Yoga Garden Staff & Family
Instructor and Owner
Marisa Toriggino, internationally recognized E-RYT and YTT instructor, has studied and taught yoga since 1987. With a background of Iyengar, Kundalini, Ananda, Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga styles, Marisa brings this broad experience to her prenatal and postnatal classes, applying a rigorous physical awareness to her teaching that leads to a deeply inward understanding of the spiritual essence of humanity and motherhood. Marisa has a B.A. from UC Berkeley, and a Certificate from the Rudolf Steiner College in Administration for spiritually based organizations. She is a Mother of two beautiful daughters, Owner of Yoga Garden SF and Vistage Member.
Instructor and Owner
David started practicing yoga to seek relief from chronic back pain and found that yoga was a powerful and dynamic medium to explore the meaning of life. David began teaching in 1998, and has studied Bikram, Ashtanga and Iyengar yoga. He was certified by B.K.S. Iyengar from 2005-2013 and is registered as an ERYT200 with Yoga Alliance. David is passionate about the study and practice of Yoga. David founded Yoga Garden SF in 1998 with Darren Main, Together with Marisa Toriggino, he has owned and operated the Garden since 2004.
Operations & Marketing Manager
With a professional background working in hospitality management, event production and communications strategy throughout New York City and England, Brittany comes to Yoga Garden bringing together her passion for client experience with her love of yoga. As an avid adventurer inspired by global community, she journeyed to Northern India in 2011 to immerse herself in traditional hatha and meditation yogic studies at Rishikesh Yog Peeth. Brittany is an E-RYT200 and an Advanced Unnata® Aerial Yoga instructor. When not traveling, teaching or hanging upside-down in her free time, you can find her exploring other modalities of movement and creative expression through painting, drawing, photography and writing. She also loves snowboarding, spontaneous dance parties and giving great hugs!
Yuliya Popova began regularly practicing yoga to relieve stress from long hours in the newsroom 10 years ago. Through yoga, she discovered patience, steadiness, acceptance and a new path – that of a yoga teacher. Yuliya earned her certification at Yoga Garden in San Francisco and had embraced the city’s free spirit and vibrant energy in her practice. Yuliya’s classes offer a combination of a strong, yet calming, flow with restorative postures. The focus will be on harvesting energy, not spending it. Yuliya is passionate about body anatomy and helps students choose their priorities in building healthy and safe foundations of asana alignment. Yuliya has studied with many wonderful teachers and has been most influenced by Karen Macklin, David Nelson and Jack Kornfield. She has a regular meditation practice inspired by many Spirit Rock teachers. Yuliya’s mission is to help students establish an inner yoga practice of body awareness and quiet mind. We spend a whole lot of time wishing for the past. Yoga can bring us back to the present and help us create a community without even trying. Learn more and connect with Yuliya at www.redwoodsyoga.com or follow her on Instagram @redwoodsyogi or Facebook @redwoodsyoga.
Advanced Studies Manager
Originally from Ukraine, Tamila’s warm, free spirit, and passion for helping others brought her to Yoga. She has a double Major in Psychology & Sociology and believes that a healthy and happy heart is cultivated through regular Yoga practice and a positive attitude. Tamila has traveled all around the world volunteering and deepening her practice. She recently earned her RYT 200 here at Yoga Garden and is working towards her 500 Hour Certification. She loves the outdoors and ventures to the beach often. If you need a smile or some sunshine, stop by her desk to say hi! Tamila appreciates meeting clients and you’ll leave feeling brighter!
Communications & Marketing
Charmie’s homeland may be the Philippines, but she’s found a piece of home in many countries during her 2 years of backpacking around the world. While she was in India, she deepened her practice by earning her RYT 200 at the Himalayan Yoga Institute and began teaching throughout her travels. She now calls San Francisco home and continues to express her love for creativity through yoga and design as Yoga Garden’s Communications go-to.
Enrollment & Admissions Manager
Emma comes to us from Los Angeles where yoga guided her studies and work in the wild world of advertising. A free spirit through and through, her ever-winding path has led her to San Francisco where she recently earned her RYT 200 here at Yoga Garden. A new fire ignited inside her heart after she completed Marisa’s Prenatal Teacher Training, and she is so happy to be a part of the Yoga Garden family and it’s incredibly inspiring and supportive community. Emma is currently working towards her 500 Hour Certification – so go ahead, ask her how it’s going!
