Gurus Gate Yoga

Instructors

The Guru’s Gate is very lucky to have a group of “Studio Gurus” who are dedicated to providing the highest level of service and dedication to all of our clients. Check out their diverse backgrounds and training and see for yourself why we have the best group of instructors in the South Bay.


Lolita Wang

Studio Owner, Yoga, Class Instructor

Lolita is the owner of Gurus Gate Yoga and is a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher. Lolita is certified in Greenpath Vinyasa, an ashtanga inspired program, Katherine Roberts Yoga for Golfers and Christopher Harrison’s Antigravity Yoga. After teaching yoga for over 10 years in San Francisco and Las Vegas, she is excited to continue her journey with you in Manhattan Beach.

Lisa Vitta

Yoga, Class Instructor

Lisa Vitta, also known by her spiritual name, Dharamgeet Kaur is the owner and founder of The Gurus Gate Manhattan Beach. With a KRI Kundalini certification from the Golden Bridge, a Level II Reiki diploma and as a Khalsa Way Pre-natal certified instructor, Lisa is able to spread light through an assortment of yoga practices. She continues to educate herself, presenting up to date information to her students. Her newest certification is for children’s yoga called Light Leaders. Inspiration to children and their parents have lead to the creation of her own kids club charity called, Kids 4 Humanity. Kids 4 Humanity brings children together to extend a helping hand through random acts of kindness within the community.

Drawing on her own personal experience, Lisa shares her enthusiasm and humor with her students as she guides them through their own exploration towards enlightenment. From de-stressing and dealing with matters of the heart, to unlocking creative potential and coping with school, families and aging. “This studio has been a long time dream of mine. I started out of my home and now I can invite more guests in to my new ‘Studio Home’! It’s all about building a strong spiritual base and community as one.”

Lisa and her husband of 20 years, have three children together and reside in beautiful Manhattan Beach, California. Seeking to always share her commitment and enthusiasm on shaping the way families interact in the household, Lisa cannot wait to meet all that roll out their mats in her new sacred space!


Paresh Shah

Yoga, Class Instructor

Paresh Shah is a certified Yoga Alliance Instructor and received his 300 hour Kundalini Yoga Teacher and 500 hour Advanced Instructor training from world-renown Masters Ravi Singh, Ana Brett and Olivia Lomax. In addition to sharing yoga, he is a loving husband, Dad to four beautiful children (and a cute dog, Shadow), and CEO of Glimpulse, a next generation media and expression company to foster positive connections between us all– making the invisible connections we all have with one another richer and more uplifting. He serves as an Adjunct Professor of Business in several MBA programs, was trained as an engineer and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Born in India, raised in Washington DC, and now in Manhattan Beach from four years in Paris, Paresh’s philosophy centers on the commonality of Consciousness across all major Spiritual and Wellness traditions. In addition to his Yoga teachers, Paresh has studied with Masters such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Paramahamsa Nithyananda.

Aimée Donahue

Yoga, Class Instructor

Aimée is a Certified Yoga Therapist (LMU) who has been practicing yoga and the healing arts for over 18 years. Motivated to heal her own spine, she studied various traditions including Hatha and Kundalini Yoga, and has served as the Resident Yoga Therapist alongside LA’s premier Chiropractic Specialist, Dr. Rick Morris. Having studied under the pioneer of Pre & Post Natal Yoga, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Aimée has a passion for caring for and nurturing our coming generations by supporting and educating expectant mothers.

An accomplished recording artist, Aimée draws from her studies at Berklee College of Music and the sacred science of Naad (sound current) to weave an enchanting musical thread through her class, often including a live DJ or instrumentation. She’s known for her clear explanations of the physiological and psychological benefits of the kundalini postures, which help to bring the mind/body connection into focus. Her classes are playful and transformational adventures where everyone has the opportunity to chant, sweat, laugh and relax deeply.

Aimée continues her counseling practice, drawing from her Shamanic and Transformational training to provide compassionate, practical and effective support to her clients including CEO’s and executives, housewives, young adults and people in crisis.

I practice yoga because: It’s a guaranteed high that has no negative side effects! Yoga helps me find my truth, feel uplifted consistently and find the humor in life.

