Welcome to our Faculty spotlight! Learn more about each teacher by clicking on the faculty member’s image to view their bio.
Jolynn McFerren, Owner
After practicing yoga for over 20 years, Jolynn found Namaste Yoga Studio and Mary Pat Murphy, and knew that it was the right time in her life to become a teacher of the practice. Jolynn and her husband Brent are now the owners of Namaste. With 3 young children, Jolynn sees the value in yoga from childhood through adulthood. She has an RYT200 certification from Namaste Yoga Studio with Mary Pat Murphy and Rowan Silverberg, and has completed a second 200-hour Anusara teacher training program with Todd Norian and Ann Greene. She has studied many varieties of yoga across the country and has studied recently with Todd Norian, Ann Greene, Tara Glazier, Lisa Danbrot, and Doug Keller. She currently teaches kids yoga, family yoga, slow flow, all levels, and sweet sweaty flow at Namaste Yoga Studio.
My name is Jenny Blasio, and I began studying yoga in 2010 after a running injury. What began as a way to heal my body from a repetitive running injury, turned into a journey of self-discovery and emotional healing. I completed my 200 hour YTT at Namaste Yoga Studio with Mary Pat Murphy and Karen Duganier. I have taught the Tuesday morning Rise & Shine class for several years now. Teachers who have inspired me include both Mary Pat, Karen, and Jolynn, as they are all amazing examples of people who take their practice off the mat and out into the world. I also enjoy taking classes from Chad Stose and Doug Keller. They are very different from each other, but as teachers, make their classes and teachings very accessible to all.
Why do I teach yoga? I teach yoga to help bring a sense of peace and belonging to others as that is what yoga brings to me.
Some of my favorite yoga authors are Jack Kornfield and Michael Singer. During my teacher training, I was introduced to both of these authors. Jack Kornfield’s meditation techniques are some of my favorite, and I regularly revisit his works as I continue to delve into my meditation practice. I also feel a deep connection to “The Untethered Soul’ by Michael Singer. The ideas put forth in this book helped me discover quite a bit about myself, and helped me approach both the world and myself in a more positive and healthy way.
One of my favorite quotes and regular mantras is “Embrace the Chaos”. This one little saying, along with many aspects of my yoga training, continually helps remind me to let go of that which I cannot control. Another one of my favorite “quotes” is “Joy, Love and Peace” – this was the way Peter B. Lewis (founder of Progressive Insurance, the company I work at) signed all his communications. Peter B. was truly a renaissance man. He thought outside the box, established a world renown art collection which is on display throughout all Progressive buildings for his employees to walk amongst and draw on to ensure creativity and forward thinking remained a hallmark of the company, he created a company I’m proud to work at, and left behind a legacy of generosity that continues today in the workplace and among the employees.
Michael teaches with versatility, compassion and intention. His objective is to facilitate an encouraging and transparent environment where you can offer yourself love and build on your strengths. He employs a distilled knowledge of exercise science, philosophy and psychology into his classes. Michael is a hand-stand addict.
“I came to Jolynn with the hope of being able to touch my toes, it’s been quite the journey since!”
With over a decade of competitive swimming and teaching experience, several years of practice with yoga and the RYT Certification at the 200 hour level, he wishes only to bring you happiness from the inside out. “I try to find the Buddha in everyone and honor all my teachers, especially Jolynn, Karen, Ruth and Mary Pat.” Michael currently teaches Vinyasa Flow and Yoga for Athletes. He welcomes both beginning and advanced students wholeheartedly.
2009, 200 RYT, Namaste Yoga
I have been practicing yoga for about 10 years now and completed my 200 YTT with Namaste in 2009.
Many teachers have influenced me from my YTT training and beyond, and they include: Mary Pat Murphy, Rowan Silverberg, Doug Keller, Todd Norian
I teach because I love it. I am a better person period because of my yoga practice, why wouldn’t I want to be a part of giving that gift to someone else?
I have seen so many benefits that a yoga practice can give to someone and I am honored to help my students find their path.
I like to teach in many different ways and I try to honor how I am feeling that day when I teach. Some days I have a lot of energy and I teach with a lot of movement and flowing. Other days, I feel quieter and need a calmer, slower practice. I find that if I try to be something I am not while teaching my students can sense that I am not being genuine and the class suffers for it.
Favorite quote that inspires me to be my best self and not let fear and anxiety rule my life: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? …Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. …And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” From Marianne Williamson (slightly shortened)
Christina Chase has been studying yoga since 1995. What began as just another avenue of exercise turned into an amazing awareness of how the physical, emotional, and mental understandings of a person intertwine to help us grow and learn about ourselves. Christina enjoys both challenging and vinyasa classes, but also enjoys and understands the value of slow deep practices for the benefit of the mind, body alignment, and breath awareness. She often incorporates both styles into her classes. Just as she enjoys different styles of yoga, she enjoys teaching to all age groups. She has taught adult, young adult, and children’s’ classes. Christina received her RYT200 certification in 2009 through Namaste Yoga Studio’s teacher training program. She continues to add to her knowledge of yoga through her personal practice, workshops, and through her love of reading.
