Teachers

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The Teachers
of Pranava

Who We Are

Pranava Yoga Center instructors are passionate about extending the teachings of yoga and guiding you in your practice. We are dedicated practitioners and are students for life. We take our yoga practice off the mat and into our daily lives. Teachers at PYC are fun, authentic, positive and passionate about better living. We encourage you to see the world from another perspective…. and from upside down. :) We teach you some really cool yoga poses. We help you grow your yoga practice.... spiritually, mentally, and physically. We motivate you to find your own inspiration from within.

Hethyr P.
YA E-RYT 500, YACEP
Co-Owner 

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As a yoga instructor and director of Pranava's yoga teacher training programs, Hethyr believes that it's essential to make yoga accessible to all levels of practitioners because it has such a positive, transforming power and can spread such good in the world.

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Hethyr would like to offer her most sincere thanks to each and every teacher - past, present, and future - for all guidance offered on her own path. She is especially thankful to Mike and Charlotte Matsumura for founding Pranava Yoga Center, teaching her so much about yoga, and entrusting her to humbly serve the PYC community. She is so grateful to have met her guru Manorama through Pranava's teacher training program under Mike and Charlotte's guidance. Hethyr is a lifelong student of yoga and continues to explore and enjoy many different styles. She incorporates many of her favorite lessons into her own teachings.

When she's not at the studio, she loves hanging out with her husband, Jon, who's a first-grade teacher, and their rescue dog, Sable. They love traveling, hiking, camping, and enjoying all that this beautiful life has to offer.

Hethyr is honored to be the Director of Pranava's Teacher Training Programs.

 Jon P.
Co-Owner 

IMG_4250.JPGFAMILY SELFIE.JPGJon began his yogic journey when his wife, Hethyr, forced him to bring his inflexible and unbalanced body to a yoga class. He found the practice to be healthy for his mind, body, and soul, and he was immediately drawn to the amazing spirit and energy of the Pranava yoga community. Over the next several years, he happily practiced yoga on a regular basis, usually taking classes taught by his awesome wife. Now he co-owns Pranava and continues to do whatever his wife tells him to do.

As a first grade teacher at Manitou Springs Elementary School, Jon teaches yoga to his students every day. He gets tremendous satisfaction from watching them bend, stretch, flop, fall, wiggle, and bounce their way through various yoga movements and postures. He continues to learn meaningful yogic values from his first graders, including kindness, forgiveness, and presence in the moment.

Savasana is Jon's specialty.

Alison N.
YA E-RYT 200 
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Alison teaches in the Vinyasa tradition, which is a flowing style of yoga that links breath with movement and teaches principles of alignment as a therapeutic approach for the body.  She understands yoga is to be practiced on and off the mat and is always looking to find ways to convey that in class.  It is Alison’s joy to share this lifelong practice that brings so much balance, fulfillment and vibrant health.

 

 

 

Anne A.
YA RYT 200

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Anne discovered yoga in her 50s when she observed her parents’ challenges with balance and flexibility and decided to do whatever she could to avoid the same issues. Despite considering herself a lifelong klutz, she left that first class smiling and thinking ‘I CAN do this!’ She found that physical changes were only a small part of yoga’s benefits; she was calmer, happier, and much abler to cope with stress. After about ten years of practice she enrolled in teacher training with the intention of deepening her own asana practice and exploring the other seven limbs of yoga. Unexpectedly, she discovered a passion for sharing the gifts that yoga can bring with people of all ages and fitness levels. Her message to everyone is that every body is a yoga body, that yoga is so much more than asana, and that yoga can and should be fun!

Away from the studio, or from her mat at home, Anne enjoys reading, cooking, quilling, papercrafting, walking, hiking, skiing, traveling, and doting on her three adorable grandchildren. She is a life member of the University of Texas Exes, and tries to practice yogic non-attachment while following the ups and downs of Longhorn athletics. 

Charles A.
YA RYT 500 

Charles Bio Pranava Yoga Center.jpgCharles Warrior PYC 2.jpgDuring his military service, physical therapists suggested Charles look into yoga to address service related injuries. He admits that he rolled his eyes and thought “No way! I ain’t doing no yoga. You thinking I’m going to move to Boulder.” After seeing the yoga schedule at the Briargate YMCA, he decided to check out a class. After 3 classes he sensed there was something to “this yoga stuff” and his yoga journey began.

