Instructor Bios

Anjali Sunita Anjali Sunita E-RYT, Baltimore Yoga Village Founder and Director instructs the 200 hour Jivan Yoga Teacher Training and co-teaches the 300 hour course. She has been studying yoga philosophy, North Indian classical chanting, deep breathing techniques, postures, and meditation ceaselessly for the past 16 years and has taught in India, Peru, Canada, and the United States in ashrams, private and public schools, embassies, yoga studios, retreat centers, and private homes since 2005. She is certified in traditional yoga at the advanced level through the Sivananda Organization and also holds certifications through the AcroYoga organization, prenatal yoga with Janice Clarfield, and children’s yoga through YoKid, and continues studies through numerous programs held at Baltimore Yoga Village. She is certified as an ayurvedic consultant by Dr. Vasant Lad and the Ayurvedic Institute where she completed the full-time consultant program as well as additional intensives in Marma Therapy, ayurvedic pulse reading, ayurvedic cooking, ayurvedic beauty, mantra, meditation, and clinical work. She has also received panchakarma (deep ayurvedic detox) therapy certificates from Dr. Rajesh Kalvadia in Jaipur, India, where she continues study each year. Anjali offers private ayurvedic diet and lifestyle consultations and promotes programs which offer opportunities for healing at the individual level and community-building in Baltimore.

 SaraSheikh  Syamala Priya devi dasi (Sara Sheikh) began her yoga and meditation journey in the mid-1990’s with traditional hatha yoga and Thich Nhat Hanh’s trainings in Mindfulness Meditation. After years of adopting yoga as a way of life she was inspired to share the transformational practice with others.  In 2008 Syamala became certified at the 200-hour level with the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center. In years since she has expanded her personal practice by studying the Jivamukti and Yin yoga methods and gaining a deeper understanding of yoga philosophy through mentoring and trainings with Hari-Kirtana das. In 2017 she received spiritual initiation from Radhanath Swami in the  Krishna Bhakti tradition which emphasizes the linking of one’s spiritual identity, thoughts and actions with the Absolute Truth through devotional service to a personal form of the Divine. Offering classes for beginning as well intermediate students, Syamala integrates mantra meditation, philosophy, vinyasa or yin sequencing, regulated breathing and deep relaxation into each session. In class she is known for her down to earth, clear and in-depth instruction. Responsive and sensitive to each individual, she is committed to helping students achieve a healthier-balanced lifestyle. As a social worker, Syamala has had the privilege to teach yoga to children and families in underserved neighborhoods through a wide variety of community organizations. 


Elisabeth Gambino is a 500-hr registered yoga teacher with certifications in vinyasa and hatha yoga. In addition, she regularly advances her study with retreats at Kripalu and Sivananda ashrams.  She has studied various forms including yin yoga, Iyengar, Life Force Yoga, yoga dance, acro yoga, Sivananda, and kundalini, and completed trainings with Cora Wen, Hari Kirin, Todd Norian, Megha Buttenheim, and Amy Weintraub.  Elisabeth has been teaching yoga since 2007, and incorporates mindfulness into her art instruction as well.  Elisabeth came to yoga to heal a nerve injury and her classes feature a deep attention to alignment, strength building, and breath. She supports  students in developing a personal practice that they can maintain throughout their life. Elisabeth believes in the ability of the asana practice to lead students to increased mindfulness, awareness and compassion for themselves and others off the mat.

  Leanora Eubanks (Lea) is a certified Therapeutic Yoga & Kids Yoga Teacher through Yama Studio’s 200 hour Therapeutic Program and YoKid, holds a BA in Urban Studies from Eastern University, works as an Outward Bound wilderness instructor, and has earned her Occupational Therapy Assistant degree. Leanora practices and teaches yoga as a moving meditation, cultivating deeper connection to inner wisdom and unconditional Love.  Her classes encourage awareness of the physical, energetic and psycho-emotional levels (koshas) within the body-mind; and include energizing and/or gentile yoga movements (asana), breath-work (pranayama), positive affirmations and meditative stillness. She has enjoyed sharing the yoga experience with various Baltimore communities: from city/federal jail detainees to church congregations, yoga studios and corporate employees (i.e. Johns Hopkins & Kennedy Krieger).  As a Baltimore Yoga Village teacher, Leanora is delighted to give back to the authentic and inspiring community that has nurtured her personal yoga practice over the years.

