STAFF BIOS

Venerable Sumati Marut

Lama Marut(Brian K. Smith) has been teaching Asian Classics Institute courses, guided meditations, and informal talks and workshops in Tibetan Buddhism in Los Angeles, Tucson, New York, Ireland, Canada, and elsewhere since 2000. He is the founder and spiritual director of the Asian Classics Institute, Los Angeles (www.aci-la.org), and is also a founding Board member and currently president of the Yoga Studies Institute. As a YSI staff teacher, he teaches courses in yoga philosophy around the world. He is on the faculty of Diamond Mountain University in Arizona as a professor of Sanskrit and Buddhism, and also has taught courses for Loyola Marymount University’s Yoga Philosophy Program. Ven. Marut is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He received his Ph.D. in the History of Religions from the University of Chicago in 1984, where he studied with Mircea Eliade, Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, and other world-renown scholars of Indian and Comparative Religions. He taught courses in Indian, Eastern, and Comparative Religion for over twenty years–first at Barnard College, Columbia University, and then as a tenured Professor at the University of California, Riverside–before retiring in 2004. He has spent several years in India studying and is the author of two books based on ancient Sanskrit materials (published with Oxford University Press), many articles (academic, as well as popular pieces for encyclopedias), and is the co-translator of a Sanskrit law book, THE LAWS OF MANU (published by Penguin).

Maria Cutrona

Maria Cutrona is deeply honored to be a graduate of Kelly Morris Conquering Lion Yoga Teacher Training Program. This unprecedented training has illuminated for her the true purpose and power of yoga; to help transform our selves and our world completely. She is profoundly grateful to her teachers for inspiring her practice in the service to others; most notably Lama Kelly Morris, Lady Ruth Laurer Mannetti, Barbara Verrochi, Kristin Leigh, and Rima Rabbath. Maria humbly bows down in gratitude to the Holy Beings who have graciously shared their wisdom and opened her eyes to the path of ultimate transformation and liberation: Geshe Michael Roach, Lama Christie McNally,Lama Sumati Marut, Lama Mercedes Bahleda,Lama Kimberly Theresa, Lama John Brady, Kristina Pao Cheng, John Stilwell, Will Duncan and Amma.

Aaron Dias

In retrospect, Aaron couldn’t escape becoming a yoga teacher. From her childhood training in theater, dance and song; to her adolescent obsession with spirituality in all forms; to her teenage talent for teaching and tutoring; to her enthusiastic absorption in philosophy studies as a college student, all the of the seemingly disparate roads led straight here. Students are drawn to her classes for her blend of scholarly knowledge and honest, lived-in philosophy, her intelligent and creative sequencing, her loving and well-aligned assists, and her unique ability to sustain sincere focus and sweet lightness in the room at once.   diasyoga.com

Ava Gerber

Ava Gerber is committed to living in awareness and using the breath to stay grounded and embodied as the performance  of this beautiful life unfolds. Her  fascination with multi-cultural religious ritual, ceremony and expression has spanned the past two decades, and she sees moving the body as a way to connect to the here now and what needs to be moved through. She has studied African dance and the dance of the diaspora for the past 20 years, and is a Yoga Alliance certified teacher. She has also completed all 36 Asian Classics Institute courses & passed her Maroke in the Tibetan Buddhist linage of the Gulepa. Ava completed her Ayurveda Certification course with Lalitta Devi of the Shivanda lineage, and has studied with the renowned Dr Vassat Ladd. She holds a level one Reiki empowerment and is an ordained Shamanic Minister and a Certified Shamanic Breathwork facilitator under the tutelage of Linda Star Wolf. She has lead numerous yoga retreats, juice fasts, cleanses and breathwork sessions. She believes food is medicine and uses it to heal and balance and live in lightness. She utilizes Shamanic Breathwork and Dream Tea Ceremony  to bring the hidden self / shame-based self  to the surface and integrates us back to whole and blissful beings acting from heart not habit. She loves to assist others in over coming anger, controlling behavior and secretive shame-based addictive behaviors that result from stressful and traumatic events that become lodged with in us. She assists you in  uncovering  and recovering your gifts and sparkle and  allowing them to move into their power and shine.

John Son

Wielding a deadly smile, John Son wants nothing more than to open your heart through asana, meditation, and the written word. His classes reflect his training and ongoing studies in Conquering Lion Yoga and Tibetan Buddhism, and are infused with warmth, openness, and humor. By the grace of his innumerable beloved teachers, including Kelly Morris, Venerable Thupten Phuntsok, Geshe Michael Roach, Lama Christie McNally, John Stilwell, Lama James Connor, Lama Lisette Garcia, and Ori Carin and Nancy Allen, John is grateful for any opportunity to pass along their teachings. He is also on the Conquering Lion Yoga faculty as a meditation instructor, and trains ninja yogis and yoginis through his blog at ninjayoga.tumblr.com. Scholastic published his young adult novel Finding My Hat in 2003. You can find out more at bodhijohn.com.

