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The Yogis of Karma Kids Yoga

The teachers are the heart of our yoga program.
All of our instructors are trained and experienced in teaching yoga to children, prenatal, postnatal or all three.
Some are sillier than others, but they are all extremely creative, nurturing, and fun!

Shari Vilchez-Blatt
Creator and Director of Karma Kids Yoga

Shari was a VP, Advertising Director before completely changing her path. Many of her years in the corporate ad world were spent researching kids and moms for marketing purposes - using CAPS (Child and Parent Studies), one-on-one sessions, qualitative and quantitative research to study childrens' play patterns, socialization, creativity and imagination, family interaction, teen studies and cultural trends, in the U.S. and around the world. She has also developed, named, packaged and marketed toys, games, activity kits and action figures for kids of all ages. She left for the opportunity to combine two things that are close to her heart - yoga and children.

Kids really respond to Shari, as she communicates with them in a fun and trusting way that will comfort even the most shy child. She knows how to relate and talk to kids on their level, allowing them to sense her friendliness and understanding. Shari can turn any task into something fun and is simply an enthusiastic child in an adult body.

Shari has developed yoga programs for many schools and consultants on various healthy living articles for numerous Parenting Magazines, Target, Nickelodeon, Working Woman, as well as health and wellness and parenting blogs. She can also be found advocating for the Yoga For NY, Wellness in Schools, and Yoga for Peace organizations. She is also a presenter at the National Kids Yoga Conference and Yoga Journal Live. Shari is a regular contributor to NY Yoga + Life magazines Kids and Family section. Shari has been featured on Sesame Street sharing yoga with Murray and Ovejita at "yoga school"!

Shari is mom to yogini, Layla Moon, and practices yoga with her almost every day. Shari is inspired by the knowledge of her teachers, the creativity of her students, the kindness of her friends, and the love of her family, especially her husband, Jason.

Shari has trained over two thousand people around the world to teach yoga to children through the renowned Karma Kids Yoga Teacher Training Program. Many of them have started their own kids yoga programs. She has also trained hundreds of Preschool, Elementary, Middle and High School Educators through her Yoga in the Classroom, Yoga in the Preschool Classroom and Yoga For Test Prep courses, spreading the benefits of yoga into the public, charter, and private school systems. She also acts as a mentor to teachers around the world. Shari created the Teen Yoga Teacher Training Intensive, Baby Yoga & Developmental Movement Workshop, Yoga & Mindfulness for Stressed Out Teachers, and The Business of Kids Yoga Workshop. Shari's latest endeavor is her Girl Empowerment Series. Next up...Boy Power...stay tuned.

Certification and Education in Yoga:

YogaKids with Marsha Wenig
Radiant Child Yoga Level 3 with Shakta Kaur Khalsa
Yoga Mom Buddha Baby with Jyothi Larson
Yoga Therapy for Children with Loraine Rushton
Yoga for Kids with Special Needs with Alison Morgan
Every Kids Yoga with Craig Hanauer
Minfulness for Children with Jennifer Harper Cohen
Prenatal Yoga with Juliana Secches
Prenatal Pilates with Brigette Arle
Gogo Babies Infant Development with Ellynne Skove
Circus Yoga Ring 3 with Erin Maile O'Keefe and Kevin O'Keefe
Brain Gym with Mari Miyoshi
The Magic of Music with Kira Willey


Shari's favorite yoga pose is Bakasana, or Crow Pose, because it requires strength, balance, and focus. And because it's fun to jump into!


Suzanna Neeley Bridges

Born and raised in Wake Forest, North Carolina, Suzanna discovered yoga when the Big Apple started to make her feel small. The peace, mindfulness, and connection that yoga provided were paralleled only by the music in her life. A singer/songwriter and graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Suzanna has finally found the perfect marriage of her love of yoga, music, and children in Karma Kids Yoga, where she completed her children's yoga training. More recently, she completed her training in Yoga for Kids with Special Needs through Radiant Child Yoga and Zensational Kids Yoga, as well as with Every Kids Yoga.

Through years of teaching children's enrichment classes she has witnessed first-hand the incredible power of song in early childhood development and beyond. Her classes are always musical adventures designed to nurture the body and soul.

Suzanna almost never leaves her apartment these days without a musical instrument slung on her back. And she certainly never teaches a yoga class without the help of her trusted friend and guitar, Barnaby. When she isn't teaching classes she's either performing in her bluegrass/motown band, "Walking for Pennies", or in her kids band "The Bubble Factory".

