Meet the instructors of Body Balance Yoga & Fitness. All of our instructors are dedicated to sharing their love of yoga with their students within a compassionate and inclusive environment. As you read below, you’ll see that our team offers a rich, diverse background of experience and training and thus a variety of classes to meet individual needs and practices.
Meet Our Instructors
Amanda Jackson was introduced to Yoga in 2006 and has loved it as a therapy for the body and spirit ever since. After experiencing chronic back pain at the age of 24, someone recommended yoga. She quickly transformed her body to be pain free and stronger. Amanda is a long time athlete participating in half marathon races and enjoys Crossfit for strength training. Through her yoga training has developed a meditation practice and teaches meditation in the community.
As the ring master of her own circus, a mother of 3 vibrant girls, she loves the quote not my monkeys, not my circus. Sometimes it is her monkeys and coming to the mat to practice is a break from her circus. She leads others to practice being in the present moment one breath at a time. In each class Amanda brings her enthusiasm for yoga and her compassion for others.
Sally is a RYT-500 and a PRYT (prenatal). She completed her 500-hour certification at Asheville Yoga Center and her prenatal yoga certification through the Prenatal Yoga Center of New York. Sally decided to try yoga after experiencing sore knees. She loved her time on the mat, and quickly realized the innumerable benefits that result from a consistent practice.
As a former teacher and principal, she understands the power of a well-designed lesson. She sequences her classes intentionally, striving to ensure students experience fluidity and intention behind their movements. Off the mat, Sally enjoys spending time outdoors with her toddler and husband.
Caroline Garrett Hardy
Caroline has close to 1,500 hours of yoga teaching under her belt. She is an E-RYT-200 and RYT-500. She completed her Vinyasa-flow training with Asheville Yoga Center, and is a member of Yoga Alliance.
At our studio, she teaches Gentle Yoga, and finds that her teaching style is upbeat yet straightforward. Caroline provides a lot of details to her students about beneficial body placement with an emphasis on movement, strengthening the core, and gaining flexibility. In Gentle Yoga, she makes sure to add a special emphasis on mindfulness and breathing. She recommends Gentle Yoga for anyone seeking renewal and inspiration who wants a more in-depth instruction or who is less familiar with yoga.
Personally, Caroline enjoys learning and creating. To stay challenged, it is essential for her to keep learning. She loves people and thrives off of her family, friends, and relationships with others. She also finds joy in making and exhibiting artwork and traveling. Her favorite asana in yoga changes several times a year, but one of her constants is a backbend/danurasana as it opens the heart and invigorates. She also enjoys trikonasana because it opens up the hips and provides a stretch of the spine, making her feel so alive.
Elizabeth is a RYT-200 with Yoga Alliance and a certified massage and bodywork therapist. She believes in utilizing yoga and it’s philosophies for longevity and a better quality of life.
Elizabeth is an artist, an esthetician, and a bridal makeup artist. She loves helping people live their best lives in any way possible!
Elizabeth hopes to bring levity to the Williamsburg yoga community by creating a healing environment for the body, mind, and soul to flourish.
Growing up in Zurich, Switzerland, Florina was able to focus on science from a young age. This interest combined with her compassion and warm personality drew her to a career in physical
therapy. In the years after her initial training from University Hospital Zurich, Florina has continued to learn via a variety of programs and seminars. She is always up to date with the best standards and methods of physical therapy. As the former owner of Body Balance, Florina was instrumental in transforming our studio into a state-of-the-art facility. See our video library for recorded classes from Florina, and our news and blogs pages for Florina’s practice and mudra tips.
“I teach yoga to cultivate compassion in myself and in others. Through teaching, I hope to inspire a sense of compassion for the self (mind and body), for all beings and for our World.”
Jessica Ruff is an RYT-200 yoga instructor who is passionate about sharing dynamic and inspiring flows. Her aim is to create challenging yet joyful practices with creative sequencing and alignment-based instruction. She encourages mindfulness and the deepening of body awareness both on and off the mat.
Jessica’s yoga journey began in 2008 when she began practicing yoga in search of relief from the physical demands of long-distance running. She quickly fell in love with the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of a regular yoga and meditation practice. She completed her RYT-200 in 2013 and sees it as an honor to share the gift of yoga and help others find freedom and joy in their bodies. Jessica believes yoga is for everybody and welcomes students of all levels to her classes.
