O U R T E A C H E R S
(Proud Owner of Golden Mandala)
Happy Om began to teach vinyasa yoga and share Reiki in his home town of Las Vegas in 2006 after traveling in India and training in Ashtanga Vinyasa the previous fall. By 2008, Happy was teaching 12+ yoga classes a week in yoga studios and gyms, hosting weekly consciousness gatherings, and seeing private clients for energy work and life coaching. Collecting wisdom and healing techniques over the next 6 years while living in different unique places throughout California, Hawaii, and Mexico, Happy added many dharmic elements to his list of teachings and services: "AquaStretch", "Emotional Freedom Techniques" (EFT/Tapping), raw vegan diet coaching, "Contact Improv" lessons, inspirational music and kirtan, breath playshops, rich satsangs, personal consciousness evolution work and more. A lover of Ecstatic Dance, eye contact, tantra, permaculture, and sacred ceremony, Happy brings a unique joy and presence and presents a special integration of modern wisdom for the awakening and highest joy of all beings.
Since 2015, Happy has lived full time in Nevada County and now makes his living sharing traditional Thai massage, his unique range of motion body work “HappyStretch” (“Happy Shoulders”), yoga classes, contact dance workshops, Reiki healing sessions and training, as well as playing and teaching Ukulele.
Happy has been the proud owner of the Golden Mandala Yoga Studio since fall of 2017.
More info can be found (and may even be up to date!) @ http://www.HappyOm.com/
E-RYT 500, C-IAYT
(Faculty Vira Bhava Yoga Teacher Training)
It is the intrigue of the human body and passion for yoga that fuel Shari’s desire to teach. Her yogic journey began over 30 years ago with spiritual study & meditation as well as asana. Her presentation of instruction is firmly rooted through education of kinesiology and Yoga Therapy, inspired by Yoga Tune Up®, Anusara, Sri Vidya Tantra, & Iyengar.
Shari’s offerings are biomechanical, alignment and strength oriented and often include surprise smatterings of myofascial release, neurological challenges, and corrective applications of Yoga Asana. All is suffused with the philosophy of yoga.
Shari’s work in the world is to serve and help humanity achieve a richer experience of their time here on earth. To assist students to feel better in their body, with their past story, or situation whatever it is. Shari holds unconditional space for all beings, and all feelings are welcome.
Author of Pathways of Qi
Matthew Sweigart began his career in the healing arts in New York City in 1985. His training and practice spans a range of Asian Healing Arts including Shiatsu, Yoga, Qigong and Meditation. A Certified Instructor of the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia®, his movement, touch and meditation education classes take people deep into an experience of heightened awareness in body, heartmind and spirit with a focus on the movement and flow of life energy through occupants and classical pathways. An author and educator, Matthew's book Pathways of Qi is scheduled for release through Llewellyn Publishing in 2016.
Certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor
Jap-Prem considers the expression of Kundalini Yoga a part of his core identity. His journey began back in 2010 when he discovered one of the original Ashram communities, set up by Yogi Bhajan in the early 70’s, in Millis Massachusetts … just 15 miles from where he grew up.
The discovery of a group of people intentionally cultivating awareness and clarity through Morning Sadhana and conscious living set his already passionate personal spiritual journey on a very definite and infinitely elevated direction. He quickly moved in and began his journey of deeply immersing himself in applied yogic science as well as the vibratory presence of Yogi Bhajan.
Jap Prem believes the opportunity to relate to an elevated community is the most potent and special tool one can utilize to clear away all that stands between you and your own purely courageous reality. He holds a very supportive space, keeping students engaged not only within the physicality and focal points of the kriya, but within the subtle rhythm and flow of energy that each kriya uniquely carries and mirrors within us. Through his articulation of these teachings, the richness and subtlety of your own experience will come alive and leave you with a highlighted sense of personal direction and contentment.
Originally trained as an Industrial Engineer, Gavrila Nikhila has now directed her love for processing and understanding into awakening. As an embodiment facilitator and soul activist, Gavrila is interested in pioneering new ways to honor the grieving process and remember the intuitive abilities of feeling.
