Angela Clark (E-RYT 200 hour), a co-founder of Mala, has been studying and teaching yoga since 1998. She came to the practice as a dancer interested in the physical asanas, but quickly realized there was more to this "yoga thing" than stretching.
Angela's teaching intention is to equip students with enough information so they can translate the yoga practice to their physical, energetic, and emotional bodies at any given moment. She believes that mindfulness and sound technique are imperative to the strong foundation that allows one to "sway in the ever changing wind." She creates environments where each person and body can experience their practice in their own way. Contributing to the Mala vision, Angela furthers her own practice and development as a teacher to provide a supportive yoga community where students explore who they are, what they need, and what they want from life in the company of others.
For the last five years, Angela has studied with Tias and Surya Little of Prajna Yoga in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her early yoga life took her all around Manhattan and to ashrams and wellness centers to study with other amazing teachers from all walks of life. More recently, she has also deepened her scoliosis studies with Elise Browning Miller, studied anatomy with Jason Ray Brown, has been learning to play the harmonium with Gulam Mohammad Mirashi (aka Uncleji), and has been inspired by the teachings of Bon Tibetan Budhism taught by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.
She gives many thanks and bows to all her teachers and students, the Mala Yoga community, her parents who taught her to believe that anything is possible, and to Stephanie and Christina for sharing their love, compassion, wisdom, and chocolate.
In 2007, Christina co-founded Mala Yoga. She wanted to build a place where students could not only build strong asana practices, but learn to take their hard work and translate it to their busy lives. Christina teaches compassionate, insightful classes that focus not only on building physical strength, but also self-acceptance.
An Ashtangi at heart, Christina made her first trip to India over 20 years ago. It made a lasting impression, and it was there she was first exposed to the Bhagavad Gita as well as Indian philosophy. It resonated so strongly that she made another trip, this time staying and studying intensively for almost a year.
Over the last 10 years Christina has studied extensively throughout Europe and the United States. She has has also studied with Om Yoga and Anusara Yoga, and credits her teachers Eddie Stern, Cyndi Lee, Derek Ireland, and Amy Ippoliti for evolving her practice. She is most grateful to her children, Julian and Marina, for providing the most beautiful, challenging, and rewarding practice of all.
In 2007, Steph (E-RYT 200 hour) co-founded Mala Yoga, a community-based studio in Brooklyn, NY, with the idea that yoga can be a lifelong, life-enriching practice, both on the mat and off. She wanted Mala to be a place that felt inviting instead of intimidating, a safe space where students would want to bring their moms or boyfriends to give yoga a try. Steph teaches practitioners of all levels of experience. Her specialty is basics class, where she communicates advanced principles of anatomy and alignment with clarity, patience, humor - and a real-life context that helps students understand how these ancient poses can help them manage the physical and emotional challenges of the modern age. Steph's teaching and learning is inspired by her passion for the practice and its benefits, and the belief that everyone can (and should!) "do" yoga. Steph is also an avid, lifelong runner who believes that running and yoga can - and need to - peacefully co-exist! Huge shout outs filled with gratitude and love to her students, who inspire her each and every class; her family, who continue to put up with her wacky schedule, and Angela & Christina, who make this path an absolute joy in every way possible.
While living in India in 2010, Alex completed a 200-hour teacher training at an Ayurveda and Yoga Center. Alex's classes offer a safe and nurturing environment for students to cultivate awareness and a quiet internal presence. She encourages students to move with intention and become attentive to experiences in the present moment, whether it is to sensations in the body, thoughts, or emotions. Using clear verbal cues and hands-on assistance, she guides students through a gentle, breath-centered, mindful flow - a moving meditation that brings spaciousness and ease to the body, mind, and heart. She is continuously inspired by the potential of the practice to bring about not only individual transformation, but also communal and social change.
Alex grew up on a family farm in the Tyrolean Alps of Austria and has lived in the U.S. since 1997. She first encountered yoga in 2001 while working as a pre-school teacher at a Montessori school in Miami Beach, FL. She was inspired. Alex began practicing yoga herself and incorporating yoga routines in the classroom for her young students. She completed Radiant Child teacher training in 2005 and began offering yoga classes to children in Washington D.C. and Alexandria, VA.
