"My name is APRIL MCDUNN. I was raised in a small town in Virginia and currently live with my husband in Clarksville, Tennessee. I began my yoga journey in 2014, during the darkest time in my life. My knowledge of yoga was solely based on what I saw in books and online, so I was in complete shock when I stepped on a yoga mat for the first time and it changed my life. Yoga has been an amazing learning and self-growth path that I just could not keep to myself. I have a passion to share all that yoga is, and therefore I became a teacher. I graduated as a therapeutic yoga instructor in October 2017 and have since been teaching at Yoga Mat in Clarksville. My goal as a teacher is to share the many ways one can live their yoga on and off the mat. I hope to show others that during the hardest of days, you still have yourself, you still have your breath, and you still have a yoga mat waiting for you."
JAMIE HENRY: "I am many things; a military spouse, Momma to special needs children, and an RYT.
My love for yoga started not that long ago. Yoga called out to me when I was at my worst and didn’t know where to turn. I gave myself away to others. When there wasn’t anything left of me, it was then that my awakening started. My world got turned upside down, and I began to see everything from a different perspective; what I once thought was truth was not the case.
Along my journey of searching for the truth, I became a Life Coach, an energy practitioner, and now a therapeutic yoga teacher. I also found the Priestess Process and the calling of the Divine Feminine. I am now a High Priestess Initiate learning how to continue to heal myself, as well as how to help heal the conscious collective in this world. Yoga was and is my missing link.
Through this long journey so far, I have learnt many things, but the most important thing of all is that I must nourish myself first before I can be something for someone else. My list of passions is long and continues to grow. My desire is to learn all that I can in life and in yoga because yoga is life. Yoga allows us to connect to the divine in each one of us. Namaste."
AMANDA RUSH is the co-owner of Yoga Mat yoga studio in Clarksville, TN. She gained her RYT-200 certification in October of 2016. Crediting yoga with saving her life, she has made it her life’s mission to share her love of yoga and wellness to all that seek healing. She believes that we each have a responsibility, and the power to do good in the world in our own way. Amanda splits her time between the yoga studio and her work as a government contractor with the U.S. Army. Recently retired after 35 years of being a competitive athlete, she is excited to be in a position to provide the opportunity for young athletes to find yoga at an early age. She is also honored to be able to provide a space for the veteran population to find healing through yoga as well. Amanda spends her free time traveling the world and exploring new places. She loves to be outdoors and finds her favorite meditation practice to be long hikes in the woods. She also finds comfort in the times that she can be by the ocean, with her feet in the sand and is looking forward to exploring her new passion, kayaking! Her guiding principle is that we each have our own story, and that each of us is the Hero of that story.
All Rights Reserved.
Last updated December 2018. Updated weekly.
Copyright 2013. Founded 2012. Thorncraft Publishing.
All Contributors: Ariel Bowlin, E.W. Dziadon III, Jessica Gibbs, Sheryl Lin Hayes, Jamie Henry, Brittany Howard, Yvette Huber, Laura Hurn, Eva James, Nikki Martin, April McDunn, Jennie Passero, Michelle Petty, Jasmin Serina, Ericka Suhl, Amanda Rush, Sherry Ulansky, Jennifer Villaluz, Jennifer Will, Sophia Winters, Arielle Witt-Foreman, Erika Wolfe.
ARIELLE WITT-FOREMAN is a yoga teacher, wife, mother, and essential oils enthusiast in Rockfish, North Carolina. Aside from spending time with 4-year-old Belle, Arielle enjoys painting and connecting with people about yoga and healing on all levels. After starting her 200-hour training with The Guiding Wellness Institute in Fayetteville, NC (@guiding_wellness on Instagram), Arielle's journey for personal healing took a drastic turn upward. Her journey and love for yoga healed her marriage and brought peace to a warrior that didn't know how to leave the battlefield. The blessings reaped from BreatheYourOMBalance Volume 1 brought love, healing, and connection to her household. Arielle has continued to bring this passion and healing into her community, completing her 200-hour Therapeutic Yoga Teacher Training in February of 2018, and she continues to promote her passion for yoga and healing with everyone she meets. Arielle is also a student of Full Sail University majoring in Entertainment Business. She will graduate with her Bachelor’s Degree in September of 2018 and plans to use her degree in addition with her yoga teacher certification to create wellness retreats for those affected by all types of trauma.
NIKKI MARTIN is a writer and full time yoga teacher living on the east coast of Canada with her partner Paul and two playful kittens, Tris and Lu.
