Athea’s classes incorporate a variety of yoga styles and teacher influences with just the right amount of personal uniqueness that creates a fusion of invigorating, challenging, inspiring and spiritually-minded practices. You will find strains of hatha and gentle and power vinyasa, a dab of pilates, with some sprinklings of influences from Ana Forrest, Baron Baptiste and Dana Trixie Flynn, with some colorful swirls of bhakti bliss, all wrapped with an edge of her own yoginess.
Athea teaches yoga because “it rocks the mind, body, breath!” and she loves to share that realization with newbies, aspiring yogis, seasoned yogis, and everyone in between and all around, and well here are some other reasons…
Yoga helps me attain presence and peace of mind; it balances my ego and my essence for a holistic experience in life. My first yoga class opened the world to me in a new and inspiring light. With each practice my heart opened, my mind became more calm and balanced, and my spirit felt freer. I learned, and I am still learning, to take the practice from my mat to all my relationships and situations in life. And now, as an instructor, I continue on my passionate and dedicated journey of sharing the wonders of yoga by guiding my students to develop their own unique and meaningful paths in their yoga practice - on and off the mat.
And always remember you came to the mat for a reason, so when you leave the mat don’t forget that…
“Peace of mind produces the right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all.” - Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
In October 2008, Suzy was introduced to Joy Yoga Center through a job opening as a front desk receptionist. She had never done yoga before and was unaware of the brand new world she would be stepping into. She witnessed firsthand the transformative effects of yoga. She would watch students come in tired and grumpy and leave class with a completely different, far more positive outlook on life. She became interested in experiencing these benefits for herself and thus began her own yoga journey.
After several months as a student, Suzy noticed that not only was yoga a great physical workout for her body, but it also helped train her mind and strengthen her connection to the Divine. Yoga helped Suzy change her negative thought patterns and release her past, so that she could create a beautiful new life filled with hope and possibility. In July 2011, Suzy joined Joy's Angels Advanced Yoga Studies to become a yoga teacher. She completed the program and was certified through Joy Yoga Center.
While Suzy was growing her own practice and learning to teach, she was also growing in her role as Joy Yoga’s receptionist. With her keen attention to detail, she noticed many improvements that could be made in operation and proactively took on tasks to enhance workflow and productivity. Due to her diligent work, dedication, and her leadership ability in organization and training other staff members, Suzy was promoted as the Operations Manager for Joy Yoga Center in 2011.
Suzy continues to be the welcoming, smiling face at Joy Yoga Center. Not only is she growing in her duties as Operations Manager, she continues to grow as a teacher as well. Suzy's classes are full of energy and life. Her flows build upon basic postures to advanced movements from a steady to rapid pace. She enjoys connecting with her students, reassuring them with touch and communication.
As a Registered Yoga Teacher certified by the Yoga Therapy College in Houston, Texas, Rose Hong Tran has taught yoga classes all over Houston since year 1999. Rose has taught at The Houston City Club, The Briar Club, Memorial Athletic Club, The WestLake Club, SweetWater Club, and at several corporate locations such as Conoco-Philips and Shell Oil.
Rose believes that yoga is for everybody; regardless of what stage they are in their life. She inspires her students to bring their practice to new levels and share with them her passion and spirit in yoga, she teaches gentle classes more centered around the Hatha style with an emphasis on yoga for inner organs.
As the founder of YOGA FACIAL TONING, Rose has been teaching yoga for the face for over 3 years. Her program helps people revitalize and wind back the clock on the most neglected area of their body: their face. Her students were amazed at how much the revolutionary program enhanced not only their appearance, but also their attitude, outlook on life, self-confidence, and mental clarity. Rose encourages YOGA FACIAL TONING to help guide individuals to the realization of a truly beautiful face and a truly beautiful life.
Rose's love for her students has her pushing the limits of what is possible for them. She is fond of encouraging her students by telling them, "The desire to see yourself as the beautiful being you are is part of the most basic foundation of a healthy mind."
Natalie is an experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance and has been a certified yoga instructor since 1996. Formerly owning Sundance Yoga Studio & bookshop, which was named Best Yoga Studio in Houston 2002, Natalie has been the featured Yoga Week instructor at destination spas such as Cal-a-Vie, the Golden Door, Oaks at Ojaii and Red Mountain Spa in Utah. Additionally, Natalie was the Creative Director for The Studio at Bergamot Spa, teaching at many notable studios in the Houston and southern California areas.
