Team Metta

All Kundalini Yoga teachers at The Metta Space have been trained and certified through the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI®) and strive to safeguard the purity, integrity, and accuracy of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings by actively researching and continuing to experience further education in Kundalini Yoga through classes, workshops and specialty trainings. 

VICTOR NGUYEN

HHP & CMT #13960
Holistic Health Practitioner
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist
KRI Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga
Litios Christ Light Priest

Born Victor Hoat Nguyen on 26 October 1982 in Los Angeles, California, he was the son of Vietnamese parents who came to the United States as a result of the Vietnam war. As a boy he attended private Catholic school and loved singing in the choir and serving as an altar boy. This was his earliest connection to God and religion. 

“As a boy, I was very shy and kept to myself but always felt confident and comfortable in one to one situations with others. I learned what it meant to hold space and simply listen with an open heart. My personal connection with my friends and family were meaningful and had depth.”
He was always drawn to go deeper in spirit in his relationships as a boy and continued to develop this ability during his teenage years by diving deeper into his own personal identity. One of the major transformations he experienced during this time was being more in touch with his identity as a gay individual.

“Dealing with typical social pressures as a teenager was already a lot to handle but to come out of the closet and establish clarity on my sexual orientation was a triumph. It was liberating to be fully connected with my truth.”

In his early 20s, he got introduced to holistic massage therapy as a means to overcome chronic pain and that led him to a more conscious path as a healer and teacher.

“Physically I was feeling excellent in my body again and emotionally and mentally I was awakening. I discovered a new spiritual awareness that I haven’t felt before and I was very curious to explore more.”

He enrolled at the International Professional School of Bodywork (IPSB) and studied holistic health and massage therapy. IPSB taught him the holistic approach to health and the importance of being psychologically sensitive when working on someone’s body.

“Growing up I did not receive much loving touch and tended to feel disconnected and closed off from others and myself. At IPSB, I received so much healthy touch on a regular basis as part of the training that it helped me heal, process and transform on a very deep level. I learned firsthand the power of human touch.”

He earned a Holistic Health Practitioner certificate and has been practicing as a licensed massage therapist in California since 2007. He specializes in Thai Massage & Acupressure for Orthopedic Disorders, Sports Massage and Relaxation Massage. He enjoys working with athletes, yogis, healers and teachers to help them holistically achieve a balanced life of health, wellness and spirituality. In 2014, he got introduced to Kundalini Yoga & Meditation and it sparked something deep within his soul. He practiced different types of yoga before but this was different. To quench his thirst for more experience in Kundalini Yoga, he took a Kundalini Yoga teacher training course in 2015 and is now a Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga. His connection and style as a Kundalini teacher embodies love, compassion and kindness combined with the energy, wisdom and truth of the moon. He loves the power of mantras and the ability it has to project a certain consciousness. In 2016, he was given the spiritual name of Chand Dyal Singh Khalsa and committed to a Sikh lifestyle, a student for life who sees God in all and serves all. In 2018, he completed the SuperHealth professional specialty training on the Yogic Science to Break Habits & Addictive Behavior as taught by Yogi Bhajan.

His life path directs him to be a spiritual teacher empowering others to connect with their life’s destiny in order to live a healthy, happy and spiritually connected life. He incorporates holistic massage therapy, energy work, heart centered communication, Kundalini yoga and meditation and organic food medicine into his work as a healer and teacher.

In 2018, he began exploring Tibetan Buddhism to expand his spiritual consciousness and took refuge with the Tibetan name of Konchok Gyatso.

In 2019, he discovered Litios Light Crystals and became initiated as a Litios Christ Light Priest.

