J. Brown (E-RYT 500) is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, New York. A teacher for 15 years, he is known for his pragmatic approach to teaching personal, breath-centered therapeutic yoga adapted to individual needs, including chronic or acute conditions. His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, Elephant Journal and Yogadork. He is studied in the Ashtanga-Vinyasa, Iyengar, Sivananda, and Desikachar/Krishnamacharya forms of Hatha Yoga practice. His teachers include Alison West (Yoga Union Certified), Richard Freeman, Swami P. Saraswati (Rishikesh-India), Katchie Ananda and Mark Whitwell (Heart of Yoga Certified). Member IAYT. J’s writing, video, and international events are also featured at jbrownyoga.com.
Leah Thomas has been practicing yoga with J. Brown since 2000. She trained with Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews at The Breathing Project in NYC, she is a graduate of the inaugural AYC Yoga Teacher Training and, in 2010, completed prenatal yoga teacher training at Integral Yoga Institute with Beth Donnely Caban and Lara Kohn Thompson. In her teaching, Leah aligns with the therapeutic approach that AYC represents. yogawithleah.com
Salvador Martinez hails from San Francisco and began his practice there in 1995. He has explored a variety of disciplines including Ashtanga, Iyengar, Shadow, Therapeutic, and Vinyasa. In 2008, he received certification from Sonic Yoga NYC. In 2009, he completed and received certification through the AYC Yoga Teacher Training. Since then, Salvador has continued to deepen his knowledge and experience. He is currently studying yoga anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews of the Breathing Project NYC. He is also trained and certified in Children’s Yoga through Little Flower Yoga NYC, teaching school based yoga programs, pre-k to high school and special needs. He also practices zazen, Zen Buddhist seated meditation, with the guidance of the First Zen Institute of America NYC. Salvador feels grateful and honored to share this wonderful process with others. www.martinezyoga.com
Gigi Boetto came to a dedicated yoga practice with the need to heal herself while assisting her partner through a very long and life-threatening cancer treatment. J. Brown’s personal, therapeutic, breath-centered, and non-dualistic approach to yoga, not only taught her safe asana practice for physical and mental health but also helped her develop the vital necessity of self-compassion. Gigi graduated from the AYC Yoga Teacher Training in 2012. Continuing her advanced studies of anatomy, Gigi is part of the Yoga Educator Program at The Breathing Project, taught by directors Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews. Member IAYT. Gigi provides her students with a space that helps them learn to listen to themselves so that they may become their own best allies in sickness and in health. www.gigiboetto.com
Christie Roe intends to make practicing yoga enjoyable and useful for every body and mind. She started teaching near Los Angeles, where she had the fortune to study and train with beloved master teachers such as Erich Schiffmann (Freedom Style Yoga) and Mark Whitwell (Heart of Yoga.) Most recently, she became certified in prenatal yoga with Beth Donnaley Caban and Lara Kohn Thompson at the Integral Yoga Institute. Christie completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training in 2012 and is honored to be part of the AYC staff. www.digthyself.com
Sabina Maschi was born and raised in Singapore where Yoga and Eastern medicine were an integral part of her life growing up. While she has studied yoga at various places in South East Asia and Hong Kong as well as in New York – from Bikram to Iyengar to various Vinyasa flows it wasn’t until she came across Abhyasa Yoga Center that she found her yoga home. Sabina completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training in 2013. She is happy to share the principal of creating strength with ease with other students. Also a student of Fitzmaurice voice and body work since 2009, Sabina is conscious of incorporating this into her yoga.
Zulma Ortiz-Fuentes discovered yoga upon arriving in New York City from her native Puerto Rico in the early 1980’s. She has maintained a steady practice ever since with diverse teachers from across the city. Yoga sustained and nourished her during twelve years of teaching English Language Arts in public schools. After deciding on an early retirement from the New York City Department of Education, Zulma is now dedicating herself to teaching yoga. She completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training and will complete Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training with Lara Kohn Thompson and Beth Donnelly Caban by the end of 2014. She also teaches chair yoga at a senior center in Bushwick, Brooklyn and is amazed and humbled by the trust and openness of her students. Zulma is most grateful to all her former and present teachers, and for having found her way to the Abhyasa Yoga Center.
