Teachers

Matthew Bedrosian

Matthew Bedrosian

Yoga found me in 2007 when the stresses of life as a proprietary stock trader started ganging up too heavily. Prior to life as a trader, I was a literary agent at a Hollywood talent agency for 12 years and wanted a change of lifestyle - my version of out of the frying pan and into the fire… A friend was teaching my wife yoga in our home, and somehow I got suckered into joining. I had no idea what to expect – I considered myself an athlete having played basketball in college and competed in mini-triathlons, but this yoga thing just seemed like a frustrating way to try to stretch my desk-bound and way-too-stiff limbs. I was immediately hooked. In 2011, I completed my 200-hour Teacher Training here in Los Angeles at Liberation Yoga and am RYT 200 through Yoga Alliance. I’ve experienced a wonderful cross-section of the studios and instructors that Los Angeles has to offer and never travel anywhere without my mat. As a native Valley-ite, I look forward to bringing an accessible form of yoga to my peer group, especially to men (like the 2007 version of myself) who have deep-seeded misconceptions about how this moving meditation can change life in so many ways. I am honored to be an Ambassador for Lululemon in Studio City and to open Forward Fold in the community where I grew up. You can still find me practicing around town, blocking your view of what the instructor is doing.

Amber Voiles

Amber Voiles

Amber (E-RYT, CMT, MFA) has been practicing yoga for 20 years and comes from an extensive movement and healing arts background, including Alexander Technique, Laban, Feldenkrais, LeCoq, Skinner Releasing Technique, Qigong, Integrated Respiratory Therapy and 15 years of massage therapy. Her restorative and gentle classes are a perfect complement to a vigorous lifestyle and yoga practice. They are designed to slow down the body and mind so that you can relax deeply, allowing your natural rhythms to balance and restore. She is currently completing her National Ayurvedic Medical Association approved Ayurvedic Counselor training. Learn more at www.ambervoilesyoga.com.

Tiffany Howard

Tiffany Howard

I am a hatha yoga teacher, drawing from my experiences as a criminal trial attorney and mediator, wife and mother of two. Those roles have molded me in this most important endeavor. I have learned that all you need is a 5x2 mat, and you can let go, get happy, minimize life’s stresses and find resolution and peace within the smallest of spaces. My passion and energy add a certain flavor to my teaching. My classes are fun. A blend of different yoga styles. Honoring exactly where you are in the moment and connecting to your breath, while moving and grooving and flowing to great tunes. There’s a little laughter to be found too. One thing’s certain, you’ll leave feeling better than when you walked in the door! I discovered yoga upon turning 40, and it has undoubtedly changed my life. What began as another form of “working out” quickly became a journey of “working in” through the trifecta of body, mind and spiritual work. The lens by which I view the world now, is a calmer, clearer, more radiant view. After two years on the mat, and a thought provoking conversation, the next chapter became evident, share my passion. I also knew that it would be a great excuse to spend my days in my favorite space, a yoga studio. I completed the 200 hour TT program at Black Dog Yoga, where I was infused with an eclectic mix of styles and philosophies from some of LA’s best yoga teachers. The rest is history. Gratitude flows for the indelible footprints that my yoga mentors, Holli Rabishaw and Stephen Schilling have left on my heart and soul and occasionally on my body. I’m stoked to be a part of Forward Fold, and grateful for the opportunity to learn from all the wonderful students and teachers that float through this sacred space. Namaste.

Rosanna Tavarez

Rosanna Tavarez

Rosanna began her yoga journey with a firm nudge from her dance professor and mentor while a dance major at the University of Michigan. Her first classes were in the Iyengar tradition at the Ann Arbor YMCA and soon after with master teacher Cindy Lee in New York. She loved the physical aspect of the practice, but quickly noticed that her mind was quite chatty. This led to a lifelong practice of self-inquiry while having some extraordinary adventures in the entertainment business, first as a one fifth of a girl band that toured with N’SYNC and had its own reality show, and then as a television host alongside Ryan Seacrest and other fancy Hollywood types. Her soul searching found her much more at home on her red yoga mat (it's still red), than on the red carpet and in 2009 she became certified as a yoga instructor, retired the glam lashes and seven layers of make-up and began teaching. She has learned to love the part of her that is chatty and infuses her classes with anecdotes, stories and teachings from varied sources like NPR podcasts, to TED talks to the Yoga Sutras. She has a profound love for exploring how things connect and intersect and is invested in seeing her students discover freedom, power, fullness and connection within their bodies, minds, spirits and hearts.

