Many of Shakti Yoga’s experienced instructors are trained by Linda and share her approach while our other instructors have joined Shakti offering their talent and skills from other styles.
Linda Lalita Winnick
Linda Lalita Winnick’s focus is the cultivation of Shakti or Inner Power. A certified yoga teacher, with an M.A. in Ayurvedic Medicine and Yoga Philosophy, Linda’s teaching of yoga integrates her twenty-eight-year experience as a yoga practitioner and teacher with the principles of exercise physiology and the energetics of Ayurveda. Her classes reflect the attunement of time, place, season, and group dynamic. Unbound by a single lineage, Linda has developed creative sequencing of pranayama (breath work), Vinyasa Krama and Shat Karmas (cleansing techniques). This sequencing and her masterful demonstrations promote the growth of flexibility, strength, and efficient alignment. Classes are challenging and at the same time punctuated with laughter at her whimsical commentary. They can be adapted to all levels of ability and individual limitation. Shaping her offering with joy, Linda creates an inclusive space that challenges each person to feel free to do what they can to foster their own strength and wellbeing through the art of yoga.
Linda Lalita is owner of three Shakti Yoga Studios in the Hudson Valley New York. She was a popular workshop instructor at the Omega Institute for a decade. Linda trains yoga teachers in her methods. (200 Hour and Advanced 500 Hour) She is invited to teach in programs around the country and in Europe.
Where: Barbara lives on the outskirts of Catskill in Kiskatom which means the Land of the Nuts (literally). She currently teaches a “Relax and Unwind from the Week” 9:30 am Level 1 Friday morning class at Shakti Saugerties and a Thursday 10:30 am chair yoga class at the Washington Irving Senior Center in Catskill.
Training: She is an official “newbie” in Yogaland completing her 200 hour Shakti Yoga Certification July 2017; however, Barbara has a lifetime of movement experience that she delights in sharing with others. She is currently enhancing her knowledge base in Lakshmi Voelker’s “Get Fit Where You Sit “ Chair Yoga Program.
Why Barbara Teaches: Barbara has often used the body vehicle to smooth the wrinkles in the inner landscape and Journey towards a more harmonious union. Her passionate belief is that we are all in this together and yoga is for everybody. Her secret joy is to open that yogic door for the person that might have previously been too shy to step into a yoga studio and support that journey one building block at a time!!
Favorite Pose: Anjaneyasana – crescent or half moon pose named for the god Hanuman’s Mom, Anjani . It is a powerful deep lunge reflective of the strong feminine energy of the mother and the intelligent monkey servant energy of Hanuman. Barbara was born in the Chinese Year of the Monkey which marries with yoga’s mission of service to others.
Fun fact: Barbara has had a deep connection with the plant beings and Mother Earth which began as a very young child in Prospect Park Brooklyn, spending hours walking round the protruding roots of a hilltop maple and seated amidst these rooted anchors weaving clover necklaces.
Favorite Quote: “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” Dalai Lama
Who: Cheyenne Baer
Where: Cheyenne lives in Catskill, NY, and teaches at Shakti Yoga Saugerties.
Training: 500 Hour certified through Shakti Yoga Studios in July 2017. Cheyenne also completed her 200 Hour certification through Shakti Studios in 2014.
Who: Christina Steen
Where: Christina lives in Phoenicia, NY, and teaches at both Shakti Yoga Saugerties and Shakti Yoga Woodstock, as well as The Emerson Place, Catskills Yoga House, and The Yoga House of Kingston.
Training: Christina completed her 200 Hour certification with Shakti Yoga Studios in July 2017.
Why Christina Teaches: She is inspired by yoga to live each moment more mindfully while keeping her body healthy and strong. Her introduction to yoga was a prenatal class she took when she was pregnant with her daughter 18 years ago. Christina has since fallen in love with yoga and she wants to share it with anyone interested in giving it a try. She is committed to making her class engaging and nurturing for all, and more challenging for those up for the task. She finds yoga to be a very personal, non-competitive practice. Instead of looking for a perfect pose, she hopes you leave the mat feeling more nourished and balanced within.
Where: Kayleigh recently relocated to her hometown of Saugerties and is teaching Yin Yoga at Shakti Yoga Saugerties. Kayleigh also offers classes at The Yoga House of Kingston and Euphoria Yoga.
Training: 500 Hour certification from Yoga Works Manhattan (2007-2009), with an additional 200 Hour certification from Swami Vivekananda Ashram and Yin certification with Bobbie Marchand. Kayleigh also studied at The Breathing Project with Leslie Kaminoff and is currently training in Yoga for Traumatic Brain Injury.
