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.
Katie is a freelance editor and yoga and meditation teacher based in Brooklyn. Her classes are rooted in mindfulness, using breath awareness to inspire a deep connection to the body and mind. Katie encourages students to embrace whatever arises in each moment through an exploration of physical sensations and a compassionate engagement with thoughts and emotions. Her enthusiasm for sharing yoga and mediation is matched by her love of traveling, history, reading, and baking yummy treats! Katie is a strong believer in the power of community and enjoys spending time with her fiancé, family, and friends who remind her to laugh more, worry less, and follow her heart wherever it leads.
Ashley Rose Howard
Ashley is a writer and RYT 500 yoga and meditation teacher. Her writing has been featured in several health and wellness publications including Wanderlust, Yoganonymous, YogaCity NYC and Elephant Journal. Teaching yoga has become an essential part of her journey providing the tools to ignite a harmonious connection of mind, body and spirit. With a balanced synergy of yoga and meditation, she inspires students to build strength, flexibility and expansiveness in their bodies, their minds and their lives. Humor is at the heart of her practice coupled with a direct, authentic and playful teaching style.
Amanda is a dancer, yogi, and mover based in New York City. She holds a BFA in Dance Performance from Chapman University, and is a 200 hour Certified Yoga Instructor through Sonic Yoga under the guidance of Lauren Hanna, Johanna Bell, Keith Partington, Jeffrey Duval, and Tracy Mohr. She is interested in integrating yoga practice into the lives of others to deconstruct how we view and move our own bodies, allowing postures to create infinite space in areas that hold loads of stress and tension. She also enjoys incorporating meditation and breath technique as a part of class to assist in quieting the mind and creating a balanced sense of well-being.
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.
A Native New Yorker, Nichelle has always been a student of the art of body work through being a professionally trained dancer in various forms ranging from ballet to modern to African dance. Nichelle first began her yoga journey in Prenatal yoga as a way to relieve stress and help assure a safe pregnancy for her and her baby. When she had given birth to her son, it also gave birth to her newly found love and passion for yoga. Through the years of being a practitioner of Vinyasa yoga, Nichelle decided to embark on the journey of becoming yoga teacher and in June 2013 successfully completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification. Nichelle has studied and continues to study under New York’s very own April Martucci. Yoga has transformed Nichelle’s life from her pregnancy and beyond. She is passionately driven to ignite that transformation in as many lives as she can through the methodologies and healing abilities that yoga therapy can bring to everyone. Nichelle’s spiritually driven life leads her to be open, encouraging, and supportive to her students at the same time challenging her students to explore their greater selves so they may grow and prosper in yoga and in life. Her mixed style of teaching using a traditional foundation with a zesty modern twist keeps practitioner’s in the Big Apple fulfilled and joyful.
Rachael approaches yoga from an artistic mind. As a graphic design artist and photographer, she has a unique ability for understanding the lines created during movement. Rachael’s intrigue for yoga has intertwined with her love for art, particularly inspiring her photography. As an outdoor enthusiast, Rachael enjoys rock climbing, surfing, paddle boarding, wake boarding and wake surfing. These passions have encouraged Rachael to pursue Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga (SUPyoga). This practice has enhanced her appreciation for the divinity of nature, while challenging her body to perform with balance, agility and strength. Drawn to water and warm climates, Rachael has pursued teaching opportunities beachside in St. Thomas, Miami, LA, Cape Cod, and New York. Rachael is a fully insured 500-hour RYT yoga instructor certified through Yoga Alliance. Her yoga training has been based in New York City through YogaWorks. In 2009 Rachael received her 200-hour Teacher Training under the guidance of Sarah Bell and Jodie Rufty. Her 300-hour Professional Program was also fulfilled with the YogaWorks. Rachael completed a six-month apprenticeship with senior teacher Chrissy Carter and a second apprenticeship with Jodie Rufty. In addition, she is certified in Restorative Yoga through Jillian Pransky. In 2012 Rachael began teaching SUPyoga. From April to October Rachael offers SUPyoga classes on Lake Oscawana, just an hour north of NYC. She also hosts several SUPyoga Excursions throughout the summer months. Rachael draws inspiration from her students and continued learning. Rachael's unassuming and caring nature allows her to nurture her students and create a comfortable space for all who practice under her guidance.
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
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.