Meet Our Staff
Our staff are highly skilled as teachers, dedicated practitioners of yoga, and and well-rounded compassionate human beings. They are outstanding, loving, unique, dedicated and highly skilled. They are here to help guide you, each in their own way. We recommend attending several classes taught by various teachers to get a feel for what you like and for what will be the best fit for what you need.
Vania Kent, E-RYT, YACEP
Vania is a yogi, contemplative, and writer exploring the intersection of yoga, new monasticism, feminism, and social change, with over 1,000 hours of teaching experience focused on underserved populations. She is also the spiritual director for Hab Community, an ecumenical and inter-spiritual new monastic community which offers formation in radical spirituality and sacred activism. Her website is www.vkharber.com.
Se habla español.
Pamela Higley, MPA/ E-200 RYT/500 RYT/AYS/ Co-Founder
Pamela is an experienced Yoga Teacher and Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist dedicated to enriching the lives of others through the practices of Yoga and Ayurveda. She first began her practice over 18 years ago when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 25. Seeing the positive effects of her practice on her health, she attended her first training and started teaching in 2007. Pamela is a teacher of flow, incorporating the teachings of Vinyasa Krama, Ayurveda, and Pranayama. She teaches weekly classes, leads workshops and retreats, and is very happy to have SKY as her home to lead her 200 hr Pamela Higley Yoga Teacher Training Program. Her approach to teaching is joyful and light and you will most likely find yourself laughing now and again in her classes. Pamela is passionate about her work and the joy that yoga brings to her students. Pamela is also available for teacher mentoring and her website is www.pamelahigelyyoga.com.
KATE FONTANA, 200 E-RYT
Kate has practiced yoga since 2002 and became a certified teacher in 2009. She has trained with Ananda Yoga and Seattle Yoga Arts, and became the Executive Director of SKY in 2011, and happily transitioned to the role of Co-Director in 2016.
Yoga has helped Kate show up for life. She enjoys teaching those who are new to or think that they “can't do” yoga, and loves to provide the quiet space for each individual to hear their inner wisdom. She also loves music, and you’ll often hear her chant!
Her work with SKY has been humbling, joyful, and filled with immeasurable growth, for which she is unspeakably grateful. She is influenced and inspired by all people who work to transform experiences of pain and oppression into gifts of love and service. Se habla español.
Heidi Krotzer, 500 RYT
Heidi received a 500-hour certification at Pacific Yoga Teacher Training with Kathryn Payne and Theresa Elliot. She is well-versed in alignment-based vinyasa, pranayama, philosophy, anatomy, and Sanskrit. She continues her education with her mentors, and hopes to carry on the traditional values and the integrity of yoga that Theresa and Kathryn adhere to.
Heidi's classes focus on understanding the "why" of yoga. She believes that "effort for effort's sake" isn't necessary to find comfort and ease in a posture, once we know how to get there. It is pretty common to find laughter and student engagement in her classes--how else do we learn?
Heidi loves the subtle body practice, and philosophy of yoga. She has experienced the journey to the true self (atman) through the breath. Control the breath/energy (prana) and we control the racing mind. Unlocking these parts of ourselves is only the beginning!
Claudette Evans, E-RYT 500
Claudette has a genuine passion for meeting students where they are, helping guide them toward an experience of greater strength and freedom, while allowing them to discover the wisdom that lies within their own bodies. You'll find Claudette's classes infused with her warm, integrative, and creative spirit. Her enthusiasm and curiosity are catching, and it's clear that her teaching draws on her own love of physicality and mental engagement. Through a deft weaving of precise alignment, thoughtful insight, and a great sense of humor, Claudette's classes create space for self-expression, clarity of focus, and the sheer joy of movement.
Claudette, E-RYT 500, has been practicing yoga for more than 15 years, and has taught yoga to children and adults for more than 7 years. She has been influenced by many teachers, but credits her bold style with her foundational and advanced trainings with Catherine Munro at YogaWorks, as well as her studies of the Universal Principles of Alignment with her beloved teachers, Denise Benitez and Elizabeth Rainey. Her website is claudetteevansyoga.com
Kandy Hughes, 200 RYT
Kandy Hughes completed a 200 hour Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training course in June 2014 with lead teacher Guru Singh. For 12 years before taking the course she did Kundalini yoga and other forms of yoga. After retiring from teaching school Kandy knew that she didn’t want to leave the teaching field and has always loved teaching adults so the marriage of teaching and her love of Kundalini Yoga was the perfect match. She began teaching right away after completing the courses. She continues to be involved in the Kundalini Yoga teacher training course as a part of the support team. She loves the students, teaching, and doing yoga and meditation.
