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 is the founder and CEO of Urban Balance. For over 20 years, Rebecca has been an energetic contributor to the wellness industry as a yoga and Pilates teacher and an entrepreneur.
An experienced movement teacher with 1000+ hours of training and study across the two disciplines, Rebecca has led yoga and Pilates classes for industry-leading corporate clients and taught in top-tier health club and hospital settings including Nike, Providence, Legacy Health, and Multnomah Athletic Club.
Rebecca is the co-chair of the Wellbeing Think Tank, a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and empower employers on the value of supporting individual and organizational wellbeing in the workplace. She also leads local and international retreats and speaks publicly on topics related to workplace wellness.
Carole is a roll-up-the-sleeves professional, who continued her communications career and started her own business in the growing wellness industry. Her keen interest in the application of yoga and mind/body practices for medical settings led her to pursue training and certification in mindfulness education and specialized in yoga for chronic pain. She applied her expertise to working with special populations largely in clinical settings and private clientele.
As an expert networker, connector and collaborator, she works with all levels of individuals to structure a client’s session to be relevant to their everyday lives by making their movement practice a tool to create space, release tensions and allow the freedom and joy of making the client’s practice their own.
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.
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.
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 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’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 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 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 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!
Since 1998, Heather Shaw has been a student of yoga and meditation, steeped in the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as Western psychotherapy and neuroscience. Embodied practice is at the root of Heather’s offerings, which are influenced by her unique background in dance/choreography, combined with nearly two decades of yoga teaching experience, all underpinned by dedicated scholarship in both dharmic philosophy and contemplative psychotherapy. In addition to teaching yoga, she is a contemplative coach, offering personal meditation instruction and mentorship for individuals looking to deepen their personal practice. To learn more about Heather, visit www.heathershaw-heartmind.com
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.
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 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.
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 is a yoga teacher, corporate wellness professional, speaker, and writer. She is fascinated by life and is in perpetual awe and study of the human experience. Phoebe blends her background of marketing and business with her passion for wellness by offering strategies, tools, and perspectives on well-being that are accessible, digestible, and approachable for all. Phoebe is originally from the suburbs of Washington D.C., and spent the bulk of her twenties in Southern California. She now proudly calls the Pacific Northwest home and resides in Portland. When she’s not working, she’s likely practicing yoga, getting adventurous in the kitchen, connecting with friends and family, or blasting her mind open listening to philosophy books and podcasts.
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), cooking, and attending live music performances.
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 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.
Kristen Leadem fell in love with ZUMBA® Fitness the moment she attended her first class in 2009. Inspired by how this fun dance fitness workout done to Latin and international rhythms is a fast, effective way to burn calories, increase endorphins and enhance mood, she thought it would be the perfect thing to help cope with the stress of working in Afghanistan, the grief of her father’s terminal illness and to combat her lifelong weight ‘issues’. The mind*body*spirit connection that Kristen experiences and encourages while engaging in Zumba® is the foundation of her approach to wellness.
Kristen officially launched her Zumba® career when she brought Zumba to Pokhara, Nepal in 2010. Since then, she has enjoyed teaching several classes per week to diverse populations while working internationally and upon returning to make Portland her home in 2014.
Kristen strives to make every class fun, inclusive and a challenge for all fitness levels so that you look forward to coming and leave motivated, inspired, and fueled to thrive in your dynamic life. Kristen helps people who shy away from gyms or group fitness class and “can’t dance” to find their rhythm and get a great workout and offers high energy, intensity for fitness fanatics alike. Her favorite phrase is, “Go at your own body’s fitness level and with how you are feeling today. Modify! Intensify! Do YOU”.
Kristen is trained in Zumba® specialty formats including: Toning, Gold, Gold Toning, Aqua, Sentao, and Kids + Kids Jr. She has a master’s degree in International Development and Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon and extensive international work history in the fields of humanitarian assistance, education, health and disability. When she is not teaching Zumba®, Toning or Gold in community or corporate settings, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being in nature, traveling and working with SATHI Nepal, a nonprofit she co-founded to support education in Nepal.
Casey Marie Burns, M.A., NBC-HWC
Holistic Health & Wellness Coach
Casey Marie Burns is a nationally board certified health a wellness coach possessing a Master of Arts in Health and Wellness Coaching with a concentration in Nutrition. Passionate about the topics of self-care, holistic living, and mindfulness meditation, she has led wellness workshops for major corporations throughout the United States.
