Jeff Emerson - Executive 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.

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.

Lori Dearwester Vice - Co-Director Yin/Beginner Yoga


Lori has been practicing yoga for over thirty years. She utilizes yoga and meditation modalities daily to help her deal with health issues, life transitions, and 12-step recovery from substance abuse. In 2017, Lori became a certified yoga teacher from True Freedom Recovery Yoga - joining others who also feel called to share the gifts of yoga with all walks of life, including those in structured recovery programs.


As she learns more about how yoga and meditation restore what substance abuse and trauma damage in our bodies, she seeks to make available the opportunities for others to learn what yoga and meditation can do for anyone who seeks to find balance in their lives. With nearly five years clean and sober, Lori is dedicated to teaching accessible yoga for all fitness levels and body types to those in a recovery journey so that they may find peace and oneness in their body, mind, and spirit.


Lori has a 200-RYT Yoga Teacher Certification. She is also attuned in Shinpiden Level II Reiki and is continuing to study this energy healing system to obtain a 500-hour certificate at True Freedom Recovery Yoga. Lori also enjoys studying and practicing the benefits of Thai Yoga Body Work.


Lori currently teaches yoga in a Residential Treatment Center for Recovery from Substance Abuse, at a Hamilton County Probation Program, free community classes in the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky areas, at True Freedom Recovery Yoga Studio in Norwood, Ohio, and brings individual yoga programs to people in their homes and offices.


Anne Minter- Yoga Teacher- Kundalini


Anne has been practicing Kundalini yoga for over 15 years. She has been teaching Hatha and Kundalini yoga for 5 years at various colleges and universities, medical centers, and non-profits. Anne is also an adjunct instructor at Miami University (OH) where she teaches Human Anatomy & Physiology and evidence-based Yoga & Meditation through semester-long courses. Anne has received grants to teach yoga and meditation from Interact for Health, the Tristate Trauma Network, and The Haven at College.


Anne teaches in various teacher trainings throughout the nation, including the True Freedom Recovery Yoga Teacher Training (200 HR /300 HR) here. Anne has extensive yoga training (500RYT) and has been certified and licensed through Yoga West Los Angeles (Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) Level 1 certified), Radiant Body Yoga with Kia Miller (200RYT- Hatha) and RaviAna Yoga with Ravi Singh and Ana Brett (500 RYT). Anne has also studied and served with the Liberation Prison Yoga program with Anneke Lucas and Beyond Addiction: The Yogic Path to Recovery with Sat Dharam Kaur N.D. and Gabor Mate M.D. Anne continues her yoga training in Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TC-TSY) and in yoga therapy at the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine and Humanology.


She is committed to elevating the practice and science of yoga by merging the best that eastern science and western science has to offer in her classes, and in the workshops and trainings she supports and holds. She currently lives in Ohio with her partner, Davi, and their white mutt-terrier, Berkeley-  teaching here at True Freedom Recovery Yoga Monday evenings from 6pm -7:30pm.



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.