Heather Lundy, MA, DTR, E-RYT, CMT
Heather is the founder and owner of The Nest. Heather is a yogi, therapist, teacher and choreographer obsessed with all forms of movement. She graduated with a Masters Degree in Dance/Movement Therapy from Hahnemann University and an undergraduate degree in English Literature and Dance Theater from James Madison University. She has and still studies yoga, modern dance, massage, Thai Yoga Bodywork, movement theory, physical theater, improvisation, and a host of obscure movement practices that delight and distract her on a daily basis. She is a licensed massage therapist.
In addition to teaching at The Nest, Heather teaches at James Madison University and Cedar Stone Massage School. She is a partner and therapist at Cedar Stone Spa and is lucky to perform and choreograph for two dance companies: Working Title Productions (www.workingtitleproductions.org) and Shojorakudava. She is co-owner of Living Retreats in Costa Rica, a retreat center dedicated to teaching the world to surf and do yoga. Heather is blessed to live in the valley and has a magic life, complete with cool dog.
Devon Sweeney, RYT feels blessed to have started on the path of yoga in high school, at a time where she was just beginning to discover who she would become. After years of personal exploration, Devon knew that she was ready to serve others through teaching yoga. She was first introduced to Prana Flow® by Maria Garre, who was her first and continues to be her most influential teacher, and completed her 200 hour certification with Maria at age 17. Devon’s certification came at the exciting point in her life where she began to attend college, and she has been offering the teachings of yoga ever since then! Devon is inspired by her collegiate kula that lives fully, fearlessly, and is constantly working towards positive change. Her goal is to harness that energy at this pivotal time in her life and use it to offer others the teachings of yoga in a way that is intelligent and experiential. Devon has been so lucky to practice closely with Shiva Rea in pursuit of her 500 hour RYT certification, and also has experienced flow with Twee Merrigan, Coral Brown, and Seane Corn. She works closely with 2 different studio communities in Harrisonburg, Virginia where she attends James Madison University on a mission to spread the shakti love all over campus. While formally studying International Relations at JMU, Devon travels to continue education with both Shiva Rea and Maria Garre for her 300 hour certification.
Julia Vessey, MFA started dancing at a young age and developed her love for dance and movement. Ms. Vessey continued her dance and yoga training in college at James Madison University (JMU). At JMU, she was exposed to the world of modern dance and upon graduation she pursued a graduate degree at Arizona State University (ASU). After graduating summa cum laude from ASU with her MFA in dance, she accepted an adjunct faculty position at JMU in 2009. From her first exposure she has been pursuing Yoga training in the US and abroad from many teachers and in many styles.
Julia has been practicing yoga in many styles and around the world since 2000. In 2009, Ms. Vessey was accepted into the world-renowned Tokyo based Butoh company, Dairakudakan. Ms. Vessey returned to the States as an adjunct faculty at JMU and recent addition to the dance department at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Ms. Vessey is the founder of the Shojorakudava, Dairakudakan’s satellite USA based Butoh company and is a current member of the DC based company ProEkoh Dance.
Stephanie Jesteadt, RYT began practicing yoga 15 years ago in college and was “hooked” immediately. While life’s many exciting changes and challenges took place over the years she found that the practice of yoga was the one thing that always remained a constant – a place where she could retreat, focus and just breathe. After working as a physician recruiter and running her own recruiting company for several years she joyfully took on-full time motherhood in 2005. It was then she started to get this little idea in her head that maybe “someday” she could become a yoga instructor.
Three beautiful children, a dog, cat and fish later she is in the process of completing her 200 RYT through Yogafit. Stephanie has been teaching for almost 2 years at Spotswood Country Club where she has established a great following of dedicated, awesome students. She loves the energy that yoga brings to her own life as well as to her students and is thrilled to be bringing it to a studio setting.