Her love of stories, both reading and creating them, started very young when she realized they could be both escape and salvation for a shy, sensitive and awkward kid who always felt a little bit out of place despite having friends and being very social. She drafted her first novel in grade nine and her first feature length screenplay not long after that, and has written many of both genres since. She hopes to share her work with readers over the coming years and to continue to share her passion for yoga while teaching and traveling.
She is an avid reader, a daydreamer, a movie lover, a sunset chaser, a stargazer, a love warrior, a tree hugger, a beach walker, a storyteller, and an ocean soul.
A MOMENTARY DARKNESS, her first novel in a fictional series, will be available in 2018. Read more about Nikki here.
JESSICA GIBBS is an ATLien working as a pediatric physical therapist by day, and a yoga teacher, aerialist, and writer by night. She enjoys being outside, listening to music, writing, and taking adventures of all sorts. Her yoga journey began in December 2013 and inspired her healing process. She now shares her love of yoga with everyone she meets and hopes to inspire others to practice kindness and love on a daily basis. You can find her and follow her adventures on Instagram under the name @gibby_smalls
ARIEL BOWLIN was born and raised in the Puget Sound area. She graduated from Western Washington University with a Bachelor's in Spanish and worked as a contract interpreter for the State of Washington for several years. She also taught Spanish Conversation at Everett Community College. Chronic injuries led her to practice and teach Yoga and Pilates. She now lives and teaches in Tucson where she loves to hike, read and practice Yoga in the park. She is a breast cancer survivor. Find Ariel on Instagram as @arielbowlin
SOPHIA WINTERS enjoys walking on the beach, traveling, and jeeping, but yoga is her passion. She especially loves the tranquility and challenge of practicing on the water, and the paddle board has quickly become her favorite weekend mat. This Cajun yogi is currently working on a venture which combines her belief in the transforming power of yoga along with her belief that yoga can be practiced anywhere at any level. Sophia is continuously inspired by the IG yoga community in her daily practice and can be found there as @yogajourney015
About E.W. DZIADON III: Edward is the owner of Oakland Power Washing, father of four, and grandfather to one. He served as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army which allowed him to explore the vast cultures of the world. After retiring from the Army, he searched for a new adventure and found Yoga. His journey into the yogic world has been one of the most rewarding endeavors to date and has allowed him to connect with some amazing people. He completed his 200hr.-RYT training program through Guiding Wellness Institute and Yoga Mat yoga studio.
JENNIFER VILLALUZ: Pacific Islander, mother, yogi, naturalist, and crafter, who enjoys yoga, the simple things in life, and time making memories with family and friends. “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”—Buddha
A Hello Kitty diary sparked LAURA HURN’s passion for writing at age eight. By age twelve, Laura was writing book and science reports for fun, outside of her schoolwork for her family to read – the makings of a Technical Writer. At age sixteen, Laura began exploring poetry and short fiction in high school and then through university. Professionally, Laura’s passion led her to become a Technical Writer and Communications Manager whose writing caters to a global audience. Currently exploring fiction and poetry again, Laura’s writings are ever-inspired by her hiking and yoga adventures. And, of course Laura still journals, Hello Kitty diary (sadly) excluded.
YVETTE HUBER practices and teaches at Yoga Mat studio in Clarksville, TN. Her work on the mat will never be done.
JENNIE PASSERO: "I most identify as an adventurer-explorer, and I love collecting experiences. I feel like the world is mine, and I am hers. I have been writing for almost 30 years, and it is how I creatively express myself; it is a way for me to process my surroundings and experiences. Yoga is a way for my body to express itself creatively, but it sneakily found its way into my life.
Three years ago I started practicing yoga because of my love for running. I was looking for a cross training activity that would enhance my running. I am not an advanced yogi, nor can I contort my body into amazing poses. However, yoga has been a 'place' for my body, mind, and soul to align and reset. It allows me to access parts of myself that have shied away. It feels like something that belongs just to me. It has become a personal relationship between me and my practice. Something that started off as a necessity for my running has now become a necessity for my well-being." Read Jennie's blog at Amor Fati, The Soul-O Traveler, and find her on Instagram as @thesoulotraveler
"My name is MICHELLE PETTY and I finished my first RYT teacher training in 2014 in Baptiste Power flow yoga. I recently finished my therapeutic yoga teacher training in 2017. I have a love for yoga for my personal self and for others. I am married to a soldier and we were stationed at Ft. Campbell in late 2011. We have two sons that keep us busy. My husband and I are originally from Ohio. I'm a dental hygienist by day and a yogi always!"
