We are a team of 17 instructors. We all have different backgrounds and approaches, but we have one thing in common…the LOVE of yoga!
Ginya – Owner. Instructor.
Ginya, her husband, Eliot, and their dog, Theo, moved from San Diego to Grand Rapids in 2009 when he received a scholarship to Cooley Law School. When they left San Diego, it was 72 degrees and when they arrived in Grand Rapids, it was 13 degrees!!! After the snow melted, they fell in love with the city and decided to stay after he graduated. Ginya had a background in fitness instruction/management and loved the physical and mental benefits of hot yoga. She dreamed of creating a studio where everyone felt welcomed. A happy place for yogis of all levels. In May 2014, her dreams became a reality and Twisted opened its doors. You can usually find Ginya smiling behind the front desk. When she’s teaching, her goal is for her students to have fun, feel challenged and leave feeling more centered.
Cassie- Studio Operations Manager. Instructor. RYT-200.
Cassie walked into Twisted Hot Yoga for her first ever yoga class back in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since. She originally came for the physical practice but soon saw how yoga was changing her life. Cassie quickly felt at home at Twisted and loves the little yoga community she’s become a part of here. “Twisted has made me a better person and helped me connect with my true self.” Cassie decided to enroll in Twisted’s teacher training to share her love of yoga with others. Cassie is currently a Grand Valley student working towards her bachelors in exercise science. “I love that the benefits of a physical yoga practice can be backed up by science. But, I also love that yoga can be a very mindful and spiritual practice.” In her classes Cassie hopes to create a safe space for students to explore yoga and themselves while seeking creativity, joy and growth on and off their mats.
Jamie – Instructor. Director of Teacher Training. E-RYT200. YACEP.
Jamie has been teaching yoga since 2013 and practicing since 1998. Her background, personal practice and first formal training have been deeply rooted in vinyasa yoga but she is drawn to all types of yoga and is always up for a fun challenge. This is the philosophy she weaves into her classes; she challenges you but also encourages you to practice yoga (and live) joyfully! Yoga has changed Jamie’s life in some very powerful ways and she hopes to share her love of the practice with you.
Amanda A.- Instructor. RYT-200.
Amanda first discovered yoga while attending Grand Rapids Community College in 2010. Her passion for yoga grew while studying holistic health at Western Michigan University. The more she practiced, the more her perspective shifted and she was able to create balance in her then chaotic life! “I strongly believe that achieving wellness from within is the key to mental and physical well being.” says Amanda. She made yoga a priority in 2017 as she completed teacher training at Twisted Hot Yoga. Her goal in each class is to guide students into self awareness without judgement while gaining strength and flexibility. As she encourages students to turn inward, her hope is that they are inspired to experience deeper self-discovery, self-love and personal growth.
Amanda D.- Instructor. RYT-200.
Yoga found Amanda in 2009, as a much needed compliment to her martial arts practice in San Diego. After a few years of attending occasional classes only because she knew it was good for her body, her intentions began to shift. She had benefited from the physical practice for quite some time, but she was yearning for more. On her quest for knowledge, she became certified to teach Yin, Hatha and Vinyasa. Since becoming a teacher, she continues to root down into this expansive yoga community and find herself ever inspired to dig deeper into the limbs of yoga. In class, she encourages students to listen to their bodies and find awareness as they work towards their edge. She says “In class, I love to see smiles and hear giggles as we play together and challenge ourselves to create new shapes with our strong and capable bodies.”
Ashley – Instructor. RYT-200.
Ashley practiced yoga through most of high school, but then fell away from it during college. In 2015, after finishing her coursework at The University of Iowa, she become a Certified Child Life Specialist and moved to Michigan. Yoga then became the best way to combat the fast pace and sometimes hectic hospital environment. After trying out several studios in Michigan, Ashley walked through the doors of Twisted in 2016 and immediately felt at home. Signing up for teacher training with Twisted transformed her life and practice in a spectacular way. Since completing her training, it has been an absolute privilege to share the practice with the Twisted Community. Ashley strives to make each class a safe haven for a playful and empowered practice.
Caitlin – Instructor. RYT-200.
As a medical student and life-long athlete, Caitlin is passionate about both physical health and mental well-being. She began consistently practicing hot yoga shortly after graduating from college in 2013, and found that her practice profoundly transformed her body and mind. Caitlin completed her teacher training in Royal Oak, MI in 2015 and taught yoga in the metro Detroit area for a year before moving back home to Grand Rapids in July of 2016 and joining the Twisted team! Nothing makes her happier than teaching, practicing, and sharing yoga with those around her.
Grace – Instructor. RYT-200.
Bio Coming Soon.
Jamie K- Instructor. RYT-200.
Bio Coming Soon.
