Teachers

In Mysore, India, William Mushkin received Level 2 Authorization from Sharath Jois. William was originally introduced to Ashtanga in 1987 by Norman Allen’s student, Beryl Bender Birch. His practice for many years following was a slow and intermittent antidote to his daily acts of running, work, and capitalism. In 2009, William met Gibran Gonzalez Madrid in Sayulita, Mexico–Gibran displayed the entire Ashtanga Primary Series for him in its simple grace. William fell in love with the asanas and the space between them. Through the practice, he has passed through the essences of many beautiful people. He thanks the third person, those who practice next to him, as well as: Sharath Jois, Saraswathi Rangaswamy, Jorgen Christiansson, Richard Freeman, Mary Taylor, and Tim Miller. In William’s words, “The practice wakens me daily to the wordless truths which I know but often misplace.”

Elizabeth Van Genderen has taken yearly trips since 2011 to Mysore, India to study at the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Yoga Institute and has received Level 2 Authorization and Sharath Jois’ blessing to teach the Full Intermediate Series. She has completed Richard Freeman’s month-long Intensive, his Advanced Intensive, and Tim Miller’s Primary and Intermediate Series Teacher Trainings. She is deeply humbled by her teachers’ dedication to the Ashtanga lineage, devotion to Guruji, and love for their students. She is honored to teach within this parampara, and hopes to transmit the same principles in her teaching. A veteran of 5 marathons (including Boston), Elizabeth has undergone multiple knee surgeries, and is amazed and humbled by the body’s intelligence and ability to heal. She credits Ashtanga for the increased range of motion, flexibility, and confidence that she has found since practicing the 8 limbs. Pratyahara (the 5th limb) means withdrawing the senses. “We withdraw the senses so that we can look inward,” teaches Sharath. “Yoga is experience. It takes place inside, not out”. Elizabeth is greatly honored to share these teachings with you.

Michael Rawlison was born and grew up in the United Kingdom. He began teaching himself yoga from a book when he was 18 years old. He continued to practice in college and while travelling in Europe, Africa and Asia in the 1980’s and 1990’s. He was introduced to the Ashtanga Vinyasa system in England in 1992. When he came to the U.S. in 1995, he had the good fortune of meeting Richard Freeman, who has been his primary teacher ever since. He completed Richard’s Teacher Training in 2001 and his Advanced Training in 2004. He met and practiced with Pattabhi Jois and Sharath in 2002. He has also attempted to broaden his perspective by practicing and doing workshops with Rolf Naujokat, John Scott, David Swenson, Tim Miller, Adil Palkhivala, Tias little, Anna Forest, Manouso Manos and Sri Ramesh Ji.

Jen Peters was pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience when a good friend introduced her to yoga in 2003. It was love at first dog. In the lab, she had been investigating how brains are modified by experience and hoping to alleviate suffering through science, but yoga gives us the tools to take neuroplasticity into our own hands and optimize our potential in all aspects of life! She began teaching full-time in Munich in 2005, mentored 500-hour teaching apprenticeships as an 800-hour Advanced Certified Jivamukti teacher, and traveled throughout Europe and Asia giving workshops, kirtans and retreats. Jen met her principal teacher Richard Freeman in 2007 and has since participated in or assisted over 1800 hours of his trainings in Ashtanga Yoga. In 2011, she moved back to the USA to intensify her studies with him and Mary Taylor and taught at their studio until its sale. She continues to delve into Iyengar Yoga and many therapeutic modalities, and her teaching is informed by personal struggles with chronic illness, a long-standing meditation practice, and her background as a professional psychotherapist. Everybody can benefit from an intelligent and compassionate yoga practice! www.junglephysician.com

Thaddeus Haas began his experimentation with yoga in the early 90s, in the most unlikely of places, the straight-edge hardcore scene in northeastern Pennsylvania. It was there that he was introduced to the path of bhakti yoga as taught by His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, but it wasn’t until many years later that he formally took up the practice of any yoga at all. He discovered the practice of Ashtanga yoga while living in Austin, Texas in 2005 and it was this discovery which solidified his commitment to living a yogic life. Shortly thereafter, he established a dedicated relationship with David Garrigues and exclusively studied with him in Seattle, Missoula, Charlottesville, Philadelphia, and Kovalam, India. During this time, Thaddeus received the blessings of David to teach and he began teaching Mysore at Ashtanga Yoga Charlottesville until relocating to Denver in 2012 to pursue his Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Thaddeus remains firmly embedded in the Ashtanga yoga tradition by maintaining a regular practice and receiving instruction from senior teachers. In addition, he is an active practitioner of bhakti yoga and serves as a pujari for Sri Sri Radha Govinda at ISKCON Denver. For him, the most important aspect of his practice of both Ashtanga and bhakti yoga are their connection to tradition and lineage and he strives to communicate this through his teaching.

Brianna Kliesmet was introduced to Ashtanga yoga in 2010 when completing her undergraduate degree in business administration at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. PJ Heffernan, a dedicated student of Guruji and passionate teacher of Ashtanga, was instructing Yoga at the university at the time, and from that day on she began regularly attending his led primary classes at PJ’s yoga Shala. Since then, Brianna has become a regular practitioner in Denver. She has continued her exploration into Ashtanga by traveling to Mysore, India learning under the guidance of Sharath Jois at the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. Brianna made the trip twice, in March of 2015 and October of 2016. Prior to learning her passion for the lineage and practice of Ashtanga, Brianna competed at a national level with Trinity Academy of Irish Dance and was a member of the Trinity Irish Dance Company, a professional touring group. She traveled nationally and internationally performing all over Japan and the world until 2013. Now living in Denver, Brianna spends her free time mountain biking, snowboarding and striving to live a lifestyle according to the 8-limbs of Ashtanga Yoga.

Laura Flier initially began practicing yoga in 2002, when she was searching for a means to maintain physical and mental well-being in the face of her demanding litigation career. She soon found her first yoga home at It’s Yoga San Francisco, known for its unconventional approach to Ashtanga. She earned her teaching certificate in ashtanga/vinyasa from It’s Yoga in 2006, then in 2007 went on to become certified to teach It’s Yoga’s “Rocket” system. Eventually she was drawn to explore a more traditional practice, which led her in 2008 to travel to Mysore, India, where she met Sri K. Patthabi Jois and practiced for one month under Sharath Rangaswamy. In 2010 she seized the opportunity to assist her Mysore teachers in San Francisco: Chad Herst and Devorah Sacks at Mission Ashtanga, and Catherine Shaddix at The Mindful Body. Later in 2010 she relocated to Colorado, where she has honored her ongoing commitment to her personal practice while keeping up a corporate legal career and regularly teaching vinyasa for the joy of it. Fourteen years after she first rolled out her mat, she’s struck by what a lifelong journey this practice truly is, and how much always remains to be learned.