Charles, who is retired from the Army, can relate with retired and active duty military on how yoga can help mend physical, emotional and spiritual pain the military may carry. He loves sharing his love of yoga and expanding his knowledge by attending workshops, conferences and practicing with different teachers. He loves the union and connections yogis have; “there is less than 6 degrees of separation with yoga and yogis.” It’s is such a wonderful way to bring people together. He jokingly refers to himself as the “Yoga Ambassador for Colorado.” This is a reference to his contacts, fellow yogis and teachers that he has met within the yogi community.
Chawesa (“Goi”) T.
YA RYT 200

GOI_pose.jpgYoga became a part of Goi's life in 2006 when she first attended a corporate yoga studio in Bangkok, Thailand, where she was born and grew up. Early in her practice, self-care was her priority in attending yoga. But later on, Goi found yoga to be more of a meditative path in her daily life. She has found that yoga helps her build length, strength, and a peaceful space in her heart and mind — along with an awareness of the importance of remaining in the present and being grateful in life. The inner peace that yoga gives her after each class helps her to be more ready to give of herself and care for others when the time arises. Yoga teaches her to see and respect differences in each person, and to resist comparison, competition, and judgement. All of this has led to yoga becoming Goi’s true passion in life.

Goi_Family_pic.jpgIn August of 2015, Goi and her husband Seth decided to move back to the U.S. permanently in order for their only daughter to receive an education in the U.S. After being a full-time mom for six years, she decided to follow her true passion by becoming a certified teacher through the 200-hour teacher training at Pranava Yoga Center.

Here in Colorado Springs, Goi has also followed another of her passions, her love of working with children, by becoming a preschool teacher. When she has extra time, Goi loves to spend it with her husband and daughter, practice yoga, go hiking, read, watch American comedy series, and cook Thai food for her family. Yoga is a life long journey for Goi, and presently she enjoys practicing with various teachers so she can bring that knowledge and experience to share with other practitioners in her classes.

Deb H.
YA E-RYT 200 / RYT 500, YACEP

deb bio pic1.jpgThe idea of yoga had been in the background of Deb's mind for as long as she could remember, but it would be many years before she actually got to her mat. She had always been physically active through various sports and dance, and initially, yoga was simply another form of physical activity. She began with a home Ashtanga practice, but eventually found advancement in a studio setting. Being a runner most all her adult life, she found that yoga was the only other physical activity that brought the sense of peace she experienced in running. Her interest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle has evolved through the years and she has had many different jobs through her adult life. Currently, Deb is honored to guide yoga practitioners through their own practice and loves this role of facilitator. She also believes in the importance of sustaining a consistent personal yoga practice which encompasses all aspects; body, mind and spirit. In Deb's class, one will find acceptance and encouragement through a light hearted, yet grounding practice.

deb bio pic 2.jpegWhile Deb is immensely thankful each of her many teachers, she will be eternally grateful and indebted to Mike and Charlotte Matsumura for setting her on her path. Of course, the journey did not end, as she continued her formal training with Hethyr Pletsch, who continued in the PYC tradition. With much gratitude to Hethyr, Deb completed her 500 hour certification in vinyasa yoga. Deb loves that yoga can be accessible to everyone, and that advancement is always a possibility with consistent practice. Yoga meets us where we are each and every day.

Besides yoga, Deb enjoys being a student of life. She is grateful to spend time with her husband, Jean, their blended family of 5 grown children, and our 5 energetic grandchildren.

 

Dee K.
YA RYT 200
dee bio pic 1.JPGdee bio pic 2.JPGDee was brought to yoga the same way that so many other have been: the allure of physical fitness through asana. She practiced for years following yoga apps and Instagram posts. After moving to Colorado in 2015 and the deployment of her husband, she braved her first public yoga class at Pranava Yoga Center on the recommendation of the teacher she met through Instagram, Deb H. This experience was completely mind-blowing to learn that there was so much more than asana!
 
From that first class, Dee began to explore the other limbs of yoga and wanted nothing more than to share this knowledge with others. Yoga became such an empowering and creative outlet for her and she believes it is something that everyone should practice both on and off the mat. Dee completed her 200hr YTT certification at Pranava Yoga Center under Hethyr Pletsch.
 
