Virginia, Studio Director
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
Virginia has been practicing yoga for a decade and teaching for 5 years. Virginia founded Neutral Ground Yoga to provide a non-intimidating place for students from different groups to practice yoga together in a safe space. At Shanti Yoga Shala, Virginia completed a total of 500 Hours of Yoga Teacher Training and currently trains prospective yoga teachers in the art of Restorative Yoga. She is passionate about creating access to yoga for everyone, regardless of fitness ability. She believes yoga should be adapted to fit the student, not the other way around.
She is also passionate about providing yoga and mindfulness practices to those in recovery from addiction. When not working, Virginia spends all of her time with her husband and nine year old daughter.
Joann, Yoga Instructor
Joann began discovering her yoga practice in 2011 while taking classes in the San Francisco Bay Area where she grew up. After moving to New Orleans in 2016, she decided she wanted to deepen her practice through the 200 hour Teacher Training at Shanti Yoga Shala. As an instructor, she hopes to support others to feel good in their bodies, find a sense of calm and connect with themselves. Inspired to continue learning and growing her practice, Joann has begun an apprenticeship program with her teacher Nathalie Croix, and is working towards towards her 300 hour level certification. Apart from yoga, Joann loves traveling, being outdoors and her dog Rogue.
Maura, Yoga Instructor
Maura is originally from California and moved to New Orleans in 2006 for public health and nursing school. She fell in love with the city and hasn’t looked back. she has practiced yoga on and off for 14 years. Her practice has become consistent through Shanti Yoga Shala on Magazine Street. She loves yoga for the stress reduction, the connection with the breath, and the flow of yoga with life. Maura firmly believes the practice of yoga is for everyone and that everyone can find something useful and joyful in regular yoga practice.
Maura is currently enrolled in nurse practitioner school and in her spare time practices regular yoga, meditation, and rides horses. She currently lives in Mid City with her amazing boyfriend and their two silly, sassy dogs.
Rachel, Yoga Instructor
Rachel Harrer, RYT 200, completed yoga teacher training through Shanti Yoga Shala and has taken additional workshops on restorative yoga. She first discovered yoga in college at the University of New Orleans and has loved it ever since. She wants yoga to be accessible to all bodies, so she often uses props and adjustments for a safe, healthy practice.
She believes that yoga is a healing art for the body, mind, and spirit. Her goal is for you to leave class feeling better than you did before you showed up to the mat.
Harpinder, Yoga Instructor
Harpinder began practicing yoga and meditation at the Ananda Sangha Center in New Delhi, India in 2015. She turned to yoga during a time of great anxiety and found that this practice brought her to the present and instilled a great sense of gratitude for being alive.
Since then, Harpinder has trained at Stretch Yoga in Brisbane, Australia under Miriam Van Doorn to gain her 350-hour certification with Yoga Australia and 200-hours with Yoga Alliance. She teaches with a desire to get people out of their heads and into their body. Harpinder believes that movement facilitates happiness and serves as a healing tool. Her goal is for you to leave feeling better than when you arrived.
Harpinder is originally from California and currently lives in Uptown with her boyfriend. She will be taking the upcoming Kundalini training (200-hours) at Swaha Yoga and outside of yoga, loves meditation, outdoor adventures, and enjoying time with friends.
Joelle, Yoga Instructor
A native New Yorker, Joelle‘s first yoga experience was at the age of 16 with Rodney Yee’s slow burn yoga DVD.
Enamored with yoga ever since, Joelle has enjoyed a variety of practices, including an 18 month stint of 6 or more bikram classes per week. She re-discovered her love of Vinyasa with Chelsey Backus and Karina Pivik, and after a year of consistent Vinyasa practice, Joelle decided to enroll in Shanti Yoga Shala’s 200hr SmartFlow teacher training with Nathalie Croix.
Today, Joelle is having the time of her life co-creating Aziza & the Cure’s Ep, Bringin’ Music Back, with her husband and fellow yogi, River Rouen. She enjoys teaching yoga and music, being a student and advocate of herbalism, movement, and life.
From single to small group privates and residencies across the globe, Joelle’s classes are a fun and unique blend of Body Intelligence Vinyasa, always starting from the ground up and building strong foundation on which to breath, sweat, grow and flow!