We have a talented and diverse group of teachers here at AREA. Each of our instructors brings a unique perspective to your practice. Choose from a variety of styles and voices.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Tessa received her certification at Integral Yoga Institute in 2009. She brings with her a Pilates background and 18 years of dance experience to create strong and restorative practice. In addition as a new Mom she loves incorporating a personal perspective to her prenatal students.
Melissa draws inspiration from the timeless teachings and ongoing, modern relevance of Yoga philosophy. As a devotional student, Melissa earned her 200-hour certification in 2010 from Laughing Lotus Yoga Center and has been a dedicated teacher ever since. Always a seeker, she then completed Advanced Teacher Training at Abhaya Yoga in 2016. Her classes offer a challenging, joyful, spacious and inclusive experience for all students. She relates Vinyasa Flow to the flow of life and how we practice transitions and shape-shifting to maintain balance. Also a mental health professional, Melissa takes interest in encouraging each student to light their own path of self-discovery, authenticity, meaning and power.
Rosemarie came to yoga through her passion for dance. Sharing and deepening this love of movement led to her 200 hour Vinyasa Flow certification, led by Tom and Daphne Larkin in Nashville Tennessee at Sanctuary for Yoga, Body & Spirit. Rosemarie has been practicing yoga for many years and carries the influence of several yoga and dance teachers she has had the honor of working with including James Bailey, Danny Brewington and Martin Kirk. Rosemarie recently relocated to New York City and is looking forward to sharing her yoga practice with others and deepening her knowledge of the form.
April is passionate about yoga and mindfulness with a focus on social justice and self empowerment through mind body connection for over 10 years. In 2010 she was certified in her 200 HR teacher Dharma Yoga certificationand has since brought yoga into under-served schools, trauma centers, shelters and addiction centers as a means of social justice and peace. She is also certified in Yoga for 12 Step Recovery, a program that connects the spiritual principles of yoga with addiction recovery. She recently received her leadership training with Off the Mat and Into the World, a program that connects yoga with social justice initiatives. She is extremely thankful to hold space for her students to reconnect with their body and inner teachers.
Janel is a Brooklyn-based yoga teacher and women’s health expert. She completed her medical training from the Robert Larner College of Medicine in Burlington, Vermont where she specialized in preventive medicine and global women’s health. She has worked with underserved communities around the world to promote sexual health and HIV awareness.
For Janel, yoga provided an antidote to the rigors, isolation and stresses of working in medicine. She believes that the practice of yoga teaches mental and emotional resilience through mindfulness: practitioners learn how to recognize stressors, regulate thoughts and feelings to those stressors and thus reduce the harmful effects of psychological stress. Such mindfulness-based interventions were pioneered as part of her medical school training, and she was inspired by several of her medicine mentors who encouraged yoga as a lifestyle practice to avoid burn-out and to increase quality of life.
She moved back to her hometown of Brooklyn Heights to pursue a 200-HR vinyasa yoga certification. Her yoga classes focus on mindful movement, self-reflection and safe alignment. She encourages her students to explore a sense of joy in movement and an ease in breath. She is currently completing medical education research while applying to residency in Family Medicine.
Rachel began practicing yoga in 1999 after graduating with a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. She started teaching yoga in 2004 and found the Iyengar method in 2007. Her first teachers were Genny Kapuler and Tori Milner. Rachel was initially inspired by the precision, depth and adaptability of the Iyengar method. It challenged her on every level, which was both humbling and exciting. She went on to complete Iyengar teacher training, to travel to India to study with the Iyengars, and to become certified in the Iyengar method. She continues to study with her primary teachers, Michelle LaRue and James Murphy.
Having taught in studios, office settings, homes and hospitals, Rachel’s love of yoga and her passion for teaching are evident. She believes that students of all ages, levels of ability, and body types can learn and profoundly benefit from the practice of yoga.
