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 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.
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 .
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.
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.
Nancy first developed a passion for yoga after becoming a Certified Lamaze Childbirth Educator in 1996. She has always had an interest in working in preventative health and when she began teaching childbirth classes, she expanded her prior fitness career to include pregnant and postpartum women. She holds many different prenatal yoga certifications, some of which include Whole Birth® Prenatal Yoga, Doulas of North America Doula Training /Teaching Yoga to Pregnant Women at the The Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco, and YogaFit®. She has been teaching prenatal yoga since 2000.
She believes in the importance of pregnant women exploring their body and connecting with their inner wisdom and their unborn child through yoga and integrating this into childbirth and parenting. She designs her classes to help pregnant women alleviate certain discomforts associated with pregnancy and prepare the body and mind for labor through breathing, movement and deep relaxation. Nancy is a certified labor support specialist through both Lamaze and DONA and maintains a HypnoBirthing® Institute Certification.
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
Himani is very much drawn to the Iyengar style of teaching which focuses on alignment. She strongly believes in this quote by BKS Iyengar. "An asana is not a posture which you assume mechanically. It involves thought, at the end of which a balance is achieved between movement and resistance."
She feels that there is more to yoga than just practicing it physically. Yoga is not just a workout. One has to feel it to really know what yoga means. Himani also believes in the spiritual aspect of yoga. We are so much more than what meets the physical eye.
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.