Teacher Bios

Ti Harmony

Ti Harmony

Ti has been practicing yoga and meditation as personal spiritual and healing disciplines for 3-4 hours per day since 1990, beginning as simply “organized stretching” before realizing all the benefits to the body and mind. Ti studied to become a yoga teacher at Kripalu and returned for continuing education for one month each year for several years. He has been teaching yoga since January 1993, and began teaching in Carrboro since 1996. Ti has studied with many great teachers over the years, including his main yoga influences Angela Farmer and Victor Von Kooten as well as Erich Schiffmann. He also took Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy training and then mentored in that program.

Ti is a disciple of Amma and follows her teachings for spiritual practice and living, taking a pilgrimage bi-annually to visit her. Ti gives her credit for taking him deeper on the path of yoga than he had ever dreamed he would be able to go.

In 2004 Ti started Chapel Hill/Carrboro’s first and longest continuous running yoga teacher training. In 1999 he began the area’s first and longest running weekly kirtan. Ti cofounded Carrboro/Chapel Hill’s first and only donation yoga school in 2010 and continues to run Carrboro/Chapel Hill’s only donation yoga space.

Ti’s likes to keep a sense of humor and to connect with students. He views physical yoga as intended to increase energy flow and to calm the mind. He tends to give a lot of hands-on assists and is open to students letting him know what does and doesn’t work for them. Ti likes to work “hard” and deeply and strives to be rigorously attentive, peaceful, honest, energized, loving and thankful.  He also is very intent on instructing where NOT to feel it in the poses.

In his spare time Ti assistant coaches the Chapel Hill HS boys Ultimate frisbee team and takes walks in the woods with his dogs while repeating his mantra with his footsteps. To read a more in-depth biography, check this blog post.

Total time dedicated to practice, as of October 11, 2018:
Asana (physical) practice: 13,660 hours
Meditation practice: 14,290 hours
Yoga teaching: 16,400 hours

Colie Taico, LCSW, RYT

Chrysecolla_Headshot-1

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

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

Josh Levenson

JoshLevensonJosh initially found yoga to recover physically from years of pushing the limits of his body with almost every kind of adventure sport. Gradually gravitating towards a balance of Ashtanga and Iyengar for a balance between conscious alignment and motion which his teachers called Maya Yoga (Eddie Modestini and Nicki Doane). This style centers around Pattabhi Jois and BKS Iyengar, two of Krishnamacharya’s first students.
Two years ago Josh found Mark Whitwell and the Heart of Yoga which is inspired by Desikachar. This second teacher training awoke a new awareness of the breath which breathes life into our practice and our world, relating more clearly to internal and external harmony.

Josh is also a math teacher, environmental/social justice activist and aspiring organizer if you ever care to share a conversation on sparking collective action in our local and broader communities.

Dr. Jennifer Rioux

Dr. Rioux began practicing yoga in 1991, after recovering from a life threatening illness as a young person. As a result of this illness she became and adherent and autodidact of natural therapies. In 1993, Jennifer began graduate work in medical anthropology and earned a doctorate from the University of New Mexico, studying the professionalization of holistic healers and their relationship to the integrative medicine movement. She completed her doctoral research at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico and concurrently studied clinical Ayurvedic Medicine with Dr. Vasant Lad for three years, completing the highest level of coursework, training in Ayurvedic yoga therapy and bodywork, and working in the Panchakarma Department. During the 1990s, she developed a consistent daily devotional yoga practice and had her first child in 2000. Dr. Rioux came to Chapel Hill in 2002 to teach at UNC in the Anthropology Department for eight years and had her second child in 2004. In 2010, Dr. Rioux accepted an NIH fellowship to conduct clinical research on Ayurveda and Yoga at the University of Arizona, Department of Family and Community Medicine, where she also participated in Dr. Andrew Weil’s integrative medicine collaborative care sessions and taught medical students in the IM residency. In 2013-2015, Dr. Rioux returned to New Mexico to conduct research at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and to become a faculty member and clinic supervisor at the Ayurvedic Institute. In 2016, Dr. Rioux returned to Chapel Hill and reestablished her Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy clinical practice. Dr. Rioux has served two terms on the Board of Directors of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and is also on the Advisory Board of the International Association of Yoga Therapy. She specializes in exploring the causal mechanisms of Yoga and Ayurveda.

During this long personal and professional journey, Jennifer’s experience of the healing power of the sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda has been proven time and again, with patients and in her own life. Her approach is practical and down-to-earth; explaining complex concepts in easily accessible terms and encouraging clients to develop their intuitive understanding of how these profound sciences manifest in their daily lives. Dr. Rioux remains concerned about the corporate takeover of yoga and is committed to keeping her teaching close to the original intentions of health promotion and self-understanding. She specializes in individualized care for chronic lifestyle-related conditions, managing and understanding environmental stressors, and building community in service of peace.

Sam Chhorm

FB_IMG_1492550954506Sam has been doing yoga for about 20 years – he still vividly remembers walking past a yoga class at a gym in Chicago and wondering what all the people were doing with their butts in the air (down dog, it turns out). He tried the class and was surprised how difficult the poses were!

Sam took Yoga Teacher Training with Ti at Loving Kindness. In 2009 he took a 5 day retreat in Ashtanga yoga with Sati Chmelar. Sam practices sitting meditation on a daily basis. His meditation is informed by Zen practice and guided by Josho Pat Phelan from the Zen Monastery in Chapel Hill. Sam is a National Certified Counselor and earned his Master’s in Education in Counseling and Student Development in Higher Education.

Sam has trained in many forms of exercise including martial arts, running, Pilates, cycling, kickboxing, Zumba, Tabata, and weight training. Currently Sam teaches yoga at the YMCA in Chapel Hill and throughout the YMCA branches as needed. Spring semester of 2020 Sam is teaching at the University.

Sam’s primary concerns when teaching yoga are to make sure students are safe when in a pose, to foster a safe environment for everyone to practice, and to meet students where they are. He strives towards humility, compassion, right understanding, and flexibility, and he tries to put ‘fun’ into his practice and classes.

In life, Sam’s personal responsibilities are to be a good person (to help others who are in need, to be compassionate, to be understanding, and to have humility), to be a good father to his son and daughter, and to be positive role model for them, to be a good friend, to be open to learning, and to continue practicing yoga as part of his life.