About Our Community
Everyone's journey and evolution through life is unique. Our goal is to embrace our client's personal growth through mindful teaching, compassion & respect.
We are a community of dedicated teachers and staff who, from deep personal experience, connect with the bliss and energy of Yoga. Our teachers bring their insight, years of practice and training, as well as creativity and caring energy to class every day.
We invite you to experience our yoga community. It is an honor to share the light and many benefits of yoga. Please check our Facebook page for Shala updates and Mindbody for our class schedule and to sign up.

Jamie Garrison
E-RYT 200, RYT 500 in progress, YACEP,
Founder & Co Owner
Yoga has always been a part of Jamie's life. She recalls as a child, being deeply connected to the world around her and as an adult it has become a way of life to maintain that union.  Jamie began yoga and meditation as a teenager. Over time Jamie’s interests have evolved to include aromatherapy, herbalism, Ayurveda, Thai Massage and energy healing through Reiki & crystals.  Jamie considers herself to be a humble student of life and it is her passion to share these interests with others so they too can attain health & balance in life.

In 2010, while working in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan, she completed her 200-hr yoga teacher training. Deeply drawn to her personal practice, Jamie found her true calling as a yoga guide. Her goal is to help her cleints honor their own personal truth, enabling them to live consciously, in touch with their hearts, and finding a practice that suits them.

She is grateful for this opportunity to share her devotion to yoga and to empower her clients to be their own best teacher. She is even more thankful for yoga, which has  proven to be invaluable both physically and mentally throughout  the beautiful journey of pregnancy, labor, and as a mother to 2 beautiful boys. Jamie has immense gratitude for her loving and supportive husband, family, and friends who believe in her vision to open Yoga Shala as a venue to share the light and healing benefits of yoga.
Kevin Honke - RYT 200 - Co Owner
Kevin considers himself a student of nature.  He has been interested in gardening since his childhood, and he continues to grow a variety of fruit and vegetables in his garden. Exploring local woodlands as an amateur mycologist he adds tasty wild mushrooms to his enjoyment of cooking. An avid bicyclist, his car gets to rest for much of the year.

And yoga?  After finishing his career as an engineer he found yoga, or was it yoga that found him.  Kevin started his yoga practice in 2010 with a weekly class and has gradually increased the frequency and his interest in more forms of practice over the years. He enjoys an energetic ashtanga, a soulful vinyasa, the release of yin and the
restfulness of yoga nidra.

A regular at the Yoga Shala since 2013, Kevin has expanded the scope of his yoga practice to include teaching. He truly believes that a place can be found for yoga in anyone’s life, and they will be happier for it.

“For me: I find that yoga has become an integral part of the balance in my life. I am aware of my breathing when biking and walk with mindfulness through the woods. I feel more connected to the world. I smile more often. I feel alive.”
Marcia Wincel
I am a student and practitioner of Ashtanga yoga.

In the world of Ashtanga, calling yourself a teacher requires many years of dedication and devotion to the lineage. I have a long way to go.....

As a guide, I only hope to share with students the bits of wisdom I have been fortunate to gain. While I have completed a 200 RYT training program, most of my experience comes from self study, and traveling for the practice. I have attended workshops with some of the best certified and authorized Ashtangis. I began my Mysore practice under the guidance of Matthew Darling at Ashtanga Michigan. I continue to think of him as my teacher.

Most recently, I deepened my study attending the AYC confluence in San Diego. And most memorably, I attended a week long Sadhana in Miami with Sharath Jois.
I've never approached my practice anatomically but rather, as a space of growth & healing. I hope to inspire students to enter that space, beyond the surface of the practice, into a place of surrender, acceptance, and love.

To me Ashtanga is a physical practice with a spiritual intent. Postures will only take you so far. Self-knowledge will make you limitless.

Om Shanti and Namaste
~ Marcia
Carissa Adams
Carissa is a dedicated yogi, believing that spreading the beauty of yoga can better the community and brighten lives. Originally brought to yoga for physical fitness, her practice fully blossomed after finding a home in Yoga Shala. Practicing yoga reminds her that, in a world that can make one feel like a victim of blind uncontrollable fate, we really have much more self-determination than we recognize.

