Shana founded mini yogis yoga for kids in 2002 and is one of the pioneers of the yoga for kids industry. She holds adult yoga certifications from Sri Dharma Mittra and Mark Blanchard, as well as children’s certification from Next Generation Yoga for Kids. Her personal yoga practice is the cornerstone of her life and she excels at a very advanced level. Shana is also the founder of YOGAthletica (for adults), and is the only yoga instructor who holds world renown in both the children’s and adult yoga communities. She teaches yoga to teachers and students all over the world and is the creator of the popular Yogi Pokey©. Click here for Shana’s full bio.
- yochai Through a series of fortuitous events, Yochai came to Santa Monica Power Yoga in 2007. Humbled by a shoulder injury, unable to perform sometimes the most basic yoga poses, Yochai diligently practiced under the guidance of Rudy Mettia. Yochai not only noticed his shoulder improving, but he also found himself becoming less reactive and impulsive in his everyday life. Yoga provided the ability to find calm in the midst of chaos – a quality of living he’d always searched for.Now, Yochai is sharing yoga to help others find a center within themselves. And it is through the simple power of the practice, that he believes we can all restore our physical, mental, and emotional health and well being.Yochai received Udaya’s 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (2013) under Rudy Mettia. Two years later he received his 300-hour accreditation from Jules Mitchell (2015). He is certified to teach kids yoga through Shana Meyerson’s mini yogis teacher training accreditation (2009, 2015) and completed an assortment of other certifications dealing with at-risk and trauma-senstive populations.Yochai is currently an E-RYT 500 yoga teacher, accredited through Yoga Alliance.
Tova’s love story with yoga began the moment she first stepped onto her mat in 2015. Yoga, more than anything, has provided Tova with an outlet to release what no longer serves her: negative thought patterns, an overly chatty and distracted mind, and the belief that “you are not enough.” The result has been a new perspective on life, and how truly beautiful it can be with hard work, serenity and inner strength. After tasting the transformative power of yoga, Tova heard the inner call to take it one step further and signed up for Shana Meyerson’s 200-hour YOGAthletica teacher training course & mini yogis training. Tova’s motivation is to pay forward all the love and healing she received from various yoga teachers throughout the years, starting with the beautiful children of mini yogis. Her passion for kids stems from being the oldest of five siblings, whom she helped raised like her own. She is driven by the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam– repairing the world– and believes that true healing starts within the self.
Terri is a CA credentialed elementary school teacher who has been teaching children yoga since 2004. She teaches yoga to both typical and special needs students throughout San Diego. Terri has certificates from YogaFit (RYT 200), AFAA Practical Pilates, The Fine Art of Teaching Yoga to Children (Pamela Hollander), and three trainings offered through mini yogis (Shana Meyerson): mini yogis certification program, Yoga Education for Autism Spectrum, and Zenergy Yoga 4 Kids (Yoga Therapy). Terri’s yoga style creates an excellent opportunity for children of all ages to develop mindfulness, motor planning, self-regulation, physical awareness, mental focus, relaxation, and patience.
Wishing she had been taught yoga as a child is what prompted Sharon to become a Children’s Yoga Teacher. Her greatest passion is working with children of all ages, teaching them self-confidence and body awareness through yoga in a fun & nurturing environment. Sharon is a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) through Loyola Marymount University and has completed both the mini yogis foundation and advanced teacher trainings as well as the Zenergy Yoga Therapy 4 Kids and Yoga Education for Autism Spectrum trainings. She has been teaching for mini yogis since 2009 with extensive experience at preschools, elementary schools, summer camps and private homes. She was inspired to become a Yoga Therapist after her own experience with breast cancer in 2011. She feels blessed to be able to give back the gifts that were so readily given to her and continue to help her heal as she teaches fellow surviving thrivers throughout California. Sharon is also a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
Rachel is mini yogis’ Director of Marketing. She is married with two beautiful children and lives and works in Laguna Beach. She went to UCLA for her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology, and then went on to get a Masters of Education in London, England at Brunel University. While living in London, Rachel met her Kiwi husband and they spent many years traveling the globe before settling down to have their family. In her spare time, she loves to read, cook, travel and practice yoga!
Paula has been passionate about yoga since she was just 18 years old. She has a vast knowledge and enjoys practicing and teaching hatha, vinyasa flow, and Iyengar yoga. She holds 200-hour teacher certification as well as mini yogis kids and teen/tween yoga trainings. She enjoys teaching young children of all ages, teens, pre/post natal mommies and her experience has helped expand awareness of yoga and its healing benefits to her mommy and family communities. Her ambition is to give the entire family an opportunity to understand their spiritual and physical balance with the Universe through the practice of yoga. The result is a calm, happy being.
