Bios


YOGA

Christie Roe Christie Roe
Christie Roe intends to make practicing yoga enjoyable and useful for every body and mind. All of her classes are designed for breath, balance, and self-care.
Growing up near Los Angeles, she had the fortune to practice, study, and train extensively with living masters in the hatha yoga lineage of Sri T. Krishnamacharya, where yoga is adapted to the individual, not vice versa.
A teacher for ten years, today she enjoys working with a diverse variety of students and intentions, especially in the healing realms of restorative, therapeutic, and prenatal yoga. www.digthyself.com

Deidra Demens Deidra Demens
Deidra stumbled upon Yoga while studying Theatre at DePaul University 8 years ago and she hasn't left her mat since. She completed 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training at Greenhouse Holistic in Brooklyn, NY. And received 300-hr Certification through Yoga Sukhavati. Deidra is also a Reiki practitioner, receiving Reiki I attunement with Summer Quashie and Reiki II attunement at Maha Rose. As an artist, Deidra has explored movement and breath as natural ways of expression, where creativity and play open our mind, our heart, and our body. Her continuing study of Hatha Yoga and her work in the arts help to shape the creative flow in her classes, incorporating healing practices from Ayurveda, Chinese medicine and Reiki to bring us to a place of presence and true awakening. Deidra is grateful for her many mentors -- such as Leigh Evans, Summer Quashie, Steve Prestianni, and James Bae -- who have inspired her journey as a student and a teacher. "For me Yoga is a purely healing and spiritually awakening practice" -Deidra Rene

Gabrielle Epstein-Casper Gabrielle Epstein-Casper
A native of London, Gabrielle's interest in yoga began with her move to Toronto, where she studied Flow Yoga with Kyla Kukla, and spent a year at the Toronto School of Iyengar. Since coming to New York 12 years ago. Gabrielle has practiced at Jivamukti, and completed several teacher trainings at the Integral Yoga Center. She is now a Certified Integral Yoga Instructor for Hatha 1, 2, 3, pre- & post-natal, and chair yoga. Gabrielle continues to pursue her own practice with various teachers and workshops in New York (e.g. Rodney Yee, Allison West). To further enhance her teaching, Gabrielle has also completed Irene Dowd's "Communication with Touch" course. In addition, Gab is a certified Shiatsu therapist, having completed advanced training at the Ohashi Institute. She currently teaches yoga privately and at several yoga centers in Brooklyn.
For Gabrielle, yoga is a never-ending exploration of how we move through life, allowing us to use the form and energy of the external body to travel within. Yoga works with opposites, bringing right and left, male and female into balance. With practice, we come to find a consistency, a calm, a focus in the movements, which can then move us on all levels - evoking greater peace of body, mind, emotion, and spirit.
Most recently, in addition to her yoga teaching, Gabrielle is a practicing holistic therapist, integrating mind and body through therapeutic talk, yoga and energy work. Perhaps the biggest teaching in Gabrielle's life so far has come from being a mother to her 5 yr. old Ben and 2 yr. old Theo, who keep her in the present.

Joelle Hann Joelle Hann
Yoga teacher and yoga journalist Joelle Hann has been practicing yoga since 1997. She trained with Alison West in 2002, and since then has studied with (and interviewed) many trail-blazers in the American yoga world including Rodney Yee, Ana Forrest, Genny Kapular, and Gary Kraftsow. Her yoga writing has appeared in The New York Times, Time Out New York, YogaCityNYC, Yoga Journal and others. Read more (and watch her videos for About.com) at www.joellehann.com.

Melissa McKay Melissa McKay

Melissa McKay is the former director/owner of Kusala Yoga in Greenpoint. With over 15 years of practice, she has a deep appreciation for the various traditions including but not limited to Iyengar, Ashtanga and Vinyasa. Part of her personal practice includes mindfulness meditation (Vipassana) which she studied in Burma under renowned meditation master Sayadaw U Pandita and continues to practicie in the U.S. with her beloved teacher Sayadaw U Khippa Pano of Vietnam. Melissa also attends intensive meditation retreats annually and imparts this to her students through a Vinyasa class infused with mindfulness and Metta (benevolence towards all beings without discrimination). She takes great joy in the exploration, strengthening and healing of the body, but her classes are equally an exploration of the heart and mind. In the January 2010, Melissa's class was featured in Time Out New York.

Ola Widera Ola Widera
Ola's classes are inspired by Anusara Yoga, and the healing principles within its methodology.

By cultivating an awareness of body alignment and an understanding of the Anusara philosophy of kinesiology, Ola brings each student toward their optimal potential of flexibility and strength, and helps them to identify, reference and holistically address their injuries. Ola's classes are playful and challenging but also great for students trying to work through physical injuries.

Steven Prestianni
Steven Prestianni aka Anandabhairava, began studying under the guidance of Sadguru Sri Mahayogi Paramahamsa, founder of the Mahayogi Yoga Mission, in 1996. He also had a definitive meeting with Sri Swami Satchidananda, founder of the Integral Yoga Institute, in 1988. Both schools profess the knowledge of Raja Yoga ( the eight-limbed Royal Path), utilizing a classical form of hatha for the third limb, asana (postures). He instructs classes as he learned from Mahayogi, holding each posture for an extended period of time, focusing on the exact alinement for each individual dependent upon their present physical capabilities, focusing on a specific rhythmic breathing pattern, and focusing attentively with the eyes for each posture, to acutely increase ones ability to concentrate. Every posture is then alternated with repose in savasana, the corpse, or rest pose. The two hour class concludes with approximately 10 minutes of pranayama (breath retention, or control) and a 15 minute seated silent meditation. Though the class is intense, it operates as a one room school house, open to all levels of practitioners, from first time beginners, to those physically challenged, to those highly advanced. Each will receive modifications appropriate to their level of practice.

His teaching credentials include 4 years for the Mahayogi Yoga Mission, 2 years at the Kearny Correctional Facility with incarcerated women, 3 years for the Multiple Sclorosis Society with wheel-chair bound, chair ability, and mat capable members, 2 years at the Earth School with primary school children, 1 year with AHRP for those mentally-handicapped, including training the staff at AHRP to work independent of his person, 10 years and running with a community class run by donation at the Sixth Street Community Center in the Lower East Side, and 2 years and running at Greenhouse Holistic. He also teaches privately from his own home in the Lower East Side.

Sydney Fisher
Sydney Fisher is a forever student of the "science of self discovery". Sydney has earned 300+ YA hours with Don and Amba Stapleton at Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. She also completed her Balanced Body Pilates Anatomy and Pilates Mat training in November of 2014 at Pilates Nosara with Page Seifert.
Sydney is particularly interested in creating deep playful and relaxing experiences for her students. Her work focuses on self-acceptance & self-inquiry, and simply put, helping you feel good in and after class. Her classes are creative and playful. The movement is usually strong, clear, and focused on breath and core. www.soulriseyoga.us