Teacher Bios

Loving Kindness Teachers:

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  • Ti Harmony
  • Chrysecolla Taico
  • Heather Tatreau
  • Nicole Mark
  • Liz Harden
  • Tain Collins
  • Kathy Therber

Ti Harmony: Loving Kindness Yoga School’s founder and main teacher

Ti Harmony

Around 1989-90, I had a lot of time and a great library to choose from, and I read, among many other things, The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnudevananda. I had enjoyed stretching for exercise and thought, “Great! Organized stretching.” and started practicing 2 hours every day from that book. I had other spiritual practices at the time that were separate, apparently. Two years of practice later, I got my first teacher who encouraged me to do yoga teacher training at the Kripalu Center where she had trained. About a year later, in November of 1992, I took the month-long training and loved it and started teaching shortly after that. I have been teaching, and practicing of course, since then. Now my spiritual practices are all integrated, and devotional practices are the biggest components of my practice time. I do hatha yoga and chanting and meditation daily and it all complements the whole picture.

My main influences in my hatha yoga are Kripalu Yoga, where I was originally trained and still very much informs my teaching, Iyengar, Anusara, Integral Yoga, Erich Schiffmann and Yogi Hari. I still say, though, that my main yoga teachers are Angela Farmer and Victor Von Kooten, , though my style of yoga looks very much unlike their’s. I call them my main teachers because they were the first people who I saw as healers who use hatha yoga as their mode of healing, and they use and teach the practice as a way of finding, healing and integrating all the lost, scared, alone, hurt parts of ourselves. I also call them my main teachers because their main focus in the practice is energy and because they are very much about making your yoga your own and finding how to make it come from inside; and because they were the first teachers who I felt safe enough with and who were strong and grounded enough in themselves that I could confront them in class with challenging and personally difficult questions for them and they could not only take it, but thank and reward me for it. I hope to be the same kind of teacher as them in all that.

In 1995, I completed my Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy (PRYT) training and practiced that for about 10 years. When I started offering a yoga teacher training, I dropped my PRYT practice since yoga teaching was, and is, taking all my time. For about two years I was involved as a mentor in the training.

In 1997 I met my Guru, Amma or Ammachi, who in the west is often referred to as “The Hugging Saint” since she gives a hug to everyone who comes to see her It’s amazing and humbling to see this small, loving woman hugging thousands of people for hours on end without tiring. (At her 50th birthday celebration in India, she hugged about 45,000 people from about 1:30 in the afternoon until 8:30 the next morning. In the US, big crowds so far are only about 7000 people in a night.) I give her credit for taking me deeper on the path of yoga than I had ever dreamed I would be able to go. And I know I still have a lot further to go!

In 2002, Nikki and I had Bodhi, our first boy, and in 2005, Forest came along. These beautiful beings have offered countless opportunities for continued learning and testing of the spiritual growth and insights that I have received on my mat and meditation cushion. My family continues to help me to be a better, more grounded and real person.

In 2004 year, due to the repeated requests from long-time students, I began teaching Carrboro/Chapel Hill’s first yoga teacher training. It is amazing and wonderful to see all the great students over the years becoming great teachers in their own right. The training is a 9 month course, and new trainings begin in September.

In my spare time (yes, I do have a LITTLE), I love to garden, play with our two young boys and take walks in the woods with our dog while repeating my mantra with my footsteps.

My personal practice on the mat aims at uncovering the love and bliss that resides in the heart, so works a lot with the mind and its hindrances. In practice and teaching this comes out as, hopefully, encouragement to focus deeply, accept deeply, and tune-in to the subtle messages of our own inner guidance. I like to work “hard” and deeply and be rigorously attentive, peaceful, honest, energized, loving and thankful. I am also a Lover of the Power of Mantra and am devoted to the use of mantra in my daily practice which includes chanting Sri Lalita Sahasranama, the 1000 Names of the Divine Mother and japa (mantra) meditation. I encourage everyone to use a mantra for inner and outer peace. Pick a mantra that you like and repeat it mentally (or out loud) 3000 or more times per day. (that’s not as many as you think). Watch the effects!! I also love leading kirtan every week and my heart and fingers (I play the harmonium, a small pump organ) miss it when I am away and not leading it.

My intention in life and in my teaching is usually very simple: that the One who Dwells in the Hearts of All Beings express Itself through this body and life and guide “me.” In this light, I generally have no plan when I walk into a room to teach and go as the Spirit guides which usually comes from who is there and the mood in the room, including my mood. I like to keep a sense of humor and to connect with my students. I tend to give a lot of hands-on assists and am open to students letting me know that they don’t want it.