Offerings: Kayleigh specializes in vinyasa, hatha, yin, and yoga for Traumatic Brain Injury Communities. She has also studied Ayurveda, Western herbalism, and is currently completing her Master’s in Traditional Chinese Medicine to become a licensed Acupuncturist and specialist in Chinese herbs.
Why Kayleigh Teaches: Kayleigh was inspired to become a yoga teacher in 2007 by way of recovery and hasn’t stopped practicing since. Mostly she loves helping people to somatically attune their physical vehicle in the belief that deeper and slower listening to our own intuitive guide has the profound power of allowing us to become our own best healers.
Fun fact: Kayleigh is also a physical performer, and spent many years up in the air as a professional circus artist.
To learn More about Kayleigh, see seedsnutsandleaveswellness.com
Where: Louise lives in Saugerties and teaches at Shakti Yoga Saugerties.
Training: 200 Hour YTT through Shakti Studios and regular weekend retreats through Barre Center for Buddist Studies on meditation, mindfulness, yoga and the Sutras.
Offerings: Tuesday 5:45 to 6:45 at Shakti Saugerties. Loise tries to offer different insights and information about helping our bodies and minds work in positive ways.
Why Louise Teaches: There is something about watching folks in class move, change position minutely, and feel the energy and strength they possess. I also think that this is a medium that touches peoples’ lives in very valuable and close to the heart ways.
Favorite yoga pose: Anjaneyasana – there is something graceful in the movement of the arms, the spine, the shoulders.
Fun fact: you can’t hum while holding your nose closed
Favorite quotes: “I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be.” “Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”
Melanie Toth (Mel)
Who: Mel Toth
Where: Living in Saugerties and teaching in Saugerties, Kingston and Woodstock.
Training: I completed the 200 hour Shakti Yoga Teacher Training in 2013 and have been involved in SYTT ever since. During my training, I made a commitment to say YES to every teaching opportunity I could and have worked with a variety of populations (prenatal, toddlers and their parents, elementary school children, hearing and visually impaired, students who can only practice in a chair).
Offerings: Beginner/Level I and RESTorative classes are my main focus. My classes focus on understanding the fundamentals of asana (poses) through the use of props and movement exploration, while emphasizing the discovery of personal alignment, balance and relaxation.
Why Mel teaches: I practice yoga because I want to feel better; I teach because I want to help other people feel better, too! My personal practice and the practice of teaching stem from my belief in the transformative power of self-inquiry and self-care. Yoga helps me know and understand myself so I can better care of myself and others; it helps keep me grounded and connected to something bigger than me.
Favorite yoga pose: Forward folds are my daily medicine. Standing or seated, I love forward folds because they calm and ground me physically and emotionally. The spinal extension and release of tension in my legs are necessary ingredients for keeping this body vehicle happy!
Fun fact: Living with a curved spine (scoliosis) has been one of my greatest teachers. The ongoing process of working with asymmetry and chronic pain in my own body has taught me that modifying poses and practicing supported reclined poses (as in RESTorative) are powerful tools for changing physical and mental patterns.
Favorite quote: “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and in too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
What Mel’s Students say:
“Peace in my heart is not always easy for me to maintain as I continue to adjust my sails after life events redirected my journey. But when I receive a hug from Mel, absorb the spiritual words she offers at the start of class, and channel her positive energy into my practice, peace in my heart is what I always leave the studio with. Mel gracefully acknowledges — but reserves judgment and never intrudes on — the release I often experience during class which allows my tears to flow. I know that it is the infusion of her gentle soul and her way of instruction that are at work, helping to mold the new me.”
Who: Moira Cleary-Dwyer
Where: After a few years away from the Hudson Valley, Moira is back in NY and lives in Kingston, NY with her husband, Damian. She teaches Monday 5:30 Level 1 at Shakti Yoga Woodstock in addition to private classes around the Hudson Valley
- Shakti Yoga 200 Hr. and 500 hr. 2008 and 2009
- Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga- 2012
- Reiki Master- 2016
- Teaching Experience Highlights:
- Shakti Yoga
- Balanced Hot Yoga, New Haven CT
Offerings: Moira has been teaching yoga and meditation since 2008. She has taught a variet of classes over the years: Beginners’ Series, core strength yoga, trauma sensitive classes, hot vinyasa, chair yoga, and yoga for children. She loves to learn from different teachers from a variety of styles.
