Yoga has become more and more mainstream over the last few decades. And because of this, finding safe and sane practices, that leave students uninjured and empowered, has
become increasingly difficult. There is a huge gap in the demand for yoga teachers that are truly qualified to teach.
Soma Yoga Institute was founded to fill the growing need for high-quality instructors by educating our students in modern biomechanics, while merging the best of ancient practices to create an in-depth yoga program that leaves our instructors with a foundation of safety, strength and skill.
At Soma Yoga Institute, we know that you want a comprehensive yoga teacher training to become an expert instructor, so that you can help your students reach their health and wellness goals. For more than a decade, our world-class instructors have helped thousands of students, like you, immerse in high-quality therapeutic yoga training and become sought-out instructors in their area.
We are dedicated to helping you receive the highest-quality education in the yoga space, so that your students will experience true breakthroughs and transformation in their yoga journey, safely. We are also dedicated to supporting your personal transformation in your own yoga practice.
We give you world-class instruction on a variety of topics including:
• Alignment & anatomy biomechanics.
• Strong foundation of safety
• Application of the radical self honoring philosophy to help shift belief systems
• Findings from NEW evidence based research
• Ancient Yoga wisdom & philosophies
• Working with private clients with injuries, aging bodies and all fitness levels
• And more!
The safe, therapeutic and adaptive techniques you'll learn in our Yoga trainings will keep your own body safe and free of repetitive strain injuries for a life time of Yoga as you learn to train others. Our mission is that you leave your yoga teacher training with Soma Yoga Institute with the knowledge and skills you need to thrive as a yoga instructor.
The process to get started is simple: choose from the curated destinations of your training, secure your spot, and begin your transformation. If you are ready to help others through therapeutic yoga, sign-up today.
Liz Heffernan, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT is an international yoga teacher and Integrative Yoga Therapist. She draws from over two decades of personal yoga practice, 25 years of teaching and extensive training in the Hatha yoga systems of Kripalu, Integrative Yoga Therapy, Ashtanga and Anusara. She currently directs and leads Yoga teacher trainings and workshops in worldwide locations, provides unique one-to-one mentoring for yoga teachers wishing to improve their skills and delivery, instructs daily yoga classes and offers private therapeutic sessions. Additionally, Liz serves as a mentor-faculty member for the Kripalu School of Integrative Yoga Therapy.
Her personal journey with yoga began as a young teenager when through a random, yet auspicious opportunity she took a Yoga course at a nearby college. Here, in Savasana, she experienced a sense of peace and wellbeing, a feeling that was in profound contrast to her daily expression of herself. It took fifteen years for the seed that was planted then to germinate into a dedicated practice. Now, after 25 years of daily Yoga, Liz is humbly grateful to this life-affirming path that consistently realigns her physical body, thoughts and innermost intentions with more joy and a greater vibrancy
Liz's dynamic teaching style is influenced by many, many wonderful yoga teachers. These include Ashtanga Yoga’s Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, Tim Miller, Nancy Gilgoff and Bhavani Maki; Anusara Yoga’s Desiree Rumbaugh, Jenny Otto, Noah Maze, and Jim & Ruthie Bernaert; Integrative Yoga Therapy’s Joseph Le Page; and yoga philosophers Ram Das, Douglas Brooks, and Carlos Pomeda.
Liz is known is for her ability to bridge the gap between the ancient perspectives of yoga and contemporary daily life. She draws on her in-depth knowledge of anatomy and bio-mechanically safe alignment principles to teach adaptive Yoga for all BODIES as a practice for vibrant health, self-transformation and personal empowerment. Her teaching weaves together philosophy, creative sequencing, clear alignment, mindful breathing, and compassionate self-inquiry to form a tapestry that reflects her heartfelt commitment to this transformative path.
Peggy Profant, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist, E-RYT 500, and Certified Anusara Yoga Teacher, is a playful, passionate and adventurous spirit who is on a lifelong path of Yoga.
Her approach blends the ancient wisdom of yoga with biomechanically sound alignment to help her students become more firmly anchored in their true, radiant self. She first discovered Kripalu yoga and changed the course of her life in her formative teen years in 1980.
Yoga kept her sane through her academic years in college as she pursued a degree in Environmental Education. Post graduating and working in the world as a Naturalist and Wilderness Therapy Guide, she had a dream to travel in India to get to the source of this great wisdom of yoga.
In 1994 she met her teacher, BNS Iyengar in Mysore, India who taught her the traditional forms of Ashtanga yoga. She returned from India where she met her German husband and began to start a family. No longer galavanting around the world she rooted in Arcata, California and in 1997 began to teach this practice of yoga that she loves so much.