CARRIE LEE

Holistic Health Practitioner and Reiki Master

Carrie Lee is a Holistic Health Practitioner and Reiki Master who has enjoyed providing abundant and diverse healing therapies for more than fifteen years. With education in Eastern and Western mind-body modalities (from two different massage schools), energy work (such as ThetaHealing and psychic, metaphysical meditations), herbology, nutrition, Iyengar Yoga and Pilates teacher training, Shamanism, Tibetan bowl sound healing, and more, she is happy to collaborate in support of health and happiness for individuals and communities.
She continues to learn and revere new and traditional forms of wellness from around the world even after graduating from UC San Diego in Global Health and Literature/Writing. She is well-traveled and has met worldly spiritual leaders, and has a hobby of handstanding across this beautiful planet that we all are so lucky to share. She also learns from her pets, a turtle and a rescued flock of domestic doves. She welcomes you to receive a healthy treatment from her, as well as to practice a happy handstand together.

DENISE CHANG LOVERDE

ThetaHealer® & Reiki Master
Spiritual Mentor
Women’s Circle Facilitator
Akashic Soul Records Channel

As an intuitive channel and spiritual mentor, Denise has journeyed through inner cycles that opened her up to world of energy healing and a love for bringing women together. Her passion for self-healing is embodied in the work that she offers. As a survivor of sexual abuse and assault, Denise is a firm believer in empowering others through vulnerable and authentic conversations. Her offerings include women’s circles, online women’s groups and intuitive healing sessions. Her self-care rituals include walking barefoot in the grass or sand, cuddling with her pitbull, daily meditation & journaling and moving her body through dance, running and yoga.

DIANA OTÁLVARO

KRI® Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga

Diana Otálvaro (Bhagti Kaur) discovered Kundalini Yoga in 2011 through a friend in her home country of Colombia and immediately felt the change it made in her life. She moved to San Diego in 2014, and graduated from Level 1 Teacher Training in 2016. She is fascinated by the vast study of healing and also earned a Level 2 Reiki certification. Her passion is sharing insights that have helped her in different aspects of life. 

Her favorite Yogi Bhajan quote is: 

“Happiness is your birthright.” 

Outside the studio, Diana finds solace in nature and trees, and formerly worked as a Forestry Engineer in both public and private institutions.

DREW PARALES

Andrew “Drew” Parales is a Certified Metaphysical/Healing Energy Therapy Practitioner. Drew is also a Certified Fitness Instructor/Trainer, Yoga Instructor, Sports/Whole Food Nutrition Specialist. Drew’s gift of Hands on Healing was born out of trauma and loss after the passings of his father, sister, then mother in a few short months. His teachings in breathwork, meditation and yoga were passed down to him as a student from his meditation teacher 12 years ago.

Drew has been a natural health advocate for over 21 years. In addition to his work and love of the elements in the natural, holistic, fitness and metaphysical fields, he is also a vocational rehabilitation case manager for students with disabilities, professional photographer, an avid whole-food plant based vegan, rollercoaster enthusiast, Disney Parks fan and frequent visitor of Sedona Arizona.

ELIZABETH JACOBOWITZ

MA, BCTMB, CACMT
Expressive Arts Therapist, Coach, & Bodyworker

Elizabeth loves how making art is not only enriching, but provides essential guideposts and direction in navigating the mountains and valleys of the terrain of life. Elizabeth is fascinated with the mind-body connection and the awakening of self that happens through the arts and bodywork. She facilitates change and transformation by guiding her clients in remembering, rediscovering, and reconnecting with their body, mind, and soul. She works with individuals and groups, children and adults in private practice.
Elizabeth has also been on faculty at IPSB College, IPSB at Life Energy Institute, and the International College of Holistic Studies. Elizabeth earned her Masters in Expressive Arts Therapy from the European Graduate School, a Bachelors in Health and Exercise Science from Syracuse University, and studied massage and bodywork at IPSB College.

She has worked with organizations including Shakti Rising, Survivors of Torture, International, Veterans Village of San Diego, and San Diego Youth Services. Connecting to the wisdom in our own bodies is the basis for all of her practices. In addition to the arts and bodywork, the outdoors and movement are two of Elizabeth’s passions. She is an active hiker, swimmer, and dancer.

