Alee Link

My aunt invited me to my first yoga class when I was 12 years old, and it was love at first asana. Growing up as a dancer, yoga simply felt right. During college, I took classes at Yoga to the People in NYC’s East Village, and it was there I discovered how the breath unites us not only with ourselves, but with our community. For me, the breath is a reminder we are all one and fully connected to the universe.

By the summer of 2011, I completed my 200-hour RYT certification from the White Lotus Foundation, where studied under Ganga White, Tracy Rich, Kent Bond and Sven Holcomb. In February 2017, I became RYT-500 certified through Asheville Yoga Center's 300-hour program.

My teaching style and personal practice is very fluid. I have a deep connection with the water element, and, like water, my asana practice lends itself to attuning with our natural desire for flow and movement.  Also, my children, Willow and Kai, continually inspire me to celebrate each moment and live fully in the present moment, which I share with my students.

 

Ben Link

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My first yoga class was in 2008, and I not only fell in love with the practice but also my teacher. It was Alee (of course). But it wasn’t until I began meditating when things finally began to click in my life. Since then, my perspective has shifted dramatically.

After years managing behind the scenes at RFY, I finally set out for Yoga Teacher Training at the White Lotus Foundation in March of 2017. The training experience re-balanced my spirit and re-established my deep love for yoga, and I'm excited to integrate this new focus into my being and share it with my community. 

I intend to develop a physically balancing class, inspired by my past-experience playing soccer at the international and collegiate level. But I also wish to cultivate mindfulness through guided meditations and pranayama, repetitious movements, and long holds. 

Besides teaching at and managing RFY, I am a certified permaculture designer and a member of the Feeding the Valley Board of Directors and on the steering committee for Georgia Food Oasis - Columbus, which is part of my mission to support sustainable agriculture and biophilic developments throughout the Greater Columbus region.

 

Candi Hale

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I fell in love with yoga instantly, because it simultaneously gave me peace of mind and better health. I have been involved with yoga and its discipline on and off throughout the years, but only recently have I been able to focus my energies into my practice to go deeper than ever before.

As RFY's Yoga Adviser, I intend to help each student and guests select the best pricing option for their needs, create and track health goals, help ameliorate pain, and guide people to the most appropriate classes to reach their goals.

In my life, I have felt a desire to be a part of something greater than myself. I believe that I can fulfill this desire through my personal yoga practice and helping everyone who enters the studio.

Charlotte Gallagher

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"Yoga is not about touching your toes. It's about what you learn on the way down."

The first time I truly tried yoga was on the rooftop of a hostel in Guadalajara, Mexico.  I know, exotic right?  Some friends showed me some postures, and I remember sweating my butt off and feeling so alive afterwards that I decided to continue a steady practice in Austin, TX where I lived at the time.  Gradually I started to notice how much yoga and breathing techniques reduced my anxiety attacks that I had been struggling with since I was 13 years old.

In 2012 I earned my RYT200 certification from Shambhava Yoga in Kona, HI. I usually go big or go home.  Since then I have taught over 1,500 hours (E-RYT200) to all levels and age groups and received my 300 hour certification (RYT500) in Yoga Therapeutics from the Wilmington Yoga Center in Wilmington, NC which emphasizes more towards private sessions to those with specific needs: trauma, anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic pain, difficulty breathing, and injuries. I'm also trained to teach Core Strength Vinyasa from world renowned teacher Sadie Nardini and Budokon Yoga, a mixed movement arts system from movement expert Cameron Shayne.  During the summers I teach Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga on the Chattahoochee River.

I strongly emphasize that yoga is all about about calming the mind - the body, postures, and breathwork are just the tools you use to get there.  The flexibility, balance, and strength are by-products of the work you do on your mat.  Everyone has a different skeleton and varying degrees of flexibility so you CHOOSE what variation of a posture is right for you and own it.

I'm big on breath awareness to calm the mind, moving slowly and mindfully into and out of postures, smart alignment, and core awareness.  Being an athlete my classes will have that athletic, kick your butt edge to build strength and resiliance, but I can also teach a "put you in a coma" Gentle Flow class.  In all classes I promise to balance you out with flexibility work (I understand tight hamstrings!) and a much deserved savasana (relaxation pose).

