Chad embarked on his yoga journey in 1988. He is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor and a graduate of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco teacher training program, and has studied at the California Yoga Center and the Abode of Iyengar Yoga. He studied with the Iyengars in Pune, India in 1994. Chad loves to explore and share the benefits of focused attention to body, mind, and breath. He has taught in corporate settings in Silicon Valley, and draws from his first-hand experience with the counterbalancing effects of yoga in the context of high-stress environments. Chad believes in yoga as a path of personal transformation, a regimen for holistic health maintenance, and a practice that we can bring to each moment of our daily lives. For more information visit www.chadyoga.com.
Cynthia Bates is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and experienced nutrition coach. She works with people to inspire transformational healing experiences that lead to life change. She draws inspiration from her teachers, Manouso Manos and Victoria Austin, and B.K.S. Iyengar himself who she had the honor of taking classes with in India in 2010.
For Cynthia, food is like the yoga asana. It can be a nourishing practice and an antidote to clearing and healing emotional blocks which prevent us from shining in our true, unedited brilliance. www.cynthiawholebodyhealth.com
Russell Case received the Mysore Level II authorization to teach full Intermediate series. He is the only such teacher in San Francisco and one of only two in the San Francisco Bay area. Russell began studying yoga in 1992 with Lillias Folan‘s after school television specials and a dogeared copy of the Tao te Ching. In 1994 he started formal ashtanga-vinyasa studies with Suddha Weixler, the most senior ashtanga yoga teacher in the U.S. midwest. From 1997 to 2000 he lived in Austin, Texas, mastering David Swenson‘s flying technique. In 2002, he became Guy Donahay’s apprentice in New York. Guy is the last person personally certified by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. On his second trip to Mysore in 2004, Russell completed intermediate series with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in one month and was given his blessing to teach. Russell is one of a handful of Guruji’s students to learn his pranayama method personally. He is now practicing Advanced A with Sharath Jois, Pattabhi Jois’s grandson and current director of the KPJ Ashtanga Yoga Intisitute. Between 2006 and 2009 Russell and his wife Sally built the largest population Mysore room outside of India in Asia. They developed three authorized teachers in Space Taiwan. Two of them level II in their own right. They are proud of their achievement in Southeast Asia but look forward to new challenges in San Francisco. In January 2011 Russell became director of the Stanford University Mysore Yoga program.
Natalie Cox loves yoga because it can be an embodied art form, a life style, a tool for therapeutic relaxation, or a form of spirituality. Since 2000 she has practiced Ashtanga yoga in all of those capacities. As a teacher she encourages students to personalize their practice for their own needs. She teaches yoga with a sense of fun and creativity, and her joyful irreverence is ever present in her classes. With influences ranging from Pilates to Hatha vinyasa flow, she leads an intense modified primary sequence that allows you to dance along your edge. Overall she believes that yoga is an accommodating practice that requires only loving care for the mind/body and the willingness to nurture and cherish the breath. www.itznatzyoga.com
Robin walked into her first Yoga class in 1999. However, it was a three month solo journey through India in 2005 that brought Robin to her knees. Ever since, she has had a steady and deep practice working with some of the most renowned teachers in San Francisco.
Having completed training certification, including over 600 hours of Vinyasa, Pranayama, and Restorative, Robin’s understanding of Yoga has taken her to a place she continues to love, explore, and share. In seeing the possibilities of the body we can see the possibilities that lie beyond.
