photo credit: Tyrel Tesch

photo credit: Tyrel Tesch

Lolo

Owner of Rebel Yell Yoga

Some people come to yoga for inspiration - I came to yoga out of desperation. We city folk are generally cynical & jaded, but I was willing to give yoga a try because I’d tried everything else, and “everything else” wasn’t working.

The sweaty shapes & deep breathing of power vinyasa yoga were a doorway for me to the other limbs of yoga. Learning about the Yamas & Niyamas has helped this generally non-religious gal have a clear ethical path that made sense for real life. I began exploring other forms of Asana, and even Pranayama on its own. The power of just a few minutes of focused breathing to calm even my craziest fury was illuminating! Always an introvert, I found Pratyahara to be delightfully refreshing. Dharana challenged me to stay in the moment, no matter how unpleasant, and Dhyana showed me the power of meditation to bring the kind of peace to my spirit that I’d never thought possible for myself. Samadhi is that taste of peace, and the bliss of knowing that it’s possible, no matter how brief. And that glimpse into the heaven that can be - in this life, right here on earth - brings me back to yoga over & over again.

Yoga continues to open my heart and help me to navigate the sometimes thorny path of hope, acceptance, and forgiveness. My background as a professional singer shows up in class as a focus on the music of your body in motion - the beat of your heart, the rhythm of your breath, the song of your soul. By listening to the wisdom within, we start to see how incredible we truly are, and can live kinder, more authentically fulfilling lives, inspiring others to do the same. My classes are direct & challenging in their simplicity, intended to bring to light what happens when you stand in the fire. I believe that when we practice being uncomfortable, we become unshakable, and that power is within you waiting to be revealed!

Rebel Yell Yoga is the manifestation of my soul’s purpose, to hold space for everyone to experience the freedom of this practice. A place to discover what it feels like to be part of a supportive & uplifting community; to develop the courage to delve into every part of ourselves & shine a light; and to nurture the compassion to recognize & honor the humanity in everyone, no matter their story. We rise together!

With endless gratitude, I acknowledge my teachers (Bryan Kest, Seane Corn, Jessica Micheletti, S.N. Goenka, Lama Marut, Brandy Davis, Suzanne Sterling, Sadie Nardini, and everyone whose classes, workshops, and talks I’ve had the privilege to attend over the years) and my teachers’ teachers, and those before them, and those before them, and those before them…

photo credit: Kyle Rynicki

photo credit: Kyle Rynicki

Anna

I found yoga back in 2012 when I finally agreed to go with a friend to Bikram.  Bikram!!!  I mean damn!  My first exposure to yoga was 90 minutes of burning, sweating hell!  Strict rules to postures, couldn’t leave the room, no talking, no music, lights on bright, and a teacher just giving instructions from a podium without any demonstration...I mean DAMN!!!!....and I was hooked!!!  Crazy right?! But for those who’ve practiced Bikram you know the fulfillment it provides with its rules, consistency, and structure.  I needed those in my life at the time. I learned the basic Hatha asanas: breath, focus, perseverance and more importantly how to look in the damn mirror and love myself!!!  Confidence grew within me with each class.  Grateful for the lessons and growth Bikram instilled in me.  

Even more grateful for Aaron Pappas’ acroyoga workshop at the Bikram studio I practiced at. I experienced the creativity that was possible with yoga.  Aaron guided me to Vinyasa.  I found myself taking my first Vinyasa class at the first day of teacher training with Aaron and Lolo,  not understanding why I was there, just that it was where I was supposed to be at that moment.  It was time to journey into the unknown with trust, faith and the skills I learned thus far.   One of the best experiences in my life!!  Almost 5 years later, I’m a damn superhero from how far I’ve come!!!   

There’s not a day I don’t practice yoga in the physical or mental sense.   Yoga is my night job, by day I am junior high school teacher and a mom 24/7 of two preteens on top of that!!!  People!  I’m telling you yoga has given me superpower-like skills everyday!!!   I live my life being active everyday:  yoga, mountain biking, hiking, surfing, snowboarding.  Enjoying the local punk and reggae shows and welcoming that loud rebellion into my classes.  Everyday I’m learning, using and passing on the skills that countless teachers, studios, students and adventures have taught me.  It all adds up everyday in the positive.  For me, yoga is power, strength and resiliency. Showing up each day for all those in my life and showing up each damn day for myself!!!

Grateful to be a part of Rebel Yell Yoga and to help build a larger yoga community in my hometown of West Sacramento.   

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Brandon

March 29, 2016, I took my first yoga class and I hated it.

It was part of a $30 for 30 day program, so I continued going back, wanting to get my full money’s worth. In that 30 days things started to change for the better: flexibility, restful sleep pattern, mood, patience, the list goes on. Who knew that March 29th would lead me on a journey of becoming a yoga teacher?!

