Briana began practicing yoga in 2002 and immediately fell in love with the practice! She completed her 200 hour certification at Yogamaya under the inspired guidance of Deborah Bagg, Keely Garfield, Bryn Chrisman and Stacey Brass. Briana incorporates yogic spiritual traditions, alignment, creative sequencing, music and a dose of energy and excitement into each class. She strives to make yoga accessible and inviting to all levels of students, and wants students to leave her class feeling healthy and happy. After suffering torn hamstrings in 2010, Briana’s focus shifted from appreciating yoga primarily as a physical exercise, to valuing yoga as a deeply personal practice. Vinyasa yoga has been the perfect complement to long distance running.
Briana will complete her M.S. in animal behavior and human psychology in the spring of 2014. A devoted animal lover and long-time volunteer at the New York Aquarium, she has traveled extensively around the world. Travel, yoga, running, love and happiness go hand in hand for her.
Beth found her way to the yoga mat while studying for her undergraduate degree at the University of Vermont in Burlington,Vermont. The “Yoga for Snowboarders” class she attended regularly ignited a feeling of calm and peacefulness. Not only did the class create a better sense of balance while snowboarding the green mountains of Vermont, but also created a deep bond to the benefits of a mind and body practice.
Beth has been practicing yoga since 2004, but it was not until she walked through the doors of YOGAMAYA that she realized yoga would forever be an integral aspect of her story. Through daily practice, yoga has allowed Beth the freedom to heal, to explore and process emotions and to be fearlessly curious.
Beth is deeply committed to the YOGAMAYA community and aims to provide a space for others to be vulnerable and safe. Beth enjoys weaving humor, playfulness, and a rhythmic flow into each class, focused deeply on having each student leave the class feeling blissful.
Beth received her 200-hour teaching training certification at YOGAMAYA and feels endless gratitude to all of her teachers at YOGAMAYA who so generously shared their knowledge, support and love. Special thanks to her teacher Stacey for her intricate alignment directions, Bryn for her voice and amazing adjustments in class and Deb for introducing me to Palo Santo. Don’t be surprised if you see Beth bopping around the studio or playing on the harmonium in between classes.
Reagan knows a little bit about making transitions with grace. In January 2013 her yoga journey took her from the foothills of Knoxville, Tennessee to New York City where she completed her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training with YOGAMAYA New York. She was first drawn to yoga as a way to just slow down, but found so much more. Through her practice she developed a deep passion for personal sustainability and encouraging the most driven people to care for their creativity for the long term. She is drawn to practicing and teaching Vinyasa Yoga because of the opportunity to find stillness in the movement.
Reagan offers students the space to explore both their mental and physical abilities. Her classes are focused on connecting with the core of ourselves and moving beyond self-imposed limits.
She is so thankful to have found lifelong teachers in Bryn and Stacey, and is grateful for the opportunity they have created for her to grow as a student and a teacher.
Movement has always been sacred to me.
I have danced my whole life, whether it’s been grooving to a good song, taking dance classes or flowing through a vinyasa, my body can’t get enough. Through movement, I feel as though I’m communing with the Divine.
I took my first vinyasa class in 2000 at Jivamukti Yoga Center. I had a feeling of arriving home. We moved through postures seamlessly with an emphasis of breath-body connection. The class gave me what the dance world didn’t, an emphasis on the internal journey.
I received my 200 hour Vinyasa certification with Lauren Hanna at Sonic Yoga NYC in 2003. I met Shiva Rea shortly thereafter and again, felt as though I had come home. Shiva had created a language for the kind of movement I’ve been doing my whole life. She, too, understood the idea of fluidity. Our bodies yearn to move like water and when we do, our bodies hum with excitement. I’ve completed my 300 hour Prana Flow Certfication with Shiva.
I thank all my teachers for sharing their passion of this practice with me: David Life for opening my heart, Stacey Brass for her minute cues that have changed me life, Uma for opening my voice, Constantine Darling for showing me another way, and Paul Ortega for reminding me we are ALL the cosmic dancer.
I invite you to be playful in your practice, remembering that lightness is found in spirit!
