The Team at Sukha Studios

IMG_7797
Em Schmidt

Em Schmidt


Em grew up in the Modesto area, but her interest in wellness really began when studying Sustainable Agriculture at UC Davis. She began to incorporate fitness and yoga in her life, while better understanding the relationship between food and wellness and the interconnectedness with the environment. Since returning to her hometown, she started to become more consistent in her yoga practice. While yoga was originally just about becoming stronger and more flexible, it transformed into so much more: breath, awareness, reflection, and better understanding accessibility for all bodies and abilities. The mat has become a place to find clarity and presence, explore a higher self, and connect with others in community. Em is RYT 200 and trained here in Modesto. She has truly enjoyed practicing and teaching with Modesto’s yogis and is so grateful to experience the community flourish and grow. When Em is not on her mat, you can find her biking the Virginia Trail, rocking in a hammock in her backyard, planning her next adventure to travel, or cruising through town in her Jeep.  Em looks forward to getting to know you and sharing her love of yoga in class!


Heather Brown

Heather Brown


I fell in love with Pilates 13 years ago. Having struggled with an eating disorder the practice helped me discover my body in a positive light and now I hope to share my passion and the magic of Pilates with as many bodies as possible. I received my Pilates certification through the Physical Mind Institute 7 years ago and have been teaching full time ever since. I graduated from The Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts and spent a lifetime performing.  Who'd of thought that my training as a performer would prepare me for a career as a Pilates teacher but I have found a little entertainment goes a long way.  Besides, what better way to activate your abdominal muscles than a good belly laugh? Having been a competitive gymnast and professional dancer my teaching style is an energetic balance of focused mind body connection and athletic movement that is rooted in Classic Pilates technique.  My hope is that you leave my class with a sense of confidence that comes from feeling strong, balanced and positive about your body.  


Iris Gutierrez

Iris Gutierrez


Bio Coming Soon!


Jamie Evers

Jamie Evers


Hey! I'm Jamie, and before Bikram Yoga found me back in 2013, I was a full-time stressed out college student suffering from back pain, severe acne and unhealthy eating habits. A friend led me to my first Bikram Yoga class, and although time seemed to drag on endlessly, and the sweat in my eyes often distracted me from paying attention to what the instructor was directing, I kept finding my way driving 60 miles a day to sweat in class, coming out feeling my back pain relieved and my mind and body relaxed, whenever I possibly could. I was raised here in Modesto, and after a year into my practice, I found myself on a plane to Thailand to be certified at Bikram's Yoga Teacher Training so that I could better understand what this heated 90 minute class was all about, and how I could help share the energy and benefits I've personally experienced, with the community in which I grew up. I absolutely love teaching yoga because I love witnessing the limitless potential my students soon start discovering about themselves with each additional class that they take! Take class in a space where you can explore yourself, while being instructed in the safest and most effective way to bring your body back to its natural range of motion!


Janet Nicholson

Janet Nicholson


I have three children: Nicole, Lauren and Sam. They are my world. Two are in college and one is still at home. Yoga, specifically Bikram method has been a blessing to me as it calms me in all areas of my life. I am having a difficult time adjusting to having my children leave the nest. This is why I decided to take a teacher training class. Not only to learn more about what I love and to help me through the emotional trauma of an empty nest, I also want to share and teach others what has benefited me greatly. I do not have experience, other than I have been practicing Bikram method for a little over four years. I did teacher training through True You Hot Yoga in Lodi. I am looking forward to growing in all areas of teaching and excited to be a part of Sukha. My daughters love Hot Pilates which I will train for in the near future. Also, would love to learn how to teach the True Fusion, which incorporates Vinyasa Flow and Bikram Yoga.


Kara Hunsinger

Kara Hunsinger


I am a recent graduate from the University of Arizona with a bachelors of fine arts in dance. I grew up in Ceres, California and trained at Steps Arts Dance Center and Juline’s School of Dance. I will be teaching at Sukha only for the summer because I will be moving to Chicago to begin my professional dance career with DanceWorks Chicago. While attending college, I was introduced to Pilates after facing an ankle injury. I loved how deeply I learned to understand my body and felt so strong while dancing intensely in college. I received my Fletcher Pilates certification under the direction of Kyria Waugaman with Bodyworks Pilates in Tucson, Arizona. While finishing up school I worked at Bodyworks as an instructor and also taught private classes for my dance major friends. At Bodyworks I worked with many different types of bodies and many different ages. I enjoy getting to know my clients so I can tailor each session to any individual’s needs. I look forward to helping others build strength, balance, endurance, and most importantly feeling the joy or movement.


