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 is proud to own and operate a Yoga studio, where intangible heritage is a part of the daily landscape. 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 eight years. She has envisaged the concept of aUM Yoga as a studio that she would have frequented as an undergraduate. Jessie is an E-RYT 200, is certified in Aerial Yoga & Thai Massage, and is currently in pursuit of her Massage Therapy, Personal Training, and Nutrition Consulting Certification at the Ann Arbor Institute of Massage Therapy. Jessie also specializes in Geriatric Yoga and teaches in an assortment of assisted living facilities and adult day care centers in the Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Dexter Area(s). She is focused on creating and fostering a welcoming & loving community! As a Lululemon Ambassador, she strives to create this community both internal and external to the aUM Yoga studio space.
Amanda T. Teacher Trainer & 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.
Becca W. Instructor - is currently enrolled at the University of Michigan Law School. She began yoga as a means of relieving stress and quickly fell in love with the way the practice challenges all aspect of the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga has become a great constant in her life - a place of challenge, growth, change, and contentment. Becca's love for life and reverence for the practice of yoga shine through in her teaching. She enjoys teaching vigorous vinyasa flows that help students bring awareness to the alignment of each posture and transition. Becca's practice keeps her happy, healthy, and peaceful, and she encourages her students to find their own, unique connection to the practice.
Ben J. Instructor - Loves to fly. He started practicing yoga over 10 years ago to improve at rock climbing and has become absorbed with aerial silks over the past few years. He developed a basis in acrobatics and aerial performance while training with the Waikiki acrobatics troupe in Honolulu and has continued to foster an aerial community in Ann Arbor since moving back to Michigan to pursue a PhD in Biomedical engineering.
Carson C. Teacher Trainer & 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.
Heidi H. Instructor - has been an athlete since 5 years old. She grew up downhill skiing and figure skating. She started on her yoga journey a few years ago and became a certified teacher soon after. Heidi loves the discipline, focus, strength, and beauty of yoga. Yoga brought her faith in herself in times of darkness and taught her to always be true to herself. She hopes to teach people to advance and grow through the vehicle of yoga. She believes that anything is possible if you give it energy, dedication, and hard work. Her mantra is to breathe, let go of the past, and learn to enjoy the present.
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.
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 - wants to turn your world upside down! He began practicing Yoga in 1988 and as a Yoga Alliance RYT200 certified instructor started formally teaching yoga in 2012. He founded AcroYoga Ann Arbor in 2012 and became Michigan's first certified AcroYoga instructor in 2014. He teaches playshops, weekly Jams, and 3 classes at the popular aUM Yoga studio. Jim is also a certified AYFit trainer. AYFit is a community fitness program designed to build smart, toned, coordinated muscles in a safe, fun, & progressive environment. AYFIT is about working individually and with partners to build smart, intelligent muscles with acrobatic body weight exercises. In addition to AcroYoga and AYFit, Jim and his partner, Sue B., founded SUP AcroYoga in 2014, bringing their land Acro skills to a new level atop a standup paddle board. Jim continues his Yoga and AcroYoga education by attending workshops around the country. Besides family, friends, yoga, and meditation - Jim enjoys cross country skiing, bicycling, motorcycling, kayaking, and teaching wilderness survival skills. Be stoked!
Lindsay D. Recovery Infused Instructor - feels so blessed to be on this yoga journey and to have opened her heart to a more creative path to recovery. She has completed a 400-hour teacher training program with the Center for Yoga in 2013. She founded the Non-Profit: Recovery-Infused Yoga in October 2014. Today she uses yoga to enhance her sobriety and serenity. During her past teacher training, she began to embrace yoga as a cure. She know knows that it is a tool, but a tool that she uses daily. By taking aUM Yoga's Demystify Yoga Fall training, she hopes to make amends with herself, to embrace her confidence, strength, and solidify her hope. She hopes to inspire others in recovery that there is a solution. aUM Yoga and Recovery-Infused Yoga have connected due to the generosity and free spirit that they have in common. She intends to draw and contribute inspiration from the Amma Center and RI Yoga.
