Our Teachers

Claire Hartley
Claire
Hartley
Claire Hartley

Claire Hartley

Co-Owner and founder of Rising Lotus. British born Yoga teacher, Claire Hartley, found her passion for the practice of Yoga in the early 90’s at the Jivamukti Yoga Center. Their signature style of vigorous flow, chanting, meditation and exploration of the ancient scriptures began to reveal that suffering could be relieved and that the divine was experiential and not just a concept to be studied and discussed, for that she is eternally grateful and humbled by all the teachers she has studied with.

Her first training program was in LA under the tutelage of Peri Doslu. Peri introduced her to Iyengar Yoga which has become an important part of her practice and her teaching. Claire also trained with Lisa Walford and Annie Carpenter at Yogaworks and completed a six month apprenticeship with Lisa.

She remains an ardent fan and disciple of Vinyasa flow for it’s ability to touch the moving prayer that is always singing inside and step into union with the higher Self.

In April 2006 she opened the Rising Lotus Yoga Studio on Ventura Blvd., in Sherman Oaks with her good friend and colleague Daniel Stewart. Claire is the director of Teacher Training at Rising Lotus and loves to guide new teachers on the path of sharing the gifts of Yoga to others, it is an ever humbling path as the students continues to crack her heart open with the love and eagerness they bring into the room.

She is forever inspired by the love of her family, husband John and her daughter Nova. Jai Ma!

Daniel Stewart
Daniel
Stewart
Daniel Stewart

Daniel Stewart

Co-owner of Rising Lotus Yoga, and an holistic Mind/Body Psychotherapist in private practice in Santa Monica and Sherman Oaks, Daniel is dedicated to the practice of being fully alive in each moment.

His playful, heart-centered teaching, combines alignment, meditative breath, and spirit in vigorous vinyasa-flow classes that encourage reconnection to Self, renewal and joy. He incorporates music, eastern philosophy, depth psychology, poetry and laughter to create a stimulating environment where students can release physically, quieting their minds to experience a deep sense of peace and well-being.

Daniel shares his joy of music and bhakti meditation by leading Kirtan and playing sacred music monthly at Rising Lotus, at retreats and other studios in the yoga community. His kirtan is a unique blend of western soul and jazz style improvisation with authentic Sanskrit mantras. The joy he feels singing is evident in the energy that grows in the room and the heart opening often experienced by participants. He believes that together, the musicians and the audience find union as they create an ecstatic experience of blissful music and deep mediation.

Along with RLY cofounder Claire Hartley, Daniel co-leads the Rising Lotus Teacher Training program exploring Yoga Philosophy from an integrative depth psychological perspective.

Ann Braden
Ann
Braden
Ann Braden

Ann Braden

She is inspired by Ana Forrest’s teachings to “create in each of us a sense of freedom, a connection to our spirit and the courage to walk as our spirit dictates”. Ann believes that the practice of yoga helps us become a source of peace, power and inspiration that extends beyond our mats into our communities.

Ann received her teaching certification from Yoga Works in Santa Monica, California, where she apprenticed with Jasmine Lieb, Paul Cabanis and Annie Carpenter. Ann is also certified by Yoga Ed. to teach yoga to children and teachers. She teaches workshops nationally to educators on how to bring the benefits of yoga into the classroom. Ann teaches classes and workshops in the Los Angeles area at studios including Rising Lotus Yoga (www.risinglotusyoga.com) and Yoga Works (www.yogaworks.com)

Anna Hanson
Anna
Hanson
Anna Hanson

Anna Hanson

Anna Hanson approaches yoga, with a curious mind and playful attitude. While fun and mindful, her classes are physically demanding. Students can expect to be greeted with a smile, a bit of yoga philosophy, some breath work, and a whole lot of strength-building flow. She is passionate about encouraging students through advances in their physical practice, managing stress, and moving beyond perceived limitations.

