Teacher of the Month – March 2019

Congratulations to Julie Johnson – our Instructor of the Month.

As far as what drew me to yoga and to teaching?

As is the same situation for many, about 10 years ago I was encouraged to take yoga because my back was starting to feel the pain and stress from years and years of running and other hi impact cardio exercise. My initial reaction was: “yoga? The last thing I want to do for exercise is sit and breath.” Well, needless to say, once I began taking yoga regularly, I realized my preconceived notion was completely wrong.

Yoga has enabled me to become stronger in so many ways! Not just my body, but my mind as well as emotionally. I began to feel even more empowered.

I decided to become a teacher because I wanted to share this amazing gift of yoga. I had stumbled into it, somewhat begrudgingly, and was in awe. I was hooked. I know so many others have the same or similarly misguided definitions of yoga, and we are wrong. Yoga is the BOMB! It changed my life, seriously! 

My favorite foot ware are fuzzy socks.

My favorite beverages are water, coffee and wine.

I have two beautiful happy kiddos.

I am a Denver native.

I have lived in Castle Rock since 1999.

I am the youngest of 5 kids and my whole family lives in Colorado. We are close.

I am an executive coach and public speaker.

One of my absolute favorite authors is Brene Brown. 

Growing up in Colorado, I have sadly hit 3 deer in my life.

Love the mountains, but would always choose the beach if I had to choose.

I was a financial consultant for 15 years.

I have ridden a motorcycle.

I was there when my dad died, in the hospital. He lived a wonderful life.

My mom is one of the greatest people I know.

I have had several surgeries: I broke my back when I was 18 and have 5 fused vertebrae, I have a pacemaker,2 C sections,  and I have broken both of my ankles twice.

Yogi of the Month – March 2019

Congratulations to Rebecca Lessard – Our Yogi of the Month

Why Yoga and how has Yoga made a difference in my life?

I first entered a Yoga class while living in Canada 15 years ago and I told the instructor “I am a runner and aerobic devotee and don’t know if I will enjoy Yoga, but I’m here to give it my best shot.”  I ran and exercised for physical, spiritual and emotional benefits.  Since then I have replaced running with Yoga.

I am a devoted Christ-follower and have found practicing Yoga deepens and enhances my faith.  Christ was filled with compassion, mercy and found infinite value in the broken and unaccepted, as well as infinite value in the present moment.  Yoga and even Eastern thought study enhances my understanding of life.  Hopefully, making me a more compassionate, generous and gracious person (more like Jesus).

FAVORITE Class?    ‘Flow and Hot’ because it combines my favorite classes and has a pretty awesome teacher.  Here’s a shout out to ALL the Yoga teachers – thanks for giving your time, talent and a bit of yourself to us here at the The Yoga Studio.

Teacher of the Month – February 2019

Congratulations to Stacie – our Instructor of the Month.  She is a kind and bright light around the studio. Catch her teaching Yin and Flow 2 classes!

What does teaching yoga mean to you?  Yoga has been such a powerful tool in helping transform my life. I love walking alongside and helping others find how yoga can help their life too. Its an honor to teach and watch my incredible students move towards a balanced mind, body, and soul. 

First Job: Working at an all year Christmas store
Dream Job: Working with Psychology/Neuroscience
 and Yoga to help people through depression/anxiety/etc…
Favorite Foot attire: Sandals
Favorite Ice cream: Mint Chip
Where are you right now: My home office
Favorite Pizza: Cheese 
Favorite Movie:  About Time
Favorite TV Show: This is Us  
Favorite Day of the Week: Friday! 
Favorite Flower: Ranunculus
Tattoos: Someday!
Piercings: No
Like to cook: Yes
Favorite color: Seaglass blue
Gold or silver: Gold
Do you like vegetables: Yes
Do you wear glasses: Yes

Favorite Season: The beginning of each
Dream travel destination: Cape Town, SA
Surgeries: Yes
Ever hit a deer: No
Ridden in an ambulance: No
Sang Karaoke: Yes
Ice Skated: Yes
Ridden a Motorcycle: Yes
Skipped school: Yes
Last text from: My Mom
Watched someone die: No
Favorite beverage: COFFEE!!!
Broken bones: Too many 
Received a ticket: Yes
Sunset or sunrise: Sunset

Yogi of the Month – February 2019

Congratulations to Denise Penn – our Yogi of the Month.  Denise is a fun, east-coast woman and we can’t get enough of her! Don’t ever miss the chance to have a glass of wine with her!

Why Yoga?

I stumbled upon Bikram yoga about 15 years ago when I was recovering from a knee injury from my daily miles of running.  From the moment I walked into the heated room, I fell in love and my yoga practice was born. 

