Jenya 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.
Before 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 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
My yoga practice began fourteen years ago in a Proustian nature, as though I were consistently in search of lost time. I never found it — but was granted a yogic epiphany: access to the acceptance of constant change, the present.
One cannot be told what yoga is, one must experience it, uncovering it oneself. I strive to act as a conduit through which the student flows. A fascinating aspect of yoga is that we discover what it means through doing it. We might have begun yoga with preconceptions, but when we think we have a handle on it, it changes form. It’s a metaphor for life, without being its definition.
My classes strive for the precision and protection of clear instruction, and breath-centered movement to generate the flow of internal energy. They incorporate flow and vigor, alignment, pranayama, meditation, the absence of chatter.
I’ve received certifications through OM and Laughing Lotus, and am pre-natally certified via Rebecca Conant, a hypno-birthing queen. My pre-natal classes explore widening, freeing, allowing, trusting. There’s a luscious opening that happens during pregnancy that I strive to hone in on. As the body expands, it awakens, as it awakens, so does the mind. Through the unification of breath and movement, vitality and calm become one.
Merav Ben Horin
Merav Ben-Horin is a yoga instructor and psychotherapist based in NYC. She was a dancer for over 10 years and began practicing yoga in 2004 in tandem with her studies in psychology. She specializes in alignment-based vinyasa as well as therapeutic yoga for emotional well-being. Born out of her interest in human behavior and movement, Merav recognizes yoga as a tool for personal growth as well as a proven way to develop focus and mind/body awareness.
As a yoga instructor, Merav incorporates principles from her background in psychology. She strives to offer a safe, non-judgmental environment for students to 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 leads yoga and meditation workshops and retreats worldwide.
As a psychotherapist, Merav also incorporates yoga into her work with patients by combining yogic principles in conjunction with talk therapy. She works with both groups and individuals who struggle with trauma, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse. Merav has received extensive education and training in psychotherapy and contemporary psychoanalysis. She completed her B.A in psychology at Hunter College and later her MSW at NYU. She is currently a psychoanalytic candidate and sees patients at NIP (National Institute for the Psychotherapies).
Liz is a Brooklyn based yoga educator whose goal is to help guide her students past their habits and patterns by helping them notice them in the first place and working to compassionately challenge them by finding support from their breath and bones. Liz sees yoga as a power tool for well-being and treats it as such – with great care and precision.
She earned her BA at Vassar College, landed in New York with the goal of pursuing music and dance when she noticed her dance card was maxed out with yoga classes. Beginning her teaching journey at Three Sisters Yoga, she now has over 600 hours of training from all over this fine city — Abhyasa Yoga Center, Maha Padma Yoga, The Breathing Project, Street Yoga, Yogi Beans and Om Schooled — and considers herself a forever student.
When she’s not teaching grown-ups, Liz is an active kids yoga teacher in New York City public schools and is pursuing an MSW at New York University.
Angela 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.
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
A 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.
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.
Louise 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
Alex 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.
Alex is a former U.S. Infantry Marine turned full time Yogi. After his enlistment ended in the military service Alex’s knees and shoulders were worn out, surgery was imminent, but not successful. Most sports and adventure activities featured repetitive motions which further aggravated his chronically painful conditions. After stepping into a yoga class Alex knew he would be saved. He slowly started immersing himself into the world of Yoga. Now, almost 9 years later Alex is still practicing, and happy to be growing and adding new postures to his arsenal monthly. He says he never thought it would be possible, to rehabilitate himself with Yoga and adopt it fully as a lifestyle.
Having grown up in New England and attending a Quaker school Paula realized yoga had always been a part of her life, she just hadn’t realized it until she moved to New York City in January 2000. She spent countless Fridays as a kid sitting in silent meeting wondering what the point was. Once she moved to New York and took her first yoga class she realized
Keri 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 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.
As a dancer with back pain, I first saw yoga as a marvelous physical exercise that left my body feeling open in ways I had never experienced. I later discovered that there is so much more to yoga than asana. To me, yoga is living from a place of love, honesty, and courage, and embracing each moment for what it is. After beginning to experience additional elements of yoga, such as meditation, the power of breath, and ways to connect the poses to other aspects of life, I wanted to help others experience that depth and bliss. I completed my RYT-200 hour certification through Yoga Bliss/Yoga in the Woods in 2011. In my classes, I love helping create a safe, encouraging space where students let their breath guide their practice. I incorporate my background as a dancer, choreographer, and fitness instructor to create fluid sequences that leave the body feeling super-mobile, stimulated, open, strong, and nurtured. Ultimately, as a teacher, I aim to help others feel more comfortable in their own skin and tap into their unique rhythm.
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
Growing 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.
Born and raised in Alabama, Rachel moved to Brooklyn 5 years ago to pursue a career in the corporate financial world. After years of working at the firm, Rachel took a step back and decided to pursue a career in Yoga. She received her 200 hour RYT from Yogamaya in Chelsea.
Rachel’s classes are challenging, yet informative. With lots of alignment based instruction, her classes are upbeat with a strong flow focused on a balance of the physical and subtle body.
In 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.
Trish’s teaching focuses on linking movement with breath, while incorporating different styles of Vinyasa to keep her students present and connected. Her classes are accompanied by a mix of music to engage and promote a positive and fun environment for practice. She caters to all levels of practitioners, by offering modifications and variations as needed. She encourages her students to listen to their bodies and minds, in order to find the teacher within.
She hopes to help others cultivate the joy within themselves through the practice of yoga.
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 (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 dachshund Snuffles. For more information please visit www.jennazabala.com