Namaste Teachers: Meet Poh Teng

Our Namaste Tribe is a powerhouse of wise, talented, and experienced teachers who have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others. We are constantly in awe of the incredible offerings our teachers bring to this community. We are excited to share a new blog series focused on celebrating our teachers and hopefully giving you all a glimpse into the talented team that makes up Namaste Yoga + Wellness.

Meet Namaste Teacher: Poh Teng

How long have you been at Namaste?
Since September 2013

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
I benefitted (and continue to benefit) so much from yoga and I wanted to help others heal and feel good in their bodies. I was inspired onto a path of service by my meditation teacher, Eknath Easwaran. In “Essence of the Bhagavad Gita”, EE says, “… karma yoga is more than service. Service – work that benefits others – is necessary for every human being, the Gita maintains; it is incumbent on us to give back to life as we take from it. But this becomes yoga only when it is selfless: when we forget ourselves in that work and desire nothing from it for ourselves, not even recognition or appreciation. When we learn to act in this way, egotism shrinks and separateness gradually dissolves.” And so, I practice to be of service.

Poh Back Health

Your favorite literature on yoga or meditation?
Meditation by Eknath Easwaran
Feeding Your Demons by Lama Tsultrim Allione

Best advice you have ever received relating to your practice?
“You can flex, but no gripping.” ~ Chandra Easton
“Be present with all that arises.” ~ Mariana Caplan

Your favorite self-care practices?
Yoga retreats, hot baths and full-body scrubs, neti and nasya, and hiking with my dogs!


Join Poh Teng this weekend for her Yoga for Healthy Backs workshop! 

Poh Teng Yoga with Poh is an amalgamation of her education across multiple yoga lineages and life experiences.  She is trained in the Vinyasa and therapeutic styles, and continues to be inspired and informed by the Power, Shadow, Anusara and Forrest Yoga lineages.  She is also guided by her Passage Meditation practice and her work as an academic scientist.  She has healed from scoliosis, osteopenia and back injury through yoga.  After over 10 years of practice, she is finally a mellow type-A.  Known for her curiosity, playfulness and nurturing style, she leads group classes through movement with breath, awareness, healthy alignment and safe, creative sequencing. With over 500 hours of training, she blends yogic tradition, intention setting, and current findings in biology and yoga therapy. Occasionally, there’s a splash of Bhakti and she sings. Because yoga is not one-size-fits-all, Poh also offers private yoga sessions for your specific wellness needs.

Yoga is a come-as-you-are-party.  Poh invites you to honor your truth in the present moment, and to breathe, strengthen, heal and play.

Poh is a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher, a Certified Yoga Therapist for Chronic Physiological Conditions and a Cancer Yoga Therapist.  She is also a UCLA graduate with a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  Get to know her better at PohmYoga.com.

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Namaste Teachers: Meet Reba Gray

Our Namaste Tribe is a powerhouse of wise, talented, and experienced teachers who have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others. We are constantly in awe of the incredible offerings our teachers bring to this community. We are excited to share a new blog series focused on celebrating our teachers and hopefully giving you all a glimpse into the talented team that makes up Namaste Yoga + Wellness.

Meet Reba Gray

Reba_Aug2013_print_jleahy-67How long have you been at Namaste?
I have been at Namaste for just over 1 year!

What inspired you to become a teacher?
My mom taught me about the importance of service to your community just by being who she is. I love this concept: seva (selfless service). So I started volunteering at a yoga studio, making sure the space was clean, answering questions, joking around to put people at ease, mopping the floor after the sweaty classes. I kept showing up, practicing, volunteering, which led to assisting teachers, which was great because I didn’t have to talk. After years of practicing, assisting, and training, I realized I had some stuff I wanted to say!

What is your favorite thing about yoga?Reba_Aug2013_print_jleahy-78 (1)
You can travel the world, find a yoga studio, and be welcomed into that community. I have sweated, laughed, and breathed with some amazing people in a yoga class.

What is something you wish all of our students understood about the practice?
There is something in yoga that everyone can take away for themselves. It doesn’t have to be asana.

Thoughts on where the yoga industry is headed?
When I started practicing, some institutes banned caffeine, sugar, etc. I like that modern yoga embraces doing what is appropriate for you. Come as you are, let transformation happen naturally.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?
Choices.


Check out Reba’s Weekly Class Schedule!

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Namaste Teachers: Meet Bethany Hobbs

Our Namaste Tribe is a powerhouse of wise, talented, and experienced teachers who have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others. We are constantly in awe of the incredible offerings our teachers bring to this community. We are excited to share a new blog series focused on celebrating our teachers and hopefully giving you all a glimpse into the talented team that makes up Namaste Yoga + Wellness.

Meet Bethany Hobbs

How long have you been at Namaste?
I have been at Namaste for over 2 years.

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a teacher– I’ve always taught– and yoga changed my life, so I wanted to share that with others. It came about very naturally.

