Our Team

Urban Balance features experienced and dedicated yoga, Pilates, meditation instructors, massage therapists and registered dietitians, all of whom have graduated from the best schools and training programs. They have extensive experience customizing each class to serve employees of all levels and abilities. Within every type of office setting, our team understands how to adjust their styles to match company cultures and ensure classes flow efficiently and effectively.

Rebecca Schefstrom

An experienced entrepreneur and an energetic contributor to the Portland yoga and Pilates community for many years, Rebecca is the founder and owner of Urban Balance. Rebecca’s passion for helping people discover the benefits of yoga and Pilates is reflected in the mission of the company: to be a mobile studio devoted to workplace classes that bring happiness and health to busy professionals.

Rebecca has been a certified yoga teacher for fifteen years and a certified STOTT Pilates instructor since 2010. Her experience teaching in the corporate world includes yoga, Pilates, and meditation. A firm believer in the importance of keeping things fresh, Rebecca has completed additional trainings to deepen her understanding of the human body, movement, and rehabilitation. These trainings include the Forrest Yoga teacher training and mentorship program as well as extensive Pilates modules such as Injuries and Special Populations taken though Pilates NW in 2013.

The success of Rebecca’s classes comes from her natural ability to identify opportunities to empower, motivate, and guide students in achieving their personal wellness goals. Rebecca embraces a professional and playful approach to her teaching that makes students of all ages and experience levels feel at ease. She takes to heart one of her favorite teacher’s quotes – “teach to learn” – and continues to learn from her students and from her own practice.

Carole Moritz

Carole’s teaching style is adaptable, focused and dedicated. She creates a safe environment where students cultivate strength, flexibility, endurance and compassion. Carole guides students toward a deeper mind-body connection for maintaining health. She emphasizes yoga as a moving meditation on the mat where one can carry that focus and intention off the mat.

A practitioner for many years, Carole is devoted to her practice. She is honored to be a part of the community of teachers and students. In her other life, she is a freelance writer and mom of 2 daughters.

Kacie Dart

Kacie is fascinated by how the human body works, and her passion is discovering how to help the body function at its best. Kacie discovered the transformative power of Pilates 5 years ago when she started her practice to manage her scoliosis. As her personal practice developed, Kacie fell in love with Pilates and the way that it gave her confidence, sense of self, stability and wellness. This personal growth influenced her to reassess how she wanted to make a positive impact on the world. She changed her career path to focus on helping others find the physical and mental strength that Pilates gave to her. Kacie became STOTT Pilates certified to influence others to discover their own confidence, wellness and body-mind connection.

When not on the mat Kacie enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest with her dog Theo, playing disc golf, reading, and studying biomechanics. Kacie finds great joy in watching her clients transform from a place of pain, discomfort from sedentary lifestyles to a place of mobility, stability, and wellness. Her work inspires her to continue on her own path to wellness.

Lisa Blood

Lisa Blood

A transplant from Nebraska, Lisa moved to Portland in 1998 and loves it here! Lisa attended PNCA and received a BFA in photography in 2002. Her love of movement and expression through yoga gravitated her toward the Yoga path and later to teaching. Lisa feels that yoga creates a common ground for herself and others to connect. She has been practicing here in Portland since 2001 and teaching for the last 13 years. Completing her first training in 2003 with Paul Grilley.

A 200-hour certification was next and in 2010 a trip to India to complete a 500-hour training. Yin and vinyasa yoga are Lisa’s favorite to teach as they both leave space for expression and release.

Mandee Pearson

Mandee Louie

Mandee’s passion for Pilates has evolved into a commitment to make doing what she loves her career path. When she began practicing Pilates in 2001, she fell in love with the way it both lengthened and strengthened muscles simultaneously, achieving the results she wanted without the exhausting effort. Mandee’s belief in this incredible system led her to pursue a full Stott Pilates certification in 2011. Since then, her fascination with the intricacies of the human body has driven her to continue learning about muscle firing patterns, posture, and injury rehabilitation. She enjoys working with athletes, rehab clients, and those in pain.

As a teacher, Mandee finds great satisfaction in seeing the success of the Pilates method in empowering her clients to get out of pain. Her classes focus on alignment, breath and the mind-body connection while also providing a challenging workout. Mandee has found Pilates to be a complement to high-impact activities, and she teaches workshops for athletes such as Skiers & Snowboarders.

In 2015, Mandee left her corporate job as an apparel developer at Nike to pursue a career in wellness full-time. She finds deep joy in making her passion her lifestyle, and sharing it with others brings her happiness that is evident in her teaching.

