Anita Sykes, Owner
Medical Reiki Master, certified thru Raven Keyes Medical Reiki International
Medical Qi Gong Instructor (200Hr)
Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner
Certified ACA Stand Up Paddle board Instructor Yoga Endorsed
Looking for an alternative form of exercise with less impact, she found yoga in 2001. With consistent practice she noticed positive changes in her overall well-being and firmly believes yoga is a “fix” for anything that ails you. “Yoga guided me thru two pregnancies and prepared me for “mommy-hood. It 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.
On her own path she embraced energy healing through Reiki, releasing stress and tension in the body through Thai Yoga Massage and Aromatherapy using therapeutic essential oils as absolute compliments to her teaching and her own practice. Passionate about making people better through the healing powers of gentle human touch. Aside from her group teaching, she works with clients one-on-one providing wellness support thru Reiki, Thai Yoga massage and/or ChiGong exercise protocols, she incorporates aromatherapy when appropriate to help clients along their wellness path during periods of recovery from cancer, injuries, trauma or preventative care. She obtained her certification as a Medical Reiki™ Master which gives her the ability to work in Integrative Medicine.
Anita hosts a series of monthly, “Pamper Your Soul” classes. A combination of Restorative Yin Yoga, Reiki, guided meditations and aromatherapy. The classes correlate with the seasons, an intention to work with and take home tools that help you learn and listen to your soul. In addition to the Pamper classes, she hosts monthly Yoga Nidra classes.
Anita hosts seasonal Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga retreats in the local area as well as out of the area.
“Dive-in” on a nurturing self-exploratory practice with compassion and patience. Life is the practice of balance, grace and laughter.”
Charla Lewis, Owner
Certified Lifeline Practitioner
- Raven Keyes Medical Reiki International Medical Reiki Master
- Hatha Gong Master
- International Ballet Barre Fitness Association Certified
- Medical Qi Gong Instructor (RYT200hr)
E-RYT500 Yoga Therapy
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. After moving to Phoenix in 2009 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 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 discovered the Lifeline Technique and realized it was a combination of many therapies she already had studied. It is an energy healing manifestation system that empowers us to live intentionally with love in the face of fear, bridging the subconscious with the conscious mind. Physical symptoms and stresses are relieved as we release long held patterns in the body!
Charla is registered with the Yoga Alliance, E-RYT500 Yoga Therapy
She spends her summers in Wildwood, NJ as innkeeper at her family’s guest house at the Jersey Shore and teaching Yoga on the Beach!
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. 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!
Ana is a 200hr 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 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.
Karmie has been practicing yoga on a consistent basis since 1999. She began practicing yoga as a means of stress-relief when working in the corporate world; Karmie had no idea she was in for a transformation on so many levels. Karmie has enjoyed practicing many styles of hatha yoga, including Bikram (and other heated offerings), Iyengar, Ashtanga, Anusara, power and yin as well as pre-natal during her pregnancy. She reflects that life has a way of “disrupting the applecart” and the choice in how we respond to that disruption is what determines our happiness. Karmie has completed the 500-hour master level certification program at Inner Vision Yoga and is registered with Yoga Alliance (RYT500, E-RYT200). As a teacher, Karmie aims to provide a safe place to experience a joyful practice as you move your body, open your heart and quiet your mind.
Dawn Hopkins is an E-RYT 500 Master Yoga Instructor, Yoga Teacher Trainer, Yoga Therapist, Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner, Reiki I and II Practitioner, and Licensed Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Facilitator.
Dawn began yoga in 1997 to counter the effects that years of athletics had on her body. What she didn’t realize is that it would also heal her relationship with her body, mind and spirit, and change her from the inside out. When she stumbled into a faith-based class in 2004, she discovered the true meaning of yoga: to unite the mind, heart, body, and spirit and experience the bliss that occurs when you become one with the divine. Dawnhas been on a mission to help others heal, grow, and transform through yoga and mindfulness ever since. She approaches yoga with lightness and a playful spirit, believing that one of the ultimate benefits of yoga is elevate to a higher vibration to experience true joy and peace.
Dawn has been an entrepreneur helping guide people along their health and wellness path since 2002 when she owned and operated Curves Ahwatukee. She began teaching yoga in 2006 and has been training instructors since 2008. She is Founder and President of Inspiritus Yoga, a Registered Yoga School offering wholistic wellness programs, yoga teacher training, advanced training, and continuing education with three training centers located in Tempe, AZ (Joyful Yoga), Detroit, Michigan and Saskatoon, SK Canada.
As a contemporary Spiritual Counselor Eva inspires people to evolve through self-discovery. Her compassionate yet candid approach creates a safe space for clients to find their truth and live their dreams. Eva’s insight, wit and easy-going nature make her a remarkable and effective counselor, speaker and meditation facilitator. People often have enlightening, emotional experiences and walk away with a clearer perspective on their dreams and life purpose. Eva has over 25 years of professional speaking experience in the Wellness Industry and as a Spiritual Teacher. She changed paths after a fulfilling career in training and marketing, starting her private counseling practice in 2011. Eva attended the University of Santa Monica studying Spiritual Psychology, University of Sedona, studying Divinity, is currently completing Meditation Teacher Training at the McLean Meditation Institute, served as a chaplain and President of the Board at Unity of Sedona, and has taught across the country at spas, companies, studios, festivals, and conferences. “Self-Love is the Foundation of All Evolution.”
