Shanti's Bio

All Shanti's videos

My yogic journey really began with the study of Zen Buddhism when I was introduced at the age of 15. By 19, I had traveled to Thailand, studied dance at UNLV and was introduced to my first yoga class.  In 1995, I began formal studies in the tradition of Tibetan or “Elemental” yoga as taught by Swami Buddhaprem (Vince McCullough), founder of Pacifica West Institute of Yoga and Tai Chi and 20 year Teacher/Trainer at Saddleback College. My passion and love for the practice and philosophy grew and eventually lead me into a 7-year apprenticeship where special emphasis was given to the learning of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the History, Philosophy and Purpose of Yoga Practice, Asana, Pranayama, the Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation and teaching multi-level large groups as it relates to pose modification/variation and safety. In 2000, I accompanied my guruji (teacher) to Shaolin, China where I engaged in a 21-Day Tai Chi Intensive and was certified in the 42-form Competition Style of Tai Chi. At the end of 2000, I was honored with 500-hr Teacher Certification by my guruji and the Pacifica West Institute of Yoga.

Since then, I have continued my studies with both Nationally and Internationally recognized teachers in many styles of yoga.  In January 2011, I completed my second 500 hr teacher training with Annie Carpenter and became the first graduate of Annie’s Advanced TT Smartflow program, which focuses on alignment within the vinyasa style. Additionally, I have engaged in many advanced workshops and teacher training modules with such teachers as Annie Carpenter, Gary Kraftsow, Tim Miller, Dharma Mittra, Dana Flinn of Laughing Lotus Yoga Studio in New York and Heather Tiddens of Forrest Yoga. Currently I am studying Patanjali’s Sutras as chanted and taught by Sonia Nelson and have recently completed my Master’s in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica (Class 2007). To read more about my teachers click here.
I feel I have honed a style that is rooted in Vinyasa, a style that combines my study and passion for the power and ritual of Ashtanga but incorporates the compassion, pose modification and therapeutic aspects of the Vini, Smartflow and Tibetan traditions.  By encouraging the revealing of self through soft reminders of returning to breath, allowing dialogue to fall away and a curiosity, without judgment, to what lies behind the chatter of the mind I hope the student will gleam deeper into this profound practice of yoga and the Self. Philosophical in nature I try never to be intrusive but rather guide my students thru the process of self-forgiveness, divine awareness and the uncovering of the truth of the present moment so that we may all fall more and more into the lightness of being that yoga promises.
Professionally, I have taught yoga for over 13 years…the culmination of 17 years of yoga arts discipline, training and teaching. I have presented workshops at studios and retreats throughout California, Texas and Arizona including Yoga Works (Orange County), Lulu Bandhas  (Ojai, CA), Golden Tree Yoga (Santa Barbara), Eden Hotsprings Retreat (Eden, Arizona) and San Clemente Yoga (San Clemente, CA) and continue to assist my teacher Annie Carpenter at Exhale yoga in Santa Monica.
I hope to encourage an experience of “edge” but an edge with grace; that moves more deeply and with more fluidity with each fully experienced breath.  I believe that flight is possible both inwardly and outwardly and that through yoga we free the body, free the breath and ultimately free the mind …… and then learn to fly. The culmination of all my life's work and experiences, gurus and teachers has made my practice one of love, devotion, strength, ability and grace. It is always my honor to teach.