Natalie believes that yoga is for everybody to enjoy, regardless of what stage they are in their life. Inspiring her students to bring their practice to new levels and share her laughter and spirit in classes, Natalie has learned that people are generally stronger than they know, more flexible than they think, and can go deeper than they imagined. Enjoying all styles and forms of this ancient practice, Natalie teaches upper level classes with lots of variations including arm and full body strengthening. Additionally, she teaches beginner classes more centered around the hatha style with an emphasis on breath, form, and alignment.
Inspired by her first teachers including Raye Lynn Rath, Gary Kraftsow, David Swenson and Beryl Bender Berch, Natalie’s continued inspiration comes from her fellow teachers and all of her fabulous students!
Heather Smith is a Texan born and raised, having lived in Houston all of her life, she doesn’t plan on leaving anytime in the near future. Soon after attending a hatha yoga class at the University of Houston where she studied Architecture and Interdisciplinary Studies, she was hooked. Yet, it wasn’t until a small group of people practicing Acro at the local Lululemon, that she finally found her place in the yoga community. Known for her bright colors and willingness to try anything three times, it’s not hard to spot her in a crowd.
The body in motion is my way of life- I have always felt my best engaged in physical activities.
In 2009 after ten years of practicing yoga in front of my television, I ventured outside of my living room to a yoga studio to pursue a deeper understanding. I took my first Vinyasa class at Joy Yoga and instantly felt physically and spiritually elevated. It was at that moment that the seed was planted and everything began to happen at the speed of light. Two days later I was immersed in my 200 hour teacher training under the guidance of Joy Winkler. Thank you, Joy!
Yoga is so much more than holding poses; it is the practice of being in the present moment of now. Being aware of your body and breath changes your mind and ultimately changes your life. The experience of these profound changes ignited a higher desire to share and spread the beauty of yoga to everyone and everywhere. I know yoga flows to every corner of our lives making us feel stronger, more joyful, nonjudgmental, compassionate, and calm.
Join me for slower-paced Vinyasa flow with mindful transitions between poses and a constant exploration of your breath and most importantly, a healthier, wealthier, more joyful self. Yoga always brings out the best in me, and I believe it can bring the best out of you.
We are all one.
Melanie has a 200 HR RYT certification for Yoga Teacher Training/Yoga Therapy. Melanie provides beginners yoga in the style of regular hatha with focus on the principles of alignment. Poses are taught with an emphasis on structure and the technical aspects of positioning. Melanie strives to instill a safe, kind and non-competitive environment for her students. Classes are taught with purpose to be inclusive and welcoming to all shapes and sizes with personal attention to accommodate everyone in achieving all poses taught. She likes the atmosphere of the class light and happy to allow students to relax and have fun.
My website: http://www.melaniecomegys.com/
Lucy teaches vinyasa yoga and loves its dynamic, energetic, and fast paced flow. She’s passionate about sharing yoga and the benefits of practicing it. She hopes that her students will take away from her class a vigorous physical workout and feelings of self-love, respect, and worth. She has a 300-hour RYS certificate.
Dakota was born and raised in the beautiful big sky country of Montana. She received her teaching certification from The Yoga Institute shortly after moving to Houston in 2008. Since then yoga has blossomed into a way of life for her, an ever present teaching day-by-day, breath by breath. Her passion for this ancient tradition led her to take two pilgrimages to the sacred homeland of India last year. She traveled throughout the Northern region at the feet of the Himalayas and concluded her trip in the South with a silent meditation and yoga retreat. Through sincere inner exploration and the guidance of her teacher, she delved deeper into her practice, returning home with a renewed heart full of inspiration to share. Her teaching style is an ever evolving form, mirroring her growth and life experiences. She learns alongside her students, who are often her greatest teachers. She intends to serve them by holding a space that allows for discovery of their highest potential through asana, pranayama and meditation.
Since 2011, Jenn has been a passionate student of yoga. Initially drawn to hot and power yoga for its physical demands and benefits, she quickly embraced the emotional and rejuvenating qualities of the practice as well. Additionally, many other rewarding qualities including health, happiness, and patience have come to Jenn as a result of practicing yoga.
