Kerianne Sidoti, E-RYT 200, YACEP
Big Heart Yoga LLC
I believe that everyone can benefit from yoga, but having the open mind to try something new often takes more time, and guts, than we think. After thinking about trying yoga for many years, a stressful job brought me to a mat for the first time. Since then I have learned that the physical aspect of yoga is just the tip of the iceberg. I've been able to skip my doctor recommended orthotics. I no longer "throw my back out". I no longer "ache". I've learned to actually use my core and I've improved my posture. My entire life is better, I'm healthier, I'm happier, I'm leaner and I feel amazing.
Yoga shouldn’t be scary. I often struggle with asanas (poses), there are many that I love, there are many that I don't, there are many that have changed drastically for me over the years of my practice. The most common things I hear for reasons that people don't try yoga are "I'll try that when I lose weight" or "I'm not flexible enough". The only obstacle in your path is you! I've learned a few things about which asanas are beneficial to me as a larger woman...and which ones are just plain frustrating and don't serve me well. I like to share what I've learned about individual asanas, modifications and the power of breath.
- To honor my body
- To embrace mindfulness
- How to relax
- How to move
- How to breathe
- How to observe
- How to listen
- That crazy looking poses are just that
- That a minor adjustment or breath adaptation can completely change the difficulty of a pose
- Some things can be extremely hard, and more than worth their efforts
My classes are open and informal and focus on breath centered movement, safe and healthy alignment, mindfulness and letting go. I enjoy teaching classes in several different styles, including Yin, Restorative and a Viniyoga inspired class I like to call "Yoga Foundations".
I began studying with Certified Viniyoga Therapist, Dawn Miller, C-IAYT in 2013. In the summer of 2017, I completed my 200 Hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Training at Sewall House Yoga Retreat in Island Falls, Maine with Donna (Amrita) Davidge (500 Hr E-RYT). Donna shared her very diverse knowledge from teaching yoga in New York City and northern Maine for over 30 years, learning from many teachers, including Yogi Bhajan, Dharma Mittra, Eddie Stern, Genny Kapuler and Judith Lasater. In 2019, I completed the 20 hour Pelvic Floor Yoga™ teacher training with Leslie Howard.
Donna Ralston, RYT
I received my first Reiki Treatment in 1997, which would change my life forever! In 2008, I had the opportunity through Reiki Rays of Hope and the Alzheimer's Foundation to take Reiki I. This course was offered to caregivers and their families to bring relief to loved ones suffering from Alzheimer's, a disease my father suffered from. The Reiki treatments were comforting to both of us. For my Dad, it brought a sense of quiet, calm, and peace; I too received peace in helping bring him the comfort and dignity he deserved. I continued my education through Lakeland Community College, becoming a Reiki Master in the fall of 2009. I established Earth's Elements Reiki in 2012 and began teaching Usui Reiki in the spring of 2012. I would continue my Reiki journey, and in August of 2013, I completed my Karuna Reiki training, adding another layer of personal growth as well as qualifying me to both practice and teach Karuna Reiki. While working with the energy of Karuna Reiki, I was introduced almost simultaneously to the healing modality of Integrative Energy Therapy (IET), successfully completing the basic study of IET and eventually becoming a Master Instructor in 2016. During my entire Reiki journey, Yoga became extremely important in my life. I started a regular practice in 2006 and became a serious student of Yoga in 2010. Both the Healing Modality of Reiki and the personal practice of Yoga have been extremely important in my life.
In June of 2018, I met Indian Saint Amma Sri Karunamayi. Through her inspiration, I began my journey of becoming a Yoga instructor.
My dream has become a reality, as I have recently been fortunate enough to marry my two passions, teaching a class that includes both Yoga and Reiki! I look forward to continued work in both modalities as a Yoga Instructor and a Healing Arts Practitioner and Instructor and finding ways to unite these two wonderful paths!
Drew Stamm, RYT
I discovered yoga in 2010 during a challenging time at work. Yoga class initially provided an outlet to reset and work through the stress of a demanding workplace. As my practice deepened I wanted to further understand the mind-body connection and how a yoga class sequence was put together. I began taking a variety of classes and exploring other facets to yoga besides the physical practice. As my understanding of yoga deepened I slowly realized that I should attend teacher training and eventually share my practice through teaching. I completed by 200 Hour YTT in 2018 through the Five Winds Yoga Teacher Training Program led by Dawn Miller, a certified yoga therapist.
I have really enjoyed taking the practice of yoga off the mat and applying it in my personal and professional life. Outside of yoga I work at Lincoln Electric as an Engineering Group Leader here in Euclid. I am an excited new first-time dad since our son was born in July!
Growing up I was a dedicated martial artist, studying and teaching Kung Fu for over 8 years. Yoga has been a great outlet to channel a similar physical practice, without the wear and tear on the body, and with additional mental and emotional benefits.
I am excited to be a part of the Big Heart Yoga community and will strive to teach an authentic, energizing, and considerate practice.
Jaimee Davis, RYT
I am a certified yoga teacher, Usui Reiki Master, and Karuna Reiki Master. I completed my 200-hour yoga certification with the Ananda Bhakti Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program in 2016. Since then, I've done additional training in working with large-bodied yogins, restorative yoga, chair yoga, the Roll Model Method of myosfascial release, and trauma-informed teaching.
I first tried yoga at a class that was way too hard for me at the time. I later realized this is a wonderful thing about yoga: there are teachers and classes for everyone!! Yoga has been a huge factor in helping me to work through stress, to develop a relationship with my body, and to be completely amazed at how incredible the human body is. It has helped me be more aware of my blood sugar (I'm a diabetic), and I've helped myself out of back pain, sciatic pain, and I no longer have issues with plantar fasciitis in my feet.
I intend for my classes to feel safe and accessible, with choices in how to express and feel the poses. I focus on developing awareness of your body, including finding safe alignment at a slower pace and rediscovering your own inner strength that already resides within each of us. I look forward to being a yogin like you on our mats together!
Yoga first came into my life when I was in my early teens and began taking classes at a community gym. Having never been particularly athletic, I initially loved the feeling that I could build strength and promote flexibility in my body. Over time, a yoga practice has helped me to let go of some debilitating perfectionistic tendencies and to increasingly accept myself and others. Hip opening postures are both my favorite and least favorite postures to practice because they encourage me to relax both my body and my ego, especially when I compare my body or my pose to that of my neighbor. A dear teacher once said, “We are playing on our mats, not performing on our mats.” I am encouraged to continue with my yoga practice when I remember that I can have fun, breathe, surrender to the moment, and send love towards myself and others, even on difficult days when it feels as if a physical practice is impossible. I hope to be able to share the practice of yoga with individuals who think that they could never do yoga. I hope to be able to guide others towards cultivating a sense of playfulness, exploration, and acceptance in their practices. Namaste!