Winter Recipes: Rhea’s Elderberry Syrup

Looking for delicious, nourishing, and supportive recipes for Winter? We have it covered. We went straight to the experts, our Namaste Healers and Teachers, and have curated some of their favorite tonics, treats, and tinctures to take while we wait for the season to warm back up!

Rhea’s Elderberry Syrup

A simple Elderberry syrup is perfect for the fall and winter seasons with changes in temperatures and shifting energy patterns can make us vulnerable to colds and the flu. Elderberries are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, Iron, and flavonoids.



To make the syrup, combine the berries and herbs with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the berries in the liquid mixture. Allow to cool then strain the berries and herbs through cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice. Measure the liquid and add an equal amount of honey. Gently heat the honey and juice for a few minutes until well combined. Do not boil! Bottle in sterilized glass.

Meet Your Teacher: Sean Feit Oakes

Namaste Yoga + Wellness is a container for the Bay Area’s best yoga teachers to offer their incredible talent and wisdom to students of all backgrounds. These highly experienced teachers have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others and we couldn’t be more grateful. It is an honor to support them and to connect them with yoga practitioners like you.

We are excited to share this special new blog series focused on celebrating your yoga teachers and hopefully giving you a glimpse into the brilliant team that is the Namaste Yoga + Wellness family. We have over 55 teachers in our community and every single person offers something unique!

Meet Sean Feit Oakes:

How long have you been at Namaste?
4 months

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
I was on Buddhist retreat in India and they wanted a yoga practice on the retreat but there were no yoga teachers around. I volunteered, and it turned out to be easy and pleasurable. Coming from both Insight Meditation and vinyasa Yoga lineages, it became a core part of my work to emphasize embodiment for the meditators and mindfulness and concentration for the yogis. I started teaching in both forms around the same time, and they have always woven together for me.

Do you have any go-to yoga and wellness books or podcasts?
I still love Vanda Scaravelli’s classic, “Awakening the Spine” as a book about yoga that weaves together reflections on postural practice and some of the more meditative or philosophical concepts about yoga. I have been deeply inspired and challenged in my ideas about yoga by Matthew Remski’s research and writing, and for beginners in contemplative practice, I recommend my teacher Jack Kornfield’s overview of spiritual life, “A Path With Heart”.

Which teachers influence your practice?
My first formal teacher was Joshu Sasaki Roshi in the Rinzai Zen tradition (1993-99). In 1997 I started Ashtanga with Larry Schultz and Alice Joanou, Authentic Movement with Bill McCully, and postmodern dance with Keith Hennessy and Kathleen Hermesdorf. I did yoga teacher training with David Moreno in the Bihar tradition in 2007, and the Spirit Rock Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation program with Anne Cushman and Jill Satterfield. My Buddhist teachers have been Jack Kornfield, Eugene Cash and Sylvia Boorstein (Theravāda & Insight Meditation), Anam Thubten (Tibetan Mahāyāna), and Sayadaw U Janaka (vipassanā). In 2008 I started studying trauma resolution and systems theory with Steven Hoskinson (Somatic Experiencing, Organic Intelligence®), and have been strongly influenced in my recent work on the integration of trauma, mindfulness, and yoga by Dr. Stephen Porges.

What does your yoga practice look like and how has it changed your life?
Recently my practice looks mostly like parenting and providing for my family, which means that the “practice” part of it consists of mindfulness of emotions, speech, and actions, as well as the maintenance of my energy through attempting to balance work, sleep, physical exercise, and family connection time. The best formal practice support I have right now is prānāyāma, which changes my energetic state quicker than meditation can. When I get a chance to sneak away for some actual āsana, it’s fantastic, and brings me back to myself. It’s always done that, and it’s why I kept with it. Yoga, Buddhism, and inner inquiry saved me, slowly, from being an existentially depressed loner. Now I’m an existentially curious philosopher with better relationships and coping strategies. And I look forward to years of unfolding further along this path.

