Pacific Core Instructors - Pacific Ashtanga Yoga Shala

Instructors

Inspiring Seminars for healthy habits and vibrant living.

Rachel Platter

Rachel Platter

Rachel has a younger sister who swears the only way she was able to get through law school (and graduate at the top of her class) was through her yoga practice. She also attributes her practice to saving her from the depression that runs in our family and the lack of any gray hair on her head. Over the last 20 years, as Rachel moved around the country, attempting to climb the corporate ladder in a very competitive environment, her sister's answer to her for anything and everything was "just do yoga". It wasn't until she found her own practice, 3 years ago, that Rachel's life really began to change. The combination of breath, yoga and meditation was very different from the exercise and training she was used to as an endurance athlete. She was able to see things more clearly in her life, taking what she was learning on her mat outside into her world, and realizing benefits like better sleep and health, better relationships and a more positive outlook on life.

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Megan Czuchra

Megan Czuchra

Megan came to practice yoga after experiencing chronic back pain through college and exhausting all western medicine techniques, from physical therapy to spinal blocks. With the threat of surgery and encouragement from her sister, Megan took her first yoga class in May of 2014 and never looked back. Megan experienced first hand how purposeful movement, breath, and meditation can change one's overall health and quality of life mentally, physically, and emotionally. She has found clarity through this practice, and aims to help others fulfill their true potential.

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Melanie Larinde

Melanie Larinde

Following her first yoga class 25 years ago, Melanie was inexplicably drawn in, and only later would come to understand the depths of the practice. She became a Certified Yoga Instructor through Yoga Works in Costa Mesa in 2001 and, combined with being a Certified Health Care Practitioner from the Los Angeles Healing Arts Center, soon realized the benefits of these two disciplines working in tandem. Today, she continues her Yoga journey by starting each day with either a physical practice at the Shala or a shorter meditation at home.

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May Yacoob

May Yacoob

Although May has practiced yoga for 25 years and trained in a number of yoga styles, it's only since she came to practice at Pacific Ashtanga with Diana Christinson as her teacher that she became aware of breath as an integral part of her yoga practice. Similarly, although she has meditated for 16 years, it's only since she came to study with Diana that she has been able to integrate a practice that includes yoga movement, breath and meditation.

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Josh Plotkin

Josh Plotkin

Josh entered his first yoga class six years ago. He immediately felt a connection to the shape-shifting style of the asana practice. The practice, to him allowed for a greater connection to the present-- a space where he could be completely absorbed in the moment. After two years of practice, Josh decided--with a suggestion from his teacher--to take part in 200 & 300 hour teacher training courses. After the training, he made the full-plunge into the teaching realm. Josh continues to be an active Ashtanga practitioner, and a full-time Hatha yoga teacher.

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Christine Taylor

Christine Taylor

Christine became a national bodybuilding champion in 1985. One night after lifting weights at a fitness club in 1997, she took a Vinyasa flow yoga class that eventually led to studying Ashtanga yoga under Diana Christinson. This decision prepared Christine to face a huge health challenge in 2003—traumatic back pain from a serious car accident. When traditional medicine failed to provide a solution, her successful healing journey evolved into meditation, Rolfing, Tibetan sound healing, Tai Chi and breathing techniques.

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Sarah Mitchell

Sarah Mitchell

Sarah Mitchell began practicing yoga in 2006 during her first year of law school, and soon realized that taking even one class each week significantly increased her overall mental focus and decreased her stress levels. After several years of taking Vinyasa yoga classes, and feeling unquenched in her desire to deepen her practice, Sarah completed a 200-hour Hatha yoga teacher training course with Triad Yoga & Pilates in Fall 2013. During that training, she became acquainted with the practice of Ashtanga yoga, and has been a devoted practitioner ever since. Through the Ashtanga practice, Sarah was exposed to Vipassana meditation, as well as Pranayama and other breath work, which she has since begun to study and practice.

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Joyce Tu Battersby

Joyce Tu Battersby

Joyce is certified as a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has been practicing yoga for over 10 years, and is a devoted Ashtangi. Joyce is a life-long Buddhist and practices vipassana and concentration meditation. Her interest in Buddhism and breath meditation led her to yoga.

Joyce views yoga practice, and teaching, as acts of generosity and compassion with spiritual significance for both the student and teacher. Physical and mental fitness are priceless.

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Robert Platter

Robert Platter

Rob was introduced to yoga by his wife, Rachel Platter, in 2014 and now practices at Pacific Ashtanga in Dana Point. He had struggled with back pain and a chronic lung condition for many years. Almost immediately after he began his practice, he recognized the benefits of yoga as his back pain went away and his lung capacity improved to where he has been able to complete several sprint triathlons in 2016. In addition, yoga has helped him spiritually and has helped him manage stress much better than he did before he began practicing yoga.

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JJ Flowers

JJ Flowers

JJ Flowers began practicing yoga at age seven when her mom gave her yoga books to help with her gymnastics. Gymnastics went the way of all things, but yoga is for life. Still it took a long time to understand the power of joining yoga with breath and meditation. The gift of Pacific Core: health and wellbeing, is what she would like to share with the wider world.

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Debbie Berardi

JJ Flowers

Debbie was unknowingly introduced to Yoga from an MD who was facilitating a "6 Week Cancer Survival Seminar". It was her first time challenged with breast cancer and it would not be her last. During the seminar, she was taught visualization techniques, guided imagery & meditation, the pillars of Yoga. The seeds had been planted, but it wasn't for another four years before she began her lifelong practice of Yoga. In those four years, Debbie fought off a local recurrence and then a metastatic re-emergence of her cancer; Yoga was and continues to be her lifeline.

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Richard Beatie

10 years ago, after attending a yoga class with a friend and knowing he found something life-changing and transformative, Richard started practicing yoga and meditation. During this time, Richard has lost nearly 100 lbs, rehabilitated chronic sport injuries, and found greater purpose in his life through these practices. Richard has attended numerous week long intensive silent meditation retreats and has led meditation groups and classes. Recently, Richard has added a daily breath practice, and has found similar transformative benefits.

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