Teachers

 

Alex Blefari East West YogaAlexandra Blefari
Alex came to yoga in 2007 and was a regular student of Amber at East West Yoga before she got certified at Sadhana Yoga School in Bali. She studied under Jane Austin for her pre/post natal teacher training in 2016.

Alex holds space with authenticity, love and a gratitude for the practice of yoga both on and off the mat. She invites her students to find a balance in their practice; her teaching style has both yin and yang elements to it. Alex has an art of infusing an invigorating and strong asana with a restorative and meditative practice, blending the two into a dynamic, playful and fulfilling class.

Her nurturing disposition makes students feel safe to explore their breath, body and spirit each time they step onto their mat. Alex believes in the power of intention and always encourages her students to dedicate their practices to someone or something that they hold close to their hearts.

 

Sorina_Diaconescu_EastWestYoga_Cupertino_200Sorina Diaconescu

 

 

 

 

 

 
Amber East-D'AnnaAmber East-D’Anna
Amber East-D’Anna, BA, JD, ERYT 200 (RYT 500 in progress), It’s Yoga Kids certified, Relax and Renew certified, Pilates Mat certified was born and raised in Cupertino & Saratoga and thought Cupertino needed a lot more yoga when she began offering yoga classes at her mom’s dance studio – East West Music and Dance – in 2009.  Amber pretty much grew up at that studio, and began teaching children’s dance classes at age 15.  Amber’s love of all things yoga started in college at UCLA, where she received her BA in Theater, and her first yoga class was with Annie Carpenter at Yoga Works in Los Angeles more than 13 years ago.  She began practicing regularly at home and going to classes whenever possible. Initially drawn to the the physical benefits of yoga, it wasn’t until in the midst of law school at Santa Clara University where yoga took on a whole new meaning.  She began experiencing severe migraines, and had more days of intense migraines than days without migraines.  This is when the healing and grounding power of yoga and meditation became apparent, and soon after she received her 200 hour certification from Kripalu in Massachusetts.  It was at that time that East West Yoga began.  Her goal in opening East West Yoga was to create a yoga space that had a variety of classes, several teachers, a kids’ corner for busy parents, and children’s classes so that we can start learning great habits at an early age!  Teachers of influence include:  Seane Corn, Maty Ezraty, Erich Schiffmann, Judith Hanson Lasater, Sarah Powers, Annie Carpenter, Brahmani Liebman, Samantha Shakti Brown as well as all of the teachers at East West Yoga.  Amber continues to study, practice, and try to stay grounded (and sane!) while raising her five year old son, James, and one year old son, Parker, with her husband Patrick.

 

Erin_East_EastWestYoga_Cupertino_200Erin East
Erin began her dance training at East*West Music & Dance in 1980. She continued training at Interlochen Arts Academy (MI), Idyllwild Arts Academy (CA), Dance Aspen (CO), and San Francisco Ballet. She studied intensely at The Juilliard School (BFA program) in New York City. Her Broadway debut was in the original cast of Swing! – 1999-2000. She performed in the Tony Awards 2000, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 1999, and The Today Show 2000. Erin performed with the local company sjDANCEco in 2006 and 2007. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from SJSU with a dance major/accounting minor in 2007. In 2010 Erin co-starred in a Ford Focus television/radio commercial with her sister, Amber. In 2012, Erin’s piece “Shiva Moon” won the “Audience Choice Award” with sjDANCEco’s 9th Annual ChoreoProjects. Erin is currently the Associate Director at East*West Music and Dance where she handles the accounting, runs the Performing Company, and spends much time in the studio teaching and choreographing. Erin began practicing yoga in 2004 and completed her RYT-200 hr teacher training at East West Yoga in the summer 2016. Her classes focus on connecting breath to movement, mind to body, and embracing the energy of presence within.

