Jeff Emerson - Director - Teacher 


Jeff is a Reiki Master with an E-RYT500 and is the author of Unfolding the Lotus, Working the Fourth Step through the Chakra System. Jeff is the founder of True Freedom Recovery Yoga, one of the world's first 200-hour teaching programs for people in 12-Step Recovery. Jeff is a member of long-term recovery with over 25 years clean. Jeff has taught meditation in halfway houses, prisons, homeless shelters, 12 step conventions, and juvenile detention centers.


Jeff is the co-founder of , A Policy for Caring Inc., the parent organization of True Freedom Recovery yoga - dedicated to yoga, meditation, and the recovery process. Jeff has been practicing yoga and meditation for over 30 years and has been  imparting his wisdom and sharing his gift with people from all walks of life for the last decade.

Lara Rice - Co-Director - Yoga Teacher - Restorative


Kate Paytes - Yoga Teacher - Hatha


I am a mother, daughter, sister, friend, partner, worker, yogi, plant and animal lover, hiker, culinary genius (at home), and the list goes on. I am an enthusiastic lover of life! I love excuses to use the word 'super', and I always laugh at my own jokes.

I completed my 200-hour training at Cincinnati Yoga School. My yoga journey started with DVDs in my living room when I was expected my first child over 13 years ago. My yoga certification and dedication to my practice has taken me awhile - being the eternal student excites me! I am constantly growing and changing in life and in my practice.

My class is playful and fun - never too serious! The message is Light and Love. My class is perfect for any degree of yogi, never to be intimidating, but will still get you to push to your limits. I have  love/hate relationship with core work, too! Come join me, let's breathe, bend, balance, and ground ourselves.

Jessica Yeager - Yoga Teacher - Empowerment


Yoga was the last class I thought I would ever teach. I had always been interested in becoming a fitness instructor at some point in my life - but yoga has definitely become my calling. Being a part of the 200-RYT training at True Freedom has taught me that asana is only one part of yoga. Before, my practice was focused on relaxation and Vinyasa. After my first Empowerment class, it was revealed to me that I can take my strength and focus to a new level and is now my favorite way to practice.


Today, my yoga practice is about coming inside myself, listening to my body and being mindful of my breath while in a posture (asana). With this concentration, there is a break from the constant mental chatter and I can just be in that moment. This is just one of the many gifts of yoga! One of the best things I have learned is that yoga is not a competition. Looking at your neighbor and wishing your arm was as straight as theirs - is not yoga. Accepting where you are with your body and working towards your personal goal is the essence of yoga.

When you come to Empowerment, you can expect to sweat and push yourself to the next level you are trying to reach. We hold postures to create strength and balance. My goal is to create a peaceful environment where you can use your strength and grow in your practice.

Matt Ionna - Yoga Teacher - Mighty Flow


Matt began his adventures into yoga only by accepting an invitation of what could be called Divine Intervention, Synchronicity, and Universal Conspiracy.  Speaking up one evening at a 12-Step Recovery meeting, sharing about his physical trauma , multiple back surgeries and seemingly relentless chronic pain, only to be heard by his now good friend and teacher, Jeff Emerson, was invited to try something different, something that might help him accept and heal the pain - Reiki and Yoga. Being intrigued and attention caught he began attending classes and healing sessions. It wasn’t easy; the pain persisted, as did he, many nights only able to lay on his mat and breath. Seeing and feeling his hard work beginning to pay off, he began to increase the regularity and frequency of his practice. No longer needing the use of a walking cane he found himself playing again with his children, enjoying the smell and texture of dirt between his fingers in the garden, began experiencing serenity, the peace of the present moment. 


Moving forward with almost five years in long-term recovery, Matt has recently completed his 200-RYT yoga training at True Freedom Recovery Yoga School, has been attuned in Shinpiden Level III Reiki, continuing to study this healing modality from teacher Jeff Emerson. Matt has also completed 16 hours of Thai Yoga, Thai Traditional Massage as well as attending and practicing yoga workshops locally and abroad.


Matt has three insanely wonderful children, married for over twenty years to an extraordinary woman, one dog and some cats. He enjoys digging in the gardens, cooking meals, hanging with family and friends, traveling, being silly and loud belly laughs. He believes in living a life full of raw beauty and passion on purpose, cultivating integrity, invoking spirited emotions, staying vulnerable and humble, digging deep and living in our assets, our own treasure boxes, and sharing them generously with the world, in compassionate forgiveness, in experiencing the power of Grace, and above all LOVE!


In this class we will start out with a brief meditation, reading and or poetry, scanning our mental, physical, and spiritual condition before working into gentle movement. As movement unfolds, rising in intensity with modified Sun Salutations, staying active before leading us on our way to soothing the body and soul with down regulating postures and final meditation. This practice will give us the opportunity to connect with our source, our own higher conscience, possibly igniting passion and purpose as we offer ourselves a different perspective as we gather and create. 



Jessica Runge - Yoga Teacher - Gentle Flow


I started my journey into yoga when I noticed the profound difference my practice was beginning to have in my personal life. My relationship with my children, others, and ultimately myself was beginning to unfold in wondrous ways. Essentially I was being taught how to enjoy the NOW. I decided that I enjoyed being taught so much that I would in fact teach, completing my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at True Freedom Recovery Yoga. In my class, my students are invited to except the now. Allowing oneself to be exactly where they are at in each moment. Gently creating a safe place within themselves to feel and grow whether it's good, bad or indifferent. I enjoy being the student so much that I invite my students to teach me by suggesting what they are interested in each week and incorporating those ideas into my sequence so we all learn and grow together while deepening our practice. Each week we practice being gentle with others, gentle with ourselves, and most importantly gentle with our natural flow through life.

  Hana Bayou - Yoga Teacher - SoulFlow


I have been a student of yoga for over 6 years.  In June of 2015, I completed the 200-hour Yoga Instructor certification. Yoga is the ying to the yang of a determined life as a professional, a way to control the energy and fire.


The mat is also my foundation for physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery from disease, body image issues, and eating disorders. Spending time in quiet contemplation awakens inner healing. Im able to quiet the mind long enough to cultivate a conscious focus on ending body shaming and negative self-talk.  We feel emotional pain in life such as grief, heart break, fear, or trauma as a physical experience.  The residuals from the physical experience stockpiles in our connective tissue. With a little laughter yoga and lot of meditation, we can raise our vibrations to joy and happiness.


The Soulflow class is a guided meditation designed to bring the breath into our bodies, suspend it, and then move through a series of postures to release residual pain back into earth.  The moderately-paced flow is focused on deep hip stretches and asanas to promote stabilizing and balance while being guided by the breath.  The class is appropriate for beginner to intermediate level participants. Light and laughter is encouraged! Children are always welcome.