Susan Marrufo, MA, E-RYT 500, left the United States and a job in advertising in 2008 to travel internationally and experience life beyond the confines of her cultural conditioning. She received her first 500-hr yoga certification in Thailand in 2009, where she began her studies of the classical yogic scriptures and delved deeply into esoteric tantric philosophy. After 2 years of teaching month-long tantric based courses on the banks of the Ganges in India and the Pacific coastal towns of Mexico, Susan returned to the US to begin a residential internship with the Kripalu School of Yoga, where she taught in and project managed several Kripalu yoga teacher trainings as well as received her 2nd 500-hr teacher training certification from the Kripalu School of Yoga.
Since then, Susan has split her time between India, Thailand and the US, facilitating group courses in the inquiry of yoga and meditation as well as diving increasingly deeper into her own yogic studies. After many years of travel, she is happy to have found a home in the City of Angels.
Susan wishes to express deepest gratitude to her teacher, Sri Prem Baba, for being the unwavering force that guides.
Nick’s journey into the world of Pilates, yoga, and meditation began as a way to heal his body, mind, and spirit after experiencing a physical injury with chronic pain and a series of personal and professional milestones. As his body healed through the practices of Pilates and yoga, Nick had an epiphany. He discovered mindfulness and balance and became acutely aware that a traditional corporate career path was not for him.
After almost 20 years wearing many hats in the corporate space, Nick left the fast-paced, intense world of technology to enter a world of health, wellness, and healing. Over the past several years, Nick has become a Balanced Body University-trained Pilates instructor and has been actively teaching and advancing his training. Trained at Bodyline Fitness in Los Angeles, CA, Nick is passionately committed to spending the rest of his life and career helping others in their search for health, mindfulness, connection, and balance.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE
Trained by the U.S. Air Force and educated at Hockaday, Stanford and MIT, Anne-Marie began practicing yoga after 30 years of hard charging. She is learning gratitude for every experience that led her to this moment in this body, and she practices receiving and surrendering daily.
Sporadic yoga practice transformed into studying yoga philosophy, which led Anne-Marie to Susan Marrufo through an introduction to tantra for women. Hooked on the power of women’s circles, sisterhood and journeying consciously into her own depths, Anne-Marie followed her inner voice to yoga teacher training at 7 Centers Yoga Arts in Sedona, Arizona, with Sraddhasagar Ruth Hartung. She continued her studies in living with a 10-day Vipassana retreat and a six-month yoga, service and community internship at Mount Madonna Center in Watsonville, California. She joins Samarasa Center to answer the call to serve in community and to continue growing in relationship with other seekers. Additional yoga influences are J. Brown, the Veterans Yoga Project and Lara Inanna Catone.
Anne-Marie is a Persephone woman in her queen stage, a guide between the worlds, awakened to her feminine soul and the voice of her body, shining from her corner of the tapestry that she believes we are all weaving together. Dancing to magical music is one of her greatest joys.
The quiet solitude of yoga enthralled Anna from a young age, and Anna celebrates and explores many types of yoga. While teaching high school in Houston and receiving her Master’s degree, she fell in love with Baptiste yoga and practiced daily to relieve mental stress and physical tension. Forrest yoga was her next discovery, and it provided immense physical and emotional healing for her. She found that the alignment-focused, breath-based, build-your- own-heat practice was both challenging and rewarding.
Through a connection at her school, she discovered a Forrest training specifically catered to school teachers, and with that came a radical shift. Seeing her fellow teachers struggle under stress, she relocated to Los Angeles to teach yoga and bring the joy and peace of yoga to local schools.
With a background in dance and Pilates, a Bachelors degree in psychology, a NASM PT certification, and her own experience in rehabilitation, Leonie approaches fitness and health from a holistic perspective, using Pilates as her primary format. Focusing on the connection between mind and body boosts confidence and intelligent movement patterns. Her main emphasis is on corrective and rehabilitative training, cutting through old patterns and developing a healthier body and mind. Leonie has worked with a variety of clients: from creatives to scientists, teens to golden years, she is well adapted to many walks of life. Leonie’s ultimate goal is to have you in love with your whole self, standing strong and walking with light into your day. In her spare time Leonie enjoys walks around echo park lake and giggling at pandas on Instagram.
Justine is inspired by movement and the body, and her tremendous respect for the body is reflected in her teaching. Pilates and yoga support each other beautifully, and Justine whole-heartedly believes in the harmonious union of the two practices. Justine’s first explorations of movement began at a young age – she started walking at 8 months & hasn’t really stopped since. She also spent over 10 years as a competitive figure skater.
Justine is a 500hr RYT and has completed yoga trainings with YogaWorks and Embodied Flow; she also completed a comprehensive Pilates training through Body Arts Science International (BASI). Justine views movement as medicine and is forever fascinated by the healing and transformative power of working with the body-mind through the blend of these various modalities. In addition to studying Yoga & Pilates, Justine has completed trainings in Deep Bodywork Massage and Resistance Flexibility Strength Training (RFST).
Elizabeth, a California native has lived a life devoted to the movement and healing arts. Her journey began as a professional dancer but later changed coarse after an acute back injury. She found her path to healing through yoga, Pilates and Craniosacral Therapy.
As an enduring student of life, Elizabeth has focused her studies on both the physical and subtle body. She completed her 500 RYT yoga training with TonyG at Yoga at the Raven, her comprehensive Pilates training through Balanced Body University and continues studying philosophy and meditation with Dr. Douglas Brooks and Dr. Paul Muller Ortega. Elizabeth is also a practicing Craniosacral Therapist and licensed massage therapist.