BRITTANY HOWARD is a receptionist at Southland Veterinary Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a B.A. in English and from Lexington Healing Arts Academy with a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification. This training enabled her to teach a series of sunrise yoga and aerial yoga classes that have helped inspire a lot of her nonfiction writing and general attitude towards life. In her spare time, she now enjoys a personal yoga practice, working on her writing, and spending time with her dog, Zoey. Find her on Instagram: @paws.across.ky
and Twitter: @brittanylhoward
SHERRY ULANSKY is committed to lifelong learning and exploration. She has been a soil scientist, map producer, manager, and currently teaches advanced project management at colleges across Canada. She lives near Vancouver, British Columbia, with a couple of zany black cats who love to join her on the floor for yoga sessions. Her restorative yoga practice began in 2013, and it has led to new adventures that include kayaking with orcas and belly dancing. “The Magic of Restorative Yoga” is her first published piece.
Whether it’s traveling the world, writing about her inner and outer journey, or grounding down on her yoga mat, EVA JAMES is always up for an adventure. She is very passionate about being a conscious mom to her two sons and empowering them to be their true selves. You can either find her somewhere by the ocean or at her Bavarian home, where she works on her vision of leading a peaceful and balanced life in hopes of sharing her findings with others. Learn more about Eva at: www.findingmywave.com
SHERYL LIN HAYES, best known as Sheri, is employed as a Behavioral Health Educator, specific to the Autistic community. She graduated from Temple University of Philadelphia with an A.A. in Spec. Ed, B.A. in Early Elementary, and a minor in Adult Organizational Development Communication. She is a literary award winner and author of many publications. Her first book, If Life Was Made on Canvas was released in 2010. She enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction, sometimes meshing the two. She’s been writing poetry since she was twelve, finding poetry to be the bridge that joins language to her soul.
She first took interest in yoga and holistic health to manage many of her own diagnoses. Successfully managing and curing many encouraged her to grow in her practice and to help others with their own medical struggles. Yoga allows Sheri to weave together her many passions-exercise, health advocacy, literature, and visual arts, making healthy regimes pleasurable. Yoga has given Sheri a sense of belonging, discipline, and poise needed to work with special needs. When Sheri is not working or striking a pose, she is usually cooking it up, traveling, targeting her next photo shot, or hanging out with her two children, husband, and her doggy, Bailey.
Contributors for BreatheYourOMBalance® Volume TWO
ERIKA WOLFE is co-owner of Yoga Mat yoga studio in Clarksville, TN. She received her E-RYT 200 designation in the winter of 2016. Her yoga journey began in September 2012, when she fell in love with yoga after that first class. Yoga became her new life. Yoga made the stress melt away. It helped her to find confidence, strength, and belief in Self. Curiosity and a thirst for knowledge led her further down this journey to Self, and to find the “magic” behind Yoga. Her definition of this magic is to be able to practice at a studio that is filled with love, kindness, and open hearts. And, that definition of that magic has become her life’s mission. With the opening of her own studio, she is able to bring that magic to others. Teaching others to let go of challenges, obstacles, worries, ego, and so much more to just be in the present moment, Erika helps others in using breath to move through asanas, becoming stronger in mind and spirit, and allowing the body to follow. On any given day, Erika can be found at Yoga Mat, greeting all that enter with a warm smile and a hug. Teaching yogis how to hug the correct way, leaning toward the right so that the two hearts touch. Believing that yoga is for Every Body, she has set out to bring yoga to every demographic within the community. Spearheading programs for veterans, children, the elderly, and so much more, her vision is to bring therapeutic yoga to all who can benefit from it. Erika likes to spend her spare time grounding in nature. Whether it’s hiking, kayaking, or sitting by the sea, she’s always happiest when finding connection in the natural world.
ERICKA SUHL is the creative nonfiction editor for April Gloaming Publishing and an adjunct instructor at Austin Peay State University. She received her MA in English from APSU where she won Dogwood Awards for creative and scholarly writing. She has published work with The
Regenerates artist and writer’s collective in Nashville, Clarksville Living (formerly Clarksville Family Magazine), and APSU’s Red Mud Review. She hopes that her commitment to developing her writing projects grows to match the commitment she now gives to her yoga practice. She is also a fun-loving, if not disciplined, mother and dog owner. She currently lives in Clarksville, TN.
JENNIFER WILL has been a student of yoga since her college days in the early 1990s. She is a practicing massage therapist/bodyworker, yoga teacher, writer, gardener, cat-friend, and baker, among other things. Along with the occasional poem, she also writes nonfiction essays and fictional sci-fi/fantasy. More info about her massage therapy practice, Thai massage workshops, and yoga at www.earthdancehealingarts.com