YO YOGA! INSTRUCTORS
Interested in teaching at Yo Yoga? We require 3 years of yoga teaching experience. Please send us an up-to-date resume at email@example.com and we can keep you informed of our next audition.
Click on each teachers photo to read their bio!
Owner and Director
As there was little opportunity to practice yoga while growing up in Myrtle Beach, SC, Rebecca's mom bought her a book about yoga to fuel her interest. When she taught herself crow pose from the book she was hooked. Her regular practice began in a Jivamukti studio in Charleston, SC during college. After a few years of practicing yoga in NYC, Rebecca began her teacher training with YogaWorks. While working in advertising, she taught yoga on the side. She decided to leave the corporate job environment and pursue her dream of opening a yoga studio and teaching full time. Rebecca’s teaching style focuses heavily on alignment and even breathing without losing the element of fun and humor. She wants students to feel comfortable and at ease during their practice while still challenging them to take their practice further each class. She did both her 200 Hour and 300 Hour trainings at YogaWorks. Rebecca has studied Restorative Yoga with Jillian Pransky and Anatomy through Jill Miller’s Yoga Tune Up Anatomy Module. Rebecca and Yo Yoga! have been written up in the New York Times, Time Out New York, and AM New York and have been featured on MTV and France One Television.
Ariana has a straight-forward approach that combines yoga with optimal movement to help clients be strong, restore mobility and feel energized. Instead of a typical fast & furious yoga class, Ariana emphasizes mindful and practical strength in movement. Her students rave about how strong they feel after working with her.
Unlike yoga teachers who started out as dancers or gymnasts, Ariana began practicing yoga during her awkward high school years. Yoga helped her build strength, confidence, and establish a strong mind-body connection. Since then, yoga and movement have been a strong force in her life.
Ariana surpasses the requirements for yoga teachers by acquiring high level biomechanics and training certifications. She also works one-on-one with clients, teaches Continuing Education courses for fitness professionals, is the creator of the Yoga & Beyond podcast, and co-authored the Exposing Yoga Myths book series.
Gail Hamlin (ERYT-500) began her yoga practice in 2000 to learn how to meditate and relax from her stressful advertising job. She loved it immediately and never looked back. In 2010 she completed her first 200-hour teacher training and began teaching yoga full-time. In 2011 she completed an additional 300-hour Ashtanga training with John Cambell. More recently, Gail also completed another 500-hour Yoga Therapy training. She now teaches programs for athletes like Yoga for Runners and other therapeutic classes like Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga yet very much enjoys teaching Vinyasa classes accessible to every ability. She also leads full 200-hour teacher training programs. Gail focuses a great deal of her teaching on balancing the breath to create balance in the body. She likes to remind her students that yoga is a welcoming practice where it’s encouraged to smile and let loose a little.
Stephanie finds joy and happiness in everything around her! She loves teaching yoga because it allows her to share the healing power, the calmness and clarity in mind and body, that yoga gives her. Stephanie’s vinyasa-style classes are grounded in the powerful combination of breath, a strong flow and the playfulness of creative sequencing. Her light-hearted approach and encouragements of 'Smile! It's yoga for your face!' will keep you motivated and let you leave class feeling refreshed and joyful. She finished her 200-hour teacher training at Always at Aum on Long Island in May of 2014. She is continuing her yoga education by pursuing her 300-hour certification
Shell Merrill has always enjoyed expressing herself physically; from her career as a modern dancer to her later adventures as a zany Spinning instructor and cycling trainer. While cycling made her feel strong, Shell soon realized that she still had a brain that was moving far too fast inside a body that was quickly getting too stiff and inflexible. A friend offered to take her to yoga class, and Shell has been learning to slow down (in mind and body) ever since. For Shell, yoga is all about 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, joy and compassion to all of her classes for both adults and children. Shell is an E-RYT 500 hour teacher certified through Yoga Alliance. She is also a RCYT (children’s teacher) and a RPYT (prenatal teacher). She has studied to teach yoga to kids at Karma Kids Yoga, Little Flower Yoga and Street Yoga which brings the benefits of yoga to homeless and at-risk youth. Shell is also an ISHTA Yoga Senior Teacher trained at Be Yoga and calms her own “bouncing off the walls” energy by continually reminding herself to “be happy where you are and breathe.”
