Meet Your Teacher: Dena Saedi

Our instructors are the soul of our studio and they bring their wisdom, education, spirit, and artistry to their teaching. We always want to know who and what has influenced them, what their everyday life is like, and what current things are inspiring them. Aren’t you curious too? This month we caught up with Dena Saedi, who joined the Namaste faculty in September 2018 and specializes in Therapeutic Yoga.

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?

I began experimenting with meditation in college. Over the years I discovered various practices until being introduced to yoga 20 years ago. 10 years later I had completed multiple trainings including a teacher training, all to simply deepen my own practice. Out of the blue I was offered my own class because a local studio manager, who knew my practice and heard that I had completed a teacher training, was in a bind to fill an open slot on the schedule. Once I started to teach I was so pleasantly surprised at the tremendous impact teaching yoga had on the quality of my practice. I was quickly hooked and already preparing for more training in yoga therapy.

Do you have any go-to yoga and wellness books or podcasts?

Often I will reference Explain Pain by Moseley & Butler during my yoga for chronic pain classes and with privates. I love Joseph LePage’s Mudras book and the way it ties hand gestures to chakras, ayurveda, and the elements. Bo Forbes’ Yoga for Emotional Health speaks to my work as a yoga therapist in a very down to earth and intelligent way. My divination tool of choice is the iChing and I love to do readings for my friends!

Meet Your Teacher Dena Saedi CandidWhat is your favorite thing about being a teacher?

I love holding space for my students in class, I consider it an honor which I do not take lightly. There is so much noise in our daily lives that I consider yoga class a sacred time one carves out for oneself.

What are you involved with outside the studio?

I teach mind/body medicine (i.e. yoga) to groups and individuals with chronic pain at IPM pain clinics around the Bay Area, this has been my passion and expertise since I started teaching. I also work with seniors, and a year ago I learned there is a great need for movement and healing with seniors who are dealing with dementia. I now have several students with dementia who I see weekly for gentle movement, breath work and basically connection. I am also beginning a training in cranial sacral therapy.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?

Several times since moving here I both went skiing and sailing within a single weekend, this makes me giddy. I have always loved San Francisco to visit, but now that I live here when I find myself at an outdoor gathering in January, spending time in Marin Headlands, or hiking in the Oakland Hills I pinch myself that this is home.

Meet Your Teacher Dena SaediDena Saedi teaches Therapeutic Yoga on Friday mornings at 8:30 at Namaste Rockridge. Dena has worked as a yoga therapist (C-IAYT) and yoga teacher for chronic pain populations, seniors, cancer survivors, and veterans for the last decade. She has been a practitioner of yoga since 2000, and meditation since 1990. It is her belief that yoga has an incredible power to heal, indeed all of yoga is a doorway in. Learn more about Dena on her website.

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Meet Your Teacher: Hayley Ebersole

Our instructors are the heart and soul of our studio and they bring their wisdom, education, spirit, and artistry to their teaching. We always want to know who and what has influenced them, what their spiritual life is like, and what current things are inspiring them. Aren’t you curious too? This month we caught up with one of the newest faculty on our teaching staff, Hayley Ebersole.

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?

As I deepened my own experience of my body my life began to change in many ways including slowly healing from a lifelong struggle with eating disorders, anxiety, depression and body dysmorphia. The deeper I was willing to go with my yoga by creating a conscious lifestyle to support my practice and my growth, the more inner transformation and liberation I began to experience in the form of a greater kindness to myself and others, the natural blossoming of gratitude as the foundation for my choices and the arising of a sense of greater ease amidst the chaos of my urban life.

Do you have any go-to yoga and wellness books or podcasts to share with us?

I’m a huge nerd with my head pretty consistently. Some of my favorites books are The Subtle Anatomy of Yoga by Tias Little, Tantra Illuminated by Christopher Wallace, Living in the Light by Shakti Gawain, Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin and anything by Pema Chodron. I have a webpage full of recommended books on my site.

