About Us

Black and white_173    Kelly Thornton E-RYT 200 RYT 500

Kelly was born and raised in San Diego, CA , but has called many places around the world…Home.

She studied at UCLA, earning a BA in the Study of Religion: Magna Cum Laude, High Honors. After UCLA Kelly studied education/ Guidance Counseling at The University of The Virgin Islands, then continued her studies at The Washington School of Photography.

Kelly began teaching yoga while living in the Virgin Islands. She received her RYT 200 at Qi Yoga Denver, CO and RYT 500 at Rishikesh Yog Peeth- Rishikesh, India.

Kelly has had the privilege to study with amazing teachers/gurus during her life. Her greatest influences are her family, her friends, her students, her love of music, horses, rodeo, art, culture, self inquiry, LIFE. Kelly is a devotee of her inner guru who has been shaped by her life experiences and by her unwavering faith in God.

Kelly’s Yogic philosophy is that yoga is not something that only occurs daily during 1.5 hours on a rubber rectangle.. rather,  Yoga is a LIFEstyle that requires a lifetime of practice. She has no interest in simply teaching the body origami that is asana, but is also passionate about the other 7 limbs of a well rounded yoga practice. Her  goal is to lead  by example of what it means to be a yogi both off and on the mat.

Kelly’s life manifesto– Be Free! Love God with all your mind, body and spirit! And, Don’t be an asshole!

 

Black and white_112      Amber Aten E-RYT 500

Certified Yoga Teacher & Structural Yoga Therapist. Amber Aten is dedicated to the path of healing, in Yoga, in life and in all ways. Her yoga practice is centered on honoring the heart as the inner teacher. As a teacher she hopes to inspire a playful awakening of peaceful balance. Amber received her Yoga teacher training through the Arizona School of Integrative Studies (ASIS) in 2002.  From 2004 thru 2007 Amber worked for the International Association of Yoga Therapists, where she was able to connect with many yoga luminaries and was guided to begin her own in-depth study of Yoga Therapeutics. She completed the 700 hour Structural Yoga Therapy Training program with Mukunda Stiles in 2006(yogatherapycenter.org).

At Blackbird, Amber teaches Yoga Bliss and Bhakti Flow. She also, periodically, expresses her artistic talents during her Henna Den events–not to be missed. Amber is the Administrator of Workshops and is our resident Yoga Therapist.

Breanna Rodgers RYT 200

Breanna Rogers is a mother, a dancer and a yoga instructor. She received her BA in Dance from Sonoma State University and her yoga teacher certification from the Denver Institute of Yoga. She currently teaches dance and yoga to troubled teenagers girls at a therapeutic boarding school, Spring Ridge Academy. Her yoga practice explores the art of making choices and uncovering the extraordinary hidden in the ordinary. Breanna is deeply influenced by the precise alignment of Iyengar, the fluidity of dance, and the heart of Anusara. Her classes are about restoring neutrality and balance to the nervous system by utilizing the breath with strong, slow moving sequences of asana, always paying attention to the structural integrity of each pose. Breanna hopes that her work will inspire others to bring creativity and mindfulness to all aspects of life, from doing the dishes, to doing a yoga practice, to helping someone change a flat tire.

Black and white_88  Darlene Mortenson

Kathryn DeFreitas   Kathy DeFreitas

Black and white_155   Kanue Cold

Kanue teaches Blackbird Mixed Level and Blackbird Yoga Beyond the Basics. He shines at teaching both advanced Yogi’s and has a love of asana technique that resonates with new practitioners. Kanue’s classes are fun, insightful, and inspiring.

Off the mat, Kanue is a student, traveler, and advocate for yoga programs that reach out into communities.

Black and white_168     Lindsey Adams

Lindsey is a Martial Artist, teacher, student, and all around amazing human being. She loves working with children and teaches children’s classes at Blackbird Yoga. Lindsey also teaches Blackbird Yin/Yasa which is a blend of Yin style yoga and Vinyasa flow. The influence of her lifelong martial arts practice is apparent in her teaching method where body awareness is key. Lindsey crafts creative classes. Her contagious smile, insight, and amazing classes will having you clearing time in your schedule to practice with her.

photo-15  Cathie Devore

A persistent running injury and the suggestion of my yogini daughter led me on my yoga journey 9 years ago. I am forever grateful to both! Yoga has become for me a lifestyle, a path to physical, emotional and spiritual healing, wellness and clarity.

I earned my 200 hour yoga teacher training certificate in 2009 after studying with Tias and Surya Little of Prajna Yoga in Santa Fe, NM. Tias teaches a blend of Ashtanga and Iyengar-influenced yoga with emphasis on proper alignment, dharma wisdom and creating space for joy! His teachings resonated deeply with me, and I strive to incorporate his training into my yoga classes.

