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I have been practicing yoga for the past four years, and came to love hot yoga, specifically, in May of 2011. The heat pushed me physically and mentally in a way I had never experienced before, and I fell in love with it. I also have spent the last four years ballroom and latin dancing competitively. I study here at MSU and will graduate with two degrees, one in human physiology and the other in philosophy, and find an incredible amount of joy in helping people come into, understand, and better their bodies, and hope to pursue medicine or graduate studies that will enable me to do just that. I have an incredible passion for the human body and mind. In a way, I’d argue that your body is an exclamation of your self, your mind and your soul, out into the world. Yoga lets us tend to precisely that. It gets to our bodies, to our (both literal and metaphorical!) cores. It reminds you of the harmonious, alive organism that you are, and gives you a way to push that organism to be the best it is capable of being-- spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally, and otherwise. Yoga is the total package, and I am very grateful to be able to help people find that power to push their entire being through my work here at East Lansing Hot Yoga.
I started practicing hot yoga at The Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse in Grand Rapids in September 2011 as a recent college graduate trying to navigate my way through the "real world" (and not always doing it very gracefully). Yoga taught me how to manage stress and challenge myself in a healthy way, and to balance strength with compassion. I quickly knew that I needed to share the benefits of this practice with others, and after assisting at Funky Buddha for a few months I decided to make the leap into teaching, and attended Level One: Journey Into Power with Baron Baptiste in August 2013. I have since completed the Art of Assisting and Level Two: The Sannyasin's Journey through the Baptiste Institute, earning the title of Associate Baptiste Teacher and qualifying for my 200 hour RYT with Yoga Alliance. In the spring of 2015 I completed an additional 200 hour vinyasa yoga teacher training at Yoga State of Mind, Body & Soul in East Lansing, MI. While I have practiced and taught a few different styles over the last two years--power vinyasa, gentle/chair yoga, yin--what really lights me up is Baptiste-inspired power vinyasa. This very physical practice forces me to get out of my head and into my body, being truly aware of what I have to work with right NOW. As a teacher I focus on building connection through intentional breath, direct and detailed alignment and transition cues, and lots of sweat. I look forward to co-creating with you!
The power of yoga continues to amaze, inspire, and invigorate me. I love to watch people truly inhabit their bodies through movement, find their own groove, and let their spirit soar on the mat and beyond. I am truly grateful to be at this moment in life to help facilitate such transformation...and for those curious, here's the background story of how that happened. :)
I came to this beautiful practice in seventh grade through an Iyengar class at an Ann Arbor YMCA. At the time, I was only using yoga to supplement the hours of ballet and dance training I filled most of my pre K - high school time with. During 10th grade, I found one of my first real inspiring teachers in an Ashtanga class at another fitness center, and though teacher training crossed my mind at the time, I shied away from it, feeling more comfortable as a student on the mat than a teacher in the room. I continued to value my yoga practice (though often inconsistent) through the end of high school, bulging disc injuries (from too much ballet and overtraining), recovery and into college, and into the acting program at Michigan State. This past year, as I was training and preparing for musical theatre rehearsals, I found myself having injuries again, by running and lifting. With the guidance of a dear friend and mentor, I decided to come to the mat full time - first at Yoga State and then, by the raving review of my same lovely friend, to ELHY in May! - Yoga became my gym and almost immediately, my spiritual sanctuary. Coupling a deepening physical practice with group meditations in rehearsing for the musical HAIR, I started to feel as though something inside of me had been cracked open and the result was this energizing joy and wonder of life 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 the Shanti School of Yoga in Traverse City, where I completed my 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification in July 2015.
In my experience, sometimes the journey feels messy with lots of challenges, and sometimes it feels like pure bliss. Through yoga practice and its philosophy, we can learn how to honor the flow of our path, knowing that all moments shall pass, and knowing that wherever we are, if we trust in the mystery and live according to our inner truth, we will find the power and peace in embracing what it means to be freely and authentically ourselves.
