Natasha Rizopoulos is one of the country’s most esteemed Vinyasa teachers. A former Ashtanga teacher, ballet dancer and the face of Yoga Journal’s DVD’s and books, “Rizopoulos demonstrates exacting and nearly flawless knowledge of alignment” (LA Magazine). Described as “a wonder to watch”, Natasha’s greatest joy is imparting the essential tools and surprising secrets of a successful, sustainable and passionate teaching career. She will elevate your personal practice and understanding of every pose, focusing on your ability to create intelligent, creative and joyful sequences. Her exploration of yoga philosophy, the Sutras and seminal texts gives you the ability to discuss an array of yogic principles in a way that is meaningful and accessible to your students. Natasha’s individualized guidance on every aspect of your instruction – from cueing and sequencing to use of voice and delivery – will advance your teaching and leave you with a fresh set of skills and artistry to apply in the classroom. Known for her ability to make teachers feel calm, comfortable and confident, Natasha’s astute and constructive individual feedback is one of the highlights of the Professional Program and occurs both in a group setting and one-on-one consultations.
Kate Heffernan is a lead teacher at Down Under and a celebrated mainstay in the Boston yoga community for many years. Kate delights in teaching precise alignment within pose and unpacking the major families of asana through use of action and oppositional action. Known for her well-crafted sequences, Kate provides intelligent, approachable framework for trainees, helping them in the art of dynamic sequencing. She'll teach you how to create safe space for "beginners" and impart the tools to confidently create a Level I or Foundations class. Specializing in restorative yoga, Kate shares her passion for active relaxation, highlighting the importance of savasana, and the healing practice of restful yoga.
Michael Ponte was living in Los Angeles, grinding through his career as an actor, when life’s priorities began to shift and yoga became his foundation, his home, and ultimately his dharma. Michael studied with his most influential teachers at the Center for Yoga in Larchmont Village who helped him find the joy that yoga can bring. He completed a 200-hour teacher training in Bali, assisted the same training a year later, and has been studying and teaching regularly ever since. Michael is humbled to be a part of the Down Under teacher training faculty.
Barbara Benagh has taught for over 40 years. Yoga Journal describes her as “one of the most intelligent and insightful teachers around” and “one of yoga’s most compelling and distinctive voices.” Known for her brilliant sequencing, expert therapeutics and wonderful stories, Barbara shares a life’s work on seeing bodies and understanding alignment. She begins by teaching philosophy and history of yoga as the foundation for all you will learn in the training. Barbara also instructs Continuing Education and the Subtle Body. Famed for her profound and creative commentaries, Barbara guides you in creating a safe space for your students, teaching multiple levels and developing a teaching style that reflects your own practice, personality and values.
Kate O’Donnell is the Director of the Ashtanga and Ayurveda Schools at Down Under and leads in-depth studies into Ashtanga yoga, the origin of modern Vinyasa flow. You’ll learn primary series, master correct Sanskrit pronunciation, explore the dynamics of breath, bandha and rhythmic cueing and build a relationship with an authorized Ashtanga teacher in the lineage of Pattabhi Jois and R Sharath Jois. Kate’s Subtle Body module leaves you well-versed in the nadis, koshas, marmas and chakras and her proficiency in Ayurveda will give you a repertoire of basic nutritional principles to explore through cleanses and diet.
Peter Crowley trained in Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Forrest yoga and is a protege of Barbara Benagh. Renowned for his deliberate placement, intentional pacing and authenticity, Peter’s sequencing embodies years of anatomical study and encourages a level of inquiry that goes much deeper than choreography or chasing shapes. As the lead Anatomy teacher, Peter takes you on an interactive exploration of all the major muscles and systems of the body. In a kinesthetic learning environment, you’ll identify each muscle in your own body, experience its role in your asana and learn to apply that knowledge in your teaching. Through lecture, demonstration and small group practice sessions, Peter hones your knowledge so that you are equipped to answer all the daily questions teachers may encounter. Peter also teaches injury assessment and the ethical and philosophical guidelines necessary to teach well.