A friend recommended Namaste studio when I was facing a stressful period in my life. I will always be grateful to her for the gift that the early Saturday morning classes became. It was the only hour in the entire week that was mine. I was blessed with a gentle guide into the physical and spiritual aspects of practicing yoga. My teacher would often close her eyes during practice, and so, being a good student, I would, too. I thought that was what yoga was – listening carefully to where to put hands and feet, feeling rather than seeing the poses. I learned to turn inward, to trust, and in the process discovered the beauty of being on the mat, of being in tune with the moment to moment me.
Most of the time my favorite pose is Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose). The rest of the time: Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall). Why? Both turn the world up-side-down and have several variations making them accessible to nearly everyone – including me no matter what my mental, emotional, or physical state.
Favorite books for inspiration: For simple ideas, something to get started, the book YOGA SPARKS by Carol Krucoff inspires me. For thoughts, possible solutions, answers to questions, some I check include Doug Keller, Mark Stephens, Jack Kornfield, Thich Naht Hann, Jillian Pransky, Judith Lasater With regards to music, I tend to choose something with acoustic instruments played in a regular time.
Hobbies outside of yoga: Outside of yoga, I enjoy reading, a little writing, a little cooking (my son teases me on how I use my collection of cookbooks), a little piano playing along with the occasional outing with friends to the theater or dinner or simply enjoying each other’s company.
One of my favorite quotes is this: When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace. ~Author Unknown
My experience of studying with others is slowly expanding. I have studied in person with Chad Stose, Todd Norian, Noah Maze, Jillian Pransky, and Doug Keller. Online I have watched videos and read articles by many more. The teacher who have had the most consistent, direct impact on my current practice and teaching are Doug Keller and Jillian Pransky.
I was well into my ‘middle years’ when I began to practice yoga. Beyond walking which included an occasional hike and periodic spurts of before work fitness videos, my physical activity centered on being seated at a keyboard of some sort. My fundamental fitness – physical, emotional, spiritual – has improved many times over. This was confirmed by a colleague who had worked with me before and then after I began practicing yoga. She made the comment that she had noticed a fundamental shift in my attitude toward living. She had noticed that I was much calmer, less thrown by problems and appeared to have a steadiness in my energy level.
We are, all of us, full of beauty and love and hurt and wonder and sorrow and joy. As a teacher at Namaste, my constant hope is that those who practice discover something of themselves.
2011; 200 RYT Namaste Yoga
Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to study with some really, awesome “rockstar” teachers – Doug Keller, Desiree Rumbaugh, Todd Norian, Rodney Yee – but the teacher who inspired me all the way to becoming a yoga teacher myself is my dear friend, Mary Stepanek.
Everyone comes to their mat for their own reasons. Admittedly, I started practicing yoga for the physical benefits. At some point, my practice changed from me in a room full of sweaty people to me in a room full of sweaty people that I no longer noticed. It really became a practice of me, my mat and my breath. Everything else kind of disappeared. And THAT is amazing and empowering. A true moving meditation. While I still enjoy the occasional hot, sweaty practice, I love teaching to people just like me – busy people just looking for a way to tune out their busy lives by connecting with themselves.
I think that the two things I say to myself at least once a day are probably the best insight into who I am.
Favorite Quote: Let go or be dragged and Spread Joy!
Interesting Fact: I’ll share something about myself that very, few people know. I can “holler” like a chimpanzee. My kids haven’t even heard me do it. But
I’m really good.
Lenore has practiced yoga for over 20 years studying with various teachers in the Cleveland area. She received her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification through Namaste Yoga Studio under the direction of Mary Pat Murphy and Karen Duganier. She is registered with the National Yoga Alliance and is currently working on her 300 hour Yoga Teacher Certification from Namaste Yoga Studio. Lenore continues to expand her yoga knowledge and experiences through workshops with nationally known yoga teachers Doug Keller, Todd Norian and Rodney Yee.
Lenore has always been intrigued with the spiritual side of life and began her studies of energy medicine in 1997. She is a Level III Reiki practitioner and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy practitioner along with having a strong passion for educating about the importance of nutrition and disease prevention. She believes our health is in our hands and with yoga, meditation and the breath, we can find our way to a healthy, happy lifestyle.
Lenore loves teaching and working with anyone who wishes to slow down and enjoy the journey of Yoga.
