Teachers and Staff


Ashlei Burley-Gandhi

During my second pregnancy I wanted a change in not only myself but in my connection with others. In the past I dabbled in yoga but never took the time to really invest in my practice. Through yoga I was able to not only heal much faster from my second pregnancy I was also able to completely avoid any type of postpartum hiccups. The more I became confident and strong in my practice the more I wanted to share yoga with others. My first two students were my kids as they followed me through my daily practice.
Gentle yoga is very special to me because it is usually the introductoary class to yoga, and the first class can sometime be a little daunting. Beginners hold such a special place in yoga. Even the most skilled master needs a willing student to pass on the knowledge that was once bestowed upon them at the start of their journey.


imageJinni Kondo

Namaste! My name is Jinni. I seriously started practicing yoga to calm my mind and escape from the daily stress of life in 2005. Born and raised in Thailand influenced by Buddhism, I am able to relate Buddhist teachings with yoga to exercise my mind, body and spirit to enhance the happiness from within. To go deeper with my practice of yoga, and am able to share it with others. I connected with Yoga Bharati for yoga teacher training program in 2012. My focus is to transform yoga asanas with mindful breathing into a stronger body and mind to understand life at the present moment.

 


Jessica FreitasJessica-pic

Jessica’s Yoga journey began over 20 years ago with a gift from her stepdad. That gift was a videotape of actress Dixie Carter sharing her love of yoga. Up until that moment Jessica had never heard of yoga but she was hooked from that first practice. She began doing the tape daily, then twice a day. Without realizing it this yoga practice was slowly opening up a whole new world to her. She attended the National Holistic Institute of Massage Therapy where she would spend the next year learning as much as she could about Eastern and Western healing modalities, anatomy, various massage techniques as well as energy work. From there, Jessica’s path led her to the Berkeley Psychic Institute where she spent the next several years diving in to the Spiritual world, working her way from student, to Minister all the way up to a teaching position, all the while still practicing and exploring her own yoga practice. By now she had explored several different yoga styles and philosophies eventually settling on a love for an Ashtanga based practice. This love guided her to It’s Yoga of San Francisco where Jessica studied for her Teacher Training credits under the care of Larry Schultz before his passing. Jessica has always been intensely curious about the physical body as well as the spiritual body and for her, yoga encompasses both of these worlds. She is currently working on getting her Health Coaching Certificates through the Integrative Institute of Nutrition while continuing to teach yoga and spiritual awareness classes.


Stephanie

Stephanie Wilson

Stephanie has been practicing yoga for over seven years and teaching for four years.  After an impasse in her career and life itself, yoga became a saving grace that propelled her through a difficult time.  Stephanie became the recipient of mind, body and spirit benefits With this new found feeling of peaceful mind/spirit and strong/flexible body, Stephanie knew she wanted to share this euphoric and life changing experience with others. She received her 200-hour Ashtanga yoga certification from It’s Yoga in San Francisco, CA, under the caring guidance of Larry Schultz, who studied with guru K. Pattabhi Jois. Stephanie incorporates various yoga styles to bring diversity and accessibility to students who attend her classes. Increasing her practice, she continues to add to her teacher hours and received training in Prenatal yoga, Forrest yoga (with Ana Forrest).  In addition, she studied Prana Flow yoga and Yoga Trance dance state-side and in India with Shiva Rea. Stephanie’s focus is on breath, alignment, and mindful care as grounding foundation. A dancer at heart, she weaves in a lighthearted, fluid energy —with “beats” to her teaching


Justin HeadshotJustin Toland

Since he was a boy, Justin has acknowledged an affinity towards healing and an understanding of what pain really is. Born in San Jose, Ca and raised in Union City, Ca, he has always been a Bay Area resident.  The journey of yoga began in 2012 with a taste of Bikram. It was a mental and physical challenge which left him in a state of being afterwards that fueled a passion for his current ventures.  After diving into Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Hatha, and various offerings of different yoga styles and classes, the fire had been lit. This excitement towards Yoga fueled this student to become a teacher.

Justin is certified under the Frog Lotus Yoga 200 hour program and has been teaching since February 2014. His classes offer a range of yogic philosophy, body alignment, breathing, and nurturing motivation. The goal is to be gentle but firm so all yogis may evolve in their personal practice. The belief is in building the quintessential, prime, or ideal yogi. Strategy, strength, focus, and determination are what drive his classes. His background in weight loss, fitness, and Crossfit are what build the class structure, but it’s always yoga at the foundation. His knowledge of the body has come from eight years of massage therapy as an occupation and he uses this as a tool to modify his classes to accommodate fluctuating diversities. For his personal life, Yoga has been the medicine of balance that keeps Justin primed for life’s ups, downs, and endeavors.


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Eri Guajardo Johnson

Since 2008, Eri began the practice of Yoga and launched her journey into healing.  In 2010, Eri completed her first 200hr teacher training with Pure Yoga in San Francisco.  In 2012, she completed a 3 year Ayurvedic Lifestyle and Wellness Coaching certificate from Vedika Global in Emeryville, CA- a traditional Gurukula model of education.  The rich emersion of simultaneously studying Ayurveda, Yoga, and Vedanta has given Eri a deep appreciation for the vast transformative power of these sister sciences.   Rooting her spiritual practice in prayer, meditation, intentional creativity, yoga, and social justice – Eri is a student of the connectivity of life.  Drawing inspiration from her personal practice, she strives to bring courage, healing, lightness, and laughter to her students through the physical and spiritual practice of Yoga.

