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
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.
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.
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.
Norma went from helping clients balance their books and doing their taxes, to balancing career and motherhood before she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Now she helps clients bring peace and balance into their lives. After practicing yoga for almost 10 years, Norma decided to delve into further study of the practice. She completed the extensive 200- Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program at Inspire Yoga School in November 2013. She has been teaching yoga for almost one year and especially enjoys introducing yoga to young children. Norma graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago with a degree in Accounting. She has two children and has worked as a teacher at The Goddard School in Virginia and as a substitute teacher for LISD. She is currently an Independent Sales Representative with Silpada Designs Jewelry. Norma lives in Flower Mound with her husband and their two children. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10 “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think…we become.” ~ Buddha
The process of creating something from nothing is forever intriguing! Whether it is designed to jar the senses, raise awareness or is created simply for the viewer to enjoy its beauty, art is a gift we can all appreciate.
I am passionate about our environment and enjoy transferring that passion into the world of art. Recreating and repurposing recyclable items readily captures children’s imagination, helps them home their building and developing skills as well as raising their awareness of how we impact our planet earth.
Often children are wary of art because they feel they “can not draw”. My mission is to broaden a child’s vision of what art is and to discover what process intrigues them and allows them to create an end product that pleases them. I am personally drawn toward printmaking, collages, papier-mâché and Zen tangles; all of which are art forms that are heavily focused on the process of developing.
The process of helping children discover their creative nature is what makes my heart sing!
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!
My personal yoga practice has had such a profound impact on my life that I was thrilled to find a path to bring yoga to children. Completing the 95 hour Indigo Project training with Donna Banks has given me to tools to share the many benefits of yoga with my favorite learners- kids! I am a certified elementary and special education teacher. I taught 5th-8th grade for 19 years working with students with specific special needs as well as teaching general 5th grade science and social studies. I have easily made connections with kids at this critical point in their development, understanding the internal and external struggles they face. I love the self awareness and acceptance yoga brings to our lives. This non-competitive environment is so empowering for students of all ages. I feel that by giving kids healthy coping skills early, they will more successfully navigate their teen years and beyond. I live in Flower Mound with my husband and our two fur children, Roo, a Catahoula leopard hound and Trixie our tabby cat. We enjoy travel, nature, music and outdoor adventure activities such as tandem mountain biking.
Ever since, I was a very little girl, I have always loved what I call the 3D’s of the arts; Drama, Design, Dance. I grew up performing and strongly believe the arts allow kids to develop their imagination, creativity and confidence. It is a true joy to teach and watch kids fall in love (or even like) with performing. Yogi kids has provided the opportunity for me to share the love of the theatre and performing with kids. I live in Highland Village with my husband, son & daughter. I am a self employed graphic designer with a BFA from Baylor University in Design and I minored in Theatre. I also sell Origami Owl Jewelry. :) I love working from home and it allows me time to be with my family, church and community.
My name is Julie Gavic. I was born & raised in Rockford, IL. I moved to TX in July of 2015. I am married & have 4 children ages 10 to 21. I have always loved music, dancing, gymnastics, and have been involved in sports, band, dance, & pom poms in high school. I studied in college for a BSN so I could help people. However, I discovered quickly that even though God gave me two hands, I could not save everyone & I needed something more positive. I did battle cervical cancer myself & had to find a way to stay happy, positive & healthy. A friend took me to a local Zumba class. I became certified in 2011 and hold all of the Zumba certifications. I still needed more and turned to yoga & pilates and received certifications from AFFA. Besides being a Certified Group AFFA instructor, I also hold my Personal Trainer certificate through NCCPT. I love working with people, helping them achieve their goals, & helping individuals be the best they can be.
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.
