Yoga Teachers at The Soul Shack
Introduced to yoga in an effort to alleviate the chronic physical and mental pain she had experienced since the age of 12 due to scoliosis, Jessica has been hooked on the yogic journey ever since. Jessica has studied yoga in India and LA, completing two 200 hour teacher trainings in the process– at Yoga Vidya Gurukul in India and Yogaworks in Santa Monica. Originally from Florida, Jessica loves teaching yoga in Los Angeles and all that living in LA brings to her life: from the amazing people, nature, weather and food, to the limitless resources LA affords for learning about mental, physical and spiritual health.
Jessica is ecstatic to be a part of the wonderful yogic community in North Hollywood at The Soul Shack where she looks forward to meeting new students and getting closer to her regular students alike. Jessica is very passionate about teaching to every type of body and personality and believes that everyone should be able to access yoga, no matter what age, background, or financial status. It is for this reason, and so many more, that she tries to teach to as wide a range of students and classes as possible and to provide a wide range of pricing options at the studio as well.
Jessica considers it her life’s purpose to give back the healing that yoga and her many teachers have given to her, and to leave the world a better place than from which she came. More than anything however, Jessica strives to create a space where students can come to learn about themselves and life and to inspire students to journey through the layers of their minds and bodies in order to lead a life from the wisdom of their hearts and the light in their souls. You can find out more about Jessica or schedule a private session with her by visiting her personal website.
Starting with her passion for helping animals at a very early age, Mandy has always had a passion for helping others. In 2011 Mandy earned her Bachelors of Social Work at Florida State University. While obtaining her degree, she interned for a very valuable Florida youth program, “New Horizons” where she co-counseled middle and high school students on substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and anger management, while teaching classes on coping and life skills. It is here where she found her calling- working with youth. After moving to Los Angeles she went on to work in an after school program for under-privileged kindergarteners and first grade and is now a First Grade teaching assistant at Valley Charter School. Aside from working with children, health is of one of Mandy’s other passions. Researching and discovering new approaches to diet, fitness, and natural healing has always been a focus of hers.
Mandy has always been interested in learning and experiencing the healing benefits yoga has to offer. Combining her love of working with children and health, Mandy has most recently gotten certified as a kids yoga instructor from Mini Yogis.
After suffering from a traumatic accident in 2006 leaving her with a broken neck and spinal cord injury that tested her ability to fight for her health and recovery, Mandy has sought many natural ways of healing and treating injuries over the past 8 years. It is she and her sister Jessica’s soul purpose in life to seek happiness and health for all walks of life at affordable prices. They believe no person should be denied fitness or health classes because of their economic status. It is through their mutual goals that they decided to open The Soul Shack Yoga Studio together to share their loving and nurturing intentions with everyone in their community.
From a young age on Francesca practiced all kinds of dance particularly ballet, upon her arrival in LA yoga only seemed fitting. In 2007 she obtained her 200 hour certification and has been teaching various styles of yoga ever since. She is a BINI trained birth doula and Ma Yoga trained prenatal yoga teacher. Being a singer songwriter and having a deep love for music and movement, Francesca feels passionately about incorporating all kinds of sounds from blues to traditional yoga music in her classes.
Yoga has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up dancing and in a household of musicians where everyone had a strong yoga and meditation practice. Therefore, it’s no surprise that I eventually found my way into the healing world of my own personal yoga practice. In the Fall of 2013, I completed YogaWork’s 200 Hour Program with Mia Togo and Alexandria Crow. It was hands down the most life changing experience I’ve yet had. In 2014, I completed YogaWork’s 500 Hour Professionals Program with a mentor-ship under Mia Togo. Teaching and giving back what has so beautifully been given to me is truly my goal. I also work in physical therapy, with a concentration on cancer patients and survivors, and as a singer/song writer. Therefore, expect a healing atmosphere filled with fun music. My goal is to help people find a new, healthier, less anxious and pain free existence whilst guiding them through to an internal space where they realize how amazing they already are… just like so many life changing teachers do and have done for me.
Maureen first discovered yoga several years ago while healing from a back injury. As a former professional dancer, she was drawn toward the strong graceful movement of a vinyasa flow practice. In 2008, she decided to enroll in a 200-hour teacher training program with YogaWorks, where she discovered there was a lot more to yoga than she had previously thought. After “dabbling” in yoga teaching for a few years, she decided to make more of a commitment to her teaching, as well as her practice. Maureen graduated from YogaWorks 300-hour professional program in 2013, after a 6-month mentorship with Jesse Schein, and has been teaching regularly ever since; both with YogaWorks and other small studios and gyms in the San Fernando Valley. She is very excited and honored to be a part of The Soul Shack team. Maureen teaches a very precise, alignment-based class, and loves to link breath with movement. Expect to challenge yourself, breathe deeply, and most importantly, to have fun! See you on the mat!
