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Yoga Class Descriptions

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Christine Donovan, ERYT-500,  YACEP, Director of  ZYC, Lead Teacher in Yoga Teacher Training Programs

 

Christine's aim 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 that joy, beauty and happiness that resides naturally within, and is available to everyone no matter what challenges life presents to us.    Practicing meditation for over 30 years, she discovered Hatha Yoga in 1998 and fell in love, she completed her first 200HR yoga teacher training in 2014, followed by 300 HR Teacher Training Yoga Therapeutics at AYC in 2015.   She loves the philosophy of yoga, teaching all eight limbs of yoga and meditation - encouraging students to practice yoga both on and off the mat.

She holds a BA degree in Business/Psychology,  C.P.A. and summa cum laude, KSU.   She enjoys time with her family, loves to hike, travel and find new adventures.  Learning something new is her favorite pastime, curiosity and knowledge are her drugs of choice . Naturally a skeptic, she questions everything  - always searching for the truth.

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Michael Johnson, ERYT-500, YACEP, Lead / Guest Instructor Yoga Teacher Training Programs

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.  He has been teacher trainer since 2003 and an advanced teacher trainer since 2007, offering courses on the Yogasūtra, Haṭhyogapradīpikā, Bhagavadgītā, Sanskrit, Mantra, Bhakti Vinyāsa and the intersection of Meditation and Neuroscience.

Sharon Goodman, 200hr RYT, 500hr RYT

Sharon Goodman, RYT-500, Instructor Yoga Teacher Training Programs

A yoga instructor for 16 years, it is her goal to help students learn essential postures by providing clear alignment instruction in every class - from Gentle to Vinyasa.  In her classes, she works to create a light-hearted and calming atmosphere, using yogic philosophy, offering adjustments, gentle motivation, and ending with a overall feeling of peace & satisfaction that they can take from their mat into the world.  She's honored to be a part of the experience each time a student comes to embrace the healthful benefits yoga brings into their lives.

 

She also trained as a Holistic Health Coach, helping people to discover a healthy balance between food & lifestyle choices.

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Dave Ashby, Certified Yoga Therapist, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500,  YACEP,

 

Trained in the San Francisco Bay area and Northern California, with o 2000+ hours of training, 1200 hours are Therapeutic related and he's taught over 4500 hours of classes in both group and individual settings.  Dave's training includes Therapeutic Yoga, Vinyasa, Flow, Hatha, Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra, and Yin Yoga. He has designed and lead classes in Yoga for Low back, Shoulders, Hips, Upper Back, Neck, Flexibility, Strength, and others.  A prior studio owner, he has been practicing since 2009, teaching since 2014 and providing Yoga Therapy since 2020

 

As a Yoga Therapist, he uses he techniques and tools of yoga to help people deal with modern day aches, pains, stress, illness, injury. People are often intimidated by yoga because of those aches & pains, concerns with how they might look, think they’re not doing it right, wondering if it’s the right thing for them, believe they don’t have the time, etc.

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Marin Shanley, ERYT-200, RYT-500, MA

Marin's teaching style is mindful, adaptive, trauma-sensitive yoga to both the general population, as well as to those who have survived cancer and other life-threatening health challenges.  She take joy in leading classes that enhance self-awareness and provide tools for self-care, stress reduction and relief from pain, stiffness and fatigue, using tools such as mindfulness

meditation, pranayama (breathing) and adaptive asana. Marin is  a 2-time cancer survivor with specific training in offering special classes for those with cancer and other chronic or life-threatening illnesses. She is skilled at offering chair yoga classes and specially-designed classes for those with memory dysfunction and adaptive needs.

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Connie Connelly, RYT-200 MEd, LCMHC

Connie's heart beats with a profound passion for spreading the transformative magic of yoga far and wide. With an unwavering commitment, she strives to craft a space where every individual, regardless of experience level, feels welcomed, supported, and valued. Her mission is to guide students on a journey towards inner peace and harmony, inviting them to explore the myriad benefits that yoga offers to mind, body, and spirit. Drawing from her background in mental health counseling, Connie infuses her teaching style with mindfulness, emphasizing the importance of proper alignment and holistic well-being. She believes in the power of yoga not only to strengthen the physical body but also to nourish the soul, offering a sanctuary where students can reconnect with their true essence and find solace amidst life's chaos. With every class, Connie strives to ignite a spark of transformation within her students, empowering them to embrace their journey with grace and courage. 

