Erica Barth is a proud New Yorker, a life-long lover of movement, “yoga-nerd”, and the co-owner of Harlem Yoga Studio. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from The Wharton School, and a Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, where she focused on group dynamics and conflict resolution. While training for a marathon in 2001, Erica ran into her first yoga class and quickly fell in love with the way yoga developed strength and flexibility in her body and brought serenity and balance to her mind. Erica met Laurel at Integral Yoga Institute NY, where she obtained her teaching certification and—after years of looking for a business idea she could be passionate about—was thrilled to help open Harlem Yoga Studio! Erica is certified to teach Hatha, vinyasa, yin, teens, and children. Her classes are a creative, playful, alignment-focused sequence of postures that lead students to a union between breath and body, leaving them relaxed and energized. Her intentions for HYS are to make yoga accessible and to gather community in health and in fun. Erica’s systemic worldview allows her to see the internal connection between body, mind, and spirit as a mirror (and magnifier) of our external connection to one another. By coupling yoga with her background in group dynamics and social organizational theory, Erica empowers individuals, while helping teams work together more effectively. To learn more about Erica’s work outside of Harlem Yoga Studio, visit Erica Barth Yoga.
Dorian Shorts is a passionate, innovative, and devoted instructor of yoga who is proficient in the structure of vinyasa flow as related to chakras and energetic movement. He is excited to incorporate traditional elements of yoga with contemporary themes in order to bring history to the present in a fun and healthy learning experience for students of all levels.
Elle Randall was first introduced to yoga in college and has discovered that steady yoga practice makes for happier people. In 2012, she completed the 200-hour Teacher Training Yoga Vida and is currently pursuing the 300-hour Advanced Training at Laughing Lotus. Elle is also the Owner and Artistic Director of the cabaret troupe Sass N’ Betties and co-creator of Betties Bootcamp, which fuses yoga, fitness, dance, and performance into workshops. Inspired by flow, music, and storytelling, Elle’s classes combine fun and challenging practice with a “be happy, be healthy’ attitude, leaving people vibrant, balanced, and reconnected to their higher selves.
Jenna Conner first discovered yoga in college to ease stress and back pain, and never turned back. She comes from a dance background of 16 years. She received her B.F.A in Acting from Oklahoma City University in 2014. In 2016, she received her 200-hour certification from Sun Salute Studios in Torre de la Horadada, Spain, under the instruction of Amanda Dee Smith of NYC. Jenna’s classes are creative flows that incorporate breath, alignment, meditation, and philosophy set to a fun, upbeat playlist. Forever a student of yoga, there’s so much more she still aspires to learn. Jenna loves to travel and has taught yoga in Spain, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. She continues to work and spread her love of yoga around NYC and the world, making it available to all types of people regardless of size, shape, color, culture, or ability.
Dublín Salas was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He began his yoga practice in New York with family member, Marco Rojas, who is one of the 100 most influential yoga teachers in America, according to Sonima.com, and currently a senior teacher with renowned teacher Alan Finger at Ishta Yoga. Salas studied anatomy with Jason Brown at Zenyasa Yoga Studio NYC. After Dublin completed his teacher training at Yoga Works under the guidance of Jenny Arthur, he began to assist Rojas in classes and workshops all around NYC developing a deep affinity for Rojas’ yogic style. In 2015, Dublín completed the 100-hour Intensive Teacher Training with master teacher, Maty Ezraty. In 2016, he enrolled in an Advanced Teacher Training certification in Musculoskeletal Anatomy, Injury Awareness/Prevention, Biomechanics, and the Kinesiology of Yoga Asana.
Vijai Wilansky was the director of the Integral Yoga Upper West Side Center for 18 years, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Integral Yoga Institute, and he is an instructor of Integral Yoga Teacher Training programs. He has been practicing yoga and meditation for over 40 years and has a wealth of experience and insight into the subtle practices of yoga. Vijai has been greatly influenced by Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman, having completed numerous trainings taught by Rodney and having studied with Rodney for the last 20 years. He is also influenced by Carrie Owerko and other yoga luminaries whom he has had the privilege to study with. Vijai is approved to teach light body meditation (an intricate and enlightening form of meditation with near-magical results for everyday life), has completed a four-year course of study at the Ohashi Institute, and is certified as an Ohashiatsu Shiatsu practitioner.
Just like you, Tameeka Robinson had heard of the amazing benefits of yoga but really didn’t think she could bend her body that way. As an avid gym-goer, it was an injury that finally forced her to step into a yoga studio. Now she wonders what took her so long. Tameeka received her certification from Laughing Lotus NYC in their signature Lotus Flow, Yin Yoga & Essential Oils. A student as well as a teacher at Harlem Yoga Studio, Tameeka is very excited to now share the practice with others.
