Team

TEACHERS

Teacher

Alex Duffy

Alex initially turned to yoga as a way to cope with the daily stress of an intense job. She was amazed by how transformative the practice was for her, and instantly wanted to share it with others. She was inspired to pursue her 200-hour RYT and apprenticeship at Citizen Yoga. As an instructor, Alex seeks to empower students, both on the mat and off, with physically challenging yet nurturing classes. She hopes to guide students into a greater awareness of the practice, their bodies, and themselves.

Teacher

Alyssa Ciapala

Alyssa found yoga as a way to reduce stress in her daily life. She says Citizen Yoga hooked her right away! She fell in love with the studio, the community and the support they provided as she delved deeply into the practice. A graduate from Citizen Yoga’s 200-hour RYT and the Apprenticeship Program, Alyssa has learned to use teaching as a way to express vulnerability and always have fun in class! Her daily personal practice inspires her to teach thoughtful, creative and challenging classes that aim to energize her students and inspire a continued commitment to personal growth and wellness.

Teacher

Ann Fancy

Ann teaches to empower and inspire. She keeps things real in the classroom — her motto is “If I show up, I expect you to show up.” Meaning, if she is here and she is present, she wants you to do the same. Ann teaches to encourage students to hone their innate strength and courage so they can take the step toward their edge. Over the past 10 years she has taught many styles of yoga and completed a 500-hour E-RYT.

Teacher

Anna Gangadharan

Ann loves life! She was raised by two incredible people who came from very little, and instilled in her a drive to care about humanity and connect with all beings. She has been on her yoga mat for ten years and teaching for three.  Anna challenges her students by testing their limits and encouraging them to develop an understanding that every moment is an opportunity to grow, discover and evolve. She believes that yoga is a lifetime journey to self-discovery to share it with others while living the journey herself. Her life is guided by the mantra that all beings are made up of the same universal love and light.

Teacher

Anne Zemba

Anne has been teaching yoga for more than 10 years, during which she has participated in multiple therapeutic yoga trainings including an RYT 200 with Linda Kay and another through YogaMedics. As a YogaMedics instructor, she teaches foundational classes focused on strength and growth. Her goal is to help each student feel as though they are in a better place physically and emotionally than they were at the start of class.

Detroit Certified Yoga Therapist

Teacher

Bashi Saunders

Bashi was drawn to yoga 16 years ago when she was expecting her first child. Her curiosity to learn led her to explore 200-hour RYT. As an instructor, she believes our paths are already designed and we just have to be open to receive. She guides students based on an Ashtanga Vinyasa foundation, and teaches Ashtanga, Yin, Vinyasa, and Slow Burn. She loves to share her practice throughout Metro Detroit both in studio and in the community among our youth, teen moms, and the NFL Detroit Lions. Bashi taught workshops at the Wanderlust Squaw Valley Festival of July 2014 as supported by lululemon athletica as an Alumni Ambassador. You will often hear her express gratitude in class for her “yoga gifts” of stronger relationships, as well as a healthier body inside and out.

Teacher

Beth James

The practice of yoga has become Beth’s lifestyle. She is most joyful when she can help someone connect with themselves, or another, in new ways and she always makes it her goal to empower students with each and every class. Having completed a 200-hour RYT 12 years ago, Beth has studied under many teachers and practices including Yin with Sarah Powers & Paul Grilley, Shiva Rea, and Todd Tesen.

Teacher

Carly Cenit

Carly discovered the transformative power of yoga in 2009 while being offered a desk job at a new studio in Kalamazoo, Mi. Yoga quickly ignited her spirit on a journey of self-love, personal transformation, and happiness within. In 2011, she was gifted with the opportunity to complete 200-hour RYT.  She continues to educate herself as a YogaMedics practitioner and licensed clinical social worker in order to ensure students practice safe, alignment-based yoga that reconnects each person with their inner personal power — breath.

