Valley Yoga Teachers
Owner/Instructor Brenda Proudfoot RYT 500:
RYT 500. The practice of yoga – asana, pranayam, meditation and study of the sutras – has been a primary tool for my ability to walk through some intensely painful periods of life including my brother’s death by suicide, my nephew’s brain surgeries and my own breast cancer. I had no idea when I first began practicing asana because I had discomfort between my shoulder blades, the degree to which I would one day find myself leaning back into this practice so deeply in order to keep walking and breathing and loving. This is a practice that is deeply interwoven into my soul and I am grateful to all those who have gone before me in the path of yoga in whatever way it has been expressed.
Brenda has completed her 200 and 500 hour training at Prajna Yoga with Tias and Surya Little and is registered with Yoga Alliance.
Brenda is delighted to be a Senior Teacher with Prajna Yoga.
Brenda has studied with Rodney Yee since 2000 and enjoys assisting Rodney at conferences and workshops. She also studies under Patricia Walden and regularly travels to Oakland/Berkeley to study with Jin Sung, Yoko Yoshikawa, Ann Dyer and Jonathon Gross. Brenda appreciates the Iyengar style many of her teachers draw on and loves exploring other styles. Most of all, she is playful and exploratory in her own practice and brings that playfulness to her teaching.
Teachers with ongoing classes:
Tuesday and Friday - 10:00 - 11:30am.
Tuesday - 4:00pm and Friday 5:30pm
Since practicing and teaching at Valley Yoga, I am stronger, healthier, more peaceful and more appreciative of myself. I’ve shed the old superficial view of myself and have quit holding myself to the old ridiculous standards. I am grateful for this inward and outward practice of yoga, all my teachers, every magnificent student, and all the loving friends.
I am pleased to also offer Gentle classes at Valley Yoga. It is a great joy to share the benefits of yoga with those presenting a variety of considerations including: seniors, those undergoing rehabilitation from surgery or injury, those with chronic issues (such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, M.S., etc.) and anyone looking for a slower paced practice.
Many teachers have influenced me. I was profoundly inspired studying with Julie Gudmestead, Angela Farmer, and Tias Little. It was from my training with JoAnn Lyons and her incredible students with CP (and other disabilities) that I decided I wanted to work with students with chronic concerns.
I have been studying with Brenda Proudfoot since 2006. I’ve benefited greatly from her guidance and mentorship. I am grateful to her and this remarkable community of teachers and students for their support and kindness.
Holly Jones: Monday - 5:30pm.
I am so grateful that Yoga and the right teacher appeared in my life when I needed it. I came to yoga looking to cultivate flexibility and strength. After a few weeks, I noticed that there were more benefits. As I became more flexible and stronger, I was also more relaxed and happier like when I was a child. I felt such gratitude for everyone in my life and each new day. Yoga has helped me to understand myself better and gives me strength to tackle the challenges of life. It has changed how I deal with stress. I find it easier to stay focused and really listen, which helps me make better decisions. Each time I do a yoga pose it feels new and interesting, even if I have done it many times. It is amazing how powerful the gentle practices of yoga are. It is fun to do some of the poses that were once impossible. I enjoy my yoga practice and the wonderful people I have met at Valley Yoga. I love having a place to go where I can leave my worries at the door with my shoes.
Holly has completed her 200 hours at Prajna Yoga with Tias and Surya Little. She is certified to teach Pilates mat classes, studies the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais, and has a master’s degree in dance.
Kathy Prekoski: Monday and Friday - 12:00pm
It has been so nice finding my place at Valley Yoga over the last 10 years. Not just a place to put my mat, but a place to bring my challenges and my bliss. It’s a place to share enthusiasm, move with intention and flow with the energy of my fellow yogis, even without an ability to “fit into” every pose. While pregnant with my first child I discovered pre-natal yoga at the Berkeley YMCA. Soon after, I moved to Visalia and found this studio. I am forever grateful to Brenda and her support through my second pregnancy, as well as her encouragement in my experience of teaching Pre-natal Yoga. As I continue to balance work and family life, Yoga continues to infuse my life with solace and delight. I love to travel and be inspired by brilliant teachers in various cities. Studying Zen meditation in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, and practicing with our local Sangha, has awakened my perspective to our ever-present inter-connectedness.
Diana Leoni: Monday - 4:00pm
Diana Leoni has been a student of Anusara yoga for 13 years.