In 2001 she became interested in a more therapeutic approach to help her heal from injuries. She found Anusara Yoga and delighted in it's style of weaving meaningful heart themes into therapeutically aligned sequences. Peggy pursued the rigorous path to become a Certified Anusara Teacher in 2004 and began to delve into more studies of the therapeutic aspects of yoga. Every class she teaches is an artistic expression with meaningful and uplifting heart themes partnered with skillful sequencing and therapeutic alignment. An avid believer in the benefits of meditation, she volunteers her time after classes to lead meditations. As a yoga practitioner and teacher for over 25 years, Peggy has always been intrigued by the aspects of mental well-being through yoga. In her studies to become a yoga therapist, she focused primarily on yoga psychology and the healing benefits of yoga for herself and her clients. Peggy is a thoughtful and encouraging Life Coach and mentor to many students and yoga teachers in her community and around the globe. It is her wish to empower her students, friends and colleagues to overcome obstacles to self love and allow each person to joyfully offer their gifts back to humanity. In addition to Yoga, traveling and being in nature and with her family is where she finds her deepest joy and peace. Peggy founded and operated a premier yoga studio in Arcata, Om Shala Yoga, for 10 years, and co-founded World Family Yoga leading family retreats in Costa Rica. She has been leading workshops, retreats and Yoga Teacher Trainings since 2005.
Serena's yogi uncle in India once told her, “We don’t STUDY yoga, we ARE yoga.” And so began her life-long journey embodying the wisdom of yoga. As a certified Yoga Therapist, Ayurvedic Health Practitioner, and yogapreneur for over 22 years, Serena brings a unique depth of knowledge, rich experience, intuitive leadership, and insightful passion to her offerings.
She integrates practical and impactful therapeutic and somatic yoga practices, breath work, and functional alignment, all informed through an Ayurvedic lens, that promote vitality, connection, and long-lasting sustainable change.
Her integrated approach has been shaped by many teachers and mentors around the world including Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. Scott Blossom, Dr. Rajesh Kotecha, Dr. Terry Willard, Tias & Surya Little, Joseph & Lilian Lepage, Sri Geeta Iyengar, and especially my first ‘guru’, my dad.
Through the wisdom of Ayurveda, she supports her students and clients in discovering the root cause of their dis-ease, understanding the “why” behind it, learning how to interrupt this cycle, and restoring balance and health. Over the last 2 decades, she has served as teaching faculty for The Ayurvedic Institute, Integrative Yoga Therapy, and Soma Yoga Institute, as well as co-founder and director for Thrive Naturally and Swastha Yoga International. Currently based in Costa Rica, she serves as resident Ayurvedic Health Practitioner and Director of Peace Retreat – a wellness education retreat center in Playa Negra, Costa Rica. She is grateful to be able to inspire healing, affect change, and transform lives through BEING yoga.
"Serena's teaching techniques are so well put together from the Asana practice in the morning to
the last lecture of the day...the learning and knowledge was EXPERIENCED. I feel so honored
to have experienced my training with her! I would love for others to be able to share in
Serena's unique teaching style!" - Shauna, Canada
Jess Trudeau, E-RYT 500 first began practicing yoga in 1999 as a young college student and fell in love with it’s creative nature. The practice has been her foundation through the carnival of life including motherhood and a tumultuous illness with Guilliane-Barre that left her temporarily paralyzed in 2016. She believes her yoga and meditation practice to be the shining light through any darkness on her path as it has helped her recognize the body’s phenomenal potential to overcome.
A nomad at heart, Jess has led teacher trainings, retreats, workshops and classes worldwide for 17 years since her first class to a group of women in Mongolia while living in the Peace Corps.
Jess’s classes are soaked in yoga's rich philosophy and paletted history, mindful alignment and thoughtful sequencing, inspired by her own never-ending search for play and creativity. She enjoys teaching a vast diversity of yogic styles from Therapeutic, Restorative and Chair Yoga, to Partner and Aerial Hammock Yoga; but gets extra lit up highlighting Vinyasa Flow’s fluid diversity with a multi level approach. She finds joy in making yoga accessible to all with creative use of props and adaptations for beginners, injuries, body types, and pregnancy; instilling an inclusive environment for the practice of yoga. Her mantra is, “move like yourself” and encourages students to find their own inner teacher with the foundation of guiding principles.
Jess infuses classes with mantras on harmonium to find voice, hand mudras, breath pranayama, as well as insightful themes and intentions to shake out routine and invite people back home to their bodies. She is interested in balancing the architecture of alignment with the grace and freedom found in flow. As a teacher she inspires her students to use yoga as a gateway to better understand oneself, accept and even celebrate our humanness, and to seek wonder in the cracks where the light tries to find us.
