Our staff

Meet our yoga teachers

A dedicated team of yoga teachers in West Seattle and Issaquah

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At Spira,  every teacher is unique, but we share a philosophy of excellence and safety. We still teach yoga the way it was originally meant to be; a combination of breath, movement, and mindfulness.

 

We are proud to introduce our instructors who are listed in order of seniority

Dora Gyamati

Dora is an ERYT with over 15 years of experience, and the owner of Spira Power Yoga® studios and the Founder of M3B

 

Learn more about Dora >

Carina Terra

Carina came to yoga after 11 years of studying dance, particularly ballet. She studied yoga therapy at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, with professor Marcos Rojo Rodrigues, a disciple of Swami Kuvalayananda, the great pioneer of yoga therapy and the scientific study of yoga.

 

She has also studied with renowned teachers Ana Forrest, Shiva Rea, Baron Baptiste, JinSung, Tias Little, Amba & Don Stapleton, Sarah Powers, Edward Clark, Andrey Lappa, Colette Crawford, Shari Friedrichsen and Rod Stryker. In 2017, Carina was initiated in the Sri Vidya Tantra tradition in India by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Ph.D., spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute (HI) and successor of Swami Rama of the Himalayas.

 

She now retreats to HI three times a year to meditate and study with Panditji. She also continues to be inspired by the teachings of Shari Friedrichsen and Rod Stryker as well as Sandra Anderson, all teachers in the Sri Vidya lineage.

 

Carina is a versatile teacher who has an interdisciplinary approach to teaching yoga. She is trained in many different styles from Vinyasa to Hatha to Yin Yoga to Self-Awakening Therapeutics.  Carina is a Pranassage practitioner certified by the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica, and a Prenatal Yoga teacher certified by the Seattle Holistic Center. Carina owned and managed Terra Yoga in Issaquah from 2003 to 2013.

 

She has since shifted her focus to training & mentoring other teachers, as well as sharing her passion for yoga with a more global community. In addition to her yoga expertise, Carina is also a Reiki Master and Holographic Sound Healer. Carina’s passion for teaching is evident in her interdisciplinary classes.  She creates a supportive, nurturing space that encourages students to practice being in the present moment with what is, cultivating a state of compassionate awareness toward self and others. Her classes are instructional, insightful, and suitable for people of all levels and abilities

Brenda Schornak

As part of relocating to Seattle at the age of 49, Brenda knew she needed to incorporate some type of exercise in her life and she decided to try an Intro Series into yoga.  With a strong belief in the Powers of Spirit and the Universe, the chanting of Om in her first class was what told Brenda she was exactly where she was supposed to be. 

 

She quickly became invigorated with the strength and power that her body developed over a short period of time.  Not only was yoga a form of exercise that Brenda was able to commit to, but it was also a practice that she began to love. 

 

She began a daily practice of yoga to further enhance her meditation practice and due to her belief in the power of yoga to connect the Mind, Body and Spirit, the Trinity.  Finding herself laid-off from corporate America a little over a year later, Brenda decided it was time for a career transformation!

 

For the past two years, Brenda has rarely missed a single day of practice. She believes so much in the transformation that yoga can create in an individual’s life, she wants to share it with others. 

 

Brenda completed Ana Forrest 200+ Hour Teacher Training in March of 2010 and Baron Baptiste Level 1 in March of 2011.  Brenda has completed both TAP and Advanced TAP taught by local master teacher Lisa Black as well as many workshops.

 

Brenda continues to be mentored by Dora Gyarmati and has plans on completing Baron Baptiste Level 2.  She currently volunteers with Yoga Behind Bars and teaches at Echo Glen’s Children’s Facility in Snoqualmie weekly.

Regan Pasko

Regan began his yoga practice in 2002 at the urging of his physicians to increase his flexibility while training for ultramarathons. Through the years his passions turned from running to yoga, where he discovered a life-changing, joyful, dedicated and rewarding practice that he simply needed to share with others.

