Your highly trained and dedicated instructors provide you with a detailed and thorough yoga practice. Whether a new student or an experienced practitioner, you will find that your instructors are here to guide and support you, and to give you the encouragement and confidence to step onto your mat and into your practice! To learn more about Raleigh NC Yoga Instructors simply click on their image or bio. We look forward to meeting you soon:) Namaste.

Watch video about corporate yoga



Claudia C. E-RYT 200

Listen to Claudia’s Story Here.
Since the year 2000 I have been a Certified Paramedical Aesthetician (Skin Care Specialist) working with Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons in the Fort Lauderdale area. I found my speciality in Acne and working wtih pre-cancerous lesions. In 2003 I opened up my own private practice and achieved outstanding results with clients. I loved taking care of their skin and seeing their confidence build. The first impression people see is your skin. It is your shell. One of the most important ideas that I learned was that your skin being your largest organ, it is there to assist your body not only in regulating its temperature, but to assist your body in the constant process of detoxification. We can tell so much by one’s skin.
At that time I also began to study Herbology and began referring a lot of my clients to Eastern Chinese Medicine Doctors.

In 2003 I began to practice the art of yoga. As a child I remember my god father practicing different asanas on my native island of puerto rico. I could remember my great aunt wearing a bandana around her head and practicing thai chi on the balcony overlooking the ocean. It was always so enticing to see these beautiful postures and try to understand the philosophy behind them. You would think they were just breathing and stretching. But there was more….
Yoga Offers Health, Peace, and Happiness for the Body, Mind, and Soul In September of 2008, the time arrived for me to take my yoga practice to the next level. I wanted to teach yoga. After much research and thoughtful consideration I found Elizabeth Hoffman. She is an extraordinary instructor and I am very grateful that we have crossed paths. It was the right time and the right teacher for me.

I want you to know that classes or poses can be modified for each individual student as I give others options for their ailments. Some poses may feel different at times for most people b/c they are doing things they do not normally do in their everyday life. In one class alone I may have 6 students with the following ailments: 1 25% of a working heart, 1 with symptoms of bipolar, 1 with knee surgeries, 1 with herniated discs, 1 with scoliosis, & 1 that may have a torn hamstring. I want you to know that my role as an instructor is to guide you in your practice. And your needs along with others can be modified. My specialty is working with many injuries and health conditions or dis-ease of the mind/ body. The tough part with any yoga class is really getting the mind where it needs to be.

My experience consists of working with: Retirement Communities (Eldest student was 95 years of age), Girl Scout (Youngest student being 3 years of age), Students with Alzheimer’s, Students with Parkinson’s, Students with Fibromyalgia, Students with High Blood Pressure, Students with herniated or bulging discs, Students with Asthma, Students with Arthritis, Students with Depression, Students with Cancer, Students with Anxiety, and Students with Stress related dis-eases of the mind body.

On a more personal note: I love spending time with My dear husband Chris and my sweet daughter Victoria. I enjoy horseback riding, nature, and learning about Native American history. I enjoy co-existing with people who desire to be authentic and true to themselves.


– Owner of Raleigh NC Yoga, LLC.
 y Respira Yoga Studio (2009)
– Certified Yoga Teacher 200 hour – Vinyasa certified by Urban Bliss (2008)
– 200 E-RYT with Yoga Alliance (2008-present)
– Reiki 2 Practitioner 2014
– Master Herbalist 2014
– Member of IAYT- International Association of Yoga Therapist Membership #: 32021902
~June 23rd 2016 Graduated from Timberlake Sanctuary with the Inner Life of the Child
-Currently enrolled in The Tempermaments
– Thai Yoga Therapist certified thru the Vedic Conservatory with Mukti Buck (2009)
– Skin Care Specialist – Specializing in Acne, Pre-cancerous lesions, Anti – Aging
– Aromatherapy Oils
– University of South Florida – 4 years, studied Business, Arts- Painting & Sculpting  (1996-2000)

Tony Middleton

Tony has always been athletic and active. He found the stretching and stillness led to breathing.  Breathing lead to releasing.     Releasing allows space for something new.  The more Tony practiced yoga, the more he knew he had to share a practice with others.
Newly re-certified as a Yoga instructor, Tony attended his first yoga teacher training in 2003 with Bobbie Golden of The Yoga Institute of Miami. His first job as a yoga teacher was shortly thereafter at a martial arts school. Tony’s practice is rooted in the Hatha Yoga methods of B.K.S. Iyengar,  which encourages stillness in a pose and the use of props. As part of Tony’s life transition after retiring from the military, he had the opportunity to attend the a second yoga teacher training and possibly teach yoga again. With the assistance of the Veterans Administration, my tuition was paid as part of a disability rehabilitation plan.  
Tony received my RYT-200 Yoga Teacher Training certification from Y Respira Yoga Studio in Raleigh, NC. His teaching style continues to be heavily influenced by the B.Y.S. Iyengar style of Hatha Yoga. While moving into a pose in class, using props help demonstrate how yoga can be done anywhere with anything. In Tony’s opinion, the different poses allow an opportunity to explore different aspect of body movement which help bring balance in the body. Move as far as is comfortable into a pose, breathe, and be still.  
     He currently teaches Thursdays at 3:00.


