The Yoga Team @ WELL+ Sonoma
With over 35 collective teaching years, our yoga teachers are able to hold space and work with anyone from any walk of life, facing any physical and emotional adversity, and PTSD/trauma recovery. Our intention with our students is to provide a safe, warm, and welcoming environment for them to feel strong and confident in their practice, and to encourage them to grow through the practice of yoga.
Yoga is for everybody. If you can breathe, you’re doing yoga.
At the age of 16, chronic illness and obesity led Deacon to a fateful meeting with a local Ayurvedic doctor, which created a seismic shift in his perception of nutrition, health and physical balance. Heeding the advice of his doctor, he was empowered to understand what was causing him to be sick, the steps to reclaiming his health were clear and simple. Deacon modified his diet, started to practice yoga and shed over 140 pounds.
Deacon’s momentum in Ayurvedic studies continued at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, where he deepened his knowledge and decided that it was his calling to become an Ayurvedic clinician.
However, it was during his 16-year career working in the trenches of global advertising and branding where he was able to hone his communication skills, enabling him to convey the complex ideas and concepts of Ayurveda and yoga in a very comprehensive and practical manner.
Deacon continues to teach his practical approach to Ayurveda & yoga at Maharishi University of Management where he has been a guest faculty member, adjunct professor and co-creator of MUM’s M.S. in Maharishi Ayurveda & integrative medicine.
Deacon is the author of Little bit of Ayurveda and owner of Well Sonoma.
In the ten years before finding yoga, Shane Davis was an anatomy buff (elbow deep in cadavers), a student of classical piano and a hiking fiend. When he came to yoga he immediately loved the fusion of physical discipline with spiritual practice, but with little knowledge of technique and a high degree of tension in his body, Shane tore pelvic muscles, spending a year in arduous recovery. Through psychosomatic therapy, he unraveled deep webs of emotions that caused so much physical tightness, and healed the wounds of body and mind. After recovery, he serendipitously found teachers that would root him in the foundations of asana. Finding grounding strength in fundamentals, he learned asana can also be a therapeutic modality in itself. Shane has ventured out into the world of Acrobatic yoga, a practice that requires trust and faith in self and others as a way of deepening connection and relationship. Shane teaches Vinyasa, Hatha and Acrobatic yoga as well as teaching in the music and medical fields. He also practices a form of gentle acupressure, similar to what he received during his own recovery.
The moving meditation that Vinyasa style yoga offers has played a critical role in Lauren’s life and path of service. Her practice has served to deepen her connection to the world, nurture her soul, and cultivate resiliency and balance.
As a teacher, she embraces a strong, organic flow that builds some heat, but maintains a focus on breath, meditation, and inward reflection in the midst of movement.
Her purpose in teaching is to hold a space of pure love and acceptance for people to experience healing and transformation of the body, mind, and soul. She is currently exploring the intersection between her mat and her passion for women’s health justice, most notably through pelvic floor work.
Maria’s love for Yoga began when she became more aware that she needed to treat her body with love, patience and compassion. Recovering from an eating disorder, it became more and more clear to her how big of an impact Yoga has on the mental, physical and the emotional states of mind.
After finishing her Yoga Teaching Training in Mysore, India, Maria discovered that teaching and helping students to reconnect with themselves is her deepest passion.
Maria’s Hatha and Vinyasa Flow classes cater to all levels, and are designed to safely guide students, while challenging them to experience their edges.
Maria found Yoga to be a deeply healing platform to practice self-love and self-improvement without judgment, which she brings to her classes.
Coming to your mat, practicing, breaking a sweat, and connecting your mind and your body is the beginning of an understanding that everything you need is already inside of you.
Michaela originally came to yoga for its physical benefits. As a long distance runner, she was suffering from back and hip pain. Through regular practice, her body started feeling better and she found more ease in her running. In the process of the physical practice, she also discovered the mental benefits of spending time on her mat.
Michaela’s practice taught her to breathe through discomfort, to find her own power and to let go of the inner voice that was telling her “you’re not good enough”. But it wasn’t until Michaela was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in 2015 that she truly became open to the possibility of living life to the fullest potential. Her yoga practice has changed immensely after surgery and radiation but it has supported her through over a year of treatment and into recovery.
