"One of the best things about Area is that its very individualized. Each teacher is able to teach their own brand of yoga and speak their voice and purpose so the students have a variety of styles and voices to choose from. It is a space free from agenda or religious message and creates a truly nurturing space for the individual student to find his/her own personal practice with safe guidance."
- Keri Setaro , Area Yoga Teacher and Head of Tattva Teacher Training Program
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.
Keri is one of the cofounders the yoga school Tattva.
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 Meditation came in many forms and yoga was all around her. Being an ex athlete with a hand full of injuries she began to practice daily and discovered a new found love which took the place of all those hours spent in the gym. Completing her 500 hour certification with Bryn Chrisman and Stacey Brass of Yogamaya in 2012, Paula is always excited to share her knowledge of the practice and yogic philosophy. Her classes are creative, strong, alignment based and of course, full of her love for underground music. Paula continues to stay busy teaching weekly classes, doing workshops, and taking on other yoga related projects as well as spending time with her two dogs Ripley and Lindo a pit bull and pit bull husky mix.
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.
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 eight year old son. www.dancingdoula.net
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.
The first yoga class Miya 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!
Briana began practicing yoga at Area in 2002 and immediately loved it. After suffering torn hamstrings in 2010, Briana's focus shifted from appreciating yoga primarily as a physical exercise, to also valuing yoga as a deeply personal practice.
As a teacher, Briana incorporates yogic spiritual traditions, as well as weaves alignment, technique, music, and a dose of energy and excitement into each class. She strives to make yoga accessible and inviting to all levels of students, and wants students to leave her class feeling healthy and happy.
Briana completed her graduate certification in Animal Behavior and Human Psychology in May 2015. She completed her 200-hr certification at Yogamaya in Manhattan in July 2013. Briana is excited to teach with the Area Yoga community!
Andromeda Han is a Brooklyn based visual artist and yoga instructor. The first child of Chinese immigrants, east-meets-west has been a consistent theme through her life. She completed her 200 hour certification in 2015 through Tattva at Area Yoga under the guidance of her yoga moms Keri Setaro and Paula Loose. Since then she has taught at several boutique studios throughout Brooklyn and led workshops on the beach in El Salvador. Her vinyasa classes are upbeat and playful while emphasizing safe alignment and thoughtful sequencing. You can expect at least a couple of bad jokes.
Trish grew up in a very competitive and athletic family. After years of cardio workouts and strength training, she found herself in a yoga class at her local gym. It immediately felt like she had found her place, yet surprising to her, it wasn’t in competition with anyone. She joined a studio, based on the suggestion of a friend, and was immediately inspired by one of the teacher’s there. His energy and genuine love for life was contagious. Since then, she has been trying to cultivate that same energy and joy through both the practice and study of yoga.She feels blessed to have had many amazing teachers with a variety of yogic backgrounds, all of which have inspired her practice, teachings, and personal growth. She received her 200 hour certification with Yoga Alliance by studying Vinyasa with Pure Yoga in Dallas, TX in 2010. She is especially grateful to her teachers DeAnna Anderson and Jason Lobo for their thoughtful guidance and continued support.She is currently studying the tradition of Mysore Ashtanga as a personal practice. 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.
A yoga instructor, writer, and composition professor, Mara’s yoga practice and instruction are influenced by her passion for the creative process and the way in which individual elements fit together to form a whole greater than the sum of those parts.
Mara completed 200-hour certification at ISHTA Yoga with yogirajas Alan Finger and Sarah Platt-Finger, and holds additional certifications in prenatal, restorative, and yoga nidra. Inspired by ISHTA’s integrative Tantric philosophy, Mara’s classes encourage a holistic practice that includes linking of breath and movement, attention to individual alignment, and pranayama and meditation to restore and rejuvenate the mind and body. Her power classes offer a dynamic asana practice while also exploring multiple meanings of “power” in yoga. A registered prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher, Mara has a special interest in providing expectant and new moms the time and space to practice self-care.
