Our Team Who we are

Eat Breathe Thrive is sustained by a team of talented and dedicated individuals, who give their time, energy, and heart in the spirit of service. 

Chelsea Roff

Chelsea Roff
Founder and Director

Chelsea Roff is the Founder and Director of Eat Breathe Thrive. An author, researcher, and educator, she has spent nearly a decade pioneering integrative health programs for people with mental health challenges.

Roff began her career as a research assistant and grant writer in a psychoneuroimmunology laboratory. Her early research focused on how stress affects the immune system and how mind-body practices like yoga can help people with chronic diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS. While in university, Roff secured grants from the National Science Foundation and Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. She also became adept in technologies such as facial electromyography, galvanic skin conductance, and the electroencephelogram.

Roff went on to apply what she learned in the lab to develop innovative solutions to real-world problems. After completing a yoga teacher training in 2009, she developed a yoga-based intervention for women with breast cancer. She went on to develop a similar program for youth who had experienced sexual assault at a juvenile detention center, and adults facing homelessness at a residential shelter.

Over and over again, Roff found herself drawn back to one population: men and women experiencing eating disorders. Roff herself had struggled with anorexia in her youth, and recovered thanks to the support of community, practice of yoga and opportunity to serve others. In 2011, Roff offered the first Yoga for Eating Disorders program to clients at a treatment center where she had once been treated for anorexia. This program later became the heart of Eat Breathe Thrive: a six-week intervention that combines yoga, meditation, and psychoeducation to help people fully overcome food and body image issues.

Roff has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and CNN. An award-winning author, she has contributed a number of book chapters, articles, and research reviews to publications such as Yoga Journal, Good Magazine, and American Public Media. She currently lives in Venice, California, where she can be found riding her bike at the beach, hiking in the mountains, and salsa dancing under the stars.

Samantha Child

Sam Child
Director of Operations

Samantha Child is the Director of Operations for Eat Breathe Thrive, a self-taught graphic designer, and a Certified Yoga Teacher (RYT-500).

Sam first became involved with Eat Breathe Thrive during the widely-successful Yoga for Eating Disorders crowd-funding campaign. A dedicated volunteer throughout the rooftop campaign #OccupyYouAreBeautiful, Sam’s communication and organizational skills soon made her an indispensable team member, and she soon grew into a leadership role with the organization. Nowadays, her responsibilities include managing Eat Breathe Thrive’s website, emails, and social media channels; capturing program data; designing and creating promotional materials; and developing continuing education resources.

An eating disorder survivor herself, Sam has an embodied understanding of the therapeutic role which yoga, community, and service work can play in recovery. A self-professed bookworm and student of life, Sam particularly enjoys expanding her knowledge on the topics which fascinate her most: yoga and mind-body practices; body politics and social justice; mental health, psychology, and neuroscience; eating disorders, body image, and embodiment—and the interplay between them and intersections thereof. Guided by her personal and professional experiences, Sam is dedicated to empowering others with tools and practices to feel at home in their own bodies.

Grace Emmerling

Grace Emmerling
Education Team Leader

Grace Emmerling is a yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer, who lives and works in State College, PA. Initially drawn to yoga to complement her dancing, she discovered within the practice a deep level of self-reflection and healing. Her teaching style is infused with elements from her training background in and passion for dance, incorporating movement exploration, creativity, and energy play.

Outside of the yoga studio, Grace enjoys working at a local food cooperative. Inspired by the likes of Dr. Linda Bacon, author of Health at Every Size, social critic James Baldwin, and environmental activist Wendell Berry, Grace is passionate about addressing inequalities within the food system as a means to healing ourselves and our communities. Through her various roles, Grace seeks to embody her mission—to heal our individual and collective relationships with food and the body.

Lucy Ridley

Lucy Ridley
Volunteer Manager

Lucy Ridley is a Program Manager for a third sector organization, keen adventurer, Certified Eat Breathe Thrive Facilitator, and a yoga teacher, who lives in the vibrant city of Edinburgh, Scotland. A dedicated volunteer, Lucy has previously supported various long-term and short-term projects and events, both at home in the UK and abroad.

A firm believer in the necessity of accessible support and the value of peer-to-peer networks, Lucy is committed to creating a safe space for others to share their innermost experiences, free from fear of judgment. In both her work and play, Lucy draws inspiration from her friends, who remind her to dream big, to laugh, to play, and to never take life too seriously.