Meet our incredibly talented and dynamic staff!
Passionate and down-to-earth, Abby’s bohemian heart radiates through her life in all its aspects — at home, as a student, and as a teacher. She doesn’t differentiate between the practice of yoga and the practice of life, believing that yoga is how you do something, not something you do.
As a teacher, Abby creates an atmosphere of keeping it real while challenging students to their highest potential in the moment. She speaks from the authentic place of her own heart’s experience and is renowned for her unique ability to make the practices of yoga pertinent to the full spectrum of life experiences. Her classes are a profound and authentic offering of dynamic alignment, embodied flow, and skillful refinement. Students are encouraged to work diligently while honoring their own boundaries. Abby believes in empowering students through deep inquiry and skillful application of a pulsation of dynamic alignment principles. Each asana class also includes the essential grounding practices of pranayama and meditation.
Adam Kurzfeld has been teaching yoga full time since 2009. He is a strong believer that movement and stillness are both necessary for optimal health. Yoga brings us both. He teaches vinyasa classes which are physically challenging, safe, and give space for stillness and meditation. Adam is also very passionate about music and he weaves sound seamlessly into classes and workshops. He feels extremely fortunate to have found yoga early in my life and love bringing this ancient art to others. No matter your age, size, color, gender; a dedicated yoga practice will transform your life from the inside.
As a massage practitioner, Adam Kurzfeld combines swedish, shiatsu, deep tissue, energy work, and craniosacral therapy to create a unique and comprehensive healing experience. He tailors his bodywork to each client intuitively and LOVES helping people feel free and open in their bodies. He did his first certification in massage in 2008 and has been studying various modalities ever since.
- Thursdays 10am-3pm
As an artist of mindful living, Alexis Mulhauser’s life is her yoga practice! She is passionate about the transformational energy of yoga that encourages feeling the body’s inner landscape, allowing breath to serve as the primary anchor for building strength, flexibility, and mindfulness.
She has been blessed to receive teachings from many amazing teachers, including Pema Chodron, Thich Naht Hanh, and H.H. Dalai Lama. Her yoga and meditation studies include Hatha Yoga with Erich Schiffmann, Max Strom and Richard Freeman, Taoist and Yin Yoga with Paulie Zink, Sarah Powers, and Paul Grilley, Prana Vinyasa Flow and Yoga Trance Dance with Shiva Rea, and Shadow Yoga with Scott Blossom and Chandra Easton.
Alexis’ intention: To create a calm and nurturing space for all people to discover their true purpose and passion in life, both on and off the yoga mat.
Aliza Gavriella Sutker is a structural/alignment based yoga and MELT Method teacher who offers private, semi-private and group classes. Aliza began her career as a therapeutic yoga specialist in 2000, having studied for the previous 8 years with senior Iyengar Yoga teachers in the US and India. Having managed the rehabilitation center of a renowned chiropractic orthopedist from 2000 – 2004, Aliza received ongoing training in core strength, physical therapy exercises, and traction techniques.
Certified by John Friend as an Anusara Yoga Teacher, Aliza returned to her root lineage of Iyengar Yoga in 2007, and studied weekly with master Iyengar teacher Donald Moyer. Her 40 years of dedicated personal practice — gymnastics to dance, running to hiking, and ultimately Yoga and MELT, infuse her teaching with a depth of knowledge in structure, mechanics and movement to heal chronic pain, prevent injury and maintain joyful embodiment. Aliza educates through experience how to incorporate postural awareness on the mat and transfer this knowledge to the activities of daily living.
Alyssa DeCaro is a yoga teacher, group facilitator, dancer, and musician dedicated to helping others tune in to their “essential instrument” through movement, breath, rhythm, and ensemble connection. As a yoga teacher, Alyssa is known for her fluid sequencing, precise verbal cues, and heartfelt presence. She has been teaching locally and internationally for 17 years and leads popular classes at the Yoga Tree studios in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Andrea manitsas (affectionately called “Anj”) is known for a potent class with a whole lotta soul and a fierce flow. She warmly invites students on a sacred journey through her unique expression of the Vinyasa flow that is dreamy and rhythmic while also being smart and intentional. Her classes incorporate mantras and chanting, philosophy, storytelling, mudras, meditation, visualization, breath work, essential oils, challenging poses, and more.
Andrea continues to connect an ever-growing well of experience with impressive music and book libraries to inspire bodies to move and minds to still. As an avid reader and professional writer/editor, Andrea works to balance the head and the heart in her classes, and in her life. Her recent adventure through India has inspired her love of ritual and the sacredness in each moment. Especially when we come together on our mats… Anj also leads worldwide yoga retreats.
Anna Landauer, L.Ac., MTCM
Anna has practiced yoga since youth and began teaching in 1998. She trained in classical Hatha Yoga at the Ashtanga Yoga Institute, and in Anusara Yoga at Seattle Yoga Arts. In her classes she integrates the strong alignment traditions of BKS Iyengar, the graceful heart opening attitude of Anusara yoga with the flowing sequences of Vinyasa yoga.
Anna is also an accomplished experiential educator and group facilitator. She has led wilderness and cultural expeditions for more than 20 years, working as an instructor and guide for organizations such as Outward Bound, REI Outdoor School, Global Routes, and the Yosemite Mountaineering School. A passionate dancer, outdoor athlete, and world traveler, Anna is committed to spreading the spirit of adventure and exploration. Her intention is to nurture and support embodied, passionate living through yoga, creativity, and the healing arts.
WELLNESS TREATMENTS WITH ANNA: Anna is a licensed acupuncturist/herbalist and certified massage and yoga therapist with a Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine and a Bachelor’s in Outdoor Education and Social Environmental Issues. Dancer, yoga instructor and outdoor athlete, she is passionate about promoting community wellness.
MODALITIES: Acupuncture, Shiatsu, Tui Na, Acupressure, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports Injury, Pre + Post Natal
ANNA’S HEALING HOURS:
Tuesdays 3:30-7pm (Grand Lake)
Wednesdays 12pm – 6pm (Grand Lake)
Thursdays 3:30pm – 8:30pm (Grand Lake)
Check out Anna’s Website for more information: http://www.annalandauer.com/
Annemaria Rajala teaches an energizing flow class that invites you to explore your edge mindfully and cultivate a meaningful dialogue with your body. As a teacher I strive to create a nurturing environment and make the class accessible to all levels of students.
“Yoga is a deeply personal practice. It is a constant inquiry into how to deepen my awareness and take care of myself so I can better take care of the world around me. To me yoga is not about a fancy pose, but it is about falling in love with my body every day.”
Annemaria has been a student of yoga since the late 90’s and her personal practice began after suffering a back injury. After years of studying she wanted to share the healing she found through yoga and Annemaria began her teaching practice in 2008 after completing her 200h training in NYC with Yoga to the People. Annemaria pursued advanced training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and completed her 500h in the summer of 2014. As a professional dancer and actor, Annemaria’s teaching is also informed by her extensive movement training and experience as a performer.
