TEACHER INFO
Joanna Eisman

Bio here.


Jessica Swesey


Jessica was introduced to yoga at a young age and has felt a deep connection to it ever since. Being a professional dancer, she was first drawn to yoga for the physical aspects of the practice. She soon realized that her yoga mat also provided a safe space for emotional and spiritual growth.

Her classes are composed of a graceful flow with a careful focus on alignment in a warm and nurturing environment.

Jessica received her 200-hr teacher training certification through Yogamaya and is also a Reiki practitioner. She is forever grateful to all of her teachers throughout life, especially to Stacey, Bryn, Deborah and her mentor Anna.


Halima Henderson

Halima found her way to a yoga mat through a friend’s not so gentle encouragement. She stayed out of pure joy and a deepening curiosity. Halima quickly discovered that the practice is a wonderful way to both decompress and strengthen the body, mind and spirit!

After decades of dance instruction, she finds the flow-based movement of Vinyasa a natural fit. Halima’s classes bring the same focus of proper alignment, a straightforward yet challenging sequence, coupled with a healthy dose of humor. Halima believes that a mindful practice can unlock hidden potential and invigorate our vibrant beings!

Halima is a Michigan native and proud University of Michigan alumna. She is a professional actor, a teaching artist in the NYC Public Schools and is grateful to have graduated from Yogamaya’s 200 hr Teacher Certification program led by Stacey Brass, Bryn Chrisman and Deborah Bagg. Thanks to her mentors, teachers and the Yogamaya community for their endless laughter, support and dedication.  Halima has a strong penchant for good books, gummy bears and a well-timed hi-five.


Coco Duan


Having begun her practice of yoga in her early 20s Coco Duan has come to find that in her 30s, yoga has become an essential re-energizing and grounding force in her life.

Born and raised in China, Coco came to the US in 2006 to pursue her MBA in Duke University. After graduation, Coco moved New York City to work in Marketing in a top Fortune 500 company. After working in the corporate world for over a decade – and with a growing desire to pursue something she is more passionate about – Coco decided to take her love for yoga to the next level.

Coco obtained her 200 HR teaching certification from Yogamaya in the summer of 2014. Her love for teaching, as well as her own personal practice was fully ignited. Coco is honored to be teaching in Yogamaya and continuing to learn from her inspiring teachers Stacey and Bryn.

With a natural talent for body movement and rhythm Coco also embraces dancing and capoeira. Coco’s classes are energetic, challenging & fun with upbeat music and creative sequences. A genuine interest for working with people along with her bright personality shines through Coco’s teaching.


Rachel VanCleave

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Rachel moved to Nashville, Tennessee after graduating summa cum laude from the University of Alabama. Eager and ambitious, she graduated early to pursue a career in politics and manage Vice President Al Gore’s personal office.

In 2009, Rachel followed new opportunities to New York City to work for the CEO of a healthcare private equity fund. She spent 5 years managing the hectic life of a high level executive until her own life completely changed. Faced with a failing marriage and a lack of fulfillment at work, she struggled to find her true self. Rachel eventually left the corporate world and her marriage behind and vowed to find a way to enrich her life and find happiness in transformation and change. Her mother encouraged her to try yoga and with a sigh she reluctantly agreed. From the moment she placed her hands on her mat, she was hooked. With a background in dance
and gymnastics, Rachel was a natural at the physical practice, but found the greatest reward in embracing a simpler and more mindful lifestyle.

In time, Rachel’s daily practice grew into something more as she decided to obtain her 200 hour teacher certification from Yogamaya. Stacey, Bryn and her training mentor Julie, pushed Rachel to step outside of her comfort zone in order to truly understand the gifts of yoga and the incredible art of teaching others. Rachel’s classes are challenging, yet fun, with upbeat music and an emphasis on the relationship between alignment, breath and self-awareness.


