COURTNEY SHORT 200 Hour Certified- (Yoga Teacher and Co-owner of The Yoga Mat)
It has been said that yoga is a vast subject and understanding it is a lifelong pursuit. Committed to a lifestyle of balance and healthy habits, Courtney’s love of yoga as a means to empower those around her with an avenue to reach their full potential pushed her to follow her dream of opening a fun and friendly studio where anyone could pursue their practice of yoga. Courtney embraced her passion for yoga and decided to dive deeper into the journey by taking the 200 hour journey for Hot Power Fusion, followed by another 200 hour training in Vinyasa at Corepower Yoga, Huntington Beach.

NATALIE OSTAD- 200 Hour Certified (Co-owner of The Yoga Mat)
Understanding that yoga is not just a workout - it's about working on yourself, Natalie grasped the beauty and depth of what yoga has to offer and determined to push aside all worries and fears and share that beauty with those around her. The desire to enrich and grow a community of strength and balance gave life to creating a welcoming and enjoyable studio in the heart of Orange.

JENAI NELSON200 Hour Certified (Yoga and Pilates Teacher)
Jenai took her first  yoga class at her local YMCA shortly after high school. She mainly appreciated the well rounded workout that included stretching, strengthening, balance and breath. After practicing on and off for several years, Jenai turned to her practice during an emotionally challenging time in her life and discovered the emotional and stress reducing benefits a consistent yoga practice could offer. In 2009, she found herself so inspired by her yoga teachers and transformative effects she experienced that she decided she needed to share her passion by becoming a teacher herself. Jenai completed her teacher training  certification through YogaWorks Orange County.

RENEE SCHWAN200 Hour Certified (Yoga Teacher)
Renee first discovered yoga 10 years ago in a library book. She began photo copying pages of asanas to take home to practice. After a while her desire to learn more about yoga grew and she decided to find a local studio. Renee was amazed at how she felt after her first class led by an instructor. She realized there was a lot more to yoga than just the position her body was in. Enjoying the sense of calm that this practice gave her, it didn’t take long before she started attending several classes a week. Yoga became more than a physical practice for her; evolving into a spiritual practice of balance and peace of mind. She committed to being a lifelong student of yoga.  As she grew in her practice it became clear she had a passion to share the joy she found in yoga with others.

Renee is so grateful she was able to complete her 200 hour yoga teacher training with YogaWorks and is thankful everyday for the opportunity to teach and be taught the many gifts of yoga. Guided by the belief that yoga can be for everyone, Renee’s goal is to help facilitate a moving meditation throughout each asana practice. Yogis of all levels can enjoy Renee’s classes centered on breath and alignment. She hopes to hold a space free from self judgment or expectation. Come as you are and together we’ll move forward from there!  

AARON BENNETT200 Hour Certified (Yoga Teacher)
Aaron discovered yoga while an undergraduate at UCLA. Coming from a background of weightlifting, his body immediately got a rude awakening. His lack of flexibility, body awareness, and general health were smacked right into his face. This emotional and physical humbling continued each and every class. Yet he came back because he felt incredible when he left. Soon he became more connected to his body, his breath, and his emotions. He loved feeling the freedom in his body that yoga gave him. He was hooked!

Coming from a sports and physical background, he found styles of yoga and teachers that challenged him. He continued to come back to classes that pushed his edge physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

He began teaching several years later. Aaron loves helping his students find more freedom in their body. Yoga has allowed Aaron to move with more strength, grace, freedom, and mindfulness throughout his day. His passion is sharing this gift with others. 