Since Shara Harad began practicing, Yoga has been a vital staple in her mind-body investigations both in relation to her dance studies and overall life. When she moved to Brooklyn, Shara found her Yoga home at Abyhasa Yoga Center. She completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training in 2013. Shara is also a performer, schoolteacher, and soon to be social worker. Guided by J Brown, colleagues, and the beautiful complexity of the world, her therapeutic Yoga practice teaches her to precisely connect breath with movement, asana with light-heartedness, and Yoga with practical life. As a teacher, it is her objective to share these corner stones with you. www.sharajoyyoga.com
Rachel King first did yoga in elementary school, but she didn’t start practicing regularly until she signed up for a beginner’s class at the Dharma Yoga Center near her apartment in Manhattan in 1998. After the first class, she was completely hooked—the poses she learned immediately made her feel calmer and more centered. Over the years, she tried a variety of yoga styles at a multitude of studios, but found that more athletic kinds of yoga, while exhilarating, often led to injuries that kept her off the mat for months at a time. She is deeply grateful to J. for introducing her to a therapeutic style of yoga that allows her to practice while remaining pain-free. She completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training in 2013, and is happy to be able to introduce more people to the benefits of a breath-centered yoga practice. Outside the studio, she has worked over the years as a writer, editor, lexicographer, and librarian. She loves to teach, and currently works as an instructor in higher education.
Robin Helfritch began her yoga journey at age 5, growing up with a yogi mom who practiced as a means to ease her symptoms from Multiple Sclerosis. With early beginnings in the teachings of the Himalayan Institute, and years of practicing various styles of Hatha yoga, Robin realized her need for therapeutic yoga after suffering a back injury and four subsequent surgeries, including a spinal cord stimulator implant. Seeking relief from her chronic pain and finding that the fast-paced, vigorous vinyasa style she formerly practiced was exacerbating her pain rather than helping it, she discovered the power of self-healing with personal, breath-centered yoga at Abhyasa Yoga Center. She completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training in 2014. Additionally, she holds a 200-hour certification in vinyasa yoga from Karuna Yoga and is a trained and certified kids yoga teacher through Next Generation Yoga. She is currently studying with Leslie Kaminoff in a 2-year advanced yoga anatomy program at The Breathing Project. Robin believes that yoga is a celebration of life and a gift to be shared from one friend to another. www.redrobinyoga.com
Dana Trexler studied ballet and modern dance most of her childhood and into young adulthood. Finding yoga was a way for her to connect with movement and feel graceful again. She started in 2000, while pursuing a bachelors degree after she had her son. It was a way to decompress from the stress of being a mom and college student at the same time. Since then, she has studied Jivamukti, Bikram, Restorative, Iyengar and Vinyasa styles. In 2015, Dana completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training and is grateful for the surrender and awareness that the approach has brought her. Dana is a also a social worker. She knows what its like to have someone come into a space feeling stressed, depressed, defeated, beaten down and to leave feeling better than when they came in. As a teacher, Dana hopes for us all to practice being compassionate, gentle and non judgmental with ourselves and to take that out into the world..
Robyn Love came to yoga a little reluctantly – both curious and suspicious about this tradition that has been imported to the West. When her two children were under the age of two, she took her first class as a way of getting an hour of alone time. Thus, after a long courtship, it was love at first sight. Robyn completed her 200-hr teacher training with Guta Hedewig of the New York Yoga School in the Desikachar tradition in 2009. She completed an additional 375 hours of training with Guta in 2013. She is currently enrolled in the three-year YATNA yoga therapy certification program under the guidance of Chase Bossart, Dolphi Wertenbaker and Amy Wheeler. She teaches with Liberation Prison Yoga at the Manhattan Detention Complex in the transgender unit and she is a jukai student in the Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism.
Kerianne Marston began her regular yoga practice in 2004 while struggling with anxiety and has been a dedicated student ever since. In 2010, her mother opened The Yoga Space in Berea, Ohio, where Kerianne was able to spend time exploring and deepening her understanding of yoga. She has also spent many years studying philosophy and ethics, which inform her practice. She believes that yoga practice should be accessible to all, regardless of physical or cognitive challenges. In 2013 she completed the Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga Teacher Training and in 2014, she developed a yoga program specifically for persons with early-stage dementia, with a companion program for caregivers of persons with dementia. Kerianne completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training in 2015 and feels that the therapeutic, breath-centered approach taken at AYC allows for a safe and holistic yoga experience. She is humbled and honored to be able to share her practice with the community at AYC..
Adele Loux-Turner began teaching in 2001 (certified Integral Yoga Institute.) Since then, she has taught extensively to both adults and children. In 2006, Adele completed training in prenatal yoga at New York Yoga. She studied yoga for labor and delivery with Beth Donnelly Caban and “mommy and me” yoga with Jyothi Larson in 2007. Adele trained as a labor support doula through DONA International in 2008 and has since had the pleasure of assisting several of her students through their labors. Adele completes a two-year program in Embodied Developmental Movement and Yoga with Amy Matthews and Roxlyn Moret in February 2013, through the School for Body Mind Centering. She plans to continue her studies of BMC to certify as an Infant Developmental Movement Educator. Adele also continues to dance professionally. www.yogadele.com