AMANDA HARDING is the owner of Prema Yoga Brooklyn, where she teaches weekly Vinyasa flow classes as well as private/corporate clients across NYC & Los Angeles. She is the creator of a program 'Yoga on Set' which provides weekly yoga/meditation sessions to the cast and crews of NY based film and television shoots. Currently one of Lululemon's Brooklyn Ambassadors, she has been featured in Vogue, Origin & Mantra Magazine and holds yearly sold out retreats to such locales as the barn upstate (her own retreat center in Chatham, NY), Tulum, Costa Rica, Morocco, Peru, Australia and more. Amanda teaches an Ashtanga-influenced vigorous yet mindful and creative class incorporating the fluidity of movement and music/chanting with heavy emphasis on alignment, breath, patience and fun. She has witnessed in her own life how creating spaciousness in her body, mind and heart and truly 'walking the walk' with humility has immensely impacted her relationship with herself and others. Her wish is to impart to her students the many gifts she has received through her ongoing practice and studies – a greater sense of authenticity, inner peace, strength, compassion and, most of all, service to others. Her initiative, The Hummingbirds, which is a group dedicated to serving vulnerable local populations in and around Brooklyn will have its first fundraiser in early 2017. She is also co-writing Recipes for a Divine Life - a heart book of yoga, food, prayers and photography. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, 2 amazing daughters and menagerie of rescue pets. www.amandahardingyoga.com
MARCUS BERARDINO: Yoga found Marcus in the mid-90s following his arrival to New York. With a desire to be fit and healthy and to temper his new life in the unfamiliar fast lane of the big city, Marcus began exploring the ancient method of calming the mind while twisting and stretching on a purple sticky mat. Finding yoga to be more than a physical practice, he spread his wings and left the YMCA, where he discovered this ancient discipline, and began exploring the lineages of Jivamukti & Lotus Flow, among others. Following brief periods exploring Ashtanga and Iyengar, and a dabbling of meditation/spiritual teachings studying A Course in Miracles, in 2008, he decided to combine his professional skills as a Massage Therapist with his deepening yogic discipline and completed his 200-hour teacher certification in Vinyasa Flow through Laughing Lotus. He is continuing his studies with Tias Little at Prajna Yoga, working towards his 500-hour certification. Marcus’s classes combine vigorous and inventive asana sequencing with breath awareness, yoga theory, alignment, mantra, groovy music, humor and lots of heart to invoke a sense of joy and celebration of one’s body and life. He is ever grateful to all the teachers that have shared the great gift of yoga with him.
MILES BORRERO: Meet Miles Borrero, yoga teacher, Master of the Fine Arts, skateboarder, horseback rider, former-actor, ex-rocker, harmonium hugger and lover, shape-shifter and peaceful warrior. Born in Sao Paolo, Brazil and raised in Bogota, Colombia, Miles is currently based in NYC and can be found teaching regular classes at Pure Yoga, and The Bhakti Center.Coming from a classical yoga background, Miles embraces its rigor- maintaining all of the traditional elements of a yoga practice, yet with the essence of a jazz musician. Her yoga is pulled apart and reconstructed, then twisted around and flipped on its head for an artful, enlivened experience. Through her own devoted practice, Miles has probably spent more time on her hands in the last few years than she has on her feet, allowing her to instruct a vinyasa flow filled with arm balances and inversions from a learned place. Through her studies in Feldenkrais, Middendorf, the Alexander Technique, Thai Massage and other healing arts she has finessed what it means to sense through your hands.
MARIA CUTRONA'S first introduction to the sattvic sweetness of yoga was by her dear brother Sada Sat Singh Khalsa and his beloved wife Sada Sat Kaur both Kundalini devotees and long time students of the late great Yogi Bhajan. It was on the mat that Maria learnt it wasn’t the title you used to define yourself, nor the kind of work you performed that mattered. What mattered most was the quality of your mind and the truth you live. Being a mother of two, a wife, a yogi, a student, teacher,dancer, business woman, urban dweller, lover of nature and art, aspirational artist, Maria is devoted to the daily practice of bringing equipoise and breath to each moment. Maria is 500hr certified thru Conquering Lion Yoga Program 2008 . She currently is on staff with CLYTT leading instruction on asana and The Art of Sequencing. Conquering Lion Yoga maintains that the goal of Yoga is nothing less than the Wish to reach enlightenment for the sake of every living being. Furthermore, it asserts that the aspirant will never be truly happy without this very special wish. One beautiful way to develop this wish is through our yoga practice; using the breath, the body and the mind together to reach that single,sacred goal. Practiced sincerely over time an unsurpassed opening in the heart of the aspirant occurs. This opening heralds the dawn of the Wish; the aspirant finally has a foot on the path. Expect to sweat in the name of love!The sequencing is flowing and challenging. Classes consist of Sanskrit chanting, meditation, breath awareness, hands on alignment, relaxation and eclectic music.
