Meet our Teachers (pictures coming soon)
Falling in love with yoga at the age of 50 has been an exciting adventure for Sandra. She views herself as a role model for others who wish to begin a serious yoga practice, feeling that if she could begin yoga at age 50, others can also. Her approach to practicing includes that yoga is not about being “uber” flexible, it’s about breath and the willingness to try something new. There is no perfect yoga, only yoga practice. Sandra seeks to help students touch their own sacred sense of wholeness and to access a quiet calmness within. Sandra received her 200-hour teacher certification in St. Louis, Missouri in 2009. She has attended workshops by David Swenson and Rolf Sovik. She has also completed Amy Weintraub’s “Yoga for Depression” at the Kripaula Center, and recently completed David Emerson’s 40 hour “Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Training”.
Elizabeth (Liz) Brooke views yoga as a way of life for health, calm, and clarity in this busy world. Her goal is to share yoga in a safe and accessible form in her Fun Flow Vinyasa classes with the added bonus of ever changing music! Elizabeth completed Birmingham Yoga's Teacher Training Program in 2011 and is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) in Vinyasa and Ashtanga styles of practice with the International Yoga Alliance. Liz has studied a variety of yoga styles including Ashtanga, Bhakti, Kundalini, Restorative and Vinyasa Krama with Akasha Ellis E-RYT, Laura Tyree E-RYT, Heartwood Yoga, Becca Impello LPT YT, Michael Johnson E-RYT 500, and Terri Sellers RYT 200.
After laughing her way through her first yoga class in 2001, owner and instructor Annie Damsky became a committed yoga practitioner in 2004. She achieved her 200-hour Yoga Alliance instructor certification in 2009 at Birmingham Yoga, as well as a YogaFit Kids certification in 2009 and an It’s Yoga Kids certification in 2011. Recently Annie became certified in Prenatal Yoga through a 32-hour Pranakriya training (Yoga Alliance accredited). Annie has been fortunate to attend the workshops of Doug Swenson, Doug Keller, Rolf Gates, Sean Tebor and Dave Williams and feels like each class she teaches is a short workshop, especially with the knowledge she gains from her gurus of all ages. Annie is an active member of Sweet Om Alabama and relishes any opportunity to come together and share yoga as a community.
Lauren is a Birmingham native and loves teaching and practicing with fellow yoga lovers in our magic, little city! She received her 200-RYT certification at Birmingham Yoga, training with Akasha Ellis, and she also completed a 40-hour Power Yoga Teacher Training with Bryan Kest in 2011. With a training based in Ashtanga and Power Yoga, and also holding a high-ranking belt in Yoshukai Karate, she incorporates a strong physical practice and high energy into her classes. Her purpose in teaching is to provide a physical challenge that helps cultivate the ability to tune into yourself, listen, pay attention to what you experience and develop the courage and compassion to respond accordingly. She believes that yoga is unlike any other physical practice because it encourages us to turn inward to understand what we truly feel instead of relying on outside sources.
India Henson earned her 500 level training at Yogaville, Virginia, studying under notable yoga therapists Dr. Mala Cunningham, Mukunda Stiles and Mangala Warner, Richard Sabel and Bill Gallagher, Steffany Moonaz, and Dr. Timothy McCall. Creator of the Chair (Seated) Yoga Teacher Intensive, India offers 12-hour workshops in Chair Yoga. India is also a lay chaplain with Community of Hope/Circle of Care through the Episcopal Church.
Norma Jill Jacobson
Norma-Jill Jacobson began practicing yoga as a young child in South Africa as a student of Kavi Yogiraj Mani Finger and later with his son Yoga Master Alan Finger (Yoga Zone). In addition to her formal teacher training certification as a 200-hour Registered Teacher with Yoga Alliance, she has participated extensively in workshops with yogis including Rodney Yee, Doug Keller, Sean Tebor, Max Strom and Arthur Kilmurray. Norma Jill shares with her students her passion for practicing yoga in everyday life, encouraging students to find mindfulness and meditation in their daily activities.
Emilie Lasseter believes that movement is beautiful. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification course in 2009 at Birmingham Yoga under the instruction of Akasha Ellis and Laura Tyree. Emilie has also studied with Doug Keller and Sean Tebor. She approaches each class with a fun attitude, looking to inspire, challenge and nurture her students.
Catherine found yoga while she was pregnant with her oldest son and has been practicing yoga on and off for the past 18 years. Her practice recently became more regular following a snow skiing injury to her knee; she committed to her practice and healed without visiting a doctor. In May 2012, she completed the Birmingham Yoga’s teacher training program and achieved her 200-hour RYT license. Catherine loves that yoga encourages us to lead with our heart not our head and she loves that teaching allows her to learn so much from her students as well.
Adrianne Morrison is a 200-hr certified yoga teacher. She received her training and certification with Savannah Yoga Center in August 2011 and organized Yoga Where We Wanna, a group for yoga enthusiasts who like to raise awareness about the benefits of yoga by practicing in unexpected places. She loves teaching yoga to all ages and abilities, pulling inspiration from a number of Hatha yoga styles, most notably Dynamic and Yin style yoga. Adrianne’s classes emphasize mindfulness in tandem with the physical practice of yoga. Her classes provide a space to challenge, nourish and enjoy the body, mind and spirit with an emphasis on offering the opportunity for students to be present, specifically by teaching students to remain sensitive to and inquisitive about their own body.
Nancy turned to yoga in 2008 to heal her body after many years of obesity, depression and injuries sustained in a car accident. Her focus is on making yoga accessible to all and helping practitioners let go of negativity tied to body image. Nancy completed her 200 hour RYT training in May 2012 at Birmingham Yoga. Her teaching is based in Ashtanga and she offers a vigorous practice with modifications and alternate poses guiding each practitioner to make the practice their own regardless of body size, shape, level of flexibility or fitness. Nancy is currently pursuing a specialization in Radiant Child Yoga under Shakta Kaur Khalsa Singh.
Mary Ann Somers
After experiencing the many benefits of yoga, Mary Ann knew she was on the right path. She received her 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher certification from Birmingham Yoga and has been teaching yoga since 2007. Her teaching is an eclectic style of yoga that combines flowing sequences with attention to body alignment and breath. Sometimes class is a little more gentle and restorative, sometimes more energizing. She loves the accessibility of yoga; it’s for all levels, bodies, and ages. The transformation of people simply enjoying being in their bodies makes her passionate about teaching yoga. Mary Ann also loves being a 5th grade teacher at Crestline Elementary where she gets to let out her inner ten year old self.
Jasper received her 200 hr. Yoga Certification in Ashtanga in 2006 at GreenPath Yoga Studio in San Francisco, Ca., under the tutelage of Clayton Horton in the tradition of Pattabi Jois. She has had the privilege to study with other renowned teachers such as Dharma Mitra, Seane Corn, and David Swenson. She is the owner of Conscious Body Yoga & Massage Therapy; a private practice that specializes in Bodywork, Thai Yoga, and Private Yoga Instruction. Jasper is an Ambassador for Off the Mat into the World and is Co-facilitator of the local Yoga in Action Birmingham Group. She is also an Ambassador for Sweet Om Alabama and Co-facilitator of the Birmingham Community Kirtan.