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Teachers

Ahmed Elaasar
Yoga Daya - Ahmed Elaasar

Ahmed developed his love and passion for yoga while on a reconnecting with his roots trip in Cairo, Egypt. It was the strong physical practice that first attracted him to yoga; yet it was amidst the noise and chaos of Cairo where Ahmed fell in love with yoga as each guiding breath helped center him and calm his mind.

He had tried yoga a few times before while living in Boston but it didn’t seem to fit into his active lifestyle filled with basketball, tennis, football and golf. Over time that active lifestyle resulted in some nagging injuries like tennis elbow and an inflamed Achilles tendon. Ahmed discovered that his yoga practice doubled as physical therapy and helped speed his recovery. The flexibility and strength gains helped reduce injuries as he worked sports back into his daily life in Los Angeles.

Ahmed teaches Yin Yoga, Vinyasa Flow and Power Yoga with an emphasis on alignment. In his Daya Sweat class you’ll build strength, improve your balance, focus and flexibility while having a few laughs along the way. In his Lunchtime Yin class you’ll sink deeply into seated and reclining postures that promote stillness to calm and balance the mind and body while reducing stress and anxiety and improving joint mobility.

Ahmed’s classes are open to all levels, including beginners, athletes and anyone who is curious about yoga.

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Claire Abuan
Yoga Daya - Claire Abuan

Claire Abuan is a certified Pilates mat (BASI) & GYROTONIC® instructor. Her specialties include Pre/Post Natal, Scoliosis and Breast Cancer Survivor work. She holds a Zero Balancing certification as well.

Megan Harvey
Yoga Daya - Megan Harvey

Megan is a RYT 500 hour yoga instructor, and teaches throughout the Los Angeles area. Her passion for alignment, deep exploration of postures, and use of props to enhance poses and accommodate all challenges eventually lead Megan to the Iyengar practice. She strives to give back to her students what yoga has given her: strength and freedom in her body, and tranquility and happiness in mind.

A native of rural western Montana, Megan spent much of her childhood in a sparkly pink tutu putting on ballet recitals on the family farm. She left big sky country to attend USC and danced well into college, but after a knee injury, sought out another form of exercise and found yoga. She practiced for years before taking the leap into teaching (this time sans tutu). Megan is now very happy to be training with Tulsi at Yoga Daya and truly honored to have the opportunity to teach.

Mia Wigmore
Yoga Daya - Mia Wigmore

Mia Wigmore has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in theology. After mentoring with Chris Stein, who studied directly under BKS Iyengar, and completing the three year Iyengar teacher training program in Los Angeles, Mia became a certified Iyengar yoga teacher in 2015.

Rani Bechar
Yoga Daya - Rani Bechar

Rani is a certified pilates instructor trained in the classical method. Her main joy is to shepherd people along the path to feeling great in their bodies. Her specialties in the clinical setting include rehabilitating people with back pain and those recovering from breast cancer surgeries. She is also a Yoga Works 500 hour certified yoga instructor.

Rick Corsillo
Yoga Daya - Rick Corsillo

Rick brings 10 years of teaching experience to his career. He has been teaching in the Southern California heath & fitness community for much of that time. Being involved in a person’s quest for total health is a deeply personal passion for Rick. His commitment to Yoga, health and well being is a life long study which places his professional and personal practice in a perpetual state of growth. Rick enjoys teaching multiple goal-oriented demographics, while artfully bridging the systematic health sciences with creativity.

Rick’s teaching is alignment focused, and his mission is to safely and optimally guide his students towards the multiple benefits of Yoga.

As a Certified Iyengar yoga teacher, yoga is a daily practice for Rick. The reason that he practices yoga is ever evolving, yet his dharma remains the same. His dharma is to be a better person today than he was yesterday, which means the same for his teaching. Teaching brings long lasting feelings of contentment to Rick, and he aims to makes positive impacts on his students.

