Instructors

Sierra Collins, 200 CYT

Sierra, born in Indianapolis, is a native to Indiana. Growing up she always enjoyed dance and gymnastics, teaching two years of dance at Starz academy. At the age of 22 Sierra took on a small cleaning business and the stress that came with it. Still in her roots of dance and gymnastics she set out to find something that would give her more, the stress relief she was seeking and the physical practice of activity all while creating art. Sierra began yoga 7 years ago through online videos and just within the past two years started practicing in a studio. After reaping multiple benefits from her  yoga practice over the years she decided she wanted to share what she had discovered with others. She sought out to become a yoga instructor to help spread the love of yoga that she had unveiled with everyone.

Jacqui Follett, 200 CYT

Jacqui stumbled onto to yoga at first for the physical benefits of improving her flexibility and muscle strength, but fell in love with the mental and spiritual benefits of quieting and calming her mind and spirit. Yoga provided the physical, mental and spiritual therapy she needed in her life. She realized when she left the studio after a class that her mind wasn’t racing from thought to thought or trying to solve some problem, but was actually calm and content. The peace she discovered in her mind was life changing. She quickly wanted to learn more and share this experience with others. Yoga not only provides physical benefits, but helps us deal with anxiety, stress, and can bring control back to life when things seem out of control. Whether taking an energetic vinyasa class, a slow steady flow class, or a meditative yin or restorative class her body, mind and spirit are nourished and restored. The benefits of yoga seemed limitless and practicing quickly became a necessity in her life. Embarking on the journey of teacher certification happened because of her desire to share these wonderful discoveries with others.

Kristen Gandolfo, 500 CYT

Kristen Gandolfo has been teaching group exercise classes for 16 years. She fell in love with yoga in 2005 after taking her first class and began her journey to gain her 200-hour teacher training with YogaFit in 2007 and then received her 500-hour teacher training in 2017 from Simply Yoga. Kristen enjoys the physical challenges of yoga but is always amazed at the mental and spiritual benefits her practice brings as well. After experiencing a scary medical diagnosis and surgery in 2013, Kristen is even more aware of how yoga has helped heal her body and become stronger but also helped to give her peace of mind. “My favorite type of class is a vinyasa flow with a focus on strength and balance. I try to give options every time I teach so if one day you have a little more energy, you can take it up a knotch but if not, that’s okay, too. When I feel myself start to become stressed, I go to my mat. It’s incredible how yoga can calm the body, mind, and spirit.” Kristen lives in Fort Wayne with her husband and twin daughters.

Laura Murphy, 200 CYT

Laura Murphy began her yoga journey in 2010 while living in St. Petersburg, FL.  She was immediately drawn to the physical benefits from her practice, and quickly developed an appreciation for the benefits that yoga provided mentally.  Laura’s teaching style focuses on building both physical and mental strength.  Her classes tend to build in intensity through a flowing practice in which there is one breath matched to one movement.  She believes in making yoga accessible to everyone and will provide modifications for all levels in her classes.  Laura completed her Yoga Alliance 200-Hour Certification though Simply Yoga in 2015.  Laura is also a licensed mental health counselor in Fort Wayne, and has devoted her life to helping others achieve both physical and emotional well-being.

Ben Pearcy, 200 CYT

Ben’s first introduction to movement and the mind-body connection were by way of dance. Throughout high school and college, he was exposed to many forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical. While he didn’t ended up performing, he never lost his love for movement. He approached yoga in 2013 as a way to maintain his flexibility, but it soon became much more than that to him. An avid reader of self-help novels and lover of all things spiritual, Ben was excited to find something that brought the mindful aspects of Eastern philosophy together with grounded movement. He is a recent transplant to the Fort Wayne area and really kicked his personal practice up a notch after discovering Simply Yoga where he will receive his 200 hour teacher training certificate in August of 2018. Ben encourages his students to be mindful throughout his classes and loves incorporating philosophy and meditation. He also enjoys playing with flows and trying different variations of traditional yoga poses.

