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Group X Instructor Bios

As of Winter 2016

Get to know your Group X Instructors a little better.

 


 

Alicia Chivers

Classes I teach: Power Vinyasa Thursdays at 8:30 a.m.
My favorite class to teach is: Any style of yoga.
Because: Yoga has endless benefits for the body and mind alike - one hour, dedicated to yourself. For that hour set your life to the side, settle your mind, come inward, and flow to the music. Eventually, it might just become your tool for navigating this life.
My favorite song on my playlist is: Sylvan Esso - coffee
Because: it sets the pace to get the body warmed up in a gradual manner before we start to flow and dance to the music.
I love teaching Group X because: it's a great place to build community!

 

Emily Broadwell

Classes I teach: Zumba
My favorite class to teach is: Zumba
Because: it includes so many different dance styles. It’s a high-energy, stress-relieving dance party!
My favorite song on my playlist is: Jumping –ZIN Megamix 44
Because: it’s fast, goofy, and makes me sweat.
I love teaching Group X because: PSU students are a fun bunch!

 

Emma Prichard

Classes I teach: Yoga
My favorite class to teach is: Power Vinyasa or Vinyasa Flow
My favorite song on my playlist is: Breathe Me by Sia
Because: It's a powerhouse of a song that makes longer sequences feel great.
I love teaching Group X because: I get to introduce people to all the incredible things that can happen when movement, breath, and awareness come together during class. And I love seeing all the happy, relaxed faces at the end of class.

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Erin Bransford

Classes I teach: Cycle/Krank (including Power Hour), Strength of all kinds, Step, RIPPED, Water X
My favorite class to teach is: Cycle/Krank
Because: any type of music can be used, and beginners and advanced participants can both get an appropriate workout riding right next to each other.
My favorite song on my playlist is: Impossible to choose!  But for Cycle I use a Riverdance song called “Reel Around the Sun” which is the most motivating song in the world for me.
Because:  I just can’t slow down when that song is playing.  No matter how tired I am, the fast beat pushes me to keep going.  I always think of the crazy tap dancing they do in Riverdance and if they can tap that fast then I can certainly pedal or run fast too!
I love teaching Group X because: It is rewarding to see people new to Group X try out your class, feel successful, and come back.  It is also great to have your regulars who you can establish a relationship with and push to the next level. Group X makes workout sessions fun and effective and the classes hold you accountable.  There really are no negatives!

 

Kulia Alapa'i

Classes I teach: Zumba
My favorite class to teach is: Zumba
My favorite song on my playlist is: hula hoop by omi.
Because: love the beat and pump it gives you.
I love teaching Group X because: it's fun and like seeing people let loose and bust moves on the floor.

 

Jen Armbruster

Classes I teach: Sneakercamp, cardio/agility, cycle/krank, but I mostly teach Sneakercamp
My favorite class to teach is: Sneakercamp
Because: I love to introduce folks to the Bootcamp style class, plus smaller numbers allow for me to get to know participants.
My favorite song on my playlist is: Favorite song is probably still “ #1”
I love teaching Group X because: I like to teach Group X because of the building of a community of folks coming together to work on healthy habits and this is one of those habits they have decided to put into their weekly routine.

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Jessica Boyd

Classes I teach: Yoga: Hatha, Yoga Foundations
My favorite class to teach is: Hatha Yoga
Because: I get to explore a different part of yoga with my students every class!
My favorite song on my playlist is: Gossip – Move in the Right Direction
Because: it makes me dance and sing!
I love teaching Group X because: I love seeing that light come on in a student’s eyes when they are excited about a pose or are pushing their comfort level juuuuuust a little.

 

Josh Kreydatus

Classes I teach: Power Vinyasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga
My favorite class to teach is: Hatha Yoga
Because: It's more accessible to students, or at least a good "launching pad" to branch out and try more rigorous platforms, such as Power Vinyasa Yoga.  My Power Vinyasa practice emphasizes a strong, vigorous physical workout, whereas Hatha yoga will offer a more holistic, non-Western approach to wellness. Transformation comes from within, and can be achieved through Hatha Yoga.  
My favorite song on my playlist is: "Help me lose my mind" - by Disclosure/London Grammar
I love teaching Group X because: This is where I got my start teaching yoga.  I love having access to different training formats, a variety of students all at different levels, and implementing new knowledge into my own classes.  Additionally, I find it accessible for not only students but also myself.  Lastly, I love the strong spirit that our community provides. 

Kate Griffith

Classes I teach: Yoga: Gentle, Power Vinyasa
My favorite class to teach is: Power Vinyasa Yoga
Because: I like dancing/flowing yoga with upbeat music and lots of smiles.
My favorite song on my playlist is: For what it's Worth (India Dub) by DJ Drez
Because: It always gets me up and moving.
I love teaching Group X because: I can share the yoga I love with others and bring them together with movement, breath, and heightened awareness.