In the midst of her own health crisis, Casey became determined to heal as naturally and safely as possible from more than 15 health conditions that had left her sick and bedridden. Because of her personal healing journey, Casey takes a holistic approach to her work by educating groups and individuals on how to harness the power of the mind, body and spirit connection. She believes that by tuning into each of these areas of a person’s life, they can experience deep healing on multiple levels, as well as transformational life changes.
In addition to her coaching skills, Casey brings a healing presence to her work through her training in energy healing, including Reiki, and is currently enrolled in Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach’s Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program through The Awareness Training Institute and the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley.
In addition to coaching individuals and presenting wellness workshops to corporations, Casey has been interviewed on multiple podcasts and national websites, and is currently writing her first book.
For more information, please visit Casey’s website at www.healthcoachcasey.com
Ishbel Cavaleri is a certified Nutritional Therapist and movement therapist. She has been teaching yoga and Pilates for almost 20 years and is also a STOTT Pilates instructor trainer. She has trained with The Nutritional Therapy Alliance, Restorative Wellness Solutions, STOTT Pilates and more yoga trainings than there is room to list here. Ishbel has done specialized training in digestion, hormones and food inflammation in order to better serve her clients with complicated health circumstances. She is grateful to be in close contact with her mentors so that she can stay up-to-date on the newest approaches to movement therapy and nutritional therapy as well as the best hormone and digestive tests on the market for identifying imbalances.
Ishbel specializes in helping people with chronic pain, complicated injuries that need ongoing care; digestive and hormone issues; fatigue, allergies and weight loss. Ishbel has received extensive training in gastrointestinal stool testing, food inflammation testing, and hormone testing for men and women (cycling and menopausal). The hormone testing she uses can also identify bone-loss issues associated with menopause. With her nutritional therapy clients, Ishbel uses these tests to curate unique healing protocols. Ishbel has been trained by some of the pre-eminent physical therapists in the Pilates sphere and with her movement therapy clients, works to build self-care routines that keep chronic pain at bay while improving strength and range-of-motion.
You can learn more at ishbelwell.com.
Melissa began dancing at the age of 6, and for the next 15 years, she trained, performed, and competed in the disciplines of jazz, tap, ballet, and hip hop. She began teaching dance in 2003 at several local Portland-area studios, and in 2004 after a teaching residency in a local public school, Melissa discovered her love for teaching in the public school environment and went on to coach competitive middle school and high school dance team for the next 15 years.
Melissa suffered a hip injury in 2012, and after 2 surgeries and years of physical therapy, she found that she was still not physically able to dance or move the way she could before her injury. Upon a recommendation, Melissa started taking a group exercise class called The Ellové Technique, which combined ballet techniques with yoga and Pilates for strength, flexibility, and balance, while also promoting a focus on the alignment of the spine, pelvis, and hips. She practiced the specific techniques being taught in class in addition to her physical therapy, and soon she was back to a place where she could safely dance again. She enjoyed the class so much that in 2015 she went through the training process to become a certified Ellové Technique instructor, and she has been teaching the class ever since!
Melissa considers herself very lucky to have the opportunity to teach both dance and Ellové, and loves to be able to inspire confidence in people of all ages through movement.
Leah Grace Barack
Leah Grace Barack, M.S. is a functional nutritionist with her master’s degree in Human Nutrition & Functional Medicine. From a young age Leah had always been interested in nutrition and health, and later turned this passion into a career after realizing the lack of awareness most people have about how food directly impacts health and wellbeing. A self-proclaimed foodie, she is adamant that good, healthy food does not have to sacrifice taste. Leah recognizes how difficult behavior changes are, and she is committed to educating, guiding, and motivating people to create sustainable lifestyle changes.
She is passionate about making healthy eating accessible to all, and has worked with Food Justice nonprofits and the Oregon Food Bank teaching cooking and nutrition classes to at-risk members of the community.
Leah is also the founder and owner of Grace Functional Nutrition, and offers one-on-one nutritional counseling, meal planning, and workshops.
Learn more at Leah’s website www.GraceFunctionalNutrition.com.
