Teachers

OWNERS – Alice, Madzy & Jaime

Alice Harper

My focus as a teacher is to ground each class in the needs of students at that specific moment. I start my classes by getting a feel for the mood and energy of the room, and often ask for requests to guide the sequences and flow for the practice. I strive to offer students opportunities to explore their potential during the practice, while staying grounded in the present. My goal is to create a balanced practice, allowing students to build strength with a sense of ease. That doesn’t mean my classes are easy – the challenge of the practice can sometimes sneak up on you.

I teach yoga from a place of self-inquiry. My yoga practice has evolved to embody the lessons I’ve learned from obstacles and challenges that I have faced on and off the mat. The combined lessons of these experiences inform the yoga I share as a teacher, and allows me to guide students through a practice that is physically grounding and mentally freeing.

I started my yoga practice originally to build core strength for disc issues in my lower back – and unexpectedly discovered my passion to become a teacher. I completed a teacher training with Baron Baptiste in 2004 while living in Boston and my 200 hour teacher training in 2005 with Bo Forbes. I continued to study with Bo Forbes and was a founding member of the Center for Integrative Yoga Therapeutics, before moving back to Seattle in 2008. Since then, I have taught at studios all over Seattle.


Madzy Besselaar

My greatest responsibility and joy as a teacher is to inspire students to explore their edge of possibility and to find beauty in every moment. My teaching focuses on mindfully guiding students to maintain strong alignment and breath through spirited, core-based movement while introducing playful challenges along the way. I aspire to connect to every person in the room, expanding their perception of how they can move and what they can move through. I believe wholeheartedly that the work we do in yoga positively impacts our world outside of the studio. A new focus/ idea together with a lively playlist sets the tone for each class, making each practice vibrant, unique, thoughtful, creative, dynamic and fun.

My younger years were filled with intense sports and competition. I turned to yoga for both mental and physical freedom and support. I first fell in love with the practice of yoga through slow, alignment based Iyengar flows. In 2008, I began practicing at Mountain Flow Yoga and Shakti where Baptiste-style Power Vinyasa swept me off my feet (at times, literally). This desire to merge precision with flow guided me to study anatomy-based flow with PT and beloved teacher, Lara Heimann. I have joined this foundation of physical precision with my personal passion for power vinyasa to create “Vata Vinyasa”.

You can expect my strong Vata energy to show up in my classes through the creative promise of movement, music, and mindset while providing a space where all feel safe, supported as individuals and connected as a community. I believe that yoga carries the empowering potential to crack open resistance in its many pernicious forms, so that each of us can come to understand and affirm our true identity and potential, without reservation.


Jaime Scates Schmitz

I am committed to unearthing expressions of internal and external freedom for myself and my primary goal as a teacher is to provide my students with glimpses of and forays into expressions of freedom. Whether it be through travel, meditation, nidra, music, breath, fluidity, athleticism, handstands or exploring nature, I love to invite people out of the confines in which they limit themselves to sustain the illusion of control. Primarily I work with the element of fire, to create alchemy as whatever we throw into the fire is transformed.

While my teaching style is creative, athletic, fluid and dynamic, I’m committed to honoring my roots and providing a traditional yoga experience. Elements of Ashtanga and Baptiste continue to guide every sequence I build. My classes are very challenging and certainly a physical practice, yet I guide my students past the physical and invite them to delve into the subtle and energetic bodies.

Currently, my personal practices are more focused in the realm of spirit and meditation. As I quest for Internal espressions of freedom, I find sharing this type of work brings me the greatest pleasure. Locally I work with my teachers at the Alive & Shine Center and I study with my guru/primary teacher, Anita Lucia Briggs. I love to bring the work that I do with these enlightened beings into the studio and share this journey into spirit, the ultimate expression of freedom.


STAFF


Ashleigh Shane

Ashleigh discovered the magic that is yoga in 2008. She has been a dedicated student both on and off her mat ever since. An avid traveler, her yoga practice has been one of the few things with the constant ability to rival the thrill of seeing and experiencing a new place. Yoga has provided her with tangible tools to live a life inspired by authenticity and growth and she is continually moved by its transformative powers. She received her first 200 hour teaching certification in 2013, eager to share her passion and delight for yoga with those around her. Constant curiosity and the sense of community she feels through group exercise has led her to teach many other fitness formats over the years, but yoga is what always feels most like home. Her classes seek to uplift, inspire and challenge students to honor and celebrate where they are each and every day. She truly believes that intentional, embodied movement, coupled with a wicked playlist and a little bit of sweat can remedy just about anything.


Jodi Arnold

What brought me to yoga in 2009 was chronic back pain and the demands of mothering my two young, beautiful babies. The one place or space I continued to find relief, peace and stillness was my yoga mat. Over the last 8 years, along with the joy of raising my family, nothing has been more satisfying or eye-opening then the unfolding of yoga in body, mind and spirit.

I love to teach and connect bodies to breath. I love to teach and connect community to soulful, instrumental beats. I love more than anything the power of possibility and exploration of inner self through asana bringing forth more energy, awareness and authenticity. The practice being a symphony of expansion and strength.

