Our esteemed faculty is a collection of world-class teachers who each hold a wealth of knowledge, education, and experience in their respective fields.
With decades of studentship and practice, each of the teachers is dedicated to meeting you exactly where you are and helping you to realize your goals through each of our trainings. We recognize yoga as a state of being, not only on our mats, but in every moment and in every facet of our lives. There are infinite ways that we can access this state of connection, and by weaving together yoga and the expressive arts, we greatly expand our capacity to engage in a life of clarity, authenticity, connection, inspiration and meaning. As reflected in our diverse offering of unique trainings, we believe wholeheartedly in supporting you on your individual journey of profound transformation and integration.
Founders / Lead Teachers
E-RYT 500 Co-Founder, Lead Teacher of Alaya Yoga
Lover of life, yogini, trail runner, climber, mommy, wife, teacher, speaker, spiritual guide, community builder, and loyal friend on the path. Sometimes together, sometimes falling apart, but always inspired and empowered by love!
Meg is passionate about sharing the full, rich teachings of yoga (asana, meditation, yoga nidra, chanting, philosophy, etc.) in a truly experiential way that helps us to positively transform and enrich our lives. Having worked as a yoga therapist for over a decade, she is continually inspired by the vitality of the human spirit and the power of yoga to help us tap into a source deep inner-peace and well-being.
She has been sharing the yoga life with all kinds of seekers for over 18 years and is the Co-Founder of the Alaya Yoga School, a Wanderlust Presenter and Teacher Trainer, and the original founder of Simple Yoga and Wellness Studio. She is a passionate community builder and give talks, lead teacher trainings, satsangs, workshops and retreats all over the world. You can also find her classes featured online at www.Gaia.com/Meg .
The 7 years she spent as a yoga studio owner in rural Montana fueled her passion for building diverse and strong communities that foster true human connection. Though she no longer runs the studio, she recognizes community building as the urgent work of our times and remains dedicated to that in all that she does. She is currently inspired to create safe and sacred spaces where these genuine connections can be established, flourish and endure. Throughout 2019 and 2020 it is her intention to bring this work to the great divides that we face in our current society. Outside of the studio, she will be working with a tribe of inspiring souls to sprout these communities in our prisons and along the racial and political divides.
E-RYT 500 Co-Founder, Lead Teacher of Alaya Yoga
Ashleigh Sergeant is the Head of Yoga Content for Gaia.com, Director of Yoga and Movement for The Envision Festival in Costa Rica, co-founder of The Alaya School of Yoga, spent five years as the Global Yoga Trainer for adidas and was honored to be the youngest Certified Anusara Yoga Instructor in the world. Ashleigh’s yoga videos are featured on Gaia.com, Grokker and ShriTV. A regular presenter at the Wanderlust Festival, Ashleigh has contributed to Mind Body Green, YOGANONYMOUS, Latin Women’s Health and German Yoga Journal.
Ashleigh is a true embodiment of the teachings of yoga. Her life, presence and vibrant way of being in this world, radiate the effects of her dedicated practice. Steeped in a breadth of knowledge and depth of lived experience, Ashleigh has the unique gift of being able to guide her students in a clear, effective and inspiring way. With a solid foundation of the ancient teachings, Ashleigh is also on the leading edge of the evolution of yoga. Her revolutionary approach to the practices, breathes new life into the tradition and helps us to thrive in today’s ever-changing world.
Ashleigh’s first teachers included Bryan Kest and Baron Baptiste. She received her first 200-HR teaching certification at the Himalayan Institute with a strong influence from Rod Stryker’s ParaYoga, whom with she continues to study presently. For many years Ashleigh traveled with and assisted John Friend, the founder of Anusara Yoga, exploring the profound healing aspects of therapeutic asana. Ashleigh’s present passion is the deep exploration of the mystical and energetic side of the yoga practice and for this her primary teacher and long time inspiration is the great Sally Kempton.
Yoga Philosopher, Teacher, Musician
Guest Scholar at 2018 200 Hour Intensive/Teacher Training in MT
Kevin Courtney has dedicated the last two decades to the pursuit of awakening consciousness by focusing on strength, energy cultivation, and mental clarity. Kevin began his relationship to movement and connection to nature as a child, surfing in San Clemente, CA. After transplanting to New York City in his mid-twenties and becoming consumed by work in business development and consulting for Fortune 500 companies, Kevin was diagnosed with cancer. This life-altering diagnosis, compounded by witnessing the fall of the twin towers from just a few blocks away, inspired Kevin to make an abrupt choice to shift focus and rediscover his passion and purpose. All signs kept pointing back to his profound love for Yoga and in 2002 he began teaching in New York City. He found inspiration in teachers like Dharma Mittra, Richard Freeman, and Swami Satchidananda and has now dedicated his study through the mentorship and guidance of Nikki Costello, Rod Stryker and a daily personal practice.
