Teacher Trainings at The Green Yogi: Not Just for Aspiring Teachers!

I’m excited to re-feature one of our beloved Green Yogi teachers today on The Daily Greens Blog, Linda Baffa! Linda is truly an inspiration to our team, As a yogi, mother, wife, and friend, she can do it all, even lead AMAZING yoga teacher trainings, which she’s coined “Enrich Your Life Trainings.” The next one we have coming up is the 150 Hour Foundation Training with Linda and Wendy Garafalo, which starts September 12th and runs through February 22nd, click here for more details. These two ladies make an inspiring and nurturing team creating trainings that are truly life changing! Read on to Be Inspired and learn why yoga trainings are NOT just for aspiring yoga teachers but for everyone! ~Kelly





If you have been practicing yoga for more than a few weeks, you have probably noticed the countless flyers, Facebook posts, and magazine ads out there for Yoga Teacher Trainings.  You might be thinking (as my mother often does) “how many yoga teachers does the world really need?”

Well, I’m here to break it down for you:  Yoga Teacher Trainings are not just for teachers!  They are a deeper path towards enriching your life.  In fact, they should probably be called “Enrich Your Life Training.”  To this date, I have taken about ten different “teacher” trainings and every single one has made me a better person and a more conscious individual.

I am now a yoga teacher, however, my training journey did not begin with that intention.  When I took my first yoga teacher training I was at a crossroads in my life.  I was frustrated with my career, in my late-20s and trying to define my purpose.  Our lives constantly present us with different paths, and at that time in my life, all the paths were jumbled, and I felt very disconnected from my life and who I was.  I needed to move from a place of negativity and depression to a place of positive, peaceful truth where I could feel deeply connected to myself.  I really needed a BIG SHIFT.

After three hysterical breakdowns, I finally went to yoga where I came across a flyer for a yoga teacher training.  I thought to myself, I don’t know that I want to teach yoga, but if the experience can bring my spirit closer to the radiant, positive, loving energy that I feel every time I am on my mat, then I am IN!  Later that day, I emailed the teacher who was leading the training (the amazing Julie Rader) and by the next day, I found myself in her yoga class opening up into bridge pose with tears streaming down my face.  I felt a shift internally and KNEW Julie’s training would allow me to explore new pathways within myself.  Immersing myself in the practice of yoga,  opening my body and mind in such beautiful ways, and connecting more to my truth were exactly the shifts I needed in my life.

So, if you are like I was, and you aren’t really sure the teaching path is for you, here are a few reasons you should embark on a yoga teacher training ANYWAY :)

Linda Sunset

  1. Like me, you’re craving a big shift.  You don’t know what it is exactly, but you know you need a new, positive direction for your life, and you are eager to connect deeply to your truth.
  2. You want to practice yoga all the time, anytime.  You LOVE yoga, Period.  You just can’t get enough of it, and you crave a deeper knowledge of all the elements of the practice. There is a beauty and peace that comes from understanding how a class is structured: from calming the mind, to properly warming up and cooling down, to practicing safe alignment to go even deeper into poses, all of which can then lead you to a wonderfully rewarding home yoga practice anytime, anywhere, and anyway you need it!
  3. You’re craving a community and a group of like-minded friends you can create lasting relationships with.  One of my best friends in the WORLD is from my first yoga teacher training.  Two of my close friends that met in a yoga training just got married!  When you journey deeply into your body and mind surrounded by others who are doing the same, you are bound to connect in a profound way.
  4. You want to spread the yoga love.  It is not always about teaching classes or making money in the yoga business, it is about spreading healing wisdom and LOVE.  The things I have learned from my yoga trainings have made me a more grounded, connected, loving person and from that place, I not only am of service to myself, but to every single soul I encounter.  I am more compassionate, giving, and open-hearted.  I have probably helped as many friends and family members with mind and body needs as much as I have my private clients or those that come to my classes.  A simple conversation or a look at someone’s spine can help change someone’s health immeasurably.  So, whether you want it or not, you will inevitably become a TEACHER by spreading the yoga love.

