Our Collective Mission
The Bella Prāṇa Collective believes that wellness shouldn’t be a luxury, that wholeness cannot exist without equity, and that every person deserves access to healing experiences.
We have been serving our community for over a decade. We are a gathering place, a collective of people who participate in their own healing and celebrate each other as we are. We are powered by the vision of a world filled with compassion and built on equity. We seek to be awakened through the ancient healing practices of yoga and meditation gifted to us by the ancestors of South Asia and yogis all over the world. We aren’t interested in anything less than your imperfect self, because we all have things to give, and things to unlearn. We are driven by curiosity, reject the pursuit of perfection, and will boldly speak to anything that does not foster community. It does not matter who you are, how you identify, where you are from, what you do or who you love. As you are in this moment, and every version you will become – we want to be your home.
Integrity – earning our community’s trust by keeping our word. Because we are humans, we will work to make it right if we mess up.
Humility – all people who walk through our doors are asked to come as they are physically, mentally and emotionally. We welcome the swagger of a good hair day and the tears of a hot mess.
Belonging – we believe in nothing less than radical acceptance. Our space is for anyone interested in love, growth, and connection. Forget fitting in – at the Collective, we belong.
Service – we are dedicated to providing approachable, interesting and soulful opportunities to heal, throughout every chapter of this cosmic ride.
Roni Elissabeth (she/her) is the founder & owner of the Bella Prāṇa Wellness Collective. Roni is an 500hr yoga instructor and has been teaching for over a decade. She is also a certified reiki practitioner, a life coach graduating from the Southwestern University of Healing Arts, as well as a nutrition coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Roni is a certified wilderness emergency medical technician and adventurer who is known for her life changing retreats around the world in places such as India and Nepal. Using these skills, she is a sought after consultant, writer and speaker. Previously in full time ministry, with her first year of her masters in divinity, she was drawn to the healing yoga provided in such an efficient and tangible way. She is known for her special blend of spirituality, life coaching, and yoga. Her classes help you shed the lies that stand in the way of experiencing a radically peaceful life. When Roni isn’t at the studio she is with her husband Bret and her puppy Winnie Cooper.
Tina Tidwell (she/her) is a 500 E-RYT, an owner at Bella Prāṇa Wellness Collective and professional dancer, graduated from USF with a degree in Dance and Psychology. She fell in love with yoga, through dance, after studying with Michelle Jacobi in Paris. Tina received her 200 RYT in Ashtanga at Yoga on High (OH) with masters such as Tim Miller and Maty Ezraty. She received her 500 RYT through Asheville Yoga Center earning certifications in Meditation, Prenatal, Yin, Seniors, Yoga as Therapy, Yoga and Ayurveda, Restorative and Kids while studying with amazing mentors including Michael Johnson, Libby Hinsley and Stephanie Keach. Tina challenges the body in mindful movement while using the breath as the musical cue. She teaches in the USF’s School of Music as well as at DanceUSF and works privately with professional athletes. She is honored to be one of the first teachers at Bella Prana and a lead teacher of the teacher training program. When Tina isn’t on stage or in the studio, you can find her spending time with her husband, big cat and floppy puppy.
Progressive, funny, and 100% real, Ashley Adams (she/her) is the founder of Black Prāṇa Magazine and Director of Teacher Training at the Bella Prāṇa Collective. With family history hailing from the small beach town of Tarpon Springs, Florida, this business tycoon, mother, and eldest sister of four knew fate led her to purpose when doing “the work” didn’t quite feel like working. Ashley says the success of her business is rooted in pure frustration. In response to that frustration, Black Yoga Magazine was born. The only publication of its kind, BYM exists because of the lack of representation for people of color in the yoga world. Ashley also made the conscious decision to lower the barrier to entry when it comes to people of color obtaining their certification to teach Yoga and less than a year ago, Ashley launched her first 200-Hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Program virtually. To date, Ashley has successfully trained over 4000 yoga professionals.
