My name is Desiree. I am married to my amazing husband, Andy and have two kiddos, Samuel and Cecilia. After having my son I decided to “get in shape.” I dabbled in running and a couple different exercise programs before trying yoga at the age of 27. My first complete “traditional” yoga class was on YouTube with Yogi Nora and I was a goner. I walked away feeling an inch taller and more rejuvenated than I had EVER felt in my life. The physical challenge and benefits kept me coming back, but soon, I experienced another unexpected layer to my yoga practice. The mindfulness and attention required during the asanas began teaching me lessons that directly translated into my daily life. Practicing yoga began to impact my life more substantially off my mat, than on it. I continued practicing for the next couple of years and through my second pregnancy.
I made the decision to become an instructor in 2015 and began teaching in early 2016. Of all the work I have done in my life, nothing has felt more right for me than this and I feel privileged to have found something I am so passionate about. I am so thankful for my teachers Daniel Head and Travis Eliot. They have shaped my practice and my teaching style into what it is today. I firmly believe everyone can benefit from yoga and look forward to a lifetime of sharing this amazing gift.
Crystal Uyeno, Lead Instructor, RYT 200
My name is Crystal. I'm a wife and mother of two. I began my yoga journey in April of 2014 after a long battle with anxiety and depression. A friend convinced me to try a local yoga class and I haven't looked back since. Yoga has drastically changed all aspects of my life for the better. It was the first time I could take a deep breath, relax and find a sliver of the inner peace I'd been searching for. I went on to receive my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training from Yoga Tree in San Francisco and have been consistently teaching for almost 2 years.
My purpose in life is to share this therapeutic practice with as many people as possible. I truly believe that yoga heals the mind, body and soul. Whether you're an athlete looking to increase mobility or a beginner trying to reduce stress, this practice as many benefits to offer you.
Heather Kane, Instructor, RYT 200
My name is Heather Kane. My tribe consists of my husband Jim, daughter Grace, son Ryan and fur baby Reagan. In 2004 I was making weekly trips to my physical therapist without any relief from neck, shoulder and jaw pain. The P.T. asked me to try a yoga class to see if that would help at all. I decided I had nothing to lose. It only took a few classes and I was pain free! Bonus was that I was losing weight, feeling less anxiety, gaining energy and nailing hard poses within months of starting. A year later I was teaching my first classes at a new gym in Fresno.
My deepest desire as an instructor is to make sure that my students feel like friends. We have been created to move, stretch, breath, play, laugh and love. By the end of my class I hope that we have accomplished all of those things. Much of my training has been from mentoring with dear friends like Chaz Russ, Dina Juve, and Amy Brogan. I am also Kettlebell certified and love incorporating it with yoga. It is an honor to be on the Old Town Yoga team!
Linda Hurst, Instructor, RYT 500
Hi, I'm Linda, E-RYT 200, RYT 500. I'm an avid hiker, runner, musician and mother to three wild humans. Yoga has been a part of my life for over twenty years. My practice makes me feel fully alive, and I am excited to have the opportunity to share the transformative power of yoga with others.
I completed both my 200 and 300-hour training with Mount Madonna in Watsonville, CA and am currently working towards Yoga Therapy certification. I have been teaching people of all ages and abilities for about ten years.
My goal is to provide a safe and encouraging environment for every student to enjoy a practice that is approachable, challenging, and feels good. It's an honor to be part of the Old Town Yoga Team. I look forward to seeing you on the mat!
Jen Crocker, Instructor
I have learned two very important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you discover why.
My name is Jen Crocker, and I fell in love with yoga because I needed to breathe. I am the mother of four children and wife to my husband Jeff. I am also a physician, a pediatric sub specialist at Valley Children's Hospital. I feel like I was born to be all these things.
My specialty is pediatric rehabilitation. I treat children in the hospital who have been through a trauma or suffered an illness that causes them to need recovery, rehab, and adaptation. I also see patients in the clinic who have been born with a disease or disorder that causes physical disability or pain. In an effort to become a physician who prescribes medicine sparingly, I found yoga and all its healing properties.
I began practicing when I was pregnant with my first child, and I found it offered so much more than a good work out or a great stretch. For me, yoga is union, acceptance, energy, repair, strength, and true freedom. It has been the single thing that both opens and shuts off my mind, somehow always knowing the right time for each. I have my family and my patients to remind me that what's within you is stronger than what's in your way.
I look forward to sharing yoga with you.
Danette Lamee, Instructor, RYT 200
My name is Danette Lamee. My husband and I retired from the military after 20 years of service and decided to move back to California to be near our friends and family. I found the healing nature of prenatal yoga 16 years ago when I was on bed rest with the second of our three boys.
Yoga has been an essential part of my well being ever since. It has taught me to stay mentally, physically and spiritually focused (on and off the mat) to life’s endless opportunities. I received my 200 RYT from YogaFit and have been lucky enough to teach for the past ten years in several states. Some of my teachings include military spouse’s groups, women’s church groups, and communities where yoga was not established, which allowed me to spread the knowledge and powerful benefits of yoga. I’ve always enjoyed demonstrating the joys of yoga and giving back to the local community by teaching free or donation based classes. My specialties include: Chair Yoga, Vinyasa Power, and Christian Based Flow classes. I love to celebrate life with friends, family, and faith and throw in a yoga dance party every now and then! :) I look forward to time on the mat with you!
Lyz Scott, Instructor, RYT 200
Hi! My name is Lyz Scott and I took my 1st yoga class when I was 18. While in the class I thought “When and where did THESE people learn THESE moves?” I thought it was going to be stretching and easy! I really got into my physical asana practice when my husband and I moved to the Bay Area and we belonged to an amazing studio. There I grew a tremendous amount and felt comfortable enough to travel anywhere, go into an advanced practice and know what I was doing.
