Kelly Benshoof was introduced to yoga 10 years ago by Julie Buckner, when they ran a public affairs consulting firm together. Always curious and careful, it was not until Kelly began studying the non-physical side of yoga that she became a full-on devotee and student. Kelly completed YogaWorks' 200-hour Teacher Training at Center for Yoga in November, 2012 with senior teachers Jeanne Heileman and Thomas Taubman. A lover of exploration and inquiry, Kelly's classes are grounding and thoughtful.
Kelly, one of the studio's owners, serves multiple roles at InYoga - serving as its chief operating officer, and as a teacher. Kelly has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Pepperdine University, and recently graduated with her Masters in Public Health from UCLA. Her interests are many - culinary adventures, gardening, woodworking and graphic design. She lives with her husband Jordan in Mt. Washington.
Trisha DeCesare, RYT-500. Trisha grew up as an athlete and when she joined the "real world" and started sitting behind a computer and car for several hours a day her body and mind needed an outlet. She found the practice of yoga to help her mentally, physically and spiritually. She was so moved by the profound change yoga brought to her life, she wanted to share this with others. She has been practicing yoga for more than ten years and has had the pleasure to teach for the past four. She received her 200 hour certification with YogaWorks in 2008 and completed her 300 hour Professional program with Cloud Nine Yoga in 2011. >> More/Less
She also is a Certified Restorative yoga teacher, Reiki Master and Holistic Health Nutrition Coach. Some of her greatest influences have been Max Strom, Judith Lasater, Kori Flechtner, Nora Mangiamele, and the very sweet Erika Faith Calig. Her approach to teaching is light-hearted and fun. Her practice and classes focus on strength, grace, and detoxifying the body while synchronizing mind with movement, breath, and energy. She emphasizes finding comfort in the body and mind and developing a deeper awareness of the Self - and everything in life. Her greatest joy is watching her student's transformation by combining postures, breathing techniques, aromatherapy, and poetry to calm the mind and open the heart. More at: facebook.com/TrishaDeCesare
Searching for life beyond the Bay Area bar scene, Sara Fanter (RYT 500) discovered the transformative powers of yoga at San Francisco's Soma Yoga in 1998. After moving to Los Angeles, she deepened her commitment to the practice, and pursued the teaching path. In 2008, she completed the 200-hour YogaWorks teacher training with Annie Carpenter and continued her 300-hour advanced training as an apprentice to senior Iyengar instructor Paul Cabanis.
Sara continues her training, delving further into the principles of alignment. Her specialized training includes work the internationally renowned Donna Farhi in the area of Yoga for Back Pain. She has studied Yoga for Scoliosis with Elise Miller; Yoga for Injury Management and Prevention with Jasmine Lieb; Alignment for the Hips & Shoulders with Sunita Iyengar; and Therapeutic Yoga for Depression with Paul Cabanis. The brilliant and wonderful Hala Khouri, Lisa Walford, and Patty Pierce have also inspired her teaching and personal practice. >> More/Less
Sara's good-natured spirit and generous energy creates a warm, safe and fun environment for students to explore yoga. "My goal as a teacher is to instruct this ancient yoga system of movement, philosophy, breath work and meditation to help students attain more balanced physical, mental and spiritual health in our hectic, modern world." Students can expect a deep, well-rounded class. "I love to introduce students to themselves - their capacity for support, their connection to their truth, their limitless capacaity for love-- connection to their higher selves and all living things." Sara is known for working with each unique individual student, guiding them to energize and strengthen the body, calm the mind and bring joy to the heart.
With an intention of bringing yoga to EVERYONE, Sara is a volunteer yoga teacher at the Downtown Women's Center and the UCLA Department of Mental Health, in addition to her public classes.
Sara teaches "Fundamentals of Yoga" workshops for YogaWorks throughout the L.A. region, introducing yoga to beginners helping to create a clear understanding of, and safe foundation for, their practice. She encourages students to discover the joy in the relationship between movement and stillness.
