Akeesha Simmons

Akeesha completed her Hatha Vinyasa RYT-200 certification in the spring of 2017 from the Kula Yoga Project in New York City and completed an additional certification in Trauma-Informed Yoga from Living Yoga in Portland, Oregon. Her training was influenced by Iyengar Yoga and Ashtanga, which inspires her class sequencing. She takes an integrative approach to health and class creation, combining her psychology training and research, anatomical alignment, flowing meditation, pranayama, and the mind/body connection for a well-rounded class. She believes that the teachings of yoga should be accessible to all, no matter race, age, gender, or creed and holds space for community members to practice self-study, as she believes the body holds a natural wisdom and can be our best teacher.

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Angela Braxton-Johson

Originally from Alexandria, Virginia, Angela has lived in Portland, Oregon nearly fifty years. She graduated from Jefferson High School of Performing Arts and studied Music Therapy at Howard University in Washington, DC. Angela, a writer, poet and flutist, has been an Entrepreneur for over 25 years. She’s also worked as a social worker, abuse recovery advocate and AquaFun water exercise guide. Through a program called Be Nourished, Angela is studying to become a Certified Body Trust Provider, a program helping people (primarily women in bigger bodies) heal from disordered eating and weight stigma with a compassionate self-care model. Body Trust also promotes social justice and trauma-informed care. Angela is currently working on publishing a story book about surviving abuse and trauma, as well as a poetry book on liberation. She is a woman of faith and a recent graduate of SOLA Yoga School. Practicing yoga has taken Angela’s spiritual walk to a deeper level and has aided immensely with her overall wellness. SOLA School is where Angela first experienced accessible yoga and learned that yoga really is for every  body. Her practice incorporates music, poetry and joyful movement. She’s married with three adult children, two grandsons and two dogs. 

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Bethany Batsell

Throughout my life, from singing to dancing to running to living - I struggled to fully access my breath and find my voice.Practicing yoga has helped me to rely on the strength in my own body, to amplify my own voice, and to honor my own experience as a plus-size, woman of color. My love and gratitude for yoga and a deeper connection to my whole self unfolded the more I practiced and was able to let go of perfection.  Soon, I knew I wanted to share my experience and guide others on their yoga journey. My yoga teaching, like my practice, emphasizes self-acceptance, amplifies positive self-talk, and focuses on the present and our presence in each moment by connecting to the breath. I completed my yoga teacher training program at the Yoga Conservatory at Yoga Refuge in Portland, Oregon and am registered with the Yoga Alliance as an RYT 200 hour certified teacher. 

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Madeline Harmon

As a Mindful Studies teacher for Peace in Schools, Madeline’s mission is to assist youth in realizing their personal power and cultivating attitudes of loving kindness towards themselves and others. Accomplished through deep contemplative practice and strong roots of eco-feminist ideology, her teaching aims to unearth and nurture what’s buried down deep. She is a firm believer that we cannot all be expected to take the same action towards change and that we must work own authenticity in order to grow the seeds of change. She aims to teach all people how to illuminate their process towards justice held by a foundation of practice. Madeline is currently an advanced registered Yoga instructor through the Yoga Alliance holding over 1000 hours of teaching experience and a 300 hour certification from Piedmont Yoga. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Social Work from Portland State University.

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Renee Sills

Renee Sills has been a movement educator for 15 years and is the Co-Founder and Programming Director of Sola School. Renee teaches yoga, meditation, and somatic (body-based) awareness to a wide-range of abilities, and cultural backgrounds. She has an extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and works with individuals to cultivate efficient, adaptive, and supportive posture and movement practices. Renee is credentialed through the International Somatic Movement Educators and Therapists Association (ISMETA) as a Somatic Movement Educator (SME), and is a registered yoga therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT.)  Note: Renee is not a regular teacher, but fills in as a substitute from time to time, and attends the classes regularly.

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Theresia Munywoki

For a long time, yoga was something that I would “get around to doing” or that I “wanted to learn more about”.  It seemed to show up randomly- in dance classes I was taking, or some of my friends would invite me to attend their classes.  As time went on, I began to realize it was something I truly appreciated doing and something I found to be transformative.  I got serious about practicing 5 years ago and just received my 200 hr yoga teacher training here in Portland last year.  Since I’ve started my practice, I’ve experienced the healing power of yoga on a very personal level.  In the last couple of years, I’ve become even more interested in practicing, sharing, and viewing yoga as a tool for community healing, and beyond that global healing through a lens of social justice.  I was born in Texas and have been living in Portland for almost 3 years, and look forward to learning more about yoga through teaching, practicing, and connecting with people.  

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Sarah Trelease

Sarah Trelease has been teaching yoga classes, workshops, trainings and retreats since 1999.  From 2004 to 2010 she taught teacher trainings at OM yoga in New York City and around the United States and was the director of teacher training at OM during that time. Currently Sarah is the director of Sarah Trelease Yoga Teacher Training and holds trainings in Portland Oregon as well as around the United States.

Her teaching is informed by her quest for deep self-awareness, compassion, and clarity of intention. Drawing on her training and practice in Tibetan Buddhism as well as her studies with modern masters in anatomy and yoga, Sarah offers classes that balance breath, alignment, and flowing movement, developing strength as well as deep clear awareness of the body heart and mind.  Sarah holds yoga certifications from Om yoga in New York City, the Nosara Institute and Judith Hanson Lasater (Relax and Renew) as well as a certificate in Contemplative Care Foundations from the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care in New York City.