FRANCES DIRKS has been practicing yoga for 25 years. Over time, as her practice grew deeper, she was awed by the tranquility, health and vitality it brought into her life. Already in the healing arts as nurse practitioner, Fran realized this practice has incredible potential to help people to heal. Teaching yoga for Fran is a natural extension of her passion for empowering others to heal themselves. Her classes combine a graceful vinyasa flow with an emphasis on alignment, creative use of props, fluid transitions, and restorative elements. Fran is a graduate of the Prema Yoga Brooklyn inaugural teacher training, studying with Amanda Harding and Lesley Desaulniers. Fran also completed the 200 hour teacher training at Yoga Union studying with Alison West and Kaitlyn Hipple and is a candidate for the Comprehensive Backcare and Scoliosis teaching certification at Yoga Union. She is certified in Therapeutic Yoga, studying with its founders Cheri Clampett and Arturo Peale. Fran has had a long and varied career in nursing and currently works as a nurse practitioner in an Internal Medicine practice in NYC. She is truly grateful to all of her wonderful teachers who have been with her throughout her journey.
AARON DIAS: In retrospect, Aaron couldn't escape becoming a yoga teacher. From her childhood training in theater, dance and song; to her adolescent obsession with spirituality in all forms; to her teenage talent for teaching and tutoring; to her enthusiastic absorption in philosophy studies as a college student, all the of the seemingly disparate roads led straight here. It is a special honor for Aaron to teach at Prema Yoga Brooklyn, for it was through her dedicated studies here with Lesley Desaulniers that she first experienced how powerful and far-reaching the benefits of this practice could be. Students are drawn to her classes for her blend of scholarly knowledge and honest, lived-in philosophy, her intelligent and creative sequencing, her loving and well-aligned assists, and her unique ability to sustain sincere focus and sweet lightness in the room at once.
JAMES FIDELER: Cinematography, making music, practicing and teaching yoga, teaching Living Meditation, and raising his three sons are some of the ways James currently brings his particular gifts to the world. All of these require attention, discipline, alignment, effort and surrender. All can be done with a predominant experience of ease. James's classes give students an opportunity to discover how their unique gifts may serve their practice and their world. We experience yoga when effort and ease come together inside of us. We may work hard, but let's not make our practice hard work. Yoga is as much a state as a practice, and with this shift in perspective yoga becomes something we are as much as something we do.
DIANE FISCHER became a life-long yoga student more than 14 years ago. She received her 200-hour certification through Laughing Lotus NYC, and has had additional training in prenatal yoga. She teaches in the vinyasa tradition, bringing together classical yoga postures, alignment, and fluidity of movement guided by the breath to purify the body and calm the mind. Diane is deeply grateful to Lesley and Amanda, whose generosity of spirit and devotion to the practice is endlessly inspiring, and is blessed to be a part of the Prema community.
LEA HELLE was first introduced to Yoga shortly after moving to New York in 2009. As a professional dancer, she was looking for a way of moving that would balance her vigorous work on stage. At first, the concept of not pushing beyond her body's limits and focusing on the breath felt strange and unfamiliar. Drawn to the impact yoga had on her body and mind, Lea continued practicing (at Om Yoga Center with Cyndi Lee and Nature Yoga with Wade Gotwals) and found herself falling deeply in love with the practice and its profound impact on her life. Upon moving to Brooklyn, she started studying and working at Prema Yoga Brooklyn, where she finished her 200-hr Teacher Training with Amanda Harding and Lesley Desaulniers. Through the certification she had the opportunity to study with Sharon Salzberg, Kaustubha Das, Raghunath and other esteemed guest teachers. Since then she has been teaching private and corporate clients in Manhattan as well as classes at Shambala Yoga & Dance Center and is excited to be teaching at Prema Yoga Brooklyn.
