MEET YOUR TEACHERS AND BIGGEST FANS!

Our team consists of passionate yoga and barre teachers committed to learning and growing with our community! GBY teachers help create a vibrant space that welcomes everyone at any stage of their wellness journey. We are here to share our experience and hold space as you unravel and blossom. Learn more about each teacher’s unique style and offerings below.

 
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ALYSSA MONTANA, GBY OWNER
Yoga & Barre Teacher,
Thai Yoga Bodyworker, & Reiki Master

  • Describe your personality in three words: quirky, inquisitive, rebel

  • What is one feeling or message you wish your students leave class with? I want my students to feel empowered and awake, to remember they paint the picture they call life.

  • What is your favorite yoga pose or barre variation?
    Restorative- Shoulder Stand on a chair, Vinyasa- Dancer’s Pose, Barre- anything CORE

  • What mantra motivates you? Bless it all, let it go and radiate love!

Alyssa discovered a deep love for yoga in a college gym course and hasn't stopped studying. Alyssa received her RYT 200 from CorePower in 2012 where she fell in love with heat, power and strength. After injuring herself too many times, she decided to explore a more sustainable practice for her body and lifestyle. In 2016, Alyssa received her RYT 340 from Devanadi Yoga of School & Wellness where she fell in love with nourishment, stability, healing and Restorative Yoga. Alyssa wholeheartedly believes anyone can receive the gifts of yoga by simply committing and showing up. Her teaching style warmly encourages the exploration of mind, body and soul while offering variations for all levels and body types. She guides classes with verbal cues, demonstrations and physical hands on adjustments. Her sequences are inspired by the needs of students, changes in seasons and the ever-evolving flow of life.

 
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DENISE WATSON
Yoga Teacher

  • Describe your personality in three words: curious, compassionate, resilient

  • What is one feeling or message you wish your students leave class with?
    They are strong!

  • What is your favorite yoga pose or barre variation? All Warrior Poses

  • What mantra motivates you? “Be grateful”

Denise was introduced to yoga and its many benefits after no longer being able to participate in the high impact sports that she had enjoyed since high school. What began as new physical challenge soon transformed into a desire to expand and pursue the spiritual benefits of yoga as well. Soon after her Yoga Teaching Training at CorePower in Minneapolis, she began teaching at the Amery Fitness Center in 2010 where she has shared with yogis of all ages and abilities. Denise's classes are themed to support and engage the physical body, mind and spirit. She shares wisdom from her personal journey and her experience as a health coach, mindfulness expert, and addiction recovery specialist.

Teaching Schedule:

Yoga Strong, Wednesdays 8:30 - 9:30 AM
Yoga Strong, Sundays 9:00 - 10:00 AM

 
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LIBBY HIGGINS
Yoga Teacher

  • Describe your personality in three words: disciplined, humble, always seeking growth and challenge

  • What is one feeling or message you wish your students leave class with?
    Self confidence, pride and strength

  • What is your favorite yoga pose or barre variation?
    Warrior 2 - Connecting past, present and future with strength and humility

  • What quote motivates you? “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. “ - Aristotle

Libby's first yoga practice was in 1999, and what started as a fitness class experience, soon became a passion. She began a regular practice, coming to her mat through three miscarriages, two full-term pregnancies and a significant life change before becoming an instructor in 2010. She completed her Yoga Instruction certification through YogaFit and has been teaching ever since, but will never stop being a student. She instructs through verbal cues, demonstration, and hands-on adjustments, and finishes most classes with scalp massage! Some of her greatest joys come as she helps students gain new levels of confidence and strength while discovering the mind-body-soul connection through their own practice. Outside of yoga, Libby loves running, reading, live music venues, and being home with her family. She is deeply spiritual and looks forward to getting to practice with you!

Teaching Schedule:

Yoga Flow, Mondays 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Yoga Flow, Thursdays 5:30 - 6:15 AM
Restorative Yoga, Sunday evenings once a month

 
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JULIE JOHNSON
Yoga Teacher

Julie recently graduated from Heartwork's Advanced Yoga Study & Teacher Training Program April 2019. Her wellness journey includes a love story with yoga, pushing through self-doubt and creating empowering life changes. Julie is so excited to share her passion and love for yoga with the GBY Family!

Julie has been married to the love of her life for 23 years. They have a 21 year old daughter and an 18 year old son, and live in New Richmond, WI. Julie loves yoga, doTerra essential oils, riding her beach cruiser bike downtown Stillwater, her 2 dogs River (Colorado Bulldog) and Willow (French Bulldog), and reading or listening to books on Audible. You can also find Julie working along side her husband in their dog training business!

Teaching Schedule:
Slow Flow, Thursdays 6:00 - 7:00 PM

 

AMY STEWART
Yoga Teacher

  • Describe your personality in three words: kind, loving, free-spirited

  • What is one feeling or message you wish your students leave class with?
    I want them to feel grateful for the small things and a deep inner peace.

  • What is your favorite yoga pose or barre variation?
    Half Moon Pose

  • What quote motivates you? “Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain.” - Vivian Greene

Amy first stepped onto the mat in the fall of 2017 and was instantly hooked! Over time she noticed the more she practiced the more her life began to transform into something that made life worth living. For her, yoga has brought stability, balance, and confidence she did not know existed. In addition to the wonderful physical benefits of her practice, she also learned the power of self love, gratitude, and compassion for all living things (even spiders)!