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Shwetha Ramanathan, RYT-200,PhD

Shwetha is a passionate and creative RYT-200 certified yoga teacher who received her training at Asheville Yoga Center in 2023.  She aims to guide students through a practice of self-exploration interwoven with Asana, Pranayama, and Meditation to cultivate mindfulness, focus, and inner harmony. Her approach is student-centric and holistic, and her classes allow students to develop a deeper connection from within. Her teaching radiates her enthusiasm for the transformative power of yoga and her love for the practice.

Shwetha is dedicated to studying yoga through books and other literature, workshops, and immersions to offer new and interesting knowledge to her students. She draws inspiration from her practices in Flow, Gentle, Restorative, and Yin yoga in North Carolina and Ashtanga Vinyasa and Pranayama in Mysore, India, where she was raised. She holds a PhD in Crop Science from NC State University, and she enjoys swimming, learning to play the singing bowl, and doting on her cats.

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Courtney Carssow, RYT-200, MPH, RN

 

Courtney began practicing yoga after earning her master’s degree in public health from Columbia University in New York. Having been a lifetime athlete but struggling with new mental health concerns in graduate school, Courtney discovered yoga as a way to look inward and cultivate mental and emotional balance within the familiar platform of physical movement. Courtney also is a registered nurse and holds a bachelor’s degree in the science of nursing fromJohns Hopkins University in Baltimore.  Courtney completed her  200hr yoga teacher training at Zen Yoga Center in 2022.

 

As a nurse, Courtney is particularly attentive to safe movement and injury prevention. She emphasizes the importance of building strength, balance, and flexibility; listening to our bodies; and respecting the aging process. Courtney believes it is important to take time to look inward and find a sense of inner calmness and contentment just as we are. This is not only for our own benefit, but also for those with whom we interact with in our daily lives off the mat. She enjoys teaching a vinyasa flow with an emphasis on physical strength and mental calmness, as well as guiding meditations. Her hobbies include swimming, knitting, and spending time with her husband, daughter, dog, and cats.

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Veronica Adams, RYT-200

Veronica's journey with yoga began in 2017 while training for her first marathon. What started as a means to enhance flexibility soon blossomed into a profound source of stress relief and inner focus. Drawn to the practice's transformative power, she immersed herself in group fitness classes before committing to a 200Hour Yoga Teacher Training at Cary FlowYoga. Despite challenges, including studio closures, Veronica's passion for yoga never waned. Now, she's thrilled to bring her vibrant and creative energy to Zen Yoga Center, believing wholeheartedly in yoga's ability to strengthen both body and mind. When not on the mat, Veronica indulges her adventurous spirit through travel, culinary exploration, and nurturing her African violets, all while cherishing moments with her husband and cat.

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Pamela Katz, RYT-200

Pamela Katz is a passionate and dedicated yoga instructor, specializing in vinyasa styles such as power, slow flow, and heated yoga. With her 200 HR RYT certification in 2019, Pamela offers personalized attention to students of all levels, focusing on alignment and adaptability.  Pamela brings flexibility, intuition, and a collaborative spirit to her teaching, fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for growth and exploration in every class.

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Lyndsey Carnes Owens, RYT-200

Lynsdey is a dedicated yoga instructor with a passion for guiding others on their yoga journey. Specializing in vinyasa styles including power, slow flow, and kids yoga, Lynsdey brings a diverse range of offerings to her classes. With her 200 HR RYT certification, she prioritizes personalized attention to students of all levels, emphasizing alignment and adaptability. Known for her flexibility, intuition, and collaborative spirit, Lynsdey creates a supportive and inclusive environment where growth and exploration thrive. Join Lynsdey on the mat for an enriching and empowering yoga experience.

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