Amaan Kurji, Owner
Amaan was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. He moved to Canada in his early 20s where he earned his degree in Hotel Management. After lengthy stints in senior roles in hospitality and retail in Vancouver and Ottawa, Amaan moved to Seattle in 2010 to manage day-to-day operations of a local hotel developer and operator with multiple upscale locations in the greater Seattle area. In 2018–and with a wealth of knowledge and experience in strategic management and operations–he branched out on his own as a management consultant. He took the reins as owner of 8 Limbs in January of 2020.
Amaan is new to the business of yoga but has a daily yoga and meditation practice. He is an avid golfer and lives with his three children in Kirkland, Washington.
Anne Phyfe Palmer, Founder & Teacher Training Director
Anne Phyfe Palmer founded 8 Limbs Yoga Centers in 1996 to provide an inclusive and welcoming home for yoga practitioners in Seattle. Raised in New Orleans, Anne Phyfe came to Seattle in 1993 via Vermont, where she completed her BA in English and Women’s Studies and developed an interest in Environmental Studies. She has guided 8 Limbs through 23+ years of growth and stability while raising her daughters Lily and Coco with husband Bez, a graphic designer and illustrator.
Anne Phyfe has several roles at 8 Limbs: Founder, Teacher Training Director, Member of the Leadership Team, and Yoga Instructor. As Teacher Training Director, she manages the 8 Limbs 200-hour Teacher Training (Summer Intensive and Modular), 500-hour Teacher Training, Prenatal Teacher Training, and Mentorship Program and directs a team of more than fifteen local and nationally renowned instructors in these programs. On the Leadership Team, Anne Phyfe works with four others to steward 8 Limbs according to our mission and social justice mission. Anne Phyfe also teaches weekly yoga classes at 8 Limbs. Her current schedule can be found here.
If not at 8 Limbs, you’ll find Anne Phyfe tending to her home and family, out in nature, or engaged in social justice work. She is a committed bike commuter and enjoys walks near her home, especially in the Arboretum. Anne Phyfe also loves to read and write, and is the author of This Life of Mine – a Legacy Journal, published by Sasquatch Books, now on sale at 8 Limbs and in gift and bookshops in your neighborhood!
Amy Fredericks, West Seattle Yoga Advisor
For Amy, yoga is a practice of a personal sense of justice to navigate the mind-body as it presents obstacles, sanctuary, and strength (challenging and incredible things about being a human). She is grateful to hold space for others to access and practice yoga and loves being around the 8 Limbs community.
Life experiences and degrees in psychology and arts & cultural management led her to work in dementia research, mental health, and nonprofit arts consulting, amid various relationships to and perspectives of art and the mind. You’ll probably find her happiest when taking pictures, playing with paper or thread, or near natural light, dogs, kitchens, or trees. One day, she hopes to provide accessible holistic esthetic services and teach yoga.
Claudette Evans, Education Coordinator
Claudette works to create a space for the community that is warm and welcoming, so that students can explore the sheer joy of movement, while cultivating greater connection in their lives. She has been a student of yoga herself for more than 17 years and a teacher for nearly 7. Before yoga, she shared her gifts as a classically-trained singer and performer, athlete, nonprofit arts administrator, event producer, and small business owner, including co-founding a national conference on community service and citizenship.
Claudette is also a mother, a singer, an avid sudoku puzzle solver, and a romance novel addict, as well as a lover of good food; especially the warm flavors of India, Asia, and the Caribbean. And she cooks them too! She prioritizes making time for family and friends, walking, and a daily chanting and meditation practice to help her stay connected to what’s most important.
Emily Gewax, Phinney Ridge Studio Manager
Emily is thrilled to support and celebrate the incredible community at 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge. She enjoys welcoming and connecting students with the classes and teachers that complement their individual needs.
Emily is a graduate of the 8 Limbs 200-Hour Teacher Training program. She earned a BFA in Fine Art from Cornish College of the Arts. Outside the yoga studio, she can be found covered in clay, throwing pottery in her studio or teaching art to kiddos (including after-school art classes through Art with Heart, a local arts non-profit).