What is your favorite class format and why? Hot and Flow with essential oils 

There is something about the hot classes that make me feel alive from the moment I walk into the room. I do love the hot vinyasa classes as well. The hot and flow is the perfect union of both. The essential oils is the cherry on the cake! 

How has Yoga made a difference in your everyday life? 

How long do I have to answer this question? Yoga transformed my life. Yoga keeps my body free from injuries, increased my flexibility, balance, posture, increased energy, vitality, muscle strength, peace of mind, improved sleep, managed stress, complete mind body connection, and overall happier. 


Teacher of the Month – January 2019

Congratulations to Jeanette Schmidt our Yogi Instructor of the Month.  She brings such humble, sweet energy to the studio with her infectious smile and love for yoga.  We asked Jeanette a few questions to get to know her better.


Why do you love teaching yoga?


Yoga has just completely changed my life.  I began practicing because I had enjoyed a few classes I’d tried in the past.  But as I practiced I noticed my spirit settling, my mood changing and my outlook on life becoming so much more positive.  Without even trying I began to experience so much peace in mind, body and spirit.  I just want to share what I’ve learned and what this incredible practice has done for me, with everyone.  I’m so passionate about the power of yoga and how much it transforms life.  I absolutely love guiding students in their journey and I pray that what I have to give can help them along the way.  My heart is so full with each class I teach.  It’s the most wonderful and rewarding thing I’ve ever done in life!!


Here are some fun facts about Jeanette:  


1. First Job – clerk at a teacher supply store called The Chalkboard

2. Dream job – conservationist working with gorillas or other animals

3. Favorite foot attire – slippers or cabin socks

4. Favorite ice cream – caramel cone from Haagen Dazs

5. Where am I right now – on my recliner under a blanket

6. Favorite pizza – pepperoni and pineapple

7. Favorite movie – The Blind Side 

8. Favorite TV show – So many I love – Parenthood, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The New Girl, Law and Order SVU, Friends

9. Favorite day of the week – Saturday

10. Favorite flower – lilies

11. Tattoos – yep lots

12. Piercings – yep lots 🙂 . Just ears and nose

13. Like to cook – YES!!

14. Favorite color – Purple

15. Gold or silver – silver or rose gold

16. Do you like vegetables – yes sorta but working to love them

17. Do you wear glasses – When I don’t have contacts in.  I can’t see much without them.

18. Favorite season – Summer.  I love being warm and I love the colors.

19. Dream travel destination – hard to name one.  We travel as much as we can. It’s such a gift to see this beautiful world. I’d love to go to Fiji, Maldives, Seychelles, African Safari.  I can go on and on.  We are working on a bucket list now!

20. Surgeries – oh yes.  I’m bionic!  At least my face is.  It’s full of titanium!

21. Ridden in an ambulance – yes but as a passenger.  My son was being transported.


Yogi(s) of the Month – January 2019

Congratulations to Susie and Tori Higdon aka The Higdon Girls 😉  It is so great to enjoy the love and energy these two bring to the studio.  Such a amazing bond between mother and daughter.  We asked them about their yoga journey…here is what they had to say!


Why Yoga?
  We chose yoga because we wanted something fun to do together.  We had been looking for a healthy activity and when we saw the booth at the Star-lighting Ceremony last year, we thought it was meant to be.  

What is the Higdon Girls favorite class format and why?  Our favorite class format would have to be Fit & Flow because it includes a good combination of yoga and exercise which is great for strength building- inner and outer. The class provides a lot of variety between workouts and who is teaching it which keeps the class interesting and fun. We both love a variety of music which makes exercising more tolerable 🙂 How has Yoga made a difference in your everyday life? Yoga has impacted our lives greatly since we started last year. We find that we manage stress better- through breathing techniques and how to control our focus. And it also gives us something to look forward to after a busy day.  Yoga has also given us a better sense of confidence in ourselves. 


How does it feel to be able to do yoga together?  What does it bring to your relationship?  It adds a new aspect to our relationship that we are experiencing something new and exciting together. It brings more motivation to exercising because we have each other for support. Our favorite part is during Savasana when we can share our strength and well-being from the class through holding hands, it provides a better sense of connection and a final closing statement for completing the workout.

Teacher of the Month – December 2018

Congratulations to Carly Sehler! She is our December Yoga Instructor of the month! Carly has a loving, sweet disposition while she gives you one tough barre fusion workout!  she is a bright light at our studio and so blessed to have her part of our yogi team. We asked her some fun questions to get to know her better.

