Shakti Yoga Instructors
ALL OF OUR INSTRUCTORS ARE CERTIFIED YOGA TEACHERS, COMMITTED TO OFFERING A COMPREHENSIVE PRACTICE AS CONSCIOUSLY AS POSSIBLE.
Sofia Artola began her journey in 2000, and has since dedicated her time to explore, learn and share her experiences of the practice. She opened Shakti Yoga Studio in 2005, with a vision to offer a peaceful, happy and relaxed space for all to come and practice.
Sofia has studied with world renowned teachers, in ashrams both in the US and abroad, traveled to Nepal and India to explore the true essence of yoga and on to Thailand, where she studied Thai yoga massage. She has recently graduated from Sai Ayurvedic College and Wellness Center with an Associate degree on Vedic studies. She is currently pursuing her practice as an Ayurvedic consultant and practitioner.
For Sofia, the joys of teaching have been in witnessing the progression of someone in their practice, to see and experience the change in their attitude towards life, changes in their body, & the connection that she has with every single person that comes to the studio. For Sofia’s students, the laughter found in her classes is equal to the challenge of the practice. Both are resounding, clear, and complete.
Tara began exploring yoga in 2001 as she was beginning a journey into motherhood. Practicing pranayama, asana, and meditation proved to be helpful in creating a joyful experience through this life’s transformation. She began teaching pre-natal and kids yoga in 2007 and joined the Shakti family in 2008. Tara teaches moderate flow, flow, and kids yoga.
She is also devoted to monthly kirtans at Shakti. She has completed two 200 hour trainings. The first under the guidance of Yogi Hari in Sampoorna Yoga and her second training with Ruslan Kleytman in the Yogic arts System specializing in Krama Vinyasa. In 2009, Tara brought together her two passions of yoga and her love for the ocean and founded Key West Paddle Board Yoga, known as Lazy Dog PaddleYoga today. She leads full moon meditations and conducts 20 hour ACE accredited PaddleYoga Certification trainings monthly.
All of Tara’s classes begin with chanting and pranayama, and are followed by a playful flow sequence. Tara encourages her yogis to practice with humor, non judgement and compassion.
The Buddha said, The mind is a restless monkey. Marlene's path through life has been an endeavor to still and calm that monkey, through her creative, spiritual and yoga practices. She grew up in a house full of artists and so the gift of making art has been part of her life for as long as she can remember. As an undergraduate, she studied philosophy, focusing primarily on the teachings of the Buddha and Hindu traditions.
On repeated travels to India and Nepal over the years, visiting numerous Ashrams, monasteries and yoga retreats, her understanding of these traditions has deepened and this has allowed her art work to be infused with their richness.
While living in New York City as a young adult, Marlene began her investigation into the world of yoga. Here she was able to sample a variety of different schools of yoga from Iyengar to Jiva Munkti to Ashtanga, with countless gifted instructors. In 2004, Marlene moved to San Francisco and there came under the instruction of Barbra Weichman, a talented senior Iyengar teacher, who's 50 year+ practice and wisdom brought Marlene's own practice to a new depth.
Upon returning to Key West, Marlene has been lucky enough to be welcomed into the Shakti Yoga family. She completed her 200 hour Krama vinyasa teacher training with Ruslan Kleytman in 2011. She now sees her practice as fully informed by her life as an artist and student of eastern philosophy and spirituality. She brings this creativity and spirituality along with a wide variety of information from all schools of yoga to each and every one of her classes.
Denise Nathanson attended her first yoga class in 2007 at the encouragement of a friend. After the six week intro she knew this was a path she needed to follow and continued to practice with a focus on alignment primarily with teachers from the Iyengar and Anusara traditions.
In 2015 she made the commitment to doing her 200 hour teacher training at Shakti Yoga in Key West.
Teaching is her passion and she brings creativity and laughter into each yoga class. She strives to combine graceful movement connected to the breath while focusing on alignment . Balance work is always included with the intention of bringing yoga off the mat and into the world of daily life.
She feels deeply honored to share her passion for yoga with others and to help guide students along their own journey. In addition, she is a professional cellist and can be seen and heard performing around Key West.
Saskia was introduced to yoga in 2003, practicing on and off initially. After moving from the German countryside to New York City in 2006 yoga became an essential and substantial practice helping her to find stillness, peace, and clarity in this big city.
She completed the first Sarva Yoga Academy teacher training at Go Yoga with teachers Lilia Mead, Michael Hewett and Matthew Lombardo. Saskia has studied various lineages of yoga, the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism, Indian Yoga, and the Fourth Way. She was also certified as a Therapeutic Yoga Practitioner by Cheri Clampett & Arturo Peal at Integral Yoga & is a certified Reiki Practitioner of the 2nd degree. Most recently, she got certified as a Chair Yoga Teacher by Lakshimi Voelker in the program „Get Fit Where You Sit“ at the NY Open Center.
For Saskia yoga is not a physical practice but rather a combination of mind, body & spirit, and the healing powers of the unity of these elements. Saskia teaches both Therapeutic & Restorative Yoga & Vinyasa Flow, in which she aims to combine the inner & outer methods of healing simultaneously in motion.
Chris re-found yoga in her 40's as a way to decompress from her very busy medical practice. Now retired, after 25- plus years as an obstetrician /gynecologist, she brings her love and knowledge of anatomy to the mat.
She offers an alignment based Hatha yoga, with a dose of strength training to create a sustainable practice that she hopes will serve you through all life's stages. Practicing in that sweet spot where mobility and stability contribute equally. Breath flows smoothly - finding flexibility of both body and mind invites us to stillness.
She completed her 200 and 500 hour teacher training with Scott Anderson and Andrea Russell and is forever grateful for their guidance. In New Zealand, she was able to study with Donna Farhi among others and came to appreciate that yoga is everywhere around the globe but your practice is something you carry inside you. Her classes always allow you to practice right where you are, that day, that hour, that now: slow flow, pranayama, movement practices to heal and strengthen, always infused with music and lightness.
Douglas Helkenn is a South Dakota native. After moving to key west with his husband Steve in 2009, he started exploring yoga. He found Shakti Yoga and has practiced with its founder, Sofia Artola ever since.
With the guidance and mentorship of Sofia and other instructors he has been able to use yoga to enrich hi health, mind and spirit. He completed hi 200 hour teacher training at Shakti Yoga in Key West.
He is Blessed to live on this little island of Key West, teach elementary school and yoga to a loving community. Each class will bring a smile to students as they explore their journey down the yogic path.