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Training Faculty

The Yoga Yoga Teacher Training faculty is comprised of instructors representing a wide range of yoga teaching backgrounds including Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Yoga Therapy. The teaching staff also includes professionals in the fields of yoga, physical therapy, Ayurveda, kinesiology, psychology, literature and language, and education. Nationally recognized yoga teachers and published authors are regularly invited as guest instructors to teach in their areas of specialization, including yoga asana, pranayama, philosophy, therapy, and meditation.

Clarissa Smith

 

Hatha Lead Teacher, Yoga Therapy Mentoring Faculty

Clarissa, RYT 500 and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist, began her Yoga studies at Yoga Yoga in 2002. She received her 500 hour certification at Yoga Yoga in 2009 and her Yoga Therapy certification with Gary Kraftsow and the American Viniyoga Institute in 2013. Clarissa continues to deepen her studies in Ayurvedic medicine with Dr. Vasant Lad at The Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico. Clarissa approaches her Yoga practice in a holistic way and encourages her students to do the same. Deepening Self awareness and understanding our practice will meet us where we are at any stage of life. What we learn on the mat integrates into our daily lives. Therefore, with dedication to practice, willingness to explore the unknown, and patience with the process we can maintain a healthy balance in all areas of life.

Rachel Hector

 

Clinic Director, Lead Mentor; Hatha Yoga Adjunct

Rachel Hector began teaching yoga 10 years ago and is currently pursuing a doctorate in kinesiology at the University of Texas at Austin. She is certified at the 500-hour level and teaches Hatha yoga as well as Ashtanga Yoga in a beginner-friendly format that is appropriate for all student levels. She provides a safe environment where students can learn about the practice, their bodies, and how to prevent and heal injuries. Her recent observations in various physical therapy clinics and yoga studios in Boulder, Co., further solidified her desire to help students practice and teach safely and effectively with a focus on injury prevention and recovery.

Ana Pilar Cruz

 

Hatha Yoga Faculty, Lead Teacher

Ana Pilar Cruz holds an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500) certification through Yoga Alliance. She received her training certificate from the American Viniyoga Institute under the guidance of Gary Kraftsow. A constant student, she has supplemented her 500-hour education studying with Donna Farhi, Srivatsa Ramaswami, Leslie Kaminoff, Judith Lasater, Sadie Nardini, Anodea Judith and Rod Stryker. Ana Pilar has delved into the philosophical aspects of yoga in the last few years, specifically in the study of Sri Vidya Tantra.

Emily Smith

 

Hatha Yoga Faculty, Lead Teacher

Emily Smith (C-IAYT) has been practicing yoga since 1999, and teaching since 2003. While the roots of her personal practice lay in more vigorous forms such as Ashtanga and Jivamukti, she found relief from her arthritis and scoliosis when her practice shifted to a slower, more alignment-based Hatha practice under the tutelage of Doug Keller, with whom she continues to study. She has undergone extensive training in yoga therapy, meditation, and pranayama with such teachers as Mahadevi Sandra Summerfield Kozak, Leslie Kaminoff, and Tias Little. Emily has completed over 500 hours of training in Para Yoga with Yogiraj Rod Stryker, is a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner, a certified Y12SR instructor under Nikki Myers, and has completed iRest levels I & II with Richard Miller. A former yoga studio owner, she possesses an M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling, and has 23 years of experience as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor & Certified Case Manager.  She is also certified as a Main Street Vegan Lifestyle Coach, and is certified in Plant-Based Nutrition.

Emily Liles

 

Hatha Yoga Faculty, Lead Teacher

Emily is a graduate of Yoga Yoga’s 200 and 500 hour Hatha Teacher Training and is currently a Resident in the Yoga Therapy Program.  She also holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Austin.  Her teachings draw from studies in Pranayama, meditation, alignment-based Asana, Sanskrit, and philosophy.  In her classes you can expect to explore optimal alignment and gain deeper understanding of the traditional teachings of the Krishnamacharya Lineage.

