Marni Sandler, Founder, RYT
With a background and Masters Degree in Interactive Media for Children, Marni knew it was time to bring her two favorite worlds together. While her career in Interactive Media and Advertising has given her the opportunity to produce work for organizations such as Nickelodeon Films, Disney.com, HBO Family, 4Kids Entertainment, Sesame Street, Teletubbies/PBS and National Geographic – she can’t think of anything more interactive than a Kids Yoga Class!
As a mom and kids yoga teacher, Marni believes that learning and growth happen best through play and founded Monkey Do! on those principles. Her desire to bring yoga to children, led her to Shakta Khalsa’s Radiant Child Teacher Training program. The program included training in Yoga for Autism, ADHD and Differently Abled Children – with Allison Morgan of Zensational Kids. Marni truly believes that yoga is an important way to help all children, including those with sensory processing disorders reach their full potential.
After practicing yoga for over 20 years, Marni is thrilled to have the opportunity to help foster a community focused on Children’s health, confidence, imagination and overall well being.
Alex Venier Ledesma, RYT
Alex grew up on a family farm in the Tyrolean Alps of Austria and has lived in the U.S. since 1997. She first encountered yoga in 2001 while working as a pre-school teacher at a Montessori school in Miami Beach, FL. She was inspired. Alex began practicing yoga herself and incorporating yoga routines in the classroom for her young students. She completed Radiant Child teacher training in 2005 and began offering yoga classes to children in Washington D.C. and Alexandria, VA. In 2007, Alex completed the 200-hour yoga teacher training at US1, a Yoga Alliance registered yoga school, and has been a yoga instructor (to adults as well as children) ever since. Alex is also a mother of two and during both pregnancies maintained a consistent yoga practice. In 2008 Alex completed the Prenatal Teacher Training through Yoga Works, taught by Carrie Parker Gastely. She can attest first hand to the many benefits of prenatal, postnatal, and “Mommy & Me” yoga. Alex has offered yoga classes in both the U.S. & Europe. She is fluent in English and German.
Alex feels deep gratitude towards all the teachers, students and supportive family members and friends that have guided helped, and inspired her along the way. Alex is especially thankful to her children who made her a mom, amaze and challenge her every day anew.
Beau Dobrikov, RYT
As a mother of a blossoming 12 year old daughter that keeps her busy; when Beau isn’t instructing, she keeps her hands full by diving into the creative arts. She is a knowledgeable instructor that teaches from a place of love and compassion. Her belief is “If you can breathe you can benefit from yoga. The more body awareness you gain, the better prepared you are to take on dreams.” Beau takes a personal and individualized approach to teaching yoga, influenced by her own experience as a practitioner of Hatha, Vinyasa, and Baptiste. She guides students through asana based on both breath and body awareness, that extends off the mat into the real world that will help you stay centered. Beau’s classes are accessible to beginners while challenging for intermediate practitioners.
Catharine Rykowski is a licensed Physical Therapist who concentrates in the treatment of children with neuromotor and sensory motor impairments. She attended The George Washington University and graduated in 2011 with a doctorate in physical therapy. Previously Catharine attended The College of William and Mary (’06) where she earned a BA in Psychology and Studio Art. She is a former swimmer, a recreational runner and triathlete, as well as a wanna-be yogi. Catharine’s passion in life is movement. She believes strongly in the need for children to move and explore their environments in order to learn and grow. Catharine currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband, 1 year old son, and her beloved dog Dubi.
Danielle Medina, RYT, AFAA, ACE
Danielle is a Brooklyn College graduate with a B.S. in nutrition science and health promotions. She has over 10 years experience working in private and corporate health club facilities. She has worked with children in several daycares, preschools and private schools around the metropolitan area.
Her approach to children’s yoga and fitness is fun, dynamic and creative. The children leave class feeling stronger, more focused, flexible and confident. Danielle holds certifications with the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America, the American Council of Exercise, Yoga Alliance, Zumba®, Karma Kids Yoga, Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness.
Ella Ayscue, RYT
Originally from North Carolina. Ella has been super active all her life, with martial arts, rock climbing, hiking, camping, and generally annoying her Mom with as many grass and mud stains on her clothes as possible. Yoga is her passion; she loves teaching children and adults of all levels and strengths. She practices yoga first for the physical health benefits and later for the mental and emotional. She believes practiced movement and mindfulness are great tools to take into adulthood, especially when introduced with a lighthearted and joyful approach! She also has a special place in her heart for kids with ADHD and caretakers in need of a calm mind.
Erika Odegard, RYT