Centered City Yoga 200 & 300 hour yoga teacher training programs inspired by lineage

Centered City Yoga ~ Yoga Soul Teacher Training Certification Programs!

Have you ever wondered how your yoga favorite yoga teacher inspires you to live your best life? Do you crave understanding of how to weave beautiful sequences together, based on sacred geometry of the body; synergistically integrating breath and subtle patterns of the body to bring you into a mindful state of bliss? Would you like to develop the scientifically based art and talent of a yoga instructor?

At Centered City Yoga, our Yoga Soul Teacher Training Programs, for both 200-hour YTT and advanced 300-hour YTT, teach you all of this and more. We offer you the best yoga teachers, not only in Utah, but from all over the world to give you the greatest foundation possible as a yoga teacher. We are not a Bikram, power, yin, or yoga flow yoga program. Rather Centered City Yoga in SLC, UT brings you to the most authentic level of yoga by way of deep lineage.

Your lead teachers all have close roots to teachers from India, who are responsible for bringing yoga to the Western world. You will learn yoga as it was taught to your Centered City Yoga teacher, and how it was taught to your teacher’s teacher, and so on! You will see easily how styles such as power yoga, Yin and more have stemmed from these ancient practices. We choose to go deep, teaching you foundational understandings, to help you intelligently guide your students into therapeutic practices, which will serve them through their lives.


Here are a few testimonials from graduating students of our unique programs:

I am an incredibly shy person, hate being in front of people, so when I started the program I wasn’t sure if I would really end up teaching. Rachel had us teaching from Day 1, she helped me find my voice, my confidence and step into my light. When I went to teach my first “real” class I felt more confident than I ever had in my life! This program was life changing for me and I cannot wait to start teaching!” ~LF

“I am very grateful for my training and mentorship from Yoga Soul and Rachel. I highly recommend this program to any aspiring teachers. I am excited for my future as a yoga teacher!” ~CB

I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to study yoga history, philosophy, anatomy and safe sequencing, with an emphasis on personal reflection and self-driven reading and journaling to attain a more personal connection with the yoga lifestyle. I gained a deeper understanding of my love and passion for yoga and the roots from which it was born and has evolved into through American culture. Rachel’s mentorship has completely changed my life and my ability to share the practice of yoga with others in a safe environment with the education to explain what I’ve learned and will continue to learn on my yogic life path. I will be forever grateful for crossing paths with Rachel and for the exchange of information, love, and SOUL that she has committed herself to sharing with the world.” ~LJ

I have already recommended this program to others, and a couple of people that I know of have completed the training since my recommendation. It was well worth the tuition and time for what I’ve gained in return. Thank you so much.” ~LP


Are you ready to step into your power as a teacher of yoga? Or would you enjoy learning subtle practices of lineage-based yoga, that will bless you with understanding how to cultivate your own practice, when at home, or in a yoga shala? If so, we welcome you with open arms. You will discover how learning from a lineage-based program, the closest to India you will find in  Utah, will change your life. Centered City Yoga’s yoga instructor certifications in Salt Lake City will help you not only to become an authentic teacher of yoga, but also invoke your own life patterns to shift, allowing you to discover your dharma path leading to your ultimate potential.

REGISTER HERE for your 200 hour or 300 hour program

~Love Rachel

Earn Free Entry to Centered City Yoga Workshops in 2019!

Earn Free Entry to Centered City Yoga Workshops with our new Gratitude Program!
One of our intentions as studio this year is to create a true and beautiful path of friendship throughout our myriad yoga studios in Utah, and to our neighboring states. As a larger studio, we are blessed to bring in teachers who are world renown, and have generously offered to teach at our studio this year. We know that sometimes traveling far can be a barrier, and we are working diligently to bring these brilliant teachers to our community so they can be as close to you as possible. We want ALL yogis near and far from our studio to have the ability to deepen their practice.
We have also created a program to help studio owners, willing teachers and students, to come for a discount, or possibly free, in exchange for helping to get students to sign up.
We want you to know you are always invited! We have created a Gratitude Program to help you have incentive to bring your friends and fellow yogis to learn from these beautiful teachers at a discounted rate, or free. Just email and I will set you up!
We are happy to create promo codes for anyone who would like to spread the word, and help more students to come to these teachers and learn beautiful depths of our sacred practices.
The personalized promo code will allow for you to receive 10% off for you, and your fellow yogis and of our workshops for 2019 at the studio. For each student you get to sign up, you will receive an additional 10% off. If you sign up and then get people to sign up, we will refund you the difference, or can apply your funds to another workshop of choice. If you choose to wait to sign up, but help students to sign up, reach out to me, and I will comp your registration if you get 9 people to sign up with your code (we track through your code), or give you the appropriate discount (example: if you get 4 to sign up with your promo code, you receive 50% off).

