Our Teaching Team
Francine Ang, RYT 200
Francine Ang is a healer based in Pasadena, California. She grew up in a Buddhist family and started her spiritual journey at a young age. She has traveled extensively, seeking trainings with various masters of different healing traditions in China, Tibet, India and Japan. For many years, she moved from studio to studio searching for her yoga tribe. It was only in 2017 when she saw a flyer for an Accessible Yoga training workshop that she learned about Spiral Path Yoga Center. After only one restorative class at SPY, she signed up for its teacher training program and received her 200-hour certification in 2018. She has also completed her Restorative Yoga Therapy certification with Leeann Carey of Yapana Yoga. Francine is also a Reiki Master practitioner and has developed her unique blend of heart-centered and organic empowering healing yoga sessions, helping individuals to rebalance, reconnect and restore.
Emily Bernhardt, RYT 200
Emily first discovered Yoga with Lilias Folan on Public Television in much the same way that countless Americans began cooking French cuisine with Julia Child. Later, as a pregnant woman in Los Angeles in 1989, she renewed her practice with Marge McClenon in the Iyengar tradition. In 2011 Emily came home to yoga once again, cultivating a personal practice nourished by many gifted teachers (east of La Brea) that continue to inform her ever-deepening curiosity for yoga and teaching. Emily inspires students to practice yoga with grace and joy. She has trained with Allison Linaman (200-Hour, 2015), Addie deHilster (Yin Yoga, Levels 1 and 2, 2017), and is currently pursuing further training with Keric Morinaga in Anusara style yoga. Emily is a Yoga Alliance Registered Teacher and Inactive CPA.
Avry Budka, RYT 500
Avry Budka is a certified and registered yoga teacher in the Hatha Yoga tradition. She teaches an eclectic assortment of postures, breathwork, and meditation, based on her continuing study and personal practice. After about six years of devoted yoga study, Avry received her first teaching certification in 2000 from the Yoga Institute and Bookshop (Houston, TX). Her second certification, also from the Yoga Institute, was earned in 2004. In 2008, Avry certified as an Ayurveda Yoga Therapist through the California College of Ayurveda in Grass Valley, CA. Personal experience with severe physical trauma and cancer, plus many years as both a student and a teacher, have provided her with a growing understanding of the therapeutic aspects of a yoga practice and of the healing properties of Ayurveda. Avry has taught at The Pasadena Athletic Club, Gold’s Gym, The Integrated Healing Center, The Coffee Gallery, Le Studio, Magnolia Dance Space, and the Pasadena Villa-Parke Community Center, as well as teaching yoga and meditation sessions privately to individuals and small groups.
Peggy Burt, RYT 500
Co-Founder, Teacher, Teacher Training Faculty
Peggy enjoyed a long and rewarding career as a dancer, dance teacher and choreographer before finding the peace and joy of yoga. Her graceful yoga practice is infused with a sense of flow, breath and ease. As an experienced teacher of all ages, Peggy is especially interested in how yoga can bring a greater sense of body awareness and comfort to people as they move through different transitions in life. Peggy seeks to facilitate a yoga journey that provides a path to navigate life’s many challenges, taps into a deep well of gratitude and serenity, and supports an experience of profound calm and presence. Peggy has studied with Rene Quenell and Tracee Stanley, both of the Para Yoga tradition, as well as Eden Jacobson, Alicia Pal and Addie deHilster. She holds certifications from Yoga Works, Yoga Madre and has furthered her studies with Addie and Samantha Joseph-Akers through TheraYoga. Peggy is also a trained Labyrinth Facilitator and welcomes the opportunity to introduce this deep tradition of walking meditation to the yoga community.
