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Our Team

Kelsy Timas Board Certified HHP, MBSR, ERYT500, YCEP, iRest Level 1, Warriors At Ease Faculty

Kelsy Timas Board Certified HHP, MBSR, ERYT500, YCEP, iRest Level 1, Warriors At Ease Faculty

CEO/ Founding Director

Kelsy Timas is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Author, Therapist, Educator, and Speaker/Coach assisting the world in discovering and recovering a life in balance. A lifelong yoga practitioner with a professional background in Quality/Risk Management and Emergency Medicine, Kelsy is on a mission to serve humanity in their journey and return to holism through evidence based mind body practices that support effective performance, resilience and recovery in a life well lived.

Recognized as an industry leader and sought after as a subject matter expert, Kelsy invests her time and talents in people, organizations and communities looking for wellness solutions that move us toward a more productive and integrative world. Her 20+ years of clinical experience, evidence based holistic strategies and vision for the future of collaborative health care is the driving force behind the growth and development of her national Health and Wellness company, Guiding Wellness Institute Inc. Kelsy’s drive and success can be attributed to her deep desire and commitment to creating accessible and sustainable solutions that serve performance, resilience and recovery; pillars of support that allow people to create and live their best life. A natural entrepreneur and pioneering spirit that has never been afraid to create solutions needed in order to find “a better way”, and the sincere belief that she is in service of her life’s calling, Kelsy has blazed a trail that will support many generations to discover, recover and maintain their balance in an ever changing world.

Kelsy serves as the Program/QM Director and Lead Faculty for Warriors at Ease (WAE), was awarded the Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year by Reeves Business school in 2019, the Owner and Director of GWI’s Registered Yoga School (RYS) and the Author of LIVE WELL Magazine and BE WELL Podcast.

Devoted to her role as a military spouse and her military family, Kelsy serves, directs and advises many non-profit organizations serving those who serve and their families that sacrifice so much. When she is not teaching or at work running her national operation, Kelsy spends time with her six dogs, her family and close friends, living the message of “Be well” she shares with the world. She is a connoisseur of coffee and french wine, loves cooking from her home potager and taking time for regular sunshine in nature and the outdoors, her favorite people call her “naynay”. Kelsy also enjoys reading, writing, pottery and house projects along with her deepest passions of yoga, meditation and mindfulness.

Kelsy’s Guiding Wellness Blog

Marsha Howe

Marsha Howe

Director of Food Education

Marsha Howe has always been committed to a healthy lifestyle and to sharing sustainable living skills and whole food nutrition. Learning the principles and the wisdom of nature’s living systems and the miracle of the human body has been a lifelong pursuit and focus of her education.

In addition to her role at Guiding Wellness, Marsha is Founder/Director of Sustainable Neighbors, a Certified Permaculture Eco-Social Designer, MRC Farmers’ Market Consumer Education Outreach Coordinator, Community Emergency Response Team Certified (CERT), and an urban farmer.  She teaches and facilitates whole food nutrition presentations, facilitates hands-on organic gardening classes, seasonal cooking from scratch, canning and preserving workshops, and urban farmer trainings and events.

She is committed to the development of sustainable, resilient, food secure neighborhoods that support local urban farmers and other local food chain entrepreneurs to grow a local food system for healthy economic growth. Her work builds relationships that inspire positive action for local food security.

www.sustainableneighborsnc.com

Coral Esparza, LMBT

Coral Esparza, LMBT

Massage Therapist

Since a young age, the health care field has always been Coral’s calling. She started off as a Veterinary Assistant, then went back to school to become a Dental Assistant. Although she enjoyed the knowledge, compassion and understanding she gained in both fields, she felt it was not where she was meant to be. In 2013, Coral was involved in a car accident that caused significant neck injury. She decided to pursue a chiropractor for treatment and it was during this treatment that she met a massage therapist that helped her reduce the pain and tension from her injury.

Amazed at the results, Coral decided to go back to school to became a massage therapist. Her new goal was to make an overall impact on people who, like her, had suffered some form of trauma. She started working for a spa, which she enjoyed, but soon found that deep tissue massage was a more effective form of treatment rather than a relaxing massage, which just reduced stress. She found a chiropractic office that was hiring and thus began her to wellness.