Sean Feit Oakes Namaste Yoga + Wellness Mindfulness

What is something you wish your students knew?
I wish students knew more deeply that they’re not alone in their struggles, and that way more is possible in life than mainstream culture, including yoga culture, suggests. I wish teachings of renunciation and liberation were more common in the Yoga and Buddhist communities, so that these gorgeous practices wouldn’t be reduced to surface interventions that help people survive our current inhumane social systems but don’t uproot the systems themselves, either from global power or from our own hearts.

What is your morning or evening routine?
Morning: up before dawn awoken by a toddler saying “Mama, Papa!!”, sitting and Refuge Puja while our boy nurses, then playing with him and making breakfast while his mama sleeps some more. Evening: after everyone goes to sleep, if I’m not exhausted, I get some quiet time to drop into my body. I do whatever feels good.

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
The relationships that form as a class or practice space becomes consistent, and how those consistent communities and practices start to affect people’s lives in real and meaningful ways. I love deep discussion about the implications of practice and the teachings on people’s lives.

What are you involved with outside the studio?
I teach Buddhism, Yoga, and Organic Intelligence® in various places, including Spirit Rock. My main work is individual sessions for yoga and meditation practitioners where we work in various ways to deepen practice, including counseling, trauma resolution, subtle bodywork, and inquiry. Other than work, I try to write as often as I can, and the rest of my time is for family.

What is your go-to movement (asana, dance, hiking, etc.) that allows you to feel the most connected to yourself?
A slow, intuitive vinyasa is still my most grounding movement practice, but I also love running as a meditative energy practice, and my long-time deep movement home is the postmodern dance form Contact Improvisation.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?
It’s my home! I grew up here, and I don’t have a favorite thing specifically, though the main thing that makes it hard to move away is the depth of connections I have made over the decades. I’m grumpy about the Bay Area nowadays and can barely afford to live here anymore, but nowhere else feels like home, and that’s still a precious, subtle feeling.

Anything else you want to share?
I want to offer my blessings to everyone who calls Namaste home, and say that I’m thrilled to be bringing my teaching work here. I’m excited to meet many of you over time, and to contribute whatever I can to deepening the practice and study being offered at the studio.

Steph Wood’s Adaptogenic Morning Tea

Earlier this month we interviewed Namaste Teacher Steph Woods and asked her about her favorite morning routine. When we found out her rise and shine ritual includes a delicious cup of adaptogenic tea we knew we had to share the recipe. What are adaptogens all about? According to the wellness site Well+Good, Adaptogens’ biggest superpowers are that:

They protect the body from the toxic effects of stress, which is arguably the gnarliest health issue of our time.

They might seem totally of-the-moment, but the term was actually coined by the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Health way back in 1947—referring to a class of herbs and mushrooms that offer heavy-duty support for the body’s natural resistance to “adverse influences,” explains Ric Scalzo, the CEO and founder of Gaia Herbs (you might just call him adaptogens’ head cheerleader).

Those influences include anything that taxes the body, from illness to working out (like when you don’t take your rest days) to straight-up stress.

Pretty awesome right? So let’s get into it. Below is the recipe for Steph’s morning tea. If you are worried about using the exact brand, don’t stress. You can find a variety of options out in the world or at your nearest health food store. Mix it up by adding fresh turmeric, ginger, or cinnamon too!

Steph Wood’s Adaptogenic Morning Tea:

  • Coconut creme or coconut milk
  • Boiling Water
  • Nutmeg
  • And a little (about a half or full teaspoon each)
    of the teas below. The teas are from a company in Australia called Superfeast and I absolutely love them.

So simple and quick. Imagine sitting down in the morning with a fresh cup of tea to start off your day with gratitude, mindfulness, and nourishment!

Steph Wood's Adaptogenic Tea with SuperFeastSteph Wood's Adaptogenic Tea with SuperFeast

Don’t Leave Good Vibes on a Loaner Mat

Yoga mats are like magic carpets. The first few moments of being on your mat may inspire a sense of being home. But like a magic carpet, your mat has the ability to transport you to an entirely new internal landscape. This 6ft by 2ft piece of seemingly benign material can become a sacred space, a portal that unlocks the deepest feelings of serenity, insight, and growth.  Whether you finish your practice sweaty and tired or calm and rejuvenated – it is rare you leave your mat feeling the same as when you first stepped on.