Casey is a third generation San Franciscan with a degree in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts from SFSU. Although she has been practicing yoga for many years, she truly fell in love with yoga here at Yoga Garden as she prepared for a three month long backpacking trip in early 2015. Casey also has a passion for the world of photography and works as a set and prop design assistant for photo and commercial shoots. When she is not working there is a good chance you will find her at the beach, no matter what the weather.
Originally from Southern California, Alex settled in San Francisco after completing his law degree at UC Davis. He discovered the joy of yoga while living on Maui, and continues to grow in his practice here at Yoga Garden. When he isn’t at the studio he enjoys tinkering with 3D printing, or planning his next trip abroad.
Alexandra Rossi, ERYT500 and Paris native, shares the practice of yoga with everyone, from children to adults, in an honest and playful way. Her personal practice has taken her from therapeutic based Anusara Yoga to a more restorative practice, influenced by Judith Lasater, Yin yoga and Yoga Nidra.After many years of teaching, she realized that her true calling is to empower women at every stage of their lives. She is greatly influenced by Jane Austin and by Gurmukh’s teachings on prenatal yoga. She is now convinced that women need a mix of strengthening and restorative practices to accommodate the changing nature of their bodies. Alexandra’s classes combine music, and healing touch with buddhist philosophy. She is known for her skillful and intuitive hands-on assists.
ERYT 200 | Yoga Teacher
Alyssa Byrd is grateful to share yoga and seeks to create safe environments for cultivation of determination, patience, confidence, strength, flexibility and inner wisdom in all of her classes. She believes that we are each our own best teachers, and that sometimes we do better with a guide. After immersion in the hot yoga scene in 2002 she was soon drawn to deepen her practice & studied with Senior Certified Iyengar instructor Ben Thomas in Pacifica. In 2008 she took a Street Yoga teacher training in San Francisco & in 2012 Alyssa graduated from a Yoga To the People 200 hour TT in SF. Alyssa has been leading private and group classes since 2013 & continues to study the art of vinyasa with Shiva Rea. Alyssa is known for leading vinyasa, Aligned Hatha Flow & Gentle Yoga (H.A.L. Method–Hips, Abs & Lats) classes.
Brooke Corazón has been a student of yoga since 2003 and a teacher since 2009. Her background includes Bikram, Anusara, and Iyengar Yoga. She is blessed to study with her teacher Christina Sell, and is also deeply influenced by Iyengar teacher George Purvis and Rajanaka Tantra scholar Dr. Douglas Brooks.She recently completed her M.A. in Women, Gender, Spirituality & Social Justice. An integral part of what she brings to her classes, this program is supported by traditional academic research and scholarship in philosophy and religion that also draws from the many grassroots women’s, social justice and ecological movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In addition, Brooke has also completed training in Trauma-Informed Yoga.Brooke is a student of yoga, of philosophy, and of life. She enjoys filmmaking, writing, and supporting new parents as a postpartum doula. She is passionate about the path of study and practice, and lovingly encourages her students to try new things, to have fun and play hard, and to explore their rough edges. Brooke’s classes are playful, clever, and challenging; they’re athletic, spiritual, and therapeutic.
