Born in the magical land of Colombia, Andres has been practicing Yoga for over 26 years. Besides traveling and studying intensively in India, Andres is an accomplished yoga teacher, retreat facilitator and Kirtan leader worldwide, based in Los Angeles, CA.
Andres is the founder of Bhakti Soul Yoga, a dynamic, soulful and well rounded approach into the science of Yoga. His teaching style promotes equanimity, traveling through the principles of Yoga as a therapy, empowering students to trust their own experience with sensitivity and intimacy, merging the ancient and sacred with the contemporary. Bhakti Soul Yoga emphasizes the most natural tools for the enhancement of the physical, mental and spiritual aspects. For more information, please visit http://www.powersoulyoga.com/
Brian believes in the ancient wisdom of Larry David. “Whatever works.”
“If your practice helps you create great outcomes in the real world, off your cushion, off your mat, then keep doing it.”
Born in Boston, Brian discovered both yoga asana and sitting meditation in his early 20s, and has been practicing both ever since. Brian first moved to LA in 2003. And his very first yoga class in LA was at the Power Yoga West Studio.
“I’ve heard it said many times, and it’s true, everyone’s first stop in LA is to go see Bryan Kest…and in one 90 minute class my perception of LA completely shifted… After having lived in several different big cities, I finally felt like I was home.”
In 2007 Brian sat the 10-day Silent Vipassana in Chennai, India. After that he immediately began teaching yoga to children at a Primary School outside Pondicherry. After five months in India, he returned home to teach children’s yoga as a volunteer in Santa Monica.
Besides meditation, Brian is a certified yoga teacher and a practitioner of evolved-NLP. He also runs an Investment Fund and credits his meditation practice as the primary driver of it’s success.
His main influences are Bryan Kest, Saul David Raye, Shiva Rea, Govindas, Steve Ross and far too many great teachers to mention.
He is beyond stoked to be sitting with you and back home at Santa Monica Power Yoga.
Born and raised on a ranch in Oklahoma, I was raised to believe that simplicity is a key component of happiness. After losing my father at age 17 and experiencing a traumatic spiral of events during my adolescent years, I was introduced to yoga through a friend. It immediately spoke to my physical nature and after only a few classes I felt a strong and deep spiritual connection. I had found my therapy and church.
The Vinyasa class I teach is dynamic and physically rigorous. Although the nature of my classes are physically demanding, my greatest focus is the safety and well being of my students. The four major points I stress in class are proper alignment, mindfulness of physical limits, deepness of breath, and calmness of mind.
I have developed most of my classes to suit all levels of practitioners, offering modifications for newcomers and including advanced instruction for the seasoned yogi.
Yoga has dramatically improved my physical wellness and has helped me develop a strong mental and emotional stability. Anyone coming in to practice will experience an increase mental and physical awareness and well-being. Practitioners will also slow the process of aging by increasing their cardiovascular health, decreasing toxicity and stagnation in the body and improving the functions of the 5 major systems of the body.
I hope to heal you soon.
talking about one’s self in 3rd person GO!
dan ward was born in evanston, illinois and grew up in libertyville, a verdant suburb about an hour north of chicago. in his youth, he loved running in a pack in the neighborhood, playing free the tree, ghost in the graveyard and, above all, football. he also ran in a bmx gang whose main goal, aside from shredding the trails behind the high school, was to hit the white hen for candy and soda.
in high school, he suffered a severe reaction when bitten by the acting bug and was confused for awhile, thinking he was deniro or something. this reaction persisted and he subsequently matriculated to the theatre school at depaul university ultimately earning a BFA in acting.
the first class on the very first day of college was, drum roll plz, YOGA! and he hated it. well, actually, the reaction was a bit more mixed than that. perhaps the challenges were a bit too intense for him at the time. but the seed was planted.
after graduating from school, dan moved to santa monica californina with his then girlfriend, now wife, lesley. it wasn’t but a few weeks into residing oceanside that dan discovered bryan kest’s poweryoga class. it was what he likes to call a lifequake. bryan’s intense style of vinyasa yoga freaking blew his mind.
four beautiful daughters and 10,000 hugs later, dan realized that teaching yoga would effing rock! which brings us to today.
music swells as lights dim.
lights up on a yoga class where people are having a blast getting stronger, healthier and dare i say, happier?
join him in writing the next chapter in this journey… get your butt to class!
