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.

our faculty

Liz Heffernan

more about liz

Founder & Director,
Soma Yoga Institute ​E-RYT 500, C-IAYT


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. 

Liz is a true yogi - she lives the yoga philosophy, which has brought her a deep knowledge about the entire science of yoga. I most enjoyed learning about alignment principles and pose analysis; how to maximize the effectiveness of the pose and minimize the risk for injury.  Liz explained these concepts very clearly and graciously offered personalized attention to all of our poses. This training deepened my understanding of yoga as a comprehensive system of liberation.  I feel empowered to apply this science to enrich all aspects of my life and now I feel I possess the practical and experience knowledge to thrive as an instructor. 

- Christopher G., New Hampshire

Liz is not only a highly experienced yoga teacher, she is an instructor who has lived the teaching, and has the maturity of a senior practitioner. For this I was truly grateful. She has a balanced awareness of the physical body and alignment principles and the deeper experiences in her own life, of the spiritual principles of yoga. I am deeply grateful I took her teacher training program. 

- Tarini, California

Liz's deep knowledge of the sutras and other philosophical texts coupled with her personal exploration of this practice in daily life came across in her teachings in such a way that will have  far reaching, transformative  effects in my life. 

- Gary, Hawaii

As an instructor Liz has beautiful energy, a plethora of knowledge and is deeply inspirational.  Her honesty and authenticity is heartfelt. I am deeply touched and forever changed by her teaching.

-Mikaela F., Alaska

I was thrilled to hear of the program because Liz gave me so many "ahaas"! in teacher training that i have been able to pass on to my students. Its great when a student looks at you in surprise as the light dawns in their eyes! She has a wealth of invaluable information at her fingertips that she is keen to share. Her love and enthusiasm for her yoga is inspiring and she has a natual teaching talent.

-Amanda Roussos

Liz is exemplary! Liz was a great teacher for me to learn from at my yoga teacher training. Liz pays close attention to detail and really taught us all things yoga, and it is apparent that she has really studied up on different forms and styles of yoga to find what truly resonates with her that she wants to share with the world. She is very knowledgeable about the human body and advocates for safe and engaging practice. Liz really encourages her students to dive deep into learning about themselves and all that the amazing world of yoga has to offer in such a sweet way.

-Carson Judkins

Liz was an awesome joy to be around. She is incredibly authentic and true to herself and her beliefs. She holds space for inspiration and investigation. As well as providing sage like wisdom based on experience.

-Justin Gumb

Liz is grounded, inspiritational and intuitive as a teacher. Liz’s depth and breadth of knowledge is obvious and she implemented this in a way that acknowledged the uniqueness and needs of our yoga teacher training group. She is a role model for living yoga in a peaceful, integrated manner.

-Marilyn Keiffer Andrews

Liz radiates kindness and love. Her teaching style is gentle and caring, as she encourages students to be compassionate and honest with themselves when practicing, in order to look after the beautiful bodies they have been graced with. She deeply cares for every one of her students and creates a space that feels safe for them to grow and become the best versions of themselves. Her focus on therapeutic alignment principles ensure that her students learn how to respect their bodies and take care of themselves in each posture that they enter. I am so grateful for her guidance and the teachings she shared with me.

- Cornelius James

Peggy Profant, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500 is a certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapy, Anusara Yoga certified, and a lead teacher trainer for Soma Yoga Institute since 2016. 

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.  

Peggy Profant

more about peggy

C-IAYT Yoga TheraPist, E-RYT 500, Certified Anusara Instructor, YACEP


As a teen she discovered Kripalu yoga and changed the course of her life in her formative teen years. In 1994 she met her teacher, BNS Iyengar in Mysore, India who taught her the traditional forms of Ashtanga yoga. 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. 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 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 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.

Peggy’s alignment instructions brought ease and joy into my practice as well as a new sense of trust. Her way of being in the world has modeled compassionate presence, lightheartedness, attentive listening and careful speech. I have loved being her student and am sure her teachings will ripple through my life in wonderful ways.


Peggy Rocks!!Working with Peggy at the Soma Yoga Institute for the 200hr Teacher Training was a life changer. It has opened my eyes to a new path that I’m so excited to follow. I feel confident that I can and will continue to learn and practice and hold space for yoga in my life. I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned with others and grow my home yoga practice! Peggy made me feel comfortable and safe while learning teacher techniques. I feel like I know myself better and more confident and comfortable with who I am. Peggy led me to new found passions and paths within yoga. I had the most amazing and wonderful time and want to do it again next year! 

– Elise Antonio

You will get everything and more with Peggy as your teacher.   With the alignment work she offers I was able to feel and see my posture improve. I also noticed the aches and pains that I have experienced in class previous to this training disappear. I now feel empowered to go out into my community and share my everlasting love of yoga. 

