Karen began practicing yoga in 1998, a few months after her first child was born. She realized that her body wasn't quite ready to get back to the workouts she had done before pregnancy, so she tried something new: yoga. She found that it not only restored her body, but taught her to center her mind. Yoga gave her the tools to keep her balanced while juggling all the challenges of career and family life. She wanted to share this with others and began teaching yoga in 2004. She works with her husband who is a chiropractor and she passes the knowledge she's gained from yoga to their patients to inform them about posture, core strength, stretching, and stress management. Her yoga classes are heavily influenced by the common physical problems she sees in people every day. These conditions are mostly caused by overuse of muscles in work and exercise, lack of movement, poor posture and stress. In her classes she seeks to undo what's been done to the body during the day and create awareness of the little things that we do that may cause harm or discomfort to all of our many body parts. Karen's goal in teaching is for her students to take their yoga practice and carry it with them throughout the rest of the day for the health and happiness of their mind and body.
As a public school educator for over 20 years, Joel knows the importance of creating student-centered yoga classes. Placing the needs of the student is foremost. He brings this philosophy front and center to his asanas with a focal point on technique and pumped-up motivating sequences. Joel completed his teacher training at the Yoga Unit in 2015. His yoga journey has brought him strength, fitness, vitality, health, greater spirituality, and immense joy. Now he wants to share the joy of yoga with as many people as possible.
Bianca is a 200hr certified yoga instructor. She was trained in Vinyasa Flow by Katie Brauer and Danny Arguetty in San Diego, CA. Bianca is extremely passionate about yoga and she believes if you can breathe, then you can do yoga! She sees yoga as a beautiful practice that helps people become in tune with their bodies which helps them become more aware and mindful on and off that mat. Bianca offers a unique experience in her classes paired with dynamic sequencing that nourishes people’s being. She helps people make that leap from thinking about what they are doing in their practice to feeling what they are doing.
Alan loves yoga for who it has helped him become and for how it has transformed others. For a long time, he just dabbled in yoga and would fit it in where he could, given a super busy schedule as a professional photographer, web programmer and a family man. He first unrolled his mat in 2007 and, in that moment, the course of his life was changed for the better. The practice and philosophy of yoga resonated immediately and, with regular practice and study, has been woven into the fiber of his day to day life. Now, because of his daily practice, Alan is a stronger, better, truer person in both subtle and obvious ways. These impacts compelled him to share the practice and become an instructor. As an avid yoga practitioner and teacher at work, Alan strives to create an open and safe environment in which new and experienced students can comfortably practice. He has been practicing Hot/Bikram Yoga for about 6 years now and has been in yoga training for about 3 years, getting versed in Hatha and Hot Yoga using the Bishnu Ghosh Lineage. Alan has built an expertise in yoga postures through Tony Sanchez Training using the Bishnu Ghosh Lineage. This art has helped him stay fit and healthy. Alan is now a Core 26 and Core 40 instructor, a yoga method derived from the Bishnu Ghosh Lineage and Tony Sanchez. “Thank you to all for your love, patience, and support. I look forward to being of service to each one of you in the future! Peace and Love, Alan.”
Yvette is a 200 hr registered yoga teacher. She graduated from our very own teacher training here at The Yoga Unit. Yvette comes from a background of dance and gymnastics with a passion for many styles of fitness. She has practiced yoga for many years, along with Crossfit, hiking and other outdoor activities. After some traumatic changes in her personal life, Yvette found balance, peace and healing in her own yoga practice. She felt strongly at that point that she needed to share this love with others and made the choice to get certified! Yvette is an amazing yogi, phenomenal Crossfitter and all-around sweet person. She loves a challenge of teaching a level 2 class, but also finds peace of mind in balance in a restorative Or Yin class. She is excited to be a part of The Yoga Unit family and looks forward to sharing your yoga journey with you.
