Meet Our YogaZoomFest Teachers
Arturo Peal has spent over 30 years inspiring and educating yoga teachers, body workers, and movement specialists through training in Anatomy and Kinesiology. Arturo holds a Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and has extensive clinical experience working with injuries and limitations. Since 1998, Arturo has co-led the Therapeutic Yoga Teacher Training with Cheri Clampett Borda. Arturo teaches training in New York, San Francisco, Slovenia, Australia, and Italy.
Arturo has a unique gift for translating complex scientific concepts into practical, applicable teachings for his students. He is the Chief Instructor at Aikido of New Orleans.
I was first introduced to the practice of yoga in my teenage years and found myself returning to the mat seeking a connection that I couldn’t quite understand at the time. As I amplified my asana and meditation practices in my mid-twenties, I could truly see the benefits of yoga – relieving stress and anxiety and improving personal confidence and strength (physically and mentally). I was hooked on this practice that helped me reconnect with my true Self.
Yoga became and still is a tool that teaches me how to see, how to feel and let go, personal empowerment and deeper connections with Self and others. In 2014, I was encouraged to learn behind the curtain of yoga and so I dove into first yoga teacher training. Several years later, I’ve been teaching weekly classes, public and private and have completed 3 teacher training’s in alignment based yoga and gentle yoga.
Carol Krucoff (C-IAYT, E-RYT) is a yoga therapist at Duke Integrative Medicine and co-director of the Integrative Yoga for Seniors Professional Trainings, designed to help yoga instructors safely adapt the practice to older bodies, minds, and hearts. An award-winning journalist, Carol served as founding editor of the Health Section of The Washington Post, and is the author of several books including “Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress Relief in a Minute or Less,” and “Healing Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain.” She is co-author of the books “Relax into Yoga for Seniors: A Six-Week Program for Strength, Balance, Flexibility, and Pain Relief,” and “Relax into Yoga for Chronic Pain: An Eight-Week Mindful Yoga Workbook for Finding Relief and Resilience.”
Facebook: Yoga for Seniors
YouTube Channel: Carol Krucoff
LinkedIn: Carol Krucoff, C-IAYT
Websites: Healing Moves, Yoga for Seniors
Tom is internationally regarded as a refreshingly effective meditation and healing teacher. He began meditating in 1968 while enrolled in an intense graduate program at Yale University. He was struggling not only with the curriculum, but also with anger and a battered down self-esteem. Meditation clarified issues and elucidated the paths forward. Tom then completed the full PhD Program in record time. Tom started teaching in 1976, after a magical meeting with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross at a Ram Dass meditation retreat. Tom’s book, Our Two Gardens: How to Cultivate Healing and CD, Meditation and Healing, are available on his website.
Lakshmi Voelker (E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, YACEP™) has over 45 years in the fitness industry specializing in office and senior fitness as well as adaptive/disabled fitness. Lakshmi developed Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga in 1982. It was followed by Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga – The Sitting Mountain Series CD in 1990 and the DVD – Get Fit Where You Sit in 2007. Lakshmi has certified more than 1800 teachers nationally and internationally. This includes healthcare professionals at the Mayo Clinic and The New York City Department of Education. She regularly runs teacher trainings at the Kripalu Center, The NY Open Center, YogaWorks, Discovery Yoga, and Texas State University. She also offers 1-on-1 Online Teacher Training over Zoom worldwide.
Elaine was part of corporate America as a banking professional and leader for 15 years. After moving to North Carolina from New Jersey two years ago, her health took a toll on her with extreme anxiety, neurological imbalances resulting from traumatic events in her life. She awakened to her gift of being an intuitive empath and embarked on a self-healing journey. She then leveraged her coaching and psychology background to guide others in their journey. She loves creating community and elevating others to reach their highest potential. She includes many different healing modalities and other mindfulness tools into her practice, workshops, and meditation retreats. She is certified as a Reiki Master Teacher, Archangelic Master Light Practitioner, Crystal Energy Therapist and Munay Ki and Life Coach. She is very passionate about divine feminine energy work. Her understanding of the chakras and the light body system helps her expand her clients higher consciousness abilities. Her mantra is Empower, Embrace and Seek your Light Within.
