About the Instructors
A long, long time ago, BK (before kids) I taught elementary school and loved it. When all three girls came along in just 18 months it was definitely not an option anymore. I loved staying home but never gave up teaching; Sunday school, tutoring, summer school, preschool PE, and now YOGA! Yogi Kids is my newest venture, allowing me to do what I love (teaching & yoga) with kids. It also allows me the flexibility to work and be around for my kiddos!
As a mom of little yogis I realized how important exercise and a healthy, well balanced diet are for young growing bodies. I have been blessed with three girls who will grow into women someday. As women we often get caught up in the ideal body. Yoga allows you to exercise in a non competitive, non judgmental way. Knowing that everyone's body is different and to respect yours is a valuable lesson to teach kids.
Yoga for kids nurtures children's inner-strength, confidence, and self esteem as well as love for one's self, inside and out. As a teacher the benefits of yoga for kids are priceless! Yoga reduces stress and anxiety, improves concentration and focus, and develops creativity and imagination. Who doesn't need help countering the pressure of this hurry-up world we all live in? I'm excited and extremely honored to be able to give such great gifts to 'my yogi kids'.
Founder and Director of Yogi Kids
I’m a family therapist by profession, but in 2009 I realized that I needed my own therapeutic release so I took up Zumba! It was new on the scene and I loved dancing so I thought I’d give it a try and once I did I was hooked. I loved the music, the moves, and the fact that I didn’t feel like I was exercising! After a year, I decided that I would become an instructor so I could share my love of music and dance with those around me. Since then, I’ve taught all around town and am happy to call this studio my new home. Come and join me and learn all sorts of rhythms like Salsa, Cha Cha, Merengue, Cumbia, and even some Bollywood, Bhangra and a touch of Latin Hip Hop all while you do something that doesn’t feel like exercise! It’s the Zumba Party! You don’t have to know how to dance to move to the beat!
I am so excited for the opportunity to combine my love of teaching children and love of yoga for YogiKids. I began my yoga practice 7 years ago after my second daughter was born. Yoga helps me balance my mind and body with all the busyness that raising a family brings. Since trading a business suit for Mom jeans (the cool kind) in 2002 I have held the title of Mom, Room Mom, Sunday school teacher, Girl Scout leader, and most recently, Preschool teacher. Adding Yogikids Instructor will allow me to share a calming, centering, and strengthening practice for mind and body that children can use their entire lives. Of course, this will be accomplished with a fair amount of silliness, happy faces and upside down dogs.
My husband, Steve and I have lived in Flower Mound with our daughters, Grace and Lily and our right side up dogs, Pippin and Poppy since 2002. We enjoy spending time with friends and family, traveling and being involved at our church.
After the birth of my daughter, I found myself overweight and unhappy. Because my genetics, I knew I was going to have to fight to lose the baby weight and get healthy so that I could be a role model for my children. I began my fitness journey by doing an at home fitness program called Turbofire and LOVED it. I lost the weight, gained confidence and soon became certified to teach the gym version of my soul mate workout called Turbokick (and later got certified to teach Hip Hop Hustle).
My main goal and passion now is to pay it forward by empowering, motivating and encouraging others to make their health a daily priority. I hope that everyone enjoys these new formats and that at the end of the workouts no one looks as cute as they did when they walked in!!! Let's get sweaty!!.
Prior to having children, I was a middle school Physical Education teacher and high school volleyball coach. And I loved every minute of it! But right now, being home with my two daughters, ages two and four, is keeping me very busy and teaching yoga classes for Yogi Kids is satisfying my teaching itch!
I enjoy teaching yoga and feel fortunate to share with children all the wonderful influences yoga can have on their bodies and minds. Today children are super busy and yoga can help them learn to relax and ultimately reduce stress. I am thrilled to be a part of Yogi Kids and all it has to offer young people!
Debbie has been teaching yoga since 2007 and has been in the health and wellness field since 1999. She received her RYT-200 and RYT-500 training through Blue Anjou's Breathe into Awareness teacher training program. She has taught all levels of yoga from kids to seniors. Known for her down to earth personality, her classes are meditative in structure without losing the physical aspect. She firmly believes meditation is the foundation of a holistic yoga practice. She is inspired by the rituals and routines of Ayurveda, yoga's sister science, as well as its emphasis on vegetarian food.
Always striving to learn in order to benefit the people in her classes, as well as deepen her own yoga practice, Debbie likes to teach often from the yoga sutras. Her principle yoga teacher is DeAnna Nielsen. She has studied Kundalini Yoga under Shakta Kaur Khalsa and meditation under Chris Green. The people who attend her classes are her biggest inspiration.
