Meet Our YogaFestOnline 2 Teachers
Anita, founder of All Beings Yoga, uses her yoga training and health care background to make yoga accessible to all. Her teaching style ensures that students practice with care to prevent and avoid injuries. Anita was a clinician and researcher in audiology and communication disorders for over twenty years and received her doctorate in Speech & Hearing Sciences from the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. Anita was a certified EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and has volunteered with Central Park Medical Unit and the American Red Cross. Her advanced certifications include: Accessible Yoga (techniques to make yoga accessible to all), Mind Body Solutions (adaptive yoga for people with spinal cord injury and mobility impairments), FAMI (Functional Anatomy for Movement and Injuries), and Buddha Body Yoga (yoga for people of sizes).
Bethany Goodson (RYT 500) grew up in NY, received her yoga training in Denver, and currently lives in Raleigh. She teaches vinyasa, yin, align & flow, foundations, kids, and hot yoga, but she primarily teaches awareness and self-connection.
Bethany keeps coming back to her mat because it’s there that she feels completely free to be herself. As a teacher, her desire is to create the opportunity for you to experience that same sense of personal wholeness and belonging.
Kiesha Battles (E-RYT 500) is Yoga Director at Charlotte Family Yoga Center and a full-time yoga teacher and trainer who studied with Maya Breuer and Kristine Kaoverii. Kiesha speciality is in Yin Yoga under training by Bernie Clark. Kiesha earned a graduate degree in Asian studies, with a certification in international business and a focus on Asian philosophy, religion, and modern language. Through her academic studies, she was exposed to Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and yoga.
Kiesha has taught for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte for eight years and was a R. O. S. E. Award recipient. She has been featured in the book Yes Yoga Has Curves, interviewed by the Charlotte Post and in Pride Magazine. In 2016, Kiesha was honored as an inaugural Self-Care Charlotte Ambassador. In her role, she promotes self-care for the purpose of nurturing healthy lives and relationships for individuals, families, and communities. In 2018, she was appointed Co-Director of the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color™ and in 2020 to the Board of Directors for Amplify and Activate.
Kristen Rae (C-IAYT) is the founder of Yogi Oasis in Garner, NC, a certified Yoga Therapist, E-RYT 200 from Sumits Yoga (AZ) and E-RYT 300 from Yax Yoga Concepts (VA) with over 10 years and 10,000s classes taught. Kristen offers many formats of classes, workshops, and private instruction virtually and in-studio. She offers free/donation classes weekly and serves the Veteran and Cancer populations with free classes every Friday morning with the help of You Call This Yoga. When Kristen isn’t teaching yoga, she is hanging with her husband, french bulldog and parrots, probably making some kind of fancy tacos or enjoying the outdoors. In her past-normal, she enjoyed traveling and teaching abroad yearly in Jamaica, Australia, and Indonesia.
Dianne Bondy is a social justice activist, author, accessible yoga teacher, and the leader of the Yoga For All movement. Her inclusive approach to yoga empowers anyone to practice—regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability. Dianne is revolutionizing yoga by educating yoga instructors around the world on how to make their classes welcoming and safe for all kinds of practitioners.
I am Johanna, a mum, a yoga teacher specialised in pre- and postnatal yoga and yoga for stress and anxiety management, a hypno-birthing teacher, a postpartum doula, and a career/life advice coach for parents! I LOVE all these different things that I do and always give my all. I am based in Brussels, Belgium, but happy to work anywhere! In yoga, my passion lies in bringing yoga to those who need it but would probably not otherwise find their way to it. I bring yoga to offices and organisations to help people relieve stress and anxiety. The same goes for schools: for all staff, and kids, and teens of all ages. Using breathing, relaxation and mindfulness techniques, I support people in finding their inner calm so they can feel ready for anything coming their way. I love pre- and postnatal yoga as it is a way of reaching many women who are new to yoga and supporting them during a very special but also often overwhelming time in their lives. In these classes, I focus on mother, partner, and baby connection, as well as mental and physical wellbeing rather than fitness. These days, I have moved all my classes online — even my prenatal teacher training — and I love having people from all over join me.
Birgit Nagele (ARCB, LVCY, TCTSY-F ) relocated to New York City from her grandparents’ farm in Austria in the early 90’s and began her personal yoga practice to add a much needed layer of harmony to her hectic city life. After losing a sustainable corporate position due to 9/11, she became a certified yoga instructor and reflexologist. In her work with private clients, corporate events, and the community, she has found that each discipline has always informed the other. This engagement has included “off the mat” legislative work with the state reflexology association; onsite honorary disaster relief (Hurricane Sandy, International Refugee Crisis in her native Austria, 9/11 first responders); and support for women impacted by possible medical trauma. In 2017 she received both, a small grant by Yoga Activist and an award from the International Council of Reflexologists.
At the moment, Birgit is coping with the changes due to Covid-19, both personally and professionally. She believes trauma-informed services will be the new norm in integrative care and has completed training as TCTSY-F by the Center for Trauma and Embodiment.
I have been practicing yoga since 1999. I started my practice in a hot yoga room and after 9 years of practicing decided to become a teacher. I received my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) certification in 2010. I completed a 500-hour YTT training in 2013 with David E. Oliver and Cheryl Oliver, with an emphasis on the practice of aṣṭāṅga vinyāsa. While I have a regular āsana practice, my special interests are in the more subtle and spiritual side of yoga.
