RYT200 Yoga Instructor
Yoga Styles: Vinyasa Flow, Yoga Nidra
Chelsea Spruance is a wanderlust traveler, yoga teacher, property manager, and an adult living with Cystic Fibrosis. Chelsea grew up relatively unaffected by CF and was raised with the understanding that CF is simply part of her life rather than the focus of her life. It wasn’t until college where her health took a turn for the worse where CF inevitably did become the focal point of her life.
Realizing after that health decline that her life was so far removed from where she was before, she began trying everything under the sun to bring her health back. That was when she found yoga. Using yoga, she was able to use what lung function she had to its fullest, regaining confidence in herself and learning to love her body again. Yoga gave Chelsea her strength back and allowed her to live life again . . . even more fully than before.
Outside of yoga, Chelsea has been a part of Staying Salty, a collaborative CF YouTube channel spreading awareness and education of CF. She works closely with Johns Hopkins raising funding for CF research, collaborates frequently with the CF Foundation on various events, and uses her personal platforms to be a role model for those with CF showing that anything is possible despite a CF diagnosis.
RYT200 Yoga Instructor
Colleen is currently training to be a yoga teacher with Yoga Medicine. She also works in social media marketing. Prior to Cystic Fibrosis becoming a time consuming part of her life, Colleen earned her masters in medical sociology, taught college sociology courses, and worked in public relations. It was during her transition from being fully independent to needing support from her family that yoga became a major part of Colleen’s self care routine.
Colleen has practiced yoga on and off since her sophomore year of college in 2006, and has been practicing nearly daily since 2014. Her experience practicing in different settings has sparked a passion for creating trauma-sensitive, inclusive, accessible spaces. She thinks CF Yogi’s virtual studio is one of those spaces, and is proud to be teaching in it.
Yogic philosophy permeates all aspects of Colleen’s life. She believes that everything we do can be yoga if we approach it mindfully and with intention. Colleen enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking, eating, reading, writing, spending time with her friends and family, and most of all, cuddling her dog.
Elise is, most importantly, a dog mom to her 10-year-old Husky, Bailey, and an avid traveler. She is excited to finally be working in her dream career as a social media manager and content writer, while working from home (to support her addiction of buying new dog toys). After having a double lung transplant due to Cystic Fibrosis nearly 8 years ago, she faced never-ending obstacles trying to fit back into the mold of society’s 9-5 work week. Although the last two years of the pandemic have been an intense challenge for the CF and transplant communities, the newly adopted acceptance of working remotely has allowed her to finally succeed in her career around her health needs.
Elise and her oldest brother were both diagnosed with CF at a very young age, but enjoyed life mostly unaffected by the disease throughout their childhoods and teen years. She attributes her constant involvement in sports, like softball and swimming, to her years of great health. Elise went on to graduate from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Journalism, despite several interruptions from hospital stays as her health began to decline. She then took a leap to move to sunny Florida to pursue her Master’s Degree. Nearing the end of her degree, her health hit a sudden decline and she was listed for a lung transplant.
Since transplant, she has fought every day to live life to its fullest. She now uses social media as a way to spread awareness and advocate for the CF and transplant communities along with sharing some of the challenges they face and the obstacles they overcome.
RYT200 Yoga Instructor
Yoga Style: Multi-Level, Vinyasa flow, Ashtanga, Yin, Family/Partner Yoga
Fran Anderson is an RYT200 yoga instructor, wife to husband Jeremiah, and mother of four children. Her second child was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a newborn, and she serves as president of the Nebraska Regional CF Family Advisory Board where her primary goal is to improve the quality of life with families of children with CF.
Fran has an extensive athletic background, and in recent years has found focus, concentration, mindfulness and strength through the practice and teaching of yoga. She teaches multiple styles including yin, flow, hatha, and breathwork. She finds great fulfillment in sharing her yoga practice locally in her Nebraska hometown, and is excited to become a part of CF Yogi’s virtual studio.
Fran has found that her yoga practice keeps her grounded through all of life’s ups and downs. She loves sharing this practice with her friends, family and community by teaching both in person and online classes. She considers teaching a practice as well, and loves to learn and grow through her experiences as both teacher and student.
Professionally, Fran is a high school mathematics teacher at an urban, downtown high school where she teaches an array of different classes. These classes are filled with all types of mathematics learners; each style offering her a different perspective on teaching and learning.
