Paula has been practicing Bikram Yoga since May of 2008. She sought out yoga as a way to lose baby weight as she was not attaining her desired outcome from gym workouts. Not only did she find an intense physical work out, but she found something that cleansed her mind and spirit, teaching her to live in the present moment, accepting herself and her life with love; giving her solace and peace of mind. The postures Paula intensely disliked when she first started her yoga practice are now some of her favorites, which include but are not limited to; Ardha Chacrasana, Padahastasana, Utkatasana, Prasarita Padottonasana A, Dandayamana Janushirasana, Salabhasana and Paschimotthanasana. She is especially proud of the fact that she introduced yoga to her mother who is now an avid practitioner.
Paula is an aspiring photographer; she is lucky enough to work with and shadow professional photographer Dave Miyamoto. She does free-lance work photographing real estate properties, weddings, special events, portraits and, her favorite subject, her son Judah. You can view some of her work at http://www.flickr.com/people/cre8ing_memories/
Paula is a certified second degree Reiki Healer in the Usui system. She has found Reiki and yoga to be incredible vehicles to study and feel the transfer of energy within beings. She is also thoroughly fascinated with astrology and aspires to be an astrologist in the future.
Paula was born in Honolulu and raised in Aina Haina. She attended Punahou School and graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelors degree in Business Administration. She is currently finding ways to do the things she loves so that her work is simply fulfilling pleasure. Living life to the fullest with love, appreciation and the knowledge that nothing is finite is her motto. Namaste.
Alex is from a small town on the east coast of the US. Blessed with a family that loves to travel, she too caught the bug for new experiences, new perspectives, at a young age. Her very "first love" experience with yoga came when she was fourteen and an avid figure skater. She found that, through the practice of yoga, the tables had been turned. This practice taught her that the only competition that exists is an internal challenge to be the best version of yourself, with no expectations, no judgement- on and off the mat. This was a profound experience for her and a completely new perspective. Alex began taking many different styles of classes, and felt drawn to the Ashtanga practice in the tradition of Sri K Pattabhi Jois.
Influenced by all styles of yoga, Alex believes that one can find themselves on any path. No matter the circumstance, we are where we are meant to be in order to facilitate our growth, strength, and love. Yoga feeds all aspects of the self. Physically, it builds endurance, strength, and poise. Mentally, it harnesses stamina, clarity, and stillness. Emotionally, it resolves anxiety, attachment, and teaches to respond rather than react. Growing up with panic attacks, yoga became an especially useful tool for life.
Armed with this new set of tools, Alex found herself in South Africa, another experience that had an immensely deep effect. Seeking to continue her education in a new environment, life ended up bringing her ashore in Hawaii. A very different pace from where she was raised, she had her second "first love" experience with the land and people. She finds that everyday she enjoys sharing the many aspects and practicalities of yoga, which inspired her to take a 200-hr Teacher's Training in 2011. Serendipity brought her to Sun Yoga, which combines all elements of the practice of yoga.
Ami is from Argentina although she was born in Brazil-Rio de Janeiro. She spent the first year of her life in Rio and then grew up in Argentina.
After coming to Hawaii in 2000 and she says she met her "amazing husband" right away and became Hawaii licensed Massage Therapist. She credits this with helping her improve her English.
Ami is a PIYO instructor (new age fusion of pilates and yoga), conducts private massage and has worked in an Osteopathic doctor's office in Kahala for three years before devoting herself to her two amazing children.
When her children started attending school, she learned to use Photoshop, and currently works with her husband who is a very talented photographer.
Ami says she discovered her passion for yoga almost seven years a go when her first baby was 5 months old. As a first time stay home mom, she went to her first Bikram class and absolutely loved it. During her time in the yoga studio she discovered the time she needed to rejuvenate, connect and focus on herself. She realized how important it was to take care of herself, so she could take great care of her loved ones.
After consistency in practicing yoga she noticed the positive emotional and physical results right away and tried many different yoga styles. As she did this she came to realize that no matter the different yoga names, Yoga is just one.
Throughout the years, Ami has tried different kinds of workouts but says she always comes back to her beloved Yoga. Being an Aries, she says she always has extra energy to go, go, go, but she has discovered the ingredient to find balance in her life. Learning how to breathe, control the mind (or a least try) and practicing exceptional physical exercise in a safe way, which is Yoga.
She describes yoga as, "A strong solid practice that improves your posture, tones your muscles and detoxifies one from the inside out. It works your cardiovascular system and stretches you helping you find not only physical balance, but working on your patience, mental focusing, determination, humbleness, perseverance and the best one : Respecting the fact that every day is different and that we shouldn’t practice with our ego and listen to our own limits."
