Urban Yoga Foundation Instructors, Ambassadors, and Interns
A number of selfless individuals committed to service make the work of UYF possible. Our team includes karma yoga instructors volunteering their time to teach studio classes, ambassadors donating their time to fulfill administrative duties, and mindfulness instructors bringing programs to schools.
Linda Alvarez- Lead Teacher
Before her career specializing in urban family medicine, Dr. Linda Alvarez’s passion was serving the underserved. Linda started her career at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, a seven year BS/MD program focused on providing access to primary care in all communities. After completion of the program, Linda wanted to broaden her medical knowledge and was one of the first medical students in the country to do an independent study in complementary medicine, as featured in The New Physician magazine. During this one year sabbatical, Linda studied Ayurveda and obtained her 200 hour yoga teacher training certification. It was at this time she met Ghylian Bell, in the very first months of Urban Yoga opening its doors. Linda became UYFs operations manager as well as a senior yoga instructor and contributor to the UYF teacher training and manual.
After a year of dedicated work at the foundation house, Linda returned to medical school and graduated from New York Medical College in 2015. She currently is a senior resident through the department of Family Medicine at the University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Hospital, and will be continuing her post graduate medical training there in Hospice and Palliative Medicine where she hopes to use her yoga, meditation and mindfulness training in chronic pain and end of life management. Linda also serves her resident and patient communities working as the Regional Vice President of the Florida Region for the Committee of Interns and Residents. Dr. Linda Alvarez currently serves UYF as an advisory board member, senior instructor and guest lecturer for the UYF Urban Kids Yoga Teacher Training.
My name is Josue, "AKA" Jay Shanti, I am a certified and registered RYT 200hrs Yoga Teacher which i obtained in Rishikesh, India, the birthplace of Yoga, I have been practicing yoga for about 3 years now and realized that it was time no only to deepen my practice for myself but to grow in it and blend it with my other practices such as Kundalini Reiki( Master Level) and Usui Reiki( Level 3) as well as knowledge of Thai massage, AcroYoga, Aerial art, soft tissue manipulation and my background in Personal Training and movement.
Born American but I'm originally from a beauiful Island in the Caribbean, raised in the Capital of Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo. In my early years I developed a passion for exercise and I practiced Tae Kwon Do in my pre-school years and Kick Boxing, MMA and Krav Magga as I grew older.
I hold certification in fitness with NASM( National Academy Of Sportsand...) as well as being qualified trigger point and tissue release techniques.
I discovered my passion for Yoga after having endured some personal challenges and I needed to improve my emotional health (Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia), but it was an spiritual vision has changed it all for me and brought me into meditating and practicing Yoga, it all started with Raj Yoga, later I learned Vinyasa, Yin and Aerial yoga as I joined a local studio for work exchange and to immerse myself in this new exciting world where no one I knew before belonged to. More recently I have been fueling this new fire inside of me and have a new level of enthusiasm when it comes to movement and spirituality. I fell in love with "Acro" all over again and felt inspired by videos of Budokon Yoga.
Nevertheless after years of tremor I finally fell on the right path to regain all my creativity, as I have always been into writing poetic verses and melodies and I went to school for music production.
My goal is to combine the power of creation with my calling to help, I am here to be known, to have the opportunity to become a vessel for transformation in some and a source of inspiration for the rest so they too fell this magic.
Chanou Wiltshire, professional artist, entertainer, and certified enrichment specialist. Beginning at the tender age of 4 years old, Chanou has extensive professional training in classical ballet, tap, modern/jazz, yoga flow, west African and hip hop dances, acting, musical theatre, choreography, and runway/print modeling. In 2006, Chanou founded her own performance based production company, LadyChanou Productions, and has guest-performed in a number of theaters, art/fashion events, and festivals in varies cities across the country.
She has produced over 75 events and has trained a growing number of about 600 aspiring models, dancers, vocalists and actors. Chanou is also well versed in facial art and make-up creations, event coordination, and image consulting. Being a highly driven and passionate individual, Chanou has dedicated her life to building an empire to entertain across the world. She plans to continue to build her brand to flourish reaching beyond the sky’s limits!
Anne Tangi-Children's Yoga Instructor
Anne Michiko Tangi loves to get down to any music that inspires her to move, whether it's a New Orleans brass band, West African drummers, Russian rock stars, beat boxers, Brazilian sambistas, or house D.J.s.
She believes in the empowerment and healing that come from connecting with your body's unique movement language and loves to help others embrace theirs in an encouraging, vibrant atmosphere. Her favorite places to dance are celebratory environments such as festivals, parades, drum circles, parks, and music shows.
From Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Anne has explored diverse movement forms, such as contemporary dance, Afro-Brazilian, West African, Costa Rican, social dance, improvisation, capoeira, and yoga. She finds movement and music to be a powerful tool for connecting with people across culture, language, belief system and life experience.
Ngone’s yoga journey started 7 years ago while working as a French language assistant teacher for Murray Hills Wee Ones Club, a Manhattan-based preschool. Once each week, a yoga instructor taught the children yoga movements. She became inspired by the way the instructor guided the children with games, music, and books while teaching various yoga poses and stretches. A short while later Ngone received her children’s yoga certifications from Little Flower Yoga, Urban Yoga Foundation, and Rainbow Kids Yoga.
In 2015, Ngone completed her 200-hour yoga certification and 300-hour yoga certification at Three Sisters Yoga in New York City. In 2017, she completed a 300-hour Hatha yoga certification in Rishikesh, India.
