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Staff & Instructors

Director

 

David began his journey into yoga in 1993. David started studying under one of Dallas' finest certified Iyengar instructors, Fred Dowd. He has now taught yoga extensively and has visited India numerous times to visit sacred sites, to study meditation under the Dalai Lama, and to study yoga with many contemporary luminaries including B.K.S Iyengar and T.K.V. Desikachar. He continues to explore the path and deepen his practice primarily by studying under senior teacher Ramanand Patel.  David's  teachings of yoga blend the wisdom of Yoga, Eastern philosophy, meditation, somatic movement techniques and the principles of Ayurveda to assist students in their physical, emotional, and spiritual growth.

 

As owner of the Dallas Yoga Center since 1998, David has helped to establish DYC as a strong institution infused with an open-hearted vitality which plays a leading role in the Dallas yoga community. His focus is in creating a safe space where people can come to enjoy the depth of the ancient teachings.

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Instructors

 

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Brett Thompson began his journey into the world of Qigong and Martial Arts in 2010 with an auspicious encounter with Master Instructor Jerry Dibble. Brett was immediately intrigued with the simplicity and artistry of the Chinese Healing Art, Qigong.
 
 
He dove into this world, and for the next several years, traveled to Arizona to advance his mastery of Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qigong through Instructor Training with his Sifu, Master Instructor Dibble.
 
 

Brett's programs focus on developing students’ self-growth and development at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. His understanding of the 5 Element Theory allows him to engage the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and soulful aspects of health and well-being.

 

Brett’s passion for teaching developed from his extraordinary dedication to facilitating the health, well-being, and longevity of others. He is a leader for his students in self-empowerment and physical mastery. To facilitate this, he weaves in the teachings he has gained from his 8 years of practice of Rudra Meditation from Swami Rudrananda’s lineage.

 

To further his knowledge, Brett maintains training in the Mt. Emei Qigong lineage with Taoist Grandmaster Yuanming Zhang. His expanded focus allows him to guide his students in a holistic approach to health and well-being by applying ancient Eastern secrets to the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and soulful aspects of life.

Carla  has 20 years of experience guiding people in yoga, therapeutic and creative movement. Her vast knowledge of the human body as an integrated organic whole is drawn from her study of yoga, meditation and Body Mind Centering® as well as her rich background as a professional modern dancer in NYC.

 

Carla is a graduate of the Embodied Developmental Movement & Yoga program from the School Of Body Mind Centering.

 

Her classes are heavily influenced by this somatic approach applying what she knows about developmental movement and experiential anatomy to the asana practice. Her teaching style and personal practice involve deep inquiry, observation, mindfulness and whole bodied expression within the form and practice of yoga.

 

Carla leads special workshops in somatic movement education and is an instructor in DYC’s Teacher Training programs.

Caroline has been practicing yoga since 1998 and dancing since birth. She has an innate curiosity about the world, and loves how yoga teaches her something new every single day. She encourages her students to question, learn, and discover new things about their bodies, their minds, and the world around them.

 

Her teaching style and practice are influenced by the many exceptional teachers she has had the opportunity to study with, including Marylou McNamara, Margaret Townsend, and Mary Pappas-Sandonas. She earned her 200 hr RYT from the Dallas Yoga Center. Caroline also draws from her dance background, bringing joy and freedom of movement into her teaching.

Chelsey Charbeneau has found her life's purpose in helping people become happier and healthier through her own healing journey. When she began practicing yoga she was an unhealthy person who could barely touch her toes. As her practice became more serious and her lifestyle habits changed she started recognizing the therapeutic effects on her mind, body and soul.
 

Chelsey is a certified yoga therapist, experienced registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and a member of The International Association of Yoga Therapists. For over six years Chelsey shared her therapeutic yoga at a physical rehabilitation center in southern California. There she has helped to treat and manage many medical conditions and ailments such as chronic back and neck pain, headaches, anxiety, stress and autoimmune diseases.

 

During visits to family she found the Dallas Yoga Center to be her favorite studio with wide array of classes, and depth of teaching offered. She also discovered sound healing at the Gong Meditation with Kenny and was instantly hooked! Chelsey has recently moved back to her hometown of Dallas, and is excited to join the teaching staff at DYC.

