Suzy McCalley

Owner/Yoga Instructor

Suzy McCalley earned her certification as a 500 E-RYT yoga instructor at the Asheville Yoga Center.  She is the founder and owner of The Breathing Room.  Suzy is a wellness coach, certified yoga and reiki practitioner, singer, actor, writer, speaker and entrepreneur. She was born and raised in Brazil by professional musicians and community-based creatives. Her passion is educating on issues related to small business, personal enlightenment, stress, life balance, and self-care.

Suzy has been committed to practicing and teaching yoga for more than 15 years.  Her unique journey brought her from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Austin, Texas, then to Winston Salem, where she has lived for the past 13 years with her sweet son Henry.  A highly creative artist, Suzy sings, acts, writes, dances, plays the violin and teaches on all of these subjects.  Suzy incorporates a range of holistic practices into her work, including many styles of yoga (influenced by everything from kundalini to yin and ashtanga), meditation practices, breathing techniques and tai chi techniques. She is also a Reiki Master Teacher and a certified EFT (Emotional Freedom Tapping) Practitioner.  Suzy capped off her artistic talents and drive to be a leader in holistic wellness by earning her Master of Fine Arts degree from Goddard College in 2020.

She works privately with clients to achieve greater mental, emotional and physical balance as critical elements of the healing process.  She is also a professional speaker and leads group classes and retreats for businesses, churches, schools and non-profit organizations.  Clients, students, and teams that work with Suzy through her coaching and wellness programs experience life-changing transformation. Individuals gain new skills such as increased strength and flexibility, more effective emotional and mental management, reduced stress, greater confidence and productivity, increased levels of peace, joy, and overall satisfaction in their personal and professional lives.

divider graphic The Breathing Room Yoga StudioAkiyra

Yoga Instructor

Akiyra is a beautiful spirit who was born in High Point and never strayed far from home.  She is a proud mother and lover of laughter. Akiyra’s path to overcoming childhood trauma and finding her true self led her to yoga.  Her transformation was truly life-changing.  Now, she has a palpable desire to help others find healing, as well, through purposeful, powerful, and playful movement. Akiyra completed her 200 E-RYT at The Breathing Room in May 2021.  She journeyed to Colorado for an intense training and additional certification in both Buti Yoga and Hot Buti Yoga in October 2021. Buti Yoga is a dynamic asana practice fused with primal movement, tribal dance, and deep engagement of the core. Akiyra’s desire is for every session on the mat to present each student with a safe space that facilitates nurturing, transformation, and freedom of expression. Her hope and encouragement for everyone is that they can embrace both physical and spiritual growth, on the mat and beyond. Akiyra carries her love of journaling and meditating with her outside of the studio.  She also loves reading a good book and cooking tasty meals and treats.

divider graphic The Breathing Room Yoga StudioLouis Bowman Yoga Instructor The Breathing Room Louis Bowman

Yoga Instructor

Louie was First introduced to Asian philosophies and training at the age of 12 with the practice of Shaolin Kung Fu. Adding to that practice Tai Chi and the understanding of the body’s energies, meditation and devotional practices until his later twenties. Louis also studied various religions and theologies throughout his years. In his later 30s suffering a devastating back injury that left him jobless for 3 years and laying on his back he found the practice of classical Indian music which led him in-turn to the practice of yoga. After Louis found greater health, flexibility, and overall well-being through his practice of yoga, he decided to share his practice with the community and whomever wants to learn more. Since becoming a yoga teacher he is also became a Reiki practitioner and an ordained minister to further his practice and cause.

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Amanda DePaiva

Yoga Instructor

Amanda was first introduced to yoga in 2005 as a form of exercise.  She enjoyed the physical practice of yoga, however, was not yet exposed to the wonderment of all eight limbs. In 2019, she came to Winston-Salem to work as a pediatric nurse. It was here that she attended a yoga class which focused on tuning inward instead of the achievement of a “perfect pose.”  She was taught to use yoga to expand, to heal and “to fill up her cup.”  As she navigated through the demands of her nursing career, yoga provided a balance, a sanctuary.  Her excitement for these newfound tools was uncontainable and she began sharing her passion with others.  Her ultimate dream is to incorporate yoga and meditation into hospitals, and it be normalized to provide holistic resources.  She continues to practice as a pediatric nurse as well as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), a Reiki-1 practitioner and a meditation teacher.  Her favorite kind of class is one where the students can bridge the connection between body and breath.  Her hope is that you leave her class feeling better than when you walked in. “Yoga is not about holding your breath or forcing yourself to shrink into the posture.  Yoga is about expressing the posture in a way to continue to expand your breath fully.”

