Sophie Hwang was born and grew up in Seoul, Korea, and is now living in NYC. Yoga has been a big part of her life for over 15 years. The practice has helped her to be stronger, flexible in her mind and body and inspires her to be present and truthful in every moment. As she practiced yoga, she realized the importance of correct alignment to keep her body safe, calm the mind, and breathe freely. Sophie views alignment as a tool that can be explored through seeking balance in her life both on and off the yoga mat.
Sophie has completed 1000 hours of teacher training at yoga schools in NYC (200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at YogaWorks, a 200-hour and two 300-hour Advanced Teacher Training at Yoga Shanti with Colleen Saidman & Rodney Yee) as well as completing additional trainings in Korea. As she learns more about yoga, she feels more humble as a teacher and student, but also realizes that it is the beauty of life to wander between not knowing and knowing.
In her classes, Sophie offers a mix of creative, playful, and safe sequencing while emphasizing proper alignment to help deepen her students’ practice. Her goal is to help her students nourish their bodies and minds from deep listening and compassion.
Maureen is a native Long Islander who has recently returned to her “roots’’ in Southampton, NY. Her yoga journey began in New York City when she was an avid runner and saw an ad for “yoga for runners” class in a YMCA in the late 1980’s. It was the beginning of an exploration of yoga which has spanned over three decades. After a career in the television business, Maureen and her husband and daughter moved to London in 1998 where Maureen continued her yoga practice in mostly pre-natal classes. (She had three sons born in 1998, 2000 and 2002.) After moving back to the USA in 2007, Maureen continued to explore all different types of yoga classes. In 2017, she completed a 200hr yoga teacher training at the Long Island School of Yoga and began teaching at the beach in the summertime. In the summer of 2018, she took her
first class at Yoga Shanti with Rodney and then some classes with Colleen and felt she had finally found her yoga “home.” In 2021, she completed both the 200hr and 300hr teacher training at Yoga Shanti and credits Colleen and Rodney and all the mentors for keeping her sane during the pandemic when all of her children returned home. She is thrilled to be dipping her yoga teacher toe in the Community classes at Yoga Shanti and filled with gratitude to remain teachable. The journey continues…
Jazmin, when not teaching or practicing yoga, is also a surfer, former circus acrobat, and art student turned local farm-girl in Santa Barbara, CA. Thanks to her mother, who insisted she do yoga, Jazmin has engaged in some form of yoga and meditation practice most of her life. Her early introduction to yoga as a young child taught her the importance of caring for the body and cultivating an open mind and heart. The deal was – she could be in the circus as long as she also agreed to keep practicing yoga and “learn the correct alignment”. Through yoga, Jazmin continues to uncover and refine what it means to live in alignment within herself, in relationship, and with the world. Jazmin completed her initial 200-hour teacher training in 2014 with Ganga White and Tracy Rich. She has been teaching yoga since. She felt she had just scratched the surface after her first teacher training. So of course, she dug deeper. She has since completed an additional 300 hours of advanced teacher training with Colleen Saidman and Rodney Yee. Jazmin considers Rodney and Colleen her primary teachers and has studied with them since she was a teenager. Jazmin’s committed exploration of what it means to live close to the beauty of the human experience continues to evolve, breakdown, mature, and unfold, sometimes as a yoga teacher, always as a student.
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Rebecca Butler (ERYT-500) is the creator of The Sanctuary Yoga Room(s), dreamcatcher training (200 hour Yoga Alliance approved RYS) and transformational yoga (300 hour Yoga Alliance approved RYS). She blends her studies with Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman Yee, Ana Forrest and Baron Baptiste into something altogether unique, creative and wide in range. She values business acumen, alongside honesty, strength, when married with suppleness, and above all, a righteous sense of humor. She is also a certified Holistic Life Coach, via the tutelage of Alan Cohen, and a published author. When not teaching, practicing or studying yoga, you can find her playing with her kids, dogs and husband. Her credo is Choose Joy, as she believes life and health are gifts to be cherished and appreciated. It is her honor to share this journey with you.