Jessica- Instructor. RYT-200.
Jessica holds a masters degree in Social Work from Grand Valley State University. She began practicing yoga in college for the physical practice. Jessica quickly learned that adding yoga to her routine was resulting in noticeable changes to her body and helped her mind relax. During the day, Jessica works for Kent School Services Network as a Community School Coordinator at East Kentwood High School. She decided to enroll in Twisted’s Yoga Teacher Training after wanting to bring stress relief and mindfulness techniques to her students. “Yoga is so powerful; it can aid in the healing of the mind, soul, and body. The symptoms of trauma, depression, anxiety, and stress can be alleviated with the help of yoga.” Jessica loves the community and friendships she’s built within Twisted Hot Yoga’s doors. In class, Jessica hopes that everyone leaves having had a great workout and experienced a break from day to day challenges.
Kevin- Instructor. RYT-200.
Kevin found yoga in the Spring of 2014, after 6 months of a regular practice he signed up for a yoga teacher training immersion in Bali, Indonesia. The guided opportunity to meditate, practice yoga, learn how to teach, and being served a vegetarian diet for a month helped to change the way he lives his life today. Shortly after his return to the USA he moved to Oak Park, IL. Living in Illinois, he was able to compile a full yoga teaching schedule between 5 different studios, which brought many different opportunities for new experiences. Since moving back home to Michigan, he is excited to share what he has learned and excited for the new opportunity to grow. His teaching style encourages students to step away from the chaos of their lives or minds, to become more aware and present in their own bodies, and explore the connection between breathe, body, and mind.
Natalie – Instructor. RYT-200.
Natalie is a graduate of Central Michigan University. She holds a bachelors in Health Fitness in Preventative and Rehabilitative Programs and a minor in Nutrition. She began practicing yoga regularly to help fight lower back pain in college. She quickly fell in love with the philosophy and her increased strength and flexibility. Natalie works during the day as a Clinical Exercise Specialist, helping individuals with heart and lung diseases grow stronger. She took the leap and enrolled with a friend in the teacher training program at Twisted in the summer of 2016. She learned so much about her own body awareness and yoga practice. “I have learned to be content with whatever my body can achieve each day”. She hopes that everyone can build strength and flexibility through her flows and leave each class feeling accomplished.
Melissa – Instructor. RYT-200.
In late 2011, Melissa began a journey to improve her health & wellness, and yoga found her soon after in early 2012. She quickly started to notice not only the physical benefits of this practice but also felt a sense of grounding and peace whenever she stepped off her mat. Ever since then, yoga has been a big part of her life. For Melissa, the yoga mat is a place to go where she can gain new perspectives and learn about herself. Her mission as a teacher is to provide a welcoming space where students can unwind and find inner peace. She completed her teacher training program at Twisted in 2017 and is thrilled to share this beautiful practice with others.
Sarah – Instructor. RYT-200.
Sarah is an elementary teacher in Rockford. While she loves working with children, another one of her passions is fitness. Sarah first navigated towards yoga for the physical practice. However, both the physical and mindfulness aspects of yoga is what has made her practice strong. Sarah completed her teacher training at Twisted Hot Yoga and then began teaching in 2016. Through yoga she has found strength, flexibility, and breath awareness. Sarah enjoys developing powerful sequences, trying on new arm balances, and the constant vigorous challenge yoga provides. Her classes will speak to this, she thrives in creating unique and well-rounded classes that are revitalizing and incorporate variations to modify, intensify or challenge your body. Sarah has found yoga to be life-changing and she is grateful and honored to be able to share her practice with all of you.
Shelby – Instructor. RYT-200.
Shelby first fell in love with yoga & with the Twisted community in November of 2016. Yoga has helped Shelby with many physical and personal goals but the most important thing she has gained from her practice is self-acceptance. She hopes as she teaches, she creates a space that allows her students to discover the physical an internal growth this practice has to offer. “Yoga is my home. This practice allows me to analyze my thoughts. This practice allows me to let go of what’s unnecessary in my life. This practice allows me to find peace and goodness within myself. As a teacher I hope to create a space that provides both challenge and growth. I hope to encourage my students to meet themselves on their mat and to be curious and courageous in whatever meets them there.” Shelby completed her Teacher Training at Twisted in 2018.
Staci – Instructor. RYT-200.
Bio Coming Soon.
Wendy – Instructor. RYT-200.
Wendy began practicing yoga because she loved the movement, the breath and the strength that she derived from the practice…but she craves yoga because of the gentle calm that surrounds her life because of it. It is her goal in every class to provide a safe, alignment based flow with a hefty serving of joy (and probably a giggle or two). She is serious about yoga, but doesn’t think that yoga has to be taken so seriously that you can’t smile and enjoy the journey.