I started practicing yoga when I was in my late 20s. At that time I was really active in lots of other fitness classes, teaching kickboxing and Boot Camp classes.
A good friend literally dragged me to my first power yoga class and I fell in love. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and my body literally craved it.
Over the next several years, this practice literally changed my life for the better. I made better decisions, I cleaned up my relationships and found true joy in my personal life.
At that time I was also practicing as a physician assistant in hospital medicine and realized that treating people with medications after they were already ill was not actually my calling. My calling was to bring them awareness to their bodies and lifestyles before they become sick.
Yoga has been a pivotal part of my life for the past 5 years. Once I started practicing at PYB, I was hooked! Yoga has made me physically and mentally stronger throughout many aspects of my life. It has given me the tools to calm the craziness of raising 4 daughters and has been beneficial to me in my professional career as a Pediatric Operating Room Nurse. You may find me using my Ujjayi breath and standing in Tadasana during surgery.
I love the mental clarity Yoga brings after stressful day. I have a zest for learning, and enjoy sharing my knowledge with my students. Moreover, I enjoy being inspired and motivated by my teachers and fellow yogis.
I tend to think of myself as a perpetual learner. As I will always be a student of the practice, I am humbled to have the opportunity to share my passion and practice with others.
In 2012, I came to my first Power Yoga class with a friend. I was at a curious place in my life and wanted to have some new experiences. My first class was quite the experience – I had never sweat so much in my entire life, I had never done anything so challenging, and I had never observed such a large concentration of happy people once it was all over. I was not part of that concentration but i could tell that they were up to something. It was then that I decided that I was all in.
My love for this practice of yoga led me to the decision to share it with others. From my mat, my practice moved to assisting classes, to teaching at a church for free, to being welcomed into the Power Yoga Buffalo teacher family, to leading workshops. I want to inspire and be a part of that same growth in others, whether it’s sharing the Baptiste Methodology with a student, giving feedback to a fellow teacher, or treating a patient as a Physical Therapist Assistant.
I came to Power Yoga Buffalo because the website said it was “hard.” I had a running injury and wanted to supplement my workouts with yoga but I did not want to “waste my time” with something soft or gentle.
The more I practiced, the more I realized that the physical benefits of yoga were immediate and tremendous. I also started to realize that the benefits of this practice far exceed the physical. In this practice I have found community, peace and a sense of unity with my body. I have never felt more energetic or vital.
I came for “hard” but I have been left with a profound sense of ease. As a teacher I want to share the joy and love that yoga has brought to my life.
I was a dancer, gymnast, and cheerleader. This practice is a dance for me. A dance between learning and unlearning, knowing and being completely unsure, figuring it out and getting lost, struggling and surrendering. I could say that yoga saved my life but what is truer is that yoga (and my parents), have taught me that I already have exactly what I need to save my own life, right now. As a recovering ‘over-thinker,’ my practice reminds me, it’s not about what I THINK (and overthink). It is about feeling and flowing rather than forcing, it’s about connecting to what is real and right here, so I can live and give from my heart, the part of me that’s really me.
I get on my mat to remember all of this. I teach to hold space for others to experience their own dance and discovery. Few things truly excite me the way someone finding something new on or off the mat excites me! The love I have for this practice and for the Power Yoga Buffalo and Baptiste Communities is beyond what I can put into words. I am thankful and beyond excited to share this work with as many people as I can!
Power Yoga Buffalo came into my life at the perfect time. In July of 2014 I had recently watched the movie “Yes Man” with Jim Carey and decided to try that philosophy on in my own life. I was committed to saying yes to everything that created opportunity to be up to something bigger. So when a friend asked me to go to a power yoga class I said YES! Right away I discovered that I was capable of far more than I had ever let myself think possible. Here my journey began and my life opened up to endless possibility….
The combination of focus, grounding, and intention that we practiced on our mat started to show up off my mat. I learned to clear my mind by focusing on my body and breath, embracing intention and purpose in the smallest of movements, and the smallest of tasks. Most of all I started to enjoy getting out of my comfort zone. To me, being out of my comfort zone means embracing the constant state of change that we are all in. Not resisting, rather opening to the possibility.
I LOVE this practice, and nothing makes me happier than share it with you and our wonderful community!
