Yogamaya New York is Chelsea’s premier Yoga Studio
The studio’s owners, Stacey Brass and Bryn Chrisman are the new YOGANONYMOUS teachers of the month! Our very own Dan Wilf had a chance to sit down with Stacey and Bryn, and find out a bit more about them and about their beautiful studio. Enjoy!
DW: Thanks for taking the time to connect with us guys, I know that you both must be SUPER busy with the new studio. Can you tell us a bit about the intention behind opening up your own place?
Stacey Brass: Yes we ARE super busy but never too busy to chat about yoga and Yogamaya! Our intention behind Yogamaya was to have a place where we could share our passion for everything that is Yoga and build a community of people that want to do the same. Bryn and I have always been extremely interested in furthering ourselves as teachers by studying and going deeper with the areas of the practice that move us and now we are bringing together asana and devotion and philosophy under one roof- our dream!
DW: Awesome, and how did you and Bryn first connect?
Bryn Chrisman: Stacey and I 1st met actually at a Bikram studio in TriBeCa 11 years ago. Stacey was teaching the only Vinyasa class there, which happened to be at the same time I worked the front desk. She played music in her class that was awesome, and having only practiced Bikram up to that point, I was thrilled by the prospect of bring music during yoga!!
From there we connected very early on in our teaching based on a mutual love of philosophy, alignment, and going deeper into the Yogic Traditions! And the rest is history!
DW: Which lead you both to NYC’s Laughing Lotus, right? Did you guys start practicing over there at the same time? You guys we’re pretty instrumental over there for a bit from what I understand.
Stacey Brass: Well, I was already a teacher at Laughing Lotus when I met Bryn. She then started taking classes and eventually became a teacher there too. Yes, we were senior teachers there for a long time and taught the Teacher Training program for years. Yogamaya was the natural next step for us as we grew out of Lotus and wanted to create our own environment where we could express the practices and teachings in a way that was authentic to who we are as teachers.
DW: Ah yes, vinyasa krama at its finest! Can you tell our audience a bit more about your teaching styles and what to expect from the environment that you guys are cultivating and creating togeather at yogamaya?
Bryn Chrisman: Sure.. We love yoga & asana & all metaphors that emerge that perfectly link the asana practice with the philosophical studies of Yoga. We both love VINYASA because there is a freedom, playfulness, creativity & moving meditation that develops in a flow, like riding an ocean wave. It takes you somewhere unique and different each time, physically, mentally & emotionally… Music, Mood, Sequencing & Alignment are the things that really drive my classes. Same with Stacey, and she incorporates a super deep focus & teaching of physical alignment in her classes.
At Yogamaya we bring an awesome practice to an even higher platform by offering students asana-kicking & smart-asana classes, but also plenty of opportunity to develop their deep connection to spirit in the traditional yoga way. We have monthly spiritual teachings from qualified Gurus/teachers, rocking kirtans (which are chant parties), and all kinds of other creative events/workshops…
DW: awesome! And I know that you guys are offering a lot more than just asana classes over there as well…there always lot’s of Kirtans and other special events going on, correct?
Bryn Chrisman: Yes, and this week we have Ananta Govinda and Krishna Kishor of The Mayapuris coming Tuesday AND Thursday night for kirtan that will knock everyone’s socks off. Kirtan-wise we’ve got coming up this spring Dave Stringer, Ananda Rasa, Gaura Vani and The HanuMEN (Gaura, Benji Wertheimer, and John DeKadt), and more!
We’ve got a BIG JUICY yoga class w/ Stacey teaming up w/ DJ Hify on March 19th, some special talks with Dhanurdhara Swami on the Yoga of Forgiveness, asana clinics w/ Master Teachers like Jonathan Fitzgordon, a Harmonium Weekend Intensive! And in the Fall we’ve got an entire weekend with Jai Uttal for our 300hr Advanced Teacher Training, a Jai Uttal kirtan, Iyengar teacher extroidinaire Carrie Owerko coming to offer her brilliance, and a yoga/life-coaching collaboration with a Handel Group coach!!!
Time is flying as we get close to celebrating our 1 year (in June). So stay tuned for that extravaganza!
We’re personally behind and excited about all our offerings!
Also, I’m so excited to be teaching at Fall Bhakti Fest (the perfect yoga/kirtan festival!) and we’re even working to get the East Coast version for next year! The blessings come when you do what you love!!! HariBol!!!
DW: Awesome, follow your heart and the rest will follow. Well, thank you both so much for your time – is their anything else you’d like to tell our audience about yogamaya that we might not already know?
Stacey Brass: Well, I DO want to add that one of the reasons we opened Yogamaya was to be a great place for teachers as well as students. Bryn and I have always felt such a strong passion for teaching people how to be teachers and we are really excited to be in the middle of the first Yogamaya 200 Hour Teacher Training which we call ILLUMINATED JOURNEY. We also wanted to create an environment where teachers (from ALL studios) could continue to learn and become inspired for their classes with all of these lectures, Kirtans, workshops, etc. and also from the really mature teachers that we have on our schedule that have been teaching for many years. Oh! And we also are about to go LIVE with our Yogamaya Blog and live streaming Kirtans and video library! Basically, to sum us up, we are INSPIRED and hope to INSPIRE others with our enthusiasm and Love for Yoga!
DW: Well that certainly is inspiring! Thanks so much for taking the time to connect and share with us, we will see you at the studio soon!
Click here to visit Yogamaya’s website and learn more!