Kevin is co-creator of The Bridge Practice, a method which merges Yoga and Qi Gong into one powerful class experience. He is also on faculty at the Boston Yoga School, where he teaches philosophy through the art of Raja yoga. In 2013, Kevin founded INSIGHT - a program which awakens the consciousness of business leaders using the art and science of meditation. Kevin facilitates annually at the Bonnaroo Music Festival and has offered at Wanderlust, Envision, and the Burning Man Arts Festival. His work has been featured in Well + Good, Vogue Magazine, VICE, Elephant Journal, and most recently in the new book Yoga Bodies: Real People, Real Stories, Real Transformation.
Dr. Justine Lemos
Guest Scholar for Advanced Training - Ayurveda, Herbalism and Self Care
Dr. Lemos has been studying Ayurveda's ancient healing practices for many years and has studied Clinical Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Spiritual Counseling and Jyotish (Vedic Astrology). She currently practices as an Ayurvedic practitioner and Ayurvedic Spiritual Counselor. She has studied Jyotish with Komilla Sutton and Sam Geppi. She offers private consults and workshops on Ayurveda and wellness. She has also completed extensive study on the relationship between Ayurveda and Yoga and trained as teacher of Hatha Yoga under Scott Miller of Western Yoga College, Kundalini Yoga at Yoga West and studied Yoga Philosophy under Pandit Sri Kumar in Kerala, India. She currently teaches as faculty at Western Yoga College and runs and owns at One Yoga (www.at1yoga.com) on the Mendocino Coast. She also holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from UC Riverside in addition to a Master’s degree in Dance from Mills College, a Master’s degree in Anthropology from UC Riverside and a B.A. in World Dance from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA.
Spiritual Guide, Yoga Therapist
Nischala Joy Devi
Guest Scholar for Philosophy and Spirituality
Nischala is a masterful teacher and healer. For many years she has been highly respected as an international advocate for her innovative way of expressing Yoga and its subtle uses for spiritual growth and complete healing. Her dynamic delivery and deep inner conviction empower each individual, allowing the teachings to expand beyond boundaries and limitations of any one tradition enabling her to touch people’s hearts.
She was graced to spend over 25 years as a monastic disciple with the world renowned Yogiraj Sri Swami Satchidanandaji, receiving his direct guidance and teachings. She also was blessed with teachings from great Yoga masters in US, India and worldwide.
Naturopath, Yoga Practitioner, Teacher
Dr. Hillery Daily
I have been doing yoga on and off most of my life. No matter how many or how long the gaps have been, I have always found my way back to yoga. After doing Hatha, Iyengar and Ashtangha styles, I finally met my teacher, Meg McCraken when she opened Simple Yoga in Montana. I completed my teacher training with both Meg and Ashleigh Sargent. After teaching yoga classes at Simple Yoga for several years, I moved to Alaska where I helped start what became a thriving Community yoga program at a wonderful local yoga studio. As well as teaching gentle, restorative and all levels classes, it was great fun to teach yoga to our women’s Nordic ski group. We sponsored and taught a yoga series for those with pre-diabetes and diabetes at the local hospital. As a practicing Naturopathic Doctor and licensed acupuncturist for the past three decades, I have a deep passion for and curiosity about the integration of our bodies, minds and spirits. My teachers have always stressed a safe and therapeutic style built upon solid understanding of alignment principles. I aspire to continue in that tradition.
Anatomist, Foundation Training Instructor
Dr. Mike Lane DC
Guest Scholar at 2018 200 Hour Intensive/Teacher Training in MT
Dr. Mike Lane, DC is a specialist in the field of functional movement and wellness. He is a chiropractor, bodyworker, foundation training instructor and anatomy teacher. His intention is to help people move, feel, and live better. Since selling his successful San Francisco-based chiropractic practice in 2016, Mike and his wife have been traveling the United States in their RV home, sharing the importance of health and wellness through workshops, retreats and festivals. Dr. Mike loves to witness people understand and experience Anatomy in a way that they thought wasn't possible. Anatomy is a challenging subject and it doesn't have to be. Dr. Mike will make AnatomySense in a whole new, fun and dynamic way.
