Teachers and School Support

It takes a village. Our staff is here for each other and for you, to have the best yoga experience and create a safe space meeting you where you are!

KARLA ALEXANDER

RYT200, MLS

Karla started practicing yoga in 1999 and began the 200 hour teacher training program at Pranayoga in 2015 with the intention of deepening her personal practice. By the time she completed the 200 hour program she had left her job in libraries and educational technology to focus on growing her personal practice and to share the peace and self-love she was uncovering on her new path. Karla finds inspiration in sharing with others the mind, body and spiritual benefits of both yoga and Ayurveda through teaching. “For me, seeing and feeling the contentment and grounding that students experience through their practice and knowing that they will carry these qualities out into the world is a very gratifying feeling.”

Karla continues to explore her own personal journey while working toward her 500 hour certification as well as continuing her studies in both Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy.

Karla’s other interests include traveling, hiking, gardening. Karla also has a B.S. in Studio Art with concentrations in painting and ceramics. She has the unwavering support and companionship of her husband and enjoys spending time with her fur babies as well as the rest of her family which is spread out across the country.

Teaching: All Levels, Yoga Basics

Christy Brames

Mindbody Manager, Sattva VInyasa Teacher, CYT500, Prenatal Yoga, On-Site Yoga

Christy came to Pranayoga School searching for relief from some of her medical conditions, but found so much more. In addition to relief for her conditions, she has been able to extend her practice into aspects of everyday life – from her relationship with her husband, Charlie, to parenting their three boys, Gavin, Skylar, and Miles. Her desire is to “live yoga” in every part of her life, and to continue at Pranayoga through extensive teacher training and more.

Christy came to Pranayoga School searching for relief from some of her medical conditions, but found so much more. In addition to relief for her conditions, she has been able to extend her practice into aspects of everyday life – from her relationship with her husband, Charlie, to parenting their three boys, Gavin, Skylar, and Miles. Her desire is to “live yoga” in every part of her life, and to continue at Pranayoga through extensive teacher training and more.

Teaching: Prenatal Yoga, Yoga Basics,  Sattva Vinyasa, Yoga 101

Ben Bultemeir, CYT200

Ben has lead a very physically active life. He was involved in sports at a young age and accumulated more than a handful of injuries along his path. His yoga practice helps him stay active and healthy as the years continue. Not only are his joints stronger and more flexible than they were ten years ago, but more importantly his mind is also stronger. Yoga helps him concentrate on what is good for him, physically and mentally. Now he just want to share the joy he has found in yoga with everyone.

Teaching: All Levels, Heated Power Yoga

RACHAEL EYRICH

ERYT200

Rachael’s first experience with yoga was after she suffered a running injury. She began practicing yoga as a way to regain her range of motion and correct the underlying postural imbalances that contributed to the injury. As a result, she felt stronger, faster, and more flexible than before her injury. Due to her experience using yoga as a rehabilitative tool, Rachael advocates cultivating a firm foundation – building your house on a rock.

Strongly influenced by Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga styles, Rachael emphasizes structural alignment to create physical strength and develop fortitude. Rachael received her 200 hour YA Certification through Cityoga School of Yoga and Health in Indianapolis, Indiana with Nikki Myers and Marsha Pappas. She also holds a B.A. from Indiana University in Communication and Culture. She and her husband, Chad, live in Fort Wayne with their 4 children.

Teaching: Heated Power Yoga, Hot Yoga

KRISTINA GIATRAS

RYT200

Kristina was introduced to yoga 10 years ago by trying community classes at a local middle school with her mom. She enjoyed the relaxation and the bond that grew with her mom through the classes. It wasn’t until she moved back from college that she really began to dive into her practice. She completed 200hr training with Dani at Pranayoga School in 2015 and working on completing her 500hr; focusing her study on kids yoga and yoga philosophy.

When she’s not on the mat; Kristina loves being around family and floating down the Fort Wayne rivers in her kayak.

