Heidi’s teaching comes straight from her heart and her personal practice. It was love at first vinyasa for Heidi when a Google search for gyms in her new neighborhood instead took her to a yoga studio. Looking to deepen her spiritual practice, Heidi enrolled in Teacher Training at Laughing Lotus, where she discovered a great passion for teaching and sharing the many benefits of yoga. Inversion obsessed, and addicted to sweaty vinyasa flows, Heidi maintains an intense focus on core integration and alignment stemming from her desire to use yoga as a tool to heal and strengthen the body. As an old accident left her with broken vertebrae and multiple herniated discs in her spine, Heidi is a true believer in the powers of Yogic Healing. In her classes, expect to breathe, laugh and sweat!
New York, NY
Lisa Boudreau has been practicing yoga since 1995 and teaching since 2005. With 22 years of professional dance experience she has developed a strong sense of body and mind awareness. After graduating from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Lisa moved to New York to pursue a freelance dance career. She became a member of the Merce Cunningham Foundation Repertory Understudy Group in April 1994 and began her 14-year engagement with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in August 1994. Lisa has been a faculty member of the Merce Cunningham Studio since 2001. In 2005 she became a registered yoga instructor after receiving her certification from the Yoga Alliance. Lisa founded Bespoke Yoga to fill the needs of individual clients with specific, customized yoga instruction. These clients have included the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, National Theatre of Scotland, Center for Performance Research and Harvard Club.
New York, NY
Derek has devoted his life to exposing people to international music, yoga & mythology, and better nutritional choices as a means of creating both better individuals and a greater understanding of global culture. He is a full-time yoga instructor and one half of global music producers EarthRise SoundSystem. Derek has been featured in several media outlets including the NY Times, NY1, ABC Eyewitness News, BBC, Yoga Journal, Boston Globe, Newsday, MTV, and NPR.
Cait is a yoga guide, corrective exercise specialist, personal trainer, and anatomy devote. She works with people looking to live in their bodies better, whether they are competitive athletes, desk jockeys, or mamas-to-be. When she's not helping the world move more freely, you can find her at The Breathing Project studying anatomy and kinesiology under the expert tutelage of Amy Matthews. Cait's yoga classes will help you better understand your unique body while finding the space and strength to evolve your practice.
Founder of Strala Yoga, named "Yoga Rebel" by the New York Times, author of Slim Calm Sexy Yoga and personal yoga instructor to Deepak Chopra, Tara has been featured in publications including Elle, Lucky, InStyle, Esquire, Women's Health, and has been profiled by The Times of India, The Times of London, and has inspired a wide audience around the world with her healthy and relatable approaches to yoga, awareness, nutrition and everyday well being. As Vanity Fair noted, "Tara Stiles has got to be the coolest yoga instructor ever."
New York, NY
I strive to help students explore the inner realms though the forms and expressions of the physical body. I enjoy the intellectual stimulation of exploring the intricacies of precise alignment, and at the same time crave the immense sense of freedom that comes when letting those thoughts go to flow organically from movement to movement. It is my opinion that through the grace of the movements of the physical body, one can imbue the same sense of grace and peace within. As above, so below; as without, so within
Mike Taylor is a yoga guide at Strala Yoga in New York City. (Michael prefers "guide" to "instructor".) He's practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques for more than two decades. He holds a degree in mind-body medicine from Harvard, and studied alternative medicine and psychology at Oxford. Mike is also the CEO of social media company Odyl, climbs a few mountains in his spare time, and is the husband of yoga master Tara Stiles.
Nadya started practicing Hatha yoga at the age of 12. She studied yoga therapy with Vladimir Boiko in Russia and later worked with Swami Parmananji Maharaj leading Yoga workshops in India. There she got to study ancient traditions of yoga including pranayama and meditation. In NYC Nadya received her certification from Yoga Effects and is delighted to be teaching again. Nadya enjoys teaching a challenging vinyasa style class with a well-rounded set of asanas that build strength and balance in addition to flexibility. You will be leaving her class with a sense of accomplishment, high energy, clear mind, and stronger body. Besides yoga, Nadya is interested in corporate wellness. She holds an MA in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology from NYU.
