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.

ANGELINA VASILE

Angelina Vasile has been teaching movement as her full time profession since 2001. She holds a BA in Dance and Performance Choreography, is a certified Pilates instructor (2001) and a certified Forrest Yoga teacher (2007). Her style incorporates her love for athletics, movement therapy, modern dance, Vinyasa, and meditation. Her embodied knowledge of anatomy, alignment, and breath will guide, teach, and inspire you.

Angelina LOVES doing what she does and is skilled at working with a broad range of clients, including working with injuries, athletes, pre and post-natal clients, the elderly and those struggling with body image related disorders. With a down-to-earth, accessible approach, she will teach you how to breathe deeply and move consciously so you can connect with your true strength. She believes that staying committed to a movement practice consistently facilitates health and productivity on ALL levels; it releases stress and toxins, improves sleep, up-levels our ability to problem solve, inspires creativity and helps balance our emotions.

Devotion to her own movement and meditation practice allows her to be a more effective teacher. It has also been the key to experiencing presence and joy in her own life. When not teaching, Angelina is usually found playing in the great outdoors, reading, doing crossword puzzles, watching major league baseball, or baking.

GINA FRABOTTA

Gina’s journey into her love of movement began at the age of six when she discovered gymnastics. She hasn’t stopped moving ever since! She went on to study Modern Dance at Ohio University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Dance/Movement Therapy. For the past 22 years she has been sharing her discoveries of the body as a dancer and teacher. Twelve years ago she moved to the Pacific North West and received her Pilates Certification through The Physical Mind Institute. In 2012 she began practicing yoga to help cultivate a balance between work and care for her own body. Recently she completed her 200-hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Trainer Certification at the Loom School of Yoga and is now happily adding yoga to her repertoire as a teacher.

Gina believes that it is imperative to move your body to find balance in your every day life and to help connect with your essence. She cultivates her classes with a joyful and energetic flow while focusing special attention on alignment and the foundation of body mechanics. Her intention is to inspire her students to draw upon their centering while also encouraging them to sweat, move, and have fun so that they can leave class feeling recharged.

GREG JAMIEL

Greg is a three-time Emmy Award winning graphic designer who worked with Meredith Corporation for ten years as their Design Director. His love of Forrest Yoga enabled him to reinvent himself after the economic crash in 2010. He had been practicing Forrest Yoga intensively and decided to follow his dream of teaching yoga full time, and eventually became the owner of Portland’s only exclusively Forrest Yoga studio, Inner Elements. He is a Certified Forrest Yoga teacher and when he isn’t teaching locally here in Portland, he travels around the country teaching Forrest Yoga workshops.

In his classes students will feel and strengthen the connection to their breath and their beautiful bodies. He infuses a sense of fun, laughter, and hard work into his teachings so students will feel their bodies getting stronger, their muscles lengthening, and their heart beaming! Students will work their breath, intention, and physical asanas to explore their bodies in new ways. Students will focus on the core tenets of yoga; building on breath work, alignment, and gaining strength to help secure a strong foundation for a more productive workday, and a greater sense of physical strength which helps with rehabbing injuries common in the workplace. Greg is currently the Design Director for the Forrest Yoga organization and assists Ana Forrest in trainings and workshops.

EMILY KEANE

Fully STOTT instructor Emily Keane began her personal Pilates practice during high school and quickly gained a profound respect for the system. A firm believer in the importance of the mind-body connection, Emily infuses her teaching with enthusiasm, humor and a personal connection that communicates her faith in the importance of healthy movement. She believes that Pilates can be transformative and empowering, lending clients a deep sense of agency in their own physical experience.

Emily returned to the Portland area in 2011 after having spent nine years away traveling and completing her undergraduate degree in Art History and Cinema at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. She is happy to be back in the west and is eager to share the passion she feels for her work.

ANDREA GOMEZ

Andrea discovered Forrest yoga in the midst of the stress and exhaustion that is part of being a first year Middle School teacher. She was amazed at the transformation that resulted from her weekly yoga practice. Not only did she feel happier when she devoted this time to herself, but she also felt more focus, efficiency, and confidence at work. Being a school teacher became fun, and she found herself using yoga techniques throughout the day to help alleviate symptoms that result from standing for hours. Furthermore she made an important discovery: She LOVED anatomy and the problem solving her Forrest teachers employed to work with all body types and conditions. Her newfound passion led her on the path to complete her Forrest Yoga teacher training in 2012 and to begin completing prerequisites for Physical Therapy School.

