Our Teachers & Staff

Lynn Olexy
Lynn Olexy
Owner

Lynn Olexy is the co-owner and operator of Downtown Yoga. She comes to the mat with over 25 years of experience in health and wellness and her B.S. in Exercise Science, Dance Education, and Business. Her passion for fitness took a turn when she discovered yoga 12 years ago and realized that “beating her body up” was not necessary to achieve her goals. She has a long history in the Carroll County community of establishing and managing a successful yoga studio. She has her 200 hour yoga certification through Charm City under the guidance of Kim Manfredi. Her classes are athletic yet authentic in her combination of flow with breath. Off the mat you will find her spending time with her family and 2 basset hounds, enjoying the outdoors or spending time at the beach. Her motto is…be kind to everyone along the way, as we all have our own stories.

Jamie Nave
Jamie Nave
Owner

Jamie Nave is the co-owner and operator of Downtown Yoga. She earned her BS in Exercise Science and Sports Coaching and obtained her MA in Administration. She began teaching group exercise in Westminster, and was trained by Kim Manfredi of Charm City Yoga in 2012. She earned her 200 hour CYT from Michelle Allen at Downtown Yoga in 2017. She enjoys teaching Power Hot Yoga where you challenge and strengthen your physical and mental capabilities. She loves the challenges power yoga and intermediate yoga provide and is passionate about teaching both.
Jamie, Chadd, and Lynn opened Downtown Yoga in 2016.

Amy B.
Amy B.

Amy is the mom of 2 teenage boys and has been involved in group fitness for over 16 years. She started her career as an elementary school teacher and then became a stay at home mom. Group exercise classes became a part of her everyday routine. In 2014 Amy decided to share her love of fitness and became an instructor. She is certified in both Les Mills BodyStep and Soul Body Barre. Amy loves the feeling working out gives her and sharing that feeling with others. d

Barb Langrall
Barb Langrall

Barb is a Physical Education teacher with experience in a multitude of fitness genres and classroom environments. With an RYT 200 and a Masters Degree In Exercise Science, she understands everyone learns differently and will adapt teaching strategies so that yoga students can find confidence and joy in their practice. Barb practices yoga because it honors who we are and helps provide balance through the journey of life. Not only does yoga enhance her personal fitness, she believes yoga spreads kindness, promotes acceptance of others and true appreciation for diversity. Ultimately, yoga creates a community of support for all.

Chris Fuste
Chris Fuste

Chris has been in the fitness industry for the last 16 years, 13 of that teaching group exercise classes. Her passion in life is helping others to achieve their fitness goals and she feels best doing that in a group setting. In her opinion, the energy that a room full of like-minded individuals emanates is nothing less than contagious! When one person’s struggle is another one’s strength the group begins to look to each other for motivation and Chris thrives off facilitating that! As a former massage therapist and personal trainer, Chris has a deep understanding of the human body. She is very sensitive to peoples unique and varying limitations as well as to their strengths. This understanding is what helps her to not only create well-rounded classes but to meet participants where they are on their personal fitness journey. Whether new to fitness, returning from an injury or a seasoned athlete Chris is sure to have something for everyone!

Colleen Bollinger
Colleen Bollinger

Colleen practices yoga because she can’t hide when stepping onto the mat. It allows her to be vulnerable and empowered at the same time. She learns something that can be integrated into her life off the mat and it often allows her to find balance in chaotic times. Yoga brings her back to who she want to be and who she is working on becoming. The connection and energy Colleen feels with her students inspires her every time she teaches. She is in awe of their presence and commitment to showing up, which is often the hardest part, and is deeply honored that they allow her to be part of their journey. The highlight of teaching for Colleen is the transformation that occurs; every class is unique and everyone contributes to the flow, feel and rhythm creating an authentic unique experience, creating space for change. Teaching all that is related to mind and body has been her passion for 3-decades. Colleen is RYT-200 hour certified, a 600-hour trained Massage Therapist and certified Group Fitness instructor. Colleen is a firm believer in the saying by Eleanor Roosevelt, “Do one thing that scares you every day” and she feels yoga embodies this expression every time we step onto our mat, allowing us the opportunity to melt away the layers of armor we wear in hopes of finding our true selves. Namaste!

Elizabeth Johnson
Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson has been practicing yoga for over 18 years. She completed her 500hr RYT in November 2014 with Kim Manfredi and Charm City Yoga now YogaWorks. Yoga has become not just a part of her life but her lifestyle. She eats/cooks healthy to ensure that her body is prepared to take on each day and be ready for whatever life hands her. She hopes to share her knowledge of yoga and how it transforms into your everyday life with her students. Elizabeth continues to enhance her practice by taking classes and courses within her community and during her travels.

