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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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
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!”
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.
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.
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 Celentano, Mary Dana Abbott, Lauren Magarelli and so many more for lighting the way.
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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!
Will grew up with a spiritual worldview but never quite found the right way to practice, celebrate and share it with others…until he found yoga! His practice began about a decade before he found Laughing Lotus, but it wasn’t until that joyous discovery that he knew he wanted to become a teacher. The beautiful mixture of ancient traditions, poetic wisdom, pure joy, and tightly-knit community all told him that he had found his spiritual hOMe. Will’s background is in storytelling; when he’s not teaching yoga, he’s a writer that focuses on culture, wellness, and sustainability. As such, he has a deep love for the Bhakti tradition, the mythology and mantras that make up the heart of the yoga practice. There is nothing he loves more than to help others discover their own creative voices and share them with the world. He is eternally grateful to Dana Trixie Flynn, Kenny Frisby, Deborah Langley, Ali Cramer, and Sheri Celentano for their endless inspiration and encouragement on this path!
Klodiana grew up in Communist Albania where a spiritual practice of any kind was considered a punishable act. Feeling like something great was missing in her life, she fled a transitioning Albania and came to New York, by herself, at the age of 16. She didn’t know it at the time, but her great journey to the self and her freedom, had begun. Klodiana found her way in to the practice through the words of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. As she spent some considerable time with the great American poet, she began to develop a loving relationship with her body, mind and spirit. Klodiana came to Laughing Lotus in June of 2017. She knew, as soon she walked through those doors that she was hOMe. She completed her 200 hour certification on August 2017 and started teaching at Laughing Lotus shortly after. Klodiana witnessed a great personal transformation unfold within that same year, thanks to Laughing Lotus’ beloved teachers who generously shared their knowledge and wisdom. Klodiana believes that each day is a new opportunity to step a little closer to the higher Self and hopes to impart this to her students. Her mantra is “stay rooted and flowing”: rooted in who you are and flexible to move with life’s currents. She believes in the healing qualities of the yoga practice and deeply wishes to share this knowledge with her students. Klodiana has a background in English Literature and is a freelance photographer. This background allows her to bring her artistic expression into her teachings.
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.
Maggie will never forget her first Lotus class. She was nearly late for it, because she couldn’t for the life of her, figure out where the entrance on 6th Avenue was 😉 BUT once she was in…she was hooked. She remembers feeling how rich the air was. The whole space seemed to ooze with creativity, inspiration and deep, deep roots in the spiritual practice. She left that class and thought, “Wow. If and when I become a yoga teacher, that is where I want to train.” 5 years later, she finally took that leap. It was honestly one of the best decisions of her life. Maggie brings her passions of performing arts, music, dance and goofiness into her classes, which are designed to nourish the body and soothe the mind. She is beyond honored to be a part of Team Lotus, and will be forever grateful for everything this community and it’s teachers have brought into her life. Love, love, light and love. Namaste.