 

Regan’s teaching style simply cannot be labeled. He takes what he learns from all his teachers and brings it to his students in a simplistic, almost mechanical way. He builds his students up through each individual class, as well as through their entire lifelong practice, to reach beyond their expectations, allowing them to find themselves somewhere new and amazing.

 

Through his training and engineering background, Regan’s teaching results in a very hands-on approach breaking down the asana, flow and physical adjustments to their most basic foundation. Regan is strongly influenced by Jonathan Bowra (of Forrest Yoga) both through being a student of his and through his ongoing specialized training. He completed a teacher training with Baron Baptiste and teaching assistance programs with local master teacher Lisa Black. He continues his training and practice by attending intensive sessions with master teachers such as Anna Forrest, Simon Park, Jason Crandell and Ed Clark.

 

Through the growth in his practice, Regan found that accomplishments on the mat do lead to exciting and new things in life, giving oneself new found confidence and personal respect. Therefore he teaches with a belief that anyone can achieve, urging everyone to try something new, just one small step at a time.

Marva Benjamin

Marva began her yoga experience/journey in 1999 and has been teaching since 2003 at several studios throughout the Seattle metropolitan area. Her certification consists of over a year of training as well as continuous education and influences through various workshops and teachers such as Shiva Rea, Katarina Wen, Baptiste, Bryan Kest, John Friend, and Beryl Bender Birch. She also studied Ashtanga yoga in Mysore, India, with Master teacher, Sri Sheshadri, and hosted yoga retreats in her second home on the beautiful island of Barbados.

 

She loves to guide students through invigorating, challenging and encouraging yoga classes. Her passion is to teach energetic classes from the heart, with nurturing instructions, that flows into a powerful and graceful practice.

 

You will often hear her reveal one of her mottos while students are in Chair pose: “Okay everyone, let’s get those sit bones down, Happy Hour hasn’t started yet, so off the barstool” Peace, Love, Happiness, Laugh, Live Life…

Susie Brown

Susie began her yoga journey when she moved from Pittsburgh to Seattle in 2005.  Always curious about yoga, she walked into her first class and has never been the same since.

 

She was instantly hooked, finding the balance of peace and strength extremely powerful, not only for the physical body but for heart and soul.  Susie is honored to have the opportunity to share and spread her love for this beautiful practice with her students and the community every day.

 

By marrying the body to the breath and cultivating a dynamic physical flow, you’ll receive workout like no other.  Remember that when you live fully from the heart anything is possible.

Susie is currently studying under Dora Gyarmati.  She has trained with Baron Baptiste and has completed Level One and Level Two Teacher Trainings.

Tara Colagrossi

Tara’s yoga journey began in 2001 while attending college at Washington State University. Though she enjoyed rootin’ for the Cougars, she found a passion in yoga, trying a variety of styles and classes until she found the perfect fit and downward dog in vinyasa power yoga. Yoga has always been a constant in Tara’s life. 

 

With a supportive husband, two beautiful children, Annabelle and Anthony and a fast-paced work life, yoga continues to be grounding and relaxing. It’s an opportunity to connect to herself, to feel alive, to simply breathe and to truly inhabit her body.  She is grateful for the opportunity to give back to this supportive and inspiring community and honored to share her love for the practice.

 

Tara stretched and namasted her way to earn a 500-hour yoga certification through Yoga Works and has also completed the Teacher Assisting Program (TAP) with Lisa Black.  She is currently studying under Dora Gyarmati and Valerie Kardonsky.  When she’s not on her mat, she’s enjoying her family and two beagles, Max and Cooper.

Amy Starner

Amy grew up in Missoula, MT. She began dancing at the age of 5 and never stopped. After graduating with a BFA in Dance Performance, she spent the next 15 years as a professional dancer in Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Indianapolis, and abroad. Looking for a transition out of performing, Amy completed her MFA in Dance & Choreography at UC-Irvine in 2006, followed by completing a certification in the Pilates Method. She then settled in West Seattle with her family and was thrilled to discover Spira Power Yoga, her new second home.

