Our Instructors

Colleen

Colleen

Owner / 500 E-RYT Instructor

I started practicing yoga regularly over 27 years ago. Over the years, I have learned that yoga is not just a way to move my body and stay active, but it is a way of life. It is the practice of curiosity and inquiry; not only through being mindful and breathing better, but practicing better ways to treat myself and others. As my instructor Shawn has said, yoga is about relationships. These practices have allowed me a way to build an improved relationship with my body, mind & self. I have improved relationships with my family and friends. Equally important, owning and operating the studio has allowed me to create space for many of us to develop relationships with others and build community. It has connected to something greater than myself.

 

My husband/life-partner, Jay and son, Maxwell enjoy cooking, designing &  building things together. 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.

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.

Annie

Annie

500 E-RYT Instructor

 

It is with great joy, Annie has been learning from, growing in and teaching the practice of yoga and music making for over 20 years. Annie teaches courses at NMSU, is a resident artist with the El Paso Opera. She also offers sound therapy and private yoga sessions throughout the southwest

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.

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.

Dylann Rae

Dylann Rae

200 RYT Instructor

Dylann has been leading yoga classes at DDY since September of 2021 when she completed her 200HR Teacher Training, having little to no prior experience with yoga. Taking that deep dive straight into the TT was honestly a transformational experience for her, and she is so glad that her relationship with yoga blossomed there. She is now teaching 4 classes a week, and values every session as a space to continue to learn and grow alongside this community. Aside from her yoga practice, Dylann is also an artist, a writer, an aspiring herbalist, and keeper of an ever-expanding collection of other experiences.

Hilary

Hilary

200 RYT Instructor

I grew up in the Midwest and began practicing yoga in 2008. I enjoyed the movement and discovered that the focus required during challenging yoga practices was a great way to silence my racing thoughts. I moved to Las Cruces in the fall of 2009 and continued to practice yoga throughout town. While going through teacher training at Downtown Desert yoga in 2021, I learned the power of slowing down. I learned that slower, mindful movements can still quiet the chatter in my mind while allowing me to focus my attention on my body and intuition. I still enjoy a challenge every now and then, but always try not to take life on or off the mat too seriously. When I’m not practicing yoga, I can be found working in the garden or exploring New Mexico with my dog Phoebe.

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!

Javier

Javier

200 RYT Instructor

With an extensive background in mountain biking, Zumba, being an educator, and running, I always thought yoga would be fun and easy. After my first class I found out it was NOT as easy as I imagined, but the true surprise was the sense of peace and joy I found.

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.

Ley

Ley

200 RYT Instructor

Ley (she/they) has been a practitioner of yoga since 2013 and of mindfulness since 2001. She completed her yoga teacher training (RYT 200) in 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas and has taught in many different contexts since then. The affirming, inclusive spaces she holds during her classes are shaped by her training in accessible yoga and trauma-informed yoga, as well as her experience as a Usui Reiki Master, certified philosophical consultant, and mindfulness instructor (trained by the Center for Koru Mindfulness. Ley holds a PhD in Philosophy and operates an individual coaching practice focused on exploring identity and authenticity.

Manu

Manu

200 RYT Instructor

Manu was born and raised in India. Although she’s been practicing asanas for only three years, Manu has practiced the spiritual aspect of yoga ever since childhood as it is culturally ingrained in India. She has recently completed my 200-hour teacher training at Downtown Desert Yoga. She feels every class she teaches is very valuable to me and she tries to include a little bit of yogic wisdom that she’s learnt from her teacher training, grandparents and parents and philosophy of yoga in each class. Aside from yoga practice, she is interested in learning ayurveda.

 Margo

Margo

LMT, C-IAYT, E-RYT

Margo is a licensed massage therapist, certified yoga therapist and natural posture specialist who has been teaching yoga for 25 years. Her passion is helping students understand the underlying movement patterns causing pain and discomfort. Her unique style of yoga is coined “Spinal Floss” which you can find on YouTube. Margo’s teaching is inspired by Yoga, Feldenkrais, Foundation Training, Biodynamic Craniosacral, Zero Balance, and Bodywork of all kinds. Margo is currently Adjunct Instructor of Yoga at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Director of Yoga for cancer patients and survivors at Anchorage Radiation Therapy Center, and owner of Bliss Bodywork with Margo, LLC. She recently relocated to her hometown of Las Cruces, NM and looks forward to building a relationship with you!

Check out her website to see current yoga and bodywork offerings:

http://margo-sorum.massagetherapy.com

 Monica

Monica

Pilates Instructor

With 25 years of experience personal training and teaching fitness classes, Monica is excited to share her passion and expertise to help you succeed in reaching your
fitness goals! Starting at a young age, she trained with former Czechoslovakian
ballerina Angela McGregor at her studio Angela’s School of Dance in Alamogordo.
She stayed active throughout my teenage years with various sports and weightlifting; moving to Las Cruces in 1985 to attend New Mexico State University where she obtained my Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology. Along with working at Memorial Medical Center Laboratory for many years, she also obtained her Johnny G Spinning Certification in 1997. After being introduced to Pilates while training clients part-time at Inner Balance Studio in 2007. She fell in love with this unique and amazing exercise system,and began the long journey of becoming a fully Balanced Body Comprehensive Pilates Instructor, obtaining certifications in Mat Pilates, and Reformer, Chair, Barrels and Tower apparatus. After running my own studio, Life in Balance Pilates Studio, over 15+ years, I am looking forward to a new chapter in my fitness journey and so excited to start teaching Mat Pilates classes at Downtown Desert Yoga!

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.

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.