Avani Gilbert: Founder & Director of CYA Programs
E-RYT 500 / YACEP / Reiki Master Teacher, LMT & Clarity Breathwork Practitioner
Avani started exploring yoga as a teenager to counter participation in high school competitive sports. From there she began a lifelong love, journey and an endless study. She has participated in yoga teacher trainings throughout the United States and Costa Rica while accumulating close to 4000 hours of teaching experience.
Avani is the director of the Retreat and Training Center OM at Cashew Hill; the first of it’s kind in the Caribbean of Costa Rica. She is the lead trainer at the Caribe Yoga Academy as well as a guest teacher for several other yoga programs. Avani is also an LMT, Reiki Master Teacher and a Clarity Breathwork Practitioner. She emphasizes the importance of Karmic consciousness, CommUNITY, Kula and Seva in her teachings and her practice. Her flows are creative yet based on functional alignment in order to move in the way that is right for all unique bodies. She enjoys sharing clarity breathwork as a means to awaken to our truest and highest potentials, Reiki and Yoga trainings, vinyasa flow, yin and restorative yoga classes. Outside of yoga teacher training you can catch her teaching on the public yoga schedule at OM.
She is deeply grateful for her studies and time spent with Dr. Paul Jerard, Donna Kraft Smith, Ashley Ludman, Indira Kalmbach, Dr. Ray Long, Seane Corn and Jo Phee. She thanks each for inspiring deep enquiry into the philosophy, lifestyle, anatomy, functional alignment, myofascial release, mantra and lifestyle of yoga…but more than anything for contributing toward her path and the finding of her authentic teacher’s voice.
Adriana Leiva: Mantra, Mudra, History & Philosophy Faculty
E-RYT 200 / CYT 500 / YACEP
Adriana’s passion for spirituality and body movement started at a young age. At the age of 18 she received her first certification for Yoga and Massage. The process has not slowed down or stopped since! Adriana is a 500 hours Certified Yoga Teacher, Yogakids Facilitator and co-founder of the ASOyoga (Costa Rican Yoga Association). She has studied a variety of yogic styles as well as philosophy and Bhakti under Dr. Mark Dycscowksi in India and earned her degree in Physiotherapy. She is on the Costa Rican board of Physicians. Adriana is also an experienced bodyworker and lightworker and is currently a student with the International School of Methaphysical and Spiritual Sciences. Adriana teaches at OM Puerto Viejo, with the YTTs of the Caribe Yoga Academy as well as being on the YTT team of the Hari Om Yoga School at the 200 and 500 hour levels in both Costa Rica and Italy. Adriana joins the Caribe Yoga Academy team for the 200 hour yoga teacher training and for the advanced level training, Yoga’s Sister Science: Coupling Asana & Ayurveda.
Ryan Tolhurst: Biomechanics & Anatomy Faculty
E-RYT 200 / YACEP
Ryan first came to yoga to deepen his practice and understanding of the spiritual and philosophical. He is a graduate of the Wilmington Yoga Center 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. Ryan earned his degree in biomechanics and kinesiology from The University of Richmond.
While attending the University of Richmond, Ryan was a member of
both the football and track teams. Following his collegiate career in
football, Ryan went on to play for the Carolina Panthers. Yoga was an integral part of supporting his athletic career both physically and mentally. Ryan embraces the physical challenges that yoga can provide and enjoys sharing how those physical challenges can lead to a deeper understanding and connection with oneself. Ryan’s classes have a focus on alignment through a strong understanding of anatomy and physiology. By integrating a spiritual and meditative awareness in his classes, he hopes to inspire students through their own practice to look within themselves to live more mindful compassionate lives.
Ryan is currently living in Costa Rica where he and his Fiancé Meghan work together teaching and support in running a non-profit program for local children.
Flora Domenis: Ayurveda Guest Teacher
Yoga Teacher & Ayurvedic Therapist
Flora is a Yoga Teacher and Ayurvedic Therapist, specialised in Lifestyle and Nutrition. From Geneva to Kerala through Amsterdam, Italy, France, the U.K. and West Africa, fluent in 5 languages, Flora is a true World citizen! Since the age of 12 she has been blessed with growing up in a Yoga conscious environment. Likewise has her education in Ayurveda been blessed with an array of internationally known teachers such as Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. Frawley, Vaidya Robert Svoboda, Dr. Claudia Welch, Vaidya Atreya Smith, Donald Vanhowten and other renowned doctors from India. Since 2012 she has been living full time in the small south Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo. Always on the go, you can spot her smiling on her bike on her way to her tiny beach front holistic organic vegetarian café, or on her way to organise catering services, cooking workshops, Lectures, Ayurvedic consultations or Restorative Retreats! Flora joins the Caribe Yoga Academy team for the advanced level training, Yoga’s Sister Science: Coupling Asana & Ayurveda.
Nicole Hudson: YTT Assistant & Empowerment Coach Extraordinaire
RYT 200 / Retreat Director / Life Coach
Nicole began her personal relationship with yoga in 2004 as more of a fitness routine than a way to deepen her understanding of herself and my relationship with others. As the years went on her practice was “off-and-on,” as is often the case for many students, however, Nicole noticed that in the most difficult times of life yoga was the one thing she returned to again and again.
After nearly 10 years of working in the very competitive art world of New York City, Nicole decided to listen her heart, trade her heels for bare feet, and follow her true path. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but she needed to share this amazing feeling and practice with others. After much contemplation and encouragement from her amazing family, friends, and teachers, she decided to complete her 200HR Yoga Teacher Training in the fall of 2014. It was the best decision that Nicole has ever made and her life has not been the same since! Nicole’s dream is to help others share their passions, deepen their connections, and continue to grow a global community of people who share a sense of curiosity – not only for the world around them, but the world within them.
Tiffany Williams: YTT Assistant & Resident Peace Sustainer
RYT 200 / Communications Expert / Meditation Queen
A California native, Tiffany began her yoga journey while living in bustling New York City and now travels the world sharing her love of yoga. She has taught in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and now in Costa Rica. Tiffany received her Yoga Alliance RYT 200 certification in Rishikesh, India at Shiva Yoga Peeth under the guidance of Swami Sudhir Pradham. Her background includes acting, muay thai, acro yoga, aerial yoga, and vinyasa yoga. Tiffany is also a Vipassana meditator and completed a 10-day silent course at the California Vipassana Center.