Annie Carpenter is known as a “teachers’ teacher,” Annie is the creator of SmartFLOW Yoga, an intelligent marriage of mindful movement with compassionate, wakeful alignment. Annie creates practices that are at once advanced and challenging, yet safe and playful. Practicing yoga since the 70s, she worked with the Martha Graham Company in the 80’s and continues to be a dedicated student (geek!) of anatomy, evolutionary movement, meditation and classical philosophy. Annie is the author of RelaxDEEPLY, a CD of restorative yoga, and Yoga for Total Back Care,” a DVD produced by Yoga Journal, and several SmartFLOW manuals. She contributes regularly to Yoga Journal. An influential Teacher Trainer since 2003, Annie teaches in CA and beyond. www.anniecarpenter.com
Antonia is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Yoga Teacher, and a Certified Yoga Therapist RYT 500, who first discovered yoga and meditation in 1995, working on her BA in Psychology (with an emphasis in Eastern Perspectives on Holistic Health) at SFSU. She went on to earn an MA in Art Therapy and Marriage and Family Therapy from the College of Notre Dame and became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in 2001. Antonia has a private psychotherapy practice in Albany, Ca, and teaches yoga throughout the Bay Area. She is also Adjunct Faculty at both CIIS in San Francisco and Sofia University in Palo Alto (formerly the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology).
When teaching yoga, Antonia enjoys teaching from the heart, with an emphasis on inner and outer alignment, and concentrates on using the breath to cultivate mindfulness and connection. She helps to guide, support, and empower her students and clients to build strength, balance, and flexibility from the inside out, through creative and playful exploration and curiosity. She feels blessed to do work the she loves and believes in.
Ashley Sharp, E-RYT began teaching yoga at the turn of the century. She is known for her wit, practicality, and tenderness as an instructor. She grew up dancing, and brings to her classes a lifetime of body-knowledge and wisdom. She has studied yoga asana and philosophy in the United States and in India with Swami Dayananda, Erich Schiffmann, Patricia Sullivan and Sat Santokh Sing.
She has trained in yoga asana, yoga therapy and yoga nidra (a reclining meditation practice). She completed both the “Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Training,” (an 18 month program integrating Buddhism and yoga asana) and the ”Dedicated Practioner Program,” (a two year intensive study and practice program) through Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
Ashley’s ongoing practice of Vipassana meditation leads naturally to her unique weaving of mindfulness themes into each class, simultaneously deepening her students’ physical and spiritual practice. She teaches retreats internationally and leads yoga teacher trainings in the Bay Area.
Learn more about Ashley at: www.ashleysharp.net
Ashley West Roberts
Ashley believes whole-heartedly in movement and meditation as practices for self healing. Her goal as a teacher is simply to help you become more yourself. She stresses “yoga is not one more thing to be good at” but a daily process of checking in with what is present.
Ashley’s classes are anchored in the traditional teachings of yoga sprinkled with experiential anatomy and creative play. Her classes are informed by her background as a classically trained dancer, daily meditation practice and her passion for minimalism and simple living. It is her greatest pleasure to integrate her yoga and dharma as taught to her by her teacher Katchie Ananda.
Ashley West Roberts
Ava’s focus is on the connection between breath and movement, emphasizing breath awareness at the core of practice. Ava maintains strong attention to alignment, creative sequencing and personal attention – in the form of safe physical assists and by inviting students to honor the wisdom of their own bodies. She practices primarily in the classical Ashtanga system, which provides the foundation of her teaching style – with specific attention on pranayama (breath), bhandas (internal energy valves), and dristi (eye gaze). In an effort to support the focus on simplicity in practice and meditation-in-motion, she does not play music in class. Classes are steadily paced and vigorous.
Ava has been teaching yoga since 2003 and has trained and taught in California, in Massachusetts, India, Greece and Mexico. She has been a teacher with Namaste since 2005.
Off the mat, Ava is the artistic director of We Players, connecting people with place through site-integrated theatre. Meet WE at: www.weplayers.org
As both a yoga teacher and clinical psychologist, Ayelet is passionate about mindful living. Her classes offer fluid and attentive movement, fusing the systems she trained in: 200-hour foundational certification through YogaWorks and 300-hour advanced certification in Prana Vinyasa with her root teacher, Shiva Rea, under whom she continues to study and apprentice.
Ayelet is also an Integrative Restoration Institute certified teacher of Yoga Nidra, a form of guided meditation that offers skills that calm the central nervous system and release negative emotions and thought patterns. Additionally, Ayelet is a certified Prenatal Yoga teacher through Tranquil Space Yoga Studio of Washington DC. When not teaching yoga, Ayelet works as a licensed psychologist at her Oakland-based private practice, Oasis Therapy Center, specializing in treating stress and anxiety. By integrating mindfulness and scientifically-based psychotherapy tools, she helps her clients bring the practice of yoga off the mat and into their partnerships, parenting, and lives. Please visit www.OasisTherapyCA.com to learn more.
Baxter has been studying Hatha yoga since 1994 and teaching since 1999, both public classes and specialty back care classes. He is a graduate of the Piedmont Yoga Studio’s Advanced Studies 2000 program, and has studied regularly with Rodney Yee, Patricia Walden and Erich Schiffman. He teaches a nurturing style of yoga, with a strong emphasis on re-awakening our innate curiosity about ourselves and our world.
Baxter offers periodic workshops and retreats, with more info available on his website at www.baxterbell.com and at yogaforhealthyaging.
Baxter was named as one of the hundred most influential yoga teachers in America by Sonima.
Bekah Andrew, Rockridge Studio Manager
Bekah came to Namaste seeking the amazing community of people here and looking to create connections with teachers and students. She hails from Southern California, where she lit out with her husband, Nick, and two cats for the great rustic Northwest. Landing first in Bellingham, Washington, which she intends to one day return to, she luckily found her way south again to the Bay Area to further her yoga education. She is a passionate animal lover, an active rock climber, and a certified yoga teacher.
Christine Courtelis, Operations Manager
Christine brings to Namaste a versatile background in performance and choreography, followed most recently by a certificate in holistic nutrition. Like all Bay Area dwellers, she loves food, cooking, hiking, and hanging out with her blissfully snoring cat and sweet husband. She is also an adventurer who has leapt from an airplane, ridden a motorcycle through wild rain storms across the Bay Bridge, run a half marathon, and been known to break into wild and spontaneous dances of joy! She has been a long-time student of Namaste, and while in studio, she strives to make your experience lovely, warm and inviting.
Claudia Florian-McCaffrey, originally from Argentina, offers students the opportunity to explore a deeper connection between yoga and everyday activities. Claudia has been practicing yoga since 1992. She holds a dance degree from The Juilliard School, and her diverse background includes a well-rounded awareness from her training in a diverse dance techniques, Anusara Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Siddha Yoga meditation, Laban movement analysis and Feldenkries. Her classes have a foundation of body alignment and therapeutic knowledge for the student to move with freedom and a healthy body.
Danielle has been a Nia teacher for over 13 years and delights each and every time she steps onto the dance floor and experiences the Joy of Movement, whether as teacher or student. After a short time away in China, she is back and enjoying sharing Nia’s joy with all willing participants. When she isn’t dancing, she’s practicing yoga, hiking, working in the garden and traveling.
