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San Diego Yoga Center

5500 Grossmont Center Dr
La Mesa, CA 91942


Teaching Staff


I took my first Bikram yoga class in April of 2001 at the Old Town studio here in San Diego. I loved it and hated it. I STILL FEEL THE SAME WAY! I continued to practice there and other San Diego schools for the next two years. I was involved in long distance running know as endurance races (Including 100 mile races). Crazy- I know! The yoga helped me in all ways including preventing injuries. I moved to Hawaii to train and race in one of the toughest races in the world because of the high elevation gain and the terrain. Amazingly I managed to take third place a couple of times. I could not have done it without the yoga. My path took me to the Bikram teacher training in Los Angeles. I then taught in Hawaii until March 2008 until returning to San Diego and becoming director of this school. While living and teaching in Hawaii, the training site was moved there for two sessions and I regularly attended class. The teacher training brings in a lot of senior teachers and the best teachers from around the world and I did have the good fortune and opportunity to take advantage of that. I have had a lot of excellent teachers. I represented Hawaii in 2007 and 2008, and Southern CA in 2009 in the national championships. I’m a person that never gives up. Sometimes I want to but I don’t. The Bikram yoga will teach you to always think positive and never allow negativity to enter your mind. With this simple principle, how could you possibly fall short of your capabilities and full potential. Whatever you set your mind on it can become reality because you have learned the art of concentration and you harness the power of focusing your mind. THIS IS THE YOGA. If I can do this, you can do this. When I started I was not good but I kept trying time and time again. Every time I went to class I fell completely apart within minutes. I could not comprehend how I could run 100 miles without stopping but couldn’t do 5 minutes of Bikram Yoga without falling apart and practically dying! I got yelled at a lot. My balance was terrible and I was the guy that was hopping all over the room trying to stand still and lock my knee. I was the one that was hyperventilating all the time and crawling to the door to get out and get a breath of fresh air. Somehow I worked past all of that. I knew who was good and I put myself as close to them as possible and watched them and learned to do as they did. I knew it was going to take a lot of work and time. I’m still at it. My responsibilities are much greater these days. I have to bring you all the knowledge that bikram has given me and all the teachers I have worked with and under. I have to give you a good place to practice this very important thing, this way of life, this yoga. I always strive for the best, and I will help you to achieve the same for yourself. Work hard my friends. Namaste
Dave Schutz was born in Long Beach, California and raised in San Diego. Dave has worked as chef and restaurant owner. Today, when Dave isn’t in the hot room teaching class, he works at his family business down in La Jolla Shores.  The Cheese Shop at the Shores offers great sandwiches and oatmeal cookies so amazing that Dave ships them all over the U.S.! Dave has been practicing yoga for 12 years, and teaching in San Diego for over 10 years. Bikram says that it takes 10 years for one to become a true Bikram Yoga Teacher and Dave is there... Dave’s great personality, sense of humor, and way with words makes those 90 minutes in the hot room seem like a piece of cake. Dave’s favorite posture is which ever one we are currently doing...
Nelia has dabbled in pilates, tai chi and yoga practicing at home and with friends using books, videos and private lessons during the many years that she worked full time as a project engineer and contracts manager in California's Silicon valley. During those years her main exercise had been swimming until she discovered Bikram yoga 3 years ago. Immediately her focus shifted to yoga, such that she scheduled her activities to make sure she got at least 4 classes a week, and strived to become very proficient. She found Bikram yoga very challenging and satisfying in terms of rigor, precision and health benefits. After a year of regular practice and enjoying the benefits of being fit, strong and flexible with automatic weight and cholesterol control through Bikram yoga, Nelia and her daughter Amanda started talking about going to Teacher Training as a way of taking the practice to the next level. Nelia (and Amanda too) just completed Teacher Training this Spring 2009 and plans to perfect her teaching skills in the coming months. Nelia also plans to bring Bikram yoga to the small town of Salmon in Idaho where she and her husband has a second home so she can happily share her practice with her hiking buddies in Salmon.
Nelia has been practicing Yang-style Tai Chi for over 10 years. She trained one-on-one from 2002 to 2007 with Howard Tseng, a certified Tai Chi master in Taiwan and in California (San Francisco Bay Area). She was a teaching assistant to Howard for about a year in 2007 and 2008 before moving to San Diego. Nelia has been teaching Tai Chi in Salmon, Idaho since 2010.


In 2005 I took my first Bikram class. I was skeptical about doing yoga because I originally thought it wasn't a "real workout", but I was wrong. After my first class I was in love with the way I felt inside and out and how challenging class was! I never thought becoming a teacher was something I could do until one day at work, after being stressed out and miserable for far too long, I thought to myself 'there had to be something better than this.' I needed to do something with my life that made me happy, healthy, and that I enjoyed. After talks with other instructors, friends, family, and my own self evaluation I decided to take a leap of faith and go to teacher training in Fall 2011. In the beginning I was very worried if I was doing the right thing or not, but I soon realized I had nothing to lose and only more chances to improve my life. I haven't looked back since.

I first heard about hot yoga from a friend and thought, "Really?  It's a stretching class-will my heart pound? Will it challenge me?"
I took my first class in September of 2007.  I remember lying on my mat after that first class (a bit nauseous and wiped out) and thinking "YES" to my earlier reservations about yoga.  It was both challenging and a workout.  I woke up the next morning and felt EVERY muscle.
I made myself go back and take class a week later and managed one class a week for almost two years; it was a love/hate relationship.  I loved how my body felt but needed the six days in between to mentally and physically prepare myself to go back to class again.
Over the next three years, I finally made my goal to do five classes a week.  I am addicted!  I love yoga and the many benefits that come with it both physically and mentally.
It was not long after I began a regular practice that I thought about becoming a teacher.  I have always had the passion to become a teacher, but with a family at home and a time consuming job, there were just not enough hours in the day to take on more work.  Therefore, when my son and daughter left for college, the timing was right to take the next step and begin training.  Thank you Anthony!
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