Leah began her yoga journey as a student many years ago out of a curiosity. Wondering what all the fuss was about, she rolled out a mat at a local health club and gave it a shot. With that first class she started down a path of yoga that ultimately led to Leah becoming a 200-hour+ trained yoga teacher. Studying with inspiring yoga leaders Leah has honed her unique style, which is a fusion of breathing, alignment, honoring your body, living in the moment and having fun.
These are Leah’s second and third yoga studios, having sold her first one in Lee’s Summit in 2010. She is also the co-creator of the Kansas City Yoga Festival and the Kansas City Yoga Teacher Training program.
Whether your goal is to begin or grow a practice, increase your strength and flexibility, learn how to control stress, or become a part of an amazing local community, Leah can help you achieve these goals. In turn, you can begin building a more independent and productive lifestyle. She believes that the sense of peace and transformation that a yoga practice can bring will astound you.
Tim began his yogic journey in 2001 practicing Bikram style yoga. From 2005 on exploring Vinyasa, Hatha, Piyo, Yin, restorative, nidra, & acro yoga (a personal favorite)! He started teaching Vinyasa June of 2011. Tim completed the 200 RYT teacher training through Yoga Fit Training Systems in October 2014. As a long time Air Traffic Controller, yoga has helped him immensely with the stresses of working radar & the 24/7 swing shift hours involved.
Tim’s main focus is on movement with the breath. This helps bring the yoga student into the present moment. Its a difficult task, but the only place we truly are at any time! Remembering every pose is optional, prepare to be challenged with inversions, arm balances & finding peace in your life. He looks forward to sharing the yogic journey with you. Shanti
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. -Theodore Roosevelt
Vanessa Barrett Vanessa Barrett has been teaching yoga for over 20 years, bringing the benefits ofthis practice to participants from beginner to advanced. After completing her 200-hour teacher training in Vinyasa flow with Gina Caputo, Vanessa says her teaching style and personal practice has been forever changed. In her class she will invite you to examine the depth of your yoga practice and to find your edge. “Most students are capable of doing much more than they think they can.” Always keeping a touch of humor in her teaching, she will encourage you to “play” a little and explore. Vanessa credits yoga for helping her live life to the fullest and to be present in each moment.
One of her favorite quotes from her teacher, “Life is short, you live once, ain’t no time for auto pilot.”
I started practicing yoga at home through tapes and books many years ago.
Eventually I got courageous enough to try it in a class setting and I was immediately hooked. I then began training for my 200 hour certification at The Yoga School for Therapeutics and completed the certification process in March of 2015. I have also completed the KCYTT program in 2016.
Prior to becoming a yoga instructor, I worked as a registered nurse around the Kansas City area for 10 years. My focus in nursing was primarily pediatrics and women's health. Practicing and training in yoga has been a wonderful compliment to my previous nursing training and I have felt and seen the many health benefits of yoga.
Now my passion is to teach this amazing and healing lifestyle to others! My training has been based on the teachings of BKS Iyengar, as well as workshops with Doug Keller and Paula Tortlano Self. I enjoy focusing on alignment, stamina, and strength building with some longer holds and inversions. Most of all I like everyone to leave their class and step off their mat feeling happy and healthy!
Shane had been interested in trying yoga for several years. He was intrigued by its reported meditative benefits, but he thought he would need to be more flexible, have better balance, need more free time, and maybe even lose a few pounds before he could try. Once he tried it out at a Community college class, he began to sense remarkable mental and physical changes within himself, and quickly found Core Balance Yoga Studio.
His yoga practice captivated him so much that he attended 5 to 7 classes a week for over a year. Then, wanting to deepen his practice and understanding, he enrolled in the Kansas City Yoga Teacher Training program where he studied with an amazing kula, completing the 200 hour certification.
Shane is honored to be teaching at Core Balance, his home studio that has benefited him so greatly. His teaching is gentle, basic, and meditative. He asks his students to “just breathe,” and be mindful and present in their practice. His passion is to hopefully pass on the transformative benefits of yoga that were given to him.
