Ali Callahan

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Executive Director of the Wilmington Yoga Center, Ali has been practicing yoga since 2000 when she took her first therapeutic class. She joined her mother who was in recovery from breast cancer, and was instantly hooked on a practice that can benefit both your body and your mind. After completing her MA in Health Arts & Sciences at Goddard College, Ali decided she wanted to take her practice to the next level and embarked on her yogic journey. Ali graduated from the Evolve Yoga Teacher Training at Porter’s Neck Yoga Spa in 2011, and immediately began her 500-hour Kunga Yoga certification from the Wilmington Yoga Center where she has taken modules in Ayurveda with Hilary Garivaltis, Non-Violent Communication with Elizabeth Banner and Gentle Yoga and Meditation with Donna Gardner. Most recently she completed her Professional Kunga Yoga Leader Apprenticeship under Kristin Cooper. Her influential teachers include Kristin Cooper, Kas Mueller, Noelle Cavenaugh, and Katherine Isben.

 See Ali Callahan’s schedule

Amy Andrews

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Amy Andrews is a graduate of the Wilmington Yoga Center 220Hr Kunga Yoga & Lifestyle Teacher Training program with Kristin Cooper and Katie Serino. Amy is completing her Kunga Yoga 500 Hour Teacher Training certification, and her Kunga Yoga Mentoring Program under Heather Lilly, and Kristin Cooper. Amy is a trained and certified 5Elements Flow teacher. Amy’s background as a nurse informs her teaching and Amy teaches Gentle, Hot Detox & Hold, Rockin’ Flow, and Core Power Yoga classes.

See Amy Andrews’s schedule

Cat Clement

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Catherine Clement is a Kunga Yoga Faculty Teaching Assistant. She is a graduate of the Wilmington Yoga Center 220Hr Kunga Yoga & Lifestyle Teacher Training program with Kristin Cooper-Gulak, Katie Serino and Noelle Cavenaugh, and is currently completing her Kunga Yoga 500 Hour certification. She is also a 5Elements Flow certified teacher, completing her training in Costa Rica with Kristin Cooper & Noelle Cavenaugh.
Catherine is a graduate of UNCW with a double major in Accounting and Finance. She has completed certifications in Thai Yoga Bodywork with Deon De Wet, Hot Detox Vinyasa Flow and Inversion workshops with Katie Serino, ChildLight Yoga Teacher Training certification with Sally Delisle.
She has also studied Non-Violent Communication with Elizabeth Banner, and Ayurveda with Hilary Garivaltis, Dean of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda.
Catherine began practicing yoga in 2001 after searching for a way to integrate her gymnastics background into her daily exercise routine but found something so much more than just exercise. Her teachings are interactive and fun, with an emphasis on movement, balance, and strength.
Catherine’s hope is to inspire people of all ages to experience the joy that yoga can bring to a person physically, mentally and spiritually.

See Cat Clement’s schedule

Donna Gardner

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Donna Gardner has been practicing yoga and Insight Meditation for over 20 years and is an experienced teacher. She holds a Masters Degree in Dance from New York University, and is an ACE certified personal trainer. In addition, she attended the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston University and recently completed Level I certification in Thai Yoga Bodywork. Whether you are new to practice, returning to it, or enjoying an ongoing practice, please join Donna for classes in which you will receive personal attention to your specific needs and abilities.

See Donna Gardner’s schedule

Elizabeth Cramond

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Elizabeth was first introduced to yoga by her uncle at age 16 while spending a summer in Italy with her mother. Upon arrival back to the states, Elizabeth and her mother began practicing together. A former competitive swimmer through the collegiate level, Elizabeth enjoyed the non-competitive aspect of her yoga practice, and found that it brought balance to her life. Her mother was also her inspiration for becoming a yoga teacher. Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of NC-Wilmington, with a double major in International Business and Spanish. She completed the 200- hour teacher training program at the Wilmington Yoga Center in 2007. She also served as an assistant in 220- hour program in 2008. Elizabeth has also had opportunities to study with Shiva Rea and Kathryn Budhig. Elizabeth hopes to inspire her students to find the beautiful balance of strength, flexibility, and sense of humor in their practice.

