Our yoga teachers are all beautiful beings who are devoted to their yoga practice, both on and off the mat. They have all completed a 100 hour or 200 hour teacher training; many have done multiple trainings. What is most inspiring however, is their commitment to growth. At Leap we believe that as we evolve, everyone around us evolves. So, join us on this amazing adventure.
Starting his career by serving his country in the Navy and then as a business owner, followed by over 20 years in the radio business and almost 10 years in the fitness industry as an aerobics and step instructor it goes without saying that Butch has a breadth of life experiences that give him a tremendous appreciation for life’s challenges . Butch is passionate about helping people to reach down deep and be their best. Yoga has been life changing for Butch, helping him to overcome incredible pain caused by scoliosis that he has had since birth. He looks forward to guiding others through their journey of discovery to find out how yoga can make a difference in their lives as well.
Stacy’s love of yoga continues to grow as she observes the transformational effects a regular yoga practice has on students, community, and within her own life. “Strengthening the body is wonderful, but strengthening the body, mind, spirit, and our community brings healing and wholeness. In this place, anything is possible.”
Stacy has received a good deal of her training through Rusty Wells of Urban Flow Yoga in San Francisco. Focusing on the Bhakti tradition, one of the four paths of yoga, music and devotion play a supporting role in all of Stacy’s classes. Bhakti is often described as the yogic path of devotion, emotion, love, compassion, and service to God and others.
Stacy has also studied with Michael Watson of Bermuda, Karen Miscall-Bannon of Embodyoga, Stephanie Snyder, and is influenced by the teachings of Sri Dharma Mittra, NYC, and Richard Rosen of Berkeley, California. Another great teacher who Stacy admires and has studied under is Mahendra Briksha of San Francisco. Mahandra Briksha specializes in breathwork and wellness cuisine.
In addition to vinyasa and yin yoga Stacy is also offers educational workshops focusing on “Practicing Kitchen Yoga” and the preparation of whole and living foods. She specializes in guided cleanses and offers private yoga sessions, nutritional consultations, and guided group cleanses. See StacyW.com for Stacy’s schedule and additional information.
Michéal has always been passionate about fitness starting back in High School and College as a cross country runner, track & field athlete and powder puff football player followed by over 15 years in the fitness industry teaching aerobics side by side with husband, Butch, for 10 of those years. She has been a member of the assisting team at Leap since the first graduating class and feels it is her way of “giving back to this amazing community”!
Michéal has attended two 100 hour teacher trainings in Toronto, Canada, with Kaiut founder, Francisco Kaiut. “I am always blown away by how good my body feels after 8 days of training with 3 hour long practices every day… It feels AMAZING!” Michéal now offers Kaiut yoga at Leap. She truly believes it is yoga for “EVERY BODY” that will help students navigate and lessen the impact of the stresses put upon our bodies over time due to age and other sports related injuries.
Done 1-2 times per week Kaiut will be the PERFECT balance for your body as it works in tandem with your other fitness routines. Michéal believes this life is a journey and the best way to lengthen and improve that journey is to take care of that vessel we call our “body” and our joint health plays a HUGE part in the quality of that journey…which is what Kaiut yoga is all about and why Michéal is so passionate about you experiencing it!!!!
Gena Foreman’s, (E-RYT) passion for yoga began nearly 20 years ago when she took her first class at the local gym. An avid runner and mountain biker she came to yoga to stretch and find balance as a full time mom. The feeling of peace, quiet and strength she experienced after class started to weave itself into every facet of her life. In 2004, she faced her fears and found her voice completing her first teacher training with Shannon Wells. Her teaching style focuses on the awareness of conscience breathing, emphasizing core strength building endurance while finding the balance between effort and surrender. Gena encourages her students to listen to their body and honor where they are in that moment. She will challenge you to go to your edge, to find that inner place which allows you to grow. She has taught wheelchair bound seniors, professional athletes, the raw beginner to the seasoned yogi. Gena teaches from the heart. She is authentic, compassionate, and playful; students are nurtured and individual needs are met. Her fundamental teaching is in Forrest Yoga yet she is inspired by many different teachers and styles. It is all yoga and we are all one. Om shant.
