Meet our experienced staff
Our certified instructors are passionate about our number one goal: to guide and challenge you along your path to discovery and positive change. Whether you're in search of an experienced yoga, pilates, or HIIT instructor, The Foundry is fortunate to have some of Phoenix's best.
Take a moment and get to know these amazing individuals a little better.
Her greatest joy is helping people discover their strength and supporting them to be their best. She is passionate about yoga and transformation. When she was in middle school her parents dragged her, kicking and screaming, into her first Bikram Yoga class. She has been sweating in a hot room ever since. She is a certified Bikram Yoga Teacher, faculty for Open Hands Institute and Raja Yoga Academy Teacher Trainings, and the Founder of OHM School Teacher Training.
She has been a facilitator for transformational work since she was 18. She started at the Omega Vector, a free self-knowledge program founded by George Addair and later became a Hero's Challenge Workshop leader, certified by Alison Armstrong through the PAX Mastery Program.
OPERATIONS MANAGER, TEACHER
Todd Deacon is head of operations at BYAZ. His greatest joy is being part of a community that is collectively moving toward a more enlightened world. When he was just 15 he took his first Bikram Yoga class, but it was almost 20 years later that it changed his life forever. After years of chronic back pain from playing professional golf, his sister Nicole encouraged him see if a regular yoga practice would help. In just six month he lost over 40 lbs and has transformed his back completely.
In his fourth year of practicing consistently, Todd has competed in both the USA Yoga Asana Regional and National Championship, placing first in the 2016 Arizona Regional event. He graduated in the inaugural OHM School Teacher Training and received his 200 Hour RYA Certification in December 2015. He is also a certified Pilates & Hot HIIT teacher.
DIRECTOR, TEACHER, and RETAIL MANAGER
"I am forever inspired to lead people through this series that allowed me to heal."
Bikram Yoga began for Niki after a devastating loss. For her, the yoga room started as a mental escape, a place where she could mentally and emotionally let go of everything else that was going on in her life. "I don't actually remember physically learning any of the postures, but I do remember the mental and emotional breakdowns and breakthroughs that I went through during my first months of practicing Bikram Yoga. I know that people, just like me, use this yoga to heal themselves, physically, mentally and emotionally. I am forever grateful for how Bikram Yoga has changed my life and I will share the beautiful gift of Bikram Yoga to everyone willing and ready to experience it!"
Niki was born and raised here in sunny Arizona! After graduating from ASU in August of 2008 she left for Acapulco, Mexico for Bikram's Teacher Training! Niki graduated in November of 2008, and has been teaching full-time ever since. Niki studied Pregnancy Yoga (Pre & Post Natal) with Rajashree Choudhury at The Kripalu Institute in 2011. She has served on the faculty for OHM Yoga School since its inception in 2015, where she also earned her RYT 200 with Yoga Alliance.
PARADISE VALLEY STUDIO MANAGER, TEACHER, and DIRECTOR OF TEACHER DEVELOPMENT
Heidi-Jo began her journey to yoga on the road to recovery from a debilitating eating disorder and bouts of depression and destructive behavior, as well as lower back pain as a result of scoliosis and poor posture. After searching so long for a place to feel safe and comfortable "in her own skin", it was in front of a mirror, in a room full of strangers, sweating her face off and pushing herself to her limits that she finally came to accept and even love herself — and experienced relief from back pain and scoliosis entirely. This turned the course of her life from destructive, to constructive. Heidi-Jo started working at BYAZ in 2004, and in 2008 she attended Bikram's Teacher Training program, in Acapulco, Mexico. Heidi-Jo is also a 200-Level RYT, and serves on the faculty at the OHM Yoga School. She is also a certified Hot Pilates and Hot HIIT teacher.
OLD TOWN SCOTTSDALE STUDIO MANAGER, TEACHER, and NUTRITION COACH
I am not a naturally flexible person, I have to work hard at it, and Yoga has made me the most flexible I have ever been. It has also given me strength that I didn't know I had. I also really love the mental challenge it presents. There is a lot of focus and concentration that this series requires so I feel like I am growing stronger both physically and mentally.
I went to Arizona State University and earned my Bachelor's degree in Nutrition with a concentration in Human Nutrition. I went on to graduate from Bikram’s Yoga Teacher Training in the fall of 2013. I recently attended Inferno Hot Pilates Training in 2017 which has led me to a new passion... teaching the Hot HIIT class - I LOVE IT!!! Having my nutrition background and being able to practice, teach, and still learn Bikram Yoga gives me a healthy, happy, and balanced lifestyle.
TEMPE STUDIO MANAGER and TEACHER
Since Megan began her practice back in 2004, Bikram Yoga has carried her through many different seasons of life. Originally, it helped her to overcome years of eating disorders and depression. Megan has always used Bikram Yoga to stay in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Bikram Yoga supported her through two pregnancies and helped her to have healthy homebirths. Today, as a busy homeschooling mom of two, Bikram Yoga provides an outlet and community for her outside of the home. Practicing yoga provides her with mental clarity, which helps her to balance all of her daily responsibilities.
