Diana is a humbled and dedicated practitioner, an explorer of yoga, meditation and theatre for 14 years. The study and practice of Raja Yoga, and Mahayana Buddhist meditation has led her to India, Nepal, The Yukon, New Mexico, New York and California to learn from highly gifted teachers. She completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre and a 150 hour advanced teacher training at the Yoga Centre Winnipeg. Diana teaches an alignment based flow yoga practice, interweaving meditation and mindfulness to kids, adults, seniors and adults with disabilities. She is a Thai Massage practitioner and leads workshops throughout North America in environmental education through theatre to kids. She has mainly been influenced and devoted to Lama Lodro, Adyashanti, Sarah Powers, Aadil Palhkivala, Jan Debenham, Mark Whitwell and Jason Crandell, all of whom she has been fortunate to study with.
Laura knew yoga had some kind magnetic draw pulling her toward it as early as her teens when she dropped in at a beginner’s class at a local gym and was yelled at by someone screaming into a microphone, playing terrible music and omitting savasana altogether. She left the class somewhat traumatized but still feeling incredibly good and curious to seek out some good instruction. Yoga soon became her home where she learned to bring her head and heart into unity.
As she became dedicated to her practice she noticed her restlessness and wanderlust transforming into wonder. She felldeeper in love with asana each time she arrived at the mat and eventually decided to take her 200 hour teacher training in 2010 with Semperviva.
As a Lioness with 2 boy cubs in her pride, Laura is inspired to facilitate space for other mothers to unify and feel the wellbeing that comes from breath and movement.
Eastside Fitness & Semperviva, Vancouver, CANADA
Colin teaches from a place of love, gratitude and compassion. He reminds us that living our ‘now-life’ is about being present in this moment and that dwelling in the past or speculating on the future doesn’t serve anyone.
Colin describes the apple as being of the tree. From the tree, emanates the apple, completely dissimilar in physical appearance, yet inter dependent, sharing the identical force of life that saturates all existence.
The source and constitution of everything in this universe and beyond is the same. We are already everything that we seek – the desire to find something else is merely the monkey mind’s confused state unable to surrender to the simplicity of what is. We cannot seek to find something that we already are – simply realizing the truth of life and acknowledging that the source of our existence is indeed that of everything, everywhere, gives us the space to be here now and be love in our ‘now-lives’.
When we surrender, we allow a deep sense of peace to permeate our hearts and allow the essence of our existence, which is simply pure love, to empower our lives.
With first hand experience, Colin knows that healing from pain, suffering and ‘dis-ease’, is unequivocally possible through yoga. His book, “Your Feet Face Forward” is due for release in 2012.
Monica Clara is a Heart of Yoga Teacher trained by Mark Whitwell. She has lived and worked at the Kripalu Centre for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts and is a Professional Level Kripalu Yoga Teacher. She began her studies in Toronto with Ananda Shakti Saraswati. She has over ten years of teaching experience in Canada and the U.S. Monica lives and teaches in Ottawa.
Crescence passes on the beautifully simple and profound Yoga that she has received from Mark Whitwell. Her direct experience of Yoga began when she gave birth to her daughter and realized that we are all Mother, the source and force of Life. It has continued through eighteen years work as a Doula, helping other women give birth. Her ability to integrate the wisdom of traditional midwifery into current birthing environments has been supported by a twenty year connection to Isabel Perez and Ina May Gaskin. Crescence teaches and mentors Yoga teachers and Doulas and writes. Real relationship is at the heart of life and she is committed to working in a way that makes it possible.
“I am the founder and president of Inspire-Action holistic health and wellness solutions, offering services in mind-body coaching, yoga, Reiki and personalized fitness training. Mark Whitwell had a profound influence on me and my teachings from the moment we met. I understood quickly what the Heart of Yoga meant. As I practised, I felt the opening of my heart chakra and the feeling of being alive inside. I experienced the intimate feeling of ‘coming home’ to myself. I weave Mark’s words into all my teachings and blend the best of what I have learned through the Krishnamacharya lineage, Kripalu yoga, Flow and chakra balancing to make yoga accessible to everyone. My passion lies in guiding others on a journey of self-discovery and personal development. I encourage people to quiet their minds, improve body awareness and to listen to their heart which provides access to their own deep inner wisdom.”
Amy emphasizes one-on-one and small group yoga lessons in traditional Ha-Tha. She teaches a practical yoga to empower her students through self-awareness, relaxation and focused energy, and ensures that each individual is receiving an appropriate yoga for their unique self. She encourages her students to stand in their own Truth (whatever that may be), know their full power and grace, and trust their Life is a completely nurturing Source.
The deep transformations Amy facilitates in the lives of her students comes through her commitment to building sincere friendships with them. Through this mutual respect, the ancient wisdom of the Heart of Yoga is transmitted and practiced. She offers her students a return to their innate, intimate connection of strength and receptivity that is revealed through the union of simply and dynamically linking one’s body and breath.
Amy works closely with Mark Whitwell facilitating Heart of Yoga Teacher Trainings and events around the world.
Newbury Park, CA
Chris has been teaching yoga since 1994. He became a certified Heart of Yoga teacher in 2003. He holds yoga as a sacred practice of healing and transformation. All are welcome, no prior experience is needed. He teaches classes, individuals, and offers yoga therapy.
Newbury Park, CALIFORNIA
Ingrid is the owner of Sacred Space Studio. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher [RYT] who began her practice in 1972. A devoted student of the healing arts, Ingrid has taught yoga since 1988. She is inspired by Mark Whitwell’s teachings and especially to share the Heart of Yoga breathing with her students.
