Our Instructors




I started practicing yoga over 25 years ago because it was a way to get a good workout. I was not a runner, cyclist, or gym-goer, so I was delighted to find something that suited me. Over the years, I realized the added benefit of the practice. It de-stressed my mind, that in turn translated to how my body functioned, I felt great! It became so much more than a workout, it became a passion. I received my 200 RYT in 2011 and I am currently working on my 500 RYT that has an emphasis on therapeutic essentials. Yoga is so much more than the physical (asana) practice for me now. As I dig deeper into the millennia-years old practice, I enjoy learning more about the other limbs of yoga and do my best to integrate them into my daily life.

I am a mama, (or mom as Maxwell, who is 15, now refers to me), and life-partner to Jay. As owner, instructor, & team leader at DDY, it is my intention to create space for those who also have that appreciation and passion for yoga. I could not do it without my family, friends, and team who have helped to build this amazing DDY community here in Las Cruces. Occasionally, I still practice residential architecture.

As I like to remind myself and my students, “there is no there, there”.

Practice, practice, practice! is my mantra.




Annie’s background is in music, she is a doctoral candidate at ASU where she received her MMA. Her 14 year love affair with yoga began with Bikram in Phoenix, and continued to Vinyasa in NYC and Iyengar in Rome! Setting aside her gigs as a personal chef and co-founder/director of an early childhood music program, Annie returned to the States for yoga teacher training, more proud of this certification than any of her degrees. Her addictions include memorizing anatomy, traveling, the Holy Spirit, green chile, and loving peoples’ hearts back to life!




Maggie discovered yoga 5 years ago, and will be forever grateful for the way it has helped her to reimagine a healthy and caring relationship to her body. Inspired by Open Doors Yoga Instructor Shawn Cornelison and his philosophy of sustainable movement, Maggie strives to support students’ bodies and hearts through a yoga practice driven by quality of movement rather than specific shapes. With a focus on Vinyasa Flow and Yin Yoga in her 200-hour Teacher Training, she loves to help students build strength as well as discover ease and, most importantly, be present in the body that shows up on the mat each and every day.


Mon. – Fri. : available any time after 3:30 PM
Sat. and Sun. : available any time!




Yoga has been a transformative practice that brought me back into my body. I love the holistic approach of connecting mind, body & spirit. Along with completing a 200-hour yoga teacher certification I’ve also completed training in trauma informed approaches in yoga, Level 1, 2 & 3 Healing Touch, Level 1 Reiki & Level 1 & 2 Touch for Health. I’m currently working on 500-hr yoga teacher training. My classes are accessible for all levels and are a creative and healing combination of breathwork, meditation, poses, energy medicine techniques and aromatherapy.

I enjoy making creative, delicious and wholesome plant-based meals for my family and friends. I also create unique handmade jewelry out of repurposed paper and local fruits and vegetables. I serve my community as volunteer facilitator for a social change organization called Shakti Rising.

I firmly believe that positive change on a bigger scale begins on an individual level. My goal is to support others in their process of connecting mind, body and spirit. It’s from this grounded and connected space where we are able to be our most authentic selves and make the greatest impacts in the world.




I was introduced to Yoga in early 2009, and discovered a love at first sweat. I completed my first 200-hour instructor program in 2014, and am currently enrolled in another 300-hour course.

Although fluent in Vinyasa Flow, my teaching focuses primarily on the Hot 26 and Yin styles of Yoga. These are personal favorites, but all types of Yoga make for rewarding practices, and half the fun is discovering which classes speak to you.

I focus on building mindfulness in breath, body and thought. I strive to create an environment that is welcoming, non-judgmental and encouraging. Compassion and community are important elements of the studio.

Yoga helped me not only survive, but thrive, through a herniated disc and diabetic neuropathy, both of which were physically and emotionally debilitating. My practice has refined my sense of self and given me access to levels of strength and focus I never would have thought possible beforehand.

To me, Yoga is synonymous with the word surrender, in that you can surrender your body to its healing path, while surrendering your mind towards love and light. I invite you to discover what that feels like. Yoga accepts anyone and everyone.




Niki Harings is a Certified Instructor with Yoga Alliance with a passion for women’s health & empowerment. Niki trained with Open Doors Yoga and completed her certification in July 2014. She teaches Vinyasa, Hatha, gentle yoga, chair yoga, prenatal, trauma-sensitive yoga and sometimes plays with the fusion of hip hop dance and yoga. She has been practicing yoga regularly for 9 years and has an extensive dance background. Niki was certified as a Reiki Master in May 2010 and her teachings are inspired by her lifework, helping people design and live into a life they absolutely love as a Life Mastery Consultant/Success coach. She also loves to share the supportive benefits of Essential Oils.




