Sophie Tashkovski is a graduate of Jamesville DeWitt High School and William Smith College. She spent her high school and college years playing soccer and lacrosse, and later in life found Yoga as a repose from her stressful corporate lifestyle in Boston, MA. Practicing at studios throughout Boston, Sophie was exposed to several different Yoga styles and many amazing teachers.
Yoga helped Sophie get better balance in her life and body, and in 2011 she completed her 200 hour Yoga teacher training in Boston at Charlestown Yoga. The training was a conduit for change; after 13 years in Boston, Sophie returned to Central New York and currently owns Syracuse Yoga, where she teaches large group and private Yoga full time.
Sophie teaches all styles of Yoga, focusing on anatomically appropriate vinyasa, while ensuring students are practicing safely and learning proper alignment. Sophie’s background in Chemistry and Biology, coupled with 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry and her 500 hr advanced Yoga training with Yoga Medicine (2019), designation as a Yoga Medicine Therapeutic Specialist, and work assisting Yoga Medicine trainings make her well suited to work with all types of students.
Read more about Sophie here
Read more about Yoga Medicine here
Patrick DiBello considers himself a student of movement, and he explores yoga, calisthenics, and AcroYoga as his primary methods of training. His personal training certification and food and nutrition specialist certification are through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Patrick is an Elite Coach with the World Calisthenics Organization and competes at Battle of the Bars, a freestyle calisthenics competition where participants compete and display strength using only their bodyweight.
Patrick has been a student and teacher of body weight movement for four years and is passionate about helping people start and grow their journey to increased functional movement. He is a personal trainer and owner at MIM Athletics in Syracuse, NY.
Introduced to yoga as a teen, Renee discovered the benefits of yoga once she began a regular practice in 2011. Not only does Renee practice yoga to reduce stress and relax, but being a runner for years, she appreciates the cross training aspect that Yoga provides. Renee often works with sports teams to help improve flexibility and performance.
Renee has completed the Just Plain Yoga 200 RYT training program in Camp Hill, PA, and holds 40 hour certifications in both Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga.
Renee works as a Classroom Coordinator at the E. John Gavras Center, training staff, managing classrooms, and working with children with disabilities. She has taught Yoga to special needs populations through Easter Seals. Renee holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education as well as a Masters of Education Degree with a Reading Specialist certification.
Renee has a passion in both working with children with special needs and being healthy. A regular Yoga practice, running, and working with her staff and students helps her to be happy and healthy.
Christina is a Rochester, NY native who took shelter in a small suburb right along Lake Ontario. Always outside in the sun, but a moon child at heart, she grew up on old music, garden zucchini and summers spent camping by the beach. She loves the outdoors, plants, animals, and above else: people. Christina has a BS in Biology from Le Moyne College, and she was also a member of the LeMoyne Women's Lacrosse Team. Christina is back at LeMoyne in the Physician Assistant program. She has been practicing Yoga since high school and enjoys the science and medicine behind Yoga and all it can do to heal the mind. She completed her 200hr training at a Baptiste Affiliate studio in Rochester, mainly in the Vinyasa style of Yoga. Christina enjoys incorporating sequences and poses that foster a sense of awareness and acceptance not only towards oneself but towards other in the community.
Niccole is a Syracuse native and completed both her Bachelor and Masters’ Degrees at Syracuse University. While yoga has been a continued foundation and personal refuge for Niccole; her education in mental health wellness has enhanced her understanding of the healing and therapeutic benefits that yoga can offer to everyone. Niccole’s passion and research has been highly focused toward integrating the Mind/Body connection, particularly with regard to mental health wellness, pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and caretaking roles. Through mind and body healing, we can stay grounded in a world where there is so much outside information and noise.
After finding permission to “just be” and inspired by the resilience that yoga brought to her life physically, emotionally and mentally; Niccole’s yoga journey began in 2009. Niccole’s teacher trainings include Vinyasa, Perinatal (Mama Birth YOGA), and, Kripalu based (200-hr Infinite Light Yoga) practices. Her classes are empowering and strong, while also nurturing an inward experience inviting self-exploration, growth and personal freedom to “be” on and off the mat.
