Nothing is more important than loving the people you work with.
To learn why we love them so much, click on their photo to read their biography.
Crew Love Is True Love
Tara Murphy is the owner and mama bear of Estrella Collective, hailing from Long Island, New York, living and loving in Santa Cruz, CA since early 2014. She has a love of hip hop that started at the age of 11 when she purchased her first cassette tape, the Beastie Boys “License to Ill”. Her love of yoga began the very first day she stepped onto a mat and has been a revolutionary journey ever since. And her love of hair styling began when she decided her Barbies needed haircuts.
Tara has extensive leadership, sales, and entrepreneurial experience, with 22+ years of hands-on experience in the beauty and service industry , as well as owning and operating Want Good Hair? on Long Island, New York for nearly seven years, prior to relocating to Santa Cruz. Miss Murphy has been practicing Yoga for over 13 years, teaching for 8, in New York, Australia and most currently, Santa Cruz, California.
Her credentials with Yoga include an advanced 500 hour certification , buti yoga and buti deep certification , well as numerous and extensive workshops, trainings and classes. Tara is also an accomplished professional Bellydancer, her credentials are teacher, performer, choreographer, costume designer and creative director of The Kali, a Tribal Fusion dance troupe based out of NYC. Miss Murphy has graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in May 2018, and she has been actively seeing clients and building her Holistic Health Coaching business.
In addition to slingin' hair 3 days a week at Estrella Collective, Tara teaches yoga and bellydance classes, makes client’s smiles sparkle with Tooth Gems and helps clients help themselves with Holistic Health Coaching.
Her past yoga employment in Santa Cruz has included instructing all levels classes at Toadal Fitness, taught the probation officers at the Juvenile Detention Center, a heated Hatha Flow class at Village Yoga Santa Cruz and Wu-Tang Yoga once a month at Dogpatch Dance & Yoga in San Francisco. Tara has lead Wu Tang Yoga Workshops in NYC and SC, working diligently to bridge the gap between yoga and hip hop. her most recent endeavor is albeit the most important one; she has joined forces with Urban Yoga Foundation, a cause dedicated to teaching folks in urban areas healthy life skills , utilizing the teach mindfulness and yoga. 100% of the profits of each WTY class will go directly to them.
Tara believes the “off-the-mat” training is what's most beneficial and she knows nothing compares to living the yoga in daily life. Tara's Flow classes are uplifting, open, humorous and her grounded, realistic approach engages students on many levels, as they leave feeling supported, encouraged and aligned, and hopefully laughing.
When Tara decided to become an instructor, she realized her purpose almost immediately; to bring yoga to those who wouldn't necessarily go out and seek it. Yoga is a special, life-altering gift that needs to be shared, perhaps in more places than just yoga studios.
I believe that cultivating a joyful existence comes from a compassionate connection to the self. This compassion flows from inside out, connecting individuals to communities, and spreading joy through the world. Yoga offers this connection to self through it’s dynamic ability to challenge and nurture the body while holding a mirror to our life’s physical tendencies and emotional patterns. It is this dynamic relationship of sthira sukham that I offer to students. With a 500-hr YA certification and a background in Hatha and Vinyasa Flow, Forrest Yoga, and Gentle Yoga, my classes are strong and rhythmic, they balance intensity and lightness, and encourage the practitioner to turn their awareness inward to strengthen their bodymind connection. Through an advanced knowledge of functional anatomy and yoga alignment principles I offer creative yet safe asana sequencing with deliberate guidance and fluid communication. With over 7 years of teaching experience in public, corporate, and private environments, adapting my instruction to fit an individuals needs according to experience, injury, or intention is fundamental and echos my belief in cultivating self awareness and compassion on the yoga mat and in everyday life.
Alix Cardenas gained her love of tattoos and art at a young age. As an adult, it became only natural for her to explore tattooing on her own body, using it as a canvas of self expression. Her passion evolved into a lifestyle, and within this lifestyle, Alix dove in the realm of traditional tattooing. After a few years of doing this, Alix experienced a new love for the art form when she explored the world of cosmetic tattoo. After studying with master artist Joanne Hinh, Alix worked in a few different studios before finding a nest at Estrella Collective. There, in an environment which not only matches her soul, but challenges her to be the best version of herself, she offers a variety of cosmetic tattooing from: microblading, eyeliner, beauty marks, freckles, and ombre-style brows, which she hopes others will utilize to also seek the best version of themselves.
Nothing validates her passion more than satisfying her clients. She is inspired by the diversity of her clients, and she prides herself on exponentially improving her craft by studying the newest, and most effective techniques, using the best supplies, and actively searching the industry she resides in for constant inspiration.
Music was my introduction to the arts which naturally led to my love of dance and whole body wellbeing.
As a teenager I discovered a passion for physical fitness. My first aerobics class I was instantly hooked, blending music and fitness together. This was the catalyst that has driven me to explore and discover the many ways I can connect to mind, body, and spirit.
