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MEET THE PERMANENT INSTRUCTORS

Ayako Mahtani
(co-owner)
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Prior to my practice of yoga and meditation, I was in a constant state of anxiety, insecurity, and fear. I would use all sorts of substances to give me a false sense of confidence, I would blame people and situations for my short comings. Yoga and meditation were the tools that I used to face these narratives and to begin the journey of discovering my true Self. As we need the dark to see the light of the stars, I was able to now the light of who I Am against the dark narrative of this false self. My rock bottom became my springboard to my highest potential 

 

With practicing yoga since 2008, becoming an instructor in 2012, and going on yearly Vipassana meditation retreats since 2014, I was able to use these tools in other areas of my life. These tools have helped me see the noble purpose behind divorce and cancer. I even experimented to see if I can stay equanimous while training and competing in the Ironman 70.3. It has been truly amazing to see how these ancient practices can be used in modern times to greet challenges with grace, compassion, and love.

 

I believe we all have been blessed to walk this earth to wake up to our true selves. We all have the potential to reach our dreams, to let go of the narrative that holds us back, and to connect with the guru within.

Danielle Russell
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My yoga journey began in January of 2014. I was recovering from an injury which had left me unable to keep up my normal, cardio-based workouts. I knew I liked yoga from the times I tried it, but. I was skeptical that I could get an intense enough workout from yoga alone to maintain the physical shape I had been in prior to my injury. At the time, I thought of yoga as something to aid in my recovery or an addition to my regular workouts, but nothing more.

It only took one class to realize that the intensity of the workout would not be an issue, but it took a few weeks for me to realize that yoga would give me much more than I would ever find on an elliptical machine. I fell in love with the calm relaxed feeling that would come over me as I worked through flows, connecting breath and movement. I noticed my stress levels and anxiety started to drop. I noticed that I was more present in my daily activities, and I could feel myself growing stronger and more flexible with every practice.

About a month after my first class, I quit going to the gym. Within a few more months, I knew that not only had I found a new physical regimen, but also a lifestyle shift that supported my mental and spiritual well-being. Experiencing this shift wasn’t enough. I felt compelled to share it with others, so in June of 2016 I received my RYT200 certification and have been teaching weekly classes since. I’m currently completing my 500-hour certification with Uptown Yoga in Dallas. I’ve already seen a difference in how this study has impacted my classes and I’m excited to see my practice and teaching continue to grow.

As an instructor, I aim to challenge and inspire my students to try something new, while creating a fun and encouraging atmosphere. My love for the practice of yoga is only eclipsed by the joy I receive while sharing it with others. I am thrilled to be joining the Alchemy Yoga team so I can share this gift with a new community of students. 

Stacy Neyland
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I got the courage to try my first Yoga class in 2004 and walked away feeling more alive than I’ve ever felt. At first, I appreciated the physical benefits of yoga. How it allowed my body to heal faster between hard workouts and all the competitive races I volunteered myself to wake up early for. I prided myself as an athlete in my younger years while ignoring the wear and tear I was doing to my body by not listening to it. Yoga began as a physical awakening for me but turned into an emotional and spiritual life long gift.

 

My yoga mat became my very own sacred space; a space where I could just “be”, a judge-free, non-competitive zone where I could set my ego to the side and nothing else mattered but the “now”. My yoga practice taught me to tune into my true Self and how to handle difficulties with love and compassion.

 

I felt the calling to share that with others. In 2009, I received my RYT 200 hr. certification, fell in love with teaching Yoga and then continued on to earn my E-RYT 500 hr. certification in 2013. Teaching yoga was always the perfect part- time compliment to my Corporate career of 23+ years. After much reflection during the pandemic, I finally made the leap  to resign from corporate in 2020 and began teaching yoga full-time with zero regrets.

 

As your Yoga teacher, I will be your biggest cheerleader and will do my best to meet you where you’re at in your yoga journey. I’m going to challenge you to become the best version of yourself because we all deserve to know that amazing person inside

Sarah Shiplett
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I began practicing yoga in 2010 as a step on the path to self-love. I’m both humbled and honored to share this light with others. I have a MA from SMU where I spent time studying in India, received my initial 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2012 through Gaia Flow and an additional 300-hour advanced yoga training at Grow Yoga in 2020. I have trained under Shanon Buffington to understand the complexities of yoga specifically during pregnancy through postpartum & I attribute much of my creativity in yoga sequencing to extensive training and workshops which landed me the role of a Yoga Creator and Yoga Master Trainer with VYBE 5 Studios. I am certified and licensed to teach prenatal yoga, facilitate meditation and CBD meditation as well as train teachers as a member of Yoga Alliance, YACEP. I am also the owner of Eira CBD, an organic broad spectrum CBD. 

