Born and raised in Milan, my first encounter with yoga was back in Italy when I was 10 years old. I used to watch my mom doing stretching poses on the floor with a yoga book in front of her.
In 1987, I moved to the US, to San Francisco. There, I did my first real yoga class; it was Iyengar Yoga. From the Iyengar practice I learned a lot about alignment, and still today in my teaching, I apply what I learned from those classes. Later on I approached Ashtanga Yoga, where I was shown the importance of breathing while flowing from one posture to another.
In 1998, I was introduced to Bikram Hot Yoga. I really loved the way I felt physically, so, after practicing for a couple of years, I took the teacher training and became a certified Bikram Yoga Teacher. With the intention to open a yoga studio, I found an opportunity here in Redondo Beach, and called it Bikram Yoga Redondo.
In 2011, we changed the name to The Hot Yoga Center so that we could offer other types of yoga as well. In 2018, when we started to offer non-heated classes, we decided to eliminate the word “hot” from our name, and we became Novo Yoga—a word that means “new” in many languages, and a word that is also part of our last name.
One of the great things I learned from practicing and teaching yoga is the extremely useful concept of being present.
It is about acceptance and being there, because every day our body and mind reacts differently to the practice of yoga. Letting go, and leaving the ego outside the yoga room, is the hardest part. I encourage my students to be present and accept what is coming to them. Embrace it rather than fight it.
Two of my favorite quotes are:
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have” – Eckhart Tolle
“Yoga is not about touching the toes, it’s what you learn on the way down” – Unknown
For me, Yoga is a sanctuary where I feel free from worries, opinions, insecurities and stress. It’s a space where I am free to feel, explore, accept and love myself. I have been studying yoga with Bryan Kest for over 12 years. He has taught me many lessons, but the one I carry in my heart all the time is: “Yoga is the quality you carry in your mind while doing anything in your life.” I try to incorporate this message in all of my classes. Teaching is an opportunity to share what I like and what has helped me with people who are interested in it.
My goal as a teacher is to provide a safe, nurturing environment where we can challenge ourselves calmly, let go of old habits that are not serving us well, and make positive changes in our lives. I look forward to meeting you in class.
I have been practicing yoga for 20 years. My teaching first began with young children, but I now teach yoga and mindfulness to all ages in studios and schools throughout the Westside and South Bay. Through careful alignment, sequencing, and the use of props, I try to embrace the fact that yoga can benefit all ages and abilities. My classes not only bring health and peace to my students, but they are a lab for learning about your body and penetrating deeply into your mind. I currently study with Iyengar senior teacher Carolyn Belko, in Encinitas, and locally with Keri Lee.
“The hardness of a diamond is part of its usefulness, but its true value is in the light that shines through it.”
Of the chapters in my life, yoga teacher is the least expected.
Several years ago, I was running a pastry kitchen and gave it up to go back to school, earning a degree in financial mathematics and statistics from UC Santa Barbara.
Two years later I was teaching yoga full time. Sometimes life takes curious turns.
I have taught yoga to people from all walks of life and experience levels, boxers to bankers, from sedentary beginners to professional athletes and yoga champions.
As a yoga teacher my reward has been to work and interact with the public, and the honor to be witness to the transformative power a yoga practice can bring.
For fun I indulge my hobbies, among them: bread making, playing music, and amateur boxing.
I was born on the Philippine Islands and raised by grandparents. At the age of 5, I moved to Houston, Texas, to be with my parents. I grew up playing team sports like basketball, volleyball, track relays, and tennis. I was very active and loved the adrenalin from sports, which led to my passion for yoga. I went through an ACL surgery from a ski accident and a torn meniscus from playing tennis. Shortly after my meniscus injury, I found myself in my first yoga class, at the age of 23.
But it was eight years later, at the age of 31, that I discovered my love for yoga and became a certified instructor, which turned into a full-time yoga practice in the community. I delved into the practice thinking I can teach right away, but I needed to learn more from my own practice, my understanding of the physical body, and the applied science. A year later, in 2011, I moved to Santa Monica, where there were yoga studios at every corner, plus the ocean was just foot steps away. It was during this time that the movement of handstands and arm balances became popular. The yoga community was evolving and reaching the media, TV, Instagram, and online where the marketing potential became important for teachers. In the meantime, I continued to practice daily and began to teach part-time in the South Bay area where I now live.
