All of the instructors at Johns Creek Yoga are Registered Yoga Teachers with the National Yoga Alliance. Most have additional certifications,and all continue to further their practice and teaching expertise through continual workshops and training.
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Mahadevi Rachel Taylor
Johns Creek Yoga is the fulfillment of a long-held dream for Sheila. She began practicing yoga in 2000 with the idea that the postures would help stretch the muscles that were contracting as she trained for a half-marathon. What she discovered is that yoga stretched her mind and soul as much as it did her muscles. Her greatest pleasure is the opportunity to share the gift of yoga, and in that spirit, she resolved to bring a studio to her community in Johns Creek. Sheila’s classes are focused on alignment and infused with spirit and soulful exploration of the body, but they are also light-hearted and fun. She relishes the playfulness of the practice and encourages her students to be fearless and attempt new things in a safe and supported atmosphere. As a former Professor of American literature, Sheila loves to explore the connections between philosophy, poetry, religion and yoga, often building class around a specific theme or ending with a favorite poem or quotation. Sheila completed her 200 hour teacher training at Peachtree Yoga Center in Sandy Springs under the guidance of Graham Fowler and Elizabeth Nix, and she is honored to carry forth the wisdom and guidance that she received from them. She currently holds an ERYT certification and is completing her 500 hour training at Kripalu in Stockbridge, MA. She continues to take advantage of every opportunity to train and learn and will forever consider herself a student of this beautiful and ancient practice.
Leisy is a 200 RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher), trained by YogaFit. She holds several yoga certifications and trainings in addition to her 200 RYT and is currently working toward her E-RYT status. She is passionate about yoga and is also certified in Usui Reiki – 2nd degree. She loves teaching and helping students find a healthy way of life while creating a mind-body-spirit connection. Leisy comes from a synchronized swimming background, and she recognizes the importance of breathing properly; therefore, her classes emphasize the use of breath with movement while maintaining a proper alignment. Her classes are challenging, fun and invigorating and leave students feeling relaxed and revitalized. Her message to students is that it is important to know your body fully and completely. Accept its limitations; respect them. Be aware and present at all times and learn to cherish and appreciate all the wonderful things your body does for you. Accepting and loving ourselves is the first step to accepting and loving others. Only when we have conquered the physical aspects of life can we begin to explore the mind and the heart and begin to make a real mind-body-spirit connection.
Mayuri was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is married with two children and has lived in Johns Creek for almost sixteen years. For over seven years, Mayuri has been in the health and fitness industry. She is a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, a Certified Spin and Bodyworks instructor, a Health & Wellness consultant, and recently became a certified yoga teacher with over 200 registered hours. As a health consultant, Mayuri has helped her clients live healthy lifestyles through a balance of mindful eating, weight training, cardio, and yoga. Although she has taught a variety of exercise classes, yoga has taught her how to incorporate physical exercise with mental and spiritual awareness. When daily stress and anxiety were at a breaking point for her, yoga made her self-aware and forced her to refocus all the negative energy and turn it into something positive. Mayuri believes that Yoga is a total body experience that allows one to look inwards gaining clarity as well as strength to tackle everyday problems. Her goal as an instructor is to motivate and inspire others to use yoga, not just as physical exercise but as a mind-body connection that can provide clear conscience and tranquility. She hopes to share her knowledge to help others find their own personal strength by building a strong foundation and bringing awareness to the power of breath. She is excited and enthusiastic about teaching, and furthering her own self-enlightenment.
For Donna, practicing and teaching yoga means including all persons at all levels to enhance and nurture their bodies while participating at their own level with non-judgement. She believes this enables all yogis and yoginis to move into deeper levels of practice so that as we open and express ourselves with awareness, we can experience transformation for the mind, body and spirit. Donna completed her 200 hour teacher training at Peachtree Yoga Center in Feb. 2007, and she is currently working on her 500 hour advanced teacher certification. She has been teaching throughout metro Atlanta for the past 5 years.. She began her yoga practice as a devout Bikram yoga student from 2000-2006 and has been a Vinyasa student for 12 yrs. Donna is driven by her compassion for others and her thirst for health and well-being. She served as a nurse for 17 years and continues that nurturing into her yoga instruction. Donna is the mother of 3 grown, successful daughters. She has been an avid athlete her entire life beginning in ballet at age 5 through 18. She then moved into track/cross country during high school and college. Over the past 16 years she has been a personal trainer, cycling instructor, marathoner and triathlete. Donna brings her athletic background, medical knowledge and love of yoga to the students to assist them in their personal practice. It is her desire to see her students grow in grace, knowledge and experience of a deeper yoga practice on and off the mat.
Sonya's gentle guidance and loving touch extends from her fascination with the body as an instrument of spiritual and creative expression. Sonya came to yoga after more than 20 years as a classically trained dancer, teacher, and choreographer as a means to further understand the mysteries of the mind-body connection. She has witnessed and guided her students through the wonders of movement, self-awareness, and connection to the Universal. Her belief in the magic of touch as a means of healing and as a conduit for energy informs her teaching style, which relies strongly on imagery, humor, and hands-on interaction. She has completed and co-facilitated several 200-hour and 500-hour teacher training and certification courses through Peachtree Yoga Center alongside her mentors, Graham Fowler and Ursula Nix. She extends blessings to the teachers, students, and community of artists who've so generously shared the knowledge and wisdom that informs her teaching and personal practice.
