Our Teachers

Shana Joy - Certified Sun Yoga Instructor
Shana Joy is originally from Boston, Massachusetts and moved to Hawaii to go to UH 10 years ago. She immediately fell in love with the island, the beaches, and the people here. After finishing her degree in Education she started teaching Elementary School. She practiced yoga throughout college and then continued with various studios after college. In 2013 Shana found Sun Yoga and immediately vibed well with the community. It felt like home. She started the Sun Yoga teacher training a few months after regular practice at the studio. "I have been loving life with the Sun Yoga community ever since. I am interested in all things having to do with holistic health. My hobbies include swimming in the ocean, meditation, reading, cooking, gardening at the farm in live on, and of course practicing yoga! "

Shana’s Favorite quote:

"May the sun bring you new energy by day. May the moon softly restore you by night. Mat the rain wash away your worries. May the breeze blow new strength into your being. May you walk gently through the world, and know it's beauty all the days of your life."
-Apache Blessing


Vivi Campello - Certified Sun Yoga Instructor
Vivi Campello is a Brazilian actress and journalist who has been studying and practicing the ancient ways of the Divine Feminine in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, since 2010 under the guidance of Aparecida Sauer, priestess of Isis. She had a profound mystical experience with the Hawaiian goddess Pele that led her to the Big Island of Hawaii, where she filmed the documentary Mahalo Pele. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdnZA5zr2VA
She has been practicing Yoga for a few years, but teaching hot Sun Yoga has brought together everything she learned and gave her an opportunity to work with the fire element, present in both hot Sun Yoga and in her mystical experiences with the Hawaiian goddess Pele.

Vivi’s Favorite quote:

“The most powerful force on Earth is a human soul on fire”. Ferdinand Foch


Paula Ota- Certified Sun Yoga Instructor

Paula was born and raised on O'ahu. She graduated from Punahou School and the University of Washington. She is a single mother to her amazing son Judah, she has three sisters and four nephews. As a single parent she greatly depends on her supportive parents. Paula has been practicing yoga for nearly seven years and has been teaching at Sun Yoga for the last three years. She is a photographer and works with Dave Miyamoto and she works as a real estate agent for Locations Hawaii. Her hobbies include playing with her son, learning about astrology and healing people with Reiki.

"Life is too short to wake up with regrets. Love the people who treat you right and forget about those who don't. Believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. No one said life would be easy they just promised it would be worth it." - Harvey MacKay


Ami Herzer - Certified Sun Yoga Instructor

Ami Herzer is originally from Argentina, residing in Hawaii since 2000. She married her "life guru / love of my life" in 2003 and have two wonderful kids she absolutely adores. She loves Hawaii and wouldn't change it for any other place. She is thankful to be in such a magical piece of earth.

"I started my yoga practice journey in 2005. From day 1, I completely fell in love with yoga under infrared heat and became addicted to it . It all started as a phisical great work out. Class by class, year by year, I started realizing yoga was not only about the body. Yoga started to feel way beyond muscles, pounds and inches. It became a lifestyle, a study of myself, through myself, and to myself, a complete benefit for all aspects of my life, an amazing journey; spiritually, mentally and physically. I started to crave yoga more and more.

In 2011 I got certified to teach PIYO (Pilates & Yoga fusion). In 2012 I completed my first Yoga Teacher Trainning. I got certified by Sun Yoga Hawaii. I'm extremely grateful that I did ! One of the best experiences in my life. I feel so honored and proud to be part of Sun Yoga.

I became so in love and curious about Yoga , not only as a teacher but as a student. In 2014, I completed a 200 Hours Yoga Alliance Teacher Training. It was another amazing experience, life changing, so rich in spiritual growth. I went very deep into the philosophy of yoga. Everything started to click in a very profound way.....an endless journey ...things starting clicking every day....in every class I take , in every class I teach....in every breath I take and in every situation of my life.

In 2015, I attended a workshop and got 9 hours of Subtle Anatomy and Hands on Asana Adjustments Certification.

I keep exploring different yoga styles and love them all . I have to say that I am a Hot Yoga under Infrared Heat devotee. It really makes me feel alive from my cells to the surface of my skin. A personal way to describe Infrared Heat benefits is “ it reverses the process of aging”. I believe yoga is yoga, yoga is one ! No matter temperature, how or where : Practice and all is coming " - said Guru Sri Pattabhi Jois.

I enjoy teaching and taking class very much. This joy grows every day. I look forward to keep learning. The more I teach the more I learn about myself, about humanity, about life , about nature , about love.

Like my first yoga teacher used to tell me ....."Yoga is going to add years to your life and life to your years."

The " Yoga Sutras of Patanjali " - Translation and commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda , is a life changing book. I'm still working on it and I hope I work on it all my life.

