Newton A. Campbell, E-RYT 200
I’m an experienced registered yoga teacher at the 200 level with over 13 years of teaching experience. As the Co-Principal of Triad Yoga &Pilates, Inc., my business partner and I have created one of the most successful and independent grass roots studios in Southern California. Throughout this time, I’ve developed my own teaching style that is known throughout Orange County as “Fig Yoga.” Fig yoga, a derivative or play-on of my Christian (first) name, was created by my students during my earlier years of teaching. This particular style of yoga incorporates deep breath work, spiritual undertone, and holding poses for long periods of time to intensify the experience of each pose. The classes require unyielding mental discipline and focus while increasing physical strength. There are many of the regular hatha yoga poses, but arm balance sequences and inversions are a typical part of this practice.
From the first day I stepped into a yoga class, my yoga teacher took a special interest in me. There was something in and about me (though unknown to me at the time) that caused my yoga teacher who had never met me before to take such a deep interest in me and my yoga practice. Eventually, as our connection developed I was told that I would make a great instructor. I was strongly encouraged to take yoga seriously and to go deeper into my practice. Those words of encouragement and my openness in exploring this vastness of yoga led me to other yoga places and teachers. My practice catapulted when I took a yoga class with Nischala Joy Devi at the New York Open Center in New York. I immediately connected with a new passion in life and it became clearer to me what my new-found purpose was for this karmic life.
When I moved to southern California in the early fall of 2000, I moved here to start a new chapter of my life as a yoga teacher. Once I arrived in Orange County, I just sort of exploded onto the scene. What began as one class at 24 Hour Fitness in Huntington Beach, with in a course of weeks turned into classes all over southern Orange county throughout the conglomerate of the fitness giant, including San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Hills, South Coast Plaza and the crown jewel, Lakeshore Towers/Ultra Sport in Irvine. My classes carried huge numbers and my name spread throughout the area. I was called on as a substitute teacher for some of the most advanced and well-seasoned yoga teachers. Then a few months down the road, I was driving and received a call from Randi Beck, owner of Yoga Place (now Yoga Works). I didn’t know how she got my number and did not care, however I was excited and greatly surprised. There were yoga instructors that had waited for years to teach for Randi, and here I was actually being asked to teach for her. But the condition of me being hired there as a teacher came with one condition: I had to pass a very extensive audition. I was required to teach a class at the Costa Mesa location with Randi in that class. On the day of the class, I received one of the biggest surprises of my life. There were about twenty attendees excluding Randi, the managers of the three Yoga Place locations, several of her seasoned teachers, but I stepped up to the plate and taught an amazing class. I was hired on the spot and was offered about five classes between the Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach locations. Again, my classes became some of the most well attended and talked about classes, and I was well received amongst the teachers of southern OC. Usually, I was given all the classes of Geo Moskios - famous yoga teacher in Orange County who was on Oprah Winfrey – while he was on vacation or teaching classes on cruise ships.
My hard work was slowly reaping many dividends as new doors opened such as private classes and several other opportunities including other small yoga studios that relied on my name to build their brand. I was teaching so many classes that I felt I was digging myself in the same rut as being in corporate America. I was driving so much and rushing from one location to the next. After careful, but lengthy mental deliberation, I decided to be in one location – it would have to be my own. By June 2002, the doors of Triad Yoga were opened, and a new chapter begun. I was not only teaching yoga now, I was running my own business – everything under one roof.
Triad Yoga & Pilates, Inc. has been a great reward. It has certainly moved from the days when I was teaching most of the classes and now with over 15 on-site teachers and 20 off-site teachers teaching throughout southern California with classes ranging from beginner to advanced seven days a week from 6:30 am on some mornings to 9pm at nights. I also act as the CFO meeting all the federal and statutory requirements of the business; working with our banks regarding business or meeting with the CPA to meet a tax deadline. Over the past several years, I have led several successful yoga retreats in Ojai and Santa Barbara, and have taught yoga classes at the Turtle Rock Elementary School in Irvine for their annual Jogathon.
