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Meet Our Coaches

To be listed in the Coach’s Directory, you must be a Yoga Mentor member of USA Yoga, take the Rules and Posture Guidelines Clinic, and pass the test.  We strongly suggest that our coaches take the SafeSport training. Learn more HERE.

Nathan Braden completed instructor certification in 2017 and began leading hatha yoga sessions. He completed the USA Yoga Federation's Judge's Clinic in 2019 and is SafeSport Trained. His passion is to promote and teach, specifically Youth Asana Sport, Family/Group Hatha, and Men's Flexibility.

Through the practice of yoga we can tap into big power. The 8 limbs are a path of self discipline which leads to bliss. USA Yoga Federation provides a format where we can share this idea and attract people in an entertaining and inspiring way. Maybe you want to do amazing postures and compete on stage, or maybe you just want good health and well being. You've come to the right place!

Coach: Nathan Braden
Business: AmericanArts.life YOGA
Address: 4512 S Mayfair Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37411
Phone: (423) 400-8965
Email: AmericanArts.life@gmail.com
Website: AmericanArts.life
Facebook: AmericanArts.life YOGA

Catherine Bradley Richmond’s nickname “b” friends say she’s tougher than a two-dollar steak. An outdoor enthusiast she discovered yoga as a way improve performance, balance, strength and greatly needed flexibility. Beginning in 1993 as apprentice to a senior Iyengar teacher, she studied with Manuso and Geeta before immersing in Ashtanga with Gurujji, Phatabi Jois and his grandson Sharath. In 2002 she certified 500 RYT with Bikram and taught throughout California where she obtained a Masters of Science in Kinesiology, developed and taught yoga curriculum for community colleges, and presented yoga research to the American College of Sports medicine on Yoga’s effect on parasympathetic dominance in the nervous system. She competes as a USA Triathlete and in United States Ski Mountaineering (ranked 21), She owns YogaCB in Crested Butte, Colorado where she’s a single mom of yogi DQ Richmond (age 10) and Eliza Richmond (age 6). A current K-12 certified Art and PE teacher she visits schools weekly to share and boost passion for yoga. New to yoga coaching and competition she's humbled and ecstatic to be part of this amazing group.

Contact info yogacb30@gmail.com
Catherine is happy to work with people via Internet and FaceTime.

Ayanna Brown received her 500 hour Bikram Teacher Certification in June 2001, has been the Co-owner of Indiana Bikram since it opened in 2001, and has been part of every Yoga Championship since the first year in 2002.

The first year of the Yoga Championship men & women competed together in one large group. That year she placed first for Indiana, and 7th Internationally. In the years since she has been the Indiana regional Champion 10 times, placed 5th in Nationals in 2009, 3rd in Nationals in 2013 , and 9th in Internationals in 2013. Her studio has hosted many Regional events, and she has personally participated as either a competitor, coach, judge, master of ceremony, or regional host & organizer every year of the Yoga Championship.

Ayanna grew up with asthma, and didn't participate in competitive sports. When the Yoga Championship began it was a wonderful outlet for her to express her love for yoga on stage, to inspire others to express their best, and to inspire herself to continue to grow. Contact Ayanna at ayannaaeb@gmail.com 812-209-8302 indianabikram.com Instagram - @brownayanna

Glenn Brown is the 2018 USA Adult Men's National Yoga Champion, and placed 4th at Internationals also in 2018. He has been competing & coaching for the Yoga Championship since 2003, and is the 14 time lndiana Regional Champion. Before winning Nationals in 2018, he placed 5th Nationally in 2016, and 2nd in 2017. Professionally he has been a Professor at Indiana University Southeast since 2016, teaching Yoga & Tai Chi history & method. He also Founded Lionflow Yoga in 2010 based on his home practice of Qigong, Tai Chi, and progressive Yoga sequencing. He is the Owner & Manager of Array Yoga Studio, where he teaches Lionflow Yoga among other styles, such as different levels of Hatha, Yin, Yin & Yang, Tai Chi, Meditation, and the Classic 84. He went to his first training for Kung-fu, Qigong, and acupressure in England in 2001, and in the following year, 2002, he certified in Bikram Yoga in LA. Since then he has studied with the Self Realization Fellowship, and certified in Sun style Tai Chi. He is an artist & self published author, and looks forward to putting more work out there, and striving to be a unifying force in the health & wellness community.

