Mentorship Program Faculty
Choose between the following mentors:
Angela Del Franco
I consider myself a life student of yoga. Since my first class in 1996 I have been enthusiastic to learn about the wellbeing offered in yoga. After exploring different forms, my path led me to a style that is rooted with inner and outer alignment. Coming from a dance background I had to redefine ways to approach a pose to advance my practice. I traveled to India in 1999 to witness how yoga is weaved into the culture and in 2008 I returned from living abroad to become a teacher of yoga.
One of my fears about being a new teacher was that I wouldn’t be able to help a student who has a physical restriction or injury. I offer simple yet precise instruction to keep the student safe in a pose and allow them to feel capable during the practice. I studied and develop modifications that aim to build strong alignment so students feel progress.
I find joy in sharing my discoveries of yoga with others and aim to inspire an intelligent practice that embraces the essence of yoga by breath and the ability to find stillness in the poses. I hope to guide those who work with me to nurture and trust their inner guru.
Before I started teaching yoga I lived a very different life. I worked long hours for a major corporation. I learned a lot but I wasn’t happy with my professional life. I was stressed out and wasn’t balanced. Once, a co- worker asked me what my dream job would be and without hesitation I caught myself by surprise and said “Yoga Teacher!” Since that moment it seemed that the universe and I were aligned to make that happen. I feel like this is my duty in this life to share Yoga with as many people as I can and to never stop learning. My teaching style is down to earth and real. I take inspiration from my life as a mother and athlete. I am fascinated by human anatomy and I prioritize sharing what I’ve learned and felt in my body with others. I feel that when I’m teaching I’m really just sharing my practice and life experiences and also learning so much from my students and their bodies. I think that this is what allows me to connect with my students and form relationships with them beyond our mats.
When I first came to yoga in 2006 after just a few classes I realized pa- tience would be essential as I struggled with touching my toes, or sitting upright with my legs extended. When I started teaching yoga in 2011, I realized acceptance was an important lesson, acceptance that even as a yoga teacher I was still learning and deepening my own practice and knowledge.
As I continue to practice and teach I have learned to use my physical experience as a guide for helping my students. I offer subtle movement and alignment cues, combined with body awareness and anatomy to help students visualize and experience poses without loosing ease of movement, the art of stillness or a fullness of breath. My students continue to inspire me on my journey and it is through getting to know them and sharing a journey we are all simultaneously taking that joy on and off my mat.
Johanna De Castro
I have worked in aquatics for over 20 years. Being of service to the children and families inspires me every day! When I’m not at work I love to be active and spend time with my family. I became a yoga instructor to deepen my practice and find balance. This experience has been life changing. I have a deeper connection to others and myself. Teaching gives me the opportunity to invite students to find their true potential on and off their mats!
I teach hatha, power, yin, restorative & kids yoga. My varied styles allow me to tap into different areas of growth in my students. I encourage balance of strength and ease. Students discover what is possible by being fully present. I am also passionate about the art of adjustments.
I have worked in the health and fitness industry for over 18 years. When I first took my yoga teacher training I didn’t have any intention of becom- ing a yoga teacher as I was already teaching group fitness at the time. My initial motivation was to create a better platform to help me with my exercise therapy clients who were chronically ill. I almost fell into teaching yoga when I was the Personal Training director at the Fitness Institute and some classes needed covering. The fears of being a teacher came after when I realized it was my true passion AND it was opening up a place in me where I could heal. It became scarier and exciting all at the same time because Yoga was making me tap into a place within me I didn’t know existed and I started to care a lot more!
My teaching experience has given me a greater understanding of the physical, emotional and spiri- tual aspects of each and everyone of us. I have learned and am continuing to learn how to teach to all 3 of these components with my classes as well as, private clients using asana, anatomical understanding, music, inspirational speaking, the chakra system and positive psychology.
When I signed up for teacher training I wasn’t really sure what my end goal was; at that time I hadn’t thought seriously about teaching yoga afterwards. During the training itself, I continually flip-flopped between wanting to teach and thinking it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t until I had taught a few classes that I knew teaching was something that I wanted to continue doing, and some classes after that I knew it was something that I loved to do.
My teaching philosophy is to teach a class that I would want to attend. The class is a reflection of my personality, and that has allowed me to connect on a deeper level with students. As someone who disliked public speaking growing up I did not think I would ever want to get up in front of a group of strangers. Getting over those fears and sharing my energy, sharing bits of myself, allows students to open themselves up as well.
You cannot cross the ocean unless you lose sight of the shore.