Meggie R. Instructor - was captivated by yoga at an early age. She was initially drawn to the practice for it's mental and emotional benefits, and found that as she kept practicing, she grew stronger and kinder with each breath! In college, she dove deeper into the practice and lifestyle of yoga and learned how to balance a busy schedule with a mindful attitude. After completing her first teacher training in 2014, she found an even deeper passion for sharing this path of union, flexibility, and strength.
Natasha S. Teacher Trainer & Instructor- Yoga found Natasha in 1999 at a dance studio. When teacher instructed dancers to breathe through a 3 minute "yoga moment" in standing leg lift, something shifted. The leg didn't fall off (strangely), but something else left her system with that sweat. And what remained felt so good and whole, that Natasha set out to find "yoga moments" everywhere she went in everything she did. Since then Natasha has studied many "flavors" of yoga with many great teachers, enjoying the yoga and weaving it into the dance. She became a certified Yoga Meets Dance (T) Facilitator in 2007, leading wild and fun dance journeys. In 2010 she trained with Jonny Kest, whose dynamic teaching style was most engaging and dance-like and has been teaching at Center for Yoga since. Natasha continues to study yoga with senior teachers of all traditions, and is currently pursuing 500 Yoga Therapy Certification with Rod Stryker, founder of Parayoga. Rooted in the oldest known system of knowledge - Tantra- this comprehensive approach to yoga weaves breath, movement, philosophy,science, and meditation into every practice. In her yoga classes Natasha strives to deliver complete yoga experience to students of all levels. And she is still dancing, because. "Life is a Dancer, You are the Dance" ~ E. Tolle
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.
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.
Sherryl P. Instructor - is an RYT 500 yoga instructor certified in Thai Massage, Mat Pilates, & Reiki III. Since 2009 she has combined these skills to provide clients with the tools needed to find a stronger, fluid, and safe yoga practice concentrated primarily on relaxation and healing. Continuing pursuing education, Sherryl has studied with world class yogis, anatomists, and movement therapists, including a year-long mentorship studying movement as therapy. Sherryl is the mother of 3 amazing souls and highly recommends going barefoot.
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.
Stephanie M. Instructor - loves farmers markets and DIY projects, reading the Alchemist over and over, taking road trips, and spending most of her paychecks on raw juice. I completed her first teacher training out of high school and was eager to teach at aUM when Jessie created the basement space studio on North University. She feels so fortunate to share her practice at the new space, and looks forward to watching the Ann Arbor yoga community grow!
Will E. Meditation Instructor - is an MMI certified meditation instructor trained by Sarah McLean, who has been teaching meditation for over 20 years. Meditation completely changed his life four years ago and since then his calling has been to teach meditation and accredit spirituality. Will recently received his BA in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan and is the owner of Factor4Freedom, an online platform to teach meditation to busy people. He is also the founder of Awaken Ann Arbor.
Wonza J. Dance Fusion Instructor - is currently a senior at the University of Michigan, studying Musical Theater. He has been competing and performing since middle school in all various styles of dance including - modern, tap, jazz, contemporary, ballet, and hip-hop. He hopes to inspire his students to be playful and creative while exploring new avenues of movement. He is excited to blend his background to create an exclusive dance fusion class at aUM Yoga. Come ready to stretch, sweat, and get jiggy with it.
Zoe K. Instructor & Social Chair of Michigan Yoga Club- is currently a student at the University of Michigan - studying Psychology and Spanish. She has been passionately practicing yoga for about three years, and journeyed to New Hampshire to obtain her Teacher Training Certification. For Zoe, her yoga practice is her happy place where she can feel moments of pure bliss through deep breathing. Zoe views yoga as her way of life - utilizing lessons of balance and strength from yoga - to guide her daily actions, thoughts, and even feelings. She hopes to help students discover the little Yogi flower buds that may be hiding inside their heart and then allow those buds to blossom into their full expression of beautiful Yogi flowers.