Why Moira Teaches: Yoga and meditation changed the course of my life. If you met me at 21 and told me that I would be a person who meditated twice a day and taught yoga, I would have laughed and told you that “I can’t sit still for more than 2 minutes at a time, but thank you for the vote of confidence”. I was disconnected from my body and wanted something different for myself. Yoga and meditation have been my path to recovery from addiction and anxiety. My yoga and meditation practice has helped me ride the waves of life and has supported me in taking huge leaps of faith in my life. Remembering what my life looked like, how I felt before I found yoga, and the folks that supported me through all of it to where I am now, inspires my practice and teaching.
Favorite yoga pose: Balancing Poses- They remind me to not take myself so seriously. I love to go on ‘yoga adventures’ and explore all different classes throughout the Hudson Valley and NYC. Anything from a Kundalini class with a gong bath, a Yin class with aromatherapy, a sweaty Hot 26 class, a packed Saturday morning Linda Winnick Class, or 60 minutes focused solely on pranayama, I like to learn from them all.
Fun fact: I practice Transcendental Meditation, study with a shamanic healer once a month, and have an overwhelming love of donuts. Balance.
Who: Nicole Montera
Where: Living less than a mile from Shakti Studio Woodstock, Nicole Montera feels blessed to have such a space full of authenticity and wisdom nearby. Nicole is currently teaching at both Shakti Yoga Saugerties and Shakti Yoga Woodstock.
Training: During the past year Nicole fully immersed herself in the Shakti experience, practicing regularly there and taking the Shakti YTT 200 hour. She is eager to share all she has learned through the training and is currently spreading the love & knowledge on Tuesdays at 5:30 pm at Shakti Woodstock and 9:30 am Monday at Shakti Yoga Saugerties.
Why Nicole Teaches: Immediately when beginning her yoga practice, she felt the connection between her body & mind. Yoga asana continues to play a vital role in Nicole’s life from reducing anxiety, understanding her body & shifting through life off the mat with more ease and joy. She strongly believes in the importance of one’s mental well-being and hopes to share the experience yoga plays in improving mental health.
Who: Oksana Melnikova
Where: Oksana teaches a Very Beginner class at Shakti Yoga Saugerties and lives in Kingston, NY.
Training: Completed 200 Hour YTT at Shakti Yoga Studios in July 2017 !
Why Oksana Teaches: The greatest inspiration for me is to see the progress of my students, to hear how their yoga practice is changing their life, and to see them coming back to my classes.
Favorite Pose: My favorite pose is a tree pose. I love the challenge of keeping balance while rooting down into to the earth, and the feeling of energy flowing through my body.
Fun fact: Not like other yoga teachers, who were practicing yoga for years before they decided to attend a yoga teacher training , I was very new to yoga . I attended a class several years ago and decided it was too slow and too boring, so I became a Zumba instructor. I have to say thank you to my friend, who took me to a class at Shakti Yoga and inspired me to try yoga again. We went to teacher training after attending several Shakti Yoga classes and I slowly fell in love with yoga practice.
“ The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Who: Patricia Laufer
Where: Patricia divides her time between Woodstock, NY, and Tarrytown, NY. She currently offers a monthly Saturday 4pm Level 1/2 Class at Shakti Yoga Woodstock. Patricia also teaches at Yoga Shivaya in Tarrytown, and offers workshops and private instruction.
Training: Patricia completed her both her 500 Hour(2013) and 200 Hour (2011) trainings at Shakti Yoga Woodstock.
Why Patricia Teaches: Patricia began practicing yoga 15 years ago in New York City to quiet her mind and find some peace within the chaos. Her anxiety was high and she immediately felt relief in yoga. She practiced yoga as she built a career in the non-profit sector working with men who were formerly incarcerated and homeless. She continued exploring the limbs of yoga and started a meditation practice as well. Her search for peace eventually brought her to the Woodstock area 10 years ago for a weekend get-away and she kept coming back. She fell in love with the Shakti Yoga philosophy and with Linda’s dynamic classes! Patricia loves teaching and feels blessed to be able bring all that yoga has to offer to her students.
Who: Patty Mooney
Where: I have lived in the area for 20 + years. Like many, a transplant that was chewed up and spit out from the Brooklyn / NYC grind awhile back. At Shakti, in particular I am one of those cogs in the chakra wheel that help machine run smoothly. When another bolt or belt is broken or a match doesn’t have the muster the spark to fire; I step in.
