Meet Our Teachers

Camarillo Yoga Teachers are real people, just like you…not flexy-bendy pretzels in white leotards with perfect hair and whispery voices. We all feel that yoga is a gift in our lives, and we teach to share that gift.

We are trained to work with people of all shapes and sizes and levels of physical ability, and we encourage you to discuss with us any concerns or challenges regarding yoga practice. Please introduce yourself to us if you are new…we are looking forward to sharing yoga with you!

 

 

 

Audrey Walzer
Yoga Teacher; Owner/Director, Camarillo Yoga Center

If I had a penny for every Warrior 2 I have done in the decades I have taught and practiced yoga, I would be as rich as a celebrity yoga teacher! Instead, my life is enriched by living in Camarillo for the last 18 years, teaching yoga to a warm and wonderful community of people, from 6 weeks to 97 years of age. I am moved to tears each Thanksgiving, when our yoga room is crowded to overflowing with faces of students who have become friends, all of us grateful for the gift of yoga in our lives.

Yoga has healed my body, banishing the back pain which caused me to begin, and rehabilitating knees which required three surgeries after a hiking fall. Yoga keeps my joints lubricated, my bones strong and my muscles supple, so now in my mid-fifties, I feel healthy and confident. Yoga has grounded me through life’s difficulties, and helped me to appreciate the simple things- the tender and never-to-arise-again moments that are easily missed in the headlong rush of daily life. Yoga has been my shelter… I simply can’t imagine life without yoga practice.

My classes are a blend of Iyengar and Viniyoga, with liberal doses of traditions ranging from Astanga to Kundalini- a synthesis of the gifts of every teacher I have ever studied with, and every practitioner I have ever taught. My teaching is completely indebted to them.

Allison Barton

I’m a registered nurse, and am currently in graduate school. I started doing yoga almost 7 years ago to support my husband, Andy. He started doing yoga quite by accident while we were on vacation, and he had a miraculous recovery from significant back pain. Little did I know that I would feel so great myself!

Yoga offers me a sense of physical, emotional and mental balance that nothing else provides, and I love to share that with others, both at Camarillo Yoga Center and in my nursing practice. Our daughter teases me that I really don’t need to tell EVERYONE I meet that they could benefit from yoga…

My husband and I live in Camarillo, have two grown children, and beautiful granddaughter Gwen.

Andy Barton

Yoga saved my career. I first discovered yoga by accident after a bad back injury that threatened my career as a commercial airline pilot. Massages, physical therapy, drugs all had very little effect.

By sheer coincidence my wife, Allison, and I were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary at a hiking spa in Canada. The first activity each morning was yoga before our hike. After I made the standard lame excuses that come from middle-aged men, my wife and the teacher “encouraged” me to try it. With the teacher’s guidance and watchful eye, I was able to make it through the class without significant pain. Now encouraged for real, I successfully completed a challenging hike that day. After four more days of yoga, hiking and massages, I felt 50% better than I did when I first arrived at the spa.


Upon returning home, Allison encouraged me to continue yoga. We tried DVD’s and books for about a week but the absence of a good teacher was sorely missed. It just wasn’t the same level of instruction I needed. We searched online and found the Camarillo Yoga Center. After three months of practicing yoga 3 to 4 times a week with Audrey, my back was pain-free. I was flying my regular schedule and feeling good. Six months after starting yoga my whole body was pain- free! I had spent 24 years in the Navy and had never had the comprehensive whole body workout that good yoga practice can provide. Had I known 20 years ago what yoga could achieve, I would have started long ago.

Yoga ignited a desire in me to explore the muscles and bones inside my body and how they work together. I fly with men mostly in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and I see them in the pain that I once endured. I wanted to share the gift that yoga has bestowed on me with others. Allison and I attended teacher training classes together and now teach at the Camarillo Yoga Center. In addition, I teach yoga classes while on the road to any interested pilots, flight attendants or friends. Each class challenges me to learn more and encourages me to continue to share the gift of yoga.

Bette Lee

I love the self-exploration that is inherent in yoga practice. I learn about my body through a series of movements, their alignment, and my breath. I develop awareness about my imbalances by noticing which of my muscles are tight. I also love to nourish my intuitive sense by figuring out which parts of my body need more attention to bring myself into balance. But the main reason I practice yoga, is for the sense of calm and peace I feel afterward.

I feel so grateful to have Camarillo Yoga Center in our community. I look forward to helping you learn, as I am always learning, how to cultivate mindfulness, inner calm and balance in our lives.