Kurt Rowley

Kurt Rowley


Bio Coming Soon!


Liz Evans

Liz Evans


Bio Coming Soon!


Macey Callaway

Macey Callaway


Hi, I’m Macey Callaway and I am 19 years old. I help work the front desk at the Studio. I am a graduate of Modesto Christian High School and attended Modesto Junior College. I am now enrolled at Paul Mitchell School to become an esthetician. Physical fitness, skin care and beauty are my passions. I have enjoyed being introduced to yoga and I am excited to learn more!


Mackenzie Ferrell

Mackenzie Ferrell


I am a 500-Hour Certified Yoga Instructor, teaching Heated Vinyasa and Restorative classes at Sukha.  My true yoga passion is the Iyengar method, but hot yoga is an obsession I never knew I had until Sukha opened their doors.  I practice yoga to heal my body.  I have suffered 2 lower back injuries that have left me in pain everyday since I was 19.  My daily practice of yoga helps strengthen my back and relieve my pain.  I don’t see my life without yoga because of the physical benefits it brings me.   I graduated from UC Santa Cruz in June 2016 with a BA in Feminist Studies with a concentration in Sexuality Studies.  My goals are to go back to college to get a teaching credential so I can teach a more comprehensive and progressive sex education, to work at a women’s health clinic, or to join the Peace Corps.  When I am not in the yoga room, I can be found spending time with my 4 overweight cats and watching Netflix, especially the Office.   Sukha came into my life when I didn’t know I needed it. Sukha has become like another home to me and both the employees and clientele have become like family.  Sukha saw potential in me, which allowed me to grow as an employee.  I enjoy being able to form relationships with those who walk through Sukha’s doors.  Upon entering the studio, you can always find me behind the front desk with a big smile.  


Mario Guzman

Mario Guzman


Mario's journey led him to yoga, receiving his RYT200 in 2013. Having a background in Kinesiology and Health and Wellness, he was no stranger to the benefits of exercise, but it was yoga's ability to connect mind and body with breath and movement that caused him to rethink how the body operates and how to bring balance to the mind and body. Mario loves to share his passion of yoga through his classes: energy healing Restorative Yoga and heart pumping, mental challenging Vinyasa Yoga. His deep belief in "balanced living" is what fuels his passion for helping others restore balance in their lives.


Maury McCord

Maury McCord


At the age of 50, I became a certified Bikram Yoga instructor in the Spring of 2010.  This involved 9 weeks of teacher training, taking two hot yoga classes every day, with afternoons and evenings filled with lecture seminars and posture clinics.   I moved to the Modesto area six years ago.  The closest Bikram studio was one hour away in Stockton, then in Tracy.  My everyday practice began to suffer with the long drive and time commitment.  This is why I am so grateful for Sukha Studios.  I can practice more often and even teach a class.  I’ve also come to enjoy exploring other methods of yoga, something I hadn’t done before.   Michaela has done a great job of hiring some of the friendliest, most dedicated people I’ve ever known.   Namaste!


Meliza Martinez

Meliza Martinez


As a former Web/Graphic Designer for over 20 years, my body started to show the wear and tear from years of sitting in front of the computer for hours at time. I tried to stay physically active with yoga, boxing, karate, and roller derby but the years of sedentary work still wore me down. My body started to show signs of fatigue, back pain, neck pain, headaches, and wrist & elbow injuries. It wasn’t until 2015 when I was finally diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, after years of being told I had anxiety and being prescribed medication, that I took my health into my own hands. I joined a local gym and discovered suspension training and Pilates. I discovered the benefits of Pilates first hand, from day-to-day wellness to injury prevention to a path to recovery, as well as losing weight. I decided to pursue this passion and begin taking courses. After completing my 1st Balance Body training workshop, I knew I had found my calling and decided to do the comprehensive training to become a full time instructor. I have first hand experience in the immense benefits of reconnecting with and restoring balance to your body and my challenge to you is to see what positive changes Pilates can bring to your life.


Naser Ataee

Naser Ataee


Bio Coming Soon!


