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New Lead Yoga Instructors


Lead Yoga Instructors 

Maria Mendola, RNMS, C-IAYT, IYT, e-RYT 500, Professional Yoga Therapist (IYT) and Ayurvedic Health Practitioner. My work helping people overcome dis-ease started in the world of Western medicine as a nurse. However, when I saw and experienced just how powerful the breath is in healing, I knew it was time for me to more fully integrate past learning while seeking a more holistic direction. I sought out and studied with experts in Ayurveda including Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. Robert Svoboda, Dr. Carl Rogue and Dr. Paul Dugliss. I learned Structural Yoga Therapy from Mukunda Stiles, and LePage’s Integrative Yoga Therapy. I also studied trauma release, dance therapy, kinesiology, and homeopathy. For two years, I lived with the Cherokee tribe and studied in depth their shamanic ways. I have been a presenter with Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT) since the late 1990’s and offer a Functional Yoga Therapy training at my studio here in Tucson twice a year.
Website:    Email: [email protected]


Patricia Hillyard, C-IAYT, IYT, e-RYT 500, Professional Yoga Therapist (IYT), Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher and Integral Yoga Instructor. I became a certified Integral Yoga teacher in 1975 studying under Swami Satchidananda and continued my studies of Eastern Philosophy experiencing two (2) spiritual journeys to India with my family. I have chosen the path of natural healing to honor the body as a Temple of God. My background as a Yoga Instructor allows me to help you create a healing place within yourself with visualization and relaxation so that you may tap into that unlimited energy source and enjoy life to the fullest. My compassion for people and desire to nurture others brings me to this present space of service. My approach to a yoga practice is to create a sacred space to honor the body and listen to the teacher within. I offer each class as a prayer.
Website:   Email: [email protected] 


Guest Presenters

Asana Instructors

Sunanda Bruno, Lead Instructor, C-IAYT, IYT, e-RYT 500 is a Yoga Therapist and Somatic Educator. I was originally certified through Jyoti Yoga in 2008. I went on to study yoga therapy with Maria KaliMa and Functional Yoga Therapy and completed my 500 hour Professional Yoga Therapy license through Integrative Yoga Therapy with Lilian and Joseph LePage and received my Trauma Sensitive Yoga Certification with Genevieve Yellin. I continue my yoga therapy studies with Doug Keller and Maria KaliMa. Having a keen interest in the somatosensory nervous-system-movement, sensory processing and reflexes, I specialize in somatic education and integrates both somatics and yoga into my approach to yoga therapy.

Torrey Postal, e-RYT 200, YACEP, Neurogenic YogaTM Teacher, BA, MLS Torrey comes from a classical ballet dance background and has 13 years of experience teaching Yoga. Her classes are an eclectic, easy-going experience; weaving yoga poses, release work and breath to address the needs of the whole person. Her Functional Yoga Therapy training allows her to address physical imbalances and to create more ease within the body; improving posture, balance, strength, flexibility, circulation and the ability to breathe more deeply. She is one of 13 people, worldwide, certified to teach Neurogenic YogaTM (also known as Tremor Yoga). This specialized form of yoga allows students to let go of everyday stress patterns as well as physical and emotional trauma in a safe, controlled environment.

Meara Bielle, e-RYT 200 is a passionate Yogini and Holistic Healer. She has been a student of yoga since 1996 and leading practice since 2011. Meara is well known for offering deep practices with an emphasis on modifications and making yoga accessible for everyone, regardless of limitations. Her intuitive teaching style guides students on a journey of self exploration as they discover the uniqueness of their physical and energetic bodies through anatomical acceptance, stillness, and movement. Meara completed her 200 hour Teacher Training at The Yoga Connection in Tucson, received her Yin Yoga certification with Joe Barnett, and has studied with a variety of instructors in Arizona and the Pacific Northwest. She currently leads classes at Canyon Ranch and Om Yoga Studio in Tucson.

Philosophy Instructors

Frank Jude Boccio, I am a Certified Yoga Teacher and Ordained Zen Buddhist Teacher, I am the author of 'Mindfulness Yoga: The Awakened Union of Breath, Body, and Mind', integrating the movements and postures of hatha-yoga with the Buddha's essential mindfulness instructions. I teach at Tucson Yoga, where he also is the Guiding Teacher of the Tucson Mindfulness Practice Community. While I have studied with many yoga teachers in a variety of styles and approaches, including Iyengar, Anusara, Astanga, Integral and Kundalini, I received formal certification as a Preventive and Rehabilitative Yoga Teacher/Therapist through The Bateman Institute in New York City. I was also certified through the 750-hour program of the Yoga Research and Education Center, under the direction of Georg Feuerstein.

