Teachers


Pam Skop

Pam is a licensed mental health counselor, registered yoga teacher, and postpartum doula. She strongly believes in the mind body connection and the healing powers of yoga. She’s grateful to have the opportunity to teach with THAY and learn from the amazing students served by the organization. When not on the mat, Pam owns a psychotherapy private practice in Manhattan, where she focuses on working with individuals in their childbearing years, as well as those struggling with eating disorders, and trauma. She is an avid lover of nature and enjoys spending her free time with her family.

Symone New

Symone is a 200 hour certified yoga teacher. Symone has also received training in yin yoga, restorative therapeutics, prenatal yoga, and kids yoga. Teaching for THAY was a dream come true for Symone given her commitment to yoga service, longtime residency in uptown Manhattan, and deep passion for yoga as a form of healing and self-care. Outside of yoga, Symone works full time in development/fundraising and is also a full-spectrum doula.

Nikki Walker

Nikki (spiritual name Charan Kavita Kaur) is a certified kundalini yoga teacher. She started teaching with THAY in 2018 and currently teaches trauma yoga classes at The Bridge and TOP Goddard. She is having the time of her life learning and growing from the work THAY gives to the world.

Sonya Choudhury

Sonya had the honor of going through the THAY training to become an instructor. and for the past two years has been teaching chair yoga to elderly individuals at the Harlem Food Bank. It is always the highlight of her week and she loves being able to share this gift of yoga with th elderly. In her professional life, she is a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner at the New Jewish Home on the UWS and active in many volunteer organizations including Achilles International, New York Cares and West Side Campaign Against Hunger.

Felicia Reid

A lifelong student of yoga turned teacher, Felicia teaches to connect. In the words of Ram Dass, “We are all just walking each other home” – we all need each other. She teaches because she loves knowing that the simple act of sharing her knowledge can make a world of difference for someone. We can all thrive on what’s already within us if we understand that all we need to do is breathe. Felicia is (RYT 200) trained at Yogaworks, NYC and Duke Integrative Medicine, NC and is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (in training).

Jacqueline Sailor

Jacqueline (RYT200) brings trauma-informed, mindfulness-based yoga to people navigating addiction, poverty, homelessness, and incarceration at New York Harm Reduction Educators, NYC jails and shelters. Using a gentle approach infused with warmth and humor, Jacqueline guides her students to discover inner peace and connections with body, heart and soul by facilitating mindful movement, breath awareness, and meditation. Jacqueline thanks her teacher Dharma Mittra for encouraging her on the path of service. She has also trained in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga with the Trauma Center at Justice Resources Institute, with Liberation Prison Yoga, and others, and in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Jacqueline is also a lawyer in New York City.

Tim Lewis

Tim is originally from Flint, MI and is the youngest of four boys. He has lived in NYC for about 10 years and is a NYC Department of Education high school biology teacher. Tim enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures, reading, training Capoeira, and practicing yoga. He is a registered 200 Hour Yoga Teacher and a recent THAY graduate from our Spring 2020 class. Tim has recognized the power of yoga and his goal is to share his knowledge through the practice encouraging a mind, body, spirit connection. He has had the opportunity to share this with his family, including his mother who is a COVID-19 survivor.

Learn more about Tim's experience CLICK HERE
I got involved in yoga because I thought it would be a great way to recover after my capoeira training, and I wanted to get more flexible. I tried Bikram a few times but had never started to explore postures or benefits beyond just following along in class. I then started practicing with a teacher who practiced Ashtanga and she would describe it to me, and I was super intrigued by it. I started researching places that offered Ashtanga and she would also mention names of teachers. The more I read, the more I wanted to try the practice. Around this time I had learned about the candlelight NYE class at Land. I’ve always been a bit of a “just try it and see what happens” type of person and in that- have tried to be receptive of how the experience makes me feel. The feeling after class was amazing and taking the risk again, when I learned of the 2 for 1 special I jumped to it. In my research I had read about the traditional ways which Ashtanga was taught and practiced and being a school teacher, I didn’t think I’d be able to commit to the early morning practices,6 days a week, etc. So my all or nothing mentality made me not go back until February. During my February break, I started the practice and everything about it spoke to me.

I noticed a lot of changes in the quality of my thoughts and in my physical body. Sure enough I was recovering better and I was not only getting more flexible, but stronger. The inspiration to teach came more so from a desire to learn more about the practice, versus teaching yoga classes per se. Additionally, it came during a time when I was suffering extreme burnout from teaching and needed something to light the fire again. I learned about Breathe for Change in an advertisement. The 200h training experience opened me up to SO much that I could not have even imagined or planned for. I found myself as 1 of 4 males in the entire training of 75-80 total trainees. During the training is where I’d say I really started to discover some of my own trauma, including what it meant to be born and raised in a place like Flint, MI. Through this lens is where I could really see the benefit of yoga amongst my family, friends, etc. As my parents get older and I learn more about the mind, body, and spirit connection- I’ve wanted to introduce them to aspects of the practice. My mother tested positive and was hospitalized with Covid-19 earlier this year and I noticed a complete openness and receptivity to what I’d encouraged for years before, once she recovered. The receptivity was towards attending to herself and all aspects of her health. While she was hospitalized I would talk to her about watching her breath when she began having difficulty breathing and could literally only listen.

I learned about THAY through posters at Land Yoga and the concentration on Trauma Informed Yoga seemed to fit with my work. Once I completed the training, I saw an opportunity of how it could be a way to introduce my mom to the practice and so I did. It’s been amazing to have set times that I’m connecting with my mom in this way every single week. Even my dad will peek his head in our classes, but I think it will be a bit of a harder sell for him. Although, during the time when my mom was in the hospital and he couldn’t go visit her or have anyone visit him, we would do regular morning phone calls to stretch out his back. Given the bit that I know and have experienced through my own practice and study, I really feel as though I’m giving my mom a gift each time we practice. She has started to invite friends of hers and other family members. The tools and resources from the training Have not only made the physical practice more accessible, but also provided ways to navigate some of the negative self-talk of “I will never be able to do that”. Additionally, it’s been an interesting way to begin developing vocabulary around teaching and providing clear directions and examples.

SIGN UP
FOR THE
THREE AND A
HALF ACRES YOGA

NEWSLETTER