Jessica Bellofatto, founder and director of KamaDeva Yoga, is best known for her easy laughter, radiant energy, and matchless knowledge of the body. A mother, yogini, doula, surfer, triathlete, and avid stand up paddleboarder (and now SUP racer), Jessica has inspired thousands of students in their journey to better understand themselves and their world. She herself has been a dedicated student of Hatha Yoga for the past twenty years. Her interest in Yoga was piqued at the age of 18, while she was majoring in Dance at New York University. She completed the intensive year-long Teacher Training Program at the Jivamukti Yoga Center with beloved teachers Sharon Gannon and David Life in 1996 and has been teaching ever since. First and foremost a student, Jessica has studied extensively with many notable and amazing teachers, and has been most deeply influenced by her Jivamukti roots, along with the intensity of the Ashtanga Yoga system as taught by Sri K. Patabhi Jois, and the beauty, clarity, and intelligence of the Iyengar system.
A former dancer, Jessica teaches from a deep understanding of movement as art, movement as play, movement as therapy, and especially, movement as a spiritual practice. She is also interested in the stillness within and between the movement; the spaciousness of silence.
In 2011, Jessica was chosen to be one of Athleta's Sponsored Athletes, and writes regularly for the ATHLETA CHI BLOG. In 2012, she was chosen to be an ambassador for the Boga Yoga Paddleboard (a board designed specifically for yoga).
Jessica teaches sold out yoga retreats around the world and is most happy outside, in nature, preferably wet.
Om Shantih! Om Peace
For more information, please visit jessicabellofattoyoga.com.
Nianna is a fearless and compassionate teacher who inspires her students with both her in-depth knowledge of yoga traditions and culture and her open-hearted, accessible and diverse teaching style. Her teachings are for those interested in an authentic experience of inner and outer yogic practices Her intention is to purify blockages, dis-ease, and resistance on a mental, physical, and emotional level to increase radiant wellbeing and a sense of unified connection. She encourages you to feel at home in your body and in the world and move from an empowered place. She is grateful for the blessings of her teachers and to be invited to studios throughout Europe and the US to share her wisdom and insight through workshops and trainings. As a Travel Director for Away Inward Retreats she teaches and guides travelers on transformational journeys and retreats that introduce them to new cultures through spiritual, wellness and nature adventures. niannabray.com.
After years of mandatory asana practice as part of a dance and drama curriculum I entered my first comprehensive yoga studio, KamaDeva Yoga, in 2012. The experience was monumental and from that day I began a journey Inward that would eventually guide me to ashrams in the US, India & Nicaragua, an Intentional Yoga community in Costa Rica and to South Goa, India, where I completed my YTT with Kranti yoga.
In 2015 I spent a collective 6 months living, traveling and practicing with a group of energetic healers and yoga teachers through India & Nepal. From there I returned to Costa Rica and spent three months traveling through Central America with my soul family, living on the beaches and off the land. Spending time in ceremony, channeling, healing, meditating and developing a new love for this Human experience. Our collective focus being to heal our own suppressed trauma/blocks, identify our pain bodies and patterns and find efficient was to move and heal these energies though a collection of yogic practices. Actively assisting in the awakening of the Human Species, Healing Gaia and remembering the source of our souls. I am currently inhabiting the East End for the summer, spreading the love and sharing all I have learned through my explorations.
This Cosmic Flow class is focused on grounding the spirit in the physical body through breath, meditation and awareness of the energetic body. These classes are a blend of strong flowing sequences and free expressive movement. We will always begin by building heat in the body and connecting back with full, expansive breath . Hypnotic, carefully crafted playlists, frequent stops in balasana (child's pose) and Inspiring meditations are always present. We will connect with our heart space, we will sweat, we will connect with our spirit guides and we will laugh. We collectively create a safe soothing atmosphere that allows you fully open into your practice and freely express yourself. Classes are always intuitively guided by the needs of the group.
Roey Ficaro LCSW, CYT has been a practitioner of yoga for over twenty years. She is certified; registered with the yoga alliance and an Anusara–Inspired level teacher. Roey met her teacher John Friend 10 years ago who introduced her to Anusara Yoga. There was an instant recognition that her life path was taking a turn and decided to dive into this brilliant system which incorporates Universal Principles of Alignment and the Tantric based philosophy of Intrinsic Goodness. Roey’s open-hearted, nurturing, playful style of teaching is enriched by her studies of Yoga Therapy, Thai Yoga Bodywork, Meditation, Hypnotherapy and Somatic Experience. In addition Roey works as a body/mind/spirit psychotherapist. She was instrumental in creating a Wellness Center at SUNY Purchase offering substance abuse prevention, yoga, meditation and Holistic Counseling to the student body. Classes are well attended and entitled “Yoga for a Natural High.”