See Elizabeth Cramond’s schedule

Frances Murchison

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Adjunct Faculty member, Frances Murchison, 200RYT, brings 11 years of yoga experience to her classes. She completed her 200hr Training under Daren Friesen at Moksha Yoga in Chicago, and is working towards her 500-hour Kunga Yoga certification. Originally a runner, she embraced yoga for the physical benefits of strength, flexibility and endurance. Soon, she realized that the enhancement of mindfulness, self-acceptance and compassion turned out to be an even larger benefit. Frances Her influential teachers include Gary Kraftsow, Gbriel Halpern, Aadil Palkhivala, Darem Friesem, Dr. John Douillard and Bruan Kest. Frances is a trained and certified 5Elements Flow teacher. Frances’ background as a holistic health coach informs her teaching. Frances teaches Basic Flow, Core Power Hour, 5Elements Water Flow, 5Elements Earth Flow and Power Flow Yoga classes.

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Heather Lilly, RYT500

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Heather Lilly (goes by“Lilly”) received her 500hr ISHTA Yoga certification in2003. After teaching over a 1000hrs of group classes, private sessions, and yoga festivals in NYC, Pennsylvania, and Raleighshe joined the Wilmington Yoga Center family in December of 2009. Lilly comes with a background in dance, movement, and theatre that all inform her teaching.Lilly was drawn to yoga after September 11. Her journey began in the aftermath of a tragic event as an act of service to self; however the path has taken her to a place of peace, joy, and desire to serve others. Her intention is to spread this spirit of yoga as service to help inspire healingthroughout the world.Lilly is incredibly grateful to the many wonderful teachers with whom she has hadthe privilege to study.

See Heather Lilly, RYT500′s schedule

Heather Metzler

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Kunga Yoga Faculty Instructor Heather Metzler, ERYT is a certified 500-hour Kunga Yoga teacher. She has also completed the 100 hour Professional Level Kunga Yoga Apprenticeship under Kristin Cooper for Kunga Yoga Leaders, and is working towards 1000-hour Kunga Yoga certification. As a Special Education teacher for many years, Heather started looking for a way to alleviate stress and create a healthier lifestyle for herself. She took her first yoga class in 2000 at a local gym, and was soon in love with the way it made her feel. She found the Wilmington Yoga Center where she started to deepen her practice through the love and teachings of Kristin Cooper, Larry Hobbs and Donna Gardner. After the birth of her first daughter in 2006, she began her yoga training, and is a graduate of the 220 and 500 hour Kunga Yoga School. She has completed certifications in Prenatal Yoga, Yoga for Trauma, Thai Yoga Massage, Kunga Power Vinyasa and Therapeutics and has traveled with Kunga Journeys for volunteer work at the Home of Hope Orphanage in Kerala, India. She feels blessed to have her family and students in her life everyday, supporting her growth as an individual and as a teacher. She is currently working towards her 1000 hour certification, to deepen her practice and experiences while serving others in her classes.

See Heather Metzler’s schedule

Jamie Annette, ERYT200

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Jamie, ERYT200, is an Assistant Instructor at the Kunga Yoga School as well as a certified mat pilates instructor and a graduate of the 200 hour Kunga Yoga Teacher Training. She took her first yoga class with her mom in 2001 and has been practicing ever since. She’s always had an interest in health and wellness and feels fortunate to be able to share this with others through teaching. Jamie has completed her Kunga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training certification with Kristin Cooper, and is currently working towards her 500Hr yoga certification at the Wilmington Yoga Center. Jamie hopes to encourage others to bring balance, energy and peace to their lives through the practice of yoga and Pilates.

