Teachers and Yoga Therapists
It takes a village. Our staff is here for each other and for you to have the best yoga experience, to create a safe space, and to meet you where you are!
KARLA ALEXANDER, RYT500 Sattva Vinyasa Embodied, Sattva Yoga Therapy
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.
Marcia Wright R.N B.S.N RYT200
I started practicing yoga nearly 20 years ago after I experience several health issues related to my immune system. My body was fighting against me, and I did not understand why. I thought that I was taking care of myself and yet I was experiencing dis-ease. At that time, I was the type of person who appeared calm on the outside but in reality, was stressed and depleted on the inside. I was a wife, mother and a very busy person who never said NO to anything. As a Nurse, I understood a lot about healing the physical body and I made some improvements with medication, but it was not until I started to practice Yoga on a regular basis that I began to realize that “healing” was happening on many layers of my being and that the traditional “Medical Model” would not be sole path to my healing.
As my yoga practice increased, I became aware of my transformation toward wholeness. On the physical level, I was able to get off most medications, I lost weight and I gained strength, flexibility and lots of energy! I began to feel like my body was working for me instead of against me. However, the more surprising benefit was that I began to feel calmer and more centered on the inside, more in balance in my body, mind, and spirit. I am still work in progress and that is why I enjoy the PRACTICE of yoga. I just keep practicing!
Now as a Yoga teacher, I like to blend my western education as RN along with the ancient eastern wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda to create a solid combination of science and art for my students. My intention is to invite my students into gentle and freeing body movements, breath work and meditation. My hope is each soul will begin to discover for themselves the balancing and healing benefits of a consistent yoga practice. And more than that, begin to discover the beautiful beings that they truly are!
I also like being a role model for baby boomers and beyond as I truly believe that yoga is for EVERY-BODY. I am honored to meet you where you are as we navigate this journey together. I enjoy teaching Sattva Balanced Flow, Sattva Yin, Sattva Restore, Adaptive Yoga.
I have so many teachers to thank…. from the Ancients to the present day. Our lineage is rich. But one of the first quotes that resonated with me came from the first yoga book that I read when starting my training at Pranayoga. From the Heart of Yoga:
“Anybody can breathe. Therefore, anybody can practice yoga.” T.K.V. Desikachar
Ben Bultemeier, RYT500, Sattva Vinyasa Embodied, Sattva Yoga Therapy
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.
KRISTINA GIATRAS, RYT500 Sattva Vinyasa Embodied Teacher
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.
JULIA HALLER, Admissions Director, Yoga Therapist, Sattva Vinyasa Teacher E-RYT500
Julia Haller Sattva VInyasa Embodied™ Teacher Trainer, Mentor, Yoga Therapist
Julia is a yoga therapist who has been serving the Fort Wayne area for the past 5 years. She is a certified yoga therapist through IAYT as well as a 500 hour registered teacher. In 2012 she enrolled in her first teacher training with Vani McGuire at Pranayoga Institute of Yoga and Health and received her teaching certifications in Sattva Vinyasa in 2015 and Sattva Therapy in 2017.
Julia enjoys working one on one with clients using the tools of yoga to help them reach their health and wellness goals. Using awareness, movement, breath, concentration and relaxation practices allows her to serve clients with structural issues, anxiety and depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, chronic pain, and cancer. Her aim with each session is to create space for the client to connect to themselves, and deepen their understanding of the healing potential within.
CLAUDIA HEDEEN, RYT500 Sattva Vinyasa Embodied
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.
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.
HALEY SONNIGSEN Directing Manager, E-RYT500, RCYT, RPYT, Sattva Vinyasa Teacher, Sattva Yin Teacher
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
JENNY “SEVIKA” YOUNG Yoga Therapist, Massage Therapist, RYT500, E-RYT200, YACEP, C-IAYT,IAYT
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, 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 RYT 200 certified through Prana School of Yoga and Health in 2012 as well as Thai Massage from Thai Body Work in 2012. She became ERYT 500 certified in 2015, and a Certified International Yoga Therapist in 2017. As a teacher, she sees each student as whole. 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. This support can include traditional yoga therapy, massage therapy, and a synergistic blend of the two. She is a perpetual student and is furthering her yogic and massage studies on the pelvic floor and myofascial release.