Glenn looks forward to booking workshops abroad teaching the Classic 84 & Lionflow Yoga classes he has taught in southern Indiana for the past couple decades. He is also available for Skype lessons for Championship routines, and home routines to help you work toward your practice & posture goals. Email - lionflow@gmail.com, call or text # 812-207-1192.

Wayne Campbell is a Certified Bikram Hot Yoga Teacher. He has been teaching Bikram Hot Yoga since July 2011 and has been practicing Bikram Hot Yoga since January 2005. Wayne also teaches Hatha Flow Yoga, Stretch Yoga Therapy, and Inferno Hot Pilates. He started coaching yoga athletes in 2017. He opened his yoga studio, Urban Fit Yoga Houston in 2016.

Wayne won the 2019 & 2017 USA National Yoga Championship in the Men's 50+ Division. He has been competing since 2014. Wayne has been coached by Kim Tang, who has elevated his skill level. He has taken classes, workshops, and trainings with Glenn Brown, Joseph Encinia, Ky Ha, Dev Kapil, Gloria Seun, Cynthia Wehr, Jared McCann, Zeb Homison, Jeff & Marty Chen, Lynn Whitlow, & April Penland.

Wayne created a Therapeutic Stretch Class called Stretch Yoga Therapy that he has been teaching since 2012. This class has enabled him to prepare his body to eliminate tightness and advance into more advance yoga poses. He is a trained ballet, jazz, and modern dancer and has trained other aspiring dancers. Wayne also was a competitive long distance runner through middle school, high school, and college.

What Wayne likes most about coaching is sharing his knowledge, love, and creativity of yoga alignment, fundamentals, and finding ways for stretching or opening up the body. Wayne has the most expertise in the fundamentals of yoga, exercises and drills for increasing flexibility, balance, and alignment. He uses photography and video feedback in his trainings so that the athlete and student can visually see their alignment and movement.

Wayne would like to contribute to USA Yoga and to make a difference by organizing yoga exhibitions and workshops in Houston.

Please contact Wayne at: 832-236-0134 or campbelltime@ymail.com or visit his website: www.urbanfityoga.com

Suzanne Elliott has been involved in health and wellness for almost 40 years, with degrees in Physical Education, Biology, and Counseling. She was a Counselor and Coach for 20 years at the secondary school level. She has earned certifications in Toastmasters, Vegan Nutrition, Life Coaching and several Fitness, Yoga and Yoga Therapy courses. She has been a state and national award winning competitive cheer coach at the high school level, and a regional, national and international competitive yoga coach and judge every year since the inception of USA YOGA.

She created her own health and fitness lifestyle coaching business called Fun Innovative Training located in Cape Canaveral, FL, and a yoga studio for beginners, H.O.T. Yoga on the Island, located in Merritt Island, FL. She created a series of postures for her environmental and animal activists friends called Wild About Yoga! She has taught yoga to the elderly in libraries and recreational centers, and to students with special needs at local private schools.

She developed a Kids Camp curriculum and classes that are creative and fun for kids of all ages. Suzanne has practiced yoga for over 20 years. Suzanne was born with hip dysplasia and had double hip replacements in 2013. She continues to use yoga as her surgery recovery and to keep her spine healthy and her mind happy! Suzanne is excited to be a USA Yoga Coach to help with the mission to increase awareness of the sport of Yoga Asana. Together, we can connect all ages and all styles of yoga and host events that will help us promote and continue our mission. Contact Suzanne at: info@yogaontheisland.com

Thomas Forbang

One would think that finding time to passionately practice yoga is the last thing on the mind of a father of five kids (four boys and a girl), the founder and president of a highly successful Information Technology firm and a real estate investor. Au contraire!

Serendipitously introduced to yoga in 2012 via a holiday gift of a 20 yoga classes Groupon from his wife, Thomas Forbang practices yoga daily for the fifth year in a row and has been training and competing since 2015.

“To me, yoga is much more than just a hobby, it is a true panacea and should become a lifestyle for all.”

You can contact Thomas at thforbang@aim.com

Sarah Gnerre came to yoga to continue exploring the joy of movement honed through years of studying dance as an adult. She has been practicing yoga regularly for 12 years with Sara Curry. She first competed in 2014 after attending several inspirational regional and national events as a spectator. She has been invited to three national championships since. She joined the board of USA Yoga as an associate member in 2017 to focus on fundraising. Sarah is glad to share with others interested in learning more about competing. Contact Sarah at: sarahgnerre@me.com

Tori Hicks-Glogowski is a dedicated yoga instructor that believes in the power of this transformative practice. Beginning her yoga practice in 2005 and certified to teach Hot Yoga after receiving her 500-hour certification in Fall 2011, as well as, acquiring a 120-hour certification to teach the Next Level 90 Intermediate Series in June 2017, Tori is continually inspired to work with students to help them achieve their goals.