Erica Chesnik
Erica Chesnik

Erica Rai Chesnik discovered the beauty of yoga in 2006 seeking variety in the same ol’ gym workout routine. The practice brought mindfulness and inspiration and eventually evolved into sharing the practice, becoming a certified teacher in 2013 and eventually an advanced 500 hour teacher. Erica found restoration and empowerment in maintaining a consistent practice and loves to help others along the yogic path of mindfulness. Classes are thoughtfully designed to provide a fun, safe, anatomy based yoga class with a strong emphasis on harnessing the power of your breath! Erica holds additional certifications to include Certified Prenatal Yoga Teacher and FLOYO Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga Certified.

Heather Thomas
Heather Thomas

Heather is a certified 200hr RYT through Yoga Alliance and a Certified Yoga 4 Cancer Teacher. She is currently pursuing her 500hr YTT at Downtown Yoga in Westminster.
She is passionate and energetic about sharing the benefits of yoga while making a difference to the health and well being of others. She aims to provide students with the ability to quiet their minds and open their hearts while mindfully introducing a yoga practice that is skillful, intelligent, and enjoyable. She focuses on intelligent yoga, which is a practice that is not just physically safe but also conducive to emotional and spiritual growth. She wants them to benefit from the sense of relaxation and stress relief that yoga can provide.
She gracefully weaves a mixed level flow in her teachings. Her classes cover beginner asanas, sun salutations, standing poses, hip openers, twists, back bends, and basic inversions. Her students can build a strong base while gaining flexibility, strength, and stamina. As a teacher, she expresses herself in a way that makes her students feels safe, confident, and accepted exactly as they are. Judgement and self-criticism are left at the door and she strives to create a supportive community that is inclusive and compassionate for all.
Her professional career in clinical research has helped transfer her caring and compassionate attributes from her patients to her students. Her favorite thing to do is to spend quality time with family and friends.
By spreading kindness on and off the mat, she nurtures her students in discovering their abilities to be in tune with their body, mind, and spirit. NAMASTE

Jill Grubb
Jill Grubb

Jill is a mother of four and a lover of yoga and exercise. She was introduced to yoga in college, as a means to complement running and other activities. While skeptical at first, she quickly became a lover of the practice and the way it made her body and mind feel. She continued to practice on her own, sometimes regularly, sometimes not, until she was given the opportunity to become certified and teach yoga at Center Street Yoga, in 2012. After her initial training at Charm City Yoga, she decided to further her training and completed her 200 hour yoga training. She enjoys teaching a variety of yoga styles, including vinyasa, restorative, children’s yoga and power yoga, and feels there is a type of yoga for everyone! She has seen, first hand, the ways in which yoga can bring balance, strength, calm and healing into the lives of others.

Kim Hesson
Kim Hesson

Kim considers herself a fun-loving, easy-going person with an intense passion for helping others enjoy life. She completed her 200-hour teacher training in 2014 in Wilmington, NC through the Yoga For The Planet RYS under ERYT Rebecca Niamtu. Kim’s classes place a strong emphasis on breath, and how to use it to calm the mind and soften the body. She incorporates a mind, body, and spirit connection in her classes with the intention of promoting self-love, awareness, and acceptance. Kim hopes to inspire her students to take the teachings of yoga beyond the physical asana by acting from a foundation of love and compassion in the world. She enjoys teaching classes of all varieties, from power to restorative, and hopes to make practitioners of all levels feel comfortable no matter the class. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Kim strongly believes in a holistic approach to health and happiness and feels that yoga can play a huge role in healing and/or improve our quality of life.

Maggie Jones
Maggie Jones

Maggie Jones has been teaching Yoga to all abilities, levels, ages and preferences since 2009. Her approach to teaching is greatly influenced by her on going studies in various somatic and energetic modalities such as Zen Buddhism, Body Mind Centering, Feldenkrais, SourcePoint therapy and Ayervedic philosophy. She brings her professional experience as a Dance Artist and Certified Rolfer to her teaching practice all of which feed her continued exploration into greater awareness and self expression.

Marie Triplett
Marie Triplett

Marie Triplett is a fun loving, light-hearted yoga teacher who enjoys creating space for her students to engage in a playful and joyful exploration of this physical and spiritual practice. Expect to laugh, sweat, be inspired, and challenged in equal measure. Marie’s mission is to provide a well-balanced class that helps her students find tools through yoga that can transcend beyond the mat. Marie found yoga in 2002 and after practicing a variety of styles of yoga for more than 10 years, she trained in Baltimore, MD under the guidance of Kim Manfredi, founder of Charm City Yoga in the 200 and 500 hour teacher training programs. Additionally, she has taken workshops with many leaders in the yoga world to include Kathryn Budig, Dharma Mittra, and Rodney Yee. As an avid food lover, she is also passionate about sharing delicious recipes and the spirit of family through her blog.