Kris has always been active; soccer, horseback riding, cycling, weight lifting, scuba diving and swimming are just a few of the sports she loves, but after a severe knee injury she found herself unable to participate in many of these activities. This event led to a search for an exercise that was mindful but still challenging. Yoga and Aqua fitness filled the bill. After spending time rehabilitating her injury, she began to focus on these new passions. Realizing others may benefit from non-impact exercise programs, Kris began to pursue training in Yoga and Aqua Fitness. “I believe that yoga in any form is beneficial to all and strive to make my classes accessible to all who wish to participate”
She has an RYT200 certification from Namaste Yoga Studio with Mary Pat Murphy and Rowan Silverberg, and has completed RYT300-hour teacher training program with Mary Part Murphy, Jolynn McFerren and Ruth Zito. Kris currently teaches Chair Yoga and Yin Yoga at Namaste.
I enjoy teaching Yin yoga, this quiet practice allows the students to explore their edges and delve deeply into their meditation. It helps to balance and restore the body by resetting the nervous system. This type of practice is missing from our every day hustle and bustle.
My favorite author is Bernie Clark, he is funny, witty and spiritual. He has written several books, Complete Guide to Yin Yoga, Your Body Your Yoga, From Gita to Grail and my favorite YinSights. I have been fortunate enough to have been able to take classes from Bernie Clark and his teaching, like his books provides you with all you could want to know about Yin and the philosophy behind the practice.
Ashleigh has been practicing yoga for 6 years, and has been teaching for over a year, and will be a yogi forever! She found the love of yoga in 2009 and it has helped shape and change her life in the most positive ways. She has studied with Doug Keller, Chad Stose, Todd Norian, Mary Pat Murphy and many more to come to help her continue down her road of mindfulness. She loves the joy, fun, peaceful, deepening mindfulness that yoga brings and she loves to share that with others as she teaches. Not only are challenging poses her passion, but she also enjoys stepping into the moment to just BE. Ashleigh is a 200 hour RYTand graduate of Namaste Yoga Studio’s teacher training program. She plans to continue to learn and grow as her practice does.
Lisa Meranti started practicing yoga at the age of 16 and it quickly became ‘her thing’ for physical, mental, and emotional well being. Many years later, yoga continues to foster learning, connections, and growth on and off of the mat. Lisa has practiced at Namaste Yoga Studio since 2005 as well as explored many styles of yoga with wonderful local and national teachers. Lisa received her Yoga Alliance 200-hour certification through Namaste Yoga Studio and kids yoga certification through Mini Yogis in 2015. She teaches a variety of classes for adults, teens, kids, and families both on the mat and on the trails. Through her teachings, Lisa hopes to help students direct their energies in positive ways to be the change they wish to see in the world, find ease in challenging poses and situations, connect with nature, and open their hearts to all beings. When she is not teaching or practicing yoga, you can find Lisa doing ‘her other thing’ of pursuing nature adventures.
Julie discovered meditation and yoga in 2012 and it changed her life forever!! Yoga quiets the mind and creates body awareness in a way that allows healing and self-discovery to occur. This self-discovery became a journey, and she enrolled in the Teacher Training Program at Namaste Yoga Studio, where she graduated and received her RYT-200 certification in June of 2015. “Yoga has had such a profound impact on all aspects of my life. It is truly mind, body and spirit! I see yoga as so much more than just physical exercise.”
Yoga is an incredible healer, it is not just for the physically fit; in fact some of the greatest benefits are for those who don’t think they can do yoga. Nourishing and healing the body while awakening the mind and spirit are Julie’s goals for your yoga practice! You will leave Julie’s classes feeling balanced, refreshed and grounded.
Julie also loves to teach educational but fun kids yoga classes! She blends breath work, art, asana, games and meditation into fun themed classes for kids of all ages!!! Her favorite part of teaching kids is sharing the importance of self-acceptance, kindness and the ability to relax, create and connect!!!
In her commitment to further her education and understanding of yoga and anatomy, Julie frequently attends workshops and classes and spends a lot of time educating herself through reading.
Many teachers have inspired me over the 7 short years I have been teaching. From my first teacher, first student and the students I taught today. They teach me the most. The beginner who sweats through their first class wondering what in the world is going on. The student who has practiced longer than I have been of legal age (no I’m not telling) who moves with such ease and grace through their practice. All is inspiration from the seat of teacher. My students have inspired me to continue my education from 200 hours, 300 hours, countless workshops, on-line courses from the Sutras to Yoga Nidra. I learn for the joy and the a-ha moments in order to give back to my students. The nuggets of knowledge from Doug Keller, Desiree Rumbaugh and so many more, all of this learning weaves together into my tapestry of yoga. Similar yet so unique.
