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Our Team

 

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Stephanie Moran is the owner of Smiling Dog Yoga and the creator of our exclusive Barre Fusion Program, YOBarre. She is a Certified Group Fitness instructor that has been teaching for 13 years. She received her very first group fitness certification from Les Mills International in 2003 where she started her career in fitness as a Body Pump instructor. She continued on in certifications in Body Attack, Body Flow, Body Combat and Body Jam where she learned fitness formats involving kickboxing, high-low cardio aerobics, yoga, pilates, thai-chi and even dance based aerobics for those that really wanted to boogie! In addition to her extensive training from Les Mills, she is also certified by AFFA in Primary Group, Indoor Cycling, On the Mat training ans last but not least Zumba! Teaching fitness and educating on health and wellness is her favorite thing to do and a huge passion for her. And as each new trend awakens in this industry she is always ready to try it and when she falls in love - gets certified! Her newly discovered passion for barre is energizing her creativity with fitness and discovering new ways to lead, teach and discover fitness with her students.
Stephanie is also Senior Vice President of Sales at MINDBODY and brings her passion and drive to our humble space! Aside from teaching, owning the studio, and leading an amazing sales team at MINDBODY Stephanie spends her time with her four beautiful children and her amazing husband.  She loves to travel and shop and loves to do the two together.  Favorite city to travel to and shop - London!
Andres Moran, our co-owner has over 15 years experience in the industry of Yoga, Pilates, Fitness and Wellness.  As an early employee of MINDBODY Andres was able to oversee various department such as Support, Sales, Business Development, and MINDBODY University where we he worked closely with successful studio owners.  In 2015 Andres started his own technology company, iKizmet a business intelligence tool for the yoga, fitness and wellness space, www.ikizmet.com. Andres oversees all technology and operations of Smiling Dog Yoga and his favorite class to take is Pilates since it makes him work muscles he does not know exist!
Chandra is Studio Director at Smiling Dog Yoga. The daughter of a nationally ranked cheerleading coach mother and a state wrestling champion father, one of Chandra’s earliest memories is of stretching and exercising. She spent time in gymnastics, figure skating, and track and field, before ultimately falling in love with ballet for it’s unique combination of athleticism and art.
 
After an early career as a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer with the San Francisco Ballet and other Bay Area based companies, an injury led Chandra down a different path. She studied Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communications at San Diego State University before falling in love with the beauty and kindness of the Central Coast, and moving to attend Cal Poly SLO. Following a second career in corporate multi-store retail leadership, a loss in the family caused her to follow her true passion for coaching and motivating people, with her immense drive to inspire others thru the science and art of health and fitness.
 
Chandra found yoga as an effective tool for healing old injuries & restoring full functionality back to her body. After having experienced the immense benefits of yoga first hand, she was inspired to attain her 200-RYT at Smiling Dog Yoga under Valentina Petrova. Chandra holds additional certifications in Primary Group Fitness and Practical Pilates thru AFAA, YOBarre thru SDY, American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED, and is currently completing an additional 200-RYT in Core Strength Vinyasa with Sadie Nardini, as well as a certification in Jillian Michael's BodyShred. When not at the studio, Chandra can be found reading fitness, barre, and yoga anatomy books on the beach, binge watching mindless Bravo TV shows while working out, DIYing various arts & crafts, or feeding her retail addiction. She looks forward to welcoming you to The Dog, and can't wait to show you all our amazing community has to offer!
 
Kenzee is a member of the Client Success Team at Smiling Dog who will frequently be seen at the front desk and around the studio greeting our clients and making them smile. Kenzee has a strong passion for music and in her spare time enjoys playing her guitar. Kenzee is currently attending school at Alan Hancock College. Kenzee has grown up in the environment of yoga and wellness, and now being the daughter of SDY’s owner, Stephanie Moran, she is excited to be apart of the SDY team. You will not only see her behind the front desk but also participating in your favorite yoga classes.
Natasha Donaghy has lived on the central coast all of her life.  When she is not helping clients at The Dog she has a full time job at iKizmet as a Onboarding and Support Specialist. Outside of work she loves to stay physically active.  You can catch her in class, on a hike or taking a kickboxing class. Her other passions include animals, plants and books.  It is her goal to learn everyone's name at The Dog so the next time you see her at the desk be sure to tell her your name! 
Jenna Severson is a proud member of the Client Success Team at Smiling Dog. She recently moved back home to SLO County and loves the small town life, gorgeous scenery, and friendly people of the Central Coast. She was raised with a deep appreciation for nature and has always enjoyed traveling, hiking, camping, and spending time at the beach. Jenna was drawn to yoga in her late teens and it has remained a consistent source of positivity and wellness in her life ever since. She looks forward to earning her RYT-200 at Smiling Dog in the Fall of '17. When not practicing yoga or spending time with her family, Jenna can usually be found at the library where she works as a Reference Librarian. Jenna is passionate about community building and serving others and the library is the perfect place to do just that! By combining her two interests, yoga and librarianship, Jenna is committed to maintaining a healthy body, mind and spirit.
Sera has been a grateful student of Yoga and Ayurveda for many years. She has been blessed with teachers who have searched classically for the patterns of the Universe and Spirit. Her studies and experiences in the realms of Yoga, Mantra, and Ayurveda all serve to assist in increasing depth, sensitivity, and simplicity in ways that both utilize and increase grace and observation.

