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 through yoga is great. Add to that strengthening mind, spirit, and community. This 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 is a 500-RYT through Yoga Alliance and currently leads 200 & 500HR Yoga Teacher Trainings. She also hosts domestic and international yoga retreats and is a co-owner at Leap Yoga Studio in Folsom, California. She 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, yin, and Kaiut yoga, Stacy 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.
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 running back. That followed by over 20 years in the fitness industry teaching aerobics side by side with husband, Butch, for ten of those years which evolved into her love of the health benefits of yoga starting with Bikram, Power Vinyasa and now Kaiut yoga.
Michéal believes strongly in the power of Kaiut yoga helping students navigate and lessen the impact of stresses put on our bodies over time due to over use , lack of use, sports injuries or sometimes just plain age. Miche’al has attended over 700 hours of training with Kaiut Yoga founder, Francisco Kaiut, and has witnessed the amazing effects Kaiut yoga can have increasing overall mobility and joint health for virtually EVERY BODY type.
Michéal feels Kaiut yoga is like a “BIG DRINK OF WATER”…nourishing and providing the PERFECT balance for your body as it works in tandem with your other fitness routines. Michéal believes 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”! Our joint health plays a HUGE roll in the quality of that journey…which is what Kaiut yoga is all about and why Michéal is so passionate about you experiencing the benefit you can gain from this style of yoga. Michéal looks forward to guiding you through this amazing practice so you can maximize the benefits it can provide YOUR BODY…recognizing that each of us has taken a different path to arrive to where we are today so each person will benefit in varying ways.
Cindi, a familiar face within the Leap family, has been committed to sport her entire life, competing in swim teams, with a love for both water and snow skiing as well as aerobics, spin and body pump.
After attending multiple workshops and 600 hours of teacher training in Canada, Colorado & California with Kaiut founder, Francisco Kaiut, her passion for Kaiut was cemented! She now dedicates herself to Yoga and its many benefits to health, flexibility and general wellness.
As a committed Kaiut advocate, she enjoys discussing, teaching and promoting it’s incredible effects to added mobility, recovery and healing to the community.
Gena Foreman’s, (500 ERYT) passion for yoga began nearly 25 years ago when she took her first class at the local gym. An avid runner and mountain biker she came to yoga to “stretch”. The feeling of peace, quiet and strength she experienced after class started to weave itself into every facet of her life.
In 2004, she completed her first yoga training. Her classes are a balanced fusion of informed, flow style yoga with attention to breath (pranayama) and healthy energetic alignment. Her instructions are clear and concise, offering modifications to address injuries or the special needs of her students. Her fundamental teaching is in Forrest Yoga, yet she is inspired by many teachers and styles.
Gena has experience working with corporations, professional athletes, incarcerated and marginalized youth, addiction recovery, and is currently on staff with Dignity Health as the lead instructor with the Multiple Sclerosis Achievement Center.
In addition to teaching weekly classes, Gena leads retreats, immersions, 200 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Trainings and a Yoga Nidra certification course. She was voted one of the best yoga teachers by Style Magazine for the Folsom and El Dorado Hills area.
Aside from teaching yoga, Gena enjoys hiking, traveling, spending time with family and donuts!
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.
Like many modern yogis, Colette’s first exposure to yoga was a physical attraction to the benefits of asana. While asana helped her to grow stronger, more flexible, and balanced, it was the meditative aspects of the practice that opened her mind to something far more meaningful. In 2013, abrupt life changes inspired her to move more deeply into the teachings. She pursued yoga teacher training while healing at the renowned Mount Madonna Center founded by Baba Hari Dass. The deeply spiritual setting of the Mount Madonna ashram opened her heart and mind to yoga beyond asana. At this time she also worked closely with Dr. Ryan Strong learning and applying the profound healing practices of Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, for her personal health journey.
From this foundation in Babaji’s traditional Hatha lineage and her personal experience with Ayurveda, she gravitated naturally to modalities that emphasize the subtle effects of the yoga postures on the body. She developed a passion for the quiet practices of Kaiut, Yin, and Restorative yoga, studying with Francisco Kaiut, Paul Grilley, Sarah Powers and Judith Lasater.
