Visit the Studio

ISHTA Yoga Downtown
56 East 11th Street
(between University & Broadway)
New York, NY 10003
view map | view schedule


Alan Finger
South African Tantric and Kriya Yoga Master Alan Finger began studying yoga at the age of 16 with his father Mani Finger and renowned swamis of the past century. Alan and Mani created ISHTA Yoga. The ISHTA style integrates breath-based flow yoga with alignment, meditation and healing bodywork. Before creating a home for ISHTA, Alan co-founded Yoga Zone, Be Yoga, and Yoga Works. Alan has authored several books and travels the world to share his teachings.

Evelyn Abruzzo

Evelyn, Ed.D, E-RYT 500, discovered yoga after leaving educational administration in Long Island and relocating to NYC. The yoga bug took hold from the very first ISHTA class. She continued her studies through the 200-Hour TT, intending only to deepen her own practice. That intention turned into a passion. Her goal is to help others find a sense of peace, balance and joy in their lives. With this goal in mind she designs her classes with a dose of inspiration along with a strong emphasis on alignment and breath. Evelyn is a senior teacher at ISHTA, an E RYT-500, with additional training in Yin, Restorative, and Yoga Nidra; she is the yoga blogger for Evelyn has a Doctorate in Education from Hofstra University.

Shailly Agnihotri

shailly-agnihotriShailly has a life long love of Yoga but only upon discovery of ISHTA yoga did she find a home for her practice and wise and thoughtful teachers to guide her studies. The ISTHA lineage teaches her that Yoga is the graceful discipline of effortless surrender. Her teaching style models her belief that Yoga methodology doesn’t belong in a box. She teaches an Asana practices to move energy and develop strength, Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga to deeply heal, Yoga Nidra to purify, and Meditation to transcend– so that we can continue to live in this plane knowing who we really are. Shailly completed her advance certifications and her 500 hour teacher training at ISHTA yoga. Also an attorney, she is the founder and Executive Director of The Restorative Center a non-profit committed to grassroots Restorative Justice.

Mona Anand

Mona Anand grew up in Mumbai, India, where she was first introduced to yoga. She has been studying with Alan Finger since 2002, who initiated her into the ISHTA lineage as a Yogiraj or Yoga Master. She is a lead trainer in ISHTA’s 200 and 300-Hour advanced teacher trainings. Mona has developed a Yoga Nidra intensive training that she will be teaching at ISHTA. She also developed and co-leads Restorative Trainings at ISHTA and around the world. Mona teaches her signature Yoga Nidra / Restorative Chakra Workshop series and Ayurveda series around New York city and has two yoga nidra recordings for deep relaxation or sleep available at ISHTA and on iTunes. She has worked with Alan to develop their own system of Yoga Nidra and Ayurveda and Asana, which she teaches in ISHTA’s advanced teacher trainings. She has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University and lives with her husband and two daughters in New York City.

Richard Baronio

Richard BaronioRichard Baronio has been practicing yoga since 2001, and has completed the 500-Hour teacher training at ISHTA. He originated and teaches the biweekly ISHTA YIN class in the downtown studio. In addition, he offers Marma sessions by appointment. His approach to the body combines his Marma Therapy training with Alan Finger and the myofascial release approaches used by Glenn Black, Shmuel Tatz, and Ida Rolf. He specializes in working with yoga practitioners, helping them relieve chronic restrictions and extend their range of motion.

Melissa Brasier

Melissa is a 500-Hour Yoga Alliance Certified teacher. She began her teacher training in 2000 under the guidance of Jean Koerner and Alan Finger at Be Yoga in NYC. Melissa has a BFA in modern dance from Marymount Manhattan College and comes from a strong performing arts background. Her ISHTA Yoga classes explore athletic, graceful movement while flowing on the breath. She welcomes students of all levels to begin or continue their practice with her.