I believe that yoga is a place where we come to stay…to connect to our breathe and all of life…to become fully aware of ourselves and celebrate our uniqueness….where we can open our bodies, souls, hearts and minds…to let go of all that doesn’t serve us…and invite the light, infinite love and compassion, deep gratitude and best of all, divine grace!

sladegraves copy Slade Graves

I began my journey on the path of yoga in the year 2000. At the time I was in physical distress. The pain in my lower back was ruling my life. I came to yoga to heal my body and stayed because I found it was healing my life. Sound dramatic?…not really. No matter how or why we come to roll out a mat for the first time; if we stay the practice spills over into all areas of our lives. Promise.

I love teaching beginning yoga. It is a passion. Early in my practice I had the great fortune of studying with Christina Sell. Christina is an internationally respected teacher who brings an abundance of integrity and heart to her practice. With Christina I was schooled in the brilliant principles of alignment as proposed by John Friend (anusara yoga). Way back before that in my work as a respiratory therapist with a residency in spinal cord injury; I learned and subsequently taught quadriplegics the dynamics of engaging their respiratory muscles to regain the breath.

Beyond those initial years of instruction I have broadened my path with the help of many generous teachers and the ultimate teacher…..life!

The focus of my instruction is to provide students with the tools to grow and sustain their personal inquiry into mind body and spirit. My intention to broaden my teaching skills to focus on yoga therapy will be the next step on my journey. This focus is a natural outgrowth of my medical and personal background.

Because of my personal outreach for growth, I embrace the concept of “beginnerʼs mind”. I love working with new practitioners. I have taught art for years and welcome the blank canvas. I see yoga as the possibility of beginning a new manifestation in someoneʼs life.

As a painter Iʼm asked: what do you paint? Because it is inherently visual (and emotional) I ask them to actually look at the work. What I paint is what I see, inner and outer vision. It either resonates with someone or not.

As a yoga instructor the question is: what style of yoga do you teach? I donʼt believe in that kind of stamp. It creates preconceptions. My answer is come to the mat. If what happens there for you and your experience speaks to you, you will know it. Finding the right teacher is intuitive.

namasteʼ.

Alex photoAlex Butler RYT 200

While the path of Yoga is more than just taking one posture after another, I love asanas (yoga poses) because they make your body absolutely vibrant! I consider the physical practice of Yoga to be a gateway to bigger things: Hold plank or balance on your arms a few times and suddenly your breath is more robust. Next this energetic breath links with the postures and your mind focuses. Through discovering a challenging pose, time is lost and suddenly you know what living in the present means. Learn to smile after falling and compassion and perseverance are developed. Laugh with the neighbor on the mat next to you, and the bond of community has been formed.

 

A playful attitude and clear instruction make the classes I teach totally accessible to newbies, yet challenging to advanced yogis and yoginis. I include fun music to set the rhythm, creative vinyasa flows to entice the body, and guided savasanas to deeply restore. A practitioner since age fifteen, I became a certified instructor in Prescott under the guidance of Mary Kay West and Cain Carroll. Though teaching locally since 2008, I thoroughly enjoy being a student of Yoga and constantly seek knowledge and “tricks” to share with others. See you in class!

 

Photo-16  Benjamin Britton ACE personal trainer, RYT 200

Hello people of Prescott! I recently moved into the Prescott area from Oklahoma City, where I have spent most of my life. I graduated from Oklahoma Christian University with a BA in marketing and a minor in psychology. While in school, I attended the YogaLife teacher training program under program director Becca Hewes in Norman, OK and graduated with my RYT 200 in August of 2011. I am also an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified personal trainer, having received my license in December of 2011.

I consider the practice of yoga a tool that can be an invaluable component of one’s life, when applied in the right way. In my eyes, the mind, body and spirit connection is as real as our very existence is on this earth. On the outside looking in, many may see the practice of yoga as simply the confluence of steady breathing, unusual bodily contortion, and a group of people all making some weird noise together at the same time- and this is true! But underlying all of that, yoga can also be a method of closing the divide between the mind body and soul. It has a funny little way of sort of, “calibrating” where you are in life at the present moment, your past and what you want from the future. If this is something you would like to learn more about, I would much enjoy discussing my philosophy on this with you.

All are welcome to my classes, I consider my classes to be a mix of a little bit of everything, for both beginners and those who have been doing it their whole lives. My aim is for you to walk out of the door possessing, what I like to call, a “calm energy.” The goal of my classes is to empower attendants to see deeper within themselves and walk away feeling a greater peace in their lives than when they walked in.

**Photo Credit Kerry Skarbakka**

 

Photo-16