Christa Smith, 500 E-RYT

Christa Smith, E-RYT 500, MBA is the founder of Simply Yoga in 2012. She began her yoga journey after her first class where she knew  yoga would be a part of her life from that day forward. She fell in love with the physical challenge of yoga as well as the mental benefits it gave her.  Christa had been a dancer for most of her life and a dance instructor, so the transition to yoga was natural for her. Her passion for yoga inspired her to share that passion with others through teaching.  She truly enjoys watching students transform during their yoga practice.  Christa’s teaching style focuses on alignment and making sure people are safe.  Her classes tend to gravitate towards Vinyasa incorporating breath and movement with a lot of flowing sequences – almost like a dance.  She believes in teaching to all levels in the room where everyone leaves feeling challenged and refreshed.  Christa received her Yoga Alliance 200-hour certification from the Himalayan Yoga & Mediation Center in Palatine, Illinois and her 500 at Hilltop Yoga in Lansing, Michigan.

Sarah Smith, 500 CYT

Sarah Smith began learning about and practicing yoga 20 years ago when she attended yoga classes with her father. Over the years, they continued taking classes together, and Sarah enjoyed the challenges, both physically and mentally, along with learning breath control (pranayama), asanas (poses), and meditation practice. Two years ago, she began teaching yoga sessions to teachers in the school district she works for as a 5th grade teacher. Seeing how much others were learning during the after school sessions, inspired her to learn more about yoga and become more focused in her own practice. Since, Sarah has completed her Yoga Alliance 500-hour Certification through Simply Yoga in 2017. She finds the physical and mental aspects of yoga, at different times, to be calming, challenging, invigorating, and most of all, positive for the body, mind, and spirit. She enjoys teaching yoga classes with Vinyasa, flowing standing poses, and balancing postures. While teaching yoga, she loves looking out at the group and seeing the beauty of a class together in any posture, knowing that each one is at his/her individual level while continuing to gain flexibility and strength, focus and balance.

Janel Sprunger, 500 CYT

Janel Sprunger 200 Hour Teacher Trainer RN, BSN. Janel has been practicing yoga for the past twenty years. She fell in love with yoga from the first class and kept being drawn back to the classes as she felt like they gave her more flexibility, body awareness, and an overall peace of mind. Through the years, she has gained a lot of perspective into how the body changes over time and how yoga can help with those changes. As a registered nurse, she loves the idea of incorporating health and wellness into her yoga practice and invites anyone, of any ability, to join her on their journey. She lives in Fort Wayne with her husband, Matt, and has three grown children. Janel is currently going through her 500 hour teacher training.

Meggan Testin, 200 RYT

Meggan Testin obtained her 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification from Simply Yoga in 2014. She started practicing yoga off and on starting in 2010, and has been consistently practicing since 2012. Originally starting yoga for the physical aspect, she has learned to find the mental benefits to balance out her everyday life. During her pregnancy, she had to scale back her practice, which allowed her to focus on breath work with the movements. It’s about meeting your body where you are that day. Everyday we meet different challenges off the mat, which can affect our practice. She will start the class with flows to get the body warmed up before moving to standing postures. Meggan will give modifications for poses according to the students in the room. Meggan is also certified in Prental Yoga and teaches our prenatal series.

Emily Wilson, 200 CYT

Emily began developing a consistent yoga practice in 2017 after attending a workshop at Simply Yoga. She fell in love with the practice and was eager to learn as much of the history and philosophy as she could. Emily chose to complete the teacher training to deepen her practice and to help others discover the countless benefits a strong yoga practice can offer. She received
her 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification from Simply Yoga in 2018. Emily focuses on providing a safe space for students to learn and grow on their mat. Her classes stem from traditional yoga practices and incorporate the many philosophical aspects she has come to live by.