Outside of yoga, Jessica is a writer, avid traveler, and long-distance runner. She loves reading, vegan cooking and baking, and spending time with her two corgis Finlee and Tucker.
Mary is a RYT-200. She teaches Hot Yoga and Vinyasa at Body Balance. Her teaching style is focused on compassion and balance for the mind and body. She teaches yoga to cultivate compassion in herself and others, and hopes that through teaching she can create a sense of compassion for the self, for all beings, and for our World.
Her class is suitable for people of all levels and she recommends her class for any student. She finds joy in her family, yoga, reading, baking, being outside, and spending time with good company. Her favorite asana is Standing Bow, as she loves the strength of opposing forces in the body creating ease to find the perfect balance.
Stephanie is a RYT-200 who is currently completing her 500-hour training. She is trained in Advanced Vinyasa, Yin, and Restorative yoga and enjoys teaching anyone who is willing to try yoga.
Stephanie first started her practice to de-stress during her time in college and graduate school. She comes from a large family where her sense of humor allows her to be delightfully outspoken on and off the mat. Stephanie serves up silliness with a side of intellect in her classes, helping her students discover all the things they’re already capable of, from challenging poses to calming stillness. You’ll leave her classes feeling both energized and self-satisfied. Outside the studio, Stephanie loves spending time with her family, watching movies, and going on outdoor adventures.
Amy has been practicing yoga for nearly 20 years and teaching it for 12 years. She has a Masters degree in teaching, which she finds allows her to anchor herself and deliver a direct and clear practice. She is a RYT-200.
At Body Balance, Amy teaches Hot Yoga, and loves the heat and routine that comes along with this class. She enjoys bringing positive energy to the room and finds the client’s appreciation for the practice to be very rewarding. Amy would recommend students who enjoy the routine of the hot series to take her class.
She is thankful for her children, husband, parents, sisters, and Dog Street run club friends. She finds joy in running, reading, cooking for her family, constantly learning, teaching and practicing yoga, spending time at the beach, visiting with friends, and bike rides with her husband and friends. Her personal favorite asana is pigeon, as it is both therapeutic and challenging at the same time.
Cindy is an E-RYT 500 and a C-IAYT. She is a member of Yoga Alliance and The International Association of Yoga Therapists, and has over 6,000 hours of teaching. At Body Balance, Cindy teaches Yin and Vinyasa. She is also a Director of the Shanti Garudasana Yoga School.
Her teaching style is one that is holistic and therapeutic in its approach. She welcomes all levels of students into her classes and encourages it.
Cindy finds joy in spending time with her family and with her “zoo” of pets! She enjoys outdoor sports and especially loves sculling on the James River. Her personal favorite asana is the Garudasana, the Eagle being the King of all birds. She loves the symbolism of hugging into oneself and all that it represents – the importance of self care, self love, mindfulness of our body, and turning within with gratitude for everything our body does for us.
Darcie Badami is a RYT-200. She has been practicing yoga for 15 years and instructing for seven.
She enjoys teaching multi-level classes so that everyone can experience the benefits of Yoga. She believes there is
something for everyone when practicing yoga and yoga meets you exactly where you are.
She has always had an interest in wellness and loves yoga because it brings you into the now while you develop a better relationship and understanding of your body, mind, and spirit. She is also trained in the Cantienica method. Darcie is an Elementary school teacher, mother to two wonderful children, and has been married for 19 years.
Denise is a RYT-200 through In Balance Yoga, certified in Kemetic Yoga, and trained in Crystal Reiki I. She has over 500 hours of teaching, and teaches Hot Yoga here at Body Balance.
She teaches a moderately paced class that encourages students to be introspective and practice yoga their way. She recommends her classes for students of all experience from beginner to intermediate. Her personal favorite asana is vrikshasana (tree pose) because it allows everyone to come into their own unique expression. This asana also reminds us all that we are rooted here on earth through our feet, and that our spirits can reach high to the heavens through our outstretched limbs and open hearts and minds. We are limitless!
She personally finds joy in spending time with family and friends, teaching and practicing yoga, spending time in meditation, bike riding, sewing, and needlecraft. She also enjoys spending time at the beach and near any body of water.