Meet our amazing teachers!
Laura McKinnon, owner and E-RYT. Laura first came to yoga in 2000 as a recommendation to help heal an injury. She not only found a better place in her physical body, but found other benefits from the practice that helped bring balance to her life. This inspired her to share yoga with others through teaching. Yoga is for everyone; regardless of age or physical ability and that it is through yoga that we can all find health, wellness, and peace. Her passion eventually led her to open Seaside Yoga Sanctuary, a place of community where beginners are welcomed, practicing yogis can deepen their practice, and women and their families can find support through prenatal, postnatal, toddler & me, kids & teen yoga.
Laura is a student of life and enthusiastically shares her love of yoga with her students. In her classes she brings attention to anatomy and mindful movement, and encourages compassionate self-study. She loves sharing with students how to find freedom and ease in moving their bodies. She holds additional certifications in Prenatal Yoga and Grief Yoga®.
She teaches Hatha yoga, Prenatal & Postnatal yoga, Beginners, and is co-director of the Integral Awakening Yoga 200hr Yoga Teacher Training program. Though she has experienced a variety of styles of yoga, she is most studied and influenced in the Iyengar tradition. She continues to deepen her understanding of yoga through her own practice and studies with other seasoned teachers.
Her family is her biggest blessing and support. She has a fondness for animals and loves spending time outdoors in nature.
Alyssa Dougherty is a MMI Certified Meditation and Mindfulness Instructor (200-hr), with experience designing and leading corporate wellness workshops and retreats for both multinational companies and private clients. As a teacher, Alyssa offers restorative sessions focused on healing the body through the mind by targeting stress, cultivating more self-compassion and embracing change. Alyssa is also a Board-Certified and Licensed Clinical Nutritionist (MS, CNS, LDN), holding a master’s degree from Maryland University of Integrative Health and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University. As a practitioner, she combines evidence-based personalized nutrition therapy with intuitive eating strategies and motivational coaching to optimize each of her client’s health and well-being.
Ashley has practiced yoga for over 10 years, after a transformative restorative workshop that incorporated aromatherapy and sound healing Ashley knew that she wanted to share the bliss and surrender she experienced with as many people as possible. She is trained in Hatha/Raja as well as Restorative Yoga from Ananda School of Yoga & Meditation, where she assisted in teaching the Yoga Teacher Training programs and served as head chef in the ashram’s vegetarian kitchen. She is now studying to become a Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. Her teaching style integrates breath and movement, highlighting awareness in the heart center to allow for deep release to the flow of Divine Love available to everyone.
Ana Poirier is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach, yoga instructor, experienced natural foods chef, massage therapist, and Reiki practitioner.
She is accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, in New York City.
She conducts nutrition workshops and whole foods cooking courses, as well as works privately with individuals. Ana finds energy and inspiration in seeing the flame of healing re-animate the lives of those with whom she works. In working with Ana, clients experience just how easy and enjoyable getting healthy can be!
Ana teaches yoga, hosts nutrition and wellness workshops and has a private holistic health practice on the Monterey Peninsula in California. Because of the gift of the internet, she feels blessed to work with people from all over the world!
Having studied with a diverse group of teachers, Ana’s yoga style is one that incorporates a slow-flow vinyasa style with aspects of Iyengar alignment. She has studied Ashtanga, Iyengar, Yin and Yang yoga, pre-natal and yoga anatomy. Ana tends to focus on the energetic feeling of a pose or exercise rather than the physical appearance. She often weaves inspirational quotes or poems into her classes and workshops.
In her health coaching practice, Ana offers the best of both worlds, blending cutting-edge Western nutrition with time-tested ancient sciences like Ayurveda and Chinese theory. Her specialties include supporting your body in achieving ideal weight, emotional eating, stress reduction and management, hormonal balance for women, gentle detox and cleansing, creating health and nutrition plans that are accessible, fun and sustainable for life.
Ana believes (and witnesses daily) that creating extraordinary health and energy are the gateway to enjoying fulfillment in all areas of life.
As an author, her intention is to educate and inspire. Discover simple recipes to tempt your taste buds in her e-book “Quick. Healthy. Delicious. 50 Favorite Recipes to Feed Your Life!”. In the #1 best-seller “Turning Points”, Poirier shares her very personal story of rising above financial crisis using the very same tools she now teaches.