Christie Pitko, E-RYT-200, RYT-500 began practicing yoga in 2001, and since then, it has healed her spirit and ignited creativity. She teaches an alignment-based vinyasa flow, and enjoys helping students stay curious about the inner landscape of their bodies and minds. Christie received her 200-hour teaching certificate in 2011 from White Lotus Foundation, and 300-hour advanced training in 2015 at Barefoot Movement. She is also a certified Relax and Renew teacher trainer, having studied with Judith Hanson Lasater in 2016. Christie has over 1,300 hours of teaching experience. She enjoys hosting yoga retreats in California and abroad, and is passionate about the power of daily meditation. Christie is also a reiki master, and worked at the Las Vegas Recovery Center for over four years, helping substance abuse patients. Connect with Christie at https://www.shiftingandinspired.com
Through yoga, Christie found a deep understanding and relationship with her body, mind and inner self. This awesome self-realization is what inspired her to teach yoga. Christie teaches yoga by linking breath and movement with a strong focus on alignment so that students may safely access all benefits of the postures. She gives hands-on adjustments but also encourages students to get into their own bodies. Her motto is, “Yoga is a practice, not a perfect”. She loves chanting, sweating and laughing in yoga! Christie completed her 200-RYT at Yoga Garden SF. She loves being a constant student of yoga and fulfills this with daily practice and studies. Her greatest hope and dream is to share the amazing practice of yoga with others. “Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu…”
I began my yoga journey more than 10 years ago, focusing my asana practice and study on alignment-based vinyasa and breath work. Yoga has helped me find balance, peace, and the opportunity to slow down in this busy city I call home. In my classes, you can anticipate a challenging but balanced experience with an intentional, flowing sequence that connects breath to movement from warm-up through savasana. We will work to develop strength, flexibility, balance and mindfulness, 1-class at a time. I look forward to continuing to grow my practice by sharing it with you and learning from the students I teach. See you on the mat!
Daniel began martial arts training at 8 years old and connected immediately with “the way” of the mental and physical discipline and was teaching full time by twelve years old. A lifelong martial artist and musician, Daniel found yoga in 2009 as a way to supplement to Aikido and Zen practice, but yoga has now become his primary study.His classes are built on flowing sequences often interwoven with theme and music. Daniel’s compassionate, intuitive and non-judgmental teaching style allows students to find their own practice within the flow of the class.
Dustin came to yoga after more than a decade of studying Chinese martial arts. He was originally attracted to the raw athleticism of the practice. Dustin loves yoga as exploration–as a way to understand the relationships between the body, mind, and perceived experience. Dustin’s primary teachers passed along a strong commitment to alignment. He likes to build classes by layers, adding on detail so students can access their bodies safely. Dustin ensures that students with a wide range of physical abilities and experience levels work satisfyingly and appropriately to realize the benefits of their practice.
Eileen Torrez, RYT-200, knows that deliberate movement is the key to transforming both body and mind. With training in Vipassana meditation and Zen philosophy, Eileen brings a joyful presence to her classes, weaving themes of resilience, openness and trust into unique combinations of fear-defying poses. Eileen’s intuitive sense of touch and lighthearted athletic play empowers both new and experienced students to find the sweet spot between challenge and release. Her integrated, creative flows will reinvigorate your practice and bring you back into the strength and wisdom of your body. To learn more about Eileen, visit www.eileentorrez.com.
As an athlete growing up, Elaine was naturally drawn to the dynamic Ashtanga yoga practice in high school. In college, yoga became such an impact and joy in her life that instead of continuing her track to become a biology researcher, she decided to follow her calling to become a yoga instructor. Along her journey, she became intrigued by holistic nutrition and yoga therapy, and how these two practices tie in together to bring about wholesome well-being. She graduated as a nutrition consultant from Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition in Berkeley in 2015, and is now on an 800-hr training track to become a yoga therapist.Her vinyasa classes, though powerful, embrace yoga as therapy and emphasize breath, alignment, and internal sensations. Her approach is finding softness in challenging postures, and in discovering inner strength by letting go of resistance. She interweaves her background in biology with an appreciation for the miraculous life forces within the body into her classes to leave you rejuvenated and more connected with your body and mind.Outside of Yoga Garden, Elaine teaches chair yoga to chronic pain patients, works therapeutically with her private clients and is on a mission to instill yoga, even if it’s just five minutes a day, into people’s lives as preventative measures against chronic pain. Learn more about Elaine’s therapeutic yoga approach, individual nutrition consultation, wellness services and watch her 2-minute yoga videos at elaineyoga.com.
