Instructors

 

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Angie Poon

Angie Poon

I began my yoga practice in 2001 with Bikram and over the years, with stress from work and traveling, my practice became less frequent.  I found myself always wanting to go back, and every time I did, I suffered from infrequent practice and an uneasy transition back to the 110F heat of the room.  During my 9 month sabbatical, upon reflection of my unbalanced lifestyle of work and travel, I decided that I needed to change the flow of my life by creating a more balanced and solid foundation. I loved the heated aspect of Bikram, but not particularly at 110F, so when I found heated Vinyasa Flow at 90F – I fell in love with yoga all over again.  From my own practice, in the last few years, I found inner strength from my heart.  This transformation and bliss allowed me to start a new career with an open mind and open heart.  I wanted to share my life changing experiences with others, so I decided to teach yoga to anyone who wanted to learn.  As I continue to learn each day through my own practice, I hope to encourage, nurture, and empower students with my words.  I’ve always believed that once you’ve recognized your true Self, the whole yoga practice will come to you.

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Michael Athanas

Michael Athanas

With a Ph.D. in Physics, Michael spent nearly a decade exploring the fundamental structure of matter at particle accelerator laboratories around the world. He finds yoga philosophy & asana to complement to his stringent scientific profession – both work in tandem to increase energy, focus, and awareness. By assimilating his scientific background with yoga physiology, he presents a new grounded perspective on the practice.  The challenging flow of Michael’s classes will leave you feeling strong and centered – his approach to teaching will develop flexibility, strength, and confidence.

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Nate James

Nate James

Nate James

I began this journey, as a 6 year old, by imitating Bruce Lee and Conan-the barbarian moves. I wanted my parents to enroll me into some kind of Karate! There were no programs available, so they signed me up for the little league Wrestling team.  It was destiny!   I left High School by making it to the state finals 3 times, grabbing 2 titles, and multiple national rankings. I would later leave Lindenwood University with 3 All-American finishes at the National tournament.  After a brief stint in the workforce & growing bored by the gym ‘rat race’, I found Mixed Marital Arts (MMA) by way of Jiu Jitsu.  I had my first fight shortly after and was hooked!

Yoga has been the perfect addition to my training, it has helped me to become more in tune with my body. Yoga allows me to relax, reflect, and give attention to my finer movements.  I’ve been in San Jose, California since April 2008. I study my Kickboxing with Andy Fong, my Jiu-Jitsu with Dave Camarillo, & Wrestling with Daniel Cormier. …And -Vinyasa Flow-@ Just Breathe Yoga.

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Kayla Mendez

Kayla Mendez

Kayla discovered grace on the mat as a way to counteract the strains of classical ballet and competitive dancing in 1999. Since then, her asana practice has developed into a dharma of discovery. It has become clear that the past is written and cannot be erased; the future has yet to be drafted; only in the present moment can we truly be alive.  Practicing and teaching internationally over the past 3 years, Kayla is a 200-hr Yoga  Alliance Registered Teacher with over 250 hours of teaching experience.  Currently, she is studying under Janet Stone in San Francisco to earn her 500-hr certificate in the Five Elements training program.  Kayla’s true passion is guiding those on the path of yoga to encounter the stillness between life’s rises and falls by connecting prana and movement, removing boundaries and embracing vulnerability on and off the mat. As an instructor, she hopes to invite practitioners to  establish sustainable expansion; encouraging students to look beyond all that which separates, binds, limits or constrains. Kayla’s classes are infused with mantra, cadence and community; stimulating awareness through powerful yet nurturing sequencing paired with attentive guidance; she humbly bows with overwhelming gratitude to all of her teachers and fellow practitioners along the way that have shed light upon this beautiful dharma she has been blessed with.

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Monique Wright

Monique Wright

Monique Wright

Over the past few years Monique has dedicated herself to the daily practice of yoga, which has transformed her life both mentally and physically.  The practice of yoga allows Monique to feel strong, beautiful and have an undeniable connection with herself.   Through Just Breathe Yoga Rivermark, under the direction of Noell Clark & Angie Poon, Monique completed her 200 hour Hatha-Vinyasa certification and is a registered yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance.  She guides her classes with a humble and soulful heart that you cannot help but feel through her movements and artistic playlists that she customizes.  Monique is excited to share her love of yoga with the community while creating a mystical space for others to find their inner peace through yoga.

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Tara Shambaugh

Tara Shambaugh

Tara Shambaugh

Tara was first introduced to yoga as a way to relieve stress while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique in 2008. However, the static poses she learned from Gaiam flashcards weren’t put together in a Vinyasa flow until she returned home. It was during her pregnancy with her son that she finally made a deeper connection with yoga and all the positive benefits it brought her mind and body.
Tara completed her 200 hour teacher training in Hatha-Vinyasa in June 2013, under the instruction of Angie Poon and Noell Clark. She loves that yoga is a lifelong journey and that through mindfulness of breath and its connection with asana a person can become more aware of who they truly are. She encourages students to smile, breathe deeply, play with new poses, and leave class with a positive outlook on life!

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Hsiao-Lin Wang

Hsiao-Lin Wang

Hsiao-Lin Wang

Yoga came to Hsiao-Lin’s life in 2010 when she was seeking for ways to relief stress and to balance her life and work.  Through her regular yoga practice over the years, she finds herself not only growing stronger physically, but also becoming more spiritually enlightened.  In 2012, she brought her yoga journey to the next level.  She completed 200-Hour Hatha-Vinyasa certification with Noell Clark and Angie Poon at Just Breath Yoga Rivermark.  Hsiao-Lin  is very excited to share her love of yoga, her transformation from yoga, and her enthusiasm about yoga with her classes.  Come and join her for energizing yet relaxing, mindful yet joyful classes.

