Village Yoga Team
AMY MIHAL Co-Owner
I took my first Bikram Yoga class in San Francisco in 1997 and felt so amazing that I knew I wanted to practice yoga for the rest of my life!!! Yoga has had a profound effect on my physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. A consistent, dedicated practice has allowed me to get off of daily medications for asthma that I had taken throughout my childhood and well into my 20s. Ahhhh, being able to breathe deeply is a real treasure!
Importantly, my practice has helped me navigate my way through the ups and downs that life presents while maintaining a deep sense of hope and peace. The mental, physical, emotional and spiritual strengths that this practice gives me are priceless gifts; I cherish these gifts deeply and practice to embody them. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for this practice, for how it has changed and shaped my life, and most importantly for the amazing friends and family that it has brought into my life. I love being at the studio and truly feel that it is an honor to share yoga and its many gifts with all of those who come to class. See you at the studio!
SALLY ADAMS Co-Owner
At 24, after 21 years of dancing (ballet, modern, jazz, tap) I needed a new way of stretching my body. I was perpetuating bad habits and felt stuck in my progression. I found myself in a hot, sweaty yoga class at Global Yoga in San Francisco. I never looked back. I thought I would incorporate both dancing and yoga but it took me several months before I could. The yoga wiped me out at first and at the same time left me feeling alive and peaceful. I knew I just needed to let the yoga alone work it’s magic in me. When I
went back to dance class, I was stronger, more flexible, had great stamina & I felt better than ever! For me working with my body has never been just that. It has always been a way to connect with the spirit of joy and connect with my soul. The 26 postures are like coming home. They allow me to be who I am, they give me comfort, they challenge me, they make me honest, they make me grateful and most importantly they show me how physical well being and the states of balance, peace and love take constant vigilance.
Now it's been 20 years of yoga and guess what, I'm still dancing!
With 35 years experience as a practicing yogini, and 20 years experience as a teacher and intuitive healer, Lisa Marie is committed to her students and the path of Yoga to guide her to serve others, facilitate healings and bring them into their own divinity and essential nature. Certified Yoga Therapist, Reiki Master, Cranio--Sacral Therapist and Intuitive Healer, she has brought healing, health, and life changing experiences to individuals and groups.
She has worked cooperatively with the Jacqueline Palchak Cancer Foundation leading retreats and is the yoga instructor at the San Luis Obispo Integrative Cancer Clinic. She works with cancer patients to free them from anxiety, nausea, stress and disease. And, she facilitates healing for students with chronic pain and mental and emotional discord.Lisa is trained in many modalities that offer yoga and integrative alternative therapy. She has received her 500 hour yoga therapy certification through the Yoga Alliance, As a creative entrepreneur, Lisa opened the first local yoga studio in Arroyo Grande, CA. Privately she sees clients offering a blend of Yoga Therapy, CST, Reiki, and Flower Essences. She supports others in finding their way home, living comfortably in the body. To know that their inner teacher and healer lies within, and to give them permission to trust in their own abilities to find balance in each part of their lives.
She will offer her services in the private treatment room at Village Yoga and is offering a summer special savings.
Reach out with any questions or to schedule :
I found Village Yoga in 2002 when I was in my mid twenties, and I instantly fell in love with the practice. It soon became a complete dedication for me. I practiced nearly everyday as it was my savior from back pain and addiction. Practicing yoga enabled me to find a more stable place in life. I soon began work trade with the studio so that I could keep up my new life style of an unlimited yoga practice. In 2005, I made the drastic decision to attend the 9 week intensive teacher training in LA with Bikram Choudury. It was the best decision I made. The studio was by my side the whole way through and was
there for me when I got back. I began teaching right away and taught at Village for almost 10 years. My practice and dedication to the discipline has been my savior through many stages….It has carried me through great loss, tragedy, pregnancy, and cancer. If it were not for Village Yoga and a strong belief in this healing practice I wouldn’t have made it through. I am a strong believer that self healing through patience, breathe, awareness and the willingness to be still in discomfort, is possible.