Kelly Blake is born and raised in Syracuse, NY and graduated from Cicero-North Syracuse. Kelly got into yoga roughly 8 years ago when she needed to find a way to take a step aside from the fast pace of the world which contributed to anxiety and sometimes depression, to find a way to ground herself once again. Yoga became that outlet. It has since helped her to reconnect with all things she loved in life such as hiking, biking and kayaking, all things nature. She continues to use her practice to help her grow and stay grounded in the present moment each day.
Kelly is a 200-HR RYT, and she plans to continue on to her 500 hour, always staying a student of Yoga, a world that there is so much to continuously learn. Her yoga is for everyone and everyBODY. Creating a foundation, honoring and listening to your body to explore further until an edge is found to hold and breathe. Kelly uses compassion, self love and understanding of body alignment to create empowering vinyasa flow classes that hold no judgement and create a safe space to let go of daily obstacles. She loves to use music that helps you experience all you can throughout class, leaving feeling refreshed and revitalized to get back out into the world with clear mind, strong body and most importantly inner peace.
Man Hue Duong
Man Hue Duong was a toddler when her family escaped from the Fall of Saigon in 1978. After crossing the South China Sea to Malaysia, she nearly died of a fever in a refugee camp; two years later, her family immigrated to the U.S. and began a new life in Utica, NY.
Man graduated with her AS in Fine Arts at Munson Williams Proctor Institute and continued to work her way through the University of New York at New Paltz, earning a BFA in ceramics and BS in art education and later, a Masters in art education from Queen’s College.
Man received her 200 hour yoga training at the acclaimed White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, CA. and has also trained at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA., Yoga Sanctuary in Las Vega, NV, and has recently returned from a month long yoga training in Bali with Noah Maze. She is currently completing her Labor and Postpartum Doula certification through CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association).
She has spent the last decade in Las Vegas, producing unique ceramic art and teaching art and yoga to children and adults of all ages. She has recently relocated back to Central New York and is excited to continue sharing her passions in art, yoga, childbirth/family care, and the exploration of the human potential.
A native of Syracuse , Beth Lee graduated from Cicero North Syracuse High School and Onondaga Community College where she received a degree in Recreational Leadership. In 2011, Beth received her New York State cosmetology license from Continental School of Beauty. She excels as a hair stylist and makeup artist with a passion for helping others feel their best!
Beth has a strong connection with nature and loves to spend time outdoors, especially hiking. She enjoys being active and has an extensive background in athletics and dance. Beth places great importance on her health and wellness which led her to begin practicing yoga as a form of relaxation and release from her constant physical activity. Throughout her yoga journey she felt inspired and driven to seek out all yoga had to offer! In 2015, Beth enrolled in yoga teacher training and received her 200 hour YTT through Boston Yoga School.
Deepening her practice and understanding of yoga has brought more mindfulness, balance, peace and joy into her life. Beth is dedicated to continue to grow and to expand her knowledge of the physical, mental and spiritual components of yoga. She is always practicing yoga on and off the mat and loves to share her practice with the community.
The importance of mind body connection, relaxation, balance and alignment shine through her practices!
Jean Marie Russo
Yoga has been a part of Jean Marie's life for over 10 years, and her practice has helped her grow stronger, more flexible and fearless, both on and off the mat. Yoga inspires Jean Marie to live each moment more mindfully.
Jean Marie completed her 200 hour Vinyasa Flow training with East Street Yoga and spent 6 months living, working and studying yoga at Kripalu Yoga Center. She will always be a student of the practice and is deeply grateful for the loving wisdom my teachers have shared with her.
Jean Marie loves to combine creative sequencing and a spirit of playfulness-after all Yoga should be fun and feel good!
Alisandra is a Syracuse native who graduated from Cazenovia high school and currently lives in Cicero with her husband and three children. Knowing that she always wanted to teach, she completed her Bachelors in Childhood Education and her Masters in Literacy education.
