Our Teachers

Dominique Garstin

Dominique Garstin

Dominique Garstin

Dominique was initially drawn to yoga and meditation as methods of reconnecting with her inherent spirituality, and of coping with a demanding career in retail/ fashion. Immediately captivated, she knew that a radical change in trajectory was in store for her. Inspired by her teachers and guides, Dominique embarked upon a journey of discovery that ended in a lifetime commitment to her evolving study, practice and love of yoga, which she now has the pleasure of sharing with her students.

Dominique received her 200 hr Interdisciplinary Yoga Teacher Certification and 100 hr Inner Quest of the Yoga Educator training at the renowned Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica, studying under Amba Stapleton and Don Stapleton, Ph.D. She continued her studies at the Nosara Yoga Institute, becoming a Certified Practitioner of Pranassage, a synthesis of yoga and bodywork that deepens the effects of yoga.

Dominique continues to be a dedicated and impassioned student and is grateful to her teachers and students for their continual inspiration.

Teaching an “interdisciplinary style” of yoga, Dominique integrates vinyasa flow with other styles of currently practiced yoga. In her classes, she encourages students to deepen their awareness of technique, breath and movement, and focuses on the connection of body/ mind, alignment, flexibility, strength building and meditation. Her classes focus on empowering students to listen and respond to the intelligence in their own body and mind.

Christine Hoar

Christine Hoar is the founder and director of both Bristol Yoga, VT and Ashtanga Montauk, NY.

Christine has been a practitioner of the Ashtanga Yoga System for 22 years and has been teaching Ashtanga yoga for 20 years. From 1997-2014, she served as the founder and director of Vermont’s only dedicated Ashtanga Yoga studio, Bristol Yoga. She has now moved and created a new practice space in Montauk, New York. Specializing in the integration of the Ashtanga method with the principles of Ayurveda and the depth of Yogic philosophy, Christine offers students unique insights into the Yogic lifestyle. Christine has made many trips to Mysore, South India to study with her Guru, the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and she is honored to have received his blessing and authorization to teach. She travels annually back to Mysore to continue her studies with both his daughter, Saraswati Jois, and his grandson, Paramaguru Sharath Jois.

Christine is also a certified Ayurvedic consultant. As a practitioner, she is devoted to creating health and joy by fostering an awareness of the karma associated with our lifestyle choices and our connection to all of nature.

As a teacher, she integrates alignment and intuition, strength and fluidity, mindfulness and humor. Christine is passionate about the teachings, and brings a gentle, compassionate, and light-hearted, yet powerful, hands-on approach.

Ashley Dorr

Ashley Dorr

Ashley Dorr

Ashley began practicing yoga to supplement her training as a runner. Through the years she recognized the transformative and spiritual components of yoga and her practice became a devoted part of her daily life. In 2011 Ashley completed her 200 hour Teacher Training at The Shala Yoga House in NYC under the warm and wise guidance of Barbara Verrochi and Kristin Leigh where she teaches now. Over the last 3 years Ashley has traveled to Mysore, India for month-long studies of ashtanga yoga with Sharath Jois. Ashley is deeply grateful to her Ashtanga teachers, as well as influenced by her early teachers from Jivamukti, her acupuncturist Abdi Assadi, the dharma of Pema Chodron, and the inspiring students and clients she works with.

Ashley’s classes weave together strong and creative vinyasa flow with the tradition and energizing asana of ashtanga yoga and incorporate meditation, breath work, yoga philosophy, and great music. She hopes her students will find both inner and outer strength, and also have some fun!

Ashley is also a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in private practice. When she isn’t at the beach in Montauk she can be found back in Brooklyn walking her beloved rescue dog Soumy, making art with kids, or planning her next trip abroad.

Maria Margolies

Maria

An experienced Yoga Teacher and Holistic Health Coach.

Maria has studied Yoga, meditation, pranayama and many nutrition theories. Studying under the guidance of Sri. Pattabhi Jois, Eddie Stern, The Sivananda School in India, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Dr. Svoboda, and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

In 2015, Maria launched Holixtic, a wellness, lifestyle and fitness platform where she guides her clients to an elevated and more balanced life. Holding retreats and workshops across the globe, combining her approach to wellness by nourishing the inner and outer realms through yoga, ritual, energy foods, breathwork and meditation. Partners have included Free People, Topping Rose Hotel, and Montauk Beach House.

Caitlin Makielski

Caitlin Makielski

Caitlin Makielski

Caitlin is currently based full-time in the Hamptons where she draws inspiration from the open spaces and mystical beauty of the east end.

