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Santa Barbara Yoga Center is passionate about providing consistently excellent teaching, accessible classes, and a yoga home that welcomes all, body, mind, and spirit. Dont worry if you are new to yoga - this retreat offers a large variety of yoga styles to suit different needs and ages. Join some of Santa Barbara Yoga Center's finest teachers in California to kick-start your yogic journey, or simply to relax and rejuvenate!
Established almost two decades ago, in 1992, Santa Barbara Yoga Center is one of California's leading yoga centers, home to some of the finest instructors in the state. Located in a beautiful, historic building, their studios have an expansive atmosphere, with twenty-foot ceilings, huge skylights, and are filled with light. The studio is available to one or two people because they have only one queen-sized bed and one apartment. A full kitchen is yours for your use.
09:00 - 10:25 Level 1 / 2 with Vanessa Bacher
11:30 - 12:30 Qi Gong with Jessica Kolbe
15:30 - 16:45 Gentle yoga with Gina McCotter
17:15 - 18:45 Level 1-2 with Romi Cumes
17:15 - 18:15 Living Ayurveda with Aparma Khanolkar
18:30 - 19:55 Level 1 / 2 with Vanessa Bacher
19:00 - 20:25 Yin and therapeutic yoga with Jim Derrick
Ana began her discovery of yoga in 1999 when she moved to Minnesota. After a life of constant relocation, the years spent in Minnesota offered the opportunity to study yoga and develop a steady practice. There, she met Momi Jhung and Matthew Sanford, two of her dearest teachers who nurtured her in different ways and encouraged her to teach. She assisted them for years in regular studio classes and at a rehabilitation center for people with physical disabilities. She also was a student of William Protengeier during this period.
In 2004, Ana became a Yoga Alliance teacher RYT 200. She has also completed workshops with numerous teachers over the years, among them: Jo Zukevich, Manouso Manos, Judith Lasater, and Jaki Nett. Yoga continues to bring her joy, contentment, grounding, and resilience. Since moving to Santa Barbara in the fall of 2013, Ana has been a student of Richard McLaughlin at IYSSB and of Sarah Tuttle at SBYC.
Barbara, a Yoga Alliance E-RYT-500 certified instructor, is the co-author of the book, Yoga for the Joy of It!! (Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2009). She has facilitated 23 yoga / meditation retreats in Montecito and two yoga / meditation / hiking retreats in Italy. She also teaches privately, and especially enjoys working with women during times of recuperation and transition. Barbara's foundation of yoga is grounded in the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda.
She is a devoted practitioner of yoga, and has trained with Eric Shiffmann, Lisa Walford, Ganga White, Tracy Rich, and completed Cheri Clampett's therapeutic yoga teacher training. She taught Hatha yoga and Restorative yoga at the Westlake Yoga Center for 12 years before moving to Santa Barbara. She combines the scientific with the metaphysical in her classes and healing workshops, including peace and prosperity in challenging times, meditate, pray, heal, and women's health and wellness.
From working with special needs children to CEOs, Barbara's compassion and dedication are evident. She has presented health and wellness seminars in colleges, health clubs, and corporations. Barbara enjoys being of service to others. She led a Red Cross Yoga Benefit after 911, is a participant in the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles Elf program, has taught yoga to the athletes of the Special Olympics, and has helped the dental needs of indigent children of Isla Vista, California through Direct Relief International.
She was featured in Yoga Journal Magazine in an article aptly titled, "Open Wide and Say Om." She has generated four websites and written two educational films. Barbara earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Southern California. As a wedding officiate, she creates and conducts beautiful spiritual marriage ceremonies for couples. She loves spending time with her husband, Stu, and her family, and enjoys hiking in the mountains of Santa Barbara.
Gina McCotter, RYT 200, has studied over 20 years with a variety of excellent Hatha yoga teachers in the Iyengar and Anusara yoga traditions. Several years of focused practice and teacher training followed. She has been teaching since 2005, sharing heart-centered, body-positive yoga classes with students of all ages and abilities. Classes include precise alignment and breath instruction, the use of props, and an invitation to slow down and pay attention to both the joys and the challenges of regular yoga and meditation practice. A California native, Gina lived in the northwest for many years before happily relocating to Santa Barbara in 2012. She is married with four children in high school and college. She loves to cook and hike, and read about Julia Child.