Amy completed Spira Power Yoga 200 hour Teacher Training Program with Dora Gyarmati and she is looking forward to mentoring with Dora to deepen her practice. Amy also finds inspiration from JL Chiemingo.

Amy’s dance background, coupled with many years of teaching movement, has given her a keen ability to truly teach from the inside out; not just making asana, but feeling what’s happening inside your body. While she enjoys the physical “work-out” that Power Yoga can provide, she relishes the spiritual “work-in” that only yoga can offer – aligning mind, body & spirit.  Amy invites you to come to your mat, find your breath and honor yourself. Come find your Yoga Glow!

Chuck McDonald

Chuck started attending Baptiste-Style flow classes at a local gym in 2004 and quickly fell in love with how the practice complemented his regular running and weightlifting.  He took a year off from Yoga to focus on training for long distance running events in 2011, but in early 2012 stopped into Spira Power Yoga at the recommendation of a friend.  After attending the first Spira weekend retreat that year, he immersed himself into yoga to explore how a more frequent practice would benefit his mind and body. Driving home that weekend, he was struck with a tremendous sense of contentment and happiness that he couldn’t put words to. At that point, he switched to Power Yoga as his primary workout. Chuck studied under Dora Gyarmati and Jenniferlyn Chiemingo for teacher training at Spira and continually says how grateful he feels to be able to mentor there with Dora and Susie Brown.


Chuck works in the finance industry and is also a performing musician. He feels his creative pursuits and his practice are essential for providing balance to his work life, which at times can become completely not-at-all-like-yoga.  In additional to taking in an occasional Crossfit class, Chuck can often be found practicing alongside his wife, Kimberly, and spending time with their two growing daughters.

Stacia Noll

Stacia took her first yoga class in 2007 shortly after moving to Chicago. As someone who enjoys many kinds of movement, it was the physical challenge of the practice that first got her hooked. She now realizes it is the clarity, peace and connection that yoga brings to her life that she loves the most.  

 

Stacia completed Baptiste yoga Level 1 and 2 Teacher Training to become an Associate Baptiste Vinyasa teacher and RYT-200, and she has also completed training with Seane Corn, and studied with many other teachers over the years. Stacia is currently working towards training in the trauma-informed practice of Somatic Experiencing.

 

Stacia believes wholeheartedly in the power of yoga and mindfulness practice in our lives, and she is truly grateful to share this space with others. She is a psychotherapist by day and she infuses her classes with themes of self-compassion, connection, gentleness and kindness. Stacia recently relocated her practice from Chicago to Seattle and primarily sees adults experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, grief and loss, issues with relationship and life adjustments, and healing from trauma.

Heidi Peerman

Heidi has always been passionate about health and movement. Through her teens, Heidi was a competitive swimmer and gymnast and later in life fell in love with mountain biking. She received her classical Pilates teacher certification in 2009 and has been teaching private lessons and mat classes ever since. In 2013 Heidi became certified as a Nutritional Therapist and is a firm believer that the combination of nourishing food and exercising the body and mind is the only path towards total wellness.

Yoga had been a part of her life on and off for years but it was not until finding Spira that her love for it began to deepen. In 2016 Heidi received her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from Spira and continues to mentor with Dora Gyarmati. She is grateful for the opportunity to share her passion for yoga with her students and is excited to continue learning and deepening her own practice.

mountain biking. Heidi received her classical Pilates teacher certification in 2009 and has been teaching private lessons and mat classes ever since. In 2013 Heidi became certified as a Nutritional Therapist and is a firm believer that the combination of nourishing food and exercising the body and mind is the only path towards total wellness.

Yoga had been a part of her life on and off for years but it was not until finding Spira that her love for it began to deepen. In 2016 Heidi received her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from Spira and continues to mentor with Dora Gyarmati. She is grateful for the opportunity to share her passion for yoga with her students and is excited to continue learning and deepening her own practice.

