Sundance Yoga Studio teaches vinyasa ("flow") style classes
based on John Friend's Anusara Yoga. Anusara (a-nu-sar-a) yoga means to
"align with grace"or "to step into the flow". It is
a system that unifies proper alignment, for a safe opening of
the body, with a celebration of the heart. With the highest intention
being to align with the flow of grace, accepting the world and ourselves
as we are, and then responding with love.
In the Anusara Yoga practice, the heart quality creates a spiritual context
for our physical alignments and actions, teaching us to open our hearts
to grace, which in turn allows our mind and body to increasingly open
as well. As we open to grace, we align with nature and the universe and
with our own true essence, leading to more energy and overall health spiritually,
physically, emotionally and mentally. The Sundance Yoga Studio is dedicated
in creating a loving environment of peace, spirit, healing and community.
Come join us in the journey!
Each class consists of pranayama (breath techniques), raja yoga (meditation),
hatha yoga (body movement) and savasana (relaxation). Yoga is a non-competitive,
non-judgmental form of mind/body exercise that develops strength, stamina,
flexibility, tones the muscles, improves balance, reduces stress and tension
and teaches us to find peace and understanding within all circumstances.
We open ourselves to experience and express love, peacefulness and vibrant
health in every posture.
I hope that you will make the choice of health and join us in our journey
of personal growth.
Namasté (The light in me honors the light and beauty that is within
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Valerie Immore has been with Sundance Yoga Studio
and the Anusara community since 2001. Valerie's journey has always
been one of health and fitness and she has a strong background in
many facets of the health industry beginning as early as 1985. As
soon as she found Yoga, it became her heart's ambition to teach
it and enhance the lives of others with this practice as much as
yoga has blessed her own life. She began her full time teaching
career with children's yoga and with the faculty and staff of Alvin
Independent School District on a therapeutic, gentle approach. Her
yoga programs have included private classes, businesses, fitness
centers and has maintained an ongoing connection to Sundance as
one of the primary teachers and staff. Her training has come from
several different styles of vinyasa Yoga but primarily from John
Friend's Anusara Yoga. Valerie has come into the community of Sundance
with the to teach and to share the beauty
of yoga, and all that it reveals to us, all that it reveals within
us, one beautiful moment at a time.
Forster Alex Merkowitsch
Jen Darcey Anne Bendixen Debra Kerr Pat Kidwell Cami Hewett
Deborah Beard Korin Brody John Bethscheider Heather Lewis
Avril started taking yoga at the beginning of 2002
and from the first day she was hooked! Sundance is the only
studio she has been exposed to and fortunately for her it's Anusara
- Vinyasa style truly fits her needs. After her third year
of learning yoga, a lot of "ah ha" moments started to
occur. One particular moment was a growing desire to want
to give back in some way, especially to the studio. With the
constant support and enthusiasm from Valerie the owner, her journey
into teaching yoga began in 2005. All the teachers at Sundance
have unique styles and strengths that are brought to the studio.
She feels her "hands on" style helps you achieve your
pose or go further into it with assistance. Whether it's micro
movements to level out your hips or help you release tight muscles
after the work day is through, the best part she has been told is
the neck massage she gives each student in Savasana!
Alex was drawn to the path of yoga and the moment she stepped onto the mat her transformation to live a more fully integrated life began. Her perception of the world softened, her physical body got stronger & flexible, her mind calmed and her spiritual heart opened. Yogic principles bring peace and awareness to her life that she wishes to share with her students. A certified and registered yoga teacher, she draws on her training in the Anusara and Yin Yoga methods to facilitate a safe opening of body, mind and heart for any level student. Her intention is to light the path so that each student receives what is needed to live a more present and aware life-on and off the mat.
Yoga had been something that Shelby had wanted to
try for quite a while… She started taking yoga classes at
the gym. Within no time she was hooked and looked for a place that
taught yoga exclusively. That’s when she found Yoga Institute
and Raye Lynn. She attended every class that she could and soon
she was taking a class almost every day. On the days without class,
she enjoyed yoga at home. Her body and brain were addicted to this
“new” discovery that she had made; quite obviously this
was something that she needed in her life. She began to read and
take workshops learning whatever she could. In doing so began to
know herself on a deeper level.
She started teaching at Yoga Institute in December 2001, and is
working towards her Anusara certification. Aside from teaching at
YI, she also had the opportunity to teach yoga to the drama department
of the local high school as well as teaching a class “Yoga
for Fiber Artists” in April 2003 at the Contemporary Handweavers
of Texas Biennial Conference. As a teacher, she hopes to inspire
her students with a playful, lighthearted, honest approach. She
strives to share the lessons she has learned while opening herself
to the numerous lessons her students continually teach her. Yoga
is fun, challenging, rewarding, stimulating, play! It’s not
rocket science, but if practiced with an open heart it can send
you soaring to new heights.
