Yoga & Fitness Staff

Leigh-Ann-Wolfe

Leigh Ann Wolfe, Fitness Director

Leigh Ann is a Pacific Northwest native who loves the outdoors and thrives in the mountains. She grew up playing team sports and have always been fascinated by health and fitness. It wasn’t until after overcoming her own health obstacles that she found a passion for helping others become healthier, stronger, and fitter versions of themselves. She loves giving people the tools to discover capabilities they never knew they had to succeed on their paths of self improvement.

As a mountain athlete, Leigh Ann trains hard in the gym and outside to increase durability, mental fitness, and to perform on the trails and in the mountains. She’s climbed several of North America’s tallest mountains and spends most weekends getting after it in Washington’s mountain ranges. She takes your health and fitness as seriously as she takes her own.

USAW Sports and Performance Coach, PN-1

5 Interesting Facts:

1. Despite my intensity, my humor and goofiness mimics that of a 15 year old.
2. Summitted Denali in 2015 as part of a four person all female team, The Denali Girls, who were all recipients of the American Alpine Club’s Live Your Dream Grant.
3. The mountains are my happy place.
4. I like my dog Beatrix more than most people.
5. My favorite exercises are those that test, challenge, and build mental toughness.

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dude

Joshua VlachFitness Instructor

Conditioning and TRX Instructor: I believe the primary limiting factor in performance is movement patterns. My fitness emphasis is to recruit full body movements that will translate to overall athleticism.

I first started training eight years ago in a wilderness outdoor education setting. Since my beginning in the fitness field, I advanced my fitness knowledge with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and six years of personal training experience. I train, coach, and run endurance events personally enjoying competition in triathlons. Fitness and Sports have always been a way of life to me and I am continually empowered by pushing others to reach new levels of fitness.

5 Interesting Facts:

1. I taught ESL in South Korea and now have a strong affinity to eat bowls of rice
2. I dislike the physical posture of sitting and have been known to regularly dance in place
3. I enjoy races! By foot, bike, reading- Anything!
4. I love to learn, so teach me something interesting!
5. My biggest dream is to cycle around the world! (boat travel across the oceans)

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andi

Andi SegurFitness Coach

Andi moved to the Pacific Northwest in September of 2014 after 9 years in the San Diego sunshine. After an attempt to continue their career as a tax accountant in Seattle they decided it was time to follow their fitness and coaching dreams, and they haven’t looked back. Upon that imperative realization they went and received their certifications in CrossFit and USA Weightlifting.

As their career developed the need and importance of correct form, functional mobility, and core stabilization became a passion. This lead them to getting 3 different certifications through Functional Anatomy Seminars (FAS). FAS emphasizes joint health, range of motion, and neurological control. The knowledge gained through the certifications has continue to motivate Andi to work closely with athletes to ensure joint control and independence.

Andi’s health and fitness journey has since led them to Vertical World. Andi always does their best to keep themselves and those around them moving through life healthy and safe.

5 Interesting Facts:

1. My first major in college was Cellular and Molecular Biology
2. There is almost always a 1,000 to 5,000 piece puzzle being put together at my house
3. I spend more time with my greyhound then I do most humans.
4. Building models helps me relax and reduces my anxiety.
5. Reading is my favorite way to escape reality.

kristin-shaw

Kristen [Shaw] KloosterYoga Instructor

KrisTeaches Power Vinyasa – All Levels.

My teaching style includes inspirational themes and creative flowing sequences with opportunities to focus on breath, balance, building strength, core, and flexibility.

Has been practicing yoga 18 years, teaching yoga since 2013.

5 Interesting Facts:

1. I used to perform in waterski show pyramids
2. I lived in Australia
3. I climbed Table Mountain in South Africa
4. My family has a train car from 1901 as a beach cabin
5. I am an advanced scuba diver

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jessi

Jessica ChungYoga Instructor

Jessi teaches a Hatha Yoga class which focuses on injury recovery, alignment, and anatomical details. Each class explores asanas carefully, sequencing poses with unique movement exercises to help people understand the bio-mechanics of that asana.