Los Angeles, CA
Nianna is an embodied yogini, speaker, and teacher with extensive practice and study in the art and discipline of yoga in the US and in India. For over 14 years Nianna has studied yoga, dance, and movement arts in India, U.S. and Europe. Yoga found her at the ripe age of 18. While attending Cornish College in Seattle she was a modern dancer and print model who hungered for a life of wellness and integration which yoga satisfied. “Yoga saved my life. I don’t know who I would be without this practice that continues to guide me home.” Nianna teaches from years of personal experience and embodiment, intuitive sequencing, years of study with master teachers, and her own inner wisdom. She travels globally and shares yoga from her heart with a joyful spirit and dedication to the practice and principles of Krishnamacharya. She is co-director of Away Inward, a company that specializes in uniquely personal, playful, and healing cultural submersion, spiritual pilgrimage, and eco-adventure retreats. She is a native Los Angelino, born at home in Santa Monica, CA. Her home studio is Exhale in Venice, CA.
San Francisco, CA
“As a devoted student of Mark Whitwell’s for over 8 years and all the great teaching of yoga, I have come to be reminded that we are not trying to get ‘from here to there, but rather from there to here.’ The breath is the most profound vehicle. It is our guide, a source of inspiration and that which initiates movement both inside and out. The breath and movement of the body are not ways to find god but to express it! ‘The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.’ – Albert Einstein”
Laughing Lotus, San Francisco, CALIFORNIA
Santa Monica, CA
Gayle encourages her students to start from where they are, creating an environment where each student is comfortable practicing at their own level. Just as she learned from Mark Whitwell, Gayle helps her students develop a consistent home practice, and encourages them to do their yoga every day, even if just for a few minutes.
Focusing on conscious breath with movements and function over form enables her students to feel the transformative benefits of yoga‚ on and off the mat.
Gayle also combines her love of yoga with her experience as a college professor and business communication consultant‚ helping yoga teachers communicate clearly.
In her practice, and as a teacher, Gayle is inspired by her teachers from the Krishnamacharya lineage. She is especially grateful to Mark Whitwell and the Heart of Yoga Peace Project he founded where she serves on the Board of Directors and is involved in the development of the Teacher Training Program. She looks forward to her continued involvement in helping to Spread Peace Through Yoga.
Beverly Hills, CA
As a certified Yoga Alliance teacher, Katrina’s desire in class is to show how yoga can give you the tools to be more efficient through the mind and body and find your own personal balance. Katrina leads her classes to explore a side of yoga that encourages students to move with intention, how to sit with themselves and ultimately help guide a journey toward identifying their hopes – mental or physical. Katrina teaches with her life experience of nearly 20 years on the road and how Yoga has brought her to where she is in her own journey with her body and mind currently.
In making and playing music you can choose your timing approach; “Behind the beat, on top or after the beat.” You have that same choice in your physical practice: “Behind your edge, on your edge or beyond your edge.” Everyone practices at varying degrees. Katrina’s class intends to guide and support you in a compassionate way that can uncover what suits you best for the ultimate intention. Opening mental, emotional and physical doors that may have unknowingly to the student, been shut.
Resides in Encino, CA, seeing clients all over LA area, travels and has a private studio in the Valley with classes starting up in August 2012
Beverley Hills, Santa Monica, CALIFORNIA
San Francisco, CA
Silvie has been teaching yoga full-time for over 6 years. She teaches in a way that supports and empowers students in their physical, mental, and spiritual practice. Teaching with integrity, compassion, and intuition, Silvie provides safe space for students to gain insight into their practice, and to enjoy the beauty of yoga. She encourages students to turn inward, to stay present and receptive because that is the moment of clarity and understanding. Commitment to translating yoga into an accessible, meaningful practice is rooted deeply in her passion to teach. She also holds two degrees, in Social Work and in Communication.
Santa Barbara, CA
“I am a trained Psychotherapist who works from a deep and archetypal basis. I am integrating the use of yoga to help clients gain a better sense of their relationship to their bodies and experience their own inherent healing potential from within. I work with a wide variety of clients but some of my fields of speciality are dream work, adolescents, trauma, addiction and working with the healing of the masculine and feminine energies within individuals. I have just relocated to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles to be closer to nature, as my one of my passions is surfing. I both teach yoga within my practice as a therapist and also as a private yoga teacher to those who wish to develop their own personal yoga practice.”
Privates Classes only
Santa Barbara, CALIFORNIA
San Francisco, CA
Ashley has been practicing and teaching for over ten years. She has taught in New York City and San Francisco, on the faculty at Bates Dance Festival and American Dance Festival, as well as internationally in New Zealand. Her teaching draws from experience in fields as varied as Pilates, Feldenkrais, Reiki, Thai Yoga Massage, Yamuna Body Rolling, and bodywork, as well as her study with Mark Whitwell and Kathy Grant.
Ashley’s teaching is infused with awareness as the vehicle for exploratory fun. The teaching becomes a process of learning how to learn, rather than about perfection of form. “Life on Earth is always unique, changing, and unpredictable, even if certain patterns can be dimly discerned, our ability to do so diminishes with time.” Philip Glass
San Francisco, CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles, CA
Lily took her first Yoga class with Patricia Gray in Kansas City around 1998. She moved to Los Angeles in 1999 and soon began exploring the many popularized forms of Yoga. Still, there was something missing. She was always searching for the next best teacher. Lily met Mark about six years ago on retreat with Ram Dass and there was an instant connection. Her searching ceased. As Mark led the class through a simple set of asanas, she was connected to her body and breath in a way she had never been before. She said to herself, “Aha! This is what yoga is all about!” Mark’s teaching empowers all of us to find our own Yoga from the source. Through studying with Mark she has learned to trust her own breath, her own body, and her own voice. She is proud to be a part of the Heart of Yoga Teacher’s Community.
Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA
During the last 12 years, Pixie has made studying yoga not only her profession, but her life. She was drawn to yoga due to the balance it provides of internal quiet and external strength. Just as practicing yoga is an important part of Pixie’s routine, teaching it to others comes naturally.
“I personally strive to continuously gain authenticity in my yoga practice and my life practice, which are one and the same,” Pixie explains. “Sharing, teaching, and exploring all aspects of the health world feels like what I am here to do.”
Pixie strives to help her students achieve a love for yoga and a sense of calm in their lives. Pixie encourages her students to live peacefully with a focus on their health – and attempts to simplify healthy living philosophies to help students and clients understand that it can be quite easy to eat more healthily and take care of their well-being. She feels that living a stressed life is more difficult than living a stress-free one, and that some clients or students need reminding of this.
On the mat, Pixie wants her students to grow in their practices and to never feel stagnant. Her classes are not repetitive and instead, the class as a whole improves, grows and increases its practice together. Pixie is conscious of the levels of practice of her students, and as a result, custom-tailors aspects of the practice to meet individual needs. It is important to Pixie for the yoga classes she offers to be compassionate. A class with Pixie has a loving combination of healthful, energy-inducing activity, and the achievement of personal calm.
Pixie holds a degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in exercise science focusing on health and wellness. During the course of Pixie’s college career, she began to study yoga. She is very comfortable with the anatomy of the body and loves to learn about the body’s moving patterns.
Mill Valley, CA
Amy hopes to help people feel better through deep connection with their own body, breath and voice! She works as a board certified pain physician blending western medicine with yoga therapeutics including movement, breath, and sound. She is currently offering house calls in the Bay Area for people suffering with chronic pain.
Amy has been a student of yoga and movement for over twenty years. Her life was forever changed when meeting Mark Whitwell on a trip to India for Kumbh Mela in 2010. His teachings reconnected her with her own divinity. Her yoga practice helped to cultivate a deeper relationship with herself and thus she was able to engage more intimately with the world. She also has been a student of voice and sound with Silvia Nakkach since 2008. She shares simple breath and sounding exercises to allow a deep connection with one’s self.
She currently lives in Marin, CA with her husband and child. She looks forward to sharing yoga with others to help them feel whole and happy!
Newport Beach, CA
Heart of Yoga Foundation Peace Project Co-ordinator
Janet is a lifelong yoga student, devotee and teacher whose practice blends classical spirituality with practical healing therapies. She has completed nearly 1,000 hours of training and certification with major teachers in leading traditions.
Her early training with John Childers of Full-Spectrum Yoga grounded her asana practice in the philosophical origins of the sutras. She then trained with Naader Shagagi, founder of Yoga Kingdom in Pasadena, whose wholehearted embrace of Eastern and Western mysticism illumines yoga as a devotional path. Janet is currently studying yoga therapy with Juris Zinberg and Gary Krafstow, and is completing the three year Yoga Therapy Program through The Viniyoga Institute.
She is a longtime student and friend of Mark Whitwell and, as a result, is deeply rooted in the yoga practice and principles of Krishnamacharya. Janet has years of experience as a social worker and worked in many schools and agencies serving children and families in stress.
Janet is currently teaching and training in various locations in Southern and Northern California and lives in Newport Beach, California where she teaches private and semi-private classes in yoga and yoga theraputics.
Newport Beach, CALIFORNIA
Santa Monica, CA
Jillian synthesizes the principles of Krishnamacharya, as taught by Mark Whitwell, into a variety of yoga styles that she has studied for the past 10 years. This includes over 900 hours of training in Vinyasa Yoga, Forrest Yoga, and Yoga Therapy. Her primary focus is to develop a deep relationship with the breath, utilizing asana (poses) and concentrated attention. In addition to her yoga training, Jillian holds a Master’s degree in Psychology. She feels yoga is a vehicle to create profound shifts in our perception and habitual patterns, leading to a more peaceful existence.
Cheri Rae Russell
Los Angeles, CA
Cheri Rae ice skated professionally from age 11 to 36.
At 17 Cheri Rae critically injured her knee landing a jump and was introduced to yoga as physical therapy. When it completely rehabilitated her, yoga became her passion.
Cheri studied under Frank White and Pattabhi Jois, among others. She has been teaching for 21 years.
Cheri Rae has taught in India, Thailand, as well as a 6 month residence at The Yoga Barn in Bali before returning to Los Angeles to create peace.
Los Angeles, California
Yoga makes Masha feel good. In the beginning of her yoga studies, Masha would stomp down the dark slushy NYC streets after a grueling day workin’ for the man, and wonder why on earth she was feeling so euphoric after just having tried (many times unsuccessfully) to twist herself into a pretzel. Ever the hedonist, she chased this euphoria through all kinds of yoga schools in NYC, India and Los Angeles. She studied Iyengar, Ashtanga, Anusara, Vini, Bikram, Vinyasa Flow and as many blends of Hatha yoga as there are blends of Starbucks coffee.
Her breath focused classes create a moving meditation that, will leave you too, feeling good.
Masha received her 500-Hour Yoga Certification from YogaWorks in Los Angeles. She is grateful for her many wonderful teachers along the way which also include her colleagues, students and Mark Whitwell who helped her uncover the ever-present teacher within.
Santa Monica, CA
Indira met and began her studies with Mark Whitwell in 1998, she continues to study with him whenever he’s in LA. She is fascinated with the breath and its healing properties. She is interested in incorporating yoga into everyday life and often leads inspiring classes that are centered around a particular theme.