Deep tissue and myotherapy is crucial in order to break down scar tissues adhesion to the surrounding injured area. A holistic approach to treatment with this type of therapy produces amazing, life changing results. Coral has always been able to gain a deeper understanding of massage in general but continues to look for new way to improve her techniques to provide the highest level of care for each person. She feels beyond blessed to have the opportunity to work for yet another team whose goal is to make a difference for every person that walks in the door. She looks forward to meeting each one of you to help you live your best life!

Mimi Lee

Mimi Lee

Member Services & Facility Manager, RYT® 200

Mimi has worked closely with the military for 10 years as an overseas contractor. In 2011 she  began her yoga practice and fell in love with all of the physical and mental benefits that it created within her own life as well as the lives of the military community around her. When she returned stateside she decided to pursue a Yoge Teacher Training certification and earned her RYT® 200 Certification through The American Yoga Academy in 2019. She is currently engrossed  on a journey to expand her knowledge base by working towards her 300 Hour Therapeutic Yoga  Teacher Training at Guiding Wellness Institute. Mimi is dedicated to sharing pranayama,  movement and mindfulness with diverse and underserved communities in order to improve their overall health and wellbeing. 

Katrina Macy

Katrina Macy

Executive Assistant, WAET, RYT® 200

Discovering yoga in her teenage years, Katrina found and recognized its powerful healing effects. In 2019 she earned her RYT® 200 credentials from Guiding Wellness Institute® and is continuing her studies in their 300 Hour Therapeutic Yoga Teacher Training.  This past November she became a certified Warriors at Ease Level 2 teacher.  Katrina has a passion for humanity and studied government and world history in college graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science with a minor in Homeland Security.  She has extensive background working with Veterans through her time on the board for the State and Federal Veteran’s Affair Committee as well as her work in the corporate world.    Katrina is a dedicated advocate for Active Duty service members and Veterans.  She received an Iron Mike Award and Commander’s Award for Public Service and has spent thousands of hours serving as a Key Caller, FRG Leader, and Co-Leader for the Battalion CARE team.  

Katrina has a long line of military in her family including her father, a Vietnam Veteran.  Her husband is retired military and they decided to reside here at Fort Bragg.   Katrina serves her community with passion and provides guidance, assistance, and care for the Veteran, Active Duty service member, and their families.  She spent years assisting in schools in the nearby area and taught ELA/Social Studies in the public school.  Through her time working with children she found her calling was to serve the whole family with a focus on health and wellness.  She is currently working towards her Master’s of Science: Exercise Science and Wellness: Nutrition and Wellness at Liberty University.  She was accepted in the Duke University Integrative Health Coach Program and will begin in the Fall of 2021.  Katrina enjoys her time in nature, reading, spending time with family, serving the community, traveling, yoga , meditating, and forever learning more.

Julia Pillman

Julia Pillman

Assistant Program Director, RYT® 200, WAET

Julia comes to us from a very eclectic background.  Her first love was always teaching and sharing her passions.  Her life’s path had quite a few forks and curves in the road before landing at Guiding Wellness Institute as a Yoga Instructor and Assistant Program Director.  Her love of educating, mentoring and learning range from singing (she’s an opera singer!), to business management, to training facilitation, to motorcycle safety.  Her passions come alive when she leads a yoga class and shares the benefits of a holistic wellness practice.  This midwestern girl loves to belt out a good tune, snuggle with her three fur babies, go on motorcycle rides with her husband, and feed people with her culinary creations.

Mary Paige Kurilla

Mary Paige Kurilla

RYT® 500, WAET

Mary Paige began practicing yoga in 2010 and instantly recognized the countless healing benefits yoga has to offer. She completed her 200 RYT Yoga Alliance Certification through YogaFit in 2014 and her 300 RYT with Guiding Wellness in 2021. She is an Army brat and has been an Army spouse for over 25 years. She understands the added stressors of military life and loves serving this community. She is a Certified Warriors as Ease Teacher, specializing in trauma sensitive principles and military culture. 

