Lisa is the director and founder of Soluna Yoga Studio. She brings many years of experience as an educator to Soluna. Her passion for teaching and learning has motivated her towards the art of teaching yoga. Lisa holds a Master’s Degree in Education and has received her 200 hour certification for teaching yoga from Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Alliance teacher. She has studied with David Swenson, Shiva Rea, Todd Norian, Seane Corn, Suzie Hurley, and Sarah Powers. She received her certification in Yin Yoga (aka anatomy for yoga) from Paul and Suzee Grilley. She enjoys learning as much as teaching and continues to study so she can bring a higher knowledge of yoga to all her students.
A graduate of Colgate University with a B.A. in Psychology, Melissa worked for 19 years as a Human Resources Manager. After leaving the corporate world and while raising her two children, she began studying yoga with Lisa Alexander at Soluna Yoga Studio in 2006. Through the ups and downs of life, her yoga practice has helped her and given her strength and joy. She was inspired to share the benefits of yoga with others and in 2013 studied with Jennifer Yarro to obtain her 200 hr teacher training certification at Frog Lotus Yoga in North Adams, Massachusetts. She received certification in both Hatha and Vinyasa styles of yoga. Melissa is always looking for opportunities to learn more about yoga and will be attending a week-long training at Kripalu in January 2016 on “Yoga for Athletes” with Sage Roundtree.
Oded is a Spiritual Teacher. After experiencing a spiritual awakening, Oded’s new insight led him to drop a lifelong career as a professional musician and begin to share the insight that is given to him. Oded’s time is devoted to writing articles on spirituality, teaching classes, giving personal consultation and public talks. Past and present classes include the American Cancer Society, Niskayuna and Colonie Senior Centers, and private classes.
Annabel began practicing yoga in 2008 right here at Soluna Yoga with Lisa Alexander. She realized almost immediately how much yoga meant for her daily well being and in 2010, she completed her 200 hour teaching certification with Lotus Gardens Yoga, LLC in order to share this with others. A background in dance, both traditional ballet and modern, she brings her passion for movement into her teaching. Off the mat recreations include time spent with her husband and teenage son, engaging in hiking, camping, gardening, cross-country skiing and traveling. Her influential teachers include Iyengar instructor JoAnn Schietromo, Lara Ward of Lotus Gardens, and Kripalu instructor Lisa Alexander.
Lisa’s day job in corporate America is a Human Resources Manager; however it is her yoga practice that balances her life. Lisa has been a dedicated student of yoga for well over 12 years now and in 2014 completed her 200 hour certification through Soluna Yoga School. Her own practice will always remain a priority in her daily life and through teaching she is able to share this with others. Lisa has practiced various forms of yoga over the years including Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin, and former Anusara, and is able to incorporate pieces of each of these into her classes. She has come to appreciate the importance of alignment, while still incorporating a little fun and challenge into her classes.
Two years after graduating from St. John Fisher College with a degree in Human Resource Management, Laurie joined her sister, Diana Galish-Frasier, D.C., in opening Niskayuna Life Chiropractic. They will soon celebrate almost 30 years of bringing health and wellness to their community. In these 30 years, Laurie has learned much about the human body, and its amazing ability to heal itself and be well. She has seen that health and wellness are truly one of life’s greatest assets. Laurie began practicing Yoga 15 years ago in Albany, N.Y. Having been an athlete all her life, Laurie recognizes that exercise and movement are key factors in wellness, along with proper nutrition, a healthy nervous system, and a positive outlook on life. Yoga not only enhances a healthy lifestyle, but promotes a positive attitude and instills a feeling of peace and contentment that can transfer to daily living off the yoga mat as well. Laurie is an RYT 200, having completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training through Lotus Gardens Yoga, LLC at Soluna Yoga in 2009. She is also certified through Growing Lotus Kids to teach yoga to children ages 2-10. Laurie is a certified SUP (Standup Paddle Board) Yoga teacher, owning her own business, PeaceSUP Yoga. She is also a Level II Reiki practitioner. Inspired daily by her forearm tattoo which reads “Ancora Imparo” (I Am Still Learning), she approaches life as a continual learning experience, and regards each experience as an opportunity to grow.