1. What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?  Fraggle Rock
2. Toilet paper over or under.  OVER.
3. Pineapple on pizza Yes or No?  Nope.
4. What is a small thing that makes your day better?  Waking up to coffee with my darling.
5. What is your favorite drink?  Coffee.
6. If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 albums would you bring? I don’t think I could pick only 3. Music is everything to me!
7. What are your favorite three movies:  The King’s Speech. The Pursuit of Happiness. The Sound if Music.
8. What are your two favorite books?  To Kill a Mockingbird. Rising Strong.
9. What is your favorite piece of clothing you own and why?  One of my Spiritual Gangster sweatshirts- it pretty much sums me up. It has rainbows on the sleeves and the back says “May we all live happy and Free”.
10. What would be your superpower and why?  Healing. The ability to ease people’s pain would be huge for me.

Yogi of the Month – December 2018

Congratulations to our December Yogi of the month, Diane!  Diane is always a ray of positive energy as she breezes through the door into the studio for class. Learn more about her love of yoga and how it is an essential part of her life.

Why Yoga?
I’m a very active person and always like to be on the go.  Yoga is a great complement to the other physical activities I enjoy.  It has really helped with my core strength and balance. I also appreciate the kindness of the yoga instructors and the sense of community that this studio has fostered.

What is your favorite class format and why?
I love Becky’s Hot Flow with Essential Oils.  It’s a challenging class but the massages she provides are divine and the essential oils are invigorating and really enhance the experience.

How has Yoga made a difference in your everyday life? I’ve been practicing yoga for several years now and I love that yoga helps me be more mindful.  I love the way that I feel after practicing…energized but also calm! I really crave my yoga fix…it’s an essential part of my life!

Teacher of the Month – November 2018

Congrats to our favorite groover and November Teacher of the Month, Michelle Hettinger! We asked Michelle a few questions and she gave us her usually fun answers.

  1. What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?  Oh mighty ISIS I Just LOVED her long hair!
  2. Toilet paper over or under.  OVER
  3. Pineapple on pizza Yes or No?  Ewww heck no
  4. What is a small thing that makes your day better?  When I choreograph a cool song and it goes off without a hitch!!  LOL
  5. What is your favorite drink?  Well if you know me, you wouldn’t have to ask..diet coke! (Yea I’m not afraid to admit it)
  6. If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 albums would you bring? Counting Crows, Pearl Jam and something fun like Madonna’s first album…maybe some ELO.
  7. What are your favorite three movies:  Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly, the first Transformers AND Collateral Beauty.
  8. What are your two favorite books?  Marley and Me AND Cowboy Wills
  9. What is your favorite piece of clothing you own and why?  My black lululemon baggie pants…they are pretty much an extension of me.
  10. What would be your superpower and why?  I would like to be able to know what people are thinking…well maybe not always…but it would be cool for a few days.

Yogi of the Month – November 2018

Congratulations to our November Yogi of the month, Greg Ochs!  He brings a great energy to our early morning classes!  Such a pleasure to have him as part of our yoga family!  Oh and could this picture be any cuter!  We asked Greg a few questions, to get to know more about his yoga journey.  Here is what he had to say:

  1. Why Yoga?   I started taking yoga to prevent and rehab from injuries but it has since evolved into one of my primary activities because of both the physical and mental benefits that I feel.
  2.  What is your favorite class format and why?  Any class that I can get to!  I have yet to have a class that I did not like in some way.  It is always good to be on my mat.  That doesn’t mean that I always enjoy it.  If you have taken a hot class with me, you know the struggle is real.
  3. How has Yoga made a difference in your everyday life? After back surgery, Yoga has allowed me to regain flexibility and build strength to feel normal again.

Teacher of the Month – October 2018

Congratulations to our Yoga Instructor of the Month, Becky Swenson! Becky is a constant light for us and has been a great mentor for so many with her broad knowledge of essential oils.

  1. What are the top two things on your bucket list?  Lead a yoga retreat in Bali and stay in a bubble in Iceland
  2. What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?  Fraggle Rock
  3. Toilet paper over or under.  OVER
  4. Pineapple on pizza Yes or No?  Ewww
  5. What is a small thing that makes your day better?  My rescue dog/fox Rigby
  6. When and Where was your first kiss? 5th grade in the tunnel on the log ride at Elitches
  7. What is your favorite drink?  Water with Tangerine Essential Oil
  8. If you could be reborn as an animal, what would it be and why.  I would like to be a dolphin as they embody freedom and joy!
  9. If you were stranded on a desert island, what 5 things would you like to have? Frankincense, fire, a leatherman, a blanket, a satellite phone.  Wait…Food and water?
  10. What is your favorite piece of clothing you own and why?  Yoga pants, you know why.
  11. What is your most useless talent?  I can exhale through my eye.
  12. What are two truths and one lie about you?  I was a sea slug breeder for many years, my favorite yoga pose is legs up the wall, I love tomatoes.
  13. What would be your superpower and why?  Instant teleportation!
  14. Would you rather live in the ocean or on the moon?  Ocean!