Jess has been blessed to study with many phenomenal yogis during her travels including Dana Trixie Flynn, Sri Dharma Mittra, Carrie Owerko, Jillian Pransky, Suzanne Sterling, Chrissy Carter, Elena Brower, Cyndi Lee, Eoin Finn, and Desiree Rumbaugh; a few of many whom she’s incredibly grateful for passing on their knowledge, inspiration, and innate wisdom. She carries 900 hours of advanced certifications from Yogaworks, Laughing Lotus, Blissology Bali, and Heartwood Institute.
Sam found yoga and massage when she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia in 1998.
Her practice began with Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra and brought her such incredible healing, she knew it had to be shared. As she began to recover, she began to study more and eventually was well enough to embark upon several training programs. Sam's love of therapeutic yoga inspired her to open TheraYoga Studio, in Los Angeles Ca.
From there she went on to develop the TheraYoga Method, which is not only a 200 and 300 hour teacher training, but also encompasses smaller trainings and workshops in Restorative Yoga, Mindfulness and Yoga for Special Conditions, Fascial Fitness in Asana and Yin Yoga.
Her approach combines Hatha & Iyengar yoga techniques & therapeutic applications with Restorative and Meditation practices, for a balanced and well-rounded experience. Sam has trained under Judith Lasater, Kelly Wood, Russ Pfeiffer, Leeann Carey and Doug Keller.
She is a dedicated student of the Dharma through the lens of Buddhism and is a certified mindfulness teacher as well as a level one meditation & attachment repair facilitator through Metta Group. She weaves concentration, insight and metta into her trainings, workshops and private sessions and believes that the ability to stay present is the key to the power of self-healing and love.
Sam is the founder of SitBeLove (sitbelove.org) and is currently earning her Master’s of Divinity in Buddhist Chaplaincy.
Christine dove into a yoga practice as a first year, elementary school teacher in 1990. It did not take long for her to understand the emotional balance, clarity of mind and strength she felt being in Yoga class provided essential therapeutic life tools that helped her manage the high stress of her demanding career. Since then, the study and practice of Yoga combined with the art and science of teaching have been her life’s work.
In 2004, Christine founded Om Shree Om, an international school for teaching yoga (YA PCYT and 200 RYT) and since then has taught hundreds of hours of public yoga classes to students of all ages and levels and has trained hundreds of yoga teachers in three continents over the past 18 years.
Christine’s first teachers in Yoga were of the Iyengar style which she is very grateful for since proper alignment, anatomy and understanding the body/mind connection therapeutically, has always been her priority as a teacher guiding others in their yoga practice. Mel Robin, author of A Physiological Handbook for Teacher of Yogasana, was her primary Iyengar yoga teacher for years before studying her first two hundred hour TT with Padmasri Tepedino, in a more “compassionate Iyengar” and Kripalu Yoga style. After finishing this training, she immersed herself in the practice of Anusara yoga where she practiced and studied through certification with it’s founder John Friend and many other wonderful Anusara teachers world wide. Living in Europe, Christine has had the privilege of studying with several wonderful yogis and yoginis but has been mostly drawn to the teachings of Zaira Leal, author of several books that speak to the yogic lifestyle and Non-Dual Yogic philosophy for students in the 21st century.
In recent years she has been fascinated by functional movement and moving the body in tensegrity, paying close attention to consciously give tone and direction to the fascia and miofascial lines that support all bodily functions. She is thrilled to integrate this highly therapeutic work into her yoga practice and teaching for overall longevity and emotional balance.
A native New Yorker, born in Brooklyn but raised in Madrid, Spain, today Christine lives with her family in Granada, Southern Spain. She has spent many years traveling and living in South America, mostly Peru and Costa Rica but as a child of Italian/Irish descent, she feels most at home living in Europe. Christine speaks 4 languages fluently, is passionate about sharing the gifts that a yoga practice bring to people of all ages and anywhere in the world. As a creative, she loves to sing dance, and make music. When she is not teaching she is breathing, practicing yoga, hiking, working with essential oils or tending avocado, mango and citrus trees on her family farm in Spain. She absolutely considers her self a yoga activist, organising events that raise awareness and consciousness for all, including teacher trainings, festivals, and workshops world wide.
Christine’s classes are both fun and profound. They will make you laugh and/or cry. Very sensitive to the individual as well as the group energy, this mother, pedagogue and educator is dedicated to bringing out the very best in each and everyone of her students mind, body and spirit.