Roey’s highest intention is to invite others to tap into a deeper place of the body’s inner wisdom and learn to move from within, with more freedom, physical comfort and fullness. As our bodies open and align our hearts open as well to our true nature of unlimited joy. Roey holds so much gratitude in her heart for her teachers, John Friend, Todd Norian, Amy Ippoliti, Susan Rubin, Paul Muller-Ortega, Nevine Michaan and other gifted teachers too numerous to mention.
The mind, body, breath connection drew Rowan in. This is how she found her yoga practice. She discovered the connection of the heart to these things, and stayed. Yoga has always been a part of her. She's driven to assist others in rediscovering their own practice. Their own unearthing of the soul. Rowan uses creative sequencing and dreamy music to distinguish her classes. She offers eternal gratitude to her teachers. She completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2015, at The Giving Room under Paula DiDonato and Heidi Michel Fokine. Rowan is continuing her education at KamaDeva Yoga in their 2016-2017 200 hour yoga teacher training.
Michal "Cali" Hochman's path as a yogini began as a regularly sweat- drenched child alongside her mother in ashtanga classes. As the pressures of adolescence appeared, Michal found deep healing, knowledge of self, and profound love in an Iyengar yoga studio. The depth of poses deepened her love of herself and of others. The emphasis on alignment and precision taught her the importance of honesty and integrity in practice, and the futility of comparing herself to other practitioners.
Michal is currently the youngest certified Iyengar yoga teacher in the United States. She is a holistic wellness counselor and psychology student whose fascination with the body and mind inspires her dedication to fostering true wellness for all. Her love of yoga and healing work shines through in her teaching, offering a sanctuary of quiet calm and profound self- awareness for her students. She offers lively, precise, and intelligent sequences where students can gain tremendous insight into their bodies and tendencies, thus deepening and advancing in their practice, while avoiding injury. Her teaching offers an increase in wellness both mentally and physically on and off the mat.
Michal is grateful to her teachers endless love and dedication as they prepared her for certification over the course of several years, and to B.K.S. Iyengar and the entire Iyengar lineage of teachers for their love and insight. She is thrilled to bring her love of yoga to Kama Deva!
Adam Kelinson, a culinary ethnobotanist and lifestyle visionary is the creator of Organic Performance and the author of The Athlete’s Plate: Real Food for High Performance. ‘Some of the best things in life are not what you find, but what finds you,’ says Adam. After experiencing a major spinal injury Foundation Training was one of the last pieces to his recovery puzzle in restoring his life. After three years of intensive practice becoming an instructor, combined with his Foundation Nutrition program, is an integral part to his life work and the passion he has for helping people achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Ashlynn has been a practicing yogi for 12 years, and has taught music, drama, and dance with children in NYC in private and group settings. Originally from Montauk and later eastern MA, she studied theater and voice at Walnut Hill School for the Arts and holds a B.A. in Music from Oberlin. She is currently a student of Yoga of the Voice under Silvia Nakkach at the Vox Mundi School. Ashlynn has been a massage therapist for 5 years, while traveling around the world and making songs about biodiversity. Now a certified Yogi Beans Children’s Yoga Teacher, she is excited to be back in the Hamptons and spreading the yoga love to the magical young ones amongst us!
In her classes, Veronica encourages her students to have an attitude of curiosity, exploration and play as they move. She encourages them to allow their practice to be a means of bringing balance to the present moment, as well as a vehicle for observation and inquiry and a channel to deeper self-understanding. Additionally, as a working artist, Veronica has found that using the practices of yoga, mindfulness & breath awareness helps to inspire the creative process. She offers private workshops combining these elements to help others find joy in empowering their artistic expression.
Alexis is best known for her avid enthusiasm for surfing, traveling, and yoga. She has been traveling through Central America, India and Sri Lanka teaching yoga, chasing waves, and studying yoga and meditation. She always returns home to the East End to spend the summers grounding, connecting with the beautiful yoga community, and sharing her travel experiences. Devoted to her practice and the surf/yoga lifestyle, Alexis draws inspiration from Hatha Yoga and the traditional Hindu yogic philosophy, her various Hatha and Vinyasa teachers, and her various meditative experiences, most recently studying Buddhist Meditation in Sri Lanka with Buddhist monks.