I teach yoga because: I get to play, laugh, sing and grow with courageous and inspiring people on a daily basis. Teaching brings out the best in me and always inspires the excellence in myself and others.

I am inspired by: The beauty of nature, music, all my teachers including my students, and especially my beloved teacher Yogi Bhajan.


Chelsea Rothert

Yoga, Class Instructor

Chelsea Rothert is a DONA certified Birth Doula and Yoga Teacher who specializes in Prenatal. She has over 500+ Hours with The Mukti School of Yoga, and in 2010 she completed Gurmukh’s Prenatal Khalsa Way Program. Her classes offer a safe space to strengthen, lengthen and prepare the body and mind for birth. She believes that a regular yoga practice will teach women the tools they need to breath and honor movement; Ultimately allowing them to become more in tune with the natural process of labor itself. Her knowledge as a birth doula really brings a new dynamic to this prenatal class.

Chelsea leads Birthing 101 workshops throughout the year, as well, she offers both private or group Childbirth Education classes.

Gretchen Kamrath

Yoga, Class Instructor

Dancing since the age of 2, Gretchen was naturally inclined to yoga for the stretching and slow graceful movements, and especially for attaining and maintaining higher quality of mental, physical and spiritual health and well-being. She practiced the physical aspect of yoga for a few years, meanwhile earning her B.A. in Communication and Peace Studies at CSULB.

With a strong desire to spread peace and love, she earned her teaching certification in Hatha yoga at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm and is completing training in Rudra Yoga, Kundalini Tradition, through World Evolution. Gretchen incorporates mindfulness of the breath to enhance our focus and attain present and clear awareness. Karma yoga (selfless-service) and bhakti yoga (devotion) are reflected in her pure, loving spirit.


Lisa Torres

Yoga, Barre Physique, Class Instructor

Fitness and wellness expert, athlete and celebrity trainer and entrepreneur are just a few words to describe Lisa Torres. Being disappointed by countless exercise methods and not attaining the strong, long, lean body she desired, Lisa worked with an orthopedic sports surgeon, physical therapists and studied various meditation practices to develop Barre Physique and The Barre Physique T-Series Workouts. She healed and dramatically changed her body from a size 12 to a size 2 with her unique workout philosophy that includes extreme core conditioning, various exercise disciplines, orthopedic and fascial stretching, meditation and higher consciousness.

Her entrepreneurial spirit combined with her extensive training and passion for safe, effective workouts gave her the drive to create Barre Physique as well as pursue other outlets such fitness and commercial modeling, hosting and video production. Lisa’s passion and drive along with her personality are a rare but powerful combination. She is a featured Fitness Personality for Learn it Live and has trained countless individuals and barre instructors. With over 10 years of barre fitness experience and medical endorsements, she is a pioneer in this form of movement that changes and creates awareness in the mind, body and soul, and recognized as A Barre Fitness Expert.

Lisa resides in Manhattan Beach, California with her two dogs. In addition to pursuing her dreams, her interests include charity events, watching sports, traveling, music, dancing, hiking, walking on the beach, snowboarding, skiing, gourmet cooking and baking, going out with friends, movies and most of all having fun and enjoying life.

Nicole M. Fagone (Sukhmani Kaur)

Yoga, Class Instructor

Nicole has been practicing yoga for 15 years. Her passion for yoga grew exponentially when she began practicing Kundalini Yoga in 2009 with Aimée Donahue. An accomplished singer and songwriter, Nicole found the mantras, rhythmic nature of the music used in class as well as the invigorating and challenging movements utilized in Kundalini Yoga so inspiring that becoming a teacher seemed like the natural thing to do. Nicole attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and she and her husband, Steven are in the band called Sukha, and enjoy creating mantra infused uplifting music for yoga and festivals.

She has studied Kundalini Yoga and Mediation at the advanced levels with renowned Kundalini Yoga teachers Gurmukh, Guru Singh, Tej and Harijiwan and currently holds a E-RYT with the Yoga Alliance and is a member of IKTYA (International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association). Come join Nicole on a transformational spiritual journey to a healthier and happier you!


