I began my yoga journey in 2003. Yoga was introduced to me in the fitness industry. At that time I had no idea about Raja (meditation) yoga. I only understood the Hatha (physical) part of yoga. In 2005, I experienced a tragedy that almost took my life. As part of my recovery, I began practicing yoga at the Katy YMCA where I was introduced to an empowering yoga. My teacher, Rhonda Robinson
, began taking me to workshops with yoga leaders. Suddenly, I found the Raja Yoga! And once I put the two pieces together, the Raja Yoga and the Hatha Yoga—the healing began! Overwhelmed with the joy I had found in yoga, I continued my training and received my E-RYT with the Yoga Alliance. I have spent many years teaching in many different facilities. I have had the joy of working with individuals and groups. I have been able to watch people grow, learn, and heal. I noticed that there was not any yoga being offered in the Brazos area. I encountered many people through my sons’ sports, school, and other activities that inquired about yoga. However, I did not have a place to offer my own classes. In the Spring of 2010 I began giving private instruction to Rhea Kocian. Rhea was so excited about how yoga helped her mentally and physically that she wanted to “pass it on”. So, in the Summer of 2010 we decided the best way for us to “pass it on” was to open Yoga on the Brazos in the back of Rhea’s gift shop. And our mantra was born… Yoga heals…pass it on!!!
In June 2011 we moved into a 2 story house allowing us to have 2 classrooms for yoga instruction, a gathering room, upstairs for therapeutic massage, and a beautiful backyard for meditation and special events. Come and see this beautiful healing environment!
Yoga has been a gift for me. It has helped me to regain the ability to breathe deeply which was something that I took for granted until I was 19 years old. While I was in college playing competitive tennis and running long distances, I developed exercise induced asthma. Although, medication kept it under control, I was never truly able to improve my breathing until I began taking yoga classes many years later. Through my yoga practice, I have regained the ability to breathe deeply, and with that I gained a deep appreciation and understanding of the healing benefits of yoga. In addition to healing my lungs, my body has increased in strength and flexibility. Now that I am 50, I truly appreciate the relief from the every day aches and pains that yoga provides. These are gifts that I wish to impart to my students when I teach yoga. I truly believe that everyone can benefit from doing yoga! My background has provided me with the many skills necessary to be able to teach people of varying ability levels in ways that will assist them to gain knowledge and to achieve success. While in college, I studied sports medicine. From this, I learned the mechanics of the body and how to care for the bones, joints and muscles. As a high school teacher, I learned the value of modifying my lesson plans to assist my students in their learning process so that they could overcome their physical and learning challenges to be successful. In addition to teaching high school, I have taught fitness classes since 1998. I have taught a variety of classes as well as a wide range of students with varying abilities. My passion is to help All of my students to reach their greatest potential regardless of their age, or physical limitations. Yoga provides me the opportunity to share the gift that comes with joining the mind, body and spirit together with the breath to bring about emotional calm while helping to gain energy, strength, flexibility, and balance.
Gi Gi Castillo Baecker
After travelling around South America for work, I started my journey into yoga at the end of 2009 in Mexico City when I was facing health problems caused by stress and depression. On my way home from a doctor’s appointment I saw a Yoga studio and I decided to give it a try. Yoga found me! and after the first LOKAH SAMASTAH SUKIHNO BHAVANTU I knew I was ready for a change. In 2010 I moved to Richmond Texas and my first Yoga class in English was at Yoga on the Brazos with Carrie Muchaw. I have practiced Hatha, Vinyasa, Power and Ashtanga Yoga, and completed different trainings and workshops with Ricky Tran, Doug Swenson, Srivatsa Ramaswami, and Ganga Puri among others. In August 2012 I got my 200 hours certification in Vinyasa Krama with Srivatsa Ramaswami at the LMU in Los Angeles California. I have been blessed with amazing teachers that have taught the beauty of hatha and Raja Yoga. During class I encourage students to connect with their breath. I believe that breathing consciously has a biological effect on our mental, emotional, and physical state. Connecting with the breath is a method for being present. When you concentrate on each aspect of the breathing process, you are present; you let go of the past and future and are focused on the moment inside the breath. This is why breathing consciously is its own meditation. But this is just the beginning of why conscious breathing is important. I believe Yoga as a tool to self-realization, it is a tradition and a subject of experience. The path of Yoga is the path of integration with life if you decide to walk through it, it will show you its amazing magic, and you only need to be willing to retrain the senses and the mind to appreciate what gives you every moment.
