Each alleyCat Yoga Teacher is professionally trained through a Registered Yoga School at the 200 or 500 hour level or above.
Susan Mathis, E-RYT 500, RCYT, YACEP
Director and Owner, alleyCat Yoga
Susan loves to explore energy, breath and movement in life and in her yoga practice. After discovering the Kripalu Yoga Center in 2001, she found a home at alleyCat. Deeply committed to the practice of yoga and pranayama, she studied intensely at the Kripalu Center for 15 years. A Professional Level Kripalu Yoga Teacher, Susan brings the elements of Kripalu Yoga to each class, inviting students to use yoga as a means to explore the space on the inside. Susan’s classes emphasize using yoga poses and breathwork to access deep layers of awareness. Susan enjoys teaching yoga to all students, those new to yoga and those who are looking to deepen their practice of asana, pranayama and the application of yoga off the mat. Her classes offer a unique combination of meditative movement through pranayama, postures, and exploration of subtle energy. Each class is designed to bring students to a deeper understanding of inner awareness and conscious living. Listen to Susan talk about yoga here.
Ken McRae, E-RYT 500
A nationally-registered professional-level yoga & iRest Yoga Nidra teacher, Ken’s teaching combines the precision of the Iyengar system with the powerful heart-centered, meditative aspects of Kripalu Yoga. Known for his meticulous good-humored instruction, he has been studying, practicing and teaching yoga and meditation for 30 years. Ken draws from a repertoire of over 80 poses that are accessible to beginners and challenging for more experienced practitioners. All are welcomed into his classes. Ken’s journey to Columbia included living and teaching at the Kripalu Yoga Center for five years as well as a journey to the origins of Kripalu in Kayavarohan, India. He currently has a keen interest in non dual philosophy – “we are not two”. His favourite teachers are Richard Miller, Jean Klein, Pari Laskaritis, Osho, Mooji, and Adashanti. He also organizes and leads week-long yoga retreats in exotic locations around the world. For many years Ken was involved in training teachers at the advanced level as they worked toward their 500 hour certification.
Amber Sparks, RYT 200, RCYT
Amber believes yoga provides us with the method and tools to arrive in the present moment with grace, acceptance, and truth. She has been practicing yoga for over twenty years and finds there are always lessons to learn when applying the teachings of yoga on and off the mat. Her classes nurture and invite students to come home into their bodies to cultivate radiant well being and listen to the wisdom within.
Brockell Briddle, E-RYT 200
Brockell is dedicated to teaching yoga as a healing and contemplative path. Her teaching is shared through this lens, as she inspires a journey of deep internal listening and inquiry in each of her classes. Brockell is passionate about applied anatomy, yoga therapeutics, and mindfulness, and strives to create an asana experience that explores both the gross to the subtle bodies, while inquiring into “somatic” internally held patterns. She specializes in alignment and therapeutics for both private and group classes, and aims to find an expression of each posture that is accessible to every body, every time. Brockell is a dedicated student of Tias and Surya Little and Prajna Yoga. She is continuing her advanced studies currently as a student in Prajna’s mentorship program and is working to complete her RYT 500 hour training program in Prajna Yoga.
In her classes, Chelsea helps her students foster a deep sense of self-love so they can be the best versions of themselves in this world. Her classes focus on physical alignments while bringing awareness to the breath in order to build strength, flexibility, and find balance. Chelsea believes that we can practice all lessons of life on and off the mat, and we can begin by healing our bodies. Her classes are a space to flow through a disciplined, yet creative expression of our bodies, minds, and hearts.
Chrissie discovered in yoga in 2006 in a college course in her last semester at Indiana University. What was meant to be an easy one-credit class turned out to be the beginning of a life-altering journey. To Chrissie, practicing yoga is about creating openings to life’s possibilities through breath, a quieting of the mind, and intrinsic movement. While it is true that yoga creates strength, stamina, and flexibility in the body, her experience has been that it does the same for the mind. Chrissie’s intention in class is to offer a supportive environment for people to explore their individual potential. She does this by guiding students through sequences of invigorating effort and calming ease. Being new to Columbia from Chicago, Chrissie genuinely looks forward to growing in this vibrant yoga community alongside wonderful teachers and practitioners.
As a licensed psychologist, in addition to being a certified yoga teacher, Jan brings to the yoga mat a keen understanding of how the mind affects the body. Her teaching style is warm and down-to-earth, inviting you to be more truly you. Jan’s warm and gentle style and is welcoming to all students. Jan has trained extensively with Richard Miller in iRest Yoga Nidra and received her 200 hour training at Shoshoni.
Luna discovered yoga over 10 years ago. Having always enjoyed athletics she was impressed with the strength, flexibility and stamina that yoga develops, however, she was most delighted by the serenity she felt after practicing. In order to better understand how to intentionally cultivate this inner peace, Luna entered the Life of a Yogi Teacher Training with Sri Dharma Mittra. Luna teaches Dharma yoga which blends a strong physical practice with pranayama, relaxation and meditation to bring about self-transformation. Her classes emphasize healthy form, improved focus and a joy of movement.
Lynn completed her yoga teacher training during a three-year residency at the Kripalu Yoga Center. During her time at Kripalu she fell in love with the practice of chanting which she includes in her classes and occasionally leads at alleyCat Yoga’s monthly kirtan. As an acupuncturist, she is fascinated by the power of yoga to heal our bodies and cultivate awareness and cultivation of personal energy (called prana or qi). Lynn’s classes focus on pranayama, restorative yoga and meditation.
Rebecca teaches Hatha, Vinyasa, and Restorative Yoga with an emphasis on creating balance in body, mind, and breath through appropriate challenge and rest. Her classes bring awareness to the sweetness of the present moment through exploration of energetic movement and stillness. Rebecca teaches to inspire students to connect with their inner resources of strength, compassion, and peace. Rebecca has been teaching since 2009 and in 2016 she completed her 500 Hr training from the Circle Yoga Shala. As a Licensed Massage Therapist at Bellelune Massage + Yoga, Rebecca also brings therapeutic applications of yoga and massage into many yoga classes.
Mark has been regularly practicing yoga for over 15 years, studying many different styles and forms including years of intensive practice at the Himalayn Institute, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and rural Southern Missouri. Further inspiration in his yoga teaching comes from experience in Tai Chi and Chi Gong, Aikido, Insight Meditation, and dance. He has experienced many of the extraordinary holistic healing benefits of spiritual practice firsthand and is passionate about sharing these myriad benefits in community.
Lynn is a frequent substitute teacher at alleyCat. She obtained her yoga teacher certification at the Kripalu Center and has taught and researched the MBSR Program for over ten years. She has trained extensively at the Center for Mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Sady is trained in Hatha Vinyasa. Originally enticed by yoga’s promise of increased flexibility, she found something much more precious and elusive: an ineffable peace and joy. She now shares this profound experience with others. Sady enhances her classes with literature and philosophy, which illuminate yoga’s true purpose: growth of the spiritual self. With love, humor, and patience, she cultivates a supportive environment for students to practice and explore.