Our teachers study in the Iyengar system of hatha yoga and provide expertise and a supportive environment for our students. We are committed to continuing personal study, practice and studentship with Senior Certified Iyengar yoga teachers.
Denise Baker is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and the owner of The Yoga Studio. She became a student of yoga in 2007 as a path for emotional healing. Personal growth from her own practice inspired her to teach yoga to others. Seeing the continuous changes that come from this lifelong practice is what brings her back to the mat. Denise continues her studies regularly with Senior Certified Iyengar teachers Mary Reilly and Sue Salaniuk. She is also an attorney with the law firm of Muller, Myers & Farran, P.C.
Lauralee Rea began her yoga journey in 2002 with an instructor who studied in the Iyengar tradition. At that time she was working and studying nutritional health, organic farming and sustainability. What began as a complimentary practice to a holistic lifestyle became an integral part of her life. Dedicated to studying in the Iyengar tradition, Lauralee is pursuing teacher certification in this style of yoga. Lauralee also has a master’s degree in social work and practices full time as a family therapist.
Sarah Weber is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. She believes in the transformative power of the classical 8-limbed path of yoga. Having explored other methods of yoga, Sarah has found the Iyengar method to be the most nourishing. The breadth and depth of BKS Iyengar’s innovative teachings continue to surprise, challenge, and delight her.
Sarah seeks to create a safe and inviting space for students to explore their potential and connect with an inner sense of wholeness. She is grateful to a whole lineage of Iyengar teachers for providing a solid framework within which to assist others in deepening their own relationship to themselves. She continues to learn and grow through her personal practice and deep study with senior teachers, including Mary Reilly and Laurie Blakeney. Sarah is also a licensed physical therapist.
Deb Weiss-Gelmi is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT) who has great respect for the rich teaching lineage of the method. She finds it deeply rewarding to guide her students from their first experiences with yoga through a deeper understanding of yoga and themselves. As a former kindergarten teacher, Deb founded and teaches Sing Song Yoga®, a kids’ musical yoga program in which song lyrics instruct children how to get into the poses. She teaches Sing Song Yoga® through The Yoga Studio as well as offers a kids’ yoga teacher training. For more information visit www.singsongyoga.com
Chris Smith began her study of hatha yoga in 1972, and has studied with a variety of teachers since then. She regularly studies with Mary Reilly, Certified Senior Iyengar teacher. Her teaching emphasizes structural alignment to increase the natural energy flow throughout the body, and includes movement, classical postures, breathing and relaxation to provide a balanced yoga experience.
Rachael Nevinger is a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher who completed training through the Success Naturally Yoga Center in Springfield, Missouri with a focus on classical Hatha yoga and the use of restorative poses. She is continuing her studies to earn certification in the Iyengar tradition with Senior Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher Mary Reilly. She became a student of yoga after discovering how it helped her cope with both depression and lifelong back pain. She is passionate about showing others how yoga can be accessible to everyone, despite limitations of the mind and body.
Andrea Swiger has training and experience in teaching physical skill attainment to children with motor impairments as a Conductive Education Teacher. (Conductive Education integrates medical knowledge into the education, training and development for individuals with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other motor challenges.) She recently combined this skill with her love of yoga to bring the positive brain and body boosting effects of yoga to children through Sing Song Yoga. Andrea is currently finalizing her year long study with the founder of Sing Song Yoga, Deb Weiss-Gelmi, and has enjoyed sharing developmentally appropriate yoga practice to children from ages 2-11 in studios, parks, and schools in the Grand Rapids area.
Anil Kumar Sharma was born in Kangra Himachal Pradesh in Northern India. In the past, he suffered from digestive and neuromuscular problems and overall weakness. These health issues directed him to the path of yoga in search for healing. He now studies intense Iyengar yoga with his trusted Guruji in Mumbai and is working towards certification in Iyengar Yoga. As he overcame his own health issues, he became motivated to share yoga and its benefits with others.
He completed his Masters degree in Physical Education from Mumbai University. Before becoming a professional yoga instructor, he was a Physical Education teacher for children in Mumbai which gave him great satisfaction and pleasure. Now he specializes in Hatha Yoga with a strong focus on alignment whilst using props. He is also certified in Ashtanga yoga. His philosophy is to take time for learning, and to teach with great awareness of the body and soul.
Adam Opacki (Satyadev) was initially drawn to yoga 20 years ago to help alleviate stress during graduate school. He found relief through yoga and meditation; this marked the beginning of an adventure into a spiritual gold mine which continues to this day! As his journey progressed, the opportunity to become a yoga teacher presented itself. Adam is especially inspired by the fact that yogic techniques provide practical methods for alignment with Truth. He believes that yoga delineates pathways toward unlimited growth, thereby reducing suffering and enabling conscious choices which ultimately make the world a better place for everyone. Adam earned his Master of Yoga (RYT 500) Certification from the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Paradise Island, Bahamas, and is pursuing further studies in the Iyengar method. Adam is also a licensed attorney.