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Living like it's your last moment

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Sandee firmly believes it is never too late to start a yoga practice. Although coming to the yoga mat at various times in her life, it didn't resonate with her until her mid 40's, when she came to heal from emotional and physical pain. As she physically healed, she found unexpected gifts of love, patience and acceptance. Sandee completed her 200 hour Bhakti Flow Yoga teacher training with Gopa Rusty Wells in San Francisco, and has since completed another 100 hours of Advanced Bhakti Flow Yoga teacher training with Rusty.  

Mysore-style Ashtanga: Sandee completed a Primary Series Teacher Training with Tim Miller in the Ashtanga Yoga method and  lineage.  Sandee is forever the student having studied Mysore-style Ashtanga in India with Saraswati Jois in Mysore, India and is currently under apprenticeship with certified Ashtanga Yoga teacher David Garrigues. Sandee has spent two seasons in David’s Mysore Ashtanga Yoga Intensives in India and assisted him in the 7 week 2019 intensive.

Sandee practices with when she can and studies with  Founder of Yoga Punx Khristine Jones. Sandee is Founder and Executive Director of Yoga Punx PDX.  

In addition to teaching yoga for Yoga Punx, and the Mysore Program at Burning Spirits Yoga, Pacific Northwest College of the Arts, you can find her on the road as she and her person, Ami Lawless, teach international Yoga Punx classes and lead retreats.

Sandee is available for a new teacher mentorship program for those wanting to deep dive into teaching with their voice, heart and soul. She is the Director and lead teacher for the Heart of Vinyasa Yoga School and 200 hour Yoga Teacher training- diving deep into this heart-centered practice, beyond the physical.  The Heart of Vinyasa Yoga School ( 200 hour Program)  is scheduled for May 2020.  Email for details.

Sandee's classes are described as a vigorous vinyasa flow, fun filled devotion with inspiration. Sandee strives to connect with her students and meet them where they are. All are welcome. To give back what has been so freely given she volunteers her time teaching elders who reside in nursing homes, the staff who dedicatedly serve those residents,  and people who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. 

Sandee is available for private lessons, group, and work place classes.

You can find Sandee Lawless on Instagram, Twitter,  and Facebook —- and follow her playlists on Spotify.




Yogi, dancer, eternal student of life! My love of movement began long before I even understood the vast healing energies it conjours. Swaying with the trees in my backyard as a girl, feeling the current of water while standing waist deep in a river, weeping tears of gratitude in child’s pose from experiencing the break through of stagnant energy while doing yoga for the first time via DVD – with one of my favorite yogis – Baron Baptiste.

Once I understood that yoga // movement is a fluid and filters out old energy and patterns – I was instantly hooked on the feeling and the beauty of focused clarity it provided. Not to mention the strong, healthy body it also sculpts! Double score!! My compassionate being is compelled to share the joy and truth I find within my personal yoga practice with others, to share knowledge for the whole – so I trained to gain my 200 RYT certification and here I am, present moment – ready to share. My class style is vinyasa flow fused with elements of Bikram, Iyengar, and Karma yoga – (taking the lessons off the mat and into the world!) – a constant flux of inspired yogic phrases which include movement and stillness, strength and softness, breath and embodiment, strength and focus, fight and beauty. Look forward to seeing you in class and in the community!






I came to yoga in the midst of recovery from addiction and seeking mental, emotional, and physical healing. A friend introduced me to Yoga Punx and right away started feeling the benefits of yoga. I began a regular practice in the fall of 2016 which helped me move from anxiety and depression into living with more ease and comfort. There is an inner strength that I have found on the mat that I am thrilled and honored to hold space space for while others discover that in themselves. Training under the guidance of Sandee Lawless in Bhakti Flow Yoga, I am very much a student with so much to learn and excited to share the benefits of this practice along the way. I find I am best able to forget self by being of service and hope to do so through community practices. Start where you are at, come as you are! Showing up in itself is much of battle, I'll be there cheering you on or practicing beside you in one of the many classes at Burning Spirits Yoga.



mandi hood 

Mandi Hood draws on her decades of training as a counselor and teacher to help yoga students connect with the beauty and power of their humanity. Her yoga classes are designed to unlock students’ physical and emotional resilience. Mandi approaches teaching with reverence as well as a sense of humor. Through her authenticity, Mandi hopes to create a comfortable and welcoming space for first-time and long-time yoga students. 