Suzanna's favorite yoga poses is Malasana or Frog Pose because nothing beats a really good "ribbit". She is also a new momma to baby Penelope Grace born February 2018.


Janine Bickoff

Janine grew up in Wayne, NJ and began practicing yoga at age seven with her yogi mom and has been hooked on it ever since!

After years of practicing yoga at home, in studios and experiencing the tranformative powers of yoga firsthand, Janine was inspired to share her passion for yoga with others. She has since completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training at PURE Yoga and certification to teach children's yoga through Karma Kids Yoga. She has also studied yoga at Earth Yoga, Sacred Sounds, Ishta Yoga, New York Yoga and Newport Power Yoga.

Janine earned a formal degree in Childcare Management from New York University and has spent the past several years teaching creative movement, dance and gymnastics to children at schools and summer camps throughout NYC. The opportunity to teach yoga to children more often is a natural next step and one that Janine has been dreaming of taking for a long time.

Janine is very excited to be part of the Karma Kids Yoga family. Her goal is to expand opportunties for children to grow and learn yoga in a fun and nurturing environment and is enthused to blend her experience teaching children with her passion for yoga to create classes that inspire confidence, relax the body and spark the imagination.

Janine's favorite yoga pose is Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose because the hamstring and side body stretch is wonderful and it's the perfect heart opener.


Hillary Brylka

Like a shadow, yoga has ingrained itself into every aspect of Hillary's life. As a native New Yorker, she rarely took a minute to breathe until she stumbled into a yoga class by mistake sixteen years ago. She has rarely stepped off the mat since.

Ashtanga feeds her inner cario-junkie, Hatha cools her ever-churning mind, and Prenatal continues to awe her with the strength and power of the pregnant mama. After studying yoga in Boston, Chicago and India, Hillary completed her 200-hour teacher training at Pure Yoga in New York City. Her own pregnancy got her on the hunt for a prenatal class where she could actually break a sweat while staying safe, and just like that, her prenatal fitness streak was born (followed by shortlythereafter by her daughter Fiona). When her second daughter arrived, Hillary quickly realized little was as rewarding as teaching a room full of pregnant goddesses so she completed the Prenatal Teacher Training at the Prenatal Yoga Center, and hasn't looked at a flat wasitline since.

Hillary prides herself on getting her prenatal clients to embrace their growing bellies while staying fit, balanced and confident. When Hillary isn't wearing sweatpants and slinging a yoga mat over her shoulder, she is wearing sweatpants and carrying a diaper bag with her little girls in tow. She treasures the perspective that yoga has given her and works to share that viewpoint with yogis old and new, young and old.

HIllary's favorite pose is Ananda Balasana or Happy Baby Pose because it gives you a baby's perspective of the world, face toward the sun, toes wiggle and heart opened wide.



Lynette Buck

Lynette grew up in rural Pennsylvania amongst thousands of trees and animals. Her passion for nature and childlike enthusiasm drove her to constantly climb on everything in sight pushing the outdoors and herself to the limits, hanging off tall branches where ever she could find them. Wellness and adventure are her passions, and yoga is her lifestyle.

Lynette graduated from Philadelphia University with a BS in Bio-Psychology. She has taught anatomy lab at Philadelphia University prior to moving to New York City in 2014. Yoga has been an acrobatic sanctuary to city life for Lynette. She has been practicing yoga with her beautiful 3-year old niece, Avery, for over a year before she decided that she needed to do it for children everywhere. There is so much joy and incredible wellness life lessons that come from children's yoga that inspires her daily.

Lynette earned her certification in Children's Yoga thorugh Karma Kids Yoga, is a 200-hour certified adult yoga instructor through YogaWorks, and is also certified in Restorative yoga. In Lynette's kids classes, you can count on as much adventure as possible and tons of fun!

Lynettes favorite yoga poses is Bakasana, or Crow Pose, because it recreates a feeling of comfort as well as invigorates and empowers the entire body.



Sarah Casper

Sarah's passion for empowering children runs deep. She has worked with children ages 3 - 11 years in yoga classes, sports skills programs, schools, camps, families homes, and in mental health settings. She has a BA in Psychology from NYU, with a specialization in Child and Adolescent Mental Studies.

Since a young age, movement has played an important role in Sarah's life - basketball and soccer team in high school, yoga and lifting in college, and in the last couple of years, she has worked towards committing to the spread of yoga by earning her certification in Children's Yoga through Karma Kids Yoga and in Ashtanga Yoga from Ashtanga Yoga Mysore in India. More recently, Sarah completed KKY's Baby Yoga & Developmental Movement workshop. Sarah's goal is to continue to empower children through yoga, movement, mindfulness and breath. You will find Sarah's signature silliness always guides the way through each yoga adventure!

