I discovered yoga about fourteen years ago. After my first yoga practice taught by Monica Devine, I knew this was something that I would incorporate into my life style. A yoga session during lunch hour or after work was the perfect relaxation needed for the mind. Physically, it was rejuvenating while improving my strength and flexibility. It complemented the outdoor activities that we love to do in Alaska. In simple words, it was the perfect therapy for the mind and body. Later, I signed up for teacher training because I wanted to deepen my practice; made trips to India and studied at Yoga Vidya Gurukul, Nasik and Association for Yoga and Meditation, Rishikesh. Eventually, the practice became so much a part of the daily life that I wanted share this gift of yoga with others. The desire to share the practice was so great that it led to taking up teaching yoga fulltime and opening Namaste North. Om Shanti!
Julie’s focus at Namaste North is an athletic style of yoga that strengthens targeted areas of the body while encouraging meditation through movement. Having studied and taught asana, breath work, energy work and traditional martial arts all over the world, Julie has been certified with Yoga Alliance since 2012, teaching in Alaska and Pennsylvania. Students characterize her flows as strong, mesmerizing and similar to gymnastics, tai chi, and dance.
Teresa found yoga’s peaceful, calming nature, and organic motions brought much balance as a teen girl in 2001 when she first discovered the practice. In time Teresa’s love for all things yoga only grew. During college she continued to grow her practice and found it essential medicine for a hectice college lifestyle. After college the passion to share yoga with others was born. She started teaching in 2013, after earning her 200 hr. teaching certificate in Ashtanga from Sampoorna yoga on the coast of Goa in India. Teresa has been teaching even since, and has no desire to stop. When not sharing yoga, she finds herself with family in the wildly wonderful nature of Alaska offers
Jennifer– 200 RYT
I experienced my first yoga class in 2005. I was intrigued from the start, as it was not easy – from breathing to holding poses to learning a new language to so much silence and internal processing! After beginning a regular practice, I began to feel a connection between body and mind that I had been seeking since beginning the intense (and sometimes debilitating) journey of motherhood five years earlier.
Now I “practice yoga” every day, as I have rediscovered how to breathe and I carry my body with awareness, taking yoga with me throughout my day. I practice in the wilderness, aboard my sailboat, in the airport, on beaches, in hotels, at home, and even on my paddleboard. Yoga has become integrated into who I am and how I move through the world.
I bring both lightheartedness and depth to my classes, helping students feel safe and nurtured while exploring new places in their body and mind. The pace and sequencing of my classes are methodical and make sense, creating a full practice that tells a story from beginning to end. Poses flow logically from one to another yet time is spent holding each asana in order to fully feel and embody it. An outdoor adventurer with a deep personal connection to nature, I provide seasonal perspectives to my themes. An English major and musician, I also sometimes weave poetry and prose through my classes.
Over the years, I have enjoyed many different types of yoga – Slow Flow, Iyengar-inspired Vinyasa Flow, Evolve Yoga, Forrest, Hatha, Restorative and Yoga tune-up. I received my training at Yandara Yoga Institute near Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico and followed this up with a mentorship with Kimberly Greefe at Evolve Yoga in Anchorage, AK, where I also began to teach. This year I was able to participate in a workshop with Lynne Minton and I plan to continue growing as I study with teachers from around the world.
Aviva Hirsch grew up in Homer, Alaska. She began studying yoga asana, the yoga of postures, in Anchorage in 2010. Since then, yoga has been central to Aviva’s personal self-care and has shaped both her relationship to body and her overall worldview. She has studied both creative, fun styles rooted in vinyasa yoga and traditional lineages of yoga including Ashtanga and more recently Sivananda yoga. She brings the Sivananda yoga practice to Anchorage after studying with Swami Bramananda, Swami Hridyananda & Swami Shambhudevananda among others at the Sivananda Yoga Ashram in the Bahamas. She believes people can benefit from the strength of body and focus that builds with consistency in practice and the integration of movement, breathing, meditation and chanting that Sivananda yoga offers. Aviva’s practice is rooted in traditional spiritual teachings towards the ultimate realization of bliss and total oneness.
I began my yoga practice to regain a sense of body consciousness. I had danced professionally in my 20’s, had my daughter in my 30’s and was driven by career, relationships and a desire to be a strong figure for my daughter in my 40’s. It was in my early 40’s that I began taking a weekly class and soon it was 3 times a week. Then came the incremental evidence of some big changes: with more maturity came my desire to speak my truth, self-respect grew as I centered on my mat without judgement, and curious of my own heart and soul, I began to foster the idea of one day teaching yoga. I became enamored with what seemed rightfully enriching to me personally—that this journey was a continuing education.
My 200 Hour Teacher Training with Ana Forrest was vigorous and gifted me with a comprehension of healing through breath, asanas and hands on energy work. Ana herself is steeped in the culture of Native American rituals, has written a compelling personal journey in “Fierce Medicine” and invites both broken and unbroken yogis into what she calls the hoop of the people in order to mend it.
I attended a Mentorship Training with Kim Greef whose work shifts teachers into awareness of the anatomical body through her work with Jill Miller and the Yoga Tune Up Method as well as her Evolve Yoga Method.
I look forward to sharing my continuing education as I like to frame it… with you!