Meet the Team

Qualification vs. Certification

Let’s face it, anyone can become certified at anything these days. The key ingredient that separates a certified instructor from a qualified instructor is experience. At Winter Garden Yoga, our teachers are experts at what they do. Not only do our instructors hold a variety of yoga teaching certifications, but their qualifications include: Metabolic Effect Nutrition, strength training and conditioning, and much more. Don’t fall for the flashy gimmicks of other yoga studios. Trust our experts to give you a genuinely unforgettable yoga experience.

Brian Friedman Image

Brian Friedman

Brian Friedman

Owner and Director

Brian has been practicing, teaching, and studying yoga since 1993. Over the decades Brian has developed a specialized method of yoga that does not require flexibility.

In fact, 1,000s of students have become stronger, stress free, and more mobile with a consistent practice.

That method is Functional Yoga Instruction™.

It is renowned for slow, controlled movement with an emphasis on precise alignment and a focus on strength instead of flexibility. 

As a result, you experience heightened body awareness, burn calories, tone muscles, de-stress, and make your body feel good in a completely safe and innovative way.

Brian’s credentials include:

  • Owner and Director, Winter Garden Yoga
  • Creator of Functional Yoga Instruction ™
  • Author (Functional Yoga Instruction ™)
  • Writer, Director, and Producer (Functional Yoga Instruction ™ DVD,  Beginner’s Yoga DVD, Power Yoga DVD, and Kettlebell Essentials DVD)
  • Presenter(Weight Control and Healthy Living; The Core The Whole Core and Nothing But The Core; Joint Mobility; The Breath, The Whole Breath and Nothing But The Breath)
  • Certified Yoga Instructor (Doug Swenson, 2007)
  • Over 10, 000 hours of practical teaching experience
  • Demonstrated for David Swenson, Doug Swenson, David Williams, and Sri Dharma Mittra
  • Certified Kettlebell Instructor (Steve Maxwell)
  • Certified Kettlebell Instructor (HKC ™)
  • Graduate of P90X® and P90X+®
  • Formerly Certified Personal Trainer (American Council on Exercise)
  • Formerly Certified Functional Movement Screen Expert
  • Expertise in nutrition, kinesiology, anatomy, joint mobility, PNF, and functional fitness
  • Knowledge of trigger point therapy and body reading
Brian Friedman Image
Karen Friedman Image

Karen Friedman

Karen Friedman

Co-Owner, Co-Director, and Nutritionist

At first, Karen was interested in yoga only as a way of physical fitness, so she began studying yoga in 2001. It didn’t take her too long when she began to notice the subtle inner changes as well. Karen began to feel more balanced, energized, peaceful, compassionate, and less emotionally reactive in her daily life and discovered that her practice and the lessons learned “on the mat” spilled into her life “off the mat”.
   
“I do my best to bring those experiences to the classes I teach, allowing students to apply what they learn in class to their everyday lives. I encourage each student to practice at their own level with an emphasis on acceptance. My style has been called ‘meditative, calming, nurturing and accessible to all levels.’” ~Karen Friedman

Karen’s credentials include:

  • Owner and Director of Winter Garden Yoga
  • Administrator and Senior Instructor, Winter Garden Yoga
  • Certified Yoga Instructor (Functional Yoga Instruction™)
  • Certified Nutrition Consultant (Metabolic Effect)
  • Certified Children’s Yoga Instruction (Radiant Child Yoga)
  • Reiki Master
  • 2,500 hours of practical teaching experience
  • Author of the popular children’s book It Is All In The Way You Think
  • Expertise in Chakras, Energy Healing, and Yin Yoga
  • Expertise in Meditation
Karen Friedman Image
Kathy Hall Image

Kathy Hall

Kathy Hall

Chief Instructor

Thankfully, Kathy’s school teacher didn’t scare her away from yoga completely (you’ll have to ask Kathy for the details). Fortunately, Kathy’s doctors recommended yoga to her as a way to improve her health.
Enter WGY…
Kathy was introduced to yoga when she came to Winter Garden Yoga as a student. Needless to say she was hooked after her first class. Since then, Kathy became certified to teach Brian Friedman’s method of yoga (Functional Yoga Instruction) and now she shares her passion for yoga and healthy living with the Winter Garden Yoga community.