Sarah's favorite pose is Headstand because it requires full body engagement and awareness of the breath.



Liza Colpa

Liza found yoga when the anxiety and stress of being an overachieving high school student began to affect her mental and physical health. Not only did she realize yoga was for her, be the yoga studio was the one place she didn't have to try to be more than who she was at the present moment. It became her space of acceptance and found herself heading there when she needed moments of clarity, calm and grounding. She fell in love with the yoga practice, noting how accessible and inclusive it was.

Liza had a huge desire to learn more, and give the same experience and growth to others, and decided to get her 200-hour certification from Bearfoot Yoga Wellness Center. She also gained her Prenatal Yoga certification from the Yoga Womb, as well as Adamptive Gentle Chair Yoga from Integral Yoga in NYC. More recently, Liza completed her Prenatal Pilates training with Rooted Boston.

Liza's favorite yoga pose is Nataranjasana or Dancer Pose.


Sheilagh Falcigno

Sheilagh has been practicing yoga for more than half her life. She discovered it here in her native New York, and brought it with her to Santa Fe, New Mexico where she pursued an Early Childhood degree and began working in parenting education with at-risk families. She later moved to Florida to begin her own journey as a parent. Upon returning to NYC, she worked in Early Childhood enrichment and Preschool classrooms for The Childene's Aid Society for six years. It was after moving to Rome, Italy that Sheilagh decided to dedicate herself to teaching yoga.

Sheilagh began a year-long yoga mentorship program at Centro Turiya and earner her Children's Yoga certification through Rainbow Kids Yoga. Six years and a lot of pizza later, she came home to New York where she received her 200-hour certification at New York Yoga. After volunteering at Ronadl McDonald House, she became a trained Yoga4Cancer teacher, and went on to receive additional training and certifications in Trauma-Informed Yoga, Adaptive and Chair Yoga. Her absolute favorite is Prenatal Yoga, which she studied with Juliana Mitchell of Carried Downward Breath.

Sheilagh loves sharing what she knows about yoga with all of her students, young and old, and truly believes the practice holds endless possibilities for people of all abilities.

Sheilagh's favorite yoga pose is Vrkasana , or Tree Pose, mostly because she really loves climbing trees!


Greta Feit

Greta was raised in downtown Manhattan, and is happy to still call this beautiful city her home. As a kid, Greta was always upside down while using her neighborhood as a personal playground. Whether she was practicing handstands on the piers along the Hudson River, doing flips in community gardens throughout Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side, or perfecting her back walkovers along the Brooklyn Bridge, it was hard to get her to walk on her own two feet.

Greata graduated from Hunter College with a BA ins Studio Art and a minor in Dance. She has been working with kids and families throughout the five boroughs for about 10 years. Whether she's babysitting, teaching dance classes, or introducing art projects, it always makes her day to learn from the inspiring kids she works with. She is ecstatic to join the amazing crew of kids yoga teachers at KKY and loves playing and teaching wonderful and creative little ones!

In Greta's classes, you can always expect to learn fun poses and games, calming breathing exercises, and of course love for oneself!

Greta's two favorite poses are headstands and handstands because it makes her feel liberated and strong - and she gets to hang out upside down!





Laura Frye

With a love for the stage, Laura made her way to NYC after completing her Master's in Acting at the University of Houston. Upon arriving, she realized that she also had another love and that was working with and helping children with their confidence, through movement based fun. She realized quickly what a rewarding experience it was to work with kids of all ages nad she knew she wanted to pursue more movement based programs for children.

Laura had been practicing yoga for several years and through a chance introduction, she became part of the KKY family. She completed the Karma Kids Yoga Teacher Training, as well as Jyothi Larson's Postnatal Yoga Mom Buddha Baby Training, and has been lovin' life ever since. Laura has also completed the KKY Teen Yoga Teacher Training Intensive and Prenatal Yoga Training with Juliana Secches. More recently, she became certified to teach kids with specail needs through Every Kids Yoga. Laura finds complete and total joy helping each child grow and learn through yoga. This is extremely evident in her exciting and imaginative classes, as you can tell that she's having as much fun as the kids are. Laura says that this is the happiest she has ever felt.

Laura is also a facilitator of the Karma Kids Yoga Teacher Training course and travels the world teaching adults how to teach yoga to children.

When she's not teaching at KKY, Laura is traveling the country teaching movement and acting at different Theater Academies and festivals. Laura is also the Artistic Director of Promethean Theater Company and a very proud member of Actor's Equity.

