Vinyasa Flow, Essentials, Gentle (Flows M-F weekly)
Ellen is graduate of Wild Lotus Yoga's Soul School of New Orleans. Schooled in the Bhakti tradition, she is inspired by a variety of approaches including Ashtanga, Kundalini, Jivamukti, Iyengar and Kali Ray Tri Yoga methods, most recently trained in Buti Yoga, giving variety to all of her students. Ellen's love of expressive movement started at an early age and has been a dependable source of inspiration ever since. Yoga helped Ellen discover her voice letting her life flow from a deeper, truer place. Ellen loves to teach all level classes ranging from strong Vinyasa Flow to Gentle Restorative styles all set to thoughtful music enhancing everyones experience. Her classes provide space for individuals to explore classic yoga postures with the inclusion of free form movement and in her spicy Vinyasa Flows, plyometrics and other various strength conditioning sequences. Also a visual artist, Ellen holds a B.A. from Tulane University in New Orleans.
Like so many others, Ellen came to yoga for healing and is the basis for her practice and teaching. Heartfelt and playful, her classes foster environments of acceptance wherein participants learn to practice compassion for themselves and ultimately the world at large.
Vinyasa Flow: Tuesday Nights
Yoga dramatically entered Sue's life through Richard Hittleman's Hatha Yoga teachings in 1975. Yoga has been a constant companion and led to many evolutionary experiences-intellectual, physical and spiritual. Her teaching style is influenced by Kundalini, Ashtanga, Svaroopa, Core Integration, Iyengar and Jivamukti methods. She has studied directly under renowned teachers in the American Yoga movement, including Shiva Rae, Jill Miller, David Life, Sharon Gannon, Edward Clark, Angela Farmer, Victor Van Kooten and Swami Nirmalanand (formerly Rama Berch). Sue was a founding member of Kelly Morris' "The Pranadhanas" Yoga Dance Troupe, and received her 200-hour CYKT certification from Marsha Wenig at YogaKids International. She has yoga-teacher trained with specialized occupational and physical therapist, and combined teaching cognitive and social skills with yoga to children diagnosed with Pervasive Diagnostic Disorders. Sue has had the pleasure of teaching in many studios, health clubs, school, homes and summer camps, and is teaching yoga classes locally at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center in Moss Point, the Blossman Branch YMCA, and is now honored to teach at Downtown Yoga In Ocean Springs.
Amanda Mavar Schmidt
Vinyasa Flow: Monday and Wednesdays
Amanda Mavar-Schmidt is a Gulf Coast Native and local business owner of Paddles Up Paddleboards in Downtown Ocean Springs. She recently received her 200 hour certification from the Gypsea Yoga School in Costa Rica. Although introduced to yoga years ago, when she made her practice a priority she saw clearly how beneficial it was to her health and wellbeing. Her classes are influenced by time practicing Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin and Kundalini Yoga, employing the use of pranayama throughout her flows. Out of the studio she can be found practicing and teaching yoga on paddleboards (SUP Yoga) all along the southern coast. Amanda brings with her a sense of adventure, exploration and new growth as she joins the Downtown Yoga Family.
Vinyasa Flow: Saturdays
LaSarah received her 200hr Yoga Teacher certification from Soul Shine Yoga school in October of 2016. She teaches all levels of yoga asana, meditative, restorative, and partner yoga classes. Passionate about the healing arts, she continues to study her craft through different movement workshops including Thai massage. Sarah describes her classes as free-flowing and playfully challenging & encourages her students to explore their practice at their own pace. In her downtime she enjoys hanging out with her daughter and people watching.
Restorative Yoga: Wednesdays
After many years of personal asana practice, Rachel began to refine her study with a particular interest in self-care and stress management. In 2011, Rachel completed her 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification under Carla Olla (Love Yoga Center, Naples, FL) and later that year, took part in a Bhaki yoga immersion, traveling through India with renown Vedanta scholar Shyamdas. While teaching with a focus on trauma and stress management in a therapeutic facility, Rachel went on to earn a trauma-informed yoga therapist certification under Dr. Daniel Libby (Veterans Yoga Project, New Haven, CT) in 2013. A year later, Rachel developed and taught the therapeutic yoga curriculum for Veterans in the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Boston Red Sox Foundation's Home Base Warrior Health and Fitness Program (Boston, MA and Fort Myers, FL). In 2015, Rachel earned a 500-hour Yoga Alliance certification under Carla Olla (Rhinebeck Yoga, Rhinebeck, NY) and Julie Kirkpatrick (Jivamukti Yoga, New York, NY). She is deeply grateful for her teachers, including Shubhraji and Sharon Gannon. Rachel was a long-time Restorative teacher at Love Yoga Center, teaching for seven years in the style of Judith Lasater—sharing the joys and benefits of relaxation with beloved students of all ages, levels and abilities. Rachel moved to Ocean Springs, MS in 2018 and serves as a psychotherapist at the Biloxi VA, incorporating yoga and mindfulness in her work with combat Veterans.