Teachers:

John-Paul Abbott

John-Paul has practiced yoga for 10 years, studying classical Hatha, 1st series Ashtanga, and hot yoga, among other forms. His daily practice ensures a sharp body-mind connection and a greater sense of self-JP head shot.1awareness. It also facilitates healing and positive changes that translate throughout his entire day.

John-Paul’s classes combine wall and floor poses, focusing on the stretching and releasing of muscles and joints. As an athlete, (John-Paul is a professional mixed martial artist training with Team Alpha Male) he is skilled in helping heal injuries and strains. His teaching style is personalized to each student’s current abilities, beginning by asking about pre-existing physical conditions and encouraging students to explore how their bodies have changed during the class.

Among his many talents, John-Paul is adept at Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, boxing, and kickboxing. Strong, gentle and centered, “JP” incorporates a daily yoga practice into his training, as he believes the combination of asanas and pranayama heals the body and the spirit.

JP continues to further his abilities in Ashtanga. Don’t be surprised to find him in class practicing with you!

 

 

Jamie BroaddusJamie Broaddus

Jamie Broaddus hopes her yoga classes will bring mindfulness, as well as playfulness to her students. Just as yoga has helped Jamie to become more in tune with her physical body, it has also become her main form of meditation, putting her on her own path to healing. “Mindfulness” means being in tune with your physical body, so that you can adjust to your environment and “playfulness” is simply that joyful celebration that arises when we gain strength and confidence through our practice.

Jamie first felt that she had a calling for yoga in 2005. In search of the right yoga teacher to turn her motivation into learning, Jamie began a journey to experience the many different styles of yoga. Her voyage of discovery even led her to Thailand to learn the art of Thai Massage. When she found Bill Counter, Jamie instantly connected with his practice and began pursuing Ashtanga Yoga as her primary focus, with Bill as her most significant mentor.

Jamie’s advanced Ashtanga practice, her happy and playful attitude and her extensive training on the Yoga Wall make her a popular addition to the Practice Yoga instructor family. Try a class with Jamie, and be mindful of the fun you’ll have!

Jim Cahill  Jim Cahill

Jim Cahill started learning yoga in his teens.  In college he continued to practice off-and, sustained by the inspiration and influence of friends.  Later, friends and co-workers who practiced a Mysore, or self-study group practice invited Jim to join and his practice developed to a higher level.

Jim will tell you that his serious yoga dedication truly began when he met Bill Counter, who was teaching Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga in Sacramento.  As Jim is fond of saying, had he walked into any other studio in Sacramento, he would not be practicing yoga, but would have instead moved on to become proficient at dance, karate, or some other discipline.  Fortunately, Jim found in Bill Counter the perfect example of a yoga teacher, someone serious but fun, knowledgeable but humble and able to demonstrate and communicate the benefits of yoga in an unparalleled manner.  Real education and practice began for Jim under Bill’s guidance, with supplements from other yoga teachers and leaders, through workshops and teacher trainings.

As studio owner, Jim strives to provide an atmosphere where learning yoga can take place.  The teachers hired by Jim all have in common not just the ability to perform the asanas, but the talent to communicate that information to the student.  Teaching yoga for Jim has been an awakening experience. The joy of teaching is found, for Jim, in students’ discovery of their own latent talents.  Whenever a new yogi executes a pose they previously thought impossible, it makes Jim’s day!  Everyone has something special that they bring to a yoga class and Jim’s passion is to help bring that out and celebrate it.

Diane CasasDiane Casas.2

Diane Casas is a Personal Trainer, a licensed Esthetician and Massage Therapist, and a member of Thai Healing Alliance. In addition to teaching at Practice Yoga, Diane teaches Thai Bodywork . She is certified through the National Association of Sports Medicine as a Personal Trainer, Sports Performance, and Corrective Exercise Specialist. Seeking to find more ways to help her clients, Diane decided to study yoga, and completed a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. Following that, she completed an Ashtanga mentoring program through Practice Yoga.

