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Beginner's Yoga


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.

Kate Coughlin

Kate is a passionate and dedicated explorer of movement, meditation and yoga which spans 40 years.

She is an inspired practitioner who loves the precision of alignment, and teaches with a creative joyful approach.

Kate has been an inspiration to thousands of students during her 30 years of teaching. She has developed two Advanced Studies Programs with over 100 graduates who now teach throughout the U.S.

She has studied intensively with such wonderful teachers as: Donald Moyer, Erich Schiffmann, and Arunji of Bangalore, as well as teachers all over the Bay Area. Kate is also a world traveler including trips to India to study yoga.

Kate created and taught the yoga program at Stanford University from 1989-2001. She is the Founder and Director of Downtown Yoga in Pleasanton California. She is an international teacher offering retreats for inspiration and restoration.

Her students describe her as warm hearted, inspiring and caring. She is a radiant, beautiful soul who honors the beauty and presence of each and every moment.

MIchelle Grady

Michelle Grady-Bressler, RYT 200
 
Michelle loves combining her knowledge of bodywork and meditation and bringing it to the mat. She is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Health Educator with 19 years experience helping clients on their healing journeys. She was first introduced to yoga in 2001 and has had a daily practice since 2015. She has completed Downtown Yoga’s 200 hour Advanced Studies Program and is currently enrolled in their 300 hour program.

Michelle is light hearted, nurturing and welcomes all. What she loves about alignment based yoga is that it is accessible to everyone. She has experienced that practicing yoga has benefited her body, mind and spirit. Her goal is to bring yoga into as many people's lives as possible.
 
WARNING Yoga has been known to cause Health and Happiness

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!

Michelle Metro

Michelle is a 2012 graduate of Downtown Yoga’s 200-hour teacher training program and is a registered yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance. She has practiced yoga since 1997 and has tried many styles but prefers Iyengar instruction due to its emphasis on alignment and precision. She is also quite fond of Vinyasa Flow yoga because of the smooth way the poses link together and become like a dance. Michelle began practicing when a friend told her she thought she would like yoga. Over the years her practice has grown from one to two days a week to a deep passion for yoga and an asana practice nearly every day. Michelle believes every yogi has his/her individual path and relationship with yoga and is sure hers will continue to evolve.

Michelle resides in Pleasanton and is a regular studio practitioner as well as a teacher at the studio.

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

Kathleen Genereux

Kathleen discovered Iyengar Yoga nearly 40 years ago. She was looking for a meaningful practice to bring integrity and aliveness into her daily life. The practice of Yoga gave her this. Gradually, her practice of the postures, breathing and the study of yoga philosophy gave her the strength, balance, flexibility and serenity in her character as well as her physical body and helped her to develop a conscious mindfulness that brought with it a deeper ability to appreciate and be grateful for the truly valuable.

Wanting to share the powerful gift of yoga, she studied in the teacher training at the Iyengar Institute of San Francisco for several years and then at the Yoga Room in Berkeley in their Advanced Studies Program for another three years where she received certification to teach yoga asana and pranayama in the year 2000. From there she moved to the Mendocino coast and opened the Fort Bragg Yoga Studio. She very much enjoyed the studio for three years, still, wanting to be with her family she was drawn back to the East Bay.

Kathleen has been teaching gentle, beginning, all levels, pre-natal, restorative yoga and meditation classes in Walnut Creek and Danville.

Kathleen also practices chi gong and she wears a humble orange belt in Aikido. She has studied Ayurvedics, the life science of yoga and hold certification as a massage therapist and as a Reiki Master.

Kathleen is very happy to be teaching the beginning yoga class at 9:00 on Sunday mornings at Downtown Yoga. There is a very special energy to Sunday morning yoga and she invites all who are interested to come and enjoy the experience with her.

