Roots & River Instructors

Machelle Lee, MA, E-RYT 200, RYT-500, CMT, YACEP, Roots & River Founder and Yoga Instructor

Machelle has 25 years of experience as a yoga teacher, massage therapist, and childbirth educator. She holds a Masters Degree in mythology and depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and recently completed a 500 hour advanced yoga teacher training in yoga psychology.  Machelle leads therapeutic movement through Vinyasa Yoga and Yin Yoga in a way that weaves together yogic teachings with modern scientific research on tissue rehabilitation, traditional medicines, and psychology. This approach to the whole person aids one in feeling and understanding the bodymind connection both somatically and intellectually. Specializing in the health and rehabilitation of fascia, connective tissues, and joints, Machelle is committed to serving students in a way that best fits their unique abilities and anatomic structure.  Machelle combines storytelling, archetypes, poetry, neuroscience, psychology, and Five Element Meridian Theory across a variety of yoga styles in a way that is always aimed at facilitating a creative and grounded approach to self-development for each participant. 


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Ruthie Campbell, RYT 500 - Yoga Instructor

Ruthie is certified in Prana Flow affiliate training and studied with Maria Garre, Shiva Rea, Dr. Vasant Lad, Radhe, Lorin and Camille Roche. In addition, she has advanced training in Yin Yoga and continues to study Ayurveda and yoga therapy. Ruthie is a lifelong yoga student and practitioner and believes that a sustained yoga practice, including asanas, pranayama and meditation, can help one to live a life of peace and contentment while maintaining a healthy, strong body.


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Sierra Carlson, RYT-200, LGSW - Yoga Instructor

Sierra took her first yoga class during college and vowed that she would never try it again. Luckily, she ended up taking a college course that incorporated yoga and acting, thus beginning her life-long love affair with yoga. Sierra lived in India and studied yoga in 2014, where she decided to become a yoga instructor. She completed her training at Blue Heron Wellness in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her mission is to provide yoga to populations that may never step foot in a yoga studio. Sierra is a mental health therapist and uses yoga in her work with underprivileged high school students and trauma survivors. She uses yoga in both group and individual mental health therapy. Self-love can be very difficult to develop, but Sierra tries to help her students find appreciation for the divinity within. Her classes provide a safe and fun environment to explore and make accessible each of the eight limbs of yoga. She enjoys sharing a wide variety of practices with her students, ranging from dynamic vinyasa practices to restorative yin practices. 


Lika Elwood, E-RYT 200 - Yoga Instructor

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Lika was drawn to yoga as a way to maintain flexibility and strength after years of ballet and modern dance. At first she felt intimated by yoga's spiritual and scholastic history, but quickly discovered the gifts that yoga offers towards a balanced, compassionate, and meaningful approach to life. This led her to study at Flow Yoga Center in Washington DC where she earn her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training certification. Lika leads creatively sequenced classes focused on maintaining an accessible, non-competitive, and safe space where students can explore their practice while challenging themselves, regardless of their previous experience. Lika incorporates guided meditation, pranayama (breath work), and aromatherapy. She always encourages her students to find one breath at a time and, ultimately, to be their own teachers.


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Alison Kennedy, RYT-200 - Little Om Yoga Instructor

Alison is a warm, compassionate, and playfully engaging teacher with 17 years of professional experience in childhood development.  Certified in Child Light Yoga, Alison also holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and enjoys incorporating her love of yoga into her daily interactions with all the special kids in her life. 


Kim Klemencic, RYT-200 - Yoga Instructor

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As a student of life, Kim has always been fascinated with exploring new avenues for greater health, awareness and spirituality.  Her journey with yoga and meditation began 17 years ago with a home practice while raising her two boys.  Her sons are grown now and she’s found that sharing her practice in a supportive, inspiring community like the one at Roots & River Studio has deepened her experience in unexpected ways.  Kim completed the Sol Yoga RYT-200 Teacher Training in 2016 and was certified as a Trauma Informed yoga instructor through Yogamour in 2017.  Kim has a passion for sharing the joy, inner peace and strength that can be achieved through a regular yoga practice.  She enjoys creating a welcoming and supportive environment for her students to grow and explore.  


Amy Rider, Yoga Sculpt Instructor

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Aimee is a resident of Brunswick but discovered yoga sculpt while living in DC.  The practice resonated so deeply with her, she went through specific Yoga Sculpt teacher-training in the summer of 2015 and has been teaching ever since.  Aimee also works for the Army as an attorney and spends her free time cooking, exercising and traveling. 



