Savonn holds a deep knowledge of intricate movements of the body and is brilliant at offering up the most creative of asana variations and flows. Her classes are full of detail, awareness, and mindfulness. Her ability to clearly articulate and break down the movements and seamlessly weave in the unexpected keeps classes challenging, inspiring, and fun.
Her ability to be herself, laugh, tell stories, and share her own experiences creates for an open and heartfelt connection. Her unattachment to the “rules” and encouragement in being attuned to working within the boundaries of your own unique body are liberating.
Savonn’s vinyasa classes are always a joy to experience. These classes are essential self-care for me. I remember dearly a series of classes during the spring of COVID where Savonn passionately focused on connecting with breath work and heart opening through both shapes, movement and verbal guidance. Joining in these classes through the live stream brought me amazing physical relief and emotional release during a difficult and stressful time. I appreciate that Savonn’s spiritual lense in vinyasa practice is often softer and more subtle, yet the message and outcome is even more powerful
Co-Owner/Co-Founder & Senior Instructor
Savonn’s approach to teaching is to provide skillful and detailed instruction, non-dogmatic and grounded inspiration, along with mindful intention and awareness. She weaves in many different styles and approaches to her creative sequencing and theme-based classes. She has been teaching yoga for over 25 years.
She recognizes the importance of an integrated approach to health and well-being. She believes that yoga and other meditative and expressive arts are a great complement to athletic, professional, and creative pursuits.
Her classes, workshops, and retreats offer an opportunity to tap into the transformational energy present when a group comes together to practice without losing the power of personal inquiry and expression. Her one-on-one sessions help to better tailor a personal practice, to address individual concerns, modifications and questions, and to make sure the practice stays safe, nurturing, and fun.
Savonn is the co-founder and co-owner of Sellwood Yoga in Portland, OR. Together with Bill, her brother, she oversees the growth, development, and vision of the studio through their company, Align Integrative Wellness, LLC. She also founded Bernal Yoga in San Francisco, CA which was a well respected, independently owned, family operated studio from 2002-2019 (shuttering due to COVID).
Savonn co-created and co-leads the Sellwood Yoga 200-Hour Teacher Training Program as well as the 300-Hour Advanced Studies Program for Yoga Teachers and the 150- Hour Deep Dive Program for Yoga Students
She also works with individuals, small groups or businesses, and major corporations to create stress management and corporate wellness sessions and programs. Additionally, she is available to consult with health and wellness professionals and small businesses on a wide range of topics, including how to start and/or expand a business; business identity and implementation strategies; organization and technical systems and processes; and a myriad of other things that go into running a successful and independently owned small business.
She holds Yoga Teaching Certificates in “Flow/Vinyasa” from the White Lotus Foundation, “Pre and Post Natal Yoga” from the Seattle Holistic Center, and “Yin/Yang Yoga” from Sarah Powers and Paul Grilley. She completed an in-depth training in “Therapeutic Yoga” from the Yoga Garden of San Anselmo. She is also a certified MELT Method “Hand and Foot Instructor,” as well as a MELT Method “Level One Instructor.”
Savonn lives in Sellwood with her husband, Brian. Their son Isaak recently started college at UC Davis. Locally, Savonn enjoys whitewater kayaking, hiking, and biking.
I’ll take anything Savonn teaches! There is a thoughtfulness to the way Savonn teaches and everything is done with a purpose. I love how each class is focused on a certain theme or concentration, even when I might not realize what that is at the start. Every class is filled with an “Aha!” moment for me where I’m not just moving my body but learning to use it more deeply and to get a deeper understanding of yoga and how it affects me – be it how I can better get into an asana, how to refine it, where it strikes a cord in me, how it changes my body or breathing… Vinyasa Flow is a great all around class that gets my body moving. Strong Vinyasa challenges me and builds my strength and confidence – Savonn provides a safe space to try (and sometimes trick me) into poses I don’t think I can do. Yoga Basics is my absolute favorite class. I think many people have the misconception that it is a beginner class. While it is great for beginners, I really think that everyone should be taking it. It is a wonderful foundational class. Even if you’ve been practicing a while, we all develop habits (good or bad), and this class brings you back to the fundamentals. It makes you explore why we do certain poses. It explores different approaches to moves you’ve done thousands of time the same way. It reminds you to slow down and love in the experience of yoga rather than just going through the motions.