Meet our Tribe
hayley SaraswatI, Founder
Saraswatī embodies the essence of the creative Mother, balancing loving softness with a graceful strength. Her powerful presence inspires and empowers others to step into their full potential, through vibrant authenticity and the awakening to the expansive joy of the heart. Her work brings together the teachings of yoga, non-dualism and earth wisdom, infused with a deep reverence for life.
Saraswatī wholeheartedly offers herself through the path of devotion; offering kirtan, ceremonies, workshops, retreats and trainings with yoga, breath work, sound healing, singing circles, dance, satsang & sharing circles. She loves to be in the forest, contemplating Oneness within nature while dreaming and designing landscapes of harmonious interaction, offering visions of an alternative global community for the future generations. Saraswatī is one of 8 co-founding members of the Kula Collective, an organization weaving together diverse holistic experiences and educational offerings.
Watch the Kula Collective video series episode "Meet Hayley Saraswati"
niss bach, creative THAI MASSAGE director, PART OWNER
After continuing his studies with Thai massage and water treatments in Mexico Laos and Thailand, Niss has returned back to his home in San Marcos with The Yoga Forest. Niss is a world traveler since the age of 20. Originally from Jerusalem, he has been exploring different communities and experiences in order to decide what kind of community he would like to be involved in and help create. He became involved with The Yoga Forest in 2011 and his investments of energy have helped create the beautiful Shiva Temple.
Niss is an artist. He began studying dance in high school and moved into Circus Arts in 2003, where he studied in Israel and Madrid. After 8 years of performing on stage, on the streets and in festivals, he fused his knowledge of movement into the healing arts of Thai Massage and Yoga Therapy. Niss has many gifts to share: he speaks four languages and is a dynamic problem solver within communities; he offers group forming camps and workshops as well as astrology readings.
Niss is currently practicing a Tibetan practice called Dzogchen or “Great Perfection”, it is the highest and most definitive path to enlightenment.
diego romano, retreat manager
Diego is a seeker by nature, born in Argentina, he has spent the last 6 years + of his life living around the world fulfilling different roles and diving into transformational connections with the people he met and the spaces he lived in.
Although yoga has been present in his life from an early age it was not just until the last 2 years that he felt it was time to fully attend the call and bring the practice and the sharing of the practice to another level by using it as a tool not just to improve general health and flexibility but to tap into deeper layers of consciousness, raise awareness and channel messages from within.
The upward spiral movement of his life has now brought him towards the Yoga Forest where he is carrying out duties as a resident manager; he feels this as the coming together of all the experiences, places, learnings and teachers he has shared path with in the last years and is ready to put it all into service in order to provide a safe environment for anyone who want to step into this powerful place and feel ready to do the work.
Michele hann, SOCIAL & DIGITAL CREATOR
Michele is a dancer, published journalist, Communications graduate and internationally certified yoga teacher. After a handful of years working with various media agencies, she’s shifted her focus from the media industry towards holistic projects, traveling, and intentional living. Naturally a dreamer, she is guided by her vision to create a sacred biosphere for yoga, to offer experiences that nurture connection, and encourages individuals to beckon the call of dharma.
As a yoga student and teacher, she is dedicated to weaving timeless world philosophies, artistic movement, swādhyāya, mantra, and joyful expression into her practice and classes. Raised as a child on the teachings of Buddhism, and classically trained as a ballet dancer, she is in love with the union of Presence and Movement.
”And we are put on this earth a little space, that we may learn to bear the beams of love.” — William Blake
AMY CARL, WEBSITE GURU
Amy is a lover of life, nature and animals. She values connection with others, time spent outdoors, being challenged mentally and physically, the art of yoga and eternal practice of mindfulness. After leaving the software/tech industry behind, she carved out a non "9-5" lifestyle by pouring herself into what she is passionate about. Considering herself a "jack of all trades", Amy is continuously working on numerous projects that fill her soul. Along with being an internationally certified Yoga teacher, she does branding, design, website development and social media for companies around the globe.
Amy is the ultimate adventure seeker, constantly searching for ways to spend her time outdoors in Mother Nature. She recently returned from a 220-mile long distance backpacking trip through the Sierra Nevada mountain range on the John Muir Trail.
"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man".
suhan Badalamenti, admin manager
Suhan loves nature, the sky, the sea and her connection with the Universe. She feels a deep devotion for her practice and aims to continue her growth as a Yoga student as part of her Life path. Following her call, she intuitively guides practice aiming to empower souls through introspective asana and meditation that she calls “Yoga with Intention”. She believes and teaches the power of self-transformation through guiding connection with the Higher Self & the practice of mindfulness achieving non duality and awareness in the Now...
Suhan is a native Guatemalan who worked ten years in country brand marketing and fell in love with her Mayan Culture as with the Wellness offered in the magical mountains of Lake Atitlan. She now shares there the mission to spread wellbeing for others and forms part of the Yoga Forest, the Forest Family & common projects for the local communities.