One of my favorites pieces of this book :
As the mind, so the person; bondage or liberation are in your own mind.” If you feel bound, you are bound. If you feel liberated, you are liberated. Things outside neither bind nor liberate you; only your attitude toward them does that.

One of my favorite quotes:
" It is through the body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.” - B.K.S. Iyengar

Selena Maka’ena - Certified Sun Yoga Instructor

“To become masters of Love, we have to practice Love.” –Don Miguel Ruiz

In May 2015 it will make 3 years that I walked through the door of Sun Yoga and fell in love, and I am grateful every day to have found this magical space. A few months later I was honored when Michele invited me to her teacher training, and since then I have been on a journey of self discovery both on the mat and off.

When people ask me where I work, I pause. I say, I teach at Sun Yoga Hawai’i, I don’t really consider it work. I am very lucky to share that hot room with everyone and I never take it for granted. I’m also very lucky to say that I care take for two beautiful Golden Retrievers that I live with full time. I get to take them to beach everyday and receive their endless love, loyalty and gratitude. I know that I am a very lucky girl. I also believe that once I let go of a job that made me unhappy over 11 years ago the Universe was listening and set me on a different path. I am fortunate to have so many beautiful people in my life: a SUPER MOM who has always believed in me and loved me unconditionally; friends who I call family and I would do anything for; my hula Halau, an amazing group of spiritual practioners; and really everyone that I come into contact with. I believe that we all have the opportunity to learn from each other. Whatever the experience, good or not so good…it’s all part of what makes us who we are. There is a quote I like to share while we are in savasana:

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

There have been moments of suffering or bad decisions, and that’s life! I wouldn’t change any of them, because they have brought me to this moment, this place in time.

*In addition to yoga, I love cooking, music, film & art, taking care of others and thrift shopping.

Namasté. :)


Virginia Small - Certified Sun Yoga Instructor
Virginia Small has been leading Sun Yoga Hawaii classes since 2012. Since then her own practice has grown deeper and more meaningful. She enjoys sharing her love for yoga with a diverse group of people at Sun Yoga, and believes anybody no matter experience level, age, shape, size, can do yoga! She believes yoga is is liberating and empowering, and that it’s not just about self improvement, but more importantly about self acceptance. One important lesson yoga has taught her is to seek all from within, and instead of looking outside for happiness, yoga has connected her to the never ending flow of peace and bliss within herself. To her yoga is a way to connect to a higher state of consciousness that unites all life, at Sun Yoga we move and breath as one, and she looks forward to growing together in peace and love with her Sun Yoga family.

One of Virginia’s favorite quote is:

"Nothing is more precious than being in the present moment, fully alive, fully aware." - Thich Nat Han



Natalie Pfund - Certified Sun Yoga Instructor
Natalie Pfund grew up on the stunning coast of Oregon, the third of seven unique bundles of joy. Together, the siblings would hack trails with handmade wooden swords in the forest behind their neighborhood; surviving the day’s journey on wild huckleberries and clovers. Though Natalie enjoyed the many outdoor activities of the PNW, she always had one complaint on the tip of her tongue. She was cold. Always so cold. To stay warm, she stayed active. Her childhood passions included ballet and gymnastics. In these classes she learned the incredible value of hard work, goal setting, blood, sweat, and tears. Natalie was not a natural, so she also learned the infinite value of honoring each sweet success. At age fourteen, after 6 months of daily pain and sacrifice, she finally got her splits down to the ground. She promised herself she’d never lose them, and she hasn’t. Her love of movement led her to study Massage Therapy. This study led to a deeper understanding of the health of her body, and a passion for nutrition. In 2010 Natalie became a Certified Nutritional Therapist Practitioner, and shortly thereafter moved to Honolulu from Portland. She knew she’d found her home when the plane landed and her toes finally thawed. Natalie has been teaching at Sun Yoga since July 2014. She loves the small role she gets to play in students lives as they learn to listen to, connect with, and celebrate their bodies. In a way we are all using what primitive tools we each have, to hack our own trail through this incredible journey called life. Natalie believes that the mindfulness and self appreciation found on her mat are two of the most powerful tools one can use on their quest to live out loud.

Favorite quote:
If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.” ~Emile Zola



Mo Scanlan - Certified Sun Yoga Instructor

Mo Scanlan was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, one of eight children. She is a mother to three daughters...Tiare, Tea and Tevai. She has performed as a professional singer for the last 20 years, recently releasing her first album. She loves the outdoors, hiking, going to the beach, cooking, making music and spending time with family. Her love for yoga began the minute she walked into the Sun Yoga studio almost three years ago. She has practiced ever since. Her passion and love for yoga led to her desire to teach and share it with others. Her teacher training experience took her out of her comfort zone and taught her so much about herself and what she is capable of. She is so happy and excited in this new season as a Sun Yoga instructor. Mo’s goal is inspire all of her students to believe in themselves and their unlimited potential.