The content of Colette’s classes is based on her personal integration of the great teachings she had the privilege to study. Colette primarily teaches Kaiut, Yin, and Restorative yoga. Her class is a safe and sacred container for both the novice and the seasoned yogi to release, let go, and just be. She approaches yoga from her heart, as a way to spread positive energy and practice compassion, knowing that we all have a story and a journey, which includes both joy and suffering.
After a 20 plus year career as an Urban Planner, I am fortunate to be able to embrace a second passion. I have practiced yoga for nearly as long as my urban planning career. About eight years ago, I took my first yin class. Upon losing my first passion of planning, I took a giant leap (on a bit of a lark and a challenge by my teacher) and went to a yin teacher training in Sweden. Never intending to teach, just to learn and to feel my transitions, I returned home and got the phone call from a studio owner. So I started teaching. And I realized that selfishly, I had a new passion. I subsequently went to an additional yin training in France and found that I wanted to learn more. Shortly thereafter, I met Karen Miscall Bannon and started learning about embodiment. That is to say feeling yoga from the inside. Not just the poses but deeper, the whys, the more enriched understanding of the body and I felt complete; it was enough. I had been trained in yin by one the top four teachers internationally and I am able to experience and study Embody yoga with one of the originators. How very fortunate I am. At this point I had completed 125 hours of strict yin training, 300+ hours of embodiment, and 65 hours of vinyasa and yin assisting.
But not quite satisfied. Upon the suggestion of my teacher again, I leapt to study Kaiut yoga. Knowing absolutely nothing about it, I showed up in Toronto in mid winter for a new adventure. And then I showed up again and again completing a 300 hour Kaiut Yoga certification. And Kaiut Yoga has put in all together for me. For me, it combines yin and vinyasa in the true embodiment. This yoga allows and encourages you to feel from the inside, it is challenging, but meditative and fully meets you where you are. And you can do it your whole life letting the passion live on.
I feel incredibly fortunate for the opportunities as I continue to learn from my students, from my teachers, and from my own practice. I feel so lucky to be able to be a guide to others perhaps providing some relief or just some peace in their day.
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.
Timothy’s joy and passion for yoga clearly extend far beyond his teachings on the mat and in the studio, through understanding both the art and science of living yoga. A native of Upstate New York, and recent transplant from Aspen, CO, Timothy began his yoga journey over 20 years ago while recovering from both physical and emotional upheaval. His personal practice naturally evolved into teaching, where he seamlessly weaved a symbiotic and influential yoga experience into life. As both a follower and fan of master yogis Richard Freeman, Bryan/Johnny Kest, Baron Baptiste and Ana Forrest, he respects the lineage of those who came before. His creed says it completely…”always a teacher, always a student.” Although formally trained in Ashtanga yoga, he draws from all forms of yoga, resulting in his own creative and inspirational style. Teaching primarily from traditional yoga philosophy, he leads an athletic, light hearted (and often humorous) class open to all levels-he emphatically welcomes new students, always. From breathwork, to developing prana, to inventive flow sequencing, discovering a unique experience becomes inevitable. Timothy also holds a Masters and Doctorate in Physical Therapy and welcomes discussion of utilizing yoga to move from injury to health. He invites you to come practice, play, laugh and enjoy an invigorating and refreshing yoga experience with him.
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.
Cecilia Escobar began teaching yoga in 2012 in her hometown of Encinitas, CA. She quickly realized that teaching yoga was a courageous and multilayered task. It requires continuous presence, growth, study and Svadhyaya (self inquiry and self honesty). Cecilia’s experience of the therapeutic aspects of the practice and her thirst for knowledge led her to study at the feet of some of the world’s greatest teachers, including Eddie Modestini, Kristin Bosteels, Karen Miscall- Bannon, Andrew Hillam and Gabriel Halpern.