Tammy Gitter
Yoga Daya - Tammy Gitter

Tammy initially came to yoga in her twenties to find peace of mind. Along with that, she
found inner and outer strength and the courage to take life and her Self head on. She
has found yoga to be a true alchemical practice that has completely transformed her
from the inside out and she loves to share this aspect of the practice with her students.

After receiving her 200HR RYT with Yoga Alliance in Vinyasa, Tammy traveled for seven
months with her husband through India, Thailand and Indonesia all the while practicing
Ashtanga Yoga with Senior teachers and studying Yogic Philosophy, Meditation,
Pranayama and Energetic Healing with Swamis.

She is also a Reiki 2 practitioner, certified Spiritual Emergence Peer Counselor through Dr. Emma Bragdon at
IMHU( Integrative Mental Health University) and is currently enrolled in the Urban
Priestess Mystery School with Ashley Turner and Sianna Sherman. Tammy also studies
meditation techniques with Sally Kempton. Expect a challenging class that is fun, nonjudgemental,
interactive and open to exploring the myriad of ways we show up on our
mats.

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Stephanie Kang
Yoga Daya - Michelle Mansfield

“Go Within & Find Your Inner Sparkle!”

Stephanie Kang is a RYT 500® yoga instructor who is dedicated to guiding students toward finding their inner sparkle. She is inspired by the healing and transformative effects yoga has on students of all ages and levels. In her classes, Stephanie emphasizes breath, mindfulness and play to ensure that students come out of each class feeling light, joyful, calm, stronger and flexible.

Stephanie has completed the following teacher trainings: 300hr at YogaWorks®, 330hr with Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga, Foundation Certification from mini yogis® and Prenatal, Restorative, Vinyasa Flow continuing ed at YogaWorks®. She’s also completed a 10-day vipassana meditation course and is CPR certified through The Red Cross.

Currently Stephanie teaches vinyasa flow, gentle flow, restorative, yin, prenatal/postnatal, chair yoga and yoga classes in a non-intimidating manner. Besides yoga, she enjoys cooking, dancing, music, reading and all things animal related. Connect with her at http://www.facebook.com/turtleflowyoga.

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Tulsi Laher
Yoga Daya - Tulsi Laher

After teaching at some of the most established studios in Los Angeles: the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los Angeles (IYILA), Yoga Works, Sports Club LA, and Equinox Tulsi Laher opened Yoga Daya studio in 2011. Since opening Yoga Daya, Tulsi Laher developed the Daya Wellness Program focused on quantifiable results, the Daya Clothing line introducing YogaSkirtz as well as Daya Jewelry. Familiar with Sanskrit and yoga philosophy from an early age, Tulsi Laher wrote a Sanskrit pronunciation guide for yoga asanas used in Yoga Daya’s Teacher Training Program.

Specializing in the spine, Tulsi Laher teaches workshops on ‘Yoga for a Healthy Spine’ and ‘Yoga for Scoliosis’. Her philosophy in teaching yoga is that through understanding biomechanics in movement while utilizing the breath, you can help reduce pain and bring a harmonious balance to the mind and body. It is becoming increasingly necessary to take charge of our own health, and Tulsi Laher’s aim is to help you in ‘living health daily’.

Tulsi Laher also mentors aspiring Iyengar yoga teachers in the Yoga Daya mentorship program.

“I would like express my sincere gratitude to all those who have a been part of Yoga Daya’s grand success. It is my hope that we share in friendliness and compassion with one another, and continue to offer a premier yoga studio!”

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Vladimir Nekrasov (Mukunda)
Yoga Daya - Vladimir Nekrasov

Vladimir Nekrasov (Mukunda) began his practice of yoga in Ukraine in 1991. After coming to the U.S. in 1996, he discovered Iyengar Yoga while attending yoga classes at Govinda’s Studio. Yoga became his life and soul and he became a certified Iyengar teacher. Vladimir continues his studies in the Iyengar tradition and is working towards his next Iyengar certification. He is also talented in developing and designing yoga props used in the Iyengar classes.

