INSTRUCTORS / Y.T.T. GUESTS + MUSICIANS / STAFF
WE EXIST WITHIN THE COMMUNITY THAT SUPPORTS US.
Scroll down to read bios on our instructors + special guests.
SERGE BANDURA: YTT LEAD TRAINER
Founder / Director, Shivakali Yoga
Instructor, Yogala (Echo Park), Roam (Silverlake)
Founder, Light and Space (Ojai) lightandspaceyoga.com
Serge Bandura has been practicing the Yogic arts of India & Tibet since his youth, and teaching Yoga since 2001. His approach evolves out of a deep transmission from younger years living in Kula (yogic community), engaging in lengthy daily practice before the hours of dawn, and undergoing rigorous study with his teachers. In classes, Serge blends his knowledge of traditional Yogic practice & philosophy with 1000's of hours of training in Vinyasa Yoga, Ashtanga, Yin Yoga, Rudra Yoga, Kundalini, Ayurveda and Tibetan Buddhism. He holds a BA in Religious Studies with an emphasis on South-Asian traditions, a certificate in Yoga Philosophy, a diploma in the study of Yoga & Ayurveda, many teacher training certifications from diverse lineages of practice, an E-RYT 500 designation from the Yoga Alliance, he reads/writes Sanskrit, and is currently enrolled in a Ngakpa (Tibetan Yoga) Seminary program.
Serge entered residential training in a tantric yoga school as a homeless 19-year-old, completing a 1000-hour yoga teacher training program in traditional lineage-based Hatha Yoga. There he further studied, practiced, and completed intensive retreats in Kundalini Yoga, Taoist Yoga, Tibetan Yoga, and Sufism. During this time, Serge began managing the school's local yoga center, teaching countless yoga classes each week and organizing retreats. Upon completing his training and being initiated as a teacher, Serge moved on to complete over 20 retreats with Pema Khandro Rinpoche, wisdom holder & Lama in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He further took refuge with and continues to honor/attend teachings with Lama Acharya Dawa Chhodak Rinpoche, and spent years studying and practicing Kundalini Tantra intensively with Umaa (Uma Inder), master kundalini tantrika & dedicated practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine.
While continuing to practice with his heart-teachers, Serge refined his studies in Sanskrit mantra with Vedic priest and pujari Shri Shiva Kumar. He deepened his knowledge of sacred texts studying with Srivatsa Ramaswami, longest-standing disciple of Sri T. Krisnamacharya (outside the guru's family). Serge studied Yin Yoga with Paul Grilley, and completed residential training with Yogiraj Ganga White, founder of the original Center for Yoga in Los Angeles in 1967. He has undertaken studies with (Yogarupa) Rod Stryker, received certification in Vedic Yoga from Mas Vidal at Dancing Shiva Yoga & Ayurveda, completed multiple residential trainings in Atma Yoga with Saul David Raye, and studied advanced vinyasa architecture with Chad Dennis & Jenn Perry of Wanderlust/Roam LA. In India, Serge was certified to teach traditional Tantric Asana practices by Shri Kali Ashram, and studied the system of Sri Vidya extensively in a remote complex of Goddess Temples. He has stayed in many Ashrams, received meditation instruction from many Swamis, learned classical Hatha Yoga directly from Nath and Kanpatha Yogis in the North, and received Puja & Homa instruction from a wide variety of priests, sadhus and tantric adepts throughout the Indian sub-continent.
Academically Serge studied Samkhya, the Yoga Sutras, the Upanishads and many other sacred texts/philosophies under Dr. Christopher K. Chapple, founder and director of the Yoga Studies program at Loyola Marymount University. He further completed a wealth of coursework and large body of papers under the advisory of Dr. David White. Perhaps the greatest living historian of Hindu Tantra, Dr. White is known for publishing encyclopedic works such as Kiss of the Yogini, Tantra in Practice, and The Alchemical Body: Siddha Traditions in Medieval India.
When not teaching, you can find Serge DJing, producing /creating music, and searching for rare records under the moniker Earthtones (earthtones-music.com).
GLORIA BARAQUIO: YTT LEAD TRAINER
Gloria Marie Baraquio is a yogi and educator from Hawaii, and is currently the Yoga & Wellness Director at The Springs in Downtown Los Angeles. She grew up the youngest of 10 children on the island of Oahu, praying and singing in the Catholic Church. Intrigued with other spiritual traditions from a young age, Gloria explored a multitude of philosophies and religions, connecting deeply with the teachings of Baha'i, Tibetan Buddhism, Kundalini Yoga, and Krishna Consciousness. She has practiced at temples, ashrams, churches, and healing centers around the world, and lived off-grid in the Hawaiian Jungle to experience simple living and high thinking.
