It’s no wonder that Laughing Lotus continues to be voted BEST Yoga Center in New York City! Our outstanding teachers are the core of our community. Certified through Laughing Lotus Yoga School, each of our instructors is committed to deepening their studies, growing as teachers and guiding their students along the path of self-discovery. They are inspired by and instruct from their own practice — experimenting, innovating and sharing with you what they discover.
Ali has always followed her passions: first, for dance, which led her from the ‘burbs of Connecticut to New York City at 16; then, for yoga, which eventually led her home to Laughing Lotus, where she discovered her next true loves, Dana Flynn, Jasmine Tarkeshi, Lotus Flow and Ayurveda. She did her teacher training at Lotus in 2003, and began teaching at Lotus the same year. Nine years later, with the encouragement of Dana Flynn, Ali created Laughing Lotus’ Ayurveda and Healing Program, acting as director and teacher, both at the 100 and 50-hour level certifications.
In addition to being one of the core teachers for Laughing Lotus’ acclaimed 200 hour Teacher Training, Ali has also been a guest teacher in other trainings, teaching workshops and retreats all over the world. She is continually inspired by how these practices bring people together and create community. In 2013, she was honored to lead the very first 200-hour yoga teacher training in the Sudan, where she also worked with therapists at refugee relief centers and in schools throughout Khartoum.
Ali writes Ayurveda columns for BreatheRepeat.com, alignyo.com, and mindbodygreen.com and is happy to be a Lululemon Ambassador. She believes deeply that the practices of yoga and Ayurveda can teach us to live our lives with integrity, balance, and grace, if we are willing to do the work. Ali is forever grateful to Dana Flynn and the whole Lotus family for their wild creativity and true devotion. She feels blessed to have been teaching at Laughing Lotus for eleven years.
Mary Dana first found herself on a yoga mat over 25 years ago when her father would take her to a Hatha Yoga class at the local dance center. Since then she has studied numerous disciplines and styles, finding Laughing Lotus in 2004. Known for detailed attention to alignment, precise transitions, sublime sequencing and pitch perfect playlist her classes will take you to a whole new level. Mary Dana currently directs the 200 hour, Super Sequencing and Hands-On 50 hours at Laughing Lotus.
Sheri feels incredibly grateful to be able to do what she loves and share it with others. She’s devoted to creating a safe space for people to let loose, shake free of inhibitions and challenge themselves on a physical and emotional level.
Born in Brooklyn, Sheri now travels the world on a regular basis, leading teacher trainings and retreats in Korea, Vietnam, Germany, Holland, England, Belize and Mexico, to name a few. She has been teaching since the age of 15 and earned her degree in Dance from the University at Buffalo. She completed her 200 and 300-hour trainings at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center under the guidance of Dana Flynn and Jasmine Tarkeshi; she also completed advanced studies with Ana Forrest.
From the NYC public schools to international yoga conferences, her mission is to help people find courage, strength and compassion for themselves and others, allowing our lives to be lived fully and peacefully.
Kenny teaches a uniquely creative vinyasa class that leaves you feeling boundless and free-spirited. Kenny’s caring and intelligent teaching style makes yoga relatable, fun, and transformative for all levels of modern-day Yogis. Combining his passion for movement, spiritual nourishment, good music, and community – Kenny is so grateful to do what he loves and be able to share it with others. Special thanks to Dana Flynn, Ali Cramer, Sheri Celantano, Mary Dana Abbott, Lauren Magarelli and so many more for lighting the way.
As a dancer, Lauren finds her inspiration for her classes through her love of movement, the Earth, and all that takes our breath away. Lauren leads a thoughtful and challenging class, diving deeper into the practice through peak poses and a sense of Lila, “divine play.” She is open to each moment and loves being the continual student. Lauren feels lucky to share her practice and what she loves with others. Lauren is Lotus’ resident Kirtan songbird.
Amy came to yoga because she thought it would make her a better dancer, but soon realized it made her a better human. About 10 minutes into her first class with Jasmine, she realized she needed to be a yoga teacher. Amy’s classes are inspired by her love of dance, music, poetry and the simple sweetness of breathing in and breathing out.
Anastasia is passionate about yoga’s deep healing nature, particularly the way in which it allows the possibility of creating a healthy relationship with our bodies and freedom for our spirit. With a masters degree in nutrition, Anastasia loves to infuse her classes with themes that arise from her work in women’s health as a Registered Dietitian and her training in yoga therapy.
Jamie discovered yoga when she was living in the island of Hawaii and has been teaching for 13 years. Since then she has studied yoga therapy, alignment and meditation, finding Laughing Lotus in 2005. Her creative organic yoga sequence can transform, replenish and create a profound shift while simply maintaining a pleasant, centering oasis under her careful guidance. Jamie is the director of The Rasa Restorative Yoga Teacher Training Level 1 & 2.