Jean Leavenworth

Jean Leavenworth

One of the original founders of Pacific NW Pilates, Jean now teaches clients at Stoke Pilates and at the MAC. She also works as an Instructor Trainer for STOTT PILATES certification courses and workshops around the world.

Formerly a modern dancer who trained with artists such as Hanya Holm, Erick Hawkins and Tandy Beal, Jean helped create the degree program in dance at Pomona College as an undergraduate. She received an M.S. in Kinesiology from Indiana University in 1988, and went on to pursue a PhD in Dance Education from New York University. Jean has also studied extensively with Australian physiotherapist, Greta Von Gavel, and has received training in Laban Movement Analysis, Alexander Technique and Body-Mind Centering Technique.

Jean was first introduced to pilates in 1992, while in New York, and fell in love with the way it made her body feel. She became a STOTT PILATES certified instructor in 1998, and an Instructor Trainer in 2000. Jean has taught in physical therapy clinics, health clubs and private studios throughout Portland and has taught overseas for STOTT PILATES in South Korea, Cyprus, Ireland, Iceland, Taiwan, Japan, India and Kuwait.

Zina Krivoruk

Zina Krivoruk

Zina began her meditation journey at the age of 18, while recovering from an unexpected surgery necessitated after four intensive years of high school wrestling. Her philosophy of combining meditation, yoga, and basic psychology translates into a compassionate, practical approach to student-centered teaching.

Zina focuses on providing students with tools they can use to enhance their lives, both professional and personal. Her background in education—she has an MA in English literature and teaches writing at the college level—enhances her ability to help students, as she understands how yoga and meditation can assist within a busy life.

Zina is a certified practicing hypnotist who combines yoga with mind training. She teaches people how to create balance and peace in their lives. Zina teaches regular Meditation, Yin Yoga, and Yoga Nidra workshops as well as working with clients one-on-one. She continues her personal training in yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and hypnosis because she believes that, to be a better teacher, she must remain a curious student always.

Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson’s lifelong commitment to the exploration of movement has lead to a mind-body practice that emphasizes breath awareness as a means to release stress to create inner (and outer) balance. Emma received her Yoga Teacher Certification and Advance Training at White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, Pilates certification from BASI, and certification in BarreWorks from YogaWorks in San Francisco.

She also earned her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, ghostwrites and edits for The Teaching Company, has served as artistic director for several dance companies, and created a yoga program for homeless teens in Iowa City. Emma currently runs a nonprofit: Writing My Way Back Home—A Veterans’ Writing Workshop, to continue helping U.S. military personnel find their way home through writing. A recent transplant to Portland, she looks forward to smelling the roses.

Lisa Hagerman

Lisa Hagerman

Lisa Hagerman has been a student of movement her entire life teaching an array of fitness classes such as Cardio Kickboxing, Weight Training, BOSU and Yoga Flow. After discovering the health benefits of Pilates, she became immersed in the study of Contrology and later graduated from the Core Dynamics Pilates Program in 2005.

Always seeking more, she went on to study the esteemed classical tradition of Romana Kryzanowska through the Pilates Center of Boulder where she received her Teacher Training and Master’s Program diplomas. Through Pilates, Lisa feels stronger, more flexible and more empowered to approach life and movement with confidence.

Lisa enjoys traveling, teaching and spreading her enthusiasm for Pilates all over the world.

Lyra Butler-Denman

Lyra Butler-Denman

Lyra Butler-Denman began her study of the Alexander work over a decade ago. As a young dancer she used the Alexander principles to help find efficiency, strength, and presence. After spine injury years later, that left her severely incapacitated, she re-discovered the Alexander work. She credits Alexander not only with restoring her health, function, and dance career but also in allowing her to awaken to a stronger and smarter body and a deeper understanding of herself. Lyra became an Alexander teacher to share with her clients the profoundly transformational tools it has to offer and to help others find the ease that has been so freeing for her.

She has taught in the US and Europe and is currently an assistant faculty member at the Contemporary Alexander School. Lyra studied at the Alexander Alliance SW/NW and the Alexander Alliance Germany. She is certified as an Alexander Technique teacher by Robyn Avalon, the Alexander Alliance SW/NW and the Contemporary Alexander School.

