ruthRuth Alpert
brings to her teaching extensive training in alternative movement modalities in addition to her many years’ experience as a dancer. Ruth’s interest in healing movement began in 1976, with the work of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Lulu Sweigard, and Susan Klein. She has been a certified practitioner of The Trager® Approach since 1987. Ruth was trained in pilates by Michele Larsson in 1992 and was an Associate of Core Dynamics from 1998-2009. She was certified in GYROTONIC® in 2002, and became a teacher of The Alexander Technique in 2007. Ruth has conducted workshops throughout the US since 1978. 

JChs0913Jeannette Candau, a life-long athlete and student, first experienced yoga as a group exercise class offered at a Gold’s Gym. She quickly realized the physical postures were only the beginning of what yoga could teach her. Initially studying with teachers Deb Dobin and David Miliotis, over time she developed a deep personal practice of yoga, both on and off the mat. Her study of yoga has spanned over two decades and is ongoing. Completing her first teacher training with Erich Schiffmann in 1993, most recently, in November 2011, Jeannette spent 5 weeks studying in residence with YogaWorks’ faculty teacher Alicia Chueng in Bali, Indonesia. A picture-in-the-yearbook Class Clown, she knows how to balance laughter and focus. She sees the yoga mat as sanctuary and science lab – a place find refuge, and a place to test edges and experiment with new ways of being. Mostly, she sees it as playground to discover, laugh, and feel small in the face of wonder. With a deep appreciation for the power of healing touch, she has also studied cranio-sacral therapy at Esalen Institute in Big Sur and is a licensed massage therapist. She has a private practice which offers a unique blending of cranio-sacral treatments with personalized yin yoga sessions.

davidHSDavid Courtenay is a songwriter, performer and Yoga teacher who grew up in Santa Barbara and was first introduced to Yoga as a Theatre student at UCSB. Music performance and Yoga have since become inseparable for him and he credits Yoga for giving him creative stamina, strength, focus, flexibility and the opportunity to flourish in every aspect of life. He completed his 200-hour teacher training at Yogaview in Chicago in 2009 and has since been guiding others towards their own light, peace and freedom within.


An avid student and dedicated teacher, Victoria De Maio began to take yoga classes on a regular basis in the late ‘90’s, well into “mid-life”. Never having been a dancer or particularly athletic, “I found a home for my body – and, as it turned out, for my mind and spirit as well. To say that yoga has changed my life is an understatement!” A newfound passion was ignited and her entire life took a new direction. Within two years she enrolled in Erich Schiffmann’s teacher training and left the corporate world behind. She started teaching immediately and hasn’t looked back since! Having the privilege and honor of studying with many excellent teachers, her teaching style has been most profoundly influenced by her advanced studies with highly respected yoga master Rama Jyoti Vernon and her initial teacher training with Erich Schiffmann. Victoria’s growth as a student and teacher has been an ongoing passion. In addition to completing her 200 hour level teacher certification in 2000 , in 2005, after two years of comprehensive study, she completed her 500 hour certification with Rama and guest faculty through the International Yoga College. Victoria’s love and enthusiasm for teaching yoga are apparent to all who enter her class. Her warmth and genuine caring quickly put even the most inexperienced novice at ease. Her maturity and life experience bring a unique wisdom, empathy, and compassion to her teaching. Particularly sensitive to the needs and issues of the baby boomer generation, she empathizes with those starting a yoga practice at mid life and beyond as well as those coming from the stress and pressure of a corporate environment.

Emily Kligerman brings almost two decades of experience and study in the field of mind-body wellness to her teaching. After completing a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, she followed her love of yoga and completed a teacher training with Integrative Yoga Therapy and then traveled to India to study with master Yoga Therapists in the Krishnamacharya tradition at Yoga Raksanam. She has continued to deepen her understanding of the mind-body connection through working closely with sports medicine specialists, personal trainers, physical therapists, integrative movement practitioners, body workers, and senior Yoga teachers and therapists of the east and west. She is a Certified Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist, a Licensed Massage Therapist in both Swedish and Thai Massage, and a Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist. Emily leads the Yoga Program at United Cerebral Palsy/WORK Incorporated. She has a thriving private practice in Santa Barbara and is also featured in Real Bodywork’s DVD “Yoga Therapy for Back Pain.” It is Emily’s intention to help her students create an enriching Yoga practice both on and off the mat.


danelWEBDanél Lombard’s background as a physical therapist lead her to explore yoga as a healing modality. The benefits she experienced from her practice motivated her to bring it to others through teaching. She completed her 200 hour training at Empowered Yoga in Wilmington, DE in 2008. In addition, she knows the importance of eating well for optimal physical, as well as emotional health and pursued an education in Nutrition. She received her certification in holistic health counseling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City in 2008. Danél also completed her 3 year training and certification in energy healing in 2010 at Inner Focus School of Advanced Energy Healing in Las Vegas. Optimally, creating and maintaining physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being is her goal in life, a practice she enjoys sharing with others. “Yoga is a wonderful therapy for healing, and bringing to light aspects of our being that is out of balance. It serves as a mirror in my life, and keeps me honest to myself. I’ve fallen in love with the practice and it brings me great joy to share this love with others.”