Teacher

Chelsea Wydick

Chelsea first came to yoga as medicine while feeling the stress of pursuing a Master’s degree. She was immediately turned on to hot yoga because of its challenge, and her background as an athlete. Slowly, she began to find more value in the therapy of yoga rather than just its physicality. She received her 200-hour RYT through Citizen Yoga Teacher Training in the fall of 2014, and began leading classes immediately. She continues to provide students with challenging classes that allow for play!

Teacher

Coby Shecter

For Coby, yoga is play. It is where he channels his creativity and where he shows up to have fun. He enjoys leading a class that focuses on staying present while helping students find focus and calm. Coby’s teaching style emphasizes alignment, which will leave you feeling grounded. Coby completed the 200-hour Citizen Yoga Teacher Training.

Teacher

Erica Treais

Originally resistant to the practice, Erica began taking yoga classes with her mom at a young age. During college, she recognized the value of self-study and consistent reflection to help her evolve off the mat. Taking the seat of the student has allowed Erica the opportunity to mature as a teacher. She completed an Intensive Yoga Teacher Training in 2013 and received her 200-hr RYT in 2015. She recently moved back to Detroit from Chicago and graduated from the Citizen Yoga Apprenticeship Program. She hopes to inspire an anatomically mindful, yet playful, yoga practice.

Teacher

Kacee Must | FOUNDER

Grounded in Vedic Philosophy, Kacee teaches alignment-based yoga, and opened the first alignment based Vinyasa studio in Metro Detroit. Her classes focus on self-expression and exploration. A 2006 graduate of Northwestern University, she opened the original Citizen Yoga location in Royal Oak, Michigan as a means to equip people with necessary and effective coping mechanisms. You can count on Kacee to instruct a safe, energetic practice that will leave you feeling nurtured, challenged, and will transcend the physical asana. Kacee is a certified 200-hour RYT, E-RYT, and she will soon be launching the 500-hour Citizen Yoga Teacher Training.

Teacher

Kayla Spray

Kayla began practicing yoga during her time at Wayne State University while completing her philosophy degree. Initially yoga was a means of overcoming anxiety and tendonitis. Once she recognized the immense healing that her practice provided she decided to complete her 200 RYT in order to share this practice with others. Eager to continue learning and growing she completed her 500 RYT, Thai Yoga Massage Certification, Citizen Yoga Apprenticeship and received her E-RYT 200. Kayla knows there is always room for personal growth in practice.  In class, she inspires her students to strive towards new depths, both mentally and physically.

Teacher

Larissa Swanson

After taking 200-hour RYT at Citizen Yoga in the fall of 2014, Larissa’s teaching became one of the most profound ways she expresses herself while connecting with others. Every day we face something different in the body and mind, and Larissa helps students adjust their yoga practices accordingly. This is something she encourages all students to use as a practical tool in their personal lives.

Teacher

Lauren Meier

Lauren’s passion is mental and physical health, so she uses the practice of yoga to properly heal the body and condition the mind to cope. With experience gained from the completion of the Citizen Yoga 200-hour RYT, she’s made a point to never teach the same class twice. This challenges students to look inside. Her mantra is, “The more you can get to know yourself on your mat, the easier life becomes off of it.”

Teacher

Nick Zamborowski

Nick’s practice was born out of the choice to take yoga as an elective while attending Wayne State University. After having a knee injury that resulted in surgery and extensive therapy, he learned that yoga was much more than just a physical practice. He has completed two 200-hour RYT trainings, YogaMedics training, and is in the pursuit of 500-hour RYT. He teaches a joy-filled class that helps educate students on anatomy and alignment while assisting students with building a practice that is right for them.

Teacher

Paul Witherspoon

Born and raised in England, long-time resident of Metro Detroit — Paul has been a dedicated Vinyasa yoga practitioner for well over a decade since completing his 200-hour RYT. His classes are meant to challenge the body while engaging the mind to increase stamina, strength, flexibility, and balance. This improves overall physical health and feelings of well-being. He encourages students to light their own internal fires as they journey through self-discovery.