Helen has been a yoga practitioner since the 1970’s. She is a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher and a certified Integrative Yoga Therapy teacher. She studies with Judith Lasater and is certified to teach Relax and Renew® Restorative Yoga. Helen has been teaching yoga for over 20 years. In addition to teaching yoga Helen also is a Tai Chi practitioner and teacher. She is certified to teach several of Dr Paul Lam’s Tai Chi for Health programs including Tai Chi for Arthritis, Tai Chi for Energy, and Tai Chi for Balance and Fall Prevention. Helen has a Ph.D. in the nutritional sciences and is a chemist by training. Before retiring she taught for over 20 years at the high school and university levels, spent several years in the Peace Corps and worked in an analytical laboratory. Helen believes that yoga is both a multidimensional and transformative art and science. Her teaching philosophy is to provide participants the opportunity to experience yoga as an integrated system that uses asana poses as a place to begin the process of self awareness and discovery. To this end her classes include other techniques for delving deeper into the transformative process. These methods include, but are not limited to, breath work, meditation, visualizations, affirmations, mudras, and mantras.
Bridget completed her 200 hour certification through Soluna Yoga School. She came to the teacher training with the desire to help bring peace to people through the holistic practice of yoga and meditation. Bridget has a husband Simon and two daughters Layla and Miyah. She has been working with a quadriplegic individual for the past eight years. In the future Bridget hopes to bring a mindfulness curriculum into schools and help kids of all ages develop an attitude of compassion, love, and positivity.
Jude began her professional career as an English teacher and later worked in government relations in the cable television industry before taking time to raise her three children. She completed her yoga training through the Soluna Yoga School. Life has brought her full circle, as she has rediscovered her passion for teaching – this time as a yoga teacher. Jude brings her training and experience as an educator to the practice of yoga. Having discovered yoga later in life, she is sensitive to the challenges that yoga can present for new students and strives to make yoga accessible to young and old alike. Jude’s classes feature slow, deliberate stretches; fluid, dynamic breath connected movement as well as an emphasis on balance, mental focus and overall strength. She endeavors to design classes that leave the students feeling stronger, more limber, and more relaxed than when they entered the studio. Jude has been practicing yoga for ten years and remains committed to expanding her knowledge and experience and has completed a week-long training “Yoga for Athletes” at Kirpalu.
Joanne began her yoga journey nine years ago. When first starting out she was asked “how long this yoga thing was going to last”. She has come to realize the impact of yoga will last a life time. Joanne completed her 200 hour yoga training in 2009 through Lotus Gardens Yoga. She teaches with a fun-loving, gentle spirit and with gratitude for her students and their commitment. Joanne sees yoga as a gift to herself that she is grateful to share with others.
Marcus is Assistant Director of The Dance Program at Union College, where he also serves as a professor of dance. Growing up, Marcus studied in New York City on a full scholarship with the Joffrey Ballet School, Studio Maestro, and Peridance Center. Some of his professional credits include the national tour of Sesame Street Live, the national tour of Bear in the Big Blue House Live, touring Europe with Jean Ann Ryan Productions on the Norwegian Dawn (Norwegian Cruise Lines), and performing many principle roles with the Northeast Ballet and the Albany Berkshire Ballet Company. He has also worked as a guest artist, teacher, and choreographer with the Schenectady Light Opera Company, Park Playhouse, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the National Museum of Dance, R.P.I., the Dance + Festivals, Proctors Summer Broadway Camps, CRC Irish Dance Camp, Sun King Dance and Spotlight Management. In 2013, Marcus had the great honor of serving as a judge for the 2013 Distinguished Young Women New York State Scholarship Program. Marcus is currently working as choreographer of a brand new musical “Cassandra, The Musical”, which will take place on Proctors Stage in September 2014. Marcus is a recent graduate of Soluna School of Yoga (a registered school with Yoga Alliance) where he received his 200 hour teaching certification. Marcus feels honored and blessed to be on staff at Soluna Yoga and would like to thank his mentoring teachers Lisa Alexander, Laurie Galish, Karol Augspurger, Mena Zarelli, and Nancy Polachek for all of their guidance and support.
Mena began her Yoga practice over a decade ago when she spontaneously walked into an Ashtanga Yoga class at Soluna Yoga Studio! After this first yoga experience, she immediately felt the call to include yoga in her life, forever. Mena received her Yoga Alliance 200 Hour Training in Hot Warrior Yoga. She has had the opportunity to practice, study and teach many different styles of yoga including prenatal yoga. Her style of teaching includes a strong, power-centered asana practice coupled with a mindful, meditative flow. Mena’s goal is to challenge her students both mentally and physically while still allowing for a motivating and energizing practice. She has taught Yoga classes in many places in the Capital District. In addition to Yoga, Mena teaches Spanish, Italian and Art and is Mamma to three beautiful, active children and Stepmom to one very cool teenager.