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OPEN YOGA – Pay What You Can


This class is taught by:

Laura Volsansky

In 2011, Laura started on her path of yoga at the prompting of a physical therapist while working through a sports injury. She was intrigued that many exercises prescribed to heal sport injuries are actual yoga poses. She began her study at Downtown Yoga in Pleasanton under the guidance of director, Kate Coughlin and Jim Coughlin. In 2015, Laura completed the 200 hour Advanced Yoga Studies Program in accordance with the Yoga Alliance.

Laura had the unique opportunity to study yoga in Bangalore, India in 2012 and 2014 with H.S. Arun of Prashant Yogashraya. On her first trip to India, she was thrilled to see B.K.S. Iyengar in person and his teachings remain her source of inspiration. Laura places a focus on relieving daily stresses, finding ways to calm the mind and renew the spirit. Her Iyengar-based yoga instruction includes props to make the practice of yoga all-inclusive and enjoyed by any person, body type or fitness level.

When Laura is not in the office or in the yoga studio, she enjoys the zen of riding her motorcycle and volunteering with her dog in a children’s reading program.

Kavita Patel

Kavita first discovered yoga in college when she was pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. She used yoga in her movement and vocal training. Kavita found that it grounded and relaxed her for performances. Although, it was not until the birth of her first child that she was deeply drawn to yoga. Kavita needed to reconnect with her body and find a place of peace within herself. Yoga has given Kavita that and so much more. She finds solace in her practice and sense of empowerment for having an understanding of how her body moves through space. Kavita recently completed her 200 hour training at Downtown Yoga with Kate Coughlin. She loves to teach because it allows her to share her practice and passion for yoga as a way of life. At home Kavita has two little yogis in training; a 5 year old daughter and a 2 year old son. They give her lots of opportunities to remember to breath and be in the present!

Shauna Lay

Shauna Lay has been studying and teaching yoga for over 13 years. Shauna’s passion for teaching yoga is evident in her classes. Her attentive nature, alignment based teaching, and peaceful approach encourages students to go deep with awareness and confidence. She is particularly interested in how Yoga will prevent back pain.

Shauna has a passion for Personal Development and Spirituality and is interested in how yoga, as a whole, transforms our minds and our connection with the spirit.

Shauna credits her teachers, Nancy Roberts as well as Manuoso Manos and Elise Miller for her in-depth training into the body’s alignment and Yoga as a whole. She credits her ongoing studies in Personal Development and Spirituality to Eckhart Tolle and many other Spiritual teachers. As well as her ongoing work with Vision, Accountability, and Commitment. ShaunaLay.com

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.

Lori Pirri

Lori Pirri has been a student of yoga her whole life, her mom is a Sivananda yoga teacher, but she discovered her own yoga passion in her early 20s while seeking a way to connect to her own breath and stillness. She realized not only her own joy but the joy of practicing with and supporting others. She is always learning from her amazing teachers, and loves to explore new postures on and off the yoga mat finding inspiration is nature, friends, family and other students. She currently teaches at Downtown Yoga, and Tri-City Physical Therapy through the Samasta Wellness program. Lori brings a cheerful and enthusiastic energy to her classes that blend alignment, strength, therapeutics and her own life experiences.
Looking for an affordable, beginner-friendly yoga class? Starting Saturday, April 2, 2016 Downtown Yoga is offering new “Pay What You Can” classes.
 
Held each week, they are led by a variety of talented teachers. ANYONE can do Yoga. ANYONE can benefit from Yoga. With our weekly “Pay What You Can” series, ANYONE can afford Yoga. These classes are great and the best part is your donations benefit a local charity. Come join us.
 
Join us! Wear comfortable clothes and arrive a few minutes early to get settled in. No need to sign-in and your donation is anonymous. Use the donation box near the studio door as you enter.
 
Note: The standard drop-in class price is $15. You pay what you can; $1 - $15 recommended.

Upcoming classes:

  • Sat Jun 24 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with Laura Volsansky
  • Sat Jul 01 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with Hyekyoung Kang
  • Sat Jul 08 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with Kavita Patel
  • Sat Jul 15 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with Shauna Lay
  • Sat Jul 22 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with Marilyn Steppe
  • Sat Jul 29 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with Jim Bahls
  • Sat Aug 05 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with Lori Pirri
  • Sat Aug 12 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with Sinead McElligott
  • Sat Aug 19 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with Laura Volsansky
  • Sat Aug 26 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with Hyekyoung Kang
  • Sat Sep 02 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with DTY Staff
  • Sat Sep 09 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with DTY Staff
  • Sat Sep 16 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with DTY Staff
  • Sat Sep 23 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with DTY Staff
  • Sat Sep 30 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with DTY Staff
  • Sat Oct 07 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with DTY Staff
  • Sat Oct 14 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with DTY Staff
  • Sat Oct 21 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm with DTY Staff