MEET YOUR TEACHERS


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Ida Taghavi

 

Ida’s journey into yoga began when she entered college. At the time, she was transitioning out of her hometown into new cities including San Francisco, London, and New York, where she discovered new perspectives and ways of being. Over the years, yoga taught her about awareness, acceptance, compassion, balance, strength, flexibility, patience, and impermanence -- both on and off the mat. Her passion for the process of healing and self-discovery integrated her yoga practice with her studies in psychology. Currently pursuing her PhD in clinical psychology at University of California, Santa Barbara, her goal is to integrate yoga and psychology to help others cultivate a compassionate and accepting relationship with their authentic selves. 

Ida received her 200-hr teacher training through YogaWorks, and she enjoys teaching for all levels at Yoga Isla Vista.

 

Chelsea Leopardi 

 

Chelsea’s passion for yoga began 10 years ago in San Francisco.  She found the intense heat and highly regimental aspects of Bikram yoga to be one of the only outlets that could help quench the anxiety and nervous energy that came with being a college student in a crowded new city. Over the years, Yoga became her moving meditation, creating a synergy between the body and mind that she continues to strive for on and off the mat.

In January of 2016, Chelsea moved to Santa Barbara and completed a 200-hr YogaWorks teacher training with Natalie Sampila at Better Days Yoga. She enjoys teaching classes which balance challenging asanas and strong vinyasa flow with relaxing postures to strengthen and create flexibility; helping to rid the body of anxiety and tension, creating space for inner peace and growth.

 

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Douglas Mckenna

 

Yoga first came to my attention in the early 70’s when I took some Kundalini classes in Berkeley, California. About that same time, I began learning the basics of Hatha and Raja yoga and I’ve been practicing ever since.

Raja yoga, the meditative yoga of Patanjali, has always held a special interest for me. Becoming aware of and developing the siddhis (subtle spiritual powers) latent within us all, has held a real fascination. Becoming aware of internal energy flow patterns, creative use of drishti (focus), and making micro adjustments are important elements of every class I teach.

I have studied with many yoga teachers, and learned a great deal from each. And I continue to watch and listen and learn from other teachers: that method is perhaps as good, or even better than formal teacher training courses. And yes, of course, I earned a 200 hour Yoga Teaching credential at Source Yoga (2011), formerly on De La Vina St. in Santa Barbara, California.

“Yoga is to quiet the chattering of the mind, and become aware of the extraordinary reality of existence.”

 

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Ellie Hollinshead

 

 

I am a third year student studying environmental studies at UCSB. I am a new teacher eager to share the gift of yoga with the Isla Vista community! I started practicing almost a year ago and have realized a profound shift in my life since then. I have been filled with joy in my practice. My purpose as a teacher is to hold a safe space for students and share this joy so that students may leave each class feeling rejuvenated and content wherever they are in their own practice and life. 

-Ellie

 

Dollianne Lipman

 

Growing up in Santa Barbara, Dollianne was blessed to live down the street from Santa Barbara Yoga Center where she began taking classes at the age of 14. Since then she has pursued her passion for yoga and Buddhist Studies by completing her degree from UCSB in South East Asian Religions, taking two trips to Asia studying with inspirational teachers in meditation and yoga, and completed her 200 hour Anusara Yoga teacher training in 2011.

Yoga has been a constant in her life through its ups and downs including her battle with cancer. Her classes infuse the many teachings into a creative and fun space for the students to slow down, observe, and feel safe to explore their inner landscape.

 

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Mitra Dhar

 

Mitra began her practice of pranayama, meditation and hatha yoga years ago in India. With time, her practice grew deeper day by day. She completed her 200 hour yoga Teacher training at Yoga Now in Chicago. “I firmly believe that yoga is a complete science that works at the deepest levels to help us maintain fitness and well-being while bringing harmony to the body, mind and spirt.” Mitra is also a practitioner of Reiki an ancient Japanese method of healing.

Mitra has been teaching for years and tries her best to help others have a healthy body and mind. “My most favorite activity is Yoga, of course! Besides Yoga, I love to do Bollywood dance, swim, run and cook healthy meals!  

 
 

Peter McMaster


 

Hello :) I'm a third year UCSB student with a burning enthusiasm for life. I love dancing, surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, wrestling, cycling, acro yoga-ing, and just about anything that involves physical activity. For me, yoga is a healing practice. Yoga allows me to heal both the physical and emotional traumas that, if left unattended, inhibit me in all aspects of life. I have found a safe space in yoga classes where I can connect deeply with myself while strengthening my body and my mind. And this is what I strive bring to your table through my teaching. Let's show ourselves some Self-love and unblock our full potential!