She credits her family and friends as the primary reasons she decided to pursue yoga teacher training. Far too often when she encouraged them to attend yoga classes, she would hear them say things like “I don’t have the body for yoga” or “I’ve never seen anyone that looks like me in a yoga class.” These responses led her to become more observant when attending classes and she noted a lack of diversity in the sizes, shapes and colors of all the wonderful yogis she was flowing next to. She realized the importance of representation and inclusivity in the yoga community and wanted to create safe and welcoming spaces for everyone and everyBODY.
She completed her 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga training through Styles Yoga with Aaron Styles at The Hot Yoga Spot in 2018. She plans on pursuing certification in Prenatal Yoga to combine her love of yoga with her passion for Women’s Health.
Amit Goel is originally from India and has been teaching at Yoga Bliss since 2014. He has experience in various style of Yoga – Sivananda, Ashtanga, Vinayasa, Hatha and Restorative. He practices Vipassana Meditation and has been to several 10 day silent retreats and maintains his daily practice. He offers a fun blend of asana, pranayama and meditation with focus on alignment and breath. He has also taught Yoga at Siena College and volunteers as a Yoga Instructor at the Albany Hindu Community Center. Amit also has a 200-hour YTT certification, attended various workshops, wanderlust yoga festival etc. and is currently pursuing his 500-hr teacher training at Kripalu.
Sami Gowan is grateful to be sharing the practices of Yoga. She is a firm believer in loving what you do and sharing it with others. With a BFA in Theatre her practice is founded in her strong vocal, emotional training, and love of music. With a lifetime of dance and movement studies coloring her practice, she shares yoga with a heightened body awareness, grace and creativity. She loves the stability found in consistent practice, and its ability to transform your life, movement is medicine! She traveled to India with her teacher Raghunath in January of 2018, to complete a 300 hour, month long Bhakti yoga immersion. Previous training includes, 200 hour vinyasa with Dhyana Yoga in Philadelphia, January 2013, as well as a 50 hour prenatal certification also from Dhyana Yoga. Her greatest teachers are her two young daughters, who challenge her everyday, keep her present, and help show her the world with fresh eyes.
Sami is passionate about kirtan and sacred chants, weaving powerful mantras from different traditions into her classes. A writer and artist she creates guided meditations that will transport you to an elevated state, reconnect you to your authentic self and completely relax you. Sami draws inspiration from many different paths of yoga to create a vinyasa flow which is rooted in tradition, thoughtful inquiry and is adaptable to all abilities or phases of life.
Mati Michele Grieco-Hackett is a Registered Kripalu Yoga and Certified Elementary School teacher who has been joyfully teaching yoga and young children in the Capital District for the past 20 years.
She has been practicing yoga for a lifetime (both on and off the mat) and is continually awed and inspired by its transformative power. Mati’s teaching is informed by this ever-evolving practice.
Mandee Guzzo has been practicing yoga both asana and meditation for 4 years. Yoga has helped her achieve a healthy mind body connection. She earned her 200hr Therapeutic Teacher training at Phoenix Rising school of yoga therapy. She offers classes with dynamic flows, a focus on self care, and mind body connection. Off the mat Mandee is a nanny for an amazing family and enjoys hiking and Polaroid photography.
Grace Janiszewski found yoga in her teens and after college fell in love with the mindfulness it brought to life. She completed teaching training with Jai Yoga School in Slingerlands, NY in May 2018.
A lover of the arts and the theatre, her full time job at Proctors keeps her mind full and yoga is the re-centering. Nonetheless, a song from a musical is likely to get into her playlist!
As a yoga teacher, she seeks to create a safe space where students can explore and relax into savanna.
John Horan has been teaching yoga in the capital district since 2005. He is a Kripalu 500hr. teacher who draws from his experience as a massage therapist to help people develop more therapeutic awareness as they cultivate alignment and freedom in their body, heart and mind.
Annette Marblo ~After having the third of my 3 sons at 44 years old, I was looking to get back into shape. Happily, yoga showed up. While initially I thought I was getting a physical change – yoga had a different agenda. I think my first class at the town public library got me hooked. We finished class by learning the 6 different sounds that the letter “A” makes in the language of yoga called Sanskrit.
My family then moved from the farm to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I got my 200 Hour teacher training certificate, in vinyasa, by attending 20 hours of class per weekend for 10 consecutive weekends. I exited with a huge smile and some spine envy. Apparently, yoga isn’t finished with me yet. I love sharing yoga and hope to see you in class.
Jenny Meers has been working in the dental profession for over twenty years. Her love of yoga initially began many years ago as a practice to soften the occupational demands that dentistry can take on the body. When she became pregnant in 2013, she utilized yoga and meditation as a way to connect with her breath, deeply understand her body, and prepare it for childbirth.
