"I grew up as the "big guy." But after losing 80 pounds and finally running a marathon, I found yoga as a means to heal my body. Along the way I discovered a deeper respect for myself and a more complete connection with the world around me. I am trained in alignment-based yoga and carry a message of empowerment and balance to each one of my classes."
Ron Esposito, M.A. plays Crystal and Tibetan Singing Bowls and is a certified Life Coach and Enneagram Teacher at the Conscious Living Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has released four CDs: “Lifting The Veil: Enneagram Meditations” (with Deborah Ooten), 2008; “Open Heart”, 2009; “We Are One”, 2011 and his latest, “Soul Burst”, 2013. In addition to singing bowls, the new CD features vocal, throat singing, tabla, bansuri flutes, acoustic bass, sitar and percussion.
Ron’s music has been played on the nationally syndicated program “Echoes” (NPR), and the video for “Open Heart” received a 2010 “Bronze Telly Award” for “Best On-line Video”. He has played the singing bowls for the past three years as part of “World Sound Healing Day” founded by Jonathan Goldman. Compositions from Ron’s recordings have been featured in the network and cable television shows “Hawaii 5-0” (CBS), “Nashville” (ABC), “Touch” (Fox), “Common Law” (USA) and “Ray Donovan” (Showtime).
Prior to playing the bowls, Ron was a jazz and blues bassist for thirty years, recording and producing 14 CDs.In the early 70’s, he was assistant manager at the nationally known club The Jazz Workshop in Boston as well as a road manager for the jazz label, CTI Records in New York City. Ron owned Haffa’s Records, a retail store in Athens, Ohio in the early 80’s and was a broadcaster on Cincinnati non-commercial radio stations WVXU-FM and WAIF-FM for twenty-five years. During his radio stint, he produced many jazz and blues concerts with national recording artists as well as the Windham Hill Winter Solstice Concerts and Riders In The Sky.
Since becoming an accredited Enneagram Teacher in 2007, Ron has published in the International Enneagram Association Journal (2008) and has presented at IEA Global Conferences in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale and Madrid, Spain. Ron travelled to Cuba in 2009 and visited with musicians of the Santeria religion. Ron is playing during Yogic Sleep with Katy Knowles and The Big OM with Heather Feather.
Chris is a bruised and battered X-soccer player. He grew up in love with the “beautiful game” and more than anything as a kid he wanted to be a professional soccer player. Running was considered a punishment for losing or else merely a necessary evil to condition the fitness of the soccer player for his higher order skills and artistry. Running was boring and tedious and runners were dorks. After countless ankle sprains, broken bones, surgeries, and a failed collegiate soccer career, he finally faced the music and hung up his soccer cleats in 2006.
In an attempt to fill the adventure vacuum, he bought a bike and fell in love with triathlon. Simultaneously, he started an energy consulting business. The physical challenge of triathlon seemed to balance the mental stresses of being an entrepreneur. He then started to say that that when he grew up he wanted to be a professional triathlete, sponsored by the solar panel and banana industries. But both passions were poisoned by stresses about money and bottom line performance. Also, both were solo endeavors, lacking the camaraderie that came from good old-fashioned team play. So Chris started working with an architecture firm and having actual fun running with friends.
The big surprise was that running through the forests became his favorite form of meditation—an altered state of consciousness, a reset button, a jostling of antennae, tuning into new frequencies, new ideas, cosmic connectedness, more compassionate though patterns.
He has every stone on the Ault Park trails memorized and yet every day he finds the trails new and exciting—with colors, flowers, textures, and wildlife. He also loves fruit, books, hard cider, ideas, poetry, his cats and dog, his wife Susie, and octopi.
Chris is a five-time Ironman-distance finisher, leads a poetry/trail running group called the Sasquatch Navel Gazers, coaches Team S (the Flying Pig Marathon training group out of studio s), has completed numerous ultra-marathons of 50 km-100 miles (winning the Woodstock 100k in 2014 and placing 2nd in the Stone Steps 27k in 2013), and recently he completed his proudest project – he and his wife’s “Explore the Edges” expedition, which consisted in traveling around the world with hosts and running a 6 ultra-beautiful ultra-marathons on 5 continents over 7 weeks. Chris will be leading Red Bird Hollow Trail Running & Poetry.
Mija is a 200-HR E-RYT, Certified Wellness Coach and Wellness Expert in Cincinnati OH. She received her first yoga training from World Peace Yoga in Cincinnati and has been teaching for over 6 years in studios, private events and corporate settings. Mija enjoys leading styles of hatha, vinyasa and yin yoga as well as meditation. She recently created the fun Rooftop Yoga Series downtown at Residence Inn. You can find Mija making smoothies, hiking outside, hanging with her gal-pals and boyfriend and creating her other passion of Mija’s Malas, which are handmade mala necklaces and bracelets! Mija will be teaching Align & Awaken.
