Our Teachers

Jenya Andrianova

Jenya AndrianovaJenya took her first yoga class years ago, right after she moved to NYC from Saint-Petersburg, Russia, when a friend brought her to a Jivamukti Yoga School. Moving to a new country with a new language, relationships and experiences was challenging, and that is when she began to realize that through discipline and daily practice one can attain peace. She strongly believes into the infinite capabilities within every person, and in her classes encourages students to begin their journey of personal discoveries by means of breath, music and meditation, along with vigorous asana practice. Jenya is a 800-hours certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher and has been teaching since 2008, she is a founder of Suryasta Yoga.

Aaron Angel

Aaron AngelBefore Aaron stumbled upon yoga, he thought working in the high speed corporate world would lead him to fulfillment. When he began practicing and questioning his path through the process of self-inquiry he began to lead life in alignment with his heart. Aaron completed his 200 hour training with Tara Glazier and is currently participating in the Abhaya 500 hour advanced teacher training. Yoga has shown him that through steady dedication and patience we can grow in a mindful, intentional manner. He believes that opening up our bodies allows us to experience the profound nature of life and that we always have the potential to shift and change. Through dedication and an openness to the unknown, we learn more about ourselves so we can refine and shift the patterns in our bodies, minds, and spirit. Aaron loves teaching yoga and is grateful to have his students as a mirror.

Julia Arenson

Julia ArensonJulia Arenson has been practicing Hatha yoga since childhood and has been a certified yoga instructor for fourteen years. She is a DONA-trained post-partum doula and specializes in prenatal yoga and Parent-Baby yoga. Julia was raised in a family of yoga teachers and practitioners and was first certified through the Sivananda Vendanta tradition in 1997. She is certified in “Anatomy and Breath-centered yoga” through Leslie Kaminoff of The Breathing Project, prenatal yoga through Janice Clarfield and Mommy and Me” yoga through Baby Om. Julia has also performed and taught Middle Eastern ( Bellydance) for over eighteen years and enjoys safely incorporating some of the earthy and organic vocabulary of Middle Eastern dance in her prenatal and Mommy-Baby classes. Her ever-evolving practice has also been inspired and influenced by the strong alignment principles of Iyengar and Anusara as well as the flowing Vinyasa style of Jivamukti yoga. Julia has had extensive experience in teaching diverse populations, body-types and levels. She has taught movement and Hatha yoga to pre-schoolers and teenagers within the public school system and to the injured and elderly in nursing and rehabilitation centers. Her classes are flowing, engaging, compassionate and restorative with an emphasis on proper alignment and the yogic principle of seeking both stability and ease within each posture. She lives in brooklyn with her husband and four year old son. www.dancingdoula.com

Lily Balsen

Lily Balsen

Lily’s passion, since a little girl growing up in Upstate NY, has been creative movement and storytelling. She was certified in Vinyasa Flow Yoga at Laughing Lotus in San Francisco with Dana Flynn and Jasmine Tarkeshi. Her practice is always evolving and she continues to study with a myriad of teachers and modalities in NYC.

Her personal practice is infused with meditation and mind/body/breath strengthening techniques, which she has absorbed through her work as an actress, singer, and figure skater. She is particularly drawn to the connection between Yoga and self-care — especially how the practice plays a part in digestive and neurological health. She is deeply grateful for Area Yoga and to be a part of this beautiful community.


Merav Ben Horin

Merav Ben HorinMerav is a yoga instructor and psychotherapist. Her yoga class has been described as one of the best in New York by NYC Yoga Sleuth. Merav was a dancer for over 10 years. She began practicing yoga in 2004 in tandem with her studies in psychology. She completed a B.A in Psychology at Hunter College and later a Masters at NYU. As part of her dual interest in human behavior and movement, she sees yoga as a tool for personal growth and as a proven way to develop focus and mind/body awareness.

As a therapist, Merav incorporates yoga into her work with patients by combining yogic principles with talk therapy. She has previously worked at an outpatient substance abuse clinic, leading group yoga therapy, anger management and stress management groups for patients suffering from substance abuse and other symptoms of emotional and psychological distress. Merav is currently doing her psychoanalytic training and seeing patients at NIP (National Institute for the Psychotherapies).