Some of the internationally loved and respected teachers coming to CCY in 2019:

Michael Gannon February, 22-24, 2019

Michael Gannon February 22-24, 2019


Nicolai Bachman, April 5-7, 2019 

Nicolai Bachman
Nicolai Bachman April 5-7, 2019


Doug Swenson, June 28-30, 2019

Doug Swenson June 28-30, 2019


Srivatsa Ramaswami, October 20-26, 2019

Srivatsa Ramaswami October 20-26, 2019


Click Here for a link to our other workshops coming up this year. Your code would work for ALL of our offerings through 2019. And if you are liking the program, we would love to extend this offering as into 2020, and beyon

Please email to sign up for our Gratitude Program and empower your yoga today!

200 & 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Trainings

I love teaching yoga. And ever as much, I LOVE to lead yoga teacher trainings. I am happy to tell you about my Yoga Soul 2019, 200 & 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Trainings at Centered City Yoga. 

Retreat Weekend at Yoga Soul in St. George, Utah

I am not one to copy anyone. Everything I put together is unique, and different than anything else anyone out there is offering in their teacher training programs. When creating my programs, I thought really hard about all of the teacher training programs I have been a student of. I then created my programs including all of the aspects of a program I believe are incredibly important. And I left out the parts that we simply time fillers, but didn’t help myself, or my peers become better teachers. 

Master Ashtanga Workshop with Jen Ren’e

The end result of my special programs are teachers who know they matter, who receive a lot of personal and one-on-one attention and mentoring, and graduate from my program with the understanding of the depths of yoga philosophy, and the ability to bring a timeless practice to all people in this current time period, 

I keep my programs small. Anywhere from 5-12 students on average. All of our teachers become good friends. Even though through they come from very different backgrounds, and have uniquely different intentions for stepping onto the path of a yoga teacher training program. I believe fully what I offer is the best yoga teacher training program in the western United States. 

Learning Proper Prasarita Padottanasana with Eric Martin

I have successfully led 2x a year programs since 2013, and love with all of my heart, to guide these wonderful students of yoga into realizing their potential as humans, while also becoming beautiful teachers of yoga. 

Within the Yoga Soul 200 and advanced 300 hour teacher training programs, teachers develop self-confidence. They learn to live with courage in their hearts, and to step into their power to bring forth their authentic voice. As part of each program, teachers in training have time for private mentors, learning of Sanskrit basics, intelligent sequencing, adjusting postures perfectly, and understanding what it means to teach from the heart. I also offer a retreat with each training, and a 6-month unlimited pass to our beautiful studio.


Ayurveda with Anjali Deva 

Along with myself, and amazing local teachers, the 200 and 300 hour yoga teachers in training also learn from yoga masters, who are well-loved on an international level! This next year students will learn from Michael Gannon (200 hour trainees), Nicolai Bachman (200 & 300 hour trainees), Doug Swenson (300 hour trainees), and Srivatsa Ramaswami (300 hour trainees, and fall 200 hour program trainees)!  These amazing world renown teacher’s workshops will also be open to the public! 

A few testimonials from past students: 

“I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to study yoga history, philosophy, anatomy and safe sequencing, with an emphasis on personal reflection and self-driven reading and journaling to attain a more personal connection with the yoga lifestyle. I gained a deeper understanding of my love and passion for yoga and the roots from which it was born and has evolved into through American culture. Rachel’s mentorship has completely changed my life and my ability to share the practice of yoga with others in a safe environment with the education to explain what I’ve learned and will continue to learn on my yogic life path. I will be forever grateful for crossing paths with Rachel and for the exchange of information, love, and SOUL that she has committed herself to sharing with the world.” ~L.J.

