Allyson Kopina, a native to Wooster, Ohio, found yoga a few months after the birth of her daughter Kaleigh. Since then she found Ashtanga Yoga and never stopped. Her first discovery of the Aerial Arts was here at Flex Yoga. Allyson first started Aerial Silks in late 2014. In early 2015 Emily Mariola (owner and instructor at Flex) noticed Allyson’s love for aerial and gave her the push in the right direction. Allyson was trained and certified for Aerial Silks in Destin, Florida at Destin Pilates Center with instructors Susan Dunnam, Lauren Peebles and Lauren Noonan. Allyson took the Aerial Arts to heart and made frequent trips to learn and train with several well-known Aerialists. In 2015 she studied in Boulder, Colorado with Cathy Gauch at Aircat Aerial Arts. Allyson then opened up to new Aerial Arts during several trips to Houston Texas at The VauLt to learn Trapeze and Lyra (aerial hoop) from Amy Ell and further silks skills from Emily Jesse and Mika Stepankiw.
Andy VanDeusen, RYT 200, first came to yoga as a college athlete looking to improve his flexibility, core strength, and stability in both rowing and capoeira. Recognizing the powerful impact that a regular practice made on his body and mind, Andy’s passion for yoga grew. In 2015, his practice expanded from Power Vinyasa Flow to include a regular Ashtanga practice. Inspired by the rhythmic power of the Ashtanga method, Andy traveled to Mysore, India in 2016 for three months to practice with Saraswathi Jois, and plans to return.
Andy’s classes encourage students to explore personal development in mind, body, and spirit, while promoting peace and mindfulness on and off the mat. He enjoys practicing and teaching the art of hand balancing and Acro Yoga in addition to Power Vinyasa Flow and ashtanga.
Most importantly, Andy remains a student first, to help his students find a practice that best fits their lifestyle. His continued study of anatomy, through Biology and both Thai and Therapeutic Massage, enables him to teach each student in a way that is unique to their own body. Andy regularly travels around the U.S., meeting with other yogis in order to learn and expand his personal practice.
Annie Yoder, RYT 500, is a yogi-musician who grew up in the hills of Holmes County. After spending a few years away for school and AmeriCorps, she found her way back to Wooster and intensified her yoga practice which started in 2006 during college. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training through Cleveland Yoga in May 2014, and her 300 HR Advanced Yoga Teacher Training (to complete her 500 HR training) in 2017 with Bodhi Yoga Academy. She also completed a Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Anne Ondrey in 2017. She has attended workshops with many amazing instructors including Irene Pappas, Mackenzie Kozlowski, Adrian McCavitt, Marie-Belle Perez-Rivera, Carson Clay Calhoun, Laura Kasperzak, and more. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Bluffton University and enjoys playing out and writing/recording whenever she can. She is excited about the opportunity of bringing her passions of yoga and music together in collaboration. She enjoys teaching a wide variety of classes from Hot Power Vinyasa Flow to Relaxation Yoga. Her classes blend together creativity of movement with mindful alignment and often many options to amplify or modify the practice. She believes in the power of community, and that everyBODY is unique. Connection and individuality in practice and movement are both important components to be celebrated. In her free time she enjoys hiking, trying new foods, and hanging out with her boyfriend, Jade, their two dogs Oscar and Luna, their one-eyed cat, Moxie, and their rescue Kitty-Key.
Brooke is a dynamic instructor who teaches BarreFLEX classes, Power Yogalates, and Pilates on the Ball at Flex Yoga. She has been teaching fitness classes for 11 years and is an ACE certified group fitness instructor. She was certified in Barre in 2014 and uses her extensive fitness knowledge to form creative and challenging classes to help her students gain strength and flexibility. She is currently enrolled in the Masters program at Ashland University for Exercise Science. Brooke has also practiced yoga and pilates for 10 years and was certified to teach PiYo in 2011. During the day she is a full time teacher at Wooster High School and mother of two wonderful boys who keep her on her toes!
