Gizella Donald, ERYT, Studio Director & Founder, yoga mayu of San Francisco
Gizella began her studies and practice in 1990 at the Sivananda Yoga Center in San Francisco. Since then she has practiced in different classical Yoga traditions as well as the more physical Ashtanga and Iyengar styles. Gizella integrated this wealth of experience into a process towards true and lasting transformation. In her classes, she emphasizes correct alignment of the body in yoga postures to minimize the potential for injuries and to maximize optimal energy flow. She teaches an energetic, challenging yet playful class, and excels in modifying poses so that they can be accessible to all levels of students. She inspires her students to extend the practice of yoga by encouraging them to bring the love of yoga into their everyday life.
Lila Butler, RYT-200/Studio Manager
Lila will never forget the first time she stepped onto the mat and how balanced, calm and rejuvenated she felt - in fact she left class feeling like a superhero. Coming from a background in dance, she has spent most of her life studying the body in motion and approaches yoga with a sense of humor and a lighthearted playfulness.
She teaches a fun and invigorating vinyasa flow class that emphasizes alignment, connection to the breath and exploration of self. Her classes are designed to open the body, build strength and flexibility and most importantly, to cultivate a calm and content state of mind.
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Katie started practicing yoga in 2003 during her first year in college. She was drawn back to the class time after time not only by how great the physical practice made her feel but also by the calm and content she experienced at the end of each class. After exploring many styles of yoga she found what resonated with her most were Hatha and Vinyasa style classes. Later while living in Australia, she fell madly in love with Yin Yoga as well. In 2009 Katie completed her 200-hour teacher training at a Satyananda ashram in Nashik India. After finishing her teacher training, she decided to move to Sydney Australia and ended up staying to teach there for five years. During her time in Australia, she had the pleasure of studying under and working with some of Sydney’s best yoga teachers including Kate Kendall, Melanie Mclaughlin and Murray Hatton. Katie’s philosophy is that yoga is for every body and every individual practice should be unique to the person practicing. The most important part of the practice is not how flexible you are or how many amazing arm balances you can do, but how much you can let go of all of that and instead find peace in being yourself.top
Let go of your mind, and hold on to your yoga mat! James integrates asana, breath work and meditation into a flow that will help you take flight. He first experienced yoga in his grandmother's garden. As a child, he continued this yoga education under the tutelage of his Tae Kwon Do instructor. Later as a teenager, an illness brought him to holistic medicine, where he began to understand the mind-body connection, and the nature of dis-ease. As an adult, having healed an "un-healable" back injury on the yoga mat, James was inspired to share what he had learned, and an unexpected spiritual awakening kept him on this track. His preferred style is warm vinyasa flow, although you can call it whatever you want.
Yoga is co-creation and while he’s happy to instruct, he’s more interested in journeying with you. An avid festival chaser, his playlists will have you wiggling your tailbone between poses, as you dance with your breath. Bring a friend, bring a loved one, bring your Self, and let’s do this!top
A classically trained dancer from Singapore, with over a decade of experience in professional dance, teaching and choreography, a non-practicing lawyer and Registered Yoga Alliance teacher, Roy's classes are about taking the blinders off and giving oneself the radical permission to honestly explore what one's mind and body are capable of. A testament to the transformative, grounding and healing power of the Yoga practice, Roy's mission is to encourage an inner intuitive listening and to raise one's consciousness to embrace all aspects of the human experience freely. With a mindful practice, he supports people in honoring and appreciating themselves and provides a safe and non-judgmental space for them to discover their inherent greatness. Drawing also from the disciplines of qigong, martial arts and ballet, Roy teaches a dynamically sequenced yoga flow that encourages a holistic awareness of breath and proper alignment; strength and flexibility; functionality in movement and conscious co-ordination. "It's about bringing the necessary consciousness into everything we do. The practical mind training aspect of Yoga is an invaluable tool to help one to first, be aware of the obstacles to freedom and then allowing these obstructions the unhealed mind makes upon reality to be gently removed. Steady determination and a sustained yoga practice will help one to ground in unqualified awareness... to allow the human being to live a loving, healthy, abundant and fearless life." - http://www.roygan.comtop
Jody took her first yoga class in 2001 in Los Angeles, inspired by a friend who had demonstrated a handstand. She remembers that first class well - the physical challenge and the focus required, mixed with an exciting feeling of clarity. She did not do a handstand that day but she was hooked on yoga, and two years later graduated from The Center for Yoga Teacher Training Program in LA. She has been teaching ever since.
Her classes are infused with the philosophy that we are, all of us, engaged in a process at all times which can be illustrated by finishing any statement with "yet": "I can't do this (yet)"... "I'm not flexible (yet)." If one can be involved in the process and not focused on the outcome, then both the process and the outcome may be surprising and rewarding. We are explorers - discovering poses, discovering mental clarity, discovering how we deal with challenges and, maybe, discovering some spiritual awareness. Oh, yeah - and it helps to keep a sense of humor about all of it.top
Ben earned his first 200 hour yoga teaching certification at the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica in 2010 and has completed another 280 hours of training with Rusty Wells, Jason Crandell and others in San Francisco. Ben’s knowledge of alignment, anatomy and breathwork has helped many practitioners develop greater strength, flexibility, balance and resilience. The highlight of Ben’s yogic journey so far is the three months he spent living in Rishikesh, India in 2010 when he experienced some of the profound physical and philosophical aspects of a yogic life.
Ben was born and raised in the Midwest, educated at Brown and Oxford and has been based in San Francisco for 12 years.top
Diana is an in-it-for-life yogi. Born and raised in the mid-west, she has an affinity for simplicity, small acts of kindness and the freshest food ever. The practice of yoga is her grounding force in an ever-changing world. She rides her bike everywhere, plays disc golf, marathons good sci-fi and is also a novice runner. Diana teaches yoga but will always consider herself a student of life first. In her class you will find a strong, methodical and balanced sequence that meets each student where they are at. She has a master’s degree in Urban Planning and Community Development and for all the plans she’s created, she loves the spontaneous plot twists of life.top
Maria began practicing yoga in 2006, as a way to manage the stress of graduate school. Yoga quickly took over her life and in 2011 she completed a 200-hour Certification through Yoga to the People. She currently is at work on a 500-hour certification with Kripalu. In 2013, she completed a 50-hour Rocket Yoga training with It’s Yoga in San Francisco. Maria is also trained to teach the 26 hot postures. She loves learning and practicing different yoga styles and ultimately believes that these variants feed into a single practice: yoga is simply the process of focusing on breath. She hopes to bring her students heightened awareness of their own possibilities and power.top
Nicole Tierre Thompson
Nicole has been committed to practicing and teaching yoga for more than 12 years. A devoted runner, Nicole began practicing yoga in Santa Barbara, California as a way to supplement her marathon training. Almost immediately, she recognized the time spent on the mat and with others in the yoga community were invaluable aspects of her life.
Nicole completed her teaching certification at Chicago-based yogaview and worked in various settings across the windy city to bring a yoga asana practice to individuals who sought a better and more thoughtful awareness of her/his body. Her teaching style is influenced by senior teachers in both Anusara and Ashtanga. For Nicole, it is vital to teach every student as they are and then encourage them to test their "edge" with kindness and compassion.
Nicole’s overall intention for her classes is to create an environment in which students discover something new about themselves through physical movement, connection to breath and clarity of mind. She has been in love with running for over 13 years and laces up her running shoes on a daily basis to get in her "moving meditation".top