Our Amazing Teachers

 

Yuuki Hirano

Co-FOUNDER/Studio Director

Mon 12Pm, 6pm, Acupuncturist

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Yuuki is the proud owner of Dou Yoga as well as the co-founder of Suryaside Yoga and  Hosh Yoga. He is the Co-Director and Co-Lead teacher of the 200 hour teacher training program at Dou Yoga. 

In addition to a decade of practice, Yuuki has been teaching since 2008. He completed his 500 hour training with ISHTA Yoga but his thirst for knowledge and passion for the subtle body and energetics has brought him the  Tri-State  College of Acupuncture where he is currently to studying Oriental Medicine to become a licensed acupuncturist.

Yuuki believes in the importance of functional movement and using the breath as a foundation and progression of one’s yoga practice. With his understanding of anatomy, body mechanics, meditation, the breath and the energy that weaves all it together, Yuuki wishes to educate and create an environment of inquiry, healing and growth for his students

 

Amy Hansen

Tuesday 8:15pm, Sunday 9:30am

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After literally kicking her way into life, Amy developed an active lifestyle at an early age, while running competitively and exploring many styles of dance. This activity, combined with endless hours of sitting at a desk, eventually led to knee injuries, which, in turn, led Amy to yoga. Initially frustrated by the confines of her yoga mat, she gradually found her yoga journey to be much wider and longer than her 2x6 blue mat.

To deepen her practice and satisfy her curiosity about both the physical and mental effects of yoga, she completed her 200-hour teacher training at Hosh Yoga, with Dou founder Yuuki Hirano. Although originally interested in the more vigorous and dynamic aspects of  yoga, she also grew an appreciation for the more subtle and meditative aspects. She then trained and became certified in Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra at ISHTA Yoga, with Gina Menza and Mona Anand.

Amy has been teaching at Dou since 2015. In her classes, she blends safe alignment, energizing flow, and meditative moments, to help students explore their personal balances between challenge, release, grounding and inspiration

 

Annaliese Godderz

Saturday 10am

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Annaliese enjoyed yoga sporadically during her college years, drawn by the hip hop playlists and the promise of nap time in savasana. One summer morning, however, she felt pulled to something different. Waking ten minutes before class, she found a studio in her beach town, dragged her mom out of bed and was pleasantly surprised by the spiritual philosophy incorporated into the classes. She was unaware at the time that their mother-daughter ritual would lead to a much deeper soul exploration.

After receiving her 200hr RYTT certification (The Zen Den + Golden Buddha Yoga) Annaliese moved to New York with one suitcase and a one month sublet. Today she is a Brooklyn-based yoga teacher who provides the support to make the most challenging classes accessible.

Focusing on proper alignment and the power of breath to connect the body with mind, Annaliese seeks to inspire individuals and build community with dynamic flows that nourish the soul while challenging the body.

Through public classes, corporate, and private sessions as well as social media she invites a certain raw, supportive and fun honesty into focus, inviting students and followers to find new empowered layers within themselves.

 

Christina Rufin

Saturday 12pm

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Christina Rufin has a 18-year practice she began at Sivananda Yoga in NYC where she immersed herself in the teachings of yoga as well as the asana practices and meditation. After receiving her 200-hr certification from Aura Yoga, RI, she pursued her goal of reaching communities to whom yoga is not easily accessible and became certified with YogaEd to teach yoga to children and educators. Thereafter, she certified through School for Compassionate Action where she was trained to teach yoga and meditation to In-Need Communities.She is currently teaching children and at-risk teenagers who inspire her through their playfulness with asanas and their embrace of meditation. She is also studying the first 108 hours towards a 300-hr certification with SCA.Christina strives to empower the student to be their own teacher by giving them the space to listen to their own bodies and minds.Christina is very grateful to all her teachers and especially Jill Satterfield for opening her up to the great Grace and is very happy to be practicing and teaching with her Brooklyn community.

 

Clarissa Romano

Saturday 8:30am

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A native New Yorker, Clarissa Romano was raised in Los Angeles, where she was introduced to yoga at a young age by her mother, an Iyengar instructor. Clarissa began practicing at Alan Finger’s yoga studio, Yoga Zone, in the late 90s while studying at NYU. She fell in love with vigorous vinyasa-style classes, and practiced for many years at YogaWorks in Los Angeles.

She began teaching in 2007, while pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing at the University of Mississippi. She did her formal teacher training with YogaWorks in Los Angeles, then continued her training with Annie Carpenter, creator of SmartFLOW, an intelligent blend of alignment and mindful movement. Clarissa has practiced all over the world and has explored all different styles of yoga, including hatha, Ashtanga, Forrest, Bikram, Iyengar, Anusara and Kundalini. She has a great respect for all yoga has to teach us, whether it's how to stand on our heads, how to breathe through one nostril at a time, or how to sit still and be.