Megan Weathers (she/her) is a manager at Bella Prāṇa, a Reiki Master and lead instructor of our Yin, Gentle and Restorative Yoga Teacher Trainings. Her experience with yoga started as a young wife and mother with twin babies. Stress, anxiety and exhaustion were taking her over. She saw a picture of a woman doing yoga on a rock in Utah, and was inspired by quiet strength, grace and peace. She started practicing yoga 15 years ago, and her path led her to toward a calling to teach. Megan is a reiki master and 500hr instructor trained and certified in the Hatha tradition from local teachers John C.Stierwalt, Dale Morphew, Shelly Happel, and Jessica Lynne Trese. Each class Megan teaches is meant to be a journey through physical poses to experience balance between breath, stillness of the mind. Megan’s prayer is that yoga will give you a greater understanding of how quiet strength and grace can take you off your mat and into the greatest version of yourself.
Jessica Lynne Trese
Jessica (she/her) owns and runs our Ashtanga Yoga Program at Bella Prāṇa through her business, Yoga Chikitsa. She is committed to teaching and practicing the Ashtanga Yoga method, as taught in KPJAYI, Jessica began teaching yoga in 2007, and the daily practice of Ashtanga yoga provides her with the healing, uplifting, and insightful benefits of a committed yoga practice. Jessica uses gentle encouragement to guide students along a path of healing self-discovery through yoga. Jessica has traveled to India to study at KPJAYI with R. Sharath Jois in Mysore, India and was blessed with the Authorization to teach Ashtanga Yoga in 2013. Jessica dedicates her life to learning and sharing the Ashtanga Yoga Method, it inspires her to cultivate peace, inspiration, dedication, devotion and self surrender on and off the yoga mat.
Emily (she/her) is the Boutique Director at the Bella Prāṇa Collective. She is a local Tampa artist and curator originally from Port Washington NY. She graduated from the University of Tampa with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art. She worked previously at Anthropologie in Hyde Park Village as a floor manager assisting the visual team to create all of their in-store displays. Emily then transferred to Free People as a Stylist where she learned about visual merchandising in a boutique style shop. Today she currently works as our whole sale buyer for Bella Prāṇa’s boutique; Emily also creates all of the displays and art installations in our shop along with designing new Bella merchandise. She has shown her artwork at numerous galleries, studios, bars and restaurants across Florida. When Emily isn’t at the studio you can find her snuggling with her bulldog Kobe.
Ana Sofia Lopez
Ana Sofia (she/her) is our Director of Customer Service. She was yoga-rasied at Bella Prāṇa and is the leader of our lovely Desk Angels, who welcome and take care of every single student that walks through our doors. Ana Sofia was one of our very own Desk Angels back in 2020 until she flourished and decided to step into this managerial role. Originally born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, she came to the states when she was only 18 years old to attend the University of Tampa. Ana Sofia graduated with both an Entrepreneurship and Psychology degree, allowing her to understand as well as enjoy human behavior in the business world. After two years working in an advertising agency, she decided to leave her big corporation and dip her toes in a small business focused on Yoga and wellbeing. Bella Prana has opened a door for Ana Sofia and her wish is to encourage the expansion of yoga’s teaching to communities in Puerto Rico who need it the most. Her professional experience set her up for success in this healing space as well as leave a mark in each student she interacts with.
Maddy (she/they) is a former Desk Angel and currently our Assistant Director of Customer Service. She is also a graduate assistant studying Chamber Music Performance at the University of South Florida. As a classical musician in their third performance degree program, Maddy holds a deep appreciation and respect for all that yoga’s teachings have to offer, both on the mat and on the stage. Maddy’s dream is to build a stronger bridge between performing musicians and yoga through education, accessibility, and the de-colonization of both fields. They hope to change the wellness culture of classical music by shifting its goals from that of a reparative, peak performance (better, faster, stronger) attitude towards one that prioritizes the care of the individual over the optimization of the performance. As an active performer and private violin teacher, Maddy is passionate about forming genuine connections with others in different and creative ways. She believes that meaningful relationships, particularly the one with yourself, can grow beautifully through vulnerability, compassion, and patience.
