OG Yoga Founder, Instructors &
Advisory Board


JoAnn Jaffe

Founder/CEO/Instructor

Hello and welcome to OG Yoga! 

I created OG Yoga in 2013 with the mission to make healing yoga accessible to vulnerable communities and on October 6, 2015 OG Yoga became a nonprofit 501 C 3 tax-exempt project. Current initiatives focus on at-risk youth and adults, and those individuals facing poverty, incarceration and transition back into community. OG Yoga is on-site at Alternative Health Care Network's Tubman-Chavez Free Clinic,  Kitchens For Good, Girls Rehabilitation Facility, Braille Institute, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego Payne Family Branch, Naval Consolidated Brig and Department of Corrections Custody to Community Reentry Facility for female offenders.

Because of the complex needs of the communities served I felt it crucial to recruit, vet, train and compensate highly experienced certified yoga instructors to deliver yoga in non-traditional settings and provide a safe and brave space for practitioners.

I bring a blend of private and public sector experience as a fundraiser, leader, social change advocate and passionate yogini. 

My yoga credentials include 200 Registered Yoga Alliance training from Mosaic Yoga in Golden Hill, Prison Yoga Project training and Uprising Yoga training for incarcerated youth and underserved communities. 

I served the San Diego Jewish Academy from 2010 to 2014 where I was responsible for leading fundraising and donor stewardship efforts, for the $13 million pluralistic preschool – 12th grade school where 30% of the families were new first generation families from Mexico, Argentina, Israel, South Africa, Russia and China.

Previously, I was director of development for Second Chance, a $3 million non-profit agency, whose mission is to live up to its name by transitioning inmates, homeless and chronically unemployed men, women and youth into jobs and housing. I have been honored for my hard work and dedication when I was awarded the “Women Who Mean Business Award” by San Diego Business Journal.

I received my MBA degree from the University of San Diego and attended UC Santa Barbara where I received my BA degree in Business Economics. live in a 125-year old Victorian home in Sherman Heights, which I lovingly restored. I also enjoy hosting www.airbnb guests from all over the world inspiring the “Belong Anywhere Universal Branding.”


Instructors

John O’Brien

Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and trained in Prison Yoga Project, Love Your Brain teacher training

John came to yoga over a decade ago as a means to stay healthy, cultivate mental focus and equanimity. Inspired to deepen and grow his yoga practice, John trained with a range of instructors and styles until discovering Mosaic Yoga in Golden Hill, San Diego. He chose Mosaic for certified teacher training because of their holistic blend of wellness, leadership and human development.John is inspired by the practice and philosophy of yoga to promote health and create positive change for individuals and communities. He has a passion for teaching inmates and those transitioning from incarceration and is inspired by their commitment to utilize yoga for healing transformation.

John brings his in-depth education in yoga alignment, philosophy and anatomy with fierce passion to those in need and is dedicated to extending the benefits of yoga, mindfulness and meditation.

Nancine Decherd, Ba.Ed- National University

Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and trained in Prison Yoga Project and Love Your Brain

Nancine is an accomplished yogini and high school educator with experience in Anusara, Yin, Reiki, and yoga for veterans. She has taught hundreds of yoga classes in San Diego over the past six years. She is a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans and earned her high school teaching credential through National University. She began her exploration of yoga and self over 15 years ago while traveling in Southeast Asia and studying vipassana meditation. Nancine believes that nothing helps to uncover, welcome, and embrace one’s inherently divine nature better than practicing yoga and meditation on a regular basis. Yoga is a meditation in motion that not only opens the body, but also the mind, eyes, and heart.

Leslie Alice Constable

Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT) and trained in Prison Yoga Project   

"Yoga practice cultivates strength, flexibility, curiosity, and personal responsibility.  Being in a yoga position gives us the opportunity to intentionally move our limbs, notice our reactions, and adjust. Each yoga position is unique; there are some that may feel easy to us, and some that may feel really difficult. “Off the yoga mat” life is the same – our experiences are unique and varied, sometimes life feels easy, and sometimes life feels really difficult. The beauty of yoga practice is that what we learn during the practice doesn’t end when we put away our mat. Noticing what we do, how we feel before, during, and after we do it, and then making choices informed by our observations is an empowering skill.  his skill gives us the opportunity to improve our own lives as well as the lives of those around us. This skill is the gift of yoga."