Lydia Capetanos, RYT 200
Lydia has worked in holistic bodywork for 14 years as a massage therapist. Yoga has always been a form of self-care, her go-to practice which complemented a regimen of hiking, walking, and massage. She was motivated to deepen her own practice and expand her career in holistic health to incorporate a form of bodywork less passive than massage, one that offered her clients more agency over their wellbeing. After a 20-year un-committed relationship with yoga, Lydia decided to pursue a 200-hour teaching certification in Hatha Yoga at TheraYoga. To Lydia, yoga practice is a massage from the inside out. There is a different form of gratitude one experiences from yoga than massage; one is less apt to “check out” or even fall asleep, because yoga demands from the student a healthy state of mindfulness. She sought out a school that approached yoga like she did massage: adaptive to the individual needs of her students. Lydia is so grateful to be teaching at a studio that shares her outlook on wellness and strives to make difference in her student’s health and fitness.
Addie deHilster, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT
Owner, Teacher, Teacher Training Faculty
A longtime practitioner, Addie discovered yoga in 1998 during her college years. Since becoming a yoga teacher, she has taught in studios, parks, gyms, and offices, bringing yoga to students of all levels and backgrounds. She is a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) and has worked with many students with a range of special conditions and injuries, and she is dedicated to promoting health and healing through an intelligent, personalized practice of mindful therapeutic yoga. Through two years of intensive study, she earned her 500-hour credential in the therapeutic Yapana Yoga style taught by Leeann Carey, and she continues to pursue ongoing training in anatomy and biomechanics with Jules Mitchell. At home with both the technical and the contemplative aspects of yoga, Addie is also a specialist in the practice of Yin Yoga. She earned her second 500-hour credential as a student in the 2014-15 Mindfulness Yoga & Meditation Training Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, which is a program dedicated to fully integrating the wisdom of yoga and meditation, including substantial silent retreat practice. A dedicated practitioner of Vipassana (Insight/Mindfulness) Meditation for several years, she served in the past as President of the Board of the nonprofit Long Beach Meditation. In addition to weekly classes at the studio, Addie leads our 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training & Certification program, conducts Yin Yoga teacher trainings, and teaches private yoga sessions. In class, she emphasizes the development of mindful awareness, making every pose a meditation. Her goal is to guide you to gaining skills for your physical asana practice, that then lead you to skills for relating to life with greater openness, acceptance and hopefully, a sense of humor.
Rachel Gonzalez, RYT 200, RYCT
In 2006, Rachel started dabbling into yoga while living in Seattle. In 2012, she and her family moved to La Crescenta, but it wasn’t until 2014 when she started to integrate yoga into her life. This is when she fell in love with yoga and then found Spiral Path Yoga Center. Rachel has been a devoted meditator for over 20 years. In 2014, she started mindfulness training with Mindful Schools. Rachel felt a calling to share movement and mindfulness with children and adults. This is when yoga teacher training came in the picture. Rachel started her training in 2015 at Spiral Path Yoga Center in The Yoga of Mindfulness & Accessibility program, as well as Yin Yoga I & II, with Addie deHilster. In 2017, she also completed Children’s Yoga teacher training (RCYT) through HiYoga! with Kelly Wood, and in May 2018, Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Leeann Carey. Rachel also teaches locally at The Community Center of La Canada Flintridge: Mindful Children’s Yoga, Yin Yoga, Yoga Sama Series and Gentle Yoga. She offers Mindful Pogis: A Yoga and Mindfulness Program for Preschool Children at Lighted Window Preschool. Through the tools of Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga she has been able to find more peace and better health in her life. Rachel has devoted her life to sharing her love of Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga with others.
Rachel Hansen, RYT 200
Rachel Hansen first came to yoga in 2011, seeking relief from injury, as so many practitioners before her have done. Rachel has worked as a diagnostic medical sonographer for 16 years, accruing multiple work-related musculoskeletal injuries along the way. The physical relief from pain was just the start of the multitude of benefits that Rachel received from the gift of yoga. She recently completed her first 200-Hour teacher training with Spiral Path Yoga Center. She also completed her Restorative Yoga Therapy certification with Leeann Carey of Yapana Yoga. Rachel brings to her classes a deep honor and respect for the tradition that is yoga, a desire that students bow to the wisdom that resides in their own bodies. She also has an intense love of Sanskrit, and is delighted by the language of yoga. A self-proclaimed anatomy geek, she focuses on safe alignment while encouraging students to explore their practice in a supported environment.
