page-template-default,page,page-id-24,bridge-core-3.0.1,qode-page-transition-enabled,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,footer_responsive_adv,qode-theme-ver-28.5,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.7.0,vc_responsive

Sandra Vanatko


About Sandra

Since 2007 Sandra has been lovingly guiding students in the fields of yoga, meditation, mindfulness, embodiment, and shadow work. She draws on several different spiritual traditions to support students individual journeys back to wholeness through transformation and awakening.


Sandra guides clients through the process of bringing unconscious material into the light of awareness through heart-felt inquiry and presence. She also empowers their movement towards wholeness, greater awareness, freedom, peace, and fulfillment.


As a meditation & yoga teacher and healing arts practitioner, Sandra’s role is one of awakening and empowering people. Sandra helps to facilitate her clients’ awakening to unconscious patterns and supports them in the unwinding of nonproductive and unhealthy patterns. Sandra draws from the broad toolbox of experiences and learning of her own healing journey to do this work.


Nondual Awareness, presence, curiosity, and mindful loving inquiry serve as a foundational practice in an effort to become increasingly aware of that which influences the reality we experience, how we see the world, and our quality of life.


Without support, most people are conditioned to only look externally and seek solutions outside of themselves. By contrast, through what Sandra offers – which is rooted in Awareness itself – we turn attention inward and explore the nature of mind: how our conditioning, early programming, and applied filters color the lens of our perception and experience.


As we awaken the witness we can lovingly detach and disentangle from our attachments to long held patterns. It also gives us the opportunity to make conscious choices – to respond rather than react. As a result, we experience a richer and more rewarding life. We free ourselves from deeply rooted patterns that stem from trauma and core limiting beliefs that have never been met, seen, challenged, deconstructed, and integrated.


Just as we can see deeper into a lake when the surface is still, we can see further into the content of our psyche as we develop capacity to maintain witnessing consciousness and equanimity. We can then meet what arises regardless of whether it is pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant. We can gain easier access to the more deeply embedded programming of our operating system, so to speak, and can track to the root of our symptoms (physical, psychological, behavioral).


Typically these ‘core wounds’ are not easily accessed by the conscious mind in ordinary states of awareness – as they are often deeply embedded in our somatic (body-oriented) memory and subconscious.


Practices like meditation, yoga, presence practice, Pranayama, conscious breathwork, and healing work rooted in Awareness not only help unwind physical tension patterns that bind our life force energy in knots, but like psychedelics or deep meditative states, can induce shifts in consciousness that bring about profound insight, realization, and revelation.


Sandra’s path has taken her all over the world studying many different spiritual traditions and healing modalities over the past sixteen years. Her desire has always been to go straight to the heart of the teachings and offer what is needed in the moment. Sandra engages in hatha yoga, kundalini yoga, breathwork, dance, yogic philosophy, Maha Mudra and Dzogchen styles of Buddhist meditation, shamanism, Christian Mysticism, psychology, and Hakomi somatic body-based psychotherapy. She does this all with the intention to support healing, freedom and re-connection to one’s innate capacity for healing and growth.

Path & Background

For the majority of Sandra’s early life, she struggled with depression. Looking back, she can see that she had a lot of unresolved trauma, suppressed feelings, un-integrated experiences, limiting core beliefs and conditioning that were at the root of her issues. Many limiting core beliefs were of her own making, and others stemmed from generational familial patterns.  Sandra self-medicated with staying overly busy, drinking alcohol, and living a life invested in the core belief that “I don’t really matter.”


Sandra was able to function pretty well as a working adult after graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, yet she didn’t have much capacity to enjoy life. In 2006 this came to a head. She was working in sales, making great money, had her own place, friends- all the things we are told will make us happy, and yet she was more lost than she had ever been. So that year Sandra made the intuitive decision to leave her sales position and take a healing sabbatical in which she would seek the meaning of life and try to find out: “What really is the root of happiness?”


This one decision would change the course of the rest of her life. This journey took Sandra to India for almost a year where she immersed herself in yoga, meditation, yogic philosophy, and astrology. She spent a lot of time in meditation exploring the nature of mind. Sandra also explored yoga asana, subtle body anatomy, and the healing arts.


This experience led Sandra to study with her first spiritual teacher, Shashi Pottathil, in San Diego, California. She spent almost three years apprenticing with him six days a week. In those years, Sandra was immersed in a very classical style of Sivananda Hatha Yoga. It was an incredible opportunity to shadow a master of yoga and the healing arts. She learned the very foundation of her practice during those years. While studying with her first teacher, Sandra received both her RYT200 and advanced RYT300 certificates and is now an E-RYT500 yoga teacher, in addition to being a certified yoga therapist through IAYT.


Sandra then immersed herself in Kundalini Yoga for several years and opened up even more to the energetics of yoga practice. She further applied the kriyas and meditations in her therapeutic yoga practice. Simultaneously, in early 2013, she got deeply interested in shamanic work due to numerous profound spiritual experiences she was having herself. Sandra started learning shamanic healing practices with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and with her mentors Annette Knopp, co-founder of Blue Spirit Retreat Center in Costa Rica and Ben Allen.


Around the same time, Sandra was also introduced to Holotropic Breathwork as a healing modality and studied intensely for the next several years. Additionally, Sandra took a year-long Healing Breath Training with Wahe Guru Kaur at The Awareness Center in Los Angeles, California. These trainings, in addition to her training in yogic pranayama, helped her then create her own style of breathwork based on her own studies, understanding, and intuition of what was needed.


In 2014 Sandra began working with incredibly skilled therapists specializing in Hakomi, Internal Family Systems, and somatically-oriented approaches. In 2014, she met Dr. John Churchill and started intensely studying both Maha Mudra and Dzogchen Buddhist Meditation. Sandra became deeply immersed in this style for years, oftentime taking the same retreats over and over again to fully embody the teachings. These teachings on the essence of our true nature were life-changing as it opened up the Ground of Being.


Along with the teachings of Dr. John Churchill, Sandra studied with Rupert Spira, Dr. Reggie Ray, and continued to study with Annette Knopp exploring the nature of mind and true nature.


In 2019, Sandra took a nine month training with Nina and Ray Christ exploring shamanism, the healing arts, and energy medicine in even more depth.


In January 2021,  Sandra was enrolled in the two year Hakomi somatic body-based psychotherapy comprehensive training program and has been integrating these teachings into her healing practice.


Sandra has been teaching yoga full-time since 2007 and has taught over 15,000 classes and tens of thousands of students. It is her passion and deeply fulfilling. Over the years, as her own energy refined and became more sensitive, she started offering energetic healing sessions with individuals seeking somatic and spiritual support and a desire for awakening awareness.


Sandra considers herself a seeker and lifelong learner and is very committed to her continued personal development, expansion, growth, healing, and awakened awareness. She regularly immerses herself in trainings and retreats to support her own development. Sandra also has the honor of supporting other teachers in their retreats. This nourishment allows her to continue bringing the very best to her clients in the most compassionate and skillful way possible.


“It is truly an honor to do this work. Please reach out if you would like to explore working together. Thank you for taking time to connect here and read.” – Sandra


A core tenet of every session is to always share any gifts received generously with all beings everywhere in all times.