HANNAH LEI PRUNTY

Certified Yoga Teacher & Sound Healer
Certified Children’s Yoga Teacher
Level II Reiki Practitioner

Hannah Lei has worked as an intuitive healer and teacher since 2009. She began playing the crystal bowls in 2012, teaming up with Amanda Domnitz of The School of Sound and Harmony. She uses the healing vibrations of crystal bowls to assist deep relaxation during sound healing journeys. Hannah Lei is also a credentialed multi-subject elementary school teacher and currently works as a reading support teacher, children’s yoga teacher, and sound healer.

JILL YELNICK

Jill Yelnick discovered Kundalini yoga during the fall of 2016. She was seeking something to fill a space she always felt in her life, but she did not know what that something was. After just a few Kundalini classes she fell in love with the practice and realized what she was searching for. In 2018 she took the leap to begin a Kundalini Level 1 Teacher Training and became certified in June of 2019. She is excited to share the teachings with others so they too can have transformational experiences as they practice this yoga of awareness. Outside of teaching yoga, Jill is an Art Therapist and Activity Director at a long term care mental health facility for adults. In her free time she enjoys meditating, painting, and caring for her pet chickens.

MICHAEL BAKER

CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist #7279

Michael has been been a professional massage therapist since January 2005. He completed his 1000 hour Holistic Health Practitioner certification at Body Mind College in San Diego. Michael entered into the holistic healing and massage field after a brief 3 year career as an environmental planner... He changed professional direction because he recognized his personal passion for taking care of his physical, emotional and mental health through healthy lifestyle choices.
The potential for his personal healing and professional life to be intertwined was an inspiring opportunity that led to his career switch. Michael enjoys using his variety of massage techniques to help clients to relax, release tension and live a more easy and healthy life. He also addresses pain relief and injury recovery in his work as a massage therapist.

NAZDIRA CUEVAS

Nazdira was raised in a rural area in Jalisco, Mexico and migrated to the U.S.A at the age of 9 with her family. Having faced many difficulties as a child, the seed was planted at a young age to find ways to help others. Nazdira has worked in all branches of special education within SDUSD since 2001. She has all been teaching yoga to children since 2013. Nazdira teaches in the community as well as in the classroom. Although her emphasis is on special needs, she’s able to bring all children of all abilities together to have a wonderful connecting and uniting time together. She is a mother of two and loves working and being around children as they have so much wisdom to share and are not afraid to follow their hearts’ desires.

SHAR MONTEIRO

Shar Monteiro (Sat Shanti Kaur) is a Universal Mama to many souls and has walked a spiritual path for many decades. She has a vast knowledge of many indigenous teachings and enjoys learning. Shar is a global citizen who was born in South Africa, but also lived in the UK, Portugal and finally moved to the USA in 2008, and currently residing in San Diego. Just like her spiritual name implies, she embodies divine peace in the world by connecting to her inner truth and sharing with all who are interested in elevating and being their best versions of self.
Shar discovered the benefits of Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan in South Africa in the late 90’s
and has an ongoing love for this amazing technology that assists humans in such a simple, yet powerful way. She graduated KRI international Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training level 1 in 2019 with a view to taking the technology with her wherever she goes.

Outside of her yoga practice she consults online, does Chirology for private clients, smudges homes & businesses, enjoys attending sweat lodge ceremony and spending time with family in community.
Her favorite quotes: ” Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.”- Yogi Bhajan

STEPHANIE DUNBAR

Steph has been a student of yoga for 14 years and recently completed her Hatha Teacher Training while staying at an ashram in northern India. After yoga training, she backpacked solo around Asia to learn about various meditation techniques. Returning to her native San Diego, she now lives in North Park and volunteers at the LGBT center in Hillcrest, teaching Slow Flow Yoga. Her favorite mantra at the moment is, “you were already born perfect.”

