HAYAT HAKIM, STUDIO FOUNDER
Hayat Hakim is the founder and owner of Hayat Yoga Shala. She discovered the ancient art of yoga during one of her military training deployments in 2007. It helped her cope with the stress and the ever-changing, fast pace of military life.
Nakiya loves to dance. Dance has “saved” her life on more than one occasion. In 2015, she once again sought rhythmic movement to find the answers to confusion and loss in her life . However, it was her love of dance that began her yoga journey.
Denise’s yoga journey began in 2004. She bought Bryan Kest’s Power yoga DVDs and started a home practice for physical fitness. She began to have a positive shift in her perspective and attitude, which she hadn’t expected. This intrigued her and led her to delve deeper into yoga, creating a strong home practice.
Creating art is a state of mind, what you think and feel will inevitably show up in the outcome of your work. Much like how the attitude you bring to your yoga mat has an effect on your yoga practice. As an artist, Leyla employs sculpture and printmaking primarily for their requirement of thought, planning and physicality when making work. She finds the physical and mental demands of printmaking and sculpture similar to those of yoga.
Danielle was first introduced to yoga in college as an elective credit, she thought that it would be a good physical workout and a class she would enjoy. She quickly became attached with how her body felt and how she was positively effected inside and out. After her semester was over, she reached out to find studios in her area, but with no luck of finding a home studio, she continued her own practice periodically through videos and yoga like workout classes at her gym.
Initially, Ashely attended yoga classes as a means to counter the negative effects of a high impact fitness routine. She had begun to realize that, over time, the pavement had taken a noticeable toll on her knees and joints. Supplementing her regular exercise with yoga appeared to be a logical solution. It didn’t take long for her to recognize that the benefits of yoga far transcended simply stretching. Her mind and soul were also being nourished.
Hannah Heil Brandon was born and raised in Fayetteville, NC. She achieved her Bachelors of Science in Nutrition with a Health Studies minor from NC State and moved back to the Ville after she graduated. She met her future husband, Joel, and bought a cute little bungalow in Dunn. While Hannah and Joel were dating, he empowered her to go back to school @ FTCC for Aesthetics Technology and she has been faithfully following her dharma ever since!
In today’s world, Crystal believes that we all need more Yoga in our lives and wants everyone to just try it! She first stepped onto the mat out of curiosity nearly fifteen years ago when she was stationed in Hawaii. Since then, Crystal has practiced various types of yoga (off and on) across the world from Bikram in Bangkok, to Ashtanga in Africa, and yoga/surf retreats in Bali and Costa Rica. However, it wasn’t until she was stationed here at Fort Bragg, that her practice began to truly deepen past the asanas of Yoga and into the philosophy and science of Yoga.
Lindsey has never regretted a single time she stepped onto her yoga mat. She loves yoga and is passionate about sharing it with you. She has learned a lot about yoga over the years and continues to learn with each new day.
In 2017, Lindsey did her Holistic Yoga Flow teacher training with Travis Eliot and Lauren Eckstrom. Holistic yoga flow is a series of vinyasas, controlled breathing, and some yoga philosophy, or manifesting yoga in to your life on and off the mat. Her goal as your teacher is to get you completely present on your mat while you move your body through a yoga flow that will send you to the moon.
Manyla took her first yoga class in college as an elective, doubtful it would benefit her. A tragic car accident had put her on a downward spiral for several years and left her void of happiness, motivation, and a positive outlook. Her initial time on the mat was literally lifesaving. She felt the stirrings of life and positive energy reemerge after being dormant for so long. After the course, she practiced on and off using DVD’s until she moved back home in 2011 and found a studio. She was introduced to hot yoga by a friend and instantly fell in love. Over the next few years she learned to control her PTSD, depression and anxiety through yoga and meditation. She is eternally grateful for the healing path yoga opened for her.
Amber first discovered yoga in college as an elective in 2009. But it was not until 2013 and during her final year of college, that she began a consistent personal practice. She was instantly drawn to both the physical and mental aspects that yoga brought to her life. In 2015 she completed her 200HR training through YogaFit, and has since started the 300HR training at Asheville Yoga Center.
Luke’s journey into yoga began in 2013, when his wife introduced him to hot yoga. From that point, he was hooked. Yoga, for Luke, began more as a physical practice, but has sense grown to be so much more. Trying to find ways to balance the mental and physical stresses of his job as an Infantryman in Army, Luke began finding ways to implement yoga off the mat. This led to further studies and in 2016, he received his 200HR certification.