Elena believes that the key to wellness is connection. Starting with a compassionate connection to the self that stems into the way we interact and connect with our world. Yoga practice offers this connection through its dynamic ability to challenge and nurture the body while holding a mirror to our life’s tendencies, emotional states, and the set of relationships we maintain. Having discovered this connection to self through vinyasa practice in 2007, Elena has since traveled a 10 year yogic path of practice and training that explores a variety of methods, including Forrest Yoga with Ana Forrest, SMART Flow with Annie Carpenter, Vinyasa Flow with Mark Stephens, and Therapeutic Yoga and Yoga for Cancer with Lorien Neargarder. Elena has earned a 500hr Yoga Alliance Certification, a Yoga for Cancer Certification, and is in pursuit of the 1000hr International Association of Yoga Therapy Certification. Her classes are strong and rhythmic, pay close attention to detail while maintaining a sense of play, and ask the practitioner to turn awareness inward, in order to observe moments of discovery within the body. Elena teaches with compassion, deliberate yet gentle guidance, and a deep passion for this practice, for it has led her to a life of profound connection and wellness. It is this gift, of self discovery and wellness that she wishes to share through her teaching.
Creator of Intentional, Intuitive and Inclusive Spaces of Movement, 500 hour Ayurvedic Kripalu Yoga Instructor, Queer Person of Color, Spoken Word Poet, Spiritual Activist, Conscious social impact and spiritual expansion intersect to create grounding in the body. With deep breath and focused intention, Europa welcomes you into an intuitive and accessible relationship with your body, mind, spirit and community. Through ancient yoga philosophy and modern science we have the opportunity to awaken our greatest potential; this is what’s possible every time you enter a yoga class. Embody your light and uncover your shadow with gratitude, compassion and play. All are welcome.Europa has interned, taught and mentored at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health an Omega Institute over the last 4 years. Europa manages and creates curriculum for Yoga Teacher Trainings and meditation retreats. Past experience working in mental health as a Holistic Wellness Coach, supporting folx to find wholeness has been an intrinsic factor of holding space. The most influential training includes: Off the Mat Into the World, Earth Activist Training, Kripalu Vinyasa and the Lineage Project.
Discovering vinyasa yoga as a college student was life-changing for Hannah – the athletic, flowing style was fun, released stress and helped counterbalance too much running. Several years later, discouraged and struggling with severe wrist injuries, Hannah took an Iyengar class and found a whole new world in the study of alignment and anatomy. The time she has committed over the years to the study of both asana and yoga philosophy has paid her back many times over, and her personal experience of practice as a powerful tool to help navigate physical, mental and emotional challenges is what motivates her to teach. Hannah completed her RYT-200 teacher training in 2011 in Atlanta with Bethany Vaughan and continued to study alignment, anatomy and yoga philosophy more deeply with teachers Robert Joiner and Angela Campbell. In 2013, she completed the YogaWarriors certification, yoga for veterans and those with PTSD or Combat Stress Disorder, with Dharma Richards. Recognizing that there is an endless amount to learn about yoga, Hannah is always seeking out new experiences and knowledge which has lead her to study with a diverse range of teachers including Kathleen Pringle, Kquvien DeWeese, Judith Lasater, Meghan Currie and Peg Mulqueen.Hannah’s classes are grounded in the idea that yoga is individual, and that the “right” practice varies from body to body, day to day. She loves working with (and learning from) students of all ages and levels of physical ability, and believes in providing a space where students are empowered to let go of expectations and make the practice their own. She particularly enjoys helping those with injuries find ways to adapt their practice, adjusting and modifying to rebuild strength, flexibility and confidence.Hannah’s philosophy is to give students a strong foundation in alignment and awareness of their own bodies and their strengths and limitations. Her hope is that students can build on this foundation to safely explore, play and grow as they develop a more intelligent, individualized practice.
Haley moved to the Bay Area from Texas in 2011, and instantly fell in love with the outdoor and earth-conscientious ethos. Although she grew up playing basketball, running and dancing, her busy professional life combined with frustrating back pains led to a search for alternative body and mind experiences such as yoga, circuit training and eventually barre classes.She instantly found barre the perfect mix of cardio, strength training, and flexibility, coupled with a positive and supportive atmosphere. At times, barre has been an outlet for daily frustrations or stress, while at others a blissful and refreshing splash to a new day.Haley has been participating in barre classes for over 3 years, recently taking the exciting step to become a certified instructor. She hopes to share her passion for the intensity and fulfillment that Barre 101 practice delivers through a fun and inviting atmosphere.New students should expect careful attention to technique and form, while returning students should expect their limits to be pushed. Regardless of ability, all students will walk away with a calmed body and mind.When not at Yoga garden, Haley can be found hiking with her husband and dog Luna, cooking with friends, traveling, or reading at the beach.
