I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia went to college for dance in North Carolina and have been dancing, teaching and living in New York City for the last 11 years. Since moving to New York, I have performed and toured with STREB, Brian Brooks Moving Company, Young Jean Lee's Theater Company, David Neumann's Advanced Beginner Group, and Katie Workum. I had my first yoga class my first year in New York. Yoga was compelling for mysterious reasons, but also frustrating and I left and returned to yoga over and over for many years following that first class. However, I was consistently passionate about movement and bodies, and I continued to train and teach people in movement and fitness. I became certified through National Academy of Sports Medicine in physical training and through Physicalmind Institute for Pilates. As my private training business grew, so did my desire to incorporate more than just the physical aspect of wellness. Yoga called me back to its teachings and I saw how it offered a perspective that integrated the whole person in an intelligent and effective way. As the lessons of yoga began to resonate more into my life, I noticed how much of it became a part of how I was working with my students and clients.
In 2005, I became a Yoga Alliance 200 hour certified teacher through Yoga Works and a year later I completed a 200 hour yoga anatomy training with The Breathing Project. While both yoga trainings emphasized different aspects of Yoga, they gave me a very applicable and well rounded way to teach functional, individualized and alignment-based yoga to any kind of mover. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy (PRYT) came into my life five years ago as a friend needed someone to practice on. After receiving that session and feeling the power and eye-opening, deep awareness PRYT offers, I was hooked and became a regular client and eventually a practitioner. I became a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner in March of 2009 after completing my 600 hour certification. Alongside my private Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practice in the city, I continue to perform and choreograph, most recently with Katie Workum with whom I will be performing a new work in April 2012. My home life is busy with my amazing son blooming into a toddler and my two beautiful step-sons 9 and 10 years old. I am a chair member of the Move for Breast Cancer Awareness organization and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. I am still learning to surf, get three kids out the door with patience and love with abandon.
"I have always felt a confluence of emotion and thought that has not been entirely answered either by psychoanalysis or yoga. In one, there has never been room enough for what comes up in the body through verbal associations, and in the other not enough space for saying what is happening in the head when the body moves. Weena has an amazing receptivity to the emotions of the body and to language's contortions that has helped me begin to un-block in both."
"It is like receiving Grace... I just want to tell you how talented I believe you are for this work: the way you hear and communicate, your guidance and intuition, the love and sensitivity and intelligence you bring to your work. And talk about Buddah compassion. You radiate it. What more could someone ask for in the person to whom they reveal even their child heart."
"Weena is a real soul with a super human body. She is ALWAYS on time and dependable + incredible flexibility. I learned I can do it. I've also learned how negative I was about my ability to exercise and how I can change that with Weena's unflappable optimism and energy."
R. Quaytman - Visual Artist
"In many ways sessions are collaborative—she tunes into me where I am, where my body is, and tailors the hour to that. Weena is interested and works with the whole person with the awareness of an emotional condition or environment at the time and it is taken into consideration. She tunes into me."
Edith Chevat - Author and Poet
"Working with Weena is a unique blend of the physical with the intellectual. Weena's deep knowledge of the mechanics of the body and her extensive creative movement experience combine with her thorough and thoughtful approach to fitness. "
Rachel Sussman - Photographer
"I have learned greater body awareness and interesting and useful info about anatomy and function. I now have a deeper commitment to fitness and strength development in a way that improves the health and functionality of my body.We do it all! Strength, stretching, balance, jumping, leaping, running, hanging upside down. Engaging the body and mind in new challenges."
Sarah Weir - Editor, Mother
Classes and Training
"Weena's class is a real eye-opener. Her insight to exercise goes far beyond her knowledge of musculature and physiology. She seems to very quickly gain an understanding of her students and their needs so that she can apply pertinent techniques and exercises for that person's goals and body type. I was pleasantly surprised when in a first class she was able to set me in 'perfect vertical' very easily with gentle guidance and a keen eye for alignment. "
Mark Toorock - Founder of US-Parkour.com
"Training with Weena is the best thing I've ever done for my body. A world apart from the drill-sergeants who prowl gym weight rooms, Weena trains with knowledge and intelligence, enthusiasm and skill, creativity and humor. And perhaps most importantly, she combines an ideal blend of rigor and compassion."
Alarik Myrin - CTO of Sakonnet Technology
"Studying with Weena has fundamentally altered the limits of my physical abilities. I've learned to do things that I hadn't imagined I can do. Weena is a brilliant teacher — she finds ways of making the complicated and impossible simple and within reach. Because her experience is so diverse, her classes are always fresh and surprising."