Reclaiming pregnancy/childbirth as a sacred rite of passage is Nilajah Brown’s life work and passion. She has been serving women and families as a Sacred-birthing consultant for over 10 years. She brings a wealth of traditional birthing wisdom from African, Caribbean and Native American midwives. She is a professionally trained mother, pregnancy yoga therapist, childbirth educator, doula, reiki practitioner, and lactation consultant. Her focus is on supporting women in tuning into their innate wisdom as they transition from pregnancy through labor and into motherhood. She is currently working on her first book Birthing in the Spirit.Nilajah teaches prenatal yoga courses as well as Momma & Baby classes at Baltimore Yoga Village.

Vivian Campagna, a certified yoga instructor since 2002, Vivian is celebrating 15 years of teaching and 21 years of immersing herself in the many facets of yoga practice and tradition. After earning full certification in the Anusara method, an advanced certification that is the equivalent of the Yoga Alliance ERYT 500 designation, Vivian has chosen to evolve these teachings into her own unique teaching style. She feels super blessed to have trained thousands of classroom and apprenticeship hours with her main teacher Susie Hurley to whom she offers full pranams of gratitude. Always a student, Viv is grateful for her opportunities to study with leading scholars including sanskrit studies with Vyaas Houston, yoga philosophy with Dr. Douglas Brooks, Dr. WIlliam K. Mahony, Dr. Carlos Pomeda and Dr. Paul Muller-Ortega, and Ayurveda with Kate Stillman. Vivian’s primary asana teachers are Sianna Sherman, Noah Maze and Christina Sell who continually inspire her through their brilliant teaching. Vivian loves living in Baltimore and being a part of the Baltimore Yoga VIllage community. She wishes to express gratitude to every student she is fortunate to encounter, and most of all, deep appreciation and love goes out to her husband John and daughter Lila for their boundless love and support.

Erin Gahan has been practicing yoga since 2000 and teaching since 2007. Erin received her 200 hour yoga teacher training certification from Dhyana Yoga in Philadelphia and went on to complete her 300 hour yoga teacher training certification right here through Jivan Yoga Teacher Training at Baltimore Yoga Village. Erin has studied and infuses her classes with multiple styles of movement including Vinyasa, Kundalini, traditional Hatha yogas and dance.  Every class includes pranayama and mindfulness meditation. All levels are welcomed in Erin’s classes. Expect to breathe, move and smile. All you will need to bring to classes is an open mind and an open heart.
Noe’s Bachelor of Science degree is in Sports Medicine and she worked in this field for 8 years. She then became a certified physician assistant and has worked in Orthopedic Surgery for the past 12 years. Currently Noe is very honored to work at the Curtis National Hand Center specializing in conditions of the hand and upper extremity. Noe discovered the benefits of yoga seven years ago and has been a passionate student ever since.  Her main asana teacher is Vivian Campagna who’s Anusara yoga background with a focus on biomechanics and alignment resonates with Noe‘s interest in the same.  Noe is especially drawn to the many ways yoga practice invites awareness and a deeper connection to all aspects of oneself, body, mind, and spirit. Yoga philosophy has also become a passion and her main teacher is Christopher Hareesh Wallis.  She was received her Jivan 500 hour yoga teacher training at Baltimore Yoga Village under Anjali Sunita and Vivian Campagna.  As a yoga instructor, she shares her knowledge of body mechanics and alignment to help her students realize the full the  benefits of the poses . Yoga philosophy is also incorporated into her classes in a way that is readily applicable and beneficial to daily modern life.

 _GRJ5518-Edit Dee Satterfield was born and raised on the Sandtown-Winchester side of west Baltimore City. She discovered yoga as a single mother in college and was inspired and amazed by yoga’s transformative ability to release hurt, pain, and disappointment; replacing those things with love, compassion, and understanding of oneself. She believes that yoga is an everyday practice both on and off the mat in her life. To Dee, being true to you and serving others is the highest form of love to the universe. She understands that loving and accepting your body image is the greatest thing one could discover.