Monica is a registered EYRT 500 Yoga Instructor, receiving her first 200 hrs of teacher training with Yoga Works. She is also a certified aerobics and step instructor with AFAA, and personal trainer. Located in Southern California, she is the instructor for Teacher Training courses at the Yoga Unit, teaches at The University of LaVerne, and the Pilgrim Place Retirement Community where she specializes in yoga for seniors and modifications for special populations. Monica has published a yoga practice manual “Yoga Wherever You Are” and companion DVD. With 25 years experience she continues to be inspired by workshops with gifted master teachers such as David Swenson, Shiva Rea, Sharon Gannon and David Life, Kino MacGregor, Elise Browning Miller (specializing in yoga for scoliosis) and Baron Baptiste. She is committed to advancement of holistic health in the general population. Through her classes and workshops she promotes optimal health through the combination of practical, scientific, and yogic principles.
Aiko took her first yoga class as a part of an Anatomy course during her junior year of high school at West Torrance. She loved how the practice gave her a floating feeling upon awakening, and has kept yoga as a part of her life ever since. Aiko is a Yoga Alliance RYT-200 teacher, who graduated from the Yoga Unit in the Spring of 2016. Through this training, she is qualified in a wide range of styles, from Yin and gentle restorative yoga to higher level Vinyasa flows with inversions. Her knowledge of the human body and spirit are stemmed from core studies both at the Pacific Unitarian Universalist Church and as a Biology and Psychology graduate from San Diego State University. She is an avid reader and researcher, and continues to search for new and improved ways to engage her students, providing maximum benefits in every aspect of the practice. She aims that her students may gain a sense of peace, understanding, and loving growth with continued practice. Aiko is currently attending Western University of Health Sciences in pursuit of attaining her Doctorate of Optometry. When not in practice or study, she enjoys wilderness hikes, soccer, singing, and laughter with friends and family. She hopes to welcome any and all able yogis to the Yoga Unit 2
I began my yoga journey in 2004 after the birth of my second daughter. Having always been athletic, and active, I felt I needed something else, which led me to yoga. The first time I took a yoga class I had an internal shift, everything changed, filling my heart with joy. I knew I had found my calling. My goal is to bring that transformation and illumination to my students. A true believer that yoga is “an internal approach”, bringing together the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. I completed my 200 hour Holistic Yoga Flow training with Travis Eliot, and faculty at Kripalu Institute and Daniel Head Instructor and owner of The Yoga Room Redlands. I am a Yoga Alliance registered RYT 200, Certified Yin with Travis Eliot, Yoga medicine 500 in progress with Tiffany Cruikshank, and a Reiki practitioner trained by Christie M. Smirl. I continue my education through attending and completing related workshops such as primal movements, yoga for arthritis, and intro to Ayurvedic as well as training with renowned teachers such as, Kino McGregor, Tiffany Cruikshank Yoga Medicine, Brian Kest, Deepak Chopra, and Dalai Lama.
I have practiced yoga for over 10 years, beginning with Monica Mathews way back in the LA Fitness days. In 2017, after several years of toying with the idea of teaching, I decided to take the plunge into Teacher Training. Graduating in 2017 with my 200 hour Vinyasa certification through Monica and the Yoga Unit, I am now a Yoga Alliance certified Vinyasa instructor. Since graduation I have been teaching Vinyasa, Restorative and Flow classes for the Yoga Unit. In my own practice, I gravitate toward a challenging power vinyasa that includes inversions and balance postures. My teaching style is a bit more mellow and grounded. My Flow and Restore class melds a moderately challenging flow with an extended, relaxing restorative cool down. You can also find me subbing a variety of other classes including: Vinyasa, Mindful Flow and Restorative.
After 25 years, I left full-time work in 2014 and haven’t looked back. I’ve always lived an active lifestyle and found movement is healing and necessary daily. After careers that required being physically fit and active daily, she found it hard to slow down: in stepped yoga.I had practiced yoga in support of my other activities for several years and now find yoga as a great means of transitioning to a new lifestyle. In 2016, I furthered my practice, completing my 200hr Teaching Training with Monica Mathews. My love of yoga brings depth to my life. It is very enjoyable seeing how yoga changes people’s lives for the better. I’m also a US Army veteran and completed the Warriors at Ease Level 1 Certification which focuses on yoga and meditation to support the health and healing of service members, veterans and their families. In 2018, 3 wonderful women partners and myself founded the non-profit Humble Warrior Wellness & Yoga, Inc which provides Wellness and Yoga Retreats for women veterans. Women Serving Women Who Served.