I enjoy helping students as well as other teachers further their study and understanding of yoga, meditation and movement. I have partnered with I Choose Change to promote a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. powerful, peaceful, soul-loving yoga. I am the Wellness Contributor of Collin County Moms Blog and the owner of Sarah Shiplett Yoga, a concierge yoga studio. I host pop up events, live classes and provide on-demand content for individuals and corporate wellness. 

Tanya Peale
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I found yoga back in 2004/2005, a time in my life where I had failed at marriage and relationships, and didn't have a “real” job or career path, just making it day by day. My life had no direction, no purpose. The movement initially drew me to yoga. Since age 4, I have been a creature of movement of all kinds. Beginning in classical dance (Ballet, tap, jazz), gymnastics, modern dance, break dancing, Kung Fu, fitness competitions, half marathons, bodybuilding and then along came yoga.

 

Yoga brought me back to Me. I didn’t know I was disconnected until I found my first teacher, Chrystal Rae. Her words of love gave me a sense of belonging and worth in this world. Along with the Sadhana or spiritual offerings, the practice of yoga changed my life. I had found something I felt I was missing, very fulfilling. The more I practiced yoga,I knew the gift of yoga was something I wanted to share. I became a teacher in 2008. Expanded my knowledge of yoga, under Ricky Tran, with a 300hr teacher training in the lineage of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and have continued studying Krishnamacharya’s lineage with A.G. Mohan and family with Pranayama and hopefully yoga therapy.

 

The biggest gift I have found in yoga has been managing the mind and cultivating patterns of contentment, finding peace. Living in this world of constant distraction, We, as a people, need life tools to find space and calm in the mind when our world is not at peace.

 

The physical practice of yoga helps the body find balance (heal) from improper daily, movement and non-movement patterns. The breath practice helps the mind find peace and contentment. Both practices prepare the mind and body for what is to come, aging and beyond. This is what I offer to you.

Becca Wyatt
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When I first came to yoga at 24 yrs. old, I was just looking for a fun, new workout; I had no idea that yoga would become one of the most transformative forces in my life. I started my yoga journey with so much unaddressed trauma from my past…anger, self-loathing, and feelings of worthlessness that I was not aware of. This is one of the ways that yoga has helped me the most…it gave the space to become more aware of my internal world and to know myself on a much deeper level so I could truly begin to heal.

 

Yoga became a catalyst for my transcendence. Since I started my yoga practice in September of 2012, I have experienced and overcome plenty of hardships: heartbreaks, mental health battles, struggles with addictions and disappointments…but with yoga I always feel I have the tools to “come home to myself”; to remind myself that I am whole and complete just as I am; that I’m capable of finding peace even in the most challenging of times. For this, I am eternally grateful and continuously inspired to share this practice with others.

 

I decided to take teacher training in the fall of 2013 at the encouragement of some of my favorite teachers whom I loved and respected. I went into it unsure if I would have the desire or capability to actually teach yoga, but I was open to the experience and the opportunity for more knowledge and growth. During teacher training, I fell in love with the experience of teaching yoga.

 

The idea that I could help and inspire others the way that my favorite instructors have done for me motivates me to keep going to this day. Soon after I started teaching, in January 2014 I decided to further my training and education by becoming a 500 RYT. Through my yoga and meditation practices, my process of transformation and growth continues; I will always be a “work in progress”, compassionately learning all the facets of myself, but I am grateful every day for the opportunity to continue my yoga journey and the opportunity to share with others the joy that it brings me.

Youka Schupp
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I stumbled upon my first yoga practice in 2006 while I was recovering from a running injury, never imagining that the yogic way would become an inseparable part of my life journey.

 

With a degree in Art, I started my career as a Fashion Designer and shortly after graduation moved to NYC to pursue my career. The buzz about yoga and all positive things related to it were just beginning to spread up there and studios were popping up through the city. However, I was consumed with my running habits and was not open to anything outside that. Until my body began to retaliate and a few years later after moving back to DFW, I was instructed by my doctor to take it easy…. Out of frustration, I decided to take a quick class at the closest studio to my work and that’s how it all began! Three months later I was on my way to become an Instructor just so I could share my new found way of life with others. I received my 200 RYT certificate in 2006 and taught a few classes until my life completely shifted from corporate world into this new amazing world that I had found. 

