Emily Lavender-Vanderburgh


Emily first attended a yoga class to relive chronic shoulder pain. It worked, and quickly began to transform her life, both mentally and physically. Yoga helps her feel connected to herself, strong and beautiful. She is YogaWorks trained (eRYT-200 certified) and implements a well rounded practice, by applying principles of alignment and philosophy to each class. Emily spends time traveling to workshops and classes, working to improve her instructing techniques and personal practice. She believes that yoga offers meaningful benefits for every person, from every walk of life, and that the more we practice, the more we can improve our lives. Emily is excited to share her love of yoga and expertise with the Claremont community. Emily's vinyasa is a powerful, energetic sequence, where students fluidly move from one pose to the next, while connecting their breath to their movements. Strength, flexibility and balance are incorporated into each class.

Brad Smith


Brad took his first yoga class in 1998 and discovered a path of lifelong learning. Since then, Yoga has become the foundation of his day-to-day life, enriching his life in every way.  Brad is a Certified Iyengar Yoga instructor at the Intermediate Junior 1 level and has been teaching since 2005. He spent two months studying yoga with the Iyengar family in India in 2006 and returned for further studies in November, 2011. He teaches yoga at several studios in the greater San Gabriel Valley as well as at Kaiser Permanente and the City of Alhambra.


Juanita Rivas-Raymer


Juanita started her journey many years ago with her dad who introduced her to yoga in the 70's,  When she became a Birth Doula 14 years ago she encouraged her clients to practice yoga through their pregnancy after seeing how much it helped with labor.  Many years later Juanita studied to become a prenatal yoga teacher and combined her years of experience with her yoga practice to help women through this amazing rite of passage.  She recieved her prenatal yoga certification through Bini Birth Studio and also studied with the yoga master teachers at Green Tara Yoga. Juanita loves sharing my practice with people and showing them that Yoga is for everyone at all levels of fitness.

Lynn Hasel 


Lynn moved to Claremont in July 2013 from Stillwater, Minnesota where she recently earned a degree in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota. She is RYT-500 with training in Anusara and Hatha yoga.  In addition, she has had training in pranayama from the Himalayan Institute, and is now a student of Ayurvedic Medicine at the American University of Complementary Medicine. Lynn enjoys her family, which includes six beautiful grandchildren. Lynn’s classes are fun and appropriate for beginners as well as more experienced students.


Anne Harsch


By fostering joy, balance and serenity of the mind-body, Anne, RYT-500, believes in making yoga accessible to every level of student. Her energetic classes are accompanied by rejuvenating music, candlelight and lavender, and empower  students to push physical limits and connect flowing movements with breath. Students experience a cultivation of vivacity and well-being. By the end of the practice, students return to a natural state of serenity and empowerment. Anne’s formal study of the mind-body began at Dartmouth College where she earned her degree in Psychological and Brain Sciences. Throughout her yoga journey, Anne has trained in the Baptiste lineage of power vinyasa with  Lori Burgwyn, Matthew Reyes of YogaHop, and Kathryn Budig of Aim True Yoga.


Mari Gamans


Mari, a former professional dancer, has been teaching Pilates for 16 years. She began studying the Pilates technique while earning her B.A. Degree in Dance at the University of California at Irvine. Very quickly her body transformed, improving her dancing as well. It was these exciting personal developments that inspired her to share what she had learned with others. Mari attended the teacher training program at Studio Du Corps led by her former UCI professor and esteemed member of the Pilates community, Diane Diefenderfer. Soon after, she began working at The Ron Fletcher Company in Los Angeles, where she was awarded an additional certification. Since then, she has worked at many L.A. area studios such as Mind/Body Fitness, Center Studio, Integration Arts, and Core Conditioning Physical Therapy. Mari is also a certified Gyrotonic instructor, and has been practicing yoga since 2000, both of which have furthered her experience as a teacher and deepened her understanding of the body.


Rhonda Quinn


Rhonda began practicing yoga 13 years ago and it immediately became her passion.  She wanted to share this passion and decided to study to become a yoga teacher.  She studied Iyengar Yoga through a program at the University of Riverside Extension Course and received certificates in Fundamentals of Yoga and Yoga Theory and Practice.  Rhonda continued her studies at Green Tara Yoga where she completed her 200-hour certification of Yoga Studies and Teacher Foundations.  She also received certification for Yin Yoga E-RYT 200 and RYT 500 level through Yoga Alliance.  Rhonda teaches at various locations in the area and her classes include gentle yoga, yoga for seniors, chair yoga, Yin Yoga, restorative yoga, beginning yoga, and yoga for golfers.


