Meet The Teachers

Joanie Plake

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Founder & CEO

Joanie is the founder of Breathe & Learn and lead teacher for select South Bay after-school workshops, events and summer camps.

 

Joanie's yoga journey began while living in New York City and earning her Masters in Elementary and Special Education at New York University. Through her unique experience as a childhood educator, Joanie developed the Breathe & Learn curriculum to build foundational, social-emotional learning skills through yoga and mindfulness.

 

As a former teacher at Citizens of the World Charter School Mar Vista, she found that daily breathing exercises and meditation worked wonders in helping her children self-regulate and manage their emotions. In addition, the physical postures offered a fun introduction to healthy living. She graduated from the 200 hr. Soho Yoga Teacher Training in April 2016 and shortly after, received her children's certification through Yoga Ed. 

 

Click here to learn more about her journey and why she chose to take a leap of faith and start Breathe & Learn.

Heather Tuttle

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Director of Operations & Lead Teacher

(South Bay Workshops & Summer Camp)

Heather is beyond excited to merge two things she loves immensely - kids and yoga!   By profession, Heather has been a teacher for students with special needs for over ten years and currently works in Manhattan Beach Unified.  By desire, Heather is a lifelong learner of all things yoga and engaging in daily healthy practices to support a holistic sense of self.  She recently obtained her Masters degree in Special Education from CSULB, as well as, her 100 hour kids yoga certification in Costa Rica through a Yoga Alliance program.  Heather is well-versed in the MindUp! curriculum that is implemented in MBUSD and continues on her journey to enhance her own meditative practice.  In addition, she runs several school programs, including GirlPower, which teaches young girls the art of friendship-making and how to promote empowerment in their relationships.  Heather is also a passionate lover of the arts, especially dance, theater, and music.  She infuses music and movement into the classroom whenever possible to help teach students of the steady, beautiful rhythm they have inside of them.

Rachel Rush

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Lead Teacher (South Bay Workshops & Summer Camp)

Rachel is an elementary, mindfulness and yoga teacher. She has always loved working with kids and is very excited to be a part of the Breathe & Learn Team. Rachel grew up in Hermosa Beach and was fortunate to come back and teach at Hermosa View and Valley. She most recently taught at Lunada Bay Elementary School in Palos Verdes. Rachel now owns Mindful Circle, a mindful education business, with the goal of spreading the positive benefits of mindfulness to schools and the community. 


Rachel is trained in the MindUp Curriculum, is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher through Mindful Schools and recently earned her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certification in Bali. She is also working toward her Masters Degree in School Counseling at CSULB. Rachel is passionate about teaching mindfulness and yoga to kids to help them live in the present and enjoy life! Students enjoy the compassionate and playful energy Rachel brings to her classes. She loves connecting with students on their level and inspiring kids to find their passions.  

Catherine Campbell

Lead Teacher (South Bay Workshops & Summer Camp)

Catherine grew up in Redondo Beach, California where she took her first yoga class when she was 17 years old and has been practicing ever since. Yoga helps her stay connected to self through movement and breath, and she believes a strong physical practice helps support the mind and body.  She deepened her practice by completing a 200 hr teacher training under Harmony Yoga teachers as well as a 20-hour Zooga Kids Yoga training. Catherine received her Masters in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University and her Bachelors in Sociology and Environmental Science from Loyola Marymount University.

 

She is currently a local elementary school teacher with a deep belief in the importance of mindfulness in the classroom. She has taken an array of child development courses, most with a focus on mindfulness techniques and practices for young children.  She aims to use yoga to help those remember the simple practice of bringing a gentle, accepting attitude to the present moment.  

Marissa "Mar" Rodriguez

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Lead Teacher (South Bay Workshops & Summer Camp)

From teaching swim lessons to working as an in-home behavior therapist, Mar has always had a passion for interacting with little humans. After receiving her 200 hour yoga teacher certification from SoHo Yoga, she was eager to mesh her love for yoga and children into one realm. 

 

At the age of two, Mar was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. She was constantly struggling with body awareness.  She has always been athletic in nature, but her joints told her otherwise. Always curious to educate herself on the human body - physically, mentally, and spiritually, she went to University of Arizona to major in Public Health with an emphasis in injury prevention. In addition, she began volunteering as a mentor for those living with social disabilities to work on social anxiety and peer interaction. 

 

Mar did not discover the beautiful practice of yoga until after she graduated from college, but has never felt more at home in her body. After her 200YTT, she began to integrate prana and asana practices to her behavior therapy clients and is seeing amazing progress. Wanting to impact more children of all backgrounds is what brought Mar to Breathe & Learn. She hopes to see you and your kiddo's bright smile soon! 

Stacey Corvalan

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Lead Teacher (South Bay Workshops & Summer Camp)

After many years of practicing yoga and meditation herself, four years ago Stacey was invited by a friend to take part in a kids yoga training with YogaBuddies in Hermosa Beach where she felt like she found her calling. Since then, Stacey has been teaching two-to-six year olds at preschools and child development centers in Manhattan Beach and all over LA's South Bay. In addition, she teaches an after school yoga class for kinder through second graders at Pacific Elementary School in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District.

 

As a lifelong lover of learning, Stacey continues to soak in additional kids yoga trainings with Zooga Yoga and is happy to have found a new home with Breathe & Learn. Stacey is working towards her next yoga certification, but feels that her best lessons are through the children she works with. “Kids yoga has given me permission to let go and enjoy each moment. Having fun rules over having perfect technique and moving your body and exploring how that connects to your mind and breath is everything.”

 

Stacey lives in Manhattan Beach and is a dedicated mother of two who continues to learn from her children every day. She hopes that her students will remember her as “that crazy lady who taught them that the fiercest lions are quiet and volcanos can cool you down.”