Our
Mission

Illumina is a community of real people doing deep shit. It’s not about who you are or what you wear, but that you want to dive in and explore. We are seekers held together by different modalities from different cultures, different strengths and unified with the desire to live from the heart and explore the authentic self.

Our doors are open to all and to practice here is to embrace diversity, embodiment, heart. Here you will feel safe and supported while exploring the deeper questions that life poses and yoga supports.

Our teachers are highly skilled, and relate to more than one modality of practice. They bring in their own experiences and truths to inform a unique class experience in the full spectrum of the yogic path.

Illumina teachers are able to ask students important questions during practice to encourage self reflection and personal empowerment. They are able to hold space powerfully and humbly with the ability to apply compassion and neutrality to all interactions.

Our
Teachers

Rian Bodner

Director

"I first started to practice yoga to attain the body and life I wish I had. Now I practice to feel empowered within the body and life I already posses."

As a teacher and the director of Illumina East, my priority isn’t to get you excited about me, or our space, but for you to be excited about you. To help you experience the prosperity of your integrity, fearlessness, and truth so that you can serve your heart, your relationships, your authenticity, and your life’s mission, in the most elevated, empowered, and ‘bad-ass” way possible.

What you can expect from practicing with me: Expect the unexpected. You will learn how to direct your energy in the most potent way possible, and how to show up for yourself with sensitivity and strength. Expect to explore your blindspots, and gain deeper awareness of how your mind operates and how the body responds. How your humanness and struggle and heart are all an asset to your growth and success.

There is only one body type made for the practice of yoga; the human body. So if you happen to possess one of these, the only thing that's needed to allow yourself to opportunity to experience your own radiance is simply choosing to show up.

Rian Bodner

Johanna Bell

Co- Director

Johanna is known as a teacher of teachers and an inspiration guru who mentors countless yoga instructors on their ever expanding journeys. She is a sequencing specialist devoted to the infinite creative and connective stream of each individual’s truth and is the founder of the Full Spectrum Sequencing Approach. Her classes incorporate poetry, moving metaphor and music in a rich orchestral way that guides the student on a soulful, sweaty journey into the heart of what it means to be human. As a counselor and healer, she is recognized for her ability to see the light, wholeness and infinite potential within everyone she meets.

Johanna’s yoga journey started when she was a wee tot, dancing to express the things that had no words, writing to find the images that evoke… These loves carried her through years of training as a classical ballet dancer, a degree in theatre with an emphasis on literature and a successful career as an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer in New York and on the road. Her dabbling into yoga turned serious when she discovered Sonic and the expressive joyful, forgiving energy of the space. She graduated from the 200-hour program under the guidance of Lauren Hanna and Jonathan Fields and soon realized that the teachings made sense of everything she ever believed in and brought all her separate pieces together. She’s never looked back…becoming teacher and manager of the 2nd Sonic Space in Westchester almost immediately…guiding that studio through it’s transition to Quest Yoga Arts, Joining The Sonic Training Faculty and ultimately stepping into her home base in NYC as Co-Director in 2009, serving Sonic and all its training programs in that capacity until 2014. In the midst of all that, she was blessed with a 500-hour certificate under the guidance of the incomparable Sri Dharma Mittra and has continued to be inspired through the lineage of Shiva Rea, the wisdom of the Tantra, the Pneuma System and ancient Shamanic wisdom. She is a Reiki Healer and has studied under Guru Dharam Khalsa for her certificate in Kundalini Yoga Therapy. She is married to the most magical man and fellow Yogi, Jim Bell. They reside with their daughter Lucia in Carmel, NY.

Johanna Bell

Hannah Gruber

Assistant Director

I came to yoga and Ayurveda from a stressful, jam-packed life, with debiliiating allergies, asthma and digestive issues. Tired of medication, inhalers, doctors, caffeine and not enough sleep, I was willing to try anything.

I decided to stop believing the myth that feeling terrible was my fate. I didn’t want to walk around with a smile on my face while my body was in pain. I wanted to OWN my body and my health. I wanted to take care of myself.

I believe that great health is a holistic matter: when your body, mind or emotions are out of alignment, it throws the whole system off. However, the more you come into balance, the greater your magnetic potential, purpose, meaning, and love in life.

Hannah Gruber

Stephanie Battle

Originally from NJ, but Brooklyn devoted, Stephanie received her 300-hour yoga certification from Sonic Yoga under the direction of Lauren Hanna.
She has specialized training in Children’s Yoga, Yoga Nidra and Restorative Yoga and received her certifications in those modalities under Shakta Kaur Khalsa, Mona Anand and Marlie McGovern respectively.