Nicole developed a passion for yoga in 2011 after leaving her corporate job in the financial industry. At first she only sought the physical exercise for strength and flexibility, but she quickly learned the mental and emotional benefits of a regular practice. Being able to sit in stillness and quiet the mind, deep breathing to overcome instinctive reactions, listening to her body to use its energy more efficiently. Knowing the positive effects yoga has had on her daily life, she wants others to learn these lessons at a younger age than she did. Nicole has worked with children for many years in a variety of programs—after school day care provider, mathematics tutor, soccer coach, and, of course, yoga instructor!
Nicole completed a 200-hour YogaWorks training with Maty Ezraty in New York City in 2013 and various continuing education units since. She taught private and small group lessons to adult beginners. However, she decided to pursue her desire to work with children and completed mini yogis foundation training. She also recently finished a trauma-informed training with the non-profit organization Connection Coalition. Her classes will provide a fun, positive environment for kids to build confidence and develop skills to help them succeed on and off the mat.
Miranda found yoga when she was pregnant with her first child in 2007. With her subsequent pregnancies she returned to yoga for both her mental and physical health. In 2013 she became a birth doula and realized that many of her clients were greatly benefiting from yoga during pregnancy too. She completed her 200-hour foundation teacher training with Shana Meyerson’s YOGAthletica in 2015 and mini yogis foundation training in 2016.
Miranda has worked with children in a host of capacities, from being an assistant teacher at a middle school to coaching 7-13 year-olds in soccer. She regularly volunteers at her children’s school library reading to 1st and 2nd graders. In her work with children, Miranda draws from her educational background in psychology and social work to connect with them and challenge them to do their best. Her best teachers in yoga and in life are her own three yogis Estela, Benicio and Lidia.
Mary grew up in Townsville, Australia and moved to the US for college. Mary earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Special Education with an added Autism teaching authorization. Mary taught for the Beverly Hills Unified School District for eight years, specializing in classes Kindergarten through 5th grade. Growing up as a serious Ballet dancer, Mary naturally began practicing Yoga and and Pilates in her adult years. She wanted to bring the practice to her students during their school day, aware of the enormous benefits it would have on them, particularly supporting their focus, self-awareness, and overall success in school. Mary earned her 200-hour Yoga Alliance teaching certificate through Corepower Yoga, her mini yogis foundation teaching certificate with Shana Meyerson, and her Pilates teaching certificate through Equinox. Mary’s goal, dream and passion is to combine her professional classroom teaching experience with her Yoga and Pilates teaching credentials to teach Mindfulness, Yoga, and Pilates to kids! In childhood, habits are easily formed, and it is Mary’s goal to promote the formation of only healthy habits.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Liz considers her favorite position as that of Mom to her two girls, ages 6 and 8. Professional highlights include her position as Executive Director at a non-profit corporation for teenage entrepreneurs, and positions at various group homes for teens. Liz splits her time between her family and her athletic pursuits including tennis, skiing, hiking and of course yoga!
Active in many sports throughout her childhood, Liz started her college career by earning a BA in Sociology at SDSU and moved on to earn a MA in Social Work from USC. This education combined with her 200-hour Yoga Alliance Certification and her Children’s and Teen/Tween Yoga Certificates from mini yogis yoga for kids makes Liz a warm, empathetic teacher whose classes are lively and fun.
- laurie a.
Laurie honed her patience and mindfulness skills through raising two children and sending them off to college with confidence. In teaching yoga, she brings a sense of calm while being playful and encouraging to children, teens and adults assisting each individual to connect with their breath and inner strength. Children are natural yogis willing to explore and discover their inner wisdom and potential with loving guidance.
Laurie is a certified mini yogis teacher and Loyola Marymount University Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT). Her Yoga Therapy training included an internship at the Venice Family Clinic working with patients experiencing chronic pain. Laurie is a Certified iRest-Yoga Nidra facilitator (Integrative Restoration). She also completed an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course (MBSR) through Insight LA and Groovy Kids yoga teacher training. She also obtained certification to teach Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Teens (MBSR-T) in 2015. Laurie is a long time student and practitioner of non-violent communication (NVC) that shows up in class as mindful listening/communicating and understanding an individuals needs.
Kristin has been able to share her passions in different capacities with children from swimming, to theater and the arts, to Yoga and hiking. Kristin moved to the West Coast in 2009, leaving her career as a custom fabricator for Broadway on the east coast in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. She took the leap to becoming a family Yoga instructor in 2010. On this path she has received certifications for 200-hour YogaWorks teacher training, mini yogis teacher training, 30-hour Karma Kids Teacher Training, Yoga Education for the Autism Spectrum, and Every Kid’s Yoga for Special Needs. Her mission is to be able make a connection with any child that crosses her path. Currently she is taking Early Childhood Education credits at Santa Monica College to further her understanding of child development. She loves the positive affirmation, “If you try you can do, it is in trying that we achieve.”
