Meet the Joyful Co-Owners
Anita Baran Sykes, E-RYT200
- Medical Reiki™ Master
- Thai Yoga Bodyworker
- AromaTouch® Practitioner
- doTerra Wellness Advocate
Certified ACA Stand Up Paddleboard-Yoga Endorsed Instructor
“Step into life and have fun. It’s the journey, not the destination that matters.” Looking for an alternative form of exercise with less impact, she found yoga in 2001. She had an “AhHA” moment with consistent practice. She noticed positive changes for her overall well-being. She firmly believes yoga is a “fix” for anything that ails you. “Yoga guided me thru two pregnancies and prepared me for “mommy-hood”, helped me recover from knee surgery and a low back injury.” “I’m passionate about teaching how-to incorporate self-healing methods into your life, with nurturing patience and compassion. We have to learn how to take care of ourselves before we can begin to effectively take care of others and learn to take baby steps on our journey of growth and healing”. On her own path she embraced energy medicine and body work with therapeutic essential oils as absolute compliments to her teaching and her own practice. She is passionate and believes in making people better through the healing powers of the human touch. She works with clients one-on-one providing gentle touch of hands-on Reiki and Thai Yoga therapy incorporating essential oils to help them along their health and wellness path during periods of recovery or preventative care. She empowers her clients to “dive-in” on a nurturing self-exploratory practice with compassion and patience. “Life is the practice of balance and grace.”
Charla Lewis, E-RYT200, RYT500 Yoga Therapy
- Ayurveda Wellness Consultant
- Hatha Gong Master
- Reiki Master Practitioner
- International Ballet Barre Fitness Association Certified
Charla started practicing yoga in 2000 and was hooked immediately! Her daughters noticed how it affected her and would say “Mom, go to yoga!” Upon the realization that it was transformational not only physically but mentally, she embraced it even more. Upon moving to Phoenix and having the time, she was now intent on following her dream to share her love of yoga. Having previously been an elementary school teacher, she wanted to pursue teacher training to combine these two passions and began her teaching journey at Inner Vision Yoga in September of 2011, finishing the 200 hour program in January of 2012. She immediately enrolled in a Master Program of Healing Emphasis Yoga, finishing in December, 2013. Her yoga philosophy is the breath, posture, and patience. She loves to learn and to impart that knowledge to her students, emphasizing those principles. Her love of learning led her to study Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, through the Maharishi Ayurveda Association of America to compliment her healing emphasis. She specializes in TRE or Trauma Release Exercises developed by David Berceli, PhD, as well as postural work using the Egoscue Method. She incorporates the gong and crystal bowls into her yoga classes for a vibrational healing experience and can do one-on-one vibrational healing sessions! She is also a Reiki Master and sends love and healing in all of her classes. Charla studied ballet from age 5 to 20 and has loved returning to the Barre! She has found it to be a wonderful compliment to yoga and loves teaching Barre! She spends her summers in Wildwood, NJ helping her parents manage their seasonal business at the Jersey Shore and teaching Yoga on the Beach!
Our fabulous Front Desk Staff
They are here to welcome you with a warm smile, answer any questions, and help make your experience a memorable one!
Our Wonderful Teachers
Joyful Yoga is abundantly grateful to have attracted an amazing variety of teachers that each bring their style, yogic traditions, and approach to connecting with each student. You can expect professional, knowledgeable, nurturing teachers in all of our classes. Regardless of our teachers background and influences we all share the same motto; come as you are with your body as-is, there is no “too inflexible”, “too out of shape”, “too big”, “too small” “too uncoordinated”…you get the point. Our teachers are here to help you connect you with your goals and help you morph into the person you are meant to be.
Please take some time to see what our teachers have to offer, or better yet, get to their classes to meet them in person!
A big shout out and thanks to Carrie Ragsdale for all of our amazing head shots.
Ana Rinderer, RYT200
Ana is a Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher. She has been teaching since 2003 and practicing for over 15 years. Ana’s love for yoga, the benefits of the asana (poses) and pranayama (breath), motivated her earn her 200 hr teacher certification. She continues to study every opportunity that she has, by attending yoga conferences and yoga workshops. Her annual Costa Rica yoga retreat is her favorite time where her students can practice surrounded by the natural beauty this magnificent country has to offer. Ana was born and raised in Costa Rica where she studied at the Costa Rica university (UCR) then continue her studies in New York university (NYU).