Brandon is a fitness enthusiast that enjoys workouts of all sorts. Running is his passion and he also taught fitness classes in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Puerto Rico. He currently works with lululemon and teaches outdoor fitness classes for ELMNTL Fitness. He Enjoys teaching and leading others in a path of wellness as well as sharing his perspective and experiences with others. Brandon will be leading The Rockin' Red Bird Trail Run with Dave Scheller!
Dave grew up playing soccer and played through high school and college. David has a wife and two children. He works in health and wellness helping employers design wellness for their employees. David loves running and helping others get the most out of their run. Dave survived a major fall at The Red River Gorge in . His mother wrote an amazing booked called "The Year of The Cicadas," which tells the amazing journey of his fall and survival. Click here for more information about the book. Dave will be leading a trail run with Brandon Cook on Red Bird Hollow and the session is called The Rockin' Red Bird Trail Run.
MORGAN LEIGN JUNKERMAN
Morgan Leigh Junkerman will be introducing us to the basics of hula hoop movement and sharing its health benefits. Morgan has been spinning hula hoops for 8 years. She started her company, Spin Happy Hoop Dance in 2014 and has been sharing the hoop love all over Cincinnati. As a professional performer, Morgan dazzles audiences with her multi hoop numbers, silk flow arts and fire dancing performances. This past year, she co-founded hoop entertainment troupe, Cirqulate and performs belly dance with local troupe, Enchanted Lotus Belly Dance. With a vast array of hula hoop knowledge and instruction experience, she specializes in teaching hula hoop to both adults and children at any level. Hula hooping is an extremely fun and healthy exercise and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face! Morgan will be teaching Hooping Happiness!!
To find out more about hula hooping visit www.spinhappyhoopdance.com!
E-RYT500, Co-founder of Indigo Yoga (Dayton) and Director of the Indigo Teacher Training Program, Barb began her yoga journey in the through meditation practice. After being introduced to mindfulness meditation in high school, the experience launched a lifetime’s journey into Eastern philosophy and yoga. Barb holds a B.A. in Philosophy and she is former trial lawyer and assistant attorney general. Now a full-time yoga teacher, teacher trainer and studio owner, she is certiﬁed at the E-RYT500 level through Yoga Alliance. A perpetual student, Barb continues to study with many national and international teachers. She has been deeply inﬂuenced by her work with Rod Stryker, Doug Keller, Senior Advanced Iyengar teacher, Manouso Manos, Richard Rosen, Matthew Sanford, Gary Kraftsow, and Noah Maze, among others. She has studied extensively in the area of Restorative Yoga with her Iyengar teachers and the Urban Zen Integrated Therapy faculty. Barb is truly passionate about restorative practice as a powerful tool for active compassion, self-care and deep healing on all levels. She is delighted and honored to train teachers and students alike in the art and science of rest and renewal, skills that are deeply needed in our world and yet often lacking, even in yoga. Barb brings humor, compassion and wisdom to all of her heart-centric classes, which blend asana, pranayama and mindfulness techniques. Both in her teaching and in life, she considers it an honor and her true dharma to help others remember their True Self, through direct experience of body, mind and soul. Barb is teaching Restore & Melt.
Christy has been teaching yoga in the Cincinnati area for almost 11 years. Her personal practice is Ashtanga yoga, but she teaches a vinyasa style yoga. Her classes incorporate the traditional movement with breath practice but adds the free flow of other styles of yoga. Christy's classes are truly accessible for all practitioners. You set the pace with your own breath and she provides many modifications. She currently teaches at Move Your Hyde Yoga in Hyde Park Square and also teaches several corporate classes downtown. Christy also teaches private one on one or small group classes. She has practiced yoga since 2000 and was certified through YogahOMe in 2006. Christy is so privileged to teach what she loves, because she knows the practice of yoga can create amazing transformation of body, mind and spirit. Christy will be teaching Flowin' Tunes. Christy is teaching Flowin' Tunes.
LAYLA GILMAN REED
Layla is a yogini who loves to connect with people over yoga, food, books, music and fun times. She is an eRYT500 yoga teacher who has participated in several teacher trainings. She also holds a certification as an Ayurveda Yoga Specialist from the Himalayan Institute. Layla found yoga as a stress reduction practice over fifteen years ago (although she has practiced with Lilias Folan on public television since she was in first grade!) and has been teaching studio classes for eight years. Layla and her business partner, Karen Johns, opened their own studio, The Yoga Nest, in September of 2016. Layla’s style is laid back and gentle. She prides herself on offering lots of alignment cues with modifications for all bodies, ages, abilities, and daily/seasonal needs. Layla is passionate about sharing how simple tools and techniques from Yoga and Ayurveda can make a profound difference in one’s ability to heal, balance, grow and thrive. Layla will be teaching Ayurveda 101.