In her free time, Dee enjoys gardening, hiking, and exploring Colorado with her husband, Rob.
Edward R.
YA RYT 500

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Ed has always enjoyed the mental challenge that is inherent in physical activity. This began in his younger years with football and wrestling and grew into trying many sports; he became an endurance runner in high school and continued into adulthood. He enjoys road biking and mountain biking and trying new events with obstacles, loves to rock climb, and spends a lot of time climbing high into the trees as a ropes course supervisor. Ed has been a practicing yogi since 2007 and his philosophy of yoga is to exclude none while challenging all, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually.  He quickly learned that yoga is not about mastery, but about practice and effort. There is never an end point or goal; just a journey of physical growth and self-discovery. Yoga has helped him to become physically and mentally stronger than he has ever previously experienced. He has personally witnessed the tremendous effects of the connection of body and mind through yoga and has worked to incorporate these practices into his daily work as a psychologist. As a yoga teacher, he hopes to provide a challenging physical practice that creates strength in the mind and a connection with the breath through balance.

Hailey P.
YA RYT 200

hailey2.pngHailey has consistently practiced yoga on the mat since 2009, however, yoga off the mat truly began once she became a yoga instructor in 2015. Here at Pranava, she learned how to apply this 8-limbed path of yoga to her every life, and how to share this magnificent gift of yoga with her future students. 

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Her goal in life is to teach people yoga, travel the world, and motivate herself and others to realize that we are each perfectly loved, perfectly created, perfectly capable, and more powerful than imaginable. 

Hailey is a Health Science major at UCCS and also works as an assistant at Lawrence Chiropractic and as a yoga instructor at Gracie Barra Colorado Springs. She trains/competes in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu at the blue belt level. She has lived in Colorado Springs her entire life and enjoys spending time with family, meditating, hiking, backpacking, reading, learning, cooking and eating healthy food, drawing, listening, loving, and thriving! 

Come to her class and expect a challenge but not at the cost of your inner peace!

Jean H.
YA RYT 500

Jean Pic 2 Barr Camp.jpgJean surprised everyone, especially himself, when he signed up for the Pranava Yoga Center's 200 hour Teacher Training.  He is so happy he embarked on this yoga path.  An active Colorado native and software engineer by profession, he certainly loves not only the movement of yoga, but all aspects of Patanjali's 8 limbs.  While Jean learned a great deal from all his previous teachers he is deeply grateful for the teachings of Mike and Charlotte Matsumura.

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What started as a way to stretch out from running and/or sitting at a desk all day quickly became a vigorous asana practice. Jean believes that everyone should be able to experience the joy and benefits of the 8 limbs of yoga.  Mike and Charlotte have taught him not only how to have fun with the physical practice, but the depth and importance of the more spiritual aspects of yoga. He is excited to share this knowledge and excitement with anyone who is ready to have some fun.

Jean enjoys singing with the “America The Beautiful” barbershop chorus, running (his favorite race is the Pikes Peak Marathon) other outdoor activities and practicing a healthy lifestyle with his wife, Deb.  Jean has a blended family of 5 grown children, along with 5 grandchildren.

 

Jessica La.
YA RYT 200

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Yoga has been a part of Jessica's life since childhood. She has fond memories of her mom of leading her through tree poses, sun salutations, and, of course, lion pose when she had a sore throat. In 2000, she attended her first official yoga class in hopes that it would relieve stress and bring a deeper meaning to her life. It did both. Five years later, Jessica completed a yoga teacher training program through Day-Star in Denver but with her busy job teaching visual arts to 600 elementary-age children, she found herself too drained at the end of the day to dream of teaching anything else.

When Jessica discovered Pranava Yoga Center, she immediately knew that she had found her new yoga home, and her dormant dreams of teaching yoga rekindled. She loves the community-based atmosphere, the fun-loving and supportive teachers, and the incorporation of all eight limbs of yoga into the instruction. Through practicing at Pranava, she found herself becoming stronger, happier, and more energetic than ever. She completed her second 200-hour training at Pranava in April 2015. Jessica is grateful for the opportunity to share her love of yoga with others.

