Yoga 216 Teachers
The 216 teachers have studied with some of the world’s true yoga masters, including Alan Finger and Mukunda Stiles, from whom the studio inherits its alignment-focused lineage. With the latter’s seminal Structural Yoga Therapy as our guiding text, every member of the 216 teaching staff has undergone anatomy training in order to guide a class safely, from a place of knowledge and compassion.
Co-Founder, Structural Yoga Therapist, CIAYT, E-RYT 500
Nicole first began her yoga practice 19 years ago in Iyengar’s tradition – renowned for his emphasis on alignment and yoga as a therapeutic aid. In the fall of 2005 Nicole moved to New York City to begin studying movement with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company.
At SITI, Nicole studied Viewpoints, an approach that uses yoga as one of the vehicles to uncover emotion. In the fall of 2006, Nicole began teaching Movement at the New York Film Academy. She subsequently taught Movement at several other NY theatre schools, on a private basis for select theater companies and privately for actors.
While working with her students it became clear to her that we all carry our emotional histories as physical manifestations. Those manifestations, in the end, lead to habitual postures, which can lead to unnecessary injury and pain.
She began creating yoga practices for her students in an effort to bring their bodies back into neutrally-aligned and pain free states. In the spring of 2007 Nicole received her first yoga-teaching certificate and has since gone on to specialize in Structural Yoga Therapy. Nicole was drawn specifically to SYT for its individualized diagnostic properties while still maintaining firm roots in the spiritual practice of all 8 limbs of yoga.
As a long time practitioner herself, Nicole longed for a studio that could blend the benefits of private yoga instruction with the accessibility of the group structure and the restorative properties of a spa. She is ecstatic and grateful to offer her dream to you as Yoga 216.
Teacher Training Co-Creator, E-RYT 500, Prenatal Yoga Teacher
Esther came to yoga to heal dance injuries and, though initially skeptical, found herself steadily transformed by the practice. It was not long before she was eager to know more for her own practice and signed up for a teacher training. A few days in, she was certain of her love for guiding others on their own journeys of self study and awareness.
An ISHTA Certified Teacher, Esther has also completed formal training in Restorative Yoga & Yoga Nidra, Prenatal Yoga, ISHTA Marma Therapy, ISHTA Yin Yoga, Thai Yoga Bodywork, and anatomy with Irene Dowd and Kristin Leal. All of her teaching is infused with principles from the Alexander Technique, which she has been studying with Amira Glaser since 2010. Her study of yoga she continues under the guidance of several ISHTA teachers, including founder Alan Finger, Peter Ferko, Kelly Eudailey, and Jason Vinci.
Esther emphasizes building kinesthetic awareness in all of her classes, and particularly adores being part of the teaching team at Yoga 216, where she sees self inquiry fueled every day by group dialogue. When not teaching, she enjoys the company of her husband and two cats, going to the movies (big Miyazaki fan), reading comics, and writing about yoga.
Senior Teacher, E-RYT 200, Prenatal Yoga Teacher
Cynthia began practicing yoga shortly after moving to NYC in 2000. She was a casual student until she began to really see results. She was becoming stronger and more flexible not only on the yoga mat, but also in other aspects of her life. She was amazed by what was possible with regular practice and patience. In 2008 she completed a 200-hour teacher certification with Yoga4Soul in New York City.
Cynthia feels blessed to live in a city that gives her the opportunity to regularly practice many different styles with many different teachers. She continues her practice at studios throughout the city. She leads alignment-based vinyasa classes combining creative flow, good music, self-inspection, yoga philosophy and a sense of humor. She strongly believes that no matter a student’s perceived level or background, Yoga is for everyone.
Senior Teacher, RYT 500, Yin Yoga Teacher
Jennifer has been a student in A Course in Miracles for over 20 years where she first began to understand that the organizing principles of the universe transcend what we can perceive with our senses and that an inner journey is what genuinely brings us peace, health and vitality. She began her asana practice while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in an effort to manage the stress that she found living and working in Central Africa and in order to stay physically fit. Back in NYC she completed her 200hr training at Yoga Works and her 300hr training at ISHTA Yoga. In addition, she has spent over a year and a half studying and training in the Prana Vashya lineage in Mysore, India. While she has been blessed to have been taught and influenced by many of the leading yoga instructors in the west her deepest devotion and gratitude is to her teacher Acharya Vinay Kumar. Jennifer aims to guide her students towards the path back to themselves through the practice of dynamic asana, breath awareness and meditation. All of her teaching maintains that movement follows the breath and that asana is in dedication to the breath, as well as the prana that nourishes the mind, body and spirit.
