Our Teachers

 

OUR TEACHERS

We are committed to bringing mindful, intelligent and compassionate teaching to our students. Farm-to-Yoga has cultivated a community of  dedicated and experienced yoga teachers who value their connection to their food and farmers as an extension of their yoga practice. Our teachers inspire with their knowledge and ability to weave yogic philosophy into yoga poses.

Practicing yoga, connecting at the farm and eating a farm-to-table meal creates a unique experience where mindfulness practices can be taken off the mat and lived bite by bite, breath by breath.  Our classes at the farm are open to all levels of practitioners and we will meet each student where they are.

 

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Elena Brower

Mama, founder and co-owner of VIRAYOGA, and co-author of Art of Attention, Elena has taught yoga for 16+ years. After graduating from Cornell University in 1992 with a design degree, she worked as a textile and apparel designer for 6 years, and has studied with master yoga teachers for over 10 years. Through her teaching, influenced by several traditions including alignment-based Hatha and Kundalini yoga, Elena offers yoga as a way to approach our world with realistic reverence and gratitude. Her classes are a masterful, candid blend of artful alignment and attention cues for your body, mind and heart.

 Pepper Monroe

After spending nearly a decade of travel and living abroad, Pepper has put her roots down in NYC. Her wayfaring constitution led her to Costa Rica where she practiced massage therapy and surfed for several years. Later she migrated to Australia and then to New Zealand where she earned her yoga teacher certification and also became a Doula. Pepper greatly admires the clean gloss of fresh foliage and has enjoyed time in Big Sur, California and upstate New York working in an assortment of farms and gardens, wild plant gardening, exploring the healing properties of medicinal plants and the importance of organic farming. Pepper currently teaches yoga and offers her hands in a variety of local farms and gardens in New York City. In other wanderings you can find Pepper camper-side aboding, sniffing salty air and revelling in the momentary glitter of the sea.

Ally Bogard

For the past ten years, Ally has led classes, retreats, alignment immersions, and 200/500 hour teacher trainings for dedicated students and teachers throughout the land. Co-owner of Canadian-based school, Gaiatri Yoga she teaches with an emphasis on thoughtful alignment and sequencing to allow the physical and energetic body to hold and emit higher frequencies of light and power.

Asana, meditation, self-observation, shamanic and prayer-based practices, and time spent in deep nature inform her practice and teaching.

Ali Schechter

Ali Schechter is a longtime lover of movement. After earning a BA from Columbia University in Dance and English, Ali completed her 200-hour teaching certification at OM Yoga with Margi Young and Christie Clark.  She is certified in Judith Hanson Lasater’s Relax & Renew Restorative yoga, and is also a graduate of Leslie Kaminoff’s Advanced Anatomy program. In 2010 Ali co-founded and was the primary teacher for a children’s yoga program at the Brooklyn Children’s Psychiatric Outpatient Center. She is also the founder of aliVEDANCEprojects and is currently dancing and creating work in NYC. Ali’s classes encourage students to care for themselves, listen to their bodies, and find lightness and play within effort and precision. Approaching movement as meditation, Ali invites her students to find nourishment in just being.

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Sarah Clark

Everything about food is meditative to me.  Working with such a raw form of vitality- a beaming red radish or a simple grain of rice- encompasses the essence of Yoga: the messy collision that is the pedestrian and the divine, perfectly interconnected.   Being part of Farm to Yoga could not be more imperative or inspiring to person who sees her practice and her teaching as of these things. I’ve had the privilege of teaching tremendous amounts of Yoga since 2006 in both NYC and currently in San Diego-- along the way, at OM Yoga Center, NYU, Dance New Amsterdam, and now in SD at Hale Holistic, Yoga One, Prana, and Pilgrimage. Though my style of teaching is broad in range, it is always rooted in enabling formal practice to wake us up to things as they actually are, to rest steadily with whatever we find, and then to act skillfully in our life.  My notable teachers include Michael Stone of Toronto, Candada, Cyndi Lee & the entire OM teaching Sangha, writings by R.Freeman, and SD’s Amy Caldwell, Nikole Fortier, & Mara Harris; also, contemporary dance, nourishment via food, and being in love with my family & friends.

