Our Teachers

Our teachers share with you what they are working on in their daily sadhana, bringing their own unique set of curiosities, investigations, and creative explorations to the practice space. Each of them have been certified through Light on Lotus, Laughing Lotus, or have taken our advanced intensives to further their studies.

KATE DUYN CARIATI

KATE DUYN CARIATI

Yogini, teacher, trainee and mentor, Kate Duyn Cariati has dedicated over 15 years to her practice and profession. Since relocating to LA in 2009, she has taught at over ten different studios and gyms in the area and led 200 Hour Teacher Trainings for Pure Yoga at Equinox, Goda Yoga, and Yogis Anonymous with Ally Hamilton.
Kate founded Light on Lotus to offer up an alternative approach to the predominant styles of yoga found in Southern, CA. She leads annual Teacher Trainings, specialized workshops, retreats, and has been streaming online since 2010 on yogisanonymous.com. Her classes are known for their creative but intelligent sequencing, free flow acro-athleticism and soulfulness. She has a knack for guiding students to new depths while maintaining a sense of humor. Kate seamlessly weaves yoga philosophy, mantra, pranayama, meditation and movement into a rich and heartfelt experience in which she sets out to circulate as much joy through the body as possible.
She bows deeply to the great lineage of teachers that have come before her on this path and to Laughing Lotus co-founders Dana Trixie Flynn and Jasmine Tarkeshi. Originally from Portland, Oregon, she has lived and taught in New York, San Francisco, and currently resides in Mar Vista in LA, CA.

Deity: Durga meets Saraswati, kind of like a Pitta-Vata Griffin.
Jam: “Whole Lotta Love” covered by Tina Turner

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AMANDA MURPHY

AMANDA MURPHY

Amanda Murphy is from the tiny New England island of Martha's Vineyard. Being raised surrounded by water, it is very easy to see why she has made Manhattan Beach her new home. Amanda discovered Yoga while studying for medical school and volunteering in hospitals in Sri Lanka. While on her journeys she was seeking something to keep her healthy and grounded; yoga was the perfect fit. Amanda originally fell in love with her yoga practice because of the challenges it brought physically, but the more she practiced, the more she realized yoga offers far more than just physical benefits. She found her flow in the qualities and balance that yoga brings into her life. In her classes she hopes to cultivate a calm mind, while keeping her students in the moment and having fun.

Amanda’s classes are geared for all levels of Yoga knowledge. She is innovative in her teaching, in that beginning Yogis feel welcome and successful and advanced Yogis get the practice that they desire. Her classes open up a world of Yoga for the beginner that is welcoming, positive, fun and creates an atmosphere of calm and safety. Her extensive knowledge reaches the most advanced Yogis. She draws in all levels of yogis with her passion and spirit. . Amanda's classes are geared for students to be able to take what they learn on the mat and apply it into their everyday lives, helping to instill more love, compassion and happiness in all humanity.

Amanda integrates various different yoga styles into her teaching. She has trained with a variety of teachers in the Los Angeles area, as well as internationally. She is currently getting her Masters at Emperors College for Traditional Chinese Medicine, which also includes: Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Meditative Practices. Along with her recent certification in Thai massage from Whatpo School in Thailand, she incorporates all of these elements into the classes she teaches. Because of her extensive anatomy training she also teaches with a strong emphasis on proper body alignment

Song: Thunderstruck by ACDC Deity: Kali Ma

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CHRISTINE WEST

CHRISTINE WEST

With a background in dance and a love of music, Christine resonates with Lotus Flow's stylistic and intentional approach to yoga. Her practice influences every part of her life and she embraces the endlessly learning experience that occurs on her mat.

As a teacher, Christine aims to provide a relaxed and playful space for people to journey inward through mindful movement and breath. She encourages students to enjoy the process of the practice with emphasis on personal awareness and individualized needs.

Christine is continuously inspired by Kate's passion, wisdom, and creativity and is honored to be teaching at Light on Lotus.

Deity: Ganesha
Song: Wide Eyes by Local Natives

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CRYSTAL RAUSCH

CRYSTAL RAUSCH

She was introduced to meditation and yoga at a young age by her parents who studied and practice Transcendental Meditation. Her love of movement was further cultivated over 15 years of classical ballet training. Yoga provided the perfect meeting of her love of movement, philosophy and psychology. Crystal studied under Hala Khouri and Julian Walker in the Awakened Heart, Embodied Mind yoga teacher training and has been teaching ever since.

Her class is an adventure into the self. It is a place to play and work and dance between the two. She loves having fun while working hard. Crystal creates a space so you can come as you are, grow from where you are at and be on your own path at your own pace.

Deity: Sarasvati
Song: Everyday People ~ Sly & The Family Stone

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ELYCE TALAVERA

ELYCE TALAVERA

Elyce Talavera, CMT, RYT is a Certified Massage Therapist, Yoga Instructor, Reiki Master and forever student of life. After graduating with a degree in Psychology from UCLA, Elyce worked in the nonprofit sector for 4 years before a silent meditation retreat in Joshua Tree allowed her time for deep contemplation about how to best impact the lives of others. So began her journey in the healing arts.
​ ​Presently, she is pursuing her certification in Medical Massage from the Science of Massage Institute. Additionally, she has spent 100 hours training with KDC​​ ​and the Lotus approach in order to expand her creative horizons and add depth to her teaching style.

