Douglas Leff: Experience Manager & Retreat Administrator

Douglas graduated from our 200 hour program in 2021 and fell in love with Yandara so much that he never left! With years of experience working in luxury hotels, Douglas brings a fresh perspective and elevates the Yandara experience for our yogis. He is the first one to greet you when you arrive and always makes himself available throughout your stay. Although a lot of his work is behind the scenes, Douglas loves getting to know everyone who visits Yandara and even offers some of his yoga classes and handstand workshops too. He’s a passion-driven and heart-centered professional who absolutely loves his job. He hopes to greet you at a teacher training or retreat soon!

Laina Florio: Spiritual Life Coach & Retreat Manager

Laina spent 18 years in the corporate world of fashion in New York City learning about people development, business building, and achieving success in the physical world. After a trip to Nepal in 2010, she began to see life through a new lens – one of deeper meaning, purpose and value. From that point, she made a big decision – to leave the grind of the fast paced hustle in service to more meaningful and purposeful work in the world. She went back to school to receive her Masters Degree in Spiritual Psychology, then a degree in Conscious, Health & Healing, along with numerous other modalities – NLP, Reiki, and more. Laina began life coaching in 2012, then began leading workshops & International retreats.

In 2019, Laina found her perfect fit at Yandara where she was able to combine her love of coaching while helping Yandara to build their retreat business – all in service to supporting others to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives and careers.

As a Spiritual Life Coach, Laina sees every person as inherently capable, worthy and special in their own unique way. She believes we are all light beings who have the answers we seek inside of us. She works with clients to help them discover their inner truth, self worth, value, purpose, and to overcome their limitations. She empowers them to evolve into the highest version of themselves, advancing in all areas of their lives using experiential processes to guide them into purpose driven action.

Kelly Wampler, 500 E-RYT, YACEP®

Like many before, Kelly sought out yoga for the exercise and to increase flexibility, but as she began to practice in 2008 she realized that yoga went much deeper than she originally thought. She has been so incredibly blessed with wonderful teachers along this path that have instilled all of the aspects of yoga in their classes, teaching her that yoga is not just a physical practice but so much more. Making the decision to become a full time yoga teacher in 2017, was a scary one on many levels, but she felt the call and decided to follow it. This eventually led to the discovery of the passion of mentoring and teaching teachers and what better place to do so than where her journey actually began, alongside her beloved teachers at Yandara. Kelly feels yoga is a life-long practice and she is so grateful to be on this path of teaching, learning and sharing yoga with the world. Her goal is to teach authentically and from the heart, hoping that as you practice you will not only learn from her, but more importantly you will learn things about yourself!

Kelly has a passion for sequencing and instilling functional movement in her asana classes along with the aspects of Bhakti yoga as well.

Yoga Trainings: 200 RYT Yandara Yoga Institute, 300 RYT Yandara Yoga Institute focusing on Yin, Restorative, Bhakti and Meditation, 300 RYT Advanced Vinyasa training, Injury Management, Anatomy and Sequencing trainings with Jason Crandell, 100 hour Bhakti Flow training with Rusty Wells, Katonah Yoga training with Mary Dana Abbott, Siddah Meditation with Swami Nardanand, Yoga Philosophy with Luke Ketterhagen of the Himalayan Institute, Sounds and Scripts of Sanskrit with Samadhi Collective and Reiki level Master Usui-Tibetan lineage with Allison Eaton.

Yandara Administrator: Jon Perkins

Jon brings a unique business perspective to Yandara. He has shaped the operational side of Yandara to make our YTT accessible to many students from the past, present and into the future. Focusing his talents into the yoga industry is important to him because it brings so much benefit to world around us. 

Anne Dinsmore, E-RYT 500, YACEP®

Anne teaches from a great depth of understanding and inquisitiveness of the human experience and endeavors to assist her students to recognize their own inner beauty and greatness using yoga and yoga philosophy as a modality to access the dimensions of the Self.

Anne approaches every class as an opportunity to connect with her own heart center and to create unity with all beings. Her goal is to create a safe, judgement-free zone where people can explore themselves and take what they need from their yoga practice; whether it be building a stronger more flexible body, easing anxiety, slowing down the chatter of the mind, improving balance or enhancing sleep just to mention a few of the countless benefits.

When Anne started coming to her mat 10 years ago, she thought of yoga purely a physical workout.  She soon realized that yoga, along with greatly improving her health, was opening up new dimensions in her life she never dreamed possible.  She resonated with the beautiful life philosophy yoga offered; a way of living that started opening her heart to more compassion, authenticity and a deeper connection to herself and others and to uncover the beauty of the true self.

