Meet the Team
NAYA F. POWELL, CEO & FOUNDER
Naya Powell is a #1 Bestselling Author of 30 Days to Utopia Living, 3rd generation entrepreneur, CEO/founder of Spa Utopia I Utopia Spa, and Global Wellness which delivers luxe spa and virtual wellness experiences on-demand, and the Utopia Living Brand. Spa Utopia is a proud graduate of Google For Startups: Black Founders Exchange.
Naya is a highly regarded thought leader in the world of wellness and innovative self-care. As a Wholistic Lifestyle Strategist and Executive Coach, she offers ten (10) plus years of expertise providing wellness solutions for individuals, top brands, and Fortune 500 companies. Naya and her companies client lists include the 2020 Olympic Trials, NFL - Super Bowl, The Ritz Carlton, Google, Martha Stewart, Sean Combs, Angela Bassett, and others.
Powell’s educational background includes a B.A. Degree in Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University, Certification in Massage Therapy from Rising Spirit Institute of Natural Health, and post-graduate studies at the College of Executive Coaching (accredited by the International Coaching Federation) and The Science of Well-Being (Yale University). Powell promotes Utopian Lifestyle Strategies as a global: speaker, executive coach, mindfulness facilitator, and lifestyle retreat curator.
Naya believes Utopia Living is giving. She serves on the Board of the Daniel Center of Math and Science, speaks at various colleges and universities; and is a global mentor to The Woman Boss in The Gambia - West Africa.
Naya's mission is to spread life-giving services to the world and empower others to live their most passionate lives on purpose...*wholistically!
SMITA (LUNA) SHARMA, MEDITATION INSTRUCTOR
Smita Sharma (Luna) is an International Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher, trained in India in Swami Sivananda's form of Hatha Yoga. Originating from a family of Yogis, meditation has always been part of her life, she has been actively practicing it since 2001. She specializes in Yogic meditation practice of Yog Nidra & Antar Moun and has received advance training under the lineage of Bihar School of Yoga, Munger (India) established by Swami Satyanand Saraswati. She trained in Mindfulness from MNDFL Studios (NYC), Mindful Schools and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at UMass Medical School - Center for Mindfulness.
These traditional & secular trainings have enabled her to create unique programs that incorporate ancient Meditation techniques with modern, well researched & simplified Mindfulness tools. Luna has lived and worked in 3 continents (India, New Zealand & United States) and as a worldly, adventurous spirit is skilled in employing global, ancient concepts in combination with certified, national practices.
MARY STEILEN, YOGA INSTRUCTOR
Mary has been guiding yoga practices since 2013 and is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance. Over the years she has taught gentle, vinyasa, slow flow, beginners, and yin classes. She is a student first, and strives to learn and grow as both a teacher and practitioner. Mary encourages her students to meet themselves exactly where they are at. Yoga is a practice and you do not have to be perfect. Strength, flexibility and balance, all develop out of a consistent yoga practice. Her goal is to help students create more space in their bodies, minds, and hearts.
LESLIE STEVENS, M.Ed., LCMHC, COACH/ LICENSED THERAPIST
Leslie Stevens, M.Ed., LCMHC is a North Carolina and Virginia board-certified licensed professional counselor. She has successfully helped hundreds of people navigate stress, depression, anxiety, and perfectionism. Leslie is the co-founder of the Congruence Counseling Group, PLLC located in Carrboro, NC.