Melissa Salazar-Goon
Melissa Salazar-Goon

Yoga has been a part of Melissa’s life for 16 years. Yoga has taught this mother of three how to be more flexible and mindful both on and off the mat, as well as how to find forgiveness for herself as a human. Melissa’s motto is “Yoga is a practice, not perfection!”
Working with Well Advantage of Sykesville, MD, Melissa began teaching onsite at corporations to facilitate healthier, happier employees. She enjoyed teaching at Toyota, Wachovia and The Baltimore National Aquarium. She went on to complete her 200 RYT with Leslie Coombs at Avalon Yoga Studio of Catonsville, MD. She is forever grateful to all of her teachers along the way, in the studio and life.
In her classes she offers the foundation for the student to explore and challenge their personal expression of yoga while joining the breath with movement.

Michelle Allen
Michelle Allen

Michelle practices yoga to stay connected to the smaller nuances of her life. She practices yoga to find quiet in the middle of crazy. She practices yoga to learn something new every single day. So yoga extends far beyond her mat and she teaches the practice in this way to help spread that love into the community. Teaching allows Michelle opportunities to see facets of the practice in a new light and teaching others inspires her to learn more every day! Michelle is 500 hr RYT certified from Charm City Yoga in Baltimore, MD under the spiritual guidance of Kim Manfredi. Michelle has been teaching for 4 years and loves her job! She admires each of her students for continuing to show up to their mat and then walk out into their lives with a greater connection to something they can’t always see and feel. Michelle teaches to create a family!

Michelle Ament DeFeo
Michelle Ament DeFeo

Michelle is a mother of 4 with over 20 years experience in group fitness. Besides studying Interdisciplinary Studies at UMBC, she holds multiple certifications in Barre and Les Mills programming. Michelle remains fueled and inspired by the positive impact she has on the participants in the classes she leads, as well as our community.

Michelle Zahn
Michelle Zahn

Michelle Zahn began practicing yoga in her early 20’s as part of a general fitness routine and quickly realized the benefits yoga had on injury prevention during distance running training. Her daily yoga practice provides a little bit of mindfulness and peace in an otherwise hectic life while teaching physical & mental strength & flexibility – on and off the mat. Witnessing first-hand the positive effects yoga has on all populations including children, athletes, and those battling illness, Michelle has chosen to spread this light throughout the community through teaching. In 2017, she received her RYT-200 certification through Charm City Yoga/YogaWorks under the guidance of Michelle Allen at Downtown Yoga in Westminster, MD. Michelle loves the creativity teaching yoga offers and loves to give her students the opportunity to engage in playful practice and take strength, stability, and flexibility back out into the world.

Rebecca Ballantine
Rebecca Ballantine

Rebecca Ballantine began practicing yoga at the age of nineteen to add flexibility and relaxation into her workout routines. Learning more about the incredible benefits of yoga; both physically and mentally, she began incorporating it more into her regular fitness schedule. Just recently, in 2017, Rebecca embarked on her journey to obtain her 200-RYT certification through Charm City yoga/YogaWorks under the guidance of Michelle Allen at Downtown Yoga in Westminster, MD. Rebecca provides a holistic approach to yoga, as she is also a registered nurse, and will provide a caring and safe environment to ensure that everyone has a safe practice. Rebecca has a loving yet joyful disposition, as she is a busy mother to two children. “Escaping onto my mat provides me a sense of belonging and purpose, along with personal time to challenge my body and mind.” -Rebecca Ballantine

Sarah Huezen
Sarah Huezen

Sarah Huezen started practicing yoga regularly 2 years ago wanting to bring a different level of wellness to her life. She found that not only did she love the strength building benefits but more so the calm, balance, mindfulness and sense of community that it brought to her life. In 2017 Sarah received her RYT 200 hr certification through charm city yoga/yoga works under the guidance of Michelle Allen at downtown yoga in Westminster. Sarah believes yoga can be loved and practiced by all bringing a sense of peace and mindfulness, strength, flexibility and sunshine into your life. Being able to teach and spread the benefits of coming to your mat alongside others and take that feeling out and share it with your community is what she hopes to achieve, knowing that passing on something as simple as a smile can brighten anyone’s day.