The yoga instructors of Inspire Yoga Grapevine have been assembled and they are inspiring the Grapevine community with dynamic, creative, and powerful yoga classes! In this blog, we’ll introduce you to the instructors who will be Inspire-ing Grapevine to get on their mats. We are kicking it off with some new faces to Inspire Yoga.
Jennifer joins us from Denton, TX though she has called much of the world her home. Hear her story in her own words and what you can expect from her Monday night Inspire class.
“Being born into a military family, I was used to moving from school to school, state to state, house to house. Because of this, I always had this feeling of being uprooted in life. After graduating college, I decided to accept an offer to teach at a school in Thailand. With these familiar feelings of being uprooted all over again, I decided to start my own yoga journey as a way to feel, well, rooted for once. What started off as watching yoga YouTube tutorials in my tiny apartment to completing my 200 and 300 hour YTTs in Saudi Arabia and Nicaragua, I fell in love with the deep intricacies of the practice.
I love to teach a heavily vinyasa-based flow that relies on breath to breath movement to calm the mind and the body through areas of restlessness or discomfort. It is so important to delve into the sensations of the body and then flow and move and wiggle around according to what your body is calling for. My mantra is that yoga is for ALL bodies and ALL levels! Coming to one of my classes, you can expect lots of laughter, lots of sweat, lots of awesome music and leaving the class feeling a deeper relationship between your mental and physical body.”
I had a chance to sit down with Jennifer and ask some questions on our readers behalf. Here is what I learned:
Jennifer, what made you want to become a yoga instructor?
“When I first started practicing yoga, I had no intention of teaching. But upon completion of my 200 hour YTT in Saudi Arabia, I took it upon myself as a personal challenge to introduce this somewhat taboo practice to a group of people who had never once experienced it. I wanted to show and prove in my own way that yoga is a universal practice that can benefit anyone at any point in their life, no matter what culture they’re from or what religion they believe. Even after teaching my very first class, the yoga bug bit and I haven’t stopped teaching since!”
In your opinion, what do you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
“Pack up a backpack or a suitcase, pick a place on the map or a place you’ve always wanted to visit but always made excuses for. GO GO GO. Do that one thing that scares you the most. My most life-changing moment was when I left everything I knew behind and embarked on a solo journey to Thailand at the not so ripe age of 22. I think everyone at one point in their lives needs to uproot themselves, totally and utterly alone. Eat foreign food, get unnerved by a foreign language, meet people you never thought you’d meet and you will find yourself changed in the best of ways.”
Phillip “Bo” Bossant
Bo has been a friendly presence at the Inspire Yoga studios, but now he’s stepping in front of the class to teach Yin at the Grapevine studio on Mondays. Bo is from the SF Bay Area where he became totally fascinated with yoga and sought his instructor certification. He is very interested with cross disciplined practice and how yoga can enhance and enrich wellness by unlocking a person’s potential.
“Yoga is in my heart, and spirit. I have immersed myself in it eversince being hooked by my very first experience. It’s a magnificent practicewith its mental, and physically liberating aspects, to its spirit of joy. I enjoy flow and have a deep passion for Yin practice in particular. It offers a powerful balance and enhancement to Yang Yoga, and other activities. Whatever your level or need there is something for you here. I welcome the opportunity to share an environment for you to practice, heal, or explore your own needs.”
Bo, what keeps you busy when you aren’t practicing yoga?
“I am a total foodie, inspired by my father who is a French chef. I now love creating healthy vibrant meals at home and exploring great local food and drink options around Denton! I was an enthusiastic Obstacle Course Racer on the West Coast but have more recently been focused on outdoor rock climbing.”
Who INSPIRES you to be better?
“I feel incredibly fortunate in this time and place, to be surrounded by a wealth of extraordinary hearts and talented minds. I find myself inspired all the time by the many gifts that others have to offer and I am humbled daily.” Catch both these amazing yoga instructors in Grapevine for both indoor and outdoor classes on the schedule. We’ll see you on the mat!
Tara has been a fixture at Inspire Yoga’s flagship location since 2011 where you can find her leading yoga with mind-blowing playlists on Sunday mornings, as well as, being an integral part of Inspire Yoga School’s 300 Hour Trainings. But it all began in 2000, when she ventured into her first yoga class, and it became clear how vastly rich the practice of yoga is in its ability to integrate the body, mind, and spirit.
