|STEVE DWELLEY began training in Buddhist meditation in 1988. His first trip to India and Nepal in 1990 awakened a desire to involve the moving body in the meditation process, and he began practicing asana.
Important teachers: Erich Schiffmann opened the door
to the depths of asana practice, Chuck Miller opened
the door to Pattabhi Jois, for whom Steve finally made
the study-trip to Mysore in 1994. Sharath Rangaswamy
(Pattabhi Jois' grandson) taught Steve much of the tangible
material of the practice, while in Mysore, and has been
a model of kind strength.
Raised in Santa Barbara, Steve graduated with distinction
in Comparative Religions from Occidental College in
Los Angeles, and received an MA in Depth Psychology
from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 1995. He has been
to Mysore many times to study with master teacher Jois
and was granted permission to teach the system in 1998.
He began Mysore-Style in Santa Barbara that year. He
bows to the Lotus feet of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and
to those of his guru, T. Krishnamacharya, and so on...
MICHELE NICHOLS: A fifth generation Californian, Michele was hired by the Berlin Ballet at age 19 and continued to dance professionally full time until she was 27, primarily in Europe, both ballet and modern. She participated in many exciting and ground-breaking performances during this time.
Michele began to practice yoga in 1991 as a means of caring for her body, exploring different forms of practice including Bikram, Iyengar and Ashtanga inspired flow. When a friend introduced her to the traditional form of Ashtanga in the spring of 1997 there was no turning back, she had found her practice, her practice had found her.
The following year India beckoned and she traveled to meet
Pattabhi Jois for the first time. Later that same year,
she learned the sitting practice of Vipassana meditation,
which has deeply informed her asana practice, her teaching,
and her daily life. In January 1999 Michele joined Steve
in Santa Barbara to assist in the Ashtanga Program he
had begun the year before.
Through the years she has been deeply inspired by the
strength and generosity of her teacher and friend, Dena
Kingsberg, the commitment of "Guruji" and
his family, and the deep heart of her husband, Steve.
She is forever grateful to all of her teachers in all
of their forms.
and Michele met in Mysore, India in January of
1998 while studying at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute.
The following year, as fate would have it, Michele joined
Steve at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center (SBYC). In the
fall of 2001 they opened the Ashtanga Yoga Shala, a
dedicated Mysore-Style practice space.
Two years later they gave birth to twin sons, Arran
and Ethan, on the full moon of July 13, 2003 (Guruji's
birthday that year). At this point Michele took a two
year hiatus from regular teaching.
After seven good years, the building in which they
conducted the Shala was purchased by a developer, and
their future in that location became tenuous. They moved
the daily Mysore practice back to SBYC on October 2008.
In September 2013, they were delighted to finally open
their own Shala again, Ashtanga Yoga Shala Santa Barbara,
at 1213 State Street Suite J. You can find them there