Staff


LISA SAMUELS

Owner and yoga teacher Lisa Samuels sitting on couch laughing.

Lisa Samuels, the proud founder of The Happie House, is a 200 hour registered Hatha yoga teacher and registered dietitian based in Queens, New York.  Lisa's passion and dedication to nutrition and yoga stems from a deep realization that healing one's body leads to healing one's mind, eventually leading to self-acceptance and self-love.  She founded The Happie House with this concept in mind.  Lisa loves helping her clients discover how to get in touch with themselves while connecting with and understanding the world around them.  Her nutritional approach encourages a more natural, organic way of eating with limited processed foods and sugar.  Her yoga classes help all practitioners build strength, find their inner determination, and sink into a deep moving meditation.  Lisa can't wait welcome everyone into The Happie House, and is sincerely looking forward to being a part of the community of strong and empowered people who walk through The Happie House's doors!


BRIAR BRELINSKI

Briar Brelinski at The Ditty Bar in Astoria on a purple yoga mat in side crow.

Briar moved to New York in 2017 in hopes to live out her big city dreams. Coming from a small town, the city brings so many things that she loves like good food, comedy, people watching and YOGA. Briar grew up watching yoga VHS’s and practicing with her mom in her living room. Over the years she got away from her practice, focusing on school. Briar went to the University of Michigan and has a Bachelors in Marketing. There, she met one of her life long best friends who got her back into yoga. Once moving to Astoria she dove in headfirst. She did her YTT through YogaWorks in Brooklyn Heights under Brendan Rooney and Nicole Mitch. If she’s not working or creating her yoga classes, Briar loves to run. Briar hopes to share her love and excitement for yoga and bring the community together through this peaceful practice.




BETHANN CAPUTO

Yoga teacher BethAnn Caputo looking into a three-sided mirror with water drops and smiling.

BethAnn Caputo completed her 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training at Lyons Den Power Yoga in NYC.  Formerly a runner, BethAnn found yoga when a chronic knee injury prevented her from continuing to run long distance. She fell in love with yoga because it challenged her to slow down, appreciate her body for what it was still capable of doing and forced her to be in the present moment. BethAnn is passionate about building community and facilitating connections between students that take place in real time--not through the lens of a camera or a cell phone. 

As a yoga instructor, she aims to lead students of all abilities to feel comfortable in their practice, strive for correct alignment to ensure a safe practice and empower students to discover what is possible for themselves, on and off the mat. Her hope for every class is that students leave feeling physically challenged and most importantly, emotionally supported. When she's not on the mat, BethAnn can be found out and about in Astoria, traveling to national parks and doing anything outdoors. 


COURTNEY COLARIK, "COCO"

The Happie Courtney Colarik’s head shot for dance with blue eyes and a big smile.

Coco is a 29 year old transplant who moved here 6.5 years ago with wide eyes and a dream to dance professionally.  She has been lucky enough to fulfill that dream, on stage in New York, Queens, and Philadelphia.  From the age of 18, she has used yoga as a way to cross train, without fully understanding the deep spiritual and philosophical significance of the practice.

In July 2017, she committed to a month-long intensive format for her 200 hour yoga teacher training through YogaWorks, under the guidance of Jodie Rufty.  What began simply as a way to a new career path, quickly deepened into a much more spiritual approach, not only to her practice, but also her life.  It also humbled her to realize how little she knew about a thousands year old practice.  With this in mind, she likes to incorporate the spiritual aspects in a way that relates to the digital, modern world.  Her flows are also influenced by the formative years spent as a dancer; playful and a little bit silly, Coco is happy to laugh at her mistakes, and encourages her students not to take themselves, or the practice, too seriously.

She is currently based in a snug apartment in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn with her spouse and three furry kids: two cats and one dog, all rescues.  She enjoys staying in, knitting, preparing and consuming new dishes, as well as endless amounts of animal antics.