Sarah K. Grace is a powerful and dynamic individual who spent over a decade merging her career as a paramedic in some of California’s busiest 911 systems with her innate gifts as a clairvoyant medium, medical intuitive, and energy healer. Combining Western and Energy Medicine, Sarah has spent years studying both physical and energy anatomy while applying her skills in critical settings to thousands of patients as they dealt with life and death emergencies.
Sarah now has a vibrant private practice working with clients worldwide as they embrace their own power, make sense of their energetic abilities, and heal past traumas. She is an author, mentor, intuitive energy healer, clairvoyant medium, medical intuitive, and licensed paramedic. She is a vibrant person with quick wit and dry humor who’s intention is to lead by example, displaying that one can fully engage their psychic abilities while still thriving in joyful, powerful, and abundant lives.
Karen Miscall-Bannon began her yoga studies in 1985 with Eddie Modestini, and studied with Patty Townsend at the Yoga Center Amherst from 2001-2012, where she became certified at the 200-and 500-hour levels in Embodyoga®, and is certified at the E-RYT 500-hour level by Yoga Alliance. She taught in the YCA’s teacher trainings starting in 2004, and led 200-hour teacher trainings starting in 2009 in Newington, CT. She recently relocated to CA and is thrilled to bring her work to the Leap community! She has studied Iyengar, Ashtanga Vinyasa, and Maya Yoga, as well as Embodyoga®. Karen has extensive knowledge of anatomy, with a focus on yoga therapeutics, stemming from her bodywork practice of over 12 years. Karen brings a deep love of yoga and yoga philosophy to her teaching, and is known for being able to make abstract concepts accessible to her students. She gratefully brings what she has learned from her teachers and her own practice to her students, to assist them in deepening their awareness of body and mind through the practice of yoga.
Donna Raines is a Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga teacher and student, as well as a certified Holistic Health Coach. After many years of doing yoga at a local gym, she discovered the transformational power of yoga when she enrolled in a Baptiste 40-day Transformation program. The combination of yoga, meditation, journaling and healthy eating that this program provided allowed her to truly see herself for the first time and live her truth. Two years later she has made many life changes including leaving a 17 year career in high tech marketing to pursue her passion – to teach and inspire through a combination of yoga and holistic nutrition. Donna is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and completed her level one teacher training through Baron Baptiste. She plans to continue her journey to eventually become a Baptiste Certified Teacher.
Yoga found Blake in 2009 while in rehab, he was desperate and open. Caught up in substance addiction he saw no way out and was tired of doing the same things over and over expecting a different outcome (insanity). The student was ready and the teacher appeard. Beat up and out of shape he struggled to get into the postures, he slowly learned how to breathe. Blake began to uncover what was hidden, he continues to discover what’s in the way, so that he can discard it let go of what blocks him from the truth.
Blake teaches yoga full time at different studios and drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. Aaron Pappas is Blakes inspiration and lifelong teacher.
Blake teaches a fun and powerful breath-focused practice that emphasizes holding challenging postures as well as fluid movements, calming and focusing the mind, strengthening the body and soothing the soul.
“There’s so much I want to say it’s beyond words, I’m still in the process. Yoga is beyond words though isn’t it? What I have found is that there is so much wisdom in the body. When I stop searching and just listen the truth arises. I feel called to share this space with others, space to listen, to lengthen, to breathe, to be. This is a lost art, this discipline to pause and notice. In the past, none of this had ever occurred to me in my addiction or even in my sobriety until I started practicing yoga here at Leap. (I found it in the movement and the stillness and the people and it followed me out of the studio and spilled into every aspect of my life and here lies the transformation). For someone who has truly came from rock bottom I found in yoga a lifestyle, not just the ability to be flexible. This is the last thing on my list, the real and true abilities include finding strength, stillness, discipline, kindness, curiosity, the mind-body connection, altruistic health, and learning how to be well in a community that understand and respect my journey, my process. This is a rare gem in a world that can be everything but….Its no wonder there is so much addiction and suffering among us. Leap/ the studio/ yoga is the sanctuary and I am merely a channel to share this space with my students to continue to learn and grow together.”
Twenty years ago Hannah took her first yoga class in a crowded room in a sweaty gym in San Francisco, California. She showed up to “stretch” out her overworked hamstrings while training for a marathon. That was all it took. She felt the stillness in the breath work and knew she was on her way home! Ever since Hannah has been motivated by a deep desire to dive further in all the limbs of yoga, love, balance and to stay connected with the stillness of the breath. Hannah has used various trainings, teachings, meditations, journaling, hiking, long talks, deep conversations and authentic relationships to continue her growth on and off the mat. For Hannah, it’s all YOGA!
