We select our teachers for their depth of practice, the extent of training, and their experience. Our teachers are dedicated to the lifestyle of yoga and will inspire you to be a healthier, calmer and happier person.
Many of our teachers have been trained through Yoga Shakti's extensive Teacher Training and Advanced Yoga Studies course, internship and mentoring programs, and in-depth study and guided practice training classes in yoga philosophy and lifestyle. They are taught to live in yoga with passion and teach with a commitment to the ancient traditions of yoga.
Michelle began studying yoga in 1996 and quickly fell in love with its calming, balancing, and healing benefits. In addition, she was immediately drawn to the spiritual aspects of yoga; it felt true and authentic, a feeling that was reinforced as she gained a deeper understanding of yoga's ancient history.
When she discovered Yoga Shakti, she knew she had found a community that also valued practicing authentic yoga. At that time, she began studying the deeper, more esoteric aspects of yoga with her teacher, Jnana Nanda Bharati.
In 2005, Michelle received her certificate to teach yoga after completing Yoga Shakti's advanced studies training program. In 2010, Michelle completed the Yoga Shakti Advanced Teacher Training and became a 500 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher. Using the ancient practices taught to her by her esteemed teacher, her class focuses on the breath, the foundation of any asana practice, and also on fundamental yoga postures which increase energy, strength, flexibility, and balance. These practices have helped her realize a calm, relaxed, happy way of being, and it is her intention to share the same experience with her students.
Valerie started practicing yoga in 2002, and began teaching in 2005. Her training in yoga asana has been through Yoga Shakti; additionally, she is studying ancient yoga philosophy through the Shakti Yoga courses offered by the studio. These courses have largely influenced her teaching style, as she aspires to help students cultivate not just strong and flexible bodies, but also calm and centered minds. She teaches in a flow style, sometimes dedicating part of each class to poses that develop a particular muscle group. Valerie is inspired by the integrity of her students, and enjoys helping them discover the power and potential that is unique to their own bodies. Through her calm but focused style of teaching, she is motivated to help each student explore the same, limitless benefits that she enjoys through her own yoga practice.
Joy possesses a wonderful calm which permeates her classes. She began practicing yoga in 1999 during her first pregnancy. Through yoga she found rejuvenation and upliftment. A strong interest in the ancient science and culture of yoga, the Vedas and Ayurveda was sparked when she read the Bhagavad Gita. Joy deepened her yoga studies and practice when she discovered Yoga Shakti and the Shakti Yoga courses. Wanting to share her sense of inspiration, well being and belief that yoga can change our lives with others, Joy trained at Yoga Shakti and began teaching in 2004.
Brynn has been a lover of yoga since the age of 11 and as a 15-year practitioner of yoga, she has studied with masters from many yogic traditions. A Registered Yoga Teacher since 2001 (under the tutelage of Karin O’Bannon at Yoga Works) she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Chapman University, where she explored psychology, social consciousness, philosophy and religious studies. Brynn’s continuing education includes post-graduate studies in biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physics to further her understanding of the human body. With over 8 years of teaching experience, she has come to find a voice and style that synthesizes her interests in anatomical precision, philosophical eloquence and spiritual curiosity.
Brynn teaches an innovative blend of traditional yogic disciplines combined into unique and vigorous vinyasa flow sequences focused on synchronizing breath with movement. With equal attention is given to strengthening and stretching, her classes prime the body to become balanced, toned, supple, and free from injury. Guided into ease, practitioners in her classes challenge their boundaries and leave with a renewed feeling of invigoration and awareness.
Brynn strongly believes in the personal benefits of yoga, but also holds that the true purpose of yoga is to make the world better by bringing more consciousness and compassion into it, one yogi at a time. To help students bring their practices off their mats, Brynn posts monthly inspirational writings and musical playlists on her website (www.trueflowyoga.com).
Andrea is certified as E-RYT 500 and as a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. In her teaching, Andrea emphasizes alignment, safety, focus, and awareness of breathing to help students turn inward and deepen their practice not just on the physical, but also mental and spiritual level. She hopes to create an environment of learning in which her students of all ages embrace their yoga practice with the same joy, dedication, inspiration, and love as she does, experiencing the nurturing quality and balance that comes from within.
