Faculty

daraDara Susini

Dara Susini E-RYT200 is co-Director of Sacred Roots, she completed her Hatha Teacher Training program at the 200-hour level at Yoga Yoga in Austin, TX. She completed the first International Teacher Training program at the 600-hour level at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai, India. (Kym.org) This school was created for the purpose of providing individuals therapeutic methods for healing through the tradition passed down to Krishnamacharya, the grandfather of modern yoga.Dara was first drawn to yoga in college, as a way to work out and condition her muscles. She had always been athletic, and took easily to a Hatha Flow practice. Early on, Dara read about some of the spiritual aspects of yoga, but her primary investigation at that time was in the physical experience and asana. Inspired by the teachings of Krishnamacharya her goal is to work with people suffering from panic disorder, anxiety, insomnia, post traumatic stress disorder, and depression, and give them tools to find a place of peace in the mind, body and spirit.Dara teaches yoga for the individual, and is inspired by the tradition as taught by Krishnamacharya. That tradition calls on the teacher to find the appropriate application of yoga for every student, and Dara believes that everyone can benefit from a yoga practice. She says that yoga is “a place for all to be, to sit and to live in compassion, an open door that can be easily walked through.” Currently she teaches Private Therapeutic Yoga, Hatha, Hatha Flow, Gentle, Restorative, Yoga Nidra, and Beginners Yoga.

elsaM. Elsa Bui

Elsa bui, PT,MPT,NCS is co-founder of Eastside Yoga and also Steven’s wife. A Vietnamese native of Texas, she has been a licensed physical therapist for 12 years, is board certified in neurologic physical therapy and experienced with orthopaedics. She has years of practice with traumatic injury care, rehabilitation, chiropractic-based care and orthopaedic care of adults with sports injuries. She has mentored and taught many physical therapy students, as well as supervised therapy staff caring for patients. Working in the home health setting now, she teaches people with medical injuries to optimize their function using neuromuscular training for posture and alignment, gait training and balance. In her experience, the key to attaining and maintaining function AND your yoga practice, is to strive for a body balance/symmetry in core stability, flexibility, awareness and strength.

iva1Iva Drtina-Hall

Iva Drtina-Hall E-RYT500, From an early age, she explored all facets of body awareness, from ballet to jazz dance, African dance, gymnastics and yoga.Her interest in health, nutrition and alternative medicine began when she studied Physiology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, It was also at this time that she was introduced to Yoga by her mother in 1985.

Iva’s extensive travels throughout Asia, North America, Europe and Australia had broadened her view of different cultures, philosophies and traditions. She spent many years living and working in Japan, teaching cross cultural awareness, running a café-lounge with her husband in Tokyo and teaching yoga.
Her experiences and her studies opened the doors to many new  healing modalities such as fasting, cleansing and vipassana meditation, which she incorporates into her yoga and meditation classes, workshops and retreats in India, Japan and the US.

Iva completed her Yoga Arts Teacher Training in 2002 in Byron Bay, Australia and is certified under Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching in San Francisco, Japan and Austin  focusing primarily on Vinyasa Flow and Yin Yoga. She continues her own education, participating in Yoga workshops from Seane Corn, Shiva Rae, Donna Farhi, Gary Kraftsow. Her interests recently reside in the complement of  a Vinyasa Flow  practice with a Yin restorative practice to fully balance and restore harmony to oneself. She has studied under great Yin teachers such as Paul Grilley, Sarah Powers and Bernie Clarke. She has developed her own Yin Intensive training, teaching students and yoga teachers how to practice and teach Yin Yoga. Iva hosts retreats and workshops internationally as well as facilitating on teacher training programs in Austin, Hawaii and India.

craigCraig Williams

Craig Williams L.Ac, Clinical Herbalist AHG, Ayurvedic practitioner, Veda Kovid, Yogacharya. His private practice specializes in Ayurveda, Yoga, Jyotish and Traditional Chinese Medicine. A professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and the American Herbalists guild, Craig is the recipient of the prestigious “Veda Kovid” title and the Yogacharya title awarded by Dr David Frawley and the American Institute of Vedic Studies and is an ordained gnostic priest with apostolic succession member with Ecclesia Gnostica Aeterna.

