Teachers’ Training – Staff



Elyse is a Registered THAI Therapist and a certified and nationally registered teacher of both massage and yoga therapies with a private practice in Santa Rosa, CA.  She specializes in teaching alignment-based yoga. Her major concern is keeping students safe in class while encouraging them to skillfully reach their personal goals. Elyse is the author of the DVD series, Stretch In Time® to help seniors improve the health of their spines and to stretch major joints and muscles with 5 simple exercises. This motivational DVD for seniors who are both Hearing and Deaf or Hard of Hearing emphasizes the importance of building strength and endurance as people age. http://www.stretchintime.com. http://www.stretchintime.com. Click here for Hamstrings tips from Elyse.

Frances was introduced to yoga in 1999 and credits yoga for transforming her life physically, mentally and spiritually. She holds a degree in Kinesiology from U.C.L.A. and has worked in medicine since 1983. She truly believes that to experience our lives to the fullest, our bodies were meant to move. Thus, her teaching style reflects an emphasis on breath and movement to maintain a healthy mind-body connection. Having studied with numerous amazing teachers, she has synthesized many styles into a stew of slow flow with alignment based postures and breath awareness. She received her 200 hour teacher certification from Yoga at the Village and her 300 hour advanced training from Black Dog Yoga under the mentorship of Sigrid Matthews. In addition, she holds a certification in Therapeutic yoga and is a certified Level 1 Yoga Tune Up® teacher.


Ann Austin-Web-BWAnn has been dedicated to the practice of yoga for 20 years. Her classes are inspired by her own practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Ann creates a space that is safe yet challenges her students to move beyond what they think is possible. Yoga is about transformation and to practice with Ann students experience this firsthand. Trained to teach yoga in 2000, Ann received a certification by the Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland California and is registered at the 500 hour level. Continuing her yoga education is very important to Ann; she has participated in many different teacher trainings and workshops. As a student of all types of yoga, she has studied with senior Iyengar, Ashtanga and Hatha yoga teachers. She is very grateful to her Ashtanga yoga teacher John Smith, for his support over the last 15 years. Chanting the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is a major part of Ann’s personal yoga practice. Ann is fortunate to study with Kate Holcombe of the Healing Yoga Foundation in San Francisco. She grateful to Kate for her skilled teaching of the Yoga Sutra and her ability to make this ancient yoga text relevant today to the modern yogi. Ann’ s classes include chanting the Yoga Sutra as a way of not only connecting to the past but also to bring this ancient wisdom to her students.

Tony Briggs-Web-BW
“The path which is crossed is gone in a moment, but the path which is followed goes on forever.” Tony began his yoga studies in 1978, almost 40 years ago. From the beginning until 2002 he studied at length with senior Iyengar Yoga teachers such as Judith Lasater, Manouso Manos, Kofia Busia, and Ramanand Patel. On several occasions during that time he had the great good fortune to be able to study directly under the watchful eyes of BKS Iyengar and Geeta Iyengar, both in India and here in the U.S. Tony’s personal practice and experiential understanding of the art of yoga have grown and deepened profoundly from all these teachers’ years of generosity, knowledge and acumen. Tony has been teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1985, for over 31 years. He teaches weekly public classes, workshops, retreats, various teacher-training programs, and advanced teachers’ consultation groups. Still going strong.

Mirka Kraftsow_BW
Mirka Scalco Kraftsow has been a health practitioner and educator since 1974. In addition her role as Co-Director of AVI and Co-Teacher of the AVI Yoga Teacher Training Program, Mirka has been a Yoga teacher in the Viniyoga™ methodology since 1981 and a Yoga Therapist since 1988. Born and raised in Italy, Mirka traveled and studied different modalities of dance, movement, psychology and meditation in India, Europe and the United States. Over the years Mirka has helped hundreds of individuals develop and maintain a personal practice and manage challenging personal and therapeutic conditions. Mirka served as consultant for several successful national yoga studies, and assisted the development of materials for Gary Kraftsow’s books “Yoga for Wellness” and “Yoga for Transformation.

(Additional Teachers to be Determined)
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