As a yoga teacher I strive to provide a safe space for students to explore their bodies and minds and to build strength and healing from their mats. I am knowledgeable in modifications for all different body types. I am interested in exploring body positivity within yoga and bringing yoga to marginalized populations.
I started practicing yoga in 2002 in hopes that it would give me relief from chronic back pain due to a herniated disc. I had always been active and it was very frustrating to become so physically limited. Perseverance and commitment to my yoga practice has not only cured my back pain I’m also so much stronger and more flexible. Yoga has changed my life…. my experience has given me a passion and desire to help others take care of themselves through yoga. I’ve spent several years working with students one and one and teaching small groups. I love the inspiration and healing yoga brings and I want to be contagious to those around me. I completed a 200 hour teaching in 2005, 500 hour teacher training in 2010 and Hot Hatha teacher training in 2017.
I grew up in India with some exposure to yoga and meditation. After coming to U.S. eighteen years ago, I focused my studies in computer science. I was initially very passionate about the field, and devoted tremendous amount of time in computer programming. After having and raising three children, however, I felt a change in my priorities. I was beginning to notice that, although, my days were busy, I was less connected to my family and my community. I seldom took time to be aware of my days and overall journey of my life. Re-exploration of yoga was one of the most important events for me. It allowed me to regain understanding of my life and body. In my busy life, it inspired a sense of stillness, happiness and peace. I notice that I am able to appreciate many moments of joy with my family and friends. Now I take time for living and noticing them. I appreciate the tremendous strength that yoga brings to our lives and wish to continue to share the knowledge of yoga with my family, friends and community.
I fell into yoga with the hopes of recovering from the minor injuries that accumulated over a running career. As an avid lover of moving and most things active, yoga was an easy passion to integrate into my daily life. Over the years of sports, sitting at a desk for school and pushing through manual labor jobs, my body had taken a toll. I see my practice to re-heal and be aware of how the body feels on a daily basis. This idea is incorporated in my teachings. I emphasize spinal movements and lengthening through the support of the core to find opposition of daily habits that crunch and pinch the spine from over work and sitting postures.
Over the years, my understanding of a yoga practice has shifted to a more internal dive into the self. Allowing a view of objectivity to explore a more mindful and conscious practice. I have linked the physiological and mental benefits of yoga with my academic studies in biology and nutrition. In my teaching, I emphasize allowing the breath to lead the movements in order to find more awareness in the body and sharpening of senses. I also work on tying in meditative practices to incorporate a more mental exploration through movement.
Since I see yoga as one of the most beneficial forms of self-therapy, I want to meet the student in any link of their journey. To teach in a way that facilitates physical and mental healing by assisting in opening doors of understanding to the body and mind. Reconnecting with one’s physical self is such a unique feeling to constantly learn from. I am a firm believer that emotions are carried physically and using movement to help settle the mind and begin to touch base with hidden areas of the body is so important. When students come to the mat for whatever personal reason, I choose words to help guide them through these experiences in a gentle and thoughtful way. I hope each student can find benefits in yoga that can transcend into their daily life that I am working on in my current self-practice.
A native of Bellevue, Washington, Jessika Anspach McEliece first found ballet at the age of 5 and it was love at first step. Though there were many obstacles for her to overcome, by grace, hard-work and perseverance her dream came true when she was asked to join the Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2004.
Her life and 12-year career as a professional ballet dancer has given her an awareness and understanding of the body and its mechanics, as well as the impact of stress, performance and perfectionism. Searching for a form of cross-training that would physically fit-the-bill and aid in her stress-relief, she discovered Vinyasa yoga, and has since become for her a haven of acceptance, grace, love and freedom.
This journey of healing and hope has compelled her to share yoga with others, and in June, 2018 she completed her 200-hour Vinyasa Teacher Training.
She hopes to offer the same acceptance, grace, and freedom to her students while helping them connect with, understand and love their bodies through the practice of yoga.
Johnathan Hsu started practicing yoga for physical rehabilitation from a rowing related injury but became attracted to the specificity of alignment in yoga. He enjoys seeing the strengths that different bodies bring to the practice. Outside of yoga, Johnathan enjoys biking and running and balances yoga with his interest in criminal justice research.
