Movement Teachers

Larissa Parson

Core & More

I found yoga in my senior year of high school, and it was a critical part of my life for the next 20 years, through college, grad school, and a career as a high school English teacher. In 2014, shortly after I moved to Durham from Oakland, CA, I found myself injured and out of touch with my body. I found Katy Bowman's Restorative Exercise and dove in headlong. Becoming a Nutritious Movement™ certified Restorative Exercise Specialist and Certified Restore Your Core teacher led me back to my body. As a mother of very active twins, moving more and moving better helps me keep up with my boys and provides me with many opportunities for everyday joy. I am constantly on the lookout for new ways to play with movement, and love sharing what I discover with my students. Any given week in class, we might explore movements of the shoulder, hip strength and mobility, or all the many ways your feet can move. No matter what the focus of the class is, I strive to keep the atmosphere friendly, and the movements exploratory. I teach classes, workshops, and private lessons in Durham and Hillsborough. Stop by for more.

Reserve your spot in class with Larissa!

I've been an active member of the A Step To Health community since it opened and I always try to bring playfulness and curiosity to my favorite movement styles. I'm a lifelong movement enthusiast, medicinal plant and herb connoisseur, massage therapist, and craniosacral therapist. My mission is to help you concentrate on self-care and on feeling alive in your body without judgment or guilt.

Trevia Woods

Mindful Movement, Studio Manager

AnnMarie Mello Morris

Yin and Restorative Yoga

I believe yoga found me in 1997. Back then I was a Group Fitness Director developing a class schedule that included the latest in fitness trends. At that time it was Cardio Kickboxing, Stability Ball Training, Functional Fitness…and Yoga. The company sent me and a few other instructors for yoga training and then I started teaching yoga, what we consider power yoga today. Since then my study of yoga has expanded into many different types of yoga practices from gentle, yin, restorative, meditation and more.  I have gone on to complete the 200hr E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) yoga study with Ashley Ludman in Wilmington, NC and the 500hr RYT with the Asheville Yoga Center. I am also a certified Yoga Therapist through International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT). In addition, I am a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant and hold a B.S. in Health Studies from UNC-G. Recently, I completed Reiki training at Duke Integrative Medicine as a tool for my own self-care as well as adding to my yoga therapy services. My yoga path has connected my diverse interests in physical rehabilitation and health promotion to the use of yoga as a modality for healing. Yoga has impacted my life over the last 20 years in the most positive and life fulfilling way. I hope to share my passion and experience with yoga through classes, workshops and private sessions. For more information, contact me at

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Louise Keefer

T'ai Chi for Beginners

In 2006, I was stressed out, overworked and in dire need of a healthier lifestyle. Having not exercised since middle school, I joined a neighborhood fitness center and struggled to find the correct fit. I saw a poster for beginner t'ai chi ch'uan lessons. Intrigued, I signed up and after the first lesson, I couldn't practice enough. My life had changed.


T'ai chi has allowed me to overcome some lifelong health challenges and to follow a more holistic path to peace and wellness. As an educator, I was excited to share my experiences, so I asked my teacher if I might study to become certified through her in the 37-move Yang Style Short Form as taught to her by the original Master, Professor Cheng Man Ch'ing.


Over the past 10 years, I've developed a unique, Western teaching style. My approach is casual and clear: I incorporate the goals of each student and encourage questions while fostering the sense of community inherent to group practice. My focus is primarily on the health benefits staying true to the choreography of this softer form pioneered by the Professor and referencing the martial applications only to enhance learning.


Whether you're interested in improving your strength or balance; increasing focus and cognition; reducing stress; addressing the challenges of a chronic disease; or enhancing overall well being, adding an awareness of t'ai chi will no doubt help you and your practice may well enrich your life in ways you never expected. For more information, you can email me at

Reserve your spot in class with Louise!

Hi, I’m Caty. I love walks in nature, creating art, cooking, reading and spending time with my husband, kids, and dog. I also LOVE yoga. Yoga came into my life in my early 20s after a long illness. It helped me recover and feel joy in my body and peace in my being. I practice and teach a gentle style yoga. A practice that slows down the moment and allows me to tune in and listen to the body. It is a good feeling practice and one that I hope will make you feel more centered, stronger, and loving, too. All are welcome to join me for an hour of gentle stretching, meditative breathing and explorative movement. I also provide private lessons. Please check out my website at

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Caty Kendall

Mindful Yoga

Pat Dillon

Gentle Yoga

I teach Gentle Yoga for Inner Peace. I received my 200 hour certification through Loving Kindness Yoga School in Carrboro, NC. My intention is to provide a safe, welcoming environment to encourage curiosity and empowerment, with variations to allow each student to make the best choices for their unique practice. At its core, I believe yoga offers us a 'way in,' in order to experience the truth of who you are. Through gentle movement and focus on the breath, we develop mind/body awareness in order to facilitate the profound feeling of inner relaxation, centeredness...and peace. Step onto your mat, wherever you are in the moment, without expectation or judgment, and with loving kindness. 

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Kathleen Lezama


I am a Pilates Method Alliance® Certified Pilates Teacher and have been teaching mat classes since 2002. I originally started out in the fitness world teaching various forms of aerobics and resistance classes, but after discovering pilates, I fell in love with the method. Several years after earning a beginner and intermediate mat certification, I became pilates equipment certified. I am fortunate enough to be able to do what I love by teaching/training at the Duke Center for Living at Fearrington, and also in my home studio. I have 3 grown children and a soccer playing husband who is slowly warming up to the idea of pilates to help stay injury free…progress!