I found yoga after a decade of ballet. The bendy poses were an easy and fun transition, though once I delved deeper, I realized the amazing benefits of yoga in every aspect of my life. I have studied with various teachers in the Ashtanga and Vinyasa styles in the US, Europe and India. My teaching style is straightforward and no nonsense so you can get right into the poses and enjoy their benefits. I teach with the belief that yoga is completely personal – yoga is you – and offer a welcome space and modifications for all levels of yogis. I reminds students to stay in the present moment by focusing on the breath, have fun and never take themselves too seriously.
I took my first yoga class in 2006 at Cal State University Northridge and oh I was so grateful ! Yoga was the perfect treat to compliment my life being a full time student and employee. After studying yoga for a semester, I started to experiment with different styles of yoga.
After coming back to Los Angeles from Corvallis, Oregon where I graduated with an Exercise and Sports Science Degree at Oregon State in 2012, I was blessed with the opportunity to connect with my yogic journey again. I completed my 200 hour Teacher training at Malibu Sun Yoga.
Yoga is not only a workout, it’s a lifestyle, a way of living. Falling in love with the practice and its endless benefits, I have been able to share my knowledge and passion for vinyasa. Yoga empowers our body by increasing our flexibility, strength, awareness of our surroundings, and by guiding us to be conscious of the present moment.
LaToya Granados is a 200 hour RYT, specializing in Hatha and Restoration. Yoga when directly translated means “to unite”, and she facilitates classes where students are led to unite the mind, body, and spirit for optimal health. She has years of experience working with underserved communities, teaching yoga to children and adults. She has observed the true power of yoga as a tool to manage stress and begin healing from trauma. She is passionate about providing a higher quality of life for her students of all backgrounds and ages through holistic wellness.
I have been practicing yoga for over a decade, but fell deeply in love
with it during a year spent traveling around South America. Yoga kept
me grounded and helped me find my strength during such a transient
time. Shortly after moving to LA in 2011, I enrolled in a 200 hour
training at Yoga Blend in Burbank and went on to study pre/post-natal
yoga with Jessica Jennings of Ma Yoga. I discovered my great interest
for the amazing process of birth, and my desire to help new moms feel
supported as they go through this incredible and challenging journey.
I am currently in the process of becoming a certified Birth Doula and
Carrie hails from Seattle and spent the last decade in New York. She did her 500-hr
training at Yogaworks in NYC with Jenny Aurthur and Chrissy Carter. Carrie is a teacher
by nature. She loves to bring inspiration, creativity, knowledge and challenge to her
teaching. She is so grateful to the teachers who came before her and to her students, who
constantly teach her. No one body or mind is the same. We are all snowflakes, every one.
Carrie is also a playwright and massage therapist.
My journey with Yoga began in 2009 when I took my first Yoga class in Burbank. I had heard about the great benefits of Yoga, but it took me years to finally find myself in my first actual Yoga class. I had also heard rumors that Yoga is only for flexible people. The rumors had me nervous for years until I decided to finally try it out and see for myself. From my own readings and research I found claims about Yoga being great for relaxation, stress-relief, and physical health which were what mainly attracted me to wanting to know more about the practice. Well, it turns out that I was right. What I did not know about Yoga at that time was what a great impact it would have on my life. I felt an immediate relief after my practice which came as a surprise to me. I began to see changes in my mood, behavior, and lifestyle. I began to drop old habits and form new, healthy, and beneficially ones that quickly improved all aspects of my life. Yoga taught me a new perspective on and off my mat. As I learned more and more about Yoga and deepened my personal practice I began to transform in all ways adopting a healthier new way of living. After completing my 200 Hour Teacher Training, I knew that all I wanted was to share my experience and tools with others who struggle with similar challenges in life. My background is Hatha Yoga with blends of Ashtanga and Iyengar. After I began teaching, my interest in sound therapy arose and I began including Crystal Singing Bowls, Gongs, and Body Tuners, into my practice. My goal is to share my knowledge and experience with you as well.
Keith recognizes everyone as a yogi and teaches to inspire others to connect with and refine their own practice. His classes are challenging, progressive and playful yet adaptive to the needs of each student. Drawing primarily from the superb Iyengar methodology, Keith focuses on alignment of the body, breath and mind in language laced with poetic precision.
Born and raised in New York City, Keith initially found his yoga amidst the urban intensity of the Big Apple. His 200 hour teacher training was completed at Greenhouse Holistic in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where he studied with Ashtanga, Iyengar and Vinyasa teachers. Twice he has journeyed to India for intensive practice in addition to regular attendance at meditation retreats. Keith has also been influenced by traditions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Alchemy, and Tantra as well as modern science’s complementary insights.
In a former life he co-owned a recording studio in Williamsburg where he was an active musician and engineer. Having relocated to Los Angeles, Keith is focused on integrative medicine which includes yoga, therapeutic touch, and other bodymind awareness practices. His bodywork sessions are a blend of craniosacral therapy and structural integration. Currently, he is in an Iyengar mentorship program with Los Angeles teachers working toward certification.
