Zoë LePage, Founder & Executive Director
Zoë is proud to be the Founder and Executive Director of Exhale to Inhale. Zoë found personal strength and comfort in yoga before completing her yoga teacher training in 2009. As a senior at Barnard College in 2013, Zoë founded Exhale to Inhale. She created the vision for the organization and ensured the correct individuals and systems were in place to make her vision become a reality. Zoë spent three years as a consultant at a boutique consulting firm in New York City, before gratefully returning full time to Exhale to Inhale. She is committed to curiosity, and to choosing joy and gratitude. Zoë is thankful to all of her teachers both on and off the mat.
Tara Tonini, Director of Curriculum Development & Mentorship
Tara is a lover of nature, movement, color and creativity. Tara discovered yoga as a means of recovery from a relationship of Domestic Violence. Through her dedicated practice, yoga provided a way to reduce stress and regain strength and clarity in her daily life. Tara is a yoga and meditation teacher, Birth Doula and Master Reiki Healer approaching each healing modality through a trauma-informed lens. As Director of Curriculum and Mentoring for Exhale to Inhale, Tara strives to build a community where survivors and teachers can connect and experience the healing art of yoga.
Julie Fernandez, Program Manager, Los Angeles
Julie came upon yoga after struggling with anxiety, depression, abuse and disordered eating. Through yoga, she found the strength to begin her journey to healing and has been sharing yoga with others since. Her classes center on recognizing strengths and shedding the judgements, guilt and shame that arise from unresolved traumas. She brings compassion and empowerment to her students. Julie encourages her students to access their own inner guidance and natural wisdom to reclaim their bodies and cultivate healing. Julie's experience comes from working in domestic violence shelters throughout New York City and Los Angeles, eating disorder centers, public schools, and mental health clinics. Julie has worked with at-risk teenage girls, and disadvantaged youth providing them with these opportunities for healing.
Sophia Holly, Program Manager, New York City Sophia is a 500 hour level yoga teacher, trained at Abhaya. Sophia teaches private and public yoga classes in NYC designed to help people love themselves, regardless of their ability and body size. She also teaches private sessions and yoga based workshops to help people heal their relationship with food and body. Her classes are a blend of flowing movement, and relaxing restorative. When not teaching yoga Sophia is singing and playing music, and enjoying city life.
BOARD of directors
Sarah Finger, President Sarah co-founded ISHTA Yoga with her husband, Alan Finger and their partner, Bruce Wilcox in 2008, and helped develop one of the most renowned Teacher Training programs in New York City. Her partnership with Alan has informed her teachings on multiple levels and graced her with the opportunity to teach all over the world including Tokyo, Munich, Stockholm, and India. Sarah is the Managing Director of ISHTA, which has been ranked one of the top 7 yoga studios in Manhattan by Citysearch. Sarah holds the title Yogiraj and developed her own signature class “Sweat and Samadhi,” which is taught by ISHTA teachers worldwide. Her classes offer a blend of alignment-based flow, breath awareness, kriya techniques and Tantric meditation that enable the practitioner to experience the essence of the Self. Her daughter, Satya, inspires her every day to live a life based in truthfulness and self-empowerment. www.sarahplattfinger.com
Erica Barth, Secretary
Erica is the Co-Owner and Director of Harlem Yoga Studio (HYS), founded in 2009 with the mission of making yoga accessible, welcoming and fun for Every Body living in Harlem. A thriving community, HYS offers a wide variety of classes for students of all ages, abilities, and body types. Erica holds a Bachelor's degree in Business from the Wharton School and a Masters degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. She brings her experience in Marketing, Project Management, and Organizational Effectiveness to her role at ETI. Having viewed the world with a systemic lens for many years, Erica sees the internal connection between body, mind and spirit as a mirror (and magnifier) of our connection to one another, and incorporates her understanding of yoga and her background in group dynamics and social organizational theory to help teams work together and engage more effectively. She is continually inspired to deepen her knowledge of the body, mind, and spirit, and is profoundly grateful to her teachers both on and off the mat. www.ericabarthyoga.com
Claire Kinsella Holtje, Treasurer
Claire is a Spiritual Financial Coach combining her passions for yoga and finance, to help people understand money as energy. After 15 years on Wall Street, Claire left to study spiritual traditions in indigenous places around the world. There she gleaned insights into the universal principles of abundance that she applies in her teaching. Claire has a thriving practice providing guidance, support and inspiration to individuals, entrepreneurs and couples. She is a certified 500-hr hatha yoga, prenatal, and meditation teacher.