Mara is a faculty member at Pace University and a PhD candidate at Columbia University. Whether in the yoga studio or the college classroom, Mara strives to foster an inclusive environment where each student can enjoy both the support of the community and the room to safely deepen his or her individual practice. maragraysonyoga.com
Frank Wildermann has been practicing and teaching yoga for 10 years. He teaches public classes in both Brooklyn and Manhattan along with a host of corporate and private classes.
He believes the practice is an opportunity to use the physical body to delve into the realm of the breath so we can explore the depths of the mind. He believes in creating a joyful, compassionate vinyasa flow that will also challenge you but also recognizes the relevance of nurturing a deep restorative practice as well.
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 Middlebury, VT.
He is also 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.
Jennas mission is to offer well rounded natural treatments to fit a person’s body and their history.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Jenna spent her earlier years dancing from the age of five (5). At age fifteen (15) Jenna began teaching dance to children. She always loved dance and movement as a child which led her to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at The City College of New York. The joy Jenna felt expressing herself through movement led Jenna’s deep curiosity in the human body and its function.
Life is a series of twisting and turning, lunging and stretching from one position to another. Jenna pirouetted upon the Alexander Technique in 2000. Alexander Technique is a simple yet powerful approach for improving the quality of movement, balance, support and coordination. Three (3) years of conscientious training allowed Jenna to focus on a profound appreciation of the body. Jenna obtained her certification from The American Center for the Alexander Technique, Inc. (ACAT) in 2005.
Jenna became very curious about meditation and yoga, more specifically Thai Yoga and Kundalini yoga. The modalities are both an outward and internal expression of meditative loving kindness, critical elements to Jenna as a person and as an instructor. Jenna became certified as a Thai Yoga Bodyworker through Jonas Westring in 2004 and five (5) years later certified as a Kundalini Yoga instructor under the teaching of Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa.
Understanding more about the body and movement of personal histories, Jenna offers massage therapy for all persons including expectant mothers. She received her Associates of Occupational Studies from The Swedish Institute of Health Sciences in 2008. Jenna holds two Prenatal Certifications in Massage Therapy from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (Kiera Nagle) and The Swedish Institute (Susanrachel Condon). She further went on to receive her Reiki Attunement and Training in 2012 from The Brand Wellness Center. Jenna received her certification in the MELT® Method in 2012. MELT is a revolutionary self care treatment to pain-free longevity that helps you stay healthy, youthful, and active for a lifetime. It rejuvenates connective tissue hydration and relieves trapped tension in our bodies from aging, exercise, and repetitive activity at work and home.
For the past decade Jenna has been fortunate to spend the summer months in Hawaii where she is also a Licensed Massage Therapist. For more info please visit http://www.zabalaholistics.com/
Mary is passionate to share the practice of yoga with individuals from all walks of life and at all levels of practice. Originally drawn to yoga for stress and anxiety reduction, she has been exploring various yoga styles and practices for the past 15 years. With an equal love for sweaty vinyasa classes and kirtans, Mary completed her first 200-hour Certification in Traditional Hatha Yoga at Integral Yoga Institute, NYC in 2011 and has been teaching since. In 2014 she completed a second 200-hour Certification in Vinyasa-style at Prema Yoga, Brooklyn. As an Educator currently working with adolescents within NYC High Schools, Mary is a Certified Teen Yoga Instructor through Karma Kids, and The Lineage Project’s Yoga for At-Risk and Incarcerated Youth. Mary’s classes aim to inspire others to find some balance and calm, spaciousness and strength on their mat and in their everyday lives. Her classes utilize a breath-centered approach, integrating safe and effective sequencing with yoga philosophy and music. She is grateful for all of the teachers and students that continue to guide, inspire and challenge her on this never-ending ride. ~”Everything and everyone in this life is my teacher” (Ramana Maharshi).
