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MindBody Instructors

Angelita Adames, Yoga and Meditation Teacher
Angelita found the beautiful science of yoga after a diagnostic of a chronic illness. At first, her yoga journey was intended to deepen her personal practice to regain health and strength in mind body and spirit however she quickly learned her heart's purpose was in serving others in helping them discover their true, healthy authentic selves, finding the peace and serenity within with a major focus on body alignment and breath control. In 2017, Angelita graduated from a 200 hour yoga teacher training course from a local yoga studio where she has been teaching Vinyasa, Yin, and meditation style classes for four years with a focus on Bhakti culture. Angelita enjoys her free time hiking, mountain/trail bike riding, and traveling where she explores her love for food and culture. Angelita recognized her genuine passion for adventure and curiosity for the anatomy of the body at a very young age and has been applying her studies into practice ever since while continuing her ever growing yogic journey studies at the Himalayan Institute in Pennsylvania.

Sahiba Ahluwalia, Yoga and Meditation Teacher 
Sahiba is an E-RYT 500+ hour certified yoga instructor. She did her 200 hour Hatha yoga training from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Meenakshi Ashram in Madurai, India; her 300 hour Ashtanga vinyasa yoga training from Ashtanga Yoga Mysore in Mysore, India. She is also certified in Yoga Therapy from Yoga Vidya Gurukul in Nasik, India & certified in Aerial yoga from Kashish Yoga in Goa, India. Sahiba’s passion for dance, movement, and guiding people on their wellness journeys has given her the opportunity to share her craft with people of various ages and fitness levels over a span of 15 years.

Don Byer, Yoga and Meditation Teacher
Don Byer has been formally studying Yoga sciences and philosophies for nearly four decades and teaching since 1996. It started with meditation to help bring peace to a troubled adolescent psyche and evolved into a postural practice to aid in healing to a body abused by excess and recklessness. Don is registered ERYT-500 and YACEP and holds several certifications including Sivananda, Sampoorna, AyurYoga and Chi Yoga. His classes blend from his experiences and generally include influences from Iyengar and Viniyoga styles as well. An emphasis on moderation and discipline at the same time is a common theme to the classes he leads. The Golden Rule, Do No Harm. In Don’s words, “It is considered a blessing to have sat in front of teachers and not only pass along these blessings but continue to learn and be blessed by the students who I sit in front of. And so the tradition goes on and on.”

Veronica Fernandez, Yoga and Meditation Teacher
Veronica Fernandez is a yogi and musician who finds joy in uplifting others through her talents. Her first impression of yoga was while performing songs during a class at a local yoga studio. Fascinated by what the class was doing, she was quick to give it a try. Within 3 years, she was 200 hour certified and is eager to continue her education and dedicate her life to yoga. Veronica integrates mantras, chakra healing, and ancient yoga philosophies into her classes for an authentic yoga experience.

Blake France, Yoga, Meditation, and Tai Chi Teacher
Blake holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from the UNC-Greensboro, an M.A. in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy of New York City.  Blake was an Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Southern Mississippi before returning to New York and following a professional career as a dancer in Musical Theatre in NYC, regional theatres and on tour across the United States.  She also taught dance at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, New York Conservatory Theatre, and Circle in the Square. After leaving NYC she ran a Dance and Yoga studio in Highland Lake, NY for 15 years. Blake is presently working on her 500 hour Yoga Therapy Certification studying how Yoga can help people with Parkinson's, arthritis, and those traveling on their personal journey with Cancer.  This year she became certified in TriYoga after studying with master yogini Kali Ray, adding to her 200 Hour EYT certification.  Blake is a ACE Certified Personal Trainer.

Kazzrie Jaxen, Meditation and Tai Chi Teacher
In May of 2006, Kazzrie began teaching Qigong, Tai Chi, and Meditation in the Willow Studio at The Lodge at Woodloch.  She’s been studying the art of Qigong (also spelled Chi Kung) for thirty years.  She’s certified as an Associate Instructor with Healing Tao USA.  Her teachers have included Ronger Shen, Yi Wu, Franklin Kwong, Michael Winn, Tina Zhang, Ron Diana, Karin Sorvik, Robert Peng, and Mantak Chia.   Also a jazz musician, she is currently writing a book about her adventures with music and Taoist Internal Alchemy entitled "Changing Keys."  She experiences the art of Qigong as "body music" that harmonizes the human body with the musical universe around us -- a universe that is perpetually improvising itself into being.  Kazzrie loves the kinesthetic grace of the movements as well as the emphasis on meditative focus and "less effort."  She is deeply honored to welcome you to the Willow Studio, where you'll light the spark of unlimited possibility through the gentle movements and meditations of Qigong and Tai Chi.

