OUR TEACHERS

Anahata Yoga Teachers

Ana Costa, Owner + Founder, Anahata Yoga Studio

Ana Costa was born in Brazil and has been teaching yoga for over 24 years. Ana has been studying Raja Yoga as a member of Self-Realization Fellowship since 1988. In 2001 she developed her own style that she named Anahata Yoga - Awakening Heart which focuses on the opening of the heart center. In 2002 she started offering Anahata Yoga Teacher Training Programs and has been certifying teachers all over the world. In 2009 the Anahata Studio moved to 2nd Street in Encinitas and has been a little piece of heaven to all the beautiful souls that has become part of the Anahata family!

Julia LaPlante, Certified Anahata Yoga Teacher, Certified Anahata Awakening Method Facilitator, Certified Mat Pilates Instructor, RYT, Reiki Practitioner

Julia has a wide background which uniquely suits her calling as a yoga teacher,. She is a registered Yoga Alliance® teacher, with certifications in Anahata Yoga™, the Anahata Awakening Method™, and Synergy Yoga®.  She holds a certificate to teach Mat Pilates from a Pilates Method Alliance (PMA®) approved provider.  She has certifications in Reiki energy work (Usui lineage), Raja Energy™ (Feisst Institute), and Yoga Nidra (Moore Yoga) and does private therapeutic sessions in these modalities.  Julia has practiced yoga and meditation since childhood, having been raised as an active member of Self Realization Fellowship her whole life. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW San Diego State, 2011), and loves to provide compassion and support to others. Julia LaPlante is a mother and stepmother to three children and lives with her husband in Encinitas.  She has been with us at Anahata Yoga Studio for over four years and loves being an Anahata yoga teacher!

Erika Chaker, Certified Anahata Yoga Teacher, Certified Anahata Awakening Method Facilitator, RYT, Certified Reiki Practitioner

Erika loves teaching Anahata Yoga and cherishes the Anahata Yoga philosophy focused on opening the heart center. Erika has taught over 800 group, private, prenatal and corporate yoga and meditation classes. She is certified as an Anahata Awakening Method facilitator, a powerful healing modality offered for private sessions. She also enjoys supplementing her yoga classes with Reiki energy healing and therapeutic grade essential oils to deepen the experience. Erika is passionate about sharing the life changing benefits of yoga with people of all ages and all abilities. It is her hope students will leave her classes feeling nourished and nurtured, more at peace, and full of joy. When Erika is not teaching or practicing yoga, she can be found spending time with her husband, a high school teacher, and two adorable boys, Jett (6) and Levi (4). Their favorite things to do as a family are garden, ride bikes, cook, visit museums, practice yoga (of course!) and they most recently enjoyed their first camping trip on the Central Coast! To learn more about Erika and her offerings, visit www.elevateyourwellness.life.

Sanjana Shah, Certified Anahata Yoga Teacher

Sanjana was born in India and moved to the US in 1992. Graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology New York, she pursued a career in the apparel Industry in San Diego. She's a mother of two college going kids. In 2011, faced with some significant health challenges she decided to look into Yoga. The more she practiced it, the more she realized the role it played in not only improving her health but also in enabling her to connect with her true spirit and nature. Having seen the positive role it played in her personal growth she decided to delve deeper and pursue the teacher training program at Anahata in 2015. She loves sharing her knowledge and understanding of yoga with others and hopes to play a role in bringing peace, love and balance in peoples lives.

Gina Johnson, Certified Anahata Yoga Teacher, Certified Anahata Awakening Method Facilitator, RYT, Certified Reiki Practitioner

Gina’s yoga journey began in 2005 with Anahata Yoga. As she experienced increased strength and flexibility in her body, she also noticed an increased sense of inner peace and self love. With a grateful heart, Gina felt inspired to share the benefits of Anahata Yoga with others. Teaching from her heart center, Gina creates an uplifting, safe environment for students to explore and expand their own body and consciousness.

Since raising three children (Arielle, Austin and Ireland), Gina is now focusing on her second calling in life, inspiring women in embodying their intrinsic beauty and power. She is currently creating a line of women’s yoga wear that affirms the magnificence of women.