Santa Monica, CA
Ali Tariq has been teaching yoga in Pakistan for the past 3 years and has co-facilitated two yoga retreats including an annual Himalayan mountain retreat. His primary influences are derived from Ashtanga and Iyengar systems of yoga. Ali spent most of his life in California where he was exposed to a variety of yoga teachers and styles over the past 12 years. Ali is also a certified Holistic Health Practitioner, massage therapist, and has trained in many forms of holistic therapies including yoga, medical qi-gong, vipassana meditation, zen shiatsu, reiki, thai-yoga massage, cranio-sacral therapy, biofeedback, alexander technique, feldenkris method, and hanna somatic therapies. Ali has recently moved back to his hometown of Santa Monica, CA where he is currently pursuing a Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is currently available for private yoga therapy and bodywork sessions.
Santa Monica, CA
San Francisco, CA
Brick began his spiritual path in 1994 by spending over a year at a Tibetan Buddhist healing center. In the years that followed, he studied yoga and internal martial arts, culminating with a 4-month trip to India that led to a 4-year journey. In India, he immersed himself in traditional forms of yoga and meditation with an emphasis on viniyoga, studying at the source at Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram led by TKV Desikachar. Brick’s classes are a unique approach to vinyasa yoga – the breath feeds directly into fluid, aligned movements that foster core strength and suppleness, weaving together a playful sequence that focuses the mind and enlivens the spirit.
Richard Wegman (Mahadeva-Das)
“Explore Yoga by connecting to your source through your breath. We will use the 5 elements to explore intimacy with ourselves, with others and with our planet the Mother through the practice of Asanas Mudras, Bandhas and Pranayama.
Rooted in traditional ha-tha yoga and certified by his first teacher Raghavan; a student of Swami Vishnu Devananda. Teachers include Mark Whitwell, Saul David Raye, and Erich Schiffmann. On the path for 23 (Teaching for 13) years he brings an unquenchable desire for sharing breath, knowledge and healing.
Yoga is a path on this earth we travel together exploring, learning and deepening our practice on the journey.”
“By meditating on the glorious power that gives us life, we ask that our minds and hearts be illuminated” — Gayatri Mantra
Friend, healer, consultant
253 5th Ave., Venice (Santa Monica), 90291
Jessica Patterson, M.A.
Jessica has been practicing and discovering yoga for over nineteen years, during which time she has had the great privilege of exploring many methods, approaches, and teachers. Her formal training as a teacher began with a 200-hour program in Colorado Springs. As her own yoga practice deepened, so too did her understanding of its profound transformative and regenerative power. She sought out more opportunities to learn and grow as a practitioner and teacher, and her dedication and commitment to nonviolence led her to the Jivamukti Yoga method, which bridges ancient teachings and modern lifestyles in a challenging, uplifting, and deeply compassionate practice. In April 2008, she completed the month-long 300-hour Jivamukti training in NY to become the only Certified Jivamukti Teacher in Colorado Springs and a 500-hour E-RYT with Yoga Alliance, indicating 2000+ hours of teaching.
While her Jivamukti roots run deep, Jessica has also broadened and deepened her roots and counts Mark Whitwell among her most formative teachers. Under Mark’s gentle guidance, Jessica has reconnected with (and remembered) the heart of yoga as “the direct participation with life—as life itself.” She teaches yoga as a technology/practice that facilitates the re-cognition (and embodiment) of oneself as divine expression—whole and complete.
Karen Pierce, E-RYT (500)
Fairfield County, CT
Karen was introduced to meditation and yoga as a teen and has continued to deepen her practice over nearly three decades. That dedication has helped bring a sense of peace and balance while living in a world that seems to be spinning out of control. A life-long student of yoga, she has been blessed to have learned from many renowned yogi masters but fell in LOVE with yoga after meeting Mark in 2005. Mark is a gifted teacher and she is fortunate to have him as her mentor.
Karen is dedicated to bringing the practice of therapeutic yoga to all populations in a safe format that is rooted in science and the art of adaptation. She is inspired by Mark’s teachings as well as the tradition of Krishnamacharya and is devoted to sharing the 5 principles of breath in her public classes and with her private students.
Karen has her E-RYT (500) through Yoga Alliance, is a Professional Yoga Therapist (PYT) through Integrative Yoga Therapy as well as is a certified Yoga Ed instructor (teaching in public & private schools), and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Karen is also the author of Yoga Bear: Yoga for Youngsters – a children’s book published by Northword Press (2004) and was a co-contributor to Yoga in America.
Barbara Tomaszek Templeton, MS, E-RYT (500)
Barbara provides peace and power to individuals through yoga‚ more peace, more power. Author of the Complete Idiots Guide to Stretching and Editor and contributor of the book Yoga of Heart, The Healing Power of Intimate Connection. Barbara has studied with many renowned yoga masters. She takes these teachings to her public classes and private students to help them connect with the deeper aspects of yoga. Templeton received her formal yoga teacher certification from the famed Kripalu Center, the largest site for yoga and holistic health in the United States and she is a certified Vinyasa Krama teacher. She is a member of the Yoga Alliance and the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
Ivey (Hawk) Blount
Panama City, FL
Ivey Blount, a.k.a. “Hawk,” is a Native American (Seminole Indian) with a background in martial arts and zen meditation. Hawk has been called a “natural yogi” by Mark Whitwell. He began his formal yoga training with Jamie Brown in 2005 and met Mark at Omega Institute where he attended an intensive teacher training in 2011. A professional street fighter in his youth, Hawk now teaches gentle tai chi in addition to Heart of Yoga style asana and pranayama. He has a natural rapport with animals and helps with the equine program at Body Soul Bliss. Hawk also teaches zen archery and enjoys taking visitors on nature walks in the forest by the studio as well as snorkeling expeditions at the beach.