Anna trained with Rudy Mettia and Travis Eliot from Santa Monica Power Yoga and has been practicing yoga for 15 years. When she’s not teaching, Anna is passionate about music, eating delicious vegan food, her two Italian Greyhounds Ella and Dottie, acting, and going on adventures. www.annahansonyoga.com

Dorit Hurst
Dorit
Hurst
Dorit Hurst

Dorit Hurst

I first stepped onto my yoga mat in 2002, in Studio City, CA. I was born and raised in California as a dancer but grew up to be a traveler & Set Decorator for Television & Film. The slow stretching is what lured me into that first class. Very quickly I found there was more going on in yoga class so kept exploring… on and off again… for years. In any time of difficulty I would find myself back on the mat. It brought me ease & peace. In times of stress it brought me back to my true nature. And in off hours it brought physical relaxation, strength & fun. Bonus! Why would I ever leave my mat? These are the aspects I focus on in class. A steady Vinyasa - studying breath, alignment, & stability – sprinkled with the philosophy behind how it’s all connected. I often look at how we can carry yoga off the mat and into everyday life. With life’s many adventures and lessons I do a lot of breath work on the 405 freeway, Tadasana when I’m at a register checkout line, and feel a connection with the earth as it supports my feet as I walk my son to school. I earned my 200-hour yoga teacher training certification (finally) in 2014 at Rising Lotus Yoga under the tutelage of Claire Hartley & Daniel Stewart. I was additionally certified in 2014 to teach kids yoga through Mini Yogis. It’s a lifelong journey – Let’s explore.

Jay Averell
Jay
Averell
Jay Averell

Jay Averell

Jay Averell has been a student of Iyengar yoga since 2001. He graduated in 2006 from the three year teacher's training program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los Angeles and has recently passed assessment at the first level for certification by the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the U.S. His extensive medical background allows him a great knowledge and understanding of the anatomy of the human body, which he incorporates into his classes. He attended the Iyengar Yoga convention in 2007 in Las Vegas where he studied with Gita Iyengar. The senior teacher that he regularly studies with is Manouso Manos. He has been teaching yoga classes since 2005, and his love of Iyengar Yoga is evident to his students through his infectious enthusiasm.

Julia Frodahl
Julia
Frodahl
Julia Frodahl

Julia Frodahl

Julia has always been drawn to the ways of nature and has made a life of understanding nature's poetic laws. For Julia, a spiritual life does not escape the body, but absolutely includes it. That's why she fell in love so long ago with all that Yoga has to offer. Julia bas been practicing yoga for over 20 years, and began teaching in 2003. She was certified by Alison West of Yoga Union, New York's acclaimed gold standard of yoga teacher trainings. With Alison, Julia began the journey of understanding the effect the yoga postures have on the body's energy, chemistry, emotions, and overall health. Julia taught yoga for 8 years in New York before moving to Los Angeles, where she continues to enjoy teaching this beautiful, powerful practice. Julia is also an active psychotherapist, drawing from Jungian Psychology, Buddhism, Quantum Physics, and the Tao. More info at JuliaFrodahl.com

Julia Garro
Julia
Garro
Julia Garro

Julia Garro

Julia was born and raised in Manhattan and started practicing yoga at 14 in a small boutique studio in the neighborhood. At 18 she completed her first 200hr teacher certification phase at Yogaworks Upper West Side with Jenny Aurthur. After graduating from Barnard College at Columbia University she moved to LA where shes completed her 500hr certification with Joan Hyman also at Yogaworks. A first generation American, much of her upbringing was in Argentina where her extended family resides and where she learned fluent Spanish and has taught bilingually. In addition to teaching alignment rich vinyasa, Julia loves teaching pre-natal and teen/kids yoga, especially one-on-one. She has also studied with Maty Ezraty, Annie Carpenter, Mark Whitwell, and Carrie Owerko. Her intention is to uphold the legacy of healing and empowering yogic teachings to students of ALL levels, supporting each student in finding the yoga that is right for them.

Karen Rosales
Karen
Rose
Karen Rosales

Karen Rosales

Karen’s journey into yoga began six years ago as part of her effort to heal and rehabilitate her mother after suffering a brain aneurism. Not only did she find yoga to be a successful way to restore her mother’s physical health, she also discovered the profound healing properties of yoga for mental as well as emotional stress.

Karen earned her teaching certification from the White Lotus Foundation (Approved Yoga Alliance 200 hour program) in Santa Barbara, California under the instruction of Ganga White and Tracey Rich in August of 2007. She continues to study and participate in such workshops as Paul Grilley’s Anatomy. She has earned a certificate of completion from The National Multiple Sclerosis Society of Southern California. Through this program, she has developed many modifications for anyone who is working with an injury or health issue.

Her class guides students toward self-awareness and discovering the teacher within each of us. Karen offers a safe, simple, yet challenging asana practice suitable for students of all levels. She believes in a compassionate and nurturing approach to yoga. Students work hard, but there is a balance between working and resting. She believes that the most important part of yoga is using the breath to link the body, mind and spirit. She encourages her students to approach their practice with playful humor, and without judgment. Karen is grateful for the opportunity to share her love of yoga, and as a teacher, she finds that she learns from her students every day.

