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5 Yoga and Meditation Teachers You Need to Know About


Photo Credit: Brett Larkin and ADZENTURES Retreats

When people ask me how I keep my teaching fresh and interesting I always tell them – I never stop being a student.

No matter how long I have been teaching, or how many hours of training and experience I have, I believe one of the best ways to elevate your teaching is to always remain a student, and seek out the guidance of incredible and inspiring teachers.

Over the course of my teaching journey I have been lucky enough to meet hundreds of teachers, so I want to share five of my favorite yoga and meditation teachers.

1. Deborah Adele


Photo Credit: DeborahAdele.com

If you have ever taken a training from me, or have met me you’ve heard me talk about Deborah Adele and her incredible book The Yamas and Niyamas. In fact, I’m so obsessed with this book and her teachings that it is part of my required reading for all Yoga For You 200-hr yoga teacher trainings, and I make a point to read this book at least once a year.

I was first introduced to her when I studied the Yamas and Niyamas in my 200-hour yoga teacher training. I also went to hear her speak at my local studio about these limbs and her wisdom and insight never ceases to inspire me.

Her down to earth understanding and explanation of the first two limbs of yoga inspired me to not only practice yoga on the mat, but to begin living yoga through my actions, words, and life practices. I use her teachings in my daily life and now in my own classes and trainings.

I can truly say that Deborah was one of my first teachers of both yoga and meditation and she continues to be one of my favorite. Every time I read her book I find more insights into myself and my practice, and her knowledge and understanding of yoga philosophy is unlike anyone else I have met.

Connect with Deborah!

2. Brett Larkin

I met Brett earlier this year when she asked me to be a guest on her podcast and speak about guided meditations. Although Brett was the one that asked me to speak, I was left inspired by her knowledge of yoga practice and philosophy and her dedication to the practice and extensive knowledge of yoga. This led me to begin following her on all social media channels, and I do mean all the social media channels.

Since I connected with Brett I have been following her on Instagram, taking her online classes on Youtube, and listening to her podcast. One of my favorite things about Brett is her creativity and ability to weave yoga philosophy and theory into physical practice, like her goddess inspired power flows, and her uplifting and thought provoking guided meditations. I’ve fallen in love with her classes so much she is now my go to online teacher when I’m on the road for an event or training and I want to practice or I’m feeling uninspired and want to level up my creativity.

Connect with Brett!


Photo Credit: BrettLarkin.com

3. Daniela Babura

Daniela is one that you may not have heard of before, but you’re probably familiar with her work. As one of the co-founders of the yoga retreat company, ADZENTURES, and a Hatha yoga teacher, Daniela has transformed the yoga retreat game, giving other instructors like me the chance to turn their traveling yogi dreams into a reality.

After completing her 200-hour yoga teacher training intensive in Hawaii, Daniela was inspired by the beautiful scenery, the supportive group of women around her, and the memories that were created form this traveling yoga experience and she wanted to recreate this feeling for others on yoga retreats.

Daniela’s commitment to bring people together, create space, laugh, travel, and explore the transformation of yoga inspires me daily. Daniela and ADZENTURES also has a special place in my heart because they took a chance and partnered with me to create my first international retreat in Iceland and have since helped make my dreams a reality with upcoming retreats in Peru and Bali this year. If you have ever considered going on a yoga retreat or offering one yourself Daniela Babura is one yoga teacher that you should absolutely be following.

Connect with Daniela!

4. Bhante Vimalaramsi


Photo Credit: BhanteVimalaramsi.com

Bhante Vimalaramsi, or Bhante as his students call him, is the reason that I teach meditation. When I first opened my yoga studio, Yoga For You, I focused primarily on the physical practice but felt like I was coming up short on being able to teach my students meditation.

For years I had dabbled in meditation but only found myself becoming frustrated by not finding a style or teacher that fit, but after research into meditation teachers in my area I came across Bhante and his T.W.I.M. meditation technique and everything changed.

In fact, I became so fascinated by his teachings that when I had the opportunity to go and study directly with Bhante at his meditation center in rural Missouri I jumped on the chance. For ten days I disconnected, lived off grid in the Mark Twain forest with Bhanti and his fellow Buddhist monks and did nothing but meditate and study.

Bhante’s teaching on loving kindness meditation, or as he calls it Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation (T.W.I.M) transformed the way I saw meditation. In those 10 days with him I not only progressed faster in my meditation than I had in years but I finally found a style and a meditation position that worked for me and resonated deeply. Bhante is one of my nearest and dearest teachers and is revolutionizing the way people meditate with his videos, books, and retreats and his dedication to sharing loving kindness with others.

Connect with Bhante!

5. Racheal Cook


Photo Credit: RachealCook.com

Although not technically a yoga teacher but just a yoga practitioner this is a woman that every yoga teacher needs to know about if they are working on leveling up their business. I first discovered Racheal years ago when I was starting Yoga For You and I was learning how to build a yoga business.

At the time Racheal was operating under the moniker, The Yogipreneur, and ran a business for yoga teachers like me that wanted to have a predictable profitable yoga business that stayed true to my values and teaching and left me time in my day to live.

Since then Racheal has expanded to help female entrepreneurs of all types to identify their brand, grow their offerings, and uncomplicate their business. I have considered Racheal to be my yoga business guru for the last five years and she is the first person I recommend to any yoga teacher or entrepreneur that is looking to grow their business and create more traffic with less stress. Racheal’s yogi background gives her an insight into building a yoga business unlike any other entrepreneur coach I have found.

Connect with Racheal!

Kelly Smith
Kelly is the founder of Yoga For You, and the host of the Mindful in Minutes podcast. She is an E-RYT 500, YACEP, and a location independent yoga and meditation teacher. She spends her days traveling globally offering trainings in restorative yoga, meditation, yoga nidra, writing blogs for beYogi, and recording meditations from her closet.
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