Danielle Goldstein, MS, NCC, E-RYT-500
Director of Mindful Turtle Yoga & Wellness
Danielle is the founder and owner of Mindful Turtle Yoga & Wellness. She has had a dedicated yoga practice for over 15 years and has studied many traditions of classical yoga, particularly the Ashtanga Yoga Method, developing a respect and appreciation for yoga and its life changing possibilities. Her classes are motivating, inspiring and compassionate.
Her training includes both a 200 and 500 hour yoga teacher training from the Yoga Teacher Training Institute under the guidance of Ma Mokshapriya Shakti and Marianne Mitsinikos. She has an additional 500 hour certification in Classical Ashtanga Yoga with with Beryl Bender Birch of The Hard and The Soft Yoga Institute, and has assisted Beryl at various workshops and trainings. Danielle is a compassionate teacher who teaches in a way that helps the Ashtanga Yoga Asana practice become fun and accessible to all.
Danielle is also a parent and child counselor with over seventeen years of experience in the fields of education and counseling. She holds a Master's Degree in Counseling and is a Nationally Certified Counselor. She also serves of the board of The Morgan Center, a preschool for children undergoing chemotherapy.
Director of Mindful Turtle Montauk
Diane's parents moved her to Montauk kicking and screaming at the age of two (as that's what babies do at that age). Entrepreneurs in their own right, they were the proprietors of the Merry Mermaid Motel (locals might remember the place!), adjacent to what is now known as "Mermaid Beach." Getting schooled up-Island, alumni-ing at SUNY Plattsburgh, stinting in London and living for the better part of her life in Brooklyn, Diane's consultancy Urban Siren (get it?) helps businesses grow both on- and off-line.
A student of yoga since 1995 and attending Beryl Bender Birch's 2008 yoga teacher training polished Diane's connection to the practice. Diane writes for Elephant Journal and Yoganonymous about yoga and for Clean Plates about food. Through Urban Siren, LLC she is honored to serve clients including The Give Back Yoga Foundation, Caribbean Yoga Conference, Recovery 2.0 and many more bringing yoga and wellness to the masses in a mindful way. Proud to serve Montauk as her family's second tier entrepreneur and "all growed up" as Director of Mindful Turtle Montauk, and bringing a practice so close to her heart to a place so close to her heart brings tears to her eyes even as she types this. Hello Montauk! I'll always meet you here.
Danielle has been practicing Ashtanga yoga for over eight years, continuously expanding her awareness of all that this method has to offer. As a former athlete flexibility was a major challenge for Danielle, but her patience, dedication and love of the practice transformed her not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually. The Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga system has brought so much light into her life that she never looked back. After developing a deep love and understanding of all the aspects of the practice, she realized it was time to share it with others. She went on to receive her Yoga Alliance certification and is continuing her education as a student of yoga which extends to all facets of her life, and Danielle is very thankful for the opportunity to share her knowledge with others. Danielle is passionate and committed to a daily, early morning practice as taught by the beloved guru of Ashtanga yoga, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.
Apart from practicing and teaching, Danielle enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She is a supportive sister, loving aunt to three wonderful girls and soon to be wife of an amazing man who shares her passions for both family and adventure. Together they enjoy all the outdoors has to offer, loving the beach, surfing, hiking, biking and anything bringing them back to nature.
Danielle has traveled to Mysore, India for two extended stays in the winter of 2010 and 2011 where she had the privilege of studying with Sharath Jois, the grandson of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and Saraswathi at the Ashtanga Yoga Institute. She plans to return each year to deepen her understanding of this ancient practice and strengthen her connection with her teacher. During her time there she also studied Sanskrit, chanting and philosophy to deepen her knowledge of the ancient practice. She is a dedicated instructor and a devoted student of yoga, embodying the spirit through its physical expression.
Maria Amella, RYT-200
Although Maria had some awareness of yoga asana at an early age thanks to her mother's interest in the practice, it wasn't until college that she began to explore the practice for herself. She found that yoga helped her to cultivate a sense of balance and inner-stability which her type-A personality and overwound mind often made elusive. The yogic system continues to teach and challenge her in the areas of patience, discipline, and self-awareness. When faced with challenges on and off the mat, she finds peace and trust in remembering the words of K. Pattabhi Jois, "Practice and all is coming!" A scientific researcher by day, Maria is excited to see that the very real benefits of the yogic system and its sister science, Ayurveda, are becoming more widely recognized by the Western world and allopathic medical communities, encouraging many more people to explore what at one time may have seemed like an esoteric realm. By bringing focus to the breath to bridge the gap between the gross physical body and the subtler, higher aspects of our being, Maria hopes to encourage self-acceptance, physical strength and well-being, and a sincere awareness of the limitless possibilities that are offered to us in the present moment Ð with each breath, a new beginning.
