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. See Akshara Ayurveda for more information. 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.
Cricket was introduced to yoga through her studies in modern dance and choreography in New York during the late 90s, practicing at various studios until finding her yoga home with Sofia at Shakti in Key West. In 2011, she became teacher-trained and certified in Vinyasa Krama Yogic Arts at the studio with Ruslan Kleytman and has shared her passion for yoga as a therapeutic science and catalyst for personal transformation with a diverse age range and ability of students since. Her current class offerings fuse the kinetic qualities of conscious movement with the foundations of muscular and skeletal alignment, breath, meditation, curiosity, and play, while meeting students where they are and encouraging them to slow down and smell the frangipani.
Searching for a way to battle depression and anxiety naturally, Crystal was drawn to yoga in 2006. The practice touched her deeply, giving her mind and body much needed comfort. After the birth of her second child, her passion grew deeper and the desire to share her love of yoga with others took flight. In 2013, while living in Buffalo, NY, she stumbled upon Himalayan Institute and applied for teacher training on a whim; the stars we aligned just right. She completed her 200 hour hatha training in May 2014 and has been teaching with a smile ever since. Crystal’s classes have a strong foundation around core strength and stability. With flow work sprinkled in, she encourages her students to work with movement, energy, and breath as one in their body and helps them welcome strength and flexibility while finding the fine edge of challenge and contentment along the way. As a military spouse, originally from coastal North Carolina, she finds herself moving every few years. The beauty of this lifestyle is meeting new and inspiring yogis along the way. Now, an active mother of three, life has lead her to Key West, FL. Once again, the stars aligned, meeting Sofia and calling Shakti home.
Olga was looking for something to balance running and biking and a friend influenced her to look into what a yoga practice could offer. Once she started practicing it was an easy decision for her to take the 200 hour YTT through Shakti Studio, which she completed in May 2016. She is currently working on 300 hour YTT with Ruslan Kleytman. She teaches vinyasa and gentle flow where in each class she strives for all of her students to be fully present. She loves creating exciting and fun sequences to balance the body, breath, and spirit. She is excited for her yoga journey and where it is taking her and how she can lead others in their practice!
Dhani teaches an eclectic style of yoga: combining aspects of Hatha yoga (Vinyasa, Yin, Basics) with mindful breath, intention, and the power of healing vibrations through mantra and crystal singing bowls. His journey began at a ripe young age when his fascination and practice of modern dance crossed over to the world of yoga. Aiming to make yoga a practical, light-hearted, and accessible spiritual tool for everyone, his hope as a teacher is to create a nurturing environment in which students may connect to their awakened heart and mind. Yoga is radical! The most fundamental thing we can do as humans is to deprogram cultural diversion and work on our own consciousness by being present in love.