Torey Halim

Yoga has been a part of Torey’s life since 2002, where at first attending class was both mysterious and frustrating but the yoga kept calling her back.  She completed the 200-hour teacher training here at Westside Yoga in 2017 with teachers Eddie Modestini and Kristin Bosteels.  Their modality of “yoga on the inside” was deeply healing for Torey and she continues to be inspired and awed by the spiritual and physical teachings of yoga.

Torey wishes for her students to experience class feeling more grounded in their bodies and a deeper connection to their inner world.  She loves sharing the endless gifts of yoga and continues to be a dedicated student in the Iyengar tradition, currently apprenticing with Tessa Manning

Raising two sons with her husband, Torey loves life in Sebastopol.

Leah Greenberg Flaks

Leah Greenberg Flaks is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT) and has taught both public and private yoga classes since 1997. She grew up studying ballet, modern dance and Pilates and started practicing Iyengar Yoga to recover from a dance back injury – and just kept practicing. Be sure to ask her about meeting BKS Iyengar in Berkeley’s Tilden Park in the 1980s.

Leah shares the benefits of Iyengar Yoga in a welcoming space where students feel relaxed and can be themselves. Iyengar Yoga is all-inclusive and a path to personal freedom. Leah helps each student who walks through the door meet their goals. She continues her studies of yoga asana, pranayama, philosophy and chanting with many senior teachers.

Nichole Turnbloom

Nichole is a Certified Yoga Therapist with IAYT with 16 years of teaching experience and over 1200 hours of training (800 hours of yoga therapy). She completed her first 240-hour Iyengar Training with Mary Prafford and Maggie Norton at Yoga Mendocino, an Advanced Teacher Training in Yoga Therapeutics and a Yoga Therapist Training in Oakland with Niroga Institute. In addition she completed a Mindful Resilience for Trauma Recovery Training with Dr. Dan Libby of the Yoga for Veterans Project and has additional training in working with Parkinson’s and SI Joint Dysfunction. She has been grateful for the influenced by many styles and teachers including Mirka Kraftsow.

Nichole currently teaches meditation, Pre/Postnatal yoga classes at Kaiser, Cancer Care class at Rohnert Park Cancer Center,  yoga for Veterans, and is an alternative healing provider for Verity. In her private practice she enjoys working with a variety of clients and organisations. 

Evelyn Fortang

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.

Brian Hogencamp

Brian Hogencamp is a yoga practitioner and Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher – CIYT Level 3 (Intermediate Senior I, 2016).

He is devoted to sharing the art, science, and philosophy of yoga according to the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar and family. Brian has taught full-time since 2004 and travels annually to RIMYI (Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute) in Pune, India to study with the Iyengar family.

With Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra as philosophical foundation, the writings of B.K.S., Geeta, and Prashant Iyengar provide structure to his textual study, and insight to his practice.

As yoga is an experiential subject, he believes the distance between what is taught and what is learned can only be illumined by one’s own practice. Consistent, dedicated practice continues to reveal to him the universality and completeness of the Iyengar approach to yoga. Drawing from his evolving experience and with deep gratitude for the teachings received, he is eager to share the light yoga can bring.

David Meloni

Direct student of Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar

In 1996 he began practicing IYENGAR® Yoga.

Since 2003 he returns regularly to Pune India, to study at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute; he studied with Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar (until 2014 when Guruji passed away) and studied and studies with his children Geetaji (passed away at December 16th 2018) and Prashantji.

In 2013 B.K.S. Iyengar conferred upon him the “Advanced Junior level II” certificate.

In 2015  Geeta S. Iyengar conferred upon him the “Advanced Senior level I” certificate.

David teaches Sunday mornings 9-11am PST

Tessa Manning

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.

Mirka Kraftsow

Mirka Scalco Kraftsow, E-RYT-500, C-IAYT, has studied with some of the great yoga masters of our time, including Sri Krishnamacharya, TKV Desikachar and Gary Kraftsow.   In her early twenties, she was initiated into active meditations and ecstatic ritual dancing by the unorthodox Indian mystic Osho, and later became a student of Tibetan tantric yoga with his Eminence Kalu Rinpoche, Situ Rimposche, and Lama Tenzin in Maui, Hawaii.

Mirka is gifted with both the capacity and the passion to creatively communicate and work in private consultation, both in person and on the telephone, and her work has enriched the experience of students of many yoga modalities all around the world. In group classes, she uses her extensive background to integrate body awareness and imagery with the Viniyoga principles. Mirka’s own experience and intuition strongly influence her teachings, as do tradition, creativity, innovation, and evolution.

Mirka has been teaching in the Viniyoga methodology in the tradition of T. Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar since 1985 after receiving certification from her teacher Gary Kraftsow, and she has been practicing yoga therapy since 1988. She has helped hundreds of individuals develop and maintain a personal practice and manage challenging personal and therapeutic conditions.

Mirka co-founded the American Viniyoga Institute (AVI), LLC with Gary Kraftsow in 1999.  Her vision to train and support Yoga teachers has been fundamental to the growth and development of AVI.  She has a unique ability to develop quality Yoga teachers and support them in their personal and professional growth.  Mirka has worked closely with faculty assistants and students to support their understanding, integration, and application of the teachings in their personal and professional lives.

She has consulted on several successful Yoga studies nationwide, and developed material with Gary Kraftsow for his two books “Yoga for Wellness” and “Yoga for Transformation.”

She currently lives in Sebastopol, California and is available for private sessions. She leads retreats, seminars, and workshops in the USA and Italy.

Contact Mirka at mirkayoga@yahoo.com or by phone at 415-246-8246.


Johnny Smith

Johnny Smith began his yoga journey over 30 years ago. In 1990, John met Tim Miller, who inspired him to pursue the Ashtanga method.

The next year, John made his first trip to Mysore, India, and thereafter made almost yearly excursions there to study with Pattabhi Jois and Sharath Jois. He is one of only a few practitioners in the world who has been certified by Pattabhi Jois and The Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute.

John is the director of the Ashtanga Yoga program at Westside Yoga Studio in Sebastopol California.

Erick Thuss

Erick Thuss started learning yoga in 1996 under Gayna Uransky in the method developed by B.K.S. Iyengar. During that time, he met John Smith, a long-time student of K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, and was taught by him in the original vinyasa method. Erick studies under John to this day with great benefit. He also studied under Ed Modestini and Nicki Doane, where he learned to look and re-look, to explore tradition, and to always seek toward the quiet teaching from within.

Currently, Erick is under special study with Manouso Manos, and is working to digest what he can of the of sheer brilliance of Manouso’s teaching. He assists in Manouso’s class weekly.

He is a student of B.K.S. Iyengar, and his son Prashant and daughter Geeta in Pune, India, and is constantly mind-blown by the intense depth of insight emanating from them.

He is striving to embody essential elements of yoga science, and is devoted to learning from direct experience and study of what has come from the texts on yoga.

His teaching is a bright effort to reflect what he is learning and absorbing, with a trajectory toward opening out the vast learning ground within.