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Katie Rixon

Classes I teach: Power Vinyasa and Beginner Hatha Yoga
My favorite class to teach is: Hatha Yoga
Because: I enjoy teaching different philosophies, breathing techniques and meditations that can be used on and off the mat.
My favorite song on my playlist is: Budding Trees by Medicine for the People
Because: It speaks to my heart and inspires me to strengthen my relationship with the land, my community and myself.
I love teaching Group X because: It's a wonderful opportunity to connect, play and practice with the PSU community.

 

Laura Cook

Classes I teach: Vinyasa Yoga
My favorite class to teach is: Vinyasa Yoga
Because: Yoga is a passion of mine and I love sharing it with others!
My favorite song on my playlist is: Skin on the drum by Michael Franti and Spearhead.
Because: This was one of the songs my very first yoga teacher had on her playlist.  I love the beat and lyrics.
I love teaching Group X because: I think it is really important for students to take time out of their busy schedules for self-care and recreation.

 

Lea Anderson

Classes I teach: Power Vinyasa and Hip Hop Vinyasa Yoga
My favorite class to teach is:  Any Vinyasa-based yoga class paired with motivational music
Because: I like to sing, dance, and shake my booty while flowing through a dynamic sequence of postures, thereby getting an excellent workout, full-body massage and mood lifting jam session.
My favorite song on my playlist is: Sonnentanz by Klangkarussel
Because:  I really enjoy the range of beats and sound in this song.
I love teaching Group X because: I love working with a range of students willing to try new things and have fun while practicing yoga.

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Leilani Freeman

Classes I teach: Bootcamp, HIIT, Water X, Strength
My favorite class to teach is: Water X
Because: I love how versatile water exercise can be. Whether or not you have injuries, want to increase your fitness levels, or just love being in the pool; water classes are ideal!
My favorite song on my playlist is: Black Sheep by Gin Wigmore
Because: She has a unique, funky voice and this song really gets my participants pumped!
I love teaching Group X because: it’s such a rewarding experience to know you may have helped someone expand their comfort zone. Whether they are trying a new exercise or swimming a little further away from the wall… it’s nice to see what that change can do for people.

 

Lindsey Schwenke

Classes I teach: Cycle/Krank, Bootcamp
My favorite class to teach is: Cycle/Krank
Because: After I attended my first cycle class a year ago, I instantly fell in love. I love that in cycling there is no choreography or complex rhythms to learn; all you have to do is set-up your bike and then pedal away. Also, it’s great for beginner and advanced participants, because everyone can adjust the bike to their fitness level and no one will ever know the numbers on your computer screen, because it’s your bike and yours alone throughout class.
My favorite song on my playlist is: C’mon (acoustic version) by Kesha
Because: I have loved this song ever since I heard it for the first time on Kesha’s 2012 album “Warrior.” However, it wasn’t until Summer 2014 that I had heard the acoustic version. I love it, because it has a great steady beat, which is great for lunges on a bike. Also, it’s the kind of song that will make you want to jump up and down on your bike.
I love teaching Group X because: I love seeing people take time out of their busy lives to do something positive and healthy for their mind and body. I have always loved helping people and making them feel good about themselves. Teaching Group X is a great way to help encourage people to challenge themselves, work on proper form, and be proud of their hard work. All this happens during Group X classes while rocking out to fun upbeat music. It’s such a wonderful atmosphere when a community comes together to do a fun and energizing workout.

 

Mary Brunson

Classes I teach: Water X and Splash Fit
My favorite class to teach is/because: I love teaching Splash Fit because it is something new every day. I like that it takes advantage of both shallow and deep water. I am very excited for this class!
My favorite song on my playlist is: Crazy by Kat Dahila
I love teaching Group X, because: I love the friendly and welcoming community within Group X. The different variety of Group X classes includes many different people with same idea of getting a work out and enjoying it at the same time.

 

Mary Ann Gates

Classes I teach: Step & Sculpt, Cycle/Krank, RIPPED, Pilates
My favorite class to teach is:  Step aerobics, I love to dance!!
My favorite song on my playlist is: Paradise by Cassie
Because: it’s fun to climb big hills in cycle class.
I love teaching Group X because: I find exercise to be fun, grounding, and confidence building. I also like to share that with others.

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Michaela Bigge

Classes I teach: Zumba
My favorite class to teach is: Zumba/Anything that involves dancing.
Because: There is pure joy in dancing and not caring how silly you look.
My favorite song on my playlist is: Cha Cha by D. R. A. M.
Because: You can't listen to it without wanting to move.
I love teaching Group X because: Being a student at PSU too, I can relate to what everyone coming to my class is going through. I can offer them a sanctuary that is stress free.

