2013 Team BYS

Our team consists of teachers and students from the BYS community who have committed to sitting every day of the month and following the Meditation program laid out in Sharon’s book, Real Happiness. Out main team members will be blogging about their experience every day of the challenge.

Our bloggers for this year’s challenge are:

Adina Saperstein {BYS Teacher} Adina 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.

Alex_BYSBlogAlexandra Kelly {BYS Student} Alex 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.  Alex has not sat down to meditate outside of a yoga class since she went to a meditation workshop with her family at age 16.  She is looking forward to exploring her first consistent daily meditation practice on this blog.

Angela Martenez  {BYS Student} bio coming soon

Anna Cassell {BYS Student} Anna is new to meditation and to Brooklyn. I grew up and went to college in North Carolina, and moved here almost a year ago to pursue documentary video and radio work, eat mochi in ginger broth, and experience a change of pace from my home state–which I’ve found. Now I’m hoping meditation will help me to balance that new pace.

Barbu Panaitescu {BYS Teacher} Barbu is a Dharma Yoga (200 & 500 hour) and Prana Yoga (200 hour) teacher, and resident earthling. Barbu has been deeply interested in Western and Eastern spirituality since a young age, and has been influenced by Vedic and Tibetan Buddhist teachings, as well as the mystical wisdom of all faiths. He is a certified Reiki practitioner and Shamanic Healer, and shares these modalities with the local community. Barbu brings elements from all these teachings into his yoga classes and offers students a safe, meditative and joyful environment to come into contact with their deepest Self, offering yoga as an anchor to help them live a more wholesome, peaceful and happy life.

Brian Glashow {BYS Teacher} was first introduced to yoga in college and has studied on and off with various teachers since that time. In 2010, Brian found out about this “great new spot” in Park Slope called the Brooklyn Yoga School, where he instantly felt at home. Eventually he went on to participate in their first Teacher Training, which he completed in the spring of 2012. He is honored to have the opportunity to teach and share with students the sacred healing knowledge of Yoga. Brian continues his studies at BYS, as well as with master teacher Dharma Mittra.

IMG_0683Clayton Okaly {BYS Student}  Clayton tentatively walked in his first yoga class in 2008, and since then his intrigue with the practice has failed to cease.  He completed his 200-hour Teacher Training through Brooklyn Yoga School in 2012, and is eternally grateful for the magnitude in which it has changed his life.  He continues to explore the practice to the furthest extent his body and mind will allow, and looks forward to continuing the journey.  Off the mat, Clayton is a paper-pusher by day, an opera singer by night, and forever a loving boyfriend and proud father to two adorable kitties, Clarence and Freddy.

Ellen Severino {BYS Student} Ellen is a Spirited Mom, Reiki Practitioner, Hula Hooper, Do-Gooder, Kirtan Singer,  Smart Mouth, Storyteller, Good Listener, Big Hearted, Quick To Laugh,  Moved To Tears, My Father’s Daughter, Little Sister, Best Friend, Constantly Astounded, Forever Grateful.

Jacquie Brown {BYS Teacher} Jacquie started practicing yoga in 2002 when she signed up for a physical education yoga class. She immediately felt most at home (in life) practicing yoga. Her self practice has included Vinyasa, Mysore Ashtanga, and Hatha yoga. Jacquie recently finished her 200 hour teacher training at Brooklyn Yoga School where her understanding of yoga and its influence on her life blossomed beyond the asana practice to more of a happiness practice. Surprisingly, she loves teaching yoga. Jacquie is very excited to share her experience and is eager to continue learning.

Photo Nov 16, 4 08 25 PMJessica Freeman {BYS Student} Jessica  began practicing Bikram yoga in 2010 and came across the Brooklyn Yoga School shortly after (thank goodness!), falling in love with the space, teachers, and community and relishing in the opportunity to create a deeper practice. Without BYS, she might never have heard the voice of Krishna Das, or taken a class with Sri Dharma Mittra, or done a headstand even once! She is a librarian at NYU and has aspirations to become a yoga teacher. She enjoys singing Kirtan, reading, and posting way too many pictures of her cat on Facebook. Jessica has flirted with meditation for way too long and hopes that this experience will nurture a regular practice. She looks forward to getting to know all of you through reading your words.