Jenn is enjoying a beautiful lifelong journey and a fresh lifestyle that have emerged out of her commitment to yoga. She recently became certified in Hatha Yoga (200RYT with Yoga Alliance/National Association of Certified Yoga Teachers [NACYT] under Lex Gillan, The Yoga Institute) and is currently working toward her 500RYT with Yoga Alliance under Robert Boustany (The Pralaya Yoga System). Her decision to become certified developed out of a desire to give others the opportunity to fall in love with yoga as she did. Jenn feels privileged to have found something that will never feel like a routine, something that will always be magical, alive, and mindful.
Lonny was hooked on yoga after her first class at Texas A&M 10 years ago. Her regimen was off and on for awhile until late 2011 when she made a conscious decision to devote at least two days a week to this practice. Two days turned into three days and that eventually turned into seven days as week by 2013. Yoga became her sanctuary, a place to de-stress, ground herself and at the same time receive an amazing workout.
She has personally seen the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental growth that can occur with a regular yoga practice, in herself as well as those around her. This inspires Lonny to deepen her own practice and become a motivation for those around her.
When not teaching or expanding on her own practice, she can be found playing trombone with the Fort Bend Symphony orchestra, baking up a storm in her kitchen, seeing the world with her husband or playing in a pile of puppies. Yoga has become a perfect compliment to her day-job as the Operations Manager for a large food distribution company. By incorporating habits from her yoga regimen into everyday work life, she has been able to improve and strengthen the business environment for herself as well as those she works with.
Lonny received her 200 RYT in Vinyasa Flow Yoga early 2014. Her personal practice consists of powerful flows with restorative yin classes sprinkled in, but she also loves working with her husband on the high-flying and exhilarating art of AcroYoga.
Susie is a graduate of the Joy Yoga University 200-hour teacher training and is also a certified Rainbow Kids Yoga instructor. She is passionate about sharing her love of yoga with yogis of all ages. Susie has been a preschool special education teacher in the public school system for the last 5 years and has extensive experience working with all types of learners. She is looking forward to playing yoga with all of the Joyful kids! Her students can expect to gain confidence, creativity, strength, flexibility and happiness. Born and raised in the Heights, Susie is excited to work in her community to promote unity and wellness.
Abby believes that anyone can transcend their own suffering and find their way to joy. She began her practice in 2008 when she took her first hatha class. Abby decided she wanted to teach yoga when she discovered that it helped her remain in peace and stillness through her most difficult times. Abby received her RYT200 in December of 2013, and her yin instructor certification in April of 2014. She uses compassionate intention to create powerful, grounding classes. Abby challenges her students to drop what they think they know and gives them the tools to empower themselves for greater possibility. Off the yoga mat, Abby works in information management for a large construction company. She is an avid long distance cyclist and teaches spin classes. She enjoys kirtan and practices zen meditation. She thinks life is much better with music.
Brian started his internal studies while still in high school in New York. Buddhism was his main focus and he would read any book he could get his hands on. Brian moved to NYC for his Photography BFA and then his whole life changed after September 11, 2001. He was directed to a Sivananda Yoga studio by his counselor in order to deal with his PTSD/Anxiety disorder from the event.
Since then, he has made Yoga an integral part of his daily life. He has studied many different facets of Yoga including Yin, Restorative, Sivananda, Iyengar, and many more. His style is always changing to meet the needs of his students and he challenges those students with honor and respect. Working towards his 500hr-RYT, Ayurvedic Councelor degree, Yoga Therapy Degree and his certification in Aromatherapy, his life is surrounded by the amazing benefits of the Yogic path. He married his true love in September 2013 and they welcomed their first baby 2014! Congratulations!
I LOVE yoga. What an amazing occupation… I get to play and teach people to play everyday. I consider it a privilege to have this opportunity!
I began taking exercise seriously at 11, in trying to change my attitude about food and weight. My first love was running and basketball but, after training for 2 marathons and a torn ACL, I quickly realized that the repetitive pounding was breaking down my body and not strengthening it. In searching for something more, I stumbled into an intermediate yoga class on a lunch break in 2001 and then everything changed. I find the injury rehabilitation and prevention aspect of his teaching as a foundation to all of my classes. I have studied with Robert Boustany since 2005 and completed a 12-month training with him in 2007, 500 hour certification in 2011 and I am a registered 500 E-RYT with Yoga Alliance. I am also a Master Reiki with attunements in 1, 2, 3 and Medicine Buddha Reiki, you can find some reflexology and bodywork sprinkled into my experience as well.
