Akal Bani Kaur (Sholeen)
Akal Bani Kaur (Sholeen Lou-Hsiao), has been practicing yoga since 1988. She is a KRI certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and a Yoga Alliance certified Yin Yoga teacher. As a member of IKYTA, she completed her Level 1 Kundalini Yoga teacher training in 2018 and is currently pursuing her 300-hour Level 2 certification. She has also completed training in SuperHealth: A System of Yogic Science to Break Habits and Addictive Behavior. In addition to yoga, Akal Bani has more than 20 years of experience with Qigong which she studied with internationally acclaimed Music Qigong Master Shen Wu. Many life experiences have led Akal Bani to this healing path. She has found many similarities between Kundalini Yoga and Music Qigong through her long time practices. Her classes are dynamic and incorporate sound healing techniques. She is also a certified Crystal Healer, Level 2 Reiki practitioner, drummer, and has trained with world renowned Gong Master Don Conreaux. Akal Bani is grateful to all her teachers who generously shared their knowledge and wisdom; she intends to pay it forward through teaching.
Alison would love to share this practice with you. It’s helped her so much and is something she is very passionate about. “I know I’m my better self when I’m practicing – giving myself a chance to catch my breath, keeping my body strong and flexible, and shifting my perspective even just a little bit. I can be more patient, present, and express myself better.”
Alison is so thankful to have had the opportunity to study under some amazing teachers including Sheryl Edsall, Jody Boisits and Eileen Alexander. Alison’s certifications include Hatha Yoga (200 hour), Yin Yoga, Functional Anatomy and Reiki. She has also completed Neurosculpting® Level One training.
Alison approaches her classes and her own practice with curiosity, reverence and compassion. Every day is different, so she encourages her students to notice how they’re feeling that day, where they feel open and where they don’t and to find ways through breath and movement to feel more peace, clarity and lightness. “Ultimately yoga helps us to slow down to get back in touch with what is really important to us.”
Off the mat, Alison loves to spend time with family and friends, go for walks with her dog, read, eat good food and enjoy funny movies.
Faith Kaufman was a lawyer before completely changing her path in life. She left for the opportunity to combine two things that are close to her heart – yoga and children. Faith is a mom of 3 daughters and married to her college sweetheart. Faith is certified to teach kids yoga from Naturally Yoga in Glen Rock, NJ, Karma Kids Yoga in NYC and Kidding Around Yoga in NYC. Faith has developed kids yoga programs at various local schools and gyms and in the summer months you can find Faith playing yoga games with kids ages 3-15 at Ramaquois Day Camp. Faith’s goal is to expand opportunities for children to grow and learn yoga in a fun and nurturing environment and is ecstatic to blend her experience teaching children with her passion for yoga to create classes that inspire confidence, relax the body and spark the imagination. Faith believes that yoga can help kids have a calm and balanced mind and body. Faith’s classes incorporate the use of animated poses, stretches and games to promote strength, flexibility, coordination and balance. She will also practice meditation and guide visualization to teach the kids to focus, relax and develop self control in a non-competitive environment. Yoga is supposed to be FUN and through stories, games, songs and poses the kids will learn to love yoga!
Himani is a certified Yoga Teacher and Life & Wellness Coach and is known for her
authentic, non-judgmental teaching style and compassion-centered philosophy. Availing herself to continuous philosophical education from various spiritual disciplines, Himani weaves the powerful Ashtanga yoga, breathing techniques along thought-provoking meditations throughout her classes, applying ancient wisdom to our contemporary western world in a useful and understandable way. She encourages growth of the physical and spiritual self, citing the interconnectedness to each other, to the world and to the universe at large.
With a BA in English from the University of Michigan, and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Jen launched a successful career as a marketing professional in Manhattan. She began her yoga practice after her third knee surgery at the age of 39. Originally there for the physical benefits, she soon realized that the philosophy behind the practice was helping her make peace with the negative body image issues she had struggled with since her teen years.
Eager to share yoga’s benefits, Jen received her 200-hour teacher certification from Ben Wisch at Flow Yoga in Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., and opened her own studio, Defiant Yoga, with the mission of helping individuals of all ages learn to love and accept themselves exactly as they are. She is proud to expand this mission as co-founder of Body Positive Works, an integrative healing and wellness sanctuary located in Saddle River, NJ.
Jen has taken advanced trainings with Dr. Melody Moore of the Embody Love Movement, Leslie Kaminoff of Yoga Anatomy and Charlotte Stone of the Stone Center for Yoga and Health. She is currently working on her 500 hour certification with Jody Domerstad of Become One Wholeness and so far has completed Neurosculpting®, Yin Yoga Level One, and Functional Anatomy.
Jen was also instrumental in launching Kula for Karma’s Yoga for Eating Disorder Recovery program. She co-wrote the manual and teaches the Yoga for Recovery from Eating Disorders advanced teacher trainings. She is passionate about this work and continues to teach Kula’s Yoga for Eating Disorders weekly at Body Positive Works.
In her classes, Jen’s main priority is to help students hear their bodies’ signals and adjust the practice to their unique needs in a welcoming, non-competitive space. Jen focuses on the purpose of the poses and how they feel rather than how they look. Students are encouraged to look at the language they use towards their bodies (there is no such thing as a “bad” hip!) and to “stay on their own mats” (don’t compare!). Jen knows from personal experience that while embracing one’s body can be a challenging, lifelong journey, a regular yoga practice reminds us that our bodies deserve to be treated with the utmost kindness, love and respect.
