Rachelle “Chelle” Pean grew up in Upstate, NY and noticed the lack of diversity in wellness spaces in Upstate NY, and wanted to create more spaces for all people to be emotionally vulnerable and practice self healing, especially those that haven’t had much access or exposure to healing spaces before. This passion and purpose birthed Root3d: a space is for EVERYONE to heal all 3 dimensions of themselves: the mind, body, and spirit.
Chelle is a licensed clinical social worker, a yoga instructor, and a reiki practitioner. Her individual work with clients focuses on helping people heal through past traumas to connect fully to their present life and thrive. Chelle is certified in using attachment focused EMDR (a technique to heal through traumatic incidents), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and has her 200 hour yoga teacher certification from Yoga to the People in NYC. She teaches a weekly donation based yoga class and self care workshops at Root3d.
Jamel is a multidisciplinary artist, business coach, traveler, marketer, DJ, and award-winning visual storyteller in the mediums of film and photography. Born in Jamaica, NY and raised in Albany, NY, Jamel is a dedicated advocate for a creative economy that will create jobs and provide equity to underserved and minoritized communities. Jamel is a co-owner of Root3d and will be doing all things marketing, photography, and sharing his good energy!
Karyn “poetik” Dyer is an intuitive reader with an intention to provide people a place to pause, channel their intuition, and reflect. She regularly offers sliding scale readings at Root3d with three card spreads (ex: past/present/future; mind/body/soul; you/the other person/ the relationship) accompanied with an oracle card reading. The sliding scale for a reading is $3-$15.
J’Vanay Santos found yoga while searching for ways to remedy her anxiety. Realizing the prevalence of mental health issues in society and her family, she sought the holistic approach to healing. Through yoga she has learned ways to calm her racing thoughts and uses techniques to develop mental toughness to strive for what scares her. She completed her 200 hour CYT certification through Marianne Wells Yoga School at the Goddess Garden in Costa Rica. J’Vanay’s classes are focused on the synchronicity of the mind, body and soul by curating sequences that target the healing of various chakra through movement and mindful breathing. Her classes aim to provide tools to assist in developing ones at home practice while also having technique for dealing with stressors off the mat. Her hope is that after each of her classes, you experience the euphoria that she felt the day she fell in love with yoga. Oh and you’ll do all this self-care to RnB & Soul music just to top it all off. She invites to come home to yourself through classes that are experiences and journeys within.
Shannon fell in love with yoga while working at a sleep away weight loss camp as a counselor. She attended her first yoga class in the middle of the Pocono Mountains on accident, and remembers lying is Savasana after class, feeling more comfortable and at home in her body than she ever knew was possible. That experience completely challenged her expectations of yoga and herself, and so she set out on a journey to learn as much as she possibly could about different schools of thought and practices.
After receiving her Bachelor’s in English with double minors in Women’s Studies and Education, Shannon traveled to Suryalia Yoga Retreat Centre in Andalusia, Spain to obtain her 200-hour certification with Vidya Heisel of Frog Lotus Yoga. She completed Bethany Spencer’s 60-hour Hot 26 Revolution Teacher Training at The Hot Yoga Spot in Albany, New York. After teaching at a dance studio and working as a Special Education teacher, she discovered Baptiste Yoga, and became more curious about deepening her understanding of asana, meditation, and inquiry through the Baptiste Foundation. She completed the 100 hour Level 1 Baptiste training with Baron Baptiste
.Currently, Shannon studies Clinical Social Work at UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare. She encourages her students take the lessons they learn about themselves off their mats and into our world, and to have some fun, too.
Sasha is an Advanced Reiki practitioner and owner of ‘Indie Vibez’, which specializes in handmade, chakra balancing bath and body products that are infused with Reiki charged crystals. Her mission is to help others curate good vibez for their soul and their home.
Sasha is passionate about creatively making space in the wellness community for ALL women through accessibility and affordability and will be offering sliding scale Reiki sessions at Root3d!
Jordan Taylor Hill
Jordan Taylor Hill is an artist from Huntington, NY with a background in traditional cultures of West Africa. His first experience abroad in 2011 was in Senegal (West Africa) where his love for Djembe and Sabar was first sparked. Since this time Jordan has continued to study with several teachers from this culture and places such as Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Guinea. He spent a month immersed in a dance and drum intensive under master dancer Moustapha Bangoura in 2019 in his home country Guinea Conakry and is excited to join the Root3d family to share his love of Drum and Dance!