Training: I completed the 200 hour Teacher Certification with Lalita in 2015 and I have been practicing at Shakti for the past 12 years consistently; that’s a lot of sun salutations! I have been teaching since 2015 at Shakti Yoga and do fundraising classes with the Saugerties Teachers Association, where the money goes to people in the community who are in need.
Why Patty Teaches: I practice and teach yoga because I believe in it, all components – physical, mental and spiritual. There is always another place to investigate. I try to emphasize this in my classes, offering the smallest piece of information to inspire students to take yoga off the mat and into their everyday lives. Yoga is a practice and life as well; we are never done.
Favorite yoga pose: My fave asana is Trikonasana, triangle pose. I love its structure and always find its dynamics satisfying with its potential to help me expand and explore the micro movements that create that structure. It inspires me to explore internally and not feel like a square or a circle.
Fun fact: I have been teaching art at Saugerties High School since 1998. I am also a practicing artist and when opportunity knocks, show work in the local galleries. I work with sculpture in wood, clay, metal, you can check out my artwork at www.pattymooney.net and feel free to buy something …lol. I also have a cool husband and cool dog and a cool motorcycle. I feel truly blessed.
Favorite quote: “When you have peace in yourself and accept, then you are calm enough to do something, but if you are carried by despair there is no hope.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
What Patty’s Students Say:“dynamic” – “inspiring and attentive”
Who: Selena Reynolds
Where: Selena lives in Mt. Tremper, NY and teaches at Shakti Yoga Woodstock, Shakti Yoga Saugerties, and Woodstock Yoga. She also offers private instruction for both individuals and groups, and regularly teaches for retreat groups at Menla Mountain Retreat.
Training: Selena completed her 500 Hour training at Shakti Yoga Woodstock with Linda Lalita Winnick in July 2015, and her initial 200 Hour training through Woodstock Yoga Center with Alison Sinatra, Linda Lalita, and Barbara Boris in June 2012. She maintains a dedicated personal practice and continues to study all aspects of yoga both through personal study, her brilliant teachers, and staying involved in Shakti’s Teacher Training Programs!!
Offerings: Selena has been teaching locally since June 2012. She offers Vinyasa flow classes, Community classes, and Hatha, Beginner, and Vinyasa private instruction to support her students’ individual goals and levels of experience. She has also taught Kids Yoga series at local schools and studios. Her practices aim to help students develop stronger connection and cohesion within themselves through movement, breath awareness, concentration, and release of tension.
Why Selena Teaches: Through her practice, Selena is gradually becoming more able to make sense of life on this planet and the intricacies of being human. She finds that the practice of yoga teaches her to stay balanced, open, and joyous, as she strives to act with love in every situation. (These situations usually involve cookie dough, handstands, and her three rapidly growing children.) Selena hopes to be an agent of joy, optimism, and reverence for life. Her classes are designed to leave students feeling nourished, balanced, rejuvenated, and empowered. She believes wholeheartedly that yoga is a vehicle through which we can embody our fullest potential in all areas of our lives, and contribute in an increasingly positive way to the healing of our relationships, our communities, and ourselves.
Favorite Pose: Adhomukha Vrksasana- Handstand!! Because she is a human who likes to play, and to feel her strength.
Fun fact: Selena has a black market vegan and gluten free cookie business called Mountain Baby Bakery.
Favorite quote: “Stop acting so small. You are the Universe in ecstatic motion. ” Rumi
Who: Shani Marquez
Where: Shani lives in Catskill, NY and teaches at Shakti Yoga Saugerties and the Kingston LGBTQ Center.
Training: Shani completed her 200 Hour training through Shakti Yoga Studios in July 2017.
After graduating from college with a degree in Physical Education & Dance, Terry pursued his professional dance career until his body said STOP! He then segued to the fitness industry where, almost 30 years later, he continues to move himself and those willing, in pursuit of integrating one’s body, mind and soul. Terry holds nationally recognized personal training and group fitness certifications from Marymount College, AFAA, ACE, NASM and is a recent graduate of the Shakti Yoga Teacher Training Certification program. He also holds specialty certifications for older populations, pre/post partum exercise, post-rehabilitation exercise and sports conditioning. Terry has also focused on fitness management, where he has acted as group exercise manager, personal training manager and program director for high end health and wellness companies. He was co-founder of CLAY Health Club & Spa, in New York, NY. His favorite quote is, “Gracefulness is to the body what thoughtfulness is to the mind.”