A permanent tension headache and ever-growing sense of failure landed me on a yoga mat. I wanted to “get Zen” and manage my Excedrin intake. My first Baptiste yoga class was a sweaty, cranky mess. I was not Zen and my head was the least of my pains. I barely made it through. But I came back. Again and again. Yoga did not save me from the big, hard world. But it did carve out a space that allowed me to be with the sweaty, cranky mess in and around me. Learning to be – and letting it be. That was a choice.
I believe you can shift your world from this practice because I have experienced it. I feel it every time I hear a room of students exhale together. It’s why I teach. PYB offers a place and space. The rest is your choice.
Long before I took my first yoga class, I loved the idea of yoga- the integration of body and mind in service of the soul. What is not to love about that? Yet, much like my relationship with ballet, yoga was for those with flexibility and grace. It was, most certainly, not for me. Despite my certitude, a good friend dragged me to a yoga class many years ago. I was afraid of being embarrassed, falling, and being the only one in the room who could not reach her toes. I went anyway. As the class ended, I was lying in savasana with an amazing sense of what I can only call a big-hearted feeling of love and happiness.
You see, yoga was for me and my tight hamstrings. It turns out that you don’t need to be perfectly graceful and flexible. You just need to be. And so, this is why I teach. I want to show you the way to that big-hearted love and happiness. And maybe somewhere along the way, your hamstrings will let go a little bit and you will find your toes.
When I walked into Power Yoga Buffalo on Elmwood Ave I could barely handle the fire of my emotions. My meditation practice brought up many buried emotions and patterns and I couldn’t find a place for them. I had done yoga in the past and I knew that it could help me. I was apprehensive to go to a studio. I have always kind of felt like I was from outer space and I didn’t think I was going to fit in. I was extremely nervous. I thought a bunch of “normal” people would see me as some weirdo.
PYB was nothing like I expected. I signed up for the new student special. I found a lot of peace in my yoga practice. I realized yoga was the missing component in my life. Whenever things were extremely challenging, and I didn’t know if I could continue to deal with so many difficult emotions, I knew I could count on my yoga practice. Being able to rely on 60-75 minutes of peace a day gave me strength to continue. A lot of trying experiences came up, but I could turn towards them thanks in part to my yoga practice and PYB.
In Buddhist practice, we take refuge in the three jewels. One of the jewels is Sangha, it is a Pali word that roughly translates as community of practitioners. I feel the community at PYB is part of my Sangha. I don’t know if maybe I am a “normal” person or everyone a PYB is bunch of weirdos, but I know I found a place where I feel like I belong.
It was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in 2012, 3 months after my back surgery. I was terrified to exercise and move. My sister in law, Jody, who is also a teacher at PYB, brought me to the 9:30 class. We put our mats down in the front of the room on the right hand side. The front ?!? Are you kidding me? I began to move, move in ways my body had never experienced. I was a rower, a soccer player, a runner. The types of sports where one has to push fast and hard. I surrendered and allowed my body to just move. I remember standing in my first tree pose, tears streaming down my face, not because I was sad or hurting, but because I was, for the first time, able to be present, to feel, to experience a practice that combines mind, body and SPIRIT!
Yoga is just that, you will have good days and bad on and off your mat. Yoga gives you the opportunity to say it’s OK to just be. I swear and sweat on my mat with my PYB family, but I laugh and smile more. Get on your mat, move, sweat… we got you! Be a yes for yourself and the change will be extraordinary!( PS. I still practice in the front.)
I began my yoga journey in the Fall of 2011. After my first class I felt so complete. I left feeling completely lit up, inspired, and like I could do anything. I felt an instant connection with the practice and I simply desired to learn more. My practice has been an incredible act of self-care, which allows me to move my body in a way that is powerful, grounding, nourishing, and mentally and physically challenging. My yoga practice is a catalyst for personal growth, which continues to propel me further along my physical and spiritual journey.
I recognize that we are all more alike than we are different, and Baptiste yoga truly creates a space for people to get out of their own way so they can re-discover their inner light. I teach Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga proudly because of all of the gifts I have received from this beautiful practice, and I wish to serve others by sharing the practice that I love.