Guest Scholar for Advanced Training - Ayurveda, Herbalism and Self Care
A graduate of The College of Charleston, The Southeastern School of Neuromuscular Therapy, California School of Herbal Studies, Living Light Culinary Institute, and Occidental Arts & Ecology Center Permaculture Design Program, Mary now serves as an herbalist, permaculturist, consciousness educator, and visionary.
By learning how ancient communities interact with plants, Mary has come to better understand their growth patterns, means of thriving, and inherent nourishing properties. Her desire to restore earth balance through deeper alignment with nature rests at the core of her plant- healing brand. Timeless wisdom inherent to systems in nature in uences every aspect of her business model from transparency in the production lifecycle, to collaboration with others, as well as self-healing education, which she teaches practically and by example.
PT, MSc, BA-BPHE, CYT, ERYT500
Guest Scholar for the Science and Neurology of Pain
Neil is the founder and director of Neil Pearson Physiotherapist Corporation, which operates as life is now. He focuses on providing the knowledge and tools for effective pain self-management, through two avenues: Pain Care Education, and Pain Care Yoga.
Neil works as a registered physiotherapist, and a certified yoga therapist in Penticton, BC, Canada. He is an educator: Clinical Assistant Professor at University of British Columbia, faculty with the BC Medical Association enhancing knowledge and clinical practice of primary care MDs, and a faculty member in five yoga therapist training programs. Near home, he is active in providing, and researching the effectiveness of group pain education within both primary and secondary pain care. Neil is the founding Chair of the Pain Science Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, and the first PT recipient of the Canadian Pain Society’s top honour for Excellence in Interprofessional Pain Education.
Yoga Instructor, Founder of Rishi Yoga
The practice of yoga, which started as a purely physical experiment, became a doorway for me to open up fearlessly to all of life. After 30 years of seeking happiness through overachieving, I wondered why I still felt a deep emptiness and a yearning for something I couldn’t even name. Yoga guided me through a process of complete softening and surrender. On my mat, I learned how to love myself by quieting my mind enough to realize that I had not been kind to myself my whole life. The most life-changing realization for me was that all my suffering was a result of searching for happiness and love in all the wrong places: outside of myself. Completely transformed by this realization, I felt the pull to become a yoga teacher and share with others this astonishingly simple and beautiful practice of self-discovery. I moved to Reno in 2010, shortly after becoming a certified yoga teacher. After almost four years of teaching classes in makeshift “yoga studios” I rented, I opened Rishi Yoga with my husband, Daniel, in June 2014.
My love for the practice of yoga is secondary to my love for helping people discover that the diamond they’re looking for is already in their possession. This simple message is at the root of my teaching. The practice of yoga nowadays is often reduced to a form of exercise, in which only the young, thin and the flexible can excel, and the rest feel inadequate and even shamed. The true purpose of yoga is much simpler and more beautiful than any pose: It is the realization that all wisdom is within.
RYT 500, Reiki Practitioner
Tai Allison Bickert
Tai Allison Bickert (Shoults) has had a lifelong passion to help people and to teach them how to help themselves. She began to walk the yoga path at the age of 24 and although her journey began before 2014, this was the year she made the commitment to become a yoga instructor. It was in 2015 that she received her 200-hour RYT certificate from the Wanderlust Festival Teacher Training Program in Lake Tahoe, CA.
In January of 2016, Tai studied in Costa Rica and completed a 100-hour Advanced Therapeutics Training and in May of 2016, she returned to Lake Tahoe to successfully complete a 50-hour teacher training titled Sequencing the Physical Body. In October of 2016, Tai once again returned to Lake Tahoe to study in Yoga Is Medicine: Chakras and Kundalini. In January of 2017, Tai completed her 500-hour RYT certificate and in September she received her first attunement in Kundalini Reiki, followed by her second attunement in March of 2017.
Tai is currently continuing her education in advanced training with the Alaya Yoga School. She has been very blessed to have studied with well-known yoga instructors such as Ashleigh Sergeant, Meg McCraken, Jennifer Marie Lane, Michael Lane, Kevin Courtney and Michelle Nayeli Bouvier. These amazing people continue to be mentors, friends, and role models for Tai.
Tai's passion for helping others goes well beyond her yoga training. She is a mother, a business owner, a healthy living mentor, a Beachbody® coach, a yoga and meditation instructor, and an aspiring writer. Tai inspires people to shine by placing focus on their health, body, mind, and soul. She does this by lovingly guiding them to understand that they already hold within, what they need to be successful. In group settings, private sessions, workshops, and retreats, she helps people empower themselves to find the Grace and Connection they seek.