When I'm not yoga-ing, you can find me running or riding my road bike on the Riverwalk, hanging out in Uptown, doing ninja warrior training, making and selling homemade essential oil products, reading and writing, watching Impractical Jokers, walking my precious black lab Lando, or satiating my travel bug.

Yoga is a LIFELONG PRACTICE and is truly for everyone whether you're just practicing breathing or going to sweaty flow. IT'S ALL BENEFICIAL.  Whenever we come to our mats it's an opportunity to let go of the negative voices and thoughts in our head, to change our reactions to bodily sensations understanding we are human and it's normal to have them, to create more SPACE in the mind and body, to open our hearts to ourselves and to others, to let go of anger and past, painful memories, to be in the present moment, to let go of anger and unhealthy habits, to SLOW DOWN in this instant gratification world, to build equanimity, to build confidence and self-love, to REMEMBER who we are, to recognize our spirit!, to celebrate our breath, movement, our aliveness, to cleanse from the inside out, to STAY HEALTHY FOR YEARS TO COME, and to ultimately FEEL GOOD and KNOW FREEDOM.

 
 

Kristi Snyder

Yoga has been in my life on and off for almost a decade, but I didn’t fall head over heels until what I now know as the spiritual awakening of 2016. I had hit a rough patch and lost myself. I was so depressed that I needed lots of adderall just to get out of bed in the morning and various substance cocktails to get away from my thoughts to fall asleep at night. Panic attacks were a regular occurrence in my life and I even invented my own eating disorder called PB-rexia where I relied solely on the sustenance of powdered peanut butter and bad choices. Desperate for healing from having too many problems to exist, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery, hoping to find the meaning of life (I’ll get back to you on this one) and where I belonged in the midst of it all.

It ended up being the weirdest, coolest year ever! The highlight reel would include doing The Work with Byron Katie, ecstatic dancing at Kripalu, meditating with Tara Brach at The Omega Institute, and a whole lotta weird shit with weird kindred spirits in woodsy places. One morning in the Hudson River Valley, I attended a sunrise yoga class and for the first time in years, I felt peace. Time stopped racing. I remembered who I really was (and gasp! It was not the person I had been trying to be). I discovered that I actually only had one big problem. I didn’t like myself. After that class, I decided to do yoga every morning whether I felt like it or not. Then very slowly and subtly, I started to like myself a little bit more each day. Then my choices started to change. Then my life started to change.

This stuff was just too good not to share! By late 2016, I found myself embarking on another journey, this time to an exotic stripmall in Auburn, AL at Yogafly Studio where I earned my RYT 200 certification with Peach Friedman, Nicole Agostino, and Megan Riley. These ladies could be astronauts the way that they hold space.

I truly believe my sadhana saved my life. I still get lost from time to time, but I find that I don’t get stuck in the layover of hopelessness for long these days. Yoga always seems to lead me back to my heart.

In my classes, I intend to provide you with a well-balanced asana, adorned with pranayama and sprinkled with meditation, that leaves you walking out with a little more space in your body and in your heart. Perhaps even liking yourself a teeny bit more.

When I am not teaching yoga, I can be found putting my B.S. in Nutrition to good use by creating healthy cold-pressed juices & smoothies at Ride On Smoothie & Juice Bar in Uptown which I co-own with my brother Tim.

Hamit Martinez

Hamit Martinez

When I first stepped inside RFY, I was first struck by how calming it was just being in such a serene atmosphere. After a few days, I saw how happy and content people seemed after each class.

 

I've always been interested in yoga. From the way it affects the senses as well as the mind to the effect it has on a daily routine, but, for me, the best part is seeing how it can apply to anyone regardless of any social barriers. Seeing everyone come together for about an hour to go on a personal journey together is truly what makes me appreciate yoga and the studio as a whole.

Most my friends cannot believe I find such joy in going to work, but experiencing the tranquility and joviality of others while working the front desk is where I find joy in my job.

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