Instructors

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Sherry Eckert

Sherry Eckert brings 13 years of teaching yoga with over 8000 hours of practical teaching experience, 20 years of personal practice as well as her experiences as a former ballerina and competitive athlete. In Sherry’s class you will build heat from the inside out, open the hips and pelvis gradually, building strength, stamina and balance safely and progressively. Her approach to yoga is a strong base of anatomy, breath and movement and stepping beyond the habitual patterns that we tend to move within. She teaches a varied style that includes influences from Iyengar, and Core Strength Vinyasa. Sherry works with groups as well as private sessions and her experience includes work with yoga to help rehab injuries, build balance and recovery from joint replacement. Her passion is bringing yoga that speaks to a wide variety of people and helping them to stay flexible, breathing fully, and balancing both sides of the body.

 

 


Patricia Weiss

When I had an autoimmune disorder, yoga found me. “They” say things happen for a reason. All I can say to “them” is that the outcome was delicious! I no longer have autoimmune issues and I found the best physical activity I have ever participated in. The moving mediation I had learned from martial arts transferred seamlessly to yoga. Then, my yoga instructor, Ann Marie Underwood, very gently and lovingly tricked me into taking the instructor training. My yoga guidance counselor, Nicole Ekin, very gently and lovingly forced me to substitute teach her classes. And here I am now, every Saturday morning, jumping out of bed to bring what I can to my students. I place emphasis on the transitions between poses as much as the poses themselves. Along with focusing on being in the moment with meditation in motion, I incorporate significant core work and emphasize upper body strength. I throw in a bit of easy adult tumbling just for fun. My influence from being a drill team participant (see photo) somehow comes into play for whatever reason. My classes are accessible to all skill levels as I give modifications to the beginner as well as the accomplished yogi. Please join me! I look forward to meeting you.

Elizabeth Tonti

My yoga journey began in my late teens when I discovered the practice of Ashtanga. Battling an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, and a debilitating obsession with perfectionism, yoga became (and remains) my lifeline. I brought my yoga mat with me when I moved across the country to attend undergrad and continued to practice the Ashtanga primary series during study breaks. My practice got me though college, law school, the bar exam, another cross-country move to the rural South, and the evolution of my legal career. Through moments of loss, grief, change, joy, celebration, and growth, my yoga practice has been a constant. While the fear, self-doubt, and inner-critic never completely disappear, through this practice I find more moments of peace in my body and in my mind.
Yoga has been one of greatest gifts of my life; I became a teacher in order to give back and make this profound practice accessible to others. I completed my YTT at the Grinning Yogi in Seattle, WA, and studied under a number of magical teachers who continue to inspire my practice and teaching. My mission as a teacher is to hold space for practitioners to show up on the mat and connect with the breath, the body, and the inner-self, with curiosity, compassion, courage, and authenticity. My intention is to create a brave space where students can experience personal and spiritual growth. I endeavor to craft body-positive, intelligently sequenced classes, with a focus on breath and mindfulness. Because I view the asana practice as inextricably intertwined with the
spiritual and mental aspects of yoga, I provide students the space to work with a non-physical intention throughout practice. I have an unbridled, ridiculous sense of humor; I absolutely love yoga puns and corny jokes, which sometimes just happen to come out in the middle of class. My classes are often themed; I draw inspiration from the yoga sutras, literature, nature, current events, and invite students to contemplate how we can take the magic we create with our breath and body off of the mat and out into the world.


Drew picDrew Kunz

To me, the heart of yoga is relationship; the relationship between the body and breath, between thoughts and emotion, and all the rhythms that form our lives. Yoga invites us to explore these connections. It gives us an opportunity to practice presence and celebrate life. We unfold. We dance. We inspire. We play. I took my first yoga class in the early 90s with Linda Ryan; her warehouse studio in the 3rd Ward of Milwaukee became a second home to me. Her classes, always a blend of movement and stillness, empowered me to live life with more fluidity and grace. Years later, and after a move to the Pacific Northwest, I found myself at the Samarya Center in Seattle. Again I felt at home with the community that was built around the teachers and everyone that came there to practice. It’s there that I eventually received my 200 hour certification. I’ve studied (and continue to study) different styles—Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara, Yin—and love to weave multiple traditions together. I invite people to come and explore, breathe and play, and to experience a connection to yoga that best serves their body and spirit.

