New Leaf Yoga Instructors
Ms. Maryam Abdul-Qawiyy is a writer, performance artist, and certified yoga teacher.
She completed her 200-Hour Yoga teacher certification at Om Shanti Belize: School of Yoga and Wellness, in Belize city where she focused on Hatha Yoga. Her classes incorporate a holistic practice of yoga including meditation and centering, mantra recitation and yoga philosophy.
Maryam’s mother practiced prenatal yoga and she believes that that influenced her interest in movement, dance and yoga. As a child, she would twist and bend in peculiar ways that startled her mother. She may have planted the seed of yoga while Maryam was in the womb! In any event, life has led Maryam on a fantastical journey of movement in many forms. Maryam’s yoga is often light and fun, integrating creative movements from dance. She emphasizes a body-positive and safe environment by encouraging clients to share in the joy of self-compassion.
Georgia completed her 200-hour yoga teaching certification at Dou Yoga in Brooklyn with an emphasis on accessible anatomical instruction and safe alignment. She went on to receive 105 hours of prenatal and postnatal training at ISHTA yoga with Gina Menza and Jenny Langbehn. Georgia studied English and dance at Mount Holyoke College. In a previous life, she worked administrative jobs at literary and talent agencies, at NYU for several years, and, for a brief stint, at the dearly departed Om Yoga in downtown Manhattan — more significant as the place where she first experienced yoga outside of videos in her living room. Georgia seeks to provide a nurturing space for her students to explore all aspects of their practices with warmth and humor.
Catherine “Cat” Murcek is a Brooklyn-based dance artist and yoga instructor at the 500-hr level, having trained first at Yogaworks with Natasha Rizopoulos and then with Alison West and Deborah Wolk at Yoga Union. Cat first connected with yoga in Boston after receiving a B.A. in Intl. Economics from Franklin College of Switzerland. What began as a mode to supplement her dance training quickly became a vital tool for maintaining her tranquility and groundedness. Cat has completed additional training in Yoga for Backcare and Scoliosis, and in Alexander technique. These trainings, combined with her somatic experience from dance, have infused Cat’s teaching with an appreciation for alignment within flow and for the therapeutic potential of yoga. Cat has also assisted Dr. Loren Fishman in providing yoga therapy. Cat leads yoga retreats in the US and internationally – ask her about her next retreat!
Sonia completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Andiappan Yoga Institute in Chennai, India and her 500-hour training at Sacred Sounds Yoga. She has practiced many styles of yoga over the past fifteen years and has been teaching group and private yoga classes for the past five. Currently, she immensely enjoys teaching Prenatal, Yin, and Restorative Yoga. Sonia’s innate predisposition to calm and organized thoughts and movements naturally led her to practice and teach yoga. Starting from the philosophy that yoga is for every body and that different styles may best serve different bodies, Sonia guides students to challenge themselves, rest appropriately, and, above all, recognize and honor their own needs in whatever form their practice may take.
Ede Thurrell received her 300-hr. yoga teacher training with Alison West at Yoga Union. With a background as a professional dancer, Ede has been honored to share her fascination with the inherent wisdom of the body in NYC for nearly 15 years. In her teaching, Ede hopes to offer tools for healing and self knowledge, meeting the client wherever s/he is at that moment in movement. Ede is primarily inspired by a rigorous alignment-based approach to yoga from her teachers in the Iyengar lineage, but she also enjoys flowing Vinyasa and even aerial yoga! Ede is currently completing a certification in teaching yoga for back care at Yoga Union. She enjoys teaching yoga for clients with a wide variety of movement goals, from athletes and dancers to seniors and parents with small children.
Shieri Yamafuji is a certified yoga and Pilates instructor and professional dance performing artist. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Dou Yoga, her restorative yoga teacher training at Ishta Yoga, and her mat Pilates teacher training at the Kane School of Core Integration. Shieri has led numerous movement workshops in her home country of Japan. She is passionate about health and fitness, and loves to support clients on their unique paths to greater joy in movement.