Cecilia’s approach to guiding her students lies in the traditional teachings of the practice. In a world full of yoga, her teachers have encouraged her to preserve the teachings handed down to them directly from BKS Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois and to approach her teaching with the highest reverence and respect. Her class is focused heavily on structural alignment and inclusiveness, using various props to support the different needs of all her students regardless of what age, body type, gender identity or ethnicity. She believes in making yoga accessible to ALL and she does this by tailoring the practice to the student’s unique needs. In every class you will experience, Asana (poses), chanting and pranayama.
She is very grateful for all of the unique individuals she has met along the very special path of yoga, and has many thanks for her earlier teachers that have directly impacted her approach to teaching today. Cecilia looks forward to sharing her passion for teaching traditional yoga and all that she has learned over the years with her students.
Om Namaha Shivaya
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.
Benett is an experienced yoga teacher, intuitive bodyworker, avid musician, and adventurous traveler. His personal yoga practice spans over a decade and he loves learning and sharing in the magic of yoga. Benett has worked in many studios over the years as a hands-on assistant and has trained in traditional Thai massage. By joining his knowledge of movement arts with musical style Benett brings depth, awareness, and fun to his students’ practice.
Carlie took her first ever yoga class right here at Leap in 2014. She immediately fell in love with the asana practice and quickly began to explore the practice beyond the mat. With a 200hr YTT program, and accumulating continuing education regularly she is a dedicated student first to this practice.
Carlie is passionate for yoga and holds deep reverence for the yoga philosophy. She is playful and fun but deeply devoted to the work, the practice, and the depth of this beautiful journey. She holds space and encourages her students to release all expectations and let yoga do the work.
Joseph’s offering includes vinyasa, yin, restorative, meditation, and philosophical Yoga modalities. His practice lifestyle allows him to teach in West LA, the Bay Area, Hawaii, and his home town, Sacramento. Joe’s passions include music, inversions, running, vegetables, helping people, avocados, and oceans.
I took my first yoga class in college and only dabbled for many years because I felt that form of “exercise” made me too “emotional”. Hahahaha I look back at that now and chuckle, as yoga has become such a massive part of my life, and the hunger for deepening my understanding, teaching and practice continue to grow. I wish I could tell 18 year old Lindsay that it’s ok to work really hard and then enjoy a good old fashioned ugly cry on her mat.
I completed my teacher training at Solfire in midtown Sacramento and it was the first time I really leaned in and listened to myself, learned about myself and developed a ritual of self inquiry.
I teach yoga because I want to share the gifts I received and hold space for people to truly be themselves. We are so inundated with messaging like “be this”, “act like this”, “look like this”, “eat this”, “buy this”, “watch this”… everywhere we look something or someone is telling us who we are supposed to be. I teach yoga so I can provide a space of freedom, support and compassion for people to be their authentic selves.
Melissa attended her first yoga class in 2001 and has been a devoted student ever since. Initially drawn to the physical benefits of asana, she quickly discovered that the balance between peaceful serenity and focused determination experienced on the mat could be a way of life off the mat. Her passion for yoga deepened when she discovered her yoga home at Leap, where she completed a 200-HR YTT and Embodied Yin Immersion YTT.
Melissa’s classes empower students to be fully present in their bodies, find their own edge and honor where each individual is in the moment. Her philosophy centers on the practice of staying present in challenging poses and connecting to breath. Through conscious breathing, concise alignment cues and accessible yet challenging sequences, she aims to create space for students to cultivate inner peace, quiet their busy minds and build confidence.
After health issues, Rochelle began her yogic journey over two decades ago with private yoga classes before venturing into a yoga studio. Yoga changed her life and health. Appreciating the benefits of various forms of yoga she gravitated toward Kundalini Yoga due to the balance of asana, movement, prana, mantra, sound therapy and meditation. Yoga has been essential in her life to balance career, family and the ever evolving external dynamics of life.
Rochelle is a KRI Level 2 trained teacher and Reiki Master. She has been teaching yoga and providing symphonic gong sound therapy in the traditional method for almost 15 years.