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Bridget Dix

Yoga Instructor

Bridget is a native of New York who moved to North Carolina in 2021. She became enamored with yoga during her college years and earned her teaching certification in 2015 in Santa Barbara, California.  Bridget began her practice with students and staff at the University of Buffalo, while serving as an adjunct faculty member there.  In 2019, she completed her doctorate degree in physical therapy and began her professional practice in September of that year.  As a physical therapist, Bridget strives to optimize the well-being of her patients through comprehensive treatment and individualized care that focuses on the alignment, integration, and sequential movements.  She is currently a physical therapist in Yadkinville and enjoys integrating practices of mindfulness and transformational asanas into her work with patients of all ages and abilities.divider graphic The Breathing Room Yoga Studio

Rachel Drake Yoga Instructor The Breathing Room Winston SalemRachel Drake

Yoga Instructor

Rachel is an Ohio native who found her love for yoga in 2013. Being busy with grad school and working led her to a search for ways to de-stress and start moving her body. Yoga opened a brand new world.  Her reasons for practicing have changed over the years but include needing to “exercise”, healing the mind and emotions in a safe space, finding confidence and strength, and feeling that spiritual connection of the mind and body when she steps on the mat.  Yoga and meditation have had such a positive transformation in her life, that she now shares that love with the community. Rachel is a Registered Yoga Teacher at the 200-hour level (RYT-200), a Reiki-1 practitioner, and meditation teacher. Her style of teaching holds space for others to explore their practice, by bringing her energy and passion to her teachings. Bringing her students to a more empowering awareness of their breath and asana practice.  When Rachel is not teaching you can find her hiking, hanging out in the community, running her small business, and working her HR job in the corporate world.

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Julie Dunton

Yoga Instructor

Julie cannot recall a time when she was not passionate about helping people discover their true authentic self.  She  has been a 200hr-RYT certified yoga instructor for more than 12 years.  She dedicates herself to helping her students understand how yoga is an integral part of an overall healthy lifestyle. She is highly adept at encouraging and facilitating a self-focused energy and inward reflection that truly connects each individual’s mind, body, and spirit.  By integrating breathwork and meditation into her asana practice, Julie instills a sense of calm and relaxation that is unsurpassed, while challenging each student’s physical and psychological limits.

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Lucy Bella Dunton

Yoga Instructor

Lucy Bella Dunton began practicing yoga at age five.  She was very serious about yoga from the very beginning, attending public yoga classes six days/week.   At the age of 12, Bella decided to become a certified yoga instructor.  Bella successfully completed her 200-hr RYT training at the age of 13 and became a registered teacher with Yoga Alliance.  Over the past four years, Bella has experienced teaching all types of yoga to people of all ages.  One the highlights of her early career included two summers leading children with neurological disabilities through meditation and asanas as part of their ongoing therapy.  The children from the camp adored and respected Bella, evident by the fact they the children and their parents still keep in touch with her today.  When she isn’t on the mat, Bella enjoys painting,  playing the piano, and dancing. 

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Tiffany Henderson Yoga Instructor The Breathing Room Winston-SalemTiffany Henderson

Yoga Instructor

Tiffany is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor RYT 200. She is a graduate of the first yoga teachers training class offered at The Breathing Room in Jan 2021 (CYT 230). She is a native of Winston Salem North Carolina. Tiffany has been doing spiritual work for most of all her life and considers herself to be a true “spiritual humanitarian”. She is a professional psychic and tarot card reader. She has worked for several popular psychic companies since 2016. Tiffany’s practice and teaching focuses on helping individuals create a new way of thinking about life. Her abilities have aided many people to awaken to their true purpose and destiny. Yoga has been a life changing journey for Tiffany. “The Spirit of Yoga is powerful, and we can see its benefits consume our entire lives”. Tiffany teaches students of all age groups. She is passionate about guiding students on a journey of self-discovery and awareness. “My focus is helping people who want to become well mentally which leads to wellness physically”. I offer services that teach students the spiritual benefits of yoga and its foundations. Tiffany also specializes in techniques that help students cope and navigate everyday life with boldness.

