Denise Benitez, Founder of Seattle Yoga Arts, has been fascinated by the human body ever since she realized she had one! She has spent much of this lifetime delving into the curious phenomenons of embodiment and consciousness, beginning with candle-gazing at the age of 13. When she found the practice of yoga at age 16, which combined these two great passions, she was instantly and forever in love with its artful and profound approach to movement and being. She has studied yoga for over forty years, and has taught since 1985.
Denise is inspired and informed by multiple streams of yoga. She studied Iyengar yoga beginning at age 16 with many esteemed teachers of that method, and since 1992, she has been galvanized by the Anusara principles of alignment and by the study of Tantric philosophy which informs her teaching of hatha yoga, and her mantric meditation practice and instruction. She looks to nature, animals, her students, the great mystical masters of embodiment exploration and her own observations of the life of the body and soul as resources for her teaching. Lessons are everywhere in the way that life gracefully and abundantly renews itself.
Denise founded Seattle Yoga Arts in 1990. She thinks that being a yoga teacher is a high calling, and takes her student's well-being and development seriously, while also appreciating a good joke and loving to laugh. The greatest students and teachers in Seattle (probably the world) continuously stream to the studio, creating a vibrant, amazing, and big hearted yoga community, to which she is happy to welcome you.
Desiree Jordan, Director of Marketing & Community Relations graduated in 1997 from the University of Washington where she studied Communications and English. Since then, her work history has been in marketing and promotions. Desiree is thrilled to bring her marketing project management, design, and implementation skills to Seattle Yoga Arts. When she decided to stay home with her two children in 2008, she still wanted to be part of a community outside her home. She never dreamed that it would be such a relaxed, inspiring place like SYA to continue her marketing experience. The opportunity to work with the Yoga Arts teachers & reception has been a true blessing for Desiree, both personally and professionally.
Aimee Bebeau, Studio Manager, came to yoga as a true skeptic, doubtful that it would really help her… but surprisingly, she learned otherwise!
Aimee has been practicing yoga since 2004 and has found great comfort, strength and endless possibilities along the way. With the intention of deepening her knowledge of yoga, she completed a 200 hour Immersion and Teacher Training program at Seattle Yoga Arts. After working for over a decade in Office Administration & Human Resources she made the choice to leave the corporate world in search of something new, which landed her on the Seattle Yoga Arts staff in 2010.
Aimee’s past experience provided her with skills to grow in this new environment and she is grateful for the opportunity to be of use to our students and staff. She is excited to be part of such a welcoming and vibrant community that continues to challenge her and enrich her experience of life!
Rainey has been practicing yoga for several decades, teaching classes, workshops and retreats since 2000, and offering advanced immersions and teacher trainings since 2007. In 2003 she was certified in Anusara Yoga and this serves as a foundation for her heart-infused, body-honoring style. Rainey’s teaching arises from a constant curiosity about life - how we move in, through and with it, as well as how it can be authentically expressed through us. She imparts her passion for movement and philosophy, meditation and inquiry into all her offerings. She is devoted to revealing the best in herself and her students. She is a Certified Yoga Teacher, ERYT-500. Find Yoga with Rainey on Facebook.