Alisandra ran cross country in high school and college, and continued her active lifestyle into adulthood. As balancing work, family and her health became more challenging, she knew her body and her overall well-being craved more. In 2014, she turned to yoga to find more peace, and immediately knew that yoga would always be a part of her journey.
Alisandra completed her 200hr RYT at East Street Yoga to deepen her knowledge for her own practice, and to extend her passion of teaching others. She also completed additional training with Yoga Tune Up. Yoga has guided Alisandra through the many ups and downs of life including foster parenting, letting go of past trauma, and learning how to love herself!
Ciara Hoyne, a Syracuse native, graduated from Westhill High School and Binghamton University with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature and Philosophy Politics and Law. Ciara was initially drawn to Yoga for it’s physical benefits that complemented her lifestyle as an active soccer player and runner. After starting college and struggling with perfectionism, she began to rely on her Yoga practice as a source of inner peace and self-acceptance. By attending various styles of Yoga classes and reading about Yogic philosophy, Ciara was able to navigate through various trials and triumphs with a persistent optimistic mindset.
Ciara completed her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training at the Kripalu School of Yoga in Stockbridge, MA. She plans to continue her education and is dedicated to expanding her knowledge of all aspects of Yoga. Her classes are backed by creative playlists and sequences and consist of a balance between the physical and mental attributes of Yoga.
With a connection to Yogic philosophy and focus on intention setting, Ciara hopes to introduce students to the values of Yoga both on and off the mat.
Yogi. Teacher & forever student. Lover of Mother Earth.
Practice not to be perfect, but to evolve your body and mind.
Alicia graduated her 200 hour yoga teacher training in Feb. 2014 at Infinite Light yoga in Jamesville, NY. Her love for yoga started at a young age, and continues to be a never ending journey full of growth, and gratitude.
Alicia’s goal is to make every student comfortable, and feel their best. Modifications and variations available for all classes. A practice for everyone no matter age, gender, size, background, or level of experience.
Alicia teaches from her heart and her love for yoga. Ebb/flow/change/grow!
Chelsey Mollin is a NYS licensed acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist and registered Yoga instructor. She completed her studies at the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine of New York Chiropractic College. There she received a Master's of Science in Acupuncture, a Masters of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and a Bachelors Degree in Professional Studies. She has clinical training in multiple health centers, including the Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Canandaigua, NY, NYCC Campus Health Center, Seneca Falls Health Center, Evolve Health & Wellness in NYC, and Zhejiang Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Hangzhou, China.
Chelsey’s post graduate education includes extensive training and instruction in classical Chinese bodywork and a fellowship in advanced clinical training in orthopedic medicine. She completed her yoga training at the Kaivalya Yoga Academy in Ithaca, NY, where she practiced and studied the primary series of Ashtanga Yoga.
Currently Chelsey is in private practice at Aliyah Health Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Syracuse, NY. The name of her practice is derived from the Hebrew word Aliyah/עֲלִיָּה, meaning to ascend or to climb to higher places.
Chelsey is an avid believer in health through balance and everyday experiences. She is committed to helping people optimize their well-being through the lens of Chinese medicine, lifestyle and movement. She loves working with people and is excited to share her enthusiasm for wellness with the Syracuse community!
Carley was first introduced to yoga in 2012 while attending college and immediately fell in LOVE. Her practice deepened as she attended many different styles of classes, and she began to experience the true benefits of Yoga. In 2016 she attended Marianne Wells Yoga School in Costa Rica, where she earned her 200-hour CYT. Health and wellness is a priority for Carley and her family, and she loves to share all that Yoga has to offer with those around her.
Carley has served in the NY Air National Guard since 2009, where she works as a Personnel Officer and volunteer Victim Advocate for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. She teaches Yoga to her fellow military members once a week in a large group class. Carley uses her Yoga practice to give love to the body, while working to stretch and strengthen it along the way. She wishes to grow in her practice, learning how to use yoga to heal and benefit those living with PTSD and other injuries.
Colleen has been teaching yoga to kids in the Syracuse, NY area for 16 years. While Colleen had previously trained with Radiant Child and YogaKids, she decided to further her training with Child Light Yoga beginning in 2015 and recently completing her 95 hour training. She is also a 200 hour RYT.
