Who We Are

Our Mission

Fostering healing and resilience through trauma-informed yoga.

We Believe: 

  • All of us are more than our worst behaviors.

  • Within each of us is the capacity for good, and when our goodness is reflected back to us, we thrive.

  • The health of any community is dependent on the health of all its members.

  • People can change with love, encouragement, mentorship, and support.

  • Service to others benefits both the giver and the receiver.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is any event that overwhelms a person, physically or emotionally, and the imprint that the event leaves on the person’s mind, body, and being.

Why Yoga?

Those impacted by trauma do not feel safe in their bodies, leading them to disconnect from their physical and emotional feelings. Yoga allows for physical self-awareness, noticing the physical sensations in the body and how those sensations may change as we move, breathe, or become still.


How We Work

We provide trauma-informed services and resiliency training in order to ensure all individuals have the tools to heal from the impacts of trauma, prevent re-traumatization, and realize their full potential.   

We do this by training volunteers to provide trauma-informed yoga classes in corrections and reentry, addiction and recovery, and community health; and by training community members and care providers to recognize and respond to symptoms of trauma. 


Living Yoga Team

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Lauren Booth   

Executive Director

Pronouns: She / Her

Lauren has dedicated 15+ years of service to the nonprofit sector, serving as Executive Director, direct service provider, volunteer, and board member. She is honored to work alongside Living Yoga’s community and is passionate about bringing healing yoga to those who need it most. She earned her Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management from PSU and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Denver.

 
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Angelina Vasile     

Trainer

Pronouns: She / Her

Angelina has been teaching movement and healing arts since 2001. She holds a BA in Dance and Performance Choreography, is a certified Pilates instructor (2001) and a certified Forrest Yoga teacher (2007). Her style incorporates her love for anatomy and alignment, athletics, movement therapy, Chinese medicine, Vipassana meditation, Muy Thai kickboxing, Pilates, modern dance, Vinyasa, and Forrest Yoga. 

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Avery Lewis 

Events & Communications Manager

Pronouns: She / Her

Avery brings ten years of nonprofit management, event planning and fundraising experience to Living Yoga. She is a graduate of The Movement Center's 200 hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Program in Portland, Oregon and holds a BA in International Development Studies from The Ohio State University. Avery is honored and excited to be a part of the Living Yoga community and to contribute to Living Yoga’s programs.

 
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Christopher Hirsh

Equity & Inclusion Facilitator

Pronouns: He / They

Christopher is an artist, justice activist, facilitator, and energy healer. Christopher’s practice is to bring a trauma-informed and mindfulness based approach to all of their work; approaching all engagements as a potential opportunity to embody greater connection and growth through the connection of the breath and the body. Christopher is deeply honored to be a part of the team at Living Yoga and to give voice to the mission that provides support and healing for so many in this community. 

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Liz Eisman

Program & Training Manager

Pronouns: Liz / Liz

Liz has been connected to Living Yoga since 2001. Liz started as one of the original volunteers and then became a part of the volunteer training team. Liz is a massage therapist and dedicated student of yoga. Liz combines knowledge of anatomy and physiology with mindfulness and communication, mentoring yoga teachers individually and in groups. Liz creates safety, meets people where they are, and gently leads them to their growing edge.

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Chris Terjeson 

Volunteer Coordinator

Pronouns: She / Her

Chris started practicing yoga in 2011 and received her RYT- 200 hr in 2012 from The Movement Center in NE Portland. The Movement Center philosophy of “start where you are” has always resonated with her, and is a familiar phrase in her classes.  Chris is excited to combine her knack for organizing and love for teaching yoga and supporting volunteers. She is grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of Living Yoga’s healing mission.

 
 

Guest Trainers

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Michelle Johnson

Guest Trainer

Pronouns: She / Her

Michelle is a social justice warrior, empath, yoga teacher and practitioner. Whether in an anti-oppression training, yoga space, individual or group intuitive healing session, healing and wholeness are at the center of how she approaches all of her work. Her awareness of the world through her experience as a black woman allows her to know, first hand how privilege and power operate.

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Harry Dudley, Psy. D

Guest Trainer

Pronouns: He / Him

Harry is a forensic and clinical psychologist who has been a Living Yoga volunteer instructor since 2007.

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Nancy Williams

Guest Trainer

Pronouns: She / Her

Nancy was Living Yoga’s Volunteer Coordinator from 2008 through 2015, and a volunteer instructor since 2002. Nancy is a long time yoga practitioner and lifelong community activist, and is grateful to have the opportunity to contribute personally and professionally to Living Yoga’s mission.