Team Metta

All Kundalini Yoga teachers at The Metta Space have been trained and certified through the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI®) and strive to safeguard the purity, integrity, and accuracy of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings by actively researching and continuing to experience further education in Kundalini Yoga through classes, workshops and specialty trainings.

VICTOR NGUYEN

Holistic Health Practitioner
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist #13960
KRI® Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga

Born Victor Hoat Nguyen on 26 October 1982 in Los Angeles, California, he was the son of Vietnamese parents who came to the United States as a result of the Vietnam war. As a boy he attended private Catholic school and loved singing in the choir and serving as an altar boy. This was his earliest connection to God and religion. 

“As a boy, I was very shy and kept to myself but always felt confident and comfortable in one to one situations with others. I learned what it meant to hold space and simply listen with an open heart. My personal connection with my friends and family were meaningful and had depth.”

He was always drawn to go deeper in spirit in his relationships as a boy and continued to develop this ability during his teenage years by diving deeper into his own personal identity. One of the major transformations he experienced during this time was being more in touch with his identity as a gay individual.

“Dealing with typical social pressures as a teenager was already a lot to handle but to come out of the closet and establish clarity on my sexual orientation was a triumph. It was liberating to be fully connected with my truth.”

In his early 20s, he got introduced to holistic massage therapy as a means to overcome chronic pain and that led him to a more conscious path as a healer and teacher.

“Physically I was feeling excellent in my body again and emotionally and mentally I was awakening. I discovered a new spiritual awareness that I haven’t felt before and I was very curious to explore more.”

He enrolled at the International Professional School of Bodywork (IPSB) and studied holistic health and massage therapy. IPSB taught him the holistic approach to health and the importance of being psychologically sensitive when working on someone’s body.

“Growing up I did not receive much loving touch and tended to feel disconnected and closed off from others and myself. At IPSB, I received so much healthy touch on a regular basis as part of the training that it helped me heal, process and transform on a very deep level. I learned firsthand the power of human touch.”

He earned a Holistic Health Practitioner certificate and has been practicing as a licensed massage therapist in California since 2007. He specializes in Thai Massage & Acupressure for Orthopedic Disorders, Sports Massage and Relaxation Massage. He enjoys working with athletes, yogis, healers and teachers to help them holistically achieve a balanced life of health, wellness and spirituality. In 2014, he got introduced to Kundalini Yoga & Meditation and it sparked something deep within his soul. He practiced different types of yoga before but this was different. To quench his thirst for more experience in Kundalini Yoga, he took a Kundalini Yoga teacher training course in 2015 and is now a Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga. His connection and style as a Kundalini teacher embodies love, compassion and kindness combined with the energy, wisdom and truth of the moon. He loves the power of mantras and the ability it has to project a certain consciousness. In 2016, he was given the spiritual name of Chand Dyal Singh Khalsa and committed to a Sikh lifestyle, a student for life who sees God in all and serves all. In 2018, he completed the SuperHealth professional specialty training on the Yogic Science to Break Habits & Addictive Behavior as taught by Yogi Bhajan.

His life path directs him to be a spiritual teacher empowering others to connect with their life’s destiny in order to live a healthy, happy and spiritually connected life. He incorporates holistic massage therapy, energy work, heart centered communication, Kundalini yoga and meditation and organic food medicine into his work as a healer and teacher.

In 2018, he began exploring Tibetan Buddhism to expand his spiritual consciousness and took refuge with the Tibetan name of Konchok Gyatso.  

In 2019, he discovered Litios Light Crystals and became initiated as a Litios Christ Light Priest.  

CARRIE LEE

Carrie Lee is a Holistic Health Practitioner and Reiki Master who has enjoyed providing abundant and diverse healing therapies for more than fifteen years. With education in Eastern and Western mind-body modalities (from two different massage schools), energy work (such as ThetaHealing and psychic, metaphysical meditations), herbology, nutrition, Iyengar Yoga and Pilates teacher training, Shamanism, Tibetan bowl sound healing, and more, she is happy to collaborate in support of health and happiness for individuals and communities.
She continues to learn and revere new and traditional forms of wellness from around the world even after graduating from UC San Diego in Global Health and Literature/Writing. She is well-traveled and has met worldly spiritual leaders, and has a hobby of handstanding across this beautiful planet that we all are so lucky to share. She also learns from her pets, a turtle and a rescued flock of domestic doves. She welcomes you to receive a healthy treatment from her, as well as to practice a happy handstand together.

