HAYAT HAKIM, STUDIO FOUNDER
What an amazing journey I have traveled in the past & I still continue to travel on. I discovered the ancient art of yoga during one of my military training deployments in 2007. It helped me cope with the stress and the ever-changing fast pace of the military life. Middle Eastern Dance has been close to my heart from a very young age. Growing up in Syria I believed that following the rhythms of the drums was part of everybody’s life. Combining the extended breath work of yoga with the flowy nature of my yogic dance movements opened up my heart, spirit and physical well being. Deploying to Iraq in 2008 & Afghanistan in 2010 made me realize that sharing my love of yoga and dance had an incredible healing power to other soldiers and I knew then that I wanted to continue to teach classes upon my return to the US. After returning from Afghanistan in 2011 I started developing a plan to open a yoga and world dance studio in Fayetteville, NC. In 2013 after 17 years of serving in the U.S. Army as a Chief Warrant Officer I devoted my life to sharing a piece of my culture, combined with my professional training and foundation in Yoga, Middle Eastern, lyrical, jazz & hip-hop dance, I created “ Hayat Yoga & World Dance Arts”.
Some of my training includes: 500hr RYT Advanced Yoga Teacher Training with Dharma (currently attending) ◊ 230hrs RYT Asheville Yoga Center, NC with Stephanie Keach ◊ Yoga Warriors International, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder focused ◊ Ayurvedic Treatments with Dr. Neil, Goa, India ◊ BatsB Barre Teacher Training Program Pilates Sports Center ◊ Hot Yoga Teacher certification course Level 1 Aura Wellness Center ◊ Complete Certified Meditation Teacher Course Aura Wellness Center ◊ 40hrs Egypt Dance 1 & 2 with Sahra Saeeda Washington, DC ◊ Level 1 Certification Suhaila International Belly dance Academy Atlanta, GA ◊ 40hrs BellyFit Instructor Training ◊10 Days Dance Intensive with Bozenka Crete, Greece 2011 & 2012 ◊ 7 Days Dance Intensive with Aziza Montreal, Canada◊
BRIT LOPEZ , MANAGER
I started practicing yoga in 2001 before my sophomore year in high school by watching a yoga class on a television show. It was initially a great form of exercise but quickly became more than that; yoga helped me to cope with the changes that occurred in my life at that time through concentration and meditation. Since then, I mostly practiced in solitude until regularly attending group classes in 2014 while completing my master’s degree in I/O psychology. Soon after graduating, I started teaching yoga classes and received my 200hr RYT from Hayat’s teacher training.
Kelli’s yogic journey has been evolving magically throughout the past 15 years, finding inspiration in an array of different practices. She embarked with a weekly Hatha and Bikram class, used as a tool for controlling stress of her fast paced corporate job within the Fashion Cosmetics Industry, while living in Chicago and New York City. Truly awakened by its profound effects on her emotional, spiritual and physical well being, she quickly found a new, more conscious and balanced way of living .
With a spirit of adventure and a passion for travel, in 2009 she ventured with her husband and two children to Costa Rica to study under Don and Amba Stapleton, completing her 200 hr Instructor Certification at the Nosara Yoga Institute . Through a vinyasa flow practice, Kelli focuses on breath synchronized movement and alignment within each posture. Emphasis is placed on a balance between effort and surrender, working hard and letting go. Kelli hopes to guide people in their own self- inquiry and discovery of Yoga.
As a Bhakti yogi, I love Kirtan music and to dance, on my playlist you’ll find Girish, Wah! & Ben Howard.
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope each of you finds the right instructor and the right class that fits your needs and inspires you to get on the mat regularly.
A little about me: I began practicing yoga in 2004, have been an instructor since 2008 and recently completed my 500-hour teacher training program that included the opportunity to study in India. I enjoy teaching Vinyasa (flow) yoga and believe that it can help us all improve our flexibility, strength, balance and coordination. I try to keep classes light-hearted and upbeat, athletically challenging depending on how everyone feels and with an emphasis on alignment to ensure safety. I also like to offer inversions and arm-balances for those that are interested in practicing them.
Again, thanks for reading this and I hope to see you on the mat.