Regina is dedicated to advocating for women and children in need. During her time at Fordham Law School, she leaned on her experience interning with Stein & Ott, LLP, a boutique matrimonial firm, to volunteer with the Domestic Violence Awareness Center, assisting survivors file uncontested divorces. After graduation, as an associate of Herrick, Feinstein LLP and then Goodwin Procter LLP, Regina continued to provide pro bono legal services to survivors and their families through organizations such as My Sister’s Place. Regina started her practice of yoga as a first-year at Wellesley College. Since then, yoga has been instrumental to helping her find balance, calmness and strength through chaotic and difficult times. She could think of no better way to continue her service to survivors than through the powerful work of Exhale to Inhale. Regina is Associate General Counsel of TP ICAP, a global financial services firm.
Kate joined the Board of Exhale to Inhale after co-directing the organization with Amy Tobin for it's first two years. Prior to joining Exhale to Inhale, Kate built a career that spanned the public and private sectors. She worked in marketing at technology start-ups, Citigroup and a Community Development Financial Institution in NYC. Kate also spent time abroad working in the nonprofit sector in the Dominican Republic and West Africa. She splits her time between New York and Singapore, where she imports food products of Greek origin. Kate holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of International Management and is a 200-hour certified yoga instructor through YogaWorks.
Dhiren is passionate about the developing world, raising awareness and improving access to education and financial services for the poor in nations with particularly dire conditions. He devotes a great deal of personal time and resources to related causes. He has worked with a large global foundation on their programs focused on improving the availability of financial services for the poor, working closely with the payments ecosystem in Nigeria and South Africa. He is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal Corporate Performance Improvement in New York. With more than 20 years of experience serving as a trusted advisor, he focuses on delivering business transformations and integrating complex systems. In recent years, he has served in numerous interim CIO/technology leadership roles, most notably for a $1 billion not-for-profit organization, a leading mortgage servicing bank as well as a large professional services organization. Prior to joining A&M, Dhiren was the COO of a FinTech company focused on algorithmic trade execution & Smart Order Routing. He was also a partner in Accenture’s Capital Markets group, where he was instrumental in building their Capital Markets Data Management services business. Dhiren earned a bachelor’s degree in business information systems from Staffordshire University in the U.K.
Amy provides leadership in marketing, fundraising, and program development for Exhale to Inhale. A classically trained marketer with over 25 years of experience, Amy now offers her skills on an "as needed" basis as a freelance agent. In this capacity she has worked with a variety of Fortune 500 clients across the consumer packaged goods, education, and pharmaceutical industries in developing new business initiatives and enhancing current efforts. Amy holds an MBA from Northeastern University, a BA from the University of Vermont, and a 500 hour Professional Teaching Certification from YogaWorks. She is grateful to her clients, colleagues, and students for giving her the opportunity to work, teach, and learn in harmony.
advisors & Key Volunteers
Daniel Leventhal serves as Development Director for Pajama Program. He oversees all initiatives for development and growth of the organization. Prior to working at Pajama Program, Daniel was involved with fundraising and development at various organizations, including Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America and NY Foundling. He is currently an MBA candidate at NYU Stern.
He became involved with Exhale to Inhale because of his passion to live in a world where no person must endure domestic violence, and because of his belief that yoga is a crucial avenue to empower domestic violence survivors.
Eileen Fruithandler is the CEO of Third Eye Yoga Shala. She was attending a speech by Deepak Chopra when she first met Sarah Finger of ISHTA Yoga, and the ETI Board of Directors. Eileen is a Brand Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine as well as a Partner Studio with Yoga Journal Magazine. Eileen has attended trauma-based yoga training for Veterans, built philanthropic organizations in her community, and has a BS and MBA from NYU. She teaches yoga to high school students, sports teams and staff/instructors. Her goal is to create awareness not only for the physical healing benefits of trauma-based yoga, but also for how working together can do so much for our community, country and world.
Jodie Rufty is the Manager of Trainer Development for YogaWorks in New York City. She has been teaching yoga and training teachers worldwide for nearly two decades and is coauthor of The Art of Yoga Sequencing. Jodie has studied with incredible teachers including Alan Finger, Alison West, Ana Forrest, Desikachar, Eric Schifmann, Lisa Walford, Rodney Yee & Shiva Rea. She received her Master level Attunement and Certification to Reiki, is a Prema Birthing Practitioner, as well as a Rising Star and More Truth Will Set You Free teacher. Jodie resides in NYC where she continues to study, practice and teach. She leads workshops and retreats worldwide. Jodie believes these incredible tools and gifts are given to help us access and open the channels within, so we can awaken to the luminous Spirit and Truth that resides in us all.
John Donnelly is President of the Coalition of Youth & Families of New York. He serves as Foundation Advisory Board Member for The Resolution Project, and as Advisory Board Member for The Salvation Army. Previously he served as US representative for UN-HABITAT Resource Mobilization, and as Manager of Development and Communications for The Church of St. Luke in the Fields. He has led successful fund raising campaigns for many organizations (including Salvation Army WW, United Nations, New England Baptist Hospital, and Harvard University). John brings a diverse background and a wide range of expertise to these advisory posts. John co-founded Fifth Business Consulting, was VP & General Manager of Donnelly Advertising, and served on an FTC Committee for responsibility in advertising. He was Director of Marketing at Cullinane Database Systems, and VP of Marketing and Networking Sales at Computer Corporation of America. John graduated from Harvard College in 1964.
