ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS
KIRSTEN COLLINS www.kirstencollins.nyc
Kirsten Adelia Collins, MBA, RYT, has been doing yoga for fifteen years and cannot imagine her life without this transformational practice. She completed her initial teacher training at the Buddhist-centered studio OM Yoga Center in 2005. In 2009, Kirsten began her study of Forrest Yoga with its powerful healing capabilities, and completed her second 200-hour level teacher training directly under Ana Forrest. Today, Kirsten teaches yoga with the lighthearted perspective while guiding students deeply through the practice. She continually takes into consideration the emotional and physical
challenges and injuries that each of her students is working with and through. Kirsten’s class is enlivening, because of her attention to breath and alignment and her quirky stories that stem from her life perspective and her understanding of the path of yoga. Kirsten loves to remind us of the silly things of life that connect each and every one of us. Study with Kirsten to work deeply and gain perspective on and off of the yoga mat.
DENISE HOPKINS www.purespaceyoga.com
Denise began her yoga journey after working for 13 years in the NYC fashion industry. Yoga became her saving grace to the competitive nature of the business. After searching high and low for a teacher training in the city, she decided to take the Forrest Yoga training based on gut instinct. It was life changing. She completed her training with founder Ana Forrest in 2005 and continues to study with Ana and assists her nationally at workshops and teacher trainings.
Through FY, Denise learned the skills she needed to let go of old behavior patterns which set her up for being "walked on". She found an inner strength which birthed new confidence, passion, and lots of feeling.
In 2010 Denise partnered up with Kate Lubensky to create Yoga for Breast Cancer, a DVD created to address the needs of breast cancer battlers and survivors. It was so well received that they recently produced two more DVD’s entitled Gentle Yoga for Cancer and Yoga for Heart Health.
Denise draws from her strong sense of intuition and passion for hands-on healing. She has a knack for reading the energy of students and responding to what they need. Denise’s way of instructing is direct, clear, and inspiring. It is her desire that every student feels seen and understood.
She also incorporates her work with Cranial Sacral Therapy into her hands-on assists. She trained with Ellen Heed in August of 2010 and is currently studying through the Milne Institute.
ERICA MATHER www.ericamather.com
Erica Mather is a lifelong teacher. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, she acquired a degree in Music Theory (1999) and later a teaching certificate in Secondary Ed. for Band and Orchestra.
After college she became a local celebrity. A staple on the Madison jazz scene, she performed professionally for five years with her Trio, and was voted Madison’s favorite jazz musician in the 2001 Isthmus reader’s poll. Her seat in the public eye caught the Mayor’s attention and he invited her to be a member of the Mayor’s Arts Advisory Board, where she served briefly before relocating to New York City.
In 2004 she moved to NYC to enroll in Columbia University’s Graduate program in Ethnomusicology, and in 2006 completed her Master’s Degree. That summer took her first yoga teacher training with Ana Forrest. After the training, she began teaching yoga in NYC, and quickly gained renown as a gifted teacher in a very competitive scene. In 2009 Ms. Forrest invited Erica to become part of an elite circle of teachers, The Guardians, senior teachers who are entrusted with passing along the Forrest legacy.
In 2011 Erica made her debut on the National yoga scene, with appearances at Kripalu and Wanderlust. She’s been featured in the Sunday New York Times (July 31, 2011). She also was given her own channel on The Elephant Journal, where–according to the editors–her writing has been “a runaway success.”
In 2012 she made a repeat appearance at Kripalu and continued to broaden her horizons internationally, with appearances at the Bali Spirit Festival, the first Annual Forrest Yoga Conference “Wind Horse”, and a month-long residency at the Tembok Spa in Bali.
A teacher’s teacher, she is not part of the current yoga fad, where teachers are merely conductors for a score of predetermined poses. Her classes are improvisational responses to the people who are in front of her, and she always aims to teach to the crowd lessons that are level-appropriate and that provoke thought, feeling, and growth.
LESLIE PEARLMAN www.goodgroundyoga.com
Leslie Pearlman, founder and director of Good Ground Yoga, is a certified Forrest Yoga teacher with more than 20 years teaching experience and is registered with Yoga Alliance at the highest level (E-RYT 500). She is widely known for her radiant energy as well as her compassion, support, humor and warmth. Leslie has the unique ability to help her students reach their personal best and go deep without compromising form and integrity. She has taught thousands of students in New York City and the Hamptons and conducts workshops nationally and internationally. She is a well-known assistant to Ana Forrest, the founder of Forrest Yoga, and assists her with workshops across the country. Leslie is currently training to become a Forrest Yoga Mentor Teacher and Guardian. There are less than 20 teachers world-wide who have been given this honor of guarding the legacy of Forrest Yoga.
Prior to teaching yoga full-time, Leslie was an attorney at Brooklyn Legal Services where she provided legal assistance to domestic violence survivors. It was through this work that Leslie saw the connection between personal empowerment and self-healing. This link is at the heart of Leslie’s teaching. She has a deep conviction that yoga can help you observe how you’re treating yourself and those around you.
Leslie understands how to use yoga therapeutically and is creative in developing modifications for all her students. Her classes move people deeply. Leslie has the uncanny ability to see where students are blocked and help them move forward and heal.