yoga, tai chi, reiki, meditation,
massage and acupuncture
instructors and bios
Amy Abelson - inner body bright
Amy is the Lakshmi Living Arts Director, and a certified Anusara Yoga Teacher. She operates from the understanding that we can align with the power of our consciousness to reveal and manifest the heart’s deepest longings. In her own life, she practices yoga, meditation, contemplation, and self-inquiry, as a way to engage this creative power in the quest to be more fully alive, playful, creative, and compassionate. As a yoga teacher, administrator, and mentor, Amy helps individuals realize the deepest longings that comprise their vision for life, love and work.
Christopher ananda - radiance meditation
I have been studying and teaching yoga, meditation and other healing therapies and energetic modalities for over 20 years, and hold many teaching certificates and a Cornell Engineering degree. My teachers have included Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, John Osborne, Lorin Roche, James Eavenson, Dr. Joe Marshalla, Yogi Bhajan, and Dr. Joseph Levry. I am passionate about assisting students in their journey to a passionate, wonder-filled life. Along the way I teach tools that lead to a healthy body, vibrant mind and compassionate connection with others.
ILANA BERMAN - Flow and restore
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. www.ilanahata.com
jenni cunningham-ryan - vinyasa with a twist
Known for her focus on alignment in a fun but vigorous way, Jenni has become one of Ithaca's revered teachers for spiritual seekers and fitness enthusiasts alike. Bringing a strong awareness of the Ashtanga fundamentals into her classes, Jenni teaches power styles of yoga to all levels, ages, and abilities in a balanced way.
Her classes are based on the Ashtanga system, but with a strong sense of creativity that allows the practitioner to participate to his or her ability. With an emphasis on core engagement ("A strong core is a strong body is a strong mind"), her classes are designed to rinse the whole body from head to toe. Students will be guided to connect with their sense of strength and flexibility in a safe and practical manner, each time they step foot on the mat.
Kristina DeCicco - Open Heart kids yoga ages 3-6
As a compassionate high school teacher, yogi, dancer and mama, Kristina loves working with all children to see them thrive. Kristina first started teaching kids yoga in 2007 in Buffalo at the Boys and Girls Club before moving to Ithaca in 2008. She brings her experience of working with children and her passions for yoga, dance and music together in harmony. Kristina has been teaching, working, and volunteering with students of all ages since 2003 and is hoping to inspire more mindfulness and confidence in young people.
She received her Little Buddhas Yoga certification in 2017 and started her own business, Open Heart Kids Yoga which is currently running classes at The Foundation of Light, Ithaca. When she’s not teaching yoga, Kristina is embracing quality time with her 4 year old daughter, enjoying the beauty of our region, and loving life. Kristina’s enthusiasm and caring heart engage children in a fun and positive way by exploring the wonders of yoga.
anthony fazio - tai chi
Anthony Fazio is nationally certified and licensed in NY and NJ to practice acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. He began his studies of Asian healing arts in 1987, at the Ohashi Institute of Shiatsu, completing the advanced shiatsu levels and basic instructor training. In 1991 he began his acupuncture training at TriState Institute in Stamford, Connecticut, transferring to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in NYC in 1993. There Anthony trained in diverse acupuncture styles including Vietnamese, People's Republic of China (Traditional Chinese Medicine-TCM), Korean, Japanese, and Classical Chinese. At Pacific, he also studied TCM style of herbology.
Graduating from Pacific in 1996, he traveled to China to study at Heilongjiang College of Acupuncture in Harbin. In 2000, Anthony and his family moved to Ithaca, NY, where they established Peaceful Spirit Acupuncture. https://peacefulspiritacupuncture.com/
Timothy d. foley - ithaca community acupuncture
Timothy D. Foley, M.S.A.O.M., L.Ac., graduated from the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in 2008. While in his last year of study, Timothy traveled to China and the Zhejiang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital in Huang Zhou, where he observed community style acupuncture as the standard way of treating patients. After starting his private practice he believed that community style acupuncture could work in Ithaca and is now very excited to offer it’s benefits to the people of the Finger Lakes region.
