REBECCA PENNINGTON, OWNER
Rebecca was born in 1978 and grew up in Sebastopol, California. She graduated from Sonoma State University. She worked as a wilderness adventure guide for eight years taking teenagers and adults on outdoor adventure trips. She has also worked as a fitness coach and a physical education teacher. Her passion is fitness, nutrition, and health.
She enjoys mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, kiteboarding, etc.…sports of all kinds. She backpacked about 1700 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from Canada to Mt Whitney, C.A.
After injuring her left knee joint from overuse, a friend introduced her to Bikram Yoga. She was amazed at what practicing Bikram Yoga did for her body. Her knee joint slowly became stronger and stopped throbbing with pain. Her body’s alignment, posture, balance, and strength improved incredibly. Her athletic abilities greatly increased in all the sports she plays. Her stress level began to decrease, and she was able to sleep better at night. Rebecca has practiced Bikram Yoga since 2003. She has seen how much Bikram Yoga has helped not only herself, but everyone who practices around her. She has seen those of all ages, sizes, and abilities benefit greatly from a regular Bikram Yoga practice. She has seen so many students transform their bodies and reduce aches and pains. Rebecca went to teacher training in April 2010 and became the new owner of Energize Hot Yoga (formerly Bikram Yoga of Santa Rosa) in May 2011.
Rebecca has twins, one boy and one girl, born in 2014. She practiced Bikram Yoga throughout most of her pregnancy using modifications. In 2016 Rebecca went to Inferno Hot Pilate’s teacher training in San Francisco and brought this very popular, challenging, strengthening, toning, fun class to Energize Hot Yoga Santa Rosa.
Rebecca loves her incredible staff and wonderful students at Energize. She believes in creating a safe, positive, encouraging, uplifting, inclusive environment for all people to challenge themselves physically and become stronger, healthier, happier and stress-free.
EMMY STEWART, MANAGER
I was born and raised in Santa Rosa. From a young age I always had a knack for languages and a passion for traveling. I spent my junior year of high school in Brazil and by the time I graduated I was fluent in five languages.
Pursuing my initial educational pathway in chemistry I relocated a couple times, ending up back in Santa Rosa and completing the Pharmacy Technician program offered by the junior college. Through all the moves and changes physical fitness was the one constant in my life. I taught spin classes at CSU San Marcos and was an avid water polo player thru my high school years.
I now truly enjoy the sweat, hard work and rewarding feeling when I teach or take inferno hot Pilates and bikram. My passions have evolved to include food nutrition and physical fitness while i pursue a degree as a registered dietitian.
I truly believe everything in life deserves a balance, food, fun and hard work.
I was a student athlete and Strength and Conditioning All-American as well as a Division I Catcher on Fresno State’s Nationally rank Softball Team. As I was about to graduate and my softball career was coming to an end, I sought out a path that would guide me through the next part of my life.
I enrolled in my first yoga class during my last semester as a college athlete. I was intrigued by the powerful healing and energizing aspects of the relationship between body and mind through breath.
Shortly after graduating college, I returned to my hometown of Santa Cruz, CA, where I took my first Bikram Yoga Class. I loved it! The two breathing exercises and 26 posture series, in a hot room with a mirror, provided me with a safe environment to challenge and accept myself, from the inside out, without judgement and without competition. I continued to practice Bikram Yoga throughout different chapters of my life.
In 2004, I graduated from Bikram’s Yoga College of India in Los Angeles, CA. I became a full-time Bikram Yoga Teacher and taught at several studios in LA.
In the years after becoming certified as a Bikram Yoga Teacher, I am beyond humbled and deeply grateful to have the life that I have. I love teaching Bikram Yoga. Thank you always, for your precious, very valuable, time! When I am away from the yoga studio, you can find me coaching fitness and mixed martial arts, mentoring youth, Crossfitting and spending time with my family.
ERIN ELISABETH MARSCHALL-CARROLL
Hi, my name is Erin. If you are reading this, good for you! You’ve taken the initiative to learn more about Energize Hot Yoga and get a sense of the instructors you might be working with here at the studio. It is my honor and privilege to teach Bikram yoga. I believe, with all of my heart, that yoga has the power to Heal you (yes, you!) on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. It is my goal, with every interaction with individuals—inside and outside of class—to help each person realize their own Highest Good. I am convinced that practicing yoga, especially on a regular basis, brings each of us closer to our Highest Good and our Highest Potential.
