MARGOT

MARGOT

Co-Founder, Teacher, Board Member

Yoga is Margot’s first choice for integrating brain function and body action for the health and vitality of both. She teaches integrated, moving vinyasa flow yoga to all ages and experience levels. Her students often comment on the quality of her voice and how it helps them find a peaceful space for their yoga practice. Her gateway to yoga was recovery of whole body fitness after a significant ski accident and subsequent surgeries. Recovery is not linear and she had many stops and begin again moments on her path to having a regular yoga practice – this makes her very understanding of others with similar stops and starts to their exploration of yoga. Margot brings her scientist curiosity and knowledge with her to the yoga mat and uses brain research and trauma informed yoga practices to help her students find relief, confidence and calm in their practice. Margot is the daughter of a veteran and teaches to this population out of appreciation for their service. She is a co-Founder of Comeback Yoga, has been teaching since 2014 and is active on the Board of Comeback Yoga in every imaginable capacity.

NED

NED

Co-Founder, Teacher, Board Member

Ned is Co-founder of Comeback Yoga.  He started teaching yoga at the Denver VA Hospital and has loved his involvement there ever since.  Ned is also a student of yoga and is interested in the topics of trauma informed yoga, neuro-plasticity, brain research and imaging and attachment theory in early childhood development.  After becoming a Yoga Alliance certified teacher and completing more than 200 hours of additional yoga and related continuing education, Ned has taught more than 300 trauma informed yoga classes at the Denver VA Hospital facilities. Yoga classes taught by Ned are inviting, easily done by a variety of physical abilities, and fun.  He strives to provide a safe, relaxing and open environment in which to practice.  Students appreciate his emphasis on breath practices, body to mind connections and movement with breath poses.  His classes focus on the student’s attention to the present moment, becoming aware of one’s physical body, and practicing choice. 

KELLY

KELLY

Program Director, Teacher

Kelly is Comeback Yoga’s Program Director. Her job entails doing a lot of everything to keep a fledgling non-profit moving forward with focus, enthusiasm, energy and attention. Kelly is a Colorado native with deep attachment to the military derived from the service of her family. She has interviewed veterans for an award-winning film, has a Master’s Degree in Modern European History, has traveled widely and is always looking to learn something new. When Kelly is not keeping Comeback Yoga running smoothly, she is volunteering her time to animal rescues or spending time with her own pet family. Kelly teaches on Colorado military bases for Comeback Yoga.

AIMEE

AIMEE

Development Assistant & Program Support Assistant

Aimee is the Development Assistant for Comeback Yoga. She first got involved in development in college by raising funds for her university's capital campaign. After graduating from the University of Puget Sound, she started fundraising for local non-profits in Tacoma, WA in the Pacific Northwest, including serving as a Development Associate for a local youth non-profit and Assistant Grantwriter for Tacoma General Hospital. Her role for Comeback Yoga includes donor stewardship and communication, up-keeping the donor management database, and helping with fundraising events. Aimee is a native to the Denver area and is always looking to deepen her knowledge of mindfulness and yoga. In her spare time, Aimee enjoys hiking, camping, and learning guitar.

GLENNA

GLENNA

Board Member

Glenna is a respected and long-time contributor in the Colorado community with a focus on education and not-for-profit service. Most recently, Glenna served as the President and CEO of the Colorado Education Initiative, whose mission is to accelerate educational improvement and innovation throughout Colorado. Glenna led the organization through strategic alignment and planning ensuring a strong foundation from which to continue the organization’s position as a leader in the Colorado education community. In addition, under her leadership, the organization secured a 3-year $9.75mm grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

PATRICIA

PATRICIA

Veteran, Ph.D

Patricia is a licensed clinical/research psychologist with the US Air Force in Wichita, Kansas. She recently retired from her role in leading the mental health clinic at the VA’s Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Golden, Colorado. Her clinical experience and understanding of trauma’s impact on the body and brain informs most aspects of the programming that Comeback Yoga offers its teachers and therefore its students. Dr. Alexander grew up in a military family and has a son who deployed as a paratrooper to Afghanistan. She was part of a mental health and suicide prevention team serving the Army when the early 2000s first-deployed military personnel returned from their Iraq deployments.  Dr. Alexander is a former active duty Air Force officer with 25 years of clinical and teaching experience in the areas of combat-related stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. Her primary research interests are in the areas of shame, guilt and attachment issues and the role they play in complex PTSD and suicidality. Patricia serves on the Scholarship Committee and offers her course material ReWire the Brain to all our teachers.

