Every instructor at Hot Yoga Ahwatukee is certified to teach yoga. In addition, they participate in local, regional and national continuing education trainings, workshops and seminars throughout the year.
Sandra Lassiter, RYT® 500
Sandra Lassiter, RYT® 500, is the Owner and Director of Hot Yoga Ahwatukee. Sandra sought out yoga in 1995 as a method for managing stress. She began her yoga journey with the Iyengar method and evolved her practice by experiencing many different styles of yoga until she was introduced to Bikram’s Hot Yoga in 2001. Though she practiced different styles of yoga and various forms of healing arts, it was hot yoga that offered her the greatest opportunity for transformation both physically and mentally.
Sandra was inspired to share this platform for physical, mental and spiritual transformation with others and decided to leave the corporate world and pursue her passion for yoga. She was certified to teach Bikram Yoga in the fall of 2008 and went on to study with Jimmy Barkan receiving her Hot Vinyasa Flow teaching certification in 2009 and in 2011.
Karmie Christian, RYT® 500
Karmie Christian, RYT® 500, was first attracted to yoga in 1999 as a means of stress-relief when she was working in the corporate world. Five months after the birth of twin daughters in 2004, Karmie began practicing Hot Yoga regularly in order to get her body back in shape. In 2008, Karmie continued to evolve and deepen her practice by exploring other methods of yoga eventually attending Yoga Teacher Training and Certification enabling her to share the experience of yoga with others.Karmie continues to evolve and is currently working on her 300 hour Master Level Yoga Teacher Certification under the direction of Jeff Martens.
Karen Santini, RYT® 500
Karen Santini, RYT® 500, first started practicing yoga in 2003 and was certified to teach Hot Yoga in 2008. Having received a black belt in Taekwondo in 2001, Karen was looking for another method with less impact to stay healthy. Yoga has been a form of stress relief, providing a more balanced emotional state and helping to manage her scoliosis. Karen enjoys sharing the benefits of yoga with others. Karen continues to study yoga and is currently enrolled in a Master Immersion Training program led by Mary Bruce and Lynn Matthews. Karen will earn the 500-hour RYT certification when she completes her Master Training program.
Gabe Gavin, RYT® 500
Gabe Gavin, RYT® 500, found yoga in 2003. Gabe first attempted asana through a home video experience and could not walk for a week. He swore yoga off, as he “was not flexible enough” to do this type of exercise. Gabe practiced at home on and off for a few years before attending his first official yoga class. He was hooked immediately. Gabe found that yoga helped him think more clearly and contemplate things in other ways. He broke his foot and a regular heated practice helped heal the foot quicker than expected. Gabe left the world of “cube farms” to pursue a deeper understanding of Yoga through Teacher Training under the direction of Jeff Martens.
Laura Czarzasty, RYT® 500
Laura Czarzasty, RYT® 500, is passionate about sharing the joy of yoga with others. A yoga enthusiast of more than 12 years, she continuously explores and develops her practice, while enabling others to do the same. Laura is committed to living yoga “off the mat” and believes that yoga enhances all areas of life including spiritual, physical, mental and emotional facets. Through yoga she offers teachings that students can take into their everyday lives. Certified through the Southwest Institute of the Healing Arts and the National Yoga Alliance, Laura blends technique and theory to create a full yogic experience. Dedicated to deepening her understanding of all things yoga, Laura is currently enrolled in a Master Teacher Training. Through this program, she will delve deeper into anatomy, yogic philosophy, and all aspects of yoga under the direction of Jeff Martens. Laura will earn the 500-hour RYT certification when she completes her Master Teacher Training. To keep up with Laura’s teaching schedule and thoughts on yoga, find and friend “Yoga Czar” on facebook.
Kathy Marcucci, RYT® 500
Kathy Marcucci, RYT® 500, loves teaching yoga and watching how the transformative powers of a regular practice carry students to places of improved strength, deepened flexibility, better balance and inner peace. Kathy leads her classes with a focus on breath and presence. She builds poses from the inside out, teaching strong foundation, core engagement and upward lift to guide her students toward a yoga practice that not only works the entire body but also quiets the mind and invites in a sense of heightened awareness, expansion and peace. Kathy began practicing yoga in 2001 and has been teaching since 2007 when she received her 200-hour certification. She completed her 300-hour master training in 2010 and is now 500-hour Yoga Alliance certified. To learn more about Kathy, visit www.PeacefulPresenceYoga.com.
Laurie Trigilio, RYT® 500
Laurie Trigilio, RYT® 500, began a regular practice of yoga in 1998 to help heal injuries due to long distance running. Soon realizing that yoga offered more balance in her life in many ways, she embraced the bliss of inner peace, the physical and mental well being, and the awakening of a dormant spirituality that a regular yoga practice offered. The Yogic path continues to be a lifetime journey for her. Her desire is to touch other’s lives the way her life has been touched, to inspire them and to nurture them to deepen their yoga practice. She has been teaching yoga since 2004 and completed her 500 hour certification in 2006. She is currently enrolled in the Healing Emphasis Yoga certification under the direction of Jeff Martens.
Sara Gordon, RYT® 500
Sara Gordon, RYT® 500, loves yoga, since her very first class she fell in love and has been practicing ever since. Having completed her 200 hour teaching certification she is dedicated to continuing her yoga education and is currently pursuing her 300 hour master teacher certification. Her favorite styles include Hot Yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Yin Yoga. She incorporates a mix of all styles in her classes helping balance effort with ease, strengthening with stretching and breath with movement together in a fluid like flow, encouraging students to find their own unique rhythm while synchronizing the breath with motion in a moving meditation.