This month we are celebrating the MAGIC OF THE MAT by offering 20% off all yoga mats at all three studios! Your mat is like a friend you can carry with you throughout your health and wellness journey. It absorbs everything from good vibes to happy tears… and all the other less palatable buggers like bacteria, viruses, and dirt. This is why we can’t stress enough how important it is to GET YOUR OWN MAT!

So where do you start in finding the perfect practice companion? Follow our handy flow-chart and find your perfect match!

Namaste Yoga + Wellness Find Your Perfect Yoga Mat

Try a B Yoga Mat

• The stickiest mat we’ve found!
• A combo of natural and synthetic rubber, this increases durability and longevity of the mat.
• Synthetic rubber is a by-product of the plastics industry, reducing landfill waste.
• Mat finishing process is more environmentally-friendly than other methods of curing.

Try a Manduka X

• Designed with some thickness and texture to work for all kinds of mat activities, including yoga, pilates, and TRX
• High-density cushion
• Very grippy
• Made with recyclable materials
• Crafted without toxic glues or solvents

Try a Jade Mat.

• Made of rapidly renewable natural rubber • Made in the US
• Comes in 3 different weights
• Open cell technology for a sticky mat experience.
• Avoid exposure to direct sunlight.

Try a Manduka EkoLite Mat.

• Made of biodegradable natural tree rubber
• Free of toxic chemicals or dyes.
• Finished with a unique texture and gorgeous colors.
• For the longest life span, keep stored in a cool dry place.

Try a Manduka EkoLite Mat.

• Made of biodegradable natural tree rubber
• Free of toxic chemicals or dyes.
• Finished with a unique texture and gorgeous colors.
• For the longest life span, keep stored in a cool dry place.

Try a Manduka ProLite Mat

• Sticky mat takes a little time to break in, but it’s worth it!
• Closed cell technology makes for easy cleaning
• Excellent cushion
• Lifetime guarantee
• Gorgeous colors

In a high traffic yoga studio (we see over 2000 of you each week!) it’s nearly impossible to keep loaner mats 100% fresh and clean before each and every use. While we do our best to keep up – loaner mats are truly meant to be in emergency situations only.

Visit one of our three beautiful boutiques during the entire month of February to take advantage of our Annual Mat Sale! Ask one of our friendly front desk coordinators for help navigating our mat choices.

Namaste Yoga + Wellness Jade Yoga Mats 1

Meet Your Teacher: Elissa Buchman

Namaste Yoga + Wellness is a container for the Bay Area’s best yoga teachers to offer their incredible talent and wisdom to students of all backgrounds. These highly experienced teachers have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others and we couldn’t be more grateful. It is an honor to support them and to connect them with yoga practitioners like you.

We are excited to share this special new blog series focused on celebrating your yoga teachers and hopefully giving you a glimpse into the brilliant team that is the Namaste Yoga + Wellness family. We have over 55 teachers in our community and every single person offers something unique!

Meet Elissa Buchman:

What is your name and when/where/what do you teach?
Elissa Buchman–I teach Vinyasa Flow at Namaste Grand Lake on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7 – 8 AM

How long have you been at Namaste?
I was subbing at Namaste for about a year and a half before I began teaching regular weekly classes at Namaste Grand Lake in January.

East Bay Yoga Teacher Elissa Buchman

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
I think I need to answer that question in three parts. Part one is, of course, that I loved yoga and wanted to share it with others. Part two extended beyond my reverence for the practice: I am a lifelong learner, a voracious reader, and a writer. Teaching yoga allowed me to creatively mesh those things together in a way that could actually make a difference in people’s lives, whether that was through providing someone a little bit of relief for 60 minutes or a whole lot more.

Part three is less flattering, but also deeply human: I wanted love. I saw how loved my teachers were, and I wanted in. I was 20 years old, lost and unsure of where I wanted to focus my vulnerable array of passions and interests. Teaching yoga, with its seemingly endless rainbow of external validation and love, seemed like something I could get behind.

