Teacher Biography

Anna Laurita E-RYT - 500

Anna Laurita has studied yoga since 1991. She has since lived in 7 countries (in Asia, USA and Latin America) and experimented with ways of peace and happiness found in each country. She has folded those peace petals into the davannayoga style which she teaches in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in her yoga shala. Anna is an *E-RYT, *E-RPYT, *E-RCYT through the Yoga Alliance, a Senior Yogic Arts instructor, a certified Dharma Yoga teacher and holds certificates in Vinyasa Krama Krishnamacharya lineage which she continues to study in the US and in India. She offers Yoga Teacher Training programs many times per year. Her teachers include: Master Duncan Wong, Sri Dharma Mittra, Srivatsa Ramaswami and the teachers at the KYM in Chennai, India.

She is known for her powerful practice, intuitive understanding of the body and her creative, and engaging teaching style. Anna has led over 4600 hours of yoga teacher training courses and has over 15,000 hours of teaching registered with the International Yoga Alliance.

Genlux Magazine said "Anna is powerful in the most enlightened sense of the word. Her personal journey is inspirational, her wisdom elevating and her teaching transcendent."

* E-RYT - Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher; E-RPYT - Experienced Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher; E-RCYT - Experienced Registered Childrens Yoga Teacher

Raoul Diaz De la Garza


Raoul has been leading monthly Kirtans at davannayoga since 2009. Check our Events page for specific dates. His experience in music and the magic of music in yoga, meditation and life is immense.

Raoul's background includes 2 years at Beijing's School of Performing Arts, PRC. and two years at UC Berkeley California, USA as well as 5 years of Private Piano Immersion in Mexico City with Piano Masters.

For the past six years he has been the director at Saraswati Multidimensional Creativity. This group explores the creative process of music and language as an expression of consciousness.

Prior to his music career, Raoul's creative background includes being creative director at McCann Erickson, in Mexico, Japan and Hong Kong. He spent five years prior producing, editing and assisting the director for Mandoki films in Mexico City, Mexico.

Raoul leads a meditation group twice per week in his own meditation space in Vallarta and loves to surf, practice yoga and meditate.

He has performed live piano concerts in Australia, China, France, India, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and the USA.

He has produced six CD's of piano music composed in India, Japan and Mexico.

"The attraction that one finds in music makes one wonder if there is a mystery hidden behind it, if there is a language of sound which could be learned. The answer is that the language of music and sound is the language of the soul. It is our inner language, the natural language of life."

"It is the tone and rhythm of sound which have an influence on the tone and rhythm of our being. By the help of music we can tune ourselves to the spheres where we wish to be, aiming to higher planes of expression where we can discover the inner and outer balance of our own bright soul, for understanding, freedom and love."

Willis Johnston

Willis Johnston, an Oklahoma native, has made cities such as New York and Las Vegas his home, performing as a dancer at the Metropolitan Opera and Cirque du Soleil. Through the stressful and sometimes painful life as a dancer, Willis found yoga to be the most beneficial compliment, both mentally and physically, to dance. His initial relationship with yoga has deepened throughout his practice. Willis believes whole heartedly in yoga's transformative nature, and respects the power that yoga possesses to keep one grounded, focused, accountable, and aware of even the smallest moments on and off the mat. He has been practicing seriously for 11 years, and became a 200 hour RYT through davannayoga in 2014 under the incomparable teachings of one of his biggest influences, Anna Laurita. Currently, Willis is in the process of becoming a 500-hour RYT--training 300 hours with Noah Maze in Los Angeles.

Willis believes the practice and teachings of yoga allow us to contribute to the greater good by providing us deeper resources of presence, compassion, and patience. His teaching style is fun and creative with great focus on the movement/breath connection. To Willis, transitions can be just as important as the postures, so prepare to feel the beauty in the "in betweens" - for life is about the journey and not the destination. Come flow, feel, and go deeper into your own yoga practice in a supportive, inclusive environment. Hoodie-Hoo!

Licia Rosetti

I began practicing yoga in 1996 when I enrolled in an intro to yoga course while in college in Boulder, Colorado. I was immediately hooked. It has been in times of my greatest need that yoga became much more than a practice, but a way of life and refuge. I have been lucky enough to discover many styles that I enjoy and about six years ago I stumbled into a class taught by Jessica Patterson, an extraordinary Jivamukti teacher and dear friend, who changed my practice and my life. I went on to complete the 200 hour teacher training at Davannayoga in 2010 with another transformational teacher, Anna Laurita.

I believe that yoga allows us to go inward with compassion to see where we are resisting a naturally peaceful state in our experience. The practice of yoga helps us see where we are limiting ourselves in our habits and beliefs, to ultimately find true freedom and joy. My hope as a teacher is to transmit my experiences and knowledge in a lively Vinyasa style class. Breath, music, and remaining present in the body will allow us to let go of what we think we "should" be and be who we are and who we always have been. That, to me, is yoga.

