Our Studio Teachers
Yoga, Breathing & Meditation Instructor
Since 2003, teaching with a healing intention as therapeutic movement, breathing and meditation instructor; John's yoga classes focus on athletic training and personal improvement, as well as injury and illness support. From early on, John's instruction has assisted participants with scoliosis, post traumatic stress, TBI, stroke, rehabilitation programs, and respiratory difficulties. Back pain issues have always been a factor in exercise approaches, and as need has grown, stress relief has become a major concern.
In 2015, John opened the first dedicated yoga studio in Amherst County, Mindful Mountain Yoga, to offer a daily selection of classes from several teachers.
The studio reaches into the community to work with local elementary schools, offering yoga classes to Depaul Community Services for their intellectually disabled adult day support facility, and with local employers interested in an employee wellness program.
John’s teaching experience includes developing a yoga teacher training program (30 weeks) offering a 200 hour certification as a qualified yoga teacher. The first class graduated in 2017.
Past instruction includes yoga and meditation classes at Center of Gravity in Lexington, VA. at The Yoga Center, Roanoke, VA, at the YMCA’s in Lexington, VA and Lynchburg, VA, and teaching yoga for Amherst County, VA, Parks & Rec.
Before moving to Virginia in 2010, John was proprietor of a small studio, Yoga On Main, started in 2003 in Mt Kisco, NY; and gave yoga instruction at the VA Hospital in Montrose, NY in 2006.
John has graduated from an accredited, year long, 200 hour certified yoga teacher training at The Breathing Project, in NYC. To better understand many life situations that people bring into yoga class, he worked 4 years as rehab assistant both with in-hospital and outpatient physical therapy, 4 years as ICU nursing assistant and hospital support for patients with mental health challenges including suicide ideation, addiction withdrawal, and dementias. John studied at CVCC's 2 year Respiratory Therapy program and 1 year EMT certification.
Twenty five years ago, John practiced weekly sitting meditation and participated in several week-long meditation retreats at Chung Yen Monastery, Carmel, NY. That was also when he trained several years as a marathon runner, finishing ahead of 30,000 other runners in the NYC Marathon, in both 1997 and 1998.
John's interest in Oriental energy practices led to a year long Qi Gong instruction from Daria Fain (a senior student of Mantak Chia, spiritual healer and Tai Chi master) in 2005; and in 2004, also completing a Reiki level 1 healing certification.
John continues to learn as he teaches an understanding of body and mind through movement and mindfulness to promote personal health.
TAI CHI and QIGONG Instructor, Yoga Teacher
Tim began his journey studying holistic and oriental philosophies in 1992. Meditation and yoga practice led him into applied healing arts in 1998. After 6 years as a Certified Massage Therapist and serving as instructor at Natural Touch Therapies and School of Massage, Tim studied traditional indigenous healing with Rev. Bo "Running Medicine Wolf" Pagans. Tim offers Tai Chi / QiGong and yoga classes at Mindful Mountain Yoga. He also offers private instruction and offers individual massage and holistic bodywork at our studio.
Yoga Teacher, Healing advocate
Azalea is a 200RYT, receiving her 200hr certification in “OM Yoga” an alignment based vinyasa, combined with mindful meditation. She received special training in prenatal yoga under Bec Contant of “OM Births.” The training focused on helping women develop strength, flexibility and confidence throughout their pregnancy and postpartum.
Azalea is also a trained doula, training in Roanoke, VA at “Life’s Little Blessings Birth Center.”
Azalea’s interest in connecting with and assisting women in the journey of motherhood stems from her own journey as a mother of two. She has felt and observed the need for easier access to holistic mindful care for the mother’s body, soul, and mind.
Azalea’s passion for the connection of movement and consciousness is a lifelong journey beginning with dance and branching naturally into Yoga. While studying to receive a BA in English at VCU in Richmond, VA, she spent all her elective hours in the dance department to learn from amazing teachers in Modern Dance, Ballet, Yoga, Meditation, Improvisation, and Contact Improvisation.