With a long history in the beauty industry, Ashley developed a true passion for what people see as inner + outer beauty. Throughout her own life journey Ashley crossed paths with the Yoga community in New York City. While practicing at Area Yoga she became enamored by the connection between breath + movement. Ashley attended her RYT 200HR course in Uvita, Costa Rica with the Gypsea Yoga school. Since graduating she has been working with students to begin + deepen their yoga practice to discover what’s with in. Ashley is known for her continuous encouragement of others on + off the mat.
A dancer since the age of 2, Jen (@jen_nigro) came to yoga after ending a decade-long career in corporate America. Originally drawn to yoga as a bridge between dance + other physical practices (she also teaches indoor cycling!), she quickly recognized a quiet calm brewing inside her as the result of continued practice.
Jen completed her RYT-200 at Yoga Vida with additional guidance by Christine Chen (Laughing Lotus) and went on to gain her trauma-informed certification through Exhale to Inhale. She continues to study healing through movement with the premise that yoga is for every body, linking breath to movement + movement to music to create a seamless yoga experience.
Ashley Ann Jones
Ashley has been dancing and performing since she was 2 years old. She found yoga in college where she was a Dance Major and used yoga to rehabilitate after an injury. After moving to NYC in 2013, Ashley received her 200-hr Yoga Certification from Three Sisters Yoga. In 2016, she received her Certification in Pre/Postnatal Yoga from Maha Mama and currently she is pursuing her 300-hr Yoga Teacher Certification from Yoga Vida. As a teacher, Ashley feels that it is very important not to rush through each pose, and instead - build strength, flexibility, and find the breath and ease in each pose. Her classes always include core work and a step by step sequence into each peak pose. Ashley teaches at a moderate and athletic pace.
Rita’s classes are designed to be grounding and nourishing, either for those who are new to yoga or those with experience who want to deepen their practice. Emphasis is on safe alignment, developing awareness, and finding space to explore the body, mind and breath.
Over thirteen years of practice, she has discovered the power of yoga to bring a greater sense of mindfulness, balance and clarity into life. She is passionate about sharing the benefits of yoga and helping students find their own yoga practice to suit their own bodies and lifestyles.
Rita completed her training at triyoga, London’s top yoga school, in 2015 and has additional certifications in restorative yoga and teaching privately. Learn more at ritaperakisyoga.com
Nikki is an 800-hour Jivamkti-certified yoga instructor and Vipassana meditation teacher. Her training is diverse: she received advanced certifications in both restorative yoga through Yogaworks, and mindfulness and creative practices for people incarcerated through Liberation Yoga. Her extensive studies also include training in Kundalini Yoga and the Iyengar method. She began her journey into yoga 15 years ago and has been ever grateful for the life-altering impact yoga has had on her mental, emotional and physical well-being. Nikki's classes aim to create a healing space so that her students may witness the healing benefits of meditation and yoga. Nikki holds a B.A. in English from New Jersey City University.
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 JataVeda 200hr teacher training with Keri Setaro and Paula Loose. She recently completed her 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 a snaggletooth cat named Rufus.
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.
Alia’s teaching is driven by a breath centered exploration of our unique physical differences to help make the practice accessible to anyone who walks into her class. Her focus is how we can use that exploration to cultivate a practice of listening, seeking growth, and allowing surrender not only within our bodies but within our spirits. Alia’s classes are designed to give students room to learn, to decompress, and to find a safe haven for their practice wherever they might be in it.
Alia’s relationship with yoga began in Charleston, SC after experiencing bouts of lower back pain from a career in the restaurant industry and from running. While her back pain disappeared and she felt amazing physically, it wasn’t until she moved to New York that her appreciation for the meditative and spiritual qualities of yoga got her addicted.
Alia completed her 200 Hour training with Keri and Paula of the Tattva Training program and continues her training of breath, movement, and anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff at The Breathing Project.
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.