She is a 230 hour Certified Yoga Teacher, an Osho Active Meditation facilitator, Yoga Nidra facilitator, and holds sharing circles wherever she goes. Through serving as a mindfulness teacher at the Wayne Brown Correction Facility and her various meditation classes and workshop offerings, Gavrila invites people into the radical space of awareness, liberation, and self-acceptance.
Yoga snuck into Chrissy’s life after twenty years of dance study. She tagged along with a friend to a power vinyasa class at a donation-based studio in New York City’s east village. This first and most honest class startled her with its resonance, springing her life forward into opening after opening. She trained in the summer of 2009 with Yoga to The People, dove right into teaching 10+ classes a week and gaining the YTTP studios in Berkeley and San Francisco a foothold. Until 2013, she was a prominent teacher for Yoga to the People, at which point she moved out here to the foothills to study sustainable living, permaculture, market gardening and more. She has woven a unique place within the overlapping layers of community through fusion dance, yoga, thai massage, food and farming.
Inspired by her lifelong love affair with dance, Chrissy teaches a smooth yoga flow that is energizing and grounding, and deeply focused on breath as the source of all movement. To Chrissy, a yoga practice is a coming home to breath. It is the building of the most significant companionship we have the chance to make in life - the one with our breath. From the strength of this companionship comes the self-love that leads to happiness, confidence, and prosperity.
RTT - YT
Amrita is a Yogini, mystic, and healer. She specializes in Thai Massage, Acupressure and sound healing and performs locally as a kirtan leader and vocalist. She has studied with many world famous healers and musicians, including Tahir Qawwal of Fanna fi Allah, Bruce Burger of Heartwood Institute, Hugh Milne, and Shiva Rea, among others.
She brings a dance background as well, incorporating elements of odissi, (East Indian) and Egyptian belly dance to round out the tai chi/yoga mix.
Lotus' metamorphosis as a teacher followed an embodied Awakening upon being rear-ended by four automobiles. Empowering an alchemical transformation, her understanding of self-healing with Yoga became crystallized.
Within the temple of self, Lotus' workshops with Masters (in both the Ashtanga and Iyengar lineages including Sri K Pattabhi Jois, BKS Iyengar and Erich Schiffmann whose video Live2 she is featured in) blossomed into experience she shares.
As owner of Ajna Yoga (Chicago) she created a signature style helping pave a path of embodied potential from a gentle heart.
She is a Yogananda Kriyabahn with SRF and received hatha Certification through Temple of Kriya Yoga, Chicago. She has led thousands of classes for both large groups and one-on-one therapeutic sessions in settings including retreat centers, studios, health clubs, festivals, outdoors in nature, hospitals, convalescent homes, government facilities and more.
Douglas Gunasilan DeBecker
Author of Nejang: Tibetan Healing Yoga
Sowa Rigpa is the primary medicine system of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Buryatia, Siberia, Mongolia, and the himalayan regions of India. Parallel to this medical system is a spiritual system that was kept secret for 10 generations before being shared almost 1000 years ago. This was primarily shared to the healers and eventually to the general public. Just recently there has been a standard text in Tibetan for general public to read about it, and the same author of this text has made many parts available in English as well. This author, Dr Nida, is my primary teacher in Sowa Rigpa (Tibetan Medicine), and is the founder of International Academy of Traditional Tibetan Medicine (IATTM), now known as Sorg Khang International. I have been practicing this system of medicine for 8 years, and studying for 10 years. I am registered and approved by Sprig Khang International as a teacher of the Root Tantra, Nerang Yoga, and external therapies of Sowa Rigpa. My other main teacher, Dr. Pasang, was the administrator of the Dalai Lama’s Academy of Sowa Rigpa in Dharmsala, and their Pharmacy. He heads a different academy, Tibetan Medicine Education (TME). Through the teachings I have received from both these masters of Tibetan Medicine, I have accumulated some very useful yoga practices that I can share. Exercises that tonify the inner organs, open the channels, balance the energetic origins of physical/mental/emotional imbalances and efficiently give results for deeper meditation and more stable sitting. I have been involved in yoga practice since I was 8 years old. I have studied, Hatha, Kundalini, and Kriya. I first went to Tibet in 1991, and I have been a couple more times since then. I am offering rare techniques from the Tibetan Nyingma Tradition (oldest buddhist tradition in Tibet), and through the adjacent health-practices taught throughout Tibetan Medicine held within the Yuthok Nyingthik.
