Meet Your Dedicated Teachers
Yoga Oceanside teachers teach from their dedicated study and personal practice. They seek to embrace the rich history of the Yoga tradition while seeing the value in the diverse contemporary styles and approaches. With respect to the ancient Yoga teachings, they experiment, innovate, and share what they discover remaining open to the evolution of practice and new understanding.
Maria Anderson, RYT 500
After working in the medical field, Maria immersed herself in the health and fitness industry focusing on disease and injury prevention eventually becoming a certified Personal Trainer. Although she was headed in the right direction, she felt she was missing something. When her sister introduced her to Yoga, ” . . .it was as if I found that missing piece. Yoga introduced me to the merging of body and mind through my breath. Yoga literally and figuratively opened me up. It taught me how to use my breath to overcome my fears and anxiety. It opened my mind, opened my heart, and taught me gratitude and forgiveness. The practice opens us up to our strengths and the goodness we already have.” As Maria practiced regularly, new doors started opening and past experience started making sense. For example after teaching a group fitness class back in 2000, an older (wise) woman handed her the book “Light on Yoga” by B.K.S. Iyengar. She had left a note on the book to return it when finished, no rush. Having only seen her around the club a couple of times then never again, the book was forgotten, until it showed up during her Yoga Teacher Training. Maria has completed her 500 Hour Training through True Nature School of Yoga. She hopes to share the amazing benefits and beauty that Yoga has to offer.
Vusala Aranjo, RYT 200
Vusala is a native of Azerbaijan and has lived in the US since 2001. When she first discovered Yoga in her twenties she quickly realized the practice brings not only physical but also emotional benfits to ones body and mind. For many years she struggled with weight challenges and constant migraines that usually associated with feeling tired, sleepless and overall poor health. Her experience with health concerns has brought many deep lessons and increased understanding of the needs and sensitivities of those who experience physical and emotional pain. Today Vusala teaches cycling classes at various gyms and now as a 200 Hour True Nature School of Yoga graduate looks forward to devoting more time to teaching Yoga for spiritual awakening and assisting others on their journey to their true nature.
Sarah Blanchard, RYT 200
Sarah has a passion for adventure and exploration. Little did she know that the greatest journey she would ever take would be the one to find her true Self. She was drawn to yoga in search of healing after suffering the majority of her life from migraines. Through yoga she gained a deep awareness of body, mind, and spirit, as well as connection to her breath. This led her to become a Certified Yoga Teacher as well as a Holistic Nutritionist. Inspired by her teachers, peers, and travels, Sarah aims to bring a sense of inner strength to each of her classes. She encourages explorative movement free from judgement and expectation, so each person can leave feeling refreshed, balanced, and blissful.
Leslie Denny, E-RYT 500
Leslie Denny is a yoga and fitness instructor who has been practicing in the Oceanside, California area for over fifteen years. Her qualifications include the E-RYT 500, registered through the Yoga Alliance, 200-hour training through YogaFit and advanced studies through the True Nature School of Yoga, of which she is a faculty member. Leslie is a member of the Advisory Committee for Standards with Yoga Alliance and has successfully mentored and trained many yoga instructors. In her previous role as a Master Instructor with 24 Hour Fitness, she developed yoga workshops that were implemented successfully nationwide. Leslie has brought yoga to many diverse groups: cancer patients at Scripps in La Jolla, California, struggling teens at the YMCA and the Wounded Warriors Battalion West Marines at Camp Pendleton. She also co-developed the KOCT series, “Health and Harmony Yoga” which can be seen on Oceanside community channel. One of her specialties in yoga is a therapeutic approach with postures and the use of therapeutic balls for the purpose of myofascial release and self-massage. She is a strong believer that, through meditation and yoga, we can all find peace where we least expect it.
Geanette Floyd, RYT 500
Geanette came to her yoga mat in 2008 and found a deep connection. In 2009 she completed her 200 Hour certification in Sacramento, CA. In 2014 she completed curriculum to obtain 500 hour certification requirements. Her teaching focus is designed to share the therapeutic aspects of stress relief, emotional health, self-awareness and meditation. In addition to yoga, she is a certified Reiki Level 2 healer offering hands on energy work during yoga sessions. Geanette’s passion for teaching comes from her own experiences of personal growth by holding the space for others to connect with their innate sense of wisdom and joy. Her teaching focus provides a balance of mind body awareness through gentle flow, restorative and yin styles of yoga. Off the mat Geanette enjoys spending time at the beach, drinking wine with friends, hiking, dog walking and mindful meditation.