In addition to teaching yoga, Jessica is an arts educator, writer, publisher, and photographer. When she has time, she enjoys knitting, sewing, gardening, hiking, cycling, traveling, reading, and spending time with her wise husband, two adorable dogs, and one weird, wise, adorable cat.
Jessica L.
YA RYT 200, RPYT

jessica l bio pic.pngJessica began her yogic journey in 2004. She took her first yoga class as a college course for credit. She had no idea that the ‘easy credit’ college course she was taking would forever change her life. From that very first class, she felt a deep connection to the practice. Yoga has helped bring a sense of focus and balance to her life. She loves the peace and clarity she receives from both attending and teaching a yoga class. Jessica strives to practice Patanjali’s eight-limbed path of Yoga on and off the mat.

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Jessica took her 200-hour teacher training at Pranava Yoga Center, under the guidance of Mike and Charlottle Matsumura. She is passionate about sharing the wonderful gifts of Yoga to people at all ages, stages, and abilities in life. She believes everyone can benefit from Yoga. She has taken her Prenatal Yoga teacher training in Boulder, under the direction of Katie Wise and Kirsten Warner. She is currently working towards becoming Yoga Alliance certified in Prenatal Yoga. Jessica loves sharing yoga and breathing techniques to pregnant women on their journey to motherhood. Her future goals include Childrens Yoga Training, to be better able to share the gifts of Yoga with our future generation. Jessica is forever grateful to all of her past, present, and future teachers for sharing their knowledge and love of Yoga with her.

Jessica graduated from the University of WI-Milwaukee in 2005 with a Bachelors of Art degree. She is also a licensed Esthetician (Skin Care Specialist) and brings that knowledge to her daily life. She believes that what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it. Jessica is passionate about living a healthy, active lifestyle.

Off the mat, Jessica is honored to be a stay-at-home mom and spends her time learning about the important things in life from her two beautiful daughters. Jessica was born and raised in Wisconsin and moved to Colorado with her husband because the mountains were calling them home. She loves spending time outdoors. You can find her hiking, kayaking, camping, and generally exploring the mountains.

Justin C.
YA RYT 200

justin c bio.jpgJustin received his 200-Hr. certification from Pranava Yoga Center in 2014. He is a student of both eastern and western philosophies and of closely related mind body practices. You will find these elements in the classes he conducts as well as a light-hearted attitude. He enjoys exploring Colorado's high country and spending time with his Son Elijah.

 

 

 

Kara S.
YA RYT 200

_DSC4799 low-res.jpgKara’s interest in yoga was sparked at the age of eleven, when her mother guided her through her first sun salutation.  In the intervening years, she has sustained a steady yoga practice for nearly 25 of them.  It was not until she discovered Pranava that Kara became inspired to advance her long-time personal practice.

IMG_4381.jpegThe reverence Kara feels for her spiritual and asana practice has expanded in ways she never thought possible. Her training has been eclectic in nature, drawing from various yogic traditions such as Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Restorative.  The foundation for her practice lies in the spiritual practice of meditation, which she has studied for two decades.  She enjoys teaching students practical ways to weave yoga and meditation into daily life.

She is a graduate from the University of Louisville and the University of Denver.   She is greatly enriched by her work as an oncology social worker at University of Colorado Health, Memorial Hospital.  Currently, she is teaching yoga to cancer patients where she hopes to improve their quality of living.

Kara is the mother of two shiny children who bring much joy and laughter to her life.  Her life-long interests have spanned traveling, running, cycling, gardening, and skiing, along with her latest initiative, stand-up paddleboarding.

Katie T.
YA RYT 200

katie t bio 1 .JPGkatie t bio 2.JPGSince high school, Katie has felt the pull to understand yoga, but the practice of the 8-limbed path of yoga has been a guiding light in her life since starting her 200-hour teacher training at Pranava in 2013.  The journey of her personal practice, as well as her approach to guiding classes, has changed in many ways, and she would like to think it will continue to do so as she learns and grows in the wonderful yoga community of Colorado Springs.  She loves how the physical practice can bring an unparalleled focus to the mind and breath.  What's more, she loves being able to connect to that focus off the mat.  Life is about balance and she has come to understand that balance for her is a constant state of finding her center, seeking her Self, and loving everyone she encounters.  It's a daily practice.  It's a winding path.  And it's truly a transformative process.

 

Kim R.
YA RYT 200

Kim Asana.jpgKim R.jpgKim has spent most of her life living in the west and the far northwest.  She has been practicing yoga since 2002, introducing its joy and benefits to her husband, daughter and grandchildren. She is always reminded that defining moments happen with every practice.  Kim believes there is a Yogi in all of us and that yoga is ageless.  By practicing pranayama, asanas and meditation, one creates space and harmony both on and off the mat.