Damaris Miller is a farmer, storyteller, and organizer committed to creating spaces of rest and transformation for Black, Indigenous and other People of Color, queer and trans folks, and activists. They have been hosting meditation circles and retreats for over 7 years, focusing on using the tools of meditation, deep listening, storytelling, and movement for both personal and collective healing and transformation. They believe intensely in the power of communal practice to collectively transform the obstacles that prevent us from being whole. Damaris comes to this work grounded in the teachings of the Buddha and guidance from the earth and ancestors. They are deeply excited to connect and hold space at Get Free, a biweekly meditation circle for people of color at Root3d.
Amani Olugbala is an artist, organizer and radical educator committed to community healing and justice. Shelah Marie’s hip-hop mixtape was one of Amani’s earliest introductions to meditation and since then Amani been excited to build with other folks seeking to reclaim their “healer within” and build tools for survival and thrival with marginalized peoples. Meditating almost daily and intentionally since November 2017, Amani still feels new to “practice” and is excited to learn and grow with folks at all levels at Root3d. Amani has been facilitating reflection circles for peer counseling, affirmations and group healing for 7+ years and is excited to hold space with Black, Indigenous and other People of Color looking to deepen their own “practice” in community.
Amani is most experienced in guided meditations rooted in mindfulness, born of the Buddhist tradition and is excited to learn more in the way of African spirituality with “Get Free”. Amani creates and shares hip-hop and poetry in the genre of “meditative lyricism” as Amani O+ and is excited to create and share more art that encourages loving-kindness, mindfulness, activism and self exploration.
Amber has been practicing yoga since 1999, and discovered Ashtanga yoga in 2010. Since then, she has trained in the Ashtanga lineage with David Williams, David Swenson and Kathy McNames. Amber began sharing her knowledge and training with friends and private clients in 2012, and received her 200-hour teacher training from Yoga Vermont, an Ashtanga yoga studio in Burlington, VT, with Kathy McNames. She enjoys teaching Ashtanga yoga and making it accessible to practitioners of all levels. As an eternal student, Amber continues to train at Yoga Vermont in pursuit of her 500-hour teaching certificate.
Her Ashtanga practice has allowed her to reach yoga as defined by the classical yoga text, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, “Yogash chitta vritti nirodhah,” roughly translated, “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” The goal of the Ashtanga yoga practice is to create a moving meditation, something that has been a transformative part of her spiritual journey. Amber’s regular yoga practice is her therapy, meditation, and vehicle for physical wellness.
As someone with a serious wanderlust affliction, she enjoys all forms of adventuring from exploring the outdoors to traveling and learning about as many cultures and languages this life will allow. By day, she focuses her energy on education equity and workforce development via public policy and programs.
Shameka is a Disability Advocate and Consultant and author of children's book, “Butterfly on Wheels”. In 2006 Shameka won the title of Ms Wheelchair NY. Four years ago she started meditating and doing chair yoga to relieve symptoms from her disability Spina Bifida. Shameka believes when you have found something that works for you in your life you should share with others. I believe meditation can not only bring peace to individuals that use it but to those around them and I have seen this in my own life especially when it comes to children. I think we all have so much going on doing meditation even for just for a few minutes can bring some peace in the middle of all the chaos.
Vanessa is from Queens, NY. Whoop Whoop! Vanessa has a marketing and project management background in various industries, and also works with energy healing; duality! Through her experience, she has continuously learned to worked with people from all different realms. Her move to Albany, NY empowered for her to pursue work that allows her to hold space for others to deeply connect with themselves. She's always had a heart for connecting with people and helping them heal and love themselves.
Theresa was named after her amazing grandma who has inspired much of her journey in many ways. She’s created her own business Theresa with Intention as an outlet to give exposure to her handmade healing jewelry. She started creating again after experiencing many overwhelming losses and eventually listening to signs from the universe to dig deep within herself. She began to explore her journey by being intentional with her self healing. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker from Harlem, a seamstress, and lover of travel. Theresa believes we all have within ourselves what we need to heal at our own pace. We need reminders at times: support, tools, self love, and safe spaces to heal but as we heal ourselves we heal our communities.
Aaron comes from Albany NY and has always had a heart for the stage and screen . Having trained under Ward Dales and Gregory Marsh at Albany high school's Drama program. Aaron then took his talents to suny Potsdam there he earned a degree in Theatre Ed with a concentration in African American theatre, and continued his education at The Alvin and Ally dance company, The Micheal’s school for therapeutic Arts, and the Classical theatre of Harlem. Aaron has performed and worked with local and non-local company’s such as Capital Rep theatre , Pendragon Theatre company, Youth FX, The African American culture center, Young futures, Proctors, The roundtable theatre company, NBC, Showtime, The History Channel, and much more.
“I truly believe that art flows through all of us, and given the right resources anyone can shine under the lights. That’s what I want to bring to my community: a chance to heal and shine”.
