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Melissa Lopez

Founder and Owner

RYT500

Basics of Yoga

Vinyasa Power Flow

Gentle Yoga

 Restore & Relax

Melissa began practicing yoga over 20 years ago as a way to deal with stress and anxiety.  She has always been drawn to the calming and spiritual aspects of yoga and loves the beautiful integration of the physical challenges.  Melissa believes that the whole-body nourishment that one experiences when stepping onto the mat is the most powerful gift to oneself.

After completing her  RYT 200 teacher training at Lift Yoga in Alpharetta, GA, she decided to open her own studio instead of returning to her role in the corporate world as a marketing leader.  She has also completed her 300 hours teacher training at Peachtree Yoga Center in Sandy Springs, GA.  Melissa has also received additional training in Yin and Restorative Yoga and Trauma Informed and Somatic Awareness. 

She and her husband Jack, their two sons, and five fur babies are proud to call Smyrna home.

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    Sonya Phillips

  RYT500  

Basics of Yoga

Gentle Yoga

Meditation

Yin 

Restorative

Sonya began practicing yoga in 2012 under Master Woo Yun in Centreville, VA. She completed the Dahn Yoga BMT course in Cottonwood, AZ in 2015 and began teaching at the Namoo Yoga Center in Centreville, VA that same year. She later completed her Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) 200 training under Cynthia Bialek, founder of Yava Yoga, in Fairfax, VA in 2016, and is RYT 200 certified by the Yoga Alliance.  She recently completed her 300 hours of teacher training at Peachtree Yoga Center in Sandy Springs, GA. 

 

Since moving back home to Atlanta after 15 years, she has completed additional teacher training in aerial yoga, Biodynamic Yin, and meditation. Sonya’s other experiences include teaching yoga at World Gym, Vita-Prana, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She also taught federal workers and military service members in Alexandria, VA and Seaside, CA as part of the Defense Manpower Data Center Wellness Program.

 

Sonya is a retired federal worker serving over 32 years in support of the Army and the Department of Defense throughout the US and Europe. 

Stephanie Parisi

RYT 200

Yoga Basics

Vinyasa Flow

Restorative

Yin 

Complete Hatha

With a professional background in teaching and a master's degree in instructional design, Stephanie has always had a passion for educating and inspiring others. This passion combined with her interests in wellness and exercise, led her to complete her RYT 200 teacher training at Infinity Yoga. Stephanie's teaching style is accessible, healing, and motivating. She combines humor, empathy, spirituality, and the science of yoga in a way that makes sense and creates connections for any level yogi. Stephanie specializes in teaching beginners and basics classes and believes that yoga is for everybody, every body, any age, and any walk of life. She also loves teaching restorative yoga, vinyasa flow, and beginner acroyoga.

 

A transplant from the Buffalo area, Stephanie is proud to call Atlanta home. When she's not teaching, she's spending time with her boyfriend, dog, and parrot, or working on her other passion--aerial silks!

Madeline Brown

RYT200

Yin

Vin-Yin

Basics of Yoga

Madeline was first introduced to a physical yoga practice in college as a student athlete on the UGA Equestrian team. However, it wasn't until 2013 when she transitioned into a corporate position as a claims adjuster at a desk that she really began to emphasize and expand her own yoga practice in an effort to heal a variety of the side effects associated with sitting at a computer for an extended period of time. The physical benefits of the asana practice were expected and achieved, but the additional benefits of anxiety relief and improved self-image through pranayama and meditation, were a sweet surprise and what ultimately kept Madeline coming back to her mat.

 

Madeline completed her 200 hour RYT at Giving Tree Yoga, along with an additional certification in Yin Yoga, with the goal to help others. Madeline's intention is to lead students through class, focusing on safe alignment and controlled breath, in order to all the human body and spirit to heal itself to find inner peace.

 

She enjoys teaching with a theme in mind to allow students to set unique intentions and explore different aspects of their practice. Modifications and props are offered and explained as tools to assist with individualizing each practice and should not be seen as a weakness since there is no such thing as a "perfect pose." Madeline also believes smiling and laughter are additional natural healing techniques that can be used to let go of the ego and find peace so expect some humor and creative, fun sequences in her class. In fact, she is still working to create her own "horse pose" to reflect her love and passion of horse so any suggestions are welcomed!

Melissa Vidakovic

RYT200

Basics of Yoga

Vinyasa

Melissa has been practicing yoga for 20 years, starting her journey in a community class twice a week during college. Always finding her way back to the mat, she looked to yoga for stress relief and a place to go inward and restore. As a tool to help her balance the everyday, Melissa began realizing the transformation it was having on her life. Finding herself wanting to deepen her personal practice and share yoga with others, she began to explore teacher training.