She has a background in modern dance and ballet from Cornish College of the Arts and the University of Washington. Jessi is also a manual therapist and integrates her classes with tools such as self-myofascial release. She started yoga at the age of 14 and has studied with teachers from all over the globe.

5 Interesting Facts:

1. I am a teacher with Yoga Behind Bars and it has saved me in countless ways.
2. Dancing on walls is my absolute favorite. Or just dancing, really.
3. I am obsessed with my dog. He really is such a cool dog and I annoy him daily by anointing him with my undying love.
4. Greatest food weakness: tubers. “If there’s an apocalyptic situation, you will find Jessi foraging for food in the potato chip aisle…” (words of my best friend, Chris)
5. I am almost done with my prereq’s for PT school and next summer, I am taking a well-deserved vacation to somewhere far, far away from a classroom.

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kristen

Amy Hirtzel, Yoga Instructor

I teach All-levels Vinyasa. I teach a fun, approachable class that starts small, then builds intentionally toward intermediate postures. Be prepared to surprise yourself and leave class feeling refreshed and inspired.

I’ve been practicing yoga for 4 years. It started out as a weekly activity, but soon became part of my daily routine. Now I don’t go a day without stepping onto my mat.

5 Interesting Facts:

1. I love to knit and my favorite brand of yarn (yes, that’s a thing!) is Madelinetosh.
2. I jumped off a cliff at Victoria Falls. Then I climbed up and jumped off again.
3. I’m terrified of heights and definitely blacked out on that first jump.
4. I bake delicious vegan cookies almost weekly and eat most of them myself.
5. I wish I could wink properly.

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amanda

Amanda Mitchell, Yoga Instructor

I teach Hatha Yoga – During my classes, I lead you through a slow and detailed exploration and understanding of your unique body, how it moves, how to breathe…and hopefully, how to laugh.

I started practicing yoga consistently in 2012, and became a teacher in 2013.

5 Interesting Facts:

1. My roller derby career lasted for two years. They called me One Tuff Mitch.
2. I speak fluent French.
3. There are 14 piercings (or 17 extra holes) in my body, and every one of them has a cool story.
4. I have successfully climbed a rock wall exactly one time as an adult. (And, I failed climbing a rock wall exactly once as a child.)
5. Ferrets are one of my favorite things! (to be sung to the Sound of Music tune)

 

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Kat

Kat OchabovaYoga Instructor

Kat first tried yoga in 2010, she was curious what all the fuss was about. She instantly and unexpectedly fell in love with both the physical and mindful aspects of yoga, and was surprised how much her practice helped her to live a richer, simpler and more meaningful life. She wanted to deepen her practice and share the healing benefits of yoga with others, so she completed her 200-hr teacher training certification in 2013.

Kat has since then taught at many different spaces and yoga studios. In 2014, she opened up her own yoga studio in Edmonds (Satya Yoga). She ran the business and taught there for over two years. She ultimately realized that it was most fulfilling to focus on her students through her teaching.

Kat’s goal in her yoga classes is to offer a fun and accessible experience to everyone. She loves challenging her students, but it’s most important to her that anyone can find a welcome spot in her classes. She hopes that her students can take at least one learning from their yoga practice and fit it elsewhere into their lives. She loves climbing mountains and being outside, and is so excited to combine that with her love of healing with yoga.

5 Interesting Facts:

1. I climbed Mt. Rainier in the summer of 2015
2. I was born in Slovakia and emigrated here with my family when I was 6 years old.
3. I’m a graphic designer and have spent most of my career in marketing at REI.
4. I love to write.
5. I’m obsessed with being in the mountains! No place else I’d rather be.

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Jenna

Jenna WalengaYoga Instructor

Jenna first found yoga as a moving meditation practice, while volunteering with the Earthchild Project in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2010, and has used her practice to find new light and ease in her life.

In 2014, Jenna completed her 200-hr teacher training from YogaWorks. YogaWorks offers a unique and practical approach that combines Vinyasa flow with an emphasis on detailed alignment and intelligent sequencing.  She weaves philosophy into her classes, and seeks to infuse each class with a sense of joy and leaves space to listen to your own body and needs.

