Teachers


ANNA (Amba) WINKLER, DIRECTOR of Shakti Yoga & living arts
E-RYT500, YACEP, LMT

Anna has been practicing and teaching yoga since 1989. She was originally certified through the Sivananda Yoga Organization, where she served as a volunteer staff member for over 6 years. Among many other things, she assisted in the Yoga Teacher Training courses and modeled for 2 yoga books during her time there: Yoga, Mind and Body and 101 Essential Tips: Yoga.

Anna has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga since 1997 with Eddie Stern and numerous other authorized teachers, including Pattabhi, Saraswati, Manju and Sharath Jois, Nancy Gilgoff, Tim Miller and others, and teaching Ashtanga since 2002. She has been sudying and practicing Iyengar Yoga with Theresa Rowland since 2007, where she received her second 500 hour teaching certificate. Anna teaches an Alignment Based Hatha Yoga class. Her Ashtanga classes are also alignment influenced. Anna has been teaching in the Maplewood area since 2001, and is the founder and director of Shakti Yoga & living arts since June 2005 (formerly the Yoga Room in Millburn from 2001).

Anna's teaching style is both challenging and nurturing. With a dash of humor, a focus on alignmnentand sometimes just going with the flow, her classes will leave you feeling worked, yet tranquil and energized.
 

Anna is available for Private Yoga Lessons,  Ayurveda Lifestyle ConsultationsThai Yoga Bodywork, Thai Abdominal MassageIntegrated Massage, Myofacial Release Massage and Raindrop Techinque sessions.

 

AIMEE LALLY

Aimee has been a student of yoga for 25 years, teaching for 15. Her deep thirst for learning and growth has led her to study different methods with master teachers and complete a 500 level certification. She began with Ashtanga yoga, studying with Richard Freeman. She developed strength, flexibility and learning about the 8 limbs of yoga. She explored the creativity of Vinyasa Flow with Sharon Gannon, Rodney Yee, and Peter Rizzo. Later she delved into the Anusara method with its loops and spirals of alignment and connection to heart, studying with Amy Ippoliti and Emma Magenta. For the past 5 years she has been immersed in the study of the Iyengar yoga method, for its great clarity, and ability to transform. Her present teachers are Nikki Costello, Nancy Witters, and Amy Hamilton.
 
Aimee’s teaching is kind and inspiring. Through sequential learning she aspires to guide students toward balanced actions, leading them through their bodies toward their soul, illuminating darkness and creating ease.
 

ANDRE WITEK

Andre took his 200 hour Teacher Training Certification from the Integral Yoga Institute in NYC for beginner, intermediate and extra gentle yoga and has been teaching there since 2000. Some of his wonderful teachers include Kali Morse, Swami Ramananda and Hamsa Spagnola at the Integral Yoga Institute (IYI); and Cheri Clampett and Arturo Perl for therapeutic yoga. 

In the last few years Andre has been inspired by the growing therapeutic yoga field and completed specialized certification training in this area, including restorative yoga. He is currently a certified therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Andre loves teaching and taking group classes and being in the energy of the sangha, the community of practitioners. He aslo enjoys nature, hiking and biking and jazz.
 

ARI SILVA

Ari  was introduced to yoga in the early 1980’s to better understand breathing and relaxation classes as preparation for the birth of her daughter.  Soon after, she located one of the only yoga studios in San Diego (before yoga became as popular as we know it) and became immersed in Asana practice.   Despite several relocations, including a few stints living overseas, Ari continued to practice while working in luxury retail management in NYC. 

While coaching her husband on some stretches and poses to help with his injuries, he suggested that she teach yoga.  Ari recently completed her teacher training at Elements Yoga Studio in Darien, CT, where she studied with Emma Magenta, Bernadette Birney and Martin Kirk.

In addition to yoga, Ari enjoys trail running and practicing flamenco. But what she enjoys most is sharing the joys and benefits of yoga. 

