MEET THE TEACHERS
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!
Stefanie is a 200 Hour Certified Yoga Teacher who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a classically trained ballet dancer she was introduced to yoga at a young age to supplement her flexibility training. In NYC, Stefanie delved into yoga at schools such as Jivamukti and Yoga Shanti and her most influential teachers have included Erika Halweil, Stefanie Eris & Hwalan.
While working with students it became clear to her that we all carry emotional stories which manifest in our bodies and she was able to recognize the signs of burnout and stress common in high-achieving and driven people. Her teaching incorporates movements designed to bring bodies back into neutrality and balance.
Stefanie loves to teach Vinyasa Flow with an emphasis on fun sequences, proper alignment and body awareness. Reflection and meditation are major focus points as well as she teaches with compassion and the intimate understanding of people’s desire to manage anxiety and stress.
As a long time practitioner, Stefanie is excited to bring her West Coast perspective to the students of The Happie House.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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!
A performer from a young age, Josh has always had an interest in movement as a form of expression. While receiving his BFA in Musical Theatre, he was exposed to multiple forms of dance but was never really a ‘dancer’. He arrived in NYC in 2005, attended his first yoga class, and found that it was the right speed for a ‘mover’ while being just as expressive and beautiful as classical dance. Adding in the deep intellectual and emotional connections had him immediately hooked. Following years of exposure to awe-inspiring instructors, he found himself full to the brim, and the only option was to start putting it back in the world. He received his certification in 2014 and has been upwardly expanding since. His goal in teaching and practice is to cultivate multiple levels of awareness while aligning the physical body with the heart’s intention. By creating a safe, healthy environment for the exploration and play of dynamic asana, he aims to weave the depths of ancient philosophy with the demands of modern life, allowing for a yogic approach to any situation the every day might present.
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 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 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 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 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.
Robbin Rose received her 200 HR training from Y7 Studio in NYC. She teaches a variety of vinyasa, hatha and restorative classes that incorporate elements from Kundalini and Katonah practices. This means you can expect fun flows, lots of hands on adjustments and breath work. Her goal for every class is to inspire and challenge her students to discover new connections within themselves, and with others.
Yemie Sonuga is Nigerian, Canadian, and American. She holds a Masters in Performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She has performed on several West End stages and can be heard on the Ghost the Musical Broadway Cast Album. She has returned to NYC after touring the US with the Lion King. Yemieis grateful to have had the opportunity to teach and play across North America. She was introduced to Dharma Mittra in London England, where she started her Yoga journey. With the help of her teacher Mark Kan her eyes and mind were opened to the love of yoga. Follow Yemie's journey @yemieshow. www.yemiesonuga.com
Originally from Canada, Mackenzie has a passion for the mind body connection that comes with physical activity. Formerly a competitive swimmer and runner, when she graduated college she needed another outlet for her body, mind and ambitious spirit. She eventually found that yoga was the perfect answer and became quickly hooked by the self-exploration that was taking place on her mat. While she first started her practice for the physical effects, she quickly found that the mental challenge, and the accompanying peace, is what has kept her a dedicated student of yoga ever since.
Mackenzie is a 200 hour graduate of New Love City with an additional certification in yin yoga from Be Shakti. Her sequences are based in tradition and her classes are sweaty, empowering and meditative. As a teacher, Mackenzie aims to cultivate each student's individual practice while guiding them through intelligently sequenced poses. Her primary intention is to support the physical, mental and emotional well being of her students as they explore the practice in their own bodies and minds. She is grateful for the opportunity to share this practice with the world and so thankful to her teachers.
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.