Member of the Week: Bridget Carlson

  1. What is your full name? 

Bridget Austin Carlson

2. What was your favorite activity as a child?

My family is very into Cycling, so that was a big activity for me growing up. In college I was on the Cycling Race Team, which is where I met most of my best friends.

3. What job did you have in high school?

I had 2 jobs at different times. During the school year, I was an assistant in a podiatrist’s office. I will never forget cleaning up whole toenails out of the exam rooms. One summer I also had a job at the local Transportation Authority drawing outlines of roads in a computer program every day.

4. What is your most embarrassing memory?

Hard to pick one, but just this week at work I walked around my entire office introducing a New Hire to everyone. When I got to the last person, they told me that I had a huge piece of spinach in my teeth; it had been there the whole time.

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

My grandmother and I have been on a number of international trips together. These trips are all really special to me. In November we are going on our first trip since 2011. She’ll be 93 and we will be spending 2 weeks in Thailand.

6. What makes you laugh out loud?

My parents live in Fairfield and whenever I visit with them they always have hilarious stories about random things going on at the house. They own a couple of chickens and there is always some drama going on in their “pecking order”.

7. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

In May, I summited my first mountain, Mt. Kinabalu in Borneo (Malaysia) with one of my best friends. It was very difficult but so rewarding.

I was also part of a team of 4 that placed 2nd at Collegiate Cycling Nationals in an event called the Team Time Trial.

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

I would tell myself to take it easy more; lots of things seem very important but aren’t in the grand scheme of things. Things will work out as they are meant to. 

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

I would like people to remember me as moral, funny and kind.  

10. Why do you practice at Marin Power Yoga?

When I moved in Marin in Dec 2017, I was looking for something to help fill time after work and stay healthy. I now don’t need MPY to help fill my time, but I keep coming back because I really love the teachers (shout out to all the 6pm Power Yoga teachers!) and I enjoy the mental clarity that I get from yoga.

Member of the Week: Tiffani Howell

1. What is your full name?

Tiffani élan Howell, though my nickname/professional name is Tes (long story)

2. What was your favorite activity as a child?

Reading – anything I could get my hands on and sneak into my room.

3. What job did you have in high school?

I worked for a Dutch cookie waffle place and sold concessions at the minor league baseball field.

4. What is your most embarrassing memory?

You mean, my least most embarrassing memory that I would want to share with hundreds of people? Nothing is really coming to mind…

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

Probably the first time my husband and I went to Oahu in 2001 (?). I had recently passed my qualifying exams for the PhD and felt like every sunset was a reward for having just slogged through the German canon and (sort of) made it out the other side.

6. What makes you laugh out loud?

Anything ridiculous

7. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I am a language teacher by training (everything from German language proficiency to critical reading and writing skills), and I am most proud of those moments when I witness a student experience that “aha moment,” knowing that I helped bring it about in some way.

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

Calm down. Seriously.

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

That I would rather laugh than cry.

10. Why do you practice at Marin Power Yoga?

Because it pushes me to my edge and is filled with all my favorite people!

Member of the Week: Tonya Leitz

1. What is your full name?

Tonya Renea Vigeant Leitz

2. What was your favorite activity as a child?

Dancing, singing, creating, always making art, playing Native American woman in the woods, talking to my imaginary Indian family, crushing berries and leaves and setting up our home and kitchen. I also liked to ride my bike and pretend I was a bus driver.

3. What job did you have in high school?

I was always babysitting but my first real job was at United Colors Of Benetton in Newburyport, Massachusetts. 

4. What is your most embarrassing memory?

I let PEOPLE magazine come to our hippie farm wedding in Vermont and take pictures. We were in the Aug 14th, 1995 issue (Sandra Bullock on the cover) It was a feel good story. The bridal shop in New Hampshire that had my wedding dress burnt to the ground 4 days before our wedding. They found a replacement for me, a woman in California had the same dress and sent it my way. There was a large picture of me in my dress and the headline read in bold ‘UNLUCKY BRIDE’ I still laugh, I’m just glad I didn’t go on the Sally Jesse Raphael show, they did call me. 