David Moreno, RYT 500, has taught at international yoga conferences, festivals, universities, and teacher trainings worldwide. He has worked privately with students in the fashion and entertainment industries as well as professional athletes. Among those athletes taught include the U.S. Olympic Men’s Swim team coaches for the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. He has worked as a product advisor and ambassador for the Canadian Athletica Company, Lululemon, is a certified Pilates instructor and ordained minister. His yoga commentaries have been published in Yoga Journal, Yoga International, LA Yoga Magazine, and Common Ground. His dance criticism and reviews are featured Culture Vulture. David is also the creator and producer for Yoga DVDs, electronic books, Yoga Nidra downloads, and subscription yoga classes for Yoga Vibes.
David began practicing yoga in the late 70s studying the Iyengar and Ashtanga styles of yoga before studyiing Anusara and the Bihar schools of yoga. He continues his study in Tantra and Ayurveda, delving deeper into yoga’s primodial roots. He is know for his depth, keen sense of humor and timing making his teaching both playful and informative. When not traveling he teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Learn more about David at: www.moryoga.com
David Schlussel is a yoga teacher, life coach, husband, and father. David experiences yoga as the practice of reconnecting with our wholeness. When we operate from our wholeness, we experience the incredible strength and flexibility that is our potential. David coaches his students from fixed ideas about what they can and can’t do, towards life as a playful exploration of possibility.
David began his exploration of yoga with Ashtanga, where he learned the benefit of regular consistent practice. He continued his training by studying Dynamic Yoga, where he discovered the deeper strengths available through activating along the muscular and energetic pathways of the body, and where he developed his passion for yoga philosophy. He is currently inspired by Anusara Yoga, which has infused his practice and teaching with an empowering understanding of alignment, therapeutics, and fun. David’s classes are a flowing celebration of our bodies, designed to exercise, educate, integrate, delight, challenge and recharge. He is known for his warm approachability, contagious curiosity, gentle and liberating hands on adjustments, facilitating healing of old injuries, and offering concepts that support his students both on the mat and in their daily life.
Dr. Domonick Wegesin is a yogi-neuroscientist-dancer with a bent towards meditation and the healing arts. He moved to the Bay Area from New York City where he conducted neuroimaging research focused on the aging brain, as a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Columbia University. Domonick now trains the brains and bodies of his yoga students, helping them wake up to their mental, emotional and physical experience in a way that cultivates awareness, acceptance and ease.
When Elana stepped foot on the path of Yoga in 2008 everything seemed to fall into place. She completed her B.A. in Psychology and traveled to India where she was deeply touched by the spirited culture she encountered. She went on to complete an intensive Yoga teacher’s training course through the Sivananda Yoga lineage where she lived and breathed the Yogic lifestyle, and emerged purified and transformed by her experience. Soon after, Elana completed her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology where she began her career in bridging spirituality with psychotherapy. She is currently working toward her Marriage and Family Therapy license.
The quality of presence and devotion that her teachers embody is what continues to inspire Elana to share this practice with the world. Her classes are fit for all levels. Her focus is on tuning into the wisdom of our own feeling bodies in the present moment to cultivate mindfulness and connection with Self. She says, “it’s all about that feeling at the end of a class when you just can’t help but smile, it’s that touch of bliss that keeps us coming back for more of what the world really needs right now.”
Growing up with a love for dance, sports and music, Elika was naturally fascinated by the fluid and liberating practice of Vinyasa Yoga. After a severe back injury led her to the practice in 1999, Elika initially studied Iyengar and Anusara yoga and began to see her body healing and knew she wanted to inspire others to trust the innate ability of the body to regain harmony~full of vitality and bliss. When you take a class with Elika, expect to be inspired and to move your body possibly in ways you’ve never moved, exploring your creative intelligence and connecting with your own Source.
Experience a soulful and dynamic weaving of healing music, yoga philosophy, poetry and vinyasa flow informed mostly by her Prana Flow training with Shiva Rea. She now infuses yoga, fitness, dance and meditation throughout her classes, encouraging students to connect with the wisdom of the body to find strength, insight and ease on the mat as well as off. You can find her also teaching Whole Birth ®Yoga, mom+baby and yin/ restorative yoga classes throughout the Bay Area. Elika’s teaching is also greatly influenced by studies with Sarah Powers, Judith Lasater and from Ayurveda and Energy Healing.
As a DONA Birth Doula, it’s Elika’s mission to support women and families to release fear of the birth experience so they feel empowered on the journey to parenthood and beyond. She also offers workshops, retreats, private sessions specializing in perinatal yoga/fitness, yoga therapy and Seasonal Yoga + Drumming events and Yoga Trance Dance. Elika is co-creator of the BlissTemple Yoga Flow DVD (blisstemple.com) an evolutionary vinyasa practice for all levels including pregnancy.
Learn more about Elika at: www.blissfulbodiesyoga.com
Eliza Andrews, Studio Manager, Berkeley
Elizabeth (Eliza) Andrews joins us from Western Massachusetts, where she worked for The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and Canyon Ranch Resort. She has been a yoga teacher for ten years, and a passionate scholar of India since her childhood. These studies brought her to Naropa University in Boulder, CO, where she earned her bachelors degrees in Writing and Literature, and Traditional Eastern Arts in the Yoga Concentration. An avid adventurer, Eliza has canoed the Allagash, skied Mount Washington, and ridden her bicycle from Providence to Seattle. Eliza loves talking about Ayurveda, story-telling, hiking with her sweet dog, and laughing with Elliott, her husband-to-be. She is blessed and honored to be part of the team at Namaste.
Grey Marcoux, Assistant Studio Manager, Berkeley
Grey was born and raised on the tiny island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. After graduating high school she postponed going straight into college choosing instead to travel to India where she immersed herself in yoga, meditation, volunteer work and traversing the Himalayas. Upon arriving back in the United States, she took a train to California and fell in love with the bay area which she has happily called her home for the past 10 years. Grey teaches mindfulness classes to children in schools and she is also a yoga teacher who firmly believes that yoga is something we do with our hearts and minds, not just our bodies. When she’s not teaching or working at Namaste you can find her rock climbing, cooking vegan food, writing short stories, foraging for mushrooms and planning her next exotic vacation. Grey loves Namaste and feels fortunate to call such an awesome place “work”!
Hannah is yogi, an artist, and lover of dance. Her classes are a blend of Hatha yoga and energizing Vinyasa, and are suitable for all levels with an emphasis on creativity, steadiness and presence and a joyful celebration of life!
She took a transformational trip to India to deepen her studies in tantra and hatha yoga in 2009, where she was certified. Her focus as a teacher is to bring community together and harmonize the way we all interact with compassion and love for all our unique spirits.
As a yoga teacher and designer for Athleta she truly understands the dance to find balance in this busy world.
Learn more about Hannah at: hannahfrancoyoga.com
Helene Cotton, Creative Director and Retail Manager
From the clothing and products in our boutiques to the images and flyers that brand us, Helene leaves her mark on us. As our Graphics and Retail Goddess, she is continually shaping the visual look and feel of Namaste. She formally joined the Namaste team in late 2012, but her tentacles reached here many years ago when she was hired to design and print a tee for the original Rockridge studio. She absolutely loves interfacing with the amazing people here and is sure she has the best job on staff. When not thinking about the faces of our beautiful yoga boutiques and studios, she enjoys nature, backpacking, drawing, printmaking, playing with her adorable mutt, and inversions.