What to Expect: Her classes are rooted in the Vinyasa style with an emphasis on alignment and breath awareness. With a background in dance, creativity and self-expression are an integral part of her classes, incorporating mantra, explorative movement and meditation. She is most interested in exploring the harmony of opposites, and creating balance in the body-mind and spirit.

Stephanie Battle

Susanna Harwood Rubin

Teaching since 2002, Susanna inspires through her passion for Hindu myth, mantra, and the Tantric tradition, specifically Rajanaka Tantra, which she has studied for over sixteen years in the U.S. and in South India. Susanna believes that your body is your temple, and whether you are in a yoga studio or in nature, traveling or at home, you can celebrate your embodied life by stepping onto your mat and moving with your breath. Her spiritual home is the great Nataraja Temple of Chidambaram.

Susanna created Devi Soul Yoga, an approach to teaching that includes Hindu myth, mantra, mudra, and meditation in each of her classes. She combines these practices with a careful attention to alignment and an emphasis on the breath to guide flowing movement sequences. Her classes are challenging, inviting students into the deep sweetness of svadhyaya, or self-study.

Off the mat, Susanna spends her time writing and drawing. Her book, Yoga 365, was released by Chronicle Books in October 2016, and is in its fourth printing. Susanna writes for numerous publications, including The Huffington Post, Mantra Wellness, Yoga Journal, Elephant Journal, and NY Yoga+Life Magazine.

Susanna created the popular Writing Your Practice and 30Things workshops and online courses, which apply yoga philosophy and myth to the practice of writing, unlocking yogis’ creativity and refining their self-expression. Students from over 25 countries have participated since 2011.

Susanna is based in New York City, but teaches internationally. Her current weekly classes are at Brooklyn’s Abhaya Yoga and YogaWorks Soho. She teaches public workshops in Yoga Philosophy, Myth, Mantra, Meditation, and Writing, and guest teaches for numerous teacher trainings. She teaches, mentors, and coaches privately in these areas as well.

Susanna Harwood Rubin

Bhajan Akal

Bhajan Akal is a multidisciplinary artist and ceremonialist who draws from his creative vision and intuition to help others access and reveal their authentic selves and heal from past and present traumas. Bhajan is a sound and vibrational practitioner and active member of the transformational arts community. Embracing the ethos that language is the primary code for our relationship to our inner, outer and secret dwellings, Bhajan employs a variety of traditions in his work: storytelling, language deconstruction, harmonics, pranayam (breathwork), rhythmic trance, toning, somatic movement and the empirical study of the primacy of the mind in meditative states.

In the 1980s, NYC’s performance-based, Deep House music scene became the foundation for Bhajan’s radical understanding of the synergistic relationships between somatic dance, sound, light, performance art, chromotherapy and the human kinesphere and set him on a lifelong journey of artistic exploration and learning. In the early part of the 1990’s, Bhajan commenced a decade-long study of the transformational technology of performance art as a secular instrumentalist, logging thousands of experimental hours in the recording studio.

Bhajan’s initial creative impulses were sparked by several of his family members who were immersed in dancing, music and the performing arts, as well as countless hours exposed to the music of Gospel, Blues, Afro-Cuban, Rock, Jazz and Folk. Bhajan has traveled throughout the world to train in a variety of specializations, amassing over 2,500 hours in trainings, including in sound therapy, improvisational voice, tantric yoga, mindful nutrition, Thai Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Shibari and water movement therapy. Bhajan is currently based in Brooklyn, NYC where he practices the path of Dzogchen Mind training as a sworn BodhiSattva in the Ningma Lineage and is a student of the Taino language, for the benefit of all sentient life. He maintains a burgeoning private practice with clients from some of New York City’s most influential families, functional medicine doctors, therapists, business owners, non-profits and artist collectives.

Bhajan is deeply honored to have studied and collaborated with some amazing souls; Anäis Maviel, Sanjay Hall, Lin Hai, Anam Thubten, Carlos Damien Galeano, Jarrod Byrne Mayer, Guru Dass, Kirantana Khalsa, Dr. Mitch Nur, Nirmal Goswami, Alexandre Tannous, Cuyo Arieto, Shree Krishna Shai, Mehtab Benton, Brooklyn healing arts, and the Woom Sound School.

Bhajan Akal

Deena Berger

I’ve been on my journey practicing yoga and meditation for ~10 years and continue to learn more each day. I am inspired by my students and in the extreme abundance that exists in New York City, yoga is my grounding, my balance.
I am passionate about making this practice accessible (and fun!) for every body - and mind. My goal is to create a space space for individuals to connect with their body, mind, and soul so they can more fully connect with their community, environment, and beyond.
Love and gratitude for these teachings, my teachers, and to each and every one of you.

