Teachers

Hope Wills, Founder & Owner

Hope is not enlightened (not even close) and she can’t get into every pose.  She is an elementary special education teacher, a fiercely loyal friend, she loves to laugh and she craves yoga.

Hope has been an educator since 1995 – graduated from the University of Houston and completed masters and doctoral level coursework at Texas Tech, College of St. Rose, and Vanderbilt University.  Her experiences range from elementary to high school students and from students receiving special education services to those identified as gifted and talented.  While working in a self-contained classroom for students identified as emotionally disturbed, she realized when students’ emotional needs were met, they were more receptive to academic instruction.  But, she had yet to discover where her yoga practice and career in education would intersect.
Yoga entered Hope’s life in 1999, and in 2004, she began deepening her learning by enrolling in the yoga immersion and instruction offered through ViraYoga in NYC.  Hope’s practice remained strong, but she only began teaching yoga to others after traveling to and studying Hatha Yoga and meditation in Upper Bhagsu, India in 2014.  She then taught at Houston Yoga Collective in Garden Oaks.  In August 2016, a colleague asked her to teach yoga to a third grade class and instead of taking on just one class, she piloted a mindfulness program with five classes of students (first, third, and fifth graders).

Hope’s love for yoga – and sharing the practice through teaching children and adults – invigorates her mind and spirit and is her catalyst for growth.

She’s a native Houstonian.  Though she’s lived just about all over Texas, then in Brooklyn, and even for a short bit in Nashville,  she’s returned to Houston and made it her home.

What others say about Hope…

Sandra Burgess, Director of Operations

Sandra has enjoyed practicing and teaching yoga for over 25 years. After a near-fatal car accident ended her professional beach volleyball career in 1997, she founded Inspire® to empower students to take charge of their health, build resiliency and optimize wellness through the practice of therapeutic yoga and mindfulness.

Sandra’s professional credentials include Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 (experienced registered yoga teacher), ten years as a certified Integrative Restoration iRest Yoga Nidra/mindfulness instructor, and C-IAYT International Association of Yoga Therapists certified therapeutic instructor.

She created the Hearts in Rhythm program to share the benefits of yoga and mindfulness with patients, families and care providers who are managing cardiac issues. She has facilitated iRest sessions for patients and veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injury. She designs personalized programs in collaboration with medical professionals to address specific health conditions, has published articles in peer reviewed journals, and is an international speaker advocating the benefits of yoga and mindfulness.

Sandra’s passion for yoga extends beyond the studio. She is honored to be an Advisory Board Member for the Peaceful Planet Foundation, bringing the benefits of a plant-based diet, yoga and mindfulness practices to underserved youth and the medical community.

-1

Elizabeth Haberer

Elizabeth found yoga in 2000, when she was seeking a new way to approach fitness and a path to calm her mind. She began her yoga teacher training in 2008 with Paul Barrera and received her certification in 2009 at Yoga Ananda through the guidance of her teacher Maria Merrill at Yoga Ananda. Elizabeth’s practice and teaching have been greatly influenced by her teachers Ann Hyde and Catherine Allen, who have taught her embodied presence in a visceral way.

Elizabeth has been fortunate to study with wonderful teachers from various traditions throughout the years, and her teaching has been heavily influenced by the Bhakti, Ashtanga and Forrest yoga systems. Elizabeth has received training in trauma-sensitive Yoga at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute in Massachusetts. She has been fortunate to have taught in various studios such as Yoga Ananda, BIG Power Yoga, Equinox River Oaks in Houston, and Breathe Yoga Studio in Pittsburgh, PA.

Elizabeth is a licensed Psychotherapist. After working with trauma survivors in various inpatient and outpatient mental health settings such as the Children’s Assessment Center, The Council on Recovery, and the Menninger Clinic for almost two decades, she established her full-time psychotherapy private practice and founded THRIVE, a Trauma-Informed yoga program which offers yoga classes and consultation services for yoga teachers and clinicians. Elizabeth has offered classes, trainings and consultations on trauma-informed yoga in various settings such as nonprofit community mental health agencies, intensive outpatient treatment centers, and various yoga studios. Her primary intent in creating THRIVE is to help people establish a safe and trusting relationship with their bodies.

Erica head shot 2014

Erica Furman

“Encouraging each student to know and appreciate their own body through yoga is one of my goals. I love to see my students gain strength and flexibility, both on and off the mat, and to share the calm and sense of wholeness that the practice of yoga brings.”

Erica was first introduced to yoga at Sarah Lawrence College in NY while studying Studio Arts and Art History. Yoga resurfaced in her life at a local gym in 1996 and she has been practicing ever since. Recently transplanted from the Northeast, Erica received her first teaching certification in 2004 through Claire Diab and the American Yoga Academy in NJ. Since then she has done specialized teacher trainings with Karma Kids Yoga in NYC (2005), Holistic Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training with Gayle Lemke and Kelli DeFlora of Wise Woman Birthways (2005), an Anusara teacher training with Christy Burnet (2008), and The Alchemy of Flow and Form advanced teacher training with Christina Sell and Giocanda Parker (2016), as well as many workshops with expert teachers such as Desiree Rumbaugh, Ross Rayburn, Beryl Bender Birch, Sara and Ty Powers, Natasha Rizopolous, Cat McCarthy and others.

Erica is registered with Yoga Alliance (500 RYT and certified to teach pre-natal, post-natal and kids yoga) and is available for private sessions.