Dance has always been a passion of mine and therefore a part of my life. I started dancing Ballet, Jazz and Tap when I was about six years old. I discovered Zumba back in 2010 and have been doing Zumba classes ever since. My passion for dance, and the joy I feel when I am dancing, pushed me to get Zumba-certified in 2013. I love to share my Latin background through Zumba. As for Pilates Barre, after getting injured a couple times exercising too hard with weights along with developing knee pain, I decided to try the Barre classes for toning, strength, and balance. I immediately fell in love with it and haven't stopped since. I became certified in May 2014 to teach Pilates Barre.
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.
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.
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!
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.
My name is Kara Brent. This is my 1st year at Fit Family & Yogi Kids. I worked for 4 years at a preschool and the last 2 in Kindergarten. I have a BFA degree from the Kansas City Art Institute and was a Graphic Designer at Hallmark Cards Corporate Office in KCMO, for 15 years. I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Greg, for 28 years and we have two wonderful daughters. Upon the birth of my first child, my passion for living changed!! Children are my priority & my love. Athena is 18 and a senior at FMHS. My youngest, Jessica, is 15 and is in the 9th grade at FMHS. As a family we enjoy swimming, going to high school games, playing games, & trips to visit family in Kansas. I enjoy reading, yoga & walking, & time with family & friends.
Rev. Lee Self
Rev. Lee Self—spiritual formation leader, retreat leader and spiritual director, wife, and mom. Lee holds a Masters of Divinity in Pastoral Counseling and Care and is ordained to ministry through the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She has served as an associate pastor, chaplain, and pastoral counselor several places in the North Texas area. A co-founder of Spiritual Ministry Institute, she leads spiritual growth groups and retreats. She is a certified Laughter Yoga instructor and taught Drama in public schools for five years. Lee loves playing video games, reading, knitting, watching movies and plays, eating chocolate, yoga, and napping.
Shannon first experienced Nia on the 2003 Shape Your Life Retreat with Shape Magazine at Red Mountain Spa in St. George Utah. Recognizing the power of the unique movement, she returned to Dallas and immediately began taking Nia classes. Shannon completed her White Belt in February 2004, her Blue Belt in June 2005, her Brown Belt in July 2006, and her Black Belt in July 2008. Dedicated to developing her Nia practice to share the power of awareness, pleasure, and sensation with others, Shannon has also completed For All Belts (2004) training, EMT training (2007), and the 5 Stages of Self-Healing Certification (2008) with Debbie and Carlos, the co-creators and founders of The Nia Technique. She completed the Green Belt training in February 2009 with Carlos Rosas. In October 2011, Shannon became a member of the Nia Faculty of Trainers as a Nia White Belt Intensive Trainer. In July 2012, she completed the Nia 52 Moves training with Nia co-founder Debbie Rosas. In February 2014, Shannon became a Nia 1st Belt and is celebrating a decade of teaching Nia this year. Currently, Shannon teaches seven weekly classes in Dallas and Denton Counties in Texas. She also trains future White Belt Nia Instructors, as well as master students, who desire a deeper connection to the practice of Nia. For Shannon, her Nia training changed her path and her life, empowering her to shed 45 pounds and to step into the role of Nia teacher! In addition, she holds Bachelor of Business in Entrepreneurship and a Masters of Science in Natural Health and always encourages her students on to create a healthy, joyful lifestyle by integrating nutrition and mindful movement into their daily lives. She loves the community Nia creates and feels blessed every day that she lives and teaches what she loves! Degree Black
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where I began my training in classical Egyptian bellydancing. I fell in love with this beautiful dance when I was very young, and have now been bellydancing for 12 years. My background in ballet, modern dance, and flamenco has helped me develop innovative ways to perform as well as teach. I now perform in events around the DFW area and love to combine my two passions: bellydancing and flamenco, giving a gypsy twist to my performances. Apart from my love for dancing, I graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Fashion Design and another in Psychology, and now work at the Dallas Children's Theater costume studio, where I build costumes for yearly shows. The combination of making art and staying active is what I live for, and I am very happy to be able to share this with the Yogi Kids team!