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.
Anouk V. Co-President of Michigan Yoga Club - is a Women's Studies and Community Action Social Change Major at University of Michigan. Having danced her entire life, she found yoga her freshman year at aUM and has since developed a daily practice. For Anouk, yoga is fun and challenging, but mostly a way to continuously check in with herself. She hopes to make MYC a space to find a balance between a physical and mental practice while being inspired by the warm community of aUM. Breathe Blue!
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 got 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 & Co-President of Michigan Yoga Club - 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 instructorin 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!
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.
Lia P. Communications Chair of Michigan Yoga Club- is currently studying Communications at the University of Michigan. She first discovered yoga in an Aerobics class that she took in high school. This little bit of exposure to the practice opened her heart up to its amazing physical benefits which soon led her to incorporate yoga in her daily routine. Aside from the physical benefits, Lia views yoga as a guide to mental and spiritual growth for the sake of love, unity, and balance. As a committed yogi of 2 years, Lia aspires to humbly and selflessly guide others into the wholeness of yoga.
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.
Noelle P. - Michigan Yoga Club Social Chair -currently a student at the University of Michigan was first introduced to the practice of yoga as gymnast, however she truly began to cultivate a passion for yoga in the midst of her first marathon training program-- where she was seeking more flexibility and strength. Growing up in Michigan’s quaint Upper Peninsula, the opportunity to expand her practice was limited. Upon arriving in Ann Arbor, she was immediately drawn to aUM where she effortlessly found comfort and a deeper meaning for the practice. Now hooked, Noelle enjoys both the work out and serenity that yoga can offer. It is her core goal to spread love and light to fellow yogi’s of Michigan Yoga Club and aUM Studio, by creating unique opportunities to get to know each other both on and off the matt.
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.
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.