Serving as a guide and student along the path of yoga, Kayla seeks to connect prana, awareness and movement to the stillness in between. Practices are infused with mantra, cadence and community; stimulating awareness through powerful yet nurturing sequencing paired with attentive guidance. An open invitation to make space for possibility, establish sustainable expansion and peer beyond all that which separates, binds, limits or constrains in order to truly experience life’s ebbs and flows with an open heart. She offers humble bows of overwhelming gratitude to all of life’s teachers and fellow practitioners that have shed light upon this path.
I've been practicing yoga for over 2 decades, and teaching since 2002. Because I remain a dedicated student, my teaching is first and foremost inspired by my personal practice, with its roots in the Ashtanga and Iyengar traditions. I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with many gifted teachers, both well-known and not so well-known. All of my teachers have influenced my work in some way, but I especially acknowledge Maty Ezraty, Judith Lasater, Jennifer Prugh and Erika Abrahamian for profoundly influencing my life, my practice, and my work. As a teacher and as a teacher-trainer, my one aim is to assist my students in moving forward in their practice. I believe that this begins with seeing students—seeing not only their unique bodies, but also their energy, their patterns, their hearts. I look at how people respond and react to the experiences that arise in each moment—how do they engage with intensity, with softness, with tension or with stillness? I am looking at all these things, and looking to see where I can give assistance. I believe in long-term practice, in patience, in consistency, and taking the long view. Because that is my method, my classes aren't intended to entertain, but rather to inform, to explore, and to practice. Along the way we may laugh, we may get creative, we may try crazy things, or we may go back to basics. What I teach on any given day depends largely on who shows up. I love this work with all my heart, and hope I get to do it for a very long time. I am also a long time practitioner of Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of the heart) and kirtan, a traditional chanting practice. It's such a significant part of my life that I feel its worth mentioning. I believe that just like posture and breath, sound too is an incredible vehicle of transformation. Over the years I've had the good fortune to share this practice internationally, performing regularly with world music pioneer Jai Uttal, numerous other kirtan artists, as well as with my own ensemble, Mukti, and as a duet with yoga music producer Ben Leinbach. I sometimes incorporate this chanting practice into my classes, or I may sing during savasana. Yoga is a multidimensional practice with numerous techniques and traditions to help us heal, grow and examine our relationship with what is. I strive to be true to the traditions of yoga, while embracing innovation and discovery.
Nicole Tierre Thompson has been committed to practicing and teaching yoga for more than 12 years. A devoted runner, Nicole began practicing yoga in Santa Barbara, California as a way to supplement her marathon training. Almost immediately, she recognized the time spent on the mat and with others in the yoga community were invaluable aspects of her life. Nicole completed her teaching certification at Chicago-based yogaview and worked in various settings across the windy city to bring a yoga asana practice to individuals who sought a better and more thoughtful awareness of her/his body. For Nicole, it is vital to teach every student as they are. Nicole’s overall intention for her classes is to create an environment in which students discover something new about themselves through physical movement, connection to breath and clarity of mind. She has been in love with running for over 13 years and laces up her running shoes on a daily basis to get in her “moving meditation”.
Michael, an E-RYT certified yoga instructor, has immersed himself in many styles of yoga since 2002 including Ashtanga, Bikram, and Baptiste. With a Ph.D. in Physics, Michael spent nearly a decade exploring the fundamental structure of matter at particle accelerator laboratories around the world. He finds yoga (philosophy & asana) to be the perfect complement to his stringent scientific profession – both work in tandem to increase energy and awareness. The challenging flow of Michael's classes will leave you feeling strong and centered - his approach to teaching will develop confidence, flexibility and strength.