200 Sawmill Road - Suite 101 
Raleigh, NC 27615 
919.449.0530 | directions | sitemap 


Commonly Asked Questions


Our Instructors

Cyndi Bulka ERYT 500 Owner & Director

Cyndi is the owner and director of the Moving Mantra Yoga Studio. She has been practicing Yoga and meditation for more than 20 years, and has entertained a curiosity for contemplative practices her entire life. Her teaching reflects a combination of years of study and practice which culminate in an eclectic and individualized approach, focusing on organic movement and gentle unfolding from the 'inside-out'. She studied under Esther Meyers in the Scaravelli tradition for many years and earned her advanced teaching certificate with Esther.  She also holds a certificate in AcuYoga with Michael Reed Gach.  Over the years she has studied extensively with several other senior teachers, which has helped her integrate her experiences and knowledge into a loving, intelligent, relational approach to teaching.  She is particularly inspired by Judith Lasater, with whom she continues her studies on a regular basis, and completed Judith's Relax and Renew Restorative Yoga teacher training course.

As a result of Cyndi's personal commitment to healing and wellness has grown a curiosity for Yoga as a therapeutic modality.  In recent years she has focused her continuing education in that direction.  She currently teaches specialized workshops and courses that address structural issues of the body, anxiety, depression, insomnia and eating disorders. Cyndi's love for travel brought her to Thailand where she earned her certificate in Nuad Boran (Thai Yoga Therapy) from the Sunshine School in Chiang Mai.  Thai Yoga bodywork naturally integrates into Cyndi's healing approach to Yoga, and is a wonderful practice for wellness and healing. Cyndi is available for private work.  Contact her via personal email to request an appointment.

Yoga, meditation and contemplative writing have provided a foundation for Cyndi's personal journey towards wholeness.  "My practice helps me to remain grounded and open hearted while taking in all life has to offer.  I find my way to spirit through the experience of embodiment.  Yoga reminds me of who I am at essence. Noticing my breath, following sensation in my body, I am reminded again and again the value of presence in the present.  This is the gateway inward for me, and is at the heart of my teaching as well." 

A passionate conviction that Yoga is not merely a physical practice but rather a way of living, Cyndi is involved in various community activities to raise awareness and funds for the under served and disenfranchised.  "Seva (service) is part of living the Yogic life. It brings me great joy to serve those in need and to work in sangha with other committed people in our community."

photo by Elizabeth Galecke

Sunny Davis, E-RYT200

Sunny began studying Yoga nearly 20 years ago to counterbalance the effects of athletic overtraining, turning to Yoga to heal herself from chronic pain and fatigue.  Her profound personal experience of healing through the practices of Yoga piqued her interest in the study of therapeutic Yoga.

Sunny has studied with many teachers who have inspired and influenced her teaching over the years. Esther Meyers was the first teacher who applied the principles of biomechanics to the asanas; she suggested that Sunny pursue her interest in therapeutic yoga applications by studying with T. V. K. Desikachar, with whom she still continues to study. 

"I teach to share with others what y\Yoga has done for me.  I love seeing bodies transformed, to see the light in my student's eyes when they experience their first meditative state, to learn what the breath can do for us and to become kinder and gentler towards themselves and others.  I learn from them how to be a better person, to drop my barriers and let them see me as I really am with no pretenses."

Sunny lives in the country with her husband, dogs, horse and chickens.  She is an avid outdoors woman with a sincere appreciation of nature and our deep connection to it. Learn more about Sunny here.

photo by Julie Dixon


Gauri Johnson, E-RYT500 

Gauri Johnson has been exploring a unique fusion of body-mind integration through yoga for more than 15 years.  She undertook a wide path of yogic studies, including multiple journeys to India to study with yogic masters, steeping her own awareness in the essence of yoga.  Studying Yoga since 1996, Gauri found a vast and deep wealth of knowledge, both scientific and esoteric.  She joined the EmbodiYoga facility in 2009 after completing over 1500 hours of Yoga studies and over 2000 hours of teaching.  Gauri has also explored yoga under the guidance of “The Mother of Restorative Yoga” in the West, Judith Hansen Lasater, achieving certification in the Restore and Renew Program.  Other teachers that have flavored Gauri’s expression include Richard Freeman, Donna Farhi, Eric Schiffman and Russil Paul along with the richness of many yogic texts and philosophers. She holds an E-RYT 500 certification through the Yoga Alliance.

Gauri offers a practice that invites you to develop a deep sense of peace and an inner knowing, and to carry these qualities beyond your mat, and into your life.  She guides you gently into higher states of awareness that teach you to trust your intuition; trust your body and mind.  She teaches, the deepest wisdom lies inside of you, and the practice of Yoga is constantly revealing and informing you of your essential nature, or “Truth”.  She has been sharing Yoga with private clients and teaching classes in a variety of settings since 2005. For more information visit Gauri’s website.

