I can thank one of my oldest friends for my introduction to yoga. Friend + Groupon = 2013 first practice. I was enthralled and haven’t stopped since. My practice and teaching are inspired by humor, strength, persistent tenacity and connection.
The opportunity to explore teaching came at a time of transition. I was going to tackle something and had to choose between something with which I was familiar and something entirely new. Many, many hours of training later I can thank the experience for deepening my yoga practice and improving how I communicate, both inside and outside of the studio. I enjoy learning from every yogaRIOT instructor.
I’m trying everyday to be a better person and leader and I’m grateful for the opportunity grow along with the yogaRIOT community!
I began a daily hot yoga practice in 2000 in response to my body breaking. It was the last thing I could do that didn’t hurt. I had always been an athlete and I needed to move, but running, dance, cycling and a lifetime of hard driving had taken a toll on my joints. In my yoga journey I learned how to take care of myself, physically, emotionally, spiritually.
I trained with Karen Abbott, Bikram Choudhury, Baron Baptiste and many other gifted yoga teachers around the world. I am an intuitive and present teacher. I get a kick out of inviting you to play and explore your EDGE on your yoga mat. I believe in yoga as a path to health and wellness and as a tool for presence and authenticity.
My Teacher/Leader Stake is to hold space for you to step up to your edge and grow into your yoga practice in Big Bold ways. I invite you to come and find yourself on your mat.
I started my yoga practice when I was 18 years old. Yoga on YouTube and the occasional gym yoga class were my practice. I loved the practice for keeping me in shape and incidentally, it was the perfect practice of self-love and balance my life needed in-between acting classes and casting calls. I took a job teaching acting and modeling to children and found myself using yoga in my curriculum to implement calm and focus; it was then that I considered learning to teach yoga to take that idea further.
When I moved to Portland I finally found the yoga community I desired in yogaRIOT. I took one class with Annie and signed up for the Karma program with the intention of taking yoga teacher training. Two years later, after a consistent practice under my belt and familiarity with the studio, I felt it was time for yoga teacher training! I was ready for the next step in my life, I was curious to learn more about yoga and about myself and ways to use it in my performing arts teaching. I feel so grateful to have studied and learned from Annie and Kari at yogaRIOT.
My practice continues to be inspired by many things. What started out as a way to stay in shape turned into medicine for my mind, spirit, and body. Yoga is a daily practice for me and something I intend to do always. My teaching is inspired by the gifts I received from yoga and my yoga teachers- a way to be present, be calm, be with yourself as you are, celebrate what your body is capable of, and being a YES to new and challenging things. Yoga has become one of my many passions in life alongside my family and friends and the performing arts.
I have always been in love with the art of movement. I was introduced to yoga in college. I received my first yoga teacher certification and fell in love with the beautiful ways the body and mind powerfully move together. Since then I have completed and assisted many teacher trainings, Power Vinyasa, and Prana Flow.
I believe that everyone has something to teach us. I will continue to crave knowledge and experience to enhance my practice and empower others in theirs. I became a teacher because yoga transformed my life. That vibrant energy needs to be shared with everyone! I believe in creating a loving, open space where students will be challenged while having fun.
I celebrate knowing that I help people discover strength, flexibility, and the opportunity to grow.
As my yoga practice expanded to 5 or 6 days a week, I learned how to remove old patterns and beliefs and move into self-discovery. I learned as much as I could about yoga by attending workshops regularly along with my weekly yoga practice. I discovered a way to move my body through a series of poses, along with breath-work to release emotional stress and outdated thinking that no longer served me. Additionally, I learned about asana, alignment, yoga philosophy and breath work (pranayama) which inspired me to share with others.
Jerreal (Flow) Wilson
My name is Jerrelle Wilson but I also go by Jerreal Flow. This name is symbol of not only how I teach but also how I live my life. I find it imperative to teach students the real things about yoga. As I teach students about alignment, breath and postures I also teach them about the flow of life inside and outside of class.
As a black man who was raised playing football, running track and doing everything besides dynamic stretching, it surprised it me how much I loved yoga. Yoga has given me the opportunity to showcase that you can break the mold with consistency and dedication. I want to share the opportunity with the world.
I finished my first teacher training in 2015 at I AM YOGA Wellness in Turlock CA. It was here that I learned about hatha, vinyasa, restorative techniques and how in-depth yoga can be. I would soon move to San Diego and begin truly learning how to teach.
In 2018 I had the opportunity to do a 300 hr teacher training in Bali, Indonesia. This training was immersive and taught me more about the subtleties of teaching and the differences between yoga and building a foundation on mobility and strength.
Combining all of these trainings over the years has given me a unique perspective on how to teach and apply it individually to each student. Thank you for allowing me to create a space for you to grow and connect with your breath, body and mind.
At my peak weight, I hit 330 pounds. I decided I absolutely needed to change my life, I wasn’t happy. I knew that discovering physical exercise was important, but I struggled deeply with wanting to move. Most of my life I had been tortured by mean gym teachers. I carried huge amounts of body shame. I tried yoga so many times throughout my early twenties and mostly walked out of more yoga classes than I stayed to take.
It wasn’t until I came to yogaRIOT that I found a home in yoga and with movement in general. Yoga became a form of movement that I could do everyday. It never gets boring, and there is always room for growth and expansion. Practicing yoga has helped to retell the story of my body. Yoga has changed my body and has sharpened my mind. It is my preference to practice in a heated room. Building fire in my body allows me to move with more ease. I teach because it takes my practice to a new level. When I teach, I am learning to explore the poses in other people’s bodies as well as my own. Teaching has empowered me to reach out to people who also struggle with their bodies. I learned to teach from Annie Ory at yogaRIOT. My teaching has been influenced by Baron Baptiste and his method of Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga and I recently became a Baptiste Certified Teacher. Also, every single teacher at yogaRIOT has influenced my practice and understanding of yoga. I am inspired when my students come to yoga to experience their bodies as they are. Also, being willing to do hard work and bearing witness to people changing themselves inside and out.