 

Kristin is a RYT 200 and a certified Yin teacher. She is finishing her 500 hour teacher training with her teacher Rod Stryker ( Para Yoga ) Whether teaching a challenging power class , gentle yoga, yin or meditation, Kristin’s goal is to help guide students to the place within that never changes , that is always at peace.

Jennifer Clark

Jennifer took her first yoga class at a gym in 2012. The plan was to just add another workout to the baby weight loss journey, but to her surprise, she began enjoying yoga. Intrigued by the challenges yoga presented, Jennifer ventured into the unknown and took a class at a yoga studio. New place, new people, new words, heat, sweat, frustration, fascination, eventually appreciation – studio yoga and Jennifer were officially introduced.

 

Her first class was completely foreign; hearing words she had never heard, being asked to breathe and release (what was that?). She experienced humility at a time it was needed. She felt parts of her body awaken and become strong. She felt a sense of comfort knowing a yoga class was always there for her when she needed it. After a time, Jennifer discovered yoga was not just about movement and flexibility, but more about the whole person. Who we are. How we act. How we think. How we live. How we love.

 

Jennifer entered the teacher training program at Spira in 2015 hoping to gain more insight into the yoga world. This personal journey quickly blossomed into an unexpected enjoyment for teaching and interest in learning even more.

 

There’s an awesome aspect to yoga that sticks with you as you step off your mat. A little friend there to remind you to be present in your day, alive in the moment, happy and content with what you have rather than what you don’t. Jennifer looks forward to having this friend with her as life progresses – teaching her, guiding her, inspiring her. The opportunity to share what she has learned and continues to learn is such a happy feeling and it is her hope to share that happy feeling with as many as she can.

Here’s to the journey!

Lisa Dodge-Johnson

Lisa adores being in her “Body Temple” and supporting others in caring for their own! Her first introduction to Yoga was age 14 when her father gifted her younger sister a book of Krishnamacharya in the most “fantastical poses.” She then purchased her own yoga “how to” book at age 18 while studying the “Arts” in Europe. In the 1990’s she studied Iyengar yoga for 5 years at Yoga Centers in Bellevue, in the 2000’s she did a 40-in-40 stint at a Bikram studio and sweated her heart out there for a while.

 

When Spira opened it’s doors she and her husband Ted were there to Celebrate the “new biz in the hood”! Lisa became an avid practitioner at Spira and in 2017 graduated from Spira’s 200-hour program where she trained in Spira methodology of M3B (Mindful Movement Meditation and Breath).

 

Outside of yoga, Lisa spent her 20’s and 30’s as a stage performer and continues to perform in small venues with a mystical storytelling musical troupe “Spiritual Travelers” she helped found in 2011. She earned a BA & MA work at Antioch Seattle University in Whole Systems Design focusing on “Beauty, Creativity, and Transformation.” She also spent many years in “Movement as Therapy” with various Teachers/Witnesses.

 

Lisa is also a business owner; just south of Spira, Lisa and her husband run Admiral Healing Arts in their backyard cottage. Her biz is “Inner & Outer Beauty: hair, skin & serenity” where she works as a WA Licensed Massage Therapist, Master Esthetician and Cosmetologist.

 

It is her goal to provide students with inner peace! The quietude of Restorative and Yin Yoga is especially appealing to her at this phase of her life, and it is with JOY that she shares Spira’s M3B methodology applied in this quiet setting.
 

Jude McAlpine

Movement has always been a part of Jude’s life. She has been a regular practitioner of yoga since 2008, and spent many years as a competitive swimmer.   She connected deeply with the meditation aspect of yoga – combining movement with meditation and breath.   Jude completed her 200 hour yoga certification in India and is certified to teach Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin, Trauma Sensitive Yoga, and soon to be Restorative.

