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Teachers and Staff

Who We Are

Alphabetical Order 

Ashley Draklich

Instructor | Power Vinyasa

Ashley has a yearning for self-discovery, introspection, and service. When she first discovered yoga in her early twenties, she had no idea how much it would change the course of her life. She built a strong practice at home and since has completed two 200hr RYT where she has enhanced her knowledge of yogic philosophy, meditation and pranayama. Through a playful approach to teaching, Ashley aims to help students get in touch with the inner knowing and find the simple pleasures of life by being even more present in the discomfort. She enjoys teaching challenging power vinyasa flows that provide options for all levels to enjoy while incorporating breathwork and introspection to deepen the connection with self. Come play!

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Dennis Frate

Instructor | Hatha Yoga

Dennis Graduated from UC Berkeley in 1988. Realizing his desire to help people, he promptly became a Massage Therapist. 10 years later, in his first yoga class, he knew he wanted to teach. 

 

A graduate of Nosara Yoga Institute, in 2001, he has an intense passion for the practice of yoga. He has also completed the Anusara Yoga Teacher Training, assisted in teaching the Soul of Yoga Teacher Training, lead kirtan, and become a Sound Therapist. 

 

Currently, Dennis' Hatha classes may include Vinyasa, Somatic Movement, Self-Massage, Body Based Present Moment Awareness, and multiple cues on relaxing your body while engaged in activity. Dennis' classes always include contemplation on kindness to the Self, Body based Awareness, and a short Sound bath during Savasana.

Danielle Fogg

Instructor |  Vinyasa 

Dani was first introduced to yoga solely as a way to exercise, but was immediately drawn in by the sense of inner peace and connectedness felt during this *seemingly* physical practice. After the buildup of stress came to a head, Dani realized it was time for a change and began to draw her awareness inward to focus on healing trauma stored in the body. She began this healing process by reconnecting and deepening her yoga practice and finding mindfulness meditation. She has since dedicated herself to intensive spiritual self-study and earned her 500 hour yoga teacher certification and master level Reiki certification through the Soul of Yoga. Dani shares these learnings with others through somatic yoga practices, meditation, transformative breathwork, and energy healing.

 

Dani hopes to empower her students to feel into every aspect of their practice to ultimately connect with every part of themselves. She understands it can be hard to take the time to pause, connect, and FEEL in the present, but believes that in this place of presence and connection, true healing takes place. Yoga was the cure that gave her a sense of peace, hope, grounding and security that she had never felt before and is humbled to be able to now share this "cure" with others.

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Erin Holmes

Instructor | Dharma Yoga Wheel

Although Erin has loved the art of theatre and dance since childhood, she didn't discover her desire to combine it with her passion for yoga and teaching until her late twenties. Having suffered major injuries from multiple car accidents, she came to realize how important the role of holistic healing was for rehabilitation of the mind, body, and soul.

 

In 2010, she received her 200-hour teacher training through Core Power Rosecrans in San Diego and from the start, enjoyed her love for linking breath to movement much like a spiritual dance . "Walking into class feels like a hug from your favorite person. Walking out feels like an elevated reset to your external and internal being. I couldn't walk upright without this practice in my life and I'm forever grateful." Sharing her knowledge with her students, to recover and grow through movement, meditation, and healthy living, has been her calling and passion for the last ten years.

 

When Erin isn't in the yoga classroom you can find her helping a military veteran in the community, cooking yummy vegan dishes, or playing in her band CKB!

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Gabby Troconis &        Betsy Peila

Instructors |  Sound Healing + Reiki

Reiki and Sound sessions offer a combination of a Reiki with intuitive sound healing techniques. Sounds may include crystal sound healing bowls, rattles, voice toning, drumming, tuning forks, and chimes.