Kimberly: As a yoga teacher, I’ve had many amazing opportunities to work with all different types of people at various levels of practice. My passion for teaching is always rewarded by the aid I’m able to give my students. I’m humbled and grateful to forever be a student of yoga and pride myself in learning as much as I can as often as possible. I have completed both mini yogis foundation and advanced teacher trainings and am proud to be certified through Shana Meyerson to teach children of all ages. Additionally, I completed my 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification from Rising Lotus Yoga.
- karla Karla started practicing yoga in 2001 and immediately found it very empowering and life changing. A few years later, she completed her first mini yogis training with Shana Meyerson. More recently, she completed a pre/postnatal yoga teacher training through Uma Mother with Patti Quintero and will complete her 200-hour teacher certification in February 2018 through YOGAthletica with Shana Meyerson.Working with families from various socioeconomic levels, races and cultural backgrounds made her realize they all had one thing in common: a desire to become the best parents they can be and to see their children grow up joyful, curious, confident, strong, ready to learn, and achieve optimal development.
Karla is a bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant (SLPA) and a Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in the treatment of young children, teens, adults, and families. Throughout her professional career, Karla has completed various trainings and certifications including Developmental Individual Differences and Relationship-based approach (DIR®), trauma resiliency model (TMR), Trauma-Focused CBT, Maternal Mental Health Now -Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, and Interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB).In her spare time, she enjoys Facetiming with her family in Mexico, going on walks with her two pups and her husband, yoga, cooking, gardening, dancing, and taking photos.
Joyce is a certified Kundalini yoga teacher through the Kundalini Research Institute and 3HO; she is also a Montessori Teacher who has been teaching children yoga since 2010. She is also teaches yoga to children on the spectrum. Joyce holds numerous yoga certifications, including prenatal, postnatal, kundalini (RYT 200) with Gurmukh at Golden Bridge Yoga Los Angeles and mini yogis certification with Shana Meyerson. As a proud mother of two, Joyce has an understanding for the diversity that is present among children.
Jodi started practicing yoga in 1998. She believes that yoga is a life-long practice that goes beyond the physical & should be introduced as early as one can walk. In 2007 she completed both her 200-hour Living Yoga and mini yogis certifications. She teaches yoga to children & teens, in addition to coaching & teaching yoga to the Special Maccabees, a co-ed basketball team for children with special needs. In 2013, Jodi did her second 200-hour training with Rudy Mettia. Jodi’s teaching philosophy is that yoga can benefit all bodies; if you can breathe, you can benefit from yoga. Her classes are light, fun & accessible to beginners, while also challenging for intermediate & advance practitioners with individual attention towards to each student. She has worked with toddlers through seniors of all levels of experience and abilities.
As a southern California native, Haleh has always had a deep connection to mother nature – on her spare time you can find her at the beach, on a mountain, or on her mat. Haleh completed her undergraduate training at UCLA, with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Anthropology, on a full academic scholarship. She then earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology, and completed her doctoral level coursework at Azusa Pacific University. Haleh’s professional training and work experience have provided her the opportunity to conduct therapy and neuropsychological evaluations for children diagnosed with a variety of disorders including autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and intellectual disability. Since high school, Haleh has also worked as a tutor, academic coach, and school counselor, working with ethnically and culturally diverse children, adolescents, and young adults. These unique and gratifying experiences introduced Haleh to her passion of working with children and their families to better facilitate their growth and healthy development. As an avid yoga practitioner, Haleh recognized the benefits yoga played in her own life, inspiring her to complete her 200-hour teacher training through Pure Yoga, Equinox in the fall of 2017 and went on to complete the mini yogis foundational teacher training in 2018. Ultimately, Haleh would like to merge her passions of psychology and yoga to develop her non-profit organization for inner-city youth.
A lifelong athlete, Erin has always had a passion for fitness and health. Erin holds her 200-hour certification from Awakened Life School of Yoga, as well as children’s certifications through both mini yogis and Move-with-Me Mindfulness & Movement trainings. Beyond that, she is also a certified fitness coach and massage therapist. Erin found yoga not long after this after undergoing three knee surgeries within one month, and realizing she had probably been overworking her body, creating imbalances, and needed to slow down, breathe, and properly take care of her body, and mind. She has never been more in-tune with herself physically, but even more so mentally. She would have loved to have found yoga earlier in life. This is one of the reasons she became interested in working with children; she wanted give this to them, to be able to start them early with such a great discipline which they can take with them in all aspects of life.
