Your Yoga Teachers

Jennifer Huber

Jennifer came to yoga as a runner who was tired of all the sunscreen, asphalt, cars and dogs that were inherent to daytime running in Austin, Texas.

She surfed her way through her first yoga class on her slippery, stretchy Pilates mat; upgraded to a Manduka Black Mat Pro and has learned more about herself on that mat than she would’ve ever believed.

Transplanted to Tampa knowing there was not a Baptiste* yoga studio to be found, she became the certified Baptiste yoga teacher she had been seeking.

She gives back to her community through free, donation based, charity fundraiser classes as well as crafts and creations to support the success of her local yoga studios.

On the mat, you’ll find her at Jai Dee, off the mat you’re just as likely to find her at a hardware store as at a fabric store.

*The Baptiste Yoga practice supports you to raise your vitality and physical power, and will empower you to create accelerated results in your overall body strength and confidence.

Leslee Colen

I began teaching Woodstock Yoga in 2010 at the original Jai Dee studio on Florida Ave. We’ve morph’d a little over the years but our irreverently free spirit has joyfully remained intact.

Our friendly Woodstock Yoga class  welcomes anyone looking to rock a light hearted, well sequenced asana practice while sharing friendship and laughter.

Yoga is truly lifelong and ageless…. a blessing of strength and freedom in body, mind and spirit.  It is my honor to be part of our exceptional JaiDee family and to joyfully share the the gift of Yoga in guiding others who share the path.

Om Shanti.

Allison Orjala

Allison has been practicing yoga consistently for 7 years and earned her 200-hour RYT in August 2016 at Devanadi Yoga in Minneapolis, MN.

She first began yoga as a way to manage stress in college and has been hooked ever since. Allison teaches many levels of yoga and a variety of styles, primarily Hatha, Vinyasa Flow, Children’s, and Restorative.

In welcoming new students to the studio or to yoga, Allison strives to make yoga approachable and welcoming for every age, body, flexibility, and limitation.

Amanda Rotella

Yoga teacher, environmentalist, vegan, botany nerd, and outdoors enthusiast. Amanda has been studying and teaching yoga since 2011.

She is currently training for a 500 hr yoga certification and enjoys bringing knowledge she is learning into her classes. Students can expect a flow style class with modifications for all student levels and a creative use of props.

She believes in using yoga to heal stress, anxiety, and depression, boost self esteem, and generate body awareness. In addition, Amanda has completed basic prenatal yoga training and is comfortable working with students during and after pregnancy.

Please let her know when you arrive at class if you are expecting or recently had a baby so she can accommodate you.

Danielle Sweet

Danielle deGregory Sweet found yoga in her late twenties by attending classes at a local gym and was hooked. Before long she attended her first studio class and never went back to the gym again.

In 2010, Danielle completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at The Lotus Pond in Tampa, FL in 2010 and has been teaching regularly since January 2011. Beginning in June of 2017, Danielle began her Advanced Yoga Teacher Training at the Carolina Yoga Company in Carrboro, N.C.

She is looking forward to completing her 500-hour yoga certification over the next two years. Danielle’s intention for her classes is to help create a yoga practice that is individualized to each student’s needs while in the group setting.

Making yoga accessible to people at all levels is at the heart of her practice. By connecting the breath to the body through asana, Danielle fosters a space where every level of student can explore their mind, body and spirit in the present moment.

Having had a nearly two-decade-long career teaching public high school while raising a family, gives Danielle deep insight into the importance of finding a balance between the demands of everyday life and the needs of the mind, body, and spirit.

When she allowed yoga into her life over a decade ago, she began to experience an equanimity in her life that has allowed her professional and private lives to flourish.

It is this experience she hopes to help others find. Danielle believes that there is a yoga practice appropriate for everybody and every body.

Elizabeth (E.B.) Brackman

Elizabeth discovered the benefits of yoga while learning tribal fusion dance 25 years ago.

She brings a love of rhythmic movement, slow, controlled breathwork and meditation to her own practice and her classes.

Inclusiveness, light-heartedness and compassion are her foundation as a teacher.

Julia Vicens

Hi, my name is julia vicens, and I am a recent 200 hr. RYT graduate. I first came to the practice of yoga in 2000 and I primarily used it as a supplemental activity to increase my body’s strength for a typical, Colorado outdoor lifestyle.

I was a fly-fishing and whitewater guide in the summer, hiker, snowboarder, etc. and I am and have mostly been a year-round bartender by trade. This was all I knew-or rather, all I was looking for at the time. Yoga simply helped me feel better in my body.

Ten years later and six states away, I returned to yoga in Miami. Having experienced a bit of a life-change and obvious seasonal, cultural and a geographic uprooting, I was in need of yoga in more ways than I almost care to admit.

I immersed myself in various versions of yoga, but soon I realized I was going to class not only for the feel-goods in my body but more the calming, mindful awareness I felt afterwards. I eventually moved to Tampa and began attending classes more regularly and became
interested in diving deeper into yoga as a practice.

I then signed up for a teacher training course and discovered that through meditation, education, and practice, yoga can be a helpful tool to incorporate into one’s life for a variety of benefits.

Sometimes, you may just want to move your body and that works. And sometimes you may want to calm your mind. And just maybe, through practice you may find enough space in both body and mind to cultivate a more centered sense of self.

My hope is that my class may encourage you to invite and cultivate similar sensations for you as well in your yoga journey whether you are in the beginning, the middle, somewhere further down the path and or anywhere in between…many blessings to all.