The Congruence Counseling Group is a space that she co-created to serve the ever-growing population seeking mental health counseling. In addition to serving as a licensed clinical mental health counselor, she has been a leader, speaker, teacher, mentor, and administrator in various settings for over 15 years. She has also served in ministry in the local church. As a natural empath, Leslie can feel deeply. Her passion and purpose in life is HEALING. Through counseling, she helps people understand their own thoughts, feelings, and patterns and facilitates healing through that work. Leslie shows up with accurate empathic understanding, unconditional positive regard, and congruence. Her work is deeply rooted in Person-Centered Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
KIRSTIN SHAW, GLOBAL INSTRUCTOR: PILATES, YOGA DANCE, HITT, AND KICKBOXING - SOUTH AFRICA
Kirstin Shaw is a qualified Pilates, Yoga Dance, HITT, and Kickboxing teacher, who is based in Cape Town where she is working as a dedicated and passionate online instructor. Teaching and developing clients from around the world energizes me! She has extensive experience teaching group classes + private classes online and at private studios in South Africa, Buenos Aires, and Italy.
Her experience in Buenos Aires at Yoga Booty Ballet and Alejandro Tango Teachings inspired her to create a "Tango-Lates" or Danza Pilates program.
Kirstin’s classes expand on the traditional Pilates method by incorporating more fluid creative movements into whole-body movement-art routines that are choreographed to music. Her goal is to increase the enjoyment of Pilates without diluting the true form of the method or sacrificing the intensity and focus of the work.
"My goal is for students to feel refreshed and inspired through movement and to discover that they are God's poetry in motion."
Kirstin’s clients include: The President Hotel; The University of Cape Town; private children’s parties, Language for Life; and The Movement Collective.
Her additional skills include:
Teaching & People Development
Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga
Choreography and sequencing
MARYBETH DZIUBINSKI, YOGA INSTRUCTOR
Marybeth is a highly respected global fitness industry leader with over 30+ years- experience in group exercise programming. As an RYT, she is committed to inspire others to long-term health and fitness goals in the areas of exercise, well-being and stress management. As a former National Trainer with the SilverSneakers® Fitness program and a NASM Senior Fitness Specialist, she has advanced training in older adult exercise and fitness-based training solutions. Marybeth is a Life Coach and holds certifications with Yoga Alliance, A.C.E., A.F.A.A. and A.E.A.
LIZA COLPA: YOGA INSTRUCTOR
Liza Colpa is passionate and playful 200-ERYT Yoga Alliance certified teacher. Over a decade ago she found, and fell in love with the practice of yoga, when she was an overachieving teenager who was weighed down by internal pressure, past wounds and anxiety. She later received her certification from Bearfoot Yoga in her hometown of Bayshore, New York. Her background, lineage, and style of teaching stem from Integral Yoga and Dharma Mittra. She is also certified in Prenatal Yoga as well as Adaptive Gentle and Chair Yoga. She has been lucky enough to travel and teach in Cuenca, Ecuador and Punta Cana, Domincan Republic.
Liza has not just seen how much yoga has helped her grow as an individual, but she truly believes it has helped her manifest a happier life. Her goals are to help students deepen their practice on and off the yoga mat by challenging the student at their individual level and intertwining themes of yoga philosophy with a dynamic and calming Hatha/Vinyasa practice. Whether it be through creating online content, holding space for class, or running workshops, she hopes that she can help plant the seeds within students, so that they too can cultivate a happier and healthier life they deserve.
PRIYA AMARESH, YOGA INSTRUCTOR
Priya completed her Intermediate, & Advanced Yoga Teacher Training in the beautiful setting of the Integral Yoga Alliance in Yogaville, VA.
Priya earned a Bachelor’s & Masters in Education from the University of Michigan. She is a teacher by profession. Also, having grown up in Michigan in a spiritually and culturally rich home, Indian traditions were ingrained in her. Therefore to instruct interesting & creative classes while drawing in philosophical & cultural themes seems natural for Priya.
She likes to make her practice fun and accessible to all levels from basic beginner to advanced, helping students to reach their own potentials for personal transformation, balance, and bliss. Priya likes to remind practitioners that the main intention of yoga is to not only nurture the body, but also the mind and soul so that once you step off your mat you feel refreshed, nourished and balanced.