In her professional life, Hannah is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who enjoys helping people learn to live the life they truly desire and deserve to live. She inherently believes in growth, possibility and in learning to find peace and gratitude in each moment. She is thrilled to overlay her yoga with her knowledge of therapy and her therapy with her knowledge of yoga. Hannah’s classes are fun, thoughtful and intuitively patterned. She enjoys bringing music to a yoga space and strives to create an experience in her classes that can be taken outside the studio walls.
Hannah was trained in Astanga Yoga by David Swenson (2002), followed by pre/post-natal yoga training by Stephanie Keach (2003), and then Vinyasa Flow with Baron Baptiste (2008 & 2010). Her other teachers are many and include: Rolf Gates, Janet Stone, Pradeep Teotia, Daniel Amen, Deepok Chopra, Peter Levine, Buddha, Jesus, her family, dog, clients, students, friends and fellow yoga teachers. In addition to vinyasa yoga Hannah also offers individual and group workshops focusing on topics such as meditation, emotion regulation and gratitude. Please see www.HannahZackney.com for further information.
I started my yoga journey three years ago and it has changed my Entire life. I have been a member at Leap since day one. You may have seen me practicing or assisting or drumming in some of the classes. Yoga has helped me open my heart and taught me to breath. Leap has given me a wonderful community filled with family and friends. I am not the typical yoga guy. There are some poses that I may never be able to do. But the yoga works, and as they say, “It’s all yoga! ” As a teacher I hope to share a lifetime of wonderful experiences. I believe that there is something beautiful waiting for each person on their mat. I am a student of Baron Baptiste and have just completed Leap’s first Teacher Training 200 Hour Program. I am so excited and humbled to be a part of the Leap teacher team. It really is my dream come true.
For me yoga is practice, prayer, and play. I strive to provide a safe space for all to feel and explore themselves intimately, to get comfortable with discomfort, to be lighthearted, to learn, and to grow physically and spiritually.
Yoga has been a continual growth process and extremely transformational- helping me to connect mind, body, and spirit. Through the practice of vinyasa yoga, yin yoga, and mediation I’ve discovered my authentic self and found the courage to be that person. It is and honor to guide others on their own journey to self-discovery and self-love.
I wish for my students to find truth, joy, healing, love and connection through the practice of yoga and the supportive yoga community!
Certified in 2014 at Zuda Yoga. Offering classes in vinyasa yoga, yin yoga, and meditation.
My yoga journey began fifteen years ago at the local gym where the owner had a passion for yoga and for bringing in the most wonderful teachers.The transformation of a typical exercise room and its students was amazing. We would pack into the room and hold hands during shavasana…in a gym. Many years later found me jumping from studio to studio (there weren’t many) and finally landing in old Folsom. There I was introduced to many of Leap’s great teachers and met many of its current students. I couldn’t get enough. An end to a professional city planning career and a job I loved pushed me into an exploration of… what next? I knew of a few passions in my life: my career, my kids, my love of the outdoors, and yoga. And I was watching all my athletic friend’s age and have aches. I was planning on a trip to Sweden to visit my son when a teacher said to me, bring something home with you. With that I enrolled in a yin teacher training with Biff Mithoefer, author of the Yin Yoga Kit and the Therapeutic Yoga Kit, at an ashram in Sweden. Stepping completely out of my comfort zone, I found a second career that fuels my passion. With my second yin certification, (I completed my first at Shirkula studio in Rocklin) and encouragement from my new international friends, I began teaching in my home and loving every minute of it. There is no greater joy than to see the opening and the softening that people experience in yoga. It is such an absolute gift to be a part of it in any way. In addition to two yin certifications, completing Leap’s assistant training, I am currently enrolled in Karen Miscall-Bannon’s 500 hour teacher training at Leap but truly, the learning happens each time I practice and each time I teach.
Amy Zilkie attended her first yoga class when she was 17. It was not long before she began incorporating yoga into her everyday life. After graduating from CSUS with a degree in Psychology, she decided to pursue teaching yoga and attended a 2 week immersive training in Hawaii. Upon returning from the first training she continued to study yoga and explore her spirituality. Amy’s classes are a dynamic Vinyasa flow, focusing on alignment, core work and always finding an edge. Along with a physical practice her themes will help you set intentions and take your practice off the mate.