Teaching: Vinyasa Flow, Kids Yoga

JULIA HALLER

Admissions Director, Sattva Vinyasa Teacher E-RYT500

Drawn to heated yoga classes because of the fun, upbeat environment Julia was surprised to find that the physical yoga practice helped her find a deeper connection to herself and to others.  She developed her personal practice and began her teaching journey by enrolling in the 200 Hour Foundations teacher training program with Vani at Pranayoga in 2012 and is currently enrolled in the 2016 Sattva Therapy Yoga Therapy Diploma Program. Julia loves that yoga does not exclude. “If you can breathe, you can practice yoga.”

As admissions director of Pranayoga Institute of Yoga and Health Julia asissts students in determining which teaching path is best for them. She is also a teacher trainer for the Pranayoga Institute’s 200 Hour Foundations teacher training and a teaching assistant for the Sattva Vinyasa 300 hour teacher training program. If you are interested in our teacher training programs email Julia at Admissions@pranayogainstitute.com.

CLAUDIA HEDEEN

RYT200

Claudia always loved a good stretch: the muscles, the schedule – just how much can one person fit into a day? Attending her first yoga course in 1996 just continued the stretching. However, the more she delved into the practice, the more was revealed that yoga is the space lacking in the hectic life she created for herself.  Seeking to explore beyond just one branch in the yoga tree brought her to the doors of Pranayoga. Every step revealed the possibilities of incorporating these teachings into the very breath that carries us through the experiences of our lives, however small or overwhelming they may seem. Claudia’s message: to find yourself in the jumble – even if we start one class at a time, hoping it will expand and stretch across each aspect of life.

Teaching: Heated All Levels

AMANDA HORSEWOOD

RYT200

Amanda began practicing yoga in 2001 and started teaching in May 2014. For her, yoga is an experience which relaxes the mind, strengthens the body, and enhances the spirit. Amanda feels rejuvenated after every practice. A few of her favorite poses are trikonasana (triangle pose) and matsyasana (fish pose).

Amanda is a dental hygienist and also the mother of 3 amazing daughters. In addition to yoga, she also enjoys gardening, running, biking, and spending time with family and friends.

Teaching: Vinyasa Flow

AMANDA KAMINSKAS

RYT200

Amanda Kaminskas first came to yoga in 1998 for stress-relief while working as a paramedic in Chicago. Since then, it has transformed from stress-relief to a way of life. Yoga therapy assisted her in her journey of healing and coming off of pain medications. Since, she has desired to use yoga, as well as other healing modalities to aid in the healing journeys of others. She began her first teacher training in 2008, and continued into PranaYoga’s 200 hour program to complete her 200 hour certification. She also has certifications in restorative yoga, yoga for stress, and Y12SR (yoga for 12 step recovery). In addition to her yoga teacher certifications, she has also received training in medicinal aromatherapy and is enrolled in an herbalism mentoring program. She is currently working on her 500 hour certification and plans to continue on, to become a certified yoga therapist.

Teaching: Restorative

Linda Krebs

RYT 500,E-RYT200, Level 2 Certified-Medicinal Aromatherapist, PranaYoga Teacher Trainer

Amanda Kaminskas first came to yoga in 1998 for stress-relief while working as a paramedic in Chicago. Since then, it has transformed from stress-relief to a way of life. Yoga therapy assisted her in her journey of healing and coming off of pain medications. Since, she has desired to use yoga, as well as other healing modalities to aid in the healing journeys of others. She began her first teacher training in 2008, and continued into PranaYoga’s 200 hour program to complete her 200 hour certification. She also has certifications in restorative yoga, yoga for stress, and Y12SR (yoga for 12 step recovery). In addition to her yoga teacher certifications, she has also received training in medicinal aromatherapy and is enrolled in an herbalism mentoring program. She is currently working on her 500 hour certification and plans to continue on, to become a certified yoga therapist.