I was slowly drawn to Yoga over a period of years. I initially found yoga classes at different fitness centers and practiced with several teachers who had a wide range of experience. Eventually I found my way to a yoga studio where the teacher represented the deep tradition of yoga. During the next three years, as I worked on developing my own physical practice, I also found that I needed much work on compassion, acceptance, and non-judgment, beginning first with myself. Even though I didn’t feel entirely ready, during the summer of 2011 I completed a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Hilaire Lockwood. That was followed by an additional 100 hours of training and apprenticeship. Since then I have attended workshops with Bryan Kest, Maty Ezraty, Doug Swenson, Matthew Darling, Angela Jamison, Ray Long, and Tim Miller. I teach Vinyasa and Power yoga classes, and I am personally studying and moving toward the Ashtanga yoga of K. Pattabhi Jois.
I know I have just scratched the surface of what I have to learn about this ancient philosophy and science, and I am deeply grateful for what I have received from my teachers. I humbly offer to share what has chosen to abide with me.
I teach yoga because I believe that everyone has the right to be free. When you come to my yoga class, expect to be in places that are uncomfortable, confusing and testing to your endurance. Also expect to heal, grow stronger and increase your range of motion, not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually if you should choose.
One of the gifts of yoga is an internal clarity about the ways we can limit ourselves. I believe a steady practice allows us to face these challenges and move past them with grace. I am proud to be a yoga teacher in Lansing, the city I grew up in, and I feel fortunate to have had a wide range of teachers and students that have offered me the experience of teaching people old, young, injured, ill and athletic. I will bring all I understand about yoga to your practice and I look forward to meeting you on your journey to free.
Please check out my personal website for more information and a list of where you can find me: www.preranayoga.com
Yoga found Frances on a tropical island in Thailand. Her initial introduction to yoga involved practicing while overlooking the beauties of the rainforest. When she returned to Japan, where she was living at the time, she took a daily home practice and a new sense of peace with her. While in Japan, she made occasional visits to a Bikram Yoga studio but continued to grow mostly through her home practice. This unique introduction to yoga and a strong home practice gave her deep understanding of the poses and helped her transition smoothly into teaching others.
When Frances moved to Boston in 2007, she discovered the beauty of the heated vinyasa practice. Since that time yoga has taken her to a new level both energetically and spiritually. Combining her two greatest passions, teaching and yoga, has only brought Frances more joy, teaching classes in Boston, the San Francisco bay area and Chattanooga, TN. When Frances came to East Lansing to earn a PhD at MSU, she took a break from yoga teaching. She is excited to join the community of teachers at ELHY and bring Acroyoga to mid-Michigan.
Frances completed her 200-hour yoga alliance teacher training in 2010 in Baptiste-style power yoga. Later that year, she completed a yin yoga teacher training. She has studied privately with two master teachers in the Boston area, and is Level 2 Reiki certified. Frances has also studied with Rolf Gates, Johnny Gillespie, Ana Forrest and Giselle Mari. She primarily practices heated vinyasa but also regularly enjoys attending classes in different styles, such as: ashtanga, Forrest, yin, Jivamukti, Bikram, Acroyoga and Antigravity yoga
I have been practicing yoga for more than twenty years. I am now a 500-hour Yoga Alliance certified instructor and an ERYT-200. Through my experience, I have found yoga to not only be safer than sports, martial arts and dance, but also to be more physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually challenging. From the breath work to strengthening the core, yoga also provides a multitude of health benefits.
In 1999, I began to meditate on a regular basis, in groups and privately. I have studied pranayama (breathwork) and Kriya Yoga through Ananda of Michigan and the Isha Foundation. I became a Kriyaban in 2005. I have two degrees from Michigan State University in Natural Sciences and am working on a Masters in Holistic Nutrition.
I studied the Royal Style Traditional Thai Massage for two years in Thailand and am a Licensed Thai Massage Therapist. Since 1998 I have been studying Esoteric Healing and have become a teacher of Esoteric Healing through the International Network of Esoteric Healers. I have also lead Ojibwa ceremonies for the past 25 years, including sweat lodges, vision quests and house blessings.