Carolina Daley, RYT500
Carolina walked into a yoga class with the intention of stretching a hurt lower back, and left with her spirit soaring, feeling like she was floating on air. That was the start of an ongoing and ever deepening journey, inward and outward. Yoga has brought her so many beautiful friendships and opened so many doors that she has become grateful for the injury that led her to take that first step into class. Somebody once said, “Follow your bliss,” and that is what she has done. That first class led her to the 200 hour Teacher Training at Inner Vision Yoga, and then on to their 500 hour Master certification. She is still following her bliss, and the more she learns about Yoga, the more joy and wonder comes into her life. When she teaches, her hope is that this joy will flow into her students so they too can float out of class.
Ann Townsend-Zhu RYT 200
Yoga has always been part of Ann’s life. Ann did yoga alongside her mother as a small child and just assumed everyone else knew how awesome yoga was! Becoming a yoga teacher was always a life goal and an easy choice given that her “day job” is being an Art Teacher. Ann loves practicing all styles of yoga and appreciates all of the unique ways each style can enhance the lives of the practitioners. Ann was trained directly under Bizzie Gold, celebrity fitness instructor and creator of Buti yoga.
Maria Coca, RYT200 – Substitute
Maria used to think yoga was for the flexible, vegetarian, yuppies. Clearly not for her! Until one day she decided to take a class. Little did she know, on that day, she would fall head-over-heels for yoga! Soon after, Maria enrolled in the 200 hour Teacher Training program at Inner Vision. Her yoga journey had begun…in a short time her mind expanded, her body healed, and her soul thrived as it had not ever before. She took to yoga as she does everything else…with PASSION!
“Do everything with passion, or not at all; wherever you go, go with all your heart” NAMASTE!
Donna Von Wyk, RYT 200 and Barre Certified Instructor
Donna, an outdoor enthusiast who grew up in South Africa, has been interested in a colorful array of sports and activities throughout her life. From rock climbing, to kayak polo, martial arts and yoga, she’s truly ran the gamut with some interesting experiences. 10 years ago when Donna began her personal yoga practice, she never imaged she would one day become a yoga and BARRE instructor. But here she is today sharing her passion for life through her teaching.
Donna’s classes are centered around a theme with a flow that is guided by the breath. She often introduces new, fun poses to her students. Her classes leave room for organic movement, while at the same time being creatively challenging. Her training in Sadie Nardini’s Core Strength Vinyasa brings attention to alignment and moving in a way that is less compressive on joints and the spine. However, she offers up modifications for students of all levels and, in this way, encourages students to learn to love and appreciate their bodies and themselves, flying to new altitudes.
Cindy Rogers & Piper, RYT200 – Substitute Teacher
Yoga found Cindy in 2005 quite by accident. She thought yoga was practiced by “pretzel peace people” and this was certainly NOT for her! Throughout her first month of yoga she realized that the practice of yoga for her was life changing. In 2009 she received her 200Hr RYT and has been teaching since her certification. Her life’s journey had been filled with challenges and nearly insurmountable obstacles. Cindy battled the demons of addiction: anorexia, alcoholism, & drugs. Fortunately & proudly she has been in “post recovery” for several years and she credits her yoga practice as one of her most miraculous saving graces. “For the first time in my life I feel comfortable inside of my own body” Cindy will tell you as she shares with you her passion for yoga and for life. Her class, Four Senses Yoga, is a unique experience for those who come to practice. Everyone who attends is blindfolded except for Cindy & her assistant. This is because she is blind & her Seeing Eye dog, Piper, is always by her side. Piper & I are thrilled to be a part of the Joyful Yoga family! I am humbled & honored to become a part of your Yoga journey. I am amazed and awed by each person’s courage to explore and enrich the path of life through Yoga. I am more certain with each class that Yoga and Four Senses Yoga are a pathway to explore a deeper understanding and awareness of what lies within one’s heart & soul. Peace & Namaste.