Kelly is a freelance teacher, dancer and choreographer based in Portland, Oregon. Kelly grew up on a farm in Wyoming, dancing in a small town studio, and moved on to receive her B.F.A. in Dance from The University of Montana. In 2018, she became a certified The Ellové Technique® instructor and received the community award to teach accessible and community based classes, which is a big passion for Kelly. Kelly currently teaches dance and Ellové at (Com)motion, Center for Movement Arts, Multnomah Athletic Club and through Portland Parks and Recreation. As an instructor, she inspires you to trust your body’s knowledge and find movement options that fit your individual needs. She will motivate you to find joy and silliness during class.
As a former field athlete, Jennifer sustained multiple injuries. She discovered Pilates during post-rehab and started doing it as a way to diversify her fitness routine while regaining core strength. Immediately she developed a passion for Pilates because of the physical and mental challenges that it provided. During her tenure in Portland, Oregon, she trained employees and athletes at Nike’s World Headquarters. Certified through STOTT Pilates her background includes other multiple trademark certifications that are based upon core movement.
Jennifer considers herself a forever student of the body and continues educating herself in this ever-changing fitness industry. She enjoys connecting with people and strives to challenge each student to discover new possibilities in their bodies. Her style and method of teaching incorporates movements that deliver results. She’s dedicated to creating an environment where everyone can move, connect with their bodies and have fun! When she’s not in Los Angeles you’ll find her training with her clients in Portland, Oregon and Manhattan, New York.
Quinn is a yoga teacher whose focus is on anatomy and curiosity. She believes that the body knows best and will tell us what we need to know. Her classes help us learn to listen. Her teaching style is designed to be accessible and satisfying for all skill levels. In her experience, yoga is a tool for learning how to thrive in the surprises and subtleties of life, and she loves sharing that experience with her students. In addition to yoga, Quinn is a Level II Reiki practitioner, Tarot reader, and is getting pretty good at baking sourdough. When she’s not teaching or practicing, you can find her enjoying nature, reading non-fiction or hanging out with her husband and their tiny cat, Fiona.
Learn more about Quinn at openawarenessyoga.com
Ali is a Certified Nutritionist and founder of Shifting Nutrition. She works one-on-one with clients to bring the body into balance and create a healthy lifestyle around food that is both enjoyable and sustainable. She believes food is medicine and impacts our lives in so many ways ranging from cell nourishment, to emotional, physical and social well-being. She also believes nutrition should be highly individualized and designs meal plans that are catered to your health, your goals and the life you love to live. Her programs teach you how to become in-tune with your body and guide you to fuel yourself in a more natural way. She believes a few shifts in our diet backed by education can be the difference in how we feel and look everyday!
Sarah Laks first became certified in the Pilates method in 2000 from the Ellie Herman Studio in San Francisco. Her background in modern dance, her love and belief in the importance of movement for a healthy life, and the influence and encouragement of her mother, a physical therapist, led her to pursue a career in teaching movement.
Sarah took her skills north to Portland, and for five years, she taught Pilates and became certified in the GYROTONIC ® EXPANSION SYSTEM before heading back down the coast to Los Angeles. There she lived and taught for 9 years, with the majority of it as manager of the Pilates department of Equinox Beverly Hills. While in LA, she also became certified in the GYROTONER ® and got a second comprehensive Pilates certification through Balanced Body.
In the summer of 2019, Sarah and her family moved back to Portland where she has continued to hone her teaching skills, getting a third GYROTONIC ® certification on the Jump Stretch Board, and growing her own virtual teaching business.
Just as the linear nature of Pilates and the circular qualities of GYROTONIC ® complement each other and create a balanced body, Sarah’s experience teaching in boutique studios and in corporate fitness clubs, have helped make her a well-rounded teacher. She loves the challenge of working with people with physical limitations as well as those that are highly conditioned, and everyone in between. Whether in-person or virtually, Sarah loves to teach and loves finding new ways to keep her clients engaged and feeling their best!
Since she was little, Meli knew that she was destined to be a fitness instructor. Her jam was to listen to techno music while wearing her Reeboks and replicating aerobics moves! The reality was that living in South America (Venezuela), there was pressure to choose a “real” career. She decided to attend college in the United States to pursue studies in recording arts, digital media and graphic design/marketing. In college, she learned how to be an entrepreneur and apply all the concepts for her to succeed as a businesswoman in the world of fitness.