Anna is a dancer, musician, and healer. She has been practicing yoga for 12 years, her first teacher was the inimitable Shiva Rea, with whom she studied for 2 years while attending UCLA. Anna specializes in healing sound therapy, deep restorative yoga, and gentle flow yoga. She plays singing bowls, chimes, and several other instruments used in meditation. Anna’s classes are a great place to heal, ground, breathe, restore, and deeply tap into our minds, bodies, and spirits. Her classes are welcome to all levels, and she offers handmade lavender eye pillows for all of her students. Anna is extremely grateful to have her yoga practice, and she loves to share that with her community and beyond.
My mission is to safely and efficiently guide my students toward optimizing their well-being. Everyday, I aim to be a better teacher than I was the day before. I’m 100% driven by the opportunity to teach others because teaching is one thing that makes me feel permanently good, rather than only feeling a temporary high. I know that it is right.
I have been teaching health for nearly a decade. My specialties widely vary, which has taught me to approach students from a wider perspective. Currently I am in an Iyengar mentorship program, which is my main focus, and could last a lifetime. Recently, I had the opportunity to spend 4 weeks in India, studying with Geeta Iyengar, and I am very lucky to have done so.
“Why you continue to practice Yoga is likely different than the reason you began Yoga”–Manuoso Manos
Marybeth Summer Zaffino
A New York native, Summer brings a vibrant background in Yoga, health, healing, nutrition, and the environment. She has a passion for helping people feel good, and understand how to take care of themselves, and each other. In her classes you can expect to experience a full body practice that focuses on breath and healthy alignment with the intention to connect to stillness of the mind. Introduced to Yoga in a difficult part of life, as she was recovering from a life changing injury that ultimately ended her basketball career. She was told she may never be able to walk “normally” without a limp, ever again. Her first Yoga class was an elective course in college, and Yoga became part of her rehab. However, her love affair with Yoga really didn’t begin until 9 years later. Summer completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training with School Yoga Institute at the self sustaining Mystical Yoga Farm, in the highland jungles of Guatemala on Lake Atitlán. She began studying Sadhana Yoga, Mediation, Ayurveda, herbalism, Sanksrit language, Mayan cosmology, permaculture and shamanic energy healing. Summer believes as we become aware and practice the internal and external disciplines of Yoga we see that there is really no difference between Yoga and life itself. They become reflections of one another. When we fully understand these teachings, we recognize that in each moment on the mat or off the mat we have a choice in the way we want to be.
Summer graduated from college with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health Ecology with an emphasis in Physical Therapy and Athletic Injuries. She went on to complete a MBA in Sustainable Business, and is a LEED Accredited Professional with the US Green Building Council. Summer has always had a passion for helping, anything and in any way that she could. A natural nurturing figure to the world. Between teaching Yoga, and consulting for both Holistic Wellness and Green Building, she spends her time exploring and volunteering around the globe, as well as being walked by her three dogs. She is a beach bum, basketball lover, essential oil enthusiast and a self proclaimed foodie. She aims to apply the principles of Yoga and Sustainability into real life through walking gently on this Earth.
Jeri-Faye Cohen is thrilled to join the teaching staff at Soul Shack Yoga. As a Yogi and a professional dancer, Yoga has played a key role in her ability to stay strong, flexible and centered. She found her way to her yoga mat years ago and instantly fell in love with the practice. It wasn’t long before she earned her 200 Hour certification and is currently teaching Vinyasa Flow and Power Yoga. Her style of yoga combines elements of flow sequences with longer static holds to increase students’ focus, flexibility, balance, core strength, increase cardiovascular and respiratory endurance and improve overall health. Her dance background gives her a unique perspective of the beauty, grace and strength of the human body. She began her professional training on Scholarship in 2005-2006 at Edge Performing Arts Center and immediately signed with Bloc Talent Agency. Since then she has danced for professional sports teams such as the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, the AFL’s Avengers and MLS’s Chivas USA. She has appeared on numerous shows, commercials and videos such as the Disney Channel’s ANT Farm, DEX Yellow Pages, Atlantis Resort, LG Wireless, Dr. Phil and Shaun T’s Rockin’ Body Workout as well as worked with such artists as Cee-Lo Green “Cry Baby”, Snoop Dogg “O Sookie/True Blood” and Britney Spears “Till the World Ends.” In 2013 she tried her luck out in Las Vegas where she joined the talented cast of “Vegas! The Show” at Planet Hollywood. Jeri-Faye has taught throughout California, Washington D.C, Florida and had the honor of being invited to Japan to teach master classes at studios in Tokyo, Sendai and Sapporo. She is excited to share her passion for yoga, dance and fitness with students of all ages. It is the passion, dedication and sweat of her students and peers that makes every day of this job challenging, rewarding and fun.