Amy teaches yoga for so many reasons, but it always comes down to one simple concept. She wants you to be the best version of you and love yourself no matter where your journey through life takes you. Something that you can always count on from Amy is an inviting smile and loving heart to help you through your journey.
Teaching yoga has been the strong foundation for much of Andi Donovan’s career over the past twenty-plus years. As a competitive athlete, a fitness and sports coach, and an experienced yoga teacher, Andi truly understands exactly how yoga can complement any form of training – And life! Her intention is to create an environment that is simple enough, demanding enough, and can be tailored to suit all students’ needs.
Andi blends a wealth of knowledge, heart and experience to create a unique, energetic-yet-transformational approach to her classes and private sessions. Whether she is teaching Vinyasa Flow, Yin yoga, Yoga for Athletes, Athletic Recovery or Yoga Therapy, Andi creates awareness using movement, breath, passion, and humor.
With over 1500 hours of training from a variety of sources, and over 20 years of experience, Andi is well respected in the industry. She is also internationally recognized, and teaches workshops and retreats around the world.
Andi proudly holds certifications and continuing education credits from a wide variety of teachers and certifying organizations. Her diverse training background allows her to create her own unique style.
Andi understands the human body muscle-by-muscle, movement-by-movement and even bite-by-bite. She is also a Certified Fitness Coach, a Lifestyle and Weight Management coach, an Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist, and a Certified Therapeutic Massage and Zen-Touch Shiatsu Practitioner. Her passion is to help others achieve balance using both ancient yoga precepts as well as the many modern-day discoveries behind fitness, health and anti-aging. She is a perennial student of the yoga arts.
“My hope is to allow students to witness their greatness and connect to their embodied wisdom, natural healing abilities and the expansive, infinite potential that lies within them.”
Dedicated to this ever evolving practice, Allie Rae is a passionate yogini. Allie teaches Rasa Yoga~ a Bhakti Fusion of Mantra, Mudra, Meditation, Asana, Pranayama and Earth Prayer created and founded by Sianna Sherman. Allie’s classes are unique, dynamic and are held inside teachings of the heart. She captures the essence of foundation and our connection to the Earth, moving from posture to posture with a light-hearted and playful approach. For Allie, the practice of Yoga asana is a Sacred Embodiment, a living moving Prayer from which we can explore the connection to our bodies and truly feel into our present experience. Allie is currently an Apprentice of Sianna Sherman with whom she travels the globe assisting at trainings, festivals, retreats & workshops. She holds 100’s of contact hours inside the field of Apprenticeship with an International Master Yoga Teacher also known widely as a “Teacher of Teachers.”
Allie graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a B.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. She also has studied at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition where she now holds a certification as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. When she’s not on the yoga mat, Allie enjoys travelling, being in nature, appreciating nourishing foods and spending time with her beloved Derek and their 4 kitties.
Allie leads Retreats, Workshops and Co-facilitates trainings ~ Visit her website to learn more: www.allieraewellnes.com
Yoga, to me, is inspiring. As a teacher, I try to empower my students to be their most authentic self on and off their mat. I love being able to connect with others who are filled with the same compassion and desire to remain positive and true. Seeing people’s hearts fill up with joy and understanding makes me happy. I believe I found yoga as an evolving part of my ballet background. The ebb and flow of how the practice of poses move together, is an ever-continuing dance of mind, body and life-force. My experience currently includes Yin training with James Kapicka and Krista Hagman, Bhakti certification with Rusty Wells, Vinyasa certification with Cathy Connors and Corey Mitchell as well as YogaKids certification. As a lifelong learner, I promise to continue to expand my understanding of the vast knowledge of yoga.
As an experienced instructor and longtime student, Sheri’s classes are welcoming, creative and playful, yet safe. They are sequenced in a way that makes each pose and its modifications accessible. Sheri has studied with many teachers and is known to blend elements of Embodyoga, Bhakti, Prana vinyasa and Hatha yoga into her classes. Her classes are often thematic, and aim to integrate subtle alignment cues with breath awareness and body awareness.