Katie Owsley
Katie
Owsley
Katie Owsley

Katie Owsley

Katie's practice is fueled by the desire to cultivate awareness of body and mind, by integrating an acute attention to anatomical form of postures with Pranayama breath work that drives a heart-full and flowing Vinyasa. Life continues to teach her of its precious and precarious nature - all too fleeting, even before factoring in the ever-accelerating pace of a modern society at increasing disconnect with itself. Today, nothing could be more sacred than returning to consciousness, time and again.

After 10 years of practice at various studios in Los Angeles, Colorado, and her hometown of Portland, Oregon, Katie was thrilled to study with Tiffany Cruikshank, of Yoga Medicine, and received her 200-hr RYT in 2015. Always seeking to find balance of discipline and light-heartedness, challenge and reprieve, her classes vary from a slower-paced, calming flow, to more rigorous and playful sequences. She is ever-humbled by her own evolving practice and a constant quest to learn from her beloved teachers and students alike. Namaste!

Kimberly Fujitaki
Kimberly
Fujitaki
Kimberly Fujitaki

Kimberly Fujitaki

As a yoga teacher, I’ve had many amazing opportunities to work with all different types of people at various levels of practice. My passion for teaching is always rewarded by the aid I’m able to give my students. I’m humbled and grateful to forever be a student of yoga and pride myself in learning as much as I can as often as possible. My class descriptions and teaching style are ever evolving, taking from my teachers’ vast amounts of precious knowledge from Iyengar traditions, gentle and therapeutic applications, restorative postures, vinyasa flow, meditation, and bhakti practices. These ideas, techniques and information influence my everyday practice as well as my development as a teacher.

I’m proud to be certified to teach babies, kids, tweens, and teens yoga by Shana Meyerson from mini yogis yoga for kids. Additionally, I completed my 200-hour yoga alliance certification from Rising Lotus Yoga in 2012 studying with Claire Hartley, Daniel Stewart, Karen Rosales, and Jay Averell. In 2013 I completed the Prison Yoga Project Teacher Training with James Fox to bring yoga to at risk communities and incarcerated individuals with special training in trauma sensitive applications of yoga and mindfulness meditation in prisons and other rehabilitation facilities. My love for yoga translates from the beginning of life: kids’ yoga, to our later years: senior yoga, and everything in between. I hope you join me in discovering the vast varieties of yoga and their amazing abilities to heal, create joy, and develop space for love and peace within. Namaste.

Lilia Mead
Lilia
Mead
Lilia Mead

Lilia Mead

Lilia Mead founded and directed Go Yoga for 15 years. It was the first Vinyasa studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She recalls her first class in 1989 with Sharon Gannon of the Jivamukti Method. After graduating from Bennington College with a BA in dance and psychology, she decided to dive deeper into the more esoteric and vast teachings of Yoga. Over the course of her career, she has successfully completed 8 certifications and made two trips to India. In addition to her own studies, she has led and mentored numerous retreats and teacher trainings. Fortunate enough to have studied with many great masters along the way, she holds a select few near and dear to her heart. Genny Kapular of the Iyengar method has been her living mentor, inspiration and muse since 1999. The moment she laid eyes and ears on the teachings of Lama Marut something awakened inside of her and has been alive and kicking ever since. Other incredible and more recent teachers that continue to support and illuminate the path are Lisa Walford, Chris Stein and Govindas. In January of 2016, Lilia made the big move from NY to LA with her husband JJ and two children Zoey and Tyger. Her teaching style can best be described as Iyengar informed, Ashtanga inspired Vinyasa with elements of Dharma, Pranayama and Meditation sprinkled on top. As irony would have it, Claire Hartley and Lilia have known each other since Lilia’s bachelorette party (that Claire attended) back in 1999! With great respect and love, she is thrilled to be a part of this beautiful Rising Lotus Yoga community.

Lindsley Allen
Lindsley
Allen
Lindsley Allen

Lindsley Allen

Lindsley is originally from Hanover, PA and graduated from Philadelphia University of the Arts with a BFA in Ballet. She won a Joe Tremaine Dance Scholarship in New York and that same week moved to LA to purse her passion for dance. Yoga is one of the main reasons Lindsley has been able to maintain a long dance career. It has given her the tools to heal her body, mind and spirit over and over again. Yoga was the most organic transition from being a professional dancer and it has deepened and expanded her life beyond any expectations. Lindsley enjoys practicing, teaching and sharing the many blessings that yoga has to offer. Lindsley is a graduate of the Rising Lotus Teacher Training program.