Kira Eggers

Kira began practicing prenatal yoga in 2000. In her years of practice, she has found strength, flexibility, mindfulness and joy. Kira is a 200hr Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance and has completed the Advanced Studies Program with Kate Coughlin, Director of Downtown Yoga, in Pleasanton, California. Kira has a sincere passion for Iyengar Yoga which focuses on classic postures with a deep awareness of correct alignment and precise actions in the body. Her personal experiences with back and joint pain have added a keen awareness of how integral each part of the body is in relation to another. Kira uses imagery well which adds quality and depth to her classes. She offers clear and detailed instruction in a strong and peaceful manner. Outside of the studio, she is a licensed interior design consultant, and enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys - especially skiing, swimming and scuba diving .

Natascha Thomson

Natascha is a Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher and graduate of Downtown Yoga's 200-hour Advanced Yoga Studies Program, with a focus on Iyengar-style yoga. Iyengar yoga is a form of hatha yoga that emphasizes alignment by using props like blocks and bolsters to perform poses (asanas). It builds flexibility, and core strength, while calming the mind and helping practitioners to develop a peaceful inner sense.

Yoga and meditation have had a profound impact on Natascha's life and provide the perfect balance to her high-tech career. She'd like to share this passion with you to help you discover a happier and healthier self.

Linda Lamson

Linda loves bringing her knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology to the mat. She is a licensed Physical Therapist with expertise in the treatment of musculoskeletal problems. She has been practicing yoga for over 10 years, has completed Downtown Yoga’s 200 hour Advanced Studies Program and is currently enrolled in the 300 hour program at the studio. Linda has a committed sitting meditation practice and teaches meditation at Downtown Yoga. She has studied with many spiritual teachers including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, and Jack Kornfield. Linda has taken her formal Bodhisattva Vows and is committed to helping others awaken to the present moment. She views Downtown Yoga as a sacred space in which to cultivate harmony of mind, body and spirit.
Any and all new students to Yoga are welcome to attend. Classes focus on basic poses and conscious breathing techniques. Specific instruction is given on alignment and safety.The syllabus for the Beginner’s Yoga classes refines and perfects all of the basic 30 poses that are covered in the Introduction to Yoga series. In addition, we begin to explore 20 new poses and combinations of poses. Learn more about our Pose Syllabus here. How long should I continue to go to just the Beginner’s Yoga classes?Some people stay in the beginner’s yoga classes for years. Moving onto a Beginner/Intermediate class isn’t necessary or mandatory. The 50 poses and sequences covered in the Beginning Yoga program will set the foundation for a balanced and integrated life-long yoga practice for any student at any age. These 50 poses stretch, strengthen and tone all the muscles and joints in the body. They create balance and fine integration throughout the entire human being.What if I feel like I want to learn more or do more – is it safe to go into a Beginner/Intermediate class?If you have been practicing in our Beginner’s Yoga classes 2-3 times a week, and you feel comfortable in 85% of the poses listed above (45 of 50 poses), then you are in a safe place to continue to the Beginner/Intermediate classes.

Upcoming classes:

  • Wed Dec 13 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm with Jim Coughlin
  • Wed Dec 13 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm with Kate Coughlin
  • Thu Dec 14 9:30 am - 11:00 am with Kate Coughlin
  • Thu Dec 14 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm with Jim Coughlin
  • Thu Dec 14 7:30 pm - 8:45 pm with MIchelle Grady
  • Fri Dec 15 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm with Kavita Patel
  • Fri Dec 15 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm with Michelle Metro
  • Sat Dec 16 8:00 am - 9:15 am with Shauna Lay
  • Sat Dec 16 9:30 am - 10:45 am with Jim Bahls
  • Sat Dec 16 10:30 am - 11:45 am with Kate Coughlin
  • Sun Dec 17 9:30 am - 11:00 am with Kathleen Genereux
  • Mon Dec 18 8:45 am - 10:00 am with Kira Eggers
  • Mon Dec 18 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm with Natascha Thomson
  • Mon Dec 18 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm with Jim Coughlin
  • Tue Dec 19 9:30 am - 11:00 am with Kira Eggers
  • Tue Dec 19 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm with Kate Coughlin
  • Tue Dec 19 7:30 pm - 8:45 pm with Linda Lamson
  • Wed Dec 20 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm with Jim Coughlin
  • Wed Dec 20 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm with Kate Coughlin