our team

   
  
I fell in love with Yoga the first time I stepped onto a mat in 1993 and have been voraciously studying ever since. Passionate about Restorative Yoga and all of its benefits, I became certified in 2009 after completing my first Yoga Teacher Training at The Yoga Tree in San Francisco with Judith Hanson Lasater. One year later, I founded and operated Grass Valley Yoga Studio, and began to share my love of this beautiful practice. I successfully completed the Foundations of Svaroopa Yoga teacher training in 2012. I received my most recent Yoga Alliance certification through The Yoga Shack in Nipomo, CA. My family and I relocated to the Central Coast in 2014 and I am grateful to have found the incredible community of Yoga Village which has welcomed me with open arms as the owner / director, since March 2016.
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I began teaching yoga in 1981. As an ERYT and an AFFA consultant I have been teaching classes plus nationally training and helping certify other instructors for over 35 years and added the 500 E-RYT certification with Yoga Alliance.
In 2003 I moved to the Central Coast to be closer to my daughter, April, and my grand children. Having successfully started and run several businesses (BS in Finance) April and I decided to join our love of yoga and give back to the community by opening a yoga studio on the Central Coast. In 2008 we started Yoga Village.
In 2016 I sold the studio to a beautiful Yogini Annie Hopper.
I hope to bring my love of yoga and all that it encompasses to my students. Yoga means union, and in my classes we bring together our minds, bodies and spirits, opening our hearts and giving ourselves a gift of health and love.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti
In love and light,
connie
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“Holly” Jackson- Sigman 500 ERYT * Master Teacher Mary T. Jackson, MD FACOG was born in Hollywood, CA and has gone by the nickname "Holly" ever since. She learned her first seated asana long before she entered medical school and feels that it was one of the most important things she ever learned. As a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Dr. Jackson was well grounded in the practice of holistic medicine with emphasis on nutrition. After graduating from medical school, and finishing her Internship at the University of Hawaii, she spent several years practicing general medicine in Korea. Here she developed an appreciation for the traditional alternative therapies so prevalent in Asian countries. Holly has delivered over 2,000 babies under all sorts of circumstances. Between 1988 and 1998, Dr. Jackson was on the staff of Straub Clinic, Honolulu, where she practiced high risk obstetrics and gynecology. As an associate clinical professor of OBGYN with the University Of Hawaii School Of Medicine she enjoyed teaching medical students and residents at Kapiolani Women and Children's Medical Center in Honolulu. Today she practices yoga and office gynecology in Central California. Holly believes that yoga can help bring ease and joy back into what has become a high tech and often frightening process: The womanly art of birthing. Holly developed the very first Prenatal Teacher Training System manual for YogaFit® in 1999 and later the PranaMama Prenatal/Postpartum Training System® with the goal of integrating superficially opposing worlds: The world of ancient inherent yogic wisdom, the complex world we humans now live in, and the practical world of modern evidence- based scientific knowledge. She has blended these world views into a coherent, and well balanced system of modified classical yoga which will suit the needs of many including and especially pregnant women. Holly's yoga training includes certificate level work with London’s Oxford University through their “Centre for Hindu Studies”. This enables her to provide authentic instruction in the History and Philosophy of Yoga to our teacher training students. Working with our wonderful local teacher of Sanskrit, Kamala Knowlton, has opened a whole new realm of insight into Yoga’s great Sacred Writings, for example the Bhagavad Gita, which she also shares during the Yoga Village teacher trainings. Among the many teachers she honors for helping her find this path are: Richard Freeman, Judith Lasater, Michael Lee, Patricia Walden, Richard Price, MD, Shiva Rea, Gary Kraftsow, Dr. Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa, and Dhrama Mittra. Honor especially to Krishnamacharya for sending Yogacharya BKS Iyengar and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois to the west so that the rest could follow.
 