Yogi of the Month – October 2018

We are excited for our October Yogi of the Month, Cyndi Jalonski.  She has an amazing spirit and energy, a Yoga Warrior, through and through.  We asked Cyndi a few questions to get to know more about her yoga journey.  Here is what she had to say:

Why yoga:  While trying to recover from a massive brain hemorrhage, my body has gone through many changes.  Yoga helps my muscles work better and the brain to respond to the positive and spiritual energy.Favorite class format:  I love them all, Fit and Fit&Flow help me work as though I’ve had no issues.  They challenge me to work hard to achieve an all over body workout.How has yoga changed my everyday life:  With the help of all the awesome instructors, I have been able to physically function at a great level.  I really have become more positive and can focus on the positive through out the day.

Teacher of the Month – September 2018

Congratulations to our Yoga Instructor of the Month, Suvd Rosacci! Suvd is best know for her excellent cadence in her teaching and her generous spirit. We asked Suvd a few questions, to get to know her better. She definitely loves dogs! Here is what she had to say:

  1. Toilet Paper Over or Under?  Over
  2. Pineapple on pizza Yes or No? Yes
  3. When and where was your first kiss?  I was 15 years old on the stairway of my mom’s apartment building in a small city of Darhan, Mongolia.
  4. What is a small thing that makes your day better? positiveness/kindness/being genuine
  5. You are stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you want to have with you? personal camper, fire starter, knife, salt, toothbrush
  6. If you could be reborn as an animal (non human), what would it be and why? A dog, because I would always be happy and my humans will always be happy to spend time with me.
  7. When/What was the last time you did something that you have never done before – I visited to Mongolia in Sept 2017 for a month. In the country side I had to clean up poop from a casing from innards of a goat to make a blood sausage. (Sorry it is little raw, but that is what I did that I have never done before)
  8. Favorite drink and why? Any drink I am enjoying (when I am drinking it)
  9. Favorite piece of clothing you own and why? Black jeans from Madewell; the best jeans I own because the color is True Black, it does not fade, and it does not sag even after 10 wears.
  10. What would you name your boat if you had one? Imagine.
  11. What is something you are willing to share that NO ONE knows about you?  Well, if I shared it everyone will know. 
  12. What would be your superpower and why?  Clairvoyance – just because!
  13. If you were anything out of the produce section, what would you be? I would be anything that is Fresh & Delicious.
  14. Anything else you would like to share? I am married to a good man (Daniel) with two awesome children (Alec 19 & Amalie 14) and two cute dogs (Ella 3 – vizsla & Rosie 1 – chocolate lab.)

Yogi of the Month – September 2018

Congratulations to Mat Lowery for being the September Yogi of the Month!  Full of energy and hard work, it is always a pleasure to have Mat in class.  He trains hard…and LOVES the sweat!  We asked Mat a few questions about his yoga journey, here is what he had to say:

Why Yoga? My fitness routine consists of Castle Rock Yoga and a Group Weight Training program. I find that they compliment each other well. Yoga helps with strength and flexibility.

Also, those cold washcloths.

What is your favorite class format and why?

I stick to the heated classes. The sweat makes me feel like I’m working before I even really start doing anything. I’m a creature of habit. I love the predictability of Hot Yoga (same sequence every time). But I often need to be dragged out of my comfort zone and that’s why I also like the Vinyasa Flow 2 classes. Each class is different. It might be a core blast one day and funky something-or-other the next.

How has Yoga made a difference in your everyday life?I’m a worrywart. Yoga emphasizes breathing with an aspect of meditation that helps to calm me down. The “food for thought” that the instructors often include also reminds me what is truly important.

Teacher of the Month – August 2018

Congratulations to our Yoga Instructor of the Month, Jen Slintak! Jen is best know for her easy-going attitude, amazing flexibility, kind, generous heart and gorgeous yoga photos (please see mermaid picture;). We asked Jen a few questions, to get to know her better. She definitely loves the water! Here is what she had to say:

What are the top two things on your bucket list? Swim with a whale shark and dive with manta rays.

What was your favorite cartoon as a kid? The smurfs

Toilet paper over or under. Doesn’t matter

Pineapple on pizza Yes or No? No

What is a small thing that makes your day better? Hugs

If you could be reborn as an animal, what would it be and why? A pretty fish that lives on a beautiful coral reef so that I can live in a coral reef!