CMT - YT
Horacio is an intuitive healer who combines Shiatsu, Chinese medicine,herbology, diet, and water therapy into powerful individualized programs for self-healing. He has worked in clinics and private practice in Argentina, Spain and the United States, and has been praised for the creativity, humanity, and life-changing nature of his work.
I’ve been an initiated Yogini, and teaching off and on for 35 years.
The best way to learn something is to teach it!”
I’ve been a student of the Course off and on for 20 plus years.
God, The Universe or whatever you’re comfortable calling the Force that loves us and is always guiding us, brings this, way out of difficulties to me when I need it the most.
I want to share this with you when you’re tired of seeing your way not being as fulfilling as you know it can be.
I’m a NC resident and just returned from LA.
This is my humble gift to the community and a way to reconnect to you.
E-RYT 500, Para Yoga Level 1 Certified Teacher
(Owner and Director of Vira Bhava Yoga Teacher Trainings -- Former Co-Owner of Golden Mandala)
Kelly Golden has been a student and practitioner of yoga for over 19 years. Through the exploration of the physical, philosophical, and meditative practices, yoga has touched every aspect of her life in a positive way. She infuses her teaching with the passion that she has for the practice of yoga, both on and off the mat. In asana practice, Kelly pays close attention to the work of the body (anatomy and physiology), as well as the more subtle work of energy embodied in the mind and spirit of each individual student. For Kelly, Yoga class is a meaningful conversation between students and teacher that leads everyone closer to the remembrance of the real Self.
Kelly is a Yoga Alliance Registered E-RYT 500 and a Certified Para Yoga Teacher. She studies and teaches in the lineage of Sri Vidya Tantra as taught by Para Yoga. She studies with Yogarupa Rod Stryker, Angela Farmer and Victor VanKooten. Kelly has written for yogabasics.com and Yoga Journal, and is the co-facilitator of Neighborhood Yoga Teacher Training program in Boone NC and was the director of teacher trainings at The Glowing Body in Knoxville, TN from 2010-2012. She is currently the the director of Vira Bhava Yoga which leads teacher trainings and retreats in Northern California and the mountains of Western North Carolina. Kelly Golden was the founder The Golden Mandala Collective.
(Operations Director Vira Bhava Yoga -
Former Co-Owner of Golden Mandala)
Rachel teaches yoga as an extension of her heart. Her classes are welcoming, playful, comfortable, and friendly. While Rachel enjoys a strong physically challenging practice, she believes that a yoga class should first be energetically soothing, well sequenced, and honoring of those who attend. " My intention in teaching is to create a class that gets folks our of their busy minds and into a space where they can process their day, ring it all out, and have some time to listen and hear whats going on behind the scenes." Her favorite quote is by Howard Thurman: "Do not ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive, and go do that because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
Yoga literally changed my life. I found yoga in 2009. At the time I was feeling particularly lost; living in NYC, a struggling actress, bar tending to make a living, nearing 30. I had no idea what I was doing with my life. After attending only a hand full of yoga classes, I decided to enroll in a 200 hour Teacher Training through YogaWorks. It was not my original intention to become a yoga teacher; I figured practicing yoga intensively 8 hours a day for a month would give me some sort of perspective, and hopefully insight, into what I should do next. Being present in your body and in tune with your breath has a tendency of doing so.
What I discovered was a love of yoga. I came to my mat to seek solace in the otherwise turbulent hurricane that was my life. I delved deeper into myself each day, learning how to meet myself where I was, to accept myself just the way I was, and ultimately to love myself. What I found was a rejuvenation and excitement about life that I hadn't felt in quite some time. I wanted to learn more, and possibly one day teach the things I was learning. I decided to further my studies and enrolled in the 300 hour Teacher Training. I graduated in 2010 from YogaWorks with my 500 hour Teaching Certification. Since then I have taught in NY, VA and CA.