Brittany Guerin, BA Brittany holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology from Penn State University and is currently pursing a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology Campus Recreation from James Madison University. She is the Group Fitness and Wellness Graduate Assistant at University Recreation, James Madison University. She holds national certifications including ACSM Health Fitness Specialist, ACE Group Exercise Instructor, and NETA Speciality Yoga Instructor. She also is a licensed Zumba instructor. Her teaching philosophy is to create effective workouts that are FUN to ensure exercise adherence. In addition to fitness classes, she enjoys running and playing tennis. Her favorite quote is “life is good.”
Jared Featherstone started studying and practicing Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong in 1996, along with Ba Gua, Xing Yi, and Taoist sitting meditation. In 1998, he sat his first 10-day Vipassana retreat in system of Burmese teacher S.N. Goenka. In 2000, through Wu Shen Tao Martial Arts Center in Washington, he studied under Masters Liu Xiao Ling and Paul Ramos, focusing on the Chen and Yang styles of Tai Chi. He has continued to practice Vipassana, attending retreats and classes with Jack Kornfield, Larry Rosenberg, Tara Brach, Hugh Byrne, Pat Coffey, and Jonathan Foust. He is now a mindfulness meditation teacher for the Madison Meditates program at James Madison University.
Taylor Evans stumbled across yoga at the beginning of his college career while looking for a way to exercise outside of the competitive gym environment. He found what he was looking for and so much more. Taylor views yoga as not only an awesome way to stay physically active, but also as a way to peel back the layers that keep us from living from a place of authenticity and compassion. He hopes that through yoga, individuals can begin to reconnect to themselves and those around them, building strong, healthy bodies and even stronger and healthier relationships. Always up for a new experience, Taylor has practiced yoga in a number of different styles, drawing and learning from all of them. He is currently in the process of completing his 200-hour Yoga Alliance teacher training at Down Dog Yoga in Washington, D.C.
Kate Miller started practicing yoga in 1999 and was immediately drawn to the way it integrated breath and movement, producing a calm mind and spirit. Since then she has tried a variety of styles and found benefit in all of them. Kate sees yoga as a powerful way to promote holistic healing. She began a regular practice of Kundalini Yoga when she moved back toHarrisonburgin 2008. It has been a transformational journey and she is excited to share this yoga with others. She began teaching in the fall of 2011 with guidance from Mary Pargas, CYT, and will soon be completing her Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training. In addition, Kate is a Certified Massage Therapist and Reiki Practitioner. She has completed STAR training (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience), at the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding and has a background in Social Work.
Ashley Sutt is a Certified Nia Blue Belt. She completed her White Belt training in July of 2009 with Nia co-creator, Debbie Rosas; and was trained as a Blue Belt by Carlos Rosas, Nia co-creator, in September of 2010. Ashley first experienced Nia in 2006, and immediately felt an acceptance of her body previously unknown to her. Since that first experience, Nia has played a vital role in Ashley’s personal journey of self-exploration and transformation. As a professional counselor, she knew that integrating mind, body, spirit and emotion was necessary in order to maintain health and wellness, but she had never found a practice that actually addressed all of those areas simultaneously. Nia does just that!
Alexi Sherrill fell in love with dance at age three and began training under the Royal Academy of Dance at five. After years as a professional dancer and a long break to attend college, work as an editor/writer, and have a family, she ventured back to ballet as an adjunct university instructor (now at JMU). Physical pain and old dance injuries, aggravated by teaching, led her to mind/body work. Now certified to teach Pilates (both mat and equipment) and yoga, she loves helping others explore the endless benefits of both disciplines. For more than two years, she’s taught classes and worked with clients at the RMH Wellness Center and in the theatre & dance department at JMU. Always one to continue learning, Alexi spent 2012 exploring a practice fusing dance, Pilates, and yoga—based on the Lottie Burke Method and work by professionals such as Tracey Mallett (The Booty Barre) and Suzanne Bowen (BarreAmped). For her, this is the last piece of the puzzle toward complete physical and mental health. Alexi is excited to share these three loves—Pilates, yoga, and barre/core fusion–with everyone at The Nest!