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My love for yoga started while I was attending college at Cal Poly University. I took my first yoga class with Holly Jackson-Sigman at Pismo Beach Athletic Club. I knew I was on to something when I came out of my first savasana with tears rolling down my face. My soul wanted to connect with a much deeper and meaningful way of life. Something had sparked a fire inside of me.
Years later, the call to share my love for yoga with others began to blossom. I began to explore other healing modalities such as Reiki, reflexology and massage. All of which opened doors that would eventually lead me to the completion of my 200-hour yoga teacher training at Yoga Village in 2015.
Yoga has changed my life in so many ways. It has helped me face fears and obstacles with courage and grace. Maintaining a nourishing and well balanced yoga practice has helped with my overall health and wellbeing. I’ve also gained a deeper connection with Mother Nature and the sense of oneness that unites us all.
Through the practice of yoga we can begin to cultivate mindful body movement, breath awareness and stillness of the mind. Remaining humble in my yoga path helps me to embrace changes with love and gratitude and to release what is no longer serving me.
The mind, body and soul connection that yoga has taught me helps me to live a more truly meaningful and blissful life! I enjoy all different styles of yoga, but feel a special resonance with the yin/restorative and gentle flow practices. I hope to share my love for yoga and life with my students and help them find their own true path on and off the mat.
Namaste!
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I attended Cal Poly as a gymnast and graduated with an accounting degree. I am a licensed massage therapist and find joy in helping others heal. I was inspired to teach yoga by my grandmother who was a teacher. Having finished my 500 hour Yoga Alliance teacher training here at Yoga Village I hope to bring my love for yoga and healing to my classes. My teaching is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother.
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Luana Knowlton (ERYT500) literally stumbled into yoga in 2008 when she stepped onto a eucalyptus acorn and fell, injuring her ankle, knee and shoulder – and her pride. As she struggled to come to terms with her overweight body and long-term deep depression, an inner voice whispered “YOGA”. Within six months, she lost 60 pounds and found strength, flexibility, balance, and peace. She began teaching in 2010 with Vinyasa Flow, and has completed training in Restorative Yoga, Gentle Yoga, and Integral Hatha Yoga. Luana’s upbeat personality, calming presence, and kindness will encourage you to listen to the subtle messages of your body as you safely work the edges of your strength, flexibility, and energy, deepening your sense of peace and balance. Her classes are suitable for practitioners of all levels, providing detailed instruction and modifications where needed.
 
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I had my first yoga experience in 1968 with Swami Satchitananda and have been practicing ever since. It is said that our teachers shine light into the darkness. This I when I learned that yoga is all about growth and finding true happiness. After years of teaching yoga in San Francisco, Los Angeles and now in San Luis Obispo County, in 2009, I earned my 200 hour Yoga Teacher certificate from Yoga Village. In 2016, I earned my 500 hour Yoga Teacher certificate from Yoga Village. From 2012 to 2015, I studied with Amy Weintraub, creator of Life Force Yoga, earning my LFY certificate which allowed me to incorporate yoga into my psychotherapy practice (Lynn Swanson, LMFT). I have seen psychological transformation occur more rapidly through practicing yoga, both in the yoga studio setting and in my psychotherapy office. When we are feeling out of balance we need to look at the whole of our existence, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, to see where we need to give attention. Yoga provides so many tools to help us expand our awareness. We store so much emotional information in our bodies that really needs liberating. Once this pattern of holding becomes part of our consciousness our perception about our lives can change. The body is an amazing mentor for the mind. We just need to learn to listen to it. I love teaching the morning classes to all you who have learned that starting your day with yoga is the best! I am forever grateful to Connie Murphy and Annie Hopper for creating the spirit expanding place that is Yoga Village. I also love offering Life Force Yoga Workshops to my community to help empower those who are suffering from anxiety and depression. The added benefit of practicing yoga with others is finding a community that holds acceptance as a standard and this can be very healing in and of itself. Sharing my love of yoga, and sometimes my voice, is my passion and joy!
 
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Lynne's first experience with yoga was 30 years ago, and began teaching 12 years ago. Her passion for yoga began when she was a Registered Nurse and working in a fast paced Emergency Department and seeing the need not only to find a balance for her own mind/body health but saw the need to integrate into patient care.
After completing her studies and years of practice she has found her passion in Bhakti Yoga, which is reflected in her teaching style using the principles of Hatha Yoga, while bringing in the devotion of the Devine and a Bhakti Heart.
She brings to her classes the love of Kirtan by playing the harmonium and chanting before and after class so that her students can bring off the mat a heart filled awareness of all that is good and lovely.
She loves to see her students grow and when a new student appears she is in tune with their needs and can integrate the new with the old so all can feel the movement, breath and the transformation that occurs in the mind/body/spirit.
As Lynne continues on this life long journey she finds great joy in sharing and seeing the transformation not only her life but those of her students.
In the Lightness of Being...Om

 

 
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Palaka Das 200 RYT

University of Porto Alegre ..Brazil Physical education degree - 5 yrs
specialty: swimming, weight loss, aerobics

24 years of Bhakti yoga practice
teaches: Bhagavad Gita / Upanishads / Srmiat Baglavatan

School teacher at Ashram for Bhakti yoga / Jhana yoga / Karma Yoga

100 hours study Seminar School at Mayapur India on Bhagavad Gita / Upanishads / Yoga Sutras

15 years cooking chef in the principles of Ayurveda

50 hours study at Sivananda Ashram

200 hours Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga Village School of Teacher Training

3+ years practice and teaching at Yoga Village

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Years Practicing: Ten years.
(Began +,- 2004)
Certification: 200 hours.
(Completed at Yoga Village, Arroyo Grande, CA).

