The Yoga House Co-Owner
Leigha teaches breath-centric, artfully sequenced Vinyasa classes that encourage deep body listening. She emphasizes fine-tuning sensory awareness and plugging in to instinctual knowing in an effort to clear the mind, ease the body, and liberate the spirit.
She has also been building a library of free online classes on YouTube — to her amazement, amassing over 3 million views and a community of 40,000+ gracious, supportive students across the globe. She also hosts a membership site which releases one new hour-long Vinyasa class per week at LeighaButlerYoga.com. Leigha has co-created the comprehensive 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training that she and Jacquelyn Nash conduct each year.
The Yoga House Co-Owner
As the co-founder of The Yoga House, Jacquelyn’s philosophy on yoga is simple: to share yoga is to share peace. Through her years of ongoing education and study, Jacquelyn has experienced various styles of and approaches to yoga. Her trainings include studying the Ashtanga primary series with David Swenson & Shelley Washington; understanding yoga for addiction recovery with Nikki Myers; and applying therapeutic and restorative techniques in her advanced teacher training with Raji Thron. Jacquelyn uses this combined knowledge to make yoga accessible to all people and to help demystify the “secret language” of yoga so the practice feels approachable to all. With her roots and practice firmly grounded in the Asthanga lineage, her classes draw from the foundational principles of that practice but also incorporate the softer and therapeutic applications of yoga that she has absorbed through her trainings. Inspired by the light-heartedness but also sincerity of David and Shelley’s teachings, Jacquelyn’s approach to sharing yoga is nurturing, compassionate, and seasoned with a touch of humor.
As an instructor with a deep comprehension of the body’s functional anatomy, and as someone who has experienced injuries, surgeries and pregnancies, Jacquelyn understands how humbling the asana practice is. She encourages students to be sensitive to the needs of their minds and bodies, allowing the practice to help reinstate mental and physical balance and recovery.
Jacquelyn also owns and manages Hudson Valley Wedding Yoga, which organizes yoga classes for weddings, bachelorette parties, and special events to help bring peace and presence to life’s joyous celebrations.
Sally teaches Restorative Yoga at numerous yoga studios throughout the Hudson Valley. A certified teacher, she has continued her training at Kripalu Center for Wellness and Health in Massachusetts. Sally is also a certified Les Mills instructor in Body Flow incorporating yoga, tai chi, and Pilates. She holds a brown belt in Aikido and has been a student of the martial art for 10 years.
Her Restorative Yoga classes provide a peaceful atmosphere to allow the body, mind, and spirit to rejuvenate itself. Props (blankets and blocks) are used in such a way as to prevent stress on the body. The mind finds space through the breath to be open to new ideas and patterns. Balancing the body and mind through the breath allows the nervous system to relax and the immune system to function better. When you leave a class you will feel at ease physically and emotionally.
Aaron teaches Yoga from a place of sincere gratitude. At a time in her life where nothing else could, the Yogic path brought her real healing, vitality and harmony to all of her systems–physical, emotional, psychological and energetic. Devoting her life to it was the natural response. Her background is extensive and diverse, with nearly 20 years of training in vinyasa, therapeutic and tantric yoga lineages; several years of Buddhist meditation and Shamanic energy work; and a lifetime of immersion in ritual, theater, dance, song and poetry. You can get a taste of her offerings at forevermarvel.com.
Felipa began practicing with The Yoga House community four years ago after the birth of her youngest daughter, seeking a way to strengthen and reconnect with her physical self while carving out a place from her busy day to cultivate inner peace. Her desire to land the still-elusive ‘handstand in the middle of the room’ has fueled her dedicated, ongoing practice while teaching her to detach from desired results. Felipa completed a 200-hour YTT with the 2015-16 cohort at The Yoga House, where she enjoyed connecting with kindred spirits, with whom she could happily ‘geek-out’ on anatomy and ancient yogic texts.
