Helena is the founder of Vyana Yoga. She has been living and teaching dynamic yoga for over 17 years; she is a qualified therapeutic Yoga Teacher who unites physical and esoteric anatomy steeped in Pranaflow®, Tantra, Structural Alignment, Polarity and Ayurveda. As a R.N. and Polarity Therapist, Helena considers herself a "hands on teacher" with loving guidance and deep humility in the holistic health and wellness service. She is the Foundress of the original empowering HastaPada®; a yoga strap that is used with ease and stability for therapeutic and advanced yoga poses as an evolutionary tool to discover the poise in each pose.
A Certified Pelvic Floor Teacher and mother of three, Helena teaches Embodying the Female Pelvis Workshops and HastaPada® courses. Anatomy runs deep in her bones as a nurse with an orthopedic background, and intensive study of integrative and structural anatomy. Her continual search and curiosity combined with an intensive study of integrative and structural anatomy fuels her practice and multi-layered classes.
Helena is a Fierce Bhakti and forever the student of the Heart... for where would yoga be without the Union of Love.
Rochelle leads with, lives by, and loves deeply from the heart.
After a decade of following dreams that led her to New York City as a food writer at Bon Appétit magazine, to Cazenovia as a farmer and author of the book The Call of the Farm, and to Alabama as a social media director, she found her way back home to Central New York. Through it all, yoga has been the grounding force, changing and growing with Rochelle.
She began her yoga studies with Saraswati Om and Dharma Mittra, and has enjoyed practicing and studying everything from restorative to hot power flows. She completed her 200-hour YTT with Boston Yoga School and now teaches a variety of styles and practices. Whether it's a playful, dance-inspired vinyasa or a gentle and peaceful restorative flow, Rochelle's goal is to encourage students to check in rather than check out, and find gratitude for all of the gifts our earthly bodies have given us. In addition to teaching, Rochelle is the studio manager here at Vyana.
Ciara has been a yoga student for over 12 years, and her yoga practice has been a critical component in cultivating health and balance since. She came to Vinyasa Yoga practice from a dance background, first practicing with Saraswati Om at Dharma Yoga Syracuse and moving on to study Ashtanga Yoga in Glasgow, Scotland with Judi Farrell, Gemma Maryan and Kyle Gray. Moving back to Syracuse in 2016 she completed her RYT-200 Teacher Training through the Boston Yoga School’s adjunct program at O Yoga Syracuse.
Finding balance between active and passive, yin and yang, samadhi and samsara, is a critical element of Ciara’s personal practice on and off the mat, and is reflected in her teaching style: expect a variety surya namaskar-based flow in her classes mixed with longer slower holds, playing the need to move off the necessity to relax, renew and restore.
What initially turned my attention toward a spiritual journey was a church trip I took as a 14 year old boy to Montreal. During this trip about all 300 of us were encouraged to take part in a group meditation. During the meditation I had an experience that was far beyond anything I had ever been a part of.
The idea that was taken away from this was: through the mind and body there are compelling states of being that can be reached simply through thought, imagination and simply the desire to seek.
This was a universal truth and I could see that clearly. I began reading books on philosophy, religion, yoga and spirituality. I also joined a weekly meditation group. I knew there was something more that I was not reaching.
When I was 20 years old after two years of college I decided I needed a change. A close friend had spoke of an ashram in Canada that he visited yearly before and during our friendship. It always intrigued me. I decided too look it up and online I had discovered they were having a teacher training program in a week. I took the training at the Sivananda Ashram in Val Morin Quebec. After the training I had realized what potential people are actually capable of and I understood that I had just scratched the surface and it would be important for me to help others in their own journeys. This was one of the most profound moments of my life and difficult to explain with words. Since that experience I return to the ashram yearly in July.
I live, I teach, I work and I continue my own spiritual path and help others with their own.
Mary Jean BYRNE
Although my initial love of Yoga was for the physical practice, I quickly learned that Yoga is more than just a physical practice. Yoga cultivates self –awareness. It is training in being present and paying attention. Yoga offers the opportunity for us to see beyond ourselves, and stretch our boundaries by challenging our fears and exploring our potential; as well as recognizing when we limit our potential. Yoga teaches us that we are not all we see or have thought we are up to this point in our lives. This is why I teach Yoga.
Because I love what Yoga brings to my life and simply want to share the gift. Prior to teaching Yoga, I worked for over 20 years in exercise science and physical therapy which provides the foundation for my alignment-based teaching style. In 2014, I completed my 200 hour yoga alliance teacher training. Prior to that I did a six-month immersion program at Garden of the Heart Yoga in Sarasota Florida. In between and since, I attend as many workshops as I can and take classes wherever I travel. Always learning. There is always more to learn about yoga. I’ve had the good fortune to work with teachers such as Desireé Rumbaugh, Kevin Courtney, our own Helena Zera-Axelrod, Doug Swenson, Tias and Surya Little in Santa Fe, NM and many other master teachers. I’ve also taken workshops on yoga as a physical therapy treatment tool and for veterans with PTSD.
My job as a teacher is to try and meet each student where they currently reside in their practice and lives. I once read that yoga was the “cultivation of attention.’ It is but one of the many things that yoga is, and, yet, to me, it is kind of the only thing that yoga is. Because from that all else flows. In my classes you can expect breath work (pranayama), asana (poses), exploration of the poses through flow and holds, and time to settle, which are all tools to help ‘cultivate attention”.