Diane not only fell in love with the exercise part of yoga but, more importantly, she fell in love with the philosophical part of living a healthy lifestyle that yoga practice embodies. Diane’s classes include chanting, breathwork, asana (yoga poses), relaxation, positive thinking, and meditation. She also incorporates Sports Massage, Active Isolated Stretching, and PNF Stretch to help her clients regain flexibility and improve range of motion.

Diane feels the most rewarding part of what she does is the ability to watch clients improve every day, to watch them start feeling better, smiling and laughing for the first time in a long time. When Diane is not practicing yoga, she enjoys activities such as boxing, muay thai (kickboxing), lifting weights, salsa, and eating out. You’ll find her yoga classes as diverse and as full of energy as she is!

Bill Counter Bill Counter

Bill has been teaching yoga to all levels of students for 20 years. He tries to keep classes playful to encourage students to have a good time with the practice and gradually improve their skills in a non-competitive atmosphere. 

He’s studied with leading teachers in a variety of traditions including Iyengar, Ashtanga and various lineages of more traditional Hatha yoga practice.  As a result, his classes offer a synthesis of the best of ancient and modern yoga teachings, with an emphasis on a meditative focus, attention to the breath and awareness of good body mechanics.
You can expect gentle hands-on adjustments in Bill’s classes to help students find the ”perfect” pose, which can be different for of us on any given day.  Bill feels that the practice gets much more fun when we drop the focus on performance, judging the success a practice by how it affects life while not on the mat.
 

 

Donna Dowson Donna Head Shot trimmed

Growing up as a dancer Donna fell in love with the flow and grace of Vinyasa and Ashtanga when she first discovered yoga. The constant challenge of physical, mental and spiritual balance has kept her coming back ever since. She loves that there is a yoga practice out there for anyone who is willing to try. She started teaching yoga so she could help students discover the beauty of the breath, the ease of movement and the acceptance of self and others that yoga offers. Always emphasizing the practice of honoring the body’s current state of being through ahimsa (non-violence), students are guided by Donna to explore all the possibilities yoga has to improve the health and well-being of mind, body and spirit. Donna’s classes are fun, energetic and aimed at helping you find balance in your practice on and off the mat.

When you come to a class with Donna, you will be met right where you are, and move through a mindfully-flowing yoga sequence that is creative, fun, and challenging without being overwhelming. You’ll learn anatomy and alignment cues to make all your yoga poses more effective and amazing, no matter what style you usually practice. Her classes often involve energetic sequences but also incorporate stillness in order to quiet the mind. Her welcoming teaching style, energy, love, & passion for yoga will keep you coming back for more! Get ready to feel empowered, fit, and energized to move your lessons off the mat and transform your body, mind and life from the inside out!

 

Tiffany ParsonsTiffany.1

Tiffany began her yoga study in 2010. Her practice began as so many do, focusing mainly on the physical benefits. Thirsty for more than just endless gym treadmills, she took her first yoga class and quickly realized how much more there was than just physical rewards.

Tiffany was so hooked on the benefits of a total practice that she quit her job, started volunteering her time in trade for yoga instruction, and never looked back. Progressing through Power Vinyasa, Yin, Kundalini and Ashtanga training, Tiffany completed a 200 hour teacher training course, receiving her RYT in 2013 from Yoga Alliance She also participates in a mentoring program with Practice Yoga. Tiffany has studied anatomy in college and pursues the 8-limbed path of traditional Yoga, diving into its philosophy, spirituality and history actively participating in workshops such as Reiki, Ayurveda and Anatomy.

Honest and free-spirited Tiffany encourages her students to find their own “inner teacher.” She’s adept at helping her students experience their own unique pose with joy. She likes to have fun in her classes! You’ll see lots of smiles and hear lots of giggles from her as she moves about the room, providing alignment help. Try her classes for a fun, informative and energetic exploration of yoga.