Please know that “flexibility” is not a requirement for practicing yoga. All that is required is an open mind and willingness to become more of who you truly are.
Please come in and take some classes (if you haven’t already)—we have so many classes to choose from! Every class accommodates beginning, intermediate and advanced practitioners. I speak for the entire staff here when I say that I genuinely look forward to meeting and working with you.
All blessings, Erin
Katie Gross has had a passion for fitness her whole life and is so honored to now be teaching at the Santa Rosa Bikram studio. Since she was four, Katie has been dancing, doing ballet, modern, contemporary, and jazz, and through her love of dance, she found a passion for Pilates and Yoga. In June of 2018 she got her Inferno Hot Pilates training and began teaching at the studio shortly after. In August of 2018 she traveled to Bali where she studied yoga and got her 200 hour RYT certification. She has plans to continue her studies in Pilates and yoga with more trainings and studying abroad from her mentors.
I began my journey into natural health and mind/body connection in my early 20’s ( way back in 1977!) This is when I began studying the raw foods diet and natural living with Ann Wigmore at Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, and here I was also introduced to Polarity Body Therapy. Then in 1979 I spent 9 months living and studying at The Polarity Health Institute on the San Juan Islands off of the coast of Washington.
After that I spent the next 15 years at home, raising my 3 children (with my husband). First in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and then in Trinity County, in northern California, and finally arriving in Sonoma County in 1990. In the mid 1980’s we found our spiritual teacher, Adi Da Samraj, and we have continued with this spiritual practice. Here in Sonoma County I was active in the Waldorf Schools that my children attended ( Willow Wood and Summerfield ). In 1994 I started working at Whole Foods Market in Sebastopol (at the time it was Food for Thought )- where I stayed for 21 years!
In the early 1990’s I became a regular runner, and at times dabbled in some hatha yoga practices at home. Then in 2001, at the interest of my youngest daughter, who was 15 at the time, I tried Bikram yoga here at the 7th Street studio! I loved it! It felt like a good balance to my running, and my active physical job at Whole Foods. Well- I never quit! ( My husband and 2 older children practice Bikram yoga also ). Always in the back of my mind was, “I might like to teach this!”
Then in 2012 I made the decision that I would retire from Whole Foods in 2015, increase my yoga practice and take the Bikram teacher training in the spring of 2016. Which is what I did! With encouragement from Rebecca I decided to do the Evolation training in Santa Barbara. This is the training that Elias Gaitan is involved in and that fellow teacher, Larry, has also done. So- off I went last April! The training was great! I definitely felt like I made the right training choice.
I landed back here and began teaching last June. I really love my “post retirement” career.! I love our studio and my wonderful fellow teachers. I really enjoy working with everyone who walks in our doors. It’s a wonderful group of people, I enjoy sharing what I have learned, and also, always continuing to learn from those I teach. I hope to continue teaching here for a long time.
Back in 2007, Erica was an avid runner. She started yoga at home, because she thought she should stretch more than she currently did. She immediately fell in love with the level of emotional and spiritual awareness that yoga encouraged. It wasn’t until 2009, when she attended her first Vinyasa studio class, that she realized that daily yoga would be the most beneficial practice, physical or otherwise, that she could adopt. She quit running and started regularly attending classes. In 2013, she obtained her 200RYT certificate and began teaching power yoga. Erica has continued to grow her teaching and practicing knowledge with frequent workshops and trainings, and is currently earning her +300hr. She integrates all that she learns, and now teaches a varied vinyasa style that strongly encourages breath focus, and whole body awareness. In 2018, Erica attended her first Inferno Hot Pilates class, and found that she had just as much love and passion for it as she did for yoga. It not only complimented her yoga practice perfectly, but it made her stronger physically and mentally. She began teaching classes in 2019. Erica grew up in Maine, where she earned degrees in Art, Art History and Writing. In 2005, she moved to California. She teaches yoga and IHP full time, and is mom to a very active and tenacious 5 year old.