Karen May (Kartar Kaur)


Karen's spiritual name is Kartar Kaur, which translates as "Lioness/Princess of God's deeds" — an active, creative principle, applicable to her life, work, and spiritual practice. She took her first Kundalini Yoga class in 1989, and has been teaching since 2004 as a K.R.I. certified instructor, honoring the tradition of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®. Each class offers insight into a particular theme, connecting the body, mind, and spirit, and linking the finite with the infinite.

Karen completed a two-year certificate course in the ancient Indian healing modality called Ayurveda, and often integrates these healing principles into classes.  She is committed to sharing the ancient technology — the art and the science — of Kundalini yoga in classes designed for all levels and abilities.


Lauren Znachko


Lauren completed her 200-hour teacher training through CorePower Yoga in 2008. Since then she has taught in a variety of spaces including studios and retreat centers in Costa Rica. As an athlete and a writer, Lauren's first experience on the yoga mat was the perfect union of her two love; the art of combining sensations in the body and creative use of words has fueled her own sense of well-being and creativity. She hopes to ignite the same union of physical challenge and creativity in her students. Her classes integrate dynamic flow and artful language to sculpt classes that nurture strength and self love in her students


Michelle Pasos


Michelle received her bachelor's and master's of science in Kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton. Her studies included strength and conditioning, nutrition, sport psychology, sport sociology, and pedagogy. Her RYT-200-Hour yoga teacher training was obtained through Yoga Works and she is currently working on her 500-RYT with Shiva Rea. Along with vinyasa, she teaches prenatal, restorative, kids yoga, and sculpt. She teaches at her home, Yellow Yoga Studio, 24 Hour Fitness, and the Sean O'Shea Foundation.  Michelle's passion is to inspire students through self-awareness, self-practice, and the development of mental, spiritual and physical growth. Most importantly she aims to make her class a safe and fun environment.


Denise Zondervan


Denise has been part of the yoga community for over 10 years. Since completing the 200 Yoga Alliance certification she has taught young children through older adults.  She has been a student of Tracy Brennan and Nicole Riel for years as well as Sandra Carden from Michigan. Yoga is not only a practice on the mat but a life practice as well.  Finding strength, flexibility and joy in her classes with beginning students and those with a regular practice is important to her.  Another key element she teaches students is the awareness of the breath in movement and stillness.


Jennifer Stark


Jennifer has been teaching yoga since 2002 and is an ERYT-500 teacher. She has studied and practiced with some of the world’s most accomplished yoga teachers. It is her greatest joy to enthusiastically share her understanding of yoga with her students.

Sarah Little


Sarah Little has been practicing yoga for 12 years and teaching for two and a half. Her teaching and practice are founded in gratitude, truthfulness, physical and spiritual alignment and lightheartedness. Sarah teaches Vinayasa Flow, Gentle, Hatha, Restorative and Kundalini yogas. Yoga has carried Sarah into marriage, a career change, two pregnancies, and the raising of three children. Her personal practice has helped her manage her asthma, postpartum depression and general stinkin' thinkin'. Sarah believes that yoga can lead us to a more graceful life. Come and bask in your strength, challenges and beauty through the practice of yoga.

Michelle Dowd


"Yoga is a powerful vehicle for change. As you build strength, you start to believe in your own potential."         --T. Cruikshank

Michelle is a certified yoga teacher and creative writing professor who believes in the power of art to liberate our minds, bodies and spirits. In her classes, she works to creatively engage your imagination and energize you to cultivate a deeply personal and fiercely authentic practice.  She is honored to participate in a community of yogis who share her love of learning, joy in movement and the perpetual desire to energetically balance a full life with a measure of grace.

Marta Jasberg


Certified Iyengar instructor Marta Jasberg relocated to Southern California in fall, 2007, from Cleveland, Ohio, where she owned and operated her own yoga studio. She now teaches in Pasadena, Studio City, Los Angeles, as well as at Claremont Yoga.  Marta has studied extensively with senior Iyengar teachers Laurie Blakeney and Manouso Manos and in June, 2008, made her first trip to Pune, India to study with Geeta & Prashant Iyengar at RIMYI.