Gloria discovered yoga in 2003 after experiencing anxiety and depression, and realized that the breath, body awareness, and mindfulness could relieve so much of human suffering, disease, and disorder. After years of dedicated self-study and independent practice, she completed her formal Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga Hawaii with master teachers Rupali Embry and Tania Jo Ingrahm. Gloria began teaching Vinyasa Yoga in 2006 at schools, colleges, gyms, and studios. Since then she has taught thousands of classes in Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Aerial Yoga, Kids Yoga, and Meditation to various populations all over the country.
Gloria received her 300-Hour Advanced Teacher Training certification from Raghunath Cappo and Radhanath Swami in India, at the Govardhan Eco Village. On this sustainable farm she immersed herself in daily chanting, analyzed Vedic scriptures, and listened to the pastimes of Krishna. She further spent time on pilgrimage in Vrndavan, India, meeting other swamis, gurus, sages, and monks, and doing parikrama (a meditative walk/circumambulation) around Govardhan Hill. In this holy land said to be the birthplace of Krishna, Gloria experienced a deep inner awakening. She considers herself a bhakti yogi living a life of devotion to the Highest through song, sangha, and service.
In addition to her extensive Yogic training in Hawaii & India, Gloria spent nearly a year at Naropa University, studying and learning to teach Contemporary Performance and Meditation. There in Boulder she was able to meet and learn from close disciples of the great Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Gloria has practiced Kundalini Yoga intensively in Los Angeles with Tej Kaur Khalsa and Gurmukh, where she tapped into the technology of Kriya and Naad yoga. She has also spent time studying and chanting regularly at the LA Bhakti House with Shastrakrit and Kumari Gopi, and continued her studies with Tukaram Prabhu at the Long Beach Temple. In 2014, Gloria helped to open The Springs in Downtown LA, an urban oasis with a vegan restaurant, yoga studio, and a wellness center. There she founded and directed the Yoga/Wellness Program and launched a Meditation Program as well. Gloria has completed advanced sequencing training with Annie Carpenter, taught at festivals such as Lightning in a Bottle and Symbiosis, and while not traveling the world sharing Yoga on devotional retreats & trainings, she serves as a lead staff member at the Ratna Ling Buddhist Retreat center in Northern California.
AMBER LEE: MASSAGE & HEALING
Amber Lee's lineage is rooted in the Andes, the Hawaiian Islands, in prayer, and in service. Years of study in the healing arts has resulted in a healing practice that is woven with the teachings of Acupressure, Integrated Energy Therapy®, CranioSacral®, Esalen Massage®, & Deep Bodywork®. In addition to her therapeutic practice, Amber works with plants and essential oils as tools for healing, offering essential oil education, consultations, and aromatherapy treatments. Amber alsoleads educational and ceremonial workshops for women and co-ed groups, and produces an array of conscious and heart-centered community events through her holistic production company, Sister Valley. She has further served by assisting massage trainings & certifications with her mentors at the Esalen Institute, in Big Sur.
Amber shares her teachings and healings in California, Hawaii, Bali, and beyond, seeking to return the balance of spirit and nature in all her work. Her personal treatment philosophy & teaching style is inspired by our innate intelligence and power to self-heal, which lives inherently in every being.
SHEELA BRINGI: GUEST MUSICIAN / TEACHER
Indian American musician Sheela Bringi has been exploring the connections between her ancestral and actual homelands her entire life. With training in both Indian classical music and jazz, she sings and plays a 36-string harp, the harmonium and bansuri (Indian bamboo flute). She has performed worldwide in a wide range of venues, including concert halls and universities presenting traditional material, yoga studios leading kirtans and in dance clubs overtop throbbing, bass-heavy beats (she’s toured with Karsh Kale, DJ Drez, Dave Stringer, and many others).
Sheela holds a master's degree in Indian music from the California Institute of the Arts. She teaches private lessons in Indian devotional singing (Kirtan / Bhajan), harmonium, and Vedic chanting in Los Angeles, and leads workshops in mantra and meditation worldwide. She also offers live music accompaniment to yoga classes taught by world-renowned teachers such as Shiva Rea and Janet Stone at yoga festivals, retreat centers, and yoga teacher training programs.
Learn more about Sheela at shebrings.com
RADIO AFRIQUE: GUEST DJ'S
Rani De Leon + Sonny Abegaze make up the duo Radio Afrique, known for their sublime monthly gathering celebrating the diversity and richness of music found in the various regions of Africa. Desert blues, angola soul, ethio jazz, and nigerian disco are some of the genres they offer, as well as a myriad of brazilian, latin and american music. You can find Rani and Sonny djing, hosting and producing cultural events, musical gatherings and film screenings throughout LA.