COLLEEN BLACKFORD- 500 Hour Certified  (Yoga Teacher)
Colleen discovered yoga during the early 70’s along with meditation. After year’s of aerobics and weight training, she returned to her truth and became a Certified Yoga Teacher through Cloud Nine Yoga at Soul at Home Yoga Studio, and is also registered with Yoga Alliance and lives in California. She knew that yoga brought Healing, Relaxation, and Peace into her own life and she wanted to share that with everyone. Passionate about yoga, Colleen sought to learn more and more. “It felt as though I came home to my authentic self. I believe that each of us hold that burning LIGHT inside ourselves and, by listening to the language of our bodies, we become morecompassionate and kind to our selves and others. Soon we radiate LOVE to all Human beings on Earth.” During Colleen’s classes, she focuses on LEELA, the nature of Supreme Consciousness or playful nature on the mat. This creates a positive life and enables us to not take life too seriously. She stresses the importance of the BREATH and how it creates SPACE physically and emotionally. Her classes include Gentle Flow, Prenatal, and her “true love ”Restorative Yoga”.  She also frequently includes Reiki II, aromatherapy, meditation, and sound healing with Tibetan bowls, ocean drums, chimes, and rain sticks in her classes.

Colleen previously taught Art Therapy at Santa Ana College for eight years, working with various age groups. She has also taught Art Healing Therapy at numerous Yoga retreats. Her love of learning has led her to continue seeking out workshops and she continues to learn from her students who she considers her best teachers. 

JODY THEISSEN200 Hour Certified  (Yoga Teacher)
Jody began her Yogic Journey many years ago and has never turned back. Grounded in the principles of Yoga, Jody employs meditative techniques, breathing exercises and flows focusing on a deeper understanding of what it means to be fully present, awake and alive. A graduate from Cloud Nine Yoga, she continued her training in the healing arts of Thai Yoga Therapy as well as Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Sound Therapy. A lifelong learner she continues to grow and learn thru students, teachers, retreats and workshops. Her approach emphasizes empowering each student to fully own their practice through mindfulness in movement and action, on all levels, both on and off the mat.  

EVE DEL ROSARIO- 500 Hour Certified  (Yoga Teacher)
After reading articles about yoga for a couple of years in Yoga Journal, Eve realized it would probably benefit her more if she practiced it. She bought a yoga mat and took her newfound epiphany to a yoga class. From that first class on she became aware of how yoga transforms, heals, opens, connects the mind with the body, and inspires the spirit.

Eve completed her 200 hour Teacher Training through Yoga Works in Costa Mesa, CA, in the summer of 2011; her teachers were Kori Flechtner Strobl and Casey Coda. Her initial intention was to deepen her own practice, but realized (another epiphany) that if she can help others by guiding them through their own yoga practice, then it would be an honor. In Albert Einstein’s words, “Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living,” and teaching yoga to others, Eve feels, will hopefully aid those to find more awareness within and reach their authentic selves. 

ALEXIS KEMP- 500 Hour Certified (Yoga Teacher)
Alexis first started doing yoga almost 10 years ago in her theatre classes at Cal State: Fullerton where she was working on her musical theatre degree. Soon after, what started off as a means to warm up for the stage, yoga became her life focus. While finishing up her degree, Alexis received her yoga teaching certification. She has been teaching full-time for about 8 years now and holds one of the highest levels of Yoga Alliance certification: E-RYT 500. Alexis is the co-founder of Shanti Shanti Yoga School, leading two yoga teacher trainings a year. Even though Alexis is busy teaching others how to teach, she makes it a point to still remain a student herself by frequenting yoga classes and attending yoga conferences all over the country. She teaches workshops on pre/post natal, kids and restorative yoga. She leads about two retreats in Santa Barbara every year and was even filmed in a yoga DVD in Costa Rica. Her style is true to vinyasa flow, but her class formats are always changing, incorporating restorative poses with the regular practice to help bring the focus even deeper within. Join her early in the morning and see how her class can help you to open up your body and nurture your soul.

ALLISON HOLT200 Hour Certified (Yoga Teacher)
Coming to yoga after a lifetime of competitive sports, yoga has replaced the competitive drive with an unparalleled inner peace and sense of well-being. With the instruction of many amazing teachers, I fell in love with not only the physical aspect of yoga, the asanas, but the spiritual and philosophic element have been life-altering.  I love the infinite opportunities for physical and spiritual growth thr

BIRGITTE JACKY200 Hour Certified (Yoga Teacher)
Birgitte Jacky began doing yoga in 2004 after many years of competitive waterskiing had given her back problems. She soon recognized the healing effects of yoga along with the emotional benefits coming from tapping into the intelligence of the body. She took the 200-hour teacher training in 2010 at YogaWorks in Costa Mesa, with teacher Kori Fletcher and Michelle McKay. Since then she has been teaching in the Danish Church in Yorba Linda. She is also inspired by Kundalini yoga, especially Gurmukh, Golden Bridge. She likes to teach a combination of gentle and restorative poses with more strenuous and heating poses in a flowing manner to hopefully create a balance between effort and ease and maximize the benefits.

