OUR YOGA INSTRUCTORS
AMANDA MACK, 500-RYT
Yoga is essential in these times. Yoga is for everyone. And yoga is all about the breath. As a yoga teacher, I love helping students connect their breath with movement. When we do that, we arrive in the present moment and are able to catch a glimpse of and then build a relationship with our highest self. When that happens, yoga begins to follow us off the mat and into our lives. Beyond fitness, yoga is a way of life that we cultivate with each class.
I enjoy working with beginners and intermediate students in my mixed level classes. Modifications are offered to help make poses accessible to whomever walks in the door. In my teachings and sequencing, I innovate with the tools I have available to me like universal alignment principles and philosophical yoga teachings while drawing from the wisdom of my teachers.
My first teacher was my aunt who taught yoga in a church basement in the 1970s. I still carry with me things I learned from Alison Rubin, an Iyengar-inspired teacher in Spokane, Wash., in the late 1990s. I am deeply connected to the teachings of Karen and Bruce Greenwood with whom I did my 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2011. I am honored to have studied with Lynne Minton for my 300-hour yoga teacher training that I completed in 2016. Furthermore, I am thankful for the teachings of Alison Till and Mary Lou Weprin. Other teachers include my two children, my husband, my dog Henry, my extended family, and friends who are family.
AMANDA MONTAVON, E-500 RYT, CAP
Amanda started teaching Yoga in 2003 as a FiTour Hatha Yoga instructor, when she was also working as an ACE personal trainer and group fitness instructor at various gyms in California. Through the practice of Yoga she experienced a paradigm shift; moving from a fitness centered life to a more holistic view of life and wellness. Since then, she has completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) in multi-style Hatha Yoga and a 500 hour YTT in Traditional Tantra Yoga and the Ayurveda Practitioner course. Being an avid outdoor recreationist, she moved to Alaska to complete her undergraduate degree in Outdoor Studies. Upon graduating she worked as a Wilderness Therapy Guide and Activity Therapist. For her Masters of Arts she focused on Holistic Education, her thesis was on using the Yoga system to create a Holistic Teaching Methodology; developing teaching principles to support others through their individual process of growth and transformation. She still loves fitness based movement practices and enjoys teaching energetic classes, but also emphasizes deep relaxation and using Yoga as a transformational practice; using the practice to increase focus, awareness, commitment, self-efficacy, integrity, compassion, authenticity, community and overall wellbeing. As an E-500 RYT, Amanda continually offers Yoga Teacher Training programs approved by the Yoga Alliance (YA) and her classes/workshops are approved as continuing education classes for other YA registered Yoga teachers. She works full-time as the Director of Programs for Onward and Upward a non-profit school for Adventure Based Learning and Self Discovery in Palmer. For more information visit her website at www.alaskaayurveda.com<http://www.alaskaayurveda.com/> and find her on Instagram under @Nature_Based_Yoga
A friend invited me to her yoga class back in 2006 - I went and was hooked. Now years later I am excited to be teaching my own yoga classes and sharing my practice in a new way. I completed Yoga Teacher Training at Open Space in the summer of 2014 and have been enjoying teaching since then.
Both as an artist and a yoga teacher I enjoy the tradition of passing knowledge and skills directly from person to person. I have had and still have many great teachers and hope to honor them all by sharing their knowledge and love with my own students.
Jule has been studying and practicing yoga since 2005; she believes
"Yoga isn't a workout, but work in." Although her journey started as a
purely physical one, enjoying how the postures restored & strengthened
her body after wilderness adventures, the practice's more subtle aspects
were unveiled during her teacher trainings & ashram experiences in
India. Jule studied at Rishikish Yoga Peeth, receiving her 200 hour
teaching certificate in 2012 & 300 hour certificate in 2013. In
addition to her teacher trainings & additional workshops, she has found
value and insight in a daily Ashtanga practice, regular pranayama &
meditation, as well as restorative & yin yoga. Her teaching style
encourages healthy alignment & mindful movement with breath. She enjoys
sharing yoga philosophy & Ayurvedic insight during group classes. Her
classes incorporate movement (asana), breath (pranayama), and awareness
(chetna); hoping all yogis leave feeling physically and mentally
restored with a sense of stillness in both mind and body. Jule is also
an Ayurvedic Practitioner recognized by the National Association of
Ayurvedic Medicine (NAMA) and has a graduate degree in Counseling
Psychology from UAA. She has a private integrative counseling practice
in Anchorage where she uses Ayurveda, Yoga, meditation & holistic
lifestyle practices to help people experience greater states of
well-being. She also teaches yoga teacher training’s & leads wilderness
yoga retreats throughout the state.
Jule has a B.A. in Psychology from Alaska Pacific University & a M.A. in
Counseling Psychology from UAA. Jule graduated from Spirit Path's
Ayurveda program as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor & Ayurvedic
Practitioner. She has completed over 700 hours of Yoga training since
Jule also offers Ayurvedic Consultations and practices Ayurveda at
Spirit Path in addition to mental health counseling.
Nikki’s introduction to yoga was through meditation, seeking peace from the stresses of every day life and a “hyper-focused mind.” The physical practice of yoga came after years of inner soul searching and a desire to connect her newly balanced mind to body, and body to daily life. To this day Nikki is a firm believer in tuning in, listening to your body, and putting self-care at the forefront.
