Our Teachers

 Studio Owners / Studio Employees / Independent Contractors

 Holly Bussmus

I discovered yoga for the first time while in college, but didn’t fall “head-over- heels in love” until my late 20’s. I turned to yoga during a time when my career left me feeling stressed-out, anxious, tired and feeling unhealthy overall. The therapy provided by a regular yoga practice helped the storm clear in my mind more than any anti-depressant or sleep-aid ever could for me. In addition to the mental benefits, I very quickly saw first-hand the physical benefits that came with the practice and knew that yoga would forever hold a strong importance in my life and a special place in my heart.

Through teaching and sharing yoga with others, I hope to inspire and help bring about the same life-changing practice that brings so much joy and awareness into my everyday life. The dream of opening Firelight Yoga with my best friend Jessica Bartley, and this opportunity to share yoga with our community, fills my heart with gratitude.

holly

 Jessica Bartley

After spending much of my teenage and young adult years struggling everyday to figure out who I was and what was important to me, yoga and I finally found each other. It could not have come at a better time, as I felt my life was in a downward spiral. Through my practice and teaching of yoga, I have discovered a calmness and simple joy for life that has brought more peace, happiness, and satisfaction than I ever thought possible. I have found strength from within myself to push through the difficult times and try to find the lesson to be learned in every interaction. Yoga has increased my capacity to engage in and enjoy each day as it comes.

Through the opening of our yoga studio, I hope to continue to share with others what yoga has done for us and impress upon our clients the knowledge and power to change their own lives, health, and wellbeing through yoga and more healthful living. This studio is a dream come true for Holly and me, and we are both so thankful and excited to grow with you in our practice as we build-up our yoga studio community together!

 

jessica

• Meghan Thivierge

As a dancer for over 15 years, I first practiced yoga to complement my dance practice. Several years ago, I began to deepen my yoga practice and discovered the amazing and transformative power of yoga. Yoga became more than just a physical practice for me, but a true mind-body-spirit experience.

As a teacher, I love nothing more than creating a space for my students to not only gain greater strength and flexibility, but to discover greater peace and their true selves.

 

• Lance DeMuth

I began to practice yoga when I was thirteen, inspired by an interest in meditation kindled by my study of the martial arts, and a desire to go deeper inside of myself and explore the energetics of my body. I was trained and certified as a Kripalu Yoga teacher in 2005, and have undertaken additional training from senior teachers in the Kripalu tradition as well as with teachers from other yoga lineages.

My goal as a teacher is to guide students in practices that build physical strength, flexibility, and well being while awakening the divine intelligence of their bodies through internal awareness, sensitivity, and breath work. Traditionally yoga is intended to create energetic awakenings in practitioners that lead the practitioner to radical states of self-knowledge, wholeness, and empowerment. I see yoga as a healing art, and my practice and instruction of yoga is influenced by my background in bodywork, energywork, and shamanic healing.

 

• Erin Brooks

Yoga found me in a wrestling room on a college campus by a wonderful Hatha yoga teacher 19 years ago. I spent the next 4 years moving with her and taking all of the classes she taught in the area. I felt so wonderful when she allowed me to fully explore my body – releasing its fears and showing its light. She brought the spirit out within me. 

Living in Portland after college, my journey since then has had its ebs and flows. The one thing I always found was that the times when I was off my mat, my life seemed to lose its center. I see that Yoga is the support system we need for ourselves. For our spirits. For our bodies. 

I became a Certified Gyrotonics instructor in 2010 and bring the knowledge of that beautiful exploration of the body into my yoga classes. I went through a great 2 years of Ashtanga style Vinyasa teacher training while in Spokane under a very wonderful and gifted couple. I found my inner Guru over there and love sharing my experiences with Portland.

My classes are restorative and meditative. I help to enable the vibrational flow within our bodies. Using Singing Bowls, Aromatherapy and Sound, I find that by drawing us within ourselves, we find the best light show in the Universe. We are a reflection of this wonderful Universe. 

Thank you for allowing me to guide you through your bodies. The light inside of me, honors the light inside of you. ~Namaste.

