Exhale to Inhale teachers are grounded in both the philosophy and physicality of the yoga practice. We recruit certified yoga instructors and educate them about the nuances of teaching trauma-informed yoga. Our teachers go where others don’t—to the shelters and community-based organizations that work with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Our teachers share the gift of yoga in the spirit of Seva, selfless service, by volunteering their time.
Each week, our instructors draw upon the training and resources we provide to plan a sequence of gentle movement, and breathing exercises that meet the needs of women whose lives have been shaped by trauma. Operating in this environment presents its own challenges. However, in the midst of chaos, we attempt to create a safe space in which women can breathe and connect.
Ariel Islam found yoga in 2010 and has been an avid practitioner ever since. In 2012, she completed her (200-RYT) yoga certification and has been focused on providing compassionate yoga care to her students. Ariel specializes in a Vinyasa flow style class and teaches at yoga studios in Manhattan and Brooklyn as well as private classes in student homes. Ariel hopes that through her work at Exhale to Inhale she can share with her students the power of their yoga and unlock the sense of serenity that yoga has provided to her. She spends her free time exploring the city, reading avidly, and practicing yoga.
Caroline Smith began her practice in 2003. After living abroad in Italy from 2006-2010 she returned to New York and needed an outlet to provide a sense of grounding and stability. It was that need that quickly brought her back to yoga and she has been practicing ever since. Caroline is now a 500-Hour RYT yoga instructor and yoga integrative therapist. She teaches well-rounded and dynamic classes that blend playful and energetic asana with breath awareness, and self study. Her classes focus on alignment and intelligent sequencing by striking a balance between the Iyengar and Ashtanga traditions. Caroline also teaches restorative yoga classes that integrate mindful meditation, breath awareness, yoga movement, essential oils, and Reiki. Her teaching is inspired with love, compassion, patience, and humor. Caroline loves art, reading, cycling, cooking for friends and family, playing with her dog, and volunteering at local animal shelters and community centers.
Corinne Cappelletti completed Yoga Teacher Training at Kula Yoga Project, and holds an MFA in Modern Dance from University of Utah. Corinne teaches Hatha-based Vinyasa, specializing in Meditation, Restorative and Therapeutic Yoga. Deeply affected by volunteering at the NYC LGBTQ Emergency Homeless Shelter, she organized a team of practitioners and rediscovered her dance and yoga as healing arts. Her certification in Laban/Barteneiff Movement Analysis (CLMA), and Registered Somatic Movement Therapist & Educator (RSMT-E) informs her individualized practice. Corinne co-facilitates the eco-dance social platform, "roodərəl (of a plant) growing on waste ground or among refuse," bringing audiences to the streets to reconnect, play, and experiment with weeds growing wild in Brooklyn. She is honored to share her curiosity and passion for the body-mind connection with ETI.
Debra Alfano believes that yoga has the power to profoundly change lives. She credits yoga with creating more balance and peace in her own life. Her foray into teaching yoga occurred when she initiated a class for her middle school students in the Bronx over a decade ago. Debra is registered through Yoga Alliance at the 200-hour level and has been certified by Yoga Works. She also completed Yoga Warriors training to teach veterans suffering from PTSD. Debra is privileged to have worked with and learned from students from ages 4 to 74.
DK Dyson describes her "Great Mission" here on Earth as an effort to help realign this planet back to harmonic balance. She feels this can occur by aligning herself daily, and then inviting others to do so (through yoga and music) to a place of inner sunshine where she mindfully walks each day! She is fortunate to have studied spirituality under two Guru’s, Paramahamsa Muktananda and Gurumai Chidvalasananda for over thirty three years. DK has served her African American Community teaching yoga, helping to detox those addicted to drugs, and performing Rites Of Passage programs for men and women. She has brought yoga and music to troubled youth throughout New York, and dance to the hearing impaired. DK also conducts workshops for her Native American community teaching yoga and music on the Lakota Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.