 

BECKY NAGLE

Becky is a pharmacist turned health coach and yoga teacher. In her first yoga class, she tore her rotator cuff and avoided it for over 15 years. In health coaching she recognized how critical movement that included strength and mobility was to longevity and disease prevention. Becky decided to give yoga another try. After a year of practicing in a safe environment with knowledgable teachers, she immersed herself in 500 hours of yoga teacher training to learn how to help others practice yoga safely. 
 
Becky focuses on strength and mobility whether it’s retaining what you have or regaining what you have lost. She believes that yoga is an exercise for the mind and body and strives to help students develop deeper connections with their mind and body to promote health. 
 
Becky’s philosophy is first do no harm. Her classes include yoga poses and other movement exercises targeting major muscle groups to improve strength and flexibility. Her instruction targets safe alignment to reduce the risk of injury. Her classes incorporate themes and movement that invites students to challenge their minds and bodies on and off the mat. 
 
Becky received her E-RYT 500 from Yoga Mechanics in Montclair NJ where she studied alignment based hatha yoga , srividya tantra, teaching methodology, anatomy, biomechanics, pranayama, meditation techniques, and ethics.

 

BOB BLANTON


Bob has over 40 years of
experience in the martial arts,
25 of which have been dedicated
to the study and practice
of Tai Chi & Qigong.

For over 10 years Bob has devoted his time to a
deeper study of the principals and forms of this Art.

In addition to teaching private and group classes,
he has participated in numerous demonstrations and competitions.

 

CRISTIN SHEA
 
Cristin found herself on a yoga mat for the first time in the fall of 2007 while at university. She was initially drawn to yoga because of her background in dance. What has kept her coming back to her mat year after year is the transformative power of yoga. From her yoga practice, she has found a safe place to always connect with herself. 
 
Cristin received her RYT 200 training from the Powerflow School of Yoga in the summer of 2017 under the direction of lead teachers Stacey Bell and Carrie Parker-Gasteleu. She also completed a 30-hour yin yoga certification from Yinside Yoga in 2017. 
 
Cristin firmly believes in the healing yoga offers for body, mind and spirit. She offers her students the opportunity to connect to themselves. With precise cuing and creative sequencing, she allows her students to feel their way into the poses, finding space and freedom within their bodies.
 
CYNTHIA BEARISON, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, YACEP

Cynthia has been studying yoga for over 20 years. She is a 200 hour certified yoga instructor and a registered member of Yoga Alliance. Cynthia completed a teacher-training program for children with a concentration in babies through 5th grade, children with disabilities, and managing anxiety in children. She is currently working on her 500 hour certification, as well as Yoga Therapy training.

Cynthia has also obtained certifications in Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Restorative & Yoga Nidra and Reiki 1 & 2. Her overall approach is focused on creating a safe and accessible environment for all and encouraging a deep awareness of the mind/body connection. Cynthia is also involved with Exhale to Inhale, an organization that provides weekly yoga classes to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Cynthia is honored to introduce tools to folks who are completlely new to yoga, that can bring more health, happiness and ease into thier lives.

 

ELLEN KAPLAN

Ellen is an Intermediate Junior 1 Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and has been practicing Iyengar Yoga since 1998.  This level of certification demands rigorous study of more advanced asanas and human anatomy, including addressing common physical limitations, pranayama (breath work), and yoga philosophy. Through her extensive one-on-one therapy work Ellen is also certified through the International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IATY). Ellen's primary teachers are Theresa Rowland and Amy Block-Hamilton of Studio Yoga in Madison. She has also attended countless workshops with many Senior Iyengar Yoga Teachers including Patricia Walden, Kofi Busia, Lois Steinberg, Mira Metha, and Stephanie Quirk.

Ellen is passionate about all aspects of yoga: uniting the body, mind and soul to realize eternal peace. Through her teaching, she hopes to guide others on this yogic path. You can feel secure knowing that Ellen is well  qualified to address your specific needs. Her humble and compassionate nature will be sure to warm your heart and soothe your body.


