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Beginner's Yoga


This class is taught by:

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.

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.

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

Judy Brennan

Judy Brennan is a Health and Wellness Educator. She completed her 500 hour advanced yoga studies with Kate & Jim Coughlin. She has studied with Dr.Deepak Chopra and his staff of physicians and educators completing Chopra Center for Well Being certifications in Primordial Sound Meditation and the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. Judy's passion for teaching yoga started with children and teens. She is a Certified YogaKids International Teacher receiving her children and teens training with YogaKids founder Marsha Wenig. She served on the YogaKids Advisory Board and was a Mentor and Teacher Trainer for the YogaKids certification process for 6 years. Judy loves the depth of learning that comes with yoga and is constantly renewing her practice with the many influential yoga and spiritual teachers throughout the country. Her love for yoga has taken her as far as Haiti to train adults to bring yoga into the schools. She feels fortunate to have found her passion and turned it into her life’s work.
Judy is certified to teach mindfulness, meditation, and yoga to children, teens, adults, those with special needs, seniors, and at risk youth.
RYT500, E-RYT200, CYKT, RCYT, MBA
www.YogaforLife.guru

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.

Jana Cole

Jana walked into her first yoga class with a friend in 2003 and was quickly drawn into a regular yoga practice. She initially appreciated yoga for its physical benefits, and as time passed she became more intrigued by the connection between mind, body, and spirit that yoga helps create. The increased sense of inner peace and mental clarity that her practice fostered helped Jana respond to the stresses of her career, and later, raising young children. Jana has a background in dance, and although she has studied many forms of yoga, she identifies strongly with the Iyengar-inspired practice, with its emphasis on precision and focus on alignment. She loves teaching and witnessing students create more ease in their own bodies.

Jana earned her 200 hour RYT studying with Kate Coughlin at Downtown Yoga in 2013, and is currently pursuing her 500 hour RYT. She loves to learn and continues her studies through workshops with Carrie Owerko, H.S. Arun, Jason Crandell, and others. When she's not on her mat, Jana enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, gardening, hiking, and chasing her two kids.

Gia Bedell

Gia has dedicated 18 years of her life to the exploration of yoga and considers herself an eternal yoga student. She tried her first yoga class after fracturing her neck while snowboarding. Yoga was a way in which Gia could begin to bring movement back into her spine and breath back into her torso, but began to see that the practice was much more than physical. Gia is a certified and licensed massage therapist through the California Massage Therapy Council, and has been practicing massage for 14 years. Her knowledge of anatomy, kinesiology, and postural assessment has informed her practice and teaching greatly. Gia completed the 250 hour teacher training program at Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland in 2014 and is registered with Yoga Alliance. She considers Richard Rosen and Mary Paffard her most influential teachers. With a strong focus on alignment, she aims to keep the joints and tissues of the body safe in order for one to sustain a healthy practice through their entire life. By emphasizing curiosity, Gia believes we are given space to explore ourselves without force and encourages self-reflection and inner awareness over accomplishment. She strongly believes in the deep, subtle and transformative potential of yoga and is excited about the opportunities to share her passion for the practice with others. Outside the studio, you can find Gia sharing her love for painting, writing, reading, hiking, camping, and cooking with her husband, son, daughter and dog.
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:

  • Thu Oct 19 9:30 am - 11:00 am with Kate Coughlin
  • Thu Oct 19 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm with Jim Coughlin
  • Thu Oct 19 7:30 pm - 8:45 pm with Jim Coughlin
  • Fri Oct 20 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm with Kavita Patel
  • Fri Oct 20 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm with Michelle Metro
  • Sat Oct 21 8:00 am - 9:15 am with Shauna Lay
  • Sat Oct 21 9:30 am - 10:45 am with Jim Bahls
  • Sat Oct 21 10:30 am - 11:45 am with Kate Coughlin
  • Sun Oct 22 9:30 am - 11:00 am with Judy Brennan
  • Sun Oct 22 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm with Kavita Patel
  • Mon Oct 23 8:45 am - 10:00 am with Kira Eggers
  • Mon Oct 23 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm with Natascha Thomson
  • Mon Oct 23 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm with Natascha Thomson
  • Tue Oct 24 9:30 am - 11:00 am with Kira Eggers
  • Tue Oct 24 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm with Kate Coughlin
  • Tue Oct 24 7:30 pm - 8:45 pm with Jana Cole
  • Wed Oct 25 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm with Jim Coughlin
  • Wed Oct 25 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm with Kate Coughlin
  • Thu Oct 26 9:30 am - 11:00 am with Gia Bedell
  • Thu Oct 26 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm with Jim Coughlin