Christine Donovan, Director, ERYT-500

January 03, 2023

Christine Donovan, ERYT-500,  Director of  ZYC.   I discovered yoga in 1998 while pregnant with my first child and immediately fell in love with the practice.  As a mother of four and business owner I have relied on yoga and meditation to cultivate inner peace, patience and tranquility  - balancing my personal needs, while meeting  the needs of both family and business.   

 

I completed my  RYT-200 hour at AYC, under the guidance of Stephanie Keach and several more fabulous teachers, each of whom brought their unique style to the program creating a blend that was both amazing and  inspirational.   I will always hold a deep gratitude in my heart for their teachings.  The 200 hour program ignited me to continue my studies and RYT-300, in therapeutics from AYC in 2015.  After completing this program,  in 2016, I found a perfect location to open Zen Yoga Center - a place to be, with hopes of sharing the practice of yoga and meditation with others.  At Zen Yoga Center, we use our extensive training from teachers both past and present to teach and cultivate awareness of one’s own practice and life process.

 

My aim is to teach students how to be present, content and happy,  just as they are today - this  is sometimes challenging but is the first step in a beautiful process of self awareness and wellness.  At Zen Yoga Center we focus on wellness, by recognizing the joy and beauty and happiness that resides naturally within, that is available to everyone no matter what challenges life presents to us.   

I hold a BA degree in Business/Psychology, summa cum laude, KSU.   I enjoy my time with my family, I love to hike, travel and find new adventures.  Learning something new is my favorite pastime. Naturally a skeptic, I question everything  - always searching for the truth.

Renée Baker, ERT-200, RYT-500, M.Ed.

January 01, 2020

Renée’s classes are thoughtfully planned and guided, sprinkled with yogic philosophy, life wisdom, poetry, prānāyāma, and meditation.  She seeks to guide students towards a connection with their innate wisdom of the heart and body. Her preferred teaching styles are Vinyasa Flow, Alignment based classes, Gentle Yoga, Slow Flow & Yin, Yoga for Youth and Laughter Yoga.

After a career of over a decade as a Montessori teacher, Renée completed her 200 and 300 hour vinyasa flow based yoga training at Asheville Yoga Center in North Carolina. She is a lifelong learner and continues the study of yoga and philosophy with her teacher, Michael Johnson. Her gentle yoga classes are strongly influenced by her training with Gary Kraftsow, founder of the American Viniyoga Institute. Other influential teachers include: Kimberley Puryear, Paul Grilley, Angela Farmer, Joe Taft, and Donna Farhi.

Renée is a returning presenter for YogaFest, in Raleigh, NC. Renée works with people of all ages, from children in school settings to seniors.  Renée lives in Raleigh with her two daughters, ages nine and fourteen. 

Michael Johnson, ERYT-500

January 01, 2020

Michael Johnson has been a full-time yoga instructor for 20 years. After studying in India and abroad with many teachers and traditions, his scientifically informed approach to yoga integrates some of the most accessible and practical techniques for managing our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Kelsey Swartz, ERYT-200

January 01, 2020

Kelsy first started practicing yoga while her soon to be husband was deployed to Afghanistan as a means to pass the time.  Quickly, she fell in love with the practice and it became a part of her daily routine.   After practicing for several years, she decided to pursue yoga full time and become a teacher.  

 

Kelsey studied under Laurla Spauding, an authorized level 2 Astanga teacher in Louisville, KY.   She earned her 200-hour training certificate in 2017, studing Hatha and Ashtanga yoga.   She then went on to teach at Yoga East as well as the local YMCA.

She strives to give her students an encouraging, safe, and renewed practice where they can grow in mind, body and soul.

Lisa Wider-Cappoli,M.S., CHWC, RYT-200

January 01, 2020

Originally from Boston, Lisa moved to North Carolina from Hoboken, NJ.  Lisa has a Masters in Nutrition and Mass Communications from Boston University.  She discovered yoga in 2014 teaching a TRX at the YMCA and Cary Flow Yoga.

Active in fitness since early childhood, Lisa’s interest in core and balance work started in her driveway on her pogo stick and balance board then moved into tree climbing, cycling, and other forms of fitness such as competitive tennis, swimming, soccer, racing sailboats, skiing, rollerblading and jazz dance.

Lisa is certified in TRX Group Suspension training with advanced training at TRX Workshops, Trainer Summits and is a TRX Core Member.  In May 2017, Lisa became a Certified Health and Wellness Coach from Wellcoaches School of Coaching.  She holds multiple fitness certifications including AFAA Group Fitness and Personal Training and several sub specialties including Pilates, Barre, Zumba and YUSA’s Moving for Better Balance. Lisa leads and instructs LiveStrong at the YMCA, a 12-week mind/body and fitness program for adult Cancer Survivors.  She completed her RYT-200 after discovering Power Vinyasa Yoga and has been teaching for several years.  When she’s not teaching or taking fitness classes, Lisa enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, son and Shih Tzu dog.

Brianne Gollwitzer, ERYT-200

January 01, 2020

Brianne is a ERYT-200 as well as a certified Massage Therapist, and Reiki Master. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from the University of Colorado in Boulder and Received her Massage Therapy license from the Institute of Psycho Structural Balancing in Los Angeles, CA. She became certified as a Yoga Instructor and Reiki Master from Urban Yogi in San Diego, CA.

Growing up as a competitive dancer, Brianne always had a passion for movement.  As a Yoga Instructor she incorporates the power of movement and breath into her sessions.  Her Yoga practice is rooted in gentle, alignment-based Vinyasa Flow, while utilizing other styles such as Restorative, Yin, and Meditation. In her bodywork practice, Brianne specializes in Circulatory/Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports Massage and injury prevention.  As a Reiki Master, she strives to awaken and harmonize the human energy system (Chakras). 

Brianne encourages the combination of Yoga and Bodywork to find peace and balance within one’s life.  She is excited to share her training and career experience from California with her new community in North Carolina.

Chelsea Smith, RYT-200

January 01, 2020

Chelsea Smith, RYT200, started practicing yoga in 2015 by discovering how yoga can reduce anxiety and stress, give clarity of mind, and strengthen self-awareness. Her classes guide students' movement with each breath, quieting the mind, and strengthening the body.

Chelsea is inspired to share the physical and mental benefits that yoga brings to others and a true believer that yoga does not require flexibility or being “good” at the practice, yoga only requires a willingness to learn and come to the mat as you are.

Outside of her passion for yoga, Chelsea loves to read, go hiking, travel, and spend time with her husband and 2 rescue dogs. 

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“Very cozy and pleasant space, Christine is amazing at making you feel like you belong into the group..”

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

— Jordana, B.

Yoga Classes & Teacher Training:

800 W. Williams St. Suite 260,

Apex,  NC  27502 

919-388-3380

Located on the 2nd level, accessible by both elevator & stairs.

Enter in the center of the building.

questions email:

 info@zenyogacentercom

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