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Susanna Harwood Rubin

Susanna is passionately committed to finding beauty in everyday life. Combining her life as a yoga teacher, visual artist, and writer, her classes offer an experience of creativity, intensity and grace. She is based at NYC’s Virayoga and is a founding member of Yoga Coalition. Her background as a Certified Anusara Yoga Teacher continues to inform her teaching, a refined alignment-based practice that cultivates her students’ attentiveness and inner elegance. She has spent over a decade studying Rajanaka Tantra with Dr. Douglas Brooks, with whom she travels regularly to South India. Susanna is a widely published author who currently writes for Elephant Journal and Origin Magazine. She teaches Writing Your Practice, through the Yoga Teacher Telesummit, and delights in bringing the yoga off of the mat and into other creative forms. She has been profiled by the Today Show, FIT YOGA magazine, YogaCityNYC, Yoga Radio, and ClaudiaChan.com

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Erin Dudley

Erin leads a breath centered asana flow influenced by the playful devotion of vinyasa, the intelligence of kinesthetic anatomy, and the wisdom of the yoga texts.  “I started practicing yoga as a way to relieve the physical and psychological stresses accompanying a career in dance. In 1998 I taught my first yoga class and I am still amazed at the limitless possibilities the practice reveals. My primary objective as a teacher is to guide practitioners towards their own power, a discovery of an open stable center, and a curious calm mind.“

Erin teaches out of her home in Brooklyn NY, through Kula Yoga Project, Park Slope Yoga Center and serves as Adjunct Professor of Dance and Somatics at Stony Brook University.

Derek Cook

'Sensei' Derek Cook is a Yoga Alliance RYT, Certified Budokon Yoga and MMA instructor and the Director of the Budokon NYC program. Having returned to the states after traveling through Japan and India, continuing his training and teaching in both the yogic and martial arts, Derek moved to NYC to share what he learned and experienced in his varied studies. 

Like Budokon itself, Derek finds his passion in integrating the teachings and approaches of different yet ultimately similar styles and schools; from the subtle work of traditional Hatha Yoga and esoteric Tantric philosophy to the modern aesthetics of Vinyasa flows and Martial arts. His interest and love of the anatomical form and the process of healing through alignment - a strong element of the Budokon practice - both influences and comes from his work with Thai Bodywork and Pilates. In the end, the way we do anything is, indeed, the way we do everything... and in illuminating those connections, we are able to shed a little light on whatever path we travel. 

Kevin Bigger

There was a hot yoga studio in the basement of a grocery store across the street from my freshman dorm in Boston. Thinking I had found a great new way to stay skinny, I started practicing all the time. Without me even realizing it, however, the practice changed everything: I stopped starving myself, my chronic pain started to heal and my rambling mind learned to calm down.

My teachers in Boston sent me to Om Factory when I moved to New York and I’ve been practicing here ever since. I completed my vinyasa teacher training back in Boston with Chanel Luck and Bonnie Argo. I source further inspiration from the dozens of master classes I’ve taken with Ana Forrest, the various systems of breath and movement I studied in acting school, Zach Dacuk’s refreshing explorations of anatomy and an amazing advanced teacher training I completed with Schuyler Grant. 