A lifelong martial artist, John came to yoga while working as a police officer with the NYPD. After several years on “the job,” he decided to pursue other interests and deepen his practice of yoga. He completed his 200-hour teacher training with YogaWorks in San Francisco. Later, he completed his 500-hour teacher training at YogaWorks in New York City, furthering his knowledge of yoga, movement, and the body.
His passion for martial arts and yoga spurred him to explore all kinds of movement and training modalities: from studying with Jill Miller and Yoga Tune Up to becoming a Level 2 Certified MovNat Trainer.
John is an avid climber, loves riding anything with 2 wheels and snowboarding, and enjoys remaining active. His passion and curiosity about anatomy, physiology, and movement continue to help him evolve his practice and teachings to better serve his students. His classes are exploratory and fun with a focus on mindful movement. He hopes his classes foster greater clarity of movement and intelligence of the body so his students can live better in their bodies.
Gina began her yoga practice over 10 years ago initially seeking physical relief as her work as an esthetician was strenuous on her body. The mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits that unfolded sealed her commitment to her practice. After two life transforming trips to India she decided to delve further into the world of yoga by obtaining her teaching certification in 2011. Gina believes that yoga has made her a better listener and a more positive and confident human being. Her experience has proven to her that yoga is truly its definition: the union of mind and body. Gina's background as a holistic esthetician informs her approach to teaching yoga: she is passionate about helping people and she believes that mind/body wellness is essential and individualized. Gina is a certified Reiki practitioner and also studies Ayurveda and aromatherapy.
Lauren is a 500 RYT that draws on her 15 plus years of personal practice in her teaching. She completed her 200 hour training on the island of Bali in 2011 and then returned to New York for further training in the YogaWorks Professional Program. Maintaining alignment and safety, Lauren leads her classes through level-appropriate challenging flows to a powerful soundtrack. She guides you through your practice, encouraging you to listen to your body and your breath, as she emphasizes yogic principles to calm your mind and energize your spirit.
Jessica is a New York City-based yoga instructor passionate about helping others of all ages and abilities maximize their potential for overall health and wellness through the practice of yoga. Jessica was born and raised outside of Boston, MA. She discovered a passion for movement at a young age through dance, but was introduced to yoga in college at the University of Michigan. After moving to New York City post-graduation, Jessica found that yoga helped her release the stress of living and working in a new city. Jessica completed her 200-hour RYT teacher training at Yoga Vida and went on to complete an advanced mentorship at Pure Yoga. Jessica's classes combine creative vinyasa sequencing with a focus on alignment and breath. She particularly enjoys teaching beginners - she sees it as an honor to be able to introduce people to the practice of yoga. Jessica views yoga as a toolbox to improve daily life physically, emotionally, and spiritually on and off the mat and is excited to share these tools with others. To learn more about Jessica, visit her website at www.jessicarappyoga.com or check out her Instagram @jessicarappyoga.
Frieda is a free spirited yogini. She keeps things joyful and interesting with her strong vinyasa flows and playful sequences. Her classes are sure to make you work, as well as leave you refreshed and exuberated. Frieda is a 500-hour certified yoga instructor. In addition, she is trained in prenatal yoga. She received her trainings through Sonic Yoga NYC and Atmananda Yoga Sequence.
Colleen Murphy was born and raised in New Orleans and spent her early years as a competitive gymnast and a ballerina. After graduating from college, she moved to New York City to work as a professional dancer. Many years of intense class and performance work led to a chronic injury, which only yoga seemed to alleviate. Her transition from a ballerina to a yogi was steady and seamless. Yoga allowed her to continue to fine tune her body, while also deepening spirituality in her life. A consistent yoga practice cultivates a more compassionate state of mind, both with one's self and with others. This in particular, Colleen believes is what makes yoga a superior form of bodywork. She received her Yoga Alliance Certification under scholarship from Nathalie Croix at Shanti Yoga Shala in New Orleans. Colleen's balletic background leads to a class that is graceful and elating, yet also vigorous and grounding. She has a great sense of line, energy flow and body mechanics. As she guides a class, she aims to keep each yogi fully engaged with their breath as they move from pose to pose.
Ariel Lim (E-RYT200, RYT500) - Known for her engaging and nurturing personality, she approaches her students with authenticity and humor. Her creativity and ability to pay attention to details make for excellent verbal cues and allows her to help students reach their full potential and work around constraints. She completed her first 500hr Teacher Training at Radiantly Alive in Ubud, Bali, and an additional 200hr Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Yinspiration. She is also a certified Swedish Thai massage therapist and Co-Teacher Trainer at the Ashram Om Yoga Inbound 200hr Yoga Teacher Training Program in Spain. Her intention is to inspire others to use yoga as a space to nurture mind, body and spirit. Find out more on her website at http://www.yogalumino.com.
