To quote a wonderful teacher I studied with years ago, Yoga is like Nike: Just do it. It doesn’t matter where you come from. If you do it, you will change. It will lead you to one place: experiencing that you are infinite, eternal, and whole – not the concept of it, but the real feeling. This concept blows my mind! I teach in service to my teachers and to share and explore the magic of yoga in community, in satsang, to be able to explore this path together.
I started practicing yoga right after college, first in the Sivananda yoga tradition. I dove into Ashtanga and then in the late 1990s — after many visits to the NYC studio — my path led me to Jivamukti. I had a hunch that personally and professionally all roads would lead me to this life-changing method. And so it worked out. I did the 300-hour teacher training with Sharon Gannon and David Life in 2005, the 800-hour apprenticeship in New York City in 2008 and the Advanced Certification in 2012. My other yoga trainings, with American master teachers Shiva Rea, David Swenson, Lex Gillan and Stephen Cope were equally powerful and still inform my work today.
In Northern California my studio affiliations are Yoga Works, Yoga Tree and Nandi Yoga. I have also guest taught at Jivamukti Yoga studios in Europe.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
Sharon Gannon and David Life
I discovered Jivamukti Yoga in the late 1990s, going to the Lafayette studio on Astor Place whenever I was in NYC for work. The studio was magical, and everything about Jivamukti’s philosophy lined up with my personal and professional beliefs. Sharon and David’s dharma talks resonated so deeply and many times left me in tears. I brought Jivamukti to Washington, D.C. where our original team (me, Cory Bryant, Agatha Glowacki) built a rich satsang and mentored dozens of teachers. Jivamukti has gone on to become a global phenomenon, a practice threading together all aspects of yoga into a complete package. They are and will always be my foremost teachers.
Lee Wei Chao
I met Lee Wei in 2009 when a friend recommended dance classes at Alonzo King Lines Dance Center in downtown San Francisco. Lee Wei was classically trained in his home country of Taiwan, later a professional dancer in the U.S. His classes are fast-paced, lyrical and demanding. He adds nuggets of philosophy and anecdotes about love and life, making his classes not only a visceral, physical experience but also spiritual. From Lee Wei, I learned the gift of metaphor — how to convey a technical or artistic concept in just a word or two, which has illuminated my own teaching. He embodies the qualities every yogi yearns for: steadiness, humility and devotion.
Manorama is a teacher of Sanskrit and philosophy whom I met through Jivamukti Yoga. She opens doorways to yoga philosophy and sutra study in a way that’s uniquely her own and joy-filled. Her teacher, Shri Brahmananda Saraswati, founded the Ananda Ashram of New York and the Yoga Society of San Francisco. I’ve been blessed to continue studying more intensively with her over the past few years. I feel that our bond has deepened far beyond what I ever imagined.
I was new to California when I first met H.G. Vaisesika dasa, bhakti yoga Master and spiritual leader of the ISKCON temple of Silicon Valley and his wife Nirakula dasi. My search for spiritual teachers on the West coast came to fruition. Vaisesika Prabhu travels, lectures, counsels and inspires spiritual aspirants all over the world; he also gives corporate lectures quite often throughout the Bay area.
My German language teacher Wiebke has helped me reclaim something very precious: my European roots and connection to my French/German heritage. My passion for languages is equally matched by her patience, warmth and enthusiam. Originally from Einbeck, Germany and an expert in everything that is typisch deutsch, Wiebke coached me through my first certification exams at Goethe Institute.
Yoga Alliance 500E-RYT/YACEP
Jivamukti Yoga 300 hour (2005) + 800 hour Teacher Training (2008) + Advanced Certification (2012)
Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training with Shiva Rea (2001)
Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training with David Swenson (2001)
Art of Assists Studies with Yoganand Michael Carroll (2003) + Raja Yoga Studies with Stephen Cope (2002) at Kripalu Center for Yoga
Hatha Yoga Teacher Training with Lex Gillan (1999)