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Bala Shala Instructors

Bala Shala instructors do more than just teach yoga, they nurture, inspire, mentor and guide children to be the best that they can. They share a common belief in our mission, a love of children, and a passion for helping them thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally.  

Staci Bina, Owner Bala Shala

Staci stepped onto her mat for the first time in 2003 and the journey instantly began. Knowing that there was a place where the mind, body and spirit can come together changed it all. A place where she could be present in this very perfect moment without fear or judgement. She wanted more and wanted to share her passion with others.

Staci has over 10000 hours of teacher training for all ages including:

  • Hatha Yoga Teacher Training- Institute of Progressive Therapies

  • Ashtanga Primary Series Teacher Training- Ashtanga Yoga Center

  • Ashtanga Second Series Teacher Training- Ashtanga Yoga Center

  • Kids Yoga Teacher Training- Karma Kids Yoga

  • Teen Yoga Teacher Training- Karma Kids Yoga

  • Mindful Schools Teacher Training 

  • Kasper Focus Breath-Work Training

  • and is currently in a Neuroscience Certificate Program at Penn

She has been teaching adults since 2007 and children since 2011. 
It has been a long time dream for Staci to create a space where babies, kids, teens, moms, dads and EVERYONE can come together and share the gift of yoga!

She lives in Laguna Beach with her husband Tim and their children, Baylie and Cash.


Sofia Hefter-Smith
Sofia is a Laguna Beach native who has recently completed her yoga teacher training making her one of the youngest Yoginis in the area. A dancer, singer, all around artist, and skater, Sofia is a true renaissance girl who loves to explore her world.  Given her name by her sister, she embodies its meaning...wisdom.

Emily Hosie
Emily 200hour yoga works R.Y.T and 95 hour Wee Yogis R.C.Y.T began her yoga journey in 2009. Emily is a kid at heart and believes our greatest natural resource is in the minds of our children. She loves to teach kids around the world and has explored teaching with Small World Yoga, Nashville. Wee Yogis touring group, Sausalito CA and Bala Shala, Laguna Beach CA. Emily's classes are heart first! She fuses yoga poses, music, and mindfulness to help you connect to your true self. Following your arrow and dancing your worries away. You will be sure to leave feeling more love than ever before.


Makenna Zur Schmiede

Makenna is from Laguna Beach, CA. She earned her 200-hr YTT from Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in NYC and her certification to teach children’s yoga from Karma Kids Yoga, also based in NYC. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from Purchase College, SUNY. 


Makenna is the co-star of the Bala Shala videos and YouTube channel and has been working with Staci since 2015. Because of her acting training, Makenna’s yoga classes for kids heavily emphasize imagination and adventure. She believes that the most important job of a yoga teacher is to create a safe environment to be you. An observer of the class would see quite a bit of silliness and fun, meant to focus an expanding mind.


“If you’re not having fun, the kids aren’t having fun—so go wild and make believe you are their leader through adventure!”


Brittany Spence

Brittany has a passion for working with children. She is a manager and instructor at a local ballet school for toddlers. Dancing and yoga are her hobby’s. She grew up taking dance and cheerleading lessons and now she is a professional dancer for an NFL team. She also danced for an NBA team for 2 years. She danced at Disneyland and was cast as different characters at Disneyland and Universal Studios. She loves teaching children yoga but also loves teaching adults.

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