With over 20 years as a group fitness instructor, she has a wealth of understanding of how the body moves and safety is always a priority in her classes. Her classes offer creative sequences with intentional themes, emphasizing the importance of proper alignment, pranayama breathing techniques, and mindfulness.

Modification and advanced options are made available for new students and experienced yogis so that all can reach their potential. She is honored to teach yoga, helping to bring awareness, health, and happiness into other’s lives.

Lorna Ricotta

Lorna Ricotta

RYT® 200, iRest Level 1

Lorna Ricotta is an experienced singer, former small business owner, nonprofit leader, and higher education administrator. Her musical experience includes earning a Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance, recording artist on solo and group projects, performing on cruise ships in Hawaii and the Caribbean as a cabaret and ensemble artist, and soloist at three NC Governor’s inaugurations, the UNC System President inauguration and at the Carolina Panther’s game. She also earned a Master’s of Business Administration from UNC Pembroke.

Lorna found yoga before 2005 and her personal practice led her to pursue professional training to guide others. She received her designation as an RYT200 in October of 2017 after graduating from a comprehensive program at Guiding Wellness Institute. Lorna’s training included 320 hours of Yoga Theory and Instruction in the areas of Hatha, Ashtanga, Adaptive Yoga for Military and Special Populations, Mindfulness, Meditation, and Pranayama. Her program included specialized training from Warriors at Ease for Trauma Sensitive and Adaptive yoga which supports her ability to provide adequate instruction to a diverse group of students in a variety of environments. With mindfulness as a core value, Lorna enjoys supporting the return to balance with a teaching style full of grace, intention and the power of the breath. She is certified in Stand up Paddleboard Yoga and level one iREST meditation.  When she is not working, teaching or practicing, Lorna enjoys being with her family and community, which are her heart’s greatest joys.

Joseph Adames - Shifu(師父)

Joseph Adames - Shifu(師父)

Northern Fist Kung Fu and Yang Style Taijiquan

Adames Shifu has a very strong background in traditional martial arts and traditional training. He has studied external and internal Chinese Martial Arts for most of his life. He specializes in traditional methods and forms that hail directly from the Shaolin traditions. He has trained in a wide variety of weapons and open hand styles. He has spent over 25 years studying and practicing a variant of Northern Shaolin Mantis combined with Tam Tui (a family style originating in northern China) and is currently studying Tang Quan and application of T’ai Chi for Health as a therapeutic practice.

Adames Shifu serves as 老師(Lao Shi – Senior Instructor) of the Rou Long Ma School of Chinese Martial Arts Kung Fu program. He continues studying and developing his skills while maintaining the traditions of Traditional Chinese Martial Arts.

Adames Shifu has spent considerable time studying the internal art of Taijiquan(Tai Chi) as well. He continues to study it and its health benefits as well as its martial applications. He currently teaches the 8 posture, the simplified 24 posture, Cheng Man-Ch’ing 37 posture, Sun Style 73 Posture, and  Tai Chi Weapon Forms. He also teaches Ba duan Jin (Eight Pieces of Brocade), 18 Lo Han and Swimming Dragon Qigong as well as standing and seated meditation techniques. He continues training in the 88 posture Yang family application form and is now certified through the Tai Chi for health Institute.

Adames Shifu combines his extensive knowledge with a patient and reflexive teaching style that motivates children through seniors to do their best and improve their health and fitness.

Elyse Parrish

Elyse Parrish

RYT® 200, Prenatal Yoga

Elyse Parrish has a bachelors degree in Health and Wellness Promotion through UNC-Asheville, is a Licensed Massage Therapist, and a Registered Yoga Teacher. She’s been in Fayetteville since 2012 and met her husband in 2019. She’s the mom of a energetic 8 year old, senior snuggly German Shepherd, and two spoiled cats. In her free time she loves being outside, visiting breweries, and making malas.  Her passion is empowering individuals to make time for themselves. Investing in yourself, will multiply into a greater investment for your health, wellness, and happiness on a daily basis.