Michaela has been teaching yoga for 8 years and has received all of her training through Baron Baptiste. Before teaching yoga, Michaela worked as a personal trainer for several years, which enables her to teach from a strong background in anatomy and therefore keep students safe in their practice.
Michaela strongly believes in finding a balance of strength and ease on and off the mat. Through encouraging students to listen to their own bodies, they are able to find that balance between getting out of their comfort zones toward a place of growth on one hand but feeling safe to modify and take child’s pose on the other.
Danish born and raised, Nina discovered yoga as she living in England, as a means to counteract the impact, years of high level horse riding had on her body. A few years later, now living in California, she discovered her talent for arm balances and inversions, and the road to becoming a yoga teacher became a natural development from then on.
Nina is a self-confessed anatomy-geek, but likes bending the rules and challenge the norms of yoga dogma. Her rebellious nature makes for fun, flowing Vinyasa Core Strength-based classes with arm balances and inversions added on as cherries on top. Come ready to sweat and play!
Nina also teaches regular workshops, breaking down arm balancing, inversions and handstands.
Born and raised in Germany, Sky was introduced to yoga when she moved to the Bay Area in 1998. She left the corporate world shortly after her move and has been on the healer’s path for over 15 years. Her resume includes Yoga, Pilates, Nia, Bodywork, Intuitive Reading and Coaching, Energetic Balancing and Healing, Mindfulness/Meditation, as well as Women’s Circles, and Workshops.
In her classes and workshops, Sky utilizes the many facets of her trainings and brings her whole self into her teaching to connect with students on a deeper level. She is continually inspired by yoga’s transformative power – both internally and externally – finding it to be a source of love and strength; and she is excited to share this with others. Sky believes the mind, body, soul connection is a sacred one, and one that should be nurtured. Her intention is to hold space for all students to experience whatever transformation their body, mind and spirit are ready and open for. Sky strives to bring a sense of fun, freedom, and compassion to her vinyasa-based classes and strives to provide students with a space of comfort in which they feel safe to explore and expand within their own body and consciousness.
At the end of 2017, Sky was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following surgery and treatment, she sold her Marin County Pilates and Yoga studio and has recently relocated to Santa Rosa. Since the surgery, her priorities have shifted towards living a more balanced life with more time for herself, her family and her community. She is excited to embark on this new journey with her husband Joe, daughter Luna and cat Alfie.
Consider Vinita an eternal student and a free spirit. She is always inspired by the depth of Life and completely amazed by this beautiful world.
Vinita has recently moved to California after a fifteen-year love affair with the Colorado and Wyoming Rockies. She spent much of this time in Boulder, CO where she attended both Naropa University and the University of Colorado, graduating with a B.S in Environmental Science. After several infamous years as a resident snow bunny in Beaver Creek she meandered up to Laramie, WY where she matriculated in the College of Law and received her J.D in 2009.
After many years of personal practice, Vinita completed her 200TT with Mark Stephens in Santa Cruz. She has since helped many students find their inner strength, balance, and flexibility. She maintains a high level of presence with a focus on alignment, providing adjustments as necessary. Beyond yoga, Vinita’s interests include hiking, camping, rock hounding, mom-ing, and plant medicine.
Gina sincerely feels that there is no wrong way to move but instead there could movements that you may not be prepared for. She feels privileged to share with you her education and experience. She hopes to inspire you to practice with playful curiosity, love and confidence. She invites you to honor your practice by creating the space you need, being grateful for the body and movement you have, and to keep an open mind while you discover different characteristics on and off your mat.
Gina’s first 200 hour yoga training was a Baptiste inspired program. Her second 200 hour dabble was with an Ana Forrest inspired training. While she appreciated both neither really hit the spot so she continued searching for what was missing.
She then stumbled across Jason Crandell (alignment and anatomy) and for the next year drove across the Golden Gate to train with him. She received her first advance 300 hour with Jason Crandell and is in the process of receiving her second advance 300 hour with Jules Mitchell (yoga biomechanics).