Laura's favorite yoga pose is Natarajasana or Dancer Pose, because it makes her feel strong and confident, but mostly because she's been doing it since she was a little girl, when pretending she was an Olympic Ice-Skating champ. This pose still creates a sense of play and fun in her practice.



Heather Gobbee

Heather can't think of a better way to spend her day than having fun, being creative and supporting the developmental needs of our children. Born and raised in the California sunshine, she brought her little light to NYC in pursuit of acting.

Heather's educational training, theater endeavors and classroom experience has shed light on the many layered connections between child development, yoga, and the dramatic arts. She believes that when children play, they happily learn.

Heather is a NYS Certified Theater Arts Educator, and has received certifications in teaching yoga to children through Karma Kids Yoga and Little Flower Yoga, Radiant Child Heart & Soul workshop, CircusYoga Ring Two Teacher Training, and Zenergy's Yoga Therapy for Children. More recently, Heather completed KKY's Baby Yoga & Developmental Movement training. She is also mom to two little theatrical yoginis.

Heather's classes are inspiring, exciting, and always include something unexpected or a wonderous learning experience! Her passion for working with children is obvious in all that she does.

Heather's favorite pose is Vrksasana, or Tree Pose, because she loves the strong and glorious nature of trees and because they remind her of people. Like us, trees are forever growing, and need to stay rooted in a healthy environment with plenty of love in order to survive.



Corina Gonzalez

Corina began her love affair with yoga in the summer of 2005 when (inspired by her mom) she attended her very first Bikram Yoga class in Chapel Hill, NC. It was a doozy, but she was hooked! Since then, she's practiced many different forms and fusions of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Restorative, Buti, Caponyasa, Antigravity and Stand-up Paddleboard (SUP).

In 2015, Corina completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Three Sisters Yoga in New York City. In 2016, she became certified with Karma Kids Yoga to teach children, including kids with special needs. She is an avid volunteer for children with disabilities and hopes to promote accessibility, understanding and acceptance in her teaching. In her classes, she strives to create an environment of warmth, playfulness and compassion. Her other passions include aerial and pole dancing, surfing, ice cream, listening to hilarious comedians and solid hugs.
Corina's favorite pose is Savasana or Relaxation because it feels great at the end of yoga class!


Jess Gronholm

Jess has been a yoga instructor for nearly two decades teaching thousands of students of all ages throughout the U.S. and internationally. He is proud to have served as the National Director of Yoga for Crunch Fitness for many years, developing innovative yoga programming including Anti-Gravity Yoga, Buff Yoga and for special partnerships with Broadway shows such as Wicked and Hair.

Jess is also the co-founder of Dirty Yoga, an online yoga program he developed in 2012 for both new and busy parents who longer have the time to make it to a live yoga class.

As a recent parent to twin girls, Hope and Makena, Jess has been playing yoga with them since they were born. From happy baby to handstands, his love for sharing ygoa to offer with his own children led him to wanting to share with other kids, too. He completed his Children's Yoga certification with Karma Kids Yoga and has joined the team!

Jess's favorite yoga poses is Handstand because it's the one pose that brings out the kid in all of us.



Lindsay Harris

Lindsay Rose Harris is NYC native who first experienced yoga in gym class at LaGuardia Arts High School where she was a vocal music major. She continued to study voice at Goucher College where she participated in musicals such as Animal Farm, playing various animals such as raven, dog, and sheep. A Creative Writing major, she loved participating in the yoga club and going to nearby studios in Baltimore.

Lindsay completed her Children's Yoga Teacher Training through Karma Kids Yoga. She currently studies improv at the Magnet Theater and sings and plays guitar for childrn's birthday parties under the name "The Birthday Fairy". Lindsay's love for creativity makes her open and excited for whatever goofiness and fun a children's yoga class will bring. More recently, Lindsay completed Every Kids Yoga Training for special needs.

Lindsay's favorite pose is Virabhadrasana II, or Warrior 2 because it is a great stretch and feeling of empowerment.


Lauren Jacobs

A native New York/New Jerseyer, Lauren discovered yoga during college and became hooked when she realized how much peace, playfulness and openness the practice consistently brought her. She has since completed the Immersion and Teacher Training Program at World Yoga Center and the Children's Yoga Teacher Training at Karma Kids Yoga, and has also participated in intensives wtih Todd Norian of Ashaya Yoga, Elena Brower of Vira Yoga, Jackie Prete of Ram Sangha Yoga and Baron Baptiste of Baptise Power Yoga.