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Emily Burrows

Mindful Yoga, Studio Manager

I took my first yoga class in college while I was recovering from a knee injury, and in my nearly 2 decades of practice, yoga has helped me make peace with my body and my whole self in deep and lasting ways. I teach body positive, mindful yoga, with a focus on self compassion and trusting yourself. You're encouraged to let go of being “good” at yoga and instead get curious about how your practice feels. My classes include space for questions and self-guided movement. You’re invited to laugh at yourself, close your eyes, and forget the notion that you have to be young, thin, and bend like a pretzel to practice yoga. Yoga is for your unique body!

I offer self care coaching, private yoga lessons, retreats, and workshops throughout the Triangle and online. Visit

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Sandy Brady

MELT Foam Rolling

I ran across a description of a MELT class in 2014 when I was going through a difficult time; I was preparing to send a child to college while also serving as caretaker for a dying parent. So of course I was totally neglecting my own self-care. Intrigued by the idea of “hands-off bodywork” and captivated by the promise of “reducing chronic pain”, I signed up. The MELT techniques had a profound effect – not only by making me feel better physically, but also by improving my overall sense of well-being. After experiencing the changes in my own body, I felt compelled to learn to teach MELT so I could share it with others. I am a licensed massage therapist, so I am a firm believer in the efficacy of bodywork, but I am even more passionate about teaching people to do their own bodywork. The principles of MELT are grounded in the latest scientific understanding of how the human body works. So while I love to have fun in class, you’ll also find me working in explanations about the science of why and how MELT works. Learn more about MELT.

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Robin DeMent

Yoga for a Balanced Life

I discovered yoga later in life after suffering years of debilitating back pain that exercise and western medicine could not ease. With 25 years of study in human physiology, technology, genetics, and neuroscience under my belt, I embarked on a 2-year journey to heal myself through daily rituals of yoga, insight meditation and mindfulness practices. I am now a healed, committed student of yoga and concentrate my research and teaching on the valuable intersection where eastern and western practices combine to promote individual inner and outer health, as well as holistic peace and community well-being. I am an RYT-200 certified instructor and relish all opportunities to share my personal experiences, research and insights to inspire others to find their own unique healing power through yoga. I provide a safe, supportive space for students to challenge themselves without judgment and allow their own practice to unfold without force to meet their unique needs and intentions.

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Danielle Simon


My yoga practice started in high school when I took a yoga class for P.E. credit and discovered the mind body awareness that a yoga practice offered and the transformation of how yoga is more than just a sequence of poses on the mat. Through the years yoga has been: my outlet for stress and anxiety, therapeutic recovery from a knee injury, and a life-long journey learning to balance boundaries with courage, compassion, and connection. For the past six years, I have worked as a nurse for both ends of the age spectrum from critically ill newborns in a neonatal intensive care unit to high acuity adult medicine patients. I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training with Balance Through Movement to support my own self care and resilience. Naturally, with my background as a nurse, I incorporate anatomy, physiology, and body awareness to my yoga practice. My hamstrings are tight and my leg does not reach behind my head, instead I rely on props to support accessibility and create space in my practice. My yoga is a lifelong journey that continues to shift and change as I learn to balance movement with stillness, strength with length, to listen to my body, and to commit to showing up for myself. Off the mat, I can be found skiing, traveling, and nourishing my introverted soul anywhere I can be outside in nature.  

Denise DeForest Pastoor

Meditation, Yoga, and Ebb & Flow

I swirl in bubbling energy and an effusive passion for integrative health. “Empowering people in self-healing…shift from DOING TO BEING” is a mantra for my holistic private practice, SunStone Wellness, LLC. Whether I’m inviting people into stillness in meditation, balancing energy in Healing Touch, centering through mindfulness, embracing body awareness in yoga, dancing in Ebb & Flow ™or igniting insight through psychotherapy, I ENGAGE, ENERGIZE, and EMPOWER. 

As a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist, Healing Touch instructor, and integrative health educator, I affirm “We all have an amazing capacity for self-healing by tuning in…listening to our body, choosing positive thoughts, being heart-centered, grounding in presence.”

With my yoga training E-RYT-200 (Integral Yoga, LifeForce Yoga, Aqua Yoga, Aerial Yoga,) and body-based somatic education (NIA, Somatic Experiencing, Qigong), I founded Ebb & Flow™, a sensory movement curriculum blending meditation, yoga, expressive movement, to teach the simplicity and beauty of meditation and movement to create wholeness.  As a neuroscience and research geek, I share pearls of biofield energy therapies, mindfulness, meditation, and movement to anyone curious, as well as at national conferences, universities, and corporations.  

Click here for my series and workshops. Check out my guided meditation CDs, Creating Calm Within and Seeking Sleep, available on Amazon or at A Step To Health. Visit my website at

I am a licensed psychologist and health services provider (HSP-P) providing psychological services, including evaluation, therapy and consultation, to children, adolescents, young adults, and their families.

I began on a path of practicing mindfulness personally and professionally after a pivotal experience using Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) with individuals with developmental disabilities, who suffered from emotional regulation difficulties. Wanting to return to the rewards of clinical work grounded in mindfulness, I founded the Center for Mindful Development in 2013. As a mother of two children, I have found mindfulness especially beneficial during all moments of parenting. Learn more about my work at

Dr. Caroline Hexdall

Mindful Parenting

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The Studio at A Step To Health

410 Millstone Drive, Hillsborough, NC

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