Meet Our Staff

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April Elliott

Owner of Detox Yoga Studios. At the age of 26, April was seven months pregnant with her daughter, Isabella. She was injured during a tornado, buried several feet deep in bricks and debris. When she was found, her leg was crushed and her belly was flat. She and her daughter both made it out safe but she would never be the same after this accident.


After the accident, she was determined to never again live one day on this earth without appreciating the life she was blessed to have. April suffered from PTSD and was doing at-home rehabilitation. She read an article about yoga and thought she would give it a try. Before the accident, she participated in running, lifting, and kickboxing. Her first yoga class was done in a small studio that could only fit about seven people. She was amazed by the way she felt, and after that day, she was forever changed. The dream to open a studio and help others find healing through yoga started on that day almost eight years ago. In 2017, she went to Costa Rica and lived there for a month deep in the mountains overlooking the ocean. It was here that she completed her 200-hour YTT. Fast forward one year, and she is proud to say that Detox Yoga, her studio is OPEN! She hopes to break the stigma attached to yoga that it is just for women, flexible people, thin people, vegans, etc. 

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Anna Welsh

Anna Welsh is a E-YRT200, RYT 500, YACEP

Anna is a St. Louis based artist and yoga teacher. She received her 200RYT in vinyasa yoga in 2011 while studying for her BA in ceramics. After a few years of teaching in-studio classes, she decided to dive deeper into the study of yoga.

 

In 2015 she received her 500RYT in Hatha Yoga. Shortly after, she moved to Ohio where she first created Red Banana Yoga LLC. a small private yoga business. Her clientele included people from all walks of life including an orthopedic surgeon to a golf pro to a professional blacksmith and much more. In early 2017 she returned to STL and jumped back in the yoga studio scene. She found herself teaching 25+class week at 9 different locations. Her class sizes ranged from 1-200 and locations varied from small, cozy studios to large event centers.

 

In the last few years, Anna has transitioned the majority of her teaching to training teachers and advanced yogis to help provide a deeper understanding of the healing practices of yoga. She has recently started a new journey into the world of electrical engineering. She is hoping to learn a more scientific approach to the mechanics of the body and the electrical currents that run through the spine and brain.

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Lesleh Sprecker

My fitness journey started traditionally with weights and cardio. After becoming very ill for several weeks, I started a home practice in January of 2018. At the time it was a way to keep myself active while I rebuilt my body and strength. 

I challenged myself to do a 30-day yoga challenge, followed by a 60 and a 100-day personal challenge and I was hooked. Enter Detox and April and I truly fell in love with Vinyasa, a dance of breath and movement that is full of endless creativity! 

In September of 2019, I enrolled in the 200 hr YTT program to further my individual practice. In the midst of that training, I witnessed yoga's transformative power on myself along with my fellow trainees. Years of negative self-talk and anxiety had taken a toll on my esteem. Thru my yoga training, I found a kinder voice for myself, empowering myself through healing intentions and mantras. I knew this was what lit my spirit up and it constantly fueled my creativity. It found me when I needed it most and has continued to help me in my career, family life, and personal life. 

I am so fortunate and thankful to have the opportunity to guide at the studio that had such an impact on me.
I believe everyone deserves to feel valued and love and it all starts with how they speak to themselves. Please join me in a moving mediation full of self-empowerment, fueled by your breath and positive vibes. I look forward to sharing a practice with you. Namaste! 💗

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Kelly Palmer

Kelly Palmer is a wife and mother of three littles, a daughter, and boy/girl twins. Kelly works in Corporate America as a Training Consultant and Change Manager. So to say she needs balance in her life is an understatement.  In 2018 when Detox opened, Kelly checked out the studio to see what yoga was all about and completely fell in love with the practice of yoga and incorporated it into her weekly workout routine which mainly consisted of running at 5:00 am 4 days a week.  Over time yoga became more than just a workout, it relieved stress from Post-Partum Depression, helped bring mind/body balance, and overall Kelly’s health improved.  Because Kelly trains (teaches) and help manage change at her corporate job, she wanted to be able to teach and help others benefit from the change yoga can bring to them. 

 

Kelly completed her 200HR Yoga Teacher Training in June 2020.  Energetic and active classes while building strength within the body and mind is what Kelly wants you to experience from her classes.