Continuously a student herself, Emily is always furthering her studies in Yoga, Ayurveda, and Anatomy.  Through her teaching, Emily hopes to inspire others to explore their own inner terrain, have fun, and gain tools to better their lives and the lives around them.  Emily also enjoys studying plants, reading books, and creating art.

Delora Frederickson

 

Hatha Yoga Faculty, Lead Teacher

DeLora has taken extensive training to teach yoga to students at all stages of life. In Yoga Yoga Teacher Training she completed Level One and Level Two Kundalini training.  She also studied deaf education and graduated with a degree in speech. In 2012 she graduated from Yoga Yoga's Flow-Based Hatha program as well as Sadie Nardini's Evolution Vinyasa Teacher Training. For children's yoga, DeLora graduated from the renowned Radiant Child Yoga Program, Levels One and Two. She also completed Pre- and Postnatal Training with Leslie Lytle’s Om Mama program. In 2009, she completed Judith Lasater's Relax and Renew Restorative Yoga training. You'll find her teaching a variety of classes on our schedule, and helping out in other ways around the studios.

Jenny Orona

 

Hatha Yoga Faculty, Lead Teacher

Jenny considers herself a Sound Therapist and, through her dual training in Hatha and Kundalini, Jenny believes there is a yoga practice available for every body and everyone. She incorporates movement, breath and sound into her classes. She is a 500-hour E-RYT, a 200-hour Kundalini teacher, and a certified iRest teacher. Jenny began her teaching career in 2006. After sustaining an almost debilitating injury to her spine, a friend of hers suggested she try yoga for the chronic pain she endured. She noticed the injury was getting better and made a commitment to become a yoga teacher. It is this knowledge that drives her to find a practice for every “body”.

Beth LaGrone

 

Hatha Yoga Faculty, Lead Teacher

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Beth has been practicing yoga since 2000. She started teaching in 2008 focusing primarily in vinyasa and kundalini yoga styles. Beth is our Kundalini Yoga Council Representative where she supports and promotes the teachings and teachers of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Beth has also been a full-time massage therapist since 2002 and a Competitive Karaoke Champion since 2010.

Beth has studied with many great yoga teachers including Seane Corn, David Swenson and Sadie Nardini. She has taken several trainings in Hatha, Kundalini, Yoga Therapy and massage and she has mentored with some of Yoga Yoga's great teachers like Ana Pilar and Libby. Beth is continuing her education in areas like Body Sculpting/Structural Integration BodyWork, Reiki Level 1-3: Master Practitioner, Neuromuscular Therapy, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Trigger Point Release, Preconception & Pre-Natal, Zero Balancing and Hot Stone Massage.

Kristen Folkens

 

Hatha Yoga Faculty, Lead Teacher

Kristen is an E-500 RYT, RPYT through Yoga Yoga. She has an eclectic teaching style influenced by her teachers David Swenson, Judith Hanson Lasater, Chase Bossart, Elizabeth Bossart, Anodea Judith, Douglas Brooks, Leslie Kaminoff, Gary Kraftsow, Jenn Wooten, & Sadie Nardini. She is also hot power yoga trained by CorePower Yoga and believes that there is a flow for everyone to find. Dance, gymnastics, vinyasa, and all forms of yogic knowledge have been her passion for over 20 years. She is also currently studying to become a Yoga Therapist through IAYT and has firsthand experience with SI joint instability, rotator cuff injuries, and anxiety/depression. Whether you are seeking a place to heal or go deeper into the physical / mental aspects of the practice, Kristen will help guide you further onto your own path.