Lauren has always had a passion for the arts and arts learning, earning a BA in Theater and English from Oberlin College and an M.Ed from Harvard University with a focus in Arts in Education. She has trained in theatre, and improv with the People's Improv Theater, The Forum Project, LaMaMa & the G.A.T.E. Ensemble. She is a New York State certified and New York City licensed in Theatre & English and has taught theatre, improv, creative writing and anti-bullying courses with The All Stars Project, Plays for Living, The East Side Institute and Prepare Impact Self Defense as well as with the New York City Department of Education.

Lauren is thrilled to be part of the Karma Kids family! She is inspired to blend her loves of practicing yoga, teaching children and exploring creativity into exciting kids' yoga classes where all children can go on imaginative adventures of their own making.

Lauren's favorite yoga pose is Tripod Headstand, or Sirsasana II, because going upside down is lots of fun and definitely offers a whole new perspective.



Paige Johnston

Paige recently moved to NYC from her hometown of Calgary, Canada. She's a designer, writer and sustainability enthusiast who is currently pursuing a Master's degree at the Parsons School of Design.

Paige grew up dancing, and has worked as a dance teacher to the littlest of ballerina's, tappers and jazz dancers. She began practicing yoga at a time when the last thing in the world she wanted to do was to slow down adn breathe, but she is so grateful she did! Paige completed her 200 hour Teacher Training in 2014 and quickly went on to do her 50 hour Kids Yoga Teacher Training. She recently completed Every Kids Yoga for Special Needs.

Paige has been teaching yoga for 4 years. She loves leading children, families and adults through tree poses, handstands and giggling savasana - throwing in a few dance moves and twirls along the way!

Her favorite yoga poses is Mermaid pose.




Melissa Lawson

Born in Thailand, Melissa has lived throughout South Asia, Southern United States, and now calls New York home. Her yoga practice began when she took it as an elective in college and fell in love with it.

She brings a playful aspect to her yoga that carries into her life off the mat. Melissa is a fine artist and Karma Kids own 'artist in residence'; our murals and paintings of Ganesh and Sita are her handiwork. She leads classes that inspire creativity such as mat painting and yoga art, as well as other children's yoga classes.

Melissa also teaches at St. Ignatius Loyola Day Nursery where her class is part of the curriculum. She has become the "Yoga Fairy" to 150 preschoolers. She believes that there is magic in a yoga practice that illuminates people from the inside out and she brings this magic into all of her classes.

Melissa holds certifications to teach yoga through Karma Kids Yoga, Radiant Child Yoga, Yoga for the Special Child,Yoga Mom Buddha Baby, Pediatric Yoga, and is trained in First Aid and CPR.

Her three precious children have practiced yoga and meditation since birth.

Melissa's favorite pose is the Balancing Half Lotus.






Annie LeVasseur

Annie, a lifelong southern belle, moved to New York several years after earning her BA in Theatre from Christopher Newport University in Virginia. As she worked and interned at serveral theaters, her yoga practice became more and more important as a tool to acheive balance, peace, flexibility of body and mind. So she dove in to her 200-hr certification through Sonic Yoga, and began pursuing her passion of giving the gift of yoga to anyone open to receiving it.

Inspired by fellow children's yoga teacher, Laura Frye, Annie set her sights on the world of yoga for kids, and completed her Children's Yoga training through Karma Kids Yoga. Working with children has cracked her heart and smile wide open, noticing that it's hard to take life too seriously when you surround yourself with kids. Annie completed her Prenatal Yoga certification with Juliana Secches, and her Postnatal certification with Jyothi Larson. She also completed CircusYoga's Ring One Immersion, and the Teen Yoga Teacher Training Intensive with KKY. More recently, Annie became a certfied Doula through DONA International.

Annie's gentle nature and warm personality make even the most shy child feel comfortable in her classes. She ensures that all kids have fun while strenthening their bodies. Balancing out her high energy yoga adventures with children, Annie is also certified in the healing art of Thai Yoga Massage. More recently, she became a trained and certified labor and birth doula, from DONA International. Annie also manages the studio and makes everything happen.

Annies' favorite yoga pose is Child's Pose or Balasana, because it reminds her that no matter what challenges the outside world can throw at you, you can always curl up, and go inside to find that blissful place that lives inside us all.



Jessica Phillips Lorenz

Originally a movement, dance and theater teacher for children, Jessica decided to incorporate her personal love for yoga into her existing skills. Jessica is certified to teach yoga to children through the Radiant Child Yoga Program (RCYP), Next Generation Yoga, and through Karma Kids Yoga. She is also certified to teach baby yoga through Yoga Mom Buddha Baby and Itsy Bitsy Yoga. More recently, Jess completed her training for working with kids with special needs through Every Kids Yoga.