The body doesn’t lie. Within the practice of yoga, sweet truths emerge and facilitate growth, from the inside out. Yoga activates the unfolding that is ours – if we choose to engage with it wholly. My classes are safe, challenging and accessible – and of course all are welcome! The flow, breath and structural alignment works for you so you can come closer to your personal edge each time you return to the mat. It’s my pleasure to share in the art of this amazing practice with you here at Santa Monica Power Yoga. I was reared on Bryan Kest’s classes and I’m thrilled to be teaching here alongside him – full circle. Jai Ma!
Kinda like the chicken and the egg, that’s how it was with yoga and I. I spent a good amount of my teenage years, addicted and suffering from an eating disorder and drug addiction. Like a bad dream gone sweet, it left my life and I kicked away the painful lifestyle by becoming a personal fitness trainer. From reading different magazines and books about health, exercise and nutrition, I stumbled upon an article saying that you can start yoga by doing 8-10 sun salutations every day, so I got a book on yoga and another on the different poses. Mostly practiced in my room, sun salutations had become my daily start to my every day and I then added different poses and flows each time I practiced. When I started the manifestation process of my move from New Jersey to Santa Monica, California, in my research on LA yoga studios, master teacher Bryan Kest flooded the google search. Overjoyed that he was in Santa Monica, I started to study and practice his methods off my Mac laptop. All my energy went into making one my dreams come true, to practice at Power Yoga as a Bryan Kest student. Now practicing for 12 years and starting my journey as a teacher, I continue to learn and grow in my own practice both as a student and teacher. Yoga has been the healing force that has helped to enhance and balance my life in the most healthy way and this has always been my passion for others. My yoga is simple, it will make you stronger, it will bring you balance, it flows gracefully and it will continue to help create a deeper focus and gratitude for your own self.
Thank you Jessica
Practicing yoga helps to bring me into a vibrational wave of free flowing joy, fun loving exhilaration and delicious excitement for life…
I consider teaching yoga as part of my yoga practice where I serve and share the yoga experience with you!! I consider all people and animals my sisters and brothers, we are all one, and our true deepest energy is love. Love is our highest vibration and when you’re in love with life you can’t help but be joyous and happy.
We are always transforming and transcending throughout life and continue to evolve as human beings. Yoga is an amazing tool to help bring light intoevery new second of our amazing existence on this planet. See you on the mat!
Kyoko Iwama is a wonderfully talented Yoga teacher who is rapidly amassing a rabid fan base in Santa Monica.
Kyoko obtained a 4 year university degree in Nutrition and Dietician Studies at Heian College in Kyoto, Japan. (2003 – 2007).
She also studied and graduated in Swimming Instruction.
Kyoko moved from Japan to the United States to further her education, studying both Yoga and English.
Since graduating from the Yoga Alliance, Kyoko has been teaching several classes a week since January 2013 at the Santa Monica YMCA.( Sometimes she teaches several classes per day.)
She continues to sharpen her skills and expand her Yogic Knowledge by taking several classes a week, and is enrolled at the Iyengar Yoga Institute and also at Santa Monica College.
Thanks to her deep knowledge of the human body, and her desire and love to spread the joy of Yoga to the masses, it’s no surprise that Kyoko is a fast rising star in the Yoga world.
Should any student wish to take private classes by donation, Kyoko is very happy to provide instruction.
She can teach in both English or Japanese.
Kyoko teaches yoga every Monday night from 8 pm to 9.30 pm at :
Santa Monica Power Yoga
1410 2nd Street, Studio B
Classes are by donation only and no amount is too small.
