About Us



Jen Schaefer, RYT 200, RYT 500 in Training

Jen founded Gulfport Yoga in 2013 after completing her 200 hour Yoga Teacher training at St. Petersburg Yoga. As a resident of St. Pete for over three years and newly relocated to Gulfport, Jen saw a need in the Gulfport community for a yoga studio dedicated to helping people enhance their lives through daily yoga practice and meditation. Jen’s own yoga journey has been transformational and she hopes to assist others in finding relief from stress, improving their health and mindfulness, and gaining spiritual fulfillment along their own yoga path. She is currently furthering her yoga training in a 500 hour certification program and teaches Restorative / Relaxation and Slow Flow classes.



Brenda McMahon, RYT 200

Brenda has been a practicing Yogi for more than 13 years. She began her personal practice in Upstate New York, under the guidance of a Hatha Yoga Instructor & Auyverdic practitioner, Judy Wyle. In 2007, Brenda continued her practice in Florida at St. Petersburg Yoga, where in 2011 she received her RYT 200 Yoga Teacher certification. A full time ceramic artist, Brenda’s vision is to combine her love of clay with her love of Yoga. She teaches Slow Flow classes at Gulfport Yoga and Clay/Yoga Workshops in Italy and across the US. Brenda likes to bring strength-building and meditation to her classes, as her practice has always been rooted in the traditional guiding principals of yoga as a force for deep transformation.


David Ambush, RYT 200

David completed his 200 hour Yoga Teacher certification at St. Petersburg Yoga in 2012, but it wasn’t until Gulfport Yoga opened its doors that he decided to begin teaching and sharing yoga with the community. David’s earnest teaching style and calming nature makes him a natural as an instructor, while his in-depth personal knowledge and dedication as a yogi has made him a huge asset to the studio. David teaches Moderate Flow and Meditation.

Deserie Valloreo, RYT 200

Deserie completed her yoga teacher training at St. Petersburg Yoga and has been teaching yoga in the St. Pete area ever since. She was initially drawn to yoga in order to promote balance in her life, and later became a yoga instructor to fulfill her life path (dharma) of serving others through health and wellness. In addition to sharing her love of yoga, Deserie owns a small business specializing in herbal remedies.

Lucia Favaloro, RYT 500

Lucia has been teaching yoga for a few years in the St. Petersburg area and loves her life as a yogi. Having come from the corporate world, Lucia completed her 500 hour Yoga Teacher certification at St. Petersburg Yoga in 2013, and has since continued to grow her practice and explore new styles of yoga. She teaches Moderate Flow, Restorative/Relaxation, Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra and Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga.


Nice Alberts, E-RYT 200

Nice is an established instructor in the St. Petersburg area with hundreds of teaching hours to her credit. She is also CPR, Open Water Rescue and SupYoga certified. Nice’s experience and enthusiasm for yoga has made her a popular instructor in the community. She teaches Power Flow, Hot Yoga and specializes in Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga.


Paola Kontrick, RYT 200, LMT

Paola is a licensed massage therapist who completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher certification at St. Petersburg Yoga to complement her massage therapy practice. Paola specializes in Restorative / Therapy classes that focus on proper alignment and caring for the body. Her special one-on-one attention to each of her students’ individual needs and her love for what she does ensures that her Restorative classes are always full.


Shannon Fitzharris, RYT 200, RYT 500 in Training

Shannon began her yoga practice over 15 years ago while living in the Boulder, Colorado area. She completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher certification at St. Petersburg Yoga and began teaching Beach Yoga on Treasure Island beach where she could indulge her love of nature and the outdoors. In addition to teaching yoga on the beach, Shannon is working towards completing her 500 hour training.


Shannon Mainhart, RYT 200, RYT 500 in Training

Shannon came to yoga after her mother became a certified yoga instructor. She found yoga to be a healthy way to honor her body and remain committed to a healthier lifestyle. Shannon completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher certification at St. Petersburg Yoga in 2013 and is currently enrolled in a 500 hour certification program. She teaches Slow Flow and Moderate Flow classes.