Our Teachers

 

Maggie Heinzel-Neel

The peaceful feeling I receive from practicing yoga asana (poses) and pranayama (breath work), as well as the empowerment from becoming strong and flexible, is at the core of my teaching.  After years of debilitating back pain and a very inflexible body, I finally took my first yoga class.  People say that they’re not flexible enough for yoga, if they only knew what I looked like (for a very long time) in my practice! But what made me stick to it is how I felt afterward; elated.

I love to combine a wide range of experiences; a dynamic physical workout with precise alignment instructions, focus on breath within the poses and in pranayama, spiritual reflection, and a mindfulness observation that leads to a meditative experience. My prime focus is on the breath, throughout the entire class, which provides a cleansing from the inside out.  I strive to teach an equal part of challenge and nurture, a balance of feminine and masculine. As the breath, heart and body all work together, I hope to lead  students to a deep feeling of connection and wholeness that helps to stay focused and quiet the mind.

My initial training came from a foundation in Iyengar Yoga, then Ashtanga, resulting in an alignment based vinyasa flow that’s a slightly slower vinyasa then the typical vinyasa flow, emphasizing on alignment as we move with a rhythmic breath.  I am also trained in Medical Chi Gong, using the 5 elemental theory to guide the practices according to the seasons, that I overlay in the Meridian Flow Yoga+Qigong.  This is the ultimate combination of a strong physical practice combined with a deep inner focus of moving our prana (chi) in the patterns of the energy highways.  It’s a unique combination that is deeply healing.

Here’s what students are saying about Maggie

 

Michael Gould

When I discovered yoga, not only did I get into better physical shape, heal my injuries, and reduce stress, I found a way to fill a deep spiritual hole in my life. In my teaching I create a peaceful, nurturing, and safe space. With an awareness of breath and body, we ground ourselves in the moment. From this solid foundation we move in flowing and playful sequences that challenge us physically, mentally, and spiritually. The music and the underlying yogic theme of the class inspires us as we move. My physical adjustments lead to better understanding of the poses, which make us strong and confident and able to feel at home in the practice.

We learn to trust ourselves, while we approach challenging poses with a sense of humor, learning not to take ourselves too seriously. I stress that striving for perfection is not the goal of yoga, but rather to notice the beauty, the peace and the sense of play in every moment. We are all already perfect in every way. We try as hard as we can, and let go of the results of our efforts. Let’s have fun and feel good, knowing that yoga always works.

Here’s what students are saying about Michael

John Orcutt
 
I have always been active, a runner, swimming, hours of racquetball, golf, but  for whatever reason Yoga was never on my radar.  Until I took my 1st class, I WAS HOOKED! The practice of yoga to me is just so multi-
dimensional, not only physically, but mentally as well. The asanas require poise-strength-balance and the movements connected to our breath and mind elevate the entire experience. I sincerely believe in the maxim
that Yoga is for everyone and it’s never to late to begin.
 
My classes are always a little different and can be challenging, but they are designed for participation by yogi’s of all level.  Adding bits of humor and playfulness and sometimes lighthearted movements to my classes
keep them fun as well as challenging. My aim is to provide a supportive energetic environment for the students to discover the power of the practice for themselves.

Michael Stein

Michael Stein has been practicing yoga for many lifetimes but still hasn’t quite figured it out. During his most recent incarnation he has been teaching for over thirty years. Shortly after moving to New Paltz, NY in 1999, Michael opened Ashtanga yoga of New Paltz, where he taught for fifteen years and led multiple teacher training programs.

Michael has led dozens of workshops all over the Hudson Valley and in Bath, England where he taught briefly. His workshops and intensives include: Anatomy for Yoga & Pilates, Core strengthening, and Pranayama. Nothing makes Michael happier than imparting his love of yoga to students. His classes blend traditional Hatha Yoga with Vinyasa, Pilates, Restorative and some truly awful anecdotes.

Michael also teaches private yoga and core stability to anyone who would like to improve their overall fitness in order to become more confident in all physical endeavors.