April is an Advanced 800-Hour Jivamukti Yoga teacher. She began her yoga practice in 2008 as a preparation for surf camp in Costa Rica, but fell in love with yoga and only in-like with surfing. She was drawn to the tenets of Jivamukti Yoga - the emphasis on ahimsa (non-harming) and sastra (scripture). Her yoga practice sustained her through her corporate career. Handstands in hotel rooms helped alleviate the
demands of an intense travel/work schedule. After 7 years as a campus recruiter for the financial industry, April attended NYU and earned an MA in School Counseling.
Her classes are playful and fun, yet challenging for all levels of student, giving options for everyone, and always alignment focused. She is known for her love of Sanskrit and yogic philosophy, and for her powerful and meaningful hands-on assists.
Keely Garfield joyfully participates in the great body of the world as a dancer, teacher, and therapist. A spirit of philosophical inquiry and compassionate concern are at the heart of her dedicated engagement in both the arts and wellness. Keely is an acclaimed choreographer with her company Keely Garfield Dance, dance professor and cultural curator. She is a seasoned E-RYT 500 yoga instructor, Reiki Master, meditation teacher, and an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist. Keely is faculty for UZIT, Yoga Shanti, and Yogamaya teacher trainings. Lay-ordained in Soto Zen Buddhism, her path of practice and service continues to shape her work in oncology and hospice, leading yoga retreats, teacher trainings, and workshops, and is central in her creative endeavor.
Over the course of her 15 years of personal practice Farah has come to value the different purposes yoga can serve a student at any given moment in time. Farah completed her 200 hour certification at Three Sisters Yoga in early 2014 and seeks to offer a space for students to explore mindfulness and self awareness, while connecting with the physical virtues and limitations of one's own body. Farah teaches an open level flow class and prior to joining the Area Yoga team taught a local community studio.
Diana is drawn to the healing, therapeutic qualities of yoga and especially those of the restorative practice. She seeks to create safe spaces for people to let go, transform and find peace. She takes inspiration from a variety of sources -- spirituality, neuroscience, psychology, the subtle body, poetry, nature, music -- and integrates these into her classes.
Diana became acquainted with yoga at a young age through her mother offering classes in the living room of her childhood home. Yoga was always present for Diana during her childhood through early adulthood, however it was not until 2010 that Diana developed a more consistent practice as a means to balance the stressors of everyday and forge a deeper connection with the Self.
In December 2014, Diana received her initial certification through the 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified program at Area Yoga in Brooklyn Heights. She has received additional 50-hour certification from Laughing Lotus NYC in Restorative Yoga.
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.
For Narisara, teaching yoga is an opportunity to help others, and she offers a creative but structured environment where the present moment is honored. Narisara blends anatomy studies, poetry, dharma & the arts into her classes and draws inspiration from everyday urban life. Learn more at www.narisara.org.
Narisara Vanichanan received her 200-hr and 500-hr vinyasa yoga teacher training from OM Yoga Center. She is completing her 3rd year of Advanced Anatomy Studies at The Breathing Project under Amy Matthews and Leslie Kaminoff. She has certifications in Yin Yoga, Hand Mudras, Yoga TuneUp Therapy Balls, Yoga for Cancer survivors, Restorative Yoga, Pre-Natal Yoga and meditation. She is also certified 200-hr Heart of Yoga Therapy from Abhyasa Yoga Center and has been practicing vipassana (insight) meditation for over 14 years with Downtown Meditation Community. She has taught yoga at Zen residential meditation retreats for the Village Zendo and is a guest Teacher Trainer in Hand/Foot Anatomy, Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga.
Narisara is grateful for the fierce love and support of her husband, family and two Siamese cats. In her former careers, she was a nonprofit consultant, dancer and photographer. Narisara loves to cook plant-based comfort food and healthy meals utilizing principles of performance-based nutrition, Chinese medicine & Ayurveda. She has a master’s in nonprofit arts administration from Columbia University and is a graduate of Coro Leadership NY. She is very grateful to her teachers including her parents, Cyndi Lee, J.Brown, Tari Prinster, Joseph & Lillian LePage, Judith Hanson Lasater, Corina Benner, Mark Whitwell, Thanissaro Bhikku, & Peter Doobinin.