It was the gift of chronic pain that brought Alison to her yoga practice in 1993. Through study & practice of all the limbs of Yoga, she found powerful tools to heal her body & mind. Inspired to help others, she trained at the acclaimed schools of White Lotus Foundation, Integrative Yoga Therapy, YogAlign at Kauai Yoga School, & Healing Hands School of Holistic Health.
Alison is an IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist, E-RYT 500, Massage Therapist, & Reiki Master. Her perspective on yoga as a holistic healing science inspires her to teach awareness of the physical, energetic, emotional, and spiritual elements in her classes & private sessions. She views yoga as a way of life that connects us with our innate inner wisdom, compassion and true identity as Love.
Innately perceptive and wildly passionate, Molly applies a level of determination and delight to her yoga instruction that’s truly one of a kind. Her approach is focused and intense; a union of effort and surrender that she believes is key to unlocking one’s deepest level of awareness and joy.
While the core of Molly’s teaching is alignment-based flow and restorative yoga, there is a deep level of therapeutic guidance that governs all she offers—from her public classes, workshops, and private sessions to her ongoing teacher training programs and festival courses.
Since discovering yoga more than 15 years ago, Molly has studied with some of the world’s most renowned instructors most notably the founder of Smart Flow Yoga, Annie Carpenter, Chuck Miller, Maty Ezraty and Don Stapelton from Nosara Yoga Institute. She credits Annie for giving her the skills to teach intentional alignment and sequencing, Don for the ability to encourage self-inquiry and Chuck for finding the unity in all things. For the past seven years, Molly has also been the owner and director of Yoga Centered Studio on the Big Island of Hawaii. In addition, she leads workshops, retreats and teacher trainings all over Hawaii.
Ultimately Molly considers herself a student of life. She is constantly drawing inspiration from the world around her, and most recently the newest addition to her family, her son, Reef. Her hope is to inspire others to share the practices of yoga that have so positively impacted her life.
“The yoga mat is a microcosm for who you are,” says Molly. “It’s not about how good you are at handstands or how flexible you are, it’s about how you approach life. Yoga reveals this and so much more. It’s about discovering who we are and finding acceptance right then and there in that very moment.”
David Omkar Webster is the founder and visionary of Better Living Yoga, a unique yoga studio in Southern California catering to adults 40 and beyond, where everyone is welcome! David’s passion is yoga for wellness. Therapeutic/alignment-based/mindfulness yoga is a key component of the positive healing results of new functional medicine research. At Better Living Yoga, yoga is practiced to prevent and reverse chronic conditions.
David’s passion is helping to prevent memory loss that can lead to Minor Cognitive Impairment (MCI), dementia and Alzheimer’s. Brain health and wellness is personally important to David because his sister died from early onset Alzheimer’s disease at 58 years old. Now, research studies are showing that yoga and related lifestyle changes can slow and possibly prevent or reverse these memory loss conditions. David is pioneering the implementation of Memory Maintenance Yoga (MMY). He has successfully incorporated MMY classes into Better Living Yoga’s schedule. In partnership with Soma Yoga Institute, David has developed an on-line MMY teacher training for certified yoga teachers nationally and globally to offer MMY classes for slowing the progression or even preventing the onset on these epidemic proportion memory loss diseases.
From “rocket scientist” for the Pentagon’s Naval Aviation and Cruise Missile Project, through being a corporate executive, to expat day-trader, to skincare entrepreneur, experiencing a 10-year spiritual journey and yoga life-style immersion… he is uniquely suited to his role as a yoga professional. As an inspiring leader and pioneer, combining science and sutra, he is paving the way to transform our society’s toxic paradigms into a more holistic approach to wellness.
David has been inspired by yoga ever since his grandmother introduced him to it in 1969. In the mid-90’s yoga helped him overcome debilitating back problems caused by stress. After retiring from corporate America in 1997, yoga became an integral part of his daily life. He completed his 200 hour Yoga Alliance certified Sivananda teacher training in 2005. In 2006 & 2007 he made pilgrimages to India to expand and intensify his knowledge of yoga. He taught yoga in Hawaii for eight years while living in an intentional community at an international retreat center. While in Hawaii he immersed himself in AnusaraTM Yoga teacher training, studying the Universal Principles of Alignment and associated Kashmir Shaivism Tantric philosophies. In 2017, he completed his therapeutic-based 500 hour Yoga Alliance certification through Better Living Yoga/Soma Yoga Institute.
His initiative now is to impact the health and wellness system through yoga and the yogic lifestyle. “The pain that lies ahead, can and should be avoided.” -Patanjali.