Samantha Ostergaard is a Zen student and yoga teacher who has used yoga to support her zazen practice for fifteen years. Her teaching of yoga is deeply influenced by Zen Buddhism, and in these retreats she teaches yoga as a meditative practice of paying close attention to the body, the breath, and the mental and emotional processes. The three years that Samantha lived and practiced at Tassajara were deeply transformational and continue to be an important touchstone for her.
Samantha has been a student of yoga for 20 years, and has been teaching Iyengar-based yoga classes for 10 years. She has been co-leading retreats with her husband, Zen Center President Robert Thomas, for the last 6 years; they taught internationally for the first time in 2011, in Nepal, Myanmar (Burma), and Thailand.
Samantha is a graduate of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. For the last 8 years she has been teaching private yoga to individuals, specializing in therapeutic yoga for back and neck pain. She completed her Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2012. Her studies in acupuncture have radically changed how she understands the effects of yoga poses on the body.