- Melissa Johnson

I love Peggy. The depth of information she shared was perfect and has provided me with a solid and broad foundation to further build upon as I step into the role of teacher. The alignment studies helped me in my own practice, I am more mindful and I am finally ready to build my home practice. I am leaving with an incredibly different level of understanding into the power of Yoga to change lives.

– Karen Bielmer

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. 

Serena Aroara

more about Serena

E-RYT 500, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist


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

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

Serena's professionalism, commitment and knowledge is amazing. She truly teaches from
the heart and inspires me in ways I cannot yet describe. I now understand Yoga from a more loving space. I truly appreciated the sense of belonging and the community they created, I was able to create lifelong connections and inspiration to continue my study and practice. This program has definitely planted a seed in my heart from which I will continue to grow. -Yenny Gomez, Colombia

I took a 300-hour training with Jess, and I can truly say her energy, wisdom and presence has forever changed me. She was not only my instructor, she became a mentor and guru. I came from a personal training background and am a lifting enthusiast. I was amazed how learning from her not only improved my business but my own personal journey. She is a great light in the yoga industry, and I am so grateful to share her invaluable knowledge.

-Zac Christensen-Linton 

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.

Jess Trudeau

more about jess

E-RYT 500


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.

Jess Trudeau full heartedly pours her time and wisdom into each one of her students and trainings. Throughout my time studying with Jess I was given an array of tools and knowledge that allowed me to uncover an ability to transform my self-limiting beliefs into creative empowerment on and off the mat. With Jess's down-to-earth approach and guidance I was able to confidently deepen my roots and blossom not only as a teacher but more importantly as a student of yoga.

-Callie Feakin

I am so thankful to have landed here.  I truly enjoyed everything about this yoga teacher training. The depth of knowledge of Jess and the other teachers, is astounding. Learning more about alignment and yoga philosophy we’re probably my favorite things. But actually, teaching was unexpectedly amazing. Sequencing classes is so interesting. The morning meditations with Jess are other worldly. I thought there was no way I would teach when I arrived but now I believe that if I choose to I can.  I absolutely would do another teacher training with Soma Yoga Institute and absolutely I recommend this to others. I can’t say enough about how grateful I am. -JeanEllen Trubshaw 

-Zac Christensen-Linton 

I took a 300-hour training with Jess, and I can truly say her energy, wisdom and presence has forever changed me. She was not only my instructor, she became a mentor and guru. I came from a personal training background and am a lifting enthusiast. I was amazed how learning from her not only improved my business but my own personal journey. She is a great light in the yoga industry, and I am so grateful to share her invaluable knowledge.

-Zac Christensen-Linton 

In this 200 hour YTT I enjoyed challenging myself to go beyond my comfort zone in a loving supportive environment. I enjoyed Jess’s fire, grace, and generosity.  I learned so much about alignment and engagement which will be so beneficial to me and my students. I learned to appreciate yoga philosophy and draw parallels between Buddhism and yoga. I sharpened my hunger for a daily practice and for more community to practice with. Chanting with Jess and the harmonium was magical, I loved the silent mornings, the sutra presentations, practicum, and getting to see everybody shine! - Sarah Wisby 

Sam found yoga 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. 

Sam Akers

more about sam



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 ( and is currently earning her Master’s of Divinity in Buddhist Chaplaincy.

From asana to meditation, or as you'll learn in Restorative Yoga... meditation during asana! As your body relaxes Samantha teaches to follow the breath while paying attention to the many sensations you'll discover along the way. Restorative yoga helps unlock and open areas of your body that have been closed off far too long. Samantha teaches how to show loving kindness to yourself through Metta then send that same love and kindness throughout the universe.

-Michael Banks, RYT-200

I thought I knew what yoga was. I was so wrong. Sam helped me understand that there was a different way, a deeper practice, and I profoundly and completely recommend her teaching to anyone who can feel the path stretching before them. Who feel that little flicker of the divine beat a steady tattoo in their heart space. If you are looking to hone that heart to see what lies at the center, this practice is your knife. And the journey is so indescribably worth it's while. With a whole heart I invite you on the first steps and recommend without reservation Samantha Akers
– Jack K

I came to Therayoga with some spinal injuries and associated back and hip pain, and took a restorative yoga class with Samantha at her studio. After 12 years of being a yoga student, it was such a wonderful surprise to be introduced to this wonderful type of healing yoga. Her classes offer a loving and safe place for all bodies to relax into supported poses and receive the benefits of yoga and a guided mindfulness practice. After seeing and feeling the results of a regular practice of my own, I had the pleasure of taking both Level 1 and Level 2 Restorative Yoga Teacher Trainings with Samantha in 2015! Both weekends cover a lot of valuable information, and are presented in a manageable way; balanced with guided meditation practices, and practical examples of restorative poses and techniques that can be adapted for group classes as well as private sessions. I enjoyed discussion of special conditions and further modifications of poses, since I work with a unique population of children and adults with special needs including a range of orthopedic impairments. Samantha truly has a gift for teaching and is very passionate about this practice. She supports which empowers her students to take the best care of themselves so that they can take the best care of their yoga students and loved ones.