In 2007, Alex completed the 200-hour yoga teacher training at US1, a Yoga Alliance registered yoga school, and has been a yoga instructor (to adults as well as children) ever since. Alex is also a mother of two and during both pregnancies maintained a consistent yoga practice. She can attest first hand to the many benefits of prenatal, postnatal, and "Mommy & Me" yoga. Alex has offered "Mommy & Me" classes in both the U.S. & Austria. She is fluent in English and German.
Upon moving to Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Alex discovered Mala Yoga and has been practicing with their wonderful, insightful, and knowledgeable teachers, and is now honored to teach at Mala. She feels deep gratitude towards all the teachers, students, and supportive family members and friends that have guided, helped, and inspired her along the way.
Bio: Anna was first introduced to yoga by her mother, a lifetime practitioner. The sounds of her mother chanting used to make her laugh and even roll her eyes, but eventually and probably inevitably the yoga practices crept inside her soul and she was begging her mom to give her classes and tell her what studios to go to!
Through Yoga Anna has found the stability and strength to begin to embrace and find joy in the wonderfully unstable nature of life. She is a graduate of the 2010 Jivamukti 300 hour teacher training, as well as the 2010 200 hour Prajna Yoga teacher training, and is currently apprenticing with the lovely ladies at Mala Yoga. Anna is continuously grateful to and inspired by all of her wonderful teachers and students. They infuse her life and practice with knowledge, joy, and an endless curiosity and passion to teach and continue to travel this beautiful path.
How I teach: Anna teaches a challenging vinyasa class with attention to proper alignment, creating a safe space where practitioners of all levels can challenge, nourish, and expand their bodies and minds through the Yoga practice.
Endless thanks to Stephanie, Angela, Christina, and Jen for their abundant love, support, and guidance. More on Anna at annagreenbergyoga.com
Ashleigh grew up in a small town in the Berkshires, Massachusetts, the daughter of a woodworker father and a basketmaker mother. She discovered yoga during college, when she attended a theater program that required a daily morning practice. She quickly realized that yoga not only made her a better actor, but it inspired her to be a better person, and she has practiced consistently ever since that first Downward-Facing Dog eight years ago.
Ashleigh's classes, though challenging, are accessible to students of all levels. With a strong focus on alignment and breath, she strives to create a sacred and safe space in which her students can step away from a place of expectation and judgement and experience their practice anew. Acknowledging that every body is wonderfully unique, she encourages her students to adapt the poses to fit their practice and not the other way around. Ashleigh is a registered teacher with Yoga Alliance, having completed her 200-hour certification through SchoolYoga Institute in Fort Collins, Colorado. She is thrilled to be joining the team at Mala Yoga. Learn more about her at www.ashleighyoga.com.
Blakeney was urged by a friend to give yoga a try in 2004, but it wasn't until she came to Mala in 2007 that she discovered the precision, complexity, and depth to be found in the yoga practice. A public radio producer, she finds that her time on the mat is an essential tool for managing the pressures and deadlines of life off the mat.
In her classes Blakeney seeks to share her curiosity about yoga, while providing her students with the space and support to find their own poses and practices. For her, a sense of humor is as much a part of the practice as any pose.
Blakeney completed Mala's 200-hour teacher training in 2012. Her gratitude to Angela, Christina and Steph for their continuing support, insight, and guidance runs very, very deep. And a profound thanks to the entire Mala community for their support and good humor.
Bio: I came to my mat over 10 years ago with curiosity and undiscovered flexibility. There, I found a playful way to move the body, an inner focus to stay interested, and a strength that came when I wasn't looking. Many exhales later, I continue to swoon over yoga's charms. Deep gratitude for the teachers and students at Kula Yoga Project, where my practice has grown over the years. And to the Mala Yoga community, whose intelligence and sweetness inspire me every day. To learn more visit www.daniellavivayoga.com
How I teach: With humor and creative sequencing, my classes explore the efficiency of movement from pose to pose. We design a safe place to reveal strength, build flexibility, and melt the limitations of gravity. My intention is for the yoga practice to bring you closer to yourself inside the studio and beyond.