(Rumor has it that Paul's nickname for Sara is "Thunderbird." Ask her why ;-)
Lauren Gardner found her calling as a yoga teacher right in the heart of InYoga Center. Her flirtation with yoga as a stress reducing exercise was on and off while she went to school, but the teachers at InYoga were the first to really open her spirit to the healing practice. Lauren has been a deep tissue, therapeutic body worker for ten years, and studied biology and psychology at UCLA. She intertwines her unique knowledge of the body and mind into her classes, and takes a therapeutic approach to yoga. Though she has a fiery practice, she has recovered from a spinal injury and believes strongly in the healing power of Vinyasa Krama, a step-by-step progression to yoga. She received her 200-hour certification at InYoga center, and her teaching style has been strongly inspired by Clio Manuelian, Joe Kara, and Patty Pierce. She hopes to bring a zest for life and a zeal for yoga into the lives of those she teaches, while providing them a strong foundation for a safe, long-term yoga relationship.
Shari attended her first Yoga Teacher Training program in 2000, and subsequently either took, assisted, taught and/or designed more than 10 Teacher Trainings, with her principal teacher being Desiree Rumbaugh. Shari's therapeutic focus on bio-mechanical alignment was greatly enhanced by studies in both physics and dance in college. Her refined abilities to observe students and articulate instructions clearly is the result of more than 45 years of meditation practice, as well as 33 years working in the Entertainment Industry, first as a Corporate Communications manager for Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and then as a multi-award nominated film and television writer. Along the way, Shari also specialized in applying Tantric yoga philosophy to everyday life (with thanks to Dr. Douglas Brooks and Sally Kempton), and finding modern relevancy for the meaningful depths of the ancient Sanskrit language (as introduced by Dr. Marcy Braverman Goldstein). You can learn more about all of the above in the Archives of Shari's globally read blog shrishari.blogspot.com
Erin is one of the first people you'll meet at InYoga. She has been involved with InYoga since its inception, and she was instrumental in helping to get our doors open. In addition to working the front desk, Erin also has the responsibility of managing InYoga's facilities. Erin grew up in Orange County and graduated from Golden West College. She spent time working in the entertainment industry, working as professional sound editor. Also a friend and neighbor of Julie's, Erin has been practicing yoga steadily and seriously for six years. Erin has a background in personal fitness; she's worked as a personal trainer and taught "mommy & me" programs in the park. She recently received her 200 hour teaching certification at InYoga Center, and is leading the studio's TT Graduates class program. Erin lives with her son, Braden, in Valley Village - and she knows almost everyone in the 'hood.
Grace is a lover of Yoga, Cats and Life!
Tattooed on her arm is the saying, "It's a beautiful life." Her mother said this before she passed away. For Grace, it's a constant reminder to stay grateful.
Grace walked into her first yoga class in 2005, during a dark time in her life after her mother's passing and dealing with past life traumas. She's been on a continuous path of healing and growth ever since. With a 10 year dedicated practice, Grace began teaching 7 years ago. Grace's first 200 hour teacher training was in 2008 with Mark Blanchard's Power Yoga; her second 200 hr with was with Black Dog Yoga.
Grace has a beautiful, big practice, but says Yoga's never been easy for her. She's worked hard for it, after sustaining several injuries from a lifetime of sports. The most significant injury was to her lumbar spine after a snowboarding accident. There were days when walking was a challenge. Today, her body has healed tremendously and lumbar health is a huge part of her teachings. Grace says she's living (& walking!) proof of how yoga can change your life. >> More/Less
Her classes are often challenging, but always offering modifications and props so that every pose is accessible to students of all levels. Her focus is on safety, alignment and breath. Classes are lead with intelligent sequencing, opening the body in an appropriate, safe way. As she's matured in her life, her practice and teaching has changed; movement and breath have slowed down, and she holds asanas longer, allowing for a more intense connection.
