John was inspired to begin his yoga journey in 1995 after reading Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananada. In the book Yogananda referenced many teachers, philosophers, scientists, as well as the Bible and direct quotes from Jesus. To a young mind who had always believed what he learned at church some of the connections made by Yogananda between the Bible and Yoga were mind-blowing. John was raised catholic, attended religious education classes weekly in preparation of his first communion, and was an alter-boy as a young man. To boot, John's biological father was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. He was made to attend many bible studies, served once again as an alter boy and ended up being confirmed twice, once in the Catholic Church and once in the Episcopal Church, which was uncomfortably debated by his parents. Yet, he never really felt completely devout. Although he tried he always felt something was missing.....until he discovered yoga. Yogananda's book made sense. So much so he was enthrawled by it and read the first hundred pages in the first sitting. Once he finished the book he called his "other" dad.
His step-father, Dave Oliver, an English major and public school teacher, had been practicing the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system, as taught to him by Anthony "Prem" Carlisi, a student of Pattabhi Jois and master of the Ashtanga system. For some time Dave mentored John in yoga and once he was devout threw him into teaching. Ironically, John had no interest in teaching yoga. He had other plans to be an actor and was working toward a B.A. in Theatre, which he finally achieved in 2006 from Arizona State University.
As a young boy and up John was an avid artist and received awards in high-school for his work. He also dabbled in acting and had always been involved in some form of athletics. When he was younger it was karate, soccer, golf, and wrestling. In middle school and high school John had a passion for skateboarding, but also wrestled every year, eventually making the Varsity team his sophmore year. His college years began in Orange County where he was introduced to the club scene and found himself break-dancing every night in the high-powered L.A. night-life. As exciting as this was he found himself getting swept away by it and finally decided to move back home to Scottsdale so he could ground himself, which is when he took up weight-lifting and finally began his yoga journey at the age of 22. His yoga practice was off-and-on at first. He was much more dedicated to weight-lifting and getting back on his feet. He finally gave up weight-lifting by the recommendation of yogis he met in India who more or less said, "you're big enough!" Being 5 feet 5 inches tall this was a relief!
John knows it takes discipline and determination to realize one’s Self and potential. Because he has traveled to India to study Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, while having enjoyed the culture of his generation, he has a refreshing outlook between old-world tradition and new-world inspiration. John has been teaching Vinyasa Yoga since 2000, in which he has helped open multiple yoga studios, participated in several teacher-training programs, and currently teaches workshops throughout the country. His current teaching residence is in Scottsdale with LifePower Yoga studios, Lifetime Fitness' yoga spin-off.
He has taught at the Scottsdale Anti-Aging, Wellness & Yoga Festival, the Flagstaff Yoga Festival, EMPOWER! Fusion master classes, assisted teachers at the Yoga Journal Conference in Estes Park and Miami’s Art of Vinyasa Conference.
John’s most influential teachers include his step-father, Dave Oliver, Tim Miller, David Swenson, Maty Ezraty, and Lino Miele, and Yogaworks Malachi Melville, all Ashtangis, in which he has either attended a teacher training with or studied with extensively. Also, multiple workshops with Matthew Sweeney, Tim Felman, Rod Stryker, Dharma Mittra, and Anthony “Prem” Carlisi. Other influential teachers include John Friend, Darren Rhodes, Desiree Rumbaugh, Ana Forrest, Richard Freeman, Jonny Kest, Doug Swenson, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson, Sharath.
John is E-RYT 500 certified.
He also holds a B.A. in Theatre from ASU.