Looking back, I don’t see any of those desires as negative or even misguided. Through my teaching and my practice, I have indeed found my passion and focus in life. Though it didn’t take long to realize there was no rainbow of admiration at the end of the teaching rainbow, I have absolutely found love through the extraordinary communities and connections I’ve been able to form with others.

East Bay Yoga Teacher Elissa Buchman

Do you have any go-to yoga and wellness books or podcasts?
One word: Yogaland! Andrea Ferretti happens to be the wife of my teacher Jason Crandell, but she’s a badass, amazing woman all on her own. I listen to the Yogaland podcast religiously and love how it inspires my teaching and my practice. She interviews all sorts of yogis, yoga teachers, and wellness professionals who leave no stone unturned when it comes to the world of well-being.

Which teachers influence your practice?
Every single teacher I’ve ever taken has influenced my practice whether they’ve been my cup of tea or not, and I’m not just saying that! Though my primary teachers are Jason Crandell, Sean Haleen and Annie Carpenter, I make it a point to escape the echo chamber of my tried-and-true favorites and explore all kinds of other teachers and styles that keep me fresh and inspired.

What does your yoga practice look like and how has it changed your life?
Yesterday, my yoga practice looked like a powerful 90-minutes of chaturangas, arm balances, and inversions. Today, I rolled around awkwardly on my mat for 15 minutes in ways that could only vaguely be likened to asana, then proceeded to halfway relax into a 2 minute Savasana interrupted by my vibrating cell phone. Point is my practice changes all the time. Currently, it’s a pretty balanced combination of home practice and attending public classes, but had you asked me a few month ago my answer would have been entirely different. Yoga has made me both more disciplined and less rigid all at once. I am wholly committed to practicing yoga in some form or another for the rest of my life but know that what that practice looks like will remain in constant flux.

East Bay Yoga Teacher Elissa Buchman

What is something you wish your students knew?
If your yoga teacher asks you in the beginning of class to “set an intention for your practice” and you draw a blank, this one is my go-to: I am a human, humans make mistakes; I am allowed to be human and make those mistakes on my mat. The world can be harsh, and capitalizing on failure as a tool for growth is a privilege we don’t always get to take advantage of in our day to day lives without serious consequences. When you get on your mat, the world has essentially given you a blank canvas, a bunch of paint, and a blindfold to throw on. Don’t be afraid of making a mess–you may be pleasantly surprised at what you’re able to create, or at the very least have a good laugh in the process.

What is your morning or evening routine? (whichever is your favorite..or both!)
Oh, wow. My answer to this could not be more mundane. The only things I do every morning or evening with enough frequency to call it a “routine” is brush my teeth, change my clothes (either into or out of my pajamas,) and possibly look at pictures of french bulldogs on Instagram.

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
The ability, and arguably the necessity, of wearing so many hats! As a teacher, I get to be a poet, a creative thinker, an academic and a scientist. It’s like someone found an old manifesto from my childhood entitled “What I Want to be When I Grow Up” written on bright pink construction paper, then handed it back to me as an adult and said, “go for it.”

East Bay Yoga Teacher Elissa Buchman

What are you involved with outside the studio?
This has changed hugely for me in the last six months. Right now, I’m in the early stages of becoming a clinical psychologist. And by early stages I mean, EARLY. I’ve only just submitted by applications to doctoral programs, and am currently enrolled in a few fascinating prerequisite courses before I begin the processes of getting my degree. Aside from that, I’m usually immersed in some sort of teacher training program, reading a wonderful novel, or watching a terrible Netflix horror film with my girlfriend.

What is your go-to movement (asana, dance, hiking, etc.) that allows you to feel the most connected to yourself? *
Yoga [asana] Though my yoga practice is not always asana-based, when it comes to movement, asana is my kryptonite.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?
I was born and raised in the Bay Area, which I understand makes me somewhat of a unicorn (thanks, rent control!) I love the diversity, the culture, the people, the passion, the nature, the yoga, and my mom, who still lives in Oakland (if you met her, she’d probably be your favorite thing about the Bay Area, too.)