As far as podcasts go I follow Reggie Rae and the Dharma Ocean Tibetan Buddhist lineage on the Dharma Ocean Podcast. I also love Liberated Body, Chitheads & Bliss & Grit.

Which teachers influence your practice?

Abby Tucker, Tias Little, Tara Judelle, Bo Forbes, Reggie Rae & Pema Chodron

Meet Hayley Ebersole

What does your yoga practice look like and how has it changed your life?

At this point I understand that ‘yoga practice’ doesn’t mean “how many hours of asana do you do every week” but that…

 

I’ve felt liberated by releasing a strict idea of what a morning practice should look like. I visit my home altar in the morning and evening to take a few breaths in silence, I use oracle or tarot cards, dream work and ritual to make friends with my unconscious and the universal wisdom that lives there. I make sure to do as much physical movement during the day as is possible, whether that is my own yoga practice, an hour long meditative self bodywork session, a barre class or a long hike.

What do you want your students to know?

I believe in committing to the teachers and classes that make you feel the most alive. When we commit to our practice we are committing to living towards our fullest potential and we commit to coming to class in order to support each other on our unique paths towards that goal. We can only thrive in community.

What is your wellness routine?

I’m a huge fan of long, deliciously scented epsom salt baths while listening to podcasts and doing abhyanga, the ayruvedic practice of self oil massage. Not only is self massage a powerful way to heal, strengthen and support our physical health, mental ease and emotional balance but its a great opportunity to seal positive affirmations (some of my favorite “I accept myself exactly as I am” “I accept my body exactly as it is” “I am present in my body in this moment”) directly into your body.

Meet Hayley EbersoleWhat are some of your passions outside the studio?

Over the last few years nature has become my primary teacher. I’m involved with woman’s moon rituals and priestess circles that honor the importance of natures cycles, deepen my connection to transformative community and offer an opportunity to celebrate the beauty and challenge of living in a body. I volunteer as a companion to hospice patients because I’m fascinated by the final gateway of the human journey and it’s capacity to wake us up to what matters most in our lives.

 

Join Hayley on the mat! You can find her at our Rockridge studio on Monday and Wednesday mornings, 8:30-9:45am.

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Feel Your Unique Moving Body

Q+A with Ada Lusardi

Ada teaches weekly public Hatha Level 2-3 class on Saturdays at Namaste Berkeley from 8:00-10:00am. Every first Saturday of the month includes myofascial rolling, so don’t miss out on that. We caught up with Ada on her intentions and inspirations for the year ahead.

 

Q: Did you make any New Year resolutions or intentions? If so, can you share with us?

A: Each year I set an intention for what I hope to impart to my students for that year. This year I want them to feel the uniqueness of their bodies move, specifically how their joints are shaped and are meant to move. This is different for every individual. Once this way of feeling is honed in the asanas we can make the best choices for ourselves and reduce the risk of overuse and injury by moving in concert with the shape of our bones. The science of human anatomy, once learned, never goes away as we’re living every moment in its’ glorious expression.

 

Q: Will your practice be useful in these intentions / resolutions? If so, how will you use it?

A: My practice on the mat is where my teaching is born. Moving from my natural architecture is the foundation of my personal practice and teaching.

 

 

 

Q: Do you have any inspiring advice or quotes for our students in the new year?

A: “The greatest thing we can do is to help someone know they are loved and that they are capable of loving.” ~ Fred Rogers

 

Q: Can you recommend one inspiring book or podcast?

Q: Can you recommend any nice winter self care rituals?

A: I use my neti pot daily, especially when traveling, and use a homemade sea salt and sesame oil scrub in the shower a couple times a week to keep my skin glowing.

Everything starts with the feet and how we connect to the ground. Watch and try this mini foot exercise with Ada  to connect with the feet before practice.

Check out some of Ada’s other advanced offerings at Namaste:

  

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Slowing Down to the “Slowest Part of Me”

Q+A with Ken Breniman

Ken Breniman teaches weekly Gentle Yoga classes at our Grand Lake and Berkeley studios.

Q: Did you make any New Year resolutions or intentions? If so, can you share with us?