In 2005, I was chosen as Lululemon Athletica’s Ambassador for the Newport Beach store for one year promoting yoga and teaching at many venues including “Yoga on the beach” in Laguna Beach, CA during the summer and fall months. The following year, I was on the on their billboard in downtown Toronto and then on the Lululemon reusable shopping bag.
In May 2010, I was featured in one of Orange County’s most upscale magazine, The Riviera magazine as a representative of Triad Yoga speaking about the studio and its contribution to the citizens of Orange County and a yoga retreat I was offering in Ojai, CA at the time. Around the same time that year, Geo Moskios, the famed instructor in Orange County was giving up the few classes he had at Sports Club LA Irvine location. Ten years had passed since I last taught for him, but some of Geo’s students still remembered me subbing his classes at Yoga Place.
With no audition, no interview, I was called by Sports Club LA to take over Geo’s position due to his retirement. At the brief meeting I had before I was to take over his class, I was told by the person hiring me on, that this was the first in their history of hiring, in which they were hiring someone on and had never taken the instructors class. They were simply going by what people in the yoga industry of Orange County had told them. I was offered and taught five classes.
In June 2011, I traveled to Moscow, Russia where I taught three master’s classes at Мета-центр Sidera in Moscow titled, “Do yoga – learn English.” This was an amazing life experience to be in a country that is so foreign in many ways than I am used to and to be so warmly received. The classes were fully attended and I have been invited to return to lead more classes.
For the past few years, Triad Yoga & Pilates has been the chosen studio to teach at the famous Great Park in Irvine. Both myself and my business partner, Mark Devenpeck, have been instrumental in the success of the free outdoor yoga classes at the Great Park and are also the lead instructors.
Last year, I was one of thousands selected nationwide for the book called “Green Card Stories,” featuring inspirational accounts of immigrants to the United States. The book was released November 2010. Just a few weeks ago, my picture (in Natarajasana) was amongst the nine selected for Huffington Post. My picture was voted number one on the post for the week. Green Card Stories were completely sold out on Amazon that said week.
In my daily life, I strive to bring a full physical, emotional, and spiritual balance to my experiences and my teachings; as I meet each student on the yoga mat, the transformational process for both teacher and student begins to unfold. My Fig style is physically challenging but it is about the mind; it is about using the breath in finding a deeper state of relaxation instead of giving up. I always remember the text of Ashtanga’s Eight Limb – Dharana and Pratyahara – tuning inwards and using the mind control to go further inward withdrawing from the outward sensations. Yoga is not just a practice – it is a lifestyle. It extends off my mat into my daily life again applying Patañjali Sutras to all aspects of life. Each day brings growth through all my experiences – successes and failures; achievements and setbacks; new or old. I embody yoga and I continually work towards a healthy Spiritual and emotional balance as a Yogi.
With more than 14 years of dance training, combined with certifications in Pilates & Yoga, Mark Devenpeck guides his students through various postures very eloquently. He genuinely cares for his students and their physical well being, helping them reach new levels of flexibility. Mark reminds his students of their breath during each pose and exercise, which has tremendous results on opening the body to new possibilities. His classes are strong but compassionate.
Mark graduated from California State University at Long Beach with a Degree in Dance and in 2003 he received a prestigious scholarship to the American Dance Festival at Duke University. He began his yoga training with Joel Pier from Philadelphia, a graduate of the Bikram's Yoga College of India. He continued on at the New York Open Center and also studied aromatherapy and became certified in Thai Yoga. He received his Pilates certification from Long Beach Dance Conditioning, with Marie-José Blom-Lawrence and also received training from Karen Clippinger at California State University at Long Beach. In 2004 he went to the Omega Institute, the largest holistic studies center in the world and studied with Manju Jois, the son of Pattabhi Jois. He has his 200 Hour Certification and studied in 2008 at Mt. Madonna with Baba Hari Das.