Hillary Hollman moved back to San Juan del Sur in April 2016, and has been teaching at Zen Yoga since then. Before her move, she lived in Atlanta, Georgia, and taught yoga classes and workshops at a local studio, where she also worked as the Studio Coordinator. She is a YA certified teacher, and completed her 200hour yoga training here in San Juan del Sur under the instruction of master yogi Peter Sterios. She is also certified in Restorative Yoga, and enjoys teaching Power Yoga, Yin/Restorative, and Slow Flow classes.
Her teaching style is derived from Hatha, and uses creative, fun, and challenging sequencing and poses to soften and strengthen the whole body during each practice, and to develop a stronger connection between the mind and body. She also uses alignment, breathwork, and hands on adjustments to help students access poses and different areas in the body that they might have thought were challenging or even inaccessible. She believes yoga should be fun, explorative, and challenging for both mind and body, but most importantly that yoga should be, and can be, accessible to every person.
She is grateful to be able to be teaching and living in such a beautiful place in the world, and enjoys getting to teach and connect with so many interesting people that are living and traveling through Nicaragua.
Julie Speier is a mother of three young children, the director of San Juan del Sur Day School and a yoga teacher at Zen. Julie has been practicing yoga since 1998 and became a certified yoga teacher in 2007 through Radiantly Alive in Bali, Indonesia. She has been a teacher with Zen since we opened our studio in 2011. She loves teaching a good powerful flow class or a calming restorative class. She applies the teachings of yoga to her daily life, especially Karma Yoga (service to others). She loves assisting her students in attaining the “aha moments” on their mats or in the classroom. Julie is full of gratitude for her life and the fact that she gets to teach Yoga at Zen!
Ingrid Collado was born and raised in the beautiful town of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Ingrid has a BA in Business Administration and uses those skills with Zen Yoga Studio and Nicaragua Yoga Institute. She loves the peaceful and spiritual atmosphere of Zen Yoga and working to create and coordinate yoga retreats and yoga teacher training programs alongside Vanessa Pattison owner of Zen Yoga Studio and co-founder of Nicaragua Yoga Institute. Ingrid hopes to inspire the values of respect and love promoted at Zen Yoga Studio to her beautiful 4 year old daughter.
Elizabeth Cramond, 200 eRYT was introduced to the yoga practice while spending the summer visiting her uncle in Italy. Upon arrival back to the states, Elizabeth and her mother began practicing together. A former competitive swimmer through the collegiate level, Elizabeth enjoyed the non-competitive aspect of her yoga practice, and found that it brought balance to her life.
Her mother was also her inspiration for becoming a yoga teacher. Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of NCWilmington, with a double major in International Business and Spanish. She completed the 200 hour teacher training program at the Wilmington Yoga Center in 2007. She also served as an assistant in the 220 hour program in 2008. Since then Elizabeth has had opportunities to deepen her practice by studying with Shiva Rea, Krista and Brock Cahill, Kathryn Budig, Rodney Yee, Ana Forest, Richard Freeman, Baron Baptiste, Dharma Mittra, Seane Corne, Maty Ezraty, David Swenson and Tiffany Cruikshank. She is currently working on her 500 hour advanced teacher training under the keen eye of Tiffany Cruikshank. Elizabeth believes in encouraging and inviting students to push past perceived limits and explore new, more powerful paths. Her yoga classes are based on Vinyasa yoga where the breath is synchronized with the movement. Attaining full body connectivity is paramount in Elizabeth’s philosophy of teaching where the student is linking the breath, the movement and the mind for an overall sense of strength, energetic power and wellbeing.
Elizabeth also serves as an ambassador for Manduka, bepresent & Beyond Yoga brands. Elizabeth’s deepest passions are world travel and yoga, and you can find her leading international yoga retreats around the world.
Vanessa Pattison is the founder of Zen Yoga Studio which she opened in 2011 after the vision popped into her head one evening while talking to a friend. They sketched the studio on a napkin, broke ground a week later and never looked back. Beyond running Zen Yoga Studio and sister retreat business Nicaragua Yoga Institute, she still loves to get in the studio and lead a class or two a week. Vanessa is also a doula to many expats and local women who live in the San Juan del Sur area.
Originally from California, Vanessa moved to San Juan del Sur with her husband in 2005. Disenchanted with the rat race pace of life and her occupation as a Real Estate Appraiser she pursued her passion of yoga. In the past decade Vanessa has become highly trained with over 500 hours of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga as well as anatomy and Aryuveda. Her teachers are many but she attributes Peter Sterios and James Bailey as two of the most influential. Her most important role is that of mother to her three young boys; Max, Dante and Leo, all born in Nicaragua.
People ask her all the time how she made the transition? They comment on how ideal this easy pace of life must be. Her answer is always the same. She says, “wherever you go there you are!” It means to her that happiness is not determined by physical location but is deeply rooted within. Happiness ebbs and flows. Vacationing to and living in SJDS are two different realities. It is still a third world country complete with power outages and many other frustrations. Living your “dharma” what you are meant to do on this planet is key and she feels fortunate to have found that and to be able to share it with others.