Amy loves spending time with her family, connecting with nature and curling up on the couch with a cup of tea while reading books that nurture her soul. Amy received her 200 YTT certification April 2019 from the Heartworks Advanced Yoga Study & Teacher Training Program in Northfield, MN. Amy is excited to share her love of yoga with the GBY community and hopes to inspire others to incorporate yoga into their daily life.

Teaching Schedule:
Slow Flow, Wednesdays 5:00 - 6:00 PM

 

CINDI BUENZLI GERTZ
Yoga Teacher

  • Describe your personality in three words: generous, kind, and creative

  • What is one feeling or message you wish your students leave class with?
    learn to hear and listen to the inherent wisdom of your body

  • What is your favorite yoga pose or barre variation? I love Fish pose; restorative is Instant Maui, hands down

  • What quote motivates you? "Be the change you wish to see in the world" Ghandi

Cindi Buenzli Gertz, Women’s Mid-life Peace Mentor & Certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher, helps mid-life women say yes to themselves and come alive again! She is a Certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher with advanced training in prenatal and restorative yoga. Cindi has been practicing, teaching, and serving hundreds of students since 2000, mostly women in midlife. Click here to learn more about her business and offerings with Conscious Living Arts.

Teaching Schedule:
Restorative Yoga, rotating Sunday evenings

 
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BRITT BRUA
Barre Teacher

  • Describe your personality in three words: authentic, funny, tenacious

  • What is one feeling or message you wish your students leave class with?
    I wish my students leave class feeling strong and empowered.

  • What is your favorite yoga pose or barre variation?
    I love the challenge of all plank work and chair pose!

  • What mantra motivates you? “Meet the work”, “Maktub” and “Be a warrior”

Britt recently completed her GBY Barre Teacher Training in August 2019. Keep watch this fall for her regularly scheduled classes!

Teaching Schedule:
Barre 45, Fridays 5:30 - 6:15 AM
Barre 45, Sunday rotation 5:00 - 5:45 PM

 
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JESSICA EISENMAN
Barre Teacher

  • Describe your personality in three words: passionate, dreamer, lover

  • What is one feeling or message you wish your students leave class with?
    I hope that they feel they have a cheerleader who is going to push them to always be stronger than they were before they walked in that day.

  • What is your favorite yoga pose or barre variation? Yoga: Tree Pose
    Barre: Plank variations

  • What mantra motivates you? “I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.”

Jess recently completed her GBY Barre Teacher Training in August 2019. Jess’s first barre experience was in January 2019 when Alyssa opened Great Blue Yoga’s doors. She instantly fell in love with the community and challenge the class provided. Her wellness journey began wanting to be more active and healthy after her second child was born in 2014. She went from pilates, to swimming, to becoming a marathon runner, and now a lover of barre.

Teaching Schedule:
Barre 45, Wednesdays 5:30 - 6:15 AM
Barre 45, Sunday rotation 5:00 - 5:45 PM

 
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ANNE SCHAFFER
Barre Teacher

  • Describe your personality in three words: energetic, social, adventurous

  • What is one feeling or message you wish your students leave class with?
    I feel fulfilled when my students leave class feeling proud of themselves; for showing up, giving their all, and never giving up. I love watching their confidence build.

  • What is your favorite yoga pose or barre variation? I'm a huge fan of Sun Salutations

  • What mantra motivates you? "I Am Worthy."

Anne has been teaching fitness classes for over 10 years, beginning with Aerobics and Zumba and now focusing on a cardio/strength training class and Barre Fitness. She loves choreographing Barre routines to a variety of upbeat and mesmerizing music and challenges students to completely immerse themselves in the sensations of breathing through the work, realizing their own worth, and taking time for self care.

Teaching Schedule:
Barre 45, Mondays 6:00 - 6:45 PM

 
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KAREN SCHWARZ
Yoga Teacher

Karen started looking for natural ways to battle depression and anxiety when she found yoga and fell in love with the practice. After seeing all the benefits in her own life, she started teaching anyone who would listen. Karen has a passion for people, helping them find balance and wholeness. Outside of yoga Karen loves everything to do with the outdoors and being active. With her culinary background she enjoys making many healthy yummy things.  Karen received her RYT-200 certification from Green Lotus Yoga & Healing in Mendota Heights, MN. Unwind with Karen Thursdays nights and enjoy the benefits of gentle movement paired with deep relaxation. 

Kids & Family Yoga Specialist
Check events for Karen’s offerings!

 
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KAITE BRUNS
Yoga Teacher

This past December Katie received her 200 hour certification through Studio One Yoga in White Bear Lake. The practice of yoga has been an essential tool for her to discover more balance, love and compassion for herself and the world she lives in. Katie lives in Dresser, WI and teaches K-5 Physical Education in Osceola. She loves being outdoors and exploring the beautiful area we live in! Katie is excited for the opportunity to hold space and share a practice with the Great Blue Yoga Community. Wake up your body and mind with Katie Friday mornings in Yoga Flow! 

Katie is an official GBY Sub! Check the schedule for her offerings!