In her "spare time" you can find Tai with one or both of her daughters; playing with her dog(s), cat(s), and chickens; drinking tea, sipping wine, or sharing a meal with one of her many friends; reading; writing up the next deli menu or yoga class; or helping someone in need.
E-RYT 200, RYT 500, CMT, Reiki Master
Lauri is an outdoor enthusiast, passionate yogi, committed student of life, and grateful Dog Mom. A dedicated student of Yoga, Reiki & Massage, Lauri is committed to offering a sustainable and accessible approach to Well-Being. Her teaching is clear, mindful, alignment and breath focused, and imbued with life-affirming philosophy. She deeply honors all her past and present teachers for their love and guidance; Meg McCraken, Ashleigh Sergeant, Rod Stryker, Eric Rubin, Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, Joseph & Lillian LePage & Richard Schachtel. When she's not working, you can find her playing outside in Tahoe with her pup Milo in tow, and a big grateful smile on her face. Her motto: "You are the creator of your Life. Create something extraordinary".
Lauri is a Yoga Alliance Registered instructor at the 500 Hour Level and a presenter for Wanderlust Yoga Festival. She is a Certified Classical Yoga Nidra Instructor, Certified Massage Therapist of 18 years, Reiki Master, & Cranial Sacral Therapist. She is also the owner of Bodhi Therapeutics, established in 2000, offering Reiki, Massage, Meditation & Yoga Therapy/Coaching. Lauri spent 8 years serving her community as a Firefighter/Paramedic and holds this noble profession & experience dear to her heart.
E-RYT 500, YACEP
Voted one of 15 millennial yoga teachers to watch out for, Arielle Shipe is best known for her adventurous spirit and passion for personal development/growth which she shares on Instagram and YouTube. With over a decade of practice and nearly 1500 teacher training hours, the yoga tradition is the foundation for all the things she teaches and shares. Her motto is: Work Hard, Play Hard. Rest hard. Yoga is a multifaceted gem that is there to meet you wherever you need it most. In her classes you can expect to sweat, to smile, relax, and to start to uncover that there’s way more to yoga than downward facing dog. Join the Dream Life Revolution on Instagram @arielleshipe.
With a relentless passion for education, training, and teaching, Kelly has combined her love for circus arts and yoga into a lifelong journey of discovery. With a teacher’s certification in aerial fabrics and yoga she has taken her abilities as an instructor to the next level by merging the practice of the 8 limb yoga system into her aerial arts teaching method. The incorporation of these two practices has set her apart in her field and Kelly is excited to expand on these skills within her circus community and beyond. Kelly is the proud owner of the Tahoe Flow Arts Studio in Lake Tahoe, CA where you can find her playing, teaching and co-creating performances with a mission to spread positive change through movement and self expression.
Kelly received her 200 hour Wanderlust yoga teachers training certificate in 2014, and completed her 500 advanced yoga teacher training with the Alaya Yoga School in 2019. Yoga has changed her outlook on life and brings her immense appreciation to be able spread that awareness to generations to come.
Deanna dove deeply into her yoga journey when she was 19. She decided while living in Yosemite to buy a plane ticket for India 9 months ahead of time. Not fully understanding why she bought this ticket, she eventually found out. When she arrived in India, she woke up the next day, walked down the smokey streets of Rishikesh and found an ashram where yoga and meditation were practiced each day at 4am and a vigorous physical practice in the evenings. While participating in these daily practices, she became inspired and decided 3 months later when she returned to the U.S. that she would begin to teach yoga. She has been teaching ever since over the course of 10 years. Through out her 10 year journey of yoga, Deanna has taken multiple trainings and is currently 500 E-RYT. Some of her primary teachers have been Ashleigh Sergeant, Meg McCraken, Rod Stryker, Elena Brower, Jason Crandell and others.
Cheryl Weatherford teaches yoga in the Pioneer area of Amador County. All her classes are Hatha style yoga and include pranayama (breathing) and asana (poses and vinyasa/flow) and may include mantra, stretching, and meditation. She is convinced that yoga is for every body and looks for solutions when a body doesn’t seem to want to make a specific shape.
Cheryl earned a Yoga Alliance 200RYT through Wanderlust in Squaw Valley, Ca in January 2015 and completed 500RYT training through the Alaya Yoga School in October 2018. Cheryl has been regularly practicing yoga for many years and has found yoga to offer her that something more in life.