Caitlin came to yoga in 2010, as a former college athlete looking for new ways to challenge her body. What she found in yoga, was a practice that went beyond the physical. Yoga has provided Caitlin a space to freely explore all aspects of herself; mind, body, and spirit. As a teacher, Caitlin empowers students to find their own space for self-discovery through invigorating, light-hearted flows that balance energizing movement with intentional restoration.
She completed her 200-hour teacher training through Flex Yoga Wooster in 2016. Off the mat, you can find Caitlin outside hiking, riding her bike, or enjoying downtown Wooster with her husband, James.
Chrissy, RYT 200, has been practicing yoga for nearly 10 years. She credits her practice with helping to maintain a healthy first pregnancy with twins and throughout a second pregnancy a year later. She believes that her yoga practice was instrumental in helping her body heal and bounce back postpartum and has continued to provide an outlet for dealing with the many emotional and physical demands of motherhood and pregnancy.
While she is passionate about leading expectant mothers in prenatal yoga classes, she also enjoys teaching beginner and vinyasa flow classes. In all of her classes, students can expect playful sequences of postures, emphasis on the breath and meditation and mindfulness techniques woven together to create a true mind, body experience.
When she is not teaching or practicing yoga, Chrissy is a full time special education teacher with an area school district. She enjoys cooking, taking walks with her family, spending time outdoors and reading.
Emily Moorefield Mariola
Emily Moorefield Mariola is the founder of Flex Yoga Wooster and is a certified Yoga Instructor through Amazing Yoga Studios of Pittsburg Pennsylvania, and a certified Aerial Yoga Instructor through the Destin Pilates Center in Florida. Emily also completed additional aerial training at the Boulder Circus Center with Aircat Aerial Arts. Emily took her first yoga class in 2004 and has been hooked ever since. Originally a competitive runner, Emily uses her understanding of competitive athletics and awareness of physical capabilities to enhance her yoga practice as well as her teaching.
Emily teaches a Power Vinyasa Flow style of yoga that integrates the physical poses (or asanas) with the breath (or pranayama) in a fluid and powerful way. Although many find a yoga practice to fulfill their exercise regime, Emily believes it is also the best supplement for the competitive athlete, those looking for “the edge”, and for those interested in restoring balance and flexibility in a more gentle practice. The emotional benefits of a consistent yoga practice can equal (and often exceed) the physical benefits of yoga, and the instructors at Flex Yoga are committed to carefully guide all students to work within their limits. Emily’s goal is that Flex Yoga can be a space where all people can find and experience the emotional and physical benefits of yoga. Very young to very old, very fit to not fit at all, yoga can bring softness, flexibility, balance and strength to the body and the mind.
With a strong commitment to continue and enhance her yoga education Emily has taken additional teacher trainings and workshops from some of the best yoga instructors in the country, including: Karen and Sean Conley, Kathryn Budig, Bryan Kest, and Doug Swenson.
A potter by trade, Emily has found yoga creeping into her art more and more these days. Emily and her husband Mike live on a farm just south of Wooster with their four free-range children: Ian, Vincy, Annie and Mia.
Jessica caught the yoga bug from hot power vinyasa flow classes. She has continued to develop her yoga practice both in the studio and with a daily practice at home. Yoga has brought Jessica a sense of ease within the efforts, while continuing to challenge her body. Jessica is a student of movement and has taught Pilates, strength training, sports conditioning, and studio cardio classes for the YMCA. She completed her RYT-200 hour training at Flex Yoga in 2016 and hopes to bring fire and energy to Flex’s classes. When she’s not on the mat, Jessica works as a speech therapist and takes care of her son, daughter, husband, and Bernese Mountain Dog.
Joy started taking Barre and any other class she could fit into her schedule at Flex Yoga Fall of 2014. She fell in love with barre for its fun cardio and strengthening. This combined with the other yoga classes brought back much needed flexibility and was a natural stress reliever. This is one of the reasons Joy decided to take the Barre teacher training in 2015 so she could share this with others. When she is not teaching barre or taking another awesome class that Flex offers, Joy works as an RN analyst at Wooster Community Hospital, raises three kids and is very involved in all of their activities. She is also an avid baker, cook, and maker of delicious homemade jams!
