Faculty & Staff
As a long-time yoga practitioner and teacher, Yiwen emphasizes authenticity in practice where the heart is open and soft. She encourages self-exploration and self-expression, and not a practice based on static imitations. Yiwen uses various limbs of yoga and/or healing modalities to move the class from a “thinking-dominant” practice to a “heart-endearing” practice. She has taught yoga for over 16 years and studied with a number of well known teachers; however, no one taught her more than the conscious experience of the “practice” itself.
Yiwen is also trained in various therapeutic bodywork and uses intuitive healing on those whom she serves. She offers these services at Prajna Yoga & Healing Arts.
Yiwen is extremely discerning who she studies with. Grateful to study under Ashtanga teacher, Tim Miller, who exemplified and modeled integrity, love, kindness, and devotion. Over the years, Yiwen’s attention to psycho-anatomical alignment became key focus. This is based on the notion that “yoga is all about subtleties and about the process of waking up the body and mind holistically.” So, on a fortuitous day, Yiwen found the one and only yoga teacher she will study with for the rest of her life: Annie Carpenter. Yiwen is overjoyed to study with Annie who is grounded, real, most knowledgeable and far from the prevalent yoga sensationalism. Further, it is Dr. David R. Hawkins who deconstructed her limited mind and showed her a different way of “seeing.”
Charina began her yoga practice in 2004 in a desire to find calm and equanimity in her fast paced life as a designer, business owner and mother of two daughters. From her very first practice on the mat, Charina found how yoga provided an unparalleled reprieve from stress and reminded her of the opportunity for calm and reflection during difficult times. For the past 8 years, Charina’s relationship with Yoga continues to evolve through a vibrant and varied practice, daily study of Asana and Yoga traditions and continued studies with her teachers.
Charina’s classes are focused on initiating movement with breath and utilizing playful, intuitive sequences as a form of mindful, moving meditation. Charina is passionate about sharing the healing and rejuvenating powers of yoga and she encourages her students to connect with the practice in all its dimensions to find freedom and space both on and off the mat.
Edwina, aka Eddie, has been practicing and studying Yoga for 15+ years. Her playful, friendly, inviting demeanor will have you leaving her class feeling light-hearted and open with a craving for more. She lives her dharma teaching the art of yoga in the hopes that her students reconnect with their true Self and feel good about their WHOLE BEING! Edwina encourages her students to have fun in their yoga exploration and to embrace practical mindfulness. Be compassionate and patient with yourself as you discover the amazing benefits and wonders that breath and movement offer!
Edwina’s Dance background and her expertise in Yogic alignment and its anatomical movement is an influential part of her asana sequencing and Yoga play. She inspires others to bring a mien of grace and a deep embodiment of flow into their practice while they shift beyond their perceived limitations and mental blocks. Edwina’s varied skill set include : Hatha, Vinyasa, Bakti, Iyengar, Anusara, Ashtanga, Yin, Restorative Yoga, Beginning, Gentle and Intermediate levels and Pre/Post Natal Yoga. Yoga Tree alumni 2009. www.edwinaferroyoga.com
“See the world as yourself. Have faith in the way things are. Love the world as your self; Then you can care for all things.” Lao Tzo
Eileen’s journey into yoga began in 2005. The calm she discovered through the practice brought her back to her mat time and time again. She completed her 200 hr training with Daren Friesen in Chicago, and her 500 hr training with Jean Mazzei. In addition to regular classes with Jean and Brenna Geehan in San Francisco, she now studies with Rod Stryker and Pandit Rajmani Tiguanait.
Eileen advocates each pose be explored from the inside out: that what feels good in the body is good for the soul, even if it’s not “picture perfect.” Her strongest asset as a teacher is creating an environment of non-judgment for her students. She incorporates meditation, pranayama, and dynamic movement into her public classes. She hopes to help her students achieve a state of pranic balance. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it!
Ben began his studies of yoga in 1996 with his primary teacher and mentor, Yogacharya Ben Thomas. Throughout his journey, he has also had the good fortune to study with many other wonderful yogis in a variety of different traditions. Some of the yogic training courses he has attended over the years include a year of study in the Iyengar Yoga Institute Advanced Teacher Training program, teacher training with Doug Swenson, as well as living and practicing at the Sivananda Yoga Ashram in Grass Valley for several months as staff. In addition to his practice of yoga, Ben has been engaged in the practice and study of taiji and qigong since 1999 and has had the opportunity to study with many different masters, including Master Wong Wai Yi, his primary sifu. In his yoga classes, he draws from a variety of different yogic practices including asana, pranayama, meditation, relaxation, chanting, and yoga philosophy.
Essentially, Ben is most interested in what is here, allowing life to unfold naturally in this timeless moment. He is devoted to the light of wakefulness shining in the heart, and it is this wakeful presence which naturally guides and inspires his life and teachings. For more on Ben and his offerings you may visit www.wakefulway.org.
Aska is a registered Hatha Yoga Teacher; E-RYT 200, RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance, a Therapeutic Yoga Teacher certified by Cheri Clampett, a Certified Massage Therapist, a Certified Esalen Massage Practitioner, and a Reiki Master.
Since 2007, based on her belief, “Anyone breathing can enjoy yoga practice,” she has been teaching yoga to those who think that they are not fit enough for yoga due to their stiffness, injuries, or other various issues. Her strong and comprehensive knowledge of body, mind and their connection, from her over 2,500 training hours from various styles of yoga, bodywork, energywork, and psychosomatic fields, enables her to serve both beginning and experienced students evenly in a mixed or all level classes.
Aska invites students to play their own physical and emotional edges, not somebody else’s edges, in a safe and fun class environment, so that they can cultivate deeper self-awareness and self-compassion on the yoga mat. Then, she keeps reminding them that the most important yoga practice happens off the mat; yoga is all about how to apply what we learn on the mat to our daily life.
If you have any specific concerns regarding your yoga practice, please talk to Aska prior to the class. (www.LotusSeedsTherapy.com)
Susan teaches yoga because she wants to share what has brought her so much joy and fulfillment. She has benefited most from the freedom, discipline, and sense of connectedness she’s gained through yoga. She believes that yoga is a tool which can enable us to realize our truest potential.
She has completed an Anusara Teacher Training with Sianna Sherman and Noah Maze in 2011, and is inspired by Anusara, Iyengar and Vinyasa traditions, having practiced for 13 years. She continues her studies with Sianna Sherman, Desiree Rumbaugh, and various local teachers. She teaches with a smile and a sense of fun, encouraging students to empower themselves in practice and in life.
Ranya is delighted to be back at Prajna to teach a meditative Yin class. Her classes are light hearted and playful and she inspires her students with gentle guidance, encouragement and love. Through the regular practice of yoga, students will gain: a lifetime of health tools for coping with injuries, illness and trauma; the discovery of self-awareness; the chance to heal on a deep level and in a safe way; transformation of the mind and body; connection to the truth, especially personal truth; an opening of the heart; and a vision of oneness, peace and love.
Kathryn began her yoga journey when she went away to college in 2006. As her asana practice improved, her curiosity for spirituality intertwined with yoga grew. After self study, she attended teacher training in Chicago. As a certified instructor of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, Kathryn focuses on the subtle aspects of practice by incorporating breath, alignment, meditation and mindfulness. She attempts to cultivate the student’s awareness of what they personally need from their practice. She believes yoga is all around us and with this awareness the student opens up to experiencing the world in a new way.