Sarah Helt, E-RYT 200
Sarah Helt began her yoga journey at 18 when a friend suggested she try a class at the local gym. It happened to be an Ashtanga Primary Series, and from that day forward she was hooked! However, it wasn’t until her last year of college, when Sarah’s clowning and movement studies professor asked if she would assist his summer yoga intensive, that she started to consider teaching. Her initial 200-hour yoga training was in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia in multi-style Vinyasa and Viniyoga, incorporating Thai massage. She began her yoga career in Chicago, Illinois where, in her first two years, she was lucky enough to help open five different boutique yoga spaces. Primarily a power Vinyasa and Restorative-Yin yoga teacher, her life changed completely when she was contacted by a high-profile triathlon coach to work with her disabled athletes. Sarah was introduced to the true therapeutic benefits of yoga for recovery, pain management, and trauma. She works with students who have, and have had, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, visual impairments, spinal cord injury, chronic pain, and/or nerve damage. Last year, she partnered with the Accessible Yoga Movement in Santa Barbara to become one of the organization’s first Accessible Yoga Ambassadors. Sarah approaches life with an open heart and zero expectations…as she believes you should approach every yoga class. She is overjoyed to share her practice with you. Come play!
Stacey Holderbach, RYT 500
Hannah Holland, RYT 500
Hannah began practicing yoga as a child and has been fortunate to make the study of yoga a lifelong pursuit. She is a Yin Yoga Teacher, a Hatha Yoga Teacher, and a certified Feng Shui Consultant. She earned her 200-hour Teaching Training from the Yoga Kingdom Sanctuary in Pasadena in 2001, and she recently completed her Yin Yoga Level 1 Teacher Training with Spiral Path Yoga Center’s Addie deHilster. Hannah has also studied with the Self Realization Fellowship (SRF), the Vedic Healing Institute of Los Angeles, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi “Amma,” and the Himalayan Institute, where she continues to study with Pandit Rajmani Tignuait, Ph. D. As a lover of all things yoga, in 2008 Hannah decided to take her study off the mat and explore Feng Shui. Attending the Golden Gate Feng Shui School in Oakland, CA, Hannah studied under Master Feng Shui Practitioners Ming Lui, Howard Choy, Alex Starke and the Quero Shaman of Peru. Hannah has taught yoga in a variety of settings including: yoga studios, schools, corporate offices, private residences, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. Based in tradition, her classes focus on the yoga techniques of asana, pranayama, meditation, and mantra. Using the body, mind, and breath as tools, students are guided towards developing mindfulness and a deepening awareness of themselves. Over time, students become adept at allowing their awareness to be the guiding force of their practice.
Julie Howard, MD, RYT 200
Julie is a board-certified family doctor who believes that yoga is a practice from which everyone can benefit. Left with severe burnout after 20 years of medical practice and teaching, she took time off for exploration and self-care. It was during this sabbatical that she recognized the healing power of yoga for herself, and she completed teacher training with Dana Kraft and Jennifer Smith at Yoga108. Julie’s main goal as a yoga teacher is to empower each student to connect with their healthiest self through yoga. She hopes to create an all-inclusive environment, regardless of ability, age, or gender. Outside the studio, you will find Julie spending time with her spouse and their three pets, volunteering for a local animal rescue, crafting, and doctoring.
Annika Ihnat, RYT 500
Annika Ihnat is a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher and meditation instructor in Los Angeles. She began practicing meditation in 2012 to learn how to work with anxiety and depression, and soon thereafter delved into the physical practice of yoga as well. After a decade dancing professionally in the entertainment industry, yoga’s inward focus and emphasis on the whole self – mind, body, breath, heart and spirit – set her on a path of healing, growth and service. Annika completed 500 hours of yoga teacher training with Jeni Winterburn, E-RYT 500 and Hanna Somatic Educator, at Yoga Nook in Simi Valley, CA. She has also completed 30 hours of Accessible Yoga Training with Jivana Heyman and Sarah Helt. Her teaching style is therapeutic, dynamic and inquiry-based, encouraging self-study and experimentation to heighten each student’s awareness of their own unique practice. Annika has taught a variety of workshops, including How to Start a Meditation Practice, Dancing into Stillness: A Creative Movement + Meditation Practice, Self-Care Sundays, Dharana & Dhyana: Concentration & Meditation, and Sacred Dance.
