Faculty

300 E-RYT Faculty

Jaina Portwood – Founder of The Beloved School of Yoga and Beloved Retreats

I have been practicing yoga since 1998 and teaching since 2002. As a youth, I accomplished incredible achievements as a competitive athlete. I consistently rose to the top, even as a young swimmer, breaking state records at the age of 7. This confidence and physical power has allowed me to see the world in a different paradigm, what some athletes call “the zone.” I was instantly attracted to yoga as a means to experience magical altered states of reality, manifestation, magic, and longevity.

I first studied yoga in college alongside calculus, physics, and cellular biology. After experimenting with a 100% raw foods diet for 8 years, I birthed 4 children naturally, and fell deep into health and healing modalities. Starting in 1999, I gained certifications in massage therapy, craniosacral therapy, thai massage, energy work, permaculture, herbalism, flower essences, and a range of other studies related to human anatomy an physiology, nutrition, and advanced esoteric yoga. I have a wealth of yoga experience through over a decade of svadhyaya (study of self), bhakti (devotion), and I have trained with yoga masters all over the country.

Above all else I hold an intention for spiritual, and physical expansion. Yoga is union. To be united to the Self, through the Self, into the Self…the heart….unconditional love. This is achieved through pranayama, asana, nutrition, intuition, and insight to take you beyond the seen world and into cosmic consciousness.

As your primary guide for instruction and certification, I am dedicated to a personalized approach to teacher training, life coaching and yoga/health mentorship. Everyone is different in the way we learn, grow, and transform into our highest, most supreme, optimal selves. I help individuals shine their brightest!

Justyn O’Neill – India Pilgrimage Guide 2022

Justyn O’Neill is a 500hr certified yoga instructor and educator. She received her yoga certification in 2010 at the Frog Lotus school of yoga in Koh Samui, Thailand and completed her 500hr studies in 2017 with Radiant Life Yoga. She continues her studies here in the cities and in India on-going.

 Her classes often focus on healing the relationship we have with body, moving beyond limited perspective and arriving in a place of acceptance and deep love for what is.

It is her intention that students leave class feeling empowered by their truth and appreciative of their bodies. The flow in class is challenging and unique to assist students in discovering both their inner and outer strength. Her classes create a safe container to effectively incorporate meditation and self study, as tools to guide students to eventually come to a place where they can deeply love who they are.

Uschi Gibson – India Pilgrimage Guide 2022

Uschi was raised in the rich spiritual arms of the Ojai Valley, home to Krishnamurti and the Theosophical Society. Uschi moved from Ojai, California to Varanasi, India more than 13 years ago to live her dream of working with women in rural communities. Since leaving her former fashion career with Versace, her life has unfolded and blossomed in ways she never could have imagined. 

As a yogini and teacher at Lulu Bandha’s with Kira Sloane, Uschi cultivated the skills and community support to launch her on her path—Founding an ethical business model with women in  India, inspiring creativity and resourcefulness in a rural community, and sharing her reverence of the traditions of her chosen home with an international community. Working initially as the head of the Krishnamurti Foundation India’s Women Empowerment Unit, Uschi cultivated a training and production program within the local community. From here, Uschi gave birth to LuckyUschi, a customized clothing line that sources local textiles which are hand-dyed, handwoven, and embroidered, giving employment to Varanasi’s traditional artisans. 12 years on, Uschi manages a group of artisans independently. The women she has trained and become close with make up an independent group of empowered women who are now training others.  

Uschi founded Lucky Lalita/Samarasya Journeys (**we are changing the name), where she guides sacred and educational pilgrimages, and partners with international teachers to coordinate Yoga teacher trainings, and wellness retreats.  Working in Varanasi, as well as other sacred sites in Northern India, Uschi and her partner Rakesh connect groups into the deep soul of India providing cultural and spiritual experiences that could only be offered by locals. Creating a safe container for  transformational experiences, Samarasya Journeys offers many trips and retreats throughout the year. 
In 2020 Uschi began to teach again, now online via Zoom. Combining her years of study in the texts of South Asia, and her immersion within the cultural traditions, Uschi’s current passion is to share the spirituality and connected rituals of her chosen home. Focusing on her deep connection to the traditions of Shakta Tantra, Kashmiri Shaivism,  and the major and minor goddesses and yoginis of India, Uschi’s teaching imparts the roots of ritual practice, respect for the lineage, and expanding beyond the Asana practice into the deep heart of Yoga.

200 RYT Faculty

I am super excited to announce the 2021/2022 Guest Speakers for our 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. In addition to our weekend syllabus you will have several advanced yogis and accomplished instructors lead discussions, lectures and workshops on various esoteric and yoga topics:

Neuroscientist Josh Mervis

Justyn O’Neill founder of The Seeker Yoga School

Artist Nikolas LaPelusa

Drew Sambol

Writer Emily Rose Duea

Performing Artist Dustin Maxwell

Buc Page

Marissa VanWoeart

Andros Mitri

Artist Katelyn Rose-White

Wellness Coach Chance York

Sara Gensmer, RA

Jes Rosenberg – Kids Yoga

Tantric Instructor Saj Sajady

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