Julie is pleased and honored to be part of the Yogamaya family! She received her 200 hour training through Jillian Pransky and Carrie Parker’s Bright Spirit Teacher Training, and is REALLY proud to have been part of the first 300 hour training at Yogamaya where she was, and continues to be inspired by Stacey Brass, Bryn Chrisman, and their staff of amazing teachers, and guest instructors. She has also received her prenatal yoga certification through Carrie Parker. Every day she is awed and humbled by the practices of Yoga, and she endeavors to share what she has learned with her students, hoping that their lives will be as touched and uplifted as her’s has been.
While in Seattle pursuing her BA, Kirsten discovered and enjoyed flirting with the asana practice. But it wasn’t until moving to New York City that she found the yoga mat to be an essential spiritual refuge from the chaos of city life. The asana practice calmed her physical body during chaotic days, but it was the messages of the texts that kept her mind stilled. She feels blessed to share the practices and aims to create challenging classes that creatively weave yogic philosophies together with inspired sequences. Kirsten encourages her students to see yoga as a grounding experience that helps us let go of daily fears and our attachments to goals, and accept the process of finding our true Self.
Kirsten completed her 200 hour teacher training at OM Factory and further pursued her study of the healing powers of Meditation with David Nichtern and Restorative Yoga with Jillian Pransky. She continues to be inspired by the teachings of Stacey and Bryn and is so honored to be teaching at Yogamaya and part of Yogamaya’s 300hr Advanced Teacher Training Program.
Growing up in the electric folds of New York City, Bridgette never expected to fall for yoga. One day after being forced in by a friend to try yoga, she immediately felt connected to the creativity, movement, and space that each class provided. She aspires to recreate these feelings in her own class, while weaving together an environment that allows students to question the inner workings of their body and mind. She finds endless inspiration in the beauty and complexity that breath, asana, a fun play-list, and what an open heart can conjure.
She received her 200hr teacher training at Yogamaya New York and would like to send endless thanks to Stacey and Bryn for their invaluable teachings and inspiring devotion. Bridgette is grateful for every teacher and student who has crossed her path, as each has allowed her to remain the ever-searching student.
Gianna Gioia started practicing yoga about four years ago. Coming from a long history of studying ballet, it was the movement that initially attracted her to the asana practice. However, her practice soon evolved; it was the feeling of truly being connected to her body for the first time through her breath that made her realize the unique power of yoga. After trying out a few yoga studios around the city, she came across Yogamaya and knew that she had found her yoga home.
Gianna feels inspired by the artistry of her teachers here; she values their ability to incorporate principles of alignment with creative and challenging sequences, and she endeavors to do the same in the classes she creates. She also feels a deep connection to heart-opening, soul-warming chanting along with the yoga philosophy the studio honors.
Wanting to deepen her practice and enrich her life with the incredible teachings of the yoga philosophy, Gianna completed her 200 hour teaching training at Yogamaya in May 2012. She is grateful to her teachers Bryn Chrisman and Stacey Brass for creating such an amazing community and for continuing to inspire her practice and her life.
Gianna is honored to be part of the Yogamaya family. She teaches with compassion and seeks to provide her students with a fun, challenging class and hopefully some bits of yoga wisdom that can be practiced both on and off the mat!
When she came to yoga in her early twenties, Emily was considerably overweight and out of touch with herself. Quickly, she learned how flexible she was and realized that her physical body was inhibiting her from delving deeper into poses that she would otherwise be able to move into and enjoy. This want – to be better equipped in her physical body in order to deepen her practice – was when she truly understood her commitment to something meaningful. Thus, Emily is drawn to yoga not just for the movement but for the meaning behind the movement – a chance at stillness and calm.
Emily’s academic background is in poetry, and she is continually inspired by the poetry of yoga asanas and the relationship between form and meaning. The discipline and structure of form – ardha chandrasana or pantoum, perhaps – help channel energy into awareness that she tries to cultivate in her personal practice as well as infuse into her creativity as a teacher.
Emily tries to participate in her daily life through a genuine lens of devotion and love. Above all, she aims to honor the importance of ahimsa and thus cultivate as much nonviolence as possible through the choices she makes and the way she acts in the world.
Emily earned her 200 hour certification at Yogamaya, and she is wholly grateful for the intuitive and continued guidance of Stacey Brass and Bryn Chrisman as she moves forward on this lifelong journey. Emily intends to earn her 500 hour advanced certification at Yogamaya in 2013 and plans to attain her certification in restorative yoga shortly thereafter.