Teachers

All the yoga teachers at Heart and Soul of Yoga are certified Registered Yoga Teachers trained (mostly) at ISHTA Yoga. Many have further specialisms such as prenatal, postnatal, restorative and children’s yoga training in addition to many years of teaching experience.

Vanessa Francis

Vanessa Francis

Vanessa’s first yoga practice was with Mina Semyon (author of The Distracted Centipede) in North London in 1997. After moving to Philadelphia she spent two years intensively studying alignment with Valerie Rushmere at Studio 1831 and in 2002, after more than 5 years of personal practice, started teaching at Studio 1831 and various other locations in the Philadelphia area.

It was after her move to New York that she discovered Alan Finger’s Be Yoga and there she fell in love with the rich tradition and well rounded practice of the ISHTA (Integrated Sciences of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda) style. She has delved into a number of different styles of yoga over the years including Iyengar, Sivananda and Ashtanga but finally gained her 200 hour and 500 hour certification at ISHTA Yoga.

Vanessa’s classes are a reflection of her own need for an individualized practice. A life-long abnormality in her shoulder has made a traditional practice difficult for her and she found that trying to conform to an accepted norm proved stressful and did nothing to alleviate the restriction in her shoulder. Vanessa delights in figuring out ways for everyone to benefit from yoga with an in depth focus on alignment and a strong sense of the importance of the energetic body. The benefits of a yoga practice are in her experience seemingly endless and it is her goal to empower students to tune into their intuition and become their own best teacher.

Vanessa has further specialisms in Prenatal, Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra. She has studied advanced anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff and even spent a year at Osteopathic college in the UK. She is currently training to become a Human Design Analyst, (a multi-faceted system which combines the I Ching, Astrology, Kabbalah and the Hindu chakra system).

Yana Schnitzler

Yana Schnitzler

Yana Schnitzler

Yana is an ISHTA 500hr certified yoga teacher, dance artist and certified instructor of the Alexander Technique. What lead her to these practices is her interest in exploring authenticity and truth to the moment – as she believes that connecting to ourselves, and getting to know ourselves better empowers us to lead a happier and more fulfilled life.

Yana’s classes have a gentle approach with attention to detail, and are tailored to the students needs. Having gone through many injuries herself, a ‘whole new world’ opened up when she discovered what yoga can do – not in spite of these injuries but rather to support the body in its healing process by truly listening and being honest with one self. She teaches with compassion and light-heartedness and loves sharing this sense of curiosity and exploration with her students.

Marita Lamonica

Marita LaMonica

Marita LaMonica

Marita is a 500-Hour Yoga Alliance-certified teacher. She stumbled upon her first yoga class at a local gym in 1997 and was intrigued by the euphoric feeling it left her with. She began to use yoga as a complement to running, and found comfort in a home practice while living abroad in Japan and New Zealand.  She became a teacher to share with others a practice that has helped her deal with injuries, everyday stress, and significant life changes.

Marita completed her teacher training in the ISHTA yoga lineage, and continues to study with her teachers Alan Finger, Jean Koerner, Sarah Platt-Finger, and Mona Anand, amongst others. She welcomes all types of students and tailors her classes to fit the individual student’s needs. She combines a light-hearted approach and a love of movement with a deep understanding of physical alignment and yoga philosophy.

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