Lauren Mason

 

Hatha Yoga Faculty, Lead Teacher

Lauren's true passion is training teachers, and loves helping her students discover how to personalize the teachings of yoga and share them with others. She is continuously inspired by the practice of yoga and how is allows for self-exploration and personal nourishment on and off the mat. She believes in grounding the practice of yoga in its ancient philosophy, and is greatly inspired by the life's work of T.K.V. Desikachar and the students of his lineage, who teach that the integrated practice of yoga can be beneficial for mind and spirit as well as physical health. She is also inspired by modern teachers such as Sadie Nardini and Shiva Rea who have creatively adapted the postural practice of yoga to be accessible to a range of students. She completed  her 200-hour Hatha Flow training with Yoga Yoga, and worked with the company as a teacher and studio manager before moving to San Antonio. Since then, Lauren  has accrued 400 additional hours of advanced training with Yoga Yoga, including a 85-hour Prenatal Yoga Teacher training with Yoga Yoga, and is currently pursuing certification as a Yoga Therapist at Yoga Yoga. Lauren is informed by her degree in secondary education and dance from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mary Richardson

 

Hatha Yoga Faculty, Lead Teacher

Mary was introduced to Pattabhi Jois's Ashtanga Yoga in 2000 and is endlessly grateful to her first teacher, V.K. Sheshadre. In 2004, after returning from her second trip to India, Mary began to explore other styles and traditions of yoga. Teaching Vinyasa was the obvious next step for Mary because it gave her the inspiration to be more creative and intuitive. It allowed her to take her deeply disciplined practice, knowledge of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breath), and begin to sequence with more spontaneity, intuition and dynamism. Currently Mary has taught over 2,500 class hours and has led workshops, Teacher Trainings and retreats nationally.

Ravyn Abboushi

 

Hatha Yoga Faculty, Lead Teacher

Drawn to spiritual and inner practices from an early age, Ravyn began her personal exploration of yoga as a tool for health and wholeness when, at the age of 12, she happened upon a book about yoga at a garage sale. She is now an e-RYT 500 yoga instructor with over 16 years of teaching experience, and has been on faculty for yoga teacher trainings at the 200, 500 and 800-hour levels. She calls the teaching style of Viniyoga home, although she incorporates a variety of teaching philosophies in her own practice, as well as in her classes. She graduated from UT Austin with a degree in Religious Studies, and remains fascinated and energized by the study of yoga philosophy to this day. She spent a year living in the occupied West Bank, establishing and teaching in the first yoga teacher training program in Ramallah, Palestine.  Most recently, Ravyn has been working in small group and one-on-one settings, helping people with chronic illness, chronic pain, and trauma reclaim their freedom of movement, joy, connection, and trust in their own body and spirit.  She is also a mother of 3 children, who are the light of her life.

Kimberly Wharton

 

Hatha Yoga Faculty, Co-Lead Teacher

Kimberly began her teaching journey in 2002, after her 200hr training in NYC in ISHTA Yoga (Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda) with Alan Finger. After relocating to Los
Angeles, Kimberly was named in Backstage Magazine's "Best of L.A." under favorite yoga class. She has gone through additional trainings with Kia Miller (Yoga Works techniques), Jillian Pransky (Restoratives), Judith Lasater (Restoratives), and Jasmine Lieb (Therapeutics), where she discovered the amazing healing abilities of yoga. She is continually expanding her knowledge,
having the opportunity to learn from Leslie Kaminoff, Max Strom, Gary Kraftsow, Shari Goodhartz (Anusara based), and Dr. Richard Miller. While in Los Angeles, Kimberly had the opportunity to teach for Team Survivor, a non-profit organization providing free healing modules for women living with cancer, and continues similar work here.

She holds a lighthearted space, focusing on breath, alignment, and self inquiry. Kimberly has taught nearly 3,000 classes for Yoga Yoga. Kimberly holds a BFA in Musical Theater and a
Modern Dance Minor from the Boston Conservatory.