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

I drove across the country with two girlfriends in a Honda Civic hatchback. We drove from Boston to California. I was surfing in San Diego when I met up with a friend who invited me to join him on a surf trip to Mexico. I said yes, because I could, so I went. We took a few buses to reach Puerto Escondido where we slept in hammocks on the beach, hung out with the locals, surfed, and met inspiring fellow travelers. I chose this trip as one of my best because at age 20 life was different. I had no fear, I was free, I was finding my way, my place in the world, with nothing holding me back. It was not a vacation it was a true spontaneous adventure. I’m also a beach bum so a small bag, bikini, and sleeping between two palm trees was pretty much a dream.

6. What makes you laugh out loud?

My family for sure, that’s how we navigate through the world together. I was raised to laugh. Friends and private jokes, I don’t hang out with people who don’t laugh. I like fun people. Life is funny. Laughter is healing and I also embrace the occasional cry laugh when needed. 

7. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

If you know me, you already know that it’s being a good Mama to my kids, Sadie and Roman. I was a pregnant lady for halloween in third grade, I waited a long time for them. There is nothing more important to me than being a loving, present, giving, teaching mother. I’m thankful I get to do this life with them. They are my greatest accomplishment and gift.

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

Don’t worry so much, the universe will lead you. Positivity is infectious, and happiness is a choice. Only spend time with people that make you feel good. Be the light that attracts the light. Trust your gut and forgive, smile more. Life is better with a dog. Hold hands and pray. Eat peaches, be happy.

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

That I care, that I’m patient, present, fun loving and invested. I love hard, and I’m loyal. I’m mindful, sensitive, creative and intuitive. I’m an empath. I’m a lover not a fighter. I see you, I hear you, I watch you. I’m an artist. You are my muse. I believe that the good things in life are free, friends and family, cooking, listening to music and spending time together. 

10. Why do you practice at Marin Power Yoga?

I first walked into MPY in May 2013, the studios opening night. My first impression of both Amy and Jamie still remains who they truly are. Jamie with his gentle thoughtful wise words and compassion and Amy with her loving, direct, beautifully honest self, refreshing. What a perfect match. We enjoy biking to practice and love the community vibe. MPY is laid back, honest, nonjudgmental, full of amazing teachers, encouragement, and support. The staff and fellow yogis become your tribe, and the space becomes a second home to replenish together. I’m grateful I GET to do yoga at MPY. Namaste!

Member of the Week: Jeffrey Baum

  1. What is your full name? 

Jeff Baum

2. What was your favorite activity as a child?

Playing all kinds of sports especially baseball

3. What job did you have in high school?

I worked at a place called Joes Pizza delivering pizza and making sandwiches

4. What is your most embarrassing memory?

The time I went to the town pool with my mother when I was about 8 or 9 years old and was told not to jump off the high dive since I couldn’t swim very well. Of course, I did jump off and immediately started drowning and was saved by a lifeguard.

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

The best vacations were taking my 4 kids to Disneyland, Disney World, Florida, and Pismo Beach when they were young.

6. What makes you laugh out loud?

Getting together with my kids and just messing around and playing with my dogs. 

7. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

In addition to being a father to 4 awesome kids and watching them grow up to be great human beings, I would say being the lead singer of an AC/DC tribute band for 10 years, being a proficient guitarist and drummer and becoming a Martial Artist in Shaolin Kempo Karate and for the last 3 plus years in Wing Chun Kung Fu.

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

Don’t waste so much time partying and getting in trouble…!

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

That I worked hard, played harder, was caring and kind to animals.

10. Why do you practice at Marin Power Yoga?

I love the positive vibe there. The instructors are truly amazing and the students are awesome. Everyone is so friendly and kind. I love to work out and stay in shape and I can’t think of a better place to practice Yoga than MPY.

San Anselmo Fitness Day 2019

San Anselmo Fitness Day – Friday, August 2, 2019!

There is a full schedule of classes from fitness studios in Town from 9am-5pm in Imagination Park, concluding with Picnic on The Plaza! 

San Anselmo Fitness Day Friday August 2, 2019!

This Friday! Look at the incredible day our community is doing together! San Anselmo Avenue is closed between Creekside and Ludwigs, we are getting together to celebrate summer, your health and your community! Walk the town, shop the shops, test ride an electric bike, get a fitness check up and see the antique fire truck. Participants will get coupons to Swirl! The day finishes with the kick-off of Picnic On The Plaza at 5pm with live music!

Bring your family, bring your neighbor! 

PS- Araceli and Jenny are leading an Intensive Fitness Training this week, info on the MPY website.

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!