You know how you remember your first yoga class so distinctly? The room, the atmosphere in the class, the teacher? Twelve years ago (!) I took my first Baptiste class at the YMCA in Charlotte, North Carolina and I have never looked back. That was a game changing moment in my life without question. It was a killer combination of sweat, physical challenge and words that resonated for me on a level I hadn’t experienced in any of the other fitness classes I’d tried.
What I’ve learned most from my practice over the years is to keep asking more from myself while at the same time accepting where I am right now as OK. Classic yoga teacher talk, right? There was nothing to ‘fix’ about myself when I first started (even though I had zero yoga game, by the way) but there was a huge amount of growth possible on and off the mat which has enriched my life so much! I feel better about who I am as a mom, wife, friend and human being through taking on this practice.
I was in waist deep with diapers and bottles and I knew I needed something, something outside of being a mom. For some reason I thought of yoga. I thought that Yoga might be a place where I could find a peaceful escape, a place where I could go to find a quiet stillness from the inevitable insanity of three small kids. I didn’t know anything about yoga so it didn’t occur to me that ‘Power Yoga’ was anything more than some gentle stretching and meditation. I remember leaving my first class…. it looked like I just jumped in a pool, I felt weak and shaky but, strangely, so invigorated and I couldn’t wait to go back! As I started to gain strength, I started to see my own progress and I was hooked.
As my children got a little bit older and my love for power Yoga grew. I decided that I wanted to deepen my practice and go to Level 1. Then a year later, Level 2 plus some weekend trainings. I didn’t attend these trainings to become a yoga instructor. I never thought of myself as a teacher plus I HATED public speaking! With some gentle encouragement from our yoga community I decided that instead of living my life in accordance with what I feared, I should live my life open and free from anything that may limit me. Yoga has led me down a different path than I had once planned and I’m so grateful for this journey and the life that I live. Every choice I’ve made has led me to where I am today, every obstacle I’ve overcome has made me a better more whole person. Yoga continues to challenge me mentally and physically and I’m so thankful to be able to share the gift of yoga.
Searching for physical healing, I was guided to yoga in 2012. Physical benefits were only a small portion of what I received from beginning a yoga practice. Through asana, I find strength and courage. In practicing intentional breathing, I find openness in my heart, body, and mind. And meditation, this is where I learn to just BE.
As a teacher, it is my honor to lead the practice that I owe so much to. I hope to create a space of endless possibility, and a place for my students to discover these miracles within themselves!
I grew up dancing well over 25 hours a week – it quite literally consumed my life. Transitioning to life outside of the studio and into a professional corporate career, I felt a huge sense of disconnect with my body. While having lunch with a coworker, I mentioned how I was feeling lost without dance in my life and bored with weights and cardio at the gym. She mentioned three magical words that I am forever appreciative to her for – Power Yoga Buffalo.
I vividly remember my first class, laying in Savasana and thinking that there was something magical about this space and the practice. I jumped head first into the practice, attending Level One training only 6 months into practicing.
This practice has continued to open doors for me that I never thought were possible in my life. Before coming to this practice, I was in a constant dance of trying to get everything in my life ‘right’ – the stereotypical Type A perfectionist was at my core. While I still find myself as always trying to get it right, I continue to learn so much about myself through this practice. I have learned that I am stronger than I will ever give myself credit for, to not be afraid of making mistakes, taking risks – and yes, fall both on and off my mat, only to get back up and try again. I learned that life so closely resembles the practice on the mat. There are difficult poses and times in your life, but by finding breath, believing in yourself, and surrounding yourself with a community of like-minded people, anything is possible.
I am humbled to share this practice with others and constantly look forward to share the pure joy and love that yoga has brought into my life.
I am a recovering hider. I share my story because I never want to forget my why – living life fully, courageously, and unabashedly. My why is what keeps me growing every single day, and I discovered it at PYB. I took my very first yoga class on April 4, 2015. I thought I was in the best shape of my life upon entering this class. I was a distance runner for years and did everything from boot camps to crazy workouts. By the end of this class though, I sat in a puddle of my own sweat thinking that was the hardest thing I have ever done. This was the start to my yoga journey and the journey inward to myself. One class at a time, I was discovering who the real Anastasia was and possibility began to unfold. To share my journey in a bio does not do this process justice. I now consider myself to be in the best shape of my life – physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am amazed every day by the gifts I receive with this practice. Yet, it is continuous work – the journey is never done. This practice is a dance between holding on and letting go and testing my perceived limits. It has taught me to be bold, authentic, honest, and to live life full on, no matter the obstacle. You can unleash this same magic if you are up for the challenge. I began teaching in 2017 and am proud to call myself a Tier 2 Certified Baptiste Yoga Leader. When I am not practicing or dreaming of yoga, I enjoy traveling, hiking, running, and working with Africa Yoga Project. I have traveled through 28 countries on four continents and have hiked various mountain ranges including Kilimanjaro, the Andes and Cotopaxi, and the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. What’s next? Ask me.