I have been certified and teaching Hot Yoga since 2007. My path and heart led me to Vinyasa Yoga in 2013. Since then, I have had the honor of training with Baron Baptiste, Janet Stone, Mark Stephens, Erika Abrahamian, Kino MacGregor, Lino Miele, and many more. I consider myself always a student and feel honored to share the teachings of my teachers and this practice. This path has led me to teach from my heart what inspires the individual to shamelessly care for the container that is you. To tend to this body, heart, mind, breath and spirit so that we can tend to others with the respect and love that all humanity deserves. The direction of my classes are an attuned and vigorous flow offered to all. Expect alignment cues, a focus on meditative breath and presence, as well as the potential for laughter, compassion and humility. Each class is infused with rhythms and beats chosen to inspire movement and joy in this body and practice.
After the second friend told me about Bikram Yoga, I finally decided I had to try it. I'll never forget that first class in San Diego, on President's Day, February 2010. Stefan was teaching and I was surprisingly calm, even though I had never before done anything like it. I immediately connected with the series, the heat, the challenge, and the undeniable great feeling to follow. In some strange way I knew I was home and in time realized that I was coming back home to myself in the most beautiful way each and every day.
Before that first class I felt lost in the world, unsure what moves to make to “improve”, “advance”, and “progress” my life forward into success. I knew how to have an open heart that longed to connect to the Divine Energy, but what I did not know was how to be a confident, human woman on Earth. I had gone through so many changes, and traumas, and growth but never fully felt free to be myself, my truest self. I suppose I felt fragmented. All aspects of myself were present but disconnected from one another. It was not long into that first class that I felt its magic-the beginning of my unification-mind, body, emotional body, and spirit. At the end Stefan had the class applaud for me. That applause was incredibly powerful and encouraging. I thought, “Wow, I did do awesome. I AM awesome!” And there it was, the first step toward healing, toward learning to love my own heart.
I quickly realized that I did not have to waste so much time worrying about the next step. I simply had to practice and trust that as I shed the old layers, the path would become more and more clear. The yoga does not always give you what you want or what you think is right, it meets you where you are and gives to you exactly what you need to properly let go and move forward in each moment.
All of a sudden I was joyfully, pro-actively living life. I began writing songs, making better decisions, finding the balance between grounding and reaching beyond. I was very blessed to open up like a flower petal blooming, bending backwards to quickly release the old, stale emotional energy that had made a home in my mind and body. I was witnessing daily miracles of students who were healing by the minute as they worked through injuries, got off of medications, and discovered more of who they truly were within. And the best part to me was that each student was responsible for these great changes by committing to the practice, and to themselves. The Yoga remains the constant so that we can explore ourselves through it and become the real change.
Now of course by the end of the second class I learned that the teachers always applauded for the new students of that day. But it did not diminish my experience with this custom. It really made me fully genuine in my congratulatory acknowledgment of the great job first timers do by sticking around to the end, consciously creating a sense of community whereby all involved are willingly and intentionally working toward self-realization.
I came to Santa Cruz to make films, and found that my yoga path was awaiting me here. After many years of wanting to teach, the road has led me here to Village Yoga where I will be taught by three women whom I greatly respect. I am very excited to continue to learn and grow and share my love of this practice with those who come through the door. In the meantime I shall guide students through the Yoga BARRE as we connect more deeply to our center and strengthen our beautiful bodies with pose and grace. My advice is to keep the faith, keep practicing, and give gratitude, and all else will fall into place.
I started practicing the Hot 26 about a year and a half ago at the age of 47, right here at the lovely Village Yoga Studio. I fell in love with the practice and decided to take the Hot 26 Teacher Training in June 2017. This practice has transformed my life in so many ways. I feel more energetic and physically stronger. More importantly, I have discovered a new sense of self that has guided me to be more compassionate, mindful and confident. I am doing things that I thought I would never do. If I could assist others and lead them to new possibilities in their own lives, I would be truly happy. I'm honored to be a part of the Village Yoga Community. Come practice with me!
