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Meet the 2015 Ojai Yoga Crib Teachers

We are so grateful to our Teachers!

How do I Choose My Teachers?

At the Crib, we do not ask our teachers to give us detailed class descriptions. Instead we invite them to show up and share what is fresh and appropriate for the yogis who land in their classes. The titles serve as general headers of what might happen. So we encourage you to pick classes based more on a sense of connection with a teacher than a class title.

The Crib has remained intimate and small through the years because we believe that the experience of Yoga happens in the magic of relationship. We encourage the teachers to feel free enough to show up as they are for real and we hope you will also feel safe to do the same.

Here you will find descriptions of the teachers and links to their websites, videos and books for further investigation.

Take a look at an overview of the schedule to help you design your flow.

If you are taking the Thursday Immersion, we ask that that you pick 1 teacher and an alternate. For the Main Event, we ask that you pick 5 top choices.

Shortly, we will be adding some more descriptions of what to expect with each teacher, and we are more than delighted to talk with you and design the perfect schedule together. Meeting you is one of the reasons we host this event every year, so do not hesitate to call us.

  • Kristina: 541.231.2687
  • Kira: 8O5.798.17OO

Who is teaching a Thursday Immersion?

  • Erich Schiffmann: Freedom Yoga
  • Saul David Raye: Atma Yoga
  • Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band: Bhakti Immersion
  • Dr. Anuradha Choudry: The Sound of the True Self
  • Scott Blossom and Chandra Easton: Yoga and Ayurveda for Really Busy People
  • Mark Whitwell: The Breath of Bliss

Read More about the Immersions.

Good Combinations

Just like when you create a good meal, we recommend pairing spicy teachers with mellow ones, selecting favorites and trying someone new. Generally the more difficult physical practices are available in the mornings and the more chill sessions fall in the afternoon.

It is incredibly tricky to label teachers by "Levels". As many of you know, the ability to sit and relax can be more difficult and "advanced" than the ability to bring your toes to the back of your head. In the past we have tried to categorize teachers a bit to help you, yet we are simultanously encouraging our teachers to show up fresh and spontaneously. So in the interest of assisting the conditions under which yoga might occur, we suggest simply choosing who seems shiney for you and trusting your good instincts.

How much asana?

If you do not want to move much at all, we suggest signing up for Ravi, Anuradha or James's sessions.

If you want to do as much asana and physical movement as possible during your Crib Weekend, we suggest feeling into practicing with Dana, Saul, Sean, and/or Lydia.

If you are looking for sessions that will blend breath, meditation, asana and some discussion, investigate Patricia, Scott, Kira, Katie, Erich, and Richard, Sadie, Chandra and Mark.

Of course, mixing and matching is recommended.

Click on the teachers' names to meet everyone. Pay attention to whom you feel drawn. Allow your instincts to help you pick. Connect in if you would like help.

Erich Schiffmann

Erich's continual loving encouragement to trust our own inner guidance has allowed the teachings of Yoga to blossom within each of us. He has lots of nicknames among us; usually he gets called "Papa Bear."

Erich Schiffmann has been practicing yoga for over 40+ years. He is his own teacher and gently encourages you to do the same. He is the author of one of the best modern books on yoga, 'Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness' in which he writes, "Yoga is a way of moving into stillness in order to experience the truth of who you are...It's a matter of listening inwardly for guidance all the time, and then daring enough and trusting enough to do as you are prompted to do." He films, edits and produces his own collection of yoga videos, “The Backyard Series”.

Erich's Teaching Schedule:

  • Thursday Immersion: Practicing and Teaching Freedom Style Yoga
  • Friday Night Talk
  • Saturday 2:30pm: Freedom Style Yoga
  • Sunday 9:30am: Freedom Style Yoga

Patricia Sullivan

Patricia Sullivan's teaching springs from a broad study of the yogic tradition. Breathing practices, Sutra study, directing the flow of energy through the body, and meditation happen in her classes. Her style is non-dogmatic and

non-judgmental. She emphasizes process rather than end result, curiosity rather than "knowingness", and always brings to her classes a feeling that yoga is not only a vehicle for self transformation, it's fun.

