The peaceful feeling I receive from practicing yoga asana (poses) and pranayama (breath work), as well as the empowerment from becoming strong and flexible, is at the core of my teaching. After years of debilitating back pain and a very inflexible body, I finally took my first yoga class. People say that they’re not flexible enough for yoga, if they only knew what I looked like (for a very long time) in my practice! But what made me stick to it is how I felt afterward; elated.
I love to combine a wide range of experiences; a dynamic physical workout with precise alignment instructions, focus on breath within the poses and in pranayama, spiritual reflection, trans-personal psychology (directed inward work) and time at the beginning and end of each class for quiet contemplation that leads to a meditative experience. My prime focus is on the breath, throughout the entire class, which provides a cleansing from the inside out. I strive to teach an equal part of challenge and nurture, a balance of feminine and masculine. As the breath, heart and body all work together, I hope to lead students to a deep feeling of connection and wholeness that helps to stay focused and quiet the mind.
Here’s what students are saying about Maggie
When I discovered yoga, not only did I get into better physical shape, heal my injuries, and reduce stress, I found a way to fill a deep spiritual hole in my life. In my teaching I create a peaceful, nurturing, and safe space. With an awareness of breath and body, we ground ourselves in the moment. From this solid foundation we move in flowing and playful sequences that challenge us physically, mentally, and spiritually. The music and the underlying yogic theme of the class inspires us as we move. My physical adjustments lead to better understanding of the poses, which make us strong and confident and able to feel at home in the practice.
We learn to trust ourselves, while we approach challenging poses with a sense of humor, learning not to take ourselves too seriously. I stress that striving for perfection is not the goal of yoga, but rather to notice the beauty, the peace and the sense of play in every moment. We are all already perfect in every way. We try as hard as we can, and let go of the results of our efforts. Let’s have fun and feel good, knowing that yoga always works.
Here’s what students are saying about Michael
Yoga helps me to remain happy. I love to pass this on through my teachings. My classes are influenced from Iyengar yoga, Vinyasa yoga, life experience, motherhood and my own spiritual studies with indigenous plant medicine and healing work. Classes with me are always different depending on the mood of the day and what is needed. Hopefully my classes make you work just enough and always have a deep slow finish to leave you harmonized.
I have been teaching for 13 years and lead and co-lead retreats all over the world. I have lead my own teacher training and assist Boston Yoga School’s and Kula Yoga, NYC. My life’s work is also to work with women and offer retreats every year for the development of true inclusive sisterhood. I officiate weddings and blessingways for those seeking a non-traditional earth and spirit connected experience.
I love my life, family, students and that I live near trees.
I like to write, make music and practice yoga every day. Getting on my mat is an anchor that inspires me to show up for the rest of my life’s practices. I introduced myself to yoga in my college bedroom with a 28-day instructional book from the 1960s. A few years later, I started taking classes regularly at an ashtanga studio, both for the physical benefits and because I wanted to open up more spiritually. Practicing yoga is very centering to me. It calms my mind, aligns my body, balances my energy and leaves me feeling more open and available to those around me. I try to bring these qualities to my teaching, which is a flow-style rooted in ashtanga and vinyasa. One of my favorite aspects of teaching yoga is to witness students evolving in their own practice and in their lives. The un-fixed, intuitive flow of my classes is determined by who is in the class that day, how I’m feeling and what everyone wants to work on. In addition to being a yoga instructor, I’m a singer-songwriter, music teacher, children’s librarian, knitter, and hoop dancer. I love that I have a creative life.
My odyssey to yoga began following a car accident that left me with a broken back and other fractures. After years of cross training, teaching and climbing; double hip replacement brought me back to the practice with a new perspective: Life is short so it is crucial to inhabit the present moment. Increased awareness is just one of Yoga’s many benefits.The community of yoga practitioners continues to encourage me with its compassion, intelligence and humor.
My best friend’s aunt paid for my first yoga class when I was 14, and I’ve been in love with yoga ever since. I suppose I can also thank the intense anxiety that I dealt with in high school for giving me a reason to discover how much yoga can help us drop into a place of calm, joy and inner focus. A steady diet of yoga – including acroyoga, aerial silks, restorative yoga, and thai yoga bodywork– has made me a much happier person and completely changed my life. I feel so lucky to be who I am, and to be able to share the joy I experience in this life with others. My classes have been described as challenging in a way that is compassionate and encouraging. The way that I teach is less about what I teach, and more about how I teach it and how you feel when you leave the room. I not only teach people how to move their bodies but I help students drop into a different, deep, mindful state of consciousness. My teaching, like my personality, is gentle but clear and firm. In addition to teaching yoga and aerial silks, and practicing thai yoga bodywork, I am a vocalist and an aerial silks performer.
Denise Hopkins has been teaching Forrest Yoga in New York and Brooklyn for a decade. She is passionate about helping students break through their old patterns and emotional backlog in order to discover their authenticity. She is known for her intuitive touch, direct approach, and teaches in a way that students feel truly seen and understood. For more info: www.purespaceyoga.com
Lacey first became enamored with anatomy and the fundamentals of balance as a gymnast in her early teens. After discovering yoga’s health benefits during post-surgery rehabilitation, she was inspired to use her 15 years of practitioner experience to make yoga more accessible for others. She teaches strong-but-nurturing classes in the Hudson Valley and NYC, and her mindful and articulate instruction allows students to explore alignment, body awareness and breath-centered movement through their own unique lens. www.laceyoga.com
I always felt like something was missing in my life and I couldn’t quite figure out what that was, until I found a steady yoga practice. After a yoga class I always loved the way I felt but they were so spread out I wasn’t aware of the true- life changing benefits practicing regularly can bring. When we practice silencing the mind, opening the heart, and strengthening the body we find the wholeness that comes from yoga. Through a vinyasa flow style class with the use of props and pranayama guided meditation breath work I hope to show you how to find space within your body, balance, strength, self realization and the clarity that yoga brings to the mind, body and soul. When I’m not teaching or practicing yoga I am singing or making driftwood art, I enjoy hiking, swimming, climbing and laughing a lot.