She is thankful to all the teachers who have passed along the gift of yoga.

Meaghan Descoteau

Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and trained in Prison Yoga Project

"Yoga has been one of the most important sources of clarity, calmness, restoration and freedom in my life. Every single class I take or teach offers something for me to learn and some way for me to grow, leaving me more connected to myself and what it is I really am. In my classes I intend for people to experience the space to be exactly who they are, to  explore freely and deepen their intuition and awareness through breath and mindful movement. I believe that freedom and joy exist in our own hearts, that we have everything we need, and that yoga helps us see and experience just that."

Andrea Esajian

MA Special Education

Andrea is hatha yoga teacher and has been practicing yoga for 15 years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education specializing with students with social and emotional needs. She is also a Reiki II Practitioner. Yoga is one of the greatest gifts in her life and it is her intention to give that gift back to her community and students. Her classes are mindfulness based with a deep connection on breath. She provides a framework of yoga poses while encouraging her students move intuitively. She brings a light and grounded presence to her classes that creates a nurturing and supportive space. Yoga offers her a source of peace and connection that she is inspired to share with others.

Jon Handley

Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and trained in Prison Yoga Project

Jon came to yoga nearly a decade ago mainly for the physical benefits he experienced while practicing yoga. After 31 years with the San Diego Fire Department he wanted a practice that helped physically and found the mental and emotional benefits were what kept him coming back and became imperative for his wellbeing,

In his desire to share these life benefits, Jon completed his Yoga Teacher certification (RYT 200) thru Core Power Yoga in San Diego. Jon found through his private clients that a trauma informed approach was effective in the drawing out of people awhile assisting them to experience the benefits of a regular yoga practice. Connecting breath to movement is a simple key for all to experience. Jon has a connection with bringing the benefits of yoga to men, through his work with the fire department and his work with disadvantaged teenage young men. Along with teaching yoga, Jon works with an organization, Boys to Men Mentoring Network, that assists disadvantaged young men and provides mentoring opportunities and belonging to a community of men that care.

Several years ago Jon began teaching with the Prison Yoga Project. He teaches at the Vista Detention Facility as part of a program designed for incarcerated veterans. The program gives these veterans an opportunity to find alternative methods in dealing with the issues associated with being an incarcerated veteran. Jon teaches with OG Yoga at MCAS Miramar to incarcerated servicemen where the benefits of yoga are clearly evidenced. Jon is inspired by the gratitude of these inmates and connects deeply with them and their desire to improve their lives through yoga.


Advisory            

Board

Scott Grimes

Board Member Ocean Discovery Institute, Program Officer at the Endangered Habitats League

Scott Grimes is the author of three books, as well as several reports, book chapters and papers on policy issues related to urbanization, urban development and regionalism. His published work has addressed such issues as K-12 education reform, welfare reform, growth management and regional planning. Grimes holds a Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a Masters in International Public Policy from UC San Diego. He is also Program Officer at the Endangered Habitats League, a nonprofit organization that promotes the conservation of wildlife habitat and open space in Southern California.

Chris Roberts

West Rhode & Roberts, CPA and Yogi

Treasurer- Nonprofit Management Solutions, classroom Junior Achievement volunteer and VP of the Mount Helix Park Foundation

Cliff Hershman 

Advisory Chair Emeritus

Real Estate Developer, Playwright and Yogi

Andrea Yoder Clark

Incoming Advisory Chair

Director of Research and Evaluation Institute for Entrepreneurship in Education, USD and Yogini

Richard Taylor

International Philanthropist and Yogi

Hannah Novick

Marketing Program Manager at Adobe

John Loggins

University of San Diego Associate Director for the Center for Awareness, Service and Action and Yogi

Sara Ruiz

Regional manager of lululemon San Diego and Desert communities, meditation leader and RYT200 yoga instructor

Sara has worked in leadership development in retail business for 15 years and holds a Bachelor’s degree in literature from UC Santa Cruz. She is also mother to Henry, 8 and Nora, 5 whom are her greatest teachers.

 

AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF OG YOGA ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER:

Gregg Pancoast

San Diego Peace Corps Association, Bi-Lingual Yogi and Dear Friend

 

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