Panama City, FL
Jamie is a yoga teacher and spiritual counselor who began practicing yoga in 1976 at the age of 13 and over the years has studied various traditions including hatha, jnana, kundalini, bhakti, tantra and kriya. She has had the privilege of learning from some very well-known teachers and others more obscure, and has woven the essence of these teachings together in her own practice as a bhakti-tantrika. Jamie had believed that her holistic approach to yoga was unique until she met Mark Whitwell, when she learned to her surprise and delight that his teaching essentially paralleled what she had discovered along her own path. The further subtle refinements of breath and asana taught by Mark in accordance with the principles of Krishnamacharya have made her practice complete, and she is at Home in Heart of Yoga.
Jamie received her teacher certifications in yoga and pilates from Expert Rating in Chandigarh, India and is a member of the Independent Yoga Educators of America. She has a B.A. in Philosophy and M.A. in Psychology and wrote her Master’s thesis on “The Psychology of Nonattachment in the Bhagavad Gita.” She has been teaching off and on since the early 1980s and currently offers private instruction in yoga, pilates, holistic wellness, and equine assisted learning (yoga with horses).
Justin started his journey in wellness as a personal fitness trainer and bodybuilder. He was always intrigued by the fusion of philosophy and physical fitness that yoga seemed to promise. Around the age of 20, Justin initiated himself into the path of Yoga. He took a few classes over the years, although he mainly tried to explore on his own, studying various paths such as Karma, Bhakti, and Kundalini. Then while studying yoga and bodywork at the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts, he was befriended by Mark Whitwell. Mr. Whitwell simultaneously helped demystify the practice of hatha yoga as well as shine a light on its depths. Justin has delved into many traditions for Divine inspiration, from Tantra to the Egyptian Mystery Schools, and is a massage therapist, yoga teacher and personal trainer.
Orlando and Tampa Bay, FLORIDA
Sandra has integrated her love for movement, breath and life with an in depth understanding of alignment and anatomy, to create a flowing vinyasa style practice. In her teaching, she playfully combines breath and movement so that her students can begin to experience a more balanced, and accepting connection to themselves. Sandra’s intention is to awaken and nurture each student, to help them realize their innate wholeness, balance and potential, while experiencing delight and laughter along the way! She is a joyous reminder of the potential that resides within each of our beings and how we can use yoga to connect our bodies, breath and the world around us.
Sandra has been teaching yoga on Kauai since 1995 and has been an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT 500) with the Yoga Alliance since 2002. She has also been a Licensed Massage Therapist, a practitioner of OrthoBionomy and involved in the healing arts for almost 30 years.
Ben is a heart-centered teacher and a practicing Thai Yoga Therapist with an authentic approach to Yoga. “Enlightenment isn’t something we seek but something we remember. This remembrance occurs when we link our breath and body together with movement. Union of the body, breath and movement is Yoga.” The accessibility of Ben’s teaching allows students to discover their own intrinsic power while giving a safe framework to discover their edges. With focus on breath-guided movement he leads a practice for all levels. Ben teaches Yoga for the Soul and is extremely humbled to share asana, pranayama and meditation from his heart. Much gratitude to Mark for giving Ben the opportunity to promote the Heart of Yoga through the spirit of Aloha.
Jared A. Hirsch
Jared, “Jahvocado,” draws his practice from a diverse and eclectic background that incorporate a number of Yoga traditions. The foundation of Jared’s teaching is steeped in the ancient wisdom of T. Krishnamacharya and his son T.K.V. Desikachar. Jared has studied and mentored with some of Krishnamacharya’s better-known students including Mark Whitwell, of whom he continues to study closely with. Jared’s teaching empowers the individual to question basic assumptions in regards to practice. He is not interested in teaching just any Yoga, but the Yoga that is right for the individual. Jared’s dynamic and thoughtfully guided sequencing allow the individual to adapt the practice in a way that is right for them.
Dave Tomaszewski & Abby Bechek Hoot
Abby (Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher, RYT, E-RYT) was introduced to yoga through chanting and meditation at age eleven. At eighteen, She was invited to Encinitas, California where she spent several days chanting and meditating with Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, who had walked the path under the guidance of Guru Swami Baba Muktananda. As an adult Abby was introduced to asana practice and fell in love with the Ashtanga method. After completing her first teacher training in 2003, Abby continued to study the Jivamukti Method with founders David Life and Sharon Gannon in New York. Abby received blessings from David and Sharon as a certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher in 2005.
Dave (RYT, E-RYT) has been practicing yoga since 1998. He believes that the ultimate goal of yoga is self realization and increased strength and flexibility are simply the natural results of consistent practice. The physical practice is a means to greater health and balance, eventually leading to an exploration of the more subtle aspects of yoga as taught in the yoga sutras. Dave completed his first teacher training in 2002 and a second teacher training in 2005.
Abby and Dave are both E-RYTs, (Experienced Yoga Teachers registered with Yoga Alliance) each with over 5000 hours of yoga teaching experience. Together they opened House of Yoga in January 2006, where they teach classes, workshops, trainings, and play music as “Vishnu Blue.”
Kelly was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She earned her Bachelor degree of Science in Health and Wellness from Pepperdine University. Kelly served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Papua New Guinea working with traditional tribal art and land conservation for the Maisin people. She earned her Massage Certification from Good Medicine Massage School in Whitefish, Montana, 200 hour Kundalini Yoga Teacher Certification from Crestone Healing Arts Center in Crestone, Colorado and 200 hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Certification from Radiantly Alive in Bali, Indonesia. Montana is her Home and counts her family as her biggest blessing in life! Mark Whitwell has inspired her so deeply in his sincerity and dedication to show each person how to enjoy their own personal Yoga, to truly connect body with breath and to re-unite a deep intimacy with reality. It is an honor and joy to be a Heart of Yoga teacher!