In 1997, Julie discovered how yoga can be a profound vehicle for cultivating self-knowledge, self-acceptance and self-expression. Her approach identifies that no two bodies are alike and her sequences are accessible to every body. You can expect upbeat and playful classes offering unexpected gifts while nourishing your body, bringing about balance, peace and longevity. With an emphasis on alignment, her classes cultivate strength and build heat. Her goal is to have you feel good from the inside out, feeling physically and mentally restored, long after you leave.
Julie’s classes respectfully weaves the ancient practice of yoga with a modern flair (and great playlist!) to help keep your whole body feeling great, at any age. Turn down the volume of day to day life and drop in! Her precise, down-to-earth teaching will guide you to move safely beyond your perceived limitations.
Presently, Julie resides in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn with her beloved husband and two children. She is forever grateful to her teachers far and wide, Colleen Saidman Yee, Rodney Yee, Joyce Englander Levy, Jenny Hudak and Alma Largey for their support and encouragement. Julie continues to advance through studies, workshops and advanced trainings at Yoga Shanti.
Christa’s love of movement began at an early age, and she studied and performed with Princeton Ballet, Ruth Page, and Chicago City Ballet, and went on to major in ballet at Indiana University’s prestigious Jacob School of Music. Christa is a Level 1 Certified GYROTONIC®
Trainer, having been introduced to the method in 2010. Seeking a way to deal with structural imbalances she had developed over years as a dancer, GYROTONIC® has helped her find both physical and mental stability in her life. Christa has also completed the GYROTONIC® Application For Dancers Course, and the Psoas
Principles Course, and has studied with GYROTONIC® Master Trainers Juergen Bamberger, Carla Rigon, and Miriam Barbosa.
Christa enjoys time with her children, friends, and dogs, dancing, yoga, and working as a fashion stylist, in addition to instructing and practicing GYROTONIC®. She is very excited to be teaching at Area Yoga, and is looking forward to introducing many more people to this gentle and effective method of moving the body!
Farah has practice yoga for 15 years and Farah completed her 200 hour certification at Three Sisters Yoga in early 2014. Farah teaches an open level flow class and prior to joining the Area Yoga team taught a local community studio.
Nora’s love for movement began early on thru dance and martial arts but it was learning the art of stretching before and after cross country running practice in high school where a seed was planted. After her first yoga class she realized she had found her true home. Nora’s restorative classes incorporate her love of stretching and warming up the body as well as her love for sacred chant music and of course draw on her years of being a Reiki practitioner. With a focus on healing and a touch of yoga Nidra to help calm the mind Nora’s classes are for everyone who needs to relax and deeply restore.
Martha Evenson, an Advanced Certified 800-hour Jivamukti Yoga teacher, has been studying and practicing yoga for over 20 years. Prior to receiving her certification from Jivamukti in 2007, Martha trained extensively in classical ballet and worked as a personal trainer and fitness coach. Martha expresses the teachings of yoga by combining the mental and spiritual foundations of movement with the physical challenges of asana practice, creating a deep and revealing experience for all levels of students.
Martha’s classes are uplifting and pleasant, and her thoughtful sequencing safely and gradually prepares the body to express a variety of timeless postures. Throughout the practice, Martha interweaves clear instructions with silence and stillness, offering opportunities for students to practice breath awareness and introspection.
Whether she is guiding a practitioner into headstand for the first time or encouraging longtime students to deepen their practice and uncover something new, Martha believes that building steady, trusting relationships enables all students to realize and embody their full potential.
Liz came to the practice of yoga via doctors orders to reduce stress. The unique combination of body, breath, and mental work had her hooked and after seven years of on-and-off practicing she took the plunge and became 200 hour certified with Dharma Mittra in 2013. Since then she has adapted her practice and teaching to mirror life changes and received certifications in prenatal yoga and kids yoga. She lives and teaches in Brooklyn, serving individuals and families in group classes, preschools, and private sessions. Her classes encourage harnessing the energy of the breath, self observation, and staying present. She is passionate about continuing her growth as a teacher having recently completed advanced training in hands on adjustments, and looking forward to training in both yoga nidra and restorative yoga this summer. She is grateful to her teachers and students as she continues to learn and evolve with them.
