Sponsors & Supporters
We are incredibly grateful to the many individuals, corporate sponsors, and organizations who partner with us to achieve our vision and mission across our communities.
With special thanks to the following partners:
Aurora Healing Arts
The Body Electric Yoga Company
Cypress & Grove Brewing Co.
Dream on Purpose
PACE Center for Girls
Red Tent Women's Initiative
The Station House St. Pete
Where in the World Yoga & Wellness
Yoga Pod Gainesville
Meet Our Team
A Brazilian by birth and citizen of the Universe by choice, Cristiane Machado is a mother, dreamer, humanitarian, dancer, yogini, "krazy" human, and bodyworker who founded YogaLoka to transform mental illness into mental wellness. A firm believer that all humans are worthy of love, compassion, and the transformative practice of yoga, Cristiane has been exploring and offering the numerous benefits of yoga, meditation, and self-love practices for more than a decade. She is also a Zumba® Fitness and wellness enthusiast who loves to connect and collaborate with others to create spaces of joy, celebration, and pure magic. She currently lives in Montezuma, Costa Rica, but travels to and from Florida (to both Gainesville and St. Petersburg) regularly for YogaLoka-related projects. She guides retreats, yoga classes, Cacaoga® events, and offers sacred cacao ceremonies across the globe.
Randi Cameon was one of the first people to bring yoga to Gainesville, FL and is thrilled to combine her background in non-profit work and yoga through YogaLoka. In the 1970s, she lived and taught in the Sivananda Yoga Ashram near Quebec for nearly a year. She had the opportunity to study directly with BKS Iyengar during several of his visits. Randi taught Hatha yoga and meditation for 30 years in a variety of settings and among diverse populations (e.g. children, seniors, differently abled) in Gainesville and northern California. She is proud to also lead Little Orange Creek Environmental Education Program which primarily serves minority youth from low income families, providing them with opportunities to learn about, enjoy, and be inspired by nature.
Yoga has been a part of Kate Motto's lifestyle for almost 15 years. Introduced to yoga early on by her parents, she had a primarily home-based practice for about 10 years. When she started attending group classes in Gainesville, she enjoyed the sense of community, and valued the support of an instructor. Personally, yoga has helped her throughout her life with anxiety, grief, and her overall well-being. Kate realized her love for sharing yoga with others, and in spring of 2016 completed the 200-hour ‘Yoga Practice’ Teacher Training at Sanctuary Yoga & Wellness with Melissa Montilla. Kate particularly enjoys restorative yoga, Cacaoga®, and meditation. She believes in making yoga accessible for all and strives to create a welcoming atmosphere in her classes, reminding practitioners to do what serves them best. She emphasizes being kind towards yourself, and taking time to rest.
Liz DiVito is a yoga teacher, non-profit professional, freelance writer, and served as YogaLoka’s Treasurer before taking on the role of Program Director. Liz believes in work that blends the areas of wellness and social justice and, in doing so, challenges power dynamics and supports our collective liberation. Liz has extensive experience living and working internationally. After graduating in 2016 from the University of Florida with a dual-degree in Political Science and International Studies, she went on to complete a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant in Amman, Jordan. Liz later completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training in Classical Hatha at Mahadevi Ashram in Guatemala. She has been fortunate to supplement this with other powerful yoga trainings including Trauma-Informed Yoga and Social Justice with Hala Khouri and RW Alves. Liz is also Accessible Yoga certified and feels passionately about making the practice welcoming to all people.
Battling with back pain, Brandi attended her first yoga class at the age of 16 and was hooked. Brandi has been a licensed massage therapist for over 14 years. The anatomy and knowledge of the human body that she learned in massage school greatly increased the depth of knowledge of her body in her own yoga practice. in 2007, Brandi completed an Ashtanga based 100-hour teacher training in Kauai, HI with Bhavani Maki and in 2009 she completed a 200-hour Yoga Works teacher training with Tzahi Moskovitz, in Gainesville, Florida. This alignment-based practice complemented her knowledge of the human anatomy and helped her to see the human body as a more dynamic, thoroughly connected being. Brandi has been teaching a wide variety of classes since 2009, including Flow, Strengthen & Stabilize, Ashtanga, Yin, and Alignment Based Flow. Brandi started her business, Wildflowers Yoga, in 2018 through which she teaches classes and teacher trainings. Brandi teamed up with YogaLoka to help organize and co-teach yoga classes to the GET (Growing Education Training) students at the Farm to School Hub and to the ESE adults that work in the Grow Hub. She teaches yoga because she want to be able to share her understanding of the body with others. Giving back to the community, holding space for people to grow, and being able to share her love of yoga to people of all abilities is a large aspect of teaching for Brandi.
Michael Espinosa is the Founder and Head Coach of The Ark Fitness, a not-for-profit gym in Gainesville, Florida. When he isn’t hanging out with his daughter and wife, he spends his time teaching young athletes how to move well, build strength, and cultivate confidence in their abilities, in and out of the gym.
Lea's yoga journey began in 2009 as a way to cope with trauma, and she’s been devoted to the practice ever since. She later served for several years as a karma yogi at Sat Nam Yoga, a kundalini-based studio in Chicago. Since then, her practice has grown to center around accessibility, community, and service.After Lea graduated with a dual BA in Anthropology and History from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014, she moved to South Korea to serve as a Fulbright ETA Grantee. Upon returning to the US, she began working as a teacher and earned her M.Ed. from the University of Florida.
Before becoming Executive Director, Lea served as YogaLoka’s Volunteer Coordinator. She completed both her 200-hour and 500-hour yoga teacher trainings in Gainesville, FL. Lea teaches in order to share yoga with others, knowing that it has the potential to positively shape and change lives.