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Intermediate/Advanced


This class is taught by:

Jim Coughlin

Jim was introduced to yoga in 1967 at the age of 10. He began practicing yoga in earnest in 1993. Jim has traveled to India extensively to expand his knowledge of yoga with his teacher H.S. Arun. Jim teaches yoga with a sense of humor and grounded in the fundamentals of the Yoga Sutra's of Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita, and the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar.

Jim was born in Buffalo, New York in 1957, and has lived in California since 1964. Jim's "other" career has been as an executive recruiter. He has managed and owned several staffing companies since 1989. He also has worked as a career counselor and outplacement consultant.

In 2005 Jim had the privilege of traveling to India several times over the next three years. It was during this time that he met his beloved teacher and friend Yoga Praveena H.S. Arun from Bangalore, India.

You will find Jim practicing at the studio at 6:00 a.m. every day except Sundays when he sleeps in and teaches the 8:30 a.m. class.

In addition to the above, Jim manages the business of the yoga studio, including building our online presence and community. If you have comments or suggestions as to how we could make this site better, please let Jim know.

Check out Jim's Yoga Blahgasana.

Marilyn Steppe

I am a 2008 graduate of Downtown Yoga’s Advanced Studies/Teacher Training program and am finishing up the 500 hour program, also at Downtown Yoga. (2013). I been practicing Yoga since 2000 and teaching since 2008. In addition, I am a practicing Family Practice Physician but currently work part time in Occupational Medicine. I also hold a Masters degree in sports performance enhancement and sports injury prevention.

I am a martial artist and have earned a black belt in Shaolin Kenpo Karate and currently study the Japanese martial art, Aikido. I initially studied Yoga to improve my flexibility for Karate, but as we know, Yoga becomes a life of its own.

This varied background allows me to approach Yoga with a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology (which I love and use in my teaching), as well as understanding the individuality of each body, the concept of centering, and the importance and use of energy and breath in our practice. To paraphrase New York Yoga teacher Cyndi Lee, “The body provides an obstacle for the curious mind to grow stronger and more stable. The pendulum swing of putting our body through various asana and the accompanying stabilization becomes smaller and smaller until finally the body, mind, and heart become integrated….and that’s Yoga. “

I continue to study with Kate Coughlin and frequently travel to attend retreats, conferences, and workshops to expand my own practice and incorporate new teaching methods.

I was born in North Carolina but grew up in Virginia on a farm with 2 brothers and 2 sisters-as the middle child! I was (and am) an avid horse lover. I married my husband half way through medical school in Virginia in 1977. We have 2 daughters, a son, 2 granddaughters, and my daughter’s brilliant service dog, Walter the Wonder Dog.

My husband and I love to sail, scuba dive, collect wine, explore other cultures, and of course study and practice Yoga. We bareboat charter a sailboat every year and have visited such places as Tahiti, Tonga, Greece, Belize, Italy and New Zealand among others.

In short, we love to live and experience life.

Main Focus of Intermediate Yoga
1) To assist the student in finding ease in all 65 poses in the Beginner/Intermediate syllabus.
(including building stamina and duration in all inverted poses).
2) To assist the student in developing and deepening his or her personal practice towards a daily practice (either at the studio – or at the student’s home at his or her own pace and level.)
3) To add an additional 35 new poses to the student's repertoire. Learn more about our Pose Syllabus here.
Why is the emphasis on the Intermediate class towards building stamina and a daily yoga practice?
The physical benefits of yoga are many including: increased flexibility, strength, increased range of motion, vitality and more. Yet the main benefit that comes from practicing yoga is peace of mind. Students tell us how the bombardment of their “life’s circumstances” haven’t changed, yet they feel a new sense of peace and ease as they continue with the yoga practice. This is not a random phenomenon or coincidence, but rather a direct benefit and result of having the student work at all ends of his or her physical spectrum. Yoga is a practice of balancing and eliminating dualities. This balance only comes after time and sustained practice. Yoga is not a “quick-fix” – but rather must be practiced as a way of life – a lifestyle.
This is a deep and constant theme in the yogic literature. In Sanskrit the saying is: “Abhayasa Vairaghyabhyam Tannnirodah.” This translates as: “The constant and sustained practice of detachment, over a long period of time, extinguishes the disturbances that prevent peace of mind.”

Upcoming classes:

  • Sun Oct 22 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Oct 29 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Nov 05 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Marilyn Steppe
  • Sun Nov 12 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Nov 19 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Nov 26 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Dec 03 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Dec 10 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Dec 17 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Dec 24 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Dec 31 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Jan 07 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Jan 14 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Jan 21 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Jan 28 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Feb 04 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Feb 11 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin
  • Sun Feb 18 8:30 am - 10:00 am with Jim Coughlin