A midwestern native, Liz moved to California for sunshine and adventure in 2001. A Writer and Stand Up Comedian she has felt the tremendous benefits of yoga throughout her life. After years of practice she decided to get her 200-hour teacher certification through Shana Meyerson of YOGAthletica and her love of kids lead her to take Shana’s mini yogis Teacher Certification. Kids are of course, the greatest comedians of all and Liz finds much happiness getting to teach them skills that will help bring them confidence and peace of mind throughout their lives.
Cecilia has an AA in Child Development. In addition to her mini yogis certification, she is also certified in prenatal yoga, senior yoga, yoga therapy, and emergency procedures. She is also a meditation certified instructor given initiation by a lineage holding meditation master of the Karma Kagyud Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, Wangchan Rimpoche. She has worked with children/adults for 10 years. In her journey, she began after school yoga programs for several schools in the LAUSD district as well as teaching private classes to children/adults. Her latest journey has led her to work as a Vision Therapist changing how her patient’s (children/adults) process or interpret visual information, improvement in fundamental visual skills and abilities as well as visual comfort, ease, and efficiency by creating new neurological pathways to the brain. She is in the process of creating a Vision Yoga Program for children/adults who are suffering/ed from brain surgery/ injury/concussion, ADD, ADHD, Autism and for those who have challenges interpreting sensory motor information. Cecilia has a deep passion for bringing body and mind into a balanced peaceful state of awareness to life and its surrounding.
Brooke has worked with thousands of children around the world on US Embassies, military bases, schools, youth centers, and private homes. She has a degree in Creative Drama/Youth Theatre/Theatre in Education & Performance from the University of Northern Iowa, received her RYT200 training from Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks, CA and kids yoga trainings through: mini yogis and Yoga Ed. Tools for Teachers and is a registered Children’s Yoga Instructor with Yoga Alliance. As a child, Brooke spent five years in a back brace for scoliosis and had a spinal fusion at age 13. This experience fueled her passion to help children take care of their bodies, minds, and find the voices of their unique selves. She is certified by Infant Massage USA and the International Association of Infant Massage as an educator for parents learning to massage their babies. She received training from Clarity Institute in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and is licensed by the father of NLP, Dr. Richard Bandler as a practitioner of NLP. Over the past nine years, she has also worked professionally in Children’s Entertainment throughout LA, representing more than thirty companies in costume, providing improvised comedy, silly magic, games & drama, painting faces, balloon sculpting, storytelling, and more. Her work with children parallels the creation of her paintings, colorful expressions inspired and fueled partly by the love she feels working with children and paying attention to the details in life that children naturally appreciate.
- bianca c.
Meet Bianca! She is a mini yogis certified teacher who is thrilled to be part of a fun team of people who share a passion for yoga and bringing joy to kids! Fun facts: She is from the Philippines, she completed her 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2015 at One Down Dog in LA, she is an actress, she has experience in early childhood education as a preschool teacher, and she used to be a host and performer for kids’ events. Some of her favorite things: Her family and friends, a hearty laugh, the beach, dogs, traveling, trying new things, music, theater, movies, a rejuvenating yoga flow, and of course, seeing kids smiling and giggling and being silly!
- bianca b.
Bianca wishes she learned the tools of yoga waaaaay earlier in life, and that’s a major reason why she is so passionate about bringing yoga to children. She completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2016 at One Down Dog in Los Angeles, and immediately went on to mini yogis. Bianca also writes picture books and television scripts for children. She strives to infuse both her teaching and writing work with values of self-love, kindness, and compassion. And, of course, some silliness and laughter!
I have been practicing Hatha Yoga since 2000, completed both mini yogis Foundation and Teen/Tween trainings, and received my 200-hour yoga certification from Yoga at the Village in 2009. My quest to harmonize body, mind, and spirit led me to study yoga and philosophy in more depth, and I became aware of how much stress could hold people back from doing what they love to do. My passion is to share the positive effects yoga has had upon my life and to teach healing through movement. For me, yoga is about awareness, and inner changes, and that continues to draw me to my mat. Although I love a strenuous physical practice of Ashtanga and the stillness I experience throughout the day, the joyful and playful atmosphere I experience when teaching kids has transformed my life in many folds. My classes are warm and inviting and accommodate all levels of experience.
Amy started practicing yoga in 2003 because of a running injury. After she left her first yoga class she felt calm and at the same time rejuvenated and was back on the mat the next day. Her running injuries subsided and she took her first yoga teacher training in 2005 with Bikram Choudhury. She taught Bikram for a year and then was fortunate to take both mini yogis foundation and advanced teacher trainings with Shana Meyerson. She has also taken the Kundalini-based Radiant Child teacher training with Shakta Khalsa. Amy also works with special needs children and has studied with Sonia Sumar and Vanessa Kahlon. She earned an additional 200-hour certification at The Green Yogi in 2013. Amy is passionate about teaching yoga to children and her classes are fun, engaging and challenging.