Meet Your Teacher: Marina Guastucci

Namaste Yoga + Wellness is a container for the Bay Area’s best yoga teachers to offer their incredible talent and wisdom to students of all backgrounds. These highly experienced teachers have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others and we couldn’t be more grateful. It is an honor to support them and to connect them with yoga practitioners like you.

We are excited to share this special new blog series focused on celebrating your yoga teachers and hopefully giving you a glimpse into the brilliant team that is the Namaste Yoga + Wellness family. We have over 55 teachers in our community and every single person offers something unique!

Meet Marina Guastucci:

How long have you been at Namaste?
2 months

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
Yoga helped me overcome a decade-long eating disorder and continues to help me with a lifetime of body image issues.

East Bay Yoga Teacher Marina Guastucci

Do you have any go-to yoga and wellness books or podcasts?
The Tao Te Ching is my go to. It’s simple, potent & accessible.

Which teachers influence your practice?
Abby Tucker and her amazing ability to weave together yoga & earth wisdom practices has been my primary influence for the past 4 years. Before that, Rod Stryker & Bryan Kest were the teachers from whom I drew a lot of inspiration.

What does your yoga practice look like and how has it changed your life?
Right now, it’s practical and sporadic (I have a two-year-old). I used to practice asana every day, but it’s very much in a state of ebb and flow, and I’m okay with that. I squeeze in movement when I’m able to, and meditate more than I ever have before. My practice is my time to feel my body separate from my daughter. It’s very personal and intimate.

East Bay Yoga Teacher Marina Guastucci

What is your morning or evening routine?
In the winter, at night, I take baths with salts and essential oils and either read or watch TV.

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
I love the stories that emerge from the this embodied practice. Each week is an opportunity for my students and me to co-create and experience life on our mat.

What are you involved with outside the studio?
A lot of hiking and toddler wrangling.

What is your go-to movement that allows you to feel the most connected to yourself? 
Hiking and being in nature.

East Bay Yoga Teacher Marina Guastucci

Meet Your Teacher: Jerry Givens

Namaste Yoga + Wellness is a container for the Bay Area’s best yoga teachers to offer their incredible talent and wisdom to students of all backgrounds. These highly experienced teachers have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others and we couldn’t be more grateful. It is an honor to support them and to connect them with yoga practitioners like you.

We are excited to share this special new blog series focused on celebrating your yoga teachers and hopefully giving you a glimpse into the brilliant team that is the Namaste Yoga + Wellness family. We have over 55 teachers in our community and every single person offers something unique!

Meet Jerry Givens:

How long have you been at Namaste?
About 3 years

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
Watching my own growth in yoga, I really wanted to share the experience with likeminded souls. Teaching was the natural next step.

Your favorite literature on yoga or meditation?
My favorite book on yoga is the Yoga Sutra. It’s timeless, a classic, and somewhat hard to read. Though over the years, through trainings and mentorship with other teachers, I’ve come to better understand the Sutra. Every time I return to it, more is revealed. It’s the book that keeps on giving. More contemporary, a great “first read” for aspiring yogis is “The Art of Joyful Living” by Swami Rama, which details “how” to be a yogi in the modern world.

East Bay Yoga Teacher Jerry Givens

Which teachers have influenced your practice?
I’ve had the pleasure of studying primarily with Devidas Karina Mirsky (based in Kalamazoo, MI), who is a longtime student of Yogarupa Rod Stryker. Karina’s background in yoga, massage, mindfulness, and her Masters in East-West Psychology have inspired me to look at my practice and the teaching beyond my own perceptions, attempting to understand truth from a higher perspective.

How often do you practice?
Every morning, I sit in meditation. My asana (physical yoga) practice is more varied depending on the day/week.

What is your morning or evening routine?
Each morning, I practice nauli kriya for 2-3 minutes before settling in for a 20-30 minute meditation practice. After that, I move mindfully through my home as I get ready for the day. This really helps make sure I can be my best self each day.

East Bay Yoga Teacher Jerry Givens

Your favorite self-care practices?
Daily meditation, massage, nature, “me” time, hot springs, personal retreats

What are you involved with outside the studio?
I’m fortunate to have many passions, including writing Adventure Fantasy novels. Over the past 6 years, I’ve published 3 novels and I just finished writing the fourth one this past summer.

