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.
I was introduced to yoga in my early 20 & 30's. It wasn’t for another 10 or so years, when I returned to the practice, that something had shifted. Having suffered most of my life with debilitating anxiety, I was amazed to reach the inner peace that I had longed for after just one class. After a year of daily sadhana, I wanted to delve deeper into this profound experience. I completed a 200-hour one-month intensive training and was forever changed. I am currently studying a 300-hour course involving the 5 seasons of the 5 elements of Taoism Yoga and Chinese medicine. Yoga continues to heal and help me grow. I am amazed at how the journey continues to unfold on and off the mat.
My goal is to share this magical journey with others. Inspired by Mother Earth, the healing powerof music/sound, and the amazing teachers and students alike I encounter along this magical journey. I am forever a student.
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” - Ram Dass
I came to yoga in 2014 as a struggling modern dancer in NYC looking for a break from my usual dance class haunts. At that time yoga relieved me of some of the pressure I was feeling about my career in dance and helped me rediscover the joy of embodied movement—a feeling I still hold to this day! My playful Vinyasa sequences are rooted in traditional yoga practices and influenced by my lifelong study of dance. Through this practice I hope to share my enthusiasm for connecting to the world around me and love for establishing community through shared movement experiences. I completed my 200Hr yoga training and am enrolled in my 300Hr training with Yoga Vida NYC, am a certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant through AFPA, and hold a BFA in dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Deb has had the drive to help people for many years. She became a nurse 24 years ago after taking care of a sick family member. She completed extra course work in alternative medicine and worked for several years with a nutritionist and a physician, improving lives in a non-traditional manner. In the fall of 2016 Deb began her journey of yoga, which she shares with her husband Steve. Her love for yoga and her search for something more guided her to Dutchess Yoga Studio and under the supervision and guidance of Sandy Sooknanan she completed her 200hr yoga teacher training in the spring of 2018. She is now certified through Yoga Alliance. Currently Deb is enrolled in an YTT program at Dutchess Yoga Studio to complete her 500 hour certification. As a professional Registered Nurse she understands the body on a physical level and as a yoga instructor and forever student Deb understands the body and mind on a deeper level. Combining these two healing modalities she enjoys inspiring others to seek wellness and fitness through the practice of yoga.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I’ve been practicing yoga for a little over two years now on a consistent basis. Yoga has completely transformed my life into something that I never knew could be possible. After spending a few weeks in India this year, I decided it was time to take my practice to a new level, and embark on this wonderful journey of finding myself through Yoga. As a certified 200 hour yoga teacher, I myself am still a student heading towards my 500 hour certificate, as well as continuing on my path to self discovery. I hope to share my love of yoga and this practice with as many people as possible.
Prior to finding yoga, Kristy was morbidly obese and suffered from chronic GERD, ulcers, anxiety, and headaches. When typical Western treatments and medication did not work for her, she began to seek a more natural and holistic approach to physical and mental health. Since 2014, she has used yoga along with strength training and a clean, plant-based diet to achieve a total health transformation. She has lost over 100 pounds and has maintained her healthy lifestyle since 2016. In her personal practice and teaching style, there is an inward focus and an opportunity to find the balance between effort and ease.
How we nourish ourselves on all levels is always the root of who we are and how energetic we can be without depleting our essence. The principle foundational philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, also known as Protecting the Righteous Qi. I offer Individual Wellness Consultations are based on the Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Paradigm which provides a preventative approach to balanced health. Integrated throughout the protocol are Chinese, Western and Ayurvedic Herbal remedies, Qi Gong and nutritional philosophical applications can be best matched to each unique person. Stress reduction services offered are; Reiki , Reflexology, Acupoint Aromatherapy, and Qi Gong
Cristina is a dedicated practitioner of Iyengar yoga which aims to make yoga accessible to everybody regardless of age, abilities, experience or physical limitations. She provides a focused yet lighthearted class, allowing students to feel comfortable and find purpose working on their own practice. Through compassion and care, Cristina's teaching focuses on form which in turn directs awareness to the body. She maintains a core value of teaching from the heart and not from the brain alone and works to inspire students to be curious and interested in all aspects of yoga by expressing and sharing her love for the subject. Alignment and form are the hallmarks of Iyengar yoga. Cristina believes that in working towards alignment in the body we develop equanimity in the mind and in life. It is her hope that her students will carry yoga beyond the mat with deeper purpose and mindfulness as they experience life.