2017 Yoga Instructors

ILANA BERMAN - Body wisdom

With a playful spirit, Ilana brings to her teaching an emphasis on alignment, kinesthietic awareness, and developing sensitivity to your body's intuitive wisdom in order to find pleasure in each movement and breath. Using a combination of the invigorating and surrendering aspects of yoga, and a passionate understanding of how the body works, she helps students to steadily progress and deepen their practice while receiving the therapeutic benefits of building strength and flexibility of both body and mind. She sees the yoga mat as a place of safety and freedom where you can practice being your most empowered, loving, and awesome self. 



Alison was drawn to yoga initially to maintain the strength and flexibility she had developed over 15 years as a modern and ballet dancer. By practicing asana and mindfulness, Alison quickly discovered the joy and power of living in the present moment. When she was introduced to Kripalu Yoga, she was attracted to the tradition's emphasis on self-compassion and self-inquiry. Alison completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in 2012. Additionally, Alison is currently pursuing certification in integrative yoga therapy, and she is passionate about incorporating therapeutic yoga techniques into classes and workshops. Alison is a practicing clinical social worker, developing a specialty in helping individuals impacted by trauma heal through mindfulness-based modalities. She teaches yoga in both therapeutic and studio settings in the Ithaca and Cortland area. 


Patrick Fuller - acroyoga playshop

Patrick is a central New York native, licensed massage therapist, and registered yoga teacher at the 200hr level. His love of therapeutics led him to AcroYoga, which offers its own unique approach to the body.


Lara Green - hot warrior yoga

Lara has been practicing yoga with joy since 2004. When she first discovered a 200-hour certification in the jungle of Costa Rica in 2012, it seemed like the perfect match! Lara decided to combine her love for teaching and yoga, and share the practice with others. She trained with Vidya Jaqueline Heisel, the founder and director of Frog Lotus International, in the Vinyasa Flow Style. In 2013, Lara completed a 50-hour training with Jennilee Toner in Hot Warrior Yoga, and became certified to teach a 50 asana series that is a creative fusion of Hot Hatha and Hot Vinyasa. She has also taken various workshops to continue her education with brilliant instructors such as Doug Swenson, David Kyle, and Sean Conley. Lara has taught group classes at Mighty Yoga in Ithaca since 2012. She is also directs Fall Creek Elementary School's after-school program, where she teaches kid's yoga classes weekly. She is in her happy place floating on a tube in the Finger Lakes, or being surrounded by fresh air, trees, and mountains with her pup.  

gina newlin - acroyoga playshop

Gina Newlin is a certified Level 2 AcroYoga teacher who delights in first flights and helping new friends tap into the power of their inner child! She lives, works and plays in Ithaca NY, or wherever the journey leads! 

Lex Enrico SANTI - yin yoga

Alexis "Lex" Enrico Santi has been honing his craft in yoga studies around the country for many years.  Lex completed his yin yoga teacher certification with Biff Mithoefer at the Omega Institute. Lex has an MSW and is a published writer who holds an MFA in creative writing. He combines his compassion for the human condition with his creative power in teaching the gentle practice of yin yoga. He find yin yoga a necessary practice in an increasingly wired and chaotic world. Lex is a practitioner who has worked with and has a deep respect for all styles and schools of yoga: vinyasa, kundalini, ashtanga, hatha and the like. He is a committed yogi but he is also a crossfit athlete, creative writing instructor and photographer. 


Rachel VerValin - Welcome Yoga Flow

A lifelong athlete, Rachel originally came to the mat during her undergraduate years because it was an incredible workout. After practicing many different styles with many different teachers, she found a love for Vinyasa Yoga. She received her 200-hour yoga teacher training certification in 2011 and has been teaching ever since. In May 2013, Rachel furthered her studies at Integral Yoga Institue and received her 85-hour prenatal yoga certificate. With the inspiration and support of her community, she created Heart Thread Yoga in May 2014. Heart Thread Yoga offers international and domestic yoga retreats, along with a 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified Yoga Teacher Training program. Rachel seeks to create a nurturing environment where students can learn and practice yoga in a caring and accessible way. Her classes are often filled with funny quips, laughter, hard work and great music! She (immensely) enjoys creating a space where everyone can feel comfortable practicing yoga asana, with the belief that a balanced body = a balanced life. 


HANNAH VOLPI - power vinyasa

Hannah began her inquiry into yoga nearly a decade ago. At the time she was a daily runner and all kinds of tight and twisted. A friend introduced her to yoga, and it took only that first deep breath to help unravel layers of tension. After moving to Ithaca, she entered Mighty Yoga as a work study, and it’s been “her roost” (her words!) ever since. The winter of 2016, she lived and worked at a Yoga Retreat Center in Costa Rica, practicing and playing with teachers and students of all styles from all over the world. That fed her with a strong desire to dig deeper into her own essence, and she completed her 200-hour teacher training at Nosara Yoga Institute on the wild Nicoya Peninsula. Her comfort zone is Power Vinyasa and Self Awakening Yoga, but she hopes to continue training in other styles and take it one stride at a time.


A special thank you to all of our dedicated teachers who offer their gifts to the Peace of Mind Yogathon and to Family & Children's Service. We couldn't do it without you!