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Hana Wilcox

Instructor 

Hatha Yoga | Vinyasa

Hana is a 2nd generation YT in her family. Her mom became a yoga instructor in 2003, so Hana became familiar with yoga at a young age. However, it wasn’t until her early 20’s when she became an avid practitioner. When Hana started working at a hot yoga studio- she became addicted to the asana practice, which inspired her to go through yoga teacher training. At the time, her community college was offering a 300HR RYT program through yoga alliance. It had a different format than your standard 3-4 month program. She learned so much- from the foundation of yoga, to different forms of meditation, to pranayama techniques, to the body’s anatomy, to how to run a yoga studio, and much more. Hana received her certificate in 2014 and has been teaching on and off since. 

Hana’s passion is to help other’s create healthy lifestyles and connect to their inner spirit. Yoga has taught her the importance of self-transformation and creating alignment within. She believes yoga is not about how flexible you are, or what postures you can do- it’s about the journey of self discovery. 

Hana teaches primarily Hatha & Vinyasa. She focuses on creating alignment first, then strength, then stretch to avoid any possible injury and help release stored energy.

Outside of yoga- Hana spends most of her time creating artwork, surfing or hanging by the ocean, and educating people about the importance of Kangen water and sustainability. 

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Heather Hansen-Patella

Instructor | Vinyasa

Heather received her yoga teacher training in 2002 in a yoga studio right here in Carlsbad Village owned by Cindy Gibbons, our very own pioneer of yoga here in North County. Heather leads an inspiring yoga class; she is an E-YRT 200 + hour trained in various movement therapies. She cultivates a comprehensive and joyful atmosphere integrating fun movement, inviting students to move beyond possible limiting beliefs about their bodies. With breath as a constant support in movement and stillness, students are encouraged to trust and explore their own inner process. Experiencing firsthand how yoga is transformational, using the practice to heal from her own injuries, achieving personal health and well-being, and encouraging others to do the same. She invites you to get on your mat and out of your mind.

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Kyung Pak

Dharma Yoga | Dharma Yoga Wheel

Kyung is a direct disciple of Sri Dharma Mittra, 800hr certified from Dharma Yoga Center NYC and also a practicing attorney in San Diego. Born in Seoul, Kyung grew up in South Korea until she moved to the US at the age of 23. After working at restaurants for years as an immigrant, Kyung started her own law firm at the age of 35.   

 

Kyung met Sri Dharma Mittra by chance in 2016, yet, her heart immediately knew that she had found her spiritual teacher. Her yogic studies under his guidance has been continuing since.

 

Kyung is also passionate about delicious and creative vegan cooking and enjoys traveling worldwide with her husband Jon and son Sean. 

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Justin Blazejewski

Instructor | Dharma | VETOGA | Acro

Justin’s introduction to yoga began in 2007 while he was searching for different exercises that would help with a back injury he sustained while serving in the Marine Corps. Soon after his first class he dove into a daily yoga practice, quickly realizing the physical benefits of yoga when his back pain began to disappear after only a couple of weeks.

Justin was in his 4th year of monthly travel to Afghanistan and Iraq as a government contractor when he devoted himself to a daily yoga practice. After 10 years of constant travel, Justin realized the effects of the war zone were taking their toll, but he also noticed how the benefits of yoga were offsetting these effects.

During the first year of his yoga practice he observed how yoga helped heal the physical, mental and emotional burdens he carried traveling in and out of war zones.  In 2008 he attended his first yoga/kirtan retreat in Bali, Indonesia, which proved to be the turning point in his spiritual practice. Soon after, Justin began to find clarity, calmness and intuition in his life. This led him to find his Guru, Sri Dharma Mittra at a small humble yoga studio in the heart of NYC. He immediately enrolled in the "DMY Life of a Yogi" teacher training to solely deepen his practice of yoga and self-healing. After graduating from the 200 hour teacher training program, Justin immediately realized he was given a gift. A gift he could share with those around him, especially those who were carrying similar burdens of war. Since 2008 he has completed his 200, 500, and 800 hour Dharma Mittra Yoga, Amrit Method of Yoga Nidra, and Acro Yoga teacher training.

His mission is to help others and share the powerful healing benefits of yoga and meditation. Through VETOGA, he strives to share yoga to those who need it most in life, especially his brothers and sisters of the armed services and veterans who still carry the encumbrance of war with them every day.