Becca King

Becca King

Becca found yoga by accident when a friend lent her a mat for class at 24 hr. Fitness. After trying the class she thought “well, I guess I’m going to be doing THIS for the rest of my life!.” Her teaching path began in 2012 when she completed Living Yoga’s Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher Training and started bringing yoga into recovery centers and schools for troubled youth. In 2013 she completed Ana Forrest’s 225 hr teacher training. Becca was inspired by her first Forrest teacher- Angelina Vasile and Forrest yoga’s challenging and therapeutic approach and clear understanding of bio-mechanics. She followed this training with the year-long Forrest Yoga Mentorship with Brian Campbell, one of Ana Forrest’s original Forrest Yoga Guardians. A firm believer that to be in integrity as a teacher one must continue to practice, empower and educate oneself, she recently finished the Yoga Bodyworkers Teacher Training with Jambo Truong and Brian Campbell.

Becca excels working with a spectrum of students from the “time experienced” to athletes and those working with injuries and eating disorders. Becca gets jazzed about discovering and working with Torque-physical, mental and emotional, both in herself and in her students. It’s just as important that you notice you are gripping your toes and throwing your knees and hips out of alignment as it is that you notice your internal dialogue is negative and not helping you!

Outside of yoga, Becca enjoys riding motorcycles, nerding out on sci-fi and exploring the beautiful nature of the Pacific Northwest-when she has time!

Heather Shaw

Heather Shaw began practicing yoga in 1998 as a way to balance her life as a dancer in New York City. Her mat quickly became her refuge – a place where she could enjoy movement minus the self-conscious performance aspect. By 2002, she was teaching yoga full time at studios such as OM yoga center, Kula Yoga Project and Exhale Spa. In addition, she has led teacher trainings both in NYC and Portland, as well as served as a teaching assistant to international yoga teacher Shiva Rea.

Heather’s classes are rooted deeply in her own daily asana and meditation practices, blending clarity of alignment with fluidity of breath and reflecting the wisdom of the many yogis who have guided her over the years. A student of Tibetan Buddhist meditation, Heather continues to study with her longtime friend and (very first) meditation instructor, Ethan Nichtern. In 2018, she completed certification in Contemplative Psychotherapy through the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science (NYC) and currently serves as teaching assistant for the Contemplative Studies Program, under the direction of her mentor, Dr. Miles Neale.

These days, Heather tests the mettle of her practice designing and implementing mindfulness curriculum in schools K-12, as well as offering meditation instruction to people of all ages. To learn more visit: www.tejaseyogapdx.com

Brionna

Brionna Brouhard

Brionna has been a practicing Oregon Licensed Massage Therapist since December 2007 and additionally in Washington state since 2018.  She graduated from the Oregon School of Massage, focusing on Eastern Modalities and Shiatsu Massage. Brionna loves the variety and challenge of bringing the highest quality massage directly to clients, in-home or at workplaces and events.

She enjoys chair massage the best, finding it to be the most stimulating, providing variety of work experience for herself as well as maximum relief to clients hard at work at their offices. When not massaging, Brionna enjoys life in Portland and hula hoops, sings karaoke often, and plays bass.

Diana Hulet

Diana Hulet

Diana began her study of yoga at a young age with books written by healers and meditation practitioners – gifted to her by her mother. Her father taught her the beauty and connection found in the natural world. After taking her first formal yoga class as a college course in 1990, she committed to engaging both the physical and the mental discipline of a daily practice. Diana continued her studies at the Integral Yoga Institute in New York, then eventually moved West and completed a 200 hour teacher training at the Center for Yoga in Los Angeles.

With the support of her teachers, and a healthy amount of ambition, Diana moved to Portland and began her teaching practice in 2004. While she has been influenced by many luminaries across the tradition of yoga, Diana has always seen the unpredictable and beautiful circumstances of life as her greatest teacher. In 2007, she co-founded The Bhaktishop Yoga Center in Southeast Portland, teaching weekly classes, retreats and teacher training programs. As her teaching life flourished, Diana’s personal life took a drastic turn; in 2010, Diana was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her willingness to persevere through the uncertainty and distinct beauty of having a chronic illness informs her teachings and keeps her focus on yoga as both a transformative and accessible practice.

After studying yoga philosophy outside of the traditional academic world, Diana returned to school in 2017 and is now completing her undergraduate degree with a major in Religious Studies at Oregon State University, which includes research work in Eastern Philosophy and Environmental Ethics. In 2018, she became involved as a presenter for Asha International, a local non-profit organization focusing on women’s mental health, and led the opening practice for their Grit & Grace conference. Diana has also recently served as a Teaching Assistant for Embodied Philosophy and the Portland Yoga Director for TruFusion. She currently teaches weekly classes, continuing education workshops, and immersive trainings throughout the Portland area.