Kathy’s credentials include:

  • Certified Yoga Instructor(Functional Yoga Instruction ™ )
  • Certified Kettlebell Instructor (HKC ™)
  • Certified Functional Movement Screen Expert
  • Demonstrated on Winter Garden Yoga’s Kettlebell Essentials DVD
  • Demonstrated on Winter Garden Yoga’s Intermediate Yoga DVD
  • Demonstrated on Winter Garden Yoga’s 16-Week Online Course (coming soon)
  • Demonstrated on Winter Garden Yoga’s 10 Minute Recharge Video

Great Combination

“Kathy is an excellent teacher. She combines great leadership skills, a deep understanding of alignment, and her personal experience to create a truly great yoga class.”~Brian Friedman

Kathy Hall Image
Teresa Neumann Image

Teresa Neumann

Teresa Neumann

Instructor

Teresa discovered WINTER GARDEN YOGA in February 2013 and officially became a teacher in November 2015. Teresa was first introduced to yoga by her mother when she was 12 years old.

Flash forward to 2012: Teresa was close to 50 years old, out of shape, and in a lot of pain. After a New Year’s resolution, Teresa began practicing Functional Yoga Instruction at WGY & felt a huge difference. “The pain became almost non-existent, my posture improved and I was noticing positive changes in my body.”

Practicing proper yoga technique made such a profound difference in her life that it inspired Teresa to share them with others.

Teresa’s credentials include:

Teresa enjoys being able to work with an amazing group of people that share like goals for health and continue to expand her knowledge of Winter Garden Yoga’s amazing method of yoga.

She’s All In

“Teresa truly believes in what we do at Winter Garden Yoga. That’s why we’re so happy to have her on the team.” ~Brian Friedman, Owner/Director of Winter Garden Yoga

Teresa Neumann Image
Heather Hardiman Image

Heather Hardiman

Heather Hardiman

Instructor

The venerable Thich Nhat Hanh is known for saying “suffering is the greatest teacher.” Heather’s yogic journey lives up to that claim.

Heather has had two back injuries. The first kept her from running. The second injury (due to Cross Fit) brought her to the surgeon’s table.

Luckily, Heather gave Winter Garden Yoga a try and in her words, “proved to be the safest and healthiest  way” to keep her mind, body and spirit strong.

Heather became certified in Functional Yoga Instruction (FYI) in August of 2016 and began teaching the popular “early bird” Beginners Yoga class held on Friday at 6:30 am.

“It’s been a dream of mine to teach yoga at Winter Garden Yoga since I first began practicing at the studio. It’s truly a honor and I’m filled with gratitude each and every time I get to share in the FYI way with our amazing students.” – Heather Hardiman

Heathers’s credentials include:

  • Certified to teach Functional Yoga Instruction
  • Certified to teach Beginner’s Yoga
Heather Hardiman Image
Tracy Moreo Image

Tracy Moreo

Tracy Moreo

Instructor

“My very first class with Winter Garden Yoga was when the studio was located over the bike shop!” ~Tracy Moreo

Tracy had taken various yoga classes at other studios and gyms since her early 20s. After twenty-plus years of experience, she never really committed to staying with another studio or gym until she found Winter Garden Yoga.

Just like Teresa, Tracy found her “fit” with Winter Garden Yoga because of the amazing group of like minded students and teachers who focus on health, motivation, relaxation and proper yoga technique.

Tracy officially began teaching in August 2016

“I love facilitating my classes and am passionate about having all students leave my class each week feeling like they have met their own personal goal for their practice and motivated to return.” ~Tracy Moreo

Tracy’s credentials include:

  • Certified to teach Functional Yoga Instruction
  • Certified to teach Beginner’s Yoga
Tracy Moreo Image