“I am an incredibly shy person, hate being in front of people, so when I started the program I wasn’t sure if I would really end up teaching. Rachel had us teaching from Day 1, she helped me find my voice, my confidence and step into my light. When I went to teach my first “real” class I felt more confident than I ever had in my life! This program was life changing for me and I cannot wait to start teaching! ” ~L.F. 

“I am very grateful for my training and mentorship from Yoga Soul and Rachel. I highly recommend this program to any aspiring teachers. I am excited for my future as a yoga teacher!” ~C.B.

Friends Forever Developing Human Connections at the Heart Level

If you would like more interest, or to sign up, please email and I would love to set up a time to answer your questions. In the meantime, check out our link here for details, and to sign up! 

Love, Rachel 

Centered City Owner, and Lead Teacher of Yoga Soul Yoga Teacher Training Programs


Michael Gannon, The Yoga Dealer, coming to Salt Lake City!

For years now, my husband Eric, and often my son and I have made a pilgrimage to the Yucatan Peninsula to enjoy the healing ocean waters, take time to care and connect with each other, and the wonderful people of this beautiful land. We also go there to be students of yoga. 

Teaching and self-practice and study are so very important as a yogi. But I have found that if I cannot simply take the time to let go of my careful guidance of doing my best to lead our teachers and students at Centered City Yoga, I start to lose myself. Letting go for just a bit. This means one of two things. I run or cycle to the mountains, or go to the ocean and learn yoga from dear teachers who resonate with my heart. 

Michael Gannon is a teacher who brings a special magic to any practice he offers. I learn from him as often as time and space open.  He is sincere, lives what he speaks, and embodies decades of discipline, and experience he dedicates his life to sharing with all who will listen. When I practice yoga in his elegant yoga shala, Yoga Loft Playa Del Carmen, I am raw, able to be completely present, and come back feeling renewed. I am then able to do a much better job of teaching and nurturing our lovely Centered City Yoga studio. 

What a gift! Michael has agreed to come to teach his knowledge at Centered City Yoga! The dates will be February 22-24, 2019. He has never before taught a workshop in Utah. We are all so very blessed. All students of yoga, no matter where  you live, or what studio you call home, are beyond welcome to join in this special weekend of teaching. You are always welcome to share your light with CCY. 

Yoga Workshop Signup

In the late 90s, the practice of yoga lured Michael Gannon away from chaotic deal making in the American advertising and music industry. He subsequently spent 10 years studying in India with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915 – 2009) learning the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd series of the traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa system. Authorized directly by Jois in 2001 to teach, Gannon has taught in over 50 countries on five continents. 

Having trained over 500 teachers worldwide in Ashtanga and Power Vinyasa Yoga, his unique teaching style makes the transformational powers of yoga accessible to all with the desire to learn. 

His live teachings have been extended over the years via many DVDs, the first ever Ashtanga Yoga App on iPhone/Android, and his first book in 2018, Ashtanga Yoga Made Simple. 

On his home beach in Mexico, Gannon designed, built, and directs one of the most beautiful yoga schools on the planet, Yogaloft Playa del Carmen. When he’s not traveling, it is here that he spends time at the feet of his three most powerful gurus — his daughter and two sons.

His personal practice and that which comes from sharing with so many other people worldwide lead to the organic evolution of his own experience of Power Vinyasa Yoga. Weather in Ashtanga Vinyasa or Power Vinyasa, Michael’s unique teaching style makes Yoga’s transformational powers — physical, mental and spiritual — available to all. Learn more about Michael on his website. 

I hope you will make it. I will meet you on the mat as your fellow student. 

Love, Rachel 


Sanskrit Scholar Nicolai Bachman Coming Back to Salt Lake City

 Nicolai Bachman teaching at Centered City Yoga, 2018 

We are beyond delighted to have Nicolai Bachman back to Salt Lake City, April 5-7, 2019!

Centered City Yoga was blessed to host Nicolai in 2018. He was well-loved by the students who attended, who were delighted to start to learn the philosophy side of yoga in a beautiful, well-organized way, that helps to deepen the understanding how to move through our yoga practices, and life itself in a kinder, more compassionately inspired way. We truly learn to respond to life, rather than react. 