There is no doubt that children are my passion! I spent 35 years in the classroom, nine of those years specializing in children with learning disabilities. I love kids and want to give them the tools that they can use the rest of their lives to make a difference in themselves and others. Teaching children to breathe correctly is one of the best gifts I can offer, as it stills the mind and helps them deal with daily challenges.
My two grown daughters and my husband of 40 years have been very supportive of me and my transition from the classroom to the yoga mat!
I have always been very passionate about health and nutrition. I grew up in a home where my mom made sure that I had clean and natural foods in my body. This has made a huge difference in my personal health and well-being and I love sharing advice with people! So starting my yoga practice was a given. I have been taking yoga for about six years and am currently enrolled in teacher training. Excited to get my teaching practice started, I am looking forward to instructing consistently at YogiKids. My favorite types of yoga are vinyasa flow and yin. I love adding in fun and challenging aspects to my classes to produce a greater sense of creativity and confidence in my students. I am a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University with my degree in dietetics/nutrition. I will be getting married this October to my best friend Colin. I also love traveling and have lived in several different countries including Austria, Ireland, and South Korea, each of which have inspired me to be who I am today. I love meeting people so stop me and introduce yourself when you see me around!
Shelly is a certified Personal Trainer with the American Council on Exercise. Besides personal training, she enjoys teaching Bootcamps because she loves the energy that is created in a group dynamic setting. Shelly’s fitness philosophy is based on a lifelong commitment to and belief in nutrition, physical activity and a positive attitude. Shelly believes that anyone can be motivated and successful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
After spending many years in the corporate IT world and another couple of years as a math teacher I decided that I wanted to focus more time on my family.
My yoga journey began in 2007 when I first discovered its healing powers while looking for answers to my continuing health issues. Yoga became my sustaining force – giving me the opportunity to stay active without the physical fatigue that came after a traditional workout. After being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue and thyroid disease I decided to delve further into yoga and received my RYT 200 from Yoga Tree in Plano studying under Toni Farris in June 2012 and my Restorative Yoga certification in Sept. 2012.
Unsure of what I wanted to do with my newfound knowledge and credentials the opportunity to teach at Yogi Kids literally fell into my lap. I am very excited to help guide you through your yoga practice!
Before joining YogiKids, I enjoyed teaching social studies in Austin and Flower Mound and serving as Children's Ministry Coordinator at our local church.
Yogikids has been a great opportunity to meld my love for fitness with teaching. My classes are designed to inspire imagination, playfulness and fun. I like teaching yoga because it encourages patience and builds self-awareness in kids of all ages. I am constantly learning from the creativity of my students!
My favorite pastimes include spending time with my husband and two sons, gardening and running with my dog, Buster.
My name is Niki Bottorff and I was encouraged to try Pilates a few years ago to manage my pain from severe scoliosis. Pilates helped strengthen my core muscles and build long lean muscle. I feel better than I ever thought possible. My results compelled my desire to help others. I started training my family and friends using the PILATES Method while I educated myself to expand my passion. I was introduced to Barre classes while training and wanted to bring this form of exercise to the Flower Mound market. These experiences are the catalyst that brought me to YogiKids.
I spent eight years working for a legal non-profit in New York State, counseling prisoners and other people in legal distress. Although it was an intense and ultimately gratifying job, it often left me feeling exhausted and despairing. It wasn’t until I moved to Texas five years ago and embarked on a new career (that of a full-time mom) that I discovered my true passion- yoga. Yoga is also intense and gratifying, but always leaves me feeling energized and optimistic!
After the birth of my third child, I spent 10 months studying yoga with the amazing Toni Farris at Yoga Tree Plano, and received my 200-hour RYT certification. Later, I was thrilled to discover Yogi Kids literally right in my neighborhood! As a mom and a yogi, I love the idea of a studio where all members of my family can practice yoga, strengthening and advancing both our minds and bodies. And as an instructor, there is truly nothing more gratifying than sharing my knowledge of yoga with other families, and watching parents and children alike embrace the inner power that a consistent yoga practice brings to them.
Originally from Southern California, Amy started personal training after graduating from Pepperdine University. As a swimmer in college, she first began coaching and eventually made the transition from college athletics to fitness in 2004. Amy is certified through the National Council of Certified Personal Trainers and Fitour. After becoming a trainer, she also found a passion for yoga and has been practicing for over 7 years. Amy loves to teach others and share her love of fitness. She currently resides in Flower Mound with her husband and 2 young daughters.