I graduated in 2015 with 200HR RYT from Seattle Yoga Arts and I am currently working on 300HR from Be Luminous Yoga. My Anusara roots layered with Baptiste Vinyasa yoga brings a balanced, empowering practice of Grace, Power and Flow


Lauren Berry

It started as a way to maximize a 1-hour workout with Jaime’s combo spin and yoga class, and unfolded into a deep curiosity and awe for the ancient healing practice of yoga. As a life-long student of human behavior with an ever present need to evolve, I needed to learn more. Yoga brought more healing and transformation to my life more than anything else I’d experienced and I wanted to share that same gift with others. I received my 200RYT under Jaime Schmitz in 2015. Other teachers of influence are Silvia Mordini, and Dee Dessault who I recently studied with. Dee taught me the many components to restoring our bodies, minds and spirits in this increasingly non-relaxing culture of ours. Whether were there to burn off energy or completely unwind, my hope is to create a space where you can move inward just a bit more. While not practicing yoga, you can find me with my two energetic boys and husband in West Seattle.


Leslie Woodward

C-IAYT – Drawing from her studies in yoga therapy, Ayurveda, and Buddhism, Leslie’s classes incorporate a strong focus on alignment, sequences to bring strength and balance to the body, and fostering a deeper awareness of and connection to the body. Leslie combines breath-centered movement and therapeutic vinyasa in a slow yet strong flow. Also a certified Holistic Nutritionist, Leslie is passionate about helping others live their healthiest, most balanced life. When she’s not teaching yoga or preaching the good word of leafy greens, you can find her skiing, trail running, or making a mess in her kitchen.


Lizzie Braicks-Rinker

I have been teaching yoga in Seattle for five years. I first fell in love with athleticism as a D1 rower at Gonzaga University. After I graduated, I found myself missing the discipline, movement, and community that rowing had provided in my life. I had been curious about yoga, but had the idea in my head that it wasn’t for me. Driving home from work on a cold fall night I decided to try my local hot yoga studio and have been hooked ever since! I was immediately struck by how yoga calmed my mind, healed my painful rowing injuries, and challenged me to explore myself (not just my body) in new ways. I started going to yoga every single day, sometimes twice! The second the opportunity presented itself, I signed up for yoga teacher training to deepen my practice.

I have a Yoga Alliance 200 HR Vinyasa Certification from Corepower Yoga as well as certifications in Barre and HIIT Pilates. My goal is to make each student that walks into my class feel welcomed, empowered, and part of a greater community. Yoga is a privilege, and often the best part of somebody’s day, and I like to honor that in my classes. My flows are athletic and playful, just like me, and will challenge you to try something new while honoring your foundation. Through yoga I am constantly challenged, inspired, and introduced to incredible people. I can’t wait to have you in class!


Meghan Smith

Meghan first stepped on a yoga mat 15 years ago and immediately fell in love. After years of intense exercise, the act of slowing down, of tending to her body in a mindful and compassionate way, truly felt like coming home. Meghan soon learned that the physical practice of yoga was only a small part of what kept her coming back to the mat. Yoga became her companion and refuge through the inevitable changes, joys, and sorrows of life. It also taught her that slowing down and turning inward is a powerful vehicle for profound personal growth and transformation.

Meghan has been teaching in the Seattle area for eight years, and during this time she has seen countless students arrive at her classes in times of personal upheaval. Many of her students were working through loss, big life transitions, physical and emotional pain, and deep trauma. After class, they would approach Meghan to talk, to share their stories, and to continue the healing process. Meghan found she wanted the tools and skills to adequately support her students, so in the Fall of 2013 she enrolled in a Masters program in Clinical Psychology at Seattle University.

Meghan is now both a yoga teacher and psychotherapist, where she combines the ancient wisdom and healing of yoga with modern day clinical practices. She incorporates movement, meditation, modern psychology and ancient wisdom into her classes. She also runs a psychotherapy private practice in the Seward Park neighborhood of Seattle. Learn more at www.mjstherapy.com

Meghan bows in gratitude to her teachers: Annie Carpenter, Seane Corn, Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, Hala Khouri, Bessel van der Kolk, and countless others. Her path has been paved by them.


Shruthi Krishnaswamy

Shruthi was born in India, raised in the Middle East and India, and has lived in the US since her college days in 1998. She has lived in Seattle since 2006 with her hubby. Her adventurous nomadic life has allowed her to experience different cultures and perspectives, and she continues to travel a lot! After spending several years in Training and Organizational development departments at corporations including IBM and Cigna Health, she decided it was time to make a switch, after completing her yoga teacher training, in 2013.

Shruthi started practicing yoga in 2006 and is passionate about a variety of styles of yoga including Vinyasa and Yin Yoga ! In recent years, she believes that Yin Yoga has truly transformed her mind and body in incredible ways. Shruthi is a great believer in the benefits of Pranayama and meditation and likes to incorporate them into her classes. One of her quotes – ‘Yin teaches you to accept the things you can’t change, and Yang gives you the courage to change the things you can. Life is a beautiful dance of the balancing the two.

When she is not doing or teaching yoga, Shruthi is engaged in a variety of artistic endeavors including painting and writing. She started a line of handpainted accessories, Pittura Arte a few years ago, and takes custom handpainting orders on a variety of surfaces! Last but not least, Shruthi has a passion for travel and cooking. She believes that “Travel is the one thing you buy that makes you richer!”.


Vinyasa Flow Yoga and Meditation in Seattle, WA

Seattle is amazing city to practice vinyasa flow yoga. Vinyasa yoga is a study of movement in which movement is synchronized to one’s breathing. As each movement flows from one movement to the next, in a style known as flow yoga, it becomes a form of dance. For a more extensive list on what classes Earth Wind Fire Yoga is offering, click here.

Seattle Vinyasa Flow Yoga Vinyasa Flow Yoga Vinyasa Flow Yoga in Seattle, WA