She completed the advanced studies courses in anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews at The Breathing Project in New York City in 2010 and currently studies Body Mind Centering with Amy in Portland, and yoga asana with Todd Jackson at Portland Yoga Arts. Sarah holds a BA from Vassar College.  When she is not teaching or studying, Sarah lives, gardens and throws pots on the wheel in Portland with her husband Andrew and cats Mookie and Bob.

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Renee Sills

Renee has been a yoga teacher since 2004 and is the co-founder and co-director of Sola School of Contemplative Arts – a somatics and mindfulness-based yoga teacher training program that has a strong focus on accessibility and social justice. Renee is a certified Somatic Movement Educator and a registered yoga therapist with IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists).

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Suniti Dernovsek

My interest as a movement guide is to offer an embodied experience that respects each individual’s process. Through years of practice I am skilled at seeing bodies and directing attention to what is quiet or unanimated. When we strengthen our ability to pay attention we open up to more possibilities and we bring an experience into existence that did not previously exist. I view asana and all movement practice as creative research involving an open flow of information. We learn more about what we think we know and are in a constant state of surprise from all that we do not know.

I have been a student of dance, yoga and Buddhism for 20 years and I’ve been teaching since 2004. I teach a warm and generous style of movement that is influenced by my interest in contemporary and classical dance forms, Iyengar and Vinyasa yoga and mindfulness. I currently study with Michael Stone, Lama Padma Drimed Norbu, Wendy Hambidge and Todd Jackson. I bring my love of movement, fondness of detail and my own understanding of practice into my teaching.

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Heather Jones

Heather wishes to share the gift of yoga by making it real and accessible for everybody! Heather is an advocate for body image positivity, and loves nurturing her students with a down-to-earth exploration of breath, awareness, movement and compassion. In her teaching, Heather enjoys working with students from all walks of life, particularly those who otherwise have felt unsure, unseen or shut out in previous yoga and movement experiences. Through her training offerings, she encourages the teaching community to truly consider what it means to offer "yoga for EVERY body." Heather is a Certified Curvy Yoga Instructor, an Accessible Yoga Ambassador,
and a Yoga & Body Image Coalition Partner.

Curvy Yoga is an empowering yoga class, where bigger-bodied students can practice in safe and supportive community. The down-to-earth atmosphere encourages you to ask questions, explore many pose variations, and learn about movement that fits YOUR body. We are owning our shape unapologetically, and learning to reconnect through movement, breath, and a healthy dose of candidness - we are keeping¹ it real! Curvy Yoga is challenging but not intimidating; it is inviting, introspective, and most of all, it¹s fun! Learn how to work with your body, to appreciate your body; see what your body can and was meant to do. This class is appropriate for beginner and experienced yogis alike. It is an active class - although not vigorous, best suited for students who are able to get up and down from the floor with relative ease.

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T. Aisha Edwards

T. Aisha Edwards, LMHC is a somatic trauma therapist and writer based in Vancouver WA. She holds a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Pacific University and has training in Gestalt therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Emotion Freedom Techniques and touch based trauma practices from Somatic Experiencing. She has over a decade of experience
specializing in complex trauma involving interpersonal violence and socialized oppression in communities of color and queer communities. She is licensed in Oregon and Washington.

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Julia Tillinghast

Julia completed her 200-hour teacher training with Sola School of Contemplative Arts in 2016 and has taught children, teens, adults, older adults, and pregnant/postnatal yoga in studios, schools, shelters, community centers, and senior centers in Portland, Oregon, and Berlin, Germany. In addition to Sarah Trelease and Renee Sills, Julia has also practiced with and learned extensively from Michele Loew at The Yoga Space, as well as Nathan Mills and others. She is interested in accessible, inclusive, and accountable teaching, mindful strengthening, joint health, nervous system restoration, and in all the ways the ever-evolving sciences of anatomy, biomechanics, and mindfulness are bringing further clarity to the tradition of yoga. Embodied spirituality is at the heart of Julia's teaching and learning.

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Ayomide Njo

Ayomide enjoys creating environments where people can go to the edge of their comfort zone and study themselves. One way she takes people to to their personal edge is through Yoga. Ayomide believes that Yoga is a tool for social justice and community bridging. She currently teaches Kaleidoscope community yoga and a yoga class that supports Humans of Color.  Kaleidoscope yoga creates an environment where people learn to deepen their ability to build physical relationships with people through touch, yoga, sacred geometry and images. Students of this practice deepen into their personal yoga journey by learning what it means to share one. 

Her class Humans of color yoga is a practice to get indigenous and peoples of the diaspora to move away from a culture of destruction and engage in a culture of self-care. 

Ayomide currently teaches at Dance at Portland Community College and Teaches Yoga at The Peoples CO-OP. She is also a co-creator of Chakralot meditation Chocolates. She believes that meditation can be a delicious journey that everyone can experience. Chocolate can be a used as a sweet treat or a tool to support you in investigating your deepest self. 

Ayomide is a native to Oregon. She has been teaching movement to people of all ages and physical abilities for over a decade.  Currently she teaches dance at Portland Community College.  Her love for yoga has inspired here to bring yoga to underprivileged youth by offering free yoga in the park. She is 200hr YTT certified through the Sola school of contemplative arts as well as 100hr of Kaleidoscope Community yoga training. Her joy is movement and seeing other people move with joy.

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