- Matthew Bedrosian
Yoga found me in 2007 when the stresses of life as a proprietary stock trader started ganging up too heavily. Prior to life as a trader, I was a literary agent at a Hollywood talent agency for 12 years and wanted a change of lifestyle - my version of out of the frying pan and into the fire… A friend was teaching my wife yoga in our home, and somehow I got suckered into joining. I had no idea what to expect – I considered myself an athlete having played basketball in college and competed in mini-triathlons, but this yoga thing just seemed like a frustrating way to try to stretch my desk-bound and way-too-stiff limbs. I was immediately hooked. In 2011, I completed my 200-hour Teacher Training here in Los Angeles at Liberation Yoga and am RYT 200 through Yoga Alliance. I’ve experienced a wonderful cross-section of the studios and instructors that Los Angeles has to offer and never travel anywhere without my mat. As a native Valley-ite, I look forward to bringing an accessible form of yoga to my peer group, especially to men (like the 2007 version of myself) who have deep-seeded misconceptions about how this moving meditation can change life in so many ways. I am honored to be an Ambassador for Lululemon in Studio City and to open Forward Fold in the community where I grew up. You can still find me practicing around town, blocking your view of what the instructor is doing.
- Amber Voiles
Amber (E-RYT, CMT, MFA) has been practicing yoga for 20 years and comes from an extensive movement and healing arts background, including Alexander Technique, Laban, Feldenkrais, LeCoq, Skinner Releasing Technique, Qigong, Integrated Respiratory Therapy and 15 years of massage therapy. Her restorative and gentle classes are a perfect complement to a vigorous lifestyle and yoga practice. They are designed to slow down the body and mind so that you can relax deeply, allowing your natural rhythms to balance and restore. She is currently completing her National Ayurvedic Medical Association approved Ayurvedic Counselor training. Learn more at www.ambervoilesyoga.com.
- Tiffany Howard
I am a hatha yoga teacher, drawing from my experiences as a criminal trial attorney and mediator, wife and mother of two. Those roles have molded me in this most important endeavor. I have learned that all you need is a 5x2 mat, and you can let go, get happy, minimize life’s stresses and find resolution and peace within the smallest of spaces. My passion and energy add a certain flavor to my teaching. My classes are fun. A blend of different yoga styles. Honoring exactly where you are in the moment and connecting to your breath, while moving and grooving and flowing to great tunes. There’s a little laughter to be found too. One thing’s certain, you’ll leave feeling better than when you walked in the door! I discovered yoga upon turning 40, and it has undoubtedly changed my life. What began as another form of “working out” quickly became a journey of “working in” through the trifecta of body, mind and spiritual work. The lens by which I view the world now, is a calmer, clearer, more radiant view. After two years on the mat, and a thought provoking conversation, the next chapter became evident, share my passion. I also knew that it would be a great excuse to spend my days in my favorite space, a yoga studio. I completed the 200 hour TT program at Black Dog Yoga, where I was infused with an eclectic mix of styles and philosophies from some of LA’s best yoga teachers. The rest is history. Gratitude flows for the indelible footprints that my yoga mentors, Holli Rabishaw and Stephen Schilling have left on my heart and soul and occasionally on my body. I’m stoked to be a part of Forward Fold, and grateful for the opportunity to learn from all the wonderful students and teachers that float through this sacred space. Namaste.
- Jessie Diaz-Perez
I have been teaching yoga for the past nine years and have loved every minute of it. I came to yoga by way of chronic injuries I’d sustained as a classical ballet dancer. I wanted to heal my body. After the first class I took, I decided the people there were more flexible, stronger and more disciplined than I’d ever be. Not to mention, they all seemed way too happy and I thought I’d never go back to try it again. I did. Thirteen years later, after a deep and abiding love affair with yoga, I am a teacher (and student) and have never looked back. I am passionate about teaching beginners. I draw from an eclectic mix of styles with an emphasis on alignment and breaking down the poses into clear steps. I strive to make the poses accessible and encourage my students to honor their limitations and challenge them to maintain a sense of humor! I have struggled mightily through most of my life with depression and anxiety and I continue to face down the dysmorphic demons of body image. (Good times!) But truly, I know that starting a yoga practice healed me in ways I cannot measure and helped me to live a fuller life. Yoga continues to be a primary source of support when things go haywire. I believe that yoga is the ongoing process of learning how to be kind to yourself. So even if I can’t do every crazy pose and I may not be the most ascetic or zen yoga teacher in Los Angeles, I am always willing to share my experience, reveal my own challenges and am completely devoted to teaching. I cherish my students and am awed by their growth and willingness to show up on their mats week after week. People with tight hamstrings, broken hearts and even those with a penchant for pessimism are enthusiastically welcome to my classes!
- Sarah Bibbó
Sarah is both a Yogiologist and Storiologist. Since a very young age, Sarah has had a passion for storytelling and the connection it brings. She credits her success and well being to her yoga practice which found her in Manhattan, over 6 years ago. Amongst the stress of a high pressure job, yoga brought a sense of peace and became both her foundation and continuous teacher. Sarah was drawn to the mind, body, spirit connection and the continuous unfolding of the story within. She believes each real, raw and true story within has the power to connect us all, making the journey all worth the wild. It is this passion, she uses in her work today, both inside and outside the yoga studio. Sarah received her 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certification from Rising Lotus Yoga in Sherman Oaks, CA. Her mentors and students serve as constant reminders that one is never done learning. For this, Sarah is forever grateful.
