Meet Our Teachers

Erica Garcia

OWNER/TEACHER/TRAINER

There is a huge difference between a Yoga Teacher and a Teacher of Yoga!  Erica, the Owner/Operator of Nueva Alma Yoga and Wellness Studio has studied and practiced various yoga lineages for over 23 years.  She earned her 200hr certification form YogaWorks, Holistic Health Coaching certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and is Reiki Level I and II certified in the Usui/Tibetan Reiki Tradition. Erica served as the Regional NYC Coordinator for Y.O.G.A for Youth, where she trained under and assisted Kundalini Master Krishna Kaur teaching teacher-training students, and a Forgiveness workshop in Kripalu.   Erica also traveled with Krishna to be a featured USA teacher in the first annual Kudalini Yoga Conference in Togo, Africa in 2011 where she provided a lecture and taught a class to expose the local students and teacher trainees the different lineages of Hatha and Vinyasa.  With Y.O.G.A for Youth, Erica taught in the NYC Dept. of Juvenile Justice maximum and non secure youth facilities, as well as,  spearheaded new programs with new facilities.  In 2012, she took the Off the Mat and into the World leadership training with Seane Corn, Hala Khouri, and Suzanne Sterling and is now considered one of the few OTM leaders in the Bronx/Westchester areas. The focus of the OTM leaders is to provide students with powerful and transformative workshops to where they learn to use their yoga on and off the mat and serve the local communities.

Erica provides a class full of guided anatomical instruction, mixed with humor, light sarcasm and precision in an intense, yet noncompetitive atmosphere. She teaches from the heart and loves to teach based on her intense Chakra studies.  Don’t expect to come in and do the same sequence every time.  Even the most experienced Yogi will leave with something new.  The yoga blends are just that… a mixture and appreciation of Iyengar/Ashtanga/Kundalini/Hatha/Vinyasa with yoga philosophy, lively music blended to move your soul and shake your Chakras from pure joy and inspiration to letting go of the stuff you no longer need with a bit of aromatherapy, Pranayama and guided meditation.  You will be sure to always leave with what the name of the studio claims…  a Nueva Alma (translated New Soul).

Erica Garcia

ASHLEY

TEACHER

Ashley is an English teacher by day and a yoga teacher by night. She has been a student at Nueva Alma since 2012 and completed her 200 teacher training there in May 2017. She loves teaching a vigorous vinyasa class, but can also appreciate the calm of a beautiful restorative class. She recently started a series of yoga classes for the teachers at her Bronx middle school. In her free time Ashley loves to travel (especially to Paris!) and would love to teach yoga around the world someday.

Come with an open heart, let go of expectations, and feel a little lighter when you take Ashley’s class.

Ashley

Carol

TEACHER

Carol Gibney has been creating sacred spaces for over 15 years in her role as a campus minister at Fordham University. She is currently the Director of Spiritual Life, Leadership and Service and is delighted to offer two weekly chapel yoga sessions where she offers yoga as a way to integrate prayer and yoga as a spiritual exercise. Carol loves the community vibe and tribe at Nueva Alma and is delighted that this sanctuary is literally around the corner from her home. She is married to the love of her life, Jimmy for 33 years and is delighted that he, too, just became yoga certified this past summer. Her oldest daughter is a certified teacher as well, so yoga is really a family affair with the Gibneys!

Carol

 

Christine

TEACHER

Christine Loughran fell in love with yoga in her early 20s, when she discovered that its community consisted of people like her, who also loved stretching themselves to the limit (both literally and figuratively), and strengthening their hearts and minds in the process. Since witnessing its magic firsthand, Christine’s goal since receiving her 200-hour RYT certification is to bring yoga and mindfulness and happiness to as many people as possible. Also included on her long list of passions are: hiking, running, cooking, climbing, laughing, and a million other things. She can usually be found in the marketing & communication office at Manhattan College, helping promote and advocate for its dynamite students and programs, or in her one-bedroom Bronx oasis, which is mostly covered in bright colors and natural sunlight.

