831-423-6719
Yoga Center Santa Cruz, 428-C Front Street, Santa Cruz

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Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together.

– BKS Iyengar, Light on Life

YCSC Instructors

All of our instructors are steeped in the methodology and philosophy of Iyengar style hatha yoga and have many years of teaching experience and yoga practice. Several of our instructors have earned teaching certificates from the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Fransisco, which is accredited through the state of California. Some have studied in India directly with Geeta and Prashant Iyengar, son and daughter of BKS Iyengar.

We are pleased to offer classes and workshops with Kofi Busia. He is one of a handful of instructors in the world who were given a senior yoga teaching certificate directly by BKS Iyengar. He studied and practiced with Guruji on numerous occasions in India many years ago, when classes were very small and intimate.

Additionally, a few instructors bring in other influences of their training into their teaching such as kinesiology, flow, etc. Please consult the individual instructor bios for more complete descriptions of background and education.

Abbey Asher

Abbey Asher

Abbey is a formally trained ballet and jazz dancer who performed professionally in Santa Barbara. She began studying Iyengar yoga in 1995 and completed teacher training in 2004. Abbey has been a student of Maya Lev and Kofi Busia for many years and is currently teaching yoga at UCSC. In January of 2008, Abbey studied for one month at the Iyengar Institute in Pune, India.

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Karen Zelin

Karen Zelin

Karen has been a student and teacher of yoga, meditation and mindfulness since 1990. She graduated from the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco and completed Kofi Busia's teacher training program.

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Keri Petersen

Keri Petersen

Keri Petersen holds a B.A. in Health Education and has been practicing yoga since 1988. She has been teaching since 2001 and her style is steeped in Iyengar alignment, vinyasa flow and restorative repose

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Kofi Busia

Kofi Busia

Kofi is one of the few teachers awarded a senior certificate by Mr. Iyengar. He has studied with BKS Iyengar many times in India and has been teaching yoga for over 35 years. He is also a scholar of Sanskrit and has translated the Sutras of Patanjali from the original.

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Juliet Heizman

Juliet Heizman

Juliet Heizmanwas certified at the Iyengar Institute of San Francicsco in 1990. She has been studying yoga since 1984 and teaching since 1986. Having trained with many of the finest senior teachers in the U.S., Juliet emphasizes a methodical approach, with focus on correct alignment for the individual. Through awareness, the individual rises to his or her innate potential.

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Laurie Broderick-Burr

Laurie Broderick-Burr

Laurie Broderick-Burr has been practicing and teaching yoga for 30 years. She has been deeply influenced in the Iyengar tradition by Judith Lasater, Aadil Palkhivala, and Kofi Busia. Laurie considers herself a life-long learner and consistently seeks to deepen her knowledge of human movement patterns. Currently enrolled in a Masters of Kinesiology program, Laurie expertly integrates principles of functional movement, anatomy, biomechanics, balance, and stability into classical asana instruction.

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Maya Lev

Maya Lev

Maya Lev is the Director and owner of Yoga Center Santa Cruz. Maya's love of yoga was initiated by her first teacher, Sarah Pepper, when she was a freshman at UCSC. She subsequently became a student of Ruth Hille, a founder of Yoga Center Santa Cruz, who encouraged her to consider teaching yoga. Maya attended the teacher training program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco and began teaching in 1993. She is profoundly grateful to Kofi Busia, her primary teacher for the past 22 years, for inspiration, guidance, and insight into the subtle mechanisms of the asanas and their effect on the body. In her teaching, she combines a rigorous physical practice with a deep reverence for the spiritual transformation yoga offers to each student.

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Mitra Tredway

Mitra Tredway

Mitra Tredway has spent her lifetime practicing, teaching, guiding the yoga journey; born in Teheran, Iran, her inquisitive nature evolved into a firm, loving teaching style earning certification as an accredited yoga instructor, as well as certified fitness specialist.

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Scott Smader

Scott Smader

Scott began his yoga studies in 1973. He began practicing in the Iyengar tradition in 1995 and started teaching in 1998. He is a current student of Kofi Busia.

Rate: Drop-in $13; 4/8 classes $44/$80

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Suzi Mahler

Suzi Mahler

Suzi has been teaching chair yoga to all ages and abilities for over 6 years. She has developed a unique style that allows each person to access the benefits of yoga without getting on the floor. Her classes are a gentle yet dynamic blend of strength-building movement, breath awareness, with an emphasis on posture, alignment, flexibility and pain management. Her three decades of work as a certified massage therapist and nutrition educator at Dakota Health Center in downtown Santa Cruz informs her deep knowledge of anatomy and physiology.This class is accessible for everyone.

Rate: $5 donation for class.

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Trisha Leineke

Trisha Leineke

Trisha Leineke began her training in alignment-centered yoga in 2006 with certified Anusara teachers Ruthie & Jim Bernaert. Trisha has since completed over 600 hours of Anusara immersions and teacher trainings. Trisha completed a 100-hour teacher training with Jacqui Pailing, in which she developed techniques for teaching children and parents. She also completed Level 1 Prenatal Yoga Training with Jane Austin.

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Yoga Center Santa Cruz

Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.
B.K.S. Iyengar