Natural Awakenings' Yoga Profiles and News 2017

Find Your Favorite Yoga Teacher or Studio


Crossover Yoga ProjectbeBhakti Yoga Center

Lauren Magarelli, owner

89 Dewindt St., Beacon, NY845.440.8855

Philosophy and focus: beBhakti is an all-encompassing yoga studio; we offer classes for everyone. Bebhakti believes that what we practice on the mat is not that different from what we practice off the mat: it’s about uncovering your own pose and practice.

What kind of yoga do you offer?  beBhakti offers Vinyasa Flow, Alignment, Gentle, Meditation, Katonah-Inspired, Restorative, Kids’, Basics and Prenatal Yoga. We have monthly workshops on chakras, Ayurveda, inversions, Yin and more. We also offer monthly kirtans; the practice of chanting little by little allows us to keep going inside instead of focusing on the external. Bhakti yoga is the path of love and devotion to all—to see yourself in others and to spread light.

Do you offer teacher trainings?  We will offer our first teacher training in September. All the teachers have years of experience, mostly teaching and running trainings in NYC, so this is their first time coming upstate to share at beBhakti. The training will focus on all aspects of yoga, not just asana. Students will learn the philosophy of yoga based on the yoga sutras, asana, chakras, kundalini, Ayurveda, Sanskrit, anatomy, meditation, mantras, and Bhakti and mythology.

What else? beBhakti offers donation-based meditation classes Mondays at 8  p.m. and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m., and $5 dollar yoga Sundays at 5 p.m. All proceeds from these classes go to the Green Teen program, which empowers urban youth to be effective community change-agents by immersing them in the local food system. It teaches life and work skills through hands-on experiences in farming and gardening, health and nutrition, and entrepreneurship and leadership.


Erica Garcia Nueva Alma YogaFifth Element Yoga & Reiki

Heather and Jennifer Bellizzi, Cofounders and Sisters
957 McLean Ave., 2nd Fl., Ste. 202, Yonkers, NY


Philosophy and focus: Our philosophy at Fifth Element is “Come as you are!” Our studio welcomes all levels so that each person in our yoga and Pilates classes feels comfortable moving at their own pace and challenging themselves when the time is right. We focus on building and maintaining community, providing quality teachers and offering really great classes and programs while making it as easy as possible to come to the studio and the mat. We offer our members free water and Jade Yoga mats to borrow, so all they have to do is show up—because sometimes that can be the hardest part!

What type of yoga do you offer? We primarily offer vinyasa and hath a yoga classes at all levels and mat Pilates classes. Our seated mindful and guided meditation classes begin this fall.

What’s it like? The vibe is what we care about most at our space. We want everyone who walks in to know that they matter, that they are welcome and that we are there to serve them. Without them, we don't exist, and if we don’t make them feel comfortable enough to explore their fitness and wellness and spirituality, then why be there at all?

Do you offer teacher training? We offer a Yoga Alliance-approved 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training twice a year with our wonderful staff of four, led by cofounder Heather Bellizzi.

What else? We are constantly shifting and growing, and we are worth checking out even if you don’t live in Yonkers. We also offer Reiki Certification training in Levels 1, 2 and 3 (Mastership Level) as well as training to teach Reiki (the Shihan Level), throughout the year in groups and privately.


Nevine Michaan adjusting student in a bent arm dog poseKatonah Yoga Center

Erica Garcia, Owner
799 McLean Ave., Yonkers, NY

914.294.0606 •

Philosophy and focus: Nueva Alma Yoga and Wellness is a studio and holistic center on the border of the Bronx and Yonkers—a safe and welcoming place where anyone can learn about yoga and make friends. The A.L.M.A Institute offers a transformative, interdisciplinary 200-hour yoga teacher training, with reasonable tuition ($4,000) and an evening/weekend format to make it accessible to everyone. Our next teacher training starts October 1. Whether you are looking to deepen your practice, do some personal growth or teach, this is the program for you.

What type of yoga do you offer? We offer a wide variety of yoga philosophies and 200-hour teacher trainings. You can take anything from Iyengar Wall, Yin and Restorative classes to Athletes’, Fundamentals and Flow. We offer discounted rates for children and teens.