Hawley Kobayashi, E-RYT 500, YACEP®

Hawley Kobayashi brings to her yoga teaching a rich tapestry of experience and passion. Certified as a 500 E-RYT & YACEP, she has accumulated approximately 2500 hours of yoga training and over 4000 hours of teaching experience. Although greatly influenced by her main teacher and dear friend, Noah Maze, Hawley embraces wisdom from a myriad of sources, including her own students.

Initially, yoga didn’t resonate with Hawley. Despite feeling it was something she should love, the connection simply wasn’t there. However, at the age of 40, she attended her first vinyasa class, and from that moment, she was hooked! This experience profoundly shaped her teaching philosophy, which eschews a one-size-fits-all approach in favor of a more personalized and exploratory method. She teaches yoga not merely as a physical practice but as a  lifestyle, promoting strength, mobility, stability, flexibility, and sustainability. Her classes are designed to foster mind and body health through a balanced blend of breath, movement, and stillness.

Raised in California, Hawley’s roots are deeply embedded in the vibrant culture of Truckee, CA, where she has lived for nearly three decades. Surrounded by family, friends, and a menagerie of pets, she finds joy and inspiration in her community. Recently, she has also begun to call El Pescadero, Mexico, her second home, seeking warm and sunny days, during the cold Tahoe winters.

Hawley’s teaching is infused with her genuine love for yoga and her commitment to sharing its transformative power. Whether in the bustling energy of California or the tranquil beauty of Mexico, she inspires and nurtures her students with a dynamic and heartfelt approach to yoga.

 

Amber Young, E-RYT 500

Amber has been a much loved teacher trainer at Yandara since 2008. Amber was originally drawn to yoga to relieve her body from the daily aches and pains caused by sports injuries in her early 20’s. “It has been key to keep my body and mind in a place of comfort and contentment.”

Amber’s first yoga teacher was her mother, Mercy Ananda, a long time yogini and kirtan musician and part of the Yandara faculty. Amber describes her mother as “one of the most inspiring women she has ever known.”

For Amber, yoga is a way of life rather than a practice. As well as being a devoted yogini on all levels, Amber is an inspired surfer. She has learned to surf the waves of the ocean as well as the waves of life as yoga teacher, a householder, and a loving mother to her daughter Coral.

Forever in love with the flow of the ocean, Amber teaches and practices a fluid Vinyasa style, her students describe her classes as fun and dynamic with a strong emphasis on arriving in the present moment.

Amber has had the privilege to learn from and teach with all the amazing instructors at the Yandara yoga Institute. She is also a certified Prenatal Yoga Instructor.

Quote:

“If someone asked me to describe myself in three words i would say strong, silly and kind. To me, Yoga is freedom.”

Christopher (Shane) Perkins, E-RYT 500, YACEP®

Christopher is a co-founder of Yandara and has practiced meditation and yoga since childhood, his presence inspires those around him to enter their hearts and connect to their truest potential. Christopher has the gift to bring his students through fun and challenging flow sequences while cultivating the shared awareness that is Yoga. His style is dynamic and intuitive, mixing creative movement with a powerful asana practice. Christopher’s passion for yoga philosophy and yoga psychology is a part of his daily life and weaves naturally into his teachings.

Christopher was raised at the SKMC Meditation Center in Bowling Green, Virginia. He requested initiation to a meditation practice at age 4, and while he led a “normal” childhood, he studied with Sant Darshan Singh until age 16. In his early twenties, after attending VCU for fine arts, he spent two years as an apprentice of John P. Milton, training in Sacred Passage (wilderness meditation) and QiGong. This time of deep transformation included several solo wilderness retreats, ranging from 2 to 28 days. In 2005, Christopher travelled to India and Nepal, where he attended teachings and undertook extensive practice in Vipassana Meditation and Tibetan Buddhist Meditation.

Christopher founded the Yandara Yoga Institute with his father Craig Perkins in 2003. Since that time he has been facilitating Yoga Teacher Trainings, and continues to inspire and grow with each person he meets.

Christopher has studied with many inspired yogi’s across the world, including a 500-hr training with Dharma Mittra, as well as trainings with Guru Dass (Kundalini Yoga), Daniel Odier (Kashmirian Tantra), Shiva Rea (Prana Vinyasa®), Hanneli Francis (Anusara), Baba Hari Das of the Mount Madonna Center, T.K.V. Desikachar (Yoga Therapy), and senior Iyengar teachers Kevin Durkin, Victor Oppenheimer and Gloria Goldberg. Christopher is a registered YACEP® – Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.