 

Djuna Passman

Tuesday 9:30am, Thursday 9:30am

Djuna’s aversion to yoga quickly dissipated after she discovered the strong physical, emotional, and spiritual effects of a daily practice during a time of personal upheaval. A life long love of moving and firm belief in the healing that comes from developing and deepening the mind-body connection have led her to successful careers as a dancer, choreographer, and dance/movement therapist. Feeling a strong desire to share the wonders of yoga with others she received her yoga certification through mang’Oh as part of their inaugural teacher training in 2011. Blending extensive knowledge of the body with choreographic skills and the ability to create and hold a safe space for self-exploration and play, Djuna aims to challenge and inspire her students. For more information or to say hi, visit: http://DjunaPassman.com

 

Emily Pantalone

Tuesday 7am, Thursday 7am

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Emily Pantalone is a yoga instructor and actor based in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she moved to New York in three years ago to pursue an acting career. Along the way she was beautifully awakened to a second passion – spreading joy through the breath and movement of yoga!

Emily trained here at Dou Yoga where she became a Yoga Alliance 200hr Registered Yoga Teacher. Under Yuuki and Ariel’s supportive instruction she studied the anatomy of classic yoga asanas, the science behind pranayama/meditation, and classic yogic philosophy. She recently journeyed to Ireland to learn more, completing her 70hr Yoga Tune Up® Level 1 Certification. In this training she delved deeper into the world of integrated anatomy, tension release, body blind spots, and therapeutic healing. Finally she competed a 20hr course in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga under Jenn Turner from the JRI Trauma Center in Brookline, MA. In addition to working in studios, she now teaches yoga to women in domestic violence shelters under the amazing organization of Exhale to Inhale. http://exhaletoinhale.org

As a teacher Emily focuses on movement that will provide mental and physical release. She hopes to enable her students to go through life feeling a little more at peace! Above all, her deepest desire is to inspire people to live joyously. Joy is essential to life, and it is up to each of us to find a way – no matter the circumstance – to live with joy. 

 

Elise Sokolw

Tuesday 12pm, Friday 12pm

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Born and raised in Maui, Hawaii, Elise has spent the last eight years living in New York City, the last ten practicing yoga, and dancing since the start. She brings warmth, compassion and playfulness to each class, blending techniques from different movement modalities filtered through the lens of yoga. Through creative sequencing, a focus of proper alignment, and an activation of imagination, Elise seeks to teach classes that inspire students to nourish their spirits and challenge their bodies. Elise brings warmth, compassion, and playfulness to each class, encouraging students to build and refine their own discernment muscles, both in their bodies and minds. She also does her best to bring a rad playlist.

 

Emi Iwasa

Monday 9:30am, Wednesday 9:30am

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Emi Iwasa, a certified yoga teacher, hails from Tokyo, Japan. Originally a dancer, Emi started practicing yoga in 2009 in order to build strength and improve flexibility. She was quick to discover the power of breath control, one of the key components of yoga, and greatly treasures both its physical and mental benefits.  

Emi completed her 200-hour teacher training at Yoga To The People in 2015. Emi's curiosity  towards yoga, both as a practitioner and a teacher, eventually brought her to Ashtanga practice led by Michael Guiou, a level 2 authorized teacher by KPJAYI (Shri K Pttabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute). Since then, Emi mainly practices Mysore Ashtanga, in addition to assisting Michael to deepen her Ashtanga knowledge. Emi completed her 300-hour teacher training at Sacred Sounds Yoga in NYC in 2018. While learning advanced teaching skills, she was also trained in various types of yoga, such as Yin, Restorative, Yoga Nidra, Prenatal, and so on.


She motivates her students to do their best and always ensures safe alignment. Her well balanced class guides students towards a new discovery of themselves.


 

Jolene Festa

Sunday 5:30pm, 7pm

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As a yoga instructor I teach to the whole person. I believe every individual should and can be successful. And I want yoga to serve a person on and off the mat.

My yoga practice and teaching is influenced by my Quakerism. I believe deeply in the Light that burns bright in every person. I have a strong testimony of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality. I use these tenets as the core of my teaching and believe strongly that our yoga practice must serve us on the mat and in our daily lives as well.

My teaching is also influenced by my extensive professional experiences. I first began my career working with adults with various developmental disabilities. I always wondered if these adults' quality of life would have been improved if intervention work had begun for them as children. This lead me to earn a BA in Early Childhood Education. For over 25 years in the classroom, I bring a whole child approach, teaching to all their interests.

Similarly these early childhood teaching practices I follow, I look at the whole person when instructing my adult and child yoga classes. How do we meet the needs of the whole person, whether in the classroom or on the mat, through asana (physical practice) meditation, mindfulness or Thai massage, while still maintaining a playful mind and heart.

