Masako Lucas, Instructor / Partner
I love sharing the wonderful benefits of yoga to everyone. I first discovered yoga in the 90’s when I picked up a yoga video. It seems funny now, but, it took me a while to feel brave enough to walk into a local yoga studio and attend class even though I had been interested in yoga and had enjoyed doing some poses by referencing yoga videos, DVDs, and books. My practice dramatically changed when I started attending classes and learning under the guidance of experienced yoga teachers. I still remember walking out of a yoga class amazed by how everything looked clearer, brighter, and more beautiful. As if I magically acquired heightened senses. I felt lighter, happier, and more aware after each practice. I loved that yoga practice allowed me to create space in my mind and heart by creating space in my body. As I became hooked into yoga, and yoga has become my lifestyle (my husband once told me, “You used to DO yoga, but now you BREATHE yoga!”), I decided that I wanted to share this transformative ancient art with others.
Now, I enjoy teaching Iyengar-influenced therapeutic yoga. Which I think is like meditation in movements, and is extremely efficient in healing various ailments. My students are my greatest teachers and I have learned over the years of teaching that every person has a unique body with their own anatomy and its history that no one pose can work the same for everyone. Because of that, I try my best to pay attention, to meet the individual needs of my students so that they feel supported, encouraged, and safe in my class. I believe there is no right or wrong, better or worse in yoga as long as you are listening to your body and there is no pain associated with movements. It’s not a competition. It’s you and your mat and you are simply there to feel your body and listen. I love the non-competitive nature of yoga and I am passionate about sharing the benefits that have helped me become healthier and more mindful in my own life.
Audrey Kerdahi, Instructor / Partner
I was in the middle of a personal awakening and felt as though something was missing but wasn’t sure what it was.
It was yoga.
I always practiced yoga in a workout way, never as it was intended, as the union of mind, body & breath; closing the gap between my inner self and my ego. As I went deeper in my practice, training and learning the in-depth details history, knowledge of B.K.S. Iyengar. It has taught me that by using props when needed and precise alignment to create an asana, is magical. My personal practice has taught me, guided me, supported me, and forced me to create a very strong foundation for myself. This has increased my discipline, confidence and pride. My body began changing in just a very short amount of time, my eating habits become better, and my overall lifestyle changed. Bad habits have disappeared without me consciously trying. It was the realization that once you become in tune with yourself, the answers you seek are already there within you.
My body, mind, and breath have found alignment, which allows me to be more receptive to the joyfulness of life and the synchronicities of the universe. My passion is to share this gift with others and help them find their path and understanding of their self.
Christina Simpson, Instructor
I am a wife, mother of 2 beautiful daughters, Reiki Shinpiden (energy healer) and Certified Yoga Trainer. I began my yoga practice as many do, at home with videos with a focus on fitness. When I noticed myself only wanting to do the "yoga day" videos I decided it was time to expand this interest and began taking studio classes. I quickly realized that yoga was having a profound effect in my life and that I wanted to share it with others so I chose to become a certified instructor. I received my certification through the Kingwood Yoga and Wellness Center under the B.K.S. Iyengar tradition for adults, children and pre-natal.
The B.K.S. Iyengar style of yoga has made me a believer that yoga is truly for every body. I find it rewarding to watch adults, as well as children, come into a studio stiff and unable to touch their toes only to walk out loose and proud of their progress. The benefits that yoga brings to not only our bodies but our mind and spirit helps us far beyond the time spent on our yoga mat. Our yoga practice seeps into our daily lives and begins to alter everything for the better. The ability to take a moment in a hectic day to simply breathe or to have the body awareness to recognize when and where we are holding tension gives us the ability to make the shifts necessary to create positive change.
Heidi Roberts, Instructor
I was born in Rhode Island, and I moved to Texas during grade school. I’m a graduate of Texas A&M University, and spent twelve years working in the engineering and construction field. My husband and I now have two beautiful and healthy children.
I started participating in Yoga classes at a gym while I was working in the construction field. I had hoped to achieve decompression and relaxation. Initially I was not practicing consistently and had a “no pain no gain” approach to my primary exercise regime. It was not until I eliminated the intense exercise routine and started practicing Yoga regularly and consistently that I had an epiphany. I came to understand the tremendous benefits of Yoga…not only physically, but mentally and even spiritually. Every part of my body and mind feels better when I practice Yoga consistently and correctly. I look forward to taking this time to care for myself and, in turn, it makes me a better Mother, Wife and person in general inside and out. I believe that Yoga is a gift to yourself. This is what ultimately inspired me to become a Yoga instructor… to share this gift of Yoga with others.