Please visit her website www.yogabykyoko.com
I discovered yoga in 1999 and have been practicing ever since. I found it as a way to ease my depression and anxiety, and as a much needed tool to break away from the mental gymnastics going on in my head. I have studied many forms of yoga and meditation throughout the years and I use methods from several traditions in my classes. While my approach is simple, classes are always dynamic, incorporating mindfulness, balance, strength, humor, and a little rock and roll. There is always a deep focus on breath. My intention is to create space for my students to get in touch with their spirt, light, and the love within them….because from this place, anything is possible.
I first began practicing yoga in 2004, at my drum instructor’s suggestion, to help my posture and loosen my shoulders. I was hooked. For me, it began as a physical practice and quickly evolved into a mental practice, keeping me sane while I was on tour. I am currently an occupational therapy student and have an extensive background in the health sciences. I teach a well-rounded class meant to take care of the entire body and mind, including strength, flexibility, stamina, balance, equanimity and peace. Everyone will benefit from this class no matter the physical condition. My style of power yoga is vigorous yet therapeutic and suitable for everyone.
Yoga can guide your every breath.
Min’s shares this belief by practicing it with an emphasis on breath. She does it through a series of asanas designed to target isolated parts of the body with absolute control.
Her personal experience with yoga has been a life-altering journey of self-awareness and growth. Yoga helped activate parts of her being that she never knew ever lived. Today, yoga is the glue in her busy life that keeps the crazy out and the love and happiness in.
“Yoga has showed me how to love myself, to be physically and mentally strong. It has provided the nourishing soup for my soul. Practicing yoga focuses my attention back to a place where I’m better equipped to enjoy life as it happens.”
Her sequence guides fluid and soulful transitions between poses that seamlessly connect body, breath, mind and movement to the sound of carefully selected global music. All this increases levels of physical intensity and sustained focus on breath.
Min’s a bit of a traveling artist. Her work has provided the chance to see the world.
Born and raised in South Korea, “I ran away from my father at the age of 21 and didn’t stop until I paused and took a deep breath with yoga. It gave me the calm I needed to learn, understand and find the peace that was always hidden deep inside me.”
Min has worked and lived in Australia, Singapore, New York and now, California. She started yoga about ten years ago in Singapore purely as a physical form of exercise. But in NYC, she learned that the ultimate aim of yoga lies in the mind; the body is just a vehicle to get there. There, in two years, she completed 200 hours of being trained as a yoga teacher and went on to teach at YTTP Manhattan and Brooklyn studios.
“Incidentally, Yoga to the People refer to Bryan Kest as the founding father of donation based yoga here in the USA. When my husband, our two dogs (Norma and Nigel) and I relocated to LA, it only seemed right that my teaching should resume here where it all began.”
The motivation for teaching comes from a desire to deepen her practice, share it with others and be of service to them along their journey of reconnection with self.
She believes yoga benefits all body types, from all walks of life, at any point of time. She believes the world is an even better place because donation based yoga is now more accessible to everyone.
Min has participated in several workshops that include Silent Retreats with Native American Sweat Lodge by Menla Mediation Center, OSHO Active Meditation, Breath of Change with Yee-Ching for Riya Breath Work & Meditation in NY.
Her classes are accessible to beginners as well as intermediate practitioners.
In fact, all are welcome.
“Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day.”
Thursday morning 7-8am
Molly grew up on the East Coast with a background in gymnastics and dance. Molly’s yogic journey took her to India where she trained with Swami Santhiprasad. There she learned various forms of yoga, but most importantly, how to live a meditative, yogic lifestyle. Her goal is to carry the torch, exemplifying this way of life through her practice each and every day.
I love yoga. I teach a power-vinyasa flow class with emphasis on alignment and breath, with variations for students at all levels. During the class, we work on mindfulness as well as physical asana. I play uplifing music and keep the class fun and challenging. Yoga has improved every aspect of my life, and it has helped me overcome issues with depression and anxiety. Being more awake is a gift that this practice gives us, and I try to pass on all I have learned along my path to my students.