Emily’s self-care and grounding routine includes; practicing yoga, spending time with friends and family, laughing, cooking, baking, hiking, making art, traveling to new places and remembering to breathe… deeply.
Ginger Griffis, Phinney Ridge Yoga Advisor
Ginger aims to maintain the 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge studio as a place of peace, vitality, learning, and healing. She supports the smooth-running nature of the studio so that it can be as seamless as possible to the students who come here for self-development, meditation, and health.
Ginger is a graduate of the 8 Limbs 200-Hour Teacher Training
program and teaches at The Yoga Studio in Magnolia. She is also a certified Craniosacral Therapist and has offices in both Capitol Hill and Magnolia, www.gingercst.com. In her spare time, Ginger sings in various choirs, specializing mostly in Renaissance polyphony. She loves bringing chant to her classes and is currently in the process of designing a regular Kirtan event at The Yoga Studio in Magnolia. When the opportunity presents itself, she also loves doing proofreading work.
Ginger maintains a regular yoga and meditation practice. She loves to get out into nature as often as possible, whether taking a daily walk in a beautiful Seattle neighborhood or park or getting out further into the gorgeous northwest. She also enjoys reading, mostly fiction, hanging out with friends while enjoying good food and drink, and the joys of domestic life. Music-making via singing and playing the flute also helps her to find enjoyment in life. Other interests include cooking, travel, gardening, organizing, and trying new things.
Joanna Bond, Bookkeeper
In her 20 years of practicing yoga, Joanna has seen her practice change from power flows to gentle dream states, from learning to teaching, from tough times to good, and back again and again. It is through all the ebbs and flows of modern life that the yoga path wanders. She feels lucky to be working for an organization that holds space for students, teachers, and staff of all ages, sizes, beliefs, and experiences, every one of whom has a story to tell. She sees that wisdom and connection come not just from the teacher, but from the student as well, and loves watching community build around yoga classes.
Joanna is a mother, artist/writer, and business owner. She has a regular meditation practice, without which she would be freaking out right now! She enjoys creating yoga games, tools, and stories for kids, and finds that adults are just as fascinated by them. They sneak deeper teachings into simple moments, bringing joy to the practice.
Joanna is registered through Yoga Alliance as a Yoga Teacher, Children’s Yoga Teacher and Prenatal Yoga Teacher.
Kymbr McMurray, Wedgwood Yoga Advisor
As Yoga Advisor, Kymbr strives to make each student feel welcome and familiar with the Wedgwood studio and classes. She hopes to empower students to develop a path suited for their individual needs and goals while feeling supported by the inclusive, diverse community at 8 Limbs.
As a mom to four young boys, Kymbr understands the importance of balance and self-care. Yoga, reading and writing, meditation, and time outdoors are ways she fills her cup so she can be of service to others. With a BA in English Literature and minor in Women’s Studies, Kymbr has a passion for the power of writing and reading in personal development as well as social justice. She also believes in the importance of community and connecting with people in person. She’s delighted to contribute to growing community at 8 Limbs.
Lauren Kite, Managing Director
As Managing Director, Lauren works hard to create a community-centered practice space as diverse and eclectic as the neighborhoods 8 Limbs inhabits. Lauren is deeply dedicated to celebrating and honoring the uniqueness of every individual who practices here while relishing in the opportunity to embody conscious, evolved, green, and womxn-powered business practices. Ushering the legacy of 8 Limbs’ 20+ year tenure as Seattle’s premiere yoga center into an adaptable, modern, compassionate business and an epicenter for genuine connection through yoga both on and off the mat for the next 20 years is a humbling honor.
Lauren has a BA in the Comparative History of Ideas, emphasis on Critical Theory/Culture Studies, with double minors from the School of Aquatic Fisheries Sciences, emphasis on Aquatic Ecology and Conservation Management, University of Washington.
An e-RYT certified yoga instructor, Lauren has been on the teaching staff of 8 Limbs since 2012.
