At Orange County Yoga Studio (OCYS) our teachers are passionate about yoga and love what they do. More importantly, they enroll themselves in regular study and training to deepen their knowledge and hone their teaching skills. Friendly, engaging and compassionate, our teachers strive to guide you in a well-rounded practice that is safe, dynamic and intentional. Each teacher brings their own unique personality to the teachings. We feel blessed to offer classes with these amazing and talented yogis.
Megan Bello is the studio owner and a full-time yoga teacher. She holds a B.S. in Divinity from the Nizhoni School for Global Consciousness. Before she became a full-time yoga teacher, she was a personal counselor and traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe giving workshops on spirituality and personal growth.
Megan took a keen interest in the human condition at an early age. At 14 she began practicing yoga asanas and pranayama and found that a regular practice led her to experience greater health, well-being, self-confidence and self-awareness. In 1996, she began teaching regularly at her college and discovered her life's work of sharing yoga's benefits with others.
Megan is deeply grateful to have found her current teachers Geeta S. Iyengar and Manouso Manos. She has also studied in depth with Anna Delury, Sri H.S. Arun, Karin O'Bannon, Faeq Biria, Gabriella Giubilaro, Carolyn Belko, Paul Cabanis and many other gifted Iyengar yoga instructors.
Megan has traveled to Pune, India two times where she has studied with B.K.S. Iyengar, Geeta S. Iyengar and Prashant S. Iyengar.
Megan is E-RYT 500 certified through Yoga Alliance and has over 40,000 hrs of teaching experience. Megan's classes emphasize dynamic precision in bodily alignment. In her teaching, she strives to be clear and to inspire students to move beyond self-imposed limitations and discover greater awareness and joy in their lives.
Megan currently teaches yoga at Orange County Yoga Studio, Better Living Yoga, and Yoga Works Laguna Beach. She is part of the Teacher Training at OCYS and the Advanced Teacher Training through Better Living Yoga.
John Manacmul is the co-owner and yoga teacher at OCYS. He has been practicing yoga for over eight years. Following his initial teacher training at CorePower Yoga, he ventured out from the vinyasa style and explored a more alignment-based approach with Megan Bello at Orange County Yoga Studio. He completed a 300 Hour Advanced Training with Bello in 2013 to further his studies of the asana practice.
The rigor and physicality of vinyasa yoga along with the authenticity, integrity and alignment of Iyengar yoga has strongly influenced John's personal yoga practice and teaching style. Committed to always staying curious and being a student, he has studied with a wide range of yoga teachers including Jason Crandell, Dice Ida-Klein and Kathryn Budig. In 2015, he completed his 500 Hour SmartFLOW teacher training certification under the guidance of his teacher Tiffany Russo and teacher’s teacher Annie Carpenter.
John’s classes are described as energizing, challenging and playful, with a focus on alignment and breath. He is a firm believer that a steady practice leads to transformation and growth - cultivating physical, mental and emotional well-being both on and off the mat.
Claudia has been sharing her love of health through fitness since 2003, her mission has been to change people’s lives. Her love of learning invited her to try many styles of fitness and through fitness she found yoga. Then, her life got challenged by cancer, when she was feeling the weakest; she understood the power of yoga which helped her through those challenges. She decided to give yoga 100 percent love-focus by getting her 500 hour yoga certification through Yoga Works.
Claudia’s mission is to have each of her students leave class feeling refreshed and renewed. When she is not practicing yoga she may be found reading books about yoga, philosophy, psychology, and working on her Pilates certification.
Joan Chavez has been a dedicated student of Megan Bello for 12 years. She is 500 hour certified and has been teaching yoga for over 7 years. In her classes, she promotes a positive atmosphere while focusing on alignment, building strength and improving flexibility.
Joan truly loves teaching, especially introducing newcomers to the physical and mental benefits of a yoga practice. As a yoga teacher, Joan does what she does best: connect with people and create positive energy.
Please join Denise Kirkpatrick in her favorite space: teaching, encouraging, inspiring, and transforming. Denise brings over 18 years of teaching holistic yoga. Her yoga practice has taken her to India, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Germany and Greece. She has taught workshops in the United States and South America. Her teacher training includes White Lotus, Erich Schiffman, David Swenson, Yoga Works with Matty Ezraty and Lisa Walford, Gurmuk, Megan Bello and Carolyn Belko.
She has stayed with the Aboriginals in Australia in their sacred land, ministered to the children of Kenya with HIV, taught and played with the youth of both North and South Korea, walked the streets of Damascus and been in the house of Ananius. She has studied Kabbalah, more than 20 hours of TaiChi-Qigong, Silot, and Tai Chi. She brings a blend of all these modalities to her teaching.
In 2013 Denise completed Megan Bello’s Year long Teacher Training at OC Yoga Studio. The course is fashioned after Iyengar Yoga.
In December 2014, Denise traveled to India and participated in Geeta Iyengar’s “10 Day Intensive in Pune.”, where Geeta shared her 70 years of yoga wisdom that her father B.K.S. Iyengar imparted to her throughout his life. There were over 1,200 participants representing 57 countries at this birthday celebration. Yoga & pranayama were practiced every day.