Nicolai has been teaching Sanskrit, chanting, yoga philosophy, Ayurveda, and other related topics since 1994. He has a knack for synthesizing and organizing complex topics into simple and understandable presentations. His education combines informal, traditional study with the academic rigor of university classes. Nicolai studied extensively at the American Sanskrit Institute, the Ayurvedic Institute, the American Institute of Vedic Studies and the Vedic Chant Center. He holds an M.A. in Eastern Philosophy, an M.S. in Nutrition, and an e-RYT 500 certified yoga teacher. His ongoing studies continue to broaden his repertoire and inform all future classes. You can learn more about this amazing human on his website

 Nicolai Bachman teaching at Centered City Yoga, 2018 

Nicolai has authored several Sanskrit book/CD learning tools including 108 Sanskrit Flash Cards, The Language of Yoga (Sounds True 2005), The Language of Ayurveda, and The Yoga Sutras: An Essential Guide to the Heart of Yoga Philosophy (Sounds True 2010). He also wrote an easy-to-read paperback on yoga philosophy called Path of the Yoga Sutras (Sounds True 2011). His books are available at Centered City Yoga, and will also be available during Nicolai’s workshop in April at the studio. 

 Nicolai Bachman teaching at Centered City Yoga, 2018 .

Yoga Workshop Signup

Here is what will be offered during this beautiful weekend together:

Friday, April 5th

6-8:30pm Sanskrit Basics

Saturday, April 6th

12-2:30pm Mantra Recitation

3:00-5:30pm Yoga Sutras: Understanding Suffering

Sunday, April 7th 

9-11:30 Ayurveda Intro

1-3:30pm Elemental Chakras

Each workshop will be held at our Beautiful Centered City Yoga studio. 

We are fortunate that Centered City Yoga will have the opportunity to host Nicolai in Salt Lake City for a 2nd time, as he brings another deep facet to our yoga community. Yoga can be a little evasive for those who haven’t studied much of the philosophy and history, yet Nicolai in myriad ways, creates accessible pathways to all who wish to learn yoga in its fullness, well beyond the postures.

I look forward to sharing time and space with our beautiful yoga community soon. 

Love, Rachel 


A Weekend with Internationally Loved Teacher, Doug Swenson



Centered City Yoga is delighted to host internationally LOVED yoga teacher, Doug Swenson. He will be to Utah, June 28-30th, 2019! We are honored to host of the greatest yogis from our Western culture.

Doug began his study of yoga in 1969. He has had the wonderful fortune of studying with many great teachers including Dr. Ernest Wood, K. Pattabhi Jois, David Williams, Nancy Gilgoff, Ramanand Patel, and others.

Doug is a master yoga practitioner, philosopher, poet and dedicated health advocate. He has incorporated influences from several different yoga systems along with his passion for nutrition and the environment to develop his unique approach. Over the years he has authored several books; Yoga Helps, The Diet That Loves You Most, Power Yoga for Dummies and Mastering the Secrets of Yoga Flow,  and most recently, Pioneering Vinyasa Yoga: The Adventure and Daily Practice. Be sure to look them up. They are very good yoga reads! Find links for Doug’s books, and videos on his website. You may also look for his 23 videos on Gaia! 

Doug is a Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance and travels extensively offering workshops, retreats and teacher training courses around the world. Don’t miss the opportunity to study with one of the worlds top instructors. Doug’s classes are always invigorating and inspirational and his supportive style of teaching and keen sense of humor send his students home with a smile on their face and a softness within their heart. All photos are courtesy of Doug Swenson!

During his time at Centered City Yoga, Doug will offer four, 2.5-hour workshops. We encourage you to get the most our of your weekend, and sign up for the entire time period. If you are not able to come the whole weekend, please come to at least a couple of the modules.

Yoga Workshop Signup

Here is the plan for the June 28-30 weekend!

Friday, June 28th


  • Power to Yin / the Challenge – Leads to Bliss. In this class we create a balance, by splitting the class into two distinct opposing energies! Beginning the class with a challenging (Power-Vinyasa Yoga Sequence) – then moving gracefully into a blissful soft (Yin Yoga Practice) – as we melt into bliss and finish with pranayama and deep relaxation.

Saturday, June 29thMorning Session:


  • Mastering the Secrets of Yoga Flow (Beginner – Advanced).The main focus of this class is centered on fluid movements of vinyasa and how to expand this philosophy to create flow in your daily life – a variety of yoga postures – both easy and challenging will be used. Explanation will be made as to how the fluid energy lines of vinyasa in your yoga practice can affect your daily life in a positive way. A connection is made to help create awareness of the conscious flow in your daily life using the philosophy of vinyasa to relate to the energy in all aspects of your life.