While in school and going through major depression and homesickness, she found herself going to the gym surrounded by people who brought happiness to others, and also found her “dream job”. In 2006, she became a Zumba® Instructor and since then, she fell in love with what she was destined to do: move and empower people!
Meli has multiple national fitness certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, AFAA and independent certifications such as TRX, PiYo, Pound, FlowYoga, MadDog Spinning, Zumba (all specialties), Strong Nation and more!
In 2011 she was hand selected by Zumba® Fitness LLC to be part of their Choreographer Team (280 in total around the world) and since 2014, she has been a presenter for Zumba® and at other fitness conferences.
Besides fitness and wellness being her entire life, she loves spending time with her husband (Kevin) and puppy (Blueberry the Cubanito). Her ultimate favorite things are: matcha, hazelnut chocolate and kind people.
Her goal is to spark peoples’ hearts and souls with movement.
Alexa Cooksey, CHN is an Anti-Diet Holistic Nutritionist based out of Oregon. She’s always had a passion for nutrition, but it wasn’t until much later in her life that she decided to pursue those passions as a career. Her history with chronic yo-yo dieting and frustration with trying to eat healthy are what jump started her career change. Alexa spent years trying countless diets that always failed and ultimately led to disordered eating habits and a damaged relationship with food and her body. She became committed to finding a sustainable solution to eating healthy that actually worked…and she did! Her nutrition approach is unique and combines both her years of professional education with her 10+ years of personal experience and research.
Alexa prides herself on taking the path less traveled in the nutrition space and recognizes that her methods go against the norm. She does not believe in things like counting calories, eliminating food groups like carbohydrates, or restricting foods you love like chocolate. Alexa’s practice and methodology leans heavily on intuitive eating, mindful eating, bio-individuality, nutrition science and evidence, and deep mindset work. She believes in focusing on nourishment rather than dieting and that health is about so much more than just weight loss. Alexa’s goal for her clients is really to help them learn how to approach their health from a place of identifying what makes them feel and function at their best.
Currently, Alexa works with women inside of her program The Confident Nourishment Method, to break free from chronic fad dieting, heal their relationship with food and their body, and cultivate more confidence in their ability to nourish themselves properly.
Born and raised in Portland, OR Alexa is a huge foodie. Matcha, chocolate, and carbs are a few of her favorite things. You can almost always find her in the kitchen, whipping up something healthy and delicious. Alexa is passionate about teaching people how easy and fun it is to cook and eat healthy.
Alexa runs her own virtual nutrition practice, Freely Wholesome Nutrition, where she works with women virtually across the country. Her practice is weight inclusive and body positive.
For more information, please visit her website www.freelywholesomenutrition.com
Trace Turville Konerko
One of Trace’s greatest joys is bringing taijiquan (t’ai chi ch’uan) and qigong to all ages and arenas of life. She has had the pleasure of teaching in many different centers, programs and universities over the past 20 years and feels so fortunate to be able to spread awareness of such a deep and healing tradition.
She first began her practice of The Yang Style Long Form of Taijiquan in 1992. As her interest in qigong, taiji, Daoism and Traditional Chinese Medicine grew, she continued to train with and draw inspiration from many renowned teachers and masters in the U.S. and in China.
Trace founded HeartMind T’ai Chi in 2013 as a way to create community and more opportunity for daily practice with a focus on highly personal instruction for individuals and groups. She is humbled and renewed everyday by this tradition and believes fully in its ability to bring us closer to ourselves, each other and the world around us.
Learn more about Trace at www.heartmind-taichi.com
Hanna was well-trained by the Financial Services industry, and ultimately left it with not only a small toolbox of brilliant mechanical financial tools, but also a deep frustration for the industry’s inability to address or even acknowledge that mechanics and facts are NOT enough.
From that small selection of tools an entire curriculum blossomed. Mechanical tools that are important, but only effective when married with the behavioral/emotional tools of disciplines like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychology, and behavioral economics. That marriage of concepts plus her experience of sitting down with almost 600 individuals and couples from all over the income spectrum means that she can offer tested tools and concepts that no one else can.
By addressing the emotional connection people have with money, Hanna has helped her clients change their habits and rituals with money, develop goals they can actually keep, and shape their futures in a way they didn’t think possible!