 

DAN

DAN

Veteran, Teacher

Dan is a Navy veteran who served in the Gulf War.  After active duty, and a short time in the private sector, he began a career in federal law enforcement.  If you told him at that time he would enjoy yoga, certainly his reaction would not have been positive.  However, one morning while lifting weights with a friend, they put a yoga program on in the background.  In between sets, he tried a few poses and couldn’t believe standing still could be so challenging. Due to chronic back pain, he decided to give yoga a try. Dan practiced yoga off and on, primarily on his own, for about fifteen years.  After moving to Denver two years ago, he joined VFW Post 1 and began practicing yoga there.  He discovered an inviting and fun atmosphere. Over time, he decided to become a teacher and serve his fellow vets. Dan’s spirit of yoga is enjoyment and celebration, so his classes are lighthearted and relaxed. He invites you to try yoga a few times like he did.  Perhaps you will experience the many benefits as well. You can find Dan at the Golden VA, Buckley AFB and other locations around Denver.

LAURIE K

LAURIE K

Teacher, Board Member

Somewhat new to Colorado by way of Alabama, Laurie came to yoga after years of being competitively athletic. She needed a place to nurture her body after having been so hard on it. Only after loss and the experience of grief did she find the therapeutic benefits of yoga. Her training through Integrative Yoga Therapy has been a way of combining her knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of yoga postures with her experience and wisdom of pranayama, meditation, mudras, and the body’s natural flow of energy. She is a 500-hour registered yoga teacher. Laurie also recently became certified in Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy. Laurie’s background includes work in behavioral health, chaplaincy, and a continued part-time work in education, with a B.A. in psychology and a Master’s in education. Her first book, Journal to the Center of the Soul, was published in 2009. She has written and published smaller pieces through various mediums. Laurie lives in Castle Rock with her recently retired husband, a Green Beret. Laurie teaches Comeback Yoga classes on Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs and for Lockheed Martin.

PHYLLIS

PHYLLIS

Teacher, Board Member

Phyllis has been practicing yoga since 2002. She has been teaching since 2011 and has been working specifically with veterans since 2015. Her father was a veteran and she grew up in the military community. Sharing yoga with veterans allows her to honor her father, his role in her life, and his legacy as a Naval officer. In her classes, Phyllis offers peaceful instrumental music and gentle breathing guidance to both begin and end class. During the more active parts of class, she provides a combination of posture demonstration and verbal cues. She offers modifications on poses, to allow for differences and variations in each of our bodies. The class atmosphere is generally relaxed and fun. She supports and encourages each student, whether brand new to yoga or experienced with his or her own practice. She understands and appreciates that yoga feels different in every body, every day! Phyllis teaches regularly at the Golden VA Clinic for Comeback Yoga.

RACHEL

RACHEL

Veteran, Teacher

Rachel Lauderbaugh found yoga while stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany in 2000. At the time, she worked as an Airman in the United States Air Force. The yoga class offered at her local gym gave her an escape from her male co-workers who thought yoga was “too easy” to be considered a workout. From 2000 on, she practiced yoga on and off base. Then, in 2013, a teacher in one of her classes suggested she complete teacher training. Rachel thought it would be fun to teach on base and help other service members find yoga — a practice that made a powerful impact on her life.

With this in mind, she signed up for teacher training in India. Upon arriving, however, she discovered she knew nothing about yoga. “Yoga” encompassed much more than the physical postures.

Yoga was her saving grace after the military as she battled with PTSD, depression, and anxiety. The more she practiced yoga, the more she learned how to grow from her trauma; she began to listen to herself and heal. Her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program led her to many trauma-sensitive yoga trainings, including Warriors at Ease and iRest. Rachel completed all levels of Warriors at Ease training, becoming one of the first fully certified teachers. She’s also attends Warriors at Ease Veteran-Civilian retreats and is an active participant in the Warriors at Ease community in Colorado where she now lives. Rachel teaches for Comeback Yoga in Longmont, CO.

VANESSA

VANESSA

Veteran, Teacher

I took my first yoga class on leave from my Afghanistan deployment in 2010. I worked as a Medic overseas in a primarily male infantry unit with the Iowa National Guard and I was dealing with many of the difficulties that arise from that situation. I found that when I practiced yoga, it was the only time I could slow down my mind, something I desperately needed at the time. When I returned home and began college, yoga classes became a space I could surrender while I struggled to transition back into college life and the civilian world. I spent years working in several non-profit realms assisting veterans with transitions into higher education and bringing awareness and healing strategies to veterans who combat frequent suicidal ideations and PTS. Through it all yoga has been my constant, my mat has been my healing space. In 2018 with an incredibly generous scholarship from Comeback Yoga, I was able to deepen my practice and attend a 200hr YTT!  I wish to bring my love of the practice and the healing wonder of yoga to anyone who has a similar story to mine, because healing feels pretty great! You can find Vanessa teaching Comeback Yoga classes on Auraria Campus in Denver.

