Author Archive

David Leyba

David Leyba discovered Ashtanga yoga fifteen years ago at Richard Freeman’s Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado. He has been a dedicated student in the Westside Ashtanga/Mysore program since it opened in 2009, practicing daily under the guidance of teacher John Smith.

David regularly teaches the Mysore class when John is traveling, and has been teaching at Westside for over 5 years. As an engineer, David brings an analytical eye to the practice, while providing quiet instruction and supportive, gentle adjustments.

Kathleen Carroll

A devoted student of yoga and philosophy since 1994, Kathleen Carroll has been teaching yoga for 20 years. Her teaching style reflects her studies of the Ashtanga Vinyasa and Iyengar traditions.  Kathleen’s teaching encourages students to deepen their awareness of the present with a strong focus on the internal forms of yogic alignment and breath.  Through pregnancy and mothering her two sons, Kathleen has learned to modify the practice where necessary.

Kathleen has had the great fortune of studying extensively with her primary teacher Richard Freeman since 1999.  She has also been blessed to teach and practice in the Ashtanga program at Westside Yoga Studio with John Smith for the past 8 years.  Kathleen traveled to India in 2003 where she practiced under the guidance of the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharath Rangaswamy in Mysore.   

Evelyn Fortgang

As a teenager, Evelyn was drawn to the physical practice of yoga as a way to manage stress. Inspired by how yoga supported the cultivation of healthy habits in her life, she continued to pursue her exploration of the mind/body connection in both formal and alternative educational settings. 

Evelyn has studied yoga with Mirka Kraftsow, the Heart of Yoga Association, the Mount Madonna Center, Mark Stephens, and Natalie Hanson; Structural Integration with the Hellerwork School of Structural Integration; Ayurveda with DeAnna Batdorff of the Dhyana Center; and Cognitive Science at UCSC. 

Her current personal practice and teaching style is inspired by Viniyoga, principles of natural movement, and the perennial teachings of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. 

Rebecca Haralabatos

Rebecca is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT) and Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Alliance for Yoga Therapists (IAYT) studying with Iyengar teachers:   H.S. ArunCynthia BatesCarolyn BelkoAnneke FaasJessie HollandRebecca LernerMichael LuceyCarrie OwerkoHeather Haxo PhillipsLois Steinberg and Patricia Walden.  

Having worked in mental health services since 1994 with a focus on family therapy, depression and attention deficit disorder, I am well acquainted with a variety of healing modalities.  Nonetheless & ONLY after delving deeply over the past 6 years into the practice of asana (poses) and pranayama (yogic breathing) within the Iyengar tradition, do I now feel empowered with a veritable toolbox of practices for physical and mental health that positively enhance quality of life.  These practices are a gift to share with others searching for grounding, inspiration and an overall sense of wellbeing.  

With 5 years+ experience teaching the Fundamental series, Level I and Level I/II asana classes and 3+ years conducting private one-on-one sessions, it’s been my privilege and education to witness myself and others with unique bodies, histories and ailments develop greater health from the inside out with the kind of substantive growth you can see and feel.  

Kristin Laak

Kristin Laak has dedicated the last 30 years to the practice and study of Yoga. Being devoted to the work of Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois, her teacher since 1994, she has tapped deep insight and knowledge of yoga. Her studies in India, with Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois, focus on traditional Indian Philosophy, Yoga Psychology, Ayurveda, Pranayama, Meditation, and the impact of lifestyle choices on well-being. Kristin is a board member of Sadvidya Foundation, and its US director of the Jivana Yoga Program.

Kristin teaches Jivana Yoga, a holistic system based in the ancient traditions of India. Through her heartfelt commitment towards truly understanding human nature and many years of personal practice, Kristin is known for helping others to realize their own authentic connection to a healthy lifestyle and Yoga.

Additionally, Kristin mentors individuals and yoga teachers. She has been instrumental in paving the way towards renewal, inner clarity, direction and vitality for many.

Vital Flow Healing is the therapeutic practice Kristin has established. Working with individuals to support well-being and health in their lives.

With heartfelt appreciation and humble respect to my teacher, Dr. K. L. Shankaranarayana Jois, whom holds true yogic knowledge and from whom my teachings spring, I wish to foster the journey of others on the Yoga path. It is an honor to be teaching and mentoring, supporting individuals in their innate inner depths and capacities. May we all gain insight and understanding through the inner wealth that is Yoga, paving the way to more effectively support ourselves and each other in experiencing our true nature.

Sarah Jenness

Sarah EagleA graduate of Sri Swami Satchidananda’s Integral Yoga Institute, Sarah Jenness has completed Piedmont Yoga’s Iyengar-based Advanced Studies Training, and is a certified “Relax and Renew” restorative yoga teacher through Judith Lasater’s accredited program.
Sarah leads sound healing and gentle and restorative yoga for seniors, and for the cancer support community at St. Joseph Health. She has over 20 years of experience in various alternative healing modalities, and presently continues her study in the Krishnamacharya yoga lineage through the inspiring practice of Viniyoga. She is grateful to her teachers Swami Divyananda, Anodea Judith,PhD, Donald Moyer, Judith Lasater, and presently- Mirka Kraftsow.

 

Tessa Manning


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Tessa is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher. She has been practicing Iyengar yoga since 2007 and received her teacher training at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. She travels annually to study with the Iyengar family in India. Tessa is dedicated to the Iyengar method because of its attention to alignment and the thorough change it brings about in the body.

She has specialized teacher trainings in Pre-Natal Yoga and Yoga for Scoliosis.

An avid practitioner, Tessa has used Iyengar Yoga to help treat her scoliosis. She teaches in a way that is safe, accessible, and compassionate – providing individual attention to each student. She loves to travel the world, cook, and garden.