Certified & Registered Yoga Alliance Teachers

Ashley Thesier, Founder

Ashley has almost two decades of experience as a professional massage therapist and mystic. She graduated from the Cayce Reilly School of Massotherapy in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 2001. After graduation, she began her study of yoga at Inside Out Yoga in Norfolk, Virginia and earned her 200 hour level yoga teacher training certificate in 2002. Shortly after, Ashley began teaching yoga at the YMCA and at her father’s Chiropractic Clinic located in Virginia Beach. In 2004, she began her advanced 500 hour teacher training program and upon completion went on to teach yoga at the Jow Ga Kung Fu studio in Virginia Beach, the Westin Hotel in Beijing, China; the Ritz Carlton Hotel at Tyson’s Corner in Northern Virginia, and in private residences. Apart from being an E-RYT 500 with thousands of hours of yoga teaching experience, Ashley also holds a bachelor’s degree in Global Affairs from George Mason University and a master’s degree in International Relations from Troy University. Her approach to asana is therapeutically based and grounded in “down to Earth” spirituality. Since opening the Yoga Loft in 2011, Ashley has worked to train and certify over 100 instructors of Hatha Yoga through her Yoga Alliance certified Teacher Training Program.

Tara Laval

Tara is a 500-Hour Registered Yoga Instructor through Yoga Alliance, and a Certified Yoga Nidra Facilitator through the Amrit Institute and Yoga Alliance. She is particularly interested in slowing down, focusing on the present moment, and reducing stress. Her yoga classes are a mixture of movement and stillness, with an emphasis on the breath, foundation and safe alignment of the body. As a Yoga Nidra Facilitator, Tara guides her students through deep levels of relaxation in order to go beyond the chattering of the mind, and to heal and restore mind, body and soul. 

Alexandra Rose Nelson

Throughout the many stages of life, I’ve encountered random glimpses of the world of yoga. Yoga has always been there, and seemed to pop up in times when I needed it most. It was always there to bring peace and ease to my life when chaos took over. It wasn’t until 3 years ago, and the discovery of the Yoga Loft, that I finally understood why Yoga kept appearing. Yoga kept showing up to guide me onto the path where I belong; where I would meet others who would inspire my own yoga journey, and those who I could inspire and guide through their personal journeys. I am passionate about the practice of yoga, and all that it encompasses within. I am eager to share this love, with all who come my way. In obtaining my RYT 200 & 300 Certification with the Yoga Loft, my determination to share this knowledge grew. I gained a deep understanding of the practice as a whole, and I am determined to create a space where that knowledge can be shared with others in the community.


Ashley Humphries

Ashley was first introduced to yoga when she worked at the YMCA as a dance, tumbling, and swim instructor. Admittedly, she didn’t understand the depth of yoga at the time and was simply interested in learning difficult poses. After graduating with her Bachelor’s degree, Ashley stopped dancing and immersed herself into her graduate studies in anthropology. Recognizing the need to move her body and clear her mind, she sought out various forms of exercise, none of which stuck. Eventually, Ashley was reintroduced to yoga, where she was quickly captivated by the philosophy of yoga and its ability to help unlearn destructive thoughts and patterns, find a peaceful mind, and ultimately improve the relationship with the self. The scientist in her is excited by the numerous studies documenting the health benefits of yoga for the mind and the body. The anthropologist in her is motivated by the sense of community and the various ways in which people integrate yoga into their lives and make it their own. Ashley is excited to continue on her own transformative path, while guiding others to find theirs.

Marisa Iglesias

Marisa was first introduced to yoga as a dancer, aiming to heal and strengthen her body by utilizing fluidity and breath work. She works to help facilitate that growth in others while continuing her own exploration. Marisa began her yoga training with Luisa Meshekoff and completed her Yoga Alliance 500-RYT certification with Ashley Thesier and Anna Pittman. She received a Kriya Meditation Instructor certification under the instruction of Dr. Don Glassey. Her classes focus on breath, flexibility, and alignment while incorporating fluid movements and challenging sequences. Expect to sweat and feel rejuvenated.

Vanessa Cohen

IMG_5127Vanessa has always had a passion for movement, starting in dance at the age of 5. She found yoga as a mental and physical release from the stresses of day to day life and in 2014 received her certification as a 200 RYT. As her interests in holistic healing grew, she also studied energy healing receiving her Reiki I & II certification, studied the use of aromatherapy and essential oils in yoga and massage, and found her passion for Yin and Restorative yoga while teaching at Yoga Loft Tampa. She also earned her 500 RYT in 2017 and is committed to learning more ways to help others heal both physically and emotionally.

Christie Leonard

Christie has always loved working with people. Her lifelong passion for helping others led her to pursue her master’s degree in social work in 2010. During that time, Christie also began practicing yoga on a regular basis, and she quickly discovered that it helped her to deal with the stresses of graduate school. This realization provided the subject matter for her graduate thesis, which explored yoga as a mode of teaching mindfulness, positive thinking and relaxation. After graduating, Christie wanted to continue sharing the benefits of yoga. This eventually guided her to Yoga Loft’s 200 Hour YTT, which she completed this past year. Christie teaches Hatha yoga flow with emphasis on mindful movements and breathing


Chelsea Mandrigues

Chelsea’s profession in human rights has led her on the journey of integrating yoga with human rights initiatives. She is a 200-Hour Registered Yoga Instructor, trained at the Yoga Loft of Tampa, FL. She received her Bachelors from the University of South Florida in International Studies and Political Science and is continuously expanding her education in trauma informed care. Experienced with teaching yoga to Survivors of trauma and other forms of abuse through the platform Human Empowered Yoga, Chelsea focuses her attention on the entire local Tampa Bay community.

 Classes concentrate on synchronizing breath with movement in Hatha tradition, are aided by Vinyasa flow, and build internal and external strength. Chelsea firmly believes that yoga should be accessible to all levels, so classes will provide both stepping stones for beginners and a challenge for advanced practitioners. For Chelsea, yoga is a tool for self-empowerment that can also serve as a positive coping strategy to generate self-love through not only times of movement and expression, but also stillness and introspection.














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