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!
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!
I have been taking yoga classes since 2000, leading group fitness classes since 2007, and offering individual sessions since 2013. My first 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2011 was fitness-focused and—while still beneficial—it coincided with injuries I had accumulated from not recognizing my body’s limitations. These injuries eventually caught up to me; I was in chronic pain for almost three years and told by physical therapists to avoid all exercise (including yoga). I opted to instead pursue my yoga practice from a non-physical path and took yoga ethics classes at the University of Minnesota and studied Yoga and Tibetan Medicine in Delhi and Dharamsala, India. The concept of being non-violent (Ahimsa in yogic tradition) with my body resonated; I completed my Personal Training and Corrective Exercise certifications through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) to understand body mechanics in order to safely pursue physical activities that I love. I started my own coaching business, Gestalt Fit LLC, to help others to do the same. My second 200-hour training was completed through Yoga North in Minnesota, specializing in SomaYoga: a very gentle, therapeutic approach to yoga practice. My teaching style blends my backgrounds in traditional group fitness classes (push yourself to be your best!), personal training and corrective exercise (check that form!) and Somatics (How can you gently find your edge?). My hope is that participants honor the beauty of yoga practice by respecting the bodies we inhabit and appreciating others who do so in the shared space we practice in. I am filled with gratitude to share and experience this practice with others
Starting yoga at a young age and steadily expanding her knowledge, Eleanor is committed to learning the many healing dimensions that make yoga such a rich practice. She completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at The Bhaktishop in Portland, OR in 2011 where she now continues to study towards completing her 500-hour certification. Eleanor’s classes are focused on promoting kinesthetic and body awareness while creating a strong connection between breath-work and strength. Her passion is movement, the human form, and holistic well being continues to grow and expand as she studies the body through different disciplines, including therapeutic yoga, anatomy, physiology, dance, and her career as a nurse.
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.
April – RYT
The practice. The love, the hate. The joy, the grief. The confidence, the doubt. The practice. April’s practice embraces all aspects of being a thriving and vibrant speck of stardust in this timeless universe.
Trained in Hatha yoga of Iyengar lineage under Margi Clifford and Margo Sorum, April brings the ancient knowledge of asana practice to her students, skillfully intertwining it with Western anatomical information, therapeutic applications, philosophy, mythology, and humor. Her own practice began in 2001 after graduating high school, and has since grown with her through college, career, motherhood and marriage.
April draws on her scientific background (B.S. Biological Sciences) to describe key principles of alignment and breath work. She has a strong interest in the science of meditation, as well as yoga’s potential to compliment professional mental health treatment. Having relied heavily on yoga to navigate the realms of anxiety and depression, she empathetically shares these techniques with others. April also provides a philosophical and spiritual context for the asana practice, offering depth and insight into the physical postures of yoga.
April is authentic and light-hearted, creating an atmosphere of acceptance and accessibility for yogis of all levels. Her love for and devotion to the practice of yoga radiate from her teaching. She cherishes her practice, and gladly shares it with her students