Carissa loves spending time with her family & friends outdoors partaking in sports, hiking, camping, and generally enjoying the sweet energy Mother Nature has to offer. She has lived in South Eastern Michigan all of her life, and loves her beautiful home, family, and community.

Kate Makaroff, E-RYT 500
I have found that yoga and other healing modalities are important components of a lifestyle centered around health and wellness.   I was first introduced to yoga at the age of 15 by my grandmother.  After practicing for a number of years, I acted on a calling to become a yoga teacher by earning by 500 hour E-RYT certification.  In my quest to provide an overall healing experience to the mind, body and heart,  I provide skin care services as an aesthetician with over 15 years of experience as well as energy healing through Reiki and intuitive touch. Always exploring ways to expand my knowledge base, I am forever a student, learning and growing my healing modalities for the benefit of helping others.  

Taylor Monday
Taylor has been a practicing student of yoga since 2011 when she began working toward her BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Wayne State University. She loves the balancing nature of Hatha Yoga and continued too deepen her practicec by completing Yoga Teacher Training.

Taylor creates a lighthearted space to practice where students are encouraged to reflect inward to tune into their true, glowing selves. She firmly believes that practicing yoga transforms our ability for self love — allowing us to see the beauty of humanity, nature and the world around us. 
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” 
Amy Poupard
I first approached yoga as an opportunity to move my body and become more physically active. I found that a Yoga Practice is so much more than asana and began learning more and more the importance of Pranayama and Meditation. With the Body, the Breath, and the Mind- the spirit can blossom and grow.

I enrolled in the RYT-200 Program at Yoga Shala to deepen my home practice, and also to help bring Yoga more into my daily life, both on and off of my mat. Through my Yoga Training I found my interest in Yoga Nidra, a meditative yogic-sleep that restores the body and helps to plant and reinforce the intentions set during our practice. It was through Yoga Nidra and my training that I started realizing the importance of all Eight Limbs of Yoga, and their relevance in our daily lives.

Also watching and experiencing the changes in my mind, body, and spirit throughout my pregnancy, yoga has proven to be a source of nourishment and relaxation. I have developed a more nurturing practice, which I strive to provide in the space created in my classes. Breathing through the challenges, seeking modifications, and finding playfulness in finding variations to suit any body is what has always made Yoga such
an approachable and universal practice.
Evan  Brendtke
Born and raised in southeast Michigan Evan has always considered himself a seeker of truth and deeper meaning in life. He remembers being a young child and experimenting with manipulating the breath and contorting the body, experiencing the feeling of connectivity it brought about. He Spent time in the woods and near water often growing up, as his fathers home backed up to the Huron river. By age 24 Evan was a father of two and began to realize how much yoga was needed in his own life to help maintain balance. However it wasn't until kundalini yoga found him in 2016 that he would find himself becoming more disciplined and adopting a daily practice. Evan took the kundalini research institutes teacher training in 2017 and leads kundalini yoga as taught by yogi Bhajan. He wishes to share this yoga of awareness in hopes that others may also find some healing through this practice.
Nate Poupard
Yoga has been a physical, spiritual, and mental journey for me since the beginning. I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD only a few short months after attending my first yoga class. The mindfulness of the practice combined with the opportunity for physical exercise made for a therapeutic experience.

The welcoming energy and encouragement from the instructors quickly made Yoga Shala my Yoga Home. About a year and a half after practicing regularly I enrolled in the RYT Teacher Training Program at the Yoga Shala and Wellness Center. During the training Yoga was truly cemented as a large part of my life. Through sharing space with the other students, trusting one another, and helping each other through our journeys I found physical, spiritual, and emotional growth that continues until today. After completing the program, I knew that I had grown into a teacher and forever student of Yoga.

I am motivated by elevating those attending my classes by helping them overcome fear and doubt in their practice. I honor all of my experiences with gratitude, and am excited for the paths that Yoga has to offer. 
Matt Edwards
Matt has been practicing yoga for ten years and teaching for almost five. As a teacher and practitioner of yoga, he understands that each of his students comes to the mat for a unique and special reason. He embraces every individual journey and makes it his purpose to get to know each and every beautiful soul that enters the studio.