Gina is also a Certified Personal Trainer, Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist, Cycle, Pilates and TRX Instructor.
Shoshana sees yoga as a lifelong journey toward connection with your deepest self and the world around you. Since first landing in her mat in 1999, she has learned from and been influenced by a multitude of teachers around the country in many styles, including Bhakti, Iyengar, Hatha, Vinyasa and Restorative and is studying with San Francisco-based Janet Stone toward her 500-hour certification. Shoshana teaches from her heart, asking her students to go a little deeper to find peace, strength and clarity and work toward an ultimate goal of living the path of yoga off the mat and into their daily lives.
Pam’s love of yoga began in 1998, while living in Anchorage, Alaska. As a former dancer and gym rat, she was initially drawn to the physicality of the practice but became completely transformed by the deep sense of balance she experienced on and off her mat.
While Pam has studied many styles of yoga, she currently teaches variations of Vinyasa Flow, including sweet restorative poses in her slow flow offerings. Her classes are creative, playful and challenging, yet designed to benefit students of multiple skill levels. She guides students through flowing movements using breath, alignment principles and lots of humor to help build strength, flexibility and a greater sense of body-mind awareness
Pam teaches with a joyful heart, and encourages her students to be open to their own potential, trust in their innate wisdom and shine their light!
Ivana is a positive-charged yoga teacher and simple lifestyle enthusiast. She guides students in finding strength, flexibility and ease in their bodies.
Born and raised in Uruguay, she has lived in the U.S. for almost 20 years and recently relocated to the Bay Area where she teaches group and one on one classes. The experience of migration has given her a view of life that translates into her teaching as genuine, adventurous and above all, inclusive.
With her direct style and no guru idolizing show, Ivana’s classes are engaging and results driven. Students report noticeable changes on a physical, emotional and mental level after a few sessions. A typical yoga class includes an energizing yet relaxing flow sprinkled with natural moves within and between postures, always with an emphasis on healthy alignment. Ivana’s classes feature beats from around the world interspersed with moments of silence, giving students a chance to fully connect with their inner landscape.
She has been influenced by grounded teachers such as Vicky Cook, Jack Kornfield, and Jason Crandell, with whom she continues her education to this day. She received her 200-hour training at Saraswati’s Yoga Joint in Connecticut in 2014.
Ivana is also Trauma Informed Yoga certified by the Healthcare Foundation of Northern Sonoma County, so her classes emphasize releasing accumulated stress from the system. She teaches in both English and Spanish with a not “holier than thou” attitude that guides others in finding more confidence, joy and ease on and off the mat.
It is a unique path that led me to a love of yoga. I fell in love with movement as a child when I found dance. It was the perfect way to tell a story with my body, and from my heart. I was very in tune with the hardships and suffering of those around me, and looking for a way to release some of the hurt. I often used the movement to help heal my emotional pain, find catharsis or to advocate for others. It is through this beautiful relationship with creative arts that I started to understand the connection of mind, body, spirit and community. As a dance teacher and choreographer for over 15 years, I used the physical practice as a vehicle to encourage others to express themselves, learn to be aware of their bodies, restore their hurt and find their voice.
Committed to supporting humans as they work through challenges, I decided to embark on a new journey. I earned a Masters in Counseling in 2010 and have been working as a counselor ever since. I always enjoyed yoga as a fitness regimen and compliment to dance or CrossFit, but I found myself in desperate need of self-care and spiritual growth after years supporting others through their traumas. Going through a 200-hour yoga teacher certification training changed my life. I learned to use breath and meditation to change the narrative in my mind, to work through discomfort and to grow beyond my perceived limitations. In addition, I was inspired to help others create their own practice of self-love and compassion with the goal of affecting the larger community.
I gained so much from deepening my yoga practice that I made it my intention, my sankalpa, to teach yoga in an environment in which I can help to create access to yoga and its life enhancing qualities for people of all abilities, body types, backgrounds and cultures. I come to yoga with a social justice lens and my hope is to encourage others to find their own healing and joy, and to stimulate improvement in their physical, mental, and social well-being.