I started practicing yoga about ten years ago when I needed to switch away from running. I hadn't ran for a couple of years due to back problems. I was fearful of reinjury if I continued. Although I remained active physically in that two years, it was never at a level that was satisfying. I came to yoga by accident.

I tried some classes. I liked those classes. I went more regularly. Then I didn't go regularly. I found it deceptively difficult. To me there were aspects of yoga that related to running though... an ineffable physical and mental experience. From those on-again/off-again beginnings, I slowly became more consistent in practice.

I am grateful for the diverse set of instructors and teachers I have had at Yoga Village and elsewhere. As I practice, I grow.
I hope to share the experience of yoga with others; the physical and mental benefits, the positive focus, and the general well being that yoga brings to me.

Namaste.

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Theresa is a certified Advanced Trained MELT Method Instructor and Certified Raja Energy Practitioner with the Fiesst Institute and Personal Trainer. Her business is called Special T Health and Wellness. She holds a B.S. in Physical Education specializing in Adult Health and fitness / Corporate Fitness from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Graduated 1986. Theresa has trained and participated in the Health and Fitness Industry for over 30 years. She started her career specializing in Fitness Testing and Health evaluation and Personal Training. She has enjoyed a life time being involved in several aspects of athletic sports, competing to general training in, swimming, gymnastics, running, equestrian, martial arts, mountain biking, surfing, yoga and skiing. Theresa enjoys the rewards of sharing, giving, teaching and training people to experience the many aspects in the world of Fitness and Health and Improved Wellness.
Yoga has been a part of my life for the last 20 years, but never with the dedication that I developed when I joined Yoga Village. Maybe it was the combination of being at the right place, at the right time with the most excellent yoga instructors ever that planted a desire in me to go deeper into the experience. Whatever the reason, this desire led me into the 200 hour teacher training which became another amazing experience and created a deeper bond that grew within me for yoga. I love yoga for what it can do for me and anyone who opens themselves up to the Yoga Experience.
I began my yoga training at Santa Barbara Yoga Center in 2008. Transferred to Yoga Village, receiving my 200 certificate in 2009 and the 500 hour certificate in 2011. In 2012 I became a Reiki Master. I have had the priviledge to study with some wonderful teachers; Connie Murphy, Moonyeen Park, Dr. Holly Jackson,Eric shiffman, Sarah Powers and Cheri Clampet. I have a special interest in Restorative and Healing yoga.

My passions in life in addition to yoga are traveling and horses. I live on acreage east of Arroyo Grande with husband Jim, two Arabians, Clipper and Sunny and an old Morgan , Glitterbug. I was very blessed to be able to visit India for the first time in January 2016 and hope to return someday. Also am a hospice volunteer with Whilshire Hospice.

In love and light,
Kathy

I began yoga 15 years ago, watching Rodney Yee and Patricia Walden videos. I used to think yoga was too “easy,” but quickly realized I was wrong. I came to my mat every time I was upset and needed to calm down. As time went on, I became more proficient, and then an interest in the philosophy and ancient teachings emerged. I moved from the east coast to California in 2011, and began an earnest practice with Holly Sigman and Yoga Village. The wonderful teachers at the studio continued to inspire me, and I made the decision to become a certified instructor in 2014.

I am a licensed speech language pathologist, working with the geriatric population in Arroyo Grande. As a yoga instructor, I am able to meld the 2 professions together, creating a balanced therapy program for my patients. I use yoga teachings, modified asanas, and meditation with my stroke patients, and can see what a difference it makes in their lives. Just as yoga has made a difference in my own life, it is a constant source of gratification to witness someone in distress from illness relax, breathe, and find a new way of looking at the world.

I teach yoga classes at work, privately, and at Yoga Village. Connecting mind and body with the breath has changed my life, and opened up a world of new perceptions and joys. I strive to share that with every student that crosses my path.

