OUR TEACHERS

 

KANAN KAPILA

FOUNDER

Kanan, LCSW, E-RYT 500, is a mom, teacher and therapist; she has been teaching yoga since 2001. She was born in India, the birthplace of Yoga, where she was introduced to meditation at an early age. After graduating with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Fordham University, she worked as a licensed therapist in private and public sectors of maternal and child health. Her passion for teaching Yoga began 15 years ago, practicing Vinyasa and Kundalini Yoga & Meditation.

Kanan approaches Yoga as an art form. Her classes are rhythmic and robust, integrating the media of energy and calm position with attention to what is present in body constitution, breath, sound and meditation. Through meaningful teachings and powerful practice, yoga creatively informs us that we can strengthen and refine the shape and quality of our body, mind and heart.

Her yoga practice empowered her two beautiful homebirth experiences, which led to her becoming a Prenatal Yoga teacher (Khalsa Way) and Birth Doula (MotherLoveDoulas). Kanan received her 300 and 500 hour advanced yoga certifications in Hatha/Vinyasa, Kids and Prenatal at Lotus Yoga. She trained and maintains her study and practice under the guidance of notable teachers in NYC, NJ and CA.

She is featured in print & film media including “Orgasmic Birth” and “Postpartum Yoga with Gurmukh.” Kanan also leads a skillful prenatal program offering labor & birth workshops, doula services, nutrition and lactation support.

Her most inspired and colorful art forms are her two daughters, time spent with her family and good friends, and in the kitchen creating powerhouse foods. She bows to her teachers and yoga students who keep the practice effective.

Where there is love there is life.
— Mahatma Gandhi

 

NANCY WITTERS

Nancy is a certified Iyengar teacher at the Intermediate Junior I level. Having studied twice with the Iyengars in Pune, India she is planning a third visit in 2018. Her primary teachers are Joan White and Theresa Rowland, and she studies annually with Lois Steinberg and Sri H.S. Arun. Nancy finds that the precision of the Iyengar method creates self discipline and clarity in life. This detailed alignment is not about perfection, but freedom! Through her direct and creative teaching style she motivates her students to find the wonder, joy, and power of their own practice. She is continually grateful for the loving support and encouragement of her family and friends.

Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life...Yoga allows you to find a new kind of freedom that you may not have known even existed.
— B.K.S. Iyengar

 

LEAH KATZ

Leah Katz is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher at the Introductory 2 Level and has been a student of Iyengar yoga since 1989. Leah's background in movement was originally in Pilates, which she embraced in 1987 under master teacher Romana Kryzanowska. A certfied Pilates Instructor and teacher trainer, Leah has helped train and certify many teachers, both in New York City and the Hudson Valley. She has worked with professional dancers including members of New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Dance Theater of Harlem. Leah has shared her love of movement and bodywork with hundreds of students over the years. Her knowledge of anatomy and the human body make her a trusted and gifted teacher who creates an environment that promotes and enhances health and healing.

If you realized how powerful your thoughts are you would never think another negative thought.
— The Peace Pilgrim

 

Kate Celesta Corallo

Kate Celesta Corallo is a 500-hour E-RYT with a 30-hour Yin Yoga certification. She received her teacher training with Powerflow Yoga, Yinside Yoga and Sacred Space Yoga. Kate teaches powerful Vinyasa Yoga, Basics/Beginners Yoga classes, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga and FlowYin, a combination of Yin and Yang Yoga in one fabulous class.

She suggests taking yin and restorative classes at least once a week as a compliment to yang classes to balance the body mind and soul.  She infuses her classes with warmth and wit and with a strong emphasis on mirroring pranayama and asana with proper alignment to open up fascia, tendons, ligaments, joints, hearts and minds. Kate creates a challenging, yet nurturing, noncompetitive and safe environment for all ages, adding an eclectic playlist for an empowering yoga experience. 

Kate is also known as ‘The Kate Effect,” the plant-powered nutritionist, yoga teacher, meditation guide, life coach, vbarre, barre conditioning and yoga~barre~fusion teacher.
 


