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Gina Ward, Founder

Hey there! I am so excited you found us and even more excited to share with you what me and the team is all about. I started my yoga journey when my doctor told me no more running or triathlons for at least 6 months. Yep, I had the dreaded knee injury from long-term endurance training. So I stumbled into a yoga studio in 2010. It was the perfect addition to my packed workout schedule of teaching spin, bootcamp, step and any other form of gym class possible. I even got trained to teach yoga, because why not, I taught everything else. You see I was a collector of certificates, degrees and accomplishments. Then my life changed!

In 2014, my father committed suicide. This was after losing all four grandparents over the course of 2 years prior and losing my mom when I was 19. And lost is what I felt.  Lost, hopeless, angry and full of resentment.  And then I discovered Baptiste Power Yoga, different from what I was already doing. 

You see, after my father’s death, I wanted to both distract and fix myself, so of course I signed up for another training (another certificate to add to my collection) at a Baptiste Affiliate Studio. Because who doesn’t need to take two 200hr Yoga Teacher Trainings.  I had no idea what I was really signing up for. This training transformed my life and the real lightbulb moment occurred for me when I was standing in front of the group, blaming my family for my problems, complaining about what they had done and holding tightly onto what had happened to me in the past, when my teacher said; “but Gina, you are not 13 years old anymore!” You see, I was living my life as the 13-year-old little girl whose dad had left her and who’s mom had wronged her……and so much more. This looked like being angry all the time, not connecting with people, refusing to get close and running when someone did get close.  I did this for 23 years. It was exhausting!

Baptiste Power Yoga and its methodology showed me that I have the power to create what I want, most importantly to create who I am being. To take responsibility for what is happening, clean it up if need be and move through so that I can live in the present moment and really be with myself and others.  Because of this, I quite my corporate job and opened HEART & GRIT Power Yoga (formerly Moonshine Power Yoga).  Before Baptiste Yoga, I did not have a community, I had very little joy in my life and I rarely told anyone that I loved them.  Now, my community spans internationally, I choose to live in joy and I say I love you to so many people on a daily basis.  

This practice is about possibility, about discovering what is available to you that has always been available, you just have to look. This practice is about transforming how you see and think so that you can live a life fully awake, present and full of aliveness.  This practice is about freedom; oh and about sweating your ass off a WHOLE LOT!

Now for the technical stuff……I completed my first 200hr training in 2013 and a second one with Grace & Glory Yoga in 2015. I am a Tier 3 1200hr Certified Baptiste Influencer and a graduate of the FIT-to LEAD (Faculty in Training) program with the Baptiste Yoga Institute. I have assisted three Baptiste Institute programs and am an Ambassador for the Baptiste Foundation, leading the #unstoppable program. I have a Masters Degree in Exercise Science and am a certified fitness instructor with the American Council on Exercise.  I have led 8 Yoga Teacher Trainings, multiple workshops and weekend trainings and I have been instructing fitness classes since 2001.


Marisa Everett

I have been practicing yoga since 2008, after the birth of my first son. I practiced yoga for "me" time and its stress-reducing, relaxing qualities. A few months after the birth of my second son, in 2011, I attended my first vinyasa class.  Although it was very challenging, I found it exhilarating and I was quickly hooked to the power classes. My practice makes me feel ALIVE and FREE!!! I constantly want to learn more and I'm eager to share with everyone. I am grateful for my teachers who have led me with patience and acceptance. I have learned to unleash my inner warrior and I hope to do the same for others.

I completed my first 250-hour teacher training with Dhyana Yoga in February 2013. I completed my 500-hour training program at HEART & GRIT Power Yoga.  I have attended Level 1, Level 2, Art of Assisting and Advanced Art of Assisting training with the Baptiste Institute.  I am a Tier 1 Certified Baptiste Teacher and have a Yin Certificate of Training.


Stephanie Quinones

I had my first experience with yoga in 2007 where I went to unwind and reset. Over the next few years, I had wanted to learn more and deepen my practice, but I took a different path. After a messy break up and a battle with addition, I moved to south jersey to find inner peace. I finally made my way back onto my mat and was granted the gift of HEART & GRIT's Level Up Yoga Teacher Training & Leadership Program. Here I learned how to take what I discovered on my mat into my daily life. I now no longer hope to reach my goals, but live each day with intention. I am grateful to share my passion for this practice with the HEART & GRIT community. It is a place where I feel at home and able to share my authentic self with the world and inspire others to dig deeper into what the Baptiste Power Yoga practice can offer, on and off the mat.

I completed my 200-hour and 300-hour teacher training at HEART & GRIT Power Yoga. I have attended Art of Assisting and Level 1 with the Baptiste Institute.


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Erica Crum

"I am going to start yoga."  This is what I said to myself for 10 years. Finally a friend encouraged me to try HEART & GRIT Power Yoga in March of 2016. Since then, the practice has become my whole way of life. Prior to yoga, procrastination was fully in charge of the way I lived. From career goals, life decisions and simply trying something new, I had let it keep me from fully living the life that I wanted. Since starting yoga, I have and continue to learn new tools to use on my journey through life and to be a YES. Yoga is a life long commitment and has helped create balance in every aspect of my life, as a wife, mother, daughter, friend and self-care. I am empowered in my life by all that is possible by living intentionally. I am grateful for the teachers at HEART & GRIT and the sense of belonging I have felt since first walking into the studio. I am now thrilled to be on the team and to have the opportunity to share my love of yoga with the community.