To learn more please visit Robin’s website at www.robinduryea.com
A classically trained dancer from Singapore, with over a decade of experience in dance, teaching andchoreography, a non-practicing lawyer and a graduate of Yoga Garden SF’s 200-hour Advanced Studies program, Roy’s approach is about taking the blinders off and giving oneself the radical permission to honestly explore what one’s mind and body are capable of. A testament to the transformative, grounding, and healing power of the Yoga practice, Roy’s mission is to encourage an inner intuitive listening and to raise one’s consciousness to embrace all aspects of the human experience freely. Through mindful practice, he supports people in honoring and appreciating themselves and provides a safe and non-judgmental space for them to discover their inherent greatness. Drawing also from the disciplines of gigong, martial arts, and ballet, Roy teaches a dynamic- sequenced yoga flow that encourages a holistic awareness of breath and proper alignment strength and flexibility; functionality in movement and conscious co-ordination. ” It’s about bringing the necessary consciousness into everything we do. The practical mind training aspect of Yoga is an invaluable tool to help one first, to be aware of the obstacles to freedom and then allowing these obstructions the unhealed mind makes upon reality to be gently removed. Steady determination and sustained yoga practice will help one to ground in unqualified awareness…. to allow the human being to live a loving, healthy, abundant and fearless life.” For more information please visit www.roygan.com
Brenna believes that we all have the right and capacity to realize a life brimming with joy, meaning and purpose. In her classes, she offers a Tantric- Vinyasa practice that encourages an inner listening . Her mission is to help transform students’ bodies to be stronger and more flexible and also aid in removing mental and emotional obstructions so they may have a more balanced and healthy energy flow. Her classes include pranayama and meditation practices that encourage students to find clarity of mind and peaceful dispositions.
Brenna is an ERYT and a Level II Certified ParaYoga Instructor. She currently assists Yogarupa Rod Stryker in ParaYoga teacher trainings and travels nationally offering Yoga seminars. Brenna has over 700 hrs of training and over 7 years of full time teaching. Over the past 10 years, Brenna has had the great fortune of learning from master teachers including Pandit Rajmani Tigunait , Yogiraj Alan Finger, David Life, Shiva Rea, Doug Keller, Beryl Bender Birch, Tias Little, Ana Forrest, Tim Miller, Gary Kraftsow, Andrey Lappa, Gabriel Halpern, and Judith Lasater. www.brennageehan.com
Sonya believes in the power of Yoga not only to heal, transform, and refine the body, but also to heighten human consciousness. She has been devoted to the path of Yoga for over a decade. Experiencing the powerful benefits of yoga compelled Sonya to share this transformative practice with others. She completed her first teacher training at Kripalu in 2007. Today her teaching and practice are strongly informed by the philosophies of Anusara Yoga and Shiva Shakti Tantra which she studies with her primary Teacher KK Ledford. In 2012 Sonya completed teacher training with Sianna Sherman and an immersion with KK Ledford. Sonya has also spent a year immersed in a study with world renowned scholar and meditation teacher Paul Muller-Ortega. When she is not teaching yoga, Sonya can often be found painting, drawing, or hiking out in nature. As an artist, she noticed the profound effects yoga had on her creativity, and she has dedicated herself to enthusiastically guiding others toward enhancing their own unique life path through yoga. To learn more about Sonya visit her website www.sonyayoga.com and check out her art at www.sonyagenel.com
Nina Gold was first introduced to yoga as an acting student in New York In the late 1980′s. It was being taught as a means to center oneself and prepare the body for performance. Though she was immediately struck and intrigued by the practice it wasn’t until she returned home to San Francisco in the early 1990′s that she began a more serious study of the subject.
She began teaching in 1998 and brings her love of yoga to her teaching. Her classes are focused and fun, serious and light hearted. She has been blessed to study with many gifted teachers over the years. She currently studies with Janet MacLeod, Anne Saliou and Kathy Alef. She is a certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher.
Isabelle Grotte took her first yoga class in 2003 while living on the island of New Caledonia. In 2004 and around the world later, she made San Francisco her home, where completed her teacher training at Yoga Tree.
Isabelle is an avid Vipassana practitioner and she keeps on learning and being inspired by her amazing Iyengar and Vinyasa teachers.
She is passionate about sharing the transformative gift of yoga and believes in creating a safe space for students to go inward and experience the present moment.