Alexis took her first YTT with Lois Nesbitt in 2012/13, and began teaching in Montauk the following summer. She then began spending winters traveling and teaching yoga at Rise Up Surf Nicaragua and various locations throughout Central America, weaving in healing stretching for surfers while enriching her classes with philosophy and breathwork. She most recently traveled to India where she studied Reiki, Astrology, Marma Point Bodywork, and completed a Hatha YTT at Sanksar Yoga Shala. She then took a job as a Yoga Teacher/Bodyworker at Sunshine Stories in Sri Lanka, and spent the winter of 2016/17 working as a teacher and healer in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is mostly a Buddhist Country, and she was fortunate enough to study Buddhism and Buddhist meditation at Bogahawatta Temple with the monks living there.
Alexis has a vibrant enthusiasm for Yoga, Meditation and Pranayama. Her travels and studies this winter have given her a new perspective on teaching and her classes are a reflection of her studies. An athlete and surfer, she likes to challenge her students through physical asana, use breathwork/pranayama to calm the mental/emotional body, and meditation to soothe the soul. She believes yoga should connect the student to their true nature; joyful, playful, blissful and fearless.
I began teaching yoga in 2015 after completing my 200-HR yoga teacher training with Jess Bellofatto and Lois Nesbitt of the KamaDeva Yoga Teacher Training. Growing up in an avid sailing family and community, I quickly came to see that my yoga teachings were heavily rooted in this universal rhythmic flow - the beat of the breath, flow of the body and eventual release of the mind to drop into these rhythms when they are presented in a meaningful, tangible manner. This natural rhythm, exemplified by the turnings of tides and gentle rocks of ripples of current, is one I’ve connected with from a young age.
Knowing that my teacher, Jessica Bellofatto, shared this same connection and love of the water and indulged in it through the practice of SUP Yoga, I had to find out more. My first class was a great check of the ego, and I quickly came to learn that the practice demands the practitioner to slow down, breathe and feel every aspect of your body - physical, energetic and mental.
This element of rhythmic connection is one that keeps me in love with SUP Yoga. Every moment is a chance to go through the portal to deeper union with yourself and with the environment around you.
I trained with Jess through her JBYoga SUP Yoga Teacher Training, and am beyond grateful for the opportunity to bring my community out on the water for a deeply connective and safe yoga practice.
Lois was certified to teach Anusara Yoga in 2000, and went on to become a leader in that community, serving on several prestigious committees that oversaw Anusara practice and teaching. Lois credits Anusara and the philosophical teachings of Tantra (absorbed through hours of seminars with Prof. Douglas Brooks) with transforming not only her yoga practice but her whole outlook on inspired living. Lois also practiced Ashtanga yoga daily for ten years under Shri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India and Eddie Stern of the Patanjali Yoga Shala in New York. Her teaching combines the flow of vinyasa, cutting-edge alignment, and uplifting life teachings in a dynamic, energizing, and joyful practice.
In addition to her local activities, Lois travels the globe to offer workshops, retreats, immersions, and teacher trainings. Before devoting herself to yoga, Lois was a widely published writer and internationally exhibited visual artist and has recently resumed her creative work, including collaborations with The Nature Conservancy and others (visit loisnesbittart.com). She holds a B.A. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. She thanks the extraordinary teachers at these fine schools for revealing the power of sharing one’s passion. View more on Lois and her current and upcoming programs at blueskyyoga.com.
Coming from a life-long background of athletics and dance, Hannah has trained across the world in different styles of yoga to synthesize her own philosophy and approach to asana, pranayama and meditation.
An Urban Zen Integrative Therapist and certified Reiki practitioner she also enjoys bringing the softer side of self-care and self-attunement onto the mat. Hannah sequences all levels of practice emphasizing proper alignment, creating a strong foundation and a commitment to exploring the body, safely realizing our full physical potential.
Her work is based on the principle that the body has its own intelligence, and is ready to share if we only listen and open ourselves up to working from an intuitive place. She designs sequences that are fun and energizing, working to create a yogic environment that is appropriate and healing for her students.
