Our Instructors


Maribeth Hammond, E-R.Y.T. 500
Voted BEST YOGA INSTRUCTOR in VENTURA COUNTY 2015-16. (yearly since 2005)
THE YOGA CHANNEL voted BEST YOGA STUDIO in VENTURA COUNTY 2015-16. (10 years running)
Maribeth Hammond, the Founder of The Yoga Channel, has earned recognition for the Yoga Alliance for her more than 20,000 hours of yoga instruction. Maribeth brings to her classes body alignment, flexibility, spiritual awareness and serenity. She offers private sessions, corporate and individual stress reduction programs, Yoga Alliance approved teacher training and accredited (earns CEC’s) specialty classes, including wellness, restorative and relaxation programs.


Lisa M. Otero, R.Y.T-200
Lisa has been practicing yoga and meditation for 20 years. Her teaching focuses on the meditative aspects and healing benefits of yoga practice. She completed training for her Yoga Alliance 200-RYT license with Maribeth Hammond at the Yoga Channel Yoga Studio in 2011. Lisa is also an accredited instructor of T’ai Chi Chih® and a retired attorney, licensed in Massachusetts, where she practiced legal aid and civil rights law for many years. The stress of law practice taught Lisa the value of consistent yoga, T’ai Chi Chih, and meditation practice. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Harvard Law School.


Don Steensma R.Y.T.
Don feels a daily yoga practice has changed his life and he enjoys giving that gift of yoga to others. He began practicing in 2000 and took teacher training at The Yoga Channel in 2004. Don leads a strong active class, but always stesses the uniquiness of each individual and the individuals need to develop their yoga as their own.


Aurora Heinemann, R.Y.T-200
Aurora accidentally found yoga, while looking for a new “workout” program, and she is grateful every day that she did.  Yoga healed her through a very traumatic time in her life.  Healed her by surprise.  Once she experienced the miraculous healing powers of yoga, she began her studies of the practice, on her own, and through Maribeth Hammond’s teacher training.  Aurora finally felt at “home” spiritually, with yoga, and thus began her teaching career.  Aurora is passionate about her teaching, shining her light upon her students and everyone else she meets.  Currently, she is the Director/Owner of The Yoga Channel Studio at Silver Strand Beach.  She welcomes you to the studio and her classes with a warm and open heart.


Margaret Remmen, R.Y.T. 200
Margaret completed her 200 hour teacher training with Maribeth Hammond in 2005. Using elements from many schools, Margaret guides students toward strength and balance. A focus on the breath helps students to find their own inner stillness and serenity. She brings to her teaching a deep love of yoga and concern for the individual.


Heidi Hening  R.Y.T.–200
Heidi has been practicing yoga since 1993. She received her RYT–200 through The Yoga Channel at Silver Strand Beach under Maribeth Hammond. She attributes yoga to saving her from neck surgery while relieving stress and pain in other parts of her body. Heidi likes to practice slowly, asking her students to find their edge, and then back off… allowing breath to take them deeper into the poses. Her motto is “Find comfort in your practice.”

patsy headshot

Patsy Higgins R.Y.T. 200
Patsy began studying yoga in 2003. She received her certification under Maribeth Hammond at The Yoga Channel. As a participant in the aging population, her interests lie in bringing the benefits of yoga to those who have physical limitations, requiring the use of a chair and/or other props.


Nathan Holden, R.Y.T. -200
Nathan began practicing yoga in 2004 while studying holistic massage at the Ojai School of Massage. He has integrated yoga breathing techniques and stretching principles into his massage practice over the past nine years. He began teaching an all levels yoga class in 2009, and completed his RYT-200 hr. training course with Maribeth at the Yoga Channel in March 2013. Nathan brings a working knowledge of anatomy and physiology into his relaxing, back-to-the-basics style of yoga, which draws inspiration from Hatha, Yin, and Iyengar styles.


Anna Spanopoulos, Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher
Anna began her yoga study in the early 1970s and teacher training in Hatha yoga and Ashtanga yoga in 1994. She began teaching in 1995. Since then she has been a student of the Iyengar yoga system including Iyengar teacher training and therapy workshops. The improvement of her health and asthma drew Anna to her daily yoga practice which grants her internal quiet and external strength. Teaching yoga to others is one of her greatest joys in life. Anna encourages her students to “Live Better in Your Body.” Focused on Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Nutrition, Anna has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology.

April Shafer
April finds balance in her life on her yoga mat and is eager to share this with her students. She has a passionate dedication to the practice and finds healing in strength and movement. April started practicing yoga in 2004 after learning she had scoliosis. Soon afterwards she earned a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) certificate and began teaching. Currently April is a Yoga Medicine Teacher working towards a 500hr certificate in Yoga Medicine under the direction of founder and visionary Tiffany Cruikshank.

Yoga Medicine is a thorough, anatomically based training system that trains teachers all over the world to work more powerfully with their students. Yoga Medicine is a community of teachers who excel in their training and their ability to understand the body from an eastern & western perspective enabling them to work more effectively with other healthcare practitioners. Yoga Medicine is not a style of yoga, but rather a training that educates the teacher to understand the body and create individualized yoga prescriptions for the student.

