Dawn began to study yoga in 2001 and began teaching in 2005. Many people have inspired and encouraged Dawn in her path to teach, but she thinks Tias Little, Gabriel Halpern, and Christina Sell have had the strongest influence on her as a student and teacher. She values their guidance and support of her and continues to dive deep in practice at their encouragement. It is this same relationship and attitude that she aspires to provide her students.
Dawn’s classes emphasizes breathing, balance, and grounding as keys to unlocking basic and advanced postures. The breath is always a foundation that we move from, and the mechanics or actions of a pose will build from the breath. Some classes will find more steadiness and holding of poses to build strength and stamina. Other classes will find more flow as grace and breath meet in the practice. Expect to build up to new things and break down a pose or two each class.
Exploring different variations and prop set-ups in the same poses help to reveal the many layers of each asana. You will find that there are many props available and sometimes you'll use all of them! There are countless creative ways to use blocks, straps, and blankets, as well as the more exotic chairs, sandbags, and wall-ropes.
Dawn finds that contemplative practice is an important part of her daily practice and her classes. Yoga practice is not limited to asana alone, and taking time for contemplation and meditation is important in our fast-paced and connected world.
For more information about Dawn and her classes, workshops, and retreats please visit www.dawnhayesyoga.com
Honora welcomes you to honor yourself through your practice: to connect to the body’s innate wisdom by cultivating the ability to listen and unlock the body’s natural power to heal. Yoga is Honora’s lifelong pursuit. She has been teaching for several years and continues to expand her knowledge as a student at the Ayurvedic College at Mount Madonna. Her inspiration to teach comes from a desire to share what has been so graciously taught to her by her mentors and students alike. Yoga is Honora’s tenacious teacher, moving and changing with her through her live, always encouraging her to push further and dig deeper! She endeavors to translate her love of yoga to her students.
Caitlin Binder has been practicing yoga and acroyoga for over 6 years. A recent addition to AcroYoga’s JAMbassador program, Caitlin’s excited to build the Santa Cruz acro community in a playful, safe, and supportive environment. She regularly attends intensive trainings to learn and share the latest acro tricks. Caitlin is also a certified Warrior Yoga instructor and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt. When she’s not doing acro, Caitlin can be found at UC Santa Cruz teaching organic chemistry where she's trying to earn her reputation as the “Acro Chemist.”
Gabriel Benjamin is a second generation instructor in the TriYoga(R) Lineage and has been instructing since 2001. Gabriel holds five certifications in Yoga and Ayurveda and has been both a student and teacher at the Kerala Ayurveda Academy. His practices are known for being the perfect blend of challenge and relaxation, leaving the students feeling educated, nourished, and balanced. Gabriel leads workshops and retreats globally and skillfully teaches Flow, Form & Alignment, Yoga for Athletes, and Restorative Yin Yoga. Students will get in touch with their breath and be encouraged to learn from their own practice as well as Gabriel's instruction to experience the most powerful outcome. Gabriel is a long time cyclist, writer, vegetarian chef, and a master of inversions~ He is forever grateful to his mother and first teacher, Martha Posey.
Emma is our Yoga Program Coordinator. She lives with the intention of bringing art and alchemy to every facet of her life, from fridge-cleaning and weed-pulling to creative expression and sweating on the mat. Yoga has the power to infuse each action and moment with an awareness of it’s inherent perfection. It is Emma’s pleasure the share this journey home to full embodiment with all she practices with.
Emma is a RYT500 certified yoga teacher, trained in the ancient lineage of Kashmiri Shaivite Tantra Yoga, under teacher Bhagavan Shanmukha in Galgibaga, India. She lived nomadically until settling back in the US, where she trained in Bonny Doon with her teacher, Denise Lapides. She teaches from her practice, a constantly evolving blend of vinyasa, core cultivation, breath work, and dance, yoking tradition and anatomical understanding with intuitive body wisdom. Dynamic expansion woven with structure and refinement.
Off the mat, Emma finds meaning through community connection and creative expression. When not dancing around the kitchen as a chocolatier for Cacoco Drinking Chocolate, she is painting, gardening, or constructing manzanita mobiles in her home in the Santa Cruz mountains.
Krystal began her yoga practice in 2013, and without knowing it, set her first intentions: balance and grace. In the following year, she practiced under the supervision of Ayurvedic Yoga Practitioner Lulu Peelle which freed her from the pains of disordered eating. After her profound personal experience through receiving personalized yoga instruction, Krystal perused her RYT200 certification in August 2015 from the Soul of Yoga Institute in Encinitas, California under Master Teacher Flossie Park.