In February 2016 she became a registered yoga teacher after receiving my 200 hour yoga teacher training through Yoga Legacy in Cary, NC.  She later completed additional specialty training in aquatic, senior, and prenatal yoga and maintains a prenatal specialty through Yoga Alliance.  With more than 1000 hours of teaching experience, she has worked with a diverse population of students in many environments including studios, gyms, outdoors, and in breweries.  She currently guides beginners, yin, gentle and flow classes. She is available for private and group workshops. She looks forward to meeting you both on and off your mat.

Alainya Pierce

Alainya Pierce

RYT® 200

Alainya teaches a variety of classes. 

Christopher Davis

Christopher Davis

RYT® 200, WAET

After 25+ years of service, Chris recently retired as an Assistant Chief of Police from the Fayetteville (NC) Police Department. In his last assignment, he served as the Investigative Bureau Commander and supervised over 150 employees. Chris has worked in patrol, investigations, internal affairs and the training division. Prior to law enforcement, he served 3+ years as a U.S. Army officer and served in Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

In addition to his law enforcement career, Chris has worked as an adjunct criminal justice professor at Methodist University, Fayetteville State University, and currently at North Carolina Central University. 

He is a certified yoga instructor and has a passion for improving resilience and operational performance via yoga. In May of 2019, Chris started Yoga911 to enhance the delivery of Yoga / Mindfulness practices. The first Yoga911 YTT was taught in November 2020. Chris has completed the following yoga training: Yoga for First Responders (Level 1 & 2), Warriors at Ease (level 1 & 2), iRest (Level 1), Currently working on his 500-hour certification at Guiding Wellness Institute.

Over the last 3-years, Chris has taught yoga at the following agencies / organizations: Fayetteville Police Department (NC), Fayetteville Fire Department (NC), NC State Bureau of Investigation, NC Justice Academy, Inner Armour, The Station Foundation (Bozeman, MT), Fraternal Order of Police (National Wellness Summit 2020), The Mindful Badge (Portland, OR), Raleigh Police Department (NC), Lone Survivor Foundation (April 2021), Harnett County Sheriff’s Office (NC) (SWAT Team)

Chris has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Dayton. He is also a graduate of the 118th Session of the Officer’s Administrative Course (Southern Police Institute / University of Louisville) and the Senior Management Institute for Police (Police Executive Research Forum).

Currently, Chris works for North Carolina Central University as an Adjunct Professor and the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) as a contractor for the VALOR Program, which focuses on police officer safety, wellness and resilience.

Adjunct Faculty

Elizabeth Funk, PhD.

Elizabeth Funk, PhD.

ERYT®200, RYT®500, YACEP, WAET, iRest Level 1

After being a professional educator for over two decades, Beth decided to unite her love of teaching with her passion for the ancient and life changing practice of yoga. Drawn to yoga by a debilitating and chronic back condition Beth discovered, first hand, the healing power of yoga. Beth is an experienced, registered yoga teacher and is also a Warriors at Ease trained yoga and meditation teacher, dedicated to bringing the healing power of trauma sensitive yoga and meditation to our military community. Beth is a dedicated practitioner and teacher and she continues to expand and cultivate her own practice by studying with teachers and mentors around the country. She enjoys a variety of yoga disciplines but is particularly drawn to Vinyasa, enjoying the strengthening, empowering, and centering aspects of linking breath to movement. Beth teaches a wide variety of breath and alignment focused classes that are mindfully designed to meet the unique needs of all of her students. Beth hopes to share the life enhancing power of yoga with as many people as possible, helping them find the strength and the light that already exists inside them. Beth is the founder and director of Life Moves Yoga, LLC.

Amanda Brown

Amanda Brown

RYT®500, YACEP, WAET

Amanda is a 500 Hour, YogaWorks and Guiding Wellness Institute trained, Certified and Registered Yoga teacher (RYT500). She is also the lead teacher and studio manager at Life Moves Yoga and is a Level 2 Warriors at Ease teachers, trained in trauma sensitive, therapeutic, and adaptive yoga. Her love of travel and yoga has inspired her to practice with some of the most interesting and influential yoga teachers in the country. In Amanda’s flow classes, you can expect smart, alignment based sequences, good music and light hearted fun.