Emily Pantalone is a yoga instructor and actor based in Brooklyn, NY. She is deeply interested in the therapeutic and healing qualities of yoga. Her background is in integrated anatomy, looking for patterns of tension in the body to uncover body blind spots. As a teacher, Emily focuses on movement that will provide mental and physical release. She got her Yoga Alliance 200hr RYT certification at Dou Yoga and is a Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Level 1 Certified Instructor. She also recently completed a workshop in Trauma Sensitive Yoga under the direction of Jenn Turner from the Trauma Center in Brookline, MA. Above all, her deepest desire is to inspire her students to find their path to peace.
Hélène Kerhervé discovered the beautiful practice of Yoga in 2002 while living in Asia. She used Yoga to rehabilitate and neutralize serious back problems. Soon, she began to see its tremendous physical and spiritual benefits. After moving to New York, she turned to a calm and mindful practice as she realized that her intense Ashtanga practice was potentially leading to injuries. Helene believes that yoga develops strength, flexibility, focus, as well as physical and spiritual balance. Her style is inspired by Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin and Restorative yoga, and by her wonderful teachers. Helene is certified as an E-RYT 500 and has been teaching yoga for 10 years. She adapts her classes to student’s physical capabilities, focuses on breath, alignment and use of clear, sensitive guidance.
Ingrid Adelsberger has been practicing yoga on and off since her twenties. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at ISHTA Yoga in 2016. Ingrid works as a health coach guiding people to make healthy lifestyle choices. She is grateful to be a part of the Exhale to Inhale community helping to make a difference by bringing Trauma-Informed Yoga to women who have experienced Domestic Violence.
Jess Blake has been teaching yoga in New York City for over six years. She is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher certified through YogaWorks. She has additional certifications in Prenatal/Postnatal and Restorative Yoga. Jess’ classes consist of intelligent and creative sequencing and she carefully guides her students through each pose so that they can practice with confidence and clarity. Jess infuses mindfulness techniques, meditation, and breath-work into her classes, offering students the opportunity to develop a deeper awareness of their own mind-body-spirit connection. She brings a sense of presence and compassion into her teaching and aims to create a nourishing and empowering experience for her students. To learn more visit www.jessblakeyoga.com.
Jessica Lillian is a writer and editor with experience overseeing print and online content development at national magazines, launching and managing social media programs, and running independent blogs. Her yoga practice, philosophy, and service-focused teaching are continually inspired by literature and lyrics. Jessica graduated from 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2014 and has completed training with Lisa Danylchuk on teaching trauma-informed yoga. She holds a degree in English from Wellesley College.
Jocelyn Casey-Whiteman, E-RYT 500, is a teacher, teacher trainer, and poet living in New York City. Formerly a professional dancer, she integrates a love of fluid movement with a mindful, creative, and interoceptive practice that creates space for students to learn, explore, and transform. She teaches for Exhale to Inhale, Yogaworks, and Manhattan Country School, and earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University.
Kathryn Cornelius believes in the ability to transform traumatic events into powerful personal narratives. A survivor of trauma and abuse, with a diverse training background in yoga, neuroscience, meditation, breath work, and reiki, she offers an informed, experienced perspective that is creatively curated to individual needs. Kathryn’s personal yoga journey began in 2001, and she is certified in Dharma Yoga, Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Yoga Nidra. With her intuition, humor, and compassion, Kathryn helps students get in touch with their body, feelings, and spirit so they may feel safe to explore what speaks to them. Kathryn is thrilled to serve the Exhale to Inhale community.
Kathy Heimburger took her first yoga class in 2009 and was immediately hooked by the feeling of balance in both mind and body. The more she continued to practice and learn, the more she wanted to share it with everyone. After moving to NYC in 2013 she had the privilege of studying at Yogaworks for both her 200hr and 300hr certifications. She currently teaches adult and children classes in Staten Island. She hopes to provide her students with the tools through their practice to find balance and ease that they can use both on and off their mat.