Colleen has a M.S. and CAS in School Counseling and worked as an Elementary School Counselor in an inner city school district for several years. She started doing yoga when her son was three years old. He was a very busy child and much later was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety. When he was still very young Colleen took her first training, came home and did some yoga and relaxation with him and he loved it! She has been hooked ever since! After seeing the positive impact it had on her son, Colleen began teaching yoga to local kids and families. Her business has grown and in 2014 she started BeLive Yoga. In each yoga class that she teaches she focuses on giving kids tools they can use to deal with stress and anxiety now and as they grow up. Currently, Colleen is teaching yoga in several school districts, preschools and studios. Many of the elementary schools she teaches in are in the inner city and she enjoys developing relationships with the kids there who need something positive, helpful and hopeful in their lives. She enjoys bringing yoga into schools and classrooms and seeing the impact it can have on kids and teachers. In addition to yoga, Colleen enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and volunteering.
Originally from Syracuse, Sarah Walter has returned to her roots after receiving her BFA in Dance and minor in Nutrition from SUNY Brockport. Although her training is mostly within ballet and modern styles, as a life-long learner, Sarah loves tapping into many facets of movement including Yoga, running, and other dance styles. Movement gives her the gift of expression, trust, kindness, growth, freedom, health, travel and SO much more along her journey.
She has performed and choreographed in showcases across upstate New York, London and NYC. Currently she teaches at various studios around Syracuse and is the Head Coordinator for Salt City Dance Festival.
Overall, Sarah is interested in cultivating an environment which explores the capabilities that the body holds through anatomical alignment and strengthening, as well as mind-body connectivity. Sarah’s main goal is to lead her students to dig deep into the material with inquisitiveness and a deep yearning to know more.
Catherine Nolan is a graduate of Siena College in Albany, NY where she studied psychology. She is currently enrolled at Utica College's nursing program. After practicing for years, she was certified to teach by Justin Wolfer in Saratoga Springs, NY. Catherine's practices are dynamic vinyasa flows focusing on alignment and exploration of what our mind and bodies are capable of! With focus and relation to the yogic philosophy, her classes offer a balance between stimulation and calm.
Susan found yoga 10 years ago, and received her 200 Hr. Vinyasa Flow training while still working full time as an RN. Retiring after 35 years of nursing practice, Susan found time to devote to her own personal practice as well as developing her teaching skills. While Susan always had an appreciation for fitness and flexibility of the physical body, the practice of yoga introduced its’ counterpart: fitness and flexibility of the mind. She invites everyone to enjoy the physical practice of yoga to strengthen one’s body and improve flexibility. In addition, she invites everyone to a mindful practice finding peace and connection with the breath and the body.
Jane Janis grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and came to Syracuse to attend Syracuse University in 1970. She has had a variety of jobs from CENTRO bus driver, waitress, screen printer, systems coordinator, and city school elementary librarian. She took her first yoga class in 1973 and has been practicing, in one way or another ever since. She also enjoys hiking, skiing, swimming ... basically anything outdoors with her three grown children. Her dear husband passed away in 2015.
Jane has been thrilled to see the evolution and availability of yoga classes over the years and constantly seeks the opportunity to experience new teachers. She attended Yoga Teacher Training in Montezuma, Costa Rica at Anamaya in January 2017 where she studied with Paula Tursi from Reflections Yoga of NYC. While originally intending to only deepen her understanding of yoga she found her training to be so thoughtful and inspiring that she is compelled to teach. The peace, joy, and sense of well being she has found in yoga is something she wants to share with everyone. It is her endeavor through proper alignment and thoughtful queues to provide a safe nurturing environment where all may find ease with their minds and bodies.
Melissa, who grew up a dancer, found her love of Yoga at a young age and grew her practice while in graduate school at Syracuse University. Yoga was a way to find calm amidst a busy schedule of school and work. Melissa obtained her 200 hour yoga teacher training through Boston Yoga School. With a background in social work, Melissa enjoys creating a safe space that allows people to feel welcomed and included. She believes that Yoga is for anyone who wants to hop on a mat and move their body. Melissa’s classes are comprised of fun vinyasa flows to get you moving and feeling good!
