Meet Our Teachers
These are the people that make PranaYoga what it is, an amazing place to practice and study. We are ever-grateful to Hansa for creating such strong programs full of integrity in this wonderful environment. We all love sharing what we love with others!
Hansa, C-IAYT, LMT, KYCT, E-RYT500 left the corporate world and received her Massage Therapy and Yoga Teacher certifications in 1988. Continuing to study, she takes classes in Viniyoga, Vedic Chanting, Ayurveda, Yoga Therapy, and other Yoga programs. Incorporating her B.S. degree in Behavioral Science, Hansa has been able to develop a keen insight into the collaboration of the Body, Mind, and Spirit. She has studied and integrated diverse body oriented therapies including Kripalu Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Therapeutic Body work, Body Reading, Health Education, Homeopathy, and Ministry to facilitate Spirit connection. She is on the board of the International Association of Yoga Therapy, was involved in Unity of Yoga which was the precursor to Yoga Alliance and was past president of both Yoga Alliance and Yoga Teachers of Colorado (now defunct). She is on the Board and acts as the Executive Director for SANGA, an educational non-profit organization. Hansa is the owner of Gentle Touch Body Mind and Spirit Connection and PranaYoga and Ayurveda Mandala. She is a Holistic Lifestyle Facilitator and her therapeutic work integrates Yoga Therapy and Massage.
Allison Zuelke, C-IAYT, has practiced and studied yoga since 1998. In 2004, she earned her BA degree in Holistic Health and Wellness with a minor in Philosophy. That same year, she pursued basic yoga teacher training and began assisting with administrative work at PranaYoga.
By 2008, Allison had immersed herself in the practices of Yoga Therapy and began pursuing certification. She practices yoga therapy privately and is nationally certified.
Allison is the office email contact for PranaYoga. She is passionate about yoga and grateful to be supporting Hansa’s efforts.
Leslie (Bhakta) Johnson, E-RYT 500, Leading Teacher CSYT Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram Faculty Member
Having started her yoga training in 2002, Bhakta is an advanced Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist, as well as a certified Meditation Teacher & Vichara Therapist.
With her compassionate and patient approach, Bhakta easily communicates the knowledge and experience of yoga.
Bhakta has practiced yoga & meditation since her early twenties. Upon her first introduction to this style of yoga she was hooked! She continued to practice yoga from that point on. Having suffered from back pain for many years yoga not only addressed her pain but gave her a new level of comfort in her body along with an expanded awareness beyond the limitations of her body and mind. She received her training from Swami Nirmalananda, (formerly Rama Berch), the founding president of Yoga Alliance, master teacher and originator of Svaroopa® Yoga, founder of Master Yoga Foundation and Svaroopa Vidya® Ashram. Bhakta transitioned out of the photo business in 2006 to devote herself fulltime to sharing the amazing benefits of yoga. She has always been a spiritual seeker. Yoga continues to inspire and deepen her spiritual development. She is dedicated to supporting others with their own fulfillment. She serves as a Foundations Teacher Trainer, Embodyment® Therapist Trainer, and a DTS Mentor to new teachers in Yoga Teacher Training.
See more here: www.BlissYogawithLeslie.com
Mary-Ann Plocher, CPYT500+, feels lucky to call Yoga a part of her life since 1994. Studying with various teachers, she was called to take a teacher training in 2005 hoping to help her grandson who was struggling with an autism spectrum disorder. After she began teaching, she realized the profound way that yoga impacts people’s lives and wanted to share the tools of yoga with anyone that would listen. She and her husband, Bruce, owned Rishi’s Crossing yoga studio for almost 7 years. Knowing that she had only scratched the surface with her 200 hour training, she was led to Hansa and PranaYoga where she earned her 500 hours. She loves to watch students open their bodies, their minds and their hearts with this amazing practice.
Sandy Kline, CPYT500+, ERYT 500, YACEP, has taken yoga on as a second career in life, training at Prana Yoga in Denver under Karin Bustamante and Hansa Knox since 2009. Sandy is passionate about yoga and the wonderful benefits it brings to the body, the mind, and the soul, and is dedicated to bringing these joys to others, having an awareness of how it helped during her police career (Sandy is a retired police sergeant after 24 years with the Houston Police Department). Along with teaching regular Kripalu-style hatha yoga classes, Sandy also loves to teach Yoga Nidra, face yoga, and prenatal yoga classes, along with past life exploration workshops.