As a yoga instructor, she teaches Vinyasa flow classes, emphasizing the connection between movement and breath, muscle strengthening, enhanced flexibility and balance. Through challenging sequences and sensitive instruction, she strives to offer a safe, non-judgmental environment where students can explore their bodies, observe their minds and confront and overcome their fears, limitations, or obstacles both on and off the mat.

Merav currently teaches groups and private classes all around NYC and lead yoga retreats world wide. Visit her on Facebook.


Angela Botta

Angela BottaAngela is a Certified Instructor through Yoga Works advanced training program, and Pre and Postnatal through Prenatal Yoga Center in NYC. Offering a dynamic practice, Angela has a joyful spirit and inspires to welcome and guide students to explore the mind / body connection while blending a heart-centered, breath-based practice. She teaches safely, offering modifications and appropriate poses for all levels, giving students more space while building confidence, a steady flow, a calm mind, and a strong presence – both on and off the mat. In her own life, Angela is a student at heart, working to live her own mantra to trust, surrender and simply enjoy finding her place in the rhythm of life; an idea that lies at the heart of the yoga practice.


Kelly Brennan

Kelly Brennan

Kelly teaches yoga to people of all ages, from babies to seniors and everyone in between.  She also has the honor of traveling to cities around the world sharing her passion for kid’s yoga in her role as Teacher Training Facilitator at Karma Kids Yoga.

As an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, Kelly has taught in a wide range of environments from the zen oasis of Deepak Chopra’s Center to the energetic local daycare center.  She has completed numerous certifications including those of Om Yoga, Restorative Yoga with Judith Lasater, Prenatal Yoga with Janice Clarfield, Yoga Mom Buddha Baby, Karma Kids Yoga, Radiant Child Yoga Program, Circus Yoga, and Every Kid’s Yoga for Children with Special Needs.

Kelly is known to be a patient, nurturing, and fun yoga teacher.  Her adult classes incorporate a creative flow of sequencing, linking movement to breath while practicing mindful alignment.  Her classes for kids often include playful games, songs, adventures and contagious laughter.


Vanessa Falcone

Having been an athlete her whole life, discovering yoga allowed Vanessa to thrive by improving her physical strength and stamina. While first being drawn to the incredible physical benefits of yoga, the role of the mind and body’s connection drew Vanessa deeper into her practice.  Throughout her studies, Vanessa’s curiosity grew and she realized that yoga was no longer just a way to exercise, but rather a way of life. She finds great joy in spreading this practice while promoting happiness and grace for all beings.

Vanessa received her 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga Alliance Teacher Certification from Yoga People of Brooklyn Heights.  This amazing opportunity gave her the chance to study under her talented teachers: Julia Haramis, Donnalynn Civello, and Katelin Sisson. For years she has continued her practice at Jivamukti Yoga School, taking classes under master teachers Rima Rabbath and Cassandra Rigney. Eternally grateful for all of her teachers, she now helps students explore the connections between their mind and body through their yoga practice to find self-awareness, inner balance, and peace in their lives.


Elias Lopez Garcia

Elias Lopez GarciaA naturalist and environmentalist at heart, Elias combines his love for nature with his love for yoga and his students find there is an obvious connection in his instruction style. Born and raised in Mexico Elias enjoys bringing his inspiration from his roots to his yoga practice. He infuses his classes with music and with careful attention to alignment and he views yoga as a journey to live well, and love fully. He believes in the power of Yoga to deeply transform our lives and is inspired by the poetry of the body, the yogis around him and the organic forms of nature. Elias is honored to study with John Friend, Jim Bernaert, Ellen Sallstontal and Jackie Prete who infuse him with a passion for aligning the body with the Divine through breath and heart. Elias relishes sharing this beautiful journey called Yoga with his students. He loves to create a fun, safe and sacred place where you are empowered to achieve your full potential and connect to Grace.

Danielle Gregan

Danielle Gregan Love at first sight – that is how Danielle’s relationship with yoga began. She began practicing in 2002, and like any truly great relationship, the connection has only gotten stronger in time. After spending five years in a very fast-paced corporate job, Danielle decided to turn her passion for yoga into something more and became a Registered Yoga Teacher, certified at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center.She wholeheartedly believes that happiness is a choice.And for her, yoga is happiness. In her teachings, her intention is to guide you to move in harmony with your breath, while tapping into a deeper awareness of your self to provide a balance that will bring you to a peaceful, happy place. Danielle is eternally grateful to her teachers, past and present, for inspiring her to share what she loves.


