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 Koehne

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.

Krissy Oakes

Krissy has been teaching yoga since 2005. She has taught thousands of classes here in the US, and abroad in Italy, China, Thailand and Mexico. She teaches from a place of love, inspiring full self-expression and passion for life. She loves to teach yin yoga which she believes is the perfect compliment to the rigorous Hatha/Bikram practice. She also leads Qoya classes, which are based on the idea that through movement we remember that our essence is “wise, wild and free.”

Christian Potter

Certified at 17 years old, I have always had a passion for yoga. After all the craziness from my
day-to-day as a Real Estate agent, I have found more them ever the benefits of yoga! Wether it be a heated flow or a blistering hot fusion class, I find that just moving on my mat is what calms my mind. I treat my class like my every day life. If my students aren’t having fun, then I’m not doing some thing right!

Jill Leonard

Jill was a competitive tri-athlete for 10 years, completing the Coeur d’ Alene Ironman in 2006. Since then yoga has become an added passion. Just began practicing yoga in the late 90’s but after discovering Core Power Yoga in 2010 she only had eyes for CPY. 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.

Blair Atkins

Blair Atkins is a yoga teacher and Pilates instructor based in Encinitas, CA. Most recently she completed her 200-Hour Meditation Teacher Training with unplug in Santa Monica and is now coaching meditation throughout North County San Diego and remotely across the world. A former Division I volleyball player, Blair has always loved being active; today she enjoys using mindful movement on the mat as a vehicle to bring about personal growth and transformation. Blair is an almond milk latte enthusiast (both hot and iced) and a dogless dog lover. You can follow Blair’s adventures on Instagram @beachgrown.

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.

Mandy Manus

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I moved to Arizona in 2006 to escape the cold harsh winters. I found the heat of Arizona to be a welcomed change though apparently it wasn’t enough, as I soon found Bikram Yoga and instantly fell in love with the hot practice. Having been a gymnast, dancer, and a long distance runner I found the practice to be therapeutic for old injuries and the meditative aspects to be a welcomed surprise. After about two years of practicing, in 2008 I went to Bikram Teacher Training in Acapulco, Mexico. Upon graduating from teacher training I consistently taught throughout Arizona and moved to San Diego in 2014. I continue to teach throughout San Diego and love being able to teach and practice this yoga and live close to the beach, which is usually where you can find me if I’m not at yoga. I am excited to be a part of this ever growing yoga community and looking forward to sharing the healing benefits of this practice with the students of The Hot Room Encinitas!

Anna Maria Mueco

Prior to dismissal from the Hogwarts faculty after a minor incident involving fire, Anna completed her Bikram Yoga certification in Spring 2006 and taught Bikram Yoga in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. During that time, she attended additional health, fitness, and yoga trainings and worked as a coach, conditioning youth athletes for dance gymnastics competition. Anna’s yoga training includes Therapeutic Yoga, Nutritional Wellness, and Breath Work, as well as over 400 hours of Yoga Alliance certified trainings in Hot Hatha Yoga and Heated Vinyasa.

Kay Ostrenko

Kay is a native of Miami, Fl.

Her earliest beginnings was as a ballet dancer in the Miami Ballet company and later performing in countless musicals. Kay fell in love with yoga at age 19 where she began teaching a beginners Hatha Yoga class of the Sivananda lineage in NYC.

She then moved to LA to perform stand-up comedy and her one woman show when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Having survived the treatment of chemotherapy and radiation several friends, within one week suggested she try Bikram Yoga. So she braved the heat and tried it. She found a new depth of appreciation for life along with a renewed sense of self that came from the practice. Feeling cleansed and detoxed from the chemotherapy she had undergone she continued to practice daily for over 65 days straight. Two years later, teachers saw her promise and dedication and suggested the Bikram training.

Kay attended the Bikram Teacher Training of Spring 2005. Bikram introduced her to her guru Paramahansa Yogananda by encouraging all trainees to read The Autobiography of a Yogi. Bikram would say daily: “If you want to know yoga you must read this book. This will be your real yogic training.” He was right! Reading this book changed her life like so many other known and unknown people, forever. It put into perspective the physical journey of Hatha Yoga Asana coupled with pranayama that leads to a depth of stillness and expansion in meditation.

Bikram also introduced her to her mentor Emmy Cleaves well into her 80’s, she through her mere presence taught that old age does not have to look the way it’s projected to us on tv. Through countless classes with Bikram and Emmy in attendance her yogic knowledge and interest grew.

She co-owned Bikram Yoga Hermosa Beach for nearly ten years and was gifted the opportunity to mentor students and over 300 new teachers.

Fully understanding now that the sole purpose of Yoga is to reunite the individual self with the Absolute or pure consciousness. Hatha Yoga aids in balancing the energies, purifying them, therefore stilling the mind and establishing a sense of inner peace that constitutes your true nature, leading one toward Self-realization. It is from this place of inner awareness that Kay teaches, now known as “the teacher’s teacher.”

Kay has also been initiated in the techniques of Shambavi and Raja Energy Healing. She has a private practice where she teaches yoga one on one as was originally taught and combines energy healing. She says, “My life’s work is dedicated to the serving of truth and helping others to awaken to their highest Self. You do not have to live a life of suffering be it physical, mental or emotional. I am so happy to be of help to you here at The Hot Room!”

More about Kay at Kayostrenko.com

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.

Jayna Athas

Jayna completed the Fall 2010 teacher training in San Diego, California. Whether in healthcare, politics or athletics, she has always been active and enjoys giving 100% of her strength to meet personal goals. When she stepped into her first Bikram class over 10 years ago, she immediately felt at home in the Bikram community. After finishing her graduate studies in 2009 in the townships of South Africa, she learned to integrate her love for people while maintaining her Bikram yoga routine. Jayna soon realized the only way to continue her passion for health and well-being was by sharing it with others.

After years of being actively involved in healthcare and politics, Jayna looks forward to helping those in our community focus inward during stressful times. Her other passions are marathons, triathlons, and travel. She looks forward to meeting each and every one of her students if she has not done so already. Please feel free to say hello and you’ll be sure to get a friendly reply!

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 .