Kurt Bumiller


Kurt has been a student of yoga for 10 years. He has studied with many teachers and has attended intensives in many different styles of yoga. He has been studying Iyengar yoga for the last 6 years. He came to Iyengar yoga after a serious back injury in a yoga class in order to re-learn the Asanas in a way that would put less stress on the body/mind. Kurt's special interest in yoga is its restorative powers for people with injuries and physical limitations.


Erin Sweeny


Erin first discovered a connection between movement and breath as a youngster in classes at Claremont’s Village Dance Arts. After studying and sharing ballet technique for more than 20 years on the West and East coasts, she began her yoga practice in Williamsburg, VA, in 2002. Three years later, Erin undertook a 200-hour yoga teacher-training program. Her instructors were Rosie Taylor, a more than 30-year disciple of Advanced Iyengar instructor Kofi Busia, and Ann Richardson, a protégé of Power Yoga innovator Beryl Bender Birch. Erin taught in Williamsburg until 2011, when she fell ill. She moved back to Claremont to be close to family and friends during treatments. The following year, she was pleased to discover the supportive yoga community at Claremont Yoga. Erin now joyfully shares her love of yoga, pranayama (breathwork), and meditation with practitioners at CY.


Nicole Schwander Riel


Nicole is the co-owner/director of both Claremont Yoga and the CY Teacher Training Program. She has been practicing yoga since 2000, and initially sought out the practice to help her deal with intense lower back pain and sciatica. To her delight she found that her back issues were completely healed with a regular, committed practice. She has studied with teachers Noah Maze and Christina Sell. Her classes range from deeply restorative, to a strong, flowing practice. She infuses the Anusara Principles of Alignment into her teachings, along with playful movement and flow, pranayama, and application of yoga into daily life. Nicole also teaches Restorative Yoga at the Casa Colina Rehabilitation Center in Pomona for the Fibromyalgia Care Program. She has experienced the profound healing that yoga has brought into her life--physically, emotionally and spiritually. Nicole is a Certified and Registered Yoga Teacher and loves to share the joys and benefits of yoga with you! Her newest teacher is her 2 year old son, Blake who inspires her everyday!


INSTRUCTOR BIOS​

Tracy Brennan


Tracy is the co-owner/director of both Claremont Yoga and the CY Teacher Training Program. She is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor. Tracy enjoys sharing the healthy benefits of yoga.  She teaches all levels of classes and private sessions weekly.  She enjoys having a family and being a mom.  She also teaches yoga classes at Pomona College in the Physical Education Department for students, faculty and staff. She is honored and thankful to be part of a deeply inspiring yoga tradition.


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Nikki Valdez


I began Yoga journey in my twenties after reading a book, moving away from Yoga into Judo & Karate. I loved the outdoors so I did water skiing, snow skiing, baseball & various sports I was game for it all, I even took up golf. Than one day running with my dogs, one of them cut in front of me, as I flew over and landed on the pavement I realized “I broke my Knee Cap”. This changed my life & gave me a new respect for my body I had taken for granted for so very many years.  Several years passed I nor my leg was ever the same, I came back to yoga to get myself back, that is exactly what Yoga did for me, the daily pain in my leg & dragging of my Leg disappeared. To my surprise I fell in love with Yoga and all its aspects, breathing, chanting, meditation, the physical practice, and the community. I am a 500 RYT and Yin Yoga certified. I was trained and certified at Green Tara Yoga, Upland. My passion is to pass on my love of Yoga to others so they can benefit from this wonderful practice as I had and continue to everyday.


204 N. Yale Ave., 2nd Floor
Claremont, CA 91711

Natalia Simatupang


Sarah Natalia Simatupang was born in Indonesia and has lived in 3 different countries. She studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts and studied abroad in Spain to deepen her Spanish. Natalia loves to travel and learn new cultures and languages. Her love of activity brought her to yoga in Jan 2010…it was love at first Savasana.  She completed a Power Teacher Training with the desire to teach and practice yoga for the rest her life.  The benefits of yoga bring such deep connection and healing of mind and body in which she learned the qualities of acceptance, patience, self-control and letting go. It is the perfect unity of the Western and Eastern modalities that creates balance in her life to grow..