Linda Baffa and Wendy Garafalo lead Yoga Teacher Trainings through Julie Rader’s Mukti Yoga School.  If you are ready to take this next step on your yoga journey,  you can join them this coming Fall for the 150-hour Foundation Teacher Training at The Green Yogi.  Class times meet on select weeks September 12th thru February 22nd ~ Fridays 7:30-10pm, Saturdays 12:30-6:30pm, and Sundays 12:30-4pm.  Early bird discount and Payment Plan pricing options available.  Click here  for more information and registration, or email any questions to Linda directly at lindasyoga@gmail.com.

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Green Yogi of the Month: Synneve Andrena

Synneve 2

Meet Synneve Andrena, our manduka sponsored Green Yogi of the Month for Manhattan Beach! Since February 2014 Synneve has taken over 95+ classes and has been inspiring our entire team with her dedication and positive energy in the studio. Congratulations Synneve and read on to Be Inspired. 

OCCUPATION: Chief Love Spreader at Love Inside Out

NICKNAME: Synneve (pronounced Sin na va) is a difficult name, so I have many nicknames. Cinnamon, Cinnabon, Scent of a Woman, and Synne are a few of them.

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU: I’m only 10.5 years old. (I was born on Leap Year, February 29.)

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR AND WHY? It’s difficult to pick a favorite Green Yogi instructor, because they are all unique and amazing. I like each instructor for different reasons. When it’s time to practice yoga, I find the one that fits my mood, schedule, and energy level.

WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION FOR YOUR YOGA PRACTICE? To fully align my mind, body, and spirit, so I can be the best version of myself.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE? Savasana. To me it’s the most important pose and I love taking the time to feel the benefits of the entire practice.

WHEN YOU AREN’T ON THE MAT, WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU? Walking on the Strand, riding my bike, playing golf, cruising around Manhattan Beach, and exploring LA – art museums, music venues, sporting events, and restaurants.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Traveling! I have an adventurous spirit and traveling is my passion. I love exploring this amazing planet, learning, gaining a new perspective, and soaking up all life has to offer.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING AND HOW HAS YOGA IMPROVED YOUR LIFE? I discovered yoga 11 years ago while living in Hawaii. Yoga helps me be the fullest expression of myself, because it gives me energy, strength, confidence, clarity, peace, and joy.

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First Yogi of the Month in Berkeley! Antoinette Pietras

antoinette YOM

Meet Antoinette Pietras, our very first Green Yogi of the Month in Berkeley! She has been taking classes at the studio since almost the day we opened and has racked up more than 97 classes since January 2014. Antoinette’s energy and love is so inspiring to our team and we are filled with gratitude that she shares her yoga practice with us. Read on to Be Inspired. 

Occupation:  Affordable Housing Development Coordinator for the City of Oakland

Fun Fact About You: I always wanted to do stand-up comedy!

Who is your favorite instructor and why? My favorite instructor is the one I am practicing with at that moment!

What is your intention for your yoga practice? To become more connected to my spirit, inner strength and wisdom.

What is your favorite yoga pose? Hands down my most favorite and least favorite pose is Warrior II.

When you aren’t on your yoga mat where can we find you? Hanging out at the French Hotel Cafe in Berkeley.

How long have you been practicing yoga and how has it improved your life? I credit my mom for introducing me to my first Yoga practice about 15 years ago when she invited me to join her for a beginner’s yoga class at the Downtown Berkeley YMCA. I have to admit, I was not in total awe after my first yoga experience.  At that point in my life, I struggled with the slow pace and stillness required of the practice. Needless to say, I never joined her again.

However, a few years later a co-worker invited me to join her at a Bikram yoga class and to my surprise, I enjoyed the challenge of practicing in extreme heat and continued on for about 5 years.