Kim Gerstman is a non-profit fundraising consultant and a regular yoga practitioner. With more than 25 years of experience in fundraising, Kim has managed small and large fundraising departments in organizations concerned with global health, the arts, research, social justice and social services. She has held senior development positions with at the Population Council, American Civil Liberties Union, and NARAL Pro-choice New York. She currently volunteers as Vice President of Development on the board for NOW-NYC. Kim has an MBA with a specialization in arts management from Binghamton University.
Lisa Maldonado brings her creative management solutions to the table –a table populated with renowned musical artists. Her early background was as Press and Public Relations executive for a global roster of International artists before she joined the management team of The Power Station, a premier recording studio. She was tapped as Creative Director of Deniz Productions, spending 5 years at Atlantic Recording Studios at the side of legendary music producer, Arif Mardin. During this period, she was involved in the production process with such Grammy Award winning artists as Bette Midler, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, and others. Following a two year move to Paris, France where she worked with renowned French pop artists, she returned to the US to work closely with famed Broadway composer/producer, Mitch Leigh (“Man of La Mancha”), overseeing operations of a global theatrical production company.
Rena Tucker is a social worker, mother of two, and in her spare time, she likes to practice Iyengar yoga. Rena is dedicated to increasing access and providing options for women and families. Rena currently works at RHEDI/Reproductive Health Education in Family Medicine to integrate comprehensive reproductive health training into family medicine residencies. She has also worked on issues of child welfare, immigrant access, adoption, and human rights. Rena received her MSW from the Columbia University School of Social Work and her BA in Asian Studies from Tufts University.
Robbin Rose recently left her corporate career to pursue teaching yoga full time. She teaches vinyasa-style classes that incorporate elements from Kundalini and Katonah practices. (This means you can expect fun flows, lots of hands on adjustments and breath work in her class). Her goal for every class is to inspire and challenge students to discover new connections within themselves, and with others. Find out more at https://www.robbinrose.com
Tara Sanders came to her yoga mat to explore and heal. Having a strong commitment to serving the community and advocating for underserved populations, she has taught students at a mental health advocacy agency, homeless youth, and developed a therapeutic yoga & mindfulness program for a domestic violence shelter in upstate NY. Tara is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher, and has continued her education with an emphasis on trauma-informed yoga, Yoga Nidra, children's yoga, mindfulness, restorative yoga, adaptive yoga therapeutics, anatomy and bodywork, meditation, and somatic healing. Working with adults and youth, it has been a dream come true to share the healing and grounding practice of yoga, and to be a conduit for the practices and teachings that have had such a profound impact on her life.
Victoria Ramos is a Psycho-Spiritual Therapist known for her deep knowledge and visual imagery. Victoria opens the door for healing, and has devoted more than a decade to helping people deal with their trauma. Through her work, Victoria unravels the core of personal essence. She helps to dissolve layer by layer, veil by veil, illusion by illusion and wound by wound to expose self distortions. Victoria unlocks a portal to a rememberance of one's innate individual brilliance. Victoria holds a BFA from Pratt Institute. She is certified in Psychotherapy and Healing by the Helix Training Program. She is a minister of the Helix Healing Ministry, and a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. She is also certified in Trauma Touch Therapy, Trauma Sensitive Yoga, and as an Om Yoga Teacher. Victoria believes in the beauty and magic of the physical body as the vehicle for all experiences of being human.
Ariel Altman is dedicated to the growth of Exhale to Inhale through volunteer coordination efforts and other development initiatives. For her, Yoga has transformed from a means of exercise and mind-body wellness to a way to better the community. Ariel is a 200 hour Yoga Alliance certified vinyasa teacher [Sacred Sounds Yoga] and loves to "flow it out" while breaking a sweat. During the week you will find Ariel at her job in the Tech Industry and when she is not at work she is exploring NYC restaurants or trying out the latest fitness craze. She holds a BA from Vanderbilt University and loves all things related to healthy living.
If you believe in our mission and would like to help, please click here to make a tax deductible donation. If you would like to participate in Movement for Meaning, click here. If you would like to establish a program at your shelter or community center and you are in NY or L.A., just click to send us a message.
Sophia Holly is a 500 hour level yoga teacher, trained at Abhaya. Sophia teaches private and public yoga classes in NYC designed to help people love themselves, regardless of their ability and body size. She also teaches private sessions and yoga based workshops to help people heal their relationship with food and body. Her classes are a blend of flowing movement, and relaxing restorative. When not teaching yoga Sophia is singing and playing music, and enjoying city life.