Yoga Instructors

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Audrey - Castro Valley San Ramon Yoga InstructorsAudrey Allen

Audrey is a graduate from The Yoga Company class of 2003.

I began practicing yoga in 1996 and completed my teacher training in  2003.   I have been co-owner of The Yoga Company studios since 2003.
I believe that yoga  is a means to understand who we truly are which allows us to live more peaceful lives.  When we work at our edge, whether that’s the edge of our strength, flexibility, balance, or ability to remain present we can’t help but evolve.  I believe laughter and yoga are a perfect combination.
Although I am not currently a strict follower of any specific yoga style, my training and practice are rooted in the Ashtanga tradition. My classes are a culmination of the many traditions that I have studied over the years. I am grateful to, and inspired by the many teachers I’ve had over the years and do my best to integrate their wisdom into my teaching.
I encourage a combination of  mindful breathing, correct alignment and conscious movement in my classes.

 

Antonella Dalla Muta Anto- Castro Valley & San Ramon Yoga Instructor– Graduate of The Yoga Company Teacher Training
I started yoga when I was pregnant as a way to stay active, improve my fitness and remain calm and peaceful. And it worked! It helped turn my pregnancy into an easy and wonderful experience.  I’ve been practicing yoga ever since 
with passion and love for the body. Yoga has enabled me to connect with my physical self and channel my inner strength. It also helps me conquer the everyday anxieties we all have. When I’m in a yoga class, I forget  my troubles, fears, and worries, and enter a world of comfort, harmony and balance. It’s a place where I remember to be myself, listen to myself and heal myself. For me it’s all about the journey. Everyone wants to get to the top of the mountain, but the happiness comes while you’re climbing it.

Certified teacher 200 hours and 40 hours yin from The Yoga Company and took and taught various classes in Italy. I’ve been teaching Yoga since 2011 with almost 500 hours of teaching experience.

 

Mia Armas Castro Valley and San Ramon Yoga InstructorsMia Armas

After taking my very first class more than 8 years ago, I recall leaving the room, long before savasana, ready to pass out. With encouragement from my sister, I stuck it out, really giving yoga a true chance. Three classes later, I was hooked. Yoga became my hour long safe haven, to escape the demands of my hectic corporate and family life. Flowing from asana to asana, almost like an effortless dancer. When faced with the need to leave that corporate life behind, I decided that yoga would give me the freedom to be available to my family, while sharing my passion and making a difference in people lives, and happily jumped into teacher training. Influenced by various teachers throughout the years, peers, students, culture and travels, I strive to empower each class with the mental and physical strength yoga offers. My classes focus on cultivating breath and connecting it with movement to create change in each individual. More often than not, you can expect a playlist laced with amazing beats, helping propel your pranayama. The goal is to be gentle, yet firm, so all yogis may evolve in their personal practice.

 

Gloria Castro Yoga InstructorsGloria Capron

I love teaching yoga!  Our bodies are the vehicles we use to traverse these busy, sometimes hectic lives. Through the practice of yoga we revitalize our bodies and minds and enhance every aspect of living.  Yoga is not a religion but for some it provides an avenue for our spiritual exploration. I have been studying yoga since 1995 and teaching yoga since 2000. My certification is from the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco at the 500 hour level. Some of my additional certifications and studies include Yoga Trance Dance Teacher training with Shiva Rae, studies at The Chopra Center, Prenatal Teacher Training Certification , Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique training,  AFFA, OmCycle, Barre, TRX and Reiki.  Music has profound healing properties and the music I use in class is an eclectic blend of soft rock, jazz, new age, and various  pieces of healing instrumental music.. My intention is that we leave class feeling joyous and uplifted.
Audrey Allen and I share the ownership of The Yoga Company and I am grateful to say that I also have the privilege of being the Director of Teacher Training.

 Karen Heller-Graduate of the Yoga Company Teacher TrainingKaren Heller Castro Valley San Ramon Yoga Instructors

I completed my teacher training with Clayton Horton of Greenpath Yoga at The Yoga Company in 2003 and have been teaching ever since.  My teaching is based in the Ashtanga tradition without adhering to a set sequence of poses.  We flow from posture to posture being mindful of our alignment and breath.  Music is both modern and traditional.
One of Clayton’s instructions was, “Give them something new and something they can do.”  I often think of this in my teaching and strive to create a welcoming and playful practice.