E-RYT 200, RYT 500, Prenatal Yoga Teacher
E-RYT 500, Prenatal Yoga Teacher
She has advanced her training in therapeutics with Martin Kirk and workshops with Anusara’s founder, John Friend, and continues to study with Elena Brower and Ally Bogard. More recently she has completed a 100 hour training with the Nalanda Institute where she studied the art of teaching mindfulness and meditation and currently is studying Functional Anatomy at Yoga 216.
Forever a student, Myda is greatly indebted to the practice of yoga and all of its amazing teachers. She is continually thankful for all she has been given and has learned and hopes that she can share it with those who will join her in the path of growth, laughter, life and love.
RYT 500, Prenatal Yoga Teacher
Naomi completed her 500 hour training at the Ayurveda Retreat Center in Coonoor India. Upon returning to the states she continued her certifications in Prenatal Yoga in New York, Yin Yoga with Ulrica Norbert, as well as the Yoga Birth Method with Dorothy Guerra. Naomi also continues to expand her studies in botanical healing as an Aromatherapist under Jade Shutes.
She began her yogic journey 15 years ago through the means of healing. Her many years of classical ballet and competitive swimming took quite a toll on her body. It was the gift of yoga that gave her the awareness and inspiration to take better care of her mind, body and spirit. Her highest intention is to teach through mindful movement, continuous practice of self love and to encourage students to find a sense of lightness and joy in their practice.
My heart-felt desire and calling to heal has been ever present since I was nine and my father felt the healing touch flowing through him as I spontaneously put my hand on a painful place on his leg. My hands were an extension of my heart and even at that young age healing came naturally to me. Initially, I followed this calling as an Intensive Care pediatric nurse, caring for the young patients and guiding their grieving parents and family members. This role took a personal turn when in my twenties my father became terminally ill. I used all my training and experience to care for him each day as he moved toward the end of his life in body form. It was this transformational process that I experienced as a spontaneously arising relationship with Spirit – a presence which continues to guide me to this day.
I began my spiritual journey with Baba Kanhai Mishra in Holland. He ignited the true love of God, the wisdom to follow the truth, and a longing to give service from the heart. I followed my longing to learn about holistic approaches to health by studying Ayurvedic Medicine with Vaidya Baj Rathod who introduced me to Kiran Vyas, the director of Tapovan, the most respected Ayurvedic and Yogic Ashram retreat center in Europe. I was fortunate to have studied with and was mentored by him for seven years through the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. By Spirit’s grace, I have studied with many Masters, Sages, and men and women of Wisdom. While Western medicine taught me how to work with the physical structure, Eastern medicine deepened my understanding of how to help people gracefully deal with difficulty, prevent illness, and live a joy-filled life. I feel that my true gift is my ability to identify the root cause of a disease (physical, emotional, mental or karmic imbalances) and understand how these causes can lead to health issues and deep suffering in the individual. We then walk together, down the path of empowered spiritual healing and physical wellbeing using the breadth and depth of my knowledge and expertise. Ultimately, each will form their own unique and deeply rooted connection to the Inner Source, resulting in long-term restored vitality and wellbeing.
Ayurvedic Skincare, RYT 500
Through her yoga studies, Heidi began her training in Ayurveda Nutrition under Dr. Naina Marballi and Ms. Amita Banerjee, and is recognized by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) as a Holistic Health Counselor. Her interest in Ayurveda Nutrition led her to continue her training with Dr. Marballi, where she began to study Ayurveda skincare while pursuing her esthetics license.
For seven years, Heidi had been sharing her skincare expertise in addition to her nutritional knowledge with clients at Pratima’s Ayurvedic Spa and Clinic in Soho. She now enjoys her new home at Yoga 216 working with clients by addressing their individual needs and goals through yoga, nutrition, and skincare.
Massage Therapy, LMT
Phaki is a graduate of The Finger Lakes School of massage and has been practicing massage since 2010, including prenatal massage. Phaki believes in the healing and spiritual power of massage. She is very excited to be a part of the Yoga 216 wellness team, especially as working within a community of Ayurvedic treatments will compliment her work which focuses on myofascial, trigger point therapy, and Swedish massage.