Meg Agnew, M.A.has enjoyed teaching at SYA since 1993. She has completed comprehensive training in both the Iyengar and Anusara styles of yoga and her teaching also reflects her study of several spiritual traditions. In 2009, Meg was a graduate of the first Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA. Compassionate mindfulness is a prominent aspect of her yoga classes. With carefully sequenced instruction and a light-hearted approach, Meg encourages students to participate in the powerfully transformative process at the heart of yoga. She believes that yoga is an exploration leading to self-acceptance, healing, and an ever-deepening experience of freedom and Love. 206.525.9349 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bianca Raffety, LMP is an Anusara-Inspired Yoga Teacher, Director of Therapeutic Studies at Seattle Yoga Arts and a Licensed Massage Therapist. Having experienced the penetrating healing and balancing effects of a regular yoga practice, Bianca has felt compelled to share the possibilities available through yoga with as many people as possible. Bianca believes we all have deep inner wisdom which can be cultivated by the willingness and courage to explore yoga. Her classes are supportive, playful, and encourage curiosity and self-trust. She is graced with the guidance and support of her mentor, Denise Benitez, and other fabulous teachers. 206.391.9834 www.biancaraffety.com
Beth Award In 1991, Beth took two summer classes: DOS Programming and Yoga. The computer information didn't stick, but yoga captured her attention from the very first class: she felt taller and quieter (miraculous!). Since 1994, Beth has been a student at Seattle Yoga Arts, and how she evolved to wear a leotard to work is still a bit of a joyful mystery to her. Inspired by Denise and her own “unfolding”, Beth left her corporate job to teach yoga in 2003. She achieved Anusara-Inspired licensing in 2007 and is AN E-RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. Beth offers a warm and compassionate instruction style that stems from her love and enthusiasm for the practice. She continues to be inspired, pulled, and prodded by life in all sorts of directions. 206.949.7084 www.bethaward.com
Jane Hitti, MD Jane has been teaching yoga since 2007 (RYT-200) and is also a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist.
She is known for her creative and dynamic sequencing as well as her clear, attentive and nurturing teaching style. She is deeply grateful to all of her teachers on this path, including Denise Benitez, Elizabeth Rainey, Jessica Jennings and Paul Muller-Ortega. Jane’s teaching is informed by her love of nature and a wealth of experience related to motherhood and the practice of medicine.
She believes that human embodiment, in all of its ever-changing beautiful imperfection, is a fabulous gift to be enjoyed in every moment. From this perspective, yoga can bring all of life’s sweetness right into focus and help us connect with a sense of ease and beauty present within and all around us. email@example.com
Rebecca Denk, RYT 200, has been a dedicated yoga student for over a decade and began teaching yoga in her Central District neighborhood 5 years ago. She teaches weekly classes at Seattle Yoga Arts on Capitol Hill, Lila Yoga in Madison Valley, and Studio Arcadia in the CD. Rebecca primarily trained in Anusara Yoga with Denise Benitez and Elizabeth Rainey, and in Prenatal Yoga with Jessica Jennings. She continues to utilize the wisdom and beauty of the Anusara method in her classes. She is currently studying Foundations in Movement Systems Balance to enhance her understanding of anatomy and balanced muscle/skeletal action.
Rebecca’s classes are characterized by warmth, humor and a focus on physical alignment. Her study of Buddhist meditation and appreciation for each student’s unique path greatly inform her teaching.
Erin Goldman Shedding the heaviness, darkness and withdrawal of the past and becoming a more authentic and vibrant version of herself has been Erin’s yogic journey. This journey has allowed her to awaken to her true nature and it is her passion to facilitate this journey for others. Erin’s classes combine heart-centered and inspiring themes with clear and specific alignment instruction to awaken the body, mind and spirit. Her steady voice and lighthearted humor add to the overall experience. Erin founded Awakened Heart Yoga to open the door to anyone interested in the journey from darkness to life (even if you never step foot in a yoga studio) by offering online courses, podcasts and free weekly tips/articles/videos that inspire and awaken the heart
Erin was certified in Hatha Yoga by the Pyramid Yoga Center (Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand) in 2007. She was recommended as a Licensed Anusara Inspired Instructor in 2011 and is a Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher. Erin continues to study and practice yoga with Denise Benitez and Elizabeth Rainey at Seattle Yoga Arts. She is delighted and grateful to be involved in intensive study and practice of meditation under the guidance of Paul Muller-Ortega. It is Erin’s devotion to her Yoga & Meditation practice paired with her background in dance and graduate studies in Social Work that allows her to offer her unique gifts of clarity and ease.