See Jamie Annette, ERYT200′s schedule

Jessica Bichler

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Assistant Director of the Kunga Yoga School, Jessica has a rich yogic history, steeped in a variety of trainings and lineages, bringing a wealth of knowledge to her classes, workshops and teacher trainings. Jess came to yoga in her teens, recognizing it as a path towards staying active and healthy throughout every stage of life. Jess has had the opportunity to study myriad yoga styles, particularly the prominent lines of Iyengar, Ashtanga and Anusara – each complimenting her attention to alignment and core engagement gained as a gymnast – as well as therapeutic and kids yoga. Her formal education and certifications were earned at the Morningside School of Yoga in upstate New York, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts, and most recently 200 and 500 hour certifications from the Wilmington Yoga Center. Her influential teachers include Michael Smith, Stacey Millner-Collins, Cheryl Crawrford, Kristin Cooper and Noelle Cavenaugh. Jessica loves developing a wide variety of classes including everything from gentle and chair yoga, to kids yoga, to advanced practices focusing on arm balances and inversions. Her goal is to lovingly support students down the path of living a yogic lifestyle in all aspects.

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Jessica Burkett, 300 CYT, CNC

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Jessica’s yoga journey began back in 1998. As a high school student she wasn’t interested in joining sports teams and a friend had shared that she tried something called “Yoga”; so Jessica got curious. She bought some VHS tapes and began her love affair with the practice in my living room. Initially it began just as a physical practice and later evolved into much more. In 2010 Jessica received her 200hr certification to teach from Prairie Yoga, Chicago. Then in 2012 continued onto her 300hr certification. In 2013 she received my Therapeutic Yoga Certification in Raleigh, NC from Cheri Clampett and Arturo Peal. Jessica loves to share yoga with others. Encouraging them to allow their light to shine! Seeing students find health and space in their bodies where there once was pain and stiffness, inspires her everyday to continue her discovery of new ways to share this beautiful gift. Jessica labels herself as a “student” in the sense of being open to life; and having new eyes everyday. When a “student” she is available to learn from others and let herself and her teaching evolve. Jessica hopes that her love for yoga inspires you to get “curious” too!

See Jessica Burkett, 300 CYT, CNC’s schedule

Jessica Hartmann

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Jessica Hartmann is a full time Physical Therapist and Kunga Yoga Teaching Specialist as faculty with the Kunga Yoga School. She is a graduate of Duquesne University with a Masters Degree in Physical Therapy, and has over ten years of experience as a manual therapist in a variety of clinics.
Jessica is a also graduate of the Kunga Yoga Teacher Training with Kristin Cooper and Katie Serino and is currently completing her Kunga Yoga 500 Hour certification.  Jessica has taught therapeutic yoga in clinical settings for over three years, and is currently working on completing her Professional yoga Therapy Certification in order to continue combining her career with her passion for yoga. 
Jessica is a firm believer that yoga can truly be used as medicine. She is extremely excited to see yoga continually being recognized by medical communities both as a preventative measure as well as a treatment tool. She believes yoga is fantastic both for injury prevention and relief, and would like to continue educating others about the human body and it’s beauty in our yoga practice. Jessica enjoys teaching group classes and individual sessions focused on the principles of anatomy and biomechanics. 

See Jessica Hartmann’s schedule

JJ Cook

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JJ Cook is a graduate of the Wilmington Yoga Center’s 200HR Power Vinyasa Teacher Training program with Tamal Dodge and is currently completing his Kunga Yoga 500HR Teacher Training Certification and Kunga Yoga Mentorship under Kristin Cooper, Heather Lilly and Noelle Cavenaugh. He is also a certified 5Elements Flow teacher.
JJ is a graduate of UNCW and basketball player for the Wilmington Sea Dawgs professional men’s basketball minor league team of the Carolinas.
JJ brings brings his athletic background into his classes with an emphasis on helping his students to building strength, motivation, and focus and currently teaches Warm & Hot Power Flow, Hot Detox & Hold, and 5Elements Flow classes.

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Julie Pelikan

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Julie Pelikan is a graduate of the Wilmington Yoga Center 200Hr Kunga Yoga & Lifestyle Teacher Training program with Noelle Cavenaugh, ERYT500, Heather Metzler ERYT500 and Jess Bichler RYT500. Julie is completing her Kunga Yoga Mentoring Program under Noelle Cavenaugh, Heather Metzler, Jess Bichler and Heather Lilly. Julie is currently on the schedule teaching HOT Detox & Hold and Warm Power Flow classes.