Absolute favorite asana?
Savasana for sure. Yes, you’re just laying there, but can be quite difficult to master – to be able to lie there awake, present, but also at complete rest. Practicing Yoga Nidra really helped me to find peace (not sleep) in this pose.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?
Nature meets city. I love it!

East Bay Yoga Teacher Jerry Givens

Meet Your Teacher: Steph Woods

Namaste Yoga + Wellness is a container for the Bay Area’s best yoga teachers to offer their incredible talent and wisdom to students of all backgrounds. These highly experienced teachers have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others and we couldn’t be more grateful. It is an honor to support them and to connect them with yoga practitioners like you.

We are excited to share this special new blog series focused on celebrating your yoga teachers and hopefully giving you a glimpse into the brilliant team that is the Namaste Yoga + Wellness family. We have over 55 teachers in our community and every single person offers something unique!

Meet Steph Woods:

What is your name and when do you teach?
Steph Woods, Vinyasa at Namaste Grand Lake every Wednesday 9:30am, and Sundays at 11am.

How long have you been at Namaste?
I’ve been subbing for a handful of months, and practicing here for a year and a half. But brand new as one of your permanent teachers!

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
So many things! I was most inspired to become a yoga instructor because the practice changed so much within me, I wanted to share that goodness with others.

East Bay Yoga Teacher Steph Woods

Do you have any go-to yoga and wellness books or podcasts?
I love Osho’s book “Contemplation Before Sleep”, and I always enjoy exploring different translations of the Sutras.

Which teachers influence your practice?
Annie Carpenter, Brandon Osborne, and so many more. Also all the dance teachers I’ve ever had.

What does your yoga practice look like and how has it changed your life?
My yoga practice involves daily meditation, a daily physical practice of either yoga asana or dance, and mindful eating. The ways yoga has changed my life are too long to list in their entirety. But I’ll give you a snapshot. I used to be a bartender. I worked late hours, I drank every day, I partied a lot. I thought I had life figured out, because I was having “so much fun”. I was wrong. My spirit and heart were unfulfilled and eventually cried out to me, quite loudly. I had been a sporadic practitioner at Exhale yoga studio in Venice Beach, CA. But something shifted and I began to practice daily. I went through a Teacher Training and learned more about the philosophy and history of yoga. I traded my late nights for early mornings. I started reading books on yoga and asking my teachers more questions and letting myself learn internal lessons through the asanas. My heart cracked wide open, and the joy I contained as a child swept in, the love I was looking for embraced me, and my perspective on life shifted. I now live & practice to keep allowing that divine Joy & Love in, and share it with others as much as possible.

East Bay Yoga Teacher Steph Woods

What is something you wish your students knew?
That they are already really, really perfect.

What is your morning or evening routine? (whichever is your favorite..or both!)
I love my morning routine! I wake up and proclaim “Today is a great day!” and usually say a couple things I’m grateful for. I do the usuals like wash my face/brush my teeth. Then I make some adaptogenic tea with coconut milk (so yummy!). Then I head to whichever studio I’m teaching at for the day, arrive before anyone else is there, and meditate until it’s time for me to open the studio and teach. Early mornings are my favorite!

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
My heart gets filled over and over again each time I watch people move their bodies. I think movement is one of the most important ways we can connect to ourselves and to life. And so many people go through life completely unaware of their body. So when I see people in movement, waking up to their own body and connecting with it deeply – it’s just one of the most beautiful things in this world.

East Bay Yoga Teacher Steph Woods

What are you involved with outside the studio?
I am a beginning aerial dance student, and I love it so much. It balances strength and flexibility in new ways, and challenges my mind and body.

What is your go-to movement that allows you to feel the most connected to yourself?
Asana and dance. I have a background in Modern dance and love to turn on some music and just flow in a free-form way that feels good to me.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?
The people! And all the trees.