Denise Hopkins

Denise HopkinsDenise Hopkins took her first yoga class in 2001 and hasn’t stopped practicing since. After working for twelve years in fashion, yoga became her saving grace to life in this competitive industry. Denise studied Vinyasa yoga for five years and then found her calling in the style of Forrest Yoga. She completed her training in Forrest Yoga in 2005 with founder Ana Forrest. She continues to study with Ana Forrest and assists her nationally at workshops and teacher trainings. Denise’s intent in teaching is to help strip away the numbness that keeps us from feeling our center. She encourages her students to breathe deeply and to feel every single emotion. It is only by truly allowing ourselves to feel that we can learn to shed the layers of physical and emotional pain that keeps us bound. She also incorporates her work with Cranial Sacral Therapy into classes through generous hands-on assists.

Louise Kushner

Louise KushnerLouise grew up in New York City and started doing yoga with her mom at 10 years old, but could never make it past the Ohms without giggling. After re-discovering yoga as a welcome release from competitive sports and triathlons, she found more than a physical practice. Completing her 200hr Interdisciplinary Teacher Training in Nosara, Costa Rica with Amba and Don Stapleton, Louise believes in the value of remaining a student. She begins every class with a return to basic breathing and meditation techniques and loves to gradually work up and into a rigorous flow focused on alignment and breath with a bumping soundtrack. She has been subbing at Area for two years now and is very excited to have her own class.

Alex Venier Ledesma

IMG_2040Alex grew up on a family farm in the Tyrolean Alps of Austria and has lived in the U.S. since 1997. She first encountered yoga in 2001 while working as a pre-school teacher at a Montessori school in Miami Beach, FL. She was inspired. Alex began practicing yoga herself and incorporating yoga routines in the classroom for her young students. She completed Radiant Child teacher training in 2005 and began offering yoga classes to children in Washington D.C. and Alexandria, VA.

In 2007, Alex completed the 200-hour yoga teacher training at US1, a Yoga Alliance registered yoga school, and has been a yoga instructor (to adults as well as children) ever since. Alex is also a mother of two and during both pregnancies maintained a consistent yoga practice. In 2008 Alex completed the Prenatal Teacher Training through Yoga Works, taught by Carrie Parker Gastely. She can attest first hand to the many benefits of prenatal, postnatal, and “Mommy & Me” yoga. Alex has offered “Mommy & Me” and “Prenatal” classes in both the U.S. & Austria. She is fluent in English and German.

Once Alex moved to Brooklyn she discovered many wonderful yoga studios in the area. She currently teaches at several studios as well as fitness institutions in the neighborhood. Alex offers mommy & me style classes, children yoga classes as well as yoga classes to adults in group settings and private sessions. She feels deep gratitude towards all the teachers, students and supportive family members and friends that have guided helped, and inspired her along the way.


Henze Marvin

Henze MarvinHenze grew up on a mountain ranch in Topanga, California. Henze has a background in dance and yoga, encompassing 25 years of experience. She performed with the Malibu Civic Ballet for four years, and in 2006 she assisted in creating the bachelor program for Lines Ballet Company at Dominican University in San Rafael, California.  Twelve years ago, Henze discovered Kathak, the classical  storytelling temple dance of North India. Integral to the art of Kathak are yogic hand gestures, or Mudras. Henze has been studying Kathak for over a decade, and is a core member of the Vandhana Company of Kathak dance.

Henze attended her first yoga class during a dance camp when she was 11 years old, and it ignited a life long passion. She was drawn to the restorative effects and the exalted release she experienced. The discipline in proper alignment and core strength Henze developed through yoga practice has enhanced her dance performance and all other areas of her life.

Henze studied Restorative Yoga and Yoga Mudra with her teacher Megan Black, a master Kathak teacher and certified yoga instructor under Sherri Babtiste. At Om Sweet Om Yoga in Port Washington, NY, Henze completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training program under instructors Gail Grossman and Lisa Bondy.

Now residing in Brooklyn Heights, Henze has been teaching yoga privately in NYC since 2011. Henze offers a unique class, which blends Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga with Yoga Mudra and restorative poses.  She believes that each class is an opportunity to love and protect our bodies, to improve our mental state, and to transform, one breath at a time.

