Why she loves yoga: I love the practice for teaching me to live in my heart and for opening me up to new possibilities of how to be with myself and others. I am continuously inspired to share yoga as service, in order to bring about not only individual transformation but also communal and social change.
Why she loves East Yoga: I remember the first time I walked into East and immediately feeling a sense of warmth, support, and ease. East is a rare community gem that I feel grateful to be part of.
How I Teach: My classes balance the vitality of movement and engagement with joyful and quiet surrender. I infuse my teaching with care and compassion, threading thoughtful themes throughout each class to guide students through a slow, breath-centered, mindful flow – a moving meditation that brings spaciousness and ease to the body, mind, and heart.
Training: The Ayurveda and Yoga Center, Conoor India (2009), Vajra Yoga (2011), currently enrolled in Elena Brower’s Art of Attention Teacher Training.
Current Inspirations: Elena Brower, Sarah Powers, my home practice
Why she loves yoga: I was first drawn to yoga for its meditative physicality and for the chance to intimately connect with myself. The practice of yoga continues to challenge me to lead my life from the heart.
Why she loves East Yoga: I immediately fell in LOVE with East Yoga the moment I walked in the door. The welcoming vibe and close-knit community offer the perfect place to deepen your practice.
How I teach: My aim is to help students cultivate an inner awareness while building strength and flexibility in body and mind. I pay particular attention to breath and alignment and attempt to help students discover the subtleties of each posture.
Training: OM Yoga 2011, Mentorship Practice with Nikki Costello, coursework at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center
Practicing since: 2003
Current inspirations: My family, friends, Luke the golden retriever
Why she loves yoga: I love the joy and ease that I feel after I practice. I love that yoga teaches you to confront your limitations and barriers. I love that yoga embraces change and uncertainty. I love that yoga has transformed my life, bringing joy and ease to my relationship with myself and the world around me, beyond my mat.
What she loves East Yoga: I love how open and welcoming everyone is. I love that the studio is dedicated to bringing yoga to the neighborhood at an affordable price and dedicated to creating a supportive community for everyone.
How I teach: I guide you to teach yourself. Practicing with me includes a movement centered flow that is both nurturing and challenging. I focus on mindfulness of breath and alignment, and concentrate on the transition between asanas. I encourage you to extend your practice beyond your mat.
Training: Now: Yoga 2014-2015, Teaching Yoga to Beginners with Judith Lasater, Julie Gudmestad and Gill Solberg 2016
Practicing since: 1997 Inspiration: The special moments of everyday life.
Why she loves yoga: Connection! My personal journey, the daily practice to becoming more self aware and continuously learning and evolving every day allows me to connect with my truest self - and also the ability to then connect with our environment and all beings everywhere. In the extreme abundance that exists in New York City, yoga is my grounding, my connection.
Why she loves East Yoga: I love the local vibes and sense of community.
How I teach: A vinyasa style yoga class using asana as a vehicle to heightened awareness in the body, feelings, sensations, and emotions. We’ll move deeper than the physical by learning to link breath to movement and practicing presence in our every day. Practicing to find balance mentally and physically, allowing you the opportunity to release tension, old patterns and behaviors.
Training: Wanderlust Voyager 2015
Current inspirations: Elena Brower, Aarona Pichinson and the Moondeck
Why she loves yoga: I first loved Yoga because of that feeling you get after you take a Yoga class. It's that feeling of being grounded and open. The feeling of being cleansed of fear, doubt, judgement and pain so that we can exist in my our own true nature. I love Yoga because it makes it ok and possible for us to be our true selves.
Why she loves East Yoga: I love the warmth and comfort of the studio that makes it feel like home. I love the vibrant neighborhood. Most of all I love the support and friendship that was immediately shown to me as I was welcomed into the East Yoga community.
How I Teach: I teach an alignment based Hatha/ Vinyasa class. Incorporating Asana, Pranayama, meditation and healing practices from Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine that bring us to a state of harmony and balance.
Training: 200hr Yoga Teacher Training at Greenhouse Holistic, 300hr Yoga Teacher Training through Yoga Sukhavati, Reiki Level 1 at Seven Arrows, Reiki level 2 at Maha Rose
Inspiration: My brother Kenny, Koreal and Kolin for their unconditional love and support of their weird big sister.