Ana-Mari has been a practitioner and student of yoga in the Iyengar tradition since 1997. A graduate of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco Advanced Studies/Teacher Training Program, she continues to study regularly with the Iyengar family in India and with senior teachers, Manouso Manos, Kofi Busia, Kathy Alef and Anne Saliou in the US.
She enjoys working with students of all levels and abilities in public classes, workshops or individually. She is grateful to all her teachers and students for the love and light that they bring to her life through their generosity, sacrifices and wisdom. For more information please visit www.anamarihamada.com
Jonathan creates classes that fuse the teachings of traditional hatha yoga; blending music, vinyasa and breath into a transformational experience. Studies of vinyasa krama, the art of sequencing, allow him to provide students a safe but challenging practice. Jon graduated from UCLA with studies in economics and molecular biology. As the founder of Mindscape Coaching he brings mindfulness into the work place. He has taught yoga since 2001 leading classes in California and New York and retreats to Tuscany, Italy. For more about Jon: www.mindscapecoaching.com
Initially a dancer, it was her studies with Kofi Busia, Senior Iyengar teacher, that inspired Greta to pursue the practice and study of Iyengar Yoga more deeply.
Greta completed teacher training at the Yoga Loft and The Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco; she has had the good fortune of studying with Senior teachers and those who have learned straight from the source.
She made her first trip to Pune, India in July 2011 to study at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute.
Jordan first fell in love with yoga about six years ago, while using it to rehabilitate an injury from years as a dancer. Her instruction is very alignment based and focused on healing the body, and tailored to meet the needs of individual body types and physical histories. She is a deeply compassionate and loving teacher, and is grateful to be involved in her students’ physical and spiritual journey.
Curiosity brought Catie to yoga in her pursuit to make peace with her body, mind and spirit. After many years of discovering the positive impact yoga had on her everyday life with her teacher Chrisandra Fox, she began deepening her practice by studying with Sarah Powers in Yin Yoga and mindfulness, then to complete a 200 hour RYT teacher certification in early 2009, with Tony Briggs as her mentor.
In 2010, her prenatal yoga studies with Marisa Toriggino began and she became enamored with working with a classroom full of pregnant women. Her curiosity continues today, as she encourages students to trust themselves as they safely explore the balance between effort and letting go, all with a splash of humor.
Megan Lipsett studied Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga in Nashik, India as well as vinyasa yoga in San Francisco. She teaches practical philosophy and a holistic lifestyle, incorporating both traditional and modern scientific understandings. Megan is passionate about community and wellness, working to integrate many aspects of the yogic path into her life. She is currently working towards a master’s degree in Integrative Health Studies. Her integration of Ashtanga and Vinyasa practices result in balancing the entire nervous system, leading to increased balance of body and mind, physical energy and mental energy. Her meditation influences include Raja yoga and Vipassana. She is an eternal seeker and a lover of the flow of grace within everyone.
Karen Macklin has been studying yoga and meditation since 2000 and has received training in the traditions of Ashtanga, Iyengar, Shadow Yoga, AcroYoga, and Restorative, as well as various forms of Buddhist meditation, yogic philosophy, and the science of Ayurveda. She has studied with many wonderful teachers, and has been most influenced by Jason Crandell, Scott Blossom, Sean Feit, and Chisandra Fox. She teaches with an emphasis on building internal and external strength, creating mindfulness, and establishing a deep connection with the energetic body. Her classes are typically strong but slow, rhythmic flows that incorporate hands-on adjustments, verbal alignment cues, and an opportunity for students to enter a space of meditation and inquiry.
Karen is also a professional writer. She has written about yoga for Yoga Journal, Yoga International, FitYoga, andTricycle magazines and is currently a contributing editor at Yoga Journal and the writer-editor of The Sacred Cow online yoga community (www.thesacredcowblog.com). Visit www.karenmacklin.com to see more about her yoga and writing life.