When not empowering and inspiring her clients, you can find Ana enjoying the mountains of California’s central coast, watching the seals play in the ocean by her home or concocting healthy indulgences in the kitchen.
Chantal first encountered yoga as a teenager and was quickly drawn to its
energizing and beneficial qualities for the body. After exploring many
styles of yoga, she found herself drawn to the Iyengar- influenced
practices because of their exceptional meditative and calming effects
upon the mind. Chantal is passionate about the mind-body connection
and maintains the tradition of yoga as a daily regimen in her everyday
life. Her teaching brings a true love of yoga, served with a soothing
presence and meditative ease. Chantal is a 200hr Registered Yoga Teacher
(RYT) with Yoga Alliance. She is a 2011 graduate of the Advanced Studies Program
of Downtown Yoga, in Pleasanton, California where she studied with her mentor, Kate Coughlin.
Chantal actively furthers her knowledge of the art of yoga by attending
workshops with Yoga Master H.S. Arun and respected teachers Donald
Moyer and Jason Crandell.
Mira-Lisa Katz took her first yoga and dance classes as a teen and has been doing both ever since. In addition to being a registered yoga teacher (RYT, Yoga Alliance), Mira holds an MFA in Dance and Creative Practice (Saint Mary’s College) and a PhD in Language & Literacy Education (UC Berkeley).
Since 1995, she has studied Iyengar yoga extensively at The Yoga Room in Berkeley (with Donald Moyer, Mary Lou Weprin and Gay White), and continues to study at Nest Yoga in Oakland (with Richard Rosen, Leslie Howard, Annie Carpenter, Melina Meza, Margi Young, and Ann Dyer Cervantes).
Deeply rooted in the Iyengar tradition, Mira’s yoga classes cultivate strong and perceptive bodyminds and resilient spirits through incisive verbal cueing, skillful use of props, gentle hands-on assists, and meditation/pranayama to help students distill and deepen their practice. Certified by The Driven Yogi in creating safe and inclusive yoga spaces across race, gender, and ability, her classes are for everybody.
Professor Emerita of English at Sonoma State University, Mira taught at the college level for 17 years, and taught ballet to adults at Danspace in Oakland. She currently offers yoga and dance classes and private instruction in Monterey County and consults on literacy and teacher education projects statewide and nationally.
David attended Fort Lewis College where he recieved a B.A. in Exercise Sciece in 2006. While there, he played football then took to coaching. He became strength and conditioning coach for the FLC volleyball and football teams and found a love for helping others achieve their physical potential. He has been a personal trainer for elite athletes, teams and troupes. He got to play football professionally in arena league and in Europe. With injuries taking their toll from football and powerlifting, yoga came to the rescue. Through hard work and yoga, range of motions were regained, a sense of peace established, and hope restored. In 2016 David received his 200 ytt through Jill Lawson's School of Yoga. In 2018 David spent three months in Rishikesh India studying yoga. Through yoga we can recognize and move towards our unseen potentials and beyond our unseen limitations. His ultimate goal is to help others step towards their own unique potential that lies here and now.
Outside of yoga David loves gardening, poetry, dabbling in the circus arts, acroyoga, getting into nature, and hanging out with his animals.
Destiny Morley has been practicing yoga for over 6 years, her practice began as a self taught daily ritual to help her feel more in her body. Yoga has been the most transformative and effective method to help her feel balanced, awake, present, and connected to the earth. Her success from yoga ignited a fire within that needed to spread.
This lead her to travel to Costa Rica where she practiced yoga and self empowerment and received her 200-hour yoga instruction certification. Through finding self love and being in a space where she helped to facilitate self empowerment practices and ceremonies, she was guided on the path to helping heal and empower women. Destiny has always been fascinated and amazed by the female body and all of its capabilities and purpose which tied her path together.
She began studying holistic birthing practices and alternative medicine for women's health, and desires to help support and uplift women in all of their transitions. She is eager to share with women about their bodies and empower the beauty hidden within all women. Destiny has taught multiple workshops and led womb healing circles and ceremonies with the intention to demystify and uncover the divinity within us all. Destiny began studying prenatal and post partum yoga in 2017 and was certified at Mount Madonna Center with 95 hours of training.