Evan came to yoga several years ago, his first class a gift from his wife as a way of helping him cope with several lingering injuries related to years of distance running. However it took a while for the practice to take hold of him, and it wasn't until several months later that he truly got the yoga bug, which has been with him ever since.
Traveling extensively for his job, Evan has enjoyed yoga of many stripes in all types of studios, and has come to appreciate how much a practice can help us cope with our stressful, modern lives.
In his classes, Evan strives to share his passion for yoga in a way that is open, supportive, fun and accessible to all, proving a non-judgment, safe space for people to let their own practices unfold.
Evan completed Mala's 200-hour teacher training in 2012 (much love to all my Class of '12 peeps!) and offers much gratitude to Angela, Stephanie, and Christina for their support, patience, encouragement, and trust.
Bio: When I was 14 I bought a Sivananda Yoga book and taught myself how to do a headstand in my parents' living room. Years later, I moved to New York for graduate school where my regular practice became the much-needed balance to my warp-speed life of a twenty-something. Last year, I cashed in my 9-5 job in magazines to pursue the two things I love the very most - teaching yoga and writing.
I have my 200 HR Vinyasa Certification from Sonic Yoga for which eternal thanks go to my senior Shiva Rea teachers for helping me discover my most authentic self. Since then my journey has taken me to Cobble Hill where I've found a home in the intelligent and welcoming Mala community - and Angela, Stephanie and Christina, three teachers who will forever inspire my practice.
Most recently, I have been working on creating a sequence to teach yoga to survivors of traumatic brain injury.
How I teach: I teach a Vinyasa class that focuses on both the physical and subtle body. My students experience the flow of prana, music and message set to the firm foundations of asana and alignment, a deliberate sequence of asanas to awaken the spirit and center the mind. Yoga is good stuff. Let it teach you. All you have to do is show up.
Bio: Jessica found yoga in 2002, and immediately appreciated it as a salve to her profession of social work. After maintaining a regular practice through her pregnancy and the birth of her first son, life provided Jessica with the opportunity to realize a long-time dream of becoming a yoga teacher. She completed her 500-hour teacher training at Yoga Works, an alignment based mix of several yoga styles, with many inspiring teachers, including Jennie Arthur, Jodie Rufty and Sarah Bell. Pursuing a passion for yoga as a path to a quiet mind and a better world, Jessica completed Restorative yoga training with Jillian Pransky and Prenatal, Postnatal and Baby and Me yoga training with Mary Barnes. In addition to teaching yoga, she is a licensed clinical social worker, working in Brooklyn and Manhattan, including facilitating support groups for new mothers. Jessica is honored to be teaching at Mala Yoga.
How I teach: My classes are full of open communication, laughter, and breath oriented, alignment based yoga. You will safely find a path to greater physical and emotional strength and breath/body awareness, while becoming part of a community of expectant or new moms. All questions are welcome. I acknowledge that you are your own best teacher, and I'm honored to be part of your journey in yoga and motherhood.
Bio: Jennifer Whitney has been practicing vinyasa yoga since 2003, and teaching since 2006. In 2007 she received her 300-hour Jivamukti Yoga teaching certification, studying the integrated form with masters Sharon Gannon, David Life, and Manorama.
How I teach: Jen believes that right intention guides one toward yoga. Her goal is to help students understand how realization is inevitable for those who seek to know themselves. Her vigorous asana flows build strength, clear the mind, and challenge students to break out of habit mind-body energies. She incorporates chanting, yoga philosophy, music and meditation into her classes, and encourages students to take what they learn out into the world.