Lisa Mehos is dedicated to bringing the benefits of yoga to children, adults, and those struggling to overcome obstacles, including domestic violence survivors. Certified in children’s yoga, family yoga, and trauma-sensitive yoga, Lisa's teaching methodology helps clients improve fitness, cope with anxiety, and build resilience and strength. She works with schools, shelters, and in private sessions to enhance fitness, self esteem; compassion; and combat bullying. Her focus of bringing yoga to underserved communities is driven by the belief that yoga can empower individuals to transcend barriers of race, gender, and economic status. Lisa graduated from Boston College; worked in business; and started a promotional marketing company; until her own children inspired her to dedicate herself to the health, happiness, and well-being of children, adults, and families.
Marjorie Rosenfield is a Senior Teacher at Yoga Works Westchester, on staff since 1998. She is 500 hr. ERYT certified and 700 hr. SYT certified (Structural Yoga Therapist). Over the years, Marjorie has shared her knowledge and experience with those students seeking to deepen their practice and embark on the teaching journey. Yoga allows Marjorie to have an open and varying view of herself and her ever-changing relationships with people, places and all things. Teaching Yoga allows her to share the gifts of the practice. Marjorie has a B.F.A. in Dance from The Ohio State University. She has choreographed for children’s and community theater from 1988- 2000. Her dance background has been a creative inspiration for her practice and teaching, allowing spontaneous intuition to flow.
Marlynn Wei, MD, JD (www.marlynnweimd.com) is a Harvard and Yale-trained psychiatrist, therapist, certified yoga teacher, and author. She is author of the Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga and writes the latest research on yoga, mindfulness, and nutritional wellness for Psychology Today, the Huffington Post, and Harvard Health. She has a holistic private practice in Manhattan specializing in anxiety, stress management, and career and relationship guidance.
Melissa Jhunja has been practicing yoga for over 10 years and loves to share this transformative practice with others. She completed her 200 hour teacher training through YogaWorks and 500 hour training at ISHTA yoga. Melissa combines the flow of vinyasa with precise alignment and focus on breath in her classes, to nurture a profound and healing mind-body connection. Melissa is trained in Trauma Informed Yoga, which she applies with at-risk youth, veterans and prison populations. She is also certified in restorative yoga and Yoga Nidra. Off the mat, Melissa is a Social Worker, Reiki practitioner and animal lover. She is excited to share the healing practice of yoga with her students at ETI helping them find strength and peace for mind & body. To learn more visit healinghathaflow.com.
Nicole Bell found her way to yoga in 2011 as a student struggling to get through college. During the summer of 2014, Nicole completed her 200HR YAI-RYT certification while living in Spain. Today, she teaches classical yoga with an emphasis on harmony between the body and mind. Nicole’s classes provide a calm space to focus on the self and help to release the tensions of everyday life. Nicole is pursuing her 500HR YAI-RYT certification while teaching trauma-informed classes in domestic violence shelters for New York based nonprofit Exhale to Inhale. She is also a contributor to Kamea Chayne’s Thrive, an evidence-based guide to healthy living. Nicole is inspired by the quiet and gentle way that yoga can heal over time and is driven to make yoga accessible to all those who would benefit from a personal practice.
Nicole Dodich began practicing yoga in high school, but stopped for several years due to a sensitive knee injury. When given the okay by her doctor to resume yoga post surgery, Nicole returned to her practice with renewed vigor and a deep longing to learn more about the philosophic and spiritual components. She completed her RYT-200 certification at ISHTA Yoga in the summer of 2016. She is currently a graduate student at the Columbia School of Social Work in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program, a specialized training program for psychotherapy that integrates mindfulness and emotional self-regulation into the treatment experience. Nicole is eager to bring the benefits of balance, independence, and self-knowledge to others through movement and breath.