Julee Snyder, E-RYT 500, LMBT # 5044

Julee is a licensed massage therapist, certified yoga teacher and pilates instructor, and somatic movement educator.  With 25 years of dance experience, 20 years of yoga practice, and more than 3,000 hours of therapeutic study, Julee brings to her work an embodied exploration of anatomy, a clear articulation of alignment and movement principles, a playful curiosity, and a deep love and compassion for the journey. 

Julee's journey in to Yoga began as a teenager at the NC Governor's School when her flute teacher had her get into strange positions, like child's pose, to learn how to breathe.  It was the first time anyone had demanded that she become conscious of her embodied self.  Her teacher introduced her to breath, posture, awareness and meditation techniques.  Julee was hooked.

Twenty-some years later, she now has a small bodywork practice where she employs certain techniques to offer a similar awareness to her clients.  In doing so she hopes to offer reduced stress,  increased overall health, and a sense of vibrancy in life. 
After a few years struggling to make it as a dance and performance artist, Julee turned to bodywork.  In 2004, she completed her massage therapy certification at the Body Therapy Institute.  In 2006, she became a Certified Practioner of Body-Mind Centering®.  In 2011, Julee completed a Pilates Teacher Training.

Julee had a couple of car accidents in 2004 that caused a severe sprain of her whole spine.  While this prevented her from dancing, it allowed her the gift of self healing.  In that, she became an expert in gentle and restorative yoga, as well as the possibilities for using breath, meditation, and visualization to manage pain and create new movement possibilites.  Pain seems to be one of life's many rites of passage, one in which Julee has experienced first-hand.  Yoga and Pilates have been extraordinarily supportive in increasing the stability of her spine. 

Todd Fields                                                                                  

After graduating with a degree in philosophy and religion from UNC CH, Todd spent the next 30 years raising a family, building a business and living in community. His free time was often spent gazing at the heavens both literally and figuratively, but his perspective was always grounded by pragmatism and a dose of skepticism. When he discovered the ancient practices of Yoga and meditation, it was as if a shiny new space ship had landed in the front yard with a “TRY ME” sign on it. Through these modes of exploration he has touched numerous traditions in Yoga and Buddhism. He currently practices Yoga at Moving Mantra and leads meditations at The Community for Mindful Living, a Buddhist sangha in the tradition of the Vietnamese Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh. He enjoys sharing from the peace and happiness that these practices have brought to his daily life and listening to the journeys of others.

Dr. Tom Mitchell

Since 1998 Dr. Mitchell has taught yogic breathing courses for the Art of Living Foundation, a nonprofit educational and service organization.  Tom brings a personal passion for all things Yoga, and a long list of accomplishments in the healing arts.  He received his doctor of chiropractic degree from Parker College in Dallas, Texas in 1997 and opened his chiropractic practice in Raleigh in 1997.  A fellow of the Acupuncture Society of America, he was certified to practice acupuncture in 1998 and has pursued his interest in Ayurveda since the early 1980s. Since 2002 he has worked closely with Dr. Pankaj Naram, one of the world’s leading experts in nadi vigyan (Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis), whose patients have included the Dalai Lama and Mother Theresa. Dr. Mitchell sees patients together with Dr. Naram in clinics in both India and the U.S.  Dr. Mitchell is a Registered Herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild, the only peer-reviewed herbalist organization in the U.S.

Howie Shareff

Howie began his yoga journey 15 years ago as a way to manage his stress and strains from arthritis, dental practice and sports. He found that easy, low impact yoga reduced the tension in his mind and as well as his body. Yoga has been crucial to Howie’s management of disabling arthritis. His condition resulted in multiple surgeries and complications that prematurely ended his dental career. His gentle yoga practice prepared him for surgery and rehabilitation from these events.

In 2008, Howie received certification to teach Chair Yoga at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health under the supervision of Lakshmi Voelker. In 2009, he became an apprentice of Cyndi Bulka.

In 2011, Howie founded You Call This Yoga, a education nonprofit organization to bring gentle, accessible, restorative yoga to the American public. In 2011, he published the book and DVD, Sit Stretch Smile for beginner and novice Chair Yoga practitioners. In addition, Howie produces a weekly yoga program on Raleigh Cable Channel 10.

Howie’s background allows him to create classes that are gentle, informative, and fun. He understands limitations, has knowledge of the body and brings 25 years of experience in calming and humoring his patients to yoga. His desire to help others heal is boundless.

Jan Nerone

Jan Nerone is a licensed massage therapist, holistic business consultant, environmental educator and artisan who is currently completing her yoga teacher training with Whole Heart Yoga at Moving Mantra. Jan brings a lifetime of yogic study and spiritual seeking to all that she does.

Currently, Jan assists Cyndi in managing the studio. She has led the implementation of our new Mindbody software and is happy to assist with any questions regarding the new system.

Read more about Jan here.




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