Our Tribe

HAYAT HAKIM, STUDIO FOUNDER

Hayat Hakim

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.

LEARN MORE ABOUT HAYAT

 

MADDY BOYD

Maddy’s yoga practice began in 2012 in her Kentucky hometown studio. For the last eight years, she has explored the world (leisurely and/or courtesy of the U.S. Army) with a yoga mat rolled out in every airport, hotel, and office along the way. In 2019, she completed her 200HR teacher training with Hayat Yoga Shala.

As each new adventure unfolds, Maddy turns to yoga as a constant guide to learn and grow. She is dedicated to share the sense of acceptance, growth and resiliency with others through a functional practice. In her classes, she aims to combine a spirit of calmness and a dose of inspiration to help you discover or deepen your yoga practice.

Class Description:
Hot Deep Relax – Military/First Responder Appreciation
60 minutes, Sundays at 4 PM

Promote physical and mental fitness by flowing effortlessly through functional poses and rejuvenating breathwork. HOT DEEP RELAX is a soothing practice held in our hot room: allowing for deep stretching of muscles and relaxation. This class is suitable for beginners and those who are looking for a slower paced, more expressive experience. Class is 60 minutes with mixed music and heated to 95°+. This class is provided to Veterans, Active Duty, and First Responders free of charge.

CHECK OUT MADDY’S SCHEDULE HERE

 

HANNAH BRANDON

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!

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GENIKA BROWN

Genika BrownBeing 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.

CHECK OUT GENIKA’S SCHEDULE HERE

 

AIR CHRISTIE

Meet Aircka Christie! Air is married to the love her life, Jeremy. Together, they have one furry child, a basenji named Bob-O. Air has been practicing yoga for 8 years. She was born to live a yogic life. All her paths have lead her here. To teach what she loves, what inspires her, and what brings her joy. She has spent years of self study and practice to find her path to teaching yoga. Air graduated with her 500-hour yoga teacher certification from Zuna Yoga, in Bali Indonesia where she spent 2 months devoting her life to learn how to teach yoga. She has been guiding students since June 2019. She also has a certification in Buti Yoga. There’s nothing like sharing what beauty comes from yoga! Air excited to only further her training, and pass on all her knowledge through her classes with her students.

SEE AIR’S SCHEDULE HERE

 

ISABELLE DARLING

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?

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PAM FLORES

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.

ALICIA HERNANDEZ- ROSA

SEE ALICIA’S SCHEDULE HERE

 

SYDNEY HOAGLAND

Sydney first found yoga when she was in high school and instantly fell in love with the practice. It quickly became an integral part of her day. She found Red Hot Yoga in my hometown of Atlanta, GA, and just six months into practicing, she began her 200 hr YTT in the fall of 2015, studying under Bethany Vaughn. Sydney then began teaching with Red Hot Yoga and taught with the studio for four years. During that time, she continued on to receive her 500 hr YTT. Teaching yoga truly fills her cup and she am passionate about sharing the practice with others. All of the different facets and dimensions of the yoga practice have truly hooked her and she is a forever student. She is also an avid dog mom and love family time when she’s not teaching! Namaste.

SEE SYDNEY’S SCHEDULE HERE

 KYLE JACKSON

SEE KYLE’S SCHEDULE HERE

 

ELLICE JOHNSON

Ellice is from Virginia and is married to her high school sweetheart. Both graduated from Virginia Tech and are currently serving in the United States Army, stationed at Fort Bragg.  Since a young age, she has been passionate about the mind and body, health and wellness. As an avid learner, she has studied psychology, leadership, business, and has read numerous books on nutrition, exercise, human performance, and the mind. Through teaching yoga, Ellice has been able to combine her passion for service and wellness. She has experience teaching veterans and Soldiers, to include wounded Soldiers. Ellice’s class emphasizes a holistic approach to the teaching of yoga by incorporating numerous limbs of yoga and the chakras. Asana, movement, is only one of the limbs- thus, anyone can do yoga. Upon leaving Ellice’s class, students will feel refreshed, relaxed, nourished, and loved. Everyone has an intense battle going on within. Her gift is the ability to spread light to those she interacts with.

SEE ELLICE’S SCHEDULE HERE

 

JESSICA LEMONS

Jessica LemonsJessica 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.

CHECK OUT JESSICA’S SCHEDULE HERE

 

BEAU MASTERSON

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.

SEE BEAU’S SCHEDULE HERE

 

JUNO MI

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.

See Juno’s schedule here

 

MANYLA MORALES

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.

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SHANNON MYERS

 

CRYSTAL PLUNKETT

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.

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DANIELLE ROTH

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.

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ASHELY SKENTERIS

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.

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NAKIYA SMITH  

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.

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JILL ANNE SNYDER PENDEN

Jill started practicing yoga in the spring of 2014 at Hayat Yoga Shala.  She quickly fell in love with the practice along with the physical, mental, and emotional benefits.  This led her down the road of a more holistic lifestyle and to massage therapy specifically. She loves sharing the benefits of massage therapy.

Jill graduated from Body Therapy Institute in August of 2015 and started her private practice here in October of 2015.

LEARN MORE ABOUT JILL HERE

LINDSEY STEWART

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.

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YARA SULTAN

SEE YARA’S SCHEDULE AND EVENTS HERE

 

BRIANNA THOMPSON

Brianna found yoga when she noticed a void from no longer being able to dance. She danced for 14 years, but ultimately, while in college, she could not find a practice on campus as rewarding as the discipline of ballet, or as spiritually freeing as lyrical. Upon taking her first yoga class at Hayat Yoga Shala, it was “love at first class”. Brianna found a practice that helped ease her knee pain developed from overwork, and discovered a lifestyle she is passionate about. As a yoga educator, she is passionate about ensuring the safety and proper alignment of students, while providing a calming, sometimes challenging, and comfortable environment.

SEE BRIANNA’S SCHEDULE HERE

 

TARA VAN GEONS

Tara came to the Hayat Yoga Shala as a student in October 2017 when she moved to Fayetteville. She dabbled in yoga and meditation since high school, but over the last few years, her practiced has truly deepened.

Tara is our web and social media mistress. You may spot her taking fun photos and documenting all that is happening at the Shala!

 

AMBER WARDEN

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.

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LUKE WARDEN

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.

CHECK OUT LUKE’S SCHEDULE HERE

 

DENISE WESTENHAVER

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.

On moving to Savannah, GA, in 2010, Denise joined Savannah Yoga Center and really thrived in group practice. She gained so much in self realization and connection to her spirit through yoga that she was compelled to take teacher training. She received my RYT 200 hr in May 2017 at Savannah Yoga Center, and shortly thereafter, moved here to Fayetteville.

She is a military spouse, an emergency room nurse of 9 years, and a mother. Yoga has helped her undertand and work through the stress and chaos in her life, and she feel it is her dharma to help others understand themselves and attain peace through yoga. Denise is excited to bring her knowledge and inspiration gained through her practice, teacher training, and retreats to the mat. In her personal practice, she loves backbending and arm balances. When teaching, she loves to share creative and introspective flows. She also loves to lead yoga nidra classes for deep relaxation. Denise would be honored to have you come practice with her…She truly believes yoga is for everyone!

FIND DENISE’S SCHEDULE HERE