Amanda Giacomini has over 15 years of study and practice of the yogic arts, and is the co-founder of Yoga Toes Studio in Point Reyes, California. Amanda offers a Vinyasa Flow practice that is creative, playful, and nurturing. Her gentle and intelligent adjustments make her classes and workshops accessible to everyone, regardless of age and physical ability. Her primary influences are from the Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Anusara, and Siddha yoga traditions.
Amanda believes in yoga as a path of personal responsibility, transformation, and empowerment. She encourages students to use the tools of yoga to create the highest vision for themselves, and that through their commitment and practice a world of peace and beauty is possible. As one student recently commented, “Class with Amanda is like one long prayer.”
Amanda is also an artist and has illustrated an award winning series of children’s books about her dog, Mo. When she is not in Pt. Reyes, she tours nationally and internationally with her husband, yoga hip hop artist MC Yogi. Amanda co-creates the visuals for the MC Yogi live shows and together they lead workshops that combine yoga with myths, mantras, music and art. For more information visit: mcyogi.com, amandagiacomini.com
MC Yogi grew up painting graffiti & listening to hip hop music. At age fourteen, inspired by artists like the Beastie Boys & Run DMC he began writing his own raps and free styling for friends at house parties. MC Yogi spent most of his high school years at a group home for at-risk youth. During those turbulent years, Hip Hop culture provided both a soundtrack and a creative outlet. Then at age eighteen, he discovered yoga. On a whim, he joined his father for a meditation intensive with a famous spiritual teacher from India. Deeply moved by this powerful experience, he devoted himself to learning everything he could about the ancient discipline. He continues to study the physical forms of yoga, as well as meditation, philosophy, and devotional chanting. MC Yogi’s Debut Album, Elephant Power, combines his loves of yoga and hip hop music and features guest performances by kirtan masters Jai Uttal, Krishna Das, and Bhagavan Das.
MC Yogi helped make history when he released his video ” Vote for Hope” in support of Barack Obama. Through an incredible grassroots network, the video reached over a million people in less than three weeks leading up to election day.
MC Yogi’s Elephant Power has been in the top 20 World Music albums on iTunes since it’s release in Sept. 2008. MC Yogi tours nationally and internationally with his music and continues to teach at Yoga Toes Studio, in Point Reyes Station California, which he co-founded with his wife Amanda in 2001.
For more information visit www.mcyogi.com
Debbie Daly, E-RYT 500, offers a well-rounded practice for energy and health, along with yin yoga for rejuvenating the joints and for deep relaxation. In her 15 years of experience, she has developed a group practice that’s effective for a wide range of body types and abilities, with a focus on mindfulness and intuitive awareness.
Debbie has extensive training in yin yoga and anatomy, and her teaching is deeply influenced by her studies with Paul and Suzee Grilley. The evolution of her yoga path has included past studies in the Anusara, Bikram, Iyengar and Kripalu traditions.
Debbie has been the Studio Manager of Yoga Toes since moving to Point Reyes in 2010. Before then, she was the owner and founder of Tucson Yoga, an award-winning low-cost yoga studio in Arizona that grew to serve over 20,000 students per year.
Debbie holds a degree in Computer Science from Rutgers University with a minor in Music. When not teaching yoga, she is a performing musician, singer and music teacher. Her website is www.debbiedaly.com.
Peggy Orr began her yoga practice in 1989 with Chuck Miller at the original YogaWorks on Montana. At the time, it was just a small room with a nail salon next door. Over the years, her practice became very important to her, and still is. Influential teachers include Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Erich Schiffman, Paul Grilley, Tim Miller and Tony Briggs. Peggy brings her deep connection to movement, offbeat humor, and life experience to her practice. Teaching is her karma yoga. More info at Peggy’s website, peggyorryoga.com.