While off the mat, Jude works in the consulting industry – and started a non-profit in Africa empowering women & children. She enjoys lifting people up through the power of yoga and meditation and guiding others to connect with their inner-self. Jude is grateful and honored to share this journey with her students.

Andrew Loppnow

A lifelong learner, Andrew studied history at the UW, and is a world traveler, voracious reader, and avid hiker.  Looking to become more health-oriented and deepen his beginner’s meditation practice, Andrew was first introduced to yoga in 2012 at Carina’s “Terra Yoga” studio in Issaquah. 

 

After then maintaining an on-again/off-again home practice for a few years, Andrew was convinced to give Spira a try upon moving to West Seattle. He quickly became addicted.  The mindfulness philosophy and breath-based teaching style incorporated by Spira’s teachers resonated with him and challenged his practice to evolve in new ways. Yoga has brought Andrew newfound clarity, confidence, and joy that has rippled out into many areas of life beyond the mat.  It has been a perfect pairing with his main gig – managing Float Seattle’s two float therapy studios in Greenlake & Bellevue.

In 2018, Andrew completed his 200-hour yoga teacher certification from Spira.  He plans on continuing to mentor under Dora and Carina going forward as he develops himself as a new teacher.   He intends to blend his own curiosity and experience into Spira’s style of teaching, as he shares his love for this practice with the Spira community.  He looks forward to helping others discover more of their own innate potential through breath, movement, and mindfulness.

Diana Shadel

Whether it be cross-country running, training horses, swimming, or finding a new hike, movement has always been a part of Diana’s life. Her yoga journey did not begin with a single life-changing class, but rather a gradual snowball over the last decade.

In 2013 yoga became a way of life when Diana developed a daily home practice.

 

It was no longer a purely physical endeavor, but a daily moving meditation that left her feeling in harmony with body, heart, and mind. She became passionate about yoga being able to meet each individual wherever they are that day.

In the Summer of 2017 Diana took her first class at Spira with Dora Gyarmati and was excited by the great workout paired with that same harmony she felt in her home practice. She immediately signed up for Spira’s 200-Hour Teacher Training and continues to mentor with Dora. Diana enjoys teaching an upbeat class with focus on strength, breath, and releasing everyday tension.

Erin Stuckey

Erin was first introduced to yoga in 2002 after walking into a class in an NYC gym, and they immediately knew this was something special and different from what team sports and long distance running could offer. As the years went by and injuries closed the running chapter, their yoga practice evolved to find clarity of mind through the connection with mind, body, and breath.
 

After over a decade of global health work, much of it spent living abroad, Erin realized their motivation to address inequity worldwide is just as relevant here in the US. Erin found Spira shortly after moving to Seattle in 2014, and initially signed up for teacher training as a way to deepen their yoga practice and find a lighter way to move through daily life in our world through mindfulness and meditation. Through this process Erin found a way to add a sense of softness to their active life, to find compassion for self and others, and to stop searching from without and start learning from within.
 

Erin finds joy and creativity in teaching, and their classes focus on strength-building mindful flow to guide students towards self-acceptance and awareness both on and off the mat. They still travel the globe extensively and you will often find them escaping the city for solo backpacking trips – meditating in the woods is powerful stuff! 

 

Erin has a Ph.D. in Epidemiology, completed the Spira 200-hr yoga teacher training in 2017 and continues to mentor with the Spira Power Yoga family, and completed Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher Training through Yoga Behind Bars, an organization they are honored to serve as a member of the Board of Directors.

Bridget Sturza

Bridget was shown the importance of daily movement by her father at a very young age. Her dad loved team sports, and she spent many weekends as a child playing outside all day long at local parks where her dad would play pick-up basketball.

 

Throughout her childhood, Bridget tried many different team sports ultimately enjoying distance running the best, although it was more on/off than constant. She moved to Seattle from Michigan in 2007, excited to explore the Pacific Northwest through hiking/backpacking and downhill skiing. That first year living in Seattle, she spent most weekends in the mountains with her husband and/or friends doing just that, depending on the season.
 

