Mama, founder and co-owner of VIRAYOGA, and co-author of Art of Attention, Elena has taught yoga for 16+ years. After graduating from Cornell University in 1992 with a design degree, she worked as a textile and apparel designer for 6 years, and has studied with master yoga teachers for over 10 years. Through her teaching, influenced by several traditions including alignment-based Hatha and Kundalini yoga, Elena offers yoga as a way to approach our world with realistic reverence and gratitude. Her classes are a masterful, candid blend of artful alignment and attention cues for your body, mind and heart.
From the Museum of Modern Art to the Great Lawn at Central Park, from the playa at Burning Man to the Eiffel Tower, Elena is honoured to offer larger-scale experiences of yoga, but her true service is in shifting awareness within the smallest interactions; one family, one household at a time. She’s been featured in the New York Times, Yoga Journal, Element Yoga for Beginners DVDs, ABC News and NBC News.
Practice with Elena on Yogaglo.
As the Executive Producer of On Meditation, she is curating a project about the relevance of meditation and its benefits. Elena has contributed to Yoga Journal, Yoga International, Huffington Post, Mind Body Green, Positively Positive, The Chalkboard Mag, TheDailyLove, and Elephant Journal, and is a Beauty Ecologist with Pangea Organics, part of the movement to bring organic, all-natural beauty care products to millions of households worldwide.
Art of Attention
Douglas Brooks // rajanaka.com
Scholar of Hindu Tantrism and Professor of Religion, Dr. Douglas Brooks demonstrates by example that you will grow in your understanding to the extent that you ask. Those who’ve sat nearby and listened to Douglas have been touched by a long lineage of Tantric scholars. While existing as everyday citizens in the eyes of their communities in India, these masters studied and contemplated the ancient texts of the Tantric traditions from a perspective that espoused recognition, inclusion and choice rather than obligation, patently relevant to our existence today. Douglas has taught me that the invitation of yoga is to choose my boundaries and refine my experience of freedom. “What do you want? That question is the gift you give to yourself. Absorb that gift into your heart until it is a deeply personal experience.” And he’s now on YogaGlo.
Katonah Yoga // katonahyoga.com
Nevine Michaan’s understanding of neurology, psychology, Spirit, organs, tissues, geometry, architecture, elements and channels has forever changed my practice. Both she and Abbie Galvin at Katonah Yoga help me open my insides, recalibrate my alignment and love my yoga more.
Rod Stryker // parayoga.com
One of my very first teachers when I started studying to teach in 1998, Rod’s way of infusing his kind heart into decades of wisdom has always offered me guidance from afar. This year I’ll be traveling to study with him, at long last. His book, The Four Desires, has been a beacon for my own personal work, and I’m thrilled that he is now a teacher on YogaGlo, affording me the chance to study with him much more often.
Thom Knoles // thomknoles.com
Thom is a maharishi (or pre-eminent master-teacher) of Vedic Meditation, an effortless mental technique that allows us to experience fully-awake restful consciousness, and its many physiological benefits. Thom is a celebrated speaker on the cognitive sciences, on the potential of the brain and health of the body, on the relationship between quantum physics and human consciousness, and on the 5,000 year-old body of wisdom known as the Veda (knowledge governing the unity of the laws of nature and human consciousness from which yoga, meditation, and Ayur Veda are derived). He’s taught me that my body needs meditation to release the years-old, lifetimes-held patterns, and thanks to him, at long last I have a practice that soothes and heals me.
Erich Schiffman // freedomstyleyoga.com
When I first began training to teach in 1998, I’d travel to Los Angeles to study with all of the best teachers there. One of my first classes was with Erich; he showed me how to make practice my very own. He granted us time to determine how our bodies wanted to move, as an example for the freedom that a self-guided practice brings, and that changed my practice forever. Since then, whenever I’m at the Ojai Yoga Crib, I soak up his lecture. One of the most magical teachings from those talks is that it is lovely to be seen, but far more enriching to SEE, whomever and whatever is in front of me, for what is IS, not for what I’m perceiving it to be. He is forever my teacher.
John Friend // johnfriend.com
John taught me that the body is a fine instrument, one with which we can choose to make sublime art via our alignment. He taught me how to place muscles in relationship to bones in order to fully express, open and heal my body, and that helped me come to know my heart, and think more with my heart. Thank you John for the very finest education I could ask for.