EMILY RAMOS

Emily came to her mat ten years ago to add variety to her workout routine and ease the aches and pains caused by a decade of avid running. After leaving her first yoga classes feeling renewed, calm and truly happy, what began as a physical practice soon blossomed into so much more. During her pregnancy (which was an easy, beautiful experience because of Shakti’s prenatal classes), Emily’s commitment to her yoga practice intensified.

Soon after the birth of her daughter in 2010 she decided to take her love of yoga a step further and train to become a yoga teacher. Emily  graduated from ShaktiBody’s 200-hour Teacher Training program and is thrilled to share yoga with her community!  A former NYC school teacher, Emily loves the art of teaching as much as she loves the practice of yoga.

Emily infuses her classes with energy, enthusiasm and humor. She loves sharing how the practice of yoga is also the practice of being kind, courageous, confident, happy and patient.

 

FRANCOISE OWARISH

Francoise is an advanced yoga teacher from Powerflow Yoga and specialist yoga teacher from Kula for Karma. Teaching from the Yin to the Yang, yoga has become her way of living and being. She has over 600 hours of teacher training in various modalities and comes from NYC. She continues to train in NYC to evolve as a person and to inspire and inform her teaching.
 
Being a hospice specialist and advanced reiki master, Francoise provides a safe space for transcending and letting go. Living requires lots of learning new ways for longevity and she loves bringing that to her classes.
 
Francoise focuses on alignment and breath in her classes. With the busyness of our lives, entering her class will remind you of who you are and give you a chance to reconnect body, mind and soul. 

 

GENA RHO

Gena is an educator, dancer, yogini and certified Essential Somatics Clinical Somatic Educator. She has a private practice in Maplewood and NYC where she see clients privately and teaches Somatic Movement, yoga, workshops and classes as well as training and mentoring teachers. She is an adjunct professor at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Gena’s career as a modern dancer included performing and teaching internationally as a member of the Trisha Brown Company. She has an MFA in Dance from NYU TISCH School of the Arts.

Gena feels that Hanna Somatics offers real options for finding freedom to move in spite of chronic tightness. She enjoys bringing the tools of Somatics to the practice of yoga. www.emergesomatics.com

 

IRES WILBANKS, CD (DONA)

Ires teaches Ashtanga, hatha, pre and post natal and yoga for labor and delivery. She received her certifications from New York's Integral Yoga Institute, where she also has taught. Ires has been a devoted student of Yoga since 2001 and started teaching in 2005. Her prenatal yoga classes are guided by her own childbirth experiences—she attributes the practice to helping her achieve a vaginal birth after caesarean, or VBAC.  She is also a certified birth doula (DONA International) and received her training with Debra Pascali-Bonaro in NYC. Ires has been attending births since 2011.

Ires practices Ashtanga yoga and studies with Anna Winkler and Eddie Stern. She completed Tim Miller's Primary Series Ashtanga Yoga teacher training. Ires has also studied with David Swenson, Nancy Gilgoff, Kino MacGregor, and members of the Jois family including Sharath and Saraswathi.

Ires is committed to sharing her knowledge of how yoga can help women release fear and have a safe and peaceful childbirth experience.  Her classes draw upon her studies at Integral Yoga as well as the meditative intensity of her Ashtanga practice.

 

KATHLEEN GOOD


Kathleen was Introduced to yoga as a child and rediscovered it 15 years ago after a serious challenge to her health.  In 2008 she gave up the legal world to dedicate herself to the study and practice of Kundalini Yoga. She trained and received her certification from Kundalini Yoga East in New York City in 2010. She is also certified in Child Play Yoga and Grounded Kids Yoga. 

Kathleen is committed to sharing the gift of yoga with all to maintain physical health and peace of mind.