Jessie Diaz-Perez

Jessie Diaz-Perez

I have been teaching yoga for the past nine years and have loved every minute of it. I came to yoga by way of chronic injuries I’d sustained as a classical ballet dancer. I wanted to heal my body. After the first class I took, I decided the people there were more flexible, stronger and more disciplined than I’d ever be. Not to mention, they all seemed way too happy and I thought I’d never go back to try it again. I did. Thirteen years later, after a deep and abiding love affair with yoga, I am a teacher (and student) and have never looked back. I am passionate about teaching beginners. I draw from an eclectic mix of styles with an emphasis on alignment and breaking down the poses into clear steps. I strive to make the poses accessible and encourage my students to honor their limitations and challenge them to maintain a sense of humor! I have struggled mightily through most of my life with depression and anxiety and I continue to face down the dysmorphic demons of body image. (Good times!) But truly, I know that starting a yoga practice healed me in ways I cannot measure and helped me to live a fuller life. Yoga continues to be a primary source of support when things go haywire. I believe that yoga is the ongoing process of learning how to be kind to yourself. So even if I can’t do every crazy pose and I may not be the most ascetic or zen yoga teacher in Los Angeles, I am always willing to share my experience, reveal my own challenges and am completely devoted to teaching. I cherish my students and am awed by their growth and willingness to show up on their mats week after week. People with tight hamstrings, broken hearts and even those with a penchant for pessimism are enthusiastically welcome to my classes!

Sarah Bibbó

Sarah Bibbó

Sarah is both a Yogiologist and Storiologist. Since a very young age, Sarah has had a passion for storytelling and the connection it brings. She credits her success and well being to her yoga practice which found her in Manhattan, over 6 years ago. Amongst the stress of a high pressure job, yoga brought a sense of peace and became both her foundation and continuous teacher. Sarah was drawn to the mind, body, spirit connection and the continuous unfolding of the story within. She believes each real, raw and true story within has the power to connect us all, making the journey all worth the wild. It is this passion, she uses in her work today, both inside and outside the yoga studio. Sarah received her 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certification from Rising Lotus Yoga in Sherman Oaks, CA. Her mentors and students serve as constant reminders that one is never done learning. For this, Sarah is forever grateful.

Terry Littlefield

Terry Littlefield

Terry Littlefield, RYT-500, Integrated Yoga Tune Up® teacher, and long-time practitioner, is a passionate educator with a big sense of humor and an even bigger heart. Her classes are a blend of science and spirit, breath work and ball work (therapy balls), movement and meditation. If you want to have fun and experience safe, functional movement within your yoga practice, she’s your yogi.

Natalie Macam

Natalie Macam

Natalie teaches Vinyasa Flow Yoga, and her dynamic classes flow with breath-inspired movement. They are creative, yet balanced and intelligent, sequencing that allows individuals to experience greater ease and vitality. Her teaching style infuses traditional yoga practices with a modern twist – incorporating asana, pranayama, music, meditation, chanting. Natalie blends Iyengar alignment, with a flowing practice based on Prana Flow® Yoga developed by Shiva Rea moving in a steady and deliberate manner focusing on correct alignment. Prana flow® focuses on how breath initiates and inspires all movement, and empowers student’s to experience "prana" - the universal source of life-energy. Prana flow® is a conscious evolution of Vinyasa Yoga that allows us to experience our fluid nature through a rhythmic and energetic approach to yoga. [~excerpted from http://www.shivarea.com] Natalie earned a 200 Hour Yoga Alliance® Certification from Hong Kong’s Yogalimbs and is currently pursuing her 500 Prana Flow® Hour Certification with with Samudra Global School of Living Yoga | Shiva Rea. Shiva Rea and her Senior Teacher Twee Merrigan inspire her to live her life with spontaneity, to remain close to the source and to move deeply in tune with the pulse of the universe.