Andrea started practicing Iyengar yoga in 2002 as a way to find internal calmness and gain personal balance while working in a stressful corporate environment. As her yoga practice deepened, she started to feel an increasing drive to share the yoga experience with others. She has also personally observed yoga’s life-changing benefits on the fellow yoga students, no matter their age or ability. She completed the Yoga Shakti Advanced Teacher Training and Yoga Studies and received her certificate to teach yoga in 2010.
Andrea also fell in love with teaching prenatal yoga to women that go through such a powerful and transformative time. She experienced the effects of yoga in her pregnancy with her third child, learning to listen to her body in a whole new way. Andrea also taught kids yoga classes at Yoga Shakti, as a way to bring the benefits of the yoga practice to the young generation. Additionally, she mentors teachers newly graduated from 200-hour teacher training to enhance their teaching skills and personal style. Andrea lives in Irvine with her husband and three children.
Louise is a very natural, enthusiastic and invigorating yogini. She has had a passion to help people become healthy from an early age. When Louise was 15 she worked as a sous chef at a health center in Denmark and began a life long pursuit to find healing through natural remedies. At the age of 17 she began taking yoga classes and later became a yoga instructor in 2002. She taught at Yoga Shakti and received guidance from Jnana Nanda Bharati, a yogi from the Himalayas. Louise has also studied under David Swanson, Erich Schiffman, Ana Forest and Dharma Mittra. In 2008 Louise went to San Francisco to learn contortion and worked at Yoga Tree SF, San Francisco’s premier yoga studio. During her time in the Bay Area Louise received her 200-hour teacher training from Dharma Mittra and from Yoga Tree SF, she also finished her contortion training and became a contortion teacher at Circus Center San Francisco. In 2012 Louise moved back to Southern California and has returned to Yoga Shakti to continue her pursuit to share health and happiness through yoga.
I have recently experienced a new solace in yoga through the guidance of Yoga Shakti’s program and the support of its mentors. Shakti’s ability to recognize my potentials and abilities has inspired a new confidence in what I am capable of in and out of the studio. Before yoga, I had fervently practiced martial arts. I began at age 8 competing on a national circuit and eventually worked my way through high school and college as an instructor. After moving to California for graduate school, I was unable to find a new martial arts studio that fit what I had before. This is when I stumbled into yoga. After about a year and a half, a friend introduced me to Yoga Shakti, and within a week, I had found my new home. I am honored to be a part of this yoga family and look forward to sharing my practice with you.
I first discovered yoga in 2000 when my best friend convinced me to come along to class with her and give it try. It was love at first asana. I took a break from my practice and was delighted to discover the Gentle Yoga class at Yoga Shakti to help ease my way back onto the mat. When I first walked through the doors of Yoga Shakti, I knew I had found a home. Several months after walking through those doors, I enrolled in the Yoga Shakti 200 hour Teacher Certification Program and followed up with the Mentorship Program, which have changed my life in more ways than I ever could have imagined. I am honored to be teaching at this studio among so many wonderful teachers and students. When I’m not on my mat I can be found making jewelry or teaching beading classes. In fact, I’m excited to have just recently published my first book on explorational bead weaving. My other love includes playing the guitar.
I was first introduced to yoga when I was 15 after my mom got her 200 hour certification, from that point on I followed her to class twice a week until I left for college. While my practice became spotty in the years that followed, I was always called back to the mat eventually. After graduating in 2009, yoga and a personal meditation practice helped lead me through some difficult transitional times in my life, changes that brought me to southern California at the start of 2011. In early 2013 I began my teacher training journey at my new yoga home, Yoga Shakti Wellness Center, leading to my 500 hour certification. I'm looking forward to my continued growth in yoga and being able to now share this wonderful tradition with others.