Fluent in ASL, Grace worked for many years as a Sign Language Interpreter. She's worked with many deaf students in public classes; she feels it's important to include the deaf community in yoga, noting the challenge and excitement in teaching students in practice in which "99% of the instruction and information is learned through hearing." (Grace notes that she may be the only interpreter/yoga instructor in Southern California!)
Both interpreting and teaching have taught Grace that being of service is a huge source of joy in her life. She is also a passionate Cat Rescuer! Grace is forever a student, and loves sharing what she learns with her students. She's eternally grateful to all of her teachers and the teachers before them.
Sarah was first introduced to yoga at the age of 14 in Jr. High, where classes were offered as a P.E. alternative. Having danced ballet for 11 years, Sarah gravitated towards the practice. Sarah enrolled in and completed Center for Yoga's 200 hour teacher training in March 2000 with Diana Beardsley and Steve Walther, when she was a senior in high school. She began to teach right away. And Sarah continued teaching while obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature at UCLA, and also while earning her Juris Doctorate at Southwestern Law School.
Sarah's been a Divorce and Family Law attorney since 2008. Her years of teaching yoga and practicing Family Law have presented a unique opportunity to meld her two worlds, developing an area of law practice she's coined, "Holistic Divorce and Family Law." Sarah also writes a blog called "YogaESQue: A Holistic Approach to Divorce and Family Law," offering a yoga teacher's perspective on ways to facilitate healing after divorce. Integrating her experience as a yoga teacher into her practice of Family Law, Sarah remains acutely aware that Family Law litigation is highly personal; she's committed to honoring each client's human experience -- which she feels is so often lost in the litigation process. >> More/Less
At the same time, Sarah's work as a Family Law Attorney has deeply impacted her as a yoga instructor, birthing what has blossomed into a wonderful, symbiotic relationship between these ostensibly antithetical disciplines. In her classes, Sarah places tremendous emphasis on the beautiful ways in which the practice of yoga catalyzes healing. Although always tempered with lightheartedness and a sense of humor, Sarah invites her students to attempt rigorous postures as a vehicle for teaching them to cope, not only with issues intrinsic to divorce, but with all challenging life situations. Sarah's fastidious attention to alignment and her nurturing demeanor ensure that students feel safe at all times -- literally and figuratively.
In a committed effort to further herself both as a teacher and as an individual, Sarah constantly attends yoga classes and devours books on psychology, philosophy and spirituality. Sarah firmly believes that the best teachers are, themselves, devoted students. She also credits her students and clients for offering daily insights into the workings of the human psyche, challenging Sarah to find new and effective ways to use yoga asana and yoga philosophy to guide others.
A serious practitioner since 1996, Sarah's attended myriad yoga workshops and taken classes all over the world with renowned yogis. However, she doesn't note a single teacher as a primary influence. Rather, Sarah's indebted to every teacher with whom she's studied, each of whom has shaped her teaching style in some way. Sarah's class, and outlook on life, are best and most succinctly characterized by the poignant Gandhi quote: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." More at www.yogaesque.blogspot.com/
La Mer is a homegrown California girl; a mystic, songstress and a healer alike. Her work centers around creating powerful rituals of union with loving essence. A certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant with over 500 hours of study under the guidance of Shiva Rea, Mer honors the ancient wisdom of eastern philosophies while allowing her nurturing and playful essence to guide the experience. Her classes are melodic and fluidly embrace season, time of day, moon phase, personal life cycle, and surrounding environment as fundamental components for vital living.
Maria Cristina Jimenez
Maria Cristina Jimenez (ERYT 500; Certified Advanced Rolfer) has been teaching yoga since 2001. Now teaching alignment-based, "anatomy-conscious" Hatha yoga, she was a Certified ISHTA yoga teacher, as well as a Certified Anusara teacher, a style she taught for 10 years.
