Yoga Teachers

Our yoga instructors are trained in diverse traditions. Each teacher brings a joyful spirit and authentic presence to class. 

Alanna Hernandez

Alanna's classes are grounding and balancing, with a focus on uniting the body and the mind. She believes that yoga helps you fully inhabit your body and develop mindfulness and presence. Alanna began practicing yoga in 2006, and she completed her 200-hour Hatha Yoga teacher training at the Kind Yoga School in Centerville, MA in 2011. She completed her certification as a meditation teacher at the Kind Yoga School in 2012. In addition to teaching at The Dancing Elephant, Alanna works at Youthlinks and in local schools, teaching yoga and mindfulness to help teens with stress management. All of her classes include meditation to help students feel grounded and fully present. Alanna grew up on Cape Cod and now lives in Union.

Ann Hedly

Ann has been teaching yoga for 20 years. She is devoted to self-inquiry and sees yoga as an ideal method of discovery. Ann trained to be a yoga teacher at Rasa Yoga in New York City, and she has a BFA in Dance and Choreography. Inspired by her movement studies and her experiences as a home educator, Ann practices the art of relaxation as a means to receive wisdom and divine grace. She is an active advocate for the alopecian community and is a huge proponent of self-love. Ann teaches flow classes that draw on Rasa and Freedom Style yoga traditions, and she incorporates sound to cultivate inner presence and a deeper focus on breath. Ann lives in Appleton with her three sons and labradoodle, Peabody.

Courtney Cease

Courtney believes deeply in the ability of yoga and meditation to help heal the mind and body. She has experienced yoga’s healing powers herself while dealing with chronic illness and back pain over the last 15 years. Inspired to share yoga, Courtney earned her teacher certification with Kula Collective in Guatemala in 2017. Her yoga classes weave together mindfulness, slow flow movement, alignment, and synchronized breath to encourage a deeper awareness of the mind-body connection. Courtney also studied energy healing, shamanism, and nutrition in Peru and Guatemala, as well as worked on global climate change and development projects based out of Washington, DC. She feels most alive while exploring the world, connecting with nature, skiing and biking, supporting others on their way to wellness, and dreaming up ways to create a more loving and sustainable Earth.

Craig Schwarzbaum

Craig practices and shares yoga for its nourishing effect on the mind and body, as well as for how it builds strength and vitality to support daily life. He studied under Ella Luckett at Jai Yoga Arts in Brooklyn, NY where he learned Vinyasa style yoga with an Ashtanga influence -- always with a focus on the breath. Craig moved to Maine for its vast forests and strong organic farming community. He is excited to share the healing, comforting, and steadying qualities of yoga practice with the Midcoast community.

Erin Grade

Erin began practicing mindfulness and yoga in 2007, and she has enjoyed the unfolding layers of these practices over the years. She studied at the ShivaShakti School of Yoga & Healing Arts, completing her 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2014. Erin offers gentle support in her classes, holding space for her students to learn and grow at their own pace. She incorporates conscious movement and breath awareness to create a solid foundation, allowing each student to flow deeper into their practice with unwavering strength and connection. Since becoming a mother, Erin has been motivated to help other women relax into the many changes of pregnancy, to find empowerment and be trusting of their own bodies. She spends most of her days teaching (and learning from) her daughter, sharing awareness, gratitude, and compassion on and off her mat. Erin also loves music, snowboarding, gardening, cooking, and nature. Photo credit: 5iveLeafPhotography

Lisa Diane

Lisa Diane (Daya Devi) has been a student of Yoga since the late 1990s. She completed her 200-hour teacher training with ShivaShakti School of Yoga & Healing Arts in 2014. Daya Devi strives to be a life-long student of Yogic Wisdom. She brings a unique blend of meditation, pranayama, asanas, and humor to her teachings. In addition to teaching at The Dancing Elephant, she can be found leading yoga in a number of outdoor spots around Rockland. Daya Devi also enjoys sharing "Tumbling Meditation" (an organic, mindful moving meditation) with anyone who's willing to try it, and she loves to garden!

Rachel Nixon

Rachel fell in love with yoga and meditation in 2001, and within a few years, she knew she wanted to teach. Rachel trained at Kripalu in 2006, and she has been teaching yoga in the Midcoast ever since. In 2014, she founded The Dancing Elephant to create a gathering place for yoga, meditation, and art. Rachel has a Masters in Education, as well as teaching certificates in Kripalu Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Art & Yoga, Children’s Yoga, and Yin Yoga. She is also trained as a Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor and is currently pursuing studies in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Prior to opening The Dancing Elephant, Rachel served as Executive Director of the Georges River Land Trust and the Director of Julia's Gallery for Young Artists at the Farnsworth. She lives with her partner Aaron and his daughters in Camden. In her free time, Rachel loves to spend time with her family-- swimming, sailing, skiing, and doing art projects.

Sarah Trapani

Sarah is a teacher at heart. When her children were young, she studied yoga with Patricia Brown in Camden and completed her yoga teacher certification in 2001. In the early days, Sarah taught prenatal yoga, mom and baby yoga, children’s yoga, and restorative yoga. Since then, Sarah has taught elementary school in Appleton and at the Ashwood Waldorf School. In the last several years, she was the primary caregiver for her mother during a very long and difficult illness. After her mother's death, Sarah took a two-month road trip to reconnect with friends and family across the U.S. and to regain balance in her life. And, now, she is delighted to have found her way back to teaching yoga. In her classes, Sarah creates a safe place for practice, growth, and discovery. She lives in Rockport with her husband and two grown children, Ben and Emma.

Susan Wind

Susan (Siri Santokh Kaur) first began attending Hatha Yoga classes in the 1970‘s. As a Massage Therapist and Energy Healer, she has always been interested in empowering people to heal themselves. While studying Flower Essences, Susan’s Kundalini Yoga journey began with her Teacher’s copy of Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD’s book, Meditation As Medicine. She attended her first Kundalini Yoga class in Camden in 2004 and knew clearly “I am Home.” Through years of Kundalini classes, Susan has developed tools to work with physical and emotional challenges and has healed herself on many levels. She is grateful to her Teachers and is so happy to share these beautiful practices with the community. Susan's spiritual name is Siri Santokh Kaur, given to her in the tradition of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan.

Taylor Ackerman

Taylor has been practicing yoga since 2008 and was trained in Hatha yoga at Ashiyana Yoga Center in Goa, India in 2011. The practice and presence of yoga has been a grounding force for moving gracefully and compassionately through life. In her classes, Taylor encourages awareness and development of a mind-body connection, as well as attention to safety and the cues communicated from the body. Her passion for mental and physical well-being started with yoga and has developed into collecting the requirements to obtain a higher medical degree. Taylor aspires to be a part of a healing community that blends Eastern and Western philosophies in a patient-centered approach to health. In her free time, she can be found reading, swimming, climbing, sailing, rowing, playing in the woods, exercising her dog, or eating good food.