In January, 2006, she completed a 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification and in January 2008, after completing over 1000 teaching hours, Tara received the distinguished E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) credential. Tara is certified to teach Adaptive Yoga to students with MS and in 2008 received her 500 hr RYT in Yoga Therapy.
As an avid student of yoga, Tara has developed an eclectic mix of yoga methods from numerous teachers including Rod Stryker, Beryl Bender Birch, Dharma Mittra, Shiva Rea, and many more. Her compassionate, yet disciplined, teaching style is therapeutic and challenging as she emphasizes a cultivation of awareness within each pose she instructs. You’ll find her inspiring with her playful spirit and wacky sense of humor, yet patient as she takes time out to personally guide you on your yoga journey.
Recently, I got to grab a beer with Tara at Grapevine Craft Brewery and here is what we talked about. As a Texas native and resident of Grapevine since 2008, this makes you our Grapevine expert.
So what is your favorite Grapevine hangout?
“My house (insert infectious laugh!) but other than that I like Chez Fabian, Chill and Grapevine Craft Brewery.”
And what does your personal yoga practice mean to you?
“It means my own escape to turn off all of the outside and turn inward to tap into my authentic self.”
Your diverse taste in music comes through in your yoga classes. But who is your go-to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
“Led Zeppelin or anything Motown.”
Our most experienced yoga instructors in Grapevine, Tara leads a variety of dynamic and creative classes at Grapevine, Highland Village, and online at Inspire Yoga Online.
Rachel is a born and raised Texan who loves almost any outdoor activity; gardening, kayaking, swimming, walking, hiking, running, traveling, and attending live music events. In general, she gravitates towards being on the move.
“This is why yoga was an immediate fit for me. It’s permission to slow down (actually it’s a requirement in life and yoga) but also it’s very physically challenging. It’s a discipline that meets us wherever we are in life; any stage, any age, any size, any level of ability.”
She practiced vinyasa yoga for several years before being approached by an Inspire Yoga teacher who challenged her to think about taking the leap into becoming an instructor herself, With little hesitation, she signed up for the Inspire Yoga 200 Hour Teacher Training and we are so glad she did! Simple but strong is the way Rachel describes her teaching philosophy.
he loves introducing people to yoga and guiding them through the self-discovery that often accompanies the practice. You can expect to move and sweat in her classes while also learning to pay attention to your body before kicking up the pace. Her hope is that each student walks away having learned something about alignment and their body.
“I look soooo forward to the opportunity to learn and grow as a teacher and a yogi with the Inspire Grapevine community.” I was able to catch a moment with this busy mom and wife and here is some of my conversation with the soulful Rachel:
Who inspires you to be a better person on and off the mat?
“I’m a mom to three wonderful young men who strive to live up to their view of me. They make me brave. They make me strong but also help me to be soft and empathetic. I do most everything differently than I would otherwise, because they’re watching. On the mat, I’m inspired by the person in the room struggling the most but sticking with it.”
That was such an amazing answer that I hate to even ask the next question, but what is your favorite food?
“Oh, I like all food, but my favorite would be southern comfort food.”I foresee a lot of Babe’s Fried Chicken in our future which always makes my day a little better! What are some small things that make your day better?“When the house is clean. When the fun is good and comfortable. When I hit a pose in class I’ve never done.”
Alana Speed is a recent graduate from the University of North Texas and Inspire Yoga’s 200 Hour TT Program. She grew up in the Grapevine area and is excited to be teaching in a place that she already knows and loves! Alana first started yoga as a way to deal with stress and anxiety during her sophomore year of college.
“I like to joke and say that I literally landed at the front door of Inspire Yoga Denton, because I didn’t think twice before joining the studio. I felt completely at home! It wasn’t but less than a year later that I signed up for teacher training, and again, I didn’t give it a second thought. I just knew I was meant to grow here.”Alana has been teaching for a little over a year at Inspire Yoga Denton and the UNT REC Center. In her classes, you’ll find a lot of fluidity; moving with the breath to release all of the kinks and stress that’s stored in the body. You’ll also find lots of her own personal experiences intertwined in themes, a perfect balance of relaxing and being challenged, music that makes you want to sway your hips, and long savasanas…and who doesn’t want that?When you sit down with a recent graduate, what do you talk about? The future, of course! Here is some insight into the conversation I had with Alana, and as you can tell, her future looks bright!