Your favoriteliterature on yoga or meditation?
Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss, Long Quiet Highway by Natalie Goldberg, The Heart of Yoga by Desikachar, to name a few.

Bethany_IntrotoYogaBest advice you have ever received relating to your practice?
Be at home in yourself.

Your favorite self-care practices?
Sleep, prayer, burning sage and cedar, essential oils, taking walks.

What is your morning routine?
I wake up, make coffee (with real cream), climb back in bed with my coffee, and write. I love the quiet. It helps prepare me to teach.

Absolute favorite asana?
Supta virasana or reclining hero pose.


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Bethany Hobbs fell in love with her first savasana in 2003, and her life hasn’t been the same since. She has been committed to her yoga practice for over a decade, first under the tutelage of Rached Malouf in San Diego, and, later, her mentor Alice Joanou in Oakland, along with many other incredible yogis and healers in India and Oakland (including herbalist Atava Garcia Swiecicki and therapeutic yoga teacher trainer Antonia Fokken).

She is currently diving into the depths of tarot card and archetypal healing studies with local artist Guillermo Galindo, and has recently broadened her teaching horizons by offering wheelchair yoga classes to seniors. She weaves her background in holistic and self-empowered healing and wellness into all of her classes, whether restorative or flow.

Bethany’s classes hold space for the wholeness of each individual through breath, alignment, ritual, and joy.

View Bethany’s Class Schedule

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Namaste Teachers: Meet Kameko Shibata

[Above and below photo by Lindsay Isola]

Our Namaste Tribe is a powerhouse of wise, talented, and experienced teachers who have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others. We are constantly in awe of the incredible offerings our teachers bring to this community. We are excited to share a new blog series focused on celebrating our teachers and hopefully giving you all a glimpse into the talented team that makes up Namaste Yoga + Wellness.

Meet Kameko Shibata

Kameko 2How long have you been at Namaste?
I have been at Namaste for 3 years as an instructor and bodyworker. However I did trade front desk staff in college (at Namaste Rockridge) circa 2005.

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
The love of breath. The vastness of it all.

Your favorite literature on yoga or meditation?
Heart of Yoga by TKV Desikachar , is SO accessible for all levels, and really breaks things down. I recommend it to students all the time, use it in my courses and also read and re-read it anytime I need inspiration. I just open to any page and start reading! It has his translation of the Yoga Stutras in the back. Brilliantly simple! Dr. Vasant Lad is my go to for all ayurvedic literature, from laymen’s self-care books to his Ayurvedic textbooks and professional papers.

Your favorite self-care practices?
Involves a lot of oil! As a pitta- vata Ayurvedic practioner I am consistently using oil on everything! Oil (usually sesame or sunflower) on the skin daily in the form of Abhyanga, sometimes in the ears and nose as Nasya, mouth pulling with sesame oil in the morning, massaging the feet with oil in the evening, eating lots of ghee, olive oil and taking evening primose oil capsules. Making my nadi girl ayurveda salt scrubs with oils. And then mopping all the oil off my floor from my clients oily feet.

What is your morning routine?
As I mentioned,  it involves a lot oil and my daily yoga practice.

What are you involved with outside the studio?
I dance around on a rope 25 feet in the air, and hang from one arm (part of my aerial arts practice).  I also love to play around with spices and succulents.

Kameko

How often do you practice?
I practice daily in the morning. I usually do asana/pranayama/chanting 4 days per week and often just surya namaskaras and meditation when I teach early. I also love an afternoon meditation and restorative practice which I manage a few days per week! Sometimes on Sundays I don’t do any yoga. My yogi partner and I sleep in, eat bacon, drink hot chocolate, and blast funk music. Gotta keep it real.

Absolute favorite asana?
Viparti Karani or legs-up-the-wall.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?
Oakland and the racial and sexual diversity here.


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Kameko’s love affair with yoga has spanned ten years and five continents! And her teaching reflects her love, curiosity and dedication to yoga and the exploration of breath. Her delicious vinyasa classes invite you to come deeply into your breath and body through safe and challenging sequences combined with sound, breath, and core work.

She weaves her passion for the traditional yoga & ayurvedic practices of India with sweaty evolutionary movement, chanting and the occasional swear word for a refreshingly honest experience. Kameko strives to see her students– always offering individual attention and safe adjustments.

Her creative sequencing is inspired by studying the “vinyasa krama” system at the Krishnamaycharya Yoga Mandariam in India. As well as her 650 hours of Yoga Alliance training, from the Ashrams of India, to studying with Mary Paffard, Alice Jaunou and Ana Forest.

WELLNESS TREATMENTS WITH KAMEKO: Kameko Shibata combines her passion for ayurvedic medicine, bodywork and yoga into a comprehensive healing modality that empowers people to heal themselves. She received her Ayurvedic Practioner certification from the Dhyana Center of Health Sciences, where she went on to complete over 1,000 hours in a 2-year internship under her teacher, DeAnna Batdorff.

View Kameko’s Class Schedule

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