Our Teachers

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Mandy Roush

Mandy Roush

Founder/Teacher

Yoga has helped me learn how to focus my attention on what is real and right now. That may be the sensation I am feeling in my body while I am in a pose, the conversation I’m having with a loved one, or the beauty of my surroundings. This practice has helped me manage reactivity, impulsivity and my fear of the unknown. By learning how to access what is real and let go of what might be or what was, I experience more ease and joy. I think the most important gift yoga has given me is a reconnection with my own inner knowing.

I love learning and I love teaching! I am so grateful for the opportunity to share this practice! My classes are strong and steady with an emphasis on breath and body awareness. I draw from my own experiences and the great teachers I’ve had the honor of studying with including Stacy and Dave Dockins, Live Love Teach, Baron Baptiste and Deborah Adele. I see each class as a practice, as teacher and student, to stay connected to what is needed moment by moment and respond accordingly.

My husband Nick and I are the proud founders of Root Down Yoga Studio. This studio and practice are central to our lives. We feel so fortunate to be surrounded by this incredible teaching team and our community of students. When I’m not at the studio, you’ll probably find me on my horse, in my garden or hanging out at home with Nick and our cat.

Nick Roush

Nick Roush

Founder/Teacher

Like so many of us, as I found more professional “success” in my life, I gave myself less and less time to move my body and calm my mind. Before I knew it, I was an overdoing, overstressed, “professional sitter” desperately in need of a change. Thanks to my lovely wife Mandy, I started practicing yoga! After just a short time I noticed my strength return, but most of all, I just felt so much happier. I was calmer, more focused and less “knockable” by the life challenges we all face.

Yoga practice has touched and shaped every facet of my life. My relationships, my mental state, my body, the way I do business, everything! I think it comes back to “how yoga works”. The practice works because it gives you a venue to see what’s possible for you. As you are physically and mentally challenged, you learn the tools to help you grow and flourish in the midst of that challenge. Soon, what you previously viewed as a road block is now just a tiny speed bump. What would have previously taken you out is now just another chance to learn and grow. The practice creates so much more space for joy in life.

My yoga practice has led me to my life purpose: To live an inspired life and inspire others to what’s possible for them! I teach yoga because of my most sincere hope to share this life changing practice with you. I invite you to come practice with me and all the teachers at Root Down Yoga! Don’t worry, the practice will meet you right where you are today, no judgement, no expectations. Let the practice work its magic and reveal what’s possible for you!

Jessie Fortuna

Jessie Fortuna

Teacher

Yoga entered my life in 2009, as a simple invitation from a new friend. It was a fun way to move my body in a way that didn’t cause pain. It led to another invitation to join a small group of yogis practicing hot yoga in a garage. I now call these people my dearest friends. Through my practice and training over the years, I now know who I am and I love that person. I am JOYFUL! Yoga has helped me find the best version of myself. It reminds me when to take a pause-perhaps in a single breath. Yoga has pulled me out of autopilot and has given me tools that help me choose my own reactions. Yoga will meet you where you are at. Yoga is a gift that has been given to me and I look forward to sharing it with you!

Lori Freit-Hammes

Lori Freit-Hammes

Teacher

As a busy mom of three with a full-time professional career, I turned to Vinyasa Yoga as a way to help me manage my stress, offer an element of cross training to my exercise routine, and provide me with relief from chronic pain in my neck, back and hips.  It’s done all that, plus so much more.

As a student, yoga has created a space within me to see life differently – to see the possibilities.  I’m the typical Type A, driven, overachieving perfectionist.  I push myself, push some more, and then wonder why I become overwhelmed, frustrated, resentful, or injured along the way. Yoga has taught me to slow down, to accept, forgive, and to be gentle with myself and others.  It’s helped me quiet the voice of my inner critic, get out of the way of my self-imposed limitations, and begin to love and accept myself for who and what I am.

I teach yoga because I love and believe in the power of this practice.  I’ve been blessed to be part of this growing community and I want to offer that same opportunity to you.  Throw out any preconceived notions you may have in your mind about “yoga” and give it a try.  I hope to see you on your mat!