Roots & River Sub Teachers

Stephen Bascietto, RYT-200 - Yoga Instructor

Stephen shines his light on chasing passions, growing a small business and spending time with the people he loves. Autumn 2014 brought a consistent asana practice into his life in the form of a two week class pass when The Happy Yogi first opened its door in Fulton Maryland. His reverent curiosity for the very real and noticeable benefits of yoga eventually brought him to completing his RYT-200 with Blue Heron Wellness Summer 2016. As an instructor he believes quality alignment is the foundation for yogis and yoginies to reach their fullest potential and hopes to offer a rejuvenating class from an authentic and unique perspective.


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Danica Binkley, RYT-200 - Yoga Instructor

Danica is a trauma-informed yoga teacher who approaches her instruction with compassion and lovingkindness, fostering a nurturing, non-judgmental environment of openness and acceptance in all of her classes.  Experienced in the teaching of meditation, vinyasa (flow) yoga, gentle yoga, yin yoga, restorative yoga, and open-to-all yoga, she most enjoys teaching gentle, calming styles yoga for healing and stress-relief, with special emphasis on the breath, mudra, and diverse meditative practices.  In addition to completing her RYT200 holistic yoga teacher training at Pure Prana Yoga Studio in Alexandria, VA, in 2009, she completed specialized yoga teacher training with Anodea Judith, PhD, at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. That training focused on utilizing the chakra system to attain radiant health and wellness, higher consciousness, and connection to our greatest good. Danica has also trained in restorative yoga with Judith Hanson Lasater, and studied yin yoga under Biff Mithoefer. She has completed a number of trauma-focused teacher trainings, including “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” with Bessel van der Kolk and “Surviving Trauma: Yoga Therapy for Early Complementary Intervention Following Assault or Trauma” with Diana Tokaji.


Kellee Martin RYT-200 - Yoga Instructor

Kellee discovered yoga in 2002 and it supported her in stress release and physical recovery from an injury. As a #yogasponge, Kellee soaks up as much yoga experience as she can and has sought out advanced training and certification in Yin Yoga, Trauma Informed Yoga, and Reiki energy work.  She is currently expanding her studies into yoga as part of addiction recovery and guide others to discover the benefits of a regular practice. Kellee leads classes in a way that provides students the opportunity for stillness and reflections within the vitality that comes from flow based movements. With her light and playful humor, Kellee hopes for students to leave the yoga practice feeling grounded, tension-free and tuned into themselves. 


Benita Mayo RYT 200 – Yoga Instructor

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In 2006, during one of many diet & exercise endeavors, Benita was introduced to yoga by her personal trainer.  She was drawn to yoga for the physical benefits and didn't expect it would completely transform her life. She completed her Yoga Teacher training at Sol Yoga in Frederick MD and has additional certifications in Trauma Informed Yoga and Yoga for All.  Benita is passionate about holistic health, wellness and life balance; and strives to make yoga accessible to every-BODY. Benita uses her experience as both a larger-bodied yoga student and teacher to partner with her students to make classes welcoming and inclusive. Benita is a native of Virginia and received her BA from the University of Virginia. Benita is a Fine Art Photographer, enjoys traveling and riding her bicycle on the many Virginia trails.  Benita teaches Slow Flow, Gentle and Yin. 


Stacey Swierzbinski RYT 200 - Yoga Instructor 

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Stacey's yoga journey began in 2009 after a long struggle with depression and anxiety. Stacey was looking for ways to help with these issues and came across an article how yoga can help and decided to give it a try. Immediately fell in love with the practice, Stacey continued to attend weekly classes. In 2012, she decided to take the Blue Heron Wellness 200 hour yoga teaching training in Silver Spring to deepen her personal practice and played with the idea of teaching. After graduating she began teaching a small group of friends and slowly found the confidence to continue teaching adding additional classes along the way. In addition to the 200 hour YTT Stacey completed 30 hours in Kundalini yoga at Sky House Yoga in Silver Spring and 25 hours in Yin Yoga under Machelle Lee. Stacey's teaching style includes meditation, slow flow, building strength, Yin Yoga, and finding ease while holding and breathing in the postures. Stacey is the owner of Branches of Yoga in Sykesville, MD as is currently working towards her 300 hour advanced yoga teacher training at The Yoga Center of Columbia under the direction of Bita Jenkins. 

Hetta Welch, RYT-200 - Yoga Instructor

Hetta teaches graceful vinyasa flow, weaving breath and spirit into each movement. As a music lover, she incorporates the energy and inspiration of great music into the Flow. Hetta was instantly drawn to the great sense of inner peace achieved through yoga; she completed her 200 hour teacher training through YogaWorks in Costa Mesa, CA so that she could learn to bring the amazing gifts of yoga to others. To Hetta, yoga is more than just a practice on the mat, it is a way of life. She credits the transformational powers of yoga — emotional, spiritual and physical – with changing her own life for the better.