O U R   T E A C H E R S

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Happy Om

(Proud Owner of Golden Mandala) 

RYT 200

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/

Shari Williams


(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.

Matthew Sweigart

Qigong Instructor
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.   


Jap-Prem Khalsa

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.


Horacio Roa


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.


Rick Larsen

CMT - Lightside Recreation

"Creating this business has been a journey of discovering that I am a healer, a kinesthetic soother who loves to connect with people wherever they are on their path and help bring them deeper into their own healing and well Being. It's a wonderful thing when you are able to do what you love to do. The basis of the energy I put into creating Collective Wellness and working with you is Knowing that I can help you with your expansion in your body, mind and spirit. Namaste."

Introducing Rick Larsen of Lightside Recreation. Rick is a California Certified Massage Therapist and a Psych-K Pro Facilitator. He is Graduate of National Holistic Institute 900 hour Massage Therapist and Health Educator program and holds a BA in Sociology from CSUC. Also a Graduate of the Landmark Education advanced program. Attuned Reiki level 1 and 2. Promoter of Ecstatic Dance Redding and all things Dance. In private practice offers Thai Massage, Lomi, Lomi, and Deep Integrated Work based in Swedish, Shiatsu, Sports massage and Energy Work. Founder of Shasta County Bodyworkers Exchange. Creator of Energetics of Touch experiential workshop series.

~ 530-410-7726 ~



RYT-200 & Certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher

Snow is inspired by yoga and meditation for its deep healing and transformational qualities. It felt like love at first sight 9 years ago when she found a book on hatha yoga and the love has been blossoming ever since. Her devotion to the spiritual path has taken her down roads of studying kundalini yoga, hatha yoga, tantra, somatic meditation, and bodywork. She reaches into this ever-growing bag of magic to hold a class with intentions of elevation, healing, and love.

A free spirit at heart, Snow found herself traveling the world and realizing that this gift of yoga was portable enough to study and share everywhere! She completed a Tantra-Hatha Yoga Teacher Training in Ecuador and a Kundalini Teacher Training in India. She has taught classes in many places through the world such as Australia, Thailand, Guatemala, India, and the Bay Area. Nevada City has become her nesting ground to share her love of practice and cultivate a community of practitioners to grow and support each other.

Sat Nam!


Nicole Myslajek

RYT-200 & Certified Kundalini Instructor

Nicole Myslajek has been a avid yoga practitioner for over 10 years. She has completed 200 Hr. Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training with Life Power in 2012, breathwork facilitator training with Michael Brian Baker at The Breath Center in Los Angelos in 2016, and a 200 Hr. Kundalini teacher training in San Marcos Guatemala in 2018. Her intention is to assist in waking humanity up to their magic and infinite potential within as well as creating an environment in which everyone feels comfortable and at home in their skin.


Ashtara Kukuk


Ashtara is a lifelong dancer and inspired guide of somatic healing and conscious movement. Through her own growth and learning, she has gained a rich experience in health, wellness, spirituality and mind-body connection. Her trainings & experience include Hatha-Vinyassa, Kriya, and Tantra yoga (200 E-RYT with School of Yoga Institute + staff member at Paramahansa Yogananda Center + Talking Hearts Integral Love Training Maui), Conscious Dance (SoulMotion, Contact Improv and Ecstatic Dance facilitation), mindfulness meditation (Wat Tam Wua Buddhist Monastery), and Spiritual Psychology (Internal Family Systems Therapy). She finds passion in bridging these modalities with her personal medicine path to support others living from a place of authentic Self. Axe!

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Allison Avalon

B.Science (Ecology), MHS (Master of Horticultural Science)

The word Allison means Truthful One. Ali means Divine Light. Avalon means Eternal Paradise. Allison Avalon has been a misfit and seeker of Truth to feel the Great Mystery her entire life. From her earliest memories and in dreams, she has navigated visitations from her ancestors, visions of sublime perfection, and nightmares of horrendous apocolypse. Seeking to make sense of these unusual, incredible, and often terrifying experiences, she has explored the globe searching for healing amongst indigenous cultural practices and has adventured extensively through the inner realms. By truly listening to and forgiving herself, she has come to trust who she really is and what she has to share in this precious life. Through a daily discipline of focusing the mind, she has found profound connection within and freedom from suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety. Allison emerges from the darkness as a bridge between worlds and holds a torch of inextinguishable light through the darkest depths of the soul. Her compassion and understanding of suffering has opened her heart beyond measure, and the love she has to share is palpable to any in her presence. Allison’s Truth calls her to share a message of peace as a vibrational healer, children’s book author, Hospice caregiver, musician, social activist, and vocal empowerment coach. www.allisonavalon.com, www.vedasadventures.org, (websites currently under reconstruction-stay tuned!). She has been studying Goenka Vipassana style meditation through the amazing non-profit organziation www.quepasana.com. Let peace begin with me. (Stephen Levine, Jorge Yant)


Hailey Sanura

Hailey Sanura is a Dancer, Yogini and healer. She offers unique classes combining her love of booty shaking, Bellydance, temple dance, Kundalini and Vinyasa yoga. Her classes create a safe container to: Express yourself, push past your blockages and limitations, experience emotional release and honor your body’s wisdom. Her goal is to turn your workout into a party so expect to be laughing, smiling and having fun while you get sweaty.


Keesha Bowers

Keesha Bowers has been a Diamond Way Buddhist student since 1999, when she met Lama Ole and Hannah Nydahl, her teachers. She lived in the Diamond Way Buddhist centers in the Midwest for 10 years and has traveled for a summer directly with her teachers, while helping with book editing and attending large meditation courses witnessing the unending and deep energy, love, compassion and wisdom of her teachers.