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Kaitlyn Nelson

Instructor | Hatha | Gentle Vinyasa

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Kaitlyn was introduced to yoga at a young age and immediately fell in love with the practice of asana and pranayama as a relief for her own mental health. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach in 2012 with a degree in Psychology and then received a Masters in Social Work from San Diego State University in 2014. She has been working as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since and has been incorporating meditation and mindfulness practices with the populations she serves. She currently works with families who care for children in the foster care system. In fall 2020, Kaitlyn attend a 200-hour YTT program at Pilgrimage of the Heart to continue learning how to inspire not only herself, but others in their healing journeys.

Kaitlyn is passionate about empowering others to find their inner peace and self-worth through the practice of yoga. Her classes incorporate a balance of energizing and restorative sequences to inspire confidence, compassion, joy, and self-reflection. She aims to broaden the accessibility of yoga. She enjoys teaching students of all-levels and a variety of styles including Hatha, restorative, and vinyasa classes. Kaitlyn is a native San Diegan who enjoys exploring nature, hiking, watching sunsets, going to live concerts, reading, advocating for social justice, and being with her beloved husband and pets.

Jennifer Lovas 

Instructor |  Power Vinyasa

Jennifer is a Yoga Instructor and Massage Therapist, a giver of good vibes, and a conduit for transformation and healing. She has been practicing yoga, meditation, and other movement modalities for 20 years, teaching yoga for over a decade, and offering bodywork for the past eight years. Her 500 hour advanced teacher training was completed in California under the guidance of Rocky Heron and Noah Maze. She aims to provide mind, body, and spiritual development to all who are interested. 

 

Jennifer is trained in Hatha, Vinyasa, Sculpt, Yin, Power, Restorative, Therapeutics, Gentle, and SUP Yoga. As a teacher, Jen's classes include a mixture of alignment, invigoration, blissful renewal, and light-heartedness. She provides guidance and insight, while holding compassionate space, so that you may choose your journey and experience on your mat.

In her free time, you can find Jen climbing rocks, hiking in the mountains, surfing, sailing, fishing, and diving in the ocean. 

 

www.jenniferlovas.com

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Lauren Dabbs 

Instructor |  Yin

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Lauren's first introduction to yoga was in Costa Rica during her early teens, after her first class she immediately felt a deep pull to explore more of what this practice had to offer. Soon after her first class, yoga was part of her everyday life. Eventually leading her to study to be a yoga and aerial instructor in Costa Rica in 2017, and has been teaching both modalities ever since. With her love and fascination for the body, she went on to study massage therapy at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health. In her massage session she blends both eastern and western modalities to create a massage experience that not only works with the physical body but the energetic system, chakras and meridians to create overall balance and healing. In Laurens class you can expect a fun and creative flow that both strengthens and connects you to your body. Lauren is trained in Vinyasa, Yin, Yoga Nidra, Aerial Yoga, Silks and Lyra.

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Jeanine Talento 

Instructor |  Vinyasa

Jeanine Talento, E-RYT 500+, is a Trauma-Informed Educator and Yoga Teacher Trainer currently living in Carlsbad, CA. 

 

Jeanine received her B.S in Psychology and Communications from CUNY Queens College in New York City and has 2000+ hours of Trauma Informed Yoga Training. Jeanine believes in the power of healing through reclaiming the body as the central space through which we experience life. Jeanine believes that through nervous system education and embracing vulnerability, individuals can learn to revere and celebrate all parts of who they are, thus living more full and vibrant lives.

 

Jeanine is honored to be a part of the Yoga On State community and loves teaching flow classes to a creative playlist where folks can drop into their bodies and express themselves through movement in whatever way they need. 

Jeanine currently travels internationally offering 200hr & 300hr Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher Trainings, 50hr Continuing Education courses for Mental Health Professionals, Nervous System workshops and Women’s Retreats. 

 

In 2019, Jeanine founded the Trauma-Informed sect of School Yoga Institute. In 2022, Jeanine co-founded the Somatic Arts Facilitator Certification through The Embodied Healing Academy. 

 

Jeanine is committed to her on-going development as a teacher, space holder, and human being.