  • Anatomy of Yoga / Whole Body Anatomy. This class gives the students a broader vision of anatomy – beyond the muscles and bones. A better understanding and respect for our internal world is established. Based on the Nine Anatomical Systems of the human body and the relation to yoga practice and healthy diet.

Saturday, June 29thAfternoon Session



  • Latest in Yoga Adjustments and Partner Yoga –(All Levels) Learn new and exciting ways to help each other with yoga practice, through hands on yoga adjustments and partner work. Class concludes with creation of a yoga dance, from techniques you have learned.


  • Doug and His Story.A little more about Doug, his history biography in regards to yoga, philosophy of yoga. Question and answer period to follow. It is important and fascinating to discover what it takes to live as a yogi in this contemporary time period.

Sunday, June 30th


  • Ashtanga with Extra Spice – (Intermediate – Advanced) This class will follow the order of asanas for 1st level Ashtanga, with the addition of some poses from 2nd and 3rdblended in at appropriate places in your routine. This class includes hands on adjustments and personal suggestions on how to enhance your practice. Class ends with pranayama, and deep relaxation.


  • Avoiding and Overcoming Injury- This is a very beneficial topic in today’s yoga society and will be addressed openly, giving suggestions and solutions for common problems.

I look forward to sharing this powerful weekend of education and community. 




The Art of Yoga, with Srivatsa Ramaswami

Srivatsa Ramaswami 

Enrich Your Yoga Practice, and Life Through The Art of Yoga, with Srivatsa Ramaswami.

Yoga Workshop Signup


Yoga for me has become a decades long practice of love, and learning about myself, and humanity. Through the years, the more I spent time breathing, opening, contemplating, and learning all I can about the practice, and the impact it can have on humanity. I began to yearn for deeper teachings of yoga to help me understand the greater depths of this ancient, yet timeless practice. I have indeed been blessed to learn from several wonderful teachers over the years. They have helped me to evolve my practice in mind, body and soul, in beautiful ways. 

The last few years inquiries about the practice, and what it means to me, and how I could share it with all I touch were becoming ever greater in my heart. How do I teach authentic yoga to all people? And how to I ensure I honor this beautiful timeless practice? 

For many years, I was very poor, and could not afford financially, or from a time perspective to take lessons, or to travel much. Life, as it does, listened to my soul calls, and the last few years, my life has changed dramatically to allow the finances and timing to come together to learn from Srivatsa Ramaswami. As soon as I learned of him, I knew in my heart I was supposed to be a student, and learn as much as I can from him. 

Rachel Cieslewicz receiving 100-hour advanced Yoga Teacher Training Certificate from Srivatsa Ramaswami, with assistant, Ryan Lier, of One Yoga Victoria, B.C.

Last summer, that time came. My dear husband, Eric, and I traveled to Victoria, B.C., where Sri was a guest teacher at One Yoga Victoria for a 16 day, 100 hour advanced yoga teacher training. 

From the first magnificent day of learning from Sri, I hoped in my heart, he would some day be willing to teach at Centered City Yoga, and bless our students from near and far with his wisdom of yoga. Each day I was present learning Asana, Vinyasa Krama, Pranayama, Dharana, Sanskrit, philosophy of the Yoga Sutras, and more, I fell deeper in love with yoga, and with my wish to have Sri share his wisdom in Utah. He helped me experience greater love with humanity, possibility, and the ability to use yoga as an inspiring path to self-realization. 

Sri assisting a fellow student at One Yoga Victoria

My wish has come true. Srivatsa Ramaswami will come to Utah, for his first time teaching here, October 20th-26th, 2019. I hope you will join us. I know it will transform your life and practice forever. In the most profound and beautiful ways. Young or old, and no matter your experience of yoga so far. You will be changed in good ways of your practice, and overall experience of life.

Each day from October 20-26th, we will experience in the mornings, direct teachings Sri learned from his teacher, Sri T. Krishnamacharya. Together we will learn and practice, Vinyasa Krama, Asana, Pranayama, and Dhara. After lunch we will study from the beautiful text of Samkhya Karika. 

