A licensed Master Social Worker in both clinical and macro specialty, Sarah has worked as a facilitator, counselor and advocate for families in a variety of settings, including schools, residential facilities, in-home and clinics, locally and abroad. Sarah strives to develop community organization through her work with non-profits. She has served as the Trainings and Technical Assistance Chair for the Michigan Network For Youth and Families’ board and served on the Community Advisory Board for the University of Michigan Maternal and Child Health Training Program.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for South Oakland Shelter as well as on her local AAUP union as a member of the Academic Staff Steering Committee. After being an active member of the Wayne State University School of Social Work Alumni Board, Sarah joined the School of Social Work as an Advisor for the Master’s program. She is currently completing a certificate in Maternal Mental Health through Postpartum Support International. As a new mom, she hopes to instill a sense of support and provide resources for moms within her community.
Director of Family Services
Laurane is the owner of Passerine Pals, and a certified instructor for Baby Signing Time! where she teaches children from 0 - 36 months how to communicate before they have their big-kid words. Laurane is a graduate from Specs Howard School of Media arts with a focus on Graphic Design. After the birth of her son, Evan, Laurane chose to stay home with him for the his first year. Having grown up with ASL her whole life, and seeing the near immediate benefits with Evan she fell in love with sharing the gift of communication with other families.
Juliana Schewe, E-RYT, RPYT, YACEP, Dancing for Birth™ Instructor
Director of Fitness & Education
Juliana is a trained Anusara-Inspired Yoga teacher whose playful and creative classes weave together metaphor, philosophy and principles of alignment. Her classes are infused with her effervescent personality and encouraging nature. As a visual artist and belly dancer, Juliana was drawn to yoga as a means of harnessing her creative energy, to alleviate stress and to deepen her awareness of the anatomy and movement of the body. She specializes in prenatal yoga and completed her training through Mindful Mamas and wants to support mamas-to-be as she was during her pregnancy. She has been belly dancing for 15 years and belly danced throughout her entire first & second pregnancies as well as through first stage labor. She has masters degrees in Fine Arts as well as in Art Education and currently works in public education. Yoga, belly dance and art are a way of life for Juliana. As a new mother, she is committed to living her life with compassion and awareness, in order to create a strong foundation for her family and the global community to flourish.
Joanna holds an education specialist equivalent from Wayne State University’s School and Community Psychology program. She is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist who has over 18 years of experience working in education, with 15 years of experience in special education. Joanna passionately believes in celebrating the small, quiet moments that create our relationships with children- moments in nature, moments in sharing a story or a song, moments in a good-night ritual. Her most rewarding work has been with supporting children with challenging behaviors at home and in the classroom. Hearing what children are telling us with their behaviors is always one of her goals. She has a passion for supporting families in navigating special education, always striving to promote strong relationships between child and family, as well as between family and school. Joanna and her husband live in Royal Oak with their two children.
Tessa Benziger is a registered yoga teacher and a master’s level social worker and therapist. She is passionate about helping children and adults alike connect with their own source of peace and strength through yoga, breath, meditation, and empowerment-based counseling. She is a Certified Trauma Specialist through the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children, and has completed her prenatal certification through Mindful Mamas. She is the mother of three wild and beautiful children, and practices mindfulness daily to help manage her sleep-deprived, stain-covered, love-filled life.
Cortney is trained in Infant Massage though Infant Massage USA. She is also working towards certification in an evidenced based intervention, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, or PCIT, for short. Full time, Cortney is the Quality Supervisor for Starfish Family Services in Wayne County. Cortney graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work in 2004 and a Masters of Social Work in 2005 from Eastern Michigan University. When not working, Cortney enjoys spending time with her lovely, strong spirited daughters.
Jennifer Day IBCLC, CLS, CLE
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with the Oakland County Health Division’s Women Infant and Children Program (WIC), Previous Lactation Intern at St. John Providence Hospital, Chairperson of the Oakland County Breastfeeding Coalition and facilitator of an incredibly successful Breastfeeding Support Group entitled “Meet, Nurse, Love” in Oakland County, MI. The married mother of two happy, healthy, breastfed children endeavors to bring best practices to mothers while educating the public, in an effort to create breastfeeding positive spaces. She is an accomplished public speaker both locally and nationally, an advocate and educator with thousands of hours of experience in assisting and supporting pregnant and lactating family's in clinical and in-home settings. She also sits on the Board of Directors with the Michigan Breastfeeding Network, is a member of the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color (NAPPLSC), Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA) and has done consulting work with Black Mother’s Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
Yoga Play Instructor
Carly completed her 200-Hour Power Teacher training at Corepower Yoga in Chicago in summer, 2014. Carly’s classes encourage mindfulness and strength by guiding students through a blend of vinyasa flow, balancing poses, inversions, and a spirit of playfulness. Carly brings awareness to the power of students’ breath while leading them through poses. She encourages students to self-reflect and become more self-aware, and also step outside comfort zones through their yoga practice . Carly is a long-time yogi who fell in love with the way the practice made her feel, mentally and physically.
Carly completed her bachelor’s degree at Michigan and her Education Specialist degree in school psychology at Loyola University in Chicago. She works in a local public school district. She conducts special education evaluations and works collaboratively with the school team and student families. She leads special education students through a yoga flows and teaches lessons on mindfulness and social skills.