Holly Arines is here to help you navigate the divide between luxury and necessity when it comes to body maintenance. Her life purpose is to be authentically her and allow and inspire folks to do the same through meaningful interactions. The mission of her practice is to allow people to be re-inspired by the wholeness and reverence of their bodies.
In the decade that she lived in DC, she was a part of many types of communities: the university setting, the restaurant and hospitality scene, the government sector, the health and wellness social circles, creating community and teaching self defense at Luminous Warrior, and most recently, joining the Viva Partnership as an affiliate, where their commitment to collaborative work matches her vision of having a community where self care is valued work in partnership.She considers herself a fusion of holistic healer, massage therapist, community advocate meets urban explorer, spiritual entrepreneur, student, friend, (the list goes on). Now, she is combining her collective experiences to create a new space where all of these communities can exist as one.
Her passions have always been in interacting with people, celebrating movement, and building community. Her new outlook with Modern Bodywork is to synthesize those passions into a uniquely authentic experience for anyone who walks through the door. She uses her hands as tools to bring new life, new energy, and healing to tired and overworked bodies.
MODALITIES: Deep Tissue, Swedish, Myofascial Release, Pre + Post Natal
Sundays 10am – 3pm (Berkeley)
Jackie Zupancic, Front Desk
Jackie comes to Namaste with a background in retail, sales, and yoga. Currently teaching at various studios in the East Bay, Jackie loves the yoga and wellness space and bringing her own expertise to our yoga tribe. In her off time, she loves all things outdoors, crafting, and exploring new food and drink. Swing by the Grand Lake front desk with your most burning questions and to say hi!
Jaimi currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area where her classes are known to be organic, fluid, smart and intentional. She creates a warm, inviting space – empowering students to dynamically align their bodies and to maintain a sense of humor as they rub up against their own habits of thought and movement. Jaimi is especially influenced by her training in dance, developmental movement and the Alexander Technique and shares this unique blend of information with gentle yet stern encouragement
In addition to teaching her unique flow, Jaimi completed Mama Tree’s Prenatal Training with Jane Austin and is an AmSAT certified (1600 hr.) teacher of the Alexander Technique.
Join her as you MOVE, BREATHE, and CONNECT. Learn more at jaimipatterson.com
Jerry Givens is a 500-hour certified teacher of Tantric Hatha Yoga & Mediation, with influences from ParaYoga and the Himalayan Tradition. Jerry has been teaching since 2008 and specializes in Vinyasa, Classical Hatha, Systematic Relaxation, Pranayama, and Meditation. He has studied primarily with ParaYoga senior teacher Devidas Karina Mirsky and has also attended workshops, retreats, and lectures with Yogarupa Rod Stryker of ParaYoga, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD., Ravi Singh, Ana Brett, Kathryn Templeton, AYS., kirtan artist Luna Ray, and Kathy Ornish (K.O.)
Jerry completed the Sangha Yoga 200-hour Teacher Training in 2009 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the Sangha Yoga 300-hour Teacher Training in 2014. In 2015, he assisted in the Blue Osa 200-hour Teacher Training Immersion in Costa Rica. To find out more about Jerry and his teaching, check out www.jerrygivens.net or follow on Instagram at @yogijerr
Jill White Lindsay
Jillian Schiavi took her first yoga class seven years ago, and has been continuously inspired ever since. After receiving her BA in English from New York University, she completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training at Yoga to the People (rys) in 2010. After a brief stint in Chicago, where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she recently relocated to the Bay Area to further explore her yogic journey as both a teacher and student. Alongside yoga, she runs a calligraphy and illustration design studio, jilly ink, and shares vegan skincare and nutrition as an Independent Consultant with Arbonne International. In her teaching, as in her life, she exudes positive energy with a passion for sharing the physical, mental and emotional benefits of yoga, art, and personal health.
Julia brings unified, living breathing approach to yoga. With a world of experience, she sees the wisdom of the east and west come together as equals. For her, yoga is an integration of practice and philosophy, as well as art and science. Julia combines a background in performance, athletics and modern somatic method of Middendorf Breath experience with the ancient wisdom of the yoga tradition.
Authentic creativity and joyful expression are invited in her classes through flowing sequences and sustained stillness of postures. She encourages deep self-inquiry, awareness of the breath, mindful presence to sensations in the body.
With a deep sense of gratitude, Julia bows to her guides – Shiva Rea, Erich Schiffmann, Angela Farmer – and all her students, from whom she learns every day. She was born in the East, the former Soviet Union, and emigrated to the West Coast in the late ’70s – a Cold War refugee with a warm heart.
Kameko Shibata is an ERYT-500, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Massage Therapist, professional aerialist and wild creature. She has been the resident Ayurvedic and Massage Practioner at Namaste since 2012. She is the Creator and Director of Yoga-Veda Shala, a 200 and 300 Hour YA Certified Yoga-Ayurveda Teacher Training program, in its second year at Namaste. She is also the founding herbal alchemist for Nadi Girl Ayurveda, organic Ayurvedically inspired health products.
Kameko’s teachings reflect her love, curiosity and dedication to yoga, movement, self-care, activism and the natural world. Her delicious vinyasa classes invite you to come deeply into your breath and body through: thoughtful sequencing, challenging asanas, traditional philosophy, pranayama, bandhas, chants and the occasional swear word for a refreshingly honest experience. Kameko strives to see her students– and as a bodyworker offers individual attention, useful but non generic alignment and deliciously safe adjustments.
Her focus on the traditional elements of Yoga, Ayurveda and Tantra are informed by her numerous studies in India, including the “vinyasa krama” system at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram. She has be fortunate enough to have more than 3,000 hours of Yoga, Ayurveda and Massage trainings over the last 8 years and has practiced yoga (nearly) daily for 13 years. She has had the pleasure of studying with Swami Santhiprasad, DeAnna Batdorff, David Crow, Ana Forrest, Mary Paffard, Vickie Russell Bell (restorative), Rod Stryker, Mark Whitwell and longtime teacher, Alice Joanou. She is passionate about bringing yoga and Ayurveda into all communities. She is also deeply influenced by aerial acrobatics, 5rhythms dance, Vipassana Meditation, Lakota sweat lodge, primitive skills, Vedic Chanting, Sanskrit, ecological and social justice, herbal medicine and has a deep devotion to spices. www.nadigirlayurveda.com
A Licensed Massage Therapist, 500hr Registered Yoga Teacher and Ayurvedic Health Educator; Karly’s yoga classes focus on unwinding physical and mental tension while invigorating body and mind. Over the last 12 years she has studied and practiced holistic health in California, Alaska and Hawai’i. Currently Karly brings her knowledge and experience to the San Francisco Bay Area. Her passion is to give people tools to live healthy, joyful and productive lives.
Kelsey Garden, Assistant Manager, Rockridge
Bio coming soon!
Ken Breniman has practiced yoga for over 10 years and became certified with Yoga Alliance as a RYT-200 after graduating from Yoga Tree’s Yoga Teacher Training program in 2006. Yoga Alliance has recognized him as a ERYT-200/RYT-500 as he completed his Yoga Therapy training at Ananda Seva Mission in July 2010. Ken is very excited to be joining the Namaste family.