 

Ivette Mendez

RYT-500, completed 200-hour and 300-hour yoga teacher certification programs at Starseed Yoga and Wellness. She approaches yoga as a moving meditation and enjoys spreading the word ─ including to beginners, older women and men, and diverse communities ─ that it is never too late to find inner peace, stillness and joy. She has been teaching Gentle and Restorative Yoga since 2013 at Starseed Yoga. Ivette is a certified Reiki Level II practitioner and a writer.

LokaH Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu. May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.
— HINDU PRAYER AND TRANSLATION

 

LENA ANG SILVERMAN

Lena is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT) at the Intermediate Junior 1 Level.  Iyengar Yoga focuses on a systematic practice of postural and energetic alignment that brings forth physical and emotional well being. Lena's teaching is clear and precise. Her classes are dynamic, creative and intelligent. She practices yoga to seek a state of being that is more awake, stable and calm.  She believes this is an achievable state for all.

Before starting to teach yoga in 2010, Lena performed, choreographed and taught dance for more than twenty years.  She earned a Masters in Dance Ethnology at the University of Hawaii and taught at the University of Malaya and the National Arts Academy in Malaysia in the 1990s. She was also founder and Artistic Director of Taro Dance Theatre, a Butoh dance company, in Malaysia. She performed and taught internationally before settling in Montclair, NJ.

Lena traveled to Pune, India, in December, 2015 to study with the Iyengar family.  Her Iyengar Yoga teacher training was at the New York Iyengar Yoga Institute under the guidance of James Murphy.


 

Jill Rodriguez

Jill is a certified 200-hour Vinyasa Yoga teacher. She began her yoga journey as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras practicing Bikram Yoga in an outdoor, tropical setting. She was quickly hooked on the practice as she transformed her body and mind while adapting to another culture and way of life. Years later, she reunited with Bikram Yoga, then transitioned to Vinyasa Yoga which fueled her desire to learn more, practice more and spread her passion through teaching.

She received her 200-hour certification with Julie Gurevich & Heather Sheridan at Powerflow Yoga. Jill teaches a powerful, exhilarating class that is accessible to all levels and challenging to the most advanced practitioners.  
 


 

DIANNA LIBERTY

Dianna is a certified yoga teacher registered through Yoga Alliance. She received her 200-hour Hatha Yoga certification in 2004 from Integral Yoga Institute. In 2008, Dianna received her second 200-hour certification in Vinyasa. Currently, she is finishing up a 500-hour advanced training program at Naturally Yoga.

Dianna teaches an inspiring and poetic yoga class. Her Vinyasa style flows from the wisdom of the heart. Dynamic yet calm, the class is infused with love and rooted in compassion. Breath, asana and meditation are gracefully interwoven to align the heart and mind through the divine temple of the body. Dianna draws upon the wisdom of many great teachers and integrates the ancient teachings of Yogic philosophy. She embodies a deep sense of love and gratitude for all and is grateful to share the gift of yoga with others.

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.
— St. Francis de Sales

 

BECKY MIDDLETON

I teach Vinyasa yoga with heavy emphasis on core strength and lots of movement. I love to build a unique and challenging sequence that weaves in asanas to address the specific needs of each class in a non-stop flow. Let the breath guide and motivate. If the breath is labored, dial back…if the breath is smooth, push and discover new edges. Always check-in.
 


 

Kerri McClain

Committed to the idea that yoga should be fun, Kerri's teaching offers a balance of play, laugh and sweat, with an emphasis on alignment and breath. Yoga has played a significant role in Kerri's life and her passion is sharing the healing, strengthening and empowering practice. Each of her classes offer a unique sequence of asanas with an overall design to facilitate a deeper knowledge of self. She is very grateful for all the teachers that have helped her along the way, and continue to help her today. She is a playful and nurturing teacher always bringing her creative energy to her flow.

Love is our true essence. Love has no limitations of caste, religion, race, or nationality. We are all beads strung together on the same thread of love. To awaken this unity—and to spread to others the love that is our inherent nature—is the true goal of human life.
— Amma

 
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Dr Susan Herman

Susan Herman Ph.D, ABPP ,E- RYT, is a Psychologist and a Yoga Teacher. As a psychologist in private practice she works with depression, anxiety, and trauma survivors. She has been practicing yoga for 25 years and teaching for 15 years. She has been trained by many different teachers in different traditions; White Lotus, Yoga Synthesis, Om Yoga, Anusara, Restorative, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, and Prenatal Yoga. She is a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist. She has currently completed an Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training and is studying for Assessment. She combines her knowledge of human conditions with the love of yoga in helping her students develop more positive views of themselves and their potential regardless of their limitations.
 