Christi Harman

Practicing yoga fosters balance and perspective in my daily life, which is probably a lot like yours—busy and challenging. It includes a career focus, driving, housework, gardening, sports, hiking, and crafting, plus the richness of spending time with family and friends.

Yoga is characterized by the beneficial combination of stretching, strengthening, and breathing, and these practices help mitigate the often negative effects of repetitive physical movements and thoughts that accompany activities of daily living. I am particularly passionate about the therapeutic aspects of yoga, whether we are recuperating from an injury or surgery, or dealing with the aging process in a graceful, healthy, and mindful way.

Cynthia Paul

In 2000, two years prior to my retirement after 35 years as a night nurse, I severely injured my left shin and also started to feel tingling in both wrists. The year 2001 was the beginning of my journey to Yoga. I moved to Ventura, my last child finished college, and I started to watch the food network! My weight ballooned, I couldn’t do aerobics anymore, my normally sunny outlook was starting to desert me and my passion, quilting, was suffering.

On Sept 10, 2001 I saw a poster in a coffee shop about Camarillo Yoga Center opening that day! I went, met Audrey, and came back the next day to start my journey to balance. I was 55 years old when I took my first Yoga class and thank my lucky stars for that poster!! Today, I can balance on my left leg, feel no tingles in my wrists, have seen my body start to change shape, and I can do a one hour monologue of the joys of YOGA!!

I love to teach classes in Yoga and Quilting because I’m still learning about both. I teach Yoga 1 classes at CYC, and am certified to teach Restorative Yoga by Judith Lasater.

My husband of 40 years has also become a believer because it has improved his posture and breathing, and therefore his golf game. Our first granddaughter, two children and a daughter-in-law are the lights of our lives, and my son taught yoga while in the Peace Corps in Guatamala.

We have down-dogged all the way to China and back and with the help of CYC, and hope to continue to do so for many more years!!

Darci Knight

I believe we all seek to live healthy and peaceful lives. We come to yoga looking for relief from stress and to do some exercise and we find so much more. Yoga is transformational. Our lives become richer and we find our deepest selves through the journey we call practice. The point where you are now is the point to begin. The joy I find in teaching yoga is in being a part of each student’s personal journey!

Janet Snyder

Janet Snyder is a Certified Ballroom Dance Instructor and holds a Psychology & Dance Degree from Loyola Marymount University. Accomplishments in her dance background include dancing on a Ballroom Formation Dance Team where she learned from world champion dancers, coaches and instructors. She taught at Arthur Murray Dance Studios and later started her own instruction company, Dance Ten (www.danceten.net.). Janet is thrilled to be a part of the Camarillo Yoga Center staff, where she prides herself on being able to teach anyone to dance and still gets a huge thrill when people take their first dance steps!

Julie Markovitz

Having danced since childhood I was overjoyed when I took my very first yoga class at 27 years old. I felt like I had come home to meet myself; to dance my own dance. Yoga has helped me through the birth and the raising of my three beautiful children and the death and letting go of my amazing mother. I am eternally grateful for all of my blessings and yoga gives me the opportunity to practice gratitude daily. Through yoga I have become more aware, patient, calm and confident. I am blessed to have many wonderful teachers who include my students and I love teaching yoga to children of all ages!

Michele Campero

The central focus of my yoga practice and the classes I teach is the breath. If you’re doing a difficult inversion without breathing smoothly and rhythmically, the body and mind harden, and the union that is yoga is unavailable. However, if you are sitting in a cross-legged position on the floor, fully engaged in the breath with a soft body and mind, you are experiencing the true essence of yoga, despite the simplicity of the practice. Each moment, whether we realize it or not, is linked to the quality of our breath, in and out of the yoga room. If we can practice moving in and out of simple and challenging yoga poses with the rhythm of breath, we can use that as we move through simple and challenging times in our life.

My absolute favorite practice is Restorative Yoga. We all move at a lightning pace, and most of us don’t take the time to slow down, go deep instead, and reset the mind and body. It is such a joy to see our yoga students leave restorative classes with the calmness and peace that is so essential to daily life.

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
Carl Gustav Jung

Mike Cogan

I am so grateful for Audrey and her guidance. Through her and the Camarillo Yoga Center, Yoga has given me a path to improving my physical well being and life as a whole in ways I could not have imagined when I first started, and I am so happy to be able to share what I have learned with our yoga students.

In the beginning I thought my flexibility would improve. I was right. I’m still not Gumby but I’m not Pokey either, and I have found that the overall strength building made my muscles long and strong while working them in unison. As a life-long martial artist, this definitely improves my ability to “pack a punch.” I feel stronger and my balance and core strength are much better than before I began practicing yoga, and that was a surprise for me.

