467 S. First Street San Jose, CA 95113 • info@downtownyogashala.com • MY ACCOUNT

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This class is taught by:

Veronica Cruz

Owner of Downtown Yoga Shala, Veronica took a leap of faith when she left a successful Silicon Valley high-tech career in 2008 to pursue a higher calling. Living in Kathmandu, Nepal in her youth opened her mind and heart to yoga philosophy and eastern spirituality. Years later she pursued yoga again, as a complement to her marathon and triathlon training, which intensified her love for the practice of yoga in all its dimensions - physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. Veronica is a certified yoga instructor, having completed Teacher Certifications in Ashtanga Vinyasa from Larry Shultz, Power Vinyasa from Baron Baptiste and Ashtanga Teacher Certifications from Tim Miller and David Swensen. As an Ashtanga practitioner, she has gratefully studied over the years with many certified teachers in the Ashtanga lineage while also continuing to study with Sharath Jois in Mysore, India when possible. She continually draws inspiration from the deep tradition of yoga, and derives profound personal growth in being a lifelong, humble student and dedicated practitioner on and off the mat. A local San Jose resident for many years, Veronica aspires to create a welcoming environment that will bring the many benefits of yoga to the corporate high-tech and multi-sport athletic communities of Silicon Valley. Veronica infuses her classes with warmth and sincerity, kindness and compassion. She gently encourages a mindful practice through deeper breath body awareness, while honoring the inner teacher that resides within each of us.

Shannon Cummings

Shannon Cummings began her practice of Ashtanga yoga because she saw such beauty in the strong bodies of Ashtangis. Five years later, she is now devoting her time and energy to teaching the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of a regular yoga practice. She completed teacher training in the Ashtanga Primary Series, as taught by Pattabhi Jois, through Jeff Tiebout at the Blue Ridge School of Yoga. She then received her 25 hour teacher training through Manju Jois at the Chicago Institute for Yoga. By integrating her study with numerous workshops with teachers like Kino McGregor, David Sweson, Doug Sweson, Manju Jois, Simon Park and Desiree Rumbaugh, she brings their knowledge into her teaching practice. Shannon wishes to serve yoga practitioners seeking physical health, spiritual growth, and those just looking for something fun and different!

Serenity Prajnadhara

Serenity Prajnadhara first became a student of yoga in 2008. Her first class was at a climbing gym in Santa Cruz, and it completely transformed her life. Since then she began to explore many different traditions and expressions of yoga. She completed her 200 hour teaching training with Clayton Horton founder of Greenpath Ashtanga yoga teacher training at the Yoga Society of San Francisco in August 2011. She is inspired by her Ashtanga yoga training of P. Jois, as well Tri Yoga, a system of yoga founded by yogini Kali Ray that emphasizes posture, breath and focus. After her training, she began to express Bhakti yoga classes, (devotional) singing while playing her harmonium.

Serenity is first and foremost a student of yoga. She draws upon her inner resources to provide a foundation of strength and courage in her classes. The clarity and compassion that she shares can be felt by many of her students. She emphasizes the breath as a tool for greater awareness and understanding of one’s own true nature. As she became more focused on her training, she found that a strong asana practice was the glue that held everything together, a true catalyst for transformation. Serenity is devoted to the path of yoga, and has made it her purpose to see that she applies the deep wisdom that comes from practice to all life’s experiences. Her goal is to assist her students in their own self-discovery and personal mastery.

Grace Carmichael

Grace is a certified yoga and Pilates instructor, health and fitness writer, and a raw and vegan food expert. She teaches several styles of yoga including Iyengar, Ashtanga, Restorative and Children's. She trained with Bekir Algan, Ph.D. in the Iyengar method and the It's Yoga Ashtanga method with Ottavio and Naomi Gesmundo. She holds a 200 hour certification with the Yoga Alliance. Her Pilates studies were with Dolly Kelepecz in the DK Body Balancing method. As for raw and vegan food, Grace became passionate about eating a plant based diet when she saw what it did to her own life in terms of health, appearance and soul. She is certified in raw nutrition through the BodyMind Institute. She shares her knowledge of the ease of the raw and vegan lifestyle through workshops and writings. Her first recipe book will be published soon! When Grace isn't teaching, she's planting, growing and harvesting her own food. Grace organized and built the first downtown community garden in Salt Lake City and also served as the Garden Coordinator for the Utah New Roots Refugee Garden.

