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 500 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
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 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.
My name is Cecilia Collins, I am 21 years old having lived almost all my years in Orange County. I have been practicing yoga for years and have a lot of experience working with children (babysitting, a helper in elementary classes, ROP classes).
I spent the beginning of 2018 in India where I earned my 200ytt license and once I returned home, I received credentials to teach yoga to kids through Karma Kids yoga teacher training. I'm very passionate and ecstatic to be able to share the community with so many great teachers, giving children the opportunity to create a relationship with their breath and bodies.
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 a co-founder of Bala Shala Summer Camp 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!”