Sandy Carmellini is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher. She is also a certified Yoga Therapist (c-IAYT), a Craniosacral Therapist, E-RYT500 (Yoga Alliance), Reiki II and aromatherapy practitioner. She has been teaching yoga since 1998 and is the owner/director of Brentwood Yoga Center since 2008.
Sandy is a committed volunteer, and currently serves as an executive board member of the National Iyengar Yoga Association (IYNAUS). She was a devoted student and assistant to Donald Moyer until he retired. Sandy has studied with Sri HS Arun since 2009 and has traveled to India several times to deepen her devotion to yoga under his guidance. She has spent time in Pune studying with the Iyengar family. Her current teachers in the U.S. are Heather Haxo Phillips and Michael Lucey. When she’s not on the mat, Sandy loves spending time with her family, hiking with her husband, cooking and eating vegan food, playing with her cats and studying essential oils. She firmly believes that a healthy lifestyle, including yoga and connection to community brings balance to the body, mind, and spirit. Find out more at Brentwood Yoga Center.
Erin Collom has been practicing yoga for 22 years. A graduate of Piedmont Yoga Studio’s advanced training program, her teaching methods offer accessibility and relief to students of all ages and abilities. Erin’s carefully crafted classes provide the pace, sequence, and modification, to serve and support the physical and emotional needs of every student in the room. Visit her website at www.yogaerin.com.
Suzanne Drolet has studied and practiced yoga since 2000. She is a graduate of YogaWorks teacher training and is a certified Relax and Renew® Restorative Yoga Teacher. Her classes are grounded in her belief in yoga’s transformative power to balance and heal the body, increase self awareness, and cultivate greater clarity and peace. Suzanne’s mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, which motivated her to learn how to use yoga to help alleviate symptoms and progression of the disease. Suzanne has been working with Vickie Russell Bell in her therapeutic classes for individuals impacted by Parkinson’s Disease since 2010. Visit her Facebook page at suzanne.drolet.yoga .
Anneke Faas is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor at the Intermediate Junior I level, CIYT-3000. She was inspired by the precision and genius of Mr. Iyengar’s teaching at the age of 14 during her first year of high school where she was an avid athlete. Teaching yoga in college to her peers, Anneke started her teacher training with Nancy Stechart and Leslie Bradley in 2002. She continued her studies upon moving to New York City and graduated from the premiere Iyengar Yoga Association of Greater New York Teacher Training program under the mentorship of the late Mary Dunn. Since then, Anneke has had two sons and now lives in Berkeley, California. As a teacher, Anneke has a warm presence and commands her classes with ease and careful focus. She is especially drawn to working with mothers, helping to reduce the stress and tensions of everyday life. She has specialized training in pre-natal yoga. In addition to regular public classes, Anneke offers weekly private lessons, corporate classes and mentors aspiring Iyengar yoga teachers-in-training. Visit her website at www.annekefaas.com.
Leah Flaks has been practicing Iyengar yoga since using it to recover from a serious dance injury at age 19. Be sure to ask her about meeting B.K.S. Iyengar in Berkeley’s Tilden Park in the 1980s. If you are lucky, she will show you the picture of her demonstrating trikonasana with B.K.S. Iyengar himself. Leah began teaching yoga at Piedmont Yoga Studio and ClubSport in 1997. Her teaching challenges each student to align his or her intelligence of body, mind and spirit.