Sam Cress

Sam was introduced to yoga in 1981 while growing up in a small town on the Canadian Prairies. Over the years she has realized that yoga is more than the practice of asana and has witnessed the power, magic and benefits of a consistent practice both on and off the mat. Sam has had the honor and privilege to have studied with many amazing teachers in various parts of the world and is extremely grateful to teachers Anna Laurita, Father Joe Pereira, Ryan Leier, and Maria Abad. Sam is living her dream sharing her passion for yoga in beautiful Puerto Vallarta.

Sam believes that through yoga we have the opportunity to open our hearts and recognize that the essence of our being is love. With practice we are able to love more, embrace each day, live in the moment, create joy and welcome every experience. Yoga! A beautiful way to help us create a world filled with loving kindness, compassion and love.

Emily Cesca

Yoga has always been there for Emily, no matter her present size, shape, external circumstances, or state of mind. It has carried her through and lifted her up, and has even been her saving grace at times. Her love affair with yoga began over a decade ago. It has remained her true companion, and when Emily has lost her way it has always been there, patiently waiting, arms open, to welcome her return - no judgments about her absence, just gratitude that she found her way back. Her favorite of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is 1.2: yogas citta-vitti nirodhah, "Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind," because for Emily yoga is the place where she can quiet her mind and simply be.

Over eight years ago Emily's mother Sandra moved to Puerto Vallarta, and on a visit Emily was introduced to Davannayoga and her teacher Anna Laurita. Emily made a vow to herself that she would someday return and complete Anna's 200-hour YTT. Davannayoga felt like home even from that very first class. Emily fulfilled her vow when she completed Anna's training in 2015. She is excited and grateful for the opportunity to return as a teacher to the shala that has been so significant to her as a student. Emily is also a certified Massage Therapist and values both massage and yoga for their complementary therapeutic qualities.

Emily truly believes that yoga can heal our wounds - physical, mental, and emotional. Yoga is a safe space to be yourself and to show up just as you are without judgments, doubts, fears, or expectations. Yoga is a constant in our ever-evolving states of being; not that is does not transform as we transform, but that it is a constant guide and support system for whatever we may face and however we may find ourselves. Emily hopes that her classes will help others experience for themselves what she already knows in her heart - yoga is peace, love, and self-acceptance. Her goal is to help others feel safe, supported, and free to be themselves.

Natalie Perez

Natalie's joy and passion for yoga are palpable and infectious. Her style brings together elements of strength, flexibility and balance, encouraging students to break through their perceived limitations both on and off the mat. What began as a purely physical practice led Natalie to discover the many spiritual and mental benefits of a well-rounded yoga practice. It is through pranayama, asanas and meditation that she taps into the sense of inner calm and self-acceptance that yoga brings, and she encourages her students to do the same.

Saeed Ghaffari

Saeed has meditated on and off for many years and attends mindfulness meditation workshops and retreats of all kinds but best likes those in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. He is bilingual and can lead your meditations in English and Spanish. His hope is that as a result of his teachings, we become a little bit less confused about life.

Leona Downey

Leona started practicing yoga in her early 30’s, initially to try to help with some chronic back pain she had suffered since her teens. She quickly realized that yoga helped her back pain, but also had myriad other benefits, including overall physical fitness, improved sleep, decreased stress, and a general sense of peace and joy that began to spill over into her life off the mat. As she began to practice more regularly, she realized that she wanted more of this peace and calm in her life. She and her husband decided to slow down and simplify their lives, focusing more on a healthy lifestyle, so they retired and moved to Puerto Vallarta in 2015. Shortly after moving to Vallarta, she found Anna’s shala, and fell in love with the davannayoga style and community. A passion arose in her to learn more about the origins of yoga, the philosophy behind this amazing practice, and why it works to improve our bodies, minds, and spirits in so many ways. Leona is a davannayoga certified teacher and is looking forward to share the practice with you.

Leona believes that yoga has something to offer every single person in every stage of their lives. We all come to yoga with different needs and goals for the practice, which will likely change and grow over time depending on our life circumstances. Sometimes we may not even know what our goals are, but yoga will still be there guiding us. Leona’s hope as a teacher is to help each student accomplish whatever he or she is seeking, and in the end to help students discover how yoga allows us to uncover and embrace our true selves, as the radiant, healthy, blissful, and loving beings that we are deep down.

| Home | Teacher Biography | Class Descriptions | Class Pricing | Davannayoga for Children | Events Schedule |
| Teacher Training | Contact Us/Map |