Daniel Hill - Arm Balances and Inversions
Daniel began practicing yoga regularly with his sister Elaine in January 2010. Initially drawn to yoga for its physical benefits, he quickly realized a much deeper experience was to be found in this practice. Daniel now practices yoga to explore and enhance the connection between mind, body, and spirit. He completed his 200 hour teacher training in August 2015 at Lakshmi Living Arts with his teachers Rachel Bush, Amy Abelson, and Denise Hatch. Daniel finds Anusara Yoga to be an incredibly rich style of yoga to practice and teach, and feels he is just brushing the surface of its potential as an Anusara Elements Teacher. In his own practice Daniel loves to be challenged and find his edges. As a teacher, he intends to offer his students the experience of finding their edges and being supported in growing beyond them!
daniela hess - meditation and mindfulness workshop
My 20 years in spiritual study and application are primarily from the Mahayana School of Tibetan Buddhism and Kashmir Shaivism. Prior to Co-Creating Yoga Farm, I worked 1:1 and with couples as a Life Coach, and I co-founded and taught with HeartPath Institute. My teachers have included His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Byron Katie, D.R. Butler, Lorin Roche, Camille Maurine, Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, and Dr. Jackie Black.
The synthesis of the oral teachings and transmissions of an unbroken lineage combined with the contemporary teachings of meditation, inquiry and modern mysticism fuel my ability to guide students into the answers that lie buried like treasure within their questions. I am masterful, with a laser like sharpness, at helping all who come to me to See, Feel, and ReMember their own Radiance.
My passion is helping clients and students ReDiscover who and what they ‘really are’, to fall deeply in love with themselves, to relearn how to nourish and cherish themselves so they can honestly nourish others, and to Feel, with their whole Being, the experience of the ‘Rapture of Being Alive’.
My job is to help You ReCognize your Self. To help You ReMember your magnificent Goodness and Beauty and Power. To live a life of astounding fulfillment, and to live AS Love, in Action in your relationships and ultimately, as Service to others.
My Vision of our capacity as a Humanity is a world where all beings are living in and as Connection, Purpose, Joy, & Service. When we Awaken ourself to our True Nature as Kindness & Clarity, we can Awaken ourselves as our Kindest Humanity.
coleen osborne-foley acupuncture
Coleen graduated from Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at NYCC in 2008. Coleen established a private practice with Timothy D. Foley for two and a half years. After volunteering as an acupuncturist at the Ithaca Free Clinic, Coleen realized there are a lot of community members that do not have access to consistent and continuous treatment. After hearing about the Community Acupuncture model, she thought it would be a great fit for Ithaca.
Lex Enrico Santí - yin yoga
Lex Enrico Santí is a clinical therapist at Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca. A world traveler who rambled around the world for 15 years, after having been raised in Ithaca, he is happy to call this community his home once again. His therapeutic practice incorporates storytelling, mindfulness and self awareness. He has been a yoga instructor for the past 5 years.
neko three sixty - restorative yoga with sound healing
I’m Neko Three Sixty. I love to connect with people. I love to speak to and for the animals. I love to commune with the elements. I love sleeping under the stars. I love being an alchemist. I love to dance. I love to sing. I love to perform. I love talking to and working with plants, learning new things each time about their potent medicine. I love ritual. I love poetry. I love yoga. I love good wholesome meals with family, friends, and strangers a like. I love to travel. I love sitting by the fire.
I have docked over 900 hours as a Certified Herbalist, received my 200 RYT Yoga Teacher Training Certification, and my Reiki Level 2 Attunement. I continually teach and take workshops and classes to share and fine tune my myriad interests & talents as a healer. My tarot, astrological, & feng shui knowledge has been primarily self-taught over the past 17 years, with a helping hand, seemingly, from a past life.
Taryn Tompson - yoga in a pinch
Taryn was first introduced to yoga when she was 14 and soon began taking vinyasa classes at her local gym. An avid skier, runner, and swimmer, she was drawn to the grace, fluidity, and integrity that yoga demands, and quickly became inspired to commit herself to the study of yoga. A high level of self-discipline has helped Taryn develop a thorough understanding of anatomy and movement over 12 years of dedicated practice in the Iyengar, Anusara, Ashtanga, and Bikram styles. When guiding students through asana and pranayama, her style is inspired by her teachers and by the exquisite nature of the human body. Taryn offers alignment instructions for safety, strength-building, and engaged stretching. She aspires to create a safe space for self-exploration and encourages students toward self-inquiry, self-respect, and mindfulness.