Tori is the creator of the popular yoga blog, Meet Me on Your Mat and author of the book, “Views from the Podium: The Life & Times of a Hot Yogi."

Tori believes yoga competition is a positive way to reach for something new within your practice and has the ability to deepen your dedication and discipline. It is her hope that as a coach and teacher she can give back as much as she can to the community of instructors and students that have inspired her throughout the years.

You can contact her at: tlhicksglow@gmail.com

Garland Hume is a member of USA Yoga's board, and the owner and director of Bikram Yoga Richmond in Richmond, VA. She has been competing and coaching in USA Yoga events since 2009. Garland and her dedicated group of USA Yoga athletes from Richmond hold advanced classes and coaching and training sessions regularly; for information on events at her studios visit www.bikramyogarichmond.com.

Garland has attended four Bikram advanced trainings, eight Jedi Fight Club trainings with Esak Garcia, and many workshops and classes with champions over the years. However, she has spent the most time training extensively with former head coach of USA Yoga, Mary Jarvis.

Garland has competed for USA Yoga since 2009 and placed top ten in the country in 2015 and first for her state in 2016. She has also coached many athletes at a state, national, and international level. She currently leads advanced class twice a week in Richmond, and coaching and training sessions once a week. Please contact Garland at garlandhume@gmail.com for any coaching or USA Yoga inquiries.

“Give, give, give, to others; make sure deals are win-win-for both sides. Again, it’s not the amount of money involved, its maintaining -all day long- a truly generous, creative, flowing state of mind that wants to see everybody prosper.” The Diamond Cutter

From the age of 5, Rola Khwais recalls doing handstands and walking on her hands. Having a naturally strong core and overall body strength at a young age, she felt drawn to gymnastics and other athletic activities that continuously challenged her body. In February of 2012, she began her yoga practice and discovered that it was something she truly enjoyed doing and wanted to share her passion with friends and family.

Her continued practice inspired her to become a member of USA Yoga as an athlete and participated in the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition in 2015, 2016, and the North/Central Super Regional at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio in 2017. In February of 2017, she became a certified USA Yoga Coach. The competition phase transformed her personal practice and brought additional awareness of proper alignment with Asanas and Postures.

In May of 2016, Rola became a Certified Yoga Teacher (RYT 200), a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, and is currently teaching private classes, workshops, and hands-on assisting for non-profit and for profit organizations. Rola is an approved vendor by Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) board and teaches teachers a weekly class.

In addition to her current profession with MIM Insurance Solutions, where Rola provides insurance services for yoga teachers and yoga studios, among others, Rola is also a founder and business owner of orangeblueflow. Since 2016, Rola has been teaching private and public classes B2B and B2C. She has plans to grow her business portfolio. Contact Rola at: rola@insurancemim.com or orangeblueflow@gmail.com

Cat Levine was born and raised in Hong Kong and moved to Canada at the age of 13. One cold winter day, she stepped into a Hot Yoga class and the rest is history. Having a daily practice since January 2005 has helped her overcome numerous injuries, but more importantly, pulled her out of depression.

Cat is passionate about teaching yoga and loves nothing more than to share her passion with students.

She placed first overall in the women's division in Illinois at the 2016 Midwest Regional Yoga Asana Championship. She placed 10th nationally in the 2017 USA Yoga National Finals. She looks forward to competing and coaching in the years to come. She is deeply grateful to all of her teachers over the years, especially Mary Jarvis, for her generosity of spirit, wisdom and knowledge.

She currently teaches at her yoga school, Be Yoga Andersonville, in Chicago. You can find more information at HotYogaChicago.com

Brandy Lynn has been teaching yoga for over 10 years and practicing for nearly 20. She was the 2010 International Yoga Champion and has taught all over the world. Brandy will be forever grateful for the friendships and experiences she had as a yoga ambassador and hopes to help and inspire others as they pursue their path. As the mother of two young boys, Brandy has come to realize that the real yoga happens off the mat but that yoga asana is essential to her in navigating through this ever evolving life with grace. She currently lives in Utah and leads seminars and retreats worldwide. www.brandylyn.com