– Melanie Gingerich, M.S., CCC-SLP, RYT 200

I have always felt that every yoga class with Samantha Akers is like a mini teacher training and/or workshop. I have been a student of hers for almost two years and I highly respect her teaching, which was what prompted me to do her Yin Yoga Training.

Sam brings a calm, approachable, and informative teaching to her training. She is very knowledgeable in the body and does a great job breaking down concepts that I would otherwise be lost and confused within translation. I like how Sam not only critiques the images that are presented to yogis, but also explains why it is harmful to practitioners, as well as providing an alternative to fit individual needs.   

-Joe RYT 500 

My entire practice has changed, as a result of my 200 hour teacher training with Sam. I can now apply alignment and anatomy principles into my teaching and awareness. I fell in love with the philosophy of the Yamas and Niyamas as well as the bringing together of these limbs, with the Buddhist tradition of Metta. The myths were always a lovely thought to me, but being shown how to bring the morals and precepts into my life and off the mat, was profound. I would recommend 200 hour training with Sam. She brings a certain quality of deep knowledge and teaching to the table, that I could never have expected.

-Clare RYT 200

Sam is not only a knowledgeable, skilled teacher and leader, but her warm, positive nature is unmatched. She makes all of her students feel at ease in her classes and in their own skin. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing her as a bodyworker, a mentor, a teacher, and an employer, and she’s exceeded my expectations in every capacity. Her passion for and belief in restorative yoga and back care is contagious, and her work honors the complexities of the body and the mind and yet are accessible and enjoyable. Plus, she generously and readily provides tools and education; you always leave with new understanding and applicable skills. Her vast understanding of the body is unlike anyone I’ve worked with, and it certainly shows in her teaching, training, and bodywork. I’ve never met such an experienced, intelligent teacher who truly walks the walk of practicing compassion and kindness. She is approachable, passionate, and sincere and embodies all that she shares with her students. She is a true gem; when you work with her, you feel like you hit the jackpot.

- Melissa Brooke, RYT 200 and Restorative Yoga Teacher

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. 

Christine McArdle

more about CHRISTINE



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.

I took a 300-hour training with Jess, and I can truly say her energy, wisdom and presence has forever changed me. She was not only my instructor, she became a mentor and guru. I came from a personal training background and am a lifting enthusiast. I was amazed how learning from her not only improved my business but my own personal journey. She is a great light in the yoga industry, and I am so grateful to share her invaluable knowledge.

-Zac Christensen-Linton 

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 Scola

more about Alison



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.

I have found the perfect Yoga Teacher Training for me. The quality of our instructors far exceeded my expectations, Liz and Alison were truly top of the line. They are beautiful examples of ways to give yoga to the world, ways to lead, and ways to show up as just complete badasses. I have grown as a person being here. I have been guided through the teachings of yoga to feel more peaceful in the face of challenges. For this, I am eternally thankful. My goal was to deepen my own personal practice and this program did just that. Additionally I was previously interested in asana practice but now this training has deepened my interest in many other components of yoga. I feel more grounded after this training and I look forward to lifetime of yoga. Thank you Soma Yoga Institute. - Cameron

Alison and Liz are joyful teachers. They really cared about us as both individuals and new teachers. I really enjoyed the attention to detail in everything. The precise language and thoughtfulness in the design of the curriculum was spot on. I loved the idea of safety first in the asanas and understanding the anatomy, this is key. Also, I have never meditated before coming here and did not expect to like it - who knew…I have become a meditator. I leave feeling prepared to teach and this is a direct result of everything Liz and Alison taught us. Thank you, Soma Yoga Institute, for preparing us to be successful. - Becky

Shy Sayar (ERYT-500, YACEP) is a senior yoga teacher & continuing education provider at the highest level offered by Yoga Alliance. Well into his third decade with yoga, Shy has tens of thousands of hours of experience bringing yoga to students of all levels, treating patients, and training yoga teachers and therapists around the globe. Shy believes in Teaching People – Not Poses, since the practices of yoga are infinitely adaptable to fit the practitioner’s stages of development, and there is no need to push the body into arbitrary shapes. Instead, his method integrates the classical Eight Limbs of Yoga, equally cultivating the body, breath and mind to bring each practitioner to optimal, holistic health.