What’s it like? Our vibe is to come in and leave it all on the mat. We are serious about our yoga but don’t take ourselves too seriously.

What else?We offer a variety of workshops, including Restorative, Yoga Nidra, Make Your Own Malas, Intro to Ayurveda, Intro to Essential Oils, Yoga for Athletes and Yoga Sutras. We also bring in various sponsors to educate the students and community on local offerings. We are the area hub for learning how to use do- TERRA essential oils for overall health and wellness. We are even a public pickup location for Field Goods, a weekly produce delivery service.


Tracey Pagan, E-RYT 500, IAYT, CYTTracey Pagan

Tracey Pagan, Certified Yoga Therapist,  C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, YACEP
By appointment 914.621.1446
Serving Westchester/NYC/Fairfield, Ct.

Live online sessions available anywhere in the world

Philosophy and focus: Life challenges us. Our bodies carry our stories. Our histories, transitions, ailments and heartaches are as unique as our fingerprints. Yoga enables us to lighten the load. Precise asana (pose) practice is the “medium” in which students first learn to correct structural imbalances, address emotional challenges and move through life transitions. With consistency, as form and balance are restored, the breath develops, the nervous system steadies and the mind calms. One  experiences a quiet confidence and comfort in their own skin.

What type of yoga do you offer? Students and clients are guided toward a deeper sense of physical, emotional and intellectual well-being in an emotionally safe environment by developing holistic life skills deeply rooted in the teachings of B. K. S. Iyengar. Eastern teachings are respectfully synchronized with modern western science. Comprehensive, individualized programs are designed to meet both immediate challenges and long-term goals.

What’s it like? From elite athletes to those suffering with debilitating illness or injury, instruction is safe, practical and skillfully developed for all students. 

 Do you offer teacher training?  Yes. Both beginner and experienced teachers are guided in refining their own teaching skills and adding depth to their individual practice.

What else? Under the guidance of senior Iyengar Yoga teachers, my own spinal/neurological injuries, as a result of an automobile accident in 1989, were fully rehabilitated. I am pleased and fortunate to offer that same level of instruction and expertise to my students for 25+ years.




RawJawRick PansonAmy Planck

Certified Let Your Yoga Dance Teacher and RYT
Mt. Pleasant Community Center, 125 Lozza Dr., Valhalla, NY

845.803.5737 •

Philosophy and focus: My philosophy is “healing though movement.” My focus and goal is to encourage joy and healing in the mind, body and soul through intuitive, expressive dance.

What type of yoga do you offer? Let Your Yoga Dance is an inspirational dance through the chakras, a combination of expressive dance movements incorporating the traditions of yoga. YYD is an off-the-mat experience. No experience is necessary; the only requirement is an open heart. “Every body” is welcome—there is no wrong way to do LYYD.

What’s it like? LYYD classes are a great way to experience joy and laughter while getting a fun workout.

What else? In addition to teaching LYYD classes, I also offer Gentle Yoga classes, energy healing sessions and intuitive coaching packages to help participants move through heartache, pain and loss into a place of transformation and healing.


Riverstone YogaPutnam Yoga

Christine M. Dodge, Owner
30 Tomahawk St., Baldwin Place, NY 

845.494.8118 •

Philosophy and focus: Our goal is to help you build your strength and flexibility in a safe, supportive environment, allowing you to meet challenges on and off the mat. We welcome yoga participants at all levels to safely enjoy the many benefits of yoga for both the body and the mind.

What type of yoga do you offer? Putnam Yoga is different from other studios because it combines traditional yoga poses with gym-based moves, while offering unique sequencing into and out of poses. We specialize in fitness based yoga classes that will challenge seasoned yogis and beginners alike. Our classes combine a unique variety of innovative and traditional yoga styles designed to target every muscle in the body. You will not only increase your flexibility, but also gain strength and agility.

What’s the vibe? Putnam Yoga’s vibe is welcoming, friendly, caring and calming.

What else? We provide specialty Prenatal Yoga based on demand, weekly Kids’ Yoga classes on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. during the school year, and Power Yoga classes on Tuesday nights. On Saturdays at 10:30 a.m., we offer Level 2 3 Yoga, geared for more advanced yogis who seek a challenging practice and want to take their strength up a notch as well. We also offer Barre classes.