Sanjay Manchanda, MA, PhD LMFT I have been studying meditation and yoga for over twenty-five years. I studied Vipassana with Shinzen Young for many years, and then with other teachers in traditions such as Zen, Advaita Vedanta, Tibetan Buddhism and Devotional Hinduism. I left my job as a Computer Science professor in 1991 and went back to my native India for my own spiritual journey. There I was initiated by Poonjaji, a disciple of Ramana Maharishi in the Advaita (Non-dual) tradition. I came back to the US and studied Process Psychology with Arnold Mindell. I responded to an inner calling to work with people by becoming a psychotherapist and meditation teacher. My teaching employs both mindfulness and active inquiry to help students gain insight into the true nature of self and world. My teaching methods are characterized by a confluence of various wisdom streams of the East and West. It is an integral approach to spirituality that includes all aspects of lived experience. I have a private practice in integral psychotherapy in combination with neurofeedback training for the brain.

Tamara Lee Standard, e-RYT 500 Founder of the Modern Mystic Yoga Academy in Tucson, Arizona, has been teaching yoga since 2001, and has led yoga teacher trainings. In 2014, she completed a 3-year meditation retreat in which she was able to experiment with yoga, in-depth on a daily basis in remote wilderness. During her retreat she employed the scientific application of the yogic lifestyle and her various trainings in Kundalini, Anusara, Vinyasa Yoga & Buddhism along with a willingness to listen to and apply inner wisdom. This experience gives her a unique perspective and ability to assist others in developing their personal yoga practice. She is an Evolution Specialist, meaning she empowers and supports one way to enlightenment: your own. Her offerings include: Mystic Yoga, Modern Mystic YTT’ s & sacred journeys and Mystic Evolution Coaching.

Nancy Bower, e-RYT 500, YACEP, IYT My yoga journey began in 1971, using a small book with pictures and few instructions. In 1998 I began teaching yoga in Virginia and Arizona. My studies led me to Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda. I am qualified as E-RYT500, YACEP by the Yoga Alliance, certified in Yoga for Stress Management with Integral Yoga at Yogaville, VA., certified as a yoga therapist with Integrative Yoga Therapy and I have studied Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM. I also study somatic movement modalities. I currently practice yoga and live life informed by Ayurvedic guidelines and neuro-muscular movement modalities. My teaching style is gentle, thorough and therapeutic.

Anthony Tribe, PhD, e-RYT 200 Anthony started practicing yoga in the mid 1970s in London, UK. After studying with B.K.S. Iyengar in India, in 1979 he became certified as an Iyengar teacher and taught in England and Europe for sixteen years before moving to the US. As well as teaching regular classes, he led weekend workshops and residential yoga retreats. Since arriving in Tucson, he has also studied within the tradition of T.K.V. Desikachar. In the 1980s, involvement in Buddhism led Anthony back to academic study and a doctorate in Indian Buddhism from Oxford University. After teaching briefly at Oxford, he moved to the University of Montana, Missoula, where he worked as a professor of Asian Studies. At present, in addition to teaching posture based classes, he combines his backgrounds to lead workshops on the Yoga Sūtras, Sanskrit, and the history and philosophy of yoga. He believes that a grasp of Yoga’s roots is of value and importance in understanding and deepening our practice. He has been teaching on 200 hour and advanced teacher trainings in Tucson since 2009. As a scholar Anthony is interested in traditions of tantric Buddhist yoga. His most recent publication is “Tantric Buddhist Practice in India: Vilāsavajra’s commentary on the Mañjuśrī-nāmasaṃgīti” (Routledge 2016). He is also a co-author of “Buddhist Thought: A complete introduction to the Buddhist tradition” (2nd edition, Routledge 2012), which has been translated into Italian, Czech, Korean and Spanish. 

Other Instructors

Cynthia Russel, e-RYT 200, RYT 500, DMA in music education began teaching yoga in 2011, when she transitioned from a 30 year career in music education and vocal performance. She received her 200 and 300 hour teacher training from the Yoga Connection and specializes in the exploration of sound in yoga, traditionally called Nāda Yoga.

Donna Goodhart, e-RYT-500 has been practicing yoga since 1970. The greater part of her training since 2002 has been in the T. Krishnamacharya lineage through his son T.K.V. Desikachar, and family. Donna was one of few worldwide to become a certified yoga instructor in 2006 by Mr. TKV Desikachar in their inaugural certification of non-Indian teachers at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram – a Yoga Education and Healing Center in Chennai, India. She then participated in their first international 5 year coursework for Yoga Therapist Training. The focus of her study, practice and teaching is to maintain the integrity of the ancient teachings while availing the myriad tools of yoga as healing and transformational paradigm to individuals in their everyday modern lives. Donna also developed and directed the former Providence Institute’s yoga teacher-training program. Currently she teaches primarily with at-risk youth in a charter school setting, and privately she offers Vedic chanting. She has also worked with populations that range from addiction recovery, sexual trauma victims, women and teens with eating disorders, and at the Southern Arizona VA to aid veterans suffering from PTSD.

Rose Kress, e-RYT 500 Master LifeForce Yoga Practitioner, Mentor, Yoga Therapist, Reiki 2, and Wellness Coach has been practicing yoga since 1994 and teaching since 2004. She considers it her calling to bring healing to all through yoga, reiki, essential oils and nutrition.
Rose began her studies with Amy Weintraub, author of Yoga for Depression, in 2003 and after years of support and work she was able to overcome chronic pain and an anxiety disorder. As a result of her personal transformation, Rose works to bring the healing aspects of yoga to anyone seeking relief. She focuses on therapeutic Yoga, especially LifeForce Yoga for Mood Management and Yoga for Structural Wellness.

