Our YAWW Tribe

Amy Tortorella

A charming Southern-Belle, Amy hails from North Carolina where her passion for yoga was ignited nearly 15 years ago. Her classes are a playful experiment of Flowing Vinyasa, Alignment based Anusara cues,  and gentle, slow moving Yin postures. She has trained with Lila Rasa Brown of Rasa Yoga in Durham, Raleigh, and Vancouver and follows closely another favorite instructor Elena Brower. She offers a fun and loving environment where students can feel empowered by challenging themselves in a safe and skillful way while feeling connected to the mind, body, and most importantly, the heart. Her classes touch on yogic myths and philosophy to create a rich, profound, and soulful experience both on and off the mat. Join Amy as she leads retreats with us around the globe this year. You will be so glad you did!

Andrea Manitsas

Andrea (affectionately called “Anj”) is known for her bhakti-filled classes with a whole lotta soul and fierce flow. She warmly invites students on a sacred journey through her unique expression of the Vinyasa flow that is dreamy and dancey while also being smart and intentional. Recognized as a Lululemon ambassador in Berkeley, California, her classes have become synonymous with her love of chanting and her want for connectedness.

She has been learning from the best for over a decade. From the sweet song she learned while chanting with Jai Uttal to the cosmic dance of her Laughing Lotus teacher Jasmine Tarkeshi, from the sumptuous flow she fell for with Janet Stone to the intelligent alignment of Jason Crandell, Anj connects an ever-growing well of experience with impressive music and book libraries to inspire bodies to move and minds to still.

Caroline Graham-Wood

Informed by a love for anatomy and physiology, Caroline’s yoga inspires the body and mind with a focus on building strength, improving flexibility and engaging muscles through dynamic balancing asanas. She has been teaching yoga since 2011 incorporating aspects of Ashtanga vinyasa flow, Power Yoga, gentle Restorative practices, and the science of Ayurveda. She is also trained in Standup Paddleboard Yoga and leads those retreats with us in Croatia over the summer.

Hailing from England, she can now be found in London teaching both public and private classes in some of the best studios in the city. Her classes offer students a way to challenge their physical and mental limits, develop strength, flexibility, awareness and balance.

Halle Becker

Halle “Homegirl” Becker has been spreading her sweat and surrender fitness gospel on yoga mats and soul bikes for over 15 years. Halle was voted most popular yoga teacher in NYC and her soulcyle classes have a devoted following of celebrities and NYC mover shakers all seeking their dose of sweat and rock & roll. Halle teaches from the parts of her life that have needed healing and spiritual examination – an open book and loud preacher, Halle will help you find your truth and sing the body electric!
Halle credits all her students around the world and especially NYC as well as her beautiful daughter Maya the magnificent for teaching her important life lessons to share everyday.

Hillary Acer

As an athlete competing in dance, volleyball and endurance running, Hillary has been studying anatomy and kinesiology for many years. First exposed to yoga as a form of cross-training, she began taking classes skeptically, like many new yoga students, enjoying the challenge in physical asanas, the balance of strength and flexibility, and the relief a quiet mind brought her. With the guidance of several beloved teachers like Annie Carpenter and Jason Crandell, she realized that yoga was changing the way she looked at much of her life. It was changing the way she breathed in stressful situations, the way she connected with people, and the fundamental way she approached each day – not as one to check off the list, but instead as one to enjoy, to engage with, and to experience fully even for its “ups” and “downs.”

Hillary’s classes draw from intelligent, alignment-based, and intuitive sequences that invite students to explore balance, concentration, and calm, amidst any challenge. She encourages all bodies and minds including injured, training, and recreational athletes, overworked city slickers, and everyday folks, to step onto the mat, get curious, and move, embracing the philosophy that yoga can benefit everyone in some way, big or small.

Jen Burk Reynolds

Jen has been practicing yoga for over two decades and has had the opportunity to study with many wonderful teachers over the years. She has been perhaps most deeply influenced by her studies at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where she completed a Mindfulness Yoga & Meditation teacher training in 2008. Jen deeply cherishes the silence and stillness she first discovered at Spirit Rock and continues to experience there.

She has been teaching yoga since 2004 and most recently completed a 500 hour teacher training through YogaWorks in 2012 and a Yin/Yang teacher training with Sarah Powers in 2015. She wholeheartedly believes in the power of yoga and encourages her students to find grace and ease in the present moment and to meet whatever arises with kindness. When not practicing or teaching yoga, you’ll find Jen humbly and often joyfully traversing the paths of motherhood and midlife in Marin County, California.

Katalina Hancock

Soon after her first experience on the mat, Katalina found herself immersed in a life-long love affair with Yoga and remains enamored by the power of the mind/body connection and profound effects of the practice. A native of Paris (Kentucky) Katalina’s lust for life and adventurous free-spirit led her on a ten year journey around the world, and deep within herself. Living the nomadic life, teaching and sharing yoga, her practice and her mat became her home. Katalina received her 500 HR+ advanced certification in interdisciplinary yoga from the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. She is also a Pilates instructor and practitioner of Esalen™ massage, Pranassage and Reiki.

She brings 9 years of teaching experience to the mat and combines a variety of styles and disciplines. She’s a devoted practitioner of Yin Yoga and gratitude as a daily meditation. Katalina creates the space to freely explore. Focusing on the relationship between breath and movement through a strong and energetic vinyasa flow, intended to empower and center the mind, and open and ground the body. Creatively and fluidly moving from deep, alignment based static postures through graceful balance, and into stillness, we are invited to have our own unique experience on the mat while developing courage, self-awareness and clarity. Katalina encourages students to challenge themselves, while learning to respectfully stay honest to the body and to become one’s own best teacher. Curiosity, a playful attitude, and a sense of humor are highly encouraged.