Cassie Cherney

Cassie Cherney

Cassie believes in making yoga accessible to everyone and uses her humor and compassion to do just that. Her classes incorporate elements of Vinyasa Flow, Iyengar, and Restorative. Each class begins with an intention that can be carried beyond the mat and progresses through a self-challenging series of postures that focus on alignment, breath, and self-expression. Specializing in pre/post-natal yoga, Cassie loves working with people during this exceptional time in their lives. Since becoming a birth doula, she is continually inspired by the strength of the human spirit and body. She uses this experience of birth to enrich her teaching. She feels honored to have found this path that helps people trust their intuitive nature and connect to their bodies.

Ella Cojocaru

Ella Cojocaru

I’m often asked to explain my “style” of yoga because my classes don’t readily fall into a traditional box. From a foundational standpoint, I’m influenced by classic practitioners, particularly B.K.S Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois. Although I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting these yogic icons, I’ve studied them extensively and integrate both their styles. Consequently, my classes blend different classical approaches with a focus on alignment, arm balances and inversions. While I have a reputation as a demanding teacher, I welcome questions and am able to modify poses to accommodate students of varied abilities. All of my classes are characterized by joy and laughter, and deeply rooted in community—with an admitted twist of militant encouragement, which stems from my Eastern European heritage. I recognize that my style isn’t for everyone! On the other hand, I also love and believe in the power of Yin Yoga—so students are always able to “cool down” in this fashion. Though I wasn’t conscious of it at the time, my journey to yoga actually began during my childhood in Romania. As part of both a Communist society and the country’s Junior Olympic Gymnastics Team, I was exposed to extraordinary mental and physical challenges at a young age. Although my body developed great strength through gymnastics (and I found surprising solitude being upside down), I often lived in fear. That reality is reflected in my emphasis on the mental aspect of yoga. In class, I focus on strengthening the mind as much as on strengthening the body. In the end, I perceive the true test of anyone’s practice is the change that occurs off the mat. For me, yoga has increased my awareness of how I live my life, how I communicate with others, and how I treat my partner. For me, sharing these life lessons is as important as demonstrating the rudiments of a handstand. Outside of my public classes, I also offer private lessons, conduct teacher trainings, and lead retreats with my partner, Sal. I also love spending free time with my puppy, the aptly-named Anjali Patanjali. First and foremost, however, I remain a perpetual student—of both yoga and of life! Visit and practice with me as well online at www.EllavateYoga.com

Jen Black

Jen Black

Jennifer Black is a teacher of the heart. For 11 years now, she has remained true to her own personal style of intuitive yoga teaching: blending a variety of poses at an enjoyable level and pace, adding in breath work and simple meditation where it might be needed, and welcoming everyone unconditionally to join in this process of self-exploration. She guides you by offering you a space to find your own way. She has studied all the masters, and is forever committed to learning more. She lives with a grateful heart.

Charley Alexandria

Charley Alexandria

Charley received her 200 HR training here at Forward Fold (!) under the guidance of Ella Cojocaru and has found a home in the heart of the studio's community. She has been a student of yoga since 2009 when she took her first Iyengar class at LA Valley College. Since the start of her yoga journey, she has credited yoga with elevating her life through the strength and discipline learned from consistent practice. Charley is currently studying Yoga Therapy at Loyola Marymount University. She offers guidance through the practice of yin, restorative and gentle yoga infused with pranayam and meditation.

Lotem Porat

Lotem Porat

Lotem Porat is a heart-centered yoga instructor that believes in the powerful healing force of this ancient practice. She gives space for students to access the innate wisdom of yoga and embody their natural authentic selves. Lotem is a 200-Hour Yoga Alliance Certified teacher that has studied and taught in various parts of the world since 2010. Currently, she continues her studies with Shiva Rea’s Samudra Global School of Living Yoga and Diana Lang’s Lifeworks Center for Growth. Lotem has loved to assist and teach at community settings such as retreats & festivals and share this practice with all hearts, as one heart. Lotem is passionate about incorporating holistic healing modalities in her yoga practice and teachings. With a background in Transpersonal Psychology, Lotem is inspired by the therapeutic affects of traditional yoga. She studied classical Hatha yoga at Prana College and has experience with Vinyasa, Restorative, and Yin yoga. Lotem is a certified Reiki practitioner (by Alberto Amura) and also likes to integrate energy techniques in her classes—to create a safe space for students to connect with their internal vitality and life force as they flow in a meditative dance from one pose to the next by following the waves of breath. Lotem’s heart-centered approach gives students a chance to freely explore their inner nature during class. She typically offers dynamic guidance, allowing students to find their own balance of fire, water, earth and air. Students will have a chance to dive deeper into any of the elements they would like to stimulate more on any given day, learning to trust their own intuitive guidance, as they come home to their beloved bodies, breaths and hearts.