In her spare time, Kim enjoys writing, playing guitar, customizing walking sticks and hiking and biking with family.  Kim is most grateful for the journey that led her to the door of Pranava Yoga Center and the completion of the 200 hour RYT.  She is registered with Yoga Alliance and feels honored to share her love for yoga with those practicing at PYC and elsewhere.

Kris J.
YA E-RYT 200 / RYT 500, YACEP

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Kristin attended her first yoga class in 1985 as an exploration of different movement modalities while studying dance therapy at Naropa University. She has been studying and practicing yoga, meditation, and Buddhist philosophy ever since. "My time at Naropa was fundamental in forming my relationship to myself, my experience, and the world of perception and form." In 2009, Kristin began the bhakti yoga practice of Kirtan, devotional singing and chanting in Sanskrit, which led her to form the Kirtan group Bhagavan Kirtan! with Bruce Reddick. She and Bruce present the beautiful practice of Kirtan throughout Colorado, sharing their love of devotion.

Kris PAYO 2.jpgAlong with bhakti yoga, Kristin's experience in dance, dance therapy, and authentic movement form the foundation of her yoga teaching. Kristin has studied many forms of yoga including Iyengar, Ashtanga, Kripalu, and recently completed certification in Alignment Principles. Kristin is a graduate of Pranava Yoga Center's RYT 200 hr. Teacher Training Program and is deeply committed to radical alignment through body mind and spirit. She approaches her classes with compassion, heart-centered uplifting vibes, and encourages students to dive into the depths of their experience, whatever that might be. Having a keen interest in the spiritual origins of yoga, Kristin strives to include an inner awareness of spiritual development in every class. "Yoga has deeply transformed my life in every way - through asana, pranayama, meditation and devotion, I feel more vibrant, alive, and at home in my own skin every day and long to share and encourage this aliveness with others."

LeAnne C.
YA E-RYT 200 / RYT 500, YACEP

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After practicing consistently for 20 years, LeAnne Carrouth decided to take the plunge and certify to teach through the Pranava 200-hour teacher training. She is delighted and honored to bring yoga’s many benefits to all practitioners. Her joyful compassion and down-to-earth sense of humor bring perspective to the practice.

LeAnne’s background as a competitive gymnast in her long ago youth set her up to enjoy inversions, but her foray into yoga began on the floor of her classroom during her planning period when she was teaching middle school. The energy and patience that she could bring to her students after a short practice was remarkable. Her practice became more consistent when a car accident took running out of the picture for an extended time. Yoga was both therapeutic and challenging.

In the rest of her life, LeAnne writes and directs videos with her husband John Bourbonais and enjoys her unusual family, reading, theater and film, as well as cooking and the New York Times crossword puzzle. (yep, super-nerdy!) She is grateful to yoga for the gifts that it has bestowed and to the lineage (however circuitous) that brought the teaching to her.

Linene K.
YA RYT 200

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Linene began her yoga journey more than 15 years ago after the birth of her first child. As a military wife and mother of four, Linene has received numerous classes throughout North America, giving her different and unique perspectives as a student. She has used those skills to teach local amateur and scholastic athletes to increase their overall fitness. Having done this for many years, Linene decided it was time to take her passion to a professional level. She received her 200-hour Teacher Certification through Prananva Yoga Center.

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Linene incorporates the mind, body and spirit into her vibrant Vinyasa and Yin classes. She is a graduate of Morehead State University and is the founder and current owner of My Yoga Bliss.

In addition to practicing and teaching yoga, Linene and her husband Michael homeschool their four children. She fills their days with books, hiking, skiing, canoeing, and exploring nature.

 

Michael B.
YA RYT 500

michael b bio.jpgAfter finding the gift of Asana Michael became intrigued with the fluid motion of vinyasa with the combination of breath and intention. As his practice grew his thirst for more understanding did as well. Soon Michael sought out the teacher training program at Pranava and received his 200 HR certification. The lessons of meditation, pranayama, and the 8 limbed path of Patanjali became a major facet of his studies and he continues to indulge in the beauty that is yoga. In the beginning of 2016 Michael heard of the 300 HR teacher training program at Pranava and felt it is where he must be. These two trainings along with his bachelors in biology have brought him a much greater understanding of the human anatomy and its mechanics along with astounding respect for the complexity and individuality of everybody and the vast teachings encompassed within yogic philosophy. Michael hopes to make vinyasa accessible to anyone who attends his class along with trying to progress their journey through a solid foundation and understanding of proper technique, alignment, and breath. Creating this foundation allows for a sustainable and strong practice that supports the vitality and longevity of any yoga practice. Michael hopes he can be a support system for anyone who attends. He is beyond grateful for the community at Pranava and for the chance to teach classes and hopes to see you there!

