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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.

Check out Jim's Yoga Blahgasana.

Yoga became an integral part of Georganne’s life from the moment she first stepped on a mat. Like many, Georganne tried out Yoga to help recover from an illness. The first day she walked into the DTY studio, Georganne felt at home. She loves how a consistent Yoga practice has helped her achieve more strength and balance in her life – physically, mentally & spiritually. Motivated to share her practice, Georganne graduated from the Downtown Yoga 200-hour Advanced Studies Program and soon became a DTY teacher. In her classes, she offers supportive instruction that encourages each and every student to find energy, ease and enjoyment in their practice. Georganne built a career in high-tech marketing and runs her own consulting business; Tiger Team Marketing. She delights in balancing her professional work with practicing and teaching Yoga.
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.

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 .

Bridget began practicing yoga in 2009 as a path to greater strength, balance, flexibility, and serenity. She tried many styles of yoga, but found a deep connection to Iyengar inspired instruction with its focus on connecting mind, body, and spirit through awareness, alignment, and breathing. Over the years, her practice has grown from one to two days a week to a daily asana and meditation practice. After years of encouragement by her wonderful teachers Nancy Leigh-Smith and Eva Kastel, Bridget earned her 200 hour RYT at Downtown Yoga last year and began teaching soon after. The experience has been so profound and rewarding that she is currently pursuing her 500 hour RYT at Downtown Yoga as well. Bridget credits the transformative power of yoga and meditation for deepening and enriching her pursuit of balance emotionally, physically, and spiritually. She brings all of this into her experience on and off the mat as a seeker, student, teacher, wife, and mother of four sons. She hopes to share the light and joy of yoga in a welcoming and supportive environment in her classes.

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.

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.
As a practicing psychologist in Vienna, Austria, Dagmar Emperger-Landel found a deep interest in the body-mind balance. Moving to Encinitas, California in 1998, Dagmar practiced both yoga and seated mediation, and studied in the Viniyoga tradition which emphasizes watching the mind and opening the heart during practice for a full experience of awareness and stillness. Dagmar received her Advanced Studies Program Certificate from Downtown Yoga in Pleasanton with an Iyengar-oriented approach that focuses on correct body alignment, using props like blocks and straps to allow all practitioners access to the benefits of the postures regardless of physical condition, age, or experience. Dagmar encourages her students to explore awareness, being present and connected with their bodies to balance life and relieve stress. When not engaging in yoga and meditation, Dagmar enjoys outdoors activities including hiking and surfing, working with her hands creating beautiful things, and traveling with her two teenage daughters, husband and spirited dog Kai.

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 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

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.

Mary wants to share the healing, transformative power of yoga with others. She was introduced to yoga when her physician recommended it as a way to help recover from cancer. Long since cancer free, she continued to deepen her yoga practice through movement and breath, graduating from the 200-hour Advanced Studies program with Kate and Jim Coughlin in June 2011. Mary is passionate about Iyengar-inspired yoga because its emphasis on good form and alignment is essential to avoiding injury and increasing strength. She strives to create an open, positive space where students are free to explore the mind, body and spirit, in the most compassionate way possible.
Elisa discovered her passion for teaching and pedagogy as a dance minor at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. While integrating various styles of yoga into her practice, she stays true to her original training roots and fully embodies the Kripalu motto of “meditation in motion” in each of her classes. Elisa is an E-RYT 500 and most recently completed her 300 Hour training at Downtown Yoga with Kate Coughlin. She is a Master Reiki healer and has Masters and Specialist degrees in Mental Health Counseling, a certificate in Spirituality and Health and Arts in Medicine and is a published author and national speaker on yoga, body image and eating disorders. Her educational background, compassion and belief in the transformative power of yoga allow her to lead a healing yet challenging class for all levels. In her class, you will be inspired to slow down, deepen, breathe and truly be present.
Caryne dabbled in Yoga as a compliment to her competitive running and cycling career and totally fell in love with the practice 2007. She obtained her 200 hour RYT under Laurie Gallagher, Kelli Barnett, and Suzanna Spring in 2010. Suzanna also sparked Caryne's interest in her practice of Yin Yoga, and eventually Caryne pursued Yin teacher training. Always learning, Caryne became very interested in the healing power of restorative Yoga, and obtained her restorative level-one teacher certificate in 2016.

“Yoga meets you wherever you are in life. With ballet in my past, I appreciate the Yang and dance aspect of a vibrant Vinyasa flow practice - its focus, movement, and activity.” Cayrne believes that in our busy and hectic lives it is important to unplug and go deeper. She finds that the practice of both restorative and Yin Yoga allows us to target deeper inside ourselves and discover our true essence.

“People do not give themselves the permission to relax and release. It is only when our bodies and mind become so fatigued do we slow down. I personally found the body/mind/breath connection of Yoga provided an intricate part of my healing after the death of my father. I am passionate about holding space for people so they feel completely supported and safe in order to completely unplug and recharge!"

Caryne is currently pursuing her 300-hour teacher training with Kate at Downtown Yoga.

 
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