From the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows, music has the power to alter any experience. This is what drives Jonathan Cody White as a songwriter. Blending elements of Blue-Eyed Soul, Pop and Folk, Jonathan’s goal “is to create a soundtrack for the human experience. To write honestly with melodic truth and raw emotion. To make people connect through shared moments and hopefully move them.” Growing up in Augusta, GA, Jonathan remembers being introduced to music at the age of 3. “As a child of the ’80’s, raised by parents of the ’60’s, I had a very eclectic musical heritage. I’d run around the house singing along to “Bad” by Michael Jackson one day and the next I’d be having epic G.I. Joe battles accompanied by James Taylor or CCR.” Because of Jonathan’s easily accessible style, his music has been sought out by numerous projects including the travel web series, “Sus and Chlo On The Go” and the play, “Fit,” a backstage.com’s Critics Pick at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2011. On December 18th, 2013, Jonathan released his long awaited debut EP entitled, “Words Left In My Mind.” “The title comes from those could’ve, should’ve, would’ve moments in life. Those moments that drive you crazy wishing you had done something differently or something more.” The EP has been received well and has led to great opportunities from playing at the Florida Music Festival in Orlando this past year to being invited by the producer’s of the hit TV show, “The Voice” for a private audition. Jonathan is currently working on his next album. Check Jonathan out in The Om Room where he will serenade us during lunch ;)
Erin Trentel teaches at Shine Yoga Center, where she has also been a student for 10 years. Erin’s love of movement, and foundation in Anusara yoga, inspire her alignment-focused vinyasa flow classes. With Erin you will connect to your breath, flow with mindfulness, and be encouraged to turn-in to your own unique experience on the mat. Erin is registered with Yoga Alliance as an RYT200. Erin will be teaching a class called "Align & Flow."
Master yoga teacher, LILIAS FOLAN, is an American treasure known by only one name, LILIAS. Her excellent reputation prompted Time magazine to dub her “The Julia Child of Yoga.” In 1963 Lilias began her Yoga journey in Stanford CT. In 1967 She and husband Bob moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where she began her teaching career at the local YWCA. Lilias studied with Swami Vishnu Devananda of the Sivananda lineage. In 1973, she traveled to India to study Vedanta philosophy and meditation under the tutelage of Swami Chidananda of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, India. She continued her meditation practice with Swami Muktananda. In 1972 Lilias hosted and co-produced the nationally syndicated PBS series Lilias! Yoga and You on WCET, Cincinnati. Today the series is still running on many stations across the US and Canada. Lilias has been known as “the first lady of yoga” since her ground breaking 1972 yoga series. Folan’s audience includes housewives, athletes, executives, seniors, Olympians, artists, members of Congress and a former president of the United States. Lilias has been teaching yoga for over 50 years. She taught internationally in Australia, Russia, Italy, Ireland, Germany and for the British Wheel of Yoga. She is often a major presenter at yoga conferences and workshops. She loves being part of Yoga teachers training courses. Lilias will be teaching "The Joy Is In The Journey."
Gina Fennell, 200RYT, is the Executive Director of Project Yoga, a local non profit organization dedicated dedicated to bringing the health and wellness benefits of yoga to underserved and at-risk populations. She has been teaching yoga for over a decade, and is best known for her power classes and mindfulness trainings. Whether you come to your mat for improved physical fitness, to learn to sit still and meditate, or to simply play around, her classes are honest, challenging and fun. Inspired by the journey through motherhood, Buddhist psychology and thousands of classes taught and taken, Gina creates a compassionate and safe space to practice falling down and getting back up. Gina will be teaching "Hike & Seek."
Katy is Project Yoga’s Board President, a 200 RYT and 500 ERYT Para Yoga Level I Certified Teacher and former owner of yogahOMe in Cincinnati. She has dedicated 25+ years to teaching yoga, meditation and dance. Yogiraj Rod Stryker, Laura Jane Mellencamp Murphy, Lilias Folan, Karina Ayn Mirsky and many others continue to be her teachers. Katy has also completed the Himalayan Institute’s Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist Training, studying with Kathryn Templeton. Katy co-founded yogahOMe in Cincinnati in 2004, and after selling the studios in 2012, is dedicating her boundless energy to Project Yoga. “It is my dharma to create communities around the practice of yoga.” Katy is forever grateful to her husband David and three sons for their support in her journey. Katy will be teaching "Yoga Nidra."