Teachers


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Dora Gyarmati
Teacher, Manager,  Owner and Artistic Director of Spira Power Yoga

Dora Gyarmati, EYRT is the owner of Spira Power Yoga Studio and a creator of Spira Philosophy and Teaching Methodology (A 200hrs YA school). Her European heritage and education in both the sciences and in the humanities created a unique style which blends Eastern and Western theological, literary and scientific traditions.

Dora has a natural ability to inspire love of physical being in all her students. She teaches yoga from life experience, emphasizing strength with a lighthearted attitude. Using humor to carry students through the tough elements of vinyasa flow, she reminds you to be mindful during practice. Dora sees the challenges of vinyasa as a metaphor of life. Teaching breath control and meditation during the strength building asanas, she will help you learn to stay calm through difficulties, and to find inner peace in the quiet moments. Dora’s experience includes a lifetime of active pursuits, beginning with her study of ballet and gymnastics in Hungary at age three. Also an ardent runner, she was introduced to yoga in 2002. At that time she worked as a Research Biologist, and trail running was a way of life, connection to nature, and meditation. When she found herself with a knee injury, she just had to find a way to build back strength and stability to her joints, yoga seemed like a natural choice. From her first power vinyasa class she was hooked. Since then she has completed Level I, Level II and Level III teacher training with Baron Baptiste. She also studied with, and takes inspiration from Shiva Rea, David Swenson, Ana Forest, Brian Kest, Dharma Mittra, Ed Clark, and Simon Park.

Dora believes a good teacher never stops being a student. She continues to take teacher trainings and workshops. She also believes in keeping the mind active with reading and studying literature, spiritual studies and philosophy. She is a huge fan of Great Courses on-line and you may also find her auditing some courses at the local university. Dora believes that there is yoga philosophy in all cultures and all religions. When you take her class you will find that you are not only getting a great workout for your body but also for your mind. Outside of regular yoga classes she loves to write articles and teach workshops on introspection blending modern cognitive therapy ideas with theology and literature for the perfect blend of brain exercise.

Dora’s life before yoga makes her a well-rounded instructor, as she studied both the arts and sciences. She has a BA in Art History from UCSD, and a BS in Neurobiology also from UCSD. She has worked in immunology research prior to her yoga career.

Carina B&WCarina Terra –  Teacher

E-RYT 500, came to yoga after 11 years of studying dance, particularly ballet. She studied yoga therapy at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, with professor Marcos Rojo Rodrigues, a disciple of Swami Kuvalayananda, the great pioneer of yoga therapy and the scientific study of yoga.  She has also studied with renowned teachers Ana Forrest, Shiva Rea, Baron Baptiste, JinSung, Tias Little, Amba & Don Stapleton, Sarah Powers, Edward Clark, Andrey Lappa, Colette Crawford, and Troy Lucero. Currently, her primary teachers are Shari Friedrichsen and Rod Stryker. She also continues to study with and be inspired by local teacher Jonathan Bowra. Carina is a versatile teacher who has an interdisciplinary approach to teaching yoga. She is trained in many different styles from Vinyasa to Hatha to Yin Yoga to Self-Awakening Therapeutics.  Carina is a certified Pranassage practitioner by the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica, and one of only five practitioners in the State of Washington. She is also a certified Prenatal Yoga teacher. Carina owned and managed Terra Yoga in Issaquah for 10 years. She is now focusing her energies on training other teachers, and sharing her passion for yoga with a broader community at select yoga studios in the Seattle area.  Carina’s passion for teaching is evident in her interdisciplinary classes. She creates a supportive, nurturing space that encourages students to safely overcome their fears and limitations by practicing mindfulness.  Her classes are instructional, insightful, and suitable for people of all levels and abilities.

