The Teachers

Rebekah Cunningham

Rebekah has been practicing Bikram yoga for 19 years. She attended her first Bikram class after moving to Colorado from her home town of Long Beach, California. For the first few years she attended classes once or twice a week when her work schedule permitted. At the time she was traveling heavily and found the practice to be very grounding after being gone for extended periods. Over time, her practice increased to several times a week. She began to attend classes all over the country when she traveled, enjoying various teaching styles and techniques. Yoga became an engrained part of her life, something she felt deeply connected to. Rebekah understands that hard work and consistency pay off when you are dedicated to your practice. Craving a deeper understanding of the postures and their benefits has kept her practicing steadily over the years.

The benefits Rebekah has experienced from her yoga practice are almost to numerous to list. Sharing what she has learned and experienced throughout her time on the mat is such a great gift to give back. Teaching is a privilege and she feels truly blessed to be part of the yoga community. Her practice has taken many twists and turns (LITERALLY) over those years! She will be the first person to tell you she lives an exceptional life and is a better person because of her yoga practice. Her teaching style is tough but compassionate, striving for her students to achieve what they never thought possible, both physically and mentally. Rebekah is a certified Bikram Yoga instructor and has attended Level 1 and Level 2 training with Baron Baptiste. In addition, she has completed two 200 Hour Yoga Alliance certified Hot Yoga teacher trainings. She believes you can never have enough training! Simply put, she loves Hot Yoga! Rebekah has experienced the benefits of her yoga practice first hand and is thrilled to share her knowledge and passion with The Hot Room community.

Chelsea Koehnen

Chelsea discovered her passion for yoga in 1997 with Bikram yoga and maintained a disciplined practice for 10 years. She found Vinyasa yoga in 2007 and hasn’t stopped doing it since. An avid health and fitness enthusiast her entire life, she found that yoga not only enhanced her physical strength and flexibility, but also allowed her to live life with a greater sense of peace, clarity and compassion. After experiencing the amazing physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of yoga over years of personal practice, she decided to share this gift with others by becoming a certified instructor through CorePower Yoga in 2010 and started teaching for CorePower immediately after. Chelsea strives to create dynamic and inspiring yoga classes for her students that challenge them physically and also provide them a time for reflection and meditation. Chelsea has lead and coached many teacher training programs and also teaches at Equinox La Costa. When Chelsea is not doing yoga, you can find her spending time with her three young daughters, husband and super adorable dog Parker.

Jill Leonard

Jill was a competitive triathlete for 10 years, completing the Coeur d’ Alene Ironman in 2006. Since then yoga has become an added passion. Jill began practicing yoga in the late 90’s with Bikram but has expended her passion for yoga with Vinyasa. Yoga gave Jill not only a platform to combat continued muscular flare ups but a place to clear her head and find a peacefulness to take into her daily life.

The physical side of yoga is a no brainer for Jill, the abundance of sweat, the continued quest to sculpt and strengthen and feel the best she possibly can. But yoga offers so much more than that. The mat gives Jill a place to slow down, appreciate and have gratitude for what she has in life. The practice of yoga allows Jill to focus on being present and patience with her ever evolving practice, and she takes that off the mat into her home to be a better, more present mother, wife and friend.

Amy

I began my practice in Ashland Oregon nine years ago. I realized quickly this yoga was something special and transformative. In the fall of 2011, I made the decision to go to Bikram’s teacher training. I have had the opportunity to teach in Chicago, Kauai and now here in beautiful San Diego. It is with much gratitude that I am able to teach and share this yoga.

Shelie Herman

Shelie walked into her first Bikram Yoga class about 20 years ago in San Francisco. She immediately fell in love with the strong sense of discipline that was required to not only get through a class but that was expected of her. She continued to add yoga to her fitness routine which at that time consisted of training for many marathons and races. Shelie has ALWAYS had an intense passion for fitness and anything that challenges her mind and body. Which lead her to going through the vigorous 9 week Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Los Angeles in 2003. She began teaching Bikram all over San Diego, and taught through two pregnancies. She taught Bikram Yoga for 7 years, but within those 7 years took her first Barre class. She began incorporating barre into her fitness regime. Which lead her to owning her own Barre studio and teaching barre for 6 years. With two kids growing up and following in her footsteps of playing competitive sports and her family needing more of her time she sold her barre studio 5 years after opening but continued to teach barre and yoga. Eventually getting her 200 E-RYT and 50 hour Sculpt certification through Corepower Yoga in 2016.

Courtney Bustillos

Courtney Bustillos has been teaching group fitness in Carlsbad for several years. Courtney started dancing at the early age of two and has been keeping her body “flowing” and moving ever sense. Prior to teaching Vinyasa and Yoga sculpt in North County, Courtney taught Barre at the Daily Method Carlsbad. Courtney became 200-hour certified in 2016 and loves teaching yoga because of the powerful connection it allows her to have with her students. Courtney is a former award-winning journalist and was born and raised in San Diego. She attended San Diego State University, where she was a cheerleader and dancer and graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Courtney met her husband Kevan (also a yoga enthusiast) while attending SDSU. The couple lives in Carlsbad with their two young daughters, Ella and Charlotte. Courtney and her family enjoy the outdoors as much as possible and spend a lot of time on walks and runs with their lab, Bodhi and labradoodle, Millie.