​"​I see you. I see your light.​ ​In class, my goal is just to give you the space for you to see it too, and to help you cultivate a deep awareness of the perfection that is you. I humbly offer you a sincere friendship as we travel together to a greater understanding which recognizes that the intelligence and infiniteness of life is established in us, as us. I use the yoga poses to provide the landscape, and sometimes challenging terrain, for you to navigate while encouraging you to provide the intuition and breath to guide you in the direction that is right for you.​"​

Elyce loves her work and you can FEEL it; she looks forward to being of service.

Deity: Hanuman
Song: I Got You (I Feel Good) - James Brown

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JESSICA JABLONSKI

JESSICA JABLONSKI

I have forever enjoyed working with children, their energy, enthusiasm and pure love is a gift. Certified through YogaBuddies and YogaWorks, I am so grateful to be able to inspire through the practice of yoga. My classes are playful, filled with laughter, self expression and mindfulness. I strive to bring awareness, connection and confidence to my kids and families. No matter how old, students will gain internal and external strength, flexibility and balance. One of my students once said to me “Yoga Peaces Me.” I am so thrilled to share the peace and love at the magical Light on Lotus.

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KATE WILLSON

KATE WILLSON

Kate started practicing yoga more than a decade ago as a public service to those around her. What she discovered was so much more. Years of dance and athletics, followed by time spent in demanding corporate environments had created extreme imbalance in the body. Yoga provided an opportunity to explore a marriage of the yin and the yang; a sustainable approach physically and mentally, to a vibrant, mindful, and active life.

Eventually, Kate combined her passion for marketing and business with her desire to share the life-changing gifts of yoga with others. She became the director of Exhale Venice, part of a national boutique fitness brand that operated a Venice Beach yoga mecca for over a decade. She serves on the board of directors for the Venice Chamber of Commerce, has a corporate wellness consulting business, and teaches public classes, privates, and special events around Los Angeles. Kate has completed over 500 hours of yoga teacher training in vinyasa flow and restorative yoga and is grateful to her teachers, especially Annie Carpenter, Shiva Rea, Aaron Reed, Kate Duyn Cariati and Mary Dana Abbott. She lives in Venice with her boyfriend and two dogs and is thrilled to be part of the Light On Lotus community spreading the Lotus Love here in LA!

Deity: Saraswati & Kali

Musical Jam: Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah and anything by Bruce Springsteen

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LESLIE KAZADI

LESLIE KAZADI

Yoga therapist, prop wizard and relaxation maven, Leslie’s love of movement brought her to yoga 25 years ago. Her love of the practice inspired her to start teaching 15 years ago. A perennial student of the body and all 8 limbs of yoga, Leslie is fascinated by the creative process of being human and how subtle shifts can change your world. She has designed protocols for yoga research, co-authored a book on restorative yoga with Annie Carpenter and works privately with students with complex medical conditions. The evolution of her studies led her to develop teacher trainings and workshops that focus on the science, art and magic of yoga’s therapeutic benefits.

Leslie’s classes are playful, creative, movement meditations that are accessible to every body. She infuses her teaching with her joy of life and irreverent sense of humor as she guides students along their unique personal journeys, shining a light on their possibilities with love & laughter.

Deity: Green Tara, goddess of compassion, on my altar for 15 years… it’s a practice!
Jam: Always changing… currently “Find Me” by Sigma… I’ll be here for you!

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MAIRE-ROSE PIKE

MAIRE-ROSE PIKE

Maire-Rose fell in love with Lotus Flow after a lifetime of practicing various forms of yoga, dance, and creative movement. She loves the freedom of expression within the structure of this practice, and how it allows for happy accidents and individual discovery. She completed her 200hr TT in 2010 at Laughing Lotus NYC with Dana Flynn, Ali Cramer, Sheri Celantano, and Mary Dana Abbott, and additional Restorative training with Jamie-Lynn Skolnick. She taught in NYC for 4 years before relocating to LA in 2014. Also an actress and singer-songwriter, Maire's classes are musical and playful, as well as spiritual. She invites you to move, breath, sing, meditate, and explore both inner and outer space.

Deity: Hindu Goddess Lakshmi and Brigid, Irish Goddess of fire, poetry, and healing.

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MONICA MOSS

MONICA MOSS

Monica has been practicing yoga for over 8 years and has a special passion for lotus flow because ​it promotes​ self discovery, creativity and a​wakens t​he body and mind. Her sequences are designed for all levels of yogis to achieve a sense of self-awareness, opening in the body and connection to breath while incorporating a theme of structured-playfulness through movement and meditation. Monica loves to incorporate creative transitions into her flow using her dance background as inspiration for a fresh perspective on this traditional practice.