Laura Prudhomme is inspired by any practice that strengthens the heart-body-mind connection. Her passion for movement, years of dance training, and a perpetually inquisitive mind led her to the path of yoga. Laura teaches an alignment-based class emphasizing breath awareness and ease of movement. Her wish is to engage students in a practice that invites curiosity, playfulness, and full-hearted vision. Laura completed her first teacher training under the auspices of Kathleen Hunt and mentor Jenny Ingwersen at Samadhi Yoga Center where she continues to study with Yvonne Crouteau. In 2009, she was introduced to Seattle Yoga Arts and the brilliance of Anusara. Laura has since found a home in the vibrant community of Seattle Yoga Arts where she studies with Denise Benitez and Elizabeth Rainey. Laura will complete the Anusara Yoga Immersion in Fall 2011. She deeply and graciously bows to her teachers both past and present for passing on their wisdoms and traditions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Claudette Evans, E-RYT 200/RYT 500, is mother to Lily, and has been teaching yoga to children and adults since 2009. She's currently enrolled in the Anusara Teacher Training Program at Seattle Yoga Arts, under the guidance of her beloved teachers Elizabeth Rainey and Denise Benitez. She is a graduate of YogaWorks' 300hr Advanced Certification and 200hr Foundational Programs, as well as the RainbowKids and Street Yoga Teacher Training Programs. You'll find Claudette's classes infused with her warm, integrative, creative spirit. Her extensive background in athletics, music, dance, and theatre reinforces the connection between body, mind, and breath that she explores in each pose. She has a genuine passion for introducing new students to yoga and delights in encouraging her students to open themselves to the vitality of life. Her enthusiasm and curiosity are catching, and it's clear that her teaching draws on her own love of physicality and mental engagement. Through a deft weaving of precise alignment, thoughtful insight, a great sense of humor, and an abiding respect for each student's own path, Claudette's classes create space for self-expression, clarity of focus and the sheer joy of movement, leaving room for the alchemical magic of yoga to unfold. email@example.com
Greg Lewerenz, EAMP, LMP, RYT, was introduced to yoga as a way to enhance his other athletic passions including biking, running, swimming, and hiking. Over the years his practice has become as much philosophical as physical, viewing the practice as a way of informing action and supporting insight in all aspects of life. Greg's classes provide an opportunity for safe and deep physical transformation as a portal to experience yoga’s broader philosophy. He maintains a deep respect for the Anusara method, viewing the literal refinements of the physical body in asana as a reflection of the refinements possible in all aspects of life.
Greg is an RYT 200 and is an Anusara Inspired as well as KulaEvolution Associate level teacher. He humbly follows in the tradition of his teachers, including Karen Sprute-Francovich, Patricia Berger, Rainey, and Denise Benitez. Greg is also the owner/practitioner at Foster Wellness, an acupuncture and massage clinic located in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood.
Beattie took her first yoga class at 14 and it planted the seed; she has been exploring the world through movement and touch ever since. Yoga has shaped her life, leading her to become a massage therapist, yoga teacher, and a certified Hellerwork practitioner. Classes and sessions with her emphasize the process of finding and honoring your body’s structural alignment. Like snowflakes, no two bodies are alike, so finding steadiness and comfort (‘sthira sukham asanam) in each pose is truly a different path for each person.
She loves working with people, and is so inspired by the body and the being. Beattie's goal is to facilitate connection to the self, with physical and emotional integrity through heart centered teamwork. We’re all teachers and students, in every second, every relationship, with every interaction, we are in it together, learning.
Amy Reed is a scientist, a seeker, and a passionate story-weaver. She's been a devoted student and teacher of yoga and meditation for over 15 and 10 years respectively. She was Certified in Anusara Yoga in 2009 and is currently a Certified Yoga teacher with E-RYT 500 designation.
In her teaching she strives to keep it real, teaching from her everyday experience with authenticity and humor. She's known for her clarity, sweetness and enthusiasm. She believes that every pose invites us to a hidden doorway where we meet more of our selves and that being consciously embodied is a radical act. She strives to offer her students tools to empower themselves in their bodies, minds and hearts. In addition to public classes, she offers private/therapeutic instruction, workshops, retreats and teacher trainings. You can learn more about her at amyreedyoga.com.