Teachers


Joel Benjamin
Yogasmith director, Joel Benjamin and his partner, Brad have lived in Seattle for over 20 years. Joel has been practicing yoga since 2000. He received teacher trainings from Theresa Elliot and Kathryn Payne in 2003, and Max Strom in 2008. Joel sees yoga as the most ancient self-help system on the planet. Of the many health benefits yoga provides, Joel’s inspiration to teach arises from yoga’s most important end product — better human beings.

 

Alex Baker
As a teacher Alex provides a supportive and encouraging environment. Her students learn  how to move their body with greater awareness, cultivating stability while increasing strength and flexibility. In addition to the physical (asana) practice Alex teaches her students how to connect deeper to their breath through pranayamas (breathing techniques) and visualizations, promoting a relaxed mind while decreasing stress.  During her classes she enjoys weaving in insights from the Yoga Sutras as well as information from the science of Ayurvedic Medicine. Alex has found that these ancient teachings are means to help practitioners function optimally and holistically within the cycles of the seasons. Alex is a 2009 graduate from the nationally-accredited  8 Limbs 200 hour Teacher Training Program of Seattle, WA. She continues her education formally and informally.

Jonna Bracken
Jonna Bracken was introduced to the practice of Yoga in 1995, when she took her first class in India.  After returning to the United States she continued to study and began teaching at 8Limbs in 2000.  In 2004 she opened and directed her own studio, Yoga on Beacon. The strength of Jonna’s teaching lies in her attention to detail and her compassionate approach to individual needs.  She has an intuitive ability to see how structure and form work together in the body, which leads her to many insights for those who take her classes. Each class is unique, based on the season, time of day, group dynamic or themes she is interested in sharing. Jonna enjoys inspiring and educating her students through a strong and sustainable practice.  She is dedicated to a smart and skillful way of working with the body that is both challenging yet supportive. Jonna hopes that each student will walk away with a deeper understanding of themselves and the yogic path. Jonna’s website is www.jonnayoga.com

Willa Junkinsmith Becker
A Seattle area native, Willa first approached yoga practices as an attempt to actively combat depression. The exploration of yoga as philosophy combined with asana spoke to her, and Willa quickly found herself becoming better equipped with tools to change unhealthy thought patterns and skewed views of herself. Looking for a way to deepen her knowledge and love for yoga, Willa pursued teacher training with Angeline Johnston and Dylan Noebels at Richmond Beach Yoga in Shoreline, WA. Willa primarily teaches hatha yoga, classic foundational poses, pranayama, and includes loosely guided meditation in order to strengthen the purusha – the watcher/seer/witness, the observer part of the self that is pure awareness, does not judge, and remains intact despite the comings and goings of the form it currently inhabits. Willa’s goal both as a yoga practitioner and instructor is to encourage people to cultivate awareness, calm, inner strength, and compassion. Yoga chitta vrtti nirodha: Yoga is the stilling of the turnings in the mind..

Glenn Kuz
Glenn Kuz has been practicing mindfulness meditation in various traditions over the past 4 years. Currently he is studying in the Theravadan Buddhist Tradition and practices Vipassana (insight) meditation. He has graduated from The Mindfulness Training Institute with a teaching certificate in secular mindfulness under the guidance of Mark Coleman (Senior Teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center), and Martin Alyward. Glenn is continuing his training currently with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach for the next two years through the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Glenn has been teaching mindfulness in the health-care environment teaching physicians and other health care providers how mindfulness can lead to improved patient care, stress reduction, greater well-being and job satisfaction.

Rafe Pearlman
Rafe Pearlman currently has roots in Seattle and Los Angeles, where he performs solo concerts, offers voice coaching, leads workshops and soundhealing events, and selectively collaborates with various musicians. Rafe also tours the globe as the primary singer for the Earth Harp Collective where his power-singing accompanies the world’s largest stringed instrument. With his high baritone voice, Rafe synthesizes diverse vocal influences ranging from American soul music to far Eastern devotional music. www.rafepearlman.com

Zia Sunseri
Zia Sunseri is a Seattle-based Soundhealer, Shamanic Counselor. Zia is currently in the final stage of completing her Masters Degree toward becoming a licensed Psychotherapist & Art Therapist. Zia has extensively researched the neurophysiological effects of sound and trance on wellbeing. Zia has over 30 years practice with shamanic healing. She sat in ritual with the indigenous Yacqui people in her youth and studied core shamanism with world renowned anthropologist Michael Harner. Recently, Zia has lead cancer support groups and creative soundhealing workshops in addition to helping individual clients. www.ziasunseri.com

Daniella White
Daniella White is an Usui Reiki Master and certified Sound Healer. She believes that through the application of sound and positive intent, we can bring balance to the mind and body. Frequency can be utilized to shift matter and consciousness, and positive vibration can be healing medicine for the body and spirit. To learn more about Daniella, visit her website at soundsynergy.net