Our Certified Yoga Instructors
Owner, ERYT-500 & CYT
Debra is the owner/director of Urban Oasis Yoga & Wellness. She has been practicing yoga for more than 15 years. She took her initial 200 hour training in the Iyengar method in 2004 and continued to mentor with Matt Queen for 6 months. In 2006 she took her second 200hr teacher training with Yoga Works were the emphasis was on Ashtanga and Iyengar Yoga and became registered with Yoga Alliance. In 2013 she completed a 500 hour teacher training program through Ananda Seva Yoga & Meditation Center in California. This program emphasized Yoga Therapeutics, Meditation and Ayurveda. Debra has worked with many experienced and knowledgeable doctors, yoga teachers and yoga therapists over the years such as Aadil Palkhivala, JD, CYT, AHS, Avadhutiika Ananda Deviika Ma Acharya, MSc, E-RYT 500, Jnani Chapman RN, Richard Miller, PhD, Sarasvati Buhrman, PhD, RYT 500, Deborah Karish, ERYT, DC, MR and Antonio Sausys, MA, RYT. Today Debra is certified as an ERYT-500 & CYT.
With over 4300 hours of teaching experience, Debra decided to launch a 200-hour teacher training program in September of 2013 that is based on the eight constituents of Patanjali’s Ashtanga-Yoga. This program honors the Iyengar method for learning yoga postures with great emphasis on anatomy, and basic yoga therapeutics which she feels is necessary and foundational for a beginner teacher.
In addition to the passion she has for teaching, Debra has owned her own business sense 2006 called Urban Oasis Yoga & Wellness. It is a full-service Integrative health and wellness facility offing services such as Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Naturopathy, Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, ARNP’s, Massage and Yoga Therapy as well as 35 yoga classes a week taught in 10 different styles.
Rebecca practiced yoga off and on for 5 years before she attended a power vinyasa class. She immediately knew she found her style of yoga. Rebecca loved the physical workout she got practicing, but it was the mind-body connection that kept her coming back. She felt herself growing more confident and learning about who she really was. Rebecca’s biggest challenge is learning to translate what she cultivates on her mat into her life off the mat. This is the place in which she teaches from. She provides a nurturing space for her students to grow in their practice physically and mentally and challenges them to manifest this into their lives off the mat. Rebecca completed her 200-hr certification in May 2011 at Be Luminous Yoga in Seattle. She has also completed a Teacher Training Intensive and Teacher Assistant Program with Lisa Black at Shakti Vinyasa along with classes with Baptiste Master teachers and Foundations in Action with Baron Baptiste.
Diana Fujinaga began practicing Hatha yoga at the Seattle Holistic Center almost 15 years ago. In 2008, Diana decided to take her part time yoga practice full time and became certified as a teacher at the 200 hour level with Yoga Alliance. Her classes incorporate the many styles of yoga she has practiced over the years which include Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Restorative. She is a skillful yoga instructor who enjoys utilizing modifications so that poses are accessible to all students no matter their practice level. Her classes also incorporate pranayama and meditation. In each class, she hopes to create a space where students are filled with both effort and ease to work within their capacity. She invites her students to explore possibilities, take chances, and make mistakes always knowing that where they are in their practice is where they should be at that moment. Her greatest hope for her students is that they leave feeling satisfied with the class and with greater peace of mind. She truly believes that the practice of yoga makes the world a kinder, gentler place and a healthier one, too. "The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful." -- Elizabeth Edwards
Evi Watson was born and raised in Athens, Greece. She has been practicing yoga since 2000. Evi began her yoga journey with Ashtanga yoga as a way to improve her core strength and flexibility for rock climbing. She moved to Seattle in 2004 and further evolved her yoga practice with a dedication to Vinyasa Flow. Evi is a registered RYT-200 yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. She received her training through Core Power Yoga in Seattle. In addition, she is a graduate of Baron Baptiste's Teacher Trainings, Level 1 & 2. Her classes are strongly influenced by the Baptiste Power Vinyasa Flow with an emphasis on alignment and breath, in a fun, challenging and relaxing environment. She has also completed workshops with Shiva Rea and Anna Forrest and continues her path as a student first, while sharing her passion for yoga from a place of love, lightness and authenticity. Evi's teaching philosophy is to practice yoga with an open heart and a light spirit with no limitations or judgements. "At its core, yoga has the sole goal of returning our minds to the state of innocence we were created with. While many people embark on their yoga journeys for the physical benefits, the real reward comes when we let go of our day-to-day drama, and remember who we are." - Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic.
