San Diego Yoga Teacher tribe - Flow, Heal or Fly! 

Our La Jolla yoga teaching staff have a variety of beneficial offerings for San Diego yogis - alignment, spiritual, power, restorative, mindfulness, breath work, healing, meditation and much more! 

Read the following Trilogy Sanctuary yoga teacher bios and find what personality and yoga style (vinyasa, aerial, restorative) fit your needs, then book your yoga class on the mat or the air! 

Leila Dora




Leila’s interest in yoga sparked at a very young age with early memories of being intrigued by her mum standing on her head. Her curiosity for all aspects of yoga, physical and spiritual was kindled by the images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses displayed around her home as a child and she started practicing with her mum in her early teens, which further fueled the passion for this practice.

In 2010, Leila spent three months in India to delve deeper into this curiosity. During her time in India, she studied and trained to be a yoga instructor and was brought back to the roots of yoga; how it is actually a way of life, not just movements on a mat. Leila says “I feel that in the West we have come far away from the true meaning of Yoga. It has become just another way of getting fit and getting the body into shape. While finding harmony in the physical body is important in Yoga, creating it in the mind and spirit holds perhaps the greatest benefit. I am so grateful to have the opportunity of sharing the experience of yoga with others.” 

Leila has been teaching yoga since 2010 and aerial yoga since 2012. 


Jonathan Old-Rowe


YOGA: Vinyasa

Fourteen years ago Jonathan began yoga in a teacher training as a practice initiated to quell my mind’s desires and addictions to pain and suffering. “I initially had no clue that the physical body, or my spirit was going to be something I could fall in love with.” 

Through Jonathan’s daily practice and much guidance, the links between breath, mind, body and unique spirit gave a heightened sense of the importance of love on all levels…for the individual self and all beings surrounding it. Yoga has become a big part of every aspect of his life and allows him to remain a thriving, productive being within our world. 

“It is my passion to give all my knowledge to those that seek so that I might be able to inspire them on their own path to their own unique truth within the collective whole. What our world is creating in the physical space is an example of what our intellect and spirits are capable of sustaining in all realms.” - Jon Old-Rowe

Karina Gerschler

YOGA: Aerial, Vinyasa

Karina is a native San Diegan whose creative passions include acting, painting, and directing. Never one to sit still, she travels the world every chance she gets. From the beaches of the Pacific to the forests of Colombia to studios in the Caribbean, she enjoys the many facets that world cultures has to offer. Raised in the city by the sea, she has spent much of her life at the beach, swimming or surfing, bonding with the ocean and letting its ebb and flow shape her own passion for yoga.

She began her yoga journey by attending her first yoga class in 2003. From this experience, her desire to practice swelled into a deep desire to help others witness the peace the ocean has given her. Karina is certified in vinyasa and stand up paddle board yoga. Focusing on breath work, fluid movements, and energy exchange, her intention is to help open space to unify mind, body, and spirit. She will guide your flow, using the nature of water to develop you into an ocean unto yourself: gentle and soft yet strong and powerful.




Tah Groen

YOGA: Healing touch Vinyasa, YTT

Tah has been involved with yoga for most of her life. She started practicing as a teenager after being inspired by a mentor to join a class at age sixteen. This sparked the yoga fire which has been burning ever since! After facing challenges of launching a sportswear line with her husband in the late 80’s and becoming a mother of two daughters, it was time for a healing change. 

It was a pivotal time of transition in her life as she realized the path that called her. She trusted in the age old adage, “do what you love” and this consistently echoed in her mind. “Do what you love” clearly meant to become a teacher and she watched as if by magic as the students came.

In 1996 working simultaneously within the health food industry as a reliable source for nutritional council and support, Tah’s yoga business grew. She was able to open one of the first yoga studios in La Jolla and Shakti Yoga was born.

Now a part of the Trilogy family, Tah teaches vinyasa, healing touch vinyasa and is one of the lead teachers of our Healing Touch Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training (more info).

Heidi Johnson


Heidi enjoys the role of both student and teacher at Trilogy Sanctuary.  “I will always be a student in the realm of physical and internal growth. With over 30 years of experience in a variety of fitness styles my passion is still alive.” From aerobics, step classes, weight training, boot camp, spinning, triathlons, boxing, NIA (white belt certified 2001), and what ever else came along, Heida tried it. She fell hard for Pilates and certified in the late 1990's and again in 2002 when she completed the 500 hour program at Body Arts and Science (BASI), Newport California.  

