The opening of Darling Yoga is a life long dream for Emily who has been teaching in Kansas City since 1993. She began her studies in the rich tradition of Iyengar Yoga. She has also studied Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Restorative Yoga. Her desire to continually expand her yoga knowledge led to her most recent certification in the fall of 2005 at The International Sivananda Vedanta Ashram in Woodbourne, New York. She creates a style of her own incorporating a variety of aspects from her vast yoga background. Emily is nurturing and compassionate by nature, thus creating a class atmosphere that is non-competitive yet challenging. Her orchestration of rest and movement create inner peace and strength in the body and mind. She credits inspiration to Max Strom, Doug Swenson, Shiva Rea, Judith Lasater, Kim Schwartz, and Bryan Kest, as well as the many great teachers in the Kansas City area including Lisa Uhl, Patricia Gray, Kathleen Kastner, Suzette Scholtes, and Mick Goodman. She thanks her mom who introduced her to yoga in her early teens.
"Yoga is the gift of finding peace within ourselves. It brings an awareness that allows us to see more clearly and live more fully from our hearts. I feel blessed to be able to teach and share what I feel so passionate about. Bringing people into stillness, allowing them to find the present moment is a beautiful art as it softens everyone."
Victor found yoga after years of football and the Marine Corps took a toll on his body. His first class, however, opened his mind to a much bigger view of what yoga could offer beyond the physical body, and before long it was evident that teaching was Victor's true calling. His personal experience with yoga as therapy allows him to relate to the differing needs of each student and he approaches each class with this inspiration. He has completed teacher traning programs with Max Strom as well as Marcia Wenig of Yoga Kids International, and he continues to be an avid student attending worshops with many nationally renowned teachers. Also a certified herbalist and Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Victor truly believes in the practice of healing through the breath. His class encorporates this art along with great emphasis on proper alignment to enable both healing and development.
"I know of no other form of exercise that combines mental and physical awareness the way yoga does in order to open the many windows of opportunity within your own mind.Meditating through yoga is your access to the infinite."
Ashley's greatest accomplishment is being the mother of 4 sons. Wanting an amazing birth experience and desire for peaceful parenting led Ashley to practice yoga in 2001. Noticing the transforming effects of yoga on herself, Ashley knew this would be her journey, to teach mothers yoga, and support them in birth and parenting. In 2005 Ashley completed her first yoga teacher training and became a certified Prenatal and Postnatal yoga teacher through Colette Crawford at the Seattle Holistic Center. Ashley has also completed the contemporary teacher training with Hala Khouri and Julian Walker weaving traditional therapy with yoga and has trained with Hala in several other workshops also. Ashley has been mostly influenced by Emily Darling and believes creating a nurturing environment allows for healing to occur. Ashley earned a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2001, she is a birth doula and attends 25 to 30 births annually. Ashley teaches a bi-monthly birthing workshop at Darling Yoga. You can learn more about what Ashley is doing on her website at:
"I believe yoga is so much more than movement. It is a way of life and is our guide in all that we do. Yoga during pregnancy is so special because mommies learn to connect deeply with themselves and allows them to connect with their babies. Prenatal yoga prepares the pregnant mother's body for a healthier pregnancy and a connected, empowered birth, the support mothers receive from yoga and the other mothers in class prepares them for motherhood."
Lindsay has been teaching yoga for ten years. She teaches high school English during the day and yoga as her passion. As former owner of Jiva Studio, she has a history in the fitness and health club industry and a strong following with the athletic community of Kansas City. Lindsay has completed a 30-hour Ashtanga Yoga training course and workshops with YogaFit, Tim Miller, Mark Blanchard, Ana Forrest and Bryan Kest. She has also trained extensively with Kathleen Kastner and Wade Mortenson of Maya Yoga in Kansas City. She continues to be dedicated to her self practice.
"Take your practice into your own hands and see where it takes you!"
Michelle has completed a Restorative training with world renowned yoga teacher Judith Lasater. She is also a licensed massage therapist and is certified in prenatal massage. In 1996, Michelle acquired a degree in psychology from Nebraska Wesleyan University. With her background in health and wellness, which includes multiple certifications, Michelle easily conveys the importance of a yoga and massage to create a balanced life.
Michelle gains satisfaction assisting those with chronic pain, illness and expectant mothers.
"Yoga allows one to relax, renew and replenish. I feel so blessed to have been introduced to yoga and feel it's my calling to teach others the therapeutic benefits. In this busy world we all need to take care of ourselves. Yoga is one of the best avenues to do this. Come experience just letting go completely."
