Our Teachers

Nathalie Croix

Creative Director and founder of Shanti Yoga Shala.

Nathalie is one of a handful of teachers in the country to be certified by Annie Carpenter  (Los Angeles – CA) in SmartFLOW and the only one in New Orleans.
Nathalie is ERYT 500 hours Yoga Alliance Registered Teacher.

Nathalie is consistently finding ways to deepen her practice and teachings of yoga, movement and shakti prana energy  through frequent investigation and inspiration from her mentors, her students, the community, animals and nature.

She has a bachelor’s degree in dance and kinesiology, is a long time yoga practitioner having spent significant time in India during four extensive trips the past ten years,  training at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute., where she studied under the guidance of Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharath Jois.

She has also extensively studied transcendental meditation (TM), the yoga sutras and philosophy under Dr. M.A. Jayashree and Professor M.A. Narasimha of Mysore, India.

After College Nathalie moved to Los Angeles, where she worked and completed her third teacher training program at YogaWorks with Annie Carpenter,  formerly of the Martha Graham Dance Company  and Lisa Walford, a certified Iyengar instructor.

Her teachings are greatly influenced by also her teachers Seane Corn, Melanie Fawer and Maty Ezraty.

She is eternally grateful to all her teachers, their wisdom and the countless hours they’ve spent together over the many years.

Nathalie assisted Annie Carpenter’s SmartFLOW teacher trainings in Los Angeles at Exhale Center for Yoga . Has been a presenter for Rasa Lila Yoga Festival, assistant teacher for Wanderlust and South East Yoga Conference and travels teaching weekend workshops.

Currently she is a  200 & 300 Hours Teacher Trainer for – Shanti’s Vinyasa Yoga Trainings RYS (Yoga Alliance Registered), teaches weekly classes at her studio, Shanti Yoga Shala in New Orleans, and leads yoga retreats world wide.

She believes teaching yoga is a blessing and it gives us the possibility of realizing our full potential.

Happy Yoga Practice! 

For more on Nathalie please click here.

Yoga Alliance -RYS-200S01-YA-SCHOOL-RYS-300

We invite you to join our 200 and 300 Hours Yoga Alliance Registered Teacher Training Program at Shanti Yoga Shala.



Giselle del Castillo

Giselle is originally from the Republic of Panama and has been living in New Orleans for the past 6 years. She is trained in Hotel Management and Human Resources and has always been interested in fitness and wellness. Years ago, she stumbled upon Shanti Yoga Shala and found in Yoga a way of expressing the connection between her mind, body and spirit, to better deal with life’s struggles -this was a
life-changing experience for her. Soon after, a 200hr SmartFlow teacher training came to the studio from Los Angeles and she took the opportunity to deepen her practice. She has apprenticed with Nathalie Croix, and assisted her at Shanti’s first 200hr Vinyasa Teacher Training. She is currently taking a 300hr TT at the Ashtanga Yoga Room. Giselle is always looking for ways to deepen her practice attending as many workshops as she can, as well as being a dedicated yoga practitioner.

Join her on any of her classes, as she shares her love of yoga with you, one breath and one movement at a time; finding balance, body, mind and spirit together as a community.

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” – The BhagaVad Gita



Sam Allouche

Sam was first exposed to yoga as a young child when her mother, an avid yogi, would teach her poses for play. It wasn’t until her college years though that she began to appreciate the practice, noticing its benefits on her mental, physical and spiritual health. Through her years of exploration of different yoga styles, she fell in love with the freedom and creativity that Vinyasa inspired.

Studio owner Nathalie Croix is mostly responsible for Sam’s decision to get certified this past year with Annie Carpenter’s SmartFLOW method, a method that through smart sequencing and specific alignment instruction allows students of all ages and body types to practice yoga safely.

Further, Sam’s classes aim to create a playful space for students to open up to their untapped potential for love and flexibility of mind, body and spirit.

A native of France, Sam also teaches yoga to Kindergarten and 1st graders at the Lycée Français. When she’s not teaching yoga, Sam teaches to 2nd graders at the International School of Louisiana as an ELA remediation specialist. She also handles most of Shanti’s social media.


Rebecca Hutchings

Rebecca has been practicing yoga under Nathalie Croix at Shanti Shala since 2011, and is dedicated to growing this yoga community. Her primary focus is vinyasa flow, with an emphasis on breathwork and injury prevention. Rebecca guides her students through their practice with clear instructions, intelligent sequencing, and hands-on adjustments. She encourages her students to enjoy the physical challenges of yoga, play with personal limits, and find a quiet mind.

