THE BEGINNING I knew I was home from the first time I placed my hands on my yoga mat. From that point, my journey of self-exploration began. I was taught Ashtanga yoga as a supplement to my gymnastics training curriculum. Once I decided to not be a gymnast anymore, I found a yoga studio in my community and continued practicing Ashtanga yoga, eventually branching out studying other styles: Hatha, Iyengar, Anusara, Universal, Yin, Power, and ParaYoga (one of my first lessons in non-attachment). My mind was blown wide open and appetite whet for more…
TEACHING & LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE Eventually, teaching found me by “accident”. I attended my regular Ashtanga Yoga class, and there was no instructor to lead. With a bit of encouragement from my fellow yoga peers, I stepped in. Though nervous during this experience, the charge I felt from sharing my practice with others was huge. My teaching journey continued on… I began teaching yoga in 1999, to a small intimate group of yogis. In 2001, my formal training began at 8 Limbs Yoga Centers in Seattle under Anne Phyfe Palmer and Melina Meza. These amazingly inspirational women were and still are individuals whom I look up to as they hold a level of integrity for themselves, the ancient teachings of yoga as well as other disciplines that inform their expertise. I later began to explore Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga and obtained my Levels 1 and 2 certifications. I taught and practiced this style for many years in my early 20’s and became hungry for more. I was seeking more than just asana, but that said, what I was doing then, was perfect for where I was at in my life.
Years later and still seeking a teacher, I meet my now dear friend, Bryan Kest, founder of Power Yoga. Bryan is one of the only people in my life who demonstrates integrity, perserverence, and fully embodies the spirit of yoga. He has been a pivotal mentor in my life and the biggest lesson I take from him is to be myself and everything will find its place.
I am a passionate spiritual activist, so as destiny would present itself, I discovered Off The Mat and Into The World Leadership Training, created by visionaries, Seane Corn, Hala Khouri, and Suzanne Sterling. I’ve completed two OTM Leadership courses in Miami and Minneapolis as well as the Global Action Summit at Squaw Valley.
I have found my teacher in Yoga Rupa (Rod Stryker), dounder of the ParaYoga tradition- direct tantric lineage from Swami Rama as well as Yoga Rupa’s Teacher, Pandjit Rajmani, founder of the Himalayan Institute.
In addition to my yoga certifications, I have completed Landmark I, Advanced Landmark Education, Igolu Leadership training under the fabulous, Suzanne Conrad. I am also a certified Life Coach through the International Coaching Science Research Foundation.
I am the Director and Lead Trainer of the Sama Yoga School 200 Hour Teacher Training Program and mentorship program. My dharma is serving community and using my voice to advocate for causes that I not only love, but also extend my yogic ‘learnings’ into other organizations.
I teach weekly classes that vary in level from beginner to experienced; class style: hatha, vinyasa, pranayama, and meditation; and subject matter: philosophy, bhakti yoga, ParaYoga, Ayurveda, and energetic anatomy and physiology. One of my teaching passions in particular is tween yoga for girls. I remember vividly what it was like to be in this age group and recognize the struggles and concerns that often times lead to limited thinking as women. I lead small group tween classes to empower young girls to be strong, confident, and be in alignment with who they are. My most important job is now being a mother. I’ve taken a year off from teaching to be fully present to my sweet little boy. I’m constantly being humbled by this amazing role as well as being schooled by my little guru. I’ve learned so much more about myself that only being a parent can present. My time has been redefined. I’ve slowed down in ways that have elevated my sense of being. My love for my family has been intensified. Most important, my priorities have changed. I’m in a whole different seat and thoroughly enjoying the ride! All of this has inpired me to yet again grow, offering Baby + Me, Pre and Post-natal yoga classes.
I also present on various subject matter at yoga conferences and lead workshops nationally. Some of my past work experience includes operating My Yoga Scene, a community website- blog, event hosting, promotion, and directory. I’ve held ambassadorships with companies that share similar visions and goals, such as lululemon athletica (twice) and RADRoller. My current ambassadorships include Asha Patel Designs, KiraGrace & HeyMama. I love serving the greater community through my teaching and volunteering. It is my dharma. The biggest gift is knowing my work lends to positive personal growth.
FREE BIRD I was born in Tuscon, Arizona, and at 9 months old, moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida. I lived there until 1987. During that period of time, our brood of 6 moved cross-country between Seattle, Washington & Florida numerous times. My father was the bread winner and my mother managed the home and us kids for the most part. Finally, my father had the opportunity to stay in FL or move to WA. Seattle won! I lived there until 2005 in which I moved to Atlanta, Georgia. In April 2016, I fulfulled my goal of moving to Colorado. I’m beyond looking forward to this next chapter. As a result of my upbringing, traveling and experiencing new opportunities is an innate passion. Growing up, our family road-tripped cross country numerous times. I have taken 13 cross-country trips to date and have visited almost all 50 states- Alaska, Maine, Vermont… you’re next! I continue to travel nationally and internationally for my own personal growth. Through these experiences, my eyes have continued to open from exposure to beautiful cultures and people on our planet. Our world is big, we are small, and life is short. If there is a window of space to explore, I consider it an invitation from the universe to get out and entertain wonderment. Inspired by all of this, I encourage bigger perspective in others by facilitating national and international yoga retreats. I have led retreats in Washington state, Georgia, Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica, and Italy.
TEACHING PHILOSOPHY Aside from my formal yoga trainings, my most profound teacher is life itself. I take into consideration what and whom I’ve studied from, but am able to honor my own spiritual journey and experiences that truly flavor what I offer. My family, experiences, opportunities, and the beautiful people in my life are my guide. My personal practice has organically transformed from the intensity of any set style to more introspective, honing deep connection that is attentive to the body in motion and grounding stability from the depth of our being. I teach to who comes to my class and draw inspiration from my own personal practice and share that with others. I truly believe that we are here to share our personal experiences. I also believe in authenticity- teaching and sharing from your own personal experiences. We are all teachers. Be your message.
I am naturally drawn to not following an agenda. I have learned that it makes no sense to assume that everyone I teach is the same. We’re not! Yoga, asana in particular to classes, is subjective. Assuming that one posture or breath technique works for everyone is no different than administering aspirin to everyone. It will make some better, some sick, and some nothing. As a result, I am creative and honor the individual and their needs to the best of my ability in the present moment. My goal is to create a space for students to explore where they are in their practice. In class, the foundation is laid by breath work as a metric to follow. We explore a fusion of modalities: dynamic sequencing, physical and energetic core work, pranayama, meditation- all which cultivate a deeper sense of interconnectedness. I encourage all to tap into and trust their own wisdom, sharpen our minds, and clear the lens to discover truth. This is yoga.
Please reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org “Isabelle is a natural teacher, leader, and community builder. I’ve had the honor of knowing Isabelle for over a decade and can say with confidence that she is someone who walks her talk as a teacher.” ~Melina Meza, Creator of Seasonal Vinyasa Yoga Read more sweet words…