At Shanti Om Yoga, we are honored and privileged to host such a dedicated group of Yoga teachers. Each teacher has special skills and strengths to create classes that are full of passion, personality, and Spirit.
Austin Jai Foster
Jai was first introduced to yoga through his mom at age 4. Since then, he has been on and off the mat, often spending time at the ashram Yogaville. He assisted his mom Bhakti in many teen yoga classes as a child and even assisted a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. In 2017 he went to India and felt like he was at home again. Upon returning, he committed to a regular practice and to a yoga teacher training at Shanti Om Yoga receiving a 200 hour certification.
"My intention is to share an accessible, all level yoga practice with the St Johns community."
Karen Jyothi Mertens
Karen Jyothi became a yoga teacher several years ago through Shanti Om Yoga with the hope of sharing the gifts yoga has brought to her in the practice of mindfulness, and in awareness of the many different forms of strength and balance. She enjoys teaching (and learning, always, hopefully humbly, learning) in varied settings with students ranging in ages, strengths and challenges. Her classes are based on her training and practice of Integral Yoga with emphasis on the importance of union of body, mind, and breath, challenge without strain, ease and comfort for calm energy. Pranayama (breathing practices), Hatha flow with Sun Salutations and longer held poses, and offered pose options for varied levels are a part of all of her classes.
After Bhakti's first Integral Yoga class in the mid 90s, she knew right away that she was hooked. Since then, her love and passion for yoga has continued to deepen and mature. Bhakti is a graduate in Integral Yoga through the Satchidananda Ashram. She has studied with a medley of teachers and gives sincere thanks to each of them. She has spent time in India practicing, teaching, and learning Yoga traditions, and has led Yoga Retreats to India, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.
Bhakti is a Certified Ayurveda Wellness Practitioner. She incorporates Ayurveda in her own life practices as well as her yoga classes. Her approach to yoga is gentle and meditative even when she is teaching a vinyasa flow.
In addition, Bhakti founded and taught at her own yoga studio, Shanti Om Yoga for over 6 years in Virginia and another 6 years in Portland Oregon.
Learn more about Bhakti at www.bhaktiomayurveda.com
Jessica Bryn Thomas
Jessica has been practicing yoga on and off for years, but it really started to click for her after she started delving into yoga philosophy and experimenting with meditation. Once she realized that yoga asana is a way to calm the mind and get in touch with the sacred, it took on much more meaning than just exercise or stretching. She quickly realized that yoga would be an important core part of the rest of her life.
After keeping up a regular practice and learning more and more about yoga for a few years, she decided to attend Yoga Teacher Training at Yandara Yoga Institute in Baja, Mexico in the fall of 2018. Since then, she and her husband moved from Maryland to Portland, Oregon where she was welcomed in to Shanti Om Yoga in the St. Johns neighborhood.
Dria is a student of the mind/body/spirit connection. She came to yoga during a solo backpacking trip through Europe, where she found herself at an ashram in Spanish wine country, and felt the first spark of a spiritual connection. She has been dedicated to her own practice ever since, earning her 200 hour yoga teacher certification in 2018 in trauma-sensitive yoga and Power Vinyasa.
Alexandria believes in each student's ability to use breath, movement, and mindfulness as a guide to understanding one's own body and sense of self. Her classes are grounding and centering, and designed to complement how we use our bodies in daily life.
Stacy took her first yoga class in San Francisco in 2009, and continues to be amazed by the clarity, devotion, and opportunities for self-reflection the practice brings to her life. After completing her primary teacher training with Rusty Wells, she spent 2 years in residence at the Himalayan Institute (a yoga sanctuary in the Poconos), and has studied with Luke Ketterhagen, Noah Mazé, Jason Crandell, and Yoga Medicine. Her classes blend creative and fun sequencing with a healthy dose of challenge, and are deeply infused with the love she has for sharing the gift of practice with every student.
Emily believes if you can breathe, you can practice yoga. Emily connected with yoga 15 years ago as a way to feel at home and joyful in her body and now relies on yoga as a tool to navigate the everyday experience of living. Emily acknowledges the wise teachings, ancient traditions and Indic origins of yoga and approaches instruction with joyful reverence for the practice. With 200-hour yoga teacher training certificates from Maha Yoga and Modo Yoga, Emily emphasizes a balance of effort and ease in her Hatha classes. She looks forward to meeting you and practicing together!
Kerrie is a 500 Hour certified yoga teacher in the Yogaworks Method (combining Ashtanga, Iyengar and Desikachar based yoga). This gave her the opportunity to study deeply with
teachers from each form of the three styles of yoga. She is almost through an 850 Hour training to become a Certified Yoga Therapist. Born in Santa Cruz, CA but raised overseas, Kerrie brings all of the experiences she absorbed around the world into her life and her teaching. She embraced yoga as a huge part of her life in San Francisco in 1998 and began her teaching journey in 2007 in Los Angeles with Yogaworks where she taught full time for over a decade and led several of their teacher trainings. She and her husband now live in the St Johns area of Portland and love being a part of this community.
Kerrie believe’s that yoga is for everybody and her classes are challenging but accessible for everyone with the use of props and alignment. Her classes are challenging but fun in an environment where students can really build their practice. She has a deep passion for yoga and for teaching it to others.
I’ve been exploring my relationship to my body since I started dancing as a kid. Yoga came in and out of my life casually, until 2012 when it captured my devotion. I found that my body was speaking a subtle language to me and I was allured to find out what it had to say. In 2016, I studied with Suniti Dernovsek, Sarah Robinette, and other teachers at The Peoples Yoga in Portland OR for a 200hr training. And in 2020 completed another 100hr training with Suniti Dernovsek. I have attended multiple trainings with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen and the Body Mind Centering School, exploring the layers of consciousness expressing itself through the body. With somatics, yoga, and dance I have come to know myself through the wisdom of my body. As a movement guide I bring my love of this practice with the wish for all beings to feel the subtle language of their felt-sense bodies. This practice is a devotion to the whole-ing for all beings of this Earth and cosmos. I work for the web of mycelium that connects all beings in a relationship that is endlessly rebirthing itself. Through relationship, change occurs. When we remember that the Earth is always present and always inviting us in, we can join in this presence and live more fully.
Allison tried her first yoga class on the rooftop of a
hotel in Athens, Rome way back in the year 2000.
Working as a flight attendant, yoga became her
respite as she traveled all over the world. She could
do yoga anywhere, anytime, with very little space
and it helped her reset and stay grounded.
Currently, Allison loves being home more and works
with a partial view of the St. Johns Bridge. She is a
yoga teacher, bodyworker, life coach and solo
entrepreneur. She uses massage, coaching,
breathwork, meditation, and mindful movement to
help her clients move toward wellness and make
positive shifts in their lives.
When not working, Allison can be found hula hoop
dancing, walking in Forest Park, enjoying delicious
food, wine, and coffee with friends in the
neighborhood and hanging out with her kitty