Village Yoga Santa Cruz Teachers


Village Yoga first opened in Soquel on March 31, 2001. Amy Mihal and Sally Adams left their full time yoga teaching jobs from Global Yoga in San Francisco with the simple goal of sharing Bikram Yoga with the people of Santa Cruz County. We feel blessed we were able to open in such a beautiful place!! We opened up in downtown Santa Cruz in September of 2004 and let the Soquel studio go in the fall of 2005.

Amy and Sally are eternally grateful to the people of the Village Yoga community who continue to amaze and inspire. Although our vision of seeing people bright eyed and smiling from their yoga glow was clear, we never could have imagined the profound sense of support, love and community that has developed. May the blessings of the yoga and our togetherness continue for many years!


Village Yoga Santa Cruz Teachers


MEET OUR TEAM

 

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!!! Bikram 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 this yoga and its many gifts with all of those who come to class. See you at the studio!

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 and 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. 

I have been a yoga practitioner since my late teens and became a certified Bikram Yoga instructor in 2007. In 2011 I began my journey in teaching Vinyasa Flow by attending teacher trainings with Baron Baptiste, Mark Stephens and Janet Stone. I love offering both Bikram and Vinyasa yoga to my students and feel blessed to be part of Village Yoga.
Yoga has carved a beautiful path for me, allowing me to dive deeper into my emotions, physical body, and spiritual self. I fell in love with the Village Yoga community when I started taking Bikram classes and meeting all the amazing staff members. The heated classes felt great on my body and the positive results came through in my massage practice. My joints and muscles were feeling better then ever! I love teaching Vinyasa Yoga and am honored to be part of Village Yoga Community.
I went to graduate school and studied Kinesiology, specializing in exercise science. After getting my master's degree I learned more esoteric healing practices like Reiki. I blended the two to create a radical form of self care that I practice everyday and offer to others.
Influenced by my teachers, travels, and personal study I aim to teach with intention, presence, and positivity. I try to facilitate the mind-body-spirit connection in my students by teaching a breath-focused class, giving nuanced asana instruction, correcting alignment, gently pushing to personal limits, and allowing enough space for students to discover their individual practice and experience of Self union.
I was first drawn to Bikram Yoga in 2006 after having severe anxiety and panic attacks. In a search for holistic ways to heal, I had finally found what I was looking for. Something that really worked! Now I am so fortunate to be a part of the wonderful community here at Village Yoga. Giving back after all that I've learned from my own practice and experience 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 yoga. Its never too late to start over and try again.
I have been practicing Bikram Hot Yoga for about 10 years now, at first averaging 1-2 times per week for the most part. I was initially drawn towards the energetic and detail-oriented practice as a way to counter-act some of the tightness I was creating in my body by being involved with agricultural labor. I also wanted a strong workout; I think somehow the stress from the heat and the difficulty of the postures helped me feel that much more fulfilled. It was incredibly difficult at first but something kept drawing me back, and there was no denying that even though I felt exhausted directly after class I also felt so much relief and relaxation. Slowly but surely the practice helped me to gain a greater body awareness as well as more intimate connection with my own breath. I began to notice how it was affecting every aspect of my life; difficult, uncomfortable, and challenging situations could be seen in a new light of acceptance by staying calm and connected with the breath. Gradually over the years I became more and more interested in the science of yoga until finally this year I took the step to attend a teacher training. It is still strange to consider myself as a teacher now after this many years as a student but I am so grateful and excited to have the opportunity to share with others this practice which has been so beneficial in my own life.
Brian began teaching yoga after curing his own chronic back pain, obesity and depression. He started up the Bay Area’s Premier Ayuh ‘LIfe’ Yoga School (Worlds Yoga) helping countless students reach their health goals. After selling to his partner in 2012 Brian spent most of his time absorbed in deep meditation and being a good Dad to his most amazing son. He was recognized by his spiritual teacher, Baba Hari Das as having opened his crown chakra, an admission of the highest stage of spiritual illumination from which only a few retain the body. Brian remains for the benefit of all living beings, transforming negativity and dis-ease of the body, mind, and spirit. Students experience great peace and wellbeing in his presence.
I cherish how yoga brings people together in a safe space with the collective intention of being happier and healthier. I have been honored with the opportunity to share the gift of yoga with students of all ages and backgrounds. While teaching high school in North Carolina I started a yoga club for teenagers, while living in San Francisco I started a free yoga class for low-income senior citizens, and while volunteering in Armenia I led yoga for elementary children to promote peace and wellbeing.
There has been no other avenue for me that connects body, heart, mind, and spirit as deeply as yoga does. I am always a student in the yoga practice, learning more each time I step onto my mat. I love the profound simplicity of yoga and how it is inherently available to all people, asking only for an open mind and heart from its participants. I am a health advocate and have spent the last ten years embracing a variety of modalities that support health, by serving as a massage practitioner, personal chef, nutritionist, wellness coach, fitness instructor and yoga teacher. It is with this holistic approach that I am honored to lead yoga and continue the path of yogic exploration!
Yoga has been a mainstay in my life since the first time I stepped onto a mat 12 years ago. My advanced training and practice is considered Hatha Flow, as well as enjoying benefits and variety from Bikram, Vinyasa, Yin and AcroYoga. I received my 200 hour certification from True Living Yoga in Northport, New York and my 500 hour certification from Santa Cruz Yoga in Santa Cruz, California. The main focus in my upbeat classes are how yoga can be interpreted on and off the mat. It's of utmost importance to infuse a real life, grounded approach in my teachings, each class beginning with a brief inspirational reading to remind students that yoga is just as important outside the yoga studio! I also thoroughly enjoy Tribal fusion Bellydance, kittens , roller skating and chocolate chip cookies.
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