JULIE ERVIN, BARRE & PILATES INSTRUCTOR
Julie was trained in classical ballet as a young child. While attending college, she began running and weight lifting. It was in 2013, by the recommendation of her sister that she attended her first barre class at Mindful Movement Pilates; she fell in love with it from day one. After two years of classes at Mindful Movements Pilates, Julie was approached by the owner of the studio and asked if she would be certified and teach for her. She now holds a National Pilates certification and TRX certification. She’s an ACE approved Group Fitness Instructor and is a certified instructor in both BarreAmped/BarreAmped Fire. She is also a Certified Bellicon and Power Stretch Fitness trainer.
GESTER MAGALAQUE, PROFESSIONAL MMA FIGHTER AND FITNESS COACH, GLOBAL INSTRUCTOR
Gester John Maglaque is a professional MMA fighter and personal fitness coach. Ever since he was young, he has shown interest in mixed martial arts — which in turn lead him to learn it. Throughout the years, he has received training in different countries such as Brazil and Japan for Muay Thai, Jujitsu, Kickboxing, and more. Moreover, Gester has also participated in MMA competitions, won several times, and is always included in the main event.
He strived to become a personal fitness coach since he is passionate in helping people become healthy and fit.
RAVEN GIBBS, MINDFUL MOVEMENT INSTRUCTOR
Raven Gibbs is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in Law and Cognitive Science. She is currently in pursuit of a degree in MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling! Her current certifications include The Science of Well-Being (Yale University), Healing With the Arts (University of Florida) and Mental Health Management During Covid-19 (University of Toronto).
Over the years, she has worked tirelessly to ensure that her community was supported, loved and encouraged. Raven had a vision and executed a plan to address mental health challenges via dance to individuals that were not open to traditional therapeutic techniques and interventions. Her work has since been seen on Tyler Perry Studios, BET, BETher, Essence, Steve Harvey, Georgetown University, XONecole, Spirituality & Health Magazine, 102Jamz, Foxy 107/104, Spectacular Magazine, The CW, and more!
KERRY MAC - KUKUWA DANCE WORKOUT INSTRUCTOR
Kerry has been a certified Kukuwa Dance Workout Instructor and teacher (by profession) since 2018. She is a passionate dancer and teacher, and enjoys motivating others and spreading positive energy. What better way to do both than with Kukuwa Dance Workout classes!
A class with her will be filled with energetic dances moves suited to your level to get you feeling energized and burning calories without even noticing. Her goal is to ensure that students complete the class feeling confident, empowered and excited for more.
Kukuwa Dance Workout is an African inspired dance workout created to improve fitness and wellness through African dance and music. The workout features isolated and integrated movements of the head, shoulders, waist, pelvic, quads, legs, feet, toes, hands, wrists and is designed to force the use of energy and breathing to synchronize with the rhythm of the music. The best part is that you are getting a full body workout while having fun. You will travel to Africa without a passport through music and dance from different African countries. Come and let's dance!
SRIVIDYA NARATAJAN - ZUMBA DANCE WORKOUT INSTRUCTOR
Srividya is a certified Zumba instructor who teaches virtual and in-person dance fitness classes at gyms and to private groups. Additionally, she has conducted dance sessions at corporate events and special celebrations.
Srividya started her career in administrative positions working for various companies after earning her Bachelor’s in Commerce from the University of Delhi in India. Since her childhood days, dance has always been a passion that led her to participate in several groups and solo performances. Growing up in a metropolitan city like Delhi taught the diverse and rich Indian cultural dances that exist in India. After migrating to the US, she reinvigorated her passion when attending a Zumba class where she was introduced to newer dance styles. Since then, she decided to take this up as a career and aims to make fitness a joyous event by providing an energetic, fun-filled workout that feels like a party with great music! Her dance routines combine various Latin dance forms (like Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, Reggaeton), Indian styles (like Bollywood, Bhangra, Folk, South Indian street dance), belly dance, and Hip Hop!