Yoga on Beacon – Instructors
Dee’s primary vision and focus since 2007 has been to create a healing, empowering, and welcoming yoga sanctuary, YoBe, and through that generating greater love and compassion in our world. It is her core belief that a peaceful world begins with peace in ourselves. By tending to our own kindness and compassion we positively impact those closest to us, and the ripple effect of that is limitless.
Dee came from spending 10 years as the proprietress of Sadh Desha retreat center on Orcas Island where she ran yoga and meditation workshops and retreats, and provided workshops for people living with cancer. She has been studying yoga since 1987 and teaching since 1995. She has completed training programs with Ganga White, Ananda Yoga, Forrest Yoga, Gary Kraftsow, Barron Baptiste, 9 Gates Mystery School, and has studied under many other luminaries of yoga, meditation, massage therapy, and more esoteric healing arts. The tapestry of all these modalities is woven in to her teaching style. Dee sees asana as a passageway to a deep connection to our essence and our higher knowing or spirit. She guides her classes from this inspiration with the intention of allowing the brightest and most joyous of us all to shine forth.
I began my study of yoga in 1993 with Kathleen Hunt and completed teacher training at Samadhi Yoga in 2000. I have been teaching at 8 Limbs Yoga centers in Seattle under the guidance of Anne Phyfe Palmer and Melina Meza since 1999. Subsequent studies with A.G. and Indra Mohan, Robert Svoboda and Aadil Pakhilwala have been brief but influential.
My classes are informed by traditional Raja and Hatha yoga techniques and by my background in dance and other movement forms such as martial arts and dynamic meditation. I would like my classes to be a place where people can harness the power of their senses, focus their minds and experience a state of Samadhi. I hope this can support a longer-term practice of cultivating a balanced and illuminated quality of mind. Offering clear instruction and unusual challenging sequencing that cultivates mental focus and integrated strength without strain, I emphasize customizing a practice to suit individual needs and bodies.
Julie started studying yoga in Nepal before completing her 200 hr teacher training at The Samarya Center for Integrated Movement Therapy in Seattle in 2013. Julie wishes to inspire students to connect with their own experiences in a simple and mindful way and to open the practice of yoga to everyone. She started working with specialized populations (MS, spinal cord injuries) in 2013 and trained at Mind Body Solutions in Minnesota on adapting yoga for disability. Julie is keen to explore how yoga can help empowering people living with disability, trauma, illness and aging. She currently offers all levels and gentle classes at various locations in the Seattle area as well as adaptive yoga and private tuition for people with reduced mobility. Her teaching is influenced by more than 10 years of experience living and working abroad, interacting with individuals from different cultural backgrounds and conditions and her interest in mindfulness practice.
Seattle born Kathleen Hunt has had a lifelong passion for movement. After graduating with a BA in Dance from the University of Washington, she went on to produce/ choreograph/perform and collaborate on numerous dance productions.
Kathleen owes her understanding of yoga to amazing teachers: Swami Shankarananda, Dharma Mitra, Marie Svoboda, Sri K Patabhi Jois and Aadil Palkhivala. Hunt taught yoga as ‘Samadhi Yoga’ at Physical Culture Dance Center from 1987-1998. In 1995 she formed the ‘Samadhi Yoginis’ dance troupe which performed at yoga conferences, schools, senior centers and nightclubs. She founded/co-directed the Samadhi Yoga Center on Capitol Hill with Steven Davis from 1999-2014 and created the Yoga Alliance certified Samadhi Yoga Teacher Training program in 1998, training over 200 teachers.
Laura holds a Master’s Degree in Sports Medicine, is a Registered Yoga Therapist and a Licensed Massage Practitioner who has taught throughout the U.S. and internationally since 1992. Laura teaches hatha yoga in the viniyoga tradition and has so much gratitude for the knowledge she received and the time she spent with her teacher, Trish O’Rielly, who passed away in 2001. Laura has also been a student and practitioner of Buddhism for 25 years and integrates mindfulness into all of her teaching. By creating awareness in their bodies, breath and minds, Laura helps her students extend the effects of their practice well beyond their yoga mats. Combining her knowledge and experience, Laura is uniquely qualified to help people who have had an injury, chronic pain or a chronic illness. Whether she’s teaching a group class, working one-on-one or in a therapeutic massage, Laura has dedicated her life to helping others move with ease, breathe deeply and open their hearts.