 

Instagram: @5ksandyoga

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Mario Ribas

Walking into his first yoga class in September of 2018, Mario felt the need to expand his physical capabilities for the many activities he has always enjoyed.  Holding a lead certification in Rock Climbing, multiple belts and awards in Martial Arts, and frequently seen on the mountain biking trails across the state, he decided to complement his activities with a journey into Yoga.

 

Little did he know that first class would spark a fire for a practice he immediately knew would be a lifelong journey. Since then, Mario has completed a 200-hour teacher training and is now recognized as a 200hr YTT by Yoga Alliance. Furthering his teachings, Mario also studied a traditional sequence brought to the Western world and has provided instruction for this highly regarded practice to students at Detox Yoga.  

Mario hopes to bring the beauty, benefits, and love for yoga to other practitioners in the community.  He also hopes to show that Yoga is a practice that can bring amazing benefits to all people, including men, not just women.

Mario's style will encourage students to find their limits and exceed them; will explore limits in both flexibility and strength, and train the body to overcome the doubts in the mind.  

 

In addition to his athletic endeavors, Mario likes to play guitar, take on cerebral projects like programming and writing, and create games with his daughter like "Floor is lava"! and "Can he hold this yoga pose while she climbs over him?"

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LeAnn Doerr

I am a wife, mom of two boys, and high school teacher. Yoga has been important to me for different reasons at different times in my life.! :) 

 

I recently finished my 200 Hour YYT and am excited to be adding teaching yoga to my resume. The Bikram sequence was my first real experience with yoga. I credit my Bikram practice with helping me to rebuild my core (after my two boys were born), strengthen and tone my legs and hips, and improve my running. I used Bikram as part of my half marathon training and improved my time (same course, one year later) by TWELVE MINUTES! Unfortunately, I had to stop this practice when I student taught (time and money were scarce). 

 

More recently, practicing at Detox became my way to calm my mind and strengthen my body. and relax my spirit. My return to yoga, this time at Detox, came just a few short months after my family suffered the devastating loss of our home to a house fire. Yoga became my escape. I quickly reaped the same benefits I had before, this time practicing the various classes offered at the studio. I feel in love with the practice and have made it a part of my regular workout routine. Two years later, I still continue to make yoga a regular part of my life and try to get on my mat no less than twice a week. It is still my escape and part of my self-care routine. I look forward to sharing my practice alongside more yogis! 

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Julie Marsek

Julie is an original native of Saint Charles and moved to the O’Fallon area in 2016 with her husband Dave and their three children Madison, Ben and Liam. She is a licensed and experienced cosmetologist owning her own business for 20+ years in the Saint Charles area. Julie has always been involved in sports and dance since she was a little girl. Having been in tune with her health since a stroke in 2014 due to stress, she has been involved heavily in spin, cycling, running, completing marathons, half marathons, a century and other races. By 2019, everything had come to a halt and health was at the back burner due to a family illness and all the chaos that follows. Exercise has always helped Julie with her anxiety and stress and she knew she needed to do something fearing a repeat of another stroke. In February of that year she signed up for her first yoga class in 6 years at Detox. She went in with the intention of a good workout and came out with the satisfaction of something she hadn’t experienced in quite some time, peace, whole body peace. From that instant on, she was hooked. Julie started to attend every class and workshop she could find time for that didn’t take away from her career or family time. Yoga helped her improve her running, the overall health of her body, and strength overall. She had found time to take care of herself, in turn having the energy to take care of her clients and family. In the summer of 2020 she signed up for the 2020-2021 200 hour ytt group and will be completing her training in May. Her goal as a teacher, to give back peace of mind and body to her students that her teachers have gifted to her. To find your inner strength to carry on in life and to have peace and gratitude in what your mind and body can do. To have forgiveness and acceptance for the days it can’t do what you want but you still showed up. “Yoga has been one of the most gratifying and introspective journeys I have ever experienced and am constantly learning new things about myself and the practice.”

