Sumaya Kymber Owens, Executive Director
Sumaya K. Owens is a devoted teacher & practitioner of yoga, massage, and ayurveda with over fifteen years of clinical experience in the healing arts. Her approach combines years of personal & professional studies in alignment-based & ayurvedic yoga, her experience of living and working on a yogic ashram, travels across southeast Asia, years of experience in spa and retreat center management, and intensive studies with renowned Thai & Ayurvedic doctors from around the world. She is passionate about creating affordable, accessible healthcare for underserved populations. Since 2017, she has volunteered extensively as a refugee & immigrant activist, primarily focused on uplifting the voices of Burmese refugees. She currently serves on the board of The Yoga Connection, a nonprofit offering free trauma-informed yoga to refugee & immigrant women in North Carolina. She is the owner and founder of Present Moment Media, a digital marketing agency for changemakers. To learn more, please visit: www.presentmomentmedia.org.
Kelly McLellan firmly believes in the power of yoga as a tool for integrating the person as a whole: body, mind and spirit. She understands yoga to be a spiritual discipline, using the practice to “still the turnings of the mind” in order to rest in the sovereignty and perfect love of God. Her primary focus in teaching yoga is to help her students “remember what they have forgotten”, reacquainting them with their bodies and helping her students to recognize themselves as temples of the Holy Spirit. She intuitively crafts both secular and Christ-based classes and teaches in many different settings including college classrooms, yoga teacher trainings, summer camps, retreats, service organizations, and in her studio, Getting Still Yoga in Black Mountain, NC.
Valerie Holbert, HHC, RYT is a Holistic Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher. She has been practicing yoga for over 25 years and teaching since 2012 in studio classes, fitness centers, workshops and private practice and is a firm believer that EVERY body is a Yoga Body. She draws from her Hatha Yoga training in Therapeutic Yoga to create Slow Flow, Mindful Flow, Restorative Yoga and Yoga for Chronic Pain Classes that are challenging but still appropriate for all levels and body types.
Yoga, mindfulness, stress management, changes in diet and working through past traumas have been integral in her own healing journey—physically, mentally and spiritually. She brings both personal and professional experience to individual Health Coaching and Group Classes with a full-circle approach that addresses the individual issues and concerns and goals of each client, compassionately helping them to achieve their ideal version of health within their own unique body.
Martha Nelson, CYT 500
Martha came to the Swannanoa Valley in 1984 to attend Warren Wilson College. Her degree in Intercultural Studies led her to a semester in Sri Lanka & India where she first encountered Eastern culture. Martha’s love of yoga began in 2002. In 2010 she completed her 200 level teacher training (Black Mountain Yoga Center) then in 2015 she completed her advanced training with the Asheville Yoga Center. Martha teaches week-long yoga programs for Road Scholars (formerly known as Elder Hostel), at Cheshire Fitness Club, as well as private classes. Living in Black Mountain for over 20 years, she balances her time between family, playing “old time” bass, pottery & yoga.