About Our Co-Founders
YYT, ERYT, Certified Raw Food Chef, Yahweh Yoga Co-Founder and CEO
As the mother-part of this energetic team, DeAnna Smothers happily shares that she loves the Lord, her family, friends, students and being a Yahweh Yoga teacher! “My students are close to my heart,” shares DeAnna. “I hope they feel God’s presence in every class and become stronger mentally, physically and spiritually.”
DeAnna, a former dancer has practiced yoga for more than 30 years and taught yoga since 2005, maintains that authentic health is achieved through the integration of mind, body and soul which produces both peace and strength. From personal experience (and from observing the lives of those she trains) she believes this sense of well-being results from committing to a combination of lifestyle choices that include daily intimacy with Jesus Christ and His Word, fresh organic eating/drinking habits, giving and receiving love, and praise-inspiring yoga practices centered in Christ.
A natural innovator, DeAnna developed a distinct style of teaching Christian yoga which is being taught and popularized by many who currently teach Christian yoga. She created and co-produced Yahweh Yoga’s Teacher Training Programs, as well as Yahweh Yoga’s book, Christian Yoga: Restoration for Body and Soul and the Yahweh Yoga’s DVDs. For more information about our products, please visit our online Shop.
DeAnna’s background includes:
Co-founding and working as the Executive Director of Community C.A.R.E. Connections, a 50l©3 Nonprofit Organization founded with the Phoenix Suns to provide programs that serve highly vulnerable populations such as homebound seniors at risk of suicide, as well as eight licensed domestic violence shelters in Greater Phoenix and the underserved poor at Maricopa County Hospital. She held this position for ten years before God called her to co-found Yahweh Yoga with her daughter Courtney. Serving as the Manager of Special Projects for The Business Journal for several years before the starting non-profit, Community C.A.R.E. Connections.
She acknowledges that she’s madly in love with her husband Mike of eleven years and that together they enjoy their children, family and friends. After studying with many of today’s master yoga teachers, DeAnna contends, “One of my favorite teachers is my daughter Courtney. She inspires me on many levels. Also, our graduates take my breath away. Many are from out of the state or the country. I always want to travel and take their classes. Sometimes I do.” (See more about Courtney below.)
YYT, ERYT, Certified Personal Nutritionist, Certified Raw Food Chef, Yahweh Yoga Co-Founder and COO
Inspirational Courtney Chalfant, the daughter-part of the Yahweh Yoga partnership is known for her engaging smile, skillful yoga poses and unabashed love for the Lord. With her mother, DeAnna Smothers, Courtney co-founded the Yahweh Yoga Christian Yoga Studio and Teaching Academy based in Chandler, Arizona. As one of the most popular yoga teachers in the country—Christian or secular—Courtney has been instrumental in bringing respect for Christian yoga throughout the yoga industry. Many secular yoga teachers have acknowledged Courtney’s professional excellence in teaching, nominated her for awards and embraced Christian yoga as a result of taking her classes.
Courtney, who studied with numerous master yoga teachers, recently appeared on the cover of Fitness Magazine and holds the honor of being the first Christian yoga teacher to become a lululemon Ambassador. She joins her mother in co-writing and co-producing the book Christian Yoga: Restoration for Body and Soul and Yahweh Yoga’s DVDs.
After graduating as a nurse, Courtney worked in Hospice Care where her zeal for life, health and service intensified. Then with her mother, DeAnna Smothers, Courtney co-founded Community C.A.R.E. Connections, a 50l©3 Nonprofit Organization created to serve impoverished populations.
Explaining her passion for teaching Christian yoga and helping people deepen their intimacy with the Lord, Courtney says, “Growing up my mom inspired me when she said that my body is a temple, my mind can always be expanding, and that yoga should be a daily practice. She also encouraged me to pray without ceasing and each day to spend at least fifteen minutes with God and go outdoors for a while. I’ve learned the personal benefit of her advice. I pray that my yoga students will laugh, cry, pray, sweat and feel God’s presence during my classes. I know I’m a vessel to serve His Word in the world. I want I make Him proud.”