Isabel is currently a doctoral-level psychology intern being supervised by Dr. Holley F. Kaskel, a clinical psychologist at Urban Oasis Yoga and Wellness. Isabel is enrolled in the Psy.D. Counseling Psychology Doctorate program at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Northwest University. She is a current member of the American Psychological Association. Prior to entering the Psy.D. program at Northwest University, Isabel earned an M.B.A. with a special focus on workplace stressors as her Master’s thesis.
Isabel completed her doctoral practicum at Sound Mental Health in Bellevue, Washington. During this practicum she served a wide range of clients including individuals, couples, families, and groups with co-occurring mental health needs including Abuse Problems, Acute and Posttraumatic Stress Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Mood/Bipolar Disorders, Eating Disorders, Depression Disorders, Impulse-Control Disorders, Personality Disorders, Relational Problems, Sexual Disorders, and Substance-Related Disorders.
During her practicum training, Isabel also completed the Alcohol/Drug Counseling certificate of achievement program at Bellevue College, and has extensive experience in the treatment of chemical dependency and problem gambling. She is currently licensed in Washington State as a Chemical Dependency Professional.
Today, Isabel continues to pursue advanced training and teacher certification in the mindfulness-based practice of iRest® Integrative Restoration Yoga Nidra, a research-based transformative practice of deep relaxation and meditative inquiry through studying under Richard Miller, PhD, a clinical psychologist, author, researcher and yogic scholar. She is a current member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
Isabel has a passion for working with clients through collaborative partnerships that support the development of treatment goals specifically tailored to the needs of each individual. She utilizes techniques from Psychodynamic, Cognitive-Behavioral, Interpersonal, Emotion-Focused, Family Systems, Client-Centered, Object Relations, and Group therapies as part of her integrated and restorative approach. She assists clients in their healing journey to rediscovering wholeness and self-mastery in living a contented life, free of conflict and fear, through developing healthy relationships and interconnectedness with others and self.
Practicing Warrior 1 & 2 stances for over 35 years in traditional Japanese karate, Jess began to incorporate a formalized system of yoga to help with flexibility and to aid in the relief of lower back pain. After the first class, he knew he had found the perfect complement. Always in pursuit of self-realization arts, Jess understood that Power Vinyasa Yoga offers everything one needs. Classes that work mind and body, a practice that incorporates balance, focus and strength, and an art with an open invitation to make it as spiritual as one wishes, all providing for the perfect ‘work-out.’ Having completed teacher trainings with Baron Baptiste and Jonathan Bowra, and an extensive hands-on assisting program with Lisa Black (TAP), Jess continues to train daily and absolutely loves the community Yoga provides. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to share his passion with others and provides classes that are challenging and fun!
Julie took her first yoga class in 1999 and knew right away that yoga would be a lifelong practice. She started teaching yoga in 2008. Julie trained in the YogaWorks method which blends the alignment focus of Iyengar style yoga with the dynamic movement focus of Ashtanga yoga. Julie’s classes offer careful instruction and sequences that build on a theme, such as standing poses, inversions or backbends. Having worked as a licensed, clinical social worker, health educator and massage therapist, teaching yoga is a natural fit for Julie. She has a lighthearted style, and she ultimately hopes to help her students manage physical aches and pains as well as mental “clutter” that gets in the way of living a full life. Julie lives in Sammamish with her husband and two boys. She is certified by the Yoga Alliance at the 200-hour level.
Robin's yoga journey began in May of 2000 when she took her first yoga class. A friend had been urging her to try yoga for years, but she resisted because of her active lifestyle and skepticism of the benefits of yoga versus her gym routine. That first class changed her perception of yoga and she found herself seeking more. Robin found incorporating breath with body movement allowed her to let go of the stresses of daily life. She learned how to apply the simply beauty she found on the mat to her life off of the mat.
Robin is very passionate about her yoga practice and the joy it brings to her life. As a result, she decided to become a yoga teacher to share her knowledge and passion. Robin received her 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification through Tiffany Cruikshank Yoga. In addition to Tiffany, she has studied with Edward Clark, Baron Baptiste, Richard Freeman and Gregor Singleton, to name a few. While her teaching focus is vinyasa yoga, she is contstantly exploring different styles, growing and evolving her own practice. She believes yoga is accessible to anyone willing to take the first step on their own personal yoga journey.
