We have a wonderful new Curvy Yoga teacher this month! I am excited to share them with you! To see a full list of our Curvy Yoga Certified teachers, please click here.

Kelly Hall

Kelly HallLocation: Crossville, TN

Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I have been practicing yoga for almost 9 years, and what started as putting my body into certain poses quickly turned into the one thing that connects my body and my mind to each other, and connects ME with both of them. Through yoga, I learned that I’m capable of doing things that I never thought I could. It’s changed my relationship with my body, and so much more. After wanting to complete a teacher training for a while, I finally found the perfect program for me in Curvy Yoga, and now get to share the gift that yoga gave me with others.

Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? There is SUCH a misconception that you have to be a certain size or shape or degree of flexible to do yoga, and I want to be an active part of totally getting rid of that. I want to make all the benefits of yoga available to everyone, regardless of age, size, or ability.

What can folks expect when they take a class from you? Students can expect a welcoming environment, and a safe, supported practice that will be available to the body that they are in at that moment.

What has been your favorite part of the certification process? This process has been life-changing for me. Learning from and working with Anna was an irreplaceable experience, but the group of women I went through the training with are ones I will never forget. To find others who have the same heart as you do is a very rare gift, and I am so grateful!

How can people get in touch with you? People can reach me via email kellygirlyoga@yahoo.com

Marcie Leek

Marcie LeekLocation: Seattle, WA

Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I came to a regular yoga practice (and to Viniyoga teacher training) relatively late in life. The various practices of yoga help me work at being in my body, life balance, and self care – and I love to share these practices with my students!

Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? I have been teaching plus-size yoga for almost three years, and I think adding Curvy Yoga principles and practices to my classes will benefit my students even more.

What can folks expect when they take a class from you? A warm, welcoming environment; classes taught full of options that allow for a variety of experience levels and body shapes; small classes exclusive to plus-size women in an inviting studio; support in nurturing a positive body-mind connection.

What has been your favorite part of the certification process?  I’ve loved being in training again! I appreciate the guidance of a seasoned, approachable, and supportive instructor as well as being able to experience the community that a group of yoga teachers builds as they share ideas and encouragement.

How can people get in touch with you? People can find me on my website and on Facebook!

Susan Gutierrez

Susan GutierrezLocation: Carmichael, CA

Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. Yoga helped me make my way back to health after a catastrophic illness, reconnecting with my own self, getting to know myself, my body, in a new and deeper way, and finding a sense of well-being – something that for me, I had never quite understood until I had lost it. Since then, practicing yoga has brought me a peaceful feeling in mind and body, and a profound respect for the simple act of breathing. Yoga is so much more than just asana, “the pose.” Yoga is exploration, inquisitiveness, listening, noticing, breathing. Yoga can be about finding and making space in the body, calming the mind chatter that adds to the daily stresses of life, and it can be a lot of fun – after all, what is learning without a bit of humor and compassion?

Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? Curvy Yoga focuses on making yoga accessible to many of us who might have otherwise thought yoga wasn’t an option. It teaches body acceptance, self-discovery, getting to know and accept the body you have right now, in this moment. Yoga can bring so many benefits, and making those benefits available to more people in a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment is my reason for wanting to bring Curvy Yoga to my community.

What can folks expect when they take a class from you? Above all, my classes are a safe and nurturing environment to explore. Using an inquiry approach, we explore body/breath awareness, subtle alignment, making poses accessible for bodies of all size, shape, age, and fitness levels. With Curvy Yoga’s body affirming approach, you will have opportunity to get to know and meet the needs of your body and find yoga that works for the actual body you have today – exactly as it is today. Everyone is welcome, whether you have yoga experience or not. Perfect for beginners, or more experienced practitioners seeking gentle movement or stress relief, renewal, and rejuvenation. Group or private sessions.

What has been your favorite part of the certification process? Working with Anna, of course – is my favorite thing. Anna is brilliant, and her program is rich with well-thought out aspects of teaching yoga in a way that promotes body acceptance, as well as practical, sensible ways to make yoga accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

How can people get in touch with you? People can reach me via email msgutierrezyoga@gmail.com

Amanda C

Amanda CLocation: Fontana, CA

Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I’ve been practicing yoga for the past 10years. Initially, I was too embarrassed to join a studio so I began my practice at home with believe it or not a VHS tape! When I gained enough confidence to attend a class, I quickly noticed I did not have the typical yogic physique. Nevertheless, I attended and reaped the benefits ultimately motivating me to complete my 200HR certification and Curvy Yoga certification.

Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? I want to empower and encourage my community to take part of a practice that promotes overall mind & body wellness. Moreover I want to create a body positive environment for all shapes and fitness levels.

What can folks expect when they take a class from you? Folks can expect a very non traditional approach to yoga. I like to create a space where everyone feels welcomed, can laugh a little and walk away with a little more peace & positivity.

What has been your favorite part of the certification process? My favorite part of the certification process has been finding a community that promotes mind/ body wellness while embracing all body types.

How can people get in touch with you? People can find me on Instagram!

Deja (Deylynn)

DejaLocation: Hampton Roads, VA

Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. Ever since I was in high school I knew I enjoyed yoga and was beginning to embrace meditation (tried a few DVD’s), but didn’t fully explore it until college. I went through a lot of self discovery at that time. When I took my first yoga class In between semesters, I was going through a very hard period of my life. The warm energy, the feeling of ease and comfort that this teacher brought to the space forever changed me. Since then I knew I wanted to not only learn more but I wanted to eventually be able to provide that same experience to others!

Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? Body positive yoga is few and far in my area and I would love for this type of practice to expand more. I hope to shed more light with the knowledge that ALL bodies can not only feel comfortable practicing Yoga, but fully embrace it and create a space where more people can feel comfortable exploring something they previously thought was not possible.

What can folks expect when they take a class from you? A Unique and fun experience. Some dancing mixed in with good music as the soundtrack through my classes. Flowing through consistent messages of acceptance in a judgment free space. But more importantly, I want to offer an experience where you feel comfortable exploring at your own pace. I want to ensure to offer an environment where you feel ease to just be and grow from wherever you are on your journey. To have the opportunity to help serve others in that capacity would be an honor!

What has been your favorite part of the certification process? The opportunity I had to connect with beautiful, smart, sweet and powerful like minded women that have now become my yogi sister tribe through this program. We have laughed, cried, shared moments that I’ll never forget. I’ve learned and grown so much because of them and I’m forever grateful.

How can people get in touch with you? People can find me on my website and on Twitter!

Tara McMaster

Tara McMasterLocation: Lincoln, NE

Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. My first yoga class was at the YMCA. Child’s pose compressed my stomach so much I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t try another group yoga class for almost 10 years. I practiced at home to an MTV Yoga DVD and then YouTube. Then I found my first Yin class. Yin gave me permission to settle into a pose in a way that worked for my body! I could spread my legs in child’s pose or forward folds. I could breathe again! Yin, restorative, or gentle yoga are my favorite styles now. They’re my go-to for practice and I adore teaching them. I’m still a brand new yoga teacher and am finding my yogini voice, but I always feel at home in a yin style class.

Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? My community has several yoga studios, but there’s only one that specifically mentions yoga for all body types. That studio just opened this summer, so it’s still a new and unknown niche. I couldn’t find yoga for my body when I was in college and a young professional. I want to make sure that my community knows that yoga really is accessible for everyone. I was also diagnosed with a progressive lung disease called Pulmonary Hypertension about 4 years ago. The ability to breathe in poses became my highest desire. I realized that pranayama would be extremely beneficial for other PH patients, but the idea of a yoga class could be intimidating. Yoga has helped me with my condition so much and I want to be able to bring curvy modifications to people with chronic illnesses. Yoga truly is for everybody and EVERY body.

What can folks expect when they take a class from you? You can always expect to get a few yin poses in one of my classes. Even my flowing vinyasa classes end with a yin cool-down. I try to remember each of my students’ names so I can approach them to ask how a specific pose is feeling, or offer a an adjustment cue. I want my students to know that I care for them, and truly want them to enjoy yoga. I don’t want them to have to change themselves for yoga, I want them to realize they can change their yoga for themselves.

What has been your favorite part of the certification process? The extra resources! Our special section of the website has a plethora of resources with valuable information.

How can people get in touch with you? People can reach me via email taramcmaster@gmail.com

Kerry Maiorca

Kerry MaiorcaLocation: Chicago, IL

Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I’m still amazed after 20 years of practice that every time I get on my mat to move, breathe, and be still, I feel better (well, most every time – we all have our off days!). Yoga is my way to come home, wherever I am, and I love sharing the simplicity and accessibility of the practice with my students.

Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? Too many times I’ve heard from folks who are interested in yoga but don’t think it’s for them, for a variety of reasons. I’m delighted to bring the Curvy Yoga tenets to my classes so I have one more tool to empower students to come to the practice, just as they are right now.

What can folks expect when they take a class from you? Get ready to use a bunch of props! My breath-centered classes focus on gently building strength and facilitating balanced mobility, all with the help of props and modifications. I am all about modifying to meet the needs of individual students, and I’m a big advocate of letting go of attachment to how a pose looks so you can prioritize how it feels.

What has been your favorite part of the certification process? It’s been fun and inspiring to hear my fellow students’ ideas about new modifications and approaches to poses – such a creative group! Anna is so generous with her knowledge and experience, I’m grateful to have had the chance to learn from her.

How can people get in touch with you? People can find me on my website, Facebook and on Twitter!

Mary McCallum

Mary McCallumLocation: Minneapolis, MN

Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I had practiced yoga for many years, and over time had gained weight and became frustrated that I couldn’t do the poses I used to be able to do. At one point, I became so discouraged that I had stopped doing yoga all together. Eventually I missed the practice so much, that through trial and error I was able to find a class that was right for me. It was the return to my practice that I became more in tune to the wisdom of my body and more self accepting. I want to share my love of yoga with others and how it can be more than just poses on the mat and how yoga’s lessons can translate to daily life.

Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? I have heard from so many friends/relatives/colleagues that they are too intimidated to try yoga because they feel they aren’t flexible enough, fit enough, thin enough, etc. I want to dispel all those “yoga myths” and spread the word that yoga is for every BODY! I want to share the many options available to those who have always wanted to try yoga, but felt held back for some reason or another.

What can folks expect when they take a class from you? A fun, body affirming hatha yoga class (with lots of options!) in an inclusive, supportive, non-intimidating environment.

What has been your favorite part of the certification process? Getting to know the eight brilliant and beautiful women of my YTT class, who quickly became my tribe. They made the life changing process of going through yoga teacher training even more special!

How can people get in touch with you? People can find me on my website and on Facebook!

Elizabeth Mendoza

Elizabeth MendozaLocation: Elgin, IL

Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I have had a decade long on-again off-again love affair with yoga. In that time I’ve learned that yoga can help enrich people’s lives on so many different levels. It creates this atmosphere to improve your personal well-being, giving you tools that supports you de-stressing, centering, connecting with yourself and living with more mindfulness. Empowering you on and off the mat. In my opinion, yoga really is for everyBODY.

Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? I want to bring Curvy Yoga to my community because it is so needed. Practicing yoga has always been special to me and I’m so excited to be teaching. Everyone deserves to have the chance to enjoy the personal benefits of yoga. I passionate about empowering people to deepen their relationships with themselves and yoga is an amazing tool for that journey.

What can folks expect when they take a class from you? Unfortunately some teaching and studio environments intentionally or unintentionally create spaces that make some people feel like they aren’t __fill in the blank___ enough or don’t fit in. That’s not what I’m about. I’m about inclusion, empowerment and cultivating authenticity. I don’t believe in a one size fits all strategy and I want everyone to enjoy our time together. My goal is to create a safe space to support people in practicing yoga in their own body, their own way.

What has been your favorite part of the certification process? My favorite part of the certification process was sharing the journey with the amazing women in my group. We were able to create this wonderful empowering learning environment. It is amazing the positive impact people can have on each other. I hope to be able to create a similar inspiring space for my students.

How can people get in touch with you? People can find me on my website and on Facebook!

Verna Bennett

Verna BennettLocation: Sioux City, IA

Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. Yoga has helped in so many aspects of my life, from helping to heal after a deep personal loss, to increasing strength and flexibility, to getting through situations in every day life. Yoga as a philosophy is a great addition to my already strong spiritual Christian practice. So many of the yogic teachings interweave with my personal belief system.
I love sharing yoga to students who feel like they are not built for this practice. It is a practice that every body can do in some form. My favorite motto is ‘Movement is a privilege – do it every day as often as you can’.

Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? Curvy Yoga would be an asset to our community. So many of the stereotypical teachers miss out on the opportunity to help students modify their practice to their own bodies simply because they do not know what it feels like to be curvy. As a curvy instructor I am sensitive to the needs of many students – and how important the use of props (bolsters, straps, blocks, blankets) can be to make the practice personal and accessible to students. We are all so uniquely made – that it is not just a ‘one pose fits all’ type of practice, but more ‘you are perfect in the pose you are in’ practice.

What can folks expect when they take a class from you? Folks can expect a gentle, yet challenging experience in my yoga classes. I cue many modifications so that each person can access the pose in comfort, using the Yoga Sutra philosophy of ‘Sthira and Sukha’ (ease and stability) as a guiding principle. Students will come to a class where they can feel comfortable and safe and never intimidated.

