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.
Founder & Co-Owner
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.
E-RYT 500, Meditation 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.
With a background in dance and the performing arts, Abby was drawn to yoga as a way to further explore movement and breath. Over time she was inspired by the idea of teaching and received her 200-hour certification in 2010 from Yoga to the People NYC. A native of Michigan, she holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of Michigan and prides herself in being a lifelong learner. She is constantly looking for opportunities to grow, change her perspective and bring a more holistic approach to teaching.
Her interests lie in trauma informed yoga as well as injury management, with a focus on the healing ability of a well-balanced, ongoing yoga practice. In 2017, she completed her 100-hour Functional Anatomy course here at Yoga 216 and is thrilled now to be teaching as part of the 216 Family! When not teaching, she loves playing music, cooking, traveling, reading, and going on adventures.
Arleen began her yoga journey here at Yoga 216 in 2013 and was instantly hooked! After initially coming to the mat for a physical practice, she realized she was more calm, centered, and at ease after each session. In an effort to dive deeper and unpack more layers of this practice, she began her teacher training. Arleen completed both her 200 and 300 hour Yoga Teacher Certifications under the guidance of Esther and Nicole. Her intention is to design a class that will be accessible and challenging at the same time. Each session will have you moving on your mat, focusing on strength, flexibility, stamina in safe alignment. In addition to focusing on asana, students will tap in to the breath through pranayama and meditation in order to manifest a more mindful space within that you are able to take with you off of the mat.
Kids’ Teacher, RYT 500
Asunda Peters started practicing yoga over fifteen years ago after long days working in the advertising world. She grew more interested, focused, and relaxed, and ultimately decided it was important to share that skill. She completed her 500-hour teacher training with ISHTA Yoga, and continued with Little Flower Yoga to complete her children’s teaching certification. She believes it is truly beneficial to introduce yoga at a developmental age to our children in a supportive and gentle environment. Her classes center on harnessing focus, coordination, awareness, steadiness, and calm.
Asunda spends her downtime being a bookworm, and doing crafts with and without her young daughter. She believes in teaching from a place of constant learning, remembering that you are always a student. Most importantly, she looks forward to learning more each day from watching each of her students’ practices grow – adults and children alike.
Kids’ Teacher, RYT 500
Mukti Devi has been teaching for 7 years. She completed her 200hr and 300hr Sivananda Teacher Training Courses, and served as a staff in the Sivananda organization for two years. She continues to teach in the Sivananda ashrams and centers around the world. She also teaches private yoga and meditation, and serves as a lifestyle re-organization coach. She teaches in various venues around NYC, including middle schools and corporate wellness at work programs.
Mukti Devi specializes in teaching yoga to all populations and loves teaching adaptive, modified, restorative classes to those with special physical, emotional, or developmental needs. She is passionate about helping people bring more Sattva (purity and peace) into all aspects of their life.