Andrea believes that a key step to being happy is to find the inner space and self-compassion to explore why we do and feel what we do. Her classes are full of love and she creates a nurturing environment in which students of all levels and abilities can expand their practice. Through anatomically thought-out sequencing and alignment-focused assists, her students gain strength, flexibility, and a deeper understanding of their own bodies.

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.

Brian Heigel

Brian Heigel

Brian Heigel has been teaching fitness and wellness since 1998, of which the last 14 years was in San Francisco.   Brian’s early participation in competitive sports propelled him to build on his active lifestyle and to share his passion with others.  Years of active participation in tennis, swimming, cycling, running, hiking, skiing, and yoga, Brian believes in cross training and addressing the whole body as an integrated system.

Brian began his path in the fitness profession as a certified personal trainer before obtaining his Pilates certification in 2000 and GYROTONIC® method in 2005.  A strong belief in addressing the whole body through personalized functional training has been a natural progression of that journey.  He found in GYROTONIC® /GYROKINESIS® an experience that not only moves the body in a full range of motion but also leaves one feeling invigorated and centered.  A moving meditation.  As does the  Pilates Method, GYROKINESIS® not only improves one’s postural awareness and longevity but serves to enhance athletic performance.  Whether this be sport specific movements or simply daily activities.

Brian enjoys continued education and certifications in Pilates, the GYROTONIC® method, TRX and Ski conditioning, amongst other training modalities.  Having grown up abroad, Brian inherited a great love of travel and always relishes in the journey itself as  much as the destination.

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 Pearson

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 can be found both teaching Pilates and working to grow the presence of Urban Balance in Portland workplaces. Mandee 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 the studio and works as an Instructor Trainer for STOTT PILATES certification courses and workshops. She became certified in the MELT Method in 2011, and loves integrating these two modalities into her teaching.

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.

Will Cath

Will

Will finds beauty in the uniqueness of each day, and this is evidenced by the charisma and creativity he brings into each one of his group fitness classes. As a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and as a Group Fitness Instructor through the American Council on Exercise, Will specializes in functional resistance training, bodyweight exercises, and sensible weight-lifting. A multi-sport athlete himself, Will guides his clients to develop balance, strength, flexibility, and confidence.

Each of Will’s classes is different, challenging different muscle groups and providing a fun atmosphere. Will’s clients learn to use their own bodies and surroundings to strengthen lean muscle, build power, endurance, and stamina, as well as improve stability and balance.

Will believes in the power of being outdoors, and when he can, he enjoys teaching his classes in the open air, where students can enjoy Portland’s beautiful weather while breaking a sweat.

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.

Ryan Kenny

Ryan

Ryan serendipitously discovered meditation over ten years ago while he was training for a marathon and began folding Zen meditation techniques into his workouts. This moving meditation grew into a full-fledged passion and has since led him on a journey to understand the inner-workings of the mind. He enjoys communicating techniques and insights derived from various wisdom traditions, while presenting them in a manner accessible to everyone.

Ryan holds a masters degree of social work with a focus in mental health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has studied neuroscience at the Center For Healthy Minds, has developed mindfulness curricula for public school teachers and students, and has had the privilege of teaching stress reducing meditation techniques to veterans of the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam wars.

Ryan is cofounder of Pause Meditation, LLC and currently works as a mental health counselor in a local crisis center. He provides guided meditation instruction throughout Portland in a number of secular settings for all ages and skill levels.

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.

Beccca 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 was hoodwinked into her first meditation session in 2001 by her colleagues at OM yoga center (NYC) and couldn’t be more grateful. Over the years, she has stumbled on and off the path, fallen in and out of her seat, each time returning to the sense of coming home that arises from working courageously and compassionately with one’s own mind.

A yoga teacher, contemplative counselor and practitioner of mindfulness/compassion based meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Heather is a graduate of the Interdependence Project’s Secular Buddhist Studies Program, as well as an active member of the Portland Shambhala Center. She holds a certificate in Contemplative Psychotherapy through the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science (NYC), where she continues to work closely under the direction of her mentor, Dr. Miles Neale.

Heather draws inspiration from the wisdom of the traditional systems of Eastern philosophy and meditation, as well as contemporary neuroscience and health psychology. And of course, near and dear to her heart/mind, she continues to study with her first meditation teacher and longtime friend, Ethan Nichtern.

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