JEN (HECHT) NEWMAN
Jen (Hecht) Newman is an E-RYT 500 certified yoga teacher who has always had a connection to the exploration of movement and the expression of her heart. She has been studying movement and yoga for the majority of her life and has been teaching since 2001. Her teaching style offers clear, precise alignment that is playful as well as soulful.Jen has found that yoga is an offering and support in creating a remembrance of who we really are by connecting the physical, mental, and emotional being. In this place, there is an opportunity to feel the tangibility of our essence and offer this back in our day to day living. She has recently been studying Craniosacral Therapy under the Upledger Institute and is excited to further her studies in this direction. Come ready to play and find a deeper connection to your heart.
John Hayden is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor (Intermediate Jr. II) and has been teaching Yoga in Northern California since 1998. John completed the 2 year Advanced Studies/Teacher Training Program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco in 2003. John teaches Yoga Philosophy (Yoga Sutras & Bhagavad-Gita) in the Advanced Studies/Teacher Training Program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. The study of yoga philosophy plays an important role in John’s practice and teaching.In his classes, John upholds the principle that we condition the body and prepare the mind through the consistent, mindful practice of asana and study of the philosophy. John continues to study with the Iyengar family in Pune India and with Senior Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers throughout the US.
Karen Macklin (RYT-500) has been studying yoga and meditation since 2000 and has received training in the yoga traditions of Ashtanga, Iyengar, Shadow Yoga, AcroYoga, Therapeutic, and Restorative, as well as in 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 Scott Blossom, Sean Feit, Chisandra Fox, Gary Kraftsow, and Jason Crandell.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 has also written about yoga for Yoga Journal, Yoga International, FitYoga, Tricycle, San Francisco Weekly, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Katrin, E-RYT500 Yoga Teacher Trainer / Yoga Instructor / Yoga Therapist / Philosophy Teacher, lives and teaches yoga in San Francisco and travels around the globe to share her passion for the spiritual art with the body. She is leading and contributing to yoga teacher education and training. For her classes and workshops she designs sequences that make sense of the body and mind for a deep sustainable experience. She strives to address the unique therapeutic needs of every student and cultivate a lasting increase in energy and courage. Katrin combines in her teaching fluid strength and alignment with a tantric take on life. Katrin is an extraordinarily creative and skillful yoga teacher. I am very impressed with her ability to balance strong leadership with compassion and encouragement.” – Desirée Rumbaugh creator of “Yoga to the Rescue” DVD seriesyoga.katrinkuttner.com
Kelly loves teaching prenatal yoga because it combines her two passions: yoga and reproductive health. Kelly began attending yoga classes in college because she had heard it might calm her mind; she ended up finding that and so much more – a framework for honest self-exploration, a connection to spirituality, a deeper understanding of the relationship between her body, mind, and breath, and a new way of life. Over the past decade, she has also developed an expertise in reproductive health, studying Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Cornell University, managing a prenatal program in San Francisco, overseeing women’s health services at a national primary care company, and training as a birth doula. Kelly’s vinyasa-inspired prenatal classes bring in yoga philosophy, feminist theory, childbirth education, and asana alignment to empower students on their pregnancy journey. Kelly studied vinyasa yoga with Les Leventhal and prenatal yoga with Yoga Garden SF.
Lisa completed her 200hr certification at Yoga Garden but has been a student of yoga for over 10 years. She creates a soulful yet powerful Vinyasa practice of meditation through movement and breath. She believes yoga is for everyone and aims to make her classes accessible with a playful, personable approach, yet still challenging and empowering in hope that each individual can feel personal growth.
