Hello! Thanks for taking the time to read about our teachers. The vision for Toula is a yoga studio dedicated to offering yoga to the whole family. Toula means "divine light" in Greek. (Just watch, or watch the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and see for yourself!) Yoga has been a light in my life! Just getting on my mat and moving my body mindfully, and using my breath as my guide helps me see clearer when things get dark, confusing and twisty in life. It's a way to connect back to my true self despite any distractions that might come my way. Our intention at Toula Yoga Studio is to open up the practice of yoga to more people; all 8 limbs of yoga which also includes focus and meditation.
Toula Yoga studio offers quality instruction for individuals of all ages and abilities to develop strong, healthy bodies; calm, content minds; and receptive, open hearted spirits, which will help them become fully present in their lives and the world around them. I've been doing yoga since 1999 while living in Dubuque, IA, where I was a High School German teacher & coach, and in graduate school. I still hold an Iowa teaching license and you might catch me subbing once in awhile in many of the school districts in the Cedar Rapids/Mount Vernon area. Yoga was a life changer for me and gave me the courage to create a completely different life for myself. I moved back to Cedar Rapids, where I grew up, in 2002 and have been caring for my three daughters full time ever since.
Deciding to do something for myself, I found Marsha Nieland in 2004 and started to immerse myself in every yoga class, workshop and training I could. Marsha has also led me to many other wonderful yoga teachers and I've been lucky enough to have accumulated over a thousand hours of formal classes, workshops and trainings; plus hundreds of self-directed yoga studies. But who's counting! This is just the beginning! Marsha is my main teacher and I've also studied with Mathew Sanford (Adaptive Yoga), Dana Robinson (prenatal & baby/tots yoga), John Friend (Anusara & Sridaiva), Moses Brown (Philosophy & Therapeutics), Desiree Rumbaugh, Amy Ippoliti, Martin Kirk (Anatomy), and many others. I'm a licensed teacher through The Anusara School of Hatha Yoga and have been teaching public yoga classes since 2008. I specialize in private & corporate lessons and have taught at many businessses including Cargil, Lil' Drug, VanMeter, Raining Rose, and Schneider Electric. I've designed classes especially for people over age 60, Men Only, Athletes, Kids and Expectant mothers. I'm happy I found yoga and its benefits when I was in my 20's, but I would have loved to have found it even younger! I aspire to lead the youngest and the oldest, and the most "non-traditional" students into the healthy habit of a regular yoga practice. Namaste.
I have tried various styles of Hatha yoga over the years before finding "seriously fun" Anusara yoga. The principals of alignment to enhance poses and the playful attitude resonate strongly with me. Taking what I learn on the mat through my own practice has enriched my life off the mat; physically, mentally, and spiritually and I want to share that experience with others. I graduated from Marsha Nieland's Teacher Training Program in January 2010. I have participated in workshops with John Friend, Martin Kirk, Moses Brown, Desiree Rumbaugh, Amy Ippoliti, and Betsey Downing. I am also a RYT 200+ through Yoga Alliance. I encourage my students to have fun and experience the joy in their own yoga practice.
I teach Kundalini yoga at Toula Yoga in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I have taught yoga extensively worldwide for nearly a decade. I am also a Cloud Nine Yoga Teacher Trainer. With a passion for being a Soul on Fire and lighting up people's lives, my programs show others how to reach beyond their perceived limitations and into unlimited possibilities. My work as a spiritual navigation coach has led thousands of people from fear to living their purpose. With a degree in psychology from Coe College, I am a reiki master, theta clearer (clearing beliefs in the subconscious mind), and soon to be author.
I began practicing yoga for the mental health benefits and became a yoga instructor in order to share these amazing benefits with others. I received my 200-hour certification from Cloud Nine Yoga School Midwest at Toula Yoga in 2017. I am inspired by the potential that a regular yoga practice has for impacting so many areas of life. In fact, it was my yoga training that motivated me to begin crafting as a career, to share my crafting with others, and to regularly explore the intersection of yoga and creativity.
At first, in my early 20s, I was guilty of the sweat=effort misconception. After knee surgery, I really began seeing yoga practice in three dimensions: using it for pain management- for life management; learning to be patient with a limited me; constantly assessing whether it was ego or therapy leading me to to push or pull back. Five years later, I see the therapy in touch, trust and resetting the perceived limitations of our capabilities. I believe wholeheartedly we are #bettertogether. I earned my 200hr +100hr yoga therapy from Santhosh Kumar of Yogadarshanam in Mysore, India. I completed my 200hr AcroYoga training with AcroYoga Montreal. I am an ERYT-200 and Continuing Education Provider with Yoga Alliance. I've written the curriculum for and lead my teacher training program in Busan, Korea annually. I am a lover of eggs on pizza and waterfalls. Yes, I will go chasin'!
I found yoga during a chaotic time in my life; it amazed me how an hour of mindful movement helped relax my mind and body. Yoga was such a useful tool for improving my physical/mental health, I suggested yoga to my veterans when employed as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at the Department of Veteran Affairs. My interest in yoga intensified after being diagnosed with Lymes disease in 2008. Yoga was the only physical activity I could do that did not aggravate my joints. Yoga brought me through illness and back to wellness. My recovery inspired me to complete my 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2013. I look forward to being part of your yoga journey at Toula.
I'm a native of Cedar Rapids, although I have lived and traveled all over. I am a mother of two, wife, daughter, and sister to many. I have an expansive family and always say I was, "raised by a pack of hippies." I studied herbal medicine gaining a Certificate in Western Herbalism, studied at The New York Botanical Garden received a Horticulturist Certificate, and obtained a Bachelor's of Science in Biology from Mount Mercy University. I recently graduated from Cloud Nine Yoga Teacher Training with her 200 hour-RYT. I teache Hatha Vinyasa Yoga, enjoys challenging her students and engaging their minds. She hopes to share the mat with you and that you leave with fat heart.
I began practicing yoga in 2009 and received my 200-hour certification in July of 2016 from Cloud Nine Yoga School at Toula. I balance my body and mind through yoga and love to share and teach these benefits with my students. I have found that a regular yoga practice brings a sense of grounding and peace to life. I hope to share the many benefits of yoga with others looking for balance too.
I have been practicing yoga for many years. I decided I wanted to deepen my practice and my understanding of yoga, so I signed up and did my 200-hour training in July 2016 with Cloud Nine Yoga. During my training I studied Hatha yoga and I enjoy teaching slow flow yoga. I believe yoga is a never ending "improving your life" journey. It has certainly had that effect on my life. My classes will improve your mind, body and spirit.
Coming to yoga instruction as a natural extension of her work as a doula (labor coach) and childbirth educator, Tammy enjoys keeping prenatal classes informative and emotionally enriching. Tammy also draws on her many years spent teaching to make yoga fun for our smallest yogis. A life-long learner, Tammy has completed many yoga trainings to best serve all populations: Baby & Me Yoga, Tots Yoga, Yoga for Tykes, Kids Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, 200 hour yoga teacher training, and Trauma Recovery Yoga.
Greetings and Salutations, my name is Melissa Brown. I am a loving, powerful, multidimensional spiritual being navigating this human existence. And what an existence it is!! I enjoy providing massage therapy, teaching reiki, and YOGA! I have enjoyed joining the wonderful world of Yoga as a teacher since 2021. I am always looking for ways to expand my spiritual life and Yoga is an integral piece to my Peace. My desire to share that with others is what inspires me to teach! I hope to meet you in the studio, from my Cosmic Heart to yours, Namaste