In his classes, Ken provides eclectic non-denominational Hatha yoga guidance, honoring a variety of traditions, such as Iyengar alignment principles, invigorating Kudalini Kriya, and playful Acroyoga-inspired partner work. He invites you to embrace SIMPLICITY, PATIENCE and COMPASSION as you deepen your practice and your connection with your true Self. Ken offers Yoga Therapy workshops on a variety of topics such as restorative yoga, grief, relationships, stress management and coping with chronic illness. In addition to yoga, Ken also serves as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, clinical supervisor and a private practice yoga therapist in the Bay Area. Daniel Quinn and Paulo Coelho are among his favorite authors.
His life work of service is inspired by Ram Dass’ words: “We are all just walking each other hOMe.”
Yoga teacher, writer, and former lawyer Kimber Simpkins has taught Anusara ™ Yoga as a certified teacher for 15 years and is the author of Full: How I Learned to Satisfy My Insatiable Hunger and Feed My Soul, and 52 Ways to Love Your Body. Her successful shift away from secret body hating to public body loving inspires her yoga students and readers everywhere. An avid storyteller, musician, and student of Buddhist philosophy, she teaches weekly classes, Love Your Body workshops, and yoga retreats in Northern California and elsewhere. As a devoted supporter of the Health At Every Size (HAES) movement and community, Kimber welcomes students of all sizes and levels to feel supported and loved in their practice. As a queer, white, progressive student and teacher of yoga, she is committed to honoring both the spiritual authenticity of yoga practice and its relevancy to social justice in our daily lives. You can find her articles about yoga, body positivity, self-love, social justice, and white privilege on HuffPo, Tiny Buddha, The Body Is Not An Apology, mindbodygreen, www.kimberyoga.com
Kimberly Leo, Owner
The first Namaste, in Rockridge, was opened nine years ago by Kimberly Leo, an Oakland native and devoted yoga practitioner. Opening Namaste was Kimberly’s way to fully integrate yoga into her life as well as provide a vital service for the community. Namaste provides a refuge from our busy urban life in its neighborhood settings; a peaceful environment nurturing physical health and spiritual growth.
Kimberly grew up on Lakeshore Ave, where the Grand Lake space is located and has always dreamed of returning to serve the community. Many Rockridge Namaste students and teachers live nearby as well, so it felt like the natural place to expand.
Now, almost a decade after opening Namaste Rockridge, she is able to return to one of the first yoga studios she called home, 7th Heaven Yoga & Wellness in Berkeley, to expand Namaste’s provenly successful culture and serve the newly combined communities.
Kristen Swehla, Assistant Manager, Grand Lake Studio
Bio coming soon!
Qi gong is a movement practice that allows the practitioner to attain a visceral state of neutral physically, emotionally, and mentally. From this space, one can make new choices, resulting in increased health, vitality, and clarity. When Qi Gong is done skillfully, the practitioner feels light, free, and clear.
A classically trained cellist, Kristina found Qi Gong to be the perfect vehicle for her precise yet playful style of learning. Her classes are a combination of clear direction and intent with a casual, light-hearted quality. Kristina has trained under Master Chris Fernie, founder and director of the Institute for Internal Transformation located in the Bay Area since 2005. She also studies with Theravadan Buddhist master and renowned Dhamma teacher Ajahn Jamnian and since 2010 she has been studying with Qigong masters from abroad.
Mae Boscana, Trainings Coordinator
Mae has been working at at Namaste since 2008, where she started as the manager of the Rockridge studio. She is deeply grateful to have been part of the growth and evolution of Namaste as it has grown in both locations and in programs. She feels blessed to work every day with the inspiring teachers, staff and students that create the Namaste community. In addition to her work at Namaste, Mae is a classical singer, an ardent yoga practitioner and a new mom!
Margi’s classes emphasize correct alignment, hard work, and intense relaxation so that the benefits of yoga reveal themselves. She roots her alignment-based vinyasa classes both in Buddhist philosophy and in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali to invite the physical practice to result in a calm mental state. She offers personal attention, both verbal and hands-on, to help her students clarify and deepen their practice. Taking a cue from the Buddha, Margi’s classes are light-hearted; it is imperative that we come together and study this vast subject with joy.
After receiving an MFA from New York University ‘s Tisch School of the arts, Margi was a professional dancer and choreographer in New York. But, her yoga mat and teaching called her name loudly and in 2001 she became certified from Cyndi Lee’s OM Yoga Center, where she taught for 10 years, was a primary teacher on the teacher training staff, and headed the restorative department of the studio. She is also certified in pre-natal yoga through Integral Yoga Center and restorative yoga through Judith Lasater. She has lead numerous workshops and retreats in the USA and around the world, and regularly leads teacher trainings in Bali with Recharge Retreats. Margi relocated to her home town of San Francisco in 2010 and has recently happily moved to Oakland. For more info please visit www.downtowndog.com.
Margi was named as one of the hundred most influential yoga teachers in America by Sonima.
Megan began practicing yoga in 1996 and has been teaching hatha and restorative yoga in San Francisco since 2006. She is thrilled to expand her teaching base to Oakland and the Namaste community.
Megan completed her teacher training at Yoga Tree San Francisco, where she apprenticed Karl Erb and Jennifer Morrice. She has studied extensively with Judith Lasater and is a certified “Advanced Relax and Renew” restorative trainer.
Megan is continuously amazed at the power of restorative yoga as a healing modality. She considers it a gift to create a space that honors stillness, rest, and relaxation.
Melina Meza, BS Nutrition, Ayurvedic Health Educator, 500-ERYT
Melina Meza has been sharing her knowledge of Hatha Yoga, Ayurveda, and whole foods nutrition with yogis around the world for over 20 years. Melina pioneered Seasonal Vinyasa, an innovative multi-disciplined approach to well-being, and is the author of the Art of Sequencing books, creator of the Yoga for the Seasons – Fall Vinyasa DVD, and co-director of 8 Limbs Yoga Centers 200- and 500-Hour Teachers’ Training Program in Seattle, Washington.
Melina holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Bastyr University, where she deepened her interest in the world of whole foods nutrition, and is a certified Ayurvedic Health Educator from the California College of Ayurveda. While attending Bastyr, she found what her body, mind, and spirit had been waiting for—yoga. From her very first class in 1993, she have never stopped exploring the physical, mental, and spiritual practices passed down from the ancient sages. Yoga has been the “launching pad”—as her teacher Gary Kraftsow describes it—that has rocketed her into a life journey of cultivating the disciplines necessary to gain insight and wisdom integral to being healthy, compassionate, and radiant, as well as how to share those gifts with others.
Currently residing in Oakland California, Melina facilitates year-round yoga and Ayurveda workshops and leads retreats in extraordinary sanctuaries around the world. You can also find Melina’s unique offerings on the Yoga Anytime, Gaiamtv and YogaUOnline and practice with her from the comfort of your own home. www.melinameza.com
Nathan draws his passion for bodywork therapy from the arts and sciences. As an artist he combines several modalities of fascial release to provide relief from chronic tension and pain patterns. As a scientist he looks for the activation and perpetuation of the issues that need to be address.
Nathan works closely with clients to help them revisit their connection with mind/body and build more awareness of oneself through massage therapy. Through this awareness comes the self empowering knowledge essential to assisting clients as they make these changes.