Dena D’Angelo

Certified Yoga Therapist, Class Instructor

Dena’s motto is “UNWIND, PLAY, & HEAL” with conscious breath, mindful pose development, and guided meditation. As a Yoga Therapist with a 20 year career in art, she creatively teaches classes that make yoga accessible to all with an easygoing sense of humor and an always eclectic musical playlist. Dena is deeply committed to sharing the wisdom of yoga’s power to improve health with sensitivity to clients’ specific concerns and desired goals.

In addition to her classes, private Yoga Therapy sessions can be booked with Dena to address a full spectrum of health areas including chronic pain relief, injury recovery, overall strengthening & flexibility, aging joints, immunity support, improving posture & balance, digestive issues, weight loss, women’s health, stress reduction, deep relaxation, and Vedic guidance for emotional well-being.

Certifications and Training:
Loyola Marymount University YTRx, RYT-500
Advanced Vinyasa, Restorative Yoga, and Vedic Healing training

Jennifer Maraccini (Prem Siri Kaur)

Yoga, Class Instructor

Jennifer has been teaching yoga, conducting workshops and leading yoga retreats since 2009. She specializes in Kundalini, Hatha, Mommy and Me as well as Prenatal Yoga. Her classes are uplifting, joyful and energizing.

Inspired by the yogic teachings of Yogi Bhajan as well as Gurmukhs’ teachings on conscious pregnancy and birth Jennifer delivered her daughter naturally at home in January 2013. She believes yoga and meditation help women to unlock their intuition and trust their inner power so they know what is best for their body, their birth and their baby.

Jennifer and her family love their daily yoga and meditation practice. They hope to inspire others by their lifestyle.


Laurie Angress

Certified Yoga Therapist, Class Instructor

Laurie began her personal yoga journey in 1992, seeking the practice for low back pain relief and ended up discovering yoga’s holistic benefits – including a mental, physical, and emotional sense of well-being.

Laurie is a Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT-YTRx500) graduating from Loyola Marymount University with a 500-hour certificate in August 2013. She is continuing her YTRx education at LMU and will have completed 800 hours of Yoga Therapy training including an internship at the Venice Family Clinic by August 2014. Laurie’s 200-hour certificate (RYT) (2009) is through Mukti Yoga School in Manhattan Beach and she has over 250 hours of mentorship and elective coursework. These include bodywork, pranayama (breath), iRest (yoga nidra), Ayurveda, and meditation. She completed an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course (MBSR) through Insight LA in July 2013.

Private yoga therapy is available with Laurie. Private classes are particularly helpful for individuals with chronic pain, injury recovery, anxiety, insomnia, and stress reduction.

Certifications and Training:
Loyola Marymount University YTRx, RYT-500
Advanced Vinyasa, Restorative Yoga, and Vedic Healing training

Pilar Stella (Atamgeet Kaur)

Yoga, Class Instructor

Pilar Stella, also known as Atamgeet Kaur, has been practicing yoga for over 20 years. She found Kundalini in 2007 when her endocrine system shut down from over training for triathlons, a stressed marriage, and overworking a rigorous professional life. After Western medicine failed to heal her, a friend introduced her to Kundalini yoga and within 3-6 months she was completely better. Coming from an engineering family and scientific background, she was convinced by the power of this healing modality. In 2008, she moved to Southern California, took her teacher training with Harijiwan and Tej and has been teaching Kundalini Yoga, leading gong meditations, and more recently practicing Sat Nam Rasayan, another powerful healing modality that Yogi Bhajan brought to the West.

Through her Kundalini and her surfing, she has found a peace that she never imagined possible and has learned to incorporate the tools from her practice to find balance across her professional, personal and spiritual lives. She is an author on peace and spirituality – with a children’s book on peace with 10 Nobel Peace Laureates, Seeking Serenity – and has produced events with Nobel Laureates and other world leaders. She is also a conscious capitalist, integrating yogic tools and consciousness into her business as she builds an innovative investment fund, Alchemy P4, to disrupt traditional angel investing and venture capital.