Not unlike a big, loveable golden retriever---Matt’s style of teaching is uniquely playful and adventurous. It’s not unsual to hear giggling within the studio when Matt is teaching. He knows that life is serious but encourages his students not to take themselves too seriously on the mat. The first person to admit to his own imperfections, Matt encourages his students to seek physical progress rather than physical perfection. Acceptance is the name of the game. Yoga isn’t about looking perfect in a pose. Yoga isn’t about winning. There is no finish line, there is no trophy. Yoga is a lifelong practice.
Amanda Lemming
Hello beautiful humans!

My name is Amanda, and I can't tell you how excited I am to bring my message to The Yoga Shala. My teaching has strong roots of the discipline I learned from a self taught Ashtanga practice, beginning when I was 16. Armed with little more than a mat and the drive to bring positive change to my life, I dove in, completely unaware to the magnitude of the wave of change that the first ripple would create.

What I sought was an escape from depression and anxiety in a healthy outlet, and what I found through the practice was purpose. A healing so articulate and complete I became immersed. Diving into teacher training at 19 still unprepared for how much more I had to gain. Through severe social anxiety and every aversion to any form of public speaking, I knew a few weeks into training that I was put here to guide. To lead and teach and enter the hearts of suffering human beings through the movements that saved me.

In March of 2016, 5 days after graduation, I traded in the promise of a cap and gown as an engineer to pursue the path I was destined for. It is my hope that every student entering an hour of my care leaves with not only a physical awakening and awareness, but a mind equipped with tools to sow seeds of peace and well being in the storms of life.
Lexi Bondar
I fell into yoga in 2007 after moving to San Francisco for college. At first, I looked at it as just another way to strengthen and stretch my body, and incorporated it into my exercise regimen. It wasn’t long after, that I started to feel the subtle workings of the practice and became, as they say: hooked. My then obsession took me to India in 2010 where I received my initial teaching certification. I began teaching three years later in my home region of Northern Michigan. I recently moved to the Detroit area with my partner and love it here!

The practice of yoga has helped me immensely. I am more I touch with my physical body, my inner world, and the environment around me. I work to restore balance in my life and in my relationships, create feelings of equanimity and contentment, and pursue compassionate action. ‘Work’ is the key word—this practice is always evolving.

I teach a very breath-centered and full-bodied practice. My classes are accessible, yet challenging, energizing, yet grounding. I offer a space where you can fully be yourself. Join me!”
Emily Petersen
Hi friends! My name is Emily, I was born and raised in Upstate New York and moved to Michigan in 2012. When I was first introduced to yoga I had no idea that I would become a teacher 10 years later!

While I was training for my second marathon in 2014, I was also going through a very emotional time in my life and decided I wanted to start going to yoga classes more often to help take my mind off of things. It was a great way to stretch after running miles upon miles everyday and I learned how to keep my mind from wandering and was able to let things go that no longer served me. I soon realized that having a regular practice really made an impact in my life in so many different ways.

Being a survivor of a spinal tumor when I was a child, I have lived with chronic back pain every single day of my life for as long as I can remember. Once I started to practice yoga regularly I noticed that I was able to take control of my pain and that was something I never experienced before! I fell in love with practice and the community and I wanted to continue furthering my journey and share my love for yoga with everyone around me.

I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training at Yoga Shala & Wellness Center where I have grown stronger mentally, physically and emotionally. I believe that yoga is so much more than just the asana. It is a way of life and a way to become more in touch with yourself by connecting the mind, body and breath. I enjoy sharing my passion for yoga with everyone around me. I feel that self-love is a very important thing that every person should practice and I make sure to incorporate that in all my classes. Through teaching I hope to inspire students to step out of their zones and fall in love with every part of themselves.

Peace, Love & Namaste
Casey Miller
Growing up in a small town on the Eastern shore of Lake Michigan, my favorite place to be is anywhere close to a large body of water. I can remember being intrigued by the nature and movement of water from a very young age, and my fascination with it has caused me to seek out every opportunity to mimic its flowing movement in my own body. As my mother would say, “Casey came dancing out of the womb!”

