Sari is a compassionate, inspiring, highly-skilled Yoga teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience. She is dedicated to empowering her students in cultivating a safe and rejuvenating practice. A lover of music, dance, poetry and art, Sari imbues her teaching with creative energy. She invites her students to tune in to the pulse of life beyond the limits of the logical mind, connecting to a deep creative flow. “Thoughts break their bonds, your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world [where] …dormant forces, faculties and talents come alive”, (interpretation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras).
Sari began her intensive study of yoga at age seventeen with Rod Stryker and was enchanted by the inner clarity and harmony that naturally arises when the mind, body and soul are united through the breath. Trained as a professional dancer, it was a revelation for her to discover a peaceful state of being reflected back so clearly by an inner mirror as opposed to looking outside to find the perfect form. “I felt an abundant, bliss-filled space which arose effortlessly and naturally when the ripples of my mind became quiet. This began my lifelong love affair with Yoga and meditation.”
After completing her 200-Hour teacher training with mentors Erich Schiffman and Rod Stryker in 1992, Sari began teaching both to private clients and in studios around Los Angeles. She soon became an established teacher at Yoga Works in Santa Monica, host to some of the world’s best teachers. She was blessed to be able to practice with many resident and visiting teachers including Lisa Walford, Chuck Miller, Richard Freeman, Tim Miller, Paul and Suzee Grilley, Paulie Zink, Gary Kraftsow, Ramanand Patel, Gabriella Giubilaro & Aadil Palkhivala . Yoga Works was a tremendously rich and inspiring place to teach and practice in the 1990's. Sari worked along side budding teachers Shiva Rae, Sarah Powers, Max Strom, Sean Corn, Saul David Raye, Bryan Kest , Julie Kleinman and more.
Sari was part of a small group of yogis who worked closely with Paul and Suzee Grilley as Yin Yoga evolved. Her practice included the study of anatomy, asana, meridian theory, meditation, chakras, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and chanting the Bija Mantras. Paul introduced her to the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda which further deepened her lifelong devotion to meditation.
Sari followed the roots of Hatha Yoga back to Krishnamacharya, “the father of modern yoga” whose principal teaching was “teach what is appropriate for the individual.” She began working in depth with Gary Kraftsow, a student of Krishnamacharya’s and of his son, T.K.V. Desikachar. In 2004, she completed a 500-Hour American Viniyoga Institute teacher’s training and became certified in this technique.
Sari applies the principals of Viniyoga to her teaching, adapting a practice to meet the individual or groups' needs, as opposed to trying to fit a student’s body to a preconceived form. This is aligned with her approach to teaching Yin Yoga as well, which adjusts the posture and practice to nourish each student’s unique structure and well-being. Like her teacher Paul would say, “What is medicine for one person, may be poison for another.” The mastery of teaching any Yoga form is to be able to recognize what nourishes and rehabilitates each student and to offer them the insights and tools through experience to be aware of this themselves.
Sari recently co-taught Aloha Yoga Kula’s 2012 advanced Studies/Teacher’s Training Program, introducing a module of Yin Yoga & Taoist Philosophy. Sari teaches privately as well as offering Yin Yoga classes and workshops at Aloha Yoga Kula in Kailua, Hawaii.
Re the benefits of Yoga in her own life, Sari says:
“As I am able to let go of who I think I am (the personality and ego), I become more attuned to my true Self, which is full of joy and peace. Now, I rely less on circumstance or conditions to bring me happiness and fulfillment, but draw from the deep well of love that I am when ‘I’ get out of the way. Experiencing a taste of this unlimited freedom in my first Yoga classes, I knew I wanted to deepen my own practice on all levels so I could share this love and joy of Yoga with the world. I'm so grateful to share this journey with you.”