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Stellar Staff

  • Meghan Pflepsen Zender

    I'm Meghan Pflepsen Zender, owner of Mindful Movement & Wellness. My favorite part of teaching is getting to know and help so many amazing women to be their best. I strive to create a welcoming and supportive community full of challenging classes and fun events.
  • Tessa Wagnild

    My name is Tessa and I am an ACE certified group fitness instructor and a certified Buti Yoga instructor. I was born and raised in Washington state, and love traveling back home to visit my family. I played volleyball and basketball at Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota, and after receiving my Master’s degree, I returned to my alma mater to coach volleyball for 4 seasons before my husband and I moved to Albuquerque in 2012. I am the mother of 3 beautiful and very active girls, and I enjoy coaching them in T-ball, soccer, and basketball in my free time. I also enjoy playing volleyball, hiking and camping with my family, and running 10K races.

    I was so grateful to find Mindful Movement and Wellness shortly after moving. As a stay-at-home mom with a 5-month old baby, this community was truly a “life-saver” for me, and the classes exceeded my expectations in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. Being able to connect with other moms and give my children a chance to be social with other kids, has proved to be just as important to me as the physical fitness aspects I was seeking. I am thrilled to get share my passion for fitness and well-being with other women, moms, and their families.
  • Danielle Verlanic

    My name is Danielle, I have a daughter, Kerrigan, and twin girls, Tatum and Keira, with my husband Jimmy. We were both born and raised in Montana and met in college at Montana State University. We relocated to ABQ by way of Nevada for my husbands surgery residency program.

    Growing up I was a multi-sport athlete and loved anything outdoors and active. After high school I started running road races. I have participated in 30+ races ranging from 5ks, multiple half marathons, relay races, a century ride, and 2 full marathons.

    I am a PE teacher and spent 6 years teaching high school PE in Las Vegas and Reno Nevada. While teaching I was the head softball coach, head tennis coach, and assisted in the basketball and volleyball programs. I loved coaching and will get back into when Kerrigan starts playing. I have taught fitness classes, swim lessons, run programs, and weight lifting in Montana and Nevada. Most recently I taught elementary PE but now I stay home with my girls.

    I am an AFAA certified group fitness instructor and Buti Yoga instructor! I really enjoy teaching boot camp and getting my Buti on!

    My husband and I love all there is to do in New Mexico. We love white water rafting, hiking, camping, and green chile!

  • Emily Aikins

    Emily is a movement enthusiast! Growing up, she always loved dancing alone in her room. In college, Emily started learning international rhythms with Zumba DVDs, and she was hooked! After traveling all over the world, she brings international flavors and music that will move you! Emily helps you unleash your inner dancing machine, getting your body in shape while letting your mind and spirit soar! She loves connecting with her students and encouraging silliness and self-expression.

    Emily started teaching Strong by Zumba last year and has seen a transformation in her body and confidence! A mix of cardio and strength training, Strong by Zumba is a great way to get in shape while toning your muscles! Every week we get a little stronger, while the music drives our movements.
  • Maya Lessen

    Maya Lessen is a registered yoga instructor certified through Yoga Alliance. She is a certified Dharma Yoga Instructor. Additionally, she is a certified Advanced Buti Yoga, Buti Sculpt, and Buti Hotcore instructor. Maya has a Master’s Degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Maya has a strong foundation in anatomy, physiology, body motion and body mechanics from educational and experiential background.
  • Brittany Espinoza

    Brittany Espinoza is the marketing coordinator for Mindful Movement and Wellness. Brittany joined Mindful Movement & Wellness 5 years ago when she was looking for a way to meet other moms and get back into shape. She is now mom to 2 and works part-time from home.
  • Nicole Bridges

    Nicole Bridges discovered her love for fitness at a young age. Swim team and volleyball were two of her favorites. After high school she graduated from UNM with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and taught for 3 years in a Title One school. Once she became a mom, she knew she wanted to set the right example for her children and discovered this wonderful program called baby bootcamp. She has been a member since 2014. Through her time with bootcamp she has made life long friendships, lost over 30 pounds, and even won our Mother Love Wellness Challenge in 2017. With her love for teaching and fitness she decided to get her national group fitness certification, and has recently become our newest Bootcamp and Buti Yoga instructor.
  • Nichole Jaramillo

    Nichole is a certified Buti Yoga instructor and 200 RYT who has a passion for learning and sharing Yoga with others. At her classes, she strives to bring the energy and cultivates an atmosphere that supports you in your quest for health and happiness.
  • Jamie Botteon

    My name is Jamie and I am originally from Connecticut but just moved to Albuquerque! I am certified in Buti Yoga and Deep Buti yoga and I believe in healing through movement! I have a strong passion to help others on and off the mat and am currently in nursing school to continue my dream of giving back to others. I am so excited to be a part of the Mindful Community and am honored to be alongside such strong and powerful women!!!
  • Liana Kachakhmadze

    Liana began her yoga journey in 2007 and has been sharing the ancient yoga offerings with students since 2012. She has completed 200-hours of Vinyasa Flow style teacher training in Washington, DC’s “Flow Yoga Center” and emerged in cont. education with internationally recognized teachers, such as Shiva Rea, Alanna Kaivalya, Jill Abelson, David Kyle, Simon Park, Christina Sell, and Bizzie Gold. With a heart full of kindness and appreciation she bows her head to every single teacher and student she meets on her path.

    In Liana's class, students will enjoy her constant attention to alignment and breath, soulful hands-on assists and grounded teachings of yogic philosophy. The smooth and creative flow and intensity of the class vary in accordance with students' experience and the energy level in the room. Liana's classes are accessible to beginners, but can also be quite challenging for intermediate students as well.