Jean Mazzei, (E-RYT 500), has logged over 10,000 teaching hours. Often called “teacher’s teacher” she is an expert in the subtleties of yoga sadahana (practices), and bringing the practices to life off the mat.
Her philosophy is to inspire students to better understand themselves and support them in discovering who they really are. In her practical approach to yoga, it is Jean’s belief that one of the keys to enlightenment is to literally “lighten up” so having fun is always a part of the process. Her sense of humor and commitment to non-judgment provide a safe place for students to explore, break boundaries, and release layers of physical, emotional, and psychic weight. She inspires and supports everyone in finding the path that is right for them.
Jean’s quest for healing herself and finding the truth within has guided her education. Her studies include 4 years with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen in BodyMind Centering, 14 years with master healer and metaphysician Dennis Adams, yoga with Dr. Albert Franklin (TKS Desikachar lineage), BKS Iyengar, Baron Baptiste, Rod Stryker, Ana Forrest, and Dharma Mittra. She is currently studying the ancient Tantric teachings of the Sri Vidya lineage with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait and Rod Stryker. Being of the school of “Whatever Works”, she believes that one size does not fit all when it comes to yoga.
San Francisco yogini Michelle Myhre (ERYT 500) Michelle Myhre is a licensed massage therapist with a degree is in Health Science and a love for Chinese Medicine. Thus far, she’s completed over 1200 hours of certified teacher training and has taught more than 6,000 yoga classes!
Michelle teaches on the San Francisco Peninsula and is Director of Advanced Studies at Yoga Garden San Francisco. Everyone is welcome to take her class. You will experience an embodied practice that syncs your movements with your breath and themes that include yogic mythology, philosophy, poetry & music. michellemyhre.com
David Nelson began teaching in 1998, after receiving certification from the White Lotus Foundation. He has studied Bikram, Ashtanga, and Iyengar yoga, and has been a student of Dharma Mitra, Edward Clark, and Judith Lasater.
From 2001 to 2006 David studied with Advanced Senior Iyengar Instructor Manouso Manos, and apprenticed weekly with him from 2002 through 2006. He has also studied scoliosis with Elise Miller, and has more recently practiced under the instruction of Lois Steinberg, Kathy Alef, Stephanie Quirk, and Victoria Austin. He studied with the Iyengars in 2004 and with Geeta Iyengar at the 2007 National Conference and at the Ascent Intensive in 2008.
David started his yoga practice to seek relief from chronic back pain, and found that yoga was a powerful and dynamic medium to explore the meaning of life. Though his classes are physically challenging, they are safe and accessible to everyone. From the instruction of a physical practice, David encourages students to develop a higher awareness, or consciousness, about how we live our lives and how to achieve our own potential.
David has a B.A. and an M.B.A. from the University of San Francisco. He was a founder of Castro Yoga in 1998 and he owns and operates Yoga Garden SF with his wife, Marisa Toriggino. Read more here.
Rebecca Ratzkin has been a student of Iyengar yoga since 1999 and is in her second year of study in the teacher training program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. She is inspired by deepening awareness, understanding and acceptance of the mind, body and spirit. Her classes focus on building these skills and finding deeper connections to ourselves and our environment.
Rebecca studies with Jim Benvenuto and Paul Cabanis in Los Angeles, and Kathy Alef, Joe Naudzunas and Manuso Manos in San Francisco. She is grateful to her teachers and students from whom she continues to learn and grow as a student, teacher and human being.
Mark has been instructing yoga in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past three years. He completed his initial training with Larry Schultz, Marie Schultz and Donovan Hicks in July 2010. His practice and instruction are based off the traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series and Rocket Vinyasa yoga. Mark has been influenced by many instructors teaching traditional Ashtanga and variations including the Rocket and Isometric Monkey Yoga. His classes are best suited for beginner and intermediate students who are interested in learning more about the Ashtanga Vinyasa system. Mark is from Pennsylvania and studied Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University. Outside of practicing and instructing yoga, he enjoys skateboarding, home-brewing beer, camping and still dabbles in web development. www.rausayoga.com
Danae believes what we learn on our mats automatically translates into the other areas of our lives resulting in transformational effects. She radiates a playful spirit while still honoring the sacredness of Yoga. Always encouraging her students to find their authentic self in Yoga and beyond – and to always lead with the heart!