Simply said, yoga for Shelby is like eating salad, reading a good
book, flying a kite, creating artwork. Life wouldn't end without
it, but it certainly makes her a happier, healthier person. Like
the balance of Muscular and Organic Energy, as her body becomes
stronger from the outside in, her spirit can grow exponentially
filling my inner self with grace.
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Jennifer has been involved in physical fitness her whole life,
but not until she found Sundance, did fitness become most important
for her mind and soul. Jennifer started her yogic path in Chicago
as a way to find an avenue for stress release and fitness after
having a baby in 2002. After moving to Texas and becoming pregnant
with her second child she found Sundance in 2006. Jennifer knew
Sundance’s focus on a heart led practice was the perfect pairing
with her desire to honor her physical practice.
Jennifer’s goal as a teacher is pure. She hopes to reach people’s
heart. If her students receive even a small portion of the peace
and clarity that yoga has brought to her life, she will feel blessed
to have served the community. Jennifer traveled to Costa Rica in
2006 to complete her teachers training program and is Yoga Alliance
Certified. Jennifer continues her education by attending various
workshops. In October 2007 she was blessed to receive a wonderful
birthday gift that took her to an Anusara/John Friend workshop in
San Francisco. Jennifer is grateful to her mom, who continues to
support her and make her dreams possible, as well as the rest of
In October 2007 Jennifer paired up with Valerie to make Valerie’s
long time dream (which soon became Jennifer’s dream) of opening
a yoga studio in Pearland. Together, they look forward to serving
their new community.
Anne started enjoying the benefits of Yoga in 2005, after marathons and triathlons took a toll on her body. After enjoying the healing affects of Yoga, she enrolled in a teacher-training program. Along with her Yoga education she is also a certified AFAA Pilates Instructor, Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Trainer. Before coming to Sundance, Anne followed her passion for personal fitness by teaching Adventure Bootcamp outdoors and almost every format at 24 Hour Fitness - Indoor Cycling, Pilates, Bootcamp, Step and Power Sculpt; she has done it all!
Anne found her background in fitness training and Yoga to be the perfect fit for Yoga Core. The one hour class comprises of Yoga and Pilates poses to help strengthen the core. “A strong core is often the missing link in our yoga practice”. Yoga Core is for all levels, there are no advanced yoga poses in class, but after attending Yoga Core you will find balance poses, arm balances and inversions to be much easier. Your back will get stronger meaning possible back pain will loosen up and release. All levels will be helped, encouraged and challenged.
Debra was first introduced to meditation and yoga through a friend 20 years ago. 10 years ago she realized yoga was an integral part of her life and needed to make it a priority. While living in Dallas, Debra gravitated towards Hatha and Ashtanga style yoga. After moving to Pearland, in 2006, she found her home at Sundance Yoga and the Anusuara style of yoga. Applying the Anusara principles of alignment and Open to Grace Philosophy to her daily life has helped her to alleviate chronic back and hip pain as well as deepen her spiritual beliefs. Debra felt a calling to help women during their pregnancies with Pre-Natal yoga and help others grow their love for yoga inspiring her to fulfill her desire to teach. In 2009 Debra completed what will be her first of many teacher training's and joined the staff at Sundance Yoga, “I love having the opportunity to serve the students in this amazing community and to give back from the teachers that have helped to guide me on my own journey”.
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Pat Kidwell, RYT
Pat considers himself a student of yoga first, and his approach to teaching is centered on the care and cultivation of the yoga students he serves. His teaching style emphasizes integration of the breath with proper body alignment, and experiencing the higher aspects of every pose.
Pat first stepped onto the yoga mat in 2000. He practiced Hatha yoga for one year at Sundance before he began practicing the Anusara system of Hatha yoga with Moses Brown in 2001, while living in Maryland. Since returning to Texas in 2002, Pat has been a student of Kelly Griswold and Valerie Immore at Sundance. He became a registered yoga teacher (200 hours) with Yoga Alliance in 2009, and has completed dozens more hours of training with various prenatal and Anusara yoga teachers. Currently, Pat practices and studies Anusara-Inspired yoga with his teacher, Valerie Immore.
Pat is also a student of Reiki energy healing, and he became a 2nd degree practitioner in 2009.