Paula Pliakas

Paula Pliakas Being an ex athlete with a hand full of injuries and almost becoming a personal trainer a few years back something didn’t feel quite right. The gym felt soulless and she was looking for something more. That’s when she was hit by the need to OM and yoga became a part of her daily life. Having just completed her 300 hour teacher training at Yogamaya with Bryn Chrisman and Stacey Brass, Paula has a whole perspective on teaching. She is excited to share her new found knowledge of the practice which has inspired a new creativity in her classes. Her love of music still stands but is now accompanied by her interest in alignment, chanting and yogic philosophy. She continues to teach as much as possible and especially enjoys her work with a group of women who were once involved in trafficking but who now live in a safe house. What yoga does for these women is often too difficult to put into words but is beautiful and fulfilling


Keri Setaro

Keri SetaroKeri Setaro was raised a beach gal in Margate, New Jersey. After a childhood spent nursing many injuries both as a dancer and figure skater she turned her focus to theater and holds a BFA in Acting from both Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts and the London Academy of Theater. She found yoga to be a great alternative to dance for expression and far less taxing on the body. Keri is also a certified Holistic Health Coach having studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Always being able to find the lighter side of life, she finds that yoga is the perfect way to start taking yourself and life a little less seriously while still being dedicated to your practice. She studied with the Yoga People 200- hour teacher under Asthangi Matthew Seidman and Vinyasa Flow teacher DonnaLynn Civello. Using both her holistic health and yoga knowledge Keri’s goal is to bring a greater sense of well-being and strength to people while helping them deal with the ever increasing difficulty of living in today’s world and maybe just maybe to bring a smile to the face of those she teaches by having a yoga style that is accessible and fun.


Miya Signor

Miya SignorMiya has been practicing yoga since 1995. She moved to New York City to pursue acting and quickly felt the highs and lows of the business. Recognizing her need for a sense of stability she approached yoga. The first yoga class she took was taught by the blessed Dharma Mittra. Walking out of the studio Miya felt mystified and inspired. What resonated deeply for her was the importance of internal truth, discipline and compassion in the yogic traditions. Sixteen years later Miya sees that the essence of life is what lies in-between the highs and lows. Her yogic practice now finds stability in what is always changing.

Miya has had the great fortune to study with some of the most respected teachers still living. In 2006 she received a 300 Hour Yoga certification from Seven Centers Yoga Arts in Sedona Arizona under the guidance of Ruth Hartung. In 2011 she completed her 800 Hour Jivamukti Yoga certification at the feet of Sharon Gannon, David Life, and Yogesari. Her Jivamukti training included an apprenticeship in which she studied exclusively with her dear mentor and teacher Lady Ruth Lauer-Manetti.
Miya’s classes combine a quiet spirituality, chanting, music, and a rhythmic-vinyasa, The pace of her classes is slow but challenging. She loves to work with her hands to employ clear, supportive adjustments. Miya encourages students to have a daily practice so that they can begin to cultivate the freedom that discipline brings to ones life. She strives to make every class a new and exciting adventure!
Erin Teague

Erin Teague

Erin was first introduced to yoga at the age of 19, via an Iyengar class in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Over the years, she has experimented with various styles of yoga and currently maintains a daily Ashtanga practice. Erin has studied with Eddie Stern, Tim Miller, Richard Freeman, Edwin Bryant, Guta Hedewig, Roger Cole and various other teachers. She is a 200 & 500 RYT and has also completed teacher trainings with Tim Miller and Richard Freeman. Erin is already extensively educated in human anatomy and physiology and has studied with Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews at the Breathing Project in Manhattan. She is fascinated with the power and beauty that can be created by linkage of the breath, pose & mind. She also teaches chanting, restorative poses and pranayama in her classes. She is enthusiastic to share with others the many fruits that come with this practice. www.erinyoga.com

Sandra Trang

Sandra Trang

Sandra Trang has been a dedicated practitioner of yoga since 2005. Early in her practice she noticed that Yoga Asana contributed to her development on many levels. She noticed not only physical changes in her body, but mental and spiritual changes in her attitude towards life. She fostered a keener sense of focus, a natural motivation, and more meaningful relationships with her friends and family. Ultimately, her commitment to yoga allowed her to reprioritize her life and pursue a path that would help others achieve similar bits of enlightenment. In 2013, Sandra received her teaching certification through YogaWorks Teacher Training with Sarah Bell and Julie Marx in New York City. Prior to moving to New York, Sandra has practiced yoga in Los Angeles with Jorgen Christiansson, Bryan Kest, Vytas, David Kim, and Vinnie Marino.

