Lani Rosen-Gallagher | Founder and Head Yogi
I began practicing Yoga in 1995, around the same time I started my teaching career in Boston. I had just obtained a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and left Boston to pursue a job teaching first grade in Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY. There, I discovered that yoga helped my kids focus and learn in an environment that was not conducive to learning. The seed was planted!
Yoga had become an essential part of my life. And with my love for educating, it was a natural next step to get a yoga teaching certificate. In the summer of 2001, I went on to receive my 200 hour certification at the Nosara Yoga Institute in Nosara, Costa Rica with Don and Amba Stapleton, an amazing experience that led me to start an informal after-school yoga class once I returned with my certificate. The kids loved it, as did I, so in 2002, I got my children’s certifications at Next Generation Yoga in NYC and later on in Nairobi, Kenya, and through the Radiant Child Yoga Program. Finally, with both certificates in hand, my strong background in education and a deep love for all children, I moved across the country to pursue my dreams. While teaching in SF, I took the Street Yoga training course and volunteered at a homeless shelter teaching yoga to the kids who lived there. From 2003-2007, I had been teaching in preschools, yoga studios, homes, after-school programs and shelters all over the Bay Area.
I moved to CT in the fall of ‘07 and have been teaching kids yoga all over the New Haven area since. Other certifications to add to my repertoire was the Circus Yoga Ring 1 teacher training, the Baby Om teaching training, the Mindful Schools Online Course and Yoga & Mindfulness Tools for Children & Adolescents with Jennifer Cohen Harper. In addition to the teaching, I have been facilitating trainings and workshops all over the U.S. since 2005.
My favorite classes to teach are family yoga classes now that I have my own little Yogi Zephyr. In June 2013, I raised $8,000 to go to Nairobi, Kenya to work with Team Next Generation Yoga for the Africa Yoga Project. On Oct 15, 2016, I co-chaired the first Yoga Reaches Out CT event. Currently, all my donation based family yoga classes support Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services in CT (IRIS).
Teaching yoga to children is my passion and my career. I’m always looking for another chance to improve the lives and futures of children by practicing yoga with them and playing healthy games that help them find joy, laugh, love and grow.
Sasha Simone began her path as a yoga teacher in 2005 at the Sivananda ashram in Kerala, South India. She went on to study yoga on Maui with Eddie Modestini who introduced her to therapeutic yoga which he learned directly from BKS Iyengar. Sasha returned back to NYC to continue her studies of yoga therapy with Rodney Yee and is now a certified Urban Zen Integrative Therapist. She teaches therapeutic yoga classes for adults and loves teaching yoga to children in schools throughout the New Haven area. When she isn’t teaching yoga, she is in the forest with children working as an environmental educator.
Introduced to yoga at the age of 16 by a physical therapist, Mallory began using yoga as a way to alleviate the pain from growing up with scoliosis. Soon yoga became a part of her daily routine and she noticed not only physical changes but an improvement in her concentration and overall mood. Yoga continued to be a part of Mallory’s daily life as she traveled the country, eventually settling down in Northern California where she pursued an education in massage therapy and had her daughter, Annabella. After 9 years in California, Mallory returned to her Nutmeg roots, and found a happy place in New Haven. She discovered a class with Lani which started her career! Mallory’s life and yoga flow is musical, colorful, and much more fun then it used to be!!
Kate Cygler is a licensed clinical social worker, with experience supporting children’s mental health in a multitude of care settings, including residential treatment, extended day treatment, long term inpatient psychiatric care, and most recently, outpatient psychotherapy. After observing the power of present moment awareness coupled with compassion, Kate began to consistently incorporate mindfulness-based practices into both her personal and professional spheres. With the benefit of intensive training in dialectical behavior therapy, Kate began teaching mindfulness practices to adolescent girls in 2007. Over the past decade, Kate has been privileged to participate in a wide variety of professional trainings and certification programs that have helped her expand her knowledge and strengthen her mindfulness, meditation, and yoga practices. Kate has acquired certifications as a ChildLight Yoga children’s yoga instructor, children’s guided meditation specialist, and children’s mindfulness instructor. She has practiced and is trained in the Vinyasa style of yoga and became a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) in May 2019. She has also recently completed requirements for a Reiki Level 2 certification. Kate is the owner of Peaceful Pause LLC, and is committed to creating kinder, more peaceful communities by helping individuals develop mindfulness-based practices. Eager to share the gift of mindfulness with children and families, Kate has facilitated groups in the community, residential care, adolescent treatment programs, summer camps, and at public wellness festivals. By incorporating elements of relaxation breath work, yoga postures, stories, music, crafts, and rich multi-sensory experiences, Kate’s classes offer children creative and playful opportunities to develop their skills while shining their inner light. Kate resides in Waterford with her husband, two children, two fluffy mutts, a cat, and two turtles. Her soul is happiest beside the ocean. She delights in the opportunity to paddleboard, jog, walk the dogs, pick sea shells, hike, get crafty, play soccer with the family, and practice yoga.