OG Yoga Founder, Instructors &
Board of Advisors


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 transitioning back into community. OG Yoga is on-site at Alternative Health Care Network's Tubman-Chavez Free Clinic,  Kitchens For Good, East Mesa Reentry Facility, Las Colinas Jail 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. I am a certified yoga teacher and founder of “Lions, Cobras and Swans, Oh My (OM)” children’s yoga model. 

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.

Kate Beckel, M.Ed- NYU

Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and trained in Prison Yoga Project and Yoga Ed. for Youth

Kate is a skilled educator and yoga teacher who shares our global vision for yoga education. Inspired by her experience attending international schools in both Paris and London, Kate went on to spend two years teaching in elementary schools in Hong Kong, followed by three years teaching elementary and special education in Istanbul. After remaining in Istanbul for three more years to deepen her yoga practice by teaching to both kids and adults, Kate returned to the United States to bring her worldly experience to serve children and teens in the San Diego area. With her passion for restorative justice, Kate is particularly keen on empowering at-risk youth with life skills through yoga, and in expanding her work both in schools and in juvenile detention centers. She has completed trainings with teachers from Mexico, to Hong Kong, Vancouver to Santa Fe- with yoga trainings in Anusara, Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, Insight Meditation, Tantra, Pranayama, Restorative Kids/Youth Yoga and Somatic Experiencing. 

Nancine Decherd, Ba.Ed- National University

Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200)

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.

Bill Brown

Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy (PRYT), International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), and the San Diego Regional Coordinator for Prison Yoga Project

Bill Brown is a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist and Group Facilitator, trauma-informed yoga specialist, and contributing editor to the Yoga Service Council’s forthcoming book Best Practices for Yoga in the Criminal Justice System. He is the Director of Programs for Prison Yoga Project – San Diego, and works with a variety of nonprofits to help make yoga accessible to those in need.

"Mindfulness, rooted in an awareness of the body, is an essential tool for healing. Anxiety, depression, and trauma have to be felt in the body to be released or integrated. If we turn away from these ‘unpleasant’ sensations, we cut ourselves off from the ground of feelings of joy and empathy as well. By cultivating the ability to experience stressful experiences while maintaining a calm breath, we release stored energy and build resiliency to stress and trauma experience. Doing this we move away from a baseline fear response and toward an attitude of greater compassion, for self and others. This is what yoga has to offer. I've experienced this healing first-hand, and that's why it's my passion to bring this practice to others."

Leslie Alice Constable

Leslie is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT) and has completed the Prison Yoga Project Training.  She is thankful to all the teachers who have passed along the gift of yoga.

"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.  This 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."

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."

 

Board of Advisors

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

Real Estate Developer, Playwright and Yogi

James Fox

Founder/CEO, Prison Yoga Project

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

Carly Dellinger

lululemon Key Leader

 

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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