Sadia Bruce

Sadia Bruce is a Heart of Yoga teacher based in New York City. She came to yoga in 2001 as a student seeking relief from clinical depression. Today she is an insightful, sensitive guide whose breath-based teaching encourages pleasurable practice that nourishes rather than depletes– inspiring new openings rather than the deepening of old patterns. Praised by new and seasoned students alike for her intentional, playful instruction, she endeavors to cultivate energized, radically inclusive learning environments where curiosity is king. She views yoga as a practical tool to attune to our aliveness– to experience an intimacy with our breathing bodies that reveals nothing other than our clear and present perfection.

In addition to leading studio classes and teaching privately, Sadia is committed to bringing yoga and yoga-based practices to non-traditional environments and underserved populations including senior centers, schools, public spaces, nonprofit workplaces and women’s shelters. She is currently affiliated with Phipps Houses, Shape Up NYC, The Spence School, Success Academy Charter Schools, and Mark Whitwell’s Urban Family Foundation.

Laura Butler

Laura is an E-RYT 500-Hour yoga, meditation, restorative yoga, and pre-natal yoga teacher.  She started studying yoga in 2000, taking Vinyasa flow classes in Columbus, Ohio. She began teaching in 2007, and received her 200-Hour certification at YogaWorks, and then her 300-Hour certification from ISHTA Yoga. In 2009, she traveled to India, and went to The Yoga Institute in Santacruz, Mumbai. She has studied many types of yoga including Iyengar, Vinyasa flow, Anusara, and ISHTA.  She has extensive training in asana, meditation, pranayama, Ayurveda, Marma points (a form of acupressure) and the healing aspects of yoga. Laura has been featured in both Yoga Journal and Boro magazines. For the past three years, she has assisted Summer Solstice in Times Square founder Douglass Stewart at this annual event.  She also led part of the 108 Sun Salutations at the worldwide 2010 Global Mala Yoga For Peace Event in New York City. Laura incorporates fun, joy, creativity, alignment, flowing with the breath, mantra, and support into her classes, along with her extensive knowledge of the brain and anatomy. It is a pleasure to challenge her students to reach their full potential, not only in their bodies, but also in their lives.

Jennifer Chang

Jennifer is a 500+hr ISHTA Yoga and Yoga Alliance Registered teacher. Combing her skills as an Occupational Therapist and as a Polarity Therapist with Yoga, Jennifer understands and is in constant awe of the body- all of its gross and subtle layers and the innate healing potential. Skilled to customize asana and meditation practices and to provide gentle hands on adjustments, Jennifer teaches to facilitate alignment and balance. She loves witnessing her students experience a quieter mind and deep relaxation for the first time. Jennifer welcomes students of all abilities to come move in her class, which always ends with a guided Meditation and/or a final integrative pose also known as “Savasana”.
Additional to her 200hr and 300hr training under Peter Ferko, Wendy Newton, Melissa Brasier, Jean Koerner, and Sarah Finger, Jennifer pursued and received advanced certifications in Yin Yoga Level 1 & 2 under Ulrica Norberg, Restorative Yoga with Yoga Nidra Level 1 & 2 under Mona Anand and Gina Menza, and ISHTA’s Yoga Master Program under Alan Finger. She is grateful and honored to teach ISHTA-which in addition to being an acryonym, means “that which resonates with the individual spirit”. For more info:

Amy Coombs

Amy is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) in Yoga Alliance’s National Yoga Teacher Registry at the 500-Hour level. She came to yoga seeking an antidote to the stress of overseeing the opening of a new performing arts center. Certified first in the YogaWorks method, and now proud to be part of the amazing lineage that is ISHTA, she offers a sensibly sequenced, alignment- based, challenging, physical practice that endeavors to promote vitality, relaxation and a sense of well-being. She incorporates ISHTA meditation techniques and pranayama, and offers numerous modifications to the asana portion to truly make her classes accessible to every level of strength and flexibility. Amy favors light-heartedness over a didactic trudge along the path to enlightenment, and strives to strike the right chord of humor, with music and real-world philosophy.