 

Reshma Grindle, RD, RYT

Reshma was introduced to yoga as a child by her father, who was trained in India during his own youth. She attained her registered yoga teacher (RYT) 200-hour certification at Lotus Yoga in 2008 under the tutelage of Jennifer Kohl. Her training qualifies her to teach Vinyasa, hatha, prenatal, and kids’ yoga.

Reshma balances her holistic practices with her clinical experience as a registered dietitian (RD). Her desire is to share the many gifts she receives through yoga with all who walk the path, including with her daughter Maya, in keeping with her family’s tradition.

If you open your heart and become like a child,
you will always be blissful, always content.
— Sri Dharma Mittra

 

Julie Camp

Julie Camp began practicing yoga in 1998 and completed her teacher training at Starseed Yoga in 2011. As a high school teacher and mother of two young children, she has a passion for working with people of all ages both on and off the mat. Over the past 20 years, she's studied yoga in a wide variety of methods and has come to develop a very blended style of yoga and a sincere appreciation for the peace of mind yoga can bring.

Her personal practice centers on truly feeling the poses which allows her to become more calm and focused and she brings thisstyle to the classes she teaches. Julie's classes emphasize accessing a greater inner awareness. She uses her blended style todesign classes that are challenging yet accessible and fun, which allow for more self exploration and discovery. She bringspositive energy, compassion, and humor to foster a warm, nurturing and playful environment.  

Compassion is a verb.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Jamie Stiles

Jamies practice comes from a place of spiritual journey with the deep intention of living yoga on and off the mat. She received her 200hr teaching certificate in Hatha yoga at Starseed Yoga and Wellness. She guides her students through a mindful, energetic flow focused on the breathe and alignment. Jamie weaves her love of nature, meditation, sound, and Ayurveda through classes, encouraging her students to embrace yoga as a personal journey and to create a Sadhana (daily practice). Jamie is grateful for all of the teachers who have helped to shape and expand her knowledge of yoga on the path and is currently training towards her next teaching certificate with her teacher Shiva Rea.

Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.
— Jack Kornfield

 
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Nina Manegold

Nina began her yoga journey and interest in holistic health and bodywork at a holistic health retreat in the Lake Sebago area of Maine. Since her introduction to yoga, Nina has completed two teacher training programs – a 500 hour program at Starseed’s Center for Yoga and Wellness in Montclair, NJ and a 200-hour program at Yoga Synthesis in Ramsey, NJ. She has been teaching yoga for thirteen years. She will always be grateful to Jyoti Chrystal and Raji Thron, her primary teachers and guides on the yogic path. Nina is also a practicing reflexologist, trained in the Laura Norman method of reflexology, and has studied Thai Yoga Bodywork with Jonas Westring. She pursues additional yoga and meditation training workshops at The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
 


 

Agnes Tengerdy

Agnes practiced many forms of yoga before she found Kundalini in 2007. She thought that in addition to hundreds of spectacular asanas (postures) that she conquered throughout those years, much of her life traumas (samskaras) were healed, released and overwritten. After her horse-back riding accident, where she almost lost her right leg, the asana practice of various traditions brought her back on two feet to the point where she could walk normally and begin to socialize again. Her ego thought that the work had been done, but when she took her first ever Kundalini class with Gurmukh Kaur, she came to understand that some more subtle, deeper healing was on its way. This was delivered by the quantum technology of Kundalini Yoga. First her body had to be strong and flexible, then her mind needed to be cleared to be able to focus so that finally her nervous system and psyche could be worked on, together with many other layers of her being. That is how Kundalini became her path and passion. She knew right away that “Kundalini is the real deal,”  “there is nowhere to hide from ourselves” and that “there is a way through every block.” Agnes would not miss a day without practicing Kundalini Kriyas, meditations, and mantras. It is her love and foundation. Her personal and divine strength lies in her Sadhana (daily spiritual practice). She teaches group and private classes as well as workshops, meditation and Sadhana. Sat Nam