 Marley Keller, E-RYT 500, has an extensive background in dance and psychology helped set the foundation for her career as a yoga instructor to children and adults. In 2006, Marley received her 200 hour yoga teacher training from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and spent the next 3 years dedicated to completing both a 200 and 500 hour teacher training program with an emphasis on yoga therapeutics at Golden Heart Yoga in Annapolis MD.Since 2006, Marley has been teaching both private and group classes to children and adults. Although mainly influenced by Anusara and Parayoga and her teacher and mentor, Rod Stryker, Marley brings elements of various styles of yoga into her yoga sessions. She is trained in prenatal yoga, yoga for athletes, mommy and me yoga, kids yoga, preteen and teen yoga, and yoga for special conditions. She specializes in one-on-one yoga therapy for people with chronic and acute medical conditions. Emphasizing breath, alignment, and body awareness, her goal is to help all students foster a better sense of self by finding the connection between their body, mind and spirit.

Sylvia Levenson began practicing yoga in 2008. Within one year, her passive adventure grew into a full time passion. Her interest in the mental and holistic aspects of yoga as well as a devotion to explore an alignment based approach progressed into her desire to learn more about the ancient discipline. Sylvia was drawn to the sequencing of nationally recognized Rodney Yee and is strongly influenced by the methods and alignment techniques of yoga guru BKS Iyengar. Sylvia believes in yoga discipline as a lifestyle, infusing her everyday with purpose and meaning. These principles are evident not only in her studio sessions, but also in the dominant role they play in all aspects of life, as a calming force and source of balance. Her objective is to share this knowledge and unique “postural alignment” yoga training through motivational classes and dedication to her students. In addition to sharing her “mat devotion” with adults, Sylvia’s practice also includes youth yoga, designed to promote mindfulness, problem-solving skills and breathing techniques to elementary and middle school aged kids.Sylvia is nationally registered with the Yoga Alliance at the 200 hour level, completing certification in 2012 with Lynn Burgess, founder, director and principle instructor of Yoga from the Heart in Sarasota, Florida.

0707 Chris Jamison has studied human movement for more than three decades.  First as a modern dancer, primarily the Martha Graham technique, then from clinical and scientific viewpoints. He has been a Physical Therapist for 30 years and has a Masters Degree in Biomechanics and Motor Control. This experience give him a keen eye for alignment and a skilled touch in assisting the student to deepen their practice.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Claudia began her formal yoga training in 1984. Once Yoga works in Santa Monica opened, she spent 10 years assisting and teaching along side some of the most noteworthy teachers of our time. She traveled and studied with Pattabhi Jois (creator of the Ashtanga Yoga System), and completed several Yoga Teacher Training programs, such as the first one given at Yoga Works in Santa Monica, as well as other significant trainings given by Rod Stryker and many others. In 1993, she was initiated into the ISHTA yoga system by Rod Stryker. She also assisted Erich Shiffman for several years, and then studied and taught at Forrest Yoga, under the direction of Anna Forrest. While at USC completing a Masters degree in Social Work, she taught yoga to students and faculty alike. She integrated her skills as a therapist and yoga instructor developing corporate stress reduction programs, working with oncology patients at Children’s Hospital, and teaching yoga to artists and performers. In 2005 she received certification in Anusara Yoga from John Friend. In 2012 she began studying again with Yogarupa Rod Stryker in the Tantra tradition, completing several of the Para Yoga Teacher’s Trainings. Claudia’s classes reflect her rich background of yoga experience as well as the love and dedication to her life-long practice of yoga. Look for Claudia’s regular quarterly articles in Pathways Magazine.
Deborah Quirk is a YT 500 and Board Certified Dance/movement therapist. She completed her 500YTT at the Columbia Yoga Center in Columbia,MD in December of 2013. While Deborah teaches Vinyasa Yoga this YTT focused on alignment and Yoga therapeutics which continues to inspire her teaching and personal practice of Yoga. Deborah’s love of dance/movement began as a child studying dance with her father who owned and operated dance studios in Dallas,TX. Prior to receiving her Masters Degree in Dance/movement therapy from Goucher College she co-directed Chrysalis Repertory Dance Company in Houston,TX. Deborah’s classes include music and poetry , creating yoga classes rich with imagery promoting body awareness, mindfulness and an embodied movement experience.

mina Mina Shahriary has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. With an early background in gymnastics, she was initially drawn to the playful and physically challenging aspects of asana practice. When she embarked on her first yoga teacher training course in 2011, however, she discovered in yoga a vast and powerful system for exploring the nature of experience, staying anchored in the present, and integrating body, mind, and spirit. In 2014, she completed the 200-hour Jivan Yoga Teacher Training at Baltimore Yoga Village with Anjali Sunita. Off the mat, Mina writes about strategies for optimizing health and longevity, studies herbal medicine, and loves to spend time outdoors and experimenting in the kitchen. Come to her classes for an invigorating blend of mindful movement linked with breath, playful exploration of postures, and yoga philosophy. Her goal as a teacher is to guide students toward an experience of ease, stability, freedom, and empowerment.

