Member of the Week: Sarah Laffer

  1. What is your full name? 

Sarah Collins Laffer

2. What was your favorite activity as a child?

Swimming. I loved to be in the water. My mother would stand next to the pool trying to get me out and I would do somersaults over and over again in an attempt to ignore her. It drove her crazy.

3. What job did you have in high school?

I only worked summers. Mostly, I would do lawn and property maintenance at some properties my father owned. It was always sweltering hot in upstate New York and I cannot tell you how many times I cut the cord on the electric trimmer. It’s a miracle I still have 10 fingers.

4. What is your most embarrassing memory?

When I was on a budget and saw some deli end meats in a friend’s parent’s fridge, I pointed out to her mother that I also found they sold the deli ends really cheap at the local store…she laughed and said she bought them for the dog. We still laugh about that.

5. What is the best vacation you have ever taken?

I’ve been on many amazing vacations in my years, but my favorite trip was driving cross country with my husband (though, not at the time) and two dogs. This was before smartphones, so did it with a road atlas, a TripTik from AAA, and a guide of campgrounds across the US.

6. What makes you laugh out loud?

No wrong answer, right? People falling. Like America’s Funniest Home Video’s falling. The medleys and replays are what get me. I think it’s because we are all human and walk around trying to act like we have it together and blammo. Nope.

7. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

My sobriety. On June 14th of this year, I celebrate 15 years. My sobriety has given me the space to challenge myself and be vulnerable and to be the best parent, spouse, and friend I can be. Truth be told, my sobriety is the result of a lot of hard work and humility, so I am really most proud of my willingness to grow and be honest with myself.

8. What advice would you give to your younger self?

Trust yourself.

9. What would you like people to remember about you?

I honestly have no idea. Maybe I have not done it yet.

10. Why do you practice at Marin Power Yoga?

There are practical reasons, like, I can afford it, the variety of classes is amazing, and the kid’s classes are a life saver. Beyond that, though, what makes me love Marin Power Yoga is how comfortable I feel there. The instructors are amazing, kind, and supportive and it feels like a real community. Come as you are is so important to me. I just show up for what I need, whether it be to laugh, cry, sweat it out, or find a little peace. Thanks for being there, MPY!

Member of the Week: Jana Buechel

1. What is your full name?

Jana Buechel

2. What was your favorite activity as a child?

Horse riding, gymnastic on horses, being outdoors with my friends and my dog. I grew up very rural in the mountains of Switzerland. We spend most of our time outdoors, no matter the weather conditions.

3. What job did you have in high school?

I worked on a production line in a factory.

4. What is your most embarrassing memory?

Hmm I have a few, once I came out of a public bathroom and didn’t realize that my foot was tangled up in toilet paper which I was carrying along with me… Or another time I forgot to zip up the back of my overall and showed everyone my pretty underwear I was wearing…

5. What is the best vacation you have ever taken?

My first backpacking trip to Australia and Asia in my early twenties.

6. What makes you laugh out loud?

Being together with my friends and having a good time. The little ones at the school I’m working for.

7. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

My personal growth. Building up a life in California with nothing.

8. What advice would you give to your younger self?

Be patient. Surrender (still working on that ;))

9. What would you like people to remember about you?

My kind heart.

10. Why do you practice at Marin Power Yoga?

Great teachers, lovely community and very decent pricing.

Incorporating yoga into fitness with Nance!

Incorporating yoga into fitness with Nance!

Benefits of Cobra Pose:

•Stretches muscles in the shoulders, chest and abdominals.

•Decreases stiffness of the lower back.

•Strengthens the arms and shoulders.

•Increases flexibility.

•Elevates mood.

•Invigorates the heart.

MPY 30 Hour fitness training!

Friday, Aug. 2 thru Monday, Aug. 5

JOIN Araceli and Jenny for only 4 intensive days of bringing you deeper into your knowledge and love of fitness.

Together we will break down the basics of Trx, Bootcamp, Kettle bell weight training, Boxing and more …

You will find the application and more details on our website.