 

Brenda Schornak – Teacher

As part of relocating to Seattle, at the age of 49 Brenda knew she needed to incorporate some type of exercise in her life and she decided to try an Intro Series into yoga.  With a strong belief in the Powers of Spirit and the Universe, the chanting of Om in her first class, Brenda knew she was exactly where she was supposed to be.  She quickly became invigorated with the strength and power that her body developed over a short period of time.  Not only was yoga a form of exercise that Brenda was able to commit to, it was a practice that she began to love.  She  began a daily practice of yoga to further enhance her meditation practice and due to her belief in the power of yoga to connect the Mind, Body and Spirit, the Trinity.  Finding herself laid-off from Corporate America a little over a year later, Brenda decided it was time for a Career Transformation!

For the past two years Brenda has rarely missed a single day of practice. She believes so much in the transformation that yoga can create in an individual’s life, she wants to share it with others.  Brenda completed Ana Forrest 200+ Hour Teacher Training in March of 2010 and Baron Baptiste Level 1 in March of 2011.  Brenda has completed both TAP and Advanced TAP taught by local master teacher Lisa Black as well as many workshops. Brenda continues to be mentored by Dora Gyarmati and has plans on completing Baron Baptiste Level 2.  She currently volunteers with Yoga Behind Bars and teaches at Echo Glen’s Children’s Facility in Snoqualmie weekly.

Regan Pasko – Teacher

Regan began his yoga practice in 2002 at the urging of his physicians to increase his flexibility while training for ultramarathons. Through the years his passions turned from running to yoga, where he discovered a life changing, joyful, dedicated and rewarding practice that he simply needed to share with others.

Regan’s teaching style simply cannot be labeled. He takes what he learns from all his teachers and brings it to his students in a simplistic, almost mechanical way. He builds his students up through each individual class, as well as through their entire lifelong practice, to reach beyond their expectations, allowing them find themselves somewhere new and amazing. Through his training and engineering background Regan’s teaching results in a very hands-on approach breaking down the asana, flow and physical adjustments to their most basic foundation. Regan is strongly influenced by Jonathan Bowra (of Forrest Yoga) both through being a student of his and through his ongoing specialized training. He completed a teacher training with Baron Baptiste and teaching assistance programs with local master teacher Lisa Black. He continues his training and practice by attending intensive sessions with master teachers such as Anna Forrest, Simon Park, Jason Crandell and Ed Clark.

Through the growth in his practice Regan found that accomplishments on the mat do lead to exciting and new things in life, giving oneself new found confidence and personal respect. Therefore he teaches with a belief that anyone can achieve, urging everyone to try something new, just one small step at a time.

Spira-Yoga-Studio-SusieSusie Brown – Teacher

Susie  began her yoga journey when she moved from Pittsburgh to Seattle in 2005.  Always curious about yoga, she walked into her first class and has never been the same since.  She was instantly hooked, finding the balance of peace and strength extremely powerful, not only for the physical body but for heart and soul.  Susie is honored to have the opportunity to share and spread her love for this beautiful practice with her students and the community everyday.

By marrying the body to the breath and cultivating a dynamic physical flow, you’ll receive workout like no other.  Remember that when you live fully from the heart anything is possible.

Susie is currently studying under Dora Gyarmati.  She has trained with Baron Baptiste and has completed Level One and Level Two Teacher Trainings.

Marva Benjamin – Teacher

Marva began her yoga experience/journey in 1999, inSeattle.  and have been teaching since 2003 at several studios throughout theSeattlemetropolitan area. Her certification consists of over a year of training…and continuous education and influences through various workshops and teachers such as: Shiva Rea, Katarina Wen, Baptiste, Bryan Kest, John Friend, and Beryl Bender Birch. She also studied Ashtanga yoga in Mysore,India, with Master teacher, Sri Sheshadri, and hosted yoga retreats in her second home on the beautiful island of Barbados. She loves to guide students through invigorating, challenging and encouraging yoga classes. Her passion is to teach energetic classes from the heart, with nurturing instructions, that flows into a powerful and graceful practice.