Melissa’s love for yoga began in irony — her journey as a yoga practitioner emerged around the same time she was starting a career as a traveling technology consultant. She immersed herself deeply into her yoga practice, while also propelling her professional career. Still working long days and frequently on business trips, she attributes her professional success to her devotion to her yoga practice and wishes to share her work-life balance experience by inspiring those around her to integrate yoga into their daily lives.
Melissa completed her 200-hour training at Yogamaya, under the guidance of Stacey Brass-Russell and Bryn Chrisman. Her classes are alignment-focused and thoughtfully sequenced, and she has a passion for staying connected with the origins of yoga. Expect a playful flow with spiritual teachings to apply to your daily life. She also teaches mindfulness sessions for corporations, the perfect intersection of her two careers. Follow her class schedule and musings at www.melissadjeng.com.
Claire Baum, a dancer since a young age, started yoga at 13 as an activity with her mom! Quickly she realized that yoga improved her dancing and gave her access to her body outside the competitive environment of the dance world. Even as a young yogi, she noticed that this practice is accessible to all body types and ages. This insight remains at the core of her teaching to this day. Claire teaches an anatomy conscious alignment based class with sequences that flow, spiral and are inspired by her dance background. She values the power of breath and meditation and class is always complete with a sense of play, good music and better vibes. Attentive to her students needs, she provides assists both verbal and hands on. She encourages her students to practice ahimsa (non-violence) and aparigraha (non-attachment) with themselves throughout their practice to hopefully find santosha (contentment) with where they are each day, as they enter the room.
Claire received her Vinyasa Teacher Certification from OM Factory NYC (RYT).
Yoga has turned Emilie's life upside down. From her first Hatha class almost 10 years ago to now, she has experienced first hand the mental and physical benefits of yoga in her everyday life: more stamina, the ability to deal with difficult situations without letting negative emotions take over, and the pure bliss of learning how to appreciate life's small pleasures and joys. For Emilie, yoga is surely about reducing stress and back pain, but it is also about incorporating more mindfulness, love, and compassion into all aspects of daily life, by incorporating pranayama, mudras, mantras, and the philosophy of yoga as well as the asanas.
Find Emilie on instagram: http://www.instagram.com/alafrench/
Marija Krtolica has been teaching yoga for 18 years in the yoga studios in Brooklyn and NYC,
internationally in workshops, and as a general education course on the university level. She is a
certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher, and has completed the Advanced Teachers’ Training at Yoga
Workshop in Boulder. She has studied Asthanga yoga, Buddhist meditation, psychoanalysis, and
philosophy from several traditions. Marija holds Ph.D. in dance from Temple University
(Philadelphia), MA in performance studies from Tisch School of the arts (NYU), and MFA in
choreography from UC Davis. In her teaching, Marija encourages subtle alignment adjustments,
and stable embodiment through the flow of asanas. She aspires to open up a space for
engaging ethical questions, and to allow for a sense of beauty and truthful expression to
surface within students’ everyday practice. She is a movement artist and writer in the field of
dance. Her recent writing concerns the relationship between mental health, and corporeal
expression. She has studied histories of ascetic and artistic practices. These practices inform her
understanding of movement, stillness, and psycho-somatic well-being in today’s world.
Mike was raised on the west coast where his youth revolved around competitive basketball and track & field. After a career ending injury to his lower spine at the age of 19, Mike discovered natural ways of healing the body and soon after became certified in yoga and yoga Nidra, Thai bodywork, NASM, and Animal Flow. He aspires to one day become a doctor of Eastern Medicine. Mike is a nature-buff, world traveler, and Wilderness First Responder. .