Diane Stacey, Certified Anahata Yoga Teacher, Certified Reiki Master

I have been studying yoga most of my life, and I have done most all of it. I have also been a longtime member of Self-Realization Fellowship. My beloved guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, is my biggest inspiration to follow the path of yoga and to teach yoga. I really enjoyed taking my Teacher Training from Ana at Anahata. It is gentle yet wonderful for all of the body, mind, soul, and because I love this routine so much I find it a delight to teach and share with others. I have a  small private practice that I do, when not in an official studio. I am a painter, Astrologer, and lover of all that is full of beauty, harmony, grace and most of all Truth that brings us to a new level of life and sharing.

Usha Rathee, Certified Anahata Yoga Teacher

Usha has been passionate about yoga her whole life. She has experienced many yoga styles through the years and fell in love with the Anahata style since she came for her first class. She took the Anahata Teacher Training in 2013 and has been teaching and sharing her love for yoga since then.

She has been practicing meditation for many years as a member of Self Realization Fellowship. She is a Reiki Practitioner, mother of two children, a wonderful cook, and a very positive and enthusiastic person. 

Lisa Blatnick, Certified Anahata Yoga Teacher

The meaning of the word yoga is union. When we practice Hatha Yoga, we seek to unite our body, mind, and spirit. At Anahata Yoga, Lisa found a yoga practice which helped her to connect movement, breath, and self-awareness. Having practiced yoga throughout her adult life, she believes in its enduring benefits. In 2015, Lisa retired from teaching art to children and began to explore a new direction in teaching by joining the teacher training program at Anahata Yoga. Today she enjoys life with her husband of 34 years and family time with their grown son and extended family. She looks forward to welcoming all who come to the Anahata Yoga studio and sharing her love of yoga with her students.

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Yoga Teacher Trainer Instructors

Chris Law, Kinesiologist, RYT

Hi my name is Chris Law. Born and raised in Southern California, I grew up on the beach surfing and playing volleyball. With an interest in psychology and exercise science I received a kinesiology degree from CSUSM. After which I got my personal training certification from American Council on Exercise. Loving training the body I started Ilovefit - a structured program to help clients achieve their fitness goals.  I've trained models and wrote diet and exercise programs for leading health and fitness bloggers. I started practicing yoga and meditating while receiving my kinesiology degree. Yoga philosophy and the asanas became an obsession for me and so I started reading and learning everything I could on the subject. I have a very broad and open minded perspective on yoga philosophy with a very technical yoga practice. I’m only interested in what can be scientifically validated when it comes to what I teach others. I officially became certified by Ana Costa through her amazing Anahata Teacher Training. With thousands of hours studying, practicing, and teaching yoga it was only natural to get involved with teaching the anatomy and physiology of yoga. While learning everything about yoga in a teacher training is impossible what I attempt to teach during our hours together is practical knowledge for a safe and deeper yoga practice. 

Jutta Maria Hecht, Ayurvedic Spiritual Health Practitioner, Intuitive Healer

Jutta Maria Hecht is a passionate Ayurvedic Spiritual Health Practitioner residing here in Encinitas. An early student of A.G. Mohan, she spent five years in India under his tutelage. While there she fell critically ill and was introduced to Ayurveda when Western medicine failed to cure her. This profound experience led her to study Ayurveda in India, working under several teachers and doctors and getting hands on experience working in Ayurvedic clinics while living a simple Ayurvedic and Yogic lifestyle. Jutta continues to deepen her studies in Ayurveda and maintains a flourishing Ayurvedic clinic. She is a teacher of Ayurveda and Yoga, and leads workshops and retreats worldwide to share this knowledge. For more information call or text her at (760) 580-2524

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Guest Yoga Teachers

Rodell Jackson

Rodell Jackson has been practicing yoga and meditation for more than 25 years. She’s been an exercise enthusiast her whole life from running ½ marathons to recently walking the 500 mile Camino de antigoal (The Way).

After retiring from her 25 year old health and wellness company Rodell was inspired to share her passion and love for meditation and yoga with as many people as possible. Trained and certified thru Soul of Yoga as a Hatha Yoga Instructor. Rodell brings heart and soul to every class she teaches, her soothing voice and clear instructions inspire and motivate her students to go within, to open up and to experience the benefits and beauty of what yoga is all about ….peace, tranquility and joy. www.yogawithrodell.com - (619) 920-1355 - rodell@yogawith rodell.com.

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