Movement and athletic endeavors have always come naturally to me from a young age, and this enabled me to excel in amateur competitive golf from my early 30s into my 50s. Unfortunately, 25 years of golfing and three years of playing on a pro-am level on the Hong Kong Amateur National Golf Team resulted in persistent back pain that hindered the quality of my life.
My introduction to yoga was what guided me on the path to conquering my back pain. It’s therapeutic elements helped me not only with the physical healing, but has also helped me find my inner self. I have found solid emotional footing and contentment with the practice of yoga. Teaching yoga came after years of practice and trainings and recently from Annie Carpenter, a renowned yoga teacher/trainer.
I am also a Nia(Neuromuscular Integrative Action) practitioner and a Black Belt Nia teacher as well. My passion for Yoga and Nia is the fuel for creating an energizing, expressive, and healing experience for myself and my students and I invite you to come and join me, as teaching yoga and Nia is the best thing that has happened to me.
Lisa Menard Schmahl completed her first Hatha Yoga teacher training ten years after discovering the transformative power of the breath. She soon shifted from teaching friends in her backyard to leading classes overlooking the Chicago skyline. 2013 inspired change, relocating Lisa and family to the South Bay area. Her love of play is evident in her teachings. Classes are alignment based allowing students a deeper understanding of Hatha Yoga. Energizing breathwork, calming meditation, and challenging asana, all lead to transformation in body and mind. Lisa believes that an understanding of the practice is more empowering than mastering poses, and encourages students to open themselves to the beauty and depth of their hearts. When not having fun in the classroom or on the mat, you can find her laughing and playing with her husband and dog along the oceanfront.
Jennifer Allen Richard began practicing yoga nearly twenty years ago at the Jivamukti center in New York City. Throughout the years, as a journalist and on-air reporter, yoga has remained the anchor in her creative life.Here at Palos Verdes Yoga, Jennifer has taught yoga to football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, and volleyball players in her Yoga for Athletes program. As the daughter of a pro football coach, she grew up with a deep understanding of athletes – and the clear balance between mind and body in movement. Jennifer brings this knowledge onto the mat, guiding students through sessions that are physically challenging yet mentally steadying, encouraging all to tap into their own inner strength. Jennifer is a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher. She received a 200-hour certification from Planet Yoga, and completed a 300-hour Advanced SmartFLOW certification from Master teacher Annie Carpenter. Jennifer is also the creator of _PRACTICE a website devoted to linking athletes and yoga at www.jennifer-allen-practice.com
Born to hippy parents in the late 70’s, practicing yoga as a little girl was a common occurrence with her mother as her first teacher. After enduring a knee injury playing college soccer, Leah found that through a practice of healthy living and yoga she could still participate in the many sports that she has always loved. Beginning her teacher trainings in 2006, through YogaFit created by Beth Shaw, she embraced the beauty of yoga. She found her way from a career in sales and event planning, to what she has found to be her true path and passion as a yoga teacher. She is Yoga Alliance RYT 200-hour Certified and is continuing her studies to deepen her understanding of yoga. She loves teaching a variety of classes, but her passion lies in leading a challenging flow class that leaves her students feeling physically strong, internally calm and with a yoga glow.
Michael Aspinwall first tried yoga in 2001, when a collegiate rowing injury made him a candidate for back surgery. This diagnosis and his doctor’s less-than-stellar bedside manner were enough to send Michael on a search for alternative therapy. He walked down the street to YogaWorks, and into his first Iyengar yoga class. It didn’t take Michael long to understand the power of yoga, since it meant pain relief and the ability to finish his rowing career.
After college, Michael stuck with yoga, exploring different styles and deepening his practice. He took YogaWorks’ first intensive teacher training with Annie Carpenter in 2005 and began teaching flow classes at UCLA shortly after. He continued to practice with great teachers like Annie, Sara Ivanhoe, Heath House, Vinnie Marino, Chris Stein, and so many more.
Now, Michael teaches a yoga-based recovery class at HeyDay Elite Fitness in San Pedro, giving CrossFitters the opportunity to heal and recover from the intensity of their exercise regime. A teacher’s teacher, Michael’s classes balance the structure and alignment ingrained in his background with serendipitous release of vinyasa yoga.
Eunjoo Pacifici, Pharm.D., Ph.D. has been practicing yoga for over ten years under the tutelage of a number of wonderful teachers including Maggie Mellor (traditional Hatha style) & Linda DiCarlo (Iyengar style) at the Westlake Yoga in Westlake Village, California; Tracy Bogart at the Triangle Yoga in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and most recently, Robyn Marin (vinyasa style) at Robyn’s Energy in Motion. Eunjoo’s own teaching style emphasizes proper alignment and breathing while moving through deep and slow flow yoga. As a licensed healthcare professional and a university educator, Eunjoo explores ways to holistically incorporate yoga practice to enhance one’s overall quality of life.
Sarah discovered yoga when she moved from Boston to the west coast over 10
years ago. After years of competitive dance and gymnastics, yoga felt like
a natural physical progression, but what she hadn't anticipated was the rad journey it would present beyond the body and into the realm of mind and spirit. It was instant love.
