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Ashtanga is accessible to everyone of all ages from individuals new to yoga to those who have been practicing for years. Instruction is given from teacher to student on an individual bases. Poses are added to an individuals practice as they gain strength and flexibility.


Mysore is the traditional way of learning Ashtanga yoga, named after the city in India where Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the guru of Ashtanga Yoga, lived. The lineage is now held by Jois’ grandson, Sharath Jois.


Mysore is for everyone who is willing and eager to start their own yoga practice. In the beginning you get a small portion of the Ashtanga Yoga sequence, adding poses as you and your teacher see fit.


Mysore times are open practice sessions. You can arrive anytime as long as you have time to finish prior to the end of session.


No, Mysore class is where you learn the poses from the teacher. You will learn the sequence and commit it to memory as you progress through the practice, developing your own personal spiritual practice.


Mysore Classes are the best place to start. As a beginner you are the most important person in the room. The teacher helps guide you safely through the Ashtanga Yoga sequence. Taking pieces of the practice a little at a time to aid you in building the strength and flexibility you need to continue your Ashtanga journey.

Staff List

Jean Wriedt
Jean is an avid student of yoga, violin and energy medicine. She is an experienced teacher in each of these disciplines. A graduate of Yale University, she has nearly completed a three year 200 hour teaching certification with Beryl Bender Birch and has completed a primary series training with Tim Miller. In addition, she is grateful to Val and many other teachers who have inspired her. Jean is also an accomplished violinist having performed in orchestras in Canada, Germany and the US. Through her daily work as a teacher, Jean hopes to contribute to the healing of the earth, her people and all living beings everywhere. (RYT-200)
Rebecca Roth
Rebecca began her personal journey with Ashtanga yoga when she walked through the doors of the Yoga Shala in 2004 and read the words of Shri K Pattabhi Jois “Do your practice and all is coming”. Her personal practice has evolved to include completion of the Valerie Schneiderman's training program in 2011. She is a lifelong learner and believes yoga is a path to transformation. In addition to her continued studies with Valerie Schneiderman in Ridgefield, she has had the opportunity to take workshops with many Ashtanga teachers including Sharath Jois during his last 2 visits to the United States. She holds a Masters in Education from Sacred Heart University and teaches yoga and Spanish.
Liz Wendel
Liz’s class leaves you feeling refreshed, nourished and inspired. She teaches her students to make choices that bring less stress and more joy into their lives. She has learned through her studies and practice that each day, each breath, each moment is how we establish ourselves on our path. Liz has studied Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Anusara traditions. She has also completed trainings in Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Restorative Yoga and Chair Yoga. In addition, Liz continues to work with seniors and students with limited mobility. Liz offers gratitude to every teacher she has practiced under, especially Val Schneiderman, Mary Gerdes, Bernadette Birney, Mitchel and Tracy Blier, Donna Jackson and Jillian Pransky. She also thanks all her students who inspire her with their dedication and inevitably teach her something every day.
Janell Breck
Janell has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga for 11 years. She completed Valerie Schneiderman's teacher training program in spring of 2012 and have been teaching at The Yoga Shala and privately since then. Janell loves being a part of the practice community. Community provides a place to go each and every day where people are seeking more balance and peace within and doing the work to better themselves so they can then go out into the world and be of service to others.
Bev Leighton
Beverly was introduced to the Ashtanga practice over ten years ago by her yoga colleague and long time friend Oni Ingber. She has been practicing at The Yoga Shala ever since. She has been teaching in Fairfield County since completing her RYT200 with Valerie in 2010.

After traveling to India in 2016, Beverly made some realizations about the benefits of good karma and firmly believes if more people could find time in their busy day to set aside to practice and/or meditate, the world would be a much better place. She feels fortunate to be able to pass as much of this wonderful practice as possible onto others.

The idea of concentration and focusing inward, has helped to expand her awareness to an increased responsibility to live in alignment with the person she is meant to be. Raising two beautiful daughters in sometimes not such easy circumstances, working long hours at her other jobs, the practice of yoga has helped to shift her life experience for the better, by providing her with patience, balance and peace. For that she has the utmost gratitude.

Self Practice
Occasionally, the practice room will be open for self-practice. All students with an ongoing practice are welcome to come in and practice. Please sign-in, enter silently and begin your practice. Honor the traditional teachings and only do the sequence as it was taught to you. Do not assist other students with postures. 
Stan Woodman
Stan Woodman is a Level 2 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher for the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI), in Mysore, India and the co-owner of Kaia Yoga. He took his first yoga class in 1991 and began a dedicated Ashtanga practice in 1997. Having first met Sri K Pattabhi Jois in NYC 2001, Stan eventually went to the source in Mysore India in 2003 to study with Guruji. Since then, he has made several trips to the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute, studying with its founder until his death in 2009 and eventually with Jois’ heir and grandson, Sharath Jois. Today, Stan continues his yearly pilgrimage to Mysore to study at the KPJAYI with Sharath and in the summer of 2016 completed a special two month teachers course in Mysore with Sharath. 

How did this all begin......

I took my first Ashtanga Yoga class with Beryl Bender Birch and her late Husband Thom Birch. I was mesmerized. I was hooked. I knew nothing of the tradition before taking class. The flow, the breathing, the heat, the teacher, the present moment, all gave me enough insight to feel something different from this tradition than other styles I had practiced before and I looked forward to going again!

I had just moved to The Hamptons and was looking for a yoga studio and a teacher. Well, I found one! Beryl continued to share with me all she had learned and studied about Ashtanga Yoga as taught by Sri K Pattabhi Jois. She also taught me the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the connection to what we were practicing on and off the mat. Looking back, I always feel lucky at how I began learning this tradition. I was taking 2 led classes a week with Beryl or Thom, sometimes with both of them (in a room of 10-12 people) and practicing at home the other days. Beryl soon invited me to come practice with her and small group of practitioners at her house. They had turned their old garage into a beautiful yoga room. Yes we did asana and I learned a lot more than just putting my body into different shapes. It was intense and I loved it. I learned pose by pose through all of primary and intermediate series. It was a very special, intimate, spiritual and informative time for me which set the foundation for the practitioner and teacher I am today. Thank you so much Beryl!

Patty MacRae
Yoga came to Patty in her late teens after she suffered a back injury while running on the track team. She found relief and strength enhancement by adding yoga to her running workouts. Years later, she fell in love with the ashtanga method at The Yoga Shala. In addition to completing her 200-hour teacher training under Val Schneiderman, Patty is a certified holistic nutrition coach and a certified running coach through the Road Runners Club of America.
Dominic Corigliano
Dominic’s approach to teaching Pattabhi Jois’s Ashtanga Yoga is the aggregate of 35 Years of Practice, Teaching, Observing Pattabhi Jois, and Life. He is a 65-year-old Senior Teacher and Student Certified by Pattabhi Jois and listed on Sharath Jois’s Honorary Teacher’s List. Dominic’s Ashtanga Yoga practice began with his teacher and led to a lifetime of Primary, Intermediate, and Advanced Series. “In classes, I use Ashtanga Yoga as a tool to work with individuals. The most important thing about teaching is students, their welfare, and supporting their journey.”