Anything else you want to share?
I can’t wait to connect more with the beautiful community at Namaste Yoga. I moved to the Bay about a year and a half ago and fell in love with these studios. I wanted to enjoy being a student for a while, but now I am excited to be on the teaching end, and give back all the love I’ve experienced here.

Meet Your Teacher: Rachel Heron

Namaste Yoga + Wellness is a container for the Bay Area’s best yoga teachers to offer their incredible talent and wisdom to students of all backgrounds. These highly experienced teachers have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others and we couldn’t be more grateful. It is an honor to support them and to connect them with yoga practitioners like you.

We are excited to share this special new blog series focused on celebrating your yoga teachers and hopefully giving you a glimpse into the brilliant team that is the Namaste Yoga + Wellness family. We have over 55 teachers in our community and every single person offers something unique!

Meet Rachel Heron:

What is your name and when do you teach?
My name is Rachel Heron on I teach Wednesdays at 5:30pm at Namaste Rockridge!

How long have you been at Namaste?
I began subbing last year and now have two weekly classes!

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
I starting practicing in 1992, and was incredibly moved by all aspects of this path. I knew right away that I wanted to teach asana, and share the love of embodied spiritual practice.

Do you have any go-to yoga and wellness books or podcasts?
Tara Brach dharma talks and Jason Crandell’s yoga podcasts

Which teachers influence your practice?
Desiree Rumbaugh, Siri Petersen Cavanna, Abby Tucker, Sianna Sherman, Ana Forrest

What does your yoga practice look like and how has it changed your life?
I practice asana and/or meditation in some form almost every day. These practices have become the baseline of self-inquiry and self-care. Each day is different (of course), but it’s my way of awakening mindful awareness and physical/energetic vibrancy.

What is something you wish your students knew?
That sitting still for just 5 mins a day can be life-changing.

What is your morning routine?
Sit for 30 minutes, 15 mins of flowing sun salutes, 15 chaturanga push-ups!

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
I love sitting with people in stillness and silence. I love being able to guide us into potent deep and non-verbal spaces.

What are you involved with outside the studio?
My husband Bill, 12-year-old son Jai, giving bodywork and counseling sessions.

What is your go-to movement (asana, dance, hiking, etc.) that allows you to feel the most connected to yourself?
Anything that gets my heart pumping. I love it all and do it all.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?
Easy access to nature, beauty even in my urban environment, and ease of getting around by bike.

Anything else you want to share?
Practice is my passion. I feel most blessed to be sharing this passion with my students and clients at Namaste.

Meet Your Teacher: Domonick Wegesin

Namaste Yoga + Wellness is a container for the Bay Area’s best yoga teachers to offer their incredible talent and wisdom to students of all backgrounds. These highly experienced teachers have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others and we couldn’t be more grateful. It is an honor to support them and to connect them with yoga practitioners like you.

We are excited to share this special new blog series focused on celebrating your yoga teachers and hopefully giving you a glimpse into the brilliant team that is the Namaste Yoga + Wellness family. We have over 55 teachers in our community and every single person offers something unique!

Meet Domonick Wegesin:

How long have you been at Namaste?
10 years

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
Yoga helped me face my fears of not being enough. I have always loved to teach, and realized I would love to teach something that had been so impactful in my own life.

Your favorite literature on yoga or meditation?
The writings of Pema Chodron and Mary Oliver.

Which teachers have influenced your practice?
David Goulet, Annie Carpenter, Janet Stone, Richard Rosen, Dylan Werner

How often do you practice?
Daily

What is your morning or evening routine?
Morning pranayama and chanting with my husband. We start each day in sync, every breath for the first 30 minutes of the day in tandem.

Your favorite self-care practices?
Hiking in Nature, soaking in our hot tub under the trees and sky, dancing, yoga.

What are you involved with outside the studio?
Crazy about our Schnoodle, love to dance.

Absolute favorite asana?
Wild Thing – love it’s beauty, curvilinear form and heart-offering expression.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?
The people who are the most accepting of any place I’ve ever lived.

Anything else you want to share?
So grateful to be in the Namaste Community to have a place to share the teachings of yoga and meditation. Thankful for Kimberly and her vision.