Beau is dedicated practitioner of Hatha/Iyengar Yoga since 1998. She is deeply grateful for the healing power of yoga for the body, mind and spirit for diverse ages and abilities. Also she is known for applications of yoga which inspire students to overcome physical and emotional difficulties in their yoga practice and life.
Under the stars beside a crackling fire, Julia heard the wisdom of yoga and meditation – winter 2016. With one semester of college left, she entered it with a will to change her perspective. As her energy shifted, she saw her whole reality blossom and grow. For the first time, she felt beautiful and worthy of this life; all thanks to yoga quieting her mind and opening her heart enough to do in-depth spiritual work.
Meet new yogi trainee, Cardio Core Instructor and Wellness Guide Isabelle Swan-Mae Darling. Isabelle is a mental health advocate who has dedicated her work to refugees, war survivors and survivors of torture. Her work has taught her the importance of balance, the symbolic power of both water and fire, and the limitless human capacity that is revealed in the face of challenge. For Isabelle yoga offers opportunities for transformation. How does a chest-opening position on the mat allow you to be open-hearted in your life?
Being active in Martial Arts and Athletics since the age of 4, Genika has always used yoga for recovery and mobility. 3 years ago while living in the Bay Area, Genika began exploring pop-up yoga sessions regularly, and it was after having knee surgery in 2017 that made her deepen her practice to heal not only physically but mentally. Over the years, she would visit Hayat Yoga Shala when TAD/TDY to Ft Bragg or visiting family. Finally, settling back in Fayetteville, she decided to take the YTT 200 to rediscover her unfathomable Joy, while aiding others to the reach an eternal peace and happiness in all they do.
Genika creates a Jazzy Spoken Word flow in her yoga practice. Her vision is to guide students in rediscovering the unfathomable joy in all they do; while building strength, increasing mobility, and finding physical & mental freedom through breath work.
Jessica is an Air Force brat who loves yoga so much it’s infectious. She firmly believes yoga is for everyone and to be done everywhere. Yoga found Jessica in 2002. It helped her deal with anxiety and depression brought on from her father and husband being deployed simultaneously. Her practice deepened as she found herself becoming calmer, stronger and more confident on and off of the mat. In 2014 she completed her 200 hour Hatha based, multi-style yoga teacher training from Hawaii Yoga Institute and most recently completed the Warriors at Ease level 1 teacher training. She considers herself a lifelong student and continues to study many different styles of yoga as sources of inspiration. As a teacher she loves to share that yoga can be playful and healing; a guide to cultivating strength, balance, flexibility, patience, and mindfulness in all aspects of life. Her goal is that you step off your mat feeling refreshed, nourished, and balanced. When she’s not teaching you can find her reading all the books, singing along to everything, and hiking with her son and two huskies.
Juno came to yoga after injuring herself overtraining, and got hooked after discovering the profoundly relaxing feeling of exhausted mental silence in Savasana. Finding that peace and well-being were lacking in her day-to-day job in the military as a medic, she started attending classes in between TDYs and deployments for stress relief, physical rehabilitation, and mental health. After an intensely stressful deployment, she returned wanting to share the rehabilitative benefits of yoga for mind and body, deepening her practice, and pursued her YTT 200 certificate.
When not climbing rocks, hiking through trees, reading next to lakes, or attempting to pick up heavy things and put them back down again, she can be found on her mat practicing with the help of her furry, four footed best friend, or feeling exasperation that meditation is not nearly so easy as it sounds.
Pam Flores found her path to working in wellness over 8 years ago. It was a journey that first began in her native home of Los Angeles, California while finishing her graduate studies in Library Science. She fell in love with the endless abilities that herbs and essential oils possess in helping people improve their health and well-being. Wellness has proven to be an incredible gift and resource in Pam’s life. Being a military spouse, she has had the opportunity of living in Hawaii, Georgia, and now North Carolina. Through all those changes, working in wellness has been a present force of energy. The local, independent health food store is one of the first places she seeks out to feel a sense of home when moving. And as it just so happens, they always end up being her next place of employment. Each opportunity has presented growth in knowledge, practice, and most importantly, family. That is indeed how she came to be introduced to Hayat and her magical Shala. Pam is beyond excited to help bring to fruition all the ideas, aspirations, and visions Hayat has for the Shala and Lavender Den! Her hope is to converge all of her experience and creativity in way that intentionally serves the Shala and it’s beautiful community. When Pam is not dabbling in wellness, you can find her practicing salsa and bachata dancing with Fayettevile Latin Dance, where she is currently an apprentice. She is also an admitted geek with a love for comics, colonial American history, and cult classic movies.