Heartwood began as a small yoga studio in Sarasota that branched out to several locations. The school was deeply involved in yoga teacher training programs, and our founders, Ginny & David Shaddock, longed for a facility that combined nature and quiet with state-of-the-art yoga spaces where they hoped to house the yoga teacher training programs to make the experience more inspirational and personally transformational. In 2014 they found a 7-acre property that was close to town yet felt worlds away. The beautiful setting was perfect for their vision and Heartwood has been a work in progress ever since, with section after section of the center evolving in a never-ending manifestation of the Shaddock's dream. In time, the couple closed the in-town studio locations to devote all their energies to Heartwood Yoga Institute. The school has become a much beloved chapter in the journey of thousands of yoga teachers who have participated in trainings, workshops and yoga experiences at Heartwood over the years. In addition to YTT, Heartwood offers classes and workshops to the public, sharing yoga and nature with people at every stage of yoga development, from beginners to advanced and for all stages of personal health and wellness.
Heartwood strives to be a place of healing, discovery, and wonder in an environment that celebrates nature, art, self sustaining lifestyles, and the human potential. We are committed to offering the best yoga oriented programs and personal growth experiences in an enriching atmosphere, so we pay attention to even the smallest details to c
Heartwood strives to be a place of healing, discovery, and wonder in an environment that celebrates nature, art, self sustaining lifestyles, and the human potential. We are committed to offering the best yoga oriented programs and personal growth experiences in an enriching atmosphere, so we pay attention to even the smallest details to create an uplifting, sacred space for learning, sharing, and connecting. Our hope is to offer comprehensive educational programs that are also joyful pleasure, and to keep these programs affordable so everyone can enjoy time with us to gain empowerment, wisdom, new skills, and inspiration .
Ginny East Shaddock is an ERYT-500 yoga teacher, RCYT (Registered Children's Yoga Teacher) a certified yoga therapist with IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists), a Reiki Master and a trained Ayurveda Counselor from the Kerala Institute, India. She has a BA in Business Management from Eckerd College and a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from Lesley University.
Her extensive background in dance, yoga and the healing arts have helped her create a multi-faceted school with an educational program that combines arts awareness, physical training and mind-body awareness for ever-broadening learning experiences. She is the director Heartwood Yoga Institute, and the founder of the Florida Reiki Association, as well as Yoga for the Balanced Child, a YA certification program designed to qualify teachers to share yoga with children ages 3-teen.
Ginny has long been an advocate of the mind body connection. Formerly, Ginny had an extensive career in dance. After a few years performing and choreographing in NY, she taught at the Broadway Dance Center, Steps, Raoul Gelebert Studios , Steps, New York University, Vassar College and other facilities in New York City and was named one of the top ten teachers in NY in 1989 by Dance Pages Magazine. She traveled the country teaching for Dance Masters of America and other dance organizations, and created Kiddance, a newsletter and training program for youth dance education which was featured in Dance Magazine. She was the director of FLEX Dance in Florida for 17 years until she felt it was time to retire from dance. Ginny transitioned to yoga and holistic practices in 2006, focusing her natural aptitude for teaching and program development to creating Heartwood Yoga Institute and associated programs.
David Shaddock is an ERYT-500 yoga teacher, c-IAYT Yoga Therapist, Licensed LMT and Cranio Sacral therapist and Reiki Master, as well as Thai Chi and shamanism enthusiast. He is our "science guy" teaching anatomy, physiology and the science of crystals, energy, and more. David is a licensed Professional Engineer in both mechanical and electrical fields, as well as having a bachelor's degree in Information Technology. He is also an airplane, seaplane and hot air balloon pilot, a master gardener, a former paramedic, a musician (guitar sitar, piano), wood crafter, champion canoe racer, writer, gourmet chef, and more - which defines his love of learning and passion for exploring life in all its diversity.
David's love of teaching shines as well, and he brings a great deal of that love and his omnipresent creativity to each of the classes he teaches. His medical background (he was one of the first five Certified Emergency Cardiac Technicians in Illinois, and one of the first privately registered paramedics there as well) allows him to lecture on anatomy and physiology, with special attention to inversions and prānāyāma. He has a particular affinity for Aerial Yoga and his anatomy of inversion course is insightful thanks to his experience in medicine, flying and yoga. We thank David for is hard work and ingenuity, as his creative mind is the reason we have a medicine wheel, labyrinth, amazing meditation areas, koi ponds and so much more at Heartwood.