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Abbey Lefko

YOGA INSTRUCTOR

Abbey has been practicing yoga for over nine years, but really fell in love with the practice in 2019, when she began using yoga as a way to manage stress and improve her mental health. She is a Charlotte, NC native who recently relocated to the Winston-Salem area. She is in graduate school at Wake Forest University studying Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She hopes to one day tie yoga into her practice as a counselor. Abbey is a 500-hour registered yoga teacher. She earned both her 200 and 300-hour yoga teacher certifications from Arrichion Hot Yoga in Charlotte, NC. As a yoga teacher her goal is to help students enjoy moving their bodies. She is a firm believer that all bodies are made for yoga. Exercise should be fun and it should make you feel good, both physically and mentally. She believes yoga is so much more than just exercise, it is a way for us to connect to ourselves and attend to our mental, spiritual, and emotional needs. Her style of yoga is inspired by vinyasa flow and the connection between movement and breathing. She strives to make her classes both energetic and accessible.

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Jessica McDonald

YOGA INSTRUCTOR

Jessica is a creative spirit, wife, and mother of two beautiful girls. Born and raised in Colorado, she has been practicing yoga since 2006 when she was invited to attend class with a friend. It was love at first savasana! Her appreciation for the practice has deepened over the years, using it as a powerful tool to navigate motherhood, anxiety, self-discovery, and more. Jessica completed her 200 RYT at The Breathing Room in June, 2022. Through yoga she hopes to help others connect with themselves, inviting them to experience the physical, mental and spiritual transformation of the practice. When not on the mat, Jessica can be found spending time with her kids or in the garden. She is happiest basking in the sunshine and loves to combine her connection to nature with her love of yoga, often practicing or teaching classes right in her own backyard. 

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Ryan Price Yoga Instructor The Breathing RoomRyan Price

Yoga Instructor

Ryan began practicing yoga in 2013. After his first class, he was hooked. The state of relaxation, both physical and mental, that he felt after practicing yoga was life-changing. After a few years of practicing, Ryan’s yoga teacher encouraged him to pursue teacher training. He completed his certification as an RYT-200 in 2016 and has now taught for over 500 hours. Ryan enjoys sharing the transformational gifts and benefits that yoga practice has brought to his life with others. His usual teaching style follows a fairly slow pace, giving ample time to dial in alignment and to simply ‘be’ in a posture. When he’s not teaching, you may find him walking around town!

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Olivia Sledge

Yoga Instructor

Olivia is a North Carolina native but has traveled around the world through her pursuit of dance, spiritual awareness, cultural history and the creative arts. She’s been immersed in a mixture of dancing, performing, teaching fitness, educating young minds, theater and practicing yoga for over 20 years and is proud to now be a 200RYT Yoga Alliance Certified Instructor, having earned her 230HR Yoga Teacher Certification through The Breathing Room in Spring of 2021. Olivia is a proud mother of a beautiful and talented teenage son, but inspires many more children through her work as an elementary educator. Olivia’s mission is to make healing and transformation accessible to all individuals, communities and the world. She hopes that her infectious smile, energetic yet mellow teaching style, and her passion and flair for yoga, dance, culture, arts, fitness, wellness, and education will inspire others to tap into and connect with their inner soul, recognize their oneness with nature and The Divine, find the freedom to release that which does not serve the mind, body or spirit and be open to the positive vibrations and the beautiful light of awareness that is waiting to be cultivated.