 

 

Mary F. Huang

Mary F. Huang graduated from the inaugural 2010 Shiva Shanti Teacher Training from Felise Berman, and has been teaching ever since (ERYT-200). In 2002, she met Jyoti Chrystal by 'chance' and began studying yoga- the student was ready, and her teacher appeared. Since then, Mary has attended workshops with Thich Nhat Hanh, the Dalai Lama, Leslie Kaminoff, Judith Lasater, and Krisha Das, amongst others, and has visited the Sivananda Yoga Ashram, Blue Cliff Monastery, Plum Village, Kripalu, & Omega Institute to deepen her practice. She studied Journalism and Human Ecology at Rutgers/New York University, and is the creator of the blog Maryworld.com. Mary strives to teach fun classes that inspire students to find a balance between focused effort and ease. A devotee of the Shiva Shanti style (lineage from Jivamukti and Bihar School), alignment and safety are always emphasized, and her classes include a mix of: vinyasa/flow, pranayama, music/chanting, meditation, spiritual talk, and deep relaxation. They are designed to bring a sense of peace and well-being into your daily life

Waking up this morning, I smile. 24 brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and look at all beings with eyes of compassion.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

 

ELISA STEARNS

Elisa’s passion and desire for living a balanced life is reflected in her yoga practice, which has evolved along with her understanding of life’s process of continuous change and transformation.

With more than a decade of experience as a yoga teacher, Elisa began practicing yoga in college while earning a degree in Philosophy and Humanities. She rekindled her passion and practice after raising her two children. In 2002, she received her teacher certification in Yoga Synthesis from Raji Thron. She recently received further training and certification in Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga from Sadie Nardini and Level 1 Restorative Yoga with Jillian Pransky.  Elisa is also a Reiki Master practitioner.  

Elisa’s classes are creative, Vinyasa-based, and focus on the breath, physical alignment, and core energy. Her goal as a teacher and healer is to guide students to connect with their inner strength to achieve alignment—both mentally and physically—and to explore the power and wisdom of their “true” self.

Peace emanates from the soul, and is the sacred inner environment in which true happiness unfolds
— Paramahansa Yogananda

 

LYNN SCHOORL

A longtime practitioner of yoga, Lynn completed her 500 hour teacher training at Starseed Center for Yoga and Wellness in Montclair and also holds a 300 hour advanced certification through Yoga Synthesis.

With a background in alignment and a love of Vinyasa, her classes are a blend of meditative movement and precision. Students are guided through a challenging Vinyasa flow to facilitate the movement of energy in the body. You will leave feeling connected to yourself and the world around you in a more authentic way. Classes frequently include opportunities for arm balances and inversions so you may spend time on your hands. Lynn is sincerely grateful to her early teachers Jyoti Chrystal and Madelana Ferrara-Matthias and is currently studying Vinyasa with Raji Thron.


 
Ellen Kaplan

ELLEN KAPLAN

Ellen is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and has been practicing Iyengar yoga since 1998. Her primary teachers are Theresa Rowland and Amy Block-Hamilton of Studio Yoga in Madison, NJ. Ellen has also attended countless workshops with many Senior Iyengar Yoga Teachers including Patricia Walden, Kofi Busia, Lois Steinberg, Mira Metha, and Stephanie Quirk. Ellen is passionate about all aspects of yoga: uniting the body, mind, and soul to realize eternal peace. Through her teaching, she hopes to guide others on this Yogic path.


 
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c-ray mankowski

C-Ray, E-RYT 500, brings over 30 years of teaching experience drawn from yogic traditions as varied as Sivananda, Integral and Iyengar. His uniquely personal style emphasizes alignment, shape and direction through a vigorous practice that explores classical postures in depth and with increased intensity. Students of all levels are encouraged to examine and surrender habitual behaviors in body and mind, so that a practice emerges that is constantly evolving and surprising. With candor and humor, C-Ray guides practitioners through a journey that is challenging, at times unpredictable, and always fun.