“2019 marks my 38th year teaching yoga and integrating yoga into my personal, family, professional and inner life. My motivation at this point is to have a greater impact on the evolution of yoga in the community and society through sharing yoga’s true lifestyle benefits and mentoring yoga teachers. In 1988, I graduated from the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco, primarily under the wings of Judith Lasater, Manuso Manos, and Arthur Kilmurray. Although I have studied directly with many world renowned instructors- Judith Lasater, Dona Holleman, Kofi Busia and Anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff- my essential guidance has come from bringing the principles and usefulness of yoga and Buddhist meditation into daily living …”
In 1981 Amy’s inspiration for becoming a Yoga teacher came after seeing B.K.S. Iyengar at the San Francisco Yoga Convention. Amy is a certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. In 1988, she graduated from the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco and also received certifications in massage therapy from the Institute for Educational Therapy and the National Holistic Institute in Berkeley. From 1990-1992, Amy trained teachers in the Integrative Yoga Therapy Program. Amy has completed a Yoga Anatomy certification program with Leslie Kaminoff, author of Yoga Anatomy, and is currently involved with UMass Medical Center’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction training program. Her passion for how the body/mind/heart moves and breathes most freely is expressed in her teaching through the integration of somatic education, primarily anatomy as well as meditation with emphasis on Buddha’s Mindfulness and Loving Kindness practices.
Since 2003, after teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area for 22 years, Amy has served as Founding Director for the Shasta Yoga Institute and since 2008 for the Shasta Yoga (aka. VajraPani Yoga) Teacher Training where she continues to share her dedication to the practice of the Eight Limbs of Yoga on and off the mat.
Amy was featured in the Yoga Journal Calendar (1989) and in the Yoga Journal articles, “The Psoas is…” (May/June, 1999) and “Standing on Your Own Two Hands” (May/June, 2003).
“I have truly embodied ‘Right Livelihood’ and feel honored to be a Yoga instructor; offering these wisdom teachings and witnessing many people re-connect with what is most meaningful in their lives.” –Amy Cooper, Founding Director; Shasta Yoga Institute & Shasta Yoga (VajraPani) Teacher Training.
Jana Parker, E-RYT-200
Vinyasa Yoga Practice & Teaching Methodology
Jana Parker is founding Director of the Balance Yoga Center in Redding, CA. She received her certification from the Vajra Pani Teacher training program under the direction of Amy Cooper. Jana’s passion for the study of yoga began with internationally recognized yoga teacher, Shiva Rea, with whom she studied while obtaining her BA in Dance at UCLA. Her teaching style has been influenced primarily by the studies of the Iyengar discipline, inspired by Vinyasa Flow Yoga and most recently profoundly affected by the teachings of the Anusara style and it’s Universal Principles of Alignment while studying with Stacey Rosenberg and Darcy Lyon.
Jana integrates all of her studies as a dancer and yoga practitioner into a class that provides a strong foundation in healthy alignment principles, breath awareness, and integration of flow and movement. She encourages self-care and a mindful practice for her students and offers a warm, inviting atmosphere where students can discover the transformative benefits of yoga. www.balance-yogacenter.com
Vrnda Leier, E-RYT-200
CIYT (CERTIFIED IYENGAR YOGA INSTRUCTOR)
Pranayama, Restorative Yoga
Vrnda has trained with Geeta Iyengar, as well as many other inspiring teachers including Karin O’Bannon and Judith Lasater. She began her lifelong exploration of meditation at 16 and yoga at 21 , and has taught yoga for over 30 years. Patanjali’s Classical 8 Limbs of Yoga are artfully woven into her classes, reminding students to bring the age-old wisdom of yoga into daily life. She also encourages students to explore their potential mindfully while respecting individual capacity.
Both a student and teacher of focused, purposeful living, she creates a safe, sacred space for deep personal self-inquiry and increased self-awareness. Deeply committed to personal growth, Vrnda’s teachings are described as “heartfelt, knowledgeable, insightful and transformative.”
She is certified through Egoscue University as a PAS (Postural Alignment Therapist) and AET (Advanced Exercise Therapy Practitioner); is a Hakomi Body-Centered Therapist, and a Relax and Renew Trainer.
She is a mother and grandmother, animal lover and as a professional sculptor, she can’t help but bring creativity and an artistic eye to her teaching. www.yogasoulutions.com
Richelle has worked with regional yoga studios, the Semperviva Yoga College in Vancouver, BC, as well as the international brand Yoga Works to develop and teach anatomy curriculum that builds curiosity about the body and fuels the creative fire. Her 24+ years of experience in sports medicine, massage therapy, bodywork education and yoga instruction offer her a unique perspective on the science of movement and prevention of injury.
Richelle’s anatomy classes focus less on memorizing muscle names, and instead teach the functional physiology and bio-mechanical imperatives that impact the way we move and WHY this information is relevant. She offers insights critical to the prevention of injury and keys to the efficient movement that yoga practice can offer. For much more on Richelle: https://yogaengineer.com/about
Chanti Smith is a Certified Embodied Anatomy Yoga Teacher through the School for Body Mind Centering. She discovered Body Mind Centering (BMC) in 1997 and fell in love with how delightful it felt in her own body.
A deep re-patterning occurred which led her to study with the founder, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen for several years. Chanti currently assists Bonnie in the Embodied Anatomy and Yoga Training in the San Fransisco Bay Area. See Body Mind Centering Yoga programs for more info. Chanti is also a bodyworker, a nationally certified midwife (CPM) and pre and peri-natal birth therapist. She teaches Prenatal yoga, Acu-yoga, and Embodied Anatomy and Yoga and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y..See her website: www.embodiedbeginnings.com
As a Mind-Body Wellness and Mindfulness Facilitator, Hakomi Counselor, and Parenting Educator, Kristen gracefully integrates the newest discoveries in neuroscience with the wisdom of ancient contemplative traditions to bring more ease, joy and satisfaction into life.
For thousands of years, contemplatives have demonstrated what science now validates: that each of us is capable of shaping our inner and outer life in a positive direction with the power of our attention and intention.
On the forefront of self-directed neuroplasticity, Kristen provides empowering experiential exercises to rewire old memories, automatic reactions and outdated conditioning into positive new pathways to shift you from distress to well-being. kristenstroud.com
Jade has been providing yoga-based healing and transformational work since 1997, which has included being on faculty at Denver Integrative Massage School, being a principal teacher in a Denver-based Yoga Teacher Training, workshop and retreat leading, assisting programs at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, and having a private bodywork practice. Her life has taken her many places around the globe, including yoga study in India, and she is delighted to be participating with seasoned instructor, Amy Cooper to offer this unique training. www.facebook.com/yogasatya.therapy
Additional talented guest instructors may surprise us…
The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.” -Albert Einstein