Patricia's Teaching Schedule:

  • Friday 9:30pm
  • Saturday 9:30am

Ravi Ravindra

Ravi Ravindra, PhD is a spiritual visionary, scholar, and leading international speaker on religion, science, and spirituality. A native of India, he emigrated to Canada

and is Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he served for many years as a professor in three Departments: Comparative Religion, International Development Studies, and Physics. He was a Member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, and Founding Director of the Threshold Award for Integrative Knowledge. He was a member of the Board of Judges for the presitigous Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. Ravi’s spiritual search has led him to the teachings of J. Krishnamurti, G. Gurdjieff, Zen, and a deep immersion in the mystical teachings of the Indian and Christian traditions.

We adore Ravi Ravindra. You feel that you are receiving teachings directly from the Source. Facile between the Eastern and Western Traditions as well as within the field of Science, his lectures are generously and richly woven with poetry, heart and soul. He is a true Yogi.

Ravi's Teaching Schedule:

  • Thursday Night Keynote
  • Friday 2:30pm
  • Saturday 2:30pm
  • Sunday 9:30am

Thorald Koren

Thorald Koren’s honesty, search for truth, genuine curiosity, and kindness are changing our relationship with the sounds we make.

Everyone is afraid to sing in front of others. But way before that, many of us are afraid to even speak from deep within ourselves, to tell the truth; it just feels too risky. Thorald teaches us how to allow our true expression to occur naturally and easily. The results are amazing.

Last year, his band, The Kin, toured with Pink. As a rockstar, Thorald’s been a voice coach to many big name performers, but lucky for us, he’s now being drawn to work with regular folk. The goal is not to make us into singers; Thorald has a genuine yearning to assist our interior navigation of self-doubt and terror and still speak up. A truly gifted teacher, he creates a safe container in which we can learn how to listen and share more clearly.

We have Sadie Nardini to thank for introducing us to Thorald. Thorald and Sadie are teaching three workshops called Dare to Suck to help you find your true voice and allow it to be expressed.

Thorald, his sweetheart Ashley Maher, and their daughter Willow live in Los Angeles.

Thorald's Teaching Scheudle

  • Friday 9:30am: Dare to Suck
  • Friday 2:30am: Dare to Suck
  • Saturday 9:30am: Dare to Suck

Lydia Zamorano

Lydia exudes the wild quiet of nature. You can see the fire that burns in her through the bright sparkle in her eyes and feel the strength of her container she has so diligently crafted.

Lydia was introduced to mindfulness and mysticism at a very young age. She grew up in a religious family with a deep connection to spirit, and amidst open minded and soul seeking people on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

An avid rock climber and snow sports enthusiast, yoga came into her life at 19 in the Canadian Rockies. It was love at first practice, and she was instantly a lifer. She dropped out of college to pursue a career in sharing yoga. Fourteen years later she is still exploring, ever-curious.

She had a long love affair with Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, a system she still teaches and respects. Richard Freeman was and still is a huge influence on her teachings. However, after feeling like she was practicing like a man, and wanting to go deeper into receptivity and "non-doing," she found Gioia Irwin who introduced her to Vijnana Yoga, a style of "practicing from the inside" and the "tensegrity" body. Soon after she got hit right in the heart with the teaching of Angela Farmer.

Her current longing is to face the fire of challenge with a feminine softness and perseverance and to seek action in heart, mind and body with the understanding of healthy relationships with ourselves and others.

She lives in a small home affectionately named "the treehouse" in Canmore, Alberta with her husband Sonnie and her 10 month old son Tatum.

Lydia's Teaching Schedule:

  • Saturday 9:30am
  • Sunday 9:30am

Saul David Raye

Saul David Raye is an internationally acclaimed teacher, healer and spiritual activist known for his empowering and transformational approach to yoga, healing and spirituality. Saul’s teaching draws on he depth of Yoga tradition, Bhakti, Tantra and all forms of

universal light, love and wisdom.