Rina Deshpande

Rina Deshpande

is an RYT-500 yoga teacher, researcher, and writer based in New York City. She began her yoga practice in 2004 and discovered its benefits for stress reduction and happiness while working as a NYC public school teacher. After teaching children and school teachers founding Relay Graduate School of Education over the last decade, she pursued her 500-hr yoga certification with ISHTA Yoga, NYC, and earned her masters degree from Harvard in Mind, Brain, and Education. She continues designing yoga and mindfulness research and instructional curriculum for Massachusetts General Hospital, the Marines, preK-12 schools, and more.
Follow Rina’s mindful, whimsical illustrated poetry @RinaThePoet on Facebook and Instagram. To learn more about the research behind mindfulness and yoga as everyday practice, check out her articles at Headspace,, the Huffington Post, Learning and the Brain, and

Kelly Eudailey

Kelly began studying yoga more than a decade ago in Richmond, Virginia, as a complement to her dance training. After moving to New York in 2001, Kelly had the good fortune to practice at Be Yoga under the guidance of Beverley Murphy, Alan Finger, and Jean Koerner. She completed her 500-Hour teacher training in the ISHTA Yoga lineage, and has also studied extensively with Leslie Kaminoff at the Breathing Project. Kelly’s style is inspired by a deep respect of anatomy, a playful attitude, and the wish to see more city-folk take a deep breath and enjoy the moment!

Peter Ferko

Peter Ferko began practicing yoga more than 20 years ago at Alan Finger’s YogaWorks in Los Angeles. He studied there with Rod Stryker and Patricia Townsend. He studied meditation with Yogananda’s Self Realization Fellowship where he learned Kriya Yoga techniques. He sampled Iyengar and Ashtanga styles before landing back with Alan upon moving to New York in 1999. After decades of practice, he obtained the Yoga Alliance 500-Hour teaching certification from Be Yoga’s training program and now teaches both students and teacher trainees. Peter’s approach to yoga involves tuning out the voices that tell us what we can’t do physically and why we’re not “there yet” and tuning in to the inner yoga. We are perfect yogis as we practice the yoga that’s perfect for us. In addition to his yoga pursuits, Peter is a multi-media artist and brings creativity, imagery, and a sense of humor to his teaching. “Asana and pranayama are the ways to balance physical and subtle energy, meditation is a chance to fill with understanding, and life full of energy and understanding is just plain better.” -P.F.

Tisha Ford

Tisha is a 500 hour certified Yoga instructor with additional certifications in Prenatal, Restorative and Yin Yoga. Tisha is also a certified Health and Wellness Coach and Polarity Wellness practitioner (energy worker). She has had an eclectic background ranging from a professional dancer to an executive in corporate america. Her background contributes to her teaching style and philosophy, which is to honor the individual and support the individual’s journey on and off the mat. She brings a calm, grounded, nurturing presence and challenges herself to not only teach a class, but to create an experience.

Cassandra Ferland

Cassandra began to incorporate yoga into her life over ten years ago. What inspires her practice and her teaching is space: the creation of space to gain perspective, to find balance, and to reconnect with the joy and beauty of moving through life. Her approach to yoga is informed by her career in the arts, and her classes encourage exploration and experimentation. She currently teaches yoga and art to children and adults in the NYC area, both privately and in group classes.