“We have been friends and fellow yogis with Peggy Orr for over two decades. We have slept in her home, eaten her food and enjoyed her company and conversation both on and off the mat. We have practiced together, meditated together and discussed yoga with her for all these many years. We have experienced first hand her generous spirit and nurturing strength. Peggy didn’t come to yoga with a desire to teach, she came with a desire to experience its healing effects. She has practiced and practiced and practiced and she has tested for herself how yoga can enhance a person’s life. This is why she can so easily help others find their own shade beneath the broad branches of yoga.” -Paul & Suzee Grilley
Stephanie Phelan Stephanie’s personal practice evolved into a pathway of service and teaching following life-altering events. Prior to that she was a Segment Producer for “The Today Show.” Sincere devotion led to earning a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology, five Yoga Alliance Teacher Trainings and continuing study with renowned psychologists and Yogi scholars. Lesley Desauliners, a Jivamukti certified teacher and Peggy Orr a 30-year veteran teacher are mentors influencing her journey as student and teacher. After decades of study and practice, Stephanie ultimately calls LIFE her greatest teacher. Her Soulful Flow classes are a fusion of music, dharma, humor and alignment. She focuses on the breath as a pathway to; steady the mind, open the heart and to experience clarity and inner calm. Stephanie’s website is www.innerlightshine.com.
Maile Sivert discovered yoga in 1996. Immediately, she resonated with practice and could feel there was something special, something indefinable to it. She continues to explore and experience this sensation in her yoga practice today.
She considers Richard Freeman, whom she met while living in Colorado in 1998, to be her primary teacher. She continues to study with him annually and has completed three advanced teacher trainings with him. Impassioned by Indian culture, she has traveled to India multiple times, and in 2000 she spent three months studying with BNS Iyengar in Mysore, southern India.
Maile teaches yoga in an exploratory way, encouraging the cultivation of intuition as a guide. While rooted in the tradition of Astanga, her practice has been nourished by many styles and teachers. She is inspired by the connection between breath and movement and teaches precision in alignment. Balancing tradition with creativity, her vinyasa classes are an active, yet nurturing synthesis of flowing postures, breath awareness and yogic philosophy. She also enjoys teaching yoga foundations and therapeutic classes.
Maile’s website is www.mailesivert.com
Katie Jay discovered yoga twenty years ago as a young actress. Every morning her improvisation class began with five sun salutations to warm up the body and focus the mind. Little did she know that this simple practice would become the foundation of her life’s work and passion.
She was personally trained and certified by Cyndi Lee, founder and director of the prestigious OM Yoga Center in New York City. It was here at OM that Katie was first introduced to Buddhist meditation. She was trained as a teacher to apply Buddhist principles to the practice of yoga. Katie has since fully embraced the Buddhist path and attempts to apply it to every aspect of her daily life including teaching. Katie was also inspired by her training with Shiva Rea to create dynamic flowing sequences that encourage exploration and self expression. Katie is as passionate about teaching as she as about the practice of yoga. Her classes are dynamic and joyful, mindful and precise, with careful attention to alignment. Katie wholeheartedly encourages her students to embrace the process of waking up to the experience of life.
Melissa McLaughlin’s study of yoga began in 2008 in the Sivananda yoga lineage. A natural seeker with a BA in Philosophy, it was the transformational aspect of yoga’s philosophical roots that first inspired her to daily practice.
She completed her first teacher training at The Mindful Body San Francisco with teachers Maile Sivert and Caroline Kelley, and is also certified through the American College of Sports Medicine as a Personal Trainer. She regularly assists international yoga teachers MC YOGI and Amanda Giacomini and continues her yoga study in weekly practice, with Peggy Orr and Iyengar teacher Tony Briggs, as well as attending workshops with Tim Miller, Rod Stryker, Tiffany Cruikshank, and more.
She hopes to bring the student spirit of curiosity and exploration into her teaching. “My aim as a teacher is to guide students through an asana practice that will strengthen the body, quiet the mind, and open the heart.”
Find out more about Melissa on her website: www.melissamclyoga.com.