Bridget Shaeffer Pradella
Instructor / Owner
Bridget is an avid advocate for holistic wellness and has been practicing yoga for 15 years. Her love of movement began at the age of 4 with dance. She received her bachelor’s in psychology at 19, and decided to take some time before rushing into graduate school. In that time she discovered her true passion for whole system healing, not only healing our bodies, but also our minds and the earth which sustains us. After completing an amazing permaculture design course with Whole Systems Design in 2015, she knew that her path would be very different than originally planned. With the encouragement of her sister Kelly, she decided to further her passion for yoga by completing a 200 hour teacher training with Sanctuary Yoga in Gainesville, Florida in 2016. She developed a love for feeling into the sensation of properly aligned asana, the meditation of intentional movement and the healing stillness of restorative and yin yoga.
In February 2018 her son made his way earth side, from the comfort of her home here in beautiful Brevard. Realizing her goal of a natural home birth deepened her connection to inherent wellness and awakened the desire to learn more about Ayurveda, herbal medicine and the power of mantra and meditation. She completed Vira Bhava Yoga’s 300 hour advanced teacher studies in 2019. She is also a level 2 Reiki practitioner and has been studying and implementing EFT for the past 5 years. She yearns to share these tools for transformation and teach the art of wellness that begins from within.
Kelly is Bridget’s sister. She has been practicing yoga for 20 years. She is not a yoga teacher, just a yoga teacher admirer. She was so excited when Bridget decided to become a yoga teacher, believing it to be a most rewarding and fulfilling career choice. How fantastic to go to work and get LESS stressed out while also making your students’ lives so much better! This is why when the prospect of owning Brevard Yoga and getting to be a part of something so great came up she jumped at the chance. She brings the perspective of the yoga student to running the studio. In her personal life she regularly uses yoga and sometimes very deep breathing techniques while raising her 3 children. She owned her own interior design business for 15 years and while she has enjoyed helping others love their homes, she is excited about her new chapter and bringing yoga to others as an owner of Brevard Yoga Center. She first came to Brevard in 2016 with her husband and 3 kids. They fell in love with the area and were lucky enough to get to move here in 2019. They enjoy hiking, kayaking, fishing and exploring the area.
InstructorKathy Jones’ first yoga experience was – in one word – “transformative”. The class was in a noisy fitness center with TV’s blaring and weights clanging. Kathy says, “By the end of the class, I had completely tuned out the noise. I felt an amazing sense of peace and the rest is history!” Since this first class 10 years ago, yoga has been a way of life for her. “My perception of the world around me and my role in it has definitely shifted. Ahimsa, meaning ‘non-violence’, has become my life’s motto,” Kathy says. Since receiving her Yoga Teacher Certification in 2001, Kathy has taken countless workshops and teacher intensives throughout the US, including certification programs in Ashtanga Yoga and Yin Yoga at the Asheville Yoga Center. She recently returned from southern India, where she received her Intermediate Teacher Certification. During the summers, Kathy teaches yoga to high school students at the Brevard Music Center.
Debi received her 200 hour RYT certification in vinyasa yoga in 2008 with Rolf Gates. She has since done some training in yoga therapy and has done workshops with multiple teachers including Christina Sell, Faith Hunter, Annie Carpenter, Heather Tiddens, Manouso Manos, and others. She co-owned Foive Points Yoga in Athens, Georgia for nine years and recently sold the business to her business partner to move to Brevard, where she lives in Big Hill with her husband and three dogs. She loves to hike, bike, and of course, practice yoga and is looking forward to becoming part of the community here.
Katie is excited to welcome all humans and bodies to join her classes each week. She feels a strong desire to offer classes that most anyone can step into and not feel intimated or as though they “shouldn’t be there”. Through teaching slow, gentle (though not always easy), & intentional classes, Katie hopes to create a space where her students can have a more deliberate conversation with their bodies, therefore feeling more connected with their bodies when they take their practice back out into the world. Katie comes to teaching yoga with 20 years of personal practice and is currently working on her advances 300hr teacher training. She is a small business owner here in town, heading up Green Heart Juice for the past 5+ years & you can find her at Transylvania Farmers Market Saturday mornings. She loves living the small town life and getting her pups out into the forest whenever possible, with the occasional travel adventure often always in the making & cup of hot tea with dear friends.
Demacy Monte- Parker
Demacy is a yogi, lover of nature, young mama and wife. She has been a steady practitioner of yoga since 2015 before recently beginning her teaching journey. She believes that yoga is a healing, life changing practice that should be accessible to all bodies, cultures and backgrounds. She offers kundalini, vinyasa, restorative, yin, post/prenatal and family yoga classes. She is forever a student but hopes to inspire others to start their own yoga practice through the community and connections that sharing yoga brings.