Stephanie Snyder infuses a wide spectrum of Life experience with her love for yoga into each session. Her classes are peppered with yogic philosophy and specific alignment guidelines to encourage you to step into the bright Light that already exists within your heart. In this uplifting, heart-centered practice, be inspired to engage in an extraordinary experience honoring the wonder of the ordinary both on and off the mat. Stephanie has been teaching from the heart since she fell in love with Anusara yoga 4.5 years ago but she has been practicing, in constant awe of yoga’s gifts, since her mother practiced with her in utero! She is filled with gratitude to be a part of the awesome Baltimore Yoga Village community and to teach you!

Neeru Takiar is a certified Yama Therapeutics yoga instructor.  Practicing yoga for nearly eight years, Neeru has a rich knowledge of  yoga and ayurveda. Neeru’s interests in yoga focuses upon a combination of vinyasa asanas, ayurvedic philosophy, guided meditation, visualization and pranayama. Her strong dedication to ensuring the health of the mind and soul allows her to be inspirational as she guides her students to release the physical, emotional and mental tensions that block the numerous energy pathways of the body. She encourages her students to be mindful of the yoga they practice – in particular understanding the intention and purpose, or bhavana, for each asana. Neeru also loves to cook and teach about healthy ayurvedic vegetarian food – she is always in search of new dishes that are good for a yogi!

Pamela Tanton has been practicing the Sheng Zhen system of qigong since 2002, and she’s been teaching it since 2004. Sheng Zhen means “Unconditional Love.” She is certified to teach by Master Li Junfeng, the founder of Sheng Zhen Qigong. She has studied with Master Li for ten years, and has taken many 10-day teacher training sessions with him all over the world—Germany, Norway, Croatia, Hawaii, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, California, Texas, and Baltimore.For Pamela, qigong is a beautiful practice that brings a sense of well-being, deep relaxation, and a feeling of connection to Oneness. But she believes it’s important not to be too serious about it either! The phrase, “Enjoy your practice, enjoy your life” is a cornerstone of the Sheng Zhen Qigong philosophy. Pamela’s classes place an emphasis on having fun and doing the movements in a way that feel good to your body.

“Mira” Mary E.Tessman has been practicing yoga off and on for over twenty years and started teaching yoga in 2007.  Currently, she teaches seven classes a week at four studios and offers private yoga instruction in the Baltimore area.  Mira views her yoga practice as the most consistent and potent source of spiritual, mental, and physical strength and support in her life.  Besides teaching yoga, Mira is a holistic psychotherapist and uses a mindfulness-based and body-oriented approach in her private practice.  She suggests to her clients: “Try yoga before Prozac; it really helps stabilize mood.”  Mira has been facilitating expressive arts, healing, meditation, and spiritual growth workshops, retreats and groups since 1994.  She supervises Master’s level psychology students and has also been an adjunct professor at CCBC in the psychology department.  Mira was co-founder and co-director of the Heart’s Journey Wellness Center in Towson for many years.  Mira loves to plan yoga routines, travel, dance, hike, kayak, bicycle, and hang out with her husband, children, and good friends.

_GRJ9872-Edit Suzannah Kolbeck has been practicing yoga for 15 years but has only recently dedicated herself to diving deeper into that practice, completing the 500-hour teacher training program through the Jivan Yoga Teacher Training program in 2016 at Baltimore Yoga Village. She has extensive classroom teaching experience with middle school students and strives to bring lightness and humor into her teaching and personal practice. She believes deeply that yoga is an effective way to truly know yourself and shares that belief in teachings based on practical, applicable yoga philosophy combined with everyday life.

