Our yoga instructors & Studio Staff
Our teachers and staff make every visit to our studio inspiring, meaningful...unforgettable.
Their richly varied interests, training and experience make the lineup of classes you'll find at our Winston-Salem, NC yoga studio possible!
Founder, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, YACEP
Valerie opened Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons, NC, outside Winston-Salem, NC, in 2003. She founded the Yoga Alliance-registered 200-hour Sunrise Teacher Training program in 2008 and the 300-hour program in 2011.
In 2015, Valerie co-founded the East Coast Yoga Therapy training program. It is among the first 30 yoga therapy training schools worldwide to be accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She is also a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider (YACEP).
In addition to her Yoga Alliance and International Association of Yoga Therapists certifications, her credentials and experience include:
- 1200-hour Advanced Teacher Training and Yoga Therapeutics certification, taught by J.J. Gormley
- Relax & Renew Advanced Trainer through Judith Lasater's Restorative Yoga
- Yoga for Trainer, Elise Browning Miller
- iRest Yoga Nidra Level II Teacher
- Cardiac Yoga instructor®(Cardiac Yoga is a registered trademark of M. Mala Cunningham , Ph.D. and is used with exclusive permission)
- Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor
- MELT Method Certified Hand & Foot Instructor for neurofascial pain and stress relief
Cathy began her yoga practice by attending a free class at Sunrise Yoga in 2004. Over time, her interest grew from a once-weekly practice to enrollment in the Sunrise Yoga Teacher Training program.
She graduated from the Sunrise Yoga Teacher Training program and is registered with Yoga Alliance as an RYT 500.
Part of the 200-hour Sunrise Yoga Teacher Training faculty, Cathy believes that “slow-and-steady wins the race”, and that persistence and honest effort deliver remarkable results regardless of age and physical ability.
Yoga helps her stay fit, feel young, and maintain a sense of peace and well-being.
200-Hour Certified Yoga Teacher
Diann began practicing yoga regularly in 2003. Fitness and wellness have always been an important part of her life. Yoga added an additional aspect of wellness to her life. She found that yoga brought a calmness and balance to my life.
Her early yoga practice was developed in the gym. After retiring in 2015, Diann decided that she wanted to learn yoga more deeply and receive formal instruction for the poses. She enrolled and graduated from the 200-hour Teacher Training Program at Sunrise Yoga Studio in 2016. She did not think she would teach yoga, but she soon found out that she did enjoy assisting others with yoga. Diann teaches a weekly class at a fitness center and has started substituting as an instructor at SYS.
“I love being a Yogi and continue to grow in my yoga practice daily.”
500-Hour Certified Yoga Teacher
After joining a yoga class in 2007 at a gym director's urging, Elaine found the experience physically humbling yet unexpectedly calming. She decided to explore "this yoga thing" further!
Two years into her practice, she enrolled in the Sunrise Yoga Teacher Training Program and graduated as a 500-hour Certified Yoga Teacher. After completing the program, she pursued an additional 40 hours of training with Roger Cole in Restorative Yoga, which is currently her main teaching focus. She's now enrolled in the East Coast Yoga Therapy Training Program.
Elaine blends her experience and training to offer classes at Sunrise which are designed to allow the body and mind to let go.
500-Hour Certified Yoga Teacher
Ginny has been practicing yoga since 1995. In order to deepen her practice, she enrolled in the 200 Hour Teacher Training Program at Sunrise Yoga Studio in 2012.
While in the program, she realized she loved teaching yoga to others. She continued her training and obtained her 500-hour certificate.
She enjoys teaching all levels of yoga, with a special focus on helping students move into poses with modifications and proper alignment.
RYT 500, iRest Level 1 Teacher
Gwen began her yoga practice at home, and quickly realized that yoga would become a lasting part of her daily life. She feels yoga creates a balance between the body and mind which is calming and regenerative.
She entered the Sunrise Teacher Training program to deepen her knowledge so that she could share the joy and insight that yoga brings. She is now registered with the Yoga Alliance as an RYT 500 and is also an iRest ® Level 1 Teacher.
Gwen believes that practicing yoga allows a person to be fully present in the moment, something to which we can all aspire.
Jessie grew up outside Syracuse, NY and attended SUNY Cobleskill, Cornell University, and SUNY Delhi where she received degrees in Animal Science and Veterinary Technology. She's now a licensed and registered veterinary technician.
Shortly after starting her vet tech career, she began practicing yoga and has since graduated from the Sunrise Yoga Teacher Training program and registered with the Yoga Alliance as an RYT 500.
Jessie has found that yoga has benefited her in ways both expected and unexpected, which has inspired her to encourage others to begin and deepen their own yoga practice.
Karen became a student of yoga in 1999, eventually receiving her 330-hour yoga teacher training certificate from Triad Yoga Institute in 2004 and her 500-hour certificate from Triad Yoga’s Vidya program in 2008. She's registered with Yoga Alliance as an RYT 500. In January of 2017 she began East Coast Yoga Therapy's 815-hour yoga therapist certification program.