Breathing practice, (pranayama) has helped me be healthier! As an elementary school teacher, I am exposed to plenty of germs, but I get fewer colds and sleep better than I ever have. With the stress of my job, sometimes I feel my breath rush in and out, but now, when I do, I can choose a different way. My mind can quiet so I can rest when I am at rest and work when I am at work.

I don’t want any of this to sound like I am preaching from “On High.” That is the last place I am…I am right here, on my mat, next to you. Thank you for sharing your practice with me. Namaste.

Nicole Arkangel

Hello Camarillo Yoga friends and visitors!

I’m Nicole Arkangel, yoga student and teacher at the Camarillo Yoga Center. I’ve had the good fortune of being trained by our own Audrey Walzer at CYC and I look forward to seeing you all soon on the mats!

It’s been such a joy being a part of the Camarillo Yoga family. You may have seen or heard me in the studio smiling and laughing! It’s because this yoga school and practice is unlike any other. Audrey has encouraged us all to be a supportive positive family, with people of all shapes, sizes and personalities “yoked” together as one.

I love how yoga has complimented my athletic interests by keeping my muscles strong, but also elongated and limber. I truly believe it has saved me from injury and given me a range of motion I’ve never had before in my lifetime of playing sports. Like many of us in today’s busy times, I too once suffered from the many symptoms of stress: achy muscles, sore neck and shoulders, tension headaches and worst of all anxiety! Through ujayii breathing practice (pranayama) and the various postures (asana) I’ve learned to live a more balanced lifestyle.

Yoga has made such a powerful impact in my life, and I’m so pleased to have the privilege of sharing the gift of yoga with you. Yoga has brought me such peace and clarity in these busy and demanding times. I know that Yoga will connect the mind and body to balance, heal and invigorate you, as it has done for me.

When I’m not on the mat practicing or teaching yoga at Camarillo Yoga, you’ll find me enjoying my passion for teaching Kindergarten in my own classroom. I live in Camarillo with my husband, son and 2 big mastiff “babies”.

I feel so fortunate to be part of the CYC family. Audrey’s expertise, strength, multi-style approach and professionalism keep me coming back, and inspire me to teach and share the love and gift of yoga with our community. I look forward to sharing yoga with you!

Until then…Love, laugh and yoga, ya’ll!

Namaste!

Roni

I love yoga! I have been Audrey’s enthusiastic student for nine years, and I teach yoga to share my passion with others. Audrey and the teachers she trains emphasize breath, body alignment, and a meditative (mindful) way practicing yoga.

Like many of us, I deal with chronic pain, so it was huge for me to discover that yoga can provide continual, dependable, relief from pain. Also important to me is our mental attitude towards the stressors in life, both physical and emotional. That’s why I teach a free Laughter Yoga class every Saturday morning at Camarillo Yoga Center. In Laughter Yoga, we use our body, via laughter exercises, to retrain our brain, cultivating a “habit of happiness.” Scientific research shows that both spontaneous laughter and simulated laughter will produce the same physiological and psychological benefits. Having a positive attitude can improve our health and general well-being.

Come join the Camarillo Yoga community to enjoy improved health and happiness!

Susan Weaver

On my way home after a long day of work and the pressures associated with it, I noticed the Camarillo Yoga Center right near my home. I dropped in and at first, just slowing down and focusing on breathing was a challenge. This “new” thing called yoga slowly became part of my life—a tool in the beginning to stretch my back and free my joints, but soon a way to help balance my work, activities, and my own physical well-being.

Over the years, I became interested in sharing yoga with others, just like myself, without prior experience or an athletic background. I love to see the glimmer of pure joy when I watch a student for the first time cleanly lift off the floor into a beautiful plank position. Nothing can compare to that feeling of strength yet calmness in the body, breath and mind. Yoga is more than just a work-out, a breathing practice, or stretching your muscles. It is a way to empower yourself in body and mind. It doesn’t matter where you start, just walking in the door is huge!

Tara Stivers

Yoga became a part of my life during my first pregnancy, and became a valuable resource to me in my journey through pregnancy, birth and motherhood. Practicing Yoga allows me to connect with my inner self and my physical body, to find strength within, and to trust in my body and its ability to serve me well. This has been helpful not only in childbirth and parenthood, but in life. Supporting other women and families who are finding inner strength along their journey into parenthood has become my passion, and I am honored to witness and share in that experience.

Maki Fujisaki Guelcher

Maki Fujisaki Guelcher is a certified Element of Tai Chi instructor and a martial artist, second degree in Kendo (Japanese swordsmanship). Her aim is to lead people to happiness and peace, and to extend this peace to the world through Tai Chi.