Jennifer discovered yoga 7 years ago during her conservatory training for musical theatre. After experimenting with several forms of yoga, she found Strala and decided it was the perfect blend she had been looking for. A difficult knee injury lead Jennifer to be a true believer in the healing properties of yoga; through daily practice she has found strength and health, and hopes to help others do the same. A dance background has paralleled her love of yoga, and she encourages a fun, open, and hands on approach in her classes. Jennifer aims to help individuals find the flow of breath through movement, and an awareness of the connection of mind and body.
Kayleigh Pleas, an elite gymnast in her youth, discovered the healing power of movement at an early age and feels privileged to share her passion through teaching. She is a certified yoga instructor, personal trainer, and nutrition & wellness coach, who believes that optimal health is possible when we balance the many sources of nourishment in our lives: nutrition, physical activity, relationships, habits of thought, and spirituality. In the studio, Kayleigh challenges her students to move with awareness and curiosity in order to discover unrealized calm and potential. In her coaching practice, she specializes in making proper nutrition, stress reduction, and self care fit the schedule of even the busiest New Yorker. Currently, Kayleigh continues to advance her understanding of the mind-body connection and optimal wellness through her studies in Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. For more information about Kayleigh and her coaching practice, please feel free to check out her website at http://www.kayleighpleas.com.
Brigitte Bourdeau is a Certified Health Counselor and devoted yoga teacher. She decided to become a health practitioner to bridge her passion with her work to help individuals improve their life energy in full harmony Brigitte received her training at Laughing Lotus yoga center and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She is certified by the AADP and Yoga Alliance, leads workshops on nutrition, yoga and offers individual or group health counseling to bring abundance to each individual and community.
A competitive gymnast for 13 years and collegiate track and field competitor, Traci began her experience yoga 5 years ago. It seemed like a natural progression and was right in line with current athletic endeavors. Experimenting with Bikram style early on, she soon realized this wasn’t the best practice for her. Feeling defeated from a recurring knee problem which felt worse after certain Bikram poses, she soon found a Vinyasa style within the Strala method that met her needs. After 3 knee operations, yoga has not only helped strengthen her knee, allowing her to get deeper into certain poses, but has also allowed her to run 5 days a week including recently having completed 2 marathons. Traci feels that yoga is a great compliment to any sport that you play and encourages athletes of all ages to incorporate yoga into their fitness regimen. Yoga has given Traci an increased sense of patience, discipline, a renewed sense of accomplishment that she hopes to pass along to anyone who takes her class. Traci is also a graduate of Georgetown University and hopes to attend graduate school soon.
A lifelong athlete, Ed Dowling has competed in over 20 triathlons and 3 marathons. Ed's style of training reflects his experiences as a triathlete and a member of the FDNY, where cardiorespiratory endurance and relative strength are critical. Ed works with clients leveraging the core principals of his own training style. He combines the best of both traditional and contemporary exercises, for anyone wanting to increase their level of fitness, whether an athlete, weekend warrior, or just looking to change their aesthetics. Ed's credentials include: ACSM Certified CPT, CHEK Institute Scientific Core Conditioning Cert., Crossfit Level 1
Bendy and active since birth, Jennifer has always unofficially had yoga in her life, but was in denial until 2003 when she stepped on the mat in her first yoga class. Jennifer began her path towards teaching yoga in 2005, in hopes of getting her friends and family to join her on the mat when it was still considered one of those 'healthy things Jennifer just did.' She believes in yoga outreach - helping as many people live the yoga as possible. As part of this goal, Jennifer has worked with a non-profit organization called Bent-on-Learning, bringing yoga into New York City public schools. Jennifer's classes challenge and tone the mind and body, while leaving space to breathe and enjoy some giggles.
Side note: Jennifer is often referred to by her last name at Strala - Pesce (pronounced pesh), so feel free to call her that if you'd like.