Fast forward to December of 2013, I had a hair appointment at the Chop Shop, which is right next door to the studio and I noticed the FREE YOGA offer written in cool bright colors on the front window of the studio. At that time, I was grieving the sudden loss of my older brother, who  passed away in early December, so the timing of the offer was in my mind divine intervention. I attended opening day with Mary leading the class and honestly, I have been hooked ever since and consider the studio one of my favorite sanctuaries to retreat to and get re-energized.  I am extremely grateful and appreciative of Mary, her amazing team of instructors and studio hands who work tirelessly and effortlessly creating and maintaining the ultra eco-chic spa like studio vibe by taking the time to illuminate candles throughout the studio before class, wipe the floor with environmentally friendly refreshing orange scent, ensuring that hot and cold water is constantly flowing, replenishing the jar of uber delicious tea bags and offering up the little bottle of lavender oil to apply to my temples to aid me through a more joyful and good smelling practice. Of course, this goes without saying, all the love and energy Mary and her team put forth behind the scenes as well to ensure a pleasant studio experience, for which I say “thank you”.   What I can share about my yoga experience this time around is that after my first flow class with Mary, I was in a total blissful state. Flow class has now become a great metaphor for my grieving process. Over the last several months, I have been able to move through some very choppy emotional waters and continue to do so as we speak. However, what I am learning and experiencing through my flow practice is to not so much focus on all my losses in life, like how my brother is no longer physically with me or why I cannot hold tree pose on my left side or why my hair is going all grey but to now be more mindful and focus on all my gifts and gains in life, like the fact that I shared 45 years of my life with my first best friend, an amazingly loving, caring and comical brother with whom I shared great belly laughs, summers in Lake Tahoe, Barbequing, listening to music, sharing our joys and sorrows and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, I cannot predict what the next huge life curve ball will involve but I know one thing, I will definitely FLOW with it!

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Yogi of the Month July: Pam Fleischer

Meet Pam our Green Yogi of the Month!We are so excited to honor her as our Manduka Sponsored Yogi of the month for July! Since April Pam has taken over 60+ classes and has been killing it during our Summer Detox Yoga Challenge. Congratulations Pam!  We are honored to have you in our yoga family! Read on to Be Inspired, Kelly


OCCUPATION:  Business Management Consultant/Mostly Retired (lucky me)


FUN FACT ABOUT YOU:  I am an inveterate traveler.  If ever I go missing you will likely find me in Turkey, Greece, Spain or somewhere else on the Mediterranean

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR AND WHY? I became an avid fan of the studio beginning in January 2014 so was mainly exposed to Amy and Chelsea.  Every instructor I have had at The Green Yogi has been exceptional, but Amy and Chelsea are the ones who inspired me with their constant smiles, warmth, solid instruction, spirituality and encouragement.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE?  Headstand, especially because I am still working on it.

WHEN YOU AREN’T ON THE MAT, WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU? Riding my bike, running, at the beach, hiking in Sun Valley, Idaho, or enjoying a live music event somewhere in LA.  I could turn up just about anywhere =-).

WHAT SONG SHOULD BE ON EVERY YOGA PLAYLIST?  This is tough, don’t make me pick just one…I like selections from Moby and Buddha Bar music.  Breathe is a great one, though I don’t know if I’ve ever heard it played in class. =-)

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?  The sound and sight of the ocean, the abundant sunshine, and energetic people who are focused on goals but are living every moment to its fullest.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING AND HOW HAS YOGA IMPROVED YOUR LIFE?I have dabbled off and on – mostly off for probably 5 years, until finding The Green Yogi.  The day I walked in to learn more about the studio, I was immediately impressed with Rachel’s inclusive, friendly and warm welcome; I knew I had found the place for me.  Every day I attend a class I feel refreshed, energized, emboldened, confident and happy.






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Soular Recharge

Want to recharge and reenergize your mind, body, and spirit? The Green Yogi in North Berkeley is hosting a NEW workshop Sunday June 8th from 3:30-5:30pm that is a multilayered journey and invitation for you to detox your body, declutter your mind, and reclaim your Being!

Experience a solar detox yoga flow that will safely generate heat and stoke your inner fire, while purifying and strengthening the body. Additional cleansing practices of pranayama, guided imagery, mantra, and meditation will support this whole body purification. Through playful inquiry and self-guided explorations you will connect to your inner wisdom and effortlessly discover your joy of Being. This workshop will strengthen your vessel, rejuvenate your senses, and lighten your spirit. All play levels welcome! Click here to sign up.