Sarah Foster

Sarah’s love for yoga began more than 10 years ago when she went with her sister to a yoga class at a small studio near her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. Over the next decade, in studios from DC to NYC, she for a yoga community that felt as warm and welcoming as that one. In 2013, Sarah finally found it at Yogamaya! She loves the anchor that yoga provides in her often-stressful life as a creative director and the measurable difference in the quality of body and mind that daily practice provides. She strives to bring these same qualities to her own classes while infusing them with humor, good music and an open, relaxed energy.

Sarah completed her 200-hour teacher training at Yogamaya New York and is forever grateful to Stacey, Bryn and the other teachers at YM for sharing their invaluable knowledge and devotion to this practice.


Kate Brennen

Kate is thrilled to be a part of the Yogamaya community, to teach and learn amidst this coterie of high-caliber, inspirational and caring teachers. Kate received her 200-hr. teacher training certification from Yogamaya under the tutelage of studio founders, Stacey and Bryn.

While newer to teaching Vinyasa Yoga, Kate has been teaching acting, voice and theatre for over a decade, nine years of which have been at the college level. She has taught with University of Virginia, where she received her MFA and was nominated for the Seven Society Excellence in Teaching Award. Additionally, she has been on faculty with Temple University, St. Joseph’s University, Rosemont College, Montgomery County College, She currently teaches with Broadway.com’s Broadway Classroom program.

In addition to teaching, Kate created the education program for BCKSEET Productions, a nonprofit theatre company for which she now serves as Artistic Director. She is also a member of Actor’s Equity.

A lifelong student, Kate is working towards a Designation in Linklater Voicework under the guidance of Ms. Kristin Linklater. Her extensive study of voice and breathwork add a unique perspective to her yoga classes. As a teacher, she believes in holding students to a high standard while also creating a safe space to discover and explore. She is interested in helping her students unearth their truest selves on and off the mat, with a strong undercurrent of humor to enliven the journey.


Karen-Jane Wright

Karen came to yoga from a background in dance and sports, initially thinking it was easy but boring; she didn’t get it. When she finally started a regular practice, she was motivated by the solace that a few hours on the mat gave her from a stressful time in her life, quieting her mind and allowing her to grow during a time she felt stagnant.

As a former high school teacher, she thrives on the energy of a room full of learners! Karen’s classes are athletic and challenging,
and she relishes the opportunity to demystify challenging poses and offer a space free from judgment for students to grow in their
practice and feel strong and capable in their asana practice as a way to cultivate a calm mind and peaceful heart. Karen believes that one of the greatest aspects of learning yoga is that we are all perpetual students: there is no end point to our learning; it is fluid and constant, keeping our bodies and brains young, and our egos in check.

When she’s not with clients or in class, Karen can be found outside the city soaking up some nature and fresh air with her dogs,
training for a race, or struggling to meditate for more than 7 minutes at a time.


Lisa Eisenstadt

Lisa is founder of Routes to Wellness, a health counseling practice, and a graduate of Yogamaya’s 200-hour teacher training.

Lisa’s classes focus on alignment – challenging the body, exercising the mind, and helping students connect with the deeper self.

As a yoga student, Lisa has always appreciated her increased mind/body awareness through vinyasa. But it was during her teacher training, while pregnant, that she came to appreciate vinyasa as a metaphor for life.  Just as we go from one action to the next in our day-to-day lives, vinyasa offers a constant flow of movement. And as we more effectively respond to life’s challenges by aligning with our deepest self, we connect to our breath to find inner stillness during our vinyasa practice.  Lisa enjoys sharing this gift of stillness with her students and it is her passion to help others live their best life — a life that acknowledges and nourishes the body, mind, and spirit.

She was drawn to Yogamaya for its emphasis on yogic philosophy, thanks to the leadership and thoughtfulness of Directors Stacey and Bryn.

Lisa offers corporate wellness solutions to large and mid-sized companies in NYC and has been published in Forbes, The Huffington Post, and Mind Body Green.


Briana Aguilar-Austin

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.