Chao Pang always had a natural affinity for the Eastern meditative practices, both due to his birth origin and love of martial arts. He has studied for over 30 years learning practices from oriental as well as western traditions. Asian practices have a close relationship with Taoism, Zen (Chan Buddhism in Chinese) and Confucian in its philosophical understanding and energetic practices. He is fluent in Chinese and has traveled extensively to learn directly from many of the masters and absorb transmissions from reading ancient texts. He enjoys sharing his understanding and knowledge through experiential teaching of Tai-Ji (Chi) and its philosophies with fellow practitioners. 


karapowisHSKara Powis, PhD. RYT, was introduced to yoga in 1987 when she visited the Kripalu Institute. Since then, she has deepened her passion for, reverence of, wonderment in and commitment to Yoga in its many forms.

While in graduate school at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), Kara started a regular yoga practice. The insights Kara gained from spending time on the mat, and listening to her body’s innate wisdom inspired her Doctoral dissertation “The Embodied Sage: an inquiry in somatic wisdom”.

In a desire to deepen her exploration of Yoga, Kara completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara. Kara brings her years as a professional ASL Interpreter and college professor to Montecito Yoga. She has deep respect and appreciation for the diversity and individuality of people’s bodies and learning styles; and meets each learner where they are.

Her approach to teaching yoga is akin to her approach to life: enthusiasm, compassion and respect while always keeping a sense of humor.


pkpbwHSFor Peggy, yoga is about self-knowledge. She believes that by moving energy throughout our bodies, we add vitality to our daily lives…and that our practice on the mat, both moving and in meditation, teaches what we need to learn outside of class. Practicing all the limbs of yoga helps to quiet the mind, and only with a quite mind can we hear our inner voice.

Peggy is a 500 hour Yoga Alliance Instructor. She completed a 500 hour program with Rod Stryker’s Para Yoga and a 200 hour teacher training with OM Yoga. These incredible teachers as well as others that include Rodney Yee, Richard Rosen, Mark Whitwell, Erich Schiffmann, Richard Freeman, David Nictern, Sarla Nichols, Chris Conniaris, Cora Wen, Doug Keller, Shiva Rai, Jim Bennet, Jennifer Brilliant and Brenna Greeham have deepened her teaching as well as her practice.

Peggy loves sharing what she has learned, and her past experiences with yoga help her understand how to bring students to their fullest physical, emotional and spiritual potential. This is Peggy’s passion, what wakes her up in the morning. Join her class and explore how a simple downward dog can begin a fascinating journey.

For more about Peggy, visit her website:



An athlete and mover all of his life, Paul Wehrman was introduced to the physical practice of yoga while in college. After years of informal practice and attempts to translate Asana from books, his practice expanded and took root after moving in 2005 to live and study at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Ca. Since then, he has had the privilege and honor of studying and practicing directly with many gifted teachers in the fields of massage and yoga. His passion for teaching yoga is inspired by the motivation to reconnect people with their innate capacity to self heal and find balance in themselves, and consequently their lives. His classes are infused with an in depth understanding of anatomy, inspired poetry here and there, and the occasional dash of divine humor and light heartedness. Along with teaching yoga, he also teaches classes and assists massage workshops at Esalen, and maintains a thriving private massage practice in town.


Denise Zaverdas, E-RYT 500 and founder of MoYo, enjoys the tenure of over 10,000 hours of teaching experience. With a B.S. degree in Kinesiology, an unending fascination with the human form, and the deep curiosity of a seeker, Denise studies many forms of Yoga with many master teachers, whom she honors by drawing from a unique blend of disciplines, while emphasizing spirit, breath, structure and strength. Her early roots were planted in Ashtanga with Chuck Miller, Forrest Yoga with Ana Forrest, Yin Yoga with Paul Grilley, and Freedom Yoga with Erich Schiffmann, completing teacher trainings in each style. She creates a liberating flow in her classes, where transitions between poses carry the same mindfulness thread throughout, guiding students to find the dynamic rhythm within. After 6 years of assistant directing the Santa Barbara Yoga Center, Denise birthed Montecito Yoga on 11.11.10.