Las Vegas, NV
Anne is a teacher of yoga and Ayurveda, has been sharing her passion and knowledge of yoga with the Las Vegas community for many years. Her experience encompasses a wide range of styles and teachings in both the physical and spiritual disciplines of yoga. Anne uses whatever style and tools she believes will best reach her students and help them on their path of healing and transformation. Her approach to teaching is holistic and personalized, creating a safe, nurturing and supportive environment for one to explore hers or his infinite potential.
In 2006, she established the Healing Yoga and Meditation for People Living with Cancer program for the Nevada Cancer Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada. Anne is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. In 2006, she completed an intensive Ayurveda home study program with the Ayurveda Institute in Albuquerque, N.M. and in 2002, completed a two year Advanced Yoga Studies Program with Yoga Mandala in Berkeley, CA. Anne’s love and passion for the sacred teachings of yoga and Ayurveda is apparent in her enthusiastic, creative and caring approach to yoga as a healing practice.
Las Vegas, NEVADA
New York City, NY
J. is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, New York. A teacher for 15 years, he is known for his pragmatic approach to teaching personal, breath-centered therapeutic yoga practice that adapts to individual needs, including chronic or acute conditions. His essays have been featured in Yoga Therapy in Practice, Yoga Therapy Today, and the International Journal of Yoga Therapy.
Barbara Joy Beatus
Long Island, NY
Barbara teaches meditative and breath-centered yoga as a tool to connect to one’s mind, body, and spirit. Barbara has been practicing yoga, meditation, and energy healing since 2003 and started teaching in 2005. She is dedicated to bringing yoga to underserved populations such as adults with developmental disabilities, seniors with dementia, and women cancer survivors. She studies anatomy and breath-centered yoga with Leslie Kaminoff and is certified to teach women cancer survivors through Om Yoga in NYC. Barbara is always taking classes and workshops to further her knowledge but believes that the true teacher resides within ourselves.
New York City, NY
Ana started practicing yoga at the ripe age of 12 from a Rodney Yee VHS she bought at the local health food store in her hometown of Oklahoma. It eased her childhood anxiety and helped instill a daily practice of learning and participating with her body, breath and life. Having studied many forms of yoga over the years; like Iyengar, Bikram, Anusara and other forms of Hatha Yoga, she was lucky enough to find Mark Whitwell while dancing through the hip and trendy yoga studios of Los Angeles. Mark and his teachings hit a resonating chord with Ana and she has been practicing, studying and living his teachings in her life for the past 6 years.
She attended a retreat with Mark to India for a two week yoga intensive and a sacred pilgrimage to the Kumbha Mela. She was initiated by Mark right along the banks of the Ganges River as the holy procession greeted them all day into the night. From then, she has dedicated her life to teaching the Heart of Yoga to all she meets and all willing to listen. From the gardener, the check out clerk or friends who want a dose of bliss…Ana is there to teach Mark’s promise. Ana currently lives and teaches in New York City. Donation based only. All ages, races, religions and languages welcomed.
New York City, NY
Anne had the good fortune to meet Mark Whitwell in 1995 after practising and teaching Astanga yoga for five years. This meeting totally transformed and personalized her yoga into a daily practise, one of absolute absorption through the breath into the profundity of life as it is already given.
Mark also became the teacher of Anne’s two sons, Douglas and Bill Drummond, with Douglas now also teaching yoga.
Anne is the creator of ‘Spirit Quest' and is a compassionate and devoted transformational guide drawing from a plethora of deep spiritual and shamanic work, body work and movement in which your personalized Heart of Yoga practise plays a pivotal role in aligning the body with the soul.
Anne is available for private, one on one sessions.
New York City, NEW YORK
Douglas R. W. Drummond
New York City, NY
Douglas has been practicing yoga with his family teacher and friend, Mark Whitwell, since he was a 16yrs old. Introduced to Yoga and Mark Whitwell through his Mother, Anne Ribolow, Douglas has been embracing his family’s long-standing passion for Heart of Yoga’s direction with full-hearted devotion and integrity. Douglas continually looks to share his deep gratitude and devotion for the practice on and off the mat wherever he travels. Douglas is also a consummate professional in the wellness and spa industries, working with the development of holistic & luxury health resorts and retreats worldwide.
Manhattan, NEW YORK
Upstate New York
For the last 23 years, Melissa Forbes has been a student and teacher of Hatha Yoga. Her interest in yoga became more singularly focused after finding inspiration in the tradition of scholar and yogi Shri T. Krishnamacharya (1888-1989). Beginning in 1990, she had the opportunity to study directly with both his student K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009) and his son T. K. V. Desikachar in Mysore and Madras, India, respectively. Both Desikachar and Jois are credited with fueling the resurgence of Hatha Yoga in the Western hemisphere in recent decades. Jois, in particular, was instrumental in popularizing Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, from which the PowerYoga and Vinyasa Flow styles are derived.
As an instructor, Melissa Forbes began her career teaching Desikachar style yoga in 1997. She later became a co-founder and certified yoga instructor of the internationally renowned Heart of Yoga. She also has taught yoga in numerous schools throughout the United States, including the Omega Institute in upstate New York and the Olive Leaf Wholeness Center in New York City, where she worked closely with Dr. Rudolph Ballentine, a student of Swami Rama, founder of the Himalayan Institute. From 2002 to 2007, Melissa Forbes had the privilege to travel with the Indian sage UG Krishnamurti (1918-2007) throughout the last five years of his life. Painting and design, along with dance and movement, have always been her passion and preferred expression. She completed formal studies in textile design at the Moore College of Art, enjoyed a full scholarship in printmaking at the National Academy of Design, and pursued an independent study of Vedic yantras. She has received many awards including the Pollock-Krasner Grant. She maintained a studio for many years in New York City while traveling and painting in special locations around the world, including India, New Zealand, Italy, and Switzerland. Her art has been exhibited at galleries in New York City, Philadelphia, and the United Nations.