Teacher

Rachel Vurpillat

Rachel found yoga while looking for a long-term, meaningful way to reduce daily stress. The discipline and awareness that the practice brought to her life was unmatched by anything she had tried in the past. Having completed a 200-hour E-RYT, RCYT, and a certification in I & II Degree Reiki, Rachel teaches classes that are both exploratory and expressive. Students can expect to dive deep into the practice of anatomical awareness and jam to some old soul.

Teacher

Sitara Bird

Sitara is a movement enthusiast with a passion for holistic health. With roots in alignment-based yoga, she also expresses her spirit through hoop dance. Sitara loves Citizen because it is consistently inspiring growth and encouraging her to be the best and most authentic expression of herself. With a wild heart, she furthers her study under a multitude of teachers who have a variety of movement backgrounds. She has completed two 200-hour RYT programs, one of which was with Sofiah Thom and Ashleigh Sergeant of Danyasa Yoga Arts.

Teacher

Soojin Kim

After working in the corporate world for some time, Soojin wanted to explore something that presented a new challenge — the public relations and marketing industry had created a lack of something. After exploring various yoga practices she completed a 200-hour RYT in the spring of 2013 and later traveled to India to study under Swami Parthasarathy. The goal of her classes is to take students on a journey inside the body and help connect mindful alignment with pranayama.

Teacher

Todd Tesen

Todd believes his role as an instructor is to usher meaningful shifts for students on the mat so they can then make shifts in their lives that enrich their experience. He has studied yoga for more than 30 years with concentrations in Ashtanga, Anusara, Buddhism, and Rajanaka Tantra yoga of Dr. Douglas Brooks. He leads an advanced class with modifications for students of all levels. Todd has received both his 200-hour and 500-hour RYT.

ADMINISTRATION

Administration

Kristen DuBois | Administrative Coordinator

Kristen began practicing at Citizen Yoga in the fall of 2014. She is originally from Anchorage, Alaska and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She is now proud to call herself a Michigander! Kristen was initially drawn to Citizen because of the alignment-based focus, but quickly realized that the reason CY is so special runs much deeper. Citizen offers a sanctuary and community to anyone who walks through the front door and onto their mat. In addition to her love for yoga, Kristen is a task master. She works to elevate Citizen Yoga as a business by supporting the administrative staff in all business actions. 

WELLNESS PRACTITIONERS

Wellness Practitioner

Alex Herman

Alex earned a Bachelor of Science in nutrition at Michigan State University and a Master’s in traditional Chinese medicine from the prestigious Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Registered in the state of Michigan and licensed in the state of Illinois (LAC), she is board certified by NCCAOM in acupuncture as well as Chinese herbology (Dipl. OM). With expertise in acupuncture and Chinese herbs as the foundation of her practice, she strives to provide the highest quality of individualized care by enhancing acupuncture and herbology with guidance on nutrition and exercise, along with supplemental therapies such as gua sha, moxabustion, cupping, and electro-acupuncture. Always at the forefront of her treatment plan is the safety, comfort, well-being, and longevity of all of her patients.

Wellness Practitioner

Rachel Redmond

Rachel has been a dedicated student of Ayurveda, the sister-science of yoga, for nearly 15 years. In 2010, Rachel became a certified Ayurvedic practitioner, and earned her degree as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine 5 years later. She is also a licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that means, “the science of life”. In learning the basic principles of Ayurveda, we learn the tools for self-discovery, self-awareness, and self-healing. It all begins with mindful awareness and a willingness to look within. Rachel believes that it is truly possible to feel better, live healthier and love more fully than we do. She believes that this is not only possible; it is within reach for all of us. Her Ayurvedic consultations support tailored lifestyle and dietary programs that make this level of wellness both accessible and maintainable for each of her patients.