Each year Denise continues her personal Yoga education by participating in workshops with other Senior Iyengar Teachers such as H.S. Arun, Neeta Datta and Birjoo Mehta.
To deepen her own practice, Denise has built her own Yoga Kurunta (rope wall) in her home studio. She has enhanced her “yoga rope” knowledge by studying with her accomplished Iyengar teacher, Lori McIntosh, whom she met in India.
Currently Denise is in her second year of the Iyengar Teacher Training Program with Carolyn Belko at the Iyengar Yoga Center, Encinitas.
Negin has been practicing Iyengar Yoga for almost a decade. She became familiar with Iyengar Yoga as a healing remedy for her postural challenges years ago, and fell in love with the philosophy and practice of it ever since. Her innate desire for enhancing the lives of others led her to obtain a 200-hr teacher training certification with Megan Bello in 2017.
Being in tune with the mind, body, and soul is an essential part of Negin’s daily practice and in line with her life’s purpose. She is currently studying Ayurveda, a traditional system of healing from India, and wishes to incorporate her Clinical Ayurvedic Certification with Iyengar Yoga as a holistic offering to her patients/students in the future.
Her years of experience in the corporate world as an Industrial-Psychology practitioner has also allowed Negin to have further appreciation for the human mind, and ways in which cultivating mental peace can significantly impact the well-being of the physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies. She looks forward to bringing this awareness into her teaching and practice.
‘I look forward to growing with you as part of my journey’ ~ Negin Kordbacheh
I am a yoga therapist for over 20 years and Ayurveda counselor for over 10 years.
Originally from Germany I lived 20 years in San Diego, where I raised my son and now I relocated to Dana Point!
I took my 1st yoga teacher training in 1989 after I studied Jivamukti yoga in NYC at the Sivananda yoga ranch,a traditional Ashram and learning about the other forms of yoga, karma yoga, Bhakti yoga, Jnana yoga, Raja yoga I was ready to study in India, where I spend over 2 years in various Ashrams under recognized yoga masters.
I am also certified to teach pre and postnatal yoga, infant massage and therapeutic healthy backs yoga.
I work through doctors office and see clients privately and teach at yoga centers.I love to share the insight I gained from applying Ayurveda into everyday life!
Valerie was born and raised in Switzerland and is a native French speaker. She has a background in gymnastics, classical and jazz dance, and has always lead an active life style. She discovered the practice of yoga in 2004; little did she know, it would be the first step into an incredible journey and furthermore, a new way of life. Her yoga practice grew slowly but steadily over the years. Finally, after practicing for nearly 13 years, Valerie decided it was time to share her passion and become a yoga teacher. She completed her 200 hour LifePower Yoga teacher training in late April of 2017, and from that point on, has been teaching and continuing her education through different mediums. Valerie’s style is the practice of Vinyasa Flow, but with a slower pace, focusing on alignments and sensations; she believes in a mindful approach to yoga, both physically and emotionally. Valerie’s goal is to create an intuitive practice, one that enable students to travel deep inside, and to facilitate mind/body connection and awareness.
"Yoga being the philosophy that guides the depth of the soul is the key to awareness beyond the mat."
Cindy's Yoga journey began over 28 years ago to relieve low back pain during pregnancy. Originally yoga was a physical practice, but learning the many gifts of yoga and meditation on a personal level, she knew she had found a new door opening. A calling to go deeper in the study of yoga, and share the many gifts of yoga with others. After raising her three children she was looking for a fulfilling way of working with others to help them feel good not only on a physical level but on a much deeper level. Yoga provided the balance of what she was wanting to share.
Cindy is E-RYT 500 yoga alliance certified, and has been teaching yoga since 2014. In June of 2018 Cindy completed her Advanced RYT training with Soma Yoga Institute at Better Living Yoga under the guidance of Megan Bello, Alison Scola, Courtney Parkin and Liz Heffernan.
Cindy teaches with an emphasis of breath awareness and safe alignment to guide students into mindful sequencing in her Hatha, Vinyasa, Gentle and Restorative classes. Her classes guide students through connection of body mind and soul of energetic and emotional awareness through love and compassion.
Cindy also teaches mindful meditation, Yoga Nidra and is Reiki 1 & 2 certified.
Cindy loves to teach yoga in group classes, private sessions, workshops, corporate yoga and is looking forward to having you join her classes and workshops.
Sonia is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher and has been teaching in the Los Angeles area since 2004. Her path of yoga has led her to India to learn directly from BKS Iyengar and his family and to many conventions and workshops in the US and abroad with senior teachers. She continues her studies with Manouso Manos.
What drew Sonia to yoga at first was a deep interest in Eastern philosophy and mysticism. What keeps her deeply rooted to the Iyengar lineage is its systematic approach to life-long learning which provides the tools to explore the depths of consciousness within the clear and practical confines of a physical practice.
Sonia strives to teach with calm and clarity, challenging students while creating a supportive and safe environment that is conducive to learning and building community.
She infuses her teachings with humor. She aims to share wisdom and joy that exists in this trans-formative practice.
Bio coming soon!