Scott Marin began practicing yoga with his wife, Karen, at various Texas studios in 2005. He found yoga to be a great exercise that re-aligns sore joints and heals knees. His first hot yoga class was in Montreal in 2006. The class was a great workout and Scott soon found a hot yoga studio in Dallas to continue practicing. A hot yoga studio in Richardson became Scott’s home studio in 2007 where studio director, Yassi Maige, and the other teachers have inspired Scott to practice regularly. Yassi raised the bar by inviting Scott to attend advanced classes and by suggesting that he train for the 2010 Texas Asana Championships. Each year since, Scott has competed in the Texas regional competition and, since the senior division was established in 2014, he has taken 1st place in the senior male division four times. Also in the senior division, he has won 1st place in 2015 and again in 2016 at nationals. He also won 3rd place at the 2016 internationals. While competition is fun and challenging, beginner’s classes of simple stretching are still most enjoyable.

Contact Scott at: smarin@ix.netcom.com

Lisa Pafe has been practicing yoga for 12 years. She is a devoted Hot Yoga practitioner but also loves adding variety with Vinyasa and Yin. She is a Yoga Alliance certified and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) with certifications in Fluid Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, Pure Power (yoga with weights), and Spa Yoga. Lisa also teaches yoga and meditation as well as mindfulness yoga for kids.

Lisa successfully completed the USA Yoga Judge’s Webinar and passed the certification test. She competes in the USA Yoga Adult 50+ Division and is a Virginia Medalist and Nationals finalist. She has been coaching the YogaWorks Fairfax competition team for the past three years with fellow Adult 50+ competitor Thomas Forbang. They offer a series of classes and private training open to all USA Yoga Divisions.

Lisa loves helping yoga athletes learn all of the mental and physical benefits of competing. Lisa especially enjoys helping competitors put together a routine that highlights their strengths but also challenges them to grow. In addition, she helps competitors work together as a team, building a sense of community that helps to inspire everyone.

A specialty is working with new competitors to help them create a routine suited to their needs and helping them gain self-confidence with constructive feedback to improve. Lisa coaches Youth, Adults and Adult 50+. She finds it especially rewarding to help youth and older athletes be the best they can be at any age. The younger and older athletes inspire her the most!

As a USA Yoga Associate Board Member and member of the Outreach Committee, her focus is on attracting Adult 50+ yogis to yoga competition. It makes a difference to inspire older athletes to keep growing, improving and learning. Yoga is truly ageless.

Contact Lisa at lisapafe@gmail.com, ask to join my Facebook private group, Yoga With Lisa LLC, and/or follow her on Instagram or Twitter. You can learn more about Lisa at https://www.yogaworks.com/teacher/lisa-pafe/ or twitter.com/yogaisageless or Instragram lisapafe.

Erin Paulsen has been practicing yoga since 2007, received her 500 hour Bikram Yoga Teacher certification in November of 2010, and has studied intensely under Lynn Whitlow since graduation. She has taught at several Bikram Yoga Studios across the country, at TrueNorth Yoga Retreats and is currently the owner of Radiant Yoga Ukiah in California. A former yoga competitor and now a judge for USA Yoga at the National level, her focus is on strength, focus and determination. For coaching information email Erin at: info@radiantyogaukiah.com

Emily Sabo, originally an attorney and philosophy professor in New York City, is the current owner and sole manager of EKS Beachside Bodywork, LLC—devoted to the development of the EKS Pilates, Yoga, Aerial Arts, Bodywork and Pain Management methods (the “EKS Methods”). (Learn more about EKS on Emily's website: www.eksbeachsidebodywork.com.)

Emily, the founder of the EKS methods, has been practicing and teaching Pilates and Yoga therapy for over a decade and has spent the majority of her life studying various traditional and non-traditional modes of bodywork such as yoga, mixed martial arts, plyometrics and agility/flexibility training, traditional strength training and various forms of massage and pain management methods, including trigger point, release work and deep tissue massage.

The EKS methods have proven extremely efficient at developing flexibility, strength and coordination in a short period of time and are very conducive to a broad spectrum of practices, from a home practice designed to realign the body and mind to a competitive yoga practice seeking to deepen and connect the body, mind and breath to very deep and seemingly difficult postures. Live Well, Be Well, Practice Often!!! To work with Emily contact her at: emilysabo@aol.com

Kim Tang has worn the hat of yoga student, teacher, studio owner, presenter, demonstrator, 5 time California State Champion, and 6 time nationally ranked competitor. She has comprehensively coached dozens of competitors on Regional, National and International Stages. Her method of coaching involves attainment / solidification of posture, performance execution, and fluid and seamless choreography. She has mentored and taught at Bikram Yoga Teacher Training, and demonstrated the advanced series alongside Bikram, Emmy, and the International Champions for seven trainings, each with an audience of 300 to more than 400 people. Her personal practice entails the 26 posture series, the 84 posture series, as well as multiple other disciplines. She says, “I believe that USA YOGA is an extraordinary platform, inviting participants to Discover and Develop their highest Selves, invoking their highest Good, their highest ability to Serve, their highest Life Experience! I am here to equip you, empower you, and to support your expansion.”

