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instructors

Down Dog Yoga & Wellnes

detra bennett

owner, yoga instructor

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Detra is a mom of 2 beautiful children, Nash & Nova and owner of Down Dog Yoga & Wellness.

While attending UNCC Detra enrolled into a breath and movement class where she was introduced to yoga. Each week she looked forward to this class and was eager to learn more. After taking several “gym yoga” classes and “video yoga” classes she took her first class at a studio in 2010. Life as she knew it had changed. 5 years of practicing yoga daily Detra became certified in 2015 via Kim Zegil at Gotta Yoga Charlotte. From there she has been certified in Aerial Yoga and Prenatal Yoga.  In 2018 she completed an additional 300hrs in advanced training focusing on mindfulness and meditation with Rolf Gates.

Her classes are fun, creative and powerful moving body with breath, creating space, strength, flexibility, balance, peace, love and understanding.  Detra believes when yoga is truly embraced one can become the best version of themselves.

Detra’s mission is to grow yoga in the Denver area and to introduce yoga to those who have never experienced this ancient practice. She loves serving people and giving back to those with fur and skin.

stacy mcleod
yoga instructor

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In 2015, I took my first Vinyasa yoga class at a Brooklyn YMCA! Not long afterwards, I accompanied my husband to India where we were fortunate to have a week of personalized sunrise yoga sessions at Bodhi Yoga Institute. Consequentially, 5 years later, I completed my 200-hour certificate with Chakra Flow University at the U.S. National Whitewater Center with Victoria Martinez during the 2020 yoga pandemic. At the same time, I was working full time as a lead Montessori Infant/Toddler teacher in Dilworth. I had been an early year’s educator for over 20 years, but previously, I had served four years in the United States Air Force. Since I was a child, I have always been very active, particularly with outdoor sports. So, obviously, in 2021, I went to train as a Standup Paddleboard Yoga Instructor with Longwave Yoga in Wilmington, NC. Since then, I teach Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga at the U.S. National Whitewater Center and will be offering weekend yoga retreats across their sites in North Carolina starting April 2023.

Consistently, for over a year now, I have been leading chair yoga sessions for small groups in a 55+ community in Charlotte through Fit Group USA. I am so grateful to be able to reach a variety of different age groups in helping to make yoga inclusive for all people!

In April 2022, I was so fortunate to become an ambassador at I Shine Yoga and Wellness! I am grateful to have been a substitute for many instructors and have led a weekly slow flow class for nearly a year! Most recently, I was able to complete an inspiring 300-hour advanced certificate with Rolf Gates, which has led me to follow my love for doing what I love to do. So naturally, I hoped at some stage to teach children peace education, which would embody mindfulness and movement!

Being an educator and a mother of three adults, I have always been passionate about working with children, as it has been a big part of my life! I am grateful for the experiences that I have had of being able to facilitate children’s learning across various settings and countries. For many years, I have explored, taught, and witnessed the effect that music and movement, mindfulness and yoga have had with infants on up to adulthood. As a Montessori Infant/Toddler teacher; I had learned the importance of beginning peace education with the toddler cohort. The children at this age are in a stage of development for love called ‘the sensitive period.’

Victoria de Lilla, once said, that “children who are exposed to giving and receiving, acts of kindness, empathy and sympathy can express love to others and work cooperatively in a group…by placing value, creating the context, in which peace is a priority, children can be free of fear, criticism, prejudice, control..., blame, all elements of conflict and instead reside in peace and love.”

I am aware that my skills of patience, love and understanding are the qualities needed for working with the little ones, older ones, and all the in between ones. Peace, love, and happy days! If you’re ever in the Instagram neighborhood, take a peep at stacymcleodyoga please.

brittany chapman
yoga instructor

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lindsay schoff

yoga instructor

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I am an ACE-certified group fitness instructor and 200-hour certified yoga instructor. With a background in running, swimming, and gymnastics, I have always had a passion for all things fitness. I have been practicing yoga for 12 years and have experience in ashtanga, deep stretch, vinyasa, and children’s yoga. I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training under Lizzy Hoffman with Urban Bliss School of Yoga and my 95-hour children’s yoga certification with My Vinyasa Practice out of Austin, TX. I also teach barre, strength and conditioning, and core strength classes. I love delivering classes that give the entire mind and body a powerful workout. I hope to provide the community with strength, healing, fun, and motivation to empower their lives – both inside and outside of the studio! When I am not teaching fitness classes, I find a local race to run, go hiking with my partner and pup, volunteer, or travel out west!

When Lindsay took her first yoga class, she thought there was no chance her body could do what the instructor was cuing but decided to stick with it for three months. Those months flew by and she was hooked! Growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, she loved competitive swimming and always wanted to be in the water but discovered yoga provided the grounding she needed.

 

As a chronic migraine sufferer, she decided to turn to yoga as her primary form of exercise. She soon discovered that in addition to developing strength and flexibility, yoga also reduced her anxiety and did not contribute to migraine attacks as other intense workouts had done. Through fast paced vinyasa and power classes, she is able to get out of her mind and be present on her mat.