 

KATI WALKER, E-RYT, YACEP, CHTP, CSHP

Kati was introduced to Yoga as a teenager and loved the physical aspects of the discipline. As her practice developed she appreciated the subtler qualities including the spiritual aspects and stress management. She completed her 200 hour certification in 2009 and continued her certifications with Yoga for Scoliosis, Principles of Restorative Yoga and Cancer Survivor Teacher Training. Kati expanded into Ayurveda, Healing Touch, Reiki and Sound Healing.  

All of these modalities have sustained Kati throughout her life and are incorporated in her gentle yoga classes.

 

 

LEA CRUZ

Lea has been a student of yoga for many years and graduated from her Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in Montclair in June 2018. She is currently enrolled in Shakti's 200-hour Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training program.  Lea is also certified in Reiki Level I and EFT Level I.
 
After years of practicing Kundalini and Hatha Yoga, Lea is excited to be teaching this beautiful yoga of awareness to the students at Shakti.

 

LINDA COCHRAN

Linda's first experience with yoga happened to be an Iyengar class in London in the late 90s. Later, now living in the US, she started attending classes at Studio Yoga Madison in 2009 and became a regular Iyengar yoga practitioner. She joined Teacher Training with Theresa Rowland and Amy Hamilton and has received both her Iyengar Yoga Certification, Introductory level I & II and her 500-hour teaching certificate. Linda also gained knowledge of therapy work assisting Theresa for 3 years in her one-on-one sessions. Throughout the years she has studied with many Senior Iyengar Teachers from around the world and most recently taken workshops on the subject of scoliosis with Deborah Wolk in NYC.

Linda has taught yoga since 2015 and has also had the joy of teaching movement and body awareness to developmentally disabled adults for the last two years.

Linda’s teaching style is kind, explorative and grounded in alignment, attempting to give her students a better awareness of their movements, as well as a comprehensive experience that both challenges and nurtures. Her students will learn how to modify safely for various poses that may be challenging to them.

 

LORI SMITH

Lori first encountered yoga in a class at the gym in 2001, where she loved it. Yoga gave her a greater sense of flexibility as an athlete, and since that first taste of it, she has taken classes from many teachers in the NY and NJ area. In 2012, Lori became a dedicated practitioner and student of yoga when facing some major life transitions. In September of 2015, Lori received her RYT 200 hour hatha yoga certificate from South Mountain Yoga under the guidance of Emma Magenta. Yoga has been and continues to be a source of solace and refuge for her, and cultivates buoyancy in her breath and body. For over 20 years, Lori has also been a student of Vipassana meditation, having attended meditation retreats at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, and group sittings at the NY Insight Meditation Center, The Rubin Museum, The Tibet House and other places. Lori is grateful to all of her teachers, past, present and future, from whom she continues to learn, grow and be inspired by. For her, yoga is a heartfelt endeavor and she is grateful to share it with her students.
 
Lori emphasizes an awareness of alignment in her classes, striving to create a sense of spaciousness in one’s breath and body, weaving in a sense of mindfulness and grounding in the present moment, and deepening one’s resilience.
 
 
MADALINA BLANTON
 

Madalina is a Reiki Master and an Integrative Health Counselor who brings gentle care, compassion and deep attention to her work and her clients. Through her personal healing journey, Madalina learned that lasting transformation happens when we bring awareness to all aspects of our being and fully engage our soul energy. In her work, Madalina’s goal is to help people reawaken their own source of creativity, expanded energy and ultimately their well-being. She uses aromatherapy and crystals to enhance the energy flow during sessions, as well as chakra balancing techniques. Madalina is a former Children’s Book Designer, a long-time student of natural health and an advocate of green living
 
Since 2016, Madalina has been studying Family Constellations with Suzi Tucker. She is now bringing this modality into her practice.
 
 
MEGHAN HERZFELD

Meghan began her yoga journey here at Shakti at age 12 in the teen yoga class. Shakti went on to be her first front desk job! She has since graduated from Bennington College with a degree in dance and completed yoga teacher training at Frog Lotus Yoga in North Adams, MA and Abhaya Yoga in Brooklyn, NY. She currently lives in Brooklyn where she teaches yoga, manages an acupuncture clinic and dances.