Tony Barca, RYT-200, CPT
Tony Barca is a Yoga Alliance registered and an Into This World YTT certified yoga teacher, with an extensive background in personal training and anotomy. These factors, coupled with his 40+ years as a musician provide the tools for a completely unique yoga experience. His dedication to "paying it forward", so that all may share in what he has learned makes his classes fun, informative and enlightening. His dedication to encouraging people and the realization that no one is perfect creates a safe and happy atmosphere for all who enter the class.
Tony's passion for music is felt everywhere in his classes, private sessions and corporate series workshops. Whether it's rockin', or soothing as a lullaby, music is an integral part of Tony's inspiration. A veteran guitar player, singer and songwriter, he uses 40+ years in music to create mood, energy and rhythm. Don't be surprised if he breaks out his guitar and serenades you during the class.
Tony seeks to create balance in his classes by blending his great respect for Yogic traditions and his passion for music with a physical challenge and a practical philosophical approach. Like a magician pulling a never-ending stream of tricks from his bag, Tony brings something new and creative to every class. He weaves music, themes and poses together for a fun and inspiring experience. His kindness, sincere honor & respect for his students, and entertaining sense of humor create a nurturing atmosphere in which sudents are encouraged to think, feel, laugh, work, play, smile and maybe even sing during their yoga practice.
Tony's certifications and affiliations include:
Visit Tony's website for more information about him: www.rockasana.com
Danielle Bonfanti, RYT-200
Bio coming soon...
Tara Briscoe, RYT-200
Bio coming soon...
Jaclyn "Jac" Chartier, RYT-200
Jaclyn first began her practice in 1999 at her childhood home in Maryland, following along to the "Denise Austin Power Yoga" video or seeking out classes in her local gym. As yoga studios opened in the local area, she began to explore different varieties of style, including Hatha, Ashtanga and Power Yoga. While enjoying these lineages of yoga in Annapolis, Jaclyn achieved a M.A.T. in Education from Johns Hopkins University. After being a devoted practitioner of Power and Ashtanga Yoga for several years, her practice shifted in 2007 to a focus on Anusara Yoga after moving to Lake Tahoe, CA, and eventually, San Francisco, CA.
Her move to Stony Brook in 2010 finally presented the opportunity to pursue her lifelong goal of becoming a yoga instructor. Soon after beginning her training, Jaclyn discovered she was pregnant with her first child. Her child was a true gift she carried throughout her work to become an instructor. She has since completed her 200-hour Yoga Teachers Certification at the Yoga Teacher Training Institute in Queens, NY.
Jaclyn models her classes on her extensive yoga experience across the country. She guides students through uplifting and engaging practices that build inner strength and awareness of the body, focus on the mind/body connection, and create positive transformations through proper alignment and self-awareness.
Debbie Charych, RYT-200
When Debbie retired from the Three Village Central School District as an elementary school teacher, she became more consistent in her yoga practice after what she calls "dabbling" for many years. During this time she found wonderful teachers in Sara Intonato and Lori Gentzlinger. She loved their energetic practices and hands on adjustments. Debbie discovered that the careful attention each of these teachers paid to alignment and focus on the breath made all the difference in her practice. In August, 2010 Debbie received her 200 hour RYT certificate from Yoga as Medicine with Lori Gentzlinger.
"Lori told me that the teacher training would change my life. I don't think that she or I anticipated how much. Practicing yoga has enriched my life in more ways that I could have imagined, both on and off my yoga mat!"
In the last 3-1/2 years Debbie has studied and taken workshops with Sara Intonato, Lori Gentzlinger, Seane Corn, David Swenson, Cindy Lee, Beryl Bender Birch, Amy Ippolini and Elena Brower and Karen O'Donnell Clark, Colleen Saidman and Rodney Yee. Debbie loves coming back from these workshops and sharing what she's learned with her students.
"The day I received my 200 hour RYT felt like the most amazing accomplishment to me, but the journey has just begun!"
Misty Curreli, RYT-200
Misty has been practicing Ashtanga yoga since 2003 and started training to become a teacher in 2004. She received her 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification in 2006 from Lehigh Valley Yoga Center in Allentown, PA under the guidance of Erica McHugh (Sulzer). Since then she has been teaching a number of classes in Suffolk County, including the Ashtanga Primary Series, Beginner's Ashtanga, Ashtanga inspired Vinyasa, Mysore, Yoga in Chairs, and Yoga for Anxiety and Depression. Beginning in 2008, she developed and co-taught a new 200 hour Yoga Alliance approved Teacher Training program and will be continuing to teach this curriculum in 2010.