Jessica works with kids as young as 6 weeks. Children really respond to her sweet and nurturing personality. She's also known to be quite silly.

Jessica is a co-creator of the Yoga In The Classroom Course, a senior teacher, and a mentor to many childrens yoga instructors.

Jess is also mom to yogini's Audrey Mina and Dylan August.

Jessica's favorite yoga pose is Urdhva Dhanurasana or Wheel Pose.





Shell Merrill

Shell Merrill has always enjoyed using her imagination and expressing herself physically; from the first plays that she wrote and performed with her sister as a child, to her career as a modern dancer and later as a zany Spinning instructor in her hometown of Minneapolis, MN.

Shell has a huge belief in the knowledge gained through trying new things, learning to "practice" rather than trying to be perfect and most of all, being able to laugh through the whole experience. She brings a sense of fun, play and compassion to all of her classes, for both adults and kids.

Shell is a 500 hour certified RYT trained at BeYoga/Yoga Works and calms her inner "bouncing off the walls" big kid energy through her own yoga practice. She is also certified to teach yoga to children through Karma Kids Yoga. Her classes are engaging and hysterical, always filled with laughter. She is also mom to Tessa, another born-yogini.

Shell's favorite pose is Trikonasana or Triangle Pose.



Svenja Ostwald

Svenja was born and raise in Germany and fascinated by NYC from her very first visit. She is a fashion designer who has moved to this magical city a few years ago and pursued her dream to become a yoga teacher. She is a creative mind and enjoys accompanying pregnant students during this unique journey of becoming a mother! After completing the 200 hour teacher training at YogaWorks in NYC, she wanted to dive deeper into the world of Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga. Inspired by taking Prenatal Yoga classes on her own and realizing how her practice has deepened the connection with her baby and the awareness of her body changes, she completed her training with the Prenatal Yoga Center in 2016 just before giving bitht to her daughter Matilda Claire. More recently, Svenja completed KKY's Baby Yoga & Developmental Movement workshop.

Svenja loves to empower her pregant students by building strength - both physically and mentally. Her authenticity, kindness and humor make her classes challenging and joyful at the same time.

Svenja is very excited to be part of the Karma Kids Yoga family and loves spending time on the mat - either teaching or together with her daughter.

Svenja's favorite yoga poses is Headstand because she loves to see the world upside down and shifting her perspective.



Cassidy Place

Cassidy grew up in a small town outside Philadelphia. After attending Pace University for Communications and Marketing, she was on the search for something to contain her stress. It was then she discovered the importance and impact yoga can have on not only her life, but others.

Cassidy has spent her life studying dance, attending a performing arts high school and performing professionally with a commercial hip hop crew here in NYC. Movement has always been a priorty, and after college she joined the staff at Karma Kids Yoga. Cassidy completed KKY's Yoga for Preschool Training, as well as Kids Yoga for Special Needs with Every Kids Yoga.

A big sister to three younger siblings, being around children has always been a part of Cassidy's life. With the encouragement of others, she decided to become certified to teach yoga to kids and has been teaching ever since! Her classes are silly and playful and always include a lot of giggles.

Cassidy's favorite yoga poses are Tree Pose and Warrior 2 because of they make her feel strong and empowered.

Jeannette Prostowich

Jeannette has been a devoted yoga practitioner for the past 18 years. She discovered kids yoga after attending classes with her daughter and loved every single minute of it! With a love of music, movement and children, Jeannette completed her training at Karma Kids Yoga in 2013. She believes that sharing the practice of yoga with children early on can give them a "toolbox" that will grow with them as they face some challenges that life brings.

Jeannette holds a BA in Communications from Adelphi University. She worked in advertising for 12 years as a video editor cutting commercials and corporate videos. During this time, she discovered the practice of yoga. It was exactly what her body needed after sitting in a static position for many hours a day. She became hooked and knew this was something she'd be doing for the rest of her life. More recently, Jeannette completed her 200 hour adult yoga training and KKY's Baby Yoga & Developmental Movement course.

Jeannette feels blessed to share her love of yoga and to be teaching at Karma Kids Yoga! She loves to sing, be goofy and play! Her favorite yoga poses is Virabhadrasana 3 or Warrior 3, because it makes her feel strong to balance on one foot. It's also a really great way to get to an exciting yoga adventure. Jeannette looks forward to seeing you and your kids on the mat!

