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Other Instructors

John Luna-Sparks

IMG_2589 (2)John Luna-Sparks has taught at White Magnolia since 2011.   He began his practice with Miriam Marsolais in 2005, seeking recovery from a severe neck injury when conventional medical treatments offered no relief.  His neck got better and he happily continued because he slept better, got more flexible and found a great way to manage the stress of life.  His personal healing and his practice with Miriam inspired him to pursue a Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine.  He is now a California Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist and Diplomate of Oriental Medicine.  He is also a Certified Massage Practitioner of Tui Na and Acupressure.  At White Magnolia John has taught Restorative, Beginner and Intermediate classes and he also offers monthly evening Wellness Events.

John has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for over twenty years and maintains a private practice.  His specialties include child sexual abuse recovery and trauma recovery for people with developmental disabilities.  He is also a Senior Instructor with Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower, International.  He enjoys spending time with his husband and son; raising chickens, dogs and fish; pulling weeds and listening to music.

Julio Kaplan

Julio KaplanJulio Kaplan first discovered the magic of Tai Chi one dawn in Hong Kong, watching the rooftops come alive with people practicing. He joined White Magnolia in 2005 and has been learning Tai Chi from Miriam Marsolais ever since. In his youth Julio was a world-class professional chess player, and he is intrigued by the similarities in the internal practices needed to excel at chess and Tai Chi. He is now retired from a career as a software developer. He is married, with three adult children and two grandchildren.  Julio has discovered Push Hands (also known as "Sensing Hands") as a way to deepen his Tai Chi practice and he is passionate about encouraging Push Hands practice at White Magnolia.  Julio teaches Beginner and Intermediate Tai Chi classes at White Magnolia and leads a Saturday Push Hands practice session.  He also participates as an instructor in our San Quentin State Prison Tai Chi program.

Alison Keye

IMG_0307Alison Keye, White Magnolia’s newest Instructor, is a passionate sportswoman and a strong and grounded Tai Chi practitioner.  Over the course of her life Alison worked as a medical office manager, a flight attendant, and a journalist.  She discovered Tai Chi at White Magnolia in 2011, bringing with her the strength and discipline learned though years of engagement with swim teams, gymnastics, softball, mountaineering, dance, and scuba.  About her Tai Chi practice Alison writes: "It has surprised my squirrel brain: me loving something slow and meditative!"  Tai Chi helps Alison stay mobile and healthy despite some new physical limitations and it supports her interest in finding balance, both literally and spiritually.

IMG_1401The strength and quiet precision of Alison's forms inspire everyone at White Magnolia, beginner and advanced alike, to practice with more focus, calmness, and enjoyment.  Alison teaches our Wednesday morning Advanced Beginner class.  She has one grown son and currently enjoys time with her family and her pursuits as a writer and artist.