Pilar is passionate about teaching students to take Kundalini yoga’s resources and philosophy beyond the classroom. In her classes, she serves as a facilitator and guide to provide her students with tools in class that may then be brought out into the real world with their health, relationships and business life. Yet, to complement her empirical side, she adds a soft playful spirit to her classes to bring out everyone’s inner child. When she can, she also brings in other musicians – crystal singing bowls, harmonium, harp, and more as she believes sound – as with music – is one of the most powerful modalities to open our hearts and heal. In keeping with Yogi Bhajan’s philosophy, Pilar welcomes anyone to her classes who wants to have a bigger experience of themselves which then enables the people in their lives to have bigger experiences of themselves.


Ma Muktha

Yoga, Class Instructor

Ma Nithya Mukthananda (Ma Muktha) is an initiated Acharya of Sri Paramahamsa Nithyananda, Mahamandaleshwar (spiritual head) of the renowned Mahanirvani Peeth, the most ancient apex body of Hinduism. Ma Muktha offers mentoring in the non-dualistic spiritual teachings and the yogic sciences. As a spiritual mentor, spiritual teacher, and catalyst she works with individuals to help them open their hearts and awaken to their true nature. She also offers spiritual guidance, in one-on-one satsang sessions as well as group seminars and workshops, either in person or remotely.

Ma Muktha offers satsang in gratitude and service for the love and grace that flow through her teacher, Sri Paramahamsa Nithyananda, and for the Truth brought to this world by his teachings. Satsang is offered as a celebration of the possibility, in every moment, of recognizing the truth of who we are. Ma Muktha offers herself with an inspiring vision, compassionate approach and as a cause for this transformative science of living enlightenment.

Ma Muktha lives in Los Angeles, California with her two young children, her guru and sangha. Call the Guru’s Gate for her coming schedule of events or an individual appointment.

Jenna Anderson

Yoga, Pilates, Class Instructor, Workshops

Formerly a secondary school teacher and personal trainer,Jenna Anderson discovered pilates and yoga and found her true passion;combining flowing movement with strength and higher consciousness.She began studying both yoga and pilates intensively. She moved to Boulder, Colorado to study the year long comprehensive program of the Pilates Method at The Pilates Center and graduated in 2006. Furthering her studies at The Pilates Center, she completed The Masters Program in 2013.

In between the two Pilates certification programs, she traveled to India to do a 3 month teacher training program while living in an ashram. There, she studied the ancient spiritual texts, meditation, the 8 limbs of Yoga, including yoga asana. Jenna returned to India to study advanced pranayama and meditation techniques. Jenna then completed 200 hours with Shiva Rea in Prana Flow yoga. She has immersed herself in the practice of AcroYoga as well. She is adept at working safely with injuries and has worked extensively with pre and post-natal pilates and yoga. She studies and practices from many traditions; Acroyoga, Hatha, Asthtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Anusara, Tantra, Siddha,and Kundalini. Over the years, she has studied under Saul David Raye, Shiva Rea, Maty Ezraty, and Annie Carpenter. Her personal teaching style reflects aspects of all the amazing teachers she has studied under.

Jenna’s classes will reveal your core strength and you will learn the 3 bandhas (energy locks) in yoga. In Sanskrit, bandha means to connect, to hold, or to tighten. Come awaken Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, and Jalandhara Bandha to elevate your yoga practice to unimaginable levels. The classes begin with exploring deeper strengths followed by pilates exercises and vinyasa flow to energize the core.The class winds down with Savasana to unite and integrate.


Linh James (aka Guru Mitar)

Yoga, Class Instructor

Linh’s beginning to yoga was purely physical, she simply wanted a “yoga butt”, with that she found her way to Ashtanga Yoga. Through her “yoga butt journey” came the discovery that yoga was more than a physical practice. As changes started happening off the mat, she started questions what yoga was really about. Linh found her way to her first teacher training program over a decade ago, first certifying as a Hatha teacher, and then eventually certifying further as a Kundalini Yoga teacher. Linh has traveled the world studying; she dedicated most of her studies to the science of tapping into the greatness within. She is certified as a coach, educates from the heart, and she has her Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology.