Carly lives in Royal Oak with her husband, Chris and baby boy, Mac. She loves tailgating in Ann Arbor, spending time at farmers markets, attempting new recipes, and fueling her days with coffee.
Ashley Gammon, CPT, Mutu Pro™
Ashley Gammon, CPT, Mutu Pro™. Ashley studied with American Council on Exercise to become certified as a personal trainer. She was also one of the first of 33 to be certified as a Mutu Pro™ by founder of Mutu System® Wendy Powell. This is a globally recognized, medically endorsed program designed specially for the postpartum body. Ashley is very passionate about teaching and educating women on how to ease their postartum body back into into fitness. So if you are looking to strengthen your core and pelvic floor and get fit + strong + body confident Ashley is your girl! The method she teaches can and will help with a diastasis recti, leaking, incontinence, alleviating lower back pain, the baby pooch and most of all gaining confidence in your new postpartum body. Ashley is a military wife and mother to three girls. She was a MuTu mama herself before she became a MuTu Pro. She truly believes that every woman, especially one who has had a child should know and do MuTu, and most importantly it is NEVER too late!
Baby Sign Language Instructor
Karie is a social worker and baby signing time instructor. She has been working with children in various capacities since 2012. She loves being able to work with kids and families with fun and creative approaches in all classes. She is fluent in English and American Sign Language.
Michelle is a registered yoga teacher, teaching since 2001. Her passion has been about creating a space for parents and caregivers, with their children to be present with one another. Believing that the ultimate act of mindfulness is the ability to notice oneself from the inside in the presence of our children, creating connections that are everlasting. Michelle is grateful to all the yogi's that have come before us to allow us to interpret yoga in our own way that fosters these connections.
Amy has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Language Arts and a master’s degree in Special Education with an endorsement in Autism Spectrum Disorder from Oakland University. As well as long term substitute positions in various districts and special education classrooms Amy taught for five years in an elementary classroom for students with Autism. Since taking time off from being in the classroom full time, she has started tutoring, sharing her love of literacy by selling Usborne books, become a babywearing educator with Babywearing International, and a certified instructor with Baby Signing Time. She loves watching children learn or experience something new and is excited to be teaching again. On top of beginning to teach classes here, Amy is happy to talk with caregivers of children with special needs about anything they may need help with.
Certified Reflexologist & Reiki Master Teacher
Tanja is a Usui/Holy Fire and Karuna Reiki Master Teacher and Sacred Childbirth with Reiki practitioner who has studied all levels of Reiki with William Rand, Founder of the International Center for Reiki. A Certified Reflexologist with over 250 hours of reflexology training, she has also studied Clinical Aromatherapy, Healing Touch, Polarity Therapy, Herbalism, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). After over a decade as a freelance writer and university instructor, she embarked on a full-time journey of uncovering peace, joy, and vibrant living as a Holistic Well Being Coach and Energy Medicine Practitioner. She is mother to two adventurous daughters and a beautiful baby son, and brings natural healing and gratitude into every aspect of her family’s life.
Larissa is a Licensed Massage Therapist, owner and sole proprietor of Massage Renewal LLC. Her passion is helping others find relief from pain and stress as well as finding a sense of body rejuvenation. Larissa’s interest in massage therapy was sparked by her completion of Life/Yoga Teacher training. Larissa graduated from Irene’s Myomassology Institiute in 2010. Larissa currently works in a chiropractic setting, helping people to decrease pain and increase relaxation, circulation, muscle health and mobility. Her strengths as a massage therapist include: Therapeutic/Deep Tissue, Prenatal and Swedish massage. Larissa also offers in-home massage. As a parent herself, Larissa knows how difficult it can be to make time for one’s own needs. When we give a little to ourselves, it can help us nourish the lives around us.
Speech and Language Pathologist
Karin has over 20 years of experience working in special education including inclusive education, 10 years as a speech pathologist (with a special focus on early childhood autism), and 5 years working in Early Intervention. She is trained in Music Together! ® and leads drum circles as a Health Rhythms Facilitator for people of all ages. Karin has a passion for connecting through music and for sharing her knowledge of Augmentative and Alternative Communication with families who need tools to help their children who are not yet talking to express themselves.
Preya has been a practicing CranioSacral Therapist for 11 years. She is also a University of Michigan alumni, Yoga teacher, Theta Healing Instructor, Corporate Wellness Speaker, and Ordained Minister. She integrates these passions into each powerful patient focused holistic healing session. CranioSacral therapy (CST) is a light touch modalities in which the practitioner will ‘tune in’ to the body’s natural rhythm to release long standing physical, emotional and spiritual blockages. Preya has successfully treated hundreds of clients with a multitude of concerns from chronic and acute pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, autism, cerebral palsy, neuromuscular diseases, to newborns with difficulty latching. CST is also great at improving immune function, overall energy and vitality!
Danielle has worked serving families all over Metro-Detroit through her HypnoBirthing classes. Her dedication to the HypnoBirthing philosophy as well as her unique un-biased approach has helped many families have the birth they desire. Whether it's a cesarean, unmedicated, water birth, medicated, induction. Danielle teaches from the judgement free perspective to help you make it the birth YOU desire. Danielle lives in Oakland County with her husband Zach, their daughter Tegan, and their very loyal black lab, Zoe. In her free-time Danielle loves to go on long runs, cook, and play outside with her family.