📸: Jamie Diger

Member of the Week: Kristin Sjoholm

  1. What is your full name? 

Kristin Ann Sjoholm

2. What was your favorite activity as a child?

Swimming

3. What job did you have in high school?

Lifeguard, tennis instructor, cook at a booth at the MN State Fair (it’s a rite of passage – don’t ask!)

4. What is your most embarrassing memory?

I try to let stuff like this go, but I did get “pantsed” once on the tennis court and had no underwear on ….

5. What is the best vacation you have ever taken?

Juicing Retreat in Portugal or Yoga/Machu Picchu in Peru

6. What makes you laugh out loud?

Bathroom humor, people making fun of themselves

7. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Getting my MBA while working and trying to maintain a semblance of a normal life

8. What advice would you give to your younger self?

Remember who you are

9. What would you like people to remember about you?

I am kind and authentic and love hearing people’s stories

10. Why do you practice at Marin Power Yoga?

Community, convenience and my ongoing relationship with this amazing practice

MPY 30 hour Fitness!

MPY 30 hour Fitness Training is happening!!

This summer it’s a 4 day intensive;

Aug 2 – Aug 5 at Marin Power Yoga

Join Araceli and Jenny to deepen your love and level of fitness!

Member of the Week: Vanessa Mitchell


  1. What is your full name? 

Vanessa Rose Mitchell

2. What was your favorite activity as a child?

Swimming was one of my favorite things to do as a child. I remember when I was little, “secretly” wearing my swimsuit under my clothes on the weekends in the hopes that we would end up somewhere with a pool. Whenever we did get to go swimming, I was always the last one out of the water.

3. What job did you have in high school?

In high school, my love of swimming translated into a job as a lifeguard and teaching swim lessons.

4. What is your most embarrassing memory?

Oh geez…. One time, I was so tired when I got dressed in the morning that I put my yoga pants on inside out and wore them like that all day. I didn’t notice until I got to yoga class. Luckily, inside out yoga pants aren’t that noticeable right?

5. What is the best vacation you have ever taken?

I absolutely love to travel and hope to someday see the whole world. I’ve been fortunate to have found the best adventure buddy in my amazing husband Michael and we have been to some pretty awe-inspiring places around the world. When we first started dating, we used to talk about the places we wanted to see and Italy was always at the top of my list. That was the first country we travelled to together and stepping off of the train station in Venice, Italy is one of my favorite memories.

6. What makes you laugh out loud?

It’s a tie between my brother and two of my very best friends in the world, Kate and Giana. They can all make me laugh so hard that my cheeks hurt from smiling.

7. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

A few years ago, I summited Mount Shasta and the year after that, I ran a marathon. I am really proud of those two accomplishments because both challenged my body physically to a level that I didn’t know I was capable of. I learned that with hard work, my body really is capable of whatever I challenge it to do. I am also in graduate school right now at Dominican University getting my Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. I worked really hard to get into this program and I am super proud to be pursuing a career I am passionate about.

8. What advice would you give to your younger self?

“When you talk about yourself, or to yourself, try to picture yourself talking to your daughter or your friend. Because you would tell her she is beautiful and you wouldn’t be lying. Because she is. And so are you.” – Amy Poehler

Over the past few years, I have been on a journey learning to be proud of my body and to embrace who I am. I’ve learned a lot about the body positive movement and I love that there is a shift happening right now encouraging women to be proud of who they are at any size. So many conversations I have been a part of with women throughout my life have centered around weight loss, diets, or what we wished our bodies looked like. I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self to embrace who I am and stop speaking negatively about my body.  

9. What would you like people to remember about you?

One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was when I was told I was “inspiring.” I hope to inspire people around me by working hard, staying grateful, and radiating kindness and positivity. Mostly, I just hope when people remember me, it’s with a smile.

