Meet Our Teachers
These expert guides will elevate your yoga practice.
As an athlete accustomed to traditional activities such as weightlifting and running, Adam had the opportunity to experience the benefits of yoga after experiencing a personal tragedy. After experiencing his first yoga class in 2018, Adam knew it was his calling. Adam made it his goal to obtain a yoga teacher training certificate, completing a 200 hour teacher training at bambooYOGA. Yoga has contributed many positive changes to his wellbeing. The lifestyle change has made a positive impact in most areas of his life, including acting, playwriting and directing. Adam still maintains a traditional training program, but primarily to improve his asana practice.
Anne began a regular yoga practice in 2007, after moving to Forest Hills. It helped her to grow much stronger and more flexible in her body, mind and spirit. Her primary career is in corporate training and adult education, so when the opportunity came up to be trained to teach yoga, she jumped at it! Anne has benefitted so much from yoga, and she's delighted to be able to share those benefits with others through teaching. Some of her classes are quiet and meditative; others are fun and playful. She enjoys encouraging her students to grow in their own practice. Anne loves to travel, play music, draw, read and go for long walks around the New York City parks.
In 2003, Caroline Barragan discovered yoga at a prenatal class while pregnant with her first child. That experience unlocked the gates to a whole new world. Since 2010, she has been meditating daily and in 2014 started officially studying yoga and Ayurveda. She has now completed a 400 hour yoga teacher training, certified in Ayurveda Nutrition, and registered in the American Ayurveda of Drugless Practitioners. But it's her experience as a stay-at-home mom for the past 17 years that Caroline says prepared her more for life than any of her trainings could. She is grateful for the abundant and healthy life she lives today, and she has made it her mission to be a guiding force for others. According to Caroline, we live in a system that not only bypasses the wisdom of our bodies, but also that of our inner self, which inevitably makes living vibrantly impossible. But by cultivating our energy through key beneficial habits, Caroline also says we can all tap into the abundant energy available to us at all times. Caroline gets inspired by the adaptation and resiliency of the human spirit which she finds both in the old and the young alike. She firmly believes that being well-rooted in oneself is a much simpler journey then we can imagine. Her ultimate goal is to build a community where everyone supports each other while sharing their growing experiences, all the while enhancing their wellbeing and inspiring each other to grow into their true potential.
When Charles began practicing Yoga in 2005 he was unable to touch his hands to his toes. After many years of commitment to the practice he embraces Yoga as a lifestyle. He began teaching in 2009 and, in addition to being a RYT-200, has pursued certifications in Kids Yoga, Prenatal Yoga and Restorative Yoga. Charles' classes emphasize alignment while focusing the breath on strengthening, stretching and toning the muscles of the body. He looks forward to helping you reach your goals as you develop your own practice here at Living Yoga.
Christy Alvarado is a California born and raised vinyasa yoga instructor who has made her home on the mat since 2007. She has taught for over 10 years at various yoga studios in California and Florida. Christy strives to bring the community together with fun, upbeat and challenging classes that connect the mind, body and spirit. Always a constant student to the practice, Christy travels around the world taking classes from renowned instructors and tries to bring the knowledge of every experience into her classes.
Dena Coduri began her quest for mental and spiritual wellness in 2007. Soon after, she discovered yoga at her local gym, and immediately began a steady practice to manage the stress of her graduate studies. After 7 years of practice, she enrolled in her first teacher training program. She has studied with a variety of teachers, including: Prana Shakti Flow with Laurie Ahlemann; Yin Yoga with Corina Benner; Yin Yoga with Bernie Clarkl Restorative Yoga with Gail Grossman; Meditation with Adyashanti. Dena teach many styles, but Yin Yoga is her favorite. She helps everyday people find more ease in meditation and a deeper connection to spirit through the yoga practice. Her classes, which can be described as both challenging and relaxing, addresses the whole person: the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, allowing them to take what you need. She offers classes that are educational and informative, while still leaving room for silence so that students may have their own unique experience.
Denise is a dancer, yoga instructor and pilates practitioner and combines elements of dance, yoga and pilates into each class. With her love of dance and passion for yoga, she creates fluid, alignment based sequences. You can expect to be both challenged and rejuvenated, walking away energized but calm.
