Denver is a mecca for yoga teacher training instructors. Every trainer is unique. This is who we bring to the conversation. It’s a short list.

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Derik Eselius (ERYT 1000) – Lead Trainer

I first encountered yoga in 1991, just after High School, while on an extended journey around the globe.  India was one of the stops, where I met Baba Hari Dass. I had arrived at the inception point of what has become a lifelong commitment and quest.

I consider myself blessed to have studied with Baba Hari Dass since 1991 and with Yogarupa Rod Stryker since 2011.  Along the way I also studied a great deal of asana with senior Iyengar Yoga teachers, Tias Little and Richard Freeman both in India and the States.  Meditation is at the core of my personal practice.

Like many people who take up yoga, I naturally wanted to share it with others. In 2003, my wife and I started Axis Yoga Trainings here in Denver Colorado, a school exclusively dedicated to grassroots style yoga workshops, retreats and teacher trainings.  Axis as a safe haven for a diversity of people who may prefer to practice outside of a conventional studio setting and value a traditional approach.

I did not plan to become a yoga teacher training instructors, I just followed my heart and this is where I wound up. I’m also a professor at Metro State College and teach a for-credit Hatha Yoga course.  It brings me great joy to pass along what I was given so many decades ago.

To me, yoga practice is about having the tools to regulate my thoughts and emotions, live skillfully, and attain lasting peace. All experiences, whether “positive” or “negative” are an opportunity to develop character and grow into our spiritual practice.

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First Yoga Training Certification
Varanasi, India 1997

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Brenna Hatami N.D. (ERYT 500)

Dr. Hatami is a long time teacher and practitioner of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. She first encountered yoga in 1989 during a casual bike ride through Washington Park. She then went on to study Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga with Richard Freeman in Boulder, which lead her to study in India – directly with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. She also counts Tim Miller as one of her early teachers. She has completed two Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training courses and continues to learn and grow in her own daily practice.

Brenna first met Baba Hari Dass in 2001 and quickly became a dedicated student. She received her  500 hr. certification through The Mount Madonna Center in Northern California under Baba Hari Dass’ tutelage and with his senior students.

Brenna is also a Primary Care Physician graduating from the South West College of Naturopathic Medicine with a doctorate in Natural Medicine. She is also the glue behind the scenes that keeps the yoga training running smoothly.

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Dr. Brenna Featured on Our
First Training Flyer, Cir. 2003.

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Susan Bernhardt – RYT 500 and Ayurvedic Practitioner

Yoga classes, while providing great benefit, seemed to hint that there is much more to yoga than asana. Wanting to learn more but without intending to become a yoga teacher or give up her career as a lawyer, Susan enrolled as a student in Axis Yoga Teacher Trainings in 2009. 

The program is strongly grounded in classical yoga and introduced Susan to Ayurveda. From there, Susan and her husband began working with an Ayurveda practitioner on their own concerns, and experienced remarkable results from some very simple Ayurvedic practices. Feeling increasingly drawn to yoga and Ayurveda, Susan enrolled in the yoga therapy and Ayurveda program at the Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda (RMIYA).

What began as a break from a standard gym workout has now become an unexpected but highly rewarding career change, from practicing law to healing people through Ayurveda, yoga, and Tibetan Cranial.

As a graduate of RMIYA’s 1500-hour program, Susan holds certifications from RMIYA to practice Ayurveda, yoga therapy, and pancha karma. Susan also is a Tibetan Cranial apprentice. Susan serves on the Board of the Colorado Ayurvedic Medical Association (COLORAMA), and is a Professional Practitioner Member of the National Ayurvedic Medicine Association (“NAMA”).

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Love Letter from
Past students, 2013

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Additional Guest Presenters

  • Yoga for the People – Learn about opportunities to begin teaching right away
  • Tushta Sato – Receive the wisdom and guidance of a dedicated life-long yogi
  • Nafeeha Johnson – Learn the esoteric forms of yoga from Nafeeha’s decades of dedicated study of meditation and the yogic arts
  • Sudarshan Mcrea – Vedic astrologer and ritual officiant
  • Axis Graduates – Be informed about what it is like to teach in the communities and future teaching opportunities