Madeleine Culbertson
Madeleine
Culbertson
Madeleine Culbertson

Madeleine Culbertson

Madeleine Culbertson has been practicing yoga for almost a decade. After participating in several mission trips at John Carroll University, Culbertson could not help but have her eyes opened to the injustices occurring around the world. Returning to everyday life after these trips was a difficult adjustment, and imparted a deeper understanding of how one’s choices can affect the people and places around the earth. It is this knowledge that drew Culbertson to yoga. Yoga offers a space where she feels she can make a real difference in this world. Learning more about herself through yoga equipped Culbertson with a deeper connection to those around her and has given her the tools to help herself and others better navigate the sometimes inexplicable world we live in. Yoga means union, it unites us with life’s creation and when that happens, we are more empowered to look after that creation and one another.

Culbertson’s approach to yoga creates a space where people feel connected and cared for. Her sequences are meant to be challenging, but she always offers a variety of pose options that make these sequences accessible to yogis of all levels. Yoga is hard work. It is not really meant to get easier over time, but to be a path of discovery in which there is always a new challenge. This however, does not mean it can’t be fun! The longer you practice, the less physical and emotional resistance you will have to the practice.

Join Culbertson if you seek a space of non- judgment. A space where you can work through frustration, laugh at yourself and with others, and be challenged -- it is all part of a wonderful process. Yoga will always leave you with a satisfying and very natural “high” – without having to take anything.

Micki Duran
Micki
Duran
Micki Duran

Micki Duran

Micki began her yoga journey eight years ago. After surviving drug addiction, a friend invited her to her very first yoga class. She had no idea the effect it would have on her and her life. Through yoga she learned that the search is never ending, that the journey of the search IS the reason for living. The thread between each moment through every experience with every emotion being happy, sad, good, bad...IS yoga. After completing the 200 hour teacher training program with Rising Lotus Yoga in Sherman Oaks, Micki hopes to pass on what she's learned through where she's been and to give peace to those who are struggling. She believes with all her heart that we are all beautiful and lovable and worthy of great things.

Nina Siemaszko
Nina
Siemaszko
Nina Siemaszko

Nina Siemaszko

Nina Siemaszko, 200RYT from RLY is in her 3rd year of Iyengar yoga studies. She is apprenticing with Senior Iynegar teacher Christine Stein as she prepares for her Into 2 assessment. She studies regularly with Manouso Manos and with Claire Hartley and is incredibly grateful for their kindness and teachings. Pranayama, Asana, Philosophy, the Science of Yoga are the mainstays of her classes. be ready to get on your mat to practice, play and find your inner freedom.
Jai MAA!

Patille Kebabjian
Patille
Kebabjian
Patille Kebabjian

Patille Kebabjian

Patille gently guides her students through a dynamic series of Yin postures, which are appropriate for all levels, including beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Patille’s teaching is heart-centered, empathic, and inspirational. She empowers her students to honor their own pace, to move intentionally, and to find peace within discomfort. Her classes are experiential, rich, reflective, and playful. She values the importance of creating sacred and uplifting spaces where all can come to release, heal, and rejuvenate.

Rosanna Tavarez
Rosanna
Tavarez
Rosanna Tavarez

Rosanna Tavarez

Rosanna began her yoga journey with a firm nudge from her dance professor and mentor while a dance major at the University of Michigan. Her first classes were in the Iyengar tradition at the Ann Arbor YMCA and soon after with master teacher Cindy Lee in New York. She loved the physical aspect of the practice, but quickly noticed that her mind was quite chatty. This led to a lifelong practice of self-inquiry while having some extraordinary adventures in the entertainment business, first as a one fifth of a girl band that toured with N’SYNC and had its own reality show, and then as a television host alongside Ryan Seacrest and other fancy Hollywood types. Her soul searching found her much more at home on her red yoga mat (its still red), than on the red carpet and in 2009 she became certified as a yoga instructor, retired the glam lashes and seven layers of make-up and began teaching. She has learned to love the part of her that is chatty and infuses her classes with anecdotes, stories and teachings from varied sources like NPR podcasts, to TED talks to the Yoga Sutras. She has a profound love for exploring how things connect and intersect and is invested in seeing her students discover freedom, power, fullness and connection within their bodies, minds, spirits and hearts.

