Meet Our Team
Partner & Yoga Instructor
Marla is an E-RYT-200* and received her yoga teacher certification in 2006 in India. She has trainings in LifeForce Yoga (for anxiety, depression, and mood management), Satyananda Yoga Nidra, and Mindful Yoga Techniques for Veterans. Marla spends most of her time behind-the-scenes at Inward Office and regularly presents the Lunch and Learns for clients and the community. Her 2016 goals include a WELCOA certification and further study in Mindfulness at Work. She feels personally inspired to share the practical application of yoga’s tools to the modern lifestyle because they have seen her through many personal challenges. Yoga postures is one aspect of the practice, but the way yoga can fit into each of our lives to create inner balance is truly unique.
Yoga & MELT Instructor
After being a competitive gymnast for over 10 years Jen turned to yoga for a gentler, more balanced practice. She graduated from the Sivananda Yoga Ashram in 2003. In 2013 Jen was blessed with breaking her wrist and was introduced to the MELT Method, which increased her range of motion along with helping rehabilitate other areas Jen personally struggles with. Jen is proud to be Rochester’s first MELT instructor. Jen’s approach is well-rounded, down-to-earth, and playfully motivating to push your boundaries, while keeping you safe. A constant student herself, always learning more about anatomy, alignment, and philosophy, she is eager to pass on her knowledge.
Sarah began teaching yoga in 2006. She has a 500 hour certification from Prana Yoga College in Vancouver, B.C. For Sarah, yoga is not only a practice on the mat, but a way of life. Sarah is also a Reiki Master bringing Reiki into her yoga classes, offering a gentle, restorative relaxation at the end of each class.
Education and certification: Anusara 1 & 2, Senior Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Anusara Therapeutics, Restorative Yoga Certified by Judith Hanson Lasater, Yoga for Scoliosis, Yoga Anatomy, Yoga Philosophy with Dr. Douglas Brooks.
Ashley is a licensed Zumba® instructor. She used to struggle with commitment to exercise, until she found the Zumba® Fitness program and realized that working out could be fun! Ashley loves to dance and loves the intense cardio workout that Zumba® classes offer, while allowing her to have some fun and shake off the stress of a long workday. So, ditch your workout and come join the party!
Pilates & Yoga Instructor
Bethany Reniff has been certified in IM=X Pilates, core conditioning and toning since 2006 and completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2014. After leaving her corporate job she decided to focus solely on her career as an instrcutor. Her aspiration is to help people reach their personal fitness goals while making it enjoyable!
Joanne Wu, MD
Yoga & Pilates InstructorJoanne began her yoga journey through competitive racing in marathons and triathlons in 2005. She used yoga and competitive racing to cope with stress and keeping healthy during medical school and residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation. She also took courses in PiYo, Thai Yoga Massage, Iyengar, Restorative yoga to diversify her other fitness trainings in pilates, pilates reformer, spinning. Joanne believes in balance, and continues to learn various styles of yoga and mind/body medicine, to better serve herself, her students, and her patients. She currently works at Unity Health at the Unity Spine Center and remains faculty at University of Rochester School of Medicine who teaches medical students how to become more diversified, compassionate, and holistic. Joanne also has had additional trainings in Reiki 1, osteopathic manipulations, active release techniques, craniosacral therapy, and has completed training at Harvard University for acupuncture. Check out her website at: www.DrJoanneWu.com
Yoga InstructorSandra has been practicing for more than 10 years and began her training in Kriya yoga. After that she did her 200 hour certifications at Blue Lotus in Anusara Yoga. She regularly teaches at the YMCA and has experience teaching Chair Yoga, Beginner and Intermediate Anusara classes, Gentle yoga, and Restorative (prop supported) classes. She focuses on relieving stress through paying attention to the breath and correcting alignment. She tries to add in restorative poses in each class.
Yoga & Mindfulness Instructor
Bani has been teaching in various capacities for over 25 years. She has been practicing Yoga for over 10 years and acquired her 200 hour Yoga Certification through Open Sky Yoga here in Rochester NY. Her style of Yoga maintains the principles of her Iyengar training which has a particular emphasis on proper alignment and precision to gain flexibility and strength. She sees yoga as a science that contributes to the evolution of our consciousness. This evolution includes bodily health as well as self-realization. She believes that Yoga is not a series of poses to achieve, but rather a way of Being ones self that is not just for the young and flexible, but for everyone! She has taken several trainings to enhance her teaching including the Teacher Training for Jon Kabit Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course through the University of San Diego California Medical Center.
Jim has had a successful career as an engineer, and enjoys a diverse set of interests outside of work. His yoga practice began as a means to help with recovery from spinal surgery. He studied many different styles of yoga before finding a home at Open Sky Yoga Center, and their Iyengar-based teaching style. He received his teacher certification from Open Sky Yoga Center under the direction of Francois Raoult, and continues to study there under Rick Lynch. Jim specializes in teaching Pranayama as well as providing modifications to make the poses accessible to a wide audience. He is also a Reiki Level 1 Healer. Jim’s practice is slow, mindful, and an exploration of the mind as well as the body. He is a firm believer that the physical practice of yoga is a gateway to access the deeper benefits, which include stress reduction and management, self-awareness, and inner calm.
Body Conditioning & Core Strength Instructor
Being in sports and fitness has been a big part of Shelly’s life. She has been a working fitness instructor for 5 years teaching Zumba, Zumba Toning, Aqua Zumba, Cycling, Total Body Conditioning, Red Warrior and Beachbody’s Piyo Live. She is also a forever student, always learning more effective ways of body mechanics and proper body alignment and exercise physiology and philosophy. When not teaching fitness classes, Shelly is a school counselor and avid cheerleader at her twin daughters’ sporting events.
Eileen is a Registered Yoga Teacher and completed her 200 hr training with Blue Lotus Yoga of Rochester, NY. In addition she has pursued specialized certifications in yoga for children, prenatal/ postpartum women, addictions recovery and restorative yoga. In teaching she is inspired to create space for others to experience the transformative benefits that come with nurturing a consistent yoga practice. Her classes focus on a therapeutic approach, aligning with the universal aspects of body/mind/breath/heart, to make yoga accessible to each individual. She believes by engaging in mindful movement we are supported back into connection with ourselves, to our wholeness and goodness, and from that place we move into deeper relation with our lives.
- E = Experienced
- RYT = Registered Yoga Teacher. Registering agency: Yoga Alliance (www.yogaalliance.org)
- 200 = Number of hours for basic certification for yoga teachers through Yoga Alliance
- 500 = Number of hours of training for advanced certification in Yoga