My relationship with yoga continues to deepen and evolve. It has been instrumental in my path of self-discovery. I have learned a lot about self-care and how to approach myself with kindness, patience and truthfulness. I believe the lessons learned on the mat are ultimately tools to be utilized in every day life. Yoga helps me navigate my life, be more present within myself, and the world at large. I find I come to my mat less and less to escape my life and more and more to delve deeper into it. It is becoming less of something I do and more simply a part of who I am.
I am currently enrolled in the 300 hour Teacher Training through Vira Bhava Yoga to further my training and deepen my understanding of the more esoteric aspects of yoga. I am excited to see how this will enrich my practice as well as my teaching.
My classes are based upon the Ashtanga and Iyengar methods, with strong emphasis on deepening each student's experience of their practice through the cultivation of self-awareness, using precise technique and alignment instruction.
Kelsey has practiced yoga for ten years, and got (playfully) serious about it by enrolling in the Vira Bhava Yoga Teacher Training program in 2015. Her goal in taking the training was not, in fact, to become a yoga teacher, but to deepen her personal practice. However, as Kelsey dove into the history, philosophy and spirit of the practice more deeply, she found a great desire to share with others a new reality that was unfolding from within. Kelsey's powerful vinyasa flow classes empower students to use the breath to drop into their bodies and discover new depths, with the hope that all students leave feeling rejuvenated, balanced, strong and at peace.
Mentor, Vira Bhava Yoga Teacher Trainings
For Abbey, the practice of yoga and meditation has been a viable pathway to remembering and celebrating one's own true nature. In her classes Abbey weaves yogic philosophy, asana, and exploration to bring vitality and restoration to the body and mind. (Abbey found yoga as her spiritual path, through dance movement 16 years ago.) Since then she has taught hatha yoga in New York and Mexico. She moved to Nevada City to deepen her studies in Ayurveda (a sister science to yoga) at the California College of Ayruveda, where she currently studies and practices. Abbey is an Ayurvedic Pancha Karma Therapist with a previous practice in Polarity Therapy. Abbey is currently deepening her understanding of yoga in the Vira Bhava Yoga 300 Hour Advanced Studies Teacher Training held at The Golden Mandala.
Ashton has been studying and practicing yoga for more than twenty years, having first been introduced to yoga when he was twelve years old by his Japanese Ju Jitsu Sensei, Steve Copping. He has taken teacher trainings with Peri Ness (Synergy Yoga), David Goulet (Chakra Yoga), and Leeann Carey (Leeann Carey Yoga), as well having studied with numerous other teachers and guides. He is a 200hr E-RYT through Yoga Alliance, and an LMT (having studied massage for the same two decades). Ashton was exposed to eastern philosophy from a young age, as he began learning martial arts at the ripe young age of five. His natural curiosity and drive for understanding has lead him to various spiritual art forms from traditions all over the world. Heavily influenced by teachers like Douglas Brooks, Joseph Campbell and Alan Watts, Ashton brings a universality to his teachings that extends beyond just the realms of yoga. His concern is for the opening expansion and well being of his students. Not limited by the constraints of any one particular teaching or system, Ashton strives to help each student find what is useful for them in realizing their fullest potential. His love and dedication to teaching and to his students shines through in all of his classes, as he is most joyful when he gets to share his insights into life and its practices. His knowledge of the body and a cornucopia of various spiritual teachings helps students to find ease in their mind, body and spirit.
Check Ashton's website out here: http://yogawithashton.com/
Certified Silver Sneakers and Silver Stretch Instructor
Daphne is an Artist who draws inspiration from the beauty and dissonance of the human and animal experience. She utilizes a variety of mediums and techniques to unearth and explore her thoughts, and to process her ever-shifting moods. This California native is fascinated by pulses of sound energy, unworldly naivety, beauty without logic, and free-form, wild anomalous dances.
The Ashtanga Eightfold Path of Yoga is the cornerstone of her spirituality and wellness.
Certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor
EDGU Head Teacher
Through ongoing exploration and experimentation of consciousness and transformation, Jeffrey has met, trained and exchanged with dozens of phenomenal and unique teachers on the planet. He uses alphabiotics, sound healing, breath-work, bodywork, movement, nutrition, hydration, mineralization, intuition and insight to return people to themselves in full responsibility and in love. He is a father, a husband, a community leader, and a lover of life.
As a child, Jeffrey’s family used the mountains, canyons, lakes and rivers as the church they frequented many weekends of every year. He was involved in sports (especially swimming) music, academics and art. He would set goals that no one believed were possible and then he would magically achieve them. When he was 8 years old, he entered the Northern California Swim Championships seeded 224th in the 25 yard butterfly. He decided he was going to make the Finals. In his first heat, he dropped 5 seconds off his time and made the finals with the 16th fastest time. In his next heat, he dropped another second and a half and placed 4th earning him a place in the California All Star Meet. In that race, he dropped another second and a half off his time and won the race setting a new record. His confidence and his awe for nature led him to explore the big picture and whole systems thinking.
As a young self-induced Shaman, Jeffrey experienced great transformation and expanded states of consciousness. His gut feeling was that these incredible states of high energy were not foreign, but totally human. He set his trajectory, with the goal of bringing people into these states naturally, easily, and sustainably as the wind in his sails. He was not satisfied with people needing a substance outside themselves to reach these states so he explored meditation, breathing, moving, sounding, fasting, gardening, living foods and studying every esoteric, spiritual, and shamanic system that he came across. While in high school and college he maintained a high GPA but spent much more time studying with outside teachers, systems, and programs to satisfy his passion.
His discoveries are all encompassing and yet seamlessly interwoven. He found that in all of the basic human functions and requirements for life, we can access the high caliber energy states of expanded consciousness. He has naturally created a symbiosis of movement, breath and sound (INU) and was honored as the lineage holder for EDGU: evolutionary spinal maintenance. Jeffrey has inspired thousands as a teacher and is a renowned artist of great transformation.
Jeffrey trained with many teachers along the way and read many more. His main influences in movement systems come from kundalini yoga, hatha yoga, kriya yoga, and eternal yoga. Directly with Viriam Singh Khalsa at University of Oregon, John Perry in Eugene, OR, Siri Gian Singh Khalsa in Sacramento, and Virochana Khalsa. He studied Chi Kung and Nei Kung and found EDGU with Jeffrey Page Redman at Breitenbush, OR. He was part of a team of artists that created a sound healing kinetic time ship and toured extensively with his crew spinning people on their “galaxy glider.” He trained with Tom Kenyon and Karina Schelde as well as performed at the California Institute of Psychoacoustics. He studied and practiced breathwork with master Reichian Therapists Siri Gian Singh Khalsa and Michelle Newmark, rebirthing founder Leonard Orr, and Transformational Breathwork founder Judith Kravitz. He studied with CA bodywork pioneers Judy Phillips and Madonna Polley. He has studied with kabbalists, alchemists, physicists, Rosecrucians, Mayan calendar experts, meditation masters, religious philosophy (especially Eastern, Middle Eastern, Judaic, Egyptian, Shamanic, Central and Southern American). He has studied with Dennis Klocek at the Rudolph Steiner College and is deeply involved in the work of Rudolph Steiner. Jeffrey has worked with raw live food masters Gabriel Cousens, Victorus Kulvinskas, and David Jubb. He continues to study and practice daily.
I believe Yoga is the very bridge that connects our Mind’s highest Truth to our Soul's Deepest Integrity. The practice of Yoga is to get acquainted with our deepest wisdom with the tools of the sages, through everyday human challenges in order to transform into free, equanimous, compassionate beings…
My devotion to the path of Yoga began over a decade ago, in my home country, Turkey. Hearing the calling of deep need to heal my unresolved depression and as a consequence, a herniated disk on my lower spine guided me to delve into practices that were more physical and tangible. They benefited my body so much, but I wanted more than just that. Feeling within the trans-formative power of Asana (posture), I began to delve deeper into the Pranic (energetic) aspects of Yoga and since then consistently have been practicing yoga and meditation for healing and transformation. I have begun to see that through breath and focus, cultivation of life force can repair our bodies and souls beyond limits and transcend us into freedom, peace and wisdom.