Sarah Intelligator
Sarah
Intelligator
Sarah Intelligator

Sarah Intelligator

Sarah was first introduced to yoga at the age of 14 when it was offered at her Jr. High School, as an alternative to P.E. class. A ballet dancer of 11 years, Sarah immediately gravitated toward the practice. In March 2000, while still in her senior year of high school, at the age of 17, Sarah enrolled in and completed Center for Yoga's 200 hour teacher training, with Diana Beardsley and Steve Walther.

A Divorce and Family Law attorney since 2008, Sarah continued to teach while obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature, at UCLA, and while earning her Juris Doctorate, at Southwestern Law School. Having practiced yoga since 1996, attended myriad yoga workshops with renowned yogis and having taken classes all over the world, Sarah does not note a single teacher as her primary influence. Rather, Sarah is indebted to every teacher whose class she has taken throughout her years of practice, each of whom has shaped her teaching style in some way.

In a committed effort to further herself, both, as a teacher and as an individual, Sarah constantly attends yoga classes and devours books on psychology, philosophy and spirituality. Sarah firmly believes that the best teachers are, themselves, devoted students.

Sarah also credits her students and clients for, daily, offering insight into the workings of the human psyche, challenging Sarah to find new and effective ways to use the practice of yoga and yoga philosophy to guide others.

In fact, it was through Sarah's years of teaching and her practice of Family Law that she saw a unique opportunity to meld her two worlds, and develop an area of law practice she termed: "Holistic Divorce and Family Law." Sarah also writes a blog, called "YogaESQue: A Holistic Approach to Divorce and Family Law," offering a yoga teacher's perspective on ways to facilitate healing after divorce. Integrating her experience as a yoga teacher into her practice of Family Law, Sarah remains acutely aware that Family Law litigation is highly personal, and she is committed to honoring each client's human experience -- which she feels is so often lost in the litigation process.

At the same time, Sarah's work as a Family Law Attorney has deeply influenced her as a yoga instructor, birthing what has blossomed into a wonderful, symbiotic relationship between these, ostensibly, antithetical disciplines. In her classes, Sarah places tremendous emphasis on the beautiful ways in which the practice of yoga catalyzes healing. Although always tempered with lightheartedness and a sense of humor, Sarah invites her students to attempt rigorous postures as a vehicle for teaching them to cope, not only with issues intrinsic to divorce, but with all challenging life situations. Sarah's fastidious attention to alignment and her nurturing demeanor ensure that students feel safe at all times -- literally and figuratively.

Sarah's class, and outlook on life, are best and most succinctly characterized by one of the poignant Gandhi quote: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

Stacy Jackson
Stacy
Jackson
v
Stacy Jackson

Stacy Jackson

Pursuing a lifelong interest in fitness, I found my way to yoga in the early 1990’s at Yoga Works in Santa Monica. I enrolled in a Fundamentals of Yoga weekend Course, and I was hooked! What followed was years of practicing yoga with the most respected teachers at the finest studios in town. My practice took another huge step forward when I found the Rising Lotus Yoga studio, and met my future mentors Claire Hartley and Daniel Stewart, who ignited within me a light of desire to become a teacher.

After practicing with Claire and Daniel for a three years, I poured myself into their 200 hour yoga teacher training at Rising Lotus in 2013. Later, I was introduced to Jill Miller’s Yoga Tune Up, and was intrigued to learn how the YTU poses were physically preparing the body for the yoga asana, I knew this was something I wanted to integrate into my practice and teaching program, and enrolled in YogaTune Up teacher training in 2014 to study with YTU creator Jill Miller.

Yoga Tune Up® is a fitness therapy format built around the three P's – Pain, Posture and Performance. It helps eradicate pain, improve posture and enhance performance through a unique blend of Corrective Exercise, Self Massage and Yoga.

The integration of YTU with my regular yoga asana practice has forged a potent source of wellness for me, and I’m very excited to be able to share this combined practice with my Rising Lotus students.

My intention as a teacher is to be a resource of wellness for my students, sharing a hybrid of what I have studied and personally practice: Pantanjali’s 8 limbs of yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Iyenger, and Yoga Tune Up.

For me yoga extends far beyond the mat, it is a lifestyle that promotes physical and spiritual harmony, and a practical path toward self realization. Yoga has taught me to surrender to what is and to live in the immediacy of the moment. When you live in the present moment you are in a conscious state, and when you are in a conscious state you are acutely aware and awake. Yoga doesn’t just help you improve the path of your life, it helps you draw your own map by providing useful tools for achieving your personal health and wellness goals. What more could you ask for!