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Our Teachers

Joy Ravelli

For over 20 years, Joy Ravelli has led workshops, retreats, and yoga teacher training. Joy is the co-owner and founder of Purusha Studio and School in San Francisco, CA. She is also the founder of the Purusha Seva Project, a non profit organization that brings powerful yoga practices to underserved and at-risk populations throughout the Bay Area and the world.

Joy brings a powerful sense of authenticity, humor, light, and natural wisdom to her classes, encouraging students to explore, discover, and express their true-self (purusha) in a safe and deeply inspiring atmosphere.

Joy has a master-level of experience and knowledge in the fields of natural fitness, somatic movement, thai yoga bodywork, martial arts, pilates, and classic yoga. She enjoys meditating and practicing with diverse people, places, animals, children and nature, while celebrating all the connected magic in this world.

Eric Sparks

Eric Sparks is the co-owner of Purusha Yoga Studio and School in San Francisco, CA. A classically trained ballet dancer since 1982, Eric has been a company member of Boston Ballet, Cleveland/San Jose Ballet and a Soloist with Miami City Ballet. Eric is a lead teacher of professional yoga training, yoga retreats, and a continuing education provider with the Yoga Alliance.

He is known for his practical sense of body movement, flow, presence and command of intelligent practice. Eric provides students a depth of knowledge on the physical level, intuitive wisdom for your mind, and empathic support for your emotional well being. Eric ultimately creates a very unique holistic experience and relationship between himself, his connection to truth, and his students

PJ Church

PJ is an RYT-500 and graduate of the Purusha Yoga Therapy program, with specialized certifications in Thai Yoga Massage and Aqua Kriya Yoga. PJ has continued his studies with noted teachers in sound healing, mantra and therapeutic forms of restorative yoga. He teaches Hatha and Restorative Yoga at Purusha, infusing his asana classes with a wide range of practices including pranayama, guided meditation, yoga nidra, and sound meditation.

PJ is also passionate about finer arts, having spent many years exploring the intersection of mythology, art and consciousness under the moniker "Wooliverse" and has taught felting classes at the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design. It has been a natural step for him to incorporate meditative art practices into his work with yoga therapy clients.

Silvia Sanchez

Born and raised in Mexico, Silvia moved to San Francisco in 2007. 

She has always enjoyed an active lifestyle. Struggling with body stiffness and pain, Silvia found Purusha. Quickly, her  asana practice became something deeper beyond the physical aspect, so she  decided to do her 200-hour training and to share her experience with other  people. 

When on her mat, Silvia constantly finds two sides of herself: a high-energy  warrior and a non-stop growing student. She is constantly trying to grow in  her own practice, and loves to offer challenging classes that incorporate  “sukha” and “sthira” – joyful and soft but strong and active poses. Her classes  are about building strength – physically and mentally – and listening to the  body. She hopes to inspire her students to trust themselves and to find what  serves them the best. That is what the practice of yoga is for her, finding balance and harmony, both  in our practice and in our lives.

Lori Pim

Lori teaches flow based vinyasa and mat pilates for all levels. She is known for her passion, unique approach, and inspirational instructing style that embodies physical, spiritual, and mental strength, with emphasis on alignment and breathwork. Since she started teaching in 2010, she has led thousands of classes, though continues to be a lifelong student of the practice. 

Lori is an E-RYT 200 and RYT 300 hour graduate from Purusha Yoga School, with specializations in Pilates and Thai Yoga Bodywork. She has been leading the Pilates module since 2014. She is inspired by the teachings of Joseph Pilates. Pilates, like yoga, emphasizes a deep mind-body connection and Lori brings this connection into each practice. Lori enjoys spending time in nature, and exploring all the beauty around the Bay Area. 

Rachel Goudey

Rachel is an IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist and Educator in the Bay Area. With an eclectic background in creative arts, dance, psychology and yoga Rachel facilitates practices that help to create movement of our mental, emotional, and physical distress to create a state of balance and harmony in our lives. A doctor of psychology and trained extensively across many styles and lineages of yoga, bodywork and meditation, Rachel creates specialized therapeutic programs for individuals and small groups who are ready to dive deeper into their healing. Her aim is to guide individuals into a state of peace and trust in their life’s story, create community, and bring the teachings and practices of yoga into various settings around the world as these practices are what have helped her cope with her own anxiety and healing growth. She is passionate about making yoga more accessible to all, bringing the teachings and practices to those who otherwise may not have access to yoga.

Rachel serves on the Board of the Purusha Seva Project and is a master teacher and mentor in the YTT program at Purusha Yoga School leading specialized trainings for yoga teachers and therapists on utilizing yoga for mental health issues such as trauma and addiction. In classes and therapeutic sessions Rachel meets each person where they are at while still challenging them to reach new heights of self-realization, strength, flexibility, and acceptance. Rachel’s  guidance teaches you to listen to your body and intuition from a place of trust, authenticity, passion and playfulness. To learn more about her work or to connect visit: racheljenninewellnessandyoga.com.

