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Melissa Montilla: Program Director and Principal Teacher


Melissa enjoys sharing Yoga as an invaluable tool for physical and emotional freedom for people

of all abilities and inclinations.  She has been the owner and director of Sanctuary Yoga

in Gainesville, FL since 2003, and began practicing yoga in 1990 with the beautifully

talented Elaine Grey. Melissa has enjoyed the privilege of working with many wonderful teachers

in the states and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Sharath and Saraswathi Rangaswamy in Mysore, India.  

        Practicing Ashtanga yoga for many years opened her up to the possibilities of yoga as a

process for health and wellness. This encouraged an ongoing exploration that broadened her

practice and teaching perspective by studying functional anatomy, alignment, kinesiology

and therapeutics with the provocative  teachings of Jenny Otto, Tzahi Moskovitz, Judith Lasater,

and other teachers informed by a diversity of traditions. Melissa defines her teaching as

“Movement Therapy.”  It is influenced not only by yoga, but also an array of movement

practices that have supported her wellness and longevity as a dancer, runner, and horseback rider.

Along with all of that movement, she practices stillness with a meditation practice fostered by Vipassana teachings, as well as an investigation of contemplative craft and the expansive wilderness of hearts and minds in natural horsemanship.

       Melissa holds a BFA in Dance from Florida State University, with a strong focus on anatomy, kinesiology, and movement education as well as a Master’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Florida and is currently a Faculty Member of the Department of Theatre and Dance at UF teaching Yoga and Kinesthetics. She is an E-RYT (Experienced Yoga Teacher) and certified by Yoga Alliance at the 500hr level with an emphasis on Yoga Therapy and has taught Ashtanga, Alignment, and Restorative classes and workshops throughout Florida since 2001, and is currently a faculty member of the University of Florida's department of Theatre and Dance. She believes that good alignment, consistency, and joy are the keys to a long and fulfilling life of movement.

Sanctuary Yoga Teacher Training

Lisa McNett:  Anatomy, Subtle Anatomy, Phisiology, & Mindfulness


Movement has always been important to Lisa.  As a child, she was a gymnast, avid tree climber, and all around wild child.  Moving is a way to feel free, to express, to release anger, to feel good.  In contrast, what happens when we are frozen?  This has been the focus of Lisa's exploration or movement and bodywork for many years now; how and why we store memory and pain in the body, what happens when we are restricted by these things, and how we can break free.  Lisa's yoga practice has shifted over the years, and she holds two teacher training certifications; one gained through an immersion in India, and one through YogaWorks with Tzahi Moscovits.  She has also studied (and practiced) Ayurveda, massage therapy, craniosacral therapy, and other modalities.  Lisa has had the opportunity to work with athletes, the elderly, children, women in prison, and Veterans.  Working with such a variety of people, with varied levels of health and diagnosis, has allowed her to see the sameness in us all.  Lisa'a approach to teaching is with an open heart, curiosity, and with an invitation to simply be present and open to self exploration.

Jennifer Rex:  Pre Natal Yoga & Women's Health and Wellness


Jennifer Rex dabbled with yoga for many years and she became a devoted student in 2001. Throughout the years many teachers have inspired her practice and teaching. In 2009 she completed the Yoga Works Teacher Training program with Tzahi Moskovitz. She continued her studies with Carrie Parker Gastelu in Prenatal Teacher Training. This was a logical progression in that she is passionate about facilitating healthy outcomes for pregnant women and their families.  She believes prenatal yoga is the perfect vehicle to assist women in the transition through pregnancy, birth and parenthood. Other areas of study and practice are restorative yoga, alignment/Iyengar yoga and therapeutic yoga.

Jenifer has been a Certified Nurse-Midwife/Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner for 20 years. Her journey and dedication to women's health and midwifery began as a young college student working at a community action project insuring access to family planning services. More recently she has worked in East Africa promoting maternal and infant health through village based health education programs. Her dream is to continue the study and practice yoga throughout her life. She particularly enjoys delving deeper, on a physical and spiritual level, into the basic poses. Trikonasana has infinite possibilities. The opportunity for growth awaits all of us if we can slow down and listen.

Jennifer is enthusiastic about gardening, crafting, hiking, sharing home cooked meals and counting cranes, in the winter months, as they fly over her home. She continues to explore the intersection of nature/wildness and spiritual peace and happiness. She has a wonderful partner and two grown children.

Copyright Sanctuary Yoga, 2015                                                                                                  Ph:   352-336-5656                 530 N. Mainstreet, Gainesville, FL 32601

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