- Terry Littlefield
Terry Littlefield, RYT-500, Integrated Yoga Tune Up® teacher, and long-time practitioner, is a passionate educator with a big sense of humor and an even bigger heart. Her classes are a blend of science and spirit, breath work and ball work (therapy balls), movement and meditation. If you want to have fun and experience safe, functional movement within your yoga practice, she’s your yogi.
- Cassie Cherney
Cassie believes in making yoga accessible to everyone and uses her humor and compassion to do just that. Her classes incorporate elements of Vinyasa Flow, Iyengar, and Restorative. Each class begins with an intention that can be carried beyond the mat and progresses through a self-challenging series of postures that focus on alignment, breath, and self-expression. Specializing in pre/post-natal yoga, Cassie loves working with people during this exceptional time in their lives. Since becoming a birth doula, she is continually inspired by the strength of the human spirit and body. She uses this experience of birth to enrich her teaching. She feels honored to have found this path that helps people trust their intuitive nature and connect to their bodies.
- Ella Cojocaru
I’m often asked to explain my “style” of yoga because my classes don’t readily fall into a traditional box. From a foundational standpoint, I’m influenced by classic practitioners, particularly B.K.S Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois. Although I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting these yogic icons, I’ve studied them extensively and integrate both their styles. Consequently, my classes blend different classical approaches with a focus on alignment, arm balances and inversions. While I have a reputation as a demanding teacher, I welcome questions and am able to modify poses to accommodate students of varied abilities. All of my classes are characterized by joy and laughter, and deeply rooted in community—with an admitted twist of militant encouragement, which stems from my Eastern European heritage. I recognize that my style isn’t for everyone! On the other hand, I also love and believe in the power of Yin Yoga—so students are always able to “cool down” in this fashion. Though I wasn’t conscious of it at the time, my journey to yoga actually began during my childhood in Romania. As part of both a Communist society and the country’s Junior Olympic Gymnastics Team, I was exposed to extraordinary mental and physical challenges at a young age. Although my body developed great strength through gymnastics (and I found surprising solitude being upside down), I often lived in fear. That reality is reflected in my emphasis on the mental aspect of yoga. In class, I focus on strengthening the mind as much as on strengthening the body. In the end, I perceive the true test of anyone’s practice is the change that occurs off the mat. For me, yoga has increased my awareness of how I live my life, how I communicate with others, and how I treat my partner. For me, sharing these life lessons is as important as demonstrating the rudiments of a handstand. Outside of my public classes, I also offer private lessons, conduct teacher trainings, and lead retreats with my partner, Sal. I also love spending free time with my puppy, the aptly-named Anjali Patanjali. First and foremost, however, I remain a perpetual student—of both yoga and of life! Visit and practice with me as well online at www.EllavateYoga.com
- Lotem Porat
Lotem Porat is a heart-centered yoga instructor that believes in the powerful healing force of this ancient practice. She gives space for students to access the innate wisdom of yoga and embody their natural authentic selves. Lotem is a 200-Hour Yoga Alliance Certified teacher that has studied and taught in various parts of the world since 2010. Currently, she continues her studies with Shiva Rea’s Samudra Global School of Living Yoga and Diana Lang’s Lifeworks Center for Growth. Lotem has loved to assist and teach at community settings such as retreats & festivals and share this practice with all hearts, as one heart. Lotem is passionate about incorporating holistic healing modalities in her yoga practice and teachings. With a background in Transpersonal Psychology, Lotem is inspired by the therapeutic affects of traditional yoga. She studied classical Hatha yoga at Prana College and has experience with Vinyasa, Restorative, and Yin yoga. Lotem is a certified Reiki practitioner (by Alberto Amura) and also likes to integrate energy techniques in her classes—to create a safe space for students to connect with their internal vitality and life force as they flow in a meditative dance from one pose to the next by following the waves of breath. Lotem’s heart-centered approach gives students a chance to freely explore their inner nature during class. She typically offers dynamic guidance, allowing students to find their own balance of fire, water, earth and air. Students will have a chance to dive deeper into any of the elements they would like to stimulate more on any given day, learning to trust their own intuitive guidance, as they come home to their beloved bodies, breaths and hearts.
- Katie Heeran
Katie Heeran, M.A., LMFT, RYT, is a Licensed Therapist, Strategic-Intuitive™ Life Coach and Private/Public Yoga Instructor for people who want freedom from the things that block them from achieving their Next Level. Her work is really about connecting people to their deepest sense of self while achieving tangible results. Katie often sees through the lens of depth psychology and is inspired by the work of Carl Jung. In her spare time, Katie enjoys exploring the psyche, writing poetry, spending time with Kiki-The-Best-Cat-Ever, and sharing I Ching readings on Youtube. For more info, visit www.katieheeran.com