staff & instructors

Our staff and instructors are a fun group of inspired mountain adventurers who have honed their skills living and loving life in connection with wilderness. Accomplished musicians, artists, naturalists, yogis, healers, chefs, and free-spirits Balanced Rock instructors have a knack for making people feel super safe and comfortable in the mountains. We strive to help people feel capable and competent in their own selves in the wilderness through our competent, attentive guidance.


Heather Sullivan

Managing Director


Heather has lived in the Yosemite area for over 17 years. The steep granite valley walls, seasonal change of the river song, and community of animals and humans have deeply shaped her being and world-view. She co-founded and served as the first Executive Director of Balanced Rock. She now serves as Managing Director using her skills of non-profit management and leadership, group facilitation, community building, mentorship, and program development to hold the vision for Balanced Rock and lead the organization through its continued evolution. She delights in creating unique, powerful programs and supporting staff and instructors to shine their magic in the world. She is a gifted teacher and seasoned mountain guide at heart and makes sure to get in the field as an instructor each season.

Balanced Rock is Heather’s life work which blends her passions of yoga and mindfulness practices, creative writing, play, connecting community, creating transformative and healing experiences for individuals and groups and emphasizing the importance of healthy local food.

She is 200hr ERYT and 200hr CRYT certified with Yoga Alliance. Her latest joy and success is creating a Kid’s Yoga and Mindfulness Program for grades K-6 in the El Portal School System.

She is a CMT in Shiatsu and Lomi Lomi massage, an Ayurvedic body-worker and a certified Birth Doula.

Other passions include: river boarding, rock-climbing, skiing, mountain rambling, and music. She seeks new experiences and learnings with a child-like twinkling curiosity and hopes to share that joy and zest for life with others.

Paula Wild

Director of Operations

PaulaWildPaula Wild, E-RYT 500, joined the Yosemite area community in 2011 seeking soul solace in wild landscapes. She is honored to serve as Director of Operations, Instructor and Guide for Balanced Rock, and aspires to share an attitude of life-long learning, empowerment and expansiveness with colleagues and course participants.

Paula is a masterful yoga instructor who most deeply enjoys practicing and teaching in nature’s outdoor studio. She combines movement and breath-work to increase physical awareness, strength, and mental clarity. Paula’s classes elegantly weave yoga philosophy and biomechanical alignment into a thoughtful, enjoyable, and accessible practice. She has been studying yoga since 1999, holds over 1,000 hours of yoga teacher training certifications, and became a certified Yoga Therapist in 2015. 

Paula also holds a Masters Degree in International Agricultural Development from UC-Davis, a certificate in Permaculture Design from the Regenerative Design Institute, and has studied extensively with Joanna Macy in the Work That Reconnects. She is fascinated by the overlap between the practice of yoga, mindfulness, and the design of sustainable livelihoods. 

Her greatest intention is to provide opportunities for more people to explore and enjoy the wild world within, and around us. She believes that the tools yoga and time in nature offer are the most effective ways to connect with our own inner wisdom and expand our potential in the world. Access Paula’s latest musings and offerings on her blog and website:

2018 Instructors

Miho Aida

Environmental Media Artist and Educator

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Miho Aida, originally from Tokyo, Japan, is an environmental media artist, educator and outdoor adventurer in California. She is recognized for her inspirational project called “If She Can Do It, You Can Too: Empowering Women Through Outdoor Role Models.” This project is dedicated to promoting media representation of diverse women who pursue outdoor adventures and who develop powerful social, environmental and human rights movements within the backdrop of nature. With this project, Miho hopes for all girls to have outdoor and environmental role models who look, sound and live like them so that they know what careers, adventures and leadership opportunities are possible.

Her first short film: The Sacred Place Where Life Begins – Gwich’in Women Speak was produced as a part of this project. The film received Audience Choice Award at the 2014 Earth Port Film Festival and was nominated for Best Documentary Short at the 2013 American Indian Film Festival. This film was selected for 2015-2016 Wild & Scenic On Tour which travels to more than 100 communities around the country to build a grassroots network connected by a common goal–to inspire people and unite communities to heal the earth.