Diana’s practice extends over three decades and she has been teaching full time since 2004; she infuses her teaching with felt experience, weaving mindfulness and yoga philosophy into asana classes. When out of the studio, Diana spends her time in the natural world, taking long beach walks or forest hikes with her favorite canine, Lita.

Mallory Ginis, MScN

Mallory Ginis, MScN

Mallory is a Holistic Nutritionist specialized in creating nutritionally balanced, whole food based, home-cooked meals with the goal to help people discover their connection with food.

She is a Michigan native who saw the rich foodie culture of Portland when visiting her big brother in 2012 and decided then and there that one day she would move across country. She graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences, but found limited avenues for nutritional, holistic based medicine. Her dreams of moving to Portland came true when she began her education at the National University of Natural Medicine where she graduated with a Master of Science in Nutrition in 2019. There she found her passion: exploring the connection between food, health, and community.

She enjoys being in the kitchen, hands-on with whole food, and experimenting with new food combinations that provide health benefits and bring joy. She is amazed at the power of food and the way it brings people and cultures together. In her spare time she is growing food in her community garden, preparing meals for her family, getting creative with crafting and drawing, and spending time with her fiancé.

Monika Gold

Monika Gold

Monika began practicing Yoga in 1999 as a balance to running and cycling. Realizing the health benefits of Yoga she fell in love with a regular practice, and soon after trained to become a certified instructor. Over the years, she has added therapeutic work, corrective exercise, and a Pilates certification to the teaching practice. Monika’s greatest reward is seeing clients tap into their breath, find ease in proper body alignment, and move with awareness – simple principles that make all the difference between discomfort or injury, and comfort and well-being.

Briley Jozwiak

Briley Jozwiak

Briley is a fully certified STOTT Pilates instructor who teaches private and group classes at Pacific NW Pilates. Formerly a professional ballet dancer working for elite companies such as Atlanta Ballet and Nevada Ballet Theatre, Briley returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2015 to pursue other forms of dance. She has been working with contemporary dance company, Push/FOLD ever since.

As a dancer, Pilates has always been a cross-training tool to increase her body awareness, power, and strength. She utilizes her background in dance and athleticism to expand her clients’ awareness of their own bodies, helping them achieve efficient movement patterns. Briley believes the mind-body connection practiced in Pilates can be transferred over into every aspect of life. She encourages her clients to work internally offering creative imagery and tactile cueing. Her classes heavily focus on stabilizing the pelvis combining matwork and standing work.

Michelle Stokes

Michele Stokes

Michele is the the owner/operator of Gyre Bodyworks. She received her massage therapy license from East West College of the Healing Arts. She has been a massage therapist for over 24 years and has worked in a number of capacities including wellness clinics, spas, chiropractic offices, health clubs, private practice, and on-site chair massage.

She is well versed in a variety of massage techniques, including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, Pregnancy, Trigger Point, Reflexology, Reiki, and Hot-Stone. Michele believes the most important aspect of therapeutic treatment is listening to and observing clients in order to anticipate individual needs and sensitivities. She also incorporates comfort, warmth, and aromatherapy into each massage treatment she performs.

Michele has also been teaching movement and fitness for over 20 years and has been specializing in yoga and Pilates for over 10 years. She has studied yoga at Holiday’s Health and Fitness, Yoga Bhoga, and Yoga Union, and currently holds certificates through Yogafit.

She studied Pilates while receiving her Dance degree. She is now a Certified Stott Pilates Mat and Reformer Trainer and includes the Pilates Reformer in her work with private clients. Michele’s Pilates training has included training with Stott Pilates Group Training, IWWA, and 24 Hour Fitness.

Michele is always hungry to continue her studies and learn new things. Her hobbies include being outdoors, hiking with her dog and reading as many books as she can manage.

Phoebe Schiff

Phoebe Schiff

When Phoebe was a senior in college, she took her first yoga class and experienced an interesting paradox: she felt completely at home doing something she’d never done before. She started going to class regularly, fueled by an intuitive feeling that yoga was preparing or perhaps even training her for something important. She wasn’t quite sure what it was, but she continued to practice.

That something, she would come to find out later on, was life. Yoga was how she learned to prepare for, and practice, life.

In 2016, she completed training in Anusara Yoga in Los Angeles under the guidance of Keric Morinaga. Anusara Yoga introduced Phoebe to the realm of yoga philosophy, a discipline that offered her new perspectives on her practice, teaching and life.

Phoebe’s mission is to hold space for her students as they grow in their practice, self-awareness and lives.