Liz (RYT200) discovered yoga in a small studio in 2006 amongst candlelight and sweat, leaving her mind peaceful and body challenged; thus beginning a 10 plus year love affair with yoga. Over the years, the practice has been the constant in her personal growth and journey, allowing her to cultivate a more authentic self that is grounded, joyful, and open. Through the years, she’s explored many different styles of yoga, moving from a physical, vigorous vinyasa to a more deliberate and curative flow. Her background as a classically trained ballerina, coupled with honoring her body’s ever-changing journey, has cultivated a practice which is primarily breath and alignment-based. She believes in creating a space for her students that makes yoga accessible to all: supporting and encouraging their own self discovery, healing, integrity, and self love. In honoring the lineage of her teachers (Pete Guinosso, Rebecca Rogers, Martin Scott, Jason Crandell) and honoring her own style, she incorporates curated playlists alongside proper alignment and deep breath work to help deepen students’ – beginner or advanced – experience. She is grateful to offer a space that allows students to connect more deeply to themselves, with hopes that their understanding of self will connect them more authentically with others and the world.
A native of France, Magali Devic has spent the last decade in the US and is an enthusiast for the many fitness activities the Bay Area offers. A salsa aficionado, Magali partakes Yoga, Pilates, Body Pump and draws on these methods to create inspiring, effective, total-body workouts in her Barre classes. Magali completed Yoga Garden SF’s Barre 101 training under the careful instruction of Mike Najjar. Upon earning her certification, Magali is excited to teach Barre 101 classes at Yoga Garden SF and loves engaging with the diverse student body. Magali is passionate about the Barre 101 method because it is a safe yet challenging workout designed for everyone. She enjoys helping students understand isometric movement while teaching them how to tone and elongate core muscles while targeting the seat, core, thighs and arms.
Max Kopeikin, RYT500/ERYT-200, is a yoga nerd with a deep passion for the practice. His classes are alignment-centered and can range from quite dynamic to gentle or restorative. His primary influences come from his longtime practice of Anusara, Iyengar, Restorative, Gentle Hatha, Jivamukti and AcroYoga. He is a certified Hatha Yoga and AcroYoga teacher. Max is currently working on his Masters in Expressive Arts Therapy and has a Postgraduate Degree in Dance/Movement Therapy. He is also in the process to become certified in the Feldenkrais Method. Max began his career teaching in Barcelona and he continues to travel teach in Europe.
Martine Hamers began practicing yoga in 2008 upon realizing she needed to make drastic life change to avoid reaching a point of burnout. Yoga helped her learn how to find calmness and understand the boundaries of her body. Martine earned her RYT-200 designation through training with the Yoga Institute Mumbai in 2010 and has made several trips to India over the recent years to learn more about the yoga lifestyle. In 2014, she completed a vinyasa yoga teacher training with David Lurey and Mirjam Wagner as well as a Yoga Anatomy and Breathing course lead by guru Leslie Kaminoff. She has practiced and taught yoga in studios in Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and San Francisco. To deepen her practice, Martine currently studies yoga therapy under the guidance of Kate Holcombe and most recently competed a teacher training to become a BoxingYoga Coach with Kajza Ekberg and Matt Garcia. While Martine has explored various yoga styles, she enjoys teaching a powerful style class that creates energy in the body and stillness in the mind through asana.
Meredith is a certified yoga and meditation teacher who is committed to connecting her students to the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of being, consciously guiding them to the present moment, and encouraging them to stay open to the infinite possibilities of life. She is known for balancing the strength and structure of the practice with grace and ease, and offers it is an opportunity for individual and collective healing, empowerment and love. You can visit her website http://www.spiritwellness.net/
Melissa has been teaching yoga since 2008. She completed her 200-hour certification with Intrinsic Yoga. Her feel-good classes build physical strength and mental clarity through healthy movement, safe adjustments, and down to earth guidance. Her classes are welcoming and dynamic syncing intention with physical practice for a holistic experience.
