About The Calming Tree
The Calming Tree was founded in 2016 by Christine Sustar. The talented and amazing teachers at The Calming Tree all embrace the same fundamentals: it is our mission to provide a space for ALL to practice and enjoy by providing an array of classes to suit EVERY body. Come and join us in our mutual journeys of self-discovery and self-love - seeking healthy mind, body, and spirit!
If you are unsure about accommodations or would like to speak with an instructor prior to class, please fill out the form on the "Contact Us" page, and someone will be in touch ASAP.
Instructors and Healers
Meet The Calming Tree's yoga instructors and healing arts practitioners!
Christine "Maheshwari" is a RYT-200 yoga teacher and owner of The Calming Tree, who had initially come to the practice of yoga in the hopes of creating the most calm and peaceful environment to become and sustain pregnancy. A while after her successful pregnancy, spirituality deepened her curiosity. She enrolled in the Ananda Bhakti Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program, and through her continued practice and knowledge of yoga, she was also able to cure an undiagnosed chronic pain issue that she suffered from for nearly 15 years. These are but two personal, positive aspects she has experienced through the practice. The love, self-acceptance, peace and happiness she has found through yoga inspires and motivates her to share the love that is yoga with anyone and everyone.
Mark "Mahadeva" is 41 and originally from the Cleveland area. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps shortly after graduating high school and was honorably discharged, having served his full term doing security work in Washington, D.C. Shortly after this is when he was first introduced to yoga by a friend as a way to deal with anxiety. While he didn't make it a regular practice right away, he did notice how much better it made him feel and that there were a lot of benefits to it. Mark worked as a welder and machinist for many years from this point. Then in 2010, he ran into a list of health problems and needed to make some drastic changes to his life and lifestyle. Remembering back to how it made him feel, and the peace of mind it gave him, he decided to make yoga a regular practice. As time moved forward, things began to change one by one: quitting cigarettes, getting off prescription medication, becoming vegetarian, and starting to look at food more as medicine. Mark's yoga practice led him to meet and later become a devotee of Amma Sri Karunamayi. He believes he is teaching yoga in order to spread Her message as well as share his own personal practice. Mark is an Usui Reiki Master and is also certified in Integrated Energy Therapy (IET). He graduated in November of 2015 from The Ananda Bhakti Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program and has been teaching since then. Mark is very welcoming of anyone who comes to his class and is proof that yoga is for every body.
Jillian Stanton, M.S. CYT 300 hr.
I began yoga in 1996 as a way to stay fit and flexible for high school sports. Through the years, I kept coming back to yoga as a form of exercise. In 2011, after having my first child, I finally stepped into a yoga studio, hoping to find something to alleviate my loneliness and sadness as I was healing from post-partum depression. From then on, yoga became more than just physical, it was a community that was caring and restorative.
I hold an MS in Biology and was a professor at 6 different universities before becoming a stay-at-home mom. After teaching college for so many years, I knew that teaching was my dharma, but academia was not. I found the yoga community to be amazing; welcoming and accepting of all people. So in 2018 I made the decision to become a yoga teacher. Through my teacher training experience I learned a lot about myself and what kind of teacher I want to be.
I believe everyone can have yoga in their life. I am compassionate and caring, and will meet you where you are in your journey. I teach Hatha yoga to all levels of yogis. I am passionate about creating an environment where students can slow down, breathe deep, and relax.
My name is Lexi and I am a Cleveland girl at heart! I graduated from Kent State in 2015 and have a bachelors degree in public health.
Wellness has always been a passion of mine. My yoga journey began in college when I started doing yoga at home on YouTube and then I took
yoga class for credit my junior year. I loved starting my day with yoga 3 times a week while in school. It helped me with my stress and anxiety. My yoga journey started shortly after I discovered hula hooping. Hula hooping started as a hobby and then became a form of mediation for me.
I completed my 200 hour YTT in Sampoorna Yoga, at Yogi Hari's Ashram in Miramar, Florida. Sampoorna means fullness, which takes the six major systems of yoga and puts it together. The whole experience of staying at an ashram and learning from a guru was eye opening as the spiritual side of yoga was revealed to me.
Outside of yoga and hula hooping, I enjoy hiking, cooking/baking and crafting.
Connie’s interest in physical fitness began more than 50 years ago. She began as a fitness instructor and personal trainer, specializing in working with
the physically limited and overweight population.
In 2002, she graduated from The Cleveland School Of Massage And Body Work and shortly after received her attunement as Reiki Master. In 20012, she graduated from Traditional Thai Massage school.
In 20018 she became a certified Vibration Sound Therapist thru Vibration Sound
Loving the outdoors, you will find Connie Hiking, Biking, Kayaking or doing yoga
on her paddle board!
You may also find her settled in a cabin in West Virginia….getting ready for some
white water rafting, or traveling and exploring the world….
Kelly joined the Calming Tree in 2018 as a student and quickly became part of the studio!! Not sure what we’d do without her! She is quick with a smile, helpful words and/or listening heart. We are ever so thankful to Kelly for keeping everything organized and running smoothly at The Calming Tree!