Falling in love with yoga at the age of 50 has been an exciting adventure for Sandra. She views herself as a role model for others who wish to begin a serious yoga practice, feeling that if she could begin yoga at age 50, others can also. Her approach to practicing includes that yoga is not about being “uber” flexible, it’s about breath and the willingness to try something new. There is no perfect yoga, only yoga practice. Sandra seeks to help students touch their own sacred sense of wholeness and to access a quiet calmness within. Sandra received her 200-hour teacher certification in St. Louis, Missouri in 2009. She has attended workshops by David Swenson and Rolf Sovik. She has also completed Amy Weintraub’s “Yoga for Depression” at the Kripaula Center, and recently completed David Emerson’s 40 hour “Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Training”.
Katherine received her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from Vanderbilt University in 2009, but it wasn’t until after completing her 200-hour teacher training at Birmingham Yoga in 2013, followed by a certification in Dancing Spider Kids Yoga shortly thereafter, that she found her true path–sharing yoga with children. Katherine strives to bring the magic of yoga to children in fun and accessible ways, through the use of playful movement, storytelling, and song.
Katherine loves watching her own two sons, William and Hastings, joyfully experiment with yoga postures, and especially enjoys seeing how they bring other yogic techniques into their daily lives. (There’s nothing quite like watching your child choose to take a “Peace Breath” rather than have a tantrum!) Katherine’s personal yoga practice focuses on self-love and finding balance in all things, and she tries to carry these ideals off the mat as well. In life, she always strives to find a smile within the chaos.
Marie turned to yoga about 15 years ago when her husband was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s. She has seen firsthand its therapeutic potential. A Yoga Alliance 200-hour registered teacher, Marie teaches yoga at Lakeshore Foundation and UAB Integrative Medicine, serving seniors and those with chronic or disabling health conditions. When she’s not at Villager, you’ll also find her teaching in public libraries, UAB ArtPlay, and retirement communities.
Marie honors the body as it is, inviting everyone to experience linking breath and movement. Her training includes: Integrative Yoga for Seniors (50 hrs) with Carol Krucoff and Kimberly Carson at Duke Integrative Medicine; Mindful Yoga for Chronic Pain (50 hrs) with Kimberly and Jim Carson at Oregon Health and Science University;
and Mindful Yoga for Cancer (50 hrs) with the Carsons at Duke. After mentored work with the Carsons, she earned the certification of a Mindful Yoga Works teacher. Marie continues to learn from Leslie Kaminoff, Amy Matthews, Tiffany Cruikshank, and Matthew Sanford.
After laughing her way through her first yoga class in 2001, owner and instructor Annie Damsky became a committed yoga practitioner in 2004. She achieved her 200-hour Yoga Alliance instructor certification in 2009 at Birmingham Yoga and the following certifications in Children’s Yoga: YogaFit Kids (2009), It’s Yoga Kids (2011), Dancing Spider Kids Yoga (2013). Annie has an additional certification in Prenatal Yoga through a 32-hour Pranakriya training (Yoga Alliance accredited). Annie has been fortunate to attend the workshops of Doug Swenson, Doug Keller, Rolf Gates, Sean Tebor and Dave Williams and feels like each class she teaches is a short workshop, especially with the knowledge she gains from her gurus of all ages. Annie is an active member of Sweet Om Alabama and relishes any opportunity to come together and share yoga as a community.
Jettye Davis aspires to teach her alignment based class with joy and reverence for the uniqueness of each individual. She completed a 200 hour teacher training with Cain Carrol in Prescott, Arizona in 2007 and in 2016 completed the 200 hour teacher training at HereNowYoga in Birmingham with Becca Impello and Kim Drye . She employs the use of props to add to the accessibility of teaching to “Every Body”. Jettye enjoys tea parties, making art, labyrinth walking, and paying attention. Her mantra is “life is tricky baby, stay in your magic”.
Doug Fields is a diverse dude. He is a 200-hr Certified Yoga Teacher, Tennis Teaching Professional, Dad of 3 young men, and, by day, a practicing trial attorney and mediator. While growing up in Florida, Doug was a nationally ranked Junior tennis player whose coach introduced him to yoga at age 14. Years later, Doug committed to yoga, becoming a dedicated yoga practitioner in his 40s, and a yoga teacher at age 50. Although he wears many hats, teaching and spreading his love for yoga and its vast benefits is Doug’s true passion! Doug received his 200-hr training under Rolf Gates out of Santa Cruz, California, author of “Meditations from the Mat” and “Meditations on Intention and Being”. As he is a friend and mentor, Doug maintains a close relationship with Rolf. Doug has also trained with Bryan Kest, MyLinda Morales, Tymi Howard and other well-respected teachers who have influenced the development of an alignment based, power infused, personalized style that he has made his own. Doug’s classes are varied and designed to be accessible to all levels of experience!
