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

 

 

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Yoga Instructors

 

Who We Are

 

We love yoga! We live it, we practice regularly, and we love to share it! The instructors at Downtown Yoga Shala are all certified to help guide you through a safe and well-rounded practice. Our professional bios reflect a variety of influences, enriching the offerings we have at the Shala. In yoga, there is a beautiful balance between strength and surrender, between effort and letting go. We encourage and support your self-discovery, listening to your "inner" teacher, and cultivating awareness through a mindful and consistent yoga practice on and off your mat.

(Showing 1 - 15 of 19)
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 Teaching Certifications from Tim Miller and David Swensen. As a dedicated Ashtanga practitioner, she has sought over the years to study with certified and authorized teachers in the Ashtanga lineage while also continuing to study with Sharath Jois in Mysore, India whenever 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.

Formerly a competitive dancer, Phoenix discovered yoga as a path to recovery from her dance injuries, and has found through her practice, both a joy of movement and a stress reliever. Phoenix completed her 200-Hour Hatha-Vinyasa teacher training with Noell Clark and Angie Poon. She is Yoga-Alliance certified and has had the privilege of teaching in a variety of settings including local community events, schools, and several yoga studios around the Bay Area. Phoenix leads a dynamic upbeat class with the flexibility to adjust pacing and poses to meet her students’ varying skill levels. As an avid music lover, Phoenix also enjoys sharing funky, customized playlists in her classes.

Deepa’s yoga and Pilates classes are a reflection of her journey to discover the beauty, strength and power of the human body. Deepa discovered Yoga at a time when exercising meant pushing her body to its limits. With the introduction to Yoga, she realized that she was getting to know her body like never before. She learnt how to listen to what her body was communicating, while encouraging it to explore its potential in a manner that was loving and respectful. As a mother of two young boys, with a demanding career in Information Technology, Deepa was caught, as all of us are, in the crazy, multi tasking treadmill we call life. Yoga and Pilates brought balance to her life. This experience has led Deepa to believe that here is a gift we can give others and ourselves; yoga can help fortify our physical, mental and spiritual health giving us access to a well of resilience, patience and energy. Captivated by the power of Yoga, Deepa decided to learn more about it and got a certification in yoga from the prestigious Avalon Teacher training program. She also has a Pilates certification from the Center of Balace and a Yoga Tune Up certification from Jill Miller. She has a creative, methodical and holistic teaching style that invigorates the mind as well as body, and her classes are accessible to all levels of practitioners. One of the teachers who has most influenced her is Tom McCook of Center of Balance. When Tom said “when we practice we are beginning a long conversation with our body that will continue to expand our perspective, choices and help keep us aware of what’s truly important” Deepa knew that here was a mentor with whom she shared her deepest belief about body movement. Deepa’s classes truly reflect this holistic and life-long practice of Healthy you. For her it is about worshiping the body and supporting it in reaching its full potential in strength and health.
Sheetal has been practicing Vinyasa flow yoga, a powerful and dynamic system that combines asana and pranayama for several years. In 2014, she completed her 200 Hour RYT under the expert guidance of Ganga White and Tracey Rich at the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara. In addition, Sheetal trained at the renowned Krishnamcharya Yoga Mandiram in India. She has also participated in various workshops and training programs locally as well as in India. She feels, when it comes to yoga, she will always be a student. Yoga to her is not just a physical exercise, but a way of life. She strongly believes in the wonderful connection of the mind, body and breath and that Yoga is the discovery of self through the movement of the body. Sheetal encourages all her students to find their personal Yoga and to use the asana practice as a tool to expand their consciousness and to bring more awareness to their mind, body and spirit. She aims to guide each student into that place of peace and calm by linking breath and movement. She encourages her students to try new things and most importantly to have fun with their practice!
Alyssa discovered her passion for yoga early in 2011. She committed herself to the practice, while searching for a way to bring greater strength and happiness into her life. Through her active lifestyle, she found yoga to allow her to connect the mind and body. She wishes to share the same joy she has found with others. Her teaching is inspired by a variety of styles she has studied including hatha, ashtanga, kundalini, and yin. Since her training, she has deepened her practice and expanded her knowledge as a teacher. Alyssa completed a 200 hour teacher training with Noell Clark, and is a certified RYT with the Yoga Alliance. Her mission is to inspire individuals within the community to breathe deeply and live with soulful and loving intention through the teachings of yoga. Her fun and upbeat nurturing classes are great for all!
Alexsandra Meijer was a Principal Ballerina with Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley for 15 years. Throughout her career she was exposed to yoga in a variety of forms. However it was not until Veronica opened Downtown Yoga Shala in March of 2009 that Meijer developed a passion for the many branches of yoga and a sense of belonging to this vibrant community. She then completed her 200 hour teaching certification with Adarsh and Heleen Williams and is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. Meijer continues to teach full-time at The New Ballet in Downtown San Jose.
Bob teaches a playful yet vigorous vinyasa flow based class accompanied by contemporary music. Bob completed his 500 hour teacher training at the Bhakti Flow Teacher Training Program with Rusty Wells. Other influential teachers include Dharma Mittra, David Swenson, Desiree Rumbaugh, Shiva Rea, Eric Shiffmann, and Jennifer Prugh. Bob’s driving force in teaching yoga is his desire to give back to the local community where he has been so fortunate to live and work for many years. All proceeds Bob receives for teaching are donated to “Art of Yoga,” a non-profit organization whose mission is to lead teen girls in the California juvenile justice system toward accountability by providing practical tools to effect behavior change.  See www.artofyogaproject.org for more information.