After many years of attending yoga classes on and off again, I finally found a regular practice shortly after moving to Fayetteville in 2012. I completed my 200 Hour Teaching Training at Hayat Yoga and World Dance through Yoga Garden in November 2015 and am registered with Yoga Alliance. I also work as a radiation therapist in a cancer center and recently completed the Level 1 training for YCAT – Yoga Therapy for Cancer and Chronic Illness. I am very excited to begin offering this program to patients in our community in the near future. I absolutely love the centering and balance that yoga has brought to my life and I love sharing this passion with others. I am grateful for every teacher and student who has helped me in my journey. I am a mother of two sons and a proud military spouse. I also enjoy hiking, reading, volunteering and spending time with family and friends.
I love to dance. Dance has “saved” my life on more than one occasion. In 2015 I once again sought rhythmic movement to find the answers to confusion and loss in my life . However, it was my love of dance that began my yoga journey. In February, I met Hayat while Latin dancing and then I started coming to the studio to practice. As I was trying to put the pieces of my life back together yoga began to be that glue. In January of 2016 I began the Yoga Garden Teacher Training here at the Hayat Yoga World Dance Arts. As the mysteries of yoga were unchained for me, so were the self- imposed chains in my life. As an act of gratitude to the universe for the blessings bestowed upon, my teaching journey begins in this same studio. I teach (school aged) Kids Yoga, Hot Flow and Yin. See you on your Mat.
our years ago Mariah began yoga as a hobby, but quickly realized it was so much more than just physical exercise. Since than Mariah has received her 200 RYT from Be Kind Yoga Teacher Training at The Yoga Pilates Barre, NC. To Mariah, yoga is about finding a connection between the body, mind and spirit. With guided meditations and vinyasa flows, she aspires to help people find that connection in a playful and welcoming environment. Being upside down is Mariah’s favorite way to view the world so inversions are always offered and encouraged.
In her free time you can find Mariah hula hooping, arranging her crystals, cooking, blending essential oils, or simply hanging out with her family and friends.
Mariah’s goal in life is to use yoga as a tool to change people’s lives as it did hers. It is to not only teach people who already love yoga but to teach the people who need it. To teach the people who are skeptical, who doubt their body’s ability to bend, who do not know where to begin. For the ones who already have an understanding of yoga and it’s benefits she wishes to inspire them by helping them deepen their practice with playfulness and freedom. Freedom to be who they are. There is no mask on the mat, only hope.
Tommye has been practicing yoga on and off for many years. It wasn’t until she moved to California in 2012 and discovered Ashtanga that it really took hold. In 2016 she decided to formalize her practice by completing the 200 RYT through Hayat Yoga and World Dance Arts. She is also registered with Yoga Alliance. Yoga has provided her with an abundance of self growth, mindful peace, spiritual healing and a more positive outlook on life. She believes there is a yoga for everyone and would love to share it with you. “See you on the mat!”
Positive mind-positive vibes-positive life.
Love and Namaste.
Amber found yoga in 2009 to have something to do in between season while playing college soccer and lacrosse. Amber competed level 1 and level 2 training with yogafit in 2010, 200hr ryt in 2015 and a 35hr certification for SUPyoga. Amber moved from Williamsburg Virginia where she taught hot flow, vinyasa, arm balance and inversion workshops. She has taught inversions and arm balances for Studio South’s 200hr program and The college of William and Mary’s 200hr program. Amber is also familiar with providing yoga to many athletes. She believes yoga is the perfect compliment to any particular sport and has held yoga for runners workshops in the past. While in Virginia Amber established Yoga on Tap by teaching yoga in Breweries. She believes that yoga is a selfish practice and meant to be fun by discovering yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. Amber has a love for craft beer and enjoys running, cycling and swimming.
Sandra Doherty Healy (E-RYT 200, RYT 500) discovered yoga in 2000 when the challenges of juggling a career & graduate studies prompted her to explore pathways to alleviate stress. Sandra’s yogic journey began at the NYC Sivananada Yoga Vedanta Center & since then Sandra has studied other forms of yoga to include Yin, iRest® Yoga Nidra, & her personal favorite Ashtanga Vinyasa.