Keesha is firmly rooted in Nevada County and works as an interior designer, bookkeeper and mother of two. The goal of her offering is to bring people together to meditate, work with mind and develop greater compassion and wisdom for ourselves and all beings.

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Shakti Rose

Don't race against others. Race against yourself.
Through the steel of self discipline, you will forge a character rich with courage and peace. Through the virtue of will, you are destined to rise to life's highest ideal and live within a heavenly mansion filled with all that is good, joyful and vital. Without them, you are lost like a mariner without a compass, one who eventually sinks with his ship.
~Nirvana of Sivana

I am fueled by my passion to honor & empower others to Ignite the Fire Within, and in uniting them in their own unique & creative Sacred Paths of Self discovery, Self Love and Self authenticity. Saying YES to living Your LIfe. Remembering who we truly are, in the Light and in the Shadows, embracing our Selves to the fullest of every aspect of this Journey. It is a weaving of loving and accepting yourself, using tools that resonate and inspire one’s Self.

I have always been active in the Creative Arts and intrigued by esoteric studies because of “spiritual” experiences I couldn’t explain as a young girl. Inspired by the tools I have studied, I play in the Journey of Discovery. I’ve immersed myself in many modalities and love to learn, study and share. My practices include: Theater, Art, Dance, Master Herbalist, tho I like the term HerbWife, Watsu Practitioner, Reiki Master Teacher, Certified Yoga Instructor, Goddess Circle Facilitator, Organic Farming, Shamanic Journeys & Lodge Keeper, Somatic Energy Practitioner, Sand Tray Facilitator, Dream Weaver, Storyteller, and Adventure Seeker.

My passion is rooted by my life experiences, my Sacred Paths, the Light and the Shadow, Birth and Death, Student and Healer, Mother and Daughter, Marriage and Divorce, Ego and Conduit, Seeker of Light and Wisdom, guided by the Most High and fueled in Spirit. I humbly offer All That I AM, to witness and fuel your inspirations to offer the I AM of YOU to the All That Is.

Most people live - whether physically, intellectually, or morally - in a very restricted circle of their potential being. We all have reservoirs of life to draw upon of which we do not dream.
~ William James

Our Subs


Amrita Vidya


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.


Rhea Light

Rhea completed her first Breathwave training in 2014 with Robin Clements. Since then, she has assisted in facilitating Teacher Trainings and shared the breath in circles throughout the US and internationally. Her offering is non-denominational and rooted in metta or loving kindness. Through her facilitation, she intends to create a heart-centered space in which the breather can safely surrender to the divine intelligence of this simple yet powerfully healing tool. She is also a certified Advanced EFT Practitioner, NLP Coach and RYT-200. For more information contact Rhea directly at info@blessedrebirth.comwww.blessedrebirth.com.

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Abigail Gallant

RYT 200

Abigail’s path into the healing arts began when she attended her first and second Reiki training in 2011. The experience of realizing the power of intentional touch opened up her world and she began seeking out ways to bring this gift to those who are in need. She went on to study at The Massage School in Easthampton, MA and completed her studies there with an 800 hour certification in April 2013. From there she moved to Martha’s Vineyard and began a 5 year seasonal journey where she worked with local companies to provide mobile services at hotels, fitness centers, open air markets, and eventually branched off into her own flourishing private practice. In the off season she has had the opportunity to teach and provide bodywork to her New England based communities as well as during her many travels.

Always a student first her additional trainings include two 200 hour Yoga teacher trainings, over 100 hours of Thai Massage and AcroYoga trainings, Yin yoga certification, and many hours of additional workshops attended. Landing in the Grass Valley area in December ’17, Abigail is excited to bring her passion and love of healing arts to her new home and connect with the amazing community here.


Taj O'Brien

Certified Kundalini Teacher

The path of love and transformation brought Yoga and Taj together. While seeking a way to live life as an expression of truth, Taj left the west coast of Canada where he was born, and found expansion and elevation amidst the struggles of the journey. Sure enough, with the guidance of graceful beings, he found his way in India, where he made the pilgrimage to Kumbh Mela, studied Hatha & Kundalini Yoga in Rishikesh, and began meditating in earnest high in the Himalayas. In fact, it was leading a yoga class for tiny Tibetan children in a small Ladakhi village that fully ignited his heart to teach.

The diversity of wisdom has shown Taj many paths. The ancient Eastern systems of Yoga and Qi Gong have consistently been pillars for balance, well being, and inner clarity, while the Indigenous teachings of the West, including the Inca, Maya, Lakota, Algonquin, Hopi, and Hawaiian cultures have helped Taj develop his healing relationship with the Earth in each land he finds himself. In 2009, Kundalini Teacher Training at Shuniaa Yoga in Nevada City was instrumental in Taj’s discovery of an incredibly conscious community, where the FIX for foodies became his place of love and service.

Taj’s path of a living teacher has evolved through studies in Anthroposophy, Waldorf education, and Surat Shabd Yoga (attention to the inner light & sound), finding its most current expression as a singer/songwriter of cosmic mythology, modern challenges, and ancient healing powers, a teacher of high school social studies, and a guide to Earth & Sky Yoga at The Golden Mandala.

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Chrissy Mehnert

RYT 200

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.


Shivani Grail

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. 


Daphne Carpenter

RYT 200

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.

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Jeffrey Williams

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.


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Tutku Tezveren

RYT 500

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.

Avi Burg


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.

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Shagun Kumar Pradhan

RYT 200


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.


Gavrila Nikhila

RYT 200

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.


Abbey Theis

RYT 500

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.  


Kelsey Westfall

RYT 200

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. 


Latima Good

RYT 500

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.

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Ashton Szabo
E-RYT 500

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/

Our Predecessors

Kelly Golden

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 of The Golden Mandala Collective.


Rachel Tuck

RYT 500

(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.