Sasha Hrycenko

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in a small town called Sandpoint in Northern Idaho. Moved to Maui, Hawaii at 18 and have lived in Texas, Arizona and now my forever home in California. I have a thing for warm & sunny climates! How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga and what prompted you to take your first Bikram Yoga class? I have been practicing Bikram Yoga since 2000! I took my first class after developing Asthma and my doctor told me I would need to be on steroids and inhalers the rest of my life. I was studying Holistic Nutrition at the time and knew there had to be a more natural solution. I heard Bikram Yoga was good for Asthma, so I gave it a try. My first class was like everyone’s first class, hot and hard but I kept going back working through many physical and mental ups and downs and 6 months later I was not only Asthma free but also hooked for life! Why did you become an instructor and what aspects of Bikram Yoga have had the greatest effect on you? I am a teacher at heart. I was a personal trainer, fitness coach and instructor for many years. I even taught as a college instructor creating and teaching curriculum to prepare for national personal training exams, teaching comes naturally to me so teaching Bikram Yoga was a natural progression for not only my professional career but also my personal practice. As teachers we not only get the opportunity to share this amazing, healing series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises with our students but we also learn and grow every time we step on the podium. I am grateful for each class and each student I teach; each student truly inspires me in my own practice and encourages me to be a better teacher! What do you like to do when you are not in the yoga room? I am a fitness fanatic, I love to workout! I also love the sun, so being outside enjoying nature is what I do best! I love spending time with my 4 yr old, my friends and family, love is really all I need! What is your favorite pose in the Bikram series and why? Triangle and Savasana. Triangle because of the strength and determination it requires and Savasana because of the patience and relaxation it requires. The key to this yoga for me is an equal balance between strength and relaxation. Physically and mentally. What advice would you give to any new student? Come with an open mind and listen carefully. Try your best but be easy on yourself. Come back to class as soon as you can. Come to class as often as you can(consistency is key). And last but most importantly, enjoy your practice! After all, its just yoga

Hilary Marshall

Hilary has been practicing yoga for nearly 16 years. After the birth of her third child, her husband suggested that she try a yoga class. She was temporarily living on the east coast and was fortunate enough to live a few blocks from Synergy Power Yoga, a Baptiste Affiliate Studio. From the moment she entered the room, she knew she was home. The dynamic and balanced Baptiste flow offered inner power that she had never experienced, both physically and mentally. After practicing at Synergy, and then another Baptiste studio for 5 years, she attended both Level 1 and Level 2 teacher trainings with Baron Baptiste in addition to some weekend immersion trainings. She also has completed her 200 Hour Yoga Alliance certified training with a local studio in Encinitas. Hilary has taught power vinyasa in Encinitas and also attends classes regularly throughout the community. Hilary is a wife, and mother of 3 boys, and 4 dogs. She is a health and wellness mentor through use of essential oils, lover of vegan food and fresh juice, and animal welfare advocate.

Francisco Rufino Baeza

Dear Yogi,

Let me introduce my self, my name is Franciso Rufino, I’m originally from Mexico City, Mexico . I graduated from Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in San Diego (Fall 2010), after the Training my journey as Teacher start sharing my passion with the yogi community in Mexico for the last years. As a practitioner I discovered the unlimited potential that hatha yoga practice give us day by day, that’s why it’s a practice !!, each day We learn together, the Teacher learn from the Student and the Student learn from the Teacher, it’s part of the union, it’s part of the process. I’m happy to start learning and sharing my passion with this community, let’s work together and discover day by day Who We really are with our unlimited potential, It is going to be my privilege to be part of your daily practice .

Brooke Welty

Brooke Welty was raised in the desert and beach regions of majestic southern California. After graduating with a double degree in sociology and dance from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a career in dance and choreography took her to New York City for the better part of a decade. During this time yoga became a peaceful and centering escape from the highly competitive and intense world of performance. It was not until she retired from dancing professionally, and moved back to North County San Diego, that yoga and wellness truly struck a new chord. It was perfect timing.

Throughout the past six years Brooke has worked in the fitness, yoga, and wellness industry as a studio manager, instructor, and teacher training lead in the north county San Diego region. She holds an E-RYT 200 hour Yoga Alliance certificate and many continuing education credits. Brooke is dedicated to being an open and compassionate soul; she lives to recognize the beauty and inspiration in every being and situation. Truly inspired by the lovely and diverse yoga and fitness community that surrounds her, Brooke believes that yoga and wellness is a path that is specialized for each individual body and soul.