 Mindy Tonti

Yoga has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Yoga started with my mom balancing my energy and turned into me watching my sister and mom start there physical yoga
journey. The practice never felt like my thing. I had yet to have my “ah ha” moment in yoga. In the middle of one particularly brutal Seattle winter, I decided to try a hot hatha studio just to feel
some warmth. I fell in love that first class and found myself diving into the practice.  Yoga became yet another way to connect with my mom and sister and through the two of them,
I learned and fell in love with ashtanga, yin, and vinyasa flow.  Yoga has taught me the tools to survive through heartbreak and death as well as the tools to
thrive through love and friendship. I found asana and pranayama helpful ways to work towards being a better version of myself. The daily practice, whether 5 minutes of meditation or hours of
asana, now informs the entirety of my life.  I appreciate the vast complexity of the yoga practice. The asana keeps me present in my body
and helps me to feel strong and connected. Pranayama practice has taught me an avenue to navigate through life with patience and compassion. Yoga philosophy has gifted me with an
excitement to learn, read, and discuss. I appreciate community and how the practice has opened my eyes to such a beautiful and accepting one her in Kitsap County.
I went to study under Ganga White and Tracy Rich with the intention of deepening my own practice. Through the YTT process I discovered how much I wanted to teach, how I wanted to
give the gift of yoga to everyone. In my classes you will find fluid movement including playful asana with strength and breath. I am excited about teaching a safe and sustainable yoga for a
lifelong practice.

Andrea Goldman-1Ruby Goldman
Yoga Dance is hatha yoga: pranayama, asana, meditation combined with movement and exploration within the poses and yoga therapy.  I am a licensed massage therapist bringing 15 years of body work experience.  My love of dance, movement and the chakra system infuse my teaching with creativity and introspection.
Sandy CitesSandy pic

I started practicing yoga in the 70’s, college/flower child erea and then was sidetracted with life.  About 15 years ago yoga grabbed me again.  With no serious thoughts of teaching, my yoga “posse” friends and I took the 200 hour course to deepen our practice – then it just took off.  My focus is the deep belly “engine”, the toes and fingers and most of all the “exhales”.  I agree with so many others that yoga is a dance and whatever one comes to it for…It creeps inside…All one has to do is “Show up on the mat”.

Jenifer (Jen) Shelton

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Jen Shelton began practicing yoga 25 years ago while studying dance at Cornish College of the Arts.  She admits that it was the idea of keeping her body healthy that drew her to yoga, but she soon found out that it held so much more.  Yoga became a safe and sacred place for her to fall and rest.  A place of no judgement.  There she learned to find her breathand colm her mind.  All she had to do was show up and be present.  She knew there adnd then that she wanted to become an instructor.  Little did she know her dream would take 25 years to fulfill.  Jen recieved her 200 Hour RYT and taught in Seattle before moving to Kitsap.  She’s excited to be a part of the team and to be encouraging and helping to guide the community through practice.

Joni Derifield

Joni stumbled upon yoga in 2014 during a stressful period in her life. While she loves the way yoga makes her body feel, mental clarity and inner calm have been yoga’s greatest gifts. She completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Passion for Practice (now Devoted Yogi) in May of 2017. She completed a 50 hour advanced yin yoga teacher training in March of 2018, and a 70 hour teacher training with Sarah Powers in October of 2018. She is currently pursuing her 500 hour certification through 8 Limbs Yoga in Seattle.

In addition to yoga, Joni enjoys all manner of physical activity—CrossFit, running, sailing, hiking, and walking. Her passion is helping athletes and non-traditional yogis achieve greater flexibility and functionality through yoga.

Annie Humiston

I started my practice 5 years ago while on a vacation to Maui. I took 33 classes in 27 days. I fell in love with the practice and found at 53 that Yoga is for every body. I was 238# and couldn’t breath in a forward fold. I knew in Maui I wanted to teach yoga for every body. I came home from that trip and began a daily practice. I joined workshops, I practiced yin, restorative and vinyasa flow. All the while knowing I wanted to teach. In December of 2016 I had my left knee replaced and started back to Yoga in January 2017. I then put out to the community a question of where would you go for teacher training, Thinking I would have to travel. The answer came back that a new school on Bainbridge was just getting their program certified. We studied Ashtanga and Iyengar, I completed my 200 hour training in May 2017. My class tends to be a level 1-2 flow. I love to chant my students back from Savasana.


sean picSean Pickard

I discovered yoga as kind of a last resort for my chronic lower back problems. I began by following along with the television and was amazed at how quickly my body started to change.  Shortly after that I noticed that not only was my body becoming healthier, but my attitude and confidence was improving too.  My wife bought me a membership at a yoga studio for my fortieth birth day.  I tried my first instructed class and have been absolutely hooked ever since.  Today my back is healthy and strong and I am happy and content with my life despite all the stresses and strains that all of our lives present us with.
We moved to Kingston in July of 2014 and I found myself in a town without a place to practice yoga.  With that ambition in mind…I completed my 200 hour teacher training class in February of 2015, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to create a wonderful, peaceful and tranquil place for us all to work towards our own well being.