In 2010 I opened Open Heart Yoga School with fellow yoga teacher, Allison Dennis.  We were “business partners” for 2 wonderful years, and in April 2012, I left Open Heart to open Loving Kindness Yoga School to continue and deepen the work I’d begun at Open Heart.

Chrysecolla Taico, LCSW, RYT

Chrysecolla_Headshot-1I believe that yoga is a healing arts practice that can guide us towards living more wholeheartedly. My vision in teaching yoga is to create a safe space where every{body} can cultivate their own healing relationship with yoga. My classes are infused with intentions of practicing inward-kindness; gently supporting students to connect with themselves in more loving and accepting ways.
My main yoga teacher and style influence is Ti Harmony. I graduated from his 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2012 and continue to follow his teachings on and off the mat today. My yoga practice with Ti and my personal home practice both greatly influence my work as a psychotherapist for people who struggle with low self-esteem, negative body image, disordered eating and eating disorders. My work as a therapist also influences my yoga teaching style and class themes. I have studied with Anna Guest-Jelley, as well, and I am certified in Curvy Yoga. My time studying with Anna has guided my intention to offer safe and nurturing practice spaces to people of all sizes, shapes and abilities.

Contact Chrysecolla:
Website: www.colietaico.com
Email: chrysecollayoga@gmail.com

Heather Tatreau, MA

HeatherHeadshotHeather first discovered yoga 20 years ago through her training as a dancer. Over the years, yoga has been an integral part of her physical and mental wellbeing in her professional and personal life. Through a decade of studying yoga with Ti Harmony, She has also learned to cultivate a deeper meaning for her yoga practice. Heather has a Master’s Degree in Dance Education from New York University where she trained in many dance and somatic-based disciplines. She is currently on the Dance Faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill and presents her choreography locally. She has taught yoga for over 10 years and recently completed Ti Harmony’s 200-hour level certification program. She is also prenatal yoga certified. She encourages her students to approach yoga with an open heart and mind. In her classes she will explore flowing sequences as well as learn how to cultivate stillness.
– all with a sense of humor and grace.

Nicole Mark

Nicole MarkAfter almost turning my car around in a tunnel so I wouldn’t have to drive through it when I was 19, my psychiatrist diagnosed me with panic disorder. I saw many therapists in the following several years, and some were very helpful. In 1999, I came to my yoga mat for the first time on the advice of the “oddball hippie” therapist. As a ballet and modern dancer, I felt great doing asana–out of my head and into my body and breath (and my flexible dancer ego, unfortunately)–but during my first savasana, I had a panic attack. It was as though my brain’s computer did not compute “relaxation.” It felt good, but so wide open and spacious that it scared me. My anxiety and depression had become more and more debilitating, and I was hospitalized a few times over the years. You know that t-shirt that says, “I just came for the savasana”? Well, I went back to my yoga mat with more and more regularity over time, but I went for the asana! It took years, and is many times still hard, for me to let go completely and experience deep relaxation.

I love moving with breath and also holding poses, so I teach a moderate-paced vinyasa class (“slow flow”), which varies depending on the day, the energy in the room, and what I’m working on in my own practice. I also enjoy teaching yin, restorative, gentle, beginners, and kids’ yoga.  In class, I combine thoughtful sequencing (though I often go “off plan” depending who is in class and how the energy in the room feels), healthy alignment, and a spiritual teaching drawn from Yoga, Vedanta, Buddhism, or something else I’ve found inspiring to create welcoming, moderately challenging, and non-competitive classes accessible to all levels. My classroom is informal–I welcome questions, mindful comments, and kind joking. Some chanting is incorporated into my adult classes. My intention as a teacher is to be helpful and be of service to my students. To that end, in the classroom I try to emphasize the qualities Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön encourages us to cultivate in our practice and in our lives: precision, gentleness, and the ability to let go.

When teaching younger yogis, my intentions are to introduce the students to the hatha yoga poses, to teach some very basic philosophy (e.g., kindness and non-harming), and to teach some breathing and mindfulness techniques they can use to cope with stressful situations in a way that is fun, fosters friendships, and feels useful in their lives.

My training includes a 90-hour Anusara Yoga level 1 teacher training with Mona DeFrawi at Quantum Yoga and Wellness in Baltimore (2004), the 230-hour Veda Vinyasa Teacher Training (2011), and I’m enrolled in the Carolina Yoga Advanced Studies training at Carrboro Yoga Company and Ti’s Path of Yoga mentorship program. I’ve completed additional anatomy training with Ray Long, MD, LifeForce Yoga for depression and anxiety training with Amy Weintraub, and yin yoga training with Shala Worsley at Asheville Yoga Center. In 2014, I received mantra initiation from guru Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma, the “Hugging Saint”). She teaches that we should treat everyone we meet as though they were God, and I aspire to embody that compassion and love.