Julia K. Haramis

Julia is an NYC native and has been practicing yoga for nearly 15 years. She began teaching vinyasa flow in 2007 after completing her 200-Hour training at Yoga People in Brooklyn. She has also studied the Anusara method and completed Immersions 1, 2, and 3. Julia completed her advanced 500-Hour training at ISHTA Yoga in 2010 and continues to study there with her mentor Mona Anand as well as Yogiraj Alan Finger and Senior Teachers Sarah Finger, Jean Koerner, and Melissa Brasier. She completed the Marma Therapy Course at ISHTA with Alan Finger, the Relax and Renew Restorative training with Judith Lasater, and assisted Gina Menza and Mona Anand in the ISHTA Restorative and Yoga Nidra Training. Julia is E-RYT 500 with the Yoga Alliance. She is active in Off the Mat, Into the World a non-profit organization that bridges the Yoga community with social activism. Her classes are in an alignment based flow style and she strives to make yoga accessible to student of all levels. Currently Julia teaches children, adults, corporate, and senior citizen classes. In addition to teaching, Julia attended the Institute of Integrative Nutrition where she trained to become a certified Holistic Health Counselor and owns her own counseling business called Nutritionista®, She is a firm believer in integrating yoga and healthy behaviors throughout all aspects of life.

Irina Kruzhilina

Irina KruzhilinaIrina Kruzhilina is originally from Moscow, Russia, and became interested in movement and balance from her earliest experiences with gymnastics and ballet. Irina studied yoga and completed her 500-Hour certification at ISHTA in 2010. Irina blends asana, pranayama, and meditation techniques into a well-rounded, safe, and dynamic practice, to which she brings a passion for health, beauty, and creativity. Her classes are focused strongly on correct alignment, providing individual solutions for students at all levels through the use of props, hands-on adjustments, and suggested modifications. Aside from being a committed yoga teacher, Irina is a well-known designer of costumes for theatre and film as well as fashion. Blending the best of both worlds, Irina has designed a yogi clothing line based on the different Ayurvedic types of human bodies and nature.

Jenny Langbehn

Jennifer LangbehnJenny received her 200 and 300 Hour certifications in 2008 with Yogaworks in New York City. Having plenty of orthopedic “issues”, Jenny was drawn to teach restorative yoga and then yoga for cancer survivors (Y4C). When she became pregnant with her son, Jenny noticed that pregnancy was approached as a liability- or worse- as an injury or disability in many yoga classes. She knew she needed a more specialized education, and completed her prenatal yoga certification with the Prenatal Yoga Center in 2009. Very soon after, her son was born nearly 3 months prematurely. Jenny credits her yoga practice, and specifically the prenatal yoga training she received, in coping with the harrowing 10 weeks of life in the NICU. Five years later, Robby is a brilliant, whirlwind of a boy and the joy of her life. Concentrating her teaching to the needs of pregnant women has been Jenny’s passion; she initiated the first prenatal program ever at Rikers Island Correctional Facility and teaches weekly re-entry yoga classes through Liberation Prison Yoga. Jenny is a DONA-Trained birth doula and a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. She is the co-founder of Anandamama Prenatal Yoga, the first Yoga Alliance registered prenatal school in Manhattan.

Jenny is thrilled to be teaching to such a special population of yoga students; the beauty, strength, curiosity, and humor of pregnancy is a true inspiration.

Elissa Lewis

Elissa-LewisElissa has taught internationally in Spain, France and Nicaragua, she has recently been awarded the Kelly Considine scholarship to teach specialized yoga for cancer. She led Yoga and Writing retreats with the writers of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop for three years and currently teaches privates and group classes in New York City. Elissa is grateful to have found her teachers at ISHTA and to share the tools passed onto her through the ancient traditions of hatha, tantra, and ayurveda. She teaches based on the personal strengths & weaknesses of the student and uses movement to heal.

Cathy Lilly

Cathy teaches to share gratitude, and help others discover the healing aspects of yoga. She encourages exploring yoga as the gateway to let go of the tense mind, body, and breath, so freedom that is our birthright can flow in. This was not apparent when Cathy took her first yoga class in 1976 as it appeared so easy due to her gymnastics training. Though 15 years later, medical practitioners and friends insisted she focus on yoga to treat physical injuries, and unresolved grief. Once filled with recovery and renewed spirit, Cathy eagerly explored styles of asana, pranayama, and meditation, and today is a Senior ISHTA yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 certification. Also, her B.S. degree in medical sciences plus perfumes/essential oils background allow her to readily describe how the ISHTA system integrates ancient Indian wisdom with today’s modern science.