Lorelei has been practicing yoga for over ten years and is a registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance (RYT-200). She is also a children’s yoga teacher and has completed training through Cosmic Kids Yoga. She initially began practicing yoga for the physical benefits, but over time realized the therapeutic benefits to a regular practice. That became particularly clear after she began practicing yoga regularly with her son to help him with difficulties with focus and hyperactivity. Her experiences led her to a desire to teach yoga to other kids as well as adults to share the therapeutic, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits. Lorelei currently teaches Kids’ Yoga, Sustainable Power Yoga, and Flow classes at DDY, as well as Hot 26 classes. She is also working on her 300 hour training certification.




Ryan began practicing yoga while living in the Sacramento Valley in 2012. He has since studied yoga with numerous teachers across the nation and practiced many styles of yoga. Ryan joined Downtown Desert Yoga as a student in 2016 and completed his 200-Hour Teacher Training through DDY in 2017. As a longtime devote of vinyasa with a childhood background in ballet, Ryan loves teaching challenging yoga classes from a Functional Movement perspective which allows his students to build strength and power in a sustainable and safe manner. Ryan has personally developed increased strength and experienced a dramatic decrease in physical pain as a result of practicing from a Functional Movement perspective in DDY classes; he wants to share the good things he has found in yoga with others.




I am a wife, mom, nurse, hot mess, & Jesus and yoga lover! I have played with yoga off and on since college, but found a true love and need for yoga when going through some of the most difficult times in my life. My mat has absorbed my tears, taken my fists of anger, allowed me to sit quietly in prayer, let me collapse in exhaustion, and given me a place to move with gratitude and joy. It has become a sanctuary. Something happens there that keeps me going and calms me as I navigate life. I’ve realized the more I move my body the more open my heart becomes. Yoga has opened my heart, mind, body and soul in ways I never imagined. The idea to attend a yoga instructor training was laid on my heart a few years ago, but I honestly thought I was crazy!!! But the idea wouldn’t go away….so here I am!!! I’m honestly not sure I will ever feel more like a teacher than a student, but I will gladly share what Life has taught me on and off my mat. We were never meant to walk through life alone, my prayer is that I can offer just a little bit of honesty, love and light when we practice together. Namaste, Missy




Yoga has consistently been a part of my life for a long time. About five years ago in Seattle, I discovered hot yoga as a way to manage the stress and anxiety of work and the studio down the street offered a healthy, encouraging way to do that. I was forever hooked on the heat, the practice and the way my mind and body felt after each class.

After walking through the doors of Downtown Desert Yoga almost three years ago, my practice has grown in ways I would have never expected. I received my 200 hour teaching certification last fall and have absolutely loved teaching since then. My practice and teaching began with Hot 26, a series I love and truly value. Since deepening my understanding of yoga through teacher training and practice, I have enjoyed exploring various vinyasa flows as well.

Yoga has completely transformed me, the way I treat my body, the way I live my life and the way I interact with others. Both practicing and teaching have challenged me to step out of the box, connect with other yogis and activate a flow of creativity and lightness. I look forward to sharing practice everyday as both a teacher and student.




I found my way to a very unique studio (DDY) and yoga community almost 10 years ago. I fell in love with yoga and decided to spread the joy with my completion of my 200-hour instructor program in 2014. Since then, I am nearing completion of an additional 300-hour training.
Yoga has been transforming for me in so many ways. It brings me peace and connection to my true self. I focus on holding space for students and helping them to find their best, most functional movement. It is a beautiful experience to see someone who thought they could not do yoga, not only succeed, but flourish.
I have a bachelors degree in family and child science and I am currently finding ways to incorporate yoga for trauma into my teaching. I am a firm believer that anyone can find a home in a yoga class because there are so many varieties.
I will continue to hold the space and belief for any and all who wish to share this wonderful journey.

Jessica White Cason



For me, yoga was a way back to my body when it was the last place I wanted to be. In late 2009, I was in graduate school and I became severely ill. The diagnosis I received was all at once frightening, confusing, and impossible. I had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and I was so unwilling to accept that my body would fail me so dramatically, that I sought alternative diagnosis and treatment, which sent me spiraling.

Having never been one to take it easy on my body, illness forced me to slow down, take stock, and find a way to feel good in my body. I unwittingly discovered Yin yoga when I was so swollen and sick that I could do little more than sit or lay in a position for long periods. I would find a pose and just follow the flow of my breath. I’ve been in love with the practice ever since. As I regained health and became a mother, my mind and my practice became more active, and I started to slip back into old habits of pushing too far, too fast.

In 2016, I received my 200hr RYT from Open Doors at Downtown Desert Yoga. The program was so eye-opening. I learned how to turn even the most challenging of postures and practices into an opportunity to slow down and move in a functionally supportive way. I learned to create space for breath, presence, and awareness. As a mom in a world that never stops moving, this has been invaluable. As a yoga instructor, I have brought these lessons with me to every class and workshop I teach. In each class, whether it’s Hatha, Vinyasa, or Yin, I strive to create space for my students to explore their bodies as they are in this moment. I ask them to be curious about how they’re experiencing movement, what they’re feeling, the state of their breath, and to notice where they might be bracing or holding. My goal is to help my students strengthen their mind-body connection for every one of life’s practices.