Why she loves yoga: Many of our activities are sedentary, and can leave us feeling disconnected from our bodies--and in a fast-paced city, we may feel disconnected from others. Through yoga we can move and explore the body and breath, develop ways of working with our minds through our bodies (and vice-versa), and connect with a community. I have tremendous confidence in yoga’s ability to help us find greater peace and improve how we relate in the world. Plus it's fun, and feels amazing!
Why she loves East Yoga: East has a special combination of great teaching, a diverse community of dedicated students, and a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. The East Village has been my home for several years, and I love teaching so near to home and bumping into students around the neighborhood.
How I Teach: I teach intelligently sequenced vinyasa flow classes with attention to breath and alignment. My classes are informed by an interest in Buddhism and mindfulness, and there's often a philosophical and/or anatomical theme. I encourage students to practice with curiosity, humor, compassion, and awareness.
Training: OM Yoga 500 hour (2011-2012), Restorative Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Meditation Teacher Training with David Nichtern and Cyndi Lee, y4c (Yoga for Cancer)
Inspiration: My teachers, my students, Buddhism
Why he loves yoga: I felt the benefits of yoga immediately. My sister brought me to my first class in 2001 and I was hooked by a new way of relating to my body that was powerful, precise, and fun. The ongoing practice of getting to know myself brought me back to the mat day after day and eventually the notion of sharing this incredible system emerged.
Why he loves East Yoga: I have led retreats and teacher trainings across the US and in Bali and Costa Rica. But New York City, and the East Village specifically, is home, so the opportunity to join the community at East Yoga is especially gratifying.
How I Teach: My classes attempt to balance freedom of breathing with precise and challenging vinyasa. Since attention to the breath is key, students are encouraged to move into poses at a pace and depth that allows for clarity and ease in the mind, even when the body is working.
Training: OM Yoga Teacher Training (2005), Restorative Training with Judith Laseter, Yoga Anatomy and Anatomy & Breath Clinic with Leslie Kaminoff (2010), Meditation Training with David Nichtern and Cyndi Lee.
Inspiration: Sigmund Freud, Yottam Ottolenghi, James Blake
Why he loves yoga: I love Yoga because it's a practice.... A life long practice. No matter how much time passes, the need for the support and insights that Yoga yields is always there.
Why he loves East Yoga: I love East Yoga because of it's simplicity. Not only in its simple straight forward astetic, but in its message as well. To me that message is, come practice here.... Bring whoever you are.... And come practice with us.
How I Teach: I'm inspired by clear and grounded communication. Whether that's conversation, writing, visual art, music..... Whatever. Through a rhythmic sense of clarity I aim for a class that's both challenging and informative from the inside out. All of this is offered through the context of moving.
Training: Sivananda 1997, Erich Schiffmann 1999, Richard Freeman 1999, Om Yoga Center 2001
Inspiration: Ezra Bayda, Richard Freeman, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Pema Chodron
Why she love yoga: I love yoga for its meditative and mindful practice. It helps me shift my mood, breathe and take time out of my day to focus and center. I love how everyday it can feel totally different. With my background in dance, I particularly love Vinyasa yoga as I get to dance my way and flow through the poses!
Why she loves East Yoga: I love the intimacy of the studio and the community environment. It's great to be able to establish real connections to students and fellow teachers. I can be creative in my classes and share my practice honestly with my students.
How I teach: A vinyasa flow class with an emphasis on smooth sequencing, alignment and flow. I include a dharma talk based on the chakras (energy centers of the body), meditation, pranayama, and perhaps some inspirational quotes or essential oils in savasana! Some adjectives might be mindful, flowy and invigorating!
Training: Laughing Lotus 200 Hr.
Curren Inspirations: Qi Gong, Radhanath Swami, Sarah Rilke, and any anatomy textbook!
Why she loves yoga: I love vinyasa for the meditative, focusing, challenging, sacred, and centering experience it provides. I love yoga for its unique ability to truly shift mental habits and perspectives to open new ways of being with others and the world.
Why she loves East Yoga: I love the connections between the students themselves, and also the amazing relationships I have with students. I love that students come to my classes partly to practice with me, and partly (mostly?:) ) to spend time in yoga with each other.
How I Teach: A vigorous dharma-focused vinyasa flow with alignment points. Expect chanting, meditation, dharma talk with intention setting, and yoga philosophy/quotes woven through class directed towards making shifts outside of class.
