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.

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.

Sally Quigley

Sally Quigley

Sally Quigley

Sally Quigley was born and raised in East Hampton, NY. She currently lives and teaches in California, and is happy to bring styles learned from both coasts to her practice. Sally began her practice in college, and from the first class she took she fell in love with yoga and the transformation it brings to both the body and the mind. From the beginning, the natural teacher inside of her led her to teach her family and friends, introducing many of them to the benefits of the practice, and showing them how yoga could change their lives as well. She became certified under her teacher, Kristen Rae Stevens, who inspires her in every moment of her practice. A true believer in all aspects of the practice, Sally blends pranayama, mindfulness, philosophy, and Ayurvedic-inspired healing to her class. She focuses on tapping into the subtleties of the body, and taking time to deepen postures while continuing to build on the internal heat of the body. Her direct experience with joint and spinal injuries leads her to take care to protect the joints and the spine throughout the class. She believes in the power of yoga for the individual, and offers multiple options for each student, so that each student will find what works for their body, on that day. In Sally’s class, you will find a gentle but challenging experience: one that simultaneously protects and challenges the body, and, hopefully, plants the seeds for change in the mind.

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.

Peter Smith-Johannsen

Peter Smith-Johannsen

Peter Smith-Johannsen

Born and raised in Long Island, Peter started training in martial arts when he was 15 years old.

He became interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 1996 after watching the first Ultimate Fighting Championships and understanding the undisputed effectiveness of the art. With no BJJ teachers anywhere near home, he and his friends taught themselves using any available form of instruction, including VHS videos, books, and magazines.

All the while he kept integrating what he’d learned in Judo, Japanese Jiu Jitsu, Kung Fu – all of which he holds Ranks in – and other grappling techniques taken from various other martial arts.

Today, with over 20+ years of martial arts training and Submission Grappling as well as teaching in several countries, including Germany, Mexico and Canada, Peter is a Purple Belt under Josh Griffiths, the titled Black Belt veteran and Head Instructor of Clockwork BJJ in New York City.

While pursuing his high level training with Josh, Peter has been teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for 3 years himself.  He is currently the director of Clockwork BJJ in Montauk, NY, and teaches adults and children classes.

An avid “waterman” – who loves spear fishing and surfing – Peter is also a Merchant Marine Officer and a surfing instructor.

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.

Peg Samuel

Peg Samuel

Peg Samuel

Peg started practicing yoga 10 years ago as exercise. She discovered that yoga calmed and centered her mind. She got hooked when she started doing Bikram Yoga, then one day she found herself in a Power Vinyasa Flow class which rocked her world. As she became more dedicated to her practice she attended Yoga Retreats with teachers Rolf Gates and Baron Baptiste. Her practice deepened and became more a moving meditation and it was suggested to her to go further and teach.

The mind, body, spirit that encompasses yoga makes it her favorite exercise. She enjoys the positive thinking and affirmations of a great yoga practice. Teaching kids inspires Peg to help children learn tools they can use starting at a young age.

Peg is Little Flower Yoga Certified to teach kids yoga and meditation. Her studies come from thephilosophy of mindfulness & teaching kids tools they can use in their everyday life.

 

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