Our Team

About Us

If you want to learn more about us, you’re in the right place. 

Our story

Janin and Jaclyn’s paths crossed in 2015 when Jaclyn was in search of a massage therapist for her newly launched studio, Yoga Den. Upon meeting Janin, Jaclyn knew she was the perfect fit for Yoga Den and the surrounding community. A friendship was born as they shared in their love of helping others feel cared for and restored. They found soul nourishment as clients stepped off the mat (or massage table) with a greater understanding of the connection between mind and body. It wasn’t long before Janin was joining Jaclyn’s restorative yoga classes to provide therapeutic assists to yogis as they sought to quiet their minds and calm their bodies. As their friendship grew, working alongside one another felt organic and simpatico.

In 2020, Jaclyn and Janin made the natural next step in becoming business partners. Janin is an everyday presence at the studio, greeting clients and serving the community while Jaclyn oversees the studio vision and logistics from her new home base in North Carolina. They look forward to Jaclyn’s visits to SC, where she and her family pick right up where they left off, co-hosting special events and workshops at the studio.

Our Team

 Jaclyn Vanderhoof  Co-Owner

 

Originally from Greensboro, NC- Jaclyn found her love for yoga once moving to Charleston in 2010. Pregnant, Jaclyn found that yoga and pilates helped give her energy and time to quiet her mind. In 2014 Jaclyn and her Husband decided to open Yoga Den with a vision of having Yoga for all. Jaclyn is very passionate about giving back to the community through the donation classes offered at Yoga Den.

Janin Desir-Spann Co-Owner

Janin’s passion for the healing arts came to life through her Swedish massage training in 1993 and has manifested itself in additional training and techniques over the last two decades, including yoga teacher training and graduating from the National Holistic Institute (NHI). She has dedicated her career to helping others alleviate the pain, stress and tension they are feeling in their bodies.

Before moving to South Carolina, Janin’s adventures included life in Venezuela with stops in Germany, California, Illinois and Florida. She immediately felt at home when she arrived in Summerville in 2014. One of the most impactful experiences of her yoga practice was the silent retreat she was a part of at the Satchidananda Ashram at Yogaville in 2017. She felt called to complete her yoga teacher training shortly thereafter, attending Yoga Den’s Durga Yoga School in 2018 where she earned her 200 hour yoga teacher training.

Janin’s favorite pose is Warrior II, she loves tapping into the sense of empowerment it cultivates. Her favorite moments in leading a yoga class are watching people find a deeper connection within themselves. She especially enjoys teaching restorative yoga and understands first-hand the relief it provides for those suffering with back pain.

Her passions also include Shiatsu, myofascial therapy and Chakra balancing through crystal lights. She and her husband are parents to four fur babies: two Siamese cats (Miyu and Yumi), their Great Dane Shiloh and a pit mix, Loba. Say “hello” if you see them dining at one of their favorite eateries or walking Shiloh and Loba at the dog park.

Laura

Instructor

Laura studied dance under Carl Crosby leading up to her accepting a ballet scholarship to Columbia College. She’s elated to return to her first love (dance) and recently earned her Barre Where You Are instructor certification. She also holds certifications in Ballet Fundamentals and Ballet Barre.⠀

Tracy Strickland

Instructor

Tracy has been actively in the Health and Wellness Field since 1979. She started exploring different ways to move the body through modern dance, water aerobics, and yoga. Her first Yoga Teacher Ragavon encouraged her to pursue teacher training but the timing was not right for Tracy to start that journey. Many years later, 2007: Darcy Jaskwhich, owner of The Yoga Loft encouraged Tracy to go to the Holy Cow Yoga Center and take the 200 Hour Registered Teacher Training.Tracy thanks Trace Sahaja Bonner(The Founder of The Holy Cow in Charleston SC) for supporting her as she took on the 200 Hour training. Trace knew how to make you laugh when you felt like crying. Tracy has had the privilege to study with a variety of master-level teachers who have inspired her. Anusara Teacher Stacey Collins: Vinyasa Flow with Rolf Gates:Jason Crandell for his skillful ways to break down poses to accommodate all students.Power Yoga with Beryl Bender Birch, and Yin master Paule Zinke .Tracy resides in Summerville with her husband Paul Strickland, daughter Perry 18, Midnight and Stuart Little the cats, Abella the dog, and Clergy the horse. Her oldest daughter is studying at The University Of Chicago Illinois. Tracy feels very grateful for her life!  

“Giving into fear doesn’t keep you safe ,it keeps you from trying, learning, and succeeding.”

