Our
Mission

Illumina East 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

As a teacher and the director of this space, my priority isn’t to get you excited about Illumina East or myself, but for you to be excited about you. To nurture integrity, fearlessness, and truth so that you can serve your heart, your relationships, and your mission.

You will find my classes influenced by my many teachers; Guru Dharam, Johanna Bell, Elena Brower, Abby Galvin, Yogi Bhajan, and Amma to name a few.

Rian’s teaching is “skilled, sensitive, and strong.” His work has also been called “impeccable, heartfelt, and accurate”.

What you can expect: 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 an asset.

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 Singh, born and raised in New York City, is a Certified Yoga Instructor registered with Yoga Alliance, a Sound Healer and Life Coach, dedicated to exploring the various dimensions of the Soul, Mind and Body, through interdisciplinary healing modalities.

Bhajan is insanely passionate about the Healing/Creative Arts, Magic, Symbology, Eastern Ritual Musical instruments, Chocolate and the deep sacred art of Humor.

Recently, while traveling through Europe, South America, Thailand and India, Bhajan developed Amaru yoga, a powerful hybrid of Kundalini-Tantra yoga, Ecstatic Dance, Breath work, Gong Wash and Art.

Recent engagements include facilitating Sound Healing concerts and private healings at a Kundalini Research Institute teacher Training, in South Bali. Bhajan was honored to have performed on the Sacred Sound Stage which made its debut at the 2017 International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh India and provided Gong- Singing Bowl support for Sukhmandir Singh Kalsa.

Bhajan participated and completed a 30 day work-study program at Casa Kiliku, a Tantra Shamanism school in Tumbaco- Ecuador. At Casa Kiliku Bhajan received his Certification in Tantra Yoga and Mindful Nutrition, while teaching daily Kundalini yoga classes, Sacred Water Purification and Cacao Ceremonies for students from all over the world.

Bhajan received his Kundalini yoga teacher training in 2017 from Guru Dass Khalsa, Rachel Sat Siri Dougherty, and Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa.

In 2015 Bhajan studied Dr. Joesph Micheal Levry’s Naam- Kundalini, is certified in Tantra Yoga / Mindful Nutrition and a practitioner of the Universal Kabbalah. Bhajan was very fortunate to have worked-studied under two Sundancers (Taino,Lakota Lineage) Salvador Bolivar and Roman Guaraguariox Perez, providing support at traditional healing ceremonies.

In 2013, Bhajan studied and completed a level one Thai Yoga Massage course with Master Thai yoga Healer, Therdchai Chumpoohpon in Chang Mai Thailand. Bhajan In 2016 received a Himalayan Bowl Therapy Certification from 3rd Generation Singing Bowl Grand Master Healer, Shree Krishna Shai in Nepal and is Currently collaborating-mentoring under GongMaster Sanjay Hall.

Bhajan Akal

Elizabeth Crisci

I began studying yoga as a child with a gymnastics injury and an interest in mysticism. I didn't realize I was starting a life long journey, I just thought it was fun to move and stretch and that I felt good after class. It was in high school that I started meditating. I was seeking relief from stress and anxiety, like so many of the students that I work with now. I continued these practices through Photography study at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and during this time did my first teacher training with Alan Finger and Jean Koerner at Be Yoga in 2006. I was seeking information since much of my practice was at home with books and DVDs, instead I found a passion for teaching and studying yoga and my journey as a teacher began.

My appetite for information has never been satiated. Since 2006 I have participated in dozens of trainings as a student, assistant and teacher. I have met some incredible teachers and they have all taught me much. I am so grateful for Alan and Jean, Jillian Pransky, Cyndi Lee, Manorama and for Elena Brower who I have been studying with since 2013 when I attended her Art of Attention 100 Hour Advanced Training. She introduced me to Katonah Yoga, and after returning home to Brooklyn in 2017 I have had the privilege of connecting with Abbie Galvin at the Studio where I've continued learning this wonderful method.

My classes are an evolution of my own study. I bring everything that inspires me to the mat and to my students. My teaching is very precise and practical with a flair for the mystical. I'll gladly teach you about the Full Moon and your Pelvic Floor. I am so thankful to live a life that keeps me inspired and to continue meeting incredible students and teachers. Thank you.

Elizabeth Crisci

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

Elizabeth Sullivan

My name is Elizabeth Sullivan and I am a 500hr Certified Yoga Instructor. I also am a musician, love biking, fitness and wellness in general. Anything that has to do with the betterment of the self and therefore the betterment of society and the world, count me in! I received my 200hr certification through Sonic Yoga here in NYC, and my 500hr at Good Yoga, in Brooklyn. I have also received a certification to teach children’s yoga from Hosh Yoga also in Brooklyn. I believe that every one is their own "Guru" when it comes to a spiritual path, and you only need to take the time to look inward in order to find whatever it is you have come to seek and learn. I believe Yoga to be an immense tool and practice for this kind of work, and through consistent effort one can come to all realizations by unifying the breathe, the body and the mind. I look forward to meeting you and discovering with you on the mat! Namaste, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Sullivan

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

Harpriya Kaur

I love the sun and fire of all kinds, my daughter was born in front of a fire and I light one in our fireplace almost everyday. I have reverence for the subtle mysteries of nature and a love of poetry in all its manifestations. I practice Yoga to harmonize and strengthen my body as a vehicle for spirit.