Grace Anderson

Activist and Adventurer

Grace Anderson fell in love with wild spaces after a week long backpacking trip with the Student Conservation Association in Joshua Tree National Park. Since then she’s been chasing wild spaces in places such as Patagonia, the Yukon and Nepal. Grace enjoys backpacking, climbing and bike touring and is always looking for new adventures. She’s passionate about being outside with folks of color and has the desire to share her skills and resources with people for those communities in hopes of creating a more radically diverse outdoor community. In addition for instructing for balance Balanced Rock, Grace instructs for NOLS and GirlVentures.

When not working in the field, she is the Community Partnership Manager with PGM ONE, a conference for people of color outdoors and the environment, and is the Marketing and Engagement Coordinator at SHIFT, a conservation conference in Jackson Hole, WY.

When Grace isn’t outside or working, she can be found binge reading books or throwing a themed party.

Patrick Bremser

Medical Qi-Gong, Chef, and Co-founder of Shri Cuisine


Patrick has been studying the visual, energetic, medicinal and culinary arts since before highschool. With a innate interest in indigineous cultures, shamanism, and natural healing, he began personal studies in the Taoist and Tibetian healing arts as a curious kid in gradeschool. During his highschool years he met his first teachers outside the family that taught him all about the alchemy of food and the healing potential of Intention. Here he began his culinary track taking him through the process of healing with the culinary arts for the last 18 years. Within the family circle, Patrick was influenced greatly by his mother who is an award winning metalsmith and alchemist at heart. She first introduced him to the magic between the lines of ordinary reality.

Just after highschool, Patrick experienced a series of spontaneous energetic and spiritual awakenings allowing him an estute awareness of the subtle energetic states of the body. Since then he has studied with many masters mainly focusing on healing the subtle body through ancient Hawaiian, Tibetian, and Taoist meditations and techniques. Patrick currently works out of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas and is empassioned in bringing the visual, medical and culinary arts together to balance the body, mind, and spirit. Through his medical Qi Gong practice he strives to bring his clients closer into their own inherent Divine light, allowing them the opportunity to experience their highest potential.


Audrey Davis

Yoga Instructor and Activist

Audrey Davis, 200-RYT has been enjoying Yoga for over 10 years. Her introduction to Yoga began with a Rodney Yee DVD in her living room, and over the years she learned that the power of Yoga lies not only in its training for physical strength and flexibility, but also in its ability to fortify the mind and spirit. She graduated from Balanced Rock’s Yoga Teacher Training in 2015. 

Audrey’s practice incorporates mindfulness, meditation, breathing, postures, and philosophy in order to experience Yoga in its full force.

Audrey is also a theatre artist, and her work is aimed at promoting social justice and harmony. 

Dennis Eagan

Outdoor Guide, Yoga Instructor, Founder of WildYoga

DennisEaganDennis Eagan E-RYT 500 is the Director of the Balanced Rock Yoga Alliance-certified WildYoga Advanced Study and Teacher Training Program as well as the instructor for the Balanced Rock Energies of Nature backcountry course.

He became a dedicated sadhaka in 1989 and gradually developed an hour-long home practice under the guidance of Lynne Minton, an Iyengar-style teacher in Anchorage, Alaska. Yoga saved him from back surgery twenty-three years ago and since then it has allowed Dennis to lead a very active life. The positive results in his own body inspired him to learn more about yoga.

After nine years of dedicated practice, Dennis moved to Berkeley, California to pursue yoga studies full time at the Piedmont Yoga Studio, directed by Rodney Yee. He graduated from their 320-hour program in December of 1998 and has been teaching ever since. Dennis spent seven years in Berkeley, teaching 15 classes a week and attending weekly classes with Donald Moyer, the director of the Yoga Room (one of the earliest yoga programs in the country), Tony Briggs, the director of Turtle Island Yoga, and of course Rodney. During that time he experienced a wide range of students from the high-energy vinyasa/ashtanga students at 7th Heaven in Berkeley to wheelchair bound yogis at the Cerebral Palsy Center in Oakland. In addition, he attended many weekend workshops with other top teachers including Ramanad Patel, Tias Little and Richard Freeman. Currently he directs the Advanced Study/Teacher Training Programs at the Yoga & Movement Center in Walnut Creek and the Bo Tree Yoga Studio in Davis.