Rachel Simhon, MPH, is a certified Forrest Yoga teacher, public health scientist, and political organizer based in Brooklyn. She was an advocate for survivors of sexual trafficking as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines, was on an NYU School of Medicine research team exploring associations between cardiopulmonary and psychosocial stress outcomes in adolescents exposed to 9/11 conditions, and worked in Latino outreach for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. Rachel is a deeply intuitive teacher who is adept at addressing patterns of pain and tension. She uses creative modifications in class that promote freedom from struggle and build on the power of the breath, and writes about the process of bringing what we learn on the mat to the world around us.
Sammee Leigh changed her life with fitness. Yoga and running empowered her to care for herself by inviting in balance, and moving away from things not positively serving her. To deepen her personal practice, Sammee earned her Stråla Yoga certification but upon completion she was inspired to bring this dogma-free yoga to as many people as possible. She believes yoga is for everyone; that it's about moving everything you have with natural ease. She wants to inspire, encourage, empower as many people as she can to live their best life on their terms. Sammee believes health and wellness are not one size fits all. That it's not about stepping out of your comfort zone, it's about expanding your comfort zone from the inside out, starting right where you are, and working with what you have. www.sammeeleigh.com | Instagram & Twitter: @chasing_sammee
Samara Andrade became passionate about using yoga for therapeutics and healing while working in overseas communities affected by conflict and violence. Supporting peace-building, social cohesion, and psycho-social recovery programs for communities, aid workers, military, and other caretakers led her to co-found Feet on the Ground (www.feet-on-the-ground.com). Samara is passionate about supporting students in cultivating a more innate awareness and connection to their physical, emotional and mental body. Samara has trained in biomechanics and embodied anatomy, trauma sensitive yoga, Yoga Tune Up, Mindful Yoga Therapy, and Trauma Treatment. Learn more at www.yogamara.org.
Sarah Beranbaum was introduced to yoga by her rigorous dance training. Through studying sensation based dance, she learned about the power of movement and touch, which sparked her excitement in discovering our untapped physical and emotional potential. Sarah completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training in Bergerac, France with Jennie Cohen of Yogaworks. There, she learned to teach both in English, her native tongue, and French, her second fluent language. She has since studied with Lisa Danylchuk, Yoga for Trauma. Sarah is interested in yoga's accessibility and use in healing both physical injury as well as emotional suffering or distress. Sarah wishes to create a safe space where any body is welcome to harness their potential.
Shannon Aleksa visited ashrams with her parents as a child and then many years later, found herself in a yoga class one day. Though unfamiliar with the poses, the breath, and of course-sanskrit, she immediately felt a sense of belonging and of coming home. The experience resonated so deeply with her that she knew she had taken her first steps on a life-long path of study, practice and devotion. In between the movement of your breath and body, her classes will help you find an ever-evolving sense of connection to the most authentic parts of yourself and a deeper sense of engagement with the world around you. Shannon is completing her 500hr advanced training with Tiffany Cruikshank of Yoga Medicine, and continues to study philosophy with Dr. Douglas Brooks.
Shasta Woods discovered the miracle of yoga in reconnecting her body to her mind after sustaining Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD, while training as a Police Officer. She became a Yoga and Meditation Instructor to heal herself and bring this healing to others. Shasta is certified in Restorative and Therapeutic yoga, Warriors at Ease® (yoga for military communities), and Neurosculpting® Meditation. Her gentle classes fuse breathwork, yoga, and meditation to balance brain, body and breath. Shasta launched HeadStrongLife™ to help other survivors discover positive living through Lifestyle management (www.HeadStrongLife.com). She graduated from Wellesley College and is currently pursuing a Masters in Psychology.
Shawna Wakefield is dedicated to promoting women’s rights and gender justice with local and international organizations. She began practicing yoga in 2000, and developed her home practice to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and insomnia while living in Cambodia. The practices of yoga, and daily meditation have been increasingly critical to her path. Shawna completed yoga teacher training with the Kula Yoga Project, and has since completed Trauma Sensitive Teacher training, Nikki Costello’s mentor practice, a leadership intensive with Off the Mat, and is part of the Interdependence Project’s Secular Buddhist Studies Program. She currently teaches at Third Root, Shambhala Yoga and Dance Center, and with Exhale to Inhale. She co-leads an 8-week Yoga in Action series to help activists apply yoga practices to social justice work. Shawna helps students identify their own sensations, including pain, strength, resilience, compassion, joy, and the ever-fluctuating relationship between them.