DENISE CHANG LOVERDE

ThetaHealer® & Reiki Master
Spiritual Mentor
Women’s Circle Facilitator
Akashic Soul Records Channel

As an intuitive channel and spiritual mentor, Denise has journeyed through inner cycles that opened her up to world of energy healing and a love for bringing women together. Her passion for self-healing is embodied in the work that she offers. As a survivor of sexual abuse and assault, Denise is a firm believer in empowering others through vulnerable and authentic conversations. Her offerings include women’s circles, online women’s groups and intuitive healing sessions. Her self-care rituals include walking barefoot in the grass or sand, cuddling with her pitbull, daily meditation & journaling and moving her body through dance, running and yoga.

DIANA OTÁLVARO

KRI® Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga

Diana Otálvaro (Bhagti Kaur) discovered Kundalini Yoga in 2011 through a friend in her home country of Colombia and immediately felt the change it made in her life. She moved to San Diego in 2014, and graduated from Level 1 Teacher Training in 2016. She is fascinated by the vast study of healing and also earned a Level 2 Reiki certification. Her passion is sharing insights that have helped her in different aspects of life. 

Her favorite Yogi Bhajan quote is: 

“Happiness is your birthright.” 

Outside the studio, Diana finds solace in nature and trees, and formerly worked as a Forestry Engineer in both public and private institutions.

DREW PARALES

Andrew “Drew” Parales is a Certified Metaphysical/Healing Energy Therapy Practitioner. Drew is also a Certified Fitness Instructor/Trainer, Yoga Instructor, Sports/Whole Food Nutrition Specialist. Drew’s gift of Hands on Healing was born out of trauma and loss after the passings of his father, sister, then mother in a few short months. His teachings in breathwork, meditation and yoga were passed down to him as a student from his meditation teacher 12 years ago.

Drew has been a natural health advocate for over 21 years. In addition to his work and love of the elements in the natural, holistic, fitness and metaphysical fields, he is also a vocational rehabilitation case manager for students with disabilities, professional photographer, an avid whole-food plant based vegan, rollercoaster enthusiast, Disney Parks fan and frequent visitor of Sedona Arizona.

ELIZABETH JACOBOWITZ

MA, BCTMB, CACMT
Expressive Arts Therapist, Coach, & Bodyworker

Elizabeth loves how making art is not only enriching, but provides essential guideposts and direction in navigating the mountains and valleys of the terrain of life. Elizabeth is fascinated with the mind-body connection and the awakening of self that happens through the arts and bodywork. She facilitates change and transformation by guiding her clients in remembering, rediscovering, and reconnecting with their body, mind, and soul. She works with individuals and groups, children and adults in private practice.
Elizabeth has also been on faculty at IPSB College, IPSB at Life Energy Institute, and the International College of Holistic Studies. Elizabeth earned her Masters in Expressive Arts Therapy from the European Graduate School, a Bachelors in Health and Exercise Science from Syracuse University, and studied massage and bodywork at IPSB College.

She has worked with organizations including Shakti Rising, Survivors of Torture, International, Veterans Village of San Diego, and San Diego Youth Services. Connecting to the wisdom in our own bodies is the basis for all of her practices. In addition to the arts and bodywork, the outdoors and movement are two of Elizabeth’s passions. She is an active hiker, swimmer, and dancer.