Through the grace of his teachers and guides he is able to bring alive the ancient wisdom teachings for modern seekers. The depth of Saul’s teaching allows students to connect deeply with their own authentic power, spirit and truth. A pioneering and inspiring presence in Yoga’s evolution in the west, Saul holds certifications in Yoga, bodywork and energy healing is an ordained minister and musician who infuses his classes with healing music and chants. He has been on the faculty of International conferences and festivals for years, has taught regularly at Esalen Institute and has presented alongside many luminaries in the Spiritual world including Ram Dass and Deepak Chopra. Saul shares this work through teacher trainings, workshops, classes, sacred journey's to ancient power sites and music.

Saul's Teaching Schedule:

Sadie Nardini

Sadie is deep, powerful, and kind. The brightness of her being nourishes all those lucky enough to be near her, and she keeps her heart’s light clear through vigilant self-study, diligence, and surrendered action.

As a teen, Sadie suffered from an inconclusively diagnosed illness of the central nervous system that rendered her nearly paralyzed for over 2 years. Doctors told her it was likely she would never be cured, but for the next decade she fought back. As her physicians encouraged her to invest in a wheelchair, she invested instead in a life of yoga, a whole food diet, and mind-centering techniques to encourage a miracle. It worked.

Her passionate commitment to share these life saving practices and inspire others to discover their core-selves fuels her boundless creativity and willingness to be on her own edge all the time.

This year at the Crib she'll be sharing her freshest exploration with rockstar and muse, Thorald Koren. Join them in a session of Dare to Suck to allow your true sound to ring.

We are so happy she is here.

Sadie's Teaching Schedule:

  • Friday 9:30am
  • Friday 2:30m
  • Saturday 9:30am

James Boag

We love James's ernest and compassionate embodiement of the teachings. His sincere heart will translate and transmit what before might have been invisible.

James teaches applied yoga philosophy around the world and is known for bringing the traditional, scriptural teachings of yoga to vivid life, in ways which elucidate their relevance and practical application in our lives today. His powerful kirtans invite participants to bathe in rich sound; cleansing, energising, and heightening awareness of the depth and glory of our inner selves.

James’ practice and teaching grow from their roots in the Shankaracarya Vedic tradition and the school of Kashmir Shaivism. His classes are infused with the ‘ras’ or flavour of joy associated with the devotional practice of kirtan, and of the bliss which is seen as underlying everything in the beautiful teachings of Shaivism.

James has been teaching yoga and leading kirtan regularly since 2003 and teaching since 1993. In 2005, while he was teaching English at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, James began studying Sanskrit. From 2008-2012, James spent about half his time in Mysore, where he completed his MA in Sanskrit, and where he continues to lead kirtan and courses on the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras, attended by international students of many Mysore’s renowned yogasana teachers.

James's Teaching Schedule:

  • Morning Meditations 7:00am
  • Friday 2:30pm
  • Saturday 2:30pm

Chandra Easton

Chandra Easton teaches Shadow Yoga, Tibetan Buddhist meditation and philosophy, as well as Feeding Your Demons, a process developed by Lama Tsultrim Allione and based on the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Chödby which we learn to

feed rather than fight our so-called demons as a means to liberate our energetic and emotional blockages. Chandra is on the faculty of the Insight Yoga Institute founded by Sarah & Ty Powers.

Her Buddhist teachers are H. H. Dalai Lama, Gyatrul Rinpoche, Lama Tsultrim Allione, and B. Alan Wallace. Her Yoga teachers are Zhander Remete and Emma Balnaves.

Chandra lives in Berkeley, California, with Scott Blossom and their two children. Visit www.shunyatayoga.com to learn more.

Chandra's Teaching Schedule:

Richard Rosen

Richard Rosen began his study of yoga in 1980, and trained for several years in the early 1980s at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco. In 1987 co-founded the Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, California,

he still teaches today. He is President of the board of the Yoga Dana Foundation which supports Northern California teachers bringing yoga to underserved communities.

Richard has written three books for Shambhala, The Yoga of Breath: A Step-by-Step Guide to Pranayama (2002), Pranayama: Beyond the Fundamentals (2006), and Original Yoga: Rediscovering Traditional Practices of Hatha Yoga (2012); he’s also recorded a 7-disc set of instructional CDs for Shambhala titled The Practice of Pranayama: An In-Depth Guide to the Yoga of Breath (2010). Richard lives in a cottage built in 1906 in beautiful Berkeley, California.