With Honor and Homage to my ultimate teacher Krishnamacharya and All my guides and teachers, I have studied and completed certified trainings under Classical Hatha Yoga 200 RYT, Traditional Astanga Yoga (Mysore Style) 200 RYT , and Intensives in Traditional Iyengar Yoga, basic Ayurveda all around the Himalayas, in Northern India.
After my return to the States, I have studied and have completed trainings in the classic tradition of Tantric Hatha Yoga and I joyfully still am a devoted practitioner and a student of Sage Apprenticeship Program 500 RYT, w/ Brooke Sullivan a system that embodies Lineage of Sri Vidya Tantra & Para Yoga (which weaves Ayurveda, Tantra, Classical Hatha Yoga of the Himalayan Sages) in California which much of my current teachings are deeply inspired from.
Qi Gong / Tai Chi Instructor
Avi Burg began studying traditional Chinese movement and exercises in 1998, and has deeply explored Tai Chi and Qi Gong under acknowledged lineage teachers from Yang, Chen, and Wu style forms. He has also studied various forms of Kung Fu and steeped in other movement traditions and therapies from around the world including:
Feldenkrais, Continuum movement, African dance, Yoga and Bellydancing.
Avi offers a wealth of bodily experience and insight along with gentle humor to his Qi Gong students.
Shagun Kumar Pradhan
Shagun has a degree in Communication from the University of Illinois and holds a RYT-200. In his classes he uses his analytical skills to dissect areas of concern with great precision and grace, as well as diving into the creativity of props. Intuitive by nature, Shagun observes body language more than anything and his classes are focused on restoring the body and mind, as well as maintaining flexibility and longevity of the muscle fibers. As a long time athlete and avid outdoorsman, Shagun has found restorative yoga therapy and yin yoga to be a key part of the formula for the perfect counter balance to those that live an active life. In his classes you might find more awareness in mind space and breath, as well as additional physical benefits.
Kalyana teaches Hatha yoga with a slow flow and emphasis on linking breath and movement. She has been practicing yoga since 2008, and received her 200 hour teaching certificate from Vira Bhava Yoga in 2014. She draws her influences from the Para school of yoga and Rod Stryker, and is also fond of Iyengar-style alignment cues to help merge the energetic with the corporeal in a meaningful way. She enjoys sifting through the archetypes and myths that occur in everyday life, sharing the found gold nuggets in class.
While in college, Susan began studying yoga and in 2003 she completed her certification in massage and sports massage at Florida School of Massage in Gainesville, FL. At that time, pregnant with her first child, she began teaching yoga. Susan did her 200 hour yoga teacher training through Yogaworks with Tzahi Moskovitz, in 2008, at “Sanctuary Yoga and Meditation Studio” and went on to teach there until relocating to Nevada City, CA in 2011. Recently, Susan completed her 300 hour advanced yoga teacher training through Vira Bhava yoga. Susan now aims to combine her love of teaching with cultivating sound vibration- singing.
THE GOLDEN MANDALA IS A VIRA BHAVA YOGA SCHOOL HOST STUDIO
Vira Bhava Yoga, LLC is a Yoga Alliance Certified School training at the 200, 300, and 500 hour level. Our local 200 Hour Training begins in January and runs for 8 months ending in August. Our 300 Hour Training begins in October and runs for 13 months. There is also the option to register for the 500 Hour Training in which case one would train for 22 months beginning in January and completing the program in October of the following year.
Vira Bhava Yoga Teacher Trainings are a good fit for yogis who are ready to dive deeply into what lies beyond the basic postures (asana) of yoga. If you feel that you've master what is offered in a regular class and you are seeking to deepen your personal practice and to assign sincere meaning to the practice this training is for you.
At Vira Bhava Yoga, we know from direct experience that Yoga is not something we do solely on our mats. The practice may being there but it is what we glean from the physical practice as well as a seated practice that enables us to transform our daily lives. Yoga is our vehicle of change. We learn that we are not merely surviving throughout our days.... we are thriving. Join us if you are seeking a community striving to thrive.