Kundalini Yoga, the Yoga of Awareness, was brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan in 1968. Yogi Bhajan taught that, through the practice of Kundalini Yoga and meditation, your glandular and nervous systems are stimulated, and your capacity for creative potential is heightened. You gain inner vitality to compensate for the adverse effects of stress so you can excel in life. Kundalini yoga classes are a dynamic blend of postures, pranayam, mantra, music and meditation, which teach you the art of relaxation, self-healing and elevation. Balancing body and mind enables you to experience the clarity and beauty of your soul. No previous experience in yoga is required for you to achieve results with your very first class.
Tawni Bell, 200 CYT
Tawni earned a 200 hour certification from Kusala Yoga in Brooklyn, NY (2011). Her practice is centered around accessibility, offering yoga in uncanny places to people of all ages and abilities. She teaches privately out of homes and businesses, here at SKY, and is working to expand her knowledge of how yoga can be used in social justice, with therapies, and without bells and whistles. Her most recent trainings include Trauma Sensitive Yoga and Yoga Behind Bars. Tawni has also worked as a trainer and roller derby coach, runs races, rides a bike to work, and still dreams of becoming a dancer one day.
Bonnie Loghry, MPH, CPH, RYT500
When Bonnie attended her first yoga class, after years of increasing pain from scoliosis, she felt as if she had finally come home. A graduate of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco, Advanced Studies Teacher Training Program, she is also a certified Yoga for Scoliosis Teacher. Practicing yoga with an emphasis on alignment and breath work, she has been able to successfully manage her own chronic back pain and now focuses her teaching on helping others do the same. She brings enthusiasm, a sense of exploration, and a healthy dose of humor to all her classes. Bonnie has a Master's degree in public health and is an active a member of the Integrative, Complementary and Traditional Health Practices Group of the American Public Health Association. She is available for individual lessons and her website is GotYourBackTacoma.com.
Sarah Maynard-Murray, RYT200, iRest® Yoga Nidra Teacher Level 2
Before her journey down the path of Yoga and Meditation, Sarah served 12 years in the Washington Air National Guard and spent several years working in the non-profit sector with students with disabilities. Suffering from postpartum depression, anxiety, and symptoms of PTSD, She stumbled her way to iRest Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga while seeking a more holistic approach to managing her ailments. iRest made such a significant improvement in Sarah’s life that she HAD to share this passion with others. iRest provides a path to help those who are suffering find the peace and well-being they deserve. She looks forward to sharing the gift of iRest with the diverse citizens of the Puget Sound and beyond who seek, comfort, clarity, resiliency, well-being, and peace.
Shari Larson, RYT200
Shari Larson, earned her 200 hr certification with Pamela Higley Yoga and has an additional 50+ hours of training in Yin with Pamela Chang and Ali Valdez. After practicing hot yoga for 12+ years it became clear that it was time to give her body a break and learn methods of nurturing both body and spirit. This led her to discover Yin as well as Samdhana-Karana Yoga as she sought out gentler flows. She is currently participating in the SKY Mentorship program.
Monty Smith, JD, M.Div., SDI
Monty stumbled into meditation while reading the short story Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger. The experience so rocked his world that he landed in the Indian Ashram of Haidakhan Baba for most of five years. There he began exploring a variety of meditation disciplines. He has now concluded over twenty years as a United Methodist minister and most recently studied meditation with the American non-dual teachers Adyashanti and Stephan Bodian.
Monty is the part-time director for Sustainable Roots, an environmental initiative of the Northwest Leadership Foundation. The work helps satisfy his interest in sustainable community and creation care. Though for him, meditation is the central skill for sustaining freedom, joy, and love in our lives and on the planet. In addition to teaching meditation, Monty is a Life Coach and Spiritual Director.
Erica Chang, 200RYT
Erica has practiced yoga since 2010 and recently completed her 200 hour yoga teacher certification with Pamela Higley at Samdhana Karana Yoga. She has also completed the Yoga Behind Bars training and volunteers at Remann Hall, teaching yoga and meditation to youth.
With yoga, she has found a melding of the best things in her life: spirit, athleticism, sweat, breath, laughter, community, and rhythm. Her goal as an instructor is to offer a space to explore, allowing others to become curious about what they are capable of as they leave a little stronger, a little softer and a lot more balanced.
Hien Hong, 200 RYT
Hien Hong received her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from Three Trees Yoga in 2015. She started practicing yoga when she was 15. As a young teenager, she experienced trauma in the form of an abusive relationship. Practicing yoga helps her connect with herself and cope with depression and anxiety. Stumbling into SKY at a trauma sensitive yoga workshop opened up doors for Hien to discover mutual healing, a part of her healing process she had not touched upon before. She looks forward to providing space for mutual healing to those she meets at SKY. Hien is passionate about bringing mindfulness and yoga philosophy into everyday life along with asana (posture). She has taught various populations including teenagers and Mercy Housing residents through SKY's Outreach Mentorship Program. You can contact her and check out her online yoga and meditation courses at www.HienHong.com.