Srivatsa Ramaswami, now 80 years young, is the longest standing student of the legendary Shri T. Krishnamacharya, outside of the teacher’s immediate family. He was blessed to be a student of Sri T. Krishnamacharya for over 30 years. He studied Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Krama, chanting of several chapters of the Yajur Veda, and Sanskrit philosophical texts like the Upanishad Vidyas from Taittiriya, Mandukya, Mundaka, Chandogya, Brihadaranyaka and others including Yoga Sutras and Samkhya Karika.

 Sri teaching yoga philosophy 

He has published four books: Yoga for the Three Stages of Life; Yoga Beneath the Surface (with David Hurwitz); Basic Tenets of Patanjala Yoga; and The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga.

In addition he has published more than 100 yoga related articles, released through “Sangeetha” about 30 CD’s on Sanskrit chants including Yoga Sutras, Surya Namaskara. Has uploaded about 60 videos on chants, Vinyasa Krama talks on YouTube. Has been teaching for the last 30 years—approximately 20 years at Kalakshetra in India. And for over 10 years teaching a 200-hour Vinyasakrama Teacher Training Summer Program at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, apart from several shorter programs in the United States, UK, Canada, Mexico, and India. Please learn more about this incredible human on his web page, Vinyasa Krama.

I look forward to seeing you, and experiencing the blessings as your fellow student, of yoga as taught by Sri. 

Love, Rachel

Centered City Yoga, The Original Power Yoga Studio in Utah

The original Salt Lake power yoga studio in Utah, is based in a beautiful building in the popular 9th & 9th district in Salt Lake City. The studio was founded by D’ana Baptiste in 2003 as a Baptiste Power Yoga studio, created from the foundation of the yoga studios D’ana, and her ex-husband Baron Baptiste had originally created together. This is the first and only Baptiste Method power yoga studio in Utah, and continues to this day to be considered the best yoga studio, with the highest trained quality yoga teachers in Salt Lake City, Utah, and beyond.

As with everything intentional, Centered City Yoga expanded over the years to open space for all students of yoga, from myriad walks and paths of life. This meant of course offering the strong and powerful flow yoga classes the studio has always embodied, to over 15 years after its opening, continuing loving and blessing students with expansive education of yoga in meditation and pranayama, restorative, power, Ashtanga, Anusara, alignment-based, Kundalini, and more.

In January of 2017, D’ana sold Centered City Yoga to yogini, Rachel Cieslewicz, whom D’ana trusted would carry the studio forward with honor and integrity, and strength of heart and mind to deepen the roots of authentic yoga in Salt Lake City.

D’ana had already divested InBody Yoga Academy to Aron Stein which created the opportunity for Rachel to continue her  Advanced Yoga Teacher Training at Centered City Yoga. Rachel has her Yoga Therapy Certification which she uses with many one-on-one clients for healing.

Rachel has dedicated herself to growing the studio with a full spectrum of light energy of compassion, peace and integrity, to shine fully the heart of yoga. Rachel’s mission with Centered City Yoga is to guide all students of yoga, even beyond the studio, to understand and embody the delicate, yet powerful practice of weaving yoga, and its teachings into each moment of life, bringing presence into all actions and circumstances.

Centered City Yoga also has a wonderful and highly regarded school of yoga for aspiring teachers, through the Yoga Soul School of yoga teacher trainings. The school specializes in helping new teachers to not only learn to expertly lead well-balanced classes, but to also bring yoga to all people.

Centered City Yoga will invigorate your mind, body and soul. Learn from our experienced professional teachers, in our clean and contemporary studio space. We offer over 90 classes each week, with almost 40 teachers. We love you and welcome you to your studio hOMe.

Centered City Yoga Teacher Highlight ~ Emily Lamberty

Centered City Yoga Teacher Highlight ~ Emily Lamberty. 

Part of the process of moving into the season of fall is letting go of fiery summer activities, and choosing to find a place of rhythm, with an air of steadiness. Beginning to sleep more as the darkness falls each evening a bit sooner, settling into school and work schedules, and practicing yoga regularly are great ways to help our bodies feel the steadiness of patterns. This in turn will calm our nervous systems, assist clear thinking, and allow space to breathe into the change of summer heat and activity, to crisp cool nights and refreshing energy.

Part of my shift back to steadiness is continuing with our Centered City Yoga Teacher Highlights. I LOVE to celebrate people. How perfect to celebrate our empowering teachers, while also giving our students a taste of their lives, and what fills them with passion!

