RYT200 Yoga Instructor
Yoga Styles: Gentle, Restorative, Pranayama
Aimee Lecointre is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and RYT200 Registered Yoga Teacher with training in yoga for at-risk youth. She runs her own private nutritional therapy practice, The Nourished Breath, where she works with women living with chronic illness – helping to educate and empower them to make nutritional and lifestyle choices that will support their best health so they can live their best lives.
Aimee didn’t fall in love with yoga right away, but as yoga kept finding its way back into her life she found just how beneficial it was to her physical and mental health once she truly let go. Despite physical limitations due to spinal fusion and metal rods from previous back surgeries, and chronic pain from CF related arthritis, she has learned to modify yoga to fit her needs and capabilities. Her story is living proof that no matter what your physical abilities, yoga can meet you where you are.
Aimee loves the outdoors and when she’s not helping her clients and building her business you can find her doing yoga, hiking all over Utah, cooking up a storm in her kitchen or reading a good book. She loves spending time outdoors and finds time outside vital to her wellbeing. She currently lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, two pugs and cat.
RYT200 Yoga Instructor
Yoga Styles: Vinyasa Flow, Yoga Nidra
Chelsea Spruance is a wanderlust traveler, yoga teacher, property manager, and an adult living with Cystic Fibrosis. Chelsea grew up relatively unaffected by CF and was raised with the understanding that CF is simply part of her life rather than the focus of her life. It wasn’t until college where her health took a turn for the worse where CF inevitably did become the focal point of her life.
Realizing after that health decline that her life was so far removed from where she was before, she began trying everything under the sun to bring her health back. That was when she found yoga. Using yoga, she was able to use what lung function she had to its fullest, regaining confidence in herself and learning to love her body again. Yoga gave Chelsea her strength back and allowed her to live life again . . . even more fully than before.
Outside of yoga, Chelsea has been a part of Staying Salty, a collaborative CF YouTube channel spreading awareness and education of CF. She works closely with Johns Hopkins raising funding for CF research, collaborates frequently with the CF Foundation on various events, and uses her personal platforms to be a role model for those with CF showing that anything is possible despite a CF diagnosis.
Yoga Teacher-In-Training (RYT200 in progress)
Colleen is currently training to be a yoga teacher with Yoga Medicine. She also works in social media marketing. Prior to Cystic Fibrosis becoming a time consuming part of her life, Colleen earned her masters in medical sociology, taught college sociology courses, and worked in public relations. It was during her transition from being fully independent to needing support from her family that yoga became a major part of Colleen’s self care routine.
Colleen has practiced yoga on and off since her sophomore year of college in 2006, and has been practicing nearly daily since 2014. Her experience practicing in different settings has sparked a passion for creating trauma-sensitive, inclusive, accessible spaces. She thinks CF Yogi’s virtual studio is one of those spaces, and is proud to be teaching in it.
Yogic philosophy permeates all aspects of Colleen’s life. She believes that everything we do can be yoga if we approach it mindfully and with intention. Colleen enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking, eating, reading, writing, spending time with her friends and family, and most of all, cuddling her dog.
RYT200 Yoga Instructor
Yoga Styles: Kripalu, Gentle
Heather Brown has been a ballet dancer and a mover for her entire life. Living with Cystic Fibrosis, staying active is not only enjoyable, but also an important part of staying healthy. After fracturing her femur in a motorcycle accident in 2010, she was looking for a less competitive way than dance to regain her active lifestyle. Yoga became that bridge.
Through the practice of yoga, she has regained the mobility, strength and acceptance that were once thought to be lost forever. In the summer of 2016, she decided to take the plunge and become a certified Kripalu yoga teacher. In her classes, she draws upon her body awareness from being a dancer and ballet teacher to articulate clear yoga instruction with the kindness and acceptance that Kripalu practice is known for. She hopes to give her students an opportunity to reconnect with themselves through the practice of yoga.
“Kripalu yoga is often described as meditation in motion… I aim to guide students through an experience that is just as much about relaxation and breathing as it is about moving. Yoga is something that everyone at every level should be able to enjoy.”
Executive Director, RYT200 Yoga Instructor
Yoga Style: Multi-level, Vinyasa Flow, Alignment-Oriented
Elaine K. Malik (who goes by the nickname “Katie”) is an RYT200 registered yoga teacher, opera singer, voice actor, choreographer, and the world’s first person with Cystic Fibrosis to have performed as a professional operatic soloist (as far as we know!). She also has had the unique experience of being an international TV star, as her inspirational story made her a fan favorite on Sweden’s most popular TV show, the International Emmy-winning series “Allt för Sverige.”
Katie began teaching yoga in 2013. In 2016, Katie created a series of Yoga for Cystic Fibrosis videos in collaboration with Pactster.com and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in the UK, which were verified by the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Cystic Fibrosis (ACPCF). The response was overwhelmingly positive, and the CF community began asking for livestreamed yoga classes as well as more perennial yoga content targeted to the needs of cystic fibrosis– which led to the creation of CF Yogi.
Alongside those achievements, Katie had a 17-year career with a Seattle IT consulting firm where she worked as Business Development Manager and Finance/HR Manager; she now is an independent marketing strategist and freelance writer.
Development Director, Kids Yoga Teacher
Yoga Style: Kids Yoga
Myra Giaffoglione is an IT professional and mother of two young children with CF. Her professional experience is in Business Intelligence and Analytics; she currently manages the Reporting & Business Analytics Department for the Facilities Services division of an international Fortune 500 company. As a Nebraska Chapter CFF Great Strides Team leader for the past 5 years, Myra has raised over $80K on behalf of Team Giaffoglione through social media campaigns, virtual Passion Fundraising and other locally and virtually hosted events and campaigns. Myra actively serves on the Nebraska Regional CF Center Family Advisory Board, has presented on behalf of the Board at the annual CF Education day, and has shared her story as the bid speaker for the annual NE CFF chapter event, Hope Brews.
Myra began practicing yoga regularly in 2012, shortly before her first child was born and diagnosed with CF. She has recognized many physical, mental and spiritual benefits of her practice that correlate to her journey as a mother and CF caretaker. As she has shared her experience with her children, family and friends, she has in turn guided their own discovery of the self-empowering benefits of a regular yoga practice. Myra received her Kids Yoga teacher training and certification from Cosmic Kids Yoga.