Daniela Simina is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor, with an international background in yoga, energy therapy, fitness, and martial arts. She completed her 500 hours training at Peachtree Yoga Center in Atlanta under the guidance of Graham Fowler and Elizabeth Nix. Her teaching is grounded in the synergy between modern science and ancient wisdom. Through her classes, books, programs and workshops, Daniela motivates and guides people toward achieving more fulfilling lives. As a yoga teacher, her quest is to help people uncover their own potential through the ancient art and science of yoga and meditation. Daniela is the author of the book, Anychair Yoga and DVD, Yoga Fundamentals.
Amy's yoga practice began in 1995 and soon revealed itself as the answer in her quest to feel better, experience life more fully and participate in making the world a more joyful place. Her life's work and passion is grounding kids, teens and schoolteachers and training others to do the same. Noticing that the parents of Grounded kids often need to get grounded too, she began teaching classes for grown ups in 2009. Amy is the co-founder of Grounded and Grounded for Good non-profit yoga service initiative. She holds a Masters Degree in Middle Grades Education and taught Literature and Social Studies to middle schoolers for many years. Her affinity toward great stories and culture is often reflected in her classes. Her two teenage boys, fiery partner and happy little labradoodle provide plenty of opportunities to fill up with love, laughter and learning, so she naturally brings that into her teaching. She believes that teaching yoga is hard work and takes a lot of preparation and authenticity. She has found that the more energy she puts into planning a lesson that speaks to the highest of each person's being, delivering a universal message, without regard for what happens to be popular at the moment, the deeper her students go. Amy is dedicated to sincerely connecting with her students and helping them ground in their own truth so they find the inner power, security and light heartedness to elevate to their absolute highest potential. Amy's certifications include YogaKids, Radiant Child, Laughter Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Anusara Inspired. Her ambition is to always be a student and a teacher. She is proud to have studied and worked with inspirational teachers such as YogaKids creators Marsha and Don Wenig and Shakta Kaur Khalsa, founder of Radiant Child. She is grateful to have trained under Mitchel Bleier, David Aukamp, RuthAnn Martin, Ross Rayburn, Sianna Sherman and Paul Muller-Ortega and continues to study with brilliant teachers from around the world.
Holly is an Atlanta native, and she has lived in the North Atlanta area her entire life. She started practicing yoga in the late 90s for stress relief. When her children were born, she found it hard to balance her corporate job with her active family life. After spending a few years at home with her kids, she found that she had a passion for working with children. She started teaching and discovered that she could use the breathing techniques and exercises she learned in her own personal yoga classes to calm her students. Eager to teach yoga to both children and adults, she completed a RCYT certification through YogaKids, and an RYT certification through Life Power Yoga. She continues her studies through Grounded Kids Yoga. Working with children has taught her to live joyfully and not take life too seriously. Her classes are playful and full of love and laughter.
Katie began her yoga journey as a child. She grew up training as a classical ballet dancer, and yoga and pilates were an integral part of that training. When she became pregnant with her first child, she began studying yoga exclusively to keep her fit and prepare her for childbirth. What she discovered was so much more! For the past 12 years Katie has studied with many teachers and studios to explore and deepen her understanding of this amazing art. Katie completed her 200hr teacher training at Peachtree Yoga Center in 2011. Currently, she is a full time Eighth grade Social Studies teacher. She is the mother of three amazing young boys, and in addition to her classes at Johns Creek Yoga, she teaches community classes at St. David’s Episcopal Church.
Stacey McNamara has been on her own spiritual journey most of her life. Her discovery, passion and positive energy led her to begin work as an energy practitioner in 2007. She is a certified Integrated Energy Therapy Master Instructor, Usui Reiki Master and Advanced Angel Healing Practitioner. She has conducted hundreds of intuitive angel readings that have comforted and inspired people to a greater level of joy, harmony and peace. Her intuitive angel readings are always loving, compassionate and healing to all those she is honored to serve. As an energy worker, Stacey inspires her clients to realize their own spiritual magnificence with her compassion and insight. As a result, many people have embraced their own inner power and taken control of their lives. Her healing sessions help remove blocked energy and help restore balance to their physical, emotional and spiritual body. Many achieve a state of deep relaxation and often report ease of pain and stress. This facilitates the body’s natural healing process.
Shane is a graduate of WhiteWinds School of Energy Healing, a two year professional program led by Dr. Fernand Poulin. Shane continued a third year with the teacher training and was one of the instructors of the Imagine summer camp for children at WhiteWinds. He has received certification in Tai Chi Qi Gong 18 Movements with Master Yun Xiang Tseng (Chen) in levels one and two.
This process offers the potential to release energies of old patterns and beliefs that keep us from our true self and wellbeing. The realigning of the subtle energy body offers a complete emotional, mental, physical and spiritual sense of wholeness and reconnection. Shane has been providing professional healing sessions for 6 years and 10 years teaching yoga and Qi Gong in classes at two major hospitals, Yoga Studios, The YMCA, MJCC and private sessions.
Bonita loves sharing yoga with people and hopes to help them make the practice an integral part of a healthy, well-balanced life. She earned her 200hr RYT from Peachtree Yoga in 2000 and has been steadily teaching ever since in local Gyms, Recreations centers, and Yoga studios. She is influenced in style by Erich Schiffman, Rodney Yee, David Williams, Beryl Bender Birch, Bryan and Johnny Kest and many amazing local teachers. She teaches Hatha, Vinyasa, Hot Yoga, Prenatal and Kids yoga.