She is a breathwork facilitator, a workshop leader, and business owner www.loveSOULutions.com.

To take a class with Linh might be easy some days, and a challenge other days, it all depends on you and where you are at she says. She empowers her students to listen within and follow the voice of love. Her style of teaching is with an open heart, compassion, patience and at the same time finding the challenge of going just be-on the comfort zone.

Linh encourages her student to have some type of daily spiritual practice, even if it’s just for the yoga butt, because within a spiritual practice you will come to know YOU are greater than you thought.

Julia Von Wiegandt

Yoga, Class Instructor

Julia is a bright-spirited, spiritual South Bay native with a fun and playful attitude. At a young age Julia felt a passion for health and fitness, and a deep connection to physical movement. She realized it was the way she best understood how to express herself. After sustaining many injuries as a dancer, Julia decided to try Yoga in 2008. She fell in love with Yoga, and felt that it fulfilled her spirit. At the end of 2012 she decided to take the 200 Hour RYT Yoga Teacher Training. In May of 2013 she received her certification, and in June she auditioned for and was hired by a Yoga studio, where she was also trained in Barre.

Julia safely guides her students through both Yoga and Barre classes in a way that helps them to achieve the physical benefits they desire. She shows them how to create serenity within and develop healthy relationships with their bodies through the art of Yoga. She uses proper transitions and alignment cues to provide students with a safe foundation, while mentally and physically challenging her students to grow. Most importantly she encourages her students to listen to, nurture, and honor exactly what it is that their body, mind, and spirit need. She hopes that each individual that comes to Yoga or Barre finds whatever it is that they have come looking for, whether it be an intense workout, increased strength and flexibility, or a spiritual journey.

Julia puts her heart into each and every class and hopes that she is able to inspire others to discover more about who they are on their Yoga mats, while creating healthy relationships with their bodies.


Lauren Herwitt

Yoga, Class Instructor

Lauren grew up in the South Bay spending much of her childhood in dance studios training as a competitive rhythmic gymnast. Through this experience she discovered early on the profound benefit of maintaining a healthy mind and body connection. In 2005, while pursuing a demanding career as a Financial Advisor, Lauren rekindled this connection when she began regularly practicing yoga. Yoga’s physical and spiritual restorative effects reawakened Lauren and reconnected her with these fond childhood memories. And beyond that, it provided her with a renewed mindfulness of the connection between mind, body, and spirit.

After practicing yoga extensively with inspiring instructors such as Marla Wedge and Julie Rader, Lauren completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training through Julie Rader’s Mukti Yoga School, training under Wendy Garafalo and Linda Baffa. She then completed Prenatal Yoga Training with Yogawork’s Patti Quintero and later studied with Maty Ezraty.

Lauren brings a playful and energetic attitude to her classes, filled with an emphasis on challenging yet nurturing poses for all levels. In her prenatal yoga classes, Lauren draws from her training, but also her experience as a new mother to her daughter Olivia Rose. Her classes emphasize meditative practices and mindfulness, and she encourages her students to seek out the benefits of yoga with a curious mind and open heart.

Maureen Davis

Yoga, Class Instructor

Maureen Davis is CYT/RYT500 registered with the Yoga Alliance and the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She has published articles in the IAYT Journal and Yoga Journal. She has created recently a Chair Yoga DVD and participating in a study for people with Diabetes doing yoga, especially those who are not able to walk or participate in traditional exercise for weight management. Maureen’s passion for yoga started with her 3rd back surgery where she participated in a FDA Study for a bi-level artificial disc replacement. She was the first in Southern California to receive those discs, and went on to her teacher training 1 year later. She has been teaching for over 10 years and has been a practicing Yoga Therapist for over 8 yrs. Maureen realized that through Yoga she could help others heal their bodies by connecting and bringing together the Mind/Body connection.

Unlike traditional therapies, yoga helps you unlock the stories and emotional memory that is stored in our cells that creates disease. She educates all of her students on their biography lives in their biology. Clean your stories, heal thyself. Her classes are for all levels, whether you are a beginner to yoga or an advanced practitioner, you will learn something while attending her classes.