I completed my 200-hour teacher training at HEART & GRIT Power Yoga and have attended Art of Assisting and Level 1 with the Baptiste Institute. I am currently enrolled in the 300-hr teacher training at HEART & GRIT. I have my teaching certificate in Kids Yoga and Yin Yoga.  

 


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Mary Kutch

My first yoga experience was in high school as an alternative to gym class. It wasn't until my sophomore year of college that I stepped back on my mat and started to reap the benefits of yoga. Off and on for years I was using yoga to supplement other forms of exercise and to help keep me in awareness of my body and mind. I finally committed myself to the work of Baptiste Power Yoga and learned that everything that happened on my mat was a perfect parallel to how everything happens in my life. Yoga is so much more than a workout. My mind has been blown by this practice which is why I decided to be a yes and take on a teacher-leader role at HEART & GRIT. I am grateful for this journey and am excited to share it with the HEART & GRIT community. 

I completed my 200hr teacher training at HEART & GRIT Power Yoga in January 2018. 


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Kayla Pinnix

After practicing yoga on my own for years, I decided to take a class at HEART & GRIT Power Yoga. I was instantly hooked by how the practice made me feel physically stung, mentally focused and clear and empowered to take on anything. I signed up for the Level Up Teacher Training the first month of membership. I love discovering the meaning of how you show up on your mat is how you show up in life. The more I learn from Baptiste Power Yoga, the more I want to share and inspire others to make a difference. I have a passion for this practice and I am excited to watch my students and myself grow and transform. 

I completed my 200hr teacher training at HEART & GRIT in January 2017 and have attended Level 1 and the Art of Assisting with the Baptiste Institute. I am currently enrolled in the 300hr teacher training at HEART & GRIT. I have a Master degree in Wellness and Lifestyle Management.


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Brittany Ponti

I took my first yoga class in 2014 at a gym, when being and looking fit were my main priorities. I threw myself into working out and getting as strong as possible to avoid facing anything I deemed to be a problem. I decided to try studio yoga at HEART & GRIT and as luck and the universe would have it, I realized it was exactly what I had been missing my life. I felt alive and seen during an activity I originally used as something to escape the present moment. I signed up for all the programs they offered and embraced what I learned and decided to enroll in the Level Up Teacher Training. I let go of all the reasons as to why I thought I could not be a teacher-leader and went for it. This practice has taught me how to not only put in the work to make my vision of life a reality, but also to lead others to discovering what else is possible for them.

I completed my 200hr Teacher Training at HEART & GRIT Power Yoga in January 2017 and have attended Level 1 and the Art of Assisting with the Baptiste Institute.  I am currently enrolled in the 300hr Yoga Teacher Training at HEART & GRIT Power Yoga.


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Gina Pusloski

I first started practicing yoga in 2015 as a means to loosen up my tight legs for running, but then I discovered so much more! I practiced on and off for nearly two years and then signed up for the 40 Days to Personal Revolution Program and it completely changed my way of thinking, both on and off the mat. The practice has given me so much more than I could have imaged 3 years ago when I started. I am thrilled to be able to share this practice now as a HEART & GRIT teacher-leader of this community.  

I completed my 200hr teacher training at HEART & GRIT Power Yoga in January 2018 and I have attended the Level One and The Art of Assisting with the Baptiste Institute. I have a teaching certificate in Yin Yoga and completed the UNBREAKABLE training with the Baptist Foundation.


Cat Cuneo

In 2008 I was working full time, getting my undergraduate degree at Drexel and raising my 6 yr old son, so a Yoga class sounded like the perfect way to relieve stress! That one class changed my life! I was so eager to learn everything I could about Yoga both in classes and in workshops. I practiced Bikram yoga until 3 years ago when elbow surgery slowed my practice down for several months. During my rehab I began practicing Vinyasa Yoga and became very aware that yoga is much more than just a physical workout. I knew my next step was to teach yoga and share everything about the practice and how it is changing my life off the mat. After teaching for a couple of years I began to look for new inspiration that would allow me to grow as a teacher which is how I found my first Baptiste Program, Advanced Art of Assisting. I soon discovered HEART & GRIT Power Yoga and fell in love with a new beginning of possibilities, connections and discovery into my own power! I am grateful for the community and teachers at the studio, for their guidance & sharing and I am beyond excited to be a part of the team!

I earned my Vinyasa teaching certificate in 2017 at Balanced Planet Yoga. I have completed the Advanced Art of Assisting, Level 1 and the Teacher Course with the Baptiste Institute. I have completed the 6 week Teacher-Leader Mentoring Program with Gina and I am currently enrolled in the 100hr Made to Lead Teacher Immersion.

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Jacqueline Garruto

I was a highly competitive athlete all of my life in a variety of sports including Division I Rowing in college. After sustaining an injury in college, I harnessed the power of yoga to heal and transform my body. Practicing yoga brought me a feeling of tranquility that I was missing in my busy non-stop life. The Baptiste Power Yoga practice and community have impacted my life deeply and guide everything I do. My intention as a teacher is to share my passion for Baptiste Yoga and generate inspiration and awareness in my students so they too can live a life filled with passion.

I completed my 200hr Teacher Training at HEART & GRIT Power Yoga in May of 2019 and have attended the Art of Assisting with the Baptiste Institute.