Nayaswami Carole Bartoo
A founding members of Ananda Seattle, Carole manages the Living Wisely Thrift and Gift in Shoreline, WA.
Nayaswami Lajjana Beeninga
As a staff member of the Ananda Meditation Temple in Bothell and a resident of the Ananda Community in Lynnwood, Lajjana can be found answering phones, decorating the altar, purchasing the supplies, cooking meals for large gatherings or coordinating volunteers. Lajjana is an ordained Lightbearer of Ananda Church of Self-Realization
Murali Venkatrao was born in India and lives in the Seattle area. Murali is the director of the Ananda Yoga Teacher Training program. He teaches the Hatha Yoga Intensive, offers and coordinates the Yogasana workshop series, assists with the Raja Yoga Intensive, and offers other classes such as the Hindu Way of Awakening.
Michelle David teaches the Hatha Yoga Intensive, plus ongoing Ananda Yoga Classes, specialty yoga workshops such as the Yogasana series, and the popular Superconscious Living course. She is an experienced meditation teacher and assists with the Raja Yoga Intensive as well. As a sideline, Michelle is the building and planning coordinator for the Temple facility.
Nayaswami Dakshina Agee teaches meditation and serves full-time on staff as office, technology, graphics, and ad coordinator for Ananda. She has been practicing the Raja and Kriya Yoga techniques as taught at Ananda for over 10 years and lives at the Ananda community in Lynnwood.
Tyagi Rick Johnston has been teaching meditation and other classes for as long as he has lived in Seattle, and before that in Santa Rosa, CA! Rick is the senior member of the management team at the East West Bookshop and is one of the founders of the CSA of Ananda Farms (with its subscription food-growing coop and two locations, including Camano Island!)
Tyagi Christy Johnston Christy Johnston is an Ananda teacher and minister. She and her husband, Rick (who co-manages East West Bookshop) came to Ananda Seattle in 2004 from the Ananda center in Santa Rosa. Christy is the director of the Healing Prayer Ministry and coordinates resident activities at the Ananda Community in Lynnwood. She is a graduate of both Yoga Teacher Training and Meditation Teacher Training from Ananda and teaches classes in metaphysical healing, affirmations and related subjects.
Her past career focus and college degree has been in human development and some of her many interests and talents include working with pets, plants, inspiring others to rally around projects, and helping others be more organized.
Christy suggests that those new to meditation and yoga approach their practice with greater feeling, extending that into a deeper awareness in all daily activities. She suggests that “we use these practices to foster lifestyle transformation and to learn to see past the little things of daily life into the vastness that is your true self. It’s about taking the time to notice your own joy, peace, and innate nature. Self-discipline reminds us that we can be our own best friend, giving ourselves good advice!”
Buddy Wilson is a certified meditation teacher and Ananda Yoga teacher. He takes time from his busy and growing software technology firm, to teach meditation and yoga at the Bothell location.
Masha Reichert teaches meditation classes at the East West Bookstore in Seattle. Masha was formerly a Russian language instructor at university level and finds great inspiration in her meditation practice and in the commentary on the “Bhagavad Gita” by Swami Kriyananda!
Samara Spitzer is an Ananda Yoga Teacher with a keen interest in serving through teaching. She says that, on a personal level, teaching Ananda Yoga has supported her growth to live positively, go with the flow of how things happen naturally, listen inwardly, and live with gratitude for the grace within and all around her.
Born into the Jewish faith, Samara grew up in Washington, and speaks highly of her family life. She studied anthropology and Buddhist psychology, and has lived in places like Israel, Santa Fe NM, Boston, and Boulder, before finding that what she needed was right here in Washington! She has experience working with in different business is also a certified Nia and Zumba instructor and reports that both yoga and dancing, each in their own unique way, connect her to her spirit. Besides teaching yoga at Ananda Temple, she also finds joy in teaching at correctional facilities with Yoga Behind Bars. These days, Samara is instrumental in taking care of day to day administrative tasks and blends her nature of friendship to all, with things like office management, graphics, marketing and “whatever else is needed”.
Heidi MacBeth first started teaching yoga and now teaches meditation classes as well. She has a long history of practicing yoga and says she was ‘immediately hooked’. She says that being a teacher helps her dive deeper into the teachings of Yogananda and the yogic way of life, and that “… you always learn from the students!”
Her advice to people interested in yoga and meditation is to definitely give it a try, because, when you make a genuine effort, the practices have the ability to bring your life into balance on all levels, such as helping to bring physical and emotional healing, reducing stress, and giving a more harmonious look on life and the world. “It can bring more happiness into your life!”
Heidi was born and raised in Finland, and moved to America after meeting her husband, Garth. Heidi enjoys reading, and with Garth, taking long walks while soaking in the beautiful scenery of the Pacific Northwest.
When not teaching, you can find Heidi in the office at Ananda Temple, working with student registration for programs like Raja Yoga and Meditation and Yoga Teacher Training. She has also been a part of Ananda’s foreign rights book publishing work. She says she likes helping with the ‘behind the scenes’ tasks, and you can often find her designing our many flyers and mailings.