Yoga, which translates to “Union”, is the oldest spiritual tradition in the World. In learning about the history of Yoga, I have come to appreciate the moral and mental attributes of Yoga. I studied and was certified in Iyengar Style Yoga, which emphasizes alignment of body and the use of props. What I appreciate most about this style of Yoga is that it is beneficial to students of all experience levels, body types and physical limitations.
In class we utilize Asana’s, or postures, not only to gain strength and flexibility, but also for curative purposes. We organize the Asana’s into sequences that enable to achieve multiple goals. We also use Pranayama, and more specifically Ujjayi and Ayurvedic breathing to oxygenate our brain, nervous system and blood to ultimately reduce stress. Dhyana, a meditative mindfulness, is also utilized with a resolve to ultimately accept our thoughts, who we are, and to observe undesirable thoughts in lieu of entertaining them.
My training and experience has inspired me to help children with Yoga, including my own, with concentration, focus, physical activity, gross motor skills and general education about Yoga. Young children especially have a difficult time coping with all of the stressors in the world. Teaching them at a young age how they can utilize Yoga in all fields of life has endless possibilities and benefits.
I earned my certification during pregnancy and taught prenatal Yoga classes during and after pregnancy. The foundation of this practice is to customize and utilize Asana’s to accommodate the student based on current trimester and other factors. During pregnancy, your primary responsibility is to care for the life your body is building and to be kind to yourself, and Yoga is one of the greatest ways to do this.
On my Yoga journey, I have not only gained a greater understanding of Yoga, but have also gained a greater understanding of how influential Yoga can be in every aspect of my life on a physical, moral, mental and spiritual level. I look forward to sharing these learnings with my family, friends and future students, ultimately inspiring others with integrity, and helping them achieve fulfillment in this life, and the afterlife.
Deondra Selph Holak , Instructor
Yoga for me has always been about restoration, awareness, and mindfulness; restoring my body to its full potential after I abused, over used, and took it for granted. I have been an athlete my whole life from Cheerleading, to Soccer, to Semi-Pro Football, and for the last 7 years, Roller Derby. When I got into my 20s I knew I had to start taking better care of my body if I was going to continue to play the sports I know and love. My first experience with yoga was 17 years ago in a college class, appreciated, but quickly forgotten. My second experience with yoga happened 13 years ago when I needed to rehab my body after a grueling football season. I found a tiny yoga studio, offering donation only classes, with a full schedule and several kinds of yoga. I fell in love.
I learned the importance of breathing, meditation, and mindful movement, but let’s be real; I wanted to be able to do all those really awesome Asanas all the cool kids were doing!! I didn’t however have the consistency in my practice to accomplish those goals. Yoga was good for my body but never my focus.
Life eventually pulled me back to Houston in 2011 to take care of terminally ill family members and over the course of the next 4 years I watched all the Matriarchs in my family pass away. I was using roller derby as therapy but fell into a deep depression. I had quit my job, moved home, and basically given up my life to take care of my family. I was a little lost on what I wanted to do next. But I knew I had this amazing opportunity to start over and do something I was passionate about. So I started looking into Yoga Certification courses when I found the Yoga Institute here in Houston. I decided that I wanted to teach others everything I had learned over the last decade to help them and myself restore their bodies and minds, stay in motion, learn how to really breathe, and become more mindful in everything. I went through the certification process in 2014 and started teaching that year.
In 2016 I got Married to the love of my life who I had met, and who stayed by my side, during the toughest time in my life. We decided to start a family right away and were blessed to conceive on the first try! However, I couldn’t find any prenatal yoga classes within an hour of me. So I dove deep into a prenatal certification course in Austin through Beauty Blossom Birth for prenatal yoga. It was the most magical time of my pregnancy to be surrounded by these beautiful yogis, teachers, and beacons of light. I gained more knowledge on pregnancy, birth, and women’s bodies through that training than in all the books I read or classes I took to get ready for my daughters arrival. I was also thrilled that I could continue practicing yoga, while pregnant, without fear of hurting myself or the precious life inside me. And I was excited about the possibilities of sharing that knowledge with all the other new mothers in my community.
In my yoga teaching career I have taught Hot Hatha, Yoga Barre, Prenatal, Mommy and Me, and private lessons. I love teaching it all! My teaching style is informational, slower paced, patient, and attentive, with focus on breathing, alignment, strength, flexibility and mindfulness which leads to awareness and relaxation.
I look forward to meeting you on the mat real soon!
With Love and Light,