Yoga Life

Yoga Life

Mission Statement:

At Yoga Life our intention is to create a warm welcoming environment that provides an open invitation to celebrate life, liberation and joyous expression. To help foster the notion that we can play while we work and work while we play. To appreciate that life isn’t always easy, but to approach it with ease. And more than anything else, to live, really live, and in doing so, get the most out of and put the most into each moment of this life, this yoga life.


Joanne Kane

I discovered yoga shortly after graduating from NYU in 1991. While contending with a major knee injury from dance, yoga enabled me to heal, build strength and realign my body from the feet upward. Coming from a dancer’s background, I immediately fell in love with how the movement of asana flowed into the breath, which became my music.

I completed teacher training with Yoga Zone in NYC (now ISHTA Yoga) in the Spring of 1999 and am 500-hour certified through Yoga Alliance. In 2004, I completed a four month advanced teacher training with Shiva Rea. Since my initial training, I continue to deepen my knowledge through class, workshops and conferences, and have had the opportunity to practice with an amazing group of teachers.

In October of 2001, Drew and I welcomed our daughter, Caitlin, into the world. Motherhood has proved to be one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences of my life – it is no exaggeration that our children are our best teachers. In July of 2006 we welcomed our second daughter, Ella, who brought along her own lesson plan. Motherhood has taught me the true meaning of karma yoga (selfless service) and prem (unconditional love). As a result, I have further integrated my yoga practice with my “life practice,” creating a true union of the two. Teaching is an opportunity to share what life and yoga have provided me. With each class, I hope to provide an organic, spontaneous environment that is nurturing and at the same time challenging- just like life. Observing students unfold, both physically and spiritually, is breathtaking.

Thanks to all that have helped and guided me on my own path of self-awareness! Namaste…….

Drew Kane

My first exposure to yoga came on a rainy afternoon in 1996. Joanne and I had been trying to figure out an exercise program we could participate in together. “How about yoga?,” I asked, not quite knowing where the thought came from. After groaning, tugging and grimacing my way through that first class, I would never have imagined the profound and incredible influence yoga would have on my life.

I was a certified “yoga athlete” early on. I’d bring my tight self into class once a week and try to score a “touchdown-dog.” However, in time, once a week became four times a week and more importantly, striving opened up to surrender. It was at about that time I picked up a copy of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi and a whole other side of yoga opened up to me. I began to practice yoga with my heart, along with my mind and body. I completed teacher training at Yoga Zone in NYC (now Yoga Works) in the Spring of 1999, receiving my 500-hour Yoga Alliance certification.

Everyone brings his or her own goals, intentions and yes, even baggage, to the yoga mat. It is my sincerest hope that with a whole lot of energy, creativity, inspiration and a bit of humor, we can all lighten the load – become less attached to our goals and more aware of the process, not just in class, but off the mat, where the real yoga begins.

Thanks, thanks and more thanks for my wonderful wife and kids– Joanne, Caitlin and Ella- family and friends – near and dear, new and old. For such abundance, I am truly grateful.

Dena Vigilis

I began studying yoga in 1996 as a way to improve my strength, focus, and flexibility, as well as to calm my body and mind. My personal experiences with yoga transformed my life, and I soon realized my path, combining my passion for yoga and children. Feeling and seeing the positive effects of yoga as an adult made me want to share it with children. I completed several certification programs in children’s yoga and began teaching in 2002. I founded Little Lotus Yoga in 2003. That same year I received my Pre-natal and Postpartum yoga certification so I could truly offer the gift of yoga from “womb to bloom.”

Having seen the impact practicing yoga and teaching kids yoga had on my life, I knew that I wanted to share the gift of achieving balance, calmness, stability and mental clarity with people of all ages. Through the encouragement of my teachers, Joanne and Drew Kane, my path led me to the Be Yoga adult yoga teacher training in 2005 where I received my 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification.

In March of 2006, my husband, Rick, and I were blessed with the birth of our son, Troy. Most recently, we have welcomed with joy another son, Chase, in December 2010. I have been an apt pupil of motherhood ever since- getting valuable lessons in life and love.

My intention is to teach from the heart and to give each student a piece of yoga that they can bring to their everyday life.

Shari Thompson

Kentucky born and bred, I moved to New York 19 years ago and consider this my home. Movement and the art of movement have always been an important part of my life – I studied dance for almost 20 years and owned a dance and aerobics studio in Kentucky. About six years ago someone asked me to attend my first yoga class. I’d been studying pilates for five years and had practiced nearly every other form of exercise under the sun, so I figured why not give it a try. I went to Joanne’s class with an enormous amount of reservation and doubt that I’d even like it – what a surprise I was in for. I felt great after class, invigorated, alive and happy. The people in class were friendly and encouraging, too. I knew decided that day to make yoga part of my life and with it, the community that came along with it. For me, yoga transcends physical fitness, it operates on so many other levels and truly does become a part of your life.

In July of 2007 I decided to take my yoga practice to the next level, enrolling in a 200-hour teacher training program at Om Yoga Center of New York City, directed by Cyndi Lee. I was certified in September and am a member of Yoga Alliance. The certification program deepened not only my knowledge of yoga and the beauty of this practice, but also my love and connection with all those around me. Yoga is my guiding force, my lifeline and my inspiration. Yoga has been a gift to me, one I look forward to sharing with others.

Shari lives in Port Washington, NY, with her 3 yo-guys – hubby, Will, and sons, Sam and Christopher.

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