Jeannette's favorite yoga poses is Virabhadrasana III or Airplane Pose because it makes her feel strong to stand on one foot and balance.


Kelly Rector

Originally from Orlando, Florida, Kelly studied movement most of her life through dance, gymnastics, cheerleading and acting. While performing at Walt Disney World, she was surrounded by the contagious laughter and involvement of the young visitors. Since then she has always enjoyed the spontaneity of working with children.

After receiving a BA in Theatre from The College of Charleston, Kelly toured with shows and began taking yoga classes around the country. She developed a love for the mind and body connection and recieved her 200 hour certifcation through YogaWorks, then her children's certification through Karma Kids Yoga, and her postnatal training through Yoga Mom Buddha Baby with Jyothi Larson, and more recently certified to teach children with special needs through Every Kids Yoga with Craig Hanauer. Kelly is also certified in Preantal Yoga and Prenatal Pilates and is currently finishing her 300-hour adult certification through YogaWorks.

Kelly's contagious energy and imagination fill her classes with a joyous sense of self discovery and magic. With every class she teachers, she is inspired by the willingness of a child to explore through movement, music, stories and games. Kids are drawn to her fun, patient spirit, allowing even the timid to come out and giggle. Kelly loves combinign a passion for yoga with a natural ability to have fun with children of all ages.

Kelly's favorite yoga poses is Baddha Konasana or Butterfly Pose because she sees her students as beautiful butterflies.


Rose Rouse

Rose is originally from DC, went to The College of Charlgeston then landed in NYC to work in marketing during the day and teach yoga at night. Eventually, she traded in her laptop for bare feet and pursued yoga full time.

She began her yoga journey in 2004 and since then she has studied many different styles and principles of yoga and pilates. She holds certifications through Yoga Alliance, Pilates Institute of America, Prenatal Yoga through The Tree Jewels, Thai Yoga Massage from Integral Yoga and Infant Massage through Loving touch.

Rose teaches with a focus on core strength and is passionate about pre/postnatal health and recovery. She is a true believer that you can find balance, beauty and strength in your pre and post-baby body through your yoga and pilates practice. Rose attributes yoga and pilates to helping her to be a better mother and she hopes to help all of her students navigate through their own path with happiness and confidence.

Rose's favorite yoga pose is Salamba Sirsasana, or headstand because it gives you energy and is tons of fun to proactive with her son, Douggie.





Juliana Secches

Juliana Secches was born and raised in Brazil, where she was a dancer for many years. It was only after she moved to New York that she found Yoga and in her very first class she knew that Yoga was something she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

Juliana has been a teacher for over 17 years. Having earned a certification from Be Yoga and Karma Kids Yoga, she continues to study with some of the best instructors in New York. Her life-long passion for working with kids also led her to further her studies of childbirth, child development and postnatal physiology. More recently, Juliana completed KKY's Baby Yoga & Developmental Movement course.

Juliana currently teaches Vinyasa classes, as well as Prenatal, Mom & Baby and Kids Yoga. Her classes are fun and her nurturing personality always makes even first-time Yogis very comfortable. She builds her classes around what she sees as the most important limb of Yoga: Satya (truthfulness).

Juliana is also our Prenatal Yoga Director and offers a comprehensive Teacher Training in Prenatal Yoga. She is also mom to yogini Bruno, who practices with her almost every day.

Juliana's favorite pose is Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or King Pigeon Pose.



Emily Shanny

Originally from Washington DC, Emily uses her performance background to create exciting and engaging yoga classes. Since starting the practice at the ripe age of 14, she continues to fall in love with the mental and physical effects of yoga. After graduating from Northeastern University with a BA in Economics and minors in Global Social Entrepreneurship and International Affairs, she migrated to New York to pursue her true love of music and performance art.

Emily trained at the Kripalu School of Yoga, receiving her 200-hour certification and through Yoga Beans for her kids yoga certification. She is passionate making an impact in her community and kids are the root for a sustainable future. Integrating a meditative breath practice and slow flow, she teaches at non-profits, schools and studios around the New York area.

Emily's favorite yoga poses is Vrksasana or Tree Pose because no matter how much she blows in the breeze, her roots remind her to stand tall.





Amanda Sidran

When Amanda moved to New York from Wisconsin a decade ago, she wouldn't have guessed that the journey would lead her here! But her yoga practice became her grounding force as she established herself in the city, moving through a number of careers before deciding that yoga is what she wanted to do.