Looking to change things up, Bridget decided to give yoga another try. Over the years, she tried a few different yoga classes here and there, but never got that mind-body connection everyone was talking about. Not until she took a class at Spira in 2011, by recommendation of a friend, did she find the beginning of something life-changing. Blown away by the truly authentic teaching style where humor, curiosity, and breathe moves you through challenging and powerful asanas, Bridget found strength, for both body and mind.

 

She completed her 200-hour RYT training at Spira in 2017 and continues to mentor under Dora and Carina. Bridget also practices as a registered dietitian nutritionist and has found yoga to be a fantastic partner in daily wellness. She is thrilled to teach powerful yoga classes through mindfulness.

Michele Koehler

Michele started practicing yoga nearly 20 years ago, hoping to alleviate stress during graduate school and increase flexibility for distance running. She found that linking body, mind and breath kindled an overall sense of well-being. She was hooked and finds that today, yoga is still a release for her body and mind. Michele is a compassionate and friendly soul who teaches inspired, grounding classes.
 

Michele completed Spira Power Yoga’s 200-hour teaching in 2018, training with Dora, Brenda, and Carina. She is excited to continue her yoga journey as an instructor at Spira while maintaining a busy career outside of the studio. Michele continues to mentor with several of the other Spira instructors, learning from them and continuing to grow her teaching skills.
 

When off the mat, Michele enjoys eating food cooked by her husband, walking her canine beast and watching birds. She also believes that yoga has made her a better skier. Kaw kaw!

Carla Hassell

Carla Hassell has been a Yoga teacher since 2009. Her journey began with Bikram Yoga and Vinyasa classes. She is truly inspired by what yoga has done to her both physically and mentally. Carla got her first 200-hour certification through CorePower Yoga. Since then she has studied with teachers like Rod Striker, Baron Baptiste, Shiva Rea, and many others. She recently got certified in Yin

 

Yoga with Bernie Clark, and currently she’s mastering her 500 Hour with Carina Terra at Spira Power Yoga. For Carla, the opportunity to teach yoga in this lifetime is a gift. She teaches from her heart, with no judgment, and with a light spirit. She vows every day to bring a quality of freshness, authenticity, and support to her students. When Carla is not teaching, she enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with her husband, family, and friends.

Chelsy Greenman

Chelsy began her yoga journey with Rodney Yee videos in 2004. She always had an interest in it, and always came back to it when her life needed grounding and focus. Yoga became a way of life once she realized it was the medicine her body and mind needed. While she always wanted to go through teacher training, the timing and place never seemed to match up. Finally, she moved to West Seattle, found Spira, and there were no more excuses.

 

Chelsy loves the way yoga takes care of your whole being, mind, body, and soul. No other movement practice provides that so well. She graduated from Spira’s 200-hour teacher training in April 2018 and is grateful to be surrounded by such a warm community of dedicated teachers and students. She loves teaching Dora’s M3B style classes and is currently studying Iyengar in her home practice.

Sarah Goettsch

Sarah is a gal grown in the old soul soil of Iowa, who lives now near salt water and practices tree pose among old forests. After a decade in the outdoor industry, she exchanged hats for a deeper exploration of mindfulness, restoration and movement. Much of her learning is focused on nonviolent communication, our natural world, trauma landscapes, and the stories we hold. A poet at heart, and occasionally on the page, she brings attentive joy and active curiosity to her classes. She completed teacher training at Spira in 2019 and looks to meet you in class or the studio hallway for a serendipitous hello. When not practicing yoga, Sarah is often on the road, mailing postcards, tending to the earth, or listening to birdsong.

Spira Power Yoga

West Seattle
2332 California Avenue SW
Seattle WA, 98116
p. 206.687.7055

Email us

Spira Power Yoga

Issaquah
1135 NW Gilman Blvd Ste, F-10
Issaquah, 98027

p. 425.677.8346

Email us

(c) Spira Power Yoga 2019 All Rights Reserved

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