Co-founders, Lauren and Leah met playing soccer with Futbolistas; an inclusive, non-competitive, community focused soccer collective based in LA. After playing friendly pick-up games they bonded over conversations about yoga and the lack of access to yoga in their neighborhoods. In 2012, they started a mobile project, offering donation-based classes at local community spaces throughout the Eastside. In 2014, Lauren and Leah opened People’s Yoga studio, the first and only yoga studio in East Los Angeles. People’s Yoga is your local, family friendly, bilingual English y Español , community yoga studio for all levels and walks of life. All are welcome here!
Founder + Instructor
Lauren came to yoga through the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA where she learned of it’s healing and power to nourish community and thanks her many teachers for her continually evolving understanding of yoga. She has deep respect and love for yoga as a practice of breath and being and enjoys sharing yoga as a means to connect with our essence, bodies and minds. Lauren is honored and grateful to work with the amazing People’s Yoga team and to learn from and with everybody who walks in the door.
Founder + Instructor
Born and raised in Highland Park, northeast Los Angeles, Leah found yoga after recovering from an ACL and meniscus injury while playing division I soccer. When her dream of playing professional soccer was put on hold, she ventured to a yoga classroom and after only one year of practicing asana (poses) she was able to return to semiprofessional soccer. Beyond the physical benefits, what is most important to her is the opportunity to sit with oneself and say hello. Leah believes this invitation to awareness is a space where we can review, reflect, and hold space for ourselves. In effort to facilitate this environment, she tends not to play music and instead invites each student to be present, move mindfully, listen without judgment, and simply be attentive to the self. Her classes also incorporate creative expression, sound making, playfulness, and deep breaths. Leah is also singer, musician, and member of Las Cafeteras, an urban folk performance and education collective based out of East LA.
Studio Manager + Instructor
Why do I love yoga? Let me count the ways… As someone who likes to indulge my imagination and reside in the fantasy worlds of movies and books, yoga provides a counterbalance to draw me back to my body, my breath, and remind me how beautiful the present moment is. Even when that present moment is hard to be in, practicing yoga has taught me how to embrace those sweaty, shaky times with a compassionate acceptance and maybe even a laugh as I get whacked out of balance. I don’t remember what drew me to my first yoga class, but I’m infinitely grateful I went. Seven years, hundreds of downdogs, and countless deep breaths later, here I am getting the opportunity to guide the practice that (cheesy as it may sound) changed my life. My yoga practice on the mat taught me how to tap into the joy, love, peace, and strength in me, and now I get to play with bringing that into all that I do off the mat. I am overjoyed at the chance to be of service to others on their own yoga journeys as they take care of their body, mind, and soul, and discover all that they are truly made of.
Local Xicana Yogista with over 13 years practicing asana and meditation and guiding for 7, Ana María brings a depth of knowledge and understanding about her community’s needs to People’s Yoga and it is felt throughout her practice.
Taking a class with Ana Maria places you in a state of focus and connection. Utilizing poetry and literature Ana Maria shapes her classes to help guide practitioners on their own journey of self discovery and growth. Ana Maria is also part of our People’s Yoga Teacher Training team that is shaping future community yoga instructors reach their teaching potential. Ana’s wit, care, play, presence and focus make her an ideal teacher to guide first timers as well a challenge for the more experienced.
Cecilia is the product of 3 continents (Africa, Europe & North America) and thrives on diversity and is grateful for the support of teachers from many cultures and traditions. She came to yoga as a way to counter the stress of working in the corporate world, only to find it would change her life. Certified to teach Kundalini and Hatha, Cecilia’s classes encourage students to do some compassionate internal housekeeping, while often sweating and laughing. She teaches flow, restorative and everything in-between. The breath, safety, self- exploration and great music, are at the root of her teaching style. Cecilia is committed to making the practice of yoga accessible to anyone willing to take part.
Over a decade of Yoga under her belt, Harpreet trained under the wonderful Tamal Dodge and did a number of useful restorative and pranayama modules at Julie’s Mukti School. She appreciates the spirituality, real-world stress management and sometimes – yes, the joy it has the potential to fostering in anyone.
Isabel Barber is Cuban born & transplanted to the US. She worked as a nurse for over 30 years. Isabel started doing yoga in 2014 with People’s Yoga of East LA. She has developed a passion for sharing the way yoga helps our bodies remember how to self heal.
Nacida en Cuba y transplantada a los Estados Unidos. Con 30 años de experiencia en enfermería. Cuyo camino en yoga empezo desde 2014 con People’s Yoga del Este de LA. Tengo el corazón de compartir como la yoga se recuerda a neustro cuerpo como sanarse.
