All of our teachers have attended the intensive Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Course and are certified Bikram method instructors. Our teachers specialize in the 26 posture Bikram Beginners Series and are also regular practitioners of the 84 posture Advanced Series. The BYHB teachers have been practicing for years, are continually learning, and are re-certified at Bikram Yoga College of India every three years.
We have a variety of wonderful teachers as well as visiting teachers and seminar leaders who share their knowledge and practice with our students. Teachers come with diverse backgrounds, years of experience, and with their own regular Bikram practice.
Our teachers and staff welcome you to our affiliated Bikram Yoga Studio.
More about Studio Director Donna Antonelli:
Donna has been practicing Bikram Yoga since 2001. She trained under the guidance of senior teacher Jason Winn and became a certified instructor in 2007. She is a regular practitioner of Bikram’s Advanced Series and has studied at Bikram’s Yoga College of India under the direction of Bikram Choudhury and Principal teacher Emmy Cleaves. She has attended several advanced series seminars, Bikram Yoga retreats and workshops, and regularly teaches and attends classes at Bikram Yoga International Headquarters in Los Angeles. Donna believes the 26 posture Bikram series is a foundation for maintaining a healthy body, mind and spirit and this series is accessible to all levels of fitness and to all ages.
Donna has a Bachelor’s from Georgetown University and a Master’s from University of California, Irvine. She speaks several languages and was formerly a French and German teacher. She founded Bikram Yoga Huntington Beach in 2011.
Teacher Bio- Polly Michael Stenberg
Polly has been practicing Bikram Yoga since 2006. Shortly thereafter she became a certified instructor in 2007 alongside BYHB director Donna Antonelli. Upon her return from training, she began teaching Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class and practicing the Advanced Series at Bikram Yoga International Headquarters in Los Angeles. She attended the Advanced Series seminar in Palm Springs and went on to participate in the Southern California regional yoga asana competition in 2009.
She began teaching in Huntington Beach in 2011 and has practiced and taught there ever since, and throughout the course of her pregnancy in 2012.
Polly has a Bachelor’s from the University of Southern California, and currently works as the director of sales for Forsta Filters Inc.
Teacher Bio - Wendy Schmitt
Wendy has been practicing Bikram Yoga since 2002 and completed her Teacher Training in spring of 2004. Her personal practice has transformed her life, with each class offering a new self discovery. Wendy feels that the practice of Bikram Yoga can help anyone become more confident, balanced, and flexible. Although this may be considered a “beginners yoga” after having a steady practice for 12 years she knows that there is always something new to learn and love. Wendy’s teaching style is graceful and focused, no matter if you are a veteran or a beginner, you will leave her class feeling energized and inspired.
In addition to teaching, Wendy loves learning about health & wellness, community building, and spending time in the great out doors. She is also a certified Doula, Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Qoya Movement Teacher, and a Visionary Coach.
Teacher Bio - Cecilia Swanson
Cecilia first tried Bikram Yoga in 2005, she had been long distance running for many years and having completed several marathons and half-marathons the intensity of the series appealed to her. It wasn't until 2008 and when Bikram Yoga became part of her daily life and after immersing herself in the practice, she noticed a sense of peace and calm it brought to her life. In 2009, she attended Bikram Yoga Teacher Training. Since graduating in 2009, she’s been sharing her passion of Bikram Yoga and helping students feel the amazing benefits of this practice and has seen how it has improved their lives on and off the mat.
Teacher Bio - Nadine Viseth
Nadine has been practicing Bikram Yoga since 2004. After returning home from 9 months in Europe, she noticed her clothes were not fitting like they used to. After doing her usual routine at the gym for a few months and still not getting the results she wanted, she tried Bikram Yoga at the recommendation of a co-worker.
After her first class (taken in heavy, red sweat pants) Nadine angrily vowed to never practice Bikram Yoga again. After she regained her composure, she drove herself home. On the way, she caught a look at herself in the rearview mirror and noticed one of the biggest, happiest smiles on her face she'd seen in a long time. She went back the next day and in Fall of 2010, she attended Bikram's Yoga Teacher Training in San Diego. Her passion still strong; she truly loves the 90-minute practice and hopes to inspire students to love their own practice.
Teacher Bio - Michael Manalo
Michael started practicing Bikram's beginning series since September 2009. After discovering how much the practice has improved his life, he quit his job of 11 years to become a Bikram Yoga teacher and graduated in the spring of 2011. Shortly after graduating he started practicing the Advanced Series at Bikram Yoga International Headquarters in Los Angeles. In November of that same year, Michael began teaching in Bikram Yoga Huntington Beach.
Michael's goal is to facilitate this life changing practice and attempt to inspire students the same way other teachers have inspired him.
"Bikram Yoga does not give you what you want. It gives you what you need" - Emmy Cleaves
Teacher Bio - Ali Piva
Ali took her first Bikram Yoga class in April of 2010 and was instantly hooked. Initially seeking the yoga as a physical workout, she was completely blown away by the mental aspect of the practice and the immediate peace of mind she felt during and after class. After a cross country move from South Coast Massachusetts to Northern California, Ali began to practice at Funky Door Yoga in Berkeley, CA and it was there she truly realized her passion for the practice; but more so her desire to share the yoga. She attended Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Los Angeles in the Fall of 2012. Ali is also a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Recently coming to Huntington Beach, Ali has taught at multiple studios in the San Francisco Bay Area and Orange County. She has practiced at studios on the east coast, across the continental US, and even in Sydney, Australia. She is truly grateful for the opportunity to teach and share the benefits of the yoga at BYHB alongside such incredible and inspiring teachers.