She currently resides with her two young children in Lynchburg, VA. In addition to teaching Yoga, Azalea also homeschools her son and runs her internet brand WayCrunchy, that advocates for “Healing Through Radical Vulnerability.”
Yoga Teacher, Mental Health Advocate
Jessica became a Registered OM Yoga Teacher in 2017 and has been practicing yoga for mental health since she was a teenager. Jessica works as a Qualified Mental Health Professional for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Teaching yoga as a way to help people discover their basic goodness and strength within their own healing, Jessica’s practice is deeply rooted in the Iyengar linage of Hatha yoga, loving kindness meditation, and Eastern philosophy. Positive mental health practices are often woven into her classes. And there is plenty of room for creativity and a sense of humor is a bonus.
”I like the slow flow of sustainable yoga practice as a gentle approach to movement medicine. I want people to do yoga at any age, each person creating a better self to help build a better world. There is only one rule, you cannot be perfect to attend my classes, privates, workshops, or sessions.”
Yoga Teacher (currently on Walkabout and working with Unity Church)
Bonnie M Black recently graduated as a 200 hour Certified Yoga Teacher from Mindful Mindful Yoga in Amherst VA. Her personal meditation practice reaches back to 1975. She enjoys teaching therapeutic benefits to group classes and individual private classes.
With 18 years experience as a Physical Therapist Assistant, Bonnie also worked with Outpatient Orthopedic and Aquatic Rehabilitation, and Long Term Care and Vestibular Rehab. She received the VA Physical Therapy Association’s Award for Outstanding PTA and the PTA Recognition of Advanced Proficiency from the American Physical Therapy Association in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation.
Bonnie has been a Clinical Instructor for the Jefferson College of Health Sciences and provided Aquatic training for both Lynchburg College and Liberty University Athletic. She presented at the Athletic Training Symposium at Lynchburg College in April, 2014. Bonnie received her PTA degree from Jefferson College of Health Sciences, and graduated from College of Idaho with a BA in Psychology and Art.
Formerly a dance teacher for Floyd Ward Dance Studios, she danced with Sacred Dance Ensemble of Lynchburg, VA for 9 years assisting with Choreography, and was a member of Sacred Dance Guild...
African and Caribbean Percussion Teacher
Malcolm teaches percussion with a variety of instruments, predominantly African djembe and Latin conga drums, emphasizing rhythm, technique, and timing.
Born in the heart of Brooklyn, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Malcolm picked up his drum sticks with the Carter Cadets Drum & Bugle Corp at age 13, and later he was a percussive marching member of The Riversiders, a Brooklyn drum and bugle corp. In NYC he learned African drumming in street workshops from master Babatunde Olatudge and in sessions at the Jazz Mobiles in Central Park and Spanish Harlem, taught by such Latin Jazz legends as Willie Bobo and Niki Morero. After completing studies at Ithica College, Malcolm began military service in Korea, involved in military drumming in Change of Command Ceremonies. After military service, Malcolm moved to Lynchburg, VA, where he played percussion with Unity Band (rhythm and blues), Charlie Walker Band (jazz), Lew Taylor's Jazmine Band, Carol Austin and Sound of Harmony (gospel), and Judy Watkins Infinite Praise Mass Choir. He has also played in the musicals Cats, Evita, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Miserables with the Lynchburg Orchestra's Pop Symphony. He has provided percussive support for dance classes at Randolph College and Virginia School of the Arts, and for dance instructors Chuck Davis and his African Dance Troupe, Keith Lee, Marilyn Banks, Ken Boyd, Michael Hicks, and Jeff Moen, to name a few. As the Dance Theatre of Lynchburg formed, Malcolm joined in its mission and served as the Dance Theatre's musical director. Recently, he continued musical instruction at the Dance Theatre of Lynchburg and accompanies their Modern Jazz and Afro-Caribbean classes, as well as traveling with Dance Theater's Youth Dance Ensemble on Lecture-Demonstrations and holding percussion workshops in community centers.