Ascend Yoga Instructors

Megan Giddings

Megan Giddings
I grew up learning yoga on the living room floor with my dad. Both of us were newbies to the practice, which made for an incredibly playful learning experience and instilled within me a great love for yoga early on. When I graduated from college I got my 200 hour certification from Yoga Alliance at the University of Utah, and landed a teaching job at Yoga Innovations when I moved to Pennsylvania. After teaching there for a while, I expanded to managing the studio as well as teaching power yoga every day. Right before moving back to Utah, I gained my E-RYT 200 from Yoga Alliance and decided that opening up a studio was the best thing I could do for Draper—and for myself.

Jess Scarbeau

Jess Scarbeau
My first experiences with yoga were doing home videos with my mom. My first “real” experience was taking yoga at a fancy gym where I realized how unflexible I was and that I didn’t look like the other students. I left that experience turned off to yoga, but I had a tug in my heart to try it again. After taking a beginner’s class, I fell instantly in love and knew I wanted to teach at some point. I got my 200 hour certification from Yoga Assets during the summer of 2016. I then began teaching across the valley but mainly at a Crossfit gym, which gave me great experience teaching an athletic group. My true desire is to help others see the beauty in a yoga practice and dispel any concerns around it being intimidating.

Nicci Arriola

Nicci Arriola
I grew up devoted to dance from age 10, studying classical ballet here in Salt Lake as well as in New York during my teenage years. After the birth of my son in 2009 I knew movement needed to be in my life again and my teaching career began shortly after. I have been a dance and fitness instructor since 2011 and am currently a certified 200hr RYT with Yoga Alliance. Yoga is everything my body and soul have been looking for, non-judgmental and limitless. I am a firm believer in the importance of exercising our emotional well-being through our physical bodies and I am so excited to share my passion for movement and yoga with you at Ascend!

Jen Mason

Jen Mason
Jen Mason, a 15 year Draper Resident, comes to Ascend with a love for yoga and her community. With a gymnastics background of over 30 years, She found yoga 15 years ago as a means to continue bringing strength, flexibility, and mindfulness into her life. Jen has a passion for connecting with people, creating community, and creating unity one breath and Dancer Pose at a time.


Kristin Larsen
I discovered a passion and love for yoga as an injured triathlete. After surgery to repair a broken ankle, I was out of running for a year and yoga was one the few things I was able to do. It took a few times, but I was quickly hooked. After recovering and returning to running I was amazed at how much yoga had helped me, not just physically but mentally too. Now I am more passionate about yoga than ever! I love sharing this passion and helping others, athletes or not, discover and develop their own best self. I love combining movement and stillness, music and silence in ways that help challenge not just your body but your mind as well. I received my 200 hour certification from Life Power Yoga and am also a Level Three SCHOLÉ Certified Teacher and an RYT 500. Growing up in Alaska I developed a love for the mountains which is where you can find me when I’m not doing yoga. I love mountain biking, trail running, hiking, tennis and anything involving water.


Karla Rivera
Karla Rivera is a highly passionate Life Power yoga teacher. Karla is also a mother to an amazing 8 year old daughter whom she enjoys traveling the world with to expand their knowledge in all areas of her life and visiting family. Karla is bilingual in Spanish and has really enjoyed visiting her home countries Mexico and Spain often, but this year the goal is to help empower the local community here in Utah. She is a firm believer that, along with unconditional love, empowering others can change the world and is consistently working towards self improvement!


Cassie Dillard
Yoga has always felt relatively peaceful to me, but it wasn’t until I realized the mind-body disconnect going on within my own structure that the practice took on a deeper meaning. I began to understand that I was only interacting with the surface of life by losing out on the feelings and body memories inside of me.

I find the practice of yoga to be synonymous for peace, presence, laughter and jiggy beats. Running on an affinity for beautiful words and a sincere desire to connect, you will find my classes filled with uplifting, down to earth vocabulary and a hope to help you discover your own innate power.

I’m a 200 Hour Yoga Alliance RYT and just panned and lead my first yoga retreat. I look forward to bringing my authentic self to each class and learning more about the practice of yoga both on and off the mat. Let’s get real.


Kira Staggs
Kira is a Level 2 Scholé certified instructor. She was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She
lived in several different states but then found herself moving to England in 2008. At that time,
she became a dedicated Ashtanga Vinyasa student. Her practice continued to grow as she
began searching for schools and programs that would encourage her yoga progression, taking
several online yoga trainings and workshops with a traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa instructor

She moved back to the US in 2013, coming straight to Utah to try something new. She is a
very outdoorsy person and enjoys biking, stand up paddle boarding, snowboarding and
camping. However, in 2014, she had a traumatic mountain biking accident and found herself
fighting for her life in the neuro ICU at the University of Utah with a traumatic brain injury, brain
hemorrhage and every bone in her face crushed. She had to have 6 reconstructive surgeries in
order to repair the bone damage and eventually ended up with 11 titanium plates in her face,
as well as bone grafts. 2 weeks after her second surgery, she decided that her yoga practice
was what was going to keep her going. She had lost her job due to the injuries and was looking
to heal herself, both mentally and physically. That is when she found Scholé. She hasn’t looked
back since. The dynamic style, along with the balance challenges and core work created the
much needed space to find herself again. She is excited to be able to pass on the knowledge
and experience that she gained from being able to overcome the challenges that the accident

She continues to mountain bike, snowboard (after having blown out a knee in 2015 at Brighton
Resort again using yoga as recovery after the initial injury and then again after her partial
reconstruction of the knee), stand up paddle boarding, hiking, kayaking and camping. She
continues her own yoga journey with special interests in yoga for athletes, as well as yoga for
trauma recovery. She is looking forward to continuing her education in yoga with her RYT 500
hour in the next year or so, and also doing specialty retreats for medical professionals in the


Natalie Johnson
I first started doing yoga to increase my flexibility, but quickly learned that yoga offers so much more than physical benefits. My lifelong struggle with anxiety began to subside, and I found a new confidence and strength. I shared what I learned with everyone around me, and after 3 years of practice, decided to complete my 200 hour yoga teacher certification at Scholé Yoga Salt Lake. I love teaching with powerful music to help people connect with themselves, and helping people learn how to become their own best teacher.


JP Ricks
As a native Idahoan, JP has come to feel at home in the Utah mountains. Aside from yoga, she enjoys traveling, hiking, sleeping on hard ground, and (her personal favorite) wrangling two small humans that call her mom.

JP is a 200 hour and prenatal registered yoga teacher. She has specialized in perinatal yoga and exercise through prenatal and postnatal training courses. JP loves to use movement and flow to help others feel better in their bodies, reflect inwardly, and just take some time for themselves!