HOPE ELLIOTT

Hope Elliott sitting on a beautiful blue beach at sunset in an easy yoga pose (Sukhasana).

Never take yourself or life too seriously. The Yoga practice has the ability to help us learn to accept ourselves for who we are while continuing to grow. Hope believes that yoga is truly for everyone and every body. She teaches a warm, inviting vinyasa flow accompanied by hands-on adjustments and carefully curated music, emphasizing twisting and back bending as tools for empowerment and compassion.  Whatever is going on in your personal life can be a direct reflection of what you’ll be able to practice on your mat. Hope strives to teach the balance between hard work, discipline and relaxation.  With her extensive experience in care giving and health-promotion, Hope seeks to help her students deepen their relationship with themselves through  self-love.  Hope’s flows invite her students be introspective and self aware.  We are all interconnected, so let us come together in this practice to understand ourselves and connect with others.


JOAN HEERINGA

Joan Heeringa in the king pigeon yoga pose, sitting in the grass and laughing.

Joan was drawn to movement at a young age, spending her entire childhood and adolescence intensely training in competitive dance. This passion for dance carried her to college at Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Dance Performance. She came to yoga as a means of coping with the stress of conservatory life.  Yoga provided an outlet of movement that involved no judgement, a welcome contrast to the competitive rigor and high stress world of professional dance. Her yoga practice began as a fun hobby but transformed into an integral part of her life. It became a source of calm as she moved to NYC and began pursuing a career in the ever-changing lifestyle of musical theatre. Joan received her teaching certification from Three Sisters Yoga under the direction of Jen Whinnen in 2014 and was emboldened in her love for yoga as she learned more deeply about its practice. Joan’s passion for movement continues as she teaches dance, yoga, and is beginning training towards receiving her doctorate in Physical Therapy. Joan is excited to share her joy for yoga and believes it is one of the greatest gifts of well-being we can give!


MACKENZIE Iglesias

Astoria yoga teacher Mackenzie Iglesias wearing a black leather jacket and gray infinity scarf with her hands in prayer.

Mackenzie was introduced to yoga at a young age by her grandmother but it wasn't until she started her career in the fashion industry that she developed a consistent practice.  Yoga started out as a release from a hectic work environment and quickly became a lifestyle.  Having witnessed the many benefits of this practice for herself, she grew a passion for sharing it with others and became a 200 hour registered yoga teacher in NYC. Her goal as a teacher is to cultivate a sense of community by creating a safe space for all students to explore, heal and connect with their mind and body.

 

 

 


RACHEL NUNEZ

Rachel Nunez in Astoria Park wearing a green shirt and smiling with the grass and trees in the background.

Rachel is a yoga teacher, dance teacher and professional dancer with an unending love for moving bodies, her home-state of Vermont, and her angel-puppy Brock.

She moved to New York after graduating with a B.A. in Dance and Sociology from Middlebury College, and quickly found herself enamored by teaching movement to young dancers.  After dropping in and out of yoga for countless years, she re-found her practice at 23, and fell in love with the space it created for breath, peace, and quiet in her life.  Soon after, she completed her 200-hour teacher training through YogaWorks.  She spends six days a week teaching dance and yoga to Pre-K and Elementary aged students, which fills her with infinite joy.

As a life-long body nerd, Rachel loves to challenge students to question and interrupt the patterns and habits of the body in a playful, low-stakes way.  Her deepest hope is that each student is able to create a connection between the brain, the breath and the body that enables them to leave class feeling empowered, resilient and at peace.


FELIX ODMAN

Felix Odman from Queens wearing a brown leather jacket and blue flannel shirt for his headshot for dance

Felix Odman is a native of Goiania, Brazil where he obtained  a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education. He also holds an Associates degree in Fine Arts (Dance) from Miami Dade College. He attended the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Fl. He taught Afro Brazilian, Modern, and Dance Repertoire at Miami Dade College. He also taught Contemporary Dance in many public schools as well as private studios in the Miami area.

