INSTRUCTORS

 

Elisabeth Schwarz

 

Elisabeth started practicing yoga in 2001 during her freshman year of college. She found yoga to be transformative allowing her to begin to feel rooted and calm during a time in New York when things were not. After relocating to San Diego in 2003 and graduating from the University of San Diego, Elisabeth began a legal career as a paralegal. After several years in litigation, it was time for a release from office stress and desk life. Elisabeth changed her career path becoming a partner in an independent real estate firm, giving her the freedom to grow personally and professionally as an entrepreneur. Yoga has taught Elisabeth how to use the mental focus, strength and grounding techniques from her practice in her businesses to achieve a balanced work life.

Dominique De la Rocha
E-RYT 200
RYT 500

Restorative Yoga

Reiki I

 

Dominique began her teaching journey getting certified in 2005. As a former registered nurse and a massage therapist, she integrates her medical and holistic background by infusing her sessions with Reiki, massage, and essential oils. Based on her own journey, she strongly believes that self-love and self-care are essential to our health and happiness. Her goal is to teach others how to achieve it. Dominique  helps her students connect body and mind in a very nurturing, gentle and relaxing atmosphere. Her sweet, friendly and caring personality is a powerful positive energy that can be distinctly felt in her classes.

Sara Deakin
E-RYT 200

RYT 500

 

Sara began her teaching journey getting certified at the White Lotus Foundation in 2006. In 2010, she completed a 300-hour advanced training at Yoga Works and a Masters in Business Administration. Sara has been blessed to study under many renowned teachers including Ganga White, Tracey Rich, and Gerhard Gessner. This stylistically diverse group of teachers has allowed Sara to find her own unique heart-centered and down-to-earth approach to teaching. Her alignment based vinyasa flow classes emphasize the synergistic effects of connecting the body and breath. Sara has participated in numerous teacher training programs and is an instructor in The Little Yoga Studio’s teacher training program.

Paulina Kayachanian
E-RYT 200

 

Yoga found Paulina at a time when she was going through physical pain from prior sports injuries. With time, practice and patience, she began to improve seeing results and recovery. She then knew that a daily yoga practice was something that she would be doing for the rest of her life. Paulina began her teacher training journey getting certified in 2014. Paulina teaches vinyasa, yin and is a certified spin instructor. Paulina teaches both in San Diego and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Stacey A. Filice
E-RYT 500

YACEP

C-IAYT

REIKI MASTER

Stacey teaches various styles of yoga, meditation and sound healing. Her years of teaching have included many studios throughout San Diego, full-time instruction at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, BC, Mexico, online through the Insight Timer app, and working with students therapeutically one-on-one. Stacey enjoys empowering her students to go inward and connect to the calm, safe place that exists within them. Her passion is using ancient practices to help people therapeutically so that they may find true, deep healing.

Dorothy Guthrie
E-RYT 200

YACEP

YTRX-500
Restorative Yoga 
Yoga Therapy I & II
Reiki I

Tibetan Bowl Sound Healing

 

Dorothy is currently earning her Physical Education Teaching credential at SDSU. In 2012, she earned her 200 hour yoga teacher training certification at The Little Yoga Studio. Since then, she has earned Restorative Yoga Teaching certifications and her Level 1 and 2 Yoga Therapy certifications from Loyola Marymount University. With a bachelor degree in Global Music Composition and her training in Tibetan Bowl Sound Healing, you can experience the vibrations of the singing bowls in Dorothy’s classes during Savasana. Relax and try out some of Dorothy’s free guided meditations available on her youtube channel: 365DaysofMeditation.

Cristina Bonilla
RYT 500

Yoga Nidra

Restorative

Yinki

Reiki Master

Cristina began practicing yoga as a means to manage the stress she was experiencing in her career as well as the chronic pain she had been struggling with since childhood. Meditation, pranayama (breath control), acupuncture & Reiki were introduced to her at a time when she needed it most and realized the importance of taking the time to nourish the body, mind and spirit in order to achieve optimum health and wellbeing. After taking a Yinki® class (yin yoga with Reiki energy healing) one evening, she instantly felt the healing benefits of her practice- physically, mentally, and emotionally. Cristina completed a 600-hour Hatha yoga therapy program through Shafa Yoga. She completed her training as an integrative healer, Yinki® yoga teacher and mentor through Tranquility Wellness Center. Cristina is also the founder of Sacred Integrative Healing. Cristina is an instructor in The Little Yoga Studio’s 200-hour teacher training program.

Heather Grisco
E-RYT 200

 

Heather has been teaching yoga since 2009. Her training in Ashtanga Yoga gave her a solid foundation on which to build her teaching style, her continued education and studies with Jason Crandel, Annie Carpenter, Maty Ezraty and others have shaped her style into what it is today.  Filled with dynamic movement, upbeat music and creative sequencing Heather’s classes will leave you feeling challenged, yet aligned. She has led over 25 Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training programs.  It is her passion to share her knowledge of yoga and guide new teachers to find their authentic teaching voice and style. Heather leads the 200-hour teacher training program at The Little Yoga Studio.

Zaquia Salinas
RYT 500

 

Zaquia Mahler Salinas began a yoga practice in 2007 and her love of movement led her to develop a passion for flow. She completed her 200-hour teacher training through CorePower Yoga in 2012, and her 300-hour advanced training with Yoga One San Diego in 2019. Zaquia has also completed trainings for yoga at the wall, yin, and restorative yoga to compliment and balance her vinyasa-based foundation. Zaquia enjoys learning alongside her students while they share the experience of practice together. Her mission is to engage others in a relationship with movement and inspire a deeper sense of confidence in their physical experience as human beings.

