Rodney Yee has been curious about the mind and body for as long as he can remember. He was a gymnast, a ballet dancer, and a philosophy and physical therapy major. Following the thread of curiosity about mind and body, he took his first yoga class in 1980. He went to yoga in search of flexibility and found a practice that would turn into his life-long passion and career. In 1981, Rodney began to study yoga full time at the San Francisco Iyengar Yoga Institute and at The Yoga Room in Berkeley. In 1987, after becoming a certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, he opened the Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, CA, with Richard Rosen and Claire Finn.
Colleen Saidman Yee’s introduction to yoga was in 1987, at the urging of a roommate, who convinced her to attend a class in New York City. Soon after, her worn-out running shoes, her basketball, and her boxing gloves became things of the past. In 1994, after back surgery, Colleen’s commitment to her yoga practice deepened. A graduate of Jivamukti’s 1998 teacher-training program, Colleen opened her own studio, Yoga Shanti, in Sag Harbor, in 1999. She has taught several teacher trainings at Yoga Shanti, many with her husband, Rodney Yee.
Keely Rakushin Garfield maintains a spirit of philosophical inquiry and compassionate concern. Keely is a E-RYT 800 Yoga Instructor, Senior Urban Zen Integrative Therapist, Faculty member of the UZIT Program, Reiki Master, Hospice Caregiver and Zen Meditation teacher lay-ordained in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition. As a Guggenheim Fellow, Keely is an acclaimed choreographer and dancer, Artistic Director of Keely Garfield Dance, holds a MFA in Choreography from UWM, and also serves as a Professor of Dance at The New School. She leads wellness for dancer’s workshops, conducts yoga trainings and retreats and has been UZIT clinical coordinator at Beth Israel Medical Center, Farber Center for Radiation Oncology, Saint Damien’s Pediatric Hospital and Orphanage in Haiti as well as co-teaching with Rodney Yee for MIT’s Breath Hackathon. Currently, she teaches yoga at the Gaiam Wellness Studio, Area Yoga, Five Pillars Yoga, The Village Zendo, Yogamaya, Equinox, Yogaworks and Yoga Shanti.
Liz Ilgenfritz teaches at Yoga Shanti and is a graduate and faculty member of their teacher training program. Liz is also an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist and Reiki practitioner who has completed further trainings in teaching yoga for the pelvic floor. She has an innate curiosity about human anatomy and the subtle body and teaches with a very embodied, practical approach. As a lifelong athlete, her experiences in sports including tennis, kickboxing and snowboarding have provided her a broad field of knowledge in fitness and movement. Since graduating from NYU Stern School of Business, Liz's career has spanned from the trading floors of Wall Street to importing furniture from Indonesia to creating Elixir Juice Bars in 1999. As a teacher, mentor and a mother of four, Liz is perpetually interested in an exploration of the mind, body and our inner wisdom. She is forever grateful to her main teachers, Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee.
Like her book American Yoga, Carrie Schneider’s instruction taps our vantage as 21st century yogins—fed by the myriad of traditions but not limited by any one. Her classes are seriously fun orchestrations of the salutations and held alignments that show us what we are. Carrie’s first certification course, at OM Yoga in 1998, was followed by intensives with Richard Freeman (2001), David Life (2002), Ramanand Patel (2009-2017), and Rajiv and Swati Chanchani in Rajpur, India (2012). She was additionally certified by her longtime teachers Kofi Busia in 2013 and Colleen Saidman and Rodney Yee in 2016. Carrie’s ongoing inquiry has fueled group classes at Yoga Shanti, Yoga Sutra, Practice Yoga, Crunch, and the Printing House; workshops at Jivamukti, Pure, and Vira Yoga; retreats in the Finger Lakes, Samasati in Costa Rica, Menla Mountain and Ananda Ashram (join upcoming vacas at carrieyoga.com); and private sessions with devoted students, who are continually among the greatest teachers of all.
As the niece of a Mexican Shaman, Menna was exposed to holistic healing from a young age. Sage has been burning in their family home since the 60’s. Introduced to the modern wellness world and integrative practices through Donna Karan and the Urban Zen Foundation, Menna completed her Yoga Certification, was accepted into the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy training program. Menna’s training included a total of 100 clinical hours, 500 hours of yoga study, Essential oils, Reiki and Contemplative care. Menna advanced on to teaching both Yoga and UZIT at Yoga Shanti NYC and the Gaiam Wellness Studio by Rodney Yee. Creating a career in yoga, integrative therapy, and as a media producer, Menna, as a pilot coordinator, forges the pathway of UZIT into health care facilities that are seeking Integrative therapies. Menna also works with private clients, patients both in and out of the hospital, prenatal yoga clients and supports corporate wellness initiatives.