My teacher, Dave, awakened in me a deep passion for the Hindu mythology stories and their connection to yoga and the postures. These stories lend to insight into the relationships we build with others, as well as the relationship we have with our own selves. They can help us see that we are not alone in the challenges we might face throughout our life. I consider myself to be a student of yoga and am honored to be a part of this virtual yoga festival sharing my passions.
Paige has been practicing yoga and meditation for more than 20 years. She received her yoga teaching certification nearly a decade ago and went on to earn advanced certification in yoga therapeutics. She teaches public classes, leads workshops and retreats, works with private clients, and is on the staff of the teacher training program at Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville, NC.
Her commitment to helping make yoga available to under-served populations includes leading a weekly class at a men’s medium security prison and coordinating yoga and wellness programs at a county jail. Paige’s classes are known for their meditative quality and deeply supportive and restorative atmosphere.
In response to students repeatedly asking for a way to “take a bit of class home,” in April 2019 Paige launched her podcast of free audio offerings, Embodied Meditation.
Kris Moon is a yoga and mindfulness guide, trauma educator, child advocate, new mom, and a transracial adoptee, who is also on a path of post- traumatic growth. Kris isn’t just interested in ways to survive, but is most invested in approaches that help us all thrive. The somatic (body-awareness) practice she offers is about supporting both personal and collective healing work. Kris knows that healing is possible, and she’s committed to making this path accessible to all.
Kris Moon writes about her experience with trauma, grief, and loss as a lifelong learner and seeker. She shares healing resources to help us all along our unique and interconnected paths at her website Practice With Kris. Kris also offers weekly community classes & seasonal retreats online and at Moon Mountain, an intimate healing space nestled into the side of a mountain, 30 minutes north of Asheville, in the magical town of Marshall, North Carolina.
Maria (RYT 500, E-RYT 200, YACEP) has taught yoga, meditation and Vedic philosophy in North Carolina, the Czech Republic, and Ireland since she completed her initial training at the NC School of Yoga in Raleigh, NC 12 years ago. She is a reiki practitioner and offers Tarot readings for intuitive development.
Naad yogi āshīsh dhā has spent years in India training in Hindustani raag music, and has also studied Sanskrit, Indian culture, mythology and Hindu philosophy. Temporarily in Mexico City, he teaches Indian languages, music, and meditation online. He has given lecture-demonstrations and workshops in three continents on the fundamentals of naad yog, including Sanskrit phonetics, mantra pronunciation, sacred chanting, Hindustani raag music, and the physics of sound. His unique combination of his spiritual practice with his musical training has led to the development of musical meditation: Universe- and Self-guided free flow of energetically aware music. He is deeply into his spiritual practice, and is delighted to be sharing its power and delight.
āshīsh dhā is also a performer-composer, raagdaaree musician, sound designer and spoken-word artist. He has given many concerts of his original experimental music, ‘Hindustani 2.0’. Performances in Europe include the recent ‘India Day’ celebrations in Dublin, and ‘Ashish Dha en Marseille’ , a two-week mini festival of Hindustani raag music and naad yog in southern France. Earlier, he performed and gave workshops extensively in India, including the ‘Indian Music Intonation Workshop’ at IHC, New Delhi. His formal musical training has been in Hindustani classical singing: in khayaal from a young age, and for the past 6 years in dhrupad fundamentals from Wasifuddin Dagar. After freelancing in India for some years and getting an MFA degree in Sound Design from CalArts, USA, he is now based in Delhi and Dublin, Ireland, where he seeks creative collaborations and students through his sound studio cum music learning and performance center, Naadaalay.
Laurel took her first yoga class in 2006 after a track and field accident left her unable to exercise. A friend recommended she try Bikram Yoga as it was supposed to help with severe injuries. After her first class, she became hooked to the heat and noticed a tremendous difference in her posture and abilities to move. Her curiosity moved her to learn more about hot practices and explore vinyasa and power flow. She finally found a combination between all of the practices at Sumits Yoga. She went through the first official Sumits Yoga teacher training in 2010, facilitated by Sumit Banerjee, the creator of Sumits Yoga, and Gabriel Azoulay, the creator of Bikyasa and h3yoga. Laurel is currently a lead teacher trainer for Bikyasa traveling to different studios around the world to teach workshops, create joy, and make terrible dad jokes.
Jennifer is a Reiki Master/Teacher and a Registered Nurse with a passion for holistic health and wellness. She is known as the ‘Serene Sirena’ because of her calm and peaceful nature…along with a love for mermaids.
Jennifer is offering distant Reiki sessions and can be reached by sending an email to email@example.com.
Vandana Sood-Giddings is a qualified yoga ‘acharya’ (scholar) from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram in Kerala, India. In 2006, Vandana completed the 10-day silent ‘vipassana’ meditation from Dharamkot in India. While in New York City, Vandana took classes in various styles of yoga and also taught yoga to children as part of an after school program in Brooklyn. She received the 2008 Davis Peace award for her project ‘Stretching Towards Peace’, which focused on yoga and meditation countering youth violence in conflict countries around the world. In the summer of 2008, she traveled to Sombor, a small town on the border of Serbia, Hungary and Croatia and conducted a two-week program for Serbian youth of two age groups.
Vandana is the founder of Prana Buzz, an organization that builds community and good energy around art and yoga. A portion of proceeds from the organization goes to support homeless and street children in India. Vandana has taught yoga and meditation in India, Europe and New York for over 12 years now. With trainings in Reiki and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) she uses a holistic approach to yoga teaching and healing. Vandana is also a filmmaker with two Master Degrees. She is originally from India but now lives in Bozeman, Montana with her husband and young son.