Sophie Tashkovski is a graduate of Jamesville DeWitt High School and William Smith College. She began a dedicated yoga practice 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 when a downsizing occurred at work, she completed her 200 hour 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 in 2011 and currently teaches Yoga full time while completing her 500 hour Advanced Yoga Training with Tiffany Cruikshank's Yoga Medicine program.
Sophie teaches all styles of Yoga, focusing on Anatomical Vinyasa and Yin, all while ensuring students are practicing safely and learning proper alignment. Prepare to smile while you sweat, and laugh while you balance, all while listening to an eclectic mix of music. You will leave class relaxed and renewed.
Read more about Sophie 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 East Syracuse, NY.
Katrin Naumann, MFA, QGT, VH, is a lifelong student of inquiry and self-realization. She has been a practitioner of Yoga for 23 years and teaching for 12 years. Katrin holds Essential & Advanced Certification in Hatha Yoga in the Iynegar Tradition (E-RYT 200) from Open Sky Yoga, where she has studied primarily under Senior Iyengar Teacher Francois Raoult, Laura Antelmi, Eleanor Goldfarb, and Rick Lynch. Lara Warren, Rodney Yee, Patricia Walden and Judith Lasater have also greatly influenced her teaching and practice.
Katrin is known for creating a tapestry of varied and dynamic classes, the warp and weft of which are breath expansion and precision of alignment, threaded through with practical spiritual and life guidance gems. Her compassionate, grounded presence, as well as her attunement to her student's needs, create a safe space for exploration. This ultimately provides opportunities for greater growth and evolution at all levels of being. Katrin is Director of Inner Balance Life Works in Manlius, NY.
Rebecca Alexander is a 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher with 75 hours of continuing education instruction in vinyasa flow and 20 hours of continuing education in yoga for the pelvic floor. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy and a 500-Hour Yoga Instructor certification at the Kripalu School of Yoga. She has practiced for over a decade and has taught since 2014. Rebecca is a grant recipient of Kripalu's Teach for Diversity program. Her classes blend yoga postures, breathing techniques, meditation, philosophy, and spirituality. Rebecca is passionate about her practice and dedicated to sharing challenging, introspective sequences with each class. She draws from her experience as a student of the musculoskeletal system, art and philosophy to create unique classes designed to invite students to peer within. In addition to studying and teaching yoga, she is an artist involved in activism for elephant conservation.
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.
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.
Mercedes' desire is to make yoga enjoyable and accessible to everyone. Her goal in every practice is to help students build confidence on and off the mat. Yoga taught Mercedes to honor her true self, teaching her the flexibly and positivity she carries with her each day. Having taught over 1,000 hours, she is now a 200 hour experienced registered Yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance and hope to continue growing her knowledge. Mercedes' teaching style is primarily Vinyasa - using the power of breath to flow through a challenging and satisfying practice.
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.
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.
Trained in Vinyasa principles under the guidance of Tiffany Cruikshank and Mandy Lathan, Jennifer is a former Broadway performer who initially turned to Yoga to aid with injury prevention and stress and anxiety reduction. After enduring some personal heartaches, a dear friend gave her two months of unlimited yoga classes. It transformed her life and Jennifer realized that she wanted to share this gift with others. She received her 200hr RYT certification with Yoga Medicine in 2013. Jennifer teaches with simple, specific cues for the anatomy to encourage proper alignment in a way that does not seem overwhelming to the student. She also teaches with simple, specific cues for the mind and spirit so that the student can gain a sense of calm and confidence. Jennifer encourages students to find their space on their mats and in this world and to claim that space with boldness and compassion. Jennifer is also a private voice teacher, a life-long lover of theatre, and outdoor explorer with husband, Brian, and kids, Sophie and Felix.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Becca found her first Yoga class in 2010 and became immediately hooked. She was surprised to find how Yoga provided her a physical workout along with the mental release she had been craving. Becca completed her 200 RYT under the guidance of Diane Speer, who she owes deep gratitude to for providing the tools to share her passion with others. “Yoga makes my life sweeter and I will always be a student of the practice.”
Becca seeks to guide a non-judgement practice to provide overall well being and balance for the go-go mentality of today’s world. She feels our practice should cultivate self-discovery, sensitivity, and kindness to ourselves, while also increasing strength and flexibility to live a more joyful and comfortable life.
Katie is a native of Upstate New York, growing up in the Finger Lakes region and attending Elmira College where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in English Literature and Adolescent Education. She is currently a high school English teacher at Fabius-Pompey Central School. She has been a student of Yoga for 3 years and has recently expanded her practice to include kundalini yoga, meditation, and kirtan. Katie was introduced to the Wild Woman Project for the first time when she attended their annual retreat in August of 2016. She recently graduated from their training for Wild Woman Project New Moon Circle Leaders, a three month intensive program that prepares and empowers women to create and lead circles in their own communities. She is excited to share this new offering with the Syracuse Yoga community.
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.