Dr. Nikki Weiner is a licensed occupational therapist, lead ergonomic specialist, and president of The Rising Workplace. Nikki leads a team of ergonomic specialists who provide services globally. Trained as an certified ergonomic specialist, Nikki performs ergonomic assessment, consulting, and training in a wide variety of workplaces from the single home office to large industrial facilities. Nikki’s work centers on the dynamic relationship between personal, environmental, and occupational factors in the workplace, with outcomes focused on employee engagement, performance and well-being.
She earned a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from the University of Georgia and a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at Washington University in St. Louis. Her other professional roles have included clinical education, research, and practice in the adult rehabilitation field. Nikki has been a highly rated presenter at many regional and national conferences, including The 2019 Americans with Disabilities Symposium and 2020 Applied Ergonomics Conference. Nikki’s professional work has been published in The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health, Business Insider, The New York Times, and Today in OT magazine.
Clair is a certified mindfulness-based leadership coach, she is passionate about partnering with high-performing individuals and creative leadership teams to amplify their impact, achieve their full potential, and lead with purpose.
With over two decades of leading teams for Fortune 500 companies as a successful Creative Director and Product Designer, Clair’s experience has refined her distinct ability to cultivate results with diverse teams in fast-paced environments.
Clair believes mindfulness is the catalyst for profound change. As a coach, Clair supports professionals through transformation in an inclusive, safe environment inspired by her passion for lifelong learning and personal growth. Her approach centers a mindfulness-based practice rooted in creativity to elevate innovative thinking and cultivate growth mindsets.
Her mission is to co-create adaptive resilience cultures and maximize human potential through mindfulness-based leadership. To learn more about Clair, visit https://www.creativemindsetcoaching.com/.
Keric was not always a yoga teacher. He graduated from UCLA and worked for over 12 years in the corporate world, including 7 years at Verizon Wireless. In 2001, he sustained a shoulder injury in the gym. As an alternative to lifting weights, he decided to try yoga. After one class, he realized that yoga offered much more than just a great workout. He migrated out of the gym and into local yoga studios. Yoga became his primary training for body, mind, and spirit.
In his first year of practice, Keric studied a variety of different yoga styles. He discovered Anusara Yoga in 2003 and decided to dedicate himself to this heart-opening practice. Anusara Yoga blends a life-affirming Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness with Universal Principles of Alignment and a celebration of community. He started teaching yoga in 2006 and became a Certified Anusara Teacher in 2010.
Keric is also a ‘certified’ geek. He loves science fiction, superheroes, comic books, video games, Star Wars, and Spider-Man. He is not a vegetarian. He does not drive a Prius. He likes burgers, whiskey, weight training, and climbing. He sometimes misses the corporate world. He is really just a regular guy, who loves to practice and teach yoga. He believes that there is a hero in all of us and yoga can unleash the full potential of the super spirit within! In his teaching, Keric strives to be creative and fun, helping students take their practices off of the mat and into their daily lives. Learn more about Keric at: www.Keric.com
Sara Rose Goldfried, NBC-HWC
Sara Rose is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, yoga instructor, and energy worker. She has spent the last 20 years dedicated to helping people find their path.
Her educational and professional experience have taught her the structure and form that is necessary to support clients as they move from point A to point B. But it is her personal experience that has prepared her to deeply connect and meet others exactly where they are.
In her practice, Sara Rose creates space so that the individuals she works with can explore what is meaningful to them and reclaim the life that they want to live.
With gratitude and joy, Sara Rose continues her studies and self-inquiry so that she can bring the very best to every client.
Learn more about Sara Rose at www.sararosewellness.com.
Ginger (Kamalesh) Hooven has been teaching yoga for 20+ years and practicing Ayurveda for 10+ years. Her greatest joy comes from uniting these sister sciences as Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy, viewing yoga practices through the lens of Ayurveda. Ginger is an educator and serves as Provost of Mount Madonna Institute in Watsonville, CA. She has spent the last two years in Guatemala, teaching and sharing online.
Cassie Christopher is a Registered Dietitian and emotional eating expert passionate about helping people eat with joy instead of eating to seek joy. She has a Master’s degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University and studied business at the University of Washington. She helps her clients via private nutritional counseling and worksite wellness initiatives to address the barriers to sustainable behavior change in order to create healthier and more joyful lives. A Pacific Northwest native, Cassie can’t help but love hiking with her family and good coffee. Learn more about Cassie at cassiechristopher.net