Destiny is filled with passion, creativity, and true love and seeks to share and hold space for others. She enjoys teaching restorative, hatha, pre and post natal, and yoganidra flow
Diane is a dedicated runner, curious traveler, retired gymnast and volunteer guide at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She recently finished the Boston Marathon and is currently training for both The Big Sur and Chicago marathons in 2019. Her yoga practice began over 20 years ago as a way to maintain her flexibility after running. Recently, she decided to combine her knowledge of body alignment from gymnastics and disciplined focus from marathon training to teaching yoga. “Yoga is so much more than stretching and holding poses. It involves breathing, meditating and learning to calm your monkey mind. I believe it is important to energize your life with a meaningful yoga practice in order to bring peace and calm into everyday; into every challenge. We are surrounded with so much beauty, I invite everyone to practice with me either inside the yoga studio or outside by the ocean. I hope for yoga to become your second nature.”
Di’s husband is a local business owner and together they raised 3 boys. She has lived in Pacific Grove CA for 15 years and is a graduate of the Seaside Yoga Sanctuary Integral Awakening Yoga 200 Hour Teacher Training and Advanced Studies. She is certified by the Yoga Alliance as a 2oo hour instructor* and she is excited to share her energy and passion with her students as they define their best self with each day’s practice.
Irina is a RYT® 200 (Registered Yoga Teacher) with Yoga Alliance, as well as a Certified Healing Touch Instructor, teaching workshops in energy healing awareness and techniques since 2018. After years of working in the business and finance world, Irina’s lifelong interest in wellness manifested into a professional shift into healing, fitness and spirituality through meditation and Yoga practice. Irina’s teaching in both Yoga and Healing Touch is based on the foundation of staying grounded and connected with the energy flow of the class, while holding sacred space, with deep respect for the uniqueness of expression in each individual’s Yoga practice and healing journey.
Isabel Fleury is a licensed psychologist and an archetypal astrologer dedicated to the integration of body and mind through Yoga, meditation and awareness practices. In 2007 she came to California to study at Esalen Institute, Big Sur, where she still works and studies with inspirational teachers: Bernie Clark, Sarah Powers, Silvia Boorstein and James Baraz. Her style is greatly influenced by Yin Yoga, Insight Meditation and the Buddhist philosophies and practices.
Jeannie Walker has been a practicing yogini for more than thirteen years. She has been teaching yoga since 2007. She is a certified teacher in Kundalini Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga and Chair Yoga. Her passion is to make yoga accessible for everyone, regardless of a person’s body shape, physical age and/or physical capabilities. Jeannie’s mission is to remind you of your own unlimited potential and self-appreciation. Please join Jeannie on the journey of re-connecting with your breath, your body and your Infinite Self. Om Shanti!
Brianne (Bree) has been practicing the Yoga Asanas since she was in High School. Along with studying health and nutrition, she received her first 300 Hour certification in 2018. Then she recently graduated with a 200 hour certification in June of 2023.
She accredits the practice of Yoga to being life-saving and healing for various adversities in human existence. Her love and appreciation for the Eight Limbs of Yoga has blossomed into her desire to learn and evolve as a lifelong student and teacher of Yoga.
Bree has experience with various styles of Yoga Asanas including Therapeutic Hatha, Restorative, Iyengar, Bikram, Vinyasa, and Kundalini Yoga. Her classes are a balance between a mellow Vinyasa flow and the concentrated and focused nature of a Therapeutic Hatha class. She likes to theme her sequences around the Chakras and weaves these themes into her instruction. She also enjoys sharing other elements of Ayurveda studies. Additionally Bree enjoys creating playlists that pair perfectly with the class flow.
Laurel Weingand RYT200, CMT, B.S., RSH Laurel began her study of movement from a young age. Starting with gymnastics and moving to dance, she struggled with many injuries sustained from instability, poor alignment and a lack of mental grounding. At 13, she decided to take yoga at the local community college. This sparked her journey with both the physical practice and a well needed spiritual/mindfulness practice. Eventually deciding to move to Monterey, on the idea of wanting to live somewhere peaceful and beautiful, she completed a Kinesiology/Wellness B.S. from CSUMB. Graduating with high honors and awarded “distinction in her major”, Laurel focused her degree on dance injuries and wellness, and actively applied her knowledge to her yoga practice. In 2010, she embarked on her teaching journey by attending Mark Stephens 200hr Vinyasa YTT; which had a strong focus on alignment principles and proper sequencing. Laurel has since been teaching yoga, dance, and acro/tumbling in the area since 2010 and is very passionate about her interests, teaching and continuing to learn. In addition, she is a massage therapist with an office in Carmel, and has been formally studying clinical herbalism for 3 years, which includes a large emphasis in TCM and Ayurveda. Weaving together her interests, Laurel’s flow classes have a strong attention to alignment and helping each student to be mindful of their practice to avoid injury. Meditation and pranayama are incorporated, to help connect the breath with the mind/body and keep the Qi moving. Although liking to help students dig deeper on multiple levels, her enthusiastic and easy going persona will make room for being jovial and joyful, as she fully believes life is too short to be too rigid. Her goals are to help students find balance and flexibility in both their practice and their lives, as it is not about how far we go but how we get there. Beyond her vast interests, Laurel loves to cook, be in nature and spend abundant time with her awesome husband and precocious, affectionate and tenacious toddler daughter. She is very excited to be part of our yoga community and share the journey with you!