Sacred Spirit Yoga and Healing Arts CenterSacred Spirit Yoga and Healing Arts Center

343 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY

Philosophy and focus: We believe contemplative practices are essential for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, and contemplative, Kripalu-style yoga is the practice we love. Our mission is to build a caring community and inspire peace and wellness. Our focus is on supporting embodied, compassionate self-observation. Students are allowed time to move into a pose, truly witness and find themselves in the pose, and experience the sensations and aftereffects of the pose. It’s contemplative yoga, not “gym yoga.”

What type of yoga do you offer? We offer yoga for all levels, taught in the contemplative Kripalu tradition: Beginners’, Gentle, Moderate, Restorative and Forever Young Chair Yoga, plus special, all-level community events with beloved guest teachers.

What’s the vibe? Unlike most privately owned yoga studios, we are a 501(3)c nonprofit interfaith community, largely volunteer operated—yoga for the people, by the people. Our goal is to create a sacred space for seekers yearning to deepen their connection to soul, spirit, life and the moment. The vibe is warm, welcoming to all, contemplative, spacious and sacred.ming to all, contemplative, spacious and sacred.

What else? We offer monthly gatherings for Restorative Yoga / Yoga Nidra and meditation. Special events this fall will include a three-part intro training on Saturday mornings for those who are new to yoga; an evening of autumnal equinox sound bath healing; a fall renewal half-day mini-retreat; and an evening of kirtan chanting with Sita’s Light.


Kim Gold and Steve KanneyStill Mind Yoga

Kim Gold, Owner
305 Central Ave., Ste. 2, White Plains, NY

914.648.0493 •

Philosophy and focus: We teach small group classes, helping students tailor the practice to their own needs and transform their problems using the tools of yoga and mindfulness. Our center offers other modalities, including tai chi, qigong, Aikido and meditation. We foster a sense of community and warmth, and from that basis we teach traditional yoga, centering on the breath. We are supportive, low pressure and personal.

What’s the vibe? Our studio is conveniently located, with free parking. It is bright and airy, and the floors are well cushioned; yoga mats and equipment are provided as needed. Beginners are always welcome. The vibe is friendly and warm; we are a judgment-free zone. Students are encouraged to focus on their own experience and not compare themselves to anyone else. Yoga should feel good, and we help them practice in a way that makes this possible.

Do you offer teacher training? A training program is in the works for the future.

 What else? Each of our teachers has a specific area of expertise, such as yin yoga, massage therapy, yoga for anxiety, Law of Attraction, meditation, Sanskrit language, Pilates and core work, health coaching, Zen meditation and weight loss. We offer workshops in these modalities and also weave them into everyday classes.instructors.


Westchester Yoga Arts

Wendy Vigroux, Founder
49 Lawton St., 2nd Fl., New Rochelle, NY
888.760.4943 •

Philosophy and focus: Our philosophy is to create a sacred space of peace, joy and freedom, and to make the practice of yoga and being certified in yoga as accessible as possible with financially flexible and time-flexible yoga teacher training. Our focus is to make yoga as accessible as possible—not just logistically, but also for those who may doubt their capacity to do yoga.

What type of yoga do you offer? We have all levels, from Gentle Yoga and Yoga for a Healthy Back to Yin Yoga and Power Yoga. Our lineage is a balance of vinyasa (moving with the breath) and hatha (holding poses for a longer period).

What’s the vibe? Our founder moves heaven and earth to protect the positive vibes and love that have been nourishing the studio for our 10-plus years of existence.

Do you offer teacher training? We offer both RYT-200 and the advanced courses to attain RYT-500. As with our classes, our goal with teacher training is accessibility: the course can start at any time, with one-on-one meetings if necessary. We have payment plans and work-study discounts. If you have the passion, we can make it happen.

What else? We have Zumba and belly dance as well. We offer workshops all through the year, and if you don’t have money for a yoga class, we offer programs to work in exchange for yoga, as well as a $5 yoga class on Sundays at 6 p.m. If you have a desire to do yoga but have doubts, call us!


Westchester Body & Brain, Yoga & Tai Chi

Johnathan Martinez, Headmaster & Healer, Manager, Integrative Lifestyle Educator
590 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale, NY


Philosophy and focus: Body & Brain is a national leader in holistic health and wellness. Our classes in yoga, tai chi, meditation, detox and rhythmic movement combine East Asian healing and energy philosophies.