Kristin’s classes are designed to give students a complete mind, body, and soul experience so they leave feeling relaxed and refreshed. Her instruction aims to help people slow down and tune into their bodies, so they can recharge and discover inner peace. You can still expect to build a little heat, but the flow will remain mindful and meditative.
Kristin was first introduced to yoga more than 10 years ago in a college class, but her yoga journey really began to deepen when she was looking to find some peace in her life amongst the stress of raising two spirited little boys. She immediately connected with the incredible community at Core Balance Yoga Center and eventually completed her 200-hour certification through the Kansas City Yoga Teacher Training program.
“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” - Unknown
I found Yoga at a point in my life when I was in search of calmness and serenity. My journey began by taking classes as many times a week at Core Balance I could and I quickly began to experience the benefits of yoga in my day to day life. I decided to deepen my yoga knowledge and completed my 200-hour certification through the Kansas City Yoga Teacher Training program in 2018.
I am now a very motivated yoga Instructor with a passion to inspire others to improve their long-term wellness goals. I strive to help students of all skill levels feel comfortable in their practice, learn essential postures, and ensure a safe practice for everyone. I approach both my personal practice and teaching through curiosity and thoughtful consideration. With focus on alignment, strength, and breath, I help students find the balance between effort and ease to tune into their body.
Karen has always enjoyed how the body moves and reacts through dance, stretch and sport. In January 2005, she was involved in a devastating automobile accident. This rendered her practically immobile, in bed most days with meds for migraine, deep tissue and neck damage. She thought life as she had known it was over. Doing the best she could for her growing family, she began a journey on a 9-10 year healing path. Mentally and physically, she sought out more natural healing modalities including massage therapy and a deeper study of the chakra systems, meditation, research, reading and forgiveness. She was happy to include yoga as her daily go-to. Yoga, she says, is the reason for her overall healing.
In 2015, she finally took the leap and committed herself to a year of continued health and learning. In December 2016, she proudly graduated from Darling Yoga as a 200-RYT. She is now very inspired to help others nurture their own mind, body and spirit as they discover the health benefits through a playful, light hearted practice using Hatha Yoga. Karen focuses on alignment, stretch, and breathwork building stamina, strength and confidence. She loves and cares for each of her students with a grateful open heart through an active and gentle approach. With her new zest for life, she will continue to experience workshops and continued education to bring new aspects to their personal practice.
Cindy’s yoga journey began in 1999, on the aerobics floor of a busy health club. Though she wanted to love it, her first experiences were a lot more like childbirth than she had hoped, and she tried to embrace the discomfort and breathe. The healthclub closed, and she continued to explore yoga on her mat at home, beginning to find ease in the poses, before a wrist fracture sidelined her practice, and she explored other healthful practices, like walking, for nearly a decade. Eventually, she made her way back to her yoga mat in 2012, and completed the 200 hour Kansas City Yoga Teacher Training in 2018. She uses her yoga practice to counterbalance a stressful and busy “real life” job.
Cindy believes that yoga is for Every Body, and strives to offer a class that allows both novice and seasoned yogis to explore their range of motion in a playful environment. She encourages participants to challenge themselves, but to always listen to their bodies and to take modifications to stay safe and injury-free.
Tracy’s journey to yoga began in 2011 as a way to combat a stressful workplace environment. Soon after her first class, she began to notice several things – her breathing became more relaxed, she stood taller and more confident, and she started losing the Type A personality traits and began to “just go with the flow”.
Tracy completed her CYT-200 in 2017 with KCYTT and is grateful to have found a home with Core Balance Yoga Center. She enjoys leading vinyasa sequences, starting with basic poses that are accessible to everyone with options to add challenges to her students’ practice. Tracy believes laughter really is the best medicine and aims to provide a fun environment with a gentle reminder to not take anything too seriously. In the words of one of her first yoga teachers, “It’s just yoga, y’all!”