Ami gives this tribute to her first amazing yoga instructor,from what he he shared with her for so many years: "practicing yoga giving years to your life and life to your years"
Francilene, originally from Curitiba, Brazil, received her Hot Yoga Certification in Koh Samui, Thailand. She is always looking for opportunities to grow attending seminars and workshops, offering her students a both challenging yet carefully guided practice of Hot Yoga. She has practiced yoga in Tokyo, Japan as well as travelled to Pune, India where she stayed at the Osho International Meditation Centre.
Being a Healing Touch practitioner, she has a passion for a healthy and balance life style, yoga and running. Fran believes that yoga is a lifetime of learning and thankful that if found her. Full of smiles and joy, she believes that “love is the key for everything in life”
SUZANA MAIA OLIVEIRA
Suzana's love story with Yoga started in 1994 when she was introduced to meditation at her hometown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She continued her practice of yoga when she moved to the U.S. in 2000. She received her yoga teacher certification in 2007 from Yoga Hawaii. Meanwhile, she continued to attend many workshops and conferences with different amazing teachers and styles that influenced and inspired her teachings. She has practiced at places like beautiful Bali, California, the Hawaiian Islands and Brazil not to mention Nepal and India. Suzana is also a licensed Massage Therapist and a Reiki practitioner.
She describes yoga as being an experience of combining the awareness of the body with the concentration in the breath that leads to a state of meditation in motion. She believes that yoga taught her strength, connection, flexibility, hope, health, compassion, inner peace and sense of community. It is a path that enlightens life while clearly creating immeasurable benefits in the soul, mind and body.
"I practice yoga for the peace that it brings to my mind and the joy that I find every time I step on my mat, it's like stepping into the present and I can feel the music of the Universe. My senses awaken to their fullest potential and everything becomes clear, in this clarity of mind and presence of Spirit, it is a joy to share my practice with fellow yogis."
Liberty D. Day received her 200 hour yoga teacher/advanced program at Aloha Yoga Kula in Kailua where she studied Vinyasa under the guidance of Brigitte Snyder . Yoga has been a guiding light and practice for the past six years, and after experiencing the healing that took place within her own mind and body, Liberty has adopted the philosophies of yoga and incorporated the teachings into her work as a Massage Therapist as well as a Yoga Instructor. She is a student of the Art of Yoga first and foremost and is excited to be sharing her love of that art with the community!
JENNIFER “HENNA” JACKSON
Jennifer "Henna" describes herself as a local girl, born and raised here on Oahu. She graduated from Punahou and then received her Master's in Architecture from the University of Hawai'i in the fall of 1999. Traveling didn’t become a passion until a study abroad program in college took her to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. After that fateful program, she took every opportunity she could to explore. Tahiti, Palmyra, the Tuamotus, the Marquesas, Fiji, Palau, Micronesia, Australia, New Zealand, British Virgin Islands, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Brazil and Bali, Indonesia.
Outside of Hawai’i she has spent the most time in Bali and in Brazil, because she said she feels very connected to both places, especially Bali."
She spent about 8 years living between Hawaii and Bali, while helping a friend transform a microfiber board short business into a women’s boutique clothing company. However, when her son was born and she found the traveling along with managing an unestablished business to be taking precedence to motherhood.
From that point on, her life changed dramatically and she "buckled down" and got a job with Group 70 International as an interior designer in summer of 2007. She then found herself struggling to divide time between the high-paced world of the building industry and raising her son.
Henna said, the news of being laid off in 2009 due to the state of the economy came really as a relief. Finally she could devote herself to focusing more attention on her son who had at the time just turned 3.
Now, she serves as the assistant to the managing editor of the quarterly comparative philosophy journal Philosophy East and West based at the University of Hawai’i. She also volunteers for her son’s public school, surfs when she can, and skate boards to follow her son’s passion for the sport.
Various forms of Yoga have sporadically woven their way into Henna's life since she first encountered the practice 8 years ago in Bali. Demands of travel, single motherhood and several career changes interfered with keeping yoga a part of her life. But she says "It’s been these interruptions that have taught me what a deep effect yoga can have on our psyche as well as our physical bodies."
Henna says she views the invitation to become a Sun Yoga Hawaii teacher as an honor and as a gift. "I am deeply inspired by the concept of integrating Vinyasa and Hatha yoga with deep relaxation, integrating breath, movement, and meditation.It is with great honor and happiness that guide you in weaving the many benefits of Sun Yoga into your life. May the journey continue!"