by: Ashley Van Dyne – Sunnyvale Yoga Manager


You make it to a yoga class. You’re laying down at the end and you’re ready to relax in Savasana, the last resting pose.  As you settle in, the teacher tells you in their softest and most reassuring voice to let go, to surrender.

And you do.  For about 3 seconds.  Then the stream of thoughts begins:

…What am I supposed to be doing here?

…Do they have to drop those weights outside?

…How am I supposed to relax when that is happening?

…What should I have for dinner?

…Oh wait, I’m supposed to quieting my mind! Ok, peaceful mind, relax…and you do–for about 3 seconds before the parade of thoughts begins again.

Sound familiar? If so, you are not alone.

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Who are you? How long have you been part of the PG Family?

My name is Joshua Wise, and I’ve been climbing at PG for just coming up on seven years now. PG is kind of my home for a lot of things — it feels like a second home for climbing, and it feels like home for Yoga, and — we say “climbing, yoga, fitness” here at PG, right? And really, PG is my home for all of these. I started my practice of yoga here at PG, too. I think many members might see me as kind of a fixture here — I’m here most days of the week, except during ski season!

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Who are you? What do you teach? Emphasis on a specific type of yoga?

My name is Charlotte. I am a lover and practitioner of many forms of yoga and have been practicing for almost 20 years. I’m so happy to have recently started teaching yin yoga at the vibrant Planet Granite- SF right underneath the iconic Golden Gate Bridge!

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Who are you? What do you teach? Emphasis on a specific type of yoga?

I’m Lizzie Kountze, and I teach vinyasa-based flow classes: Foundations (on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm) and Power Yoga (on Tuesdays at noon).

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, started my career as a journalist, and then dove into a career in international development in Washington DC, applying technology to address inequalities (especially around access to information and opportunities) in low-income countries. I do a lot of ideation, business development, and proposal writing in my day job– about 10 years ago yoga became an incredible balance that really helped to reduce my stress while making my body much happier.  I noticed that while I practiced yoga I felt graceful and beautiful, no matter what was going on professionally or personally.  It continues to make me happy in my skin on and off the mat.  Most of all, yoga reminds of who I am and how to honor the love inside of me and take care of myself.

I teach with many assists and adjustments to help people deepen into their poses and build muscle memory for alignment. This is nourishing and rewarding for students, I find, and it aids in relaxation.

I love the outdoors, especially the sea, and moved to San Francisco five years ago to be closer to the wilderness and ocean. I have been teaching since 2011 at Vida Fitness in Washington DC as well as San Francisco’s Union Yoga, the Mindful Body, and Planet Granite. I also teach restorative yoga and am trained as a prenatal teacher.

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Meet Larissa! Larissa is one of our Yoga Instructors in San Francisco.

Who are you? What do you teach?

I was born and raised in Marin County, but made a home for myself in Santa Barbara where I lived for the past seven years before moving back to the Bay. I moved there for UCSB & the beach, but stayed for the yogi community. My Power Yoga teacher training led to a huge perspective shift, and a deeper understanding of my Self. I have been teaching anywhere from one to fifteen Power or Vinyasa classes a week since the day I got my certification, and fall a little deeper in love with yoga every time.

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Join us for a little chat with Caitlin, one of our yoga instructors in SF! We sat down with Caitlin to find out a bit more about her and her classes! 

Who are you? What do you teach? Emphasis on a specific type of yoga?

I’m Caitlin Talbot and I teach Restorative/Yin at Planet Granite on Wednesday nights. I also have taught Foundations.

What benefits can Foundations and Yin/Restorativelead to if done routinely?

Since the members of Planet Granite tend to  already be on the fit and active end of the spectrum, the Yoga Foundations class will help these students to increase a deeper connection to their breath, awareness, moving with ease and flexibility as well as establishing mental focus and a larger sense of well being. The Restorative/Yin class is especially helpful for those who want to increase their range of motion and enter a meditative space of deep physical awareness and letting go. Especially beneficial for those of us who tend to have fast-paced lives and don’t always take the time to slow down and unwind.

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