Elizabeth Tunkle: Studying yoga since February 2000 and teaching since 2004, Elizabeth brings fun and joy to even the hardest poses. Her class challenges you to go deeper both physically and emotionally as you come into a deeper life balance through breath. Twice she has traveled to India to study yoga and meditation and is inspired by the traditional teachings of yoga . She teaches a powerful flow focused on the breath. Like life, yoga can make us laugh and cry. It can stretch us to our edge and soften us into experience. Elizabeth challenges you to go deeper into that experience of life through deep breath and commitment to practice.

maura (532x800) Maura Roth-Gormley is passionate about encouraging people to dive into the flow of an embodied yoga practice. A Registered Yoga Teacher at the 200 hour level, she completed her teacher training through the Samudra School of Living Yoga, where she studied with master teachers Shiva Rea, Maria Garre, Shani Stevenson and others. Maura believes that there is a yoga for every stage of life and loves exploring the relationship between music and movement both on and off the mat. Her Prana FlowÒ: Energetic Vinyasa classes incorporate intelligent sequencing, safe alignment, and graceful movement and words to help all students feel embodied and empowered. She feels strongly that yoga is for everybody and every body and loves to see a diversity of movement among students. Come to her class to listen to groovy music, be part of a supportive community, and get down with your True Self.

Kathy  Kathy Fahey’s students describe her as attentive, creative, and nurturing. Through poetry, song, breathing exercises, and asana, Kathy leads her students to a place of connection within the self and with others. She’s a strong believer in the power of yoga and meditation because it has helped her on her own path of healing. Her love of teaching comes from her desire to share a practice that has changed her life. Kathy is also an artist, musician, and lover of Ayurvedic cooking.Certified through the Jivan Yoga Teacher Training at Baltimore Yoga Village, RYT 200. Kathy is grateful to be teaching at a studio full of integrity and filled with a community she loves, a place she considers to be home.

 emily Emily Mullen grew up in a household where it was normal for dad to hanging out in a headstand in the living room when she woke up each morning; so you could say her practice is almost genetic. Originally yoga was purely physical for Emily, but as she delved deeper into her practice and into herself, it became more spiritual. In 2013, she completed the 200 hour teacher training through University of Maryland’s Center for Integrated Medicine and through the same program became a certified Reiki Master. Learning yoga and reiki together was very powerful, especially in understanding the effects of asana on the energetic body. Emily teaches with compassion; guiding her students to direct their energy, and encouraging them to play and find the joy in each asana.

 mary Mary Steinke completed her 200 hour  teacher training through Jivan Teacher Training right here at Baltimore Yoga Village in 2011 and a few years later the 500 hour. Since then, she has also become certified to teach VaiHayasa Aerial Yoga, Acroyoga, and has completed the Sarahpeutics 50 hour Thai massage training. She brings her real world experience of being a business woman, momma bird, world traveler, and devoted yogini to the mat. With this resume of yoga training + life experience, Mary enjoys working towards finding balance, compassion, and grace on and off the mat. She teaches yoga asana as well as Kids Yoga Camps  at Baltimore Yoga Village.

 nancy Nancy McPartland’s passion for yoga began in 1996 under the guidance of Moses Brown and Bob Glickstein. She became a certified Iyengar teacher in 1998 through the Columbia Yoga Center. In 1999 Nancy completed the Radiant Child Teacher Training. Also in 1999 Nancy had the privilege of studying with John Friend founder of Anusara Yoga and has been “flowing with grace” since that time. In 2006 Nancy studied with Kim Manfriedi and adaptive a vinyasa style. Next she studied with Jayne Berbasconi to become a certified arieal yoga teacher. She has been studying Reiki with Bonnie Tarrantino since 2010 and this year recieved her Karuna level in India. Nancy brings a skillful awareness of the postures along with the desire to help her students connect to the divine goodness that resides in each one of us. She has also been working as a psychotherapist for the last 20 years and often explores the emotional benefits of the postures, using Yoga as a means to mental and physical health.

_GRJ6511-Edit Dan Prives came to yoga in his late fifties after years of a life staring at computer screens and avoiding most things athletic.  Starting with a gentle restorative yoga class for two years followed by a class called “Bears Do Yoga,” before discovering Baltimore Yoga Village, Dan eventually found that yoga is available to anyone at any level of ability at any time in life.  He completed the Jivan 200 hour teacher training at Baltimore Yoga Village in 2015 (coincidentally while recovering from a back injury) and he is currently working toward the 500 hour certification.  He sees yoga as part of a lifetime program including poses, breathing practice, meditation and service.  Dan brings to classes a sensitivity and empathy for people with different levels of flexibility and experience in yoga.

