Andrea McDermott {BIO}

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I was drawn to yoga 8 years ago as a means to cross-train, improve flexibility, and heal sports injuries.  In the past two years yoga became a way for me to manage personal hardships, emotional, psychological, and physical stress.  I realized that at any time I needed to feel grounded I returned to my mat and began to reap the benefits of a continuous practice.  This realization became the catalyst my journey of exploring the spiritual side of yoga and deepening my personal practice.  Yoga has allowed me the space to find clarity and cultivate mind-body awareness and acceptance. 

Currently a student I will complete the 200 hour teacher training program through Day Yoga in June of 2015.  I am also a registered prenatal yoga teacher through ShantiMom.   When not teaching or practicing yoga I enjoy spending time with my daughter, rowing, cooking, reading, and anything outdoors.  Being in nature or on the water is medicine for my soul! Iā€™m also a certified labor doula in the Dayton area providing childbirth education, supporting and coaching mothers through labor and delivery.

My classes range from peaceful and relaxing to energetic, sweat-inducing vinyasa flows.  Yoga is different for every body and my goal is to provide verbal support through a variety of poses and conscious sequencing.  Each class will help build strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as provide the space to find clarity and mental reflection.

Shirley Forrest {BIO}

I have enjoyed being a physical therapist since graduating from Cleveland State University in 1979. I have been gifted with a wide variety of experiences and people in my life and continue to feel blessed and challenged within the experience of being a PT.

In 1994, I was introduced to Tai Chi as part of a continuing education workshop for people challenged with rheumatoid arthritis or other severe musculo-skeletal illnesses. Impressed with the sense of gentle strength and wellness within the practice, I began to include its principles in my work as a therapist. Tai Chi's core principles of balance, peacefulness, and harmony with nature appealed to me personally also.

In 2004, I began more actively studying tai chi with Tricia Yu at the Tai Chi for Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2005, I began studying Qigong and Tai Chi with Brad Fraley at Stone River Tai Chi in Yellow Springs, Ohio. My decision to further my studies was gift to myself to help me with my own strength, balance, and posture.

Since 1994, I have read varied books, watched videos, practiced with other students/friends, studied under gracious teachers, taught classes, and continued my journey with tai chi an qigong finding ongoing benefit from these ancient exercise systems. My studies have been focused on the Yang Style Short Form tai chi and Chen style qigong.

I look forward to continuing my journey as a physical therapist and as a practitioner and teacher of qigong and tai chi. For me, these are practices that I gladly anticipate enjoying the rest of my life.

In addition, a writer over the years, I am exploring sharing my thoughts and life lessons in creative projects with small, locally owned businesses in the region. As a gardner, I enjoy growing and preserving pesticide-free fruits, vegetables and herbs for myself, friends, and family. As a steward of my small property, I have enjoyed nurturing biodiversity, providing a refuge for birds and beneficial insects, health of the land, and discouraging invasive plants. Bicycling, kayaking, and hiking in local parks are all ways I nurture my health and well-being.

I see myself as a simple person on a journey, one moment, one choice at a time.

Heather Weaver {BIO}

From running circles around my living room as a little kid, to spring-board diving in high school, I have always enjoyed being active!

I spent most of my life in Bellbrook, from pre-school through high school. I danced for eight years at Bellbrook Dance Academy, was in gymnastics for 5 years, played softball for 4 years, a year of volleyball and cross-country, and 4 years of spring-board diving to name a few. There were only a few sports I didn't try. I enjoyed meeting different people, while learning and challenging myself with different skills. 

Although I had oodles of energy, I didn't quite understand the nutrition end of things. I now joke about how I could eat (when challenged) quite a bit of food (i.e. large Papa Johns pizza by myself or 7 soft tacos from Taco Bell), but I paid a pretty price for that eating behavior when I was diagnosed with cholecystitis, or gallbladder disease 2001. My nutritional pitfalls are what lead me to try alternative and healthy options, but my learning didn't end there and quiet frankly, won't end until I die. I had several other health complications that continued to push me in understanding a very important practice which I work on everyday. I like to call it....drumroll please..... BALANCE!

To this day, I try my darndest to understand and implement balance in my life. From taking what's bad, hard, or difficult in life to help me understand whats good, and what things to be grateful for, to eating foods that help my body thrive, while still eating foods that feed my soul :) I try to appreciate balance wherever possible.

Personal experience isn't what I base my teachings from, but more to help me understand some of the emotional, as well as physical barriers, we embark on to live a healthier lifestyle.

My education includes an Associates of Applied Science for both Exercise Science and Dietetics from Sinclair Community College. I received my Dietetic Technician Registration with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and shortly after became a Certified Personal Trainer through National Council on Certifying Personal Trainers. My Pilates journey began back in grade school with Winsor Pilates videos in my basement and continued into college. Since then, I have had many years of personal practice in various forms of Pilates, but spent the last year learning the Stott Pilates repertoire, which is what I will be receiving my certification in and teaching at our studio.

A long time comin'

Hello all!

I can't believe that we are finally ready to open! This summer wasn't without it's challenges. Between renovating the studio, buying a house, practicing my craft, and all the while raising a toddler, to say that we have been busy would be an understatement. As my first blog post, I wanted to share with you the before and after pictures of our space. I encourage you to check back frequently as I plan on keeping our blog updated with all of the happenings and changes we inevitably will be going through.