Most recently Forbes' vibrational yantra art was featured in the book Karttikeyan Yogic Method, published by GatherInsight.com. She currently lives in the southern Adirondack mountains and teaches as an Adjunct Professor at the University of New Haven, Connecticut. Melissa Forbes continues her development in the disciplines and practices of yoga and art, as an avid student, teacher, and painter. Learn more about her work and her books at GatherInsight.com or MelissaForbes.net.
Lourdes Roa began formally practicing Yoga in 2000. Her journey in the healing arts, including Reiki and Mindfulness meditation, led her to retreat in Fiji with Mark Whitwell and a wonderful cast of Yoginis from across the globe in the summer of 2013. There she received her Heart of Yoga Teacher Training.
As a life-long educator, Lourdes shares her knowledge of body, mind, breath and movement with a diverse community of students and colleagues. Her passion for teaching has evolved beyond the school walls to birth a wellness endeavor she calls “Wellness Begins Within”. This venture allows Lourdes to guide individuals and small groups to integrate wellness into their lives through Yoga, Reiki, Meditation, Relationships, Thoughts, Emotions, Communication, Spirituality, Nutrition and Nature.
Lourdes teaches in English and Spanish. Her Cuban roots and life-long travel experiences across the globe have taught her a unique sensitivity to meet diverse needs of ALL people, of varied backgrounds. Mark Whitwell says, “Asana practice allows intimacy with self and others. Yoga is union; full intimacy with all of life.” Lourdes lives her Yoga in all aspects of her life.
286 North Drive, Rochester, NY, 14612
Christie Roe intends to make yoga enjoyable and useful for everyone. In the tradition of T. Krishnamacharya, she offers guidance in centering and easing into breath, body, and relationship as she has been fortunate to learn from Mark Whitwell and the Heart of Yoga community. With over ten years of teaching between Los Angeles and New York City, her creative blend of traditional disciplines and practices aims to support and heal, uplift and inspire. She lives and teaches in Brooklyn, New York.
New York City, NY
Eve started practicing Yoga in 2000 as cross training for competitive fencing. Within three months, she found herself so profoundly affected by the practice that she totally restructured her life around her daily practice. Three years later, she received her 500-hour teaching certification from Be Yoga (now Ishta Yoga), and in 2009, she received an additional 500-hour certification from Alison West. Eve embraces the spiritual and physical healing qualities of yoga, and through her yoga practice, has been drawn to devote herself to healing others: she holds an associate’s degree in Physical Therapy, and is the staff Physical Therapist Assistant in Outpatient Physical Therapy at Bellevue Hospital, where she applies both Western clinical science and yoga practice to a variety of pathologies, ranging from joint disease to Multiple Sclerosis. Eve believes that there is a yoga practice for everybody regardless of life circumstances, and strives to impart the curative properties of breath and asana both to her students and to her patients.
New York City, NY
Bridget has been teaching for 10 years and cultivating a breath-based heart centered yoga practice that resonates deeply with the healing and therapeutic benefits that Heart of Yoga maintains. She is a Reflexologist and was certified with the 500 hour RYT Certified Instructor training through Be Yoga/YogaWorks and Heart of Yoga. She has studied in-depth anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff of NYC Breathing Project and has mentored with and assisted, Dr. Pratima Raichur, Ayurvedic Practioner and Naturopath.
Over the past four years, she continues to study with OP Tiwari of the Kaivalyadhama Yoga research Hospital in Lonvala, India where she has studied traditional Pranayama techniques and has studied Vipassana and TM meditation. In addition to teaching, she works with the NOK Foundation, a humanitarian non-profit that in addition to building and supporting organizations that offer meditation and Yoga related courses, fosters the growth of spiritual practice, research and natural medicine. She has an in-depth holistic health background and ongoing study of Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Flower Essence Therapies, Acupressure, Aromatherapy and enjoys Ayurvedic cooking and is certified from Wise Earth School of Ayurveda as founded by Mother Maya. Bridget is known for her warm nurturing presence and healing gift of touch that has guided many students to create a seamless heart centered, individualized, breath based daily practice.
She has continuing education experience with healing and health transitions, such as, cancer, chronic conditions, injury and post surgery management and pregnancy. She currently teaches at Yogaworks midtown and Soho locations, is the former Yoga Director for Oasis Day Spas, has been featured in New York Magazine, Day Spa Magazine, TimeOut NY, New York Sun, Alignyo and has appeared on Discovery Channel with heart surgeon Dr. Mehemet Oz. She leads workshops and retreats specializing in Restorative, Partner, Pre and Post-natal and Aromayoga. Her background is in Fine Art Management and she holds her Masters in Photography from Bard College.
Andrew Sugerman (E-RYT 500)
New York City, NY
Andrew practices and teaches personalized, movement oriented, meditative yoga primarily in a one to one setting. He trained in Yoga with Mark Whitwell, Gary Kraftsow, Srivatsa Ramaswami, and A. G. Mohan. In 2000 Andrew spent two months in India studying Yoga under the tutelage of TKV Desikachar at The Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai; and in 2011 he spent ten weeks immersed in deeper study of Yoga and Sanskrit under the tutelage of Swami Veda Bharati at the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Ashram in Rishikesh. He studied anatomy with Kriota Wilberg and Leslie Kaminoff. Andrew has conducted workshops internationally; has been mentoring teacher trainees and teaching chanting of the Yogasutra since 2004.
New York City, NY
Ann is a born- and bred- Hoosier who moved to New York to pursue the last years of her dance career. Her love of movement, combined with her need to feel connected, led her to yoga and to the teachings of Mark Whitwell. She completes her Masters in Health Education in December 2011 but believes she radiates without it. She used to practice 20 minutes a day, at Mark’s suggestion, and now practices 7 minutes a day, also his suggestion. Both time intervals, 20 minutes and 7 minutes, have guided her through dark and light times.