Richard's Teaching Schedule:

  • Friday 2:30pm
  • Saturday 2:30pm

Katie Silcox

We love Katie's fresh whole hearted sincerity in her sharing of the teachings of tantra, yoga and ayurveda.

It takes guts to start to share from a realm of many experts where the academics can take all the play out. Katie shimmers her being's inner knowing and allows the expereince to what she is expereincing to be transmitted. She translates the practices for modern life.

Katie Silcox is the New York Times Best-Selling author of the book, Healthy, Happy, Sexy - Ayurveda Wisdom for Modern Women. She is also a nationally-recognized yoga teacher, Ayurvedic practitioner, writer for Yoga Journal, and a senior teacher within the Sri-Vidya ParaYoga lineage under Yogarupa Rod Stryker. Katie was named one of San Francisco's Best Yoga Teachers by Common Ground Magazine in 2009, and one of "70 Yogis Changing the World" in Origin Magazine in 2014. Her signature teaching style blends classical yoga, vinyasa-based asana and life-changing Tantric/Ayurvedic philosophy.

Katie's goal is to help you live the juiciest, most passionate, balanced, love-filled, purpose-driven life possible by teaching you to use the most time-tested, enduring tools and techniques known to humankind – simply and easily.

Katie's Teaching Schedule:

  • Friday 9:30pm
  • Saturday 2:30pm
  • Sunday 9:30am

Sean Johnson

Yogi and kirtan musician Sean Johnson is the founder of Wild Lotus Yoga in New Orleans. He is also the founder of Soul School-- an interdisciplinary yoga and spirituality teacher training

program that focuses on bringing soul and imagination to the art of teaching yoga, and the BHAKTImmersion-- a bhakti yoga intensive and kirtan training held in New Orleans twice a year.

Sean’s teaching seeks to weave the emotional power of bhakti yoga with the sensuality of hatha yoga to free the spirit and bring more love, creativity, and depth to our lives. His playful classes focus on opening the heart through ecstatic chant, storytelling, mythology, creative vinyasa flows, mystical poetry, and enchanting music. All of Sean’s sessions at the Crib will be accompanied by the live soundtrack of The Wild Lotus Band, percussionist Gwendolyn Colman and bass/guitar player Alvin Young.

Sean and the band are regarded as one of the guiding voices in western kirtan music and teach and play at venues worldwide including yoga conferences, retreat centers, yoga and music festivals, and studios small and large. They are the first kirtan band to ever play The New Orleans Jazz Festival. Sean and the band’s music has appeared on Nettwerk/Nutone Records, White Swan, and Sounds True. Sean also co-curates Putumayo World Music's cd compilations designed for yoga practice which features the band's music as well as inspiring songs from a variety of global cultures. Sean loves Ojai and is grateful and happy to be a part of the Crib family.

Sean's Teaching and Performing Schedule:

Dana Flynn

Recognized throughout the yoga community as a true “teacher’s teacher,” Dana Flynn brings an ecstatic expression of movement, music and community to her practice and her students, as the co-founder of Laughing Lotus Yoga Centers and Lotus Flow Yoga.

The former stockbroker, restaurateur and MTV personality turned a life in the limelight into a spiritual transformation, studying with legendary yogis: Jivamukti’s Sharon Gannon in New York and master teacher Rodney Yee in California. Fiercely innovative and independent, Dana honors and knows well the ancient traditions and codified asana systems of the yogic practice. During her many years of study, she “wanted to explore what it meant to move like herself. That was my greatest longing.” Dana and Co-Founder Jasmine Tarkeshi channeled over 6 years of organic movement experimentation into the creation of the Laughing Lotus Yoga Center and Lotus Flow Yoga. Lotus Flow Yoga, is infused with a dynamic Dervish-like energy of dance, song and joyous revelry. “It is fresh, inspired and alive.”

With studios located in Manhattan’s Flatiron District and in San Francisco’s Mission District, Laughing Lotus is now home to more than just a studio; it’s a diverse community of creative, spirited, and playful yogis; a school for teachers and where you’ll find Dana Flynn, the “Janis Joplin of Yoga.” Dana has appeared in The New York Times, Yoga Journal and on Good Morning America and the TODAY Show.