 

With a passion for power, Lindsay received her 200 RYT training through Johnna Smith and Tanner Bazemore. It was during this time she discovered the practice of Ashtanga on which power yoga is based. Lindsay wants to grow yoga in her community and throughout the schools. She wants her students realize they are capable of anything on the mat! Her power classes will help you attain the physical and mental body you have always wanted!

 

When she’s not on her mat or in the studio, she can be found teaching piano and hanging out with her amazing husband and two boys!

debbie zilli
massage therapist

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I believe that sometimes opportunities and life paths find you when you are open to change. This has happened to me recently and being a massage therapist is my joy. I have done many things in my life but recently needed a career and life path change. I wanted to become a massage therapist because I know how good I feel after an amazing massage and I wanted to provide that feeling for others. I love helping my clients feel their best. I have a background in science and fitness, and have worked in many gyms. When my children were young I also worked in the classroom as an instructional assistant in a special education classroom. I am a care giver at heart and have always wanted to care for others in some capacity. I am trained in various modalities such as Swedish massage, Deep Tissue, Trigger point, and cupping. I am excited to start my journey at Down Dog Yoga and I look forward to providing you with a massage for your specific needs.

Lili Lindsay
yoga instructor

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I attended my first yoga class in the summer of 2007 at a LifeTime Fitness. As a mother of a 5 year old and a 3 year old, I was just looking for an hour to devote to myself. Luckily my boys enjoyed the childcare center and the yoga class fit into our current schedule. I loved the class and found myself scheduling activities around yoga, rather than the other way around.
Not long after discovering yoga, my family and I embarked on a journey that took us to different states and different countries. At each location, I was able to find a way to practice yoga. Sometime it was in a studio, sometimes a fitness center, sometimes just a practice at home. Experiencing yoga at so many different places enabled me to try many different styles of yoga.
Around 2015, I injured my wrist and thought that my yoga days were behind me. Those few years away from yoga really demonstrated to me how much yoga had benefited me in my day to day life. I had taken all of that for granted. Realizing how much I missed my regular yoga practice, I began researching ways I could still perform the poses, while protecting myself from further injury. I experimented with various props and learned techniques that enabled me to have a very robust practice.
Through this discovery process, I began to understand that yoga truly is a practice that is unique to each individual. Upon personal reflection, I realized that I wanted to help others discover and relish in the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of yoga. Body + Mind + Soul = Yoga.
I earned my 200 hour yoga teacher training certification from Chakra Flow University at the Whitewater Center in Charlotte. My training and teacher was led by Victoria Martinez. My goal is to help others see that practicing yoga is an extremely personal thing. I would like to stress that yoga can be exactly what each person wants and needs it to be.
One of my favorite quotes about yoga:
Yoga is not about touching your toes. It is what you learn on the way down.
- Jigar Gor

jen kondrat
yoga instructor

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“Jen is originally from England, and first discovered yoga in 2008 while living in New York City. She became a certified Hatha yoga instructor in 2011 through the Aura Wellness Center, and believes the benefits of yoga are endless and can benefit any person of any age. Jen’s yoga practice has expanded over the years, as she explored Power, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga. She loves continuing to share her yoga experiences with others, so I hope you will join her for a class soon!”

maria campagna
yoga instructor

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Maria is a native of Charlotte, moving to Mooresville in 2004 after living in Georgia and South Carolina. She is a proud mother of two teenage boys, Dominic and Anthony, a pupson, Bubba, and pupdaughter, Lucy.

 

As an artist Maria began to share her love and knowledge with others becoming an art instructor; teaching yoga developed naturally from her love of moving the body with breath. Believing the benefits of yoga extend off the mat to all aspects of life, healing the mind and the body, developing self-compassion and gratitude are skills she wishes to pass along to her students.

 

She practices yoga in the strangest places, on the beach, on rocks in the middle of a creek, and on her paddleboard. Do not be surprised to see her in mismatched clothing or forgetting her left from her right—laughter is good for the soul! 

kelsey disanzo
yoga instructor/child watch

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Kelsey is a mom of 4 children with one on the way and has been practicing yoga & family specific yoga for 6 years. She is originally from Arizona, but has settled into the Denver area of North Carolina and fell in love with the community at Denver Down Dog Yoga.

At the beginning of COVID, she enrolled for her yoga certification and has since become kid yoga certified. Her kids class/child watch environments are creative, fun and exploratory with something for everyone.

Some of her other hobbies when she isn’t in child watch or teaching kids yoga are: drinking coffee, gardening, reading, kayaking, mountain biking and paddle boarding.

Favorite conversation she had with her children about yoga:
Kelsey to her children- “What is Yoga?”
Her youngest- “slow karate and tree pose”

Excited to see your little ones in Child Watch or Kids Yoga! 

deb elchak
massage therapist

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Meet the newest addition to our DDY family.
Deb Elchak brings 20 years experience to her clients as a Massage Therapist. Listening to clients talk as well as their body to achieve relief for both body and mind. Starting her journey in Hospice with Oncology Massage, she has spa techniques for body scrubs and wraps to soothe and relax aching muscles. Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist ,Deb is also a Reiki Master and Certified in Manual Lymph Drainage and offers cranial sacral massage and sports massage.
 

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