Maria Cristina was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her grandmother Abi-Mama was her first yoga teacher, teaching her about asana, meditation, and pranayama. Her fascination with the body continued when she suffered a horrific accident which fractured her pelvis, spine, and other parts of her structure as a 15-year old. It led her to connect to the body's innate healing power.
She's worked extensively with - and is deeply influenced by - Integral Anatomy's Gil Hedley; studying the human form (even doing several cadaver dissections); studied with the great Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen and her Body-Mind Centering work; and has taken numerous Pre-Med courses at UCLA. She is training to become a CranioSacral Therapist, as well as a Visceral Manipulator. She completed her Rolfing certification at the Rolfing Institute of Structural Integration in 2013 and has a thriving bodywork practice. >> More/Less
In addition to her public yoga classes, María Cristina has contributed in over 30 different Teacher Trainings and Immersions all around the Los Angeles area as well as nationally. She is known for her spiritual anatomy workshops, which help make anatomy accessible, relevant, and poetic. She works with students and private clients at every level of experience. Maria Cristina studies with many teachers, but has no gurus. Her teachers include her students, her yoga and bodywork practice, cadavers, nature, myriad books, and this moment: right here, right now. More at mariacristinarolfer.com
Joe Kara began his journey to Yoga in 2003, driven by an intuitive feeling it was something he needed to try. A few moments after his first class, he literally burst out laughing in the middle of the street. A powerful joy surged through his being. It was clear was that it was a transformative experience and he's never looked back. It was a natural path to further deepen his practice and begin teaching yoga.
Joe has spent the last several years studying and cultivating the art of teaching this practice. Joe received his 500-hour certification from YogaWorks, his 200-hour Kundalini certification from Yoga West, and a certification in Yoga Therapy from Loyola Marymount University; he has had the great honor to have studied with master teachers Jeanne Heileman, Lisa Walford, and Guru Singh, among others. Striving to help his students unearth their greater potential, Joe's classes offer a stimulating practice environment, awareness of the breath, attention to alignment, and a deep internal focus. He's continually honored to be able to share this practice with others. Joe is currently a lululemon ambassador for their Studio City location.www.twitter.com/jjkara
Sharon discovered yoga through a deep desire for personal transformation and to address personal health issues. Sharon received her training and certification with the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, and has further studies in Therapeutic Yoga and energy healing. In addition to teaching yoga, Sharon works privately with clients who are healing from injury and illness, with a focus on helping clients recovering from cancer treatment.
Offering energy work (including Reiki technique and pranic healing) as part of her private work, Sharon brings the benefits of a healing touch to her yoga students in class. Specializing in gentle and restorative yoga, each class is led with the intention to inspire a deeper connection and respect for the body's natural response. Her teaching focuses on creating a sense of calm in a moving meditation, led by the breath to a peaceful place. Having experienced the many benefits of yoga, Sharon encourages each student to find a comfortable path and have compassion and patience in the process of change.www.innerpeacetherapy.com
As a kid, Megan McCord (RYT-500) began a lifelong fascination with yoga imitating the postures her friend's mom practiced. In 1997, she began to practice in earnest to relieve the discomfort of scoliosis and everyday stress. While her roots are in Anusara, her influences are many; she doesn't follow any particular school or style of yoga. She completed her first teacher training with Sue Elkind, Naime Jezzeny, and Noah Maze in 2003, and most recently YogaWorks 500 hour teacher training with Jeanne Heileman.
Megan emphasizes alignment in her classes, endeavoring to keep students safe while they discover their boundaries. Her mission as a teacher is to help students connect their minds, bodies, and spirits, often a challenge given the pace of modern living and the distractions that diminish the experience of the current moment. Students practice yoga for varying reasons, and if she can guide them down their path, however far they wish to go, she is happy. >> More/Less
Megan emphasizes alignment in her classes, endeavoring to keep students safe while they discover their boundaries. Her mission as a teacher is to help students connect their minds, bodies, and spirits, often a challenge given the pace of modern living and the distractions that diminish the experience of the current moment. Students practice yoga for varying reasons, and if she can guide them down their path, however far they wish to go, she is happy.