I had the opportunity to teach at many studios in the area, as well as companies like Lululemon, Athleta, and an established institution of Loyola High School in LA. I also modeled for Manduka's Yogitoes Alchemy Collection, and my handstands graced the “LAX is Happening Now” YouTube commercials, directed by Rob Macey. In 2017, I finally left the corporate ladder to become a full-time yoga teacher. I currently teach public classes in yoga studios, at the workplaces of large corporations like Sony Pictures Studios, and private lessons.
I guide with knowledge, passion, and dedication in leading strong, sweaty, and centered Vinyasa Flow classes. I also teach Yin Yoga, where I hold space for the students to nurture and observe the deep layers of their mind and body. I am honored to share the power of yoga and thankful for my wonderful teachers that continue to share their wisdom and love for the practice.
I remember how I felt after my first hot yoga class in May 2005. I felt so refreshed, happy, cleansed, and yet very relaxed. Even though it was very difficult and challenging, I wanted more. I was hooked.
I was practicing non-heated yoga before for about four years. The hot yoga offered something more, which was what I was searching for. I wanted to share the experience with others, so I went to Yoga Teacher Training.
In 2009 I got the Yoga Teachers Certification and I have been teaching ever since.
I want to offer my students classes that are practiced in a safe and friendly environment where they can be themselves no matter what age or physical level they are in. My suggestion is to slow down and deepen the practice by focusing on the use of breath (prana) and moving meditation (asanas) to connect to their organic selves.
I also love, and teach, a nourishing gentle restorative Yin Yoga class. Yin Yoga offers the intention of cultivating peace, happiness, and balance. We all have a beautiful light within us. I encourage all of us to discover the light within and continue the journey we are on, while building a loving, kind, and caring community.
I was raised in Long Island, New York. Most of my earlier years, I had a strong involvement in sports and exercise, with wrestling being my main focus. As I got deeper into my teens, weight training became a big part of my life. After college, I took my love for exercise to a higher level by becoming a full time personal trainer, working in New York. In 1999, I moved to Los Angeles, where I continued my personal training career, and for the first time, I stepped into the world of hot yoga. My first hot yoga class was at the Bikram studio in Beverly Hills. Needless to say, I got hooked immediately. I couldn’t believe how doing these ancient yoga positions in a hot room could make me feel so good. The feelings of relieving stress and bodily functionality were unreal…
I knew I had found something special. It was only a short time later that I got my first Yoga Certification in the Bikram style. Subsequently, I began my yoga teacher career, which, at that point was 2003. I have been teaching ever since. A few years after that I also integrated other styles of yoga into my experience, especially Kundalini Yoga. I practiced kundalini for a solid seven years.
I have taught yoga over the years at about six different studios and have settled here in the South Bay, at Novo Yoga. Shortly after, I got certified in Novo Core yoga, a style that was developed by the owners of Novo Yoga, which was then called The Hot Yoga Center.
Hot yoga, for me and so many students that I know, gives healing and stress relief benefits that are unparalleled. Learning how to breathe properly while doing the asanas (physical positions) greatly diminishes stress, while at the same time allows you to get amazing physical health benefits, let alone shaping up your body. The feeling of the heat that penetrates the body during the physical compression/stretching of bodily tissues intuitively allows you to recognize the incredible flow of circulation that penetrates every area of the whole body. Every single class you take, you just know that you’ve flushed the body of toxicity and nourished every tissue, right down to the bone.
I have been practicing yoga for 15 years and have been a Montessori teacher for the past 11 years. I’ve taken multiple Kids Yoga teacher trainings, as well as a 200-hour Power Vinyasa and a 50-hour Flow Sculpt training.
Teaching yoga to kids is something I’ve always incorporated into my Montessori classroom and I currently teach weekly yoga classes to children ages 18 months to 12 years old. At Novo Yoga, I teach a Kids Yoga class on Sundays specifically designed for ages 5 to 12 years old.
I was born and raised in Philadelphia where I raced horses and show jumpers. It’s also where I damaged my knees and have had 4 surgeries on my left and 2 on my right. I went to Johnson and Wales University in Providence Rhode Island where I studied equine studies. I met my husband there at 18 years old. After college I moved to North Scottsdale, AZ. I bought a house, opened a restaurant and had a son in 2002. I moved to California in 2010 and started practicing yoga soon after at another studio that my friend practiced at. After 9 months there I realized it wasn't the studio for me and found Novo Yoga thru Haesook. I loved everything about it from the minute I came into the lobby. I started practicing 5 days a week many times doing doubles. There were so many different classes to take and I loved the variety. I knew I needed to know more about the practices, benefits and had the desire to teach others. It wasn't enough for me to keep my hip down in standing bow, I had to know why. I started watching yoga videos, reading books and started to consider teacher training. I wanted others to love this practice as much as I do. I went through teacher training in January 2013 at Novo Yoga and have been teaching since April 2013 and I've loved every minute of it!! Since then I've been certified in Hot60 ,Hot90 ,Novo Core and Novo Sculpt, Kids Yoga, Restorative Stretch and became a Personal Trainer. Yoga has done more to heal my knees than any surgery or rehab every did. When I first started I couldn’t put my knee on the floor let along go back on it. If It wasn't for this studio I probably would have stopped practicing all together. I'm so grateful to have the studio and this practice in my life.