As a lifelong practitioner of movement, Hannah has always felt most comfortable and alive when connecting and working with the body. She became committed to her yoga practice in 2009 after returning from Tanzania, where she worked with an NGO assisting people affected by HIV/AIDS, and found the practice as a means to process her experience and facilitate reentry to life in NYC.
Upon completing her undergrad degree at Columbia University in 2012, Hannah received her 200-hour teacher training at YogaWorks, where she discovered her passion and true calling. She then began to commit herself to teaching and practicing yoga as a full time occupation.
In 2014, Hannah traveled to India and completed her advanced teacher training in the style of the Bihar Yoga School at Aarsha Yoga Vidya Peetham in Kerala, India. The experience in India provided a valuable link to understanding the depth of the yogic tradition and the ongoing evolution of contemporary yoga.
Since then she has gone onto complete over 400 hours of training and mentorship with Ana Forrest and Rodney Yee and Coleen Saidman-Yee coming to call Yoga Shanti her home. Hannah would like to thank her teachers, Colleen Saidman, Jenny Arthur, Julie Marx, and Rodney Yee, for their endless guidance, inspiration and generosity.
Hannah also incorporates Reiki when working with students, who are dealing with pain or injury, she is insured and registered with Yoga Alliance at the 500-hour level.
Nicole has been an advocate for health and wellness for the past 10 years on the East End of Long Island and NYC. She has felt a calling to share her knowledge of health and wellness with others teaching Yoga, Personal Training and Cooking Privately with an emphasis on organic, farm to table and specialty diets rich in local produce to provide a well rounded lifestyle approach to being your best self. She believes in nourishing the whole body and mind and with that uses her strength training background to help you gain lean muscle, melt away stress and provide to you the best individualized approach to give you the tools to flourish when class is over. She is caring and guides with love and compassion honoring each individuals needs and bodies.
Mary Sabo is Long Island Native, who fell in love with yoga after taking her first class on a whim one day in New York City during college. Mary was no stranger to movement as she grew up dancing and left Marymount Manhattan College with a B.A. in Theater Performance and a minor in Musical Theater. Music is and always has been a big part of Mary's life and she incorporates that into her classes with curated playlists and often live, acoustic guitar.
She continued to practice yoga into her twenties and found the benefits of a consistent practice were abundant, not just physically but also mentally and spiritually as well. Eventually she knew she wanted to share the practice of yoga with others and in 2014 she completed the 300-hour, nine-month teacher-training program with Lois Nesbitt and Jessica Bellofatto at Kama Deva Studio in East Hampton, N.Y. While working to get certified she also researched and wrote her masters thesis, Yoga to Benefit High-Stakes Test Anxiety, focusing on research that targeted yoga-specific benefits to American public school students when practiced regularly before taking high-stakes tests.? ?Mary’s goal as an instructor is to make yoga accessible and enjoyable while proving that it truly is a practice for all!
A coconut and kale-loving wife and mother of five, Tonia has spent the past twelve years sharing her passion and practice of yoga with people of all ages and abilities. During her time both on and off the mat, Tonia has inspired students at every level to embrace a life filled with awareness and appreciation, balanced by bodily nourishment and spiritual inquiry. Whether in the studio, on the beach, or on her stand up paddleboard, Tonia has helped her students overcome obstacles by building spiritual and physiological practices that focus on health, healing and happiness. Her Vinyasa class provides the perfect opportunity to explore the movement and flow of yoga in a safe and open environment while introducing techniques to improve precision and alignment. When not teaching, Tonia pursues her calling as a certified Reiki and aromatherapy practitioner and tries to cook, dance and travel whenever possible. beyourbesthealth.com
Mitten was introduced to Yoga at the age of 55 and in her very first class realized that the asana practice is a special gift to the body, mind, and spirit. She believes that it gives one the opportunity and ability to move with greater harmony and grace through the rhythms of life. Having lived in NYC for 60 years, of which 30 of those years she taught early childhood education at Park Avenue Christian School, Mitten was more than delighted to move east and continue teaching here, this time Yoga to adults as well as children. With practical insights, she encourages her students to take a playful but carefully aligned asana practice on the mat out into their daily life. Mitten honors her many Anusara teachers and John Friend’s tradition, gives gratitude to those who have encouraged her to teach, and appreciates the many students who continually open her eyes to new possibilities.
|KamaDeva Yoga, 15 Lumber Lane, 2nd Fl, East Hampton, NY 11937 Tel: 917.301.6919||Monthly Inspiration Archives|