Welcome to our Faculty spotlight! Learn more about each teacher by clicking on the faculty member’s image to view their bio.

Photo of Jolynn McFerren

Jolynn McFerren, Owner

 

Photo of Kari Beery

Kari Beery

 

Photo of Jenny Blasio

Jenny Blasio

 

Photo of Michael Bleich

Michael Bleich

 

Photo of Cathy Bratka

Cathy Bratka

 

Photo of Christina Chase

Christina Chase

 

Photo of Stephanie DeSantis

Stephanie DeSantis

 

Photo of Cyndy Edwards

Cyndy Edwards

 

Photo of Michele Egleston

Michele Egleston

 

Photo of Lenore Fritz

Lenore Fritz

 

Photo of Kris Kearns

Kris Kearns

 

Photo of Ashleigh Lingo

Ashleigh Lingo

 

Photo of Theresa Macak-Eckman

Theresa Macak

 

Photo of MaryBeth Madonia

MaryBeth Madonia

 

Photo of Lisa Meranti

Lisa Meranti

 

Photo of Lori Rapo

Lori Rapo

 

Photo of Julie Seitz

Julie Seitz

 

Photo of Anvia Sheldon

Anvia Sheldon

 

Photo of Mary Stepanek

Mary Stepanek

 

Photo of Ruth Zito

Ruth Zito

 

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.

Kari Beery

With a background in education, literature and composition, Kari’s approach to yoga is one that honors the need for storytelling, reflection, peace, kindness and self-discovery with the aim of connecting with the self and the world. Kari has studied yoga since 1998 and has found that a light exists in each one of us if only it is given in a chance to shine. Kari works to bring the study of yoga off the mat and into the practice of life. She believes yoga is a sacred journey that is all about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, and continuously expanding your vision of what is possible. She finds joy in introducing this practice to young children to give them the tools and foundation for a grounded and fulfilling life and a capacity to make decisions with character and respect for oneself and the world. As a 2014 graduate of Namaste Yoga Teacher Training, she believes that yoga is a way to focus within and expand our awareness so that we can be the peace we want to see in the world.

Jenny Blasio

How I came to yoga:…
After my father passed away, and with a running injury, and feeling like I needed something more in my life as my children grew and I was feeling empty and unsatisfied and wondering…”Is this it?”

My favorite pose and why:…
Pigeon. It stretches out my old running injury. It makes me feel strong when I level out through the pelvic floor and draw the energy up into my belly and hug in and I lift ever so slightly and I think I can do anything!

Favorite books for inspiration: Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart

Favorite yoga music: I like instrumental, guitar and piano music, plus Todd Norian.

Funny class moment: Oh with Carol Schoop when we were practicing with Chad Stose. Carol is the funniest lady ever. She had me crying I was laughing so hard. It was 80 degrees in March so really warm in the studio and he was working us hard and we were slipping all over our mats and she was just making funny comments about everything he asked us to do. I had a blast that night!

Favorite YTT moment: Well, it wasn’t a single moment but it was the gradual coming together of us as a family type group where we felt safe in sharing private life events and knew we would be supported no matter what.

Hobbies outside of yoga: Reading, running, cooking, drinking wine and margaritas.

Family life: Married for 25 years (to 1 man!); two boys , Nathan who is 19 and at Kent State, and Mathew who is 15 and a sophomore at Walsh Jesuit High School. One dog, Sophie.

Favorite food: Are margarita’s food?

Favorite inspiration quotation: “embrace the chaos”. I heard this on an NPR story a few years ago. The guy was having great success in his life and he was being asked about how he juggles everything and this was his response. I thought how awesome it was and how fitting for both the good and the not so good that goes on in our lives!

Who do you love to study with and why? I love Chad Stose, he brings something to the table I cannot define. I love MP and Jolynn and Cyndy for their spirituality and accessability.

Michael Bleich

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.

Cathy Bratka

How I came to yoga…
I started doing yoga when I was living and working in Pittsburgh (back when I was young and single!) and I really liked the studio I attended and the teachers there. It was more Ashtanga based yoga which I don’t really practice now but I fell in love with it at that time. When I moved back to Ohio I went to several studios searching for “my studio” where I would fit in and feel that sense of community I felt in Pittsburgh. I didn’t find that until I came to Namaste (back when it was on 303 in Richfield). I stayed with the studio when it moved to Sagamore Hills and MP asked me to consider YTT in 2009 which I did!!

My favorite pose…
My favorite pose is probably tree pose. I find it challenging because of the balancing but I always feel so grounded and open in that pose.

Favorite readings…
I go to Jack Kornfield “A Path With Heart” a lot for readings but I also like the Sutras and Doug Keller “Refining the Breath”.

Favorite yoga music…
I like all kinds of music. I try to keep my music more upbeat for my classes but my “go to” artist for yoga music is Wade Imre Morrisette.

Funny class moment…
So many…I love the openness and sense of camaraderie of many of our regular students. There was one class where I called “half moon” pose “tree” pose multiple times until finally my whole class just started laughing and started calling every pose “tree” pose to make fun of me. It was a really funny, light moment in class that humbled me and at the same time made me feel overwhelmed with gratitude for my funny (and forgiving) students.

Favorite YTT moment…
Hmmm, I feel like it was so long ago. I actually really liked the “critiquing” part after I taught my specialty class. For some reason, much of what was said really stuck with me. I was really wanting to learn and hear feedback and I remember all the comments were so kind yet helpful.

Hobbies outside of yoga
My hubby and I like to hike and bike around the lovely parks in our area. We do this as much as possible. We also travel quite a bit as we have family and friends in many fun and exciting places and we like to visit them!
I also love to read.