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Barbara Chatman, L.M.T., CMCP

I received my massage therapy master certificate in Santa Monica, CA in 2011. Since then I have worked with a chiropractor in Los Angeles, co-managed a day spa in Chicago, and in 2014, I opened Barbara Ann Spa which has been a great achievement. I find great joy in creating customized massage sessions for my customers, allowing for a combination of stretching, location of pressure points, increased blood flow, injury prevention, and general positive well being. The oxygen bar and vacuum cupping are more recent additions to my services that will keep your bodies and mind at their best!

 

I look forward to further educating my customers about massage therapy and the great benefits of regular massage in their lives.

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Amanda Wenger

Amanda began practicing yoga at a crucial time in her life... as a
teenager in high-school. She was about seventeen and struggling with
anxiety, no clue the answer to the dreaded question of what her plans were
for the future. So she prayed, and let herself believe that the path would
find her. She was already practicing yoga occasionally, but mostly for the
sake of fitness. However, just as most who practice yoga, she became more
and more aware of the profound effects it had on her mental health,
spirituality, and emotional well-being. Needless to say, she decided this was
it. What more than to bring this undeniably amazing practice to others? So
she completed her 200-hour teacher training with Detox Yoga.

 

Now she is committed to creating a strengthening and healing
experience for students, holding space for each person to feel worthy and
accepted for who they are. Through mindful and wholehearted practice, it is
her hope that students don’t just leave class feeling great, but that their
entire lives start to fill up with more love, compassion, and gratitude.

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Kaitlyn Ivancic

A resident of Dardenne Prairie, Kaitlyn Ivancic is a native of the Tampa Bay area and is a wife and mother. She has been practicing yoga for nearly 10 years and first found a consistent practice within the Bikram style. Kaitlyn’s yoga journey evolved as she relocated between several states, and experienced numerous yoga styles. Eventually, Kaitlyn found herself drawn to Vinyasa and Power Vinyasa. What started as a weight loss and health journey a decade ago blossomed into an unwavering devotion to the mental, emotional, and physical benefits that yoga provides. Coupled with her love for running, she finds yoga provides the perfect balance for her body’s needs.

 

In the fall of 2019, Kaitlyn decided to follow her passion and dedication to her yoga practice and committed to the next step. She completed her 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training through Detox Yoga.

 

Kaitlyn teaches group classes, as well as private offerings, and brings her students an authentic energy. She wants her classes to feel powerful and athletic while fostering an environment that allows her students to refocus their minds and body. Kaitlyn leverages her diverse yoga background to create a unique sequence that is both accessible yet challenging for all yogis.

 

Instagram: @kaitivancic

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Katie Hurst

I started my yoga journey in 2018. I was feeling burnt out in my career and stuck in the everyday motions with my family instead of relishing in them. I lost the connection to myself. Detox Yoga was where it all started, first two or three days a week and then it was every day. I rearranged my work schedule so that every day there was space and time for yoga.

In 2019 my first teacher, Amber Campbell, and Detox Yoga offered a 200-hour Teacher Training. I joined with the intention to deepen my practice and advance my knowledge of something I had become so passionate about. Now, I am excited to be teaching and sharing that knowledge with students. I am already planning for my 300-hour Teacher Training and furthering my Anatomy knowledge.

For me, yoga is about uniting the mind, body, and soul and finding balance within. In my classes, I like to combine strength, flexibility, and mobility with dynamic movements. Expect to sweat and move in unison with your breath for a meditative practice. I hope to see you soon!

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Emily Turner

Emily is passionate about bringing yoga to everyone, especially teachers and students in the schools where she works.  As an educator, wife, and mom to five, there are always a million things to accomplish each day.  Through yoga, Emily works to manage and reduce stress, find a stronger inner peace and self-awareness, and share the benefits of regular practice with friends, family, and colleagues.

She found yoga more than 13 years ago, and after having four children within four years, yoga found its way back to her.  Once she decided that her mental and physical health were worth investing in, she began attending Detox regularly in January 2019.  In September of 2020, she began the 200 hour yoga teacher training program through Detox, and graduated in May of 2021! This life-changing experience strengthened her teaching practice in both the yoga studio and school. 

Emily's yoga journey has allowed her to truly discover herself as a strong, empowered woman who is also an educator, wife, and mom. 

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Michael Deyoung

I am a Grandfather, Father, Husband, High School Teacher, and Coach. My yoga journey started about four years ago in a gym down the street from Detox Yoga in Wentzville. Challenging exercise and competitive activities have always been a part of my regular routine from youth to the present.... and then I met yoga...