 

• Kim Erickson

In 2009, yoga found me when I had lost my balance between work and life.  Finding myself one day at an all-time low, over-worked and over-stressed, my mind and body finally gave in.  Vowing to never allow myself to get to this point again, I began my yoga journey.  Starting out at age 29, as a student new to the ideas and practices of yoga, to now teaching others how yoga can change them from the inside out, this has been one of the best adventures I have ever been on.  Having recently changed paths, leaving a career of 9 years to follow my true dream, I pull upon my own life experiences and the inspiration and wisdom of other teachers I have had the opportunity to take classes from.  Through my classes, I hope to not only inspire and motivate through words and music, but help others recognize the changes that happen off and on the mat when yoga becomes a part of their life.  How yoga changes the body, mind and spirit helping us to better connect with ourselves and others and hopefully make the world a better place.  Your sacred space is where you find yourself again and again…

• Eva Korinek

I’m honored to officially be a yoga teacher after completing FLY’s Yoga Teacher Training earlier this year. However, yoga has taught me that I will be a life-long student and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve been practicing yoga since grade school before I even knew what “yoga” was. At that young age, whenever I would feel the stress of growing up or overwhelming emotions I would run laps around a small flower potted median in my parents’ back yard. I would return and continue running sometimes hours at a time whenever I felt the need. Physically it was an release but I realized the more I ran, the more it became a balance for my mind and spirit. I learned later that running is a moving mediation for me and in exploring yoga further, it is evident that yoga exists in everything. It is the greatest tool in reaching equanimity.

5 marathons later, I continue to run but have committed to deepening my personal yoga practice. The most meaningful, challenging, and important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. Yoga allows for the deepest connection to our true selves. This is where ultimate happiness and peace live. When we practice together that infinite bliss is amplified and intensified. I’m elated to grow, evolve, and practice with you.

 

 

• Monica Montiel
(Kid’s Yoga)

I have been working professionally with children for the past 13 years from social work to early childhood and elementary education in English and in Spanish. I teach at preschools and elementary schools throughout North and Northeast Portland. My love for children took on a whole new dimension when I became a mother. Being a part of both, Imagination Yoga and Firelight Yoga, is the perfect culmination of these key parts of my life. It is a wonderful opportunity for me to share with children the peace and feeling of contentment that I personally find in yoga practice.

Katie DiPasquale

I began my yoga practice 7 years ago after moving to Portland from the Midwest. Life as a young executive in the corporate world created the need for an outlet to burn off energy and recenter from the stress of work. Power yoga and Yoga Sculpt in particular became my outlet for stress and anxiety relief. The combination of strength training, cardio and mindful movement was just the ticket. I completed my Yoga Sculpt Certification summer of 2015 on a whim and have been teaching since. In addition to Sculpt training, I also have a 200-hour Power Yoga Certification. I encourage my students to find balance–working past their comfort zones and past any false limitations their mind may set–while also being mindful and respectful of what their body is telling them. My classes are designed for students to feel pushed and challenged but also successful and inspired. A motivated but lighthearted spirit and a no-fear attitude, when it comes to working hard and sweating, are a must when it comes to taking class with me.

• Wendy Lafady

I am a Portland native and have been in the fitness industry since 2009. It all started when my mom put me in a dance class at the age of four and I instantly found that love of dance in my heart. Fast forward, and the real world and big city career became the way of life as adulthood and responsibilities settled in. I recall reading an article about finding purpose in life, the meaning, and doing what you love. This article stuck in my head because I felt something in my life was missing. I wanted to find the balance in my life to take that childhood love of dance and share it with others. I became licensed to teach Zumba Fitness® in 2009 and I felt as if I found that meaning and I was able to share my love of dance and movement with others. 

Opportunity presented itself in 2012, I became certified to teach  POUND®. The workout fuses cardio, Pilates, isometric movements and is an amazing cardio jam session, my students love it! For 60 minutes they are the drummers as I am there audience with this fun rock out workout!   

In 2015, I became certified to teach Yoga. I feel Yoga is a perfect balance to other fitness formats. Yoga allows me to connect with myself over and over again, I feel that moment to slow down, observe, and find that peace. Yoga will be my lifelong practice and am honored to be able to share that peace as I teach to others.