Irene Encarnacion
RYT 500

 

Irene began practicing yoga in 2006.  After leaving an accounting career that required long hours of sitting and hunching at a desk and computer, she was intrigued by yoga’s rehabilitating effects on her aching low back and stress level.  Irene’s yoga teaching influences are YogaWorks’ Kori Flechtner Strobl, Miramar College’s Jessica Matthews, and MiraCosta College’s Stacy McCarthy.  Irene enjoys introducing yoga to new students and inspiring them in a safe and thoughtful manner.  In addition to keeping up with her own yoga practice, Irene is a Jazzercise aficionado, San Diego City College senior tutor, and doggie mom to three rescued Chihuahua mixes.

Ariana Torres
RYT 200

 

 

As a former professional NFL and NBA dancer, Ariana found yoga during a search for a restorative practice that would cultivate more body awareness and heal her severe anxiety. Since 2009, she has experienced the intangible benefits of yoga through conscious breath work and movement meditation. During her yoga classes, Ariana offers creative sequences suitable for all levels. Her intention is to help build strength while focusing on alignment and creating space within the body. Students can expect to leave her classes feeling empowered, supported and with a new sense of presence!

Ali Calvaruso
RYT 500

Pilates

Barre

Ali started teaching yoga in 2010 on the East Coast. Ali’s light-hearted approach to life brings seamless ease and grace to her yoga classes. She is known for her creatively sequenced Vinyasa classes and extensive knowledge and training in using yoga to heal injuries and discomfort in the body. Her varied training with teachers with different backgrounds such as Pranakriya, Liquid Flow and Katonah Yoga, have refined her teaching skills. Whether in a beginner’s class or advanced Vinyasa, you can expect to be challenged with alignment cues for your body and playful sequencing to allow students to drop-in, link breath with movement and focus the mind. It is Ali’s goal to create a space for students to find comfort and yet step outside their comfort zones to learn more about themselves.

Annika Williams
RYT 500

 

Introduced to Yoga while studying english literature and dance at the University of Oregon, Annika found through yoga and teaching, a union of her passions and inspirations, her love of movement, her centering and  spiritual path, and a way to help others and make a positive difference.  Annika received her 500-hour Yoga Alliance Certification through the Avalon Yoga Teacher Training Program in 2006, where she apprenticed with Senior BKS Iyengar Certified, Ben Thomas, Sianna Sherman, Samantha Shakti Brown, and Kenny Graham at Yoga Tree SF and Shakti Yoga Shala is 2010.

Angela Brush
RYT 200

Angela Brush received her RYT-200 from Bird Rock Yoga in 2015. Her love for yoga and teaching grows daily. Angela loves the creativity, fluidity, and solid workout that Vinyasa yoga brings to the mat. She makes her classes fun and lighthearted. Students are encouraged to love themselves, laugh, and get playful. Angela is also a geologist working in environmental consulting. She strongly cares for people and the planet and encourages others to feel the same.

Courtney Avery

RYT 200

MPH

Courtney is a health educator, yoga teacher, and birth doula. Courtney leads women’s health classes and workshops and leads our charity of feminine products for the homeless. Courtney attended graduate school at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine for her Masters of Public Health, specializing in health education and disease prevention. Working in clinical research while in grad school, her yoga practice kept her centered, leading her to enroll in a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training to deepen her personal practice. This changed the course of her professional career. She saw the profound impact that yoga had on her students’ overall health and wellbeing, and decided to incorporate yoga for body awareness into her master’s capstone health education program. She shares this practice with students all over the world through classes, workshops, retreats, and so much more.

Lizzie Carsey

RYT 200

Registered Nurse 

Qi Gong

Reiki Master

 

 

Lizzie grew up in Boulder, Colorado moving to San Diego over 15 years ago. She is a Registered Nurse, RYT 200 hour certified yoga teacher, Qi Gong instructor and Reiki Master. Combining the information and tools obtained through each of these areas of study, she has a unique understanding of mind-body wellness and weaves a wide variety of techniques that she happens to use in her personal life to manage depression, anxiety and chronic pain. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with others helping them to find their unique path to a healthy mind and body. Lizzie is an instructor in the 200-hour teacher training program at The Little Yoga Studio.

Melissa Gottschalk

RYT 200

Sarah Lieber

RYT 200

 

Sarah started her Yoga practice in 2009 and quickly began to realize the physical and emotional benefits a regular practice offered her. Working a demanding career and having suffered from back and shoulder pain from sitting at a desk for 8+ hours a day, she decided to dedicate herself to a regular Yoga practice in an effort to help alleviate the pain and stress of the daily-grind. Within months of her practicing her back pain nearly subsided and she learned just how powerful thoughtful breath and quiet meditation could be when dealing with everyday, stressful situations. She knew she wasn’t the only hard working professional that could benefit from a daily Yoga practice. She decided to obtain her 200 hr Yoga certification in the hopes to be able to share the gift and discipline of a daily Yoga practice with others going through a demanding career, just like herself. Her goal in teaching is to guide her students to find peace, acceptance, and strength in their practice, while at the same time finding their edge and breaking through arbitrary physical boundaries students put on themselves. “I believe that, with enough practice and dedication, everybody can do a Scorpion!” Sarah leads ashtanga-inspired classes and is part of our Yoga for a Cause charity program.