Eva lives with her son Jude in Tempe, AZ. She enjoys her spiritual community and embraces opportunities to travel.
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
Naam Yoga certified instructor
Certified Kids Yoga Instructor. I first originally started a somewhat regular practice of yoga in 2003 purely for the physical effects. After years and years of dance my body needed something a little more gentle yet challenging at the same time. It was not until I had my first child in 2010 that the lightbulb went off and I realized yoga was not only a workout for the body but it was also a workout for the mind, spirit and soul. From that moment on my somewhat regular practice went to a full on consistent practice ever since. Even though I have a passion for health and wellness I was a little hesitant to take the leap and get my yoga teacher certification. I initially took my children’s yoga teacher training through Rainbow Kids Yoga in 2016 and started volunteering in my children’s classroom teaching. I just recently finished my 200 hour YTT program through SWIHA and plan on completing the 600 hour program. Along with my CYT-200 hr. I have a B.S in Cardiopulmonary Science through Northeastern University. I am a LMT with a passion for prenatal and oncology massage, Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist, and a Certified Mat Pilates Instructor. Along with a number of years in the Food and Beverage Industry which I feel prepares you to work with every type of person, I have worked for after school programs and summer camps in Los Angeles teaching Pilates and health cooking classes for children. I have also worked in spas and salons as a massage therapist and work on my own private clients as well. With yoga I hope to teach people that anyone can do yoga, sometimes yoga is just finding that small moment of calm in the middle of chaos. When I am not on my mat you can find me hanging out with my husband, our two children and our dog Ruby. we love doing anything outside together. I also enjoy cooking, reading a good book and a good glass of wine.
Michael S. Droz
Sports related injuries from many years of practicing Martial Arts lead Michael towards the study of Yoga. After many years of trying to heal his body of chronic pain he began to seriously focus on the art and lifestyle of yoga. He has received his 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training certification from Inner Vision Yoga and is registered with the Yoga Alliance of America (E-RYT500). Michael has been actively teaching since February 2015 at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center in Chandler, Friendship Village in Tempe, the Pat Smith Yoga Studio in Scottsdale, the Aloha Yoga and Hula Studio in Chandler, and the Tumbleweed Recreation Center in Chandler. Recently, he has happily joined Joyful Yoga Studio in Tempe.
Michael’s love of asana is expressed through his classes by his teaching of just how healing yoga can be for both mind, body, and spirit. Michael teaches each class in a distinctive style that inspires students to move past old limitations with discipline and compassion. He encourages students to slow down and reconnect with themselves.
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.
Carol Ann Marusiak
Carol has over 5000 hours experience teaching a wide variety of yoga styles ranging from gentle, yin, and restorative to level 2, power yoga, Vinyasa, and hot 26! Her hatha yoga classes are designed to be multi-level and motivating while keeping people safe. Her favorite class is where everyone feels welcome and included. She likes to build community where people become friends. Her greatest strength is versatility. She wants her Barre classes to be a great workout that improves your strength, flexibility, and heart while having fun. With over 14 years of teaching experience, she is passionate about engaging, encouraging, educating, and empowering people to improve their health so they can enjoy a happy, healthy, vibrant life. Carol Ann is happily married and has 3 grandchildren. She loves to cook, hike with her dogs, and travel. She looks forward to sharing her love of yoga and Barre with all of the students at Joyful Yoga.
Rocking out brings joy to her life and she loves the energy of a Pound class! She is also a Theatre teacher in the Kyrene School District and an ASU Alumni with her Bachlor’s in Theatre and Master’s in Education. For fun, Kristi likes to sing Karaoke with friends and go Country swing dancing. Yeehaww!
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.
Sara Chesterfield, substitute instructor
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 is registered with Yoga Alliance (E-RYT500).
Donna Van Wyk, substitute 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 imagined 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.
Melisa Butters, substitute instructor
Working out never came easy for me, I couldn’t find something that truly got me excited or made it easy to keep up with a routine. I heard about Pilates, and loved the promise of a healthy and strong body. What I got was so much more, it healed my soul after suffering a great loss. With Pilates I found that for one hour I get to push myself and do things I never thought I could, and truly find that elusive mind/body connection. Three years after I began my personal practice, I was encouraged by two of my favorite instructors to pursue certification in Mat Pilates. In 2016, I completed training through the Balanced Body program, which helped me understand the inner workings of our bodies and many techniques for injury prevention as well as recovery. In 2017, I got certified to teach LifeStretch, through the Stretch to Win Institute, which is a mobility-stretch class designed to bring functional mobility and stretch through the entire chains of neuro-myo-fascia. I wish to share the many gifts that Pilates has brought into my life with all of my clients, not just for the hour that we will spend together in our sessions, but all the great benefits that can translate into everyday life. Like Joe Pilates said, “The mind when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power”. In addition to Pilates and LifeStretch, I love to do barre, free flow dancing, spinning but most of all my favorite time is spent with my husband and our little puppy Roxy.