Instructor Bios

Jerome Burdi

Jerome Burdi is on the path of the yogi and wants you to come along. After working as a newspaper reporter for years covering crime in New York City and South Florida’s worst neighborhoods he found a higher calling through yoga. It began with a shamanic retreat in Brazil in 2010 where everyday started off with yoga. Before that Jerome never considered practicing yoga let alone teaching it.

During the trip to Brazil, Jerome’s consciousness awakened. From there he went on a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation to learn the technique used by the Buddha. Then Jerome left his life in newspapers and went to India to study yoga. Now his job is to deepen his practice and share it with students; to embrace this journey together through yoga postures that increase strength and flexibility, but most importantly, to include the meditative aspects of yoga.

“The meditation will increase your awareness and equanimity. Through this you find a happiness that never wavers. But it takes time and devoted practice to get there. Be patient and gentle with yourself. Miracles happen gradually. Om shanti, shanti, shanti.”

Amanda Asmar

Amanda Asmar graduated cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College in 2009. She holds a BA in dance and a minor in Biology. She was awarded the “gold key” for excellence in her field of study. Amanda completed the Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Certification through Center for Movement in Manhattan, NY. Amanda also has extensive training from The Martha Graham Conservatory of Dance where she received scholarships for summer intensives and participated in company workshops. She recently demonstrated the Graham technique for former principal Graham dancer Alessandra Prosperi at Centro Nacional de Danza Contemporanea in Queretaro, Mexico. Amanda also teaches dance at The Brooklyn Dance Center and performs seasonally with the Brooklyn Dance Ensemble. Amanda is very passionate about teaching the Pilates Method and loves helping her students reach their individual goals!

Victoria Iovine

Victoria Rose Iovine, a native Brooklynite, and mother of two beautiful girls, has more then 14 years experience in fitness, nutrition, and wellness.

Victoria began her career as a Certified Fitness Specialist and Personal Trainer. She went on to graduate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she honed her expertise in nutrition and wellness to become a Certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach.

Always wanting more, Victoria has been studying IntenSati and is now a Certified IntenSati Warrior. Through the years, Victoria has helped countless people lose weight, get healthier, become more proactive about their physical, spiritual and emotional well being. She has provided them with the tools and strategies to continue on course for life long success. She will inspire you to take action and be a warrior in your own life!

Catey Ott

Catey Ott is a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer, holding a BFA and MFA in dance from UW-Milwaukee. She received her Pilates certification from the Kane School of Core Integration in 2000 and has been a personal trainer since 1999. Ott is the artistic director of Catey Ott Dance Collective, which started in 2005 and has been studying yoga intensively since 2000. She has been dancing since the age of four and teaches ballet, modern dance, and creative movement to students of all ages and levels.

Katherine Rojas

She started practicing yoga 7 years ago in Cali Colombia with a group of friends. Since then, yoga has been her vehicle for inner transformation and a source of wisdom, happiness and peace. She started practicing Ashtanga Yoga, but after moving to NY she was introduced to Dharma Mittra with whom She did her yoga teacher training and learned about the yamas and niyamas , which changed her perspective of life. She is currently studying Tibetan Heart yoga and have been deeply influenced and inspired by the teachings of Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie. She teaches a type of vinyasa yoga that is soulful, dynamic and that celebrates life. She is also a multimedia artist working with video, dance, performance and installation.

Carmen Smith

Carmen Nicole began her Pilates training in Chicago, Illinois where she studied at From the Center Pilates in the Physical Mind Method as well as attending workshops in OrthoBionomy. In New York she has continued her training with a Gyrotonic Teacher Training at Studio Riverside and a Yoga Teacher Certification through Atmananda Yoga.

Additionally, she is a Holistic Nutritional Counselor having completed the certification program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is currently a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner, Pilates and Yoga Instructor, Dance and Creative Movement Teacher and professional dancer with Battery Dance Company and Catey Ott Dance Collective. She has been on faculty at Ballet Academy East, Dancewave, Bridge for Dance, Neighborhood Playhouse, Dance New Amsterdam, Poly Prep Performing Arts Camp, Steps on Broadway, Prospect Park YMCA and at Free Arts NY. She loves the Green Spa and the opportunity to share movement the wonderful Bay Ridge community.

