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Meet Our Teachers

Hi, I’m Kaly, and I came into the practice of yoga when I was in my early college years and living with a gorgeous roommate. She did yoga. As a tall, fat, socially-awkward girl I was CONVINCED that pretty people did yoga, so if I did yoga then I’d be pretty. I went to a class at a gym and sweated and cursed my way through an hour, and for some reason I went back the next day. I started doing yoga at home, following videos of people with waists as big as one of my legs, but doing my best. In 2012 I took myself to a yoga retreat in Costa Rica, where I was surrounded by those same people I saw on the videos. The instructor - a German woman in her early 60’s - was equal parts drill-sergeant and your neighbor’s hippy aunt. One day it rained, A LOT. I trudged up the muddy road from my hostel to the open-air pavilion where class was held and there was nobody there but the teacher. “Is class cancelled?” I asked. “Not for you!” she said. She had me place my mat directly in front of her, sat down, looked at me, and said “You think you cannot do this.” 

 

And she was right.  I was convinced at this point that I was a failure. I wasn’t pretty, and I was definitely still fat. I told her this, and she laughed. 

 

“You have been here for two weeks. You have already done it. You must keep doing. You are the only one who smiles in savasana. This is the yoga.”  

 

This has become my ultimate yoga philosophy. I had never felt like I “had a practice," but by then I’d been practicing for years - yoga had been busily changing my inside for years while I dumbly looked only at my outside. Yoga is not a single class, it is a continuum of practice, one hour after another, and that is where the magic happens. When you come to my classes, I help you build on the practice you have to deepen both your physical and mental strength - this might mean learning to breathe through a challenge, working with an injury, training for recovery, or just wanting to feel awesome floating up into a headstand. I can help you fit the practice of yoga into other training plans that you have, and I can help you find ways for yoga to support you through a healing process. I am dedicated to my love for the discipline of Ashtanga yoga - a very structured practice that I studied with Manju Jois of the Jois lineage - and find that my creativity flows in Vinyasa, where I can be free to move as I please.

If you come to my classes expect to explore, to smile, breathe, chant, and move, and be supported through it all. One breath at a time, things inside us grow and change. Let’s grow together. Namaste!

Kaly Thayer | Ashtanga & Vinyasa

Kate Sarita Varney 

Foundational, Vinyasa, Yin, & Meditation

My sister took me to my first yoga class at the gym when I was 16. I remember feeling unstable and unnatural in my body, discouraged by confusion and distraction. I left the class saying, “I’ll never do that again— Yoga is not for me!” 

 

I found my way back to my mat after moving to California at age 22. There was a small yoga studio in the town where I lived that welcomed me like family. I found my home there and began going to classes five times a week. At first, it still felt confusing and unnatural and I made the excuse that I lacked the strength and flexibility to hold the poses. But by the end of each class, I found myself in tears of joy and relief having felt my body and breath in ways I never had before. Despite feeling vulnerable and insecure, I knew that yoga was definitely for me. Through steady study, I found myself growing stronger in both body and mind and after about six months of practice, I signed up for the yoga teacher training program at Mount Madonna Center where I earned my certification (and another home). 

 

As a result of nearly ten years of study, yoga has revealed itself as an incredibly deep and inspiring practice about which I am continuing to learn more each day. For me, yoga is a lifestyle not just an exercise. With self-awareness and self-study, a consistent practice produces a natural unfolding of wisdom and inner peace. In my classes, you can expect to move at a pace that feels right for you. I will encourage you to practice building strength, balance, and trust by exploring the intuitive nature of the body, breath, and mind. It’s my mission to never have anyone leave class saying yoga isn’t for them.

 

Yoga is for every body. I have found yet another home here at SAGE YOGA and I hope you will too!

In May, 1998, I attended my first yoga class, located in my living room, with the goal of losing baby weight following my first pregnancy. It was much harder than I expected. The guy on the video and his class were very good (whatever that means), fluidly moving from one pose to the next. I felt inadequate, defeating myself before even beginning. Often I would just stop and watch them. Sometimes I would stop yoga altogether, for weeks and months at at time.  

 

But I always found my way back.  

 

After 15 years of off and on practice, I finally landed in my first studio class. That was my true ah-ha moment. I understood what yoga meant to and for me. Sure, yoga helped me get into better physical shape, but what I realized was yoga was actually helping me cope with the life-long anxiety, always percolating below my surface. The sounds and feelings I experienced that day brought me a level of clarity I had never experienced. I experienced a bit of internal peace. That is why I always found my way back.

