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 and 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; and applying therapeutic and restorative techniques in her advanced teacher training. 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.
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.
Lori, an Ulster County native, began practicing yoga over 11 years ago in an effort to control stress and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In 2015, she visited The Yoga House and decided to embark in their 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training program to improve her own home practice and to become educated in yoga philosophy. After graduating from the program in 2016, she realized that many people feel that yoga is not accessible to them for multiple reasons. She wants to tell them, “YOU CAN do it!” and she wants to help generate confidence so those skeptics can discover how to balance the mind and body in order to accept oneself and others. She believes the best method is through a lighthearted and practical approach. Lori is dedicated to helping her students feel good about themselves and their practice. She is currently continuing her education at Shakti and is enjoying her life-long yoga journey.
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.
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.
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
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 she view compassion and equality. She shares her life with her two beautiful children, her 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.
Sarah Wilkinson, yoga teacher and energy healer, has taught yoga across the US, including at Kripalu and Omega. Her flowing yoga classes 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.
No stranger to adversity, Shani was searching for a different way of life, than where her life began. Committing to a yogic lifestyle long before ever stepping foot on a mat, Yogi Shani was brought to the practice of asana through her study of Ayurveda, Vedic philosophy, and alternative healing. After being certified in Ayurvedic principles and Colon hydrotherapy, Yogi Shani committed to asana with a five-month Sadhana at Shakti yoga. During that Sadhana, she walked one hour and 15 minutes to and from yoga every day, studied yoga philosophy and had Ayurvedic consultations with her teacher and Shakti Yoga owner, Linda Winnick. During that time she fell completely in love with the nurturing spirit of yoga and she hopes to help you do the same. Certified through Shakti Yoga, Yogi Shani looks forward to continuing the exploration of different yogic lineages and Vedic Studies. As a past performance artist and musician, she tries to keep her classes lighthearted and fun but also focused and skilled. “Come and fall in love with yoga!”