You will often hear her reveal one of her mottos while students are in Chair pose:“Okay everyone, let’s get those sit bones down, Happy Hour hasn’t started yet, so off the bar stool” Peace, Love, Happiness, Laugh, Live Life…

Tara Colagrossi – Teacher

Tara’s yoga journey began in 2001 while attending college atWashington State University. Though she enjoyed rootin’ for the Cougars, shefound a passion in yoga, trying a variety of styles and classes until she foundthe perfect fit and downward dog in vinyasa power yoga. Yoga has always been a constant in Tara’s life.  With a supportive husband, two beautiful children, Annabelle and Anthony and a fast-paced work life, yoga continues to be grounding and relaxing. It’s an opportunity to connect to herself, to feel alive, to simply breathe and to truly inhabit her body.  She is grateful for the opportunity to give back to this supportive and inspiring community and honored to share her love for the practice.

Tara stretched and namasted her way to earn a 500 hour yoga certification through Yoga Works and has also completed the Teacher Assisting Program (TAP) with Lisa Black.  She is currently studying under Dora Gyarmati and Valerie Kardonsky.  When she’s not on her mat, she’s enjoying her family and two beagles, Max and Cooper.

mara newheadshot 2Mara Solar  – Teacher

Mara was introduced to yoga in 2005 when her college dance teacher incorporated chaturanga during a warm up. Intrigued, she took her first power yoga class at the Baptiste studio in Boston and though at one point she thought the class just might kill her, she’ll never forget the peace she found upon reaching that first savasana. Thrilled at having found a workout that not only complemented her dance training, but also calmed her mind, she began exploring numerous styles and teachers to find the right fit for her practice. When Mara found Spira, she found her home and knew yoga was meant to be an integral part of her life. She completed her 200 hour teacher training at Spira under the tutelage of Dora Gyarmati, Brenda Schornak, and Jenniferlyn Chiemingo and immediately went on to mentor with Valerie Kardonsky.

As a longtime dancer, Mara has dealt with and worked through many debilitating injuries and believes yoga offers a freedom to explore the amazing abilities of the body regardless of any limitations we think we may have. When she’s not practicing, Mara can be found singing and dancing onstage in musicals around town. She continues to study and grow with Dora and all the wonderful teachers at Spira.

amy4Amy Starner – Teacher

Amy grew up in Missoula, MT. She began dancing at the age of 5 and never stopped. After graduating with a BFA in Dance Performance, she spent the next 15 years as a professional dancer in Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Indianapolis, and abroad. Looking for a transition out of performing, Amy completed her MFA in Dance & Choreography at UC-Irvine in 2006, followed by completing a certification in the Pilates Method. She then settled in West Seattle with her family and was thrilled to discover Spira Power Yoga, her new second home.

Amy completed Spira Power Yoga 200 hour Teacher Training Program with Dora Gyarmati and she is looking forward to mentoring with Dora to deepen her practice. Amy also finds inspiration from JL Chiemingo.

Amy’s dance background, coupled with many years of teaching movement, has given her a keen ability to truly teach from the inside out; not just making asana, but feeling what’s happening inside your body. While she enjoys the physical “work-out” that Power Yoga can provide, she relishes the spiritual “work-in” that only yoga can offer – aligning mind, body & spirit.  Amy invites you to come to your mat, find your breath and honor yourself. Come find your Yoga Glow!

chuckChuck McDonald- Teacher

Chuck started attending Baptiste-Style flow classes at a local gym in 2004 and quickly fell in love with how the practice complemented his regular running and weightlifting.  He took a year off from Yoga to focus on training for long distance running events in 2011, but in early 2012 stopped into Spira Power Yoga at the recommendation of a friend.  After attending the first Spira weekend retreat that year, he immersed himself into yoga to explore how a more frequent practice would benefit his mind and body. Driving home that weekend, he was struck with a tremendous sense of contentment and happiness that he couldn’t put words to. At that point, he switched to Power Yoga as his primary workout. Chuck studied under Dora Gyarmati and Jenniferlyn Chiemingo for teacher training at Spira and continually says how grateful he feels to be able to mentor there with Dora and Susie Brown.
Chuck works in the finance industry and is also a performing musician. He feels his creative pursuits and his practice are essential for providing balance to his work life, which at times can become completely not-at-all-like-yoga.  In additional to taking in an occasional Crossfit class, Chuck can often be found practicing alongside his wife, Kimberly, and spending time with their two growing daughters.