Dennis has also been a wilderness guide and outdoor educator for over three decades. His guiding experience ranges from the Artic to Baja and from the summit of Denali to the depths of Grand Canyon. Dennis offers workshops and wilderness retreats throughout the west, from Alaska to Mexico. He is a contributor to Prana, the online newsletter of the Green Yoga Association, and is writing a book about the Gulf Coast of Alaska from the perspective of a kayaker.

Dennis Eagan on Youtube

Petit Davina

Yoga Guide, Writer

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Petit Davina is a yoga guide, adventurer, rhythm maker, dancer, writer, mother, nature-lover, opening and connecting others to a playful remembrance of the sacredness of each movement and each breath.

She has been guiding yoga for all ages, in varied environments, on and off the mat for over 13 years. She is inspired by mountains and rivers and oceans. While she has worked and trained with many other teachers throughout the world, her greatest teachers are nature and young children. Her eclectic job history includes international guide, classroom teacher, dance choreographer, musician, writer, dog musher, fire fighter, meditation guide, and yoga instructor.  

She gently challenges others to remember calm amidst movement and vitality in calm moments. She is fascinated with movement and rhythm and inspired to create connection as she flows through this journey of being human. Petit currently lives and works in Bend, OR with her son, Talus and their two cats.

Sarah Fontaine

Writer, Publisher, Astrologer

sarah fontaine_bio

These days Sarah Fontaine is most often a writer, book publisher and astrologer living in San Francisco. She publishes books with her sister at Carville Annex Press. She breathes and drinks water and spends as much time with plants as possible. For over ten years she lived outside and accompanied people in natural settings to explore their own transformation, in many parts of the world, but mostly in the southwest desert of the USA. Now much of her work with people is more internal and in cities, with occasional longer experiences outside. She’s so honored to join the Balanced Rock team this year! You can find the latest iteration of her work at

Chelsea Griffie

LA Wilderness Training Executive Director

Chelsea-GriffieAs a young woman, Chelsea dreamed of the mountains and camping. Unfortunately, she lived in suburban Chicago and her family just did not do that sort of thing. Chelsea began rock climbing in 1993 and backpacking as a means of getting to backcountry rock. She was soon hiking and climbing every weekend.

Chelsea moved to Yosemite in 2001 to be close to the Yosemite rock climbing Mecca where she became the Business Manager of Yosemite Guides, a local guide service. She helped to create the Balanced Rock Women of Color Backpack Program which she has guided since its inception in 2004. She has also worked at the Colorado Mountain School. After moving to the Bay Area, Chelsea became the long-time program manager at Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT) before leaving to pursue her dream of founding a Los Angeles Wilderness Training in 2011.

A yogini for over 12 years, Chelsea has practiced regularly with Rusty Wells and Bryan Kest, studied Acro Yoga, and has completed 100 hours of Yoga Teacher Training with Rusty Wells. Photos of Chelsea periodically crop up in Patagonia catalogs, Essence Magazine, and Sports Illustrated Women. She is also proud to be included in Black & Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places, Dudley Edmonson’s book about Afro American outdoors enthusiasts.

Dr. Breezy Jackson

Ecologist, Yoga Instructor and Adventurer

Breezy Jackson is a 7th generation Californian whose grandmother took the stage coach into Yosemite Valley to vacation as a girl. Deeply familiar with Sierra Nevada ecology, Breezy completed her doctorate in Ecosystem Ecology. For her dissertation work, she studied how past and present forest fires affect streams and rivers in Yosemite. Breezy began practicing yoga in 2003 to enhance her balance, core strength, and mental acuity as a collegiate rower. Later she studied Iyengar Yoga for five years with Jeri Stewart at the Moscow Yoga Center in Idaho. During this time, Breezy also received a Masters of Science in Leadership in Physical Education and Recreation, worked as a graduate assistant in the Wellness Program at the University of Idaho, and designed and tested an evaluation and assessment tool for group fitness instructors as her culminating thesis. Breezy’s teaching style is vigorous and playful while drawing on a foundation of proprioception and breath awareness. She enjoys spontaneous self-discovery and contemplation enhanced by wilderness travel and simplified living in a stunning landscape. An adventurer, Breezy has worked in Antarctica where she met her husband and volunteered as the Yoga coordinator, as a Fire Lookout in the Cascade Mountains, and as a research scientist in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho. She always looks forward to an adventure of body, mind, and spirit shared among good friends, old and new!