 

www.jeaninetalento.com

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Lauren Nico 

Instructor | Hatha, Vinyasa

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Lauren has a double yoga certification through Mira Costa College (200hr) and Yoga on State (200hr). Before becoming a yoga teacher, Lauren served as an educator for middle schoolers in Southern California. Working in middle schools brought her closer to her yoga practice. Yoga, paired with her partner’s unwavering love and support, gave her the ability to view experiences as teachers, as opportunities to learn and grow. She believes that everything is connected and that through our interconnectedness we have the power to create a more compassionate, inclusive, and loving way forward. Lauren also loves to go on long swims in the ocean, hikes in the mountains, and play underwater hockey. She looks forward to breathing and moving with you!

Madelyn Olavarria

Instructor | Hatha | Vinyasa | Inversions

Madelyn’s style of teaching is anchored in tradition, creativity, fun, and fitness, challenging her students to grow from the inside out. She taught barre, hip hop and yoga in Seattle before moving to Carlsbad in 2020, where she joined Yoga on State first as a student, now as an instructor. Off the mat Madelyn is passionate about her full time job in high tech and enjoys traveling the world, seeking inspiration from other cultures.

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Rob Mendez

Instructor | Owner  

Director of Operations

Dharma Yoga | Yoga Nidra | Pranayama 

Rob is an 800hr Certified Dharma Yoga Teacher. He is a direct student of Sri Dharma Mittra and The Dharma Yoga Lineage. Rob is  a devoted practitioner of Hatha-Raja Yoga and incorporates it into all areas of his life. He started his Yoga journey with meditation at a young age through his attraction to Hindu and Buddhist philosophies. Rob spent his youth exploring different approaches to health and wellness and always felt a great connection to exploring the deeper states of mind & Self.

At the age of 21, he joined the United States Navy where he spent five years in the OR as a Surgical Technologist, Hospital Corpsman. His time in the military working on surgical teams gave him an insight into the human body that would later shape his understanding of movement and mechanics. 

Shortly after separating from the Navy, he began to develop some Health Anxieties which brought him back to a Yogic path and its philosophies. He adopted a more physical asana practice (yoga postures) to help him calm and restore his nerves while bringing his body back to a better state of health. 

Since then, he's dedicated his life and purpose to learning and spreading the awareness of the powers of a consistent Yoga practice. 

 

Rob Teaches Dharma Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Breathwork & Meditation, & Inversions.

As well as leads the 200hr YTT program at Yoga on State.

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Shab Kamal

Hatha, Restorative, Yoga Nidra, Ayurveda

Meet Shabnam (Shab) J Kamal, an Ayurvedic Practitioner and a Yoga teacher from Classical Ashtanga yoga. She studied with Baba Hari Das of Mount Madonna Center in Watsonville, CA. Her style is gentle Hatha Yoga has expanded to Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra. She believes in self-realization with the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga and Kriya Yoga. She continues to be a student and a teacher, as her guru recommended to be in life.

She was introduced to Yoga practices as her remedy for her autoimmune disease in 2004. Shab believes strongly in the power of Pranayama and Meditation to overcome her illness. She continues to share her knowledge with spiritual communities to give back what was given to her. Shab uses her medical background as a healthcare professional and as an intuitive healer to connect with her students.

Fun fact: Since her move to So Cal, she became a grandma to a wonderful little girl “Augie” as an added blessing.

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Marta Estellés

Instructor | Hatha yoga

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Marta is a 500H Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher, trained in Rishikesh, India, under the guidance of Talia Sutra, Tony Lupinacci, Dr. Keshava Murthy, Samadhi Collective, Dr. Rose Erin Vaughan and Nidhi Pandya. 

 

She discovered yoga at age 19 in the midst of struggles with trauma and mental health. On her mat she found a place where she could experience and realize that she was already everything she wanted to be and to become. Practice became an essential part of her healing journey. With time the revelations found on the mat transferred into daily life, and she knew that she wanted to share the benefits she’d found with others. 