Leslie Price, Psy.D., RYT – 200
Leslie Price is a Registered Yoga Instructor and holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Currently, she works in education in Monterey Bay. Dr. Price teaches Yoga and Meditation at Montage Wellness Center and Yoga Salinas. She also teaches Psychology courses at Hartnell College and Monterey Peninsula College. She has an expansive understanding of psychology and how it connects to the body. Her style of practice brings together the mind and body experience through movement, breathwork and mindfulness. She has a specialty in Health Psychology and Bereavement and a deep interest in witnessing and assisting people as change happens in their lives. She works in groups or privately to bring acceptance and peace through the integration of our thoughts, our body and our movement.
Breathwork, Yoga, Healthy lifestyle Guide
Mahendra Briksha born in a small village in the Himalayas, is a yogi, a certified Rebirthing Breathwork practitioner, an Integral coach, and a vegetarian chef. Briksha combines Yogic practices, Buddhist wisdom, and Integral insights in his teaching. He has been sharing and leading breathing sessions, yoga asana, and stress management/wellness courses for 15-plus years.
He is a graduate of the yoga teacher-training program at the Vivekananda Yoga Research Center in Bangalore, India, and holds certificates in Integral Yoga from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and Yoga Therapy from Purusha Yoga, and has over 200 hours of Yoga Teacher training through Urban Flow with Rusty Wells. Briksha is a resident teacher and manager of the Yoga Society . He co-teaches the 200-hour TT for Seaside Yoga Sanctuary.
Briksha’s main mission to share his knowledge and experience is to help people reduce stress in their body, breath, and mind and learn to live a peaceful, and evolutionary life in the midst of the busy world.
to know more about his work go to his website https://hamsaintegralbreathwork.com
Marcia Moseley, 500-TT
Marcia has been teaching yoga for almost two years, but her practice began early in life when she made the connection with body, mind and soul. As she says, “Brazilians learn to dance before they can walk.” She has been exploring movement since she was five years old, when she started training in classical ballet. Her passion for dance and movement was embedded in her from her Brazilian heritage. She started practicing yoga eight years ago and fell in love with the asanas (poses) first, but quickly discovered the philosophy of yoga and she was “keen”. As she continued on her journey, she decided to share her excitement with the world when she discovered YogaWorks in San Francisco and decided to pursue her teacher training in yoga. She took the 200 Hour and 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Trainings with Nikki Estrada, Melanie Salvatore-August and Mynx Inatsugu - all inspiring teachers that she feels gave her roots to her practice and wings to her teachings. Marcia currently teaches yoga classes at In Shape Fitness in Monterey and is thrilled to join the Yoga Sanctuary in Seaside and Pacific Grove. To her, yoga feels like a new but familiar language, with which to express her body, mind and soul with others.
Michael received his 200-hour teaching certification in 2018, through the Seaside Yoga Sanctuary’s Integral Awakening Yoga Teacher Training & Advanced Studies program in Carmel, California. He studied there under Laura Mckinnon and Mahendra Briksha. Michael taught classes at SYS for almost a year, after receiving his certification. He is also a registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance (RYT 200).
His focus is on proper body alignment, breath work and meditation when teaching yoga postures. He strives to work towards creating a harmonious fusion between body, mind, and spirit. He believes that yoga has something beneficial to offer everyone, regardless of age, background, experience, or level of flexibility.