Eliza Kerr

Co-founder of Balanced Rock, Yoga Instructor, Ayurvedic Specialist

elizakerrEliza has been living in Yosemite since graduating Phi Beta Kappa from UC Berkeley in Conservation and Resource Studies in 1993. She has been leading people on adventures in the outdoors since 1989, working for NatureBridge (formerly Yosemite Institute), Outward Bound in Colorado and Alaska, Where There Be Dragons in Tibet, and Wild Women Workshops in Alaska and Yosemite. Eliza co-founded Balanced Rock in 2007 and since then has served as an instructor. She has served as both President and Vice President of the Board of Directors.

Eliza first discovered yoga in 1991 while living and studying in Nepal and India for a year. Since then she has been a passionate practitioner, studying a variety of styles including Iyengar, Bikkrim, and Ashtanga with Pattabhi Jois and her primary teacher, Richard Freeman, with whom she has completed a month long teacher training, as well as twelve other week-long intensives. Eliza has been teaching a blend of these styles in Yosemite since 1995 with an emphasis on breath, flow and joy. She was certified as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist from the California College of Ayurveda in 2000 and also holds Ayurvedic certificates from the Amercian Institute of Vedic Studies, Rishikesh College of Ayurveda, the Kripalu School of Ayurveda, and the Ayurvedic Institute. She is currently practicing Ayurvedic medicine in Yosemite.

Eliza is passionate about making the world a better place through cultivating personal balance and awareness and facilitating others doing the same. For Eliza, connecting with the natural world and yoga have been two powerful forces for growth and peace. In her work she aims to share these experiences so that others may reap the benefits. Eliza lives with her husband, Nate, and two daughters, Calliope and Scarlett. While not busy with her little girls, she enjoys rock-climbing, surfing, and playing guitar.


Jana Kilgore

Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, and Co-Founder Shri Cuisine

janakilgoreA born seeker, Jana began studying Meditation, Eastern Philosophy, Culture, Arts, Cooking, Plant Medicine, and Mythology early on. By age 15 sports injuries and chronic pain motivated her to find healing through Massage, Yoga & Nutrition. She has been studying & teaching ever since.

Jana holds a healing space for the soul to unfurl and express it’s inner beauty through Alignment based Vinyasa Yoga, Integrative Massage Therapy and Ayurvedic Medicine. She specializes in Yoga Therapy, Cross Training for Athletes, Detoxification and Recovery and Empowering Women of all ages through reconnection to Nature.


Jon-Paul Salonen

Yoga Instructor, Co-Founder of Blue Oak Ayurveda


Jon-Paul Salonen grew up in Mariposa County. It was in the rolling central California foothills as a youth that he found peace and edification. He discovered yoga early in high school and was hooked from the beginning! 

JP has explored a wide range of yoga and other philosophies and health modalities. He began teaching yoga classes in 2006. He continues to practice and teach an eclectic and inclusive style of yoga. Yoga that is practical, with basis in accessible Asanas and Pranayama. And yet Yoga that is also engaging, as challenging or easy, as the individual wishes. This openness, coupled with JP’s interesting verbal style, makes for a reliably pleasant practice.

JP studied Ayurveda, a sister science to Yoga, at the California College of Ayurveda (CCA), and graduated in 2002. He went on to found and work through Blue Oak Ayurveda for the next 14 years, doing body work, individual health consultation and product development.

JP is also a Certified Massage therapist, trained in Myofascial release, trigger points and Ayurvedic Abyanga, Shirodhara, and Swedana relaxation and cleansing treatments.

In his own rural renaissance way JP tries to be a “Jack of All Ways”: owning his own construction company, guiding Yosemite backpacking trips, catering, DJing and MCing local events, and being a member of the local Search and Rescue team.