Besides yoga, Fran’s interests include nutrition, running, hiking, sailing, and spending time outdoors.
RYT200 Yoga Instructor
Yoga Styles: Kripalu, Gentle
Heather Brown has been a ballet dancer and a mover for her entire life. Living with Cystic Fibrosis, staying active is not only enjoyable, but also an important part of staying healthy. After fracturing her femur in a motorcycle accident in 2010, she was looking for a less competitive way than dance to regain her active lifestyle. Yoga became that bridge.
Through the practice of yoga, she has regained the mobility, strength and acceptance that were once thought to be lost forever. In the summer of 2016, she decided to take the plunge and become a certified Kripalu yoga teacher. In her classes, she draws upon her body awareness from being a dancer and ballet teacher to articulate clear yoga instruction with the kindness and acceptance that Kripalu practice is known for. She hopes to give her students an opportunity to reconnect with themselves through the practice of yoga.
“Kripalu yoga is often described as meditation in motion… I aim to guide students through an experience that is just as much about relaxation and breathing as it is about moving. Yoga is something that everyone at every level should be able to enjoy.”
Executive Director, RYT500 Yoga Instructor
Yoga Style: Multi-level, Vinyasa Flow, Alignment-Oriented, Restorative, Yin, Myofascial Release
Elaine K. Malik (who goes by the nickname “Katie”) is an RYT500 registered yoga teacher, opera singer, voice actor, choreographer, and the world’s first person with Cystic Fibrosis to have performed as a professional operatic soloist (as far as we know!). She also has had the unique experience of being an international TV star, as her inspirational story made her a fan favorite on Sweden’s most popular TV show, the International Emmy-winning series “Allt för Sverige.”
Katie began teaching yoga in 2013. In 2016, Katie created a series of Yoga for Cystic Fibrosis videos in collaboration with Pactster (now Beam) and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in the UK, which were verified by the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Cystic Fibrosis (ACPCF). The response was overwhelmingly positive, and the CF community began asking for livestreamed yoga classes as well as more perennial yoga content targeted to the needs of cystic fibrosis– which led to the creation of CF Yogi.
Alongside those achievements, Katie had a 17-year career with a Seattle IT consulting firm where she worked as Business Development Manager and Finance/HR Manager; has worked as an independent marketing strategist and freelance writer, and is now the General Manager of the business her father founded when she was growing up.
RYT200 Yoga Instructor
Yoga Style: Yoga for Caregivers, Sivananda, Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Restorative
Martha Modawell studied Yoga and Reiki at Yoga for Healthy Living LLC in Brighton MI, where she received her RTY200 in Sivananda Style Yoga. She has been teaching yoga for the CF community since 2017, in person at CFRI’s annual retreat for CF caregivers and online for people with CF. Martha brings her authenticity and love for yoga with each class. Her classes are humorous yet grounding, she reaches out to her students to feel empowered and a true connection with themselves.
Martha nurtures and connects with her students and goes above and beyond to figure out “what makes them tick” and also what’s underneath the surface. She uses her innate ability to connect with people to create a comfortable, relaxing, and fun yoga practice all while empowering and enriching her students. Finding healing in yoga herself, Martha loves to teach from the heart and serve those around her with that passion and love.
Development Director, Kids Yoga Teacher
Yoga Style: Kids Yoga
Myra Giaffoglione is an IT professional and mother of two young children with CF. Her professional experience is in Business Intelligence and Analytics; she currently works for herself as a freelance report developer and business analytics consulstant. As a Nebraska Chapter CFF Great Strides Team leader for the past 5 years, Myra has raised over $80K on behalf of Team Giaffoglione through social media campaigns, virtual Passion Fundraising and other locally and virtually hosted events and campaigns. Myra actively serves on the Nebraska Regional CF Center Family Advisory Board, has presented on behalf of the Board at the annual CF Education day, and has shared her story as the bid speaker for the annual NE CFF chapter event, Hope Brews.
Myra began practicing yoga regularly in 2012, shortly before her first child was born and diagnosed with CF. She has recognized many physical, mental and spiritual benefits of her practice that correlate to her journey as a mother and CF caretaker. As she has shared her experience with her children, family and friends, she has in turn guided their own discovery of the self-empowering benefits of a regular yoga practice. Myra received her Kids Yoga teacher training and certification from Cosmic Kids Yoga.