Gale Gibbons, E-RYT 200, RYT500
As a native Oceansider, Gale is happy to have “returned home” to Yoga Oceanside. Gale has been working in the San Diego area as a health and wellness educator since 1978. As an eternal student and continually evolving instructor, she is humbled to teach and study with the finest, both teachers and seekers alike. Gale is also a Licensed Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and maintains a small private practice nearby. She received her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training through the Indra Devi lineage and is a proud graduate of the True Nature School of Yoga Advanced Teacher Training program! Come join her for a practice of PLAY, PRESENCE, and PEACE, three words that define her teaching.
Denny Stoufer, RYT 500
Denny was born at a very early age in Anaheim, California, and soon escaped to find his way to the Pacific Ocean. His fondness for salt water & surfing led him to a forty-one year career with California State Parks as a beach lifeguard, Lifeguard Lieutenant, then Captain, and finally as a Park Superintendent. He retired from public service in 2007. His interest in Eastern Philosophies came early in his life as a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation beginning around 1969. The asana part of his practice came much later in life; beginning around 2001. He resonates with the teachings of Ram Das and Alan Watts; the writings of Carlos Castaneda, Herman Hess, Kurt Vonnegut, and Mark Twain; the poetry of Walt Whitman and Billy Collins, and others of that ilk. He studied Cultural Anthropology at San Diego State University. The sacred art of mandala is his most recent expression of the Yogic lifestyle. Some of his acrylic paintings may be seen at Yoga Oceanside from time to time. He is currently exploring the mandala form in the medium of mosaics.
Ashley Strong, RYT 200
Originally, from the Southern part of California. Raised in a small town known as Oceanside. Sprouted in the community of Long Beach, Ashley found her wings as an adventurer of this world, our world. Flying her wings, expanding across the country. Into various islands and tropical environments. Through Central America. On the South East edge of Africa. Landing on Mafia Island, Tanzania. And a lot of South African in-between. Receiving my 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga certification in 2013 through YogaSix in Carlsbad, California. Ashley has had the honor of being involved in yoga events throughout California and beyond. Photographing. And participating. Contributing to the advancement and development of yoga throughout dynamic communities. “I look forward to connecting. To sharing my practice with you. To stepping into the role of being a teacher, all the while continually being a student of life.”
Subs & Off-site Teachers
Peggie Moore, RYT 500
Yoga has woven its way throughout Peggie’s life since her 20’s. While raising kids and maneuvering through life’s many challenges, a practice within a studio was not always available but her personal practice and the Santosha mantra kept everything in perspective on and off the mat. After moving to Oceanside, she committed to a consistent practice within the Yoga Oceanside community and is fulfilling a lifetime goal of sharing this gift with others, having completed the 200 hour training at True Nature in 2013 and the 300 hour advanced training and completion of Reiki I, II and III in 2015 and early 2016. Her hope is for every age, size, shape and ability who has the desire, find their way to yoga and to a healthier, happier life.
Shanna Mota, RYT 200
Shanna Mota is a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Yoga Teacher and the founder of Live Love Detox. She believes wholeheartedly in the power we have as humans to create the life of our dreams…and that it all starts from the inside. Shanna works with clients on healing the body and mind using a unique holistic approach. Most people do not realize how amazing their bodies are designed to feel and it is her goal to help you experience this using nutrition, yoga, mindset shifting and personal empowerment as the foundation. Shanna teaches a very introspective style of yoga, focusing on stretching the body and the mind. People leave feeling refreshed, renewed and excited to experience the beauty and abundance in their lives. Shanna loves traveling the world, watching sunsets, being in nature, cooking and connecting with people.
Growing up in New York studying ballet and gymnastics, Natalie fell in love with the artistry, techniques and life-enhancing aspects of yoga. Teaching since 2007, she had the privilege as a military wife to be stationed with her husband and three kids in California, North Carolina, and Europe instructing the civilian, military and international communities. Her classes offer challenge, but are lighthearted, non-competitive and sweetened with fun. Find yourself tapping into your inner child as she creatively guides you to becoming the artist you were meant to be. Through gentle encouragement, students are invited to embrace and share their own uniqueness so that they may feel and live their yoga. Natalie is forever grateful to all her teachers, and is honored to now call Oceanside and the YO community her home. She acquired her 500hr training with True Nature School of Yoga in 2015.