 

JuAn Song

Monday 7am, Wednesday 8:15pm, Friday 7am

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I came to yoga practice like many, in search of a quieter mind. I began my practice about a decade ago while still living in Korea. After moving to New York in 2008 I continued to practice and completed 200 hr Teacher Training at Yoga People in Brooklyn Heights which drew from Jivamukti and Ishta influences. I've been a teacher at Dou Yoga since May 2017, which has followed by 200 hr teacher training under my teachers, Yuuki, Ariel and David. It has been a wonderful experience in continuing my depth of practice. I am very much excited to continue on my yogic journey with my teachers, Yuuki, Ariel, David and the Dou Yoga community who are all completely amazing. 

 

Jonathan Mckinna

Saturday 4:45pm

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Jonathan McKinna (RYT 200, Certified Yoga Tune Up® instructor, Roll Model® Method practitioner, Relax and Renew® trainer) teaches restorative yoga and self-massage. He has studied with Ariel Kiley and Judith Hanson Lasater and is featured in Lasater Yoga’s Experiential Anatomy digital training. He is also creator and head counselor of the Restorative Yoga Club (www.restorativeyoga.club), a supportive online community celebrating everyday ways to slow down and live presently.

 

 

Kate Liberman

Wednesday 12pm/ 6:30pm, Sunday 11:15am

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Kate Lieberman is a Brooklyn based yoga teacher, arts educator and performing artist, working with adults and children throughout New York City. She is grateful to be able to combine her dedicated yoga practice with her decade long passion as an educator in theatre, music, writing and directing.

Kate’s teaching style offers poetic rhythm and humor combined with a thoughtful approach to alignment based asana. Inspired by many different styles of yoga, she is committed to giving students permission to discover their own authentic practice. Kate is a 200 hour certified yoga teacher through Hosh Yoga.

 

Kayla MacFarlan

Thursday 12pm

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Kayla received her 200hr TT certification from Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, under the instruction of Ali Cramer and Sheri Celentano. Prior to finding yoga, she trained in classical ballet and modern dance. Her yoga practice began in college under Tara-Marie Perri of the Perri Institute and has been fostered by incredible studios and teachers throughout the city ever since. She is thrilled to be able to serve through her own teaching while always digging deeper as a student. She teaches a vinyasa flow class with intuitive sequencing and a focus on alignment; striving to offer an anatomically safe and healthy practice by offering direct verbal cues and facilitating graceful transitions. She has also completed trauma-informed yoga trainings through both Liberation Prison Yoga, and Feet on the Ground. The information shared at these trainings greatly influences her everyday teaching style.

 

Macklen Mayse

Tuesday 6:30pm, Wednesday 9:30am, Thursday 6:30pm

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As an artist and teacher, Macklen seeks joy in the slivers of life. Creative movement and quirky humor guide her form of communication. She weaves mindfulness, anatomical understanding, and functional movement into a nurturing environment where you can explore.

Macklen earned a 200-hour yoga teacher certification from Dou Yoga, under Yuuki Hirano and Ariel Kiley. She is a certified Level 1 Yoga Tune Up® Teacher, after completing 70+ hours of study. Additionally, she completed 18 hours of training in Trauma-Informed Yoga with Feet on the Ground, holds a Masters in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute and a 25-hour Kids Yoga certification from Hosh Yoga.

 

Melissa Carter

Friday 6:30pm

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Melissa Kaitlyn Carter teach yoga and leads a duel life as an actor/musician, but she couldn't imagine a life without one or the other. She first started practicing yoga on the daily during her final year in undergrad; it became her life line - a container to synch movement & breath to find her way to the present moment. Melissa knew then that she wanted to teach yoga. 
Now, she melds creative practice and yoga in her public classes, with private clients, and in group creativity workshops. She first trained with Piedmont Yoga in Oakland, CA and learned to teach restorative with Abby Paloma here in NYC. 

In her classes, look forward to slowing down, sweet essential oils, sometimes live music, and always connecting to being enough exactly as we are. 


Shieri Yamafuji

Monday 8:15pm, Thursday 8:15pm

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She is a certified Yoga, Pilates and foot fitness instructor. 

Compelled to study these practices after an experience with a foot injury. From this, She completed Pilates teacher training at the Kane School of Core Integration, her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Dou Yoga, and Viniyoga (founded by TKV Desikachar) with Guta Hadwig at The NY yoga school, her Restorative/Yoga Nidra teacher training at Ishta Yoga. Shieri has also led numerous movement workshops such as her unique pilates workshop that emphasizes the use of foam rollers and mixture of different exercises. She has started a core and belly dance workshop as well. From studying personal training and nutrition, Shieri is passionate about the well being of her clients and hopes that they can get the most out of her teaching.

www.shierishellyyamafuji.com

@shieri_shelly_yamafuji