Meet Our Dedicated Yogis
Our yoga teachers embody what it means to live from love and through asana they put love into motion. Yoga teachers are like master gardeners; they nourish small seeds through collective practice and breath-work. They hold space for still introspection, and facilitate collective movements that enliven people and provides tools that help us understand what it means to Thrive! All of us at Thrive Yoga are committed to spreading the love through movement. We trust that if we can move and love one individual then they can become a beacon of love and light for those we cannot reach.
DAOM, L.Ac, LMT, L.Cos
Owner of Thrive Yoga Fruita & Tru Wellness Colorado, Doctor of Acupuncture & East Asian Medicine, Licensed Massage Therapist & Cosmetologist, Vinyasa, Slow Flow, Vin-Yin
Erika has a strong passion for Integrative & Holistic Wellness. She has had extensive training and uses all of her modalities and experience to help bring the body into balance and out of a state of “dis-ease” where the body can begin to heal itself & fight chronic diseases. She feels it is important to meet people where they are at with their health and to help them get to where they want to be so they may live life to the fullest.
Brittany has an adventurous spirit and a love for the outdoors. An avid yogi, runner, and mountain biker, she combines both practices with her businesses, truly living her passions. Brittany took on Thrive Yoga Crested Butte in 2017, adding a second location in CB South the same year, and another studio in Fruita the following year. She teaches and mentors other yogis about how to thrive in their business through her Prana-Prenuers program and enjoys staying active in her local business community. Now with multiple studios, Brittany is focused on her overall Thrive Colorado collection of studios, with a new location opening soon.
Take time to make your soul happy
As a Colorado native, Rachel’s passion for yoga started with her love of movement: dancing, running, climbing and biking. As she spent 7+ formative years after high school learning (Creighton U in Omaha) and serving (the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Peru), she discovered yoga as a beautiful union of what our minds, bodies, & hearts are
collectively capable of – for ourselves, others and the planet.
Having moved to Fruita after completing graduate school in Clinical Social Work and Public Health in 2016, Rachel is excited to continue utilizing yoga’s teachings of balance, mind-body connection and wholeness to help others transform their lives
Amber moved from her hometown of Overland Park, KS, to Grand Junction in 2009, where she started practicing yoga for the first time. Initially, she was looking to supplement a physically fit lifestyle, but after finding mental, physical and spiritual rewards, her practice became a priority. Yoga is a remedial process for Amber, an inward mission of healing and an outward desire to serve. Amber completed her 200-hr RYT training program in 2015.
Amber is constantly curious about and eager to learn other disciplines of yoga, but Vinyasa – linking breath with movement – is where she feels most inspired. Amber seeks to share the knowledge and magic of yoga with students of all ages and abilities, and is committed to being a life-long student of meditation and injury-free movement.
Curiosity and a desire to not take pain medication for lower back injury brought Denise to explore yoga; and a love for yoga was born! Denise has been practicing over the last 16 years on and off. In June 2014, she obtained her 200 hour RYT certification from The Academy of Yoga in Grand Junction, Colorado. Her training in Iyengar and Hatha style yoga focuses on alignment, mindful movement and breath. Denise feels that the best part of teaching is being able to give to others and she continues to enrich her learning by attending workshops and trainings, she is a forever student!
He who controls his breath controls his mind.
About 10 years ago, Mary was introduced to gongs by an individual who had several planetary gongs that were center to a meditation group. Mary began playing to her artwork, while bonding with Nibiru, a planetary gong, and she knew gongs were coming to her future.
She loves playing outdoors near rivers, in canyons, and during thunderstorms or wind. As the gongs gather the sounds of the elements, she uses different mallets to basically “re-mix” those sounds while incorporating the vibrations that individuals bring with them into the session space.
Each session is wonderfully unique. Once the vibrational landscape is released it cannot be played again. Co-created with participants, the artist and gongs, the vibrational sound paintings become singularly individual and personal experiences. Therein lies the magic
Kasey has been practicing yoga for over a decade ever since she discovered it while training as a professional road cyclist, to unplug from all the competitiveness that is racing. She initially attended classes for the meditative aspect to help her prepare mentally for a race. As yoga helped her cope with the stress and anxiety that preceded a race, she also discovered she was gaining strength from the physical practice as well.
During her classes, she loves playing uplifting music to help keep you motivated during her vinyasa flow classes, where she draws on her years of racing and yoga to help you develop a thoughtful and strong practice!
