Our teachers

All the teachers at Ashtanga Yoga Room have been trained by and practice with Melanie Fawer to ensure a high level of technical understanding, consistency and ongoing study and mentoring.

melanieMelanie Fawer

Melanie was one of the original students to be certified by Sri K. Pattahbi

Jois, the father of Ashtanga yoga, and is one of only 17 women certified worldwide. Before Pattahbi Jois’ death in 2009, Melanie traveled for many, many years to study with her guru at his home in Mysore, India. Melanie’s experience is felt in every adjustment and instruction that she gives to her students. The Ashtanga Yoga Room opened in 2002 with Pattahbi Jois’ blessing. Melanie imbues every class, training, workshop, and retreat with a deep knowledge of Pattahbi Jois’s teachings, a unique understanding of the transformative powers of the body’s subtle energy centers, and the distinctions made through 20 years of her own practice. Melanie cherishes Ashtanga Yoga as much today in her 40s as she did when she started out, and still receives great benefits from the work. Says Melanie, “It is an honor to do this work and a great gift to love what I do so much.”


oksanaOksana Aston

Oksana was born and raised in Minsk, Belarus.  She left Belarus and her trade as an architect in 2012, to move to Denham Springs LA, where her husband took a position as a scientist at Livingston Observatory.  It was in Denham Springs that Oksana discovered and instantly fell in love with yoga, Ashtanga yoga in particular.  She has completed both a 200 and 300 hour Teacher Training, the latter with Melanie Fawer, who found her to be an outstanding student and dedicated practitioner.



Nicole Larroque

Nicole is a New Orleans native and was immediately touched by the power of yoga at her first yoga class 17 years ago. For the past 10 years, she has been fortunate to study with Melanie Fawer. Nicole is a second-generation veterinarian who runs a practice with her younger sister in Mid-City. She enjoys witnessing people realize their true potential, which she sees in her Ashtanga teaching. 


Giselle Del Castillo 

Giselle is originally from the Republic of Panama and has been living in New Orleans since 2009. She is trained in Hotel Management and Human Resources and has always been interested in fitness and wellness. Years ago, she stumbled upon Yoga and found in it 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. Giselle is a 300hr TT graduate at the Ashtanga Yoga Room and has assisted Melanie & Robert during Mysore practice since October 2015.  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 “Intro to Ashtanga” or Led class , 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

jarenJaren Atherholt

Jaren is currently the principal oboist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. She has studied Ashtanga yoga with Melanie Fawer since 2009. Born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, Jaren loves living in New Orleans. In summers, she travels to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to play with the Grand Teton Music Festival. Jaren loves that her Ashtanga practice can go with her anywhere. Jaren’s classes teach musicians how to breath slowly even when their heart rate is up, directly helping performance anxiety, how to heal instrument related injuries and how to strengthen muscles for more efficient posture and sustainable playing. Jaren feels a daily Ashtanga practice is the perfect practice to compliment any musician’s lifestyle. It has given her greater flexibility, discipline in her life, as well as self confidence and serenity.


elizabethElizabeth Carrol

Having been a casual yoga practitioner for some time, Elizabeth attended her first Ashtanga class at The Yoga Room per her husband’s suggestion (he had been a student of Melanie’s years ago). Elizabeth realized immediately that she loved the Ashtanga method and gradually worked up to a six day a week practice. In July 2015, she completed her 200hr certification under Melanie’s tutelage. Shortly thereafter, Elizabeth and her husband relocated to Colorado where she added a prenatal yoga teacher training to her resume.
Now Elizabeth is back in New Orleans—and just delivered a beautiful baby boy! Experiencing pregnancy first hand has illuminated what she learned in her prenatal training, making her a better teacher. In fact, pregnancy has turned her whole practice upside down and has forced her to look at it with new eyes. Elizabeth is excited to share this transformative time with her prenatal students.


Monica Fayad

Monica, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, LMT LA #7649, found the perfect blend of movement and meditation in a Led Ashtanga yoga class in the gym of her alma mater, Carleton College. Within just a few weeks, she knew that yoga would be in her life for a long time! After meeting Melanie in 2011, Monica returned to the practice which sparked her initial interest in yoga and has dedicated her personal practice to the system of Ashtanga since that time. Monica has been teaching yoga since 2002, completing over 1000 hours of training in Vinyasa yoga, Yin yoga, Mindfulness, Ayurveda for Yoga and Bodywork. Most recently, she completed Melanie Fawer’s 200 and 300 hour teacher trainings. Monica is excited to blend her knowledge of the body and functional movement as a massage therapist with her yoga teaching at the Ashtanga Yoga Room. Monica leads her classes with the intention that students experience inner awareness so that they can become their own best guide.


SITEMAP | 504 813 3738 | 2521 JENA STREET, 2nd FLOOR NEW ORLEANS, LA. 70115 | © 2016 ASHTANGA YOGA ROOM
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Ashtanga Yoga Room