Amanda lives in Mount Holly with her husband and two children. She's been practicing yoga for several years as a student and it's here where she developed her desire for teaching yoga and sharing her passion with others. Some of her favorite things about yoga are that it's very therapeutic in its connecting of the mind, physical body, breath, and soul- it's unlike any other workout in that way; also that you build strength within your own body using just your body, without weights and hours on treadmills, you build muscle tone and have the cardio component too. Amanda holds her 200 hour Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teacher certification and is also certified in CPR and the Les Mills Body Flow program (Yoga and Pilates combination class). She's excited to be teaching in the Belmont community!
Founder and Co-Owner of Simply. yoga + wellness Jessica discovered yoga at a young age.
"I believe that people need to move and breathe and get quiet. They need to learn what they are capable of and feel supported to step out into the big things they were created for. We all need to connect; to our body, mind and spirit and to others.”
A local gal born and raised, Jessica has deep roots in the Belmont area. She lives in Belmont with husband, Brian and kids, Logan and Izze. A lover of nature, Jessica is likely having an adventure with her family off in a forest or her newest hobby - standup paddle-boarding!
I've always been interested in health, nutrition, and being fit since I was very young. I have worked out doing aerobics,step, weights and everything in between that was popular at the time since my early twenties, until I found yoga in 1998 at Charlotte Yoga, it resonated with who I am immediately, the breathing the overall use of all your body parts, the spirituality and honoring oneself , brought my spiritual side together with my desire to stay fit along with helping me with anxiety.Of all the years I've tried to help others with all the knowledge I have gained through my life experiences I now know its was all to prepare me for this moment in time, that I now get to share with others the gifts of yoga.Giving back the gifts I've received from others along this journey, finding my way home to myself.Teaching others that Love starts with oneself,and showing up on the mat is the beginning of a life changing ,healing, experience of self love,and a healthier life.
Clif started a regular yoga practice at the age of 54. He was looking for a way to lose weight and gain some flexibility. At the time he was unaware of how life changing yoga would be! He achieved his goals of losing 40+ pounds and regained more flexibility than ever expected. BUT what truly kept him returning to his mat is the mental calm that appeared in the challenges he found a part of daily life.
In 2011, a change in his personnel life converted a 3 time a week practice into a daily practice. During this year he explored many styles of yoga including Ashtanga, Kundalini, Anasura, and Baptiste. He attended the 2011 Yoga Journal Conference in Estes Park Colorado including the Baron Baptiste 3 day Immersion. During the Baptiste Immersion he met Mark White who became a good friend and YTT Teacher. Clif completed his Yoga Alliance 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training the first part of 2012. Clif completed his 500Hr YTT with Rolf Gates in Sept 2018.
Each phase of his yoga journey has helped Clif find ways to help myself. That is the main reason Clif decided to become a teacher, to enable others to find ways of physically and mentally helping themselves. He believes that all you need to start your Yoga practice is to show up. Size, shape, age, male or female does not matter. There is a style and pose that will work for you!! Clif’s Power Yoga style of teaching is focused on Em”Power”ing you to find the capabilities that DO exists within you!
I fell in love with yoga 10 years ago when I was in a desperate search for something physical to help me relieve stress. I have been physically active my whole life but yoga, specifically power yoga which I started with, was a totally different experience. I am a sociable person. I enjoy other people, connecting, smiling, communicating, learning. When I walk into a gym to workout I do not feel a connection to anyone else there. A few people may smile at me as I smile at them. There are rarely any impactful conversations and there are often eyes of judgment and barriers to connection like music and looking down. When I walk into a room/studio/space to practice yoga I feel a connection. There is someone to genuinely greet me and welcome me. I feel supported on my mat by my instructors and the other students in the room. Connection often happens before and after class. On my mat I can tune into my true self, my powerful self, my compassionate self, my imperfect self. On my yoga mat it is okay to not be perfect, it is called a practice for a reason. I can try on new things on my mat. I can fall on my face, knock over a classmate, laugh, and start over again with the support of my instructor and a true belief in myself that has only been developed through a consistent yoga practice over the years. Yoga has opened a whole new world for me. I was once a depressed, easily agitated individual, often referred to as a "bitch" and selfish. I now see myself in a new light and can see the good inside of me. I feel like I know myself better and am willing to know others better. I seek out positive relationships with others and I am kinder to myself.
I teach yoga because I want to help empower others to drop their facade of being perfect. I want to help people see their true, best, most brilliant imperfect selves. I want to empower people to try on new things on and off of their mat. I want to empower people to be kind to themselves and others and to not fear making mistakes.
I teach yoga because I want to change the world, one mat at a time.
My yoga journey began several years ago while taking yoga classes at the gym as a way to stretch my aching "runner's body". Yoga was there, but only as a compliment to my rigorous fitness training. In 2013, after being diagnosed with late stage Gynecologic Cancer, I underwent a grueling treatment that included internal as well as external pelvic radiation and chemotherapy. The treatment weakened my pelvic bones and my running, as well as most of my lower body weight training had to stop. I once again turned to yoga for exercise, but this time something unexpected happened. I felt a different sort of shift in my body, but more importantly. A bigger shift emotionally. I took a Holy Yoga flow class right after my treatment was over and had an intense release of emotion that was deeply powerful. It intrigued me to keep going to the studio and deepening the exploration with my new body after cancer treatment. Once my vitality and strength began to return, my yoga practice expanded, and I found a great love for Power Vinyasa Yoga, as it satisfied the need for intense training, but with the compassion and self-love of Yoga- It was a match made in HEAVEN for me!