Christine

Estefania

TEACHER

Yoga allowed me to discover a new of myself, a side that’s fierce and in control while maintaining a graceful presence. I started yoga in 2015 and it didn’t take long to realize how amazing it felt for my mind, body and breath to all be in unison. Practicing yoga helps my stress and anxiety fade away. Yoga provides me a daily opportunity to take a moment and be in the present with myself which is such a treat because life off the mat can be chaotic.

I fell deeper in love with yoga during my 200 hour teacher training at Nueva Alma. My eyes opened to a side of yoga that goes beyond the poses. I began to slow down, be more conscious of my thoughts, words, actions and the world around us! It was a new type of fulfillment in my life and within myself.

My hope as a teacher is for students to walk out feeling better than they walked in. I want to create an atmosphere where students feel comfortable enough to explore and challenge themselves. An environment where love and acceptance is promoted within ourselves because the last thing we want to do is beat ourselves up for not being able to touch our toes or bind in a pose. So come on over and give yourself some “me time”. Let’s create and spread the positive vibes we can manifest within ourselves!

Estefania

Gilbert

TEACHER

Gilbert was introduce to yoga eighteen years ago. It didn’t take long before Gilbert recognized yoga was not only helping him manage his physical being, it was changing and centering his life. After leg saving surgery in 2011 left Gilbert partially disabled, yoga became deeply internal and has brought him much better health…physically, mentally, and spiritually. “There is an inner awareness, acceptance, and peace I find on the mat that brings me to a soulful place…the healing power of yoga”. Gilbert is a May 2017 graduate of “The A.L.M.A. Institute” and continues to study all forms of yoga.

Gilbert

Gina

TEACHER

Gina, a 500 RYT, has been practicing yoga over the past 15 years, and completed the YogaWorks 200 hour teacher training in Westchester in March 2013. She has a 1st degree level Reiki Certification in the Usui Shiki Ryoho tradition and is looking to progress further in those studies. In 2014, Gina started her 500 hour OM yoga teacher training (YTT) with Cyndi Lee and recently completed that training in June 2015. This training included OM Meditation YTT levels 1 & 2, Pranayama YTT and Restorative YTT modules, as well as any additional 18 hours in anatomy with Jason Ray Brown. In February 2015, Gina completed 30 hours of Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Corina Benner. She is always looking to learn and is constantly taking workshops to better understand the practice and share what she learns with her students.

To Gina, yoga is a transformative philosophy that goes beyond asanas, or poses, that the Western world associates with “yoga”. Yoga teaches us to slow down, be more conscious of our bodies and the world around us and can have huge physical and mental benefits when practices regularly. Some of these benefits include: lower blood pressure, more relaxed, greater flexibility and balance. Gina puts a heavy emphasis on the importance and benefits of Savasana, Yin and Restorative Yoga as a way to relax the parasympathetic nervous system.

Gina

Jillian

TEACHER

As a high school English teacher and a natural perfectionist (your typical Virgo) , I was blessed to have found yoga over seven years ago. I struggled with anxiety and found yoga to be the best way to handle my stress. Yoga has not just helped me deal with managing stress, it has shown me how amazing my body is! I had always been a clumsy child and teen, and let’s face it: adult. I never played sports as a kid because I never had the faith in my body. However, when I found yoga that all changed. I was able to see how awesome and amazing my body is, as well as how malleable! I can’t believe how my body has developed through yoga and how much I learn with every practice. I love yoga and, as cliche as it sounds, it has really changed my life. I developed an interest in teaching yoga since I already was a teacher and I wanted to share the journey and discovery of the benefits of yoga with others. I received my 200 hour certification from the Sanctuary at Two Rivers in Costa Rica in 2015 and I started at Nueva Alma that same year.  Since I love learning, and I want to be able to reach every student, I furthered my yoga education by completing a 85 hour prenatal training with the Prenatal Yoga Center in NYC, and a kids yoga certification with Yoga Schooled in the summer of 2017. My hope is that everyone who comes to my class leaves feeling better than when they arrived. I want my students to be able to let loose, to leave the world behind and to realize they have nowhere else to be except on their mat and in their body. I want them to realize that yoga isn’t always so serious, there is always time to laugh! I hope everyone is given the opportunity to explore their bodies and to realize how truly amazing they are! After all, your body is the only place you have to live. What better way to take care of it then practicing yoga?