 

 

 

Board of Directors

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Judith Sugg,  Ph.D.

President

Pronouns: She / Her

Judy uses mindfulness practices in her work with AIM for Organizational Health.  She is a yoga teacher, counselor, and psychology instructor, and has written four books about addictions treatment and transforming conflict with mindfulness.

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Chris Calarco

Vice President

Pronouns: He / Him

Chris is a local Portland yoga instructor and owner of The Breathe Building, an Earth Advantage Certified commercial event space that is home to Yoga Union, Prema Health, and Fern Kitchen. He worked as a Child and Family Therapist in social service agencies and schools before becoming a yoga instructor. He joined the board in June of 2016.

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Sue Aicher

Treasurer

Pronouns: She / Her

Sue is a neuroscientist and she works at Oregon Health & Science University. She is a volunteer teacher at Living Yoga and joined the board in December 2013.

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Alan McCollom

Secretary

Pronouns: Alan / Alan

Alan joined the Living Yoga board in 2015. Alan is a patent lawyer and brings prior non-profit board expertise to support Living Yoga.

 
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Georgia Sinimbu West, Ph.D.

Pronouns: She / Her

Georgia is a tropical ecologist by training and passion. She works as a management analyst at the Office of Community & Civic Life. She is also a yoga instructor and brings her commitment to personal and social revolution into her roles as a volunteer teacher and board member at Living Yoga. She joined the board in July of 2018.

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Jessica Velazquez

Pronouns: She / Her

Jessica is a spirited business development and marketing consultant. She is a student of Living Yoga as well as a passionate Yoga instructor in Portland committed to connecting communities across all cultures creating meaningful & powerful relationships.  She is honored to be a Living Yoga volunteer teacher and board member delivering it’s heartfelt mission.

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Cameron Mayer

Pronouns: He / Him

Cameron is a technologist and leader who brings his experience at Fortune 500 companies and as a business owner to support Living Yoga. He joined the board in 2017.

 
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Glenn Montgomery

Pronouns: He / Him

Glenn has been a volunteer teacher for Living Yoga since March 2017 and is also on the teaching staff at Gudmestad Yoga Studio. He is the executive director of Vision Action Network, a nonprofit working to improve the lives of residents in Washington County through collaborative community engagement. He joined the board in May 2019.


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Lisa Howley

Pronouns: She / Her

Lisa is an attorney who practices complex litigation at Holland & Knight's Portland office. She is also a yoga instructor certified in therapeutic yoga and has been a volunteer teacher with Living Yoga since 2014.

 
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Michele Leedom

Pronouns: She / Her

Michele is an executive coach that supports clients across multiple industries with diverse teams helping leaders of organizations understand where their behaviors, policies, and practices, as well as their own biases, are preventing them from achieving their goals. Her passion for behavioral economics, neuroscience and organizational behavior led her to founding Clinton Street Consulting, a coaching and consultancy practice that focuses on leadership and organizational agility.

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Isabelle Sinclair

Pronouns: She / Her

Isabelle joined the board mid-2018 as a former Living Yoga student, and after having taken classes for several years, is now volunteering as a teacher with Trillium Family Services. She is currently studying Math and Russian at Reed College.


Advisory Board

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Sherrie Barger

Past Board Member

Pronouns: She / Her

Sherrie is an educational and organizational consultant. She has been an active volunteer with Living Yoga for four years, and was instrumental in starting a community garden at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.

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Harry Dudley, Psy. D

Past Board Member

Pronouns: He / Him

Harry is a forensic and clinical psychologist who has been a Living Yoga volunteer instructor since 2007.

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Chip Gettinger

Past Board Member

Pronouns: He / Him

Chip is Vice President of XML Solutions for SDL International. Chip joined the Living Yoga board in 2011, and before moving to Portland was board chairman of a non-profit organization that worked with at-risk youth using a combination of wilderness skills, yoga, and meditation in Oakland, CA.

 

Living Yoga Founder

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Sarajoy Marsh

Living Yoga Founder

Pronouns: She / Her

Sarajoy is the founder of Living Yoga and the DAYA Foundation. She has a background in mental health, transpersonal counseling, art therapy, and group dynamics. She specializes in yoga for rehabilitation, yoga for addiction, and yoga for adaptive medical conditions.