Michael O'Connor

Yoga came about to Michael via numerous sporting injuries on the professional martial arts circuit, and also as a way to deal with all the pressure and stress of a high-tech Silicon Valley job. After consistently practicing yoga, Mike found Ashtanga Yoga or, more accurately, it found him. After obtaining a 200Hr RYT along with completing his hours for the 500hr RYT, Mike continued to be drawn to the Ashtanga system of yoga. He started dedicating himself to a consistent Ashtanga practice, which continues today. Mike has now completed almost 500 hrs of Ashtanga teacher training along with intensives and workshops with respected Ashtanga teachers such as David Swenson, Kino MacGregor, Tim Feldman, David Roche, Tim Miller, Mitchell Gold, Kirsten Berg, Nancy Gilgoff, Peter Sanson, Maty Ezraty and Govinda Kai. He continues to enjoy Ashtanga yoga in his life, and now wants to share it with others.

Lisa Ogletree

Lisa is a KPJAYI lever II authorized teacher who has been teaching Ashtanga yoga for the past 8 years. She has taught Mysore style classes, led classes and workshops in the United States and internationally.
Lisa is originally from California. Her background is in dance; training extensively in ballet and contemporary jazz. She took her first yoga class 14 years ago and connected to the asana practice quickly. She soon realized the benefits of the yoga practice were much more than physical. The effects of the practice on her mind and spirit motivated Lisa to go deeper with her own self inquiry and study of yoga.
Lisa travels annually to Mysore, India to study with her teacher, R. Sharath Jois. She also studies chanting and yoga philosophy with Dr. MA Jayashree and Professor Narasimha at the Anantha Research foundation in Mysore. As a teacher, Lisa guides her students from a place of integrity. She is grateful for her own practice being such a powerful tool when teaching the Ashtanga method. In her teachings, she emphasizes a strong foundation, discipline, and dedication which are necessary components for a consistent daily practice. Lisa follows the 8 limbs of Ashtanga yoga and often integrates the yamas and niyamas into her teachings. Lisa is a passionate and disciplined teacher with a gentle and encouraging approach to the practice. She brings humor and sincerity to her students with an open mind and open heart. Lisa is honored and grateful to share the teachings of this transformational practice.

Peter Bertero

Peter is a KPJAYI level II authorized teacher with a decade of full-time teaching experience. He has been leading a Mysore program in Southwest Australia, and has conducted Ashtanga Intensives and retreats internationally for many years. Since his first Mysore class with Pattabhi Jois in India, he has made the Ashtanga system his way of life, practicing and teaching with devotion, and making annual trips to Mysore. He is grateful for the inspiration and guidance of Sharath Jois. Peter's style as a teacher is driven by his deep yearning for spiritual wellness, continual effort to learn the diverse elements of yoga, and value of a simple, steady and sincere practice. Yoga has proven to be a natural culmination in his life of mountain climbing, environmental education, and spiritual seeking. Daily practice of the primary and intermediate series has taught him to cultivate mental discipline, a devotional heart, and the application of yoga principals in all aspects of his life. Peter has explored other meditation techniques, yoga philosophy and Sanskrit mantra, and visited many sacred places in India. Peter's intuitive teaching style draws primarily from his own self-practice and from his experience practicing and assisting at KPJAYI. His purpose as a teacher is to bring a clear presence, keen eye and gentle touch in honor of all students just as they are. He relies on the power of the practice, aided by soft and skillful adjustments, to bring students into meditation and encourage a lifestyle in alignment with yoga and nature.

Adarsh Williams

Adarsh Williams teaches a contemplative style of yoga that embraces both modern innovation and traditional wisdom. Since 1995, Adarsh has been engaged in the field of natural healing and has received certifications in therapeutic massage and active isolated stretching. He continues as a student of Ashtanga Yoga and it's sister sciences of Sanskrit, Ayurveda, and Bhakti. Adarsh has continuously traveled to Asia since 2001 for study and pilgrimage and has received teaching Authorization by his late Guruji Shri. K Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. Adarsh directs the Monterey Yoga Shala in Monterey, CA specializing in progressive instruction for beginner through advanced levels.

Through in depth study of human anatomy and physiology and formal training as a massage therapist, Adarsh is highly regarded for his sensitive yet deep adjusting style. He has experience working with a wide variety of students of diverse abilities, ages, and backgrounds. With a deeply held belief that anyone can develop a personal yoga practice, Adarsh is an energetic teacher who infuses his enthusiasm for practice and hard work in his students.

Adarsh is the owner of Monterey Yoga Shala in Monterey, CA.

This led class moves through all of the Ashtanga Primary Series in sequence. This class is for Ashtanga/Mysore practitioners, familiar with the sequence and basic concepts of the Ashtanga system of yoga. This class helps students develop the discipline of following the rhythmic vinyasa breath count of the traditional led Ashtanga Primary Series practice. Minimal instruction or assists in this class (if you want assists, take Mysore class with us!). Rather, it is a flowing, breathing practice in community with the vinyasa count and the breath of the collective class.