LOUISE WITH-SEIDELIN- 500 Hour Certified (Yoga Teacher)
Louise is a very natural, enthusiastic and strong yogi who guides her students through a creative and well sequenced yoga practice. 
At the age of 17 Louise began taking yoga classes and later became a yoga instructor in 2002. She taught at Yoga Shakti and received guidance from Jnana Nanda Bharati, a yogi from the Himalayas. Louise has also studied under David Swanson, Erich Schiffman, Ana Forest and Dharma Mittra. In 2008 Louise went to San Francisco to learn contortion and worked at Yoga Tree SF, San Francisco’s premier yoga studio. During her time in the Bay Area Louise received her 200-hour teacher training from Dharma Mittra and from Yoga Tree SF, she also finished her contortion training and became a contortion teacher at Circus Center San Francisco.

In 2012 Louise moved back to Southern California and is currently taking her 500-hour teacher training at Yoga Shakti. She continues her pursuit to share health and happiness through yoga.

ASHLYN MEDINA200 Hour Certified (Yoga Teacher)
Ashlyn Medina will always have her mother to thank for dragging her to her first yoga class in 2009. During a time when she was experiencing anxiety and depression, yoga brought healing. Instead of feeling intimidated by others in class, she felt an overwhelming sense of acceptance, not just for where she was physically, but also for where she was mentally and emotionally. Touched by all aspects of yoga, from its physical benefits to its philosophy, as well as the generous community it cultivates, Ashlyn chose to devote herself to becoming a part of it. 

Soft-spoken and compassionate, Ashlyn received her Yoga Alliance RYT 200 certification in 2012 with the specific desire to help others’ find the same healing and strength she found. Influenced by yogis of all backgrounds, Ashlyn incorporates various styles of yoga into her classes. Whether she is teaching new students or life-long yogis, she is committed to creating a safe space for people to grow. Taught with an open heart, Ashlyn’s classes will leave you feeling refreshed and grounded. Photo coming soon.

YVONNE MARDER200 Hour Certified (Yoga Teacher)
Yvonne is a Southern California native who loves the beach, music and of course Yoga! It wasn't long after being introduced to the Yoga practice a few years ago that she realized how deep her personal connection was and how beneficial it can be physically, mentally, and spiritually. Never in her life has she found something to be as helpful, when dealing with the obstacles and struggles in which all life encompasses. In light of this realization,
Yvonne decided to take the next step and become a certified yoga instructor. She graduated with 200 hours of Yoga Teacher Training, studying under the truly inspirational Tamal Dodge at The Yoga Collective in Venice, California. Now having a better understanding of the practice and seeing how far she's been able to come on her own journey, she couldn't be happier with her decision! Yoga is something that has changed her life forever and now she is thrilled to be able to share this experience with others. Though this is her main focus, she is also currently working as a certified Optician/Manager and have an extensive background in music. As she continues her journey, she is finding ways to integrate these other skill sets into my practice to create a unique experience for all those who participate with her. Photo coming soon.

HALEY STRUCKHOFF200 Hour Certified (Yoga Teacher)
Haley is drawn to yoga for it’s ability to nourish the mind while challenging the body. She uses this mind-body connection to maintain balance in her life. Particularly, she enjoys incorporating the traditions of Ashtanga yoga, Yin Yoga and mindfulness in her practice. Since 2007 Haley has lived and practiced yoga in many parts of the world. She is thankful for all of the teachers who have inspired her, including those at Just Yoga in Corona, CA, where she completed her RYT-200 teacher training. Haley is also a Registered Nurse. She enjoys drawing from her nursing backgroud to enhance her yoga practice, and vice-versa. She is happy to have the opportunity to contribute to the wellness of her community through teaching at The Yoga Mat. Photo coming soon.