In addition to many workshops and trainings under her belt, Misty traveled to Mysore, India in the summer of 2007 to study with Sri K. Pattabi Jois (the Guru of Ashtanga Yoga) and his grandson, Sharath Rangaswamy. Beyond the study of asana and pranayama, India taught her many lessons about the 8 limbs of yoga, and she began to know a deeper understanding of ahimsa (non-violence) and non-attachment, which continues to permeate her ways of teaching and being.
Misty is also pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology and is researching pain management and healing through conventional and alternative medical systems for her dissertation.
Valerie Fontana, E-RYT-200
Valerie's background as a certified medical assistant led her down the path to studying the healing properties of Yoga. With a strong foundation of anatomy and a respect for the human body, her classes span all ages from teens to seniors, with a focus on healing.
Certified at the Kripalu Institue 200 hour and working toward her 500 hour, Valerie is also certified in Yoga Nidra (meditation and relaxation) and holds sessions regularly. She is also certified in Children's Yoga and is a member of KYTA and LIYA.
Valerie has studied with such masters as:
With the support of her family and friends, who continue to inspire her, Valerie brings to her classes a passion and commitment for the healing and well-being of her students.
Lisa Iacono, The Peaceful Warrior
To enhance her martial arts practice, Lisa began her yogic journey ten years ago with an Iyengar teacher who studied under Jeff Logan. Over the past 15 years, she has achieved black belts in Tae Kwon Do and Jujitsu.
Lisa is a registerd yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. After her first teacher training with Shiva Rea, Lisa was hooked on Vinyasa, and she developed her Shakti Yoga from this experience. Some of her favorite teaches are Shiva Rea, Duncan Wong, Baron Baptiste and John Friend. Blending science, spirit, philosophy and art into one, the path of the peaceful warrior transforms and energizes body, mind and spirit.
Jackie Incorvia, E-RYT-200, RYT-500
Jackie's personal yoga practice, which began in 2005, coupled with a growing interest in Eastern philosophy took her to India in 2008 to study classical Hatha yoga. Shortly after, she earned her 200-hour certification with Yoga Teacher Training Institute in Queens, NY. In 2009, Jackie began teaching Eclectic Hatha and Vinyasa classes largely influenced by the Ashtanga system around Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. Jackie's passion to share this ancient science and to deepen her own personal practice are the driving forces behind completing her 500-hour teacher training with Yoga Teachers Training Institute in December 2011.
Her classes incorporate philosophy influenced by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and inspiration that you can take off of your yoga mat, and into your life. She also integrates strong detailed alignment-oriented technical instruction to increase self-awareness and deepen the practice. Jackie's style blends several traditions to create a dynamic cohesive flow, the aim of which is to develop strength, flexibility, stamina, balance, and concentration in order to instill inner peace, confidence, and empowerment in each and every one of us.
Jimmy Lennon, RYT-200
Jimmy Lennon came to Yoga several years ago from an extensive background in the martial arts. He is a dedicated Ashtanga and Power Vinyasa practitioner. Jim has studied extensively with Doug and David Swenson, Baron Baptiste and Manju Jois.
In 2007, Jim traveled to Mysore India to study with Sri K.Patthabi Jois and Sharath. Jimmy has taken Doug Swenson's teacher training and is an Associate Baptiste Power Vinyasa Instructor, having successfully completed Level 1 and Level 2 Teacher Training with Baron Baptiste. Most recently Jim has studied with Beryl Bender Birch in Costa Rica and at the Mindful Turtle. Locally, Jim trains with Christopher Hildebrand in New York City.
Jimmy's classes are based on teachings and lessons learned from all of his teachers presented in a dynamic flow with an undercurrent of traditional ancient Yoga.
Lisa came to yoga as a means for dealing with asthma, and has now been practicing for over eight years. She is currently deepening her studies as a student in the Healing Yoga Foundation's 500-hour teacher training program. Committed to yoga as a tool for developing self-awareness and a calm mind, both on-and-off the mat, Lisa practices in the tradition of Krishnamacharya.
Jaysun Melia, MS, RYT-200
Jaysun has been practicing yoga for about 8 years and first found his love for it while traveling for a living. Constantly living out of a suitcase and being in foreign cities he was searching for a way to incorporate exercise, relaxation and stress relief into a demanding schedule. He began his yoga practice by watching DVDs in hotel rooms and visiting new studios whenever possible. He believes that yoga finds the person (not the person finds yoga) and when an individual is ready they will be drawn to the mat. Jaysun received his 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certification in June of 2009 from an Ashtanga based studio here on Long Island. He had the pleasure of training under Misty Curreli.
Jaysun has a Master's Degree in School Counseling and is working on finishing up his course work and internship hours to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Jaysun is also a Certified Professional Stunt Performer.
