Brenda Jacobson (Artimia Arian) Founder & Director
Artimia was born in 1956 in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she resided for the first 28 years of her life. She received her B.A. in Social Anthropology and Psychology, with a post- graduate degree in Education. She acquired a wide variety of teaching experience in South Africa with the different sectors of the population and in numerous diverse teaching areas such as: literacy programs with the native Africans; Special Education with emotionally disturbed and handicapped children; public school teaching; teaching the gifted; and directing a computer school for children. She emigrated to Los Angeles, USA in 1984, as she was strongly opposed to the South African government’s policies.
The same year she qualified as a Yoga teacher, taking the Sivananda Teachers Training Course in Canada. She became a full-time Yoga teacher and rehabilitation therapist, opening a center which was an immediate success in Mexico City. Three years later Artimia became pregnant with her second child and was forced to leave the noisy polluted city. In Tepoztlán, an hour from Mexico City, she was introduced to Cosmic Energy in a meditation and she received a gift of healing. She has undergone an intensive Cosmic training since 1994 in Tepoztlán, where she was guided to move and open a Center. She is the founder and director of Tashirat. She studied Homeopathy through a classical school in England, is currently studying Live Blood Analysis and is mostly in Cosmic Medicine training with teachers from above. Artimia is a Cosmic Medicine doctor and a doctor of Naturopathy. She lives in the heart of nature on the Tashirat Ashram with her children and the Tashirat staff and children.
Karly Godoy (Kaisha) Sub-Director
Kaisha was born in 1987 in Los Angeles, California. She moved to Mexico with her mother Artimia when she was 2 years old. Since she was little, Kaisha always lead a very free life. She received her Sivananda Yoga Teacher Certification at age 15, finished up her home-based high school education a year early at age 17, and joined a theatre group in Cuernavaca, Mexico that same year. By age 18 she found herself briefly in New York City studying at The Art Students League. The more she traveled and the more people she met, the more Kaisha realized how much she appreciated the people in Tashirat, and the life philosophy everyone lived there. She also realized how much she appreciated living in a community surrounded by people who share the same ideals. Later that same year Kaisha returned to Tashirat as a full-time staff member.
At 20, Kaisha received her certification in Naturopathy. Two years later, Kaisha’s biological son, Nathael, was born and she currently lives with him and her Tashirat children.
Nowadays Kaisha’s life mostly consists of spiritual and emotional body work with staff and students, natural medicine studies and consultations.
Bryony Hamilton (Sheylin)
Sheylin was born in 1980 and grew up in far-flung corners of the UK. She lived in and around Camphill communities for adults with special needs and attended a Waldorf school. After graduating from University with a major in Japanese, she went travelling and teaching in Japan and Mexico. Tashirat was recommended to her by a friend of a friend and after a few months of volunteering, she decided to stay for a year, which turned into three. Unsure that this was the right path for her, she left in 2010 for 2 years to work in Canada and do a teacher training course in Integral Education at the Mirambika Free Progress School in Delhi. Her natural interest in alternative education has always been a major deciding factor in all of her big life decisions. The more she read and learned during the course, the more she realized that Mirambika and Tashirat are based on the same basic understanding of the Cosmos and of human evolution, and this confirmed for her that Tashirat was where she is meant to be and was everything she had been looking for.
Esther Bissinger (Kira)
Kira was born in 1978 and grew up in the country outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her artistic family and Waldorf school education filled her with a deep love of learning and creativity through the arts, especially theatre and dance. At the age of 17 she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a disease that doctors claimed was chronic and incurable. Around this time, she also began suffering from eating disorders. The next couple of years Kira spent in and out of hospitals and doctors’ offices, experimenting with different allopathic and alternative medicines, diets and doctors, none of which worked. Nearing the end of her first year in college, Kira was rushed in for an emergency operation which took away the pain, but left her feeling just as sick and debilitated as before.
She took a year off of college to travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina to work at odd jobs, while learning Spanish and the tango. She returned desperate for a cure, was drawn to Yoga, and soon after entered the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Course in upstate New York where she met Kairyn.