My commitment to be of service to my family, my friends and my community is paramount. I incorporate aspects of the energy healing with my yoga classes to provide for mental clarity, for purification and to set the stage for liberation and bliss.
I began practicing yoga four years ago here at East Lansing Hot Yoga, and completed my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Fall of 2015. I practice yoga because it gives my mind a break from the monotony of the day to day. My mat is the place I go to mediate, to focus on my breath, and let go of those fluctuations of the mind. Yoga initially changed the way I work out, but the exploration through the other aspects of yoga has changed the way i see the world.
It's an honor for me to guide you in this wonderful practice. Ever since I started practicing yoga three years ago, I have been an avid fan, with an extra special spot in my heart for hot yoga! I love the heat because it is a bonus element that helps me to stay focused on what is happening in each moment without wondering about anything else going on in life. After my first few months practicing, I started Yoga Teacher Training and earned my 200 hour YTT certificate at ELHY. Yoga for me is everything I need all in one practice; relaxation, focus, exercise, deeply breathing, being present and living in the moment. My hope is to be able to help you find or continue to find everything there is to love about practicing. And if you're looking for a welcoming community, you are in the right place! Come join us and we will be happy to be a part of your yoga journey. "Anybody can breath, therefore anybody can practice yoga."
I have tried so many different types of exercise regimens, I have lost count. All these different exercise programs make promises, but few deliver. My husband was also looking for some kind of exercise that was low impact, but could still include a good cardio workout. He happened to discover yoga and encouraged me to go. Now, a year and a half later I am a yoga instructor.Yoga makes no promises. It is about what you put into it. It is the practice you decide it is. No matter what you bring the studio on any given day, there is always a benefit. Some days its not about the exercise. Some days its about creating time for introspection. Some days its about doing something good, just for you with no guilt or attachments. Just create breathing time. Other days its about just wanting to be around a group of caring, sincere people who just want to have a like experience. No matter what brings you to the studio you will always find love and encouragement. No exercise program can do that. I look forward to seeing you at the studio. Namaste!
Born and raised in the Lansing area, my love of yoga began nearly four years ago when I went looking for alternatives to compliment the time I spent in the gym. More than twenty five years of strength training had left me stiff and inflexible. I experiment with circuit training, zumba, swimming, and fitness DVD’s. It was P90X that first piqued my interest in flexibility to compliment strength. A co-worker suggested I try ELHY and I was hooked from my first class. I started with the two weeks for $20 intro offer and came one to two times a day for the next 14 days. I was offered an opportunity to do work exchange and jumped on it. I spent the next six months at both the studio and in the gym. I gradually noticed a physical change from mass to being more lean and long.
In 2015 I graduated from the 200 hour yoga teacher training at ELHY. Twenty years of medical imaging experience has given me a solid foundation on the complex interactions of muscle, tendons, ligaments and bone. Classes that are strength and cardio based, with a focus on safety and the restorative power of yoga, are my favorites.
I love being a student, and I love fitness. Thankfully I found East Lansing Hot Yoga in 2012 shortly after it opened. Over the past 16 years I've taught Cardio Kickboxig, and Spinning. I've become a runner, and have had the pleasure of trying many different types of physical fitness. Hot Yoga has stuck! Not only did it challenge me in ways previous types of exercises hadn't, it also helped me grow as a person. Ive had a series of difficult life events occur over the past 3 years. I know that Hot Yoga not only took part in saving my sanity, it also has literally helped save my life. Last year I had the opportunity to be a student again, and go through ELHY'S teacher training program. I fell further in love with Yoga, and want to share it with the world! I'm extremely lucky to get my start here with ELHY & FireFly Hot Yoga Bar. Here I am a constant student, get to take part daily in the physical fitness I desire, Hot Yoga, and I have the opportunity to share it with you!
When I first started practicing in 2011, I was a mess of a human. I was broken. My brain felt like it was in pieces, and my heart had all but disappeared. I had hit my bottom. How do you know when you hit bottom? You see nothing but darkness. You decide to put down the shovel and just stop digging.