Peter began practicing yoga after a New Year’s resolution in 2000. He initially practiced Bikram ‘hot yoga’ and found the intensity not only benefitted his health, but helped him focus his mind and better navigate his heart. After exploring a diversity of styles in Seattle, he eventually pursued teaching as a part of his practice, receiving RYT 200-hour certifications from both Samadhi Yoga (2010) and Seattle Yoga Arts (2013). Peter’s teaching style reflects his passion for yoga as a way to connect to the joy of corporeal expression. Yoga is a practice of awareness and offers the opportunity to expand consciousness to all corners of the lived experience. He enjoys blending hatha, vinyasa and a variety of other styles of yoga in his classes and also teaches specialized classes for people with Parkinson’s Disease (www.yogaforpd.com). He teaches regular classes in studios, workplaces, residences and hospitals in the Seattle area. Peter also holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Pomona College.
Terika Raak was first drawn to yoga in 2011 as a different way to exercise while increasing her flexibility, yet she soon found yoga to be much more than what she expected. In 2009 she completed her seminary education, receiving her Masters of Divinity. A year later she became the first woman to be an ordained minister in her denomination in this region of the country. Her connection to something holy/beyond herself has always been a deep part of who she is and how she interacts with the world around her, providing an undercurrent to her teaching. Her desire to deepen her understanding of all the aspects of yoga led her to immerse herself in to the 8 Limbs yoga teacher training program in 2016. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to offer to others what has become such an important aspect to the foundation of her life now. She brings her inquisitiveness, playfulness, and soulful connection to her teaching, offering challenges and contemplations for both on and off the mat. Terika has been the assistant manager at YoBe since 2015 and is excited to expand her role through teaching to the amazing YoBe community
Laura Aschoff fell in love with yoga in a period of grief, and she found her practice breaking open and healing her heart, mind and body. Dance and somatics being her background, Laura deeply values the mind-body relationship the practice of yoga can cultivate. She completed her 200 hour teacher training at Seattle Yoga Arts in 2015 where she deepened her knowledge of anatomically sound sequences and heart-centered flow. In addition to teaching at YoBe, Laura offers Yoga for Trying Times, a weekly sliding-scale class at Studio Current on Capitol Hill.
A bhakti yogi with a Bikram background, Abiola Akanni is the 200hr RYT certified yoga instructor and founder behind Yoga by Biola, home of culturally expressive yoga and Trap Vinyasa®. An inclusive, body positive yogic experience, the Trap Vinyasa series features dynamic asana, dance and basic boxing elements guided by trap music, an 808 beat-based genre of rap originating from the south. Motivational language encourage self reflection and celebrate change while leaning into areas of growth compassionately. The Nigerian-American self-love activist is also the creator of The Divine Feminine Yoga Workshop and The BE Liberated Retreat, designed to help individuals embrace each unique archetype of the divine feminine and free their conscience of stagnant teachings that limit authenticity. Abiola’s liberating offerings and soulful practice continue to redefine the yoga arena as we know it, while influencing many to walk out their true dharma in grace and truth.
Jonna teaches traditional, straightforward and smart Yoga classes. Teaching since 2000, she is a skilled and experienced instructor. The strength of Jonna’s teaching lies in her attention to detail and her compassionate approach to individual needs. Her intuitive ability to see how structure and form work together in the body leads her to many insights for those who take her classes. Jonna offers a skillful and strong practice and hopes that each student will walk away with a deeper understanding of themselves and the yogic path.
Lauren’s interest in human movement, functional and expressive, is organic to her system and she brings a contagious curiosity about what animates people to her classes. She began practicing yoga asana in 2006 while searching for a way to expand her meditation practice and reconnect with her body after a hiatus from studying dance. Her classes are a combination of hatha and vinyasa and she holds the intention of creating space for people to connect with the wisdom and suppleness innate to themselves. Lauren received her 200hr teaching certificate through Samadhi Yoga in 2012 and her primary influences have been Kathleen Hunt, Eiric Orvid, Steve Davis, Yvonne Croteau, and Troy Lucero. When not at YoBe, Lauren works as a SPRe® Bodywork Practitioner, teaches pilates privates and group classes, teaches private yoga with an emphasis on kinesiology and somatic apperception. She is a lover of nature, most especially the birds and the places where land meets water, and enjoys laughing and just-being with friends!
Heather Danso is devoted to helping people lower stress and find new possibilities for health through yoga, movement, and mindfulness. A yoga teacher and Feldenkrais Method® practitioner, she honors the experience and intuition of each student. She incorporated Yoga into her life 20 years ago after multiple injuries. She values awareness practices as a way to find deep inner resources for healing and ease in daily life. Her teaching style is rooted in body-awareness, movement mechanics, compassion, intentionality, expressiveness, and fun. She teaches Hatha, restorative, yoga, yoga for movement disorders, and pre-natal yoga. She is also a grandmother.