Giva "G. Ann" Wilkerson is an educator, writer and yoga teacher from Philadelphia, PA. She has been teaching and writing on self-discovery and personal development for almost 10 years. In 2012, she founded The Learning Curve Woman, LLC a series of programs designed to educate and assist women and girls with their personal and professional development. Giva’s relationship with yoga started out of sheer curiosity; but after her first class she was immediately drawn in by the calming, cleansing and rejuvenating effects of the practice, leading her in 2018 to became a certified yoga teacher. A proud and strong advocate for "empowerment" over "improvement", she embraces yoga as a tool for personal growth, clarity and acceptance. Her teaching places great emphasis on body awareness and the connection between breath and movement. Her goal is for her students to leave class more empowered, relaxed, self-aware, and most importantly, happy. Giva describes herself as a wanderer who leaves her expectations off the mat and embraces her practice as it is — a philosophy she encourages her students to take in and outside of class.
Through yoga, Jen learned to move and breathe into deeper parts of herself that she had either ignored or just didn’t even know were there. She found myself connecting to something real, something higher. Yoga didn’t change Jen into someone else -- it introduced Jen to her truest self. And her truest self is her natural state is joy. That’s what she tries to bring to her own teaching; to create an atmosphere that is welcoming and supportive, a space where people can uncover/recover/discover the joy of who they already are. Jen holds 200 hour and 300 hour certifications from LL Studio (formerly Laughing Lotus NYC). Her website is www.trueselfyoganyc.com.
What remains true for John over the years of his practice is that the art of breathing, physical movement, and meditation create opportunities for heightened awareness, clarity, and personal wellbeing. John weaves traditional postures, yogic breathing, cleansing techniques, and meditation into his classes to create both new and familiar experiences for the mind and body. John studies Dharma Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Rocket Yoga, and Ghosh Yoga. He infuses his classes with principles from these lineages to create a dynamic experience for practitioners. He is an E-RYT 200hr and a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider (YACEP).
Joneil is a devoted student of Sri Dharma Mittra and the owner of Living Yoga. He believes yoga offers a powerful set of tools for achieving physical health and wellness, emotional healing and mental clarity, and most importantly, Self-discovery. He found yoga in 2011, when it helped him overcome the loss of a beloved pet. A Dharma Yoga Registered Teacher, Joneil’s classes can be challenging, but he always encourages students to explore their limits safely. It brings him tremendous joy to see them achieve poses they never thought possible. In the style of his guru, his classes include a variety of backbends, hip openers, and at least one headstand. He also incorporates mantras, pranayama, and meditation for a complete practice.
Maggie is a native New Yorker who was introduced to yoga as a child. As an adult she travelled through India extensively to dive deeper into the roots of yoga. She received her 200hr Teacher Training from Sonic Yoga NYC in 2011 and has since become certified to teach Prenatal/Postnatal, Mommy and Me, Kids Yoga, Senior Citizens, Chair and Special Needs Yoga. Maggie believes yoga has something to offer every single person in every stage of their lives. She is able to cater to such a wide variety of students and help them find what they seek by her authentic, kind, non-judgmental almost intuitive teaching style. Maggie is best known for deepening her students practice and helping them become stronger, balanced and more flexible both on and off the mat. Her favorite type of yoga to teach is Power Vinyasa. Maggie describes it as rigorous poses inside creative sequencing couple with encouraging adjustments and motivational cues, all infused with a dose of yoga philosophy, inspiration, and bursts of playful humor -- all while focusing on the breath and and intention. Her students gather to sweat and to soar!
Marion Dela Pena
In 2010, Marion was searching for an activity that would challenge her physically in the same fashion as sports had when she was growing up. This led her to a Bikram Yoga studio that changed her life, and she’s been happy and sweaty ever since. For over a decade, Marion has been practicing yoga and meditation all over the world. She completed her 200hr Hot Yoga teacher training with Evolation Yoga in New York and 200hr Hatha Yoga teacher training at AyurYoga Eco-Ashram in India. Marion’s goal is to serve her students by sharing the benefits and love that yoga has brought to her life. Off the mat, she's a traveler, marketing nerd, and perpetual student. Marion is currently pursuing her second Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and plans to incorporate evidence-based practices with integrative health to help individuals across the lifespan live their most fulfilling lives.
