Val's Yoga Bio

Yoga with Val

I teach private and semi-private lessons out of my private office in Morro Bay. I also train yoga teachers, offer workshops around the country, and organize yoga and adventure group trips and retreats to exotic places. 

With more than 35,000 hours of teaching experience to populations with different needs and abilities – from disabled individuals to children and seniors, and every type of person in between, I offer a unique perspective, attention to detail, and creativity that inspires as much as it challenges and informs. My fascination with the body and extensive anatomical knowledge helps me create a practice for every type of body and every type of intention.  Because of my long study of the historical and philosophical roots of yoga, I can entertain any kind of question and curiosity on the subject, facilitate discussions, and lecture successfully.

I began teaching in 2000 at the request of many people in the area. From 2004 - 2012, I was a contributing writer to The Bay News with a monthly column called "Yoga for Life," educating locals about the many physical, mental, and psychological benefits of yoga. From Dec 2009 - May 2011, I had fun producing a regular monthly TV show, called "Yoga for Life" airing monthly on Chenal 2 in San Luis Obispo County. I ran the yoga teacher training programs for the Holistic Movement Center and Smiling Dog Yoga for several years and personally trained many of the teachers now working on the Central Coast of California and beyond. 

I have a very diverse background in yoga. I've had the privilege of studying (past and present) with Sarah Powers, Paul Grilley, Shiva Rea, Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama, Scott Blossom, Dharma Mittra, Jack Kornfield, Dr. Georg Feuerstein, and many, many other old-timers, and profound yogi and yoginis, gaining understanding and experience in many yoga traditions and styles. 

Today, I teach an eclectic flowing style emphasizing breath and movement and considering the particular needs and abilities of my students. My goal is for every student to leave my class feeling better, happier, resilient, present, and grounded. Basically, I teach mindfulness through movement and connection to the body. 

A few thoughts...

Yes, I love teaching yoga. I love practicing - breathing, moving, and feeling the anxiety, and uncertainty fall away to be replaced by a spaciousness in my mind and ease in my body. It always amazes me how easy it is to become whole when you step on the mat and choose to be present with your body and breath. Some people call it magic. I call it being with yourself for an hour. There's no need to overthink anything. No need to know what is written in a dusty book hundreds of years ago. No need to believe in the power of the Universe to serve you peace on a platter. Just show up. Close your eyes. Feel your breath. End the struggle. Whoever you are. However, you enter. Just be present with your breath and move. 

You don't need someone's special sauce yoga system. That's for groupies who need to be told who they are. 

You don't need fancy pants. 

Mala beads on your wrist or a cross on your neck - leave it all behind. 

Sanscrit words don't make the poses better, says I, who knows that different yoga lineages often call different poses by the same name or the same pose by different names. If the name is so important, why don't they just agree already? Bells and whistles make the show more entertaining but don't make the person more personable. 

So, that's my thing these days - just do yoga. No BS yoga. No fluff yoga. No magical thinking yoga.

And just be yourself.