After a life changing road trip and a near death experience Andres has attended the seeds of Yoga, Adventure sports, and travel with all his energy. He spent 10 months of the last 2 years in India and Nepal living Yoga in all it’s expressions and learning massage techniques, Buddhism, meditation, and Pranayama. Guatemalan native, Andres lives an active life in connection with Nature, always seeking synergistic ways to live which brings him to Lake Atitlan and San Marcos specifically. Down to earth with a mind that likes to adventure into high winds, grounded by a burning fire to co-create in an ever-flowing rhythm.
Jayānanda James Roland, RESIDENT POET, MUSICIAN, Yoga PHILOSOPHER, FOUNDER OF SOUND CEREMONY
Hi, you can call me Jaya. I am a life-long student of Wisdom and the Sacred Arts with a multidisciplinary approach to self-development. A practitioner and teacher of Meditation, Yoga and practical Eastern Philosophy I have taught over 25 month long Teacher Trainings at beginner and advanced levels. Since early childhood I have familiarized myself with many shamanic tendencies which have evolved to the bulk of my work with indigenous plant medicines, entheogens and ceremonial traditions from my studies in Brazil and Peru. With this synthesis I act as a bridge, or an instrument where I am continuing to learn and refine my role as a medium.
The speciality here is with cathartic & Emotional Release therapies aiding in opening and healing of the body/mind complex which may garner new perspectives and realizations. Often I see people who are being troubled by anxiety, stress, trauma, PTSD and addictions. I can also help with negative spiritual openings, Kundalini awakening, spiritual emergency and crisis.
In 2012 I founded Sound Ceremony to share my journey as a Sound Therapist. Since then I have seen hundreds of people. lead countless Sound Healing Ceremonies and hosted sell-out courses around the world which has given me a unique percpective into the relational and philosophical way deep listening and sound understanding can help restore us to our essential nature.
Deeply creative at heart and a multi-instrumentalist, I love to share the joy of Sound and Music through Prayerformance, Sacred Chant, Mantra & Medicine Music and the resulting devotion it offers to one courageous enough to walk on the path of the heart. The last thing I want to share with you are my words. I did not ask to be a poet. It is something that chose me. I have several published books, 3 of which you can find in the gift store, with many more on the way as endlessly I am writing and finding myself lost in intricate patterns of beautiful words that lead me to such a wonderful astonishment at the simplest things in life and the joy of being alive.
Anja is a trainee Clinical Psychologist, and a devout student and teacher of a diverse range of healing modalities. Although she had practiced yoga for ten years, she first realized the profound power of yoga when she was asked to teach recovering addicts in Norway. There she witnessed how the patients significantly reduced their anxiety, abstinence symptoms and many found peace for the first time in years.
This experience spurred her on a path to learn more about the mind-body connection, the healing potential of yoga and other ancient practices to complement psychotherapy. The decision to deepen her knowledge of healing practices included studying meditation, mindfulness, breathwork, expressive arts, and journeying to the Yoga Forest, where she undertook her 200 hour yoga certification with the Kula Collective.
She is now grateful to be back and share the wisdom of yoga as a journey deep into the self, as a profound method to balance the nervous system, and to help her students connect to their body.
Her yoga classes have a down-to-earth approach that place awareness on honouring and listening to the body, and finding stillness within, so one can open space for the inner life to unfold. She balances this with incorporating playfulness and joy in her vinyasa flows, to increase the connection to the heart and the love for life itself.
PATricia sainz de rozas
Patricia first came in touch with Yoga when she moved from Spain to the mountains of Northern California pursuing her passion for nature and outdoor sports. After 5 years of steady practice, she decided to travel to the birthplace of yoga to dip deeper into this ancient science. She attended yoga courses in Rishikesh as well as The International Yoga Festival, and got her 200 hour Certification from a yogi in Kerala.
Since then, she has traveled and lived in many different continents, always learning and practicing with other teachers the joy of oneness and spreading the magic of yoga. She teaches Yoga as a way of introspection to connect with the divine soul and find bliss within, and also as a way to honour the body and the soul.
Patricia has found that keeping a slow flow throughout the practice, helps stay more aware of each movement, and increases the connection of breath, body and mind. Her vinyasa flows are active and creative but always gentle with the body, holding poses both active and resting to increase its benefits, and paying close attention to heart centre and energetic channels. Her classes are filled with philosophy and intention, and she commonly uses other yogic techniques such asmantras, bandhas andmudras. She is also studying other holistic healing practices as coaching, nutrition and therapeutic massage.
Following his adventurous heart, Pasquale spent the last 13 years marveling at the beauty and richness of many cultures. Delighted and honored by the enormous varieties of experiences and people he met along the way, Pasquale gained insights that taught him how to deal with the many implications life has to offer. Pasquale is a martial artist and certified Hatha & Ashtanga Yoga teacher. He gives professional Thai massage for health, learning at the original Thai medical and massage school “WatPo”. He completed more then 300hrs of massage training in different institutes, continuing his journey with some great teachers such as Anjan Pichet and Sinchai.