New Leaf Pilates Instructors
Caroline Goff is a compassionate and challenging teacher, holding a Pilates Mat teaching certification from the Kane School of Core Integration. Her Pilates teaching integrates the classical Pilates repertoire with principles from a fascinating range of Eastern and Western movement and healing traditions in which she’s trained, including: her Aikido practice of more than 20 years, Jin Shin Jyutsu, energy kinesiology, structural anatomy, and nutrition. The themes of balance and universal harmony in Aikido, especially, underpin Caroline’s inspiring movement instruction. Caroline invites her students to greater awareness of their bodies and their alignment in movement, and ultimately, to growth on both physical and emotional levels. In her personal life, Caroline is an avid cyclist and has relied upon specific aspects of Pilates to help her body in cycling and to recover from a injuries. For Caroline, the Pilates breath work especially has been instrumental in helping her in times of grief and loss in her own life. Caroline’s path is to support her clients in a lifelong journey of healing, resilience, and growth.
Kristine Halker holds a Pilates Mat certification from the Kane School of Core Integration. A dancer, Kristine draws upon her extensive background in dance barre training and the Pilates Method to craft focused and invigorating workouts. Kristine began studying Pilates when she was 17 and recovering from an ankle injury and surgery. She was inspired by the complete and thorough workout she received through the Pilates Method during her rehabilitation. To her surprise, after four months off dancing, Kristine returned stronger than ever before. With her passion for health and injury prevention, Kristine is a natural and encouraging teacher who is pleased to share mindful movement and body wisdom with her clients. In her teaching, Kristine focuses on correct alignment and execution of contemporary and classical Pilates choreography, with emphasis on the breath and support of a neutral spine.
Nidhi Kohli trained to teach Pilates mat at the Kane School of Core Integration. As a student of Iyengar yoga, she was initially attracted to Pilates for its precision and emphasis on alignment and was hooked by the method’s intelligent approach to the art of mindful movement. Nidhi has pursued focused training in applications for clients with scoliosis and is currently enrolled in a mindfulness movement and meditation training program through Spirit Rock.
As an instructor, Nidhi delights in sharing the practice and in creating opportunities for clients to cultivate body awareness, strength and flexibility. Her group classes incorporate release work and are designed to challenge and engage the body and mind.
Jennifer holds a Pilates Mat certification from the Kane School of Core Integration. Her teaching is greatly inspired by her career as a professional dancer versatile in Classical Ballet and Modern Dance. Spending years in Physical Therapy for a number of injuries, she was prescribed Pilates based exercises as her rehabilitation. She found the benefits to be life changing and therefore altered her approach to movement in a way that could prolong her career as a dancer. She seeks to give others the gift of an active life through awareness, knowledge and conscious ways of moving. Jennifer’s class focuses on flow, placement and ease of movement while building strength, endurance and confidence.
A former college athlete and lifelong kitchen dancer, Nadia Wallace has practiced Pilates for over a decade and holds a 450-hour Pilates mat and apparatus teaching certification from the Kane School of Core Integration. Nadia has advanced training in anatomy and kinesiology with Irene Dowd, in Pilates for the cervical spine and neck with Kelly Kane, in exercise for scoliosis with Kuan Hui Chew, and in myofascial tissue release. Nadia’s athletic career has included college field hockey, rugby, and ski racing. An acute spine injury and surgery led her to discover Pilates, which became an important part of her rehabilitation and her return to a physical life.
Nadia feels honored to teach in collaboration with her clients, who include expectant and new moms, cross-training athletes, physical therapy graduates who want greater resilience in their bodies, clients with neuromotor and spine conditions, and regular folks seeking the joy and empowerment that comes from a strong core. Nadia lives in Brooklyn with her family and is the founder and director of New Leaf.