After 35 years in the ministry, Gretchen was seeking a more holistic approach to caring for others (and herself!), an approach that would honor the body as well as the mind and spirit.  The search led her more deeply into her own yoga practice.  In 2015, Gretchen completed the 200 hour Jivan Yoga Teacher Training through Baltimore Yoga Village and the Level I Teacher Intensive with Yoga for Arthritis. With a passion for yoga therapeutics as well as breath work and meditation, Gretchen helps her students build transforming, sustainable practices that will see them through all stages of their lives.  She leads retreats, offers private instruction and small classes in her home, and is particularly grateful for the opportunity to teach at BYV, the community that has nurtured her practice since 2011.

_grj0623-edit Alicia McNee turned to yoga in 2004 as a way to manage pain related to herniated discs and scoliosis. Over the years she realized that there was much more to yoga than the physical practice and her mat became a place to explore self-awareness and to heal not only chronic pain, but depression and anxiety as well. In 2015 Alicia became a 200 hour RYT through the Jivan Yoga Teacher Training at Baltimore Yoga Village, during which she discovered the depth of connection that comes from exploration of the self as a tool to be of service to the world. As of August 2016 she will have also completed the 500 hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training, at Baltimore Yoga Village as well. A lifelong student and self-described body mechanics nerd, Alicia creates classes with creative, alignment based sequencing, an invitation for loving self-awareness and exploration of the philosophy as it relates to everyday life. Off the mat, Alicia is constantly exploring art, music and different forms of movement such as flow arts and dancing. She studies permaculture, herbalism and ayurvedic/natural cooking. You can most often find her at the farmers market, hiking mountains, chasing waterfalls and curled up with a book and strong coffee.
Adhikari Headshot Adhikari Sacha is a Mystery School Teacher most commited to inspiring people to go within themselves and discover that they are infinite, beyond all measure! She offers group and individual sessions and sometimes intensives on meditation, samyama ( directly experiencing everything without story), and chanting. As a licensed therapist(LCSW-C), shamanic practitioner, and Quantum Touch practitioner she offers healing sessions, soul retrievals, and shamanic intensives.  Her joy is living for the awakening of the planet and she very much feels this shift in consciousness is happening!

Mark Garner is an experienced Yoga Alliance certified teacher who received his 200 hour teaching certification from Yama Studios. In May of 2015 he completed his 500 hour teaching training through the Jivan Teacher Training at Baltimore Yoga Village. Mark is the owner and program director for yama yoga collective’s 200 hour yoga teacher training program. He teaches yoga at Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus, The Cometa Wellness Center, and Baltimore County Detention Center where he leads incarcerated women through a 12 week transformative yoga program. Mark is a poet and painter whose work can be seen locally throughout the year.

Mark’s yogic path has been an amalgamation of passionate pursuits coupled with a curious involvement with life’s abundant gifts. With an eye for alignment and an open heart, he weaves elements of art, fatherhood, mysticism, and humor into his yogic offerings. The lessons we learn on the mat carry us into the world with a loving awareness. Breath, intentional movement, devotion, and surrender of ego are the heart of Mark’s practice.

_GRJ8483-Edit Brian Daniloski has been practicing yoga regularly since 2008, when he discovered the life transforming powers of the practice for himself. He completed his 200 hour Jivan Yoga Teacher Training at Baltimore Yoga Village in 2013. His classes are slow paced and strength building with a focus on breath awareness. Brian believes in the healing and meditational powers of music, and incorporates that into his practice as well. As a touring musician, his regular asana and pranayama practice has been invaluable in maintaining good health while traveling. In his spare time, Brian likes to be outdoors as often as possible.

_GRJ8713-Edit Lauren Going first became drawn to yoga while studying in a college acting conservatory program as a method to integrate mind and body.  She further explored yoga and meditation in 1999 while attending a Buddhist Studies program in Bodh Gaya, India.  She continued to study Buddhist meditation, Iyengar, and, Ashtanga-based yoga while working in Kathmandu, Nepal until 2003.  She became certified to teach yoga in 2005 by Kim Manfredi of Charm City Yoga and completed a Therapeutic 500-hour YTT in 2014 with Lynn Matthews.  Lauren draws from a wide variety of styles and teachers including Amy Weintraub, Rod Stryker, Kamani Desai, Shiva Rea, and Seane Corn. Lauren is trained as an ayurvedic yoga specialist through the Himalayan Institute, yoga nidra instructor through Amrit Yoga, and as a Lifeforce yoga instructor. As a licensed psychotherapist, Lauren combines the wisdom of western psychology with the physical alignment and energetics of yoga to assist students in discovering and living their full potential.

