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Instructors

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Allison Smeltz

Owner, Instructor, RYT-500

Meet Allison, the passionate owner of Columbia Falls Yoga. With over 20 years of yoga practice, she has experienced firsthand the profound benefits of yoga for both physical and mental well-being. As a way to alleviate the stress and anxiety that comes with adulthood, Allison found solace in her yoga practice and has been committed to sharing this with others. As a yoga teacher, Allison specializes in restorative and flow classes and is dedicated to making her classes inclusive and accessible for all levels, abilities, and body types.

 

In 2021, Allison followed her dream and enrolled in a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training, studying under her friend Selena Garefino. Along with her training, she opened Columbia Falls Yoga in the heart of Columbia Falls and is now a 500-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance (500-RYT). Allison's warm and welcoming presence in the studio creates a supportive environment where students can deepen their practice and find peace and balance. In her free time, she loves trying to keep up with her husband and doodle dog, Ernie on a bicycle or skis.

Ashley McCormick

Instructor, 200 HR Certified Yoga Instructor

Ashley is a born and raised Montanan who has been practicing yoga for over 20 years. She obtained her 200Hr Yoga Teacher Certification in 2016 in Whitefish, MT and has been teaching a variety of classes ever since, including Gentle Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Senior Yoga, Accessible Yoga, Silks Yoga, and Power Yoga. More recently, she has taken an interest in all things pregnancy, and in 2020, she completed her training to become a Prenatal Yoga Instructor and a Birth Doula. Ashley’s love for birth work was so strong during her training, that she knew that this was the career she wanted to pursue. She has slowly made the shift from her work as a Speech-Language Pathologist into the world of Prenatal Yoga, Doula Work, and Childbirth Education. Her goal is to assist women by sharing knowledge about their changing bodies and providing evidenced-based information about labor, birth, and the postpartum period so that women can claim their own birth right to experience a beautiful pregnancy and an empowered birth. When she is not on her mat, you can find her on a river somewhere, or at a music festival with her husband.

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Brienne Stekly

Instructor, RYT-500

Brienne is a holistic wellness expert with over 10 years of experience teaching Yoga in unique environments, from climbers at crags to park service employees and teens in wilderness therapy. With a strong passion for helping individuals heal and balance their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, she has recently completed her 500HR Yoga Teacher Training and is actively pursuing her 800HR Yoga Therapy certification. Brienne is certified in Trauma Informed Yoga, Children's Yoga, Senior Chair Yoga, and is close to completing her 300HR Kundalini training. She has been selected to continue her studies for a 1600HR Yoga Master certification from AYUSH and is working towards a Bachelors in Yoga Science.

 

In addition to her yoga teachings, Brienne also works as a Massage Therapist and is a proud mother to a three-year-old. With a broad knowledge of Yogic traditions and anatomy, she creates classes focused on structural alignment, therapeutic pranayama, and meditation. Brienne is excited to bring her teachings from the wilderness into the studio and help individuals achieve their holistic wellness goals.

Emily Jense

Pilates Instructor

Meet Emily, a dedicated Pilates practitioner and teacher. With a passion for movement and mindfulness, she has been practicing Pilates since 2017 and completed her teacher training through Balanced Body in 2020. Through her own practice, she has experienced the transformative power of Pilates, with increased strength, stability, and decreased pain and injury. Emily is eager to share the magic of Pilates with her clients and help them transform their bodies through intentional movement. With a supportive and encouraging approach, she creates a welcoming and empowering environment for students to deepen their Pilates practice.

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Rachel Haskovec-Raley

Instructor, RYT-500

Rachel Leah Haskovec-Raley is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance. She has been practicing yoga for twenty years and teaching for ten. Her personal journey and study has evolved from the intensity of Ashtanga to gentler forms of Hatha and therapeutic aspects of Somatics, Restorative and Yin Yoga. She is a student and graduate of the Soma Yoga Institute in Arcata, CA. She is currently working toward certification from the International Association of Yoga Therapists through the Inner Peace Yoga Therapy Program in Durango, CO.

Rachel’s goal is to meet each person where they are in the moment and for them to feel successful in their body. She asks students to take their time to breathe, inviting compassionate self-awareness to build strength and balance and calm the mind. She is continually humbled by the dedication and service of yogis and practitioners around the world and is honored to share in the collective cultivation of energy together.

Sarah Downen

Instructor, 200-HR

Sarah grew up in Montana and has been practicing yoga since her teenage years. Her passion for yoga led her to complete her 200-hour training in Whitefish, MT in 2019 where she discovered her love for Yin Yoga. Sarah believes that Yin Yoga is a powerful practice that helps to deepen the mind-body-spirit connection through slowing down and holding poses for longer periods of time. In her classes, Sarah incorporates breathwork, aromatherapy, and reiki to provide her students with a truly nourishing experience. When she's not teaching, Sarah enjoys spending time in nature with her dog Clancy or curling up with a good book.

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