Meet the Team
More about Michele
Michele started teaching yoga in 2005, has studied various yoga styles, yet is most drawn to the teaching and practice of Yoga Therapy. Through her own journey of Self-discovery, she has come to realize that yoga is a practice for all life situations. She leads retreats, teaches private yoga thearpy sessions and a variety of classes including Yoga for Healing. Originally from New Jersey, Michele moved to Durango, CO in 2006. Along with her yoga teaching credentials, she also has an MBA, and has worked in large and small corporations for over 15 years. She still uses this skillset in her current endeavors: Michele is co-owner of Yogadurango, co-director of Yogadurango’s Teacher Training program, and is also the founder and director of Inner Peace Yoga Therapy an IAYT-accredited 800-hour yoga therapy certification program.
More about Sheryl
She enjoys connecting and listening to the similarities of the human experience. Sheryl strives to honor the art of teaching in her classes by offering an experience that is inspiring, resonate, digestible and authentic.
Sheryl has taken countless hours of trainings and workshops and finds value in recognizing the similarities of varying spiritual disciplines. She has additional training in prenatal, kids, and trauma-sensitive yoga. Sheryl also leads retreats both locally and internationally.
Sheryl has blended the sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda into her own life and helps others rediscover a true and balanced nature. She is a graduate of the Ayurvedic Health Practitioner (AHP) program through the California College of Ayurveda and shares her knowledge through seasonal cleanses, workshops, cooking classes, public lectures and individual consultations.
Sheryl finds grounding, strength and inspiration in connecting with the natural world. Her heart lights up through creativity, music, adventure, humor, leadership and community involvement but her most beloved pastime… being and laughing with her son, Cedar.
More about Deb
As a yoga teacher, Deb finds deep interest in Yoga as a rich path of transformation, awakening innate intelligence and healing through which yoga combines the practical with mysticism. Deb embraces the boundless yoga practice as something that can open paths of transformation and nourish one’s unique spiritual way of life. Her specialty is to encourage students toward self-inquiry
through their connection to nature as well as exploring how yoga practice can be a metaphor for how we choose to be in life and in relationship. She loves to discover and continuously question how to embody the practice; how to really walk the talk and perceives Yoga as path towards wholeness. Deb teaches at Yogadurango in Durango, Colorado and loves to travel to teach in other states/countries. She has trained with the amazing teachers through Yogadurango and is currently in her 500 hour study with her teacher, Bhavani Maki, diving deep into the heart of Yoga Philosophy and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
More about Jessica
After giving birth to her sweet, spirited daughter in 2010, Jessica recognized a need to deepen her connection with her physical body and a need to care for herself in a new way, thus making her way to a yoga mat for the first time! After finding herself crying uncontrollably in Child’s Pose during her first class, Jessica knew something was working and continued to return. In 2014, Jessica studied Hatha Yoga with Frog Lotus Yoga International, in Bali, Indonesia and in 2016 Jessica studied Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, with Karta Purkh and Dan Retuta in Crestone, CO. Outside of Yogadurango, Jessica gives back through her service to families, as a Family Therapist for Open Sky Wilderness Therapy.
More about Amber
She strives to live the practice of Yoga on and off the mat and encourages students to do the same. She believes that each time we step onto our mats we have an opportunity to be present, to listen, and to see clearly the things that we would like to let go of and to open our hearts to living our wildest dreams. Amber’s Yoga journey has led her to better health, self love, adventure, connection, service, and a desire to share this with others. She is trained in Hatha Yoga and leads a Vinyasa style class infused with Yoga philosophy, intention, and introspection. She also doesn’t underestimate the power and importance of a great restorative Yoga practice to balance our busy lives. In addition to teaching Yoga, Amber works as a Registered Nurse at the local hospital. She also volunteers and teaches in Haiti on medical and surgical missions.
More about Nicole
She began practicing yoga at an early age, tagging along with her mom to classes, though it wasn’t until high-school that she fell into a discipline with her practice. She began the path to teaching in 2011 at 7 Centers Yoga Arts in Sedona, AZ, where studied under Ruth Hartung, whose mentor is Rama Jyoti Vernon. There, she completed the 200 hr. Hatha yoga training. Since then, she has done trainings in Kundalini yoga and a 300 hr. training with an emphasis on yoga therapy and Ayurveda. She is passionate about healing the body through movement and mindfulness. With a degree in exercise science, she is currently pursuing the path in physical therapy. In the classroom, she brings a grounding nature through her understanding of anatomy in combination with creative movement, which provides students a well rounded experience. She is excited to practice and grow with this community both on and off the mat.
More about Lindsay
Following in her mother’s footsteps (only after leaving the house) Lindsay stepped onto her intentional path as a practitioner in 1997. She received her RYT-200 from Kripalu in 2008, and has since done advanced trainings at Laughing Lotus yoga studio in NYC, and studied with teachers around the world including Patrick Creelman, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, and Jim Harrington. She has done immersions in Ashtanga-Vinyasa, Anusara, Forrest, Kundalini, Synergy and Sivananda yoga and never tires of new learning. For Lindsay, yoga is the truest mirror, and the most intelligent, free way to dance with her inner self. Lindsay’s classes are heartfelt and intuitive, and develop as a natural extension of her own practice.