Laurie Greene

Laurie Greene, PdD, E-RYT, YBR.  A PhD in anthropology, Laurie has practiced yoga since age 15, having grown up in a “yoga family”.  Since then yoga has become her healthy addiction.  Always an enthusiastic student, Laurie combines her training in a variety of classical ‘hatha’ traditions, bringing insights and techniques from all these to her eclectic teaching and practice.

Training extensively in the Iyengar tradition, emphasis is on safety, technique and proper alignment so that students will get the greatest benefits from their practice and easily experience the joy that yoga affords every fitness level.  Laurie is also certified in Vinyasa flow and is registered with the Yoga Alliance as an ‘experienced teacher’ and trainer.  Her continuing exploration of classical and newer interpretations of Ashtanga Vinyasa have led her to study with many amazing teachers and to all of them she is forever grateful.

Having completed her 500 hour certification with the wonderful Edward Clark and Elizabeth Connelly, Laurie’s passion lies in blending many styles into a practice that is instructive, creative, and fun.  Her masterful adjustments will change your practice!

Loren Bassett

A natural born leader, Loren is the ultimate power yogi; a rare combination of grace and power, yin and yang, masculine and feminine. Her class embodies a rigorous, athletic flow emphasizing strength, flexibility, and balance that will take you to your edge, while maintaining inner peace. Her goal is to inspire you to be courageous and confident on, and off, the mat. She challenges you to take risks, live authentically, and embrace your inner beauty.

Loren has truly defined the practice of Hot Power Yoga. Her teaching style resonated so much within the yoga community, she co-created Pure Yoga’s 100-hour Hot Power Teacher Training with Tanya Boulton. She has mentored and trained numerous up-and-coming yoga instructors. Being one of the most sought after teachers in NYC, she was asked to be a Lululemon Ambassador, a Rawpathocary Ambassador, and to teach at the 2013 Wanderlust Yoga Festival. She is an innovator, a leader, a mentor – a true inspiration.

Tara Jade Nichols

Tara has been teaching yoga since 2003 in Northern California, Asheville, North Carolina, and now in Tulum and beyond. She blends a fluid Vinyasa practice that is creative and playful, while allowing the spontaneous flow of intuitive movement. Tara has studied with world renown teachers such as Shiva Rea, Sean Corne, and Janet Stone. Her powerful and inspirational classes pulse with life filling the soul with sacred movement and restoring vitality to the breath. She invites students to experience the wave of creation through exploring the self with her Dynamic Vinyasa Flow classes.

Tara is also a powerful Astrological and Tarot card intuitive. Her passion is to help individuals gain a strong awareness of their soul’s path using intuitive abilities and Astrological insights. She sets the groundwork for seeing where their karma or past life experiences have served and is a guide in helping her students realize a clear life-path, reaching for dreams, and living their highest potential. Extended sessions with Tara are also possible during free time on retreat.

Wendy Martin

Native to Huntsville, Ontario where she owns Sacred Breath Yoga studio,  Wendy’s teaching style is intimate and inclusive leaving you with an invitation to begin where you are in your body and allow the journey to unravel from the inside out. She weaves a tapestry of practical guidance, subtle details and deep insight so that we all may access a pathway to self discovery unique to ourselves.

Wendy is an RYT 500+ with 12 years of teaching experience. She follows the roots of the Hatha Yoga tradition yet continues to spin an eclectic web of various styles and teaching modalities into her classes. These teachings have been drawn from, the sensitive and body specific teaching of yoga therapy, to the uplifting and spirited style of Prana flow yoga, the inspired method created by Shiva Rea. When we create a yoga practice a different life begins and the body expresses an aliveness never felt before.This attitude inspires her teaching, inviting us all to uncover and reach continually for our most alive route to life.


HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTEST

Christina Sofi

Christina Thomas

In 2008 Christina left her fancy, big city Interior Design career to follow her heart in the Caribbean of Tulum, Mexico. After many amazing (and bumpy) serendipitous turns she has founded Utopia Guesthouse & Yoga Studio, Yoga Adventures Tulum & Yoga Adventures Worldwide offering affordable retreats and vacations in some of the world’s most interesting locations.

Her passion for yoga began more than 20 years ago in a college Kundalini course. Since then she has studied and practiced with many well-known masters and aspiring ones. She acquired her RYT-200 in 2012 from the Institute of Interdisciplinary Yoga Studies with a focus on Iyengar, Ashtanga, and Viniyoga traditions. Although she greatly enjoys leading asana practices she prefers to be on the mat as a student. Hence, she is the creator and host during these specialty retreats and for those in Tulum throughout the year.

She has been planning and hosting retreats around the world since 2012 and traveling on her own since she was 5 years old. Each destination she chooses holds a special place in her heart. Join us to find out why!

Sofia Von Linden

A world traveler from a young age, Sofi originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, has explored the globe with family and friends from East to West, and North to South. She has been hosting retreats with Yoga Adventures Worldwide since 2014 where she effortlessly supported Utopia Guesthouse & Yoga Studio in Tulum and its guests for 2 years. Sofi was our obvious choice to expand the vision and lead our worldwide retreats.

You will get to know her online as you begin to book and plan your retreat and will also be on-sight for most retreats. She works very closely with Christina to make our adventures as exciting as ever. We know…best job ever!