Melissa has four animals, two cats and two dogs, that she loves dearly! She enjoys getting out to the Adirondacks as much as she can to hike and be outdoors!
Katherine Sargent connected with yoga in 2012 when her love for fitness and self-care became a part of everyday life. She is from Central New York, a graduate of East Syracuse-Minoa High School, and completed both undergraduate and graduate school at SUNY Oswego. Katherine is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and runs a small private practice in North Syracuse- Branches of Growth, LLC.
Katherine completed her 200hr Yoga teacher training at Grounded By Yoga in Bloomfield, NY and currently teaches with both Connected Warriors and is Hikyoga certified. She has dedicated her life to health, wellness, self-care and healing for both herself and those around her. Growth, healing and change involve all parts of self including the mind, body and soul.
Cindy is a compassionate yoga teacher who believes that the practice of Yoga is for everyone, at any age and any level of ability. The foundation of her practice combines the physical with an inner emotional and spiritual journey. By integrating body, breath, movement, and meditative awareness, she strives to promote an understanding of the inter-dependency of all these aspects in personal health and well-being.
Cindy is an E RYT-500 hr., an Advanced Teacher of Therapeutic Yoga (300-hr), trained by Kripalu’s School of Integrative Yoga Therapy, a Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher, certified by the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Boston, MA, a certified Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra ® and Five Element® Yoga teacher. She is also a certified Reiki practitioner. Forever considering herself as a student of Yoga, she is continuing her education toward her 1,000-hour Kripalu Yoga teaching certification, as well as a Professional Yoga therapist certification at the Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, MA. She is a member of Yoga Alliance, a continuing educator provider (YACEP) and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).
June has always been in the business of helping others. She spent over 40 years as an Occupational Therapist, always seeking to expand her knowledge through advanced specializations in different treatment techniques. She also worked for 3 years as a teaching assistant in a local pottery studio in Albany NY.
During her time as an OT, June took an 8 week course: MBSR-Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and she began to implement the techniques she learned with her patients. She began a dedicated Yoga practice, and developed an Integrative Holistic Program: Mindfulness/Meditative Stress Management which included Reiki and other researched based stress management techniques. The program was well respected by the MD's and NP's with whom she worked, and patients noted that they were better able to manage their stress, anxiety and pain.
June delved deeper into Reiki training and is a Holy Fire III Usui/Karuna Reiki ® Master/Teacher. She also trained in Vibrational Medicine Patti Conklin Method, Chakra Clearing & Balancing, Crystal energy work, HeartMath, and EFT-Emotional Freedom Technique-tapping. All of this work led her to create a powerful healing meditation, “Accelerated Healing Using the Pyramid of Giza”.
June seeks to help people understand that everything is energy vibrating and using our imagination and creativity enables each of us to intuitively change aspects of our lives and achieve things that are beyond our current expectations. June believes we all have unlimited potentiality.
Christina AguiaR RYT 500
Christina believes yoga is a fantastic way to strengthen the body, unwind the mind and uplift the spirit. In 2006, she started practicing yoga at the gym and quickly noticed positive changes in her fitness and mood. Yoga made her feel strong, relaxed and deeply connected to herself. What started as a physical challenge to relieve stress, evolved into an exploration of movement, breath and mindfulness. As a Yoga Teacher, Christina is grateful for the opportunity to share her love for yoga with others. She encourages students to honor their bodies and approach their practice with awareness, curiosity and compassion. She enjoys creative sequencing and emphasizes structural stability to safely build strength and increase mobility. Through her classes, she hopes students will find a balance of physical fitness and emotional connection for greater peace of mind.
In addition to yoga, Christina also offers stress management, meditation and relaxation workshops for individuals, studios, community groups and corporate workplaces. She has completed advanced training in Comprehensive Yoga Therapy with YogaLife Institute NH and Stress Management and Resiliency Training with the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.