After years of intense Dance training, professional performances with multiple dance companies and Choreography, he decided to deepen his Yoga practice and obtained his 200H YTT  Certification.  Felix believes that the by understanding your body, you can connect with the subtle aspects of your being and live a fuller life.

Felix is excited to part of  the highly qualified team of Yogis at The Happie House where he teaches Vinyasa, Hatha and Restorative.

 


JAIME ORMONT

Jaime Ormont in the easy yoga pose wearing mala beads and a white t-shirt about to meditate in front of a Ganesh tapestry.

Jaime Ormont completed her 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training at Om Factory in NYC.  Jaime discovered her love for yoga through her transformative weight loss journey.  After developing her own practice, she decided to teach yoga in hopes of spreading feelings of strength and body positivity to others.  Jaime has lived in Astoria for 5 years and teaches at various studios in the neighborhood.  Check her out on Instagram at outstanding.blossom.yoga


ZEN PAULTRE

Zen Paultre from Queens sitting on a balcony in New York City with a curly man bun and tongue sticking out

Zen is a yoga instructor specializing in Vinyasa flow, with an emphasis on aligned strength training and restorative breath work. While yoga has been a tremendous grounding force in his life, his background also includes Capoeira, music education and musical performance. Zen encourages his students to find their personal edge without sacrificing comfort or sustainability.  He believes the best way to work with students is to supply clear goals versus vague maxims; to that end, he strives to help practitioners gain a better mental image of their body as they move through space. And, yes, "Zen" is his legal name, given to him by his parents.


NATALIA RODRIGUEZ

Astoria Native Natalia Rodriguez sitting on the ground in orange and blue pants smiling.

Natalia is an inspiring yoga teacher whose purpose is to lead her students into a loving and compassionate space of self exploration. Playful but precise each class is a craft of intention, meditation, mantra, creative asana sequences and breath where students will be challenged yet encouraged to unite mind and body to build a strong and mindful practice. Uplifting music, precise cueing, demonstration along with hands on assists make asana practice an inviting space for all yogis whom leave feeling grounded yet so light. 


JEN SANMIGUEL

Yoga teacher Jen SanMiguel sitting in the easy yoga pose with hands in prayer and East River and New York City in background

Jen SanMiguel began her yogic journey the way many people do- not as a former dancer or gymnast- but as a stressed out New Yorker looking to find some peace in the chaos of her daily life. She discovered that peace on the mat, but also uncovered a life path she didn’t know she was seeking- the path to her truest and highest self, through spiritual practice and service.

Jen teaches vinyasa flow classes- from beginner to advanced- with creative sequencing and an emphasis on alignment. She strives to create a welcoming atmosphere for all ages, body types, and abilities. When you come to Jen’s class, she wants you to breathe, have fun, and feel better when you leave than when you walked in. 


Jen completed her 200 hour teaching certification at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, NYC, and has additional certifications in trauma-informed yoga and diversity, advanced sequencing and Bhakti.

Visit Jen at www.trueselfyoganyc.com


NATALIE TYSON-MULTHAUP

Natalie Tyson-Multhaup in gray crop top leaning against brick wall smiling

Natalie Tyson-Multhaup in gray crop top leaning against brick wall smiling

 A graduate of the Yoga Vida 200 hour training program under the mentorship of Kat Fowler, Natalie believes that anyone and everyone should experience the benefits of yoga.  Natalie discovered her passion for teaching after graduating with a Masters degree from New York University in vocal performance and vocal pedagogy and teaching as an Adjunct Professor of voice at NYU.   Through her knowledge of the mechanics of the voice, Natalie has learned the importance of yoga in singing through body awareness, control, mindfulness and overall wellbeing.   Having always lived an active lifestyle of playing sports and dance, yoga has helped Natalie stay centered, physically engaged, healthy, and calm in the busy center of New York City.  Her classes tend to be moderately-paced flow classes, focusing on connection of breath and movement.