What type of yoga do you offer? We guide our students with a holistic and integrative approach. Our yoga style is based on prescriptive postures that focus on the meridian system (also known as energy channels), where we focus to unblock the energy flow in our body through deep stretching, breathing postures, energy meditation and many other healing modalities. Our classes are suitable for people of ages.

What’s it like? We focus our exercises, workshops and programs to also open the mind and heart for rich experiences of inner healing.

Do you offer teacher training We have different levels of teacher training. One that most people find suitable for them is our Yoga Therapy course, which is nationally certified by the New Jersey School of Massage and Integrative Health, Sun Institute. It is 80 hours of comprehensive training, which includes a certification of completion, muscle anatomy, yoga / tai chi combinations, balancing five elements and organs, personal checkup and coaching, symptom-based prescriptive postures, meridians and acupressure points theory, teaching flows and much more.

What else? We recently introduced Belly Button Healing! It is common knowledge that gut and digestive health play a crucial role in maintaining one’s mood and overall wellness. As the center point of your digestive tract, your belly button has the ability to deliver not only digestive and reproductive health, but also a wide array of emotional benefits when stimulated properly.


Yoga Teachers Association of the Hudson Valley

Workshops held at the yoga studio
at Club Fit, Briarcliff Manor
584 N State Rd. Briarcliff Manor, NY

914.582.7816 • •

Philosophy and focus: The YTA is a 501(c)3 volunteer-run nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of hatha yoga teaching as well as fostering the yoga community in the tri-state area. In fulfillment of our mission to provide affordable continuing education to yoga teachers and students, we offer monthly three-hour workshops led by nationally recognized as well as accomplished local instructors.

What type of workshops do you offer? YTA workshops, which cover all styles of yoga and related practices, take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Club Fit in Briarcliff Manor. Upcoming topics include Traction Action with Tzahi Moskovitz and Transformational Teaching with Ken Nelson and Lesli Lang. The September 9 workshop featuring master yogi Todd Norian and his Ashaya yoga method will be followed by our season-opening Prana Party. Workshops are $45 for members and $65 for nonmembers with advance payment, or $55/$75 at the door.

Do you offer teacher training? No, but we do offer complimentary membership to current yoga teacher trainees. Additionally, Yoga Alliance-certified teachers receive three CEUs for each workshop and can therefore complete their continuing education requirement in just one year with the YTA.

What else? YTA membership costs $50 annually and is open to teachers, studio owners and individual practitioners. Members receive $20 off each workshop, a monthly newsletter and use of the Club Fit facilities on the day of the workshop.


Shambala Wellness Center in Beacon Broadens Offerings

Shambhala Wellness Center * Live Your Life GearShambhala Yoga, a Beacon staple for almost 10 years, is under new ownership. Karla McGuire has given the space a new name and a new look. Now called Shambhala Wellness Center, it features fresh paint inside and out, updated floors, a boutique, two healing rooms, and an organic kombucha bar with three rotating flavors on tap.

By buying Shambhala Yoga, McGuire merged her two passions. Until now, she’s been selling her yoga gear online through her mobile boutique, the Namaste Bus, which traveled to local yoga studios and festivals. “My customers were always asking me where my store was,” she says. “Now I have one that's not on wheels, and my Live Your Life Gear has a place to call home. Retail therapy boutique hours will be 11 to 4 Saturdays and Sundays.”

Shambhala Wellness Center has a lot to offer, she says. “I’ve added new classes to the schedule, with many more to come. The additions include Vinyl Vinyasa, where you can flow to the music of old favorite records; $5 teen classes; and Kundalini yoga, which is known for its life-changing qualities.” Also offered are Candlelight Restorative, Karma (a donation-based class), Aroma Yoga, Body Rolling and Barre. Services include Reiki, energy clearing, hypnosis, Thai massage, DMT light therapy and angel, Tarot and psychic readings.

The center offers workshops and Friday Fun Nights; and belly dancing, drum circles, sound healing and spiritual law are all planned for fall.

Shambhala Wellness Center is located at 4S Chestnut St., Beacon, NY.