 

Her expertise covers a wide spectrum from the strict Ashtanga method to a therapeutic approach. She loves to make the experienced yogi crave child's pose and the beginner feel their body for the first time. Her goal is always to provide an experience that is always nurturing, personal and safe.

 

Yoga Therapy Teacher Trainings Part 1 & 2 : E- RYT 500 Hr
Inner Peace Yoga Therapy – March 2013

 

Bridge Program Teacher Training - 200 Hr: Yoga Works – May 2010

 

Thai Yoga Massage Teacher Training
Saul David Raye - May 2010

 

Pre-Natal Teacher Training Part 1 & 2
Yoga Works: Patti Assad - 2009

 

Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training- 200 Hr: Caroline Klebl - 2008

 

Chris was introduced to yoga as a form of cross training for martial arts, running and cycling as a pre-teen. A passionate adult study of yoga began in 1998 and an attraction to the Iyengar method developed in 2001 with its intuitive attention to alignment, form and movement. His fun, focused and patient approach to teaching creates a friendly, empowering and supportive climate that guides students on his/her personal level through the fundamental challenges of yoga.

 

Chris is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor through IYNAUS. He completed a 2-year Iyengar Teacher Training program with Peggy Kelley of the Austin Yoga School held at the Dallas Yoga Center, as well as additional studies with Paula Weithman, before continuing his Iyengar training. Today, his practice is centered around the Tibetan form of Buddhism and its Lojong and Lamrim approach. His non-dogmatic teaching incorporates the mindfulness techniques common to most meditation traditions.

Dean Hollingsworth found yoga in 2007 and immediately felt the impact it had upon his physical, mental and spiritual life. As his practice continues to deepen, his life continues to bloom and as a result he seeks to share this experience with others.

He earned his 200hr RYT certification in 2012. A "chance encounter" then led him to meet and learn the Ashtanga method from Jeff Clardy, for which he is forever grateful. In an effort to further deepen his practice, Dean traveled to Mysore, India in October of 2014, and again in November 2015, where he studied Ashtanga Vinyasa in the tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois with Sharath Jois.


He is passionate about sharing the teachings of his personal practice and all that he has learned with the DYC Ashtanga community.

Jessica O’Keefe E-RYT 500, has 20 years of experience guiding people in yoga and movement education. Her understanding of yoga and the human body has been influenced by Body Mind Centering, modern dance, dance therapy, and holistic health.
 
Jessica assists her students in knowing the joy and wonderment of integrating the mind and body. She encourages an authentic and life-nurturing practice, one that brings greater consciousness to each moment and each movement of the body.
 

Jessica has taught workshops throughout the United States. She also teaches the 300 Hour Somatic Yoga  Teacher Training at the Dallas Yoga Center. Jessica has been training students to become teachers since 2005.

 

Since the birth of her son in 2008, Jessica has developed a specific line of research focused on the pelvic floor and women’s health.

 

Her teaching always remains committed to a sense of ease and acceptance.

 

Jessica is ever grateful for her students and many teachers.

Lynn began practicing yoga as an exercise activity in 2003, and it progressively changed her wellbeing and outlook in life. It was through consistent practice of yoga that Lynn’s mind began to shift. Her mindfulness in practice allowed her to discover a sense of compassion and inner peace that affected her on and off the mat. Inspired by this journey, Lynn works with students with hopes that they find their own sense of wellbeing through the practice of yoga.

 

Lynn is a 200 hour registered Yoga Alliance instructor and certified personal trainer. Working with a people is a true passion for Lynn, and her intuition and knowledge in yoga allows her to work compassionately and comfortably with diverse groups of students. She specializes in Hatha Yoga from the Kripalu lineage, and she teaches in the various forms of vinyasa flow, chair yoga, partner yoga, gentle yoga, yoga nidra, and restorative yoga.

Kay Colbert, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker in Dallas with a long-term personal meditation and yoga practice. Mindfulness has been transformational for her both professionally and personally. Kay has 300 hours of training in teaching Mindfulness-Based Programs through the University of California San Diego Medical School Center for Mindfulness.

Kay loves to explore movement in all forms. She is an avid dancer of salsa and tango and she travels to South America regularly. While visiting Argentina many years ago she realized her calling was to integrate the fluid kinesthetic of Latin dance with the structured focused discipline of classical yoga. She has studied both the Iyengar method as well as Vinyasa Flow and she has graduated from the 200 hr Dallas Yoga Center teacher training program.