Her style incorporates vinyasa sequencing and mindfulness with an emphasis on alignment and spirituality. Caitlin has practiced yoga in the New York City area for the past eight years, and has completed trainings at the Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in Chelsea as well as The Giving Room in Southold.

She honors the grace, wisdom, and authenticity of her teachers and students who provide unending guidance.

Heather Joe Payne

Heather Joe Payne

Heather Joe Payne

A Montauk native, I have always been drawn to tuning in to the quiet within. Starting my yoga journey with an alignment book of stretching in yoga at twenty one while living in Park Slope. Continuing to add classes. Becoming more and more intrigued. Finally culminating in a 300 hour teacher training with Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman Yee, Heidi Folkine, Richard Rosen and Richard Freeman completed in July 2013.

I am interested most by the natural feeling of many postures, realizing that as a child I did tripod headstand and hung out in shoulder stand. Watching my own two children repeating the same and mimicking many of my movements is pure joy.

I teach with alignment and kindness to your body as priority. Four years of collegiate volleyball and triathlons have shown the importance of both.

Sarah Tallett

Sarah Tallett

Sarah Tallett

Sarah finds herself in constant exploration of life and enjoys utilizing breath, movement and attention as tools for creating balance. Her practice provides her with a sense of readiness for whatever is to come. She sees her classes as a chance to step outside the everyday and discover new energetic possibilities.

“By collectively practicing without judgment we are able to transform and open up to the simple wonder of being alive.”

Sarah is registered with the National Yoga Alliance and completed her 200 hour training certification with Tricia Philpott and Gregor Singleton. In addition, she has studied the Breakti method under Anya Porter,  Bhakti meditation under Acharya das, Baptise Power Vinyasa with Kathleen Lyons and Kundalini with Guru Purkh Kaur.

Brittany Thompson

Brittany Thompson

Brittany Thompson

Brittany is a nature, adventure and animal lover.  The Montauk native also loves healthy food, making yummy recipes, green living, and her family. Her mission is to help people eat healthier, move more, love their body and find happiness. She subscribes to the notion that true beauty comes from the inside out. This is why she loves Pilates! Pilates exercise works from the inside out and regular exercise does the opposite. The deep intrinsic muscles of the body are activated allowing you to discover muscles you never knew you had.

Brittany was introduced to Pilates during her training as a ballet dancer. Pilates gave her core strength to combat the challenging demands ballet placed on her body. The benefits of Pilates were so apparent to her dancing and the overall health of her body that, after turning in the Pointe Shoes, she decided to train to teach. Movement is an important aspect of everyday life -and Pilates works to help your body be dynamic, balanced, and supported so you can move throughout your life with ease, strength, and health. She offers private, duo, and group Pilates sessions at Yoga Lila in Montauk.

 

Emma Goldmark

EmmaGoldmark

Emma Goldmark is a Certified Jivamukti Teacher having completed her training in Germany under Sharon Gannon, David Life, Yogeswari, and Patrick Broome.

She stays true to her Jivamukti practice by incorporating meditation, Sanskrit mantras, music, and light-heartedness into a rigorous vinyasa practice.

Emma also has a BA in Biology with a concentration in Health Care from Wake Forest so you will find that she relates the asana practice to the healing aspects of the yoga and explains the anatomy of the asana.

In the winter months, Emma resides in Culebra, Puerto Rico where she teaches at her own studio, Earth to Soul Yoga.

 

Kathleen Stenson

Kathleen Stenson

Kathleen Stenson

Kathleen has been studying yoga for 15 years and teaching for 10 in Manhattan and Montauk. She has been extensively trained by Alison West, Baron Baptiste, John Friend and Rodney Yee, and Alan Finger. Her asana teaching style is influenced by the classical Ashtanga and Iyengar systems as taught by these masters.

Her classes are a gracious combination of smartly sequenced vinyasa steeped with alignment and breath guidance. Kathleen is philosophically studied in the school of Rajanaka yoga, a tantric tradition of auspicious wisdom, and the principles of these teachings inform everything that she is and infuse every teaching that she offers. She is eternally grateful every day to participate in the exchange of yoga.