Michael is currently teaching yoga classes for UC Davis Medical Center, in their Living Fit Forever Program. It is a fitness and wellness program for staff members, that offers a variety of classes. Michael has been teaching in their program since October of 2022. Michael has also recently completed his 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training course, in April 2023, at The Yandara Yoga Institute in Baja, Mexico.
Michael is a former athlete and has always stayed active physically since playing college football at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, California. He initially turned to yoga as a complete form of exercise that could help sustain him throughout the years. He soon discovered that yoga is so much more than just an exercise program. He has embraced the practice of yoga as a way of life, which influences every aspect of his entire being. Michael is retired from law enforcement, where he had a thirty-year career as a deputy sheriff with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office. He served three years in the California Army National Guard as a military policeman. He also received a certification as a massage practitioner from the Monterey Institute of Touch in Carmel Valley. Michael’s vision is to continue to learn and grow in his study and practice of yoga, as well as discovering more about himself through this process. He has a deep passion for wanting to help law enforcement officers, fire fighters, military personnel and veterans embrace the practice of yoga. Michael is interested in traveling the country and world, teaching at workshops and retreats. Outside of the yoga studio, Michael enjoys spending time with family, biking, being in nature and expressing his creativity through drawing, painting & working with clay.
Michael Voig is an Occupational Therapist and Taiji / Qigong instructor teaches many of these unique and wonderful programs to veterans at the Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto. Michael is a lifelong student of Taoist practices; he loves hiking in nature, breathwork and meditation.
Peter, a Carmel local, brings heart to his Bhakti yoga teaching style. Trained in classical Hatha and Kriya Yoga at the Ananda Ashram, Peter shares the light of a direct connection to Yogananda’s lineage of ancient masters. Peter started his yoga and meditation practice a decade ago to access and heal the root of a medical condition, which opened the door to using yoga as a tool for Self-realization. As a surfer, Peter feels the true Surfer’s way is one and the same with yoga. Peter is an RYT, CPT, Reiki master and mindfulness author. Peter teaches beings of all ages, and loves sharing tea, meditation, and nuggets of wisdom.
Rachel is an RYT 200hr, and currently completing her 300hr advanced studies. Her path stems from Buddhism and being introduced to meditation at a young age. She combines ancient teachings with personal life experiences to help students find a deeper presence both on and off the mat. Inspired by her travels and trainings in New Zealand and Bali, her offerings take a slow and gentle approach allowing you to connect more intimately to yourself as you surrender and find balance mentally, physically, and spiritually. Rachel is Yoga Alliance certified in Hatha, Vinyasa, Bhakti, and Restorative Yoga. She is deeply immersed in womens health studies and loves to incorporate this wisdom into her classes.
Rebekah Yoro is currently participating in an advanced yoga studies 300hr teacher training program. She is working towards registering as a RYT 500. Expressing herself through dance and movement has always been a huge part of her life. Her passion for yoga began while she was getting her B.S. in Kinesiology with a concentration in Wellness at Cal State Monterey Bay when she signed up for her first yoga class. In seeking for more knowledge in yoga and the mind, body, spirit connection, she found herself in a 200hr teacher training program in 2013.
Rebekah is excited to share her knowledge and strives to make yoga safe and accessible to everyone. She embraces being a forever yoga student. Her enthusiasm to share yoga with students and the community grows deeper every day.
Shakuntla Chandra has been practicing yoga for the last twenty years. She has taught in various schools and while visiting New Zealand. Shakuntala has trained under the Sivananda Yoga Vendanta Center in Fiji. There she had achieved spiritual peace and good health. She is happy to teach the proper asanas, pranayama, meditation, relaxation, and the chanting of mantras. Om Peace, Peace, Peace.
Steph is an RYT® 200 committed to an integrative approach for nourishing and empowering the whole self with a focus on intelligent sequencing, mindful movement, and breathwork. She also has a background in law, higher education, and nonprofit work.
Suzy Adra, PhD is an artist, certified yoga instructor, energy healing practitioner, and trauma release practitioner. She currently facilitates somatic movement and creative process workshops that inspire one to embrace their creative abilities. Suzy also offers holistic health coaching.
Suzy has written articles for yogapedia.com and published several articles for the Journal: Challenging Organizations and Society- reflective hybrids.
She is the founder of Bīja Healing Sanctuary and the creatress of ArtkeyTypes, a therapeutic painting process. She holds a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Her dissertation is entitled: The States of Presence and Insight in the Painting Process. She self-published her first book on September 10, 2020.