 

Christy_Evans_EastWestYoga_Cupertino_200Christy Evans
Christy has spent a decade consciously exploring and sharing the path of Yoga with teachers such as Julie Rader, Sianna Sherman, Christopher (Hareesh) Wallis and Noah Mazé. For Christy, this path has revealed many truths and awarenesses. It is from this place of understanding that she encourages others to explore their true selves through breath, meditation, and asana. Through teaching yoga, Christy aims to share a tradition that reveals just how deeply we are all connected. Her teachings incorporate themes from ancient traditions of nondual Tantra to daily life inspirations. She offers intelligently sequenced classes that allow students to access poses in a safe and aligned manner, while simultaneously, heightening receptivity and listening to their inner teacher.

Christy’s yoga endeavor, Live.Love.Lila* is based in northern California. She teaches publicly, leads retreats across the globe and trains new teachers through Mukti Yoga School. Discover more at http://www.livelovelila.com. *Lila (“lee-lah”) is a Sanskrit word meaning “divine play.”

 

Britta_Henkenjohann_EastWestYoga_Cupertino_200.jpgBritta Henkenjohann
Britta is a certified yoga instructor, healer, and spiritual teacher of Sufism. Born in Germany, Britta moved to the States in 2000 and quickly re-discovered her passion for physical movement and healing. She has been teaching classes and workshops in the Bay Area since 2008. She offers her teaching with the intention of creating unity between body, mind, heart, and spirit, in order to experience self-love, self-empowerment, and self-healing. She is grateful for her many teachers along the way, especially Max Strom, Ben Thomas, Krassi Harwell, Kelly McGonigal, and Sumitra Peterson. Students will harvest deep focus, healing release, and complete expansion into their physical, energetic, and spiritual being in this strengthening, breath-centered practice.

 

Minjeong_Kim_EastWestYoga_Cupertino_200Minjeong Kim
Minjeong discovered yoga in Berkeley in 2002, as a way to relax in the midst of a demanding college routine, and as a way to explore and tune into the body.

Since then, Minjeong has maintained a steady personal practice and has learned from teachers around the Bay Area and beyond, completing a 200-hour yoga teacher training program at Avalon Yoga in 2013. As a fun ritual, she makes sure to visit a local yoga class whenever she travels to a new place.  In 2015, she completed Mat Pilates teacher training at the Center of Balance, a training that enhanced her understanding of alignment and movement.

She is inspired by various aspects of yoga: the precision and discipline in Iyengar yoga, creativity and immersion in vinyasa, and the subtle and compassionate attention cultivated in restorative yoga.  In her classes, you can expect a cadence that leaves room for sensing each experience, and cues that enhance awareness and a feeling of spaciousness in the body.

 

Michelle_Lamb_EastWestYoga_Cupertino_200Michelle Lamb
Michelle has been teaching yoga for over 7 years in Los Angeles, San Francisco and throughout the bay area. She received her 200hr RYT certification With Annie Carpenter in Los Angeles. She also had the privilege of studying with Shiva Rea, Sean Corn and Eric Schiffmann. Michelle came to yoga at the age of 17 after suffering depression and anxiety. Through yoga and movement Michelle discovered an inner stillness and peace. She knew early on that she had a passion for movement and how the body works. She went to nursing school where she studied anatomy, physiology and dance. Michelle’s classes reflect her creativity, and discipline by being challenging yet playful. She has a strong focus on alignment and developing self-awareness while creating an environment where you are free to work at your own pace at any level in your practice. Michelle believes that through love, compassion and acceptance the path of yoga can transform us revealing the light within.

 

Phil LevesquePhil Levesque
Registered Yoga Teacher, Body Story Expert, Reiki Master. Beginning his formal and eclectic yoga training in the late nineties,Phil studied with Jyoti Crystal and Dr. Jason Martin at Starseed Center for Yoga & Healing in New Jersey, where he eventually received his 200 hour certification a decade later.  Certified as a Body Story Expert, he is also a faculty member of The Missing Thread Mystery School of San Francisco, CA lead by Dr. Kirk Prine and E. Donald Lobree specializing in therapeutic Body Story Yoga.  In all of his sessions, Phil creates a sacred and safe space for everyone, combining ancient teachings with modern guidance fostering an accessible and introspective practice.  He focuses on deepening compassion to awaken the wisdom of the body. Thankful for the guidance of his teachers, he feels blessed and humbled to have the opportunity to pass on these teachings to others.