Jennie Yingling, RYT500 and Certified Mat Pilates, TRX and Barre Instructor
Jennie has been practicing yoga for the last 20 years and teaching it for the past 10. Her strong love of yoga helped motivate her to complete her 200 hour yoga teacher certification in 2004 in San Diego, and then finish with her 300 hour certification in 2008, through Inner Vision Yoga in Chandler, AZ. Jennie holds multiple certifications. Shortly after completing her yoga certification she enrolled in a Pilates workshop and obtained her certification in Pilates. Yoga and Pilates are the perfect compliment to each other. With her Pilates practice she noticed a significant improvement in her core strength which in turn promoted a healthy stronger back. She believes the two forms of exercise provide the perfect balance to a happier, healthier body and mind. She has studied a wide variety of yoga and taken workshops from many well known Master yoga teachers from all over the world. Taking what she has learned from these teachers, along with her own experiences & a dance background, she incorporates a mixture of styles & flow into her teaching. Teaching all levels and all varieties of yoga, some of which include gentle/restorative yoga, yin yoga, vinyasa “flow” yoga, Ashtanga yoga, and kid’s yoga, Jennie’s classes emphasize building strength, concentration, grace and finding that connection of body, breath and mind. She feels yoga is not just a form of exercise, but a way of life. She is also certified in pre-natal, post-natal yoga.
Sara Chesterfield, ERYT200, RYT500
Sara embraced yoga to relieve back pain, while healing physically, she discovered the inner peace, balance and gratitude with each practice. Sara inspires her students to discover their own inner peace and joy on and off the mat using pranayama, therapeutic alignment and awareness. For 22 years Sara worked as a school counselor helping homeless and refugee students connect with the peace , love and harmony within themselves. Aligning peace and grace with movement and breath is her focus.
Sara Gordon, RYT500 – Substitute Yoga Teacher
Sara loves yoga! She went to her first class expecting to get a workout and left with not only that but a better understanding of herself and has been practicing passionately ever since. Sara completed both her 200 and 300 hour master certification at Inner Vision yoga, she is also a certified Pilates instructor, Reiki Master and practices Thai yoga massage. In her classes she incorporates many styles of yoga including yin, Ashtanga, and vinyasa flow helping balance effort with ease, strengthening with stretching and breath with movement together in a fluid like flow encouraging students to find their own unique rhythm moving and breathing in a meditative way to help connect with that inner intuitive nature within us all that has the power to transform our lives!
MaryLynn Lobello, RYT200 – Substitute Yoga Teacher
Mary Lynn was a member of the American Chamber Ballet before discovering the yogic arts. In the 80’s she delved into the practice of meditation and in the 90’s began yoga asana training. In 2007 she completed her initial teacher’s training in Hatha yoga and is further informed by over 300 hours of continuing education in Prana Flow, Kundalini, and Core Strength Vinyasa. Mary Lynn’s instruction reflects the synthesis of all she has learned from yoga both on and off the mat. “Yoga is the perfect marriage of meditation and movement.” Sharing her passion for yoga is one of her life’s greatest joys. Previously she operated her own yoga studio in Columbus, GA, and has taught English at Columbia College and Arizona State University.
Tracy Buresh, RYT200, Certified TRX and Barre Instructor
Tracy has always been in activities ranging from dance to tae kwon do, but did not find her true calling until discovering yoga. This realization ignited Tracy’s passion and propelled her forward to pursue getting certified, not only to deepen her own practice, but to share this experience with others. Tracy now holds a 200 hour certification and is a registered member of Yoga Alliance. She loves teaching classes that cultivate strength with stretch in a Hatha style flow, but is also a firm believer that restorative classes help to add balance to today’s hectic, stress-filled, technology heavy world. She has since delved further into the fitness industry and now teaches Barre Fitness, TRX Suspension Training and Pilates as well. Her other favorite ways to unplug include golf, stand up paddle board, hiking, camping and snowboarding.
Certified Pilates & TRXpress Instructors
Kelly Jones, Mat Pilates & Barre Instructor
Kelly is a certified personal trainer and health coach specializing in core strength and mat Pilates. She has worked in the health and fitness industry for 10 years and believes a balance of strength and flexibility is key to looking and feeling great. Thus, she has made a fulfilling career out of helping others obtain and maintain a healthy body that stems from a balanced core. Kelly’s classes focus on, stability, flexibility, and strength using body weight and light weights. If you sit for most of the day, recently had a baby, stand for long periods of time, or suffer from any postural discomfort – come try a mat Pilates or Barre class to alleviate your aches and strengthen your core! You can achieve a healthy body!