Training: Jivamukti 2007, Urban Zen Integrated Therapist 2015
Why she loves yoga: Practicing yoga postures helps us learn the language of the body and allows us to listen to the body with simple awareness. Eventually this creates even more awareness: to mind and to spirit which will ultimately assist us in reaching our greatest human potential!
Why she loves East Yoga: I love the fact that East Yoga is a friendly, well-run neighborhood studio where community and student-teacher interactions can flourish. And of course, it is in the BEST neighborhood ever - my home of 33 years, the East Village.
How I Teach: I teach to who is in front of me, always with breath-centered flow, alignment safety and manageable pacing. I teach Yoga Philosophy in teacher training programs around town, so you can also expect a bit of chanting and philosophical inspiration too!
Training: Atmananda 2001, Advanced Training with Adrienne Burke 2003
Why she loves yoga: I love yoga because it puts my mind, body and spirit in balance. The simplicity of staying with the breath has the power to swiftly transform discomfort into inner peace and bliss. It's been my best medicine for 17 years. I also love the family it creates.
Why she loves East Yoga: I really appreciate East Yoga's openness to everyone, every level and it's offering of various styles of yoga. It's mission of communit support is beautiful. I love the old school simple, down to earth essence of the space.
How I teach: I lead class with a kind heart, open mind and gentle spirit. My classes are breath centered, gentle vinyasa flows with plenty of yin and restorative to soothe the spirit. My intention always is to hold a comfortable space for students to come back to themselves through pranayama, asana and stillness.
Training: Asheville Yoga Center 2010, Restorative with Jillian Pransky, Chakra studies with Shayla Worsley, Women/Goddess studies with Alison Sinatra
Practicing since: 2000
Current inspirations: Community, the spirit of New Yorkers, nature, animals and my teachers Nikki Vilella, Alison Sinatra, Nikki Costello, Gabriel Halpern, B.K.S. Iyengar & Yogi Bhajan
Why she loves yoga: Yoga has helped and guided me through many challenges. I was first drawn to the practice for its physical aspects and assistance with stress reduction. Then, over time and with deeper study, I came to understand and appreciate yoga’s meditative properties and the peace, balance and reprogramming that can be experienced as a result of this ancient, beautiful practice.
Why she loves East Yoga: The entire East community from staff to students is a warm, friendly and supportive one. The nurturing environment at East feels like an extended family happy to spend time together through yoga.
How I teach: A well-rounded alignment-based slow flow vinyasa with slightly longer holds of postures in effort to reap the wonderful benefits of yoga and challenge the mind to calm as you practice.
Training: Initial training at PURE Yoga; continuing education and mentorship with Nikki Costello
Current inspirations: Yoga: Nikki Costello (Iyengar teacher), Alison West (Backcare and alignment specialist) and many of the teachers at Kula Yoga (teaching the signature Kula Flow); Personal: New York City; Travel, anywhere and everywhere, to meet and connect with new people and experience other cultures.
Find out more about Michelle by following her on Instagram @shelleynel
Why he loves yoga: Like the space in the eye of the storm, yoga allows the clarity needed to overcome the narrow-‐minded view we have of our lives. This beautiful space we can create, allows us to peacefully observe ourselves and be witness to all that moves around and through us.
Why he loves East Yoga: Real, raw, and respectful. East Yoga holds the space to have a real conversations with yourself.
How I Teach: Combining asana with theme, and through the vibrational power of sound, Rian's classes create the space for tangible, visceral, blissful, grounding, and unexpected opening.
Why she loves yoga: I love yoga because it is a constant source of self-exploration. It allows me to evaluate myself objectively so that I can learn, heal, and grow spiritually.
Why she loves East Yoga: I enjoy the community and warmth of East Yoga. I always feel welcomed by the sea of friendly faces, which is just what I need after a tough day in the city.
How I teach: I teach at a moderate pace with an emphasis on structure and alignment, in order to provide more time to reflect and learn about one’s body. I try to nurture a fun and open environment and encourage my students to ask questions and be playful.
Training: OM Yoga 200-hour Teacher Training (2012) with Cyndi Lee, Frank Mauro, Edward Jones, & Joe Miller, Yoga Nidra (2016) with Shakti Assouline, Currently completing Yogamaya’s 300-hour Teacher Training with Bryn Chrisman, Stacey Brass, Anna Greenberg, Keely Garfield, & Edwin Bryant
Practicing since: 2009
Current inspirations: The simple interactions and conversations with my family and friends