Nathan began his massage education in 2005 at the New School for Massage, Bodywork & Healing in Chicago. After, he obtained his National Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and began practicing in 2007. He currently is pursuing an advanced degree in Neuromuscular Therapy/Health Education at the National Holistic Institute. As a neuromuscular therapist he plans on addressing the cause of myofacial pain/dysfunction rather than just the symptoms. This modality of therapy will not only alleviate pain symptoms but will improve posture for long lasting effects, as well as increase circulation and energy for an overall better quality of life.
MODALITIES: Deep Tissue, Swedish, Trigger Point, Myofascial Release, Deep Transverse Friction Active Release, PNF Stretching
Mondays 3:30 – 8:30pm (Grand Lake)
Tuesdays 3:30 – 8:30pm (Berkeley)
Saturdays 1 – 6:30pm (Grand Lake)
Naushon has been a student of yoga since she was a little girl. Her challenging, yet compassionate Power Vinyasa classes are a wonderful way to cultivate strength, serenity, flexibility and balance. Inspired by her studies with Baron Baptiste, Shiva Rea, Baba Hari Dass, and the teachings of Vispassana (Insight) Meditation, Naushon’s all levels classes emphasize the linking of movement with breath, cultivating our ability to be more fully present and awake in our lives, and navigate the challenges that arise with more grace and kindness.
“I have been teaching for the past 13 years. For me, yoga is life-saving. It grounds me when I feel disconnected, overwhelmed, and stressed out, and gets me back in my body when I feel stuck in my head. But mainly, yoga gives me perspective, reminding me to wake up and enjoy this beautiful life that I have been gifted…to realize that this moment, right now, is enough.”
Please visit naushonyoga.com for more information about Naushon’s workshops, retreats and booking private sessions.
A Brazilian-born yogini Nubia has devoted herself to teaching different aspects of Yoga for the past 25 years. Perceiving Yoga as a Healing Art, Nubia’s refinement and devotion to this ancient practice is reflected in her unique teaching, overflowing with heartfelt compassion and inspiration. A longtime dancer in the classical Indian dance tradition Odissi, Nubia joyfully infuses her classes with it’s symbology and sacred geometry. She is the author of the CD “Pranayama: May Breath Be Our Prayer”, released by Sounds True.
Heart Flow Yoga is based on Bhakti and Hatha Yoga. In the heart of devotion we honor the physical body as an instrument of service. Flowing thru asanas, pranayama, prayer and mudras we begin to awaken the internal ocean of feelings, emotions and transformation, tuning into our divine purpose.
Learn more at: www.bhaktinova.com/
Although I was taught yoga at a young age by my father, I came back to the practice on my own after starting my family and finally heeding the call to find stillness. The Vinyasa Yoga practice has helped me to find stillness within movement and the breath. I have been teaching yoga for more than 12 years. After founding a studio in the Washington DC area in 2005 and managing two locations with full class schedules, I sold the business and moved to Berkeley in 2013. As a studio owner and teacher I developed and led teacher training and organized and led international retreats.
My classes are fluid, breath-centered movement, alignment based, and lovingly taught. Each class is infused with philosophical intention that comes from many of my own experiences. My philosophy is that life is hard and although yoga at first may feel like a respite from the world it can also teach us how to live in the world with an open and accepting heart.
My love affair with yoga began during college when I wandered into a strong Vinyasa Flow style class. Through the intense physical and mental challenge, I was able, for the first time in my life, to turn off the constant background anxiety I had always walked around with. I would leave class feeling strong, empowered, happy, and at peace.
I’ve been teaching since 2001. Having struggled with and overcome a serious back injury, I bring compassion and empathy to my teaching. I know how hard it is to be patient and compassionate with your own body and brain, finding the balance between accepting ones own limitations and breaking through fear to challenge and push yourself. I encourage people to be light hearted and have fun, to work with their own unique bodies, to build the foundations for a sustainable, injury-free, lifetime practice.
My classes are vigorous and breath driven, with a focus on alignment…and having fun.
I believe the yoga mat is the perfect, safe place, to be challenged, practice equanimity, self care, and to build skills for real life.
I practice yoga because it inspires me to be a kinder, more aware, human being. Yoga has given me the tools to be stronger, happier, less stressed, and better able to gracefully handle what ever life throws my way. I teach to share this powerful, joyful, practice with as many people as possible.
When not on my mat, you can find me at the ceramic studio pursuing my passion to create art.
Learn more about Olivia at: www.oliviahulsart.com
Raku has over 20 years experience working as a bodyworker all over the world, including both coasts of this country, the mountains of western Switzerland, and in the Caribbean where he taught a Thai massage workshop to professional massage practitioners in the spring of 2015. He recently taught a bodywork workshop at California State University at San Francisco to undergraduate students.
Raku’s education background is in science, anatomy & physiology, and in teaching upper level sciences. His own practice includes meditation and yoga – he also teaches meditation and yoga in the community and for private clients.
Raku has extensive experience in athletics, including doing bodywork on elite athletes as well as coaching distance runners. He is a yoga practitioner as well as a yoga teacher so his bodywork intuitively supports this practice. He enjoys working with athletes and people who are motivated to create real transformation in their bodies and minds.
Saturdays 10am – 3pm (Berkeley)
Sunday 2 – 7:30pm (Grand Lake)
Ratka Mira Popovic
Ratka holds a Master of Science degree in Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine and teaches at De Anza College. Ratka has had a massage therapy practice since 1991 and has given over 25,000 treatments.
Her approach is holistic and integrative, and she recognizes that injuries often have their origins in a variety of sources: physical, psychological, or spiritual. She uses a combination of massage and bodywork, breath work and various manual therapies to address the immediate needs of clients and create healing plans that bring relief to current pain and address root causes.
Her specialties include Swedish, Deep Tissue, Acupressure, Prenatal and post partum, Chi Nei Tsang, Energy balancing, Gua sha and cupping.
MODALITIES: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Acupressure, Shiatsu, Chi Nei Tsang, Energy Balancing, Gua Sha, Cupping, Pre + Post Natal
Wednesdays 10-3 at Berkeley
Rebecca Rogers is an environmental advocate, humanitarian, and experienced yoga instructor whose classes are often described as strong, fun, and inspirational. She believes in the power of yoga to awaken each of us to a greater sense of purpose and to unite the yoga community around sustainability and social justice. Rebecca’s classes are intended to build strength, body awareness, and flexibility through an integration of breath work, creative sequencing, and precise alignment. Classes are safe for newer students and challenging for more experienced yogis, and include hands-on adjustments, descriptive cues, and individualized attention.
Rosy Moon Schlussel
Rosy Moon Schlussel was raised immersed in spiritual inquiry, leading to decades of dedicated yogic study and practice, first in the Astanga tradition and later in Tantric Hatha Yoga with Sophia Diaz and most recently through Psalm Isadora’s Primal Core 200 hr teacher training. Practicing and teaching through two pregnancies led her to study Active Birth with Carol Ironside in the U.K and discover a passion for supporting women in the transition to motherhood.
With dedication, effervescent humor and understanding, Rosy aims to translate the depths of the wisdom of yoga and the body for a modern audience.