During that time my life took a few unwanted turns and twists and if it wasn’t for my practice/ teaching I could not have emotionally survived the storm. My physical health began to improve as well as my spiritual being.

 

During this journey, even more than practicing yoga, I have cherished the opportunity to lead others through their practice and hope that they can find the internal fulfillment I found on the mat. 

Throughout the years I have taken different workshops and attended trainings such as Dharma Mittra workshop.  I have also had to take a few breaks due to surgeries and having a baby. Through it all I have had the joy of watching many of my students finding their way in the yoga world and advancing to become amazing instructors and inspiring leaders helping others including myself. 

 

At last I have to add, the joy I feel helping my yogis find their way on their mat and the fulfillment after seeing their beautiful smiling  faces at the end of the practice, leads me to truly believe that I have found my calling in this universe.

Poornima Sonni
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Yoga has been a part of my life ever since I remember. My mother was an Olympian and represented India at multiple Veteran Olympic Games. Yoga was a part of her training and recovery regime I was at a very impressionable age at the time. Imitating and following her footsteps was the most natural thing for me to do, and Yoga was a part of her training regime. Yoga was a very natural & habitual part of my growing up.

 

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy, which gave me a deeper understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the human body.

 

Following that, I moved continents in 2012 and it wasn’t until 2015 that yoga found me again, this time not only as a student but as a teacher too. I got my 200 hour and 500-hour certifications that further allowed me to connect the dots between the Mind & Body.

 

Yoga is a way of life for me and it is my mission to guide and empower oneself to feel nurtured, accepted, strong and safe through practice.

 

I look forward to guiding you through your own spiritual, emotional and physical journey on the mat.  Sharing the knowledge, I have gained over the years, and helping you to identify areas of strength and opportunities for healing, one pose and one breath at a time.

Dalton Presson
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My friend had to drag me to my first yoga class back in 2012. The main reason I was resistant was because it was out of my comfort zone. Finally, and reluctantly, I went to a class with him and by the end thought to myself, that was awesome. I kept going back and eventually fell in love with yoga because of the blend of good vibes, great people and community, a place of non-judgment, self-discipline and especially when I began to realize that the practice was so much deeper than just the physical postures.

Since then, yoga and meditation have helped me open up and crack out of my shell in so many different ways in life. It has softened me and strengthened me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and has brought so much peace and balance to my mind and life. Ultimately, it helps me stay in line with a higher version of myself and always brings me back to the right path when I veer off track - and although life still has its bad, stressful and dark moments, Yoga has given me the tools to meet them in a more enlightened way. 

My goal as a teacher is to help create the space and experience in which I can help share these gifts that I have gained in my life with others.

I have been teaching since 2015, am an E-RYT500, YACEP, have facilitated multiple 200 & 300hr YTT programs, have been a continuous student in many different YTT’s over the years, have sat multiple Vipassana meditation courses, love being outside all things mind body related! 

Hayley Whited
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Hello, my name is Hayley. I began practicing yoga at the beginning of 2017 as a way to reduce stress. I quickly realized that the physical and mental benefits I was experiencing as a result of consistent practice were things I wanted to share with others, so I completed my 200-hr RYT certification in the summer of 2018 at Gaia Flow Yoga in Dallas and have been enjoying teaching since then.

 

Coming from a dance background, I’ve always been happiest when moving to music. Unique sequencing, fluid transitions, beautiful melodies, and a standing invitation to refocus on breath - these are the things I love sharing the most with students during a class. The movement, music, inhale, and exhale combine with each person’s energy to create a space where we can explore all facets of ourselves and then extend outward to connect to those around us. 

 

Ultimately, I practice yoga because it makes me feel alive and human in what can sometimes feel like a dehumanizing world. I teach yoga because I want my students to feel alive and to feel human, and to see the profound beauty within themselves and others

Carla Pinto
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My introduction to Yoga happened at a young age in collaboration with my extensive dance training. As a Yoga instructor, dance artist, and educator, I share my acquired body intelligence with students by bringing mindfulness into practice.

Following a BFA in Dance, my 200 hr RYT certification was completed at the Dallas Yoga Center in 2014. My lifelong passion for dance has translated into an anatomically sound teaching style in Yoga, creating conscientiousness and ease in movement. I look at the student as a whole being, body, mind, and spirit. My goal is to continuously be an advocate for self-care, personal health, and wellness. Here to hold space and share the love and joy of Yoga with you. In yoga, the focus will be on the whole self, body, mind, and spirit. Knowing each individual is unique and holding space to connect to self and rebalance the body and energy centers.