Jaimy Wilkinson and Victor Tapia

We've practiced yoga for over 10 years, have been teaching for more than 5, and have learned so much from our great teachers at the Chula Vista Yoga Center. In 2012, we opened the last yoga studio before the Southwest border with the intention of keeping life simple, mindful, and close to the beach! Imperial Beach Yoga is a place where people from all walks of life come to find their stoke. We believe in the foundations of yoga and apply them to everyday living.  Our humble space offers Vinyasa-based classes and workshops. We also have a lot of fun during our community bike rides, potlucks, beach parties/clean-ups, live music, local farm tours, free meditation, surf lessons, nutritional counseling, and other community-building get togethers. Our parties are waste-free (everyone brings their own plates, etc) and we strive to maintain a paperless studio to support our efforts in promoting a clean Mother Ocean. We are sharing our stoke!

Richard Mandelbaum

Richard Mandelbaum RH (AHG) is a clinical herbalist with a private practice in Brooklyn and in Sullivan County, New York. He is a founding partner, director, and teacher at the ArborVitae School of Traditional Herbalism in New York City. He has been a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild (AHG) since 2003, and joined the AHG council (board of directors) in October 2012. 

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Liz Buehler Walker

Liz completed her Vinyasa Yoga teacher training in 2001 at the legendary East Village Yoga center Bhava Yoga with Peter Rizzo. The value of teaching Yoga as a way to serve others at Bhava was contagious, and since 2001 Liz has been teaching group and private classes in Brooklyn and Manhattan and loving every minute of it. She continues to study pranayama and meditation techniques with Alan Finger of the ISHTA lineage. Her passion for movement, both energetic and physical, motivates Liz in her teaching. Being a mother herself, Liz enjoys working with women pre- and post-natal who are maintaining their regular Yoga practice or discovering Yoga through pregnancy and childbirth. Liz is also known for her specialty classes on the chakras, and she served as a content consultant for Deepak Chopra’s groundbreaking chakra video game “Leela”. She teaches classes that are deep and dynamic, and she loves the human element that is ever present in teaching and running a Yoga studio. Liz is extremely grateful that she and Mel are able to work in a beautiful space filled with kind people each day. 

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Margi Young

I lived at OM yoga center in New York for ten years.  At least it felt that way since I taught approximately 5,000 classes, 15 teacher trainings and 50 workshops, including my first morning immersion (where i made and served smoothies after each class) and my workshop "Yoga, Cook, Eat" with Maria Rosa Menocal .  Although I adore Cyndi Lee and the OM sangha, I felt a calling to move to San Francisco in 2010 to be near my family. It's lovely:  the Golden Gate Bridge, the victorians, the hills, the fresh produce, the jaunts to Big Sur or the wine country. But when I have the privilege to return to New York City, I'm reminded of the utter beauty of fire and grit.Being a guest teacher at Growing Heart Farm, is about as perfect of a gig as I can imagine.  To wander around an organic farm, teach the grand subject of yoga, and then spend time with you eating a crafted meal sounds like perfection.  Please join me.

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Eric Stoneberg

Upon arriving in New York City, a string of unhappy jobs led Eric to seek refuge in the burgeoning yoga scene. While working as a political fundraiser, he realized that he was much more productive when he was able to take mid-day yoga breaks, and was thus inspired to pursue his passion. The impact and fireball he watched standing from the Brooklyn Bridge on September 11th stoked a profound inner flame to dedicate his life to yoga, to seek and keep great company, and to share the artistry and healing potential of his Tantric lineage. Eric leads telecourses on a wide variety of topics and teaches public courses in both SoHo, NYC and DUMBO, Brooklyn. His classes and personal practice are deeply inspired by his dedicated study of Rajanaka Tantra, a shakta (goddess) lineage of Sri Vidya.