Michael loves to rock climb, dance, spend time with friends and family, and most of all show people that they are beautiful and loved no matter where they are within their path. Every single person (yogi or not) has the potential to be a catalyst for change within the world, it just starts with making the decision to be love, shine bright, and always remember that we are sources of vibrant and luminous light no matter how dark we perceive things to be.

Mike K.
YA RYT 200

Mike K 2.jpgDown Dog.jpegMike moved to Colorado in 2006, for our beautiful mountains and the adventures they provide. A machinist and engineer turned stay at home dad, Mike loved yoga from his first class back in Cleveland, Ohio over 15 years ago. After practicing on and off during those early years, he became increasingly aware that yoga does change lives. Seeking out more knowledge led him to practice Iyengar yoga, and he eventually realized that he has been living a yogic lifestyle most of his life. Wanting to share his love of yoga and its benefits, Mike has continued his education at Pranava and the Teacher Training Program. He brings a calm, compassionate voice to his classes.

When not in the studio, Mike enjoys spending time with his wife, two children, and dogs in the mountains camping, skiing, or hiking. Also an avid photographer, Mike enjoys landscape and nature photography.

Samantha H.
YA E-RYT 200, YACEP

Sam H Teacher Pic.jpgSam H asana.jpgHaving always been in awe with the culture and history of India, Samantha Hart's passion for yoga was a natural and instinctual eventuality. In 2003, after an injury during Pilates, Samantha turned to yoga for rehabilitation. Despite a first few awkward sessions, she fell in love with the peace she experienced, not only with herself, but with her family and others around her after each class. This peace further inspired her to explore further into the philosophy of yoga. In 2007, she received her YogaFit level one certification and began teaching yoga at a gym in Green Bay, WI, where she was already employed as a personal trainer. Following her relocation to the Springs in 2010, she found herself immediately falling in love with Pranava and the transformation it has to offer its students through asana and the 7 other limbs of yoga. She has recently graduated from the PYC 200 hour teacher training and is excited to share her love of yoga with beginners and experienced practitioners alike. She brings her knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology into every class to provide a safe environment to her students. Her goofy, genuine character is reflected in her teachings, and she hopes to impart to her students that we all have something to learn and yoga is one of the greatest teachers.

Shannon N.
YA RYT 200

Shannon Nelson 2.jpgFullSizeRender-3.jpgShannon began her yoga practice 13 years ago in her native state of Tennessee. Her career in nonprofit fund raising, while gratifying, was at times extremely stressful. She decided to investigate the practice of yoga to reduce stress and anxiety and to address lingering injuries from years of running. She noticed the benefits immediately - particularly how much quieter her mind was after the first lesson!

After moving to Colorado Springs from Nashville four years ago to be near family, a friend recommended that she attend a class at Pranava. Her first class was a Dharma class with Mike Matsumara. While overwhelmed at first, Mike made her feel comfortable and safe immediately and she returned for more classes that were a “bit” more accessible to her. Thanks to Hethyr Pletsch and Charlotte and Mike Matsumara, Pranava has been her “yoga home” ever since - “it’s a family thing y’all.” She completed the 200 hour RYT training at Pranava in November 2014.

Shannon works for USA Bobsled/Skeleton Federation as Executive Assistant to the CEO. When she is not at work or in the yoga studio, she can usually be found on the golf course or hiking in the beautiful Colorado sunshine.