“Only look back to see how far you’ve come”
I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and came to the US to learn English in 2002. I started practicing Bikram Yoga in 2005, and I struggled a lot in my first hot yoga class. Although I wasn’t flexible or strong at all, I knew yoga would be good for my health. I kept practicing yoga and started to have the feeling that I would love to help other students, like all my wonderful teachers helped me. I took Bikram Teacher Training in the spring of 2007, and since then, I have taken several other trainings, including hatha, vinyasa, and Power Yoga.
I love teaching and practicing yoga, and my classes are fun but challenging. I also understand how my newer students can struggle, since I was like them before. My goal in teaching yoga is to help my students enjoy class and not worry about a lack of strength and flexibility. They should have as much fun as possible from every class I teach. Hopefully, I can serve our students and share my skills of teaching yoga and positive energy with many more students.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavaintu
(May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.)
I have received training and certifications in vinyasa, Yoga Sculpt, restorative, Trigger Point Therapy, Fusion, and Hot60.
I started practicing yoga at 19 years old with the Bikram Studio in Hermosa. I instantly fell in love with the heated class. Not only did it make me feel great physically, but it helped me with my struggles with asthma. After that first experience, I practiced on and off for a couple of years at several different studios. Later on I decided to take the CorePower Yoga Teacher training program and solidify my relationship with the practice. The training came at a perfect time in my life, when I felt lost and a great sense of depression. It was through the training that I found community, self-love, sanctuary, and a deeper understanding of why yoga would forever be a part of my journey.
Soon after, I began teaching yoga at small gyms and yoga studios.
As a teacher, I am committed to recreate that space of community and sanctuary that I was able to experience myself, a space that so many others before me have made, but through my journey and understanding of what it means to be united. I try to make sure that every student knows they are capable of achieving a connection with themselves and with others through this practice of mindful, moving, meditation.
As a dance and yoga teacher, certified personal trainer, Barre teacher and fitness educator, l simply love to share my knowledge with others.”
I am a native of the Czech Republic and began my career in dance by mastering the art of ballet, modern dance and choreography while earning a bachelor’s degree from The Dance Center of Prague.
I’m also YogaWorks certified as a 500hr alumni, ISSA certified as a Personal Trainer, and I hold certifications for Pilates, Ballet Bar, TRX and Group Exercise Instructor. I am committed to my lifestyle as an artist, teacher, motivator, and trainer. I try to live life to its fullest while constantly challenging myself to provide an example of health to all those I meet.
“Per Aspera Ad Astra” (Through hardships to the stars...)
I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro and have a strong athletic background. My first contact with yoga was in 2002, when I found myself diving deep into the practices and study of what became a lifestyle journey. I’ve always been fascinated about the holistic world. I studied Chromotherapy and also became a Reiki Master while completing a law school degree in Brazil.
I moved to Los Angeles in 2007 and continued my yoga practices at Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga studio. In 2015, I decided to take the 500 YTT at Yogaworks and became a full time instructor registered through Yoga Alliance. In 2017, I took 50 hours Sculpt YTT at Hot 8 Yoga and 50 hours of “Smart Flow” with Annie Carpenter. Currently, I am completing 50 hours Yin Yoga TT at Hot 8 Yoga to advance my skills and add more value to serving the yoga community.
Looking for Teachers
We expanded our schedule this year by adding several more classes and practices, and are currently looking for yoga teachers who can lead the following yoga practices:
Hatha All Levels
If you are a teacher or know a teacher who is leading one or more of the above practices, please contact Paola at email@example.com. We will need your resume, info about what you teach, and how long you have been teaching. We'll go from there.
If you are student who came across a good teacher who led one of the above classes, or a class that is not mentioned but you greatly enjoyed, please send us an email to let us know about the teacher.
Looking forward to hear from you,