Teaching: Restorative

CHRIS MCGUIRE

RYT200, Thai Bodywork

Chris was introduced to yoga over a decade ago by his (then) girlfriend, Dani. Practicing Kundalini, and more often, the Power Yoga styles of the Kest brothers with some inconsistent regularity, Chris developed a foundation for a slow-growing interest that turned into a passion in the years to come. It wasn’t until the recurring pain of a back injury, caused by an auto-collision, led Chris to his mat. In an attempt to repair what several chiropractors and physical therapists could not, he began to see the overwhelming health benefits of the asana practice. The healing of his back, witnessing the transformation in Dani’s life through her teacher training, and studying the yogic philosophy, solidified his fascination, passion, and gratitude for this ancient art. Completing the 200 Hour Certification with Pranayoga School of Yoga and Health, under the guidance of his lifelong guru Dani “Vani” McGuire, Chris is thrilled to have received training that stems from the Prana Flow lineage of Shiva Rea. Chris’ classes embrace yogic philosophies and pertinent sacred scripture, vedic and original stories as a means to nurture and fully-engage the physical body, while    addressing the spiritual being as well. Carry it off the mat and into the world.

Teaching: Restorative Yoga + Thai Bodywork

DANI MCGUIRE, RYT1000

Founder, Creator Sattva Vinyasa, IAYT, Ayurveda Yoga Therapist, Prana Vinyasa 500

Dani “Vani” has practiced yoga for 15 years, beginning with Iyengar, and currently having studied Integral, Yoga Therapy, Prana Flow, and many more schools that inspire her own unique style of teaching, which focuses on initiation of the present moment, ayurveda, creativity, intuition, energetic vinyasa, and pure nurture.

Dani believes that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. She has found this to be true both in her experience as a teacher and a student.

Dani received her 200 Hour Yoga Alliance certification through Cityoga School of Yoga and Health and her 500 Hour certification with teachers Marsha Pappas and Nikki Myers, and in the art of Prana Flow, her 300 hour certification with Shiva Rea.

Dani is also dedicated to teaching yoga to people with cancer and chronic pain. She is a Yoga Therapist registered with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Her teacher and mentor is Jnani Chapman and she has received her certification through Integral Yoga Academy. Her goal is to make these services available to everyone living with cancer, regardless of their income. Find out more about Dani HERE and the Pranayoga Foundation HERE.

Teaching: Sattva Vinyasa, All-Levels Yoga, Teacher Training, Private Yoga Sessions, Ayurvedic Counsultations, Yoga Therapy, Lunar Flow

EMILY RICHWINE

RYT200

Emily practiced yoga in Los Angeles and New York before coming home to the Hoosier state she loves in 2009. She delved deeper into the practice after the birth of her second child, finding the balance and strength she was seeking in her daily life, on her mat. Wanting to share the gift of yoga with others, she enrolled in teacher training at Pranayoga in 2014 and began teaching that same year.

A lifelong writer and storyteller, Emily studied communication at Purdue University and now works as the copy director at a creative marketing agency based in Fort Wayne. Her mantra? “Let the beauty we love be what we do.” —Rumi.

When she’s not on her mat, you can find Emily spending time at home with her husband, Paul, and their two adorable children, Maddie and Jack.

Teaching: Heated All Levels, Hatha + Relaxation

JANICE SCHMIDT

RYT200, BSN, Administration, Ayurveda Wellness Counselor

Janice’s introduction to yoga was watching “Lilias, Yoga and You” on PBS in the 1970s, followed by sporadic use of Yoga Journal VHS tapes with Patricia Walden and Rodney Yee. After many years of suffering with fibromyalgia, she started a regular practice with Dani McGuire and was amazed at the physical, emotional, and spiritual transformation that occurred in her body. This experience has drawn her into an in-depth study of both Yoga and its sister science, Ayurveda, at Pranayoga Institute. She completed the 200 hour level teacher training in 2012 and will achieve 500 hour and Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor certifications in 2015. Janice is most grateful to her teachers Dani McGuire, James Bailey, Anita Theart, Kenny Graham, David Romanelli, Marsha Pappas, Nianna Bray and Melissa Blacker for sharing their wisdom with her so she can pass it along to other seekers.

