Our Instructors

Our Dedicated Teaching Staff

Our yoga teachers embody what it means to live from love and through asana they put love into motion. Yoga teachers are like master gardeners; they nourish small seeds through collective practice and breath-work. They hold space for still introspection, and facilitate collective movements that enliven people and provide tools that help us understand what it means to thrive!  All of us at Paonia Yoga & Movement Center are committed to spreading the love through movement. We trust that if we can move and love one individual then they can become a beacon of love and light for those we cannot reach.

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deb cheesman

Functional Fitness, Mobility & Foam Rolling

I’m passionate about all kinds of movement!  Exercise has always been a big part of my life. One of my goals is to not only age gracefully, but with an able body and mind to whatever degree possible.  Movement and self-care is critical to wellbeing.  I enjoy challenging/vigorous types of activity and also relaxing/calming stillness.  Teaching aerobics, spinning and cross-country skiing has brought me many years of enjoyment and mobility.  I am also thankful to have an ongoing Iyengar yoga practice to compliment my other passions:  cycling & hiking.  I’m looking forward to sharing my enthusiasm with you!  Please join me for functional fitness & movement and let’s work together!

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Melissa newell

Align & Flow, Yin Yoga
Following her passions in pursuit of her true self, Melissa moved to Colorado’s Western Slope with her partner and discovered yoga as a part of this journey. She is a spiritually-engaged activist, lover of all things green and growing, and locavore. Melissa obtained her trauma-informed 200 Hour and trauma-informed Yin Yoga certifications through SoulWork: Passion Yoga School, her 300 Hour certification through Shannon Paige Kenney’s School of Embodied Poetry, and her 300 Hour trauma-informed Avurveda- focused certification through Indra Yoga Institute. She also holds a degree in Nutritional Sciences Medical Dietetics from the University of Missouri Columbia and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

Claire Zane Murphy

Vinyasa, Acro Yoga, Yoga Conditioning, Sound Healing

ClaireZane walked out of her first yoga class feeling humbled, breath expanding her lungs nearly twice their normal capacity, and noticing a strange yet familiar calm in her entire state of being. Inspired by the practice, ClaireZane has since completed teacher trainings with San Francisco’s Yoga Tree studios and went on to complete leadership trainings making her an ambassador for Off the Mat and Into the World, an organization building community around bridging the tools of yoga on and off the mat. ClaireZane also practices and teaches Acro Yoga, a combination of partner yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage. 

Chanel Brooks, instructor

chanel brooks

Yoga Conditioning, Kids’ Movement & Mindfulness

Chanel has planted seeds of wisdom in yoga communities spanning southern California and southwestern Colorado. She has collaborated with other powerful teachers to produce teacher training programs and other yoga curriculums in studios and schools across the western slope. Chanel acquired the Yoga House in Montrose in 2019 where she supported a thriving yoga community through the challenges of the pandemic. Chanel is committed to creating a nurturing environment in every class so the studio feels like a yoga home to all. Come in for Chanel’s class to experience a transformative journey of wisdom through movement and storytelling!

Take time to make your soul happy
Samantha Selfie

Samantha Thompson

Vinyasa Flow

Samantha’s fitness journey started in 2019, she has enjoyed many forms of exercise over the years, including bootcamps, yoga, CrossFit, and powerlifting. Samantha strongly believes in the connection of mind, body and spirit; when we get stronger in one area, we improve and get stronger in the other areas of our well-being. Yoga, for her, is a great way to incorporate all of these into one practice. 

Since moving to Paonia in 2021, Samantha’s passion for health and wellness has continued to evolve. She has obtained certifications as a Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach and Yoga Instructor. She looks forward to continuing to learn as well as teach and coach others along their personal journeys.

levitie paonia yoga and movement center

levitie Dryke

Shamanic Breathwork
Levitie is a certified Shamanic Breathwork Facilitator, yoga instructor (500+ hours), professional organizational facilitator, and transformational guide. She leads groups and individuals to the heart of their own wisdom, and provides tools and guidance to assist them to operationalize it to transform their lives, and our world, for the better. She lived with daily episodes of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) for over a decade, and has cultivated extensive knowledge and tools to assist others in coming back into the present moment from an activated state.

Levitie believes we live our best lives when we stay in flow and consciously connect with Life. For her that means daily intentional spiritual practice, deep personal work, inner listening, intuitive living, and conscious relationship to self, each other and our world. Join her to spark the fire of transformation with joy and levity.
Laura L, instructor

Laura lunblad

Slow Flow, Vinyasa, Yin

Laura became interested in yoga back in 1987 as a way to calm her college nerves.She checked out a Hatha Yoga book from the library and studied the postures in her tiny bedroom. Life got in the way, and it wasn’t until 2000 when she wandered into a yoga studio for the first time, and found a practice and community that changed her life. She found that synchronizing breath with movement provided a profound medicine for her physical and mental well being. She completed a teacher training program in 2020, and she’s a 200-hour certified Vinyasa based teacher. As a lifelong student, Laura’s studies continue with an emphasis on meditation and yin yoga. Laura looks forward to meeting you in class and excited to share the power of this ancient practice!

Sarsa, instructor

Sarsa Buck

Align & Flow, Vinyasa, Yin Yoga

Sarsa (Sara) Buck is a yoga instructor, retreat leader, and meditation instructor living in the mountains of Colorado. It is her deep aspiration to create and hold sacred and transformative space for people who long to reconnect with their awakened hearts and wild nature. She has spent the greater part of a decade living in the deep woods of Colorado, adapting to off-grid living, living in a conscious community, and deepening her meditation and earth based practices and traditions. Since her initial yoga certification in 2011 from Samadhi Center for Yoga and Meditation, she has undergone deep study in feminine embodiment and womb healing practices. Her movement offerings include yin yoga, vinyasa, Ashtanga yoga, Shakti Embodiment, Qi Gong, and women’s Taoist practices. Sarsa also guides meditation, practices Vedic temple dance, and is a belly dancer. She loves to bring all that inspires her into the spaces she creates, and believes there are so many ways one can reconnect with their bodies in a healing way. 

Here and now is where yoga begins

yoga teacher providing an adjustment
Matt H Paonia Yoga and Movement Center

Matthew Huerta

Stick Mobility, Breathwork, Kids Mindfulness

Matthew found his passion for coaching through the process of unraveling his own chronic pain and health issues. As a personal trainer, breath, and holistic lifestyle coach, Matthew has dedicated his life to learning what true healing entails, and supporting others on their journey towards greater health and fulfillment. Matthew is trained in core and back rehabilitation, strength training, holistic lifestyle coaching, and is a certified Integrated Movement Specialist through the Chek Institute. He is also a certified performance breathing coach through Laird Hamilton & Gabby Reece’s XPT program. When Matthew isn’t coaching, you can find him working on local farms, trail running, snowboarding, and constantly learning more about all things health and wellness.

Ashley Sargent


Iyengar Yoga, Kaiut Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga

Ashley has great interest in the therapeutic benefits of yoga, which she continues to foster with on-going classes, workshops, and mentorships. She has been teaching since 2006, and practicing yoga regularly since the 90’s. Ashley is a 500-RYT certified teacher in the Iyengar method, and she has completed extensive training with Francisco Kaiut and Luciana Ross in the therapeutic method. She studied personally with the founder of the original hot yoga, and she is a Master Practitioner of Reiki. Ashley is happiest playing outside and spending time with her family and friends. She is the owner of Paonia Yoga & Movement Center, and she continues to teach classes and workshops in Paonia and at various studios across the Western Slope of Colorado. 

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