Ngone enjoys teaching yoga to children and adults. She guides all of her students through fun, intelligent, effective yoga classes and focuses on teaching relaxation, correct posture, and mindfulness. Her Goddess Yoga class invites all individuals to be present, honor and share the inner Goddess with others through uplifting movements and breathing. Every shape and all levels are welcome. Ngone believes that yoga is for every body. After each class participants leave with a piece of peace to share with family, friends, neighbors, and strangers.
Ngone’s classes are gentle and accessible to everyone. Individuals are encouraged to go at your own pace whether you are a beginner or experienced.
Jared comes to the mat for strength, peace of mind, and an expanded worldview. In 2015, after spending two weeks in a hospital bed with blood clots in his right lung, yoga rehabilitated Jared’s body and encouraged him to live courageously and authentically. Yoga teaches us to challenge our beliefs on who we are and what we are capable of. Through physical practice, we witness our bodies as dynamic, resilient, and powerful entities and through breath work, we cultivate focus and connection. By respecting our physical bodies with these practices, we transcend our perceived limitations. Jared teaches with the intention of purifying the body and mind and inspiring an expansive worldview. He is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor, having graduated from Yoga Vida’s 200-hour teacher training program in the fall of 2015, studying under the mentorship of Domenic Savino.
I began my professional career between the ages of 5 and 6. My stomping grounds began in my hometown of Jersey City, NJ. I was a beginner dancer with Freddie Moore's, Hudson Repertory Dance Theater. By the summer of 1997, I was blessed to be selected to Hudson Repertory Dance Enesemble; which is the highest honor you can receive when dancing with this company and I was one of the 2 youngest members to ever receive this. That same summer, I was fortunate to meet my first manager that would usher me and my family to a world of Arts. Through auditioning, bookings, and great parenting, my passion for Theatre Arts burned on.
My acting career kicked off with a September(1997) of beginner's luck. It started with a Compaq Computer commercial that would be aired during the 1997-1998 Superbowl Championship, a print ad that promoted the awareness and dangers of kidnapping youth, and finally a Halloween appearance on "All My Children." From then on, I've been blessed to act on Disney's Broadway Musical, "The Lion King" as Young Simba, Queen Latifah's, "The Cookout," and another featured film acting as Vannessa Williams son in "MY Brother."
I am trained vocally, in broadcasting and in writing for stage, tv, and shorts. Studied at Rutgers University's Mason Gross for a year and now i am a trained, certified instructor of Yoga. I have many more accolades that I can run down, but above them all is my passion to mentor and grant opportunities to children the way opportunities were granted to me in my youth.
Tanja artist, actress, dancer and musical theatre performer. She is trained in Method Acting different styles of dances, including Jazz, Ballet and Tap, as well as movement and awareness of the self. Before she came to New York to study, she was an athlete with regular training in stretch, relaxation and meditation to continuously improve her performances. Tanja has worked with kids in summer camps with a focus on healthy living. She included Pilates, Dance and Relaxation classes into the schedule.
Tanja has ongoing projects all over the city in which she is performing. She is focusing on establishing her career and a wide network of performers with whom she can collaborate for future projects. She's recently performed Off-Broadway and will continue to widen her horizon for new opportunities and ways to create work that people can find a home with.
Jourdan Archer-Sizemore Public Relations Coordinator
Jourdan is a graduate of William Paterson University with a Bachelors degree in Public Relations. She spent 3 years in school as a Resident Assistant creating a sense of community within the dormitories. She first started working for UYF as a public relations intern back in 2012. She continued her work with the company as a children’s yoga teacher in 2013 where she worked for the next three summers. Unsure of where the path of teaching yoga would take her she went in with an open mind and learned a lot, not only helping her to grow as a children’s yoga teacher but also that would help her in all aspects of her life. Learning just as much as she was teaching Jourdan continues to work as the Social Media Director and a children’s yoga teacher for UYF.
Mychal Watts Photographer
Mychal Watts a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps worked to become a Professional Photographer after serving our Great Nation. Mychal developed an astute talent for Photography by learning his craft from working as a Professional Photo Lab Technician and earning the accolade of a Master Black and White and color Technician.
Under the tutelage and as #1 assistant to Entertainment Photographer Kevin Mazur, Mychal started to place images in many National Magazines. After this success he was now hooked on the Field of Entertainment Photography. Aquiring clients include such Celebrities as Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklyn, Sting, Elton John, Billy Joel, P. Diddy, James Taylor, Debra Gibson and others.
His Talent eventually landed him a chance to cover events in the Entertainment Industry. Assigned to cover many Celebrity and News Events for Wireimage, then Grandfathered into a contract with Getty Images.
Mychal then shifted his focus to a passion very dear to him, to be able devote his talents and skills to support his Brothers and Sisters in Arms. Volunteering for a year then brought in as the Director of Photography Services for The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, a 501.3c Not for profit Organization that provided financial and emotional support for our wounded Soldiers returning back to society after recovering from injuries received in Combat.
Now based in New York City, He remains a Contributor/Stringer Photographer shooting for Wireimage/Getty
Taler Jasper Account Manager
Taler worked as the account manager for a staffing agency in the IT division for a year before she decided to join her mother in building her business. She has helped build and keep client relationships as well as recruited and hired candidates for various positions in IT. She now is for the account manager for UYF, creating new relationships with different schools and organizations as well as finding new teachers for each program. She first started working for UYF in 2005 selling and packaging Talers Teas for UYF. As UYF expanded she started to work with the company as a children’s yoga teacher at P.S. 125 after school program in 2011 where she worked for two years . She is excited to bring wellness and mindfulness to different schools and corporations so that people can experience the benefits and joy it brought her as a child .