As a child, Sandra was not very strong in sports. Yoga, however, provided a type of concentration and challenge that encouraged her to practice diligently. With her natural flexibility and strength, she came to master poses beautifully. Never too serious and always positive, Sandra’s style of yoga is fun, active, and inspiring. She applies Ashtanga principles to instruct her students in Vinyasa Flow yoga. Sandra’s instruction centers on principles of alignment and breath, physical awareness, flexibility, and concentration.


Bridgette Trezza

Bridgette TrezzaGrowing up in the electric folds of New York City, Bridgette never expected to fall in love with yoga. After initially being forced in by a friend, she immediately felt connected to the creativity, movement, and space that each class provided. She aspires to recreate these feelings in her own class by weaving together an environment that allows students to question the inner workings of their body and mind. Her classes place a strong emphasis on alignment to help students build the strength and structure that a deep practice requires. She finds endless inspiration in the beauty and complexity that breath, asana, a fun play-list, and an open heart can conjure.

She received her 200hr teacher training at Yogamaya New York and would like to send endless thanks to Stacey and Bryn for their invaluable teachings and inspiring devotion. Bridgette is grateful for every teacher and student who has crossed her path, as each has allowed her to remain the ever-searching student.


Narisara Vanichanan

Narisara VanichananIn her earlier days of arts administration and nonprofit consulting, Narisara kept returning to yoga to find stress relief and joy. For Narisara, teaching yoga is an opportunity to help others by sharing her love of the yoga practice and offering a creative but structured environment where the present moment is honored. A former dancer and photographer, she blends hand mudras, poetry, the visual arts, & dharma into her classes and draws inspiration from everyday urban life. She is a dedicated meditation practitioner and is very grateful to all her meditation and yoga teachers.

Narisara received her initial 200-hr and 500-hr teacher trainings from OM Yoga Center. She also completed a 200-hr training in Therapeutic Yoga with J. Brown at Abhyasa Yoga Center. Her additional certifications include Yin Yoga (Corina Benner), Relax & Renew Restorative Yoga (Judith Hanson Lasater), Yoga for Breast Cancer survivors (Tari Prinster), Pre-Natal Yoga (Janice Clarfield). She is currently completing certification to be a meditation teacher. For more about Narisara, see www.narisara.org

Frank Wildermann

Frank Wildermann Frank Wildermann wandered into a Bikram yoga studio 6 years ago and fell in love with the practice. Two years later, he had the luck of wandering into Keely Garfieldʼs vinyasa class and, once again, fell in love. As a long distance runner, he believes yoga is a necessary compliment for all athletes. A consistent yoga practice is an awesome opportunity to work and deepen the physical nature of the body while expanding the depths of the mind and breath. He believes in creating a joyful, compassionate vinyasa flow that will also challenge you. Frank is a graduate of the 200 hour Yogamaya teacher training program, a graduate of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute, and holds a B.A.from Middlebury College in Middelbury, VT. Frank is an Eagle Scout, jumps out of planes, has run the NYC Marathon twice, and watched the sun rise from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Jenna Zabala

Jenna ZabalaJenna Zabala (Pavandeep Kaur) was introduced to Kundalini Yoga by the recommendation of her Vinyasa teacher and since then has never looked back. She discovered Kundalini Yoga at Golden Bridge Yoga NYC in 2007 and has since become a certified teacher through IKYTA with her training from Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Gurushabd, Tej Kaur, Harijiwan and Sat Siri. She is also trained in the Radiant Child Yoga Program under the leadership of Shakta Khalsa. When she found Kundalini Yoga she was immediately drawn in by the power of the practice and experienced a huge transformation and awakening. She passionately believes that the kriyas and meditations can help walk you through your fears, release worries and stress. The technology of Kundalini Yoga is a gift for healing the planet and for finding inner peace within our human experience. You will develop your intuitive awareness, open your heart, and strengthen your commitment to your authentic Self. Jenna has had the good fortune of studying Kundalini Yoga and Meditation in Rishikesh, India at the International Yoga Festival and at the Summer Solstice Celebration in Espanola, New Mexico. “If you cannot see God in all, you cannot see God at all.” ― Yogi Bhajan Jenna is also a nationally and NYS Licensed Massage Therapist. As a graduate of The Swedish Institute in New York City she earned an Associate’s Degree in Occupational Studies and also holds a BFA in Dance from the City College of New York (CCNY). She has studied Ohashiatsu at the Ohashi Institute; Thai Yoga Bodywork with renowned instructors Jonas Westring and Michael Buck; and is a Nationally Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique through the American Center for the Alexander Technique’s (ACAT) three-year training program. In the coming year Jenna will be training to become an IntenSati Leader. She resides in Brooklyn with her daschund Snuffles. For more information please visit www.jennazabala.com