Holly first discovered Hatha yoga in a community class in 2002, and enjoyed her introduction and incorporating bits of it into her life. In 2010, however, everything changed when she walked into a Power Vinyasa flow heated studio. Dancing through the flowing asanas, linking her breath to her movement, and finding the stillness of mind that comes with that union spoke to her like nothing had before. Yoga became an inspiration towards health and happiness, and her sanctuary from the daily stresses of her corporate 9 to 5 job.
In 2012, she felt called to go deeper with her practice and to share this sanctuary with others. She studied with Katie Brauer and Danny Arguetty in the first half of 2012, and received her Yoga Alliance RYT 200-hour certification. Her Vinyasa flow classes reflect her commitment to alignment principles and to the union of breath and movement for facilitating a peaceful mind. She seeks to be a powerful agent for positive change in her students' lives by crafting for them a caring and safe space in which to challenge themselves, grow, heal, and integrate.
Jim first learned about yoga in the latter part of the 1980s from a co-worker that lived at the White Lotus Foundation in the mountains above Santa Barbara. He began taking asana and pranayama classes there, and along with friends began a daily practice. A few years later, Jim left the area and started a new phase in life, that of parenting. His practice became nearly non-existent for 18 years.
In 2009, Jim began the process of rediscovering his practice and started attending classes at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center. In 2012, he returned to White Lotus for an immersive 16-day residential teachers training with Ganga White and Tracey Rich. This training resulted in him becoming a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher RYT 200 in 2013.
Following that training, Jim began taking courses in the SBYC 300-hour bridge program, and earned his RYT 500 in 2014. He holds a certificate in therapeutic yoga from Cheri Clampett and the SBYC. During the daytime, he plays with computers, managing servers and networks for SaaS applications. His yoga practice helps him to find balance in life.
Jivana Heyman is co-owner of the Santa Barbara Yoga Center, manager of the Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco, and an Integral Yoga Minister. With over 20 years of training and teaching in the classical yoga tradition, Jivana has specialized in teaching yoga to people with disabilities with an emphasis on sharing yoga philosophy. His passion is making yoga accessible to everyone.
Jivana taught with the Dean Ornish Heart Disease Reversal Program through the University of California San Francisco, California Pacific Medical Center's Institute of Health and Healing, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He has led over 40 yoga teacher training programs over the past 16 years, and created the accessible yoga teacher training program in 2007.
He is currently planning the first annual accessible yoga conference at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center in September, 2015, to bring together adaptive yoga teachers from all over the world. Jivana's strengths are sharing esoteric and complex teachings in a readily accessible way, and applying the ancient teachings of yoga to our day-to-day lives.
Julia incorporates life experiences into her yoga teaching. She infuses classes with an authentic voice, recognizing the joys and challenges that comprise everyday living. With skillful instruction, a compassionate attitude, and a sprinkle of humor, Julia encourages each of her practitioners to honor their physical abilities and boundaries. Julia currently serves as director of donor relations at UCSB, and holds an M.A. in English from Simmons College. She is YogaWorks certified under the tutelage of Natasha Rizopoulos, and has completed Anusara Immersion 1 with Marc St. Pierre and Nikki Jacobs.
Kat's great joy is to invite her students to live more fully in their bodies and in their lives; cultivating a connection to their unique inner wisdom. She is deeply committed to enhancing the lives of her students through a mindful, dynamic approach to yoga, integrating mind, body, and spirit. Kat has been practicing Hatha yoga since 1992, teaching since July 1999, and is a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher E-RYT 500 since January 2007 with over 15,000 hours of teaching experience. She was first inspired to teach by Ana Forrest, who imparted the fundamentals of Forrest Yoga - encouraging honesty, integrity, strength, embodiment of spirit, and the healing process.
Kat has completed teacher trainings with Ana Forrest, Donna Farhi, Judith Lasater, Cheri Clampett, Sarah Powers, Erich Schifmann, and Lisa Walford. In addition to teaching at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center, she also conducts therapeutic yoga classes at the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic. Kat is devoted to an evolutionary path of self discovery and personal self-growth that includes yoga, Reiki (healing touch), the Hoffman process, and working with a life coach.
Kat provides a safe, compassionate, and inviting environment in her classes. Her emphasis is on breath, alignment, strength, rejuvenation, and connection to dynamic internal stillness. Students create a connection to their core and build a strong foundation to deepen their yoga practice. Each student's individual needs are addressed, which allows them to heal both physical and emotional injuries while creating space to deepen a relationship with their authentic selves.