 

Loran Loosli
After a lifetime of bending, balancing and flipping as a gymnast and coach, Loran moved to California and fell in love with yoga. Yoga has become a big part of her life. It impacted her in such a meaningful way that she wanted to learn how to share the benefits the practice offers with others around her. She completed her teacher-training program in 2012 and has been teaching around the peninsula ever since. She has her 200 hr. certification through Frog Lotus and is registered with Yoga Alliance. With a passion for creative sequencing and moving with the breath, her classes are very dynamic and engaging. You’ll be sure to get a good workout, and build a strong foundation for your Vinyasa flow practice.

 

Shayna_Sneiderman_EastWestYoga_Cupertino_200Shayna Sneiderman
Shayna first found yoga in 2010 at her local gym where she was immediately drawn to explore different studios, teachers, and forms of yoga. She became fascinated not only by how her body was changing through yoga, but how her mindset, attitude, and entire world seemed to be opening up and transforming through the practice. While so much in her life seems to be continuously changing and uncertain, yoga has been the one constant to help her find calm and clarity. At the start of 2015 Shayna packed up her life in the Bay Area and moved to Santa Barbara to complete a 200 hour teacher training at Yasa Yoga with Stephanie and Ryan Besler. Shayna returned to the Bay Area in 2016 where she has loved teaching at a variety of studios and building relationships with new students. In class, Shayna encourages students to follow their bodies and to see yoga as light hearted playtime while incorporating the philosophy, history, and language of yoga. Her classes focus on the joining of breath to movement and focusing on proper alignment while moving through various poses, or asana. www.shaynasyoga.com

 

Fiona SoFiona So
Fiona was born in Hong Kong and moved to California in 2009. She completed the 200-hour yoga teacher training at Avalon Art and Yoga Centre in 2009 under the mentorship of Kelly McGonigal, PhD. Fiona has been practicing yoga for 10 years and began her teaching journey in 2011.

Fiona mainly teaches vinyasa flow, hatha, and power. She loves to focus on the foundations of yoga and physical alignment in her classes. She believes hands-on adjustments can greatly assist students in finding more space and length within their body. Thus, she took an assisting and adjustments workshop with Edna Barr in 2011 and 2015. Fiona tries to raise students’ awareness of different parts of the body, and offers students a variety of options for poses so that the class is beneficial to students of all levels.

Outside of yoga, Fiona loves to cook for her family and friends, and is a big fan of all bakery treats and desserts! She enjoys walking her fluffy friend, a 5 year old poodle, with her 2 1/2 year old daughter every afternoon.

 

Nadja_Villegas_EastWestYoga_Cupertino_200Nadja Villegas
Nadja started yoga as a cure for her blues, but not too far into her practice she realized that yoga is more than asana and cool yoga pants. By combining the body and mind through the rhythm of breath, it became not just a practice, but a different way of life.

Nadja is certified 200 RYT at Yoga Alliance and continually advances her education through workshops and trainings. She specializes in Vinyasa Flow, Gentle, and Yin yoga. To help students get the most out of their practice from her class, she teaches with a focus on proper form before the flair and awareness of the breath. She incorporates modifications and alternate poses to ensure that each person is able to participate throughout the class at a level that is comfortable to them.

While Nadja teaches at all levels, she has a soft spot for beginners who deserve a patient and solid start for their transformative journey. Join her for a fun, friendly, yet challenging blend of the physical and spiritual worlds that comprise yoga.

Nadja is a wandering spirit, captivated by art, creativity, and new experiences in life. At home, she enjoys sharing her own practice with her two sphynx cats. Off the mat, Nadja has a BA in Graphic Design Studies and Photographic Arts from San Jose State , and is a graphic designer, global trotter, cat lover, tea aficionado, and cacti admirer. Habla español.