Mandi took her first yoga class in the late 1990s. She considers that class to be one of many seeds she planted over the years, little sparks of experiences that eventually sprouted into a yoga and teaching practice. The first seeds planted were at the base of the Chugach Mountain Range in Alaska, where Mandi was born and raised. Alaska taught her that there is wisdom beyond what we can see, touch, taste, smell and feel, and that tapping into that wisdom can provide a powerful sense of strength and peace during challenging times. 

Called to serve from a young age, Mandi has worked to help others tap into this wisdom through her work as a yoga teacher as well as a mental health provider, working in community mental health, inpatient, residential treatment and private practice. Mandi focuses on healing trauma through a strengths and mindfulness-based, harm reduction approach. She enjoys supporting people in discovering their own power, humanity, and divinity and believes that part of the yogic path is working towards the liberation of all people. Her approach as a yoga teacher is to serve as a guide, supporting students in exploring their relationship to Yoga. She delights in sharing this path with others. 

Mandi became a part of the Burning Spirits and Yoga Punx communities through the Heart of Vinyasa Teacher Training, which she graduated from in 2019. She loves practicing and teaching vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga and is grateful for the love and support of the sangha at Burning Spirits. 



Tay Arnold

Tay Arnold  brings a balance of supportive direction, non judgement and a raw authentic presence to her class. Full time mom, side hustler super hero, entrepreneurial multitasker with a gift of manifesting tranquility in the midst of pandemonium, her purpose is to guide students to meet their breath, then couple movement and find the power that drives them. The invitation is to embrace the uncomfortable, grapple less and open into an easeful flow of engaged action.

Coming to Yoga through meditation and the Buddhist philosophies, Tay’s interest in self development and soothing loved ones, lead her to discover and participate in several years of meditation workshops, mainly lead by Jerry Jones. In doing so, she was introduced to the world of Pranayama and Hatha Yoga. Once the door was flung open, the moving meditation was a natural marriage. After meeting her first Yoga teacher, now close friend, Rachel Browne, her passion to teach was awakened setting the stage for several years of life changing experiences, leading to the most miraculous year of her life. It began with Heart of Vinyasa Yoga School 200hr teacher training here at Burning Spirits, with Sandee Lawless along with several other Master Teachers, specializing in everything from Sanskrit to anatomy, guided and mentored her into a devotional path exposing the fire in her heart and punctuating the incredible traditions that the world of Yoga offers in splendid technicolor.  Bookending that with 3 trips to Ireland in winter and spring and then again 3 trips in late summer and fall, she celebrated the rhythms of the seasons in conjunction with The Celtic School of Yoga 200hr teacher training. Master Teachers Benita Wolfe and Jack Harrison were the patient and harmonious duality of the divine masculine and feminine, encouraging her growth, fine tuning skills and allowing spacious breath for the courage to fear no longer the life that she dreams of….

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Ellen Schragel

I started doing yoga in 1998 after reading an article, in a fitness magazine, about how it’s the best way to get slender muscles. Because of the lack of depth I didn’t maintain a regular yoga practice and had several negative experiences in studio’s that left me feeling like an outsider. In 2008 I injured my knee in a running accident that cause chronic pain. As a backpacker and active person chronic knee pain was not an option and I decided to try a yoga class, at my gym, for pain management. About 2 years into rededicating to yoga I had a class where I left yoga drunk. My motivation to practice then moved from pain management to learning how to tap into that feeling and deeper study. That choice lead me to find HAES and I started on the path of body acceptance, broke up with dieting and learning how to embrace my whole self (I don’t think this will ever end and that’s OK).