Find Kim on Facebook.com/KimTang, IG #KimTangYoga or contact her at KimTangYoga@gmail.com. Her website will be live soon KimTangYoga.com.

Michele Vennard, owner of Bikram Yoga San Jose, established in 2003, is a graduate of the Fall 2001 Bikram Yoga Teacher Training. She competed 5 times in USA Yoga Regional competitions, twice qualifying for Nationals. She has judged at both local and national levels for all divisions. She currently coaches competitors aspiring to compete and has twice co-hosted the California Regionals. For coaching information email Michele at: connect@bikramyogasanjose.com.

Mitch Watkins began practicing yoga 11 years ago. His normal weekly class increased to three classes a week four years ago. Shortly thereafter, when he heard about USA Yoga competitions, he began practicing six times a week and engaging in weekly coaching sessions.

During Mitch’s first year competing, he placed first for his state, Florida, and he placed in the top ten during Nationals. Then, in 2017, he qualified for Nationals and was awarded the silver medal. He is excited to start his third year of competition and looking forward to competing in the 2018 international yoga championship.

Yin Yoga was a big part of Mitch’s competitive training, and he complete his Yin Yoga teacher training to deepen his own knowledge and help current and future USA Yoga athletes reach their personal competition goals. Mitch has also taken many workshops from the best yoga instructors in America.

Furthermore, as a repeat competitor, Mitch can also help other athletes understand the ins-and-outs from start to finish of the competition season, including the reality of being on stage, the hard work and commitment, and the privilege of sharing the stage with USA Yoga’s best athletes.

Contact Mitch for more information and coaching:
Mitch Watkins
Yin For All Yoga
238 Angeles Road
Debary, Florida 32713

Cynthia Wehr has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and became a Bikram Yoga Teacher in Spring 2003. She earned the USA Yoga Gold Medal in 2005 and 2007 and the World Yoga Champion Gold Medal in 2007. This gave her the opportunity to travel the world to teach and demonstrate. She spent a lot her time teaching in Tokyo, Japan for Bikram Yoga Japan and in Bikram Yoga San Jose until June 2011. Cynthia now owns a Bikram Yoga Studio in Mountain View, CA. Since 2008, Cynthia has judged regional, US, and International Championships, as well as being on the board of the USA Yoga Federation, and working closely with Rajashree Choudhury and USA Yoga board members to introduce Yoga as a sport.

She coaches competitors every year as well as being a part of bringing the Yoga community together by being involved in the social networks. The constant inspiration and change Cynthia has witnessed and experienced feeds her soul daily to keep teaching yoga forever. To bring yoga to children and children to yoga is the ultimate destination, the big step for truly creating a more peaceful, honest planet. By bringing yoga championships into the light, into everyone's home, we can make this destination possible. Contact Cynthia at: info@bikramyogamountainview.com

Veronica Wells has been practicing Bikram Yoga since 2010. In 2011, she had a lifesaving open-heart surgery to replace one of her heart valves. Veronica used her yoga practice both to prepare for and heal from this surgery. Veronica participated in her first competition in 2013 and since 2014 she has competed at the national level. In 2016, she received her 200-hour certification from True You Hot Yoga. In addition to teaching, Veronica is an associate professor at the University of the Pacific.

Throughout the years, the competition has provided a way for her to stay close to her practice despite her busy lifestyle.
With several years of competition training experience, Veronica’s training regimen is focused on maximizing the limited time she has for training. She is happy to share with you what she’s learned in terms of selecting postures, increasing depth and endurance of the postures, and using the competition to enhance your overall practice.

Veronica believes that competition training and preparation will transform your yoga practice because it provides an opportunity to practice concentration, meditation, and the Yamas and Niyamas. While your score and placement in the competition can give you some information about your progress, the competition is more than numbers—it’s about how you’ve personally changed as a result of the process. You can contact Veronica at: vmalzalde@gmail.com

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