Lea Longley was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. She has always enjoyed an active lifestyle and was thrilled to find Pilates because she felt that the discipline promoted both mental and physical health. She was immediately fascinated by the rich history of Pilates and the many examples of people who have been doing Pilates for much of their lives.
Through these living examples, we are able to see the lucid minds and strong yet supple forms that these individuals have created through their Pilates practice, and aspire to that same brilliance as we move through our lives. One of her main goals as a teacher is to impart these benefits to her clients. Lea strives to create an environment that is open, light, and accepting of everyone who wants to be there, while also honoring the needs of each individual participant and progressing towards their goals.
Lea's study began in late 2003 when she entered into a teacher training program with Core Conditioning in Studio City, California. After completing their rigorous and comprehensive curriculum, she began to teach at CenterPoint Pilates in Santa Barbara, California. As she began to teach, she realized that her education had only just begun, and has avidly pursued her personal and professional practice.
She continues to study under CenterPoints owner, Amy Havens; and guest faculty member, Pat Guyton. Lea has been richly influenced by Rael Isacowitz, Karen Clippinger, Brent Anderson, Elizabeth Larkham, Lolita San Miguel, Sheri Betz, and Diane Diefenderfer to name a few. As her practice evolves and grows, she is reminded that there is always an opportunity to learn more. Each time we move with purpose, we are altering the landscape of our minds and bodies, and inviting a chance to look at ourselves and our world with fresh and open eyes.
Megan, a semi-recent transplant to the west coast, is 200-hour certified through OM Yoga. Her classes fuse organic flow sequences with a strong focus on alignment, breath, and mindfulness. She aims to keep her classes light, but fully grounded with an emphasis on creating an open and judgment-free environment.
Melanee is a certified 500 RYT yoga and meditation instructor. Practicing yoga since the late 90s, her journey down the yoga path began when she met her guru Ruzicka Weisen, a disciple of Iyengar and of the Kripalu Ashram, with whom she studied for seven years. Melanee received her certification from the Nosara Institute in Costa Rica, lead by Amba and Don Stapleton, PhD.
As a yoga instructor, Melanees intention is to create a safe space and inspire her students by weaving a tapestry of breath awareness, meditation, alignment, and creative asana in addition to yoga and Buddhist philosophy. By using yoga as an inquiry, she helps her students develop the ability to strengthen and transform the body, mind, and spirit for a more balanced state of being.
Melanee has over 1,500 hours of yoga trainings and workshops with master teachers, including Erich Schiffman, Aadhil Palkavala, Gary Kraftsow, Sianna Sherman, Sean Corne, Gabriel Halpern, and more. A passionate student, Melanee has trained in many yoga styles including Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Anusura, Restorative and Pre-natal. She is immensely grateful to all of the teachers she has studied with throughout the journey.
Seva has also been an important part of Melanees life practice. She has volunteered in India, Africa, and China, teaching children English and yoga. She has taught yoga at Childrens Memorial Hospital and Saras Homeless Shelter in Chicago, and looks forward to more service in the Santa Barbara community. One of her highlights of her volunteer work was meeting the Dalai Lama while helping organize his visit to Chicago in 2011.
Melanee was a former gallery owner in the contemporary art world in downtown Chicago. After two decades, she decided to transform her gallery into a yoga studio, called Yogahouse. Melanee later received her certification as a holistic health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Robin Schievink has been studying and practicing many different styles of yoga since 1997. She is certified in Kundalini yoga and meditation (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) and Khalsa Way Pregnancy Yoga. She has been teaching in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara since 2009. Robin loves sharing Kundalini yoga with students so they can feel better, have more energy, and enjoy restful sleep.
Romi Cumes is a certified yoga instructor, licensed massage therapist, and healing arts practitioner based in Santa Barbara, California. Her business, Transformative Healing Arts offers professional yoga instruction, therapeutic massage, yoga / movement workshops, and healing retreats. Romi has had a passion for movement and music her whole life. After a ten-year study of gymnastics and dance, she began practicing yoga in 1996.
She began her advanced training in 1998 and received her yoga instructor certification from the White Lotus Foundation. Her other interests include holistic health studies, wilderness and nature education, international travel, dance, meditation, culture, ethno-botany, art, playing music (guitar, piano, percussion), and songwriting.