I hold a Masters degree in Nursing and worked decades in fast paced trauma arenas to heal and save lives. I neglected to do the same for myself. As my life began a shift mid-way and I began seeking alternative ways to replenish my energy and siphon off the accumulation of stress that I had shelved over the years. Yoga is my Bhakti path to peace of mind. I have literally stretched and opened inside and out, as I venture towards physical challenge, peace of mind, self-reflection and trust in the paths I have chosen. I do yoga to enhance my teaching, but I teach to enhance my life. My practice has taught me that as relaxed as our body is, is as relaxed our life is!I have found my center in yoga; discovering new awareness and energy. My call to teach those who are in transition is something I can identify with and enjoy. I received my RYT training in Asheville and have been teaching multilevel classes locally for 6 years. I am an avid lap swimmer and brought Aqua Yoga to Brevard 3 years ago. I welcome all ages and all levels of experience to come to practice for guidance along your unique path. Everyone who is drawn to the yoga mat is seeking something from within. It is right under the surface waiting to be discovered; you may just need someone to help you find the way. You won’t be disappointed!
Amy is a certified teacher with Yoga Alliance through their 200 hour teacher training program (RYT200). She completed her teacher training in Brevard with Vira Bhava Yoga in the Spring of 2020. Amy began her journey with yoga 10+ years ago as a way to heal and build up strength following an injury. Since then yoga has become an integral part of her day to day life on and off the mat. Amy’s training was based in the tantric philosophy of yoga which aims to find the continuity between the external and internal world and see the Divine within it all. Amy’s classes follow a hatha style of yoga consisting of a combination of asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), and meditation. Amy likes to incorporate vinyasa practices of flowing with the connection to breath and moving the body with intention. Amy aims to honor the roots of yoga and respect that it is a sacred practice. Off the mat Amy received her B.S. in Biology & Art with a concentration in Functional Anatomy. Amy worked in the physical therapy world for 2 years while debating grad school and ultimately decided to start her own photography business so that she could spend more time outdoors and more time with her pup. With her background Amy is passionate about using yoga as a therapeutic tool to aid the body and mind. Amy will nerd out on the anatomy of yoga poses and loves to customize her practice and her classes to fit what the body needs that day.
InstructorSandi Hartz completed her 230-hr Yoga Teacher Training at Asheville Yoga Center and a 100-hr Iyengar Yoga training with Cindy Dollar in 2002. Sandi also holds certificates in Advanced Yoga, Nurturing The Teacher Within, Restorative Yoga and Yoga for MS. Sandi combines a good sense of humor and encouragement, with her love of being active and the belief that, everyone can do yoga…all you need is to be able to breathe. She enjoys mountain bike rides, walks in the forest, and camping.
Gretchen has been practicing, studying, and teaching yoga for over a decade. She became a 200 hour certified yoga instructor through Kripalu Institute in 2008, and enjoys teaching a variety of styles from gentle to mindful power flow. Regardless of the style, she always introduces a level of meditation and stillness to allow each student time to integrate their practice and build self-awareness. She recently launched Outdoor Movement, a resource to connect yoga practitioners and guides in outdoor spaces. She is honored to live and raise her two boys in Brevard.
Cortney’s exposure to yoga began here in Brevard with Laura Minerd’s vinyasa flow classes. Her personal practice grew from there and she discovered Buti yoga. She fell in love with it instantly, loving the challenge. She appreciated the core strength she gained, the increased flexibility, and the spiraling, shaking sweaty mess of “Buti bliss” she gained from the practice. With the help of some lovely ladies in our community, Cortney was able to get certified in July of 2015. Buti has taught her to love and embrace her body and to worry less about how others perceive her. She loves expressing the primal energy that Buti brings out. It makes her feel powerful. She’s thankful to be able to watch and be a part of an expanding tribe of people who come together to support one another as we thrive.
Pilates InstructorElaine has been teaching Pilates since 2004, and recently moved to this beautiful place with her husband, Adam, and her baby, Manny. She is very passionate about teaching and has yet to find a more effective method for improving core strength and posture than Pilates. Elaine is certified through both Core Dynamics and NYC-based Power Pilates, and she finds the combination of these methods — including modifying as needed — is the best approach for achieving results that carry on long after leaving class. She is excited to bring a spine-safe version of Classical Pilates to Brevard Yoga Center.
InstructorNancy Ballinger has been a yoga teacher for fourteen years. She taught at Brevard College for thirty five years instructing ballet, swimming, aerobic dance, Lifeguarding, WSI, Pilates, and yoga. She has completed her RYT 500 hours from Asheville Yoga Center, 300 hours from Shoshoni Ashram, and 300 hours of therapeutic yoga. Brevard has been her home for over forty years and teaching is one of her favourite things to do. She also loves anything that involves being outdoors in our beautiful mountains!