Abbie Groff Hernandez
Abbie completed her 200 hour certification at Three Sisters Yoga in 2012, and her 300 hour certification in February 2014, under the thoughtful guidance of Jen Whinnen. When she’s not practicing yoga, she is a painter, and a member of the Gowanus Swim Society artist collective. Abbie taught art (and yoga) to high school students in the NYC public schools for five years, before deciding to follow a different path. She finds great joy in encouraging others to explore the connection between breath and movement, with a focus on alignment and mindfulness, and explore their own yogic journey.
A NYC transplant from Detroit, Michigan, Jeanette Doherty came to the East Coast and to yoga through her first passion - stage acting. A practicing yogi since 2002, Jeanette transitioned from student to ever-learning teacher in 2014 through Tattva 200hr teacher training with Keri Setaro and Paula Loose. She is currently pursuing advanced training through Laughing Lotus NYC's 300hr Love School. Jeanette's classes combine vigorous, creative flows with storytelling, inspiring students to take the curiosity, freedom and playfulness they find on the mat into the rest of their lives. In addition to fluid asana, classes include restorative elements, as well as deeper spiritual study through dharma, meditation, chanting and breath work. Expect to dance, sweat and surprise yourself as you safely explore challenging shapes and learn a little practical magic along the way. Outside the studio, Jeanette shares her life with a wonderfully nerdy data scientist, a playful pup named Stevie Nicks and Rufus the snaggletoothed cat.
Liz found yoga at a stressful time in her life and fell in love with the practice, returning again and again. She has experienced, first hand, the power of yoga to calm the mind, empower the body and spirit, and foster compassion.
It is her greatest desire to share these gifts with her students.
Liz is trained in classical yoga, prenatal, and children's yoga and is grateful to her teachers Dharma Mittra, Mia Borgatta, and Ann Robicheaux. Her classes focus on turning the attention inward to cultivate mindfulness in movement, breath, and thought.
Prerna became hooked on yoga from the moment she stepped off her mat, feeling calm, spacious and free after her first class. She loves to practice because it allows her to turn inward and develop a strong, steady breath, body, and mind, which ultimately leads to a strong sense of self. Prerna means “inspiration” in Hindi—she aspires to live up to her namesake through the teaching of yoga.Prerna believes that yoga is a practice for everyone and she makes her classes accessible for anyone who has arrived to a mat. Prerna loves meaningfully moving the body, but also holding shapes to allow the body and mind to deeply experience the practice. Her classes are lighthearted and open, allowing the students to personalize their practice and honor their individual needs. Prerna is deeply grateful for her teachers who guide, challenge, and support her. She vows to always remain a student and continue to learn from her teachers, her students, and ultimately the teacher that lies within.
is a choreographer, performer and a 500 hours yoga teacher certified by YogaWorks. Born in Italy, Grazia lived and worked in several European cities including Brussels, London, Berlin and Paris. She holds a Master’s degree in Performing Arts from The University of Bologna (Italy) and a Master’s degree in Benesh Movement Notation from the National Conservatory of Dance and Music of Paris. When Grazia started yoga practice, she got immediately interested in yoga’s physical benefits, deep spirituality and philosophy. In yoga Grazia found the perfect evolution to the path towards her personal growth. She has practiced yoga with passion and devotion ever since. Grazia practiced Asthanga yoga in Paris and Jivamukti yoga in London and Berlin and Iyengar classes in New York. Grazia's yoga classes are focused on bringing awareness to the body and spiritual balance through the precision of alignment, conscious breath and dedicated practice. Yoga for Grazia is a deep path through the truth and the awareness of oneself through a progressive, conscious and focused work.