Candace Driskell

Candace began practicing yoga at a little beachside studio in New Zealand in 2006. After a decade of personal practice, Candace began teaching at Purusha Yoga in 2016. She has taught Vinyasa, Hatha, Restorative and Beginner’s Yoga. No matter the type of class, Candace believes in meeting her students where they are, and making the practice of yoga inclusive and available to all. Her classes are fun, lighthearted, and welcoming. As a lifelong singer, Candace incorporates chanting and sound healing into her classes to enhance her students’ relaxation. Candace has completed her registered yoga teacher 500 hour certification and is currently studying to become a certified yoga therapist. 

Carmen Casado

Carmen has long believed in the body's innate wisdom and capacity for resilience.  Her work as a Yoga Teacher, Yoga Therapist, and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner embodies this conviction. She found yoga in 2001 and began teaching in 2011.  She completed her 500 hour (RYT) Yoga Therapy training at Purusha Yoga in San Francisco, as well as a three-year professional Somatic Experiencing training at the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, and is a certified Veterans Yoga Project teacher.

Carmen has taught yoga and mindfulness at Purusha Yoga Studio, for the Purusha Seva Project, at the San Francisco Woman's Jail, and for corporate and individual clients. She is currently teaching group yoga classes with Purusha yoga and offering private yoga and integrative somatic therapy sessions. Her mission as a yoga teacher is to create a safe and supportive environment for her students to explore the eight limbs of Raja Yoga, while cultivating resiliency and a deeper connection to self. Carmen serves on the Board of Directors of the Purusha Seva Project and the Reciprocity Foundation, which both bring yoga and holistic services to underserved communities to help support resiliency. Carmen is an eco-enthusiast, and is passionate about sustainable and equitable nutrition and lifestyle.  She has lived in four countries, and is fluent in Spanish.

Victoria Lei Rossi

Victoria is a RYT200 certified yoga teacher, level 1 reiki practitioner, and is currently completing her RYT500 through Purusha Yoga School. Victoria's introduction to yoga was through a power vinyasa class. At first, she loved it because it was a challenging workout, but eventually she discovered that there is so much more to the practice than a physically tough flow. For Victoria, yoga has become a path toward self-discovery, self-love, self-actualization, and a continual learning experience.

In her classes, Victoria encourages students to release their expectations of themselves, to have fun and to be curious with their practice. Her alignment-focused cues remind her students to stay focused on the body and the breath and fully surrender to the practice of yoga. She hopes you leave class feeling rejuvenated and rewarded and can't wait to be a part of your unique yoga journey.

Valerie Starr

I am obsessed with yoga. I love it because it’s a part of my healing process, a big piece of my creativity, my passion, my flame, my spirit. I love experiencing the capacity in which we can move our bodies and connect with breath as a spirit ritual. 

 To me, yoga is about creating space and unraveling the tangles in our body and mind, bringing clarity to the things that get out of focus, and deepening the relationship with self. Yoga is being with the crazy, complicated, playful, and joyful aspects of ourselves and loving them all the same. 

 I am inspired in my teaching by growth, challenge, and curiosity. Life is continually calling on us to listen and learn the way our bodies and practices change throughout our lifetime. I use my personal practice to navigate my teaching. I certainly wouldn't be here without the  love and support of my amazing teachers Keith Borden, Jasmine Tarkeshi, Joy Ravelli, Katchie Ananda, Jane Austin, Annie Carpenter, and my son, Everett.

Jenya Ustinova

Born and raised in Russia, Evgeniya (Jenya) graduated from a Saint-Petersburg university, moved to San Francisco in 2012, and began her yoga journey in 2013. She started as a dedicated Bikram yoga practitioner and overtime discovered Purusha yoga studio, where she completed her 200 and 300 hour teacher training. She is continuing her yoga education in order to obtain a Yoga Therapy certification.

Mind-Body-Spirit connection is the key ingredient for Jenya’s everyday life and well-being. Learning to be fully present and finding gratitude for the little things that shape our lives, enjoying “the good” to the fullest and working through “the bad” with patience and respect, becoming stronger physically and mentally - these are the lessons yoga has taught and continues to teach her on and off the mat every single day.

Rachel Gonzalez

Rachel completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Purusha in May 2020 and has enjoyed expanding her practice and continuing to learn different teaching styles. She strives to teach yoga in a way that is accessible and approachable for all levels and seeks to make positive connections with her students. In addition to teaching yoga, Rachel also holds a Master's in Psychology from San Francisco State University and has worked closely with various mental health populations, such as people with substance use disorders and people with schizophrenia.

Jennifer Osoria

Tired of the party scene living under many layers of conditioning Jennifer began to seek a different way of existing. She embarked on a self discovery journey that led her to yoga. Little did she know yoga would be the flame to light the way on her journey to not only existing but thriving. Jennifer wants to share her passion for yoga and enrolled at Purusha yoga school to deepen her understanding of the practice and become certified. She also certified in Buti yoga because she loves the approach of weaving yoga and exercise together. Jennifer’s approach to yoga is a balance of strength, flexibility and finding one's own flow. She believes  that connecting to self through breath and conscious movement can help transform energy and heal trauma. Her classes focus on Hatha where you can expect to achieve a state of relaxation through mildly vigorous asana practice. Or Buti where you will sweat, ground and release.  In both styles she sprinkles her love for holistic wellness and self care.

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