Kimra discovered the incredible benefits of Pilates after years of living with a misaligned pelvis after breaking her sacrum as a kid. Amazed by the results of incorporating Pilates into her active lifestyle she grew passionate about sharing her success with others. Healthy living and wellness have always been a priority in her life and her passion is to share that with others.
Kimra is married and the mother of two active teenage boys. She has always enjoyed physical fitness and stays active by hiking, biking, running, walking, yoga and Pilates. She loves being an instructor because assisting clients in achieving their fitness/wellness goals is the most rewarding gift of all!
Her knowledge along with her patience and cheerful encouragement she is known for her abs challenging workouts all the while having fun! Her approach to Pilates is exercise and body work as a healing dynamic workout. On a daily basis Kimra is inspired by the changes she sees in her clients bodies and feels extremely grateful to be able to share her passion of Pilates with all of her wonderful clients!
Power Pilates Mat/Reformer comprehensive training – 2007-2010
Pilates Method Alliance Certified – 2013
Taylor Paskell, Mat Pilates
Taylor played collegiate golf at Illinois Wesleyan and took up Pilates in 2005 to help with her golf game and reduce back pain. Graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, Taylor finds that Pilates is a great way to build on OT principles and develop a healthy body from the inside out. She also believes that while each Pilates class is unique, they all strive to enhance body awareness, increase mental focus, improve posture, and develop long lean muscles to assist in athletic activities and improve quality of life for people of all abilities. Taylor received her Pilates mat training from Rene A. Brackney in 2011 and enjoys teaching Pilates in addition to her full-time job as an Occupational Therapist in the Valley.
Amanda Krueger, TRX Instructor
Amanda was introduced to TRXpress in 2012 when she began taking group exercise classes, and she immediately fell in love with it. She became certified through AFAA for group exercise in February of 2014, and was thrilled to get the opportunity to teach TRX at Joyful Yoga. She has always had a love for fitness and nutrition, and graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelors in Dietetics. She greatly enjoys teaching and helping others to achieve their fitness goals.
Certified Pound Fitness Instructor
Robyn may look familiar as she has been one of our desk staff since May 2014. She was so excited after her first Pound Class that she decided to get trained to teach it herself! She is our Pound Pro Instructor and is ready to get you all up and moving!
Chelsey is an avid cyclist. She enjoys mountain biking all over South Mountain and rides her road bike all over the valley. Chelsey fell in love with Pound right away and is now a Pound Fitness instructor! Chelsey is a full time student at ASU and is also a working actress with Ford Agency. She brings her positive attitude with her to class and spreads her joy for life to her students. With her crazy hectic schedule, Pound is her therapy!
Certified Zumba® Instructors
Meredith took her first Zumba class in 2006, and fell in love! She received her Zumba license in July 2007 and her AFAA Group Fitness certification in May 2012. Outside her love for dance/fitness, Meredith’s passion is education. She has a Masters degree in Special Education and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Arizona State University. Her current position, as a Title I program facilitator, gives her an opportunity to support students by coordinating school-wide, systematic intervention programs and community/parent engagement.
Miranda took her first Zumba class in 2010 and it was love at first booty shake. She became a licensed Zumba Fitness instructor in 2012 and is always excited to introduce others to the fitness class that made her love exercise (and neon-colored everything)! In 2015 she received her AFAA Group Exercise Instructor certification. Miranda has a BS in Psychology from Arizona State University and works for a non-profit research organization that is part of the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU. She also works as a Personal Stylist/Fashion Consultant in her spare time, having received her Certificate in Image Consulting in 2012.
Kisha Klein (Zumba)
It could not be said any better – in the words of Kisha – “I heart Zumba Fitness! Been hooked since my first class with Vanessa in 2005 and now I get to help throw the party = ) Zumba is serious exercise in disguise!” Kisha’s energy and enthusiasm for class is unparalleled! She is licensed in both Zumba® Fitness and Zumba® Toning and is AFAA certified. Kisha is featured in the PureSpice fitness DVD released in October 2012. Take one of her classes and you will be hooked!