Samveda is a licensed massage therapist who graduated from the massage school at Harbin Hot Springs, where she is also a resident. She crafts a massage session based on her client’s needs in combination with Swedish, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu, Trager and Myofascial release. She has also received training in Cranio-Sacral, Reiki and Muscle Energy Technique. Her passion is to help relieve pain, to restore homeostasis within the body, and to extend the invitation of living with more ease.
As a participant in meditation, yoga, dance and personal transformation, Samveda approaches her work with presence and compassion, and the intention to support her client’s deepest healing.
MODALITIES: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu, Myofascial Release, Cranio-Sacral, Reiki
Fridays 3:30 – 8:30pm (Berkeley)
Saturdays 9 – 2pm (Grand Lake)
Sariah Jiwan Shakti
Sariah Jiwan Shakti has been teaching Kundalini yoga for 9 years. She is also a life coachcounselor and physical and metaphysical fitness instructor. In all of the work she does there is one common thread: Empowerment. Sariah believes that it is everyone’s right to be empowered and fully living the life they want. Fascinated with physics, biology, technology and how they relate to energy, visualization, and spirituality, she is continuously synthesizing wisdom from these areas into her teachings in order to help people better understand and relate to spirituality, energy, and metaphysical concepts. Sariah is an expert teacher of sound and mantra, breath work, yoga, and meditation and infuses her kind, loving, and humorous spirit into the space she provides for others.
Sean Haleen (500 E-RYT) is a celebrated Hatha yoga teacher and practitioner. Sean has practiced and studied yoga asana and philosophy since 1997 and began teaching in 2007. He now lives north of San Francisco where he teaches full time at Yoga Tree in their 200 and 500HR teacher training program. Additionally, he spreads his passion for alignment by teaching Joyful Alignment workshops at studios across the US.
Sean’s classes are noted for their humor, depth, and precision. Focusing on alignment, students wishing to learn about their bodies and the different concepts of yoga philosophy in detail will enjoy his public classes, workshops, and trainings.
Sean has taught yoga to a variety of people including high schoolers, homeless groups, recovering drug addicts, and queer youth. He deeply enjoys using his teaching for good causes and has taught at numerous benefits and fundraisers
Sean’s teachers have deeply influenced not only his yoga instructing but also his life. He offers deep gratitude with each class to his main teachers, Katchie Ananda, Jack Kornfield, Christine Price Clark, Kenny Graham, Brent Kuecker, Desiree Rumbaugh, Paige Faraci, and most recently Iyengar teacher Brian Hogencamp and San Francisco legend, Betty Roi.
Shelly Ross has been in the fitness arena since 1985. She twice was voted Best Nia Teacher by Diablo Magazine. She reached black belt status in Nia and has also been awarded the Recognition of Mastery by the Nia Creators. She holds over 700 hours in Yoga training studying with both Stephanie Snyder and Bryan Kest. Please visit her website: www.shellyross.com to learn more about Shelly and to stay updated for future retreats and workshops.
Sierra Walker, Front Desk
Bio coming soon!
Simona Andreea Balan, PhD, E-RYT 500, YACEP, is an environmental scientist and yoga teacher passionate about helping people live healthier and more harmonious lives. She was first introduced to the physical practice of yoga in childhood, as therapy for scoliosis. While in graduate school, she re-discovered yoga not just as a physical practice, but also as a vehicle for mind-body connection and spiritual transformation. After a few months of daily practice, her body became stronger, her breath more relaxed, and her mind more joyful. Fast-forward to the present, Simona continues to practice daily…
Simona has over 3000 hours of yoga teaching experience, weaving in various styles, including Power Vinyasa, Iyengar, Restorative, Shadow Yoga, and Kum Nye (Tibetan yoga). She emphasizes safe alignment, balances muscular strength and flexibility to prevent or heal from injuries, and offers unique mind-body insights from aikido, a Japanese martial art of conflict resolution.
Simone will leave you feeling deeply nurtured with the bodywork she offers. Sessions with her provide a deeply relaxing and restorative experience. She works with both Eastern and Western bodywork practices and loves to take a creative and integrative approach to Bodywork. A typical session with Simone will often combine a soothing and circulation enhancing massage with luscious essential oil infused oil blends; deep tissue massage where it may be helpful in easing the deeper restrictions; Thai yoga massage stretches for opening up joints and promoting greater energy flow throughout ones body; and some Acupressure or Reiki for emotional/energetic balancing. Simone also offers Abhyanga massage. Abhyanga is a relaxing warm oil massage which comes from the Ayurvedic tradition.
Simone received the majority of her Bodywork training at Mc Kinnon body therapy center in Oakland and studied LomiLomi massage with a visiting teacher from Hawaii. She has also been attuned through the “master” level in Reiki, and is a certified Yoga teacher. She’s currently continuing her love of learning with the exploration of Ayurveda; with the intention of also becoming an Ayurvedic health practitioner. When not offering Bodywork Simone especially loves practicing Yoga & Qi Gong, dancing, painting and going on hikes in nature.
Tuesdays 10 – 3pm (Grand Lake)
Fridays 10 – 3pm (Grand Lake)
Siri Peterson Cavanna
Siri Peterson Cavanna met her first yoga teacher, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, when she was just 11 years old and has been a devoted yogi ever since. She is deeply honored to share the practices of an ever-evolving yoga which deepen and strengthen connection to the essential power and truth at one’s center. As a certified Anusara® yoga instructor, E-RYT 500, Siri has completed well over 3000 hours of teacher trainings in that tradition, and she continues to celebrate the method’s capacity to generate healing through alignment. Siri has been teaching yoga in New York City and internationally for the last 9 years and spent much of 2012 in magnificent Lake Tahoe skiing, hiking and reveling in the magical healing properties of the Sierra Nevadas. Her teaching is deeply informed by continuing studies with John Friend, Dr. Douglas Brooks and Sally Kempton.
Siri is committed to sharing the various therapeutic applications of Anusara yoga and continues to investigate the body’s capacity to generate its own healing power through alignment. She has worked therapeutically with individual clients living with chronic and acute musculoskeletal injuries, scoliosis, advanced rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, and multiple sclerosis, as well as those who are seeking freedom from chronic pain and the freedom to move joyfully in their bodies.
Skeeter honours the peaceful warrior nature that is uniquely revealed in each of us, through this journey called yoga. Skeeter’s purpose is to create a safe space for all students to arrive on their mat, practice the beautiful art of unfoldment and connection to true authentic self.
Skeeter very much enjoys the emotional evolution that comes from the practice of Anusara yoga. She has studied with Katchie Ananda, Noah Maze and has done trainings with John Friend, Desiree Rumbaugh and Jim Bernaert.
Skeeter welcomes you to your mat, however you find yourself there.
Sonya Genel, ERYT500, joyfully embraces the power of yoga not only to heal and transform the body but also to heighten human consciousness and to create a radiant life. In her classes, Sonya weaves precise anatomical alignment with flowing movement. Always approaching her students with authenticity and humor, Sonya’s intention is to hold space for a direct embodied connection with Spirit. When she is not teaching yoga, Sonya can often be found drawing or painting. As an artist, she notices the profound effects yoga has on her creativity, and she has dedicated herself to enthusiastically guiding others toward enhancing their own unique life path through yoga.