Jill Miller // yogatuneup.com
Jill is a movement expert who influences the way I address and confidently move my body towards healing. After many years of movement studies, she felt within her tissues that there were gaps of critical information missing. Yoga Tune Up® evolved out of a need to activate, awaken, and cultivate internal connections to the parts of her body that were not fully “participating” in poses or natural human movement, so she’s created Yoga Tune Up® as a supportive modality for self-healing. I love her work.
Kia Miller // kiamiller.com
Kia is one of my favorite teachers, for her elegance in incorporating both Hatha and Kundalini practices in class, but most notably for her generous heart. Her experience and expertise as a Kundalini teacher have deeply influenced my teaching. And her husband Tommy Rosen was a crucial force in my own quiet recovery, for which I will never stop thanking him.
Hari Kaur // harinyc.com
Co-author of “A Woman’s Book of Yoga: Embracing Our Natural Life Cycles” (Penguin 2002) and author of “A Woman’s Book of Meditation: Discovering the Power of a Peaceful Mind” (Penguin 2006), Hari is the former Director of Education and Training of Golden Bridge NYC (2007-2009). She’s shared Kundalini Yoga in high schools, taught specialized classes in hospitals, founded the Illumined Woman courses that highlight the Kundalini yoga practices and teachings for women at all stages of life, and has taught classes focused on creativity and the arts at Berklee College of Music. For 10 years she taught for Yogi Bhajan, directing his Level One Teacher Trainings in New Mexico and India. And I love her because from the moment I met Hari, she was family.
Handel Group // handelgroup.com
At a pivotal moment, Lauren Zander, Co-Founder of the Handel Group, significantly shifted my terms of engagement with my work and my family. The Handel methodology is taught to students at MIT and Stanford Business School, top executives at AOL, Vogue and Sony Music, and has effectively helped me actualize an affirmation I’d been given years back: “I will do work that I love, surrounded by gifted, committed people, and live the life of my dreams.” Collaborating with the Handel Group, as a client and a coach teaching the method to yoga colleagues and students, it’s clear that this work brings more stability and truthfulness to our lives off the mat.
Pamela Miles // reikiinmedicine.org
Pamela certified my hands in Reiki Levels I/II. Most inspiring is her unwavering dedication to bring Reiki into medical settings, bringing healing to new heights. Pamela’s book accessibly explains self-treatment so all of us can experience healing Reiki on a daily basis.
Louise Amar // email Louise
Louise was one of the first healers with whom I’d worked when we began in 2001. Her office is in New York City, and she is indescribable; a rare combination of years of experience, intuition and pure heart.
William Ng// yelp.com
Dr. Ng was recommended by a dear friend as a fourth-generation real-life Chinese doctor. His reasonably-priced treatments are no-nonsense true healing sessions; after 45 minutes on his table I’m thoroughly re-calibrated.
Danny Kalatsky // email Danny
Charged with sacred humility, Danny’s treatments always yield a feeling of symmetry and balance. His work to open clearer pathways in the body brings a connection to such potent quiet in my body after he’s done his work.
Brad Teasdale // medicinehandsmassage.com
Brad’s work is subtle and profoundly healing. He is a student of Nature in the most authentic sense, bringing his understanding of Ayurvedic massage and herbal healing to his treatments. He’s now practicing and teaching at Virayoga, educating us in the subtleties of herbs, nutrition, and self-care.
Zach Dacuk // email Zach
Through his extensive study with Tom Myers, Zach has refined his use of the KMI approach to free accumulated binding and shortening in connective tissues. He re-educates the body in efficient, energizing patterns. We teach workshops together whenever we can, and whenever I’m injured, he’s the first call I’ll make.
Scott Schwenk // trustthebreath.com
Scott helped me relate to my breathing in a way that shifted my yoga practice and teaching. In just a few sessions, his simple, practical work gave me a taste of freedom I’d never known in my body, clearing the way for deepening asana and meditation ever since.
Patricia Moreno // satilife.com
Plain and simple, my postnatal recovery can be attributed to three things: diligent breastfeeding, sporadic yoga, and Patricia Moreno’s Great Body, Great Life DVD. She fearlessly teaches us how to actually, verbally articulate self-respect and self-love, and once you’ve done her work, you can never look negatively on yourself in the same way, ever again.