Continuing education includes teaching yoga as a form of physical therapy with Dr. Loren Fishman, plus restorative and yoga therapy trainings and certifications: Yoga Of The Heart™ – yoga for cardiac, cancer, and other life threatening diseases – Nischala Joy Devi. Yogaworks Restorative Yoga Teacher Trainings levels 1 & 2 – Jillian Pranskey, Relax and Renew Restorative Yoga Training – Judith Hanson Lasater, and Applied Breathing Concepts of Yoga courses- Leslie Kaminoff. Karma yoga includes serving as Screen Actors Guild’s National CoChair of the National Health Care Safetynet committee since 1999.

Mary Jo Marchisello

Mary Jo is a 500-Hour Yoga Alliance certified teacher. She assisted at workshops at Kripalu in the 1980s, and sampled various forms of yoga until she discovered ISHTA Yoga with Yogiraj Alan Finger. After experiencing Alan’s profound knowledge of yoga philosophy, his ability to lead students into deep meditation, and his joyful presentation of alignment and balance, Mary Jo realized she had found the ideal setting for acquiring yogic wisdom in New York City. Her desire to share that powerful respite in the midst of a busy workweek led her to become an ISHTA teacher. Mary Jo strives to create a comfortable environment for students to develop a yoga practice that honors their individuality and encourages them to take the time to breathe and find ease amid life’s challenges. She acquires personal satisfaction from observing the changes in students’ energy after experiencing an ISHTA Yoga class.

Gina Menza

After years of practicing and teaching multiple level ISHTA yoga classes, Gina Menza, E-500RYT, RPYT, RPYS, began to develop a passion and following for two different niches, restorative and prenatal yoga. She holds advanced certification as a Relax and Renew Restorative Yoga Trainer and presently teaches four weekly ISHTA restorative classes. She co-created both a first and secondary Restorative Yoga Certification held yearly in New York and worldwide. When not sweetly coaxing bodies into rest, she has been creating a strong prenatal yoga following.

Gina leads the prenatal modules of Teacher Trainings at Ishta Yoga, among others and is thrilled to be the co-founder of Anandamama Prenatal Yoga, the first Yoga Alliance registered prenatal yoga school in Manhattan which debuts this summer 2015! Her expertise is based on thousands of hours of hands-on experience with moms-to-be, yoga teacher trainees, as well as her direct experience mothering her own three children.

“Basically, I want to get individuals to become yogis before they are even born in my prenatal classes, encourage activity, enlightenment and strength as they live, and get all bodies the proper amount of rest and rejuvenation throughout their lives so they can practice well into their elder years. What could be wrong with that?…”

Shell Merrill

Shell MerrillShell Merrill has always enjoyed expressing herself physically; from her career as a modern dancer to her later adventures as a zany spinning instructor and cycling trainer. While cycling made her feel strong, Shell soon realized that she still had a brain that was moving far too fast inside a body that was quickly getting too stiff and inflexible. A friend offered to take her to yoga class, and Shell has been learning to slow down (in mind and body) ever since. For Shell, yoga is all about the knowledge gained through trying new things, learning to practice rather than trying to be perfect, and most of all being able to laugh through the whole experience. She brings a sense of fun, joy and compassion to all of her classes for both adults and children. Shell is an E-RYT 500 hour certified teacher. She is also a RCYT (children’s teacher), a RPYT (prenatal teacher) and teacher of restorative yoga. She has studied to teach yoga to kids at Karma Kids Yoga, Little Flower Yoga and Street Yoga which brings the benefits of yoga to homeless and at-risk youth. Shell is an ISHTA Senior Teacher trained at Be Yoga and calms her own “bouncing off the walls” energy by continually reminding herself to “be happy where you are and breathe.”