My husband, Matt and I have 2 young boys. All 3 of of them also have a yoga practice and I love playing with them. My little 4 year old tells me he is going to be a yoga instructor too and I believe one day, he will.
I received my 200HR Certification in La Jolla under Gerhard Gessner. I became a yoga instructor to grow my own personal practice, benefit our immediate family, make it a regular part of our lives and one day, include it with the boys’ homeschooling. I have heard countless times, “I want to do yoga but… it’s not my religion, I’m not flexible enough, I can’t do THAT, I’m a guy, I’m scared, etc.” I really want to reach out to all of you and put these falsities to rest. Yoga is for EVERYONE! I look forward to teaching at OTY and meeting all of you and growing together! God Bless xo
Jenna Moraski, Instructor, RYT 200
Hello, I’m Jenna. I am a hiking, helping, health and wellness loving Central Valley transplant who found instant community in OTY. I’ve been a lover of yoga since I first placed my sit bones on a mat over ten years ago. In 2015, I felt the call to officially become an instructor and I completed my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training with the Himalayan Yoga Academy in Rishikesh, India.
What I love about the practice is that there is no right or wrong; just constant exploration and discovery. Yoga reveals to me who I am in a moment. My current yoga is gentle, expressive, alignment obsessed, connected to nature and full of love. I am honored and so excited to help others discover their own unique yoga.
Ashley Whitten, Instructor, RYT 200
I am a 26 year-old Dallas native who moved here to the Central Valley, fell in love and never left! I have a son named Lincoln who is one of the biggest teachers and inspirations in my life and teaches me to live my yoga off the mat. I also teach children's swimming and gymnastics, and love to explore in my free time.
I truly fell in love with yoga during my pregnancy when it was the only way I felt at peace and comfortable in my ever-changing body. When my son was five months old, I started my 200-hour training at COIL Yoga here in Fresno CA, which was one of the best choices I've ever made. It challenged and changed me in more ways than I ever thought possible. I've learned that even if you come to yoga for a purely physical practice, at some point it will inevitably show you how much more it has to offer than just a workout. All you have to do is take that step onto your mat and let the practice take you deeper into your true self.
Spread the Love & Light!
Whitney Alessandri, Instructor, RYT 200
With aspirations of a career as a classical ballet dancer and faced with serious injury, Whitney found refuge in the healing practice of yoga at a local Aikido Dojo at the age of 17. Fascinated by anatomy and body mechanics, the physical practice of yoga was immediately appealing. After completing her bachelors degree at UCSB, she continued to live work and practice yoga in Santa Barbara. Over time, the opportunity to apply the lessons cultivated on the mat to everyday life led Whitney to complete her 200 hour yoga teacher training with Ryan and Stephanie Besler to equip herself with the ability to guide others in their practice. Whitney's classes focus on the union of breath, body and mind. Developing body awareness through creative sequences, she hopes to share with her students the fun and fierce duality of yoga, and life off the mat.
Nayantara Rodrigues, Instructor, RYT 200
My name is Nayantara Rodrigues. I am a wife and mother of two; my family is a constant reminder of love and blessings in my life. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an Instructor at California State University in the Department of Counseling and Special Education.
Yoga has been in my vocabulary for the duration of my life. Both my grandfathers, one who lived to be 100, practiced it every morning. My father taught me Pranayama breathing when I was a child. However, it wasn’t until 2017 when I consistently committed to my Yoga practice, here at OTY; where I am continually supported and inspired. One interpretation of the meaning Yoga is to join ones true self with ones true nature; it has and continues to do that for me. In my life there have been moments of triumph, failure and everything in between; Yoga is the grace I now give myself through it all.
Wanting to further my knowledge, so I may be able to provide the gift of Yoga to others I completed my intensive Yoga teacher training at Sampoorna Yoga, in Goa, India. My teacher training focused on Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow. I believe that all of us have a deep potential and a gift that we were meant to share with others. I look forward to guiding you as you either embark or continue your journey of joining your true self with your true nature.
Lisa Husak, Instructor, RYT 200
My name is Lisa and I discovered yoga in 2010 while exploring the yoga scene in San Diego as simply a form of exercise. After about the third studio I walked through the doors of Mosaic Yoga and my life was changed forever. Like OTY, Mosaic was more than yoga, it was about connecting with like minded people and exploring your mind, body, and spirit through yoga to become the truest you possible. Through Mosaic I became Reiki Level 1 Certified and I love incorporating Reiki’s healing energy into my classes. In 2012 I made one of the best decisions of my life and completed my RYT-200 hour training at Mosaic and the day after I finished my training I moved back to Fresno.
I grew up in the foothills above Fresno and it was time to return home after 12 years away in Long Beach, East Timor for the Peace Corps, and San Diego where I got my Masters in Public Health. I have been working at UCSF-Fresno as a research coordinator since moving back but recently transitioned to a full time stay at home mom to my three beautiful children ages 4, 2, and 3 months. As a mom of young children, yoga has become an even more important part of my life as it is what keeps me balanced and present. I love incorporating yoga into my daily life with my children because yoga keeps us all more centered. My yoga journey has shown me that yoga is so much more than exercise, it is a time to connect with your breath, your mind, your spirit, and your soul. I love meeting people where they are and providing them a safe space to explore on their mat so that they can be empowered to live authentically and loving lives off their mat. Namaste.
Chloe Quesada, Studio Administrator
Hi there! My name is Chloe and I’m so excited to be a part of the OTY team! In my spare time, I drink a lot of coffee (I’m being serious, it’s a bit excessive), I eat a lot of quesadillas, and I love on my two kittens! I’m new to yoga, but am so excited to start on my yoga journey with all of you! I can’t wait to meet each and every one of you!