Marlene Ring

Hari Atma Kaur (Marlene Ring) has endeavored to live according to holistic principles for over 30 years, studying nutrition, herbs and homeopathy along the way. Movement, in various forms, has always been a necessary part of her life. Hari Atma has been practicing Kundalini Yoga since 1993, has taught at Gilda’s Club® and is a guest teacher at Kundalini Yoga in Park Slope. With a background in dance she brings an emphasis on proper alignment, injury prevention, and a musicality to her classes. She believes in the interrelationship of all living things and envisions a world in which we live with true respect and care for each other, the earth, and all its creatures.

Leslie Mumm

Like many pilates instructors, Leslie Mumm has a dance background. She started dancing at five and has studied classical ballet, various types of modern and contemporary dance styles, folk dancing, African dance, and during the last 12 years of her dance career, Kuchipudi (a classical style from Andhra Pradesh, India). In addition to dancing, she enjoys recreational swimming, hiking and walking, and weight training.

Leslie holds a BA in dance (University of Iowa) and a MA in Choreography and Analysis of Dance (University of Surrey, UK). She is NSCA-PT certificatied (National Strength and Conditioning Association-Personal Trainer) and earned her pilates certification from the Kane School of Core Integration. She also practices Nada Yoga and works with essential oils.

Luke (Alokananda)

luke photo
began the journey of healing mind, body, and spirit after sustaining injuries from many years of martial arts training. He discovered Qi Gong in 2000 and met his teacher in 2004. He has been developing a deep practice drawing from a diversity of modalities. He has travelled in India where he was certified to teach Yoga, lived and taught at retreat centers in Costa Rica and Ananada Ashram in upstate NY. Over the last 6 years he has studied with various masters developing the capacity to address all body types, ages, abilities and levels of practice. He continues to deepen his awareness and discovery of the relationship between Yoga, Ayurveda, Qi Gong and other healing systems. Luke finds tremendous joy in sharing his knowledge and helping others find their practice, peace and power.

Conrad Sparnroft

I have been studying Tai Chi for 21 years and I continue to do so today. I study Tai Chi with Sal Giglio from the Staten Island Kick Boxing Tae Kwon Do & Tai Chi Chaun Center. Mr. Giglio was a former student of both Cheng Man-Ching and Larry Galante(Cheng’s student). In addition to my certificate in Tai Chi, I am a first degree black belt in Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwon Do and a black belt in Kickboxing. The journey as a student of Martial Arts never stops and I am currently studying Judo with Sensei Joaquin Gonzalez. I recently became a yellow belt in Judo.

Tai Chi Description

Tai Chi is a 1,000 year old Chinese martial art which over the last 40 years has become a phenomenon due to its health benefits. Tai Chi focuses on abdominal breathing while performing moving meditations, which are called postures. Tai Chi practitioners progress from one posture to the next in a slow, fluid motion. These postures comprise the “form” which is similar to “kata” in karate. Unlike karate which has many forms, there is only one form in Tai Chi which takes a few months to learn and decades to master. There are only five major classical types(based on the family names) of Tai Chi. We will be studying the Yang short form which was developed by Cheng Man-Ching. Cheng Man-Ching brought Tai Chi to the United States in the 1960’s. He is credited to shortening the form to 10 minutes instead of 30 minutes, which led to Tai Chi’s popularity in this country. Tai Chi practitioners usually do Tai Chi in the morning and at night. I highly recommend practicing as much as possible!

Class Description

A typical one hour class will consist of stretching(10 min.), learning the
form(25 min.), learning how to “let go of the negative”(5 min.), two person
Push Hands(15 min.) and some Chi Kung breathing techniques(5 min.).

Jennifer Varriano

A Sivananda Vedanta Certified Yoga Instructor, has been immersed in various yoga teachings over the past 15 years; including Ashtanga, Kundalini, Naam with Universal Force, Bikram, Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga. She is a native Staten Islander, and after 16 years returned to share her love of wellness with our great community. The past 3 years have been spent teaching varied skill levels to adults, kids, families and seniors, in the NY area. She offers at work wellness for stress reduction, improved productivity and overall health and compliance in the workforce; always promoting a balanced quality of life. Health and nutrition was a primary interest for Jennifer and lead her to achieve a degree in chemistry, experience in the healthcare industry, and now coaches on the yoga of conscious eating and nutritional cleansing. Stemming from her great love of dance, she facilitates a transformational dance experience, which infuses meditation with music, resulting in a deep exploration of the self. As co-founder of New Faith Yoga, her mission is to encourage people of all faiths to consciously live with balance and purpose, while sharing the self-healing benefits of yoga, meditation, movement and holistic health.

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