I have thanked my mom for putting that hyperactive four year old in dance classes. She helped me find my path as an adult by using my dance skills as a springboard into the world of fitness and teaching others. I am so thankful for the opportunity and freedom to learn so many, exciting fitness formats to share with my students.  Zumba Fitness®, POUND®, Yoga RYT200, TRX, and Boot Camp classes.

• Anna Volkoff

Yoga became a practice for me long before I knew what yoga was. For as long as I can remember, I have always honored the awareness of breath, quieted my busy mind, found peace through life’s difficulties, stillness amongst the noise, and enjoyed putting my body into shapes that felt good-everything we do in a yoga class. 

I believe yoga is our truest form, a connection and pathway to the inner self. Busyness of life gets in the way and disconnects us from this pure, natural state. When we connect to our truest nature we are able to connect with others and live more harmoniously with the world that surrounds us. We can find living with more purpose and love. This is the practice. 

In my classes I strive to help you live and move more mindfully, dive into the body and develop inner-standing, find a greater peace within, and release layers so you are able to connect to your true self within. I find inspiration for my classes from the beauty that surrounds me everyday. I encourage your own expression of yoga, however it speaks to you. I am filled with gratitude to share in this journey with you and look forward to connecting with you on the mat.

Crystal Covelle

I was born and raised here in Portland, Oregon and never moved away; a rare breed, indeed. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. In addition to practicing and teaching yoga, I enjoy working at my friend’s super fun bar, Turn! Turn! Turn!, handcrafting candles, and traveling. 

I’ve been practicing yoga since 2000 and loving it! Since 2015, I have 350 training hours as an RYT certified through Yoga Alliance.

My classes are intended to provide students with a safe and fun environment to have their own practice. I encourage students to let their bodies tell them where to go, taking a full expression or a modification, for example. In my classes, we will aim to collectively focus on the breath and stay in the present moment, all while giving our bodies a good work out.

• Heather Vaught

I was first introduced to yoga in 2003, and loved the balance of focus, challenge, and relaxation that I found through my practice. Yoga has allowed me to focus on the present moment in such an accessible way, and I appreciated how –  no matter where in the world I am – I can always come to the mat and find a sense of calm.

I received my RYS 200 Teacher Certification at Himalaya Yoga Valley in Dharamsala, India, in June 2010 and studied under Yogacharya Lalit, with a focus on Ashtanga and Hatha yoga.

While I feel immense gratitude for all the teachers I have had along the way, I believe each student is their own best teacher. In my classes, I encourage students to listen to, and learn from themselves and their own experiences.  I also believe in the power of breath to help connect to the present moment, and throughout my classes students are encouraged to use observation of the breath and body to stay connected to the present and immerse themselves in their practice. Yoga has been such a gift in my life and I am grateful for the opportunity to share it with others.

• Julie Navarre

I turned to yoga in 1996 as an alternative to traditional fitness routines and realized immediately how much the practice can transform not just the body, but also emotional and mental health. I soon learned the benefits of yoga for stress relief and an empowered sense of self.

From then, I continued to go to classes and grow in yoga. After practicing yoga for almost 15 years, I decided to get my 200-hour certification so that I can share the beauty of the practice with my community and teach others how to empower themselves for growth and change.

• Claire Hughey

I began taking yoga classes in 2009 to supplement running and other activities. After an injury while running a half marathon, I found yoga becoming my main form of exercise, and was surprised that it took on a role more expansive than just a workout. Not only did my body feel better than it ever had, but I found clarity in my mind, an appreciation for my breath, and a beautiful community in a yoga studio. Yoga became a lifestyle for me.

After 10 years away living in New York City and Denver, I returned home to Portland in 2015, and was thrilled to discover Firelight. The community and classes were just what I needed. I look forward to guiding, moving and sweating with all you Portland yogis!

• Ixel Olivas

Meditation through movement has been central to my life. As a dancer, choreographer, and educator, I have had the great joy of sharing what makes my heart sing. I have been a public school physical education and dance teacher for the last twenty years. Working with children from five to eighteen has inspired me to take greater risks in my own learning and creative processes. 

