Teachers

Funke’s teaching staff

jennaJenna Zizzo

Professional Background:

I began my career after college working in PR and marketing, but quickly discovered that sitting at a desk behind a computer 40 hours a week was not how I wanted to earn a living! I had a strong desire to find a job that didn’t feel like “work,” and also do something that I was truly passionate about. After practicing yoga steadily for about five years, I decided to do a yoga teacher training program. I received my 200 hour teaching certification from the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in 2012, and I am currently working toward my 500 hour certification. While I still work in an office part-time, as well as moonlight as a freelance writer, I try to keep active by teaching and practicing as much as possible.

Personal Background:

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and after almost two decades of suffering through freezing, seemingly never-ending winters, I moved to Arizona to attend ASU, and have spent the better part of the last decade living in the Valley of the Sun. Growing up I studied ballet and modern dance, and soon after I began practicing yoga seriously, I realized that many of the poses are very similar to the stretches and movements I would do in dance class. This inspires me to incorporate some of my dance background into my teaching and personal practice.

Favorite part about teaching yoga:

I love being creative, whether it’s through the music I play during class or the sequences I develop. I also love when I see someone in class become a self-sufficient yogi by discovering a way to move their body into a pose that best works for them, and have that “ah-ha” moment in their practice.

What are you looking forward to at Funke Yoga?

The uniqueness of the studio and what it can bring to the yoga community in the Valley.

Favorite cross-training activity?

Ummm….I hope you don’t mean running? I hate running!

Favorite non-active activity?

Reading and writing.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I live in Mesa with my fiance Mike, and our adorable Chihuahua mix Harley.

 

yogabiopickerryKerry Burki

Professional Background:  

I had my first experience with yoga at Northern Arizona University in 1997. It was a semester-long class that focused on the basics. I had never felt as good as I did after my first class and I have been taking classes ever since! I became a Registered Yoga Teacher through the training at Global Yoga in Chicago in 2004 and have now taught over 1000 hours. I love to teach all levels and all ages including, Hatha, Vinyasa, Prenatal, Toddler, Family, Yin, Restorative and Partner yoga.

Personal Background: 

I am an Arizona native who grew up in Scottsdale. After getting my Bachelors in Religious Studies at NAU, I moved to Chicago. I had always wanted to live in a big city and I embraced every second. That is where I met my husband and started a family. I just moved back to the Valley in December of 2012 and am excited to get involved in my new community (starting with Funke Yoga!). I am also passionate about DIY and support creative entrepreneurs as the editor of the Handmade Success blog.

Favorite part about teaching yoga:

Helping people relax. I always love when people come up to me after class just amazed and happy about feeling so much better when they came to class. Even people who were skeptical about the practice or said they were having particularly bad day. Having the ability to change how we feel and to change our perspective by moving the body and using our breath is awesome!

What are you looking forward to at Funke Yoga? 

Meeting new people and teaching in my community!

Favorite cross-training activity? 

Playing with my two little boys! Also, bike riding and swimming.

Favorite non-active activity? 

Reading mysteries and DIY projects.

Anything else you’d like to add?

You can learn more about me, my workshops and get free yoga printables on my website: www.kerryburki.com.

 

Cynthia Emmons

Professional Background:

I’ve taught fitness classes (Aerobics to Zumba, Step to Spin, kickbox to strength) since I was a teenager – decades! While I’ve taken yoga classes all through the years, it hadn’t felt like my calling to lead, until recently. After several months of daily yoga classes, I had a breakthrough. Yoga was working when little else was. So I sought the most prestigious, non-dogmatic yoga teacher training and found White Lotus. While I finished my training recently, I do carry all those decades of teaching with me! I have taught fitness classes and led Camelback hikes for the last 20 years at the Phoenician and Camelback Village.

Personal Background:

I’m a native of Scottsdale, but an internationalist at heart. So I’ve enjoyed more than one big leap: to London, NYC, Aspen and an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. I’ve run a modeling center, owned a motorcycle shop and remodeled homes – keep the great leaps coming!

What’s your favorite part of teaching yoga?

My greatest yoga joy is showing a student how to fly that crow or balance a half moon when they think they aren’t there yet. A well placed block, a “floint” of the foot, a hip or hand to balance against, that’s what I bring to class.

Favorite cross-training activity?

Hiking to clear my mind, Spin to wring my muscles out.

Any final words?

Let’s demystify some of the misconceptions of yoga, the poses and the benefits. What’s the right angle in Warrior or Right Angle pose? What are the benefits of inversions or twists? Come practice with me!

 

Tree Pose.margie

Margie Parrish

Professional Background:

After 30 years as a professional broadcaster & manager at Sun Sounds of Arizona, the radio station for the blind I decided it was time for a new chapter. Yoga has always been one of my life long passions so in 2012 I attended Yoga Teacher Training and received my 200 certification at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts and 2013 received an additional 300hrs certificate from Yoga 4 Life at Urban Yoga. I have been teaching weekly yoga classes at LA Fitness valley wide and YMCA since 2012.