Quest Yoga Arts Expands Under New Management

Quest Yoga Arts in Mount Kisco is now under new management. New owner Kelly Swails says she is building on the studio’s current class offerings and offering additional yoga styles, specialized classes, trainings and workshops that will begin this fall. The studio has a new look and recently launched its new logo and website.

The studio now houses a Birth & Baby program featuring a variety of prenatal and postnatal yoga classes, doula services, childbirth education and baby preparation workshops. New and expecting moms can receive a massage, craniosacral therapy, belly binding and lactation counseling and join a new moms’ group

Some of the new classes include Groovin’ Flow (“a lively flow to chase away Monday blahs,” Swails says); Hatha Yoga (traditional yoga as taught by Swami Satchidananda); Yoga En Espanol; Yoga for the Athlete; Kids’ Yoga (ages 6 to 8 and 9 to 11); Fertility Yoga (supporting those preparing for a family); and Goddess Yoga (for women in the wise-woman stage of life).

Fall events at Quest Yoga Arts offer something for everyone, Swails says, including a Pelvic and Bladder Health workshop for women in September, and Beatles Yoga, a shamanic journey and Reiki Level 1 training in October. “If you’ve never visited Quest Yoga Arts or haven’t stopped by in a while, please do,” she says.

Quest Yoga Arts is located at 11-13 E. Main St., second floor, Mt. Kisco, NY. For more info, call 914.421.9642 or visit



Golden Prana Opens in Katonah

Kundalini Yoga & Meditation class at Golden Prana yoga studio
Golden Prana Yoga Studio in Katonah will host a special kirtan on September 10 and a grand opening on October 1.

Formerly known as Golden Temple Yoga Studio, Golden Prana will continue in that studio’s tradition, with a few changes, says owner Hari Sangat Kaur. “We are proud to say that Golden Prana remains the only dedicated Kundalini yoga studio in Westchester County,” Kaur says. “We invite the public to come in during our grand opening and say hi. We will be there to answer any questions. There will be some refreshments and possibly a small presentation of the gongs.”

The kirtan, scheduled for September 10, from 7 to 9 p.m., will be led by Gurunam Singh, who will also be teaching and chanting September 12, from 7 to 8:45 p.m. “Gurunam is a renowned singer in the Kundalini tradition,” Kaur says. “His soulful, rich voice is a warm and inviting invitation to explore and dive deeply into the soul. He is a humorous and wonderful storyteller and makes chanting easy and accessible.”

Golden Prana Yoga Studio is located at 223 Katonah Ave., Katonah. For more info, call 914.232.3473, email or visit the studio’s temporary website, Its new website,, will be live soon.


Yoga Teachers Association Announces 2017–18 Workshops

The Yoga Teachers Association of the Hudson Valley (YTA) will kick off its 2017-18 season on September 9 with Tantra Yoga: Alignment Refinement for Body, Mind and Heart, taught by Todd Norian, master yogi and founder of Ashaya Yoga.

The workshop will be followed by YTA’s annual Prana Party, featuring kirtan with Norian. This event is open to all yoga enthusiasts and yoga teachers in the Tri-State area. Light refreshments will be served.

The season will continue in October with Tzahi Moskovitz’s Traction Action, a workshop on how to use a yoga strap in sitting and standing poses, backbends and inversions to modify or deepen a yoga practice. This will be followed by Ken Nelson and Lesli Lang’s Transformational Teaching in November and Rudy Pierce’s Dynamic Gentle Yoga in December.

Workshops in 2018 will be led by Patty Holmes, Deirdre Breen, Shari Friedrichsen, Priti Robyn Ross and Vandita Kate Marchesiello, covering topics such as yoga and the heart, the koshas and the twin sciences of yoga and Ayurveda. The season will close out with a workshop taught by the popular yogini Tao Porchon-Lynch on June 30.

YTA is an educational nonprofit run by volunteers. Membership is open to studio owners, yoga teachers and individual practitioners. Its workshops are usually held the second Saturday of the month, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., at Club Fit in Briarcliff Manor. The cost is $45 for members or $65 for nonmembers in advance. Continuing education credits are available for all workshops.

For more info, visit or email


The Temperance Center Celebrates Five Years with New Events

The Temperance CenterThe Temperance Center in Eastchester is celebrating its fifth year by adding to its menu of services and events. Founder and owner Merrill Black, who is now a yoga teacher, says some of the center’s many yoga classes will include elements of Life Force Yoga.