141120_GRJ2141-Edit Lee Halfpenny, RYT-200, has been studying, teaching, and practicing yoga and meditation for over 35 years.  Lee’s training in yoga began with Iyengar Yoga, which he studied at the Unity Woods Studio in Bethesda; he completed his teaching training through the Jivan Yoga Teacher training program here at BYV.  Lee began hatha yoga to complement his meditation practice.  He was in the first meditation teacher training cohort under Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, author of Mindfulness in Plain English, at the Bhavana Society, a monastic retreat center.  Lee also served as the Executive Director of Bhavana, working with Bhante Gunaratana, the abbot of the monastery.  Over 10 years ago, he was co-founder of a stress relief program for female inmates at the Baltimore City Detention Center, where he now teaches yoga and meditation to the men.  Lee’s classes combine yin and yang hatha yoga with a focus on gentle postures suitable for all levels of practice.  Breath and mindfulness are stressed within each posture and throughout the entire class. The goal is for everyone to leave the class refreshed with a greater awareness of being present.

 _GRJ5516-Edit  Atma Joti Kaur (Brooke Redgrave) has a warmth and relatability that invites her students to relax into their true identity. Her playful nature lends a brightness to the space as she teaches with a deep joy for serving others and creating community. Her life journey has been about seeking the spirit, and she desires to help others do the same in a supportive space. She has a 200-hour level yoga teaching certificate from JIVAN Yoga Teacher Training and has just returned from the KRI Kundalini Level One Teacher Training Immersion.

 generic-headshot Alba Azola was born and raised in San Juan Puerto Rico, and began studying classical ballet gymnastics and jazz at the age of 4.  At 13 years old, she received a full scholarship to study at The Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. where she trained for the three year.  Upon her returned to Puerto Rico, she became a member of the company Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico from 1995 to 2000.  After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico in 2000, she taught Biology, AP Biology and Dance at Commonwealth High School in Puerto Rico for four years.  Alba decided to pursue her dream of becoming a physician and obtained my Doctorate in Medicine at Ponce School of Medicine in 2008 and subsequently moved to Baltimore for a residency on Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Alba says that the practice of Nia has allowed her to integrate my passions for Movement, Science and Healing in a seamless way, restoring a sense of balance and purpose in her being.  She is grateful to be able to share the joy of movement with others through practicing Nia.

141120_GRJ2175-Edit Amanda Grant moved to Baltimore in 1996, and acquired her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art. She is a licensed massage therapist who has been practicing in Baltimore for the past 8 years. Because of her appreciation of the physical, emotional, and mental transformation which she has experienced through yoga, Amanda decided to train as a yoga instructor. She obtained her RYT 200 from Jivan Yoga Teacher Training at Baltimore Yoga Village. Over time, Amanda has developed a love of anatomy in all of its variations. She is always searching for ways to enhance her practice to better serve others. Yoga, understanding of the human anatomy and a good sense of humor have helped her on this path. Be prepared for occasional spontaneous laughter in her class.

 Malek Robbana completed her 200-hour training with Kent Brun and Emerson Lim after a cross-country hitch-hiking trip led her to Karma Teachers in Vancouver — Canada’s only nonprofit studio whose entire class schedule is offered for free or by donation. Since then, Malek has been committed to making yoga accessible— physically, culturally, financially, and linguistically. Malek teaches in three languages (English, French, Spanish) in all sorts of locations ranging from private homes, studios, conferences, art galleries, offices, warehouses, high schools and random patches of grass. Malek’s intention in a yoga class is to hold space to allow intimacy with your own breath and body. Currently, she is deepening her relationship with yoga through the 500-hour teacher training at Baltimore Yoga Village with Anjali Sunita, Vivian Campagna and Mark Garner. Malek has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from McGill University (minoring in Political Science and Hispanic Literature) and has studied Clinical Psychology at la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City.