OUR TEACHERS

 
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Alyssa Marty | Owner, RYT 200

Alyssa has lived most her life in the Stockton area. She has an affinity for old souls, traveling the world, and personal fitness. Before she became your yoga teacher, Alyssa was a Sun Devil at Arizona State University. With a degree in Public Relations, Alyssa's career led her to fast-paced lifestyles in Scottsdale and San Francisco. Looking for peace amongst iPhones and emails, she found her solace helping to heal others through yoga.  Alyssa has returned to Stockton to share yoga with the community she loves so much.


Amber Kavehkar | RYT 200

Amber's grown from athlete to coach to teacher to administrator with a ton of odd jobs along the way. In graduate school she found yoga as a last resort to help with past athletic injuries and mounting life challenges.  Since her very first class, Amber has found yoga to be the most intriguing and challenging spiritual practice. She enjoys sharing the teachings of yoga philosophy for clarity, and the asana practice styles of Vinyasa and Yin, to balance power and cultivate grace. Amber's looking forward to sharing all that yoga has taught her with SHINE's yogis!

LeeAnn Larson | RYT 200

LeeAnn comes to us from small town Ashland, OH and will always consider herself a mid-westerner. Her yoga practice began 5 years ago when she realized she needed to calm down, and took up teaching yoga to help. As a high intensity group fitness instructor for 10 years her body and mind needed a place to find rest and peace. Yoga helped to bring Sabbath during a weary time. Just because LeeAnn craves the calm and stillness of yoga does not mean her classes are quiet or boring. Her style is playful and fun with enough of a challenge to keep it interesting and the mental space necessary to reset after a long day. With two degrees in Education LeeAnn is a teacher at heart; her personal motto is, "lead with kindness," and you will be welcomed with open arms as you discover, or continue, on your own yoga path.  She completed her 200 hour Teacher Training in Modesto through the Art of Yoga..

Nicole Gomez-Varelas | RYT 200

Yoga practice began for Nicole when she joined the gym in 2003. Her introduction to yoga was not an in depth one, and for that reason she decided to delve deeper in a more formal fashion. She began teaching a vinyasa style practice at the gym in 2008 and continues to evolve in her teaching as well as her practice with thoughtful communication intended for growth. Much like the way the truth of yoga finds it's way into one's life, little by little completing a 200 hour yoga teacher program came about in 2012. The vinyasa style of yoga has been a creative outlet that has brought countless hours of joy to Nicole and those who appreciate a good workout in their yoga practice.


Natalie Bowman | RYT 200

Natalie received her RYT200 from Joschi Yoga Institute in New York City. With her background as a Division I athlete and her emphasis on loving and caring for our bodies, Natalie enjoys encouraging those in her classes to challenge and expand their practice while focusing on relaxation and rejuvenation. While not on the mat or in the studio, Natalie runs her own non-profit that partners with community projects around the world

Nicole Mathis | RYT 200

Nicole is a gypsy at heart. You can usually find her outdoors with at least one of her 3 kids. Her yoga journey began while she was pregnant with her first child almost 20 years ago. Over the years yoga helped calm her over-active mind and heal her body. In 2000, she decided to share her love of all things yoga by training at White Lotus in Santa Barbara. Her love for philosophy and experience as a massage therapist was a perfect combination for yoga therapy. Nicole's teachings encourages others to become proactive in their exploration of body, mind and spirit through breath-work, meditation, and posture. She believes that yoga is for every body, you just have to find your modification.

Katrina Van Tassell | RYT 200

Katrina's first yoga class was while her mother was pregnant with her and was drawn to practice prenatal yoga! Katrina was exposed to yoga growing up while her mom was an Iyengar teacher, which helped build a strong alignment foundation for her own teaching later on. In college Katrina really dove into her own personal practice. Katrina studied at Twist Yoga School in Edmonds WA, to recieve her 200 RYT and has mentored with Goldie Graham. She just moved to Stockton after teaching yoga full time in San Diego. Her classes seamlessly weave together the physical asana practice with sprinkles of yoga philosophy and breathing techniques.


Kate Guntert

Kate Guntert is a Stockton, native and has lived here pretty much her entire life. She's passionate about barre because she was a classically trained ballet dancer for 15 years and she truly enjoys combining her love for ballet and with her dedication to fitness. Kate is a Leo so she naturally loves to perform! Arabesques are her favorite move because they are one of the BIGGEST and most fluid movements.  Because we can't all be good all the time, her guilty pleasures include fried chicken or Mexican food! No matter your background or experience, Kate takes pride in helping all her students get in touch with their inner ballerina! It's liberating!

Lisa Donahue 

Lisa is a true Stockton girl and PROUD OF IT! She loves barre because it combines her two favorite things, ballet and weights! Plus, a barre booty is a real thing.... Lisa describes herself as a "open-minded  humanitarian with a tendency to be stubborn." A true Aquarius, she tends to need the motivation to stay fit, which is why barre works so well for her, a barre booty alone is motivation enough. Lisa loves Stockton for its beauty. Whether it's the Delta sunsets, the colorful culinary gems, or the people that make up this vivacious city, she feels that this place's beauty is unlike anything else. Her guilty pleasure?  Anything with sugar in it. Gluten-Free baked goods are her kryptonite

Melissa Garfolo

Melissa was born and raised in Stockton and continues to raise her family here. Her love for dance began at the age of four when she took her first dance class! She has been dancing ever since... whether that be in a dance class or on the dance floor. She is passionate about barre because it reconnects her to her dancing roots. Melissa is a Libra, so barre brings balance to her life and is a place of refuge. Melissa loves barre because it combines ballet with other fun elements of exercise and helps us get that barre booty! When Melissa isn't working on her barre booty, you can catch her indulging in her guilty pleasure, Mexican food! Chips and salsa are her weakness!


Michele Stone | RYT200, CPT

Michele took her first yoga classes through the Brentwood Parks and Recreation Department with her mom and sister in the late 90’s.  Her personal practice expanded over the years and she started teaching yoga in 2004.  She eventually ended up making fitness her full-time career, becoming a Personal Trainer in 2006, and a nutrition coach in 2017.  One of her favorite aspects of yoga is the quietness and the feelings of calmness and peacefulness the practice leaves you with.  She also believes that everybody and every BODY can benefit from yoga both mentally and physically.  She loves teaching the slower paced classes with lots of big stretches, because “sometimes its nice just to do things that make us feel great!”   When not teaching or hanging out at a gym, Michele enjoys traveling the world, hiking along the Monterey coast, puppies, reading books, archeology and astronomy, NBA basketball, puzzles and has an awesome re-usable shopping bag collection. 

Melissa Parent

 Melissa is our resident unicorn mermaid kitten. Her spirit is just as colorful and untamed as her hair. Returning home from seven months deployed in the Middle East last year, Melissa has decided to separate from 14 years of combined military service to pursue her health/wellness business, personal training, as well as becoming a yoga instructor. She stays active completing swims from Alcatraz, training for triathlons, marathons and other physical events. In December of 2017, she was able to complete her first 100 hours of yoga instructor training at the Maya Yoga Studio in Maui. Once certified, she intends to focus on yoga and meditation as a treatment for PTSD and trauma. Melissa dreams of moving to the Islands and opening her own yoga studio.