Personal Background:

I was born in NYC and spend my early childhood back east. In 1968 my family moved west to Arizona and I have fond memories growing up attending Coronado HS in Scottsdale and Phoenix College. As a young woman paying my way through college I had a lot of interesting jobs delivering newspapers, switchboard operator, and mental health worker at Arizona State Hospital.
I recently got married to my boyfriend of eight years, Scott Parrish and we have three furry kids, Rocket, a Jack Russell, Angel, a White Shepherd and Bart,a Queensland heeler mix.

Favorite part about teaching yoga:

I love helping people become more in tuned with their body, mind and breath. It is so satisfying to see the calming and centering effects of Yoga on my students after an hour practice.

What are you looking forward to at Funke Yoga:

Teaching smaller classes and using props, something I don’t have at LA Fitness?

Favorite Cross Training Activity:

Hiking and biking

Favorite non-active activity:

Photography, Reading, and Cooking

Anything else you’d like to add:

I strongly believe in giving back to the community and volunteer at the Heard Museum, teach Yoga at YMCA-Chris Town and read for the blind on Sun Sounds of Arizona.

 

PaigeYogaPaige Marie Reeves

Professional Background:

My yoga experience thus far has been a slow, gradual path of deepening interest. From my first exposure through private classes in Lima (Peru), to studies under a Master Yogi in Thailand, to learning varied traditions in India and Spain, I was first inspired to teach after taking classes in Oaxaca, Mexico. I then rounded out this eclectic background with solid “American-style” yoga studies in a teacher training program in Phoenix (InnerVision Yoga-RYT 200®) and a specialized teacher training in Yoga Therapy (Martin Kirk).

Personal Background:

My passion has always been global living, savoring different cultures and languages, and constantly observing that there is no “one right way” to be in this richly diverse world. I moved to Madrid after university, and for the next 17 years lived in Spain, France, Peru and a bit of Asia. I have been a Spanish-English translator for 15 years, playing with the sounds and meanings of words. In January 2013, I moved to Phoenix to be near family, where I am enjoying becoming a part of the local community.

Favorite part about teaching yoga:

I believe that yoga and its myriad benefits transcend age, physique and experience: anyone, anywhere, can do yoga. I love showing students that there is no one single way of “doing” yoga, and that it can be any movement that encourages mindfulness, a good range of motion of joints and muscles, and optimal blood and energy flow. It can be fun, upbeat and invigorating or slow, steady and relaxing. But most importantly, I want to teach students how to move their bodies safely, with proper care for their unique anatomical structure, so that yoga can be a life-time, injury-free activity.

What are you looking forward to at Funke Yoga?

I am thrilled to be joining the Funke Yoga community, guiding the Friday evening Therapeutic De-Stress class (5:45 pm – 6:45 pm). The intimate and friendly feel of the Funke Yoga studio creates a safe space for a yoga practice: no competition, no pretension….just some time to put the demands of our hectic lives aside long enough to take good care of our bodies and our minds. I am also looking forward to meeting the members of this community!

Anything else you’d like to add?

I am inspired by the idea of extending the practice and benefits of yoga beyond the socio-economic groups in which it has generally fallen in the first world. Since moving to Phoenix, I have been running “YogaVida” classes, teaching yoga in Spanish to members of the Hispanic immigrant community in downtown Phoenix (a population suffering from high stress, uprootedness, financial and legal worries, etc.). More information on this project can be found on my website www.rootsofsantosha.com – check it out if yoga in Spanish sounds interesting to you!

 

imagedaniDanielle Gardner  (currently on sabbatical)

Professional Background:

My yoga journey has been long and diverse, beginning at Paradise Valley Community College in a gentle yoga course; from there I was lead to Zenergy Yoga to become a full time studio manager.  This position enhanced my desire to understand this practice deeper, pushing me to pursue nearly 1,000 hours of certifications.  Since then I have been a studio owner, had the privilege becoming an instructor for Maricopa County and am honored to be calling Funke Yoga my next step!

What’s your favorite style of yoga to practice, and what kinds of classes do you look forward to teaching at Funke Yoga?

Currently I have changed my personal practice of yoga, after a long battle with Hindu philosophy filled classes, I’ve created my own physical practice of yoga divorced of the current Guru mentality of most.  Due to my experience with Yoga therapy I have woven yoga rehabilitation into a group class setting.  Allowing students to experience all the physical and mental benefits of yoga without the need to chant or submit to a religious belief.

Funke Yoga is exactly what the Western world is missing out on, using modern teaching create a fitness routine which forms the body into a fine tuned instrument.  While removing the alien ethos, yoga becomes a form of gentle exercise and not a meditation of spiritual realms.

Favorite cross-training activity?

Rock climbing!!

Any final words?

Let’s get Funke Fit and Flowing!