Leah is Adeline Yoga’s studio manager and instrumental in the creation of our vibrant community. Leah is a graduate of Adeline Yoga’s Sadhana Studies Teacher Education Program and is certified RYT-200 through Yoga Alliance. She continues her studies with the sadhana studies faculty in preparation for Iyengar Yoga Teacher Certification. Visit her webpage at https://leahgreenbergevents.wordpress.com
Rebecca Haralabatos is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor, CIYT-1000. A practicing yogi since 2004, she is a graduate of the 500-hour program at the Iyengar Institute in San Francisco. An experienced teacher of the Fundamentals series and Level 1 asana classes at the Adeline, Rebecca works with people to develop health from the inside out. Rebecca’s interested in supporting people to shift imbalances and negative patterns with a sustainable, Iyengar yoga practice. Visit her website at rebeccahyoga.com
Sarah Harvey is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor, CIYT-1000. A 2004 graduate of the 500-hour Advanced Studies/Teacher Training Program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco, she has studied and practiced yoga for over 20 years, and has taught yoga for over 10 years. Sarah brings a light, humorous approach to her teaching, combined with direct, detailed instructions for each student. Although yoga is central to her life and key to her well being, she is also an avid sports fan (Go A’s!), and enjoys gardening and gourmet cooking. Visit her website at sarahharveyyoga.com
Michael Lucey is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher at the Senior Intermediate 1 level. He holds the highest level of Iyengar Yoga certification in the East Bay. Michael stumbled into an Iyengar yoga class in England in 1982, while he was a student at Oxford University. From his very first class has been fascinated by the many ways yoga can transform your relation to your body, mind, and breath. Michael takes classes from Manouso Manos and continues his education as a teacher with Gloria Goldberg, Patricia Walden, and Joan White. He studies regularly in Pune with the Iyengar family, having made nine trips already. Michael is also a professor of Comparative Literature and French at the University of California, Berkeley, and is currently serving as President of the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States. Visit Michael’s blog at assortedpracticalities.blogspot.com .
Ananda Ma is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher, CIYT-1000. Trained at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco, she is a student of Manouso Manos and continues to deepen her evolving knowledge of yoga through ongoing study with the Iyengar family in Pune, India. Ananda is inspired by Geeta Iyengar’s orientation to yoga as a sacred art, the art of integrating body, mind and breath. Ananda brings this encouraging spirit of self-connecting mindfulness to nurture the very core of your being in her teaching. She also studies Chinese Medicine. She has been an acupuncture intern at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, treating patients with acupuncture who suffer from strokes, traumatic brain injuries and severe spinal cord injuries. Her experience of regenerative medicine enriches her practice and teaching of Iyengar yoga.
Francesca Nicosia has studied and practiced yoga since 1998. In 2005, she completed a Yoga Alliance-approved teacher-training program in Shambhava Yoga while living at Shoshoni Yoga Retreat in Colorado. She is also a Medical Anthropologist and researcher in the Division of Geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center. She is inspired to share the transformative power of yoga to find freedom within the body and mind for people of all ages and walks of life. Francesca is a graduate of the Sadhana Studies program at Adeline. She studies with Heather Haxo Phillips and Cynthia Bates as she prepares for certification in Iyengar Yoga. Visit her website at francescanicosia.com .
Heather Haxo Phillips is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor at the Junior Intermediate III level, among the highest certified Iyengar teachers in the East Bay. She is Director of Adeline Yoga and has been teaching for nearly 15 years. Her additional certifications include: Certified Yoga Therapist (c-IAYT), Relax and Renew restorative yoga teacher and Yoga Alliance E-500 level instructor. She has specialized yoga therapy training which includes scoliosis, musculoskeletal injuries, pain management and women’s health including pre-natal yoga and menses. In addition to the being the director and lead instructor of the Adeline Sadhana Studies program, Heather assists senior teacher Carolyn Belko in her teacher education program in San Diego. Heather deepens her own practice by studying regularly with senior teachers including Carolyn Belko, Lois Steinberg and the Iyengar family in Pune. Heather is past President of the Board of Directors for the Iyengar Yoga Association of Northern California and an active volunteer for the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States. She is currently President of the Lorin Merchants Association (LBA). Watch a video about Heather’s classes or read her Yelp! reviews.
Barbara Phillips has been practicing yoga since 1978, while working as a librarian and a mom. A graduate of Piedmont Yoga Studio’s 2010 Advanced Training Program, Barbara is particularly interested in yoga for healthy aging. Since 2011 Barbara has assisted the PD Active Yoga Program taught by Vickie Russell Bell to deepen her understanding of how yoga practice benefits people with a wide range of challenges, and to provide support to her friend who has Parkinson’s. She is eager to bring yoga to a wider community of “Parkies.” Learn more at barbaraphillips.weebly.com .
