Yoga Den World Golf Village Instructors
Not long after graduating college at UNF with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Larisa became strongly interested in how fitness and nutrition impacted our ability to live a longer and more fruitful life. Whether it was swimming laps, running through the neighborhood or working out at the gym, Larisa always believed in striving to improve the body and the mind. Larisa witnessed the benefits of yoga after marrying a pro beach volleyball athlete whose yoga practice was an important component of training and recovery. Years later, with the desire to cultivate strength and resilience in her 2 children to thrive in an increasingly demanding world, she recognized the importance of having a balanced mind and body. This led her to further explore her own understanding of yoga and meditation as part of a more holistic lifestyle. It seemed only natural to share her passion and appreciation for yoga and its health benefits with others. She graduated from Yoga Den in 2017 with her 200hr certification and in 2020 with her 500hr certification. Larisa’s philosophy on life can be summed up by B.K.S. Iyengar’s quote: “Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life.”
I had been practicing yoga on and off for several years before enrolling in Yoga Den’s teacher training. When enrolling, my original intentions were to deepen my own practice and learn more about the history of yoga. After graduating in December 2018 with my 200 hour certification, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to began teaching at Yoga Den World Golf Village. While originally teaching was not what I had set out to do, it was the one of the best decisions I have made because the opportunity has changed my life! The joy of being able to watch other’s practices grow and to see the pep in someone’s step after taking a class is priceless. I am grateful to have the opportunity in helping others connect breath with movement and deepen their practice. A mindful practice is what I strive to provide; along with a calming, stress relieving experience while increasing strength and flexibility. When off the mat, I enjoy traveling and camping with my husband, gardening, cooking and home renovation projects.
I began practicing yoga in the year 2000. Upon my retirement from the practice of law and moving to the Eastern Caribbean, I began participating in and leading yoga classes on the many islands to which I sailed. I spent two years on the island of Grenada where I led three to four yoga classes each week. These classes typically consisted of twenty to thirty participants. As I sailed throughout the islands I was asked by the community of fellow cruising sailors to continue to lead these yoga classes.
When I returned to the United States I wanted to continue to teach yoga and subsequently enrolled in a Kripalu-based teacher training program at the Discovery Yoga Centre in St. Augustine, Florida. I successfully completed my training on February 20, 2020, and am now a certified yoga instructor. I am also a member of the Yoga Alliance.
I am currently seeking the opportunity to employ my yoga education skills in the community and have a flexible schedule.
Kelli moved to St. Augustine 3 years ago from Maryland. She enjoyed practicing yoga for about a decade, helping her to reduce the pressure of a high stress job.
Eventually she quit that job and took the 200-hour teacher training. She followed that up with a Restorative Yoga training and Reiki certification.
Teaching beginner to intermediate yoga through creative sequences, she helps students build strength, increase mobility, and find peace.
Kelli has been a fitness instructor for many years. She continues to teach indoor cycle, Body Pump and is an ACE personal trainer. She works part time as a
cardiovascular sonographer. She loves making art, the beach, visiting other countries, and sailing the Chesapeake.
Beth is a Yoga Den teacher training graduate (June 2022) and a LCSW. She began practicing yoga in 2011 after a recommendation from a friend. She was away from the mat for many years and then personal tragedy prompted her to return to the practice as part of a healing journey, culminating in a reliable and regular practice and 200 hour RYT certification. She is mom to 2 grown sons and has 3 beautiful and active grandchildren.
Andrew Paul Williams
ANDREW PAUL WILLIAMS, PH.D., E-RYT 500 has a Doctorate in Mass Communications from the University of Florida, College of Journalism and Communications, an M.A. in English and a B.A. In Communication and English from the University of North Florida. He received his 200 and 300 Hour Teacher Training (RYT 500) at Yoga Den In Jacksonville, Florida. He teaches all-levels classes at Yoga Den Mandarin, World Golf Village, Bayard, and Fleming Island. He is the author of The Space Between: Cultivating Mindfulness, Peace, and Empowerment In Your Life Through Meta-Awareness, Framing, and Yoga,
Good Eats Jax: A Local’s Guide to the Best Independently-Owned Restaurants Along Florida’s First Coast and co-author of The Book of Empowerment. He is a media professional with extensive publishing and public relations experience. Dr. Williams is an internationally-recognized Communication scholar whose interdisciplinary research focuses primarily on Framing Theory and Digital Media. He has taught communications classes at numerous colleges and universities and has presented his research at many national and international conferences. He has published multiple academic journal articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries. He has also written business and lifestyle articles for newspapers and magazines. He works with businesses as a brand and media strategist and with individuals as a personal development coach. Andrew is also a multimedia artist and DJ. His approach to teaching yoga is that he is sharing a healing practice that has helped him so much with students of all abilities so they can develop a safe and sustainable practice on and off their mats.
I came to yoga later in life. I was 54 years old and was living with my husband and elderly father. I was looking for something that might relieve a little stress so I took a class at my local gym. I felt comfortable with the mindfulness and movement and followed up with a class at my local studio. I was
in love. I started taking classes regularly and was hooked. Yoga began to change my life. I was more calm, more reasonable, my comfortable in my own skin. A serendipitous opportunity came up to go to Teacher Training, and with the encouragement of my husband, friends and fellow yogis, I enrolled in a 3 week immersion program. I have been a teacher for almost 3 years ( a slow start with the pandemic) and have never felt better about myself. As the saying goes “I am nicer after yoga”. I have a dance background and teach different types of yoga, but my favorite by far is anything with a flow. I like to move and breathe and embrace the entirety of my practice, and I love sharing that with others on and off the mat. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother, but one of the greatest joys I have had is adding “Yogi” to that resume.
Hi, I’m Emily! Like many of us, I am a Florida transplant. I’m originally from Dallas, Texas and currently live in St. Augustine with my husband and dachshund, Bailey.
Yoga has given me tools to strengthen, stretch and restore my body to keep pain at bay. Learning to find solutions within my own power, connecting the mind with the body, and feeling more mobile as a result is so empowering.
Yoga is the ultimate teacher and flows into every aspect of my life. The most satisfying thing about teaching is witnessing the mental and physical shift in energy from the start of a class to the end. Teaching yoga is such a trip. Hope to see you out on the mat!
Ashley took her first yoga class over 20 years ago and fell instantly in love with the practice and discipline. Having been involved in sports, namely distance running
most of her life it was apparent that yoga was what she was missing. The practice offered the perfect mix of strength, flexibility and mindfulness. She knew from
the beginning that this was a life-long commitment.
After moving to Chicago Ashley completed her 200 Hr Teacher Training at Zen Yoga Garage followed by an apprenticeship with the dynamic Margo Kellison-Lightburn. Having now been on the teaching side of yoga she is still aware of the importance of always being a student first. Ashley’s intention for class is to create a fun, positive and supportive environment that cultivates self-love and acceptance. She is excited to be back in Florida and part of the Yoga Den team.