Leslie Porter
Yoga Daya - Leslie Porter

Leslie Porter has been a dedicated practitioner and certified teacher in various movement and healing arts for many years. Her journey began at 5 years old when she used to take yoga with her mother. In high school, she experienced various emotional and physical traumas, which inspired her mother to send her to a yoga studio to practice yoga and meditation classes 2-4 times per week. This began a lifelong search and study into the healing arts.
Since then, Leslie has trained with some of the top teachers in the world: Ana Forrest, Ross Rayburn and John Friend (Anusara), Yoga West (Kundalini), Jack Kornfield (Mindfulness Meditation), Judith Lasater (Restoratives), Marie-Jose Blom Lawrence and Long Beach Dance Conditioning (Pilates Mat and Equipment), Kirtan Camp (Govindas), Fusion Pilates (Pre and Post Natal), and Yoga Academy of North America (Yoga Nidra). In addition, she is finishing up her training to be a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (Peter Levine) to help clients with trauma.
Leslie uses yogic philosophy, compassion, and intuition to organize and personalize each class. No class is ever exactly the same. She specializes in hatha yoga and utilizes principles of Pilates and mindfulness meditation in teaching.

When she isn’t teaching or practicing, you’ll find her hiking, trying new restaurants, traveling, reading at a café, dancing, painting, or playing the piano.

Other achievements: BA Magna Cum Laude and Honors from University of Oregon in Fine Arts and English Literature, is an Associate faculty professor at SMC since 2005, Hip hop and Salsa Performer in an Oregon and Santa Monica company in 1998 and 2007, has led retreats and workshops all over California; she has mentored many students to become yoga and Pilates teachers. Recently, she was featured in USA Today for yoga.

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Katelyn Qualey
Yoga Daya - Katelyn Qualey

Katelyn began practicing Iyengar yoga in 2007 to ease the discomfort caused by her scoliosis. After having surgery a few years later, yoga was integral to maintaining a balanced body. Katelyn completed her 200 hour teacher training in 2012. She knows that yoga is a personal and unique experience for all who participate, and it’s her goal to facilitate a safe, meaningful and high-spirited practice. Teaching correct alignment is her highest priority, so students remain physically safe and cared for.

Mari Sullivan
Yoga Daya - Mari Sullivan

Mari Sullivan began practicing yoga in college at the University of Denver in search of a stress reliever and an alternative exercise to running. She immediately developed a love for the practice and began going more and more each week. Without looking for the deeper benefits at first, Mari began to feel them in her life nonetheless. She became dedicated to her practice of daily yoga and meditation. She strongly believes in the power of yoga and meditation to unite the mind and body and bring peace, strength, and love to all aspects of life. Her practice has helped her manage and heal fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and fatigue truly revealing the therapeutic and healing benefits of a yoga practice. She received her certification in Power Yoga in 2012.

Kiyomi Takahashi
Yoga Daya - Kiyomi Takahashi

“Today and everyday, I am grateful to be able to experience transformations with my students. My hope is to touch as many peoples’ heart as I can with this teaching of yoga so they can be uplifted and elevated to their highest potential.”

Kiyomi Takahashi is a Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500hr level Hatha Yoga Teacher, an IKYTA-certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher, and a certified Yoga Therapist (LMU). In addition, she has completed her Prenatal teacher training to serve better for whomever is present in her class. As a Certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, she founded Pure Vital Living (www.purevitalliving.com) where she combines her love for yoga with her passion for nutrition to support her clients’ journey to live joyful lives. Kiyomi is committed to uplifting everyone she connects with and is honored to share the beautiful teachings of yoga at Yoga Dayā.

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Ida Unger
Yoga Daya - Ida Unger

Ida E. Unger, Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor, M. ED. began teaching yoga in 1988 at her home-based studio in Santa Monica, Yoga Garden Studios, and at Santa Monica College. She studied with the Iyengar family in Pune, India and continues to benefit from instruction with senior teachers. Ida feels eternally grateful for the changes yoga has brought to her life and is honored to share this practice with all who want to live with more of themselves awake, alive, present and peaceful . She lives in Tujunga, where you will find her hiking with her family and dogs, reading a book, or standing on her head.

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