TEACHER INFO
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.


Beth Belkin

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 Richmond

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.


Clara Roberts-Oss

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 Pasqual

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.