Meet Nava Yoga Studio's Teachers

Wendy Lester RYT 500

 Owner/Teacher
    

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Joanna Ozkaya RYT 500

Owner/Teacher

Joanna is a 500 hour Yoga instructor registered with Yoga Alliance.  She is also co-owner of Nava Yoga Studio and a practicing attorney specializing in small business, real estate & estate planning. 
Due to the demands of the law practice, Joanna needed to find a healthy way to relieve stress and to find a harmonious balance between her professional and personal life. 
After participating in a few Yoga classes, Joanna became interested in seriously pursuing the practice for her own personal growth.  She enrolled at the Adiaya Yoga Sanctuary where she completed 500 hours of training in April of 2012. 
Joanna soon got involved teaching classes at the Baycare Carillion Wellness Center and classes for the staff at the Home Shopping Network.  Joanna enjoyed the positive feedback from her students.  She then began thinking about opening her own Yoga studio.  Her dream was realized when the Nava Yoga Studio opened in November of 2012. 
Joanna states “the practice of Yoga has provided me with a sense of equilibrium, serenity and a connection with my body, my mind, my spirit, and with those around me."

 

 

Wendy's journey began with practicing yoga about 10yrs ago. An avid cyclist and runner with a degree in Physical Therapy she recognized the many benefits that yoga brought to the body and mind. The real turning point in her yoga path was in 2009 when she attended a Yoga Philosophy Course given by Di Tyssen. The course changed her entire outlook on her yoga practice and her personal life. She has been sharing the power of yoga ever since. Wendy teaches and practices Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga, Hatha, and Gentle.

"Y​oga is not a perfect downward dog or forward bend--it's the newly born self that each day steps off the yoga mat and back into life"  Rolf Gates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victoria Lindsey-Firth RYT200

Certified Yoga Nidra

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Gail Walker RYT 500

Certified Prenatal Yoga

Gail began practicing yoga about ten years ago at the suggestion of her chiropractor to help relieve constant severe back and hip pain due to scoliosis.  Yoga immediately resonated with Gail and she not only gained mastery over her physical pain but over other areas of her life as well.  As she continued her yoga practice she noticed that her life was transforming before her eyes.  During a story boarding exercise in a yoga workshop, Gail received a sudden clear vision of her future life as a healer and began to move toward this goal immediately following her vision.  Since then she graduated from the 200-hour Integrative Yoga Therapy Teacher Training Program at Living Room Yoga in 2008 and obtained her certification in Prenatal Yoga from Janice Clarfield of Urban Yoga of Vancouver, Canada.  Gail also completed her 500-hour yoga teacher certification in January, 2012.  What is Gail like as a teacher?  Gail is a thorough, caring teacher with a strong commitment to her students and her yoga community.  Her classes are well-rounded and follow a philosophy of giving individuals what they need even within the class setting and helping students carry their practice into their daily lives, to provide them with a means of regaining their ground and reconnecting with their truer selves, finding peace amidst whatever pain is pressing in on them, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual, and to help them move forward in the process of returning to wholeness.

Victoria spent her formative years in Missouri where her love of learning evolved into studies beyond an M.Ed. While enjoying a rewarding career in education in New York, she began practicing Yoga in 1995 in an effort to relieve painful injuries, ease the stress of everyday life, and seek better avenues to relaxation, strength, and peace within. She achieved all these goals in Yoga. After retiring and moving to Florida, Victoria found her love of Yoga a natural path to continue her enjoyment of teaching others. Certified in May of 2010 where she trained at the Adiaya Yoga Sanctuary, she attained National Yoga Alliance Certification at the 200 hour level. Her practice and knowledge has consistently grown through continuous Yoga teaching, learning, and studying, while especially benefitting from ongoing exposure to exceptional
teachers and students alike.
Victoriaʼs style is revealed in guiding strong but gentle sequencing of asanas, stressing awareness and importance of breathing, offering helpful modifications and variations in key postures,building strength and relaxation at the same time. She brings special emphasis at every ending to the empowering benefits of guided meditation into the deep core of ourselves. “I have seen amazing transformations in people of all ages and levels who routinely practice with purpose and intention. Like building any skill, Yoga needs a safe, supportive, environment where you can frequently practice and learn. Your body, mind and spirit will eventually strengthen, improve, relax and blossom through a dedicated Yoga practice coupled with the sincere guidance of sensitive and dedicated teachers.”​

 

 

© 2012 Nava Yoga Studio. All rights reserved.