Sonya B.
YA RYT 200

Sonya B Dancing at Taos.jpgSpring Mini Headshots Sonya-Spring Mini headshots Sonya-0008.jpgSonya has been seeking out yoga for almost 20 years.  Throughout her years of practice as a student she had experience with many different styles and believes that each style brings a unique gift.  Because she was not able to even sit cross-legged before yoga, Sonya originally sought out the physical benefits of yoga.  After years of practicing asanas, she noticed calmness in the mind and a sense of peace.  This peace of mind drives her motivation to teach and share yoga with others.  Her yoga experience has progressed to a practice of self-discovery: physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Because of her own experience in self-discovery, she feels compelled to share yoga with others - helping others to see the connection with their genuine self.  Though ever the student, Sonya is a Yoga Alliance 200 hour RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) in the Vinyasa style.  She completed her 200 Yoga Teacher Training at Pranava Yoga Center.


"Yoga is a powerful practice and a beautiful gift to yourself.  You just need to show up and yoga can get you to a good place."

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Guest Teachers

 
Anais S.

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Anais Spitzer 
has a Ph.D. in comparative world religions, and has taught Eastern religions and philosophy for 7 years. She has held positions at Hollins University, The University of New Mexico, Prescott College, and The College of Santa Fe, and has published numerous scholarly articles in addition to a book on philosophy and myth. She enjoys yoga, mountain biking, and sharing her passion for teaching and learning.




Bill Kemp

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An Iyengar practitioner for 26 years and certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor for 20 years, Bill Kemp has taught at various yoga studios and fitness centers in the U.S. Bill has studied with B.K.S Iyengar and Geeta Iyengar at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Center in Pune, India, Patricia Walden, and at many other venues and with many instructors over the years.

Bill taught at the Full Circle Yoga Bookstore and Yoga Institute in San Diego, and later studied with Patrcia Walden for many years in Boston Massachusetts. Bill was a staff teacher at Patricia's studio (BKS Iyengar Yoga Center of Somerville) for years as well.
 

Charanbir Singh

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Charanbir Singh (David Barfoot)
 is certified as a Level I instructor by the Kundalini Research Institute.  He  has worked in helping professions most of his life including 18 years working with juveniles and 23 years working with a noted nutritionist.  The discovery of Kundalini Yoga (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) transformed Charanbir's life.  Although still growing, Kundalini brought the elevation and awareness that he had been seeking all his life.  Now, at 69 years of age, he is happier than ever before.  Teaching the amazing path of Kundalini yoga and sharing his hard earned wisdom is his joy.  He says, "It is all about each person making their own personal connection with the wisdom of the universe.  It is then that we find and live our authentic selves.  It is real and very achievable for the average person with an ordinary life ".
 

Giselle Mari

Giselle Bio Pic.jpgYoga-International.jpgyoga_journal_cover250x328.jpgGiselle Mari is an Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher and E-RYT500 whose yogic path began in the early '90s. She was drawn to the Jivamukti Yoga method early on in her practice. Soon thereafter she began her extensive study with her gurus Sharon Gannon and David Life, and joyfully assisted them throughout the western United States. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Giselle currently teaches at studios, yoga conferences, and festivals around the globe. She is known for her dynamic classes that have a down to earth approach to the practice of yoga. Each class infuses funky eclectic music, Sanskrit chanting, skillful and intuitive hands-on assists, an insightful topic for mind, body and spirit and an asana practice that will light your fire and send you home glowing. She's appeared on the cover of Yoga Journal and Yoga International and has been featured in many of their articles. She is also featured in Kathryn Budig’s book Women’s Health: The Big Book of Yoga published by Rodale. She is an ambassador for Gaiam, a columnist for Origin Magazine, serves as an advisor for The Art of Yoga Project and served on the Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training faculty as a mentor.

Gloria J.
YA E-RYT 200

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Gloria is a dynamic, compassionate teacher with a gentle spirit.  Her rich background of experience in behavioral health, education, and rehabilitative services has given her a strong platform from which to teach yoga. Gloria has worked with special needs children, seniors, folks with terminal illness, clients with biomechanical issues and injuries, and most recently with active duty service members suffering from PTSD and/or related symptoms.

Fascinated by the miracle of the human body and the strength of the human spirit, Gloria was drawn to the practice of yoga in the Fall of 1999.  Inspired by the teachings of the Baptiste Power Vinyasa tradition, she received the highest level of training with renowned yoga master, Baron Baptiste.  Gloria became the first teacher to introduce this transformational style of yoga to the Colorado Springs community.   In addition to her training with Baron, Gloria has also received additional training with Tom Stiles in Structural Yoga Therapy and is currently seeking advanced certification in Yoga Nidra with Richard Miller, Ph.D. through the Integrative Restoration Institute.