Rebekah (she/her) is our Director of Events. She has been working in customer service and healthcare for the last 8 years. She decided it was time to learn more about herself and find inner healing after battling an eating disorder as well as depression and anxiety. She received her 200 RYT last July and finally felt like her authentic self and learned how to heal. Having a passion for people, their struggles and striving for a positive mindset allows her to thrive in this position, hoping to creating a lasting impact in the community.
DeAndra (she/her) of The Body Elevator Co. is an in house massage therapist at Bella Prāṇa. Whether you need stress relief, pain management or much needed pampering The Body Elevator Company is available to assist you on your self-care journey; catering naps by the hour and serenity by the minute. As a relaxation specialist, DeAndra offers a variety of techniques that soothe the body, mind, and spirit. She believes in the body’s natural ability to heal itself with the assistance of massage therapy. Her style is nurturing and methodical, customizing treatments that beautifully combine pampering and therapy. As a business owner, DeAndra takes pride in providing excellent customer service by using clean, organic and vegan products in session. Book services at www.thebodyelevator.com.
In house massage therapist Tracy Jones (he/him) of Tampa Bay Sports Massage holds both a Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work from the University of Illinois and holds a Massage Therapy Technician certification from the Myotherapy Institute of Utah. He has been an International Instructor of Manual Therapy (and is a co-developer of Neurosomatic Therapy), is a Certified Neuromuscular Therapist and is a golf fitness expert as a Level 3 Medical Certified Titleist Performance Institute graduate. He has been the Team Massage Therapist for the University of Notre Dame Track & Field Team for the past 7 seasons. Tracy and his team are with Tampa Bay Sports Massage located inside Bella Prāṇa Studio. Book your service at www.tampabaysportsmassage.com.
Maharri (she/her) is an instructor and coach who is highly invested in advocating a wellness lifestyle and the impact it has on our daily lives. After being diagnosed with lupus in 2013, Maharri went on a journey to heal her body holistically. Almost like a ritual, proper nutrition and yoga became her saving grace. After seeing her own transformation, she became inspired to teach yoga. Yoga has completely opened up a breakthrough for Maharri, not just on her wellness journey, but also her spiritual journey. The practice has expanded her intuitive connection to The Absolute Self. Growing up in rural Jamaica she infuses her Rastafari culture in the way she teaches and connects with her students.
Zacharia (he/him) is a 200-hour yoga teacher RYT-200, a NASM certified personal trainer, and a corrective exercise specialist. Zack also served 4 years in the Marine Corps Infantry. He first started a meditation practice when he was deployed to Japan and was immersed in their culture. When he was honorably discharged from the Marines in 2016, his mom suggested going to a yoga class with her to help him with several of his injuries. He immediately fell in love with the way yoga made him feel and the connection between mind, body, and breath that became clear on the mat. As he got deeper into his practice, Zach realized he wanted to share the gift and healing potential of yoga with everyone and thus, completed his 200hr teacher training program at The Lotus Pond.
Jirod Webb (he/him) is a 200hr instructor at Bella Prāṇa. Having grown up in a state of stress and desensitized by his environment, Jirod did not have the proper tools to navigate his inner landscape. He finally found the skills he’d been missing when he discovered yoga in 2014. Draw to the inner peace that yoga brings and inspired by his teachers to love fearlessly, be kind and live better, he graduated with his 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2018. Jirod is passionate about teaching yin yoga with an emphasis on self-love and mindful breathing amidst the grounded stillness. As Outreach Ambassador at Bella Prana, Jirod brings yoga to students and communities of all walks of life. His hope is to give all of his students, no matter their circumstances, the gift of self-love and the opportunity to connect to the greatest tool within all of us- the breath.
Aiyana Fraley (she/her) is a restorative and kundalini yoga instructor, reiki master teacher and licensed massage therapist of 16 years. She is passionate about sharing the benefits of yoga and inner awareness with others through a joyful and graceful practice. She teaches weekly classes and workshops in the Tampa Bay area and offers continuing education courses for yoga instructors and massage therapists. Aiyana holds regular Reiki Trainings at Bella Prāṇa for Level I and II certifications. See our workshops page for an upcoming training. Aiyana also brings her healing skills to our New and Full Moon Reiki class experiences, find those classes on our schedule page. Aiyana is called to heal and brings a grounding and kind energy to every room she enters.