Cher Aslor is a Yoga/Pilates teacher & practitioner, business owner, traveler, creative spirit and inspiring connector in her community. She is a PMA Certified Pilates Instructor and also holds certifications in Power Yoga (200 hr Core Power Yoga), Yoga Sculpt (40 hr Core Power Yoga), and Forrest Yoga (240 hrTraining). After attending CU Boulder for a BA in Dance and Spanish, Cher danced professionally in the Los Angeles area for 10 years before moving back to her native Colorado. In 2013 she graduated from the Kathy Grant Heritage Training led by second generation master teacher Cara Reeser and continues to study with and assist Ana Forrest at her workshops and Yoga Journal Conferences around the United States. Cher has a heart for leading retreats for over 8 years including Surf Yoga retreats in Costa Rica, meditation retreats at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, NM, Gratitude Retreats in Todos Santo MX, and beyond. Her passions is sharing adventure and travel with others through retreats.
Cher’s yoga classes are seeped in the Forrest Yoga, Pilates, and Vinyasa traditions, focused on movement that feels good, challenging and safe. Her Forrest Yoga foundations bring intelligent core work and holding poses for many breaths. This is a very physically practice but not just for the sake being physical – it’s a tool to awaken the senses and access the emotional body. All levels welcome – no need to be at any certain level to join this retreat. Cher loves incorporating meditation and yoga Nidra within her classes.
TAWNY STERIOS RYT200 is a creative and inspiring teacher of yoga, nutrition, and women’s new moon circles, which she has led for over 10 years. She is certifi ed in both kundalini and hatha yoga, and through her daughter’s birth, is a qualifi ed pre-natal instructor. Tawny has a degree in Nutrition and trained as a raw food chef. She co-directs mBODY Yoga, with Peter, and teaches yoga lifestyle courses and retreats around the US and India. Tawny was a featured model for Yoga Journal in 2010-2011, and for two years, was in a select group invited to teach at the White House for Michele James G. Bailey
PETER STERIOS ERYT500 is a writer, teacher, entrepreneur, and architect, and has been a part of the global yoga community for over 35 years. He has owned four yoga centers since 1991, including mBODY Yoga, his current studio in San Luis Obispo, CA. In 1997, he founded Manduka, a leading eco-yoga products company. In 2009, Yoga Journal selected his fi rst DVD, GRAVITY & GRACE, in the “top 15 yoga videos of all time”. As a teacher, Peter was in a select group invited to the White House for Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity Learn more at www.petersterios.com
Soon after moving to New York City in 1993 to pursue her dance career, Kristin’s friend dragged her to her first yoga class at the old Jivamukti Yoga School. While she had no idea what anyone was talking about she immediately fell in love with the poetry of meditation in movement. She studied with her first teachers Sharon Gannon, David Life, and Katchie Ananda for many years trying to discover and understand herself and this transformative practice she stumbled upon. She hungrily went to every workshop and studied with every teacher that passed through town and completed several teacher trainings with Adrienne Burke (a senior Jivamukti teacher), Rodney Yee, and Betsey Downing, Ph.D.
In 1995, she graduated from the Swedish Institute for Massage Therapy and became a licensed massage therapist and Reiki practitioner. She has additional certifications in Thai massage, neuromuscular and myofascial release.
She has been honored to lead many workshops and teacher trainings around the country, and in 2005 Kristin created the Kaya Yoga 200- and 300-hour teacher trainings to share her passion for the miracle of the human body and the liberating potential of movement. She has been blessed to graduate over 1000 students to date.
In 2006 her life changed yet again when she met her teacher Yogiraj Alan Finger. She knew from the first class when he beautifully linked the esoteric anatomy with the fetal development of the nervous system that she was hooked to this enigmatic teacher. She is beyond thrilled to have been able to work alongside this yogi master helping him to further translate his teachings and create the ISHTA Marma Point Teacher Training.
In 2013, Kristin created MetaAnatomy, a series of workshops, classes and trainings that explore the dynamic beauty and poetry of who you are. Her hope is by combining the physical and energetic anatomies we help to form a richer view, experience and ultimately a celebration of our differences and an honoring of our connectedness.
She is co-author of the book “The Yoga Fan” (2003) and author of the book “MetaAnatomy Anatomy of a Yogi” (2014) which was called a “luscious resource” by Rod Stryker and “smart and sassy” by Elena Brower. Kristin is currently working on her third book MetaAnatomy volume two which delves into the luminous connections between the energetic and physical forms.
Trained in Reiki and Vinyasa, Christy specializes in SmartFlow by Annie Carpenter, Power Vinyasa (CorePower), and LifePowerYoga (Johnny Kest). She has studied with and under Ally Hamilton, Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Leslie Kaminoff, and many others.
Christy is instrumental in the yoga community of Orange County, CA as a Lululemon Ambassador, teaches at multiple studios, leads workshops and trainings, yoga Wanderlust festival presenter, in addition to her role as a credentialed school teacher bringing yoga and mindfulness to high school students. She is passionate about what it means to “find pause” during daily life through her blog which focuses on a purpose to deliver the powerful message of living a life of truth, self discovery, and growth among the process of change and creating the life you want. To learn more about Christy visit. www.christycurtisyoga.