Abby Lett

Abby Lett

Abby Lett is originally from Texas and has been dancing since the age of 3. She was fortunate to attend Booker T. Washington HSPVA where she performed the works of many prestigious choreographers and companies. The pursuit of dance brought her to Los Angeles merely a week after she graduated. Once living in LA Abby also found her second passion - Yoga. She received her 200RYT at Black Dog Yoga with Peter Barnett, Sigrid Matthews, and Jenny Brill as her teachers and mentors. She's been teaching yoga for well over a year now and has taught for Lululemon, Body language dance studio in Costa Rica, Dancers workshop in Austin Texas, Yoga NoHo in North Hollywood and Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks, where She currently still teaches. Abby teaches a Hatha/Vinyasa flow style and wants to give her students an environment to feel comfortable to challenge themselves, push their limits and have a great time physically and spiritually.

Michelle Sulkin

Michelle Sulkin

Growing up in sunny SoCal, I was always an active child. Whether it was gymnastics, playing baseball or soccer, snowboarding, or enjoying many other outdoor activities, there were many occasions when some sort of minor injury occurred. Over time, I realized these minor injuries were developing into bigger issues and were beginning to take a toll on my body. In 2001, my best friend took me to my first yoga class and I could not believe how amazing I felt at the end of that hour and a half! Exhausted, but amazing! Over the years, I built my practice slowly, and in 2007, my physical practice was paired with my spiritual and mental practice. After the daily grind of working from home, usually pulling a 12-hour day running two businesses with my husband, I felt I was able to keep my sanity by maintaining my practice both physically and mentally. Because of this, I wanted to venture out, see where else my practice could take me and continue my education on the mat. In 2014, I completed a 200-hour teacher-training program at Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks, CA. At the beginning of 2016, I was given the amazing opportunity to begin teaching pre/postnatal classes and I have fallen in love with it as well! In my classes you will always find a balance between flow, breath work, alignment, maybe a few laughs and some great music to go along with it all!

Taylor Stütz

Taylor Stütz

Yoga found me after a nearly-fatal car accident with my family some years ago and has been my way of life – my religion, in a way – ever since. Now, I say religion for me, but in my teaching I want to make very clear that I’m offering ideas that you can CHOOSE to try on – and I want you to try them on! – and once you’ve tried them on, feel free to let them go OR embrace them like I have. The time I have spent on and off my mat practicing yoga has been such an amazing journey for me, and I deeply want to share the things I’ve learned through self-study and my study of yoga icons such as BKS Iyengar, Baron Baptiste, and Donna Farhi with YOU. I’ve trained at the 500-hour level with YogaWorks in Santa Monica, and would be honored to share with you a practice that can meet you wherever you are in your life and change your life in many ways. I laugh a lot while practicing on my mat. And I’m happy to say that I will forever be a student of yoga and life. Yoga truly is supposed to be fun! And there’s so much more to a sophisticated practice than the cool shapes and postures on the mat. Come join me on your mat, explore, come home to yourself, and have FUN! Outside of my public classes I also offer private lessons and am a professional actor/dancer/singer/model here in the Los Angeles area.

Trudy Niess

Trudy Niess

Trudy has been practicing yoga for over 10 years, as a personal exploration of movement and understanding her own body. Trudy comes from an extensive movement background which includes dancing from a young age as well as professionally, exploring various yoga styles and working as a personal trainer. She helps clients move better through teaching them body awareness. Trudy has an eye for detail in how the body moves and can help guide students in moving pain free. She believes that movement is the medicine our body needs. Trudy will guide you through a practice in the hopes to center you and teach you something about your body in the process.