Owner of Yoga8 / 200 E-RYT Instructor/ ExpertRating Fitness Coach
“Yoga is for every BODY, we will not judge you on your body type, financial stature or any struggles you may currently be experiencing. Instead, we stand here with open arms to embrace, encourage and love you through this journey of life. Please come join us and become part of our family.”
Kimberly Damm is a lover of God, family, yoga, people, life, fitness and endurance sports. She has been teaching yoga for the past 6 years in the Waco area. Her mission is to help ALL people find a better quality of life. She created the studio with the intention of having a safe space for all to practice yoga. She is extremely passionate about the healing powers of yoga and is on a a mission to introduce yoga to those who have experienced trauma, those who have lots of stress and anxiety and those who feel that they "do not have" the body to do yoga. At her studio you are not just a face but she will get to know you on a personal level and help you reach your goals. Community and support is really important to her so her studio provides scholarships for those who need assistance for memberships.
When she is not teaching yoga at the studio you can find her being a mom to Addyson (13) and Austin (15) and a wife to Mark Damm, training for Ironman or endurance sports, having coffee with friends, or studying yoga philosophy.
For inspirational reading, check out her blog.
200 RYT Instructor
Yoga instructor / Author / Speaker
“Yoga is for everyone, no matter your age or fitness level.”
In 2003, Elizabeth was devastated when her doctor said that—if she wanted to lessen the pain of her chronic migraines—she would need to stop her favorite high-impact exercises, like running, aerobics, and cycling. Reluctantly, she decided to try yoga instead. At first, this seemed like a huge mistake. Her balance was terrible, her flexibility non-existent, and her strength was pitiful. It took 18 months before she felt like she had a handle on the poses. Now, 15+ years in, she’s so glad she stuck with it. Not only has yoga helped her manage migraines, it has transformed her whole body and mind. Beyond the mat, Elizabeth is an avid reader of mostly non-fiction (with the occasional fiction thrown in as a sort of mental dessert). As a “recovering over-achiever,” she’s also written her own books to inspire other women to ditch the guilt and embrace freedom. For more, see her website at elizabethoates.com
200 RYT / Owner of Pure Vida Paddle
“Yoga is one of the things that really connects me with God. When I’m in reaching poses like Trikoasana [triangle pose], it truly feels like I’m stretching for the heavens.”
You might know Erin as the owner of a couple of businesses around town, including Pura Vida Paddle and Two Girls and a Guy. She came to yoga by way of P90X, workout videos that include a module of yoga. At first, she would skip the yoga video because it seemed too long (1.5 hours, really!?) and because she didn’t think she really needed it. But when she did eventually try it, she quickly saw the benefits. She finds that yoga helps connect her to God and has done wonders for her anxiety. And when Erin connected with Yoga8, it quickly became her home away from home. Her friends at the studio encouraged her to teach, so she decided to take the plunge and share the joy of yoga with others.
200 RYT Hour Instructor
*Bio coming soon*
200 RYT Instructor / Social worker & therapist
“Serving and caring for others is the essence of the work I do. Yoga philosophy lines up so well not only with my profession, but also with my faith and world perspective.”
When Joy first stepped into a yoga studio in college, she found the poses awkward. But then came child’s pose, which was “almost a spiritual experience.” After her first year of consistent yoga practice, she noticed a huge reduction in her symptoms of fibromyalgia. Today, yoga also helps Joy manage the emotional and spiritual stress of being a full-time social worker and therapist. When she isn’t on the mat working on upside-down things, back-bend things, twists, and—always—proper alignment, you might find her reading, listening to music, making art, or cuddling with her husband and their rescue cat, Roo.
200 RYT Instructor / Church office manager
“Yoga helps me calm the nerves, stop the mind chatter, and become ultimately present with what is happening, rather than reverting to my usual tendency to spiral into worry and fear.”
Kim holds a BA in religious studies and an MDiv in spiritual formation and discipleship. So she knows a thing or two about spiritual faith—and focused study. These traits served her well as she went through the 200-hour yoga certification through Beyond the Mat, hosted at Yoga8. Now, she’s also diving in to the 300-hour program in fall 2018. Not only has yoga helped increase Kim’s strength and flexibility, it’s helped control her anxiety. With regular practice, meditation, and controlled breathing, she can change her response to those anxious thoughts and feelings. Outside of yoga, Kim enjoys hiking in Cameron Park, baking delicious vegan sweet treats and breads, and meditating with her husband and Juma, “the most wonderful cat in the universe.” Oh, and she loves to organize things, which serves her well in her role as office manager for University Baptist Church.
