“I love drawing students into a kinesthetic realm of varying sensations as an invitation to go deeper into their bodies, and therefore, themselves. Holding space for another’s courageous, inner journey is a deep act of love. To do so carefully and with the intent to serve is undeniably the most rewarding life I can live. This has been my dharma for years….”
Alicia Cheung was first introduced to yoga when she was 8, but it wasn’t until 1991 at the age of 23, that she began studying yoga more formally. As Assistant Director of the Wellness Program at the Claremont Resort and Spa in Berkeley, California, she had the good fortune of mentoring with Nancy Minges, who exposed her to the teachings of Angela Farmer, Craniosacral Therapy, Feldenkreis and more. As time went on, her interests expanded to studying Iyengar yoga, Vinyasa flow, Yin Yoga and MyoFascial Release Techniques.
Life took a turn when a snowmobiling accident left her with a fractured spine. With the help of a holistic healer and yoga therapy, she fully recovered, and in 1996, she was inspired to begin studies in Traditional Chinese Medicine in Northern California. In 1998, she apprenticed with Dr. Xiao Ching Hu in Taiwan, learning many classical methods of treatment. It was in this same year that she also ventured to Nepal, and among other things, completed her first 10-Day Vipassana meditation course.
“After my first meditation retreat, I understood the power of the mind and how it can be either useful or a huge obstacle in our moment-to-moment experience. When the mind is ruled less by self-imposed limitations and more by love and kindness, this is truly the gateway to freedom.”
In 2001, she became a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, moved to Thailand, and never looked back. There she worked as a freelance yoga teacher, nutritional counselor and acupuncturist for several detox centers and spas such as Five Senses, Napasai, The Sanctuary, The Spa, and Health Oasis.
She remained connected to her yoga tribe in the States, and in 2007, returned to California and began working with YogaWorks. With her deep love for yoga, wellness and travel, she created their Destination format for their world-renowned Vinyasa Flow program. What started out as one training in Thailand has now grown to trainings in Bali, Hawaii, Fiji and Morocco.
Alicia remains an avid student of Vipassana meditation, and has completed an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program based on the work of Jon Kabat Zinn. Her increased fascination with the body and the brain led her to four levels of Craniosacral Therapy studies with Leonid Soboleff, as well as participating in human dissection with Gil Hedley. Alicia creatively infuses all of her studies into her teachings. She is forever grateful and indebted to all the many teachers throughout her life.
Her students call her, “a loving, knowledgeable, intuitive and passionate life coach, teacher, and mama bear.” Alicia loves facilitating deeper journeys of self-discovery, and has lead over 30 teacher trainings in Bali, Hawaii, Thailand, Japan, Morocco, Fiji and California. She currently teaches 200-hour Vinyasa Flow trainings for YogaWorks, 100-hour Yin Yoga and MyoFascial Release trainings, 50-hour Chinese Medicine Nutritional Therapy programs, and several retreats and workshops throughout the world.
Alicia is founder of Samdhana Yoga and a very happy mother to 9 year old, Olivia.
Olivia Chen Reinsch
Alicia considers her daughter, Olivia, to be one of her greatest inspirations, teachers and soul mates. Born in 2007, Olivia has traveled the world with her parents, cultivating the space for self-discovery, laughter, play, and loving relationships. She is an avid swimmer, runner, surfer and artist who loves animals, reading Greek mythology, eating sushi, and being silly with her father.
Olivia is a deep thinker and conversationalist. She touches so many students with her compassionate heart and tender nature, adding a timely warmth and light heartedness to every group circle.
“My three favourite things are my parents, reading, and athletics…….”
Her imagination runs wild as an artist and writer. One day she wants to be a mermaid and live with dolphins!
Oliver began yoga as a teenager meditating on Venice Beach, California. Grateful for all his amazing teachers, he considers family and nature to be his greatest gurus. What began as primarily a physical pursuit that “felt good”, has now become a way of life.
“I believe yoga can help bring out the best in people by simply helping us be ourselves.”
For more than 25 years Oliver has studied, practiced, and taught many styles of yoga from vigorous and energizing to therapeutic and restorative. He believes all styles are valuable, and that there is no one style that fits everyone. “Yoga should be individualized to suit the unique needs of every student, and those needs change as we change.”
Like Oliver, his teaching style is down to earth, playful and seemingly casual, yet firmly grounded in the yogic principles of kindness, honesty, gratitude, moderation and joy.
Some of Oliver’s yoga endeavors include: founder and director of Tosa Yoga, Kochi-ken, Japan, “Feel Good Yoga” DVD, and YogaWorks teacher trainer. He has been a co-contributor with Alicia Cheung for the YogaWorks Destination Program, offering 200-hour teacher trainings worldwide. He has taught numerous workshops and retreats including surfing/yoga, Thai massage, Yin Yoga, and MyoFascial Release Therapy.
When Oliver is not teaching around the world, he can usually be found teaching daily classes, surfing, parenting, and doing as little as possible.
PHOTOS #2 AND #6 By Melinda DiOrio
#4 ByDerek Simpson