Lynda is the consummate student – which is why you’ll see her attending many classes at the studio, when she’s not teaching! Her belief that we are all life-long learners embraces the spirit of her teaching, that practice is one of continuous growth, which creates an evolution of the human spirit. Her yoga practice began with Rodney Yee in Oakland, CA and developed at Yoga West, Los Angeles, CA, where she completed her Level 1 Teacher Training in Kundalini Yoga. She has completed her Level 1 Teacher Training with Jill Miller, Restorative Yoga Training with Samantha Akers, and Yin Yoga Training with Addie deHilster. She also has Instructor Level training in the YogaEd Tools for Teachers K-8 Program and holds a Zen Shiatsu Massage certificate from the San Francisco School of Shiatsu Massage. She spent 2 weeks in the summer of 2014 in silent retreat in the Dharmasagara Buddhist Lineage. Lynda has taught at Silverlake Yoga, Mount St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles Mission College and currently at the La Canada YMCA, where she began the Restorative and Chair Yoga classes, supporting her belief that yoga can and should be adapted for every body, and that yoga is for everyone! As a full-time Dance Teacher for the LAUSD Arts Education Branch, she reaches and nurtures hundreds of children daily. Getting young students in touch with their bodies and creativity through movement, yoga, and mindfulness techniques is her forte.
Amber grew up in Australia, New Mexico, Brazil and Canada before finding herself in Los Angeles. In LA she fell in love with the historically-based, forward-looking healing power of different yogic postures, meditations and breathing techniques. She completed a Hatha/Kundalini mixed Teacher Training Program at Karuna Yoga in Los Feliz in the fall of 2007. She continued her yoga studies through the two-year Yoga Therapy Rx Program at Loyola Marymount which was completed in the summer of 2010. Amber believes yoga invites one to breathe into the precious, transcendent parts of their body allowing moments of calm, acceptance, healing and contentment. She is awed and humbled by the gift of teaching yoga to others and by the never-ending vastness of what she has yet to learn. She strives to provide a space for her students wherein they can breath and relax into the innate strength, stability and sacred silence that exists in their bodies and minds. Yoga aside, Amber has a degree in Art History from the University of British Columbia, is an actor and strives to read, watch, listen and tell stories as often as she can.
Originally drawn to yoga in 1998 for the health benefits, Joyce found relief from low back pain and arthritis. When she steps off the yoga mat after practice, she enjoys feeling energized and connected to her inner-self. Grateful for ease of physical movement, she studied with Farzenah Noori, Bruce Schwartz, Tiffany Cruickshank, Tias Little and many more. In 2014, she completed her Hatha Yoga teacher certification. For Joyce, yoga has ignited a passion for continuing study of the relationship between yoga and body mechanics. She is currently a student in Loyola Marymount’s Yoga Therapy RX training program. Her intention is to create a safe space where students can be guided to experience greater freedom of movement in their bodies and minds. She is grateful for the possibility of better health through each breath of yoga.
For over 25 years, Barbara Wood produced and performed dance, voice and improvisational theater across Europe. In 1993, she met her husband Colin while studying Action Improvisational Theater in Oakland, California with Ruth Zaporah. Barbara and Colin homeschooled their two sons, and by 2013 the boys were independent enough for her to certify as a Hatha Yoga instructor at Yoga at the Village in Glendale. Since 2014, she has taught Pilates, Gentle, and Hatha Yoga at the YMCA of the Foothills. For Barbara, yoga is a further expression of her work in movement and dance. Strongly influenced by Alexander & Alignment Release Technique, she adapts each asana to her students’ abilities, helping them to gain confidence, strength and flexibility. Barbara has studied with Dr. Loren Fishman (NY), and is certified in Yoga for Osteoporosis, Yoga for Back Pain, and Yoga for Scoliosis.