Sharon Wahlfeld fell in love with the experience of clearing stress and worry through breath, movement & sweat in the 1990s. Initially gravitating toward hot yoga, which for her at that time, helped to manage the stresses of a career in kitchen design and a “type A” personality. Years of hot yoga practice led to her first yoga teacher training in 2007. Since 2008, she has been teaching group classes as well as individual yoga sessions. On the path of continuous learning, she has completed certified trainings in Vinyasa Yoga, Hot Yoga, Relax and Renew Restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra, and Yin Yoga.
Her relationship to yoga, her students, and herself significantly shifted when she met Hansa and enrolled in the Yoga Cikitsa Program at PranaYoga and Ayurveda Mandala. Hansa helped her understand that we are all on a journey of self-discovery, increasing our awareness and understanding of our True Self.
Sharon is motivated by the belief that yoga is for EVERYONE. She especially loves teaching beginners, chair yoga, and restorative yoga. In her classes she encourages slowing down the body and mind in order to increase ease and whole body wellbeing. Her students describe her classes as thoughtful, peaceful, grounding, and rejuvenating. Inspired by her teachers and students alike, Sharon is abundantly grateful for the practice of yoga and the opportunity to teach. Learn more about her: https://sharingwisdomyoga.com/
Samantha LMT, YA E-RYT 500, YACEP, IAYT in Training has been a lover of yoga since 2004 and has shared her yoga education since 2007. She first found yoga after a back injury, where she found physical relief through her practice. What she really connected with, however, was the relief from her self-hatred and depression. She fell in love with the peace she experienced after her practice, her community, and her Self.
In 2007, she received her YogaFit level-1 certification and began teaching yoga in Green Bay, WI, where she was already employed as a personal trainer since 2006. She completed her 200-hour teacher training in 2011. After years of self-study, she completed her 300-hour advanced training in 2018 both at Pranava Yoga Center in Colorado Springs.
She has completed her fourth year of studies to become a Yoga Therapist with her teacher Hansa Knox of PranaYoga and Ayurveda Mandala, has hundreds of hours of study in Vedic Astrology (also known as jyotiṣa), Saṃskṛta (the language of yoga), anatomy, and is also a Licensed Massage Therapist. She brings her love of anatomy and kinesiology into every class to provide a safe environment to her students. Her goofy, genuine character is reflected in her offerings, and she hopes to impart to her students that we all have something to learn and yoga is one of the greatest teachers.
Dee Koches, E-RYT 500, YACEP, TSY, has been dedicated to the practice of yoga on and off the mat since 2013. She began her deep dive into studying the gifts of yoga at Pranava Yoga Center in 2016, and continued expanding her knowledge through PranaYoga and Ayurveda Mandala’s Yoga Cikitsā program, which she graduated from in May 2022. Her desire to support her students continued to grow through attending adaptive and trauma-sensitive trainings. As an ongoing student of this yogic path, Dee is fascinated with the numerous modalities of yoga and how the learning truly never ends. She enjoys the opportunity to blend the awareness of the body, mind, and Spirit with her ambition to encourage individuals throughout their personal growth and exploration. Dee is incredibly honored and excited to share these collective experiences with her students, who ultimately are her teachers.
Nancy Martch ERYT-500 and YACEP is a long-time yoga practitioner and has taught for over 20 years. As a teacher, she focuses on providing a student-centered experience that allows for safe exploration of perceived limitations and a balanced practice.
Since 2019, Nancy has devoted herself to sharing the healing modalities of yoga in a focused and personal way. She began training for yoga therapy certification, returning to study at her studies with Hansa Knox at PranaYoga and Ayurveda Mandala. Now in her final year, she also recently completed her MA in Communication, combining her interests in yoga philosophy, mindfulness, and communication for her final project.
Nancy is registered with Yoga Alliance as an ERYT-500 and YACEP. She is available for personalized yoga therapy, holistic wellness coaching and conflict/communication consulting. Nancy lives and works in Houston, TX. When not at work, you can find her reading, enjoying the outdoors, or photographing things that catch her eye.
Olivia Pennington, RYT 200, RYT 500, owns and operates Six Directions Yoga & Yoga Therapy in Monument, Co. She works privately with individuals and in small group settings and she teaches weekly classes at the Tri-Lakes Silver Key Senior Center. Olivia began her dedicated yoga practice over 20 years ago and realized her passion for the many paths of Yoga. She earned her first Yoga teaching certification in 2008 with her long time teacher, Deahna Brown. She completed her 500 Hr training in 2013 at the Pranava Yoga Center in Co Springs, Co. She then chose to pursue further studies in Yoga Therapy with Hansa Knox and Prana Yoga & Ayurveda Mandala in Denver, CO. She graduated from the Yoga Cikitsa program in May of 2022.