Congrats on graduating! I’m sure you have been asked this a million times, but where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
“Gosh, that sounds so far away! I try not to put so much pressure on myself to have this perfect end goal. I know I have a long, winding road ahead of me and I only hope it is full of lots of yoga, patience, and just growing in to the person that I’m meant to be. As long as I’m happy, then I’m up for whatever these 10 years has in store!” Well, you are wise beyond your 22 years!
What is the most heart warming thing you have ever seen?
“I think something that really warms my heart is seeing people have that peaceful smile in savanna. It’s not this huge grin, but everything about them just looks so pure and at ease. I think it’s seeing that moment in people when they realize it’s not about being in this intense, inverted pose. But it’s just about closing your eyes for a moment and taking in all the good. To me, it’s when everything comes together – the practice, the sweat, the whole hour of being challenged – meets the end of its course, where you just get to be grateful to lie down and breathe. I think people have that soft smile because it’s when they realize how content you can be when you slow down and just be with yourself. It gives me goosebumps!”
Eileen is a Texas transplant, moving here in 2010 from northern Illinois. After growing up in Illinois and going to college in Ohio, moving to Texas was a big adjustment. But she wouldn’t have it any other way. Now it’s become her home.
Her path to yoga began in Ohio where she took a yoga class in college to fulfill a PE requirement.
“Growing up, I was a ballet and tap dancer (both occasionally will make an appearance while in the kitchen, because dancing and cooking always seem to go well together!) and I was instantly drawn to yoga with the mindful connection to movement.”
After moving to Denton in 2015, Eileen started practicing at Inspire Yoga and knew she had found her community. As her practice evolved and deepened, she made the decision to enroll in Inspire Yoga’s 200 Hour Teacher Training.
Eileen aims to cultivate mindfulness and confidence in all of her yoga students. Understanding that we should strive for progress not perfection; her goal is to challenge the body in order to quiet the mind by turning the focus inward.
When she’s not in the studio, you can find Eileen traveling about with her boyfriend, Patrick, and her wonderfully introverted yellow lab, Phoenix, working on a calligraphy project, or at the farm.
“I’m looking forward to meeting all the amazing yogis in Grapevine and I’ll see you on your mats soon!”
I was able sit down with Eileen and ask some questions while enjoying her famous pistachio cake. Here’s some of what we talked about it:
They say everyone has a book in them. What would your book be about?
“My book would be about how to have both feet firmly planted on the ground but split between two worlds; one practical and the other free-spirited. I’ve learned to travel when the opportunity presents itself, immerse completely in a new hobby, and get to know someone with different life experiences. All the while, I balance a career in an office and a career on the mat; two things that don’t seemingly align but do for me.”
Who has impressed you the most with what they have accomplished?
“Bill and Melinda Gates. Beyond the technological advancements they have made, the work their foundation does and the research they invest in, is critical for so many people. To be able to give back and to push progress forward in such a profound way is such an accomplishment!”
Where is the most interesting place you have been?
“TEXAS, by far! I’m lucky enough to have traveled all over the world and I’m still going; after all it’s a big place. But with all the places I’ve been, people I’ve met, and experiences I’ve had, the most interesting ones happen when you put down roots and build your community.”
Angela grew up in the small and diverse country of Switzerland. In 2009, she met her husband in Las Vegas. Three years later, he proposed while they were traveling through China. The year after, they married in Italy. After traveling through New Zealand, French Polynesia and L.A., they decided they wanted one last big adventure before having kids. Angela gave up her career as a HR manager and coach to move across the globe with her husband’s company to Texas. One year later, their daughter, Sophie, was born. The following year, they had a son, Aiden, and their family was complete.
It hasn’t been easy for Angela to be so far away from home and family. Going through these difficult times, made her do some soul-searching.
“What make ME happy? Luckily, I needn’t look far. Yoga and aromatherapy have always even part of my life. All I had to do is thrust them back into the forefront. Yoga and aromatherapy have given me the tools to recharge, channel my emotions and set my creativity free.”