K.J.

Hey Y’all! I’m KJ and some of my favorite things are my dog Molly, Jurassic Park, ice cream and YOGA! I’m honored to share the beauty and strength that yoga can bring to not only body but also if we allow it, to life.

When yoga found me over 10 years ago I knew right away there was magic in the practice. Shaking, sweating, burning, fairly certain down-dog was going to kill me and so in love with the fire that yoga lit.

I am still humbled every time I come back to the mat and discover something new. Yoga allows me to see what is possible with the physical body but constantly reminds me that this is not about the result.

In class you will find elements from traditional Ashtanga practice and a lot of room for creativity and exploration, and always the option to dive deeper. This practice is a NEVER ENDING journey and I am blessed to be able to share in a piece of yours too.

Come join me on the mat and see what’s possible!

Leah

Within the last year I’ve become 200ryt certified and helped with other yoga trainings. With this work there is joy to be found in everything.

Every asana, breathe and even just sitting in stillness. I want to help others find their own bliss in yoga and themselves as I have come to do myself and continuously grow into more everyday.

To me it’s more than just the physical body, it’s the centering and connecting of one’s mind, body and soul. I’m grateful for any opportunity to that allows me to be present for others.

Libby Creagh

Libby, E-RYT 500, Master Yoga Teacher – Libby has been sharing and practicing yoga, Meditation, and Reiki for more than 20 years. She came to yoga from a place of feeling disconnected during her teens and found a deep sense of connection to self and the world through her practice. She has led trainings, classes, workshops, and retreats in five countries and throughout the United States.

Now based in Tampa, Florida, Libby leads Essential You Yoga Teacher Training at Jai Dee. In her workshops, trainings, and classes, she offers a down-to-earth practice that harnesses the ancient wisdom of yoga to create real change in people’s’ lives.

Her classes offer a space to step away from the busyness of life and drop into a meditative flow of breath and movement. She brings a focus on alignment, variations to meet you where you are, and always an offer to deepen your practice.

Rachel

Rachel’s yoga journey began during her freshman year of college, merely as a way to stretch and get a good workout in; never did she think that yoga would soon come to represent so much more than that.

Yoga was the key to her finding her center; she began to realize the more consistent she was, the more her practice grew and paralleled her life.

Fast forward to senior year Rachel took a Yoga course at the University of South Florida. She made this her “Year of no Fear,” which entailed doing things out of her comfort zone. As the course and college came to a close, Rachel was consulting with her teacher about her future.

The teacher mentioned she was conducting a YTT course and that Rachel should do it. Rachel said, “Yeah right, I am not cut out for that… I hate talking in front of people.” The teacher responded: “Year of no Fear, right?” and so, Rachel signed up for YTT and completed her 200 hours in November 2015.

Becoming a yoga teacher has made Rachel more confident: She likes to smile and open up the hips, she enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, and camping. She enjoys health food and reading nutritional labels. She embodies being kind so much that she has it tattooed on her body.

Rachel enjoys teaching donation based classes and bringing yoga to people who think they aren’t flexible. Yoga is more than stretching, yoga is breathing life into every inch of the body, exposing the vulnerable parts we keep closed and tight; yoga is acknowledging the broken pieces so we can heal and move forward.

Through her own personal journey she has managed to develop her practice into sharing her mind, body and spirit with others to show them they are not alone in this world, to make others feel loved and supported.

Tara Laval

Tara Laval is a 500-Hour Registered Yoga Instructor through Yoga Alliance, and a Certified Yoga Nidra Facilitator through the Amrit Yoga Institute.

She is particularly interested in slowing down, focusing on the present moment, and reducing stress. Her yoga classes are a mixture of movement and stillness, with an emphasis on the breath, foundation and safe alignment of the body.

Tara’s passion is to encourage students in finding balance between strength and stability, and endurance and ease. As a Yoga Nidra Facilitator, Tara guides her students through deep levels of relaxation to heal and restore mind, body and soul.

When she is not on the yoga mat, you can find Tara cheering on her hockey team, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Go Bolts!

Allan Kohler

Allan Kohler, LMT (AKA Jantu) graduated from the Soma Institute of Clinical Massage in Chicago, IL in 2016. He has since moved to Tampa and has been a Licensed Florida Massage Therapist since mid-2018. Jantu is proficient in deep tissue, Swedish, neuromuscular and therapeutic massage. He will also be offering inversion therapy.

At the age of 24, his body could not process the volume of exercise that he had shocked his body with when he enlisted in the Marine Corps. by 2007, he was walking with a cane. He had undergone surgery in 2006, but due to the fact that he just went right back out there and did the same things he was doing, it didn’t hold – and actually had gotten worse.

He was discharged in 2007, he used a walking cane for the majority of the next 4 years. In 2011 the VA finally approved a second surgery. This time, he found yoga at the University he was attending (he was inspired by Arthur Boorman of DDP Yoga).

He started off slowly, but by August of 2012 he was practicing daily Ashtanga and Vinyasa level 2/3. January 27, 2013, he found himself practicing acro yoga on a daily basis and for the next 3 years, during this time he was encouraged to pursue massage therapy.

Currently, Jantu is pursuing a Neurosomatic Therapy degree at the center for NST in Clearwater. This 18 month program is designed to narrow the bridge between medical professionals and massage therapy to incorporate manual therapy as an essential component to the healthcare model, and limit the need for invasive surgeries and medications.