I was lucky enough to found yoga to be my sanctuary at a very young age. A few months later, I was titled the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Yoga Asana Champion through demonstration of my practice for the USA Yoga Federation. Immediately after, I dove into my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training and immersion to become a registered yoga teacher. I began teaching a “26 & 2” Bikram-Inspired class at Tapasya Hot Yoga in Philadelphia. From that sprouted a twist on the classic format called, “Warrior 26” which includes hints of the Southern Indian practice; Ashtanga Yoga, which is very much asana-focused. This freedom of expression led me to teach Vinyasa Yoga classes in 60 minute variations as well. During my training for competition, I was fortunate enough to train under Jared McCann, a two-time national, 2013 world yoga asana champion and an advanced E-RYT 500 designated international yoga teacher for months. I additionally was able to study “Chair Yoga” by Dr. Eyal Shifroni and the modified yoga practices of B.K.S Iyengar. This yoga knowledge base allowed me to cater to all audiences and begin teaching at assisted living facilities in Orlando. I continued on teaching yoga and group fitness at Crunch Fitness which expanded my knowledge of Power Yoga and diversified my teaching capabilities. I bring aspects of each of my teachers, experiences and inspirations to my classes and hope to spread my message to my students as well. Now, after having taught for almost four years, I only hope to show ways for each of my students to continue this practice and find a passion and appreciation for it as I have. Namaste.
Diane Frea, RYT-200, has recently relocated to Tuscaloosa from Columbia, SC, to be near her daughter's young family. Diane has been practicing an eclectic mix of yoga styles for about 20 years, primarily as a means of managing stress and maintaining flexibility of body and mind. She has completed yoga teacher training through YogaFit, with additional trainings through Kripalu, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, and Asheville, NC, Yoga Center. Her 200-hour certification is through YogaFit, a vinyasa (flow) style designed to be accessible for all body types and experience levels. She was a yoga instructor with the Jewish Community Center and a small yoga studio in Columbia, leading classes that blended yoga themes with movement, breathing, and humor.
Diane also is a certified personal fitness trainer, working one-on-one with clients to begin and deepen their yoga experience.
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Sarah Panlibuton Barnes has been practicing yoga for eight years and teaching for three. She came to the practice to help her heal and recover from trauma. She has taught in South Dakota, The Philippines, and Taiwan. She was trained by Kevin Mcquillan of Real Evolution Yoga in a style that integrated Baptiste, Vinyasa flow, Kundalini, and somatics practices. Her focus as a teacher is leading student to use their breath and movement practice to access deeper levels of inner stillness and spaciousness.
Dianne Mancus, Ed.D., RYT200, completed hatha yoga teacher training in 2017 at Yoga Haven in Scarsdale, NY, working with Betsy Kase, studio director, and Jill Ganassi, an Iyengar teacher. She is currently in prenatal yoga teacher training with Deb Fastenburg of the NYC Prenatal Yoga Center. A native of West Virginia, Dianne started practicing yoga in 1967. She is a former university professor and administrator and is most proud to have taught kindergarten through fifth grade at the elementary level. A Targeted Reading Intervention specialist, she continues to train and coach teachers to support children struggling with early reading. Dianne moved to Tuscaloosa in May 2017, following her daughter (and granddaughter) who joined the U of A faculty in social work.
Dr. Dianne S. Mancus
Hello, I am Julia Laoun and I am originally from Ormond Beach, Florida. I am currently a sophomore at The University of Alabama, majoring in Public Relations with a minor in business. I hope to one day pursue a career in family law, in order to help others gain a safer lifestyle. I have been a yoga instructor for a little over four years now and specialize in Vinyasa Flow, Restoration and Yin. I adore the idea of disconnecting from the world during practice, in order to fully connect with yourself. I am a true believer in the saying "you are what you eat" and "Change your thoughts, change your life." I believe you are able to achieve anything you set your mind too.
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Monica Pettus has been instructing pilates and yoga since 2009. She is pilates trained through AFAA, Leslie Bender, and FiTour. She is yoga trained through YogaFit. With over 200 hours of training as well as over 1800 hours of teaching experience in pilates and yoga she has experienced all types of students and has safely developed a progressive style. Monica loves both yoga and pilates because they are safe and effective for the body as well as lifelong. In 2011, Monica began contract work at the University of Alabama with the men's golf team and more recently adding the men's and women's basketball teams as well as women's gymnastics doing yoga and flexibility training. Monica practices yoga on a daily basis in a variety of ways. She loves the feeling of lengthening and stretching the body as well as the challenge of doing something new and different. In addition to yoga and pilates, Monica enjoys running, traveling, decorating, and spending time with her family and friends.