In October 2014, after teaching Pilates in the La Jolla community for 17 years, Heidi stumbled upon Trilogy Sanctuary in need of a more routine healing and yoga practice, which she found within the movement of silk fabric and healing of aerial yoga. After multiple classes, she became certified in May 2015 with Galaxy Lifestyle and again at Trilogy Sanctuary early 2016.  "I now have the pleasure of blending my skills into the silk and further exploring the benefits of yoga and how it continues to transform me as a whole: Mind, body and spirit. My healing continues as I share my passion with others through the joy of teaching, laughing, and inspiring movement as a way of life." - Heidi

Paulette Madden

YOGA: Lyra

Paulette did her 200 hr RYT yoga certification in 2008 but her real yoga education has come through practicing with Liza Digaetano (of Garage Yoga) and Tim Miller (of the Ashtanga Yoga Center in Encinitas). Her practice and teaching style are largely influenced by ashtanga and tripsichore yoga. She holds a B.S. in kinesiology from San Diego State University with an emphasis in pre-physical therapy so she has an in depth understanding of anatomy and physiology. Along with a daily yoga practice, she takes advantage of living in beautiful San Diego by surfing, doing aerial arts (lyra and trapeze), cooking organic, vegan and raw foods and running her rambunctious golden retriever on the beach.

Danielle Weir

YOGA: Balance and Restore

Dani walked into a yoga studio in search for physical and emotional healing and it quickly became her home. This is where she found her place of connection with something greater than herself. It seemed natural to continue her study and dedicate a bigger portion of her energy to the science that inspires and teaches her every day. Her classes are gentler by nature as she feels a deeper breath can be the first step towards inner peace. She is Reiki certified and astrology curious, weaving all tools she collects into her teaching and every day life.

“Yoga is my medicine. It is my core. It is my root. It is the safe place that I can find anywhere I am to help me embrace whatever comes up. My practice is my sanctuary, and through sharing with others I hope to remind that our greatest path is the one back to Self.” -Dani

Kristi Kuttner

Yoga: Yinki

Kristi's true passion is sharing yoga and meditation with everyone she meets. Yoga makes me feel the balance of strength, freedom and beauty all in one, and I love to give this gift to others. She is also a certified Reiki master and uses Reiki energy healing in her life on a daily basis. She was trained under the top Reiki masters at the Tranquility School of Integrative Healing and now does Reiki
trainings of her own. She has also done training in the powerful benefits of incorporating sound therapy with crystal bowls into her yoga classes and Reiki sessions. Kristi is co founder of Sittin' Pretty Still which sells products to encourage a beautiful meditation practice.
Join Kristi forYinki® every Monday and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm. This is a unique combo of her passions into one class. Enjoy a deep stretching yin yoga class while getting bathed in Reiki energy healing and crystal bowl sound therapy.

“In every moment of my day, I radiate calmness and tranquility. I am still within


Josiah Batson

josiah batson

Yoga: Vinyasa

Josiah is a passionate yoga instructor, nutritional advisor and holistic chef, personal trainer, Thai masseur and the founder of Batsonbody. All of these elements infuses the BatsonBody lifestyle, a holistic philosophy rooted in Josiah’s belief that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Inspired by athleticism, his approach to teaching brings this ideal beyond the physical. “Meditation into athleticism” conveys the focus, strength, and vibrant energy of dynamic athleticism into all aspects of daily life. Vinyasa-style sequences inspire physical and spiritual awareness through well-balanced counteracting asanas, strong alignment, and powerful intention that transcends the yoga mat. This practice cultivates a spiritual athletic energy that permeates everything we do: a mindfulness suited equally for an ironman triathlon and the daily challenges of life. Each class is tailored to students’ skill levels and customized to heal chronic pain, injuries, and problem areas while building strength, flexibility, and focus. 

“My core focus is to impact the lives of students in a way that empowers them to achieve optimum physical and spiritual health. My work is my passion and I love and live what I teach.” -Josiah

Bryan Heil


YOGA: Vinyasa

Bryan fell in love with yoga in 2013 and has since fully committed to developing his practice. For him it is the ultimate form of individual expression. A journey inwards where physical awareness and spiritual enlightenment come together. Complete balance achieved through patience, discipline, focused breathing, concentration, and mindful movement. “The most important part of my practice is not the postures, but the intention I approach each one with. I want to give back to my students what my instructors have given to me; a safe environment to challenge themselves and to take their practice to the edge

Sara Shermis


YOGA: Vinyasa

Sara found yoga as a stressed out college student, and it immediately became her forever love. She was amazed at how much yoga helped her feel like the best version of herself: strong, inspired, and more present. After college Sara spent some time in San Francisco working in the financial district, but she felt deeply unfulfilled. She quit her job and decided to move back to her roots in San Diego to pursue her heart’s true passion, which has always been yoga.

