Our Yoga Teachers

Aurora Heinemann, E-RYT 200

Aurora 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 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.

Maribeth Hammond, E-RYT 500

Maribeth has been a devoted YOGA and MEDITATION PRACTITIONER for three decades.  She found yoga as a peaceful and calming practice while managing a   high stress environment in the early 80’s. In the early 90’s she began to study intensely at The Centre for Yoga and earned her teaching credential.  Maribeth’s Yoga teaching path began when she moved to Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard CA. From 2002 -2017 she founded, owned and directed THE YOGA CHANNEL Yoga Studio at Silver Strand Beach.  She has taught well over 25,000 hours of classes, privates, and  retreats. Her teacher training program was approved by YOGA ALLIANCE since 2005 and has graduated 50 or more teachers from the training program. She has been part of the VENTURA COUNTY WELLNESS PROGRAM since 2003. Her mission is to introduce Yoga to as many people as possible in her lifetime and help them develop a consistent practice for health benefits including body alignment, balance flexibility, spiritual awareness and serenity.

Lisa M. Otero, RYT 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 her yoga teacher training, 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.

Heidi Hening,  RYT 200
Heidi has been practicing yoga since 1993. She received her yoga training through The Yoga Channel at Silver Strand Beach under Maribeth Hammond. She attributes yoga to saving her from a neck surgery, while relieving stress and pain in other parts of her body. Heidi likes to practice slowly. She askes 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 Higgins, RYT 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 other props.

Nathan Holden, E-RYT 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.  He began teaching yoga class in 2009, and completed his yoga teacher training course, with Maribeth Hammond, at the Yoga Channel in March 2013. Nathan brings a working knowledge of anatomy and physiology into his back to the basics style of yoga, which draws inspiration from Hatha, Yin, and Iyengar Yoga.

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.” She focuses on anatomy, biochemistry, and nutrition.  Anna has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology.

Celeste Mendelsohn, RYT 500
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 yoga training modalities, that are trauma aware and trauma responsive. For the past six years her joy and passion has been teaching yoga to those recovering from addiction and to their families. Yoga is an effective therapy for addiction and chronic trauma recovery. “The mind may lie to us but the body always tell the truth.”

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.

Flea Alves, RYT 200
Flea has been teaching Hatha Yoga, since 2005. She was trained, by our very own, Maribeth Hammond.  She offers all levels on asanas taught and encourages her students to challenge themselves, with safety in mind.  Flea’s motto is “Yoga is a serious practice, you shouldn’t take so seriously.” Soooooo, be ready to have some fun and leave class learning something new!

Dina Gricenko, RYT 500

Through the dance training of her youth, Dina Gricenko was introduced to yoga. Her attendance in yoga class was initially sporadic, but she found the mat always welcomed her back. Eventually she noticed the benefits of committed yoga practice, and she enrolled in the 2010 WHY Power 200-hour teacher training at West Hartford Yoga, CT under the direction of Barbara Ruzansky. Well into the intensive portion of the training, Dina was nearly killed in a bike accident. This seeming interruption to her training turned out to be her most impactful lesson in understanding and teaching yoga.

Dina completed the WHY Power Training with the class of 2011. Her eclectic teaching style is shaped by additional trainings in Forrest Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, Yin Yoga & Meditation and Yoga Tune Up®, and her connection to her students magnified by her recent study of massage and bodywork. She is dedicated to sharing the immense physical and mental healing and spiritual growth she has realized through asana, pranayama and meditation practice.

Robin Briceño, RMT, RYT 200

As a Registered Music Therapist with a background in classical singing, dance, musical theater and opera, Robin has successfully combined her passions into a professional career in the Healing Arts. Robin is also a certified body, mind, spirit movement instructor through Nia Technique™.  Always having a secret desire to “run away and join the circus” she was able to manifest fulfilling her desire by training in AIReal and Hatha Yoga with former Cirque du Soleil performer, Carmen Curtis who is the founder of AIReal Yoga™ and the Aerial Studio in Ventura, CA completing her training in 2015.  Additionally, having worked professionally in behavioral health settings for most of her career, Robin became alarmed at the increasing rate of suicide especially among Teens and members of the Military as she had the unique opportunity to work with both populations and specifically in a Military PTSD treatment program.  She began to study the effects of trauma on the mind and body and observed the transformative effects of Yoga & Meditation through her own experience practicing Yoga and working with patients, eventually becoming certified as a Warriors At Ease Trauma-informed Yoga Instructor specializing in teaching members of the Military Community.   Robin was introduced to The Yoga Channel by a member/friend and has attended classes and workshops here for her own personal practice and ongoing training.  Robin also completed the “Teaching Yoga in Addiction Rehabs” at TYC taught by Celeste Mendelssohn, RYT500.

Kate Rodger, PhD(c)

Since the turn of the century, Kate Rodger, PhD(c), has dedicated her life to a deeply rooted path of dynamic service and pragmatic, mindful, alchemy.  In this, she has aspired to be a touchstone for participation in the evolving individual and collective consciousness for the greater good of all.  She has been called an “Alchemist of Delight”, a “Modern Day Mystic”, and a “Way-Show-er”, infusing wisdom, humor, possibility, and practicality into every moment of being in-service to others.

From the spring boards of the monthly Feminine Energy Circles, the Sacred Journeys to Malta, and a host of other Retreats, Circles, and Workshops facilitated throughout the US, during the spring of 2007, Kate (along with an incredible host of brilliant women trainees from around the country) officially launched the Modern Day Priestess Movement with the inception of the Modern Day Priestess Trainings.  These weekend modules integrate Modern-Day technologies and language, Ancient Wisdom modalities, and Earth Medicine practices.  They occur in a mindful atmosphere of the Absolute, employing Universal Principles and Universal Law, along with working multi-dimensionally in the mystical, to evoke the inherent, unbridled Consciousness within each woman who partakes, enabling her to Remember the essential, eternal Wisdom encoded in her very being.

In addition to being visionary founder of the Institute of Modern Wisdom (a 501c3 corporation), her programs include Sacred Journeys focusing on Pre-history and Ancient Wisdom Ways in locations such as Malta, Scotland, Israel, Egypt, Peru, Baha Mexico, Hawaii, and various locations throughout the US; Nature-Spirit wild encounters with Whales, Dolphins, Manta Rays, Plant Devas, and more; the year-long practical and mystical trainings, Modern Day Priestess (women) and Modern Day Alchemist (men), which are undergirded by the conscious application and honoring of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine, respectively; the monthly Feminine Energy Circles (since 2003), and various Shamanic Mystic Circles and continuing workshops throughout the US and Canada.

Of Scottish, Irish, and Cherokee descent, Kate was raised in Colorado, Kentucky, Chicago, and east Texas before moving to Los Angeles.  She is a licensed New Thought, Ancient Wisdom minister in the lineage of Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith and Agape International Spiritual Center; she holds a Masters of Science in Consciousness and Spirituality and a Masters of Arts in Ancient Wisdom Traditions.  Her PhD focus is on the Journey of the Soul.

“Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu. May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”