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 compliment how we use our bodies in daily life. Sensory features like mantras, essential oils, and excerpts from texts may be offered.