When Stephanie first started practicing yoga in the spring of 2013 she knew she had found something special. She had found relief in old injuries, both emotional and physical. A transformation had begun. Later that year Stephanie would find out what an important role yoga would play in her life. She was badly injured in a car accident, suffering from two broken vertebrae, a shattered ankle and a collapsed lung. After three surgeries and twelve days in the hospital Stephanie began her slow recovery. Through a patient and dedicated yoga practice she has been able to make an amazing recovery. Excited about how quickly yoga had helped her heal Stephanie decided to take a 200 hour yoga teacher training, just one year after her car accident, so that she could share this healing practice with others. Since completing her training Stephanie has continue to enrich her yoga practice and teaching whenever possible.
While attending the University of Washington, Chris stumbled into yoga as a supplement for his sub-par avid climbing flexibility. Over time, however, he found the mental and physical aspects profoundly beneficial and began investing more and more time in his practice. After completing dual degrees, Chris became a Yoga Alliance Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher in 2016 and has been teaching ever since. On a personal level, he's drawn most to mindfulness practice and yoga's facilitation of presence through awareness. Most recently, he trained with Yoga Behind Bars and is serving the youth population at the King County Juvenile Detention Center this winter. Finally, Chris passionately believes in the power of community through yoga and spearheads events like WYC's monthly Yogi Happy Hour. Ultimately, his enthusiasm for yogic practice, both on and off the mat, has made him a better person and full-fledged yoga convert.
Mike is as much a student as he is a yoga teacher. He started practicing yoga in 2010 to help himself heal from old injuries. He found the relief he was looking for as well as a medium to express his emotions. As an athlete and artist Mike found this to be a natural progression as he had used both art and physical exertion to tap into those same emotions. Through practicing mindful movement in yoga; Mike learned patience, discipline and how to love himself again. After recognizing the good that practicing yoga had brought to his life he knew he should try and give back the positive energy he had absorbed. In 2015 he completed a 200 hour vinyasa training with Yoga To The People and has taught at various locations throughout Seattle since.
Beth began her personal practice in the hot room 9 years ago. Invited by a close friend to try a local studio, she went along for the ride. The first class was grueling, challenging, and the teacher “tough”. One thing was certain, a feeling deep inside Beth knew that she had found her home and refuge. Though it was difficult, her body began to heal from the years of marathon running, soccer playing, cycling, hiking, and pack backing. Overtime the hot room was her 90-minute vacation from life, career, and being a human on the planet. It was the one space that the mindfulness of being still, and accepting was experienced mentally, physically, and emotionally. Fast forward a few years. Due to a career change, Beth was able to allocate time to attend teacher training for 9 weeks. The training was local, so it was ideal. Since that initial training Beth has committed to ongoing learning and training yearly. Beth teaches the Fire sequence, Bikram, and Breathe. Next year, Vinyasa training is on the grid. Beth is also pursuing her training to teach yoga to Parkinsons Disease patients. This is a deeply personal agenda as Beth’s father bravely lived with Parkinsons for 6 years. Above anything else, the ability to guide students in their own practice and build community with one another as we gather in the yoga room; is what inspires Beth. Careers, stress, political or religious ideologies, physical or emotional barriers, all can melt away as we practice the simple gesture of genuine acceptance of the present moment as perfect whatever it brings. The ability to experience this, and carry it into the world is a new level of powerful, and life changing.
Will began teaching vinyasa June of 2016 after completing the first 200hr RYT hosted by We Yoga Co. The following October he completed an 80hr Hot Hatha addendum at We Yoga Co. and a weekend training with Yoga Behind Bars allowing him to expand his knowledge base for teaching. The classes he teaches are also informed by his education at the University of Washington (2010-2015) where he studied Pre-Med and Global Health receiving both a BS in Physiology and a BA in International Studies. He was originally drawn to Yoga for it's ability to promote recovery of both the body and the mind. As an avid runner and student, he suffered both physical and mental stress allowing me to witness first-hand the healing potential yoga has to offer. He believes yoga is a tool for self healing and self empowerment that everyone should have access to, and thus he seeks to spread the knowledge through his teaching.