Sara completed her first 200-hour yoga teacher training at La Jolla Yoga Center, where she found even more enthusiasm for the practice, a new love for meditation, and a sense of community. Her thirst to learn more about yoga and meditation lead Sara to Nosara, Costa Rica, where she completed a 300-hour teacher training with the Awakened Life School of Yoga. Sara was not only exposed to different types of yoga and meditation, but was surrounded by teachers who encouraged her to grow and evolve.

Sara’s classes are creative and filled with unique transitions inspired by her own practice. Teaching yoga has lead Sara to have a fulfilling life and she hopes to share that same sense of community, creativity, and passion with her students.

Theena Thao

YOGA: Aerial Healing, vinyasa

After moving to San Diego in 2006, Theena became a certified yoga instructor and now teaches in the styles of vinyasa, hatha, yin and aerial yoga. Theena's humble journey on this path of self-discovery is evidenced in her classes where she shares her practice and seeks to create a loving and peaceful space for everyone's own unique journey of self-realization. She teaches from a place of mindfulness and specificity, encouraging students to breathe and move with awareness as a way to tap into clearer consciousness. Her classes are often slow and attentive as asanas connect to become one expression of mind, body and soul. 

Desiree Crossman


YOGA: Vinyasa

Desiree is an ERYT500/YACEP teacher currently studying for her C-IAYT 800 yoga therapist certification. Desiree is also trained in Reiki, certified primary group instructor through AFAA, certified JOGA teacher, certified Power Yoga under Bryan Kest and can be found on Desiree is also a certified Thai Massage teacher through ITM in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Desiree has traveled to over 40 countries, lived in 5 and has taught yoga for extended periods of time in Jamaica, Holland, The Philippines, and Thailand. For more of her story, please check out

Jessica Rubin

Yoga: Vinyasa, Aerial

While using yoga as a tool to help ease stress before her national figure skating competitions, Jessica quickly found her time on her mat to be her favorite part of every day. At the age of 16, she pursued her passion of teaching yoga. Jessica has participated in several teacher trainings and studied with world renowned yogis such as Ganga White, Rachel Brathen, and Deepak Chopra.

In addition to being a 500-RYT Vinyasa/Hatha instructor and Aerial Yoga Instructor, Jessica is a Nationally Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor.  

Through creative flow sequences, fluid breath, and positive energy, Jessica strives to guide her students on their path to their highest self, encouraging self-love and creativity throughout each class.

Olivia Cecchettini


Olivia’s yoga journey began in 2003. As her practice deepened into a daily ritual she began to feel a healing and transformation occur in her life. This inspired her first steps towards teaching at which point she began to explore the intricate studies of yoga and spirituality. With over 450 hours of training Olivia is certified in Vinyasa, Hatha, Restorative and most recently Aerial Yoga. Graduating with a Masters in Spiritual Psychology in 2010 she believes the mind, body, soul connection is a sacred one. Her classes are a safe space for students to begin to explore and expand within their own bodies and consciousness.

Jacqueline Witt


YOGA: Aerial, Aerial Pilates

Jacqueline was introduced to Triton Trouper Circus by her sister at the age of 8, and she has been hooked ever since. When it comes to circus disciplines, she’s done it all, but her favorites include Spanish web/Corde Lisse, Cloud-swing, Static and Double Trapeze, Agagio/Acrobalance and Tight Wire. In addition to her circus arts background she has received certification in Aerial Yoga and Aerialates in San Diego, CA to introduce a fun and challenging way to bring circus and fitness to adventurous individual.

Jacquie has taught and performed professionally with circus companies in Chicago and San Diego and is also an experienced choreographer. As Co-Captain of *Circus Now* San Diego, Jacquie is a liaison to connect circus arts, fitness and art to the community. She is a skilled fashion/costume designer and has created her own company, Jacomina Designs.