Born and raised in Santa Rosa, I have always had a love for staying active. I took hip hop, jazz, tap and modern dance for eight years. Post dance career I remained active going on hikes, taking fitness classes and hitting the gym. I also studied photography which lead me to graduate from Sonoma State University in 2016 with a BA in Communications and Media Studies. I was working for companies running their social media accounts, blogs, websites, etc. While I do have the knowledge to be successful in social media, I soon realized that it wasn’t my burning passion. Something was missing…
My mom invited me to Energize Hot Yoga to take a Bikram class in January of 2019 and I quickly started coming back multiple times a week. By April, a friend urged me to try Inferno Hot Pilates. I instantly started going almost every day without thinking twice. The lights, the music, the energy- I loved it all! By October of 2019 I registered for instructor training because I knew I wanted to teach. Here I am now, the healthiest and best I’ve ever felt AND a part of the Energize Hot Yoga team?! I’m so excited to be a part of this community! I can’t wait to keep sharing the joy of IHP.
In the early 90’s Elias Gaitan began his yoga journey with the study and practice of Hatha (physical) yoga. He began his practice using the book ‘Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class’ and a video ‘Baron Baptiste’s Power Yoga’.
A trained competitive athlete his entire life, Elias’ body was already showing signs of breaking down; it needed help. A decade later this journey lead him to his first yoga teacher training and certification, Bikram’s Beginning Yoga in 2003.
Since then he has accrued numerous certifications, and has studied with notable hatha yoga masters such as; Rajashree Choudhury (Bikram yoga), Ana Forrest (Forrest yoga), Baron Baptiste (Baptiste power yoga), Mark Whitwell, Shiva Rea, Vinnie Marino, Brian Campbell (Forrest Yoga) and Duncan Wong to name a few.
Today Elias is the founder of ‘True For You Yoga’ and continues his daily practice, study and teaching of yoga. Elias teaches passionately with the emphasis on breathing, living fully in your body, and feeling good while in your yoga practice, and in turn your life.
Over this 20 year yoga journey, Elias interprets Hatha yoga as: “The healing practice of bringing the body in union with the life”.
Hi my name is Jackie. I was born in Riverside CA August 20th, 1982. As a CA native my family moved to Santa Rosa when I was very young which is where I took my first Bikram yoga class at the age of 15. After being athletic my whole life I fell in love with the challenge, the heat, and the way I felt at the end. After some years of moving around and traveling while practicing in different studios I decided to go to the teacher training in summer 2004 at the age of 21 to become a Bikram instructor. I taught my first class at Bikram Yoga Santa Rosa (Energize Hot Yoga) and have been teaching ever since. Over the years I have had 5 beautiful children, and have a wonderful husband who is also a yoga/pilates enthusiast! I recently completed Inferno Hot Pilates teacher training and now teach that as well. I am a huge believer in the healing powers of the hot room combined with yoga/pilates, and appreciate it more with each year as I get older and experience the many many benefits that a regular practice will bring!
Dawn Keller, Yoga Instructor
Dawn Keller began her journey into Bikram Yoga in 2003, having a regular practice as part of her active lifestyle which included swimming, biking and participating in many sports with her two adult kids. In 2007, Dawn suffered an injury which caused severe neck, back and leg pain which brought her active lifestyle to an abrupt halt. Seeking to avoid surgery and knowing how and why Bikram Yoga was created, she leaned into her yoga practice, some days only being able to show up on her mat and breath. After 6 months she was encouraged and found to her joy she could heal by gently easing her body and mind back into condition. She has continued to practice and completed her Bikram Yoga teaching training and certification in early 2019. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with her students. When away from the studio she enjoys volunteering and spending time with her granddaughter and family. She is grateful and loves being a part of the Energize Hot Yoga Santa Rosa Studio with the amazing teachers and community.
Melanie Duchin, Yoga Instructor
I took my first Bikram yoga class in 1996. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The class challenged me in ways I never thought possible. I didn’t like it very much but I knew it was good for me, so I stuck with it. I’m glad I did. Over time I gained flexibility and strength. Better yet, I learned how to relax, manage stress and slow down. I grew to love the yoga and how I felt during and after class. Yoga is now a constant in my life, whether I’m at home or traveling. I went to the Bikram teacher training in 2011 and have been teaching ever since. I’m excited to teach and practice at Energize Hot Yoga
Hello Energize Family!
“My athletic journey began at 5 years old jogging with my Dad to running track and cross country in junior high, high school, and college. I trained and ran marathons and 50ks throughout California for most of my 20s. I started to feel tapped out on running and a lack of strength. I even developed lower back pain from tight hips and the daily pounding on the pavement. I wanted to try new ways to exercise. I went to Ecuador and began boxing and doing yoga on rooftop gyms in Guayaquil. I loved the exercise, and the boxing and yoga community! When I returned to the states, I decided to try Hot Yoga with my friend who I met in Peru. From training on the equator, I immediately loved the 102+ degree heat Hot Yoga provided. I had a hard time finding a studio with times I could get to as a single mom to a toddler son, but I felt a strong pull to find that same beautiful community I had in Ecuador.