In 2008, I decided to experience dance on a whole new level and registered for ballet and modern at Monterey Peninsula College. After taking a couple of semesters, I wanted to improve my balance, flexibility, and stamina. A dear friend of mine suggested I give yoga a whirl. Following my bliss led me to the world of yoga and its beautiful kinship with dance. Being in the moment, connecting and moving with breath, letting go of the ego, and opening up to a higher consciousness has enhanced my ability, not only in dance, but in life itself.
This experience gave me the desire to dive deeper into my yoga practice. In 2016, I completed my 200 hour intensive yoga teacher training, rooted in Hatha Yoga, at The Yoga Center of Carmel. I’m also registered with Yoga Alliance. In 2017, I received my certification for Buti Yoga at Body In Motion Pilates Studio.
As a teacher I hope to be a guiding light for students on their yoga path, opening an awareness and connection to body, breath, and mind; help them tap into their inner power, the love and wisdom they carry within.
When I am not on my mat or bare foot, raising my vibration, on the studio floor, I work full time as a Registered Dental Assistant in Monterey. Which I've had the pleasure doing for 20 years.
“Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul, creates the symphony of life.” ~ BKS Iyengar
Annette was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest just outside of Seattle Washington. But has always been a Annette moved to Oahu when she was 17, in search of sea and sun. In Hawaii, she began her education at Hawaii healing arts college . This is when Annette’s lifelong journey with body work began, a journey which has led her overseas and back in search of ancient knowledge and techniques. Her love of eastern medicine and philosophy carried her to Asia, where she lives for 8 months in 2015. In Thailand she studied Thai massage with the sunshine network in Lahu village, and in India, she became a certified yoga instructor at kailash yoga tribe in the foothills of the himalaya. Here, she also studied reiki and sound healing. Her dreaded journey began in 2000, when the movie “gone in 60 seconds” was released. An 11-year old Annette was fascinated by a blonde and dreaded Angelina Jolie . It was that moment when she knew she would have locks of her own one day. Her first set of dreads were started once she moved across the pond to Hawaii. Those were brushed out and quickly replaced in 2010 when she moved to Lake Tahoe, California. She has had dreads for almost 10 years and has experimented with many methods until she fell in love with the neo-loc technology. She is excited to be the first to bring this method to Santa Cruz and looks forward to making your dread dreams into a reality.
Born and raised in Argentina, currently based in Santa Cruz, Gigi Rainbow integrates her Latin American heritage with other cultural elements from America and Asia. She's worked in her own healing with Ayahuasca along with other psychedelic Sacred Medicines, in addition to Vipassana meditation retreats in California, Nepal, and Thailand.
She's also a DJ, as she appreciates dance and community celebration as a collective way of healing.
Gigi Rainbow is a Certified Sound Healing Practitioner by Globe Institute, San Francisco (CA) and Tibetan Singing bowls from Kathmandu, Nepal, as well as initiated in Reiki and Akashic Records.
My Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/gigirainbow
Caitlin Binder moved to Santa Cruz from the east coast to pursue her chemistry degree and found life balance through movement. She transitioned from being a competitive swimmer into technical practices of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu,buti yoga, and partner acrobatics. Through acro, Caitlin found a fun and loving community that she’s been cultivating for over five years. Caitlin Binder has her certification from Lux Seattle Acro and holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from UC Santa Cruz. A university lecturer since 2010, she applies similar philosophies in teaching acro and organic chemistry classes. She understands the significance of safety in the classroom, whether balancing people on each other or working in a laboratory. Caitlin loves sharing yoga with students of all levels. Come play!
Yesenia Gypsy is from San Fernando Valley, California. She moved to Santa Cruz in 2009 and has her Bachelors Degree in Cultural Anthropology. Dance has been a big part of her healing process to love her body. The classes she teaches help you develop a healthy and loving relationship with your body. She is also the creator of Twerkesque, which fuses her two favorite dance styles: Burlesque and Twerk. Yesenia has also choreographed numerous performances for Worldanz, “What Is Erotic?”, and the Santa Cruz Warriors. This body positive babe will get you grooving and shaking.
BIO Coming SOON!
“Dance is the universal art, the common joy of expression.” Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo: A Novel. Dance as an expression of art in its multitudes of styles has always been a part of Ann’s life. From doing ballroom dancing as a child, taking ballet and hip hop in college, the dance school that was the San Fransisco Bay Area underground "Rave" scene, to finally discovering the world of Fusion Belly Dance from a single picture of Rachel Brice, the founder of Datura Style Belly Dance, and falling madly in love with this form of art. Since then Ann has taken several workshops with Rachel Brice and has studied with many teachers such as Mardi Love, Kami Liddle, Amy Sigil, Olivia Kissel, Sharon Kihara, Tjarda Van Straten amongst others. The current incarnation of her dance journey is being a member of Satinka, a West Coast Fusion Belly Dance Troup under the direction of Faelan Shiva.