In 2011, I was lucky enough to stumble upon yoga and started to practice at home. A few months later I went to a studio and I will never forget my first class. It was the first hour in a long time that I can remember not worrying about anything. Not if I sent that work email, not what errands I had to run- I was fully present in both my body and my breath.
That stillness in both my mind and body had immediate effects. I was transformed and as much as I knew I would continue to practice, I knew I would teach. It was challenging, sure, and continues to be, but that is what keeps bringing me back and that is what allows me to see what is possible. I hope to do that for as many people as I can and am honored to share this practice.
I can proudly say I am a ‘yoga nerd’. My background consists of years as a ballet dancer, practices in Ashtanga, vinyasa, Yin, hatha, Baptiste and Bikram yogas. Ballet and a childhood ‘second mom’, we fondly refer to as Swami Mommy, brought me to yoga and life kept bringing me back, until I finally decided to teach. When I first learned of Baptiste yoga, it felt like I had found my people but there was no Baptiste yoga in Buffalo. I would watch videos and read books thinking “I’ll never get to really practice and teach this kind of yoga.” At some point in time, PYB quietly opened and a couple of friends went. One said to me “I think I found your people. They are all sweating together in a little studio in Snyder. I didn’t like it but you are going to love it.” I checked out the website and holy s%^&, there it was, Baptiste Yoga. A short time later I was finally learning and training with Baron himself and practicing and learning from the two brave souls who took the leap of faith and opened Power Yoga Buffalo. My trainings, so far include Kundalini, vinyasa and Baptiste yoga, as well SUP yoga and certification to teach Paddle boarding without the yoga but I never plan to stop learning. The life experiences that, in between car accidents and scooter crashes, kept bringing me back-divorce, infertility, depression, career changes, needing to dig deep and let go- along with my love of dance, music, surfing, kickboxing and the vast and beautiful array of yoga styles informs my personal practice and teaching but power yoga still feels the most natural to me and is at the heart of what I do. So be ready for anything when you SHOW UP in my class.
I was bribed with a pair of yoga pants to my first class by my mom. I had recently finished undergrad, and my career as a college athlete ended. I loved an intense trip to the gym that was full of sweat, reps, music, and feeling sore. It was clear I knew nothing about PYB!
Yoga has enhanced my life in so many ways. Most importantly I have become fearlessly present in my practice, teaching, and life. I take the lessons I’ve learned to the grocery store, driving down Main Street, and to my little students at school. I have found the courage to do things that make me uncomfortable, truly see and purely listen, and to always be up to something bigger than myself.
Now is the perfect time to put on your favorite pair of yoga pants and join us on this incredible journey that will change your life. If not now…when?
A competitive athlete from a young age, Marie spent her childhood swimming and rowing, and grew those skills to become a nationally competitive elite level snowboarder. Through her athletic experiences, she found herself drawn to a major in Health Care Studies with a focus on strength, conditioning and wellness. This path pulled her to start exploring the more subtle movement of yoga, and she eventually got trained to teach Baptiste Yoga, followed by an advanced 300-hour training at Green Monkey Yoga in Vinyasa yoga (E-RYT500 hr). In addition to her vast asana knowledge, Marie’s no stranger to movement and self care – she’s a NASM certified personal trainer and certified in Reiki Healing Levels I & II, and a certified Stand Up Paddle Yoga Teacher. Movement is her touchstone, and this practice brings her back to herself over and over again in her wanderings of the world.
In 2014, she started SUP Yoga Buffalo, bringing her passion for yoga and boards together. She splits her time teaching yoga and SUP yoga here in the Buff, and leading retreats and classes at her home-away-from-home, the RipJack Inn in Playa Grande, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. She uses yoga and SUP yoga as her outlets to get connected and give back to the world with an annual fundraiser called SUP for Pups.