Amanda became a dedicated meditator, and earned her 200 hour certification at Bodhisattva Yoga in 2014. After completing the Karma Kids teacher training, she was thrilled to have the opportunity to join the team, and share her love for the practice with a new generations. Her classes are playful and fun and always inspire laughter. Amanda completed her certification in Special Needs with Every Kids Yoga and her Prenatal certification with Samba Yoga. More recently, she completed KKY's Baby Yoga & Developmental Movement course.

Amamda is also a facilitator of the Karma Kids Yoga Teacher Training course and travels the world teaching adults how to teach yoga to children.

Amanda lives in Brooklyn with her aspiring yogi husband and aspiring yogini daughter.

Since it's too hard to choose just one, Amanda's favorite yoga poses are Ardha Chandrasana or Half Moon Pose for the fullest expression of openness and balance, Sirsasana or Headstand for the sense of resetting, and she loves to work on Titibasana or Firefly Pose since it's so challenging and knows she'll master it one of these days!



Jessica Van Itallie

As a kid, Jessica was afraid to even try a headstand, much less a handstand! That changed when she started practicing yoga five years ago and she eventually realized that she'd much rather spend her days practicing and teaching yoga than sitting at a desk. She received her Yoga Teacher Training at the 200-hour level with Alison West in NYC, is certified through Karma Kids Yoga, the Radiant Child Yoga Program (RYCP), and has also studied with Marsha Wenig of YogaKids. Jessica also completed Jyothi Larson's Yoga Mom Buddha Baby Postnatal Training.

Jessica's big smile, enthusiastic and comforting nature puts the shyest of children at ease. In addition to being part of our family, Jessica also teaches at a pre-school in Union Square.

Jessica is mom to yogini, Caetano.

Jessica's has numerous favorite yoga poses, including Baddha Konasana or Butterfly, Garudasana or Eagle, and of course, Adho Mukha Vrksasana or Handstand.





Luke Volpe

Luke grew up in Port Washington, New York, and now lives up in Harlem. He graduacted from SUNY Purchase with a degree in History and found yoga as a way to mellow out during test season. Despite not having much flexibility, he still was able to see how much of an effect attending just a few classes had.

Luke's passion for photography landed him at Karma Kids Yoga as our in-house photographer. But being in the yoga room during classes encouraged him to take our Children's Yoga Teacher Training and become a certified children's yoga instructor. Luke now teaches, too, and his classes are imaginative and super fun! He loves to be silly and always makes the kids laugh.

During the summers, Luke manages a surf camp in the Hamptons, where he has put his yoga skills to work for SUP yoga for kids!

Luke's favorite yoga pose is Navasana or Boat Pose because it gives your core a great workout.






Skyler Volpe

Skyler is an actor, singer, dancer and yogi from Port Washington, NY. She graduated from Connecticut College where she triple-majored in Dance, Sociology and French (cum laude). Most recently, she played Mimi on the national tour of the musical RENT!

Skyler has been teaching yoga to kids since 2013, when she completed the Karma Kids Yoga Teacher Training. She has also completed Every Kids Yoga for Special Needs and CircusYoga Ring 1.

Skyler's classes are animated and fun, include lots of imagination, silly accents, songs, games, creativity and movement. She is also pretty silly.

Skyler's favorite yoga pose is Adho Mukha Vrksasana or Handstand because she loves to go upside down.


Tonya Wathen

Tonya has been teaching kids since she was a kid herself.  From teaching the younger kids on the swim team to assisting her mom (a teacher) with summer camps, she has always loved being around younger folk.  They remind her to stay young herself, and open-hearted and full of joy!
Tonya came to yoga through her career as a Broadway dancer.  First drawn to it for it’s physical benefits, she grew to love it, too, for its ability to help her stay grounded in a career full of change.  She received her 200 hour teacher certification from Sonic Yoga, where she first heard about yoga for kids and knew this was the direction for her.  She received her Kids Yoga training and Baby Yoga & Developmental Movement training from Karma Kids Yoga.  Teacher by day and performer by night (Tonya is in the cast of Chicago, the Musical), she is thrilled to now be sharing all the benefits of yoga with her favorite little people!

Tonya’s classes are full of gentle guidance and goofy fun.  We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we’re always looking for a reason to laugh.  Tonya’s background as a theatre dancer gives her a unique take on body awareness and storytelling, which she hopes to bring into the class in a playful way. 

Tonya's favorite pose is Pigeon, or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, for it’s reminder to always be gentle and kind to ourselves, and that surrender can sometimes be the strongest choice.


Our office is located at 16 Madison Square West, 12th floor • at 25th Street • NYC NY 10010. Our Phone is (646)638-1444 and email downdog@karmakidsyoga.com
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