MILARD ROPER OWNER-OPERATOR Becoming a yoga teacher was a natural progression for Milard. Milard is a licensed Acupunturist, Massage Therapist as well as a Board Certified Chinese Herbalist. Milard has also taught Kung Fu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for many years. His passion for these arts and his innate knowledge of the body comes through clearly when he is teaching yoga. Milard’s enthusiasm for life and the balance he has created in his professional and personal life is inspirational to his students, patients, friends and family. Milard was trained directly by Ana Forrest and Raghunath. Milard incorporates Ana’s focus on alignment and connecting to the breath as well as Raghunath’s strong physical practice and rich tradition of yogic philosophy into his classes. Owing everything to his teachers he feels blessed to have made such powerful connections both in the Forrest and Bhakti communities. LESLIE VAN BELL Leslie began practicing yoga in the year 2000, when she was pregnant with her first child. Her desire to so something healthy for herself and her baby led to a whole new way of life. After cultivating a deeper personal practice for many years, Leslie decided to combine her love of yoga with her love of teaching and became a Certified Yoga Teacher in 2008. Over the years, Leslie has continued to participate in teacher trainings and workshops to fulfill her personal intention of life long learning. Leslie’s classes combine a strong vinyasa flow with safe, intelligent and fun sequencing. Her classes focus on instilling feelings of empowerment and fostering the belief that yoga can enhance each student’s life. Music, movement and connecting with one’s internal strength are at the forefront of each class. Ever grateful to her teachers, Leslie hopes to inspire her students to progress on their own personal journeys, while experiencing all that yoga has to offer on and off the mat. In addition to teaching vinyasa classes, Leslie co-leads a 200 hour Yoga Alliance teacher training program at The Funky OM in Huntington. Leslie has also taught Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Yoga for Hockey Players, Family and Kids Yoga, and Yoga for Educators. She is also a Certified Special Education Teacher and lives in East Northport with her husband and two sons. Leslie is honored to help grow and support the yoga community on Long Island, the place she loves to call home! CHRIS GRODSKI Chris is an avid practitioner of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation as Taught by Yogi Bhajan. This is one of the most powerfully transformative and quick acting types of practice. It has the potential to self heal, transform personal egotistic insecurities, raise your level of vitality, increase your energetic capacity, regulate the glands and strengthen the nervous system. This passionately physical and spiritual practice of Kundalini Yoga is meant clear your karmas, and give you a meditative mind so that you may live your day in an elevated state of consciousness, awareness and happiness. Come experience the fast acting transformation of Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Through dynamic practice of postures, exercises, breath work, meditation and chanting, no two classes will be the same. Raise Your Kundalini Soul Energy and Natural Awareness! Sat Nam! Chris offers Private and Public Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Sessions. Chris may talk with you privately to establish specific or general goals for the meditation or yoga, either from your expressed desire and/or his assessment after a tongue and pulse diagnosis, integrating the Kundalini Yoga Tradition with Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Meditations and Yoga Sets are selected by Chris from the Kundalini Yoga tradition as taught by Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga. Sessions may be general or specific, for the physical, mental, and/or spiritual realm to move you through any blocks and onward on your life path. There are hundreds of meditations and sets to explore. In a Session you will practice, as well as be taught the selected meditation or yoga so it can be taken home and practiced regularly. JANE SHOMBERG Kerry Fisher, RYT 200, is a mother, a yogi and a dreamer. Kerry was raising a family and working as an attorney when she began a daily yoga practice. She found that yoga was the perfect antidote to her hectic lifestyle. As her yoga practice deepened, she felt a strong desire to leave her legal career. Taking a deep breath, Kerry became certified as a yoga instructor and never looked back! An avid student, Kerry has completed trainings in vinyasa flow, yoga for athletes, restorative yoga, teen yoga, thai yoga massage and anatomy. She continues to train in anatomy, therapeutics and her specialty, yoga for athletes. She loves having fun and brings her playful spirit to her yoga classes. Kerry enjoys inspiring and encouraging her students to live to their fullest potential, to live the life of their dreams. She believes that the most important thing in life is to find happiness and that happiness can only be found within. When not at the