Michelle Nayeli Bouvier is a Prana Vinyasa™ E-RYT 500+ yoga teacher trainer, Hoopdance pioneer, AcroYoga teacher, bodyworker, movement therapist and dancer devoted to the art and science of embodiment. With a diverse movement background and 20+ years in yoga, Michelle has taught full-time, at studios, conferences, retreats and festivals since 2002. In addition to sharing Prana Vinyasa™ through Shiva Rea’s Samudra School, she is on the Teacher Training Faculty of Āvāhana School of Yoga & Expressive Healing Arts, Balanced Action Yoga, and Hoop Vinyasa. Loved for her joyful creativity as a movement guide, Michelle teaches with a uniquely trained eye drawn from a plethora of techniques, training, and experience working with people in all walks of life. She loves the challenge of giving each student just what they are ready for, and specializes in creating meditative experience through breath and rhythmic movement. Michelle seeks to expand our understanding of living yoga beyond asana, in life as well as through a variety of embodied awareness practices. She is the founder of EmBody Retreats, immersive training retreats that delve into the overlap of dance, yoga and self-care practices through multidisciplinary movement study and the Tantric teachings of yoga’s roots in fluid kārana vinyāsa and spontaneous dance. With nearly 4000 hours of advanced study, Michelle maintains a private practice based in San Francisco and continues to study Ayurveda and the Axis Syllabus.www.michellebouvier.com
Phillippe is a dedicated, passionate yoga practitioner and teacher. For him, it’s all about waking up! By building compassionate awareness around our bodies, minds and hearts, he believes we can begin to lift the many veils of our conditioning that keep us in unconscious slumber, and then awaken to the truth of our experience as it is in every moment. With this understanding we can find deliberate healing, transformation, evolution, and liberation. Phillippe has been greatly influenced by alignment-based traditions of yoga such as Iyengar and Anusara. He has had the privilege of studying with many inspired and dedicated teachers including Jason Crandell, Jason Bowman, Sean Haleen, Abby Tucker and Katchie Ananda. Most recently he has been enjoying the wise teachings of Betty Roi and Brian Hogencamp. To all of them he owes endless gratitude.
Ray Baxter, RYT500, began his serious study of Yoga after injuries left him in daily pain. He credits the practices of yoga asana and meditation with helping him cope and recover. He brings those experiences of healing and his life experiences as a parent, partner, endurance athlete, performer and scientist to his teaching.In his classes, Ray strives to create an environment where each student feels safe, supported and empowered to connect with the wisdom of their body and to find their personal path to healing, wholeness and transformation. His classes emphasize play, fun and experimentation while allowing space to attend to what is happening in your body, mind and heart. Classes are gentle and challenging by turns, emphasizing and returning to the breath and to the grounding and centering of the body and the mind. You will be encouraged to find and respect your limits and supported in expanding beyond them.
Rebecca earned her B.A. in Contemplative Psychology and Yoga Studies, which included about 1000 hours of teacher training. She went on to receive her 200 Hour Yoga Alliance Certification through The Shambhava School of Yoga, during which program she lived a traditional yogic lifestyle at Shoshoni Ashram. Since then, she has studied Inner Yoga™, Principle Based Partner Yoga™, Prenatal, Warriors at Ease™, YogaEd, and iRest® Yoga Nidra with Richard Miller. Most recently, she received her 500Hr Yoga Alliance Certification through Sivananda School of Yoga. She has sought out certifications to deepen her practice and teaching because she loves tailoring classes to students’ needs and goals. Rebecca has taught more than 2,000 hours at both the 200hr and 500hr certification levels, which she feels has been some of her greatest study, second to the yoga of being a mother.Rebecca teaches and leads retreats and trainings internationally, and works with a variety of clients, designing and teaching employee wellness programs. Other than her passion for yoga, Rebecca’s an outdoor enthusiast of many sorts, and is an in-love mother to 3.5 year-old boy, with a daughter on the way!www.rebeccamayneyoga.com
Ross McIntire is a yoga teacher, drummer and photographer. With a background in skateboarding and running, Ross understands that not everyone is an athlete in the traditional sense. Classes with Ross draw from Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga, focusing on strength, safety, alignment and the connection of presence, breath, and movement. Every class is a full body workout with room to explore the progression of binds, inversions and arm balances. Expect a serious and exhilarating workout with plenty of room for humor. Ross completed his 200 hour yoga teacher training at Flying Studios with Laura Camp, along with a 70 hour advanced teacher training with Ana Forrest. For more information, visit rossfit.com
ERYT 200 | Yoga Teacher
Roy (ERYT) is a classically trained dancer from Singapore, with over 15 years of experience in dance, teaching and choreography, a non-practicing lawyer and a graduate of Yoga Garden SF 200-hour Advanced Studies program. His approach is to take the blinders off and give 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. 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 to be gently removed. Steady determination and a 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 here.