More about K-Lea
K-Lea Gifford is Iyengar Certified at the Junior Intermediate Level 2 as well as certified with International Association of Yoga Therapists. She started practicing in 1983 and has studied in Pune, India with the Iyengars several times. She enjoys working therapeutically as well as specialty classes such as pregnancy, restorative, and back care needs. More can be found on her website at https://www.k-lea.com/
More about Heather
More about Joy
Joy also teaches Kids Yoga and offers FamilyTime Yoga Classes. Joy has been featured in InStyle Magazine with Oscar Winner Marlee Matlin, and wrote and instructed a ““QuickFix Power Yoga”” . DVD, which aires on Gaiam TV. She also contributes articles on Yoga for various magazines. Joy’s passion in life is to sacredly serve others through various healing modalities while empowering them to live authentically from their Essential Self.
To learn more about Joy, visit: BreathWorksWithJoy.com
More about Sarah
She strives to lead a class in which individuals of all levels and yoga backgrounds feel comfortable and able to develop their own personal practice. Her mission is to assist others in finding a moving, breathing, meditation on and off the mat. Initially inspired by Ashtanga yoga, Sarah began her studies in 2008 with Larry Schultz, completing her first 200hr YAC. She then stayed with the school to complete a master’s level YAC Rocket training led by David Kyle. Sarah took the role as a leader in training teachers to be YAC through the It’s Yoga System. Inspired by the idea that anyone can do yoga, Sarah turned her studies to therapeutic yoga. She completed a training to specialize her to work with cancer survivors during all stages of recovery. Sarah runs The Yoga Mentorship Program for new yoga teachers and/or dedicated practitioners looking to dive deep with the support of an experienced eye. Sarah is also an integrative nutrition/health coach and owner of Whole Health Lab, and co-founder of the 30 Day Clean Living Challenge to learn more about Sarah check out her site www.wholehealthlab.com.
More about Ivy
More about Megan
More about Damiane
More about Luna
More about Wendolyne
More about Joan
More about Josh
Returning years later he realized that his previous “breath linked movement” activities such as mountain biking, skiing, kayaking and working in the restaurant industry began to loose their luster. Stereotypically, his first real yoga classes were something his then girlfriend “liked to do” and he found himself opting for difficult and hot classes that presented a physical challenge. Slowly that inquisitive mind began to open up and Josh wondered if there was something more to this science of self discovery and realization. After several years of consistent dedication to the practice, Josh embarked on a teacher training program at Yogadurango in order to deepen his personal practice. He did not have the intention to teach however, his passion for yoga along with a desire to share that love won out. More recently, Josh has been inspired by the philosophy and mythology of yoga, thus he enjoys weaving in and incorporating all of the aspects of yoga into his class offering.
More about Lily
She believes that practices which lead us to recognize our relations to our higher selves and to all other beings as well as the natural world create a life of harmony. As a teacher Lily is passionate about sharing these practices with her students, so that they may use them to realize mental calm and clarity, as well as physical strength and grace. She crafts classes and workshops based on the needs of her students, time of day and year, and her intuition around what is energetically calling for attention in the moment. More information at www.lilyrussoyoga.com; the Firewalks and empowerment trainings she leads with her husband at www.thehighpath.com; and about her other work, mosaic art, at www.lilymosaics.com.
More about Karen
More about Mathew
Feeling called to yoga, he enrolled in the Svastha Yoga teacher-training program in Taos, New Mexico where he would be introduced to yoga therapy. Upon completing program (E-RYT200), he then studied with Ganesh Mohan (Svastha Yoga and Ayurveda/Chennai India), which would lead to his yoga therapy certification (C-IAYT). (www.TreeOfLifeYogaTherapy.com)
Through the process, he taught yoga in Silver City NM for 10 years at his own studio and The Lotus Center, and established his yoga therapy practice before coming to Durango in 2016. He also began working with veterans in New Mexico, leading trauma informed yoga classes and continues to work with veterans here in Durango.
From that initial experience on a yoga mat, Matthew has dedicated himself to bringing the transformative effects of yoga to others, to help others deepen their sense of health and well-being.
Also, word has it he loves living in Durango and is thrilled to be here.
More about Lynn
More about Brady
Having practiced at the Yogadurango studio since its beginnings under the careful guidance of Michele Lawrence, Sheryl McGourty, and Kim Self (among many other wonderful instructors), Brady completed Yogadurango’s 2010 Teacher Training Program and gained tremendous insight into the ancient and honorable tradition that is Yoga. Taking every possible opportunity to deepen his own practice and understanding, he is eager to share what he is learning with the greater community.
A Dancer, Poet, and all-around outdoor enthusiast, Brady is very aware of the importance of maintaining the body and mind for optimal performance in this long and often challenging life. He believes with yoga we learn to care more deeply for ourselves, and become better equipped to care for those around us, enriching our families and communities, and eventually effecting positive change in greater world in which we live!