yoga studio, you can usually find Kerry somewhere outdoors with her five children in tow. BARI CASPI Bari found Yoga at Jivamukti while earning her graduate degree and living in NYC. Dedicated to helping homeless mentally ill adults and practicing yoga was her focus for many years during this time. After a personal practice of 25 years Bari received her 200 YTT at Lifetime Academy and is currently enrolled in the 300 YTT at The Funky Om. A place she considers an oasis right here on Long Island. Owner Milard Roper and all the staff are some of the most intelligent, kind hearted people she has ever known. After decades of practice, self reflection, healing, health improvement, and spiritual peace, Bari is eager to share and serve what she knows to be essential for extreme well being and happiness. Bari welcomes students exactly as they are. She is now a full time employed yoga teacher and is happily married raising two teenage boys. EMILY LOEB Emily Loeb is a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certified instructor. In addition to teaching, Emily enjoys a strong personal practice. As a busy mother of three young children, she was initially drawn to yoga for the peaceful escape and spiritual benefits. She continues to find both mental and physical health through this rich and ancient practice. Emily feels immense gratitude for the yoga community of The Funky Om where she received her certification. In addition to being a yoga teacher, Emily is also an editor and writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband, friends, and three wonderful, yoga-loving children. LANA DAMICO Lana damico is a RYT 500 teacher and lululemon athletica yoga ambassador. Lana completed her teacher training with the Long Island Yoga School and has been teaching yoga since June 2008. Lana has truly found her passion in this amazing practice and loves to share it with others on the journey. She enjoys taking students “to their edge” and is always seeking new ways to keep her students challenged, safe and excited about yoga. Most recently, she was featured as a model in the book and dvd series, Anatomy of Fitness: Yoga, available on Amazon. In her free time, she enjoys being with her incredible family and friends and is the proud mother of Sonya and Gabriella. CELIA GORDON Celia is a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certified instructor and has been practicing yoga since 2001. In addition to being a yoga instructor, Celia has been a criminal defense attorney at a prominent law firm in Manhattan for 16 years, has appeared as a legal commentator on Fox News and Court TV, and has been a guest lecturer at various law schools. Over the years, as an extremely busy working mother of three children, Celia found her “need” for yoga consistently increasing. She squeezed yoga into any free time she could scrape together, often taking late evening classes in Manhattan before commuting back to her home on Long Island. She also found herself eagerly sharing the profoundly beneficial effects of yoga with anyone who would listen. Having gravitated to The Funky Om as her “home” studio because of its perfectly balanced dose of yoga for the body, mind and spirit, she knew there was no more fitting place for her to receive her teacher training than under the guidance of Milard Roper and Leslie Van Bell. Believing that the best teachers are those who never stop learning as students, Celia regularly attends classes, workshops and retreats in various styles of yoga taught by well respected teachers from around the country. Celia teaches basic and multi-level yoga and stresses to her students that yoga has nothing at all to do with whether or not you can touch your toes. She hopes that her deep love of yoga (and the harmonium!) spreads to all those who attend her classes. LAUREN LEVINE Upon receiving her bachelors’ degree in fine arts, Lauren shifted her focus, while always keeping her objective in education, to immerse herself in the study of yoga. She is a graduate of the Kripalu School of Yoga, a Yoga Alliance registered 500 hour teacher and holds certificates as a Yoga Ed.™ instructor, trauma yoga instructor and personal trainer. In addition to her studio classes and programs through Good Life Yoga, Lauren is also an adjunct professor of Hatha Yoga at Molloy College and teaches art at a private elementary school in Queens. Currently, Lauren is pursuing a master’s degree in Art Education at New York University. In the academic setting, Lauren believes that the integration of art and yoga only enhances the students’ relationship with wellness. She works to teach her young students about the therapeutic nature of creating art, in conjunction with the importance of yogic mindfulness and movement, as not only a modality of personal growth, but a means to develop academic achievement and social responsibility. Lauren truly believes that yoga is an imperative and available practice for all ages, interests and body types, and she works diligently with her students to support that philosophy. She is happy and honored to be a part of the Inner Spirit community and always looks forward teaching and practicing at the Center!