Carole Gibb

Carole Gibb

Teacher

Fourteen years ago, I started practicing Iyengar Yoga as a response to being told I had degenerative disc disease following back surgery. I needed to increase my core strength to help support my back and hold my body together! What started as a purely physical need and practice, grew into something huge and wonderful with the entrance of Mandy and Nick and Root Down Yoga into my life. Hot Vinyasa yoga together with all the wonderful teachers at Root Down, has taught me how to breathe, focus, be calm, be strong when needed and yet be gentle when that is necessary, let go of the “bad” stuff and the stuff I can’t change, take time for myself without feeling guilty, connect my breath to my actions on my mat AND in my life, respond vs react, be present in the moment, and above all feel gratitude for everything that my practice and this world presents to me. There is so much more, but you should come try it and see what can happen to you.

In 2014 I took an Assisting Workshop at Root Down, and was amazed at how much joy it gave me to help other students in their practice. I knew then that I wanted to teach, but hadn’t a clue how to fit it in with my 60+ hour a week job and already over full life. A year later the job went, and, after a suitable time of grieving, I booked my Teacher Training.

Over the years practicing yoga I have grown in strength and awareness of my body and mind. I haven’t had any more instances of major back pain, and thrive in the knowledge that I have been able to make a difference to myself that will see me though the rest of my live as a healthier person both physically, mindfully and spiritually.

Yoga has given me another chance and I want to share it with others. I want to make a difference in other people’s lives, and see this as the perfect avenue. As in the story The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley… “It made a difference to that one.”

Julie Hatlem

Julie Hatlem

Teacher

From my first introduction to vinyasa yoga I fell in love with the grace and power of the practice. What I have come to love and respect even more, is the powerful connection of breath, movement, and community. Every breath, every movement, is a gift to connect to what is happening right now … and a choice to respond with intention and awareness. Life will always have a rhythm and cadence to it and my yoga practice gives me the opportunity to respond to life’s ups and downs with a pace that keeps me grounded. Not reacting, judging, or creating story.

I will always be a student of this practice and I am grateful for the opportunity to share it with you. I believe that yoga, just like life, is filled with moments of curiosity, change, inspiration, problem solving, and self-acceptance. Join me for a class. Be curious, have fun, and discover the grace and power of yoga!

Avis Johnson

Avis Johnson

Office Manager

Avis is the beating heart of the Root Down Yoga community. Nick and Mandy were blessed to meet her many years ago and before she was officially hired, she was a dedicated student who always wanted to lend a hand. We had to pull the laundry out of her hands! Her smile will light up any room and she embodies this practice we call yoga. She is the first person to arrive and the last to leave, she knows when to offer a comforting hug or a listening ear, and her fantastic sense of humor keeps us all on our toes. She makes sure all of the staff and students have what they need, when they need it. She is the welcome wagon and warmly and willingly offers her guidance and support. She does so much for all of us and yet never wants any recognition or attention for it. Which is why we had to write this for her. If Avis did write this, she’d say she loves her yoga practice, she loves her job, and she loves sharing the Root Down community with each of you.

Amber Moesch

Amber Moesch

Teacher

My grandma Marion lived to be 98 years old, and I often wonder if I will follow in her footsteps, perhaps even passing a century!  More than anything, what motivates me and shapes the way I practice yoga is the humbling thought that I might have more than 50 years to live in THIS body!  I am passionate about keeping my own human body working well and helping other people to do the same.  Through teaching yoga, I hope to be able to inspire you and give you skills to inhabit your body with more joy, strength, balance and ease, through all your years and in all that life brings you!
Pam Popp

Pam Popp

Teacher

Somehow yoga found me. It all started with a simple invitation from a friend and from then on, it was LOVE ! Right away I realized that yoga touched me very differently. Was it the breath? Or the physical challenge? Maybe it was the peace that I felt on the mat or simply the love of hanging out with a group of awesome yogis? All I knew was that each time I practiced, it was a new, incredible experience in my mind and body. True awareness was found, so I kept going back.  Yoga has created a transformation in my life, it continues to remind me to let go, to stay in the present moment, to meet challenges with compassion and to just… breathe. One of the greatest things about yoga is that it is always a practice, both on and off your mat.  Lately, combining nature, water and yoga has sparked a new passion for me! SUP(stand up paddle board) yoga . After spending many hours on the water and receiving training, I am so lucky to now fill my summers paddling and teaching SUP yoga classes. How amazing it is to soak up the beautiful surroundings while practicing and teaching yoga on a floating board! Come join a class and play! This special yoga journey is so inspiring, evolving and exciting, I look forward to sharing, teaching and experiencing it with you!