Jessica Freedman (she/her) is the Director of Family Programing at Bella Prāṇa and lead instructor in our Prenatal Teacher Training. She is a 200 HR RYT, Children’s author, a graduate of the University of Tampa, wife and mama. Originally bound for medical school, she had a change of heart. She started to gravitate toward a holistic approach to health and wellness and a call to serve others to lead a healthy and happy life. In 2006, she answered this call with not one, but two, 200hr Yoga Teacher trainings including advanced prenatal training and “Prāṇa Flow”. While pregnant with her own two children, she had the immense honor to learn from doulas, acupuncture physicians, naturopaths, midwives, and obstetricians. She combines 13 years of teaching yoga and fitness experience with the techniques taught to her by experts in these fields and postpartum health and healing, to bring a loving, balanced approach to pregnancy and postpartum recovery. Jessica’s offerings include Prenatal Yoga Teacher Trainings, prenatal, postnatal, restorative for pregnancy, and core and pelvic floor classes.
Khadijah (she/her) is a Miami, Florida native with a degree in Exercise Science from the University of South Florida. She completed her 200hr RYT with Bella Prana Yoga & Meditation. Khadijah was first drawn to yoga because of the physical benefits yoga provided and she knew many people in her community could find ease and comfort from a regular yoga practice. Soon Khadijah realized yoga offered an even deeper connection with the mind and body as well as stimulating the brain. Through yoga, Khadijah was able to slow down her thoughts and develop a greater appreciation for living in the moment. Now Khadijah, wants to help others restore balance in their lives and nourish their internal body through yoga. Khadijah loves teaching classes and the joy it brings to others. Her goal is to simply keep people moving and feeling good!
Lisa (she/her) first stepped on to her yoga mat in 1999 and has been teaching yoga for over 15 years. She holds E-RYT-200, RPYT (prenatal) and RCYT (children’s) certifications from Yoga Alliance. She offers a wide range of yoga instruction to all ages and abilities including prenatal, postnatal, baby & me yoga, power flow vinyasa yoga, gentle/yin/restorative yoga, mindfulness meditation, iRest Yoga Nidra, chair yoga for seniors, corporate yoga for increased ease and productivity in the workplace, and adaptive yoga for differently abled bodies, specifically US veterans and their caregivers. Her classes are constructed to be fun and challenging, yet accessible to all. Lisa’s intension is to teach yoga and meditation as a lifelong source of health, fitness and vitality while inspiring students to be aware of the many benefits of wellbeing that are often simply an inhale & exhale away.
Pronouns (they/them/their/s). Tayo’s yoga journey began at Simon’s Rock College where their theatre teacher, Karen Beaumont, would warm up the class using a sequence based on cat-cow. Without calling it yoga, Karen drew her students into practice through an invitation to take up the sequence daily for a month. The seamless way that yoga entered Tayo’s life is a fitting reflection of Tayo’s commitment to make the restorative benefits of yoga accessible to everybody it might serve. Tayo holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology and is a graduate of Bella Prāṇa’s 200 RYT. As a yoga teacher, researcher, and university professor, Tayo is committed to heeding the body’s wisdom and inspiring others to do the same.
Vanessa (she/her) has been practicing yoga for over 15 years and received her 200 hour training at Bella Prāṇa. As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Reiki Master, and Holistic Coach, Vanessa combines all her experience when working with students and clients. Her intention as a Yoga Instructor is to offer space for people to feel grounded, balanced and connected to their being. Through movement, breath and awareness of the mind- body connection, she hopes to help people illuminate their inner healer.
Devin Johnson (he/him) is a local Tampanian, and a retired competitive athlete, with a huge heart for sharing his love for yoga. By taking one of his classes he will help you realize that “it’s just yoga”. The secret people don’t tell you is that comparison doesn’t get you points in class. But with his gentle guidance you have the chance to connect to more of the subtle energies of what Yoga truly is.
