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Our Story

Yoga on the Brazos specializes in offering classes that are accessible to all. Yoga starts with acceptance - of who you are and where you are in this moment, today.

While there are many different schools of yoga, all offer similar benefits including improved posture, increased strength and mobility, regulated metabolism, lower blood sugar, and increased capacity for dealing with stress.

 

YOTB classes also increase mental clarity and calmness to help us enjoy life to the fullest.

 

Just getting started? No experience required! Our Gentle classes are great for beginners, and Hatha classes are slower with an emphasis on alignment. Yin yoga and Qigong classes reduce stress and anxiety, while promoting mindfulness and improving joint mobility. 

​Join our community and discover healing, tranquility, and balance, both on and off the yoga mat.

Our Instructors

Suzanne Bonefas

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Hi, it's Zan! I am on a lifelong learning adventure, and teaching is my favorite way to learn. After moving back to the Houston area where I was born and raised, I did my RYT 200 training with the amazing Carrie, founder of Yoga on the Brazos. I spent most of my career in higher education, and am a total geek with the goal of knowing everything there is to know and connecting all the dots.

My classes combine mental, physical, and spiritual health with the joy of connecting both internally and externally. Students teach me so much! You inspire me to show up with my whole self and continue to grow and have fun in the process.

I have training and certifications in Yin yoga, meditation, children’s yoga, Qi gong, and trauma-informed yoga, and my classes combine these styles and modalities.  

Suzanne Bondefas
Jess Geevargjese

Jess Geevarghese

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Jess believes we are all teachers. When one person learns, we all learn. When one person grows, the universe grows. Yoga has been deeply transformative for her, physically and emotionally, and is thrilled to share her knowledge and learn from her students. She trained at ISHTA Yoga in NYC where she completed the 200-hour teacher training, the advanced 300-hour certification and restorative certification.

 

She has also trained privately with master teachers in meditation and reiki.
Jess is grateful for the extraordinary teachers in her life who continually remind her that every moment is a moment of potential transformation.

 

Jess recently moved from New York City. In addition to her RYT-500, Jess holds an MSW and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.

Jessica Nguyen

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Jessica has a passion for incorporating mindfulness and yoga throughout her community. She has been a librarian and a public school educator for over 15 years, and she has been practicing yoga for over two decades. She teaches in an inclusive way to make yoga accessible for all. Jessica received her yoga teacher certification in 2022.  She is certified to teach a trauma informed practice with a Social and Emotional Learning Facilitator certification. She is also in the process of becoming an aerial yoga teacher.  As a high energy person, Jessica enjoys the challenge of yin yoga and finding peace in what comes up in the stillness. 
She cannot wait to share her love of yoga practice with you!  Jessica fills her free time playing with her daughter, digging in her garden, enjoying music, and hanging with her family and her dog. 

Na Toshia Jospeh

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Healthcare leader, RYT 500, Chair Yoga, 100 Rocket Yoga, and Poppy Prenatal Yoga certifications.

 

Na Toshia (Natasha) Joseph started her yoga journey 6 years ago looking for a way to disconnect from the external world and connect to herself and spirit. A mother of two and a leader in healthcare, it was important to her to find a place of calm and peace.

 

She joined Yoga on the Brazos, her one and only Yoga home, by attending a complementary class. That one hour of time changed Na Toshia as she embraced all that Yoga had to offer, especially her meditation practice. Her teacher journey started a year after her practice where she’s gained multiple certifications, taught private classes, and large and small classes, as well as incorporated her Yoga and meditation principles into her personal and professional environments. She is a passionate student of the practice and instructor. Na Toshia specializes in power hoga and slow flow

 

Allison Cisler
Na Toshia Joseph
Amanda Marchand

Amanda Marchand

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Hi! My name is Amanda Marchand and I am a 200 hour experienced yoga teacher. I am certified in the Baptiste Power Vinyasa and will be getting my 300 hours next year making me a 500 hour experienced yoga instructor. I am also certified in SUP yoga and teach kids classes, as well as chair yoga.

I am a mom of two awesome boys both 17 and 4 years old whom keep me very busy and on my toes. I got married last May to my husband whom shares yoga as a passion as well. Our house is filled with yoga, meditation, guitars, music, dinosaurs and LOVE!

I am a retired Montessori teacher and assistant director of a school for 11 years. I began to feel burnt out in the classroom so I took a huge leap of faith and quit the classroom and went to teach yoga full time. It was one of the scariest decision I have had to make, but looking back, it was the best decision I have ever made.

Susan Merida

Susan Merida

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My name is Susan Merida. I began my journey through yoga years ago for health reasons, work and accompanied by episodes of anxiety and stress.  I found yoga the way to find myself. With a background in the health field as a pediatric dentist, my body suffered all the stress with injuries to my back and hands. Yoga was key to my recovery physically and mentally.