“I feel so blessed to have such talented and dedicated yoga teachers at the center,” she says. “I will teach meditative restorative yoga mixed in with some life force yoga mudras, mantras, movement and sound. Adding these elements helps bring yoga to a whole new level. It’s amazing how the use of sound vibrationally resonates in our physical and spiritual body.”

Upcoming events at the Temperance Center include a fall open house for sampling its services; a yoga teacher training by Awakened Warrior Yoga; and Reiki circles, yoga workshops, tarot workshops and other spiritually based workshops offered by the staff.

 “We hope to continue having kirtans with Tejase, as well as our healing nights coinciding with solstices and equinoxes,” Black says. “Our guided channeling meditation group continues to evolve, focusing on healing and the expansion of the soul’s path. Every gathering is different, depending on who attends and the messages that need to come forth to help raise group consciousness.”

For more information, contact Merrill Black at 914.793.2600 or visit For details about the Awakened Warrior Yoga teacher training,


Teacher Training Blends Yoga and Art to Help Troubled Girls

Finding peace in Crossover Yoga Project's classes with Elisha SimpsonCrossover Yoga Project is offering a 15-hour teacher training course for yoga teachers who want to use yoga and art to empower teenage girls who have been affected by trauma.

“Growing recognition of the value a combination of yoga and art can play in transforming the lives of these girls is prompting demand for more teachers trained in this unique method for empowering these young women,” says Elisha Simpson, CYP’s founder and executive director.

Simpson will lead the teacher training September 8 through 10 at PranaMoon Yoga in Peekskill. During the course, which is open to yoga teachers with 200 hours or more of yoga training, she will teach participants how to integrate a trauma-informed and gender-specific approach to yoga with hands-on art projects to guide at-risk teen girls to self-awareness, self-control and greater resilience.

“The mental health and social welfare community is looking for new approaches to putting troubled young girls, many of whom have been victims of physical or sexual abuse, or other forms of trauma, on the path to safe and productive lives,” says Simpson, who launched CYP in 2015. “The Crossover Yoga Project offers an evidence-based and highly effective method for lifting these girls up.”

Trauma-informed yoga takes into consideration the significant impact trauma has taken on survivors, she says, and it offers them tools through specific language, pacing and choice offerings to reclaim their power and feel safe and in control of their bodies. In its first full year of operations in 2016, CYP brought its program to 1,200 girls at facilities in Westchester, Dutchess and Orange Counties and Simpson expects it to touch more lives in 2017.

For more information, visit


Liberation Yoga and Wellness: “An Island of Calm”

Liberation Yoga and Wellness CenterLiberation Yoga and Wellness Center, which this fall celebrates its ninth anniversary serving Westchester and Dutchess Counties, is “an island of calm in a busy community,” says owner Adrea Robles. But that doesn’t mean Liberation has stayed the same.

Over the years, it has evolved from a small Vinyasa studio to a full-service location offering a range of classes, from prenatal, gentle and chair yoga through advanced Vinyasa flows, complemented by a variety of wellness services. It hosts workshops and events focused on yoga, philosophy, Ayurveda and energetic healing, as well as kirtans.

For seven years, it has offered 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified teacher trainings, a six-month program that meets every other weekend. “The schedule allows budding yoga teachers to develop their skills without interrupting their work or life responsibilities,” Robles says. “The longer program also allows students to integrate yoga into everyday life, as well as allowing time to practice teaching and reflect.”

Liberation’s eighth teacher training starts in November. An informational meeting will be held September 6 at 6:15 p.m.

The wellness center has expanded too, with five massage therapists/Reiki practitioners on call, as well as an acupuncturist, a psychotherapist and an Ayurvedic lifestyle consultant. The center regularly offers Reiki certifications and a free monthly Reiki circle. 

 First-time yoga students can visit Liberation in September for a free week of yoga. Liberation Yoga and Wellness Center is located at 862 Rte. 6, Mahopac. For more info, call 845.803.8389 or visit


Seated Class Makes Yoga Accessible

Chair Yoga at YogaShineFor people who are afraid to try yoga due to age or mobility issues, Vitalah Simon, owner of YogaShine in Valhalla, has an answer: Super Gentle Chair Yoga. “It’s an excellent way for seniors and those with physical limitations to be revitalized and get stronger while staying safe and exploring new possibilities,” she says..