I started teaching group fitness classes in 2000 after a friend helped me realize my calling and deep passion for Indoor Cycling. I told myself I was just going to teach a few Cycle classes here and there as I had a full time career at Southwest Airlines. Well, that lasted about a month. I could not contain my passion and before long I was teaching roughly two classes a day and eventually additional formats (i.e. - lifting, Reebok core training, Body Pump, Aqua, Boot Camp, Running Club, etc.). Needless to say, I was hooked. In 2004, I had my first child and recognized that I could not teach as much, but I also could not stay away longer than a day. So now, I have settled into teaching about one class a day. Life is very hectic now with kids, a career, sports schedules, etc. but I still look forward to each and every one of my classes. Over a decade later, I still get a high from partnering with members and helping them reach their fitness goals.
Certifications – ACE Group Fitness (2000), AFFA Personal Training Certification (2001), Specialized Training: Precision Cycle, Reebok Rep, Reebok Core, Body Pump, Legs and Abs, Camp 24, PiYo, Lift 24, Cycle 60, Endurance Cycle (over 90 min cycling classes), Advanced Metabolic Training, Heart Rate Zone Training, Nutrition for the Athlete, and Anaerobic Training for the Extreme Athlete, Infant/Adult CPR, and First Aid.
My name is Melissa Dixon and I just recently moved here to Flower Mound in July 2013. I have a 10 year old daughter named Madison. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 14 years his name is John.
I started out as a student and then my friend who was instructing us at the time was moving and I had the opportunity to take over her classes. I started teaching zumba three years ago at our Recreation Center in Lake Jackson Texas. I am licensed in Zumba, Zumba Toning, Zumba Sentao, Zumba Gold, and Zumba Kids and Zumba kids jr.
Over the years as a instructor I have seen my students lose weight and feel confident in hemselves. Not only that but they grew to enjoy dancing in front of people they didn't even know. It doesn't matter what you look like the music just moves you. I enjoy seeing the smiles, laughs and singalongs in class. That is what zumba is all about having fun and moving.
I live in Highland Village with my daughter and husband and a goofy lab named Gabe. We love the area and are constantly pinching ourselves at our good fortune of finding such a wonderful place to raise a child. I am a stay-at-home mom and a freelance art director with an MBA in marketing and over 16 years of agency experience, but my passion is yoga. I earned my 200 RYT (registered yoga teacher) in 2011. As a yoga teacher, I strive to help people develop a deeper bodily awareness while improving their total range of motion-- but the yoga itself is what does the truly transformational work. Yoga has given me a greater sense of peace and joy and has worked wonders for my overall health. I am truly blessed to get to share my love of yoga and all of its benefits at Yogi Kids.
The road to YogiKids has been a long and fun one for me! First came love, then came marriage, then came babies in a baby carriage! And, before all that, I began as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist working in schools and also as an ACE-certified fitness instructor. I have taught pretty much all formats of exercise classes including step, kickboxing, cycling, total body conditioning, boot camp, and yoga. I also love to run and swim. But, the one form of exercise which has stood the test of time for me is yoga. Being a person with lots of energy, I wasn't sure yoga was for me, but after taking my first class in 1999, I knew it was absolutely something I needed! I became certified for yoga a couple of years later and have been leading yoga as well as practicing yoga on my own ever since.
I am very excited to join the YogiKids family and continue my fitness journey here! I look forward to meeting many new friends along the way!
I am married with 2 elementary-aged children and have lived in Flower Mound since 2001. I love the Lord, children, fitness, volunteering at my kids' school, and being a stay-at-home mom.
My name is Stacie Ellig and I have lived in Flower Mound since 2000. I have worked for Lewisville ISD for the past 17 years. In that time, I have been a middle school girls athletic coordinator, a health instructor, fine motor lab instructor, and an elementary P.E. teacher. This year, I am the Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist on my campus. I enjoy my new position, but I do miss teaching physical education. I’m so thankful that I still get to be a P.E. teacher at Yogi Kids/Fit Families! My two children have always enjoyed taking classes at Yogi Kids and they think it’s pretty cool that mom gets to be an instructor now!
In addition to teaching Zumbatomic at Yogi Kids, I am also an elementary PE teacher in LISD. I have been teaching in the district for 16 years. I started off in the middle school and high school levels coaching basketball and decided to phase out of that part of my life and was fortunate enough to smoothly transition into elementary PE. I will be starting my 11th year at the elementary level and absolutely love my job. I love being able to build a foundation for a lifetime of sport skills, fitness and health in my students.
After my 2nd daughter was born, I got hooked on Zumba. I loved it so much that I decided to get certified in Zumba and Zumbatomic. I have a PE club at my school that needed a little more of a focus and Zumbatomic was it. Last year was the first year of our "ZA" club and our kids loved it. We performed at Open House and were the opening act of our talent show. Excitement for Zumbatomic has spread and I am excited for the opportunity to teach 2 Zumbatomic classes at Yogi kids too!
Come check us out!