Megan is a writer of fiction, both short and long, and has an MFA from Antioch University, where she teaches writing in the BA program. A native of Los Angeles, she enjoys writing about the city where she lives overlooking the San Fernando Valley with her man and two cats.
Mackie is filled with gratitude for this wonderful practice and to her many teachers and friends, especially Chloe Chung Misner, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Gil Hedley, Tiffany Fraser, Noah Maze, and Darren Rhodes. For her Yoga is so much more than just an exercise, it is a profound spiritual journey. She is a "somanaut", a dedicated explorer of inner space, investigating the experience of human embodiment. Mackie is excited and passionate about yoga and strives to make her classes practical and accessible to anyone looking to create transformation in their lives, whether their desire is to open their minds and hearts or their hamstrings... She believes that the end result of either intention brings us closer to achieving both. She lives in Laurel Canyon with her husband and their furry friends.
An L.A native, Claudine's journey with yoga began in 1999 during her first pregnancy. She was introduced to Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, the renowned Kundalini teacher perhaps best recognized for her work with pre- and post-natal women; Claudine practiced with Gurmukh in her living room. She fell deeply into the mysteries of her own spiritual awaking. As her body awareness heightened, Claudine became a certified massage therapist. She studied at the Shiatsu Massage School of California and learned Chinese medicine, meridian lines, nutrition and Chi. Massage deepened her connection to the body's subtle energies, as well as the transformative, healing powers of moving Prana (life force) with breath through the body >> More/Less
Claudine continued her studies of yoga, expanding her own practice to include other Hatha traditions and systems, such as Iyengar, Bikram, Yin, Vini and Anusara. Ultimately, she found herself most captivated by Vinyasa flow.
She trusts wholeheartedly in the curative effects of yoga. She believes that by realigning the body's posture through mindful stretching and breathing, we are able to move towards physical stillness and mental clarity in space. Through yoga, we trigger our bodies intrinsic restorative responses.
Claudine received her RYT 200 hour certification through Black Dog Yoga's teacher training program. She studied Yoga for Pregnancy with Jessica Jennings, and is currently studying under the respected Therapeutic Restorative yoga teacher Shari Goodhartz for advanced training in restoratives. Claudine's teaching has been influenced by Maria Christina Jimenez, Jenny Brill, Sigrid Matthews and Patty Pierce. Claudine believes that her students are her best and most important teachers.
Her teaching style is supportive yet tenacious. She endeavors to facilitate everyoneÕs full potential within their practice, by helping students deepen their awareness, so that they may feel a greater connection to themselves, others and the universe that surrounds us.
As a teenager, Patty Pierce found yoga at the YMCA in Albuquerque NM. After moving to Los Angeles to marry her husband Tim, Patty was reintroduced to yoga in the early 90's. Both were marriages made in heaven. Patty has been fortunate to study with some of the finest teachers of yoga, among them Maty Ezraty, Lisa Walford, Paul Cabanis, and Annie Carpenter, through the YogaWorks training program. Along with several other teacher trainings, Patty receives equal and continuing insight and encouragement from practice with friends and fellow teachers David Lynch, Sigrid Matthews and Mara Hesed.
Inspiration for her teaching and personal practice rises from everyday life for Patty. Studying the posture and lifestyle of those unfamiliar with yoga allows Patty to assess need and incorporate asana and philosophy helpful to those who are familiar. >> More/Less
Through this process, Patty, along with her friend and collaborator Sigrid Matthews, has embarked on the study and formulation of yoga to allieviate the effects of and cultivate ease with the transition of menopause.
With the birth of her grandson Omar, last summer Patty has found a renewed commitment to health and well-being, and she is excited to share her enthusiasm with the students at InYoga Center.
