About our Studio & Instructors

 

Our Instructors

Colleen

Colleen

Owner / 500 RYT Instructor

I started practicing yoga regularly over 25 years ago (almost 50 years ago if you count the times I practiced with my mom on our living room floor with Lilias on PBS TV)! I was a reluctant gym-goer, so the first time I did Hot Yoga,  I was delighted to find something that made me feel so good and it kept me coming back. Over the years, I found many other styles of yoga that I like and realized the added benefit of the practice; not only does it de-stress my mind, but I have also connected to something greater than myself. It became my passion and lifestyle. I did not seek out to own a yoga studio, it found me.  We offered yoga to many in our community, but I couldn’t truly say that I felt comfortable having just anyone come in.  If they were not fairly fit and flexible, I found it very challenging and frustrating to know what to offer them and have them leave my class feeling like they had a great experience.  Fortunately, I was introduced to Optimal Movement. I completed my advanced 500 RYT Training in 2017 with Shawn through Open Doors (with many of the other ddy instructors) that had an emphasis on therapeutic essentials which means I can now offer yoga to most anybody regardless of their physical ability, body type, or age, but also to folks dealing with trauma, anxiety and/or depression. I wanted to share that with others so they, too could offer yoga to a broader population so I started our own 200 RYT teacher training program.  It isn’t focused on any particular style of yoga but has an emphasis on Optimal Movement.  We have become known as a studio for almost any body and everyone. 

 

I am a mama to Maxwell and life-partner/wife to Jay, and architect. As the owner, instructor, & team leader at ddy, it is my intention to create space for those who also have that appreciation and passion for sharing and practicing yoga. I could not do it without my family, friends, students, and team who have helped to build this amazing community here in Las Cruces.

As I like to remind myself and my students, “There is no there, there” and just keep showing up to practice, practice, practice this thing we call life.

Alison

Alison

200 RYT Instructor

Alison started practicing yoga more than 40 years ago and it was the one constant in her life as I changed jobs, changed homes, and wandered around the globe. She began to teach while living in Costa Rica as there were no official classes in the mountains where I lived. Then, when she moved to France, she continued teaching yoga to the ex-pat community in her village. Twelve years ago, she decided to get certified to be a better, safer, teacher and it was during her month-long certification classes in Nosara, Costa Rica that she discovered Yin Yoga. From there she went on to Omega Institute for a deeper focus on Yin with Biff Mithoeffer. Currently, she splits her time between Las Cruces and their home in southwestern France.

Yin is her primary focus but she also teachs slow-flow Hatha and periodically does special sessions of Yin combined with a healing form of energy movement called Jin Shin Jyutsu. Gracias a Zoom, she can now teach from wherever she resides –  which is perfect for a yogi with wanderlust.

Annie

Annie

200 RYT Instructor

A lifelong practice as a healer and holistic health seeker inspires me to teach. I am grateful for the opportunity to blend the nursing knowledge, yogic principles, and energy work into a unique tapestry of gentle restorative, client centered, holistic health practice.

My yoga journey began with Lilia’s Yoga in the living room since no yoga was available in Texas at that time. My instructor training started with Prajna Yoga, Tias and Surya Little, in Santa Fe, NM and continued with many other teachers, in Canada and the United States.  Being a retired nurse complements my instruction with anatomical humor and information.

Intuitive sensitivity and compassion drew me to add energy work to her healing repertoire. While living in Southern CA, I became a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner, studying 5 years at the world renown Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine. I am an 8 year member of Healing Beyond Borders, an international organization for energy healers.

My specialty is gentle restorative yoga for the physically challenged population that may need a variey of options in a pose to match their range of movement. I like to emphasize breath, balance and alignment to enhance flexibility and maintain independence for all ages and capabilities.

Bernadette

Bernadette

200 RYT Instructor

As an educator and leadership coach, I understand the many challenges and stressors that we all face on a daily basis. My professional and personal experience informs my approach to yoga. I hold a doctoral degree from the University of New Mexico, and am certified in Appreciative Inquiry, Change Intelligence and trained in Dare to Lead. I am also a musician, lover of books and a foodie.

A wake-up call regarding my health and well-being was a gift that brought me to find my way to yoga. It was through curiosity, a regular practice and discovery of the health and healing benefits of yoga that led me to pursue teaching certification.

Through teaching, I aspire to help others find ease in their everyday lives. Together, we will discover and practice harmony, alignment and balance through breath and movement.

Crystal

Crystal

500 RYT Instructor

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.

David

David

200 RYT Instructor

I have had an interest in Eastern healing modalities for a long time. I got my certification in Usui Reiki and Vajrayana Buddhist traditions and received attunements by Wendy Bodin (Lotus Path Reiki) in 2014. I found my way through the doors of Downtown Desert Yoga in 2017 and that has led even more peace & healing. Through that experience, I had a desire to share yoga with others and I recently received my 200 RYT with DDY in August of 2018.

Deb

Deb

200 RYT Instructor

I have been a student of movement all my life. My first memory of dancing was with my mom and sister, learning to jitterbug by standing on top of their feet. American Bandstand was an afternoon party at their house since they lived ½ block from the high school. What I loved was how the music made me feel – when there was music, I was moving!