Megan attended Bikram Yoga teacher training in Los Angeles in 2006. She was one of the owners of Bikram Yoga Rio Salado, and she continues to act as manager the Tempe/Rio Salado studio.
"I love the way Bikram yoga makes me feel. The energy you gain is priceless!", Terri says. "Watching our students grow and experience amazing changes makes me feel good." Terri took her first class in 2004. As a hiker, a runner, and someone up for a challenge, Terri was initially surprised by the intensity of the workout.
After practicing for three years and waiting for her teenaged kids to get a little older, Terri decided it was time to attend teacher training. She spent nine long weeks in Honolulu at Bikram's Teacher Training and received her certificate in June 2007.
My yoga journey began in 1970. I practiced hatha yoga and meditation on and off over the years and in 2001 I found Bikram Yoga. The first 60 day challenge that I did about 6 six years ago absolutely changed my practice and it also changed my life.
I became a teacher in November 2012 at 70 years old. I am a different person now than I was when I started the yoga. I do not take any medications. I have no chronic illness that plague me, in fact I hardly ever get sick. I am physically strong, emotionally stable and experience a deep sense of spirituality and appreciation for my life. I know that if I can stay in the room on my mat and do my yoga, I can do anything that I put my mind and heart to. Since turning 70, I have attended 4 different trainings, Bikram Yoga Teacher Training, OHM School 200-Hour RYT, Inferno Hot Pilates, and OHM Pilates Training. Nothing can stop me!!!
HOT PILATES & HOT HIIT TEACHER
Julie is an experienced and energetic health and wellness professional. Having been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for over twenty years, Julie's versatile background is what makes her a well-rounded Pilates instructor. Since obtaining her bachelor's in Exercise Physiology from the University of San Francisco and her Master's in Exercise in Wellness from Arizona State University, Julie has had the opportunity to bring her expertise to various fields of health and wellness including rehabilitation and physical therapy, fitness club management, and wellness program coordinating. She continues to inspire others to meet their professional fitness and wellness endeavors as an adjunct faculty for Paradise Community College, University of Phoenix, and Bryan University. To add even more to her repertoire, Julie attended the Inferno Hot Pilates Teacher Training in 2016. She is the lead instructor for the OHM School Pilates & Hot HIIT Teacher Training.
While diverse in her own education, Julie's passion is with Pilates and the principles that Joseph Pilates created. "Physical Fitness is the first requisite of happiness" is the opening statement in Pilates' writings on Contrology. Julie believes that a fit body contributes to a sound mind. Being able to perform movement with intention while improving one's own strength and flexibility is at the core of each workout. Julie is committed to optimizing all clients to the best of their abilities through Pilates!
On a personal note, Julie lives in Phoenix with her husband and three children. While life may be busy managing the daily family operations, she enjoys hiking, cooking, writing and has been a Bikram yoga practitioner for five years.
My first Bikram class was in the Spring of 2013, one week before my 42nd birthday. It was the deepest, physical meditation I had ever experienced. My typical multi-tasking, "monkey-mind" was focused only on me; my breath, my body. I was present, in the moment and I was hooked. No matter how drained I felt after Dental Assisting, I always felt better after taking a class - physically, mentally and emotionally. So, I jumped at the opportunity to become a Karma Cleaner, in order to continue my practice for trade.
After 2 years of practice, and thanks to my supportive husband, I've changed careers after 18 years. I graduated from two different Yoga Teacher Training programs and earned my 200-Hour RYT from each one. Being a part of the first graduating class of OHM Yoga School in December of 2015 allowed me to come full circle and teach at the studio that changed my life, in Old Town Scottsdale. Recently, I have had the pleasure of teaching the kid's club at the Paradise Valley location as well. I know that each day I am a better person than I was yesterday, thanks to my yoga practice. I am grateful to pay that forward with each class I teach. See you on the mat!
As a stay at home mom of three for almost 10 years, I was ready to find and get to know Gwen again. On a trip to the library with the kids, I grabbed a couple books off the shelf. One of them turned out to be Bikram's orange book. I read it, and began to teach myself the postures on our patio that summer. That (almost) daily practice got me through a very anxious time in my life. I have a lot of joint problems, and I noticed that they didn't hurt as much as when I had tried other forms of exercise. I felt so much stronger and noticed my body shaping up in a way I had never seen before!
I knew I wanted to practice at a real Bikram studio, so when an opportunity arose, I took it! After my first class, I remember feeling like this is what I was meant to do!
I began to reap the benefits of not only better physical health, but also a calm mind. I knew I wanted to become a teacher...someday...to help others feel the same benefits...however being away for an extended period of time was not an option. When OHM School announced teacher training, a path opened for me. Someday was NOW! I am honored and humbled to be part of this yoga family, and look forward to growing with you!
"Gratitude changes what you have into enough."