“I have been curious about yoga since I was a girl. Unknowing, I checked out Light on Yoga from the library and was fascinated by all the poses. I would try them while playing outside and thought stretching was fun.” Leaving behind what she thought was a childhood curiosity, Anvia went on to pursue family and a career in health insurance, she rediscovered yoga during her “basement warrior” years. “I spent many years exercising in my basement trying to stay healthy. Finally, a friend encouraged me to try a class at Namaste Yoga Studio and I was hooked.” The balance of a steady practice is important to Anvia’s teaching along with allowing students to find their space to grow not only in their practice but in their lives. Anvia holds her 200 & 300 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Certifications from Namaste Yoga studio under the teaching of Mary Pat Murphy, Karen Duganier, Ruth Zito and Jolynn McFerren. She is a certified Yoga Nidra instructor. .She also studies under Doug Keller, Todd Norian, Desiree Rumbaugh, Richard Freeman, Rodney Yee, Deborah Adele and Barbara Kundig.
In addition, Anvia is a fully trained Reflexologist, Independent Reiki Master, and Certified Meridian Therapist.
I began teaching in 2008 after completing my 200 hour certification at Namaste Yoga Studio, with Mary Pat Murphy and Rowan Silverberg. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of studying with many teachers including Doug Keller, Todd Norian, Anne Green, Desiree Rumbaugh and Rodney Yee. Honestly, some of my favorite teachers are the amazing teachers at Namaste. I am so grateful to be a yoga student, and a yoga teacher. Special thanks always to Jolynn McFerren for all she does to build and strengthen the community of Namaste Yoga Studio.
My favorite book for a yoga class is Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening. It offers daily inspirational readings, encouraging us to look for meaning and peace in the midst of the ups and downs in our lives. Often I find that the readings support the idea of “how we practice on the mat, is how we live off the mat.” The book is also special to me as it was a gift from a very dear friend.
When asked what type of yoga class I like to teach, I can honestly say it’s whichever one I’m teaching. I know that students come to yoga for many different reasons, and I try to offer space to practice in a way that’s meaningful for the individual, even in a crowded class. I regularly remind students to notice and observe what’s within them.
Whenever I teach, my goal is to guide students through their best practice. Students know I’m serious about teaching, but I’m not serious, I love silly and fun! Seriously, look for the joy!
2008, 200 hour RYT, Namaste Yoga
2016, 300 hour RYT, Namaste Yoga
Ruth is a registered certified 500 hour and ERYT 200 hour level yoga instructor with the Yoga Alliance. With over 25 years in the fitness industry and a degree in Physical Therapy, Ruth came to Yoga realizing she needed to make an inner transformation. After taking one yoga class she immediately knew that this was her life path to take and realized the power Yoga had to transform her life and wanted to share this with others. She found Yoga and the spiritual transformation created the balance in her life that she couldn’t find with any other venue. Ruth has made Yoga her passion in her life and truly loves sharing that with others. She received her 200 hour and 300 hour teacher training at Namaste Yoga Studio and is currently an adjunct faculty member for both the 200 hour and 300 hour teacher training programs, sharing her expertise in anatomy, pranayama, and technical alignment principles. She has studied under Mary Pat Murphy, Todd Norian, Doug Keller, Desiree Rumbaugh, Amy Ippoliti, Gina Caputo, Richard Freeman, and many local teachers. She has gained inspiration from many shamans and spiritualist in Sedona, Arizona. Ruth’s athletic abilities allows her to teach a powerful class but keeps it in balance with softness and comfort allowing students to create their own personal experience. As B.K.S. Iyengar stated, “I tidy my house, and take care of my body, and I realize that divinity has been inside all along.”
June 2011, 200 hour RYT, Namaste Yoga
January 2016; 300 hour RYT Namaste Yoga
My teachers include many teachers from Namaste. BKS Iyengar, Todd Norian, Doug Keller, Bernie Clark, Sarah Powers, Dana Robinson, Sister Ann Winters, Jackie Lowe-Stevenson LISW-S, Belleruth Naparstek Psychotherapist, Caroline Myss PhD, June Singer PhD, and Lynn Andrews continue to be my teachers.
Favorite Books: “Anatomy of the Spirit” Caroline Myss PhD
“Boundaries of the Soul” June Singer PhD
Favorite Music: “Yoga is Union” by Tom Colletti (Sounds True)
Favorite Yoga: Yin and Restorative Yoga
Favorite Quote: “If you are feeling it, you are doing it.” Bernie Clark (Yin Sights)
Interesting Fact: I spent twenty years working for local government and corporations. For ten years, I worked with both Men and Women at Planned Parenthood of Greater Cleveland and learned a great deal from my African American and Hispanic Brothers and Sisters. After twenty years as a Clinical Social Worker at the Cleveland VA Medical Center, I retired to volunteer teaching Chair Yoga to Veterans with amputations and Mindfulness to Physicians and Caregivers. I also represent Veterans Yoga Project and was so grateful Dan Libby PhD came to Namaste to share his wisdom and compassionate care of our Veterans.