See Julie Pelikan’s schedule

Kristin Cooper, E-RYT500

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Kristin Cooper ERYT500, is a registered 500hr Yoga Alliance teacher trainer. She began teaching full time in 1999, and training yoga teachers in 2003. Kristin is the founder and director of The Wilmington Yoga Center, Kunga Journeys Global Service Retreats & The 200/500hr Kunga Yoga School. Kunga Yoga is an open, service-based yoga practice that encourages students to integrate the service theme of the month off the mat, and all Kunga Yoga teachers teach free classes to needed populations and donate 5% of their proceeds from teaching to the Kunga Fund which supports underserved communities locally and globally. Kristin travels as a teaching assistant and percussionist for renowned yoga teacher Shiva Rea and is mentor for students in Shiva’s Prana Flow trainings. Kristin is the creator of Rhythmic Flow Yoga w/the Kunga Drummers, leading workshops fusing yoga and live music since 2000. Her personal practice has been inspired and guided by an extraordinary group of teachers to whom she is extremely grateful, including: Shiva Rea, Sharon Gannon, David Life, Bryan Kest, Jack Kornfield, Teresa Spanos, Beryll Berch, Gurumukh, Donna Gardner, and her loving family. She travels around the globe annually, guest teaching for various teacher trainings, and offering workshop and international retreats with her percussionist husband, Loren Gulak. Their greatest joy is fundraising and leading Kunga Journeys service retreats each year at orphanages in developing countries-all while having FUN! Travel teaching schedule can be found at www.kristinyoga.com

See Kristin Cooper, E-RYT500′s schedule

Laura Golden E-RYT500

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Laura is a Jivamukti Yoga 800-hour certified teacher and holds the highest accreditation available through the Yoga Alliance (E-RYT 500). She has been practicing yoga for over two decades, and studied for 10 years directly under David Life and Sharon Gannon, founders of Jivamukti Yoga, before completing their last year-long teacher training program ever offered, in 2001. Laura taught at the main Jivamukti center in New York City for 5 years, and has been a guest teacher at the centers in Munich, Germany, and Charleston, SC. Laura founded and directed Avatar Yoga Retreats, leading yoga retreats all over the world, until leaving New York in 2006. She has taught at various centers in Wilmington, NC, since then, pioneered Standup Paddleboard Yoga with WrightsvilleSUP in 2010, and organizes and participates regularly in local charity events, often involving yoga. In 2014, Laura led the Yatra Yoga 200-hour teacher training program—a month-long immersion—in Nicaragua.

See Laura Golden E-RYT500′s schedule

Macy Johnson

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Macy Johnson is certified in Kunga Yoga and 5Elements Flow. She began practicing yoga in 2009 and registered with Yoga Alliance after receiving her 200hr certification at Wilmington Yoga Center in 2012. Her primary teachers include Kristin Cooper-Gulak, Tara Folton, and Noelle Cavenaugh. Macy teaches Kunga Yoga, an open style of mind/body yoga with focused teachings on service. She especially enjoys offering a spiritual aspect to her physical practices. Macy has a background in soccer and can be found teaching Power level 2/3, Basic for all levels, and the 5Element Flow classes!

See Macy Johnson’s schedule

Mandy Nicolau

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Like many students Mandy was drawn to yoga as a form of physical fitness but soon discovered changes in her body and her mind. “There is so much stimulation going on in our daily lives, yoga gives us a chance to center, find our inner peace and make time for ourselves.” Mandy completed her 220 hr yoga lifestyle and training certification with Kristin Cooper Gulak at The Wilmington Yoga Center and is currently working towards her 500 hr certification. She feels an overwhelming amount of gratitude for being able to share her passions with others. Mandy loves to share the positive effects of yoga with people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. She truly believes that there is a yoga out there for everyone.