Yoga immediately took me out of my comfort zone and introduced me to things that I could not do which was frustrating because I have always considered myself to be an above-average athlete capable of navigating any exercise routine. I struggled with holding poses, breathing, and maintaining focus. Every practice I attended revealed another imperfection and caused me to evaluate my motivation to continue on this road. Then it hit me... Yoga was teaching me that it was not a competition between myself and other yogis but between me and what I allowed to take place inside the four corners of my mat. I needed to look deep inside myself and be satisfied with where I was as a practitioner and move forward from there knowing that success or failure was never final. Yoga has taught me to let go of achievement expectations and allow my body to receive each posture and benefit from the moment as opposed to some lofty expectation.

In the fall of 2019 I became a part of the first Detox Yoga Teacher Training class and walked out ten months later with a greater knowledge and respect for the practice of yoga. I also created a bond with my classmates and instructors that I will have forever. After receiving my 200 Hour Training Certificate I have focussed on Restorative Yoga. Restorative yoga involves passive stretching and minimal movement where yogis reach a deepened state of relaxation and release. The first time I was in a Restorative class I felt like somebody put me in time out, however, I have come to realize it could be the most challenging of all the yoga disciplines. Imagine holding a passive posture for several minutes, pranayama breathing, and letting go of all the thoughts that race through your mind on a regular basis.

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Lexi Bilzing

Lexi is a 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher, consistently eager to absorb new ideas. Lexi found yoga during highschool, searching for stress management methods. After taking a class at Detox, Lexi immediately fell in love with the practice. With completing her 200-Hour RYT at Detox Yoga Wentzville, Lexi developed a new understanding of community and what it means to share the fruits of knowledge with one another. The emotional, spiritual and physical healing modalities of yoga are truly astonishing to Lexi. Lexi continues to further her education in yoga, functionalism, philosophy, and mindfulness with plans to complete her 300-Hour training in the future.

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Alex Mesplay

Alex’s fitness journey began in Denver, Colorado where she lived for five years and taught Barre and Pilates. She has close to 1,000 hours of trainings including Acro yoga! She is a Wentzville native, heeler mom and loves to travel. Alex has been to over 60 states/countries and doesn’t ever plan to stop. Yoga is Alex’s movement of choice and she wants everyone to feel welcome and safe her in classes.

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Emily Hogan

Emily is a high school art teacher and coach. She found yoga through her former part time job at Upper Limits and has been constantly called back to it over the years. Yoga has helped her grow stronger, more flexible and more comfortable in her own skin, both on and off the mat.

 

Yoga inspires her to mindfully move throughout every part of her day.

She completed her 200RYT training in 2021, and is constantly striving to learn and grow in her movement practice. No matter if it is a walk in the woods, a climb up a slabby rock face, or challenging her high school students to a push up contest, it's about putting some movement into your day. As a lifetime learner she believes it is our job to keep your mind and body as sharp as you can.

 

In her classes, you will move your bodies and have some fun in the process. She wants her students to understand that there is perfection in our imperfections, we are wonderfully and purposefully made.

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Jen Besowshek

Jen grew up in St. Charles county and moved away for college. She spent about seven years in Columbia, Missouri where she met her husband. Together they have two teenage boys. Needless to say, she needs yoga in her life!

 

Jen began her yoga journey at home with YouTube videos but soon found herself wanting more. Not too long after Detox Yoga opened she fell in the love with the studio and her practice even more. In 2020, she decided to join Detox’s YTT program to deepen her own practice, with no intention of actually teaching yoga. However, she soon realized that she is a true teacher at heart (not just of little humans) and loves every second of leading others in their own yoga practice.

 

When she’s not at the studio practicing or teaching you can find her teaching second grade at a local elementary school. During summers and weekends she’s busy soaking up the sun with a book in hand and “glamping” at the state parks.

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Abi Byington

Hi! I’m Abi! I am a high school art teacher, photographer, artist, new yoga instructor, and most important of all, a wife and mom of two beautiful little boys. My family is my whole life, my boys are my everything ❤️

 

I found my yoga practice when my coworker, April Elliott, invited me to her yoga studio to help me find relief from postpartum anxiety. In my first class with Amber, I bawled my eyes out on my mat and never looked back. Over the years the focus of my practice has changed but the dedication has only grown stronger. I am so excited to now be able to show others the many benefits of yoga and help them on their journey, whatever it may be. Everyone needs yoga for something and I can’t wait to guide others in their exploration of that.