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.

Marcela is a Mexican born, tri-lingual 200hr-RYT certified dynamic yoga teacher. She grew up in Mexico City, and has since lived in France, Switzerland, Denmark and now in the South Bay area, CA. The challenges of moving to various countries throughout her young adult life brought her to yoga, and very quickly she fell in love with the practice and has kept it in her life ever since.

Her teaching style is strongly influenced by her own favorite yoga styles of ashtanga, anusara and vinyasa strong flow. She intentionally guides her students through a practice based on mindful breath, awareness and self-inquiry.

As an ever-learning student, her classes keep evolving by continuously growing her understanding about the ability to sense and refine the senses so the yoga practice, in essence, goes deeper than pure physical movement.

Isha comes from a land where Yoga originated, but her first encounter with yoga was only in her late 20's, when she accidentally stumbled upon a TV channel that aired yoga classes every morning. Soon after a few weeks of regular practice, she realized that yoga is so much more than a physical practice. Isha started to explore other forms of yoga such as pranayama and meditation that helps connect to your inner self. With each yoga practice she was amazed with how her body and mind felt so calm and grounded. The more she learned from her practice the more she wanted to share with people around her and help them deal with the stresses of daily life and feel empowered. She completed her 200-hour Teacher Training program with Noell Clark to deepen her knowledge, and started teaching yoga in her neighborhood. Isha believes that Yoga is an unending process of self-study and exploring your body's potential. Her classes are a blend of asanas, pranayama and meditation, fit for all fitness levels. She encourages her students to experience each and every pose by providing modifications for different levels of practitioners. Besides teaching yoga, Isha is also a full-time mother in the Bay Area.
Misako Matsuoka hopes to share her belief that the practice of yoga can offer dynamic opportunities to discover the youthfulness of the body and to open the heart and mind. She strives to infuse her classes with playful challenges, attention to healthy alignment, and a deep connection to the breath. Misako completed her Yoga Teacher Training at Avalon Yoga in Palo Alto in 2005 and is currently a student of Chinese Medicine and Therapeutic Yoga. She studies Yin yoga with Paul Grilley and Restorative yoga with Judith Lasater. She immersed herself in Anusara yoga with Sianna Sherman, Samantha Shakti and Kenny Graham. She studies the Shadow Yoga style with Sharre Young. She has studied vinyasa with Janet Stone, and is profoundly thankful to Max Strom for his teachings. Through all these lineages of yoga she has created integral experience that seeks to balance the neuromuscular system of the physical body as well as the eternal nature of the spirit. Misako has degrees in Biology and Engineering, and is registered teacher with the Yoga Alliance.
Alejandro has been teaching yoga for 12 years and is a Lululemon Ambassador. Yoga has shaped his life tremendously, it allows him to be present in every moment, to not take anything for granted, and to surround himself with amazing friends and family. He teaches Vinyasa Flow and specializes in various types of massages such as Prenatal, Shiatsu, Reflexlogy, Crainiosacrial and Sports Massage.
Ann has always been active and came to yoga after taking a break from running and sports. Ann has been practicing for over eight years and earned her Yoga Alliance 200-hour certification in Rishikesh, India in February 2016. A love of traveling has led her to see new places, meet new people and discover the various types of yoga. Ann brings an enthusiastic energy to her yoga classes and specializes in vinyasa style yoga flow encouraging you to move and find what feels good to you!