Sojourner Williams is an energy healer, yogi, and 200-hour E-RYT who completed her yoga teacher training at Laughing Lotus Yoga and has been teaching since 2008. Her classes are fluid and breath-driven, an invitation to tap into your creative core.
Amy Tobin has been practicing yoga in NYC since 2000 and is a graduate of the 500-hour YogaWorks Professional Teacher Training Program. Her teaching seeks to balance stability and freedom in the body and the mind. Her classes combine the challenge of vinyasa flow with an emphasis on body alignment. She encourages students to link breath with movement and to explore the benefits of yoga at their own pace. Amy believes that yoga – like life – should be approached with warmth and humor. Amy has been involved with the not-for-profit organization Exhale to Inhale, since its inception in 2013, which brings the healing and grounding practice of yoga to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Ewa Szostak is a native of Poland who grew up in NYC and considers herself a citizen of the world. Ewaʼs love affair with yoga began at Hunter College in 1996, where she studied yoga, theology, and psychology. Ewa’s yoga and meditation practice helped her body perform better as a competitive swimmer, as well as cope with stress, anxiety, and trauma. She obtained a 200-hour certification from Integral Yoga Institute, and now combines yoga with the theoretical and practical knowledge gained from her studies and life experiences to teach a well-balanced class that connects the mind-body and spirit. She specializes in teaching the adolescent population with PTSD and substance use disorder and is certified as a CASAC (Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor). Her style of teaching is a physically demanding, stress-releasing class, perfectly fit for teens and adults. Her philosophy is to feel the burn, connect to the breath, and find inner peace!
Esthefany Castillo (she/they) is a multi-media artist and writer. She has a 200-hour certification in Ashtanga Yoga through Harlem Yoga Studio. Esthefany has been teaching for three years in different studios both in NYC and LA. Most recently, she started her own digital intersectional wellness community where people share resources for collective healing.
Ellyn Gerry’s practice and teaching are informed by over three decades of combined experience as a Labor and Delivery Nurse, Childbirth Educator, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. Her class sequences are safely and lovingly curated using warm, invitational language and methodology. Ellyn has completed nearly 1000 hours of Yoga and Fitness Teacher Training. She holds Yoga Teacher Certification with New York Yoga, Advanced Yoga Certification with Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman, Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga with the Prenatal Yoga Center, Yin Yoga with Integral Yoga, Trauma-Informed Yoga with Exhale to Inhale, Accessible Yoga with Jivana Heyman, and Baby and Me Yoga with Kidding Around Yoga. She has also studied Alignment with Leslie Kaminoff, Pranayama with Richard Rosen, and Yoga for Recovery from Eating Disorders with Chelsea Roff. She studied Pilates Mat with Power Pilates, and is a NASM Certified Women’s Fitness Specialist. Currently, she is working toward her certification as a Pelvic Floor Yoga Teacher with Leslie Howard.
Sandra Voss completed her 200-hour training with Harlem Yoga Studio in December 2020. She has been practicing yoga since high school and has found it especially helpful since she was diagnosed with Spondyloarthritis, an inflammatory arthritis condition that feels better with movement and stretching. Sandra is also a clinical social worker, and after over 5 years in the mental health field, she is focusing more on yoga and its physical and mental benefits, both for herself and others. Sandra is interested in the intersections among mental health, physical health, chronic illness, disability, accessibility, and body positivity; and she is passionate about making yoga inclusive for everyone. Sandra lives in the Bronx and enjoys riding her bike all over NYC. You might see her in pilates or HIIT class, following her doctor's orders to strengthen her core. You can follow her on Instagram at @sandravossyoga. She looks forward to seeing you in class!
Shabnam Ahamed took her first yoga class in 2008 and like many, was initially just looking for a way to stay physically active. A decade later, her yoga practice had become as much of a spiritual and mental practice as a physical one and she decided to complete her 200-hour teacher training at Harlem Yoga Studio. Shabnam’s Hatha classes incorporate asana (physical poses), pranayama (breathwork), and meditation. She is certified in Medicinal Aromatherapy and uses various plant essences in her classes. Shabnam is also a Registered Dietitian (RD) and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) and has worked in community health in Harlem and the Bronx.