Gao, (pronounced 'gal') is a gal of many talents. She holds a 225hr yoga instructor certification with Holy Yoga, trained and is masters level certified at SVG Thai Massage Training Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Licensed Massage Therapist and holds a B.A. in Philosophy focusing in applied wellness and nutrition of the body from UNCC.
"Never say never", is what "Gao, today" would have adviced "Gao, 10 years ago". She lives and breathes a life she never thought she would come to find herself being submerged within and throughout, as a yoga instructor (and Thai Yoga Massage Therapist). In all honesty, she practiced yoga here and there, during her college years and even afterwards. She didn't really understand the power of movement and breathwork until an unfortunate event happened in 2010, that forced her into the trenches of having to brace her fall, find courage and calm her mind, soul and heart. Unbeknownst to her, yoga and Thai Massage found her (or should we say, "woke" her up). Today, Yoga and To Live is synonymous for Gao. Yoga for Gao, means to practice accountability; To honor her breath/pace, to have the courage to show up (on your mat/life), to find the grace to accept where you currently are/are not(physically/emotionally/mentally/spiritually), to challenge self (forcing self to grow beyond self) and to practice the presence of "being". Being an Instructor, teaches her how to be a better student and being a student, teaches her the compassion to be a better instructor.
As a psychotherapist and a yoga practitioner, Tanvi is passionate about integrating alternative style of healing and promoting personal growth in her practice. With a Masters in Psychology and a Social Work Degree from Columbia University, New York, Tanvi has extensively worked with trauma survivors and survivors of interpersonal violence. Her work then primarily focused on helping survivors relearn ways to befriend their bodily sensations and overcome imprints of trauma using tools such as yoga and breath work. Also, as a psychotherapist at the District Attorney’s Office in New York and a clinician at Carolinas Healthcare Systems in Charlotte, Tanvi creatively incorporated alternative styles of healing; such as mindfulness, meditation, pranayama and restorative/gentle yoga into order to assist clients find a healthy mind-body connection in their lives. Tanvi has her 500hr Yoga Allaince teacher training certificate (YTT), she completed her 200hr YTT from Enlighten Yoga in Ballantyne, and went on to complete her 300 hr YTT from Asheville Yoga Center with special focus on therapeutic healing. Tanvi is devoted in creating a compassionate and safe space for her students to shine in their own light. Tanvi’s classes are intention based with empowering messages and soothing hands- on assists to help students deepen their practice. She also weaves in ancient teachings, Ayurveda knowledge, and alignment based information with her personal experiences in her classes.
Off the mat, Tanvi is either traveling to a fun destination with her husband or cooking an Ayurveda inspired feast to feed her family & friends! Her motto in life is to Just Breathe & Just Be!
One of the first yogis in our community Christy joins our instructor staff! Originally from Boiling Springs, SC, Christy relocated to Charlotte in 2004, and has resided in Mount Holly since starting her career with the North Carolina Forest Service in 2010. She has always led an active lifestyle mostly outdoors, hiking or chasing birds, and discovered Yoga while in college. Since completing the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in June 2016 through Bella Vita in Charlotte, NC, she has a renewed appreciate for balance, core strength, grace and presence in and out of the studio. Christy appreciates the benefits Yoga has brought into her life and finds joy in helping others discover the Mindfulness, Growth, and Wellbeing it has to reveal. Let her gentle, meditative approach offer you space to quite your mind and renew your body.
Local girl, born and raised in Belmont, NC Lauren went to Appalachian State University in Boone and obtained a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education in 2009. She's been teaching 5th grade for 8 years at Kiser Elementary in Stanley. A lover of the outdoors, Lauren enjoys paddle boarding, backpacking, live music, and working with children. You can find her either teaching them, coaching them in Girls on the Run, or "white watering" with them in the summer at the US National Whitewater Center.
"I started my yoga journey 5 years ago, Yoga literally was my saving grace. I was struggling and needed some way to get out of my own head. Yoga was a place of balance and grounding. It helped me to build back my confidence and helped me in the path to discover who I am. As a teacher, I see kids struggle daily, in so many aspects of their life. They just want to be heard, and to be noticed. Introducing yoga to kids is my way of giving back a small part of what yoga has done for me and showing kids that yoga can change you; physically and mentally. That this space is a place of peace and they can leave any of that negativity or stress they've felt through out the day on their mat. "You are enough! i am good, I am are kind, I am strong, I am brave." We repeat that at the end of every class. Kids need reassurances not themselves. You just never know what they've experienced in a day. They, like myself, need to know that they have the power and strength to accomplish anything in their life. That is why I teach.
Becca grew up in Georgia as part of a large family and found gymnastics at a young age. After her first Aerial class she was hooked. She found that Aerial came naturally because of her gymnastics training. Taking every opportunity to better herself, knowledge, and skills. Becca started teaching Aerial classes in 2013, and like gymnastics, her passion for the art grew. Becaa is so excited to be a part of the Simply Wellness family and share her passion with others. Check out being a part Aerial Arts classes this semester!
[Afrobeat + Worship Dance instructor] I was born Kimberly Simmons (Facebook name as well). I'm also known as Kimberly Balekomoso. I was born and raised in Charlotte NC and moved to Belmont as a teenager. I graduated from South Point High School in 1994 and moved to Raleigh NC where my dancing career began. I've been dancing for many many years. I am a dancing minister and therapist for 9 1/2 years now. I also use other arts forms as therapy to help people heal mental illnesses and emotional and behavioral conditions.