“Craig Williams has studied the Vedic tradition in depth including Ayurvedic Medicine, Vedic Astrology, and the spiritual side of Yoga and Vedanta. In addition, he possesses an excellent knowledge of herbology, Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.
“Craig has the capacity to teach and practice Ayurveda with reference to both its clinical and philosophical sides, from the herbal treatment of specific diseases to the meditation methods of Yoga for psychological well-being. He can be not only highly informative, but a great inspiration to his patients and students.” - Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri)

www.ayurvedaaustin.com

stevenSteven Ross

Steven Ross E-RYT200 is co-Director of Sacred Roots and co-founder of Eastside Yoga, born in Scotland, he has spent the last twelve years in Texas, where he has practiced, studied and teaching yoga in Austin. Certified by Srivatsa Ramaswami to teach vinyasa krama yoga, a systematic and classical method of hatha yoga, integrating mind, body and deep breathing. The Vinyasa krama method encompasses advanced pranayama and philosophical knowledge of yoga and Self realization.Steven has devoted the last ten years to spiritual study, raja yoga and meditation with several yogis and spiritual teachers including Sri Karunamayi ma and the Ananda path of Swami Kriyananda. Steven’s passionate mission is to bring the yoga teachings to all that are inspired to learn, while bridging the physical aspects with the spiritual side of yoga. A spiritual healer and counselor trained by the much loved, Francis the healer, he offers his services with humility.

LisaLisa Feder

Lisa Feder, E-RYT200 believes Yoga can help everyone feel better, and be more fully engaged and effective in all areas of life, both personal and professional. Her passion is helping regular people discover and explore yoga to create space and ease in the mind, body and heart. The Yoga practice will meet you
where you are on the path, and that is different for everyone. “In my classes, students set their own
intention and work where they are comfortable and challenged, allowing their practice to meet them
where they are that day. introducing beginners to Yoga and watching them on their journey of
discovery.In addition to teaching Yoga, I’ve been working in the corporate world for over 20 years. Not surprisingly, Yoga practice and principles have helped me become a more effective professional. There is a great benefit to bringing the presence and mindfulness of Yoga into the work place. When I am not teaching Yoga or at my Marketing job, I spend time with friends and family, my husband
and two teens. I love hiking, reading, cooking and movies—and of course, practicing Yoga!

www.beingwellyoga.com

maryMary Richardson
Mary Richardson E-RYT200 . Growing up, Mary’s family moved all over the United States before eventually settling in Nashvhille, TN. The constant moving of her childhood instilled Mary’s passion for travel, new places and experiences. This is why after only one year from her initial yoga experience, she made her first trip to India to immerse herself in the practice and culture. Mary was introduced to Pattabhi Jois’s Ashtanga Yoga in 2000 and is endlessly grateful to her first teacher, V.K. Sheshadre. In 2004, after returning from her second trip to India, Mary was in an accident where she suffered a broken leg. This led to surgery and other life changing events. During this time her Ashtanga practice wasn’t accessible, so she began to explore restorative yoga and other hatha practices while diving deeper into Indian philosophy and metaphysics.
Since arriving in Austin, in 2005, Mary has had the oppurtunity to study with extremely knowledgable teachers from various traditions. She received her teacher training certification from the Living Yoga Program and finished her BA at The University of Texas where she studied Studio Art (painting) and South Asian Studies (Indian philosophy and Sanskrit texts).

Students attending Mary’s classes should expect an eclectic arrangement of poses that reflect her commitment to remaining awake, balanced, and open in one’s own practice. The union of movement and breath is an important focus of all her classes. She challenges her students to find their breath, even in difficult postures, to observe more and react less, and most importantly to connect to the inner most essence of their being.

maryreneyoga.com

melissaMelissa Spamer

Melissa Spamer, E-RYT 500, LMT, C. Ayu. has been practicing Yoga for twenty years. She completed her first certification to teach Yoga in 1997, and has been consistently teaching Yoga for fifteen years. She has completed more than six teacher trainings since then. In 2005, Melissa completed her 500 hour teaching certification with the International Yoga College, specializing in Yoga and Conflict Transformation, under the guidance of Rama Jyoti Vernon.Her approach to Yoga is very organic and weaves together a rich tapestry of inspired teachings from such celebrated teachers as Angela Farmer, Victor Van Kooten, Rama Jyoti Vernon, Shiva Rea, Kali Ray and the students of Desikachar. Her practice is continually evolving, always becoming more Alive in Spirit and Form. She feels incredibly blessed to be carrying the light of yoga beside so many radiant beings in this great ocean of Awakening.

Melissa is also a graduate of the Ayurvedic Institute, having completed more than 1200 hours of study. She has studied with Dr. Vasant Lad, Swamini Mayatitananda, Sonia Masocco, Dr. Claudia Welch and Dr. Robert Svabodha.  Melissa offers Ayurvedic consultations, treatments and workshops.  She integrates Ayurvedic principles into her teaching of Hatha Yoga.

She has a graduate certificate in Holistic Health Care from Western Michigan University, with an emphasis in Expressive Arts Therapy. She has co-facilitated groups and retreats incorporating a full range of therapeutic processes to help unveil the truth of the soul’s yearning for engagement. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, with an emphasis in Somatic Psychology, at Southwestern College. She currently resides in Santa Fe, NM.

www.lotusintheflame.com