Jammella is a 500hr Registered Yoga Teacher in Albany, NY. Jammella began her yoga practice in 2012 and was immediately hooked. She began to see through the growth of her spiritual and physical health how transformative the practice was. The deeper she dove into the yoga the more she learned – and the less she felt she knew. After encouragement from her teachers, she began her YTT and things have been different ever since.
“My mission as a teacher, is to remind people that they are whole. Not a piece, or a part. I want my classes to help you find your way back to yourself and to show you how to be and stay in your power. Yoga is for everyone, it’s inclusive and there is a practice out there for everyone - it’s not once size fits all. I want you to leave my classes feeling refreshed, re-aligned and ready for life off the mat.”
Gordon Collier, born and raised in the Capital Region of New York, is the founder and therapist of Beyond Living- a practice that offers opportunities both on the micro and macro levels with individual and group counseling, organizational training and consultation, as well as public speaking. Gordon also currently works as a Provider Relations Specialist with the Care Design NY—a prospective Care Coordination Organization (CCO), a person-centered initiative in supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities along with their families, which reduces fragmentation of services and increasing quality and connectivity to supportive services. Gordon holds a master’s degree in Social Work from the University at Albany and has experience working with individuals living and coping with HIV/AIDS, mental health, and substance use.
Gordon is a licensed social worker and is a certified Bridges Out of Poverty Facilitator and Trainer, Life Coach and Trainer in New York Model for Batterer’s Program. He has received In Our Own Voices’ LGBT POC Health and Human Service Award in 2018. He serves on the executive committee on the Board of Directors for the Albany Damien Center. He is also a fellow in the New Leaders Council- a national professional development organization created to recruit, educate, and prepare the next generation of progressive leaders. Gordon is also an adjunct professor of Social Work at Siena College. At Siena College, he leverages his experience as a social worker and his experience as a young scholar of color to teach his students to lead with an open mind and an open heart.
Gordon enjoys spending time with friends and family, engaging in intellectual conversation, and offering an open ear to anyone in need.
Ashley is a healer of self and others and lover of humanity. She believes that choosing to heal is a radical act of self-love. Once we take the time to learn and heal ourselves and our wounds we can emerge toward collective empowerment. She is a trained Social Worker currently working in day treatment with youth in a school setting who have mental health and developmental disabilities. Ashley has experience working with diverse populations but her main focus is supporting the needs of girls, women, and communities of color. She is fueled by her passion to help black and brown girls and women to achieve their dreams through education. She believes that education in any form is the gateway to creating a full life that can lift families and future generations out of poverty and struggle.
Ashley considers herself a “student of life” consistently learning from the world around her. She works with others to rediscover, redefine, and effectively utilize their power to live a fulfilling life through education, awareness, and discovery of self, and accountability. She works with individuals to recognize their multi-faceted nature and show compassion to each version of themselves.
Lauren’s mission and vision for Little Feathers yoga + meditation for kids grew during the five years she spent as a family support specialist. During this time Lauren served dozens of families from a diverse set of socioeconomic backgrounds, helping each family understand how to support their child’s specific emotional and developmental needs. Through trainings dedicated to infant and child mental health, and “front line” experience working directly with families she gained valuable insight and knowledge on the importance of establishing mental health and self care into the daily routines of our most vulnerable, impressionable population, children. Lauren had the incredible opportunity to help parents become confident with their skills to support their child’s mental well being. In 2019 Lauren became certified to instruct children’s yoga with Kidding Around Yoga (a Registered Yoga School), branched out and created Little Feathers yoga + meditation for kids. Having two young children herself, Lauren is on a mission to change how her community works together to build self-loving, strong minds that are able to confidently cope with life.
Cody received her 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Ayurveda in Stockbridge, MA in 2016. She brings Kripalu’s guiding principles to her classes, most notably, the cultivation of non-judgmental curiosity and connection to one’s body.
Trauma-informed practices and inclusivity are at the heart of Cody's classes. In the summer of 2018, she completed a training with Molly Boeder-Harris, founder of The Breathe Network, to further her knowledge and sensitivity. She also completed her Yoga for 12-Step Recovery (Y12SR) training with program founder Nikki Myers in the of Fall 2019. Cody spends the majority of her teaching hours at the Albany Stratton VA Memorial Hospital offering chair, mat and meditation classes for our veterans.
Cody's gentle community classes are great for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. Come practice with her in a supportive environment and leave with tools to help you thrive on and off the mat.
Laquanya is a native of the Capital District Region. With an enthusiasm for helping people see the impossible within themselves, her motto is "be kind to yourself." She endeavors to help create vision in those she works with to instill a hope for their future with a combination of passion, creativity and thoughtfulness.
Laquanya Haggray is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Level II Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor. Founder of Ready Counseling Services in Albany, NY, she specializes in creating a safe, calm, healing environment to address symptoms of anxiety, depression and trauma.