There are scores of yoga teacher training instructors in Denver, too many to count. Every trainer is unique and hopefully has something very valuable to share with you. Here is the list of our primary instructors. Perhaps you can see yourself learning from what they have to offer.


Derik Eselius (ERYT 1000) – Lead Trainer

Lead yoga teacher training Derik Eselius standing under a bridge with his arms crossed in a yoga pose.

I first encountered yoga in 1991, just after High School, on an extended journey around the globe.  India was one of the stops, where I first met Baba Hari Dass, a life long yogic adept. I had arrived at the inception point of a lifelong commitment and quest.

Since that time, I also studied asana with world class teachers including; Ramanand Patel, Tias Little and Richard Freeman.  I credit Yogarupa Rod Stryker (whom I met in 2011) for teaching me tantric Hatha Yoga practice. Baba Hari Dass taught me the internal practice of Raja and masterfully demonstrated the spirit of karma yoga.

Both Baba Hari Dass and Yogarupa elevated my practice spiritually and taught me to live more graciously in the world, be more loving, and to contribute more fully to society and students.

Like many people who take up yoga, I naturally wanted to share it with others. In 2003, my wife (Brenna Hatami ND, RN) and I started Denver Yoga Underground. Our school is dedicated to in-depth study, including: grassroots style yoga workshops, retreats and yoga teacher training.  DYU as a safe haven for a diversity of people who may prefer to study traditional yoga outside of a conventional studio setting.

DYU as a safe haven to study traditional yoga.

In reflection, I did not plan to become a yoga teacher training instructor, I just followed my heart and this is where I wound up. I am also a professor at Metro State College and teach for-credit, Hatha Yoga courses.  And work with Denver University to integrate yoga practices into their social work program. It brings me great joy to instruct students who may be at the beginning of their own yoga journeys.

In my view, all experiences, whether “positive” or “negative” are an opportunity to develop character and grow into our spiritual practice. I have made yoga a life long pursuit over the past 30 years.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • First introduction to Hatha Yoga under the tutelage of Badri Dass and Baba Hari Dass in Hardiwar India (1991)
  • Dedicated student of Iyengar Yoga Method (1992-2000)
  • Student of Vipassana meditation as taught by S. N. Goenka (1992-1998)
  • Thirty day asana training course at the Yoga Training Center in Varanasi India (1997)
  • Month long training intensive at Omkar Ananda Ganga Sedan in Rishikesh India with Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh (1998)
  • Four week long training intensive at the Yoga Study Center in Rishikesh India with with Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher Rudra Dev (1998)

  • Resident at Mount Madonna Center in Northern California (1998) and satsang member from 1990 to present.  MMC is residential yoga community and retreat established by Baba Hari Dass in 1976.
  • First 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at the Mount Madonna Center (2001)
  • Began teaching full time (2001 – present)
  • Attended 300 hour training at the Mount Madonna Center (2006)

  • Completed 200 hour training with Tias Little (2010)
  • Over a dozen 5 day Para Yoga Master Trainings (450 plus hours) with Yogarupa Rod Stryker in Carbondale Colorado (2011 – 2018).
  • Regularly assist Rod at his trainings here in Denver (2018-2020)
  • Ongoing disciple of Baba Hari Dass and guest teacher at Mount Madonna Center


Derik’s First Yoga Training Certificate, Cir. 1997

Derik Eselius' first yoga training certification from 1997 in Varanasi India.


Brenna Hatami N.D. (ERYT 500)

Dr. Hatami is a long time teacher and student of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. She first encountered yoga in 1989 while on a casual bike ride through Washington Park. From there, she then went on to study Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga with Richard Freeman in Boulder. As a result of her study with Richard, she then went to India to study with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois directly. Tim Miller another one of her early teachers.

Brenna first met Baba Hari Dass in 2001 and quickly became a dedicated student. She received her  500 hr. certification through The Mount Madonna Center in Northern California under Baba Hari Dass’ tutelage and with his senior students.

Brenna is also a Primary Care Physician and graduated from the South West College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 with a doctorate in Natural Medicine. Students often express their appreciation for her warm and welcoming demur.

Denver Yoga Underground’s First Flyer, Cir. 2003
Featuring Brenna Hatami


Beth Sanchez (ERYT-500) – Lead Ayurveda Teacher

Beth Sanchez, lead ayurveda teacher for the Denver Yoga Underground, stands under a bridge with palms joined.

Beth began teaching yoga in 2000 and instructing students in the science of ayurveda in 2005. She specializes in the bridge between an ayurvedic lifestyle and yoga practice. A dedicated social justice advocate, she hosts weekly meditation circles (in the tradition of Thich That Hahn) in her home. She also has the most wonderful permaculture garden in her front and back yards. She aspires to help students to awaken their true nature and to work for good in the world. Beth is also a dedicated social justice advocate and lives by the principles of Engaged Buddhism. Visit


Love Letter From Past Students

Additional Guest Presenters

  • Yoga for the People – Learn about opportunities to begin teaching right away
  • Tushta Sato – Receive the wisdom and guidance of a dedicated life-long yogi
  • Nafeeha Johnson – Learn the esoteric forms of yoga from Nafeeha’s decades of dedicated study of meditation and the yogic arts
  • Sudarshan Mcrea – Vedic astrologer and ritual officiant
  • Denver Yoga Underground Graduates – Be informed about what it is like to teach in the communities and future teaching opportunities