-Joe Tichio

Caitlin West

Instructor

I walked into my first Yoga class in Greenville, SC in 2005 and it was love at first Down Dog! I went from fumbling my way through flow classes at the local gym to seeking out a dedicated studio where I learned that Yoga is a whole lot more than the physical postures.
In 2008, I completed my first 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training at Holy Cow Yoga Center, which led to thousands of hours teaching over the last 12 years.
Always up for learning new and better ways to serve my students, I now hold certifications in Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Personal Training, Weight Management, and Behavior Change, as well as being an E-RYT 500 and a registered Continuing Education Provider for other yoga
teachers.
In 2016, I opened a completely donation-based yoga studio in the Upstate and in 2017, I developed a 200 hour yoga teacher training program, which is now registered with Yoga Alliance and has run every fall since its inception.
I absolutely love helping people find strength they didn’t know was within them. In class, I tend to focus on how we can take what we are doing on the mat out into the real world and apply it.

Kara Hymas

Instructor

Kara first discovered yoga when she was living in Albuquerque, NM. She attended classes through her gym membership but stopped when her pregnancy with her third child became complicated. Life circumstances brought Kara back to her home town of Summerville in 2012 where she rediscovered yoga. She was looking for ways to take care of herself and found that yoga was what she needed physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially. She found community. It became her dream to become a yoga teacher and share with others what she found in yoga. That dream was realized in June 2019 when she completed her 200 hr yoga teacher training through Holy Cow Yoga Center. Kara brings a down-to-earth approach to her yoga practice in finding balance, alignment, and mindfulness in the body, the mind, and the world around. When she’s not doing yoga, you can find her taking care of her three kids, following her other passion: sewing, and reading as many books as she can get her hands on.

Jess Oliver

Instructor

Jess is an E-RYT 200 Yogini, Nurse & Artist who believes that health & happiness is a life long journey. She finds joy sharing yoga as a teacher knowing that we are all on this journey together. Jess was introduced to yoga back in 1998 while living on Folly Beach, and quickly discovered that yoga helped her find peace while dealing with anxiety. It was at this time that she discovered yoga’s transformative power of the mind body connection, healing & personal growth. This sparked a fire for Jess, which inspired her studies in Health Promotion, Nursing, Art & Teaching Yoga. Yoga has helped Jess find balance in life, love, relationships, nursing & creative explorations. Inspired by holistic health & wellness, she hopes to assist students in growing their own yoga practice as part of their lives on and off of the mat. Jess’s teaching style focuses on intertwining her loves of yoga, wellness, music & creativity. She enjoys teaching students mindful awareness through breath work while strengthening the body & exploring ease in the mind. Since completing her 200 hour training at Holy Cow Yoga Center in 2008 Jess has gratefully taught locally & has enjoyed the journey on so many levels. She is presently pursuing her 500 hour certification with a focus on the healing & therapeutic benefits of yoga.

Tanya Cohn

Instructor

Tanya Cohn, a mother of nine, a lifelong dancer, choreographer and master teacher, founded her own studio, Trinity Arts Center, after nearly twenty-five years of dance instruction and performance.
Her resume includes training with some of the most respected dance programs, Chicago City Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Joffrey New York, Finnish National Ballet and instructors, Maria Tallchief, Allegra Kent, Melissa Hayden, Homer Bryant and Joel Hall, in the US and abroad. Tanya’s professional dance career has included a diverse range of experiences including professional ballet, professional jazz companies, commercial productions, master classes, modeling, pageants, fitness programs, educational and inspirational speaking on body image, eating disorders, and faith. Her professional dance career spanned the United States, Scandinavia and Asia. All of this culminated in the formation of her own school and company from 2006-2017 in the beautiful  mountains of Johnson City, Tennessee. During that time she helped to grow the community of dancers, musicians and actors to more than seven-hundred students and thirty-five instructors. She established her own curriculum, created and choreographed original contemporary dance productions, classical ballets (The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Peter and The Wolf, Le Corsaire), and Broadway-style musical theatre productions (Annie, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man) while teaching and running her school. Then it was time to follow her heart to the ocean waters. She now resides in Charleston SC where she is exploring the benefits of yoga.

Carol Ross 

Instructor

Carol has been “practicing” yoga since 1998 when she discovered a yoga mat and dvd on sale in a funky store in San Francisco and had no idea what yoga even was!  A love affair was born and, since then, yoga has become a very meaningful part of her life and she loves to share her passion for yoga with others.  Her nursing background has laid a firm foundation in wellness and prevention and she encourages people to take care of their beautiful bodies and honor themselves.  Every day is a new beginning and a blessing. . . Carol is thankful that yoga helps to integrate the mind, body and spirit and believes that yoga is for all people of all ages, of all shapes and sizes.
 