Sandhiya Ramaswamy CAS PKS CMT MBA is an Ayurveda practitioner and educator. She is a member of the Leadership team of the National Council on Ayurvedic education (NCAE) and a practitioner member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA). She has an active consultation practice, gives Ayurveda talks and workshops and writes articles on Ayurveda for popular publications (print and online). Born and having lived in India, she has had a lifelong and intimate connection with Ayurvedic healing. It is through Ayurveda that Sandhiya found relief for her chronic asthma, which led her to the complete study of this powerful system of medicine. Prior to embracing the healing arts and sciences as a full-time vocation, Sandhiya spent many years in the corporate world. This experience has provided her with a unique perspective and understanding of the daily work-life-family stressors that most people face, and hence is able to offer very effective solutions, customized for the individual.
Carmela went to her first Yoga class 2002 after putting her body through many rigorous years of Ballet. Originally attending class for a good workout, she soon found so much more. She has been hooked ever since! She loves the joy and balance Yoga has brought to her life and aims to share a piece of that with each of her students. She also appreciates that Yoga has no limits in terms of whom it can reach and how it can help.
Carmela teaches in a Vinyasa Flow style. She focuses on systematically building internal heat and strength and loves how this type of flow can bring fluidity and grace into each movement for students of all different shapes and abilities. She enjoys watching her students grow and experience both the physical and subtler benefits that come with consistent practice of Yoga.
Yoga has changed my life. It has brought me to greater physical awareness and health. It has helped me to relieve stress from work pressures and improved my concentration. I hope to share this experience with others, to help them receive the benefits from yoga that I have.
I was born in Caracas Venezuela, where I was always physically active, playing soccer and baseball as a kid. I have continued to be active, and now enjoy surfing, running, hiking and whatever else comes my way. I took my first yoga class in 2007, while living in Atlanta, and started a regular practice upon moving to Huntington Beach several years ago. My first couple of years of yoga were hit-or-miss, practicing here and there, sometimes not at all. But over time I found the focus and concentration on the body and breath while on the yoga mat helped me to let go of work stress and find a sense of inner calm, even while at work. Yoga also benefited my breathing, focus, strength and flexibility while running, surfing, hiking and other day-to-day activities.
After moving to Southern California, I visited different area studios, but when I found Yoga Shakti I knew that I arrived at the right place to deepen my practice. I recently completed the 200 hour teacher training and mentorship program with Yoga Shakti. My goal is to create a class where students leave feeling that they have not only worked on their physical practice, but have also discovered a sense of inner peace.
Samantha first discovered yoga in 2008 in her search for a healthy physical activity. During the next few years she pursued her degree in Psychology at CSULB, where yoga’s calming effects provided clarity and comfort in times of stress as a working student. As she began to practice yoga more regularly, positive changes in her behavior started to unfold. She was slower to react and found herself increasingly able to be in the moment; she became more balanced, focused, and energized. Samantha’s practice eventually led her to Yoga Shakti in 2013 and she knew she had found her home. The studio’s authentic style of yoga was beautiful and balancing, allowing her to really turn inward and increase her self-awareness. Samantha completed Yoga Shakti’s 200-hour teacher training program in May 2014 and subsequently the Mentorship program. She continues to study the history and philosophy of yoga, as well as build a daily meditation/asana practice. In teaching, Samantha emphasizes taking it at one’s own pace, releasing judgment and expectation, and being fully with one’s breath. She believes there are as many lessons to be learned through stillness in a pose as there are in movement. Samantha is honored to be a part of the Yoga Shakti family and aims to guide students through an experience of breath, strength, self-observation, and fun! She intends for students to leave feeling relaxed, refreshed, and motivated ☺.
When Samantha is not on the mat you can find her hard at work at her day job with the Social Services Agency, going on nature hikes, or dancing with friends!
In 2012 Shawa attended her very first Yoga class and knew right away that someday she wanted to teach! She instantly felt at home in the studio and on the mat. She wanted to share with others the sense of wellbeing that Yoga had given to her. The more she began to practice, the more she felt connected to her own mind and body, and the more she began to find peace and self-love.
Shawna is a graduate of Yoga Shakti’s 200hr Teacher Training program and is currently working on her 500hr certification. She loves teaching Yoga because she feels with each class and each practice, there is space to learn something new. She loves that in yoga, the learning never ends! She aims to create a safe place for her students to explore their own yoga practice and make their own unique discoveries. When she’s not doing yoga (which isn’t often), you can find her reading many kinds of books. She is grateful to all of her teachers for giving her a space to learn more about yoga and more about herself.