MARKELLA LOS is a certified 500hr teacher through YogaWorks where she apprenticed and continues to study with senior teacher trainer Chrissy Carter. Her classes incorporate movement and breath to build heat, focused and creative sequencing, and attention to alignment. She is inspired by the inquiry, clarity and honesty she finds in her practice and how it empowers her to be open, fearless and vulnerable in life. She loves to support and challenge her students to stay present and playful as they explore their own practice.
BOBBIE MARCHAND: Pursuing her love of dance, Bobbie moved from her native Toronto to NY in 2005.....though the equation of Dancer to Yoga Teacher is a common one; it was an illness that tuned her in to the power of a daily, dedicated practice.Bobbie's classes....well, it depends what you're coming for....her Vinyasa classes are creative, challenging and fun. Drawing on her dance background, the sequencing is expressive and fluid while encouraging alignment (and a healthy use of props!) Her yin/stretch/restorative classes are an invitation to pause, yield to the sense of support, turn inward and take the practice to a quiet, nourishing place; away from the external stress of our busy lives. Endless gratitude to Teachers Diana Lockett, Amanda Harding and Raghunath for their encouragement, support and loving guidance on this incredible journey.
ELAINE O'BRIEN: Gathering inspiration from her many teachers and students, Elaine's classes are both challenging and dynamic. Powerful sequencing, precise alignment and breath-centered awareness keep her teaching relevant and purposeful. With patience and humor, it is Elaine's intention to strengthen the body, inspire the mind and enable a sense of clarity. Elaine trained at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, where she taught for five years. With gratitude for Lesley, Amanda and all of her teachers, Elaine is honored to join the Prema community.
ANNIE PIPER is on the movement faculty at NYU's Tisch School of Graduate Acting and The Yale School of Drama. She is the co- teacher of 'The Open Voice' with Jessie Austrian at NYU's Gallatin School. She is certified to teach trauma-sensitive yoga by both the Trauma Center in Boston and with the national organization Warriors at Ease, and continues to bring yoga to veterans throughout the New York area. She has served on the faculty at the Brown University / Trinity Rep Consortium as well as undergraduate Theater Studies at NYU. Formerly an actor and director, She received an MFA in Acting from The University of Minnesota and a BA in Theater from Oberlin College. She certified to teach in 1997 at OM yoga, and studies Qi Gong with Thomas Droge. She is also a Reiki practitioner, and the mother of two beautiful and feisty boys, in Brooklyn, New York.
AMANDA SCHOPPE Ready to get sweaty with Amanda? She has been in the fitness industry in NYC for over ten years with certifications in Personal training, Pilates, nutrition coaching and the Lagree fitness method. Health and wellness were always aligned with her professional dance career where she performed for over 10 years with the Radio City Rockettes. Amanda energy and deep passion for whole movement, whole connection and kick ass beats helped to craft this Prema Condition class. Come and party with us!!
EVA PINKLEY became a yoga and meditation student over 13 years ago. She received her 200-hour certification from Prema Yoga, her home away from home. Her classes are rooted in Prema's graceful vinyasa flow, with strong attention to principles of alignment. They are infused with humor, devotion, and guided by breath. Eva has immense gratitude for the teachings and guidance of Amanda, Lesley, and Bobbie and the entire Prema community. They continually challenge and inspire her on the mat and off.
NAMI SOGA: My intention of sharing yoga is to deepen our connection and union with all living beings of this planet, and with divine power of the Universe that embrace and hold us all together. I believe that much positive transformation can take place in the world when we realize this sense of One-ness, and I seek to offer time and space where we can reconnect with our true divine nature. I completed my training at Laughing Lotus and took additional trainings in Prenatal and Yin Yoga. I am also a certified Reiki master practitioner, and a student of energy healing medicine including Aromatherapy and Flower Essence. I am eternally grateful for all the teachers I have found in my path for their endless inspiration and guidance.
MACKENZIE STROH: Born and raised in western Canada, Mackenzie moved to New York in 2003 to continue her career as a professional photographer after completing her MFA in Montreal. After a couple of hectic years in the city, she became an avid yogi, seeking some spiritual balance and relief from hauling heavy photo equipment. In 2014, she completed her 200 hour certification from Prema, where she has been continually inspired by the studio’s teachers and students. Her love of all things creative informs the vigorous, imaginative, playful, yet grounding vinyasa classes she loves to teach. Mackenzie is indebted to her most influential and generous teacher, Amanda Harding, as well as the brilliant Lesley Desaulniers, Bobbie Marchand and Elaine O’Brien.