Teachers

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
 

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.
 

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.
 
salvadorSalvador 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

gigiGigi 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

zulmaZulma 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.

allieAlexandra (Allie) Dempster has been practicing yoga for over ten years and came to yoga like many others, looking for another form of fitness. However, through her years of practice, she ultimately realized the breadth and depth of what yoga has to offer extends much further than a focus on the physical body – it is a practice that offers timeless wisdom and profound benefits for both the mind and spirit as well. Allie completed her 200-hr certification with Blooming Lotus Yoga Teacher Training in Bali, Indonesia and in her own practice has explored a variety of yoga traditions from which she continues to learn from today. Allie’s goal as a teacher is to help her students find a path through their practice that allows them to use yoga as a tool to harness the power, peace and beauty that exists within. In guiding her students through asana, she hopes to help them discover the stillness and spaciousness that can emerge through practice—bringing awareness to the light that resides within themselves and others.

Kristopher Pourzal is a Brooklyn-based yoga teacher who has taught classes ranging from 1 to 60 students. His yoga journey began in “restorative” classes several years ago where he experienced an intimate awareness of his aliveness and a profoundly healing sense of relationship with himself. Kristopher’s teaching is fueled by this way in which sustained attention to the moving, breathing body facilitates our return to ourselves again and again. He is especially committed to offering a safe space for all gender expressions. Kristopher holds a 200-hour teacher certification from Urban Yoga in Phoenix, Arizona and studies with J. Brown at AYC. Additionally, he holds an MFA in Dance and his teaching is informed by various somatic practices.

adeleAdele 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

Christina Reich has been practicing Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga for the past ten years and began teaching in 2004. Since her early teens she has been devoted to deepening her understanding of the healing arts studying herbalism, energy work, and meditation. That same passion brought her into the heart of yoga. She became certified to teach Hatha and Prenatal Yoga at the Integral Yoga Institute of New York. In 2006, she began studying yoga in India and during that time came into the joy of teaching children yoga. She has a BFA in the Arts, including visual arts, music, performing arts and a minor in art therapy. She has worked extensively with children of all ages in the last 20 years, running a nursery, leading groups in summer camps and as a nanny to individual families. She continues her life long yearly pilgrimage to India to study with her teacher, Sharath Rangaswamy.