Patrice first attended a yoga class in 2008, but dismissed yoga as “just stretching.” Thankfully, she began practicing yoga regularly in 2012 after a friend persuaded her to try a hot yoga class. Hot yoga felt more like a “workout” than “just stretching” and with a steady practice came the ability to see progress in herself on and off the mat. Patrice fell in love with the mental benefits of inner peace that the yoga practice provides. For at least one hour during class emails, calls, to-do lists and even anxiety were far away. Consistently attending yoga classes several times a week after leaving her high stress job also helped create healthy boundaries to ensure appropriate work/life balance.
Inspired by the life-changing effects of Yoga in her own life, Patrice completed Yoga Teacher Training at Carrboro Yoga Company to help impart the benefits of yoga to others. Patrice’s contagious, bubbly personality help to drive non-judgemental thoughtful yet playful classes that leave participants feeling refreshed. Patrice truly believes that strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet so expect to feel like a friend in her class. During class you are almost guaranteed to hear some of her favorite hip-hop, R&B, pop and alternative jams during class. Outside of yoga Patrice enjoys traveling, tennis, hiking and reading.
Amber began her yoga journey in 2007, attending yoga as part of a sampling of classes offered at her local gym. While initially she only enjoyed shavansa at the end of class lying- still and breathing in corpse pose to calm her busy mind, she fell in love with the challenge of both listening to and directing her body to grasp the range of yoga poses.
Kujichagulia is the principle of self-determination. Through yoga, Amber grows in the commitment and practice of choosing for herself her thoughts and actions. Whether it's holding a balance pose longer, pushing a stretch pose further, or enjoying our days better, Amber believes in everyone's ability to drive change in both their minds and bodies through yoga.
Elizabeth is a Triangle area native who initially began practicing yoga while in college. After moving back to Raleigh, she found herself more deeply invested in her practice and began to explore new opportunities. Elizabeth has found yoga to be incredibly powerful and supportive, particularly as she has navigated personal loss and the stresses of graduate school.
In May 2017, Elizabeth completed the Skill in Action yoga teacher training with Michelle Johnson and earned her RYT 200 certification. She is dedicated to seeking out inclusive and accessible spaces to practice and teach yoga. Elizabeth aspires to integrate yoga into her future work as a public health social worker, as a way for others to find rest, feel supported, and initiate healing.
Elizabeth’s classes center on using the breath to flow between movements, in order to open up space and build strength in the mind and the body.
I began my Yoga journey in 2002 using VHS tapes as a way to calm my busy mind. In 2004, I began taking group classes through the local YMCA. Soon thereafter, I found Hot Yoga when a new studio came to the area. As my practice continued to grow, my interest in teaching also grew. I wanted to share what I’d learned with others.
I completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Hot Asana Yoga Studio in Danville, VA but the learning is ongoing. A lot has changed since I received my certification, but yoga has been one constant that never fails to bring me solace. In my personal practice it’s just me and my mat. Everything else falls away. There’s no fear, anger, shame, sadness, anxiety or frustration. There is simply time and space, breath and movement. I guess you could say it’s the feeling an artist gets when they’re alone with a fresh canvas, the musician when they strum the strings or tickle the ivories, or the dancer as they float across the floor. It’s an experience that I look forward to whenever I practice and it’s an experience I’d love to share with you.
Angela Y. Griffin is a management analyst and a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher. Angela received her training from Indigo Hot Yoga Center in Raleigh. She has been a life long fitness and health advocate as early as childhood and through adulthood. She was a track star in high school earning a state record and college scholarship for triple jump. Outside of “living” yoga, Angela loves to run, cycle, and swim.
Angela started yoga in 2013 gravitating towards hot yoga and the Bikram 26 hatha postures and their many benefits. Her passion is for Gentle and Yin yoga. Angela finds that the practice of yoga brings clarity, calmness and an overall sense of peace to her life. Her passion is to share this with everyone she comes in contact. A message that Angela tries to spread is that you do not have to be flexible to do yoga. Yoga is a lifestyle and we have so much power in our breath.