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Teacher(s) “Emeritus

Anna Belesiotis Anna Belisiotis

It will be no surprise to anyone who has seen Anna practice to learn that she has a background and training as a classical ballerina. Her elegant pursuit of intricate backbends or tortuous twists will display such grace that it can’t help but inspire you to dance through your own practice.

Anna began practicing yoga at 18, while looking for an exercise routine that would maintain the strength and conditioning developed from her ballet training. She next added training as a Pilates instructor to her expertise, so don’t be surprised by the cat-like athleticism you’ll develop in her classes. Prior to joining the Practice Yoga team, Anna was a sought-after instructor at East Sac Yoga.

Anna’s yoga classes focus on core strengthening and emphasize a constant awareness of maintaining the  breath throughout the entire practice. In May 2010, Anna graduated from University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. She then went on to pass the California Bar exam in November 2010.

Anna successfully integrates her yoga technique and meditation practice with the rigors of a fast-paced legal career. Currently, she is an “instructor emeritus”, focusing primarily on her legal career.  We look forward to bringing her back into our regular class schedule!

Kathy BreeceKB1

Kathy Breece has been practicing yoga for over a dozen years. She first became interested in the practice during graduate school in Los Angeles (Kathy holds an MBA, as well as an M.S. and B.S.). Yoga became a way to escape the “busy-ness” of life and a way to calm her body and mind.

Through the years Kathy had focused her practice on Hatha and Vinyasa Flow. She was introduced to traditional Ashtanga Yoga in 2011 and fell in love with the primary series (“yoga chikitsa” or “yoga therapy”). Since then she has completed her teacher training in Ashtanga Vinyasa (200-hour YA Certified) and has been teaching steadily.

Kathy’s warmth, empathetic nature and quiet confidence come through in her classes. Her knowledge of the series, the asanas, their purpose, and their effect on body and mind are shared with comfortable good humor. In her teaching, she emphasizes breath and body awareness with the goal of sharing the practice and spreading the wealth of yoga. "Practice and all is coming." – S.K. Pattabhi Jois

 

Kathy Dominic Kathy Dominic

Kathy Dominic is serious about teaching a fun yoga class!  She has been practicing traditional forms of yoga since she was a teenager, and appreciates the physical and mental benefits that one cultivates over a lifetime of practice.

Kathy was a popular yoga teacher in both Tulsa, OK and in Portland, OR, but since coming to Sacramento has preferred to concentrate on the polished refinement that is her personal practice. With much pleading and cajoling, she has been persuaded to join our teacher team from time to time, and to be a shining example of just how Classical Hatha is practiced.

Kathy brings to her teaching a respect for the discipline of yoga, and an understanding that every body is different, with different abilities and different needs. Harmony happens when your body’s abilities blend smoothly with your body’s needs. Her other personal and professional goals take her away from the teaching mat, but you’ll often see her in class and, with good karma, we’ll get her back to teaching again soon!

 

Michelle Greene michelle head shot.1

Michelle will tell you that she practices yoga “to be a nicer person”.  Clearly, her practice has been very  effective!  Michelle’s warmth, sensitivity and enthusiasm permeate not only her classes, but her approach to life.  “Life gets a little stressful and yoga really helps to ground me”, she says, and this grounding is apparent in the smooth, easy flow of her yoga classes.

Michelle loves having a spiritual practice that she long ago committed to as an important part of her life. She feels that yoga both empowers and humbles us, each at the same time. When Michelle moved to Sacramento from Reno, she struggled to find a studio that fit her needs.  After her first class with Bill Counter at Practice Yoga, she knew she had found a home.  Michelle finds the yoga community at Practice Yoga is far more encouraging and supportive than any other studio, and she conducts her classes in a way that encourages all students to feel safe, welcome, and supported as they practice.

Yoga will always be an important part of Michelle’s life.  We hope that life will allow her to teach at Practice Yoga again soon.  Don’t be surprised if she’s subbing for Bill or Kathy!