Sheila Miller

Sheila Miller, PhD, 500-RYT, first encountered the Upanishads in 1994 and has been a student of yogic philosophy ever since. She is a professor of mathematics at City University of New York and researches the effects of meditation and yoga practice on learning, communities, and health. She is grateful to have found ISHTA and completed her 500-Hour teacher training with Alan Finger and Jean Koerner. Sheila is also certified to teach Yoga Nidra (from the California Ayurveda College and Sivananda Yoga jointly), and yoga to combat veterans with post-traumatic stress (through Yoga Warriors International). Sheila believes that one need not be strong, flexible, calm, or balanced in order to begin practicing yoga. The practice teaches us how to attentively, gently explore and inhabit this one moment we are living now. Sheila welcomes students of all backgrounds to her classes.

Ann Mosca

Ann is a senior instructor who has been teaching yoga for 13 years and practicing for almost 18. Her classes combine a vinyasa flow, stretching, and core strength building, with particular attention to alignment and its benefits. Ann’s dance background in both classical and modern techniques, along with aspects of her interest in gardening, reading, and Eastern and Western philosophies, also make their way into her classes. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, (BA in Communications), Ann is interested in the therapeutic and subtle effects of yoga and has been a teacher trainer for the past nine years.

Cynthia Moss Terracina

Cynthia MossCindy began her yoga practice a bit later in life when living in Rome, Italy, where her husband is from. She was 39 and pregnant with her now teenage daughter. After returning to NY years later, and finding herself in some very unexpected and unfortunate stressful family situations, she began realizing the psychological and not only physical benefits to her practice. Cindy has had great success in working with all age groups throughout a 30-year career in high-end retail management on Madison Avenue and in the non-profit sector at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She enjoys working with different age groups as well as those from different backgrounds and cultures. Cindy is also involved in community organizing through volunteer work here in NYC, and has found her way back to her life drawing at The Arts Students League after many years. She believes that her yoga practice has brought her there. Cindy continues to move through the constant challenges of raising an adolescent, taking care of her aging mother, facing middle age, and being a wife while focusing on attaining balance through her practice. Her adopted dog, Nutella, amazes her every morning with her perfect alignment in downward facing dog!

Puy Navarro

Puy NavarroSpanish native Puy Navarro is an actress and a theater producer focusing on social issues and human rights in New York since 2005. She has taught Yoga for Executives at the US/Spanish Chamber of Commerce, the Empire State Building and currently teaches at the Hispanic Society of America.Through her acting career she met ISHTA Yogiraj Mona Anand and was introduced to ISHTA. She has been to India twice assisting Mona in her retreats, where she was able to deepened her studies on the Sutras, Tantra and Ayurveda. She brings a warm and joyful spirit to her teaching at ISHTA and she believes that when we are in full command of our physical, mental and emotional capacities we can live fearlessly, and we can open ourselves to new experiences, new challenges, and let our energy flow freely to express our unique talents. She recently assisted Douglass Stewart founder of Solstice in Times Square, when U.N. officially declared June 21st International Yoga Day.

Wendy Newton

Wendy NewtonWendy is a senior teacher at ISHTA Yoga and a lead trainer in the ISHTA teacher training program. She has studied with Kavi Yogiraj Alan Finger since 2002, and was initiated by Alan into the ISHTA Yoga lineage as Yogiraj, or yoga master. Wendy’s private practice combines Polarity and ISHTA Marma energy work, yoga-based counseling, and ISHTA yoga asana, pranyama, and kriya techniques. Wendy is co-authoring a tantric interpretation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali with Alan, and she conducts workshops and lectures on this and other yoga and polarity-related topics. Her group yoga classes combine subtle body awareness, physical alignment, and breath-based movement to help inspire students to move with grace, no matter what their “condition,” and to gain perspective in their lives.