My urge to flow led me to become very passionate about dance and I enjoyed over a decade of intense dance training until the rigors began to take a toll on my emotional and physical being. I knew my body needed a break from dance, but felt worthless without the ability to express myself through it. At this time in my life I was also struggling with intense feelings of loss and gripping trauma. To say the least, it was hard to love myself. Even though it was difficult choosing to take a break, I was introduced to yoga as a therapeutic alternative to dance and have been practicing now for 6 years.

Developing a yoga practice has not only provided me physical relief, but an outlet to consciously release trauma and to build a relationship with myself again. My primary goal as a teacher is to create a safe and welcoming environment where practitioners can feel empowered to not only love themselves, but support and love one another as a community as well. During my sequences, I encourage students to flow mindfully and initiate each movement with a conscious connection to breath and self.

The practice of yoga is so special to me and I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned with all of the beautiful souls at Yoga Shala! Namaste, family!
Pam Rich
Once upon a time in my native South Florida, I walked into my first yoga class.  It was around 2001, the class was held in a bookstore after closing time, and I had very little idea what to expect.  That evening among racks of books and a room full of strangers was my introduction not only to the physical postures, but the idea that there could be an active mind/body/spirit relationship. That feeling - connection with collective energy, the class lifting up one another through breath, movement, and intention, the spark which carries off the mat allowing for compassion both internally and externally - is what I strive for in class and in life.   
I love glitter, reading, superheroes, mythology, learning, hanging with my dogs and family, and getting creative in the kitchen.  Completling my 200RYT at Yoga Shala and Wellness Center with additional trainings in Thai Massage, Yin Yoga, and Reiki (Level II), I am constantly experimenting and on the lookout for what will help my brain, nourish my soul, and how I can best present these tools to assist others.  Since we're all made of stardust and on this rock hurdling through space, I'm grateful we get to explore life together.  
Kelli Hurren
Kelli’s professional Mind/Body training began with a 15 year dance, art, and Pro Audio experience that extended her adventures to the West coast. While pursuing these passions, she was introduced to the teachings of Yoga and Pilates, the Hare Krishna, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and other Buddhist philosophies.

From here, she began a 15 year personal journey with Yoga and Meditation practices. Certified as a Yin Yoga instructor, Kelli has expanded her education to include a 200hr RYT program at Yoga Shala and Wellness Center, enabling her to guide others in a more expanded way. She is a Wellness Practitioner, Meditation Guide, Reiki Master, and Life Coach offering 1 to 1 services for those seeking lasting lifestyle change in their own wellness journey of healthful self-improvement.

Kelli also currently works in Youth Prevention with underserved communities as well as Active Senior populations. She is currently gaining and expanding her knowledge in Trauma Recovery, Trauma Prevention, and Community Outreach. A student of life, she studied Sociocultural Psychology in a research capacity at Arizona State University. Her next education venture is into raw/vegan nutritional counseling, food preparation, and home cultivation while continuing her herbalism studies.
Bethany Safadi, RYT 200, Reiki I
Namasté friends! I am a lover of all things yoga!! I began my yoga practice about 20 years ago in a small corner of my bedroom. I loved how my body felt after I practiced but never established a regular routine.

A few years ago, things changed. I was working a stressful job, had been diagnosed with a couple autoimmune diseases, and a chronic pain disease. I felt myself fading under the pressure. I decided to leave my nursing job and stay home with my four daughters. This also allowed me to work on feeling better!

I turned to the only thing I knew that made me feel good! YOGA! I began practicing yoga asana regularly and found the stress start to lift. I experienced peace and calming, finally able to see what I could control and what I could let go of. Yoga, to me, is a connection of the mind, body and soul. Finding myself through movement, led me to discovering a deeper practice. This discovery put me on the path that allowed me to follow my heart right into Yoga Teacher Training.  I am always and will forever be, a work in progress, learning to incorporate mindfulness, meditation and movement into my daily life guides me through this work! Yoga makes my heart smile and I love sharing yoga with others!

In addition to my love of yoga, I am passionate about working out, self-care, healthy eating, food allergy education, veganism and sending intentions of love and peace to all!
Emily Cooprider
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