I grew up playing sports and going to gyms. Yoga was not in my rotation. If I wasn’t sweating and pushing myself, it wasn’t worth my time I thought. Boy was I wrong. I remember walking into my first Power Yoga Buffalo class. We were mat to mat but, magically, everyone made it work. After 75-minutes, I was lying in a pool of sweat, heart racing, humbled yet invigorated. I will never forget the energy in that room from the teacher and students. We were strangers but we were for each other and I had never experienced that on the treadmill.
My type-A personality kept coming back partly to get the poses “right” but also to experience the joy and gratitude that each class exuded. The more I returned the more I realized the physicality was only part of it. I learned to listen to my breath, slow down, and soften around certain poses which allowed me to go somewhere new. That somewhere new was usually in millimeters but that’s what’s great about one’s yoga practice! There’s never a finish line, it’s constantly evolving – like life.
Every time I get on my mat, I am grateful for the opportunity to move my body with this community. This practice has given me so many tangible and intangible gifts and it lights me up to be able to share this practice with others.
Power Yoga is like the first time you watched your favorite movie, played your favorite sport, and travelled to your favorite place in the world. Once it happens you wonder how you lived without it, but you’re stoked to have it now. The rest is history – get to class. I was born and raised in Buffalo. I’m a Baptiste Certified teacher and Baptiste upper leadership training program F.I.T. November Project co-leader, and a recipient of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership young professional award 2018. Division one Athlete, Boston marathon and World Triathlon Championships qualifier, competed in World’s Toughest Mudder and Spartan Race World Championships. Yogis in Service board member and Albright Knox Art Gallery Convergence Council board member. Lululemon Ambassador.
Letting go of my old stories and being vulnerable enough to really be seen are some of my most powerful experiences practicing at Power Yoga Buffalo. Prior to completing Baptiste programs Level 1 and 2, I spent a lot of time comparing myself to the physical breakthroughs of others and was literally standing in my own way of happiness and progress. When I began to focus on the person on my mat, practice and life became more joyful and breakthroughs come at the most unexpected times. I love creating fun and playful kids classes with activities, music, and stories while leaving space for them to lead the practice. I teach adults as though they are moving from their inner child with curiosity, joy and playfulness!
I walked in to my first class at Power Yoga Buffalo on January 11, 2011. It was the middle of winter, so when a co-worker suggested I join her for a yoga class in a 90-degree room, I was game. It was the perfect blend of sweat, stretch and soul and I was immediately hooked. I wasn’t sure what would surface from this, I just knew to “Do my practice and all is coming” (–Sri K. Pattabhi Jois). Over the next few months, the transformations started to appear – subtle, but noticeable in my mind and body. Through the mysterious blend of breath and asana, my mind was gaining clarity, and my soul had never been more grateful for all the blessings in my life.
In January 2012, I attended a Foundations in Action program with Baron Baptiste. There were over 300 yogis converged in a hotel ballroom. This is when I realized that it wasn’t just me! This practice truly is transformational. That weekend I knew I had to share this secret with others. After countless hours in the studio learning everything I could, I attended Level One and Level Two training with Baron Baptiste and Paige Elenson. Since then, I’m blessed and honored to have the opportunity to share this practice with you.
“Before you’ve practiced, the theory is useless. After you’ve practiced, the theory is obvious.” – David
Yoga has been a part of my life for over 10 years, and my practice has helped me grow stronger, more flexible and fearless, both on and off my mat. And, as a busy entrepreneur, having balance in my life is really important to me, and yoga has been at the forefront of this.
I also find joy and ease in teaching, a natural extension to share the connection within a real community of like-minded people of all types. I have been teaching at Power Yoga Buffalo for over three years. As a Baptiste certified teacher, I continue to expand my knowledge through Baptiste training and being an active part of the Baptiste community.
You may find my classes have a slower than usual pace with a soulful flow and messages that hope to help you find your own power and clarity. I hope to see you on your mat!