Yoga Nidra, Reiki
Bob began his yoga practice the summer of 2010, seeking a way to reduce the stress he experienced as an IT manager. Discovering the difference yoga made in his life, he completed Amrit Yoga Level 1 teacher training in April 2013 and Jennifer Reis’ Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health the following year. He continues to further his yoga training and has received his first level Reiki attunement.
Bob believes incorporating a sensible diet, moderate exercise, and meditation/relaxation techniques into our daily lives is essential. He finds joy in helping yogi’s discover the type of yogic practice that’s just right for them.
Laura’s curiosity for movement started early on in life through ballet and dance classes. She also loved to mimic her father’s practice from Light On Yoga by BKS Iyengar. However, her first formal introduction to yoga was in 1998, through the Sivananda yoga community in Summit County. Laura has studied Iyengar, Anusara, ParaYoga, Rajanaka Yoga, and Blue Throat Yoga. While assisting and training with Donna Farhi she learned to befriend herself in a deeper way, to bring a sense of humor to the mat, and to stay curious with movement.
She has been a licensed esthetician and massage therapist since 1997. In 2019 she became a certified personal trainer through NASM and in 2020 she became a certified health and wellness coach by the Mayo Clinic. In Laura’s class, you can expect movements that are inspired by the movement of your breath, mixed with alignment principles to find your optimal self.
Energy cannot be destroyed, only changed.
Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin & Gentle Yoga
Summer was born in colorful Colorado, experiencing her childhood years in Oahu, Hawaii. Being surrounded by island beauty has given her a deep love of the natural world. During her several years of study at Colorado Mesa University, Summer explored exercise science/kinesiology , English and philosophy. It is the philosophy embedded in the traditional purpose of yoga that has turned her journey from a practice which began 6 years ago, into a love and passion. Having obtained her 200 hour teacher certification in Classical Yoga, spring of 2019, she intends to honor and share her devotion for positive transformation in herself and others, the eastern approach to yoga and the yogic way of life through her classes and daily life.
Karen started practicing Yoga in 1998 while pregnant with her 1st child to help ease lower back pain and has been an active student ever since.
Karen was born and raised in California, a true beach girl at heart. In 2009, the mountains of Colorado were calling and she and her family chose Grand Junction as their new home.
She completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training with Yoga V in 2017. She enjoys teaching Gentle Yoga, Slow Flow and Vinyasa classes and works to balance creative sequencing and a spirit of playfulness in her classes. She seeks to help others thrive in life by nurturing body, mind and soul with yoga, and her hope is that you step off the mat feeling refreshed, nourished and balanced.
Julie Hillman (also known as Parvati) is a Certified Amrit Yoga Teacher (RYT 200), Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant, and a Registered Nutrition and Dietetics Technician. She has also completed certificate trainings in yoga therapy (I AM Method of Body Psychology) and Marma Point Therapy, along with being a Reiki Level 1 Practitioner. Julie aims to not only make the asana (posture) classes accessible to all students, but to help students integrate what they learn on their mat into other aspects of life. Julie currently leads virtual classes out of her home in Rhode Island and now in Fruita, Colorado. She is also an avid kayaker, has participated in several charity 5K races, and is in process of publishing her first book on the Yamas and Niyamas. She has been leading yoga classes since 2013 and has been a yoga practitioner for over 20 years.
Meditation & Sound Healing
Jere Friedman, J.D., M.A., CMMI, is an Employee of the Universe – with full benefits! Jere is a Soul Centered Coach, a practicing attorney, and a Certified Meditation and Mindfulness Instructor. Jere also holds a Masters’ degree in Spiritual Psychology, is a certified Breathwork Healer, and is considered one of the foremost gong players and sound healers in the world.
As a coach, Jere’s life work is to contribute to the evolution of consciousness on Planet Earth by supporting others in finding their own way to joy, fulfillment, and inner peace. Jere teaches Spiritual Psychology, meditation and mindfulness, conscious leadership, spirituality, reclaiming your life from burnout, and related topics. He also regularly facilitates public and private gongbaths and Gong and Breathwork Healing Journeys. Playing gongs allows Jere’s “Inner Child” to come out to play and teaches him to be present and focused in the moment.
Yoga is the dance of every soul with the music of every breath that creates inner serenity & harmony