 


Casey WallesIMG_2080

Casey has been practicing yoga since 2001, at a time in her life that she was struggling with depression and anxiety, in a whirlwind of life struggles. She stumbled upon a vinyasa yoga video at the library, and started her daily practice. Yoga helped her to find a space she never knew she had inside, just for her. She had never felt such calm and peace. Through the physical practice of asana(the postures), pranayama(the breath control), and mindfulness, she found strength and calm to tackle life’s challenges in a healthier way. She decided she wanted to share this gift and her passion for yoga with everyone. Casey completed her 200hr teacher training in 2009 at Pleasanton Yoga, in the Iyengar tradition and has been teaching a blend of vinyasa and Iyengar ever since. Casey is a mom, an artist, a musician, and all around Renaissance woman. Yoga is what keeps her strong, yet flexible amidst the ups and downs in her life. She enjoys the “play” that she finds in the practice of finding space through the postures. Casey hopes to help you find space in your body-mind-spirit connection, with a kind and playful heart.  “We need not take ourselves to seriously or we’ll lose the curiosity to discover and uncover truths of the self.”


Meisha Bosma

A long-time contemporary dancer and choreographer, came to yoga ten years ago to expand and deepen her belief in the body as a vessel of healing and expression. Her classes are a combination of physical asana, chanting, and intention and meditation, with the goal of calling upon the unconscious and making it conscious. She brings her experience as a dance artist to her yoga classes through an invitation to explore the feelings that arise during practice, with an emphasis on processing and integrating those feelings as a path to knowing and loving oneself. She is a mother, and also teaches principles of non-violence through dance and theater at Destiny Arts Center. Meisha is currently pursuing a degree in Nursing and completed her yoga teaching certification at Laughing Lotus in San Francisco.


 Janet Perez 

Manager

Janet began her first yoga asana class at Hot Box Yoga in 2004 after trying a myriad of other healing methods for treating chronic back pain as the result of having been a San Francisco Police Officer for 12 years.  Shortly thereafter, she discovered Ayurveda, traveled to Kerela, India, and came back to study Ayurveda for 2 years at the California College of Ayurveda.  That study led her to deeper Vedic studies with world-renowned Jyotish master, Hart DeFouw.  Janet is now doing her Karma and following her Dharma:  Jyotish (Vedic Astrology), Hasta (Scientific Hand Analysis), Ayurveda (East Indian Medicine), Vastu (East Indian Feng Shui), and of course Yoga.  Her vision is to be part of a community that  brings all of these wonderful tools to mainstream America.  She knows that Yoga is the first step to knowing thySelf.  As Lao Tzu said, “Knowing others is Intelligence, Knowing ourSelves is Wisdom!”

 


Simona Gimbutiene

I found yoga through curiosity, it sounded so mystical and unknown to me. I dared one day to try it out and loved it from the very first class. I felt happier, more alive, and more in tune with myself. Through a regular practice I started seeing results in my life not only on the mat. I became more grounded, less affected by the stress of life, and more at peace. As a former gymnast I had a good awareness of my body, but yoga connected my mind, body, and breath in a profound way.Students in my classes will explore this connection while getting a good workout. Classes will flow in vinyasa style yoga, but some poses will be held for a bit longer to build strength, have time to explore emotions, and connect the mind with the body. I am excited for students to discover the benefits of yoga. See you on the mat!

Adrienne LamIMG_6901b

“Namaste and welcome home!” Adrienne Lam teaches Vinyasa (flow) yoga with a focus on developing strength while being mindful of where we are each day. As a highly active person, she first came to practice yoga for the physical exercise and had yet to realize the extent of all yoga would offer. Learning that yoga is about flexibility in all senses: physical, mental and emotional; she noticed that many were drawn to the mat because they were looking for such a safe space to develop that flexibility to respond to life’s various challenges. People wanted the space to explore and connect; space to breath and space for allowances. Now, as a teacher, Adrienne is excited to help people create that space in their lives by developing the courage and trust first on their mats. She also has a special interest in working with injuries. Adrienne has been practicing yoga since 2010 and recently completed her 200 RYT in December 2014 at Worlds Yoga, Union City.”

Phil Engelhardt 
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Mindful Meditation…
Is the observation of breath as we witness external and internal sensations.  Generally one can do this for a few moments before the mind gets bored.  Images may arise from the past and hook your attention in a chain of associated thoughts, either as images or internal dialogue.  Meditation practice teaches how to access the alive stillness within.
Donation:  ($5-$10 suggested)
Schedule:
Wedensday:  10:30-11:15am
Friday:           10:30-11:15am
Sunday:           9:15-10:15am
Developed by Lisa Libutti | 22433 Foothill Blvd. Hayward, CA 94541 | Phone: 510-888-YOGA (9642) | Email: lorimaravilla@haywardyoga.com | Log-in here