A: My intention is equanimity and it is a ‘carry over’ from last year as it was profoundly powerful in guiding me through the twists and turns of life.

 

Q: Will your practice be useful in these intentions / resolutions? If so, how will you use it?

A: I practice a tonglen meditation. It is a Buddhist tradition in which one breathes into the suffering or discomfort (i.e. impatience, callousness, anger, jealousy) and transmute the energy with the out breath which honors the complimentary force (i.e. patience, compassion, forgiveness, comparison). It is quite the powerful meditation and helps me find equanimity.

Q: Do you have any inspiring advice for the new year?

A: I have been singing the chorus from the Karen Drucker song “Gentle with Myself” which goes “I will only go as fast as the slowest part of me.” I find this quote to be chuck full of wisdom in honoring the youngest or most tender parts of self that might otherwise get overlooked in the fast paced society we live in. The song reminds me how important self-compassion is in my on-the-mat and off-the-mat practices.

 

Swan Dive with Intention

A short practice with Ken Breniman for when you are confronted with grief.

Posted by Namaste Yoga + Wellness on Monday, December 3, 2018

Q: Can you recommend one inspiring book or podcast?

A: “Die Wise” by Stephen Jenkinson

 

Q: Can you recommend any nice winter self care rituals?

A: Sensory Deprivation or Float Tanks are a great way to warm and relax the body. It is like a 60-90 minute long savasana (corpse pose) and some people describe it like floating in the ‘void’ or returning to the womb. Please note: some folks newer to floating need to confront their discomfort with smaller and/or quiet spaces. It is the ultimate mini-hibernation for cold weather!

 


Catch Ken on Monday, 10-11:30am, Gentle Yoga at Grand Lake or Thursday, 5:30-6:45pm, Sliding Scale Gentle Flow at Berkeley

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Teachers Talk: Inspired Winter Rituals for Self-Care

Our goal this year is to inspire you in your yoga evolution.

Each of us will take our own journey, follow our own twisted path to becoming better or kinder people, feeling more presence in our bodies, tapping into a more sustainable practice, or simply finding inviting self-care rituals.  Since winter is the season of compromised immune systems, and the new year provides us the opportunity to dive back into our daily routines with gusto, we thought it was time for some self-care.

We asked our teachers to share their favorite winter rituals.

Ada Lusardi

I use my neti pot daily, especially when traveling, and use a homemade sea salt and sesame oil scrub in the shower a couple times a week to keep my skin glowing.

Inspired? Find Ada’s classes here.

Skeeter Barker

Wrapping up warm and going to the ocean with a hot flask of tea.

Inspired? Find Skeeter’s classes here.

Ken Breniman

Sensory Deprivation or Float Tanks are a great way to warm and relax the body. It is like a 60-90 minute long savasana (corpse pose) and some people describe it like floating in the ‘void’ or returning to the womb. Please note: some folks newer to floating need to confront their discomfort with smaller and/or quiet spaces. It is the ultimate mini-hibernation for cold weather!

Inspired? Find Ken’s classes here.

Rachel Heron

  1. REST.
  2. Eliminate sugar after the holiday abundance of treats.
  3. De-clutter spaces, get rid of extra stuff and enjoy the spacious beginning of a new cycle.

Inspired? Find Rachel’s classes here.

Naushon Kabat-Zinn

I take baths a lot. I put epsom or other salts and essential oils and float, rest, soak, and zone out. Its very very nourishing.

Inspired? Find Naushon’s classes here.

Elana Morgulis

A weekly sea salt or epsom salt bath. Particularly at the end of the week as a way to cleanse your physical and energetic body of stress and tension taken on during the week and start the weekend fresh and clear. Baths have a way of relaxing the muscles, yet create a feeling of lightness. A ritual I love to do at the end of the bath is to let the all the water drain while still lying in the tub and feeling that all stress and energy that no longer serves me is draining from my body with the bathwater. Then rinse off with a cool shower.

Inspired? Find Elana’s classes here.