She is a certified Yoga instructor, getting her certification from the School of Sacred Arts in Bali.
Her goal in starting a yogic path was to heal lower back pain and get stronger, little did she realize that a whole new path of radiant health, fulfillment and enjoyment in life would become that same path. She was introduced to Anusara yoga through Desiree Rumbaugh. She immediately connected with Anusara. philosophy of openheartedness and alignment to Source. She has taken classes and workshops Desiree, and others including John Friend. She also trained in Yin and Tantra yoga in Bali. Her broad knowledge and passion for yoga is taught to her students in a kind, authentic and heart centered way that allows students to get deeper into their own hearts with self acceptance, honesty, compassion and love.
Dina Restivo: Sunday - 4:00pm.
I am able to feel centered by practicing yoga regularly. I am able to still my mind and allow a sense of calmness and peace. My yoga practice is helping me to find my equilibrium and for this I am grateful.
Dina has studied yoga with Brenda Proudfoot since 2002. She recently earned her 200-hour yoga teacher certification at Mount Madonna Center, a center dedicated to the study of Ashtanga (Eight Limb) yoga under the wise and silent leadership of Baba Hari Dass. Dina is continuing her study in Mount Madonna's 500-hour certification program. Dina has led a successful yoga program for Visalia Parks & Recreation since 2008, and she especially loves sharing the joys of yoga with seniors and beginners.
Yoga for me is both a practice of the mind and of strengthening the body. Brenda, our instructor, has placed a clock in the studio with the word ‘NOW’; this word illustrates exactly what yoga does for me. Yoga enables me to feel and sense every breath and movement in my body because I am always present, living the moment! This sense of awareness is a rewarding feeling because it translates into my daily life, as it has made me conscious about what I do and why I do it. In addition, the friendships I have developed at the studio are an awesome support and encouragement!
Yoga has been life changing for me. When I first began I couldn’t do much of anything. The poses were all quite challenging and many were somewhat painful as well. I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to do much, but I felt it was what my body needed so I stuck with it. Over time it all began to change. Today yoga is a big part of my life. I’ve realized there’s so much more to it than doing the poses. There’s always something new to learn and new challenges to explore.
The yoga community at the studio draws me in, sharing chatter, laughter, tears and calmness. The poses ask for courage, accomplished by working with modifications until I am ready. I am stronger now than in my youth, learning to hold and balance my own body weight. I am gaining flexibility to enhance all of the other physical activities I enjoy. Knowing that balance works better on some days than others, I am learning to focus and go inside and that makes the difference. I am Becoming aware of my breath. It calms, steadies and clears my mind. “Namaste”, I feel as the gratitude and respect between myself, my students and my teacher. I am connecting “the truth that we are all one when we live from the heart.” I feel peace and joy inside my soul as I leave a class at the studio.
I have fibromyalgia. Since I was diagnosed over 12 years ago I have been practicing yoga. Initially I used tapes at home, but it wasn't until I found Brenda and her studio that my practice took hold. Yoga has been the one constant in my life that has helped me weather the many changes of life with this disease. No matter how bad I feel when I come to the mat I always feel better after. Yoga has been this gift I give to myself each and every time I practice.
As an artist, I’ve found yoga to be another branch into creativity and support for my spirit. There’s a unique union between my knowledge of the skeleton and muscles I use in drawing or sculpting and how my body “feels’ as I practice. As a teacher, I strive to take poses and help students discover how to make them accessible via modifications and the use of props. I love helping people and breaking down information into do-able steps. As someone who has dealt with scoliosis and depression, I’ve truly discovered a freedom from chronic pain and finally feel at peace within my skin.
Yoga has taught me how to better protect myself and my body. With illness and injury it is all too easy to either give up or push myself too far, but through yoga I have learned to find a happy balance. I have learned the difference between what I “can” do and what I “should” do. Sure, I can push myself to do a headstand and cause serious injury to myself, but that’s not a very good idea. Practicing yoga has taught me poses that I should do instead that will challenge me and still keep me safe. I don’t worry that I “can’t” do what everyone else is doing and instead am able to focus on what is best for me and my body.
After a lifetime of various workout routines, I have found a permanent home in yoga. It is the complete package; an intriguing blend of cardio, strength training, proper form and, most importantly, stress relief. There is always something to challenge you and no two sessions are the same. Physically, I am more toned with better posture. Mentally, I am more centered and focused. There is truly something for every body.