Justine Hitchcock, RYT 200 and certified health coach, first came to yoga when she was pregnant with her second child seeking ways to strengthen her body and mind for a healthy labor and delivery. Though yoga did give her that incredible blessing, it was just a small tip of the yoga-iceberg. Yoga inspires her to live more mindfully and to truly love ALL the parts that make her uniquely who she is, even the parts that no one claps for. This is what she wants to help other’s see, the self-realization that they have all that they are desiring within their own Self. Yoga has helped her remake how she looks at things, and this remaking of her thoughts has remade her reality – it is not perfect, but it is perfectly imperfect if you know what I mean.
As a teacher, Justine will help her student’s get out of their headspace and into their SELF – All the magic happens there. She does love to get inverted and arm balance, so her classes will have plenty of options for things of that sort.
Off the mat you will find Justine chasing around two small children and one BIG CHILD (insert husband)… Oh and three crazy dogs! She loves cooking, moving her body and surrounding herself with people who make her stomach hurt from laughing.
Karen has always loved fitness and finding new ways to stay active. She was introduced to Flex Yoga in the fall of 2014 and immediately fell in love with the beautiful studio, welcoming atmosphere, and friendly faces. Karen enjoys all of the yoga classes Flex offers, but remains partial to the Barre classes, so much so, she completed her Barre teacher training in 2015. She enjoys the challenge of this total body workout using light weights to sculpt, repetitive moves to tone, while increasing flexibility, and engaging the core throughout the entire class.
Karen is a life-long athlete and long-time fitness instructor who came to yoga hesitantly after years of being swept up in the “no pain, no gain” mentality of much of the fitness world. Looking for a place of grounding and authenticity, she gave yoga a try and was hooked after her first class. She studied under Marianne Wells, completed her 200hr teacher training in Costa Rica, and is registered with Yoga Alliance.
Kate came to yoga 20 years ago, initially seeking to gain strength and flexibility. As her journey progressed, she found it positively impacting all areas of her life, both on and off the mat. Her regular practice helped her battle anxiety and stress, shaping her into a more mindful person.
As a teacher, Kate’s passion is to guide others in discovering how yoga can positively change their life. In her classes, she links breath with movement through creative sequencing, while encouraging students to find their personal edge. Students will leave her classes feeling physically and mentally refreshed, centered, and open. Kate is also the Corporate Yoga Program Manager at Flex. She brings yoga into businesses teaching classes to employees as part of their Corporate Wellness Programs. She is inspired to lead them on a yoga journey to help reduce stress and increase their productivity in their corporate lives.
Off the mat, Kate loves traveling to adventurous places and creating in the kitchen. On the weekends, you can find Kate with her husband Josh, cheering on their children, Chloe and Jack at the soccer field.
She completed the 200 hour RYT training at Flex Yoga Wooster in 2016 and is extremely grateful to the other instructors at the studio for the wisdom they continuously impart into her practice
Kendall is a yogini hailing from Jacksonville, Florida. She is currently pursuing her Bachelors of Science in nursing though Kent State University. Her yoga journey began 8 years ago when she stumbled across a dusty ‘Yoga for Beginners’ book while shelving books her senior year of high school.
Kendall received her 200 and 500 hr RYT in Hatha style yoga, focusing in yoga therapy. She completed her teacher trainings consecutively through a yoga school that has since been absorbed by the Cleveland Clinic. She has experience with Chakra work, essential oils, reflexology and her master level Reiki attainment.
She hopes to bring the bliss of yoga to everyone she practices with. She wishes to continue to promote yoga’s myriad benefits of health, psychological balance and overall wellbeing.
Kendall currently lives tucked in the hills of Amish Country with her plants, her felines and a rather small, mouthy dog.