Jillian

Jim

TEACHER

My name is Jimmy. The first yoga class that I took was in 2002. I was surprised at how challenging it was. I’ve practice martial arts, weight training, boxing and running over the past 45 years. Of all these practices yoga has been the most healthy practice. I love the feeling of being fit. My joints do not hurt anymore and my meditation practice has been enhanced. I completed my 200 hour teacher training in July 2017 and I am looking forward to sharing my yoga practice with everyone.

Jim

Kenia

TEACHER

I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach through The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). At IIN, I had the pleasure of engaging with some of the top professionals in the Nutrition field, such as Dr. Mark Hyman, Deepak Chopra, Dr. David Katz and Dr Andrew Weill. As an IIN Holistic health coach I have learned over 100 different type of dietary theories, from traditional to modern, and from eastern to western as well. I learned all about Bio-individuality, meaning someone’s food is another person’s poison because no diet is right for everyone. My approach to nutrition is holistic, which means that I believe it’s more than just the foods we are putting in our bodies that contribute to our health, it also consist of out environment, lifestyle, relationship, career, physical activity, spirituality, and mindset. As a health coach my goal is to help you live a healthier lifestyle with less stress, pain and more energy. Everyone has different needs this is why we will create your own roadmap to a better you.

I currently reside in Westchester County and my practice is at Nueva Alma Yoga and Wellness Studio, in Yonkers. There I work with clients one-on-one, do group meetings, workshops and implement group and individual cleanses. I am also a Certified 200hr Yoga instructor, which I implement into everyone’s roadmap.

Kenia

Lisa

TEACHER

I came to know yoga as a gym buff in the early 90’s when my body kept telling me ‘you need to stretch.’ So, I did yoga on and off for many years. My first yoga teacher was a little Jewish woman in her 60’s. She started doing yoga at age 50 when her doctor told her if she didn’t do something she would spend the rest of her life in a wheel chair. Yoga gave her back mobility in her knees and she became a yoga instructor. My story is similar, after surviving cancer I went back to yoga, but most studios were too difficult for me. Driving pass Nueva Alma for 2 years, one day feeling desperate I get the nerve to walk in. I liked that on a week day the studio was open in the morning. I started coming to the Yoga Flow at noon and after taking my first wall class I fell in love. I could practice yoga again. The wall saved my life. I couldn’t get enough of it. Then, I take a wall class with Erica and I shared my story with her, and she tells me about a yoga teacher training coming up. After much thought, I signed up and this YTT gave me back my life.

My YTT was an amazing experience. It reconnected me with my body. For the first time, in my yoga practice I have that mind-body connection and it’s healed me in many aspects. It taught me that SELF is the source of my strength, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. It gave me a new perspective on my life. And yoga is not just on the mat, it’s in me. It’s my new journey. And it’s from this healing place that I come to teach yoga. I hope as I share my story, continue to learn and grow that I can be a beacon of light for others.

Lisa

Nicole

TEACHER

In the short time that Nicole has been practicing yoga she fell absolutely in love. Nueva Alma has been her home studio since the beginning. Nicole remembers how nervous she was taking her first class.  However, the welcoming atmosphere and the kindness of all her fellow yogis put any worries to rest.

Nicole’s yoga journey not only helped her find physical strength, but also mental and emotional.  After taking control of her health, she went into teacher training. Yoga teacher training came at a time when it was most needed. Sometimes the universe gives you what you need when you need it.

Now a graduate of the Alma Institute, Nicole is excited to serve the neighborhood that she was born and raised in.

Nicole