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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.

Kate Coughlin instructs the following:
  • Beginner's Yoga
  • 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.

  • Restorative Yoga
  • A healing practice of supportive and restorative poses, which relieve tension and stress throughout the body. Beginners welcome!

  • Intermediate/Advanced
  • Deepen the focus and intensity of your practice. Learn variations of fundamental poses. Inversions (headstands, handstands, etc.) and more advanced poses are taught. Learn more about our Pose Syllabus here.

  • Beginner/Intermediate
  • Build upon the basic standing and seated postures taught to beginning students. Intermediate classes can be more vigorous as they focus on building strength and stamina in the poses. Learn more about our Pose Syllabus here.
    What is covered in the Beginner/Intermediate Yoga classes?
    All 50 poses in the Beginner’s Yoga syllabus are frequently practiced within the Beginner/Intermediate classes. The main addition in the Beginner/Intermediate class is the introduction of Inversions in class.
    What is an Inversion?

    An Inversion is any pose where the head is below the heart. Theoretically, downward facing dog pose is an inversion. But when we speak of Inversions in relation to the Beginner/Intermediate class – we are mainly refer to these three poses: headstand (sirsasana), shoulderstand (sarvangasana) and handstand (adho mukha vrksasana).
    Why are these poses so special and important?

    Headstand (or Sirsasana) has been referred to as the “King” of all poses. Shoulderstand (or Sarvangasana) is referred to as the “Queen” or “Mother” of all poses. The benefits of these poses are many. The most immediately recognizable benefits are increased strength, balance, stamina, flexibility and vigor.
    Isn’t it dangerous to be on one’s head or shoulders? It doesn’t seem natural.

    If you have specific concerns about your particular physical condition and limitations, please consult your physician. With proper preparation, support and guidance most of the inverted poses are safe. There are times when a person should NOT do inversions. It is recommended to NOT practice inversions when a woman is menstruating, if you have extremely high or low blood pressure, eye issues or neck issues. Again, please consult your physician if you have any concerns prior to beginning inversions.
    Are those three poses the only difference from a Beginner’s Yoga to a Beginner/Intermediate class?
    Not quite! Not only do we begin to introduce the 3 inversions listed above. We also start introducing other combinations of inverted and more challenging poses, which are detailed here.
    Is there anything else I should know about a Beginner/Intermediate class beside the emphasis on Inversions?

    Yes! Poses are held for longer duration in Beginner/Intermediate class. Standing poses may be held for several minutes at a time. The purpose of extending duration in the poses is to find a deeper release, relaxation and strength while in the pose.
    Also, the teacher will require the student to be in the pose with finer and finer precision and accuracy. The reason for this is we are trying to remove any resistance to finding complete ease and comfort in the pose while retaining firm strength and stamina. This principle is known in Sanskrit as “Sthira Sukham Asanam”.
    When would I be ready to move into the Intermediate Classes?

    If you have been practicing at least 2-3 times a week, for a minimum of a year, and you can hold either Headstand (Sirsasana) or Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana) for 5 minutes without the support of the wall – AND – you can comfortably perform 80% of the 65 poses listed above (52 poses), then you are welcome to proceed to an Intermediate Class.

  • Land of Medicine Buddha Retreat
  • 2-night/3-day Retreat
    Friday, September 1 - Sunday, September 3, 2017
    Land of Medicine Buddha Retreat Center – Santa Cruz, CA
    with Kate & Jim Coughlin
    Not to do any evil whatsoever - to cultivate virtue and everything adorable, and to fully purify one's mind - this is the teaching of The Lord Buddha.

    Let the healing nature of the Santa Cruz Redwoods be the perfect backdrop to a weekend of yoga, meditation, delicious meals, and hiking. Anyone is welcome to come to this retreat. 

    The Land of Medicine Buddha (LOMB) is an environmentally conscious meditation and retreat center located on 108 acres of coastal foothills. The center stands adjacent to 10,000 acres of redwood forest preserved by the State of California just south of Santa Cruz. LOMB is an active Buddhist community.

    You may find out more by visiting
    What you can expect on this retreat:
    * Four (4) 90-minute yoga asana classes
    *Two (2) morning silent meditation practices
    *2-nights accommodations (double-occupancy)
    *Six (6) lovingly prepared vegetarian meals
    *Walking amidst incredibly tall redwoods
    *Fabulous retreat attendees
    *Lots of quiet time and stillness
    *Peace of mind (optional at your choice)
    *Time to find your Authentic Self
    *Meditation class with Buddhist monks
    COST: $465 – price includes everything!
    Arrive Friday at 4:00 p.m. check-in
    Depart Sunday at 1:00 p.m. (after lunch) check-out
    Your Retreat Leaders
    Kate Coughlin- Kate teaches yoga from the heart in the Iyengar and vinyasa tradition. Experience precision, detailed instruction, and individual attention with the joy of movement and self-discovery. Kate is the creator of Stanford University's Yoga program and a graduate of Erich Schiffmann's teacher's program. She has studied extensively with Donald Moyer in Berkeley. Kate is an Experience Registered 500 hour Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance (E-RYT 500).
    Jim Coughlin - Jim teaches every morning at 6am at Downtown yoga.  He is also the Business Manager of the studio.