Felipa teaches in an invigorating and fluid Vinyasa style, while encouraging folks to honor their bodies and discover the possibilities within each pose in the way that feels right for them. A Montessori teacher in her other life, Felipa believes yoga can be accessible to all and she offers multiple levels of challenge within various options for poses. In her classes, she enjoys exploring the relationships between poses while steadily building to a fun challenge. Felipa loves the supportive, fun-loving Yoga House community and is excited to be a part of it!
Hillary grew up with yoga, but she didn’t realize its power until she began practicing regularly and discovered her own edge. Exploring the world through stories as a writer and photographer, Hillary knows that our lives are always in transition. She feels there’s no life transition that some yoga can’t help smooth. On the mat, we discover our pace, grow our range of motion, and claim our own practice. With a little fun music and a sense of the invitation, Hillary finds that a nice yoga sequence is a lot like dancing.
Scott came to yoga in middle age as part of a lifestyle change and spiritual quest. He first practiced with his brother, an actor in LA and gradually broadened his practice. He completed his Teacher Training at the Yoga House. Along with having been a MetLife Insurance professional at his office in Kingston for 35 years; Scott is also a Ski Instructor at Belleayre Mountain in the winter, Crew Coach for the Kingston High School Varsity Crew, Rowing Coach for the Rondout Rowing Club and a Cycle Instructor at the YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County.
He finds yoga to be liberating and fun on it’s own but also loves the feeling of strength, flexibility and balance it allows him to bring to his other athletic endeavors. He enjoys offering the practice to people of all ages and believes it can be especially beneficial to those of middle age who want to return to a higher level of activity or continue to be active throughout their lives. “Yoga should be practiced in a spirit of lightness and fun! Like all of life, Yoga is a practice, not perfection.”
Chris has been practicing since 2015, when she first came to The Yoga House with a friend “just to try yoga out”. Finding an unexpected peace on the mat, she began practicing several times a week, eventually joining The Yoga House Teacher Training program in 2016. She immediately connected with the wonderful teaching staff at The Yoga House, particularly Jacquelyn, Leigha and Amy, who helped make the practice accessible and available in a way she didn’t think was possible for her. Soon after jumping in, yoga unexpectedly became an integral part of her life and rarely goes a day without practicing. Chris looks forward to sharing the peace and depth that yoga can bring, and creating a class experience that welcomes all to the mat.
Seth has been teaching yoga and meditation since 2010. He completed his first Hatha/Vinyasa teacher training in Brooklyn, NY in 2009 at Greenhouse Holistic Yoga. In 2013 he received an advanced teaching certification from Yoga Sukhavati, a year-long Hatha/Vinyasa Yoga training based in NYC led by Summer Quashie and Leigh Evans and focused on seasonal yoga, Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, and Meditation.In 2016 Seth completed a 9 month advanced yoga training in Musculoskeletal Anatomy, Injury Awareness and Prevention, Biomechanics and Kinesiology from Anatomy Studies for Yoga Teachers, led by NYC based teacher Jason Ray Brown. Seth’s own experience with pain has also led him to explore many different practices and healing modalities, most notably Alexander Technique, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and Reiki, which have expanded his awareness of the physical and energetic body. Additionally, Seth brings to the yoga community his background as a classically trained musician as he leads chanting and kirtan, provides live music for yoga classes, and teaches harmonium and voice lessons. Learn more about Seth at www.sethyogamusic.com
For Danielle yoga is “Om namah shivaya,” honoring that which you are capable of becoming. At a time in her life when searching for a deeper understanding of self, Yoga’s relationship between the body, the movement and the breath brought Danielle healing and gratitude. Danielle’s teaching is rooted in her wanting to share the therapeutic and wholesome benefits yoga has brought to her own life with others. Danielle completed her 200 hr training in 2016 at Laughing Lotus Brooklyn. Her classes are a vinyassa style, where the flow is fluid and powerful, built around moving up the chakra system, leaving your body and mind feeling lengthened and restored. Danielle finds a teacher in every student, and the sense of community continues to bring her to her mat.
