Spira-Yoga-Studio-Instructors

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

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 2000. 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 you can find 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.

Her studies in humanities and sciences what inspired her to write a very unique 200 hours Teacher Training Course for Spira Power Yoga and create an “Introspection Workshop” that is offered once a year at Spira.

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.

Jonathan Bowra- Teacher

Jonathan’s yoga teaching brings together 30 years of personal healing practices such as Yoga, Meditation, Reevaluation counseling, Psychotherapy, Massage and Solo Journeys into wild places.  He has lead yoga workshops and yoga teacher trainings nationally and internationally. His extensive knowledge, experience and intuition have developed him into an accomplished teacher and healer.  Jonathan is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance at 200 hours.

Jonathan began practicing yoga in the Iyengar yoga tradition in 1979. At the time he began yoga he was a member of “Walkabout” Dance Collective, an experimental dance company in San Francisco, mainly focusing on Contact Improvisation dance. “Walkabout” also promoted performance art on the artistic forefront. He was a member of the dance company for 3 years and practiced Iyengar Yoga until 1998.

In 1998 following the completion of the Foundation Teacher Training Course in Santa Monica, California, Jonathan spent 9 years in a full time yoga apprenticeship with his Yoga Master. He traveled with her nationally and internationally as lead assistant in yoga workshops and yoga conferences, co-taught the 24-day Foundation Teacher Training Course, the 10-day Advanced Teacher Training Course and the 5-day Continuing Education For Yoga Teachers Course. Jonathan co-authored the Continuing Education for Yoga Teachers Course, a Mentorship Program and co-created a Assisting Program for yoga teachers and created a yoga Sequencing Forum. His experience teaching hundreds of yoga students to become yoga teachers, assisting thousands of yoga students in their yoga postures, makes him extremely knowledgeable and skilled in posture alignment, injury assessment, pose modification, class structure, class sequencing and personal yoga coaching.

Jonathan is a dedicated practitioner of Zen meditation. He began practicing Zen in 1980 and moved into a residential Zen center in Berkeley, California where he lived for 9 years participating in twice daily meditation session and monthly 3-day retreats. In 1989 he traveled to Korea to sit a 90-day silent meditation retreat at a Zen monastery. Upon completion of the 90-day retreat Jonathan took novice monks precepts retuned to the United States and practiced as a novice monk for 4 years at the Zen school’s head temple in Rhode Island. He has participated in numerous 90-day retreats at Zen temples as well as solo meditation retreats including a 100-day solo yoga and meditation retreat in the mountains of New Mexico. Jonathan follows the teachings of Korean Zen Master, Seung Sahn (author of the books “Dropping Ashes on the Buddha” and “Only Don’t Know”)

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.

Spira-Yoga-Studio-ElizabethElizabeth D Thomas – Teacher

After ‘dabbling’ for 4 years, Elizabeth began practicing yoga in the summer of 2001. Laughing the way through her first group class, she was hooked. In 2007, she found her ‘home’ in the powerful, fluid style of Vinyasa yoga. She credits her practice with healing and supporting her body after a number of serious back injuries. As her body became stronger and more open, she felt her mind and heart begin to change too. She felt a new focus, empathy and joy! After completing her 200 hour teacher training with YogaWorks in May of 2009, she became a Registered Yoga Teacher and began teaching quickly thereafter. Since 2009, She has completed her level 1 training in Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, Teacher Training with Shiva Rea. Elizabeth’s classes are spirited & fun. They reflect her humor and absolute joy in teaching and community building. She believes yoga helps cultivate a compassion and kindness that can ultimately change the world! She is inspired by helping others findand realize their own dreams through the physical practice of yoga.

Spira-Yoga-Studio-LaraLara Ederer – Teacher

Lara was introduced to yoga in 2002 to be the practice student for a friend who was a newly certified teacher.  She left her first class inspired by the physicality of the asanas and the mental clarity from Pranayama breath work.  Over the next several years she ventured in and out of different styles and studios before finding her “home” in Power Vinyasa.  Lara could recognize the profound spiritual and personal growth happening as a result of regular practice and was compelled to want to share it. Lara completed Be Luminous’ 200 hour Teaching Training in May, 2012 so she could deepen her teaching experience as well as knowledge of yoga’s rich history and philosophy.  Lara has completed a Teacher’s Assisting Program (TAP), Teacher Training, and Foundations of Baptiste Yoga with Lisa Black at Shakti East.  In addition she has also completed workshops with Master Teachers Baron Baptiste, Krista and Brock Cahill, Bryan Kest, Amy Ippoliti, Andrey Lappa, and Tiffany Cruickshank.  When she’s off the mat Lara spends time with her husband Mark and her 4 year old son Liam.

 auryel 1Auryel Van Gemert – Teacher

Auryel is devoted to communication and healing through body movement, and has expressed this philosophy through her years as a dancer before her training in yoga, Reiki and massage therapy. Deeply curious about meditation, healing, mysticism and the quest for joy and peace, she found yoga provided a way towards a meaningful life. The heart of Auryel’s asana teaching is a dynamic vinyasa practice, infused with a connection to self-awareness, the ability to inhabit one’s own skin and bones, the opportunity to expand concentration, and meditation and breath practices to relieve the stresses of life. These practices create space for students to feel lighter, brighter and more peaceful. Auryel loves teaching and connecting, and helping people practice yoga in a way that is suited to each individual need.

Many teachers have informed Auryel’s philosophy and practice. First and foremost, her beloved yoga teacher and mentor Lino Alelyunas set her on the path of Bhakti Yoga.  Auryel’s more formal yoga teacher training includes ‘Baptiste Foundations in Action’ and Level 1 & Level 2 Teacher Training, and she also assisted Baron Baptiste with several workshops and week-long teacher trainings. Auryel’s continuing studies in yoga include many amazing teachers who have deeply influenced her teaching: Troy Lucero, Ashtanga Yoga; Edward Clark, Tripsichore Yoga; Andrey Lappa, Universal Yoga; Doug Keller, Anusaura Yoga; and Forrest Yoga.

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!