 

 

Lisa Jang

My journey began when I moved from British Columbia to the Bay Area in 1999. As a way to stay healthy and to meet new friends, I joined a local gym. Tired of treadmills and elliptical trainers, I started to take various group fitness classes – from strength to cardio kickboxing. My new found group fitness friends invited me to take a yoga class with them. Needless to say, my passion for yoga ignited.

I have been teaching group fitness and yoga for a decade now. I am Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) Group Fitness Certified, and am RYT certified through the Yoga Alliance in the Hatha Vinyasa style. Additionally, I study and practice the style of Yin Yoga under the guidance of Yin Yoga teacher, Bernie Clark. My vinyasa classes are athletic, uplifting and playful. On the opposite spectrum, my yin classes are more passive and softer, with an emphasis of unfolding a harmonic balance in the body’s life-energy or “qi”. My playlists range from zen-like to down tempo; chill-out to world fusion. My classes weave the no frills spiritual with the physical, with a keen focus on making sure my students cultivate an optimum practice for themselves.

 

Jennifer K Castro Valley & San Ramon Yoga InstructorsJennifer Keenan – Graduate of The Yoga Company Teacher Training

I have been an athlete all of my life.  I played competitive sports in school and earned my BS in physiology at UC Davis.  It was only natural that I become a certified exercise instructor, and take my “love for working out” and share it with others.  I love to sweat.  I want to inspire and encourage others the same way.  My goal is to unveil the strength that is inside all of us.  I want everyone to be aware of all parts of their body, not just the ones we can see.  We are only as strong as our weakest part. In both my barre fusion class and yoga class, you will sweat!  In Barre Icombine  pilates, yoga, ballet, and athletic moves, to give you an all over body workout.  Because there is deep, yoga stretching between moves, your muscles will not only get stronger, but longer as well. My Yoga classes are tailored for each participant and I encourage you to feel and access your best.

Jan new Castro Valley & San Ramon Yoga Instructors

Jan Miller – Graduate of The Yoga Company Teacher Training program

I started doing Yoga in the early 70’s. I read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda when I was 17 years old. That was the beginning of my meditation practice that I have continued and still find very valuable to my well being. I earned a BFA in Ballet Pedagogy. After I finished dancing I got into the fitness industry. I taught group exercise (aerobics, toning, stretch classes) for 20 years. The last six years, of which, I added personal training. I am a licensed massage therapist. My massage training included the study of Tai Chi. I consider everyone a teacher and I have had many inspiring teachers in Yoga. Technique is an integral part of my teaching to assure longevity and safety of the practice. Dance was very inspiring to me, I missed that when teaching fitness, I have found that inspiration again in Yoga. I love teaching and I learn so much from my students. Yoga is about finding freedom, opening up, finding self. Bring an open mind, heart, and body to class and bring a towel.

 

Katie Potts Castro Valley & San Ramon Yoga InstructorsKatie Potts – Graduate of The Yoga Company Teacher Training program. 

I have been singing, dancing, and acting since I was 12 years old and have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. I love the connection and energy performing brings to my life. I seek to bring the challenge, energy and exuberance of performing into classes when I teach. OmCycle allows us to engage our body, mind and spirit removing the barriers that keep up from connecting with our true bliss and the beauty of the world around us.  I bring a mix of music styles into my OmCycle classes including rock, pop, world, R&B and the occasional showtune to keep it fresh and fun!