From Raleigh, NC. As a child I was entranced by the smallest of creatures and made friends easily. I adored make-believe, song, and words. At about nine years old, was a competitive gymnast, which led to spending a summer with Olympic coach Bela Karolyi. I stopped practicing at age twelve.
Spent the better part of my adolescent and college years in the performing arts. High school show choir led to a BFA in musical theatre from ECU where I studied Sanford Meisner’s method to acting for two years with Don Biehn. Moved to NYC in 1997.
In NYC I worked full time as a personal trainer for two years. After dozens of auditions for Broadway and Off, I found De La Guarda, and she helped me discover so many things. In 2001, a back injury took me out of the show.
I moved into a little house in the Uwharrie Mountains of NC where I was basically alone for six months with my dog Strider. I read a lot of books, ate a lot of canned foods, and taught myself to play the guitar.
I traveled the east coast writing and singing songs at various dimly lit rooms until I landed in Woodstock, NY. Attending asana classes regularly for the first time at Bliss Yoga, I was always amazed at how good I could feel after a yoga class. And was feeling really burnt out and bruised around performing.
Enrolled in a ten-day silent Vipassana meditation course because several friends thought it would be good for me. Completed 500 hours of yoga teacher training at Sivananda Yoga Ashrams. Certified Jivamukti YogaInstructor. Received the teachings of Krishnamacharya from Mark Whitwell. 500 hour course focusing on Patanjali’s Sutras with Swami Swaroopananda. Nada Yoga from K. Sridhar. Ashtanga with Patthabhi Jois. Multiple hugs and blessings from Amma.
Currently a licensed massage therapist in Durham, NC with a daily chanting, asana and pranayama practice, leading several yoga teacher trainings around NC and SC through Heart of Yoga School and Veda Vinyasa RYS 500.
I teach what I see in myself and in nature using song, text, and storytelling in my classes. I teach yoga as direct intimacy between you and reality.
Pamela Quinn is the author of “The Elemental Cleanse,” founder of Elemental OM, speaker, and spiritual coach. After a debilitating back injury in 2002, she fully immersed herself in in the practice and study of meditation, yoga, and Ayurveda. A total transformation of her physical, emotional, and spiritual life ignited a passion for teaching and helping others. “I love guiding students deep into the recesses of their mind and watching the light of awareness turn on. I am passionate about motivating others to fully embrace yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda as a lifestyle.”
Sara Tirner, Certified Yoga Therapist, and former long time teacher at Yoga Works in New York, has been practicing yoga for more than a decade and teaching yoga full time since she completed Yoga Zone’s 500 hour, Yoga Alliance registered, teacher training program (ISHTA) in 2002.
Later that year, she attended a weekend workshop with Mark Whitwell in New York. Sara was deeply moved by Mark’s teachings and authenticity. She began studying intensively with him over the next several years, immediately incorporating his breath principles into her teaching.
In 2003, Sara also completed Nischala Devi’s, Yoga of the Heart® certification course that applies yogic principles and methodology to working with people living with life threatening diseases.
ISHTA, Heart of Yoga and Yoga of the Heart® are fantastic complementary yogic approaches, resulting in the direct and expeditious approach to the essence of yoga and life. The teachings, techniques and principles provide an invaluable resource for dealing with both everyday ups and downs and life’s great challenges.
Sara returned to Wisconsin, her childhood home, in 2007 and is now a senior teacher at Mound St. Yogain Madison, WI, Madison’s original yoga center. In 1983, she earned a BBA in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and spent the next 16 years of her professional life as a corporate and investment banker.
Andrea ‘Avani’ Suta
Yogi at Large
Andrea ‘Avani’ Suta was introduced to Yoga 1995 in the Krishnamacharya/Desikachar tradition.
The experience of this Yoga changed her profoundly – as this was the first time that she had a way to connect to her deep self. Having lived in 5 countries, being immersed in diverse cultures & traveling extensively to over 40 countries she studied yoga in the different yoga styles around the world. Always searching for that spiritual element that she had known from her initial Yoga experiences. Although the different Yoga Styles had their gifts, she felt there was always something missing.
When she met Mark Whitwell in 2007 at a workshop, her search was over. Mark teaches Yoga as it is defined. Intuitively accessible and physiologically correct. This is the yoga that truly connects us to our body, mind and spirit.
Andrea ‘Avani’ Suta was privileged to study again with Mark and participate in the Teacher Training in Fiji and become a Teacher of yoga in this great lineage. Proudly passing on the Heart of Yoga Tradition her teachings are based on these principles.
As a photographer she applies yoga to her work, connecting to the essence of whatever her lens captures.
Tamar has been practicing, studying and teaching yoga in the Krishnamacharya lineage since 2009. She is delighted to be a student of Mark Whitwell and a member of the Heart of Yoga community. She teaches group classes in Madison and Portage, Wisconsin. She is also available to help individuals develop a personalized yoga practice that is customized for their unique conditions. In addition to teaching yoga, Tamar is a psychotherapist with a private practice in Madison, WI.
“I found my way to yoga in 2006 during a challenging time in life. I immediately experienced a sense of homecoming that fostered greater resiliency, strength and acceptance of life as it was unfolding.”
“As a yoga teacher my intention is to offer students the chance to develop a relationship to yoga that serves them. Our habitual mind tends to judge and criticize. Cultivating an attitude of unconditional self-acceptance during practice is fundamental. The breath is primary. I encourage my students to meet themselves as they are in the moment. Finding a balance between positive effort and ease opens the way for the benefits of yoga to become yours.”