I came to the practice of yoga looking for something I could not define. For many years, my mind and body were disconnected from each other and I spent a lot of time unconsciously trying to figure out how to get away from myself. However, months into the practice, I began to realize that the years I spent feeling down about how my body looked or worked were wasted time, because my body was actually strong and flexible and powerful. I learned that it was possible to be in my body and not run away or feel badly about it. In short, I started to trust. I learned that it is possible in each moment to be both perfect where I am, but also to strive hard for what is next.
The practice that started as mostly a physical challenge to myself continues to show me I am capable of way more than I believe. As time went on, I gained strength, balance and flexibility, but more importantly, I gained patience with myself, with others, and found a beautiful community. A whole world has opened up.
My journey in the practice has been the greatest gift because it works to cultivate steadiness, ease and unconditional love. It has given me so much that I have no choice but to share it.
When I began practicing yoga at Power Yoga Buffalo several years ago, it did not take me long to realize that part of the magic was the experience of being truly seen. Something about this practice clicked for me as a psychologist but also appealed to me as a historical non-athlete. I love the message of this practice, which is that it is ok to be the lovely mess that you are – but at the very same time – that you can get lit up to be your most amazing self. Not from a place of less than, but from a place of abundance.
The physical practice of yoga is what allows me to strip so much away, allowing me to find split seconds of a quiet mind I have never experienced before. The hours of sweating onto my mat became a peeling away of emotional and physical things that do not need to be there. I learned that I do not need discomfort to leave in order to be happy. It holds up a mirror, to let me know what my work is. It reminds me to be brave, accepting, and to have compassion. If I can be with the discomfort, rather than focusing my energy on getting rid of it, I can get someplace new.
Sharing this practice, especially with young people, is an honor and a joy. Helping guide people to find something inside themselves they never knew was there is an amazing privilege for which I am very grateful.
I took many yoga classes and tired other styles of yoga before my first Baptiste class. Initially my perception of yoga was focused on the physical aspects. My intention was to try yoga as a compliment to my other exercise routines. Being an athlete for most of my life I would worry about my performance. I would worry about what I looked like and wonder if I was doing the pose correctly.
Coming to Power Yoga Buffalo has shifted my perception. Now, yoga for me is much more than the physical. Yoga has taught me to view the body and mind as one inseparable whole being. I have been able to see beyond physical to discover a deeper connection from within. To be able to access the this has lead me on a beautiful unfolding journey of self growth, expansion, and possibility.
Because of my eagerness to learn and grow, I chose to complete the Kids Baptiste Certification and the and the 200-hour Trauma Informed Yoga Certification from Yogis in Service. I absolutely love teaching kids yoga and it brings me joy to share with my community!
I grew up playing sports. As an athlete, my body was used as a line of defense for many years, and I was willing to bare scars and bruises for the sake of winning, for the sake and thrill of competition. I entered my first yoga class with the mindset of “this will be easy.” Humbled doesn’t even begin to describe the way I felt as walked out of class that day. And so began my yoga journey. A journey that began by hiding in the back of the room, continues through Baptiste training and has led me to stand firmly at the front of the room to teach and share all that I have to offer.
When I teach I challenge, I give, and I show up to encourage students to continue to strive to be the best possible version of themselves. The version that loves who they are, where they are and the body they possess. I am blessed with the opportunity to teach and share this practice with such an incredible community.
I am a runner. I live to run. When I can’t run I live to run again. When I can run, I live to run again. Post second child, before I was cleared to run again, I went to yoga class. I went because someone suggested I give it a try. I hoped that my second post-partum journey would feel better than my first. I was captivated as I learned quickly that yoga is so much more than a workout. It is a lifestyle. I learned that you can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself. I found a new peace.
I am also a teacher of small children. I found myself going to work with a new sense of presence and patience with my students. I learned how to listen and realized that for so many years I had been doing it so wrong…always rushing around caught up in getting the material covered and worrying about getting to the next lesson on time. I learned to slow down to go fast and appreciated my students in a new way.
I quickly realized that if this is good for me, it will be good for my students too. We began doing yoga in my classroom along with mindfulness activities. I was amazed at how my students responded and at how they found new calmness in themselves. I was also amazed at how much they loved knowing the yoga language as I heard stories from parents of their children bringing yoga into their homes. I feel so lucky to be able to share my love of yoga with the children of Power Yoga Buffalo. I am a yogi.