I took my 200-hour teacher training summer of 2014 and through it I re-learned the things that we know naturally as children: how to breathe, love, learn, and play. Life doesn’t have to be such hard work; it’s ok to let go and have fun.
For thirteen years dancing was my life. I quit to become the person I perceived the world wanted me to be. I think I lost my soul when I quit; I traded in my dreams and passion for worldly acceptance.
I teach yoga, because there is nothing in life I value more than the sharing of souls. Yoga allows me to teach others that no one can save you but yourself, and you are worth saving. It’s a war not easily won, but if anything is worth winning it is this.
I came to yoga in the late summer of 2012. I thought yoga wouldn’t be “physical enough” for me, but it only took 2 East Lansing Hot Yoga classes for me to realize that this is what my body, mind and soul was craving! I instantly loved the sensation of the heat, and was thrilled –and yes, a little surprised—at how I could achieve the physical practice I was still desiring. As I practiced more, I realized that the physical component of yoga was not truly what I was seeking when I came to a studio. I was unsure of how to deal with the stress and negative emotions I was feeling as a wife and new mom and putting pressure on myself. I decided join the Teacher Training at ELHY in the spring 2013, hoping it would reveal ways to cope and manage! I fell so much more in love with the practice itself. The breath, the movement, and the release of the chaos in your mind—it all began to work on me from the inside and has transformed my life. Not only have I grown stronger and healthier, but also feel more in tune with myself emotionally.
I love the connection of breath and movement. And this continues to form and develop my teaching style. Expect to focus on your breath and to move with it when you come to practice with me. I hope you will leave a practice feeling more powerful and strong – but at the same time relaxed, rejuvenated and connected to yourself! My goal as an instructor is to offer the opportunity for you to leave class feeling happier and more positive, coming away feeling more in tune to YOU – physically and emotionally.
I believe we all connect differently in different types of practices and with different people. I also believe all “teachers” of yoga have beautiful things to offer. My strongest encouragement to someone new – or maybe “not so new” to the practice – is to try different types of classes and teachers. Don’t be afraid to TRY something new or to LEARN from someone new. I learn more not only each time that I teach, but also with EVERY practice. I find myself more and more grateful for the process, and to Patty Sutherland and her studio, every day...
I took my first yoga class at Lansing Community College over 15 years ago. I loved the way practicing made me feel, both mentally and physically. I also learned of the many benefits of regular meditation, which I have happily continued throughout the years. I have practiced yoga off and on throughout the years. There were times when I didn't practice for an extensive period, and I have come to the realization that I’m a much healthier, happier person when I’m regularly practicing yoga and meditating.
In 2012, I started to have a strong desire to improve my yoga practice and began considering yoga teacher training. I completed my yoga teacher training through Yoga State, in East Lansing/Okemos, in 2014. I’m so thankful for all that I learned and very proud that I was able to meet the challenge. Finding balance between family, responsibilities and personal growth isn't always easy. When life seems overwhelming and cluttered I know that I have my practice, where I find strength and peace. I look forward to opportunities to meet, and connect with, new people on a personal level and share my passion and love for yoga
I started getting serious about Yoga four years ago. For years in my late 20's and 30's I experienced periodic back pain. As I poured most of my energy into my family and career (I'm a teacher at Eastern High School - go Quakers!), I watched my health make the slow creep downhill. As I approached 40, my son was in high school, I was very comfortable in my career and I decided it was time to stop relying on chiropractors and drug companies to address symptoms. In other words, it was time for me to get proactive and work on improving my overall health. I started with food - less meat, less processed, lots of colorful fiber prepared simply. After about a year of working on my diet, I was ready to start on exercise.
I found Yoga while staying at a Mexican resort for an extended vacation. I went to a morning class led by an amazing Yogi, Teresa Pa, and was hooked from day one! The combination of building strength through isometric and isotonic poses, improving flexibility and working on increasing mindfulness was exactly what I needed. When I came back to Lansing I first started practicing at home with DVD's. Soon after I was ready to join classes and Hilltop became my first base. Eventually I became a bit of "yogi bedouin," splitting time between practices at Eastern, Yoga State ($5 Sundays), Just B Yoga (Hip Hop Friday) and garage sessions with my son.