500 RYT Instructor / Co-anchor and reporter at FOX44
“For a long time, I struggled to figure out my identity. Am I a serious journalist who has no life outside of the news? Or am I a wandering, care-free yogi doing warriors and down dogs all over town? The answer: Both. I’m a newsie and a yogi, and it’s amazing.”
By night, Leslie is the evening co-anchor and reporter at FOX44 in Waco. By day (and also night, actually), she pursues a complementary career as a yoga educator. And the great thing is, she’s found the connection and balance between these two facets of herself. She started her journalism journey more than a decade ago with a single goal: to tell stories that were not being heard. It was a passion to help others when all seemed lost. That same passion brought her to yoga in 2010 and yoga teaching in 2013. As a yoga educator, her mission mirrors that of a news reporter: to help others when all else fails. For more, see her website at www.thenewsyogi.guru
200 RYT Instructor / Psychologist
“To me, yoga is about slowing down and connecting mindfully with yourself. It’s taking time out to observe without judgement, which dovetails nicely with my professional training as a psychologist.”
Having grown up in California, Michelle appreciates the unique tranquility of gazing out on a vast body of water. In fact, it was on a grassy hill overlooking the Pacific when a friend first encouraged her try to downward-facing dog and tree pose. After that first tantalizing taste, she kept experimenting with yoga, trying out different classes and studios until she discovered the power of a regular practice. A psychologist by training, Michelle can spend the better part of the workday observing others. So she’s grateful that yoga offers a unique kind of inward observation—a chance to pay attention to her breathing and gently strengthen the connection between her own mind and body. Now that she’s in Texas (with its somewhat woeful lack of water), Michelle still finds time to escape to a family lakehouse on Lake LBJ. There, she enjoys the outdoors, does yoga on the pier, and watches her dog frolic in the water.
200 RYT Instructor / Seminary student
“It’s impossible to practice yoga on the mat without it also affecting the whole of your life. Yoga is so much more than just stretches and poses and alignment. It’s about stilling the noise and chatter of the mind so that True Self—the center of who we are—can emerge.”
In yoga, Michelle found something that was sorely lacking in her life: shalom (peace). The practice, study, and teaching of yoga serve to move her ever toward that perfect wholeness, the True Self. If you take classes with Michelle, you are sure to meet Joy, a trained Service Dog who has learned to honor the Yoga8 studio as a special place, so she’s always on her best behavior. Outside of yoga, Michelle attends graduate classes at George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Her hobbies include hand lettering, singing, playing guitar and piano, and quilting, which she learned from her hero, Grandmom.
200 RYT Instructor
“I started yoga as part of a recovery program and fell in love with it. It’s helped me overcome depression and addiction.”
If you follow Yoga8 on social media, you might see Patrick graciously demo’ing one of his favorite arm balances: Eka Pada Bakasana (flying crow). Like most who practice yoga consistently, Patrick finds it to be much more than just exercise. He credits yoga with helping him overcome depression and addiction. Yoga has become a critical part of his connection with God, which keeps him “feeling strong, happy, and free.” Having completed the 200-hour training through Beyond the Mat, hosted at Yoga8, Patrick enjoys helping others experience the transformative power of yoga. Off the mat, you might spot him reading at a local coffee shop, listening to music, cooking delicious vegan recipes, hiking, running, or doing strength training.
200 RYT Instructor / Director of Marketing and Learning
“I know what it’s like to be nervous about trying out yoga. I would encourage anyone who is interested in yoga to come to the studio, introduce yourself to the instructor, and enjoy the journey.”
As director of marketing and learning at i2i Technologies, Roxanne’s weekdays are busy. She seeks restoration and peace not only through yoga, but from the evening sunset, from time with family, and through her artwork. When Roxanne’s husband passed away in 2015, she found yoga to be a healthy relief from the mental and physical symptoms of grief. Remembering how it felt to be anxious about her first yoga class, Roxanne enjoys teaching classes and workshops geared toward new yogis. She’s found her passion helping newcomers learn how to make practice their own and be comfortable adapting poses to meet the needs of their own bodies.
200 hour Instructor / Graduate student in counseling
“I discovered yoga at a pivotal point in my life, when I was working through a deeply traumatic loss. Yoga helped me approach my pain in a much more gentle, less distressing way.”
Sarah came to her very first yoga class here at Yoga8, back when she had no idea what a bolster was. As someone grieving the loss of a loved one, she was drawn to the mental and emotional healing of a regular yoga practice. As a bonus, yoga helped bolster her body image, too. Before yoga, she would have said there’s no way she could handle x, y, z pose. Now, yoga is teaching her to never doubt herself and the amazing things her body can do, with time and patience. Outside of yoga, Sarah is in grad school, on a quest to become a licensed professional counselor. She loves scribbling in her journals, going for long walks with friends, or lingering over coffee and savoring a great, intentional conversation.