Sarah is co-owner and founder of Darling Yoga. She began practicing yoga at the age of 13 with teachers including Emily Darling, Colleen Boveri, Christy Burnette, Patricia Gray, and Kathleen Kastner in Kansas City. Sarah has completed a teacher training course with Max Strom and has attended several workshops with master teachers including Max Strom, Jamie Elmer, Christy Burnette, Kim Schwartz, Les Leventhal, Ana Forrest, Bryan Kest, and others. Sarah's teaching style reflects these influences and is guided by her personal practice and experience.
Sumya is a registered E-RYT500 yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance. She embraces all styles of yoga and movement arts with curiosity and passion. She loves helping others reach their potential, and encourages and nurtures students to be playful in yoga and in life.
Sumya speaks to the body with detailed alignment cues, but speaks to the heart and mind by weaving story, affirmation, and philosophy throughout her eclectic chakra flow classes. She has been published in “Yoga in America,” and has been a contributing writer for Yoga Chicago, Yoga Magazine US, and Yoga Magazine UK. She’s had many wonderful teachers, and is especially grateful for Bhavani Maki, David Lipschutz, Desiree Rumbaugh, Rama Jyoti Vernon, Doug Keller, Max Strom, Mick Goodman, Anodea Judith, Aadil Palkhivala, and Richard Freeman. She thanks her yoga sisters in Kansas City for their influence, support, and inspiration; Mara Colbert, Emily Darling, Patricia Gray, Kathleen Kastner, Gretchen Robinson, Molly Root, and Lisa Uhl.
Sumya is a licensed massage therapist, personal trainer and college fitness instructor at JCCC. She was a professional boxer from 1996 – 2006, winning four world championships in three weight classes. In 2010, she opened Learning2Fly ~ Aerial Fitness Training, Circus Arts, & Aerial Yoga Center ~ in Mission, Kansas. www.iAmLearning2Fly.com
"Yoga heals us in many ways, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In the quiet moments we find in yoga, the highest purpose for our life is revealed. We discover the strength to own, harness, and direct our creativity, power, beauty, and grace, and stretch into the fullness of our potential in every way. Yoga is powerful medicine indeed."
Wear tye dye to Sumya's class and you'll automatically be teacher's pet. :) www.Sumya.com
Kory Jacobs has been practicing yoga for six years and teaching for three. A serious injury led her to study fitness and movement of the human body in college, and to delve into yoga as a way to rehabilitate her body. Her classes are taught with the intention to influence personal growth while bringing the body back into balance through understanding ones body awareness.
I love teaching yoga because it has been very healing in my life and I have a passion about sharing it with others."
After a slow recovery from two spinal surgeries and a decade of headaches, Susan began practicing Iyengar Yoga in 1997 with the hope of managing those challenges. Since that awakening moment during her first class, she not only found ways to manage her health daily but uncovered an inner strength long forgotten. Restorative Yoga, Pranayama, and Meditation have become her solace and passion. With patience, an open heart, and a willing mind, she embraces the gifts of healing and balance that Yoga brings to each moment; and is grateful for the opportunity to encourage others to turn from suffering through the practice.
Susan began teaching yoga in 2005, received Yoga Alliance RYT 500 Level II certification in 2006, Relax & Renew Restorative Yoga Trainer certification in 2010, and is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She is grateful for the insight and illumination her teachers Dona Hollamen, Judith Lasater, Aadil Palkhivala, Paula Tortolano Self, Elise Browning Miller, Max Strom, Gary Kraftsow, Suzette Scholtes, Emily Darling, and her husband Brian Richards continue to have on her Yoga practice and teaching.
"My purpose as a Yoga teacher is to encourage others to find balance in their lives, awaken their inner light, and find the courage to let it shine."
Nancy has long believed in the interconnectedness of body mind and spirit. She was a certified fitness instructor for several years before discovering yoga in 2000. She credits her mother for introducing her to yoga. Nancy has been teaching Yoga in the Kansas City area since 2001. Her teaching style is clearly influenced by her training with great Iyengar teachers Aadil Palkhivala, Pauta Tortolano, John Shumacher and Francois Raoult.
Nancy is registering with Yoga Alliance for her RYT certification. She acknowledges Kansas City area yoga teachers Suzette Scholtes and Emily Darling for inspiring her on the path.
"For me, yoga is about reconnecting to our divine nature. It's about bringing light and awareness into our daily living. As our practice brings us into a place of peace and harmony, this has a ripple effect in the world. My hope is to create a sacred space where mindfulness, open-heartedness, and possibility can be experienced."