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, so I enrolled at Indiana University to become a H.S. math and P.E. educator. But fate intervened and one day between classes, I heard music and followed it to the dance studio. That day changed everything; I had found my heart’s path. I loved studying about the science behind human movement and the emotional balance between movement and artistry. My dance mentors taught me the poetry of movement, how to find expression of the soul, and how to dance with joy.

I’ve danced professionally with five dance companies, taught at several universities, danced with people from around the globe, directed the dance program at NMSU, but my most satisfying experience has been to witness the transformational moments when my students “become” the movement, when the outside world disappears and their inner nature is revealed to them. After I retired from NMSU, I found Downtown Desert Yoga. The philosophy of this studio, “mind/body/spirit” and “optimal movement,” was so similar to my own dance training. I’ve now found another home to continue my study of human movement in a place that is such a loving and kind community.

Hope

Hope

200 RYT Instructor

I was born and raised in New Mexico and I reside here in Las Cruces with my husband, our daughter, and two pets. I have practiced yoga, meditation, and martial arts for over 13 years throughout New Mexico, Alaska, Utah, Washington, France, and Israel.
I was recently completed my 200 RYT at Downtown Desert Yoga.  I love to design curriculum for my classes that are suitable to help anyone live a vibrant lifestyle.

Jasey

Jasey

200 RYT Instructor

I have been practicing yoga since I was in the womb, as my Mom was one of the first yoga instructors at the YMCA in Albuquerque back in the 70’s.  I am always up for a challenge and have done everything from sprint triathlons, long distance cycling, spinning, half marathons and even the Bataan marathon but yoga is what I always come back to. My body and especially my mind benefit from a consistent yoga practice and I am thrilled to have completed my 200 hour instructor program so that I can share yoga with others. I hope to help others build strength through functional movement and learn the benefit that a yoga practice can have on their bodies and minds.

I am a single mom of three amazing teenagers and a slave to 4 dogs, a cat and a horse. I have a master’s degree in accounting and work as a controller for an electrical contractor. I love to spin, hike, swim, read, practice yoga and am usually up for trying something new!

Kasey

Kasey

200 RYT Instructor

I am first, a mother of three wild children; Gabi, Bella-B and Damian Peña and then a life partner to an amazing man, Ángel Peña. I’m a New Mexico State University alumni with an education and background in Civil Engineering. I am a high school instructional coach, former math teacher, avid memory maker with family and friends, and yogi. Finding my love for my practice at Downtown Desert Yoga (DDY) many moons ago, I am proud to now be a part of the DDY family! Having completed the 200 HR RYT certification at DDY, I am excited to share my passion for yoga and all of its benefits to mind, body, and soul with anyone who is interested. With the Optimal Movement Training of the DDY program I can truly share yoga with everybody in a way that is safe and responsible.

Kayleen

Kayleen

200 RYT Instructor

I aim to lead a life of self-discovery and honoring my body. The day I stepped onto my mat I quickly discovered that yoga was my way to both. As an instructor, I hope to create a space for my students to do the same. Since the beginning of my practice is fairly recent, I encourage curious play so that my students learn alongside me. My teaching can contain a dance flavor focusing on the natural rhythmic flow of the body and breath. Through unified movement, I want us all to connect and realize our oneness to create a more harmonious way of living that spreads through the community.

Lorelei

Lorelei

500 RYT Instructor

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.
Nancy

Nancy

500 RYT Instructor

I have been teaching Hatha yoga in the Las Cruces since 1989. In 2007 I left town to live and work in Mexico City where I discovered Kundalini yoga. Upon my return in 2010, I attended the Kundalini Research Institute in Espanola, NM.  I received my Level One Instructor Certification and my Kundalini spiritual name, Param Seyvek Kaur, which means “Lioness of true greatness who loves to serve the Divine with all her heart.”

I am a Reiki practitioner and I’ve studied herbal healing with Lakota Sioux herbalist and physician Tierona Low Dog, and I volunteer in a local herbal apothecary, Healing Earth Mother Products. I also provide private yoga sessions for individuals who wish to practice yoga but feel they are not ready to attend classes. I believe in the healing properties of yoga, herbs, meditation, positive energy, and gratitude. Mantra, Mudra, and Breath work are three important components of my yoga practice and are integrated into my teaching.

O'Dette

O'Dette

200 RYT Instructor

I was born and raised in Las Cruces and have personally practiced yoga since 2008. With a BA in Communication Studies, my professional focus has been in early childcare and education. Working with children of all ages, teaching dance, gymnastics and yoga, deepened my understanding of the value of healthy breath and movement for minds and bodies. Dedicating the summer of 2019 to earning my RYT 200hr training certification, I became particularly interested in optimal movement, trauma informed teaching and offering accessible, inclusive yoga to children and adults with limitations and special needs. I hope to continue sharing the exploration of mindful breathing, taking movement and finding stillness through yoga practice.

Sa'rae

Sa'rae

200 RYT Instructor

My interest and discovery of yoga started 10 years ago. At that time, I began to learn more about yoga, not just in the movements, postures, and breathing, but also the ideas and beliefs surrounding the practice of yoga.