Mary Lou Bean
Mary Lou has been teaching yoga for eight years after completing the EYT 200 and EYT 300 programs at Glenmore Yoga and Wellness Studio in Richmond, Va. Having taught thousands of hours, Mary Lou focuses on Gentle, Meditation/Mindfulness and Yin. She has studied Yin for the past couple of years, completing 150 hours of training with Biff Mithoefer. In addition to her studio teaching, Mary Lou’s private sessions help clients focus on transitioning back to the classroom setting after surgery or injury. Her motto, “Balance in body, mind and spirit”, influences all her instruction. When not in the studio, Mary Lou can be found in the garden, enjoying nature and its beauty.
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.
Keegan Mills is a transformational coach, yoga teacher, and writer who has been providing personal development workshops and individual coaching to professionals, youth, and community members for over 15 years. She is deeply passionate about women’s empowerment and holistic health, supporting others in transforming their life on all levels — mind, body, and spirit.
Keegan graduated from Laughing Lotus Yoga School in San Francisco where she practiced for several years and had the opportunity to teach throughout the SF Bay Area. She now resides in her hometown of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Her goal as a yoga teacher is for students to awaken through mindfulness, conscious breath, and connection to their inner, authentic self. She has personally benefited from the healing powers of yoga, meditation, and sound healing. She is a strong believer that when we heal ourselves, we can heal the world.
Cheryl Brown found yoga in 2001 as a way to ease chronic back pain and became instantly enchanted by the subtle connections between the breath, body, mind, and emotions. Students appreciate her deeply educational approach to yoga and her classes weave anatomy, philosophy, asana, mudra, chanting, pranayama and yoga nidra together for a well-rounded experience delivered with compassion and humor. Cheryl encourages each student to honor where they are in their bodies every time they step onto the mat so deep healing and transformation takes place. She specializes in working with people over 50, cancer patients, and those with structural injuries and ailments.
As a yoga therapist with over 1,600 hours of individual client experience, Cheryl co-creates home practices that meet the lifestyle needs of her wide variety of clients. As a teacher, she has taught over 7,700 hours of public classes, workshops and retreats in studios and cancer centers nationwide, and serves on the faculty of several teacher training and yoga therapy schools across the country. As a mentor, she helps to develop both aspiring and seasoned yoga teachers. As a researcher, her Healing Yoga for Cancer Survivorship study on the benefits of yoga for reducing side-effects of cancer treatment has been presented at IAYT’s Symposium on Yoga Research and the Society of Integrative Oncology’s annual conferences in 2015 and highlighted in Yoga Journal. Cheryl is a published author with three Yoga Nidra CDs and a companion DVD to the cancer research available from her discography.
I have always been very active, outdoorsy, and am always looking for the next adventure! I like to enjoy many activities such as hiking, reading, camping, creating art, and running. I am a food junkie and am always on the lookout for tacos or a good sandwich! After living in North Carolina for 21 years, I recently moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. I started practicing yoga while I attended East Carolina University (GO PIRATES!). I found connecting the mind with your breath and body, ultimately slowing down, was a challenge for me. I fell in love. After practicing a little over a year, I decided to fly out to Salt Lake City in 2014 for my 200-hour teacher training from Core Power Yoga. During this time, I learned Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga. I also taught children’s yoga while working at a summer camp and have taught all ages outside of that. For the past two years, I have had the pleasure of teaching and learning alongside one of my best friends in Garner, NC at Yogi Oasis. I love watching people connect and explore the depths of what their bodies can do emotionally, physically and spiritually. Being a glimpse in anyone’s self-journey is an honor.
Marta Mrotek is an E-RYT 500 Yoga Instructor, teaching regular classes and teacher trainings for True Hot Yoga in both Arrowhead and Scottsdale, Arizona. Her love for the heated practice is only surpassed by her love for the Yoga Sutras and her commitment to share the benefits of Recovery Yoga with the general public. The driving force behind her devotion is a strong belief that this combination of 12-Step Principles and Yogic Wisdom can be used for healing and growth in any area of life. Over the last ten years, her classes for people in recovery have taken on a life of their own and turned into something truly unique that can be applied by anyone in nearly any circumstance. Her first book, Miracle in Progress, provided an overview of principles and practices to set powerful intentions and change your state. She expands these ideas in her new book, Principle Intentions, with more detailed information and tools to help people create a meaningful home practice. It is coming out in late 2020.