Danae is ever grateful to be teaching Yoga to others locally, in Phoenix, as well as Internationally in Italy, Ecuador and Bali.
She draws inspiration from many sources to create Yoga classes, which offer elements of Ashtanga, Hatha, Yin, Partner and Restorative styles please come prepared to sweat, smile and shine!
Rebecca offers Hatha and Vinyasa classes for all levels and ages that are physically and emotionally challenging, uplifting, and rewarding. She discovered yoga nearly ten years ago as an active runner and cyclist while living with chronic knee pain. What she found in yoga was a different sort of challenge than she had ever encountered: one that required an inner strength, a deeper connection to the breath, and self discipline to keep coming back. Upon being laid off in early 2009 from a job she loved working in environmental conservation, Rebecca was able to turn a potentially painful experience into an opportunity. She spent the rest of the year traveling and deepening her practice with yoga masters and spiritual guides from the jungles of Costa Rica to the Himalayas of India. In her classes, Rebecca aims to inspire mindfulness through focus on the breath and moving meditation, to find one’s natural flow while moving through a vigorous asana practice, to experience a radiant connection to joy through Kirtan, and to cultivate compassion and truthfulness as we discover and surrender into our own unique expression of yoga. For more information, visit www.rebeccarogersyoga.com.
Suneel Sundar is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher. He studied at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los Angeles while attending graduate school in mathematics.
Suneel began teaching yoga in Maryland under the guidance of John Schumacher. Recently Suneel apprenticed with and taught for senior teacher Carolyn Belko in San Diego.
Suneel received instruction from B.K.S. Iyengar in 2005, and from Geeta Iyengar in 2007. He learned Sanskrit at UCLA and mythology through a lifetime of reading and hearing stories.
Marisa Toriggino, E-RYT & PRYT, has been studying and teaching yoga since 1987. She is a certified and nationally-registered yoga teacher who has taught hundreds of yoga students per year for the past decade. She has studied extensively and has been influenced by her experiences in India, her own spiritual practice and the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, Yogi Bhajan and Geeta Iyengar. This journey has helped to inform her personal life and yoga practice with Western innovation and Eastern sensibility.
Marisa has a B.A. from UC Berkeley, a Certificate from the Rudolf Steiner College in Administration for spiritually based organizations and an active member of the Association of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health. She is married to David Nelson (together they have co-own YGSF for 12 years) and they enjoy family life with their two young children.
Andrea Welsch is a devoted student and teacher of yoga. Yoga is the opportunity to bring together breath, alignment, body, mind, and soul in a moment, and she holds space for such to happen in a strong and playful way. She brings solid yoga philosophies and keen intuition together to help students become aware of their body mind connection, feel whole, and fully alive.
Andrea’s classes are challenging and restorative, insightful and grounding. As an artist always with a smile, her approach to yoga and personal growth is creative, joyful, and inspiring. She has been a student of yoga for over a decade, mostly following the Iyengar lineage of yogic studies.
Gabbriella Yates is a certified yoga instructor and holds a master’s degree in Conflict Transformation. Previous to moving to San Francisco and becoming a mother she worked in the post-conflict field in Kosovo and Afghanistan as a dialogue consultant, facilitating conflict resolution workshops that integrated yoga as a healing tool. Gabbriella teaches prenatal, Iyengar and mom & baby yoga at the Yoga Garden of San Francisco and is known for her warm and precise teaching style. . Visit Gabbriella at www.BacktotheBody.com.