Teaching Team

September 8-29th, 2018 – Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Meet the Luminous Heart Teaching Team

Kadri Kurgun

Lead Teacher

Nancy Goodfellow

Lead Teacher

Kirk Blaker


Amy Lynn Guthrie


Nayla Tawa


Scroll down or click teacher above to view bio.

Kadri Kurgun



Love in a big way, be vulnerable, and be powerful.

An internationally renowned and loved guide of Yoga, AcroYoga, Meditation & Life. As a meditation practitioner for over 30 years, he brings presence, compassion, and tender lightheartedness to everything he does. Helping people release the self-doubt, fear, unworthiness and shame intrinsic to the human condition, and re-connects them to their childlike, playful nature and sense of belonging. Through retreats, workshops, festivals, and private healing sessions, he has touched the lives and hearts of thousands of people around the world.

His students call his positive energy “awe inspiring,” and that "his courageous heart" encourages them to “love in a big way, to be vulnerable, and to be powerful.”

He is a featured presenter at conferences around the world, such as the Wanderlust Festivals, Korea Yoga Festival, South Africa SpiritFestival and the Divine Play AcroYoga Festival.

His work as a preeminent yoga photographer has been featured in publications such as Vogue, Yoga Journal, Origin Magazine, Mandala Magazine, Common Ground Magazine, Mantra Magazine, YA El Mercurio & LA Times Magazine.

Kadri is a E-RYT500, YACEP, Senior Level 2 AcroYoga Teacher, and Yoga/Meditation Teacher Training facilitator. As a body worker, he is influenced and draws upon his exposure to Structural Integration, Polarity, Cranio-sacral, energy work, and Thai massage.

His Classical Yoga Practice began 35 years ago with Gurumayi Chitvilasananda of Siddha Yoga and has studied with many gifted masters since. His current meditation practice is in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition under the tutelage of revered teachers such as Daniel Brown PHD, Tulku Rohob Rinpoche, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

He is currently touring around the world leading retreats, workshops & Teacher Trainings. When he isn’t teaching, you can find him behind the lens of a camera, hugging somebody, or on his surfboard.

Nancy Goodfellow



Shakti Flow

Nancy began her Yogic studies in the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition in 1992 before moving to Costa Rica to follow her dream of living a more simple life in deep connection with nature. Nancy has completed over 500 hours of Yoga Alliance Teacher trainings and has been influenced by various methods and traditions. Yet it has been the challenge of overcoming one of life's greatest tragedies and losses that opened up the inner-door to her heart and has allowed Nancy to infuse and channel her teachings with great compassion, confidence and joy.

Her “Shakti Flow” classes contain a myriad of elements including Tantric techniques and modern expressions of yoga arts, which come together to create a highly educational, physically challenging, and deeply soulful experience. Each class explores not only creative vinyasa sequences guided by principles of alignment, but offers Tantric practices of Mantra, kirtan, pranayama, and other techniques for awakening our inner fire and stabilizing the mind.

Nancy has been practicing Yoga for over 20 years and teaching for more than 15 years. She and her family own and operate Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat on the beach in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica where she teaches daily yoga classes, workshops, teacher trainings, and retreats.



Chantal Russell

Chantal is passionate about sharing the teachings of yoga, as a daily practice which invites us to embrace life as a sacred gift. Having studied yoga for over 16 years, her yogic studies began in 2001 in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition, which led her on a journey to Costa Rica, where she met her first Anusara teacher and now dear friend, Nancy Goodfellow. Falling in love with Tantric philosophy, Chantal went onto to become Anusara Inspired and apprenticed with senior certified teacher Sianna Sherman from 2010-2012. She has since completed over 800 hours of teacher training, including extensive studies in prenatal yoga, yoga therapeutics, trauma sensitive yoga and tantric philosophy.

Today, Chantal is a faculty member at The Vancouver School of Yoga, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and founder and director of The Well, a yoga and holistic living studio on Bowen Island in British Columbia, where she currently resides. She is also runs the yoga and nutrition program at The Orchard Recovery Center, teaches workshops throughout Canada and Europe, leads retreats around the world, and has recently published her first bestselling book, Wildfire Within.

When not teaching or writing, she can be found gardening with her husband and son, reading by the fire, or travelling the world in search of good waves, healing foods, and nourishing conversation.


