Kate is a passionate and dedicated explorer of movement, meditation and yoga which spans 40 years.
She is an inspired practitioner who loves the precision of alignment, and teaches with a creative joyful approach.
Kate has been an inspiration to thousands of students during her 30 years of teaching. She has developed two Advanced Studies Programs with over 100 graduates who now teach throughout the U.S.
She has studied intensively with such wonderful teachers as: Donald Moyer, Erich Schiffmann, and Arunji of Bangalore, as well as teachers all over the Bay Area. Kate is also a world traveler including trips to India to study yoga.
Kate created and taught the yoga program at Stanford University from 1989-2001. She is the Founder and Director of Downtown Yoga in Pleasanton California. She is an international teacher offering retreats for inspiration and restoration.
Her students describe her as warm hearted, inspiring and caring. She is a radiant, beautiful soul who honors the beauty and presence of each and every moment.
Michelle is light hearted, nurturing and welcomes all. What she loves about alignment based yoga is that it is accessible to everyone. She has experienced that practicing yoga has benefited her body, mind and spirit. Her goal is to bring yoga into as many people's lives as possible.
Michelle is a 2012 graduate of Downtown Yoga’s 200-hour teacher training program and is a registered yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance. She has practiced yoga since 1997 and has tried many styles but prefers Iyengar instruction due to its emphasis on alignment and precision. She is also quite fond of Vinyasa Flow yoga because of the smooth way the poses link together and become like a dance. Michelle began practicing when a friend told her she thought she would like yoga. Over the years her practice has grown from one to two days a week to a deep passion for yoga and an asana practice nearly every day. Michelle believes every yogi has his/her individual path and relationship with yoga and is sure hers will continue to evolve.
Michelle resides in Pleasanton and is a regular studio practitioner as well as a teacher at the studio.
Shauna has a passion for Personal Development and Spirituality and is interested in how yoga, as a whole, transforms our minds and our connection with the spirit.
Shauna credits her teachers, Nancy Roberts as well as Manuoso Manos and Elise Miller for her in-depth training into the body’s alignment and Yoga as a whole. She credits her ongoing studies in Personal Development and Spirituality to Eckhart Tolle and many other Spiritual teachers. As well as her ongoing work with Vision, Accountability, and Commitment. ShaunaLay.com
Kathleen discovered Iyengar Yoga nearly 40 years ago. She was looking for a meaningful practice to bring integrity and aliveness into her daily life. The practice of Yoga gave her this. Gradually, her practice of the postures, breathing and the study of yoga philosophy gave her the strength, balance, flexibility and serenity in her character as well as her physical body and helped her to develop a conscious mindfulness that brought with it a deeper ability to appreciate and be grateful for the truly valuable.
Wanting to share the powerful gift of yoga, she studied in the teacher training at the Iyengar Institute of San Francisco for several years and then at the Yoga Room in Berkeley in their Advanced Studies Program for another three years where she received certification to teach yoga asana and pranayama in the year 2000. From there she moved to the Mendocino coast and opened the Fort Bragg Yoga Studio. She very much enjoyed the studio for three years, still, wanting to be with her family she was drawn back to the East Bay.
Kathleen has been teaching gentle, beginning, all levels, pre-natal, restorative yoga and meditation classes in Walnut Creek and Danville.
Kathleen also practices chi gong and she wears a humble orange belt in Aikido. She has studied Ayurvedics, the life science of yoga and hold certification as a massage therapist and as a Reiki Master.
Kathleen is very happy to be teaching the beginning yoga class at 9:00 on Sunday mornings at Downtown Yoga. There is a very special energy to Sunday morning yoga and she invites all who are interested to come and enjoy the experience with her.
Early in life Shawna began exploring the benefits of exercise, particularly those associated with improved emotional and mental wellbeing. She worked in the fitness industry for seven years, taught exercise classes, and was certified by several nationally recognized exercise organizations. Although acquainted with the basics of yoga, it wasn’t until 2008 that she discovered a teacher who inspired her into a deeper appreciation of the practice and revealed that what she had always sought at the gym was actually waiting for her in the yoga studio. Yoga has turned out to be the mind, body, spirit connection that she’d been seeking and so, in 2010, she graduated from Brentwood Yoga Center's Advanced Yoga Studies Program and became certified with the Yoga Alliance. She also took her pursuit of yoga half way around the world when she accompanied Jim, Kate, and her teacher Sandy on their spectacular retreat to India. As a student first and a teacher second, she hopes to use her knowledge and enthusiasm to bring the life changing benefits of yoga to others. She currently lives in Discovery Bay with her husband, Mike, and two dogs, Jazmine and Bodhi.
Natascha is a Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher and graduate of Downtown Yoga's 200-hour Advanced Yoga Studies Program, with a focus on Iyengar-style yoga. Iyengar yoga is a form of hatha yoga that emphasizes alignment by using props like blocks and bolsters to perform poses (asanas). It builds flexibility, and core strength, while calming the mind and helping practitioners to develop a peaceful inner sense.
Yoga and meditation have had a profound impact on Natascha's life and provide the perfect balance to her high-tech career. She'd like to share this passion with you to help you discover a happier and healthier self.
Jim was introduced to yoga in 1967 at the age of 10. He began practicing yoga in earnest in 1993. Jim has traveled to India extensively to expand his knowledge of yoga with his teacher H.S. Arun. Jim teaches yoga with a sense of humor and grounded in the fundamentals of the Yoga Sutra's of Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita, and the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar.
Jim was born in Buffalo, New York in 1957, and has lived in California since 1964. Jim's "other" career has been as an executive recruiter. He has managed and owned several staffing companies since 1989. He also has worked as a career counselor and outplacement consultant.
In 2005 Jim had the privilege of traveling to India several times over the next three years. It was during this time that he met his beloved teacher and friend Yoga Praveena H.S. Arun from Bangalore, India.
You will find Jim practicing at the studio at 6:00 a.m. every day except Sundays when he sleeps in and teaches the 8:30 a.m. class.
In addition to the above, Jim manages the business of the yoga studio, including building our online presence and community. If you have comments or suggestions as to how we could make this site better, please let Jim know.
Jessica believes that practicing yoga on a daily basis not only calms the mind and keeps you present but also aids our bodies with strength and flexibility, helping to avoid injury. She teaches with certainty and safe instruction, allowing her students to feel each pose as they move through their practice. Jessica has practiced Vinyassa, Ashtanga and Yin yoga over the years but is extremely inspired by alignment based yoga such as Iyengar.
Jessica has always lived a very active and healthy lifestyle. She has trained and competed in several triathlons, half marathons and countless swim meets and open water long distance swims. Outside of sport she also enjoys quality time with her husband and two teenagers and loves to cook healthy meals.
Have a look at Jessica's yoga blog as she continues to evolve through her practice of yoga. paradiseyoga.me
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