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Aarona Pichinson

Born in Los Angeles and relocating several times while growing up, Aarona's life was shaped by a wide array of experiences, people, and places which tinted her love for adventure and travel, and put her on a continual (sweet) search for balance. In her vigorously graceful classes, global retreats, one-on-one coaching sessions, and empowering workshops, Aarona is a thoughtful and inspiring guide. She encourages people to be more in tune with the strength and energetic alignment of their body, the brilliant spaciousness of their breath, the spontaneous nature of wellbeing, and the power of feeling their senses. From here, we can bring this heightened self-awareness into every cell and every aspect of our lives. Through her weekly music/yoga event "Yoga Soundscape" and her multi-media sensoryscape yoga projects, Aarona has a refreshing creative touch and ability to merge communities in the yoga and art world. Currently based in NYC, Aarona has a thriving teaching career that she's evolving daily. She teaches at Kula Yoga Project, YogaWorks, Park Slope Yoga, and Reebok Sports Club, plus works with people privately. She's been featured in the New York Times, Elephant Journal, FitYoga, Yoga Journal, Well+Good NYC, AlignYo, AnitaGoa, and Co-Creator Radio.

 
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Amy Caldwell

Amy has dedicated herself to the practice, study and teaching of yoga since discovering its joys and benefits in 1997 while backpacking throughout Asia, Australia, and parts of Europe. She trained in the disciplines of Ashtanga, Sivananda, Iyengar, and Anusara combining elements of these styles into a dynamic and inspiring alignment-based flow. She and her loving husband Michael have studied Vipassana meditation and incorporate its teachings of awareness into Yoga One and life with their two beautiful children. Amy has twice been featured on the cover of Yoga Journal including their 30th anniversary issue, as well as appearing inside for the "Home Practice" section.  She recently collaborated with 3D4Medical in creating iYoga Premium app for iPad and iPhone which reached reached the number one spot for best-selling health and fitness applications worldwide on Apple’s store with over 15,000 downloads in the first month.

 
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Michael Caldwell

Michael has been practicing yoga and incorporating its philosophy into his life since 1997. He has studied with Swami Sivanand, Roger Cole (Iyengar), Diana Beardsley (Anusara), as well as with his wife Amy, and continues to practice a blend of Sivananda, Ashtanga and Iyengar techniques along with Vipassana meditation. Michael's kind and gentle manner is well suited to leading students of all levels. A writer, he has published numerous articles on yoga, meditation and well-being.

Amy and Michael Caldwell are the founders and owners of Yoga One, downtown San Diego’s award-winning interdisciplinary yoga studio.  Voted “Best Yoga in San Diego”, the studio has been highlighted in Shape Magazine, Yoga Journal, USATODAY.comSan Diego Magazine, the Union Tribune, 944 Magazine, as well as being featured on NBC, KUSI and the CW. Amy and Michael are so thankful for the practice of yoga in their lives and feel extremely blessed to share it with others. 

 
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Tara Glazier

Founder of Abhaya Yoga, Tara has a background in professional dance, teaching ballet, and freelancing as a NYC yoga teacher. She obtained a BFA in Dance Pedagogy from the University of Hartford/ Hartt School, and moved NYC to pursue a modern dance career. After receiving Anusara Certification, in 2008, Tara became a full-time yoga teacher in NYC and began traveling internationally to offer retreats and trainings. She was inspired to settle down and build a community in DUMBO after falling in love with the expansive, light-filled space that is home to Abhaya Yoga. It is a great gift for Tara to have created a home in Brooklyn where she started her yoga teaching career in 2001. 

 
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Paramatma Siri Sadhana

A certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, Paramatma has taught and studied in India, Europe and the Americas. She was personally taught and trained by Yogi Bhajan, the Master who brought Kundalini Yoga to the West. Her name, given by Yogi Bhajan, means “The Lioness who Ever-Merges with the Supreme Soul through the Wealth of her Great and Victorious Discipline.”  Paramatma Siri Sadhana is known for her deeply devoted personal sadhana, her profound experience-knowledge base, and her modern approach to a timeless practice.  Her classes and her presence are transformative and healing and she is proud that many of her students have already gone on to become great teachers. Paramatma served on Staff and Faculty at Miri Piri Aquarian Academy and is an honors graduate of Georgetown University.  She is currently based in Manhattan where she teaches privately and at Golden Bridge NYC.