 

 

Katarina Polychroniou – Graduate of The Yoga Company Teacher Training program

Growing up in Greece I was always very interested in sports and I loved exploring gymnastics. The mindful concentration and discipline of gymnastics captured my interest in learning how to develop myself. It was a sport that calls upon me to be the best I can be independent of what those around me were doing.
I started practicing yoga in 2001. I still remember how drawn I was to yoga and its ability to have me feel both revitalized and strong while peaceful and serene in my mind. At the end of yoga class I was so calm and revitalized at the same time.
I am first and foremost a student and I recognize that a big part of teaching is constantly learning and evolving.
Teaching has been a passion for me. It is my way to inspire and help others find their inner strength.
As a yoga instructor I encourage students of yoga to be the best you can possibly be rather than being better than the person on the mat next to you. The motivation to go inside and find your own inner guidance and strength will help you attain what you want in life. My class is taught in a moderately heated room and I encourage you to explore your strength while in this safe supportive environment. I offer many variations when we do some of the more challenging poses. My goal is to help you understand your body, mind and come closer to your own truth.

 

Fanny Machado – Graduate of The Yoga Company Teacher Training program

I started yoga while pregnant with my first daughter. Fifteen years later both my daughters come to yoga and practice with me. I’ve always worked out and yoga has inevitably always been a part of my routine. I love the connection that yoga brings between the mind and the body. Understanding the way our body works and the power our minds have to connect it all together is a fascinating journey. I’m also a middle school physical education teacher and I strive to bring the benefits of yoga to my students. I’m a staunch proponent of mindfulness through movement, whether hiking, walking, or running. I find that the practice of yoga allows us to find a mindful space in which to find inner peace..

 

Miche’le Lee 

I got introduced to Yoga around 2006, while I was in college. After taking my first class, I knew that Yoga would be apart of my life forever. It wasn’t until I gave birth to my son in 2015 when I took my Yoga practice more seriously. This is when I realized that practicing Yoga is more than getting into poses and going to classes; Yoga is a lifestyle! I learned that Yoga is a practice that helps you strengthen your mind, body and spirit. Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing for years, there is always room for growth and improvement. Yoga gives constant reminders and lessons that help you become a better you. I also believe that Yoga has healing attributes and the combination of a conscious breath, body alignment and meditation can help you reach a state of mind that allows the body to recover and heal. All of these great gifts that Yoga has to offer lead me in the direction of wanting to teach and help others find their best selves. I am always happy with any opportunity that allows me to spread positive energy into the world.

 

Tim Cox – Graduate of The Yoga Company Teacher Training program
It’s been just about eight years since I first walked into The Yoga Company with my brand new royal blue yoga mat in tow. What I was anticipating was not the outcome. I thought we would sit around, stretch, burn incense, adorn ourselves with patchouli oil and chant. Wow was I wrong. What I found was an amazing welcoming community of beautiful people from every walk of life, each with their own story. I was in a very dark place for many, many years before walking through this door of change. I knew immediately that this was where I belonged. This thing we call yoga has given me a new perspective on life, the ability to accept and love myself for who I truly am, and the ability to love others again. The practice has not only given me the ability to see clearly and take a look inside but the physical aspects are wondrous. I teach yoga because I want to share the same joy and happiness that this practice has given me. I’ve truly seen transformation, not only in myself throughout the years, but also in the great friends and mentors that I’ve met along the way. I enjoy every modality of yoga from extreme hot power to yin. Join me with my friends and family. I look forward to welcoming you to our yoga community and practicing with you.

I am most grateful for The Yoga Company Teacher Training program under the guidance of Gloria Capron, Audrey Allen and Lisa Jang.

 

Joe Sapena

I began practicing Yoga late in life on my own and eventually began taking classes from Nancy Leigh Smith in Castro Valley. I then studied at The Yoga Room in Berkeley with some amazing teachers and completed the 500 hour Advanced studies program in 2013. My teaching is alignment based in the Iyengar style of Yoga to instruct the poses and breathing techniques to achieve focus and awareness. I think that teaching means more to me now than when I first began. I think that to be present and able to guide a student toward that moment of awareness of what may be possible for them helps me re-experience the same moments in my own journey. I have been teaching locally here in the east bay for 4 years now. The pose I enjoy teaching most is headstand. I learned how to come into this pose from a book by Donald Moyer who later became one my instructors at the Yoga Room in Berkeley. I still experience the same sense of amazement that I felt the very first time I went upside down at the age of 62 even today 9 years later.