Quote:

“A supportive environment to recognize your greatest potential will catapult your progress many times over.” ~ Christopher Perkins

Craig Perkins, E-RYT 5000

Craig is registered with Yoga Alliance with over 45 years and 15,000 hours of yoga teaching and yoga teacher training.

In 1968 Craig trained under Yogi Ananda Bhavanani (a follower of Swami Sivananda) in Vancouver, Canada, and became a certified Sivananda-style yoga instructor. At this same time, he began his 30-year meditation study with both Sant Kirpal Singh, and later with his successor Sant Darshan Singh, he also studied, and became initiated in, Tibetan Buddhism, and furthered his Hatha Yoga studies with Yogi Shaym Acharia.

After several years of teaching classes in Vancouver, B.C. Canada, Craig began running his own yoga studio “The Yoga Center”.

In 1972 Craig started a “live-in” yoga school in Miami, Florida, and two years later he moved to Sawan Kirpal Meditation Center in Virginia, where he lived for 20 years with his wife, and two sons. He also lived with his family at a Sivananda Yoga Center in Washington, D.C. for one year in 1980.

Craig has made several trips to India, studying. For 5 years he was studying Chinese yoga, T’ai Chi and Qi gong with a master/student of Robert Smith.

He has studied Sivananda, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa, Yin, Restorative and Yoga Flow style. He has also compiled the booklet, “An Introduction to Yoga Life”, based on 30 years of yoga experience. Craig also has written the book with Aimee Hughes “A Philosophy and Guide for the Intuitive Yoga Teacher”. Craig has been a lead teacher trainer at Yandara for more than 20 years.

Craig is co-director of Yandara Yoga Institute.

A Philosophy and Guide for the Intuitive Yoga Teacher book cover

Nicolina Sandstedt, PT, E-RYT 500, YACEP®, Administrator

Nicolina (Nico) is trained in Traditional Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, and Kundalini Yoga. Her inspiring presence and teaching style is authentic, refined, and infused with grace. Through a transformative combination of asana, breath, meditation and chanting, she guides you to develop your intuitive mind, leaving you uplifted and inspired. 

 

At age 18, Nicolina left her home in Sweden with a thirst for deeper understanding of herself through yoga and the ancient cultures of the world. She spent the following 6 years traveling, with 3 long stays in India. During this time, a lifelong romance with meditation and yoga commenced which led her to complete her first Yoga Teacher Training with Yandara Yoga Institute in 2006. The experience was transformational and she shortly returned to study and work at Yandara. 

 

Through the years, she has continued to deepen her studies of yoga; she studied extensively with Shiva Rea and is a certified Prana Vinyasa® teacher; she has taught regularly at yoga studios and teacher trainings across the world, and co-founded a yoga studio in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Apart from extensive yoga studies, Nicolina holds a degree in Physical Therapy; the deep understanding of anatomy and physiology is an invaluable support in her profession as a yoga teacher and teacher trainer. 

 

After diving deep into various styles, Nicolina has found two traditions that she holds close to her heart: Traditional Tantric Hatha Yoga, and Kundalini Yoga. The inner peace and physical healing she has gained through these practices has led to a passion to share the teachings. Traditional Tantric Hatha Yoga, rooted in the Krishnamacharya lineage, includes the practices of Asana, Pranayama, Bandha, Mudra, Visualization, Kriya, Mantra, the science of the Chakras, Ayurveda and Kundalini. It is a complete and transformative style and it constitutes the essence of Nicolina’s practice and teaching. In addition, Nicolina has found Kundalini Yoga to be an extraordinary practice that strengthens the major systems of the body, and efficiently develops intuition and a deep trust in life.

 

Off the mat, you may find her admiring nature, walking her dogs on the beach, enjoying the pulse of a city, reading, cooking, and baking delicious treats for community potlucks.

 

Nicolina Daya Nam feels immense gratitude to her teachers: Rod Stryker (ParaYoga®), Guru Dass Singh Khalsa (Kundalini Yoga), Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa (Kundalini Yoga), Sat Siri Kaur (Kundalini Yoga), Shiva Rea (Prana Vinyasa®), Fran Ubertini (Krishnamacharya lineage Hatha Yoga/Therapeutics), Angela Farmer & Victor Van Kooten (Underground Yoga), Sarah Powers (Yin & Vinyasa), Biff Mithoefer (Yin), Kevin Durkin (Iyengar Yoga), Corrin Adams (Hatha), and the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Organization (Hatha).

Nicolina is a a registered YACEP® – Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.

Quote:

“The ancient teachings of Yoga invite us to be deeply curious about our True Nature. It is a practice of moving through any stagnation, so that awareness can permeate our entire being.”

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