I also appreciate what I have learned from the experience and lessons of all of my other teachers:
Lauren found yoga shortly after moving to New York City for university. Yoga has continually helped Lauren live with more grace, peace and power, on the mat and in her life. Lauren is a certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher with more than 600 hours of vinyasa yoga training. Becoming a teacher challenged her to experience awakening in her practice, find breath in each movement, and live with contentment. She is eternally grateful for the many teachers that have helped her along her path, especially Sharon Gannon, David Life, Yogeswari, and Cat Acquaviva. Lauren believes that yoga will change your life. All you have to do is show up.
Lauren is currently living and teaching yoga in Houston, Texas
Mariana took her first yoga class in 2003 during her lunch hour at the gym in her office building and fell in love immediately. She took class at lunch every day it was offered and later followed the teacher to her various classes; she went to churches all over Houston, community centers and the like. Over the next 8 years yoga was sprinkled in with running, weight training and working out at the gym. In 2011 she returned to taking regular classes and her practice, over the next couple of years, turned into a devotion, a calling. She received her teaching certification in early 2014 and began teaching right away. Mariana likes to make yoga accessible to everyone. Offering modifications to allow for every level, working with injuries, teaching the elderly, pregnant women and young children opens her heart and makes her happy. She has a love of deep yin practice, gentle and restorative yoga, sweaty vinyasa and hatha classes too. Her journey into meditation and pranayama deepens every day.
Yoga is a path that helps you live an authentic life. A way to become more of yourself and happy in your circumstances, whatever they may be. Do yoga 3 times a week change your body, do yoga 5 times a week CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
Born and raised in Houston, I grew up in Alief discovering group exercise right before I received my driver’s license. I was sixteen when I started instructor training led by Rose Ann Meyers and over the past thirty years I’ve taught anything and everything possible from spinning, to yoga to meditation. I love to teach and my style reflects an overall strategy to get the most possible work into a beautiful and flowing class that is peaceful and calm.
In 1995, I was recruited to Silicon Valley by The Decathlon Club and in Menlo Park on Sunday, I was taken to my first yoga class that was taught by an angel. The class would just start and end and sometimes we were there for more than four hours, but it never felt that way. That’s when I was hooked. Little did I know that I was experiencing Kundalini yoga. Soon, I was immersed in spirituality from different sources, but they all were saying the same thing. And that was that I had the knowledge all along and that my body was instrument to feel a certain way.
Moving back to Texas, I spent time in Austin where I taught at Lake Austin Resort and continued my passion for finding the sweet spot in nature and during my travels. My spirituality would blossom every time I found a new spa or retreat. From there, I moved to Evergreen Colorado and then Geneva Switzerland before returning to Houston to spend nine-months earning the first Kundalini Yoga Certification that was recognized by the Texas State Teachers Association. My spiritual name as given is Sarang Kaur, or goddess of beauty and music. Little did I know that everything I knew would change when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. This is exactly what forced me into a conscious life of bliss. It was scary, but soon I was seeing signs everywhere and connecting my thoughts to my heart that would soon be realized before my eyes.
Returning to Rice for the Non-profit Leadership Institute, and embarking on a journey sponsored by scholarships, I was experiencing educational symposiums as far as Uganda to share the fact that I finally merged my passion for advocacy and teaching into one conscious space. And this is how I teach every class. This is how I can connect with everyone in the room. Through you pain or happiness, when you come to my class you will find everything you need and take with you a bit more peace from within.
Yoga was first a physical exercise for me, and for more than a decade I have continued to explore this ever-expansive practice as a way to become more well-adjusted and find more joy. I have experienced first-hand how yoga can strengthen, heal, balance, and transform.
My classes are a moving meditation focused on integrating movement with breath while using the mind to expand our creativity and awareness. Known for my nurturing spirit and sense of humor, I put students at ease and create space to cultivate more self-awareness and explore our limitless potential. My practice is intelligently designed while remaining extremely practical and doable. I seek to find balance between effort and grace, strength and balance, movement and stillness, yin and yang.