Formally trained and certified in hatha & vinyasa yoga through the School Yoga Institute (RYT-200) in 2014, Lauren's style as an instructor can be characterized as holistic; she strives to focus on the "whole" person during instruction, helping students bring awareness and strength to body, mind, and spirit. Her goal is to cultivate a class that's as active and heat-building as it is physically and mentally restorative. As a school based psychologist, Lauren seeks to bring the tenets of mindfulness and yoga to children during the school day and in the evening, take her inspirations from children, some of our greatest teachers, to adults in the yoga studio. Lauren enjoys playing on a soccer team, hiking in different corners of the world, and tracking down the best doughnuts in Brooklyn. She has begun working on her 500-hour certification and recently completed a Mindfulness practitioner certificate through Mindful Schools.
With her training and work as Neuroscience Researcher and growing experience in Yoga, Reiki and Eating Psychology Coaching, Clara brings to the mat a unique blend of knowledge and personal experience, which encompasses deep understanding of the nervous system, along with an open-mindedness that allowed her to embrace alternative tools for health. She is deeply passionate about learning and sharing tools for well-being, empowerment and self-love. Her teaching style is grounded in the Hatha-Vinyasa tradition and is aimed at creating a safe and nurturing space for students to come “meet” themselves on the mat, while connecting to the supportive energy of the community and receiving gentle guidance. Clara offers a creative and musical Vinyasa flow, with sequence and intensity that vary in accordance with students’ experience and energy. She loves to incorporate meditation, Pranayama, and chanting in her classes. As active advocate of the "Health at Every Size movement", Clara has particular care towards supporting body diversity and self-acceptance.
Clare was first introduced to yoga at a young age when she discovered her father's copy of Swami Vishnudevananda's "The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga" lying around the house one day. Years later, she took her first yoga class while earning a BA in Theatre at Vassar College. As a yoga teacher, Clare focuses on breath awareness and allowing the breath to guide the body through a challenging and energetic vinyasa flow. Her intention is to provide a safe and creative space for students to explore his or her own personal practice and connect with the subtle body. She encourages students to listen to their own inner voice as they move further down the path of self-realization, and ultimately find a sense of Joy each time they step on to the mat. Clare welcomes students from all walks of life. She received her RYT-200 certification from Jaya Yoga Center in Brooklyn.
A native of South Texas, Jen moved to Brooklyn in 2010. She is a firm believer that Yoga Sutra 1.12 (Abhyasa vairagyabhyam tannirodhah: dedication without attachment) works for just about every scenario. Jen began her yoga and meditation practice in 2004 and soon after traveled to Dhamma Giri in India to study Vipassana meditation. Jen’s classes focus on grounding sequences and finding moments of mindfulness. In every class, you’ll get meditation, breathwork, and delicious music. Jen completed her 200-hour teacher training at Jaya Yoga in Park Slope and is a certified children’s yoga teacher through Little Flower Yoga. She currently teaches yoga and mindfulness in schools all over the city. Jen lives in the neighborhood and is thrilled to be teaching.
To say that yoga saved Marinas life would be a huge understatement. In 2008 she was diagnosed with a rare and serious autoimmune disease which left her paralyzed and blind in one eye. After several months of healing her physical body, she embarked on a spiritual healing journey and Yoga knocked on her door. Everything changed for Marina after that very first yoga class back in 2009. Shortly after that she completed her 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training at Atmananda yoga in NYC. Later that year, Marina and her, now, 2 teenage daughters decided to live adventurously and move to the Jungles of Costa Rica where they lived, played and enjoyed all that life had to offer. In Costa Rica, Marina became a certified 1&2 Reiki Master. Along with Yoga and Reiki, Marina led and assisted many workshops and retreats in a spiritual community where her and her daughters lived for 2 years. Currently, Marina lives in Brooklyn and maintains a private yoga clientele and teaches various style yoga classes at Area Yoga. She thrives on being a yoga teacher and hopes to help others through the healing of yoga, as it once healed her!
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).
Arielle has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. In her day job, she is a pediatric social worker who works with hospitalized children facing physical disability, chronic illness, and recovery from traumatic accidents. She decided to pursue a yoga teacher training in part as a first stop towards bridging her seemingly disparate interests in yoga and social work, and was trained at the Area Yoga Tattva Teacher Training in the fall of 2014. Arielle hopes to incorporate the mindfulness focus of yoga into her work with children and families, and to bring the emotional understanding of social work into her studio yoga classes. Her classes are alignment-oriented and feature an eclectic soundtrack, ranging from hip hop to classic rock to kirtan, to match the fast-paced flow.