Esther Palmer

Esther Palmer brings her years of Alexander Technique, dance, and anatomy exploration into her teaching, making space for students to learn from the inside out –and sometimes the outside in– how each of them can wake up their inner awareness of themselves. She prizes choice and individuality in all her classes. She teaches alignment-aware classes, including prenatal and restorative yoga, and anatomy for yoga teachers. When not teaching, Esther is ever open to finding details to fall in love with in the films of Ozu and Myazaki, and the silly little things of our everyday lives.

Sarah Platt-Finger

Sarah Platt-Finger is the co-founder of ISHTA Yoga with her husband, Yogiraj Alan Finger, ranked one of the top 7 yoga studios in Manhattan by Citysearch. She is a celebrity renowned yoga teacher who also leads trainings and workshops internationally. Her signature class, “Sweat and Samadhi” has been featured in Well and Good, Yoga U Online and Origin magazine. She is a brand ambassador for Lululemon and on the Board of Directors for Exhale to Inhale, a non-profit organization that teaches yoga to survivors of domestic violence. Her daughter, Satya, inspires her every day to live a life based on love and unbound potential.

Marco Rojas

Marco Rojas is a messenger of yoga. His teachings follow the Krishnamacharya tradition. He trained to be a teacher in Los Angeles under the guidance of Chuck Miller and Maty Ezarty, founders of YogaWorks. For the last eight years, Marco has cultivated a vital, rewarding yoga experience throughout New York City in studios at YogaWorks, ISHTA, and Pure Yoga. He practices at the Iyengar Institute of New York and explores ISHTA philosophy under the guardianship of Alan Finger.

Raquel Rosario

I initially found yoga in 2002 by needing to begin an exercise routine to offset chronic lower-back pain arising from scoliosis. I left my first class feeling a combination of being light-hearted and grounded, something I had only felt before from nights out dancing, and what I would later learn meant that I was balanced energetically.

My original practice was Bikram Yoga. I was fortunate that my first teacher led the set series of 26 postures at 105 degrees with a nurturing and inspiring spirit. Six years later, after using yoga to navigate life through personal illness and my mother’s illness, I decided to devote myself to yoga and deepened my study through teacher-trainings at ISHTA Yoga. At ISHTA I began to learn the fullness of a yoga practice. Not only was my body being nurtured by the physical poses of hatha yoga, my mind and energetic body were stimulated by the interplay of tantric philosophy and ayurveda, the life science that supports self-healing.
As a sadhaka of the ISHTA lineage, I teach my classes in the spirit of ISHTA so that students are able to discover and move in a way that resonates, even in a group setting. I typically begin my classes by asking students to request/suggest physical and energetic aspects that they would like to address in class. I then use intuition to create a class that is dynamic and balanced, incorporating asana, pranayama, kriya techniques and meditation. It is my hope that students become empowered to shape their practice so that it best fits their needs.

Yana Schnitzler

Yana is a 500-hour Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher, dance artist and certified instructor of the Alexander Technique. What lead her to these practices is her interest in exploring authenticity and truth to the moment – as she believes that connecting to ourselves, and getting to know ourselves better empowers us to lead a happier and more fulfilled life.
Yana’s classes have a gentle approach with attention to detail and focus on the breath. Having gone through many injuries herself, a ‘whole new world’ opened up when she discovered what yoga can do to support the body in its healing process by slowing down, listening and being honest with one self. She teaches with compassion and light-heartedness and loves sharing this sense of curiosity and exploration with her students.