CHRIS

CHRIS

Veteran, Teacher

Christopher Jennings, Ed.D is a Yogi, RYT 200, who wants to help people become better learners, enhance the creative process and overcome trauma caused by stress. He is a Veteran of the US Army having served in Panama during Operation Just Cause and during Operation Desert Storm. He earned his terminal degree at the University of Wyoming for Instructional Technologies. Chris completed his Yoga Teacher Training certification and he practices regularly at Asana Yoga Studio in Olde Town Arvada, Colorado. Finally, Chris is an Associate Professor at the Metropolitan State University of Denver in the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication where he successfully integrates meditation practices into his course materials to help with his student's study practice, paper writing and creativity. Chris teaches Comeback Yoga classes on Auraria Campus in Denver.

DANIELLE

DANIELLE

Teacher

Danielle discovered yoga in college when she signed up for a hatha yoga series to fulfill a physical education requirement.  Danielle was hooked, and she welcomed the healing journey that yoga took her on.  In 2010, she committed to a daily, regular yoga practice.  By 2014 she was ready to take her journey to a new level, and signed up for teacher training with Meg Galazra, owner of YogaOne studio, located in Cedarburg, WI.  It was through teacher training that Danielle discovered a love for the flowing dynamic movements of vinyasa flow, and an appreciation of the relaxing benefits of restorative yin yoga. In 2017 Danielle completed her advanced yoga teacher training with the fearless Gina Caputo, director of The Colorado School of Yoga. Danielle currently resides in Colorado Springs, CO and teaches for Comeback Yoga in the VA System.

ALLISON

ALLISON

Veteran, Teacher

Allison is an Army National Guard Veteran that discovered yoga after a combat tour in Afghanistan in 2012. She was resistant to try yoga, until she found that yoga was more beneficial for pain management than her physical therapy appointments. Allison has been living with MST, PTSD and depression since her deployment, but has found healing and hope with her yoga practice. Allison graduated from the Front Range Community College 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certificate Program in 2015 and the Kindness Yoga 200 Hour YTT in the summer of 2018. Allison hopes to share yoga with fellow veterans who may be skeptical to the physical and emotional benefits of a regular yoga practice. Allison has been a student of Comeback Yoga for years, and is excited to teach with the organization that helped save her life. Allison teaches for Comeback Yoga at the Golden VA Clinic, Personal Best Fitness Center and other locations around Denver.

TERI

TERI

Teacher

I am a firm believer in movement and body intuition. By balancing our lives through yoga, I have discovered that worry, stress, anxiety and suffering become less powerful to the human spirit. My travels and education brought me to Denver/Boulder 20 years ago to study dance education. I taught physical education in the public schools for sixteen years. My new path is yoga and compassion for healing. With gratitude I am most happy to of landed at Comeback Yoga and to be able to serve veterans in their path of body awareness through yoga asana. You can find Teri teaching Comeback Yoga classes in the Denver VA.

VANESSA

VANESSA

Veteran, Teacher

Vanessa Mahoney, L.Ac joined the Marine Corps at 17, 17 days after Desert Storm ended. The Corps was a fast ticket out of her rural South Texas town and easy money for college. After her four year enlistment and college, she taught elementary and jr high before going to grad school for Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She had the good fortune of attending Sarah Plummer Taylor's Just Roll with It Retreat in Costa Rica in 2013 and moved to Denver in 2014 to be a part of the veteran yoga community. Comeback Yoga generously supported her yoga teacher training through Kindness Yoga in the summer of 2016, and she began teaching classes that fall. You'll find Vanessa's classes authentic, peaceful, and grounding. Don't be surprised if she sings you into relaxation (or to sleep) in your savasana with a beautiful mantra. She's passionate about helping people find their path to heal and navigate the craziness of life. Vanessa teaches Comeback Yoga classes at VFW Post 1 in Denver.

KAITLYN

KAITLYN

Teacher

Kaitlyn became a certified yoga teacher December of 2017. She loves teaching beginners yoga and implementing stress management as well as body awareness in her classes. She also strives to help others practice mindfulness and self-awareness while moving through their yoga practice. She joined the Comeback Yoga family to give back to the military community that has done so much for our country. Kaitlyn regularly teaches classes at Lockheed Martin for Comeback Yoga.

MICHELLE

MICHELLE

Teacher

Life can be our greatest teacher- the good, the bad, and the otherwise. That is why Michelle has dedicated much of her time sharing her passion for yoga with people in need.  Her experiences teaching yoga to those who have lived through traumatic or stressful situations in the Canadian prison system as well as in Africa continue to fuel her desire to share her practice. She is a Wife, Mama-to-be and Yogi who loves movement and music. She has trained with many prominent yogis over the last 13 years and has plans to further her training in India in 2018.  Michelle loves spending her free time on adventures with her husband, Matt and their French bulldog, Obi.