About Ayah

Ayah Buonaugurio has been teaching Hatha Yoga, as well as facilitating woman’s empowerment circles, ceremonial arts and sacred dances for over 13 years. Certified Yoga Instructor RYA, 350hr Thai Massage Therapist. Spiritual minister through the FOI (fellowship of Isis) as well as of ONACS (Native American Church).

She completed her first 200 hr Yoga-Teacher Training at Greenpath Yoga in 2004 in San Francisco, RYA, (Asthanga tradition with Clayton Horton), and since then has been studying with a variety of Anusara teachers (John Friend, Hanneli Francis, Sarah Rose, Katchi Ananda, Kenny & Chrissy Graham, Desiree Rambaugh, and Stacey Rosenburg), completing various immersions and therapeutics, and teacher trainings.

Ayah has creatively infused a lifelong path of apprenticing in healing and ceremonial arts into her passion for therapeutic movement and health. She has been honored for her invitation and vision to create ceremonial dances in sacred sites. Having moved to SF bay Area in 2012 to Study ethno-contempoary central Asian dances with mystical dancer Miriam Peretz, Ayah currently dances with Nava Dance Collective, an international community of dancers devoted to cross-cultural dialogue and artistic collaboration through traditional, sacred, and ethno-contemporary dance forms. She has performed with Shahrzad Dance Company, U.C Berkeley’s Soraaya and with currently Ballet Afsnaeh in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both dance companies feature Persian and sacred dances of the Silk Road.

She is a former member of the Quimera, a shamanic tribal-fusion dance tribe in the Bay Area, directed by modern dancer choreographer and dance therapist Anandha Ray.  Ayah continues to inspire and offer the encouragement of deep prayer and grace through her performance art as well as teaching.


Ayah-head-shot-682x1024Ayah’s Journey

Art, Movement and Healing Mysticism has been my life. Since I can remember I’ve been dancing through life and exploring rhythm. I began in ballet, tap and gymnastics making my way through adolescence on ecstatic dance floors and beyond. I saw my first Belly Dancer at a Renaissance fair when I was 13 yrs old and became fascinated with her graceful movements that expressed to me the secrets of the divine feminine. A year later my mother took me to my first yoga class, where I excitedly discovered the vast realm of my body’s potential.

Later on, I went to an environmental/ liberal arts college at Prescott, Arizona and immersed in Improvisational Dance, Contact Improvisation, and with my many concerns of the state of the Earth I studied a field known as “Eco-Psychology”.

I left College, because truly all that made sense for me was deepening into my yoga practice while discovering a yearning to travel finding passionate (non-academic) teachers to apprentice with. After completing my first Yoga training in San Francisco at 19 yrs old, nomadic lifestyle took a-hold of me, I traveled and became interested with indigenous cultures studying their rituals and ways of healing.Following out these yearning I then went back tomy passion for dance and became fascinated with Sacred dances studying mainly those along the Silk Road ( known as middle-eastern and beyond).

Back-tracking: As a child, I grew up in towns surrounding Salem Massachusetts notoriously known for the Witch Trials, this historical event attracted a new age scene of pagan community as well as commercial metaphysics. I was greatly influenced involving myself in earth-based spirituality’s primarily Wicca, which lead me to a history of apprenticing in ritual and ceremonial arts. My present interests are with Native American and Indigenous traditions where we have learned to utilize prayer through sacred fire ceremonies, vision quests, sweat lodge, moon/sun dances. My recent teacher I do vision quest each year with is Carmen Vicente is a Vision Quest leader, Sun Dance chief, and Road Women of the Sacred Fire of Itzachilatlan. In Brazil I have worked with a great healer and medium John of God. I studied with herbalist midwife curenderas in Guatemala Dona Maria and also Dona Flor in Brazil.

Here, in California I have apprenticed with Kalita Todd on the path of ceremonial arts. I am ordained Priestess of Isis, minister and s spiritual counselor. Working previously with these teachers as well as other traditions, I have gained values, insights and lessons from these customs as a foundation for the ways in which I facilitate and express “Divine Healing Movement” through dance, yoga and ritual offerings.

The various forms of dance I’ve studied include tribal fusion belly-dance, mystical Persian, ethno-contemporary central Asian & native American ceremonial dances, contact improvisation as well the Axis Syllabus (studying the bio-mechanics of movement.)

I have been going to Guatemala over the previous 5 years involved in a community that is Project Ix-canaan, a Mayan word meaning “Guardians of the Rainforest”, I have taught oriental dance to the children and have facilitated creative arts with a group of girls.

I now live in California 6-8 months out of the year and travel abroad to continue to study, teach and perform.


Nouveau Devadasi: Fusion Temple Dance Festival 2014

Nouveau Devadasi: Fusion Temple Dance Festival 20

Apprenticeships with Spiritual Teachers

Dona Maria – curendera / midwife in El Remate, Guatemala
Dona Flor – Curendera/ herbalist/ colon therapy in Goias, Brazil
John of God – spiritual healer, medium, pyschic surgeon in Abadiana , Brazil
Yatra Barbosa – Mardrinha of Templo Mae da Agua in Alto Paraiso, Brazil
Carioca – spritual musician of Rio De Janiero, Brazil
Kalita Todd – Alchemical Healer, Priestess of Isis in Grass Valley, ca


Yoga & Tantric Studies

Aditi Devi: The Kali Practices & Yogini Lineages

Clayton Horton:
Greenpath Yoga 200 hr teacher training RYT, San Francisco, CA

Geshe Michael and Lama Christie McNally:
Diamond Mountain University, Bowie, AZ


Anusara Yoga Teachers

John Friend
80 hrs in Therapeutics, Immersion, Workshops
Hanelli Francis”The Art of Teaching Anusara Yoga” 35 hrs, Brietenbush Hotsprings, Oregon.
“The Art of Teaching Anusara Yoga” 35hrs, Brietenbush Hotsprings, Oregon.
Sarah Rose, 35 hrs Immersion/ Teacher Training, Northampton, MA
Katchie Ananda, Yoga Kula, Berkley, Ca 100 hr Immersion
Yoga Kula, Berkley, Ca 100 hr Immersion
Kenny and Crissy Graham 50 hr Anusara Immersion, Grass Valley


Dance Teachers

Miriam PeretzSharlyn SawyerSharzad Khorsandi

Anna Halprin (expressive arts therapy)

Frey Faust
Roseangela Silvestre
Ixeeya (Stephanie) Beacher, Ceremonial arts and Sacred Dances
Suhaila & Jamila Salimpour
Other Oriental/ Tribal belly dance studies with:
Jill Parker, Sahra Saedi, Sharon Kihara

Anandha Ray ( Modern & Shamanic dance)



Prescott College, AZ
-Improvisational dance theatre