Tracy was drawn to movement from a very young age through gymnastics and dance. In 1996, after the birth of her son, she discovered Yoga. Throughout the years, she has explored different traditions. Exploration and reflection drove her as a student and ultimately led her to teach. Tracy is registered with Yoga Alliance. She earned her 200hr certificate through YogaWorks and her 500hr certificate under Iyengar certified instructors Theresa Elliott and Kathryn Payne at Pacific Yoga in Seattle. In addition to her continued studies with Theresa Elliott, Tracy studies with Judith Lasater, and has assisted Judith in Canada and the United States. Tracy is a passionate yogini and teacher. She embodies the knowledge that Yoga is, above all else, a spiritual practice that extends well beyond asana and the mat. Tracy’s intention is to live and teach with great reverence, compassion, and mindfulness. She is infinitely grateful to all the wonderful teachers, ancient and modern, who have guided her journey along the way. She imparts this wisdom through her classes with an artful blend of alignment, movement, and stillness.
Being a lifelong athlete, Renee loves to run, mountain bike, hike and ski. She came to find herself on a yoga mat to prevent injury, but soon realized yoga empowered her with a mental awareness and clarity that she had never experienced before. She felt the need to bring this mind body transformative experience to others, so after practicing yoga for over 10 years, became a yoga teacher. Renee is a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certified yoga teacher, and is currently a student at UCLA’s MARC Institute studying meditation. She has been personally and professionally inspired by attending classes from Seane Corn, Sianna Sherman, Shiva Rae and Baron Baptist. Renee believes yoga is a moving meditation and you will find her classes are fun, challenging and, most importantly, guide you to remember your power and beauty that is within us all. You can find her on Facebook at ‘Renee Meena Yoga’.
Jennifer Kelly has been practicing Yoga since 1997 and teaching since 2009. She is certified through Yoga Alliance at the 500-hour level. She originally came to Yoga to decrease anxiety and reduce stress through calming the mind. Her journey continued as she also practiced therapeutic Yoga to work with injuries. Both of these experiences allowed her many opportunities to heal the mind, body, and spirit through Yoga. She entered a teacher training program in hopes of continuing to deepen her yoga practice. She studied in the Hatha Yoga tradition with Cloud Nine Yoga School in California. The teacher training experience transformed her relationship to Yoga and she came out of the program with a deep desire to help bring Yoga to others. This was the beginning of her journey as a teacher. She primarily teaches Yoga for Beginners, Senior/Chair Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Yoga for Stress Reduction. As a lifelong learner, she continues to study and looks forward to growing, through practice and study, alongside her students and a supportive yoga community. She recently moved from Southern California to Washington State, and is expanding her yoga practice and teaching to full time. As well, she is studying to become a Health & Nutrition Coach. Jennifer’s holds a B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. in Educational Administration. Her background in K-5 Education and Administration brings with it a wealth of teaching experience, to both children and adults. She has been able to transfer her love of teaching from elementary education to one of her true passions, Yoga. In her class, you will use props and receive detailed instruction and modifications to best support your personal practice. As a teacher, she encourages students to listen to their inner wisdom and practice self-nurturing. In addition to asanas (postures) you will receive guided instruction on pranayama (breathing) and many opportunities for meditation. She is grateful for each opportunity she has to stand with a group of students and guide them in their personal Yoga journey.
Lisa Shifler began practicing Yoga in the early 1980’s to alleviate pain from low-back injuries and sciatica and always looked at Yoga as a means to stretch and relax the body. Although she was impressed with the natural results she was looking for, Lisa found herself yearning for a more challenging practice. Early 2008, she found herself taking her first Hot Yoga Hatha class and immediately fell in love with the challenge and benefits from the heat and deep postures.
It wasn’t long before Lisa completed a 200 hour teacher training certification in Hot Hatha Bikram style Yoga, under the guidance of Ali Valdez and then followed up with another 200 hour certification in Power Vinyasa Hot Yoga training with Linda Burch.. Teaching full-time throughout the greater Seattle area, Lisa now enjoys helping others use Yoga to alleviate pain and achieve fitness goals.
Lisa’s Power and Hatha Yoga classes are a flow of breath-synchronized poses designed to build strength, flexibility and balance. It can be vigorous and challenging for experienced yogis, allowing them to build heat and stamina, yet for beginners or those who have injuries or excessive stiffness, modifications are offered. A non-competitive atmosphere is encouraged as well as an internal focus, making the class a meditation in motion.