Eleonora Zampatti

Eleonora Zampatti

Eleonora is a native of Milan, Italy.She is a certified personal trainer, nutritionist, yogini and fitness enthusiast.Her wide range of teaching abilities include Pilates, Yogalates, Stretching, Video Dance, Total Body Workout, personal one-on-one fitness training and a unique strength and conditioning class designed especially for dancers and music lovers named E.D.T. (Eleonora Diva Training Fitness Program).Eleonora has always had a passion for fitness. Through dedication and hard work she helps people to reach their goals and empower themselves through strength and wellness, all while having fun.
She has 14 years experience teaching in gyms and dance studios in Italy and NYC.In 2001 Eleonora won first place in Step Choreography in the Italian Aerobics and Step Championships.Eleonora’s career began with varsity synchronized swimming, she moved on to becoming a swim instructor, and ultimately became involved in dance and music.She has been teaching Step, Total Body Workout, Spinning, and Dance Routine classes since 2000.In the last five years, Eleonora added Pilates and Yoga to her interests and competences.She is a M.King Pilates Certified Teacher and She completed 5 years Certified Program at Peridance NYC (Modern Dance, Pilates and Yoga).Eleonora comes from an Ashtanga Yoga background and in 2011 She studied Vinyasa Yoga at Sonic with Johanna Aldrich.After almost ten years as a personal trainer and fitness teacher Eleonora is continually challenging herself, learning new techniques and skills to provide her students with the best possible fitness instruction while incorporating all of her training elements and her passion for vinyasa flow into her classes in unique and exciting ways.

Our Subs

 Gia Baker

Gia Baker

Gia began practicing yoga after moving to New York in 2001 to attend NYU.
After ‘graduating’ from the wrestling room at the school’s gym, Gia began
exploring various styles and studios in the city, including Laughing Lotus, Integral
Yoga Institute, and Jivamukti. She finally found her yoga home at ISHTA.
She fell in love with the studio’s individualized approach to the practice, and
their unique emphasis on the breath, the energetic body, and the practice of
meditation in addition to physical asana.
Gia received her 200 hour certificate from ISHTA in July 2011, and completed
her 300 hour teacher training there in July 2012. In addition, she participated
in the ISHTA Marma point therapy training in August 2012, deepening her
knowledge of anatomy and the subtle body.
While focusing on anatomical alignment, Gia’s classes link the breath and
movement throughout her playful asana sequences. Through the physical
practice, she helps her students find balance and quiet the mind, all the while
emphasizing the joy of living and not taking the mat, or life, too seriously.
She is grateful to her teachers Yogiraj Alan Finger, Sarah Platt-Finger, Peter
Ferko, Mel Brasier, Jean Koerner, Mona Anand, and Kelly Eudailey for gracefully
sharing their wisdom, and providing an endless source of inspiration. Om shanti!
Jen Kluczkowski

Jen K

Jen comes from a family of entrepreneurs and builders.  She moved to New York right after college and dove head first into the startup scene, helping Pandora Internet Radio build a team, ad products and culture from the ground up.

When she walked through the doors of the Jivamukti Yoga School in 2006, her world turned upside down.  Initially seeking just physical benefits, she was blown away to discover that yoga is far more than stretching and relaxation.  Jen quickly realized the dedication, awareness and patience she was learning on the mat translated directly into more meaning in every aspect of life.  She completed the Jivamukti 300-hour training in 2012, and last year, her 800-hour certification under the mentorship of her beloved teacher, Rima Rani Rabbath.  A desire to learn in the land where it all began has brought her to India 3 times in 3 years to study with masters.