As a former dancer, Laura has always been kinesthetic, but yoga is what made her finally feel at home. A devoted Ashtangi and reverently rebellious yoga teacher, she has studied extensively in the United States as well as in Mysore, India with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and Sharath Jois. Laura teaches both traditional Ashtanga as well as Ashtanga-influenced vinyasa in workshops, classes, and private lessons in the New York City and Woodstock areas. She also offers cooking classes and health coaching and most delights in making healthy indulgences for everyone. She offers deep gratitude to all the friends, mentors and teachers who have guided her and kept her company along the path.
Dee is a Certified Primal Health Coach and NASM Personal Trainer who has been training clients and teaching fitness classes in the Hudson Valley for over 25 years. She has had the pleasure of helping people lead healthier lives with her work at The Mohonk Mountain House, Signature Fitness in Kingston, The Ridge in Stone Ridge, the Yoga House and Woodstock Healing Arts as well as providing in-home training for private clients. Though a lifelong athlete, Dee faced many challenges with her own body composition and health that necessitated a deep dive into nutrition and ways in which to achieve balance in her life right down to the cellular level. Having been through the trenches, she emerged with more tools and an even greater passion to help her community become happier and healthier.
B.K.S. Iyengar wrote that health “is a state of complete equilibrium of body, mind and spirit.” With this intention, Amy bases her free-spirited classes on an Ashtanga-based, Vinyasa-style of yoga that is inspired by the teachings of Patthabhi Jois and alignment principles of B.K.S Iyengar. Understanding the importance of integrating all aspects of oneself to achieve true wellness, Amy’s classes are dynamic and comprehensive: Harmonium playing, chanting, meditation, and pranayama are all seamlessly incorporated, and woven with thoughtful passages from the Sutras and Bhagavad Gita, poems and affirmations. The result: A rich and invigorating class designed to endure long after the student leaves the studio.
But what is most compelling about Amy is her warmth and sincerity. With a near-tangible appetite for self-study and a gentle sense of humor, Amy immediately makes those around her feel welcomed, valued, and inspired to action. She is as accessible to her students as are her classes. This fosters a safe and encouraging environment where students are moved to approach their individual practices with a light-hearted and self-accepting point of view.
Joyce San Pedro
How you do anything is how you do everything.
Yoga has helped Joyce approach anything and everything with a calmer spirit, a more open heart, and a quieter mind. She began practicing in 2007 while on vacation. The seed was planted, and upon her return to Los Angeles she studied with Bryan Kest, Jerome Mercier, Jay Co, and Vytas Baskauskas. Raised with the travel bug and often traveling for work, she’s had the fortune of studying with various teachers and multiple styles throughout the US as well as Brazil, Bali, England, Italy, Canada, and New Zealand. She returned to her roots in NY and completed her RYT 200-hour training at Hudson River Yoga. While currently focusing on Ashtanga yoga, Joyce also teaches Vinyasa flow, Yin / Restorative, and Yoga for Seniors. She believes that when it comes to yoga, we are our own best teachers and works to guide her students on an internal journey by way of breath, asana, and mindfulness.
Yoga has been a passion of Deb’s for many years and the ability to share that passion with others is a dream come true. What inspires Deb about this forever humbling practice is the integration of movement, breath and the joy of being present into a beautiful dance. Through her teaching, Deb emphasizes the non competitive nature of the practice by honoring how the body feels each time one steps to the mat and by finding mental and physical balance. And she never forgets that the practice should be joyful experience to simultaneously increase strength and flexibility. She encourages her students to find that wonderful balance of peacefulness and energy in each class. With the incorporation of yoga philosophy, Deb also embraces the ever important spiritual lifestyle that a yoga practice can unveil.
In her career, Deb has been dedicated to the non for profit sector, particularly with people who are challenged with a developmental disability which has deepened how I view compassion and equality. She shares her life with her two beautiful children, my partner and his 2 amazing sons.