Kathryn Robinson

Kathryn, RYT 500, has been teaching yoga asana to students of all ages and levels since 2011. She weaves philosophical teachings, poetry, breath work, and alignment principles into a flow that challenges students to grow into their fullest potential. For a welcoming space to explore, heal and have fun, check out one of her morning or weekend classes.
www.kathryncorinne.com

Eddie Teboul

Eddie Teboul is based in New York City and teaches every day to yoga practitioners who are inspired by his articulate guidance, artful metaphors, uplifting music and warm sense of humor.
In class he offers skillful and subtle hands-on yoga posture assists during a vigorous vinyasa practice.
A student describes his classes as transcendent. She says:”I come in feeling tired, but I chant, I listen to Eddie’s soothing voice, I work through my difficulties, and I leave feeling clean. I feel like every joint in my body is alive and renewed.” Eddie began his yoga journey in 2001 while working as a high fashion hairstylist for magazines and fashion shows, and has been teaching yoga since 2007. He teaches at all levels and has graduated from the 800 hour certification of the Jivamukti Yoga method. He is rooted in the Jivamukti Yoga Lineage of his teachers David Life and Sharon Gannon and their Gurus Sri K. Patthabi Jois, Sri Brahmananda Saraswati and Swami Nirmalananda. The enlightenment of his teachers and students is his deepest intention, and it is his passion to share and inform about Yoga, the practice that has transformed his own life. eddieyoga.com ॐ लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्

Nami

Nami is certified through Laughing Lotus teaching yoga since 2008. Her class is influenced by the freedom and creativity of vinyasa, focused discipline of Ashtanga, and such heart opening, healing nature of yoga itself. She is a certified reiki master practitioner and her passion for healing has led her decide to study massage therapy at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. She is fascinated by what hands can do through touch because hands are extensions of our heart. Nami is eternally grateful for all of the teachers, including all of the students she has met on this path for their endless inspiration and guidance. nami8.net

Yoko Ohashi

Yoko Ohashi has been a yoga practitioner since 2002 devoted to Iyengar style. Iyengar yoga focuses on alignments of body with detailed anatomical instructions and props to induce correct alignment. Beginner or non-beginner, students will be led to practice in a safe and progressive manner.
Yoko graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with Masters of Arts in New Forms. Exploration with visual forms eventually led her to directly use her body as a medium where creative interior dialogue takes place. She believes that the practice of yoga quiets mind and enables one to be alert and present in each moment of her/his life. Yoko has a strong home practice, and her interest and benefits of yoga has led her to share the art to other people. With a teaching style that is kind and joyful, she has been teaching since 2006, and continues to study under senior Iyengar teachers at Iyengar Institute Association of Greater New York (IAGNY).

Benjamin Kennedy

Ben is very excited to be teaching at Lucky Lotus. He took his first yoga class here, with Aaron Dias, in May 2013 and was hooked instantly. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, he now works full time as Production Manager at Greenwich House Music School. He is currently enrolled, and has completed half of his 200 hour teacher training program with Prema Yoga Brooklyn. Ben likes to practice all the time, and needs to remind himself that stretching in public places will often get odd looks and that trying new arm balances is not a good way to wind down before bed. He hopes that his boss doesn’t catch him doing handstands in the office after she leaves. Most importantly, Ben has found that yoga is a fun way to focus, and practice carefully slowing everything down.

Joanna Cantor

Joanna’s goal is to help her students unite body and mind in the present moment, leaving them sweaty and calm. Her breath-based vinyasa classes incorporate creative sequencing and attention to alignment, heating and strengthening the physical body to prepare for relaxation and release. She is knowledgeable about restorative yoga and breathing techniques that bring about inner focus and tranquility. Joanna works with patients at NYU’s Center for Integrative Health and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and loves seeing firsthand how yoga promotes healing. Joanna is proud to name Annie Piper and Maria Cutrona among her most influential teachers. She is a graduate of Conquering Lion Yoga teacher training.  www.joannacantoryoga.com.

Lauren Smith

With years of yogic exploration by her side, Lauren continuously draws from the deep well of wisdom and love that is found within this sacred and profound practice. Lauren did her first 200 hour teacher training through Golden Bridge Yoga, becoming a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor.  She also holds a 200 hour Vinyasa certification through the Conquering Lion Yoga teacher training program, where she was taught the importance of ritual, meditation and mindfulness both on and off the mat. Using the powerful teachings of yoga, Lauren is dedicated to healing and serving her community.

Joy Radish

Joy Radish has been teaching yoga since 2005. She believes in the healing power of the yoga practice as an opportunity for each student to experience her unique embodiment with vibrancy and fullness. Joy has studied intensively with Jasmine Tarkeshi, Dana Flynn and Keith Borden at Laughing Lotus; Leslie Kaminoff at the Breathing Project; Sat Jivan Kaur + Sat Jivan Singh at Kundalini Yoga East and with Tara Glazier at Abhaya Yoga.
With a love of connecting from the heart, and speaking soul-to-soul, Joy has taught in spaces that range from prisons to settlement houses to public schools. She cultivated her teaching for many years at Laughing Lotus both in New York and San Francisco, where she led workshops, and mentored other teachers on their path. In addition to teaching yoga, Joy is also a theatre artist, musician and writer. She recently graduated with a master’s degree in drama therapy from NYU.