"My goal is to promote curiosity within your own practice to help you find your edge and maybe play with pushing those limits to continue to grow on and off the mat."

​Deity: Ganesha
Song: "Mundian To Back Ke" by Panjabi MC​

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RAPHIE ROSE

RAPHIE ROSE

Almost 20 years after she first stepped onto a yoga mat Raphie Rose completed her 200-hr training at Goda Yoga in 2015. Her genuine compassion and enthusiasm for both the practice and her students combine to create a playful and soulful experience for students of all levels.
As a student of Chinese Medicine her aim is to accompany her students on a journey to deepen their practice and experience of their physical and emotional bodies.
Rise and shine with her morning classes and awake to the magic within.

Hindi Deity: Saraswati
Current Jam: Indian Summer by Jai Wolf

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RUSSELL STOLL

RUSSELL STOLL

I'm so excited to join the Light on Lotus family and to be bringing some fly and funky vibes to Sunday night. For me, yoga is a playful challenge of the best kind. In my classes, I seek to include a balance of breath and asana; of playful sequencing and mindful stretch, of keeping it weird and keeping it true. After doing competitive gymnastics and martial arts in my youth, I found that yoga was the perfect marriage of the mental discipline and full body engagement I had loved as a kid. I also have experience teaching English and yoga to at-risk teens, including taking urban kids into the High Sierras wilderness for health and meditation each summer. I hope share with all of my students the experience that a healthy exhaustion of the physical self can also lead to a healthy release of the mental, emotional, and immaterial selves, too.

DEITY: Hanuman! I love to bring a lot of play into my practice, I often forget that I have super powers and need to be reminded, and I really do think that a friend in need is a friend indeed.

SONG(s):
Our Day Will Come - Amy Winehouse
Flying Overseas - Theophilus London & Solange
Instant Crush - Daft Punk, Julian Casablancas

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SAMANTHA MEHRA

SAMANTHA MEHRA

Born of Indian and Trinidad descent, Samantha was raised in London. As a third generation yogi. She is honored to have traveled and studied with some of the finest teachers worldwide, including Bikram Choudhury (hot Yoga) and Pattabhi Jois (Astanga). She continues her studies today with Sri Shankarcharaya, which have deep roots in Hindu Tantrism.

As a well-known and respected teacher in her community, her teachings combine movement, meditation, philosophy and breath in an authentic and inspirational way. Samantha has also been involved as a consultant for the launching and opening of several yoga studios.

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VIKKI JACOBS

VIKKI JACOBS

Born and raised in England, Vikki moved to California in 1993 and has been a yogi for almost 20 years. Originally drawn to the practice for physical healing, she quickly embraced the spiritual effects of yoga and meditation that still continue to help her navigate through life’s challenges. Vikki took her first teacher training under the guidance of Kate Duyn Cariati in 2012, initially looking to deepen her own experience but then realizing as a teacher she could share the gift of yoga with others. Continuing her education in 2014 with a 50-hour Laughing Lotus sequencing training, Vikki found the perfect yoga combination, a beautiful way to move the body through the shapes of the asana while also embracing the deep spiritual history, a yogic-dance incorporating the ancient teaching and life lessons which are still so relevant and needed today.

Song: "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder Deity: Hanuman

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VANCE VLASEK

VANCE VLASEK

Yoga is everything. It’s a conglomeration of mind, body, spirit, and environment. I value the practice, highly, and love sharing it. I completed my 200hr teacher training at 305 Yoga in Miami in 2014. Joy is key to my teaching style. I try to infuse it into class whilst presenting an impactful, safe practice permeated with intelligent alignment, marked mindfulness, and engaging sequencing. Dharma is interwoven throughout the class and reflected in the sequencing. Students can expect to hear an eclectic array of musical styles which support their journey through class.
When not teaching yoga, I’m a full time entrepreneur providing performing arts services (…actor, singer, dancer). I’ve performed in feature films, plays, musicals, commercials, dance tours, and am grateful to no longer be dancing on the sidewalk, costumed as abodybuilding dog. I believe yoga and the performing arts are innately connected. Both help us to understand ourselves more authentically, through our humanness: movement (asana/dance), vocalization (mantra/singing), and empathy (mindfulness/character study). Yoga journeys through the self, to the self. The performing arts travel through others, to the self (…which is one with others). Both disciplines lead us to a fuller, more connected human experience. Both heal.
It has been a long strange trip for me so far, I hope you’ll join me somewhere along the way.

My Deity: Hanuman

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VANESSA KUDRAT WEINBERG

VANESSA KUDRAT WEINBERG

was introduced to Yoga in the California Public School System at a young age. She has been teaching for 2 decades and is the founder of www.BodyMindGifts.com. Her classes are deep and reflect her years of study with masterful teachers in the Krishnamacharya & Kundalini lineages. She specializes in helping people find good alignment as they move, changing patterns that create stress in the body, giving people access to unique strength and stamina building movements both on the Yoga mat and in life. She is definitely a daughter of Laxmi. Her current favorite song (that is hard, there are so many!), Lucius' Dusty Trails has been on the regular this week.

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