I have moved in and out of a yoga and meditation practice since my late teens. For me, finding stillness within movement has been one of my greatest challenges and inspirations. With the opening of Firelight Yoga in our neighborhood, I found the perfect space to restart a committed practice and eventually pursue the RYT 200 teacher training. 

As a teacher, it is my hope to provide a safe and supportive environment for all to breathe, move beyond what was thought possible and perhaps re-connect with that playful and courageous inner child. I am humbled and grateful to be a part of this community focused on the well-being of mind, body, and spirit.

 

 

• Celine Boochever

I am a 200 hour RYT and holistic health coach. Health and wellness has always been an interest of mine, but I would find it hard to commit to any one thing for long periods of time. My intention for exercise and diet was for exterior reasons: i.e. to look good in that crop top or bikini! While, feeling confident in your birthday suit is never a bad goal, I found it was easy to fall off the wellness wagon. It wasn’t until I started practicing yoga as my main form of exercise that I found I could really stick with something. Initially, it was the promise of toned muscles and detox that brought me into those hot and sweaty rooms, but, ultimately, it was the peace I found within my mind that kept me coming back again and again.

I love this practice because there is always something new to learn and so much room for growth that it never gets old. My goal is to create a fun and light-hearted environment where my students feel safe to let go and play with new shapes. I hope you will join me for a class soon!

• Carrie Ann Cunha

I dabbled in yoga on and off throughout my earlier years, but yoga truly found me at a very low point in my life. On my mat I was able to feel peace and acceptance. I was able to nourish not only my body, but my heart, mind and soul as well. During class I found the ability to really let everything go and focus on my well being. Taking what I learned with me, using my yoga breath and peaceful mind to get me through the tough times.When Firelight opened I felt I had found another home and was excited to deepen my yoga practice with their teacher training. As an instructor I hope to bring that feeling of peace, love, light and ultimately joy, that I have been so fortunate to find.

• Olivia Stephens

Yoga found me when I moved to Chicago in 2012 after graduating college. For as long as I can remember I struggled with feeling truly comfortable in my body. I was searching for a deeper and more meaningful connection with myself, and soon found myself in a Bikram yoga studio in downtown Chicago. Having never practiced yoga before, the Bikram sequence was intimidating, and equally as intimidating to me at that time was having to stare at my reflection for an entire 90 minutes. Yet every day after work I showed up to improve my physical, spiritual, and mental practice – to become more comfortable with how I existed in the world. I eventually began to practice yoga at home as well, and the gradual transformation of mind, body, and spirit translated into my daily life off of the mat as I began to see myself and the world around me in a new, beautiful light.

My move to Portland resounded a craving for more growth and change, and ultimately brought me to Firelight Yoga, where I ended up completing my 200 hour RYT training during the winter of 2016. As a yoga teacher, I strive to cultivate a space where students feel welcomed, empowered, and feel a profound sense of energizing self-love from their practice. In my personal practice over the past four years, I’ve experienced a radical mental and spiritual transformation, and feel honored to share with students the love, light, and joy yoga has brought to my life.

 

 

• Hilary Pickerel

My first introduction to yoga was at a gym in Seattle in 2003. It was a little awkward, I didn’t know what I was doing, I’m sure I was falling over myself, and I loved every minute of it. I went through fits and starts with my practice but always felt the draw when I was away for too long. In 2010, a friend took me to a Bikram studio and I haven’t looked back since. It deepened my practice, commitment and dedication. 

I continued my Bikram practice when moving to Portland in 2014, but eventually found myself wanting to branch out, try other forms, and learn more. I found Firelight Yoga, felt an instant connection, and in early 2016 completed my 200 RYT training.

The mental and physical benefits of yoga continue to astound me. I learn something new about myself or the practice in almost every class. As a teacher, I hope to provide a safe, calm and supportive environment, that allows for the freedom and understanding of our minds and bodies each day.

• Ann Marie Smith

In 2010 I decided to commit to Yoga. Yoga was an elusive practice for me that for many years challenged and frustrated me, yet also offered me an inexplicable peace of mind. I didn’t like yoga but I wanted to. In 2010 I decided to embark on a 30-day solo yoga challenge and it forever changed me.