Traveling, dancing with friends, practicing asana anywhere and EVERYWHERE, trampolines, climbing trees and being in Nature, preferably with wine, a good book or journal all help Lauren to feel vital and steeped in Gratitude for this gift of Life – and a daily meditation practice with time for retreat, solitude and Silence.
Lily Myers, Phinney Ridge Yoga Advisor
Lily aims to provide a grounding and helpful presence in the 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge studio, assisting students in choosing the best experience for their needs and goals. She is a student of yoga, herbalism, and Tarot, and through these mediums she aims to deepen her connection between mind, body, and spirit. Lily has completed two 200-hour yoga teacher trainings, at The Center for Yoga in Seattle in 2016 and at Bohemian Studios in 2018. She has moved through her own personal dynamic yoga practice since 2010.
Lily attended Roosevelt High School here in Seattle. She went to college at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and is currently remotely pursuing her master’s in Women’s Spirituality at California Institute of Integral Studies. Shuffling and reading Tarot cards connects Lily to herself and others. She also is grounded by reading novels, taking walks around Greenlake, watching her heroine Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and hanging out with her pet snake, Calliope.
Martha Bailey, Boutique Buyer
Martha has a passion for merchandising and strives to create an exciting and relevant boutique atmosphere to support the needs of 8 Limbs students and staff in their practice and beyond. She looks to offer a fresh and aspiring mix of quality yoga props, apparel, and gifts that are local, sustainable, and not sold everywhere.
Martha earned her BA in Business and has 20 years of experience as a buyer and product manager. In 2014, she completed her 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training and also earned her certification to teach yoga with weights. She is continuing her yoga journey through her practice at 8 Limbs and attending their yoga workshops and retreats. She plans to begin her 500-Hour Teacher Training in the near future.
When she is not on the mat, Martha enjoys being active outdoors with her husband, son and dog or out with her girlfriends. She loves many active sports and these days that includes hiking, cycling, skate skiing, tennis, and trend shopping!
Megan Sloan, Prenatal Teacher Training Administrative Assistant
Megan brings over 10 years of involvement in the operation of 8 Limbs Yoga Centers to her love of working with pregnant and postpartum students. Currently the lead faculty member of the 8 Limbs Pre/Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training Program, she also oversees the administration of the program shepherding enrollees through each module of the training and working closely with them to attain certification. With 10 years of experience working with prenatal and postpartum yoga students, Megan brings a wealth of knowledge plus her own experience of being a queer parent to facilitating a space of inclusivity of around birthing folks and the recognition of a myriad of paths to pregnancy and parenthood and the variety of folks who undertake them. She is passionate about raising awareness around the needs of all birthing folks, particularly those in the LGBTQ+ communities and strives to impart the importance of inclusive language and spaces when training new prenatal and postnatal yoga teachers.
In what little extra time being a full-time parent and part-time yoga teacher allows, Megan makes space for her yoga and mindfulness practice and time outdoors hiking with her wife and daughter.
Rainbow Fletcher, West Seattle Studio Manager
As Studio Manager, Rainbow is dedicated to guiding and supporting students with an open and compassionate heart. She believes in the power of mindful movement and the act of self care, and seeks that out in her own yoga practice. Outside of the studio, Rainbow works simultaneously as a dancer, choreographer, and personal trainer. She received her BFA in Dance from Cornish College of The Arts and is the Artistic Director and Choreographer of HYPERNOVA Contemporary Dance Company, and Co-Artistic Director of The Offshore Project. In addition to her current projects, Rainbow is well known for her past innovative creations as the Choreographer and Dance Director of the Can Can Castaways. She also loves spending her time off with her amazing husband Kristofer and their cat Sofia.
