For me, yoga means moving consciously through life, and making decisions that are evolutionary. It means dancing through every element of life, and recognizing every event as your teacher. I have been practicing yoga for over 15 years and have been teaching for more than 10. I have studied Bikram, Ashtanga, Kundalini and Bhakti yoga, and combine some these styles in my practice. My style of power yoga combines intensively physical, psychological and spiritual elements.
The first class on my first day of college, drum roll please, YOGA! and I hated it. Well, actually, my reaction was a bit more mixed.
Perhaps the challenges were a bit too intense for me at the time. But the seed was planted. After graduating, I moved to Santa Monica with my girlfriend, now my wife, Lesley. It wasn't but a few weeks after that I discovered Bryan Kest's Power Yoga Class. It was what I liked to a "LIFEQUAKE."
Bryan's intense style of Vinyasa changed my life. Now with four beautiful daughters and 10,000 hugs later, I realized teaching yoga is a dream!
I've been teaching yoga for about 25 years and martial arts for another 7 years beyond that. I have a biology degree from Georgetown with minors in fine arts and eastern philosophy. I hold a martial arts instructorship in Jeet Kune Do, two yoga certifications, and two personal training certifications, and I am honored to be a brand ambassador for Manduka and a legacy brand ambassador for lululemon.
With the help of Bryan Kest, Jerome Mercier and many other really amazing teachers over the years I have found that nothing is a bigger catalyst for positive change than the committed, regular practice of sitting at the center of your own undivided attention. This experience, more than anything, is what I hope to share with you.
7 years tied to the practice, 2 years teaching. Yoga became my foundation for a meaningful and purposeful life. From the minute I walked in to my first class I was hooked. It was the invigorating challenge of the physical postures, the breathing, the aromatherapy, the community. This unspoken commitment to my mat would unlock a journey through my mind that would gently shine a light on the subconscious blocks holding me back. With each class teaching me a little more about the art of letting go, I had began this long journey back home. I was curious and wanted to learn more.
I choose to teach for a deeper sense of awareness and to encourage the same in others. My teaching connects soulful music, readings, pranayama and challenging/accessible sequences for the intentional purpose of creating space within to experience a deeper level of presence. This mentally, physically and emotionally allows for ebb and flow while providing a gentle nudge to take life one breath at a time.
Yoga is the place where I come home to myself and I hope that it is for you too. I took my first yoga class here with Bryan Kest 16 years ago. 5 years later I discovered Ashtanga and it became my main practice. What I love about Ashtanga is that it frees you from the need of external guidances and allows you to retreat entirely inward to a deep place of self discovery both physically & mentally. As a teacher I try to help students develop ability, integrity, and confidence in their practice. Discovering where there is resistance, where there is grasping, and finding the space of receptivity between the two that opens the doors to growth.
Simple, approachable, and challenging. In my 20+ years of teaching, this is how I describe my classes today. I believe my style evolves similar to how I evolve - from rigid to flexible. I've discovered this kind of approach allows every individual a unique experience and opportunity to create space, comfort, and confidence within their own body and mind. I like to get creative and mix it up with my sequences through a combination of flow, strength, and pranayama. You can expect to sweat. Expect to enjoy. All are welcome.
My vinyasa flow style classes are strong and demanding linking breath and movement through a dexterous sequence of sun salutations and postures. The continuous flow deepens breathing, increases endurance, and will allow you to test the edge of your balance and flexibility. I often include advanced postures such as handstands, arm balances, or backbends.
Yoga started for me when my brother sent himself a picture in plow pose and I thought it would be hilarious to send one back to him. Before starting yoga I was perpetually depressed but through the physical, mental, and spiritual practice of yoga I have been able to get to know myself while finding relative peace in life's oscillations. The class I teach is power yoga that gives space for physical awareness with breath emphasized. Yoga that gets you out of your head and into your body.
I make an effort to teach every yoga session with enough care and compassion so that everyone gets something out of each class. I also try to be as informative and articulate as possible during the entire session so people with a developed practice as well as beginners all receive something positive and beneficial. My overall goal in Yoga is to help everyone to love and accept who he or she is, which is very challenging in this western society we live in today.
I've spent years as an award-winning professional opera singer and vocalist.
I combine my passion for vocal performance and music with my love of Kundalini yoga and breathwork to create a unique sound healing practice. I invite you to dissolve in the vibrations of singing bowls, shamanic drums, ukulele, guitar, flute, gong, absorb the healing properties of traditional shamanic songs and mantras.
Shirley has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and teaching movement for the last 15 years to youth and adults. She teaches with compassion and kindness and looks to connect with her students. Practicing and teaching yoga brings her a sense of stability, grounding, strength and release. Shirley asks her students to show up with an open mind, with willingness to practice awareness, challenge themselves and be accepting. When teaching yoga her strength training background highlights the value of building a strong foundation to which build upon. She encourages her students to slow down, feel more and listen to their bodies.