Yoga is my medicine, my temple and my space for communicating with the divine and emptying out the sub-conscious matter that can cloud my vision. My classes travel deep into the healing field, offering students tools and opportunities to align with their higher selves using transformative Kriyas, Meditations and Mantra from the Kundalini yoga tradition. My guru is my breath and the breath of the universe. My path has been illuminated by many wise ones, namely, Gurumukh Kaur Khalsa, Gurushabd Singh Khalsa, Yogi Bhajan, Pema Chodron, Guru Dev Singh, Robert Vetter, and countless mystic poets, spiritual healers and seers from the worlds traditions. My teacher at this moment in my life is Guru Dharam Singh Khalsa, with whom I study Kundalini medicine and yoga therapy. I believe that when we begin walking with the Yogi’s and Rishi’s we travel close to a current of grace. Beginning yogis require an openness to explore and receive in conjunction with a personal commitment to practice with genuine effort and integrity. This balance between softness (opening to the grace) and firmness (creating a keep-up spirit) will start to make magic happen in the life of the practitioner.

Harpriya Kaur

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

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

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

Kristen Volpone

Kristen began her path of yoga when she was studying at university. She had come to yoga in hopes of coping with pain from scoliosis and heartache from the loss of loved ones. Her University offered Hatha, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa classes. She curiously stepped into every class she could. Immediately she opened her heart to the practice as a lens to see her own physical, mental, and emotional pain. She began to notice the deep interconnectedness between the body, mind, heart, and spirit. Devoted to Yoga teachings, she started studying and practicing on her own to explore all these layers. A few years later, Kristen found Yin Yoga (at OmFactory!). Through the Yin practice she grew a gentle awareness and stillness with herself. This stirred old patterns and stories to the surface. Through Yin she began to learn how to see and release the pain from these old patterns and stories. In turn she was able to embrace herself. Her body began to open, and her pain dissipated. The Yin practice taught her calmness in movement which translated to strength, endurance, and presence in her active practices. She learned that in order to transcend past an emotion, feeling, thought, pattern, or story, we must learn to be still to be able to witness it. And it’s in how we witness that our state will naturally take its course of change. In time, transformation occurs from a softer, sweeter way of seeing ourselves.

Kristen’s intention in guiding Yoga is to invite people to witness what is real and true for them (in their body, mind, and hearts) as well as to encourage a compassionate lens in which to see themselves. Kristen’s classes are self explorative journeys to practice acceptance, softness, and loving kindness. Kristen has infinite faith in her students to light the candle in their hearts, and to shine the flame brighter the deeper they gaze.

Kristen has a BA in Literature, and an endless love of poetry. She completed her 200-Hour Vinyasa training with Sonic Yoga. She has completed 150 hours of Yin Yoga Training with Biff Mithoefer and Prema Mayi. She has studied Kirtan at The Bhakti Center with Bhakti Data Lasi. Recently she completed her Reiki level 1 &2 attunement in Mikao Usuai lineage with Yolanda Yturregui and her 500-Hour with Hathavidya. She has been assisting Biff Mithoefer’s Yin Yoga teacher trainings at Omega Institute and in the Northeast since 2015.

Kristen Volpone

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

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

Siri Sat Kaur

Siri Sat embodies an elegant and precise approach to the teachings of Kundalini Yoga. She is a Lead Teacher Trainer with a specialty in Posture and Alignment enhanced by earlier training as a professional dancer and choreographer. She is a coordinator of the Kundalini Medicine Yoga Therapy Training worldwide and a Kundalini Yoga Therapist well grounded in Sat Nam Rasayan and other forms of energetic healings. She has an international profile and extensive experience of teaching in a wide variety of arenas with a home base in New York City and has been as part of the Golden Bridge Yoga NYC teaching team since it opened. Siri Sat is the Founder/Director of Kundalini Yatras Inc., leading meditative journeys to sacred lands such as India and Mexico. She is known for teaching with clarity and impact as well as her warmth and a sense of humor. She feels blessed to have completed her training directly with Yogi Bhajan.
Siri Sat

Tanya Birl-Torres

Tanya Birl-Torres is a seeker of clarity and truth both on and off of the mat and sees yoga as an opportunity to open up to life, allowing it to flow freely as a direct connection to all that is. Tanya has been a student of yoga for over 15 years and as a trained dancer, has found her practice a source of grounding and embodiment throughout her decade long career as a Broadway performer. She is RYT-200 certified while currently completing her 500 hour certification under the direction of Johanna Bell and Illumina Yoga. As a teacher she leads her classes with curiosity, creating a space for students to unlock their potential of authentically stepping into who they are. With lightness and grace Tanya's intention is to land the principals of yoga in a way that rings true for each student on their journey. Tanya is the mother of four year old Noemi who teaches her everyday how to boldly stand in her dharma.
Tanya Birl-Torres