Rosy Moon + Jill White Lindsay

Ahbyanga — the practice of  self massage, is fantastic for not only healthy, soft skin in the winter months, but helps with circulation and hydration.  If you run cold like I (Jill) do, use refined sesame oil and massage the entire body before you shower, then rinse off excess oil. After, you’ll feel like you’re wrapped up in a warm cocoon of healing!

Inspired? Find Rosy’s classes here and Jill’s classes here.

Margi Young

Be kind. Always. If that leaves your realm of possibility, get onto your mat or meditation cushion or go outside and do lions breath, or eat chocolate, or call a friend, or do whatever you can do to re-boot. Try again. Kindness.

Inspired? Find Margi’s classes here.

Thank you to our teachers for the wisdom they so willingly impart.  

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Start Them Young: Learning to Teach Yoga to Kids

We caught up with Jodi Komitor MA, E-RYT 500, RCYT, who is the Founder and CEO of Next Generation Yoga  and The Biz of Kids Yoga. Her upcoming training at Namaste promises to be enlightening and tackle important subjects such as age appropriate poses, child development, behavior management, and more.

Where do you currently live and how does it inform your life or teaching?

I live in Oakland, CA but my work is international. I travel to teach all over the US and overseas, as well as coach/mentor Kids Yoga Teachers online.

How did you find the practice of yoga? What was your first experience of yoga like?

I was first introduced to Yoga by my parents when I was 15 years old – it was on Fire Island while the sun was setting, on the dock of the bay. My parents were practicing with a private instructor and I was curious to join them. In that moment, everything seemed perfect ~ and it was.

What do you most hope students will get out of your teachings?

My prayer for those who take the Next Generation Yoga Teacher Training with me is that they find joy, connection, purpose and healing. That they reconnect to their inner-child and can play again.

How has yoga influenced your life?

Yoga is a lifestyle for me not a physical practice. It is my way of being including mindful, kind, authentic and vulnerable. My Yoga shows up off the mat primarily in how I care for the environment, eat organic foods, immerse truthfully in my relationships and practice radical self-care. I occasionally go to a Yoga class, and ritually do my own physical practice at home, every morning.

What other forms of movement inspire you?

Dance! I love to dance! Ecstatic dance!

What is your morning or evening routine?

I start every morning the same because if I don’t do my ritual, it effects my whole day. It’s simple … I wake with no alarm, typically after 8 hours of sleep because my body knows. I ritualize my space by lighting incense and lifting the blinds. I boil hot water for tea while simultaneously take my supplements. Then – my favorite … I sit in my cozy window seat & meditate for 20 minutes with the timer on. When I hear the chimes, I continue to sit in silence and gaze out the window, watching & listening to the world (and neighbors) wake up. Next I move my body uging a foam roller, doing Physical Therapy exercises and some of my favorite Yoga poses. Finally, a cell-phone free mindfulness walk outside where i notice my senses and all my surroundings. AND then … I begin to check my notifications. It works!

What is something you often hear yourself repeating in your teaching?

Trust yourself.

Do you have any wellness, yoga or “life” books, podcasts or blogs you would recommend?

Davidji on Hay House Radio

Anything else you’d like to add?

In addition to leading Kids Yoga Teacher Trainings, I am also the CEO of Next Generation Yoga and a business mentor to Yoga entrepreneurs. I’ve got 21 years on the industry with lots of experience and wisdom to share!

Join us for Jodi’s upcoming training, developed for yoga teachers, school teachers, and more. This 25-hour intensive will provide a comprehensive, hands-on exploration of unique NGY methods for combining the ancient practice of Yoga with the playful nature of children.

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Meet Your Teacher: Lucid Dawn

Lucid Dawn has been practicing since 1994 and was inspired to share her joy and wisdom with friends as she began her teaching journey.

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?

Yoga has supported me on all levels of life, professionally as a performer/ artist/ designer & mentally/ emotionally in all ways… It is not something i can keep to myself.. My teaching began to seep out into everything I do until people were asking me to teach for real and I had to get official.

Which teachers influence your practice?