 

Liya Mar

Liya grew up in a family with a regular meditation practice. She started her yoga journey when she was pursing her Ph.D. in Wisconsin. Yoga literally saved her from the chronic upper back shoulder pain, which she suffered from the intensive graduate works. Liya was trained in alignment-based Vinyasa Flow in the Lineage of Shiva Rae, and also teaches slow-paced practices and restorative. She has taught practitioners of all levels and with different backgrounds, including athletes, youth and beginners. She’s also a certified personal trainer.

Liya remembers, as a young child, meditation and breath work weren’t easy tasks, but with yoga, breathing and calmness come naturally. Liya seeks to deepen her understanding of different lineages of yoga, as well as anatomy-based practices. Aside from yoga, she loves baking, watching basketball, exploring fun ways to work out, and wandering in nature with her family and
friends.

Raye Lynn Rath-Rondeau (2)

Raye Lynn Rath-Rondeau

CYT, E-RYT 500, and Certified Amrit Method Yoga Nidra Facilitator; Raye Lynn has over 23 years experience as a yoga and meditation instructor, teacher trainer and as the studio owner of one of the largest, oldest, existing yoga studios in the US.  She offers group classes and private sessions and has taught at national conferences, led workshops, retreats and yoga vacations.

Known for her love of the practice and the loving care that she provides for her students and clients, Raye Lynn brings her own authentic voice and teaching style to her classes, infusing each instruction with the deeper teachings of yoga, linking the movement of breath with skillful and precise alignment and sequencing for a playful, sublime and deepening practice. Through meditation and Yoga Nidra, Raye Lynn infuses these practices and techniques with her soothing voice and exquisite pacing to hold sacred space and guide her students and clients into deeper and deeper levels of stillness and presence and into deeper and deeper states of consciousness and being.

When life changes, we are often asked to embody and re-member a new self and a new way of being in our lives, and a new way of being in our bodies, hearts and minds. Raye Lynn Rath offers public and private sessions in Yoga, Meditation, Yoga Nidra, Life Coaching, Mentoring, Intuitive Healing, Intuitive Readings and working with Essential Oils.  Call Raye Lynn at (713) 628-6043 or email her at awakeningpresence.raye@gmail.com for more information on classes, workshops, retreats and private session availability.

Stacey Ramsower

Stacey began her love affair with yoga in 1997 with a VHS tape. Movement had always come easily, but yoga brought a new kind of focus and feeling. She continued to practice at home and occasionally in a public class until moving to Los Angeles for college in 2001. The floodgates of yoga opened, and Stacey immersed herself in study, completing her teacher training through YogaWorks in 2005.
Her primary teaching influence has been Hala Khouri, who introduced Stacey to a practice called Somatic Experiencing. This technique was developed as an alternative/supplement to traditional talk therapy. Based on the fact that our nervous system and not our “thinking” brain run the show, SE puts people in touch with their felt sense of self and offers simple, sensation-based techniques to re-wire behavioral patterns and trauma to restore a sense of self. This technique, combined with the teachings of Tantra are the foundation of Stacey’s teaching philosophy.
Stacey is also a birth doula, an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Coach and soon-to-be Somatic Sex Educator. She teaches workshops, curates healing programs for women and couples, tends to families in the perinatal period and is the co-founder of Svasta Yoga School, a full-spectrum yoga education program. You can find her online at staceyramsower.com

 

Susan Underwood

Susan completed her first teacher training with Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in 1988 where she experienced first hand the immense power of yoga’s systematic approach to transform one’s physical, emotional and spiritual life. Thus began her lifelong study of this precious practice. Her classes emphasize balancing strength and flexibility, encouraging students to personalize their practice, move with intention, and attend to the internal aspects of this art. Parenting 3 amazing children, practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine, gardening, and kitchen arts all provide inspiration on and off the mat. She holds a BS in Biology, a Master’s in Social Work and a Master’s in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Her understanding of anatomy, physiology and meridian theory enhances her practice and teaching style. She is a licensed Acupuncturist and LMSW, works for MD Anderson’s Integrative Medicine Center, and joyfully shares her yoga practice leading vinyasa, yin and meditation focused classes.

Warren Andrade

Warren found yoga in fall 2006 when he was experiencing a lot of suffering thru trauma, pain, anxiety and depression. His very first public yoga class was a 90 minute hot yoga sequenced class where he gladly survived and soon learned that room temperature yoga classes also existed. In 2012 he discovered Ayurveda and mantra meditation. Aside from the knowledge he gained, it was the experience that he fell in love with.
Warren holds an associate’s degree in culinary arts. In 2002 he became a licensed massage therapist and currently has a private practice in which he specializes in Ayurvedic therapies and trigger point therapy for pain management. He was drawn to teach yoga by the sense of connection and gratitude he felt in his own practice.
Aiming to share the practice of yoga with others, Warren completed his 200-level yoga teacher training in January 2015. He is trained in Baptiste-inspired power vinyasa, Yin, and Restorative yoga. Recently, Warren completed his 500-level yoga training specializing in yoga therapy in practice. Warren is currently enrolled at an accredited IAYT yoga therapy program and is a yoga therapy intern.

Warren’s classes offer a welcoming space to become present, find a sense of balance, and a capacity to relinquish and let go.  The use of props is encouraged, and support and modifications are offered to those experiencing limited mobility. His primary goal is to share the practice in a way that is accessible to all: to meet people where they are, as they are.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: