Featured Classes

New! Back Care with Julie Brandwein
Tuesdays, 10:00-11:30 am
Starts Tuesday, January 8

We are pleased to announce that Julie Brandwein will be the new teacher for the Tuesday 10am class beginning January 8.  She has led the most popular Lunchtime Back Care Basics class on the schedule since Samamkaya’s inception and we are thrilled to have her add a morning 90 minute back care class to our roster!

Julie Brandwein, MSPT, LMT, came to yoga seeking help from a back injury and found her way into her first Iyengar yoga class with Kevin Gardiner in 1992. In this technique she found the answer she was looking for to heal her body, and began a lifelong study and practice of Yoga.She has extensive training in Iyengar Yoga, in addition to studies in the Alexander Technique, Somatics and Pilates. She has taught yoga since 1997 both here and abroad.

She has earned her Masters in Physical Therapy from Columbia University, completed training at the Swedish Institute of Massage and has certification in a Pilates for Rehab Professionals training from Polestar Pilates, Inc. Licensed in both physical therapy and massage therapy, Julie has worked in a variety of clinical specialities, including pediatrics, orthopedics, sports injury and dance injury.Her massage training includes myofascial unwinding, integrative deep-tissue massage and neuromuscular repatterning. She has a private practice in Manhattan and Brooklyn offering services in therapeutic bodywork, stress-reduction massage, and yoga privates.


Frank Ricci takes over Lunchtime Back Care
Tuesdays, 12:30-1:30pm
Starts Tuesday, January 15

Frank Ricci: After leaving behind a career in the New York fashion industry, Frank Ricci was ready to find inner peace. What began as a casual yoga practice quickly became his passion, he found his true career calling: to help heal others. Frank received his yoga teaching certificate from Yogasana in Brooklyn, where he began teaching in 2010. Since that time, he has received extensive training in therapeutic yoga, including assisting Deborah Wolk. He studies regularly with his mentors and has had the pleasure and privilege of studying with Donald Moyer in the Yoga Room. In 2011, Frank traveled to India for a 5-week course of study In Iyengar Yoga with Rajiv and Swati Chanchani. Frank’s compassionate teaching style draws from Iyengar yoga as well as the Alexander Techique, creating a unique experience that is both encouraging and challenging.

New Teacher and New Time! Ashlee Willaman takes over Tuesday Evening Back Care
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:00pm
Starts Tuesday, January 15

Ashlee Willaman is an 8-time marathoner, ultramarathoner, an RRCA Certified Run Coach and a 500 RYT. She began practicing yoga as part of her dance training at the age of 13, just around the same time she was diagnosed with scoliosis. She learned that yoga kept her back pain at bay and stuck with the practice for the next 20 years. She received her 500 RYT certification from YogaWorks in 2012 and attended a Yoga For Scoliosis Teacher Training Workshop with Elise Miller in October 2014. Having always been a mover and a shaker, when Ashlee stopped dancing she started running and found that she was drawn to long distance running. In 2012 she founded Run Like a Yogi to help athletes infuse training cycles with yoga and meditation. Her alignment-based classes focus on restoring balance to the body in order to avoid injury and recover faster. She teaches at various locations throughout NYC, is a running coach for Hot Bird Running and is on the coaching staff as a yoga instructor for Team Continuum, a charity that provides immediate and vital non-medical assistance to cancer patients and their families when the diagnosis results in disruption, hardship and uncertainty in everyday lives.