I got my 200 hr. certification at YogaWorks, under senior trainers David Kim and Jesse Schein. I have been a student at Power Yoga for 6 years, studying mostly with Vytas and Rudy. This studio is an amazing place, and I am so honored to be teaching here.
Thanks Vytas, Rudy, Travis, Bryan, Vinnie, Jesse, David, and a special thanks to my main mentor Sara Ivanhoe. I am constantly inspired and humbled by all of you.
Keep doing yoga. Get out of your own way. Enjoy life. Smile. Breathe.
Born & raised near Boston, I found my way to yoga after moving to LA 3 years ago via Dan Ward’s class at SMPY. With a background in ballet, I began to come regularly, looking for an athletic workout that would tap into flexibility and strength. What I didn’t realize was that I was beginning a journey of self-study that would permeate my daily life by way of mindfulness, gratitude, stillness, peace, and love. After completing Dan’s teacher training, I knew I wanted to share my passion for yoga and serve within the SMPY community.
I fell in love with yoga for it’s transformative qualities on the body, mind, and spirit. My goal with each class is to share those qualities, challenge the the body and sharpen focus. I place emphasis on calmness, flow and the importance of listening to your own body to deepen your personal journey, both in the studio and out.
See you in class!
My students are indeed YogaWarriors and I am honored and blessed to be able to lead them in their practice when they choose to study with me. I coined the name “Yoga Warriors” as a basis to the philosophy I try to practice in my day to day life and in the teaching of my classes. As with all great warrior traditions from the Samurai, to the Sioux, to the mythical Amazon women warriors, we also have a cause. Ours is the great battle for the liberation of our minds. A victory in this battle must be assured if we are to obtain our goals of a liberated mind and a disease and stress free body. However, to achieve this goal will take a bit of suffering (tapas) and perhaps many years (even lives) of a consistent, dedicated, and pious practice. Or as written in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, “Success in yoga follows he who practices, not he who practices not.”
As Yoga Warriors on our journey we will undoubtedly cross paths with many formidable enemies that must be eradicated. These obstacles include a sick and weak body, a weak and distracted mind, a lack of discipline and enthusiasm, self defeating doubts and fears, laziness, ignorance, cowardice, envy, greed, jealously, desire, aversion, attachment, perhaps an overindulgent diet and lifestyle, expectations rooted in ego. These are just a few of the enemies of your practice that lay in wait for you. (And all of these are just for the experienced yogis, Lord help the beginners!) Fear not Yogis, for as a warrior tempers his steel we can also strengthen ourselves for this struggle. Our minds and bodies are our weapons and just as a sword is thrust into the fire and heated for shaping and strengthening we also can use our breath to stoke the furnace that heats, shapes, and strengthens our bodies. We can use the anvil of our Asanas and the hammer of our will to defeat and eradicate these enemies while purifying and cleansing our minds and bodies. However, that’s just the beginning. Afterwards, meditation waits.
Born and raised in England, I started travelling at an early age. My Yoga journey began in a temple in Northern Thailand studying Vipassana Meditation. The peace and calm I experienced by simply observing my breath was life changing.
Soon afterwards I went to my first Power Yoga class with Bryan Kest. Through all of the sweating and struggling and trying to stay focused on my breath, I walked out of there feeling the same sense of peace and calm, but also really
energized. I couldn’t wait to go back to another class and before long I was practicing every day, feeling healthier and stronger than I’d ever felt before. I wanted to go deeper into the practice so I decided to go to India. I spent a year studying the many layers of Yoga including Asana, Pranayama and Meditation.
Over the years I have spent many hours in Meditation, and many hours on my yoga mat, and to me they are one and the same…being in the present moment. Every time we get on our mat it is an opportunity to be present… to stop dwelling on the past or worrying about a future that hasn’t happened. It is an opportunity to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually. I teach a physically demanding class, but I will remind you, and encourage you to be gentle, and to stay connected to your breath throughout… so you walk out feeling calmer, healthier and stronger than when you walked in!