Upon completing the course, they traveled to Mexico together, planning to stop at Tashirat’s Yoga Center along the way. Kira was so drawn to the consciousness being taught in Tashirat that she felt compelled to stay and learn more. She became a patient and volunteer in Tashirat, healing herself from Crohn’s disease within her first few years in Tashirat. Naturally, she became same, and as time passed, Kira discovered that the physical disease which she once thought had “ruined” her life, was the greatest gift she ever received, as it forced her to change the direction of her life and stumble upon a much deeper than physical healing, a life of extraordinary learning and growth, and a consciousness that rang true to her in every single way. Nowadays Kira is a teacher and takes care of one of our Tashirat homes.
Gloria Ochoa Perez (Arista)
At age 63, Arista is the oldest member of the Tashirat staff. For a long time before finding Tashirat, Arista had felt her life was essentially empty. As her three children were growing up, she sought greater meaning through different spiritual groups, but had ended up feeling disillusioned by the leaders who turned out to be frauds and the groups which often turned into a business affair. She had decided she didn’t want anything more to do with spiritual groups when, Artimia, who was Arista’s neighbor at the time, invited her to yoga classes at the Learning Center. Arista wasn’t at all interested in yoga, but once she finally went to a class, she began going regularly, and within a year decided to live in the Learning Center as staff.
Arista has been in Tashirat since 1999. From that time onward, Arista’s whole life changed; she recovered from her health problems (high blood pressure, asthma and a weight problem), and gained a sense of peace and balance that she had never had. She felt that finally she began to live the life she had always yearned for since she was a child; a life of service, spirituality and evolution.
Rosaura Piedras Razo (Danari)
Danari is our newest staff member, only arriving in 2009. Danari struggled with depression since childhood and actually met Artimia as an adult when a doctor recommended that she try Yoga for her depression. She ended up becoming one of the Yoga teachers in Aritima’s Yoga center in Mexico City and when Artimia left the city to live in Tepoztlan, Danari felt deep down that she would end up following her one day, as she had always taken her as her teacher. Although Danari felt generally unsatisfied with her life and had the nagging feeling that she should be helping others and not just living her own life, she hated making decisions and ended up getting caught up in the everyday distractions of life for another 15 years.
During this time Danari married and then suffered the loss of her three month old child, who was born with Down’s Syndrome. She also lived with reoccurring depressions and excessive tension and tremors. Danari finally decided to come to live in Tashirat because of her declining health. She stayed for several months, during which her physical and emotional ailments disappeared, but she felt resistance towards the change in lifestyle and missed the distractions of city life, so she returned to Mexico City. But in less than two days her tension, bordering on paralysis, was so exacerbated that, with the encouragement of her husband, she returned to Tashirat to be healed and to enter a more healthful and constructive lifestyle.
Since then, Danari has found a growing sense of purpose and new strength in life. She now teaches full time in our Ixaya school and helps in one of the Tashirat homes.
Melissa Rodgers (Natainya)
Natainya was born in 1976, and grew up in the small town of Tiverton, Rhode Island. After finishing her last semester of high school in an exchange program in Australia, Natainya traveled to Mexico, eager to explore the country and culture. The Mexican people captured her heart and spirit with their warmth, love and overwhelming hospitality; everywhere she traveled she was accepted as family. She knew she’d found her home. After 2 years of traveling, Natainya decided to settle down in Tepoztlán, where she found Tashirat right after exiting a destructive relationship with the father of her 1 year old son. Since that moment, her life took on a different direction. Tashirat was that home she had been looking for, a spiritual path with a Universal, Cosmic teaching that rang true to her. Natainya attended Yoga classes and meditations and in no time became one of Tashirat’s students, and eventually becoming a Tashirat staff member. She works with the preschoolers and in one of the Tashirat homes.
Kairyn was born in 1979 in Los Angeles, California. She was raised in a suburb of Philadelphia. At the age of sixteen she left school and entered the working world. In 1999, after going through a difficult break-up and quitting her job, she decided to turn a new leaf in life by attending the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training course in upstate New York. Eating healthy, practicing Yoga and meditation and living in an Ashram community was a radically new experience for her, but one that made her feel better than anything else she had ever done. It was in the Yoga teacher training course that she met fellow staff member Kira and they decided to travel through Mexico. Tashirat was the first stop on their trip but they both decided to cancel their trip and become Tashirat staff members.
Kairyn was a Tashirat staff member for 8 years before returning to the US. In the 2 years she was in the US she lived and worked in Los Angeles, California and traveled through the US and South America. She returned in 2009 because she felt that Tashirat was her real home and everything she was constantly comparing everything else to. She returned 4 years ago with a renewed strength, peace and conviction on her path.