About Us

Black and white_173Kelly 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_112Amber 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. Amber is also owner of Sutras, a yoga boutique: www.sutras108.com


 

 

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.

 


Kathryn DeFreitasKathy DeFreitas

 


Kanue ColdBlack and white_155

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.

 


Lindsey AdamsBlack and white_168

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.  Her contagious smile, insight, and amazing classes will having you clearing time in your schedule to practice with her.


photo-15Cathie 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!


IMG_1562-1Thad Malik ERYT

May be described as a Bhakti Yogi. His unscripted classes allow for a co-creation of yoga to occur spontaneously. He shares yogic techniques, insights and energy which he has gathered through years of personal practice and self study. His kind-hearted gentle teaching style allows students to open up in classes, be comfortable, release what isn’t real and move towards the highest expression of True Self.


 


IMG_20141016_112355Ruben-Darius Moldovan RYT 200, RYT 500

Darius is a wellness ambassador from Cluj, Romania, he has a passion for health, driven and inspired to understand the human vehicle.

Darius’ yoga journey lead him to study in Rishikesh, India for his RYT200 as well as his RYT500 the following year. Darius is also a masseur (specializing in shiatsu, pressopucture and reflexotherapy) and psychology.  Darius’ path in yoga guides him to be a scholarly resource; thus, he devotes much of his time continuously, reading and investigating traditional texts, postures and all yoga sources, translating them into practice and then into articles or developing workshops. He is frequently invited as a speaker at holistic or zen festivals in Eastern Europe.
Darius teaches yoga classes with asanas from traditional hatha, to vigorous vinyasa or yin yoga, theme based classes and hot yoga. He also offers classed focused on pranayam for professional or amateur practitioners.

In his everyday life, Darius is an HP Wellness Team member: organizing healthy events, wild-life and high altitude treks, Schwinn + cycling. He is as also a Business Intelligence consultant in multi-dimension databases, holding a BS on Computer Science, MBA on Management Performance and still continuing to study, the secondary faculty, Psychology.

Darius Yoga Philosophy: “Surrender to experience the journey to the Divine..”

Yoga long lake 6 Celeste

Celeste began practicing yoga in 2007. She immediately noticed a physical and mental change, her body awareness improved and she felt incredibly calm and grounded. In 2014, Celeste completed a 200 hour certified Teacher Training at Empower Yoga, Inc, Appleton, WI. She became a certified RYT 200 hour instructor and quickly jumped into teaching, eager to share her passion and joy of yoga with others. Immediately following that training she continued her education at Amala School of Prenatal Yoga, Chicago, IL completing an RPYS Yoga Alliance 85 hour prenatal teacher certification. Celeste loves teaching pregnant and non-pregnant students allowing them to find their own yogic path. She is thrilled to have moved to the beautiful Prescott and becoming a part of the community by teaching at Blackbird Yoga.

IMG_2525-1Sara Liberatore Lopez

I am a Yoga instructor, Thai Yoga massage therapist, and Ayurvedic Community Educator. I have been fortunate to study with many excellent teachers and am particularly grateful to Pati Kearns, the first teacher to throw light on my path, and to Shunya Pratichi Mathur, of the Vedika Gurukula, with whom I study Ayurveda, Yoga , and Vedanta. I completed a B.A. in Contemplative Psychology with an emphasis in Somatics from Naropa University and have professional training and certification in Yoga, Thai Yoga Massage, and Ayurveda. Practicing yoga since 1993  and teaching since 2000, I draw from many years of experience to meet my students where they are with awareness.

 

In deep gratitude for the gifts I’ve been given, I consider teaching my seva, or service, and part of my responsibility as a committed student. Helping people to feel better, to connect with their true nature, and to become their own healer walking their own path is deeply satisfying work. My intention as a teacher is to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere to facilitate the deepening journey of self-inquiry that the yogi travels. My great wish for each student is that his/ her mind and body will become a safe and stable place to be, so the heart can soar.

 

I make my home in the high desert mountains of Northern Arizona with my long-legged man and our sweet-faced boys. When I’m not doing yoga things or hiking through the wilderness (with two kids in tow!), you’ll find me in the kitchen. I believe food is medicine and lovingly nourish those who sit at my table. For a peek at our adventures or a dose of kitchen wisdom visit my blog: Mama’s Medicine Bag.

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