 

Marta understands the physical asana practice itself as the teacher; if we listen and are receptive then everything will be revealed. The practice in itself is the way. Her Hatha classes incorporate pranayama, asana, mantra, and meditation practices, as well as yoga philosophy, in a digestible manner that encourages self-inquiry and openness to new ways of thinking and being. 

 

She believes one must practice with honesty, sincerity, compassion, and selflessness. Practice love and all is coming.

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Tora Bueno

Iyengar yoga

Tora was introduced to yoga as a teenager and fell instantly in love with the deep calm that stayed with her after class. In 2000 she became a student of the Iyengar tradition under the late Mary Dunn, in New York City. In 2011 she took her first teacher training with Bobbi Goldin in Miami and in 2018 became a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. She continues to be a student of senior teachers including Carolyn Belko here in San Diego. Her favorite yoga prop is a rope wall. And her practice is guided by the concepts of Abhyasa (sustained practice) & Viaragya (detachment). Thanks to the staff at Yoga on State Tora is expanding her knowledge of all things Hanuman.

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Trevor Arthur

Instructor 

Ashtanga Vinyasa | Hatha yoga

Assistant Director of Operations

Director of Kirtan

A longtime practitioner of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, Trevor's classes incorporate elements of Ashtanga, traditional Hatha yoga, as well as aspects of Shivananda yoga. In addition to asana, his classes often include pranayama, mantra, mudra, and meditation/concentration practices.  

Trevor has been leading kirtan for around 6 or 7 years. He was introduced to the practice by his teacher, Tim Miller, of Encinitas, a great Hanuman devotee, who led small, post-pranayama chanting circles and would religiously sing the Hanuman chalisa together with his students each Tuesday morning.
Trevor relishes any opportunity to chant the Divine names and prayers in communion with fellow spiritual seekers.

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Instructor 

Director of Ayurveda

Dharma Yoga | Kirtan | Ayurveda

Zarah Kravitz 

Zarah is a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner from The Ayurveda Institute in New Mexico, under the divine guidance of Dr. Vasant Lad.

Prior to her Ayurvedic studies, she became a Certified Holistic Health Counselor from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, where she has spent the past 14 years globally working with clients individually and in group settings, leading cleanse programs, cooking classes, retreats, and private consultations with the aim to help guide others on how to cultivate a healthier and more holistic life.

She is also a Certified Hatha Dharma Yoga Teacher trained by Sri Dharma Mittra in New York City. She has spent the past fourteen years teaching private and group yoga classes, leading special workshops and retreats in the United States, Colombia, Mexico, and Ecuador.

She currently offers group and private yoga classes, which include a powerful series of postures, breathing techniques, mantra chanting, and guided relaxation and meditation. She also offers group workshops, seminars, and private Ayurvedic consultations, with an emphasis on finding a personalized, balanced and sustainable approach to diet and lifestyle, seeking an integrated wellness of body, mind, and spirit.

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Zoë Sandoval

Instructor |  Dharma Yoga | Restorative

Zoe discovered yoga at a young age, 16 when her mom brought her to her first Bikram class. It wasn’t love at first sight, but the practice grew on her throughout the years. At a shallow point during international travels years down the road, she returned to her mat and truly to herSelf. Her practice quickly became the most important thing in her life, her gateway to deep healing and expansion, and it was only a matter of time before diving deeper with a teacher training program was the next step.

She started with a 200-hour training in the Bikram lineage, which she then taught in Oceanside and San Clemente. Inspired by her love and appreciation for rest and soft practices, she moved on to do restorative training through Trilogy. Most recently has studied under Sri Dharma Mittra in his 500 hour Life of a Yogi training, where she has truly found a home in the Dharma lineage. Yoga is one of the, if not the, greatest loves of Zoe’s life, and it is her joy and duty to share these sacred sciences.

Zoe’s approach to teaching is rooted in ancient traditions of pranayama (breathing practices), asana, meditation, mantra, and singing and focused on integrating mind, body, and spirit.

Some of Zoe’s other great loves and passions are nutrition and wellness, all things nature, cooking, music, embodied movement, swimming, group prayer, sustainability and zero waste living, and women’s wellness. 

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