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Candace E.

Candace E.

Candace E. is now local to the San Jose, CA area. and has been practicing yoga for the better part of 16 years. She has found passion in the art of knowing ones self. Through the arts of Yoga, Thai yoga, and even Bellydance, Candace strives to find connection with Self and to explore the full potential of our instruments (physical bodies). Since reaching her yoga teacher certification during the spring of 2011 and attending the 8 Elements Initiation program in Portland OR 2014, Candace has been inspired to lead a practice that will help inspire others to grow safely in their personal practice. She is thrilled to be helping individuals explore their physical potential with this ancient exercise. Through a variety of classes she is reaching out to all body types and experience levels so come explore what yoga has to offer.

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Phoenix Bick-Maurischat

Phoenix Bick-Maurischat

Formerly a competitive dancer, Phoenix discovered yoga as a path to recovery from her dance injuries, and has found through her practice, both a joy of movement and a stress reliever. Phoenix completed her 200-Hour Hatha-Vinyasa teacher training with Noell Clark and Angie Poon. She is Yoga-Alliance certified and has had the privilege of teaching in a variety of settings including local community events, schools, and several yoga studios around the Bay Area. Phoenix leads a dynamic upbeat class with the flexibility to adjust pacing and poses to meet her students’ varying skill levels. As an avid music lover, Phoenix also enjoys sharing funky, customized playlists in her classes.

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Marisa Freeden

Marisa Freeden

Marisa spent ten years practicing yoga casually, but it was after the birth of her twin daughter and son that she really connected to her practice. Suffering from post-partum ailments on the body such as  severe joint pain, backache and the fatigue and stress associated with being a new parent, Marisa turned to  yoga to regain strength and alleviate many of the negative effects pregnancy has on the body.

Inspired by the many wonderful teachers she’s through the years and the dramatic changes she saw not only physically, but in my mind, heart and spirit, she chose to leave behind a corporate career in the technolgy field to pursue the path of a Yoga Instructor. She currently teaches at Just Breathe Yoga in Santa Clara, City Sports Gym and Norcal CrossFit working unique Vinyasa combinations into recovery for athletes.   Her classes are fun, flowy and upbeat with sequences that beginners can build on and advanced yogi’s can master!  She believes Yoga is for everyone and her classes reflect that.

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Erica Johnson

Erica Johnson

In 2006 Erica Johnson moved to the Bay Area from her childhood home in Yosemite National Park. She found refuge in yoga after a severe knee injury in 2009 that took her away from her first loves; teaching and performing as a dancer. Movement and artistic expression through the body in motion has always been a large part of her spirit. During her recovery, Erica dove head first into yoga, falling in love with the power of the mind and body connection. She found she was doing things that her doctors had told her she most likely would never do again. Yoga healed her internally and externally, and since then she has worked hard to share her passion and love for yoga with everyone.   Erica completed her 200-Hour Hatha-Vinyasa certification with Angie Poon and Noell Clark at Just Breathe Yoga @ Rivermark.

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Erica Paul

Erica Paul

Erica started her yoga practice at home with beginner DVD’s, then a year later expanded her practice at her local gym.  When her life came to a point in which she felt her mind, body, soul, and breathe had lost spirit she hesitantly signed up for the 2-week introductory offer at Just Breathe Yoga in Rivermark Plaza.   Within the first year Erica felt her spirit slowly return to her, and with her passion ignited she started sharing her yoga spirit through volunteering at women’s retreats and assisting other instructors around the world.

Erica is a global yogini, her formalized 200-Hour yoga instructor training was with Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica.    Erica has studied and practiced in Bali, Mexico, Hawaii, New York, and various studios in Northern and Southern California.  Erica is familiar with and often incorporates a variety of global styles such as Self-Awakening Yoga, Restorative, Yin, Iyengar, Power, Hatha, and Five Rhythms.

Erica teaches yoga from her heart in which she pairs her intuition, experience, and compassion into facilitating a global fusion of global vinyasa flow, knowledge, heart, and soul to meet the needs of the participants.  The yoga practice is about breathe and each breathe signifies life.

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Ishmael Sonico

Ishmael Sonico

Ishmael Sonico

Ishmael’s path as a Yogi began 10 years ago when neighbors introduced him to the peaceful practice.  In November 2009, the practice became an integrated part of his life as a means of achieving an internal and external balance without the pressure of competition.  As a graduate in Chemical Engineering from UCSD and then working in the sometimes stressful field (as many jobs/occupations can be), Yoga allowed his mind to relax and flow freely with life.  For Ishmael, Yoga provided the breath (Prana), concentration (Dharana) and contentment (Santosha) of self as a way of acknowledging personal efforts and knowing that in the here and now everyone is okay.  The internal and external balance created from the practice allowed him to find peace in any place, even in this sometimes loud and quick paced confusion called life.

Given the mental and physical benefits that he discovered in Yoga, Ishmael decided that sharing his experience would benefit friends, family, and community.  In April 2010, he completed his 200 plus hours of Teacher Training Certification at CorePower Yoga in Aliso Viejo, California.  During his training he guided various classes with individuals in large corporations, southern California communities, as wells as friends and family.  In May 2010 he created Chakra 4 Yoga, which is a free class in Laguna Beach dedicated to the fellow CorePower, Spring 2010 Alumni, the students that he guided while getting certified, and Orange County community members.  The classes continue and are organized remotely from Santa Clara, California where Ishmael currently resides.  Sharing Yoga leads to great things and that is where Ishmael found Just Breathe Yoga, a place where he will continue to guide yoga and share positive energy through breath and yoga postures (asanas).