What you can expect in my class:
Mood music meets intelligent sequencing as we dance the delicate dance between softness and strength.
A vinyasa style yoga class using asana and pranayama as vehicles to heightened awareness. Through practice we find balance physically, mentally, and emotionally, allowing you the opportunity to release tension, old patterns and behaviors creating space for growth and transformation.

Deena Berger

Julius Betila

Julius Betila's natural curiosity in science and technology led to spirituality and a deeper connection to the universe. Sound as an energy modality helped Julius align his mind, body, and spirit to connect with his passion of helping others. With a loving intention and gratitude, Julius creates a meditative soundscape with a mixture of sacred instruments to promote a sense of well-being and to strengthen the heart-brain coherence.
Julius Betila

Patrick Millard

My relationship with yoga began shortly after moving to New York City back as a response to my body and mind both asking for more balance. I was immediately hooked, and less than two years later, I finished my 200 hour teacher training with Mary Dana Abbott at Laughing Lotus. Through my time there, I could feel new connections to my own movement, creativity, and spiritual insight beginning to form, branching into many areas of my life.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been deepening my study of sound as a tool for meditation and exploring consciousness. Completing over 100 hours of sound practitioner training at WOOM Center has left me hungry, no starving, for more. For me, using the power of sound to access higher states of awareness couldn’t be more perfectly aligned with my overarching interest in self evolution and my ongoing practice of yoga.

My offerings are an amalgamation of my studies, influenced by my beloved teachers- Francesca Bove, Abbie Galvin, Nevine Machiin, David and Elian Zach-Shemesh- and threaded together by an active love for music, dance, and people. In my classes, you can expect to move around the mat with smooth, creative transitions, allowing a soft landing into the physical structure to invite deeper layers of yourself to be revealed. I am so grateful to share my own investigations and I’m continually inspired by communities of students and teachers doing the very same in their own unique way.

Patrick Millard

Susan Hu

Susan is an RYT 500 based in LES. She was fascinated and drawn to the teaching of Bhakti yoga and Ayurveda from day one and quickly committed deeply into the practice and transformed her life.

Born and raised in Shanghai, Susan is a gypsy at heart and has always been searching for the deeper meaning and purpose of life beyond the body and the mind. After getting two master’s degrees in Journalism/Communications and living in different parts of the world – including living onboard a cruise ship, she followed her heart back to LES and found her path and community.

Inspired to serve, to tell stories and to share the teaching of self care and sustainable living, she became a yoga teacher. Susan believes when you take the time to care for yourself with genuine self love and live an aligned life, you have the power to heal yourself and the world. When you open up your heart and mind, and when you trust the universe, life will take you on the right path and your story will unfold in a perfect way.

Susan Hu

Kristin Moshonas

Kristin is an IATY registered Yoga Therapist and graduate of The Kundalini School of Medicine. She is a certified Kundalini, Vinyasa, and Prenatal yoga instructor, as well as Gong Master/Sound Healer and Holistic Health Practitioner. Forever learning, Kristin calls on this tapestry of training and practice in her work with both private clients and Kula populations. Life has always been an adventure, but in this work, she realized her calling,

An avid world traveler, skier and surfer, off the mat, Kristin is happiest when she is active and outdoors.

Kristin is also passionate about the work she does with Kula for Karma. teaching yoga and meditation to The Veterans of The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic, NYU Langone Medical Center. Also developing and managing programs across NYC hospitals and facilities.

She is both a city and country girl, dividing her life, work and love between New York City and Woodstock, NY. This polarity, this balance keeps her grounded and makes her smile ~ big and often ~ as she mothers two young boys and one large dog.

Kristin Moshonas

Rebeca Brau

I was born and raised in a small town in Mexico south of the border of Arizona. Raised by a strict family structure under very tight religious beliefs, I grew up with clear delineations on how I was expected to live.

Following a conventional path I got a business degree, got married and by 25 I had 2 children and a life that felt like it didn't belong to me. I was following the guidance of my upbringing instead of following what I truly desired from the depth of my heart. I hadn't yet found myself.

After years of feeling a constant void in my heart I found Yoga, and my life started to change at an exponential rate. Fast forward to today, I have established roots in NYC, separated from the father of my children with whom I have a loving co-parent relationship, and I am the happiest mom of 2 spirited teens.

Yoga saved me. Nowadays, I practice daily Kundalini Kriyas and meditations because I this technology is the most potent, effective and powerful one I’ve experienced thus far. Kundalini as taught by Yogi Bhajan propelled me at the speed of light into my destiny. Kundalini Yoga is both my discipline and refuge.

