The instructors at Bliss Yoga Studio are committed to providing classes that are accessible, engaging and encouraging.
Explore a bit more about our instructors and what brought them to the practice of yoga.
Bliss Yoga Owner & 500 E-RYT Instructor
Shara started practicing yoga in 2008 as a way to satisfy her need for movement. She has been a dancer all her life and absolutely fell in love with Vinyasa yoga from her first class. Initially it was the movement of Vinyasa yoga that was appealing to her, but what she found was that yoga was so much more than just movement. It opened up new areas inside her—physically, emotionally and mentally— that had never been explored before. She was hooked! Once she had that feeling, Shara realized that she had to teach and hopefully help guide others along this incredible path. In 2013, Shara completed her 200 hr RYT education through Jane’s House of Yoga in St. Louis, Missouri in the Dynamic Yoga Method. 2016 saw the completion of her 500 hr RYT journey with Shiva Rea, internationally known teacher and creator of the Prana Flow Vinyasa® methodology. Both of these Vinyasa based practices journey into the heart of yoga, the discovery of your true self that is always present. Shara also has an interest in Yin and Restorative styles of yoga and bodywork practices to help cultivate balance in our body and lives. She has studied Yin Yoga with Carole Westerman, Ayurveda with Maria Garre, Anatomy Trains with Tom Myers and The Roll Model Method with Laurie Streff. Shara continues to advance her knowledge and practice in all aspects of yoga and health and wellness as often as she can. Shara is dedicated to providing yoga classes and teachings that help individuals look past their perceived limitations and expand into their highest potential. The goal for every class is to be challenged physically, mentally and emotionally so that we may transform. Her focus is on the awareness of proper body alignment in the flow, the link between movement and breath and the examination of our habitual mind.
“Smile Often and see what happens.”
200 RYT Instructor
Caitlin practices yoga to cultivate light, joy, and peace in her own life so she can guide others to their own inner lights. Caitlin wishes to make her community a kinder and more peaceful place through her teachings. Caitlin finished her 200 hour certification through Fannie Hungerford’s Yoga Teacher Training and is excited to start her 300 hour certification next year. Caitlin is a social justice advocate with trainings in sexual violence prevention education and crisis advocacy. In her spare time she enjoys drawing landscapes, tending to her succulents, eating mangos, and exploring new places.
“My wealth is not measured in how much time I have to do what I want, rather, how much meaning I’m able to derive from the time I have.”
200 RYT Instructor
Erica has always been a spiritual seeker, as well as a lover of dance and self-expression through movement. It was no surprise that these passions led Erica to practicing yoga in her teenage years to a VHS tape in her mama’s living room. Her practice of yoga, during this time coincided, with her regular practice of meditation, primarily from the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. Since that time, Erica has been blessed to study with many great teachers from many spiritual traditions and her daily yoga & meditation practice are essential to her happiness and well-being.
In 2017, Erica began formally studying yoga with Yogarupa Rod Stryker to deepen her personal practice. In 2020, Erica completed her 200-hr RYT with SOAR yoga. Erica wishes to share her joy of yoga and the profound life-shaping potential of yogic philosophy and spirituality in her teaching practice.
When not practicing yoga, you can find Erica at her spiritual healing practice, inSpirit healing arts, located right here at Bliss Yoga Studio. Her work at inSpirit brings balance to body-mind-spirit and activates Higher Self awareness through bodywork, energy work, and intuitive guidance.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. TodayI am wise, so I am changing myself.”- Rumi
200 RYT Instructor
I began studying yoga in 2006 while living in Los Angeles, California. A dancer from a very young age I was looking for a way to move more regularly again and find deeper meaning in my life. In Los Angeles I studied Anusara Yoga; a modern-day Hatha yoga system, that weaves a heart theme, with the breath through postural instructions that are checked in reference to the “Universal Principles of Alignment™”. Moving back to Iowa in 2010, I began practicing Vinyasa Yoga more regularly and really enjoyed the more fluid movement that I was missing in Anusara. I enjoy mixing these two styles in my classes, and find they complement each other well. I started working towards my 200 hour RYT in February of 2017, as a way to commit more fully to my practice. I also started teaching the same month and have been ever since. I will complete my 200 hours this coming July. Through my yoga teacher training with YogaFit® I have found deeper interest in the therapeutic aspects of yoga and am also working towards a certification in Trauma-Sensitive yoga. Off the mat I love spending time with my husband and four year old son, riding bikes, listening to music, and watching all things funny.
