Bridgett Blough, RYT 500
Bridgett started her journey with the body as a collegiate volleyball player and went on to pursue a career in the health and wellness industry as a personal trainer, boot camp coach, Pilates instructor, yoga instructor, and personal chef. Bridgett studied yoga under Larry Schultz- a direct student of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, yoga instructor to the Grateful Dead, and founder of It's Yoga in San Francisco, CA- where she completed her 200 hour teacher training in 2009. Bridgett believes in the importance of listening to your body and staying connected to the breath, the giver of all life. Her teaching style has softened from the rigorous ashtanga practice to attuning to the subtle body and softening the drive to push and effort through yoga practice. Opening the energetic and physical body through breathing, asana sequences, and dissolving the stress from the day are part of Bridgett's class. In 2016, Bridgett completed her 300 hour teacher training with Melissa Spamer. Bridgett is also a Certified Natural Chef and owns a popular food truck in Kalamazoo called The Organic Gypsy. Visit The Organic Gypsy's website
Aubrey Butts, RYT 500
At the age of 12, Aubrey began a dedicated exploration of yoga as a way to attune to her body and develop a more compassionate relationship with herself and the world. Throughout the fluctuations of adolescence, her yoga mat became a saving grace. At the age of 21, Aubrey completed her 200 hour and 300 hour yoga teacher trainings through the well-known, Yoga Alliance certified program at Kripalu. Using a nurturing and humorous approach, Aubrey loves to share yoga, especially with those who may not normally find themselves in a yoga studio for a multitude of reasons. Her fun and uplifting classes help students connect to the breath, develop more awareness in the body, and experience peace of mind.
Chelsie Downs-Hubbarth, RYT 200, RPYT, RCYT
Chelsie received her yoga certification from the Sivananda Ashram of Paradise Island, Bahamas in 2004. At the same time she was pursuing her parallel passion in nutritional health at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, where she completed her Holistic Health Counseling certification. With double undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and Anthropology from Western Michigan University, Chelsie emphasizes a sociocultural approach to yoga and nutrition for sustainable living and integrates these concepts into her classes. After the birth of her son, Chelsie is especially fond of working with expecting mothers and children. Chelsie is a Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 200), Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCYT) and Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher (RPYT) through Yoga Alliance.
Melissa Spamer, M.A., LMHC, ERYT 500, LMT, C. Ay.
Melissa began formally practicing Yoga in 1993. She has completed more then six Yoga teacher trainings and has twenty years of teaching experience, leading classes, workshops, retreats and teacher trainings in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Her love of Yoga led her to also become an Ayurvedic practitioner, spending more than two years of didactic study and clinical training at the Ayurvedic Institute with Dr. Vasant Lad. Her approach to Yoga integrates her in-depth studies in Yoga therapeutics, alignment, and energetic embodiment. She has been fortunate to have studied extensively with such celebrated teachers as Angela Farmer, Victor Van Kooten, Rama Vernon, Shiva Rea, Kali Ray, and TKV Desikachar at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram.
Melissa is also a licensed counselor in the state of New Mexico and continues to study interpersonal neurobiology, attachment, trauma, and somatic therapies for a comprehensive approach to healing. She is the co-owner and co-director of YogaSource in Santa Fe, director of Lotus in the Flame School of Yoga & Healing Arts, and she maintains a private Yoga therapy, Ayurveda, and counseling practice. You can visit her website here.
Julie Chase: Sound Meditation
Julie Chase owns and operates Wind Willow Sound Health, LLC, a private sound therapy business in the Kalamazoo area.
Reiki Master and member of the Sound Healer’s Association, Julie’s eclectic studies of healing modalities—Reiki, Life Force Energy Healing, sacred Tibetan healing instruments, holistic tuning fork therapy, and life coaching—inspired the development of a unique sound therapy system that assists clients toward relaxation, renewed health and well-being. She works primarily with people who are stress-compromised and conducts workshops utilizing sacred sound instruments throughout Southwest Michigan. Julie offers classes for healthcare professionals who desire the addition of sound therapy to their existing businesses and is excited to offer Sound Meditation Concerts and Gong Pujas to Down Dog students after her recent continued studies with internationally and nationally recognized sound healers. For more information, please visit: www.windwillowsoundhealth.com or see Facebook.
Judy Huxmann, LMT, E-RYT 200
Judy is a Licensed Massage Therapist and established bodyworker. Since completing her training at the Kalamazoo Center for the Healing Arts in 2003, Judy has continued her education with the Upledger Institute, John Barnes Myofascial Release training, Access Consciousness training, and numerous workshops and classes to holistically broaden and support her practice. Judy is also a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, having completed her 200 hour teacher training in 2008 with Melissa Spamer. In 2016, Judy became a Certified Sound Healer in the ancient tradition of Tibetan bowls and other sound instruments including Tuning Fork therapy and she continues to explore the healing properties of sound, vibration, and yoga.
In 2004, Judy opened and managed Awake and Aware Yoga and Bodywork in partnership with Cynthia Hoss until Awake and Aware merged with Down Dog Yoga Center in February of 2014.
Indira Kate Kalmbach, E-RYT 500
Indira Kate Kalmbach understands yoga as a physical, mental, and emotional discipline with the potential to transform human being-ness. Her yoga teaching embodies an ecological sense of the world-community which includes all of nature, exiling nothing. Indira's attention is to lead classes that inspire creative, mindful presence with respect for real experience (no matter how challenging) which leads to self-acceptance, nonviolence, and peace on Earth. You can read more about Indira here.
Kirsten Lyon, E-RYT 200 and Reiki Master:
Kirsten was first introduced to yoga and meditation as a child through her father, an Episcopal priest. She has studied under various studios and teachers in the Chicago, Detroit, and Kalamazoo areas, and received her 200 hour teacher certification in 2004 through Rising Sun Yoga in Detroit. She is registered through Yoga Alliance at the Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher level. Kirsten has immersed herself in the esoteric teachings of yoga and meditation for years, deepening her spirituality and finding new awakenings and greater self-awareness through yoga. Her teaching encompass both Western and Eastern traditions with specific emphasis on the breath, intention, and meditative movement and flow. Since 2007, Kirsten has also been a practicing Reiki Master and incorporates hands-on healing energy with her yoga. She is also a musician and singer/songwriter and incorporates music and vibrational toning into her classes.
Kirsten’s classes are rooted in the ancient traditions of yoga and include philosophy, chanting of Sanskrit mantras, meditation, and pranayama, as well as the physical poses. Her classes are transcendental and healing experiences; each class is unique to that specific day and no two classes are ever the same. Kirsten’s classes are ultimately an expression of Divine source.
Kate Yoshida: Kundalini Practices
Kate is a registeredIKYTA Kundalini teacher who lives and works in Chicago. She has led yoga workshops at Awake and Aware andMichigan Yoga Associates in Kalamazoo, and Spirit Rising in Chicago, as well as meditation workshops at the Women's Leadership Symposuim and the Summer Institute for Sustainability and Energy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her job at the Office of Sustainability at UIC includes writing and administering grants and bike planning programs. In addition to practicing yoga, she enjoys weaving, knitting and cycling.