Romi's style is eclectic and creative. She weaves strength-building sequences with movement and intuitive healing modalities. Each class is unique and draws from a mix of Hatha yoga styles, such as Vinyasa flow, Ashtanga, Therapeutic Restorative, Anusara, and Forrest yoga modalities. Romi draws from her extensive dance and acrobatic background, and has been influenced by modern / Jazz technique, fire spinning, Afro-Brazilian, traditional west African drum and dance, improvisational, hula hooping / rhythmic gymnastics, hip-hop, and Capoeira.
Sarah Tuttle began her study of yoga and meditation in 1980. In 1992, she began teaching in a rural corner of the northwest. Though the population there was not typically the type to seek yoga, Sarah's passionate yet practical approach drew students from every age and walk of life. This quickly led to the opening of her studio. A certified Iyengar teacher, Sarah is attentive to her students individual needs and capabilities. She inspires them to work deeply, fostering a self-awareness that is relative to every area of life.
A sufferer of seizures in her youth, scoliosis since the age of 12, and a mother of four, Sarah knows firsthand the transformative benefits a yoga practice brings. As BKS Iyengar says, "Asana is perfect firmness of body, steadiness of intelligence, and benevolence in spirit." Sarah's many years of applied experience and her love of yoga guides her students on this path. Sarah is executive director of Santa Barbara Yoga Center, and has been a registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance (RYT-500) since 2002. She was the original co-owner and founder of Bheka Yoga Supplies Company. Sarah's teachers are Richard McLaughlin, Marla Apt, and Manouso Manos.
Siddhi is E-RYT with yoga Alliances, KRI certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher Naam Yoga Teacher and Teacher Trainer. Siddhi teaches Prenatal at Golden Bridge Yoga in Hollywood, where she also got certified in the Khalsa prenatal teachings with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa. Siddhi offers Kundalini yoga, which as taught by Yogi Bhajan, is an ancient science. It is extremely powerful in providing clarity of mind, vitality, and health. It centers you from the inside, which is imperative in this world of constant stimulation from the outside. In this class, you will learn breathing techniques, movements, postures, meditation, and chanting to strengthen your immune and nervous systems. There are no intermediate or advanced levels in Kundalini yoga. From your very first class, you will experience a feeling of wellbeing and happiness. Regardless of your age, fitness level, or flexibility, you can reap those benefits this sacred tradition offers. With practice, you will become more aware, radiant, and youthful.
Simone approaches the world with loving friendliness, a quality of great compassionate generosity that, in yoga is known as Metta. She is imbued with a scientific fascination of, and spiritual devotion to the human body in all of its stages and forms. With these qualities of kind generosity, fascination, and devotion, she moves forward in life. Introduced to yoga by her mother, an Integral Yoga Institute trained teacher, she benefited from the prenatal classes taken by her mother and began learning asana and pranayama as a young child.
Simones personal practice really took off when she began taking classes in the Santa Barbara area after she moved here in 2007. She is grateful to Jennifer Steinwurtzel, who first encouraged her to train as a teacher, and to Cheri Clampett whose recommendation to the Santa Barbara Yoga Center landed Simone her position as a therapeutic yoga teacher. In Simones class, students nurture and cultivate a reserve of wellbeing. She encourages her students to practice deliberate stillness. Most of our days are spent in movement, having been trained from an early age to get more done faster, but Simone believes life is better when you take time to care for yourself.
Simone leads her students into an easeful state with soft light and music, guided imagery, and with gentle, intelligent manual adjustments. Layers of tension melt away and the nervous system calms. Quietly becoming attentive to the bodys natural rhythms begins to take precedence over thoughts and other mental chatter. The student is able to relax and release so that they may be restored to a natural state of vibrancy.
Tiff Thompson is a local neurotherapist and PhD candidate in psychology, who began her yoga practice with Bikram Hot Yoga in the early 2000s, thereafter exploring Ashtanga and other yoga modalities. She has been teaching Power flow classes since the beginning of her teaching career, blending strength training, meditation, and the power of mind / intention into a dynamic flow. She is at the tail end of her 500-hour teaching certification.
Vanessa has been classically trained in the methods of Iyengar yoga for over a decade. She has followed the teachings of the foremost yoga teacher in the world, with over 75 years experience. B.K.S. Iyengar has refined the art of teaching yoga, with emphasis on alignment of the body with the use of props, unique sequencing and timing of poses, and brilliance in his clarity of teaching. Vanessa has gained a strong understanding of the many uses of props in her classes to allow all walks of life to approach yoga.