Nikki graduated from the 200hr Evolve Yoga Teacher Training right here at Spirit Path Yoga and Wellness, which was led by Kimberly Greeff, the creator of Evolve Yoga. Nikki’s favorite expressions of yoga are those that focus on breath before alignment, and alignment before depth. She immensely enjoys working with The Roll Model® Therapy Balls guiding students through self-massage practices to relieve built up tension throughout the body. “Rolling” is an effective yet simple practice that can be executed anywhere!
Ultimately, Nikki wholeheartedly believes that yoga is for everyone, and wants to assist students with their journeys in feeling more empowered in their lives, and more comfortable in their bodies. Her goal is to enrich the lives of her students providing as many helpful tools as possible to further her student’s yoga practice on and off the mat while providing a safe container for their discovery and growth.
KERRY DAVIS, RYT 200
Kerry is an Insight Yoga certified instructor and Reiki II Practitioner. She first experienced yoga physical therapy as a child, then off and on through her 20s and 30s. She returned to yoga when pain took over and even the most conservative of movements hurt, and at that point felt an immediate connection to her work on the mat. She maintained her practice throughout her pregnancy and used meditation during labor. She struggled with breastfeeding and latch issues, and developed the Milk-asana™ series of restorative postures to help other bottle-, SNS-, and breastfeeding mamas soothe postpartum aches and pains, and connect more deeply with their babies.
Kerry’s teachers have included Nirvair Singh Khalsa, and most recently Lonnie Chace, Margo Sorum, and Margi Clifford, among others. She is committed to assisting others in finding peace and strength in their bodies, both on and off the mat. Her classes focus on asana, pranayama and restorative meditation, and she welcomes new yogis, as well as both prenatal and postpartum students with modifications and adjustments to best support their needs. In addition to postpartum classes, she teaches gentle and yin/restorative classes and prenatal workshops, as well.
Kim Greeff brings a wealth of body knowledge to the mat with a background in massage therapy, a total love and fascination with human anatomy, biomechanics, and a genuine passion for helping people live better in their bodies through the practice of yoga and self-care. Her unique teaching style is an evolution of traditional yoga poses designed to help people get into their bodies, instead of getting their bodies into poses.
Students are amazed that they leave class feeling energized and empowered. Each class is uniquely sequenced to help increase your range of motion, decrease pain, and enhance performance in whatever it is you like to do – whether it's climbing, lifting, running, or cycling.
If you are just looking to move your body in a way that helps to unwind it from the day, there's something here for you too!
Kristiann believes yoga should be accessible to everyone, through all stages of life. Using props to bring ease to each pose and each body, she brings a light, welcoming spirit to her classes. Her 200-hour training was alignment-based, through the former Inner Dance Yoga Studio here in Anchorage, where she began teaching in 2008. She credits Lynne Minton and Lonnie Chace with helping her find her path to yoga teaching, and she is looking forward to working with them on her advanced-level training starting Fall 2015.
LIDIJA POLJACEK-UMPHENOUR, RYT-500
Lidija came to yoga when she was looking for a dance studio in Anchorage. At first it was the Asana (postures) that drew her in. Then came the realization that yoga is so much more. However what really got her hooked is when she saw how yoga can change lives of people who are dealing with different challenges and difficulties. Her interest was in yoga with therapy modules and her quest brought her to San Diego where she studied at YogaWell Institute for Progressive Therapies. Her international travels as a journalist awarded her opportunities to teach not only in Anchorage but throughout the US. She has also taught classes and workshops in Slovenia, Germany, Poland and Croatia.
She loves to teach all "yoga". Therapeutic, Yoga for Warriors, Strong Hatha and Vinyasa based, Gentle, Restorative, Meditation, etc. She says that yoga has something for everyone. Yoga, to her, is a never ending source and resource for a life well lived.
She is a YACEP, 200 and 500 E-RYT and along the way she acquired certificates in Prenatal and AIReal Yoga, and has had special training in Yoga for Anxiety, Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Fibromyalgia, Yoga for Stress and PTSD, Yoga for Cancer Patients and Cancer Survivors, as well as, in all things, Laughter Yoga.
She thinks you are never to old or to young to do yoga and volunteers as a Kids Yoga Teacher. Some day she hopes to teach yoga to astronauts heading to Mars. Because.... Yoga in Space of course.
DR. MADELEINE MORRISON
Madeleine began practicing yoga in the mid 80’s in Santa Cruz. She has studied and practiced with many teachers over the years including Lynne Minton. In 2013 she studied yoga therapy (YCAT yoga therapy in cancer and chronic illness) with Jani Chapman, bringing yoga therapy to her Naturopathic practice. She has taught several 8 week stress management workshops and classes. In 2015, she completed her 200 hr YTT with Sarajoy Marsh in Amrita Yoga. She is currently studying Viniyoga with Gary Kraftsow. Her style brings asana practice to all people while incorporating pranayama, mindfulness practices, and meditation. As a doctor for over 20 yrs, she has extensive knowledge of the body’s functioning, which she brings to her classes and clients.