Sienna Smith is the owner of Yoga Mountain Studio, a registered yoga therapist, Yoga Journal Contributor, and Yoga Alliance teacher trainer E-500 RYT. She has taught in the SF Bay Area for 12 years, and studied extensively with Gary Kraftsow, John Friend, Sianna Sherman, Georg Feuerstein, Maritza and Lama Palden. Her daily yoga and meditation practice brings compassion and insight to her teaching. She enjoys guiding students toward optimal alignment to improve their physical health, and create a life of freedom and joy. Sienna has appeared in Yoga Journal three times, Gary Krafstow’s top-selling Yoga for the Low Back DVD, and has produced two home practice DVD's. She has two children, enjoys playing the harmonium and crafting raw chocolate treats.
John began teaching yoga in 1995, after discovering the practice as a teenager and studying with Sharon Gannon, Amy Cooper and Rodney Yee, amongst others. He received authorization to teach from Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India in 1995. John has been to Mysore for extensive study 5 times and continues to explore asana, sanskrit and yoga philosophy. He incorporates a connection with the breath, development of awareness, and attention to form and alignment in his teaching, all in hopes of realizing great enjoyment in one's practice!
Rachael began her journey as a yoga teacher in order to heal herself. She graduated from architecture school with debilitating pain and found Yoga Therapy truly helped. She has completed her 500-hr through Stress Management Center of Marin. She is also a certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor and is studying to become an Ayurvedic Practitioner at Mount Madonna Institute. Rachael’s teaching mainly draws from Viniyoga, connecting breath with movement and Yin Yoga using props to allow the body to soften and release on a deeper level. Her integrated approach is mindful, focusing on utilizing the breath as the main tool to restore and renew. Rachael loves nature, Ayurveda, and travel.
Veronica was introduced to Hatha yoga when she was just fourteen. She specializes in Vinyasa Yoga and has trained with Corepower Yoga, Jolie Cash and Hala Khouri. She will guide you through a flow to awaken your own body and prana while offering subtle reminders that all of yoga is intended to prepare for meditation in order to realize our interconnectedness. She also holds an M.A. in Peace and Justice Studies and enjoys guiding students to experience more peace and calm in their life.
Suraya teaches yoga, dance and drama to children, teens and adults throughout the Bay Area. As a dedicated yogini, an Expressive Arts & Drama Therapist, and a trained actress and theatre director, Suraya's teaching style is heart-centered, imaginative and eclectic. She has been inspired by her yoga teacher training at the Sivananda Ashram in India, an Anusara Immersion and Teacher Training with Katchie Ananda, Jane Austin's Perinatal Yoga Teacher Training, and Five Rhythms dance. She has an MFT and facilitates the Marin Shakespeare Program at San Quentin State Prison. She is passionate about the connection between yoga, creativity and well-being.
Jo studied with Yolanda Bain, Rod Stryker, and over 400 hours with her most influential teacher, Maritza, who has deep roots in the Iyengar and Anusara yoga. The most important thing Jo wants to bring across to students of her yoga classes is self acceptance and love; to truly embrace and enjoy the journey of yoga and life. Her classes are precise and passionate, and they are developed for students of all levels.
From her first lion's breath as a child, Barbara fell in love with yoga. She began training in Iyengar style in the early 1990s. Her practice grew into a deep fascination with alignment and intuitive body intelligence. She earned her teaching certificate at The White Lotus Foundation. For the last 7 years, she has lived in Australia and worked with indigenous communities. In August she returned home to the US. Through her daily practice, Barbara explores how to find our center on and off the mat anew each day. She is delighted with Yoga Mountain’s diversity of teaching styles and a community that encourages compassion. Her sunrise classes are a vigorous, heart-opening, in Vinyasa flow style.
Jennifer’s classes combine conscious flow with specific alignment instruction, and include dynamic sequences designed to warm and energize as well as longer holds allowing for deeper exploration of poses. She emphasizes the importance of practicing inner awareness during both the active and still portions of a class, and provides the space and framework for students to tune deeply in to their personal practice, while enjoying the support and community of a public class.
Elizabeth lived in India and studied classical yoga and meditation in her 20's. She has also completed a yoga therapy training in the US. Having experienced first-hand the transformative powers of yoga, Elizabeth helps to foster this passion and wisdom in her students. Her classes focus on allowing the prana, or life energy, to move more freely in the body and the mind. Consciously flowing through postures and progressing into deeper, quieter postures toward the end of class, students receive a balanced practice that helps restore energy, strength, and peace of mind.
Yoga is ancient wisdom for harmonious living in the modern world. Alison's teaching is infused with passion and play as well as powerful technical knowledge. Her classes offer clear instructions with precise alignment principles as well as principles to help you relate to your breath, calm your mind, and carry your body with grace. Alison's practice and perspective of yoga is deeply rooted in the Anusara lineage. She has studied with Anusara Founder, John Friend and Sanskrit scholar Christopher "Hareesh" Wallis. Currently she is studying with Noah Maze.
Elana has been practicing yoga for 25 years and teaching for 11 years. Her integrative approach to yoga is about balancing Yin and Yang principles - The Yin aspects of nurturing, listening and softening, with the Yang aspects of engaging and building Tapas (heat, energy), while honoring the steady presence of the breath and proper alignment of the body. She weaves in pranayama (breath work) in her classes, and chants melodic mantras during Savasana. She has a soft spot for nature and enjoys surfing and connecting with the dolphins.
“I was in a lot of pain with my knees, hips and lower back before I began coming to Yoga Mountain Studio. Once I started coming the pain began leaving and instead I felt strong and conscious of how my body should be aligned. Yoga Mountain changed my life.”
“I have run away from both emotional and physical discomfort much of my life. My practice has given me the courage and strength to face it. I feel my body open up to places and spaces that has never been accessed. I am just beginning open up my heart to grace and love.”
“Joining YMS was the best thing I have done for myself and husband in a long time! For the membership fee, I get at least a million dollars worth and … Studio always is clean, smells fresh , and is such a warm community~ this is my “Soul” place to go to.”
“My back was killing me from gardening and caring for my baby. Then I tried yoga and within weeks my back was healed. I was thrilled to be able to keep doing the things I loved; gardening and holding my young child without pain.”
“In an hour and a half Yoga Mountain takes me on a physical, mental and spiritual vacation with teachers who skillfully and passionately lead the way. I never really understood yoga until I started coming here.”
“Yoga makes me feel like a kid again! Before yoga I felt tired and old but now that I practice yoga I smile more. Especially when I do handstand I feel powerful and free. Wow, it amazes me at how strong I am.”
“I was stressed from working full-time as a contractor, raising kids and supporting my family. I needed some relief! I went to my first yoga class 13 years ago, and since then it has become the foundation of my physical, mental and emotional health. Yoga Mountain Studio is a precious community resource. Thank you Sienna for your efforts running the business with great skill, integrity and wisdom. I feel fortunate that I can attend any class and have a terrific experience.” Anthony Koblenz
“Rarely does one find a group of yoga instructors with such a giving spirit and exceptional yoga skills. Yoga Mountain instructors are all that and more!”
“Yoga Mountain is my favorite studio in Marin. Sienna has such a commitment to a lively community presence. All the teachers are skilled and excellent. It has such a homey community vibe. That’s where I want to practice!”
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