Allison started her yoga practice in October 2014, at a time when she was seeking self-care options to deal with stress and anxiety. She truly believes that the universe had a hand in guiding her to Y Respira, as yoga in a small, safe setting turned out to be exactly what she needed. Allison was hooked from that first class, gradually increasing her personal practice to as many classes as she could fit in each week and attending local workshops as well as international yoga retreats. Her path to yoga teacher training came alongside a decision to pursue a master’s degree in counseling, with a realization that yoga and therapy are a perfect complement. Allison seeks to guide others on a path toward peace and happiness based on the wisdom of the eight limbs of yoga. She truly believes that yoga is for everybody, which also means every body.
Allison is also a passionate equestrian. She started riding at the age of seven and continued through college, where she competed as part of UNC’s equestrian team, eventually having to put horses on the back burner as she started her career. Allison couldn’t be happier to now have horses back in her life and is so excited to have the chance to integrate yoga with horses. She completed the Mindful Yoga and Natural Horsemanship certification through Y Respira and Bar T Ranch in May 2017 and looks forward to working with students who want to take their yoga out to the farm. Few things make her happier than opportunities to wear yoga pants and cowboy boots at the same time!

Ms. Kaluwa

Ms. Kaluwa is an award winning dance teacher and choreographer and certified health and movement coach. She has been dancing since she could walk, and has performed and put on community productions with the Terpsichorean Dance Co, but realized her love of dance was even more fulfilled in teaching others the gift of movement and how to use it for expression. In addition to her work with children, Kaluwa has developed a therapeutic dance movement and coaching program to support the superwoman moms.

Ms. Kaluwa is honored to guide students through not only the techniques of dance and movement, but also the emotion and expression of dance while encouraging the development of confidence, health, and harmony.

Master Shahram Ghalikar

Master Shahram Ghalikar is an 8th degree black belt in Hapkido and Tai Chi, and Yoga instructor, which he has been studying for over 30 years. His main training was under Late Grand master Pak In Suk (Tae Joo Nim) and Grand Master Hwang. He has traveled the world to advance his knowledge, and spent time learning in Holland, Canada, India and Himalayas. In addition to Hap Ki Do, and Tai Chi,  Master Shahram studied several other arts including Kick boxing, Qigong, Northern Shaolin, and Jujitsu.

He has trained all ages in a multitude of settings (dojo, law enforcement centers, schools, military bases, retirement facilities, and educational co-operatives).

Master Shahram loves sharing his knowledge with others to positively impact their health and harmony, and is excited to bring his expertise to Raleigh, NC.


Jim Thomas

Jim’s training philosophy is results-driven. We produce soft, willing partners. At the Bar T, we take the role of the leader—provide clear signals, add consistency, patience and the understanding that the horse should look to his owner for direction.

“My goal is for you to understand why your horse acts as it does, and what role you must play to gain his trust,” Jim says. “Horses are much like children. Provide the proper environment and they will be yours forever. All things accomplished with a horse are through trust.”

He is a firm believers in groundwork. Regardless of the training level of the horse upon arrival at the Bar T, we will spend a substantial amount of time from the ground before we ever approach the horse with a saddle. Good groundwork is a solid foundation. Just like you wouldn’t put the framework of a house directly on the ground, we wouldn’t dream of moving forward without a foundation.


Ducka has an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology from Canton Ag and Tech in New York.

She was a licensed Veterinary Technician at Cornell Veterinary School for over 18 years, which included clinical and teaching experience with staff and students with both large and small animal patients in their teaching facility. She has been a Registered Veterinary Technician in North Carolina for almost 20 years working with small animals. Additionally she has over 30 years of horse experience, management and ownership. She has done extensive training in Natural Horsemanship, Equine Massage, Reiki, training with Mary Miller Jordan and has also completed all 5 levels of the Healing Touch for Animals® Program. She currently lives with her two horses, Sally and

Cowboy, a mastiff named Rumor Rockstar, and a cat who is lovingly known as The King. They refer to their beautiful piece of heaven in Pittsboro, NC as Rusty Gate Farm. She recently retired to be a caregiver for her dad and offers Healing Touch for Animals® sessions in her private practice.


“Rachel took her first yoga class in September 2009 on a whim, and instantly became hooked. She decided to become a teacher after only a few months of practicing yoga, and completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Yoga Hari’s Ashram in November 2010. Rachel practices and teaches various styles of yoga, but especially has a great deal of experience both teaching and practicing the Ashtanga primary series. To balance out the vigorous nature of Ashtanga, Rachel also loves to teach restorative yoga, and in the future she hopes to expand her teaching practice into therapeutic yoga to help those suffering from both physical and emotional problems. Rachel is also a bass guitar player, composer, and avid fan of classic rock music. She has been a vegetarian since 2009 and a vegan since 2010 as a personal conviction to follow the yogic principle of ahimsa (non-violence) towards all living creatures.