Our Wellness Efforts: A New Age of Precaution Read More
 Root, Heart, and Eye Chakra Bowls at the entrance of The Lodge at Woodloch

Meet our MindBody Experts

Blake France, Yoga 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, 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, Yoga Teacher
In May of 2006, Kazzrie began teaching Qigong, Tai Chi, and Meditation in the Willow Room 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 Room, where you'll light the spark of unlimited possibility through the gentle movements and meditations of Qigong and Tai Chi.

Jen Kiesendahl, Yoga 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 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. Or 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!

Kendra Payne, Yoga Teacher
Kendra began her yoga journey with an at-home VHS workout yoga-tape she had bought from Target. From her first humble home practice, deep love and respect for yoga grew. Because of that love, Kendra dove deeper and deeper into the world of yoga, eventually following her curiosity and heart to India where she would earn her Yoga Teaching Certificate from Chandra Yoga International in India. Newly certified and eager to spread the gospel of yoga, Kendra moved to New York City where she began teaching at several different yoga schools. Her Indian born yoga roots have led her to a passion for traditional Ayurvedic Medicine. Kendra received her 300-hour teaching certificate through Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in New York City. Kendra would describe her teaching practice as positive message first with conscious movement build in. Her goal is to cultivate a mind-body connection that will serve you both on and off the mat. When not teaching yoga, Kendra finds herself still studying and seeking new knowledge, and often traveling to find it.  To further enrich her teaching practice she has learned to play the harmonium, become a Certified Herbalist, and is opening a yoga retreat space and apothecary in Narrowsburg NY.

Alyssa Scheunemann, Yoga 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 Sullivan, Yoga Teacher
Learning, practicing, and teaching yoga has served Susan well for the past 25 years.  In her classes, she strive’s 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 Pracitioner.  In her work at The Lodge, 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 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!