Some of her teachers include, Andrey Lappa of Universal Yoga, Kula Yoga Project, Sankalpah College of Yoga (Yoga), Sadhvi Abha Saraswatiji and Raghunath Cappo (Mantra), Vaidya Ravi of Poonthottam Ayurvedasram, the California College of Ayurveda, and BCD (Ayurveda). Her teachers of touch include those at Sunshine School (Chiang Mai, Thailand) and Ohm (Omsala Chiang Mai, Thailand) for the wisdom of Thai Massage and Chi Nei Tsang.

Each of her teachers has forever moved her to be more observant, respectful, humble, and sincere - qualities ever present in yoga and its teachings.

In classes we will focus on the science behind the relationships between the body, the mind, and their bridges . We are concerned with the flow of prana, how and where it moves and does not move in posture, in nadi, with consciousness. Using the paradigms of Ha-tha Yoga and Ayurveda we will explore our capacity to be both strong and flexible, moving and still, Ha and Tha, and of course, migrating in the direction of steady appreciation and awareness.

Chelsea began dancing around the age of 4 and didn’t stop until she was in her early 20’s. She decided to stop and focus on her studies to become a special education teacher. Teaching individuals with special needs and emotional disturbances began to take a toll on Chelsea, and she found it hard not to take her work home. She then enrolled in yoga to help her deal with the stress and emotional drainage. Yoga helped her immensely and opened her eyes to a beautiful journey she was so excited to embark on. She began using her yoga practices throughout her day and even with her students. She found peace in everything she did, and attributes it to yoga. After a few years of consistent practice, Chelsea decided to become a yoga teacher. She wanted to help share the magic of yoga with everyone. She received her yoga certification through our very own Smiling Dog Yoga studio under Roxy Banta and J Gabriel. Chelsea has a great passion for people and yoga and is so excited to share that with students at Smiling Dog. When she is not practicing yoga, Chelsea likes to spend time with her family. She loves the beach and you can find her in Avila just about every weekend with her husband and smiling dog, Oliver.
Deborah has always been a fan of movement. She began ballet and tap dancing as a child, and continued her interest in dance with course work in modern dance while attending California State University at Northridge where she received a degree in psychology. She briefly considered becoming a dance and movement therapist, but once she completed her psychology degree, shifted her interests to politics and attended law school. Recognizing early on that this shift in interest was not her true dharma, she re-entered the fitness field managing a health and fitness center in Los Angeles and becoming an ACE certified personal trainer. Shortly after certifying as a trainer, she found Yoga and found her home. Yoga has transformed Deborah’s life in so many ways, bringing a peace and tranquility to her that she loves to share with her students. She loves to share her story of “trying” a class one day and walking out feeling as though she were a completely different and whole person for the first time in years. The ability of a practice to bring such contentment and peace was just short of a miracle for Deborah who is a single parent of two special needs children. Deborah loves to share her Yoga experience with others as they journey on their own quest for calm, peace and fulfillment. She also loves to work with “mama’s to be” on their journey through the pregnancy process…a very special time in a woman’s life, by bringing a sense of community and love to women as their bodies change in the creation of a new life and spirit. To that end, she received her prenatal/postnatal yoga certification through the Yoga Alliance. Deborah has studied Yoga with many of today’s well-known and sought after yogi’s including James Brown, Alexandria Crow, Kathryn Budig and Chrissy Canning. She studied pranayama with Peter Sterios and mediation with Rolf Gates. She is certified as an E-RYT200 and RPYT with the Yoga Alliance. She also has earned a B.A. in psychology (emphasis on special needs children and personality disorders).
Originally from Cairo, Egypt, Ahmed has studied yoga since 2000, both Indian and Egyptian forms. He's trained with Jody Kamator and Next Generation Yoga for Kids and found he was a natural teacher. Ahmed also teaches hatha yoga with a multi-cultural approach. His DVD for children, Storyland Yoga was released in 2010 and has received much recognition, included the Parent's Choice Award for quality educational programming for children.
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