What has been your favorite part of the certification process? Learning more about body affirming practice and all of the modifications we discussed.

How can people get in touch with you? People can reach me via email zephyrhythm@cableone.net

Lesley Levy

Lesley LevyLocation: Canberra and Queanbeyan, Australia

Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I came to yoga as an overweight and unfit woman in my fifties, and it was affecting my wellbeing in a negative way. I had been a dancer when I was younger and lived most of my life as a less curvy person. I felt so embarrassed and self-conscious about getting back into any form of exercise that I kept putting it off. Then came the day, when I found my courage and attended my first yoga class. I am so grateful to my first yoga teacher who welcomed into her class and helped me to find my confidence, and encouraged me to explore the yoga through mindful movement. I fell in love with yoga – not only did I learn to accept my body more, as I moved from pose to pose, I found some inner peace. I felt capable and it brought my body back into my spiritual practice through moving meditation. I felt the passion to share yoga with others, who for one reason or another, felt they couldn’t do yoga, but would love to. I initially trained as a Chair Yoga Instructor and then as a Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teacher. I took this learning and began to tweak it to accomodate my students. And now, having completed Anna’s wonderful Curvy Yoga Teacher Training, I can add it to my toolkit and offer more to my students and community. For the past 3 years, I have been specialising in teaching yoga to people living with mild to severe disabilities and intellectual challenges, as well as beginners and seniors. I look forward to sharing Curvy Yoga within my local area.

Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? The answer is really simple for me – because it is so needed. We live in a world that portrays perfection and beauty as thin and flexible with model-like proportions. Yoga, is mainly is portrayed as something that only young, thin, super fit and super flexible people can do – although this is slowly changing. I want to bring awareness that yoga is so much more than doing extreme poses – that poses can be amended to meet everyone’s body shape, size and fitness level. I also want to bring awareness that yoga is also about a state of being – a connectedness of mind, body and spirit, and that it can become a lifestyle for wellbeing – physically, mentally emotionally and spiritually – but with out imposing it on anyone. I believe in holding space for yoga students to find their own way and to take the yoga journey that works for them. I have been both very thin and obese, I understand the issues around moving our bodies at different sizes as I have experienced both, and so I want to bring a supportive and nurturing space for people to experience yoga without judgement and with total acceptance of where they are in their journey through life. And so, at almost sixty years of age, I want to teach by example – walking my talk – so that others will find their way of walking their talk.

What can folks expect when they take a class from you? They can expect to find a space that welcomes everyone – a safe space that is accepting and without judgement. They will find a class where I gently check in with them, be aware of their journey through each class and teach the asanas in way that will be accessible to everyone in the class. No one will ever be made to feel ‘less than’. Students will experience the power of breath, the centering of the mind and heart, connection to their body and support to be brave and confident. Finally students will discover the many benefits of yoga and meditation through the experience of doing, and how they can take these benefits into their everyday life.

What has been your favorite part of the certification process? It has be connecting with Anna – hearing her story – her integrity and honesty as a yoga teacher. And, of course, the practical aspects of modifying asanas and gaining a greater awareness of how yoga can be made more accessible to anyone who wants to learn. It so aligns with my own philosophy. Thank you, Anna – I have so enjoyed and appreciated this training.

How can people get in touch with you? People can find me on my website and on Facebook!

Vicki Hibbert

Vicki HibbertLocation: Tulsa, OK

Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching.  My yoga practice began about 5 years ago and I became fascinated by making small tweaks in alignment could completely change the way a pose felt in my body. From there it was a short hop to greater body awareness and being more comfortable in my body. I went to yoga teacher training because I wanted to learn “THE” right way to do the poses. What I learned is that the right way depends on a lot of factors such as limb length and the shape your your bones and a lot other factors, In my classes I seek to unite movement and breath.

Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? I feel like Curvy Yoga will fill a niche in Tulsa by creating a welcoming community of yoga practitioners of all shapes and sizes.

What can folks expect when they take a class from you?  I strive to make my classes fun, safe and accessible

What has been your favorite part of the certification process?  I have loved deepening my understanding of body positivity and how it relates to yoga

How can people get in touch with you? People can find me on Facebook and on Twitter!


Share the blog!

Tweet: Welcome the new January 2017 @CurvyYoga teachers! — http://bit.ly/2j92IWx

Tweet: Learn more about the newest @CurvyYoga teachers in this blog post – http://bit.ly/2j92IWx