Mackenzie was introduced to yoga at a young age by her grandmother but it wasn't until she started her career in the fashion industry that she developed a consistent practice. Yoga started out as a release from a hectic work environment and quickly became a lifestyle. After experiencing the many benefits of this beautiful practice she decided to become a teacher to share it with others. Her goal as a teacher is to cultivate a sense of community by creating a safe space for all students to explore, heal and connect with their mind and body.
Born in Stamford Connecticut, Morgan has been dancing since the age of three. After majoring in Theater (Communications) at Northwestern University, she came to New York to audition, but ended up taking on a high-stress finance job. Two years later, Morgan quit the woes of a 9 to 5 and decided to connect back to dance and movement! Certified by Joschi Yoga Institute in 2011, she finds that life is all about balance and always moving towards the things that make you happy. Her classes are stretchy, positive, and while informative and alignment conscious, never too serious. Life and yoga should be fun!
Her passion for yoga is rooted in a fondness for physical exercise and a deep personal attachment to spiritual exploration. Beyond holding certifications in pilates and several yoga disciplines (including pre-natal yoga) Dani has completed a variety of fitness and health certifications to enhance her training and expertise. A fitness industry veteran, Dani boasts a strong client base and has been featured in magazines and blogs such as Women’s Health, XOJane.com, therichest.com and rateyourburn.com
Erin is a freelance writer and yoga teacher based in Brooklyn. A former runner, she first began practicing yoga to incorporate stretching while training for marathons. Self-study, asana and philosophy all inform her daily practice and teaching. Her light-hearted approach encourages students to embrace where they're at and let go of expectations. Erin completed both her 200-hour Teacher Training and 300-hour Professional Program at YogaWorks under the guidance of her mentor Heather Seagraves. Her enthusiasm for sharing yoga is matched by her love of travel, art and finding beauty even in the common things in life.
Brenda is a sound meditation facilitator, 200 RYT, and mindfulness meditation teacher. She was first drawn to mindfulness practices as a way to slow down and connect back to presence. In both a group class or private session, Brenda creates a nurturing space and invites students to connect to their deepest self using the therapeutic modalities of sound, mindful movement, and meditation. Brenda holds a BFA in Painting and MA in Art, Education, and Community Practice and is always looking for ways of integrating the arts with contemplative practices to promote healing, balance, and well-being.
Yvonne is a Los Angeles born and bred 500 RYT. She has been spreading the love and the yoga in New York for nearly 10 years. Her classes take an alignment focused, injury preventative, and prop supported approach; encouraging her students to build a practice based on incremental growth and rejuvenation. As a Yoga Tune Up® certified teacher, she utilizes corrective exercise, myofascial release techniques, and breathing strategies to help align yoga with her students' overall health and wellness goals. Yvonne completed both her 200-hour and 300-hour certifications in the YogaWorks Professional Program. She is also a certified Y12SR and Kids Yoga teacher. Her practice and teaching are inspired by mentors Jodie Rufty, Caitlin Casella, and Sarah Bell, as well as Puy Navarro and Mona Anand. Yvonne LOVES anatomy and views each day getting out of bed and moving to be a successful one. When not teaching she can be found traveling the world with her partner, writing, voraciously reading anything she can get her hands on, and running her not-for-profit theater company here in NYC.
Allison looks at life and the world around her and says, "I'm all in."She is guided by Brené Brown's definition of Authenticity, "the daily practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we are." She finds that she learns a bit more about authenticity each time she steps onto her mat and carries it with her. She set forward to complete her 200 hour training in Lotus Vinyasa Flow to bring that daily practice to others, on and off the mat. Her teaching style uses the chakra system to sequence an energetic, playful and balanced class linking breathe with movement. Allison focuses on creating a fun environment where all can be, simply, happy and free.
Nancy has been teaching yoga for over 20 years! She has several fitness certifications including her 200 hour yoga certification from Yoga Haven & 500 hour yoga therapy certification from Urban Zen and has studied with world famous teachers, including Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman. Nancy is also certified in Reiki and Aromatherapy as well as the healing Raindrop Therapy through Young Living Oils. Mindfulness and meditation are a part of what is taught during her typical yoga classes. She strives to help teach you something in each class and hopes you can carry that practice with you into your world, everywhere you go.