Samantha Oppenheimer, Wedgwood Yoga Advisor
Samantha is grateful to endorse the 8 Limbs mission to create an openhearted and healing environment where the individuality of students can thrive, because there are as many unique paths for practicing yoga as there are for practicing life. She mosaics her time with many passions from writing, travel, and entrepreneurship, to a dedicated yoga practice, teaching yoga, and various forms of philanthropy. Samantha did her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher training with 8 Limbs and has completed the Embody Love Movement Facilitator Training and is just beginning her pursuit to teach yoga and lead Embody Love Movement workshops to empower girls and women to celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness, and contribute to meaningful change in the world.
She keeps herself grounded by practicing asana, mindfulness, gratitude, and ahimsa for the mind and body. She feels most connected when she exercises, practices whole nutrition, and spends time in nature. She also prioritizes her friends and family because these connections are what makes life worth living. Her favorite pastime is ‘chewing the fat’ with another intellectual– maybe in a foreign café over Italian pastries or Thai sticky rice.
Shayda Abab, Capitol Hill Studio Manager
Shayda is thrilled to be a part of the inclusive community at 8 Limbs. She knows that the yogic path can be long and winding and is excited to meet each student exactly where they are.
Her love of movement began as a child in dance classes. She spent ten years as a teacher, choreographer and Assistant Director of a dance studio, South Side Dance Force. She completed the 200hr Samarya Yoga Teacher Training in 2011 and since then has continued a personal practice that includes daily gratitude, journaling, and meditation.
Shayda feels most calm and connected when dancing, exploring new cities, making art with friends, cooking Persian food or curled up with a good book.
Simone Shaw, Capitol Hill Yoga Advisor
Simone advances the mission of 8 Limbs with a strong daily yoga asana practice, and a metta and/or transcendental meditation practice. Simone has been a yoga practitioner for 20+ years. Simone was introduced to Bikram Yoga at the age of 18 in her hometown of Kailua, HI. Simone has since also studied Ashtanga and Hatha Vinyasa Yoga. Simone received her 200hr RYT certificate in 2009 from Kathleen Hunt + Steve Davis, whom owned the infamous Samadhi Yoga. Simone was prolific in the rise of Yoga Behind Bars; YBB as the founding Social Media Manager, and donation procurer for Yoga Behind Bars, where she served her Karma Yoga for the first 4 years of YBB’s existence.
Simone is almost always eager to assist our community members in choosing the best yoga class/teacher for them.Simone is a mother to a delightful, eccentric, loving tween boy. Simone is active within the Capitol Hill Community. You may sometimes find her working on her fashion and jewelry business at The Riveter. Simone is an e-commerce small business owner. She specializes in Women’s Apparel + Costume & Fine Jewelry. Simone will be selling her designs at The Fremont Sunday Market in the summer, and online at her website https://ssstylestudio.com in the late Spring. Simone holds a degree in Applied Arts of Fashion Design and is currently pursuing her baccalaureate in Organizational Leadership/Business from Seattle University.
Simone stays connected to the HUman race by practicing mindfulness in her daily life as a role model and advocate for her son. She enjoys a good Cabernet Sauvignon, being physically active (swimming, surfing, skateboarding, running, hiking) in nature, and reading voraciously. Currently Simone is reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, Gooberz By Linda Goodman, Heart Talk by Cleo Wade, and Skill in Action by Michelle Johnson, to name a few. Simone also enjoys holistic cooking and baking, and you will often find her perusing the weekly farmers markets.
Theresa Spencer, Wedgwood Studio Manager
With eleven years of involvement with the studio, 8 Limbs has known Theresa as a yoga student, a successful teacher, and currently as a Manager for the 8 Limbs Wedgwood Studio. She enjoys helping students find a perfect fit for their practice, matching individual needs, health status and personal goals to the rich and varied teaching styles at 8 Limbs. She emphasizes the freedom to explore classes at all four of the studio locations and encourages a non-competitive approach to yoga. She considers the Wedgwood studio a unique asset for our community, one that involves people of all ages and backgrounds.
Theresa has an active home practice, and feels that breath and movement are essential ingredients in maintaining a healthy life style. With a varied entrepreneurial background as an art gallery owner and running an organic farm, she embraces living a balanced life through sustainable practices including yoga, meditation, organic foods, music, art and continual learning.