Learn more about Jen by visiting her www.jwhitneyyoga.comm
Julia began to dabble in yoga in San Francisco, setting off on a path that became clearer with each downward facing dog. After taking a Goldilocks approach to yoga, experimenting with various types across both coasts, she found Mala felt like just the right amount of effort and ease. Julia was drawn to the unique blend of anatomical precision, well-crafted sequencing, and the intentional and accessible bridge from the mat into the world. Julia is profoundly grateful to Steph, Angela, and Christina for creating this space, cultivating a community, and encouraging us all to thrive. Their dedication, awareness, and wisdom continually inspire her.
Julia is passionate about the connection between mind and body, and brings her enthusiasm for exploring this to her teaching. An educator at heart, Julia is interested in cultivating positive development both on and off the mat. Toward this end, her classes are intended to progressively build in a way that is scaffolded for practitioners of varying abilities. Julia completed her 200-hour training with Stephanie, Angela and Christina in 2012. In addition, she completed a training with James Fox through the Prison Yoga Project in 2011. When not teaching yoga, Julia is a researcher in the field of literacy education.
Katrine is a Brooklyn based Yoga Teacher and Holistic Health Coach (RYT200 Yoga Teacher Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach). She teaches an alignment focused vinyasa style. Her classes are both light-hearted, down to earth and challenging supporting her students to remain mindful and focused.
Katrine has been practicing yoga since 2007 and believes the best way to be a good teacher is to be a good student. She completed her teacher training at YogaWorks with Chrissy Carter. She aims to motivate her students to be present and listen to their body. Mindfulness and awareness is something she both practices in her own life and in her classes. She encourages her clients and students to do to do the same.
Katrine came to New York from Oslo, Norway seven years ago as a model. She left the fashion industry soon after to complete and further her studies. First finishing her degree at the New School. It was a personal journey in challenging the conventional wisdom about nutrition and wellness that led her to become a holistic health coach and yoga teacher. She is now a firm believer that strong and healthy is the new skinny and loves to cook, eat, sing karaoke and be in nature.
Katrine is a graduate from Oslo University, the New School University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York.
You can learn more about Katrine on her website: katrinevanwyk.com. Also, her blog is full of recipes and great tips: healthyjourney.tumblr.com, and she writes for MindBodyGreen here: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/wc/katrine-van-wyk.
Bio: Lindsay Sullivan fell for Yoga in 2005 in an attempt to strengthen and open her physical body but was ultimately taken in by the transformative qualities the practice had to offer the mind and the heart. In 2007 she stumbled upon the wild and beautiful Gelupka Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and has been a devoted stumbler ever since. A student of Kelly Morris, Lindsay is a graduate of Conquering Lion Yoga in NYC. She has also completed an apprenticeship with Angela Clark, Stephanie Creaturo and Christina Hatgis at Mala Yoga and currently trains extensively in Tibetan Heart Yoga under Kimberley Theresa Veenhof at Yoga Studies Institute. Lindsay also practices and teaches meditation and is a songwriter and musician living in Brooklyn.
How I teach: Lindsay seeks to answer the question, "How in the hell can Downward Facing Dog lead to the enlightenment of all beings?" Her energetic and heat-building sequencing uses postures, meditation, breath awareness, subtle body development and hands-on alignment, as well as ancient scriptures and The Beatles to crack open the heart, awaken the mind, and unravel the mystery that is Yoga. The path could not be tread were it not for the grace of those who walked the walk before us and continue to pull us along our way. She thanks her Teachers profusely from the bottom of her heart over and over, again and again.
A former gym rat and runner, Lisa dabbled in yoga intermittently for years before finding a home at Mala during her second pregnancy in 2008. Amazed at the ability of a consistent yoga practice to complement pregnancy, post-pregnancy, and a later back injury, she racked the free weights for good. An economist during the day, she completed training with Steph, Angela, and Christina in 2012, drawn to their blend of precise anatomy, creative sequencing, and grounded philosophy. Lisa's classes are a balanced mix of interesting yet accessible sequencing and strength building that will leave you just sore enough the next day. Neverending thanks and gratitude to the Mala community and most importantly, her family for their love and support.