Hila Granger, AHE, CAT, PKS is a Plant based Chef for over a decade. Hila Granger comes from a “food as medicine” approach. She graduated from the California College of Ayurveda in 2011 as a Certified Ayurvedic Health Educator and Practitioner, Certified Ayurvedic Bodyworker and Pancha Karma Specialist. She owns her own practice, Elemental Alchemy Ayurveda, which focuses on health and wellness coaching as well as catering and private cooking classes. She also has over a decade of experience in Astrology. Her passion is to help you discover the recipe of “You.’

Claire Sheridan, RYT 200 Originally from the east coast, Claire relocated to Tucson because she loves EVERYTHING about the desert. She is fond of telling people she came here to “dry out” after living in Seattle for eight years. Some of her interests include: hiking, mountain biking, cooking, and gardening. A former criminal justice professional, victim service provider, long time yoga practitioner, and certified instructor, Claire blends her knowledge of yoga with her experience in trauma and crisis intervention into a consultant and life coaching practice. She loves canines, with a special affinity for large bully breed dogs, and uses this love as a platform to write for The Tucson Dog magazine. In addition to being vinyasa certified, Claire is also a Yoga Nidra teacher in the tradition of Dr. Marc Halpern. She firmly believes that if you can breathe, you can practice yoga. Her yoga goal is to help spread its many benefits as widely as possible.

Michael Pellegrino, RYT 200 I am a certified yoga instructor, trained at the Kripalu and a Spiritual Director, trained at the Tacheria School of Spiritual Direction. I am a certified Rolfer, trained at The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration in Boulder, Colorado. I am also a Craniosacral Therapist, certified through the Colorado Cranial Academy. I feel blessed for the opportunity to collaborate with others in this profound experience of healing, maturing and growth. An important part of my life is participating in the Global Chant and Sacred Space Communities, as well as participating and facilitating yoga and spiritual practice workshops. I thoroughly enjoy and am grateful to live in the natural wonder in and around Tucson.

Rev. Teresa Cowan Jones Sacred Space director Teresa Cowan Jones is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and serves as Executive Director of the Breakthrough Leadership Institute, a transformational leadership and community development initiative. She is also an executive and personal coach, spiritual director, owner of TC Jones Coaching, instructor at the Center for Integrative Medicine, faculty for the Hesychia School for Spiritual Direction, a fellow in the Public Voices Fellowship, and founder of The Compassion Coalition. Author of over one hundred tools for effectiveness, Teresa holds a B.S. in Psychology and a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University (1996). A professionally trained coach, Teresa has served as coach and faculty of the Center for Progressive Leadership, a national nonpartisan leadership organization developing high-potential political leaders who can affect policy-making. Teresa also developed and taught university courses in sociology and has twenty years of professional experience in leadership development in both the public and private sectors.

Tom Mendola, RYT 500 Tomas is an instructor for over three decades, He is a certified yoga teacher who has presented at yoga festivals, teacher trainings and workshops around Arizona. He is president of the Tucson Peace Center and CEO of Harmony and Health Foundation that is currently engaged in sustainable community models based on the yoga precepts. He believes humanity is evolutionary inclined to awaken. The yoga tradition has provided one clear pathway to that awakening.

Amanda Freed, LMT, RYT, CMT Amanda is a licensed massage therapist and certified yoga and meditation teacher in Tucson Arizona. After graduating from the Swedish Institute of NYC in 1988 Amanda found herself drawn more deeply to eastern studies including yoga and meditation with Native American tribes, academic scholars and world renowned yoga and meditation experts. She has been a highly respected yoga instructor for over 10 years and is a senior member of an esoteric meditation community and is certified to teach meditation through the Mclean Institute in Sedona. Amanda's passion is assisting students and clients in living a fully aligned life. Her method of teaching meditation is fun, easy to learn and honors each individual as an active, thinking human being capable of exploring higher states of consciousness.

Jaimie Perkunas, DPT, e-RYT, C-IAYT Jaimie has been working in Physical Therapy since 1998 and has been practicing yoga since 2000. Jaimie graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Des Moines University in 2005. She did her first yoga teacher training in June 2006 with Manju Jois in Ashtanga yoga. She then started to incorporate yoga and physical therapy into outpatient and inpatient settings. Jaimie is a Relax and Renew Trainer for restorative yoga with Judith Hansen-Lasater. She has completed a 100 hour Happy Back Certification and 100-hour mentorship with Rachel Krentzman. Jaimie’s passion is to share her deep understanding of the body with her unique therapeutic approach to yoga. She wrote a book Therapeutic Answers to Common Yoga Pose Questions. Jaimie owns a yoga studio called Yoga is Therapy in Tucson, AZ and has her own private practice combining yoga and physical therapy techniques

Introductory Special:

$35 for 5 Classes | $65 for 10 Classes | $10 drop-in | $5 drop-in with student ID

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