Meet The aUM Team!
Jessie L. Owner and Director - is from Las Vegas, NV. She fell in love with Ann Arbor at a young age when she attended University of Michigan's Debate Camp. Jessie is a graduate of the University of Michigan where she did her BA in Classical Art and Archaeology and Art History as well as the University of Cambridge where she received her Master's of Philosophy in Archaeology: Heritage and Museum Management. She was a competitive dancer in her youth and found yoga after she left the world of dance. Jessie has been practicing yoga for over seven years. She has envisaged the concept of aUM Yoga as a studio that she would have frequented as an undergraduate.
Amanda T. instructor - has been a student of yoga for over fifteen years. In 2012, after more than decade of working in women's health as a Certified Professional Midwife, she decided to pursue her dreams of becoming a yoga instructor. Amanda sees yoga as a wonderful opportunity to reconnect the body, breath, and mind while gaining strength both physically and emotionally.
Carson C. instructor - has always been dedicated to fitness. Growing up he played competitive tennis and loved running. When he went to his first yoga class he was blown away and thought it was the hardest thing he had ever done. He has been back on his mat every day since, growing physically, mentally, and spiritually. Yoga is an amazing gift that he is so happy to have found and he can’t wait to share the gift of yoga with all those he comes in contact with, both on and off the mat.
Chloe H. instructor -started practicing yoga after her guidance counselor recommended a hot yoga class. Instantly, she was hooked as it was not only a strong work out but also a great way to challenge the mind. Chloe has always been fairly competitive and from the first class she knew it was a great way for her to challenge her mind and body. Yoga has allowed her to better understand herself every time she steps on her mat. Chloe strives to teach classes that challenges her students while helping them achieve goals and gain a sense of accomplishment with each practice.
DJ Shake That Asana aUM's DJ - aka FunkMaster Freed began his journey as a DJ and Brogi at the University of Texas at Austin. His combination of Top 40, rap from the early to mid 2000's, and obscure techno is guaranteed to align your chakras. In 2013, Ben and sister, Michele, founded Freed Family Entertainment - the pair can be contacted to DJ any event! Ben's favorite pose is titibasana, but he's not very good at it. In his spare time, he is a general assignments reporter for The Ann Arbor News.
Jaime C. aUM Intern & Instructor - began ballet at age 3 and danced until a running injury at age 13 forced her to stop. She fell in love with the patient grace of yoga in 2012 as a gentle replacement for dance. After studying Ashtanga regularly in Argentina for 2 month, she began to feel the difference between seeking perfection in dance and seeking herself through yoga. Jaime helps aUM in any way that she can in addition to teaching classes!
Jess S. instructor - is currently enrolled at the University of Michigan with a focus in English and psychology. She fell in love with yoga after her first hot vinyasa class and shortly after ventured to New Hampshire to gain her Teacher Training Certification. For Jessie, yoga is a way to check back in with herself and to balance the pressures of daily life. Because of her gratitude toward her practice, she now hopes to share her love of laughter and asana with all of her students through fun and vigorous flows.
Jim G. AcroYoga instructor - began practicing Yoga in 1988 and in 2012 started formally teaching Yoga. Jim teaches in several Yoga traditions, including Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa, and Yin. He founded and organizes the popular AcroYoga Ann Arbor MeetUp group and also provides AcroYoga playshops, classes, and private instruction. Jim continues his Yoga education by attending Yoga workshops around the country. When he’s not practicing or teaching Yoga, Jim is in nature enjoying cross country skiing, bicycling, motorcycling, kayaking, teaching wilderness survival skills, or even sitting in silence.
Jordan D. founder of Michigan Yoga Club - is a BBA in the Ross School of Business. At 6'7'' Jordan is not someone that you would expect to twist himself into pretzel-like poses and actually disliked his first couple of yoga classes. But, after giving it another try - he was hooked! Jordan strives to create an environment with Yoga Club that yogis on campus will flock to in order to practice together. Jordan's favorite aspect of yoga is how it clears out negative thoughts of the day and allows you to focus, be present, and be yourself. Jordan loves working out, going to concerts & festivals, and listens to Bruce Springsteen.