 

Melissa completed her 200-hour training in 2020 with Giving Tree Yoga in Smyrna, GA. An advocate that yoga is for everybody, her approach to teaching is one based on mindfulness. She encourages students to bring awareness to the mind and body and listen to what they need in the moment.

 

Melissa enjoys incorporating breath work and meditation into her classes whether it be vinyasa flow or gentle yoga.

 

When not on the mat, she enjoys cooking, trying to garden, and being outdoors.

Christy Newsome

    Restorative Yoga

Vin-Yin

 

E-RYT 500, YACEP, Professional Yoga Therapist

Lead Trainer: 200-Hour Teacher Training Program at Giving Tree Yoga

Christy wants to help students find the union of mind-body-spirit that is the heart of yoga! She started doing yoga for the physical practice, but kept coming back to the mat for the benefits she had no idea she would find. She found improved strength, balance, and flexibility in her physical body, which was her initial goal, but she also discovered a natural way to relieve tension & pain, an amazing awareness of her breath (and why that is so important to overall health), better posture, deeper sleep, a strengthened love of herself and others, and a community of encouraging & inspiring people.

During classes, she encourages students to let go of ego and to meet themselves where they are in that moment. She offers modifications for all levels and use props frequently. Her focus is on safe alignment, breath, and finding space and freedom in your body, rather than achieving some idea of a "perfect pose."

 

Christy received her 200-hour certification at Peachtree Yoga in Atlanta and her 500-hour and yoga therapy certifications at Etowah Valley Yoga in Cartersville. She is grateful to all of the teachers and mentors who helped her arrive at this point in her practice and her teaching. She strives to continually study and adapt to help students find their yoga. Christy also loves reading...and coffee...and New York City...and the Braves.

Kacy Harbert

RYT 500

Vinyasa Flow

Gentle

Kacy discovered her love and passion for yoga around 7 years ago to help with postpartum depression, anxiety and physical health. She fell in love with her practice and decided that teaching yoga was what she was meant to do. In March of 2017, she went to Costa Rica to study at Marianne Wells Yoga School for her 200 hour certification. In her training, she knew that she was on the correct path. Growing in her physical practice but also experiencing immense personal growth while she was there only solidified her decision that she was on the right path. She wanted to help others in the same way her teachers helped her. She teaches her classes with a focus on proper and safe alignment, and guides her students through their practice helping them learn the balance of effort and ease in their breath and body. Guiding students through a practice that they will be able to sustain on and off their mats.

When she is not teaching, she is at home with her son, husband and variety of animals. She is continuing her education with teaching and is currently working on her 300 hour certification.

Angela Hales

RYT500

Basics of Yoga 

Vinyasa Power Flow

Yin & Restore

Angela Hales teaches to empower yoga students of all backgrounds and abilities to find strength, healing, and peace.

A yoga practitioner for nine years, Angela has felt the transformative power of a dedicated practice. Her classes pay close attention not just to exploring asana safely, but to all eight limbs of yoga.  Angela recently completed her additional 300 hours of teacher training at Etowah Valley Yoga in Cartersville, GA. 

With a master's degree in International Higher Education, she enjoys traveling and working with the international community in Atlanta when not teaching yoga.

 

Chritina Powers

RYT200

Basics of Yoga

Vinyasa

Christina discovered yoga during her freshman year of college. She was drawn to the calming space, positive energy and release she felt through practice. The mind body connection and physical challenges are what kept her coming back. Motivated by the benefits of yoga,
she became passionate about sharing the practice with others.

 

Christina decided to take her practice further by educating herself and becoming a yoga teacher under Giving Tree Yoga’s Teacher Training Program, led by Christy Newsome and Melissa Lopez. Through her training she discovered that she has a fascination with human anatomy and physiology, and the science behind yoga.

 

Originally a native of Michigan, Christina has adapted to life in the south calling Smyrna her home where she lives with her husband, black lab and golden retriever. They crave outdoor adventures like hiking, camping, paddle-boarding, and going to the beach. Christina is also a creative with
a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Central Michigan University.

Rachel Friedman

E-RYT500

Life and Weight-loss coach

Basics of Yoga

Vinyasa

Rachel Friedman Yoga Teacher, E-RYT500, Life and Weight-loss Coach Mom, wife, daughter, serial entrepreneur, possibility dealer, and yogi!

 

Rachel has spent the last two decades as a student of psychology, yoga, fitness, nutrition, and mindful meditation. She is a believer in possibility, conquering your goals and then transcending past them. Rachel believes we can do anything we put our minds to.

 

In 2010 Rachel was introduced to yoga. Discovering yoga and coaching is what saved her from her own worst enemy, herself. After every yoga class she felt amazing, and decided she wanted to learn more, and understand why she felt so good after each practice.