Nancy Candea: Founder, Director and Lead Trainer
An activist in the global health revolution, Nancy is committed to practicing the best version of herself every day, and to using her talents to contribute to the upliftment of humankind.
She is a C-IAYT, 500 E-RYT, and RCYT who teaches yoga classes, works with private clients, and conducts retreats, Yoga Teacher Trainings and Yoga Therapy Trainings in Greece, the Navaho Nation, the Dominican Republic, Detroit, New Jersey, Colorado, and Hawaii. MORE ABOUT NANCY
Nancy Merant: Board Member
Nancy Merant is the VP of Business Development for The Real Co. She is the co-founder and President of RISE (Ready to Inspire, Serve and Elevate), a non-profit dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs in the wellness space. She is also a certified Bikram Yoga instructor. A former Investment Banker, she is a graduate of the University of Virginia.
Nadine Cualoping: Board Member
Nadine is a marketing executive and fitness enthusiast with a professional background in consumer and digital marketing at Fortune 500 companies including Health.com, AOL, Disney and The Coca-Cola Company. She graduated with a BS from Loyola University of Chicago and an MBA from Penn State University and holds teacher training certifications in 200 hour RYS, Hot Power Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Skeletal Anatomy & Yoga Asana, Muscle Anatomy & Yoga Asana, Kinesiology of Yoga Asana, and a certification in Mental Health First Aid. Nadine has been practicing yoga for over 16 years and joined the Yoga Impact Board in 2018.
Dr. Michelle Barrett: Board Member, Research Director
Dr. Barrett is an Assistant Professor and Program Chair for Psychology at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ. She is also a licensed psychologist in NJ and CA. Her clinical interests are Health Psychology, Psychology of Women and Psychodynamic/Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice. She has worked with individuals experiencing a wide range of difficulties and served on crisis response teams in NJ. Dr. Barrett has given many presentations on Adolescence, Test Anxiety, Healthy Relationships and Trauma. She has co-led service learning trips to the Dominican Republic focusing on domestic violence education and prevention. She is a board member of Yoga Impact and a 200 hour certified yoga instructor. She is interested in how yoga and meditation can be beneficial for several mental health issues.
Krista Wood: Blogger and Mentor
First being introduced to yoga as a means to manage personal health issues, Krista has experienced firsthand the therapeutic benefits of a consistent yoga practice.
In addition to her 200 hour and 500 hour yoga certification through Yoga Impact, she has earned an additional 200 hours in the therapeutic use of yoga for injury, illness and mental health issues.
Through Yoga Impact Outreach Programs, Krista has volunteered her time working with vulnerable populations who deal with homelessness and mental health issues.
Tefany Santana: Assistant Trauma Trainer
Tefany was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and currently resides in Newark, NJ. She graduated summa cum laude from the City College of New York with a BA in Liberal Arts. After dedicating 17 years of service with the United Nations, she decided to change careers and pursue her passion in Yoga & Mental Health Wellness. Tefany is passionate about women’s empowerment and raising awareness on the effects of complex trauma. Her own healing journey from childhood sexual abuse has led her to complete an 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course, a 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training, and 40 hours of training in Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. She is furthering her training in yoga, and is in the process of completing her 500 hour certification. Tefany firmly believes in the healing power of yoga and that yoga should be accessible to under-served populations. She teaches trauma-informed yoga, and believes that by reminding students that they always have the choice over their bodies, they become empowered, and empowerment is at the heart of healing. Tefany recently facilitated a chair yoga class in Spanish at Hostos Community College for people affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, as well as a 2-hour workshop for women that focused on self-care and gentle yoga. She will be presenting on Understanding Complex Trauma and Teaching Trauma-Informed Yoga at the "Calm Steps to Vibrant Action" Yoga Summit in Houck, Arizona.
Belinda Thurston: Digital Griot
Belinda, E-RYT 200, is the founder of Just B Yoga & Tai Chi LLC, Michigan’s only full-time donation-based yoga studio. The studio, founded in 2010, is a safe space with a mission of accessibility and affordability especially. The studio is best known for its support of the LGBTQIA community, plus-sized students, and trauma survivors.
Belinda is trained in trauma-sensitive yoga, yoga for special needs, yoga for children and teens, yoga for bigger bodies and yoga for addiction recovery. A bulk of her work is teaching yoga for survivors of sexual trauma, working with local nonprofits and government agencies.
Belinda retired from 23 years in the newspaper industry, specializing in multimedia, digital and investigative journalism. She has worked at small and large newspapers including the Dallas Morning News and USA Today.
Belinda is a talented speaker and storyteller who’s presentations combine the lessons of a corporate career and being a survivor of sexual trauma and with yoga, tai chi and meditation practices.
Belinda has been a presenter on mindfulness, trauma and wellness and social justice for colleges, government, and other agencies. She is passionate about the role yoga can have in the social justice movement and toward healing generational wounds.
Just B Yoga was recognized among the top 10 studios in Michigan in 2017. Belinda received the Woman of the Year Award by the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing in 2013. Belinda and the studio were honored as a Michigan Hometown Health Hero in 2012.
Michelle Radley: Training Mentor
Michelle is the owner of her own decorative concrete business has retained a passion for yoga since she was 16 years old. She took her 200 hour training at Yoga Impact with Nancy Candea and completed an advanced 313 hr training and enrolled in her 500hr RYT. Yoga has been a practice and a discipline that facilitates strength and guidance in her work and personal life. She is known for her insight and candor, and by example she shares this with everyone she encounters. She intends to, with leadership and mentoring, offer a view of the world with yoga that will enrich the lives of persons around her. She has helped mentor both the Newark Yoga Teacher Training and the Navajo Nation Yoga Teacher Training.