Angela took her first yoga class as a teenager and her aromatherapy journey started 15 years ago when a friend exposed her to homeopathy and aromatherapy. The power of plants pulled her into a full education in aromatherapy. After graduation, she focused on the healing property of essential oils. More recently, Angela threw out all her conventional cosmetics and toiletries, and instead created her own! Not until she joined Inspire Yoga’s 200 Hour Teacher Training Program did the idea of combining aromatherapy and yoga strike her. With her knowledge of aromatherapy, Angela is able to create a very unique yoga experience.
“This is where my journey has brought me, and all the pieces to my puzzle are startingto come together. I feel overjoyed at the prospects and opportunity of doing what I love. I’m living my dream and it’s my hope to inspire the people around me, just as I have been inspired on and off my yoga mat.”
I love getting to sit down with Angela at her home as we talk and play with her kids. Here are the answers to some of the questions I asked her the last time we got together.
What is the best compliment you have received?
“The best compliment for me is to see the happy faces and the after-yoga glow in my students.”
What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
“Live abroad in a foreign country. You learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. It changes your perspective and you grow in ways you couldn’t even image.”
What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming months?
“Foremost, teaching at Inspire Yoga Grapevine and being part of any amazing community. And also, my next big adventure abroad. I will be taking the 500 Hour Yoga Certification in Goa, India next April. I’m absolutely thrilled and excited about it!”
Life is all about balance for Angela. You can find her teaching challenging and creative Inspire Vinyasa Flows on Tuesdays at 6pm and Sundays at 9:30am. On Thursdays at 10:30am, she’ll be countering the yang with her grounding and balancing yin classes.
Melyssa grew up a Northern Californian girl, exploring Monterey Bay to Yosemite National Park. But when her family moved to Burleson, TX when she was 15 years old, she began to put down her Texas roots. One semester as a sophomore at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, she took her first yoga class and immediately fell in love with the practice. It was then that she knew she needed to find a place to continue her yoga journey. Inspire Yoga in Highland Village became her yoga home. She quickly signed up for the Inspire Yoga 200 Hour Teacher Training in the summer of 2015.
” I wanted to deepen my understanding of what the yoga practice meant and how I could share this passion with those around me.”
Melyssa became a fixture at Inspire Yoga starting as the smiling face that welcomed you at the front desk. It wasn’t long before she was a substitute instructor honing her craft. Eventually, she became a regular on the Inspire Yoga Denton schedule.
Her influence on the yoga practice will focus on self-love, compassion, and patience. By creating a space of mindfulness, she encourages her students to be creative with the bodies through freedom of expression while maintaining healthy body alignment.
Melyssa and I met up for coffee at Grapevine hot spot RE:defined Coffee House to discuss her upcoming class at IY Grapevine. Here is a snippet of some of what we talked about:
I’m so happy that your recent move makes you available to teach at Inspire Yoga Grapevine.
But if you could live in any city, which one would it be?
“Oahu, Hawaii! I would want to live there because it’s a magical place where the mountains meet the sea and everything else is in between.”
You are making me want to jump on a plane and take a vacation, but with the studio opening soon, I’m going to have to be content with a staycation and a good book. Is there a book that has really impacted you?
“The Beauty Detox Solution. This book was a bit cheesy, addressing rich housewives and how to maintain their physique. But the message from Kimberly Snyder was mindful eating, understanding how food interacts with your body, and why dieting doesn’t work. This book awakened another passion of mine; my passion for food. After reading this book, I changed my major from Fashion Design to Nutrition and Wellness.”
That is a big impact! If you could make a big impact by making a rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would you make?
“I would make a rule that stated all packaged materials use for food goods needs to be biodegradable and nontoxic to our environment. And that everyone MUST recycle!”
Christian is a 200 hour graduate of the Inspire Yoga Teacher Training program and teaches Inspire and Slow Flow classes at the Highland Village Studio. A lifelong athlete of tennis, soccer, and all water-sports, his classes focus on strength and flexibility while using the breath to bring balance to his student’s practice. After finding that balance through practice, he strives to bring that awareness to his student’s through a creative class, mixing his flow style with his love of music. From that first class nearly 20 years ago, he knew he had found that missing element from not only his physical fitness but also from his mental and spiritual journey.
Chrisitan is a self-described foodie and world traveler; and when not practicing or teaching yoga, you will find him at a kickboxing gym or standup paddleboarding on a local lake. He lives and works in Flower Mound where he does his best to keep up with his very active teenage son.