I am on a journey of radical acceptance that has brought insights, tears and a lot of laughter. I decided to do a 200 hour teacher training, at Love Hive Yoga, because I wanted to understand yoga on a deeper level and hopefully give back a little to a practice that I have gotten so much from. The teaching path is new for me, but I believe we all deserve to move joyfully, love ourselves whole heartily and cultivate a relationship with our inner guide.  As a new teacher, I work offer a class that is body positive, unconditional permission to give ourselves the support and space we need to heal. As an eternal student I am current enrolled in a Yoga for All training offered by Dianne Bondy and Amber Karnes to learn how to make classes more accessible for people in larger or different abled bodies.



Kat Hemme

Practicing yoga has represented the existence of strength in my life. Through yoga I have been able to wake up each day and decide who I see when I look at myself. Through gentle movements my body has become strong, allowing my mind to be open and strong as well. Practicing yoga allows me to open my heart and love myself and others. When practicing yoga in a community I am able to accept the strength and kindness flowing through others and I am able to offer that same gentle kindness throughout all parts of my daily life. Steadily practicing has not only become a physical renewal of body for me, but a spiritual journey to enlightenment.

I began participating in yoga since 2009 through a recovery program. The exercises were extremely meditative and gentle, with lots of focused deep breathing and restorative positions. During my pregnancy of 2017, I made a daily habit of practicing the Bhakti Vinyasa Flow taught during Yoga Punx classes combined with prenatal poses and flows I composed myself. Bhakti has really defined what yoga can do for my heart, and my life and has drastically shifted the exercise into a practice. I am extremely excited to share my practice with others, and with other mothers!  



ED Zahnle

I am a Navy veteran, former Catholic school teacher and turned 40 last year on a trade mission with the USDA in Central America representing a Portland food trading company. I attended my first yoga class in a gym while serving as a Corpsman. When I moved to Portland I was very turned off by the yoga classes I attended. When I got sober, 6 years ago, I began to cultivate a meditation practice that became a yoga practice. I have found community to be integral to my yoga practice. In my alcoholism I isolated myself, and with a community in safe space I have found a place to meet my self. I would like to thank Sandee Lawless, my teacher, for making yoga accessible and helping me find my voice as a yoga teacher. I teach a Bhakti vinyasa flow that include dharma talks and chanting. What I have found at Burning Spirits Yoga is a yoga studio that is cared for by a community of teachers devoted to the spiritual practice of yoga, I am humbled to teach in this beautiful space.



Mikaela Shrumm

Yoga found Mikaela during a time when she was in search of growth and connection. She has been a devoted student for many years soaking in all the magic this practice has to offer. Yoga has influenced significant spiritual transformation and been a powerful tool of self-care and self-discovery for Mikaela. Studying under Sandee Lawless in the Heart of Vinyassa Yoga School, Mikaela has had the opportunity to hone her personal teaching style. Her classes allow for an introspective focus and encourage students to feel at home in their hearts, minds, and bodies. Mikaela aims to hold space for others to further develop their practice of radical self-acceptance. Her fast paced Bhakti Flow classes incorporate the element of music and spiritual devotion working to increase both physical and mental strength and flexibility. Mikaela is passionate about sharing yoga with others and providing a space for hearts and souls to be healed. She is honored to be part of the Burning Spirits team and excited about being a driving force in the community to influence transformative healing one yogi at a time. 



Dunja ronsberger

Dunja discovered the practice of Yoga in 2016 while seeking a physical routine to deal with her lower back injury and chronic back pain. Born and raised in a small town in Germany, she has spent the last few years living in Berlin, South Africa and Canada and recently arrived in Portland with her pug and constant companion, Bonnie (who will be joining her for most classes.) After experiencing the physical benefits of yoga, she felt the need to dive deeper into the spiritual aspects and philosophy of this ancient practice and decided to do the Heart of Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training at Burning Spirits studying under Sandee Lawless and other teachers. Her training sparked a wish to support others to enjoy the healing power of a steady yoga practice and making her classes accessible and safe for everyone. Forever a student, Dunja is constantly deepening her personal practice and continually studying to grow as a teacher.