Jonathan Soroko - Attorney
October - April PRYT Group Facilitator Training
December Reiki 1 with Myra Luz Martinez, LMT, Reiki Master
PRYT Apprenticeship for teacher training
March Completed the 650 hour Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy certification
March Level 1 Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Bristol, VT
April Level 2 Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Bristol, VT
June Level 3 Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Bristol, VT
January SYTAR (Symposium of Yoga Therapy and Research) in LA, CA
February Anatomy of Connection with Tom Myers, author of Anatomy Trains
November Shambhala Meditation Training, Level One, NYC
Sept- June Yoga Anatomy 200 hour, Three semester course withLeslie Kaminoff at The Breathing Project, NY
September Re-certification as NASM Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine, NYC
August Adult CPR with AED Certification, American Red Cross
June ISHTA Yoga Teacher Training, certified through Yoga Alliance, Be Yoga/Yoga Works, 200 hour certification, NYC
May Integrated Core Stabilization Training Course, National Academy of Sports Medicine
Optimum Performance Training for Seniors Course, National Academy of Sports Medicine
April Osteoporosis, Exercise Protocols Course, Physicalmind Institute
Nutrition 101 with Diet Directives Course, Physicalmind Institute
Jan- May Comparative Physiology, Brooklyn College
December Initiation 201 Teacher Training, Certified in TheMethod® Pilates, PhysicalMind Institute
August Optimum Performance Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine
June Initiation 101 Teacher Training Course in TheMethod® Pilates, PhysicalMind Institute
(Toured Internationally with STREB dance company.)
May Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, magna cum laude
April AFAA Certification as Personal Trainer
Private, Corporate and Small Groups
Weena teaches vinyasa-style hatha yoga. She offers individual, duet and small group classes. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance (E-RYT400) and holds both a 200 hour certification in ISHTA yoga and a 200 hour certification with The Breathing Project. For over a decade, yoga has been a fundamental part of Weena's life. Weena's extensive background in anatomy, pilates and sports training, and her years of experience as a professional dancer, give her a unique awareness of physical alignment, anatomy and biomechanics. Weena offers caring and sensitive guidance to tailor her classes to the individual needs of her clients. Her classes vary from thoughtfully challenging and vigorous, to soothing and restorative.
Mondays 12:30-1:45pm at The Breathing Project (starting January 7, 2013)
This Yoga class is about getting in touch with your deeper self through the practice of yoga postures, meditation and relaxation, with an emphasis on becoming aware of what is happening within you each moment on your mat. This class gives you the freedom to choose your own edges in postures with an awareness of intention and sensation. It is by becoming more aware of who we are in our movement choices that we have the opportunity to practice being who we want to be. This awareness happens when we approach our yoga practice with curiousity and honesty. Deepen your practice and discover the wisdom that lies waiting within you.This class is inspired by Weena's training as Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist and as a yoga educator through The Breathing Project. "Connect" is open to all levels.
"Yoga for Caregivers"
Wednesdays 10am-11:15 at Caribou Baby (starting Januray 9, 2013)
Yoga for Caregivers is a gentle yoga class that addresses some of the physical, emotional and energetic issues that tend to show up in people who are caring for others; children, babies, the elderly or special needs individuals. Showing up to care for a loved one can take it's toll on our bodies, our mental aptitude, our energy and our emotional health. Taking the time to bring our loving care towards the Self brings a range of benefits including but not limited to- minimizing stress, a brighter outlook, more energy and a sense of wellbeing. This is a gentle yoga class that uses principles of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy with simple yoga postures, meditation and relaxation. It is open to everyone of all levels.
Weena offers one-on-one Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy sessions. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is a client-centered practice that uses meditation, assisted stretching and dialogue to integrate the mind, body, and heart. No prior yoga experience is necessary. This integration process is fully supported in the non-judgmental and safe environment Weena provides. Yoga therapy brings you in touch with your deepest wisdom, uncovering obstacles and revealing how to make life changes that bring you in touch with who you truly are. Weena's warm and accepting presence provides the necessary foundation to explore who you are at a fundamental level. It is through cultivating this awareness that you are able to find the peace, freedom and inspiration you seek. This practice is rooted in the philosophy that you are the expert on yourself. It takes slowing down, tuning in and the powerful act of being seen and heard to come in contact with our own wisdom.
What you seek is already within you.
Starting in February 2013, Weena will be offering 8 week Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Group programs. These programs meet for eight consecutive weeks, once a week for two and a half hours, along with one eight-hour silent retreat day. Group work takes the PRYT one-on-one session into the rich and potent group setting. Group work opens the door to witnessing other people's inspiring discoveries, stumbling blocks and wisdom. In this program we can bridge the revelations we have in our own sessions into our daily lives with support. We will use yoga postures, breathing, group sharing and meditation in each session to come in contact with our bodies, minds and spirits, and therein lie the answers we are seeking. PRYT Group Work follows a progressive, thematic approach to awareness, choice and change and is effective for a broad spectrum of participants coping with stress or illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure or addictions. The program is well suited to be offered through health institutions, educational organizations and human resources departments of corporations.
February 6 - March 27
ReConnect A Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Group for Mothers
Wednesdays @ Caribou Baby in Williamsburg brooklyn
Weena offers individual, group and duet training sessions. She has been training clients in fitness for over 14 years. Alongside dancing professionally for over 11 years, she has been certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and as a pilates instructor with Physicalmind Institute. Her athletic background in gymnastics, soccer, tennis, running and surfing informs her sessions with a profound range and understanding of movement. Emphasis is on integrating body and mind by teaching conscious movement as opposed to thoughtless exercise. She excels at creating a movement practice that is safe, challenging and interesting.
Yoga Therapy Group for Mothers.
@ Caribou Baby - Feb 6 - March 27th, 2013