Olivia recently retired from 20 year of coaching recreational and competitive gymnastics. Her coaching experience, along with her extensive Yoga training allowed her to develop a keen understanding of the mind/body relationship. Olivia delights in seeing her clients make new discoveries within themselves through breath work, movement, and other Yoga Therapy tools. She enjoys developing customized programs for people of all abilities. Olivia lives with her husband in Palmer Lake, Co. They share an entrepreneurial spirit, two adult kids and a house full of 4 leggers.<3
Allison Rissel is passionate about helping and inspiring yoga teachers to overcome self-doubt and burnout. She is dedicated to assisting yoga teachers to connect with their authenticity, enabling them to become powerful leaders of transformation in their yoga communities.
Since becoming a yoga teacher in 2006, she has completed her master’s degree in exercise physiology in addition to over 2,000 hours of formal yoga and yoga therapy trainings and is an C-IAYT Yoga Therapist. She uses her knowledge and experience to guide yoga teachers along their yoga teacher journey, supporting them through the mental, spiritual, and physical challenges that they face.
She is the founder of the Yoga Teacher Conf, dedicated to elevating, educating and inspiring yoga teachers around the globe through affordable continuing education, community support and connection.
She is an extroverted optimist and she loves hiking, skiing, and connecting in nature with her husband, Sean.
Helgrid Randolph, CAP, C-IAYT, MD(Austria) is a native of Austria who now calls Colorado home. She is a certified Yoga teacher and Yoga therapist, and an Ayurvedic practitioner (NAMA certified). Helgrid is a licensed physician in her home country but does not hold a license in the United States. She received her medical degree from the University of Vienna, Austria. Her vision is to spread awareness of the great potential for Yoga and Ayurveda as a way of life for personal healthcare or in combination with allopathic medicine.
Heidi Nordlund, AD, YT, TCP is a qualified holistic health practitioner and spiritual facilitator who has been practicing for more than a decade. She was born and raised in Denmark and moved to the United States in 2002 to engage in an ongoing deepening learning and application of spiritual healing disciplines. Heidi has completed three certified Ayurvedic degrees: Advanced Ayurvedic Practitioner (Bhishakgwara) and Ayurvedic Practitioner (Ayurved Vaidya) from Alandi Ayurved Gurukula in Boulder, CO, as well as Ayurvedic Practitioner from the Rocky Mountain Institute for Yoga and Ayurveda. Heidi has completed advanced intensives in pulse reading, marma points, herbology and clinical assessment with Vasant Lad at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM, and is a Professional Member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) recognized at the Ayurvedic Doctor level of membership. In addition, Heidi is an Ayurvedic Postpartum Doula, Tibetan Cranial Practitioner, Yoga Therapist and Yoga Instructor. She earned her BA in Contemplative Psychology with focus on Health and Healing from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. The multifaceted developmental and healing modalities that Heidi offers are consistently effective in improving health and wellness, resulting in enhanced vitality and well-being.
Anandi (Angie Noe), C-IAYT has over 2100 hours of education in Yoga and Yoga Therapy under her belt to offer her clients a wide-range of tools in private or class settings. Angie received her first professional certification as a Yoga Therapist through the The Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda (RMIYA). Her teacher was Dr. Buhrman, PhD. She then continued her education in Yoga Therapy through Prana Yoga and serves as a Teaching Assistant for the training. She has also studied with her beloved teacher Nischala Joy Devi in Healing Relationships, Secret Power of Yoga Sutras and also certified in “Yoga of the Heart” for people living with heart disease or cancer! Angie was also asked to be an assistant to Nischala Joy Devi in July 2015 for a “Yoga of the Heart” program in West Virginia in Yogaville. What an amazing experience it was to help her teacher and be of service. Nischala Joy Devi gave Angie a spiritual name of Anandi, which was received with both love and gratitude. Angie is a fun-loving human being who has a heart and a passion for serving and helping others. Learn more about her: trainingandyogawithangie.com
We’ve benefitted greatly by the wisdom that these teachers offer. Though they don’t regularly offer programs with us, we are always happy to welcome them in for classes anytime we can.
