Knekoh Frugé, our Founder, has been practicing Yoga in one form or another for almost 35 years. It all began in 1983 when a moment of kismet brought her to a Louisiana State University class simply titled “Movement”. Incorporating an eclectic blend of Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong and more, that class opened to her the discipline and beauty of profound energy work and set her on a lifelong journey. Led by Rick Nye, all these years later, Knekoh still considers him one of her most influential teachers.
After arriving in California in 1985, Knekoh sought this profound energy work where ever she could find it: Tai Chi in the Park with the elders in San Francisco, Yoga classes at San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, a San Francisco Buddhist Temple and even friends living rooms where they’d gather in a circle and share asanas, the ultimate inspiration for Yoga Circle Downtown’s name.
As a Yoga Therapist, she has work with scores of clients over the years who have found complete recover from injuries and illness through a daily Yoga and Meditation practice Knekoh created for them. Those with more serious conditions such as Cancer or MS have found strategies that allow them to live almost as if the disease were not there or at least greatly diminished. Knekoh believes whole heartedly it is more than the poses that have caused these transformations. She is convinced it is the dedication to the Meditational aspects of the practice and in this age of the internet we are finding this to be a worldwide phenomena. With all these claims it is no wonder University and Medical research facilities across the globe have been putting these claims, both ancient and modern, to the test. Study upon study has shown that after only eight weeks of meditation, participants had denser brain tissue in areas connected to learning, emotional regulation and memory processing. Studies have also found meditation to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, anxiety and negativity, prevent genetic disease, boost the immune system and even act as catalyst for Radical Remission in Stage 4 Cancer. There are over 3500 documented cases of this phenomenon with one in particular being close to Knekoh’s heart. Several years ago she was called in to work with a woman suffering from stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer. At the time of diagnosis, this woman was given only a few months but Knekoh is touched and ecstatic to report, 9 years later her client is still here to tell the tale and tout the benefits of Yoga and Meditation.
Knekoh loves that Yoga can be at once empowering, calming and inspirational. She counts among her influences the stillness of Sivananda, the athleticism of Astanga and Pattabi Jois and the breath and energy of Yogi Bhajan and Kundalini. Over the the last 20 years, she has had the honor of teaching and practicing at multiple yoga studios in and around the Los Angeles area and throughout the country. She has been privileged to serve as a Yoga consultant for the wellness show “The Doctors,” The City of Hope Cancer Centers, Kaiser Permanente, Humana Health Care, Equinox Fitness Centers and countless business’ throughout Southern California looking to improve the office environ via on site Yoga.
Knekoh dedicates Yoga Circle to the late Peter “Hutch” Hutchison, her friend and teacher whose Joie de Vivre and childlike wonder taught her to live each moment as if it is both your first and last.
A long time practitioner of Hatha Yoga, meditation, and herbal medicine, Rob Zabel is a devoted yogi and healer. Rob infuses every class with his focused energy, in depth knowledge, and a hint of philosophy. Whether showing new students the joy of Yoga, leading chants or lecturing on yogic scriptures, his smile is ever present. Trained at Los Angeles’ own Loyola University, and certified to teach in three different Yogic styles, his studies have brought him into contact with some of the greatest living teachers. Knowing himself to be blessed to have experienced the light of Yoga, he is now devoted to bringing that light to every receptive soul. Learn more about Rob and preview his upcoming album “Mohan Das” at www.samveda-yoga.com.
A Los Angeles native, Mary LeGassique fell in love with Yoga when she was only 17 years old. She was drawn in by its transformative effects on the body, mind and emotions. Since her first class she knew she wanted to share yoga with her community as a powerful tool for healing. And for the last 10 years she’s been doing just that. She enjoys sharing uplifting, heart opening sequences that facilitate the circulation of energy throughout the body, that center the mind, that open the heart. In her spare time Mary loves cooking vegetarian meals, taking walks in nature, practicing her Spanish skills, surfing at the beaches of Malibu, traveling, and riding her bike.
After taking her very first class Jacqui Estrada knew Yoga would be a part of her being, her passion, her life forever more. Originally from the Philippines, Jacqui moved to United States to pursue her childhood dream, a career in Fashion. But after only a few years in Fashion Design she knew something was missing. Her heart called for more and Yoga answered. A downtown dweller, she is a lover of art, ballet performances and vintage finds and her teaching style reflects that same eclectic love of classic beauty. Her classes are creative, incredibly energetic and lots of fun, just like Jacqui. Follow Jacqui on Instagram @jacquisassy
This page is under construction, more photos and bios in the coming days. Please check back soon.