Laurel Katz-Bohen is a native New Yorker, a longtime Harlem resident, momma of two, and the founder of Harlem Yoga Studio. A graduate of the Integral Yoga Institute, she is certified to teach Hatha Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, and Raja Yoga Philosophy. Laurel also completed Vinyasa Training with Seane Corn and Advanced Teacher Training with Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman. Laurel is a DONA International Certified Birth Doula, a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), and trained as a Midwife Assistant with Ina May and the rest of the legendary midwives at The Farm Midwifery Center. She offers emotional support, encouragement, and wisdom to women and families throughout labor, birth, and postpartum. Laurel has practiced yoga since the age of five and enjoys planting a life-long love of “playing yoga” in her Children’s yoga classes. Laurel is a singer and songwriter who has toured throughout the United States and the world with various groups, and currently works with one of her favorite icons, Blondie. She is the winner of an Emmy award for outstanding Journalism. In addition, she has a background in childhood education and has taught elementary school in the New York City public school system. It is Laurel’s intention to serve the vibrant and diverse New Yorkers in the Harlem community by offering peace, wellness, and a sense of oneness.
Jazmin Tejada was born and raised in East Harlem, New York. The daughter of Dominican immigrants, she quickly learned that showing up and working hard was a part of her DNA. After severely injuring her back, falling in the shower after a dance rehearsal, she started going to physical therapy. She noticed that the exercises in physical therapy felt like “gentle yoga,” so she decided to practice “gentle yoga” on her own (don’t try that at home). Soon after, her self-guided practice/therapy, Jazmin healed her body and also found what she had been missing – the connection within herself. Jazmin found that the connection to her breath along with movement was the medicine that her body needed, not just for her injury, but for her mind and spirit. Through her teaching, Jazmin hopes to provide a space for her students to find what they need for themselves.
Nyota Nayo came to the yogic lineage via her journey as a dancer and is now a long-time practitioner and teacher. She is certified to teach Hatha Yoga and Prenatal Yoga through the Integral Yoga Institute and is certified to teach Core Vinyasa Yoga through training under Sadie Nardini. Nyota is a DONA-trained Doula and has supported many mothers in Harlem through their labor and births. Additionally, Nyota is a Reiki practitioner and teaches and performs Egyptian Belly Dance and Brazilian Samba. Currently, Nyota is in training in the US, and in Egypt under the Temple of Aset, towards certification in Egyptian Yoga and Meditation. Nyota’s mission is to use her myriad of experiences to empower all who are on the quest for the wellness of mind, body, and spirit.
A long-time practitioner of yoga and martial arts, Adrienne Neff teaches a heart-centered, trauma-sensitive flow that is empowering, nurturing, and joyful. Her classes are designed to be both vigorous and deeply relaxing, a refuge from the stress and worries of the world. In addition to teaching, Adrienne works as a civil legal services attorney and volunteers as a youth mentor. She believes that through the practice of yoga, meditation, and self-study, we can heal ourselves and deepen our connections to each other.
Miles Borrero—Lucky enough to study with some of yoga’s living masters over the last 20 years, Miles’ deep dive into his own practice and insatiable curiosity have led him down the rabbit hole of many yoga lineages as well as modalities of modern movement science. An anatomy aficionado, he fuses his vast knowledge of the body, classical technique and philosophy to deliver a wholehearted, creative practice so respectful, that it will leave you with the ever-fresh feeling that can only come from exploring your own breath. His nuanced insights stay with you past the duration of class and his chants will melt your heart wide open. His love of people is infectious, and he is passionate about dismantling the learned systems within ourselves that keep us small and using our yoga to create inclusive spaces where difference and diversity become our superpowers. Before the pandemic Miles taught at Pure Yoga, Five Pillars Yoga and the Kula Yoga Project. You can check him out at www.milesyoga.com.
As a curvy woman, Angela Dawn often felt excluded from the larger conversation about health and fitness, even after managing and improving two autoimmune conditions with a healthy lifestyle and regular yoga practice. Yoga teacher training allowed her to steer the conversation and inspired her to bring the benefits of yoga to others who felt left out and left behind. Angela’s twelve years of yoga practice have seen her through illness and recuperation, job and life changes, addictions and recovery, and several periods of deep grief. She has trained in South India, New York City, and Ontario, CA, where she is currently working towards her RYT500 with Amara Vidya Yoga. She is certified as a Yoga For All instructor by Dianne Bondy and has completed training in Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga-inspired Vinyasa Yoga, Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Restorative Yoga, and Trauma-Informed Yoga. Angela encourages her students to build strength and stability in the bodies they inhabit at the moment, rather than waiting for some future perfected version of themselves that may or may not come. Her classes are warm and everyone is welcome. All bodies, all sizes, all backgrounds.