Pooja Shenoy

Pooja Shenoy


Pooja is blessed to have started her yoga journey from her 6th grade when yoga was introduced to her as a part of her school education. Her love and passion for yoga grew with her ever since then. She feels a complete sense of rejuvenation when she finishes her everyday yoga practice and meditation.  Pooja is an expert at Hatha Yoga, Asthanga Yoga and Bhakti Yoga and has many years of experience of taking Yoga classes to people of all ages. Hatha Yoga is the original form of Yoga introduced by seer Patanjali thousands of years ago. Pooja has undertaken traditional yoga training from various yoga universities in India. She has completed her Residential Yoga Instructor Certification (300hr), Post-graduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy (1 year residential), and Masters in Yogic science (2 year non-residential) and most recently completed her RYT-200hr certification here in the States. Pooja also has a BS in Engineering and MBA in Healthcare Service and Management. A student of Hatha yoga and Bhakti yoga, Pooja rightfully blends Universal peace chants from Sanskrit Mantras, Mudras, and different breathing techniques and focuses more on providing the right method and right postures. She is also well experienced with beginners, experienced and advanced level Yoga students. In her Yoga Therapy classes, she focuses on Yoga postures that help with bodily ailments and recommends on such postures that are to be avoided. Pooja also takes beginners and advanced level meditation classes that induce a sense of well-being in the body and the mind. Through her teaching she seeks to help others thrive, by nurturing the body, mind and soul both on and off the mat. Her practice has helped her grow stronger, be more flexible enough to adapt to the life’s happenings. Yoga inspires her to live each moment mindfully. Her strong belief and commitment is to Life, as a continuous learning opportunity, a belief she is dedicated to sharing with others. Her love for teaching and sharing her experience and knowledge with fellow yogis aspires her to bring ancient wisdom and traditional yoga practices to the contemporary western world in a useful and understandable way. Sign up for her classes and build a strong foundation to your yoga practice through traditional Hatha yoga. Experience the power of Yoga taught in its traditional way and notice the difference.


Sandra Gomez

Sandra Gomez


Hi, my name is Sandra Gomez.  I became a yoga instructor as a way to share not only the spiritual qualities but also the emotional and physical benefits of a regular yoga practice.  I love to bring my enthusiasm, positive energy, and fun nature to the mat and welcome the beginner to the seasoned yogi to my class and put a new spin on the beautiful world of yoga.  Namaste   I love the people, environment, and vibe of Sukha.


Sharon Taporco

Sharon Taporco


Sharon is a Modesto native, returning home after more than two years spent traveling the globe. In 2010, Sharon completed her 200hr Vinyasa Teacher Training Program at Yogaworks in San Francisco, a program that she credits for helping to deepen and enrich her own personal practice, as well as laying the foundation for her more rigorous studies abroad. Whilst traveling the world she had an opportunity to practice yoga under many varied teachers and modalities, but it was within the practice of Ashtanga that Sharon really found the grounding, stability and routine that she needed within her nomadic life on both a physical and an emotional level. She loves the combination of strength building, self reflection, and exploration as well as the humbling challenges that Ashtanga provides. Sharon's most recent adventure took her on a five month journey across India, where she had the opportunity to deepen her practice within a traditional yoga environment, completing her 200hr Ashtanga Vinyasa Teacher Training at Tattvaa Yogashala, on the banks of the Ganges River, in the stunning Himalayan foothills of Rishikesh. Now that Sharon is back in her hometown, refreshed from her travels, she's very excited to be a part of the growing yoga community here in Modesto, and she is really looking forward to meeting everyone and sharing her love for Ashtanga.


Sharrie Neumann

Sharrie Neumann


Sharrie has been a practicing yogi since 2004.  Her passion to help others has brought her from a home practice with a television and DVD’s to instructing in the studio where she guides others through their yoga journey.   With her gentle, soft spoken nature and friendly personality, she excels at teaching relaxing, restorative classes while being skilled in other types of yoga as well.  Her style can be described as eclectic because she incorporates Hatha, Vinyasa, and Iyengar into one unique class making it a fun and stress relieving experience for all students, young and old.  She offers a feel-good class that leaves students with an overwhelming sense of calm and well-being.  She is also a big hit with the kids, having taught many children’s classes over the years.   Sharrie is a writer and author, and just like with her yoga practice, she infuses love and heart into all that she does.


Taylor Huff

Taylor Huff


RYT 200 AKA Tayoga My love for yoga began in 2015 after I sustained a knee injury that required surgery. Shortly after my recovery, one of my friends mentioned she was going to a yoga class. I thought it would be the perfect form of exercise since my injury hindered me from doing other forms of exercise. Yoga started out merely as a way to stay in shape and has gradually evolved into something so much more. I like to say yoga brought me back to life after my injury. In 2018 I furthered my love for yoga by becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher. Creative flows and playlists are only a couple things I love about teaching yoga. My favorite part is sharing this love of mine with others and seeing the yoga community grow. Yoga is truly one of the best decisions I have ever made. Maybe it could be for you too?


Backside of McHenry Village

 

1700 McHenry Ave, Ste 52-A, Modesto, California, CA 95350

209.996.9642