Sahara Rodriguez (she/her) has been practicing bodywork, teaching classes and workshops for over 20 years. She has studied and trained with spiritual teachers from around the world and brings together many paths in the spirit of Oneness. Sahara is a licensed massage therapist, energy worker, meditation teacher, minister, author of the inspirational, “Beyond the Reflection” and is dedicated to heart centered service. Her classes provide a safe, nurturing space which assist people on their healing path and connection to the Source of Life.
Maryam (she/her) began her yoga practice in the mid 1990s and is a hot yoga teacher specializing in purposeful movement and mental strength and clarity. Maryam holds a PhD in Linguistics and in her time as a college professor developed research interests in the discourse of fitness and wellness, particularly as it pertains to yoga, language and identity and methods for practicing calmness and rest as a way to become more efficient and effective in work. Her interests in yoga are centered around the 26&2 series including developing practices that are inclusive for different bodies. As a linguistic consultant, Maryam gives workshops for individuals and groups on how to develop (yoga) teaching styles and persona to strengthen presentation skills.
Consuelo (she/her) is a 500 hr RYT and Reiki Master. Her yoga journey started in 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa, where she study Hinduism as part of her college curriculum and shortly got attracted to the asana practice. In 2018, completed the 300 hr. yoga teacher and Reiki Master training at Heathwood Yoga Institute located in Bradenton. She believes that yoga is all about connecting the dots between the mind, heart, and body – a practice beyond the mat. Loves teaching Yin, Restore, Vinyasa, meditation, and Reiki. Consuelo was born and raised in Chile, and her biggest muse is her grandmother, Odette, a yogi and reiki master.
”If you want love be love, if you want light be light” – Cleo Wade
Valarie (she/her) began practicing yoga six years ago as a means to stretch and prevent injury. As a lifetime runner and new triathlete, she was searching for relief from the aches and pains of intense training. She found that the more she practiced yoga, the better she felt and her performance improved as well. She began to spend more time on the mat, including during her pregnancy, and found that the practice was transforming more than her body; yoga had increased her ability to manage stress and improved her mental focus. Valarie realized yoga was more than a physical practice. She completed her 200hr training with mentors, Eric and Erin Wheeler, under Lucky Cat Yoga.
Initially the physical intensity and injury prevention benefits guided Giovanna ((she/her) to go to a yoga class. The lessons about human nature opened the path to become a 500hr yoga instructor. Yoga balances her love and passion for endurance training and spiritually guides her soul to embrace life with ease. She leads her students to feel a powerful class, with awareness and purpose, to explore the dynamic experience within the physical aspects of their bodies and mind. “Yoga offers the playground of love to connect with your soul, offers the tools necessary to remove the obstacles that cause suffering and shows us a way of life to engage in reality with peace”. When Giovanna is not on her mat, she is swimming, biking, running or arranging a healthy meal.
A graduate of Bella Prāṇa’s 200 hour training program and is also a Hot 26 instructor. Alison (she/her) creates classes with a strong Vinyasa Flow while incorporating arm balances and inversions to elevate her students’ practice. In her Hot 26 classes she will lead you through the 26 postures with consistency and clarity. She is adept at leading yogis of varied abilities and encouraging them to push past their boundaries. She is a playful, but kindhearted instructor, who thrives on challenging and energizing her students.
Jenna’s (she/her) background as a Registered Nurse ignited her love for the yoga practice as a holistic way of healing the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga became an outlet for her to relieve tension from the high-stress hospital environment. Jenna’s aspiration is to guide others in finding healthy ways to cope with life’s challenges through yoga. She focuses on strength building and spirituality to cultivate a full mind-body experience. Since receiving her 200 RYT with Awakened Life School of Yoga, she has completed trainings in meditation, pranayama, inversions. Her in depth knowledge of anatomy encourages a challenging, yet safe practice to prevent injury and promote wellness. She has dedicated herself to sharing the light of this practice with others.
Tammy (she/her) began practicing yoga almost 20 years ago as a counterbalance to long distance running, but it was after she had children in 2001 that she really started to see the calming influence that a regular practice had on her. She completed her teacher training with Erin and Eric Wheeler of Lucky Cat Yoga, and has advanced training in Yoga Nidra through Jennifer Reiss out of Kripalu. Tammy has a focus in vinyasa flow and yoga nidra and works to bring the mind/body/breath connection together through this practice .