 

Anne Marie Clifford 

Instructor

Anne Marie Clifford is a Charleston-area native and career educator with a passion for sharing the benefits of yoga with her community. After attending the Yoga Festival in Asheville in 2017, she was inspired to pursue the 200-hour instructor certification, which she completed in March of 2018. A life-long learner, she has already begun to earn her 500-hour certification. With a dedication to promoting the holistic advantages of yoga, she is happy to be practicing and teaching at the Yoga Den.

Autumn Laurito

Instructor

Taking interest in health and fitness as a teenager, Autumn attended her first yoga classes in 2010 at a local YMCA. She practiced on and off for several years at gyms and through videos at home. It was not until 2015, while she faced a particularly emotional and stressful time in her life, that she became more serious about her yoga practice. Yoga quickly became a solace for Autumn. It taught her to move gracefully through the ebs and flows of life. She decided to deepen her practice in 2018 by enrolling in One Love’s yoga teacher training program in Kent, Ohio. Today, her goal as an instructor is to serve students by guiding them to find their own creativity, expressions, and safe place through yoga. She enjoys a wide variety of classes from a powerful Vinyasa flow to a calming Restorative. She hopes to find continuous growth and gratitude through her personal practice and through teaching. In addition to instructing yoga, Autumn works as a Registered Dietitian. She spends her free time outdoors, reading, and with her husband and their Australian Shepard, Oakley.

Lika Elwood

Instructor

Lika’s dream came true when she completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2010 in Washington DC, becoming a full-time yoga teacher. Initially Lika ( E-RYT 200) was drawn to yoga as a way to maintain her flexibility and strength but was intimidated by yoga’s spiritual and scholastic side which she did not find in previous experiences with ballet and modern dance. After a short time however she discovered the power of yoga as a path to a more balanced, compassionate, meaningful and happy life.
Lika teaches well-sequenced yoga classes and workshops focused on creating a comfortable, non-competitive and SAFE space where students can explore their practice while challenging themselves regardless of their background and level of their practice. She incorporates guided meditation, pranayama and aromatherapy in her classes, always encouraging her students to find one breath at the time and be their own teachers by taking what serves them and leaving what does not.
Over the years, Lika completed countless additional trainings and workshops in different styles of yoga, including Vinyasa Flow, Prana Flow, Ashtanga, Rocket Yoga, Jivamukti, Kids yoga, Aerial yoga, Yoga Nidra, Meditation and Restorative yoga. She has studied under the guidance of well known teachers such as David Williams, David Swenson, Shiva Rea, David Kyle, Tara Brach, Christina Sell and others. Lika continues to evolve as she sees herself in the position of student and a practitioner first and only then a teacher

Emily Frazier

Instructor

Emily relocated to Summerville, SC summer of 2019 from Scottsdale, AZ. She is a married mother of 5. Her careers include training reining horses alongside her husband, vet-tech and vendor coordinator for the Arizona Quarter Horse Association.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Emily’s journey to the mat began in 2017 when her husband’s job moved them back to Arizona from Texas. Their youngest daughter was 8 months old at the time. She was feeling overwhelmed, tired and was trying to rebuild her community. It was during this time she went to a barre class for the first time after a friend asked her to join her. “ I remember feeling nervous and felt like everyone was staring at me. I didn’t know the moves, I was uncoordinated and all over the place. But when the lights dimmed and the music started pumping every worry, negative thought and emotion just flew out of my body. From that moment on I knew I had found my calling.”⁣⁣
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Since that day in 2017, Emily has pursed her career in the fitness industry. She became a certified Barre above instructor in October 2018 and hasn’t looked back. She now holds many certifications including her AFAA group fitness certification. Emily had the pleasure of working with Scottsdale Arizona’s Figure Skating program athletes last summer at the Coyote’s Ice Den. Where she taught barre classes to the young up and coming athletes to help them build their strength, core stability and balance. “ It was such an amazing experience to work with theses incredibly talented students.”⁣⁣

Emily recently began her journey into the world of yoga and is continuing her education to include 200 hr yoga instructor

Liza Wilson

Instructor

Liza is a certified kids yoga teacher who completed her training through the Charleston based company, Kids Yogaverse (kidsyogaverse). Before becoming a mom, she received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and taught first grade for four years. After her first daughter was born, Liza began working part-time as a behavior specialist, doing ABA therapy with children with autism. Liza’s sister who is a yoga instructor in NC introduced her to yoga after her second daughter was born. Liza immediately knew she wanted to combine her new love of yoga and her passion for working with children. She loves seeing the excitement and joy yoga can bring to kids, as well as the calming peace they can attain through the postures and breathwork.