I’m eternally grateful to all my teachers, on the mat and off. Lorraine Treger, my first yoga teacher in Baltimore, suggested that I take a teacher training. I would never have done it without her encouragement. Will Walter of Charm City Yoga, a talented and experienced asana teacher (I call him “the Ti of Baltimore”), introduced me to the bhakti path when I enrolled in a series on mantra and kirtan. I was hooked on chanting right away. Recently, I’ve been studying Vedanta, Sanskrit, and the Bhagavad Gita both in person and in webinars with former swami Prem Sadasivananda. Ti is my main teacher. He’s helped me improve my asana practice, understand where energetic blocks might exist, and through his example and openness to questions, continues to teach me to be a better teacher. He’s been an invaluable resource and support in some of the most difficult times of my life.
If you’d like to learn more about me, please visit my website at nicolemarkyoga.com or email me at nicolelilyoga@gmail.com if you have any questions I can help with. Jai Ma!

Liz Harden

LizI came to yoga over a decade ago, seeking much needed stress reduction and the ability to touch my toes, and have been hooked ever since. As a former runner, I was immediately drawn to the physical aspects of yoga as I began to see improvement in both my strength and flexibility. But over time, I found an inner-calm and peace within myself that I never knew existed, and this discovery is what has kept me coming back.

My yoga practice was transformed in 2011 due to the birth of my first child. I initially struggled to find an ounce of extra time for meditation or yoga, and my sanity suffered big time. I was thrilled to be a mother and completely devoted to my son, but in doing so had lost an important piece of myself. I eventually realized that with a little creativity and flexibility, I could maintain my yoga practice by doing yoga with my son. Yes, he might spit up on my mat or cry in protest, but I could at least give it a try. Alongside my little yogi, I discovered the joys of baby and kids’ yoga. After over a year of practicing at home with my son, I trained and became certified with Rainbow Kids Yoga in 2013 and have been teaching on the playground, in my living room, in schools, and studios ever since. In 2015, my second child was born, adding to the messiness and joy that is life. My two children are an endless source of inspiration, and a constant reminder of the beauty of living in the now. Babies and children are natural yogis, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to learn from their youthful wisdom as I lead yoga classes for youngsters of all ages.

I finished Ti Harmony’s 200-hour yoga teacher training in Spring 2015, deepening my own yoga practice and bringing greater depth to my work with children and their caregivers.

Tain Collins

With over 700 hours of teacher training, Tain has studied with Ti Harmony and Allison Dennis as well as participated in master classes facilitated by Sharon Gannon and David Life of Jivamukti Yoga. He has joined in a variety of other contemplative practices such as Vipassana meditation retreats and Ken Wilber’s Integral Life Practice. He spent much of his youth working as a performer (juggler, actor, musician), and still continues as a professional singer, guitarist and songwriter, and entertainer.

His own yoga practice has come to embrace the physical, therapeutic postures of hatha yoga as a way to create space for inner transformation, a skill that he hopes to share with his students. His classes focus on creating a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere that allows students to check in, reset, and dive deeper into themselves.

Kathy Therber

Kathy brings with her 20 years of a personal practice, 10 years of yoga teaching, a cancer diagnosis with subsequent treatment and recovery, and recovery from chronic low back pain. Kathy Therber, a E-RYT 500, Registered Yoga Therapist, started practicing yoga in 1992 in San Francisco, California. After a car accident left her with continued back pain, yoga provided relief. To this day yoga remains an essential part of her life for staying active, healthy, and pain-free. The stress relief and restorative nature of yoga continues to help Kathy every day since her diagnosis. Her inspiration to grow in the practice of yoga comes from students. Kathy is committed to passing on the teachings of yoga and helping students acquire a well-rounded understanding and practice.

Kathy has taught yoga since 2003. She is a certified yoga teacher who completed her 200-hour training through All People Yoga Center, Indianapolis, which is accredited and recognized by the national standards of Yoga Alliance. She carries her own Yoga Alliance certification and has met the requirements of the 500-hour certification program.

Kathy has participated in a number of studies that integrate yoga into well being and recovery. Her work in yoga therapy has brought yoga and healing to hospitalized veterans in Indianapolis and cancer patients at the Simon Cancer Center. She has taught yoga as a substitute teacher at Integrative Health UNC, and Cornucopia in Chapel Hill. Kathy has also worked one on one with people who suffer with chronic low back pain at Shamrock Wellness.

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