Mi Han Chiu
Mi Han started practicing yoga over 20 years ago. She enjoys the discipline required, the beauty of connecting the mind and body while moving through space. Each time she is on her mat, Mi Han discovers a little more about herself. Yoga has helped her through many milestones, and brought her inner balance whenever she needed it most. This eventually led her to becoming a yoga teacher. As a practitioner, Mi Han believes that breath and body alignment are the most important aspects of asana practice. As a result, her yoga teaching always focuses on breath and body alignment. She wants her students to understand that we are all physically unique. Mi Han believes it is important while on the mat to discover one’s beauty -- both physically and mentally -- and allow oneself to surrender with each breath. As a flow style teacher, she enjoys creating sequences that will bring fun and joy to her classes. The graceful movements, the breath, and the proper alignment -- it becomes the dance within.
As a social scientist, Neelu is at the intersection of leadership development and wellness. Combining her background in organizational psychology, adult learning, Yoga, Mindfulness, and Ayurveda, she helps organizations, teams and individuals be more peaceful and purposeful. Her spiritual studies began in 2004 with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and since then she has delved deep into the teachings of Yoga, Ayurveda, Meditation, Kaballah, and Mindfulness. As she continues to study, she continues to teach across the world. Neelu is honored and blessed to be a part of the Living Yoga Family.
Rita Thomas began her practice 12 years ago and completed her 200 her yoga teacher training in 2014. She owned and operated her own yoga studio in Brooklyn from 2015 -2020. A full time mom, she continues to teach Vinyasa, Yin yoga and kids yoga across Queens.
Sabrina Lekaj is a former gymnast whose passion for body movement and its benefits started at a very young age. But it's the study and practice of yoga which she ultimately credits with changing her life physically, mentally and spiritually. An Albanian originally from Kosovo, she moved to the U.S about a decade ago. Leaving her homeland, as well as loosing her sister, threw Sabrina's physical and mental state into turmoil. During that difficult time, yoga was her only comfort. The practice not only allowed her to make sense of her new reality, it also lead her to find acceptance. Because of the enormous help yoga provided her personally, Sabrina decided to become a yoga teacher in order to help others. She completed the 200 hour teacher training program at Integral Yoga Institute in 2019, and added the 300 hour Science of Self Advanced Teacher Training in 2021. With this strong foundation in yoga, Sabrina now looks forward to paying it forward. Today, she shares the practice with others in the hopes that they too will find balance in the lives, both on and off the mat.
For nearly 20 years, yoga has been a part of Shirley Wu’s everyday life. Whether it’s a practice at a studio, on her bedroom floor while her kids sleep, in her high school classroom, or during her commute — it is what grounds and centers her. She completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training program with her very first yoga teacher. Her classes focus on breath work, alignment, individual creativity and movement. They are designed to provide a safe space for all levels, ages and abilities to explore and to enjoy the practice of yoga.
What began as a means of maintaining balance in her life transformed into a passion as Susie Concelmo explored various styles and realized the many benefits of yoga and meditation. After practicing yoga for over half of her life, she decided to further pursue her passion by completing the 200 Hour Vinyasa Teacher Training at The Yoga Room in January of 2012. In April of 2014, 2015, 2016, & 2018, Susie traveled to Costa Rica and became certified in The Barkan Method Level II/III Hot Vinyasa. She earned her 300 hour certification with Master Teacher, Jimmy Barkan, making her a RYT 500 hour/E-RYT, 200 hour in 2016. Susie's classes are sensitive to students' specific needs. She challenges you to use the postures as tools to build awareness, while exploring your potential, embracing where you are, and welcoming what the practice brings to you.
Victoria has been happily teaching yoga privately and in studios for the last 10 years. She discovered the practice over 13 years ago, due to a painful injury. Yoga provided relief and became part of her daily life instantly. Wanting to spread the beauty and benefits she experienced to others, Victoria did her yoga teacher training (both 200 hr and 500 hr) with Sri Dharma Mittra, a living legend.
Yashmani Seepaul’s journey began with the study and practice of yoga and healing methods in 2006, when when she immersed herself in the world of Taoist Energy. After experiencing first-hand the physical, mental and emotional benefits of yoga, she was inspired and motivated to share it with others. In 2010 Yashmani took her first Hatha-Raja yoga class and was immediately drawn to the practice, receiving her 200 hour certification from BambooMOVES in Queens, NY in 2011. She was very interested in delving deeper into the practice of yoga, not only the poses, but also the philosophy of yoga and self-knowledge. That in turn led her to the Dharma Yoga Center, where she received her 500-hour certification in 2017. Yashmani’s teaching style and personal practice are strongly influenced by Sri Dharma Mittra. Dharma Yoga is a system of classical Hatha Raja Yoga. A devotional practice that emphasizes good health, a clear mind and a kind heart.