I believe a deeper understanding of the philosophy of yoga is not always necessary for all who practice, but I find it to be one of the many beautiful aspects that have deepened my appreciation for it. The more I have learned, the more comfortable and familiar it is to me creating a connection to something ancient and much bigger than myself.

I spent a few years learning what I could, when and where I could, through a variety of ashtanga, vinyasa, power yoga, yin, restorative yoga and meditation. I completed my 200 RYT with Downtown Desert Yoga in 2018. I teach a variety of different styles including Hot 26, Hatha Flow, Slow Flow, and Yin classes. I have a desire to keep my classes diverse and accessible to everyone, regardless of how much experience they have.

Shawna

Shawna

200 RYT Instructor

I am an intuitive feeler, seeker, massage therapist and yoga instructor. A free-spirited soul, who loves to travel and spend time in nature, embracing authentic experience and energetic connections.

My first exposure to yoga was as a teenager living in California and later I returned to the practice in college. Yoga offered me a safe space to show up to nurture my neglected mind, body, and spirit. In 2010 I enrolled in a 200 hour teacher training through my local community college as a way to deepen my practice. With an emphasis on structural alignment, this training nurtured a fascination for movement and the human body. Since then yoga has been an essential part of my life by helping me cope with anxiety and has inspired me to explore and share various forms of movement and energy work. This has included flow arts, acro yoga, meditation, breathwork and eventually massage therapy all of which have been rooted in yoga. In 2020 I completed another 200 hour yoga teacher training through Downtown Desert Yoga with an emphasis on optimal movement and trauma informed yoga.

Yoga invites people to slow down and listen to their body’s own innate wisdom. I believe this is where healing starts. As a yoga instructor, my instruction focuses on nurturing the relationship between mind and body through exploratory movement, stillness and breath. I strive to offer classes that are inclusive and accessible, so that every body may benefit from a sustainable yoga practice that will help them move through life with more balance and ease.

Shiloe

Shiloe

200 RYT Instructor

I found yoga as a teenager here in Las Cruces but didn’t become serious about my practice until I attended college at UNM. There, I took a semester-long Hatha class and fell in love with the physical, mental, and emotional benefits practicing afforded me. Though I started practicing for the physical benefits, I soon realized the reason I kept showing up was that the clarity and presence I found on my mat began to follow me into my daily life.
After graduating and moving back to Las Cruces in 2016, I began attending classes at DDY and fell in love with Functional Movement and how it transformed the relationship I had with my body. With this newfound body awareness, I became stronger, more flexible and my practice gained a whole new level of depth. I also gained a greater appreciation of the things my body is capable of. I realized I wanted to share the transformative benefits that Functional Movement has to offer so, I decided to take my 200 RYT with DDY in 2017.
I love challenging my students in a playful manner; always reminding them it’s not the shapes that the body can make that are important, but our attitude and mindset which ultimately shape our lives. When I’m not teaching, you can find me interpreting for the
public schools or frolicking somewhere outside.

Stephanie

Stephanie

200 RYT Instructor

I am a wife, a dog and cat mom, an art educator, artist, and avid gardener. I co-own a screen printing company, Reviver Printing with my husband.

I’ve lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico for the past ten years, which is where I deepened my love and dedication of practicing yoga. Yoga is the one constant in my life that has offered a safe, calm space to slow down, de-stress, and be in the moment. I’ve been practicing yoga for about 15 years and received my 200 RYT yoga training in Sayulita, Mexico in 2019 and trained in Hatha, Yin, Flow and Hot 26 Yoga.

I hear many people say yoga is not for them because they are not flexible enough or don’t look a certain way and hope to help change this stereotype. I want to teach yoga to the student who is unsure by offering a space of acceptance and non-judgement in order to support connection with their bodies, breath, and spirit.

Suzanne

Suzanne

500 RYT Instructor

I am the mother of a very active teenager, Javier and the wife of a wonderful husband, Tony! My family and yoga keep me grounded and have helped me through so much.

I currently work as the Program Coordinator for the Music Department at NMSU. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with each of the different music studios to offer specialized yoga classes and instruction for musicians.

I love to teach all types of yoga but have an obsession with Hot 26. I have recently shifted my focus on developing yoga for the lymphatic system after having my lymph nodes removed. This has allowed me the opportunity to work with and teach breast cancer patients and survivors.

Yoga has become a part of my everyday life and for this I will be forever grateful!

Tauna

Tauna

200 RYT Instructor

I came to Las Cruces from the Northwest over 20 years ago to pursue my MFA in painting. During this time, I have met my husband, become a mother and have been enmeshed in this wonderful community through the arts. It was almost ten years ago when I took my first hot yoga class. In 2016, I finished the Open Doors 200 hr. certification at Downtown Desert Yoga. During this time, and as with anything you do for a long time, I have experienced an awareness and discovery of the growth that has taken place inwardly and outwardly in myself and the ripple effect in other aspects of my life through this practice and my deeper commitment to it. My commitment to teaching yoga, is to help students connect to their breath and their true self.