10. Why do you practice at Marin Power Yoga?

I started practicing at MPY a little over a year ago because I needed some balance and stress relief from school. I quickly fell in love with this community’s “come as you are” motto. Everyone at MPY, from instructors to students, are friendly, kind, and nonjudgmental. I love that in every class I’ve done, whether yoga or TRX, the teachers cater to all skill levels.

THANK YOU to all of the teachers at MPY for always greeting me with a smile and making me feel welcome!

Member of the Week: Anton Koukareko

  1. What is your full name? 

My full name is Anton Evgenyevich Koukareko. Those familiar with Russian language name customs could deduct that my fathers name is Evgeny.

2. What was your favorite activity as a child?

I used to play soccer a lot after school hours. We played inside the hockey box, every day regardless of weather. There were several street lamps around, so we could stay till late hours or until our angry parents brought us back home. Bicycling was my passion too all the way till I suffered a concussion and broken arm at the age 12. And, of course, I was dancing every day which later became my profession.

3. What job did you have in high school?

I was a plumber two summers in high school.

4. What is your most embarrassing memory?

At my second semester at mechanics-mathematics faculty I failed my algebra exam. Around that time it was my first world dance championship in youth division in Paris, we did well, and I kind of took it too easy in preparations at university.The most embarrassing moment was to tell my grandmother the news. After that I promised myself to be well prepared for anything!

5. What is the best vacation you have ever taken?

Family trip to Nice, France.  My son was at a really fun age to travel and we saw many things in the surrounding area. Including seeing the set-up for Formula One in Monte Carlo, riding the train to Cannes, and exploring Saint Paul de Vence.

6. What makes you laugh out loud?

Things that my son, Edmund, says and does sometimes.   Also, I like to read Russian antidotes and they make me laugh a lot.

7. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Definitely my biggest accomplishment is my family, I am very proud of my wife and two beautiful children- helping them discover who they are.

8. What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell myself to learn from the best, challenge myself and never give up.

9. What would you like people to remember about you?

I want them to remember that I am descent human being.

10. Why do you practice at Marin Power Yoga?

This is the studio I took my first yoga class at one and a half years ago and I am in love with knowledge, passion, instructions of my teachers, and, to my surprise, I realize how quickly one can improve -I am very grateful to have MPY in my life!

Meet Anton!

I love finding out about our Members of the Week. This week it’s Anton Koukareko! Read all about him and leave him a comment below!

1. What was your favorite activity as a child?

I used to play soccer a lot after school hours. We played inside the hockey box, every day regardless of weather. There were several street lamps around, so we could stay till late hours or until our angry parents brought us back home. Bicycling was my passion too all the way till I suffered a concussion and broken arm at the age 12. And, of course, I was dancing every day which later became my profession.

2. What job did you have in high school?

I was a plumber two summers in high school.

3. What is your most embarrassing memory?

At my second semester at mechanics-mathematics faculty I failed my algebra exam. Around that time it was my first world dance championship in youth division in Paris, we did well, and I kind of took it too easy in preparations at university.The most embarrassing moment was to tell my grandmother the news. After that I promised myself to be well prepared for anything!

4. What is the best vacation you have ever taken?

Family trip to Nice, France. My son was at a really fun age to travel and we saw many things in the surrounding area. Including seeing the set-up for Formula One in Monte Carlo, riding the train to Cannes, and exploring Saint Paul de Vence.

5. What makes you laugh out loud?

Things that my son, Edmund, says and does sometimes. Also, I like to read Russian antidotes and they make me laugh a lot.

6. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Definitely my biggest accomplishment is my family, I am very proud of my wife and two beautiful children- helping them discover who they are.

7. What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell myself to learn from the best, challenge myself and never give up.

8. What would you like people to remember about you?

I want them to remember that I am descent human being.

9. Why do you practice at Marin Power Yoga?

This is the studio I took my first yoga class at one and a half years ago and I am in love with knowledge, passion, instructions of my teachers, and, to my surprise, I realize how quickly onecan improve -I am very grateful to have MPY in my life!