Sean Feit Oakes
PhD | Yoga Teacher
Sean Feit Oakes, PhD teaches Buddhism, Haṭha Yoga, and Organic Intelligence® with a focus on the integration of meditation, philosophy, and self-inquiry with trauma resolution and social justice. He has studied in Zen, Tibetan, and Theravāda Buddhist lineages, including training as a monk in Burma, and is authorized to teach by Jack Kornfield. Other primary teachers include Anam Thubten, Sayadaw U Janaka (vipassanā), Eugene Cash and Sylvia Boorstein (Insight Meditation), Alice Joanou (yoga), and Steven Hoskinson (Somatic Experiencing/Organic Intelligence).Sean is core Teacher Training faculty for Yoga Garden SF and Piedmont Yoga in Oakland, as well as teaching Buddhism at Spirit Rock, East Bay Meditation Center, and Yoga Tree. He works with teens through Inward Bound Mindfulness Education and is Faculty with Organic Intelligence® (SEP/OIX, Mentor), integrating mindfulness with trauma resolution. Sean received his PhD in Performance Studies from UC Davis, writing on states of consciousness in Buddhist meditation and experimental dance, and lives in Oakland with a beautiful family and community.Full schedule, writings, practice resources, and videos at SeanFeitOakes.com
Sonya Genel, ERYT500, joyfully embraces the power of yoga not only to heal and transform the body but also to heighten human consciousness and to create a radiant life. In her classes, Sonya weaves precise anatomical alignment with flowing movement. Always approaching her students with authenticity and humor. Sonya’s intention is to hold space for a direct embodied connection with Spirit. When she is not teaching yoga, Sonya can often be found drawing or painting. As an artist, she notices the profound effects yoga has on her creativity, and she has dedicated herself to enthusiastically guiding others toward enhancing their own unique life path through yoga. When Sonya first discovered yoga in the 1990’s, she began with Ashtanga yoga and power vinyasa, but as her practice evolved she gravitated more towards alignment based styles such as Anusara and Iyengar. She attended her first teacher training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Over the years she has completed hundreds more hours of training in alignment based yoga, prenatal yoga, anatomy, therapeutics, mysticism, tantra, and meditation. Sonya is grateful to have had the opportunity to study deeply with some incredible teachers such as Sianna Sherman and many others. She now brings over a decade of teaching experience to her classes, workshops, trainings and retreats. She is a certified teacher of Rasa Yoga, and holds an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance.Practice with Sonya at home! Classes available online at udaya.com and yogavibes.com Learn more and connect with Sonya at www.sonyagenel.com, follow her on instagram/twitter @sonyayoga and on Facebook @sonyagenel.
Stacey E-RYT500, believes that yoga has the capacity to empower, transform, and support the physical, emotional, and mental layers of the human experience in a way that brings us deeper compassion and understanding of our world and our place within it. Her classes will include varied combinations of the following: asana, pranayama, meditation, and yoga philosophy. Stacey encourages her students to practice in a focused and safe manner with instruction that is clear, warm, and light hearted. Stacey has over 700 hours of training, and has been teaching yoga since 2007. She completed her 200-hour certificate in Astanga/Vinyasa, 500-hour certificate in Hatha/Viniyoga, and has studied 75 hours with Judith Lasater in Restorative Yoga. Stacey is also a teacher trainer in Yoga Garden’s 200 hour program. You can learn more about her offerings at www.staceyswan.com
VAZA (VANESSA RACINET)
VaZa’s dynamic approach guides students through a physically and spiritually expansive journey. Her teaching is unique in that her sometimes vigorous style is coupled with a strong focus on proper alignment and total body awareness. The use of personalized instruction helps students of any level harness the power that comes with a working understanding of the relationship between breath and movement, body and mind. VaZa infuses her Ashtanga based, yet multifaceted, knowledge of Yoga with personal passion to inspire students to truly listen to the body, leave the ego at the door, and – most importantly – to have fun! To learn more about VaZa, visit www.vazayoga.com