Mary (she/her) began practicing yoga in February of 2013 due to a running injury. During those early days, her work on the mat was motivated by a longing for physical healing. Pleasantly surprised, she experienced peace and healing in her emotional, mental and spiritual body as well! This discovery inspired her to become a yoga teacher. So in the midst of being a wife, mother of 4, hugger, knitter, reader of literature and student of Life, Mary obtained her 200hr E-RYT, and 500hr RYT certification. As a yoga teacher, through guiding the practice of poses and breath, Mary desires to create space for everyone to cultivate and nourish peace and health in their own body, mind, and spirit.
Lois (she/her) began practicing yoga over a decade ago. A former competitive triathlete, du-athlete, and long-distance runner, she found yoga to be a great compliment to her training. A strong desire to share what yoga has brought to her life led her to enroll in Bella Prāṇa’s 200 hour teacher training. Her goal is to be a compassionate teacher that serves her students and teaches them that yoga is much more than exercise, it is a way of life.
Karla (she/her) began practicing yoga in 2008. She was instantly hooked on the way she could forget the outside world’s worries and focus inward. Eager to find peace in life’s hustle she began a regular yoga practice and completed her 200 hour teacher training in 2018. She uses yoga to calm the mind and as a reminder to live in the now, allowing all past thoughts and worries to leave the mind. She strives to bring the same peace of mind to her students through breath work, stillness, and asana. When Karla isn’t teaching yoga you can find her working with the animals at Big Cat Rescue.
Ashton (she/her) was introduced to yoga in 2011 back home in California as a way to supplement her workout routine. Quickly she realized yoga offers much more than flexibility and each class brought up something new physically and mentally. She moved to Florida in summer 2016 and instantly found a new welcoming yogi home at Bella Prāṇa. With her love for travel, in 2017 Ashton explored Southeast Asia and completed her 200 hour teacher training at Akasha Yoga Academy in Koh Phangan, Thailand. In her classes she hopes every student leaves with a yogi high and feels empowered through nourishing the mind and body.
Jessica’s (she/her) yoga journey began in the summer of 2014 in her hometown in Southeastern Michigan. She was seeking healing and perspective through a difficult time in life. Jessica immediately fell in love with the practice and knew that she wanted to learn more and share it with others. As her practice has evolved and expanded, the mindfulness, spirituality, and body awareness have brought a sense of calm and peace into her life through balance and health.
Teri Martin (she/her) is an E-RYT500 Experienced Yoga Instructor from Boston and has been a yoga practitioner for over 20 years. In her yoga teaching she encourages, leads, and empowers students to tune in to and connect with themselves, creating increased physical and personal awareness. An avid swimmer and former dancer, Teri is passionate about the practice of yoga and its inherent benefits of increased strength, flexibility, and balance – on and off the yoga mat. She is an Artist, Art Consultant, Business Advisor and founder of TheArtNetwork. Her left brain has a Harvard MBA and is a former executive at HBO, Cinemax and Citicorp. Teri’s vinyasa flow classes are enjoyable, thoughtfully choreographed and appropriately paced flows of ashtanga – based postures and movement with strong emphasis on proper alignment, breath, personal awareness and individual attention.
Jeanine (she/her) is a native to the Tampa Bay Area. In March 2018, Jeanine began her yoga journey at Bella Prāṇa. While on the mat, she feels most content with her mind and body. Her practice has brought peace and calmness into her life, as well as encourages her to always be kind. Jeanine’s in-studio and at-home practice helps her grow into a better version of herself. In September 2019, Jeanine graduated from the 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training program at Bella Prana. Her purpose in becoming a teacher is to share the benefits of yoga. Jeanine is grateful for her practice and is excited to inspire others to grow their own yoga practice.
Mia Franz (she/her) turned to yoga in 2017 when she found that running in the Florida heat caused her more stress than fulfillment. She quickly discovered both joy and connection through her yoga practice. Wanting to share that experience with yogis of all levels, she became a certified teacher in September 2019, completing Bella Prana’s 200-hour teacher training. She loves the fact that three generations of her family now practice yoga–her parents, herself, and her children! Mia teaches gentle classes and enjoys creating fun sequences that emphasize the power of the breath. As a high school teacher, she seeks to bring the experience of yoga to adults and adolescents alike. When she’s not on the mat, she can be found adventuring with her family or sitting with her nose in a book, preferably at the beach!