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Dont'a Thomas Yoga Instructor The Breathing Room Winston-SalemDont’a Thomas

YOGA Instructor

Dont’a Thomas is a 200RYT Yoga Alliance certified instructor with over 12 years of experience in holistic health and wellness.  He is an American Sports and Fitness Association (ASFA) certified master trainer, specializing in body mechanics and functional exercise.  He is also a nutrition and digestive specialist, as well as an herbal practitioner.  Dont’a has worked in physical therapy and has trained innumerable people.  His client base has included professional athletes and fighters, patients recovering from injury or surgery, and seniors trying to maintain strength, mobility, and flexibility.

Dont’a advocates for all of his students to bring ME: Maximum Effort into every exercise and every movement, as that is the key to incredible results. He strives to understand his students’ goals and pushes himself to help them reach those goals.  He is passionate about combating childhood obesity and using physical movement to boost self-esteem.  His ideal vision is to see our community become a holistically healthy environment where people are active, engaged, and connected through healthy relationships.

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Gail Ward

YOGA Instructor

Gail comes to The Breathing Room with a passion for sharing the physical, emotional, and healing benefits of yoga.  After a career in public education, she has shifted her life to focus on wellness work.  Her 26-year connection with the YMCA led her into wellness coaching and group exercise instruction, including small and large group yoga classes.  Gail has had the privilege to work with a variety of instructors and practice a wide variety of yoga styles.  After certifying as a 200 hour yoga teacher through K10 Yoga, Gail has led classes in gentle yoga, deep stretch yoga, chair yoga, senior yoga, and chakra-aligned yoga posture classes.  She has particular interest in yoga for children and yoga to support patients with chronic diseases.  Through her classes, Gail strives to provide a warm atmosphere where all students feel welcome, accepted to begin where they are, encouraged to reach their yoga goals and where students internalize techniques they can use to bring centeredness to daily life.divider graphic The Breathing Room Yoga Studio

Taylor Wilhelm

YOGA Instructor

In addition to holding certifications in Occupational Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, nutrition, and CrossFit, Taylor Wilhelm is also a certified yoga instructor. She enjoys integrating her naturopathic work with her training in holistic wellness, as she believes that the body, mind, and spirit are all intricately intertwined.  Taylor believes that healing and happiness are both maximized when multiple modalities are applied in concert and with generous attention given to embracing our authentic selves. Taylor’s mission is to cultivate an awakening of love and divinity within each of us and to empower growth through healing modalities that transform, connect, and deepen the meaning of daily life. Taylor’s classes offer a safe space for individuals to return to their authentic selves through connection and tools that activate powerful action

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Dezmon Woods Dance Instructor at The Breathing RoomDezmon Woods

Dance Instructor

A native of the “City of Arts & Innovation”, Dezmon Woods is a dynamic performer and dance instructor. He developed a passion for the performing arts at a young age. As a student, Dezmon was a member of Parkland Magnet High School’s Dance Movement Company, Choral Ensemble, and Men’s Ensemble. He was cast in various high school productions, including The Nutcracker, The Wizard of Oz, and Guys and Dolls. He was also a part of -and currently coaches- the Dancing Debs marching band auxiliary. At Winston-Salem State University, Dezmon was a member of the Association of Rhythmic Talent, the WSSU Choir, and Schola Cantorum. His travel and performances with WSSU took him all over the United States and to places such as the Bahamas and South Africa. Dezmon premiered with the NC Black Repertory Company in the 2015 production of Black Nativity and returned as a cast member in 2016, 2017, and 2019. In 2016, he was also cast by the NC Black Repertory Company as part of the ensemble in The Gospel According To Broadway. Dezmon’s most recent work, Gem, produced and directed locally by Nathan Ross Freeman, premiered at A/perture Cinema in June 2019.

Intentional Expressions – Dezire Dance

Instructed by Dezmon Woods, this beginner level dance class explores a variety of ideas that are essential for any form of artistic movement. Participants will engage in assorted styles of dance including Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop, African, and more! All classes will include fundamental body conditioning geared toward preparing participants for the particular style of movement per class. Creative combos will blissfully conclude each class, connecting choreographic intent to physical motion. Ages 10+ will find their purpose as the dancer they desire to be through Intentional Expressions! Register via phone (336-618-3748) or via email (dezmonw@gmail.com). Class fee of $20/student is payable in cash, card, or Venmo.

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