In a Yoga practice we attempt to access a seat of ease. As such, we observe from a point of asymmetry the bodies’ tendencies to move in one direction, while we neglect another. We learn to communicate those asymmetries in nuanced, intelligent ways, just as we continue to neglect the outer arch of the left foot, for instance. Through practice we uncover and observe the point of asymmetry, until we undo and negotiate a point of symmetry, only to learn now, that it is the right inner arch that has fallen to the way side, and so the practice goes, ad infinitum, until we learn to sit and be seated in asymmetry. We understand through the language of Yoga a potential to fill what is a possibility of fulfilling what is there of the body, be it physical, emotional, or psychological.
Yoga offers to us a means to yoke and bind a sense of what means to be in the world. We learn to observe and we observe to a point of forgetfulness, where it is we participate and integrate into that point of observation. Tadasana for instance, is an indication of every which asana we inhabit, that is, we inspire a sense of tadasana, mountain pose, in, let us say, sirsasana, head-balance. It is a balanced effort to a point of ease and still, no matter the shape, sphere and cyclical nature of the seat, we learn to sit in those certain possibilities.
I began practicing Yoga in 2012. During this time I have completed 200hr certification, and have continued study with mentors such as, Annie Carpenter, Sarah Reese, and Tim Senesi. I am grateful not only for their guidance, but their example. As such, I attempt to practice with focus and diligence to cultivate greater awareness. In this sense I practice in a way that I teach, just as I attempt to teach what it is I practice. In my observation, we all begin at some point, and from that point we continue the process of beginning. Thus, the process of respiration, to breath, is a spiritual process of inspiration. I hope to share, fuse, and animate what are the possibilities of Yoga.
Diana's thirst for the spiritual runs in her veins as she comes from a family of yoga practitioners; in 1850 her great grandfather practiced yoga in Eastern Europe. Her father had a very disciplined practice at the age of 15. Her mother also practiced and introduced her to yoga while still in her teens. Prior to discovering yoga Diana was seeking to find a true spiritual path. At the age of 16 she began intense study and practice of martial arts, became vegetarian and searched for understanding in the field of psychology. Through her martial arts training she also began the study of Eastern philosophy. Diana had an intense desire to have a true teacher, an authentic spiritual practice and to experience the mystical truths of the Universe. Her search led her to the practice of yoga. She delved into yoga with passion and devotion, knowing that she had found her path. Her dedicated yoga practice helped her through her BA Degree in Health Psychology from UCI, which she graduated Cum Laude. At this point she followed her heart and made the difficult decision to study yoga and Ayurveda and not pursue a Ph.D. After three years of study and practice she received her Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist Certificate from the California College of Ayurveda. The deep thirst for spiritual growth was not yet satisfied until she met her Guru Jnana Nanda Bharati. From their first meeting Diana knew Jnana Nanda Bharati was a true Yogi, with many years of dedicated and disciplined study with his Guru and other masters from the Himalayas, and an incredible ability to live in and balance the spiritual realm and this world. She is extremely grateful and blessed to be his student. Under her teacher she was initiated into the ancient, most highly respected and deeply esoteric lineage of Shri Vidya and the ancient Bhramanical Tradition, and has been continuing her intense spiritual studies with her Guru since 1999. She has a dedicated daily practice and her path is to continue her studies, live in accordance to the ancient Vedic ways and put her spiritual lessons to practice in her life. She is studying various Vedic sciences such as Yoga, Pranayama, Mantra, Tantra, Jhyotish, Ayurveda, Yantra, Puja and Sanskrit. She can trace Her Guru's unbroken lineage (Parampara) for thousands of years into ancient India. She is fully dedicated to the life transforming work of Shakti Yoga, which she teaches with her Guru and continues to inspire her students to turn inward, grow and find their spiritual self. She is certified at the highest level as a E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance.