Diane Hastings, RYT® 200
Diane Hastings, RYT® 200, was introduced to yoga in 2000, but didn’t truly fall in love with the practice until 2007, when her aunt brought her to a “hot yoga” class. She was chasing around two small but cute children, looking at age 39 in the rearview mirror, and beginning to feel age creeping in. After committing to practice at least three times a week, Diane watched as her physical body became stronger and more flexible, while her mind become calmer, better focused and balanced. In short, the clock felt like it was moving backward. After realizing that yoga would be a priority and integral part of her life, she went through training to become a RYT. As an instructor, Diane hopes to pass on her passion for yoga to any fellow yogis who walk the path with her. Diane is a graduate of ASU and has a background in sales and design. She enjoys hiking in the desert, skiing, surfing and hanging with her husband and two daughters.
Kelley Lafer, RYT® 200
Kelley Lafer, RYT® 200, began taking yoga classes at the Student Recreation Complex at Arizona State University (ASU) where she served as the Director of Fitness and Wellness programs for 17 years. In 2000, she became a certified yoga teacher and began teaching classes when the ASU Sun Devil Yoga program increased in popularity. Since leaving ASU in 2006, she has taught a variety of yoga and fitness classes in the valley, while raising two boys and taking up long distance running (most recently the Boston Marathon). In 2011, she became hooked on hot yoga realizing this practice was her favorite of all. She believes practicing in a warm room with humidity allows you and your body to find comfort and ease while feeling refreshed and energetic from the inside and out. She loves the hot yoga routine and how the combination of strength, flexibility, and balance works all areas of the body in ways that is often overlooked in some other activities. Kelley’s passion for yoga continues especially due to her involvement in many other activities that keep her on a busy schedule. She feels the yoga practice alone has improved her overall well-being, including the opportunity to be calm, let go, and be just as you are in yoga. She looks forward to sharing the practice of hot yoga with you in her class and hopes you will find the rewards of moving your body in yoga will offer you amazing benefits in many areas of your life.
Ellen McCandless, RYT® 200
Ellen McCandless, RYT® 200, first began practicing Yoga regularly in 2000 as an alternative to running which she found unfulfilling and lacking. In 2004, a friend introduced her to Hot Yoga and she was immediately hooked. Ellen found that a regular Hot Yoga practice increased her endurance, worked the whole body and made significant improvements to her health both physically and mentally. After several years of commuting, computing and lifting children daily, Ellen developed chronic pain in both shoulders. Arthritis was diagnosed and surgery was given as an option but Ellen found that a regular Yin practice in addition to a vigorous yoga practice helped to minimize the pain in her shoulders and benefitted the whole body and prevented injuries. Wanting to share the incredible mental and physical benefits of yoga, Ellen began her journey to become a yoga instructor in 2009 under the direction of Jeff Martens and received her 200 hour certification in 2010. Ellen lives in Tempe with her Yogi husband, Rob, their two human children, Alex and Morgan, and their two canine children, Zoe and Kerby.
Charla Lewis, RYT® 200
Charla Lewis, RYT® 200, started practicing yoga in 2000 and was hooked immediately! Her daughters noticed how it affected her and would say “Mom, go to yoga!” Upon the realization that it was transformational not only physically but mentally, she embraced it even more. Upon moving to Phoenix, she discovered hot yoga and was now intent on following her dream. Having previously been an elementary school teacher, she wanted to pursue teacher training to combine these two passions and began her teaching journey in September of 2011, finishing the 200 hour in January of 2012. She is currently in the midst of Healing Emphasis Yoga 300 hour training which will complete in January 2014, studying at Inner Vision Yoga. Her yoga philosophy is the breath, patience and posture. She loves to learn and to impart that knowledge to her students, emphasizing those principles. She volunteers at Cardon Children’s Hospital, sharing yoga with children with cancer and their parents.
Tiffany Bates, RYT® 200
Tiffany Bates, RYT® 200, started practicing yoga 7 years ago while receiving her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Oregon. Yoga started out as a nice way to start the morning before classes, slowly evolving into so much more! Tiffani has practiced yoga all over the world, backpacking through over 35 countries upon graduating found herself practicing yoga in many different hostels, on many different beaches, in many different exotic locations, always finding the one commonality, the inner peace within and the focus on the present moment. She has practiced many different types of yoga and loves it all! She is known to go to the occasional heated Bikram class and as well to enjoy a candlelight meditation, she enjoys how regardless of one’s ability, range of motion, quality of mind, age, flexibility, schedule, history, injuries, or previous limitations how yoga has something to offer everyone! Tiffani completed her 200 hour YTT at Inner Vision Yoga Studio and feels it was the most transformative decision of her life. She is eager to share this sense of oneness, to help people around her as well as herself, live in a place of possibility, where your only limit is your imagination and she believes that yoga is the path.
Daisy Fromkin, RYT® 200
Daisy Fromkin, RYT® 200,has been practicing yoga for most of her life. She feels the mat is our main classroom in this life and the practice brings awareness and gives us guidance for off the mat. Daisy received her training at the Southwest Institute of the Healing Arts and is registered with Yoga Alliance. Daisy discovered that Hot Yoga specifically has helped manage the chronic pain from lupus as well as relieve stress associated with obtaining her PhD in Management and Organizational Leadership. Daisy is active with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Arizona and is a ballroom dance instructor. Daisy brings her love of yoga to each class.