All of our teachers are educated, trained, and certified in their field!
Stephanie Shepard, Owner, CYT, Level III Reiki Master
I began practicing yoga as a teenager more than twenty years ago, in Southern California. Yoga has transformed my life many times and in many ways, and the purpose of my practice has evolved over the years. When I began practicing in my teens, it was for the sole purpose of physical fitness. A serious, life-threatening injury in my early twenties brought me back to yoga as a means of physical therapy and rehabilitation. In my late twenties, as my adult life took on new responsibilities, and with them new pressures, I found yoga to be a boundless source of renewal and stress relief. Most recently, when my family faced great tragedy and difficulty, yoga became my saving grace. The strength and serenity I found on the mat carried me throughout my day and the arduous journey I faced, and my practice finally reached a spiritual level. I have found this to be the greatest gift of my practice.
Realizing the tangible benefits of yoga, I understood that I was ready to give back and help others to realize the benefits of this age-old method of self transformation. My background in hatha yoga includes Vinyasa, Kundalini, Bikram, and children’s yoga, and I have recently completed Sandra Carden’s phenomenal 200 level Teacher Training Program at Union Yoga in Lake Leelenau, Michigan. I am also insured and registered with Yoga Alliance.
Having gained so much from yoga throughout my life, I am a firm believer that there is no “wrong” reason for coming to the mat. I see yoga as a method for personal transformation in body, mind, and spirit, and I am excited to share it with my students in a positive, open, and energetic atmosphere.
Valerie Hayes, Certified Zumba Instructor
The Secret to keeping fit is finding the style of exercise that is fun and easy to learn. Zumba is just that! Zumba is dance fitness that incorporates repetitious movements that sculpt your body and burn unwanted calories. The hour just flies by and all you remember is how much fun you had! No dance experience is necessary to learn Zumba so ……. leave all your expectations at the door and come have fun with Valerie.
Lara Ruddy, CYT
Lara proudly studied under Sandra Carden at Union Yoga in Lake Leelanau, and graduated on November 20, 2010 with her 200 level training. She is very excited to be a part of Blooming Lotus and hopes she can share this gift with all.
Naomi Cole, CYT
Naomi was first introduced to yoga at the age of 8. As a child, she learned the benefits to using yoga to calm the body and mind. Naomi’s peaceful demeanor compliments her love for yoga. She believes in all the ways yoga helps to restore our lives, it is very healing to the mind, body and the spirit. Naomi is passionate to teach others and have them personally learn the benefits of practicing yoga. Helping others to find their balance and peace is her goal in teaching. Naomi has been trained in Hatha Yoga under Jenny Lintvedt and Heidi Dietrich through Yen Yoga in Traverse City. She has Earned her 200 hour Yoga Certification and is registered with Yoga Alliance. Naomi is grateful to be able to share, a peaceful and natural lifestyle with the students of Blooming Lotus. When Naomi is not practicing yoga, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs. Loves being outdoors, hiking, camping, traveling, volunteering and making arts and crafts.
Amanda Jackson, CYT
“I began practicing yoga while studying Health Education at Northern Michigan University to improve my flexibility and to supplement my love for distance running. With regular practice, yoga quickly developed into a passion that I now find essential for balance and focus.
While living abroad and teaching Children’s Yoga in South Korea, the yoga community in Seoul became my biggest source of comfort in a foreign culture. My regular yoga practice while living and working abroad was my primary means of stress relief. I had the opportunity to further my practice and study under K.C. Mahesh at Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga Mysore Kerala where I completed my 200 hour level training in Ashtanga Vinyasa. I am also insured and registered with Yoga Alliance.
I view yoga as a continuous opportunity for growth on and off the mat. It is my goal to be able to promote health in my community and to help others improve the quality of their lives through yoga. I am excited to have the opportunity to be a part of Blooming Lotus and the yoga community in the Traverse City area.”