This month I share with you a special biography of Emily Lamberty!  Sometimes I tell the story. This time Emily tells her own story of curiosity and adventure, wound into her journey on her path of life:

From Emily ~

Years ago, standing outside my office building at 902 Broadway in Manhattan, I can remember telling a colleague I would like my next endeavor to be teaching yoga. I wanted to do something more meaningful in a professional capacity. I had worked as a commercial photo assistant, a stylist, photographer, mixed media artist, I managed operations for a Pilates certification company, then I did A LOT of temping in offices in NYC until I became a Happy Accident in Hugh Hardy’s office at H3. He brought joy to my life everyday, and I was deeply immersed in the culture of New York. Although it was an extraordinary experience, I knew there was more to my professional life than being someone’s assistant, even if that someone was a gem. (Also, he was 81, I knew he wouldn’t be around forever).

It was 2013, I was nearing the end of my mentorship with William Spear, during which I studied Feng Shui, I Ching, Macrobiotics, Vital Design and Non-Violent Communication. I had started attending studio classes more regularly, and even used yoga in my healing process when I sprained my ankle. (It was described by the physical therapists as an extraordinary sprain, the worst they had in their office all year.) When I moved to Utah a couple of years ago to heal from different trauma and be near extended family, it seemed like the right time to pursue the yoga teacher dream. What I’ve found is that it compliments my feng shui practice perfectly, and I can even incorporate art and photography (my first career) into my practice and teaching. 

Things I love about Yoga and other areas of Life:

What I love most about yoga is its versatility and the space it provides for personal growth. I have always been more drawn to the spiritual and meditative aspects, than the physical aspects. (I do enjoy the milestones and benefits achieved physically, but I didn’t come to yoga for athletics. It is certainly a happy by-product.) We live on this amazing planet in these complex bodies, both are full of mystery, wonder, and surprises. I love looking at dualistic relationships to solve problems and gain insight. 

I also love the overlap I’ve found between yoga and my feng shui practice. Most people think feng shui is about the furniture in your living room; but, more accurately, it is a holistic approach to life. It taps in to the energetic world, as does yoga. For me, Yoga is another tool in the tool box of Feng Shui. Or, perhaps they are two tool boxes side by side with shared tools. I love that they both offer tools for coping with challenges and opportunities. 

Most of all, I love that we’re all connected here on this amazing planet. It brings me joy and mystery to explore. Approaching life as if there’s only one of us here warms my heart and gives me a greater capacity for kindness and compassion. 

Things I focus on as a teacher:

When I teach, I focus on creating a calm and safe space for students to practice. My goal is for people who attend my classes to have a positive experience, whether it’s going deeper into a practice or having a therapeutic effect. As a teacher, I do my best to curate a sequence that flows well from one pose to the next. I really like core work, mainly because it is something I work on in my personal practice, but also because of the opportunity it offers to focus on grounding and centeredness. I look at alignment in each pose. Inserting philosophy and wisdom to accompany the practice is important to me. I love to share what I’ve learned from my teachers! My biggest focus, though, is the breath. I think it’s the most important part of the whole process. 

This winter I’m offering a workshop, Mixed Media and Meditation. We’ll start with an hour of light asana and meditation, then we’ll spend two hours making an art piece you can take with you. You can read more details HERE

I love having Emily as a dear teacher at Centered City Yoga. She teaches a Breathe, Move and Meditate class on Tuesdays 7:15-8:30pm. She also loves to sub for our other teachers when they need help. She is a wonderful human, and yogini.



P.S. More lovely photographs of this Dear Soul, Emily Lamberty

West Jordan Middle School Shines Light on Centered City Yoga

West Jordan Middle School Shines Light on Centered City Yoga
I believe in creating a bright future for our children. With all of my heart. A couple of months ago one of our Centered City Yoga incredible yoga and Qi Gong teachers, Olin Leavitt (Oli), reached out to me asking if I would mind a conference call the next day with he and Dixie Garrison, the principal of West Jordan Middle School. “Of course!” I said, wondering what they wanted to ask me about. The next day I went from curious, to completely excited when I was asked to host 20 students from their school, of which Oli is the psychologist, for a very special field trip in celebration of their learning yoga, meditation, Qi Gong, and other mindful techniques through the school year.