After many years of sporadic practice, Mel recommitted to yoga after moving to Saugerties in 2011 and discovering Shakti Yoga’s sanctuary classes. Two years later, she completed Shakti’s 200 hour teacher training and has been teaching yoga to students of all ages ever since. An educator since 1998, Mel has taught 4th grade, co-authored a strategy book for teachers and served as a tutor and Director of Education for several NY learning centers. Mel’s varied educational experiences have taught her to remain flexible in the face of teaching and learning challenges and receptive to new ways of sharing and receiving information.
Her classes focus on understanding the fundamentals of asana (poses) through the use of props (blocks, blankets, straps, chairs, bolsters) and movement exploration, while emphasizing the discovery of personal alignment, balance and relaxation. After many years of chronic injuries and pain related to scoliosis (curvature of the spine), Mel has found great relief through the practice of gentle and restorative poses and is passionate about incorporating both into her classes. By encouraging students to respect their physical limitations while exploring what’s possible, Mel aims to help each individual learn how to serve the unique needs of the body. She is forever grateful to her first yoga teacher, Jill Gnassi, whose expert Iyengar instruction taught her how attending to small details could make a huge difference in life.
Nydia, who is originally from Medellin, Colombia, came to The Yoga House five years ago looking for a place to meditate and to calm feelings of anxiety she experienced throughout her journey as an immigrant. She realized that in yoga she had an opportunity to pause from the fast pace of everyday life and to enjoy a date with herself. It is in this quiet space that Nydia found she could truly listen to her mind and body. As a yoga instructor, Nydia creates a safe space that allow others to reconnect with themselves and to find a way to feel at home. With her enthusiastic personality and a tremendous sense of wonder, Nydia is passionate about empowering others to overcome their fears and any obstacles that might prevent them from leading the life they desire. Her class is offered in Spanish and she welcomes all new to yoga.
Nydia es de Medellin, Colombia. Hace cinco años llegó a La casa del Yoga (The Yoga house) buscando un lugar para meditar y calmar su ansiedad producto de todos los cambios que estaba viviendo a través de su experiencia como inmigrante en un nuevo país. Ella encontró en el yoga una oportunidad para hacer una pausa de los días caóticos y disfrutar de una cita con ella misma. En este momento de quietud Nydia pudo escuchar lo que su cuerpo y mente necesitaban. Como instructora de yoga, Nydia trabaja para crear un espacio seguro que le permita a otros conectarse con ellos mismos y encontrar una manera de sentirse en casa. Con su personalidad entusiasta y tremenda capacidad para maravillarse de lo cotidiano a Nydia le apasiona empoderar a otros para que puedan superar sus miedos y obstáculos que en ocasiones no nos dejan liderar la vida que queremos vivir. Su clase para principiantes se ofrece en español y está abierta para todos aquellos nuevos al yoga.
Sarah Wilkinson, yoga teacher and energy healer, has taught yoga across the US, including at Kripalu and Omega. Her slow-flow yoga focuses on empowering students with the skills needed to heal themselves and become stronger in body, mind, and spirit. Sarah has experience facilitating yoga retreats for those in recovery and has completed the Y12SR Leadership Training program with Y12SR founder, Nikki Meyers. Sarah has been practicing yoga for 25 years, and received her first teacher certification in 2010 from Rishikesh Yog Peeth, in India, the birthplace of yoga.
Corinne Wolcott, MSOM, LAc, Certified QiGong Instructor, shares many possible practices for health, all rooted in self-awareness and self-acceptance. Drawing upon her training as a Chinese Medicine Practitioner and twelve years of QiGong practice, Corinne emphasizes curiosity and trust in her classes. She loves her work as a healthcare provider of acupuncture, shiatsu massage, QiGong, and nutrition. Her work and wonderings can be found online at www.tuihealthcare.com.