Julie McNamara first discovered yoga back in high school, when she was literally dragged to class one Sunday morning. As an ambitious musical theater performer and also a self-professed type-A overachiever, yoga helped her learn to accept the flow of things and to rediscover joy not only in her art but in her life as well. Julie received her 200-hour certification at Princeton Center for Yoga and Health in Skillman, NJ, in 2012, while also working towards her bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance at Westminster Choir College. She was particularly amazed at yoga’s ability to unlock her mind-body connection as a performer. Julie’s classes balance flow and fun with breathing and letting go. She believes that yoga is for everyone, and loves helping her students find and embrace their beautiful, individual selves through their practice!
For Lucia Russett, yoga is a means of self-expression and cultivating compassionate self-awareness. She completed a 200-hour teacher training at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in 2013 and is certified to teach Trauma-Informed Yoga by Exhale to Inhale. Before coming to Harlem Yoga Studio, she lived and worked as a social worker in East Harlem for 18 years. Lucia has taught Yoga to teen girls, seniors, immigrant mothers, and her neighbors, and is thrilled to be part of the HYS community.
Spring Cooper has been practicing yoga since she reluctantly began attending classes at the age of 18 and has been teaching fitness and yoga-based classes for 20 years. After being certified in 2008, she continues to grow and blossom through her daily yoga practice, and by working with mentors to further her development. She is now a 500-hour RYT and is certified in Katonah Yoga. Spring teaches a dynamic and physically challenging yoga class, but there are always options for any level of yogi or yogini. Spring‘s personal practice has helped her find happiness and peace with her body; she recommends yoga as a therapy and life-balancing practice for everyone. Follow her yoga blog at www.yogaspring.blogspot.com or on any social media platform at @drspringc!
Jessica Dzaman offers a well-rounded, alignment-focused flow that aims to help practitioners explore and feel at home in their bodies. After years of attempting to outrun her thoughts and change her body through rigorous exercise, she is grateful to have discovered in yoga a powerful tool for cultivating not only physical and mental strength but also awareness and presence. Jess completed her 200-hour certification here at Harlem Yoga Studio in 2017 under the guidance of Vijay, Erica, and Amy. When she is not in the yoga studio, she is hiking, traveling, drinking too much coffee, and/or advising and teaching literature to college students.
Angela Boswell completed her 200-hour certification at Harlem Yoga Studio. Her personal yoga practice prior to this took on many forms. Traveling a lot for work allowed her the opportunity to take a variety of yoga classes all over the world—India, China, France to name a few. Having explored multiple styles of yoga, her teaching entwines them making each class an exploration of poses. Angela has certifications in Trauma-Informed Yoga and Y12SR (Yoga of 12-Step Recovery). She believes deeply in the healing of movement. Fitness has always been part of her life and she is also certified in HOT HIIT®. Angela lives in Harlem with her son, husband, and dog. You can follow her on Instagram @knitty&knice where she shares her passion for knitting and yoga.
Nora Moutrane is a performer, a yogi, and an artistic spirit. She received her yoga certification at Pure Yoga NYC, where they focused on a mix of Vinyasa and Hatha, as well as yogic theory and history. Nora has danced for 25 years and loves to bring elements of her dance training and knowledge of the body into her yoga classes. She also focuses much of her attention on alignment, as she feels injury prevention is crucial during any physical activity. She encourages all of her students to find breath, strength, joy and love in their practice, and ultimately, their lives. www.noramoutrane.com
Danielle Brown first stepped into a yoga studio at 18 when she was studying abroad in Spain. Although the class was in a different language, she managed to follow along and immediately felt connected to the practice. After consistently practicing for years, she made the leap to become a yoga instructor at Harlem Yoga Studio in 2020 under the guidance of Erica, Amy and Vijay. Through sharing her practice she hopes to build a safe space where students can feel capable and confident in their bodies. Danielle lives in Harlem and when she’s not teaching you might find her roaming book stores or practicing her amateur photography skills around the city. You can follow her yoga adventures @danidoesyoga_ on Instagram.
Marcy Tropin came to yoga from a bicycling accident. Inspired by her own healing she pursued teaching and became certified in Alan Finger’s Ishta Yoga in 2001. Marcy continued her yogic studies with Judith Lasater’s Relax + Renew Training in 2003, Vinyasa Flow Teacher Training with Shiva Rea in 2005 and Yin Yoga Practice + Theory Teacher Training with Paul Grilley in 2007. She has a B.F.A. from the California College of the Arts and published her first book, ‘Yin Yoga Master Class: A Memoir’ in 2017. In 2021 she started www.thumbsky.com, a clothing and apparel brand, as a creative outlet and safe space for her designs on equality, art, writing, yoga and humor. Marcy's teaching style combines alignment, humor and intuition to create a practice that is in the moment, for students. When not teaching Marcy can be found doting on her beloved dog Buster. www.marcytropin.com