You’re Guided by some of the Best in Kansas City
Your yoga teacher should be present as a guide and interpreter. The actual experience of practicing yoga is very personal though. Almost all of our teachers are full time yoga teachers, have certifications, and are lifelong students themselves. Learn more about them below.
Emily practices a variety of yoga techniques including acro-yoga (partner yoga) as well as aerial yoga and dancing. With an emphasis in Ashtanga Yoga and Vinyasa flow, she likes to maintain the eastern integrity of yoga while incorporating the fun, effortless feel of dancing.
Emily began her training several years ago and quickly fell in love with yoga in all of its forms. She furthered her knowledge and training, taking classes from renowned yogis such as Tiffany Cruikshank, David Garrigues and Jörgen Christiansson. She has traveled to India and Bali to deepen her knowledge, studying under many inspirational teachers. She will always be a student and is forever grateful for the wisdom that her teachers have shared. She continues to learn and grow daily from her personal practice as well as her students. Her practice has helped her to unionize the mind, body and soul, find balance in her life and gain strength, flexibility, and motivation both mentally and physically.
Emily likes to combine sequencing that is creative, playful and inspirational. Bringing to light awareness and mindfulness, she seeks to help others find a nurturing balance in their lives through yoga and diet. It is her hope that everyone can find the truly blissful medium that life holds for us all one yoga class at a time!
E-RYT 500, M.S. in Exercise Physiology & Biomechanics
Director Teacher Training
Gwen says: “Yoga is my life practice! I want to share the wisdom of this ancient healing practice with everyone I meet. Yoga is about immersing yourself in your life, and becoming completely present in each moment-Living in the Now. I hope to encourage my students to practice yoga with a deep awareness of the breath and a receptive body, not a striving mind. A daily yoga practice helps us to be the best we can be for the world-allowing ourselves to be open vessels for God’s spirit to move through radiating love and compassion”
Gwen’s formal education was a BS in Health and Physical Education K-12 from the University of Missouri 1991, and a M.S. in Exercise Physiology & Biomechanics from the University of Kansas 1998. She has been a fitness instructor, personal trainer and workshop presenter since 1986, and a yoga instructor since 1998 providing yoga instruction to a wide variety of people- kids, seniors, pregnant women, runners, high school athletes and teams, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic pain sufferers, diabetics, heart patients, people struggling with their weight, chemical addiction and domestic violence.
Gwen studied formally for three years (1999-2002) with her first teacher, Genvieve Crosslin. She, then, practiced from 2002 to 2015 with Kathleen Kastner, Maya Yoga’s founder and life-long friend. Gwen is eternally grateful to both of these beautiful teachers for sharing their light. Gwen completed the 200 hour training at Yoga Vedanta Shala with Mic and Stephanie Goodman in 2005, and another 200 hour training at Maya Yoga with Kathleen Kastner and Wade Mortenson in 2008. She taught the anatomy and pre-natal portions of these trainings as well as participating.
Gwen takes every opportunity to expand her knowledge by attending workshops with international presenters. She has learned more about the practice from David and Doug Swenson, Matthew Sweeney, David Williams, Bhavani Maki, Tim Miller, Jorgen Christensen, Saul David Raye, Jeffery Cohen, Anna Forest, Joseph LePage, Max Strohm, Kim Schwartz, Mark Blanchard, Brian Kest, Gretchen Robinson, and David Garrigues.
Gwen has a commited self-practice outside of her teaching as she feels this is your best teacher- Your breath and Your practice. She is married to a wonderful, loving man, Alan Hull, has four children: Tanner, Amanda, Natalie, and William. Gwen says, “Yoga has been my saving grace during pregnancy and parenting. I bring all of this experience to my teaching, and before I begin a class, I open my heart to God’s love and ask that my teaching may be what each person in the class needs at that moment. I look forward to practicing yoga with you.”
Jesse Molina started her career early with dance from age four, and yoga from age thirteen. She began teaching ballet and modern dance at the age of sixteen. After high school, she moved to New York City and attended Alvin Ailey School of Dance on scholarship in the professional division. After graduating from the Alvin Ailey program she moved to Lawrence, KS where she danced with the Lawrence Arts Center 940 dance company. She attended the University the Kansas where she received a BFA in Expanded Media and a BGS in Art History.
In 2013, she received her yoga teacher certification under Kathleen Kastner of Maya Yoga. Since then she has been teaching a variety of yoga disciplines and meditation. Her meditation training includes Metta Meditation, Vipassana, and Vedic meditation. Jesse’s goal and aspiration through teaching is to bring balance into her students lives through the practice of asana, breath, and meditation. With teaching correct technical foundation in the asana positions, she focuses on bringing meditative practices to create a holistic approach to yoga that carries over into her students every day life.
John’s journey to yoga started with a recommendation from his chiropractor related to an issue of slight scoliosis. John started practicing Vinyasa flow and that got him started in a teaching training program. During the course of the training he wanted to experience all styles offered and found Ashtanga through Maya Yoga. After his first class he was hooked. He completed his 200 hr yoga training and the Ashtanga teacher training with Maya Yoga. He’s apprenticed with adjustment training under Kathleen Kastner and Wade Mortenson’s guidance since then.
John says: “I feel that real change only happens through constant practice. Imagine yoga is like water, if the water runs once a week on a dirt trail there will be some change , but if that same water runs every day in the same path there will be major change.”
John has completed workshops and trainings with Tim Miller, Jorgen Christiansson, Ricky Tran,
Simon Park , David Miller, David Swenson and more.
John is the proud father of one two legged girl and two four legged children.