When East Lansing Hot Yoga first opened, I tried the two week special. During those first 14 days I practiced nine times, taking classes with Jordan, Laura and even Patty. I absolutely loved everything about it - the space, the mirrors, the heat and humidity and of course the instructors! I recall Jordan telling us at the end of every class to be proud of the work we had done, to be thankful to our bodies for carrying us through and to always seal off our practice with a sense of gratitude and mindfulness during our final savasana. At the end of every class I felt (and still feel) like I have been on a journey and am returning to the world in a better state.
As an instructor I strive to provide my classes with a similar feeling of going on a transformative journey through our practice together!
I first began practicing yoga and meditation as a teenager in the mid 70's at a spiritual commune where one of my brothers lived. For several years I was a health food eating, injustice fighting, radical feminist on the spiritual path, and then drifted into the secular world through my 20's. At 28, I took off with a girlfriend on an around the world backtracking trip,ended up spending most of the next nine years in Malaysia, where I had my two children. When we moved back to the States in 1998, I began practicing Buddhism and spending time at a yoga retreat center, Song of the Morning, near Gaylord, Michigan. I also discovered hot yoga and long distance trail running at this time, and never looked back. I moved with my children to the retreat center in 2004, and began teaching yoga, organizing and sometimes leading retreats, managing operations, and happily working 16 hour days. At Song of the Morning I also began to practice raja, bhakti, karma, kriya, and jnana yoga (meditation, devotional, selfless service, intensive, and scholarly yoga, respectively.) I moved to East Lansing in 2006 to put my children into a diverse school system, though commuted to SOTM to work several days a week. In 2010, I left Song of the Morning, put my energy into writing book reviews, studying naturopathy, and often driving 60 miles to practice hot yoga in the Detroit area. I started carpooling to yoga with my CPA in the spring of 2011, and it was on those hour long drives that we began to brainstorm about opening a hot yoga studio together in the Lansing area. After a frustrating search for the right location, we stumbled on 924 Trowbridge, signed the lease in early August, began the build-out, and held our first class on September 29th, 2011. Now, as I go into the Fall of 2015, I am nearly two years sans business partner, and excited about taking ELHY to new heights.
My love for yoga blossomed in the spring of 2013. I was seeking not only an alternative to the monotony of going to the gym, but also a time out from my chaotic life as a full time MSU student and waitress. I heard about ELHY through a friend and decided to try it out. I fell in love immediately! Every individual in the room had their own style, their own hopes and dreams, their own practice; yet they were all one in that place. I quickly realized it was not just a workout but a missing piece in the journey of my life. I began attending classes regularly and after a year of exploring and building my practice, I decided to take it to the next level by joining the 200 RYT teacher training at East Lansing Hot Yoga. Since completing my training, my love and appreciation has only grown and helped to deepen my practice. In 2016, Patty Sutherland and I teamed up together to bring our newest studio today, Haslett Hot Yoga. Growing up just down the street, this only seemed natural to me to bring my love for yoga to share to the community I grew up in. I believe that yoga is a learning process where students can work to better themselves emotionally, physically and mentally in life and in practice. It has brought balance into my life and given me the strength I didnt know I had. It has brought me happiness, and I wish the same to all who join the journey. Namasté.
Stephanie, a busy D.O., somehow found the time to take ELHY's 2014 yoga teacher training, and now teaches a lovely candlelight class for us on Sunday nights at 8pm. She also contributes her expertise in anatomy by leading workshops for present and future yoga teacher trainings.
Toni has enthusiastically practiced physical fitness for 15 years. However, she had an immediate love affair with yoga over 10 years ago that no other forms of fitness could match. The remarkable inseparable connection between mind/body/spirit is what makes yoga a practice that has lived on for thousands of years. For that reason she knew she needed to share this practice with others.
Certified 200 hours from Jonny Kest in Birmingham, MI in 2008 and forever a student attending as many classes/workshops/trainings as possible.
Toni graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Michigan State University in 2001 and later completed a Master's in Athletic Administration from MSU in 2004.