Pauline Villanueva


YOga: Vinyasa

Pauline first stumbled upon yoga in 2013, during a fundraising event for the New Children's Museum downtown, and immediately got hooked. Since then, yoga has been a passion which has changed her life. She completed her 200-hour teacher training in April of 2016. Her focus is on the accessibility and sustainability of a yoga practice, as well as exploring new things and having fun! She hopes to share her experience with others, in the hopes that they will find their own path and discover the same benefits from yoga. Off the mat, Pauline is an attorney who enjoys reading, drinking craft beer, and hanging with her cats.  


Lauren Robinson

Yoga: Vinyasa

Lauren Robinson, RTY-200, Reiki, and Myofascial Release Practitioner is dedicated to healing the mind, body, and soul through creative movement. 

Having completed her 200-hour Prana Vinyasa Yoga certification in Raleigh, NC she transitioned to the west coast and currently resides in San Diego, studying under global Prana Vinyasa teacher, Shiva Rea. Lauren is actively working towards her 500-hour certification where she has expanded her skills to include pre-natal and Yoga Trance Dance offerings.

"I was introduced to yoga during a particularly challenging time in my life and was in need of deep healing. I fell in love with Prana Vinyasa because it was unlike any yoga class I had ever been to. In Prana Vinyasa, the breath is intelligently sequenced with each movement, creating a truly transformational mind AND body experience. In the most positive was imaginable, yoga radically shifted my mental and physical health. I know in my heart that I'm meant to share this powerful practice with others."


Jack DuFour


Yoga: Vinyasa

Jack was first exposed to yoga while in college. At that time he was an avid weightlifter but noticed that his mobility was being affected. It wasn't love at the first downward dog, but slowly over a year or so Jack dropped all weight lifting and started going to the local yoga studio almost everyday. At first the practice was something purely physical, it just felt great. Over time the other aspects of the practice, started to have greater meaning. Jack moved to Los Angeles after college to work in technology. It didn't take long to realize that the job was not for him. In 2012 he took his 200-hour teacher training from Annie Carpenter, a well-renowned teacher known for her focus on alignment. After finishing his training he began teaching full time in Los Angeles. He taught full time for three years in LA but just recently moved back to San Diego. Jack's classes are taught in a progressive manner so there is something for everyone. Also expect time in every class to work on inverted postures. Jack loves being upside down and enjoys teaching people how to safely experience this.


Hannahsita Smyth



Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Hannahsita was blessed to fall in love with the outdoors and be very active. As a kid, she played sports, but soccer became her passion and she played through grade school, high school, and college. She was hooked into fitness and loved the accomplishments and failures of sports. Hannahsita received a Bachelor of Education in Biology and a Minor in Health Education and Exercise Physiology. Certified Personal Trainer in Slow-Motion. Certified 300 hour Yoga Instructor Core Power. Anti Gravity Yoga, Galaxy Lifestyle. Trilogy Sanctuary certified Aerial yoga Instructor. Hannahsita has over 6 years of experience teaching yoga and aerial yoga classes. She works full time as a COT for a private eye clinic in Poway, California. She spends the rest of her time teaching classes, running workshops, and proudly leading aerial teacher training programs.

“I have a purpose to serve. A mission to return a service back to this existence. I believe that our culture has become too soft and comfortable. And with great comfort we lose growth. We learn to limit our lives into a box, which allows little choice to be made. I am strongly passionate about a movement of people creating space in our bodies, minds, and environments through creative aerial yoga. With space in our bodies and minds, we have space open to choices to explore, expand, and evolve… By doing we create a new flow. We create new thinking. A new becoming.”


Teresa Shogren


I LOVE Circus! I have been training in Circus Arts for 4 years now. My first love for extreme sports began at the age of 2 when I took my first gymnastics class. At the age of 8, I went on to compete in gymnastics for 4 years. After I left gymnastics I felt very lost and like something was missing in my life and I found what I was looking for in the Aerial Arts. I first was introduced to the beauty and difficulty of aerials when I went to see Cirque Du Soleil's "Le Rev" and was amazed by the high flyers and the divers. That was something I could see myself doing and I longed to be apart of it. I immediately began to search for somewhere to train and I finally found some aerial classes in my hometown, South Lake Tahoe, at Tahoe Aerial Arts and I haven't looked back since. I trained every aerial class I could for my last year of high school before moving down to San Diego for college. I immediately began searching for studios to continue my training. My favorite circus arts are Aerial Hoop, Hand Balancing, Contortion, and Straps. My dreams and plans from here are to continue to make the impossible possible and to share my love for circus with the rest of the world. I want to share my knowledge of the circus arts in order to help others achieve athletic prowess through rigorous training. Also, I want to continue to inspire people to follow their dreams and that anything is possible as long as you keep pushing yourself to be better everyday.