Jnana Nanda Bharati has dedicated over twenty five years to intense study and training in the ancient texts of the Vedas and Tantras, under the guidance of his esteemed Teacher, as well as, other Himalayan Masters that his Teacher sent him to for specific training. His teaching expertise also includes texts such as the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Soundarya- Lahari, Vivekchuramani and the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. He is proficient in the various sciences expounded in the Vedas such as Mantra, Yantra, Tantra, Yoga, Pranayama, Jyotish, Vastu Shastra and Puja. Jnana Nanda Bharati hails from the ancient, most highly respected Shri Vidya tradition. His unbroken spiritual lineage (Parampara) can be traced back in India for thousands of years. This esoteric tradition is highly regarded and considered by most spiritual masters as the highest path as it integrates the wisdom of Vedanta with the practice and strict mental discipline training of Tantra and Raja Yoga. There are only a handful of people in all of India who are initiated into this practice.
Mariza has been practicing and teaching Yoga and Meditation for almost 10 years. Thanks to the guidance of Master Yogi Jnana Nanda Bharati and Yoga Shakti’s Director Diana Pipaloff, she has gained a deeper understanding of the philosophy, practices and subtle concepts of Yoga as well as the history of ancient Vedic and yogic culture. She is dedicated to incorporating her spiritual studies into a daily practice and continues to focus on the deeper, more esoteric aspects of Yoga with her teachers. Mariza is a graduate of Yoga Shakti's 500 hour Advanced Yoga Studies and Teacher Training Program as well as a Yoga Shakti Meditation Guide.
Lauren Dahl E-RYT 200, RYT 500 has over 1000 hours of training and teaching experience in Yoga and Meditation. Her mentors are Meditation specialist Rolf Sovik Psy.D and Yoga master Sandra Anderson E-RYT 500 of the prestigious Himalayan Institute wellness center. She has been practicing Yoga since she was a child and has a daily Yoga and Meditation practice. Lauren's skill sets lie in teaching and practicing advanced Yoga, stress relief, and spiritual growth. She teaches Yoga and Meditation to private clients and group classes at Yoga Shakti. Her mission is to bring the benefits of Yoga and Meditation to anyone interested in opening their body, relieving stress, and finding a deeper significance in life.
Yoga is a set of ancient and refined techniques used to calm the mind, open the body and bring wellness to the person as a whole. Some of the practices that makeup Yoga include poses, Meditation, relaxation, cleansing, chanting, and breath-work. Anyone can do Yoga and it is not a religion but a science, a philosophy and an approach to life. It can be practiced in a class, alone, one-on-one with a teacher, but most important, as one studies Yoga they start to translate its psychological and physical benefits into daily life.
"It is the mind itself which builds the body." Fredrich von Schiller
After a lifetime of dance and competitive athletics, Debra discovered the Pilates Method in 1995 while studying dance at Riverside Community College and found herself at home with the body awareness and mindful movement of Pilates. It was clear to her that Joseph Pilates' Methodology was a great remedy for our society's sedentary lifestyle and lack of body awareness. She found in Pilates a method of developing true strength, not just the appearance of strength. In addition, she found the concentration on breathing and flow to be powerfully healing and a stress reliever. As a result, she studied to be a Pilates Instructor with the Physical Mind Institute and began teaching Pilates in 1996. Corporate America called to her and she stayed there for many years, but found her life lacking balance of body and mind. She longed for the healing movement of Pilates, so she decided to renew her dedication to teaching the Pilates Method by pursuing Pilates Comprehensive Teacher Training with Dance Specialization at Body Arts & Science International. In her classes, she strives to help her students discover the healing potential in their own bodies made possible through the breathing, flow, and mindful movement of the Pilates Method.
Debra's classes focus on developing overall balanced strength and flexibility with special attention to strengthening the core, creating a power center for balance and strength in the body.
Yoshi spent the first few years of her life living at a Zen monastery in Los Angeles. Her father was a Zen master and her mother is an anthropologist and artist. From the time she was born her mother would cradle Yoshi in her arms while she meditated. Over time, this instilled a reverence for peace and an understanding for the passion, dedication and discipline that it takes to train in a spiritual practice.
