Student Stories: Meet Carley

We hope that sharing Namaste student stories will inspire your own journey on and off the mat. Meet Carley Hauck, a devoted Namaste student for the last six years, taking a broad range of Vinyasa classes with teachers like Rachel Heron, Satya Gita Aune, Jaimi Patterson, and Anj Manitsas. Carley is passionate about teaching conscious leadership. Read on to see what inspires her, how her yoga helps her on her journey, and where her passions have taken her.

What inspired you to begin studying yoga?

I started my yoga practice at the age of 17. I taught myself from reading various books. Yoga has been a steady foundation and anchor of mine for half of my life. Yoga led me to my meditation practice and I practice both together multiple times a day. Thank Goddess for yoga!

Meet Carley Hauck Goddess PoseWhat is your favorite thing about taking class at Namaste?

I enjoy taking classes with instructors that challenge me in ways I wouldn’t do in my solo practice. I appreciate the skill and heart of the teachers at Namaste.

What is wellness? Namaste Student Story

What is one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

I feel like I am just beginning to learn how to harness the power of being an empath.

Tell us some favorite things you do to help make every day sacred.

I try to incorporate grounding meditation, green tea, being grateful, spending time in nature, and being with those I love.

What is the best advice you can offer to someone struggling to start their own health and wellness journey?

When I practice yoga, meditate, move my body, and eat healthy foods I feel so much more grounded, patient, happy, and focused. There is a palpable difference that I commit to the practice everyday.

Share some details about your passion project!

cultivate-inner-game Namaste Student Story

I just finished my book SHINE – Ignite your inner game and lead consciously at work and the world. This book wanted me to write it and I was very committed to its birthing for 3 years amidst many twists. I wrote this book from my heart, body, and soul. I feel excited to see how it impacts those who read when it comes out March 2020. I hope it will awaken the leader in all of us and inspire a more sustainable and harmonious world.

Meet Carley Hauck  - meditationMy heartfelt commitment is to support people and planet to flourish.  My heartfelt commitment is to serve leaders and businesses with the inspiration and tools necessary to be a force for good in the world.  I believe that when you cultivate your inner game, you change your life and from here you can transform the world.

Join Carley for her first public offering to develop a strong inner game with a community who want to create meaningful impact in March with 30 Days of Mindful Living.

Learn more about Carley at

Please follow and like us:

Journey to Teaching

by Elizabeth Conway

Journey to Teaching | Discover wells of strengthAlmost 6 years ago I graduated from Namaste’s first yoga teacher training.   My journey to teaching started with a group of about 20 of us gathered as students. Together with Ashley Sharp, David Moreno, and Baxter Bell for 200 hours from September to March, we learned together and had lasting, life changing results.

While I joined the training with the intent to dedicate time to my practice, hoping to deepen it and not intending to teach, within a month of graduating, I was in a studio, teaching 3 classes a week, which soon turned to 8 classes a week. I have never looked back, teaching classes and workshops at 4 studios since then and co-leading 11 local and international yoga and meditation retreats.

Journey to Teaching: ConnectNamaste’s teacher training gave me the architecture for taking a class through a safe sequence, holding space for 60 -180 minutes, and working with the many different bodies, minds, abilities and emotions that come to class.  The training taught me how to cultivate my own practice, to continually explore through physical and mental changes to return to the mat and remain deeply curious and open.

Journey to Teaching: Gain Confidence

Journey to Teaching

People ask me how I chose Namaste’s teacher training and I said I had a few criteria – experienced, respected senior teachers, a long span of time for the training so that my body could grow in strength (short 200 hour trainings I feared would tax my body and mind, potentially injuring one or the other) and local so I could integrate the teachings week in and week out into the challenges of my real life.  While I have no prejudice against going to a teacher immersion for a few weeks, I knew that for me, the “how” I learned and who I became as I went through the process, would be just as important as the fact of having “done” the training.

Journey to Teaching CohortThere were other unexpected rewards from my teacher training – specifically, I became friends with a community of people I see often and in a world where it is often a challenge to find friendship as an adult, this was invaluable. Spending 7 months studying the body and spirit and breathing together is a great cultivator of those connections. I also like to point out to people, that before completing the training, despite several yoga immersions, I did not have the faith in my practice that I do now.  The teacher training gave me a foundation of safety to explore teachers and studios and practices all over the world.  Once I knew that I was among my own best teachers for my body and mind, I trusted that I was at home anywhere in the world. I now practice anywhere, knowing that my asana practice is responsible and responsive.

While I am sometimes troubled by the Western yoga industrial complex and the for-profit models of studio operating, I balance this against the many benefits studios offer for sanctuary, especially in today’s world.  I look at the other ways we find to disconnect and fritter away our time, and in listening to some of the questions from people considering joining this year’s cohort, I was inspired (not asked) to write.

Are you interested in deepening your practice and finding your way to a Teacher Training program that suits you? We have two structures for our teacher trainings: a summer intensive format, and an extended weekend format.

Learn more about our teacher training programs here.



Please follow and like us:

Student Stories: Meet Mick

We are so curious. How does each of us begin our love affair with yoga, what draws us to it, and what holds us there? We adore learning and sharing the stories of our students on their yoga journey.

Meet Mick Renner, a consistent student of Vickie Russell Bell’s and many others at our Berkeley studio.

What inspired you to begin a yoga practice?

I was getting serious about performing a one-man show, and I realized that I needed to increase my stamina if I was going to be on stage for 80-90 minutes. I signed up at work for a Walking exercise class, but it got cancelled because of rain. So instead I took a Yoga class scheduled at the same time. Luckily it had a terrific teacher (Johanna Classen) and I worked with her for 5 or 6 years until I retired.

Favorite parts about taking class at Namaste?

The teachers: Vickie Russell Bell in particular, David Schlussel, many others–the Ashleys, Julia, Sarah, Ada, more.

What is your definition of wellness?

Self-acceptance. Awareness. Embodiment. Aliveness.

One thing people might be surprised to learn about you is…?

I have a PhD in English and was a college professor for several years.

Favorite things you do to help make every day sacred?

Stretch. Walk.

What is the best advice you could give to someone who is struggling to start their health and wellness journey?

Being aware of a need, honoring an ambition, discovering an inner curiosity–I think a person can decide to take a step toward something, and then a second step, and so forth. Making a path. Actually, struggle itself is significant. There is no progress without struggle. The nature and feel of struggle changes along the way, but there is always struggle. So if a person is struggling, the journey has already started, hmm?

What are your passion projects and how can we find out more about you?

I am an actor, appearing in various Bay Area theatres. I was recently in the Inferno Theatre’s production of “The Gods are not Happy. Coming up in April, “All the Way,” at the Contra Costa Civic Theatre.  Learn more about me at

Please follow and like us: