Meet the Yoga Teachers

Susan C Jackson, Director of Teacher TrainingSusan C Jackson:  E-RYT 500, BS, Director of Teacher Training

Susan began her Yoga journey in 2000 after taking a course in Eastern Culture and Philosophy at Bradley University where she also studied Elementary Education.  Susan completed her 200 hour Teacher Training in 2006 with Jimmy Barkan and Lisa Goodwin, and her 500 hour training in 2012 with Stephanie Keach, among others, at Asheville Yoga Center.  Since finding her yoga path, Susan cultivates a deep interest in living her yoga beyond the mat.  Her mission is to encourage, empower, and support each student to do the same.  Susan is the director of InnerLight Yoga School and currently continues her studies in a variety of settings.  She is greatly influenced by teachers such as David H Wagner, Angela Farmer, and Sally Kempton.

Off the mat Susan enjoys traveling as well as spending plenty of quality time with her husband Rob, their son Parker, and (of course) their two Boxers.  She loves the outdoors and any type of great adventure.   Her driving belief: “We all have the potential to shine!”

Phyllis Adams: E-RYT 200, BSW

Phyllis graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work.  Her natural gift for working with people is present in each and every one of her classes.  She possesses dedicated skills as a compassionate and motivating teacher who encourages students to be true to their own true nature.  Each interaction with Phyllis, both on and off the mat, comes from a very loving and nurturing place and her heart inspired classes are nothing short of inspirational.  For over 17 years of teaching both yoga and fitness classes, Phyllis has continued her studies with many gifted teachers such as: Shiva Rea, Sommer & Paul Sobin, Lila Brown, John Friend, Seane Corn, Rod Stryker, David Swensen, Tim Miller, Betsy Downing, Desiree Rumbaugh, and many more.  Her loving and nurturing character inspires and reminds her students, that there is so much more to practice than what meets the eye.

AlysonAlyson Colwell-Waber: E-RYT 200

Alyson is a professional dancer, educator, and passionate yoga practitioner.  She holds a BS in Physical Education & Dance Education and a MFA in Dance.  Alyson founded the dance program at Meredith College where she teaches dance technique, functional anatomy, mind-body integration, and yoga.  She is trained in the EmbodiYoga teacher training method led by Lisa Clark, David Beadle, and Gauri Johnson.  EmbodiYoga merges the Iyengar tradition with an understanding of movement development and functional anatomy.  With this as her foundation, Alyson has developed her approach to teaching yoga that integrates breath, supportive alignment, extension, the joy of movement, and an appreciation for the unique body wisdom we all have.  Her aim is to create a class environment where students can explore, deepen, and expand on what they love about yoga.

Melinda Thomas Hansen

Melinda Thomas Hansen: E-RYT 200, RYT 500

Melinda has always had a passion for physical movement as an expression of Spirit. She began exploring yoga for its meditative and movement qualities in high school and dabbled with various books and videos until finding her calling as yoga teacher while on retreat at an art center in Vermont. She dedicated her studies to the Anusara path from 2005 – 2012, graduated from her 200hr teacher training with Lila Brown, Sommer and Paul Sobin in 2008 and received her 500 hour teacher designation as extension of the in depth training in teaching and therapeutics she completed while working towards Anusara Certification. Melinda was an Anusara Inspired teacher from 2009 – 2012.

Melinda continues to study yoga as a transformational way of life. She draws inspiration from Elena BrowerNoah Maze, Desiree Rumbaugh, and Michael Johnson. In addition Melinda completed a course in Living Ayurveda with Cate Stillman and is grateful to weave the accessible, practical and healing principles of this ancient system of wellbeing with the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the yoga practice.

In class Melinda brings a soulful blend of practicality, humor and poetry to her heart-centered approach to Hatha yoga. “Practicing the life-affirming principles of yoga transformed my daily experience from one of physical illness and depression to vibrancy and health. I love empowering students to live from the heart by stepping into embodiment as a gift & loving the life you are given. This is not a ‘pie in the sky’ philosophy, but a skillful way to engage all aspects of life – including your failures, hurts and fears – and turn them into opportunities that affirm a beautiful and authentic version of yourself.” Her yoga classes focus on combining physical alignment, hands-on adjustments, and an inspiring theme. “I think asana is most powerful when done as a moving meditation that connects body, mind and heart. I can’t wait to support you on this journey!” Melinda also offers online classes and retreats to further guide and support students in their holistic practice. For more inspiration on yoga, wellness and spirituality please visit her website at

Rachel Manetti

Rachel Manetti: RYT 200

Rachel spent over 3 weeks during the summer of 2011 immersed in the study of teaching yoga with Asheville Yoga Center (AYC).  She graduated from the program with her RYT200 certification and subsequently obtained Prenatal, Yin, and Advance Vinyasa certificates from AYC.  She has studied with a range of teachers including Stephanie Keach, Shala Worsley, Michael Johnson, and Angela Farmer.  Rachel empowers her students to honestly assess their own current strengths and challenges in order to move intentionally throughout their practice.  In completing over 100 hours of combined remote and in-person study with Susi Hately out of Calgary, a master therapeutic yoga teacher, she recognizes the hidden ability in each of us to move with ease instead of strain.  Rachel’s therapeutic yoga teachings are woven into all of her classes and offered exclusively in small group therapeutic yoga classes and private therapeutic yoga sessions. For more information on therapeutic yoga with Rachel, please visit Pure Resilience Yoga.

Reuben Schooler

Reuben Schooler: E-RYT 200, LMBT- NC License 7808

Reuben discovered his innate desire and ability as a healer through the spiritual science of yoga.  Since that time, Reuben has devoted himself to the study and practice of radiant health and well-being.  As a young adult Reuben was an active runner, rugby player, and beach volleyball player. Later, Reuben turned to the practice of yoga postures to heal his body and mind from the stress that had manifested as various chronic dis-ease conditions.  In 2001, Reuben became a certified personal trainer with NETA and after several years of yoga practice, Reuben became a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance in 2004.  In 2005, he met his mentor and teacher, Dr. Samuel Sasu of Ghana (West Africa).  Studying Ayurveda with Dr. Sasu led Reuben to become a licensed massage therapist in early 2008. Reuben is licensed to practice bodywork in North Carolina and is certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.  Reuben earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Duke University where he was a Reginaldo Howard Scholar.  As well as continuing to enjoy a successful career in the Information Technology industry, Reuben has traveled extensively in North and South America, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and South East Asia and is grateful for the opportunity to bring a world of experience to his offerings as a holistic healer, Ayurveda practitioner, bodyworker, and yoga teacher.  Reuben has devoted himself to the study and practice of radiant health and well-being in order to help others and is a willing and able contributor in the field of integrative medicine.