Then, I found Energize in February 2018! They offered a Kids Club so my son could play while I got my workout in. I was planning to go to the Hot Yoga classes, but the first class I could make was an Inferno Hot Pilates class. I decided to try it, and from the moment we began the warm-up, I was enthralled. The intensity, heat, and core body work I received from running, boxing, and yoga were all there in a one hour class. I never looked back. I love the combination of classes Energize offers of Hot Yoga and Inferno Hot Pilates. I took classes whenever I could!
In 2021, I signed up for the IHP training, and taught my first class in November! I began practicing and teaching more and more; completing the studio challenges and making workout friends. I decided to sign up for Elia’s Hot 26 training to broaden and deepen my yoga practice. Both IHP and Hot Yoga complement each other in my own workout journey as well as teaching! I love teaching from designing the workout to the poppin playlists, I love giving back what I have been given – a supportive, energizing community for fitness and FUN! “
Hi there! My name is Charlotte and I am from Detroit, MI. Lover of travel, I moved around from Michigan to Costa Rica to Hawaii to Oregon and then finally landed in Sonoma County and decided it was too good to leave! I walked into my first IHP class at Energize Hot Yoga in 2017 and could not believe that you could go to a workout class and have that much fun…I was immediately hooked. I started working as a cleaner at the studio and continued to take classes for a couple years. It was the first time in my life I found a fitness routine I was able to be consistent with. I found myself daydreaming about teaching one day and making playlists for my pretend classes and decided that I should just sign up for teacher training in 2019 and haven’t looked back since.
My other passions include travel, roller skating, plants, science, live music and dancing. I am always dreaming up my next adventure. I have a degree in Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering and work in a genetic research lab.
I believe that we take life too seriously and I think IHP is such a fun way to incorporate more play into your life while doing great things for your body. I am beyond grateful to be able to share my love for this class, my music, and this studio with you. I have found some of my best friends, my confidence, and so much positivity here at Energize and I hope you do too.
I am a Sonoma County local, born and raised in Santa Rosa. Beyond Yoga I love to travel, draw, write, and most of my best friends are dogs. I have always lived an active lifestyle beginning with Soccer as a kid and participating in various sports throughout high school. Eventually I began taking classes at Santa Rosa Junior College for High school P.E. credits and took my first yoga class. At that point it was simply a supplement to my running routine but one that I appreciated very much. Eventually I found myself in a 90min Bikram Class on Friday night for the drop in special in 2012 and It quickly spread into my lifestyle like wildfire. I was hooked. I eventually moved right down the street from Energize (at the time it was Bikram of Santa Rosa) and was in the studio as much as I could be. I worked as part of the cleaning crew for the studio and eventually made my way into a front desk position. In June 2021 my teacher, Elias Gaitan, reached out to me about a teacher training he was doing locally and asked if I had ever considered being a teacher. I had imagined it would be amazing to one day be able to give the gift that I had received from all of my teachers but it wasn’t until I had an interview with Elias that I realized I could do so. I completed my 108 hour Training in Radiant Fusion Flow in July 2021 and began teaching for Energize right away. I have been working with Elias as my Mentor ever since and completed my training of Hot 26 March 2022. I feel honored and so grateful to be so supported by Rebecca and everyone in the Energize Family for giving me the opportunity to teach in the studio alongside my teachers that I have learned so much from for years. I am so stoked to be able to share my practice and experience with the yoga lifestyle with all the students that come to my classes. I have always found solace and a sense of home at Energize Hot Yoga.
Amber Kaur (Front Desk)
Hey there! My name is Amber and I was born in and mostly raised in Santa Rosa. I’m 21 years old and I started coming to Energize with my mom at around the age of 17 or 18 and since then I’ve been trying to come in regularly. My hobbies consist of digital painting, hot yoga and pilates, and playing video games. I have my Associates Degree in Science from the SRJC and I am a certified Phlebotomist from NHA. I use to be the caregiver for the Saturday morning Kid’s Club for over a year, but once the pandemic hit us I stopped coming due to the pressure from college and from my previous job at Whole Foods. Now, I’m back in action as Front Desk and happy to see everyone’s bright faces when they leave the practice room again!