Jocelyn is passionate about the healing power of yoga. After several years of practice with yoga healers in accessible and inclusive community spaces, she decided to make yoga a radiant part of daily life and became a certified yoga instructor. She studied Sampoorna Yoga with the guidance of her guru, Shri Yogi Hari, which focuses on the complete self’s mind, body, and spirit through six branches of yoga. Jocelyn integrates yoga philosophy into all areas of life on and off the mat empowering herself and others to continue to find inner peace and our true self.
For fourteen years yoga has created a road to health for an entire community. Facilitating this journey has been Larios’ heart-felt task. This journey today is enhanced through his knowledge of Reiki. Larios began his dedication to community as president of the student council at a large local language school. Soon after, he discovered the benefits of yoga. He launched his career, intent on bringing the benefits of yoga to his community. Today that community is a reflection of the diversity of our city. It includes seniors and families with children as well as members of the LGBTQ community and also members who experience varieties of challenges. Through his connection to People’s Yoga in East Los Angeles, Larios continues to grow a community intent on increased health and fitness. They are equipped with techniques to help maintain a stress-free lifestyle. Come see why this community continues to grow in spirit and health!
Marina is a seasoned dancer, award-winning choreographer, and certified yoga teacher originally from Brazil, currently based throughout the US. She completed her YTT 200 hr training with Trinity Capili and the Cloud Nine School in 2013. Magalhães has eight years of experience designing and teaching movement-based classes for bodies of all ages and levels throughout the world, including the U.S., Cuba, Brazil, Botswana and South Africa. Consistent in all of Magalhães’s classes is an inclusive approach to movement that invites participants to take risks, express their creative selves, and connect with one another. Magalhães’s deep love of yoga is nurtured through the belief that self-care is radical, and that our on-going well-being is intrinsically tied to the well-being of our communities and environment. She enjoys sharing a heart-centered and nourishing yoga practice that encourages yogis to listen deeply to their instincts. She is currently a faculty member of the YTT program at the East Los Angeles-based People’s Yoga studio, and a regular teacher at the NYC-based Martial Science studio.
Raquel came to yoga in college with no real commitment or expectation of the practice other than to enjoy a class here and there with her friends. It wasn’t until 2008 that she discovered that yoga made her feel strong, beautiful, and aided her on her journey of self-transformation through self-love. This is what inspired Raquel to learn more. She completed her 200-hour Hatha yoga teacher training at Yoga At The Village in 2012. That same year she completed two prenatal yoga teacher training programs; one at Golden Bridge and one at SilverLake Yoga. Raquel believes in the intelligent wisdom of the human body. It is this intelligence that she adores witnessing her students connect to on their mats. When Raquel is not on her mat she can be found supporting families through out pregnancy, birth, the postpartum and early developmental years. Raquel is currently studying to take her midwifery certifying and licensing exams this winter. It fills her with honor to teach and bear witness to such sacred life cycles. Pregnant people are highly encouraged to attend any of Raquel’s classes.
Stephanie Castro is a Chicana educator, yoga sharer, dancer, daughter, amiga, etc. She grew up in Orange County, but has called Los Angeles home for the last 10 years. Yoga has been a tool for self-love and healing for Stephanie. She hopes to share that love and healing with others. Stephanie’s approach to sharing yoga is rooted in the belief that self-care is a radical act and that yoga is a tool for self-empowerment, community building, and social justice. Her classes are a place to explore, feel good, have fun, and be held. Stephanie completed her yoga teacher training with Cloud Nine Yoga. She also holds a Masters in Education from UCLA and is a 6th grade teacher at Studio School in Glassell Park. Stephanie is honored to be part of People’s Yoga and looks forward to serving this community for many years to come.
Traci has huge love for yoga, as a means to cultivate and return to our root of resilience, inner peace and radical light. traci’s life work is about compassionately showing up for community and solidarity building, as an organizer informed by the personal, the Japanese American experience, and work within diverse communities. As a trauma-informed yoga instructor, traci strives to create inclusive, safe, mindful and empowering classes to connect healing breath to movement, community, and so much more.
Resistance to your inner child is futile. At the age of six, Trinity had memorized all of the words to Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All” and would sing it full voice in the shower. She also recalls trying to levitate at a very young age; sitting her my room trying to feel and hear everything… in what we now recognize as meditation. Trinity also spent a lot of little kid energy dancing around and acting out what she loved in the world…in what we can also call meditation (life!). Happily so, both of these behaviors are still a part of her daily routine. She devotes her life to living in a way that brings her fully into being a conduit of love. We are here to love and be loved, laugh, grow, and be present in our highest Self. Her admiration for language (written, spoken, or silent) drives everything she does; the way communication happens never ceases to amaze her. The study of the inner world never stops. We are vibrantly interconnected in everything and one another (sweet!). For Trinity, it’s an honor to be in the company of teachers (friends and family) who are truly here to bring light into the darkness and know that both are necessary factors to having fun on this earth. In a nutshell, Trinity loves living, sharing, and teaching such great stuff.