Cecilia was born and raised in Sweden with no exposure to yoga. She first discovered yoga in a Seattle prenatal class in 1996. She experimented with multiple forms of yoga over the years, eventually finding her way to the hot room. She was hooked. Cecilia graduated from the hot yoga training by Yoga to the People in 2013. She has taught hot yoga since that time. Cecilia also completed the We Yoga Co. 200-hour Vinyasa Training in 2016 and is 200 hour YA certified. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with student to spread appreciation for the well-being that yoga brings. Yoga compliments Cecilia’s other endeavors, including hiking, skiing, gardening, and cooking.
Janet started practicing yoga in 2004 and immediately felt it was the missing puzzle piece in the search for a more balanced life. She appreciates many styles of yoga and is always curious to learn and share more. She did her first Hot Hatha teacher training in 2013, an Iyengar based teacher training in 2014, and Vinyasa teacher training in 2016. She is grateful for every opportunity she has to be involved with yoga, whether it’s teaching, practicing, learning or sharing ideas. She loves that the We Yoga Co community provides that in a warm and embracing fashion. As an enthusiast of many outdoor sports, Janet is especially interested in the way yoga integrates with and compliments different athletic pursuits.
Rutsuko is a curious transplant from Japan. She loves connecting with people, sharing ideas, being around diverse people and exploring different cultures. Rutsuko is also a dreamer of love, peace, equality and making a difference; yoga is a source of her energy - her Oasis - a gesture of giving and showing gratitude. Even after ten years of practice, Rutsuko continues to get inspired by a harmony between yoga and dignity of our lives. One of the most honorable thing in her life is to be able to guide a class and to be in a community in which teachers and students support each other with great love and respect. Completing Intensive Hot Yoga Training in 2013 and Vinyasa Training in 2016, she continues her journey to spread yoga to the world; especially to young ones. Her desire is to cultivate people's awareness of their confidence, their true abilities and self-loving. She finds it rewarding to be able to witness impacts of yoga on people both on and off the mat. Outside a studio, she's a kickass project manager in a big corporate world, but she LOVES practicing with students, so please come say 'Hello!' & invite her to join.
Megumi is a registered nurse in Japan. When she studied in U.S back in 2010, she met yoga and started practicing regularly to improve her fitness. After returning to Japan, her vision for yoga shifted as she interacts with patients at hospital. She believes that yoga can heal patients from pain, surgery, rehabilitation, and trauma. With completions of 200hours Vinyasa training and Hot Hatha training at We Yoga Co. in 2016, she hopes to help people to practice safely. With her strong knowledge and experiences in medical field for over 10 years, she hopes to help people with understanding benefits of yoga.
Kayla is a body-positive fitness junkie, best summed up by Rumi’s quote, “I am a carpenter of my own soul.” As an actress and theater artist she has a background in movement, big feelings, and arts education. Ever grateful to this community, Kayla proudly received her certification at We Yoga Co in Hotha Hatha (2016) and Vinyasa, RYT 200 (2017). In her classes, she aims to create a space for students to find their own motivation towards personal health and well-being goals. She passionately believes beauty lies in self-love and making meaningful commitments to yourself - and forgiving yourself for when you break them. By day, she is a marketing, HR, recruiting and operations professional and a yogini/theater-maker at all times.
Janelle Abbott is a Pacific Northwest native. She discovered yoga when she moved to New York City in pursuit of an education in fashion design at Parsons. Though yoga was at first: an alternative athletic to dance, it became a means of coping with long suffered anxiety and stress. Today Janelle is married to a man she met in preschool. She works as a Seattle area tour guide, artist, chair weaver, fashion designer, and now, yoga instructor. Janelle has strong affection for We Yoga Co. and their message of inclusivity. She volunteers teaching yoga a Jubilee Women’s Shelter and hopes to continue to find opportunity to share yoga with those in need!