A founding teacher of the Crib 12 years ago, Dana is like no other. Her sessions are packed with creative electric sequences, music and deep powerful inisght designed to move the mountain range of your heart.

Dana's Teaching Schedule:

  • Saturday 9:30am: Magic Takes Guts
  • Sunday 9:30am: Magic Takes Guts

Scott Blossom

Scott Blossom is a Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner, Shadow Yoga teacher and Ayurvedic Consultant. He has been studying yoga since 1990 and teaching since 1997. His primary teachers are Zhander Remete, founder of Shadow Yoga, and

Dr. Robert Svoboda, Ayurvedic physician and scholar.

In 2011 he founded DoctorBlossom.com, a site dedicated to Ayurvedic education, nutrition, and treatments. Visit www.shunyatayoga.com to learn more.

One of the original founding teachers of the Crib, we are always so happy when Scott returns. His teaching is generous, earnest and weaves a rich tapestry in which to practice.

Scott's teaching scheudle is:

  • Thursday Immersion: Yoga and Ayurveda for Very Busy People with Chandra Easton
  • 9:30am Friday: Bone Up
  • 9:30am Saturday: Joint Communication

Sara Ivanhoe

Sara has the capacity to straddle a wide range of the manifestations of yoga. She just received her Master's Degree at LMU's Yoga Philosophy program and is the Yoga Spokesperson for Weight Watchers, most recently releasing the “Weight Watchers Yoga Starter Kit.”

Sarah's dedication to the study of yoga and genuine care of all who shows up allows her to be an effective and clear translator.

We first met Sarah around the time when Krishna Das came to Ojai to help celebrate Lulu Bandha's second year birthday in March 2004. We were already sisters because of our mutual love for Erich Schiffmann. We love her sharp and exacting mind which equals her deeply compassionate heart.

Unafraid of mass media, Sara is the instructor for the "Yoga for Dummies" series, the "Crunch Yoga" series as well as the collaboration with Russell Simmons "Yoga Live." She had an extended run on Fit TV with "All Star Workouts" and on Exercise TV with "Yoga on the Edge." Sara was a regular on Vh1's "Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab" and has been featured on all the major news channels. She is highlighted in the acclaimed documentary "Titans of Yoga" and "Women of Bhakti."

Sarah's Teaching Schedule:

  • Friday 9:30am
  • Saturday 2:30pm

Kira Ryder

Kira Ryder, along with an amazing team, is one of the hostesses of the Ojai Yoga Crib. She takes inspiration from the incredible beauty and intimacy of the Ojai Valley in which she is fortunate to live.

Fascinated by the opportunities of Relationship, her teaching style has evolved to help cultivate an understanding of the practicality and global necessity of Self Love. With attention to the subtle currents, Kira aims to be the FAT to allow your flavor to come through and be tasted. She is the original Den Mother of Lulu Bandha's.

Kira Teaching Schedule:

  • Friday 2:30

Annie Besant

Annie Besant, the second president of the Theosophical Society, arrived in Ojai in the 1920s looking for a place that would be healing to Krishnamurti's younger brother.

She purchased two large parcels of land at the gateways into Ojai for the purpose of establishing sacred space for inner work. This makes Annie Besant our Valley's first spiritual conservationist and much of how Ojai looks and feels today is because of her. Some of you will be practicing up at Krotona, Ojai's Theosophical Society (TS) Campus, and one of the parcels of land she preserved.

Born October 1, 1847, she left her husband over religious differences to work for the rights of the working class, women and children in London. Her early ideas of educational reform to allow the child to follow her interests as a means of learning are still current.

In 1890, she met HPV Blavatsky and turned more of her attention to the inner realm. And she continued her commitment to participating in the shepherding of justice in the physical realm working tirelessly on independence movement of India from British rule.

She passed on September 20, 1933 in Adyar, India. Learn More.

And so while she is not technically teaching any classes this year at the Crib, we are deep in debt to her work. Without the efforts of the TS, the sacred teachings of India might not have been as accessible as they are today. Her care and love of Krishnamurti helped nurture a great teacher and her recognition of Ojai as special, helps us be here today. Thank you dear Annie.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

The teachings of Krishnamurti perfume the air of Ojai as strongly and as sweetly as the orange blossoms and sage. His call to find our own path to Truth was most clear in his teachings on Beauty which he felt very close to in this sacred valley.