I am grateful to have trained extensively in New York City for three years under some of the most inspiring teachers. My teaching incorporates my diverse training and studies in hatha, vinyasa, restorative, and yin yoga as well as meditation, yoga nidra, Thai yoga massage, aromatherapy, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, five element theory and Taoist theory.
Jennifer is a lifelong runner and hiker who grew up in Portland, Oregon and relocated to Houston in 2007. Her yoga practice began in earnest in 2003 while attending graduate school in San Francisco practicing at Yoga Tree under Rusty Wells. In 2014 in an effort to increase her practice Jennifer completed her 200 RYS hour teacher training and has continued her education to this day. Jennifer is a registered nurse and lives a healthy yoga lifestyle both on and off the mat and truly enjoys guiding others and assisting them in finding a healthy path in life and yoga. Jennifer’s goal as a teacher is to provide a potent physical practice while also encouraging her student’s to claim their full potential and gain confidence and new possibilities in their practice. Jennifer primarily teaches Vinyasa flow but has influences from both Bhaki and Bikram, with a passion for Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga. Jennifer truly believes that yoga is accessible to everyone regardless of fitness level, age, experience or background.
Megan started practicing yoga in May 2007 and for several years ducked in and out of it. Megan would start a practice, commit to it for a couple of months, then suddenly get distracted and stop going. Yet, despite her touch-and-go attitude, something always drew her back.
A few years ago, something changed. Megan committed to a regular yoga practice and have stuck with it ever since. I have never felt better than I do today. I recognize the power that can be pulled from yoga - emotional, physical and spiritual power - and I am committed to helping others tap into it.
Megan is a certified Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and am qualified to teach both Baptiste-inspired flow and bikram-style classes. She has extensive knowledge of various practices and techniques and can tailor the practice to accommodate any skill level. Megan leads classes that are both challenging and relaxing. They bolster students' metabolism while increasing their strength and flexibility. Students reap the physical benefits of yoga while simultaneously de-stressing and calming their minds.
When Megan am not teaching or practicing yoga, you can usually find her spending time with her family and/or checking out the local restaurant scene. In addition, she loves to read, travel and kick back with a TV series and a nice glass of wine.
New to Texas and Joy Yoga Center, Kimberly Joy loves the transition from Phoenix to the multi-cultural diversity of Houston. The irony of finding a studio as perfectly fit for Kimberly Joy’s personality as her name, she feels that Joy Yoga Center was a special gift delivered to her from Mother Universe.
Kimberly Joy’s personal yoga practice of choice is power flow vinyasa, preferably set to upbeat, contemporary music. That being said, she has been trained to teach everything from restorative, prenatal, candlelight, slow flow, and super high-power insanity yoga.
Kimberly Joy has been practicing yoga since 2005, yet her very first yoga class was Bikram Yoga in San Francisco, in 2001. Yoga is Kimberly Joy’s remedy for everything in life. She believes in the breath and the asanas of the practice to gracefully flow through life in an organic way.
In her classes, she typically instructs with a smile on her face, high-energy, light-heartedness and wants students to have fun while achieving a deep stretch and burn. She is most concerned with students listening to their own bodies and practicing open communication, allowing for modifications. She also encourages challenging oneself while leaving judgment and ego at the door.
In her off time, she loves to travel, people watch, cook (no recipes…just play time in the kitchen), spend time with friends and family, and of course, practice yoga and stand on her hands! She prefers the beach over the mountains, and warm weather over the cold. Kimberly Joy is originally from New York and is the 2nd of four girls in her family.
”Come as you are. Leave feeling lighter.”
Meditation enthusiast, Kat received her teacher training at Earth’s Power Yoga in LA. Soon after, she gave away what she couldn’t fit in a suitcase and ventured cross-country as well as overseas to expand her knowledge. Not only did traveling allow her to deepen her own practice, but also created an opportunity to create a unique practice. A practice that combines a variety of styles and elements into a dynamic and inspiring flow.
All in all, “Let go and move freely” is a mantra she lives and teaches by. Her love for teaching free flowing postures in cozy spaces leaves Yogis of all levels buzzing with joy and feeling relaxed. No matter whether you are a newbie or a pro, Kat’s class offers a come as you are experience guaranteed to leave you feeling lighter.