This mission extends off of the mat into her Account Manager position with Urban Balance, where she connects with companies ready to offer their employees wellness programming that allows them to show up centered, healthy and focused for work each day. She also has a weekly podcast, Yoga Chit Chat, where she, along with her teacher Keric, explore the modern understandings of Sanskrit words and yoga philosophy, on and off the mat.

Kasey Stewart

Kasey Stewart

Kasey first came to yoga as a college student looking for something to fill the space left after a busy childhood filled with team sports and dance training. At first, she loved the buzz she got from doing a hot, sweaty practice and the sense of accomplishment that came from stretching deeply and shooting for the perfect pose. But what brought her to the path of yoga is much different than what brought her to those first classes. Several years in, yoga begged her to be curious about the sense of disconnection and otherness she felt from her earliest days. It also led her to address and begin to heal within herself the effects of intergenerational trauma in her family.

In 2010, in an effort to give back to this community and continue down the path of healing, Kasey became a volunteer teacher with Living Yoga, an organization that brings trauma-informed yoga classes to youth and adults who are incarcerated, in recovery, or accessing other types of transitional services. She went on to complete a 200 hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training at the Movement Center in Portland, OR in 2012, and in 2019 she completed a 300 hour Advanced Teacher Training & Teaching Mentorship program with Leslie Ellis of HeartSong Yoga & Wellness.

Kasey is skilled at guiding students with a wide range of needs and abilities. In class, she’ll encourage you to find a balance between strength and softness, and invite you to honor the “you” who shows up to your mat on any given day, while also looking out onto the horizon to discover new ways of being — on the mat and in your life. In her experience, our bodies are vehicles that can lead us toward greater freedom in our mind and heart. Once we learn to befriend them, we can truly grow.

In addition to teaching, Kasey also provides behind-the-scenes support at Urban Balance in her role as an Executive Assistant and Project Manager. Outside of yoga, she enjoys swimming (one of her life-long movement practices), attending live music performances, and meeting new furry friends as a dog sitter.

Alexander Magnifique

Alexander Magnifique

Alexander Magnifique is a licensed massage therapist in the state of Oregon. He graduated from East West College of Healing Arts in 2016 with a focus in deep tissue, myofascial, and structural bodywork. Alex has always had an interest in Chinese herbal remedies and bodywork, leading to an apprenticeship with “Doc” Ron Rosen.

He loves spreading the message of health and wellness though his massage practice, empowering clients to continue feeling good, even after the massage is over. When he is not doing massage, he runs a no-cost after-school program and writes haiku.

Megan Antosik, MS, RDN, LD

Megan Antosik, MS, RDN, LD

Megan Antosik, MS, RDN, LD has worked to understand the connection between food and activity from a young age. During her time as a collegiate athlete trying to juggle class, practice, and a part-time job, she was motivated to create a sustainable meal plan that kept her fueled for the long haul.

Her love for food and the connection to performance have transformed into a career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). She earned a Master of Science degree in clinical nutrition from Oregon Health & Science University and has since worked as a clinical dietitian. As a dietitian, athlete, and home cook, she creates recipes that focus on nutritious whole foods to nourish optimal performance and good health.

Jennifer Holzapfel-Hanson

Jennifer Holzapfel-Hanson

Jennifer Holzapfel-Hanson teaches privately and has led insightful group classes at the Multnomah Athletic Club since 2009, including yoga, meditation, aqua yoga, mat Pilates and balance classes for seniors. She brings forward from her teachers a reverence for the breath in helping to reveal the deeper dimensions of the spirit. Jennifer enjoys working with her students on individual alignment as a tool for revealing the more subtle energies of their practice.

Jennifer is a passionate part of the Kundalini community in Portland and has deepened her practice of this style over the past few years. After completing her 200-hour vinyasa yoga certification at Yoga Sutra in Manhattan in Feb. 2008, Jennifer moved to Portland. She continued her education in South India at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM) for a month where she studied yoga therapeutics and Vedic chanting. In June 2011 she completed an intensive 100-hour Anusara-based training in Portland.

Expanding on her yoga certifications, Jennifer received her mat-Pilates certification from the American Sports and Fitness Association (ASFA) in 2016 and her Aquatic Fitness Professional certification from the Aquatics Exercise Association (AEA) in 2017.

An avid road cyclist, Jennifer has taught yoga as a volunteer during the Cycle Oregon week-long and weekend rides since 2009, except for 2012 and 2013 when she lived in East Java, Indonesia as a Peace Corps Volunteer. In addition to teaching yoga, Jennifer is writer and certified beekeeper with a professional background in journalism and marketing communications.

Urban Balance Instructors Provide Yoga, Pilates and Meditation in a Corporate Setting