Caileen Vermilyea

Yoga: Vinyasa

Caileen’s practice combines the wonder of a child with the knowledge of a doctor. Her aim is to encourage the depth of yoga and show that to strengthen the body is just the first step in an evolution of meaning. Her practice is a guided lesson in using the power of the breath as a tool to quiet the mind and to immerse the senses in an orchestra of awareness. She focuses on the tangible sensations of breath, generation of heat, and the pulse of blood and cranial fluid to all intuitively work together, invigorating and awakening the innate healing nature of the body. In her final years in Bastyr University’s Naturopathic Medical Program, her devotion to learning many forms of healing shines in her yoga practice and acts as an undercurrent of knowledge to guide the class. Celebrate yoga as a strong medicine to regain strength, confidence, and self love.


Fallon Lev

Yoga: Vinyasa

Fallon Lev was born and raised on the East Coast and moved to San Diego 10 years ago to pursue the art of living. At 32 years young, she has become a staple in both the yoga and acro community, creating an environment of self expression and authenticity that invites in an eclectic variety of individuals. Fallon has been teaching yoga full time in San Diego for the past three years and loves the freedom of expression and community at Trilogy Sanctuary.

Fallon leads a yearly 200 hour Yoga Alliance teacher training and teaches private yoga lessons in Ocean Beach, CA.


Marissa D'Errico


Yoga: VInyasa

Marissa started her yoga journey back in 2009 to try and restore her body after putting it through 18 years of intense gymnastics and cheerleading training.  What she found after taking her first class was that it not only helped with the physical body but it also helped calm the mind. She practiced religiously for four years before deciding to take her 200 hour teacher training at Yoga Works in NYC under Chrissy Carter.  With her upbeat & rocking music, Marissa brings her bubbly and lighthearted energy to class. She has a passion for arm balances and inversions and likes to challenge her students to be fearless and safely try things that they never thought were possible.


Julie Yocum

Yoga: Vinyasa

Julie’s highest intention is to create a loving, healing space where students have the freedom to move intuitively and deeply listen to their unique heart song. Her invitation is to allow the yoga to be the microscope that magnifies the light and dark within and to allow for a deep healing and knowing of the true Self.

Julie’s greatest teacher is her heart. She believes that the heart is the greatest truth-teller. When fear and anxiety cloud her vision it is the breath and movement of yoga that bring her back to clarity. Julie has deep gratitude for Ms. Meghan Currie who opened her up to this knowledge, to this gift.

Julie will always be a student and is humbled each time she is given the opportunity to share, to love and to heal alongside her students.


Magdalena Patterson

Yoga: Pre-Natal

Magdalena leads her classes with smile and open heart, inviting her students to relax and enjoy the journey. Her prenatal classes are a gentleand supportive exploration of the most precious time in a woman’s life. During her pregnancy, Magdalena found an even deeper love for yoga, connecting with the growing life within. She dedicated time to become certified as a prenatal yoga teacher. Magdalena loves teaching prenatal yoga, and she believes it is the most important time in a woman’s life to focus on the mental, emotional and physical benefits of yoga.

Throughout her decade-long career in the fitness industry, Magdalena worked at San Diego’s top health clubs as a personal trainer, group class instructor, and boot camp leader before starting her own personal training business in 2008. She has always been an avid yogi, practicing whenever she could. In 2009, she dedicated her time to expanding her practice and followed her passion for yoga by joining the La Jolla Yoga Center teacher training program. She has been teaching yoga since.

Magdalena has passion for travel and languages, she speaks five, including her native Czech. Her favorite thing is traveling with her husband and daughter, getting absorbed in local culture and exploring local cuisine.


Wes Gilmour

YOGA: Aerial

Wes began practicing yoga at a MMA gym in 2005 for helping with lower back pain.  He initially thought it was a great way to stretch after a workout but when he started to practice at different studios he noticed others aspects of his life changing.  His mental and physical body was evolving, with this came an insatiable need for more knowledge.  He started with completing a 200 hour RYT teacher training and continued to become certified in teaching Vinyasa, Hatha, Aerial and Stand up paddle board yoga.  Wes enjoys wrenching on cars in the meantime, finding it as a meditative practice in its own.