Joyce Kim  {BYS Student} bio coming soon

JR  {BYS Student} JR is an artist and designer living in Brooklyn, NY.

Karl Schmieder {BYS Student} Karl Schmieder is an award-winning  marketing communications professional who currently serves as Chief Strategic Officer at Medikly. An on-off yoga practitioner for 17 years, Karl has been meditating on-off for three years and is using the 28-day challenge to deepen his practice. He will be blogging about the challenge at karloslaws.com.

photo (8)Kurt Lindsey {BYS Student} Kurt lives in South Slope, Brooklyn, somewhere between double-wide strollers and triple-wide churros. He earns his keep being creative, sassy and corporate for some of the city’s brightest and most powerful. And when he feels the need to get a little bit dirty, he plays with clay at his ceramics studio. It’s all good, but he wondered, “Is that it?” So Kurt went looking for the ‘more’ that would fill his otherwise secular whole. He found it in Sanskrit, yoga and Vedanta philosophy. Kurt studies with Swami Prabuddhanandaji, warbles devotionally at kirtan, ties his body up in knots at Brooklyn Yoga School…and wraps it all up with a bow with an annual year’s end pilgrimage to India. But, Kurt is the first to remember that this is a journey. After all, if he’d learned anything in his years of study and practice, he’d have started with the Mahavakyam, “Brahmo’smi,” “I am Brahman.” OM Shantih Shantih Shantih

Libby Parks {BYS Student} Libby was first introduced to meditation in 2006 but it didn’t become a part of her regular yoga practice until her 200 hour teacher training at Brooklyn Yoga School in 2012. It was then that she was introduced to the teachings of Sharon Salzberg and the profound effects of Lovingkindness meditation. She practices asana at BYS and is dedicated to expanding her knowledge of Yogic and Buddhist studies with various teachers in New York City. Libby works with Impressionist and Modern art at a large art gallery and leads weekly yoga classes for her colleagues.

346_29350743225_8112_nMeghan Ritchie {BYS Student} Meghan is the head baker and owner of Magpies Bake Shop in Park Slope. Although most days of the first year in business have been filled with long hours of handmade pop tarts, food markets and bicycle deliveries she is finding time in the new year to slow down, take in the world around her and enjoy this whirlwind of a journey that starting a business has proven to be. Meditation has been a welcome addition to her life. As a newbie to meditation practice and blogging she is eagerly looking forward to challenging herself with both. She is grateful for the chance to share this experience with everyone involved.

Events - 1907Michelle Brown {BYS Student} Michelle moved to Brooklyn this year from Austin, Texas and lives in Park Slope.  She teaches 9th grade earth science at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School and has started using meditation in her classroom to help her students and herself find peace in a hectic school day.  Although new to meditation, Michelle is looking forward to participating in the 28-day challenge to help her find balance from teaching and hopes to continue practicing regularly.

Sabrina Dora López {BYS Student} bio coming soon


Our additional team members for this year’s challenge are:

Allison Durner
Amelia Cleary
Angela Gius

Eloise Paul
Jen Superson
Jesse Brown
Jocelyn Songco
Kevin Serra
Kika Kielpinski

Lara Rosenthal
Lauren Mathis
Leonore Smith
Maarten Ballintijn

Sal Savona
Sabrina Dora Lopez
Stacie Kurtz
Theresa Freet
Lindsay Smith

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


2 responses to “2013 Team BYS

  1. Pingback: Lessons from 28 Days of Meditation: 20 Minutes is an Eternity | Karlos Laws | Author·

  2. Very informative post. Thanks for adding it. I will be checking back often to see what other amazing information you add.

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