Aside from teaching yoga, I am a professional chef. I like to cook for large groups and teach individuals how to nourish themselves.
I began practicing yoga when I was 22 in 2002. I was working on my Master of Science in Teaching Music, which was pretty stressful, and intense. My daily bike ride took me by a yoga studio, and I thought, “yoga is silly, who even likes it?” My bike stopped, & locked itself up. I wandered in, and the teacher said, “Oh! You’re right on time for Hatha Yoga. You can practice in what you’re wearing. Enjoy!”. I had just left a lifestyle that had me touring/traveling for 10+ years. I had a yoga practice before, and had injured myself to the point of thinking I’d walk with a cane for the rest of my life. I thought no one would train me to teach, or acknowledge some of the injuries and chronic pain I was living with at the time.
Annie O. at yogaRIOT welcomed me in to training, and I’ve continued to learn from other teachers, and students alike. So far, I’ve learned from talented teachers in many disciplines, and studios around the US, a fun bonus of traveling. I’ve also completed a Yin Yoga training with Ida Riply, which changed my own perception of how alignment shifts pain in my body. I am inspired to teach and practice through the notion that pain will rescind, no one is “stuck” forever, and a little bit of practice every day is good. No one is disqualified from enjoying yoga because of the body they have. Breathe in acceptance, exhale expectations.
Aside from yoga, I love tending my garden, playing music around town, and sleeping.
I first started practicing yoga 15 years ago when I was pregnant with my first daughter, Anamae. I found the movement, mindfulness and connection to breath to be really helpful in calming my fears and strengthening my inner guidance/intuition. As a result, I was able to have a completely natural childbirth at home, and offer my baby a calm, balanced and strong mama!
I received my 200 hour certification in Classical Yoga in 2009, and a 300 hour training in Yoga Therapy in 2014, both from from Ananda Seva Mission in Santa Rosa, CA. Meanwhile, I began to practice with a local Baptiste inspired studio and later began teaching at a Baptiste affiliate studio. I will always appreciate the foundation I received through my initial training, however, I fell in love with the methodology, inquiry and meditation practices and teachers of Baptiste yoga. Most notably, Lisa Ellisen, Leah Cullis, Baron Baptiste and Paige Elenson. I have completed Baptiste Level 1 & 2, and am a certified tier 1 Baptiste Yoga Leader.
My purpose as a teacher is to inspire students to cultivate presence and activate personal power, thereby empowering them to unlock their strength and potential both on and off the mat. My genuine hope is to share my path with others and guide students to live a life of freedom, ease and unlimited possibility!
Yoga & Meditation Teacher
Steven Andrew is a yoga and meditation teacher hailing from Chicago with a passion for creating safe spaces. His alignment-based approach to instruction fosters safety and efficiency within the poses, so that you feel held, supported, and steady enough to explore what else is possible.
In his own sadhana, Steven prefers to take it slow, favoring Hatha, Iyengar or Restorative yoga practices. He meditates daily, reads voraciously, and tries to love as large as his teacher and mentor, Maty Ezraty.
I vividly remember during my junior year of college, I added stretching to my morning routine. I needed something to help get my body get ready for the extremely busy days of that fall semester. I began to watch short stretching videos on YouTube. I don’t remember exactly when, but overtime those stretching videos turned into short yoga videos.
I continued to do the 10 – 15 minute yoga videos each morning to wake up my body. On June 21, 2019 (which happened to be International Day of Yoga, although I did not know it at the time) my roommate in Kentucky invited me to join her and her stepfather for a hot yoga class because she knew I did yoga. I decided to go on a whim! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I felt invigorated and peaceful after class. That one class left me wanting to take more hot yoga classes.
Fast forward a year later, I am teaching those yoga classes! I began my yoga teacher training in 2020. I was apprehensive at first because I was not sure if I was ready; however, my gut told me not to pass up the opportunity. I completed the yogaRIOT teacher training with Annie Ory and Kari Doherty.
My practice and teaching are inspired by Baron Baptiste’s methodology. Moreover, my goal is to empower people on and off the mat through my teaching. I want to open people’s minds to possibility in their poses and life like my teachers have done for me. Another inspiration for my teaching is taking care of our bodies and being patient with ourselves. We have to remind ourselves not only to push ourselves, but also take a break when needed and just breathe.
Aside from yoga, my family and friends are important to me, and I enjoy sharing the yoga with them. The environment is something I also care deeply for. I love being outdoors, and doing my part to protect the environment is essential to me.
Yoga & Meditation Teacher
I first came to power vinyasa yoga in November 2015. It quickly became an organizing force in my life and I jumped into teacher training here at yogaRIOT. As a person with disabling chronic migraines, I have a strong relationship with my body. Yoga gives me something joyful and affirming to do with my body rather than just survive. My teachers have met me where I am and teach to my possibilities, not my limitations. By becoming a yoga teacher, I hope to pass that amazing gift on to others. On my best days, my yoga is a meditation with myself about what more I can do and how much ease I can bring to it.
Thirty years ago, I read a book by actress and spiritual adventurer Shirley MacLaine and decided to teach myself to meditate. From that auspicious beginning, I have practiced and studied with a variety of teachers including Hindu and Yogic scholars, specialized training in my own earth-based spiritual tradition and the silent retreats offered by the Zen tradition. Through it all, I continue to return to my breath, cultivating a practice of stillness, acceptance and compassion.
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