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.
Melissa Bethurum, RYT 200
Melissa was born and raised in Southern California. She pursued her passion in clothing and design by graduating from a fashion and design school. She continued her path in the industry, but still felt like something was missing, until yoga touched her life. She has been practicing yoga for 12 years and is a graduate from the True Nature School of Yoga, 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program. Melissa has always loved being active, but yoga brought her a unique release. Melissa has struggled with anxiety, and by practicing yoga postures and studying yoga philosophy, she feels a welcome balance in her mind and body. Melissa is inspired to share what she has learned in her yoga journey with others, hoping they find peace and balance in their lives.
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
Prior to teaching yoga, Geanette’s life was completely focused on career and all of the stresses that accompany typical Corporate America. Her life was consumed with active physical workouts, weekly business travel and poor sleep. She lacked the time and energy for connection. Deep in her soul she was longing for an inward focus, something to connect with, a broader meaning. Yoga changed Geanette’s life in a way she could have never imagined. Geanette came to her yoga mat in 2008 and found a deep connection. In 2009 she began the journey toward her 500 hour yoga teaching certification in Sacramento, CA. 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 Master 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.
Traci McKnight, E-RYT 500
Traci’s yoga journey began in 2009 after a lifelong career in dance had left her body injured and ill-informed. She went to her first class by the suggestion of a co-worker and instantly fell in love. Yoga had offered a view and approach to taking care that dance hadn’t yet- the healing and transformational benefits were palpable from the start. With consistent practice, she was able to begin dancing again with tenacity, and has since danced professionally and taught dance to young people in a way that promotes mindfulness and longevity. For Traci, the past nine years have been filled with wonder, awe, deep respect and reverence for the system of yoga. She is currently a yoga teacher at the E-RYT500 level- but really she considers herself an eager student who loves to share what she learns. Her recent practice has been fueled by deeper study of yogic philosophy and text, more thorough integration of anatomical awareness through asana, daily sitting mediation, deepened understanding of the effects of various asana and pranayama techniques on the nervous system and body, and what she’s come to call non-compartmentalization (that is- truly taking yoga off the mat, into the many moments that make up daily life, relationships, self view, etc). She strives to encourage her students to live with awareness, clarity and integrity, and shapes each practice she teaches to meet the needs of those in class.
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.
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.
Rick Worthington, RYT 200
Rick Worthington is a New Jersey native who was transplanted to North County in 1998 after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton with the Marine Corps, and has called Oceanside home ever since. After completing his service with the Marines, Rick became a science teacher at Vista High School where his lifelong love of nature and exploring the wonders of the universe have been passed along to his Earth Science students. Seeking relief from injuries caused by years of competitive athletics, coaching and an active lifestyle, Rick found Yoga and became a regular practitioner. While the physical improvements were noticeable it was the mental and emotional changes that were most profound for him. This led to his strong interest in meditation and mindfulness practices. Rick currently teaches mindfulness and social/emotional wellness at Vista High School and is proud to have completed his Yoga Teacher Training through his mentors at True Nature School of Yoga. When not in the classroom, you can usually find Rick traveling, surfing, climbing, biking, camping and observing the cosmos.
Katie Wright, E-RYT 200
Katie grew up in Michigan and moved to Seattle in 2001 where she found her way to yoga as a pathway to healing severe anxiety and panic attacks. The experience of being able to come home to her body for wisdom, calm, and balance transformed her life and has kept her drawn to the practice for over 18 years. Fascinated by the power of meditation in her yoga practice, Katie studied at the Kadampa Buddhist Meditation Center in Chicago from 2008-2010. In 2011, while living in North Carolina, she became a registered yoga teacher through Wilmington Yoga Center’s Kunga Yoga School. “Kunga” is a Kinyerwandan word meaning “to help or to serve”. Katie’s yoga classes offer the teachings of yoga as a pathway of service to yourself, your community, your environment and the world. Specializing in therapeutic yoga practices, including Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga, Katie’s classes emphasize personal choice and individual needs in a supportive, inclusive atmosphere that allows students to learn and grow at their own pace. In 2017 Katie became a Certified Co-Active Professional Coach (CCPC) and brings her curiosity and experience as a coach to her yoga teaching practice as well – empowering and encouraging students to hold themselves and their bodies as naturally creative, resourceful and whole.