Jenn Yneista

Instructor

Jenn started her journey in the health and fitness industry in the early 90s. As she fell in love with all aspects of weight training, Jenn decided to take it one step further and become certified in Les Mills Body pump, Les Mills GRIT, and a Johnnie G spin instructor where she taught classes at several local gyms. Jenn’s passion continued to grow and she soon realized how important it is to incorporate yoga into her daily routine. Yoga has made her realize how to become aware of the body and to love the skin she is in. After several years of practicing yoga, she decided it was time to become certified and share her message of loving the body to create balance in all aspects of life.
Jenn lives in Summerville, with her son Drew. You can find her at the baseball field watching her son play, when she is not working out or practicing yoga.

KristÍn Cotton

Instructor

Kristín comes to the Lowcountry from NYC where she was the lead singer of the band Audio Fiction, as well as hot yoga instructor. She found yoga quieted the chatter in her mind and helped her find peace amongst the crazy rock and roll life of NYC As her practice developed, she found it cleared her mind of distractions, gave her the ability to focus on her craft and unleash her spirit. In 2008 Kristín started practicing Hot Yoga and soon after felt inspired to teach and share this amazing feeling she found in her yoga practice. In 2010 she became certified to teach by Jimmy Barkan. www.thebarkanmethod.com. In 2012 and 2015 she went back to Jimmy for her Level II and III Hot Vinyasa Certification and is on her way to her RTY with The Barkan Method.. Since moving to SC, her practice has helped her adjust to her new community and lifestyle away from the Big Apple. By day she is in event planning and sales at Embassy Suites and Convention Center, but mostly she is excited to bring The Barkan Method and her love of Yoga to the Lowcountry! Her classes are geared to the individual students-mixing many genres of music and postures for each class.
“Never before have I experienced such a feeling of personal satisfaction and pride. Whether you are an artist, in business, an educator, in the military, a parent or whatever your path may be, yoga can help you find focus and positive energy allowing your best self and your greatest dreams to come true. My yoga practice has changed my life.”

Jessica Munday

Instructor

Jessica is a mom to four boys raising them intentionally with her high school sweetheart in Summerville South Carolina.

Her commitment to self work and self growth, along with her natural lifestyle, led her to the yoga world.

As a yoga teacher, she encourages her students to show up exactly as they are; there is no need for perfection.

With her warm, light hearted and humorous way of tackling life, Jessica knows that each and every person is on their own path in life and she encourages them to show up just as they are. There is room for everyone on the mat.

Mikayla

Instructor

I am from New Jersey and started off my college career getting an Associates Degree in Science. About a year later is when I discovered my huge passion for yoga and realized that I want to teach others and guide them through their practice to better themselves.
I used to take Ariel Yoga classes as a teen and fell in love with it. Years later I got back into practicing yoga, and have been taking classes at Yoga Den for almost a year. It has helped my find a balance in life and my relationships and become more comfortable with who I am. I recently finished my 200 hour teacher training through The Yogi Life School and have expanded my knowledge on yoga immensely.
My favorite types of yoga classes are anything gentle or a Vin/Yin, and my favorite pose is crow! I am a huge animal and nature lover and would love to incorporate my knowledge of crystals and the chakras into my yoga classes. I encourage my students to show up to class as they are and take what they need from the mat that day.
 
 
 

Lainy
Instructor

Lainy is a Navy veteran and wife who turned to yoga in 2018 as a way to maintain her endurance and strength. With a cheerleading and military fitness background, Lainy believed yoga would be a fun and easy way to preserve her fitness lifestyle. Unexpectedly, yoga became part of her everyday life and turned into her life line, aiding in her sobriety journey, spirituality, and her true attainment of strength. She quickly learned yoga was far from easy but a challenging outlet to push her body, find peace, and allow her to enjoy all her favorite snacks 😉
She completed her 200-hour teacher training in Annapolis, MD while 30 weeks pregnant with her son and moved to the LowCountry, her 10th state, in 2020. She is expecting her second child and believes yoga is for everyBODY, regardless of size, prior skill level, age, or background. Her favorite style is hot vinyasa and any inversion or arm balance related poses, but she has recently opened her mind and heart to slower, more mindful motion. Yoga is the connection between mind, movement, and breath. Yoga is listening to your body and moving in a creative way that works for you. Yoga is unity. In her free time, Lainy enjoys spending time with her husband and kids, nurturing her collection of houseplants, and thrifting!