Stefanie began her yoga journey as a performing artist in the practice of Baptiste Power Yoga in 2004. Stefanie travelled the world as a performing artist and found yoga gave her a sense of groundedness and solace, no matter where her work and suitcases took her.
While touring in her professional offering of performing arts, Stefanie felt a feeling of isolation and disconnect from the world around her and craved an opportunity to hold space for herself and others to make a lasting impact.
Tragedy of losing a loved one suddenly hit her heart, and she decided to make a big change; from the stage, makeup and lights to the dark solace of the yoga room to process her grief, sense of disconnect and isolation.
Initially Stef thought she would get her Teacher Training Certificate and move to NYC to pursue her ambitions in the arts, but love and yoga kept her in Texas. It was there that she met her Bhakti Yoga Teacher Sean Johnson, of Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band who lead her back to her creative spirit...This time sharing her love of music and storytelling to help heal and renew in a yoga room, one breath at a time.
Stefanie feels so blessed to have yoga and the arts back in her life, and to be able to share love and yoga with all of her being with you in the time and space of a yoga class.
Bhakti yoga is a path of devotion in which we use our whole heart to connect to Divine Source, or something bigger than ourselves (whatever that means for you). While it is natural for human emotion to flow freely, as it did in childhood, society has trained us to stifle these emotions. We have conditioned ourselves to such a degree that we can have a hard time connecting with ourselves and others. Bhakti yoga allows these emotions to breathe and flow freely, giving us the opportunity to live them through the safety of mantra meditation, or the repetition of sacred sanskrit sounds.
For thousand of years, yogis, mystics, and meditators have used mantra meditation for mental and spiritual transformation. Some research supports that traditional Bhakti mantras had no connection to divine archetypes. Rather, the healing nature of the mantra sounds promoted a particular form of wellbeing. For example, if one wanted to remove obstacles and find new beginnings in life, one would use Ganesh mantras. For more creativity and divine intuition, one would recite Saraswati mantras. Much later, the stories and divine archetypes were created to help explain the meaning of the healing mantras.
Stefanie is honored to be a Legacy lululemon ambassador. Many collaborations with lululemon have resulted in complementary classes and workshops throughout the local community ranging from vinyasa yoga classes to bhakti yoga sessions to students of all different demographics, shapes, sizes and ages. Stay tuned for an exciting yoga event with proceeds benefitting Stefanie's non-profit organization Hanuman Homies.
Stefanie will always feel indebted to the Uptown Yoga community for their steadfast commitment to providing excellent yoga asana classes in Austin Ranch, Uptown and Lakewood. Stefanie feels this teaching community is so strong and yet so dynamic and diverse in the approaches to yoga asana, providing an environment for Stefanie to grow exponentially as a teacher and also as a devoted student of yoga.
Stefanie feels delighted and blessed to be a part of the teaching staff at Retreat in the Pines; a healing and inspiring space to recharge and witness communion. Stefanie's first retreat here was in 2015 and she has never looked back. She looks forward to continuing to offer retreats here to spend quality time with her students.
Stefanie is excited for this new partnership with The Mat Yoga Studio! Stefanie will be offering Workshops and contributing Bhakti Sounds to Special Events at the Mat! Stay tuned for offerings in the very near future!
Stefanie loves offering corporate yoga here Friday afternoons! It is an honor to help employees unwind and destress, preparing them for a weekend of restoration and rejuvenation.
Stefanie enjoys teaching corporate yoga at this lovely community. This relaxed atmosphere is a wonderful place to encourage it's employees to take time out for self care, even within a work day.
Yoga has changed her life in so many ways, ways she would have never imagined when she went to her first yoga practice. Now, it is her honor to be a part of your yoga journey and life story. Please enjoy a sampling of testimonials from Stefanie's diverse students below.
“Stefanie is an amazing yoga instructor. She knows how to structure the class to fit the needs of everyone present. Plus, her warm and engaging nature made me feel right at home almost immediately. I would highly recommend her to anyone interested in starting or continuing a yoga practice. "
"Stefanie is a dynamic and compassionate teacher, touching all whom she connects with, providing high level instruction and down-to-earth guidance for personal and spiritual growth. She believes all children should have equal access to yoga. During her tenure at Two Rivers Yoga, she doubled the size of the kids program and brought yoga instruction to the school districts. I was proud and humbled to work beside her."
“Stefanie has been instrumental in helping me recapture my passion for yoga. Our paths crossed in late 2015 during a time when my yoga practice had reached a plateau and I was in the midst of a job change, a relocation, and failed relationship. As I began to attend Stefanie’s classes, it was evident she was not a typical yoga instructor. I noticed there was something unique and beautiful occurring during every class. I began to feel strong again, not just physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. The feelings of calm, peace, and balance slowly began to return to my daily life. I attribute this to Stefanie’s ability to create a safe, nurturing, and loving environment where each person is honored and respected. What I appreciate about Stefanie’s teaching style is it is genuine and heartfelt. It is obvious through her actions that she wants the best for each person. Her loving spirit can be felt throughout class from beginning to end. Her love can also be heard as she culminates each class with unique music and beautiful vocals."
"I cannot recommend this woman enough! She is simply love, joy, happiness and wisdom. Her classes are a haven leading to self knowledge and acceptance. They are challenging physically yet comforting spiritually, emotionally and mentally. I treasure every yoga class I ever took with her. She is caring, tapped into the universe, knowledgeable, and always present with the students. I am so happy for anyone who chooses to work with her. You will be blessed!"
“Stefanie is an amazing teacher who touches each and every student with her knowledge, expertise and amazing positive, caring energy. She connects appropriately with her students and brings an energy of peace and happiness to those who are fortunate enough to practice under her tutelage."
"I just moved here a few months ago, but I come to Stefanie's classes as much as I can. Stefanie has this angelic voice and presence about her. I always leave feeling her classes two inches taller, with my heart wide open. Thank you Stefanie!"
"Yoga with Stefanie has changed my life. Through private lessons and group classes, Stefanie helped me see yoga as more than just a physical practice. Her beautiful bhakti singing and vibrant spirit inspired me to embrace the spiritual aspects of yoga. A longtime atheist and skeptic, I can now say that I am open to all forms of divinity."
"Stefanie taught a variety of yoga classes and I had the pleasure of sampling most of them. Her hot yoga (with a sprinkling of "Baptiste") was my favorite! She has the perfect blend of patience and push to engage and challenge every student from beginner to advanced. Stefanie radiates positive energy and truly lives the practice of yoga. Her combination of knowledge and loving personality make her a valuable asset to any team."
I've been coming to yoga for about two months now, steadily. What I like about coming to Stefanie's class is that you always know it's a Stefanie class...she gives it her own feel. She has always made me feel comfortable being a guy in yoga. I really enjoy coming to her class.
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