Yoshi has been practicing yoga since 2002. She began yoga as part of her rehabilitation from a severe car accident that derailed her career path as a professional dancer. She was immediately drawn to the physical and spiritual blend of yoga. As a personal trainer and a tri-athlete, she was drawn to more physically demanding styles of yoga asana including Power Vinyasa and Ashtanga. A more challenging asana practice led to a deeper meditative state than she was able attain during her years of Zen training. In search of a more traditional and authentic spiritual practice, Yoshi discovered Yoga Shakti. She completed her 200-hr teaching certification and is continuing her 500-hr training under the guidance of Yoga Shakti’s Director Diana Pipaloff and esteemed teacher Jnana Nanda Bharati. She teaches a physically challenging asana practice while emphasizing the yogic ujjai breath. Yoshi is also finishing her Masters Degree in Archaeology at CSU Long Beach.
Rae came to Pilates after training as a dancer for 15 years. After a traumatic back injury she was directed to Pilates as a way to recover the strength and flexibility she had lost through the injury. She loved the way that Pilates made her body feel so much that she chose to study it more deeply and eventually to become an instructor. She uses Pilates as an ideal way to develop and maintain strength and posture and to have a healthy, lithe body. She received her Pilates certification through Orange Coast College in 2007 and teaches mat work as well as apparatus.
Katelyn is a native of Irvine, CA who has an energetic and loving family that values health and physical activity. They supported her through her many years of competitive swimming, which led her to Syracuse University. It was there that she first discovered yoga during her studies of Anthropology, Religion and Society.
When Katelyn started attending classes at Yoga Shakti, she became deeply committed to her practice, internalizing the benefits and value of yoga. Not only did it help her transition out of a competitive athletic lifestyle, but it also supplied her with the tools needed to cultivate balance, energy, and focus in all areas of her life.
Captivated by the endless possibilities of growth that yoga can provide, Katelyn has committed to ongoing practice and study. She has completed the Yoga Shakti Foundational Teacher Training and will be participating in the Yoga Shakti Advanced Teacher Training beginning Fall 2011.
She is thankful and excited to have the opportunity to share the experience of yoga with others through teaching as well as continuing her own education and growth.
Ashlee was introduced to yoga when her first “real” job drove her to seek relief from being desk-bound for the first time. Her first class was an Ashtanga class with Dawn Yager, and she never looked back. In yoga, she found a physical release for her energy, and the centering effects of this moving meditation improved her relationships with herself and her loved ones. She knew she needed to share. From the beginning of her yogic studies, Ashlee has endeavored to live her life according to ahimsa—non-violence. She practices yoga daily, on and off the mat, incorporating awareness, compassion and love whenever possible into every interaction, believing these qualities are our keys to evolving into better human beings. She continues to learn and practice in order to share with others, honoring the styles and methods she has studied.
With the encouragement from her first teacher, Ashlee earned her 200hr certification with a strict focus on Ashtanga yoga in the tradition of Sri Patthabi Jois, from whom she learned that yoga is "99% practice and 1% theory." She continued her yoga studies, and is honored to have received her 500hr certification from Sri Dharma Mittra, who taught her how to live the life of a yogi. She also recently trained at Farm Wellness, an organization dedicated to cultivating the health of individuals, farms and communities through training and retreats that harvest the full potential of local sustainable farms, a cause close to her heart. She is grateful to all teachers past, present and future.
Ashlee strives to increase her students’ focus and sense of calm through attention to breath and physical sensation, keeping ahimsa at the forefront of the practice, (as well as a sense of play!). She encourages all students to be beginners, to take one step at a time and enjoy the adventure of discovering something that can teach us so much about ourselves and the space we occupy in the world.
Nandini first practiced Yoga with her mother in India and remembers as a child watching her mother move into various Yoga poses with ease, buoyancy and flexibility. Nandini has a simple and reverent relationship to her Yoga as a natural way of life and finds Yoga in the everyday activities such as foods eaten, music and classical India dance, quiet mind and deep breaths. She is passionate about an integrative approach to health which she brings to her work as a medical social worker over the past 15 years. Her education and background in health include a B.S. in Biology, UCI, and a M.S.W. in Health Social Work, USC and clinical training in Mind-Body Medicine, Harvard Medical School. The birth of her son initiated her quest to learn and offer Yoga to newborns and toddlers as a certified Itsy Bitsy Yoga teacher. She has taught classes to children as young as newborns and their parents, to school aged kids. With her strong background in Mind-Body Medicine, Yoga, Reiki and Psychotherapy she enthusiastically offers people of all ages an individualized approach to finding their own center of peace and vitality. Nandini feels blessed and deeply grateful to have completed her 200-hour Teacher Training and Advanced Yoga Studies and an additional, specialized Teacher Mentorship at Yoga Shakti Studio, Irvine & Huntington Beach, CA.
