Kathryn Ellard • Bobby Boles • Leah Thomas Montegut
Kally Booras • Carol Oliver • Sophia Tamzarian • Karen La Porte
Kathryn is a native of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, but has traveled extensively and lived in places like Morocco and Haiti. She has a Masters of Public Health and has worked toward creating healthier communities around the world and right here at home in Brooklyn. Kathryn has been practicing yoga for over ten years and completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training with Health Yoga Life in Stratton, Vermont. Her goal is to make healthy lifestyles accessible to all people in her community.
In 1998 I was preparing for the NYC Marathon. My training program was about 50 miles per week and I was getting very tight and sore. The Road Runners club had a Yoga for runners class so I thought I’d check it out. After the class I felt better than I had in weeks and decided to keep going. What also intrigued me was the incredible peace and contentment I was feeling. I could see there was more to Yoga than exercise and I continued to explore different schools. This led to a real connection to Integral Yoga. I went to their teacher training to deepen my personal practice and at the time teaching wasn’t really in my plans. After graduation Integral asked me to teach and soon I realized I had found a new path. A training with Leslie Kaminoff at the Breathing Project helped me deepen my anatomy knowledge. What I learned there changed the way I teach and is the basis for how I teach today. I try to let everyone discover their own versions of the poses and let go of the idea of what the perfect pose should look like. While we all aspire to the same physical and spiritual goals we all have different bodies and challenges. After practicing my new new craft wherever someone would let me I was finally ready to open a small studio in my house which led to Yoga in Bay Ridge. While owning a studio is no longer the ideal situation for me, I love teaching and will continue as long as I can.
Leah Thomas Montegut
Leah Thomas Montegut is a yoga teacher/practitioner living in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Virginia Beach, VA, she came to NYC after receiving her B.F.A. in Dance/Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. Shortly after moving to NYC, Leah began practicing yoga and was immediately drawn to the personal, breath-centered approach offered by her first teacher, J. Brown. In 2007, Leah completed 200 hours of advanced training in yoga anatomy at The Breathing Project (NYC), where she studied with Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews. She continued her studies with J. Brown through the professional training program at Abhyasa Yoga Center (500 hours). Leah is certified to teach prenatal yoga through Integral Yoga Institute (2010), where she studied with Beth Donnelly Caban and Lara Kohn Thompson. Since 2009, Leah has been studying vedic chanting with Guta Hedewig, taught in the tradition of T. Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar. She continued her study of yoga anatomy through The Breathing Project’s advanced studies program. Leah has profound gratitude for the guidance and support of her teachers and is honored to share with her students the teachings she has received.
Kally, a Bay Ridge native and mother of two, has been practicing yoga for 10 years. She completed 200 RYT certification in the spring and hopes to share the balance and space yoga has created in her life with others. Kally's classes have an athletic flow with focus on alignment and core principles and are open to all levels looking to build or further develop their practice.
‘I started practicing yoga at time when there was a lot of change in my life, new career, recently married, starting my own family... My practice allowed me to get out of my head and focus my attention through a mind body connection I could not otherwise make. I began to see physical benefits of strength and flexibility, however the feeling of internal grounding and discovery of self care that came with yoga have truly been unexpected gifts for me. Taking the time to care for myself through yoga allowed me to approach a chaotic world with gratitude and an alternative or healthier perspective. My practice changes everyday yet I consistently get back whatever I put into it. For me, yoga mirrors life, at times it feels challenging and exciting , soothing and even uncomfortable. This keeps me returning to the mat, working to remain present and appreciative of each moment and transition that to my daily life.’
Carol is a certified 200-hour RYT instructor; she received her certification in 2016 from Jaya Yoga Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. She has been practicing yoga since 2011 and she teaches Basic Vinaysa Flow, Restorative, Chair and Gentle Yoga and practices Reiki I & II. She encourages everyone, of all body types, ages and gender to move and flow in yoga. She is compassionate and supportive of all body-types and encourages the use of props to promote fluidity of movement in space. The use of props has personally transformed her practice and has provided a new relationship between the space of her yoga mat and the range of movement of her own body and practice-which she now shares with her students. It is exhilarating for her to see her students move in space with flow of movement, creating different shapes that lengthen and strengthen the body allowing the props to provide space, balance and extension of the body, further enhancing their practice. Carol also has been an educator for over 25 years, and has worked very closely with college students as teacher and mentor in transforming their professional lives and personal journeys; she has an earned doctorate in Environmental Psychology.
Sophia is a Certified Yoga Instructor from Laughing Lotus/NYC and studied with Dana Trixie Flynn, Alison Cramer, Sheri Celentano & Mary Abbot. She is also certified in Yin Yoga through Integral Yoga Institute, and Kids’ Yoga from Karma Kids Yoga. For almost a decade, she has been teaching different styles of yoga including vinyasa, yin, body sculpt, restorative, chair, hatha, and Mommy & Me. She has worked in yoga studios, gyms, senior centers, schools, community centers, and NYC parks. Committed to deepen her studies, she graduated from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Certified Personal Trainor and Corrective Exercise Specialist while acquiring a CPR-AED certificate. Sophia creatively integrates all her versatile knowledge and experience to address her students’ needs and create a safe place for their growth and transformation. ♥ Heart chakra being her favorite, she relentlessly spreads a message of love and compassion in her classes. Sophia holds a Bachelor Degree of Science, Accounting Major and Economics & Finance Minors. She was Suma Cum Laude, valedictorian and student speaker. However, following her heart’s passion, she left the accounting world behind and focused on teaching yoga and personal training.
Karen La Porte
A self-proclaimed workaholic, Karen discovered that yoga provided a relief from the daily grind and helped her gain a new found belief in herself. She bounced around from yoga class to yoga class for about 10 years until in 2009 a horrible hand injury prevented her from practicing. It took a year of painful occupational therapy to get the use of her hand back and another three years before she could practice yoga again. Once she returned to the mat in 2013 she never looked back. Starting over was difficult but it renewed her love for yoga and the respect for the physical body to heal and rebuild. In 2016, at the age of 44, she joined yoga teacher training at YogaWorks. Through deepening her practice with breathwork and meditation, she was also able to heal deep seated grief, connect with her true core, find the strength to leave the corporate world and start her own business, as well as tap into self-love and empowerment to fully commit to her passions. In addition to her healing practices, Karen still nurtures her love of sewing, knitting, and vintage fashion. She is the owner of Bobbins & Bombshells and also teaches sewing, knitting, and crochet in New York City.