Our Teachers & Staff

 

Lynn Olexy 
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.

Certified Yoga Teachers
Jamie Nave
Jamie Nave is the co-owner and operator of Downtown Yoga.  Over 15 years ago she earned her BS in Exercise Science and Sports Coaching.  Over 8 years ago she obtained her MA in Administration.  She then began teaching group exercise in Westminster.  In 2012 she was trained by Charm City Yoga.  She immediately began teaching Power Hot Yoga. Power Yoga flow will torch your calories, tone, strengthen and rinse your body, clear your mind and leave you with a sense of accomplishment and empowerment.
Jamie is so passionate about yoga of all kinds, that she, Chadd, and Lynn decided to open Downtown Yoga in 2016.

 

Certified Yoga Teachers
Bryan Nupp
Bryan J. Nupp, is a traditionally trained Integral Yoga Instructor, registered and certified with Yoga Alliance with his RYT 200 designation. His teaching experience ranges from yoga with children and beginners to working with seniors. He completed his training in an immersive experience, living at Satchidananda Ashram, Yogaville, for three months, living, breathing and studying the branches of yoga day and night.This experience paired with Bryan’s cumulative experience as a student to the many different styles of yoga shows in his authentic and compassionate approach. He shares his love of yoga with the intention of supporting your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, and helping to customize your yoga experience.
In his own words, “Yoga is much more than just exercise. Yoga is a way of being.”

downtown yoga
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

I practice yoga because it is my hardest teacher, you can’t hide when you step onto your mat.  It allows me to be vulnerable and empowered at the same time.  I am learning something that can be integrated into my life off the mat and it often allows me to find balance in chaotic times.  Yoga Brings me back to who I want to be and who I’m working on becoming.

The connection and energy I feel with my students inspire me every time I teach.  I am in awe of their presence and commitment to showing up, which is often the hardest part, and I am deeply honored that they allow me to be part of their journey. The highlight of teaching for me 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 my passion for 3-decades.  I am RYT-200 hour certified, a 600-hour trained Massage Therapist and certified Group Fitness instructor.

I am a firm believer in the saying by Eleanor Roosevelt, “Do one thing that scares you every day” and I feel 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!

Emily Watcher
Emily’s style is powerful yet nurturing. She is an attentive yoga teacher whose classes are focused on safe alignment, mindful breathing, and feeling good in your body! Emily is 500 hour certified. She completed her 200 Hour Hatha and 85 Hour Prenatal Yoga Teacher Trainings through Charm City Yoga in 2015, and her 300 Hour Advanced Teacher Training through YogaWorks Baltimore in 2017. Her favorite thing about being a yoga teacher is making meaningful and lasting connections with students. She strives to help her students cultivate strength and flexibility in their bodies, and peace and calm in mind and spirit.

 

Certified Yoga Teachers
Erica Chesnik
Erica discovered the beauty of yoga in 2006 while looking for more variety in her physical work out routine. She quickly learned that yoga had so much more to offer than just a physical practice. Her style of teaching is fun and energetic, but will also leave you feeling restored and inspired. Erica yearns to help you find balance in your life, both on and off the mat. Erica will challenge you to flex the boundaries of your comfort zone with mindfulness, while guiding you through a safe practice. You will leave Erica’s yoga class feeling empowered and ready to take on life’s next challenge. Erica’s passion for yoga and life are infectious!
Erica is eternally grateful for the opportunity to transform her practice and perspective though Kim Manfredi’s 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training with Charm City Yoga. Erica is also a certified prenatal yoga instructor and is thankful for the teachings of Lily Dweyer Begg. Erica has enjoyed practicing with many elite yoga teachers, including Dharma Mittra, Cindy Lee, and MC Yogi. She looks forward to sharing this practice with you soon, too!

 

Ginny Beazley
Ginny believes yoga is for everybody and is both a mental and physical practice. She emphasizes safety and care in postures while challenging her students to their own personal edge. She believes each student is unique and encourages students to focus on their own personal yoga journey. Ginny began taking yoga classes in 2013 as a means of exercise and for relief from the physical pain of scoliosis. The more she practiced, the more she noticed an improvement in her strength, flexibility and her pain level. She soon found the mental and spiritual changes far outweighed the physical ones though. She received her 200 hour RYT certification in 2017 under the guidance of Kim Manfredi at YogaWorks in Baltimore. Ginny strives to bring peace to her students both mentally and physically in class so they can take these practices off the mat as well. She hopes they can find inspiration through her ongoing yoga journey, regardless of where they are in their own. She believes yoga is as much about self-acceptance as it is about how your body moves through the postures.

 

Certified Yoga Teachers
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.

Jillian Shepard
Jillian is a wife and mom of 3.  There is never a dull moment in her life.  Her family is energetic, fun, compassionate, and full of spunk.  Yoga creates the state of balance in her life.  Jillian found yoga 4 years ago, or perhaps it found her. She quickly learned that it was not something simple. It made her work physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Though she takes the asana practice seriously, her practice extends far off of her mat.  Yoga has calmed her. Yoga has strengthened her. Yoga has made her live in the present. Yoga has healed her. Yoga has balanced her.   She embarked on a teaching path in 2017, when she was given the opportunity to share her passion with others. Jillian trained for her 200-hour certification through a Charm City curriculum, under the guidance of Michelle Allen, at Downtown Yoga. Her purpose in life is to help those around her heal, laugh, and be the best version of themselves.  Join her in a well-balanced class, one that will make you sweat, laugh, be still, and maybe even shed a tear!

 

kim
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.

Certified Yoga Teachers
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.

 

Certified Yoga Teachers
Michelle Allen
I practice yoga to stay connected to the smaller nuances of my life. I practice yoga to find quiet in the middle of crazy. I practice yoga to learn something new every single day.
So yoga extends far beyond my mat and I teach the practice in this way to help spread that love into the community. Teaching allows me opportunities to see facets of the practice in a new light. And teaching others inspires me to learn more every day! I am a 500 hr RYT certified from Charm City Yoga in Baltimore, MD under the spiritual guidance of Kim Manfredi. I have been teaching for 4 years and I love my job! I admire each of my 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. I teach to create a family!

 

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 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.

Certified Yoga Teachers
Sarah Huezen
You can meet Sarah on the mat or behind the front desk as she is our lead front desk person! A mother of 3 and loves every moment of being a mum. Sarah loves the outdoors and traveling. She is Excited about deepening her yoga practice with the 200 hour teacher training this February.