Denver is a certified ERYT-500 teacher , C-IAYT (certified yoga therapist) and RCYT (Children's yoga teacher) with Yoga Alliance, a yoga therapists and a licensed LMT . She previously owned and operated Blue Mountain Yoga studio in Blue Ridge GA from 2009-2016 and is thrilled to be back in her hometown of Sarasota as director of the Yoga teacher's training programs at Heartwood.
Denver is also a resident Massage Therapist offering customized sessions utilizing aromatherapy, reiki, hot stones, sound healing and more for the ultimate healing experience.
The discovery of yoga has offered Denver the opportunity to connect with her mind, body and breath at a spiritual level that has transformed her life from the inside out. As a life long full bodied woman, yoga has helped heal Denver's relationship with body image and self esteem and her classes resonate with lessons of self awareness and acceptance. Denver's goal as a teacher is to share yoga with people of all body types and experience levels and she believes that yoga has the power to change everyone's life for the better. She is the creator of Full Bodied Yoga, a program that uses yoga, breath work, journaling and self-love practices to encourage body positivity.
Denver spent many years studying dance and voice. She attended the BFA program at UCF before turning her passions to yoga. She is a devoted mother, vocalist, creative silversmith jewelry artist and spiritual advocate. She is also Ginny Shaddock's daughter, and most likely, the successor of Heartwood Yoga.
Rachel Belle ERYT-500, received both her 200 and 300 hour certification at Heartwood and also has an a degree in Surgical Technology form Southwest Florida College. She is currently studying to become a yoga therapist. Rachel came to yoga after a spiral through addiction which left her empty and reaching for more to life’s purpose. This was motivation for her to get to know herself on a deeper level through yoga. Her studies have brought her to a place in her life that she says is unimaginable. “It’s almost like I have lived two separate lives now”. Her classes relieve stress and anxiety, improve balance and flexibility and increase an overall sense of calmness. She is a natural flyer, inviting beginners and advanced practitioners to enjoy the benefits of aerial yoga.
As a yoga instructor, Kim is passionate to share the healing benefits that yoga has brought to her life. Through her years of personal practice she has witnessed the absolute serenity, stress and anxiety management, as well as the beautiful physical benefits of yoga. She contributes yoga as the catalyst that has guided and supported her through some of the most difficult and tragic times in her life.
Kim completed her training at Heartwood Yoga Institute and is a c-IAYT, ERYT-200 & RYT-500. She maintains an active registration with Yoga Alliance and abides by its governing standards and practices.
Kim offers a calm and supportive atmosphere in her classes which include but are not limited to: Restorative Aroma Yoga; Yoga Nidra, Gentle Yoga, Vinyasa Flow and Chair Yoga. She encourages open communication with her students so they can receive the most benefit from their yoga experience. She offers the gift of healing touch and aromatherapy in her classes as well as inspirational quotes and poems.
Bonnie is a RYT-500 Certified Yoga Instructor, focusing on integration of Yoga principles to support overall health and wellness with advanced certification in Chair Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Seniors, Yin Yoga. She is currently working on certification in Yoga Therapy. Bonnie’s focus is on safe and effective yoga practices and principles. Bonnie is also our resident glass artist who created the chakra stained glass windows that adorn the studio. She hosts a monthly introduction to stained glass workshop where students can create their own sun catcher with yoga inspired designs.
In addition to her contributions to our yoga trainings, Bonnie is a leader of our monthly Women's Circle.
Adrienne Lerfald is an RYT-500 Certified yoga teacher & Reiki Master who is also in process to become an IAYT Yoga Therapist. She loves to add energetic awareness to her classes by integrating mudras, essential oils, pranayama, meditation and other practices to her asana (physical postures and sequencing) for a truly embodied yoga experience. Adrienne also has a company called Love’s Parden Yoga & Boutique that offers yoga, workshops, & creates mindful art and wellness products.
Amanda Simchick is a licensed massage therapist and RYT-500 yoga instructor, currently in the 800-hour yoga therapy program. Having recently relocated to Florida from Pennsylvania, she is delighted to be a part of Heartwood. She discovered her passion for massage in 2009 and attended East-West Massage Therapy School in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, graduating in 2011 and becoming nationally certified for massage and bodywork through the NCBTMB. She has since worked in both private and spa settings with a variety of different types of clients over the last 10 years. Her massage specialties include Swedish massage, Lomi Lomi, massage for oncology patients and the medically frail, aromatherapy, lymphatic drainage, and Reiki. Amanda is also an insightful, diverse yoga teacher who enjoys teaching flow, gentle, and specialty yoga classes.
As a yoga teacher training facility, we are fortunate to feature many graduates as guest teachers with gifts to share.