You are invited to join Angela at one of the yoga sessions that can be tailored to help you stretch your mind and body, thus helping to alleviate stress, and encourage whole body wellness.
Michelle began their yoga practice with mindfulness and meditation in college. However, after earning her MSW in Colorado and moving to Durham, she really started to embrace yoga as a way to heal, to understand, and to be. As a survivor of sexual violence, Michelle has struggled with depression and anxiety most of their life. Yoga has been their primary method of healing and feeling whole again. Through the offering of yoga, Michelle aspires to support others in connecting to their bodies and breath, in creating nourishing self-love practices, and ultimately in embracing individual and collective growth and healing. Because of her experience in non-inclusive yoga spaces, especially as an autistic queer nonbinary femme, she strives to create inclusive ones (which perfectly aligns with the Colors of Yoga way)! Michelle aims to create accessible and inclusive yoga practices in an intersectional, body positive, affirming, and trauma-informed environment. Her classes are gentle and slow, and intend to help you feel more connected and whole.
Michelle has completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training through MindBody Centering Yoga in Durham, and an additional 200 hour training, Skill in Action, in Chapel Hill. At the beginning of 2019, Michelle will finish their training to become a death doula and will also publish their first children’s book.
Toni attended her second Yoga class in 2016. After a client told her to come take some beginner yoga classes to help her stretch her muscles after a vigorous workout and tax season. But to Toni’s surprise it was a Hot yoga class and she really enjoyed the movement and has been hooked ever since.
After seeing some results from her health her doctor told toni to keep doing yoga, as it has benefits far beyond what we may initially think. Toni completed her Yoga Teacher Training at Hot Asana University. During class you are almost guaranteed to hear some of her favorite hip-hop, R &B, jazz and gospel.
Outside of yoga Toni enjoys traveling, women's basketball, and selling Real Estate.
Jaclyn Sappah, LCSW, E-RYT500, C-IAYT. Yoga Instructor
Jaclyn found yoga in 2002, became certified to teach in 2013, and later advanced her training in the healing aspects of yoga (i.e. meditation, yoga nidra, hatha, raja, restorative), becoming a Certified Yoga Therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Also an Experienced 500-hour Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500), Integral Yoga Certified Instructor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Reiki Master and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Jaclyn draws upon a variety of mind and body practices and clinical skills to empower transformation of the whole self - mind, body and soul.
Jaclyn’s professional experience as a medical social worker, combined with her own journey to overcome chronic illness, inspired within her a passion to help others to love and heal themselves. Jaclyn believes in everyone’s innate ability to love and heal themselves, given the guidance and space to do so! In her “Rest & Restore” classes, Jaclyn creates a nurturing, peaceful space for relaxing yoga poses/techniques, which are meant to awaken the great healing potential that lies within her students. Additionally, Jaclyn teaches yoga classes from a trauma-sensitive perspective, creating a safe and secure environment for all.
Jaclyn completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) through Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville, NC; 300-hour Therapeutic YTT through Prema Yoga Institute/Pure Yoga in NYC; 165-hour Raja YTT through Integral Yoga Academy at Yogaville/Satchidanada Ashram; and a 3 day training, “Yoga for Resiliency and Trauma Recovery,” with Sacred Root Wellness, LLC. Jaclyn is also a qualified Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider, the governing body through which provides CE hours to Registered Yoga Teachers.
Donnae Ward LaughingHouse
Donnae Ward Laughinghouse is originally from the Bahamas. She is a certified personal trainer, fitness educator and nutritionist. Donnae started teaching dance and fitness classes and later stumbled upon the benefits of Yoga for stretching. She created spaces for Yoga for Social change and continues to blend Yoga with other fitness formats to make it fun, engaging and inclusive.
Her main focus has always been minorities battling racial inequalities and health disparities. Donnae is the owner of her wellness business, Hey Donnae LLC and she continues to practice and teach Yoga to bring communities together.