One of Mo’s favorite quotes:

“Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When noting is certain, anything is possible.” - author unknown

Maiara Carnesella - Certified Sun Yoga Instructor

Maiara was born and raised in the most southern part of Brazil. She decided to move to Hawaii about 6 years ago to study and learn English. She chose Hawaii because she craved a tropical scenario in her life; being from Brazil's most southern state, she was exposed to a cold winters, actually 4 very expressive seasons through out the year.

In Hawaii, Maiara was introduced to yoga about 3 years ago, hot yoga, always! It wasn't until the beginning of 2015 that she took her first Sun Yoga class, and that was it! She fell in love with the studio, the people, the energy, never looking back. Craving something more, Maiara decided to do the teacher training program. She felt a need to learn deeply about yoga, and to pass it on to others. Maiara is one of our newest Sun Yoga instructors, she feels so grateful to be part of this 'ohana, to be given the opportunity to learn, and now the opportunity to help others on their journeys.

​One of Mai’s favorite quotes:

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” - Joseph Campbell

Jill C. Peterson - Certified iRest Yoga Nidra Instructor

Jill C. Peterson, Psy.D. is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice, a Kripalu-trained registered yoga teacher (RY200) and a Certified Senior Trainer of iRest® Yoga Nidra--a meditation practice designed as a tool for psychological growth and well-being as well as a spiritual path. Her intention for clients and students is to develop a healthy relationship and deep connection with Self, allowing for an increase in trust in their own inner wisdom. With humor, compassion, and curiosity, Jill guides her clients and students to find their way to greater authenticity and engagement with their life.

One of Jill’s favorite quotes:

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi


Vesela Mincheva- Certified Yin Yoga Instructor

Vesela Mincheva was first introduced to yoga about 12 years ago in her home country Bulgaria. A seed was planted back then. Today she believes the most ancient science is yoga science. Her practice is her spiritual path that she kindly wishes to share with everyone. Breath, mind and spirit harmony is what she works to achieve in her classes. Vesela understands that asana purifies the body and teaches concentration, and through systematic practice of pranayama and meditation one becomes cleansed of all faults and comes to see the transitory nature of all things. She expects one to rise above the mind.

Vesela is RYT 200hr, she has completed Yoga Therapy Stage 1 practitioner with BSY, she is currently earning a bachelors degree in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science at UH Manoa.

“What you are is what you have been, what you will be is what you do now.” ~Buddha

Suzana Maia Oliveira - Certified Sun Yoga Instructor

My love to the discipline in the practice of Yoga started in 1994 in my hometown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since then, I've been dedicating myself to the study, traveling and learning from many different great teachers. I continue to take workshops whenever possible to increase my knowledge in the physical, therapeutic and philosophical aspects of yoga. I've traveled to India two times to gain a deeper understanding of the yogic traditions. I'm (RYT) Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher, certified Vinyasa Teacher and Yoga Sculpt Teacher. Yoga is a life, or many life times practice, and it's immeasurable the benefits that it creates in the soul, mind and body and how this awareness can extend to every aspect of life. It is a path that enlighten our true nature. It teaches us to go through situations with grace, being present and also connected, gifting us with physical and mental flexibility, hope, health, compassion, calmness, strength, inner peace, balance and sense community. It is combining the awareness of the body with concentration in the breath that leads to a state of meditation in motion. I believe that when we practice yoga, we also practice love for ourselves.

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” - The Bhagavad Gita

Abbey Day- Certified Yin Yoga Instructor

Abbey discovered the mind-body benefits of yoga practice in 2010 while living in Vermont. Never having been one to enjoy sports, she finally felt she found the physical and mental practice that her life was missing.

After moving to Honolulu, she was drawn the the caring community yoga provides. Since moving to Hawaii, Abbey has studied extensively in restorative yoga with Chanti Tacorante-Perez, is a certified 200-hour trained teacher in Hatha-inspired Tantric yoga from Open Space Yoga, and has completed Ayurveda training focused in balancing the doshas through asana and self-care routines. Abbey continues to study for her 500-hour certification, especially along ParaYoga philosophies, particularly in the four desires that motivates a person's actions or feelings.

A long-time art educator, teaching in public and private schools, community centers, and museums, Abbey's interests lie in the connection between yogic practices and creativity. In addition to teaching fine art classes to children and adults, Abbey teaches Asana + Art workshops, in which students participate in a short asana practice and art projects to explore the principles that overlap between yoga and art-making: trusting one's intuition, practicing patience, non-judgement, gratefulness, and observing closely.

One of Abbey's favorite quotes, "Somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known" by Carl Sagan, illustrates her love of learning and the infinitive possibilities that continually await us. With time and practice, we learn more, unfolding great knowledge about ourselves, our capabilities, and the world around us.


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