She notes that Chair Yoga has further benefits as well, including reduced stress, increased ease of movement and joint flexibility, improved balance and stability, stronger muscles, faster recovery from surgery, improved digestion and elimination, a clearer mind, improved concentration, a more compassionate heart, and an enhanced connection to one’s personal spirituality.

Simon offers the first class free. “All you have to lose is some stress,” she says.

Having taught seniors yoga since 1983, Simon focuses on providing supportive individual attention, creating adaptations for each student as needed for special concerns. Seated in chairs, participants begin with mindful breathing and conscious relaxing, moving to gentle stretching and strengthening exercises. Once the class is warmed up, they do simple standing poses, holding on to a chair or table for additional stability if necessary.

“If students have difficulty standing, there are always modifications available to do the movement in a seated position,” Simon notes. “Sometimes classes include seated or standing rhythmic moving to music and singing, stimulating our life force and having fun.” The class ends with students seated again, for a guided deep relaxation.

 YogaShine is located at 7-11 Legion Dr., Valhalla. For more info, visit or call 914.769.8745 


Rhodella Hughes Combines Yoga and Aromatherapy

Rhodella Hughes, owner of Yoga in the AdirondacksR hodella Hughes, owner of Yoga in the Adirondacks, has connected her love of yoga with her passion for essential oils by introducing Aroma Yoga, a practice incorporating aromatherapy. She says the combination can have powerful results. “Aromatherapy is the science and art of using essential oils for increased health and well-being,” she says. “Integrating essential oils with your yoga practice allows the opportunity to access physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits, both on and off the mat.”.

A yoga instructor who is RYT-200 Yoga Alliance certified, Hughes has been practicing and teaching yoga for a combined 35 years but says she continues to develop a healthy, well balanced lifestyle. She is also certified in Chair Yoga, Reiki Level Two and Foot Reading: Connection to Personality and Health.

Yoga in the Adirondacks is located minutes from Gore Mountain Ski Resort, at 2 Coulter Road in Bakers Mills—a serene setting that fits her studio’s mission, she says. “Our retreats, yoga classes, workshops and events can bring you growth, peace and gratitude for the beautiful you.”

Along with Beth Mendoza (, Hughes teaches a 90-minute Morning Heart Opening Yoga class incorporating essential oils every Friday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Evolution Acro & Tumble in Yorktown Heights. She also organizes seasonal Young Living Essential Oil educational workshops both at her yoga studio and in Katonah.

For more info about Young Living Essential Oils, contact Hughes at 914.556.8258 or visit


New Yoga Sanctuary in Beacon

New yoga sanctuary on the Hiddenbrooke Open Space PreserveShannon Murphy of Beacon Yoga will begin offering study and practice at a new yoga sanctuary on the Hiddenbrooke Open Space Preserve in Beacon. Upcoming events will include workshops, retreats and trainings; weekly hatha and meditation sessions; vegetarian meals; and appearances by renowned guest teachers, including Swami Karunananda of Integral Yoga International, Fernand Poulin of Whitewinds Institute in Atlanta and Corina Benner of Wake Up Yoga in Philadelphia..

“For me, yoga is a way of realizing and supporting my true nature as a spiritual being,” Murphy says. “It is a deeply healing practice.”

Murphy began studying yoga in 2001, at the Integral Yoga Institute in Manhattan, and has been involved with the organization since then, staffing numerous yoga teacher trainings and silent retreats at the Integral Yoga Ashram in Yogaville, Virginia.”

In 2011, she founded Beacon Yoga as a donation-based studio on Main Street. “I wanted to begin teaching in my place of origin and making it more accessible to people here,” she explains. Beacon Yoga teaches the eight-limbed path of yoga: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi.

Having recently inherited her ancestral home on the Hiddenbrooke property, which served as a Catholic novitiate for most of the 20th century, she will now be able to teach there.