Jen is very passionate about sharing the teachings that changed her life with the business community.  She’s a co-founder of Yoga Means Business, a startup helping leaders at high-growth companies enhance communication, confidence and clarity using the powerful practices of yoga and meditation.  Everything she knows is because of her teachers’ grace and patience.   She gives endless thanks to Sharon Gannon, David Life and Rima Rani Rabbath for opening the door.


Nityda Lupkin

Nityda_22-09-2012_062_COMPNityda adopts a holistic approach to wellness. She’s a licensed mental health clinician, a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a certified Pilates instructor, a meditation student, and a vinyasa yoga teacher since 2006. She has taught yoga everywhere from traditional yoga studios, to elementary and middle schools, to the adolescent inpatient psychiatric ward at Bellevue Hospital, a drop-in center for teens in downtown Manhattan, and a residential drug treatment facility on the Lower East Side. She’s used her knowledge as a licensed mental health practitioner and yoga teacher to create trauma-sensitive yoga classes for the aforementioned populations. To further integrate her work as a therapist and yoga teacher Nityda created Yoga Heal.

At Area Yoga, Nityda teaches the way that she likes to practice. The former professional ballet dancer in her craves a flow that is strong, creative, fluid, deep, and very focused on the breath. Her interpretations of the teachings and philosophy of yoga inspire Nityda to lead her students through a class that is less commanding and more forgiving- a class that sparks a curiosity toward exploring what you’ve been gifted, and a desire to discover the teacher that is there within you. To learn more about Nityda’s life both on and off the mat visit her at yogaheal.info.

Samm Sacks

Samm teaches an upbeat and rigorous vinyasa flow.  Whether you are coming to one of her power or prenatal classes, come prepared to sweat and build strength.  Inspired by Bryan Kest’s approach to Power Yoga, Samm helps students use movement and breath as tools to build endurance, flexibility, concentration, and humility both on and off the yoga mat.

Samm received her training in prenatal yoga from Lila Wellness, where studied with Mia Bogata.  She has loved witnessing how her own pregnancy transformed her practice and teaching, and is excited to share this special life chapter with other moms-to-be. Preparing for birth and parenthood requires a tremendous amount of strength.  As such, Samm’s prenatal classes are empowering and challenging, geared towards moms who want to be active and strong during pregnancy, while also being gentle and safe.

When she is not in the yoga studio, Samm is a China analyst for a global political risk advisory firm.  She is fluent in Chinese.

Petra Szabo

Petra SzaboPetra Szabo was born in Budapest , Hungary , before there was only one Europe , and was educated at Corvinus University of Budapest. Conversant in English, French, Hungarian and Russian, Petra has used her multi-lingual talents professionally, sourcing animation artists in Moscow , processing contracts in London and managing a health care facility in New York City . After working several years in the US health care system she was discouraged by its limited approach and sought a more holistic and embracing community. Finding the ancient wisdom and practice of yoga, she is now a certified Vinyasa instructor as well as Forrest Yoga teacher. Her approach is heavily influenced by the work of Ana (Forrest), who developed a Yoga methodology to promote emotional and physical healing. Petra Szabo now helps other people to transform their relationship to their physical bodies and through this to transform their lives.

Laurel Voss

Laurel Voss

Laurel Voss is a practicing Forrest yoga teacher, artist and educator. Her first yoga
class in 1999 was a college-elective, nestled between two figure study classes.
Through yoga she connected to her body and breath, which helped her understand
the connections in the body while sculpting. Laurel continued to study and explore
Hatha, Bikram, and Iyengar styles before finding Forrest Yoga in 2004, after a
recommendation from a friend who told her of the healing aspect of this practice.
After years working an office job in arts education administration, she began a
dedicated Forrest Yoga practice to reduce stress, poor posture, and back pain. In
2008, Laurel began taking classes regularly to free her from debilitating pain due to
disc herniation. During this difficult time, Forrest Yoga was the only physical activity
possible without pain; also creating pain relief. Her goal is to teach how to practice
yoga safely, while meeting her students at all levels; to push her students to their
edge to build strength and power at whatever their ability is and become stronger
and more stabilized over time. Laurel loves teaching yoga because it is fun, and she
can be creative by bringing new sequences to each class. Her passion is to help her
students free themselves from pain, recover from injuries and learn from these to
bring healing into the rest of the body for both emotional and spiritual well being.