Lori Hernandez, founder of Franklin Street Yoga Center, has been a dedicated yoga student since 1997 and a full time teacher since 2005. Committed to empowering others, she inspires softness and strength with her intuitive teaching. Lori is known for combining creative vinyasa sequences with healthy alignment, great music, and lots of heart. She founded Franklin Street Yoga Center in 2007 and her teacher training graduates have gone on to teach and open studios around the nation and world. She has been a presenter at the National Graves Disease Conference, Texas Yoga Conference, Asheville Yoga Festival, LeaderShape, NC Public Relations Society Chapter, and NAWBO. In addition to private clients, Lori works with the UNC Volleyball, Women’s Lacrosse, Field Hockey, Fencing and the Men’s Golf Team. Lori was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease in 2005 and Type 1 Diabetes in 2014. Her yoga practice has made a considerable difference in dealing with the stress of having her body fight against itself and the daily challenges of living with two autoimmune diseases, which led her to create Yoga for Autoimmune Disease.
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.
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.
Jen Fisher (E-RYT 500, RCYT, YACEP™) is a mom, teacher, dog lover, goofball, and friend. Jen grew up as a dancer and swimmer and was always active, spending lots of time outdoors. She attended The Pennsylvania State University, graduated in 1995 and has called Raleigh home ever since. Jen became a mom in 2003, the same year her mother was diagnosed with stage 3-C ovarian cancer. She had been taking yoga classes here and there, but found refuge and peace in the practice as she juggled taking care of her sick mother and nursing and caring for her newborn daughter.
By 2005, Jen was practicing normally with her second daughter in her belly and was fully in love with yoga. When her daughters Sofia and Eliana were 3 and 5 years old, she began looking for kids yoga classes for them and came up empty. So she decided to become a teacher herself. She is a registered children’s yoga teacher (RCYT) and completed trainings with Karma Kids in NYC, YogaKids and Mini Yogis. She found a new friend and teacher in studio owner, Carson Efird, who gave her the chance to begin teaching kids, which continues to thrive today. She is now the co-founder and co-owner of Little Guru Kids Yoga and Creative Arts Studio in Raleigh, NC. In 2008, she was so inspired by the teaching of Carson Efird, that she became a Registered Yoga Teacher in Carson’s program, which is now a Prana Flow Yoga Affiliate Program through Shiva Rea’s Samudra Global Living Yoga School. In 2015, Jen completed her 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training under the brilliant Shiva Rea. She continues to study with Shiva and other teachers in the triangle area. Jen currently teaches at Blue Lotus and Bliss Body Yoga in Raleigh, NC. Jen continues to draw inspiration from her two most inspiring gurus, her daughters Sofia and Eliana. Life would not be complete without their glowing spirits.
Cheri Clampett (C-IAYT, E-RYT 500) is the Founder and Director of the Therapeutic Yoga Training Program. She is a certified yoga therapist with over 25 years of teaching experience and is passionate about bringing the benefits of yoga to those recovering from or living with injury or illness. Cheri started the yoga program at the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center in 1999, where she continues to teach weekly classes. Cheri’s teaching focuses on the healing aspects of yoga: freeing the body, breath and flow of energy through practicing with awareness, compassion, and love. Cheri is the co-author of the Therapeutic Yoga Kit, published in January 2009 by Inner Traditions, and she is a featured teacher on Yoga Anytime.
Facebook: Cheri Clampett Borda, Therapeutic Yoga
Instagram: therapeuticyogatraining, avahara
Websites: Therapeutic Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga Training Program, Avahara
Ali Bullano is an international yoga and meditation teacher, a business owner, and social worker. As an undergraduate Psychology student in the early 2000’s, she took a class called Zen Buddhism which changed the course of her life. That class sparked the hunt for self-realization and since then, she has explored various techniques to increase awareness and reduce her own suffering. Through the self-healing properties of meditation and yoga, her life transformed from depressive and anxiety-ridden to open-hearted and purposeful.
Ali has completed 500 hours of yoga teacher training with Yax Yoga Concepts, based in Virginia Beach. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work, specializing in clinical health and wellness. Ali moved to Denver in 2015 and, shortly after, opened Zenver Yoga, a boutique studio in the Highlands neighborhood. In her classes, you’ll experience guided meditation, breath work, meditative music, and intelligent sequencing focused on opening the myofascial lines of the body. With her affectionate personality, heartwarming approach, and soothing voice, you will feel right at home in one of her classes.
Briana Young-Roane is a colorful character. Born in Inglewood, CA, she is now an east coast girl and has flavor that mixes both coasts to give you a worldly and fun flare. She started as a modern dancer and, after an injury, was introduced to yoga for recovery. After healing, she decided that yoga was her path.