Stacey McFadin is a former professional dancer and dance teacher, and draws upon this experience to teach yoga, emphasizing alignment, breath work, and flow. She began her yoga practice in 2008 to restore balance amidst her busy career as an attorney. She loves the freedom of choice and creativity cultivated through ETI’s methodology, and is thrilled to be a part of this organization. Stacey holds a B.A. in Plan II Honors and Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. She is also a certified health coach and writer. www.staceymcfadin.com
Sweta Srivastava Vikram (www.swetavikram.com), featured by Asian Fusion as “One of the most influential Asians of our time,” is an award-winning writer, three times Pushcart Prize nominee, Amazon bestselling author of 9 books, novelist, poet, essayist, and columnist. Sweta is also a certified yoga teacher and is most interested in sharing the love and power of yoga with trauma survivors. A graduate of Columbia University, when Sweta is not doing yoga, cooking, traveling, writing books, or posts for magazines, teaching creative writing, or giving talks on gender equality, she works as a digital and content marketing consultant. Sweta lives in New York City with her husband and can be found on Twitter [@swetavikram] and Facebook facebook.com/Words.By.Sweta.
Tyvette Symone is a Kripalu Yoga Teacher, Nomadic Healer, Artist, Writer and Intuitive Medium. In 2014 she founded Transcendence Yoga, a private collective based in Brooklyn. Using yoga as a therapeutic tool, her personalized classes are catered to adults and children suffering with PTSD. "Practicing yoga allowed me to get back in touch with my body. For someone like myself who grew up in a house full of violence and destructive anger, I latched on to those thought patterns because they were what I experienced my entire life. My yoga practice gave me the compassion that I needed to identify my triggers and realize that I have the ability to transcend the traumas of my past and break the cycle". Tyvette is proud to show children and adults who grew up in households with domestic violence that they are worthy of love.
Theresa Lyn Widmann is the founder of Anahata Kingston, a yoga, meditation and healing arts studio based in Uptown Kingston, NY and the (LO+VE) Director of the O+ Festival. She is a dedicated practitioner and teacher of Kundalini Yoga and mindfulness based meditation practices and is grateful to be able to share these practices with others. When not in the studio, she can be found typing out stories, strumming the guitar, stretching her vocal chords, stitching colorful fabrics, or roller skating at Ashokan reservoir. She is passionate about women’s issues and is grateful for any opportunity to support and empower women and girls within her community.
Whitney Riegel Mooney has been practicing yoga for over 15 years. The practice of yoga has been transformative for Whitney on so many levels. She has had the privilege of teaching at Yoga To The People in New York and Bikram Yoga in Connecticut. Whitney enjoyed teaching so much that she opened her own home studio a year ago. It has been her dream come true to share these benefits of moving meditation that challenge your body while quieting your mind.
Vanessa Esparza discovered yoga seven years ago in her hometown of Denver; however it wasn’t until a few years later that she really fell in love. She found healing and comfort on the mat during a particularly challenging time and realized how that helped her off the mat. She has maintained a nearly daily practice since and attributes her positive perspective and spiritual practice to her connection with yoga. Vanessa completed a 200 hour traditional Hatha yoga training in Rishikesh, India. She also holds a 200 hour vinyasa certification from Pure Yoga.
Yvonne Vogt started practicing yoga six years ago as a complement to her daily training. She was drawn to the deeper aspects of the practice after attending a meditation retreat during her university years. Yvonne completed her 200-hour teacher training at Yoga Vida in 2014 and has been teaching and sharing the healing benefits of yoga ever since. She is very excited to share the positive impacts of the practice with the Inhale to Exhale community.