Tung was introduced to yoga in 2001 and has since been practicing and studying various styles of yoga, including Ashtanga, Bikram, and Anusara Yoga. In addition to teaching, Tung is also a certified Thai Yoga Therapy Practitioner under one of his favorite teachers Saul David Raye. Seewww.artofthaiyoga.com. Tung is an attentive teacher, teaching from the heart while combining his experience and love of all types of yoga to offer a class that is fun-filled, challenging, healing and beneficial to students of all levels. Come immerse yourself in the present moment as you breathe Prana in Tung's uplifting Hatha Flow class, that blends dynamic flowing sequences to create inner heat along with held postures as you find balance, strength and freedom on and off the mat.
Joy has been practicing yoga for five years and gained her Yoga for Kids teaching certification from Caren Lisondra in 2010. Sbe also holds a degree in early childhood teaching degree from Southern Nazarene University (2008) and she has taught preschool in many different settings.
"Yoga for me has help build my self confidence and provided me with an outlet to teach once again. I love teaching kids yoga! Kids yoga is a great way for kids to discover who they are, have fun exploring what their body can do and calming their body and mind."
Each morning as Sami begins her Pranayama practice, the very first mindful breath draws her thoughts inside. Her shoulders relax, her jaw releases, and her heart opens. As she comes back to awareness at the end of her meditation, she re-enters the everyday world of brushing her teeth and feeding the dogs with a sense of peace and connectedness that is always present after that final Om.
Her Pranayama inspiration originated with her first teacher, Patricia Gray. She currently is a Pranayama student of Sri O. P. Tiwari of the Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute in Lonavla, India. She is a RYT-200 through the Yoga School of Therapeutics, with an emphasis on Pranayama & Meditation.
Sami is the author of "The Gift of Compassion"" published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Grieving and Recovery.For more information about Sami & her classes, visit http://www.beingontosomething.org
Carol has been a student of yoga for many years-trading in her ballet and jazz shoes for a mat and a good excuse for regular pedicures! She was initially trained in Ashtanga, which compliments her love and appreciation for structure, alignment, and dance like flow. Her teaching style is primarily vinyasa flow, with hatha style holding opportunities to promote safe alignment. She brings a child like playfulness to her classes-encouraging her students to step out of their comfort zone. Her favorite position is being upside down!
Off the mat, Carol practices pediatric occupational therapy. Her "therapy toolbox" includes facilitating yoga postures for her clients, many of whom are significantly movement restricted. She also has training in energy work; a conduit of healing light and energy from Source.
Most important, though, Carol practices parenting her three children. Her training in yogic breath work has proved to be most helpful in dealing with the day to day growth opportunities inherent in raising children!
Her many years as a therapist combined with her natural teaching ability brings an added bonus to the her yoga classes.
Andree has been practicing yoga since 1998. Throughout the past 14 years, she has participated in many workshops with master teachers like David Williams, Max Strom and Bhvani Maki. In the Summer of 2011, Andree got certified in prenatal and postnatal yoga through Debra Geymayr of Prenatal Plus Yoga in Miami, FL. She will also finish the final 50 hours, of her 200-hour RYT (yoga alliance registered teacher) with Bhavani Maki of Yoga Hanalei, in 2012. She is locally influenced by amazing teachers like Patricia Gray and Emily Darling.
Andree believes that mental "dis-ease" is a result of not being able to stay in the present. Depressive thoughts arise from regret of the past. Anxious thoughts are born of worry about the future. She feels that yoga practice is really the practice of learning to stay in the present moment -- the only place we can truly find peace. She is excited to share her knowledge, training and wisdom from experience with pregnant women and new mommies. As the mother of 3 boys, she uses the tools yoga provides to find calm in the chaos of everyday life.
"Prenatal yoga is about so much more than modifying a normal yoga practice for a growing belly. It is all about supporting women to have a connected pregnancy and a fulfilling birth experience. Postnatal and mommy/baby are about so much more than providing a class that accommodates babies. These yoga classes are about celebrating the changes inherent in motherhood and strengthening the bond between mother and child."
