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 Metta Yoga Initiative Teachers

Tammi Hughes / RYT200: Tammi Hughes is the founder and owner of Metta Yoga Initiative. Tammi began exploring the world of yoga in 2011 as a coordinator, yoga student and, eventually, instructor. Throughout the years, managing the efforts of Metta Yoga, in collaboration with the Metta Yoga Initiative team, has truly become a passion in creating purposeful and intentional community (Kula) inside and outside of the studio. A graduate of the Peace Through Yoga 200-hour Yoga Teach Training (YTT) program, Tammi creates a safe, welcoming space for her students by offering the opportunity for intention-setting, meditation, pranayama and vinyasa in each class, and by incorporating playful and inspirational music.

Alicia Swanson Oskay / RYT500: Alicia Swanson Oskay started her yoga studies in 2001 and earned her 200-hour and 500-hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Certificate from Nancy Schalk. During her first teacher training, she found the yoga of B.K.S. Iyengar and has been a dedicated practitioner since 2003. She has studied Iyengar Yoga under Jyoti Hansa, Sri Arunji, Judi Rice, John Schumacher and Patricia Walden. She holds a 500-hour Certificate in Therapeutic Massage from IUPUI, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Didactics from Indiana University, Bloomington. Alicia has 20+ years experience in medical nutrition, food service management and nutrition counseling. Alicia has worked with multiple yoga props (such as chairs and bolsters) actively and restoratively. She has experience working in pain management and therapeutic healthcare settings. Alicia's experience has allowed her to integrate, and her goal is to make yoga and wellness attainable to all.  

Melissa Mendel / RYT200: Melissa Mendel began her yoga journey in 2007. She recognized immediately the positive impact and change on her life. She finished her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program in January 2011, studying under Marsha Pappas and Nikki Myers, at Cityoga School of Health in Indianapolis. As an accomplished hairstylist, Melissa has co-owns and operates her own hair salon. Her goal in teaching is to create a safe environment for  cultivating deep relaxation by focusing on pranayama (breath) in creating space in the body and quieting the chatter in the mind.

Alison Phillips-Coleman, LCSW: Initially introduced to yoga as a teenager, Alison began deepening her practice in 2014 through regular attendance at classes offered by Metta Yoga.  Although her reason for practice started as a way to build flexibility and support other athletic endeavors, she quickly came to appreciate the deeply spiritual and emotional aspects of Hatha yoga practice. Alison holds a master's degree in Social Work, has over 10 years of experience in the mental health field, and currently works as a mental health therapist. Not only has yoga been crucial to her own self-care routine, but she also frequently uses meditation and breathing exercises with her clients to help them gain the benefits of clearer mental focus and improved emotional control.  As an instructor, Alison seeks to inspire students to explore the body-mind connection and engage in compassionate self-reflection. Seeing strength and flexibility as being psychological and well as physical, she hopes to lead students through an asana practice that builds confidence, humility, and gratitude. 

Hope Neely / RYT200: Hope Neely took her first yoga class more than four years ago and experienced immediate health and mental benefits. Since then, Hope has utilized daily yoga practice to supported a healthy lifestyle that assists in managing the stresses of work, family and health difficulties. After being diagnosed with kidney disease at the age of 15, Hope received her first kidney transplant in 2003. Incorporating a daily yoga practice into her recovery was instrumental in helping Hope be at ease with life's obstacles with both kidney disease and life, in general. 

In 2013, Hope completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) at Invoke Studio in downtown Indianapolis. She also has over 45 hours of advanced yoga teacher training. Hope's teaching style features gentle, encouraging words of instruction encouraging her students to find acceptance where they are each and every time they approach the mat. 

Erin Grommon / YTT200: Erin Grommon began her asana (physical posture) practice in 2007 as a means to find greater physical and mental wellness. As a 2012 graduate of Hilaire Lockwood Hilltop studio's 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program in Lansing, Michigan, Erin's background includes a strong Vinyasa-style practice focused on Iyangar-style alignment and Ashtanga fluidity. Balance, stillness, control, awareness, honesty, non-judgment, compassion, gratitude, humor, non-violence, and most of all, intention, have become part of Erin's personal practice and teaching style. Encouraging students to find a grace within themselves is Erin's fundamental teaching principle. Erin encourages her students to learn to truly listen to their body, mind and soul - to let go of expectation and just be the most honest expression of one's true self in the moment.

Michael Ryan / RYT200: Michael Ryan obtained his teaching certification in 2010 from CITYOGA School of Health in Indianapolis, and began teaching that same year.  In addition to his teacher training, Michael has been a student of Hatha yoga for nearly two decades and of Kundalini yoga for six years. He originally began practicing yoga as a coping mechanism for stress management and to increase strength, flexibility and balance as he entered middle age. In 2007, he had the unique opportunity to travel to India to attend the International Yoga Festival and this experience helped facilitate a personal transformation leading to his desire to share the practice of yoga and its benefits with as many people as possible

Michael has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Arizona and has worked in the healthcare field for 20+ years. His current interests include continuing education in yoga therapy. Michael specializes in teaching beginning yoga practice to new students and is particularly focused on yoga to help people be more stable and mobile as they age.

Shannon Abbott / RYT200: Shannon Abbott first began practicing yoga in 2004. With a background in theology and clinical social work, Shannon has always been interested in integrating mind, body, and spirit. Shannon's primary focus in yoga is on stress reduction, emotional balance, and spiritual renewal. Shannon has studied yoga with Marsha Pappas and Nikki Myers. She received her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training certification in July 2008 from CITYOGA School of Yoga and Health in Indianapolis, Indiana. Shannon serves as an honorary founding instructor of the Metta team and currently resides in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.