See Mandy Nicolau’s schedule

Meg Brannum

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Meg Brannum is certified in Kunga Yoga, and a registered yoga instructor with the Yoga Alliance. Following her teacher training in December of 2012, Meg travelled to India to learn, practice, and teach the ancient art of yoga. She was also presented the incredible opportunity to meet and work with the beautiful girls of the Homes of Hope orphanages in India! Returning to America, Meg dived deeply into her own practice. Today she is continuing her education at the Kunga School of Yoga, studying under teachers Kristen Cooper, Noelle Cavenaugh, Heather Metzler, Jessica Bichler, and Macy Johnson. In November, Meg will travel to Costa Rica for more training in Vinyasa yoga. She has also studied under Tamal Dodge and Kathryn Budig. Meg teaches mainly vinyasa flow classes, working the physical body in order to calm the mind and look within. She includes both the spiritual and philosophical aspects of yoga with a nice sweaty flow! She enjoys offering tools of meditation and providing goals for her students’ practice off the mat. Meg currently teaches on the pier of the Oceanic Thursday and Sunday mornings at 7:30 as well as 9:45 on Sunday mornings at the Wilmington Yoga Center.

See Meg Brannum’s schedule

Meg James

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Meg earned her 200RYT certification after graduating from the Kunga Yoga Lifestyle Teacher Training in 2013 and is also a licensed NC teacher with a BS in Child Development. She is currently working toward her 500RYT through the support and mentorship of Kristin Cooper-Gulak, Noelle Cavanaugh, Heather Metzler and Jess Bichler. Meg initially pursued yoga while living in Boone, NC to relieve stress and lower back pain, but was soon amazed with the transformative power of yoga and became committed to a regular practice. Over the years her passion for yoga has grown and evolved and has been a powerful catalyst for growth and change off the mat. Meg gravitates toward the empowerment and strength yoga offers, both physically and spiritually. She thrives on the creative energy surrounding yoga: sharing music, movement, and inspirational messages with others. She is grateful for the ability to teach every day, and hopes to inspire students to live courageously and authentically, with gratitude and self acceptance.She would like to thank her wonderful mentors and especially her first teacher, Alicia Youngblood Jackson, for inspiring a love of rocking Vinyasa flow.

See Meg James’s schedule

Meghan Stepnowski

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Meghan came to yoga like so many westerners, drawn in by the physical. Her practice grew from physical to spiritual studies, as well as the incorporation of lifelong love of service, a seed planted early on by her mother who grows continually intertwined with her yoga. Yoga motivates her to live well, love openly, and serve all. Meghan completed teacher training with Seaside yoga in Wilmington North Carolina in 2005. She has practiced for years with Kristen Cooper at the Wilmington Yoga Center and had the fortune to experience the presence of many other amazing teachers worldwide over the past decade. She teachers hatha yoga for all; from children to seniors, from vinyasa, to basic. She is eternally grateful for all who have crossed her path in the past and for all those to come. She hopes to inspire her students to see yoga beyond the physical, “To live to see that which comes as seed, goes to the next as blossom, and that which comes as blossom, goes forth as fruit” in order to plant the strength and beauty of asana for an inspired and empowered life.

See Meghan Stepnowski’s schedule

Melissa Erickson, RYT500

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Melissa Erickson is a graduate of the Wilmington Yoga Center’s 220HR Kunga Yoga & Lifestyle Teacher Training program with Kristin Cooper and Noelle Cavenaugh. Melissa has also completed her Kunga Yoga 500HR Teacher Training Certification and her Kunga Yoga Mentorship under Heather Lilly and Noelle Cavenaugh, along with her Restorative Yoga training with Noelle Cavenaugh. She has studied extensively with Noelle Cavenaugh, Elizabeth Cramond, Heather Metzler, Larry Hobbs and Keegan White. Melissa is currently working towards her Therapeutic Yoga Certification with Pranakriya School of Yoga Healing Arts. She teaching the Yin Deep Stretch and Candle Relax and Restore.

See Melissa Erickson’s schedule

Nancy Hayes, RYT500

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Nancy Hayes, RYT Nancy is a certified and Yoga Alliance Registered yoga teacher at the 500 hour level (RYT) with over 25 years teaching experience. Since 1984, her primary focus of study has been in the Iyengar method. Nancy’s study of yoga is ongoing and includes teacher training with internationally known Yoga instructors throughout the country and includes course work at The Iyengar Institute of San Francisco, The Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY and Unity Woods Yoga, Bethesda, MD. Nancy combines a gentle approach to Yoga with more vigorous methods of practice for physical and mental harmony. Classes are tailored to meet the needs of individuals enrolled and suitable for men and women of all ages. Come prepared to: stretch, strengthen, smile and relax.