She has made numerous trips to India to study right at the heart of the yoga lineage, and has studied extensively at the base of the Himalayas with Rajiv and Swati Chanchani, the authors of Yoga For Children. She has had the fortunate opportunity to assist them in their medical classes, learning how to apply yogas curative abilities to practitioners with ailments ranging from MS, Cancer, sciatica, depression, scoliosis, and much more.
Vanessa is currently attending her third year in the Iyengar yoga teacher training of Los Angeles with over 500 hours teacher training. She has attended countless workshops with many of the Iyengar senior teachers throughout the world, and continues workshops regularly to deepen her knowledge of the broad subject of yoga. Her teachers are Richard McLaughlin, Manouso Manos, Gloria Goldberg, Marla Apt, and Diane Gysbers.
Vanessas classes are always unique and different from one another, catering each class to the individuals needs. She provides a keen sense of detail to each yoga pose. By dissecting the poses on a cellular level, students can begin to restore the many ailments that may plague them and build a solid foundation in their yoga practice. Students looking to refine their yoga practice and advance their knowledge of yoga will benefit from Vanessas classes.
Vikki Taylor holds the unwavering belief that we all are born with only one obligation - to be or become completely who we are, and that we are all capable of creating the life we desire. This was the driving force that propelled Vikki through literally decades of soul searching and endless studies before finding her heart home, as she describes, in teaching Kundalini yoga, and creating Healing Life Yoga.
Vikkis teaching embodies the essence Yogi Bhajans core belief that happiness is our birthright. She focuses on creating a comfortable and nurturing environment, guiding and empowering her students to dive deeply into the discovery of their own heart home. With incredible clarity and devotion to her practice, Vikki is known for her unique ability to reach and connect with students of all levels, and for providing insight and inspiration during every class.
Vikki is a practicing yogi of eight years, and a KRI certified Kundalini yoga teacher. She has earned special certifications to teach yoga for post-traumatic stress disorder, Hatha yoga, Workplace Wellness Yoga, and is a licensed and certified Heal Your Life workshop leader. In addition to teaching her yoga and Heal Your Life classes, workshops, and retreats, Vikki volunteers weekly, teaching yoga to women in recovery from alcohol and drug addictions.
This yoga retreat takes place in Santa Barbara, California. Many great restaurants are within a few blocks, and the beach is 1.5 miles away.
If you are heading north, take the Arrellaga Street exit.
After 5 blocks, turn right on State Street.
At the next street, turn left onto MicheltorenaI Street.
Santa Barbara Yoga Center is halfway down the block on the right. It is the big yellow building.
"I had a wonderful and relaxing stay at Santa Barbra Yoga Center. Everyone was nice and helpful all the time. They have a lot of different styles of yoga, and its worth to try everything. The teachers helped me to improve my yoga and cared about my wellbeing. The apartment was well furnished and clean. I had everything I needed. I would highly recommend the SBYC."
BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited
"This was a truly beautiful and peaceful space. The bed was so comfortable I honestly haven't slept that well in a long time. The location to Santa Barbara central district was perfect. Everything was walkable. There is a very pleasant and inviting outdoor space, which is technically public to the studio, but in the evenings is really more like a private space. We had several evening meals and morning coffees at the table, and chairs surrounded by bamboo plants. I had a very convenient parking space as well. Barbara was kind and welcoming. She checked in with me just the right amount of times and had great suggestions. Took my first Iyengar yoga class, complementary, and loved it so much I registered for Iyengar classes here in Chicago. Wish I could have taken advantage of more classes."
Santa Barbara Yoga Center website, edited
"I had a wonderful stay. Quiet, clean, and convenient to walk downtown. And the yoga classes were amazing. Everyone was super friendly, welcoming, and helpful. We learned so much from the knowledgeable teachers. I discovered Iyenger yoga, and am hooked. My boyfriend had never done yoga before, and now is hooked too. Barbara was helpful and engaging, as were all the yoga instructors."
Santa Barbara Yoga Center website, edited
"Lovely building, bright, and clean studios with great teachers. The reception area always has fresh water, tea and cut up oranges and the front desk is very helpful. The prices are quite fair for the level of expertise that you get in the classes. Easy parking, especially in the morning. A great place to do yoga."
Yelp website, edited
"The instructors here are great, and the classes are excellent. I always leave feeling calm and invigorated. I like that the teachers offer adaptations to poses so that they are accessible and challenging no matter what your level of expertise is. The building is beautiful and serene. There's always plenty of street parking in the morning. The receptionists are welcoming. The prices are an excellent value."
Yelp website, edited