Shy Sayar

more about Shy

E-RYT 500


While the ultimate aim of yoga is to reveal the interconnectedness of all beings as the expression of one eternal life, Shy’s teaching refrains from overstating esoterics and focuses instead on bringing about this awakened consciousness by emphasizing the ease of the breath, the integrity of the musculature at work, and the serenity of the mind.

Shy has offered coursework on education and pedagogy, as well as yoga philosophy and classical Indian literature at the University of California, Berkeley. In his yoga teaching, Shy integrates his experience in higher education with skillful attention to different learning styles, making even the most complex teachings approachable to every student. His unique therapeutic method has shown remarkable results in posture correction, pain relief and improved balance, as well as healing emotional trauma and addressing the roots of psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression.

Shy manages to convey massive amounts of information in the simplest and most elegant ways, so that you understand both intellectually and in your own body, in comprehensive detail with regards to anatomy and alignment. - Rosie Yadid, professional actor & singer, RYT-200

My students say that they have never experienced anyone being able to explain yoga asanas to them the way I can because of what Shy taught me. - Veronika Cikova, RYT-200

I would recommend Shy's teaching to anyone who wants to improve the quality of their practice, teaching - and the quality of their life. - Nicola Leahey, professional dancer & choreographer, RYT-200

Studying with Shy Sayar set me up with the skills, knowledge and confidence to stand in front of a classroom and teach students in a way that is not only effective but also safe and meaningful. - Emily McMichael, ERYT-500

Alison and Liz are joyful teachers. They really cared about us as both individuals and new teachers. I really enjoyed the attention to detail in everything. The precise language and thoughtfulness in the design of the curriculum was spot on. I loved the idea of safety first in the asanas and understanding the anatomy, this is key. Also, I have never meditated before coming here and did not expect to like it - who knew…I have become a meditator. I leave feeling prepared to teach and this is a direct result of everything Liz and Alison taught us. Thank you, Soma Yoga Institute, for preparing us to be successful. - Becky

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.

Molly Masaoka

more about molly

E-RYT 500


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.”

Molly your knowledge of yoga, your passion, the support and encouragement that you show your students, the enthusiasm and dedication with which you approached this training is truly inspirational. My understanding of yoga is so much deeper and more comprehensive.  I also feel I have developed a much more compassionate acceptance of myself.  This experience has allowed me to feel a deer sense of peacefulness and contentment with where I am right now in my life.

- Molly S.

Molly is an amazing yoga teacher and a beautiful soul to be around and learn from. Molly's inspiring spirit really shines through in her teaching. She is extremely knowledgeable about alignment, anatomy, and how to use yoga as a method for healing and/or optimal health. She is fun and encouraging. I absolutely love Molly and her asana classes are the best ones I've ever had the privilege of taking. The yoga Molly practices and shares with others will lift your body, mind, and spirit to a greater place!

- Jensi Gise

Molly is alive, dynamic and seasoned as a teacher...a role model for living yoga is a lively, yet deeply integrated manner. Molly's teaching in the 200 hour YTT is direct, intuitive, adapted to individual need and spot on. I will be taking future classes with her.

- Marilyn Kieffer-Andrews

Molly is everything I look for in a yoga instructor - fun, energetic, playful, but also assertive and down to business!! She has such a fire and she made for an incredible YTT experience.

- Caitlyn Shaw

I just received my Teacher Training with Molly. She is hands down one the best yoga teachers that I have ever had. I live in Manhattan and have been practicing for years. Molly focus is alignment and safety. Her sequencing is the best I have ever seen. She is a perfect combination of loving, caring, encouraging and tough. I have been forever changed from my Teacher Training. She gave me the tools and the confidence to get out and start teaching. If I lived closer I would be at her studio daily. So the next best thing...I downloaded her online classes. I will be taking future trainings with Molly.

- Susan Grosso

Molly offered clear and integral instruction. She was knowledgeable in Sanskrit and chakra's, and offered us instruction in all the more spiritual aspects of yoga without dogma. She was a highly experienced instructor, a devoted/passionate teacher and practitioner. I valued her presentations and learned a lot from her.

- Tarini Bauliya

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 Omkar Webster

more about david

MS, E-RYT & RYT 500


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.

"I was thrilled with the expertise and knowledge we were exposed to by Liz and David during each component of the Memory Maintenance Yoga Teacher Training Online Program, in each week’s lectures, videos and practice library! My teaching focus and techniques changed after just one week of the training. The 7 Elements, 4 Pillars of Prevention, and the Sound Bites made it so clear that my teaching is now inclusive of the heart, body, and the brain as one entity keeping our bodies alive. The live-calls were great because I loved that this online training had one day each week to connect as a community. This training has impacted the way I am now teaching my classes, which of course provides invaluable benefits to my students."
-Janet Rosoff, Memory Maintenance Yoga Teacher Training Graduate, RYT200

10 Signs You Are Ready for a Yoga Teacher Training!