Angela Clark (E-RYT 200 hour), a co-founder of Mala, has been studying and teaching yoga since 1998. She came to the practice as a dancer interested in the physical asanas, but quickly realized there was more to this "yoga thing" than stretching.
Angela's teaching intention is to equip students with enough information so they can translate the yoga practice to their physical, energetic, and emotional bodies at any given moment. She believes that mindfulness and sound technique are imperative to the strong foundation that allows one to "sway in the ever changing wind." She creates environments where each person and body can experience their practice in their own way. Contributing to the Mala vision, Angela furthers her own practice and development as a teacher to provide a supportive yoga community where students explore who they are, what they need, and what they want from life in the company of others.
For the last five years, Angela has studied with Tias and Surya Little of Prajna Yoga in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her early yoga life took her all around Manhattan and to ashrams and wellness centers to study with other amazing teachers from all walks of life. More recently, she has also deepened her scoliosis studies with Elise Browning Miller, studied anatomy with Jason Ray Brown, has been learning to play the harmonium with Gulam Mohammad Mirashi (aka Uncleji), and has been inspired by the teachings of Bon Tibetan Budhism taught by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.
She gives many thanks and bows to all her teachers and students, the Mala Yoga community, her parents who taught her to believe that anything is possible, and to Stephanie and Christina for sharing their love, compassion, wisdom, and chocolate.
In 2007, Christina co-founded Mala Yoga. She wanted to build a place where students could not only build strong asana practices, but learn to take their hard work and translate it to their busy lives. Christina teaches compassionate, insightful classes that focus not only on building physical strength, but also self-acceptance.
An Ashtangi at heart, Christina made her first trip to India over 20 years ago. It made a lasting impression, and it was there she was first exposed to the Bhagavad Gita as well as Indian philosophy. It resonated so strongly that she made another trip, this time staying and studying intensively for almost a year.
Over the last 15 years Christina has studied extensively throughout Europe and the United States. She has has also studied with Om Yoga and Anusara Yoga, and credits her teachers Eddie Stern, Cyndi Lee, Derek Ireland, and Amy Ippoliti for evolving her practice. She is most grateful to her children, Julian and Marina, for providing the most beautiful, challenging, and rewarding practice of all.
In 2007, Steph (E-RYT 200 hour) co-founded Mala Yoga, a community-based studio in Brooklyn, NY, with the idea that yoga can be a lifelong, life-enriching practice, both on the mat and off. She wanted Mala to be a place that felt inviting instead of intimidating, a safe space where students would want to bring their moms or boyfriends to give yoga a try. Steph teaches practitioners of all levels of experience. Her specialty is basics class, where she communicates advanced principles of anatomy and alignment with clarity, patience, humor - and a real-life context that helps students understand how these ancient poses can help them manage the physical and emotional challenges of the modern age. Steph's teaching and learning is inspired by her passion for the practice and its benefits, and the belief that everyone can (and should!) "do" yoga. Steph is also an avid, lifelong runner who believes that running and yoga can - and need to - peacefully co-exist! Huge shout outs filled with gratitude and love to her students, who inspire her each and every class; her family, who continue to put up with her wacky schedule, and Angela & Christina, who make this path an absolute joy in every way possible.
Alex grew up on a family farm in the Tyrolean Alps of Austria and has lived in the U.S. since 1997. She first encountered yoga in 2001 while working as a pre-school teacher at a Montessori school in Miami Beach, FL. She was inspired. Alex began practicing yoga herself and incorporating yoga routines in the classroom for her young students. She completed Radiant Child teacher training in 2005 and began offering yoga classes to children in Washington D.C. and Alexandria, VA.
In 2007, Alex completed the 200-hour yoga teacher training at US1, a Yoga Alliance registered yoga school, and has been a yoga instructor (to adults as well as children) ever since. Alex is also a mother of two and during both pregnancies maintained a consistent yoga practice. She can attest first hand to the many benefits of prenatal, postnatal, and "Mommy & Me" yoga. Alex has offered "Mommy & Me" classes in both the U.S. & Austria. She is fluent in English and German.
Upon moving to Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Alex discovered Mala Yoga and has been practicing with their wonderful, insightful, and knowledgeable teachers, and is now honored to teach at Mala. She feels deep gratitude towards all the teachers, students, and supportive family members and friends that have guided, helped, and inspired her along the way.
Blakeney was urged by a friend to give yoga a try in 2004, but it wasn't until she came to Mala in 2007 that she discovered the precision, complexity, and depth to be found in the yoga practice.
In her classes Blakeney seeks to share her curiosity about yoga, while providing her students with the space and support to find their own poses and practices. For her, a sense of humor is as much a part of the practice as any pose.
Blakeney started running in 2014 and hasn't stopped since. She became an RRCA-certified run coach in 2016.