*This workshop counts as 2 classes towards the Yoga Challenge. All Yoga Challenge participants get $5 OFF, use promo code: YOGA CHALLENGE.

image via goodeyeblog

Be Inspired,


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Why Inversions Are Awesome + Workshop!

tamal handstand

Why do yogis go upside down? Because it’s fun and also really good for you too! The practice of yoga is great because it helps to challenge our preconceptions and open ourselves to new experiences. Going upside down definitely qualifies as a new experience plus there are tons of health benefits to boot!

The Green Yogi will be hosting an Intro To Inversions with Tamal Dodge this Saturday May 31st from 12:30-2:30click here to sign up now!

Here are some of the extraordinary health benefits you’ll experience when you introduce and increase inversions in your practice!

Inversions reverse the blood flow in the body and improve circulation:
Work smarter, not harder! Use gravity to provide the brain with more oxygen and blood thus increasing mental functioning, and improving concentration, memory, and processing abilities.

Increase immunity and prevent illness:
The lymphatic system is a key player in keeping the body healthy. As lymph moves through the body they picks up toxins and bacteria to be eliminated by the lymph nodes. Because lymph moves as a result of muscle contractions and gravity, getting upside down allows lymph to more easily travel into the respiratory system where much of the toxins enter the body.

Feeling that 4pm slump coming on? Get upside down! Heating inversions such as handstand and forearm balance get more blood moving to the brain, which results not only in physical invigoration but mental revitalization as well.

While the heating inversions (handstand and forearm balance) energize, inversions of the cooling type (shoulder stand & legs up the wall) work to calm the nervous system, thereby activating the parasympathetic nervous system and producing feelings of balance and calm.

Improve balance:
Once balancing on one or two legs has been mastered, the obvious next step is finding equanimity on hands and head.

Increase core strength:
Shoulders and arms—especially for women who tend to be stronger in the lower body, inversions create body balance by developing upper body strength.

Build confidence:
While that first kick up into handstand might induce varying levels of trepidation, once we “get it”, that upcoming job interview suddenly doesn’t seem so daunting.

Stay humble:
And before we “get it”, those many attempts remind us of how much more we have to learn, and how truly it is about the said “journey” not simply the destination.

Literally give us a new perspective on life:
As we become accustomed to reacting to our world in a predictable way, inversions teach us through metaphor that there is always another way to approach the situation/person/problem.

Inversions are fun:
Inversions reintroduce us to our inner child and remind us that while yoga is a contemplative endeavor in many ways, the asana practice is also a time to be playful and light hearted!

If you made it to the end of this post on why inversions rock we hope to see you at The Green Yogi in Manhattan Beach this Saturday at Tamal’s Workshop!

Be Inspired,



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Yogi of the Month: Scott Briggs

Scott Briggs

Meet Scott Briggs, our manduka sponsored Green Yogi of the Month for June! Scott is relatively new to yoga but has really dedicated himself recently to give it his best effort and learn. He wanted to get a better range of motion and correct the imbalances that have built up in his body over time as well as set aside time to meditate, and yoga really helps him do just that. Congratulations Scott!  We are honored to have you in our yoga family!

OCCUPATION:  Attorney in solo practice.

NICKNAME:  I have always been Scott.

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU:  I play a lot of paddle tennis, and I recently got back from an amazing trip to Argentina and Uruguay.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR AND WHY?  I have taken great classes from a lot of the instructors, but I really enjoy Tamal’s classes.  I have been going to his Monday class, and it is the perfect way to start the week and really challenge myself.   I do end up in child’s pose a lot, but that’s cool.

WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION FOR YOUR YOGA PRACTICE?  Calming my mind and letting go of the mental chattering.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE?  Pigeon pose is my favorite because it is a challenge to keep my mind calm, breathe, and stay in the pose.  I also have really tight hips from sitting all the time, so I get a lot out of it.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?  My younger brother is a big inspiration to me.  He has done a lot of hard to work to make a positive change in his life.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING AND HOW HAS YOGA IMPROVED YOUR LIFE?  I am pretty new to yoga.  I have taken a few classes over the years, but for the past two months I decided to really give it my best effort and learn.  I wanted to get a better range of motion and correct a lot of the imbalances that have built up over time.  I have also been trying to set aside time to meditate, and yoga really helps me do that.

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