 

Kay’s classes create an energetic, playful and multi-disciplined experience that joyfully embraces the flow as well as the discipline required to obtain strength, openness, and flexibility.

Kristen started practicing yoga regularly in 2008, shortly after starting graduate school at The University of Texas. Initially yoga was just something that helped her stay physically active, but eventually it became a way for her to clear her mind, understand her body and improve her life. Kristen was drawn to the Ashtanga method because of the discipline and concentration required for the Mysore self-practice style, which has helped her realize many benefits off the mat.


She completed her 200 hour teacher training in June 2012 with no intention of teaching, but soon returned to UT to teach in the same program where she started practicing. She has been fortunate to develop her Asthanga Mysore practice with many wonderful Ashtangi’s in the Austin area, including her longtime teachers Eriko and Selena. She completed David Swenson’s 40 hour Ashtanga Primary Series Teacher Training in 2013, and has studied with Matthew Sweeney, Dena Kingsberg and Tim Miller.


Kristen is very grateful for all the benefits of her yoga practice. She has never felt better, mentally or physically than she has over the past six years, and she truly believes that yoga can change lives. She is excited and eager to share her love of the Ashtanga practice with the DYC community.

Lauren began practicing yoga nearly 10 years ago as a way to increase flexibility, but it quickly became apparent there was much more to be found. After years of trying many different styles in several studios, she found her deepest connection with a sound-vibration based power practice. This approach connected her to the amazing gift of meditation through asana, which led her to explore other meditation forms & various workshops.

After having two children, as a working mom, the importance of her yoga practice became paramount in helping create harmony in daily life. Through teacher training at the Dallas Yoga Center, Lauren discovered new ways to connect with sound meditation and restorative yoga, which once again shifted her entire perspective and practice. A profound interest in holistic wellness has led her to study Ayurveda, pranayama, aromatherapy & more. Lauren's goal as a teacher is to compassionately guide others to find more balance and peace through yoga and meditation. She hopes everyone can experience deep connection to oneself and pure bliss through any style of practice, yin to yang, and take what they learn with them off the mats.

Mike began his yoga studies in 2001 as an Iyengar student as a means to better manage the stresses of corporate life. In 2002, Mike focused his practice on the various vinyasa yoga traditions of Ashtanga and Vinyasa.

 

With mindfulness of alignment, breath, and drishti, Mike has pursued the meditative benefits of the vinyasa flow. Mike has attended numerous workshops that include the Iyengar, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, and Vinyasa flow traditions. In 2004, Mike completed his Vinyasa Flow and Ashtanga Teacher training with Shiva Rea and Manju Jois and subsequently began teaching at Dallas Yoga Center. Mike likes to encourage students to have fun with their practice and develop mindfulness and enjoy the meditative benefits practice offers.

 
Molly has always loved movement as a means of self-expression, personal growth, and pure pleasure. She studied ballet and modern dance throughout her life, and after receiving her BFA in dance in 2007, she danced professionally in NYC for several years.
 
 

Finding that yoga grounded and balanced her both mentally and physically, she first approached yoga as a great way to cross train as a dancer. When the rigors of pursuing a career in dance no longer seemed to be serving her, she shifted her focus to yoga. She earned her 200 RYT from YogaWorks in 2012 and dove into teaching Vinyasa in Brooklyn.

 

Molly joined the Dallas Yoga Center staff in 2015, and is excited to learn from the teachers and students of this community. Molly enjoys a steady yet playful, vigorous but mindful, approach to her personal practice, and aims to give her students that kind of experience in her classes.

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Staff

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Lisa was drawn to yoga as an antidote to work related stress.  Amazed at the impact yoga brought in such a short time she continued to search for classes that offered more depth and finally found the right fit at the Dallas Yoga Center. Taking classes beside David Sunshine, she discovered a similar outlook approach to yoga and the healing arts that encompassed all traditions.


After a spinal injury a few years later changed her yoga practice and daily life overnight, the profound subtly and ranges of practices possible within yoga became even more important, and the process of healing would be her biggest teacher. 


Lisa joined DYC in 2003 with the intention of helping to build a place to explore the full range of yogic traditions, a wide variety of healing arts, as well as shared community. Over the years she has worn many hats and been integral to DYC's growth. Currently she is the Manager of Events and Programming.

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