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.
Gina Decker ______
Gina began the practice of yoga 20 years ago. Working as a Deputy Sheriff at that time, a doctor recommended she look into yoga to gain more flexibility. She went on to teaching yoga and later to teaching others how to teach this amazing practice. Born and raised in California, Gina has lived in the Inland Empire for 50 years. She has been teaching in the Inland Empire since 2001. She completed her 200 level teacher training with Devi Yoga in Claremont, Ca. After completing two other teacher trainings including YogaWorks and YogaFit, Gina received her 500 level teacher training with Cloud Nine Yoga under the direction of Erika Faith.
Gina retired as a Deputy Sheriff in 2011 and began working full time as a yoga educator. She currently assists different studios with their teacher trainings as well as Southern California University of Health Sciences. Gina continues to be a student by expanding her education. She received her certificate as an Ayurvedic Practitioner from the American University of Complimentary Medicine in 2013. Other certificates include but not limited to Yoga Tune Up®, Aerial Yoga and Reiki Mastership.
Gina has experienced the healing of yoga on the mind, body and spirit and loves sharing the gift that was bestowed on her so many years ago.
Greta took her first yoga class at Cloud 9 Divine Hot Yoga in Albuquerque, New Mexico when she was seventeen years old, and has been practicing ever since. As a former ballet dancer, she was accustomed to the strength and flexibility involved in asana practice, but ultimately was drawn to yoga for its emphasis towards spirituality and self-healing. During the summer of 2016, Greta completed a 200-hour teacher training program with AngelHeal Yoga (RYS-200) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Now, she is certified to teach hot and room temperature yoga classes, specializing in vinyasa flow and “warm & gentle” varieties. Greta’s classes seek to emphasize the power of positive affirmations, encouraging students to continually manifest optimism within their daily lives.
When she isn’t practicing yoga, Greta enjoys immersing herself in nature by going jogging, hiking, and camping. As a sophomore at Pitzer College, she is a hard-working student interested in pursuing a major in Environmental Analysis, and a minor in Studio Art. Greta is incredibly grateful to be a part of the Yoga Unit community.
Alan Alcid ______
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.”
Bianca Whaley ______
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.
Monica Mathews ______
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.
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.
Caught up in the struggle of trying to improve oneself, Kayla's first exposure to yoga in 2011 opened her eyes to the art of self-acceptance. Yoga became the grounding force that compliments her fiery east coast spirit. She sought to deepen her practice in Kaia Yoga's 200-hour Teacher Training. Outside of her YTT certification in 2013, Kayla has formally studied Buddhism as well as Anatomy and Physiology to further her holistic understanding of yoga. She also lived for five months in Nepal in 2016, immersed in the culture of Eastern philosophy to which yoga is tied. Teaching all abilities from hesitant beginners to fellow athletes to practitioners of multiple lifetimes, Kayla strives to help her students cultivate strength, contentment in self, and compassion for others. Off her mat, Kayla studies Politics and Literature at Pitzer College and competes on the Pomona-Pitzer track team.
Smyrna is an RYT-200 and completed her 200-hour level training with Yoga Medicine founded by Tiffany Cruikshank. She is continuing her training through the Yoga Medicine 500-hour training program to advance her knowledge and further serve the community. Through creative sequencing, wit, a joyful spirit, and the occasional bit of sarcasm, Smyrna hopes to guide and inspire others to enjoy the benefits of yoga. With each class, the mind, body, and spirit is attended to empower people to find a little more space, to sweat, to breathe, to find compassion and love for oneself and ultimately share that compassion and love with the world.
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