Zain Syed is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor, CIYT-1000. He found yoga in 2006 when he enrolled in a course with an Iyengar certified teacher at Santa Monica College. He is a graduate of an apprenticeship with Heather Haxo Phillips and a 500-hour YogaWorks teacher training program. He taught his first class at San Quentin Prison where he continues to teach weekly as a part of the Prison Yoga Project. A full time yoga instructor, Zain enjoys working with beginners as well as challenging seasoned yogis to deepen their practice. Sharing his passion for Iyengar yoga, Zain has built an online following through his inspiring demo videos which are shared and viewed by yoga communities around the world. Stay connected with him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and visit his website yogawithzain.com.
Vince Valente is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor, CIYT-1000. He has been teaching yoga with a light heart and compassion since 1998. He completed a two-year Iyengar teacher training course in San Diego with senior Iyengar teachers, Eddy Marks and Mary Obendorfer. He was a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and personal trainer for eight years. Now he is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Yoga psychology influences both his practices and he writes and publishes about integrating yoga into traditional psychotherapy. Vincent’s classes cater to many student levels and challenge all to reach beyond their limits to evolve physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Jessie Holland is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor, emphasizing precise alignment, and sustained reflection on the connection of the body, mind and breath. She has been teaching Iyengar Yoga since 2004. She is a Clinical Ayurvedic and Pancha Karma Specialist, integrating Ayurveda and yoga to harmonize the systems of the body with the rhythms of nature. She has attended both a 200 and 500 hour Iyengar teacher training, studied with the Iyengars in India, and completed clinical Ayurvedic internships with Dr. Vasant Lad. She studies regularly with Senior Iyengar teacher, Peter Thomson. Jessie also completed a Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2016. Jessie’s private alternative medicine practice integrating Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine is in Oakland on Summit Street. Visit her website at www.jessieholland.com.
Sachiko Nishizawa Willis is an Intermediate Junior 1 certified instructor.
“The asana is an enquiry: ‘Who am I?’
Throwing out the parts until only the Self is left. The final pose is “I am.”
Holding these words from BKS Iyengar close to her heart, Sachiko has been practicing Iyengar Yoga since 2001, and has experienced the transformative and healing power of this method first hand. As a teacher, she strives to inspire students to use Yoga as a tool for self-discovery on and beyond the physical level. She is a dedicated student of Mancuso Manos, taking and assisting his classes weekly. She also regularly studies with Brian Hogencamp. Sachiko graduated from a 3-year teacher training taught by Gloria Goldberg and Manouso Manos and holds an Intermediate Jr. 1 Certification. She has twice been to Pune, India, to study with the Iyengars, and has completed a 3-year Iyengar Yoga Therapeutics Program taught by Manouso Manos. More details at: www.iysachiko.com
Jacqueline Shea Murphy is a certified Iyengar teacher at the Intermediate Junior I level, CIYT-3000. She has been a serious student of Iyengar yoga for 23 years, and a longtime student of Manouso Manos. Jacqueline is Chair of the Dance Department at the University of California, Riverside, where she teaches yoga and critical dance studies courses, with a particular focus on Indigenous dance. Jacqueline was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Yoga and Access conference. For the past 16 years, she has taught yoga to young adults. She loves seeing the simple and profound ways yoga brings joy to her students. A mother of three young children, Jacqueline depends on her own practice to help keep her intense life grounded and open-hearted. Find out more at her UCR website
Mariah Oakley has a Master of Public Health and has been teaching fitness classes since 1998. She’s currently apprenticing with Heather Haxo Phillips to deepen her study of Iyengar Yoga. She has successfully used yoga to improve her health and is especially interested in studying how to use yoga to address chronic health conditions. Above all else, Mariah believes that yoga should be accessible, meet you where you are, and help you discover where you want to go.