Bio: Marcus has practiced yoga for over ten years. In 2008, he decided to combine his professional skills as a massage therapist with his deepening yogic discipline and attended Laughing Lotus's 200-hour certification in Vinyasa Flow. He is continuing his studies with Tias Little at Prajna Yoga, where he received his 500-hour certification. Many thanks to Angela, Christina, and Stephanie for their divine wisdom and for creating a loving community to grow as a teacher and as a student.
How I teach: Marcus' classes combine vigorous asana movement with breath awareness, yoga philosophy, alignment, mantra, music, humor and lots of heart to invoke a sense of joy and celebration of one's body and life.
To learn more about Marcus, please visit his website marcusberardino.com.
Bio: Rachel began practicing yoga when she accompanied her mother to a class in 2004. In that first class, she discovered untapped flexibility and in the next class, she discovered the depth of her breath. Since then, she has learned something new at each class she attends. In 2012, Rachel decided to deepen her practice and education. She received the 200-hour YogaWorks teaching certification under the instruction of Chrissy Carter and Paula Lynch. Today, she continues to study with her mentor, Chrissy Carter, as part of the 300-hour YogaWorks certification.
How I teach: Rachel's teaching style is a mix between Ashtanga and Iyengar. She includes flow and movement into each class to build heat and encourage breathing and she utilizes props and instructs subtle alignment cues to ensure a better understanding of the asanas. Rachel strives to be a guide to facilitate compassion for one's self and all others. She believes that it is important for each student to walk away from class proud of his or her body and the shapes that it is willing and able to make.
Ruah Bhay has studied with a variety of teachers from backgrounds in Yogaworks, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Kundalini, Dharma Mittra and Swami Vivekenanda. Ruah's teaching style integrates each of these traditions while threading together every class with a main theme connected to a yoga philosophy that inspires a happy and healthy life. She guides a flowing, challenging practice with mindful sequencing and focus on alignment in a fun, loving and nurturing environment - always leaving students with a smile.
Ruah is grateful for the introduction of yoga and meditation in her childhood by her mom's influence from Integral Yoga with Swami Satchidananda. She has also been guided by her aunt and uncle, TM practitioners/teachers and devotees of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Ruah fell in love with a regular yoga practice first while in college and then while living in Senegal as a high school teacher. While Ruah ended up with a fast-paced career in non-profit development and fundraising, she maintained her passion for teaching and practicing yoga whenever she wasn't at the office. Eventually, she made the leap of faith, quitting her job to pursue teaching yoga as a career and has been blessed with doing what she loves ever since.
Ruah has been in many health & fitness features, collaborated with celebrities such as Russell Simmons and has also appeared in Marie Claire, Time Out, In Resident, More, Uptown, FOX, WPIX, NY Post & NY1. Ruah is a teacher, writer, non-profit fundraiser, rollerblader, singer, lifetime athlete and meditation practitioner and mom. She holds a B.A. in Political Science, an M.A. in Sustainable Development, is 500 hour Yogaworks Certified and Prenatal Yoga Certified.
Learn more about Ruah by visiting her http://ruahyoga.net/
My yoga practice began when I was a BFA student in Dance, dragging myself to early morning alignment-based classes before a full day of dance curriculum and rehearsals. Upon moving to NYC in 2008, a friend brought me to Kula Yoga Project, which became my home base to truly develop a fuller practice, both physical and spiritual. Alongside my practice, I keep myself in motion with things like Crossfit (weightlifting and conditioning), running, and surfing.
In my teaching, I always strive to find the balance between crucial anatomy and alignment instruction and the delicious flow that gets our heat stirring and sweat pouring. I get equally excited to teach the foundation of basic poses as I do more "advanced" arm balances and inversions, as both will lead to opening in heart, mind, body, and spirit if practiced with good intention.
I completed my 200-hour teacher training in 2010 with Sondra Loring and Raghunath at the Sadhana Center for Yoga in Hudson, NY, and gratefully continue to study with the terrific trifecta of Angela, Christina, and Steph, as well as teachers like Schuyler Grant, Alex Auder, Julie Dohrman, Elena Brower, Kevin Courtney, Marisa Sako, and many more.