HANNAH LEI PRUNTY

Certified Yoga Teacher
Certified Children’s Yoga Teacher
Level II Reiki Practitioner

Hannah Lei has worked as an intuitive healer and teacher since 2009. She began playing the crystal bowls in 2012, teaming up with Amanda Domnitz of The School of Sound and Harmony. She uses the healing vibrations of crystal bowls to assist deep relaxation during sound healing journeys. Hannah Lei is also a credentialed multi-subject elementary school teacher and currently works as a reading support teacher, children’s yoga teacher, and sound healer.

JILL YELNICK

Jill Yelnick discovered Kundalini yoga during the fall of 2016. She was seeking something to fill a space she always felt in her life, but she did not know what that something was. After just a few Kundalini classes she fell in love with the practice and realized what she was searching for. In 2018 she took the leap to begin a Kundalini Level 1 Teacher Training and became certified in June of 2019. She is excited to share the teachings with others so they too can have transformational experiences as they practice this yoga of awareness. Outside of teaching yoga, Jill is an Art Therapist and Activity Director at a long term care mental health facility for adults. In her free time she enjoys meditating, painting, and caring for her pet chickens.

MICHAEL BAKER

CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist #7279

Michael has been been a professional massage therapist since January 2005. He completed his 1000 hour Holistic Health Practitioner certification at Body Mind College in San Diego. Michael entered into the holistic healing and massage field after a brief 3 year career as an environmental planner... He changed professional direction because he recognized his personal passion for taking care of his physical, emotional and mental health through healthy lifestyle choices.
The potential for his personal healing and professional life to be intertwined was an inspiring opportunity that led to his career switch. Michael enjoys using his variety of massage techniques to help clients to relax, release tension and live a more easy and healthy life. He also addresses pain relief and injury recovery in his work as a massage therapist.

NAZDIRA CUEVAS

Nazdira was raised in a rural area in Jalisco, Mexico and migrated to the U.S.A at the age of 9 with her family. Having faced many difficulties as a child, the seed was planted at a young age to find ways to help others. Nazdira has worked in all branches of special education within SDUSD since 2001. She has all been teaching yoga to children since 2013. Nazdira teaches in the community as well as in the classroom. Although her emphasis is on special needs, she’s able to bring all children of all abilities together to have a wonderful connecting and uniting time together. She is a mother of two and loves working and being around children as they have so much wisdom to share and are not afraid to follow their hearts’ desires.

SHAR MONTEIRO

Shar Monteiro (Sat Shanti Kaur) is a Universal Mama to many souls and has walked a spiritual path for many decades. She has a vast knowledge of many indigenous teachings and enjoys learning. Shar is a global citizen who was born in South Africa, but also lived in the UK, Portugal and finally moved to the USA in 2008, and currently residing in San Diego. Just like her spiritual name implies, she embodies divine peace in the world by connecting to her inner truth and sharing with all who are interested in elevating and being their best versions of self.
Shar discovered the benefits of Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan in South Africa in the late 90’s
and has an ongoing love for this amazing technology that assists humans in such a simple, yet powerful way. She graduated KRI international Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training level 1 in 2019 with a view to taking the technology with her wherever she goes.

Outside of her yoga practice she consults online, does Chirology for private clients, smudges homes & businesses, enjoys attending sweat lodge ceremony and spending time with family in community.
Her favorite quotes: ” Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.”- Yogi Bhajan

STEPHANIE DUNBAR

Steph has been a student of yoga for 14 years and recently completed her Hatha Teacher Training while staying at an ashram in northern India. After yoga training, she backpacked solo around Asia to learn about various meditation techniques. Returning to her native San Diego, she now lives in North Park and volunteers at the LGBT center in Hillcrest, teaching Slow Flow Yoga. Her favorite mantra at the moment is, “you were already born perfect.”

Give the Gift of Metta

Share joy and healing with family, friends and don’t forget yourself!

Our Guests Love The Metta Space

I feel like the energy is moving more freely through my body and I have more range of motion in my leg without as much pain. His East/West Sports Massage was unlike anything I’d experienced before. The stretching was amazing. Thank you!!

Maria Brown