Clara’s Yoga journey has been long and inspired. She is blessed to have learned from wonderful teachers including Shakta Kaur Khalsa, Virginia Oliver, Max Strom, Judith Hanson Lasater and Tao Porchon-Lynch. Her understanding and love of Yoga philosophy deepens as she continues to study with her beloved teacher, Rama Jyoti Vernon.
Clara’s gentle style of Hatha Yoga practice includes pranayama (use of breath), meditation and bits of Yoga philosophy. But don’t be surprised to sometimes find yourself reaching for another breath! Gentle does not necessarily mean easy and holding an asana for many breaths can be quite exhilarating. You will learn about your power and strength during her classes.Clara invites you to take a deep breath and step onto the path to begin your own Yoga journey. It is life changing and a very blessed practice.
I came to yoga originally to manage stress and depression and began to experience its many healing effects when I came through the doors of Core Balance Yoga Center and began a consistent practice. I completed my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification in March 2015 through the Kansas City Yoga Teacher Training Program. I have had specialty training in chair, yin, trauma-informed, yoga therapy, breath work, and mindfulness meditation. In addition, I am a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor. I have also been using more yoga postures and principles for several years with reports of positive results in my “day job” as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, where I have both the honor and privilege of working with people who struggle with mental health and addiction concerns. I enjoy facilitating workshops on a wide variety of mental health topics as well.My intention and hope is that I can be a guide for my students to experience increased self-awareness, peace, compassion, kindness, and love for themselves and others, both on and off the mat. Thank you to all my teachers & students for sharing this wonderful journey with me!
Jan’s introduction to yoga began in 1986, when she participated in a three week program called “Health for Life” at Kripalu Yoga Center located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. After surviving a life changing burn injury in 1983, she went through years of rehabilitation, many surgeries, and experienced a wide range of emotions. Jan believes yoga saved her life and has taught her many transformative things. She also received her Kripalu Bodywork training in 1988 and Kripalu Yoga Teachers Training in 1995. Since then, Jan has taught yoga at multiple locations in Kansas City, and taught yoga and meditation through Longview Community Education for 15 years. In 2016, she completed the Yogafit Warriors Training including Yogafit for Healing Physical and Emotional Trauma, Restorative Therapeutics, and Mood Balancing. Jan is also trained to teach Chair Yoga and Kids Yoga and Storytelling.
Dr. Mary Duryea
Mary started practicing yoga in 2000 as a way of juggling her career as a family practice physician while raising 3 children and trying to stay physically fit. She soon developed a love and appreciation for the health benefits of yoga, both physically and mentally. Her background includes working as an orthopedic physician assistant for 5 years, and then a family doctor in Lee’s Summit for many years before retiring to raise her teenagers. She is now an experienced 500 hour certified yoga therapist and pursuing her passion for sharing yoga with others. She brings a strong anatomical background and a focus on meditation to her classes.
Anne was introduced to yoga in 1998, but it wasn't until she walked into Core Balance in 2015 that she fell in love with it and started a daily practice. After taking 5-7 classes per week for a year, she enrolled in the Kansas City Yoga Teacher Training program and became a certified Yoga Instructor. As a wife, mother and business executive, yoga and meditation have provided her a way to stay grounded and to focus on living in the present moment of each precious day.
Anne is deeply honored to be teaching at Core Balance. Her teaching style is accessible to all levels and she loves to work with students who are new to yoga to get them comfortable in the studio setting. Anne is also a Certified Meditation Instructor through the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, CA.
I started my yoga practice in a gym setting 15 years ago,to stretch out after my real work out and soon discovered the physical and mental benefits of practicing yoga.After 10 years of seeing how yoga helped me maintain a healthier lifestyle and manage the challenges life can send our way I wanted to help share this with others and took the 200 hour training they Kanas City teacher training in 2016,I enjoy teaching at 3 different studios and I also teach at 3 different hospitals to yogis battling cancer,I find so much strength,courage and motivation in every class I attend whether I’m a student or teacher.