The peace Sandra gained from her daily Ashtanga practice proved essential during her multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. While engaged in her own personal practice at the gym, soldiers, often yoga novices, would ask if they could join her and quickly an informal yoga community emerged. A few times each week these gatherings offered participants a tranquil respite from the stress and tension of life in a war zone. Inspired by those who joined her on the mat, Sandra obtained her 200 RYT (Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher designation).
After her return from Afghanistan in 2011, Sandra continued her work with military personnel & became particularly interested in the benefits of yoga for individuals coping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and combat-related injuries. Sandra is both a certified Level 1 iRest® Yoga Nidra & Yoga Warriors® teacher; both yoga techniques designed specifically to help release negative emotions, calm the nervous system, & develop a capacity to manage the stresses of daily life.
Sandra, along with her then fiancé Tim, decided to forgo a “traditional” honeymoon in 2012 & instead sojourned to India where she completed her 500 RYT with a focus on the Ashtanga Vinyasa system. Sandra has continued her yogic studies with Ashtanga teachers David Swenson & Kino MacGregor, as well as Vinyasa teachers Seane Corn & Dana Trixie Flynn.
Off the mat, Sandra is a former business strategist turned anthropologist & holds graduate degrees in Arab Studies and Anthropology from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and the City University of New York.
I first discovered my passion for yoga back home in Brooklyn NY, 2001. After 15 years of dancing, I retired her ballet shoes due to several injuries. I stumbled upon yoga when a former dance instructor ran into me on the street and invited me to attend a Bikram Yoga class with her. I went without hesitation and loved it instantly. Movement and breath has always been my happy place and like dance, yoga brought that back into my life. After moving to Fayetteville in 2005 to marry my husband of 11 years, my Yoga practice was put off to the side. I became a mother of two children on the Autism Spectrum with SPD and ADHD. After 4 stressful years of therapy, appointments, and my own body beginning to shut down, I decided I needed to find my center yet again. Last September, I found myself back on the mat only this time a new friend had invited me to join her. My practice became even more devoted within that first week. Yoga was now more then just movement and breath yoked on the mat, it became spiritual to me as well. I explored all forms of yoga, branching out from my Bikram beginnings, and fell in love with every aspect from Bhakti Yoga to Yin Yoga. I recently just completed my RYT-200 hour Certification at GWI here in Fayetteville. I am registered with Yoga alliance and also hold a level 1 Warriors at Ease Certification – bringing yoga and meditation to the mat for our military communities. This is a channel of Yoga I look forward to sharing with our community, because like my husband so many of our veterans and active soldiers live with chronic pain and injuries that will get better with yoga.I am so excited to share and grow with all of you through yoga! Now its my turn to extend the invite to join me on the mat to find your center. We will mix it up in hot flow with Vinyasa and get juicy with Yin Yoga and more. See you on the mat, Namaste.
Tanja started practicing yoga in 2007 for physiological reasons. At a young age of 19, she was plagued by severe health problems: her neck would ache at night, she would lose feeling in her legs, and she felt old in her young body. Traditional medicine was unable to offer her relief. After only a month of regular ashtanga yoga practice, her neck pain had ceased, and her mobility fully normalized.
10 years later, she was finally diagnosed with a brain tumor as the underlying cause for all of her past pains. After this awakening, she quickly realized that the philosophy of yoga was much more profound than met its physical appearance, and began studying the holistic healing power of yoga extensively. She completed her 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training at Wilmington Yoga Center in September, 2016. She is currently doing mindfulness training at Duke University while studying a BA in Philosophy at the College of William & Mary. Her specialty is ancient Eastern philosophy, and she actively incorporates texts from Patanjali and the Yoga Sutras into her classes.
My name is Melissa Bierkortte and I am a sweet but sassy brand new yoga instructor. I recently received my 200 hr RYT level instructor certificate in November 2015. I love teaching fun hot flow classes. I discovered yoga around 2010, when I went to a hot flow class with my friend in Charlotte, NC. Since then, I’ve been hooked. Yoga has been a great asset in my life. My full time job is very stressful and yoga had provided me with the grounding and inner peace, that only yoga could provide me. I’m excited to begin my journey as a yoga instructor and know it will include meeting lots of interesting people and guiding them through their own inner yoga experience.