What is your favorite piece of clothing you own and why? My floral sundress because it is comfortable and pretty.

What is your most useless talent? Making my eyeballs shake What are two truths and one lie about you? I used to sing in a piano bar, I don’t like cruises, I love country music.

What would be your superpower and why? To breath underwater so I can dive without any scuba gear.

Would you rather live in the ocean or on the moon? Ocean!

Yogi of the Month – August 2018

Congratulations to our August Yogi of the Month, Ann Molner (and Gizmo her cat ;-)!  Ann has been a devoted yogini since we opened our doors.  Full of love and life, she just fills up our studio with joy!  She has been known to occasionally break out in song during FIT classes!  We asked her a little about her Yoga Journey.  Here is what she had to say:

Why Yoga?  I chose Yoga because I was looking for a form of exercise to help me focus,  that was easy on the joints, and still helped me increase my strength, flexibility and endurance. An added benefit, it has helped me get my weight in check!What made you decide to start a yoga practice?  I had recently finished my post-cancer drug therapy which had caused my joints to ache badly. I wanted to do something that didn’t involve running & jumping.  I was given my start at Yoga as a gift from my husband this past Christmas. Prior to retiring I was able to do some yoga over my lunch hour and it really helped relieve some of the stress that came with the job. Now, since being retired I missed my work buddies and thought that this move to start Yoga would help me find a community that would encourage me to do my best to follow through with this commitment to myself.What is your favorite class format and why?  Of course I like them all! Some are more challenging for me, like Hot Yoga or Flow 2, which took me some time before I tried my first class. I think it is the encouragement of the instructors that put me over the fear and finally got me in the classroom. I really like the new Fit & Flow Format since it combines the stretching & weight training that I need to help with my everyday routine. The icing on the cake is that my strength has improved, and my entire body has firmed up! And of course, my husband loves that part!How has Yoga made a difference in your everyday life?  Yoga has enabled me to take time out for myself, to focus on me, if only for an hour.  The end result is a better me, wife, mother & grandmother!

Teacher of the Month – July 2018

Congrats to Jen! Her awesome, loving spirit is contagious and so inspiring. Come catch her HOT and Flow 2 classes!

We asked Jen a few FUN questions so that we all can get to know her better, here is what she had to say:

1. What is the movie title for your life so far? She Knew She Could So She Did

2. What is the Nerdiest thing you do in your spare time? I scrapbook

3. Toilet paper OVER or UNDER? OVER

4. Pineapple on pizza YES or NO? NO

5. When/Where was your first kiss? My front porch in the 7th grade

6. What is a small thing that makes your day better? My kids

7. You are stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you want to have with you? Music, a toothbrush, chips & salsa, beer and a pillow.

8. If you could be reborn as an animal, what would it be and why? Shark. I have always had a fascination with them.

9. When/What was the last time you did something that you have never done before? I can’t think of anything! Time to do something new

10. What is your favorite drink and why? Margarita on the rocks with salt…and why not?!

11. What is your favorite piece of clothing you own and why? Sweat pants because I choose comfort.

12. What would you name your boat if you had one? Me Time

13. What is something you are willing to share that NO ONE know about you? I’m an open book. Everyone knows too much.

14. What are two truths and one lie about you? I love animals. I love camping. I love traveling. We LOVE you Jen…thanks for sharing

Yogi of the Month – July 2018

We had a chance to ask Angela some questions about her Yoga Journey.  Here is what she had to say:

Why Yoga? 

Yoga is my happy place in so many ways. It’s my time to be present and to connect with myself . Yoga is a union, it’s community with like minded people;  it’s my church. Yoga is where my spirituality comes alive. When I’m on my mat, everything else falls away. It’s my path to self discovery and a time to connect mind, body and soul. A complete journey filled with gratitude.

What does it mean to you to be able to share space with your mom and daughter at the studio?

It’s a soul connection that one cannot describe, you just have to experience it. I’m so blessed to have this relationship with my mom and daughter. Yoga will always bind our hearts; it was really hard not to cry knowing we were there together, sharing our journeys with one another!

What is your favorite class format and why? 

I love a combination of heated podflow, meditation and mantras. Essential oils add to the experience. I need more than the physical act of yoga to elevate me!

How has Yoga made a difference in your everyday life?

Yoga brings balance and serenity to my everyday life. The best stress releasing activity by far. It reminds me everyday how connected I am to my light source energy. My mind and body are lighter and stronger every time I leave class and my heart is full after sharing the same passion with so many other loving yogis.