goodteacher of June – Sasha


Sasha is a breath of fresh air around the goodyoga studios. She brings a sense of fluidity, play, and spunk into to her classes while also paying careful attention to safe alignment practices. In case you haven’t heard, Sasha will lead a yoga/street dance fusion workshop on JUNE 5th! Be sure to come out and shake what your mama gave ya!

Learn more about what makes Sasha so bright…

What is your idea of perfect happiness?  
Non-attachment, releasing fear, practicing compassion toward myself and others, recognizing that bliss is available and within me/us at every moment. Also napping in the sand after a full day of beach activities with loved ones in crystal clear water, sipping from a fresh coconut, listening to the ocean.  

What is your greatest extravagance?  
Probably food and travel, even though I don’t really eat or travel “extravagantly”. Regardless, clean food and seeing the world are both important to me, so I choose invest in them.

When and where were you happiest?  
Right now, teaching and doing what I love, and when I’m traveling or dancing. I was fortunate to have had a very happy childhood, and I have really special memories in my elementary school classrooms and on the playground. A recent happy experience was just after swimming through a cave in Santorini, Greece. I have a fear of deep waters (yet am not-so-ironically incredibly drawn to the ocean) but decided to swim through a small cave on a beautiful beach with my boyfriend. When we arrived on other side we saw the edge of the island’s enormous cliffs overlooking the sea. I felt like I was looking out into the rest of the world, and having overcome that sense of anxiety swimming through unknown territory was exhilarating. I felt like I could conquer anything at that moment, not to mention I felt like a mermaid from Pirates of the Caribbean.  

Which talent would you most like to have?  
Playing an instrument, especially piano or guitar. I like to sing, so learning how to play them both is on my to-do list. Also speaking Italian – my mom’s family is from Naples, but for some reason I decided to learn French instead.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?  
Moving to New York and creating a life I want, even when I had no clue initially why I was having this out-of-body experience of feeling like I needed to be here, without knowing what I needed or wanted to do. I am proud of being true to those instincts and of the path it has since led me on.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?  
A unicorn or mermaid.

Where would you most like to live?  
A Greek island, or in a lake house in Austria. That being said, Brooklyn is pretty excellent, and I have a love affair with it after each winter when my icy cold heart melts along with the snow.

What is your most treasured possession?  
My heart.

What is your favorite occupation?  
Teaching yoga, dancing/performing, and writing. Generally speaking, sharing my passions with others and spreading health in any way possible.

What is your most marked characteristic?  
Probably my curly hair or my smile, in part due to my somewhat large chompers. To quote Buddy The Elf: “I love smiling, smiling’s my favorite!”.

What do you most value in your friends?
Unconditional love.

Who are your favorite writers?  
Anthony Bourdain, David Sedaris, poems by Rumi and Mary Oliver. I finally read “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda, whose writing I found incredibly moving.

Who is your hero of fiction?  
The Little Prince and Harry Potter.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Ghandi. I feel a strong connection to his mission and philosophy around ahimsa (non-violence). Also unicorns.

Who are your heroes in real life?  
My parents and their parents. Some of the most dedicated, selfless, loving, passionate human beings I know.

What is your motto?  
Spread the wealth, spread the health.

What is your favorite thing about your yoga practice?  
My favorite thing is probably how unlimited it is in both the physical and mental practice, and how it can pertain to myself and others in every moment. I love how yoga is in everything and everything is yoga. I can show up on my mat one day feeling totally different than how I felt the day before, even the minute before. It’s constantly evolving yet it’s always there for me and for all of us whenever and however we need it. Yoga’s versatility always blows my mind.

What drove you to start practicing yoga?  
Some of my previous jazz and modern dance teachers often incorporated sun salutations or yoga postures into their warmups, and I initially had an aversion to them. I huffed and puffed through surya namaskar asanas and got bored when we had to be still. When I was in college I had friends that tried yoga and liked it, so during grad school I finally decided to try it at my gym. I cried in savasana, like straight up wept, and knew that something inside of me had cracked. My aversion turned to curiosity, so I found myself at that class at least once or twice a week. I moved to New York on a whim and strolled into a studio near my office hoping to find a good class in my new surroundings. My teacher was Anya Porter who had a similar dance background to mine, and from that point on I was sold. Since then I have been inspired by Anya and others to develop my practice and teach what they have passed on to me, especially concepts I feel our society is lacking such as compassion and mindfulness. The physical practice has become more of a welcomed feat rather than the annoying postures I forced myself through in the early days, and I am continually astounded by what I learn both as a student and a teacher. So I guess what ultimately drove me to practicing yoga was the way in which its energy alone sucked me in, both challenging and holding me at the same time, and I never looked back.