Several of our practice locations are tied directly to him including the Krotona Theosophical Campus, the Krishnamurti Foundation Library and the Ojai Retreat Center.

Ravi Ravindra's intimate relationship with Krishnamurti pours out in his teaching and Erich Schiffmann used to hitch hike up to Ojai from Laguna to hear Krishnamurti speak. Our dear sister Uschi went to Oak Grove, the Krishnamurti School, and met him many times as a little girl. Juna and other crew members also attended Oak Grove and so have been educated in the spirit of trusting the inner experience over external authority.

"Love is where I am not." ~ Krishnamurti

A Few Krishnamurti Resources

Dr. Anuradha Choudry

We first encountered the delightful Dr. Anuradha Choudry last year on YouTube as we were looking for help with our Sanskrit. We wrote to her and within very little time, we were new old friends. She is returning to the Ojai Yoga Crib for her second year.

We could not be more exctied. Her sessions will explore the transformative power of sound and mantra, blending her passion for sanskrit, mantra and the psychology of the vedas.

Dr. Anuradha Choudry is presently a Research Associate at the Centre for Indian Psychology, Jain University and an Adjunct Faculty at the Department of Psychology, Jain University. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the Development Foundation that is looking at alternative approaches to development based on the Indic paradigm. A graduate from the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Puducherry, she completed her Ph.D in Sanskrit from Pondicherry University, on Vedic Psychology to understand its practical application in our daily lives.

Following that, she was a recipient of the prestigious Erasmus Mundus Scholarship (European Union Commission, Sep 2007 – 2008) for an M. Litt in Crossways in European Humanities at the Universities of St. Andrews (Scotland) and Bergamo (Italy). In 2003, she also received a UN related scholarship for a Diploma in Human Rights from the Summer University of Geneva (Switzerland). Recently, along with Dr. Vinayachandra B. K., she has edited a book titled ‘Perspectives on Indian Psychology’, published by Jain University Press in addition to many articles that have been published at national and international levels.

She has also been a resource person for Auroville International Netherlands, the School of Philosophy in Ireland, UK and Australia, Companie Prana in France, as well as for the Yoga Congress of the European Union of Yoga in Zinal, Switzerland in 2011 and 2013. Passionate about Sanskrit, she has conducted several spoken Sanskrit classes in India and abroad and has participated in many workshops that encourage peace and harmony within various international youth groups. Her firm belief in the power of sounds to enhance internal and external peace inspired her to organize a global event on Human Oneness called Ekataa on 1.1.11.

Anuradha's teaching schedule is:

Mark Whitwell

We love Mark's sensitive intuition with each relationship he encounters. He allows for the teachings to hold the space, translating as is required.

Mark is interested in developing an authentic yoga practice for the individual, based on the teachings of T. Krishnamacharya and his son TKV Desikachar, with whom he enjoyed a relationship for more than twenty years. Mark’s teachings clarify the profound passion and relevance of ancient wisdom to contemporary life.

Mark has taught yoga for over twenty years throughout the US, Asia, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and was the editor and contributor to TKV Desikachar’s book The Heart of Yoga.

Mark teaches Ha-Tha Yoga, which against common understanding means all physical forms of Yoga practice, not a specific “style”. Ha-tha means the merging of the sun and moon, the male and female, prana and apana (two energies), and is a purifying and re-balancing practice where breath and body movement are one. The practice includes Asana (postures), Pranayama (breathing exercises which move, activate and increase Prana, vital energy), Bandha (energy locks), Meditation, Relaxation and Chanting.

Mark's teaching schedule is:

See the Schedule of Classes

We are so excited about the playlist of teachers this year. Each brings a rich and particular viewpoint and expression of the practices of yoga. You will not be able to make a "bad choice."

When you purchase your ticket, you will have the chance to handweave your own schedule, picking who you want to practice with on what day.

You will be able to practice with your favorite teacher as much as s/he is teaching.

See the Mother Schedule.