Rebecca was born and raised in Berkeley California. She discovered yoga while studying medicine in Manhattan, and has now been practicing for over 15 years. In her travels she has been able to study yoga at Kasturba Medical College in Manipal India, as well as Aryuvedic medicine. Although Rebecca practices traditional western medicine, she believes that adding alternative therapies can be quite beneficial for some of her patients. She holds a 200hr SmartFlow certificate with Annie Carpenter’s SmartFlow school.  Off the mat, Rebecca is the mother of two lively children, a dog lover, runner, and an Emergency Medicine physician.

 Off the mat, Rebecca is the mother of two lively children, a dog lover, runner, and an Emergency Medicine physician.

Virginia R. Williams

Virginia R. Williams began practicing yoga at Shanti Yoga Shala in 2012. Her journey since that time has been transformational.  Practicing yoga has given her the strength to face whatever challenges the Universe throws her way.  After practicing yoga for several years Virginia decided to become certified as a yoga teacher.  After successfully completing Shanti’s teacher training, she became certified by the Yoga Alliance at the RYT-200 hour level.  When not teaching yoga, she enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering with animal rescue groups.

Tina Tiernan

Like many, Tina began practicing yoga to counterbalance the stresses of her job. She counts herself incredibly fortunate as her introduction to the practice came in the form of Annie Carpenter, well known in the yoga community as a “teacher’s teacher.” As her interest in yoga grew, Tina became certified at the 200 hour level through the Yoga Works Teacher Training program in Los Angeles. And, 10 years after her first class, she returned to practice with Annie Carpenter, completing the 300 hour level of Annie’s Smart Flow program. During this training, Tina met Nathalie Croix, and the two of them knew that if Tina ever made New Orleans her full time home, that Shanti would be part of her new life. Now, as an instructor at Shanti, Tina teaches level one, beginner classes. She strives to create an environment of balance—where practitioners can focus on the fundamentals and grow their practice, learn to balance strength with relaxation, and to enjoy the effort of it all through laughter.

Sthira Sukham Asanam

A yoga posture is steady and comfortable

Karina Pivik

Karina is originally from Corpus Christi, Texas.  She studied marketing and international business at Texas A&M.  Always a yogini at heart, she applied her degree to studying the art of yoga in various locations around the world and marketing its holistic physical and mental benefits.  Karina attained her 500 hour certification in Bali Indonesia with Shades of Yoga in 2013, she continues her studies with Shiva Rea.  Karina’s style is a powerful movement based flow.  Her practice is explorative and free-flowing yet balanced and structured.  She finds Shanti Yoga Shala’s yogic principles to be the perfect fit to deepen her practice in a safe environment which focuses on proper alignment and a natural profession.  Join her class for a fun flowing deep release that leaves you refreshed and smiling.

Brooke Baudot

Brooke first fell in love with yoga in 2010. She decided she wanted to deepen her practice and share the love of yoga as a teacher, so took her first 200 hour Teacher Training here at Shanti September 2014 – January 2015. Immediately after, she started an apprenticeship studying under Nathalie, assisting her in public classes and her Teacher Training’s working towards her 300 hour certification. Brooke also shares a love for meditation and finds it to be an essential tool for finding peace in your heart and life. She incorporates short meditations in her classes, leaving you feeling relaxed and at ease. Brooke’s other passion is animals. When she isn’t practicing or studying yoga, she is spending her time spoiling her dog and bearded dragon.

Edie Cagnolatti

Edie began her Vinyasa yoga practice right here at Shanti Yoga Shala almost three years ago.  After going on a yoga retreat with Nathalie to Tulum, Mexico in May of 2014, she was completely hooked and decided that she wanted to deepen her yoga practice.  Edie enrolled in yoga teacher training at Shanti in September of 2014.  She began teaching classes at Shanti in December of 2014, completing her 200 RYT in January of 2015.  Besides teaching yoga, Edie is an attorney by day. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from LSU and her Juris Doctorate from LSU Law School.  She practices corporate litigation at Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, where she has been for over 13 years.  In her spare time she travels as much as she can and enjoys all things NOLA with her friends and family, including great food, festivals and being outdoors.  When she isn’t practicing yoga or meditating, she likes to run in Audubon Park and hang out with her two dogs, Gracie and Annabelle.