OUR teachers

Cathy Dasson

co-founder

E-RYT® 500, YACEP®

Cathy first took an interest in yoga in the early 1980’s while watching Lilias Folan’s yoga program on PBS. Her curiosity grew as she learned more about meditation and yoga through reading and practicing at home. In the 1990’s, Cathy studied several Hatha yoga traditions, including Ashtanga, Kundalini and Anusara yoga.  She began teacher trainings in 2003 and studied extensively with several well-known Anusara yoga teachers including Deb Neubauer, Ellen Saltonstall, Mitchel Bleier, and John Friend.  More recently, Cathy has completed training programs with bio mechanist Katy Bowman, and Yoga Therapist, Susi Hately.  This has sparked an interest in working more one on one privately with students to help them gain more awareness, ease and balance in their bodies.  Cathy has also studied with Elise Browning Miller, who specializes in Yoga for Scoliosis.

Cathy’s passion for movement and vibrant health sparked her desire to share with people how to heal their injuries, discover their infinite potential, and gain greater strength and flexibility through the practice of yoga.  Cathy is known for her steady, warm & easeful presence that creates a relaxing and centering atmosphere in her classes. She strives to offer these gifted teachings from her heart and is eternally grateful for all of her inspiring teachers and students. 

Amy Jo Metzendorf

co-founder

E-RYT® 500, YACEP®

Amy Jo has been exploring yoga and meditation since 1998, and teaching since 2003.  Shortly after moving to Seattle in 1999, she decided to check out the yoga studio just down the block from her apartment. There she discovered a vibrant, diverse, welcoming community at Seattle Yoga Arts, and a grounded teacher & mentor in Denise Benitez. In 2004, Amy made the leap to teaching yoga full-time. Over the years, she has been fortunate to study and train extensively with many teachers all over the country, and she is grateful for the wisdom and inspiration they have shared. 

In April 2016, Amy Jo completed an additional RYT-500 certification in Mindful Yoga & Meditation, an integration of the practices of yoga asana, mindfulness, and meditation, with her teachers Anne Cushman, Janice Gates, and Jill Satterfield.

Amy believes that a mindful yoga & meditation practice is an opportunity to cultivate a kind and compassionate presence and to wake up to more moments of our lives, both on & off the mat.  Teaching with warmth, enthusiasm, and humor, she strives to create a community atmosphere in her classes, where students feel both supported and playfully challenged.  As a teacher, she aims to help students learn how to tap into their own capacity for kind awareness, ease, and joy.

Jen Hudak

RYT® 200

Jennifer has always been interested in dance and other forms of movement, and yoga originally appealed to her as a dancer.  She started practicing yoga seriously over fifteen years ago while in graduate school, and credits yoga with keeping her sane during exceptionally stressful times.  After having two children -- one of whom is on the autism spectrum -- she realized that she needed yoga more than ever to keep her physically fit, mentally grounded and emotionally calm.

Jennifer studied several different styles of yoga before finding Anusara in 2007.  Anusara's interweaving of philosophy, alignment, and the spirit of play invigorated Jennifer's love for yoga, and in 2009 she completed her teacher training with Vishali Varga.  She went on to study yoga therapeutics, and she continues to explore her yoga practice daily, both on and off the mat. 

Jennifer's enthusiasm for yoga shines through in her classes.  She is thrilled to join the Bodhi Tree family, and is delighted to share with her students the benefits yoga can bring practiced with awareness, sensitivity and joy.

In addition to yoga, Jennifer loves cooking (and eating!) healthy and delicious food; reading anything she can get her hands on; and running.  She also occasionally practices yoga with her children, who love to fall down during tree pose, and with her Siamese cat, who just loves getting in the way.

Donna Kawczynski

Donna started practicing Yoga in 2002 at the YMCA when her daughter started Kindergarten. She looked to yoga as a complement to other forms of exercise. Donna was not only hooked by how the poses felt in her body, but by the opportunity to grow in Asana, Pranayama and Philosophy. She entered Teacher Training with Vishali Varga in 2009 to deepen her own practice. 


In 2011 she was offered a Chair Yoga teaching position at the Pittsford Senior Center and has been there since. 


Donna finds her mat a place of comfort…She is eager to cultivate a supportive yoga community through heartfelt postures, relationship development and some humor as well! 


Besides yoga, Donna enjoys spending time with family (including her Shitzu-poo, Wilbur) and friends, traveling and cooking. 


She would like to thank her mentors, Cathy Dasson, Amy Jo Metzendorf, Jen Hudak, Erynne Blackburn, Sarah Webb and Vishali Varga.

Jen Grims

After teaching yoga in Brooklyn and Manhattan for almost 15 years, Jen moved back to Rochester recently to be closer to her family. A couple of years ago she was visiting her mother and thought she'd try out the yoga studio across the street, Bodhi Tree Yoga. She is thrilled to now be teaching with this sweet community. 


She finds the practice of yoga to be grounding, stabilizing, insightful, profound, and calming. She hopes to share this with with students of all levels in her classes. 


Jen received her 200 hour teacher training at the Laughing Lotus School of yoga in Manhattan in 2003, and her 300 hour at Yogamaya Yoga Studio, also in Manhattan, in 2018. She is also an artist, Level 1 Reiki practitioner, and crazy cat lady.

April Schaefer-Ayers

April began practicing yoga in 2003 and was smitten with the playfulness and mind-body-spirit connection it cultivated. In 2016, she completed her RYT 200 Teacher Training- a few weeks before her daughter was born! The training was a special part of her pregnancy, and it ignited a fire within her to learn more about this ancient practice. The authenticity and self-awareness she has found through practicing and teaching has been invaluable to her, both personally and in her professional life as a Primary Reading Teacher.


April is passionate about using yoga to strengthen one’s intuition and connection to self. She believes what happens on the mat can translate to so much of life. Yoga can be an incredible venue for expressing gratitude for the body and for life. April also believes that yoga is a sustainable way to build strength and flexibility throughout the seasons of life, and she has a particular soft spot for restorative poses!


Off the mat, April enjoys spending time outdoors, swimming or hiking, and with her two-legged and four-legged friends and family members. She considers herself a life-long learner and has a sense of wanderlust and adventure in her heart. Both a seeker of pleasure and peacemaking, you are likely to find her at a local brewery, waterfall or reading about social justice. 

Lindsey LaPlant

RYT® 200

Growing up, Lindsey wasn’t athletic or even very comfortable in her body.  While she found great joy in hiking through the woods, she felt empowered and excited to move her body because of yoga. She first tried yoga when her college roommate invited her to go to class. From that time on, yoga was always somewhere in her life. It has helped her deal with pain and illness, stay well during pregnancy, brought joy and laughter and a renewed sense of play.    

Lindsey is a psychologist by training with a focus on the relationship girls and women have with their bodies. She completed her RYT-200 Teacher Training in 2012 studying with Angela Caplan, Jacki McClausland, Deb Neubauer, Ellen Saltonstall, and Jimmy Bernaert. The training solidified the idea to her that yoga is grace, a way to be in the moment, to listen to and respect ourselves.  

Lindsey feels there is nothing like being a witness as people find themselves in their bodies. Her classes are crafted to help people be present, to find joy, laughter, and strength on many levels. To her, feeling good about what you can do with your body is the key to a successful practice.  

When not on her mat Lindsey wears many other hats, including wife, mama, and college teacher. Her other passions including knitting and sewing, working in her garden, being a good steward of the earth, and eating chocolate.