Students Arriving From West Jordan Middle School! Looking from the inside, out.

PC: Dixie Garrison. Students have arrived!

I am delighted to say they came yesterday and spent a very cherished two-hours at Centered City Yoga! It was thrilling to see them all playfully find their way to the studio; I couldn’t help but take a photo from the inside, looking out, while at the same time they were taking photos outside.

Quiet and polite. Respect and kindness from each and all

Upon entering the studio, I met some of the most respectful, kindhearted middle school kids I have ever had the pleasure of teaching. They quietly removed their shoes and tip-toed down the stairs to begin their studio experience in our Earth studio. Each of our three studios has a very special energy. The Earth studio feels like an old school yoga shala. Darker and semi-cool. It is a space that allows the outer world to completely let go of our hearts, while we turn inward deep within ourselves and our practice.

Earth Studio

We began with short introductions. Myself and a sweet warmhearted Ashtanga teacher from our studio, Lauren Holman, talked a bit about how we began to practice yoga, and what it means to us, and how the practice guides our lives. Then we all were led by Oli through a short and delightful Qi Gong session, and into a peaceful guided meditation.

Oli leading Qi Gong. The principal, and other adults practiced right along with the kids!

CCY teacher, Lauren Holman practicing Qi Gong in Earth studio with the youth

Refreshed from the quiet, we then went upstairs to experience the Heart studio on the street level. This studio has no outside windows, but a bit of light comes in through the frosted doors, and stairways. It is more like a veil to the outside, while still allowing a very deep and relaxing quiet to lead our hearts. Here, Lauren taught us some Ashtanga, which is also my daily practice! What fun we had twisting into postures rarely taught outside of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system.

Lauren Holman leading Ashtanga Yoga in Heart studio

Ashtanga Yoga with Lauren Holman, Oli assisting

We had few extra minutes while waiting for a class to finish in our upstairs studio. Oli asked me to give an Ashtanga demonstration. Yikes! The yoga teacher who gets nervous to share her practice. Haha! I tried not to show my nerves (or how not warmed up I was!) yet with trust, I breathed my body into motion demonstrating a few more common poses from the standing and Primary series. I then showed the students a taste of the Intermediate series with Tittibhasana, or firefly pose, all four of the series’ expressions. And then Vatayanasana, or air vehicle pose. How fun! Afterwards the kids played around trying to mimic what they saw. Love! I hope they all keep going with their practice.

Rachel Cieslewicz demonstrating Tittibhasana, meaning “little firefly.” PC: Dixie Garrison

Rachel Cieslewicz demonstratingTittibhasana, meaning “little firefly.” PC: Dixie Garrison

When it was time to go upstairs the students were greeted and blessed by the Crown studio. The Crown studio is the Sun of Centered City Yoga. It is where the outside meets in inside in perfect ying-yang balance. The studio is filled by day with natural light, and a cherished full wall of windows looking out into the vibrant 9th and 9th district. This studio meets each student with exactly what they need from a strong power class, to a restful yin practice.

West Jordan Middle school kids practicing yoga in Crown Studio at Centered City Yoga. PC: Dixie Garrison

Savasana in Crown studio, Centered City Yoga.

Savasana in Crown Studio. PC: Dixie Garrison

Peace begins with each soul. PC: Dixie Garrison

For this last part of our time together I took the students through a few restorative asana, and assisted them in settling into a relaxing Savasana to celebrate the closure of our time together. And as I always love to do, I played one of my crystal singing bowls. When Savasana was finished, we sent a message of love out to our communities, and beyond of peace, happiness and freedom.

I love to play my crystal singing bowls for my students! PC: Dixie Garrison

Saying goodbye, I was filled with gratitude for the experience to teach these incredible youth. I have long believed that weaving mindfulness teachings into our school systems would be a viable way to create a kind and cohesive environment within our schools. West Jordan Middle School is a pinnacle example of the benefits of bringing mindful programs into schools as a way to feel community, learn to resolve stress, and most important, help these kids understand their deep value as a human being.

The completion of our amazing time together! PC: Lauren Holman

I thank Dixie and Oli and their amazing West Jordan Middle School yogis again for blessing my day in such an inspiring way. Indeed, with leaders such as Oli and Dixie, our children do have a bright future on the horizon. And for now, they are practicing each day to be strong, peaceful and positive impacts on our communities!