“Hiddenbrooke has always been a place of refuge and worship for me—really the midwife to my spiritual unfoldment,” she says. “I want to make sure people understand that yoga is not in conflict or competition with any religion; it is the mystic core of all religions. It predates all the major world religions, and one could see how the various forms that religion has taken grew out of yogic experience. So really, the practice can help me become a better Catholic or Buddhist or Muslim or Jew or Scientist or anything else, by making me more conscious of the spiritual nature underlying all reality.”

 To receive news of upcoming classes and events, like Beacon Yoga on Facebook and join its mailing list. Contact Shannon Murphy at 347.489.8406 or


Fall Yoga Teacher Training at O2living

O2living in Cross RiverFrom September through June, O2living in Cross River will host a Yoga Teacher Training Course with Liz Schulman. Sessions will be held most Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and some Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m., covering topics such as asana alignment, anatomy, yoga philosophy, subtle anatomy, teaching skills, hands-on assisting, dharma talks, sequencing and the principles of vinyasa.

Schulman says she is excited to be a guest teacher trainer at O2living, having trained some of its current teachers.

“The primary mission of this training is to encourage the integration of the yoga path into everyday life—to embody the teachings of yoga,” she says. “Students will train in the vinyasa style, with a deep respect and adherence to the alignment of Iyengar. With this combination comes the ability to teach an inspiring flow class safely and knowledgeably.”

O2living offers a variety of Vinyasa Flow classes, including Hot Vinyasa, Alignment, Yoga Basics and Yin Yoga.

O2living is located at 6 Yellow Monkey Village, 792 Rte. 35, Cross River, NY. For more info, call 914.763.6320 or visit


“Follow Your Bliss” with Majestic Hudson Experiences

Jennifer LlewellynAsk Jennifer Llewellyn what her favorite quote is, and she doesn’t skip a beat: “Follow your bliss.” Her company, Majestic Hudson Experiences, was born from that philosophy, as she creates pop-up experiences all over the Hudson Valley, the Berkshires and beyond..

Llewellyn organizes spiritual and artistic retreats, classes, workshops and private events featuring unique locations, teachers and organizations that share her vision. A certified yoga instructor and continuing education provider with Yoga Alliance, she has a specialized teaching style that emphasizes the benefits of creativity, yoga and mindfulness in personal practice as well as in daily life. Her mission, she says, is “to foster connection, inspire creativity and support a compassionate lifestyle, one blissful experience at a time.”

As someone who has “loved and lived the Hudson Valley” for most of her life, Llewellyn creates events designed to make the most of the area she calls home. This fall she’ll present at the Oldtone Roots Music Festival—“music galore and a little bit of yoga”—September 7 through 10 in Hillsdale; a retreat, Lighten Up Your Autumn Spirit, September 22 through 24 at the base of the Shawangunk Mountains; a yoga/wine event, Wine, Body and Soul, October 8 at Millbrook Vineyards; and a Meditative Journey on the Hudson River sloop Clearwater on October 13 and 29.

For more information, call 917.991.4588, email or visit


Imagine Yoga Comes to Union Hall

Union Hall Dance & Yoga StudioStarting September 15, Union Hall Dance and Yoga in North Salem will offer Vinyasa Slow Flow yoga every Friday from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Nancy Volante, a former professional dancer and now a certified yoga instructor, will lead the class, and she will offer more classes, workshops and community gatherings in the near future. The studio’s setting in a historic building makes for “a peaceful and beautiful space to come and practice yoga,” she says..

Vinyasa Slow Flow is a dynamic, traditional style of yoga that uses sun salutations and Ujayi breathing to link poses into a creative and continuous flow. “The practice cultivates awareness, mindfulness and presence,” Volante says. “Sequencing and poses are alignment oriented, which develops strength, flexibility and balance in equal proportions.”

While learning alignment, the asanas (poses) and breathing techniques helps students develop a solid practice, yoga is also about self-discovery, she adds. “Taking the time to listen to your body, thus forming a friendlier, more generous relationship with yourself, on and off the mat, is beneficial to every aspect of life. My intention with Imagine Yoga is to build community through learning the physical practice of yoga, which empowers an individual to explore and manifest their creative nature, connecting mind, body and spirit for everyday living.”

Students should bring their own mats; other equipment will be provided. 

Union Hall Dance & Yoga Studio is located at 2 Keeler Ln., North Salem, NY. For more info, email Nancy Volante at 

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