Yoga is freedom.
Michele infuses her joyful classes with lighthearted humor while still integrating the spiritual and philosophical teachings of Yoga. She welcomes students to feel their bodies, feel the breath and to dive into sensations, ride them like waves – believing that in these embodied moments, students can truly come to know their wholeness, their vibrancy and the deeply innate wisdom that resides within.
Michele is grateful to co-own and run Yoga on High with Marcia Miller and Jasmine Grace, and for the opportunity to work alongside a team of extremely talented and inspiring staff and teachers - she is also a co-founder of Sekoia and an owner of Grow Yoga. Michele has studied with many renowned yogis and has specialized training in ashtanga, OM vinyasa, pre-natal, aerial and iRest Yoga Nidra, she has also studied restorative and therapeutic yoga as well as pranayama. Currently, Michele teaches Hot Flow, Sekoia, iRest Yoga Nidra and trauma sensitive classes along with yoga hikes.
See a video of Michele teaching aerial yoga here.
Michele's trauma sensitive teaching draws on over 15 years of direct-contact volunteer service with domestic violence, sexual assault, suicide prevention and human trafficking agencies, as well as specialized training in trauma sensitive yoga asana, breathwork, and mindfulness practices.
Michele has taught trauma sensitive yoga to survivors of human trafficking, sexual abuse, and sexual assault, to volunteers at a rape crisis center, to homeless veterans, to refugees, to children’s hospice workers and to at-risk youth as well as those in recovery from eating disorders. Due in large part to her teaching, in spring 2013 Michele was honored with a Community Supporter Award from the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio for her efforts to support survivors and to end sexual violence in our community.
Michele currently teaches trauma sensitive yoga weekly to a female veterans group and to clients at the Center for Balanced Living, a local eating disorder clinic. She teaches quarterly at Mt. Carmel Trauma to adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and also to sexual assault survivors. After launching EMBER, a 12-week mindfulness based resilience training with Marybeth Hamilton last year, she has been teaching it weekly at the Ohio Reformatory for Women, a medium security prison in Marysville, Ohio. Additionally, Michele developed and teaches a trauma sensitive yoga series at Yoga on High which is open to the public.
Michele was born in a commune at the base of the western Andes mountains of Arequipa, Peru to idealistic and adventurous parents. The locals told her father that she was an hija del Misti, or a daughter of the volcano Misti, which rises above the city there. Michele lived in Peru, and then in Brazil, until moving to California when she was 3, and then settled in New England where she lived until her early 20's. Michele's upbringing tended toward the bohemian; artists, writers, outdoor enthusists, sailors, skeptics, activists and intellectuals formed her extended family. Conversations were lively, gardens were large, and hard work was expected. Michele's natural curiousity, mixed with her ecclectic upbringing, lead her to pursue a bacchelor's degree in philosophy, which remains one of her true loves, along with yoga.
In addition to being a mother, wife, yogini, writer and business owner, Michele enjoys trail running, SUP boarding, kayaking and the occasional sprint triathlon. She is always excited to get out in nature, and spends a good part of her time seeking adventures and activities that require sunscreen, bugspray and laughing until her sides hurt.
Her students say:
Michele introduced me to a beautiful practice [iRest Yoga Nidra] that brought awareness and a level of healing I had not experienced before. Her kind and gentle spirit certainly contributed to my experience. - Student SurveyMichele bursts with buoyant energy and brings the biggest smile to my face. She is known for making people laugh and encouraging them to let go. I am constantly blown away by her ability to truly connect with her students, to care deeply about them and inspire them daily. - Kelli S.Jasmine and Michele are two of the most open-hearted, gentle and patient teachers I have ever had the privilege to know. During my Teacher Training, I learned from them not only the kind of teacher I wanted to be, but the kind of person I wanted to become. - Maria I.I feel truly grateful to have been paired with Michele as my mentor during my Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga on High. I have had the chance to take many of her classes and assist in them as well. She is an extremely knowledgeable practitioner with an abundance of energy. I appreciate that she was (during my training) and continues to be very approachable, always open to answering questions, having discussions and offering hands on practice/demos. I love how she is able to connect "real life" experiences to the mat whether it's exploring specific feelings such as joy, wonder, grief or just exploring where you are... right here and right now. She is a dynamic and interactive teacher from whom I am continually learning. - Alissa J.You hear it all the time, "be true to yourself," but it wasn't until Michele told me to do just that I finally got it. From experiencing one of her totally rad classes to having a refreshing sit down chat, I experienced firsthand how powerful self expression can be when you truly embrace it. Going through the teacher training program with her as a teacher, there were dance parties in celebration, and comfortable discussions on vulnerability. Whether it was the practices she instilled in me or the vocabulary she encouraged me to explore, Michele gave me more than just skills for becoming a better teacher but also skills to better express myself. - Rachel W.This Thoreau quote best describes Michele: "You must walk sometimes perfectly free - not prying nor inquisitive - not bent upon seeing things - Throw away a whole day for a single expansion." -A.T.The EMBER instructors [Michele and Marybeth] were amazing caring women and brought good energy into this dark place. - Inmate, Ohio Reformatory for Women