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Tim Appelbaum

Tim is a St. Louis native and is 200HR YTT certified. Tim found yoga, like many, to fix his back.  Years of playing hockey and exercise had led to constant pain.  After giving yoga a try, he fell in love with it and has continued to practice ever since. Yoga has followed him through his time in the infantry Marines, being an elementary school teacher, and as an MMA cage fighter.  Now, Tim’s practice is focused on the “yog” or yoke.  The binding of the mind, body, and spirit that gave yoga its name. The mental and spiritual benefits that work in tandem with the physical practice of yoga can be extremely beneficial and instrumental towards living a full life. “You may control a mad elephant...Walk on water and live in fire, but control of the mind is better and much more difficult.” ~ Ani Pema Chödron

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Angie Cobb

Angie began her yoga story in 2009 in a gym-based class with the intention of stretching to keep her body healthy after a workout (spinning, body pump or half-marathon training). As life with four young children got busier and schedules filled, it seemed that all of that was set aside. Years passed, feeling overwhelmed and wanting more than the mundane, hustle-and-bustle of life she began looking for answers. That started the ball rolling - the goal: simplify life by minimizing the things that were stealing joy. This led to budgeting and living a debt free life. Over the years of minimizing and becoming debt free, something was still off. Enter 2020 and COVID-19. The world essentially shut down and life’s pace slowed. As things became less hectic, there was more time to roll out the mat. Her at home practice deepened and as restrictions were lifted and yoga studios opened back up she found herself at Detox Yoga. Falling in love with the practice, but more so the feeling of being present and the sense of peace that it brought. It was at this time she decided to dive deeper and travel to Costa Rica to be trained in the Hatha Vinyasa style of yoga. Angie, a self-proclaimed life-long student, aims to take her students with her on a journey of learning and understanding the practice of yoga and the peace of mind it can bring by allowing the body the space to move, the mind the privilege to quiet, and the spirit the opportunity to expand.

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Billie Kincaid

Billie Kincaid is originally from North Dakota and moved to Missouri over 40 years ago.  She and her husband John have been married 40 years and have two children and three granddaughters. Her career as a nurse gave her many fulfilling years but when she retired in 2016 to care full time for her two youngest granddaughters, it was an opportunity to make a change.

 

In December 2018, Billie took her first yoga class and fell in love with April, Amber, and the Detox Community. In March of 2019, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and found support from family, friends, and those in her yoga community.

 

Billie graduated from Detox Yoga’s 200-Hour Teacher Training in May 2021. “10 months seems long - but when you spend one weekend a month with your group - It's humbling and makes you vulnerable.  But in the end, it makes you whole.”

 

In her free time, Billie likes to spend time outside planting flowers, traveling and hanging out with her two cats, Frankie and Miss Kitty.

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Meghan Auping

Meghan is an RYT-200. Meghan’s interest in yoga started nearly a decade ago. At the time, she was seeking avenues to help cope with anxiety. While she hadn’t yet adopted a regular routine, Meghan found yoga and mediation helpful. Enter Detox Yoga! As soon as she heard Detox would be offering Yoga Teacher Training, she knew it was the right path for her. Her initial goal was to deepen her own practice of yoga. Since receiving her certification, Meghan has joined the Detox team and enjoys teaching Vinyasa and Restorative yoga. She strives to help all students in her classes feel welcome, comfortable and appreciate where they are in their own practice of yoga. Outside of teaching yoga, Meghan enjoys spending time with her husband and two fur babies. She has a full time career and continues to build upon her own yoga practice by frequenting classes and workshops at Detox! She looks forward to continuing her yoga journey by adding specializations/certifications to improve her mental/physical practice and to share her knowledge with others!

Detox Yoga - Wentzville
1155 Wentzville Pkwy #107-109, Wentzville, MO 63385
map & directions
Detox Yoga - Winghaven
3004 Winghaven Blvd
O'Fallon, MO 63368
map & directions
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