Sarah (she/her) found yoga more than 10 years ago but never realized the value of group practice until she began her Yoga Teacher Training at Bella Prana in 2018. While she still believes in the power of a solo practice, she is certain that practicing in a group setting is exponentially more beneficial to your yoga journey. The energy that’s shared during practice cannot be duplicated in any other way. Sarah has a gentle spirit and loves making her students feel valued and fully welcomed into the practice. Yoga has helped Sarah connect with her community in many different ways and she looks forward to seeing you in one of her classes soon!
Tracy (she/her), an E-RYT500, discovered yoga as a graduate student at UF in 2010. As she delved deeper into the yogic philosophy and experienced the transformative power it had on her life, she felt compelled to share the gift of yoga with others. She completed a 200 Hour Hatha YTT and began teaching upon graduating in October 2012. She continued her studies participating in a 300 Hour Hatha YTT, the Level 1 iRest Yoga Nidra training, and the Prenatal Training at Bella Prana. As a mother of 3, she has a special interest in supporting and empowering women by providing resources and yogic tools to meet the physiological changes, stress, and anxiety that accompany pregnancy and motherhood. Additionally, she holds a Masters in Secondary Education and has over a decade of teaching experience in both the classroom setting and yoga studio.
Valerie (she/her) was initially drawn to practice yoga because it provided the opportunity for a physical challenge in a positive atmosphere. The holistic, mind-body approach to health, fitness, and overall wellness that she developed while on the mat kept her coming back. As yoga gradually became a part of her daily life, she realized that she had discovered something greater than just a simple workout: she had found a frame of reference that matched and expanded her own worldview. Valerie completed her 200 hour teacher training at Bella Prana in 2017. She is a high school teacher in Hillsborough County and is called, in all of her teaching, to provide an open and accepting atmosphere where people feel comfortable as they learn and grow.
Bri (she/her) is a 200 E-RYT and spent time traveling to teach internationally before permanently relocating to her home town of Clearwater- and now Tampa. She considers concentrated movement practice as a form of self intimacy and creative expression. Bri was born with a rare birth defect (Poland Syndrome) that left her without pectoral muscles on one side of her chest- creating a sense of frustration and disconnection from her physical self. Becoming a student of yoga helped Bri begin to feel more at home in her body. As a teacher she is enthusiastic about sharing the practices that have enabled her to repair the relationship between her mind and body, to accesses a more integrative experience in daily life.
Having practiced yoga for years in a variety of styles, Magda Kot (she/her) attended her first Ashtanga class in 2019 and instantly fell in love. Using the Tristhana method of synchronized breathing, postures of the body (including bandhas) and specific gazing; Magda continues to be challenged and inspired in her yoga practice on a daily basis. Her goal as a teacher is to provide students with an environment for them to develop steadiness of body and mind and gain a direct experience of the inner self. Originally from Poland, Magda has over 10 years of experience providing experiential and simulation-based learning activities in the University of South Florida’s medical school. She holds a master’s degree in education, and is currently completing an intensive 600+ hour Ashtanga apprenticeship program under the direction of Jessica Lynne Trese, KPJAYI Authorized Ashtanga Teacher. Magda is honored to learn not just from her own teachers but also from all the people that she has the privilege of sharing yoga with. In her spare time, you can find her paddle boarding, hiking or biking the trails, and spending time in nature.
Yoga found Katie (she/her) while she was competing as a collegiate athlete struggling with over-training and rapid physical changes in her body. The practice spoke in a language that Katie could understand, movement. Through her asana practice, Katie learned to work with her body instead of against it, finding emotional peace, mental well-being, and spiritual connection along the way. Katie is a 500hr RYT who applies her yoga therapy training and athletic background to create classes where movement is meditation, with the intention of uncovering the deeper, more subtle aspects of yoga and oneself.