very dark world.

My Mission Statement is:

To use my art, personal training and yoga skills to heal, to increase awareness of self through movement of the body, mind, and spirit. To achieve a sacred space, place of internal growth towards a truer self and vibrant individual. I wish to be a beacon of light and an instrument of healing towards my fellow human beings.

EDUCATION:

  • MA, Computer Graphics, LIU C. W. Post College, Brookville, NY
  • BFA, Graphic Design, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT

CERTIFICATIONS:

  • C.H.E.K. Exercise Coach, Mat Pilates
  • 200-Hr LifePower Yoga Teacher Training-Jonny Kest @ LifeTime
  • C.H.E.K Program Design, Scientific Core Conditioning,
  • TRX and Kettlebells Level I/II-Kettlebell Athletics
  • Pre/Post Natal Care, AHA CPR/AED
  • Self Myofacial Release, Active Isolated Stretching
  • Missionary Discipleship Program
  • 300-Hr Yoga Faith Teacher Training
  • Yoga Faith 12 Step Program
  • Yoga Faith Ancient Pathways
  • Yoga Faith Trauma Sensitive Yoga-currently working on

Connect with Andrea at:

YouandMeYogaTogether.com

[email protected]

Tanya Coggin | Greer, SC
R-YFT, R-CYAT, R-YFYT

Tanya Coggin has been practicing yoga for more than 20 years.  She is a Registered Yoga Trainer (200 hour) with YogaFaith, R-YFT and the Christian Yoga Association, R-CYAT.   She completed her specialty training to become a Registered YogaFaith Yin Trainer in 2020.  Her classes are taught from a trauma informed perspective, as she is currently working on her official Trauma Sensitive YogaFaith certification.   Her passion is holding space for all people who are curious about Christ centered yoga.

She teaches in upstate South Carolina.  Tanya instructs weekly group classes for Whole Fitness and the Eastside Family YMCA.  She hosts church ministry events and small group yoga sessions through her fitness ministry, Peace of Her Mind Yoga LLC.   Tanya hosts 2 different quarterly workshops, Meditation on the Mountain in Marietta and Envision in Greer, SC.  She teaches Christ centered yoga online, offering free resources to enhance and encourage home yoga practices through her Facebook group page.  Tanya recently launched a new YouTube channel with offerings for yoga practice, soul care, scripture meditation, and breath prayers.

It’s her delight to share “prayer in motion” on the mat. To guide her students into places of peace, stillness, space, and surrender.  To offer a practice which benefits mind, body, soul, and spirit.  To make space for a time of worship and reflection on His goodness.

This is her “get to” in a world of “have to”

When she’s not teaching, Tanya is a yoga student.  Christ centered yoga stills the turnings of her mind and brings her peace.  Tanya also enjoys hiking, dancing, cooking, traveling, and caring for her family.  Happy wife to Mike.  I am a proud momma of two sons, one daughter, and a daughter-in-love.  Her rescued fur babies complete their home.

You can connect more with Tanya at peaceofhermindyoga.com  or https://linktr.ee/peaceofhermindyoga

Cat Bounds | Tacoma, WA
R-YFMT 500, R-CYAT, R-YF12S