Blakeney completed Mala's 200-hour teacher training in 2012. Her gratitude to Angela, Christina and Steph for their continuing support, insight, and guidance runs very, very deep. And a profound thanks to the entire Mala community for their support and good humor.
Briana began practicing yoga in 2002 and immediately loved it. After suffering torn hamstrings in 2010, Briana’s focus shifted from appreciating yoga primarily as a physical exercise, to also valuing yoga as a deeply personal practice.
As a teacher, Briana incorporates yogic spiritual traditions, as well as weaves alignment, technique, music, and a dose of energy and excitement into each class. She strives to make yoga accessible and inviting to all levels of students, and wants students to leave her class feeling healthy and happy.
Briana will complete her M.S. in animal behavior and human psychology in 2014. She completed her 200-hr certification at Yogamaya in Manhattan. Briana is excited to join the Mala community, as Christina, Angela and Stephanie were some of her first teachers!
With her training and work as neuroscience researcher and growing experience in yoga, Reiki and health coaching, Clara brings to the mat a unique blend of knowledge and personal experience, which encompasses deep understanding of the nervous system and alternative tools for health. She is deeply passionate about learning and sharing tools for wellbeing, empowerment, and self-love. Her teaching style is grounded in the Hatha-Vinyasa tradition and is aimed at creating a safe and nurturing space for students to come "meet" themselves on the mat, while connecting to the supportive energy of the community and receiving gentle guidance. Clara offers a creative and musical Vinyasa flow, with sequence and intensity that vary in accordance with students' experience and energy. She loves to incorporate meditation, Pranayama, and chanting in her classes. As active advocate of the "Health at Every Size movement", Clara has particular care towards supporting body diversity and self-acceptance.
To complement her already existing meditation practice, Emily started exploring the delights and benefits of yoga in 2002. Keen to further her interest, she took an undergraduate 3 year degree in Indian Philosophy and Buddhism, followed by a teacher training with Yogacampus (in her hometown, London) in 2008.
Asana (physical postures), pranayama (breath practices), meditation and prayer-based traditions inform her practice and teaching. She primarily teach a slow but strong flowing Vinyasa style of yoga, integrating a significant focus on the breath and its healing qualities, precise attention to alignment, and the Buddhist meditation methods of mindfulness and compassion. Thrown into the pot are also some long-held Yin poses, a sprinkle of yoga philosophy and a dose of much needed quiet time for healing and release to occur in the mind and body.
Emily likes to encourage thoughtful and conscious movement to help cultivate a quality of attention that translates into daily life. Her friendly, down-to-earth and balanced approach to yoga has helped to make it accessible to people of all ages and abilities and her intention in teaching is to take the spirit of mindfulness off the mat and incorporate it into daily living.
Over the years Emily has done further trainings with inspiring teachers around the world such as Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman, Sarah Powers and Max Strom. She is a qualified pre and post-natal yoga teacher and has trained as a birth doula, or birth companion (with Dr Michel Odent).
As a mother, wife, sister, friend and teacher, yoga continuously reminds Emily to strive to be more present, more patient, more conscious, more loving, and more accepting both on and off the mat, allowing her to ride the ups and downs of life as gracefully as she can.
Jennifer Whitney has been practicing vinyasa yoga since the beginning of 2003, and teaching since 2006. In 2007 she received her 300-hour Jivamukti Yoga teaching certification, studying the integrated form with masters Sharon Gannon, David Life, and Manorama. The depth of their teachings spurred Jennifer to move from Hawaii to New York mid-winter that year, to further her studies. The integral tenets of Jivamukti yoga form the foundation of her teachings. She incorporates the wisdom of Ram Dass, Michael Stone and Rodney Yee.
In her classes, vigorous uplifting flows are met with explorations of yoga philosophy and meditation. Jen incorporates succinct alignment, challenging poses & sequences, and deep, timely and often humorous philosophy. Chanting and music are integrated into every class. In each student, Jen works to cultivate space in which the joy and peace of the teachings can be experienced, and personal practices expand into the lives of all beings.
Lokah Samasta Sukinoh Bhavantu.
Learn more about Jen by visiting www.jwhitneyyoga.com.
Markella is a certified 500hr teacher through YogaWorks where she apprenticed and continues to study with senior teacher trainer Chrissy Carter. Her classes incorporate movement and breath to build heat, focused and creative sequencing, and attention to alignment. She is inspired by the inquiry, clarity and honesty she finds in her practice and how it empowers her to be open, fearless and vulnerable in life. She loves to support and challenge her students to stay present and playful as they explore their own practice. www.markellalos.com
Sue (RYT 200 hour) has been a long time student of Tias and Surya Little of Prajna Yoga. There she earned her 200 Hour certification and has assisted them in San Francisco, Chicago and Nebraska. For the past eight years she has studied with Jason Crandell in San Francisco. Her teaching style combines flow with an emphasis on anatomical alignment while keeping it fun and down to earth.