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. www.HeartThreadYoga.com
HANNAH VOLPI - power vinyasa
Hannah began her inquiry into yoga over a decade ago. Movement has always been a part of her daily life, but it wasn’t until her first yoga class she realized she knew nothing about incorporating her breathe. The only place she was taking deep nutritious breathes was consciously on her mat. Her first practice of Awareness. And certainly not her last.
Through Yoga, Awareness has become more of a lifestyle and life long development. She completed her 200 hour teacher training at Nosara Yoga Institute on the wild Nicoya Peninsula. Her current style is Power Vinyasa and Self Awakening. She is in her element when she is moving in her body, whether it’s through asana, dancing, running in the woods, swimming in the lake, and enjoys trying new ways to move. When she isn’t teaching, she is with Ruby, her best friend with 4 fluffy paws.
melissa weiner - no more boulders in the hips and shoulders
Melissa is an energetic Vinyasa teacher, practicing yoga for over 18 years. She received her 200-hour certification from Yoga Works in Soho under Jeanmarie Paolillo in August 2012 and children’s certification from Karma Kids. Her teaching draws from the fluidity of Ashtanga and the alignment and precision of Iyengar, Anusara, and Pilates. Melissa’s knowledge goes beyond asana and sequencing, with instruction on the subtle body, Ayurveda, meditation, pre-natal, and restorative yoga.
Melissa, a competitive runner was inspired to take a yoga class upon incurring many running injuries in 2001. Her first thought was, “I am not good at this, I can barely touch my toes.” Despite her first thoughts, she put her competitive nature aside and stuck with it for thirteen years. Melissa learned to love yoga, and work with her limited flexibility and hamstring tightness, and practice within her own limits. She saw progress and realized yoga is a journey and not a destination. Making progress in her own asana practice, Melissa believes that since she is comfortable in her body and physical limitations that she can help others do the same.
Enthusiastic to bring yoga to as many people as possible, she believes yoga should be accessible to all ages and levels. It has changed her and she is passionate about bringing the joy of yoga to others. Teaching others yoga as a way of life helps students conquer fears, deal with difficult situations and be more open minded. Melissa sees teaching yoga as a gift to help bring others spirituality through asana practice, breath, and meditation.
Ashtanga classes present an adaptive sequence of postures that guide to the Ashtanga Primary Series. In the modified format, practitioners chant the traditional invocation and engage the techniques of breath, bandhas and dristi to unfold the depth, detailing, spirit and intelligence of flowing postures.
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Lennessa first became interested in yoga as a result of her meditation practice. Her earliest trainings under master teacher Indubala Bhardwaj led her to complete professional yoga certification at the age of 20. Lennessa’s credentials include a 200-hour Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga training program and 16-hour Sanskrit course under Indu’s direction; a 35-hour certification training with Doug Swenson; training with Yogic Arts founder Duncan Wong; and extensive studies with Larry Schulz, the late director of the “It’s Yoga” Ashtanga system.
Lennessa presents a dynamic blend of these teachings while imparting insights from her life experiences. Her journey has spanned multiple U.S. regions and multiple pregnancies, thus she is equally as passionate about pregnancy and natural birth as she is about yoga. Lennessa is a trained and experienced childbirth doula through the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators. She considers her classes in Prenatal Yoga and Baby and Me Yoga to be among her specialties.
On a personal note, Lennessa shares deep appreciation for not only Raja Yoga, but also other lineages that uphold tradition and nature, such as wildcrafting and native spiritualism. Her practices of personal divination, ritual, and contemplation lead her to a lifestyle of communion with Mother Earth and her inhabitants.
Through it all, Lennessa has learned that yoga has something potent to offer everyone. Her wish is to share her passion for yoga by encouraging others to love their true selves by “living yoga,” as she aspires to do herself every day. Her intent is focused on developing The Yoga School to what she envisions it to be: a vehicle for transforming lives in the way that only true love, true community, and true yoga can.