The more I study yoga, the more I can glimpse how much there is to learn—and that prospect thrills me. It’s what keeps me practicing week after week. When I wandered into my first yoga class over eleven years ago, many of the postures instantly became mine: they fit right in with my background in martial arts and gymnastics. While I was in graduate school, I’d shuffle tiredly into my evening yoga class, worried about deadlines. As I glided out after practice, my eyes found encouragement in the moonlight and my breath came easier.
That’s why I’ve been teaching for over seven years—because yoga consistently heals and enlivens me. My training is in Vinyasa (flow yoga) and Ashtanga (power yoga), and in class we playfully approach the postures with humor and individual insight.
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Deborah’s (Deb’s) yoga journey began about eight years ago when she enrolled in her first yoga class after witnessing the positive changes yoga had made in a close friend’s life. As she learned to open her physical body and strengthen her core, she also began to benefit from the mental and spiritual gifts yoga offers. Through practicing the heart-centered Anusara style of hatha yoga, she became more mindful, balanced and better able to stay in the present moment. She realized she was opening her heart as well as her body.
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John came to Sundance Yoga in 2005 when his wife gave him a membership as a gift. Having competed in competitive tennis, racquetball, running, cycling, and back-packing, his body was in need of healing. Yoga provided the needed recovery and healing from years of overuse injuries. As an avid cyclist he discovered that yoga improved his balance, breathing and strength on the bicycle. Taking his yoga practice to the next level, with Valerie’s encouragement, he completed the teachers training at Sundance. In the fall of 2008 he began teaching yoga to employees at Alvin Community College. The program became an immediate success and is offered to beginning and intermediate students. John’s philosophy of yoga is to teach not only the universal principles of alignment, but to instill in each student an appreciation of the culture and history of yoga and to practice yoga not only on the mat but in their daily lives. He encourages his students to recognize that their physical yoga practice, when engaging the breath, can lead to self-awareness and change. A sense of humor and a desire to create a peaceful atmosphere guide his instructional method. John is a Yoga Alliance 200 Hour Registered Teacher and Provost/Dean of Instruction at Alvin Community College.
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I have always been on a journey with yoga (whether I knew it or not); however, my path has just continued to change. I was introduced to yoga during college. Since this time, I have journeyed in and out of the practice, until about 8 years ago when I found an instant connection at Sundance. The space, the words, the people, the energy, everything, spoke to me. I found the spiritual and physical practice I had been looking for. About 3 years ago, I decided I would like to share yoga with others. I began my teacher training with another style of yoga, but when Valerie and Kelly scheduled a teacher training in 2010, I knew I wanted to take part. I completed my 200 hour RYT in June 2010.
Yoga is a deeply spiritual practice for me. I find beauty in nature and have a passion for animals. Yoga aligns perfectly for me as I believe all things are connected. As I connect deeper to self, I connect deeper to all living things. I hope to share this connection with others as they discover their own bodies and find their own practice. While I love the challenge of an advanced pose, I find a true mindfulness in feeling the alignment of the body, honoring that individual alignment, and surrendering to the breath in a slow flow style. Someone once told me, “An advanced practitioner is not a person who can do advanced poses, but someone who has great body awareness.” I believe this to be true and I believe that yoga is available to anyone. I have guided healthy adults and children, pregnant women, handicapped children, and adults with special health issues through their yoga practice and I am grateful to be afforded such opportunities.
When I started practicing yoga in 1997, my paradigm for exercise and relaxation began to shift. I started to move in and out of different poses with intention and not just toward a goal. I learned how to breathe fully and focused more on how I was feeling, instead of what I looked like or was thinking. For me, yoga has been pivotal in finding peace with myself and with others. Each day I tell myself, “Quiet your mind and open your heart.”
We need to search and take time to deeply understand what makes us tick, thrive, and be happy. These key lessons are achieved when you take what you feel and do on the mat and apply them to your daily life. But this complicated process is ongoing and takes patience. Yoga is not merely a means to an end; it is a lifelong journey – one that enriches all aspects of our days.
After enjoying a variety of yoga classes and workshops throughout the years, I completed the Radiant Child Yoga Training™ Levels 1 & 2 with Shakta Kaur Khalsa in Miami in Sept. 2007. In 2008, I became a Registered Yoga Teacher® through the 200-hour National Teacher Training course at The Yoga Institute in Houston with Lex Gillan. I completed the 200-hour Teacher Training at Sundance Yoga in Friendswood, TX with Valerie Immore and Kelly Griswold in July 2010. Through additional hours of training and teaching, I recently received the 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT®) designation through the Yoga Alliance.
I hope you will enjoy the yoga path with me.
My intention as a teacher is to simply provide a framework for the many magical experiences that yoga can bring.
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