Elaine is the founder and president of Akasha Project. She comes from a background in art and architecture and has also worked for nonprofit organizations. Her personal interests include philosophy and self-care of the body and spirit. She completed yoga teacher trainings with Tias Little, Zhenja La Rossa and Ross Rayburn, Restorative Yoga with Jillian Pransky, and Trauma Sensitive Yoga with Bessel Van der Kolk and David Emerson. It is her hope to provide yoga to communities that will benefit form its practice but may not otherwise have access to it. Starting Akasha Project has been a wonderful journey and a coming together of her many passions. She is extremely grateful for this opportunity to give back some of what she has been given from all of her amazing teachers, family, and friends.
Donna Bouthillier found yoga long ago in her final year of college. She’s quite certain that adolescence would have been a heck of a lot easier if she’d discovered this practice sooner! The way yoga calms the nervous system, allowing us to dwell more fully in our bodies – and showing us that we do actually have some say over how we feel – makes this practice a great tool for young people. Donna is thrilled and honored to bring yoga to middle schoolers at the Chinatown YMCA through the Akasha Project.
As a yoga teacher, LMT, certified Zero Balancer, and Ensemble performer Donna brings to her classes a multi-dimensional knowledge of the body and a great enthusiasm for helping students tap into their natural radiance. Donna’s classes invite a spirit of playful curiosity and aim to balance detailed attention on alignment with a deep experience of the breath.
In her classes for Akasha Project, she uses games as well as a straightforward asana practice to invite young students into the fun of yoga as well giving them tools they can use to find stability and openness.
Susan discovered yoga late in her own life. Her first career was in theater, but she moved on to work as a legal secretary while attending law school at night. After graduating, she practiced law for 15 years, two years as a judicial law clerk, followed by 13 years as an Assistant District Attorney in NYC. In her 40’s and stressed out waging daily battle in the Court System, she stumbled upon yoga and discovered a new way of connecting to herself and the world around her. She completed yoga teacher training in 2001 and has been teaching ever since, with no regrets about leaving the law.
She was naturally drawn towards teaching older students and others new to yoga. She strives to demystify yoga so that it is accessible to everyone, and they can discover their own capacity to change and benefit from this ancient practice. Now in her 60’s, Susan is stronger and more flexible than when she was younger. “You can begin yoga at any age, and in any physical condition. If you can breathe, you can do yoga. It’s not just about the poses (asanas), but about developing greater awareness of your own breath and how all parts of your body and mind interact. As we bring the body into better alignment, we can breathe more deeply, improve flexibility, increase strength and stamina, and open to a joyous energy that is inside, just waiting to shine forth.”
Kevin leads one weekly Akasha Project class for the non-profit The Ali Forney Center, an organization providing housing & integrative life skills to homeless LGBT youth. AFC makes a difference each & every day by taking these kids from the dangers of the streets & placing them in safe, homelike environments. To be even a tiny part of this great organization is an honor Kevin values highly, considering it one of his most important teaching experiences to date. Having openly self identified as gay from the age of 17, Kevin has an intimate understanding of the confusion, struggle & pain around coming to terms with & living openly as an LGBT youth, and is grateful to extend loving support to this community, sharing his experiences & education on & off the mat.
Kevin completed his first Hatha Yoga teacher training in ’05 at Yoga on Main in Philadelphia, under the guidance of David Newman, Shiva Das & Dr. Ed Zadlo. From Philadelphia to Hawaii to NYC, Kevin has been expanding his practice and teaching through the years, now blissfully aligned with his own heart’s desire to share the healing properties of Hatha Yoga, it’s stabilizing effects, and how a life can be transformed out of ones willingness to listen within & respond with love. He completed the first level of Anusara Yoga training in August of 2009 studying under Zhenja La Rosa, Eric Stoneberg & Dr. Douglas Brooks at Virayoga.
He offers immense gratitude to his family for all their love and support, without which he would not know the first thing about loving kindness, let alone how to share such a gift with clarity & freedom. Thanks also to his friends and teachers who allow him to see himself more clearly each and every day. Much, much love!
After practicing yoga for many years, Lora was drawn to the heart-centered and life-affirming approach of Anusara yoga. She is proud to have completed her teacher training in Anusara yoga with Zhenja La Rosa at Virayoga in 2009 and is thrilled for the opportunity to teach at Validus Preparatory Academy, an Outward Bound Expeditionary Learning High School in the South Bronx. This class, sponsored by Akasha Project, combines her passion for the transformative power of yoga with the rewards and challenges of her work with young people at New York City Outward Bound.
Lora is honored for the chance to impact the lives of these students, as well as her own, through a practice of yoga that challenges and supports us to recognize our own true nature. She feels much gratitude for the Anusara Kula and, in particular her teachers and fellow students at Virayoga and Akasha Project.
Tim Seiwerath learned the deepest and most powerful aspects of yoga from his family, people who do not study the Indian discipline but who live their lives serving others. He was carried by this spirit of service into founding the Yoga for People with Parkinson’s program, which for the past five years has brought daily classes to students in Seattle who have Parkinson’s Disease. He came to New York City to share adaptations of the physical yoga practice that are accessible to and beneficial for everyone, regardless of ability. His three formal paths of study have been through Samadhi Yoga, Acro Yoga, and as servant to the “Teacher’s Teacher,” Dharma Mittra.