It is with great honor that I share this technology with my students, as well as other practices such as Restorative Yoga and different Meditation approaches.

Practice and its results look different for everybody. There is no one in the world who can’t practice Yoga! To begin you just need to be yourself. Nothing more is needed.

Rebeca Brau

Kim Cihlar

Kim came to yoga over a decade ago, using the practice as a way of transforming herself, inside and out. The path she chose has served her well. Yoga became her guide, her teacher, her reason for finding and maintaining a sober and ecstatic heart, mind and soul. An entire new world of awareness, presentness and true authentic being has spun out from that centered wholeness over the years.

As a writer, traveler, jewelry designer and lover of life, Kim has followed a course of study and self-learning that has expanded her world exponentially. She’ll tell you she doesn’t know why she waited so long to jump into her initial 200-Hour training, nearly 2 years ago with Yoga to the People. It had been calling to her for years. Her next 200-Hour training a few months after that (with SOS/Science of Self leader Rose Erin Vaughan and co-teacherYoshio Hamas), delved more into Meridian acupressure and other wellness modalities like cupping, moxa and Gua Sha. She continues to dive deeper into the learnings of acupressure and how that affects asana, emotional balance and energetic wellness. She’s currently training for certification in Meridian Yoga Therapy Level 2, also with Rose Erin Vaughan, slated for completion the end of July 2019.

Kim Cihlar

Raj Karam

Raj Karam Singh (RYT-200) has been practicing a variety of tantric, hatha, vinyasa and bhakti yoga styles for over 10 years, and meditation for over 20 years. He was introduced to Kundalini Yoga in early 2016 and immediately fell in love with the technology. Within a few months he started his level 1 teacher training with Sat Jivan Kaur and Sat Jivan Singh, and has subsequently completed Divine Alignment® training with Simran Kaur and Level 2: Mind and Meditation in Española, NM. Kundalini Yoga has led to a deep interest in the healing power of vibration and sound, having now completed Levels 1 & 2 Gong Resonance Training with Crown of Eternity. Expect to be challenged physically, mentally and energetically in his classes as he goes deep helping you to push past your limitations and manifest your deepest intentions.
Raj Karam

Allana Diaz

Allana grew up in Brooklyn and has always loved to move. She began by doing Martial Arts with her dad on the weekends and by 19 she was running up Atlantic Avenue, across the Brooklyn Bridge to the West Side Highway and back home again as marathon training. She is a self proclaimed Brooklyn girl who knows how challenging living in NYC is. This can be an opportunity for growth and strength, but only with the right grounding and tools. Allana shares Yoga and mindfulness to help open up and strengthen the body and to ease and release the mind. She is also a Yoga nerd, so feel free to ignore her bad jokes.
Allana Diaz

Jarrod Byrne Mayer

Jarrod Byrne Mayer has experienced the use of sound as a profound tool in self actualization and the awakening of our soul, which invites all to live a fuller life. Through writing and direct experience, he channels the realizations of the soul. Currently residing in Brooklyn, NY, Jarrod is a Kundalini Yogi, Sonotherapist, and Nada Yoga teacher. Graduating from Kent State University with a degree in English, he co-founded Brooklyn Healing Arts with his wife, Melody. They travel and spread the experience of sound and the teachings and wisdom found within sound and yoga.
Jarrod Byrne Mayer

Katie Cercone

A yogi of over 20 years, Katie is a radical creative, scribe, priestess and spiritual gangsta hailing from the blessed coast. She received her 200-hour yoga and reiki certification in 2011 with Deborah Hanekamp @Mamamedicine and has led classes in studios, gardens, women’s shelters and arts venues throughout the US, UK and Asia. Her practice today fuses Hatha, Vinyasa, Kundalini and Shamanic styles of yoga; encompassing the sacred alchemy of asana, mantra and pranayama breath work. Katie’s transformational work lies under a sacred canopy of co-created ritual and magic to align with higher consciousness. Katie is also co-leader of Go! Push Pops feminist collective and creative director of ULTRACULTURAL OTHERS: Urban Mystery Skool. A known pioneer with her partner UNDAKOVA of Hip Hop Yoga, the two lead seasonal hip hop yoga retreats in the magical jungle of Thailand, turn up at high vibration sacred arts festivals worldwide and throw a monthly new moon wellness ritual called Dream Beat.
Katie Cercone

Louie

A true Yogi in every sense, Louie is deeply committed to keeping his students focused on the little pleasures. Taking time to smell not just the roses, but the grass, the curb, the post, the fence, the bench. Take it all in and don't take yourself so seriously.
Louie