Kayleigh Z. instructor -began practicing yoga in a class setting in 2009 at her local college. After a traumatic injury in 2011 and all the emotional tolls that followed, Kayleigh turned to yoga to heal her body and mind. Once she felt the rush of calmness and finally felt at peace with her body, she was hooked. After practicing steadily for a few years, she decided that obtaining her teaching certificate would be the next step in her life to share the practice with others. Off of the mat Kayleigh enjoys being outdoors, traveling to Norther Michigan, and spending time with her husband and two dogs.
Kelli H. workshop leader -has been a devoted yoga practitioner and attending yoga workshops for more than 20 years and has been teaching yoga for more than thirteen. She first finished her teacher training in 2000 at Namaste in Royal Oak, Michigan and opened her own studio where she resides in Monroe, Michigan. She later finished another 200 RYT training with Jonny Kest. Influenced by every class she has taken, Kelli adds an element of challenge and creativity to her classes. She challenges her students to go beyond their comfort zone in away that they can explore, heal, and strengthen their bodies and minds through the practice of yoga. Kelli's contagious smile and positive spirit encourages students to release fear while gaining confidence every time they approach the mat in her class.
Meggie R. instructor - as captivated by yoga at a young age of thirteen. Initially frustrated and resistant to the challenging postures, she was drawn back to yoga for its mental and emotional benefits. She continued to practice throughout adolescence, and dove deeper into the practice when she came to Ann Arbor and found the Center for Yoga. Meggie became certified under Jonny Kest’s LifePower Teacher Training Program in 2014 and has been teaching and spreading yoga ever since. Her classes hope to incorporate equanimity, patience, and acceptance in both your body and mind.
Rachel R. instructor -grew up as a figure skater and was introduced to yoga at a young age as a way to strengthen her muscles for jumps as well as to increase her flexibility and balance. As a runner, yoga has also been a complimentary work out that prevents injuries and teaches her daily to be more aware of her body. Her practice has gained intensity and frequency with age. Rachel completed her teacher training this past summer in Chicago. Each individual class that she has attended has offered her a new perspective and appreciation for the beauty of yoga as well as its physical and mental benefits. Yoga has given her life and body an entirely new dimension. She wants to share her love of yoga with others in the hope that they will reap its copious rewards.
Rodger D. instructor - rediscovered yoga as a form of physical exercise and stress reduction after beginning graduate school in 2008. Through what eventually became regular and devoted practice, Rodger was able to reconnect with the deep foundations of strength, balance and flexibly he established during childhood gymnastics training. While his individual practice tends to focus on ashtanga, vinyasa, jivamukti and yin these days, Rodger welcomes both traditional forms and emergent styles of yoga. Rodger is grateful for the opportunity to share the physical and meditative benefits of yoga with a diverse community of students in a challenging, but fun and light-hearted way.
Sarah K. instructor -has always been interested in yoga but didn't become devoted to it until three years ago when she discovered the style of hot vinyasa. As an engineering student, finding an activity that brought her attention to the present moment for an entire hour and left her feeling alive and revitalized was amazing. Embarking in the path of a regular yoga practice aided her in both finding herself and better coping with challenges in her life. She loves how you can never become an expert in yoga because there are so many forms, poses, styles, meditations, etc. The challenges never cease. She has endured many sports related injuries in her past, including two shoulder surgeries, making her aware of each bodies own limitations. She isn't afraid to admit she can only do the pose pictured on one side, because her shoulder just won't allow the other side and she hasn't mastered a work around yet. Today she wants to share her love of yoga with everyone, and show those who are willing experience it, that every moment on the mat is practice for the real world, after all it is simply called a yoga practice.
Shivani K. instructor - is currently studying at the University of Michigan's School of Dentistry. She began practicing yoga six years ago. When she first started practicing, she didn't know much about the practice - but knew that it made her body and mind feel stronger - she felt more focused than ever. After her first hot yoga studio class she felt pure bliss pulsing throughout her entire body. Being on her mat became her safe haven, her personal garden of growth, and inner mirror. She began to understand yoga in its entirety; breath, meditation, and posture. For Shivani yoga ignited a deeper passion for life. She hopes to share this magic with others around her and aspires to inspire others in embracing their beauty and potential.