Karen’s personal experiences with scoliosis have taught her how yoga's emphasis on alignment and and strength can help reduce pain.
She's inspired by music and ancient traditions, so her flow classes often have playlists designed to bring students into balance and add a little peace to their lives.
Kim came to yoga hoping to improve range of motion after breast cancer treatments. While she gained physical flexibility and strength, the awareness and peace that she found with yoga encouraged her to deepen her practice.
She completed a 330-hour teacher training program at Triad Yoga Institute and began teaching in 2008. She graduated from the Sunrise Yoga Teacher Training program as a 500-hour Certified Yoga Teacher and is now a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500) with Yoga Alliance.
Kim believes that "anybody in any body" can benefit from yoga and she enjoys sharing the yoga experience.
Linda first fell in love with yoga at the age of 18 when she and her brother took a class at a community college in Brooklyn, NY.
Through the years she dabbled in yoga exploring the practice through books, videos and occasional classes. After having children and working full time, her practice was put on hold. She returned to the mat in 2016 after purchasing a certificate to Sunrise Yoga at a high school fundraiser.
Since then her love was rekindled and her practice has deepened. She is a graduate of the 200 hour teacher training program (RYT 200) and is currently enrolled in the 300 hour program. Yoga has brought balance, strength and flexibility to Linda’s life - physically, mentally and spiritually. She is eager to share her love of yoga and hopes to kindle that love in others as well.
Mary Ellen Tuohy
200-Hour Certified Yoga Teacher
Mary Ellen began practicing yoga 8 years ago after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Looking for a way to take back control of her life, she quickly discovered the benefits of yoga as a tool to manage stress, restore balance in daily living, and provide an avenue for self-reflection.
Eager to share her experience with others, Mary Ellen enrolled and successfully completed the 200-hour Teacher Training program at Sunrise Yoga Studio and is currently enrolled in the 300-hour program.
Mary Ellen believes in the transformative power of yoga and is excited to guide others in their own journey.
Level 2 Radiant Child Certified Instructor, 500-Hour Certified Yoga Teacher, Prenatal Yoga Certified
Sandra is a former triathlete, marathoner, and competitive cyclist who still enjoys running and cycling. She has found that yoga brings balance to her body and mind, as well as the ability to honor time for herself.
She is a Level 2 Radiant Child Certified Instructor and has completed the 330-hour teacher training program and 500-hour teacher training program at Triad Yoga Institute. She has also completed a prenatal yoga certification program.
Her particular interests are for sharing her love of yoga with kids and families.
Sandra says she teaches yoga because she wants to share the tremendous benefits yoga has to offer for the physical body and for the mind. She wants students to have fun and to enjoy the sense of community during her classes.
Tom started practicing yoga in 2012 as a way to stay active and more importantly, to help manage chronic back pain. After several years of yoga practice, Tom's back pain disappeared and he discovered even more benefits from his incorporation of yoga philosophy in his everyday life.
Tom graduated from Sunrise Yoga’s 200-hour teacher training program, is registered with Yoga Alliance as an RYT200, and is currently enrolled in the Sunrise 300-hour teacher training program.
He hopes to share his passion for yoga with others so that they can also experience the positive changes that regular practice can bring.
Amanda Moore is part of our receptionist team. She began as a student at Sunrise in November of 2018. She's a stay-at-home mom to two precious girls and an overly spoiled beagle-mix pup. She and her husband enjoy traveling, eating good food, DIY projects, live music and spending as much time in the mountains as possible!
Amanda graduated from East Carolina as a varsity letterman in swimming, with a bachelor's degree in Therapeutic Recreation. She has found great joy and excitement in being able to take time for herself throughout the week as she continues to deepen her yoga experience here at Sunrise.
She looks forward to introducing others to all this wonderful and welcoming studio has to offer!
Amber W. Eng
Amber is our Office Manager. She received her degree in Early Childhood Special Education (BK) from Western Carolina University and taught preschool special education in the North Carolina County Public Schools until 2015.
She loves the beach and the mountains, spending time with friends and family, writing and taking pictures of landscapes, especially sunrises and sunsets.
Amber began taking yoga classes at Sunrise Yoga in 2016. She says that yoga is an important part of her overall health and wellbeing, and has helped her live mindfully in the present and with a grateful heart.
Carol is a member of our receptionist team. She has a degree in criminology and is a volunteer wildlife rehabber, hiker, bibliophile, Netflix enthusiast and the proud parent of two poorly-behaved dogs.
While she has many passions, she says that her newest journey into yoga has been met with patience, support and enthusiasm from both instructors and fellow students.
Carol considers herself far from a "yoga natural” and is always happy to share her experiences with anyone feeling trepidation about taking that first step into a yoga class.