Theresa's journey with Yoga began in 2000 with a gift certificate from her husband for a six week Yoga and Meditation session. It was during her first savasana that a shift occurred and she knew there was much more to this practice than relaxation. She then began her path with the teachings of Siddha Yoga, where she became a devote, following the spiritual practices of Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. Theresa stayed at the ashram in Shoughfallsburg, NY where she took Meditation Intensives and Yoga & Meditation workshops with John Friend and Bill Mahoney. It was through these practices that Theresa decided to become a Yoga and Meditation Instructor
Theresa has been practicing meditation for 9 years and teaching for 4 years. Her teachings and studies come from the Siddha Yoga Lineage and Kripalu Yoga & Health in Lenox, Massachusetts. Siddha Yoga meditation focuses on chanting a Mantra, and then bringing the vibration of the mantra within and meditating.
Theresa is also a Certified Reflexologist and Reiki Practitioner.
To Jessica, Yoga is truly a way of living. She was first attracted to Yoga because of the beauty of Asanas (Yogic postures). However, as she continued her studies she began to realize the beauty of its eight limb path to self realization. She finds meditation often in movement rather than simple sitting, with activities such as hula hooping, fire dancing, drawing and making clothing and jewelry.
As an innate artist, her attention to the more subtle vibrations of the universe has always occurred naturally. She hopes to guide her students to develop this awareness in their own life, taking the practice of Yoga off the mat and into every aspect of their presence.
Joy Sutera practiced and studied at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts under the guidance of Megha-Nancy Buttenheim and Devarshi-Steven Hartman for her 200 hour yoga teacher certification. She has taught a variety of yoga classes in the NY area, including yoga for beginners, advanced practitioners, prenatal mamas, and kids. Joy attended SUNY Geneseo for her undergraduate studies and taught Hatha yoga at the wellness center for students. She has attended Anusara Yoga workshops led by John Friend, Desire Rumbaugh, and Jim Bernaert. Joy has also worked as a field guide for a wilderness therapy organization in Utah. She was able to teach nature-based yoga and the practice of compassionate self-awareness for clients. Joy is currently studying physical therapy at Stony Brook University, and is excited to combine her studies with yoga to help people heal their whole beings.
Joy intends to facilitate positive experiences for all yogis and yoginis during class, and hopes to help everyone feel truly present and connected with their inner selves, fellow beings, and our earth through yoga.
Amy Taub, MPA, RYT-200
Amy is a RYT-200 hour yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, and is currently working towards her 500 hour certification with Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard and The Soft Yoga Institute. She has been studying under Beryl since 2010 and is a dedicated Ashtanga practitioner. Amy calls Mindful Turtle home; she has practiced here for over three years and has been teaching here since 2011.
Amy began her yoga practice in 2005 in an effort to find a release of stress... she discovered that and so much more. She has used her practice to work through injuries — coming back 100% from a knee surgery — and to help her through difficult challenges that life has presented. The practice, however, has also been an energizing and motivating part of her life. It's fun, rewarding and through yoga she has made lasting friendships; three years ago she met her best friend at a Mindful Turtle class! The yoga experience continuously helps to create a greater and more joyful balance in her life.
Amy has recently returned from a year abroad in Nicaragua where she teamed up with buildOn, an organization building primary schools in rural, underprivileged communities. With the help of her community at home she was able to fundraise and build a new school in their name. She has just received her MPA in International Development from Rutgers University and is currently looking to start her career in New York City. When she can, Amy competes as a professional drag racer with her family team — T&F Racing. A great place to learn how to be "present" is at 200mph!
Danielle Tarantola, E-RYT-500
Danielle Tarantola, director of The Yoga Foundation, is a teacher certified by the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation. She also trains teachers and offers Yoga Therapy. Through continued, extensive training in India and across the United States with the Desikachar family, she labors to ensure that yoga's profound wisdom comes through clearly, simply, and with total relevancy for our modern times and conditions.
T'ai Chi Ch'uan Instructor
Mike's involvement with Chinese martial culture began in 1970. His teachers included Cheng Man-Ching, William C.C. Chen, T.T. Liang, and a number of others less well known. His last and greatest teacher — and the one he spent most time with — was the late Master Yu Cheng-Hsiang. Master Yu was a most unusual and generous teacher who practiced and taught many martial disciplines, as well as Chi Kung, calligraphy, and Chinese medicine. Michael began his studies with Master Yu in the mid-80s and continued as one of his senior students up to the teacher's sudden passing in November of 2010.
Mike's personal practice includes Master Yu's traditional version of 108-posture Yang-style T'ai Chi Ch'uan form, the Tan Tui or "snapping leg" forms, Shaolin Temple boxing routines, T'ai Chi Sword, and the Shaolin Temple Staff. In addition, he incorporates certain ancillary exercises such as the Yi Jin Jing — or "Muscle/Tendon Changing Form" — and "Silk Reeling" routines into his practice.