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.
Gaya Shelton-Ostadi grew up and Rancho Cordova and could be found banging around on a toy piano as a toddler, an electric organ as a pre-teen, strumming a guitar as a teen and a homemade harp as a college student. She also sang second soprano in her junior high choir. But other creative threads caught more of her attention as she moved through college, receiving a Masters of Fine Arts at UCD Davis as a visual artist in 1990.
After directing a small regional art museum in Santa Rosa for about 15 years, Gaya left for a simpler life, becoming a yoga teacher and living at a Santa Rosa ashram, Ananda Seva Mission. Over the next couple of decades, Gaya built a full-time teaching practice and became a skilled Yoga Therapist and eventually joined the ashram teaching staff. Eventually, yoga lead her back to music in the form of chanting and kirtan (call and response chanting).
She has studied raga with Kiranjot Kaur in Sonoma County, sacred music with Gina Salá in Seattle and Kirtan Leadership with Mike Cohen in Boulder. Having moved to Placerville, she now composes, leads Gaya’s Earth & Spirit Band, and records original versions of chants and meditations which are published on digital platforms such as Insight Timer, Spotify, You Tube Music, Apple Music and more.
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.
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.
Teaching yoga has been the strong foundation for much of Andi Donovan’s career over nearly 30 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, Myofascial Release Yoga, for Athletes, Athletic Recovery or Yoga Therapy, Andi creates awareness using movement, breath, passion, and humor.
With over 1600 hours of training from a variety of sources, and over nearly 30 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.
Elise moved to Fair Oaks in 2018 where she began attending yoga classes and found a home within a welcoming community of uplifting, tranquil, and resilient individuals.
Elise began teaching yoga in 2019. She is a 200 hour RYT with Yoga Alliance and completed her certification through Transformative Yoga with Gena Foreman and Stacy Whittingham. She is Yoga Nidra certified through Gena Foreman and currently teaches yin, vinyasa, and hot 26.
With a BA in Creative Arts, she is inspired by dance and art and facilitates movement that encourages awareness, self discovery, and expression.
As an advocate for meditation and yoga as a sources of healing, Elise teaches from a place of compassion, inclusivity, and service.
Carissa often can be heard saying, “Yoga should be fun!”, and she’s not wrong – the joyfulness of a yoga practice is both happily contagious and courageous. Carissa found her way into a studio and onto a mat in 2011; since then, her journey with yoga has been a gentle source of grounding, a welcome journey into learning, and an indescribably rich blessing. She earned her 200-HR YTT in 2018 and completed her 300-HR YTT at Leap in 2020; she has been actively teaching since 2018 and continues to grow both her personal practice and her teaching practice. When Carissa is not on her mat, you will find her in her classroom at her local high school, teaching English and working in special bits of mindfulness, meditation, and breathwork.
For Carissa, yoga is about coming into a relationship with oneself; it is a playful exploration of one’s whole self, including breath, body, heart, mind, and more. She believes yoga is a deeply personal and not performative practice, and her classes encourage her students to come back to their inner voice, authentic power, and playful natures; she empowers her students to breathe deeply and find their “sweet and steady” on the mat. Her classes are rooted in intentional alignment, personalization of the practice in one’s own experience, and the beautiful yielding to a profound connection with something so much bigger than ourselves.
My yoga practice started when I was 15 years old in a Physical Education class at Ponderosa High School. I was immediately drawn to the peacefulness found in the effortless effort. Over the next 11 years I “flowed” in and out of practice, but always being drawn to the glowing feeling that comes after practicing. I made yoga a constant in my life during the pregnancy of my first daughter 7 years ago (at Leap!). Now a mother of 2, their joy practicing yoga together as a family motivates me in every way possible.
Completing a 200HR yoga teacher training started out as a bucket list item for me. After years of self-doubt, finally loving my own body, and getting out of my own head, I took the leap. I started with a love for learning and understanding yoga more but I soon realized teaching is one small way I can contribute to a more peaceful existence in this world.
I completed my Kids Yoga teacher training in January 2022 and then my 200HR Transformational Leadership training with Stacy and Gina in February 2022. I have continued my education to include Chair, Prenatal and Postpartum yoga. My formal education includes a Masters in Business Administration and a Bachelors in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on non-profit organizations.
I am passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion in all spaces – including my students! The shape of our bodies shouldn’t hold us back from the practice of yoga. I love exploring how we can modify “traditional” poses to meet each bodies need. YOGA IS FOR ALL BODIES! My constant enthusiasm in positivity is only matched by my verve for living a peaceful life. I hope our paths cross some day soon…
I took my first yoga class more than 20 years ago, but raising kids, caring for aging family members, and volunteering in my community was how I chose to spend most of my time. My focus was in service of others and my health and wellness began to decline as I tried to continue pouring from an empty cup. This realization is what lead me to develop a stronger and more consistent practice. I focused on fine tuning my alignment in poses, and linking breath with movement for years, but I still approached yoga primarily as a physical practice.
In 2019, I decided to take a 200-hr YTT to better understand my asana practice. This was life changing for me. During my training I discovered what my practice had been lacking. The belief that yoga is more than movement, more than breath. What I practiced on my mat started to show up in my everyday life. I began to live in yoga. To me, living in yoga means living in kindness and compassion.
Upon completion of my training, I jumped right into teaching vinyasa, slow flow, vin yin, and restorative yoga classes. To further my understanding of the benefits of yin and restorative yoga, I completed an additional 100 hour training of Advance Yin and Restorative Yoga. While I still enjoy a personal practice of vinyasa, I’ve fallen in love with practicing and teaching yin yoga. I appreciate how yin yoga cultivates stillness, softness, and acceptance by safely exercising the deeper joint and connective tissues to encourage opening and the flow of energy within the body. I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude for the opportunity I have to share this beautiful experience with others.
Sam Scholtes: BS, CSCS, has been a personal trainer since 1999. He completed his first training credential as a Health and Fitness Instructor from the American College of Sports Medicine during his senior year at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, while completing his degree in Biological Sciences. His style integrates scientific Western strength and conditioning with the more traditional esoteric arts of Qi Gong, Yoga and Thai Yoga Therapy.
Sam goes to the source for his trainings; studying Yoga in India, Tai Chi in China and Thai Yoga Therapy in Thailand. Sam goes to these lengths because of his intrinsic understanding that the spirit of the source is contained within the cultural context that bred it, much like the heart gives leadership to the head. He feels that though his education gives structure to his work, it is his intuition and feeling that guides him. He blends effortlessly the fruits of his discipline into a banquet that feeds the body and nourishes the heart and soul.
“Enjoying the process and having fun is what my style of training is all about! The results you earn blossom directly from your joy of learning and experiencing just what your body, mind and spirit are capable of accomplishing!”
This is a warm friendly accessible class and no matter what your level of experience or ability might be you will walk away with a deeper sense of well-being and a feeling of moving deeper in to your practice.
Good yoga is built upon the principle: “If you are breathing, you can practice yoga.” This acknowledges the aging process and works with it. As the body fades and our ability to do complex poses becomes limited, students of the Dharuna Method can always return to the breath and to basic poses and feel accomplished. When the emphasis is on breathe and state of mind, everyone can practice together and still get that sense of being a part of a yoga community. In regards to health, this becomes their foundation, their Dharuna, from which they can build everything else upon.