Today, Krystal shares her sense of humor and personal experience coupled with a straight-forward teaching approach in her classes which focus on alignments, well-balanced sequences, and sustained postures. These elements lead to the development of inner-peace and deeper personal awareness. “It’s merely my role as a teacher to facilitate the experience and hold space for each student along their path to finding the innate teacher within them.” Through daily prayer and meditation, Krystal continues to broaden her personal spiritual foundation and practice.
Sandy Thorpe, 200 E-RYT, has been teaching yoga for about 20 years and 4000+ classes, and currently teaches at Pacific Edge, Hot Elevation Studios (previously PurePower Yoga), Toadal Fitness, and the PCC. She continues learning from her favorite influencers Kathryn Budig, Jason Crandell, and Shiva Rea. She is passionate about arm balances and new transitions! Sandy recently moved from Silicon Valley, where she taught at corporate sites (Google, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, Apple, Cisco, Intuit, KLA), various studios (Flex Fusion, Yoga Belly, Reach, Club One, Moffett Towers Club), and the YMCA. Join Sandy for an athletic yoga class that is addictive, with eclectic music and inspiring cues to enable you—whatever your level— to rise to a new level of yoga practice. For information on her workshops, see www.GumbyYoga.com
As a life long athlete, the need to move fast and work hard came naturally to me. I enjoyed the feeling of my heart beating as I engaged my entire body. Whether I was dancing, swimming, or running- I knew the fasted way to find emotional relief was to move my body.
But overtime my body started to hurt, injuries became frequent, and chronic fatigue set in. I didn't understand what I was doing wrong. I stretched for a few minutes here and there but I consistently began to feel worn down. Eventually I was introduced to Yoga but extremely resistant to the practice; unconvinced of it's benefits and lifestyle. But within the first week I noticed my focus increased and my energy levels shot through the roof. After 3 weeks, I was stronger both physically and mentally, but it was a softer strength than I had previously known. Soon I realized I was healing from the inside out.
The journey for me has been long and bumpy and I don't expect that to change. But what has changed is my awareness of my experiences. Yoga isn't just about twisting and bending, but rather how you are, you're state of mind, while you twist and bend. Overtime that awareness transforms into what is called Balance. Balance turns into focus, focus into discipline, and discipline is freedom,
As I continue to learn about my talents and how best to express them, I stay consistent with a personal practice to better inform my teaching. No matter what stage of life you're in, what injuries you've encountered, or what beliefs you may have, Yoga has the power to increase the quality of your life. It's my deepest intention to empower students to tap into that intuitive voice by creating a safe space to explore the sensations of being human. Together, we dissolve old patterns and design a new reality that inspires us and the lives of those around us.
Indi Maxon is a yoga and fitness instructor based here in Santa Cruz. She was blessed to have been exposed to yoga at a young age thanks to her father, who is connected to the Mount Madonna Institute-- and though it took years for her to embrace it fully into her own life, it has become her greatest joy to deepen her practice through sharing it with her community. Indi's ultimate source of inspiration continues always to come from her students and finding new and creative ways to bring the teachings of Yoga to any individual, from any background, in any state of physical health. For Indi, Yoga is about finding a path to mental, emotional and physical peace in any stage of life and physical condition. Her classes emphasize safe alignment, mindful movement, breath awareness and encouragement of student's to play with and find their personal edge.
200 Hour YTT (Mount Madonna Institute), 200 Hour YTT from (Hot Yoga Aptos), 30 Hour Yoga Intensive , Pilates Instructor certification (Hot Yoga Aptos)
Anna grew up nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills where she spent most of her time outside climbing trees, in the river, and on the heels of her older brothers. Today she lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains where she looks at her practice as a gateway to the ultimate truth which is this body as an access point for our entire universe.
Anna is a RYT200 certified teacher. She teaches with the Yoga For All Movement combining dance, yoga, and mindfulness with a meditative approach to mental healthcare. Through yoga Anna hopes to help bring people home to their bodies.
Anna’s classes at Pacific Edge focus on Yin inspired prop support for slow release, as well as pranayamic breathing and conditioning to build heat in the morning! She hopes her class will lift you ground you, and spit you back out into your own skin ready to keep being exactly what you are, a uniquely divine human being.
In her free time Anna choreographs and dances at Motion Pacific and plays doctor with herbs, sunscreens, and salves in her kitchen.