Kara V. Sekuler

Kara grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As a child, she danced with opera companies and performed in musical theater. She moved to NYC after finishing high school to pursue a career in ballet. In 1995, Kara was inspired by Alan Finger, co-founder of YogaWorks, Yoga Zone and Be Yoga, to discover a new path as a yoga teacher. Kara has also studied extensively with Kevin Gardiner (Iyengar Institute), Leslie Kaminoff (Advanced Anatomy at the Breathing Project) and Glenn Black. Her classes combine a lively flow on the breath, detailed alignment, and a lighthearted sense of humor. Kara graduated summa cum laude from CUNY with a degree in Anatomy and Human Movement. She teaches Anatomy and Physiology for YogaWorks and ISHTA Yoga.

Aino Siren

Aino grew up in Finland and moved to New York in December 1999 to pursue dancing at several dancing schools in NYC. She included yoga as a complement to her dance training, was stunned with the healing benefits, and has been a devoted practitioner since. She has been taught by these teachers who are filled with grace and knowledge: Jean Koerner, Alan Finger, Sarah Platt-Finger, Thea Frey, Chrissy Carter and Jodie Rufty, to name a few. Aino is beyond happy and pleased to have the priveledge to teach this wonderful science at ISHTA Yoga, and to share it with as many as possible to create balance and harmony in the mind, body, and soul. As our bodies get stronger and more flexible so does the mind, allowing us to move through life with ease and joy. Hari Om, Om Tat Sat.

Rebecca Cheeks Soule

Rebecca Cheeks Soule (the ‘e’ is silent) began studying and informally teaching yoga in 1998 while completing her PhD in Biology. After a fulfilling career in science, she followed her heart to New York City. Good fortune led her to her teachers at ISHTA Yoga, and realizing her dream to teach yoga full-time. Rebecca is a 500-Hour registered yoga teacher in the ISHTA lineage. Her teaching draws from this lineage and over 10 years experience as a science teacher to students of all ages and backgrounds. Her trainings to teach students coping with post-traumatic stress, children’s and restorative yoga also inform her teaching. Rebecca teaches students awareness of their greatest tool, their breath, helping them to bring balance, fine-tune, and realize their fullest potential. Ultimately she hopes her students can clear their minds, open their hearts, and become their own best teacher! More info about Rebecca is found at

Douglass Stewart

Douglass has been practicing yoga for nearly half his life. He’s been teaching for over 10 years and continues to be inspired by the art and science of yoga. Douglass is the co-founder of Yoga in Times Square, celebrating the Summer Solstice by uniting the community of yoga enthusiasts across the country. He has received the Community Center Service Award for volunteering his yoga classes at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center for 9 years. He is inspired by the notion that if peace is our goal, then it is also the means to it. Douglass is an ISHTA Yoga senior teacher.

Risë Van Doosselaere

Rise Van DoosselaereRisë started practicing yoga in 1997, when she was working full-time as a business executive at Bergdorf Goodman and pregnant with her first child. Her practice led her to a deep appreciation of yoga’s power to restore balance to a hectic life, and to create awareness of new possibilities. She did her 200-Hour training with Alan Finger and Jean Koerner in 2003 at Be Yoga, and then moved with her husband and three children to the south of France where she taught ISHTA yoga for five years. After returning to New York, Risë completed her 300-Hour training at ISHTA, and is now registered with Yoga Alliance at the RYT-500 level. She is also certified in Restorative/Yoga Nidra and trained in Marma Therapy bodywork. Risë continues to study with Alan, Jean, and many of the other ISHTA senior teachers, as well as Kofi Busia and Glenn Black. Her goal is to help students experience the transformative power of yoga and to bring this wellspring of energy, awareness, and compassion into their daily lives.

Megan Young

Megan Young loves empowering others to uncover their own completeness through yoga. Her classes explore the physical and energetic tools of yoga that invite liberation and balance into our lives. She approaches the practice with lightness and grace, respecting innate intelligence of the breath. Megan is grateful to share the wisdom of ISHTA, and is inspired by the lineage’s focus on individualized practice. She has a background in music and voice, and received her 200-Hour, 500-Hour, and restorative teaching certifications from ISHTA.