​​Ellen​ Schulman  RYT 500 

Certified Restorative

Certified Yoga Nidra

Certified Pre-Natal Yoga

Certified Reiki Master/Teacher

Kelly McCabe    YT 200

Ellen is a Registered Professional Nurse with a Master’s Degree in Psychology. She received her 200hr certification through the Adiaya Yoga Sanctuary and was registered with Yoga Alliance as an Ashtanga/Hatha Yoga Instructor in October 2009. Completed her 500hr certification at the Kripalu affiliated school "The Lotus Pond" in Tampa, FL.
She is certified in Restorative Yoga, Pre-Natal Yoga,Yoga Nidra, and Yin Yoga trained. She has been teaching small and large groups in Beginner to Intermediate Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow and Beginner Vinyasa classes. Her students, in various venues, enjoy her inspirational readings, uplifting energies, beautiful inspirational language and choices in music.
In addition to teaching yoga,  she is also:

-a long distance racewalker having completed 7 marathons

-a jewelry designer selling her works at The Florida Craftsman Gallery in downtown St. Petersburg
-a Certified Reiki Master/Teacher of 9th generation traditional Usui training and a Registered Karuna Reiki Master.

A current college student working at Classical Medicine, an acupuncture/homeopathy clinic.
Discovering yoga 8 years ago in Vancouver Canada, Kelly has been developing a well crafted yoga practice ever since. In 2012 Kelly completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training course under the expert guidance by Chris Acosta of St Pete Yoga. Over the course of the years Kelly has been deeply involved with incorporating the practices and philosophies of Yoga into her everyday life.

 

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Dani Mae                    YT 500

 

 

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Kimmie Copley     RYT 200

Kimmie Copley, RYT200, B.S., R.N., first discovered yoga as a teenager in high school. She knew it would be a lifelong journey and practice.  She began teaching before any formal training for a worksite wellness initiative when she was employed by the State of Florida. She completed her RYT200 at Journeys in Yoga in Tallahassee in 2010 studying primarily Ashtanga and Vinyasa and also fell in love with Restorative and Yin styles.  She recently finished nursing school and cares deeply about providing safe instruction for all bodies. Her style of teaching is playful, light-hearted, and joyful. She's thrilled to join the team at Nava Yoga and hopes to see lots of beach yogis and yoginis in her classes.

Dani Mae has always been a Lover of balance. A native to Sunset Beach, she fell in Love with the practice of finding equilibrium at the small age of 5 while surfing. Skateboarding, snowboarding, wakeboarding, skimboarding and stand up paddle boarding all followed naturally. Dani is also a long distance runner who was practicing asana before even realizing it. Formally introduced to yoga in 2003, it wasn’t until 2006 that she uncovered her passion in this elegant science of strength and balance. Since then, she has dedicated thousands of hours to studying all styles of yoga and has devoted her mornings to maintaining her daily practice. What she's discovered is so much more than solely an attunement of the body but an all encompassing synchronization of mind, body, heart and source. Dani has Completed various teacher trainings in both New York City and Los Angeles concentrating on Anusara, Vinyasa and Iyengar. Her focus on foundation, alignment and adjustment, along with her passion to impart the knowledge and Light of yoga, assures that her classes are both enlightening and up lifting.

 

 

 

Sandie Montgomery RYT200

Chelsea Singer  RYT 200

Sandie has been practicing yoga for 10 years and Aerial Silks for the past 2 years. In the past 5 years Sandie began to focus on her yoga practice to help with her chronic migraines. In the fall of 2012, she decided to build on her practice by getting certified to be yoga teacher (200 hour level), studying with Life Power Yoga, at Lifetime Fitness, Ohio under internationally renowned yoga teacher Jonny Kest, Birmingham, MI and Life Power Instructor Carrie Treister. 

Sandie focuses on teaching Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Slow Flow Yoga and Ashtanga. Believing that everyone and anyone can use yoga to build a stronger respect for themselves and the world around them.

Chelsea was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disability at the age of eleven. She had several surgeries to try to correct the problems with her feet, but the surgeries went wrong and ended up doing more harm than good. Chelsea was told she would be in a wheelchair by her mid thirties. One day she was reluctantly dragged into a hot power yoga class, which ended up changing her life forever. After under a year of doing yoga only 2-3 times a week, Chelsea noticed she was no longer in constant severe nerve pain. She became a certified RYT 200 to spread the physical, emotional, and spiritual healing she found through yoga. Chelsea teaches gentle, beginner's, power, vinyasa flow, hatha, chair, and kids yoga. 

5901 Sun Blvd. W., Suite 120, St. Petersburg, Florida 33715

727-592-1999