Sarah oneSarah Steinke- Teacher

Sarah first came to yoga as a new mom who needed a way to unwind her body and mind, to catch and connect with her breath. Three beautiful children later–Pierce, Selah, and Elle–she finds great necessity in growing her personal practice! She’s a graduate of Spira’s teacher training program, where she studied with Dora Gyarmati and Brenda Schornack, and she continues to mentor with the Spira community. The blessing given to her by her many teachers–her husband, Paul, being one of them–is in learning to stay, and to breathe. The fundamental and most important benefits of yoga happen not outwardly, in the pose, but inwardly.

Sarah is a poet and teacher who’s work can be found in various literary journals. Her first book, “Words Could Not Make It More True,” came out in 2014 from Finishing Line Press. Sarah’s currently working on a curriculum that combines movement and writing.

YoliYoli Grandjean – Teacher

Yoli discovered joy in movement at a young age, spending her grade school and high school years studying classical ballet. In college, she traded her pink tights for jazz shoes and began taking classes at a Seattle dance studio. That’s where she first encountered yoga. It wasn’t long after establishing a regular yoga practice for herself that Yoli decided she wanted to share yoga with others. She completed a basic teacher training with YogaFit® in 2011 and has been a student of yoga and of teaching ever since. In 2015, she completed Spira Power Yoga’s 200-hour teacher training with Dora Gyarmati. She has also trained in Trauma Sensitive Yoga with David Emerson and Jenn Turner. She continues to explore the connections between yoga, healing, and empowerment.
Though Yoli came to yoga initially as a form of fitness, she now sees it as a way to wellness. She appreciates the ways in which a regular practice cultivates mental and physical strength and flexibility as well as mindfulness. Yoli is grateful for the opportunity to share the experience of yoga with practitioners in the Spira community.

des vsDesiree Wood – Teacher

Desiree Wood began her yoga journey over 13 years ago while studying for her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Washington. As a college student she fell in love with the concept of the mind/body connection that her yoga practice inspired. What especially intrigued Desiree was how calm and renewed she felt after practice and how this feeling continued in her life on and off the mat. After obtaining her BA degree, Desiree moved to California to pursue a career in nursing. Working with patients and their families during severe illness, Desiree became interested in the concepts related to mindfulness and the potential health benefits related to mindfulness training. During her studies she discovered the researcher Dr. Kabat–Zinn a professor of Medicine and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. For the first time her practice of yoga was integrated with that of medical science! By studying the medical research pertaining to mindfulness she is able to help her patients and their families cope better with stress, anxiety and illness.
After working as a critical care nurse for eight years, Desiree went back to school to obtain her doctorate degree in nursing. As part of her thesis project, she conducted one of the first studies looking at helping to teach mindfulness through gentle yoga for patients and families in the hospital during critical illness. Her pilot study is currently being reviewed for publication. In addition, she serves as a member of the integrative and complimentary medicine group at the University of Washington Medical Center and holds quarterly trainings for medical staff on mindfulness-based stress reduction. Currently she works as a Nurse Practitioner caring for veterans, a career she is honored to have.

Last year, Desiree became a certified yoga instructor having completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Spira Yoga in West Seattle and studies under Dora Gyarmati and Carina Terra. She continues to take workshops and teacher trainings on yoga and is developing curriculum for Spira’s upcoming 300-hour Teacher Training in 2016. Her yoga teaching philosophy is rooted in the concepts of pathophysiology and mindfulness. Desiree believes in the healing powers that can be found through the yoga traditions and provides a holistic/energetic approach to her yoga classes.