Now I am happier and by no coincidence, I love yoga. It continues to change me. I have observed a gradual yet steady shift in my mental state, my spiritual being, and my emotional body since this journey began. Physically I am stronger, more flexible, and increasingly attuned to my body.  

Off my mat, I’m a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. I’ve been in practice since 2006 and I currently have my own business in downtown Portland. I specialize in adults and couples seeking support for whatever trials and tribulations they may face.

 

• Bryan Fuss

I initially turned to yoga as a supplement to long distance marathon  and triathlon training.  The immediate impact it had on my regimen was huge. Long term overuse injuries dissipated and I was able to drastically increase my volume of fitness. I was hooked, and as my practice grew I became drawn to elements of yoga outside of the physical asanas. In September 2015 I traveled to Dharmashala, India to participate in a 200hr teacher training. One month later I received my multi-style certificate in Vinyasa, Hatha and Ashtanga yoga. I spent the next 8 developing myself as a teacher as I traveled and taught in multiple countries across Asia. 

As a high school mathematics teacher I believe in the principal of lifelong learning; learning does not end once students are outside the classroom. I apply this same idea to my yoga instruction. Your yoga practice may start on the mat, but it does not end there. In my classes I incorporate grander themes which students can expand upon in their everyday lives. I do not view yoga simply as a hobby, I view it as a lifestyle and for students to truly deepen their practice. I believe it is important to share this mindset. When I am not on the mat or in the classroom I prefer to spent my time hiking, camping or doing anything outdoors.

 

 

• Lindsey Holy

I believe that yoga can make impactful changes in both body and mind. I have personally experienced more courage, clarity and stability in my life since I started practicing yoga seven years ago. I have created a unique vinyasa style that draws on various techniques from Astanga and Power Yoga, while reflecting the core value of the Krishnamacharya lineage. You’ll find that my classes are creative, invigorating, smoothly sequenced and infused with practical yoga philosophy. I place much emphasis on exploring the pulse of the breath, its relationship to the body and the way that it can serve as a connection between ones inner awareness and one’s outer action. It’s my goal as a teacher to never teach the same class twice. My passion for yoga creates classes with a perfect balance of poses for strength and flexibility. I also offer options for all levels and encourage students to stay focused on the breath to create calmness in the mind through challenging situations. It is my hope that my classes leave you feeling realigned, powerful, and stress-free.

 

 

• Lis Horan

Yoga can be a great tool for personal exploration and self-study. At its best the practice can be powerful enough to open your heart. At its worst, it can be addictive and cause injury. I have experienced the truth in both of these sentiments. What keeps bringing me back? The gift of a practice that takes me out of my mind and into the world. The ability to investigate the unchanging constant within and the curious fluidity of that same space. 

When a yoga class resonates with me, the teacher has simultaneously offered challenges and the freedom for me to improvise as I move more into my felt sense. I want to impart this notion to my students as I guide them through practice. Challenge yourself, flirt with your edge, dig deeply and observe quietly.

I have certifications in Hatha, Vinyasa, and Yin yoga. I have studied closely with teachers of Andre Lappa’s Universal Yoga and am greatly influenced by Kripalu Yoga practices and teachings. As a visual artist I find the altered states of consciousness and/or creative visions that occasionally present themselves during meditation a lovely incentive to continue this practice.

 

• Heather Klawender

My love affair with movement began at age 3 when I started dancing. I have since developed a profound appreciation for the self awareness, connectedness, spaciousness, and peace which physical practice brings to each individual. I’ve practiced yoga since 2002 and am honored to have been certified in Hatha and Vinyasa yoga under the tutelage of Sarah Trelease. I am personally committed to yoga asana as a form of moving meditation; a way of staying mindful, centered and whole. My teaching focuses on alignment, strength, connection to the breath, presence, compassion and awareness. I aim to help my students build confidence in their abilities and loving kindness toward themselves. I strive to hold a space in which all feel completely welcome and accepted regardless of where they are at in their practice; a positive space from which to learn, grow, laugh and thrive. I am humbled with gratitude at the opportunity to share presence, space, smiles and breath with The Firelight Yoga community.

www.trumovement.com