See Nancy Hayes, RYT500′s schedule

Noelle Cavenaugh, ERYT500

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Noelle Cavenaugh, ERYT500 is the Co-Director of the Kunga Yoga School at the Wilmington Yoga Center, leading 200 and 500 hour Kunga Yoga Lifestyle Teacher Trainings and Kunga Journeys Service Retreats nationally and internationally. Noelle is also a Professional Level Kunga Yoga Leader, completing a 350 hour advanced apprenticeship certification with Kristin Cooper-Gulak; and is currently pursuing her 1000hour Kunga Yoga certification. She is a seasoned international teacher and retreat leader, and is deeply committed to the Kunga Yoga mission of service, spending much of her time in India and in the U.S. working with and for the girls of the Homes of Hope Orphanages in Kerala, India.


Noelle has been teaching since 2006, beginning her yoga studies at the Nosara Institute in Costa Rica, and studying Thai Yoga Massage in Chaing Mai, Thailand, completing advanced-level certifications in the Lek Chaiya tradition. She is a certified Pilates Mat and Pilates Reformer teacher, completing over 250 hours in advanced anatomy and pilates technique training and is also a certified 5Elements Flow Yoga Teacher Trainer and certified Kunga Vinyasa Trainer. Her additional certifications include Interdisciplinary Yoga, Fluid Power Yoga, and Thai Yoga Therapy.
Noelle’s primary teachers include Ashley Ludman, Kristin Cooper-Gulak, and Larry Hobbs. She has also completed trainings with Hilary Garivaltis in Ayurveda, Marlysa Sullivan in Anatomy of Yoga and Therapeutic Yoga, David Emerson in Yoga for Trauma and PTSD, and Pre and Post Natal Yoga with Heather Till.

Noelle has assisted Anusara-based Seaside Yoga Teacher Trainings and Transformation Retreats with Ashley Ludman and has led retreats to Ambergris Caye, Belize, with Elizabeth Cramond RYT. Due to her dynamic classes and community following, Noelle has been chosen as an ambassador of both Manduka and Lululemon. Yoga, music, dance, service work, and travel are her passions, and she enjoys incorporating these experiences into her teachings to create a safe, fun, and effective experience appropriate for all ages and levels. Noelle enjoys empowering the student to connect with their inner teacher. Noelle teaches public classes, offers Thai Yoga therapy sessions and one-on-one private therapeutic yoga sessions at The Wilmington Yoga Center, benefitting a broad range of ages, needs, and conditions.

See Noelle Cavenaugh, ERYT500′s schedule

Stephanie Chavez

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Stephanie Chavez is a graduate of the Wilmington Yoga Center 200Hr Kunga Yoga & Lifestyle Teacher Training program with Noelle Cavenaugh, ERYT500, Heather Metzler ERYT500 and Jess Bichler RYT500. She was trained in classical ballet at the Raleigh School of Ballet and was accepted as a company member at the Raleigh Dance Theatre. After moving to Wilmington to pursue her Biology degree, she took her first yoga class at the Wilmington Yoga Center and feel in love immediately. Stephanie is currently completing her Kunga Yoga 500HR Teacher Training Certification and Kunga Yoga Mentorship at Wilmington Yoga Center. You can find her teaching Hot Detox and Hold and Candle Relax and Restore.

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Susan Williams

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Susan Williams is certified in Hatha Yoga, Anusara Influenced Yoga, Radiant Child Yoga I & II, Karma Kids Yoga, Pilates Mat I & II and Barre Fit. She earned her yoga certifications at Sea Side Yoga under teachers Amy Sulva and Ashley Ludman, Radiant Child Yoga Program by Shakta Kaur Khalsa, Pilates Mat with Carrie Pages and Ashley Ludman and Barre Fit at Open Studio.
Susan began practicing yoga in 1999 while pregnant with her second child, and has practiced many styles of yoga since then. She believes in a balanced, healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise and a positive attitude. Susan teaches a light hearted class that focuses on alignment and mindful awareness.

See Susan Williams’s schedule

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