Meghan teaches Vinyasa with an emphasis on alignment. She integrates her knowledge of dance, the body and meditation into her personal and class practice. She is a devoted student of the body and is deeply inspired by teaching others to expand and learn more. 

 

MILENA-AMBIKA RUBINSTEIN

Milena, a community college teacher of English as a Second Language, became interested in yoga when she took a yoga class in college. Since then, she has had a personal yoga practice. After returning to yoga classes regularly, she decided to get training as a yoga instructor in order to share the benefits of yoga with her college students and fellow workers.  She received her 200-hour yoga teacher training in asanas and pranayama from Integral Yoga Institute, NYC. She also has completed a 100-hour certification in gentle and chair yoga from Integral Yoga Institute plus a 15-hour additional chair yoga training from ShaktiBody, a 63-hour training in restorative/ therapeutic yoga taught by Cheri Clampett and Arturo Peal at Integral Yoga Institute, NYC, and a 3-day Essential Somatics Hanna Somatic exercise coach training – Level 1.

Milena believes yoga has made her life fuller, more balanced, and peaceful, and that’s what she would like to share with others who decide to explore the beauty of yoga.

 

SCOTT ANTHONY



Scott started studying Kundalini yoga in 1999 in NYC with Ravi Singh (a Legacy Teacher who started his path with Yogi Bhajan in 1974). His spiritual name is Arjan Singh, which signifies the soul of a Teacher, and also Warrior and Artist. He is a music producer, engineer, and musician, and he binds his teaching experience with the creative arts to help others access and express their own souls and use the self-healing that comes from within, turning inertia into harmonious forward momentum

Scott has been teaching informally since 2003, and in 2015 he received his 200 Hour Kundalini teacher certification from Ravi and Ana Brett at Raven's Wing Yoga in Branford, CT.


Combining his work in audio and his yoga practice, Scott loves exploring the healing power of sound, vibration, and resonance on the mind and body, using music and meditation with mantras.

 

 

SHIRLEY MATTHEWS

Shirley did her Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training at Kundalini Yoga East in NYC.
 
Shirley practices as a psychologist in NYC and South Orange NJ. She has a special interest in the treatment sleep and other concerns of adulthood including anxiety, depression, relationship issues and self-regulation/procrastination.
 
Shirley is thrilled to share her love and appreciattion of Kundalini Yoga with you, as well as her special interest in the healing vibrations of working with Gong Meditatation and Relaxation in her once a month Friday night class.


 

TRISH O'GORMAN


It is truer to say Kundalini Yoga found Trish, rather than the other way around. From her first experience in class Trish knew Kundalini was for her. She loved the music, the meditations and the way it worked for every body. It felt like coming home. Trish's spiritual name is Abnashi Kaur, meaning Indestructible Princess and through life's many ups and downs Kundalini has been a stabilizing force for healing, a practice for life. 
 
In 2004 Trish got certified to teach at Kundalini Yoga East in NYC under the guidance of Sat Jivan Kaur and Sat Jivan Singh and has been teaching ever since.  Trish will be forever grateful to Yogi Bhajan for sharing such an uplifting practice and for the loving support of the Kundalini community.
 
When not teaching yoga Trish works as a school nurse in a middle school, enjoys time with her three children and can be found hiking and taking photographs with her beloved dog.


 



Please join us for a Shakti
Community Gathering at

Maplewood's Memorial Park
Amphitheatre
on Sunday,
November 1, 3-4:30pm

Rain Cancels
Hope to see you there!

NOW more than ever
is a great time to
establish a home practice
Schedule a 
Private Zoom Session
 Yoga 
(asana, pranayama, meditation)
with Anna Winkler











© 2014 Shakti Yoga & living arts    1861 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood, NJ    973-763-2288    info@shaktinj.com