Sylvia Valerio (spiritual name “Charan”) wears many hats – from IT Professional to wife, mother and grandmother. But her passion is Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. After many years of searching for self-healing, by practicing various forms of yoga, meditation and energy-related healing modalities, she found the technology of Kundalini Yoga is what works for her. Sylvia’s mission is to help others find what she found – deep healing on all levels, stress reduction, peace, and a better quality of life. Having begun her own yoga practice later in life, she feels that yoga can be practiced at any age and flexibility level and wants to share the many benefits with others. Her specialty is gentle yoga with inspiring music, meditation and relaxation using the healing sounds of the gong and crystal bowls. She received her 200-hour certification through the Kundalini Research Institute and Yoga Alliance and was honored with the 2014 International Kundalini Yoga Teacher’s Association Recognition Award.
I have been practicing yoga off and on for the last ten years. However, in the last two years, I have really just started deepening my practice and spirituality.
I wanted to sculpt my body, learn inversions, and discover more about
myself. That is when I discovered vinyasa yoga. I fell in-love, I was hooked my very first class.
I just finished my 200 hour training in vinyasa and I also have SUP training (yoga on a paddle board). If you have not tried it, I highly recommend it!
I feel like my journey is just beginning. I am so excited to see where it takes me. I am excited to be at Yoga on the Brazos and I can’t wait to flow with you!
Cecile, E-RYT 300; Restore & Renew ® Teacher/Trainer. Yoga has been a part of my life for over 13 years. My practice helps me grow stronger, increases my awareness of the body, mind, breath connection, and improves my health physically and mentally. Yoga inspires me to live with awareness. I completed my 200 hour Hatha Yoga teacher training in 2006 and recently completed my 300 hour certification. I am certified to teach Hatha, Restorative Yoga, Senior/Chair Yoga, Meditation, Yin Yoga, and Yoga for Special Populations. In my classes, I love to combine creative sequencing, a spirit of curiosity, and a dose of inspiration to deepen your practice and promote self-awareness and healing. Yoga removes obstacles to make room for personal transformation and it is my privilege to be part of the fascinating process.
As a child I saw yoga, I knew what it was. My grandmother (now 80 and still instructing) always spoke of it, but I never understood why. I never got the rituals or the reason for meditation in motion. I never knew I needed it but knew I liked the workout. After my first child I suffered severe postpartum anxiety. I tried everything except the obvious. My amazing OB said go back to yoga, Laura, you need your yoga. I did and I worked through my issues… Mind, body. and spirt. I was me again. While pregnant with my son I continued to practice and heal and transformed as a mother. After he was born I jumped back In to the studio ASAP!! I now teach because I know I need to pass on what I know. Yoga heals and I am here to spread the message!!
I have been practicing yoga on my own for over ten years and have always been drawn to the way yoga made me feel physically. But the more I practice, the more I realize that the benefits of yoga go far beyond the physical body. As my practice continues to deepen, so does my spirituality. I look forward to every time I step onto my mat, to breathe, to move, and to find balance. I am also a Physical Therapist and have always been fascinated with anatomy and movement. So much of my job involves teaching which is why I love being a yoga instructor. Whether I am instructing patients, students, friends, or family I love seeing people find joy in moving better, feeling better, and healing in some way. My yoga goes with me everywhere and everyone can benefit from it!
Sherri Smith (sub)
At the age of 45, I had focus most of my life on my husband, children and work. Always making the time for everyone else but myself. The doctors had me on a few different meds. And I decided it was time to start taking better care of myself, plus my kids had a grown up and left the house. I had the extra time on my hands. And you can only shop and clean house so much. Time to find out who I was and what I liked. WHO am I? When you are knocking on the door of 200lbs, you are not wanting to go to a gym or run. So I started Yoga. My first class was a “Hot” class, but it was on a special 10 days. And I was going to get my monies worth. In Nov 2009, I earned my 500hrs teacher training @ Sunstone Yoga in Dallas. And now I have a better idea of who I am. Still a wife, mother, a grandmother. Yoga has grounded me with my life choices. The asnana, relieve tension in my body so I can sleep, making healthier food choices. Has allowed me to meet so many wonderful, interesting people, and gives me a since of wonder every time I step on my mat. I want to share, Yoga can be for anyone, at any age, or physical shape. Do something for yourself,this is your life. time to enjoy it!
Brittany Elliott (sub)
I began my yoga journey as part of my physical therapy following a car accident in 2010. I immediately fell in love with the healing powers of yoga, both for the mind and the body. It’s the one place I can draw my focus back into a state of tranquility when the demands of life seem to pull me in every direction. Yoga centers one’s self back into the present moment, allowing you release everything else, while in turn filling that space with peace and awareness. I find the combination of clearing the mind while strengthening the body very invigorating. I was amazed at how much stronger I was with each session! I decided to refocus my life by sharing this experience with others. I received my certification from the Yoga Institute training under Lex Gillan and have since trained under Niki Nira at Yoga Living. I will always be a student of the practice, as I believe one should never stop adding to their learning. I am very grateful for the wisdom my instructors have shared with me and I hope to pass on the love of yoga to others.