I have been practicing Bikram Hot Yoga for about 10 years now, at first averaging 1-2 times per week for the most part. I was initially drawn towards the energetic and detail-oriented practice as a way to counter-act some of the tightness I was creating in my body by being involved with agricultural labor. I also wanted a strong workout; I think somehow the stress from the heat and the difficulty of the postures helped me feel that much more fulfilled. It was incredibly difficult at first but something kept drawing me back, and there was no denying that even though I felt exhausted directly after class I also felt so much
relief & relaxation. Slowly but surely the practice helped me to gain a greater body awareness as well as more intimate connection with my own breath. I began to notice how it was affecting every aspect of my life; difficult, uncomfortable, and challenging situations could be seen in a new light of acceptance by staying calm and connected with the breath. Gradually over the years I became more and more interested in the science of yoga until finally this year I took the step to attend a teacher training. It is still strange to consider myself as a teacher now after this many years as a student but I am so grateful and excited to have the opportunity to share with others this practice which has been so beneficial in my own life.
Influenced by my teachers, travels, and personal study I aim to teach with intention, presence, and positivity. I try to facilitate the mind-body-spirit connection in my students by teaching a breath-focused class, giving nuanced asana instruction, correcting alignment, gently pushing to personal limits, and allowing enough space for students to discover their individual practice and experience of Self union.
I have been practicing yoga since the age of 18. When I was in my early thirties I walked into my first hot yoga class at Village Yoga and it was love at first sweat!! I have training in Vinyasa flow and I am a certified Modo hot yoga teacher. Modo yoga is a form of hot Hatha yoga that incorporates many of the Bikram postures plus flow and core building asana. Due to my background in dance, I encourage all my students to find the dance in their yoga practice. This is done with a fun easy flow approach that never compromises the integrity of correct alignment and core
building. You will usually find yourself flowing to music in my classes! My class is accessible to beginners and more seasoned yoga practitioners alike. Come prepared to breathe, dig deep, and open your heart.
I was first drawn to Bikram Yoga in 2006 in a search for holistic ways to heal my body and mind of stress and anxiety. I had finally found what I was looking for, something that really worked! I am now so fortunate to be apart of the wonderful community here at Village Yoga giving back after all I’ve learned from my own practice throughout the years. My hope is to guide and support everyone who walks through the door to find peace and joy with this practice of meditation and the physical body. It is never too late to start over and try again! ~Namaste~
I have been teaching and immersing myself in my yoga practice devotedly since 2012. I was blessed to meet Baba Hari Dass and spend several years residing and teaching at Mount Madonna Center. I have taught in yoga retreats, Yoga Journal Conference, Shakti Yoga Festival, assisted yoga teacher training programs and served as a mentor for students and aspiring teachers. I also spent time working privately with clients in a physical therapy clinic with chronic low back and neck pain. Through my teaching and practice, I am constantly inspired by the healing power of yoga. I also offer Ayurvedic Bodywork and Massage Therapy, which I find to be a perfect complement to yoga, bringing the whole being into balance. I am grateful for the opportunity to bring yoga into the lives of others. My classes offer safe alignment, with a focus on finding triputi; synthesis of breath, movement, and concentration to experience yoga, union with higher consciousness.
Amanda Payne is a trained dancer, visual artist and burlesque performer based in Santa Cruz, CA. She is so excited to add YogaBARRE to her resume. Having been a student at Village Yoga since 2008, she is over the moon to join the incredible instructors here!
Chelsea is a Seasonal Plant Based Chef and Yoga teacher who relocated to Santa Cruz from Ventura, California. Chelsea lives and breathes the philosophy of yoga, community, seasonal living, and the state of harmony that flow brings into her life. Yoga to her isn't just a physical practice but more of a deep exploration of the self; a way back home to our authentic primal state of being that includes community, strength, courage, mindfulness, acceptance, and connection to the elements that nature provides.