I certified as a teacher 200 hours of yoga in 2017, plus I study about the behavior of brain, 2019. I finished my neurolinguistic programming certification, currently 2020, I finished the 300 hours of teacher yoga alliance.

I am happily married, the mother of 2 and my Mayan beagle dog. I've been teaching since 2018 and my favorite pose is warrior in all its variations.

I like to be a servant of breaking mental schemes, that the new generations practice, and to help the contemporaries to age healthily. Yoga is magical and I love to accompany my students in their self study and enjoy the movements of their body combined with their breathing.

Besides yoga, I enjoy good food, exploring options in my green and sustainable lifestyle for the planet, meeting with my family and friends, traveling and reading. I like being a student, so I keep my practice and always learn. I practice a philosophy of life on the mat but more importantly off the mat.

Ashley Schmidt

Ashley Schmidt

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Yoga has not saved me. It has taught me how to save myself. In December 2010, I suffered the loss of my first baby. As a coping mechanism, I began to exercise regularly, but at that time, my goal was to control my body because I felt that it had betrayed me. Though my newfound fitness did help me become stronger physically, it did nothing for the emotional and mental wounds I’d suffered. Mental and emotional patterns rose to the surface, and anxiety and depression prevented me from being able to ignore the destructive internal dialogue I was constantly feeding myself. I would not say that the miscarriage, and period of fertility treatment that followed, was a blessing in disguise, but I would say that it was a catalyst, like most traumas and tragedies in our life, that helped me begin to heal myself and move closer to the Divine.


   It was during that time that I began to really delve into the spiritual symbolism of events that occur in our lives and finding a positive purpose in trauma, tragedy, and grief. Finally, I found yoga. Yoga connected my physical need for movement to my spiritual search for meaning. It helped me to slow down, breathe, focus and most of all be gentle with myself. I began to learn to honor my body, nourish it, and give gratitude for the things it could do for me without judgement or expectation.
   What I hope to bring my students is a sense of their innate worth and of the unceasing, unconditional love that flows to them. I hope to help them tap into that worthiness and love so that not only can they heal from any hardship life has brought them, but also so that they can begin to see hardships as gifts that can lead us, if we so choose, to our highest divine potential.

Wilma van Oostendorp

Wilma Van Oostendorp

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   Wilma van Oostendorp was born and raised in the Netherlands. She graduated with a degree in cosmetology and taught cosmetology at several institutes as well as working with dermatologists when she met her husband Dirk in Zwolle, her hometown, and started a family. With two little girls they made the move to England, followed two years later by the move to Katy, Texas with two girls and a little boy. The family expanded with another girl and boy and have been living in Katy for over 20 years.

   Although most of Wilma’s time was spent at the schools as room mom and PTA board member when the children were enrolled in KISD, there was always time for exercise, whether this was Aerobics, the gym, Yoga (through DVDs at home) or running.

   In November 2017, Wilma was introduced to Yoga. It quickly became important to take classes everyday and find not only the physical side of Yoga practice, but also the spiritual elements. All this prompted her to start her teacher training, attend many workshops. Being given the opportunity to teach the Yoga Strengthening and Conditioning class is exciting. I can take elements from all different fitness routines and exercises and combine them in a fun, active, invigorating and strengthening, yet yoga-based workout.

   She practiced yoga casually over the past 10 years, but in January 2018 decided to dedicate her time to learning more of what yoga has to offer. The Yoga Teacher Training that Carrie offers was the perfect opportunity for that. I have seen the physical strengths gained through my practice, but what I find most important is the emotional growth that yoga has provided for me. I have learned how to handle daily obstacles with calm and ease. I have grown spiritually through those moments of meditation. Fitness has always been a passion of mine, and by incorporating more yoga into my routine. I feel I am able to offer clients so much more now. Whatever your reason is for stepping on your mat, I encourage everyone to explore the benefits that yoga has to offer.

Sylvia Valerio

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  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.

Sylvia Valerio

Sameer Wadwalkar

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  Yoga has been Sameer's passion all his life -- starting as a young boy in India. His energy and joy are infectious while holding a welcoming and accessible experience for his students.Sameer holds deep knowledge of asanas, breathing techniques and meditation. He is committed to providing extensive instructions to his students while motivating them to find their authentic and healthiest self.

Sameer Wadwalkar

Janet Randolph

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Last, but not least, our Fearless Leader, and YOTB Owner!

YOTB owner Janet has been practicing yoga for over 30 years, first coming to it when pregnant with her first child and wanting something beyond the usual "fitness" regimen.

 

She came to YOTB as part of her recovery from a tragic life event. Her classes here were so integral to her healing that she knew her calling was to continue to offer this experience to others. 

Yoga on the Brazos was founded to provide health, healing, and wholeness to everyone who enters our space, regardless of experience and fitness level. 
 

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