Nimmi started practicing yoga seriously in 2004 but has been a student of yoga since she was a child. Her love for the practice inspired her to share the benefits and joy of doing yoga with others. Nimmi’s personal practice is based on the principles of satya (truth), ahimsa (non-violence) and aparagraha (not hurting), which she strongly emphasizes in the classes that she guides. She offers a safe space for her students to explore their practice through the use of props and modifications to asanas. Nimmi has studied under the guidance of several well known instructors includingScott Blossom, Mark Horner, Mark Stephens, Jill Glikbarg, Ben Thomas, Kent Bond, Janya Wongsopa and Srivatsa Ramaswami.
Angela is a certified Vinyasa Yoga teacher currently living in the Bay Area. Starting her Yoga journey in 2013, she quickly became intrigued with Yoga as a philosophy and as a way of life. Since then she has relocated from her hometown in the south suburbs of Chicago to northern California where she completed her 200-hour RYT with Noell Clark. Angela's practice started as a desire for knowledge and has since grown into a passion for what she calls "giving the best gift you can give to yourself: Yoga". Off the mat, you can find Angela indulging in a stack of books, advocating her beliefs on a plant-based diet, or finding equanimity in nature & sunshine.
(Showing 1 - 15 of 19)

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Intro First-Time Memberships - Offered within 30 days of your first visit, Good until you cancel, 3-month minimum commitment
$99/mo Unlimited Yoga Membership or $159/mo Mysore only classes

Standard Unlimited Memberships
$129/mo Unlimited Yoga Membership or $189 Mysore only classes

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SOUTH FIRST FRIDAYS ART WALK

Join us every First Friday of the month (except January and July) as we open our doors to art patrons and the downtown community for the South First Fridays Art Walk. Downtown Yoga Shala is proud to be an art venue in the SoFA District as we feature a wonderful artist each month. Join our Friday Vinyasa Flow class (5:30-6:45pm, then stay for the Art Walk!

The South FIRST FRIDAYS art walk is a self-guided, nighttime tour through galleries, museums, and independent creative businesses featuring eclectic art exhibitions and special performances. All Art Walk venues are FREE and open to the public.

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    "Adopt the peace of nature, her secret is patience."
    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

      

     

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    "Don't move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move.
    Move the way joy makes you move."
    ~Osho~

     

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     Luke: "I can't believe it."

    Yoda:
     "That is why you fail."

    ~The Empire Strikes Back~

     

     

  • “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
    ~Thich Nhat Hanh~
  • “The secret of strength lies in the quiet mind.” 
    ~White Eagle~
  • “We have to do the best we can. That is our sacred, human responsibility.”
     ~Albert Einstein~
  • “If you are facing in the right direction, all you have to do is keep walking.”
    ~Buddhist Proverb~
  • “The only tyrant I accept in this world is the “still, soft voice” within me”
    ~Mahatma Gandhi~
  • “Kindness can be its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.”
    ~Eric Hoffer~
  • "There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
    ~ Albert Einstein~
  • "Do your practice, all is coming.”
    ~ Shri K. Patthabi Jois ~
  • "By cultivating friendliness towards happiness and compassion towards misery, gladness towards virtue and indifference towards vice, the mind becomes pure. "
    - Patanjali, The Yoga Sutras