Kelly's first exposure to yoga occurred at age 16, while attending Rocky Mountain Academy, a school nestled in a valley pocket of the Selkirk and Cabinet Mountain Ranges in northern Idaho. The natural grace of the mountainous setting paired with her budding yoga practice and changing self offered her a glimpse of what life could be: peaceful. For almost fifteen years after that first exposure, Kelly was blessed to encounter both formal yogis and yogis-in-disguise, as she traveled with her rock-climbing partner, (and future husband!), across the states and out of the country. There was Joan, the 74-year old yogi who rode horseback by moonlight; Hopeton, the Moroccan immigrant with far more grace than most diplomats, and the countless, rock-climbing vagabonds who found their yoga practice on a vertical vibration, climbing thousands of feet in Yosemite's Tuolumne Valley with Kelly and her husband. Now, as a parent of two young boys, and a high school teacher, Kelly has learned the invaluable lesson of yoga: it brings you closer to your highest self, a foundation that allows you to be truly present in your speech and action.
She has seen this gift offered repeatedly to those who follow their own yogi path-and as an inspiration; Kelly's own mother, a yogi for years, continues to evolve along with her personal practice. It is through the lenses of these combined experiences that Kelly's yoga teaching and practice grows. Kelly's great hope for the world is that everyone finds a yoga practice they can take with them on their own personal journey, and that they are one day brave enough try it outside the confines of an enclosed room—as everything is better outside.
"What you think a daily yoga practice will offer you, as reprieve from the measured and rushed lifestyle that you are accustomed to, it will. The paradoxical gift is that what you expect to receive is far less than what you truly gain, and this is the rebirth of the self."
From her first sun salutation in 2005, Jessica was hooked. She truly believes that yoga can help everyone in all aspects of their life and she wants to help others discover the joy in their journey. Jessica's path began in the mountains of New Hampshire where her love of roaming free began. She has hiked over 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail and will someday complete the 2,100+ mile trek with her family by her side. She started her family in South Carolina before moving to Kansas. She has two children and is reminded daily how far she has come and how far she has yet to go. She respects the value of both past growth and future opportunities, and she honors the present by seeking out the good in each day. Jessica's children prepared her for teaching preschool, which prepared her for teaching yoga to kids. She completed a training with Carole Westerman that encompassed Kid's, Mommy/Baby and Family Yoga. She has also attended trainings under the care of Christy Burnette, Max Strom and Emily Darling, who inspired Jessica to learn the art of teaching yoga. Jessica knows what a positive difference a connected family and community can make in our lives. She hopes to help facilitate those bonds by exposing the divine nature of yoga to everyone she can.
"I believe that by awakening and unifying the body, mind and soul, we become aware of the grace of ourselves and in the earth around us. We are then equipped with the ability to be the change we wish to see. May we all rise to the cause that is greater than ourselves."
As a fitness devotee, Brian didn’t come to yoga for the physical practice. He came to the mat to increase his focus and awareness in an effort to go faster in a race car! After only a few practices, he realized he had embarked on a life changing experience, both physically and spiritually.
Brian’s classes are challenging and unique. While his passion is intense, he teaches with a calm and nurturing style. This combination of intensity and sensitivity is why Brian has been described as the “perfect dichotomy.” Through yoga, he enjoys giving people tools to live a more fulfilled life. He is excited to see where his yoga journey takes him.
Always a student Brian has had many great teachers in Kansas City and Los Angeles: Gretchen Robinson, Mark Blanchard, Emily Darling, Seane Corn, Vinnie Marino, Tamal Dodge, Tara Stiles and Brian Kest to name a few. Brian has completed teacher trainings with Gretchen Robinson, his Yoga Alliance Registered Teacher training with Emily Darling and Christy Burnette and advanced teacher training with Eoin Finn. He is also an ACE certified personal trainer. Off the mat, Brian is a Senior Human Factors Design Manager for Sprint.
Stacie Ventimiglia fell in love with the flow and grace of yoga during her very first class. Her practice deepened when she started practicing pre-natal yoga while pregnant with her first daughter, Ava. Fully realizing the benefits and nurturing aspects of pre-natal yoga, led her to continue her practice with both her daughters in mommy & baby yoga. Having practiced many styles of yoga, she decided to embark upon the journey of becoming a registered yoga teacher, and received the RYT-200 certification in 2012 with Christy Burnette and Emily Darling. Stacie's heartfelt and nurturing personality off the mat is reflected in her teaching style. She approaches her classes from an authentic perspective, and creates a space where her students feel comforted and inspired.
Stacie credits inspiration to teachers Emily Darling, Max Strom, Christy Burnette, Brian Landers and Ashley Walburn. Off the mat, Stacie works in healthcare sales, and is the proud mother of two beautiful daughters, Ava and Lyla, who are now discovering their own love of kids yoga.
"Yoga provides us with the inner stillness needed to reconnect with the true essence of who we are at our heart center. By doing so, it gives us the ability to live our lives from a place of gratitude, grace and authenticity."