5 Interesting Facts:

1. In the summer of 2016, I hiked from Montana (where I’d been living for the past year) back home to Washington on the Pacific Northwest Trail.
2. I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with my mom for Christmas of 2010.
3. I’m a holisitic health coach, called to helping women step into their power and start rocking this world.
4. I once gave away everything I owned and got a one-way ticket to Istanbul to start a European adventure.
5. I lived in Kansas for 5 years, by choice, and while I loved it there, now that I’ve found the mountains of Washington, I could never go back.

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suzanne


Suzanne Zitzer
Yoga Instructor

Suzanne is a compassionate and dedicated teacher and student of yoga who cultivates a deep respect and love for the planet, its people and all living beings. She first encountered yoga at the age of 14 and sensed that there was something deep and powerful about the practice. After practicing asana for many years, she decided to dive deeper into the teachings of yoga and its sister science, Ayurveda, and completed her 200-hour training through Synergy Yoga School in June of 2017. Her classes  move at a slow and steady pace, with plenty of flowing and linking breath with movement, but also some longer holds of poses. Her teaching is both precise and fluid, encouraging students to listen to their bodies, explore their limits and soften into each moment. In each class, Suzanne’s aim is to help students re-center themselves and find more ease in life, to discover the deep well of peace, calm, and wisdom within.

5 Interesting Facts:

1. I am a cat whisperer. Any time I come across a neighborhood cat, I usually succeed in coaxing it over for a few pets.
2. I have a tattoo of a dragon on my back. No, it was not inspired by the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book/movie.
3. I love vegetables and probably eat more of them than most people.
4. I talk in my sleep and sometimes yell and wake myself up.
5. Berlin is my favorite city and I lived there for five months in college.
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Mei

Mei Ling EllisYoga Instructor

Mei Ling sees yoga as a powerful tool to help calm the body and mind, which can provide clarity and reduce stress–something that is often needed in today’s fast paced world. She believes in the inherent strengths and skills in all students, and appreciates the uniqueness of every ability, body, and culture. Mei Ling’s teaching style is grounding, and supports students to move mindfully between the push and pull of life by honoring themselves and deepening the connection to their inner voice. In addition to teaching yoga, Mei Ling is also an applied researcher, clinician, and rock climber.

5 Interesting Facts:

1) Challenging situations are her best teachers.

2) She has been known to eat everything with chopsticks.

3) Huge coffee lover.

4) She ran out of pages in her passport by age ten.

5) She despises shoes and would live in slippers if she could.

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Stephanie-Kardos

Stephanie KardosYoga Instructor

My teaching style includes slow movement and meditation. The poses are set from the ground up and are rooted in anatomy and form. Slow flow and lots of stretching poses are weaved throughout class and body awareness, increasing strength and focus/concentration are the core concepts.

Has been practicing yoga 18 years, teaching yoga since 2013.

5 Interesting Facts:

1. I lived in London, England

2. I also work as a Massage Therapist

3. I am currently learning Tibetan

4. I love being outside, hiking, climbing and camping

5. I own my own business

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Samira

Samira QayyamYoga Instructor

Samira’s passion for fitness began in Colorado, where she is from. The landscape beacons you to conquer it as best you can, it encourages you to walk, climb, jump, slide, ride. It’s out of this rugged landscape that her love of all things fitness arose after she realized that the cross training she’d been doing had prepared her to climb mountains, raft rivers, or canyoneering. Samira believes the true beauty of fitness is that it serves as a faucet to other areas of your life. The physical challenge prepares the body for anything, and mentally it toughens you to strive harder in all areas of life. Samira has been teaching yoga for over 7 years, but over her career has trained in ballet barre, strength and conditioning, and gymnastics. You can expect to get a unique workout with Samira, that will be sure to leave you remembering it a few days afterward.

5 interesting facts:

1. It is my bucket list to visit all the US National Parks, since setting this goal 4 years ago I have visited 49

2. And I am seriously nerdy about it ^. Ask me anything about any park and I could probably tell you extensively about it.

3.I am an avid rock collector, I have the most amazing collection of raw rocks you’ll find anywhere.

4. Since moving to Washington a year ago my favorite activity is somehow being on or in the water. I’m obsessed with the water sports culture here!

5. I am an interior designer by trade, and pretty well obsessed with architecture and design