Victor loves life, and most of all, loves yoga. It is his eternal wish for everyone to be happy and free. He has endless gratitude for his incredible family for making him into the creative and independent spirit that he is, the entire Laughing Lotus family for embracing him so generously, Sri Dharma Mittra for planting the seeds, and to all fellow seekers for sharing & inspiring his journey along the pathless path that is life. Victor honors all of his teachers and the ancient teachings by expressing joy, vitality & hope through celebration, in the recognition that there is a light that never goes out in all of us. Om.
A student and teacher of yoga for nearly 15 years, the practice helped Christine recover from two spinal conditions and chronic stress; however, it wasn’t until coming to Laughing Lotus that Christine felt pure glee bursting from her flow on the mat. Christine teaches from her practice: soulful, happy and free movement that is informed by wellness and safety to celebrate one’s ever-expanding potential. Christine has spent most of her life telling stories, so naturally she is the Editor of the Lotus Love Blog.
Originally from Paris (France), Cathy started her yoga practice while living in Texas 10 years ago. She was more interested in the physical aspect of yoga, but it did not take her long to connect with the mental and spiritual benefits of this ancient practice. When she discovered yoga, she also rediscovered herself. Today, yoga helps her live LIFE to its full potential, stay present, and “simply” BE in the NOW. Her practice encourages her to breathe deeper, stay grounded, and accept herself. It got her through some very tough times. Expect a mix of fun, generosity, and loving attention in her classes while you experience your own journey of self-discovery.
Yoga saved Ilana’s life. To thank yoga, Ilana shares yoga with everyone she can. After dropping out of music school and breaking up with a career in performing, Ilana went seeking a way to connect more deeply to the world, a way to serve the world through her work. Feeling lost and alone and unable to light the world, one day yoga showed up and taught her how to find the inner light, how to share the inner light. Breath after breath, depression, heartbreak, insomnia, self-doubt, even a ligament tear melted into memory and became fertile soil for a new life shared with this divine spirit family. Maha Pranams to Dana, Jasmine, and the whole Lotus Tribe for the chance to serve and learn and love.
Her classes are dynamic, energetic vinyasa journeys through the inner self for therapeutic release through movement, breath, meditation and mantra, seeking to uncover the organic pulse of life in the present moment.
Susan is passionate about making yoga accessible to everyone! She’s a huge advocate for yoga’s benefits – heart, mind, soul, and body – and loves helping students understand how to explore yoga in themselves. A wonderful guide for people new to yoga, she teaches for the Lineage Project, which provides yoga and meditation for at-risk youth. Susan is also a lover of animals, music, and the theater.
Stefani first wandered into a yoga studio feeling lost & the first time she stepped on her mat she fell in love. Little did she know her love of the practice would grow, deepen, and evolve in such ways that all areas of her life would be effected. Stefani shares from her life experiences and what Yoga has taught her in hopes to inspire others to also walk this healing path.
Jess discovered yoga in 2008 and quickly realized how deeply she loved the practice and craved the community that surrounds it. Jess taught in Boston for 5 years before moving to New York City in 2016. Inspired by her background in high intensity movement as a gymnast, she guides students through an innovative and dynamic sequence blended with amazing beats, designed to build strength and flexibility. Jess’s background provides her with a unique understanding of the body that allows for intuitive movement on the mat. She believes when we feel strong and confident we develop the ability to be more compassionate and kind towards ourselves and everyone we encounter. Jess is a 500 Hour Certified Yoga Instructor though Laughing Lotus Yoga Center and is beyond grateful to be sharing her passion for yoga with the world.
Tressie Otto comes from a background in performance, and rediscovered her passion for dance and music through her Yoga practice. She remembers the first class she ever took at Laughing Lotus, with Ali Cramer, and how she simply fell in love with prayer through movement, and the Lotus Flow. She was inspired to become certified, and now has over 400 hours of Yoga teacher training through the Lotus program. There is a tremendous amount to learn in every facet of the Yoga practice, and she Loves to Learn. Tressie enjoys sequencing her classes in accordance with the Chakra system, and infuses the movement with dance-like fluidity and spirituality, while drawing special attention to alignment. Tressie believes that Yoga is truly a gift of liberation, and is so grateful for the opportunity to share it with others through her teaching. She is especially honored to be teaching at a studio that has given her so much, alongside teachers for whom she has great admiration, respect and love. Special thanks to Mary Dana Abbott, Kenny Frisby, Sheri Celentano, Ali Cramer, Cathy Cheron Dirkx, and really the whole Lotus Family for their guidance and support. And of course to Dana Trixie Flynn for creating the Dance with the Divine in the transformative Lotus Flow sequencing, and this warm space that feels like home! Love and Light always~
Brandi stumbled into the Laughing Lotus in 2004 and it saved her life. Ten years later She graduated from Love School and is now happily teaching at LotusBK! She also is a massage therapist and uses her love for essential oils to infuse each class with a sweet smell and funky beats! Look for her and Susan Derwin teaching 50 hour YinFlow and Essential Oils in the fall!
Veronica advocates the light in each and every one of us, encouraging students to fuel their own expressions as yogis, humans and sustainers of love and life. With a cosmic toolbox of mantras, asanas, mudras, meditation, yoga philosophy and some self-love, Veronica’s hope is that you explore your flexibility and strength through this physical practice and witness how these discoveries can follow you off the mat to serve yourself and others.