 

I practiced and practiced. I studied and learned. I sacrificed the little free time I had and completed my 200 hour yoga teacher certification so I could bring this opportunity to our beautiful community. To you.   

 

My name is Kelli Cramer and I am the owner of SAGE YOGA. I am a mother, wife, sister and daughter. I am a high school teacher in our community. I am a coach. I am a woman juggling her world and managing it all through the practices of yoga. All of these things come through in the classes I instruct. Join me for vinyasa or yin style movements. We will practice, learn and study together. Perhaps we will tap into the peace we all seek.

Kelli Cramer 

Owner | Instructor: Vinyasa & Yin

Jessica Englehart 

Ashtanga Foundations

I first met yoga and meditation in the 90s as an awkward 14 year old. Growing up in Northeast Ohio, all of this was considered pretty woo-woo. Given my teenage angst and proclivity for swimming outside the mainstream, I didn’t care . . . so I practiced in earnest! Besides, my body image, self-esteem and mental health needed all the support I could find.
 

I somehow acquired a very tattered paperback on yoga by Richard Hittleman. These yellowed pages from this dog-eared book were my introduction to yoga asana, and here was my first teacher--a woman yogi pictured performing postures in a leotard and tights (so very 70s!) I was also given a book by my dad on Zen meditation around that time, and so my practices began.
 

While I continued struggling with severe panic attacks and depression in college, I attended my first yoga classes and practiced meditation with others weekly. I grew to embrace my suffering with compassion during this dark time, learning that these self-care habits were essential to my continued healing.
 

Still, I wasn’t prepared for the difficult task of starting a career, buying a home and continuing my education in clinical counseling and art therapy. As a driven young professional, all this striving took a toll during my early adulthood. I found my way to some yoga classes at the rec center near my home in Cleveland. Marcia, my first real yoga teacher, was the embodiment of self-acceptance, and she encouraged working within one’s own challenge zone. Here I was, learning to trust myself and developing my inborn abilities. Years later after moving here, I was invited to fill in then teach a yoga class at the YMCA. It was Marcia who gave me the courage.
 

I pursued formal training as an RYT and have been teaching yoga since 2015. I’ve taught drop-in classes, workshops, and individual sessions to different people in diverse places from yoga studios to conference rooms, schools to treatment centers. I recently had the honor to study Ashtanga yoga with Manju Jois. Yoga and meditation continue to serve as my refuge, and I am inspired to teach from lived experience. I invite you to connect to your deep potential and give my classes a try. We’ll explore and celebrate our innate capacity, joining body with breath, and linking mind with movement.

I completed a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Program in Orlando, Florida in 2012.

 

I am currently registered with Yoga Alliance as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher. I have been passionate about yoga for over 20 years and continue to practice daily. 

 

I focus on improving flexibility and balance, building strength, reducing stress, and enhancing relaxation. I enjoy leading guided meditation.

 

My style of yoga directs the transformative process by allowing the time necessary to go deep within the physical body and mind, creating a profound restorative experience. I strive to infuse a sensation of vitality throughout your body, heart, and mind.

 

I enjoy designing a completely personalized yoga experience that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals. 

Maggie Fekete 

Deep Stretch, Yin, & Guided Meditation

Mary Beth 

Hi, I’m Mary Beth and am a late-comer to the world of yoga. After raising my 3 children and getting them out of the house, it was time for ME. I started working out and even ran my first 5K at the age of 51. After a few minor injuries, I lost interest in running and my daughter introduced me to yoga. We started with online videos and then attended early morning classes at the YMCA. Then we discovered a yoga studio was opening in downtown Newark called SAGE YOGA. I attended the grand opening weekend and fell in love. I fell in love with yoga and especially the community that was forming at SAGE. 

As time went on, I found that I was practicing almost every day of the week, trying new classes with new teachers. I was hooked. I wanted to learn more and decided it was time to become a teacher. In January of 2020, I flew off to Costa Rica for an intensive yoga teacher training. Once I returned home, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to teach others, but opportunities showed up in front of me and I jumped right in to teaching, even though I was terrified.  While putting myself out there is a bit nerve-wracking still, it brings me great joy to bring yoga to others, to help them strengthen their bodies, and to calm their minds. I learn something new each time I step on my mat and hope that I can bring that feeling to everyone who joins me in class.

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