When Sonya first discovered yoga in the 1990’s in Boston, she began with Ashtanga yoga and power vinyasa, but as her practice evolved she gravitated more towards alignment based styles such as Anusara and Iyengar. She attended her first teacher training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Over the years she has completed hundreds more hours of training in alignment based yoga, prenatal yoga, anatomy, therapeutics, mysticism, tantra, and meditation. Sonya is grateful to have had the opportunity to study deeply with Sianna Sherman and many other incredible teachers.
Sparkle teaches a diverse blend of vinyasa flow with pranayama and uplifting philosophy; Each class is different, experiential, and inspired. Her classes offer a careful selection of asana, pranayama, and kriya set to an emotive musical soundtrack. Sparkle hopes to present yoga exactly as she has experienced it: as a wellspring of creation, vitality, and hope.
Sparkle began practicing yoga in 2001, and has studied Anusara, Vinyasa Flow, and the art of teaching yoga since 2007. She is also a licensed massage therapist who weaves the modalities of Swedish, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu, and Thai Massage into her yoga classes. Sparkle brings her history as an artist and professional musician into her teaching; Although yoga teaching, massage therapy and musicality may come from different sides of her personality, they come together seamlessly in her classes.
Sparkle believes in being ‘one of a kind’ in her life and teaching while honoring the ancient, proven yoga tradition she loves. In her teaching Sparkle applies the words of Pablo Picasso: “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.”
Sparkle also shines her light as a massage therapist at Namaste.
When a Massage Therapist is taking care of themselves healing can take place without depleting the healer; The therapist’s cup is full and the bodywork comes from the overflow. Amidst the ups and downs of life I always try to participate in this exchange because it is beautiful. I’ve come to trust my skills and many years’ experience but what’s most important is that I’m ready to continue learning from the humans I find on my table needing my help. I have 6 years of experience doing therapeutic bodywork and 675 hours of training in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Thai Massage, Shiatsu, Trigger Point, and Crania-Sacral, as well as continuing ed. in Thai Massage, Reiki and Cupping Therapy. With all my training and experience I listen to your needs & expectations and create the most effective massage session possible using my heart and two hands. I’m excited to work with you!
MODALITIES: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Thai-Yoga Massage, Shiatsu, Trigger Point, Cranio-Sacral, Reiki, Cupping Private Yoga
Sundays 10 – 3pm (Grand Lake)
Learn more about Sparkle at: www.sparkleasyouare.com
Sunny Koh, Front Desk
Sunny has been doing yoga since 2007. After spending a couple years abroad as an English teacher and a traveling writer, she moved to the Bay area last summer to root down and find community. Currently, she shares her passion for yoga through writing and photography. She also enjoys hiking, learning new languages, surfing and exploring.
Teresa was certified in Level II of the original Usui method of Reiki over 10 years ago, after completing a Bachelors degree in Publishing Production. After moving to Hawaii in 2005 and completing over 600 hours of education and practical training at Hawaii Healing Arts College she delved into the ancient Hawaiian healing technique of Lomi Lomi, learning from Kumu Karen Leialoha Carrol.
Since then she has devoted her life and career to massage and bodywork including her passion for movement and nutrition in all of her client sessions. Teresa’s primary focus uses trigger points, breathwork, stretching and deep tissue to get to the heart of the matter and help her clients regain their sense of wholeness. She also specialize in chronic headache/migraine and neck and shoulder pain and lower back issues.
MODALITIES: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point, Lomi Lomi, Reiki, Pre + Post Natal
Thursday 10am-3pm (Grand Lake)
Thomas lived, studied, and worked at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California for 9 years and is influenced by the ocean waves and their rhythmic connection with the shore. With over 1000 hours of massage training with emphasis in energy work, deep tissue, acupressure and craniosacral, Thomas listens quietly with a nurturing and meditative presence to support unwinding and release, stimulating healing and spiritual renewal. His work is rooted in the classical Esalen massage with long flowing strokes, gentle stretches, and a strong quality of presence.
We are not just our bodies and Thomas completed seminary and served as a hospital Chaplain, worked in hospice and is now finishing up another masters in counseling psychology with an emphasis is somatic therapy. Thomas is here to support your whole being.
MODALITIES: Esalen, energy work, deep tissue, acupressure and craniosacral.
Mondays 10-3 (Grand Lake)
Fridays 3-8pm (Grand Lake)
Thursdays 3:30-8:30pm (Berkeley)
Tosha Beverlin, Program Manager
Tosha joined us from the east coast just a few months ago. Her journey here actually began a few years ago when she realized the fashion industry was not the right fit for her. She went back to school at IIN to become a health coach which has guided her life onto a more fulfilling path. As one change led to another, she decided a change of venue was in the cards as well. Luckily, her husband, dog and cat were up for the adventure as well. They are living in Oakland now and reveling in the adventure of exploring all that the northwest has to offer.
In her spare time, Tosha loves to cook and bake, constantly trying new recipes and evolving her definition of what it means to eat healthy. She also loves to be outside; hiking, biking, gardening and spending time with her dog.
Vickie Russell Bell
Vickie has been studying yoga since 1990 and began teaching in 1994 in Ohio. Her teaching style emphasizes body awareness, alignment, and the integration of mindfulness and ease in Hatha yoga practice and daily life. Vickie sees yoga as a direct way to manipulate the nervous system in a world full of stimulation and stress. Her intention is to help her students to increase their level of daily awareness and consciousness, so that they might begin to unearth the Truth of who they really are.
She is a graduate of the Piedmont Yoga Studio Advanced Training Program and a certified “Relax and Renew Trainer” through Judith Lasater’s accredited program. Vickie is also on the core faculty for the Advanced Training Program at PYS.
Learn more about Vickie at www.vickierussellbell.com.
Wendy Faith is a Bay-area based yoga teacher who has been practicing since 1999, teaching since 2007 and leading international yoga retreats for years. She is also a dancer and bodyworker trained in Esalen and Thai massage, Visionary Craniosacral Work and Sound Healing. In addition to studying well over 500 hours with various teachers, Wendy committed her discipline to Shadow Yoga for years and attended Mark Horner’s 18-month Advanced Studies Teacher Training. Shadow Yoga is strongly influenced by martial arts, classical Indian dance and Ayurveda. Wendy has also been a casual but ongoing student of Ayurveda for years, under the guidance of Prashanti deJager. Her focus in more recent years has been in the fields of music and plant medicine, with ongoing travels in Central/South America for personal studies and to lead retreats. Most recently, Wendy returned from six months in India studying asana, Odissi dance,Tibetan Buddhist meditation, classical Indian vocals and kalari, an ancient martial arts form from India. Wendy weaves the myriad of embodied and vocal practices she loves in her classes, offerings and retreats, including sharing “medicine melodies” of many traditions as well as sanskrit chants during savasana.
First and foremost, I am a student of yoga. When I started my practice, I had no idea how powerful of a teacher yoga would be for me. Second, I am a yoga teacher — to not share the life lessons yoga has taught me would feel like an injustice. While I am a licensed attorney in both Texas and California, I now teach yoga full time. I have a disciplined and lighthearted asana practice with the intention of achieving single-minded concentration. By focusing on the mechanics of the body, I provide structure to take students safely through gentle movements to advanced poses and craft each class to be uniquely and intelligently sequenced. I strive to encourage students to explore all the dimensions (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) of yoga — learning their own yogic lessons along the journey.