Family life
I have been married for almost 2 years now to my wonderful husband, Dan, who is a pilot. We have a chocolate Lab, Brooks and a long haired cat named Reggie. We both have pretty big extended families that we love and see often.

Favorite food
Ice cream. Period.

Favorite inspiration quotation
“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)

Who do you love to study with and why?
MP, Rowan Silverberg, Doug Keller, Todd Norian—they have all been very inspirational and I learn so much each time I practice with them.

Christina Chase

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.

Stephanie DeSantis

 

Cyndy Edwards

Following the advice of a friend, Cyndy came to one yoga class, then another and another. Why? She felt better physically, more aware mentally, and more grounded emotionally. “I believe that yoga is a medium for stretching and strengthening the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of our selves.” Cyndy combines more than twenty years of experience in special education with the principles of yoga in her teaching. Cyndy Edwards is a student of Mary Pat Murphy, Karen Duganier, and Ruth Zito, completed 200 hour Namaste Yoga Teacher Training, and continues to expend her experiential base through workshops with nationally known teachers including Todd Norian, Doug Keller, and Chad Stose.

Michele Egleston

Michele Egleston was reintroduced to yoga in 2005. As a child, she did not realize that shoulderstand was yoga. Since reconnecting with her inner yogini, she has realized that her childhood pose, gazing at her feet and imagining that the world is upside down is called Sarvangasana. Her physical practice on the mat has also improved her balance, increased her flexibility and strengthened her body. On the mat, Michele seeks balance and creates space in her body and in her mind. She then takes the space, balance and open-mindedness from her mat with her and applies them in all aspects of life. Michele graduated from the 200 Hour Namaste Yoga Teacher Training program in June 2011 under the loving guidance of Mary Pat Murphy and Karen Duganier. Michele is honored to sit in the seat of teacher and is delighted to be part of this community.

Lenore Fritz

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 Kearns

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 anymore. 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. She likes to incorporate cardio, resistance training, extended stretching and relaxation into her classes, and welcomes all levels in her classes. Kris currently teaches Chair Yoga and Yin Yoga at Namaste.

Ashleigh Lingo

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.

Theresa Macak-Eckman

Theresa Macak is a certified 200 hour level yoga instructor as well as a Certified
Advanced Reiki practitioner. She is recognized by Yoga Alliance for her training
through Namaste’s Yoga Teacher Training Program. Since finishing her certification,
Theresa has accumulated a total of over 400 hours of training. She is currently enrolled
at the Medical School of Massage.

Many years ago, Theresa had signed up for a series of yoga classes in college.
Never realizing the impact yoga would have on her life, instantly she became hooked!
Having a background in the study of health and nutrition, she found yoga to be the
missing piece in her life. Yoga has brought Theresa much joy and happiness through her
practice.

Theresa brings a light, open hearted, and humorous approach to the classroom.
She believes that through yoga; one can find balance, courage, and freedom. It is
through her passion of the body, mind, and spirit that she hopes to share these qualities
with her students. Theresa owes much love and gratitude to her teachers, Holly Clemens
PhD, Mary Pat Murphy, Rowan Silverburg, Todd Norian, John Friend, Chad Stose,
Sianna Sherman, and Kate Murch. She continues training by taking local and national
workshops throughout the year.

“Yoga unites the heart, body, and mind. Each practice is like a new
discovery…..bringing you closer and closer to your true self.”

MaryBeth Madonia

 

Lisa Meranti

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.

Lori Rapo

 

Julie Seitz

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.

Anvia Sheldon

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 to pursue family and a career, 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 Namaste 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-hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Certification from Namaste Studio under the teaching of Mary Pat Murphy, Karen Duganier and Ruth Zito. She has also received teaching from Anusara teacher, Todd Norian.

Mary Stepanek

Mary took her first yoga class in 2005, and wasn’t initially convinced that yoga was for her. In 2006 she took her first class with M.P. Murphy and committed to a regular practice; that’s when she discovered the connection of body, mind and spirit through yoga. Initially Mary thought that pursuing teacher training would be a distraction after her father was diagnosed with cancer (just 2 years after her mother’s death from cancer). During that difficult and challenging time, Mary found that yoga served not as a distraction, but as a support. She feels that perhaps the greatest gift of teacher training was learning that to live in the moment is just as important as learning to let go. Mary completed the Yoga Alliance 200 hour certification through Namaste’ Yoga Studio with Mary Pat Murphy and Rowan Silverberg. Having completed her teacher training in the fall of 2008, Mary began teaching at Namaste. She has continued her studies with Todd Norian and Ann Greene, completing the 100-Hour Anusara Immersion, as well as attending various workshops. She participated in Rodney Yee’s teacher training in Columbus, Ohio in the fall of 2011. Mary has studied with Desiree Rumbaugh, Chad Stose and Sean Corne; and in addition she has completed Reiki Level 2 Training. She is filled with love and gratitude for John, her husband, and her 3 “big boys”. Mary invites students to discover their true nature through yoga, to experience the joy and grace in life, and to make their practice a celebration. Her gratitude for the heart opening she’s experienced through yoga, is something she loves to share with her students.

Ruth Zito

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. She found Yoga 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 receI’ved her 200 hour teacher training at Namaste Yoga Studio and has studied with Todd Norian and many local Cleveland instructors. She has gained inspiration from many shamans and spiritualist in Sedona, Arizona and enjoys sharing this knowledge with her students. Ruth’s athletic ability allows her to teach a powerful class but keeps it balanced with softness and comfort allowing students to create their own personal experience. “I hope that every student can walk away from a class and discover one new thing about themselves that they are thankful for”.