Teachers

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Sandy Sooknanan

Sandy Sooknanan is a yoga instructor and is the founder and owner of Dutchess Yoga, formerly Kishna Yoga. She was raised in a Hindu family with very strong spiritual practices. In 1908, her grandmother Kishna Sooknanan, migrated from Gonda, India to British Guiana, now Guyana. There, Sandy was raised before moving to New York and working as a nutritionist. After completing her yoga teacher training in 2006, she realized that her place in this world was to teach the path of yoga. She travels to India three times a year to study with great yoga teachers. Since then, she has traveled throughout India studying with various teachers and masters at Iyengar Institute in Dehradun, Astanga and Vinyasa Flow in Rishikesh in addition to having received her initial Teacher Training Certificate in Raja Hatha in the USA in 2006.

Sandy has been teaching yoga in the Hudson Valley for over ten years, and has thousands of hours of teaching and Yoga study.

Sandy also pursues women’s empowerment projects through her charity, The Kishna Foundation, which conducts outreach and relief programs for marginalized families in Guyana while advocating for greater access to yoga and teacher trainings.

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Jillian McMorrow

My name is Jillian McMorrow and i practice yoga to feel connected within myself and the universe around me. During my classes i love to combine creative sequencing and inspiration to help deepen your practice. I have completed my 200 hour studies under Sandy from Dutchess Yoga. Our studio has a welcoming and loving community and i am proud to be apart of it.

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Sara

Sara is grateful to have found a yoga lifestyle whose guidance, love and energy awakened her luminosity. Originally from the Hudson Valley, Sara has travelled and studied Yoga to help heal her own mind and body from complications of injuries, ptsd, and addiction. Humbled and inspired by how meaningful her yoga practice is in her life, Sara has a strong desire to share this practice with others. She combines her studies in meditation, pranayama and spiritual philosophy with her study of asana to create a challenging and comprehensive asana practice that caters to athletes, artists, & those healing from addiction and illness, with inspiring words of wisdom for living in today’s world. Sara applies a nurturing hands-on approach to alignment and aromatherapy with Young Living Oils to massage, nurture and relax the soul.

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Jason

I am a 200-hr certified Universe Yoga Alliance teacher trained by Sandy Sooknanan while in Nepal in 2017. I am also a Reiki practitioner. My main interests in the teaching of yoga concerns the meditative experience of combining pranayama with the asanas to establish a grounding for the students to understand their bodies more thoroughly and to understand their own boundaries in a kind and gentle manner. Beyond the physical side I have a regular meditation practice which I consider to be the most important aspect of yoga. I have received meditation training in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition as well as having experience in Sama, the sacred meditative Sufi Dance. I enter further into the study of the philosophical discipline of yoga by combining it with myBachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy with a minor in Religious Studies from SUNY New Paltz obtained in May 2016. With the combination of my personal practice, training, and education my goal is to bring a heightened sense of life, compassion, and understanding through myself to give to those who take my classes and interact with me on a regular basis.

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Lori

Lori Hart has been passionate about assisting others in living healthier, happier, more balanced lives for as long as she can remember. She has a background in addictions counseling, has been a massage therapist for 20years, and a Reiki master for 18 years. She has studied multiple different forms of energy healing and has several years experience working with Young Living Essential Oils. Lori has been practicing yoga and self healing for three decades and recognizes the benefits of yoga in her physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual life. Lori received her Yin Yoga certification through Integral Yoga Institute in NYC. She is particularly passionate about Yin Yoga as it teaches her clientele how to safely and effectively bring relief and healing to their own physical bodies as well as bringing about mental focus, emotional release, and spiritual transformation. She is excited to share her knowledge, skills, and passion with others.

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Alix

When AlixCiferri first discovered yoga, she immediately knew that she would practice for the rest of her life. Since then, she went abroad to Nepal to train as a yoga teacher with Dutchess Yoga among the Himalaya mountains, but realized so much more about this practice while she was there. It is there that she truly realized that we are all one on this planet and yoga is the key to becoming more in touch with the universe. It is her passion to share yoga with others and loves to see how people grow and progress physically and spiritually. She loves to encourage people of all abilities, body types, and beliefs to find their own individual practice and discover how it can strengthen their personal connection to the Self and the universe.

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Brooke

Somesay that you cannot seek Yoga, but that Yoga has a way of findingyou. This beautiful practicefound me in 2011 and I was immediately captivated by the harmony that it brought. I remember lying in Shavasanaat the end of my first class, taking the first of many deep breaths. Yoga, or Yuj, means “to unite”;this practice is the unifying thread allowing me to find a peace of mind, strength of body, and a joy in spirit that is immeasurable. It has been the primary vehicle for the growth and community that I enjoy.As a 200 hour YTT graduatewith a grateful heart,my hope is to share the gifts of Yuj with the community through a practice that is mindful,physically challenging, authentic, and accessible to all.

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Gina

Gina is a 200 Hr TT Certified Instructor, who graduated from our own Dutchess Yoga Studio.  She has had a connection to Yoga throughout the years and is thrilled to be able to share the experience with her students.  Her class flow is self-challenging while still being gentle and joyful.  She aims at providing her students the opportunity for self expression and exploration on their mats in a warm and welcoming environment.

                "Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self"...

                                                                                                                                -The Bhagavad Gita

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Zanyell

When I first started my practice, I was worried about not being able to touch my toes. My practice has deepened to the point where the ability to touch my toes is irrelevant and the ability to connect with myself and the world around me has taken precedence. I trained in the Himalayas in Nepal with Sandy of Dutchess Yoga and there is where I found myself. I hope to share my passion with my students through mindful practice. I am also an educator. I offer story based children’s yoga that introduces children to a yoga practice as well as teaching them lessons such as to be mindful and grateful.