In her classes, Sarah's goal is to promote a safe environment that
encourages each student to honor their own process of healing, acceptance, and growth. She brings her love of dance and choreography to her creative vinyasa flow sequences and looks to create a union between breath, physical strength, and mindful movement.
Sarah received her yoga teacher training certification (Yoga Alliance RYT 200-hour) through Yoga Mittra, under the guidance of Genevieve Pujalet, Shelley Williams, and Suzy Nece. As she continues to deepen her practice, she hopes to work with veterans, as well as lead inspiring yoga retreats around the globe.
Natalie was a longtime, self-proclaimed “cardio addict” spending hours (literally) on a treadmill. In 2014 Natalie discovered CrossFit and fell in love with the high-intensity, constantly changing combination of cardio, body weight exercises, and weightlifting style of workouts. More importantly, she was loving how that style of working out had transformed her body into a lean, strong machine. To date, she has competed in six competition where she placed top 5 in three, first place in one, with several more on the near horizon.
With a CrossFit Level 1 certification, a Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, a coach in San Pedro, and a background in sports psychology, she not only aims to motivate and support people to push their boundaries in a safe way, but to also share her passion with others.
Michelle Libeu-Babich is the studio owner. She has a style of teaching which is all her own. Her approach is deeply intuitive and grounded from many years of study and practice. Movement has always been Michelle’s backbone. It began with dance, surfing, snowboarding, and then yoga found her. What a pleasant surprise that all this movement brought her to stillness. She has been learning from a collection of teachers for the past two decades and will always consider herself a student first. Weaving together different aspects of yoga in a way that is clear, powerful, and accessible. Michelle strives to keep every class fresh with a new blend of themes and movements to match an ever changing mix of students. No two bodies are the same and no two practices are either. Her hope is to guide students to connect more deeply with their own authentic power and spirit. She holds a sacred space where healing and transformation arise naturally.
The best way to get to know Michelle is to practice with her. Come take her All Levels Yoga class Sunday mornings at 10:30.....some times there is live music!
*Private Lessons upon request
Originally from England, Alison Cameron came to the States to marry her American sweetheart 30-odd years ago. After careers as diverse as chef concierge and kindergarten teacher, and taking time out to mother her beautiful daughter, Alison began studying yoga in 2005. It was clear to her from the start that yoga was far more than simple exercise: the calming effects on the mind intrigued her. Yoga naturally led to an interest in meditation, which eventually led to rigorous annual ten day silent retreats. Alison has attended workshops all over the L.A. area with luminaries such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Amma the Hugging Saint, Jack Kornfield, and Sharon Salzberg. The spiritual questing continues with Voice Dialogue, art and collage, inquiry, book study and small meditation groups. Always, yoga is the constant: so many teachers over the years offering their different styles: physically challenging classes, fun classes, meditative classes, classes heavy on ritual and chanting and breath work. Recently Alison took the plunge to become a teacher herself and completed Yoga World’s 200 hour teacher training with Gabriel Hall. She continues to grow in finding her own voice. She incorporates the teachings of many of those early teachers who so inspired her, but her preferred style is to teach gentle yoga, or as she puts it, “lots of rolling around on the floor with bolsters.” Now in her 60’s (and still happily married!), Alison is delighted to have found what she wants to be at long last. Her classes are designed to stretch, strengthen and relax the body, and soothe, focus and balance the mind, while using large dollops of humor and inspiration. All are welcome.
Karen Sehgal has devoted her life to the study of the Mind, Body and Spirit. A graduate of California State University, Long Beach, Karen holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Minor in Kinesiology/Science Exercise. For over twenty years, Karen has been an integral part of the Wellness community here in the South Bay.
Karen holds a 500-hour Yoga Certification with the Yoga Alliance. In 2012, she completed a 300-hour Advanced SmartFLOW Teacher Training with Master Teacher Annie Carpenter. Last fall, she completed a 100-hour training in Restorative Yoga with Annie Carpenter. Karen is also a certified Pilates instructor and owner of Joy of Movement, a Pilates studio in Rancho Palos Verdes (for 8 years)
Karen believes in the importance of healing the whole person - mind, body, and spirit. Her desire to understand the holistic being has guided her to delve further into the study of the mind, receiving certifications in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Life Coaching and Hypnosis.
In Karen’s Vinyasa Yoga class, you will learn to unite your breath (pranayama) and your movement/posture (asana) into a fluid dance. The sweat-inducing flow will cleanse the body and clear the mind. Karen’s precise instruction attends to physical alignment and core stability.
Above all, Karen feels the greatest gift of yoga is its ability to be a tool for self-examination. For her, the practice of yoga has been the key resource that enabled her to succeed as a single mother for over ten years. A lifelong Palos Verdes resident, Karen recently remarried and feels blessed to be a full time mom of two girls (ages 13 and 2).
As a holistic, compassionate and patient practitioner, Karen loves to teach and empower others through their practice. “I truly believe that life’s challenges push us to evolve and grow,” she says. Experience her class, and feel grounded as you blossom into your day ahead.