Village Yoga Team

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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!

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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!

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PUJA CHANCE

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. 

More info about Puja & retreats: https://pujachanceyoga.com/

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ALANA TRUAX

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~

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MINDY LIEBENBERG

I started practicing the Hot 26 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!

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CHELSEA SHAPOURI

Chelsea is a Private Chef and Yoga teacher who relocated to Santa Cruz from Ventura, California. Chelsea lives and breathes the philosophy of yoga, community, seasonal living, ritual, 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, devotion, mindfulness, acceptance, play, and connection to the elements that nature provides. 
 

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TIM BRATTAN

For me, yoga is multifaceted, transformative and endlessly challenging. It asks us to strengthen, bend and shape our body, control our breath, occasionally defy gravity and love ourselves just as we are. It also connects us to our infinite divine power – power to shift our focus and expand capacity for change. 

I have had the great privilege of learning from a wide circle of teachers, friends and mentors. Rusty, Phil, Scott, Darren, Dr. Svoboda, Jason, Ramanand, and many more. Workshops, retreats, trainings and daily practice catapulted me into teaching public classes in 2010.

Along the way I discovered that Yoga wasn’t just a thing I was doing, or teaching, or studying. It became the lens of my life; the philosophy, the practice, the breath. It was also the catalyst that upended just about everything. Bom Shiva.

My classes offer a dynamic blend of movement, strength, flexibility and stillness designed to simply bring us more fully into each present moment. And hopefully someplace even deeper.  

I also write about yoga.     TIM'S BLOG

You can listen to my class playlists on Spotify.    TIM'S PLAYLISTS

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MICHAEL BRANSON

When I first stepped foot into Village Yoga to try out my first Hot 26 class I had no idea how profound of an experience it would be. I knew that I was going to sweat and possibly run out of breath but what I really found was a quiet and focus that my mind had not yet experienced. I was too busy attempting the postures and wrangling my breath to notice any of the outside world! Needless to say, I was hooked. What came in the following days and weeks of practice were an improvement in breathing, flexibility, mobility, stability, mood, strength, and recovery!

I was also blown away by the love and support that permeates throughout the studio. Whether it’s your first time or one hundred and first time, you will feel welcome here. The highly experienced instructors helped me improve my practice and bring balance into my life. I was inspired to go further, learn more, and see where this union of mind, body, and soul would take me. It brought me back to the very same place it began, Village Yoga.

I have completed my 200 Hr YTT (with a focus on Hot 26 and Yin Yoga) and I am beyond excited to be a part of this awesome community. Amy, Sally, Lisa, and Ruth have shown me a style of practicing/teaching that embodies kindness and power, information and understanding, but most importantly, love and gratitude. I look forward to sharing my experience with you and to learn from you! Because at the end of the day, we are all students.

Namaste. 

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SHAN ESCARRA

My name is Shan. My teaching style is a rehabilitative blend of vinyasa yoga, pilates, and physical therapy. I started my journey as a certified yoga and pilates instructor, and then decided to obtain a doctorate in physical therapy to further my knowledge of the body and movement-based healing. The aim of my classes is to share with others the power of organic movement, and the body’s ability to heal itself through kinesiology, breath, and balance. 

 

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AMANDA PAYNE

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!

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VICTORIA MIESSLER

I was first introduced to yoga when I was about 13 years old and living in Brazil. Before that I had very little interest in doing any type of exercise and my mother was desperate to get me moving. Yoga was a total life changer for me. After a good year of consistent private yoga classes I moved back to the U.S. and fell out of my practice. I ended up getting really out of shape and falling in and out of depression. When I

was about 22, I was at my lowest point in life and my angel of a mother discovered we had a yoga studio walking distance from our apartment, and I decided to get back into it. This was the second huge turning point in my life. Yoga completely healed and transformed me. If it wasn’t for yoga, I would be a completely different person right now, and probably not my best self. Yoga has not only allowed me to be consistently physically healthy, but it also helped cure my depression and steer me towards a more holistic and spiritually conscious way of life. Yoga is not just a physical practice; it is a total way of life and one that I am infinitely grateful for. 

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LAURA MANLEY

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.

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HANNAH LERCH

I started taking yoga in college to prevent injury, and to improve flexibility and range of motion for soccer and ultimate frisbee. BUT I found that yoga is as much a mental practice as it is a physical one. Yes, part of yoga is the physical aspect – but it’s also about coming onto your mat, stepping away from the rest of your day, breathing in and out, and being present.

Yoga is about paying attention to your intention, and observing what is happening in the mind, body, and spirit - on AND off the mat.

I teach creative Vinyasa flow classes, with a focus on breath and alignment. My classes provide a place for students of all levels to explore strength, flexibility, and discernment. Our practice, just like life, isn't linear - and each time we step back onto the mat we have an opportunity to begin again.

I completed my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training locally at Yoga Garden SF in July 2016. I have traveled to India to study at the Himalayan Yoga Academy, and have taken two 108-hour teacher trainings with Janet Stone Yoga in Bali and Esalen.

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KATIE MILANO

Yoga has both lifted me up in love and joy and it has shown me the way to humility and self reflection.  I began practicing and studying Hatha yoga and meditation in 1992 and gained my first yoga certification in 1997 from Ananda Mandir in Nevada City, CA.  

Life has taken me through some major changes and loss in the past several years which sent me into some dark parts of my being, around the physical world and through 4 significant moves. 

All along, my yoga practice remained my faithful companion, connecting me to my breath and the present moment and I’m forever grateful for that. In teaching yoga classes and many teacher training programs over nearly 20+ years, I have witnessed what a personal journey yoga is for each individual.  

Yoga has both lifted me up in love and joy and it has shown me the way to humility and self reflection.  I began practicing and studying Hatha yoga and meditation in 1992 and gained my first yoga certification in 1997 from Ananda Mandir in Nevada City, CA.  

Life has taken me through some major changes and loss in the past several years which sent me into some dark parts of my being, around the physical world and through 4 significant moves.  All along, my yoga practice remained my faithful companion, connecting me to my breath and the present moment and I’m forever grateful for that. In teaching yoga classes and many teacher training programs over nearly 20+ years, I have witnessed what a personal journey yoga is for each individual.  

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ISABELLA DENTE

I began practicing Yoga 10 years ago, for merely physical reasons. Over time, I developed a deeper, devotional connection to the practice and its healing qualities. Yoga has helped me grow stronger, more flexible and fearless, both on and off the mat. Yoga continues to inspire me to live each moment more mindfully and to be consciously compassionate to this World.

 

In my classes, I love to combine creative sequencing, a grounded space, and a dose of inspiration to help you deepen your practice and guide you closer to yourself. I seek to help others thrive in life by nurturing the body, mind and soul and my hope is that you step off the mat feeling refreshed, nourished and balanced. I lead my classes with passion, awareness, tranquility & grace.

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LISA MARIE

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  : PremaYoga108@gmail.com