“Teaching yoga has given me a strong sense of purpose.  I’ve learned that the power of the human spirit is stronger than our deepest fears or perceived limitations.”

Hansa

Hansa portrait Web.jpgHansa, YA 500 E-RYT, is an ongoing student of Kripalu Yoga.  Over the years, she has studied with many teachers who have offered insights and depths into the path of yoga.  The blessings of all the wisdom holders offers her a unique, unfolding experience of yoga.  She has developed the belief that the body is the silent communicator of the Spirit and uses yoga, yoga chikitsa, ayurveda and massage to facilitate Spirit connection.  She has taught in many locations and now has her own studio, the PranaYoga and Ayruveda Mandala in Denver.  She teaches yoga classes, yoga teacher training programs and a yoga therapy training. Hansa is a past president of Yoga Alliance and Yoga Teachers Of Colorado and served on the Board of Kripalu Center, Sanga, International Yoga College and is currently on the Standards Committee for International Association of Yoga Therapy.

 

 

Jaclyn R.
YA E-RYT 200

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Jaclyn began practicing yoga as a dancer in 2000 to reduce injury and balance natural flexibility with functional strength. By 2003, she began teaching vigorous vinyasa classes at a variety of fitness venues around Colorado Springs. She received her formal 200 hour training at the Shoshoni Yoga Ashram in 2008, where she continues her studies. Jaclyn has learned from a rich lineage of teachings that focus on the cultivation of inner peace through ancient yogic teachings by surrendering into an open mind and an open heart. She is deeply grateful to her teacher, Rishi Maha Mandaleshwar Sri Shambhavananda (Babaji), for this gift.

Jaclyn is passionate about personal health and wellness. Her academic studies focused on human physiology, nutrition and biomechanics, but her lifetime studies have continued into alternative wellness. Her studies in Ayurveda began at Shoshoni, developed through personal study, and continue through the Ayurvedic Institute of Vedic Studies under David Frawley.

Yoga2.jpgThere is a time for all things, each day and throughout life. As such, Jaclyn emphasizes a balanced asana, pranayama and meditation practice that incorporates gentle, restorative, and alignment focused movements with occasional vigor and strength. Jaclyn encourages a lifetime practice of peace and nourishment through deepening your understanding of your Self by listening to your one, true teacher...you.

Jaclyn is honored to have assisted teacher training programs at Pranava Yoga Center and at the Shoshoni Yoga Ashram. She has taught workshops on the subtle body and the chakras, ayurveda, restorative yoga, posture alignment and anatomy and physiology.

In addition to teaching yoga, Jaclyn is a high school chemistry and anatomy & physiology instructor. She also spends a lot of time training for local running and triathlon events and loving her beautiful family.

Photos of Jaclyn courtesy of Daisy Erickson.

Manorama

IMG_5201.jpgManorama, a Columbia Graduate and the director of the School of Sanskrit Studies in NYC, leads workshops on the Path of Luminous Shabda, a path that combines Sanskrit, Meditation and Yoga philosophy. She leads workshops nationally, as well as internationally.

Manorama's mix of earthy charm, deep scholarship and humorous teaching style were born from years of close study with her Guru, Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati.  She is a graduate of Columbia University.  In 2005, Sanskrit Studies released the acclaimed Learn to Pronounce Yoga Poses, an invaluable tool for yoga teachers & students.  Manorama is committed to affecting the world in a positive way through Sanskrit, language of awareness and love.

Robin B.
YA E-RYT 200, RYT 500 

robin_face.jpgRobin has been in the body work profession in Cañon City for 8 years through her massage business, the Healing Oasis. Promoting health and well-being in Cañon City has been her goal all along. Yoga has become a part of this goal. She attended both her 200 and 500 hour classes at Pranava Yoga Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  She enjoyed the benefit of learning from Mike and Charlotte Matsumura and the many guest instructors they brought in, including Manaorma, Giselle Mari and Hansa to name a few. “Practicing yoga brings joy and freedom to my life, and who wouldn’t want to share that!” She will always be grateful to her teachers for giving her the tools to share the practice of yoga. Robin loves to spend time outside; rafting, hiking with her dog, rock climbing, and riding her bike. She loves getting outside and experiencing all that Cañon City has to offer.

Robin is the co-owner of River Lotus Yoga in Canon City.

 

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