“The beauty you see in me, is a reflection of you.” Rumi
Jillian Hernan Fee
200 RYT Instructor
I began my yoga journey as an intermittent student and slowly deepened my practice. Once I reached the point of a serious, daily home practice I decided to pursue a 200 hour teacher training course. At the beginning of my training I had no intention of actually teaching, I just wanted to learn more about yoga. However, during the process I discovered that my love and passion for yoga translates well to teaching and that I have been able to inspire my students. One of the most satisfying aspects of teaching yoga is helping those students who don’t think they have the skills or ability to achieve their goals.
200 RYT Instructor
I started doing yoga as a way to undo all the things playing soccer through college did to his body. He quickly realized it helped undo more than the just the physical. The days he did yoga, not only his body feel better, but his mind was quieter as well. In no time at all he was attending class almost every day. He decided it felt so good that he wished to share that feeling with others. He enrolled in the teacher training program at Yoga One in Charlotte, North Carolina and received his 200 hour certification in power vinyasa yoga. Since then, he has been to workshops of many different styles of yoga. Combining the base learned in teacher training with the workshops, books read, and life experience he hopes his class will help students both on and off the mat. Off the mat he enjoys playing with his son, creating artwork, riding his motorcycle and reading.
500 RYT Instructor
Michelle took her first yoga class in 2003 when a new studio opened in Iowa City. Her love for the practice deepened during her graduate studies in science, and she decided to become a teacher in 2012, completing her first 200 HR training with Jonny Kest at Center for Yoga in Birmingham, MI. She taught a full schedule of Vinyasa, Yin, and Slowburn classes at Center for Yoga in Detroit for 6 years.
In 2018, she completed a 200 HR Awakening Yoga Teacher Training with Patrick Beach and Carling Harps in Los Angeles, CA, and then she completed their 300 HR advanced training in October 2018 and March 2019. Awakening Yoga is a new map through the vinyasa practice that builds strength, increases mobility and flexibility, and cultivates a sense of play and fluidity. Michelle was drawn to study with Patrick and Carling partly for her love of inversions. She also loves the balance that Awakening Yoga provides with its emphasis on four pillars of practice – Strength, Solar, Lunar, and Restore.
Michelle loves to teach vinyasa classes that are fluid, strong, and help to build functional patterns of movement in the body. She hopes that students can find a new sense of freedom of movement in their practice. She also loves to practice and teach Restorative and Yin classes, as well as Lunar Mobility Flow — a mostly hands-free practice that focuses on lower-body mobility and joint health in the Awakening Yoga practice.
“Believe in your ability to figure things out.”
200 RYT Instructor
I am an energetic person committed to helping others improve quality of life through health and wellness. As a physical therapist, I look for ways to help people improve their function with less pain. I was drawn towards yoga for two reasons.
The first is that it provides unique physical exercise for strengthening and stretching. This can be done in a variety of ways from gentle yoga to more of a power vinyasa yoga to complement an athlete’s training program. I have found both to be successful in accomplishing strength and flexibility gains.
The second reason that attracted me to yoga involved the emphasis on mind and body connection. We are in a society with a lot of anxiety and disease all of which manifest in or exacerbate physical symptoms in our body. We have slowly lost some or more of that mind/body connection. Yoga offers a way to re-connect with our present awareness and what that feels like in our bodies. Yoga provides tools to re-establish a state of equilibrium between brain and body that improves quality of life
“The way to develop a calm adult presence is through experiential exercises that increase your ability to restore equilibrium, quickly, and naturally, so you are more likely to experience grace under pressure.” Peter Levine
500 RYT Instructor
Samantha fell in love with yoga in 2006 and has been a yoga practitioner ever since! It was by suggestion of a great friend that she pursue teaching yoga and it was from that tiny spark that the flame grew and she sought out her 200-RYT.
YogaFit® offered a great program for Samantha to travel around the United States to complete her 200-RYT program and along that journey Samantha was able to deepen her mindfulness and awareness of the gifts yoga can bring to our lives.
More than anything, she enjoys sharing the gift of yoga to those around her and by teaching a variety of classes she gets to practice with many wonderful people. Yoga is more than just the physical practice; it is also a mindset and a dedication to the journey we are all on as well as a way to spread peace in our world. Samantha’s goal is to bring a challenging but inviting practice to her classes so students can truly appreciate the gifts of the body, mind, breath and spirit.
In addition to instructing yoga, Samantha is also a certified personal trainer, a certified health coach, and certified to teach many group fitness classes. She also loves to run in races and triathlons. In her personal training and coaching, Samantha has worked with a vast array of people with a multitude of goals to ranging from improvement of athletic performance, to maintain overall health, and also with individuals with serious medical conditions and limitations. Samantha believes in the philosophy that movement is medicine.