Meet Our Instructors

Amanda Hansell, RYT-200, was a Character Performer at Disney World from 1990-2000. After leaving she searched for relief from injuries that had accrued during her performing, and in 2002 she was introduced to Anusara Yoga. It was love at first Down Dog! Amanda became a dedicated student at GOH and she went on to complete the Anusara Teacher Training Program with Betsey Downing and Jaye Martin in 2007. She has been teaching since August 2006 and teaches with a natural enthusiasm and a zest for life.

Cheryl Chaffee, E-RYT®500, YACEP®, was first certified in TriYoga Basics in 2005 before undertaking her studies with Betsey Downing and Jaye Martin at the Garden of the Heart Yoga Center. Cheryl completed the 200 hour YTT in Sarasota in 2007, and was Certified in Anusara Yoga at the RYT-500 level in 2010. She has studied with highly qualified teachers including John Friend, Amy Ippoliti, Todd Norian, Desiree Rumbaugh, Douglas Brooks, and Bill Mahony. She completed Yoga Therapy training with Martin Kirk in Arizona in 2010. In 2013, Cheryl did additional training in Warriors at Ease, an advanced training for yoga teachers who want to work with Veterans and Military Service members, as well as training in Connected Warriors, and in 2015 co-founded the Karma Yoga Outreach program, a non-profit organization which brings accessible yoga to veterans and other special populations. She holds certificates in Karma Kids Yoga and Every Kid’s Yoga, and has taught yoga to kids from toddlers to teens. Cheryl enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities, and always looks for the beauty in students’ poses and hearts. Cheryl is currently studying Ashaya Yoga® with her teacher Todd Norian, and is a certified, licensed Ashaya Yoga® instructor and teacher trainer.

Cindy Turner, RYT-500, a Certified Anusara™ instructor, began teaching yoga, aerobics and personal training in 1998 at Sarasota health clubs. She studied many yoga styles, but wanted a style that expressed her life philosophy. On a recommendation, she attended a workshop by Betsey Downing and the rest is history. Cindy completed the YTT Program at Garden of the Heart, and has studied with John Friend and other senior Anusara teachers. Cindy has two bright, talented teenagers and two mischievous dogs.

Gillian Whatmore, RYT-200, approaches each class like a mini workshop. In class students ‘take apart’ the asana, engage the ‘building blocks’ of the body and put it all back together feeling lighter, brighter and stronger. Her classes are appropriate for all ages and body types – students learn from what each brings to the class as an individual. Gillian’s vinyasa approach can help students explore “old” poses in new ways, move towards advanced variations, and be more mindful of transitions as well as the individual postures.

Heather Tweed, BSN, MLIS, RYT-200, studied yoga at Garden of the Heart Yoga Studio with Cheryl Chaffee, Jaye Martin, and Betsy Downing. She has been practicing yoga for over ten years, and teaching for about five years. She brings a playful spirit to all her classes. Heather currently works as a youth librarian, and also has a background in rehabilitation nursing, so she strives to include awareness of alignment and some anatomy facts into classes while keeping them light and fun.

Eva Saunders is a longtime practitioner of Hatha Yoga. She began teaching in 1969 in Illinois and later taught in Maine. Locally, she studied with Babe Weiller, (who was in her 90’s), and began teaching in Sarasota in 1998. Eva met Jaye Martin and followed him to the Garden of the Heart where she was introduced to Anusara Yoga and met John Friend, and where she fell in love with the Tantric Anusara philosophy. Eva is currently in the Teacher Training Program with Betsey Downing, Jaye Martin and Rita Knorr, and she loves to share her passion for yoga with people of all ages.

Harmony Ananda Joyce, RYT-500, has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 25 years. She is a 500 hour certified teacher through Yoga Alliance, and also certified in TriYoga as taught by Kali Ray, Kripalu Yoga as taught by Yogi Amrit Desai, Transcendental Meditation as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yoga and Laughter Yoga as taught by Dr. Madan Kataria. She specializes in Flow Yoga, integrating all 8 limbs of yoga in every class. She has taught yoga in the Sarasota area for over 15 years.

Maureen Willams-Gillum, RYT-200, RNC,OB, EFM. Maureen (“Mo”) began her yoga practices in 1975. It was the same year that she graduated from nursing school. She made her first trip to India in 1976, where she met her husband Steve. They both studied with Swami Laxmanjoo, a master in the line of Kashmir Shaivites. On that first trip to India ,she also met her current teacher, Dr. V.G. Kulkarni , a great Tantric master, with whom she continues her studies today. She went on to teach Yoga for the American Yoga Association in the 80’s and 90’s, all the while working as a labor and delivery nurse, where she became certified in High Risk Obstetrics and Fetal Surveillance. Yoga and Obstetrics have both been her life’s work and passion since then. Mo will show you how you can weave your Yoga practice into your pregnancy to fully appreciate this most auspicious time in your life!

Randall Buskirk, RYT-200, an Anusara-Inspired™ instructor, grew up in Kentucky, where he took a T’ai Chi class at the age of 14. He forgot most of what he’d learned except for the phrase “embrace the tiger and return to the mountain,” not really knowing what it meant. When he discovered yoga in 2003, he felt as if he were again back on the mountain. Randall has taken workshops with John Friend, Todd Norian and Ann Green, Sianna Sherman, Desiree Rumbaugh, and Douglas Brooks. Randall has completed the GOH Teacher Training Program. Despite a degree in English, he still enjoys reading, and despite no trace of a southern accent, still hopes to write a hit country song someday.

Stephen Gillum has studied and practiced meditation for more than thirty-five years, a calling that grew out of his initial training as a yoga instructor. His mentors included Swami Lakshman Joo, then the world’s leading authority on Kashmir Shaivism; Dr. V. G. Kulkarni, with whom he studied mantra and meditation; and Shunryu Suzuki and Edio Shimano, from whom he learned Zen meditation. He is certified to instruct mantric meditation, but has developed his own non-theistic style that fuses Eckhart Tolle, Zen, and yoga, with the focus on relaxing and observing the mind.