The heart of her work lies in her devotion to a daily Yoga and meditation practice. Teaching from an open and compassionate space, she leads a challenging yet playful practice with an emphasis on presence and the connectivity of the heart, mind and body. Her classes are grounded in biomechanics, conscious breath with a focus on core strength. Elizabeth’s inspiration is rooted in a deep respect for the human body and it is her joy to help guide people on these inner and outer journeys.
Amanda Perri discovered her love for yoga in 2014 when she first visited LA. To her Yoga is Love. It is the absolute perception of compassionately connecting the elements of breath, body, mind, and heart. With a background in dance and acting, the practice of marrying and diving deeper into the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies intrigued her. It wasn’t until she met her beloved teacher and friend, Andrei Ram, that she had her “Ah Ha” moment with Yoga. “This was what I have been searching for.” The excitement of a new romance began. She made a promise to herself to continue the dive, and selflessly serve others on their quest for Self Realization.
Amanda, RYT, has a 200hr certification in Hath Raja, with additional training in Ashtanga Rocket, and Trauma Informed Training- guiding yoga and meditation to traumatized youths. Yoga is accessible to all and truly is overall wellness of the body and mind.
Phoebe Schiff is an RYT-200 based in Echo Park. She is certified in Anusara yoga, an alignment focused style based on a positive philosophy. Teaching yoga allows Phoebe to share the perspectives that enable her to lead an intentional, blissful life with her students. She also runs a marketing company for wellness brands and passionately applies yogic philosophy to entrepreneurship and business.
With a background in dance and a mother from India, Puja has always been interested in the ways the human body moves and the devotion and introspection of yoga. He believes that yoga is for every body and that it is a practice to learn about ourselves and the cosmos. Combining the physical and the philosophical into a practice that is about finding out how to feel better in our bodies and live more fulfilling lives. Puja came to the practice of yoga through the philosophy first and then started an asana practice a couple years later realizing he had been practicing yoga in some form or another throughout his life. Seeing the transformation in his life from practicing, he feels honored and excited to get to share this knowledge with others to help them transform their own lives.
Creating bridges between ancient tradition + modern science and alignment + flow, you will be taken on a journey of inquiry and exploration.
Lucy Wilson graduated with honors with a B.F.A. in Dance from the conservatory at Purchase College, SUNY. While studying dance in college, she developed her yoga practice as a way to stay healthy – both physically and mentally – and she has been in love with yoga ever since. She completed her 200-hour certification with Yoga Yoga in Austin, TX, and is currently pursuing her 500-hour certification, while continuing to teach yoga, dance, and perform professionally. She has a deep passion for anatomy and kinesiology, and is continually in awe of the beauty of the human body.
Her goal is to help her students create a nourishing and positive relationship with their bodies.
It was her passion for dancing and performing that led Eileen to pursue a Bachelor
of Arts in Dance from the University of California Irvine. During her studies at
UCI, she was introduced to Pilates as a part of the curriculum. As her training
progressed and she began to dance professionally, she discovered how Pilates increased
the performance, strength, and flexibility in her own body. From there she
developed an interest in its use as a form of rehabilitation in Physical Therapy. She
has seen firsthand the amazing transformation that Pilates created within her
Eileen received the comprehensive Pilates certification through Balanced Body as
well as Pre/Post Natal Pilates, TRX Suspension Training and is a licensed
Massage Practitioner. Using her extensive background in Dance and Movement
Arts, Eileen strives to create a well-rounded class that focuses on alignment and
building a solid muscular foundation along with agility. As a lover of all things
movement related, you may find her practicing Yoga, hiking, cycling and
snowboarding. Currently, you can also find her performing with the fabulous LA
Follies, dancing all around town, and also in her car.
Salle is a fully-certified Stott Pilates Instructor and an advanced MELT Method Instructor who recently moved to LA from Chicago where she was one of the first movement teachers in the area to talk about and teach MELT and its focus on connective-tissue and autonomic nervous system health. Salle‘s approach to movement is to be curious in your body, whether in stillness or in motion: when we focus in on our body with purpose, we can begin to move forward from our compensatory patterns and enjoy all the activities we love.
Inspired by pilates, dance, yoga, Crossfit and bodybuilding, Tracey’s classes pull from a diverse repertoire of functional and artistic movement. She is passionate about helping all of her students succeed in their health and fitness goals. Tracey feels an intuitive calling to support students who are in need of healing and has extensive experience creating customized pilates programs for physical therapy patients. As a dancer and athlete, Tracey also loves to challenge her more athletically inclined students and take them to their “peaceful” edge.
Tracey is a lifelong dancer and has been a choreographer and pilates instructor since graduating from Hofstra University with a B.A. in Dance (2008). She is certified with Pilates Method Alliance (2009) and is Crossfit L1 certified (2015). She competed in a bodybuilding competition in 2015 to demonstrate the strength of a plant-based diet. Tracey is currently a graduate student at Valparaiso University and the Institute for Humane Education and expects to receive her Masters degree in 2018.
Donna Otten discovered Pilates when she started rehabilitation to heal from a debilitating car accident in 2001 that left her with multiple complex injuries. She gained an immediate appreciation for the healing and strength-building effects of practicing Pilates. After a 15-year career has a portrait photographer and dealing with chronic pain, another life was calling her. In 2010 Donna took a hiatus from photography to focus on gaining a deeper understanding of the Pilates practice that helped build and strengthen her mind-body connection. She then decided to embrace Pilates fully by training to become a certified teacher and chose Bodyline for her education. Donna received her certification with PhysicalMind and has continued her education through Balanced Body. Her Pilates practice has become much more to her than fitness. Donna continues this daily journey/practice of balance, mindfulness, Love and forgiveness and with an open heart hopes you will join her.