2015 Team BYS

Our 2015 team consists of  40+ teachers and students from the BYS community who have committed to sitting each day in the month of February. Our main team members will be blogging on a regular basis throughout the challenge.

Adina Saperstein {BYS Teacher}  started taking yoga at her gym in 2003, and for the next six years muscled her way through power yoga classes and adamantly refused to Om. In 2010, she stumbled into BYS, where her real practice of yoga began in glimpses of inner peace, purpose, and happiness. She kept coming back, and learned to slow down, sit still, stand on her head, fall on her face, and slowly start showing up in life. In 2012, Adina completed the BYS 200 hour Teacher Training, and began sharing her practice with others. She holds profound gratitude for her many teachers and for the incredibly humbling opportunity to develop and share her practice in this beautiful space.

Alexandra Kelly {BYS Student}  first began a regular yoga practice in 2008 when she was traveling around the country with StoryCorps. The mat became a reliable home in each place she traveled to. When she returned to NYC, she found her yoga home base at Brooklyn Yoga School – a space where she learned to slow down and relish each posture. Although this is Alex’s third year participating in the meditation challenge, she has only recently developed a more regular meditation practice. Alex is thankful for “finding meditation” at this time in her life and continues to be grateful for the growing community of practitioners in New York City and beyond who she has connected to through the process.

Clayton Okaly {BYS Teacher}  completed his 200 HR Teacher Training through the Brooklyn Yoga School in 2012, and is eternally grateful for the magnitude in which it has opened his mind and changed his life. Clayton primarily teaches the classical yoga style according to the lineage of Sri Dharma Mittra. His classes most closely resemble the Hatha Yoga style, with elements of Vinyasa and Raja Yoga mixed in. Off the mat, Clayton shares his love of singing, music, and performing with as many as possible and as often as he can. Spreading compassion, awareness, thoughtfulness, and understanding through his actions is, above all, his highest goal.

Kelsey Tangel {BYS Teacher}  views the body as a fascinating gift. She’s grateful for the insight she’s found studying under the Dharma Yoga lineage and appreciates the opportunity to lead classes at BYS ; she aims to inspire students to find their own inner teacher. She encourages a mindful yoga practice where her students have the opportunity to forget the outside world and focus within. Her classes place a strong emphasis on the breath and it’s ability to open the body gradually over time. Kelsey completed her 200 HR yoga training under Dharma Mittra in the summer of 2012. She will be finishing her 200 HR Prenatal yoga training under Carrie Parker in the Fall of 2014. Kelsey is currently working towards a Masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Kurt Lindsey {BYS Student} was born and raised in north-central Indiana, where he spent 18 years wandering around barefoot, feeding apples to cows, and burying his nose in books and music. A few years in Indianapolis, London and Chicago followed before Kurt booked a one-way ticket to New York. Today, two decades later, he lives in South Slope, Brooklyn. When he’s not earning his keep as a global content marketing director for a Fortune 500 company, he can be found throwing pots at ceramics studio Mud, Sweat & Tears; stocking shelves at the Park Slope Food Coop; or chanting kirtan and practicing yoga at Brooklyn Yoga School. In the mid-2000s, Kurt began his study of Sanskrit and yoga philosophy, and has translated the Bhagavad Gita and other texts from the original Sanskrit. His current Sanskrit practice is focused on Panini’s grammatical system and a translation of the Hitopadesha. In his study of Hindu and Buddhist teachings, Kurt seeks to translate philosophy into practice in our variegated and deeply modern world.

Lily Cushman {BYS Founder}  was born in Idaho and loves nature and animals of all varieties. She has been practicing yoga since 1998. After many years of intense self practice, she began studying with Sri Dharma Mittra in 2007. Under his guidance, Lily dedicated herself to the exploration of happiness and service through yoga. For several years she served as the Co-Director of the Dharma Yoga Teacher Training program, as well as assisting Dharma Mittra in his teachings worldwide. Lily and her husband, Jeremy, opened the Brooklyn Yoga School in March of 2010. She is the director and manager of BYS, where she also teaches, sharing these ancient practices of compassion, patience, courage, joy and ultimately: freedom. In 2014, she founded the record label, Vanaras Music as a means to promote kirtan, spiritual music, live events and community.

Veronika Vasihala Carmichael {BYS Teacher}  came to yoga from dance background around six years ago. She has studied extensively with Dharma Mittra as well as other teachers such as Isaac Pena, Raghunath, Alison West, and Dana Flynn. Her interest in yoga and meditation has taken her to the Sivananda Ashram, Vipassana Meditation retreat, Advaita Vedanta studies, Aromatherapy studies, and the Ayurvedic style of living. Veronika completed her 200 HR teacher certification from Laughing Lotus Yoga in early spring of 2012 and immediately began teaching yoga. In August 2013 she completed an additional 100 hours of training with Lotus Fly & Bhakti school and is now finishing her 500 HR training certification with Sri Dharma Mittra.


Also joining the 2015 team with a commitment to sit daily are:

Kylah Torre
Amelia Cleary
Marine Boudreau
Florencia Carignano
Katie Schwamb
Margie Rubins
Sara Brainard
Tom Cucinotta
Isa Cucinotta
Melissa Christie
Michelle Brown
Angela Hawes
Lee Adair Lawrence
Maisels Gabrielle
Chris Hanson
Jerry Scarnato
Deborah Dion
Dena Domenicali-Rochelle
Jack McElaney
Kristen Phillips
Lindsay Comstock
Kari Manuel
Mari Baca
Shawn Barnett
Joelle Danant
Xenia Sky
Elinor Spielberg
Katurah Hutcheson
Dianne Lovejoy
Aaron Lovejoy
Jennifer Lindsay
Robyn Brik
Valerie Lewis
Jackie Boyle
Anna Knutson Geller
Sartaj Alag
Jeremy Frindel

If you are interested in joining our team, contact us here.


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