Shannon found her way to the yoga mat through a difficult health diagnosis during college, in the early 2000′s she became a committed yoga practitioner in 2010. After graduating with a B.A. in Political Science from Samford University and working in the non-profit field, she completed her 200-hour Yoga Alliance instructor certification in 2013 at Birmingham Yoga with Akasha Ellis, and then further certification in restorative yoga, therapeutic chair yoga and Reiki Level I & II. She has been fortunate to attend classes and workshops with Laura Tyree, Becca Impello, Kerry Meon, and Bliss Wood. She teaches a variety of styles of yoga for any age, shape or size of body! Whether you need one-on-one reiki or yoga therapy for a illness or injury or want a powerful workout in the Ashtanga or Vinyasa tradition, she can help you find the yoga for you. Personally, she loves to practice kundalini and mysore. She is also an active member of the community. As a board member of Sweet Om Alabama – a non-profit whose mission is to spread yoga to populations who would not normally have access otherwise – she is honored to be able to volunteer at AIDS Alabama to teach yoga to those with HIV and mental illness or disability as well as having experience working with a range of chronic illnesses and disorders such as, fibromyalgia, depression, bipolar and eating disorders. From personal experience she knows the transformative impact that yoga can have on your health and overall well-being. Her mission is to share with others the practical techniques she has learned that have helped her overcome the challenges she has faced. Shannon strives to make each class a fun, informative and a healing learning experience about life, yourself and the world around you. Much gratitude to her teachers and students for sharing this path with her, may yoga bring you much joy and many blessings!
India Henson earned her 500 level training at Yogaville, Virginia, studying under notable yoga therapists Dr. Mala Cunningham, Mukunda Stiles and Mangala Warner, Richard Sabel and Bill Gallagher, Steffany Moonaz, and Dr. Timothy McCall. Creator of the Chair (Seated) Yoga Teacher Intensive, India offers 12-hour workshops in Chair Yoga. India is also a lay chaplain with Community of Hope/Circle of Care through the Episcopal Church.
As a Wellness Educator and Registered Yoga Instructor, Emilie Maynor aims to help people create a stronger mind-body connection. Her holistic approach to health and wellness keeps her active and feeling empowered. Emilie graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in June 2014 with a certificate in Holistic Health Coaching. After completing a 200-hour yoga teacher certification course in 2009 at Birmingham Yoga under the instruction of Akasha Ellis and Laura Tyree, Emilie continued her yoga education studying under Doug Keller, Sean Tebor, and the Kripalu Yoga Center. She approaches each yoga class with a fun attitude, looking to inspire, challenge and nurture her students.
Catherine found yoga while she was pregnant with her oldest son and has been practicing yoga on and off for the past 18 years. Her practice recently became more regular following a snow skiing injury to her knee; she committed to her practice and healed without visiting a doctor. In May 2012, she completed the Birmingham Yoga’s teacher training program and achieved her 200-hour RYT license and in 2016 she completed the Here Now Yoga 200-hr Teacher Training with Becca Impello and Kim Drye. Catherine loves that yoga encourages us to lead with our heart not our head and she loves that teaching allows her to learn so much from her students as well.
Brooke Smith is a television news anchor early weekday mornings on WVTM13, a mom to 2 busy girls by day, and running yogi by night. Brooke’s goal is to run a marathon or ultra marathon in every state! She started getting overuse injuries from the long miles of training and was encouraged to try yoga. She found the style of yoga that was right for her and became a more patient mom. Yoga helped lengthen those tight running muscles. She believes that yoga has a place as a cross training tool for cyclist, tennis players, and other athletes. Brooke also discovered the spiritual, mental, and emotional benefits of a regular yoga practice. She received her 200 hour yoga teacher certification from Sacred Glow Yoga with Melissa Scott. She looks forward to continuing her yoga journey as she pursues her 500 YTT with Melissa. Brooke is also a RRCA certified running coach.