April Dawn has been a Hatha Yoga practitioner for over 20 years and a teacher for the last 10. She received her 200hr Yoga teaching credentials from Santa Barbara Yoga Center in 2007. April is a devout believer in the powerful healing aspects of a regular Yoga practice. She knows first-hand how a sincere practice can bring about tremendous benefits and positive changes for the body-mind and soul and has successfully treated and managed several childhood “dis-eases” such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis through her yoga practice. April hopes to share what she has learned over the years and help others realize the full health potential available through a well rounded and sincere Yoga practice. Classes will offer a variety of Yogic tools to deepen our yogic experience. Mantras, mudras ,asanas and pranayama techniques are incorporated into each class combined with meditative practices that bring us into the supra -mental states of consciousness ( Dharana and Dhyana ) .

Through our Yoga practice we seek to bring a state of steadiness and balance to the mind through the purification of the body and the control of the breath. Although the practice often starts with the body or physical aspects, it ends with the mind. The ancient Sanskrit term for this is “Yogas citta vritti nirodaha” which translates as, “Yoga stills the fluctuations of the mind”. With a dedicated practice one learns how to bring about a quality of attention and calmness to whatever challenge may arise, physical, mental or spiritual. Through the physical practice of Yoga we purify and tone the body, bringing about a state of wellness felt throughout the entire being which will allow us to cultivate and pursue a meditative state of consciousness. We can not be at mental peace or achieve a meditative state if we are overrun with feelings of tension and disease in the body. Instead of a state of Mindfulness are minds remain full of tensions and fears. Through conscious control of the breath one learns how to maintain mental and emotional balance and inner peace regardless of external circumstance. By learning how to empty the full mind of unnecessary tension and worry, we open ourselves to the experience a true state of Mindfulness , balance, harmony and bliss which are recognized by Yogic philosophy as our natural state of being.
Look forward to seeing you on and off the mat!

 
I began my yoga practice at about age 12 with my mom in the 70’s. We did yoga in our living room to Richard Hittleman’s Yoga for Health 2nd exercise album and I read Jess Stearn’s book “Yoga, Youth and Reincarnation.” I also studied yoga and dance at college in Boulder and San Francisco. I continued practicing on and off finding classes where I could until finding instructor Billy Gill at Urth Yoga Studio, where I completed a 21 day Parinama Transformation workshop and was introduced to Yoga Nidra. This experience deepened my practice and I began including meditation, which I had always struggled with. Arriving in Arroyo Grande in 2015, I was so grateful to receive my 200 hour training at Yoga Village to be able to introduce others to this wonderful practice.

Tina began practicing yoga about 15 years ago after continued issues with fertility and challenging pregnancies reduced her mobility. Once an avid runner, swimmer, and beach volleyball player, she was a bit reluctant to believe yoga was as awesome as described! The moment she discovered yogic movement and breath, the strength inside and out that yoga cultivates, yoga became an integral part of her life. She began teaching over a decade ago, inspired by the authenticity of the practice. Tina teaches yoga because of its beauty, its truth, and its ability to induce stillness. She wishes to help others discover their Inner BadAss and remember their innateness, their authentic selves!

Tina is inspired by nature, family, adventure, walking barefoot and countless teachers she encounters daily. Tina has studied with some amazing teachers, beginning with Doug Swenson whom she received her initial certification. Other greats such as Paul Grilley, John Friend, Janet Stone, Sarah Powers, Erich Schiffman and Kathryn Budig (to name a few) have been huge infusions of inspiration along the path. Tina has studied Anatomy and Physiology for over 20 years, Yoga Therapeutics, various styles of yoga and theory, is an RN and E-RYT 200. Once upon a time, Tina and her husband owned a yoga studio in Cary, NC, transitioned it to new ownership, packed up and moved to the magical west coast!

Tina teaches an eclectic loving class challenging one to dive deep within, explore, and tap into one's essence. Combining breath, vinyasa, alignment, giggles and love to create an illuminating experience, Tina's classes are versatile and adaptable to all levels. Come discover what you can do!

Robyn Hastin began practicing yoga in 1999 and she completed her yoga teacher training in 2006 at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center. She is grateful to have studied with Erich Schiffmann, Peter Sterios, Paul Grilley, Constance Hart, and others. She teaches an eclectic mixture of hatha yoga styles based on her personal exploration. In her classes she uses a fun and playful atmosphere to allow students to explore freedom of movement as they develop intelligence and awareness of the bodymind through intention, breath and asana. She is trained in Color Energy Healing as well as certified to teach Chakra Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Therapeutic/Restorative Yoga. Her favorite aspect of the yoga practice and lifestyle is its transformative nature, from the subtleties of the breath to the more obvious changes that occur in the bodymind and spirit.
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