After years of daily practice, yoga opened doors to a deeper connection to the divine. It made her see herself more clearly, allowed more peace in her life, and gave her courage to speak her truth.
More recently her practice paved the way for her sobriety. It was during this life change that she really understood the connection of mind, body, and spirit as being one of the greatest sources for healing the whole self. She attributes her sobriety and personal healing journey to yoga and meditation and recognizes “the issues live in our tissues”. This realization is what catapulted her enrollment to Yoga Teacher Training at Jai Yoga School in 2018, knowing she wanted to share her experiences and assist others in their healing journeys. She graduated Jai with RYT 200 in May 2018. In September 2018, she became Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) Certified Leader.
Above all else, Jenny is a mother of two daughters. As a mother she realizes that the work we do to heal ourselves in life is crucial because that healing work helps us lift the burdens that otherwise would hold us down. She does her best to live by example and show her girls and others that loving ourselves, service to others, and a deep connection to the divine, is truly what creates a happier and more peaceful existence.
Mary Clare O’Connor has been studying yoga on and off the mat for over close to twenty years. Her study began in Philosophy and the workings of the mind and then shifted into movement in the body through sound, asana and dance. She seeks to integrate an appreciation for the wisdom found in the body into conscious everyday living. She earned a 200 hr Kripalu Yoga Teachers Certification in July 2011 and is also certified as a Kripalu Yoga Dance Instructor. Studies and certifications include:
Kripalu Yoga Teacher Certification 2011 ~Kripalu Yoga Dance Instructor Certification 2009 ~Studied philosophy, cosmology, and consciousness @ California Institute of Integral Studies.
Jo Page began practicing yoga in her kitchen in Boston 1997 using the vintage Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan. Shortly after that she discovered Ashtanga yoga and felt immediately at home with this deeply meditative, but vigorous style. She has benefited from compassionate and committed teachers who include Nancy Polachek, Richard Freeman, Todd Norian, Tom Gillette and David Swensen from whom she received her teacher training in 2000. Also certified at the 200-hour level from Soluna Yoga School, Jo’s classes are carefully guided to promote strength, flexibility, alignment, laughter and they always include a meaningful closing reading.
An ordained Lutheran pastor for twenty years, Jo is also a columnist for The Albany Times Union. Her “Reckonings,” columns for Albany’s alternative newsweekly, Metroland, are archived at www.metroland.net. Her memoir, Going Out, is forthcoming from SUNY Press in 2015. She has a black Labby named Jack. Her daughter, Linnea, is a vegan baker extraordinaire (www.hazel-and-honey.com). Her daughter, Madeleine, is starting her yoga teaching training in September 2014 in Montreal.
Chelle Pean found yoga as a stress relief during grad school as she studied to get her Master’s in Social Work. During her work as a mental health therapist, she found that physical movement and a sweaty savasana can be SO healing for the body and mind. She received her 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga certification from Yoga to The People in NYC, and studied trauma informed yoga with the Prison Project.
Rachelle’s classes are a place to challenge yourself, explore your edge, and tune into your intuition. She seeks to use thoughtful sequencing and attention to the breath as tools to practice self care and develop your intuition, flexibility, and strength.
J’Vanay Santos found yoga while searching for ways to remedy her anxiety. Realizing the prevalence of mental health issues in society and her family, she sought the holistic approach to healing. Through yoga she has learned ways to calm her racing thoughts and uses techniques to develop mental toughness to strive for what scares her. She completed her 200 hour CYT certification through Marianne Wells Yoga School at the Goddess Garden in Costa Rica. J’Vanay’s classes are focused on the synchronicity of the mind, body and soul by curating sequences that target the healing of various chakra through movement and mindful breathing. Her classes aim to provide tools to assist in developing ones at home practice while also having technique for dealing with stressors off the mat. Her hope is that after each of her classes, you experience the euphoria that she felt the day she fell in love with yoga.
Carolyn Zimmer began practicing yoga regularly in 2013 when she realized the benefits of yoga went much deeper than the physical body. While overcoming a series of injuries, yoga helped Carolyn to heal physically while also providing emotional and spiritual guidance. In 2018, Carolyn completed her 200 hr- RYT with Meg Horan at Jai Yoga School and is humbled to have the privilege of sharing the incredible practice of yoga with others. Through breath and movement, Carolyn’s classes work to find softness in strength, peace, and self-love to carry off your mat. When she is not practicing yoga, you can find Carolyn working as a speech-language pathologist for children with special needs at a local school or the in a skilled nursing and rehab facility with the geriatric population.