But here I am, in this body, in this place, in this moment, sharing space with a community I’ve come to love.  Thank you for allowing me to lead you through some asanas and sharing your practice with me. Namaste.

photo credit: Kyle Rynicki

photo credit: Kyle Rynicki

Emily

Emily has been practicing yoga off and on since 2013. She began with home practice, casually watching YouTube videos from her small living room without even a mat beneath her feet. She found that yoga allowed her permission to take back her own body autonomy and space to truly meet herself.

Eager to deepen her practice, Emily signed up for 200-hour Teacher Training Program in the Summer of 2016. She has continued her education by taking the Accessible Yoga Teacher Training and strives to make every(body) feel safe and at home within their own skin.

Always a student at heart, Emily is passionate about taking the teachings of yoga off the mat and into the world. Whether it be organizing a march, political campaign, or a vegan cook-off, Emily ventures to hold space for an environment that is inclusive and compassionate.

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Halsey

Hello.  My name is Halsey. I was born in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, the 4th of 6 children.

I’ve called home to many places – Salmon Arm, Vancouver, Banff, Calgary, Columbus, Sacramento.  My family has extended beyond blood to people I’ve met along the path.  The road has sometimes been hard: ancestral tendencies such as alcoholism, the death of our youngest brother, depression, addiction, divorce, disease.  And often it has been wonderful:  graduating with a degree in theoretical statistics, getting an advanced belt in Aikido, becoming a yoga teacher and a professor, learning new things, meeting lifelong friends and being in service as a volunteer.

Always present, in times good and bad, are the heroes that help me rise above adversity – the artists, the students-turned-friends, the real estate agents, the lawyers, the writers, the studio owners.  A breadth of people across a diversity of thought and background that are willing to have meaningful and profound conversations in between silliness and absurdity.  They may not be celebrities we see plastered through print and publication, but the friends we remember fondly with a smile when thinking of them deserve just as much recognition.

I love the outdoors, I love movement – dance, tennis, Aikido, ice hockey, skiing, running, concerts.  I love the times along the way where I can turn inward – writing, reading.  And I try to find balance in a full life.

As an educator, as a teacher, I feel I receive as much from students as I hope they receive from me.  In it together to nourish each other through our differences.  Never before have I met somebody like you, never before in my yoga class has somebody as unique and special as you, somebody with your particular innate powers, shown up.  And so I am constantly challenged by trying to encourage your growth through the experience of yoga, just as you have nourished me by being unique, an enigma.

And each class you are a little different than you were before, as am I.  We’ve experienced new things since we last saw each other, experiences that imprint new memories and begin to chip away at habits that no longer serve us. Each class is a little different in that the particular confluence of people that gather to practice is I believe not by chance.  Join me, join Rebel Yell, as we discover.

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Jany

My mom will tell you I've permanently ruined my left arm with scribbles that looks like a toddler with a sharpie found me in nap, but that tattoo is one of my more meaningful ones to me (my other three not so much)! It is the date I took my first yoga class and since that day I find myself inspired to make more daring and loving connections with myself and others because I whole-heartedly believe yoga soothes our aches - in our minds, hearts, and bodies. Although I’ve traded in my gym boxing classes for yoga, I still love a strong and upbeat physical practice - which is what students can expect in my classes. I love anything and everything Australian but am proud to be a born and raised Cali girl. My weaknesses are anything deep fried or floral and I can spend hours watching BuzzFeed videos and true crime. My other passion is traveling abroad and trying new yoga classes where I visit. Even though I am not physically at home, I always FEEL at home in a yoga space and I hope to give my students that same feeling when they step onto the mat with me.

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Judi

I found yoga as I started on my path to sobriety 7 years ago. My mat served as a safe space for me to process the new direction my life was going. In summer of 2015, I decided to deepen my practice and I participated in a 200 hour teacher training at a local studio in Sacramento. As a yoga teacher, I enjoy holding space and challenging the yogis in my class. I am excited to be a member of the Rebel Yell Team!

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Katherine

I had a few false starts with yoga; the initial classes I took did not connect with me. In grad school I tried again and this time appreciated the physical practice. As for the spiritual, I figured I’d let the instructors’ ‘yoga talk’ go in one ear and out the other while I worked on my core strength and overall flexibility. Eventually I started listening. The messages of my yoga instructors seeped into my consciousness, empowering me, centering me, and giving me a strength and clarity I did not know I could achieve. Having a background in psychology, specifically emotion research, I saw the messages of compassion and gratitude come up over and again in my practice and in my research. I bring these messages to my teaching: compassion for yourself, gratitude for all your wonderful quirks, and appreciation of the differences in each of us that make us unique.

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Renee

I started practicing yoga to supplement my running. At first, I practiced using videos about 15 years ago then I moved my practice to a studio. And around 10 years ago, there were not that many studios! 

And my practice, like my life, has evolved. My practice moved from physical to spiritual and I can’t imagine my life without yoga. I finished my first 200 hour teacher training in October 2018 and I am so thankful to be able to teach something I love! I live in West Sacramento and I am excited to be able to teach in our community.