JJ Gormley (MS, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500) is the SCHYS Executive Director of the training programs, where she acts as the main curriculum designer, program coordinator, and program director. JJ received a B.S. degree in Mathematics, an M.S. in Complementary Integrative Medicine, and a Graduate Certificate in Nutrition. She is a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT), Registered with the Yoga Alliance as an Experienced Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500), a Prenatal Teacher (RPYT), and Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCYT). She has been and continues to be a student of yoga (since 1979), teaching since 1989, and running teacher training programs since 1994. Her teacher training programs have been registered with the Yoga Alliance since 1999 and her Yoga Therapy Certificate Program with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) since 2017.
JJ has studied from some of the world’s leading teachers and has studied from many of the major yoga traditions including Integral Yoga, Kundalini, Iyengar, Anusara, Ashtanga, and Viniyoga. She was the event coordinator for the Yoga Therapy Summit in 2013 and 2017. She has presented at the annual Symposium for Yoga Therapy & Research (SYTAR) and the Yoga As Medicine conference in Washington, DC, taught an eight-week series on yoga philosophy for the Smithsonian Institute’s Resident Associate Program, and served on a panel on Yoga for Systemic Lupus at the National Institute for Health in Bethesda, MD. She is currently serving on the IAYT’s Accreditation Committee and is on the Advisory Board for Yoga Therapy Today magazine. She has also published many VHS and DVD recordings, a CD, multiple training manuals, co-authored Holistic Healing with Yoga Therapy, and has been featured in numerous magazines and articles. In her spare time she loves to go on walks and hikes, or can be found reading, knitting, gardening, or hanging out with friends who like to play cards, enjoy good food and good company.
Cheryl Oliver (E-RYT 500) has been teaching Sanskrit, vedic chant and yoga philosophy since 2004, and yoga asana since 1998. Cheryl’s teaching style is warm and compassionate, enthusiastic and patient. Every class is experiential (and fun!) as Cheryl gently encourages students out of their comfort zone toward practice, understanding and transformation. Cheryl is blessed to count her late husband, Dave Oliver, Sonia Nelson, Menaka Desikachar and Nicolai Bachman among her many teachers. She is one of only 30 Certified Vedic Chant Teachers in North America, and has passed the GCSE Examination in Sanskrit offered by Cambridge University. She has completed five trips to India to study ashtanga vinyasa with Rolf & Marci Naujokat, and Sanskrit & vedic chant at Sannidhi of Krishnamacharya Yoga (SKY) and the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM). Cheryl owns Authentic Yoga Teacher Training in Scottsdale, AZ, offering Yoga Alliance Registered 200, 300, and 500 Hour Yoga Teacher Training programs.
Ashleigh Seiber (RYT 200) is passionate that yoga is for everyone! She loves helping students discover what they are able to do and feel in their bodies. After being introduced to yoga in college, she practiced here and there until hot yoga lit a spark in 2009 that fueled a passion. That passion eventually led her to blue lotus, in Raleigh, NC. She graduated from the blue’s 200-hour teacher training in 2015, and is now enrolled in the 300-hour teacher training program. Ashleigh loves teaching all she has learned to her students. She believes that everyone benefits from having a yoga and meditation practice! When she isn’t practicing or teaching yoga, she loves spending time with friends and family, trying out new recipes and creating handmade malas and bracelets. Check out her Etsy store, MalasbyAsh, or find her on Instagram or Facebook @malasbyash.
Lila Pierce Brown ( also know as known as Lila Rasa Brown) has ben a yoga teacher for over 18 years and a passionate teacher of teachers, Lila is dedicated to the experience of Yoga — a union and skillful engagement with Life — and to sharing this with the lovely practitioners she continues to meet on her journey. One of her great joys is to guide practitioners into a space of true transformation, encouraging them to discover, honor, and gracefully reveal their most authentic nature through the practices of yoga, evolutionary astrology, meditation, and their overall approach to life. Lila’s teaching incorporates skillful alignment and action in the body with yogic myths and philosophy, the wisdom of evolutionary astrology, and direct experience, to create a rich, profound, and soulful experience both on the yoga mat and in the world we share.
As a cultural anthropology major, Lila is deeply interested in the lens through which humans view reality. The myths and stories that make up a culture have always fascinated her, from how many similarities there are among different civilizations’ understandings of life, to the differences that keep them unique. This enthusiasm comes through in her astrology readings, courses, and workshops, as well as her yoga classes and training. Lila loves to see how the archetypal energies she works with as an astrologer has much in common with the stories she tells and from which she teaches in yogic lore. Interweaving these energies that play upon one another so well is one of her favorite aspects of teaching and sharing, as there’s so much richness to work with and unpack. It’s fuel for continual inspiration!
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.