 

In Yoga, our attention will be on using bodily postures (Asana), breathing techniques (Pranayama), and meditation (Dhyana) with the goal of bringing about sound alignment, a balanced healthy body, and a clear mind. Bringing mindfulness into practice while finding ease and flow within our bodies.

 

Mindfulness is the practice of being deliberately aware of each moment of one’s experience. It is tuning into the stream of consciousness and staying in the present moment with this awareness. Together we will tune our awareness and increase our conscious connection through the art and science of Yoga. 

Chris Grajeda
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My last New Years Resolution back in 2013 was the beginning of my yoga journey in Norman, Oklahoma. At 220lbs, I knew something needed to change to feel better about myself. Working out at a gym terrified me, I was not into running or any sort of cardio, but for some strange reason, hot vinyasa flow sounded fun! After my first class with the owner, I signed up immediately! What started as fitness-based evolved into so much more.

 

After noticing those changes in my health and happiness, the meditation aspect of the practice kicked in. Yoga shed new light on my path, allowing me to slow down and be conscious of how I interact with others and most importantly, with myself. It helped me differentiate what I needed vs what I wanted and to be my most authentic self. The flexibility was just a nice added bonus!

 

Long story longer, the studio owner suggested I do the teacher training through Gaia Flow Yoga in 2015 and I never looked back. I planted myself in Dallas and began my teaching career. Being able to share this newfound sense of love and community is what I hope to offer in every class. Yoga is a powerful tool to help steady the mind, body, and soul. Having the opportunity to share this, in this space, is a dream come true and I am honored to be a part of your journey.

Christi Tracy
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I discovered yoga in the year 1999 after years of struggle with anxiety. My mother was diagnosed with a prolonged illness and being a mom of littles and caring for her was overwhelming and sometimes debilitating. I was a self-proclaimed type-A and had a stressful corporate job. Something had to give. A friend suggested that I try yoga and I was hooked after my first class. Yoga was the magic I needed to get me out of my head, connect with my body and discover who I really was. 
 

The teacher of the class was leaving and asked if I wanted to take over the class. I secretly always wanted to teach but I didn't think it was possible. I decided to not listen to my fears and went to yoga teacher training in 2001. It was life-changing for me in so many ways. 
 

I began teaching many classes per week and continued working on my practice on and off the mat. I studied under Baron Baptiste, Rod Stryker, Beryl Bender Birch, and many others. I went deep in my personal study of yoga anatomy, yoga philosophy, and mindfulness.

The joy I find most in teaching yoga is watching the transformations that can happen with committed practice. It was with this desire I decided to start my own yoga teacher training in 2013. Grow Yoga has trained over 125 teachers in both 200hr and 300hr programs. 
 

Yoga has been a constant in my life and it has been a conduit to help me uncover some of my other gifts including being intuitive and my love to help people overcome physical and nonphysical illness through quantum healing. In 2020, I completed my Quantum Healing certification and currently work with clients to heal their own blocks to healing. 

I look forward to connecting with the students and staff at The Alchemy Yoga. My hope is that I can be a part of your yoga journey in some way. 
 

“The greatest source of natural power we have available is being ourselves”- Baron Baptiste

Megan Flynn
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In 2014, I earned my 200 hr yoga certification. The weekend before I started, I knew I was in the right place. The yoga teacher finished the class with a crystal bowl meditation. I found a feeling of deep peace in regards to losing my mother years prior. It was the first of many eureka moments. I’m so grateful for this practice that keeps me present and able to enjoy life in a new light. 

 

Soon after, I became a mother myself and found the greatest joy in my life. I really got to embrace all the tools I’ve gathered and continued learning all I could. I became a reiki master and harnessed the power of sound. I am able to relax effortlessly to connect with clarity in my own life with sound healing instruments. I completed a Holographic Sound Healing certification class to explore sound multidimensionally. As I incorporated sound into my reiki sessions, I began to see how amazing these healing frequencies can help people heal, grow and evolve. 

 

I intend to empower others through the power of sound. It has always given me insight into my own thoughts, helping me manage anxiety and focus on what truly matters in life. When you give yourself time to slow down, you can speed up more effectively with anything you’re inspired to accomplish.