RN, BSN, E-RYT 200, YACEP, Thai Yoga Therapist, Wellness Coach
Julianne began her journey in health care in 1998 as a Registered Nurse, caring for patients who were in the Intensive Care Unit, Cardiac Unit, and Emergency Room. In 2007, she began to experience her own health crisis which eventually led to a significant career change. But first her time and energy was consumed with her own search for wellness. As Julianne began to explore yoga and the health benefits for herself, she discovered a new opportunity to build upon her nursing background. After a few years of practicing yoga and experiencing the transformation that takes place with consistent practice, she completed her 200-hour Yoga teacher training in 2010 with Theresa Murphy at One Tree Yoga, in Omaha, NE, and with Tias Little through Prajna Yoga School.
With a lifelong appetite for learning, she continued to seek more study and in 2011 completed her Health and Wellness Coach training. Combining her passion and deep appreciation of yoga with her coaching skills allows her to uniquely connect with groups and individuals to support a whole, balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Over the years she encountered many people struggling with pain. In 2015, Julianne began Thai Yoga Therapy training to enhance her skills set in healing myofascial pain, limited range of motion and injury. Using a “Coaching the Body” approach of combining the ancient healing art of Thai Yoga with modern pain science and trigger point therapy calls to her deeply. She continues to study this revolutionary approach under the founder and creator, Chuck Duff at The Thai Bodywork School in Evanston,IL.
Julianne is also working on her 1000-hour Yoga Therapy Certification under Renee DeTar, Doug Keller and Ray Long, M.D. She enjoys working with groups, individuals, and athletes, offering individually-designed programs rooted in yoga philosophy and practice, Thai Yoga concepts, functional anatomy and pain science to restore pain-free movement, stability, balance and overall health and well-being.
Karen has a passion for movement. Before moving to Kansas City in 2014 she was an award-winning physical theater actress and educator in South America, and has had extensive training in different disciplines.
From martial arts to trapeze, to drumming and ethnic dancing, her body has always been her tool for self-expression and self-discovery.
Introduced to Ashtanga in 2004, she quickly fell in love with the practice. As soon as she arrived in Kansas City she began learning from Kathleen Kastner and Wade Mortenson at Maya Yoga in order to deepen her practice. She has completed their Ashtanga Teacher Training. In 2017, Karen earned her 500-hr Ashtanga yoga teacher certification from Maya Yoga.
Ashtanga yoga has had immeasurable positive effects on Karen’s life and health, and aspires to help others discover its benefits on both a physical and subtle level. Her training in the internal martial arts (hundreds of hours of Taoist standing meditations) has been fundamental to her Ashtanga practice, her awareness of the body’s structural alignment, and to its energetic potential.
She is also a practitioner of Vipassana Meditation, one of India’s most ancient forms of meditation.
Karen believes that all our actions come from our intentions. Conscious practice is the way to clarify our intentions, make our actions more harmonious, and make one’s walk through life more graceful.
Karen sincerely thanks Karl, Monica, and Fede, her gurus from around the world; and Kathleen and Wade, her gurus in the heartland.
Kyra grew up with dance, music, and yoga filling her home. She took the path of musical theater and ballet performing with professional companies from the age of 8. It was her first love and career, but it was not a forever love. Kyra knew at 19 years old, walking out of her first Intro to Ashtanga class she had found something that had always been missing.
Unfortunately, the path wasn’t exactly simple. Having dealt with an eating disorder and the anxiety of performance for many years, it was not until recovery that a real practice was possible. Studying under her mentor, Lisa Schrempp KPJAYI level 2 for over a year Kyra became certified to teach in 2009. Along the way she was honored to study with Sharath Jois, Richard Freeman, Laura Spaulding, Matthew Champoux, Ruth Lauer-Manenti, among others. She also is trained to teach vinyasa with heavy Juvamukti influence, as well as Acro Yoga.
She hopes to translate her love of life, movement, and practice in her classes; helping to find compassion and kindness for oneself in this beautiful practice.
Lokha Samasta Sukhino Bavantu. May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
Lainie grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She holds a B.A. in studio art and art history and lives with her son Aadi. They have two pet rats, aptly named “Ratty” and “Snowy.”
Pattabhi Jois says “Practice, practice, practice…and all is coming. Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.”
Lainie practices Ashtanga yoga because she believes in the system. Prior to 2009, when she walked into her first led Primary class, she was drawn to powerful Vinyassa flow and Bikram yoga classes and was an avid runner. Since that first Ashtanga class, she’s had a dedicated Ashtanga practice and studies asana, pranayama and theory with senior Ashtangis who have direct lineage to Pattabhi Jois. Some of her favorites include David Swenson, David Williams, Tim Miller and Jorgen Christiansson.
She loves sharing her experiences with students and believes the study of asana is not about mastering posture. It’s about using posture to understand and transform yourself. Lainie’s focus is on maintaining the breath, the bandhas and proper anatomical alignment while surrendering the ego, the body and the mind to the practice.
Leslie Ann Blodgett
RYT 200, BA, LMT, Thai Massage and Traditional Thai Medicine Therapist
more info coming
Shaun views the Ashtanga system of yoga as being the path to deep, steady transformation. He feels that steady practice of Ashtanga yoga is constantly moving him toward a more refined body and mind, leading to overall wellness and a better quality of life. In 2015, he received his yoga teacher certification under Kathleen Kastner of Maya Yoga, and in 2016, he completed his 200-hour Ashtanga teacher training with Maya Yoga. With emphasis on breath to bring focus, Shaun strives to help students find challenge in their practice while cultivating contentment and gratitude in their capability and progress. He believes that gratitude is the best reason to show up at your mat everyday; “we show gratitude for the ability that we are blessed with by using that ability, by practicing.”