Kristen Rae

Kristen Rae

Kristen Rae

Kristen Rae is an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist, Yoga Teacher & Holistic Health Practitioner.  She has extensive personal research in somatic movement for healing and has been teaching and counseling in classes and private consultations since 1998.  She is the director of Soma Yoga & Ayurveda, a teaching, training and healing resource that specializes in trainings based on yoga for the individual through Somatic practice, Ayurvedic principles and hands on healing assists.  In addition to her private practice she is a contributing faculty member for the Kripalu School of Ayurveda and ArborVitae School of Traditional Herbalism in NYC.

Abby Weimar

Abby Weimar

Abby Weimar

Born and raised in Montauk, N.Y. Abby began practicing yoga in Hawaii in 2004. A close friend and yoga instructor took her to an anusara workshop in Kapaa. After the workshop, she found Yoga Hanalei, where she began practicing hatha and vinyasa yoga with studio director Bhavani Maki. Kauai is where she still continues her practice every winter.

In 2011 a Hatha yoga teaching training came up in her hometown. Jumping on the opportunity she began to fall even more in love with yoga, with the help of her teacher Kristenrae Stevens. Having so many intelligent and nurturing teachers over the years has only broadened her practice. Yoga has become an essential part of her life. Teaching and making people feel good has made this spiritual journey even more complete. Smiling and not taking ourselves too seriously is her approach to teaching. Namaskar!

Heather D’Agostino

Heather D'Agostino

Heather D’Agostino

Heather’s teaching and practice is greatly influenced by Anusara Yoga and John Friend. Her classes are lively and fun but challenging, full of thought and philosophy. She encourages her students to find focus through their breath, to expand and play with their strengths and boundaries but to also find their own expression of self in their practice. The Anusara Principles of alignment are instructed and encouraged so to experience the deepest openings through safe body awareness.

Heather began practicing yoga while dealing with illness utilizing yoga therapeutics. In addition, she counted on yoga throughout her pregnancies and has a strong desire to share with others how yoga can transform the body and mind as well as inspire the soul. Heather is grateful to her teachers Lois Nesbit and John Seelye.

Caitlin Makielski

Caitlin Makielski

Caitlin Makielski

Born and raised in the Heartland, Caitlin has been practicing yoga in New York City for the past five years. In 2012, she completed her teacher training at the renowned Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in Chelsea under the guidance of celebrated teacher, Dana Flynn. In addition to teaching, she is currently studying with Elizabeth Rossa of Shriyoga whose grace, wisdom, and authenticity provide unending inspiration and guidance. Caitlin’s style incorporates vinyasa sequencing and meditation with an emphasis on alignment and spiritual practice.

Jesse Van Bergen

Jesse Van Bergen

Jesse Van Bergen

Jesse Van Bergen had taken her first yoga class, as an elective two decades ago, at NYU where she received her Master’s Degree in the Psychological Foundations of Reading. She immediately knew that there was something very special about this practice, and that one day she’d explore this on a deeper level. That day emerged a decade later when she had relocated to Sag Harbor and had taken a class at Mandala in Amagansatt. She immediately became a yoga enthusiast, practicing on a daily basis. A few years into that, she wanted to deepen her own practice and had the gift of going to Satchidinanda’s Ashram in Yogaville, Virginia for a teacher training where she received her Hatha I certification from Integral Yoga. She was so inspired by the teachings of the beloved Guru Dev that she has since returned to the Ashram 5 times and has also received her Hatha II certification, which includes meditation and pranayama training. Jesse has taught classes at the IYI in New York, the Wainscott School, the Ross School, Mandala, and is now honored to be teaching at Yoga Lila in Montauk.

Jesse teaches Vinyasa Flow as well as an Ashtanga Blend, with a strong focus on breathing. She provides a safe space for students to learn to listen to their own bodies’ inherent wisdom.

“I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to be part of the Yoga Lila community. I love my students and appreciate the warmth and friendliness of all who enter this really special space.”

Marissa McNaughton

Marissa McNaughton

Marissa McNaughton

Marissa emphasizes a rhythmic flow between breath and movement. Her teaching is grounded yet playful, encouraging students to explore movements big and small, strong and subtle, as a way to energize and align the body, and to calm and focus the mind. She is inspired by a love of dance, music, sports, and a great appreciation for the beauty and rhythm of nature (especially the ocean!). Marissa hopes to help her students find peace in movement and in stillness, on and off the mat.

Marissa is trained in vinyasa flow through Mandala Yoga’s teacher training program, and teaches throughout the East End as well as for surf-yoga clinics and retreats. She thanks her many teachers, friends, and students who have inspired her yoga practice and teaching, and especially her mother for encouraging her to first set foot in a yoga studio.

 

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