Ventura County Reporter Reader’s Poll 2015 –
“Best of” Ventura County

VC best of 2015


Dear Camarillo Yoga Friends,

A note of thank you for your support of our yoga school, and our teachers, who make CYC a great place to be. I don’t know what “the best” means except in the way you say to a really good friend “You are the best! “ meaning: I am so grateful for you.

Students, teachers and CYC friends, you are the best, and I am grateful for you, we are all grateful for one another and the community, support, laughter and self-care we share. It is a dang gratitude fest every single day, and I somehow have the remarkable good fortune to call this my job.

As for the “Best Teacher” designation, your vote for me was a vote for all our terrific teachers, whose dedication and care has changed many of your lives forever. I can’t thank them enough for holding up our roof with the many classes that they teach and their own particular gifts, but I can recognize them by name:

Allison Barton: Creator of “proposal position” whose clarity, patience and good sense in teaching has earned your trust and your gratitude. Allison is also your 6 am, 6 o’clock in the morning teacher, and deserves a medal for showing up happily every single time.

Andy Barton: The music man of Power Yoga and yoga teacher of the skies in his job as an airline captain- spreading the gospel far and wide and bringing back tales of yoga classes across the country which make us grateful for CYC and his fun and encouraging classes.

Anthony Lorenzana: Our newest teacher and graduate of our 2014/15 teacher training course. So excited to have Anthony’s love of yoga, technical understanding, and caring teaching available to our students!

Bette Lee: Bette has jumped in at the last minute to sub classes for a decade, and her love of yoga is what shines through in her kind and gentle approach. Small of stature, but huge of heart!

Brooke Voorhees: Our beautiful Brooke, always a smile on her face and the light touch that makes yoga fun for everyone!

Christi Harman & Alice Babich: Who have turned our Ultra Gentle yoga from a couple of classes to a community of friends, with so much love and support in the room through the ups and downs of life, there is just nothing else like it. Christi is truly one of the most giving people I have ever met, and she is beloved by her students, and Alice is following in Christi’s big (small) footsteps.. how lucky are we!

Cynthia Paul: Whose “sacral soup pot,” “dipping bird” “and ”turn toward Aloha,” have entered the asana lexicon, and who, of course, was our very first student at Camarillo Yoga!

Darci Knight: You know a teacher is loved when someone says, “well, I would like to go to your event, but I can’t miss Darci’s Sunday class.” The sun to my moon, DK is the radiant and happy person we all aspire to be, and who wouldn’t be happy with all that talent? Thank you especially for your backstage support with office help, music playlists, video production and promotion. I am truly blessed that you arrived in my life, Darci.

Francine Beattie: Has saved my rear end so many times both in yoga and in rock climbing, and whose strong, beautiful practice inspires everyone at CYC . Francine is kind enough to jump in and teach our Yoga 4 class when I can’t, and our students are always the better for it!

Janet Snyder: Who has turned our Friday night Ballroom Dancing classes into a party! Nowhere was Janet’s talent so evident as this weekend when students who began her class with trepidation 5 years ago, put on a show to celebrate their 33rd anniversary- 6 dances telling the story of their relationship, all choreographed by the talented Ms. Snyder! Anyone can dance, all you need is a teacher who knows her stuff inside out, and yet is still fun. And Fun is Janet’s middle name.

Lori Hill: Our Teen Girl American Idol. Despite being a mom of a pre-teen (and sweet baby Ray,) Lori looks like she could be one of the girls- but I did see a very small line around her eye recently so I know she is human. Her loving acceptance and encouragement offers the girls sanctuary in their busy lives. Oh and btw, Lori also teaches our Baby Yoga classes now, with the new moms love love loving her also.. what is up with this woman…? Oh yeah, she’s the real love deal.

Maki Guelcher: Maki is a study in grace of movement and her supportive teaching style allows everyone in her classes, beginners and more experienced students, to deepen their relationship with the meditative forms of tai chi.

Margot Parker: Margot’s sweet temperament and thorough, inquisitive nature make her classes a journey into the details and the expression of yoga. Thanks also to Margot and her husband Joe, for keeping our mailing list current and functional. I would be lost without them.

Michele Campero: “Queen of the Bolsters” is in love with Restorative Yoga and her retinue of students are in love with her. How fortunate we are to have someone who will care enough to support your neck and back so perfectly that you can just let go, relax and renew.

Mike Cogan: Student: “Are you teaching tonight, or is Mike?” Me: “I’m subbing for Mike tonight, is that ok?” Student: “Ohhhh… okay.” Nuff said.

RRRRRoni!: Roni is the James Brown of Laughter Yoga. She works up a sweat with hilarity every Saturday, and helps even the skeptics let down their guard and get their silly on!

Susan Weaver: The calmness and ease of Susan’s own practice carries over into her teaching. Being in Susan’s class is like being in a comfortable living room with people you really like. She makes every class, home.

Tara Stivers: Where else but at CYC could you get a birth package like Tara? Pre-natal yoga teacher, doula, childbirth educator, lactation consultant and breastfeeding support group co-ordinator, and infant massage teacher. I feel so blessed that she began this whole career at Camarillo Yoga after being in our pre-natal class 13 years ago!

Teachers-in-Training:  Our 2014/2015 Yoga Teacher Training course participants are the upcoming bright lights of CYC.  Each has participated in this 16 months of training because they love yoga and want to share it.  As I have said, you can’t find a more welcoming place to practice teach than CYC- your support for them as they have grown is unique in a world that can be a little self-centered, and this fertile ground of practice has our teachers blossoming now! 

Allison and Andy Barton

Allison and Andy

Francine & Bette

Francine & Bette

Christi Harman


Cynthia Paul


Darci Knight


Lori Hill


Michele Campero


Mike Cogan




Susan Weaver


Tara Stivers


At risk of having music swell to “play me off”, I would also like to thank:

Pi Design in Camarillo for our website and promotions design, even what I always leave to the last minute.

Tara Stivers for keeping our website up to date and figuring out how to do things I have no clue about.

Aaron Wedemeyer, who talked me into having a website in the first place, and whose “Don’t Panic” Computer Assistance side-job has saved me a whole lot of panic over the years.

Gary Swearingen, our M/W/F morning opener and host with the most.

Maria Gonzalez and crew, the elves who somehow show up unseen, but leave CYC sparkling clean and smelling good.

Barbara Goodrich of Hartley Botanica, for allowing us to use her beautiful Somis wedding venue for our summer classes and Labor Day fundraiser.

RAIN Transitional Living Center for Homeless Families, whose amazing work providing a hand up to independent living for homeless families gives all of us the gift of extending ourselves to others.

Reverend Grace Lovejoy and Reverend Maureen Hoyt, for kindly sharing their beautiful Centers for Spiritual Living in Camarillo and Westlake for our Mindfulness Courses.

Cancer Center students and staff at St. John’s Hospital in Oxnard, who enthusiastically get out the vote every year and are some of my biggest cheerleaders.

Corporate students and coordinators across Ventura and Los Angeles County who make my afternoons a pleasure, notably our Teledyne Scientific group who have been practicing with me for 10 years, and our Anthem group with me and Christi for five years, and to Cal State Channel Islands and California Lutheran coordinators and students, where ongoing workshops are a joy to teach.

It’s not about the “Award”… it’s about being reminded that we are all interconnected and we all facilitate one another’s growth and evolution, and remembering to say thank you.

Thank you for allowing me to share my practice, and my life with you.

With love,