Born and raised in southern California, Temitope began practicing yoga asana in earnest after a series of revelatory life experiences, leading him to his first class at Santa Monica Power Yoga, which turned into a daily ritual over the years. Coming from a football strength training background, yoga practice shed light on new ways of nurturing long term strength, balance and flexibility. Temitope relies on the breath and prana/qi/ase to guide his life, practice and class.
I love yoga! I love how strong and supple the body gets, how calm and centered the mind becomes and the inner peace and awareness that develops from a continued practice. I look at yoga as a moving meditation…quieting the mind while enlivening every muscle and cell in the body. Flowing through the asanas helps us to flow gracefully through the changes in life. Finding our physical and mental edge, we build strength, stamina and endurance. Linking our breath, body and mind helps us remain calm in challenging situations. How we learn to practice yoga carries through to how we operate in our daily lives.
In yoga, we practice becoming more aware of our breath, our bodies, our thoughts, our patterns, ourselves. When our awareness of ourselves deepens, we become more finely attuned to the world around us. We raise our level of consciousness. We learn not to judge, not to compete, not to criticize, to be less bound by our egos. We begin to accept ourselves and others, become better people, more at ease, more peaceful, more powerful, more loving, more compassionate, more present in every moment.
As a native Los Angeleno, I have had the privilege of practicing yoga with Bryan Kest, as well as many other talented teachers for almost 20 years. In my classes, I draw on my wide range of experiences. I teach with love and compassion, anchored with breath, focus and detailed attention to alignment. Expect to challenge yourself, take care of yourself, deepen your practice, and have some fun along the way. Then observe the ripple effect it all has…
Travis began teaching yoga to people all over the world while in Thailand. It was there that he committed his life to the yogic arts. His class is meditative, dynamic, and transforming and will keep you physically resilient, mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and spiritually charged!! In addition to teaching yoga Travis leads kirtan (devotional chanting).
In 2008 he released his first DVD Yoga Basics and in 2010 his 2nd DVD Yoga Evolution-India became available through major suppliers across North America. Also, he has developed LIVE HD yoga classes to bring a global audience right into the middle of all the action via the internet. He is on the faculty of Kripalu, one of the nation’s premiere yoga institutions and leads yoga retreats and teaches locally and internationally in places like Thailand, Bali, and India.
In addition to instructing at Power Yoga, Travis also teaches at Equinox Fitness also in Santa Monica, CA.
Yoga is a discipline, or even a lifestyle that can, depending upon the desire of the practitioner, combine physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual experiences. A Yoga class is time spent to foster and cultivate a balanced and harmonious relationship of the mind/body. Its simple in nature- use the breath to move with intention. In my classes, I guide you to breathe, exercise, relax, enjoy and meditate with a group of people in the fashion and to the degree that suits you on that given day. I encourage my students to flirt with, but respect their boundaries to facilitate a self-awareness through an Asana practice and, as I can share from my direct experiences, to know that even our injuries can be our best teachers. I began studying the philosophy of Yoga during a college Anthropology course and while still living in my native NYC- I walked into my first Asana class. When I Landed in LA, I went to Bryan’s class and have since appreciated having Power Yoga as a beautiful space to practice. I am grateful to have participated in trainings, retreats and workshops with incredible instructors, mostly from the Santa Monica yoga community and with amazing Yogis all over the world. While the majority of my professional experience has been working with youth in urban settings, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the seven years I spent working in Watts and the impression the people of that community has left on me! It is my goal to replicate that experience, especially the love, trust and gratitude from it, in my present and future endeavors. So join us in a Power Yoga class where strong poses with intense cardio activity that challenge flexibility are suggested. You can heat up the body while you cool down the mind and strengthen while you stretch. I’ll enhance the class with some music as well as some silence, so you can workout while you check-in, and sweat while you chill-out! Then watch when the true power of the class and your practice reveals itself when it transcends the mat!
“The Journey is the Destination” – Dan Eldon