Jen Kiesendahl, Yoga and Meditation Teacher
Jen began her yoga journey over two decades ago.  What began as an innovative way to get fit developed into a means of pacifying a naturally anxious personality and further blossomed into a guidepost for life.  With a Masters degree in Pastoral Counseling, Jen is well educated in spiritual and psychological therapeutics.  She is also well versed in dancing, acting, and singing, having performed for more than 10 years professionally.  A 200 hr RYT certification was a natural fit for Jen's life exploration.  She has taught a variety of classes including vinyasa, chair, yin, and therapeutics over the past few years.  Gentle yoga with a focus on alignment and utilizing creative tactics to create body awareness is her favorite modality.  In Jen's class, you can expect a space open to all levels with a lot of breathe awareness, and often flavored with philosophy, pranayama, and chanting.  Her philosophy as a teacher is to be a guide in coming back home to ourselves.

Kimberly Matthew, Yoga, Meditation, and Tai Chi Teacher
Kimberly Matthew received her yoga certification 20 years ago, after an immersion at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. In addition to teaching Hindu based yoga, leading crystal bowl sound baths and mala meditation classes, Kimberly is on an energy quest. Always interested in sharing the magic of the subtle energy bodies with her students through various forms of moving meditation. Sometimes that is Chinese based leading Tai Chi or Qigong classes, other times it's Japanese based with certifications in Reiki and Shinrin-Yoku, the medicine of being in the forest or Forest Bathing. Kim also enjoys working with universal energy as a certified Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator. Kimberly feels that her calling is to have students feel their prana or chi, to have energetic vibration move over them and through them to achieve total wellness and vitality!

Alyssa Scheunemann, Yoga and Meditation Teacher
Alyssa began practicing yoga about 20 years ago in NYC while studying for her BFA in photography at NYU. She received Jivamukti’s intensive 300hr certification directly from Sharon Gannon and David Life in 2003 and Jivamukti’s rigorous 800hr certification in 2004. She has been teaching for over 12 years, including several years at Jivamukti’s flagship studio in NYC, as well as around the U.S., and abroad. In addition to her certifications, Alyssa has studied extensively in both Indian and Tibetan Buddhist traditions, traveling to India and studying with The Dalai Lama. She has received initiation in both Indian and Tibetan traditions and has completed several silent solitary meditation retreats. Alyssa is well versed in both the physical and philosophical aspects of the practice and is adept teaching beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. Alyssa’s classes draw from her own deep practice, feature carefully crafted playlists, masterful hands-on assists, intelligent sequencing and equally deft alignment cues. These elements come together to provide students with a deep and satisfying practice.

Susan Schneider-Levin, MindBody and Fitness Teacher
Susan grew up being extremely active in both her community and her family’s extracurricular activities. She started swimming and sailing at a very young age. For over 20 years Susan home schooled her young children, substitute taught, and worked for her husband’s chiropractic business educating patients on the importance of chiropractic. After years of constantly being on the go, Susan started to get cluster migraines. Her blood pressure started to rise, which was concerning since she was so active, fit, and young. Things needed to change. Susan found that doing yoga helped ease the migraines and lower her blood pressure. That’s when she fell in love with Hot Yoga. In 2019, she became a Health Coach and a 200 hour certified Yoga Instructor through Balance Yoga. This both satisfied her desire to help the community and help herself stay active and healthy. After the death of Susan’s husband, she found meditation, which gave her acceptance and gratitude for all she experienced in the past and in the present moment. Susan presently is an enthusiastic mind/body/fitness instructor here at The Lodge at Woodloch. She teaches Chakra Yoga, Aqua Tabata, and Aqua Toning. She seeks people who desire to hone their body, spirit, and soul through breath work, meditation, and movement.

Susan Sullivan, Yoga and Meditation Teacher
Learning, practicing, and teaching yoga has served Susan well for the past 25 years.  In her classes, she strives to blend challenge and ease.  She teaches classic hatha yoga postures, with a focus on alignment derived from the Iyengar method, and a focus on mindfulness and awareness that comes from her training as a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner.  In her work at The Lodge at Woodloch, her goal is to make yoga  and meditation accessible to anyone who wants to experience the benefits of these ancient practices.  Susan is a Certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner, and is registered with the Yoga Alliance.

Alicia Urban, Yoga and Meditation Teacher
After owning and running a local horse facility for 20 years Alicia decided it was time to do something different. She pursued personal training, Pilates, and sport yoga certifications but found that Yoga - its philosophy as well as physicality suited her best. She then enrolled in a Dharma Mittra style yoga training at the North Carolina School of Yoga in 2005. After graduating she began teaching at The Lodge at Woodloch in 2006. Her personal practice is Dharma inspired Vinyasa, sometimes regimented ashtanga, and she’s taken classes from Hawaii to Alaska to New York City to keep her current and inspired. She has since been certified in yoga wall trainings, SUP yoga, barre, and Pilates reformer, and has completed her 50th birthday goal of doing a headstand in all 50 states!