After more than 15 years repeating, “yoga… me… never,” Stephanie stumbled into Sheri’s class and fell in love with her most unlikely new passion. Yoga opened up a path to speaking this language of spirituality and love she had been longing to share. As one of the Lotus Temple Dancers, Stephanie uses movement to express emotions. Her classes encourage her students to find their own artistic voice and reflect on how connections can make our lives off the mat brighter, lighter and happier.
Felipe’s passion for music, movement, and spirituality is what initially brought him to the yoga practice. It was his need to connect and serve that ignited his desire to teach. Drawn to the disciplines of Bhakti and Nada Yoga, Felipe devotes his practice and teachings to connecting to something greater than oneself. With an artist’s Soul and a healer’s heart, he infuses mantra, chanting, and graceful, linear movements to all his classes.
After years of telling stories with words and images, Heather put her film and writing career on hold to focus on telling stories through movement. She draws inspiration from the magic of daily life — particularly her love of nature and poetry. Her classes are often infused with metaphor and always include a healthy dose of hands on assists. One of her deepest joys lies in finding the freedom of breath which results from making the classic shapes of yoga asana.
Through layering the focus of breath and alignment into yoga asana, she will guide you to challenge your yoga practice, no matter your level, while expanding your understanding of movement.
Since the moment Lizzie could put a prayer at her heart she has been on a soulful quest. She is guided by her fearless spirit and the sheer enjoyment of bringing people together. Yoga stumbled into her in college- being a runner, dancer, cyclist, and galavanter, aka mover/shaker she was astonished by how just being on her mat, combining asana’s and breath, could make her feel so divine and alive! She remembers the moment she walked into Laughing Lotus in 2011, the colors, BRILLIANT teachers, community and MUSIC oozing from the walls ~ my soulful quest is quenched when I’m here. It is a dream come true to teach, learn and continually be inspired by such greatness.
Lizzie’s classes are filled with good beats, energized vinyasa flows with a dash of mantras, mudras, meditation and YOU! Just breath and let the soul flow
Jes has spent her life in a state of movement and creation. Grounded in personal liberation and self-expression, yoga was the “aha” switch to all things transformative. Her classes are conceived through intention; sequences laced with mudras and pranayama designed to explore and create, using the body as a tool to stimulate consciousness.
Julie first found yoga on a “yoga date” with a fellow dance friend. She thought to herself, “Yoga? Sure, why not. It will probably be good cross-training for dance.” She soon discovered that this practice would have a very deep effect on her life. Upon returning from one year of studying dance in Israel and diving back into her senior year of college, Julie began practicing yoga regularly. In the flux of such a drastic change of lifestyle from Israel to New York, Julie found that yoga helped to ground her in a way that dance did not. With this realization, she knew that yoga had become a major part of her life. After graduating college, Julie knew she wanted to embark on the journey to obtain her yoga certification so that she could have the resources to share this practice that had profoundly changed her life with others. She soon found a home at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center where she instantly fell in love with the fluid, dance-like sequencing and the philosophy of “moving like you” that Dana Trixie Flynn wholeheartedly encourages.
Amanda Gloria Valdes is a dreamer -a true renaissance woman . Amanda makes her mark as a yogini, actress, playwright, and director. Amanda Gloria Valdes was named “Change Maker'” by Yoga Journal Italia in December 2015 for her teaching and work in non-traditional yoga settings to make yoga more accessible to all . Amanda found Laughing Lotus in 2014 when she met Dana Trixie Flynn at the Brooklyn museum and from that day had Lotus on her heart. Amanda’s classes encourage you to “Create !Breathe! and Fly!”
Kevin is a lover of life and seeker of wisdom. He began his search as a teenager through Martial Arts and Buddhism. After an injury, Kevin turned to yoga as a healing aid and fell in love with the physical practice. He connected with the spiritual side while living in India for a year where he studied Vedanta, Tantra, and yoga philosophy. After living abroad for many years, Kevin returned to New York and found his home at Laughing Lotus where he was welcomed with open arms. He is eternally grateful to Dana Flynn, Ali Cramer, Sheri Celentano, Jes Allen, Kenny Frisby and the entire Lotus Family. Kevin’s classes are full of soul, interesting transitions, mudras, mantras and flight! His playlists are modern; infused with Latin flavor, R&B, and Soulful House. Kevin teaches from his personal practice that focuses on a grounded approach to self-love and enlightenment.
Jazmin’s journey into yoga can be attributed to sheer curiosity. She took classes sporadically to learn and explore more of the practice. An opportunity to live in the Dominican Republic and teach literacy skills to youth is what brought Jazmin to a more constant yoga practice. When she returned to New York City, she could not shake the feeling of having to train more and deepen her practice. Her years of experience as a salsa dancer and instructor coupled with her constant callings towards teaching were only a few factors that made Jazmin confident she could follow a path as a yoga teacher.