I have a wonderful family — my husband, 2 children, and our dog Smokey! My husband and I own a bar, Streets Pub and Grub, in midtown Sacramento. I have my Master’s Degree in Counseling and I have been working in the mental health field since 2000. Currently, I work as a group facilitator in Yolo County Schools. I love my job because it allows me the creativity and freedom to facilitate meaningful psycho-education groups for kids. I get to teach groups about empathy and kindness!

I really enjoy being able to move my body, and running is one of my favorite activities. In December, I will have completed 8 marathons. I love all types of music and I am looking for a way to incorporate E-40 to one of my classes! 

I am so excited to be a part of this yoga community in West Sacramento and I am looking forward to practicing with you!

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Rennie

After wearing jeans and a t-shirt  to her first yoga class (and feeling completely out of place), Rennie eventually found a yoga home at OM Yoga in New York City. It was a magical place filled with a diverse eclectic group of New Yorkers & a yoga teacher who had been a clown with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. She had found her people.  

 She used yoga as a means to an end for her rock climbing habit, flexibility, breath, balance, and calm.  Everything her 20 year old self needed, not just for climbing. Rennie dabbled in every kind of yoga she could find and try. She eventually settled on a vinyasa style practice. She fell in love with yoga.

As with any great love affair, things became complicated… her life took unexpected turns & she made unexpected choices. Yoga was tied to an identity she had created for herself & in her mid-30s and she had an identity crisis. She broke up with yoga. Being on her mat became too hard and too much.  

It was three years before she found her way to back to her mat.  Practicing reminded her that each moment is only one moment on the longer journey. Yoga has helped her down the path of self forgiveness, self acceptance, love, compassion and personal grace.  Practicing helps her to be the best version of herself; vulnerable, honest, silly, passionate & loving.

Rennie teaches because she loves movement (She IS a physical therapist by profession).  She loves how yoga can help others discover their best self with humor, humility, surrender and a smile. Rennie’s classes integrate her intimate knowledge of the human body with a focus on the inner power and beauty she knows exists within each student.

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Sandra

I tinkered with yoga for many years before it clicked. I loved the discipline and challenge of Ashtanga Yoga; it comprehensively kicked my ass but by the end, I felt like I was floating out of the room. After my first child, when my life was its most crowded and chaotic, I took a Vinyasa Flow class and knew I had found home. The opportunity to create space and challenge myself on the mat translated into all kinds of possibilities in every aspect of my life. My practice focuses on slowing down, paying attention, nudging up against perceived limits, and noticing the difference between reacting and just being.

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Staci

Once I became hooked on yoga, my life changed. Bikram was the first style that I enjoyed. Yoga in general has made me tune into my body and notice when I feel off, tight, and on the verge of injury. I quickly learned if I didn’t listen to my body I would be injured and unable to practice, besides being in pain and unable to live life to its fullest.

With multiple disc issues and other muscular-skeletal issues, I listen to my body; take modifications, rest, and try (not always successful) to only be concerned with what is happening on my mat rather than others in class. The practice also helps me to be more present and calmer in life, both with myself and those around me. Yoga also helped me prioritize me… Instead of saying I needed to go to yoga, it was on my calendar as a meeting (a meeting for myself!). I continue to try and schedule that time with me!

Several years back I became injured, which lasted about 3 1/2 years, and I was only able to do yin yoga, which was always accessible with props. Once I could practice vinyasa yoga again, I jumped in with both feet - enrolling in a vinyasa teacher training program in Fall 2018, and yin teacher training. I wanted to teach, learn as much as I could, and be able to assist others with accommodations so regardless of an individual’s yoga experience, they could feel successful. The most influential teachers I have had were able to give accommodations so that I could continue to practice yoga during injuries, health issues, etc. I want to be the kind of teacher to help make yoga accessible to anyone who wants to do this practice.

In my free time I enjoy hanging out with my husband and two dogs - often you will find the four of us out walking in our neighborhood. Cooking, reading and hiking - when I get the opportunity - are some other hobbies of mine. My day job is teaching health to high school students, which tends to keep me busy. I am always looking for a new place to travel (domestic and international) during my breaks.


photo credit: Tyrel Tesch

photo credit: Tyrel Tesch

Taylor

Taylor Rynicki is a Sacramento based yoga teacher, sound healer and activist. She is known for her playful and honest style of teaching and her continued dedication to the growth and love for her community. She strives to create spaces of inclusion and classes where everyone can feel comfortable in the skin they are in. She continues to pay homage, seeing yoga as a gift that can be shared by everyone. 

“I find myself humbled by the opportunity to teach amongst an enriched community of people, with their own ability to inspire. My wish for anyone that comes to my class is that they feel comfortable in their body, they feel empowered, and ultimately, they feel loved. Spreading love, healing and liberation to this whole world is possible, but we have to start small. Here, with ourselves, on our mats.”