Annette found the saving grace of yoga in 1989 Los Angeles, while acting onstage and commercially. An astrologer recommended that, if she wanted to survive LA, yoga would be a very smart choice. In a hot, carpeted, upstairs room at Voight Gym on La Cienaga, she got started with Baron Baptiste.
After getting mowed down by a drunk driver, Baron's classes were integral to healing, having had to set aside the usual swimming, running, and step classes. One day Baron told her she should teach, and after returning to her hometown of Seattle in 1993, she began doing just that. She continued studying as she did, with a number of wonderful teachers such as Bob Smith, Kathleen Hunt, Eiric Ovrid, Sharon Gannon and David Life, Rod Stryker, Andrey Lappa, and others in teacher trainings, workshops and at conferences, and melded a personal offering that included the various influences of the Baptiste, Iyengar, Kundalini, Tantra, restorative, and Jivamukti styles. >> More/Less
Her early primary focus was on private instruction, with students from ages 14 to 81, home schoolers, wheelchair-bound students, incarcerated youth, and all kinds of regular folks of all sizes and shapes, levels and capabilities. 7 years in, she became certified (RYT 500 hours) at Samadhi Yoga, especially cherishing the 5 years as a teacher training mentor. She taught for many years in studios, gyms, and schools in the Seattle community, with a particular love for the experience at Seattle Central Community College, where the international student body fully embraced the practice in all its aspects.
Annette is thrilled to be a part of the InYoga community. She believes that a consistent yoga practice helps us to manifest our dreams and live in our true potential, in ways that are challenging, transformative, and fun!
A dedicated student of yoga and mindfulness meditation, Aimee began her yoga practice in 1996 at Yoga Works in L.A., and continued in the Bay Area at Yoga Tree. After returning to L.A. she studied with Annie Carpenter and Maty Ezraty at Exhale Center for Sacred Movement receiving her certification in the SmartFlow program which is respected for its focus on optimal alignment, precise instructional language and playful rigor.
Aimee has also studied Yin Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation with Sarah Powers and Paul Grilley at their Insight Yoga Institute. Every year she takes part in a silent meditation retreat and has studied meditation with Jack Kornfield, Trudy Goodman, and Noah Levine. She has also studied Restorative Yoga with Judith Lasater and apprenticed with Aaron Reed's Relax Deeply classes at Exhale. >> More/Less
Her passion for music has incorporated sound and vibrational healing in her classes and she continues to study with the Globe Institute in San Francisco. She uses the healing tones of Tibetan singing bowls, crystal bowls, a 32 inch gong, rain stick, ocean drum, and more during her sound baths.
Aimee is absolutely sincere in her commitment to teaching those new to the practice. Her instruction is very clear and specific, making it easy for students who are newer to the practice to have an enjoyable experience. Her classes are fun and challenging, sweet and inviting. We are proud to have her as part of InYoga's Vinyasa Krama 200hr Teacher Training.
With an artistic sensibility, Aimee has transitioned her career to being a full-time yoga teacher; for 17 years, she worked in the film business as an art director and graphic designer. It is with deep gratitude that she shares with her students this life-changing practice. When she's not practicing or teaching yoga she's volunteering with LA Animal Services helping shelter pets find forever homes. She lives in LA's east side.
Nina Snow has been teaching yoga in Los Angeles for 11 years. Over the years, her students have ranged from kindergarteners to the wisest golden-agers in town.
Nina completed her teacher training at Karuna Yoga in both Kundalini and Hatha yoga in 2005. In both her personal practice and teaching, she places emphasis on the body-mind connection. Her teaching style is soft and sweet; gentle, compassionate and encouraging. She offers her teaching to anyone and everyone who wants to receive the benefits of yoga, without judgement, condition or hesitation.
In addition to yoga, Nina, an ordained monk, maintains a daily Zen meditation practice. That, and her interest in martial arts, also finds its way in to her teaching style.Nina believes that yoga grants each the student the strength, flexibility and balance to a make a difference in the world. She's honored and humbled to be a part of that.