David started practicing at Yoga Shanti NYC in 2014 eventually earning his 500 Hr-ERYT. David managed Five Pillars Yoga on the Upper East Side and in the Hamptons for five years, mentoring three 200Hr Yoga Teacher Trainings and diversifying his own education with continued studies in multiple lineages, including Ashtanga, Kundalini, Iyengar and Yoga Therapeutics. David is a Reiki practitioner, and Level II certified in Thai Yoga massage. He is a trauma-informed recovery coach and a Kriya Yoga initiate in the lineage of Paramahansa Yogananda. Today David designs landscapes and gardens on the East End of Long Island and lives in Water Mill, NY.
Sandy found the importance of maintaining a regular yoga practice as a former Wall Street floor trader on the New York Stock Exchange. She loved the way it brought a sense of peace into her mental space after hectic days on the trading floor. This spiritual component is still is what Sandy values most about her yoga practice today. A graduate of the Yoga Shanti 200 hr Teacher Training, she continues to study under her teachers Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee. Her thoughtful and fun classes feature signature Yoga Shanti sequencing with an emphasis on maintaining a healthy spine and creating spacious joints. Sandy’s playlists currently feature a mix of fun pop and chill yoga tracks. Aside from practicing and teaching yoga, Sandy loves to hang with her French Bulldog named Biff, dance to guilty pleasure hip hop songs, and cheer on her 6 time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.
Sandy holds a B.S. in Finance from Babson College and is currently a partner and creative director of a boutique hotel in the Catskills.
Raised on Long Island’s sandy shores Mia is an avid sailor with a passion for protecting coastal ecosystems. In her hometown of Hampton Bays she co-founded the environmental non-profit Ecological Culture Initiative. She began practicing yoga in high school to improve her balance and flexibility as a cheerleader. She completed two 8-week yoga instructor training courses and taught yoga throughout her undergraduate years at SUNY Oswego. In her junior and senior years of college she helped mentor the next group of yoga instructors for the university fitness centers. Mia completed her 200 hour training at Yoga Shanti in 2017. She graduated in 2018 from SUNY College at Oswego with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in studio art. In 2019 she completed Urban Zen Level One Training. She continues to study with Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee because she is passionate about their alignment focused sequencing. Gratitude, breath awareness, balancing poses and reiki all inspire her personal practice and teaching. She considers yoga to be her best tool for managing Type 1 Diabetes from a place of physical and emotional wellbeing.
Peggy Leder has been studying intensively with Colleen and Rodney for the past 5 years. She has completed 1000 hours of Yoga Shanti Teacher Trainings. As well as teaching at Yoga Shanti, Peggy has a private practice as an art therapist working with all ages. She is a photographer and loves to capture the beauty that surrounds her on a daily basis on the east end of LI. Peggy holds her bachelor’s degree in art education from the University of Vermont and her master’s degree in clinical art therapy from CW Post, LI University. Peggy resides year round in Sag Harbor, NY.
Seamus grew up splitting his time in between New York City and the East End of Long Island. He continues to enjoy this balance between city and costal life today.
Prior to teaching yoga, Seamus worked primarily as a Recording Engineer. Starting as a Front of House Sound Mixer for a nationally touring band, then progressing into Studio Recording/ Editing/Mixing, then eventually landing in Television Production.
Seamus’s first introduction to yoga was an Ashtanga yoga class in North Carolina in the late 90’s. After his first class he was hooked. He since has spent time in the full spectrum of yoga disciplines, all leading to his primary love for Vinyasa Flow Yoga.
Throughout his professional career, like many practitioners, he had a “on-again/off-again” rela- tionship with yoga. He found himself sometimes practicing 3-5 times per week, other times not practicing for months. Eventually one thing became very clear. The more time he dedicated to showing up and practicing on his mat, the more balanced every aspect of his life became. Seamus completed his first 200-HR Teacher Training in 2015 at Yoga Shanti NYC and has since completed an additional 300HR Advanced Teacher Training at Yoga Shanti. He continues to be dedicated to the study, practice, and teaching of yoga.
Seamus’s classes are as fun as they are challenging. He teaches a Vinyasa Flow style, with a heavy emphasis on sequencing and music, alignment and flow, and an appropriate amount of inquiry into the practice of yoga. See you on the mat…
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