 

Omar Rivera

Classes I teach: Bootcamp, Cycle/Krank
My favorite class to teach is: Cycle/Krank
Because: when I started going through the process of getting certified as an instructor, I was all about wanting to learn how to teach Bootcamp. Then, after I started challenging myself by taking Cycle/Krank Power Hour, I instantly fell in love with the physical challenges I overcame within that class. I took the in-service necessary to learn the in’s and out’s of teaching an effective cycle class and fell even more in love. Also, I have the most fun creating playlists for this format and like to include catchy songs that my participants and I enjoy.
My favorite song on my playlist is: Water Prayer Rasta Mix (Matt the Alien Remix) – Adham Shaikh
Because: I am a fan of the television show “Orphan Black”, which features many awesome songs. This is just one of them. Also, I love to do a lunge routine on the bikes to this song.
I love teaching Group X because: it’s a very healthy and encouraging way to help others meet their personal fitness goals. I enjoy being the one who can challenge my participants and motivate them all to finish the class.

 

Ric Newell

Classes I teach: Abs, Buns, & Thighs, Body Sculpt, Inner Athlete
My favorite class to teach: ABT
Because: there’s always a lot of glute work! The glutes are one of the largest muscle groups in our body AND one of the most underused. Most of us being full-time students, we spend way too much time sitting on… our glutes!
My favorite song on my playlist: “Warm” by SG Lewis
Because: After a high energy workout, it’s the perfect song to cool down to.
I love teaching Group X because: there’s always a great mix of people from all different fitness backgrounds coming together for a common goal.

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Sabrina Wilken

Classes I teach: Body Sculpt, Strength
My favorite class to teach is: Body Sculpt
Because: I can be as creative as I want with my exercises and I am not limited on what sort of equipment I can use.
My favorite song on my playlist is: I See Fire by Ed Sheeran (Kygo Remix)
Because: originally I found this song on the Lord of the Rings soundtrack and after hearing the Kygo remix, I loved it that much more. The song in particular is about unity, which is perfect for the Group X class setting. Additionally, I love the Kygo remix in particular because it adds a fun “island vibe”. In short, this song puts me in my happy place!
I love teaching Group X because: I love the way that Group X classes allow for people to step out of their comfort zone and do something that they would have otherwise not done when working out aloe.

 

Sharon Pearce

Classes I teach: Hatha Yoga and GYROKINESIS® Exercise
My favorite class to teach is: Hatha Yoga
Because: I love the practice of Hatha Yoga! It is not only calming and therapeutic for mind and body, but also challenging and fun. Practicing the poses and transitional movements with breath awareness becomes a moving meditation and a very joyful experience – a perfect practice for a lifetime.
My favorite song on my playlist is: I’m not currently using music with my classes.  Though a favorite is Laya Project - Laya Mantra (Kartrck & Gotam Yalla Mantra Remix) (05:44) track 8 on White Swan Records Globesonic DJ Alsultany’s Yoga Lounge.
Because: It includes both traditional and contemporary music, chants and sound remixed that provides an upbeat and contemplative atmosphere. In Yoga, laya refers to absorption of breath and mind in the heart. Also, I appreciate that it is part of a project that documented the music of unknown local folk musicians in the remote villages that were in the path of 2004 tsunami in Asia.
I love teaching Group X because: I enjoy sharing the experience of movement and mood in a group setting. It is always my hope that participants not only become comfortable with the practices from classes but are also encouraged to explore and play within their own practice.

 

Trisha Haakonstad

Classes I teach: Yoga: Electro and Power Vinyasa
My favorite class to teach is: Power Vinyasa Yoga
Because: this term, I created Electro Power Vinyasa Yoga, utilizing progressive electronic music as the uplifting pulse for sequencing, and as a motivational influencer for endurance. Postures are connected through breath, muscle toning and strengthening. It’s a mind/body workout, providing stress relief and exhilaration. Let go… and get lost in the flow!    
My favorite song on my playlist is:  Strobe by Deadmau5
Because: I love the slow electronic progression, deep beats, piano riffs, and beautiful harmonies.  It is a powerful song… and it seems to energize my classes as we move through yoga postures.  I love using music (especially electronic music) to infuse my classes with a dynamic progression and spirit.  My hope is that students connect with the experience, and get deeper into their practice
I love teaching Group X because: I have been teaching for nearly 6 years, and teaching Power Vinyasa with Campus Rec since 2010.  I am very grateful to have the opportunity to guide students through such a physically and mentally empowering form of exercise.  It’s inspiring to have an impact on others wellbeing, and contribute to the health of PSU’s community. You can stay connected with me via my website: www.trishaleeyoga.com. Facebook: www.facebook.com/trishaleeyoga. Instagram: @trishaleeyoga.    

 

Veronique Nyounai-Herrera

Classes I teach: Latin Club Jamz, Rhythm Bootcamp
My favorite class to teach is: Dance
Because: It brings me energy and joy
My favorite song on my playlist is: Kotch by RDX
I love teaching Group X, because: My participants have the best attitudes and GIVE ME LIFE!

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