Kirk Angelo Blaker

Kirk Angelo Blaker has been teaching yoga asana since 2003.
He holds University degrees in Exercise Science/Athletic Training and Sociology with follow-up university studies in Physical Therapy, Emergency Medical Technician - and Sustainable Tropical Agriculture

His teaching draws deeply from a wealth of experience he accumulated over a lifetime of travel/work/living internationally, and studying with masters in their fields.
(including, 5 months of a clinical internship in Ayurvedic Medicine, and intensive Yoga training in Rishikesh, India).

Ever since first trying Acroyoga, in 2009, he’s been practicing and sharing it prolifically around the world. Kirk was instantly impressed by the power Acroyoga has as an extension and amplification of an individual Yoga practice, in addition to being an incredibly fun exercise. He is an internationally acclaimed teacher and is certified by Acroyoga Montreal, level 2.

Based in Costa Rica since 2000, he is a holistic health practitioner and manual therapist, operating a seasonal Injury Rehabilitation Clinic for the past 13 years. He frequently shares his knowledge and experience of Anatomy at yoga teacher training programs.

He is also the founder of C.A.M.P. - Cooperative Arts, Movement, and Play; an inspiring social organism; learning how we can live together better, and live better together.

Kirk will be our lead anatomy facilitator and part of our full time teaching staff.

Amy Lynn Guthrie

Amy was born and raised in Southern California. Throughout her youth she battled addiction and anger. With the support of her family she was able to break free to find clarity began her search for a more meaningful life. At the young age of 21 she had her first child, this gave her more even more of a reason to understand a deeper meaning of life.

She found Yoga as a new mother and it changed her life exponentially, the practice put life into a newfound perspective and gave her powerful tools to apply to her daily life. After 3 trainings of  Thai Yoga Massage she began teaching.  Thai Massage enabled Amy to express healing through touch and movement. It just felt right.

After the start of her Thai massage practice Amy felt the urge to dive deeper into spiritual life. This began her traditional yoga journey. She studied with Tamal Dodge for her 200 hour certification and started offering classes right away. After the training something clicked in Amy’s life and she knew that she had found her purpose, she soon moved to Los Angeles to offered classes and massage full time.

For many years Amy traveled the world teaching Yoga, leading retreats and exploring life. Upon hosting a retreat at Pranamar villas in  Santa Teresa Costa Rica, she fell in love. Universe offered her and opportunity for a major life change and Amy went for it - she packed everything and moved to the jungle. Amy now teaches along side all the greats at Pranamar.

Amy believes we can heal our bodies through movement.

“Our bodies build up tension in the fascia and the connective tissue. These physical blockages prevent proper blood and energetic flow. With Yoga and Thai Yoga massage we can free ourselves from the prison of tension. The more we open our physical body, the more love and peace we can invite into our lives and begin to heal from any past trauma and negativity.” Amy’s deepest vision is to help others find clarity in life. She believes all human beings are capable of experiencing happiness and true self love. When asked for final words of inspiration, she adds “Always remember, you are a pure being full of light, and you can achieve anything you desire in your life!”

Nayla Tawa

Nayla Tawa is a documentary film maker, adventure expedition organizer, Certified Wilderness First Responder, extreme snowboarder and athlete, with a true passion for outdoor adventure, exploration and a love for life!

She was born in the French Alps to an Egyptian father and French mother and has been a devout explorer her entire life. With countless humanitarian missions under her wings, Nayla presently serves as a Deputy to the Los Angeles Honorary Consulate General to Nepal, a role she accepted in the wake of the 2015 earthquake during which time she supported aide for cross-country and on ground operations.

After enduring PTSD from a near death experience, followed by several years jumping from one intense environment to the next, Nayla felt that her emotions and inner well-being were headed towards a meltdown. She landed in Costa Rica and immediately discovered the healing and calming energy that inhabits the beaches of Santa Teresa. The pull to stay still, heal, and ground herself was undeniable, so she removed herself from her extreme lifestyle and spent last year living, working, and healing in Santa Teresa. During this time she dove deep into a daily yoga practice with Nancy Goodfellow as her teacher...culminating in the completion of a 200 hour YTT at Pranamar Villas.

Nayla's easy going and welcoming energy often draw people to her. Nancy and Kadri asked Nayla to join their team because of her compassionate superpower of being able to hold space for others, uncanny ability to purvey fun in a lighthearted manner, and mastery of getting things done.

Nayla will be a lead support for students and staff liaison for the September LH Training.

Join Us This September

We invite you to push the bounds of your foundations, summon the compassion, courage and confidence of your inner warrior, and step wildly into the light-hearted expression of your own personal Superpower – your most valuable gift to share with the world.

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