Eduardo Ramirez

 

Hatha Yoga Faculty, Co-Lead Teacher

Eduardo took his first yoga class in college, an Intermediate Hatha Flow that left him eager to explore more. In Austin, a few years later, he earned his 200-hour teacher certification and began teaching on July 4th of 2004. Soon after, Eduardo enrolled in a 5-day Viniyoga workshop with Gary Kraftsow and was immediately drawn to the breadth and depth of the teachings. He took the 500-hour Viniyoga Teacher Training Course and developed a particular passion for Sanskrit chanting and the role of sound in asana. Eduardo will teach you to consciously connect the movement of the breath with the movement of the body. With patience and humor, he is effective in helping students discover a balance between fluidity and structural stability.

Mark Uridel

 

Hatha Yoga Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Mark Uridel, DPT, E-RYT 500, has over 25 years of training and experience in yoga. He integrates his physical therapy expertise into his yoga classes to provide an educational, healing and transforming experience. Mark is a senior instructor for the Yoga Yoga Teacher Training Program. A member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, Mark empowers his students to have wellness of mind, body and spirit. He describes yoga as a process of moving toward wholeness and encourages students to have acceptance, compassion and loving-kindness toward themselves and others.

Chase Bossart

 

Hatha Yoga Adjunct Faculty

Chase Bossart is the Therapy and Education Director and Senior Yoga Therapist for the Healing Yoga Foundation in San Francisco. He is a long time, private student of Mr. TKV Desikachar and is a Krishnamacharya HYF certified Yoga Teacher Trainer. Chase has an M.A. in Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara, where he wrote his thesis on Patanjali's Yogasutra, and he is also a faculty member for the Loyola Marymount University's Yoga Therapy Rx Program.

Alice Duffy

 

Hatha Yoga Adjunct Faculty

Alice’s serious study of yoga began when she entered Yoga Yoga Teacher Training in 2002, becoming a registered yoga teacher a year later. She has training in Kundalini, Hatha, Anusara and Prenatal yoga, and has become an Anusara Inspired™ Yoga teacher. Alice is also registered with Yoga Alliance as an RYT 500 and an E-RYT 200. Teaching and practicing yoga for many years has given Alice the knowledge needed to empower the lives of her students by using universal principles of alignment and heart-centered awareness; she consistently takes her practice to a higher level and helps her students do the same.

Sandi Lynn Russom

 

Hatha Yoga Adjunct Faculty

Sandi began studying and teaching yoga in 2006 in Austin, TX. She was initially drawn to yoga for exercise and relaxation, but experienced a profound transformation in her first year of yoga practice, and committed herself to sharing this experience with others. Her enthusiasm for self-study and healing helps her guide students as they learn to listen to themselves, and tap into their innate powers for transformation.

Since beginning her yoga practice, Sandi has immersed herself in learning how to find a path to living with ease. Along this path, she has trained in Hatha Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Chakra Therapy, Pranayama, Yoga Nidra, and Massage Therapy.  She has also received her doctorate in Physical Therapy. Her teachers have inspired her to use yoga as a therapeutic and transformational tool.  Beyond her background in movement science and human anatomy, Sandi’s strengths as a teacher are her encouraging attitude, her ceaseless enthusiasm, and her ability to make students feel comfortable and confident in themselves.

Mehtab Benton

 

Kundalini Yoga Faculty, Lead Teacher

Mehtab completed his first Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training course in 1974 while in residence at the Hargobind Kundalini Yoga Ashram. During the 1970s, he taught yoga in the public school system and in drug rehabilitation programs in California. He studied Kundalini Yoga under Yogi Bhajan and was among the first students to be certified in Kundalini Yoga through the Master's Touch training course in New Mexico. He has been a Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainer since 1997, and has taught Level I and Level II teacher training courses. Along with his wife Guru Karam, Mehtab received the International Kundalini Yoga Teacher’s Association “Building Communities in Yoga” award in 2000. He has taught Kundalini Yoga workshops and classes to students and teachers from around the world at the annual Kundalini Yoga Summer Solstice gathering in New Mexico.