Julie has been practicing yoga for over ten years, but began to deepen her practice about two years ago. Yoga started for her, as it does for many, as a physical practice: a chance to stregthen and stretch the body. Little by little, she discovered it can be so much more. Yoga has had such a positive domino effect on all aspects of her life. Julie completed her 200 hour training at Longwave Yoga in Wilmington last year. Julie looks forward to passing on the feelings of strength, possibility, peace, and gratitude that yoga brings on and off the mat.
InstructorMicah’s love of yoga began with his first Ashtanga class in 2001. Immediately feeling both stimulated and at peace in his body, the magic of “making to the mat “each day became a loving discipline. Personal growth? You bet! Just watching the flood of preferences and attachments that began to reveal themselves added significant emphasis to an already engaging 14 year spiritual and meditative practice. Combining years of training as a gymnast, professional dancer, and dedicated massage therapist, the path was paved for a comprehensive approach to sharing yoga. Today, Micah’s personal yoga practice is informed by the wisdom of such teachers as Tim Miller, Ana Forrest, Sarah Powers, and Bikram Choudry – all of whose intensive trainings have added to an ongoing inquiry to the human body, evolving spirit, and healing of the heart and mind. Students of all levels and ages will be sure to enjoy the sweat, stamina and discipline involved in safely discovering their own potential.
Judy grew up in Brevard, left, went to school, and came back, which is what tends to happen. She started practicing yoga through an Ashtanga book when she was 24 and discovered Buti Yoga shortly thereafter. She earned her Buti Yoga 200hr RYT in 2017, and is trained as an Advanced Buti Yoga Instructor in their DEEP restorative program. She completed her 300hr RYT with Vira Bhava Yoga here in Brevard. She is also trained in Fascia Line Release Movement by Merge the Practice, which you will see intertwined in the classes she offers. Judy wants to invite her students into a space of comfort and no mental or physical judgement. She offers a dynamic and energetic practice.
Clare has been practicing yoga since the early 2000’s and believes that yoga is a saving grace. She trusts in the power of a deep breath and feels that anyone’s emotional, physical, or mental health will benefit from the process of using their breath to connect body and mind. Clare has been both grounded and lifted from her yoga practice since her young son was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2014. When many things felt out of control, yoga re-centered her. She is convinced that it helps reclaim your sense of calm and quiets the mind; it helps you find freedom and courage in your heart; and it allows to you to feel strength and poise in your body. She brings an approachable and revitalizing ‘go with the flow’ vibe to her classes and has been enjoying teaching since 2016. Clare is also the Spanish and Yoga teacher at Mountain Sun Community School, a full time advocate for childhood cancer, a grateful mom of two awesome boys, and is often seen with her golden retriever. She is authentically convinced that ‘Love Heals’ and yoga is all about love.
Amber, B.A., M.S., 500 E-RYT, AYT., is a Yoga Practitioner, Wellness Expert, and Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist. Amber also holds a certification as an advanced teacher of therapeutic yoga through IAYT. Amber is soulful and compassionate about everyone’s journey to improved wellbeing. She meets individuals where they are and offers master-level guidance for the full spectrum of yoga and wellness. Her genuine nature and passion work together to inspire and nourish individuals toward improvements in quality of life. She hopes to offer a lighthearted environment for mind-body-spirit connection through pranayama and asana. Her extensive background in fitness and kinesthetics provides a rooted and balanced foundation for health, healing, and well-living.
Park has been teaching yoga for just a few years but finds it gratifying to help people with their range of motion and mind/body connection. He found yoga as a way to soften the tension that years of playing on the rivers and trails creates, but it has now become a daily component of his life.
His class is designed to soften muscle fascia from the feet up, with a focus on breathing through tension and relaxing. He is a graduate of the Asheville Yoga Center’s 200 hour program and recently completed his 300 hour certification through Vira Bhava Yoga school.
As a yoga teacher, my goal is to guide each student into a deep relationship with consciousness through an intimate relationship with their spirit. I teach so that the thread of union continues to weave itself into the continuous web of life. I am forever a student of life and embrace joy and challenges with the same brave and loving heart. I am a bodyworker, reiki master, ayurvedic health counselor and on my way to a 500 RYT. I also study Esalen massage which focuses deeply on somatic awareness along with the study of craniosacral therapy which allows me to understand being present for not just myself but also my students. My path of yoga is one of bhakti and karma yoga and I feel so blessed to be here in this community.