I began practicing yoga in 1994 and learned that I had found everything I had been searching for. In 1997, I discovered Ashtanga Yoga which introduced me to the 8 Limbs of Yoga and yogic philosophy, guiding me to realize my truth. However as young searchers do, I became restless. Subsequent years were spent exploring different religions and philosophy, feeling unfulfilled. In 2004 I realized that the only time that I had felt whole in my life was when I practiced yoga. With time and dedication, my peace restored as I moved with my breath, discovering the Divine within. In 2010, I traveled to the motherland, India. Upon returning, I felt a deep desire to share what yoga has given to me by teaching. Having moved to Huntington Beach, I completed the Yoga Shakti 200hr Teacher Training program. I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach, practice, and share yoga with you.
I began practicing yoga 11 years ago at the suggestion of my aunt. My momma and I took our first class together and were hooked from day one. I was surprised and amazed at the calming and grounding effects I noticed within only days of practicing. I moved away to Santa Barbara and while being a college student I couldn't afford yoga classes so I practiced the only thing I remembered... Sun salutes... For eight years. I then exchanged my knowledge of sun salutes for philosophy, meditation and jazz lessons from a group of friends. When all of this came together I realized my draw to teach yoga and delve deeper into the philosophical side of things. I moved back to Huntington Beach in the summer of 2012 and took a 200-hour teacher training at a local studio then found Yoga Shakti and completed another 200-hour teacher training 6 months later and then continued on to their 500-hour program.
Julia began practicing yoga in 2008, and while it was never her intention to teach, she decided to take teacher training to further her practice. During her training she realized how invaluable yoga is and wanted to share that experience with others as a teacher. She completed her 200 hour teacher training in May of 2014 and began teaching shortly after. Julia feels honored to be able to pass on the knowledge and the endless amount of benefits yoga has to offer to her students.
Julia’s personal practice has had a number of positive affects on her life and has brought her clarity, acceptance, patience, and peace. She is due to complete her 500-hour training from Yoga Shakti Wellness Center in December of 2016.
Kristin started practicing yoga in college as a means of cross training when she was preparing to run marathons. Once in the corporate world, it helped her relieve tension and stress after long hours spent working in the fashion industry of New York. Somewhere along the way she began to tune into the subtle benefits she felt after doing yoga and became increasingly interested in its traditions and origins. She also wanted to make a more positive impact through her professional endeavors. Upon moving to Southern California, she decided to turn interest into action by enrolling in a teacher training program to study the subtle aspects of yoga in depth and has never looked back.
Kristin is a graduate of Yoga Shakti’s 200hr teacher training program and is currently working on her 500hr certification. She likes working with students of all ages and abilities, and enjoys helping her students grow in their own unique yoga practice, discover its benefits, and have fun in the process!
Laura began practicing yoga on and off many years ago as a means of restoring her health and finding reconnection with herself. When she began taking classes at Yoga Shakti in 2013, she not only began to deepen her practice and her appreciation for yoga, but was also inspired to take it to the next level. Laura is a graduate of Shakti’s 200hr Teacher Training program, and is currently working on her 500hr certification. Laura’s goal through teaching is to share her love of yoga with others and help them discover the many benefits it has in store.
Alison Zimmer is a Yoga Shakti 500 hour certified yoga instructor who grew up in Huntington Beach, CA. She took her first yoga class in 2008 at California State University Long Beach because she needed one more unit to graduate from college. Yoga provided Alison with the right amount of effort and ease; she was challenged in a whole new way and hooked from the start. Alison describes teaching yoga as a connection that has no words. Her students inspire creativity in her teaching, while her Yoga Shakti training provides her with the knowledge to be authentic. She loves to nurture her students and frequently uses essential oils to create a unique experience in her classes.