Karen Dillon is a 200 hour certified yoga teacher and has an additional certification in intensati (a mind, body and spirit yoga/exercise class developed by Patricia Moreno). She completed her 200-hour training with Gail Walsh, Janet Vignol, and Ronda Lam-Dichiaro at Yoga Mountain in New City, NY. She has also studied extensively with Elena Brower. Karen started practicing yoga in 1991 at the same time she started her journey of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Her yoga practice has strengthened the very important spiritual component of her recovery program.
Lisa (Myla) Sandhusen
Lisa (Myla) is passionate about women claiming and celebrating their authentic connection to the infinite self. She brings her unique collection of gifts and perspective into every circle she leads and attends. Working from the Earth up she weaves together her collective skills as a Bellydancer Performer and Instructor, Sex Educator, Relationship Coach, Wise Woman Herbalist/Green Witch, Doula, BirthKeeper, Mother, Wife, Lover, Sister, Artist Model, Activist, Producer and Director. Myla celebrates an unconditional love of humanity with tenacity and playfulness. Her grounded and unconditional acceptance creates a class atmosphere that is both nurturing and safe for experimentation and risk taking.
She enjoys the ongoing adventures of learning from each and every experience offered in life and is a Way Shower and Thought Leader. Some of the other activities that inspire Myla are hiking, gardening, hanging out with her family and friends, studying mythological histories, astrology, and experimenting with smoothie recipes. She aspires to be an author and is leading the reLOVelution a MeetUp group dedicated to creating a supportive community for LOV filled relationships.
Maria’s yoga practice has provided a source of balance and inspiration during phases of change, challenge, and self-study. To her, yoga is an earnest companion for growth that is both physical and mental – both are pathways for an initiation to openness, compassion, and mindfulness. “My primary intention is to help people learn to heal themselves.” In late childhood/early adulthood she was plagued by anxiety, depression, addiction, body image issues, and broken relationships—these all experiences led her to heal and transform mind, body and soul. She experienced it as “alchemy,” I had a chemical reaction to the first yoga class I took some 16 years ago (2002). So much so that many years later, I changed my career, my mothering, the people I surround myself with, my analyst, my diet, and the way that I saw myself…. I did not plan to become a yoga teacher; but, it was an organic result of my urge to honor and teach this practice wherever it takes me.
From her hometown of RiverVale she has been teaching happiness, awareness, and joyful living. Maria has devoted her life to inspiring others to be themselves. Maria has extensive knowledge and education in health and fitness, anatomy and holistic nutrition, however she believes that inner work is most rewarding. She sees that everyone has the potential to feel contentment and she uses asana as a tool to guide her students towards inner peace. She uses her boundless enthusiasm, and a realistic approach to challenge as a way to connect.
When she is not in the studio, you can usually find her walking her Chesapeake Bay Retriever, riding horses with her daughter or spending time at home with her husband, two cats and three step children.
Maria gives thanks to all her teachers and students. In addition to her 500 RYT- yoga certification which includes Y12SR- yoga for addiction and recovery, yoga barre, yin yoga restorative, yoga nidra, Ayurveda, she is also certified in group fitness AFFA and personal training-corrective exercise specialist (NASM, CPR-AED).
Michelle is a 200-hr RYT with Yoga Alliance, and has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. She completed her 200-hr Teacher Training with the founder of Curvy Yoga, Anna Guest-Jelley (Nashville, TN) in 2013.
Michelle came to yoga looking for an alternative to high-impact activity due to injury and looking for a way to increase flexibility and strength safely. Living with body image issues her entire life, yoga became a tremendous tool on her road to body acceptance. Yoga provided the tools to allow her to practice in a judgment –free zone and most importantly her mat became the safe space she needed to allow the mind-body connection she was missing.
Michelle teaches options and customizations to student’s practices to make yoga work for your body, right now. Classes combine mindful movement and breath work that is accessible to all.
Stacie took her first yoga class over 40 years ago taught by a Swami from India who briefly lived in her home town. With his strong focused gaze and deep resonating voice, he had her at ‘Om’. Ever since, she has practiced many styles of yoga and meditation studying with Baron Baptiste, Corina Benner, Cyndi Lee, Dharma Mittra, Krishna Das, Raji Thron, Sharon Salzburg and many others. Stacie received her 200 hour vinyasa teacher certification from Ben Wisch at Flow Yoga in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ. She is also certified in Yin Yoga and Reiki levels 1 and 2. She incorporates her passion for photography, poetry and prose into her classes. She is grateful for all of the gifted teachers, family and friends who have influenced her and believes that through practices of simple physical poses, breathing techniques and mindfulness, everyone has the ability to find their peace.
Tricia is a KRI-certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor. She achieved her certification in August 2016. Tricia enjoys many different types of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyasa and Hot Yoga, but found her true connection in a Kundalini Yoga workshop at Kripalu five years ago. From that first introductory workshop, Tricia began a steady daily practice of Kundalini Yoga that has helped her gain strength, self-empowerment, and greater self-awareness. She is passionate about sharing this beautiful and very powerful practice. Tricia’s spiritual name, “Kewalpreet Kaur”, means “One who loves the Divine”. We all have the tools we need to find our truest selves and Kundalini Yoga puts us on the “fast track”!