Shortly after the birth of Genevieve’s second child she was invited to take a Bikram Yoga class. This was her first “real” yoga experience. Needless to say, it was love at first drop of sweat and she is eternally grateful to her friends that brought her to yoga that day. Because she simply said YES her life had forever changed! She soon moved on to Power Vinyasa falling more deeply in love with the practice. It was when she walked through the doors of Leap that she found her yoga home.
Though having been an athlete and playing a wide variety of sports throughout life nothing spoke passionately to Genevieve the way yoga does. After finding yoga she felt as if I had just truly learned how to breathe. Yoga offers an outlet for removing stagnant energy, opening the heart and finding balance. It is a time to play, to let go, to be messy, to express and to be free!
Continuing further in the journey she became RYT certified through Yoga Alliance upon completion of a 200-hour teacher training at Leap under the guidance of Cathy Connors and Corey Mitchell. She is also certified to teach Yin under the guidance of James Kapicka. Genevieve is inspired by the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, the rhythms of the universe, mother nature and love. Her goal as a teacher is to empower her students and help them find their freedom through yoga in a safe and nurturing space.
When not teaching she keeps busy as a mother to a beautiful son and daughter and two dogs. She is a devoted yoga student that enjoys exploring the world with her husband and children, having new experiences and saying YES to life. Visit GenevieveBergman.com for more information and her most up to date schedule.
Tristina left the corporate world behind in 2010 to share her love of yoga with others. She teaches a dynamic and creative style of yoga that awakens strength through awareness in energetic alignment. Her soulfully fun classes weave in the spiritual aspect of the practice through chanting, meditation, and insightful offerings on yogic philosophy.
Tristina is deeply committed to her personal practice, which is the foundation to her teaching. She has studied various styles of yoga & meditation around the world with an array of respected teachers. She shares her knowledge through classes, workshops, and teacher trainings. Her deep passion for travel is brought to others through annual retreats in international destinations.
Find out more at: TristinaK.com!
Michael has been a teacher and a trainer for over a decade. His passion is to teach people the art and science of breath, movement, and stillness. He strives to create a space where students can experience themselves fully. Michael believes that yoga can help shift our consciousness to a place of integration and love. He thoroughly enjoys daily meditation, dynamic movement, and connecting with his community.
Yoga to me is freedom or Samadhi. Freedom from the need to fit in, or be seen, freedom from insecurity and self-doubt, it freed me from my false myself. Yoga helped me journey back into my own heart and learn how to live in my highest alignment. It taught me how to take care of myself and it really helped me learn that I am and always will be enough.
What I hope to help you understand through this beautiful practice we call yoga is that you are not only enough, but you are magnificent great falls, failures, and mistakes included. I hope that through yoga you find that place within you that I found within me. That place of truth, authenticity, and unconditional love.
In my classes you can expect a challenging flow with lots of permission to rest with an emphasis on your highest alignment, great music to get lost in, yogic philosophy to help you reflect and identify, and plenty of space to settle in and let go at the end. I cannot show you the depths of your own soul, but I can show you the path to find it yourself.
Michelle M. Binicewicz, DrPH, Certified Doula, Certified Labor Doula, Certified Postpartum Doula
I Believe Yoga is…
The fluidity of movement connecting mind, body, soul and spirit through breath.
A personal space that allows a disconnect from everything external as an internal awareness is awakened.
To me yoga is freedom from comparison, freedom from expectation, freedom from limitation.
I am here to help people remove all the noise from their outside world and become fully present on their mat, quieting the “chatter” and tuning-in to the sound and feel of their breath.
Because breath is life.
My background in Health Education coupled with 16 years of teaching in the field of healthcare, I provide an opportunity for yogis to find a deeper appreciation of the whole body. I encourage not only physical growth, but emotional and spiritual growth as well.
When you roll up your mat at the end of my class, my hope is that you are re-centered, balanced, and reminded of how valuable this space of reconnection is for your spirit and soul.
December 13, 1973 – July 23, 2017.
We are overwhelmed at Aaron’s tragic accident and of his passing. Our community is pulling together and we wish his family and loved ones all the love, energy and strength the world has to offer during this terrible time. In the words of Sarah, his partner, to Stacy, “Aaron, now it’s time for you to transition to your new journey and place. We will all be ok because of what you gave us while you were here. Because you loved wholeheartedly and without hesitation. You taught us the true power of community.”
Aaron you will be truly missed and we feel enriched for having had you in our lives and as an integral part of the Leap family. May you rest in peace.