Jackie Kittel OTR/L, CIYT, E-RYT-500, is the owner and yoga instructor at Sunflower yoga. She is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and is an experienced, registered teacher at the 500 hour level with Yoga Alliance. She is a Certified Yoga Therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She has advanced training as a Yoga for Scoliosis Trainer, studying with Elise Miller, Senior Iyengar Teacher and scoliosis expert. Jackie is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science degree in occupational therapy. She has 13 years of experience working as an occupational therapist helping to rehabilitate people of all ages with physical disabilities in traditional therapy settings.
Jackie was first introduced to Iyengar yoga in 1990 at a local YMCA while living in her native Pittsburgh. She was immediately hooked by the feeling of relaxation and relief of stress she experienced. She progressed quickly from a casual student to a devoted practitioner. She began teaching part-time in 1994, while working full time as an occupational therapist.
In 2000, Jackie focused her full attention on practicing and teaching yoga. Her main Iyengar teachers are Janice Vien and Jeri Hudak. They both were instrumental in guiding her studies and education in Iyengar yoga and preparing for the rigorous assessment to attain Iyengar certification. Jackie taught at Harmony Yoga in Spokane from 2001-2010. During that time, she taught gentle, beginning and intermediate classes. She had the opportunity to work on several special projects for women with breast cancer. (See yoga outreach and research). She also taught workshops for various special topics such as yoga for scoliosis, back care, hips/hamstrings, abdominal asanas, twists, shoulder care, inversions and restorative yoga.
In 2010, she founded Sunflower Yoga. Her classes are offered in a tranquil, home studio with the luxury of small classes. Students receive abundant individual attention through corrections, adjustments and modifications as needed for their specific situations. In addition to the yoga poses, each class offers time for meditation, breath work, yoga philosophy, and relaxation as a holistic practice to wellness and healing. Jackie continues her studies with Intermediate and Senior Iyengar yoga teachers from around the country.