Liza Keyser, RYT 500, Yin 50
Liza begin her yoga journey in the early 2002 while in college studying Psychology and Physical Education, at first yoga was just a weekly class that she attended to stretch her sore muscles. She has been an athlete her whole life running, cycling, snowboarding and gym workouts that it only seemed right to go to yoga too. After years of injuries and torn down body, she turned her heart to yoga fully. Starting her yoga practice daily, meet up with Jennifer Elliott, who then became her mentor. She finished her 200 and 300 hours at Yogaworks training with her mentor, and now is teaching yoga to her students, which is her greatest passion in life. Liza loves teaching all styles of yoga vinyasa, hatha, yin, and restoratives. She recently attended a yin training 50 hours with David Kim and believes yin yoga is the yin-delicious.


Julianna C. Avelar
Julianna C. Avelar GIA AJP, is a well-known international mover and shaker in the creative lifestyle community. As an innovator, author, artist, business lifestyle guide, product developer, on air talent and social media influencer Julianna has turned millions on to the joys of connecting creativity and self love through the art of artistic expression.

Julianna’s sincerity and compassion and her genuine enthusiasm for the creative arts have built a loyal viewing and shopping audience for over 25 years. Julianna became a household name in the creative industry with her thousands of appearances on shows such as TNN’s Aleene’s Creative Living, HGTV’s Carol Duvall Show, PBS Scrapbook Memories, DIY Scrapbooking, PBS Beads Baubles & Jewels, Shop at Home TV, Home Shopping Network, QVC and The Jewelry Television Network.

Julianna’s quest to connect creativity and healing sent her on a journey of exploring and learning different spiritual healing modalities. She has been practicing Reiki for over twenty years and recently became a Reiki Master allowing her to take her passion for this hands on healing energy to the next level of teaching others how to practice as well. Julianna is also a Kundalini Yoga Teacher and a graduate of Soul Art Guide School.

Julianna has penned eight insightful books on beading and wire working and has licensed several product lines in the craft, paper and jewelry industries. She is the inventor and patent holder of the hugely popular Jewel Loom®️ and Baby Jewel Loom®️ portable beading looms which were featured as one of the Craft Industry’s Top 20 Hottest products in 2013. All of Julianna’s products can be found in retail stores through out the world and online.

Julianna also know as “Jewels” to friends and family is “mother” to Josh and Marlin Brando her constant companion Frenchie. She enjoys traveling, making jewelry, shopping, reading, kundalini yoga, long walks on the beach, fishing and being with friends and family.

In her own words, I am beyond grateful for each and every day that I wake up and am given another opportunity to live, love and laugh!


Celeste Mendelsohn
Celeste’s personal experience motivated her to develop Yoga Tarana. She was affected by the trauma of her family’s addictions and that of others who also struggle with the disease. She used her own life experience to create integrated training modalities that are trauma aware, and trauma responsive. For the past six years her joy and passion has been teaching those recovering from addiction and their families to heal using yoga. Part of this journey involves re-educating people about the effects of stress and trauma on the body and the mind using physical practice, meditation and breath work.

Yoga is an effective therapy for addiction & chronic trauma recovery, helping people reconnect to their ‘felt sense’ (proprioception). This connection is often shut down by repetitive trauma as a defense mechanism. In order for people to live successful lives it needs to be reconnected.

“The mind may lie to us but the body always tell the truth.”


Flea Ryder, R.Y.T. 200
Fun and challenging classes for adults and kids, Flea brings new energy to her classes.




Vivian Richma, BSc, MA, CYT
Vivian Richman lived in India in 1965-66 where she began studying eastern philosophy. Upon returning to California, she continued her studies and extended them to encompass the full complex of a yoga practice. After a series of personal traumas, some rooted in external factors such as fires and earthquakes and some rooted in serious health problems, yoga helped calm her nerves and restore her health. That was when she decided to bring this practice to others. “That was the turning tide,” said Vivian, “and I have never looked back.”

Vivian took her basic teacher training at Yoga Works in Santa Monica, has an Advanced Training and Yoga Therapy Certificate from Larry Payne PhD, as well as a Yoga Philosophy Certificate from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) under the guidance of Dr. Chris Chapple. She has studied with renowned teachers in the Krishnamacharya tradition, including Srivatsa Ramaswami and Larry Payne. Vivian has taught yoga to cancer patients at The Wellness Community, taught at LMU, and developed the cancer program at the USC/Norris Cancer Hospital.

LB (Lori) Bates R.Y.T. 200
Lori has always enjoyed moving and stretching. She is an RYT 200 completing her training with Maribeth Hammond in 2005. In 2011 she became a Certified Personal Trainer – Restorative Exercise Specialist, CPT-RES after completing a 200 hour course with biomechanist Katy Bowman M.S. She has also been a certified massage practitioner since 1998. Lori enjoys sharing what she gleens from her continuing education.