Loren Russo

Loren russo

Before I was introduced to yoga, I lived in Northern New Jersey and grew up with a very close family that was mixed with Jewish and Catholic faith. From an early age both had influenced me greatly.  I was exposed to the Jewish customs from my mothers parents, and Catholic faith from my aunt who lived as a cloistered nun her whole life. The diverse mix of spirituality made me able to relate to many different kinds of people from all faiths, races and ethnicity. I took my first yoga class at the age of 17, as a course requirement while majoring in "Display & Exhibit" at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  One day in NYC in the early 90’s I was coming out of my Little Italy apartment building and I saw a Poster that said “Guru of Ashtanga Yoga Workshop”. The workshop took place every day for one week.  The spark of Guruji’s presence lit a fire in me that never stopped. I am still practicing Ashtanga yoga, 24 years later.

 

In the cold mission of living in NYC , Jivamukti Yoga School was my refuge in those days.  Sharon Gannon and David Life were regularly on the schedule and I went religiously to every class I could. Their teachings and Bhakti Yoga opened up the world of chanting japa, chanting mantras, and kirtan (devotional singing).

 

In 2001 I completed 200 hour lyengar Yoga Certification, in 2003 completed 200 Jivamukti Yoga School tt, 2005 first 2 month Ashtanga in Mysore, India, 2006, 2007, 2008 200 hour Ashtanga Yoga tt in Miami. In 2009 moved to Hare Krishna temple studied Vedic Philosophy and lived as a devotee in service of the temple and sadikas. 

 

My life now is teaching yoga in the area that's close to my parents. It is an honor to teach and explore the various styles of yoga. In this manual I offer a practical way of teaching yoga with a broad spectrum of many aspects of its depth. It is my sincere hope that the information contained within this manual will awaken your inner wisdom and creativity and allow you to find your voice as a teacher.


 
 
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April Dechagas

April’s teachings encourage students to unravel the connections between conscious movement, intention, and philosophy and embrace yoga as a way of life. In each class, April offers an experience that balances individual attention with collective energy, a combination that inspires students to discover their unique, innate potential and incorporate that into their everyday lives.

April’s education in applied psychology and counseling prepared her to approach students with compassion and empathy, guiding them to become familiar with, and ultimately trust, the wisdom of the body. April skillfully pairs this deep exploration of ancient postures with a curious investigation of sacred texts, facilitating a process of inquiry that students feel empowered to continue in their home practice and beyond.

April began her yoga practice in 2008 as a preparation for surf camp in Costa Rica, but fell  in love with yoga and only fell in-like with surfing. She was drawn to the tenets of Jivamukti  Yoga – the emphasis on ahiṃsā (non-harming) and śāstra (scripture). Her yoga practice  sustained her through her corporate career. Handstands in hotel rooms helped alleviate the  demands of an intense travel/work schedule. After 7 years as a campus recruiter for the  financial industry, April attended NYU and earned an MA in School Counseling.

In 2013, April attended the Jivamukti Teacher Training at Omega Institute, thanks to the grace of her teachers, a scholarship from Russell Simmons, and the generous donations of the Jivamukti community.

In April 2014, April completed her 800-hour certification, apprenticing under Gayatri Sandhi Ferreira, and became an Advanced Certified teacher in January 2015.

April is also certified to teach aerial yoga through AerialMukti Yoga, as well as certified to teach kids yoga through Karma Kids Yoga, and has a certificate specific to teaching yoga in K-12 schools.

April feels honored to pass on the teachings of yoga. She gives thanks and reverence to her holy teachers who have endlessly inspired and supported her: Sharon Gannon, David Life, Ruth Lauer-Manenti, Sandhi Gayatri Ferreira, Rima Rabbath, Tamar Samir, and Manorama.

Photo by Wari Om Yoga Photography