When not on the mat, she enjoys knitting while contemplating the Sthira and Sukha of wool and other fibers.

Teaching: Sattva Restorative, Ayurveda Wellness Counseling

STELLA SNYDER

RYT500, MS, Sattva Vinyasa

Stella is YCAT trained by Jnani Chapman through her program for cancer and chronic illness.  She holds a master’s degree in biology and enjoys exploring the healing benefits of yoga in light of her studies in anatomy and endocrinology.  She sees yoga therapy as described by Desikachar, “Awareness, breath, and movement.  That is yoga.”  She started her yoga practice with a Groupon from her mother, and was drawn deeper into the practice when she saw how much yoga heals.
Teaching: Yoga for Cancer and Chronic Pain

HALEY SONNIGSEN

Directing Manager, RYT500, RPYT, Sattva Vinyasa

Haley Sonnigsen, Childbirth Educator, Prenatal Yoga Teacher, and RYT-500 is dedicated to preserving women’s rights to a healthy and empowering birthing experience based on her innate ability to give birth. Every woman deserves to have a loving, nurturing, and supported birth environment based on her own needs and desires. Haley weaves ancient yogic traditions with modern scientific evidence to ensure each woman is supported with tools and practical information to support her in her motherhood.
“Because women have always been the guardians of life’s wholesome practices, when we strengthen our health and spiritual power, we also strengthen the health and wisdom of the men, children, and communities around us.” –Bri. Maya Tiwari

Teaching: Sattva Vinyasa, Sattva Yin, Sattva Restorative, Prenatal Yoga, Kids Yoga

ANITA THEART

E-RYT500, Viniyoga™ Therapist

It is the transformational and healing power of yoga that inspires Anita’s own dedication to personal practice, her teaching of yoga as well as her yoga therapy work. Her intention is to find the appropriate yoga tools and adaptations and to offer it in such a way that will meet the needs of her students and clients. Through the guiding of her student’sattention and awareness, they gain a deeper understanding of their own bodies, breath and their minds. She sees the breath as a vital key to this work. “Through the breath we link our bodies and minds and in this process we cultivate self-awareness which forms the foundation of self-transformation.”

She has a deep respect for the ancient teachings of this practice and is inspired to transfer these teachings with the highest possible integrity.

Teaching: Yoga for a Better Back, Mantra and Yoga, Reiki Treatments, Pranayama Workshops

CHELSEA RITTENHOUSE

Art Director and Boutique Manager, RYT200

Chelsea is an energetic, fun-loving woman who has an undying passion for yoga. She has a deep appreciation for nature and shares that affection with her fiancé, Ben, and their dog Cali. Throughout her practice she has learned to really love who she is and believes everyone can find that acceptance with the help of yoga. Her focus is to find holistic wellness and to take her practice off the mat by bringing the philosophy of yoga to all.

Teaching: Sattva Vinyasa, Heated Lunar Flow

JENNY YOUNG

RYT500, E-RYT200

Jenny started yoga for her daughter in 2010, but stayed for herself. This is when powerful healing began to transform her body, mind, and spirit, but not necessarily in that order. Through a regular asana and sitting practice, studying with phenomenal teachers, and soaking in the love of the beautiful yoga community, she has begun to discover a quieter mind. She became 200hr RYT certified through Pranayoga School of Yoga and Holistic Health in 2012 to deepen her own practice and to share the gift of yoga with others. As a teacher, she sees each student as beautiful. She strives to create a supportive environment in which each student can safely experiment in uncovering the beauty and joy that reside within the heart of each of us.

Teaching: Therapeutic Yoga, All Levels Yoga, Yoga 101, Meditation 101, Movement and Mantra for Healing and Grieving, Midday Meditation, Adaptive Yoga