ANGELICA DE LA PENA: GUEST TEACHER
Angelica's ancestral roots run deep in the Americas. With a mix of Indigenous blood from the USA to the indigenous and Spanish roots of Mexico, her path led her to uncover her family's forgotten ancestral ways of healing and living. Through practicing ancient yogic and martial arts to intuitive free flow trances and honoring daily rituals, to traveling throughout ancient Mayan lands to the ancient vortexes in urban cities, along her journey she has gathered many remedies.
As a doula, a birth assistant, a reiki practitioner, a yoga instructor and a guide for Sacred Journeys across the globe, her purpose is to co-create sacred spaces for people to feel their own divine healing powers and in turn share that love with others. Understanding that we are all living a sacred journey that never ends but rather only deepens.
FABIANO DO NASCIMENTO: GUEST MUSICIAN
Native to Rio de Janeiro, Fabiano is devoted to the deep folkloric music of Brazil, exploring the complex rhythms, devotional music, native indigenous music, and those from religious cultures and spiritual communities; adapting to Guitar. Raised in a musical family and environment, Fabiano is a guitarist/composer with an authentic sound and exceptional skill. Beyond his solo projects and own groups, Fabiano has recorded and worked with a great many artists including Airto Moreira, Mia Doi Todd and Aloe Blacc.
In addition, Fabiano officiates ceremonies from within his own native traditions, and regularly travels back to Brazil to draw experience from his land, his guides, and his lineage.
CAMILLE DIETERLE, OTD.: GUEST TEACHEr
Camille was a professional dancer in New York and Atlanta before finding her passion for the healing arts. She has been teaching hatha, kundalini yoga and dance for over 15 years to students across the lifespan including professional dancers, people with disabilities and chronic conditions and older adults. She is a licensed occupational therapist and assistant professor of occupational therapy. Camille’s primary clinical focus is improving wellness and preventing chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and heart disease. She has been featured in nationally distributed media, including MSN.com, and frequently lectures at national and international professional conferences. Camille’s approach to teaching hatha yoga includes influences from Ayurveda and from her training at Rasa Yoga in New York, and her Kundalini Yoga teaching draws from her extensive training at Golden Bridge in Los Angeles.
Camille received her Occupational Therapy doctorate degree and M.A. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California, and her B.A. in English from the University of Georgia.
Gifted and Blessed (GB): Guest Musician
Reyes-Whittaker is the principal composer, producer and director of GIFTED & BLESSED. He is most widely known for his work using the pseudonym GB. Though his music ranges widely stylistically, he classifies his work under the umbrella term "technoindigenous studies," the integration of the technological with the spiritual and ancestral.
ARIANE AUMONT: HEAD CHEF
Nurtured by a rich family cooking history, LA native Ariane Aumont spent much of her childhood enraptured by all things food related. Ariane’s professional cooking experience is inspired by extensive world travel, and enriched by her culinary education at Cordon Bleu (San Francisco). Equipped with passion, creativity, and culinary knowledge Ariane has excelled as a private chef throughout Europe and the USA for various high profile clients. She has also taken a primary role in establishing many successful food industry businesses, cafes and other ventures in California. Ariane's fondest memories were summers spent on her grandparents' farm in Corsica, relishing in the vibrant, rustic food her grandmother harvested and prepared.
SCOBY BABY / SALOMON ANAYA:: GUEST ARTISAN
Scobybaby Kombucha is a local, raw, organic, creative and artisanal kombucha company based in Los Angeles, California. Brewer, craftsman and artist Salomon Anaya creates a fusion of unique teas, herbs and culture. With incredible flavors such as hibiscus rosewater, lotus tea pear, green tea aychee and artichoke apple berry, Scobybaby delivers some of the most interesting and absolutely delicious beverages that exist on the planet.
D MILLER: CHEF, PRODUCER
D Miller is the director of Project Butterfly, a co-creative public relations and event production firm supporting individuals, brands and organizations that are actively engaged in the positive change movement. PB provides consulting, event production, marketing, alliances and brand strategy to its clients. A hub serving the local and global community in its process of transformation. D further has decades of experience in cuisine as a chef, food-preparer and caterer for events and functions surrounding his hometown of Los Angeles. His specialty lies in food that is nourishing and healthy, with exquisite spices and tastes from his own backyard.
"Change is inevitable… let’s make it positive." -
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