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 blog and essay writing is also featured at yogijbrown.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
Carla Monzo Carla Monzo is a yoga instructor and dance artist with a deep love and curiosity for understanding our embodied nature. She began studying yoga in college, where she also received formal dance training in Erick Hawkins Technique, known for its fluidity and emphasis on the easing of unnecessary effort. This early influence has profoundly affected her yoga practice and teaching, and led her to the breath-centered, therapeutic approach of Abhyasa Yoga Center, where she completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training in Spring of 2012. Carla also holds an MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College, where she completed extensive research in functional anatomy and embryology. She also teaches in New York City public schools and is on the faculty of the annual Allegheny College Summer Dance Intensive. Carla is grateful for her teachers, James Reedy, Indira Shekerjian, and J. Brown.
Anderson Miller started a regular yoga practice in early 2009 and found that the “present-ness” of it fit nicely into his life. Prior to turning said life up a notch, Anderson just specialized in building digital and electromechanical things, which lacked a certain physicality and ritualistic study. Wishing to deepen his practice, he took his yoga practice to its next logical conclusion and completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training in 2010. Today he is excited to share his practice with others. www.candersonmiller.com
Narisara Vanichanan received her initial yoga teacher training from OM Yoga Center, Pre-Natal Yoga certification from Janice Clarfield, and Restorative Yoga training from Judith Hanson Lasater. She is also certified in yoga for breast cancer survivors, has practiced vipassana (insight) meditation for over ten years and completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training in 2010. Narisara blends poetry, the visual arts, anatomy studies & dharma into her classes and draws inspiration from everyday urban life. For Narisara, teaching yoga is an opportunity to help others, and she offers a creative but structured environment where the present moment is honored. Outside the studio, Narisara works in the arts and nonprofit management. She has a master’s in arts administration from Columbia University and is a graduate of Coro Leadership NY.
Christie Roe became a devoted yoga student at a young age and started teaching in 2005. Christie shares yoga as a creative self-healing modality, utilizing holistic practice, basic principles and the quality of breath to embrace the entirety of being. She has had the great fortune to train with beloved teachers, such as Erich Schiffmann (Freedom Style Yoga) and Mark Whitwell (Heart of Yoga.) Christie completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training in 2012 and is honored to be part of the AYC staff.
Madeleine Boga began practicing yoga in high school as an alternative to the typical physical education program. She continued to take classes through college, experimenting with different styles and teachers. In January 2013, after graduating from the New School with a BA in Environmental Studies, she began Hosh’s 200-hour teacher training program in Greenpoint. Practicing yoga provided peace and stability in Madeleine’s post-graduation frenzy. After practicing with J, she came to appreciate the comfort and dependability of the AYC approach. Madeleine is currently near completion of the AYC Yoga Teacher Training.
Brooke Insley found yoga in 2000. She is grateful to her first teacher Bonnie Slifkin for introducing her to mindful meditation which led her to developing a regular hatha yoga practice. She began practicing with J. Brown in early 2007 and was immediately drawn to a breath-centered, non-achievement-based approach. Brooke completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training in Spring 2008 and is honored to be able to share with others.
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.
Lacey Seidman first became enamored with anatomy and the concept of balance as a gymnast in her early teens. Born with a unique neurological condition that required multiple spinal surgeries, she discovered yoga’s health benefits first-hand. Over more than 15 years of deepening her practice, she has steadily worked to rehabilitate her body and completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training in 2013. Lacey uses her experience and intuition to make yoga more universally accessible and articulate the healing effects of yoga practice beyond the physical. After nearly a decade working in the ego-driven atmosphere of the music industry, she considers the practice to be an essential element in remaining grounded, healthy, and recharged. She teaches classes and privates throughout the five boroughs. yogawithlacey.tumblr.com.
Sarahmay Wilkinson came to yoga through meditation. In 2007, Sarahmay began studying Tibetan Buddhist meditation under the guidance of Venerable Thupten Phuntsok at the Three Jewels NY. Suffering hip pain due to extended sittings, Sarahmay was happy to discover AYC in 2009. J. Brown’s breath-centered therapeutic yoga practice resonated deeply with her. Following two years of practice at the center, Sarahmay completed the AYC Yoga Teacher Training and soon thereafter took up a regular spot on the schedule. Her practice and teaching are grounded in a tradition of pragmatism that promotes healing and fosters love for self. In addition to teaching at AYC, Sarahmay runs a breath and movement program at Rivington House NY, a residential facility that offers clinical services to those living with HIV/AIDS.
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