Kristen has been practicing yoga for close to 3 years, beginning her journey in a heated power vinyasa style studio. She is currently finishing up her 200 – hour RYT at Yoga Strong Studio in Jackson Ohio. In her time off her mat she can either be found behind the chair as a licensed cosmetologist of over 15 years or raising her two little men Will and Ben. Practicing yoga has had a profound effect on Kirsten’s life and she can’t wait to share her love for the practice with all of you.
Margaret is a vibrant instructor who currently teaches Barre and Yogalates classes at Flex Yoga. She has been teaching fitness classes since 2015. She was certified in Barre in 2015 and Power Vinyasa Yoga in 2016. Margaret began dancing when she was in 6th grade and continued until the end of college in 2013. She began taking classes at Flex Yoga in 2014 and fell in love with the studio. She loves using her dance background and love of yoga to create challenging classes to help her students gain strength and flexibility. During the day she is a full time math teacher at West Holmes High School.
Rachel loves teaching beginner students, and uses breathing techniques, music, and energizing sequences to make each class unique. In addition to her job working as Health Education Coordinator at the College of Wooster, she likes spending time with family and friends, exercising, and reading about wellness.
Rachel is a full time cosmetologist at Kaleidoscope Salon as well as an Independent Scentsy Consultant. Rachel began attending classes at Flex Yoga in the Fall of 2014 and she instantly fell in love with the barre program. She then completed her Barre teacher training in 2015. In her free time, Rachel enjoys working out, running 5Ks, playing softball, and playing with her American Bulldog Kila (Key-la).
Rhiannon started yoga in 2014 while training for a half marathon. She began to intensify her practice in January of 2015 and was hooked. She is an Art/Gym teacher who has a passion for making pottery. She loves her handsome, bmx riding husband and together they rule the world. People call her Rhino after, in 7th grade, her name was input to a microsoft word document and was autocorrected to “rhinoceros”. If it isn’t already evident from her bio, she is fun, bubbly, and her classes are exciting and engaging as you discover new things on your mat!
Rosanna has a background in massage therapy and is a mother of 2. After practicing yoga at home for 3 years she decided to deepen her practice at Flex Yoga in 2014 and hasn’t looked back. She completed her Aerial Yoga teacher training in 2016 and first 100 hour Yoga Teacher Training the same year. She has a passion for kids yoga, from kids aerial to toddler yoga. She volunteers on a regular basis for her daughter’s school hoping to reach as many kids as possible, giving them the tools that yoga has to offer to manage stress and live in balance.
Ruth first came to yoga as a marathon runner looking to increase her physical agility and personal edge. Ruth’s regular yoga practice began to foster mindfulness and body awareness that deepened her self-love and love for others.
Ruth is trained in Power Vinyasa Flow and received her RYT 200 hour Yoga Teaching Certificate from Flex Yoga Wooster in 2016. Her classes are structured around the specific needs of athletes, incorporating both challenging and restorative flows linked with breath. Ruth encourages her students to find inner peace and self-love, both on and off their mat.
As a lifelong learner, she is currently a student at the University of Akron, working towards her degree in exercise science. When she is not practicing yoga or training for a marathon, you can find Ruth with her husband Gary and 10 year old daughter, Catarina. Ruth lives with her family just outside Wooster, Ohio.
Stephanie grew up in Holmes County but has lived in the Wooster area for almost 10 years. She started doing yoga in 2009. She first came to Flex in 2015 and fell in love with the variety of classes, the instructors and the community. She became certified as a Barre instructor in 2017 through Flex Yoga and is excited to be a part of the Flex team as a Barre teacher! Stephanie is married and is the proud mother of a doggie named Bridgette and a kitty named Ivy. In her spare time she loves to travel, cook, garden and have outdoor adventures like skiing or backpacking with her husband, Ben.
Terri is an Xray Technician at the Cleveland Clinic here in Wooster OH. She began her yoga practice 12 years ago by diving into Baron Baptiste’s “Yoga at Home”. With the help of a friend she began attending classes and has been hooked ever since. She completed her teacher training at The Yoga Place in Canton in July 2015.