Patricia M. Hansen, MA, E-CYT500 is a Yoga therapist, Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Lifestyle Consultant, and both a National and International Yoga Teacher and Lecturer. Patricia started teaching at the local YMCA in 1967 and at the Jewish Community Center in 1969. She developed the first prenatal yoga classes in the early 1970’s. Patricia established the first academic yoga classes in America through Metropolitan State College and the University of Denver. She received her Master’s in Religious Studies from the University of Denver and her certification as an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Lifestyle Consultant from the Ayurvedic Institute under the direction of Dr. Vasant Lad. Patricia is a past President and founding member of Unity in Yoga International and Yoga Teachers of Colorado; a founding member of National Ayurvedic and Medical Association and International Association of Yoga Therapy; a member of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico; an executive board member of International Yoga Studies; past President Emeritus of Yoga Alliance, co-founder and faculty member of the Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda; faculty member of American Yoga College; and currently is sharing her Yoga knowledge and skills by serving on the Board of Sanga, a local non profit yoga educational organization while serving as a faculty member at Metropolitan State University and maintaining a private Yoga and Ayurvedic practice. Patricia has studied with Swami Satchidananda, Yogi Bhajan, Rama Jyoti Vernon and many other teachers; she integrates all of these teachings to offer a beautiful yoga experience.
Yogacharya Dharmananda, fondly known as Swamiji, is a preeminent scholar and teacher of the Science of Yoga, Hindu Philosophy, and Comparative Religion. As the former Director of the International Vishwaguru Yoga and Meditation Institute (Rishikesh, India), he has given these teachings to students from all over the world for more than 25 years. He is the direct disciple of the late Guru, Shri Vishwaguruji Maharaj. Swami’s lectures – especially his mode of presentation with humor, stories and anecdotes – has earned him wide acclaim.
You may contact him directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Swamiji’s photos are courtesy of Valerie Meadows, Meadows Photography
Kerry Shamblin, Jyotishi, has been a student of Vedic sciences and culture since 1992. Beginning with an intensive foundational course taught by Yogacharya Dharmananda at his ashram in India, she continually pursues a deeper understanding of Vedic philosophy, yoga, mantra and Ayurveda while focusing on the lifelong study and practice of jyotisha, the “science of light”. She is a certified professional member of the Council for Vedic Astrology with a commitment to further study and teaching. Her delight is to join with other practitioners, teachers and clients in order to bring the various branches of Vedic wisdom to bear in helping people create health, joy, understanding and peace in their lives. Kerry offers personal Vedic astrology readings and mentorship for those looking to learn more. Visit her website: www.planetaryinfluence.com
Amit Garg, Jyotishacharya, was born and brought up in northern India in a very spiritual family. He was introduced to Gayatri mantra at the age of 6 and his family is devoted to worship of Ma Gayatri. Growing up, he spent his summer vacations immersed in the Ashram life of Gayatri Teertha Shantikunj, near Haridwar and Rishikesh.
He was trained as Electronics Engineer from IIT (India) and did MBA from University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. Currently he lives in San Diego, California with his wife and son.
Amit has studied Jyotish with various teachers – Juliana Swanson, James Kelleher, Komilla Sutton and most recently with his Jyotish Guru Souvik Dutta at Jyotish school Ancient Indian Astrology Classes (AIAC). Amit also finished Level 1 program of American College of Vedic Astrology (ACVA).
Amit is part of faculty at AIAC and teaches 12-week Jyotish courses. He was conferred the title of Jyotishacharya (Jyotish Teacher) by his guru Souvik Dutta in 2014.
Besides Jyotish, Amit also has interest in Yoga, Ayurveda, Vāstu (Indian Feng Shui) and Pranic Healing. He has attended many Ayurveda seminars with Dr. Vasant Lad at Ayurveda Institute, has finished Level 5 Pranic Healing training and Level 4 training at American Institute of Vastu.
Amit offers astrological consultations on all topics.
Amit’s Blog: https://illuminatelifetoday.wordpress.com/
He can be reached at email@example.com
Advanced Training Teachers
Our PYTT, the PranaYoga Teacher Training, is taught through the coordination of many of our community’s most talented yoga teachers. Many are listed here and you can read about each of them.
As you register for classes, you’ll see the professionals that are part of our extended staff. We are so blessed to have well-educated teachers in our presence and we welcome them in to educate our future advanced yoga teachers.