I first came to my mat in 2011, and realized what had been missing: a practice that could help me begin to understand myself and re-establish my connection with my body. Yoga has taught me so many things; most importantly, it has taught me that I’m practicing yoga even when I’m not on a mat. I completed my 200-hr. YTT with Mighty Yoga in Ithaca, NY in May 2018 under the direction of Gina Newlin and Zainab Zakari. A native of Syracuse, I enjoy cheering on the Orange and spending time with my friends and family.
Trish Law has been practicing yoga for over 14 years and teaching for 8.
She came to the practice of yoga as a broken athlete and fell in love - almost instantly. She studied with Ganga White and Tracey Rich at the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara California and developed her love of Vinyasa Flow from the inspiration of her own favorite teacher, Caitlin Marcoux.
Trish's teaching style is light and fun, as well as humorous and energetic, while still honoring the spiritual aspects of the yogic traditions. She believes that yoga is for everybody and loves to help her students use "the practice" to not only understand their own bodies better, but also themselves as a whole.
Retired Adapted Physical Education and traditional Physical Education Teacher. An Olympic weightlifter & wrestler who transformed his life through Yoga & Ayurveda. He has been studying, practicing and teaching Yoga and Ayurveda for close to 20 years. He is an Associate Polarity Practitioner, Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant, Ayurvedic Food & Nutrition Consultant, Reiki Master, Marma Point Practitioner, A Wise Earth School of Yoga & Ayurveda Food, Breath & Sound Master Teacher, 500 hr. Krishnamacharya Healing & Yoga Foundation, Yoga for Well-Being, Yoga-Ed K-12 teacher. I continue to study and consider myself an education junkie.
AMY VAN KIRK
Since 2001 Amy has been a dedicated yoga student and has trained with instructors in Syracuse and in New York City. She spent time learning the Astanga series and Vinyasa Flow sequences from her teachers.
In 2008, Amy completed her 200 hour teacher training program which was affiliated with Yoga Alliance under the guidance of Judiann Cesta at East Street Yoga studio in Skaneateles, NY. She has also attended various Power Yoga, Partner Yoga, Alignment focused and Meditation workshops.
Amy incorporates proper alignment into all her classes and has spent the last 9 years learning about the spine, alignment, and anatomy which she now brings into her classes.
In 2006 after raising 3 children, I needed to take care of me. I finally had the time after work to seriously begin a yoga practice. I was quickly hooked. I travelled from studio to studio, trying different styles and teachers. When traveling outside of Syracuse, I attended classes; from St. Augustine to Santa Fe and cities in between.
In 2014 I lost my job in oncology. I decided to make lemonade and attended yoga teacher training. I have since been teaching what I’d describe as power vinyasa and chair classes. Quite diverse! Be ready to move and sweat in my classes. My previous job provided me with an anatomical knowledge and I stress alignment. I volunteer at PACE CNY, Seymour Public Library and Crowne Pointe Senior apartments; teaching chair classes.
I continue to take classes from senior teachers including our foundress, Sri Dharma Mittra, Dr. Loren Fishman,MD, and Shane Corne. I travel to Kripalu and continue to explore yoga studios in my meanderings. Besides yoga, I like to ski, paddle board, and best of all play lacrosse with my grandson.
Katrin Naumann, Director of Inner Balance Life Works: Dynamic Self-Transformation, serves the CNY community, as an Intuitive Holistic Healer, certified in Qigong Therapy and Light Therapy. She is a certified Qigong and Yoga (E-RYT 200, E-RYT 500 Pending) Teacher, exploring these healing modalities in private sessions, group classes, and corporate settings. She completed her training at the Qigong Institute of Rochester, under Master O’Shea, and at Open Sky Yoga, under Francois Raoult.
As a Clairvoyant, Metaphysician, Spiritual Advisor, Teacher and Author, Katrin endeavors to provide individuals with practical tools to become the conscious co-creators of their own experience. Katrin offers Evolutionary Soul Tarot and Astrological Chart Readings in her healing space, at Psychic & Holistic Fairs throughout the state, and remotely. Katrin co-authored Ten Gates into the Garden: Spiritual Teachings for the Awakening Consciousness, available on Amazon, and the audio recordings: Ten Gates into the Garden: Spiritual Exercises and Meditations, and Spiral Chakra Purification. She also leads dynamic inspirational and motivational workshops. Learn more about Katrin’s work at www.innerbalancelifeworks.com
I discovered yoga after my daughter was born as a way to get active and to find some “me” time. I was particularly drawn to the connection of mind, body, and breath that yoga offers. The physical practice of asana and the awareness of breath in pranayama offered an entire new way of managing stress and anxiety. I soon became interested in meditation and began a regular practice. It was not long before I decided to share the “secret sauce” of yoga with teaching anyone who was interested – family, friends, and coworkers. In 2019, I completed the 200-hour teacher training from the Boston Yoga School at O Yoga Studios in Syracuse, NY, directed by Ame Wren and Tiffany Cagwin. My goal in teaching is to share my constant pursuit of being present. It is easy to get swept away in our fast-paced world and yoga brings us to this moment above all else. This is a gift. Yoga has improved the quality of my life, accompanied me through difficult times, enhanced my health, and made me strong, inside and out. I look forward to sharing the power of yoga with all who are interested.