Alia took her first yoga class when she was 25 years old after experiencing lower back pain from years on her feet in the food and beverage industry. Not only has she never experienced back pain since, but the self awareness and compassion for others that her yoga practice unfolded as well as the space it continues to create has been life transforming, and she decided to learn how to share that experience with others. Alia received her RYT 200 Hour training with Keri and Paula at Area Yoga in 2015 and became fascinated with the science behind the breath and the anatomy of movement. Her classes are moderately paced with a focus on meditation through the breath, and building strength for alignment.
Donnalynn is a Dharma Mittra certified 500-hr RYT & EYRT Yoga Teacher. She has been teaching Vinyasa Yoga since 2002 and combines her studies in meditation, pranayama and spiritual philosophy with her study of asana to create a challenging and comprehensive asana practice with inspiring words of wisdom for living in today's world. Donnalynn applies a nurturing hands-on approach to alignment and aromatherapy massage which further nurture and relax the soul. Donnalynn has been a dedicated practitioner at the Jivamukti Yoga School, New York City since 1995 - her vinyasa style is in part influenced and inspired by the Jivamukti flow technique. Donnalynn is also Executive Director of Ethereal Wellness Counseling and Life Coach, Inspirational Blogger and Author of "Life Lessons, Everything You Ever Wished You Learned in Kindergarten." You can follow her weekly words of wisdom at www.etherealwellness.wordpress.com or follow her on instagram @donnalynncivello or on twitter @dlcivello.
As a dancer with back pain, Anne first saw yoga as a marvelous physical exercise that left her body feeling open in ways she had never experienced. She later discovered that there is so much more to yoga than asana, or the postures. For Anne, yoga is the connection among all things, being present, accepting what is and moving forward from a place of love, faith and hope.
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, Anne wanted to help others experience that depth and bliss. She completed her RYT-200 hour certification through Yoga Bliss/Yoga in the Woods in 2011. In 2016 she attended Urban Yoga Foundation’s Kids Yoga teacher training program and is currently using yoga to empower youth throughout NYC.
In her classes, Anne loves helping create a safe, encouraging space where students let their breath guide their practice. She uses imagery and metaphors to help bring her students to a deeper place. She incorporates her background as a dancer, choreographer, and fitness instructor to create fluid sequences that leave the body feeling mobile, stimulated, open, strong, and nurtured. Ultimately, as a teacher, Anne aims to help others feel more comfortable in their own skin, tap into their unique rhythms, and shine their light.
Lily Jahn is a Certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® instructor and a GYROTONIC® Pretrainer
with a background in dance and aerial performance. Her interest in teaching is deeply rooted in the desire to help others find wellness through motion. Lily feels movement is a form of communication and relishes in the opportunity to connect clients with their own movement voice and sense of play in their workout. Her dance training in New York led to a career with Nashville Ballet as well as multiple modern companies across the country. Plagued by chronic back injuries, she turned to GYROTONIC® as a means of rehabilitating her spine and building strength to prevent further injuries. This reinvigorated her dance career and made Lily a lifelong believer in the power of the GYROTONIC® method for whole body health. Outside of the studio, Lily enjoys all things outdoors, and has taken on new challenges including hiking, rock climbing, and trail running. She has a deep connection to her family home in Vermont.
Lily has been fortunate to study with exceptionally talented master trainers in the GYROTONIC® community as well as GYROTONIC® founder Julio Horvath. She was certified in May of 2011 to teach GYROTONIC® and completed her GYROKINESIS® teacher training later that year. She continues to learn more each day through her practice, and finds she is most at peace while working with clients and watching them progress in their own movement journey. She is thankful for the support of her family and teachers, and is ecstatic to be joining the Area Yoga family.