I have been influenced along my path by Sianna Sherman, Janet Stone, Desiree Rumbaugh, Abby Tucker, Suzanna Sterling and more…So much grace and inspiration – and sisterhood in weaving other teachings into the practice! I am grateful for the work of Hareesh Wallis and Christopher Tompkins for bringing so much non-dual Tantra alive here and now.

What does your yoga practice look like and how has it changed your life?

I share all that i can – the way that it arises … I trust the way the shakthi flows through me and that I am alive to be a voice of reflection and informed practice. I study anatomy and ancient text as well as modern synthesis of things. Yoga has affected EVERY aspect of my life and improved them all. Mostly now the practice is its own teacher to me – I learn so much just by being in it and listening – new knowledge arises from within regularly – things I may have read in books and heard from teachers over the years – but now it arises from the prana, from my bones, drops in from the divine.

What is something you wish your students knew?

That they are absolutely allowed and encouraged to be ALL that they are – that NOTHING is wrong with them. I am not here to fix them–they don’t need to be fixed. All of our perceived brokenness, struggle and awkwardness is just here for us to learn and grow through.

What is your morning routine?

Asana Mantra Meditation w/ mudra, writing often, abhyanga (self-oil massage) if i have the time, at least 1-2x a week.

Do you have any go-to yoga and wellness books or podcasts?

I am pretty new to finding Podcasts but i do love The Yoga Healer – an ayurveda & yoga podcast.

Books! Oh! i could carry on endlessly there – but a few must haves:

Tantra Illuminated by Hareesh Wallis

Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga series by Ray Long

Light on Life by BKS Iyengar

What are you involved with outside the studio?

Music! Dancing! Theatre/ circus! Family! Nature! Travel! Event co-ordination, production, MC’ing, priestessing, ritual & ceremony creation and leading, energy healing, cooking, studying, reading, writing – poetry, songs, books (soon to come!), love notes..;), community building, world bridging, reclaiming traditions, & activism wherever however possible.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?

My favorite thing about the Bay Area is the level of health consciousness here, the level of spirituality and how most often there is an openness to difference, uniqueness and freedom of self expression. As a self identified freek / queer /ecstatic being, i have never felt more at home anywhere else – i feel it is my/ our work to ripple out the blessings of this area, that more people might feel at home wherever they are!

Join Lucid for public classes at Namaste:

Monday / Wednesday 4:00-5:15pm at Namaste Rockridge

Thursday 12:00-1:00pm at Namaste Rockridge

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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.

Also check out Domonick’s upcoming programming:

Yoga for Anxiety Series, begins Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, begins Wednesday, September 19, 2018

 

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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.

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Meet Your Teacher: Sita Devi

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 Sita Devi:

What is your name and when/where/what do you teach?
Sita Devi. I teach vinyasa and power vinyasa and lead kirtan at Namaste Rockridge and looking forward to starting classes at Grand Lake next year.

How long have you been at Namaste?
2 months

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
Seva: selfless service.

Do you have any go-to yoga and wellness books or podcasts?
I love the calm app. Awesome daily meditations and nighttime sleep stories. Best wellness app hands down.

Which teachers influence your practice?
Govind Das, Bryan Kest, Janet Stone

What does your yoga practice look like and how has it changed your life?
My practice is constantly evolving and transforming. I was a dancer and performer for many years and yoga was my rock, my foundation. Yoga reminds me how precious every moment is. It is my greatest teacher.

What is something you wish your students knew?
The Beatles were Hare Krsnas.

What is your morning or evening routine? (whichever is your favorite..or both!)
Dinacharya, my morning practice consists of 10 minutes of meditation, oil pulling and abhyanga.

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
Hearing, “this is exactly what i needed” after class. Helping people heal.

What are you involved with outside the studio?
Nature, Retreats, Festivals, Travel.

What is your go-to movement (asana, dance, hiking, etc.) that allows you to feel the most connected to yourself?
Ecstatic Dance

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

*Monday, Friday, and Saturday classes begin January 1, 2018!

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